LA Times Crossword 6 Apr 19, Saturday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Brian E. Paquin
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 10m 19s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 High points on a European itinerary : ALPS

There are eight Alpine countries:

  • Austria
  • Slovenia
  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Germany
  • Monaco
  • Italy

12 The Platters’ genre : DOO-WOP

Doo-wop developed in the 1940s and can be described as a vocal-based R&B music. Even though the style has been around since the forties, the name doo-wop wasn’t introduced until the early sixties.

The Platters were a vocal doo-wop group from Los Angeles who were active in original form from 1954 until 1970. They had four #1 records: “The Great Pretender” (1955), “My Prayer” (1956), “Twilight Time” (1958) and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” (1958).

17 Creator of the language Newspeak : ORWELL

Newspeak is a language created by the totalitarian state in George Orwell’s novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. Newspeak is grammatically identical to English, but there is a limited vocabulary that is designed limit freedom of thought.

18 Act sycophantically with : KISS UP TO

A sycophant is a selfish person, one who flatters. The term comes from the Greek “sykophantes” which originally meant “one who shows the fig”. This phrase described a vulgar gesture made with the thumb and two fingers.

21 Chicago critic : EBERT

Roger Ebert was a film critic for “The Chicago Sun-Times” for 50 years. He also co-hosted a succession of film review television programs for over 23 years, most famously with Gene Siskel until Siskel passed away in 1999. Siskel and Ebert famously gave their thumbs up or thumbs down to the movies they reviewed. Ebert was the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, which he did in 1975. He was diagnosed and treated for thyroid cancer in 2002, and finally succumbed to a recurrence of the disease in April 2013.

23 JFK but not LAX : PRES

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) was the son of Joe Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald, hence the president’s double-barreled name.

Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA”, but when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently, the “X” has no significant meaning.

24 Internet initialism : IMO

In my opinion (IMO)

26 Head of Britain? : LOO

It has been suggested that the British term “loo” comes from “Waterloo” (water closet … water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of “lanterloo”, in which the pot was called the loo!

In old sailing ships, the toilet area for the regular sailors was located in the forward part (the head) of the ship. As a result, the term “head” has been used since then for any toilet on board a boat.

38 Reasons for Word getting around? : SOFTWARE PIRATES

Microsoft Word was introduced in 1981 as Multi-Tool Word for Xenix (Xenix is a discontinued version of the Unix operating system). I used to be a power user of Word, but now use Google Drive for all of my word processing needs.

40 Sch. paper : RPT

Report (rpt.)

44 Stands for meetings : EASELS

The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey” would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.

51 “Six Feet Under” occupation : MORTICIAN

“Six Feet Under” is reportedly a great TV drama that aired on HBO, and one that I fully intend to take a look at one day. The “six feet under” is a reference to the show’s storyline that features a family funeral business.

The phrase “six feet under” means “dead and buried”. Six feet is the traditional depth of a grave.

54 #80 on AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movie Quotes : YO, ADRIAN!

You might remember Rocky Balboa saying, “Yo, Adrian!” in the original “Rocky” movie. Adrian was Rocky’s wife played by the lovely Talia Shire, sister of director Francis Ford Coppola.

57 With a #2, say : IN PENCIL

I grew up with the HB method of grading pencils, from “hardness” to “blackness”. Here in the US we sometimes use a numerical grading system, with #2 being the equivalent of HB. The numerical system was introduced in the US by one John Thoreau, father of famed author and hero of mine Henry David Thoreau.

58 “Feel So High” R&B artist : DES’REE

Des’ree is an R&B singer from London, England. One of her biggest hits is the song “Kissing You”, which was used in the 1996 film adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes.

59 Classic two-seated roadsters : MGS

My neighbor used to keep his MG Midget roadster in my garage (away from his kids!) back in Ireland many moons ago. The Midget was produced by the MG division of the British Motor Corporation from 1961 to 1979, with the MG initialism standing for “Morris Garages”.

Down

1 Tony winner Leslie __ Jr. : ODOM

Leslie Odom Jr. is the actor and singer who is originated the role of Aaron Burr in “Hamilton” on Broadway.

2 Andrea __: ill-fated vessel : DORIA

The SS Andrea Doria was an Italian ocean liner with the home port of Genoa. She was named after Andrea Doria, a 16th-century admiral from the city. As always seems to be the case with ships that go down, the Andrea Doria was the pride of the fleet and was deemed to be the biggest, fastest and safest of Italy’s ships in the fifties. Her end came in 1956 when she collided with the MS Stockholm off the coast of Nantucket Island. Such was the damage to the side of the vessel that she quickly and severely listed to starboard, rendering half her lifeboats unusable. Nonetheless, 1,660 crew and passengers were rescued by vessels that came to her aid. Only 46 lives were lost, mainly in the collision itself. The Andrea Doria capsized and sank eleven hours after the collision.

3 Snuggle competitor : DOWNY

Downy is a brand of fabric softener produced by Procter & Gamble.

4 Nobel, for one : SWEDE

Alfred Nobel was a Swedish chemist and businessman. Nobel is famous for the invention of dynamite during his lifetime, as well as for instituting the Nobel Prizes by providing the necessary funds in his will.

5 Huber of tennis : ANKE

Anke Huber is a retired professional tennis player from Germany. Huber stepped out of the shadow of fellow German star Steffi Graf when Graf retired in 1999, and for the last two years of her playing career Huber enjoyed recognition as Germany’s top player.

6 Perry’s ambitious reporter : LOIS

The “Daily Planet” is the fictional newspaper for which Clark Kent and Lois Lane work in the “Superman” universe. Clark and Lois’ editor-in-chief is Perry White.

8 Mailer in a mailer, briefly : SASE

An SAE is a “stamped, addressed envelope”. An SASE is a “self-addressed, stamped envelope”.

10 Eccentric : OUTRE

The word “outré” meaning “unconventional, bizarre” comes to us from French, as one might imagine. It is derived from the verb “outrer” meaning “to overdo, exaggerate”. “Outrer” is also the ultimate root of our word “outrage”.

13 Contemporary of Nadia : OLGA

Olga Korbut is from modern-day Belarus, but was born during the days of the Soviet Union. Korbut competed for the USSR team in the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games. She was 17 when she appeared in the 1972 Munich Games, and had been training in a sports school since she was 8-years-old. The world fell in love with her as she was a very emotional young lady, readily expressing joy and disappointment, something that we weren’t used to seeing in athletes from behind the Iron Curtain. Korbut immigrated to the US in 1991 and now lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Nadia Comaneci won three golds in the 1976 Summer Olympics and was the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of a ten in the gymnastics competition. Comaneci published a book called “Letters to a Young Gymnast” in 2003, and now lives in the United States.

14 Start of #28 on AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movie Quotes : PLAY IT, SAM

There is a famous exchange in the movie “Casablanca” that results in the piano player Sam singing “As Time Goes By”.

Ilsa: Play it once, Sam. For old times’ sake.
Sam: I don’t know what you mean, Miss Ilsa.
Ilsa: Play it, Sam. Play “As Time Goes By.”
Sam: Oh, I can’t remember it, Miss Ilsa. I’m a little rusty on it.
Ilsa: I’ll hum it for you. Da-dy-da-dy-da-dum, da-dy-da-dee-da-dum…
Ilsa: Sing it, Sam.

16 Order in the court : SUBPOENA

A subpoena is a writ issued by a court compelling a person to testify before the court, or compelling a person or organization to produce evidence before the court. The term comes from the Latin phrase “sub poena” meaning “under penalty”. The court has the authority to penalize a person or organization that does not comply with the subpoena.

25 Badger relative : OTTER

Male and female otters are known as dogs and bitches, with the offspring called pups. Males and females are are sometimes referred to as boars and sows. A collection of otters is a bevy, family, lodge or perhaps a romp. When in water, a collection of otters can be called a raft.

27 Seven-week period in Judaism that begins during Passover : OMER

In the Jewish tradition, the 49 days before Passover and before Shavuot are verbally counted in the practice known as counting of the Omer.

28 Terminal type: Abbr. : POS

A battery is a device that converts chemical energy into electric energy. A simple battery is made up of three parts: a cathode, an anode and a liquid electrolyte. Ions from the electrolyte react chemically with the material in the anode producing a compound and releasing electrons. At the same time, the electrolyte reacts with the material in the cathode, absorbing electrons and producing a different chemical compound. In this way, there is a buildup of electrons at the anode and a deficit of electrons at the cathode. When a connection (wire, say) is made between the cathode and anode, electrons flow through the resulting circuit from the anode to cathode in an attempt to rectify the electron imbalance.

29 Antacid brand since the 1800s : ENO

Eno is a brand of antacid that was formulated in the 1850s in Newcastle, England in by James Crossley Eno. Eno’s initial customers were sailors in the port of Newcastle. Those sailors took the Eno antacid around the world, giving the product global exposure.

30 Agency under the Secy. of Defense : DAF

The US Department of the Air Force (DAF) was formed in 1947. The DAF is one of three military departments with the US Department of Defense (DOD), along with the Department of the Army, and the Department of the Navy.

34 Deep-fried snack, familiarly : TOT

Ore-Ida’s founders came up with the idea for Tater Tots when they were deciding what to do with residual cuts of potato. They chopped up the leftovers, added flour and seasoning, and extruded the mix through a large hole making a sausage that they cut into small cylinders. We eat 70 million pounds of this extruded potato every year!

36 Argonne article : LES

The definite article in French can be “le” (with masculine nouns), “la” (with feminine nouns), and “les” (with plural nouns of either gender).

The Forest of Argonne is a strip of rocky woodland in the northeast of France. The forest was the site of intense fighting between German and Allied forces during WWI.

41 Actress __ Bialik of “The Big Bang Theory” : MAYIM

The wonderful Mayim Bialik is an actress best known for playing Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on TV’s “The Big Bang Theory”. Bialik also played the title role in the NBC sitcom “Blossom”. There’s a line in one of “The Big Bang Theory” episodes in which Sheldon talks about “the girl who played TV’s ‘Blossom’”. He notes that the “Blossom” actress has “a PhD in neuroscience or something”. And that is true, actress Mayim Bialik has indeed got a doctorate in neuroscience.

43 Serial guilty pleasures for many : SOAPS

The original soap operas were radio dramas back in the fifties. Given the structure of society back then, the daytime broadcasts were aimed at women working in the home as housewives. For some reason the sponsors of those radio shows, and the television shows that followed, were soap manufacturers like Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers. And that’s how the “soap” opera got its name …

45 __ wave : SINE

A sine wave is a mathematical function that describes a simple, smooth, repetitive oscillation. The sine wave is found right throughout the natural world. Ocean waves, light waves and sound waves all have a sine wave pattern.

46 Bitcoin, e.g. : E-CASH

Bitcoins are digital units of currency that are used on some Internet sites. Bitcoins are the most popular alternative currency used on the Web today. More and more reputable online retailers are accepting bitcoins, including Overstock.com, Expedia, Dell and Microsoft.

47 Heavenly scales : LIBRA

The constellation of Libra is named for the scales held by the goddess of justice. Libra is the only sign of the zodiac that isn’t named for a living creature.

50 First in a long series of movies : DR NO

“Dr. No” may have been the first film in the wildly successful James Bond franchise, but it was the sixth novel in the series of books penned by Ian Fleming. Fleming was inspired to write the story after reading the Fu Manchu tales by Sax Rohmer. If you’ve read the Rohmer books or seen the films, you’ll recognize the similarities between the characters Dr. Julius No and Fu Manchu.

53 Former Nair competitor : NEET

The hair removal product “Neet” was launched in Canada in 1901, and was also sold as “Immac”. Today, it is sold under the name “Veet”.

Nair is a hair-removal product that has some pretty harsh ingredients. The most important active constituents are calcium hydroxide (“slaked lime”) and sodium hydroxide (“caustic soda”). Other Nair components seem to be there to soothe the skin after the harsher chemicals have done their job. The name “Nair” probably comes from combining “no” and “hair”.

55 I, in Erfurt : ICH

The city of Erfurt is the capital of the central German state of Thuringia. The University of ERfurt was founded way back in 1379. The university’s most famous student was theologian Martin Luther, the central figure in the Protestant Reformation.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Risk evaluation : ODDS
5 High points on a European itinerary : ALPS
9 Tennis stroke : LOB
12 The Platters’ genre : DOO-WOP
15 “Don’t tell anyone!” : NOT A SOUL!
17 Creator of the language Newspeak : ORWELL
18 Act sycophantically with : KISS UP TO
19 Psychological attempts at one-upmanship : MIND GAMES
21 Chicago critic : EBERT
22 Sailor’s bit of obedience : AYE AYE
23 JFK but not LAX : PRES
24 Internet initialism : IMO
26 Head of Britain? : LOO
28 Part of a flooring metaphor : PEDAL TO THE METAL
37 Good way to wrap things up : ON A POSITIVE NOTE
38 Reasons for Word getting around? : SOFTWARE PIRATES
39 Belief system : ISM
40 Sch. paper : RPT
41 Naval post : MAST
44 Stands for meetings : EASELS
49 Opposite of mouthed : ALOUD
51 “Six Feet Under” occupation : MORTICIAN
54 #80 on AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movie Quotes : YO, ADRIAN!
56 Make possible : ENABLE
57 With a #2, say : IN PENCIL
58 “Feel So High” R&B artist : DES’REE
59 Classic two-seated roadsters : MGS
60 “That’s a surprise!” : OH MY!
61 Dost own : HAST

Down

1 Tony winner Leslie __ Jr. : ODOM
2 Andrea __: ill-fated vessel : DORIA
3 Snuggle competitor : DOWNY
4 Nobel, for one : SWEDE
5 Huber of tennis : ANKE
6 Perry’s ambitious reporter : LOIS
7 Scoring nos. : PTS
8 Mailer in a mailer, briefly : SASE
9 Graceful runner : LOPER
10 Eccentric : OUTRE
11 Record spoilers : BLOTS
13 Contemporary of Nadia : OLGA
14 Start of #28 on AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movie Quotes : PLAY IT, SAM
16 Order in the court : SUBPOENA
20 Work involving recall : MEMOIR
25 Badger relative : OTTER
26 Rose magically : LEVITATED
27 Seven-week period in Judaism that begins during Passover : OMER
28 Terminal type: Abbr. : POS
29 Antacid brand since the 1800s : ENO
30 Agency under the Secy. of Defense : DAF
31 Talent : APTITUDE
32 Tough times : LOWS
33 More with it : HIPPER
34 Deep-fried snack, familiarly : TOT
35 Polished off : ATE
36 Argonne article : LES
41 Actress __ Bialik of “The Big Bang Theory” : MAYIM
42 During : ALONG
43 Serial guilty pleasures for many : SOAPS
45 __ wave : SINE
46 Bitcoin, e.g. : E-CASH
47 Heavenly scales : LIBRA
48 Retail draws : SALES
50 First in a long series of movies : DR NO
51 Severely injure : MAIM
52 __ child : ONLY
53 Former Nair competitor : NEET
55 I, in Erfurt : ICH

12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 6 Apr 19, Saturday”

  1. LAT: 27:44, no errors. Few missteps due to the usual shenanigans, but nothing I didn’t guess my way out of in the end. WSJ: 39:27, 2 errors (closer to dumb than not). Nice gimmick, but took me a long while to figure out even with the revealer. Newsday: 56:15ish (wasn’t 100% exact on time for this one), no errors. Actually got one of these. Spent probably 25-30 min before I broke into this one to any significant degree.

  2. Got it with no errors, but not without using a little whiteout a time or
    two. “YoAdrian” was new to me. Didn’t see the Rocky films.

  3. Hi, Bill,

    My wife and I always enjoy the extras you provide to the answers. Keep up the good work. A quibble re 15-across. Sorry, but “not a soul” is not an answer to “Don’t tell anyone.” You wouldn’t walk up to a friend and say, “Not a soul.” It would be meaningless. “Keep it a secret” would be an answer to the clue. “No one at all” would be a clue for the answer. We got the correct answer because it fit into the puzzle, and not because it was appropriate, which is always annoying.

    1. Richard –

      I raised an eyebrow about this syntax of this one as well. I originally had NOT A peep which would be more common in that context IMO. Alas crosswords push the envelope when necessary.

  4. 19:06 after catching two typos…MIND GAMaS being the most ridiculous. I thought the 3-line 15-letter stack in the middle would cause me more problems than it really did.

    Newspeak was a real thing in the Soviet Union (and before it). For example, there is no really good or common word in Russian that means “to own”. Rather, you simply say “next to me there is a book” instead of “I have a book”. Lamentably, more and more in this country are realizing that controlling language is a way of controlling thought. A friend of mine who is a professor at UC Davis is originally from the Soviet Union and says what’s going on in this country with language control mirrors what she saw growing up in the USSR.

    I’ll end ON A POSITIVE NOTE.

    Dirk – what’s the difference between honey I buy at a store and “raw” honey I see advertised? Do they just add some preservatives or do they do something else to the “raw” honey?

    Best –

  5. On a *negative* note… there’s a few of this puzzle’s clues and fills.

    YO ADRIAN?? Give me a *break*. 18 mins 4 sec before I had to give up, with two crossing errors in the top left, and 8 unfilled in the bottom left.

    This puzzle was just *evil*.

  6. @Richard Abrams
    >We got the correct answer because it fit into the puzzle, and not because it was appropriate, which is always annoying.

    Unfortunately, if you see my references to “shenanigans” or “nonsense” throughout this blog, you will find this to be a incredibly common occurrence with all crosswords. Sadly.

    @Allen Dickerson
    >This puzzle was just *evil*.

    You may recall that I mentioned happening upon one of Rich Norris’s puzzle books. I ultimately ended up giving up on trying to do them, they being far worse than anything that appears in either the LAT or NYT. They were filled with clues that were completely useless or like described above. The only close thing that reminds me of these puzzles is Croce or the Saturday Newsday.

  7. Had to do this on-line, after I dumped a glass of water on my paper. Too much strange and new stuff for me to avoid peeking a few times at the red letters. Finished with 38:48 and 93% without help.

    Knew the Casablanca clue but never saw any of the Rocky(or Rambo) movies. I’m thinking about watching the Big Bang Theory, but haven’t started yet…its work for me…to get better at these puzzles. Also, never heard of OMER or Des’ree, but the video is kind of cool…looks like it was filmed in Joshua Tree and maybe Death Valley: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jNNwbuDXsA

    @Jeff – Raw honey is generally never heated or just gently to say 90 F, the temperature inside the hive, and it has about a .4% pollen content, allowing you to potentially develop a tolerance to the local pollen allergies. It also contains all the enzymes the bees include with their conversion of nectar into honey, assuming it isn’t heated too much. I extract my honey and it flows through a wire mesh sieve and then I warm it gently and pour it through 600 mil screen, before bottling. Pollen can get as large as 250 mil.

    With regular honey, as I understand it, they can heat the honey to 160F and then they force it at high pressure through ultra fine filters, removing any pollen. This wrecks all the enzymes and you can’t analyze the pollen to determine where it is from. You basically just have fructose, glucose and a bit of maltose.

  8. Hiya folks!!😎

    Couldn’t finish without cheating! The center “stack” Jeff refers to was my downfall. Got most of the rest, altho I didn’t know ANKE and that messed up the NE for me. Can’t believe I couldn’t come up with LOB! Oh well….🤔

    Allen, I knew YO ADRIAN because I was alive during the 1970s.😯

    Couldn’t access the blog on Friday night so didn’t post! FWIW– no errors on Friday, but I missed seeing y’all!

    Be well~~🌹

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.