LA Times Crossword 18 Jun 19, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Jeff Stillman
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Spoiler Alert

Themed answers each end with something that can ALERT us to SPOILAGE:

  • 51A Movie reviewer’s warning … or what the last words of each starred answer can be? : SPOILER ALERT
  • 20A *Do something in a whole new way : BREAK THE MOLD
  • 34A *Clever twists in a story : NEW WRINKLES
  • 41A *Depressed, colorfully : IN A BLUE FUNK

Bill’s time: 5m 36s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 24 Hours of Le __: auto race : MANS

Le Mans is a city in northwestern France. The city is famous for the 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race that has been held annually since 1923. The 24-hour race uses the city’s race track, but closed city streets are also used for part of the circuit.

14 __ Field: Mets’ ballpark : CITI

Citi Field is the relatively new baseball stadium used by the New York Mets that sits right next door to the site of Shea stadium, where the Mets had played for decades. And the new facility’s name comes from corporate sponsor Citigroup.

15 Frantically : AMOK

The phrase “to run amok” (sometimes “to run amuck”) has been around since the 1670s and is derived from the Malay word for “attacking furiously”, “amuk”. The word “amok” was also used as a noun to describe Malay natives who were “frenzied”. Given Malaya’s troubled history, the natives probably had good reason for that frenzy …

16 Prom queen’s crown : TIARA

A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them “formals” over in Ireland). The term “prom” is short for “promenade”, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

17 Geological age : AEON

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

18 10-Down princess : RANI
(10D Diwali celebrant : HINDU)

A ranee (also “rani”) is an Indian queen or princess, and the female equivalent of a raja.

23 Chinese-born architect I.M. __ : PEI

I. M. Pei (full name: Ieoh Ming Pei) is an exceptional American architect who was born in China. Of Pei’s many wonderful works, my favorite is the renovation of the Louvre in Paris, and especially the Glass Pyramid in the museum’s courtyard.

24 Semisoft cheeses : GOUDAS

Gouda is a cheese that originated in the Dutch city of the same name, although today Gouda is produced all over the world and very little of it comes from the Netherlands. Gouda is often smoke-cured, which gives it a yellowish-brown outer skin and that characteristic smoky taste.

33 Mont Blanc, e.g. : ALP

Mont Blanc is the highest peak in the Alps. The name “Mont Blanc” translates from French into “white mountain”. The mountain lies on the border between France and Italy, and it has been generally accepted for decades that the summit lies within French territory. However, there have been official claims that the summit does in fact fall within the borders of Italy.

36 Sched. uncertainty : TBA

Something not yet on the schedule (“sked” or “sched.”) is to be advised/announced (TBA).

38 Narc’s org. : DEA

“Narc” and “narco” are slang terms describing a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. Both words are short for “narcotics officer”. Narcs might work for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

39 “Beauty __ the eye … ” : IS IN

The idiom “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is used to point out that beauty is subjective. Although the phrase shows up in different forms from as early as the 3rd century BCE, the first known use of the version we hear today is attributed to Irish novelist Margaret Wolfe Hungerford. She uses these words in her 1878 novel “Molly Bawn”:

It’s true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I haven’t found any of Mary’s boyfriends attractive, which is a good thing I guess!

40 Line of work: Abbr. : OCC

Occupation (occ.)

41 *Depressed, colorfully : IN A BLUE FUNK

The phrase “in a blue funk” has two different meanings, depending on what side of the Atlantic you are. Her in North America, to be in a blue funk is to be in a state of gloom. Over in Britain and Ireland, it is to be in a state of anxiety.

45 Teachers’ org. : NEA

The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor union in the country, and mainly represents public school teachers.

47 Dictation takers : STENOS

Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

48 Bourbon __ : STREET

When New Orleans was founded by the French, the House of Bourbon was ruling France. Bourbon Street was named in its honor.

50 Summer in Lyon : ETE

The city of Lyon in France, is also known as “Lyons” in English. Lyon is the second-largest metropolitan area in the country, after Paris. It is located just to the north of the confluence of the Rhône and Saône Rivers.

58 “Prince Valiant” queen : ALETA

In the comic strip “Prince Valiant”, Arn is the eldest son of the title character, and Aleta is his wife. Edward, Duke of Windsor, once declared that “Prince Valiant” comic strip the “greatest contribution to English Literature in the past one hundred years”. I’m not so sure …

62 Scottish hillside : BRAE

“Brae” is a lowland Scots word for the slope or brow of a hill.

63 Trig function : COSEC

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio: a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are cosecant, secant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

67 Shock, as a perp : TASE

“To tase” is to use a taser, a stun gun.

Perpetrator (perp)

68 Doofus : DOLT

“Doofus” (also “dufus”) is student slang that has been around since the sixties. Apparently the word is a variant of the equally unattractive term “doo-doo”.

Down

2 Yesterday, on the French Riviera : HIER

The Côte d’Azur is on the Mediterranean coast of France and stretches from Saint-Tropez in the west and to the Italian border in the east. In English, we often refer to the area as “the French Riviera”. It’s a little crowded for me (okay, “expensive”), especially in the summer.

3 Native Nebraskan : OTOE

Nebraska gets its name from the Platte River which flows through the state. “Nebraska” is an anglicized version of Otoe and Omaha words meaning “flat water”.

4 Capture the first piece in chess, typically : WIN A PAWN

In the game of chess, the pawns are the weakest pieces on the board. A pawn that can make it to the opposite of the board can be promoted to a piece of choice, usually a queen. Using promotion of pawns, it is possible for a player to have two or more queens on the board at one time. However, standard chess sets come with only one queen per side, so a captured rook is often used as the second queen by placing it on the board upside down.

5 Bond order : MARTINI

Why have a vodka martini shaken and not stirred (as does James Bond, 007)? Well, for one thing the shaken drink tends to be colder. And with more melted ice in the drink, it isn’t as strong. These are my personal observations. No need to write in …

6 Indian nurse : AMAH

“Amah” is an interesting word in that we associate it so much with Asian culture and yet the term actually comes from the Portuguese “ama” meaning “nurse”. Ama was imported into English in the days of the British Raj in India when a wet-nurse became known as an amah.

10 Diwali celebrant : HINDU

Diwali is a popular Hindu festival. It is a “festival of lights”, a celebration of the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. Diwali is observed annually over five days at the conclusion of the summer harvest, and when there is a new moon.

12 “We __ Marshall”: 2006 football drama : ARE

The 2006 drama film “We Are Marshall” tells the true story of a 1970 plane crash that killed 37 Marshall University football players, as well as many of the team’s support staff.

21 Actor Dullea of “2001” films : KEIR

Keir Dullea is an actor best known for portraying David Bowman, the astronaut who is the protagonist in the 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey”. Dullea also appears as astronaut Bowman in the 1984 sequel “2010: The Year We Make Contact”.

25 Nissan brand relaunched in 2013 : DATSUN

Japanese automaker Nissan introduced the Datsun brand in 1931, and then retired it in 1986. The Datsun brand was reintroduced in 2013, applied to low-cost models sold in emerging markets.

26 One lacking pigment : ALBINO

An albino is an organism lacking normal pigmentation. The term “albino” comes from “albus”, Latin for “white”.

28 Negatively charged particles : ANIONS

As we all recall from science class, a positive ion is called a cation and a negative ion is an anion. The names “cation” and “anion” come from Greek, with “kation” meaning “going down” and “anion” meaning “going up”.

29 Half a sestet, in an Italian sonnet : TERCET

A tercet is a group of three connected lines of poetry.

A sonnet is a 14-line poem with a specific structure and rhyming scheme. A popular rhyming scheme for what is known as the Italian sonnet is ABBA, ABBA, CDECDE. Compare this with the Shakespearean sonnet which rhymes as ABAB, CDCD, EFEF, GG.

32 Airline to Tel Aviv : EL AL

El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”. The company started operations in 1948, with a flight from Geneva to Tel Aviv. Famously, El Al only operates six days a week, not flying on the Sabbath.

The full name of Israel’s second largest city is Tel Aviv-Yafo. “Tel Aviv” translates into “Spring Mound”, and is a name that was chosen in 1910.

35 Fargo’s state: Abbr. : NDAK

Fargo, North Dakota is the biggest city in the state. The original name for the city was Centralia, when it was a stopping point for steamboats that traveled the Red River in the late 19th century. The town really grew with the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railway, so the name “Fargo” was adopted in honor of one of the railroad company’s directors, William Fargo (of Wells Fargo Express fame).

42 Defense acronym : NATO

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded not long after WWII in 1949 and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The first NATO Secretary General was Lord Ismay, Winston Churchill’s chief military assistant during WWII. Famously, Lord Ismay said the goal of NATO was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”

44 Soul singer James : ETTA

“Etta James” was the stage name of celebrated blues and soul singer Jamesetta Hawkins. James’ most famous recording was her 1960 hit “At Last”, which made it into the pop charts. James performed “At Last” at the age of 71 in 2009 on the reality show “Dancing with the Stars”, which was to be her final television appearance. She passed away in 2012.

49 Lauder with fragrances : ESTEE

Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, and someone with a great reputation as a salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

53 Mother of Castor and Pollux : LEDA

In Greek mythology, Leda was the beautiful Queen of Sparta who was seduced by Zeus when he took the form of a swan. Leda produced two eggs from the union. One egg hatched into Clytemnestra and the beautiful Helen of Troy, over whom was fought the Trojan War. The other egg hatched into the twins Castor and Pollux. Castor and Pollux had different fathers according to the myth. Pollux was the son of Zeus and was immortal, while Castor was the son of Leda’s earthly husband, and so he was a mortal. In the world of the arts, William Butler Yeats wrote a famous sonnet called “Leda and the Swan” in 1924, and Peter Paul Rubens made a copy of a now-lost painting called “Leda and the Swan” by Michelangelo.

54 Hosp. brain tests : EEGS

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a record of electrical activity caused by the firing of neurons within the brain. The EEG might be used to diagnose epilepsy, or perhaps to determine if a patient is “brain dead”.

55 “Logically, then … ” : ERGO …

“Ergo” is a Latin word meaning “hence, therefore”, and one that we’ve absorbed directly into English.

58 Window cooling units, briefly : ACS

Air conditioner (AC)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Gallery event : SHOW
5 24 Hours of Le __: auto race : MANS
9 Out in front : AHEAD
14 __ Field: Mets’ ballpark : CITI
15 Frantically : AMOK
16 Prom queen’s crown : TIARA
17 Geological age : AEON
18 10-Down princess : RANI
19 Chipped in a chip : ANTED
20 *Do something in a whole new way : BREAK THE MOLD
23 Chinese-born architect I.M. __ : PEI
24 Semisoft cheeses : GOUDAS
28 Accomplish : ATTAIN
31 Fish caught in pots : EELS
33 Mont Blanc, e.g. : ALP
34 *Clever twists in a story : NEW WRINKLES
36 Sched. uncertainty : TBA
37 Club used for chipping : IRON
38 Narc’s org. : DEA
39 “Beauty __ the eye … ” : IS IN
40 Line of work: Abbr. : OCC
41 *Depressed, colorfully : IN A BLUE FUNK
45 Teachers’ org. : NEA
46 Like dried soil : CAKY
47 Dictation takers : STENOS
48 Bourbon __ : STREET
50 Summer in Lyon : ETE
51 Movie reviewer’s warning … or what the last words of each starred answer can be? : SPOILER ALERT
58 “Prince Valiant” queen : ALETA
61 Most burger meat : BEEF
62 Scottish hillside : BRAE
63 Trig function : COSEC
64 Slight advantage : EDGE
65 Not supportin’ : AGIN
66 Smooth and glossy : SLEEK
67 Shock, as a perp : TASE
68 Doofus : DOLT

Down

1 Natural wound protection : SCAB
2 Yesterday, on the French Riviera : HIER
3 Native Nebraskan : OTOE
4 Capture the first piece in chess, typically : WIN A PAWN
5 Bond order : MARTINI
6 Indian nurse : AMAH
7 __ of the above : NONE
8 Take off the top : SKIM
9 Completely flummoxed : AT A LOSS
10 Diwali celebrant : HINDU
11 Consume : EAT
12 “We __ Marshall”: 2006 football drama : ARE
13 Pop : DAD
21 Actor Dullea of “2001” films : KEIR
22 Look at creepily : OGLE
25 Nissan brand relaunched in 2013 : DATSUN
26 One lacking pigment : ALBINO
27 Swats on the rear : SPANKS
28 Negatively charged particles : ANIONS
29 Half a sestet, in an Italian sonnet : TERCET
30 Like a good-sized garage : TWO-CAR
31 Barely manage : EKE BY
32 Airline to Tel Aviv : EL AL
35 Fargo’s state: Abbr. : NDAK
39 Words of regret, perhaps : I FEEL BAD
41 Treatment for swelling : ICE PACK
42 Defense acronym : NATO
43 Highway toll, e.g. : USER FEE
44 Soul singer James : ETTA
49 Lauder with fragrances : ESTEE
52 “Fat chance” : I BET
53 Mother of Castor and Pollux : LEDA
54 Hosp. brain tests : EEGS
55 “Logically, then … ” : ERGO …
56 Train wheel guide : RAIL
57 Camp shelter : TENT
58 Window cooling units, briefly : ACS
59 “Gr8 joke!” : LOL!
60 Legal conclusion? : -ESE

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 18 Jun 19, Tuesday”

  1. No great shakes, but only 1 posting error and 0 omissions.
    Missed CAKY; used CAKE and made a careless final check.
    Still enjoyed it; it took some spelling corrections (one too few),
    some dictionary help and some reasoning.

    Bill was right on target with his time of 5.6 minutes.

    Kudos to all.

  2. 11:24. Some of the fill tripped me up. I never think of “WINning” A PAWN as such. You capture one.

    The discussion of “shaken or stirred” martinis is always interesting. I don’t even drink them so I have no preference. But as Bill states if they are stirred they tend to be stronger. If they are shaken they are more diluted, but with less ethanol taste, more of the aromatics come through and supposedly the vermouth tastes less oily. So there is no right or wrong way to have a martini. It’s all about preference.

    Best –

  3. Had to Google for ANION.
    To me STENO is an abbrev. Or I’m old-fashioned.

    LeMans always reminds me of the movie, A Man and a Woman. There was a movie theater in Syracuse that owned a copy and always played it as the 2nd feature. Saw it many times.

  4. Hi folks! 😎

    No errors, and I did this all in one sitting so I can estimate the time: around 20 minutes. I usually work on puzzles here and there during the day. 🤔 For some reason I don’t like facing an empty grid at the end of the day.

    Jeff– per your description, I think I’d prefer “shaken, not stirred.” Sounds like you’re talking vodka….maybe the same dynamics are in play with gin. I’ll have to try it….sometimes I wish I were more of a drinker! One’s usually enough, whatever it is.🍹

    DATSUNs are back??!! How very 1976!

    Be well ~~🚋⚾️

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