LA Times Crossword 17 Jun 19, Monday

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Constructed by: Jacob Stulberg
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: No Entry!

Themed answers each comprise two words starting with the letters “NO”:

  • 39A “Keep out!” sign … or, in three parts, each answer to a starred clue : NO ENTRY! or N O ENTRY
  • 17A *Home of the NFL’s Saints : NEW ORLEANS
  • 24A *Dentist’s “laughing gas” : NITROUS OXIDE
  • 49A *Admiral, e.g. : NAVAL OFFICER
  • 62A *Slipping into slumberland : NODDING OFF

Bill’s time: 5m 36s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Number-picking bar game : KENO

The name of the game keno has French or Latin roots, with the French “quine” being a term for five winning numbers, and the Latin “quini” meaning “five each”. The game originated in China and was introduced into the West by Chinese immigrants who were working on the first Transcontinental Railroad in the 1800s.

5 Story on a stand : ALIBI

“Alibi” is the Latin word for “elsewhere” as in, “I claim that I was ‘elsewhere’ when the crime was committed … I have an ‘alibi’”.

14 ’70s embargo gp. : OPEC

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

“Embargo” and “blockade” are two similar yet different terms. An embargo is a legal prohibition of trade with a particular country, whilst a blockade is an act of war, a militarily enforced prevention of the movement of goods and services. The term “embargo” came into English from Spanish, in the late 16th century.

15 Family car : SEDAN

The American sedan car is the equivalent of the British saloon car. By definition, a sedan car has two rows of seating and a separate trunk (boot in the UK), although in some models the engine can be at the rear of the car.

17 *Home of the NFL’s Saints : NEW ORLEANS

The New Orleans Saints football team takes its name from the jazz song “When the Saints Go Marching In”, a tune that is very much associated with the city. The team was founded in 1967, on November 1st, which is All Saints’ Day in the Roman Catholic tradition.

20 Blue Cross rival : AETNA

When the healthcare management and insurance company known as Aetna was founded, the name was chosen to evoke images of Mount Etna, the Italian volcano.

21 URL letters : HTTP

“http” are the first letters in many Internet links. “http” stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. More secure and “safer” websites (like this one!) use links starting with “https”, which stands for “http secure”).

23 Cartoon frame : CEL

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

24 *Dentist’s “laughing gas” : NITROUS OXIDE

“Laughing gas” is a common name for nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is used as an anesthetic, particularly by dentists. It is also used in motor racing to increase the power output of engines. Laughing gas was first synthesized by the English chemist Joseph Priestley, but it was Humphry Davy who discovered its potential as an anesthetic. Once it was realized that the gas could give the patient a fit of the giggles, “laughing gas parties” became common among those could afford them.

28 Showy houseplant : BEGONIA

The genus of flowering plants known as “begonias” were named in 1796 for Michel Bégon, a governor of Haiti (then “Santo Domingo”) who was an enthusiastic collector of plants.

31 Mideast’s Dead __ : SEA

The Middle East’s Dead Sea lies more than 1,400 feet below sea level, making it the lowest point on the Earth’s landmass. It is also one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world, with a salt content that is almost ten times that of most oceans.

33 L.A. commuter org. : MTA

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has public transportation responsibility in the state of New York (as well as part of Connecticut). “MTA” might also refer to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is known as “the Metro” and sometimes “the MTA”.

38 Darth, as a youth : ANI

Darth Vader is (to me) the most colorful antagonist in the “Star Wars” universe. Born as Anakin “Ani” 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 …

41 ’90s Indian prime minister : RAO

P. V. Narasimha Rao was Prime Minister of India from 1991 to 1996. Rao is seen by most as the leader who transformed his country’s economy into the market-driven engine that it is today.

45 Architect Saarinen : EERO

Eero Saarinen was a Finnish-American architect who was renowned in this country for his unique designs for public buildings such as Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Dulles International Airport Terminal, and the TWA building at JFK. The list of his lesser-known, but still impressive, works includes several buildings erected on academic campuses. For example, the Chapel and Kresge Auditorium on the MIT campus, the Emma Hartman Noyes House at Vassar College, the Law School building at the University of Chicago, and Yale’s David S. Ingalls Rink.

47 Insect colony with a queen : ANT NEST

The queen ant of some species can live to the ripe old age of 30 years, which is one of the longest lifespans in the insect world.

54 Sch. with a Providence campus : URI

The University of Rhode Island (URI) was chartered as an agricultural school back in 1888. Rhody the Ram was chosen as the school’s mascot in 1923, a nod to URI’s agricultural past. As a result, the school’s sports teams are known as the Rams. URI’s main campus is located in the village of Kingston.

55 Christmas season : YULE

Yule celebrations coincide with Christmas, and the words “Christmas” and “Yule” (often “Yuletide”) have become synonymous in much of the world. However, Yule was originally a pagan festival celebrated by Germanic peoples. The name “Yule” comes from the Old Norse word “jol” that was used to describe the festival.

56 Gymnast Comaneci : NADIA

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.

60 Very serious, as straits : DIRE

The be in dire straits is to be in a very difficult situation. The phrase “in dire straits” originated in the world of sail, and is a reference to a vessel navigating a dangerous channel of water, a dire strait.

68 She, in Sevilla : ELLA

The city of Seville (“Sevilla” in Spanish) is the capital of Andalusia in southern Spain. Seville is a favored setting for many operas including “The Barber of Seville” by Rossini, “Fidelio” by Beethoven and Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and “The Marriage of Figaro”.

69 Accounting giant __ & Young : ERNST

Ernst & Young is one of the Big Four accountancy firms, alongside Deloitte, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Ernst & Young is headquartered in London. The company was founded in 1989 with the merger of Ernst & Whinney with Young & Co.

Down

1 Hawaiian coffee region : KONA

Kona coffee is cultivated on the Big Island of Hawaii, on the slopes of Mauna Loa and Hualalai, two of the five volcanoes on the island. Coffee plants were brought to Kona in 1828 and late in the 19th century, coffee became a viable and worthwhile crop. Today Kona is a one of the most expensive and popular coffees in the world.

2 Fencing weapon : EPEE

The French word for sword is “épée”. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

3 Small salamander : NEWT

Salamanders are lizard-like amphibians found in all across the northern hemisphere. They are the only vertebrate animals that can regenerate lost limbs.

4 Former justice Sandra Day __ : O’CONNOR

Sandra Day O’Connor is a former associate justice on the US Supreme Court. O’Connor was the first woman appointed to the court, and was in office from 1981 after being appointed by President Reagan. As the court became more conservative she was viewed as the swing vote in many decisions. As a result, O’Connor was known as one of the most powerful women in the world. She retired in 2006 (replaced by Samuel Alito), and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2009.

5 Syst. for the hearing-impaired : ASL

American Sign Language (ASL)

6 Big name in jeans : LEE

The Lee company that is famous for making jeans was formed in 1889 by one Henry David Lee in Salina, Kansas.

7 Montana neighbor : IDAHO

Idaho borders six states, and one Canadian province:

  • Montana
  • Wyoming
  • Nevada
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • British Columbia, Canada

8 Language of southern Africa : BANTU

There are hundreds of Bantu languages, which are mainly spoken in central, east and southern Africa. The most commonly spoken Bantu language is Swahili, with Zulu coming in second.

9 MIT and Brookings : INSTS

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was founded in 1861 and first offered classes in 1865, in the Mercantile building in Boston. Today’s magnificent campus on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge opened in 1916.

The Brookings Institution is a Washington think tank that was founded in 1916. The institution is named for the founder, philanthropist Robert S. Brookings. The Brookings Institution has quite the reputation, and was influential in the creation of the United Nations, the Marshall Plan and the Congressional Budget Office.

11 Giraffes eat its leaves : ACACIA TREE

Acacia is a genus of tree and shrub, also known as thorntree, whistling thorn and wattle. The acacia is the primary food source for the giraffe in the wild, with the animal eating the leaves high in the tree, leaves that are inaccessible to competing species. The natural gum from two species of acacia tree is known as gum arabic, which is used in the food industry as a stabilizer.

13 Beauty at a ball : BELLE

A beau (plural “beaux”) is the boyfriend of a belle, a young lady. “Beau” and “belle” are the masculine and feminine forms of the French word for “handsome, beautiful”.

22 Giants catcher Buster __ : POSEY

Buster Posey is a catcher and first baseman who was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the 2008 MLB draft. “Buster” was born Gerald Posey in Leesburg, Georgia.

25 Island whose eastern half is a sovereign state : TIMOR

Timor is an island in Maritime Southeast Asia. The island is politically divided into West Timor, belonging to Indonesia, and the independent state of East Timor. The name “Timor” comes from a Malay word for “east”, and is used as Timor lies at the eastern end of the Lesser Sunda Islands.

27 Ballot markings : XES

Today, a ballot is a piece of paper used to cast a vote. Back in the 1500s, a “ballot” was a small “ball” used in the process of voting.

28 Dull-sounding pig : BOAR

“Boar” sounds like “bore”.

29 “Show Boat” novelist Ferber : EDNA

Edna Ferber was a novelist and playwright from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ferber won a Pulitzer for her novel “So Big”, which was made into a film a few times, most famously in 1953 starring Jane Wyman. Ferber also wrote “Show Boat”, “Cimarron” and “Giant”, which were adapted successfully for the stage and/or big screen.

34 Santa __ winds : ANA

The Santa Ana winds are the very dry air currents that sweep offshore late in the year in Southern California. Because these air currents are so dry, they are noted for their influence over forest fires in the area, especially in the heat of the fall. The winds arise from a buildup of air pressure in the Great Basin that lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Under the right conditions, that air spills over the peaks of the Sierra Nevada and basically “falls” down the side of the Sierra range, heading for the ocean. As the air falls it becomes drier and heats up so that relative humidity can fall to below 10% by the time it hits the coast.

35 Old Marseille money : FRANC

The French franc was made up of 100 centimes, before being replaced by the Euro.

Marseille (often written “Marseilles” in English) is the second largest city in France, after Paris. Marseille is also the largest commercial port in the country. I used to live nearby, and can attest that Marseille and environs is a great place to visit …

37 Rummage (around) : ROOT

Or verb “to rummage”, meaning “to search thoroughly”, has an interesting history. Back in the 16th century, a “rummage” was the act of arranging cargo in a ship. In the early 17th century, the verb “to rummage” was introduced, originally meaning to search thoroughly (the hold of a ship). It should be noted that rummaging usually involves moving things around.

43 U.S. regulating org. with a wing in its logo : FAA

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was set up in 1958 (as the Federal Aviation Agency). The agency was established at that particular time largely in response to an increasing number of midair collisions. The worst of these disasters had taken place two years earlier over the Grand Canyon, a crash between two commercial passenger airplanes that resulted in 128 fatalities.

48 Nashville’s st. : TENN

The Tennessee city of Nashville was founded in 1779 near a stockade in the Cumberland River valley called Fort Nashborough. Both the settlement and the fort were named for General Francis Nash, a war hero who died in combat during the American Revolution.

50 Cartoon mermaid : ARIEL

In the 1989 Disney animated film “The Little Mermaid”, the title character is given the name “Ariel”. In the original fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen that dates back to 1836, the Little Mermaid is given no name at all. There is a famous statue of the unnamed Little Mermaid sitting in Copenhagen Harbor, in Andersen’s homeland of Denmark.

51 Part of a pound : OUNCE

The unit of mass that we know today as a pound is descended from the old Roman unit of weight known as a “libra”. That “libra” connection is why we abbreviate “pound” to “lb”. The name “pound” comes from the Latin “pondo” meaning “weight”. Our term “ounce” (abbreviated to “oz.”) comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a Roman “libra”.

57 Nincompoop : DOLT

The word “nincompoop”, meaning a fool, seems to have been around for quite a while. It has been used since the 1670s, but no one appears to know its origins.

63 Two-outs-in-a-single-AB stats : DPS

In baseball, two-outs-in-a-single-AB (at bat) is a double play (DP).

64 Hairy Addams cousin : ITT

In the television sitcom “The Addams Family”, the family had a frequent visitor called Cousin Itt. Itt is a short man with long hair that runs from his head to the floor. Cousin Itt was played by Italian actor Felix Silla.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Number-picking bar game : KENO
5 Story on a stand : ALIBI
10 Smear (on) : DAUB
14 ’70s embargo gp. : OPEC
15 Family car : SEDAN
16 Teen’s skin woe : ACNE
17 *Home of the NFL’s Saints : NEW ORLEANS
19 Cry hard : BAWL
20 Blue Cross rival : AETNA
21 URL letters : HTTP
23 Cartoon frame : CEL
24 *Dentist’s “laughing gas” : NITROUS OXIDE
28 Showy houseplant : BEGONIA
31 Mideast’s Dead __ : SEA
32 Scent : ODOR
33 L.A. commuter org. : MTA
35 Cause increasing bitterness : FESTER
38 Darth, as a youth : ANI
39 “Keep out!” sign … or, in three parts, each answer to a starred clue : NO ENTRY! or N O ENTRY
41 ’90s Indian prime minister : RAO
42 Sought election to : RAN FOR
44 “Gotcha!” : AHA!
45 Architect Saarinen : EERO
46 Yak it up : GAB
47 Insect colony with a queen : ANT NEST
49 *Admiral, e.g. : NAVAL OFFICER
54 Sch. with a Providence campus : URI
55 Christmas season : YULE
56 Gymnast Comaneci : NADIA
60 Very serious, as straits : DIRE
62 *Slipping into slumberland : NODDING OFF
65 Shifting choice : GEAR
66 Take as one’s own : CO-OPT
67 “What __ is new?” : ELSE
68 She, in Sevilla : ELLA
69 Accounting giant __ & Young : ERNST
70 Put in a hold : STOW

Down

1 Hawaiian coffee region : KONA
2 Fencing weapon : EPEE
3 Small salamander : NEWT
4 Former justice Sandra Day __ : O’CONNOR
5 Syst. for the hearing-impaired : ASL
6 Big name in jeans : LEE
7 Montana neighbor : IDAHO
8 Language of southern Africa : BANTU
9 MIT and Brookings : INSTS
10 Little bit of gel : DAB
11 Giraffes eat its leaves : ACACIA TREE
12 Not married : UNWED
13 Beauty at a ball : BELLE
18 Reason for a ball game delay : RAIN
22 Giants catcher Buster __ : POSEY
25 Island whose eastern half is a sovereign state : TIMOR
26 Interest percent : RATE
27 Ballot markings : XES
28 Dull-sounding pig : BOAR
29 “Show Boat” novelist Ferber : EDNA
30 Spreading like crazy online : GOING VIRAL
34 Santa __ winds : ANA
35 Old Marseille money : FRANC
36 Rabbits have big ones : EARS
37 Rummage (around) : ROOT
39 In a gallant manner : NOBLY
40 Asian takeout option : THAI
43 U.S. regulating org. with a wing in its logo : FAA
45 Infuriates : ENRAGES
48 Nashville’s st. : TENN
49 Gentle push : NUDGE
50 Cartoon mermaid : ARIEL
51 Part of a pound : OUNCE
52 It may be tiled or carpeted : FLOOR
53 Made a meal of : FED ON
57 Nincompoop : DOLT
58 “In that case … ” : IF SO …
59 Some : A FEW
61 Horse and buggy __ : ERA
63 Two-outs-in-a-single-AB stats : DPS
64 Hairy Addams cousin : ITT

24 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 17 Jun 19, Monday”

    1. Actually I was skeptical that Kafka was a thing, and Bill seems to have had second thoughts and removed it as part of the theme answers. So, while Kafka may actually be a gnu tool, it is not common enough to warrant being one of the theme clues.

  1. Didn’t notice theme.
    Too many abbrevs.

    Didn’t know L.A. also had an MTA. Didn’t know ANI.
    Why would you say AB when at bat takes as much breath?

    1. ANI was Anikar Skywalker. After he got burned in the fire, the Emperor
      nursed him back to health and he became Darth Vader, the archenemy
      of the Federation and just a super villain with James Earl Jones’
      distinctive voice in the movies. He was also Luke Skywalker’s father.
      All were characters in Star Wars, the classic by George Lucas.

      We got Monday’s puzzle after having to make several changes (corrections),
      did not feel confident with COOPT, but it filled.

    2. Hi Sfingi! I think the setter used an abbreviation, AB, to indicate that the answer was an abbreviation, DPS. I guess “stats” wasn’t enough of an abbreviation.

  2. LAT: 5:15, no errors. WSJ: 5:25, 1 error. Newsday: 4:33, no errors. Surprised with that, especially since I handwrite that one. CHE: 12:30, 3 errors off another one of those unintelligible clues. BEQ and New Yorker sometime later.

    1. New Yorker: 13:58, no errors. Maybe they mixed up their entries or realized that hard Sat NYT level wasn’t drawing an audience with their usual mag subscribers, so they got easier overall? Dunno. BEQ: 17:10, 1 error. Relatively smooth for most part except for a dubious word (I used the generally accepted spelling) crossing a person I never heard of. Only real misstep was having DEN for NBA in 55A, but that got fixed in semi-short order.

      1. Wendell Willkie came to my rescue on the BEQ (even though I didn’t actually know much more than his name). I just now did a little research and it turns out that he was a pretty impressive fellow.

        I also just now looked into the embed/imbed issue, which has come to my attention in various ways recently (initially, when I screwed up a crossword puzzle because of it). For most of my life, I have been under the illusion that it was just one of those words that I have trouble spelling, but now I see that there’s more to it than that: it’s one of those words that everyone has trouble spelling … 😜. Here’s an interesting link about the issue (if the spam filter lets me post it):

        https://www.grammarly.com/blog/imbed-embed/

        So I live and learn … however slowly … 😜

        (And I also had DEN before NBA.)

  3. Late to the party. At 10:30 last night, one of my lovely neighbors decided to begin celebrating the 4th of July a little early and I had trouble getting back to sleep afterwards. I think I could easily become a crotchety old man … oh, wait … maybe I already … never mind … 😜

    LAT: 7:20, no errors. Newsday: 5:20, no errors. WSJ: 8:19, no errors; got Friday’s meta okay. New Yorker: 16:40, no errors; a relatively easy one, I thought. BEQ: 22:18, no errors; had to make an educated guess at the intersection of 24A and 24D, but got it right.

    Good start for the week; on to the newspaper! … 😜

  4. 6:04. Had a sense of the theme but didn’t get all of it until after the puzzle.

    I never thought of KENO as a bar game, but I guess it can be played in bars. In a casino, it’s the worst odds in the house. I’ve never played, but I hear the house advantage is around 25% – about 2 or 3 times worse than your odds playing slots. To put that in perspective, single deck black jack or craps have a house advantage of a little over 1%. I believe baccarat is similarly friendly so I’d play either craps or baccarat if I ever felt like gambling. End of Las Vegas tangent.

    Best –

  5. still dont get the theme of no entry. understand first word starts with N and second word starts with O, but what does that have to do with ” no entry” ?
    confused

    1. Hi Charles– the “entry” is the clue answer, what you enter into the puzzle. So, for 17 across the entry, New Orleans, is an N. O. ENTRY cuz the words begin with those letters.

  6. Our newspaper doesn’t publish the puzzle theme. Sometimes that actually helps. Have no idea what it was but an easy Monday anyway.

    After a rainy gloomy cold weekend it may just warm up finally in Central New York State.

  7. Greetings!! 😎

    No errors. I didn’t get the theme at all until I came here for Bill’s explanation!

    I like how FESTER turns up here as well as ITT. 😁

    Be well ~~🚋⚾️

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