LA Times Crossword 15 Jun 19, Saturday

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Constructed by: Craig Stowe
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 8m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Key of Chopin’s Étude Op. 10, No. 3 : E MAJ

Chopin’s “Étude Op. 10, No. 3” is a popular piece of solo piano music. The main melody used was the composer’s most beautiful, and that’s according to Chopin himself.

9 Wont : HABIT

The adjective “wont” means “accustomed”, as in “I am wont to solving the crossword of an evening”.

16 “The Faerie Queene” woman : IRENA

The Faerie Queene is an epic poem by Edmund Spenser. It is one of the longest poems written in the English language.

17 U.S. gross national debt units since 1981 : TRILLIONS

Historically speaking, increases in the US national debt expressed as a percentage of the gross domestic product are really dependent on only two major factors: either war or recession. So, we should just avoid both of those things …

18 Fictional musket wielder : ATHOS

Alexandre Dumas’ “Three Musketeers” are Athos, Porthos and Aramis, although the hero of the novel is the trio’s young protégé D’Artagnan. A musketeer was an infantry soldier who was equipped with a musket. Funnily enough, the three “musketeers” really don’t use their muskets, and are better known for prowess with their swords.

20 Medieval English feudal lord : THANE

Thanes were Scottish aristocrats. The most famous thanes have to be the Shakespearean characters Macbeth (the Thane of Glamis, later Thane of Cawdor, and still later King of Scotland) and MacDuff (the Thane of Fife). Other thanes in “Macbeth” are Ross, Lennox and Angus, as well as Menteith and Caithness.

27 Aristotle in the 20th century : ONASSIS

Aristotle “Ari” Onassis was born to a successful Greek shipping entrepreneur in Smyrna in modern-day Turkey. However, his family lost its fortune during WWI and so Aristotle worked with his father to build up a new business empire centered on the importation of tobacco. In 1957, Aristotle founded the Greek national airline, what is today called Olympic Air, and he also got into the business of shipping oil around the world. He married Athina Livanos in 1946, the daughter of a wealthy shipping magnate. They couple had two children together, with one being the famous Christina Onassis. Livanos divorced Onassis on discovering him in bed with the opera singer Maria Callas. Onassis ended his affair with Callas in order to marry Jackie Kennedy in 1968.

29 River in Tuscany : ARNO

The Arno is the principal river in the Tuscany region of Italy, and passes through the cities of Florence and Pisa. Famously the Arno flooded in 1966, the worst flood in the region for centuries. There were numerous deaths and extensive destruction of priceless art treasures, particularly in Florence.

30 “Middlemarch” author : ELIOT

“George Eliot” was the pen name of English novelist Mary Anne Evans. As one might think, Evans chose a male pen name in order that her work might be best appreciated in the Victorian era. Eliot wrote seven novels including “Adam Bede” (1859), “The Mill on the Floss” (1860), “Silas Marner” (1861) and “Middlemarch” (1871-72).

George Eliot’s novel “Middlemarch” was first published in installments in 1871-72. The storyline is set some fifty years earlier, in the fictional English Midlands town of Middlemarch.

34 YMCA leader and Peace Prize co-Nobelist John : MOTT

John Mott was an evangelist and activist who led for many years the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) and the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF). His work was recognized with a Nobel Peace Prize in 1946.

35 Coup group : JUNTA

A junta is a group of military officers that rule a country, usually after having seized power forcibly. “Junta” is a Spanish word meaning “council”.

36 Normandy department : ORNE

Orne is a department and river in the northwest of France. Perhaps one of the most famous locations in Orne is the village of Camembert, the home of the famous (and delicious!) cheese.

The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy in the north of France. They were descended from Viking stock, so the name “Norman” derives from a translation of “North Men”.

37 Lofty verse : EPOS

“Epos” is a Greek word meaning “story poem”. We have absorbed the term into English with the same meaning. We also use “epos” in English to mean “epic”, i.e. a long narrative poetic work featuring heroic deeds and ventures.

38 Glyceride, for one : 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.

39 Tabula __ : RASA

“Tabula rasa” (plural “tabulae rasae”) is the idea that people are born with a “blank slate”, and that knowledge comes from experience and perception.

40 Japanese electronics giant : HITACHI

Hitachi is a huge Japanese company that operates in many different sectors of the market. It was founded in 1910 by an electrical engineer named Namihei Odaira, with the first production being an induction motor used in copper mining. The name “Hitachi” comes from the kanji characters “hi” meaning “sun” and “tachi” meaning rise.

42 “Black Velvet” singer Alannah : MYLES

Alannah Myles is a singer-songwriter from Toronto. Her first big hit was “Black Velvet” released in 1989.

43 Sovereign : DYNAST

A dynast is someone who rules by virtue of heredity. “Dynastes” is a Greek word meaning “ruler, chief, master”.

44 Early one-named Velvet Underground vocalist : NICO

Nico was the stage name of the German singer born Christa Päffgen. Nico was one of Andy Warhol’s superstars, a group of personalities that gathered around him and whom he promoted in the sixties and seventies. It was Warhol who introduced Nico to the Velvet Underground, the New York City band that Warhol was managing at the time.

47 Great service providers : ACERS

That would be tennis, perhaps.

54 It may be a stretch : LIMOUSINE

The word “limousine” derives from the French city of Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving rise to that type of transportation being called a “limousine”. Well, that’s how the story goes …

55 Colorado’s __ Park : ESTES

Estes Park is a town in a beautiful part of the US, in northern Colorado. Estes Park is home to the headquarters of Rocky Mountain National Park.

58 Nudnik : PEST

“Nudnik” is a slang term describing a boring and bothersome person. The word comes from Yiddish, with “nuda” being the Polish for “boredom”.

Down

2 Prefix with vision : EURO-

Eurovision is a TV network that was founded in 1954 in Geneva. The network encompasses dozens of broadcasting organizations, not only in Europe, but around the world. Eurovision was set up initially to facilitate the exchange of TV programming. Today, the Eurovision brand is mainly associated (to the public) with multinational competitions that are arranged with a host broadcaster. The best example of such an event is the Eurovision Song Contest that is held annually. Another Eurovision event that was huge in Europe from the sixties through the nineties was “Jeux Sans Frontières”, a multinational TV game show.

5 Bunker on Hauser Street : EDITH

Archie Bunker’s wife Edith was played by Jean Stapleton on the 1970s sitcom “All in the Family”. By 1980, Stapleton was growing tired of playing the role and appeared in fewer and fewer episodes. When the show’s spin-off series “Archie Bunker’s Place” premiered, the storyline revealed that Archie Bunker had just lost his wife, setting the tone for the new show.

6 “The Piano” extra : MAORI

The Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. They are eastern Polynesian in origin and began arriving in New Zealand relatively recently, starting some time in the late 13th century. The word “māori” simply means “normal”, distinguishing the mortal human being from spiritual entities. The Māori refer to New Zealand as “Aotearoa”.

“The Piano” is a 1993 film set and filmed in New Zealand starring Harvey Keitel, Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin. The movie tells the story of a mute piano player and her daughter, and her efforts to regain her piano after it is sold. Holly Hunter managed to get three screen credits in “The Piano”. She was credited for her acting role, for playing her own piano pieces in the film, and for being the sign-language coach for young Anna Paquin.

9 Break : HIATUS

A hiatus is a break or opening in a material object. “Hiatus” is Latin for “opening”.

10 Subject including the Renaissance : ART HISTORY

The Renaissance is the period in European history that bridges the Dark Ages and the Modern Era. “Renaissance” is French for “rebirth”, and is a term reflecting the rebirth of interest in the learnings from Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.

13 Cop show shocker : TASER

Victor Appleton wrote a novel for young adults called “Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle”. The company that developed the TASER electroshock weapon partly named its product as a homage to the novel. The acronym “TASER” stands for “Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle”.

22 Doha’s country : QATAR

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.

Doha is the capital city of the Persian Gulf state of Qatar. The name “Doha” translates from Arabic as “the big tree”.

25 Name wrongly associated with cake : ANTOINETTE

There is no evidence that Marie Antoinette ever uttered the words “Let them eat cake”. The phrase was attributed to “a great princess” though, by the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Rousseau wrote in his autobiography:

Finally I recalled the stopgap solution of a great princess who was told that the peasants had no bread, and who responded: “Let them eat brioche (cake).”

33 Tranquility and Serenity : SEAS

The Moon’s Mare Tranquillitatis (Latin for “Sea of Tranquility”) was named in 1651 by astronomers Francesco Grimaldi and Giovanni Battista Riccioli. Famously, the first manned landing on the Moon was in the Sea of Tranquility, when the Apollo 11 Lunar Module named Eagle touched down there in 1969. However, the first man-made vehicle to reach the Sea of Tranquility arrive four years earlier. the Ranger 8 spacecraft was deliberately crashed there in 1965, sending back thousands of photographs to Earth in the last 23 minutes of its mission.

The Moon’s Mare Serenitatis (Latin for “Sea of Serenity”) connects with the more famous Mare Tranquillitatis (Latin for “Sea of Tranquility”), which is where Neil Armstrong took those first steps on the Moon. Mare Serenitatis, like most of the “seas” on the Moon, was named in 1651 by Italian astronomer Giovanni Battista Riccioli. Anyone who likes looking at “the Man in the Moon” might be interested to know that the Sea of Serenity forms the right eye.

42 Big kahuna : MOGUL

A mogul is a person with power. The term comes from the Mughal emperors of India and South Asia.

Like many words in Hawaiian, “kahuna” has several English translations, everything from a priest to an expert in some profession. The expression “the Big Kahuna” comes from the 1959 movie “Gidget”. The Big Kahuna was the leader of one of the surfing gangs in the film, and was played by Cliff Robertson.

45 Feet in a meter? : IAMBS

An iamb is a metrical foot containing an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. The lines in William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 18” use five sequential iambs, e.g. “Shall I / compare / thee to / a sum- / -mer’s day?” With that sequence of five iambs, the poem’s structure is described as iambic pentameter.

46 Balkan native : CROAT

The Republic of Croatia is a Balkan country. The Croats declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Croatia became a member of NATO in 2009, and a member of the European Union in 2013.

The Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe is usually referred to as “the Balkans”. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains located in present-day Bulgaria and Serbia. “Balkan” is Bulgarian for “mountain”.

49 Pronto : ASAP

The Spanish and Italian (and now English) word “pronto” is derived from the Latin “promptus” meaning “ready, quick”.

50 E-__ : ZINE

Online magazines are variously referred to as webzines, e-zines, cyberzines, hyperzines or maybe e-magazines.

51 Letter-bottom abbr. : ENCL

Enclosure (encl.)

52 Bugs’ bane : DEET

“DEET” is short for N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, an active ingredient in insect repellents. DEET is most often used to repel mosquitoes by applying it to the skin and/or clothing. It is also used to protect against tick bites.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Word with H or I : -BEAM
5 Key of Chopin’s Étude Op. 10, No. 3 : E MAJ
9 Wont : HABIT
14 Old : OUT OF DATE
16 “The Faerie Queene” woman : IRENA
17 U.S. gross national debt units since 1981 : TRILLIONS
18 Fictional musket wielder : ATHOS
19 Ready for action : HOT TO TROT
20 Medieval English feudal lord : THANE
21 Prepare quickly, with “up” : WHIP
22 Shudder : QUIVER
23 Some partygoers : STAGS
27 Aristotle in the 20th century : ONASSIS
29 River in Tuscany : ARNO
30 “Middlemarch” author : ELIOT
32 Low digits : TOES
34 YMCA leader and Peace Prize co-Nobelist John : MOTT
35 Coup group : JUNTA
36 Normandy department : ORNE
37 Lofty verse : EPOS
38 Glyceride, for one : ESTER
39 Tabula __ : RASA
40 Japanese electronics giant : HITACHI
42 “Black Velvet” singer Alannah : MYLES
43 Sovereign : DYNAST
44 Early one-named Velvet Underground vocalist : NICO
47 Great service providers : ACERS
48 Looked raptly : STARGAZED
53 Photo finish : MATTE
54 It may be a stretch : LIMOUSINE
55 Colorado’s __ Park : ESTES
56 Disproportion : IMBALANCE
57 Origins : SEEDS
58 Nudnik : PEST
59 Hit, as with snowballs : PELT

Down

1 Choice when you can’t decide? : BOTH
2 Prefix with vision : EURO-
3 Working : AT IT
4 Shed : MOLT
5 Bunker on Hauser Street : EDITH
6 “The Piano” extra : MAORI
7 Never : AT NO POINT IN TIME
8 Kid : JEST
9 Break : HIATUS
10 Subject including the Renaissance : ART HISTORY
11 Type of economics : BEHAVIORAL
12 From that perspective : IN ONE SENSE
13 Cop show shocker : TASER
15 Runs : FLOWS
22 Doha’s country : QATAR
23 Word of equality : SAME
24 Cup holder : TROPHY CASE
25 Name wrongly associated with cake : ANTOINETTE
26 Took the first step : GOT STARTED
28 One on a staff : NOTE
30 Kick out : EJECT
31 Green : LUSH
33 Tranquility and Serenity : SEAS
41 Rate : ASSESS
42 Big kahuna : MOGUL
43 Some royal wedding guests : DAMES
45 Feet in a meter? : IAMBS
46 Balkan native : CROAT
48 Err : SLIP
49 Pronto : ASAP
50 E-__ : ZINE
51 Letter-bottom abbr. : ENCL
52 Bugs’ bane : DEET

22 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 15 Jun 19, Saturday”

  1. LAT: 17:53, no errors; a bit tricky in spots (as befits a Saturday puzzle).

    WSJ: 30:03, no errors. Had a complicated theme. At the end, I briefly convinced myself that one of the theme entries simply didn’t fit the pattern of the others. A few minutes thought showed me the error of my ways, but I would still maintain that it has an extra twist … 😜.

    Newsday’s “Saturday Stumper”: 1:03:38, no errors. A very difficult one that only came together bit by bit.

    As always, it’s nice to have Saturday’s puzzles in my rearview mirror …😜.

    1. @Dave – I don’t know exactly what you are hinting at here about the WSJ grid? I just finished it without ever even getting the trick until I was done and it didn’t seem any harder to complete than usual. I’m probably missing something (I usually am) here, but darned if I can figure out what that is.

    2. @Tony … Each occurrence of the theme consists of a pair of entries, one longer than the other. In each case, the first “half” of the longer entry is a word suggesting anagramming and the second “half” is a kind of synonym of a word to be anagrammed to get the other entry. So, on the third line, the long entry is “SHATTERED NERVES”, “NERVES” suggests “DREAD”, and the short entry is “DARED”, which is an anagram of “DREAD”. Similarly, on the sixth line, the long entry is “STIRRING THE POT”, “THE POT” suggests “DOPE”, and the short entry is “OP-ED”. On the ninth line, “CHANGE OF HEART” suggests anagramming “CENTER” to get “RECENT”, and so on. The one that gave me pause was on line thirteen: I did not quickly see how “SCRAMBLED EGGS” is somehow supposed to suggest anagramming “IMPELS” to get “SIMPLE” because it is “EGGS ON”, rather than just “EGGS”, that is a synonym of “IMPELS”. Thinking about all this did slow me down (and I didn’t fully make my peace with it until after I had finished the puzzle).

      1. @Dave – And the fact that I was completely albino mole blind to all that secondary stuff tells me exactly why I never get remotely near the solution to the Friday meta. ;-D>

        1. @Tony … I didn’t fully realize how complicated the WSJ gimmick was until I tried to describe it, and I think writing it out made me understand better why Glenn made the comment he did … 😜.

  2. This puzzle was the equivalent of on Octagon cage death match. I finally put it in a naked choke hold and it submitted. But the end was in doubt for a while as I stared at a sea of unfilled in squares of white space with a few lonely letters sprinkled here and there.

    On to the WSJ 21X21 at work.

    1. Wow! What a comment! All I know is that Bill took over 8 minutes.
      DNS. Bye, bye, puzzle. See you Monday.

  3. This was challenging enough. Used almost as much rubber as graphite. Examples: 43A, I had the first and last letters, so initially wrote DESPOT instead of DYNAST. 52D, first wrote FUDD instead of DEET! Should have realized, as Bugs was Fudd’s bane, not vice versa. Also, clue would have been “Bugs’s bane” instead of “Bugs’ bane.”

    1. While I will concede that “acer”, meaning “one that aces”, is not to be found in my college dictionary, I would observe that “ager”, meaning “that which ages” (as, for example, wine) is not to be found there, either. And yet, I would argue that it is easy to infer the meaning of either word. (I also appreciated the absence of yet another reference to the products of a certain Taiwanese PC manufacturer … 😜.)

  4. I agree with two of the above comments ~

    Less said about this puzzle the better.
    This puzzle was a real stinker.

    Eddie

  5. 19:54. Fun one. Actually I thought it just had a lot of crosswordese in this one. Once you had a bit of a foothold in the long answers, they came pretty easily too. Then again I’ve struggled more than once with puzzles people here thought were easy.

    ACERS might mean workers at Acer that provide good service? Too much of a stretch? Just wanted to annoy Dave with another Acer computer reference.. 🙂

    600,000+ in St. Louis celebrating the Blues Stanley Cup win. What a sight. Glad I saw it on tv. Even if I were in St Louis I don’t think I would have braved that crowd.

    Best –

  6. Pretty difficult Saturday for me; got everything except the NE and E…so about an hour with 30 errors. Did have TASER, QUaVER, ONA…, SEAS and RAzA, but that’s it, in those two areas. Couldn’t get a foothold there at all, although I should have gotten ONASSIS and THANE and possibly HABIT, which might have solved it. I knew the “low digits” were either ones, twos or toes.

    The rest was a bear, but fun! Somehow remembered/conjured up NICO, which finally helped get the loonngg 7 down.

  7. Greetings!😎

    No errors on a fun but difficult Saturday…. Tony, you crack me up!!😁 ACERS was weird– I also thought of great service from the computer company. I don’t know that I’ve heard of THANE….if I have it didn’t come to me today except thru crosses. SE seemed easy — I’m happy to boast that with just a few letters I got both LIMOUSINE and STARGAZED without even reading the clues. 😁 Nice to see faves like George ELIOT and NICO.

    Be well~~🚋⚾️

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