LA Times Crossword 20 Jun 19, Thursday

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Constructed by: Peter A. Collins
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Change of Seasons

Themed answers each include the name of a SEASON, but the letters in the name have been CHANGED around:

  • 59A What happens tomorrow … and a hint to this grid’s circled letters : CHANGE OF SEASONS
  • 17A Brief CV : SHORT-FORM RESUME (hiding a change of “summer”)
  • 24A Make music with one’s mouth closed : HUM A TUNE (hiding a change of “autumn”)
  • 36A Dessert potables : PORT WINES (hiding a change of “winter”)
  • 52A Some facial decor : LIP RINGS (hiding a change of “spring”)

Bill’s time: 7m 43s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Hogwarts professor played by Rickman : SNAPE

Alan Rickman was a marvelous English actor, one famous for playing bad guy Hans Gruber in the original “Die Hard” film, Severus Snape in the “Harry Potter” series and (my personal favorite) Eamon de Valera in “Michael Collins”. Sadly, Rickman passed away in January 2016, after which fans created a memorial under the “Platform 9¾” sign in London’s Kings Cross Railway Station, from where the Hogwarts Express is said to depart in the “Harry Potter” universe.

6 Monk style : BEBOP

The jazz term “bebop” probably came from “Arriba! Arriba!”, which were words of encouragement uttered by Latin American bandleaders to their musicians.

Thelonious Monk was a jazz pianist and composer, actually the second-most recorded jazz composer after the great Duke Ellington. That’s a pretty impressive statistic given that Ellington wrote more than 1,000 songs, whereas Monk only wrote about 70. Monk was a pioneer in the development of the jazz style called “bebop”, which gained popularity in the 1940s.

14 Groovier part of a 45? : SIDE A

The first vinyl records designed to play at 33⅓ rpm were introduced by RCA Victor in 1931, but were discontinued due to quality problems. The first long play (LP) 33⅓ rpm disc was introduced by Columbia Records many years later in 1948, with RCA Victor following up with a 45 rpm “single” the following year, in 1949.

15 Achille __: hijacked liner : LAURO

The cruise ship MS Achille Lauro was sailing from Alexandria to Port Said in 1985 when four members of the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) hijacked the vessel. Two days after killing a Jewish-American passenger, the hijackers agreed to surrender the vessel in exchange for safe conduct on a commercial airliner flying . The Egyptian plane was intercepted by US fighters and was forced to land at a US base in Sicily. There followed disagreements between American and Italian as well as American and Egyptian authorities. The four hijackers were arrested, tried and convicted by the Italians.

16 Baseball commentator Darling : RON

Ron Darling is former Major league Baseball pitcher. Darling retired from the game in 1995, and starting working as a color commentator for TBS in 2007.

17 Brief CV : SHORT-FORM RESUME (hiding a change of “summer”)

A résumé is a summary of a person’s job experience and education and is used as a tool by a job seeker. In many countries, a résumé is equivalent to a curriculum vitae. “Résumé” is the French word for “summary”.

A curriculum vitae (CV) is a listing of someone’s work experience and qualifications, and is used mainly in making a job application. The term “curriculum vitae” can be translated from Latin as “course of life”.

20 Ristorante rice dish : RISOTTO

Risotto is an Italian rice dish that is usually served as a first course in Italy, but as a main course here in North America.

22 The geographic center of the 48 states is in it : KANSAS

The geographic center of North America lies in the town of Rugby, North Dakota. The geographic center of the US lies about 20 miles north of the city of Belle Fourche, South Dakota. The geographic center of the contiguous 48 states lies about 3 miles northwest of the city of Lebanon, Kansas.

29 Cargo unit : TON

Cargo is freight carried by some vehicle. The term “cargo” comes into English via Spanish, ultimately deriving from the Latin “carricare” meaning “to load on a cart”.

31 __ deck: cruise ship feature : LIDO

The Lido de Venezia is a famous sandbar in Venice, Italy. About 11 km in length, it is home to about 20,000 residents, as well as the Venice Film Festival that takes place there every September. The Lido is also the setting for Thomas Mann’s famous novel “Death in Venice”. The name “lido” has become a term for any fashionable beach resort. In the UK, the term “lido” is often used for a recreation facility with a pool. This usage has been adopted on cruise ships, where the lido deck is home to the outdoor swimming pool(s) and related facilities.

34 “Paper Moon” pair : O’NEALS

“Paper Moon” is a 1973 comedy film that tells the story of a father and daughter during the Great Depression. The onscreen father and daughter are played by real-life father and daughter Ryan and Tatum O’Neal. The original choices for the lead roles were Paul Newman and his daughter Nell Potts, but they left the project after director John Huston also dropped out.

36 Dessert potables : PORT WINES (hiding a change of “winter”)

Portugal’s city of Oporto (“Porto” in Portuguese) gave its name to port wine in the late 1600s. Oporto was the seaport through which most of the region’s fortified red wine was exported.

Something that is potable is fit to drink. The term “potable” derives from the Latin verb “potare” meaning “to drink”, which is also the root for our word “potion”.

39 Quarterly Nielsen ratings periods : SWEEPS

Arthur Nielsen founded his Nielsen Media Research company to track brand advertising. He quickly moved into market analysis of radio audiences in the thirties, and today the company is famous for tracking television audiences. I remember watching the last episode of the TV series “Becker”, in which Ted Danson played a doctor. Given that the show had been ordered off the air due to declining viewership, there’s a great line in the last episode when Becker asks for the chart of a patient called “Nielsen”. He looks at the lab results and announces “I don’t know what everyone is talking about … these numbers aren’t so bad!” Great stuff …

43 Free of charge : COMP

To comp is to give for free, with “comp” coming from “complimentary”.

48 French pronoun : TOI

In French, the pronouns “toi” and “vous” both mean “you”, with the former being used with family and friends, and children. “Vous” is more formal, and is also the plural form of “toi”.

50 They may hold rosés : CARAFES

Rosé wines get their color from the skins of the grapes, although the intensity of the color is not sufficient to make them red wines. Of the varying type of rosé wines available, we are most familiar with sweet White Zinfandels. Personally I am fond of the really dry Provençal rosé wines.

55 Katmandu native : NEPALI

Although Kathmandu (sometimes “Katmandu”) is the capital city of the lofty nation of Nepal, it sits in a bowl-shaped valley so is only at an elevation of 4,600 ft. Air pollution is a huge problem in the city. Industry and residents launch a lot of smog into the air, and given the surrounding geography and climate, any pollution blown away during the day tends to fall back into the valley at night.

64 “Lord, is __?” : IT I

At the Last Supper, Jesus told his apostles that one of them would betray him that day. According to the Gospel of Matthew:

And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?

65 Under-the-sink fitting : P-TRAP

Most sinks in a home have a P-trap in the outlet pipe that empties into the sewer line. This P-trap has at its heart a U-bend that retains a small amount of water after the sink is emptied. This plug of water serves as a seal to prevent sewer gases entering into the home. By virtue of its design, the U-bend can also capture any heavy objects (like an item of jewelry) that might fall through the plughole. But the “trapping” of fallen objects is secondary to the P-trap’s main function of “trapping” sewer gases.

67 Writer Rand : AYN

Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist born Alisa Rosenbaum. Her two best known works are her novels “The Fountainhead” published in 1943 and “Atlas Shrugged” from 1957. Back in 1951, Rand moved from Los Angeles to New York City. Soon after, she gathered a group of admirers around her with whom she discussed philosophy and shared drafts of her magnum opus, “Atlas Shrugged”. This group called itself “The Collective”, and one of the founding members was none other than future Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan. Rand described herself as “right-wing” politically, and both she and her novel “Atlas Shrugged” have become inspirations for the American conservatives, and the Tea Party in particular.

Down

1 Old conscription agcy. : SSS

The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System (SSS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).

2 Bethesda-based medical org. : NIH

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) organization is made up of 27 different institutes that coordinate their research and services. Examples of member institutes are the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Aging.

The community of Bethesda in Maryland lies just northwest of Washington, D.C. The original settlement in the area was called “Darcy’s Store”. a reference to the original store that drew settlers to the location along the toll road between Georgetown and Rockville. The community’s name was changed to Bethesda in 1871 by a local postmaster, after a Presbyterian church called the Bethesda Meeting House. Bethesda is home to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and to the National Naval Medical Center. During WWII, Bethesda also hosted the Norwegian Royal Family while their country was occupied by German forces.

3 Gussied up : ADORNED

To gussy up is to dress showily. The term “gussy” was a slang term that was used to describe an overly-dressed person.

4 Sub need : PERISCOPE

The prefix “peri-” is Greek in origin and means “around”. An example of its use is “periscope”, a device on a submarine for looking “around”.

7 Terra firma : EARTH

“Terra firma” is Latin for “solid ground”.

9 1967 NHL Rookie of the Year : ORR

Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn’t skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking. While still 31 years old, in 1979, Orr became the youngest person inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Prior to that, in 1967, Orr became the youngest person named the NHL’s Rookie of the Year.

10 “The Tell-Tale Heart” writer : POE

Edgar Allan Poe’s story “The Tell-Tale Heart” is arguably one of his most disturbing works. It is a story of cold-blooded and premeditated murder, with some dismemberment thrown in for good measure.

11 Salad green : ARUGULA

Eruca sativa is an edible plant that is known as “arugula” in the US, and “rocket” in Britain and Ireland and in Canada. The Italian name for the plant is “rucola”, from the Latin name. It is “rucula” that evolved into the American term “arugula”.

13 Zen harmony : ONENESS

Zen is a Buddhist school that developed its own tradition in China back in the 7th century AD. Zen is a Japanese spelling of the Chinese word “chan”, which in turn derives from the Sanskrit word “dhyana” meaning “meditation”.

22 Kenan’s Nickelodeon pal : KEL

“Kenan & Kel” is a sitcom that aired on Nickelodeon from 1996 to 2000. It starred Kenan Thompson (now of “Saturday Night Live”), and Kel Mitchell.

23 “Green Book” Oscar winner Mahershala __ : ALI

Mahershala Ali is an actor and sometime rapper. Among the more memorable roles Ali has had are lobbyist Remy Danton in TV’s “House of Cards”, and Colonel Boggs in “The Hunger Games” series of movies. He also won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for playing Juan in the 2016 drama “Moonlight”.

“Green Book” is a 2018 comedy film that is based on the true story of a 1962 tour of the Deep South by Florida-born classical and jazz pianist Don Shirley. Shirley, an African American, hires Italian-American bouncer Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga as his driver and bodyguard. I haven’t seen this one, but I hear that audiences and critics loved it …

25 Van Morrison hit with the line “A fantabulous night to make romance” : MOONDANCE

“Moondance” is a song recorded in 1969 by Irish singer/songwriter Van Morrison. If you go to a “Van the Man” Morrison concert, “Moondance” is the one song that you’re most likely to hear. And, it’s my wife’s favorite song of all time …

26 Writer Rice : ANNE

Anne Rice is an American author of erotic and Gothic novels. Rice was born Howard Allen O’Brien (no wonder she changed her name!). Her famous series of novels “The Vampire Chronicles” centers on her character Lestat de Lioncourt, a French nobleman who was turned into a vampire in the 18th century. One of the stories, “Interview with the Vampire”, was adapted for the big screen in 1994 and features Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and others in a star-studded cast. Not my kind of movie though, as I don’t do vampires …

28 Thanksgiving mo. in Canada : OCT

The Canadian Thanksgiving holiday predates the related celebration in the US. The first Canadian Thanksgiving was held in 1578 by an explorer from England named Martin Frobisher. Frobisher was giving thanks for his safe arrival in the New World, and made the observance in the month of October as this was a tradition in England. All this happened 43 years before the pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

37 __-FREE: contact lens solution : OPTI

OPTI-FREE is a line of contact lens solutions made by Alcon.

38 Forbes rival : INC

“Inc.” is a business magazine that specializes in articles about growing companies. “Inc.” publishes a list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the country each year, calling it the “Inc. 500”. The “Inc 5000” is an expanded list also published by the magazine.

“Forbes” is a business magazine that has been published since 1917, when it was founded by B. C. Forbes and Walter Drey. The full name of the original publication was “Forbes: Devoted to Doers and Doings”. “Forbes” is noted for publishing lists of the biggest and richest in the world of business. In 2014, “Forbes” listed the 2000 largest public companies in the world and showed for the first time that the three biggest companies are based in China.

39 Lesser Antilles isl. country : ST LUCIA

The Caribbean island nation of Saint Lucia has a population of less than 200,000. Remarkably, Saint Lucia has produced two Nobel Laureates: economist Arthur Lewis and poet Derek Walcott.

40 Ponderous : WEIGHTY

Something ponderous is very weighty, or unwieldy because of weight and size. The term “ponderous” comes from the Latin “pondus” meaning “weight”.

45 “Hacksaw Ridge” director Gibson : MEL

Mel Gibson is an actor who was born in America, and not in Australia as many believe. Gibson was born in Peekskill, New York and moved with his family to Sydney, Australia when he was 12 years old.

“Hacksaw Ridge” is a 2016 biographical film that is based on a 2004 documentary “The Conscientious Objector”. Both film and documentary tell the story of pacifist and combat medic Desmond Doss. Doss never carried a weapon, but his acts of bravery during the Battle of Okinawa in WWII led to him becoming the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Andrew Garfield plays Doss in the movie, and Mel Gibson directed.

46 Tire letters : PSI

Pounds per square inch (PSI) is a measure of pressure.

53 Rembrandt van __ : RYN

The celebrated Dutch painter’s full name was Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (sometimes “Ryn”). Rembrandt is perhaps most appreciated for his portraits, and left the world a remarkable collection of self-portraits.

58 Cookbook amts. : TSPS

Teaspoon (tsp.)

60 Modern rte. finder : GPS

A global positioning system (GPS) might point out a route (rte.).

61 Tour de France time : ETE

In French, “été” (summer) is “la saison chaude” (the warm season).

Back in the late 1800s, long-distance cycle races were used as promotional events, traditionally to help boost sales of newspapers. These races usually took place around tracks, but in 1902 the backers of the struggling sports publication “L’Auto” decided to stage a race that would take the competitors all around France. That first Tour de France took place in 1903, starting in Paris and passing through Lyon, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Nantes and then back to Paris.

62 Zilch : NIL

We use the term “zilch” to mean “nothing”. Our current usage evolved in the sixties, before which the term was used to describe “meaningless speech”. There was a comic character called Mr. Zilch in the 1930s in “Ballyhoo” magazine. Mr. Zilch’s name probably came from the American college slang “Joe Zilch” that was used in the early 1900s for “an insignificant person”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Hogwarts professor played by Rickman : SNAPE
6 Monk style : BEBOP
11 “It’s __-win situation” : A NO
14 Groovier part of a 45? : SIDE A
15 Achille __: hijacked liner : LAURO
16 Baseball commentator Darling : RON
17 Brief CV : SHORT-FORM RESUME (hiding a change of “summer”)
20 Ristorante rice dish : RISOTTO
21 Votin’ no on : AGIN
22 The geographic center of the 48 states is in it : KANSAS
24 Make music with one’s mouth closed : HUM A TUNE (hiding a change of “autumn”)
27 Decide that one will : ELECT TO
29 Cargo unit : TON
30 Spanish article : LAS
31 __ deck: cruise ship feature : LIDO
32 System starter? : ECO-
34 “Paper Moon” pair : O’NEALS
36 Dessert potables : PORT WINES (hiding a change of “winter”)
39 Quarterly Nielsen ratings periods : SWEEPS
42 Wind up : END
43 Free of charge : COMP
47 Ranch nickname : TEX
48 French pronoun : TOI
50 They may hold rosés : CARAFES
52 Some facial decor : LIP RINGS (hiding a change of “spring”)
55 Katmandu native : NEPALI
56 Hard to watch : UGLY
57 Indentations : NOTCHES
59 What happens tomorrow … and a hint to this grid’s circled letters : CHANGE OF SEASONS
64 “Lord, is __?” : IT I
65 Under-the-sink fitting : P-TRAP
66 Get ready to refinish : STRIP
67 Writer Rand : AYN
68 Some globe users : SEERS
69 With great passion : HOTLY

Down

1 Old conscription agcy. : SSS
2 Bethesda-based medical org. : NIH
3 Gussied up : ADORNED
4 Sub need : PERISCOPE
5 Preoccupies a lot : EATS AT
6 Moral flaw : BLOT
7 Terra firma : EARTH
8 Disappoint, in slang : BUM OUT
9 1967 NHL Rookie of the Year : ORR
10 “The Tell-Tale Heart” writer : POE
11 Salad green : ARUGULA
12 Insignificant : NOMINAL
13 Zen harmony : ONENESS
18 Boy who may be adopted : FOSTER-SON
19 Took a load off : SAT
22 Kenan’s Nickelodeon pal : KEL
23 “Green Book” Oscar winner Mahershala __ : ALI
25 Van Morrison hit with the line “A fantabulous night to make romance” : MOONDANCE
26 Writer Rice : ANNE
28 Thanksgiving mo. in Canada : OCT
33 Fall behind : OWE
35 Reaches after getting away, as a safe haven : ESCAPES TO
37 __-FREE: contact lens solution : OPTI
38 Forbes rival : INC
39 Lesser Antilles isl. country : ST LUCIA
40 Ponderous : WEIGHTY
41 Clarify : EXPLAIN
44 Qualifying phrase : OF A SORT
45 “Hacksaw Ridge” director Gibson : MEL
46 Tire letters : PSI
49 Brush aside : IGNORE
51 Go over again : REHASH
53 Rembrandt van __ : RYN
54 As of yet : SO FAR
58 Cookbook amts. : TSPS
60 Modern rte. finder : GPS
61 Tour de France time : ETE
62 Zilch : NIL
63 Make like a mole : SPY

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 20 Jun 19, Thursday”

  1. I tend to be leery of puzzles with those distracting circles in the
    squares, but I did get this one with no errors only after googling
    some names as usual.

    1. My dictionary lists both Ryn and Rijn for Rembrandt so I figured I had to
      use the three-letter spelling, which worked out

  2. LAT: 13:17, no errors. Newsday: 13:41, no errors. WSJ: 21:09, no errors; difficult, I thought; finally figuring out the gimmick helped a lot. BEQ: 16:30, no errors; again, I was relieved when I figured out the gimmick.

    Spent five hours yesterday ripping tree roots out of an area so I can replant with other things. Still have a bit more to do. Hard work … 😳.

  3. LAT: 8:56, no errors. WSJ: 37:25, no errors. Difficult, amidst a lot of guesses I had to back out on. Newsday: 14:25, 1 error. Fireball: 11:39, 1 error. Very much not typical of this puzzle set. BEQ: 13:38, 1 error.

  4. 46:31 no errors….tough one IMO….NYT 0516 DNF a Jeff Chen puzzle with a theme I never would have gotten without Bills explanation. Even then it took me forever to get it. That’s Jeff

  5. 19 mins 11 sec, and escaped error-free. This was full of stuff out of my ken, from SNAPE to KEL to neighboring ALI… even PTRAP. The seasonal circles helped a little bit, but I really despaired of finishing this one at all, let alone not misspelling *something*.

  6. DNF this one, but had 0 errors on the ones we did post
    (less than half). Too hard for us, but didn’t seem to bother
    you guys and gals all that much, except maybe a little on time.

    Kudos to all.

  7. @Dean – agree. Perhaps some people misinterpret the hand-written ij as y.

    @Daigles – my time is pathetic. I should have started doing crosswords at 12, as with languages. But there have to be some ordinary people

    Had OpENNESS before ONENESS. Didn’t know RON, KEL, ALI, SNAPE, MOONDANCE.

  8. No problem with the LAT’s grid. As noted by Dave & Glenn above the WSJ was a real test of translating tricky and downright misleading clues into answers that were too cute by half. Finally wrestled it into submission when I figured out 25 Down and that, as they say, was that. I had a real sense of accomplishment in getting this sucker solved.

  9. I loved this puzzle. New words, creative fill, challenging answers. Not the usual. Thanks, Peter.

  10. Moderately difficult Thursday for me, done at a leisurely pace, while selling my honey at market.

    Got the top 2/3 fairly quickly, except SNAPE and BEBOP, but got stuck in the bottom, until I fixed CHANGingSEASONS. LIPRINGS took a bit too. Up top AGIN seemed a bit unfair, even though I got it. Didn’t know OPTI, but got it with crosses…eventually, since I had to pull TOI out of somewhere.

    Also, slightly distracted from all the war talk the dodo and his minions are engaging in….

    Oh, and I looked into word ladders and I was making it more complicated than it was…fairly simple after all. I thought there was a relation between the letters that change between subsequent words. The only requirement is the ensuing word be a word.

    1. Dirk– I second–
      BTW, I had the same experience with Wednesday’s word ladder! I kept looking for more of a connection among the words.😯

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