LA Times Crossword 12 Jun 19, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Tim Schenck
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Spread the Wealth

Themed answers include circled letters SPREAD throughout that answer. Those letters spell out slang words meaning “money”:

  • 39A Share good fortune, as suggested in four sets of circles : SPREAD THE WEALTH
  • 18A Ulan Bator residents : MONGOLIANS (hiding “MOOLA”)
  • 20A Electrical unit : KILOVOLT (hiding “LOOT”)
  • 59A Bayou critter : CRAWFISH (hiding “CASH”)
  • 61A Wedding party member : BRIDESMAID (hiding “BREAD”)

Bill’s time: 5m 07s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 WCs : LAVS

Our word “lavatory” (sometimes “lav”) originally referred to a washbasin, and comes from the Latin “lavatorium”, a place for washing. In the 1600s, “lavatory” came to mean a washroom, and in the 1920s a toilet.

5 Rope fiber plants : HEMPS

Hemp, also known as “cannabis”, is a hardy, fast-growing plant that has many uses mainly due to the strength of the fibers in the plant’s stalks. Hemp is used to make rope, paper and textiles. The term “hemp” is sometimes reserved for varieties of the plant grown for non-drug use.

10 Shell game, e.g. : SCAM

A shell game is a gambling game, at least at first sight. It is usually a confidence trick. Typically, a small ball is placed under three face-down containers on a flat surface. The containers are shuffled around, and a player wins if he or she can “follow the ball” and correctly guess which container has that ball. In an illegal street game say, the operator will often use sleight of hand to fool the players.

14 Hodgepodge : OLIO

“Olio” is a term meaning “hodgepodge, mixture” that comes from the mixed stew of the same name. The stew in turn takes its name from the Spanish “olla”, the clay pot used for cooking.

“Hochepot” is an Old French word for stew or soup, and this gave rise to an Anglo-French legal term for a collection of property that was gathered prior to being divided up. This became our “hodgepodge” in the early 1400s.

16 Somewhat, in music : POCO

“Poco” is an Italian word for “little”, and is used in musical notation to mean “a little”.

18 Ulan Bator residents : MONGOLIANS (hiding “MOOLA”)

The name of Mongolia’s capital city Ulaanbaatar (formerly anglicized as “Ulan Bator”) translates as “the Red Hero”. The “Red Hero” name was chosen in honor of the country’s national hero Damdin Sükhbaatar. Sükhbaatar fought alongside the Soviet Red Army in the fight for liberation from Chinese occupation.

20 Electrical unit : KILOVOLT (hiding “LOOT”)

The volt is a unit of electric potential, or voltage. I always think of electrical voltage as something like water pressure The higher the pressure of water (voltage), the faster the water flows (the higher the electric current that flows).

22 “Citizen Kane” director : WELLES

1941’s “Citizen Kane” was the first film made by Orson Welles, and considered by many to be the finest movie ever made. It’s a remarkable achievement by Wells, as he played the lead, and also produced and directed. Despite all the accolades for “Citizen Kane” over the decades, the movie was far from a commercial success in its early run and actually lost money at the box office.

24 Flower part : SEPAL

In a flower, the sepals are the green, leaf-like structures that are “interleaved” with the petals, providing support. Prior to acting as support for the petals, the sepals protect the flower in bud.

28 Antediluvian : OLD

Something “antediluvian” is very old. The term comes from “ante” meaning “before” and “diluvium” meaning “flood”. The idea is that something really old took place before Noah’s Flood.

36 With the bow, in music : 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).

38 “__ Lisa” : MONA

“Mona Lisa” is a marvelous 1950 song that topped the charts for Nat King Cole for eight weeks. The song was written for the film “Captain Carey, U.S.A.” that was released that same year, and starred Alan Ladd. “Mona Lisa” won the Oscar for Best Original Song.

45 Fielder’s strong throw : PEG

To peg something is to throw it. The informal verb “to peg” especially applies to a hard throw in baseball in an attempt to catch out a base runner.

46 Cultural Revolution leader : MAO

China’s Cultural Revolution was started by Mao Zedong in 1966, and continued until Mao’s death in 1976. The Cultural Revolution replaced the Great Leap Forward, the economically and socially disastrous movement that Mao launched in 1958.

56 Gauguin’s island retreat : TAHITI

Tahiti is the most populous island in French Polynesia, which is located in the central Southern Pacific. Although Captain Cook landed in Tahiti in 1769, he wasn’t the first European to do so. However, Cook’s visit was the most significant in that it heralded a whole spate of European visitors, who brought with them prostitution, venereal disease and alcohol. Included among the subsequent visitors was the famous HMS Bounty under the charge of Captain Bligh.

Paul Gauguin was a French artist in the Post-Impressionist period. Gauguin was a great friend of Vincent van Gogh, and indeed was staying with him in Arles when van Gogh famously cut off his own ear. Equally famously, Gauguin “fled” to Tahiti in 1891 to escape the conventions of European life. He painted some of his most famous works on the island. After ten years living on Tahiti, Gauguin relocated to the Marquesas Islands, where he passed away in 1903.

59 Bayou critter : CRAWFISH (hiding “CASH”)

“Crawdad” and “crawfish” are alternative names for crayfish, with “crawdad” being more common in the south of the country.

A bayou is a marshy inlet or outlet of a lake or river, usually with stagnant or slow-moving water. The exact origins of the term “bayou” is uncertain, but it is thought perhaps to come from the Choctaw (a Native American people from the southeast) word “bayuk”, meaning “small stream”.

64 What Benjamin Button did backward : AGED

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald that was first published in 1922. It tells the tale of baby who was born as an 80-year-old man, and who gets younger instead of aging. The story was adapted into a 2008 film starring Brad Pitt in the title role.

68 Eyelid woes : STYES

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

69 Metallica drummer Ulrich : LARS

Lars Ulrich is a drummer from Denmark, and one of the founding members of the American heavy metal band called Metallica. Lars is the son of former professional tennis player Torben Ulrich, the oldest Davis Cup player in history.

Down

1 Age of Enlightenment philosopher : LOCKE

John Locke was an English philosopher whose most famous work was “Essay Concerning Human Understanding”. Locke’s position was that at birth the mind is a blank slate, a “tabula rasa”, and that knowledge is determined by experiences perceived through our senses.

The Age of Enlightenment (also known as “the Age of Reason”) was an era bridging the 17th and 18th centuries in which rationalism and scientific method started to hold sway against ideas grounded in tradition and faith. Key figures in the Age of Enlightenment were the likes of John Locke, Isaac Newton and Voltaire.

2 Do-or-die Texas Hold ’em bet : ALL IN

The official birthplace of the incredibly popular poker game of Texas hold ’em is Robstown, Texas where the game dates back to the early 1900s. The game was introduced into Las Vegas in 1967 by a group of Texan enthusiasts including Doyle Brunson, a champion often seen playing on TV today. Doyle Brunson published a poker strategy guide in 1978, and this really helped increase the popularity of the game. But it was the inclusion of Texas hold ‘em in the television lineup that really gave the game its explosive surge in popularity, with the size of the prize money just skyrocketing.

3 String quartet instrument : VIOLA

The viola looks like and is played like a violin, but is slightly larger. It is referred to as the middle voice in the violin family, between the violin and the cello.

A standard string quartet is made up of two violins, a viola and a cello. A string quintet consists of a standard string quartet with the addition of a fifth instrument, usually a second viola or cello.

4 City destroyed in Genesis : SODOM

The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as Admah and Zeboim, were destroyed by God for the sins of their inhabitants, according to the Bible. The name Sodom has become a metaphor for vice and homosexuality, and gives us our word “sodomy”.

6 Carbon compound : ENOL

An enol is an alkene with a hydroxyl group, and so is part-alkene and part-alcohol. The term “enol”, therefore, is a portmanteau of “alkene” and “alcohol”.

7 Freebies near the register : MINTS

What we usually call a cash register here in North America, we mostly call a “till” in Ireland and the UK. I haven’t heard the word “till” used much here in that sense.

8 Faddish ’90s disc : POG

The game of pogs was originally played with bottle caps from POG fruit juice. The juice was named for its constituents, passion fruit, orange and guava.

12 Proactiv+ target : ACNE

The Proactiv range of skincare products were introduced in 1995 by two dermatologists who met up with each other while studying at Stanford. Proactiv is market to people suffering with acne. There are quite a few folks who complain about the direct marketing approach to sales used for the products. Customers are “members” of a club, and the products keep coming until a subscription is canceled.

13 What some proverbial stones don’t gather : MOSS

Publilius Syrus was a writer of adages and proverbs in Ancient Roman times. He was a slave, originally a Syrian, who was freed by his master in Italy. Publilius wrote the adage “People who are always moving, with no roots in one place, avoid responsibilities and cares”. We are more familiar with the contemporary version “A rolling stone gathers no moss”.

21 “And there you have it!” : VOILA!

The French word “voilà” means “there it is”, and “voici” means “here it is”. The terms come from “voi là” meaning “see there” and “voi ici” meaning “see here”.

25 Epoch in the Cenozoic Era : EOCENE

The Eocene Epoch lasted from 56 to 34 million years ago. The name “Eocene” comes from the Greek “eos” meaning “dawn” and “kainos” meaning “new”. This is a reference to the “new dawn” for mammals, which emerged during the Eocene epoch.

27 __ of honor : MATRON

The members of the bride’s party in a wedding are the bridesmaids. The principal bridesmaid is the maid of honor. The principal bridesmaid might be referred to as the matron of honor if she is married.

31 Madeline of “Blazing Saddles” : KAHN

Madeline Kahn was an American actress best known for her comedic roles, especially those directed by Mel Brooks. Kahn also had her own TV sitcom, called “Oh Madeline”. But, it only lasted the one season, in 1983.

“Blazing Saddles” is a 1974 Mel Brooks movie that has become a modern-day classic. I really only enjoy one Mel Brooks film, and “Blazing Saddles” isn’t it. Just in case you’re interested, I very much enjoy “Young Frankenstein” …

32 “Let us know if you’re coming” letters : RSVP

“RSVP” stands for “répondez s’il vous plaît”, which is French for “answer, please”.

33 Duel tool : EPEE

The sword known as an épée has a three-sided blade. The épée is similar to a foil and sabre, although the foil and saber have rectangular cross-sections.

35 Bard’s nightfall : E’EN

The original bards were storytellers, poets and composers of music in medieval Britain and Ireland, with the term coming from the Old Celtic word “bardos” that described a poet or singer. I guess the most famous bard was William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon.

37 Density symbol, in physics : RHO

Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter “p”, although it is equivalent to the Roman letter R.

38 __ tai : MAI

The mai tai cocktail is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but the drink was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curaçao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice and then a float added of 6 parts dark rum. “Maita’i” is the Tahitian word for “good”.

40 Nin and Frank : DIARISTS

Anaïs Nin was a French author who was famous for the journals that she wrote for over sixty years from the age of 11 right up to her death. Nin also wrote highly regarded erotica and cited D. H. Lawrence as someone from whom she drew inspiration. Nin was married to banker and artist Hugh Parker Guiler in 1923. Decades later in 1955, Nin married former actor Rupert Pole, even though she was still married to Guiler. Nin and Pole had their marriage annulled in 1966, but just for legal reasons, and they continued to live together as husband and wife until Nin passed away in 1977.

Anne Frank has to be one of the most famous victims of the Holocaust. This is largely because the story of this young girl lives on in her widely published diary, and in adaptations of the diary for stage and screen. Anne Frank was a German until she lost her nationality in 1941 when the Nazis came to power. By this time she was living with her family in Amsterdam, as the Franks chose to flee Germany in 1933. When the Germans occupied the Netherlands, the family went into hiding in the attic of Otto Frank’s office building (Otto was Anne’s father). There the family hid for two whole years until they were betrayed. The family was split up, and Anne and her sister died from typhus in a concentration camp in 1945.

41 Macaroni shape : ELBOW

In many cases, the name given to a type of pasta comes from its shape. However, the name macaroni comes from the type of dough used to make the noodle. Here in the US, macaroni is usually elbow-shaped tubes, but it doesn’t have to be.

46 Pal at the barbie : MATE

“Barbie” is a nickname for “barbecue”, especially in Australia.

48 Turbine parts : BLADES

A turbine is a machine uses the flow of a fluid (sometimes air) to create rotational work. Simple examples of turbines are windmills and waterwheels.

49 One of Sean Combs’ stage names : DIDDY

When Sean John Combs started his rapping career, he used the stage name “Puff Daddy”. Then he went with “P. Diddy”, and I think that he is now recording simply as “Diddy”. Having said that, he has to stick with “P. Diddy” in some countries as he lost a legal battle over use of the simpler “Diddy” name as there is another artist called Richard “Diddy” Dearlove.

52 Butcher shop byproduct : OFFAL

The internal organs and entrails of a butchered animal are referred to collectively as “offal”. Examples of dishes that make use of offal would be sausages, foie gras, sweetbreads and haggis. The term is a melding of the words “off” and “fall”, and dates back to the 14th century. The idea is that offal is what “falls off” a butcher’s block.

54 Perfume compound : ESTER

Esters are very common chemicals. The smaller, low-molecular weight esters are usually pleasant smelling and are often found in perfumes. At the other end of the scale, the higher-molecular weight nitroglycerin is a nitrate ester and is very explosive, and polyester is a huge molecule and is a type of plastic. Fats and oils found in nature are fatty acid esters of glycerol known as glycerides.

55 Relatives of emus : RHEAS

The rhea is a flightless bird that is native to South America. The rhea takes its name from the Greek Titan Rhea. It’s an apt name for a flightless bird as “rhea” comes from the Greek word meaning “ground”.

56 Lift up the slope : T-BAR

A T-bar is a ski lift on which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of a T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There’s also a J-bar, which is a similar device but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

57 Golden Fleece ship : ARGO

The Golden Fleece was the fleece of a winged ram made from pure gold that was held by King Aeëtes in Colchis, a kingdom on the eastern coast of the Black Sea. The fleece is central to the tale of Jason and the Argonauts, who set out on a quest to steal the fleece by order of King Pelias.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 WCs : LAVS
5 Rope fiber plants : HEMPS
10 Shell game, e.g. : SCAM
14 Hodgepodge : OLIO
15 Wedding : UNION
16 Somewhat, in music : POCO
17 Blockhead : CLOD
18 Ulan Bator residents : MONGOLIANS (hiding “MOOLA”)
20 Electrical unit : KILOVOLT (hiding “LOOT”)
22 “Citizen Kane” director : WELLES
23 Fill with love : ENAMOR
24 Flower part : SEPAL
26 Philosophy suffix : -ISM
28 Antediluvian : OLD
29 Talk, talk, talk : YAK
32 Drive away : REPEL
36 With the bow, in music : ARCO
38 “__ Lisa” : MONA
39 Share good fortune, as suggested in four sets of circles : SPREAD THE WEALTH
42 Ore bed : VEIN
43 Multivitamin ingredient : IRON
44 Compare : LIKEN
45 Fielder’s strong throw : PEG
46 Cultural Revolution leader : MAO
47 Recede : EBB
49 Does some mending : DARNS
51 Disaster area thief : LOOTER
56 Gauguin’s island retreat : TAHITI
59 Bayou critter : CRAWFISH (hiding “CASH”)
61 Wedding party member : BRIDESMAID (hiding “BREAD”)
63 Inevitable outcome : FATE
64 What Benjamin Button did backward : AGED
65 Not windy : TERSE
66 Side squared, for a square : AREA
67 Like Santa’s cheeks : ROSY
68 Eyelid woes : STYES
69 Metallica drummer Ulrich : LARS

Down

1 Age of Enlightenment philosopher : LOCKE
2 Do-or-die Texas Hold ’em bet : ALL IN
3 String quartet instrument : VIOLA
4 City destroyed in Genesis : SODOM
5 Caters to : HUMORS
6 Carbon compound : ENOL
7 Freebies near the register : MINTS
8 Faddish ’90s disc : POG
9 Road maintenance vehicle : SNOWPLOW
10 Mop target : SPILL
11 Shade of black : COAL
12 Proactiv+ target : ACNE
13 What some proverbial stones don’t gather : MOSS
19 Detective’s need : LEAD
21 “And there you have it!” : VOILA!
25 Epoch in the Cenozoic Era : EOCENE
27 __ of honor : MATRON
29 Egg part : YOLK
30 Get the pot going : ANTE
31 Madeline of “Blazing Saddles” : KAHN
32 “Let us know if you’re coming” letters : RSVP
33 Duel tool : EPEE
34 Uptight type : PRIG
35 Bard’s nightfall : E’EN
37 Density symbol, in physics : RHO
38 __ tai : MAI
40 Nin and Frank : DIARISTS
41 Macaroni shape : ELBOW
46 Pal at the barbie : MATE
48 Turbine parts : BLADES
49 One of Sean Combs’ stage names : DIDDY
50 Hair-raising : SCARY
52 Butcher shop byproduct : OFFAL
53 Sparkly crown : TIARA
54 Perfume compound : ESTER
55 Relatives of emus : RHEAS
56 Lift up the slope : T-BAR
57 Golden Fleece ship : ARGO
58 Goes quickly, quaintly : HIES
60 Ascend : RISE
62 Bumped into : MET

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 12 Jun 19, Wednesday”

  1. Yes, easy.

    Never heard of PEG, but that’s true with most sports.

    A little uncomfortable with LOOTER and LOOT in KILOVOLT.

  2. LAT: 6:26, no errors. Took a couple of minutes on one part. WSJ: 10:58, no errors. Newsday: 6:13, no errors. Took a lot more time to get this than to solve it for their tracker blocker paywall or whatever they’ve got running that blocks Firefox out of the box.

  3. Pretty easy, as it were, but we needed to make some changes. Ended up with
    1 posting error and 0 omissions. Missed the L in OFFAL; did not know that
    word and used FAT for the ending. Seemed logical at the time.

    Very entertaining and a solid week so far, missing only 2 squares in 3 days
    (approx. 600 squares) for a 99.5% average. Pretty salty. PEG is an age-old
    baseball term, i.e. He pegged (long throw) the ball in from the outfield.

    Kudos to all for the good solving times.

  4. Another mostly doable and friendly puzzle. Nevertheless the epic in the
    Cenozoic era stumped me.
    Eddie

  5. 9:13. No surprises.

    A KILOVOLT is just 1000 volts, just as a kilowatt you see on your electric bill is just 1000 watts. In Bill’s analogy a kink in the hose would be resistance and could affect the current.

    But electricity is a little more complicated at times to understand. We use high voltage power lines to send electricity over large distances because is uses less current. For example, for a given power, the product of the transmission line voltage and current is constant. So holding the power constant, an increase in voltage results in a decrease in current. So increasing the voltage decreases the current since the power is the same. A decrease in current makes the transmission more efficient and less power is lost. That’s why we use high voltage power lines (in the neighborhood of 500,000 volts so I don’t recommend touching them…) to send power over distance.

    End of tangent….

    Best –

  6. @ Anonymous 8:33

    There was a lot of “crosswordese.” I keep an illustrated list of them.

    @Daigle – Some of these words you’ll rarely use. Like OFFAL.
    I would never mention my speeds, but I still enjoy laying back and solving on paper with my colored Flairs. My weakneses are sports and young pop.

    Mai tai jai alai – to all.

  7. Fairly easy Wednesday for me, after two really easy early week puzzles. Forgot to accurately time it, but about 15 minutes or so, with no errors. Had to change DIttY and was going with CRAWdads before that became untenable.

    So, if John Locke lived during the Age of Enlightenment, when “rationalism and scientific method started to hold sway,” at the turn of the 17th and 18th century, I shudder to think what historians will call our era?

  8. Greetings!!😎

    No errors but wow! I was sure I had at least one. Didn’t know ARCO or RHO and made a semi-educated guess for those. Sounded right and it was!!

    Dirk, maybe we’re living in the Age of Blinders….🤨

    Hey Jeff! Congrats to your hometown Blues!!

    Be well ~~🚋⚾️

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