LA Times Crossword Answers 11 Jul 15, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Barry C. Silk
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 13m 48s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 4 … LENA (Lina), MONT (Pont!!!), EDAMAME (edamami!!!), JIM ROME (Jim Rope!!!)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Band conductor? COPPER WIRE
Copper is a great conductor of electricity because the outer electrons of the copper atom are easily detached. These outer electrons can detach in a chain reactions enabling them to move with very little resistance in a circuit.

I think that the use of “band” in the clue could refer to “bandwidth”, as in digital information being transmitted across copper wire. I suppose it might also refer to a copper strap used as an electical conductor.

11. Burlap source HEMP
Burlap, also called “hessian”, is a coarse, woven fabric made from fibers taken from jute, sisal or hemp plants.

15. Kindle owner, often AVID READER
I bought myself a Kindle Fire HD not that long ago. I’ve started reading e-books for the first time in my life, as well as enjoying other computing options available with the tablet device. I love it …

18. Beaufort scale word GALE
The Beaufort wind scale is named after Irishman Sir Francis Beaufort, a Rear-Admiral in the Royal Navy. Beaufort was a hydrographer as well as a career navy man.

19. Half of sei TRE
Twice three (tre) is six (sei), in Italian.

23. Proposal figs. ESTS
Estimate (est.)

25. Head makeup SUDS
The head on a beer comprises “suds”, i.e. foam.

27. Grand Prince of Moscow, 1328-1340 IVAN I
Ivan I was Prince of Moscow from 1325, succeeding his older brother Yuri III, who in turn succeeded their father Daniil Aleksandrovich. Daniil was the first Prince of Moscow, the first in a long line that culminated in Ivan the Terrible, who became the first Tsar of Russia.

30. Harpo Marx or Carrot Top PROP COMIC
A “prop comic” gives us what the label suggests, comedy using props.

Harpo Marx was the second oldest of the Marx brothers. Harpo’s real name was Adolph, and he earned his nickname because he played the harp. Famously he didn’t speak on screen, a routine he developed after reading a review that he performed really well when he just didn’t speak!

Carrot Top is the stage name of stand-up comedian Scott Thompson. He is well-known for his bright red hair, which gives him the moniker.

32. Soap, e.g. SERIAL
The original soap operas were radio dramas back in the fifties. Given the structure of society back then, the daytime broadcasts were aimed at housewives working in the home. For some reason the sponsors of those radio shows, and the television shows that followed, were soap manufacturers like Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers. And that’s how the “soap” opera got its name …

34. Cen. parts YRS
There are 100 years (yrs.) in a century (cen.).

35. River through Yakutsk LENA
Yakutsk is the capital city of the Sakha Republic in Russia. Yakutsk sits on the Lena River, just south of the Arctic Circle.

36. Eye-catching link designed to generate ad revenue CLICK BAIT
“Click bait” is trickery used by website designers to entice a reader to click on a particular link. That link may be a disguised ad, so that the website owner gets some income from the advertiser.

39. Sith foe JEDI
The Sith are characters in the “Star Wars” universe who use the “dark side” of “the Force”, and as such are the antithesis of the Jedi Knights. The last made of the six original “Star Wars” movies is called “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”.

42. Thanksgiving follower: Abbr. FRI
Thanksgiving Day was observed on different dates in different states for many years, until Abraham Lincoln fixed the date for the whole country in 1863. Lincoln’s presidential proclamation set that date as the last Thursday in November. In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday to the fourth Thursday in November, arguing that the earlier date would give the economy a much-needed boost.

50. The same, in Sauternes EGALE
“Égal” (feminine “égale”) is the French word for “equal, alike”, and a word we sometimes use in English with the same meaning. The national motto of France is “Liberté, égalité, fraternité”, meaning “Liberty, equality, fraternity (brotherhood).

51. “In the Summertime” rock group __ Jerry MUNGO
Mungo Jerry is a great rock group from England. The band’s biggest hit is “In the Summertime”, which was released in 1970. The group’s name comes from the T.S. Eliot poem “Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer” from his collection “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”.

54. Company name based on a passage from Hosea EL AL
El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”. The phrase comes from Hosea 11:7, which reads:
And my people are in suspense about returning to me; and though they call them upwards (el-al), none at all will lift himself up.

57. 21st Greek letter PHI
Phi is the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet.

59. “Rugrats” infant DIL
Tommy Pickles is the protagonist on the Nickelodeon cartoon show “Rugrats”. Dil Pickles is Tommy’s younger brother.

60. God in both Eddas ODIN
The Poetic Edda and Prose Edda are two ancient works that are the source for much of Norse mythology. Both Eddas were written in the 13th century, in Iceland.

64. __-Tremblant, Quebec MONT
Mont-Tremblant is city in Quebec located about 80 miles northwest of Montreal. The city is noted for the nearby Mont-Tremblant ski resort. Both are named for the mountain called Mont Tremblant, which is French for “trembling mountain”, the name used by the local Algonquin people.

65. Unauthorized underground city explorer URBAN CAVER
Urban exploration (also “urban caving”) is the exploration of man-made structures, particularly those underground such as drains and tunnels.

66. “And so …” ERGO
“Ergo” is the Latin word for “hence, therefore”.

67. Deli counter customers, as a rule MEAT-EATERS
The word “delicatessen” (or “deli” for short) came into English from the German “Delikatessen”. The Germans borrowed the word from French, in which language “délicatesse” means “delicious things (to eat)”. The term’s ultimate root is “delicatus”, the Latin for “giving pleasure, delightful”.

Down
1. Moving aids CASTERS
Small wheels on swivels that are attached to the bottom of furniture and machines, to facilitate moving, are called “casters”. The name comes from the old sense of the verb “to cast” when it meant “to turn”.

3. Subject of a 1983 incident in which a George Brett homer was originally nullified PINE TAR
Pine tar is applied to the handles of baseball bats as it is a sticky substance and improves the batter’s grip. In a 1983 game, the Yankees manager Billy Martin protested a home run hit by George Brett of the Royals because the pine tar on his bat extended beyond the regulation 18 inches. The home run was later allowed as it was determined that the 18-inch rule was in place for economic reasons, and had nothing to do with competitive advantage. If pine tar gets on a baseball it renders it unusable for play, and baseballs cost money!

4. L.A. summer setting PDT
Pacific Daylight Time (PDT)

6. “Concentration” feature REBUS
The game show “Concentration” features a rebus puzzle i.e. a puzzle that uses pictures to represent letters and groups of letters. For example, a picture of a “ewe” might represent the letter “U” or the pronoun “you”.

7. Throw in a pen WARM UP
A baseball pitcher warms up by throwing balls in a bull pen.

10. Mother of the Valkyries ERDA
In Richard Wagner’s (very, very lengthy) Ring Cycle, Erda is the goddess of the Earth (as well as wisdom and fate). Erda gives birth to eight immortal daughters called the Valkyries.

12. Sushi bar appetizer EDAMAME
Edamame is a simple dish made of immature soybeans still in the pod. The pods are boiled and then salted before serving, usually as a snack or side dish. The name “edamame” translates as “twig bean”.

13. Albino’s lack MELANIN
An “albino” is an organism lacking normal pigmentation. The term comes from “albus”, Latin for “white”.

14. Horace’s “Ars __” POETICA
The full name of Horace’s work is “Ars Poetica, Epistula ad Pisones” (The Art of Poetry, Letters to Piso). The work describes the technical aspects of poetry in Ancient Rome, and the term “ars poetica” has come to mean the poetry of that period.

29. __ du pays: homesickness MAL
Here are some French terms for some unpleasant conditions:

– mal de tête (headache)
– mal de mer (seasickness)
– mal de pays (homesickness)

31. Free spots, briefly PSAS
Public service announcement (PSA)

39. CBS Sports Radio host JIM ROME
Jim Rome a sports talk show host who is best known these days for “The Jim Rome Show” on CBS Sports Radio.

40. Gran Colombia successor state ECUADOR
The old South American colony known as the Viceroyalty of New Granada (Virreinato de la Nueva Granada) covered the territories that today are (roughly) covered by Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. New Granada won independence from Spain in 1819-22, forming a Republic then known as Gran Colombia. Then, Ecuador and Venezuela seceded from Gran Colombia leaving what today is called Colombia, but was for many years called the Republic of New Granada.

41. Like the queen in a 1977 #1 hit DANCING
“Dancing Queen” is a great, great song from 1976 that was released by the Swedish group ABBA. ABBA’s music has never been as popular in the US as it is in other countries, but “Dancing Queen” did make it to the number-one spot in the charts here. It was in fact, ABBA’s only #1 hit in the US.

44. __ Islands: former name of an Indian Ocean republic MALDIVE
The Maldives is an island nation consisting of two chains of atolls in the Indian Ocean. The population of over 300,000 people is distributed over 192 of inhabited islands, with about 1,000 island remaining uninhabited. The Maldives is one of the countries in the world that is most endangered by rising sea levels.

46. Bears, often SELLERS
The terms “bull” and “bear” markets come from the way in which each animal attacks. A bull thrusts his horns upwards (an “up” market), whereas a bear swipes with his paws downward (a “down” market).

58. Pachacuti, for one INCA
Pachacuti was a ruler of the Inca kingdom of Cusco. The famous Inca site known as Machu Picchu is thought to have been an estate built for Pachacuti. When Pachacuti took over as ruler of Cusco, it was a relatively small chiefdom. By the time that he died in 1472, he was ruling a vast Inca Empire.

62. TV Guide abbr. TBA
To Be Advised (TBA)

63. Small muscle? LAT
The muscles known as the “lats” are the latissimi dorsi, the broadest muscles in the back. “Latissimus” is the Latin for “broadest” and “dorsum” is Latin for “back”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Band conductor? COPPER WIRE
11. Burlap source HEMP
15. Kindle owner, often AVID READER
16. Logical introduction IDEO-
17. Shipped out SENT ABROAD
18. Beaufort scale word GALE
19. Half of sei TRE
20. Briefly, with “in” SUM
21. Drying convenience BATH MAT
23. Proposal figs. ESTS
25. Head makeup SUDS
27. Grand Prince of Moscow, 1328-1340 IVAN I
28. Sphere REALM
30. Harpo Marx or Carrot Top PROP COMIC
32. Soap, e.g. SERIAL
34. Cen. parts YRS
35. River through Yakutsk LENA
36. Eye-catching link designed to generate ad revenue CLICK BAIT
39. Sith foe JEDI
42. Thanksgiving follower: Abbr. FRI
43. Rogues SCAMPS
47. “Beats me” I CAN’T TELL
50. The same, in Sauternes EGALE
51. “In the Summertime” rock group __ Jerry MUNGO
52. Biol. branch ANAT
54. Company name based on a passage from Hosea EL AL
55. Most suggestive RACIEST
57. 21st Greek letter PHI
59. “Rugrats” infant DIL
60. God in both Eddas ODIN
61. Doesn’t wait one’s turn CUTS IN LINE
64. __-Tremblant, Quebec MONT
65. Unauthorized underground city explorer URBAN CAVER
66. “And so …” ERGO
67. Deli counter customers, as a rule MEAT-EATERS

Down
1. Moving aids CASTERS
2. Supervise OVERSEE
3. Subject of a 1983 incident in which a George Brett homer was originally nullified PINE TAR
4. L.A. summer setting PDT
5. Big times ERAS
6. “Concentration” feature REBUS
7. Throw in a pen WARM UP
8. ”Yes” I DO
9. Take in again REABSORB
10. Mother of the Valkyries ERDA
11. Dynamic HIGH-VOLTAGE
12. Sushi bar appetizer EDAMAME
13. Albino’s lack MELANIN
14. Horace’s “Ars __” POETICA
22. Mannerism TIC
24. Cutting, as a thick steak SLICING INTO
26. Lumber processing equipment DRY KILN
29. __ du pays: homesickness MAL
31. Free spots, briefly PSAS
33. Pick up LIFT
37. Animal CREATURE
38. It may be shaved ICE
39. CBS Sports Radio host JIM ROME
40. Gran Colombia successor state ECUADOR
41. Like the queen in a 1977 #1 hit DANCING
44. __ Islands: former name of an Indian Ocean republic MALDIVE
45. Less pretentious PLAINER
46. Bears, often SELLERS
48. Nail holder TOE
49. Washes against LAPS AT
53. Biblical possessive THINE
56. Pond problem SCUM
58. Pachacuti, for one INCA
62. TV Guide abbr. TBA
63. Small muscle? LAT

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12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 11 Jul 15, Saturday”

  1. Actually saw the end of this one. 2 errors, 5 look-ups (should have been 2, as 3 of these were obtainable). The errors were typical presumptions trying to break into the puzzle (28-Across – REACH, 30-Across – REDHEADED). Ironically on the second, both were/are red-headed, though it is confirmed that one wears a wig. I did not know HEMP and ERDA.

    Hopefully this is a sign that I'm getting better.

    Another discussion on something I've wondered: I'm thinking after doing a few grids that NYT > LAT in terms of difficulty as there's several Wednesday NYT puzzles I'm still DNFing, as well as not doing as well on the NYT Sunday grids as the LAT Sunday grids. Any opinions on this?

    Probably will go back through some of the old ones today (now that the answers have been likely forgotten) and see if I can continue with them, since I was able to dispense with this one soon enough.

  2. That was downright manageable. :15 for me, clean. To fill in a few things: JIMROME is best known for calling former Rams QB Jim Everett "Chris." Video. On 1A, think of "band" like "bandwidth." In the Seinfeld episode "The Fire," George thinks the bar is being held up by Dom Irrera, another PROPCOMIC. Hilarious. Some of these shorter answers are stock, ESTS, PHI, PDT. But I suppose it helps establish a footing.

    Glenn, my take on the two papers is that the LAT and NYT are comparably challenging on Mon-Tues. The Wed NYT is marginally more difficult. The real difference starts on Thursday, when the NYT throws in those funky themes, like answers that finish off the grid, rebuses, answers that turn a corner. Wil Shortz says the Sunday NYT should be (in terms of cluing) about as tough as Wed. It often depends on the constructor. Those features never appear in the LAT. The closest they ever got to a rebus puzzle is today's answer. Also, NYT themeless grids on Fri and Sat have many more 2- and 3-word answers than the LAT. That's my take on it.

  3. I'm just an aging crank, but I must take exception to Bill calling Mungo Jerry a "great rock group." How can it be, when its biggest hit "In the Summertime" contains some of the most stupidly offensive lyrics of all time? They are: "If her daddy's rich take her out for a meal, if her daddy's poor just do what you feel." It's the British class system at its worst, and a national disgrace that this song should have caught on in America. Then again, call me an idiot for paying any attention to rock lyrics.

  4. I breezed through the left side of this puzzle but ran into a few obstacles on the right side. Maybe it's because I'm left handed?? SUDS. Sheesh. Even after i got it i didn't get it until I read the blog – and this after having a few suds last night…

    Colombia also encompassed what is now Panama which broke away from Colombia ostensibly for the sake of the canal being built. Colombia feared losing sovereignty if they allowed the U.S. to use the canal. So Teddy Roosevelt gave his support for a rebellion to breakaway and form Panama.

    URBAN CAVER? That's something that is common enough that we created a name for them?? These people need a better hobby. I think I'll go flush as a way of sending my regards to any urban cavers that might be near my house's sewer systems….

    Best –

  5. Had to work yesterday. Didn't finish, too tired after the stupid commute to comment.
    I started today with PINE TAR! Got most of the NW then crashed and burned.
    URBAN CAVERS? CLICK BAIT? News to me.

  6. It's not often (infrequent on a geologic time scale) that I best Bill on a puzzle, so I'm going to savor this clean solve. Another Saturday in which I thought I wasn't going to even get one of the answers filled in, but slowly they began to reveal themselves. The final section to fall was the North middle with "rebus" leading to "sum" for 20 Across. I'm going to start calling this process "crossword osmosis" because that's what it feels like. I "oozed" to the finish line. (g)

    Hope everyone has a good weekend. I am waiting to see how Saturday shapes up in terms of sales here at the store.

  7. National Geographic had an article on urban cavers in Paris within the past yr or so. Very interesting. I can see that if one lives in such a highly structured, highly populated place, some people would crave an escape beyond the local crowded park. The idea of pulling one over on the local gendarmes has appeal too.
    As for myself, I'll stick to bird-watching!
    Bella

  8. Thank goodness for the Star Wars reference or I might not have gotten started on this one. But once I did it was surprisingly easy (read: not as hard as a usual Saturday). Got hung up in the upper left for a while but finally got it squared away (no pun intended). Many I didn't know or get but, hey I filled it in and that is the main thing. It's a learning game after all. 🙂

  9. I see we have Cornholio in for Willie today!
    @Pookie — me too! Never heard of CLICKBAIT or URBAN CAVER! So far this century has added a mountain of weird words and phrases to our lexicon!
    @Macaroni — Agreed. Hated that song lyríc!
    Of course I DNF today's grid, but I managed about 50%. I'm still resting on my laurels (ouch!) having finished Friday's successfully.
    Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone!

  10. I'd like to thank William Ernest Butler for posting his solutions page, and for trying to explain why some puzzle makers use the clues and answers they do. Stanley Newman and Rich Norris stretch their creations a bit too far in my book, and I appreciate William for trying to explain away their "literary license". Today's Rich Norris puzzle where "Band Conductor" was the clue and "Copper Wire" was the answer was way too much of stretch. I might have to quit those two puzzle makers because they try to be too cute.

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