LA Times Crossword 30 Mar 19, Saturday

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Constructed by: Pawel Fludzinski
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 11m 48s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 SALT topic : ABM

An anti-ballistic missile (ABM) is a rocket designed to intercept and destroy a ballistic missile (as one might expect from the name). A ballistic missile, as opposed to a cruise missile, is guided during the initial launch phase but later in flight just relies on thrust and gravity (hence “ballistic”) to arrive at its target. As an aside, an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with a range greater than 3,500 miles.

8 Territory affected by the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie : DAKOTA

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 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie created the Great Sioux Reservation in today’s South Dakota and Nebraska, and exempted the sacred Black Hills from all white settlement forever. However, the terms of the treaty were not honored. War broke out again in 1876 and the US annexed land protected under the treaty. Over a decade later, the 1868 treaty was cited in a 1980 Supreme Court case in which the US government was ordered to pay compensation plus interest to the Sioux Nation for illegally seizing lands. The Sioux have refused reparation payments of over a billion dollars, and instead demand return of their land.

16 Panacea : ELIXIR

An elixir is a solution of alcohol and water that is used to deliver a medicine. The term “elixir” can also be used to mean a medicine that has the power to cure all ills.

18 Coquettes : MINXES

A minx is a flirtatious woman. The term “minx” comes from the 16th-century word “mynx” that was used for a pet dog.

23 Keystone figure : KOP

The Keystone Cops (sometimes “Keystone Kops”) were a band of madcap policemen characters who appeared in silent movies. A 1914 short film called “A Thief Catcher” that was believed lost was rediscovered in 2010. “A Thief Catcher” featured the magnificent Charlie Chaplin in an early role as a Keystone Cop.

28 “Return of the Jedi” dancer : OOLA

Oola was a slave-girl dancer who was eaten by a scary creature in the movie “Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the the Jedi”. Oola was played by British actor Femi Taylor.

29 Article beginning, in newspaper jargon : LEDE

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”.

34 Lively ballroom dances : BOLEROS

The word “bolero” is used to describe slow-tempo Latin music that can be both a dance and a song.

36 City named for a Suquamish chief : SEATTLE

The Washington city of Seattle was founded on a site that had been occupied by Native Americans for over 4,000 years before the first Europeans arrived in the area. The name “Seattle” was chosen in honor of the Suquamish and Duwamish Chief Seattle, who had a reputation for welcoming white settlers.

47 U.K. honors : OBES

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry in the UK that was established in 1917 by King George V. There are five classes within the order, which are in descending seniority:

  • Knight Grand Cross (GBE)
  • Knight Commander (KBE)
  • Commander (CBE)
  • Officer (OBE)
  • Member (MBE)

55 French actress Adjani with a record five César Awards : ISABELLE

Isabelle Adjani is a French actress and singer, and the only actress ever to have won five César Awards. Adjani and actor Daniel-Day Lewis had a son together after a relationship that lasted several years.

57 Smear protection? : LIBEL LAW

The word “libel” describes a published or written statement likely to harm a person’s reputation. It comes into English from the Latin “libellus”, the word for a small book. Back in the 1500s, libel was just a formal written statement, with the more damaging association arising in the 1600s. The related concept of slander is defamation in a transient form, such as speech, sign language or gestures.

59 Ruhr refusal : NEIN

The Ruhr is a river in Germany that flows into the lower Rhine. The river gives its name to the Ruhr River Valley and the Ruhr district, the largest urban agglomeration in the country.

60 D and C in D.C. : STS

Famously, the layout of the streets in Washington was designed by French-born American architect Pierre Charles L’Enfant. The L’Enfant Plan called for a grid of east-west and north-south streets. This grid was crisscrossed with diagonal avenues. The avenues and streets met at circles and rectangular plazas. The east-west streets are generally named for letters, while the north-south streets are numbered. Later, many of the diagonal avenues were named for states of the union.

Down

1 Alamogordo experiment : A-TEST

The first detonation of a nuclear weapon was code named “Trinity”, and was conducted on July 16, 1945 as part of the Manhattan Project. The detonation took place at the Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range located about 25 miles southeast of Socorro, New Mexico.

2 Japanese box lunch : BENTO

A bento is a single-person meal that is eaten quite commonly in Japan. A bento can be purchased as a take-out meal, or it may be packed at home. A bento is usually sold as a “bento box”.

3 Panacea : MAGIC BULLET

Panacea was the Greek goddess of healing. She lent her name to the term “panacea” that was used by alchemists to describe the beguiling remedy that could cure all diseases and prolong life indefinitely.

4 __ Nowitzki, 21-season NBAer : DIRK

Dirk Nowitzki is an NBA player from Northern Bavaria in Germany. Nowitzki has scored more points in the NBA than any other foreign-born player in the league’s history. He also turns out for the German national team, for which is the captain. Indeed, Nowitzki was named German Sports Personality of the Year in 2011.

5 Neat freak of film and TV : UNGER

“The Odd Couple” is a play by the wonderfully talented Neil Simon first performed on Broadway, in 1965. This great play was adapted for the big screen in 1968, famously starring Jack Lemmon (as Felix Unger) and Walter Matthau (as Oscar Madison). The success of the play and the film gave rise to an excellent television sitcom that ran from 1970-1975, starring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. In 1985, Neil Simon even went so far as to adapt the play for an all-female cast, renaming it “The Female Odd Couple”. I’d like to see that one …

6 Sound purchase : STEREO

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.

7 Pink elephant sighter : TOSSPOT

A “juicer” or “tosspot” is a drunk.

The first documented use of the phrase “seeing pink elephants”, a euphemism for being drunk, is by Jack London in his autobiographical novel “John Barleycorn”. In London’s description, drinkers not only see pink elephants, but also blue mice.

9 “You’re nothing but a pack of cards!” speaker : ALICE

In Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, towards the end of the story Alice finds herself a witness in a trial in front of the King and Queen of Hearts. Alice becomes somewhat obstreperous during the proceedings and earns the celebrated rebuke from the Queen, “Off with her head!” Alice stands her ground and simply retorts, “You’re nothing but a pack of cards!”

11 Losing game line : O-X-X

When I was growing up in Ireland we played “noughts and crosses” … our name for the game tic-tac-toe.

13 Razor edges? : ARS

There are two letters R (ars) in the word “razor”, one at either end/edge.

15 Gagarin or Glenn : ROCKETEER

The Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space when his spacecraft Vostok I made a single orbit of the Earth in 1961. Sadly, Gagarin died only seven years later in a plane crash.

John Glenn was a Marine Corps pilot, astronaut and US Senator. As an astronaut, Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth, in 1962. He later became the oldest person to fly in space, in 1998 at the age of 77.

20 Island dances : HULAS

The hula is a native dance of Hawaii that uses arm movements to relate a story. The hula can be performed while sitting (a noho dance) or while standing (a luna dance).

23 Exercise equipment sometimes swung : KETTLEBELLS

Kettlebells are cast iron (usually) weights that are ball-shaped with a handle. They can be used when exercising to build strength and endurance.

24 New York Giants’ star __ Beckham Jr. : ODELL

Odell Beckham Jr. is a National Football League wide receiver from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 2014, Beckham made a much-applauded one-handed catch while falling backwards to score a touchdown for the New York Giants against the Dallas Cowboys, a move that some have dubbed the greatest catch ever made.

25 Famille member : PERE

In French, a “père” (father) is a “membre de la famille” (member of the family).

27 “Nebraska” Oscar nominee : DERN

Bruce Dern is a Hollywood actor with quite a pedigree. Dern is the grandchild of former Utah governor and Secretary of War, George Henry Dern. Bruce’s godparents were Adlai Stevenson and Eleanor Roosevelt!

“Nebraska” is a really interesting 2013 movie starring Bruce Dern as an elderly man who heads to Lincoln, Nebraska to collect a million-dollar sweepstakes prize that is clearly a scam. This one is filmed in black & white, which adds to the mood nicely. A local movie theater here did a one-day showing of a color version.

33 Toddler’s drink : WAWA

A tot drinks “wawa” (water), perhaps out of a sippy cup.

35 Unflappable : STOIC

Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher famous for teaching at the Stoa Poikile, the “Painted Porch”, located on the north side of the Ancient Agora of Athens. Because of the location of his classes, his philosophy became known as stoicism (from “stoa”, the word for “porch”). And yes, we get our adjective “stoic” from the same root.

38 Brewer’s drier : HOP KILN

An oast is a kiln used for drying hops as part of the brewing process. Such a structure might also be called an “oast house” or “hop kiln”. The term “oast” can also apply to a kiln used to dry tobacco.

42 Friend of Richie, Ralph and the Fonz : POTSIE

Anson Williams plays the lovable Warren “Potsie” Weber character on “Happy Days”. After “Happy Days” finished its run, Williams moved into directing and has directed episodes of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”, “Xena: Warrior Princess”, “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”, “Melrose Place”, “Beverly Hills 90210” and other shows. But Williams’ true claim to fame has to be that he is the second cousin of Dr. Henry Heimlich, who invented the Heimlich Maneuver!

45 ‘Vette options : T-TOPS

A T-top is a car roof that has removable panels on either side of a rigid bar that runs down the center of the vehicle above the driver.

The Chevrolet Corvette was introduced to the world in 1953, and was named after the small maneuverable warship called a corvette. The “vette” has legs. It is the only American sports car that has been around for over 50 years.

46 Abu __ : DHABI

Abu Dhabi is one of the seven Emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy. Before 1971, the UAE was a British Protectorate, a collection of sheikdoms. The sheikdoms entered into a maritime truce with Britain in 1835, after which they became known as the Trucial States, derived from the word “truce”.

48 Panache : ECLAT

“Éclat” can describe a brilliant show of success, as well as the applause or accolade that one receives for that success. The word “éclat” derives from the French “éclater” meaning “to splinter, burst out”.

Someone exhibiting panache is showing dash and verve, and perhaps has a swagger. “Panache” is a French word used for a plume of feathers, especially in a hat.

50 Gin flavor : SLOE

The sloe is the fruit of the blackthorn bush, and the main flavoring ingredient in sloe gin. A sloe looks like a small plum, but is usually much more tart in taste.

51 __ Upton, co-founder of the U.K.’s Raspberry Pi Foundation : EBEN

Eben Upton is a computer scientist and businessman who is famous as the chief designer of the software and hardware architecture of the Raspberry Pi series of computers. The Raspberry Pi is a simple and affordable computer designed in Britain for use in schools for the teaching of basic computer science.

52 “The world’s most famous unknown artist”: Lennon : ONO

Yoko Ono is an avant-garde artist. Ono actually met her future husband John Lennon for the first time while she was preparing her conceptual art exhibit called “Hammer a Nail”. Visitors were encouraged to hammer in a nail into a wooden board, creating the artwork. Lennon wanted to hammer in the first nail, but Ono stopped him as the exhibition had not yet opened. Apparently Ono relented when Lennon paid her an imaginary five shillings to hammer an imaginary nail into the wood.

53 Passport nos. : DOB

Date of birth (DOB)

As a result of a League of Nations conference in 1920, passports are usually written in French and one other language. French was specified back then as it was deemed the language of diplomacy. US passports use French and English, given that English is the nation’s de facto national language. Spanish was added as a language for US passports in the late nineties in recognition of Spanish-speaking Puerto Rico.

54 They don’t play the field: Abbr. : DHS

In baseball, designated hitters (DHs) may replace the pitcher (P) at bat.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 SALT topic : ABM
4 Surface collection : DUST
8 Territory affected by the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie : DAKOTA
14 Impulsively attack : TEAR INTO
16 Panacea : ELIXIR
17 Makes a pig of oneself : ENGORGES
18 Coquettes : MINXES
19 Showroom surprise : STICKER SHOCK
21 Every other second? : TOCK
22 Esteem : REPUTE
23 Keystone figure : KOP
26 King or queen : BED
28 “Return of the Jedi” dancer : OOLA
29 Article beginning, in newspaper jargon : LEDE
30 Like some colors : MUTED
32 Dish-washing liquid : TAP WATER
34 Lively ballroom dances : BOLEROS
36 City named for a Suquamish chief : SEATTLE
37 Interminably : AT LENGTH
39 Expand : SWELL
40 Young follower? : -STER
41 College bookstore, perhaps : CO-OP
43 Sylvie’s soul : AME
44 Smokin’ : HOT
45 Surveyor’s equipment : TRIPOD
47 U.K. honors : OBES
50 Fix things? : STACK THE DECK
52 Not the usual merchandise amount : ODD LOT
55 French actress Adjani with a record five César Awards : ISABELLE
56 Words of despair : NO HOPE
57 Smear protection? : LIBEL LAW
58 Excessively focus (on) : OBSESS
59 Ruhr refusal : NEIN
60 D and C in D.C. : STS

Down

1 Alamogordo experiment : A-TEST
2 Japanese box lunch : BENTO
3 Panacea : MAGIC BULLET
4 __ Nowitzki, 21-season NBAer : DIRK
5 Neat freak of film and TV : UNGER
6 Sound purchase : STEREO
7 Pink elephant sighter : TOSSPOT
8 Rock samples? : DEMO TAPES
9 “You’re nothing but a pack of cards!” speaker : ALICE
10 Flaw : KINK
11 Losing game line : O-X-X
12 Nil-nil, e.g. : TIE
13 Razor edges? : ARS
15 Gagarin or Glenn : ROCKETEER
20 Island dances : HULAS
23 Exercise equipment sometimes swung : KETTLEBELLS
24 New York Giants’ star __ Beckham Jr. : ODELL
25 Famille member : PERE
27 “Nebraska” Oscar nominee : DERN
29 Part of a getaway car description, maybe : LATE-MODEL
30 Words often framed : MOTTO
31 Pet shop buys : DOG CRATES
33 Toddler’s drink : WAWA
34 Disparage : BASH
35 Unflappable : STOIC
38 Brewer’s drier : HOP KILN
42 Friend of Richie, Ralph and the Fonz : POTSIE
45 ‘Vette options : T-TOPS
46 Abu __ : DHABI
48 Panache : ECLAT
49 Unfairly presents : SKEWS
50 Gin flavor : SLOE
51 __ Upton, co-founder of the U.K.’s Raspberry Pi Foundation : EBEN
52 “The world’s most famous unknown artist”: Lennon : ONO
53 Passport nos. : DOB
54 They don’t play the field: Abbr. : DHS

21 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 30 Mar 19, Saturday”

  1. LAT: 13:48, no errors.

    WSJ: 27:23, no errors; a bit more difficult than usual, I thought.

    Newsday: 1:14:36, no errors; doable, but I spent about 40 minutes breaking into the lower left corner, and, for once, I would quibble with the editing of a puzzle: For 34A, the clue was “Never lived to be minimized” and the answer was “ISN’T”. I got it (and I get it), but I do think I’d have put a comma after the penultimate word of that clue: “Never lived to be, minimized”.

    As Carrie said yesterday, “wa-wa” is an alternate spelling of “wah-wah” – at least according to Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition. (It’s on page 1619 … 😜.)

    @Dirk … Thanks for your response yesterday. I did come across that “Greatest Of All Time” sports reference for “GOAT”, but I think the entry in Tim Croce’s puzzle had something to do with a DLC (DownLoadable Content?!) called “Goatz”, in which “goat zero” is the goat you are starting as in a video game called “Goat Simulator”. (My rewording of the reference I found to this may be mangled, as it’s not something in my bailiwick, at all!)

    1. I just checked every English-language dictionary I own and every one of them has an entry for “wa-wa” as an alternate form of “wah-wah” except my 1967 edition of Webster’s Third, which only has “wah-wah” itself as an alternate form of “wou-wou” (and is defined as a “silver gibbon”), and my 1971 edition of the OED, which has neither “wah-wah” nor “wa-wa”. (The OED does have “wou-wou” for the “silver gibbon”, but gives “wow-wow” as the only alternate spelling of it.)

      So … more than anyone here (including me) could possibly have needed to know on that subject.

      My significant other is right … I really need a job … 😜.

    2. Oops … I forgot to check my addendum to the OED, from 1987, which does have “wah-wah” and lists “wa-wa”, “wha-wha”, and “wow-wow” as alternate spellings!

      Enough … 🙄

      1. Well, if OED “accepts” “wow-wow” as an alternate spelling for that effect/device, that simply proves they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. I suppose I can live with “wa-wa” as an alternate for someone who doesn’t know his way around rock gear, but I maintain it’s an error regardless.

        1. I shall inform the editors of all those dictionaries that they should consult you for future editions … 😜

      2. Hey Dave! I appreciate your doing the legwork on this…as I remember, the Wah-Wah effect was born in about 1967…probably took some time for certain dictionaries to accept.

        I still have my Wah-Wah pedal somewhere!🎸

  2. 42:48 with 2 errors…..I had CAttle bells for KEttle bells,,and never heard of lede.
    FYI Odell Beckham is no longer a NY giant

    1. @Michael – I believe the play had the character name with an “a” while the television version used the “e” spelling.

  3. LAT: 21:30, no errors. Felt quick, but in the end glacially slow. Proof that Norris doesn’t edit these things very tightly at 24D as Odell Beckham Jr. has been a Cleveland Brown for a little less than a month now due to a blockbuster trade all over the news. WSJ: 30:10, 1 error off an absurdly clued entry at 47A-35D which turned into guessing at what the constructor meant, as these things always unfortunately end up. “Plot device in the Cinderella story?” being THELASTSLIPPER. The device was a LOST SLIPPER that the prince sought the owner of, as far as I remember the story line. Newsday: DNF after about an hour with no inroads made into the puzzle, per usual.

    1. @Glenn … Well, you’re probably tired of my doing this, but I have to disagree about the WSJ puzzle. Each of the eight theme entries is formed from a familiar phrase in which the letter “U” is replaced by the letters “LI”, to (somewhat) humorous effect. So “GHOST BUSTERS” becomes “GHOST BLISTERS”, “BABY BUMP” becomes “BABY BLIMP”, “GUTTER BALL” becomes “GLITTER BALL”, and so on. In the case of 47A, a familiar phrase, “THE LAST SUPPER”, becomes “THE LAST SLIPPER”, so we get the “A” at the intersection with 35D directly from the theme (and, in any case, I would say that the word “LITANIES” is adequately suggested by the clue “Mass communications”). One could argue that the clue for 47A should not have mentioned Cinderella at all, for fear of causing the problem you pointed out (but, in fact, that might have been intentional).

      Sometimes, I ask myself, “Do I want to be clever enough to figure out what the setter and editor intended in spite of what I view as small errors on their part, or do I want to make myself feel superior to them by finding fault with their errors?” I have always chosen the former, because I think I understand how difficult the construction and editing of a puzzle are and because I view setters and editors as fellow human beings to whom I am intensely grateful for providing me with this lovely pastime.

      1. @David – Have to agree with you on the WSJ 21X21 grid today. Both really clever and really challenging. I (finally) only got the trick of the theme as I filled in the very last answer for Ghost Blisters. So that just means I figured the answers out with brute idiocy! Onward and upward! ;-D>

  4. This puzzle fell out of my realm. Too many things that had me dumbfounded. Gave up. The day is still young, but I think I’ve aged!

  5. 28:12. I really had a hard time starting this one. I went through an iteration or two with the clues, and I seemed to know almost nothing. I stared at it long enough to finish though. I’d never heard TOSSPOT before. I wonder if it has anything to do with tossing a drunk out of a bar? Or worse yet, maybe it has to do with having to toss a pot to the person, now ill from overindulgence?

    The error on 24D is so egregious (or at least so black and white) that I assume Beckham was still with the Giants when the puzzle was accepted to be published. Then they just didn’t catch (pardon the pun) the change/trade before it actually went into publication today.

    Alternative clue for 4D: “Frequent poster on Bill Butler’s blog” ?

    Best –

  6. 22:54 and 7 errors sprinkled through this annoyingly clued puzzle.

    Why do those in journalism purposefully misspell “lead”? I’ve never heard of such.

    The OOLA clue was a real bear, since Princess Leia was being held as one of Jabba the Hut’s “dancers”, and her name fits there.

  7. Moderately difficult Saturday; took 46:49 online with a bit of peeking in the West. Had no problems with everything else except that West block. Started with diSs instead of BASH and my mistaking intermittent with interminable. Took a while to get the …BULLET part and …ETEER, so I peeked.

    re OOLA – Just watched it on YouTube…yuck!

    @Jeff – Thought the SJSharks were going to give you a late birthday present today but they decided to finally end their looooong losing streak. Hopefully they keep it up.

  8. Journalists spell it LEDE so that it is not confused with lead, pronounced as the metal. I always like seeing this clue answer — reminds me of my college days as a journalism major! 😎

    1. Aha! So that’s the reason for the spelling! I’ve wondered about that for some time (and, in fact, made another feeble attempt to research it last night). Thank you!

    2. OK, I *guess* I can go with that explanation… but it still doesn’t sit well that journalists would tolerate a purposeful misspelling. There are any number of English words that have multiple spellings and pronunciations, and we manage to get by without confusing them TOO badly.

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