LA Times Crossword Answers 26 Jun 2018, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Mike Peluso
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Final Approval

Themed answers each end with a word that sounds like “yes” when spoken in the language of a country specified in the clue:

  • 56A. Permission from the big boss … and a hint to the ends of 20-, 35- and 42-Across (in the country indicated) : FINAL APPROVAL
  • 20A. “Fast Times” school (Japan) : RIDGEMONT HIGH (sounds like “hai”)
  • 35A. 2014 U.S. Women’s Open champion (France) : MICHELLE WIE (sounds like “oui”)
  • 42A. North Atlantic stretch with no land borders (Mexico) : SARGASSO SEA (sounds like “”)

Bill’s time: 5m 22s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10. Mt. Rushmore’s state : SDAK

The Dakota Territory was formed in 1861 and ceased to exist with the admission to the Union of the states of North Dakota and South Dakota. The territory was split into two states in 1889 largely due to lobbying by the Republican Party, which enjoyed a lot of support in the Dakota Territory. The admission of two states added to the political power of the party in the US Senate, by adding four safe Republican seats.

The four presidents whose faces are carved in the granite face of Mount Rushmore are (from left to right) George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Each of the presidents is about 60 feet in height, although they might have been larger. The original intent was for the presidents to be depicted from head to waist, but the project lost funding.

14. Gas brand on the Trans-Canada Highway : ESSO

The brand name Esso has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

The Trans-Canada Highway (TCH) that stretches from the Pacific to the Atlantic, and passes through all ten of Canada’s provinces (but none of the three northern territories. The highway might better be described as a network, because it comprises at least two parallel routes along most of its length. Construction on the TCH started in 1950, with the official opening taking place in 1962. The network was completed in 1971, at which time the TCH was the longest uninterrupted highway on the planet.

16. Actress Taylor : LILI

The actress Lili Taylor had supporting roles in films like “Mystic Pizza”, “The Haunting” and “Rudy”. She also had a recurring role in the HBO series “Six Feet Under”.

18. Summer month in Argentina : ENERO

In Spanish, we start the “año” (year) in “enero” (January) as noted on a “calendario” (calendar).

Argentina is the second largest country in South America (after Brazil), and the world’s largest Spanish-speaking nation. The name “Argentina” comes from the Latin “argentum”, the word for “silver”. It is thought that the name was given by the early Spanish and Portuguese conquerors who also named the Rio de la Plata (the “Silver River”). Those early explorers got hold of lots of silver objects that they found among the native population.

20. “Fast Times” school (Japan) : RIDGEMONT HIGH (sounds like “hai”)

“Fast Times at Ridgemont High” is a 1981 book by Cameron Crowe, which the author adapted into a celebrated 1982 movie of the same name. Crowe actually posed as a student in Clairemont High School for a year, and the book chronicles his experiences as a senior student. The film launched the careers of several young actors, including Nicolas Cage, Forest Whitaker and Sean Penn.

23. South Korean capital : SEOUL

Seoul is the capital city of South Korea. The Seoul National Capital Area is home to over 25 million people and is the second largest metropolitan area in the world, second only to Tokyo, Japan.

24. Bootlegger’s gin container : BATHTUB

The term “bathtub gin” is used for any spirit that is made by an amateur. The term arose during the days of prohibition. Gin was the most popular drink in the twenties and cheap version of gin were made by mixing grain alcohol with water and flavorings. The gin bottles were too tall to be topped off with water from a sink faucet, and so a bathtub tap was used instead. Hence, “bathtub gin”.

To bootleg is to make or smuggle alcoholic drinks illegally. The term arose in the late 1800s as slang for the practice of concealing a flask of liquor down the leg of a high boot. The term has been extended to mean the illegal production and sale of just about anything.

27. Drag racer’s fuel, briefly : NITRO

Back in the 18th century “drag” was slang for a wagon or buggy, as it was “dragged” along by a horse or horses. In the 1930s, the underworld adopted “drag” as slang for an automobile. This sense of the word was imported into automobile racing in the forties, giving the name to “drag racing”. A drag race is basically a competition between two cars to determine which can accelerate faster from a standstill.

32. Actress Thurman : UMA

Uma Thurman started her working career as a fashion model, at the age of 15. She appeared in her first movies at 17, with her most acclaimed early role being Cécile de Volanges in 1988’s “Dangerous Liaisons”. Thurman’s career really took off when she played the gangster’s “moll” in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” in 1994. My favorite of all Thurman’s movies is “The Truth About Cats & Dogs”, a less acclaimed romcom released in 1996. She took a few years off from 1998 until 2002, doing very little work in favor of motherhood. It was Tarantino who relaunched her career, giving her the lead in the “Kill Bill” films.

35. 2014 U.S. Women’s Open champion (France) : MICHELLE WIE (sounds like “oui”)

Michelle Wie is an American golfer on the LPGA Tour. Wie began playing golf at the age of four and was the youngest player ever to qualify for an LPGA tour event. She turned pro just before her 16th birthday.

38. Hip-hoppers Salt-N-__ : PEPA

Salt-N-Pepa are an all-female hip hop trio from New York, made up of “Salt” (Cheryl James), “Pepa” (Sandra Denton) and “DJ Spinderella” (Deidra Roper). Their 1991 song “Let’s Talk Sex” created quite a fuss as the lyrics explored the subject of sex, and safe sex in particular. A later version addressed the dangers of AIDS.

40. Two under par : EAGLE

The following terms are routinely used in golf for scores relative to par:

  • Bogey: one over par
  • Par
  • Birdie: one under par
  • Eagle: two under par
  • Albatross (also “double eagle”): three under par
  • Condor: four under par

No one has ever recorded a condor during a professional tournament.

42. North Atlantic stretch with no land borders (Mexico) : SARGASSO SEA (sounds like “sí”)

The Sargasso Sea is an area within the Atlantic Ocean that is famous as the home to many species of Sargassum, the algae floating on the surface that gives the area its name. The Sargasso Sea is also where both European and American species of eel lay their eggs and hatch their young. The young eels (or “elvers”) then head east or west, depending on the species.

45. Fleur-de-__ : LYS

“Lys” (also “lis”) is the French word for “lily”, as in “fleur-de-lys”, the heraldic symbol often associated with the French monarchy.

46. Ohio natives : ERIES

The Erie people lived on lands south of Lake Erie, in parts of the modern-day US states of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. The Erie were sometimes referred to as the Cat Nation, a reference to the mountain lions that were ever-present in the area that they lived. The name “Erie” is a shortened form of “Erielhonan” meaning “long tail”, possibly a further reference to the mountain lion or cat, which was possibly used as a totem. The Erie people gave their name to the Great Lake.

49. Counts up : TALLIES

Back in the mid-1600s, a tally was a stick marked with notches that tracked how much one owed or had paid. The term came from the Latin “talea” meaning “stick, rod”. The act of “scoring” the stick with notches gave rise to our word “score” for the number in a tally.

52. Thinning atmospheric layer : OZONE

Ozone gets its name from the Greek word “ozein” meaning “to smell”. It was given this name as ozone’s formation during lightning storms was detected by the gas’s distinctive smell. Famously, there is a relatively high concentration of the gas in the “ozone layer” in the Earth’s stratosphere. This ozone layer provides a vital function for animal life on the planet as it absorbs most of the sun’s UV radiation. A molecule of ozone is made up of three oxygen atoms, whereas a “normal” oxygen has just two atoms

62. “Chicago” actress Zellweger : RENEE

Renée Zellweger’s big break came in the 1996 movie “Jerry Maguire”. A few years later, Zellweger followed that up with a string of successes in “Bridget Jones Diary” (2001), “Chicago” (2002) and “Cold Mountain” (2003). My wife and I love watching her play Bridget Jones, and as someone coming from the British Isles, I have to say that Zellweger does a remarkable job with the accent. She worked hard to perfect that accent, and of course she had a voice coach. She also went “undercover” and worked as a temp in an office for three weeks fine-tuning her skills.

The wonderful 1975 musical “Chicago” is based on a 1926 play of the same name written by a news reporter called Maurine Dallas Watkins. Watkins had been assigned to cover the murder trials of Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner for the “Chicago Tribune”, and used the story that unfolded as the basis for her play. Annan became the character Roxie Hart, and Gaertner became Velma Kelly. I’ve only ever seen the movie version of “Chicago” and never a live performance …

64. Arctic chunk : FLOE

An ice floe is a sheet of ice that has separated from an ice field and is floating freely on the ocean.

65. News article intros : LEDES

The opening paragraph in any work of literature is often just called “the lead”. In the world of journalism, this is usually referred to as “the lede”.

66. Tiger Woods’ ex : ELIN

Elin Nordegren is the ex-wife of Tiger Woods. Nordegren is a native of Sweden, and it was back in Sweden that she was hired as a nanny by the wife of golfer Jesper Parnevik. The job brought her to the US, where she met Tiger Woods. The pair were married in 2004, and have two children together: Sam Alexis born in 2007, and Charlie Axel born in 2009. The marriage fell apart after Woods admitted to infidelity and the couple divorced in 2010.

68. Prefix with foam : STYRO-

Styrofoam is an extruded polystyrene foam made by The Dow Chemical Company. Styrofoam has loads of applications, including home insulation and use as a buoyancy aid. It is also formed into “peanuts” used as a packaging filler.

Down

1. Chicago NFL team : BEARS

The Chicago Bears were founded in Decatur, Illinois in 1919 and moved to Chicago in 1921. The Bears are one of only two franchises in the NFL that were around at the time of the NFL’s founding (the other is the Arizona Cardinals, who were also based in Chicago in 1921).

2. Actor Davis : OSSIE

Ossie Davis was a very successful African-American actor, but also a director, poet, playwright and social activist. One of Davis’s better known performances was in the 1993 movie “Grumpy Old Men”, in which he played the owner of the bait shop by the lake.

3. Pollo __: Latin American grilled chicken dish : ASADO

“Pollo asado” is a Spanish for “grilled chicken”.

4. Cruise/Kilmer action film : TOP GUN

“Top Gun” is an entertaining action movie released in 1986 starring Tom Cruise and the lovely Kelly McGillis. The movie is all about pilots training at the US Navy’s Fighter Weapons School. A lot of footage was shot on board the Navy’s carrier the USS Enterprise during flight operations. At one point in a day’s shooting, the commander of the Enterprise changed course as needed for normal operations, but this altered the light for the cameras that were filming at the time. Director Tony Scott asked for the course to be changed back, but was informed that a course change would cost the Navy $25,000. Scott wrote out a check there and then, and he got another five minutes of filming with the light he needed.

Tom Cruise’s real name is Tom Cruise Mapother IV. Cruise was born in Syracuse, New York. That’s one of my favorite cities in the US, because it’s where I met my lovely wife-to-be …

Val Kilmer’s first big leading role in a movie was playing Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s 1991 biopic “The Doors”. A few years later, Kilmer was chosen for the lead in another big production, “Batman Forever”. Things haven’t really gone as well for Kilmer since then, I’d say. Off the screen, he flirted with the idea of running for Governor of New Mexico in 2010. A Hollywood actor as a governor? Would never happen …

5. Education acronym for four fields of study : STEM

The acronym “STEM” stands for the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. An alternative acronym with a similar meaning is MINT, standing for mathematics, information sciences, natural sciences and technology.

6. Ex-Yankee Martinez : TINO

First baseman Tino Martinez has retired from Major League Baseball. Martinez played with a number of teams including the Mariners, Yankees, Cardinals and Devil Rays. Martinez was born and raised in Tampa, Florida and as a boy he worked in his father’s cigar factory.

7. Genesis garden : EDEN

According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

8. Medicare option : PART B

Medicare is divided into four parts:

  • A: Hospital Insurance
  • B: Medical Insurance
  • C: Medicare Advantage Plans
  • D: Prescription Drug Plans

9. Honolulu hello : ALOHA

The Hawaiian word “aloha” has many meanings in English: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. More recently, “aloha” has come to mean “hello” and “goodbye”, but only since the mid-1800s.

12. 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”.

21. Single __: tournament format, briefly : ELIM

In a single-elimination tournament, also called “sudden-death” tournament, losers of a game are eliminated immediately.

22. Slanted type: Abbr. : ITAL

Italic type leans to the right, and is often used to provide emphasis in text. The style is known as “italic” because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

26. Sugar sources : BEETS

The biggest producer of sugar beets in the world is Russia, with France and the US in second and third place.

28. Deadlocks : TIES

A deadlock is a standstill, a stalemate. The suggestion is that the term “deadlock” was coined in the 1779 play called “The Critic”, from the pen of Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

30. 1977 George Burns film : OH, GOD!

“Oh, God!” is a comedy movie that was released in 1977. The great George Burns plays the title role (God!) with John Denver co-starring. George Burns was the big success in the cast, and he alone reprised his role in two sequels in the 1980s.

33. Stiller’s comedy partner : MEARA

Anne Meara married fellow comedic actor Jerry Stiller in 1954. The couple’s children are actors Ben and Amy Stiller. Meara co-starred with Carroll O’Connor and Martin Balsam in the eighties sitcom “Archie Bunker’s Place”, a spin-off from “All in the Family”.

34. Springtime prank : APRIL FOOL

April Fools’ Day is celebrated on April 1st in the western world. In the US (and Ireland) one can make practical jokes all day long if one wants. But in the UK there is a noon deadline. Anyone pranking after midday is called an “April Fool”.

43. F-foxtrot link : … AS IN …

The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

48. Islands west of Portugal : AZORES

The Azores is an archipelago of nine volcanic islands in the North Atlantic lying about 1,000 miles west of Portugal. The Azores are an autonomous region belonging to Portugal.

50. British peers : EARLS

In the ranking of nobles, an earl comes above a viscount and below a marquis. The rank of earl is used in the British peerage system and is equivalent to the rank of count in other countries. Other British ranks have female forms (e.g. marquis and marchioness, viscount and viscountess), but there isn’t a female word for the rank of earl. A female given the same rank as an earl is known as a countess.

51. Icy winter weather : SLEET

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

53. Developing egg : OVULE

As we all remember from botany class (don’t we?), an ovule is a small structure in many plants that develops into the seed after fertilization.

54. Apex’s opposite : NADIR

The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith. We use the terms “nadir” and “zenith” figuratively to mean the low and high points in a person’s fortunes.

55. Kagan of the Supreme Court : ELENA

Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States from 2009 until 2010, when she replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the first female US Solicitor General and the fourth female US Supreme Court justice. Kagan also served as the first female dean of Harvard Law School from 2003 to 2009.

57. Mayberry’s Sheriff Taylor : ANDY

Mayberry is the fictional North Carolina town in which the “The Andy Griffith Show” is set. Mayberry is said to based on Griffith’s own hometown of Mount Airy, North Carolina.

59. Durango dinero : PESO

Durango is one of the 31 states of Mexico. Durango is landlocked, and is located in the northwest of the country.

60. Corp. money manager : CFO

The chief financial officer (CFO) is particularly concerned about his or her company’s profit and loss (P&L).

61. Mid-11th century year : MLI

In Roman numerals, the year MLI (1051) lies near the middle of the 11th century.

64. Hamilton’s bill : TEN

The obverse of the US ten-dollar bill features the image of Alexander Hamilton, the first US Secretary of the Treasury. As such, ten-dollar bills are sometimes called “Hamiltons”. By the way, the $10 bill is the only US currency in circulation in which the portrait faces to the left. The reverse of the ten-dollar bill features the US Treasury Building.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Tug or ark : BOAT
5. First assembly instruction : STEP A
10. Mt. Rushmore’s state : SDAK
14. Gas brand on the Trans-Canada Highway : ESSO
15. Word before basin or wave : TIDAL
16. Actress Taylor : LILI
17. “Now!” letters : ASAP
18. Summer month in Argentina : ENERO
19. “__ something I said?” : IS IT
20. “Fast Times” school (Japan) : RIDGEMONT HIGH (sounds like “hai”)
23. South Korean capital : SEOUL
24. Bootlegger’s gin container : BATHTUB
27. Drag racer’s fuel, briefly : NITRO
31. Do penance : ATONE
32. Actress Thurman : UMA
35. 2014 U.S. Women’s Open champion (France) : MICHELLE WIE (sounds like “oui”)
38. Hip-hoppers Salt-N-__ : PEPA
40. Two under par : EAGLE
41. Dexterous : DEFT
42. North Atlantic stretch with no land borders (Mexico) : SARGASSO SEA (sounds like “sí”)
45. Fleur-de-__ : LYS
46. Ohio natives : ERIES
47. Skin care prefix : DERMA-
49. Counts up : TALLIES
52. Thinning atmospheric layer : OZONE
56. Permission from the big boss … and a hint to the ends of 20-, 35- and 42-Across (in the country indicated) : FINAL APPROVAL
60. “Let’s go!” : C’MON!
62. “Chicago” actress Zellweger : RENEE
63. Crass : RUDE
64. Arctic chunk : FLOE
65. News article intros : LEDES
66. Tiger Woods’ ex : ELIN
67. Frying liquids : OILS
68. Prefix with foam : STYRO-
69. Vaccine fluids : SERA

Down

1. Chicago NFL team : BEARS
2. Actor Davis : OSSIE
3. Pollo __: Latin American grilled chicken dish : ASADO
4. Cruise/Kilmer action film : TOP GUN
5. Education acronym for four fields of study : STEM
6. Ex-Yankee Martinez : TINO
7. Genesis garden : EDEN
8. Medicare option : PART B
9. Honolulu hello : ALOHA
10. Snubbed : SLIGHTED
11. Kitchen cloth : DISHTOWEL
12. Boxer Laila : ALI
13. Do-it-yourselfer’s buy : KIT
21. Single __: tournament format, briefly : ELIM
22. Slanted type: Abbr. : ITAL
25. Bring together : UNIFY
26. Sugar sources : BEETS
28. Deadlocks : TIES
29. Some TVs : RCAS
30. 1977 George Burns film : OH, GOD!
32. Unexpected victory : UPSET
33. Stiller’s comedy partner : MEARA
34. Springtime prank : APRIL FOOL
36. Ultimatum word : ELSE
37. Sideways glance : LEER
39. Facial wrinkles : AGE LINES
43. F-foxtrot link : … AS IN …
44. Latin love : AMOR
48. Islands west of Portugal : AZORES
50. British peers : EARLS
51. Icy winter weather : SLEET
53. Developing egg : OVULE
54. Apex’s opposite : NADIR
55. Kagan of the Supreme Court : ELENA
57. Mayberry’s Sheriff Taylor : ANDY
58. Look intently (at) : PEER
59. Durango dinero : PESO
60. Corp. money manager : CFO
61. Mid-11th century year : MLI

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12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 26 Jun 2018, Tuesday”

  1. LAT: 8:07, no errors. Had the first four letters of 3D, reflexively thought of “carne ASADA” and wrote it in, giving me “SEAUL” for “South Korean capital”, which I realized was wrong, but, by then, I had noticed the country names at the ends of some of the clues and thought the misspelling of “SEOUL” was somehow intentional. Near the end, I finally understood the theme and I saw the “Pollo” in the clue for 3D, so I corrected my error before finishing. (I guess it would have helped to be fully awake before starting this puzzle … 😜.)

    Newsday: 5:12, no errors. WSJ: 9:56, no errors.

    @Vidwan … I appreciated your comments yesterday and I laughed at the baggage joke (even though it hurt a little, given that our bags have not yet returned from wherever they went).

    @Glenn … Our discussion yesterday reinforces my view that crossword puzzle editors have a useful role to play. I think that BEQ, in particular, benefits from their services and that both Matt Jones and Tim Croce do a better job of editing their own puzzles. BTW, on my recent plane trip to hell and back, I did 19 Jones puzzles from 2015 (02/12-06/18) and found them significantly harder than his recent ones (something we discussed some months ago). And, finally (assuming that I understood you correctly), I hope that you had a happy birthday!

  2. LAT: 4:45, no errors. WSJ: 10:13, no errors. Jones: 11:07, 1 dumb error. A themeless grid.

    On that note, I’d be remiss to not suggest that Jones puzzle or the Puzzle Society puzzles on Saturday and Sunday if people want to get used to doing the themeless puzzles with the longer words without the typical difficulty you see in them. (There’s someone on the NYT blog I need to suggest that to)

    @Dave
    Most all of them have their “testers” which should function as editors, assuming at least one of them knows what they’re seeing and looking it up. Of course, I think most of them have too able of solvers to be able to catch onto such things. Like for me, I put CAIN immediately in that answer, because I knew he *was* a farmer. The problem is the crosses weren’t working, and rather suggested ESAU. I could have rolled with it in a similar fashion to you, but I knew something was wrong somewhere and took the possibility that it could have been me, even when I knew full well ESAU wasn’t correct. Looked it up, so DNF on that one. I’m sure his testers did what you did or what I could have done and just got it on crosses and blew past it.

    A while ago, I did all the Jones themeless grids I had in the pile – I mostly either finished them or got within 90%+ of finishing them. I didn’t notice them any harder, save older references I didn’t remember. If anything, I’d guess the biggest difficulty problem with any older grids is having older pop culture references that aren’t relevant in someone’s mind. This was the biggest thing I noticed with his grids the farther I got back in time. I’ve mentioned this before doing old puzzle books from the 90’s-early 00’s – it ups difficulty by about a day or two because something that was a plain gimme then would be something that would require crosses today.

    Yes you understood me correctly about the birthday thing. It was as good as it could be given the life circumstances I’m in right now. Thanks for the well-wishes.

    1. @Glenn … As I’ve said before, if you reduced a typical difficult crossword puzzle to a straightforward test that just posed a series of questions, my performance on it would probably be mediocre. I rely heavily on the fact that the answers have to fit together in a grid. If I see that a certain answer fits, I’m likely to go with it provisionally even if it seems a bit off as an answer to the clue (or if it’s something I’ve never heard of, like “SEVEN NATION ARMY”), on the assumption that, later on, I will come to understand the interpretation of the clue intended by the setter. After finishing a puzzle, I research all the things that I know I don’t understand in hopes of learning something that will be of use to me in future puzzles (or in real life 😜). Often, I realize that a clue I thought was in error is actually correct.

      I suppose it’s possible that I saw the older Jones puzzles as harder due to the less than optimal conditions under which I was doing them. (But I don’t think so. I intend to do some additional tests.)

      And I forgot to report my time for this week’s Jones: 10:29, with a one-square error. I saw two possible choices for 26A (“SCABS” and “SCARS”), filled in the one that seemed to best fit the clue, and (perhaps because I’m not a sports buff) failed to notice that I had an incorrect answer for 27D (even though I’m familiar with the correct answer from dozens and dozens of other crossword puzzles).

  3. About 30 minutes, no errors. Some words we knew right off, some I had to dig out of the dictionary. Even learned a few new words, like NADIR, that sea, relearned
    Tiger Woods’ ex. Got a little confused with the FRANCE reference with the lady
    golfer MICHELLE WIE. I thing she is from Hawaii. Yes? A reasonable, fun puzzle and kudos again to Bill.

    1. Today’s Tim Croche puzzle: 38:43, no errors; the usual hard-fought struggle, but with a rewarding ending … 😜

  4. Mr. Daigle, from Sulphur LA, welcome …. your candor and humility is very refreshing, if I may say so. ( Pardon, me – ). I first thought Sulphur was your last name, but I looked up Sulphur, LA on Google. It is the british way of spelling Sulfur …. which indicates that the name of the town, must be very old. The Michelle Wie reference of France, confused me as well. I know Ms. Wie is of South Korean parentage and ethnicity – although a US citizen, born in Hawaii.
    I am glad Bill’s blog is around to solve all our ultimate confusions…

    I may have mentioned this before, but ‘hai’ in japanese, means much, much, more than a mere approval …. it is an automatic response, to every sentence, especially when spoken to by your superiors. Thus it also means …Yes (sir,madam) … is that so ? … I understand … and especially .. I am carefully and conscientiously listening to you, with an undivided attention. (!)

    Dear Bill, …. not to make a big thing out of it …. but I think your first paragraph on “Drag Racer’s fuel, briefly ” …. NItro is mistaken.

    Nitrous Oxide N2O the anesthetic or Laughing gas is a colorless NONflammable gas, at room temperature. It being nonflammable, is obviously a very big advantage in an operating room, but not so useful as an additive for gasoline or as a flammable propellent for internal combustion engines.

    The Nitro referred to, as above, is Nitro Methane CH3 -NO2 …. sort of a combination of Methane CH4 and Nitrogen dioxide NO2. Actually, this is the simplest organo -nitro compound. It is highly flammable, and is also used in the manufacture of explosives. It is used as an additive ( 10 to 90%) with methanol or methyl alchohol in drag racing.

    Link NitroMethane, in Wikipedia, also see section on —- As an Engine Fuel

    Link Top Fuel, section 2, 90 NitroMethane 10 Methanol, also see The Fuel in the article – Wikipedia

    Finally, I also found that Nitrous Oxide, the laughing gas………….. IS ALSO USED IN CERTAIN RACECAR ENGINES !!!!
    But, it has been banned in the US.
    Although N2O is nonflammable, it is not used as the gasoline part of the fuel mixture ….. BUT as a replacement for the oxygen ( normally from the atmospheric air – ) part of the fuel mixture. Apparently, pure Nitrous Oxide N2O is richer in Oxygen, than the oxygen from the air itself.!! So, it allows for a faster combustion than burning the fuel with oxygen from the air. Will wonders never cease !!??!!

    However, this is not the Nitro referred to in the crossword clue.

    For more information,
    Link Nitrous Oxide engine, from Wikipedia

    So, Bill, you were not toally wrong, ,,, just a misattribution.

    Respectfully,
    Have a nice evening, folks. Good night.

    1. @Vidwan827
      You got me, Vidwan! Thanks to your explanation, I now know that there’s “nitro” and “nitrous” used in drag racing. I’ll be reading up on that a little more when I get back from vacation! Thanks so much, as always.

  5. 8:30. Very clever theme. Kudos to Glenn – 4:45?? I couldn’t copy the letters that fast with an answer key in front of me. And happy (late) birthday. I read the posts last night after two margaritas so it escaped me.

    Although I loved the movie, I can’t imagine “Fast Times at RIDGEMONT HIGH” being a book.

    Interesting stuff in the write up about TOP GUN, another movie I really liked. Didn’t know Tom Cruise’s real last name, nor did I know Bill’s connection to the city of Syracuse. All this time reading both the LAT and NYT write ups daily, I don’t remember Syracuse being mentioned before.

    Leaving Houston tomorrow morning. It’s still strange to come back here as a visitor after having lived here for 35 years or so. Heading to Puerto Vallarta where I’ll have to drink enough tequila for both Vidwan and me – and Dave too since he gave up drinking…Be back in Houston Sunday night.

    Best –

  6. Never noticed the theme. Had a Natik at NITRO crosses ELIM, both sports. Speaking of the dreaded sports clues, I asked myself, “Who is
    MICHEL LEWIE.” Once had a relative by marriage who was addicted to NITRO.

    @Daigle – thanx for actually discussing THIS puzzle, and welcome.

  7. @Dave
    Usually I have to rely on a lot of crossing in the grids too. Too much vagueness and stuff I don’t know in a lot of these. My problem is in that before you can start looking at the grid fitting together that you have to know enough things to get into the grid, which is my usual problem with Croce, Sat Newsday, et. al. As I keep saying, I really have to make too many guesses in these grids, which is why I’m glacially slow a lot of the time.

    @Jeff
    And that’s what happens when I do know enough – at least online. It’d be about twice the time if I had to write it all. It’s been a nice recent development the last three weeks on some of these early week puzzles to have a time come out like that. However, I know better to brag a lot about my times, especially since I see lots of evidence here to not. But it’s nice when things go that well. And thanks for the birthday wish!

    @John Daigle
    Always glad to see you posting here! By all means, keep trying and you’ll get better with them!

  8. Hi friends!! 🙃
    No errors. TMG!! (Too much golf!) I can’t complain tho — I always ace the baseball-related clues. ⚾️
    Didn’t notice the theme, and didn’t know SARGASSO SEA, tho I feel I should have!!
    I got my undergrad degree in journalism; LEDE is used so that it is not confused with lead, the metal, when corrections are made. My professors would scrawl “great lede!” or “weak lede!” on articles I submitted for The Daily Sundial!!! ….at Cal State Northridge, affectionately known as Cal State Nowhere. (Actually, it’s an excellent school, but it’s certainly not a marquee name…)
    Mr Daigle, glad to see you back recently! 😊
    Mexico v Sweden on Wednesday!! 🇲🇽
    Be well ~~☀️

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