LA Times Crossword 12 Apr 19, Friday

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Constructed by: Joe Kidd
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): First Karate Puzzle?

Themed answers are common phrases with the letters KA inserted at the beginning of a word:

  • 17A Energetic jug band performer? : KAZOO ANIMAL (from “zoo animal”)
  • 29A Skewered food cooked vertically? : PLUMB KABOB (from “plumb bob”)
  • 46A Doesn’t get fixed? : STAYS KAPUT (from “stays put”)
  • 56A Wile E. Coyote purchases from Acme? : KABOOM BOXES (from “boom boxes”)

Bill’s time: 6m 40s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

11 Pranks, in a way, for short : TPS

TP’ing (toilet papering) is a prank involving the covering of some object or location with rolls and rolls of toilet paper. If you live in Texas or Minnesota, that little “prank” is legal, but if you live here in California it is classed as mischief or vandalism.

14 Industrial portmanteau : SMOG

“Smog” is a portmanteau formed by melding “smoke” and “fog”. The term was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s. Several cities around the world have a reputation of being particularly smoggy. For example, the most smog-plagued city in Latin America is Mexico City, which is located in a highland “bowl” that traps industrial and vehicle pollution.

16 Narrow inlet : RIA

A drowned valley might be called a ria or a fjord, with both formed as sea level rises. A ria is a drowned valley created by river erosion, and a fjord is a drowned valley created by glaciation.

17 Energetic jug band performer? : KAZOO ANIMAL (from “zoo animal”)

The modern instrument we know today as the kazoo was invented by one Alabama Vest of Macon, Georgia in the 1800s. The kazoo first came to the public’s attention at the Georgia State Fair of 1852, when it was known as the “Down-South Submarine” (because of its shape, I would imagine).

A jug band features a jug player, as well as others playing ordinary objects perhaps modified to make sound. One such instrument is the washtub bass. The “tub” is a stringed instrument that uses a metal washtub as a resonator. A washboard might also be used in a jug band, as a percussion instrument. The ribbed surface of the washboard is usually scraped using thimbles on the ends of the fingers.

19 Mtn. stat : ALT

Altitude (alt.)

21 With indifference : ALOOFLY

I suppose one might guess from the “feel” of the word “aloof” that is has nautical roots. Originally “aloof” meant “to windward” and was the opposite of “alee”. A helmsman might be instructed to stay aloof, to steer the boat into the weather to keep a distance from a lee-shore. It is from this sense of maintaining a distance that aloof came to mean “distant” in terms of personality. Interesting, huh …?

23 Western formation? : POSSE

Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.

29 Skewered food cooked vertically? : PLUMB KABOB (from “plumb bob”)

Plumbum is the Latin for “lead”, explaining why the symbol of the element in the Periodic Table is “Pb”. It also explains why the original lead weight on the end of a line used to check vertical was called a “plumb line”. And, as pipes were originally made of lead, it also explains why we would call in a “plumber” if one of those pipes was leaking.

The term “kebab” (also “kabob”) covers a wide variety of meat dishes that originated in Persia. In the West, we usually use “kebab” when talking about shish kebab, which is meat (often lamb) served on a skewer. “Shish” comes from the Turkish word for “skewer”.

31 Caine and Connery : SIRS

There have been only two actors who have been nominated for an Academy Award in every decade from the 1960s to the 2000s. One is Jack Nicholson, and the other is Michael Caine. Caine is now known as Sir Michael Caine, as he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in the year 2000.

Sean Connery is most famous for playing the original James Bond in the successful series of movies. Back in his native Scotland, Connery is very active in politics and is a member of the Scottish Nationalist Party. He actively campaigns for Scottish independence from Britain and has stated that he believes Scotland will achieve that goal within his own lifetime. Whether that happens or not is the subject of much speculation …

33 What snobs may put on : AIRS

Back in the 1780s, a snob was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word “snob” was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.

34 “Up to 3,000 lights” brand : BIC

Société Bic is a French company, based in Clichy in France. The first product the company produced, more than fifty years ago, was the Bic Cristal ballpoint pen that is still produced today. Bic also makes other disposable products such as lighters and razors.

37 Mississippi source : ITASCA

Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota is the main source of the Mississippi River. Known by Native Americans as “Elk Lake”, the name was changed by Henry Schoolcraft, who led the 1832 expedition to find the source of the Mississippi River. The name “Itasca” is formed from the Latin words for “truth” (ver-ITAS) and “head” (CA-put).

40 Seminarian’s subj. : REL

Originally, a seminary was where plants were raised from seeds, as “semen” is the Latin for “seed”. The first schools labeled as seminaries were established in the late 1500s. Those first schools were more likely to be academies for young ladies back then, rather than for trainee priests.

42 It’s worn with a kimono : OBI

The sash worn as part of traditional Japanese dress is known as an obi. The obi can be tied at the back in what is called a butterfly knot. The term “obi” is also used for the thick cotton belts that are an essential part of the outfits worn by practitioners of many martial arts. The color of the martial arts obi signifies the wearer’s skill level.

The lovely Japanese kimono is a garment worn by men, women and children. The word “kimono” translates simply as “thing to wear”, with “ki” meaning “wear” and “mono” meaning “thing”.

44 Himalayan priest : LAMA

“Lama” is a Tibetan word meaning “chief” or “high priest”.

46 Doesn’t get fixed? : STAYS KAPUT (from “stays put”)

“Kaput” is a familiar term meaning “incapacitated, destroyed”, and comes to us from French (via German). The original word “capot” means “not having won a single trick” in the French card game Piquet.

49 Off-kilter : ALOP

I had to go to one of my two huge volumes of the OED to find the definition of “alop”. It means “lopsided”. A lovely word …

To be “off-kilter” is to be off-balance, not aligned. To be “out of kilter” is to be out of order, not in good condition.

50 Weymouth of Talking Heads : TINA

Tina Weymouth is one of the founding members of the group called Talking Heads. Talking Heads was a New Wave band from New York City, formed in 1974 and active until 1991. I couldn’t name one of their songs, to be honest …

51 Oxidizes : RUSTS

Rust is iron oxide. Rust forms when iron oxidizes, reacts with oxygen.

56 Wile E. Coyote purchases from Acme? : KABOOM BOXES (from “boom boxes”)

The Acme Corporation is a fictional company used mainly by Looney Tunes, and within the Looney Tunes empire it is appears mostly in “Road Runner” cartoons. Wile E. Coyote is always receiving a new piece of gear from Acme designed to finally capture the Road Runner, but the equipment always leads to his downfall.

62 Zero, to Man U : NIL

Manchester United (“Man U”) is one of the most successful football (soccer) clubs in England, having won more League titles than any other in the history of the game. The club is also famous for a airplane crash known as the 1958 Munich air disaster. The British European flight crashed during takeoff resulting the death of 23 passengers, including eight members of the Manchester United team.

63 Online investment service : E*TRADE

E*Trade is mainly an online discount brokerage. It was founded in 1982 in Palo Alto, California, and I used to drive by its headquarters almost every day. The company is now run out of New York City. E*Trade used to produce those famous Super Bowl ads with the talking babies staring into a webcam.

64 Loan default risk : REPO

Repossession (repo)

67 Server’s edge : AD IN

In tennis, if the score reaches deuce (i.e. when both players have scored three points), then the first player to win two points in a row wins the game. The player who wins the point immediately after deuce is said to have the advantage. If the player with the advantage wins the next point then that’s two in a row and that player wins the game. If the person with the advantage loses the next point, then advantage is lost and the players return to deuce and try again. If the one of the players is calling out the score then if he/she has the advantage then that player announces “ad in” or more formally “advantage in”. If the score announcer’s opponent has the advantage, then the announcement is “ad out” or “advantage out”. Follow all of that …?

Down

2 Org. that voted Keith Urban 2018 Entertainer of the Year : CMA

Country Music Association (CMA)

Keith Urban is a country singer from Australia who was actually born in New Zealand. Urban moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1992. He married Australian actress Nicole Kidman in 2006.

3 “Monsters, Inc.” raspy-voiced undercover agent : ROZ

The animated feature “Monsters, Inc.” was released in 2001, and was Pixar’s fourth full-length movie. It’s about cute monsters, and that’s all I know other than that the voice cast included the likes of John Goodman, Billy Crystal and Steve Buscemi.

7 Jackie O’s second : ARI

Aristotle “Ari” Onassis was born to a successful Greek shipping entrepreneur in Smyrna in modern-day Turkey. However, his family lost its fortune during WWI and so Aristotle worked with his father to build up a new business empire centered on the importation of tobacco. In 1957, Aristotle founded the Greek national airline, what is today called Olympic Air, and he also got into the business of shipping oil around the world. He married Athina Livanos in 1946, the daughter of a wealthy shipping magnate. They couple had two children together, with one being the famous Christina Onassis. Livanos divorced Onassis on discovering him in bed with the opera singer Maria Callas. Onassis ended his affair with Callas in order to marry Jackie Kennedy in 1968.

Jackie Kennedy Onassis was born into a privileged family, the daughter of Wall Street stockbroker John Vernou Bouvier III. Ms. Bouvier moved in the same social circles as the Kennedy clan, and first met the then-US Representative John Kennedy at a dinner party hosted by mutual friends. Years later, after she saw her husband assassinated and then her brother-in-law (Bobby Kennedy) suffer the same fate, Jackie declared that she feared for the life of her children as they bore the Kennedy name. She left the country, eventually meeting and marrying Aristotle Onassis. Reportedly she was very satisfied that the Greek shipping magnate was able to provide privacy and security for her children.

8 Original V8 base : TOMATO

The beverage V8 is a mixture of eight different vegetable juices, hence the name. It was introduced in 1933 by the New England Products Company.

9 Aquanaut’s workplace : SEALAB

SEALAB I, II and II were man-made habitats built by the US Navy designed to advance the technology needed for humans to live and work underwater for extended periods. SEALAB I was lowered to a depth of just under 200 feet off the coast of Bermuda in 1964. Four divers (“aquanauts”) stayed in SEALAB for 11 days, before the experiment was halted due to the approach of a tropical storm.

10 Nobel Institute city : OSLO

The Norwegian Nobel Institute was established in Oslo in 1904. The main task of the Institute is to assist the Norwegian Nobel Committee in selecting the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and to organize the annual Nobel event.

12 Vertical Parthenon component : PILLAR

The Parthenon is the ruined temple that sits on the Athenian Acropolis. Although the Parthenon was dedicated to the goddess Athena as a sacred building in the days of the Athenian Empire, it was actually used primarily as a treasury. In later centuries, the Parthenon was repurposed as a Christian Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and was also used as a mosque after Ottoman conquest.

13 Mythical man-goats : SATYRS

The satyrs of Greek mythology came with a very high sex drive. They are the “rude” male subjects drawn on the side of old Greek vases. The nubile maidens known as nymphs were often an object of attention for the satyrs.

18 Yellow pool table item : ONE-BALL

In a game of eight-ball pool, the solid-colored balls are numbered 1 through 7, and the striped balls are numbered 9 through 15. The “eight-ball” is solid black in color.

22 Caravan stopover : OASIS

An isolated area of vegetation in a desert is called an oasis (plural “oases”). As water is needed for plant growth, an oasis might also include a spring, pond or small lake. We often use the term “oasis” more generally to describe a haven, a place of rest.

A camel train carrying passengers or goods across a desert can be referred to as a caravan. “Caravan” derives from the Persian “karwan”, which has the same meaning. Over in Britain, “caravan” is the name given to travel trailers.

23 Maximally soft, in music : PPP

The musical term “pianissimo” is abbreviated to “pp”, and is an instruction to the performer to sing or play very softly. The concept can be extended to “ppp”, short for “pianississimo”, an instruction of play even more softly. The opposite instructions are fortissimo (ff) and fortississimo (fff), instructions to perform very loudly, and even more loudly.

24 Fútbol cheers : OLES

“Fútbol” is the Spanish word for “football, soccer”.

26 Poi plant : TARO

The corm of some taro plants is used to make poi, the traditional Hawaiian dish (that I think tastes horrible). When a taro plant is grown as an ornamental, it is often called Elephant Ears due to the shape of its large leaves.

27 Hunk’s pride : ABS

The abdominal muscles (abs) are more correctly referred to as the rectus abdominis muscles. They might be referred to as a “six-pack” in a person who has developed the muscles and who has low body fat. In my case, more like a keg …

37 Three-time NHL All-Star Kovalchuk : ILYA

Ilya Kovalchuk is a Russian-born hockey player who turned out for the Atlanta Thrashers and New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League. Kovalchuk returned to his homeland in 2013, and signed a contract with SKA Saint Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) that covers Europe and Asia.

45 Jodie Foster’s birth name : ALICIA

The wonderful actress and director Jodie Foster got her big break in movies early in her life, playing a very young prostitute in Martin Scorsese’s 1976 film “Taxi Driver”. Sadly, her appearance in “Taxi Driver” led to her being stalked by an obsessed John Hinckley, Jr. Hinckley called Foster on the phone, sent her love letters, and followed her on campus while she was attending Yale. In 1981, Hinckley famously shot and wounded President Reagan, claiming that he believed an assassination of the President would impress Foster.

46 Low clouds : STRATI

Stratus clouds (plural “strati”) are very common, and as they are wider than they are tall and flat along the bottom, we might just see them as haze in a featureless sky above us. Stratus clouds are basically the same as fog, but above the ground. Indeed, many stratus clouds are formed when morning fog lifts into the air as the ground heats up.

47 Musical tone quality : TIMBRE

The timbre of a sound is its distinguishing quality above and beyond its volume and pitch. “Timbre” was used in Old French to mean “sound of a bell”.

48 Natural light show : AURORA

The spectacular aurora phenomenon is seen lighting up the night sky at both poles of the earth (the Aurora Borealis in the north, and the Aurora Australis in the south). The eerie effect is caused by charged particles colliding with atoms at high latitudes.

54 Traditional Passover barley offering : OMER

An “omer” is a unit of dry volume that was used in Ancient Israel. It was about 3 1/2 liters.

The Counting of the Omer is a ritual observed in the Jewish tradition between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot. The verbal counting that takes place is of the 49 days between the holidays. “Omer” refers to the offering of an omer-measure of barley in the Temple of Jerusalem at the start of the 49 days, and the offering of wheat at the end of the 49 day on the eve of the holiday of Shavuot.

57 Granola kernel : OAT

The names “Granola” and “Granula” were trademarked back in the late 1800s for whole-grain foods that were crumbled and baked until crisp. Granola was created in Dansville, New York in 1894.

58 Keats creation : ODE

The poet John Keats is famous for writing a whole series of beautiful odes. The most renowned are the so-called “1819 Odes”, a collection from the year 1819 that includes famous poems such as “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, “Ode to a Nightingale” and “Ode to Psyche”.

59 Marked, as a ballot : XED

Today, a ballot is a piece of paper used to cast a vote. Back in the 1500s, a “ballot” was a small “ball” used in the process of voting.

60 Prefix with -logue : EPI-

Our word “epilog” (also “epilogue”) applies to an addition at the end of a play or other literary work. The term ultimately comes from the Greek “epi-” signifying “in addition”, and “logos” meaning “speech”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Building unit : ACRE
5 “Oh yeah?” : THAT SO?
11 Pranks, in a way, for short : TPS
14 Industrial portmanteau : SMOG
15 Movie leads, often : HEROES
16 Narrow inlet : RIA
17 Energetic jug band performer? : KAZOO ANIMAL (from “zoo animal”)
19 Mtn. stat : ALT
20 Lodge : INN
21 With indifference : ALOOFLY
23 Western formation? : POSSE
26 “See ya later” : TA-TA
28 Some distance away : AFAR
29 Skewered food cooked vertically? : PLUMB KABOB (from “plumb bob”)
31 Caine and Connery : SIRS
32 __ rally : PEP
33 What snobs may put on : AIRS
34 “Up to 3,000 lights” brand : BIC
35 Do business with : SELL TO
37 Mississippi source : ITASCA
40 Seminarian’s subj. : REL
41 Like-minded group : BLOC
42 It’s worn with a kimono : OBI
44 Himalayan priest : LAMA
46 Doesn’t get fixed? : STAYS KAPUT (from “stays put”)
49 Off-kilter : ALOP
50 Weymouth of Talking Heads : TINA
51 Oxidizes : RUSTS
52 Like some elections : MIDTERM
54 “This is __ chance” : OUR
55 Cooler cooler : ICE
56 Wile E. Coyote purchases from Acme? : KABOOM BOXES (from “boom boxes”)
62 Zero, to Man U : NIL
63 Online investment service : E*TRADE
64 Loan default risk : REPO
65 Remote cells : AAS
66 One who’s determined to lose : DIETER
67 Server’s edge : AD IN

Down

1 Suggest, as a price : ASK
2 Org. that voted Keith Urban 2018 Entertainer of the Year : CMA
3 “Monsters, Inc.” raspy-voiced undercover agent : ROZ
4 “I” swelling? : EGOISM
5 Word of comparison : THAN
6 Farm female : HEN
7 Jackie O’s second : ARI
8 Original V8 base : TOMATO
9 Aquanaut’s workplace : SEALAB
10 Nobel Institute city : OSLO
11 They sometimes help relieve congestion : TRAFFIC COPS
12 Vertical Parthenon component : PILLAR
13 Mythical man-goats : SATYRS
18 Yellow pool table item : ONE-BALL
22 Caravan stopover : OASIS
23 Maximally soft, in music : PPP
24 Fútbol cheers : OLES
25 Celebs on runways : SUPERMODELS
26 Poi plant : TARO
27 Hunk’s pride : ABS
30 Build-it-yourself buy : KIT
34 Massage parlor service : BACK RUB
36 Sprang : LEAPT
37 Three-time NHL All-Star Kovalchuk : ILYA
38 Talking-__: lectures : TOS
39 Be up against : ABUT
41 Disallow : BAN
43 “__ a deal!” : IT’S
44 Thin layer : LAMINA
45 Jodie Foster’s birth name : ALICIA
46 Low clouds : STRATI
47 Musical tone quality : TIMBRE
48 Natural light show : AURORA
53 Barely managed, with “out” : EKED
54 Traditional Passover barley offering : OMER
57 Granola kernel : OAT
58 Keats creation : ODE
59 Marked, as a ballot : XED
60 Prefix with -logue : EPI-
61 Male issue : SON

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 12 Apr 19, Friday”

    1. Our newspaper, No have Valley Daily News, Bullhead City, As., did not have the crossword puzzle going across, were not numbered! 😱. Nor 60-61 listing what it is suppose to be.

  1. 5 omissions. Finished the week with a 97% average, considered
    very good.

    Feels good to be able to write a comment free of negativism and
    cynicism.

    Good weekend to all.

    John & Germaine

  2. Took a while to finish…had “Tenball” which kept me from completing the NW corner for awhile. “Aloofly” seriously? Does that rhyme with “shoo fly?”. ….lol.

    While working the puzzle glanced out the window and noticed a new generation of squirrels have figured out how to get past my up-to-now ten year inconquerable anti squirrel baffle!! And are greedily eating seed directly out of my bird feeder!!!….Grrr!!!

    1. What kind of birds are you feeding? I serve up Nyger seed and safflower seed. Squirrels don’t like either one.

  3. 17:56. no errors. A struggle the whole way. The whole time, I just felt like I was being deceived. Would prefer much less cynical puzzles than this.

  4. 12:00. Theme helped in a few places. I’ll let Carrie comment on ALOP. I think I’ve seen it in a NYT puzzle before as well.

    And as a favor to both Dirk and Carrie, I’m not going to mention here that the Cardinals beat the Dodgers 4 times in a row this week.

    Dave – From your description, you’re either going to Paris or South Bend, IN. Hmmm

    Best –

    1. Well. I suppose I shouldn’t be coy: SO and I are spending a week in Paris and, judging by the price of the ticket, it’s the one in France, rather than the one in Texas. (Come to think of it, though, there are probably fewer pickpockets in Texas than in France … hmmm … 😜.)

      And I just found out that both places have an Eiffel Tower! … 😳

  5. I had a tough time with this puzzle!!!
    But I admire the constructor …, and Bill’s admirable pun !!!!! And
    John and Germaine ( germane?) ‘s very classy comment !!!! And Tony Michaels’ appreciation !!!

    On a DF note I find it whimsical, that seminary , whose etymology is from ‘semen’ …. should have been grown to be, as a school for young ladies …. does anybody even think as to the appropriateness of using sophisticated Latin words …

    . or maybe they thought of the school as a ‘nursery’ for the young women – at a time and age, …. when females were generally not educated at all…

    Have a nice day all.

  6. LAT: 13:57, no errors. WSJ: 17:48, no errors. No idea on the meta, of course. Newsday: 10:32, no errors. New Yorker: 20:57, no errors. Definitely harder than the last two.

  7. Pretty fun Friday; took about 25 minutes with 1 error. I went with aLYA/Lake aTASCA. Apparently there is an Alya Manasa, a quite attractive Indian actress, and Atascadero is loosely translated as bog from Spanish and kind of similar to a Chumash Indian word meaning “place of much water”, so at least somewhat reasonable interpretation on my part, even if Alya never played ice hockey.

    @Jeff – I’m just a occasional, situational Dodger fan, since I live on the SF peninsula and bleed Black and Orange. The Giants don’t face the Cardinals until July 5th, so you’ll have to wait to not mention anything until July 8th at least. We just crushed “Dave’s team” 1-0 and 3-2, although we have two more to go… At least he’ll have Notre Dame to pray for better luck in the future 🙂

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