LA Times Crossword 20 Apr 19, Saturday

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Constructed by: Kyle Dolan
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 9m 38s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Minuet-like dances : SARABANDS

The sarabande is a stately court dance that resembles a minuet, and so is in triple time. The dance was the inspiration for the title of the 2003 Ingmar Bergman film “Saraband”, which features the sarabande from Bach’s Cello Suite.

14 Bon Jovi genre : ARENA ROCK

Arena rock (also “stadium rock” and “dad rock”) is a rock music played in large arenas. It is a phenomenon that dates back to the British Invasion when successful bands like the Beatles played to large audiences in places such as Shea Stadium in New York.

Jon Bon Jovi was born John Francis Bongiovi, Jr. He is the frontman of the band that took his name, i.e. Bon Jovi.

15 Bathymetry tool : SONAR

The British developed the first underwater detection system that used sound waves. Research was driven by defence demands during WWI, leading to production of working units in 1922. This new sound detection system was described as using “supersonics”, but for the purpose of secrecy the term was dropped in favor of an acronym. The work was done under the auspices of the Royal Navy’s Anti-Submarine Division, so ASD was combined with the “IC” from “superson-ic-s” to create the name ASDIC. The navy even went as far as renaming the quartz material at the heart of the technology “ASDivite”. By the time WWII came along, the Americans were producing their own systems and coined the term SONAR, playing off the related application, RADAR. And so, the name ASDIC was deep-sixed …

Bathymetry is the measurement of depth in a body of water. The term “bathymetry” comes from the Greek “bathus” meaning “deep” and “metron” meaning “measure”.

16 Bamboozled : LED ASTRAY

It’s thought that the lovely word “bamboozle” came into English from the Scottish “bombaze” meaning “perplex”. We’ve been using “bamboozle” since the very early 1700s.

17 Memorable Ford : HENRY

The industrialist Henry Ford was born in Michigan, and was the son of an Irish immigrant from County Cork. Ford’s most famous vehicle was the one that revolutionized the industry: the Model T. Ford’s goal with the Model T was to build a car that was simple to drive and and easy and cheap to purchase and repair. The Model T cost $825 in 1908, which isn’t much over $20,000 in today’s money.

18 Toon that debuted in “Devil May Hare,” briefly : TAZ

The “Looney Tunes” character known as the Tasmanian Devil, or “Taz”, first appeared in a cartoon short with Bugs Bunny called “Devil May Care” in 1954.

19 The Cyclones of the Big 12: Abbr. : ISU

Iowa State University of Science and Technology (ISU) is located in Ames, Iowa. Among many other notable milestones, ISU created the country’s first school of veterinary medicine, in 1879. The sports teams of ISU are known as the Cyclones.

28 Eighth of 24 : THETA

The Greek letter theta is the one that looks like the number zero with a horizontal line across the middle.

29 Cosecant’s reciprocal : SINE

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio: a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are cosecant, secant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

30 One of its ads involves Marco Polo playing Marco Polo : GEICO

The Gecko is the “spokes-lizard” for GEICO. When the Gecko was introduced in 1999, he was voiced by actor Kelsey Grammer of “Cheers” and “Frasier” fame. Since then, the Gecko has been voiced by British radio presenter Dave Kelly and most recently by actor Jake Wood, who plays Max Branning on the British soap opera “EastEnders”.

Marco Polo was a merchant from Venice and a famous traveler throughout Asia. Polo journeyed with his father and uncle on an epic tour of Central Asia and China that lasted 24 years. Marco tends to be the member of the party we remember today though, because it was he who documented their travels in a book called “Il Milione”.

Marco Polo is a game of tag that is played in a swimming pool.

32 Prepared to leave the casino : CASHED IN

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

36 Brand endorsed at prorodeo.com : WRANGLER

Wrangler is a manufacturer of jeans headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina. Wrangler jeans were first made in the mid-1940s and were designed specifically for use by cowboys in rodeos.

39 City that gives its name to a dog breed : LHASA

Lhasa is the capital city of Tibet, with the name “Lhasa” translating as “place of the gods”. However, Lhasa used to be called Rasa, a name that translates into the less auspicious “goat’s place”. Lhasa was also once called the “Forbidden City” due to its inaccessible location high in the Himalayas and a traditional hostility exhibited by residents to outsiders. The “forbidden” nature of the city has been reinforced since the Chinese took over Tibet in the early 1950s as it has been difficult for foreigners to get permission to visit Lhasa.

The Lhasa apso breed of dog originated in Tibet and is named after “Lhasa” (the capital city) and “apso” (a Tibetan word meaning “bearded”). The Lhasa apso has been around since 800 BC and is one of the oldest breeds in the world, one very closely related to the ancestral wolf.

42 Dutch portraitist Frans : HALS

Frans Hals was a painter in the Dutch Golden Age who was born in Antwerp but who lived and worked in Haarlem. Hals is best known for his portraits, the most famous of which is probably “The Laughing Cavalier”.

43 Bangalore wraps : SARIS

The item of clothing called a “sari” (also “saree”) is a strip of cloth, as one might imagine, unusual perhaps in that is unstitched along the whole of its length. The strip of cloth can range from four to nine meters long (that’s a lot of material!). The sari is usually wrapped around the waist, then draped over the shoulder leaving the midriff bare. I must say, it can be a beautiful item of clothing.

Bangalore is the third most-populous city in India and is located in the south of the country. Today Bangalore is known as the Silicon Valley of India because it is a center of excellence for all things related to the semiconductor and information technology industries. I had the privilege of spending a very enjoyable few days working in Bangalore when I was in that line of work.

45 Don Everly’s brother : PHIL

The Everly Brothers were noted for their steel guitar sound, and their great use of harmony. Their harmony onstage wasn’t reflected off the stage though. In 1973 the brothers decided to pursue separate careers and scheduled a farewell performance attended by many fans, family and stalwarts from the music industry. Don Everly came on stage too drunk to perform, and eventually brother Phil just stormed off into the wings, smashing his guitar as he left. The boys didn’t talk to each other for ten years after that incident. Phil Everly passed away in January 2014.

47 Athena’s attendant : OWL

The Greek goddess Athena (sometimes “Athene”) is often associated with wisdom, among other attributes. In many representations. Athena is depicted with an owl sitting on her head. It is this linkage of the owl with the goddess of wisdom that led to today’s perception of the owl as being “wise”. Athena’s Roman counterpart was Minerva.

52 One way to stand : PAT

To stand pat is to resist change. The term comes from the game of poker, in which one stands pat if one keeps one’s hand as is, not drawing any extra cards.

54 Intelligence org. formed under Truman : NSA

The National Security Agency (NSA) was set up in 1952 by President Truman, a replacement for the Armed Forces Security Agency that had existed in the Department of Defense since 1949. The NSA has always been clouded in secrecy and even the 1952 letter from President Truman that established the agency was kept under wraps from the public for over a generation. I really like the organization’s nickname … “No Such Agency”.

60 Lake Superior mining region : IRON RANGE

The Iron Range is a collection of iron-ore mining districts surrounding Lake Superior. The “range” isn’t a mountain range, despite the name. Instead, the range comprises outcrops of sedimentary rock that are rich in iron. The iron ore has been exploited for centuries in underground mine and open pit mines. My wife’s great grandfather immigrated from Finland to work underground in a mine in the Mesabi Range in Minnesota.

61 Root for a luau : 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.

Down

1 Cured, in a way : SALTED

Salt is used to “cure” meats. Curing is a preservation process. The salt kills and inhibits the growth of microorganisms by sucking the water out of the microbe’s cells in the process of osmosis. Smoking is also cited as curing process, although smoking alone is insufficient for preserving food as the antimicrobial smoke compounds only adhere to the outside of the meat or fish. Smoking is usually combined with salt-curing or drying.

4 Japanese carrier : ANA

All Nippon Airways (ANA) is a Japanese airline, one that is now larger in size that the nation’s flag carrier Japan Airlines (JAL).

5 Count on a piano : BASIE

“Count” Basie’s real given name was “William”. Count Basie perhaps picked up his love for the piano from his mother, who played and gave him his first lessons. Basie’s first paying job as a musician was in a movie theater, where he learned to improvise a suitable accompaniment for the silent movies that were being shown. Basie was given the nickname “Count” as he became lauded as one of the so-called “Jazz royalty”. Others so honored are Nat “King” Cole and Duke Ellington.

8 Reagan Airport, on tickets : DCA

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) is located in Arlington, Virginia. It is one of the two main airports serving the nation’s capital, along with Washington Dulles. Washington National opened for business in 1941, and was dedicated to President Ronald Reagan in 1998.

9 Unlimited limit? : SKY

The sky’s the limit.

10 Forest females : DOES

A male deer is usually called a buck, and a female is a doe. However, the male red deer is usually referred to as a stag. The males of even larger species of deer are often called bulls, and females cows. In older English, male deer of over 5 years were called harts, and females of over 3 years were called hinds. The young of small species are known as fawns, and of larger species are called calves. All very confusing …

11 Ringed worm : ANNELID

Annelids are commonly referred to as ringed worms or segmented worms. The Annelida phylum includes all ragworms, earthworms and leeches. Annelids have long bodies that are divided into segments by ring-like constrictions known as annuli. Most of the segments contain the same set of organs, although there is only one gut, one circulatory system and one nervous system.

12 “The elixir of quietude”: E.B. White : MARTINI

E. B. (Elwyn Brooks) White was an American writer. His most famous creations were the children’s stories “Charlotte’s Web” and “Stuart Little”, but he also co-authored the writing guide “The Elements of Style” (usually referred to as “Strunk & White”).

Author E.B. White used the phrase “the Elixir of Quietude” to describe the martini, the classic gin cocktail.

13 Use a crowbar on : PRY OPEN

A crowbar is a wonderful tool, one that can be used to pry open things, and to remove nails. The claw at one or both ends of the tool aids in that nail removal, and it is likely this iron claw was said to resemble the claw of a crow, giving us the name “crowbar”. Back in Elizabethan times. the same tool was called an “iron crow”. There’s a line in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” that reads “Get me an iron crow and bring it straight/Unto my cell.”

20 Cunning types : WEASELS

To weasel out of something is to back away from a prior commitment. The association of weasels with the concept of not being trusted might have arisen from the behavior in which a weasel sucks out the contents of an egg while leaving the shell virtually intact.

24 Spy novel pen name : LE CARRE

“John le Carré” is the pen name of David Cornwell, an English author who is famous for his spy novels. Cornwell worked for British Intelligence during the fifties and sixties, even as he was writing his spy thrillers. He left MI6 soon after his most famous 1963 novel “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold”, became such a great success.

25 Nouveau-Mexique, par exemple : ETAT

In French, “le Nouveau-Mexique” (New Mexico) is a US “état” (state).

29 Six-winged being, in Isaiah : SERAPH

A seraph is a celestial being found in Hebrew and Christian writings. The word “seraph” (plural “seraphim”) literally translates as “burning one”. Seraphs are the highest-ranking angels in the Christian tradition, and the fifth-ranking of ten in the Jewish tradition.

31 __ railway : COG

A rack railway (also “cog railway”) is one that operates on a steep grade. Trains move up and down the grade using a rack and pinion system. The pinions are cogs that rotate on the train, while meshing with a serrated rack rail.

35 Pinlike? : NEAT

Apparently the idiom “neat as a pin” arose in the early 1800s, with the advent of mass production. Up until that time, pins were handmade and so were irregular and relatively flawed. Mass-produced pins were uniform and of consistent quality. So, something that was uniform and of consistent quality came to be described as “neat as a pin”.

37 Lab notebook entries : RAW DATA

Our word “data” (singular “datum”) comes from the Latin “datum” meaning “given”. The idea is that data are “things given”.

40 Doo-woppers with an eponymous ’70s-’80s TV variety show : SHA NA NA

Do you remember the band “Johnny Casino & The Gamblers” in the movie “Grease”? That was actually the real-world group named Sha Na Na. Johnny Casino & the Gamblers sang “Those Magic Changes” at the high school dance, in between “Rock’N Roll Is Here to Stay” and “Hound Dog”. Sha Na Na got together in the sixties, hosted the variety show “Sha Na Na” from 1977 to 1981, and are still performing today.

41 Aquarius, for one : AIR SIGN

Each of the twelve astrological signs is associated with one of the classical elements:

  • Fire signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
  • Earth signs: Taurus, Capricorn, Virgo
  • Air signs: Libra, Aquarius, Gemini
  • Water signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

49 Whitewater VIP : STARR

Ken Starr has to be one of the most famous lawyers in recent history, due to his tenure as Independent Counsel when President Bill Clinton was in office. Starr’s original brief was to investigate the suicide of White House Counsel Vince Foster as well as to continue the investigation of the Whitewater controversy in which then-Governor Clinton was accused of applying pressure to arrange an illegal loan to one of his partners in the Whitewater land deal. Famously, Starr’s purview was extended to include an investigation into President Clinton’s extramarital affair with Monica Lewinsky, to determine if the President had lied under oath about his relationship with the young intern.

51 Verne captain : NEMO

In the 1954 movie version of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, Captain Nemo goes down with his ship. In the novel by Jules Verne, the fate of Nemo and his crew isn’t quite so cut and dry, although the inference is perhaps that they did indeed head for Davy Jones’ Locker.

53 Keller companion Sullivan : ANNE

Helen Keller became a noted author despite been deaf and blind, largely through the work of her teacher Anne Sullivan. Keller was left deaf and blind after an illness (possibly meningitis or scarlet fever) when she was about 18 months old. She was to become the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. The relationship between Sullivan and Keller is immortalized in the play and film called “The Miracle Worker”.

56 Lighter name : BIC

Société Bic is a 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.

57 Yield from una mina : ORO

In Spanish, one might find “oro” (gold) in “una mina” (a mine”).

58 Chew the fat : GAB

Back in the day, a wealthy man would “bring home the bacon”, and sit around with guests “chewing the fat”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Minuet-like dances : SARABANDS
10 Deaden, as a musical string : DAMP
14 Bon Jovi genre : ARENA ROCK
15 Bathymetry tool : SONAR
16 Bamboozled : LED ASTRAY
17 Memorable Ford : HENRY
18 Toon that debuted in “Devil May Hare,” briefly : TAZ
19 The Cyclones of the Big 12: Abbr. : ISU
20 Not ignorant of : WISE TO
21 Make smooth, perhaps : ERODE
23 Sentry’s no-no : SLEEP
26 Sass : LIP
27 Coastal feature : DUNE
28 Eighth of 24 : THETA
29 Cosecant’s reciprocal : SINE
30 One of its ads involves Marco Polo playing Marco Polo : GEICO
32 Prepared to leave the casino : CASHED IN
34 Binge : GO ON A TEAR
36 Brand endorsed at prorodeo.com : WRANGLER
39 City that gives its name to a dog breed : LHASA
42 Dutch portraitist Frans : HALS
43 Bangalore wraps : SARIS
45 Don Everly’s brother : PHIL
47 Athena’s attendant : OWL
48 “I don’t give a darn what they do!” : LET ‘EM!
49 Facebook action : SHARE
50 Defensive denial : I DO NOT
52 One way to stand : PAT
54 Intelligence org. formed under Truman : NSA
55 Backs up : SAVES
56 Converted, in a way : BORN AGAIN
59 Express line sign word : ITEMS
60 Lake Superior mining region : IRON RANGE
61 Root for a luau : TARO
62 Reunion entertainment group, maybe : COVER BAND

Down

1 Cured, in a way : SALTED
2 Decorator’s accent, perhaps : AREA RUG
3 Area 20 yards or less from the opponent’s goal line, in football : RED ZONE
4 Japanese carrier : ANA
5 Count on a piano : BASIE
6 Language __ : ARTS
7 “It’s not critical” : NO RUSH!
8 Reagan Airport, on tickets : DCA
9 Unlimited limit? : SKY
10 Forest females : DOES
11 Ringed worm : ANNELID
12 “The elixir of quietude”: E.B. White : MARTINI
13 Use a crowbar on : PRY OPEN
15 Send in a carton : SHIP
20 Cunning types : WEASELS
22 Condescends : DEIGNS
24 Spy novel pen name : LE CARRE
25 Nouveau-Mexique, par exemple : ETAT
28 Craftsman offering : TOOL SET
29 Six-winged being, in Isaiah : SERAPH
31 __ railway : COG
33 “Yeah, right!” : HAH!
35 Pinlike? : NEAT
36 Response to a knock : WHO IS IT?
37 Lab notebook entries : RAW DATA
38 Scattered : ALL OVER
40 Doo-woppers with an eponymous ’70s-’80s TV variety show : SHA NA NA
41 Aquarius, for one : AIR SIGN
44 Unpredictable comedy style : IMPROV
46 Listed at sea : LEANED
48 Red number : LOSS
49 Whitewater VIP : STARR
51 Verne captain : NEMO
53 Keller companion Sullivan : ANNE
56 Lighter name : BIC
57 Yield from una mina : ORO
58 Chew the fat : GAB

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 20 Apr 19, Saturday”

  1. The puzzles were tough this week and today is even worse. I’m glad this week is over. Even though some were hard, they weren’t fun to try to figure out either. Sorry.

  2. This was a tricky one. At first, looked harder than it was. Got it done
    pretty fast for a Saturday, but my mind just worked the way the
    puzzle maker’s did, I guess.

  3. Sarabands and Ana (1 Across, 4 Down) got me on LAT. Otherwise, I finished the rest in under 30 minutes. A clever puzzle!

  4. LAT: 24:10, 2 errors involving SARABANDS. Had to know that to complete the puzzle given 4D and 8D. Otherwise, a good puzzle. WSJ: 35:26, 2 errors trying to interpret one of the themers. Newsday: The usual DNF, but didn’t have much patience for it either.

  5. 21:15. I think this seemed difficult because the hardest section was the first one – the NW. Had to get SARABANDS completely via crosses. I guess I’d seen ANA a lot in NYT puzzles, and I knew DCA after having flown into it enough times so I eventually got it.

    I don’t gamble, but I’m in casinos enough to know the term “cashout” is used more commonly when leaving a casino. CASH IN usually is used only if you’ve won…i.e. almost never.

    Best –

  6. A little (correct) guess work on the d in sarabands with the deciding factor figuring Dulles (Reagan) airport ought to have a D in the code. And that finished the grid. On to the WSJ 21 X 21 later at work.

  7. Kinda easy for a Saturday, but a fine diversion. Bill’s explainer on COG railway stirred a vague memory, but I had to get it on the crosses. (That’s how I got SARABANDS, too, but that’s a new one on me. ) Ditto Jeff on the casino CASHED in/out, but OK. All around good puz from Kyle Donan.

  8. 18 mins 58 sec, and no errors, capping off a nearly perfect week. One square last Sunday resulted in the only two mistakes of the week. Not bad.

    This one wasn’t easy. But at least there was no “manufactured difficulty” or trickery involved. SARABANDS, to start things off, was particularly naticky, though.

  9. Got through this one with few problems. So the back end of this week turned out to be easier than M/T/W’s. Fancy that.

  10. A toughy today, had several mistakes, ~~ to soothe my injured ego I played Handel’s wonderful Sarabande and all is OK again .
    Eddie

  11. Pretty tricky Saturday; took over an hour, but somehow managed without errors.

    Got the NE and SW and dropped into the SE with the tough NW the last to fall. Had to change IamNOT, sEIcO and enDZONE. Still, all was fair…well except SARABANDS, which I had to get with crosses. I was stuck on Area Rug for the longest time…sheesh.

  12. Hello every buddy!!😎

    No errors on an appropriately challenging Saturday. I, too, started off shaky when I couldn’t figure out SARABAND, even with several crosses in place. Never heard of it. Dirk, I also got hung up on AREA RUG! I had a few of the letters– EARU– and I couldn’t IMAGINE what that meant! 🤔

    Well done puzzle. 👌

    Be well~~🐇

  13. At least 20 minutes no errors. My life would be a lot easier if I actually gave a crap about University team nicknames and where Ronald Reagan airport is.
    SARABANDS was just a lucky fill !

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