LA Times Crossword 22 Aug 18, Wednesday

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Constructed by: C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Cutting the Cord

Themed answers are bounded by the letters CORD:

  • 51A. Eschewing big cable, and a hint to 20-, 32- and 40-Across : CUTTING THE CORD
  • 20A. “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” subject : CORPORATE GREED
  • 32A. Occupant-owned apartment overseeing group : CO-OP BOARD
  • 40A. Many a comics supervillain : CRIME LORD

Bill’s time: 6m 38s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Sources of fast cash : ATMS

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)

9. Underworld society : MAFIA

Apparently, “Cosa Nostra” is the real name for the Italian Mafia. “Cosa Nostra” translates as “our thing” or “this thing of ours”. The term first became public in the US when the FBI managed to turn some members of the American Mafia. The Italian authorities established that “Cosa Nostra” was also used in Sicily when they penetrated the Sicilian Mafia in the 1980s. The term “mafia” seems to be just a literary invention that has become popular with the public.

14. Secular : LAIC

Anything described as laic (or “laical, lay”) is related to the laity, those members of the church who are not clergy. The term “laic” ultimately comes from the Greek “laikos” meaning “of the people”.

15. Gambling city that rhymes with “casino” : RENO

The city of Reno’s economy took off when open gambling was legalized in Nevada in 1931. Within a short time, a syndicate had built the Bank Club in Reno, which was the largest casino in the world at the time.

The term “casino” originated in the 1700s, then describing a public room for music or dancing. “Casino” is a diminutive of “casa” meaning “house”.

16. Chatting on WhatsApp, e.g. : IM’ING

WhatsApp is a popular messaging service used on smartphones that sends messages and other files from one mobile phone number to another. Launched in 2011, WhatsApp is incredibly popular, and indeed the most popular messaging service used today. Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014, paying over $19 billion.

17. “Frozen” queen : 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. Spoiler alert: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles seems to be a good guy for most of the film, but turns out to be a baddie in the end. And, a snowman named Olaf provides some comic relief.

20. “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” subject : CORPORATE GREED

“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” is the 2010 sequel to the 1987 hit movie “Wall Street”, with both films starring Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko. Very much the villain in “Wall Street”, Gekko is a somewhat of an antihero in the sequel, as he tries to prove to his daughter that he has reformed after a stint in prison. “Wall Street 2” was directed by Oliver Stone, and featured the last appearance on screen by veteran actor Eli Wallach before his demise in 2014.

23. Hotmail alternative : AOL

AOL was a leading Internet Service Provider (ISP) in the 1980s and 1990s. The company does still provide dial-up access to the Internet for some subscribers, but most users now access AOL using faster, non-AOL ISPs.

Hotmail was introduced in 1996 and was one of the world’s first webmail services. Webmail is an email service in which the emails are stored remotely on a server, rather than on a user’s own computer. Hotmail was acquired by Microsoft in 1997, who replaced it with Outlook.com in 2013.

24. Fashion monogram : YSL

Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) was a French fashion designer, actually born in Algeria. Saint Laurent started off working as an assistant to Christian Dior at the age of 17. Dior died just four years later, and as a very young man Saint-Laurent was named head of the House of Dior. However, in 1950 Saint Laurent was conscripted into the French Army and ended up in a military hospital after suffering a mental breakdown from the hazing inflicted on him by his fellow soldiers. His treatment included electroshock therapy and administration of sedatives and psychoactive drugs. He was released from hospital, managed to pull his life back together and started his own fashion house. A remarkable story …

31. Subway stops: Abbr. : STNS

A station (“stn.” or “sta.”) is a railroad (RR) stop.

36. Comfy shoe : MOC

“Moc” is short for “moccasin”, a type of shoe. The moccasin is a traditional form of footwear worn by members of many Native American tribes.

37. Adopt a caveman diet : GO PALEO

The paleolithic (or “paleo, caveman”) diet is a fad diet that became popular in the 2000s. The idea is to eat wild plants and animals that would have been available to humans during the Paleolithic era (roughly the Stone Age). This period precedes the introduction of agriculture and domestication of animals. As a result, someone on the diet avoids consuming grains, legumes, dairy and processed foods. The diet consists mainly of lean meat (about 45-65% of the total calorie intake), non-starchy vegetables, fruits, berries and nuts.

43. Three squares, so to speak : MEALS

A “square meal” is one that is substantial and nourishing. According to some sources, the phrase originated with the Royal Navy, and the square wooden plates on which meals were served. However, this centuries-old practice is an unlikely origin as the phrase is first seen in print in the US, in 1856. An advertisement for a restaurant posted in a California newspaper offers a “square meal” to patrons, in the sense of an “honest, straightforward meal”. The “honest” meaning of “square” was well-established at the time, as in “fair and square”, “square play” and “square deal”.

44. Apple music manager : ITUNES

iTunes is a very, very successful software application from Apple. It’s basically a media player that works on platforms like the iPad, iPhone and iPod. It connects seamlessly to the iTunes store, where you can spend all kinds of money.

46. Longtime NBC hit : SNL

“Saturday Night Live” (SNL)

47. Canon SLR : EOS

I’ve been using Canon EOS cameras for decades now, and have nothing but good things to say about both the cameras and the lenses. The EOS name stands for Electro-Optical System, and was chosen because it evokes the name of Eos, the Titan goddess of dawn from Greek mythology.

50. Band’s stint : GIG

Musicians use “gig” to describe a job, a performance. The term originated in the early 1900s in the world of jazz. The derivative phrase “gig economy” applies to a relatively recent phenomenon where workers find themselves jumping from temporary job to temporary job, from gig to gig.

51. Eschewing big cable, and a hint to 20-, 32- and 40-Across : CUTTING THE CORD

Oh, how I wish I could cut the cord …

56. Think tank member : BRAIN

A think tank is a research institute. The use of the term “think tank” dates back to 1959, and apparently was first used to describe the Center for Behavioral Sciences in Palo, Alto, California.

60. “Snowy” wader : EGRET

The snowy egret is a small white heron, native to the Americas. At one time the egret species was in danger of extinction due to hunting driven by the demand for plumes for women’s hats.

61. “The Time Machine” race : ELOI

In the 1895 novel by H. G. Wells called “The Time Machine”, there are two races that the hero encounter in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet’s surface. The Morlocks are a domineering race living underground who use the Eloi as food.

62. Actress Hatcher : TERI

Teri Hatcher’s most famous role is the Susan Mayer character on the TV comedy-drama “Desperate Housewives”. I’ve never seen more than a few minutes of “Housewives” but I do know Teri Hatcher as a Bond girl, as she appeared in “Tomorrow Never Dies”. More recently, she portrayed Lois Lane on the show “Lois & Clark”.

65. Fifth Avenue store since 1924 : SAKS

Saks Fifth Avenue is a high-end specialty store that competes with the likes of Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus. The original Saks & Company business was founded by Andrew Saks in 1867. The first Saks Fifth Avenue store was opened on Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1924. There are now Saks Fifth Avenue stores in many major cities in the US, as well in several locations worldwide.

Down

2. Salon powder : TALC

Talc is a mineral, actually hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days “baby powder” is also made from cornstarch.

3. Soup with tofu and seaweed : MISO

Miso is the name of the seasoning that makes the soup. Basic miso seasoning is made by fermenting rice, barley and soybeans with salt and a fungus to produce a paste. The paste can be added to stock to make miso soup, or perhaps to flavor tofu.

4. Sacred beetles : SCARABS

Scarabs were amulets in ancient Egypt. Scarabs were modelled on the dung beetle, as it was viewed as a symbol of the cycle of life.

5. Étouffée cuisine : CREOLE

Étouffée is a Cajun and Creole dish made with shellfish, the most famous version being Crawfish Étouffée. Étouffée is like a thick shellfish stew served over rice. The dish uses the cooking technique known as “smothering” in which the shellfish is cooked in a covered pan over a low heat with a small amount of liquid. “Étouffée” is the French word “stifled, smothered”.

8. Blog write-ups : POSTS

Many folks who visit this website regard it as just that, a website. That is true, but more specifically it is referred to as a blog, as I make regular posts (actually daily posts) that then occupy the “front page” of the site. The blog entries are in reverse chronological order, and one can just look back day-by-day, reading older and older posts. “Blog” is a contraction of the term “web log”.

9. Dynasty known for its vases : MING

The Ming Dynasty lasted in China from 1368 to 1644. The Ming Dynasty oversaw tremendous innovation in so many areas, including the manufacture of ceramics. Late in the Ming period, a shift towards a market economy in China led to the export of porcelain on an unprecedented scale, perhaps explaining why we tend to hear more about Ming vases than we do about porcelain from any other Chinese dynasty.

10. Explorer Vespucci : AMERIGO

Amerigo Vespucci was an Italian explorer. Vespucci was the man who established that the landmass discovered by Christopher Columbus was not the eastern coast of Asia, but rather was a “New World”. The newly-discovered supercontinent was named “America”, coming from the Latin version of Vespucci’s first name “Amerigo”.

12. Dyed-in-the-wool : INVETERATE

Something described as “dyed-in-the-wool”, is deeply ingrained, uncompromising in principle. The literal meaning of the phrase is “dyed before spinning”, the color being applied to thread before it is woven into fabric. Color applied this way is expected to be more enduring that in a fabric that is dyed after it has been woven.

13. Like fine Scotch : AGED

We use the spelling “whiskey” for American and Irish versions of the drink, and “whisky” for Scotch, the Scottish version.

21. D.C. insider : POL

Politician (pol)

26. “Oorah!” org. : USMC

United States Marine Corps (USMC)

30. “Silicon Valley” channel : HBO

“Silicon Valley” is an HBO comedy about five young entrepreneurs who found a startup called PiedPiper. I haven’t seen this one, but I’ve heard good things …

32. Nav. noncom : CPO

A Chief Petty Officer (CPO) is a non-commissioned officer (NCO) in the Navy (USN) and Coast Guard (USCG). The “Petty” is derived from the French word “petit” meaning “small”.

35. Batik supplies : DYES

Genuine batik cloth is produced by applying wax to the parts of the cloth that are not to be dyed. After the cloth has been dyed, it is dried and then dipped in solvent that dissolves the wax.

38. Jimmy of the Daily Planet : OLSEN

In the “Superman” stories, Jimmy Olsen is a cub photographer who works on the “Daily Planet” newspaper with Clark Kent and Lois Lane.

41. More grainy, as lager : MALTIER

Malt is germinated cereal grains that have been dried. The cereal is germinated by soaking it in water, and then germination is halted by drying the grains with hot air.

Lager is so called because of the tradition of cold-storing the beer during fermentation. “Lager” is the German word for “storage”.

42. Where bats hang out? : DUGOUTS

A dugout is an underground shelter. The term was carried over to baseball because the dugout is slightly depressed below the level of the field. This allows spectators behind the dugout to get a good view of home plate, where a lot of the action takes place.

49. Absolut rival, familiarly : STOLI

Stolichnaya is a brand of “Russian” vodka made from wheat and rye grain. “Stoli” originated in Russia but now it’s made in Latvia. Latvia is of course a completely different country, so you won’t see the word “Russian” on the label anymore.

I must admit, if I ever do order a vodka drink by name, I will order the Absolut brand. I must also admit that I do so from the perspective of an enthusiastic amateur photographer. I’ve been swayed by the Absolut marketing campaign that features such outstanding photographic images.

51. Trucker with a handle : CB’ER

A CB’er is someone who operates a citizens’ band (CB) radio. In 1945, the FCC set aside certain radio frequencies for the personal use of citizens. The use of the Citizens’ Band increased throughout the seventies as advances in electronics brought down the size of transceivers and their cost. There aren’t many CB radios sold these days though, as they have largely been replaced by cell phones.

53. Filly’s foot : HOOF

There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:

  • Foal: horse of either sex that is less than one year old
  • Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
  • Filly: female horse under the age of four
  • Colt: male horse under the age of four
  • Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
  • Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
  • Mare: female horse four years or older

54. Ostrich relative : RHEA

The rhea is a flightless bird that is native to South America. The rhea takes its name from the Greek Titan Rhea. It’s an apt name for a flightless bird as “rhea” comes from the Greek word meaning “ground”.

The ostrich is a flightless bird that is native to Africa. It is extensively farmed, mainly for its feathers but also for its skin/leather and meat. Famously, the ostrich is the fastest moving of any flightless bird, capable of achieving speeds of over 40 mph. It is also the largest living species of bird, and lays the largest eggs.

55. Socially awkward type : DORK

I consider “dork” to be pretty offensive slang. It originated in the sixties among American students, and has its roots in another slang term, a term for male genitalia.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Sources of fast cash : ATMS
5. Paper holder : CLIP
9. Underworld society : MAFIA
14. Secular : LAIC
15. Gambling city that rhymes with “casino” : RENO
16. Chatting on WhatsApp, e.g. : IM’ING
17. “Frozen” queen : ELSA
18. Serpentine swimmers : EELS
19. Gall : NERVE
20. “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” subject : CORPORATE GREED
23. Hotmail alternative : AOL
24. Fashion monogram : YSL
25. Suffix with real or ideal : -IST
26. Functional : USABLE
29. “Well, golly!” : OH GEE!
31. Subway stops: Abbr. : STNS
32. Occupant-owned apartment overseeing group : CO-OP BOARD
36. Comfy shoe : MOC
37. Adopt a caveman diet : GO PALEO
39. Utter : SAY
40. Many a comics supervillain : CRIME LORD
42. Shower affection (on) : DOTE
43. Three squares, so to speak : MEALS
44. Apple music manager : ITUNES
46. Longtime NBC hit : SNL
47. Canon SLR : EOS
50. Band’s stint : GIG
51. Eschewing big cable, and a hint to 20-, 32- and 40-Across : CUTTING THE CORD
56. Think tank member : BRAIN
57. Beet, e.g. : ROOT
58. “I don’t like the sound of that” : UH-OH
60. “Snowy” wader : EGRET
61. “The Time Machine” race : ELOI
62. Actress Hatcher : TERI
63. In vogue again : RETRO
64. Put through a screen : SIFT
65. Fifth Avenue store since 1924 : SAKS

Down

1. Tavern pour : ALE
2. Salon powder : TALC
3. Soup with tofu and seaweed : MISO
4. Sacred beetles : SCARABS
5. Étouffée cuisine : CREOLE
6. Lusty look : LEER
7. Woodwork embellishment : INLAY
8. Blog write-ups : POSTS
9. Dynasty known for its vases : MING
10. Explorer Vespucci : AMERIGO
11. Drought-affected annual period : FIRE SEASON
12. Dyed-in-the-wool : INVETERATE
13. Like fine Scotch : AGED
21. D.C. insider : POL
22. Marry in a hurry : ELOPE
26. “Oorah!” org. : USMC
27. Coastal hurricane threat : STORM SURGE
28. Cave painting, e.g. : ANCIENT ART
30. “Silicon Valley” channel : HBO
32. Nav. noncom : CPO
33. Wake maker : OAR
34. Not at all fresh : OLD
35. Batik supplies : DYES
37. Toothpaste choice : GEL
38. Jimmy of the Daily Planet : OLSEN
41. More grainy, as lager : MALTIER
42. Where bats hang out? : DUGOUTS
44. “That makes sense” : I GET IT
45. Nervous twitch : TIC
48. Scary beasts : OGRES
49. Absolut rival, familiarly : STOLI
51. Trucker with a handle : CB’ER
52. Really digging : INTO
53. Filly’s foot : HOOF
54. Ostrich relative : RHEA
55. Socially awkward type : DORK
59. Friendly exchanges : HIS

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8 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 22 Aug 18, Wednesday”

  1. 15 min. And one error.
    Had ISM for IST ( never heard of inveterate )
    How refreshing after wasting so much time on NYT 0718 and Mr Steinberg

  2. Had to do it on-line and the timer said 10:24, with no errors. Pretty easy for the most part. Had to get the “Oorah” from crosses, but no other issues.

    Hmm, so there’s a “Snow Queen” and a “Narnia”, neither of which I’ve seen, and crossword clues I need to solve via crosses and vague remembrances from here. Well, I finally kinda understand the Kardashians/Jenners, so I guess I’ll look these two up as well.

    At least the news in the real world is finally offering some hope for the future!

  3. Greetings y’all!! 🙃
    No errors. I rarely use the theme on a Wednesday but today it helped me get CRIME LORD… probably would have had it anyway, tho. Bit of a Natick for me at OLSEN/EOS — thought maybe it was spelled OLSON. I wish I had a knack for photography!! 📽 My mother took beautiful pictures, but that’s one skill I didn’t inherit.

    Dirk– I know, right? Here’s to … possibilities. 🥂

    Be well~~🎸

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