LA Times Crossword 19 Jun 19, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Lewis Rothlein
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer(s): Double Shifts

Themed answers form a word ladder from DOUBLE to SHIFTS. This particular word ladder uses a DOUBLE SHIFT of letters, changes two letters at a time:

  • 1A Strong drink, and part 1 of a word ladder : DOUBLE
  • 20A Tabloid item (part 2) : COUPLE
  • 28A Two-door cars (part 3) : COUPES
  • 36A Brunch order (part 4) : CREPES
  • 42A Underground tombs (part 5) : CRYPTS
  • 48A Arts’ partner (part 6) : CRAFTS
  • 56A Wanders (part 7) : DRIFTS
  • 68A Work assignments … and, preceded by 1-Across, the key to creating the word ladder (and part 8 of it) : SHIFTS
  • Bill’s time: 6m 37s

    Bill’s errors: 0

    Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

    Across

    19 Cancels a dele : STETS

    “Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

    20 Tabloid item (part 2) : COUPLE

    “Tabloid” is the trademarked name (owned by Burroughs, Wellcome and Co,) for a “small tablet of medicine”, a name that goes back to 1884. The word “tabloid” had entered into general use to mean a compressed form of anything, and by the early 1900s was used in “tabloid journalism”, applied to newspapers that had short, condensed articles and stories printed on smaller sheets of paper.

    21 The “S” of CSNY : STILLS

    The supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN) is made up of David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash. The band can grow to “CSNY” when the trio is joined by Neil Young. Fans have been known to call the act “C, S, N and sometimes Y”, a play on the expression that names all the vowels, “A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y”.

    24 “No more sharing,” briefly : TMI

    Too much information (TMI)

    25 Genetic material : DNA

    The two most common nucleic acids are deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA), both of which play crucial roles in genetics. The DNA contains the genetic instructions used to keep living organisms functioning, and RNA is used to transcribe that information from the DNA to protein “generators” called ribosomes.

    28 Two-door cars (part 3) : COUPES

    The type of car known as a “coupe” or “coupé” is a closed automobile with two doors. The name comes from the French word “couper” meaning “to cut”. In most parts of the English-speaking world the pronunciation adheres to the original French, but here in most of North America we go with “coop”. The original coupé was a horse-drawn carriage that was cut (coupé) to eliminate the rear-facing passenger seats. That left just a driver and two front-facing passengers. If the driver was left without a roof and out in the open, then the carriage was known as a “coupé de-ville”.

    30 1975 Tony-winning play about a stableboy : EQUUS

    “Equus” is a play written in 1973 by Peter Shaffer. Shaffer wrote the play after he heard about a real-life crime in which a 17-year-old youth blinded six horses. The play tells of a psychiatrist treating a young man who has an unhealthy fascination with horses.

    32 Former Boston commuter org. : MTA

    The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is referred to as the MBTA, or more usually “the T”. It’s called “the T” because the company’s logo is the letter T in a circle. The MTBA was founded in 1964 as a successor to Boston’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA). It was Boston’s MTA that inspired the 1959 hit for the Kingston Trio called “M.T.A.”

    35 Small, chirpy bird : WREN

    A wren is a small songbird belonging to the family troglodytidae and the genus troglodytes. Wrens are known for making dome-shaped nests.

    36 Brunch order (part 4) : CREPES

    “Crêpe” is the French word for “pancake”.

    39 Unsuccessful Ford : EDSEL

    The Edsel brand of automobile was named for Edsel Ford, son of Henry. Sadly, the name “Edsel” has become synonymous with “failure”, which was no fault of Edsel himself who had died several years before the Edsel line was introduced. When the Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel on 4 September 1957, Ford proclaimed the day to be “E Day”.

    41 Personal care brand with a bird in its logo : DOVE

    Dove is a brand of personal care products made by Unilever. The brand originated in the UK, back in 1955.

    47 Owl sounds : HOOTS

    Much of an owl’s diet consists of small mammals. As a result, humans have used owls for centuries to control rodent populations, usually by placing a nest box for owls on a property. Despite the the fact that owls and humans live together in relative harmony, owls have been known to attack humans from time to time. Celebrated English bird photographer Eric Hosking lost an eye when attacked by a tawny owl that he was trying to photograph. Hosking wrote an 1970 autobiography with the wry title “An Eye for a Bird”.

    51 Japanese assent : HAI

    The word “yes” translates in to “oui” in French, “ja” in German, and into “hai” in Japanese.

    59 Taxpayer’s option : E-FILE

    E-file: that’s certainly what I do with my tax return …

    64 Like the print version of an e-book, say : DEAD-TREE

    The hard-copy version of say a book is sometimes referred to the “dead-tree” version.

    68 Work assignments … and, preceded by 1-Across, the key to creating the word ladder (and part 8 of it) : SHIFTS

    In a three-shift working system, the shifts are known by various names:

    1. First shift, day shift
    2. Second shift, swing shift
    3. Third shift, night shift, graveyard shift

    Down

    1 Days in Quito : DIAS

    The full name of the capital city of Ecuador is San Francisco de Quito. Quito is the second highest administrative capital city in the world, after La Paz, Bolivia.

    4 Like Estonia and Latvia : BALTIC

    The natives of modern day Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are sometimes referred to as Balts, a reference to the Baltic Sea on which the three countries lie. The term “Balt” is also used for someone who speaks one of the Baltic languages, a group of languages spoken by people mainly residing within the borders of Latvia and Lithuania, as well as in some immigrant communities around the world.

    6 Trauma ctrs. : ERS

    Emergency room (ER)

    7 Pear variety : BOSC

    Bosc is a cultivar of the European pear that is grown mainly in the northwest of the United States. It is named for French horticulturist Louis Bosc. The cultivar originated in Belgium or France in the early 19th century. The Bosc is that pear with a skin the color of a potato, with a long neck.

    9 Antitoxin : SERUM

    Antivenom (also “antivenin”) is made by extracting venom from say a snake (so called “milking”) and then diluting it and injecting it into a host animal (like a cat, horse or sheep). The animal undergoes an immune response and produces antibodies to neutralize the poison. The antibodies are harvested from the animal’s blood and are stored for use with victims who are bitten by the same snake, or by some other creature that injects the same or a similar venom. I guess antivenom might also be called antiserum …

    11 Took a refresher course in : BONED UP ON

    The phrasal verb “to bone up” means “to study”, and is student slang that dates back to the 1880s. The term probably comes a series of books used by students back then called “Bohn’s Classical Library”.

    12 Half of deux : UNE

    In French, half of “deux” (two) is “un, une” (one).

    22 Angling needs : LURES

    We use the verb “to angle” to mean “to fish” because “angel” is an Old English word meaning “hook”.

    26 Béisbol team complement : NUEVE

    In Spanish, there are “nueve” (nine) players on a “béisbol” (baseball) team.

    29 Belgian painter James : ENSOR

    James Ensor was a Belgian painter active in the first half of the twentieth century. He lived in Ostend for almost all of his life. In fact, he only made three brief trips abroad, to Paris, London and Holland.

    31 Logician’s “as was proven” : QED

    The initialism “QED” is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. QED stands for the Latin “quod erat demonstrandum” meaning “that which was to be demonstrated”.

    32 Coffee flavor : MOCHA

    Mocha is a port city in Yemen on the Red Sea and was once the principal port for the capital city of Sana’a. Mocha was the major marketplace in the world for coffee until the 1600s, and gave its name to the Mocha coffee bean, which in turn gave its name to the mocha brown color, and to the flavor of coffee infused with chocolate.

    48 Boston and Chicago : CITIES

    Boston is the capital of the state of Massachusetts. The city was founded by Puritan colonists from England in 1630. The city takes its name from Boston, England from where hailed several of the early Puritan settlers.

    Chicago, Illinois is the US’s third most populous city, after New York and Los Angeles. It is also home to O’Hare airport, the busiest airport in the whole world (in terms of takeoffs and landings). Chicago takes its name from the Chicago River, which in turn takes its name from the Native American word “shikaakwa” that translates as “wild onion” or “wild garlic”. Early French explorers chose this name as they found dense growths of wild garlic along the banks of the river.

    49 “Green Hills of Africa” journey : SAFARI

    “Green Hills of Africa” is a nonfiction book by Ernest Hemingway. In the book, Hemingway recounts his travels with his wife on a month-long safari in East Africa.

    52 Union that merged with SAG in 2012 : AFTRA

    The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) was founded in 1937 as AFRA. AFTRA merged with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) in 2012, forming SAG-AFTRA.

    54 Rice dish : PILAF

    “Pilaf” is a Persian word, one that we use to describe rice that is browned in oil and then cooked in a seasoned broth.

    61 Adobe doc suffix : PDF

    Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format introduced by Adobe Systems in 1993. PDF documents can be shared between users and read using many different applications, making them more universally accessible than documents saved by one particular program.

    Complete List of Clues/Answers

    Across

    1 Strong drink, and part 1 of a word ladder : DOUBLE
    7 Kiss : BUSS
    11 Injured, as a knee : BUM
    14 Damage : IMPAIR
    15 Private tutoring session : ONE-ON-ONE
    17 Theater walkways : AISLES
    18 Injured, as an ankle : SPRAINED
    19 Cancels a dele : STETS
    20 Tabloid item (part 2) : COUPLE
    21 The “S” of CSNY : STILLS
    24 “No more sharing,” briefly : TMI
    25 Genetic material : DNA
    28 Two-door cars (part 3) : COUPES
    30 1975 Tony-winning play about a stableboy : EQUUS
    32 Former Boston commuter org. : MTA
    35 Small, chirpy bird : WREN
    36 Brunch order (part 4) : CREPES
    37 “It can’t be!” : OH NO!
    39 Unsuccessful Ford : EDSEL
    41 Personal care brand with a bird in its logo : DOVE
    42 Underground tombs (part 5) : CRYPTS
    44 Mining hauls : ORES
    46 Circus safety feature : NET
    47 Owl sounds : HOOTS
    48 Arts’ partner (part 6) : CRAFTS
    50 Piercing tool : AWL
    51 Japanese assent : HAI
    53 Sandal parts : STRAPS
    56 Wanders (part 7) : DRIFTS
    59 Taxpayer’s option : E-FILE
    61 Neckwear that makes a statement : POWER TIE
    63 Older, as bread : STALER
    64 Like the print version of an e-book, say : DEAD-TREE
    65 Abrasion : SCRAPE
    66 Cook in oil : FRY
    67 Insolence : SASS
    68 Work assignments … and, preceded by 1-Across, the key to creating the word ladder (and part 8 of it) : SHIFTS

    Down

    1 Days in Quito : DIAS
    2 Drops : OMITS
    3 Hot and bothered : UPSET
    4 Like Estonia and Latvia : BALTIC
    5 Stays out of sight : LIES LOW
    6 Trauma ctrs. : ERS
    7 Pear variety : BOSC
    8 Removes for transplanting : UNPOTS
    9 Antitoxin : SERUM
    10 Having more lather : SOAPIER
    11 Took a refresher course in : BONED UP ON
    12 Half of deux : UNE
    13 __ school : MED
    16 Zero, in soccer : NIL
    22 Angling needs : LURES
    23 Went like the wind : SPED
    26 Béisbol team complement : NUEVE
    27 Desirable trait : ASSET
    29 Belgian painter James : ENSOR
    31 Logician’s “as was proven” : QED
    32 Coffee flavor : MOCHA
    33 Host, as a party : THROW
    34 With no discernable pattern : ANY OLD WAY
    36 Chin indentation : CLEFT
    38 Back (out) : OPT
    40 Labeled times : ERAS
    43 Warm-weather wear : T-SHIRTS
    45 Warm up before a run : STRETCH
    48 Boston and Chicago : CITIES
    49 “Green Hills of Africa” journey : SAFARI
    52 Union that merged with SAG in 2012 : AFTRA
    54 Rice dish : PILAF
    55 Snoozed : SLEPT
    57 See 58-Down : … RED
    58 With 57-Down, loses one’s cool : SEES …
    60 Part of a Spanish “to be” conjugation : ERES
    61 Adobe doc suffix : PDF
    62 Atop, poetically : O’ER
    63 Griddle sound : SSS

    15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 19 Jun 19, Wednesday”

    1. An enjoyable puzzle once I directed my mind away from this mornings political and worlds troubling headlines.
      Eddie

    2. LAT: 9:17, no errors. Newsday: 6:27, no errors. WSJ: 12:27, no errors; several references to things outside my ken, but all gettable … 😳

    3. @Jack
      It is.

      @RJB
      I found it’s pretty much how it goes, and why I started timing. When I started out and had trouble with Monday/Tues there was a lot to say about the topics brought up or other things, but you kind of see things go quickly and see references that really don’t “ring”, it’s hard to come up with a lot more to say. There’s always assessments of the quality of the grid, but that’s been made clear that it’s not welcome. Sooo…time and error it is, pretty much. Unless it’s other grids, and I keep that short to not tread on Bill’s graciousness. Or extracurriculars like doing the at home ACPT – not sure if I’ll talk about that yet or not.

    4. I actually found the word ladder clues interesting and different. (Maybe because I actually got them!) I’m a fairly new puzzle solver and felt some accomplishment here re: theme i.d. and speed.

    5. 14:18. I’ll give kudos to the constructor on the word ladder. Those are tricky to do in a vacuum much less in the middle of a crossword.

      Quito airport is one of the most dangerous landings in the world. It’s about 9000 feet up in the middle of mountains, volcanoes and buildings near the airport. The volcanoes are often spewing ash making visibility difficult. There’s an iffy asphalt surface on the runway itself with a slope in the middle of it which is quite noticeable when you go up and down it. In the rainy season even experienced pilots are happy to land successfully there. I landed there once, and that was enough for one lifetime.

      I’m off to St. Louis to see family and old friends this weekend. I’ll be at the Cardinals baseball game Friday night when Albert Pujols comes back and plays in that stadium for the first time since winning the 2011 World Series with the Cardinals.

      Best –

    6. 8:36, and no errors.

      Can somebody fill me in on word ladders and why anyone thinks they hold any interest whatsoever? All I can think of when I see these is, “So *what*?”

    7. 4 errors and 6 omissions for 95%, pretty good for a Wednesday.
      I knew DOVE, but could neither remember it nor find the recent puzzle
      that had it. Did not know the others we missed, i.e. EQUUS and HAI.
      That first miss messed up the whole NW quadrant. Still fun to try.

      Kudos to all and welcome to the new posters.

    8. Well, I finished, but still don’t understand a “word ladder” or what it’s supposed to mean or do. Guess I don’t really need to know if I can do the puzzle without getting it.

    9. Didn’t know NUEVE, but got it. Time to learn a little Spanish.

      Liked this one. Took me a couple minutes to see he was changing two letters at a time.

      I like Monday and Tuesday (and Wednesday and Thursday) puzzles and miss them when they don’t arrive. Sometimes my local fails to print the puzzles, and I ask for my money back and buy a NY Post. If it wasn’t for the obits, I wouldn’t bother with the local.

    10. @allen, @kay
      “Word ladder” is a game invented by Lewis Carroll (think author of Alice in Wonderland), first published in 1879. The game is as depicted in any crossword puzzle. The game is started where a beginning and ending word is given, and the players come up with words where one letter is changed in process to get to the ending word. This is the original variation, of which there are numerous others. As it is a word-game, it seems a natural that themes based on it will be contrived for crosswords.

    11. Mostly easy Wednesday for me; took 16 minutes with no errors. I’ve tried to figure it out, but the ladder completely eludes me…too much time wasted. I’ve got to go to bed early for market tomorrow.

      @Bill – I know you qualify it as # of TOs and Ls, but by most peoples (wiki) counts ( passengers) it seems that Atlanta is the busiest.

    12. Hiya folks!! 🍹

      No errors. I did see that some letters were changed in the themed answers but I thought there’d be something more to it — like each word would have a connection to the others besides just double shifts and letters in common– that would have been REALLY hard to construct. Not sure why I expected some additional trick. 🤔

      Jeff– enjoy! Much as I admire Albert Pujols, I have to say I was pretty pleased to see Dodger pitcher Ryu pick him off of first when we played the Angels a couple of weeks ago….!! 😁 it kinda made my night.

      Welcome Sandra!

      Be well~~🚋⚾️

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