LA Times Crossword 9 May 19, Thursday

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Constructed by: Roland Huget
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Poles Apart

Themed answers each include the letter sequence “POLES”, with the sequence split APART, at either end of the answer:

  • 58A In complete opposition … and a feature of the four other longest answers : POLES APART
  • 17A *Finds flaws (in) : PICKS HOLES
  • 21A *Casino fixtures where blinds might be used : POKER TABLES
  • 36A *They make nuts healthy : POLYUNSATURATES
  • 50A *Skilled debaters : POLEMICISTS

Bill’s time: 6m 18s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Award named for a goddess : CLIO

The Clio Awards are the Oscars of the advertising world and are named after Clio, the Greek Muse of History. Clio was also the recorder of great deeds, the proclaimer and celebrator of great accomplishments and a source of inspiration and genius. The Clio Awards were first presented in 1959.

19 “Star Wars” sentence inverter : YODA

Yoda is one of the most beloved characters of the “Star Wars” series of films. Yoda’s voice is provided by the great modern-day puppeteer Frank Oz of “Muppets” fame.

20 Baseball bat wood : ASH

The wood of the ash tree is a hardwood, although it is relatively elastic. Famously, ash is the wood of choice for baseball bats. It is also the wood of choice for hurleys, the wooden sticks used in the Irish sport of hurling.

21 *Casino fixtures where blinds might be used : POKER TABLES

In some variants of poker, a forced bet is made by one or two players sitting to the left of the dealer. These bets are known as “blinds”, and are used instead of antes to ensure that there is some money in the pot. The player to the immediate left of the dealer posts the “small blind” (usually half the minimum bet), and the next player to the left posts the “big blind” (usually the minimum bet).

25 River through Tours : LOIRE

Tours is the largest city in the Centre region of France. Sitting on the Loire river, it is said that the people of Tours speak the “purest” form of French in the whole country. The French spoken by a local is also said to be free of any accent.

31 Citation ender, briefly : ET AL

“Et alii” (et al.) is the equivalent of “et cetera” (etc.), with “et cetera” being used in place of a list of objects, and “et alii” used for a list of names. In fact, “et al.” can stand for “et alii” (a group of males, or males and females), “et aliae” (a group of women) and “et alia” (a group of neuter nouns, or a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

32 Usually multilayered dessert : TORTE

A torte is a type of cake made primarily with eggs, sugar and ground nuts (but no flour).

36 *They make nuts healthy : POLYUNSATURATES

An unsaturated fat is one in which the molecules are not completely “saturated” with hydrogen atoms, i.e. there is at least one double bond, and hence at least two less hydrogen atoms. A polyunsaturated fat has more than one double bond. Double bonds create “kinks” in hydrocarbon chains, and so the fat molecules cannot pack together densely as they cool. This means that saturated fats solidify at lower temperatures than unsaturated. This is one of the main reasons that unsaturated are deemed healthier than saturated fats.

40 __ card: common phone component : SIM

Most cell phones have SIM cards these days. SIM cards hold the personal information of the subscriber, with the acronym being short for “Subscriber Identity Module”.

42 Half of sechs : DREI

In German, half of “sechs” (six) is “drei” (three).

43 Alaskan cruise sight : FJORD

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

44 Iris ring : AREOLA

An areola (sometimes “areole”) in anatomy is a small ring of color, as in the areola surrounding the nipple, and the areola surrounding the pupil of the eye. “Areola” (plural “areolae”) comes from Latin, meaning “small open space”, and is a diminutive of the Latin word “area”, meaning “open space”.

The iris is the colored part of the eye. It has an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.

46 Milan’s La __ : SCALA

La Scala Opera House opened in 1778. It was built on the site of the church of Santa Maria della Scala, which gave the theater its Italian name “Teatro alla Scala”.

49 The Huskies of the NCAA’s Big East : UCONN

The UConn Huskies are the sports teams of the University of Connecticut. I wasn’t able to uncover the derivation of the “Huskies” moniker. Although it is true that “UConn” sounds like “Yukon”, that isn’t the derivation of the “Huskies” nickname. The school didn’t become the University of Connecticut (UConn) until 1939, and the Huskies name has been used since 1933.

50 *Skilled debaters : POLEMICISTS

“Polemic” can also be spelled “polemical”. Either way, the term describes something controversial. The word came into English from the Greek “polemos” meaning “war”. The derivative term “polemicist” can be used to describe someone who can make a skilled and aggressive attack on the opinions of another.

54 Tank contents : GAS

The gas pump was actually around before there were cars on the road. The first gas pump was the invention of one Sylvanus Bowser from Fort Wayne, Indiana. His first pump was designed to pump kerosene for lamps and stoves, and was introduced in 1885. As automobiles became popular, he modified the design to pump gasoline. He introduced the Self-Measuring Gasoline Storage Pump in 1905. He marketed his devices all around the world, and in some parts the name “bowser” is still used sometimes to refer to fuel pumps, and indeed some fuel tankers.

60 Wild, all-night party : RAVE

As you might imagine, I’ve never been to a rave, and don’t have one upcoming in my diary. And as raves often start at 2 a.m.,then I’m unlikely ever to experience one. A rave is generally an all-night party featuring loud, electronically-synthesized music usually played by a DJ as opposed to a live band.

61 Tiny swimmer : AMEBA

An ameba (also “amoeba”) is a single-celled microorganism. The name comes from the Greek “amoibe”, meaning change. The name is quite apt, as the cell changes shape readily as the ameba moves, eats and reproduces.

62 Marine threat : ORCA

The taxonomic name for the killer whale is “Orcinus orca”. The use of the name “orca”, rather than “killer whale”, is becoming more and more common. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

64 Fixes : SPAYS

Our verb “to spay”, meaning “to surgically remove the ovaries of” (an animal) comes from an old Anglo-French word “espeier” meaning “to cut with a sword”.

65 Urban bane : SMOG

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

Down

1 Historic NYC club, with “The” : COPA

The Copacabana of the 1978 Barry Manilow song is the Copacabana nightclub in New York City (which is also the subject of the Frank Sinatra song “Meet Me at the Copa”). The Copa opened in 1940 and is still going today although it is struggling. The club had to move due to impending construction and is now “sharing” a location with the Columbus 72 nightclub.

2 ’60s-’70s All-Star pitcher Tiant : LUIS

Luis Tiant is a former Major League Baseball pitcher from Cuba. During his career, Tiant was noted for his cigar smoking. After retiring from the game, he launched a line of his own cigars called “El Tiant”.

3 Sensory omen regarding money : ITCHY PALM

Tradition holds that someone with itchy palms is about receive a tidy sum of money.

7 Roadster rod : AXLE

A roadster is a two-seater car with an open body and a sporty appearance. The term “roadster” is American in origin, and was first used back in the 19th century to describe a horse that was used when traveling by road.

10 Airman, slangily : FLYBOY

A flyboy is a pilot, especially a member of an air force

11 Pungent mayo : AIOLI

To the purist, especially in Provence in the South of France, aioli is prepared just by grinding garlic with olive oil. However, other ingredients are often added to the mix, particularly egg yolks.

12 “Star Wars” heavy breather : VADER

Darth Vader is (to me) the most colorful antagonist in the “Star Wars” universe. Born as Anakin Skywalker, he was corrupted by the Emperor Palpatine, and turned to “the Dark Side”. In the original films, Darth Vader was portrayed by English bodybuilder David Prowse, and voiced by actor James Earl Jones. Jones asked that he go uncredited for the first two “Star Wars” films, feeling that his contributions were insufficient to warrant recognition. I disagree …

18 Source of fries : SPUD

The word “spud” is used as a slang term for a potato and was first recorded in the mid-1800s, in New Zealand would you believe?

27 French possessive : A TOI

“À toi” is the French term for “yours”, when talking to someone with whom one is familiar. “À toi” literally means “to you”.

30 “The Simpsons” disco guy : STU

On “The Simpsons”, the character of Disco Stu is voiced by Hank Azaria, although the original intent was for him to be voiced by Phil Hartman. Disco Stu is described as “a black, wrinkly John Travolta”.

32 Old Russian ruler : TSAR

The term “czar” (also “tsar”) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “Caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time.

34 Thurman’s role in “The Avengers” (1998) : PEEL

1998’s film “The Avengers” is an action movie inspired by the British television series of the same name. The film stars Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman as secret agents John Steed and Emma Peel. I am a big fan of the original TV show, and really did not like the 1998 movie … at all …

35 Home to K2 : ASIA

K2 is the second highest mountain on the planet (at 28, 251 ft), with Mount Everest being higher by over 700 feet. K2 is known the “Savage Mountain” as it is relatively difficult to climb, having claimed 1 in 4 mountaineers who have attempted to reach the summit. It has never been climbed in winter. The name K2 dates back to what was called the Great Trigonometric Survey, a British survey of the geography of India carried out during the 19th century. Included in this survey were the heights of many of the Himalayan peaks, including Everest. The original surveyor, a Thomas Montgomerie, included two peaks he first called K1 and K2. He discovered later that the locals called K1 Masherbrum (the 22nd highest mountain in the world), but the remote K2 had no local name that he could find, so it was christened Mount Godwin-Austen. This name was rejected by the Royal Geographic Society although it does still appear on some maps. So, the most common name used is K2, that original notation in a surveyor’s notebook.

39 Yemeni port : ADEN

Aden is a seaport in Yemen that is located on the Gulf of Aden by the eastern approach to the Red Sea. Aden has a long history of British rule, from 1838 until a very messy withdrawal in 1967. A native of Aden is known as an Adeni. Some believe that Cain and Abel are buried in the city.

45 Soprano Ponselle who debuted at the Met opposite Caruso : ROSA

Rosa Ponselle was an American soprano who performed mainly with the New York Metropolitan Opera. Ponselle’s performing career started in vaudeville, but she caught the eye of the Met’s star tenor Enrico Caruso. Ponselle made her debut with the Met in 1918, singing opposite Caruso, in Verdi’s “La forza del destino”.

46 Slash on a score sheet : SPARE

In bowling, a spare is recorded on a score sheet with a forward slash mark. A strike is recorded with a large letter X.

48 Advil alternative : ALEVE

Aleve is a brand name used for the anti-inflammatory drug Naproxen sodium.

51 Hoppy brews : IPAS

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

52 Freebie : COMP

To comp is to give for free, with “comp” coming from “complimentary”.

53 Intestinal sections : ILEA

The human ileum (plural “ilea”) is the lowest part of the small intestine, and is found below the jejunum and above the cecum of the large intestine.

55 Violin music instruction : ARCO

“Arco” is a musical direction instructing a string player to return to normal bowing technique after a passage played using some other technique (perhaps pizzicato).

59 Bldgs. with many boxes : POS

Post office (PO)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Award named for a goddess : CLIO
5 Put down : ABASE
10 First choice : FAVE
14 “You’re __ luck” : OUTA
15 __ shorts : BOXER
16 Truth stretcher : LIAR
17 *Finds flaws (in) : PICKS HOLES
19 “Star Wars” sentence inverter : YODA
20 Baseball bat wood : ASH
21 *Casino fixtures where blinds might be used : POKER TABLES
23 Sign-off word : YOURS
25 River through Tours : LOIRE
26 Shot water? : RAPIDS
28 Rash : HASTY
31 Citation ender, briefly : ET AL
32 Usually multilayered dessert : TORTE
33 Place to unwind : SPA
36 *They make nuts healthy : POLYUNSATURATES
40 __ card: common phone component : SIM
41 Closes in on : NEARS
42 Half of sechs : DREI
43 Alaskan cruise sight : FJORD
44 Iris ring : AREOLA
46 Milan’s La __ : SCALA
49 The Huskies of the NCAA’s Big East : UCONN
50 *Skilled debaters : POLEMICISTS
54 Tank contents : GAS
57 Tip : APEX
58 In complete opposition … and a feature of the four other longest answers : POLES APART
60 Wild, all-night party : RAVE
61 Tiny swimmer : AMEBA
62 Marine threat : ORCA
63 Kept in one’s sights : EYED
64 Fixes : SPAYS
65 Urban bane : SMOG

Down

1 Historic NYC club, with “The” : COPA
2 ’60s-’70s All-Star pitcher Tiant : LUIS
3 Sensory omen regarding money : ITCHY PALM
4 Wine barrel wood : OAK
5 Can’t stand : ABHORS
6 Financial records : BOOKS
7 Roadster rod : AXLE
8 Oracle : SEER
9 Formerly, formerly : ERST
10 Airman, slangily : FLYBOY
11 Pungent mayo : AIOLI
12 “Star Wars” heavy breather : VADER
13 Wipe out : ERASE
18 Source of fries : SPUD
22 Let out, e.g. : ALTER
24 Like some fried food : OILY
26 Gym iterations : REPS
27 French possessive : A TOI
28 Squirrel away : HOARD
29 Fine __ : ARTS
30 “The Simpsons” disco guy : STU
32 Old Russian ruler : TSAR
33 Coerce : STRONG-ARM
34 Thurman’s role in “The Avengers” (1998) : PEEL
35 Home to K2 : ASIA
37 Clear, as a copier : UNJAM
38 Prefix with natal : NEO-
39 Yemeni port : ADEN
43 Showed off a muscle : FLEXED
44 Fills in for : ACTS AS
45 Soprano Ponselle who debuted at the Met opposite Caruso : ROSA
46 Slash on a score sheet : SPARE
47 Insured patient’s obligation : COPAY
48 Advil alternative : ALEVE
49 “Best before” cousin : USE BY
51 Hoppy brews : IPAS
52 Freebie : COMP
53 Intestinal sections : ILEA
55 Violin music instruction : ARCO
56 Unaccompanied : STAG
59 Bldgs. with many boxes : POS

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 9 May 19, Thursday”

  1. No errors, but don’t understand the answer to “hoppy brews”….is it
    something to do with “pale ales”?

  2. LAT: 11:54, no errors. Newsday: 6:59, no errors, but lots of missteps along the way. WSJ: 21:16, no errors; pretty confusing until I figured out the gimmick.

    BEQ: 26:24 and, by some miracle, only one (one-square) error. He rated this one “medium”; for me, due to a bunch of references to things outside my knowledge base, it was anything but. My one mistake is a bit interesting: early on, I wrote in “DRIERS” instead of “DRYERS” for “Laundromat array” and realized that it could be problematic, but forgot to go back and check it. I’ve misspelled that word before and wondered why .,, and now I have a reason! The word has changed since I was young! See this site for a discussion of the shift.

    So now I feel ever so much better … 😜

  3. This had some challenges for me. Did not understand 35D “Home to K2”, but still got it with crosses and “polemicists” is not a word that pops up in many conversations. But I did make it thru todays puzzle.

    1. K2 is the second-highest mountain in the world (second only to Everest, and a much more difficult climb).

  4. 16:08. I had most of my issues at the top. Didn’t notice the theme except all began with “P”.
    I GET to go to the dentist now and have a crown replaced. Oh boy!

    Best –

  5. Very tough one. A whopping 18 errors/omissions for 91%. Still averaging
    98% for the week. After seeing the answers, we (or I) could have gotten
    a few more, still not all of it. One of those things; all around some of
    the misses, could not close the deals. Worked very hard for what we got.

    1. @Glenn … Did you mean to say “Thursday NYT”? I found Tuesday’s NYT puzzles pretty easy. Syndie or non?

      As for today’s BEQ: I have observed that your knowledge base and mine are quite different.

      (BTW, you will no doubt have noted that BEQ’s latest F-bomb elicited no more than a shrug from me … he must be wearing me down … 😜.)

      1. @Dave
        No, I meant Tues NYT. And I always do the Syndies, save what happened last Sunday. And yes, I’ve observed that, in a lot of ways – you do seem to have a larger knowledge base in many ways.

        1. Interesting. I thought the Tuesday NYT was unremarkable, but I’ll admit that I might have come away with a different opinion if I had never been to a Greek restaurant.

          In some areas, your knowledge base is larger than mine, today’s BEQ being a case in point, with references to music and sports in key entries. I’m still kicking myself for putting that “I” in 34A, but the crossing entry involved yet another reference to a musical group, so I just threw up my hands and quit, even though I would certainly have chosen “GARY” over “GARI” if I’d thought about it for more than a second. After I finished the puzzle, I still didn’t understand some of the music references in the long entries (like 17A, 28A, 38A?, and 51A) until I conferred with Dr. Google.

  6. 13:55, no errors, and, AGAIN, it was a nail-biter. Bottom right was especially difficult, as I had SOLO initially for STAG, DEMO for COMP, ALES for IPAS…. a lot to work through!!

  7. Disco Stu was never voiced by Phil Hartman (he was briefly considered for the part, however) and is very much not black.

    Don’t mess with The Simpsons.

  8. Fairly easy Thursday for me; took all of 25 minutes with no errors, thankfully due to crosses, crosswordese and lucky guesses. No rewrites.

    @Jeff – I feel your pain. Going through a double implant replacement for a failed bridge anchor. Now I have to wait six months for the anchor stuff to settle in for phase two, with no sneezing and no blowing my nose…snuffle. So, ready for Saturday…go Sharks!

    @Carrie – I was just mentioning teams that I follow from a greater extent to a lesser…there was no mention of any AL team. I usually only watch them for the pennant or more likely during the WS.

    @David – On Monday I did the full suite of puzzles for the first time..well except for the BEQ. So, how do you do the CHE puzzle, which is no longer on-line, at least since Dec 18th? Also, is there to toggle the across/down on I think the WSJ puzzle. Really annoying to have to use the mouse.

  9. Aloha Meine Freunden!!!😎

    I keep waiting for warm weather here in LA — I started using the sunglasses emoji in anticipation– but maybe it’s time to switch. Then perhaps things will heat up!🤔

    No errors– a few sticking points. A good but kinda unremarkable puzzle.

    Hey Dirk! I was thinking geographically…. sometimes I think I “should ” follow the Angel’s cuz they’re basically in my extended hometown. I also only pay attention to the AL during postseason play, tho they’re in my sights for those dang interleague games …🤨

    Dave from yesterday– I see Jeff’s point on that, altho I could argue that both of us are right… 🤔

    Be well~~🐔

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