LA Times Crossword 18 Mar 19, Monday

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Constructed by: Kurt Mengel & Jan-Michele Gianette
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): A Unique Puzzle

Themed clues each start with a synonym of “unique, singular”:

  • 18A Tonto’s friend, with “The” : … LONE RANGER
  • 23A Early Neil Diamond hit : SOLITARY MAN
  • 36A Offspring sans siblings : ONLY CHILD
  • 53A Used car selling point : SINGLE OWNER
  • 60A Something unlike any other : ONE OF A KIND

Bill’s time: 5m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 On the Atlantic, say : ASEA

The earliest known mention of the name “Atlantic” for the world’s second-largest ocean was in Ancient Greece. The Greeks called said ocean “the Sea of Atlas” or “Atlantis thalassa”.

14 Bow-and-arrow-carrying Hindu god : RAMA

In the Hindu tradition, the god known as Vishnu has seven different avatars i.e. incarnations or manifestations. Rama is the seventh of these avatars.

16 Running shoe brand : NIKE

The Nike slogan “Just Do It” was created in an advertising meeting in 1988. Apparently the phrase was inspired by the last words of famed criminal Gary Gilmore. Gilmore faced execution by the state of Utah in 1977 and when asked if he had any last words he simply replied, “Let’s do it”. A few minutes later, Gilmore was executed by a firing squad.

18 Tonto’s friend, with “The” : … LONE RANGER

“The Lone Ranger” was both a radio and television show that dated back to its first radio performance in 1933 on a Detroit station. The line “Hi-yo, Silver! Away!” was a device used in the storyline to signal that a riding sequence was starting; so cue the music!

In the television version of “The Lone Ranger”, Tonto was played by the actor Jay Silverheels. In the terrible 1981 movie “The Legend of the Lone Ranger”, Tonto was played by Michael Horse. In the 2013 movie “The Lone Ranger”, Tonto was played by Johnny Depp. Famously, the Lone Ranger’s horse was called Silver and Tonto’s mount was named Scout. But, in the early TV shows, Tonto rode a horse called White Feller.

20 Copper-and-zinc alloy : BRASS

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. Compare this with bronze, an alloy of copper and tin. Brass and bronze are often mistaken for each other.

23 Early Neil Diamond hit : SOLITARY MAN

“Solitary Man” is a 1966 song written and recorded by Neil Diamond that was his debut single. Diamond tells us that he himself is the “solitary man” in the song.

I saw Neil Diamond in concert back in the mid-nineties, and I must say he does put on a great show. His voice is cracking a bit, but that didn’t seem to spoil anyone’s enjoyment. I’ve also seen Diamond interviewed a few times on television, and I wouldn’t say he has the most scintillating of personalities.

28 “Honest” prez : ABE

Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth President of the US. There are several stories told about how he earned the nickname “Honest Abe”. One story dates back to early in his career as a lawyer. Lincoln accidentally overcharged a client and then walked miles in order to right the wrong as soon as possible.

29 Suffix with ranch : -ERO

A ranchero is someone who owns, operates or is employed on a ranch. The term “ranchero” has Spanish roots.

32 Brother of Bobby Kennedy : TED

Ted Kennedy was the youngest boy in a family that included older brothers Joseph Jr. (killed in action in WWII), John (assassinated) and Robert (assassinated). Ted went into the US Senate in 1962 in a special election held after his brother became US President. He remained in the Senate until he passed away in 2009, making Ted Kennedy the fourth-longest-serving Senator in history. The 2017 movie “Chappaquiddick” gives some insight, albeit somewhat speculative, about the darker side of Ted Kennedy’s life. It focuses on events surrounding the infamous Chappaquiddick incident in which Kennedy drove off a bridge, resulting in the death of his 28-year-old passenger Mary Jo Kopechne.

Robert F. Kennedy was the seventh child of Joe and Rose Kennedy. “Bobby” served as Attorney General in the administration of his elder brother, President John F. Kennedy. The younger Kennedy suffered the same fate as his brother, and died from an assassin’s bullet. He was shot in 1968 during his campaign for the Democratic nomination for the US presidency. He was assassinated by a young Palestinian named Sirhan Sirhan, apparently in retaliation for supporting Israel after the Six-Day War of 1967.

33 Lawman Wyatt : EARP

Wyatt Earp is famous as one of the participants in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Earp was a city policeman in Wichita, Kansas and also in Dodge City, Kansas. Earp was also deputy sheriff in Tombstone, Arizona where the O.K. Corral gunfight took place. Years later, Earp joined the Alaska Gold Rush and with a partner built and operated the Dexter Saloon in Nome.

35 Body art, briefly : TATS

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

40 Sheet music pitch indicator : CLEF

“Clef” is the French word for “key”. In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on the stave. The bass clef is also known as the F-clef, the alto clef is the C-clef, and the treble clef is the G-clef.

43 Leaning Tower site : PISA

The city of Pisa sits right on the Italian coast, at the mouth of the River Arno. The city is perhaps most famous for its Leaning Tower. The tower is actually the campanile (bell tower) of the city’s cathedral, and it has been leaning since it was completed in 1173. Just shows you how important good foundations are …

44 “Survivor” station : CBS

The reality show “Survivor” is based on a Swedish television series created in 1997 called “Expedition Robinson”.

47 Gauchos’ lariats : REATAS

A riata is a lariat or a lasso. “Riata” comes from “reata”, the Spanish word for lasso.

A gaucho is someone who lives in the South American pampas, the fertile lowlands in the southeast of South America. The term “gaucho” is also used as the equivalent of our “cowboy”.

52 10-minute NFL periods, if they last that long : OTS

Overtime (OT)

59 Capital of Yemen : SANA’A

Sana (also “Sana’a”) is the capital city of Yemen. Sitting at an elevation of 7,380 feet, Sana is one of the highest capital cities in the world. Within the bounds of today’s metropolis is the old fortified city of Sana, where people have lived for over 2,500 years. The Old City is now a World Heritage Site. According to legend, Sana was founded by Shem, the son of Noah.

64 Cap’n’s mate : BO’S’N

A boatswain works on the deck of a boat. He or she is unlicensed, and so is not involved in the navigation or handling of the vessel, and instead is in charge of the other unlicensed workers on the deck. “Boatswain” is pronounced “bosun” and this phonetic spelling is often used interchangeably with “boatswain”. The contraction “bo’s’n” is also very popular.

65 Birds in a gaggle : GEESE

A collection of geese is referred to as a “gaggle” when on the ground. When geese are in V-formation in flight, they are referred to collectively as a “skein”.

66 French cruise stops : ILES

In French, an “île” (island) is “terre dans la mer” (land in the sea).

67 “The Simpsons” bus driver : OTTO

Otto Mann drives the school bus on the TV show “The Simpsons”. Otto is a Germanic character voiced by Harry Shearer, and his name is a play on “Ottoman Empire”. Whenever Bart sees him, he greets Otto with the words “Otto, man!”

68 __ Allan Poe : EDGAR

The celebrated American writer Edgar Allan Poe was born “Edgar Poe” in 1809 in Boston. Poe’s father abandoned Edgar and his two siblings after the death of their mother. As a result, Edgar was taken into the home of the Allan family in Richmond Virginia. His foster parents gave the future author the name “Edgar Allan Poe”.

69 Laundry brand : TIDE

Tide is a laundry detergent that has been made by Procter & Gamble since 1946. Back then, Tide was marketed as “America’s Washday Favorite”.

Down

3 Stabbed by Buffy, as a vampire : IMPALED

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is a TV series that originally aired from 1997 to 2003. “Buffy …” was incredibly successful, especially given that it wasn’t aired on the one of the big four networks. The show was created by Joss Whedon and stars Sarah Michelle Gellar in the title role.

4 Voices below tenori : BASSI

The bass is the lowest male singing voice. A man with such a voice might be called a “basso” (plural “bassi”). In an opera, the villain of the piece is usually played by a basso.

A tenor (plural “tenori”) is a male voice that falls between that of a countertenor and a baritone. The word “tenor” comes from the Latin “tenere” meaning “to hold”. This etymology refers to the tenor part that carried the sustained melody (canto fermo) of a traditional polyphonic composition.

5 Four qts. : GAL

The name of our fluid measure called a “gallon” ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin term “galleta” meaning “bucket, pail”.

9 Sealy competitors : SERTAS

Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the Serta company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement. Serta advertisements feature the Serta Counting Sheep. Each numbered sheep has a different personality, such as:

  • #1 The Leader of the Flock
  • #½ The Tweener
  • #13 Mr. Bad Luck
  • #53 The Pessimist
  • #86 Benedict Arnold

10 Year in Tuscany : ANNO

Tuscany is a beautiful region in central Italy, the capital of which is the city of Florence. Tuscany is considered to be the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, which was centered around Florence. It was home to great artistic icons such as Dante, Botticelli, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Galileo and Puccini.

11 Lady of Italy : SIGNORA

The title “signora” is used in Italy for a married woman. It is the equivalent of “Mrs.” in English.

19 “__ That a Shame” : AIN’T

“Ain’t That a Shame” was co-written and recorded by Fats Domino. That said, the initial 1955 recording by Domino was mistakenly labeled “Ain’t It a Shame”.

21 Dutch painter Jan : STEEN

Jan Steen was a painter from the Netherlands who was active in the Dutch Golden Age, the 17th century. Steen’s most famous work is probably “The Feast of Saint Nicholas”, which we can see at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

24 Devastated Asian sea : ARAL

The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

25 Golfer McIlroy : RORY

Rory McIlroy is a very successful golfer from Northern Ireland. McIlroy is a relatively young man and a former world number one on the circuit, so folks can’t help but compare him to Tiger Woods. He is first European to win three different majors. Along with Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, McIlroy is one of the only three people to win three majors before the age of 25.

27 Some laptops : HPS

The giant multinational called “HP” (originally “Hewlett-Packard”) was founded in 1939 with an investment of $538 in a one-car garage in Palo Alto, California by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. The company name would have been Packard-Hewlett, if Dave Packard had won a coin toss!

34 Angel dust, for short : PCP

Phencyclidine is a recreational drug usually referred to on the street as “PCP” or “angel dust”.

37 Jack and Jill went up one : HILL

The “Jack and Jill” nursery rhyme dates back at least to the 1700s:

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.

39 Old Nigerian capital : LAGOS

Lagos is a port and the biggest city in Nigeria. Lagos used to be the country’s capital, until it was replaced in that role in 1991 by Abuja, a city built for just for this purpose. Lagos is also the most populous city in the whole of Africa (followed by Cairo in Egypt).

40 __-Magnon : CRO

Remains of early man, dating back to 35,000 years ago, were found in Abri de Cro-Magnon in southwest France, giving the name to those early humans. Cro-Magnon remains are the oldest human relics that have been discovered in Europe.

44 Tubular ricotta-filled pastry : CANNOLI

Cannoli (singular “connolo”) are Italian sweet pastries that originated in Sicily. Cannoli are made by filling tubes of fried pastry dough with a creamy filling that usually contains ricotta cheese. “Cannolo” is Italian for “little tube”.

Ricotta is an Italian cheese made from the milk of a sheep or a cow. Ricotta is actually produced from the whey of the milk, the liquid left after the curds have been separated out (curds are used to make “traditional” cheese). The whey is heated again so that the remaining protein, above and beyond that in the curd already removed, precipitates out making ricotta cheese. The word “ricotta” literally means “recooked”, which makes sense to me now …

46 Street in Berlin : STRASSE

Berlin is the capital of Germany. It is the nation’s largest city, and is the second-most populous city in the European Union (after London).

49 Stored fodder : SILAGE

“Fodder”, meaning “animal feed”, is an Old English word for “food”.

55 “Norwegian Dances” composer : GRIEG

Edvard Grieg is Norway’s best known composer, some who was active in the Romantic Era. Grieg’s most famous works are the gorgeous “Piano Concerto in A minor”, and his incidental music for the play “Peer Gynt” by Henrik Ibsen.

58 Pre-stereo : MONO

Monophonic sound (“mono”) is sound reproduced using just one audio channel, which is usually played out of just one speaker. Stereophonic sound is reproduced using two audio channels, with the sound from each channel played out of two different speakers. The pair of stereo speakers are usually positioned apart from each other so that sound appears to come from between the two. Quadraphonic sound (4.0 surround sound) uses four audio channels with the sound played back through four speakers often positioned at the corners of the room in which one is listening.

60 “Name a price–I’m flexible,” in ads : OBO

Or best offer (OBO)

61 Intel-gathering govt. group : NSA

National Security Agency (NSA)

62 __ Spiegel: German magazine : DER

“Der Spiegel” is a very successful German magazine found on newsstands all over Europe. The name “Der Spiegel” translates from German into “the Mirror”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Slick-talking : GLIB
5 Crime organizations : GANGS
10 On the Atlantic, say : ASEA
14 Bow-and-arrow-carrying Hindu god : RAMA
15 Spry : AGILE
16 Running shoe brand : NIKE
17 Smartphone downloads : APPS
18 Tonto’s friend, with “The” : … LONE RANGER
20 Copper-and-zinc alloy : BRASS
22 Countries : NATIONS
23 Early Neil Diamond hit : SOLITARY MAN
26 Fireworks reaction : OOH!
28 “Honest” prez : ABE
29 Suffix with ranch : -ERO
30 Work into a frenzy : STIR UP
32 Brother of Bobby Kennedy : TED
33 Lawman Wyatt : EARP
35 Body art, briefly : TATS
36 Offspring sans siblings : ONLY CHILD
40 Sheet music pitch indicator : CLEF
43 Leaning Tower site : PISA
44 “Survivor” station : CBS
47 Gauchos’ lariats : REATAS
50 Chair part : LEG
51 Paintings, etchings, etc. : ART
52 10-minute NFL periods, if they last that long : OTS
53 Used car selling point : SINGLE OWNER
57 Alike in many respects : SIMILAR
59 Capital of Yemen : SANA’A
60 Something unlike any other : ONE OF A KIND
63 Repairs with turf, as a lawn : SODS
64 Cap’n’s mate : BO’S’N
65 Birds in a gaggle : GEESE
66 French cruise stops : ILES
67 “The Simpsons” bus driver : OTTO
68 __ Allan Poe : EDGAR
69 Laundry brand : TIDE

Down

1 Clutches for : GRABS AT
2 Carriage passenger’s warmer : LAP ROBE
3 Stabbed by Buffy, as a vampire : IMPALED
4 Voices below tenori : BASSI
5 Four qts. : GAL
6 In days of yore : AGO
7 Fool : NINNY
8 Eye twinkle : GLEAM
9 Sealy competitors : SERTAS
10 Year in Tuscany : ANNO
11 Lady of Italy : SIGNORA
12 Barely manages, as a living : EKES OUT
13 Bubbly prefix : AER-
19 “__ That a Shame” : AIN’T
21 Dutch painter Jan : STEEN
24 Devastated Asian sea : ARAL
25 Golfer McIlroy : RORY
27 Some laptops : HPS
31 “__ be my pleasure” : IT’D
34 Angel dust, for short : PCP
36 Shakespearean “frequently” : OFT
37 Jack and Jill went up one : HILL
38 “Understood” : I SEE
39 Old Nigerian capital : LAGOS
40 __-Magnon : CRO
41 “Better if we skip this” : LET’S NOT
42 Most simple : EASIEST
44 Tubular ricotta-filled pastry : CANNOLI
45 Covered with crumbs before cooking : BREADED
46 Street in Berlin : STRASSE
48 “Not likely!” : AS IF!
49 Stored fodder : SILAGE
54 In one’s birthday suit : NAKED
55 “Norwegian Dances” composer : GRIEG
56 “__ something I said?” : WAS IT
58 Pre-stereo : MONO
60 “Name a price–I’m flexible,” in ads : OBO
61 Intel-gathering govt. group : NSA
62 __ Spiegel: German magazine : DER

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 18 Mar 19, Monday”

  1. 1 error by misspelling AER, used AIR. I should have seen it, but I rushed
    through my recheck, being too sure we had it – and in a very fast time
    (for us) of under 30 minutes. I thought Bill would break 5 minutes, but
    he still brought his A Game. A good start to the week with a doable and
    fun puzzle.

    Kudos to all. Jack, you are doing so good!

  2. I had a good time with this Monday morning, easy puzzle. Yes ! There is a god …… btw, there are many Hindu gods with bows ( and arrows…) … Rama is probably the most prominent … and the only four letter one … Arjun in the MahaBharat is supposedly the greatest archer … but that is the ‘other’ epic story … and he is at best, a Demi-god.

    How do you clean brass ? That has tarnished with some sort of patina ? I had a bunch of small momentos that I cleaned yesterday .. all brass … I boiled them in household vinegar, with a spoonful of salt and a spoonful of citric acid – got them as good as new !!!!?!!!!

    Never heard of a Lawyer who accidentslly overcharged a client … since honest Abe …. one of my neighbors ‘accidentally ‘ overcharged the city but paid it back – the difference, that is – before any serious charges were applied …

    Have a nice day folks

  3. Didn’t notice the theme. Need to learn to spell SANAA. Never heard of OBO.

    What I didn’t like was too many abbrevs. (8)
    What I did like were 5 Italian words and 2 German words.

    I will never be done in 15 minutes. Couldn’t even write the answers over in that short of time.

  4. LAT: 6:52, no errors. Newsday: 5:27, no errors. WSJ: 7:10, no errors; got Friday’s meta okay. BEQ: 21:59, no errors. New Yorker: 1:14: 46, no errors; a bit of a bear; and, in one of the clues (6D), “February” is misspelled as “Februrary”; I must write them a nasty letter! CHE: 11:11, no errors. Jones later …

  5. 8:07 and no errors.

    Took exception to the 40A clue. The clef denotes a pitch range or perhaps suggests an instrument but does not denote a specific pitch. That would be the function of a NOTE (on a staff).

    1. @Allen … I see your point, but …

      From my college dictionary: Clef, noun … a symbol written at the beginning of a musical staff to indicate the pitch of the notes: there are three clefs: G (treble), F (bass), and C (alto or tenor).

  6. LAT: 7:02, no errors. Difficult for a Monday. WSJ: 5:49, no errors. More like it. Got the meta, too. Newsday: 6:03, no errors. CHE: 8:30, no errors. BEQ and New Yorker for later as I’m running pretty late getting around to these.

    1. New Yorker: 1:02:05, 5 errors between 11D and 38A. Never have witnessed 38A. Ever. BEQ: 53:38, no errors. Overall, hate all the Northeast-centric cluing endemic to these puzzles.

  7. 8:43. Monday puzzle but there were a few answers I didn’t know off the top of my head.

    I think the most famous CANNOLI of all time has to be the one mentioned in “The Godfather”…

    Best –

  8. Aloha Meine Freunden!!!🐔

    No errors on a typical Monday. I just LOVE that Neil Diamond song, Solitary Man– one of his best — he has so many great early songs. 🎸

    Dave, I CAN’T believe the venerable (snobby) New Yorker had February spelled wrong! That’s kinda hilarious. The best copy error I ever saw was in an issue of Vanity Fair from a few years ago: they actually misspelled the word “malapropism,” of all things — they left out the second “a”!! 😁 I wish to heck I had kept that issue.

    Be well ~~⚾️

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