LA Times Crossword 26 Apr 19, Friday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Pam Amick Klawitter
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): AC Installation

Themed answers are common phrases in which the letters AC have been inserted:

  • 17A What turtles use to keep up outward appearances? : TORTOISE SHELLAC (from “tortoise shell”)
  • 27A Cashew family shrub’s observation? : COGITO ERGO SUMAC (from “cogito ergo sum”)
  • 46A Ad offer Wile E. Coyote really regrets accepting? : COME FLY WITH ACME (from “Come Fly With Me”)
  • 61A Old MacDonald’s bookkeepers? : ACCOUNTING SHEEP (from “counting sheep”)

Bill’s time: 10m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Dash meas. : MPH

Back in the 1800s, “dashboard” was the name given to a board placed at the front of a carriage to stop mud from “dashing” against the passengers in the carriage, mud that was kicked up by the hoofs of the horses. Quite interesting …

4 “Unstoppable” cleaner : DRANO

To clean out drains we might buy Crystal Drano, which is sodium hydroxide (lye) mixed with sodium nitrate, sodium chloride (table salt) and aluminum. The contents of Drano work in concert to clear the clog. The lye reacts with any fats creating soap which may be enough to break up the clog. Also, the finely-divided aluminum reacts with the lye generating hydrogen gas that churns the mixture. Any hair or fibers are cut by the sharp edges of the nitrate and chloride crystals. Having said all that, I find that boiling water poured down the drain quite often does the job …

9 Dealer’s abbreviation : MSRP

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

13 Brother of Athena : ARES

The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and the Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

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.

17 What turtles use to keep up outward appearances? : TORTOISE SHELLAC (from “tortoise shell”)

Shellac is a resin that comes, not from plants, but from the female lac bug that inhabits forests of India and Thailand. The resin is dissolved in alcohol and sold as shellac. Shellac is used today mainly as a wood finish, but it can also be used as a food glaze. Vegans, beware …

The external shell of a tortoise is actually fused to the creature’s ribcage. Tortoises often have long lives. The oldest recorded age for a tortoise is 188 years.

21 Persian Gulf resident : QATARI

Qatar is a sovereign state in the Middle East occupying the Qatar Peninsula, itself located in the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar lies on the Persian Gulf and shares one land border, with Saudi Arabia to the south. Qatar has more oil and gas reserves per capita of population than any other country in the world. In 2010, Qatar had the fastest growing economy in the world, driven by the petrochemical industry. Qatar is scheduled to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, although the nation’s eligibility to do so is under question after a far-reaching bribery scandal was uncovered at the sport’s governing body.

22 Tall trotter : EMU

The large flightless birds called emus make sounds by manipulating inflatable neck-sacs. The sac is about a foot long, has a thin wall and allows the bird to emit a booming sound. The type of sound emitted is the easiest way to differentiate between male and female emus.

27 Cashew family shrub’s observation? : COGITO ERGO SUMAC (from “cogito ergo sum”)

Sumacs are a group of flowering shrubs and small trees that includes poison oak, poison ivy and poison sumac (nasty stuff!). The leaves of some species of sumac contain tannins that are used for tanning leather. Morocco leather is an example of the use of sumac tannins.

The great French philosopher Rene Descartes made the famous statement in Latin, “Cogito ergo sum”. This translates into French as “Je pense, donc je suis” and into English as “I think, therefore I am”.

35 Ducks in Eugene : OREGON

The sports teams of the University of Oregon are known as the Oregon Ducks. The big rivals to the Ducks are the Oregon State Beavers, a rivalry that has been dubbed “the Civil War”. The two schools’ football teams play a game every year for the Platypus Trophy.

Eugene is the second-largest city in Oregon (after Portland). The city is named for its founder, Eugene Franklin Skinner. Skinner arrived in the area in 1846, after which the settlement he established was called Skinner’s Mudhole. The name was changed to Eugene City in 1852, which was shortened to Eugene in 1889.

37 Gross __ : TON

Here in the US, a ton is equivalent to 2,000 pounds. Over in the UK, a ton is 2,240 pounds. The UK unit is sometimes referred to as an Imperial ton, long ton or gross ton. Folks over there refer to the US ton then as a short ton. To further complicate matters, there is also a metric ton or tonne, which is equivalent to 2,204 pounds. Personally, I wish we’d just stick to kilograms …

38 Turner on a screen : LANA

Lana Turner started work as a Hollywood actress at a very young age, signing up with MGM at only sixteen. Early in her career she earned the nickname “The Sweater Girl” after wearing a pretty tight sweater in the film “They Won’t Forget”, which was her film debut. She married eight times, to seven different husbands, the first of which was bandleader Artie Shaw. Shaw and Turner eloped and married on their very first date, when the young actress was just nineteen years old. After divorcing Shaw she married restaurateur Joseph Crane, but had the marriage annulled when she found out that Crane was still married to his first wife. The two had a daughter together, and so remarried when Crane’s divorce was finalized. Cheryl Crane was the daughter from the marriage to Joseph and she lived with Turner after her parents split up. When Cheryl was 14-years-old, her mother was romantically involved with a shady character named Johnny Stompanato. One evening Cheryl found her mother engaged in a violent argument with Stompanato, and Cheryl became so scared that she pulled out a gun and killed him in what was deemed to be justifiable homicide. Turner’s last marriage was to a nightclub hypnotist named Ronald Pellar, and that union lasted just six months as Pellar disappeared one day with a lot of Turner’s money and jewelry. Years later Turner said, “My goal was to have one husband and seven children, but it turned out to be the other way around.”

39 Shakespeare’s Athenian hermit : TIMON

Timon of Athens was noted for renouncing society, for being someone who despised mankind. Timon started out life as a wealthy man, but he lost all his money by pandering to the needs of his friends. Without money, Timon’s friends deserted him. Timon became rich again when he found a pot of gold, and so his friends sought him out once more. Timon was very embittered and so drove everyone away and lived the rest of his life as a hermit. Centuries after he died, Timon of Athens was to become the title character in “Timon of Athens”, a play by William Shakespeare

41 It’s chilly in Chihuahua : FRIO

Chihuahua is a state in northern Mexico that shares a border with Texas and New Mexico. Chihuahua is the largest state in the country, so has the nickname “El Estado Grande”. The state takes its name from the Chihuahuan Desert which lies largely within its borders. The Chihuahua breed of dog takes its name from the state.

42 Yamaguchi rival : ITO

Midori Ito is a Japanese figure skater. Ito was the first woman to land a triple/triple jump and a triple axel in competition. In fact, she landed her first triple jump in training when she was only 8 years old. Ito won Olympic silver in 1992, and was chosen as the person to light the Olympic cauldron at the commencement of the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.

Kristi Yamaguchi is a figure skater, an Olympic champion in 1992. She is quite the dancer too, having won “Dancing with the Stars” in 2008. Yamaguchi started skating and taking ballet as a young child as physical therapy, as she had club feet …

44 Title song words before “My love has come along” : AT LAST …

The 1942 song “At Last” was written for the 1941 musical film “Sun Valley Serenade” in which it is performed by Glenn Miller and his orchestra. Etta James recorded a version of “At Last” in 1960, after which it became her signature song.

46 Ad offer Wile E. Coyote really regrets accepting? : COME FLY WITH ACME (from “Come Fly With Me”)

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.

“Come Fly With Me” is a 1957 song by Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn. The songwriting duo wrote “Come Fly With Me” specifically for Frank Sinatra, and he used it as the title track of a 1958 album. The lyrics take us to such wonderful locales as Bombay, Peru and Acapulco Bay.

51 Stephen who played Inspector Bucket on “Dickensian” : REA

Stephen Rea is an Irish actor from Belfast. Rea’s most successful role was Fergus in 1992’s “The Crying Game”, for which performance he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. In “The Crying Game”, Fergus was a member of the IRA. In real life, Rea was married to IRA bomber and hunger striker Dolours Price at the time he made the movie.

“Dickensian” is a BBC drama series that sounds quite clever to me. All of the characters in the show are drawn from various novels by Charles Dickens, and they interact with each other while residing in the same neighborhood in Victorian London. The central plot is the investigation of the murder of Ebenezer Scrooge’s partner Jacob Marley (from “A Christmas Carol”) by Inspector Bucket (from “Bleak House”).

52 Mount Rainier gateway : TACOMA

Tacoma is a city on Puget Sound in the state of Washington. The city took its name from Mount Rainier that is nearby, as the peak used to be known as Mount Tahoma and Mount Tacoma.

Mount Rainier is an active volcano in the state of Washington in the Cascade Mountain Range. Native Americans first called the peak “Tacoma” and “Tahoma” meaning “mother of waters”. When Captain George Vancouver discovered Puget Sound in 1792, he named the peak in honor of his friend Rear Admiral Peter Rainier. There have been movements to change the name back to Tacoma, but these seem to have “petered” out (pun!).

61 Old MacDonald’s bookkeepers? : ACCOUNTING SHEEP (from “counting sheep”)

There was an old American version of the English children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (E-I-E-I-O) that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the older US version goes “Old MacDougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o”.

66 Giant Chicken on “Family Guy” : ERNIE

“Family Guy” is a very successful animated television show. It was created by Seth MacFarlane, the same guy who came up with “American Dad!”. My kids love them both. Me, I can’t stand ‘em …

67 Spelling start? : ABRA-

The incantation “abracadabra” has a long history. It was used as far back as the 2nd century AD in Ancient Rome when the word was prescribed by a physician to be worn on an amulet to help his emperor recover from disease. “Abracadabra” is Aramaic, and roughly translates as “I will create as I speak”.

69 Reason to raise goblets : TOAST

The tradition of toasting someone probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word “toast” was an indicator that the lady’s beauty would enhance the wine. Very charming, I must say …

Down

2 Item on a set : PROP

We use the term “props” for objects that are used by actors on stage during a play. The term is a shortening of the older term “properties”, which was used with the same meaning up through the 19th century.

4 SADD focus : DWI

In some states, there is no longer a legal difference between a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). Other states retain that difference, so that by definition a DUI is a lesser offence than a DWI.

Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) was founded in Massachusetts in 1981. SADD’s aim is to prevent road traffic accidents by urging students to avoid potentially destructive decisions (such as driving under the influence of alcohol).

5 Off-color : RISQUE

“Risqué” is a French word, the past participle of the verb “to risk”. So in English we use “risqué” to mean “racy”, but in French it means “risky”.

8 Fed. workplace watchdog : OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1970 during the Nixon administration. OSHA regulates workplaces in the private sector and regulates just one government agency, namely the US Postal Service.

9 Surfrider Beach city : MALIBU

Malibu Lagoon State Beach in Southern California is also known as Surfrider Beach, due to its popularity with surfers. In 2010, the beach was designated the first World Surfing Reserve on the planet.

10 Juárez heater : SOL

“Sol” is the Spanish word for “sun”.

The Mexican city sitting across the border from El Paso is more correctly called Ciudad Juárez. Juárez used to be called El Paso del Norte (the North Pass). It was to be the younger settlement on the northern side of the Rio Grande which would retain the “El Paso” name.

11 Genetic letters : RNA

Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

12 Bench press target : PEC

“Pecs” is the familiar name for the chest muscle, which is more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is a the Latin word for “breast, chest”.

14 Bus. card letters : STE

Suite (ste.)

23 Talk TV’s Williams : MONTEL

Montel Williams is a military man, and has a degree in international security affairs from the US Naval Academy in Annapolis. He served in the Navy as a cryptology officer and saw active duty during the invasion of Grenada. When Williams retired from the Navy after twelve years of service he was at the rank of Lieutenant Commander. The Montel Williams Show was cancelled amidst controversy in 2008, after Williams had appeared on Fox criticizing the media’s lack of coverage of the Iraq War.

25 Land-and-sea military vehicle : AMTRAC

“Amtrac” was a nickname given to the WWII vehicle known as the Landing Vehicle Tracked (LVT).

26 Lao-tzu’s philosophy : TAOISM

Lao Tse (also “Lao-Tzu”) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.

27 Tummy trouble : COLIC

Baby colic is a condition in which a baby cries for no apparent reason for extended periods. At least one study has shown that breastfed babies are about half as likely to suffer from colic.

28 JFK, notably : ORATOR

President John F. Kennedy was often referred to by his initials JFK, the F standing for Fitzgerald, his mother’s maiden name. The president’s brother Robert F. Kennedy was also referred to using his initials, RFK, with the F standing for his middle name Francis.

29 Mapping subject : GENOME

The genome is all the hereditary information needed to reproduce an organism, in other words, all of its chromosomes. When scientists unravel the human genome it takes up an awful lot of computer storage space, and yet all of this information is in almost every cell in our bodies. Each and every cell “knows” how to make a whole human being.

30 “Hometown Proud” market chain : IGA

The initialism “IGA” stands for “Independent Grocers Alliance”, and is a chain of supermarkets that extends right around the world. IGA’s headquarters is in Chicago. The company uses the slogan “Hometown Proud Supermarkets”.

32 Miracle-__ : GRO

Scotts Miracle-Gro Company was founded in 1868 by one Orlando Scott, and initially sold seed to the agricultural industry. In the early 1900s, Scotts started to sell to homeowners, and mainly supplied lawn seed. The company merged with the gardening company Miracle-Gro in 1955, and then with TruGreen in 2016.

34 Benjamin’s bill : C-NOTE

Benjamin Franklin’s portrait is featured on one side of the hundred-dollar bill (also called a “C-spot, C-note, benjamin”), and Philadelphia’s Independence Hall on the other side. There is a famous error in the image of Independence Hall. If you look closely at the clock face at the top of the building you can see that the “four” is written in Roman numerals as “IV”. However, on the actual clock on Independence Hall, the “four” is denoted by “IIII”, which has been the convention for clock faces for centuries.

41 Common destination for snowbirds: Abbr. : FLA

What we know as the US state of Florida, was named by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who led the first Europeans to the area in 1513. The actual name he used was “La Florida”, Spanish for “the Flowery (Land)”.

47 Patronize Pizza Hut, say : EAT OUT

Pizza Hut started out as a single location in Wichita, Kansas in 1958 and is now the world’s largest pizza franchise. Pizza Hut claims to be the world’s largest user of cheese, consuming 300 million pounds every year. The chain buys 3% of the cheese produced in the US, which means that 170,000 American cows are producing milk for Pizza Hut alone.

48 German title : FRAU

In German, a “Herr” (Mr.) is married to a “Frau” (Mrs.), and they live together in a “Haus” (house).

49 Residents along the Persian Gulf : IRANIS

The Persian Gulf is in effect an inland sea, although it technically is an offshoot of the Indian Ocean. The outlet from the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean is one of the most famous maritime “choke points” in the world, and is known as the Strait of Hormuz. About 20% of the world’s supply of petroleum passes through the Strait of Hormuz.

53 Tech tutorials site : CNET

c|net is an excellent technology website. c|net started out in 1994 as a television network specializing in technology news. The host of “American Idol”, Ryan Seacrest, started off his career as host of a c|net show.

54 Spanish survey option : OTRO

In Spanish, when answering a survey, one “opción” (option) might be “otro” (other).

55 __ Harker, heroine in Stoker’s “Dracula” : MINA

“Dracula” is a novel written by the Irish author Bram Stoker and first published in 1897. Dracula wasn’t the first vampire of literature, but he certainly was the one who spawned the popularity of vampires in theater, film and television, and indeed more novels. Personally, I can’t stand vampire fiction …

58 “Fancy” singer, familiarly : REBA

Reba McEntire is a country music singer and television actress. McEntire starred in her own sitcom called “Reba” that aired on the WB and the CW cable channels from 2001 to 2007.

59 One who did it : PERP

Perpetrator (perp)

61 Roadie’s armload : AMP

An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

62 Board leader : CEO

Chief executive officer (CEO)

63 Round-the-clock news pioneer : CNN

CNN (Cable News Network) was launched in 1980 by the Turner Broadcasting System, and was the first television channel in the world to provide news coverage 24 hours a day.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Dash meas. : MPH
4 “Unstoppable” cleaner : DRANO
9 Dealer’s abbreviation : MSRP
13 Brother of Athena : ARES
15 What informants might wear : WIRES
16 First-rate : A-ONE
17 What turtles use to keep up outward appearances? : TORTOISE SHELLAC (from “tortoise shell”)
20 __ demon : SPEED
21 Persian Gulf resident : QATARI
22 Tall trotter : EMU
24 “Grab __”: “You’re pinch-hitting” : A BAT
27 Cashew family shrub’s observation? : COGITO ERGO SUMAC (from “cogito ergo sum”)
35 Ducks in Eugene : OREGON
36 Blow it : ERR
37 Gross __ : TON
38 Turner on a screen : LANA
39 Shakespeare’s Athenian hermit : TIMON
41 It’s chilly in Chihuahua : FRIO
42 Yamaguchi rival : ITO
43 Tour opening? : ECO-
44 Title song words before “My love has come along” : AT LAST …
46 Ad offer Wile E. Coyote really regrets accepting? : COME FLY WITH ACME (from “Come Fly With Me”)
50 Bring up : REAR
51 Stephen who played Inspector Bucket on “Dickensian” : REA
52 Mount Rainier gateway : TACOMA
56 Twists : WARPS
61 Old MacDonald’s bookkeepers? : ACCOUNTING SHEEP (from “counting sheep”)
65 It might pop up : MENU
66 Giant Chicken on “Family Guy” : ERNIE
67 Spelling start? : ABRA-
68 Brigitte’s bridge : PONT
69 Reason to raise goblets : TOAST
70 Quick : APT

Down

1 Yoga accessories : MATS
2 Item on a set : PROP
3 “__ lies … ” : HERE
4 SADD focus : DWI
5 Off-color : RISQUE
6 You might have to find it in geometry : AREA
7 Egg holder : NEST
8 Fed. workplace watchdog : OSHA
9 Surfrider Beach city : MALIBU
10 Juárez heater : SOL
11 Genetic letters : RNA
12 Bench press target : PEC
14 Bus. card letters : STE
18 Poetic opening : ODE TO …
19 Historical times : ERAS
23 Talk TV’s Williams : MONTEL
25 Land-and-sea military vehicle : AMTRAC
26 Lao-tzu’s philosophy : TAOISM
27 Tummy trouble : COLIC
28 JFK, notably : ORATOR
29 Mapping subject : GENOME
30 “Hometown Proud” market chain : IGA
31 Do more lawn work : REMOW
32 Miracle-__ : GRO
33 Richly decorated : ORNATE
34 Benjamin’s bill : C-NOTE
40 Hard to drive on : ICY
41 Common destination for snowbirds: Abbr. : FLA
45 Signs of spring : THAWS
47 Patronize Pizza Hut, say : EAT OUT
48 German title : FRAU
49 Residents along the Persian Gulf : IRANIS
53 Tech tutorials site : CNET
54 Spanish survey option : OTRO
55 __ Harker, heroine in Stoker’s “Dracula” : MINA
57 “The light dawns!” : AHA!
58 “Fancy” singer, familiarly : REBA
59 One who did it : PERP
60 Squabble : SPAT
61 Roadie’s armload : AMP
62 Board leader : CEO
63 Round-the-clock news pioneer : CNN
64 Catch, as a cold : GET

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 26 Apr 19, Friday”

  1. Good puz for a Friday, clever theme, well-executed. Quibbles with a couple of clues … STE indeed is a biz card abbr, but not a common one; ICE is “hard to drive on,” but ICY isn’t (yeah, yeah … but still); and JFK is not immediately remembered as an ORATOR. But, again … just quibbles. Kinda heavy on the PPPs, too (People, Products, Places and other proper nouns) … upward of 30. All-round, though, fun diversion from Pam Awick Klawitter.

  2. Not much fun when you get only 3/4 of it. Would think of parts of words,
    but just too hard to put it together. Good weekend to all, in any case.

  3. LAT: 16:52, no errors. WSJ: 13:08, 2 errors, 2 not filled in. I’m surprised how I occasionally miss squares and can’t see them when I check. Newsday: 17:44, no errors. New Yorker: 8:31, no errors. Again scary quick for a themeless.

  4. I was only successful in getting about 2/3rds of this puzzle. Got more than I thought I would however. Oh, well, not a bad week overall.

  5. 18:27. Fun one and certainly tricky at times.
    I’ve found bleach can clear just about any clog. ACME dynamite would probably work on tough clogs…

    @Anon –
    The road was “icy”
    The road was “hard to drive on”
    ICY=Hard to drive on
    In the crossword world it only has to be possible, not absolute.

    Still no Vidwan sighting. He had given some ominous signs in one of his last posts. I hope he’s just busy or traveling right now.

    Best –

  6. You know it’s a more difficult puzzle when Bill breaks into double digits on his solve time! ;-D> No final errors but there were a few ink overs and “mulling” time. Fun grid so thanks to the Klawitter (although one has to think there is an anagram lurking in her full name somewhere).

  7. 16 mins 8 sec, no errors. The themes just keep getting dumber and dumber; each one more forced than the next. These days I live for a good, old-fashioned grid that challenges my vocabulary and skips all the attempts at “cleverness”.

  8. Very tough Friday that I actually managed to complete without errors, albeit in way more than an hour. Agree with the first Anonymous’ quibbles. COMEFLY…was the last to fall, with the GENOME and REMOW crosses. Finally got the Reba “Fancy” connection after getting this wrong on several puzzles.

    Never heard of ERNIE, AMTRAC, TIMON and only vaguely heard of MONTEL. PONT was new to me as well. I also thought Mount Rainier was on the Olympic peninsula, but that’s Mount Olympus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.