LA Times Crossword 11 Jun 19, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Bruce Haight
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): How Show’s Hotshots Axe Saxes

Themed answers comprise two words, the second being the first with a letter S added to either end:

  • 17A Run out of pants? : LACK SLACKS
  • 25A Steal tent holders? : TAKE STAKES
  • 40A Share sewing cylinders? : POOL SPOOLS
  • 44A Praise Guinness products? : TOUT STOUTS
  • 52A Discuss cornfields? : TALK STALKS
  • 67A Cook escargots perfectly? : NAIL SNAILS

Bill’s time: 6m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Singer Cyrus : MILEY

Miley Cyrus became famous playing the Disney Channel character “Hannah Montana”. Miley is the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. When she was born, Billy Ray and his wife named their daughter “Destiny Hope”, but soon they themselves calling her “Smiley” as she was always smiling as a baby, and this got shortened to Miley over time. Cute …

6 Captain with a whalebone leg : AHAB

In Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick” the obsessed Captain Ahab manages with a final effort to lodge his harpoon in the whale’s flesh. He yells out “… to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.” With that, the injured whale dives, and Captain Ahab is pulled under to his doom with a loop of the harpoon’s rope wrapped around his neck.

10 Secretly sends an email copy to : BCCS

A blind carbon copy (bcc) is a copy of a document or message that is sent to someone without other recipients of the message knowing about that extra copy.

17 Run out of pants? : LACK SLACKS

The term “slacks” was introduced in the early 1800s with the the meaning “loose trousers”. Those early slacks were part of a military uniform.

The term “pants”, meaning “trousers”, is an abbreviated form of “pantaloons” and first appeared in the 1840s. Pantaloons were a kind of tights named for a silly old male character in Italian comedy named “Pantaloun” who always wore tight trousers over skinny legs.

19 Dickens’ Little __ : NELL

“The Old Curiosity Shop” by Charles Dickens tells the story of 14-year-old “Little Nell” Trent and her grandfather who live in the Old Curiosity Shop in London. If you visit London, there actually is an “Old Curiosity Shop”, in Westminster. It is an establishment selling odds and ends, old curiosities, and is believed to have been the inspiration for the shop in the Dickens story. The building has been around since the 1500s, but the name “The Old Curiosity Shop” was added after the book was published.

20 Airport approx. : ETA

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

21 Vintage Ford : MODEL T

The Ford Model T was the first really affordable car that was offered for sale, and it was produced from 1908 to 1927. It was the Model T that ushered in the era of assembly line production, which greatly cut down the cost of manufacture. The Model T’s engine was designed to run on petrol, kerosene or ethanol. Ford stated in 1909 that “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black”. In actual fact, from 1908 through 1913, the Model T wasn’t available in black, and only grey, green, blue and red. The “black only” strategy applied from 1914.

22 Many a bagpiper : SCOT

Bagpipes have been played for centuries all across Europe, in parts of Asia and North Africa, and in the Persian Gulf. However, the most famous versions of the instrument today are the Scottish Great Highland bagpipe and the Irish uilleann pipes, my personal favorite (I’m biased). The bag in the Scottish version is inflated by blowing into it, whereas the Irish version uses a bellows under the arm.

29 XV ÷ V : III

In Roman numerals, XV ÷ V = III (15 ÷ 5 = 3)

30 For a specific purpose : AD HOC

The Latin phrase “ad hoc” means “for this purpose”. An ad hoc committee, for example, is formed for a specific purpose and is disbanded after making its final report.

33 Remington rival : BRAUN

Braun is a manufacturer of consumer goods based in Kronberg, Germany.

37 Hamilton’s bill : TEN

The obverse of the US ten-dollar bill features the image of Alexander Hamilton, the first US Secretary of the Treasury. As such, ten-dollar bills are sometimes called “Hamiltons”. By the way, the $10 bill is the only US currency in circulation in which the portrait faces to the left. The reverse of the ten-dollar bill features the US Treasury Building.

44 Praise Guinness products? : TOUT STOUTS

Guinness is the most popular beer sold in Ireland. The beer is a stout and has that famous creamy white head, a result of mixing the beer with nitrogen as it is poured. You can also buy Guinness that has no nitrogen, which is sold in bottles bearing the the name Guinness Export. This carbonated version of the beer has a very different taste, and is my personal favorite …

46 Benchmark: Abbr. : STD

Standard (std.)

47 Carb-loading meal : PASTA

Only relatively small amounts of carbohydrate can be stored by the human body, but those stores are important. The actual storage molecule is a starch-like polysaccharide called glycogen, which is found mainly in the liver and muscles. Glycogen is a quick source of energy when required by the body. Most of the body’s energy is stored in the form of fat, a more compact substance that is mobilized less rapidly. Endurance athletes often eat meals high in carbohydrate (carbo-loading) a few hours before an event, so that their body’s glycogen is at optimum levels.

49 Lap dog, briefly : POM

The Pomeranian is a small breed of dog named for the Pomerania region of Europe (part of eastern Germany and northern Poland). The breed was much loved by the royalty of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, Queen Victoria owned a particularly small Pomeranian. Due to the notoriety of the monarch’s pet, the Pomeranian was bred for small size, so that during the Queen’s admittedly long reign, the size of the average “pom” was reduced by 50% …

58 Kudrow of “Friends” : LISA

The character Phoebe Buffay (and her identical twin sister Ursula) is played on the sitcom “Friends” by the actress Lisa Kudrow. Kudrow plays the ditzy member of the troupe of friends, but I’ve always viewed her as the “smartest” of the group of actors in real life, as best I could tell. Kudrow is behind the US version of the British genealogy show “Who Do You Think You Are?” a very entertaining bit of television.

62 Arouse, as an appetite : WHET

The words “whet” and “pique” can both be used in the sense of sharpening or awaking one’s interest or desire.

63 Skin care brand : AVEENO

Aveeno is a manufacturer of skincare and haircare products that was founded in 1945. The name Aveeno comes from the Latin name for the common oat, i.e. Avena sativa.

65 Eminem genre : RAP

Rap star Eminem’s real name is Marshall Mathers. Mathers grew up poor in Saint Joseph, Missouri. He was raised by a single-mom as the family was abandoned by his father when he was 18 months old. Marshall and his mother moved around the country before settling in a suburb of Detroit. He didn’t do well at school, and dropped out at the age of 17. But in the end he made it pretty big …

67 Cook escargots perfectly? : NAIL SNAILS

“Escargot” is the French word for “snail”. In order to eat snails, apparently they have to be “purged” before killing them. That means starving them or feeding them on something “wholesome” for several days before cooking them up. Ugh …

69 Cut with a surgical beam : LASE

The term “laser” is an acronym standing for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “light oscillation by stimulated emission of radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn’t quite so appealing, namely “loser”.

70 Fish organ : GILL

A fish’s gills are the organs equivalent to the lungs of many land animals. The gills can extract oxygen dissolved in water and excrete carbon dioxide.

71 “Fiddler” busybody : YENTE

Yenta (also “Yente”) is actually a female Yiddish name. In Yiddish theater “yenta” came to mean a busybody, a gossip.

The enduring musical “Fiddler on the Roof” is based on a collection of stories by Sholem Aleichem about Tevye, a milkman living in Tsarist Russia. The musical version of the tales first opened on Broadway in 1964. “Fiddler on the Roof” had such a long run that it became the first musical to reach 3,000 performances.

72 Yemen’s Gulf of __ : ADEN

The Gulf of Aden is the body of water that lies south of the Red Sea, and just north of the Horn of Africa.

73 63-Across rival : OLAY
(63A Skin care brand : AVEENO)

Oil of Olay was developed in South Africa in 1949. When Oil of Olay was introduced internationally, it was given slightly different brand names designed to appeal in the different geographies. In Ireland we know it as Oil of Ulay, for example, and in France it is Oil of Olaz.

74 Medical pictures : X-RAYS

X-rays were first studied comprehensively by the German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen (also “Roentgen”), and it was he who gave the name “X-rays” to this particular type of radiation. Paradoxically, in Röntgen’s native language of German, X-rays are routinely referred to as “Röntgen rays”. In 1901, Röntgen’s work on X-rays won him the first Nobel Prize in Physics that was ever awarded.

Down

1 Long-distance runner : MILER

The 4-minute barrier for the mile run was first broken in 1954 by Roger Bannister, when he finished in just over 3m 59s. The record for males now stands at 3m 43s. If you plan on running a 4-minute mile, you should probably be warned that this means you have to run the whole race at an average speed of over 15 mph (do the math!).

3 “Star Wars” creator George : LUCAS

The producer and director George Lucas has amassed an incredibly large fortune, primarily due to the phenomenal success of his movie franchises “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones”. Worth about $3 billion, Lucas has gone the way of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, agreeing to give half of his fortune to charity as part of “The Giving Pledge”.

4 Yellowstone grazer : ELK

Yellowstone was the first National Park to be established in the world, when it was designated as such by President Grant in 1872. What a great tradition it started! The American National Parks truly are a treasure.

6 Carne __: burrito filling : ASADA

The name of the dish called “carne asada” translates from Spanish as “roasted meat”.

A burrito is a common dish served in Mexican cuisine. It is a flour tortilla filled with all sorts of good stuff. The term “burrito” is Spanish for “little donkey”, the diminutive of “burro” meaning “donkey”. It’s thought that the name was applied as a burrito looks like a bedroll or pack that might be carried by a donkey.

7 Czech diacritical mark : HACEK

A “háček” is a diacritic shaped like an inverted hat. Also called a “caron”, it is used particularly in Baltic and Slavic languages.

A diacritic mark is added to a letter to indicate that it has a special phonetic sound. Examples of diacritic marks are the tilde above the n in Spanish words like “jalapeño” and “niño “, and the cedilla under the c in French words like “façade”.

10 Tree in a tray : BONSAI

The term “bonsai” is used more correctly to describe the Japanese art of growing carefully shaped trees in containers, although it has come to be used as the name for all miniature trees in pots.

12 Actress Sevigny : CHLOE

The actress Chloë Sevigny’s big breakthrough role was playing one of the three Mormon wives in the excellent HBO drama series “Big Love”. More recently, I saw Sevigny in “Love & Friendship”, a 2016 big screen adaptation of Jane Austen’s epistolary novel “Lady Susan”. I must say that Sevigny’s performance really paled when compared to that of the lead, Kate Beckinsale.

13 Delta deposits : SILTS

A river delta is a triangular landform at the mouth of a river created by the deposition of sediment. The Nile Delta in Northern Egypt is one of the world’s largest river deltas, and covers 150 miles of coastline on the Mediterranean. The most famous “delta” in the United States isn’t actually a delta at all. The Mississippi Delta is an alluvial plain that lies 300 miles north of the river’s actual delta, yet it is known as the “Mississippi River Delta”. Very confusing …

24 Social media troublemaker : TROLL

In Internet terms, a troll is someone who attempts to disrupt online group activities. The fishing term “troll” is used to describe such a person, as he or she throws out off-topic remarks in an attempt to “lure” others into some emotional response. Sad, sad people …

26 Element #50 : TIN

The Latin word for tin is “stannum”, and so tin’s atomic symbol is “Sn”. One of the ores used as a source of tin is “stannite”.

28 Mic holders : MCS

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

35 Utah ski resort : ALTA

Alta ski resort actually lies within the Salt Lake City Metropolitan Area. The first ski lift in the resort was opened way back in 1939. Today, Alta is one of only three ski resorts in the country that prohibits snowboarding (along with Deer Valley, Utah and Mad River Glen, Vermont. The ski resort of Snowbird, located next to Alta, has been in operation since 1971.

36 Battleship initials : USS

The abbreviation “USS” stands for “United States Ship”. The practice of naming US Navy vessels in a standard format didn’t start until 1907 when President Theodore Roosevelt issued an executive order that addressed the issue.

In the days of sail, a naval fleet of ships often formed a “line of battle” in the vessels formed up end to end. The advantage of such a formation was that all vessels could fire a battery of cannon along the full length of the ship. Vessels deemed powerful enough to join the line of battle became known as “ships of the line”, or “line of battle ships”. The term “line of battle ship” shortened over time to become our modern word “battleship”. The main feature of a contemporary battleship is a battery of large caliber guns.

38 “At Last” vocalist James : ETTA

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 Jones recorded a version of the “At Last” in 1960, after which it became her signature song.

39 Loch with monster stories : NESS

The Loch Ness monster has been talked about for centuries, but modern interest started in 1933 when a spate of sightings was reported. Those sightings don’t seem to have stopped, with photographs really sparking the imagination.

41 Student advocacy gp. : PTA

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

47 U.K. leaders : PMS

The Prime Minister (PM) of the UK has powers equivalent to the US President, but with major differences. The office of prime minister exists by convention and not by any constitution. The convention is that the King or Queen of England appoints as PM the person most likely to have the confidence of the House of Commons, and that person is usually the leader of the party with the most seats in the Commons. There is no term limit and the PM serves “at his/her majesty’s pleasure”. The first UK PM wasn’t actually called “Prime Minister”, and the person first attributed with the equivalent powers was Sir Robert Walpole, the First Lord of the Treasury in 1721.

51 Govt. IDs : SSNS

The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an identity number to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So, from 1986 onward, it is a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, seven million dependents “disappeared” in 1987.

52 Choreographer Tharp : TWYLA

I love Twyla Tharp’s choreography, and her “patented moves”. Tharp was born in Portland, Indiana in 1941. She was named for Twila Thornburg, the “Pig Princess” of the 89th Annual Muncie Fair in Indiana. That’s one to tell to the grandkids …

54 Latin ballroom dance : TANGO

The dramatic dance called the tango originated in the late 1800s in the area along the border between Argentina and Uruguay. Dancers and orchestras from Buenos Aires in particular traveled to Europe and beyond in the early twentieth century and brought the tango with them. The tango craze first struck Europe in Paris in the 1910s, and from there spread to London and Berlin, crossing the Atlantic to New York in 1913.

56 Soprano role in Bizet’s “The Pearl Fishers” : LEILA

“The Pearl Fishers” (“Les Pêcheurs de Perles”) is the second most famous opera produced by Georges Bizet, the French composer from the Romantic era. “The Pearl Fishers” is about two Ceylon fishermen (Nadir and Zurga) who are lifelong friends, and the threats to that friendship when the pair fall in love with the same woman (Leila).

57 Green shade with an Irish name : KELLY

Kelly green is a strong yellowish green, and was given its name back in the early 1900s. Apparently, the name was chosen because green is popular in Ireland, and Kelly is a common Irish family name.

59 Skater Slutskaya with two Olympic medals : IRINA

Irina Slutskaya is a retired Russian figure skater. Slutskaya won the World Figure Skating Championships twice, in 2002 and 2005.

61 Vaulted church areas : APSES

The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

64 Black gemstone : ONYX

Onyx is a form of quartz that comes in many different shades, but most often it’s the black version that’s used for jewelry. The name “onyx” comes from the Greek word for “fingernail”, as onyx in the flesh color is said to resemble a fingernail.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Singer Cyrus : MILEY
6 Captain with a whalebone leg : AHAB
10 Secretly sends an email copy to : BCCS
14 Cry of domination : I RULE!
15 Sensible : SANE
16 “Well, hello there” : OH HI
17 Run out of pants? : LACK SLACKS
19 Dickens’ Little __ : NELL
20 Airport approx. : ETA
21 Vintage Ford : MODEL T
22 Many a bagpiper : SCOT
23 Relaxation : REST
25 Steal tent holders? : TAKE STAKES
27 Apt. units : RMS
29 XV ÷ V : III
30 For a specific purpose : AD HOC
33 Remington rival : BRAUN
37 Hamilton’s bill : TEN
40 Share sewing cylinders? : POOL SPOOLS
42 Choose in a booth : VOTE
43 Pharmacy tablet : PILL
44 Praise Guinness products? : TOUT STOUTS
46 Benchmark: Abbr. : STD
47 Carb-loading meal : PASTA
48 Fill in for : ACT AS
49 Lap dog, briefly : POM
51 Spot with saunas : SPA
52 Discuss cornfields? : TALK STALKS
58 Kudrow of “Friends” : LISA
62 Arouse, as an appetite : WHET
63 Skin care brand : AVEENO
65 Eminem genre : RAP
66 “You betcha!” : YEAH!
67 Cook escargots perfectly? : NAIL SNAILS
69 Cut with a surgical beam : LASE
70 Fish organ : GILL
71 “Fiddler” busybody : YENTE
72 Yemen’s Gulf of __ : ADEN
73 63-Across rival : OLAY
74 Medical pictures : X-RAYS

Down

1 Long-distance runner : MILER
2 Steaming mad : IRATE
3 “Star Wars” creator George : LUCAS
4 Yellowstone grazer : ELK
5 Polite rural assent : YES’M
6 Carne __: burrito filling : ASADA
7 Czech diacritical mark : HACEK
8 Joint for a bracelet : ANKLE
9 Outdoes : BESTS
10 Tree in a tray : BONSAI
11 “Look at that!” : CHECK IT OUT!
12 Actress Sevigny : CHLOE
13 Delta deposits : SILTS
18 A great deal : LOTS
24 Social media troublemaker : TROLL
26 Element #50 : TIN
28 Mic holders : MCS
30 Phone downloads : APPS
31 “Finish that job!” : DO IT!
32 Polite “Hang on” : HOLD, PLEASE
33 Chorus for the villain : BOOS
34 Lopsided win : ROUT
35 Utah ski resort : ALTA
36 Battleship initials : USS
38 “At Last” vocalist James : ETTA
39 Loch with monster stories : NESS
41 Student advocacy gp. : PTA
42 Outspoken : VOCAL
45 One in a bar array : TAP
47 U.K. leaders : PMS
50 “In that case, fine” : OK THEN
51 Govt. IDs : SSNS
52 Choreographer Tharp : TWYLA
53 In first place : AHEAD
54 Latin ballroom dance : TANGO
55 Be useful to : AVAIL
56 Soprano role in Bizet’s “The Pearl Fishers” : LEILA
57 Green shade with an Irish name : KELLY
59 Skater Slutskaya with two Olympic medals : IRINA
60 Like the ocean : SALTY
61 Vaulted church areas : APSES
64 Black gemstone : ONYX
68 Bubbly prefix : AER-

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 11 Jun 19, Tuesday”

  1. 8 mins 47 sec, no errors. A confusing set of proper names in the bottom center, but otherwise easy and enjoyable.

  2. LAT: 5:41, no errors. WSJ: 8:07, no errors. Newsday: 5:29, no errors. Jones: 24:59, no errors. A relatively decent themeless outing. Yesterday’s BEQ: 25:14, no errors. About as hard as he usually makes these, with the usual issues.

    1. Jones: 19:46, with two one-square errors, one of which I could have fixed if only I’d had my thinking cap on straight. The basic problem was the crossing of a couple of unfamiliar things (what I call a “personal Natick”).

      Croce: 31:11, no errors; a relatively easy one, but with one treacherous crossing that I paused over for some time. It involved a choice between creating an unfamiliar, but somewhat plausible, entry in either the horizontal or the vertical direction, with a familiar one in the other direction … but I finally chose correctly (and without flipping a coin!) … 😳.

  3. Usual slow time by comparison, 1 posting error and 0 omissions.
    Missed 32 Down; did not like the A I put down, but did not zero
    in on P for “please”. Should have seen it. Still 99.5%, good start to
    the week.

  4. 9:23 after spending a long minute or two searching for what ended up being a pretty glaring typo. Kept me a little more engaged than a usual Tuesday.

    We’re supposed to hit 104 degrees today and 107 tomorrow here in Las Vegas. If this keeps up it might get warm here sometime soon….

    Best –

  5. Clever theme. Did not know several answers, but got from crosses: BRAUN, ASADA, HACEK, ALTA, LEILA, IRINA.

    Remington Arms is in the next county, Herkimer. Sales were down, recently.

  6. Wassup folks?😎

    No errors– easy stuff. Cute theme. 👌 Wasn’t sure of LEILA, altho the only opera I can endure is Carmen, also by Bizet. And I don’t like the singing, just instrumental renditions. I’m a philistine for sure. 😉

    Be well~~🚋⚾️

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