LA Times Crossword 22 Jun 19, Saturday

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Constructed by: Julian Lim
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 8m 08s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • KGS (cgs!)
  • BAKLAVA (baclava!!!)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Marketing term involving supposed nutritional benefits : SUPERFOOD

We hear the word “superfood” a lot these days. I think it’s important that we realize that our friends in marketing coined the term to promote foods that have supposed health benefits, even though there’s no obligation to prove those health benefits exist. Since 2007, the European Union (EU) has banned the use of the term “superfood” in marketing of foodstuffs unless there is credible scientific research to back up any health claim. Good for the EU …

10 Dividing walls : SEPTA

In the world of anatomy, a septum (plural “septa”) is a dividing wall within a chamber or other structure. For example, the interatrial septum separates the left and right atria of the heart, and the nasal septum separates the nostrils of the nose.

16 ’90s “SNL” regular Cheri : OTERI

Cheri Oteri was the SNL (“Saturday Night Live”) cast member who regularly appeared with Will Ferrell in the skit featuring a pair of Spartan cheerleaders.

19 Starter followers : ENTREES

“Entrée” means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found the ordering of meals to be very confusing when I first came to America!

20 Not for youngsters : R-RATED

The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) film-rating system (PG-13, R, etc.) is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.

22 Arch with a point : OGEE

An ogee is a type of S-curve. Specifically it is a figure consisting of two arcs that curve in opposite directions (like an S) but both ends of the curve end up parallel to each other (which is not necessarily true for an S). An ogee arch is composed of two ogees, with one being the mirror of the other and meeting at the arch’s apex.

24 Pay stub? : -OLA

Payola is the illegal practice of paying radio stations or disk jockeys to repeatedly play a particular piece of music. The impetus behind the crime is that the more often a song is played, the more likely it is to sell. The term “payola” comes from the words “pay” and “Victrola”, an RCA brand name for an early phonograph.

25 1941 Bogart part : SAM SPADE

Private detective Sam Spade is the main character in Dashiell Hammett’s novel “The Maltese Falcon”. Famously, Spade was played by Humphrey Bogart in the 1941 film adaptation directed by John Huston.

28 Dry __ : ROT

Dry rot is a fungal infection that causes wood to decay as the fungus digest those parts of the wood giving it strength and structure. Despite the name, dry rot does indeed require the presence of some moisture to thrive. Wet rot is a similar condition, but one requiring a higher moisture content.

29 LeRoy Foster, for one : MURALIST

A mural is a painting that is applied directly to a wall or a ceiling. The term “mural” comes from the Latin “murus” meaning “wall”.

LeRoy Foster was an artist from Detroit who was most famous perhaps from painting large murals on institutions around the city. Foster earned himself the nickname “Detroit’s Own Michelangelo”.

30 Prayer’s place : NAVE

In large Christian churches, the nave is the main approach to the altar, and is where most of the congregation are seated.

31 Robin’s rhyming call? : HOLY GUACAMOLE!

Batman’s partner Robin is known for his very creative “Holy …!” exclamations. Here are few worth repeating from the original “Batman” TV show:

  • “Holy Tintinnabulation!”
  • “Holy Knit One, Purl Two!”
  • “Holy Oleo!”
  • “Holy Hole in a Doughnut!”

33 Bangkok bread : BAHT

The baht is the currency of Thailand, and is subdivided into 100 satang.

Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand. The exact etymology of the name “Bangkok” seems unclear, although “bang” is a Thai word for “a village situated on a stream”.

35 FAQ snippet : ANS

Most websites have a page listing answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Even this blog has one!

36 China quality : FINENESS

The ceramic known as “porcelain” can be referred to as “china” or “fine china”, as porcelain was developed in China.

38 Epilepsy tests, for short : 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”.

43 Romans, in a proverb : LOCALS

The proverb “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” probably dates back to the days of St. Augustine. St. Augustine wrote a letter around 390 AD in which he states:

When I go to Rome, I fast on Saturday, but here [Milan] I do not. Do you also follow the custom of whatever church you attend, if you do not want to give or receive scandal?

45 Radcliffe grads : ALUMNAE

Radcliffe College was a liberal arts college for women that is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Radcliffe was founded in 1879 as the Harvard Annex, a facility for the instruction of female students by faculty members of the all-male Harvard College. Radcliffe fully merged with Harvard in 1999. The list of Radcliffe alumnae is very illustrious, and includes Margaret Atwood, Stockard Channing, Rona Jaffe, Helen Keller, Caroline Kennedy, Empress Masako of Japan, Soledad O’Brien, Bonnie Raitt and Gertrude Stein.

50 Land with eland : VELDT

”Veldt” (sometimes “veld”) is the name given to large rural spaces in southern Africa. We might use the term “boondocks” for the same thing. The word “veldt” comes from the German for “field”.

The eland (plural “eland, elands”) is a large African antelope, in fact the largest antelope on the continent. Both male and female eland have horns, and those horns have a steady spiral ridge along their length.

Down

3 Western Australia’s capital : PERTH

Perth is the capital city of Western Australia. Perth earned itself the nickname of “City of Light” in 1962 as the virtually all the town’s lights were turned on at full power when astronaut John Glenn passed overhead in earth orbit in Friendship 7, so that he could see the city below. The city gave a repeat performance for Glenn in 1998 when he passed overhead in the Space Shuttle in 1998.

Western Australia is the largest of the nation’s six states. It is also the second-largest of any of the world’s subnational governing bodies, second only to Russia’s Sakha Republic. Western Alaska is over 50% larger than the state of Alaska, and almost 4 times the size of Texas.

4 Upshot : END RESULT

Back in the 1500s, the “up shot” was the final shot in an archery match. We now use the term “upshot” to describe the end result, the conclusion.

5 Seasoning for lamb : ROSEMARY

The herb known as rosemary is reputed to improve the memory. As such, rosemary has been used as a symbol of remembrance, especially in Europe and Australia. For example, mourners might throw sprigs of rosemary into graves, symbolically remembering the dead. The character Ophelia in William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” utters the line “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance”. The name of the herb comes from the Latin “ros marinus” which means “dew of the sea”. The idea is that rosemary can in fact grow in some arid locations with only the moisture that is carried by a sea breeze.

7 Spunkmeyer of cookie fame : OTIS

Otis Spunkmeyer is a company noted for producing muffins and cookies. Kenneth Rawlings founded the company in 1977 in Oakland, California. “Otis Spunkmeyer” isn’t a real person, and instead is a name that was made up by Rawlings’ 12-year-old daughter.

8 First National Leaguer to hit 500 home runs : OTT

At 5′ 9″, baseball legend Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don’t think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old. And, according to Wikipedia, “Ott’s name frequently appears in crossword puzzles, on account of its letter combination and brevity.” True that …

9 Hand-to-head cry : D’OH!

“The Simpsons” is one of the most successful programs produced by the Fox Broadcasting Company. Homer Simpson’s catchphrase is “D’oh!”, which became such a famous exclamation that it has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) since 2001. “D’oh!” can be translated as “I should have thought of that!”

10 Evening do : SOIREE

“Soir” is the French word for “evening” and a “soirée” is an “evening party”. The French word “soirée” has an acute accent over the first “e”, but we tend to drop this when using the word in English.

11 Peak in Catania : ETNA

The Metropolitan City of Catania (“Province of Catania” prior to 2015) is not only home ot the city of Catania, but also to Mount Etna, Europe’s largest volcano.

12 Push-up targets : PECTORALS

“Pecs” is the familiar name for the chest muscle, which is more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is a the Latin word for “breast, chest”.

13 What “never runs smooth,” in a 1963 Gene Pitney hit : TRUE LOVE

Gene Pitney had some success as a singer, mainly in the 1960s, with songs such as “Town without Pity”, “(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance” and “Twenty-Four Hours from Tulsa”. Songs written by Pitney and recorded by other artists had perhaps even more success. Pitney wrote “Rubber Ball” for Bobby Vee, “He’s a Rebel” for the Crystals and “Hello Mary Lou” for Ricky Nelson.

14 Specification for a pilot : AIR DATE

That would the pilot episode of a TV series.

20 Much paperwork : RED TAPE

Back in the days of yore in England, official documents were bound in bundles with red ribbon. So, getting through all the paperwork required “cutting through the red tape”.

22 Poppy products : OPIATES

Opiates are the narcotic alkaloids found in the opium poppy plant, although some synthetic versions and derivatives of the same alkaloids are also called opiates. To produce opiates, the latex sap of the opium poppy is collected and processed. The naturally-occurring drugs morphine and codeine can both be extracted from the sap. Some synthesis is required to make derivative drugs like heroin and oxycodone.

26 Heckle and Jeckle, e.g. : MAGPIES

Heckle and Jeckle are two animated magpies that star in a series of Terrytoons cartoon shorts that were made from 1946 right up to 1981.

29 Where diamond gets a 10 : MOHS SCALE

The Mohs scale of mineral hardness was developed in 1812 by Friedrich Mohs. Basically Mohs took minerals and scratched them with other minerals. In this way he was able to determine which minerals were hardest (most scratch resistant) and which softest. On the scale, diamond is hardest (and rated 10), while talc is softest (and rated 1).

31 Hair-of-the-dog target : HANGOVER

The main cause of hangover symptoms seems to be dehydration. Ethanol causes increased urine production, leaving the body short of water and resulting in headaches, dry mouth and a lack of energy. The symptoms can be alleviated by drinking a lot of water.

The “hair of the dog” is an alcoholic drink that is taken to lessen the symptoms of an existing hangover. The expression is written more completely as “the hair of the dog that bit you”. It originated with the belief that if a dog bit someone, placing some hairs of the dog into the wound who fend off the potential of rabies. The more contemporary practise is to treat a hangover with a glass of the same alcoholic drink that caused it in the first place.

32 Hawkeye’s group : MASH UNIT

The first Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) was deployed in August 1945. MASH units really came into the public consciousness after publication of the 1969 Richard Hooker novel “MASH”, which spawned the hit film and TV series that were both titled “M*A*S*H”.

Hawkeye Pierce is the lead character in the “M*A*S*H” novel, movie and TV series. Hawkeye was originally portrayed by Donald Sutherland in the film, and then by Alan Alda in the television show. Pierce is the only character appearing in all 250 episodes of the groundbreaking TV series.

33 Filo pastry dessert : BAKLAVA

Baklava is a very sweet and rich (and delicious) dessert pastry made from layers of filo dough filled with nuts and sweetened with honey or syrup. The name “baklava” comes from the Ottoman Turkish name for the pastry.

46 Cosmetic surg. option : LIPO

Liposuction (lipo) dates back to the 1920s when it was developed by a surgeon in France. However, the procedure quickly lost favor when a French model developed gangrene after surgery. As a result, it wasn’t until the mid-seventies that modern liposuction took off, after being popularized by two Italian-American surgeons in Rome.

49 Strategic math game : NIM

Nim is a simple mathematical game of strategy, and an ancient entertainment. Nim involves removing items from distinct piles (say matchsticks). Each player must remove at least one item per turn, and the last person to remove an item is the loser.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Marketing term involving supposed nutritional benefits : SUPERFOOD
10 Dividing walls : SEPTA
15 Afford a view of : OPEN OUT TO
16 ’90s “SNL” regular Cheri : OTERI
17 Skilled writer : WORDSMITH
18 Run up, as debts : INCUR
19 Starter followers : ENTREES
20 Not for youngsters : R-RATED
21 Take up again? : REHEM
22 Arch with a point : OGEE
24 Pay stub? : -OLA
25 1941 Bogart part : SAM SPADE
28 Dry __ : ROT
29 LeRoy Foster, for one : MURALIST
30 Prayer’s place : NAVE
31 Robin’s rhyming call? : HOLY GUACAMOLE!
33 Bangkok bread : BAHT
34 Rain-on-the-roof sounds : PIT-A-PATS
35 FAQ snippet : ANS
36 China quality : FINENESS
37 Metric meas. : KGS
38 Epilepsy tests, for short : EEGS
39 Tricked : HOSED
43 Romans, in a proverb : LOCALS
45 Radcliffe grads : ALUMNAE
47 Profit : AVAIL
48 Get at : INSINUATE
50 Land with eland : VELDT
51 Knocked too hard? : NITPICKED
52 Kid’s retort : ARE SO!
53 Gets even : SMOOTHENS

Down

1 Planter : SOWER
2 On top, but only just : UP ONE
3 Western Australia’s capital : PERTH
4 Upshot : END RESULT
5 Seasoning for lamb : ROSEMARY
6 Steam : FUME
7 Spunkmeyer of cookie fame : OTIS
8 First National Leaguer to hit 500 home runs : OTT
9 Hand-to-head cry : D’OH!
10 Evening do : SOIREE
11 Peak in Catania : ETNA
12 Push-up targets : PECTORALS
13 What “never runs smooth,” in a 1963 Gene Pitney hit : TRUE LOVE
14 Specification for a pilot : AIR DATE
20 Much paperwork : RED TAPE
22 Poppy products : OPIATES
23 Garage vessel : GAS CAN
26 Heckle and Jeckle, e.g. : MAGPIES
27 Turning about : SLUING
29 Where diamond gets a 10 : MOHS SCALE
30 Less : NOT SO MUCH
31 Hair-of-the-dog target : HANGOVER
32 Hawkeye’s group : MASH UNIT
33 Filo pastry dessert : BAKLAVA
36 Were conquered by : FELL TO
40 Dastardly sort : SNAKE
41 Downed : EATEN
42 Accomplishments : DEEDS
44 Some are visual : AIDS
45 Respecting : AS TO
46 Cosmetic surg. option : LIPO
48 Connections : INS
49 Strategic math game : NIM

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

  1. LAT: 25:40, no errors. Very decent Saturday offering. WSJ: 20:38, no errors. Newsday: Usual DNF after about 30 minutes, scant few things filled in rightly.
    Tuesday Croce later sometime, maybe.

  2. No errors at the end. Started out wrong with “Amos” instead of Otis, but
    a little whiteout took care of that. In my view, today’s puzzle was easier
    than the tricky one yesterday. Solved much faster than the usual Saturday fare.

  3. LAT: 20 minutes, no errors. Looked hard but got one word, and then I flew through it. My best time in a long time.

  4. I actually did it in 30 minutes with no errors! Quite an accomplishment for me. But it was easier than Friday’s, though I can’t remember that one now…

  5. Fairly easy Saturday puzzle. First one I could do sitting in the sun outside backyard deck . Warm and dry enough in Central New York State. Been very wet and cold up to now. Late summer if you can call it that.

  6. Thank you for posting all this information. Although I find the Saturday puzzles very challenging, I still try and am happy when I can complete even a third of the puzzle.

    I am grateful for your lengthy information following the puzzle answer; I learn a great deal from that, and, for some unknown reason, I feel better. Maybe it’s because I’m learning. Thank you.

  7. So, for no discernible reason, I woke up wondering about a particular Norwegian word and since, in spite of my heritage, I only know a handful of words in that language, I looked it up, and I then found myself wondering how long I would have to live in Oslo before “Eek! En edderkopp!” would have the same effect on my neural network as “Eek! A spider!” has now. All of which reminded me of a wonderful John Cleese rant on the essential rightness of English: “In Germany, they call this ‘ein Messer’. In Spain, they call it ‘un cuchillo’. But, in English, we call it a knife, which, of course, is exactly what it is!”

    But I digress … 😜

    LAT: 10:41, no errors. WSJ: 25:44, no errors.

    Newsday: 1:23:09, with a one-square error that a final one-minute check of the grid would have caught (which, after successfully dealing with some brutally difficult sections of the puzzle, really hurt … particularly since I have no one to blame but myself 😳) . Grrrr … 😜. (Honestly … maybe it’s just me, but it seems as if the “Saturday Stumper” has been unusually difficult for the last few weeks.)

    So … another Saturday in my rear-view mirror … yay!

  8. A fair challenge for a Saturday. Not one that made my head spin like Linda Blair in the Exorcist, but a good brain work out. The upper left and lower right corners were both equal in level of difficulty. Finally I got super food for 1 Across and that made the remainder of the upper left come together and getting snake for 40 Down gave me ” smoothens” and that was that.

  9. 16 mins, 6 sec, and no errors. Grateful to finish at all, this one was tough, and had me despairing up to the very end! Also, this marks a full week of error free puzzle solving, my first in some time!!!

  10. Moderately difficult Saturday for me; took about an hour with no errors in the end. Very fun…mostly because I finished!

    Had a bit of trouble in the NW corner, but after getting out a bowl of salsa and nachos, I immediately saw Wordsmith as I was sitting back down. That got me Entrees, Rosemary and Fume. Finally fixed arMyPA_E to SAMSPADE. Also had to change Run to ROT to get this over the line.

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