LA Times Crossword 15 Apr 19, Monday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Inner Peace

Themed answers include synonyms of PEACE as hidden words:

  • 60A Meditation goal hinted at by this puzzle’s circles : INNER PEACE
  • 17A Ancient mariner’s fear : SEA SERPENT (inner “ease”)
  • 25A Chain reaction requirement : CRITICAL MASS (inner “calm”)
  • 46A Nation that promotes its people’s economic and social prosperity : WELFARE STATE (inner “rest”)

Bill’s time: 5m 16s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Member of a strict Jewish sect : HASID

The Hasidic Jewish movement was founded in the 18th century by Baal Shem Tov, a mystical rabbi from Eastern Europe.

10 Artistic Chinese dynasty : 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.

14 Ohio’s Great Lake : ERIE

Lake Erie is the fourth largest of the five Great Lakes by area (Lake Ontario is the smallest). The lake takes its name from the Erie tribe of Native Americans that used to live along its southern shore. Erie is the smallest of the Great Lakes by volume and the shallowest, something for which nearby residents must be quite grateful. Being relatively shallow, much of Erie freezes over part way through most winters putting an end to most of the lake-effect snow that falls in the snow belt extending from the lake’s edge.

15 Justice Kagan : ELENA

Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States who 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. I hear she is a fan of Jane Austen, and used to reread “Pride and Prejudice” once a year. Not a bad thing to do, I’d say …

19 Flexible mineral sheet : MICA

Mica is a silicate mineral. Thin sheets of mica are transparent and are used in place of glass in certain applications. This form of mica is called isinglass, and as it has a better thermal performance than glass it is a great choice for “peepholes’ in boilers and lanterns. Mica is also used in the electronics industry, making use of its unique electrical and thermal insulating properties.

21 Fossil resins : AMBERS

Amber’s technical name is “resinite”, reflecting its composition and formation. Amber starts out life as soft sticky tree resin but then under high temperature and pressure from overlying layers of soil, it fossilizes. The sticky resin can trap organisms or other plant matter, and this material can sometimes remain virtually intact inside the amber fossil giving us a unique gift from the past.

23 “Beowulf,” poem-wise : EPIC

“Beowulf” is an old epic poem from England, although the story is set in Scandinavia. Beowulf fights a battle, defending the Danish King Hrothgar from the ferocious outcast Grendel. Hrothgar had built a great hall for his people in which they could celebrate; singing, dancing and drinking lots of mead. Grendel was angered by the carousing and attacked the hall, devouring many of the incumbent warriors as they slept. A bit of an extreme reaction to noisy neighbors I’d say …

25 Chain reaction requirement : CRITICAL MASS (hiding inner “calm”)

The phrase “critical mass” comes from the world of nuclear physics. The critical mass of a fissionable element, such as plutonium or uranium, is the amount of material necessary to maintain a chain reaction. We use the phrase figuratively in other fields to describe the amount of resources necessary to sustain a particular effort or achieve a specific result.

29 Stagecoach puller : HORSE

Although the stagecoach is very much associated with the Wild West, the vehicle originated in England in the 16th century. Stagecoaches provided transportation for travellers and goods over long distances. The rest points for the travellers were known as “stages”, and later “stations”, hence the name “stagecoach”.

30 Allied gp. since 1948 : OAS

The Organization of American States (OAS) was founded in 1948, and has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. Not all of the independent states in the Americas are members. Cuba was barred from participation in the organization after a vote in 1962. Honduras had her membership suspended after the country’s 2009 coup.

35 Antipollution org. : EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was set up during the Nixon administration and began operation at the end of 1970.

40 Alphabetically first of two Hawaiian maunas : KEA

Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, the peak of which is the highest point in the whole state. Mauna Kea is in effect the tip of a gigantic volcano rising up from the seabed.

Mauna Loa on the “Big Island” of Hawaii is the largest volcano on the planet (in terms of volume). The name “Mauna Loa” is Hawaiian for “Long Mountain”.

43 Gp. getting many returns in April : IRS

April 15th wasn’t always Tax Day in the US. The deadline for returns was March 1st from 1913-18, when it was moved to March 15th. Tax Day has been April 15th since 1955.

46 Nation that promotes its people’s economic and social prosperity : WELFARE STATE (hiding inner “rest”)

Although definitions vary, a welfare state is generally agreed to be one in which the government both protects and promotes the health and well-being of its citizens by funding social programs such as pensions (e.g. Social Security), health insurance (e.g. Medicare) and publicly-funded education. Welfare states tend to value the principles of equal opportunity and equitable distribution of wealth.

50 Malicious rumors : CANARDS

“Canard” is the French word for “duck”. We use the term to describe a hoax or a misleading rumor. This usage comes from a phrase used in French that translates as “to half-sell a duck”, meaning “to cheat”.

53 “Do __ others … ” : UNTO

The Golden Rule is also known as the ethic of reciprocity, and is a basis for the concept of human rights. A version of the rule used in the Christian tradition is attributed to Jesus:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

63 Close-knit group : CADRE

A cadre is most commonly a group of experienced personnel at the core of a larger organization that the small group trains or heavily influences. “Cadre” is a French word meaning “frame”. We use it in the sense that a cadre is a group that provides a “framework” for the larger organization.

67 The Big Apple, in addresses : NY, NY

Apparently, the first published use of the term “Big Apple” to describe New York City dates back to 1909. Edward Martin wrote the following in his book “The Wayfarer in New York”:

Kansas is apt to see in New York a greedy city. . . . It inclines to think that the big apple gets a disproportionate share of the national sap.

Over ten years later, the term “big apple” was used as a nickname for racetracks in and around New York City. However, the concerted effort to “brand” the city as the Big Apple had to wait until the seventies and was the work of the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Down

2 Two-tone cookie : OREO

There’s a smartphone app featuring the Oreo cookie. It’s a game in which one twists Oreo cookies apart, “licks” the cream from the center and then dunks the remainder of the cookie in a glass of milk.

3 Chanteuse Edith : PIAF

“La Môme Piaf” (the Little Sparrow) was the nickname of France’s most famous singer, Édith Piaf. What a voice this woman had, and what gorgeous ballads she sang. Édith Piaf lived a life that was not without controversy. She was raised by her mother in a brothel in Normandy, and had a pimp as a boyfriend in her teens. She had one child, while very young, born illegitimately and who died at 2-years-old from meningitis. Her singing career started when she was discovered in the Pigalle area of Paris by nightclub owner Louis Leplée. Leplée was murdered soon after, and Piaf was accused of being an accessory to the murder but was later acquitted. During World War II she was branded a traitor by many as she frequently performed for the German occupying forces, although there are other reports of her supporting the resistance movement. Later in her life she was seriously injured in no less than three near-fatal car accidents, including one with her friend, Charles Aznavour. While recovering from her injuries she became addicted to pain medication, an addiction that lasted for the rest of her life. When she died in 1963 she was denied a Catholic funeral mass because of her lifestyle, but the crowds that turned out for her funeral procession managed to stop all traffic in Paris, the only time that has happened since the end of WWII.

In French, “une chanteuse” (a female singer) might sing of “amour” (love).

4 Six-line stanzas : SESTETS

A sestet is a group of six lines of poetry. It is similar to a quatrain, a group of four lines.

“Stanza” is an Italian word meaning “verse of a poem”.

6 Llama relative : ALPACA

Alpacas are like small llamas, but unlike llamas were never beasts of burden. Alpacas were bred specifically for the fleece. As such, there are no known wild alpacas these days, even in their native Peru.

10 Kenya’s major port : MOMBASA

Mombasa is the second-largest city in Kenya (after the capital, Nairobi). Mombasa is located on the east coast of the country, on the Indian Ocean.

Kenya lies on the east coast of Africa, right on the equator. The country takes her name from Mount Kenya, the second-highest peak on the continent (after Kilimanjaro). The official languages of Kenya are English and Swahili.

11 Like Wrigley Field’s walls : IVIED

The famous ballpark that is home to the Chicago Cubs was built in 1914. Back then it was known as Weeghman Park, before becoming Cubs Park when the Cubs arrived in 1920. It was given the name Wrigley Field in 1926, after the owner William Wrigley, Jr. of chewing gum fame. Wrigley Field is noted as the only professional ballpark that has ivy covering the outfield walls. The ivy is a combination of Boston Ivy and Japanese Bittersweet, both of which can survive the harsh winters in Chicago.

12 Mother-of-pearl : NACRE

Nacre is the strong iridescent material laid down by some mollusks on the inside of their shells, and it’s also what makes up pearls. The creature lays down nacre as a defensive mechanism, protecting the soft tissue of its body from the rough surface of the outer shell. Similarly, it uses nacre to encapsulate harmful debris or a parasite that penetrates the shell, and that’s how a pearl is formed.

22 Dash in a spice rack? : MRS

Mrs. Dash is a brand name of seasoning mixes. Just before the product first went to market in 1981, brand owner B&G Foods also considered the name “Mrs. Pinch”.

24 Amo, amas, __ : AMAT

“Amo, amas, amat” translates from Latin as “I love, you love, he/she/it loves”.

25 “Moonstruck” star : CHER

“Moonstruck” is a 1987 movie, a romantic comedy starring Cher and Nicolas Cage. There’s a bit of a love triangle in the storyline, with Danny Aiello playing the man who loses the girl. “Moonstruck” won three Oscars and was a huge success, and somehow, I’ve never seen it …

26 Weapon in Clue : ROPE

Clue is board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

27 Baghdad’s land : IRAQ

According to the University of Baghdad, the name “Baghdad” dates way back, to the 18th-century BCE (yes, BCE!). The name can be translated into English from the language of ancient Babylon as “old garden” (bagh-) and “beloved” (-dad).

32 Arctic seabird : SKUA

Skuas are a group of about seven species of seabird. Some of these species are known as jaegers in the Americas. The skua takes its name from the island of Skúvoy in the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic. The name “jaeger” comes from the German word for “hunter”.

33 __ moss : PEAT

Peat moss is actually sphagnum moss that has partially decayed and dried. The term “peat moss” is used as sphagnum moss is often found in peat bogs. Sphagnum moss has the ability to store large quantities of water, so the dried form is used by gardeners to condition soil, i.e. to increase the soil’s capacity to retain moisture.

37 Whole-grain food : WILD RICE

Wild rice is not a true rice, and rather is a grain harvested from four different species of grass in the genus Zizania. Most of the wild rice in the US is grown commercially in the California and Minnesota. Indeed, wild rice has been the state grain of Minnesota since 1977.

47 Bard’s “before” : ERE

The original bards were storytellers, poets and composers of music in medieval Britain and Ireland, with the term coming from the Old Celtic word “bardos” that described a poet or singer. I guess the most famous bard was William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon.

48 Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s “Watcher” __ Giles : RUPERT

Rupert Giles is a character on the TV show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. Played by English actor Anthony Stewart Head, Giles is the title character’s mentor and very much a father figure.

49 Main course : ENTREE

“Entrée” means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found the ordering of meals to be very confusing when I first came to America!

51 Legendary fabulist : AESOP

Aesop is remembered today as a fabulist, a writer of fables. Aesop lived in Ancient Greece, probably around the sixth century BC. Supposedly he was born a slave, somehow became a free man, but then met with a sorry end. Aesop was sent to the city of Delphi on a diplomatic mission but instead insulted the Delphians. He was tried on a trumped-up charge of stealing from a temple, sentenced to death and was thrown off a cliff.

56 __ a one: none : NARY

The adjective “nary” means “not one”, as in “nary a soul”.

61 “The Deer Hunter” war zone, for short : NAM

“The Deer Hunter” is a disturbing 1978 movie about three Russian Americans from Pennsylvania, and their time in the military during the Vietnam War. The “game” of Russian Roulette features prominently in the film’s storyline. According to director Michael Cimino, Robert de Niro requested that a live cartridge be loaded in the gun during the main Russian Roulette scene, to heighten the intensity of the atmosphere. Cimino agreed, although he was quite obsessive about ensuring that for each take, the bullet wasn’t next in the chamber.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Cuts off : LOPS
5 Member of a strict Jewish sect : HASID
10 Artistic Chinese dynasty : MING
14 Ohio’s Great Lake : ERIE
15 Justice Kagan : ELENA
16 Egg-shaped : OVAL
17 Ancient mariner’s fear : SEA SERPENT (hiding inner “ease”)
19 Flexible mineral sheet : MICA
20 Persuade with flattery : SOFT-SOAP
21 Fossil resins : AMBERS
23 “Beowulf,” poem-wise : EPIC
24 Rubs the wrong way? : ABRADES
25 Chain reaction requirement : CRITICAL MASS (hiding inner “calm”)
29 Stagecoach puller : HORSE
30 Allied gp. since 1948 : OAS
31 Dangerous snakes : ASPS
35 Antipollution org. : EPA
36 Hit, as a fly : SWATTED
40 Alphabetically first of two Hawaiian maunas : KEA
41 Like some coll. courses : REQD
43 Gp. getting many returns in April : IRS
44 Regular’s bar order, with “the” : USUAL
46 Nation that promotes its people’s economic and social prosperity : WELFARE STATE (hiding inner “rest”)
50 Malicious rumors : CANARDS
53 “Do __ others … ” : UNTO
54 Judge, e.g. : HEARER
55 Like faces at a fireworks display : UPTURNED
59 “Dream on!” : AS IF!
60 Meditation goal hinted at by this puzzle’s circles : INNER PEACE
62 Wander : ROVE
63 Close-knit group : CADRE
64 Fairway club : IRON
65 Didn’t dillydally : SPED
66 Act with excessive passion : EMOTE
67 The Big Apple, in addresses : NY, NY

Down

1 Make-do amount? : LESS
2 Two-tone cookie : OREO
3 Chanteuse Edith : PIAF
4 Six-line stanzas : SESTETS
5 Brave : HEROIC
6 Llama relative : ALPACA
7 Ooze : SEEP
8 Quaint stopover : INN
9 Sortable information source : DATABASE
10 Kenya’s major port : MOMBASA
11 Like Wrigley Field’s walls : IVIED
12 Mother-of-pearl : NACRE
13 Water or wine vessel : GLASS
18 Catches sight of : ESPIES
22 Dash in a spice rack? : MRS
24 Amo, amas, __ : AMAT
25 “Moonstruck” star : CHER
26 Weapon in Clue : ROPE
27 Baghdad’s land : IRAQ
28 Gobs of : LOTSA
32 Arctic seabird : SKUA
33 __ moss : PEAT
34 Markdown event : SALE
37 Whole-grain food : WILD RICE
38 Pound sounds : ARFS
39 Quarrel : DUST-UP
42 Towered over : DWARFED
45 Preserve using barrels, as wine : STORE IN
47 Bard’s “before” : ERE
48 Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s “Watcher” __ Giles : RUPERT
49 Main course : ENTREE
50 Burns a bit : CHARS
51 Legendary fabulist : AESOP
52 Easily deceived : NAIVE
55 “Go back” PC command : UNDO
56 __ a one: none : NARY
57 Supply-and-demand subj. : ECON
58 Reject as false : DENY
61 “The Deer Hunter” war zone, for short : NAM

22 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 15 Apr 19, Monday”

  1. This was not so easy for a Monday . I don’t get 20A, soft soap. That’s really out there. Even when I filled it all in up there, I still thought it couldn’t be right.

    1. “Soft soap” is not an expression that is used much anymore. It’s comparable to “sweet talk.” I filled it in after getting a few letters without any hesitation.

  2. @Cathy – might be old-fashioned; thus, my territory.

    As for me I had no errors, but nevertheless didn’t really know SKUA, MOMBASA, and RUPERT, the last being young people’s knowledge.

    TGIM

  3. 12:33. I found that much more difficult than a typical Monday. Wednesday-like….at least. I’ll just say that is an incredibly kind clue for WELFARE STATE.

    I did have one error – I had UnTURNED heads and RUnERT. What do I know about “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”?

    Tax day. Ugh. I hope everyone is better prepared for it than I am. I’ll be dealing with it all day.

    Best –

  4. It’s difficult not to take this personally: The Cathedral of Notre Dame is on fire. Its spire has collapsed and it’s predicted that the entire wooden interior will burn. It’s been there since 1163 and catches fire the day before I leave for Paris? Murphy is working overtime … 😳😳😳😳.

    1. Dave –
      Looking at that footage. It looks awful. I guess there was some construction going on inside the cathedral, and that’s the suspected culprit at this point.

      Maybe South Bend, Indiana doesn’t sound so bad now…..

    2. @Dave – Did you solve the meta on Friday? I knew it had something to do with the “ore” in the long answers but didn’t have a clue what that was. D’oh!

      Notre Dame was such a wonder to behold. Hopefully, whatever the cost, they will rebuild the structure. The loss of artworks inside is another issue entirely.

      I had a couple of travel experiences that I’ll always remember. One was arriving in Cairo the day after the assassination of Anwar Sadat and the other was being in Thailand for when an attempted (ultimately unsuccessful) military coup in 1981. I’m sure your Paris trip will be still be wonderful, even though a lot of people there, and around the world for that matter, are going to be grappling with some tough emotions.

      1. @Tony …

        I did solve Friday’s WSJ meta. I got it a couple of minutes after finishing the puzzle (which kind of made up for my embarrassing failure the week before).

        Notre Dame de Paris has been on my bucket list for about 65 years, ever since I read the Victor Hugo novel in which it figures so prominently, so I’m not ashamed to say that I shed tears earlier today, and I’m sorry that I passed up a chance to see it in 1969. Of course, my loss is but a tiny fraction of the world’s loss. And, as you say, there will be other things to see and do in Paris … 🙂.

        It sounds as if you’ve had some interesting trips. I envy you … 😜.

  5. 11 minutes even, and no errors. Embarrassingly slow time, exacerbated by my diminishing vision. I misread the clue for 10 A as 14 across’, so I couldn’t see how MING could fit there for several tense minutes. Ugh, it is definitely a Monday.

  6. LAT: 6:35, no errors. Felt harder than Monday usual – probably my brain being in a fog though. WSJ: 5:33, no errors. Newsday: 6:15, no errors. Again harder than usual. Don’t think there’s a CHE this week.

    New Yorker: 40:51, 3 errors. Harder than the last ones have been. Got caught up on a couple of phrases I’ve never heard before in my life (24D, 42A). Of course like I say, sure as I see it in one of these crosswords, I’ll never see it again and probably won’t remember it the next time it shows up in a crossword.

    BEQ later…

    @Roberta
    I don’t see any reason for anyone here to cheat (I know I sure don’t, or I’d be making myself look better for late week stuff than I am). Besides, Bill has competed in a contest called The American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, where he has had to do puzzles in the presence of a roomful of others. If he cheats, others would see it. I will note too, the champions of that contest would do these puzzles in roughly half the time that he does, and would do that New Yorker I mentioned in about 1/4 of the time I took.

    While this comes up enough with a number of us here (myself included) that it should be a FAQ, all Bill and the rest of us that for our own personal reasons post times are doing is proving that the kind of times for these puzzles is possible.

    @Dave
    I had a trip to Belgium on a student exchange long ago. The thing that surprised me was how many big old buildings like that are in Europe – one in about every town of any appreciable size. I happened to be fortunate enough to visit several. It shows the presence and force of Catholicism back through the Middle Ages. While that one is a special one, thankfully there will be numerous others that have a certain amount of fame attached to them. Probably of interest to me if I ever got to see France would be the Troyes Cathedral, since it got modeled in a video game I played back in that day called Deus Ex.

    That said, I didn’t have a library or any resources to consult, so I would have loved to dig into the history of the area to see what kind of notable places I would want to visit. Fortunately, the Internet would be there for me if I ever go the chance again.

    1. @Glenn … Just for the record (and I hesitate to point it out, given how frequently comments here are misunderstood), Bill does occasionally cheat, after a fashion, as he explains here (a more specific link than the one above):

      https://laxcrossword.com/frequently-asked-questions#faq6

      But, if he posts a time less than an hour and he does not report a “DNF”, then he did the puzzle entirely without outside help of any kind.

      As for me … I also occasionally cheat. But, if and when I do, I say exactly what I did. That said, I’ve basically decided to stop posting my times and error counts. (But I’ll see how I feel about it when I get back from my trip … 😜.)

      I would also observe that saying “Bill cheats” or “Dave cheats” is a bit like saying, “It rains in the Atacama Desert.” … (which is true!) … 😜

    2. @Glenn … That New Yorker was a bear. It took me 45:10, with no errors, but I debated for some time over the entry for 44A, which was the one thing I’d never heard of. I also had serious problems filling in the upper middle and upper right, but eventually all those entries made perfect sense.

        1. Thanks for the link. The catacombs are also on my bucket list (maybe as a substitute for the sewer system that I read about in “Les Miserables” 😜).

          BEQ’s puzzle was not as difficult as the New Yorker’s; I had some trouble in the lower left, but it all came together in the end …

  7. YES. The was a hard Monday puzzle. I didn’t make it through it. Felt like a Fri/Sat one to me.

    And Notre Dame! OMG. How awful. Such a loss, but guess some has been saved.

    Jeff: What’s your reference to South Bend? I’m originally form S.B., Ind.

  8. @kay … A few days ago, Jeff asked me where I was going on my trip and I gave an evasive answer, so he humorously replied that it appeared I was either going to Paris or to South Bend.

  9. Hi folks!😎

    Difficult for a Monday indeed…I’m tempted to say I had no errors, but if I’m honest, okay, I had one: accidentally wrote LEA instead of KEA and never went back to fix it. 🤔

    And that SW corner really threw me! I guess I never understood the word CANARD… I thought it meant a saying, like an adage.

    Dave, I’m glad you didn’t really fall off a ladder! And, I’m glad the structure of Notre Dame is still standing. As you may know by now, certain wealthy French men have pledged literally hundreds of millions in donations toward restoring the cathedral. I’ve heard that there is already talk of rebuilding the spire.

    Be well~~🌻

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