LA Times Crossword 6 Jun 19, Thursday

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Constructed by: Stu Ockman
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Rarely Used Antonyms

Themed answers are each rarely used antonyms of words cited in the clue. They are also the opposites of more common words:

  • 22A Rarely used antonym of harmless : NOCUOUS (an antonym of “innocuous”)
  • 33A Rarely used antonym of disheveled : KEMPT (an antonym of “unkempt”)
  • 39A Rarely used antonym of unidentified : ONYMOUS (an antonym of “anonymous”)
  • 46A Rarely used antonym of crude : COUTH (an antonym of “uncouth”)
  • 57A Rarely used antonym of cruel : RUTHFUL (an antonym of “ruthless”)
  • 5D Rarely used antonym of bumbling : GAINLY (an antonym of “ungainly”)
  • 50D Rarely used antonym of friendliness : COOLTH (an antonym of “warmth”)

Bill’s time: 8m 30s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Fourth of eight : MARS

There are several mnemonics used to remember the planets and the order in which they are found in the Solar System. One example is “My Very Easy Method Just Shows Us Nine Planets”, but that doesn’t really work since Pluto was relegated from “planethood”. The most oft-quoted mnemonic for the eight planets is “My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nachos”. Given the relegation of Pluto, I kind of like “Many Very Educated Men Just Screwed Up Nature”.

5 Classic Pontiacs : GTOS

The initialism “GTO” was used on several touring cars (including a famous Pontiac) and stands for “Gran Turismo Omologato”. Italian car manufacturers started the tradition of calling their luxury performance cars “Gran Turismo”, and calling those cars they approved for racing “Gran Turismo Omologato”. The phrase “gran turismo omologato” translates as “grand touring homologated”, with “homologated” being a technical term signifying official approval.

9 “Shrek” ogress : FIONA

Princess Fiona is the title character’s love interest in the “Shrek” series of films.

14 Colorado-based sports org. : USOC

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has a federal charter but it doesn’t receive any funds from the US government. As such, it has to engage in fundraising just like any other charitable organization. The USOC was founded in 1894, and is headquartered in Colorado Springs.

15 Boomers’ lobbying group : AARP

“AARP” is now the official name for the interest group that used to be called the American Association of Retired Persons. The name change reflects the current focus of the group on all Americans aged 50 or over, as opposed to just people who have retired.

A baby boomer is someone who was born in the post-WWII baby boom. The rate of births had been falling fairly steadily in the US at least since 1900, but this trend was sharply reversed in 1946 after WWII. The higher birth rate continued until 1964, when it returned to pre-war levels. Since then the birth rate has continued to decline, although at a slower pace. The period between 1946 and 1964 is often defined as the “baby boom”.

17 Ousted Iranian : SHAH

The last Shah of Iran was Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, who was overthrown in the revolution led by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. The post-revolution government sought the extradition of the Shah back to Iran while he was in the United States seeking medical care (he had cancer). His prolonged stay in the United States, recovering from surgery, caused some unrest back in Iran and resentment towards the United States. Some say that this resentment precipitated the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran and the resulting hostage crisis.

18 Flat-package furniture retailer : IKEA

The furniture chain IKEA was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943, when he was just 17-years-old. IKEA is an acronym standing for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (don’t forget now!). Elmtaryd was the name of the farm where Ingvar Kamprad grew up, and Agunnaryd is his home parish in Sweden.

19 Me.-to-Fla. highway : US-ONE

US Route 1 runs from Fort Kent in Maine right down to Key West in Florida.

20 Greek : HELLENE

Someone from Greece can be called a Hellene. “Ellas” is the Greek word for “Greece”, the name of the country. Greece is also known as the “Hellenic” Republic.

22 Rarely used antonym of harmless : NOCUOUS (an antonym of “innocuous”)

Something nocuous is harmful, noxious. The term “nocuous” comes from the Latin verb “nocere” meaning “to hurt, harm”. We are more used to seeing the word “innocuous”, the opposite of “nocuous”.

27 Grab the tab : PAY

When we run a tab at a bar say, we are running a “tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.

28 Quick, speculative stock transaction : DAY TRADE

Day trading is the buying and selling of financial instruments within the same day, with all trades being settled by the closing bell. This used to be the realm of professional investors and speculators, but day-trading has become a big fad for at-home traders since the Internet made buying and selling transactions so easy and rapid.

33 Rarely used antonym of disheveled : KEMPT (an antonym of “unkempt”)

The word “unkempt” means “disheveled, not well-combed”. It derives from the Old English word “cemban” meaning “to comb”. The opposite to the more common “unkempt” is … “kempt”.

38 Mets’ div. : NLE

National League East (NLE)

39 Rarely used antonym of unidentified : ONYMOUS (an antonym of “anonymous”)

Something onymous is something bearing a name. The term “onymous” was coined in the 1770s as an antonym to the existing word “anonymous”.

42 Inc. cousin : LLC

A limited liability company (LLC) is a company structure that limits the liability of the owner or owners. It is a hybrid structure in the sense that it can be taxed as would an individual or partnership, while also maintaining the liability protection afforded to a corporation.

46 Rarely used antonym of crude : COUTH (an antonym of “uncouth”)

The word “couth” existed in Middle English with the meaning “well-known, customary”. The term died out, but was resurrected in the late 19th century as a back-formation of the word “uncouth” meaning “rude, lacking in polish”.

57 Rarely used antonym of cruel : RUTHFUL (an antonym of “ruthless”)

“Ruth” is a term meaning compassion or sorrow, pity for another. To be lacking in compassion is to be “ruthless”. To be full of sorrow, pity is to be “ruthful”.

61 American Girl product : TOY DOLL

American Girl is a line of dolls introduced in 1986. The dolls were originally young girls dressed in clothes that evoked various periods of American history.

62 Very, in music : ASSAI

The Italian term “assai” translates as “very”, and is used in music with the same meaning.

65 Rossini’s “Largo al factotum,” e.g. : ARIA

“Largo al factotum” is an aria from Gioachino Rossini’s opera “The Barber of Seville”.

Gioachino Rossini was a prolific and very successful composer from Pesaro, Italy. During his lifetime, Rossini was lauded as the most successful composer of operas in history. His best-known opera today is probably “The Barber of Seville”. His best-known piece of music is probably the finale of the overture from his opera “William Tell”.

67 Pinch at the table : SALT

In cooking, the terms “dash”, “pinch” and “smidgen” can all be used for a very small measure, one that is often undefined. However, you can in fact buy some measuring spoons that define these amounts as follows:

  • a dash is 1/8 teaspoon
  • a pinch is 1/16 teaspoon
  • a smidgen is 1/32 teaspoon

69 Small songbirds : LARKS

Larks are small songbirds that are found all over the world, although only the horned lark species is found here in North America. Despite their size, larks are sometimes considered game birds, and can be served up as food. It’s not uncommon to find a dish containing lark meat in southern Europe.

70 Dash gadget : TACH

The tachometer takes its name from the Greek word “tachos” meaning “speed”. A tachometer in a car measures engine revolutions per minute (rpm).

71 “¿Cómo __ usted?” : ESTA

“¿Cómo está usted?” is the more formal way of asking “How are you?” in Spanish.

Down

1 __ pork: Asian dish : MU SHU

Moo shu pork (also “mu shu pork”) is a traditional dish from northern China, with the main ingredients being shredded pork and scrambled egg. In North America, the dish is served with tortilla-like wrappers that are sometimes referred to as “moo shu pancakes”.

3 Wonka creator Dahl : ROALD

Roald Dahl’s name is Norwegian. Dahl’s parents were from Norway, although Dahl himself was Welsh. Dahl became one of the most successful authors of the twentieth century. Two of his most famous titles are “James and the Giant Peach” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.

Willy Wonka is the lead character in the 1964 novel by Roald Dahl called “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory”. Willy Wonka has been portrayed on the big screen twice. Gene Wilder was a fabulous Wonka in the 1971 version titled “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”, and Johnny Depp played him in the Tim Burton movie from 2005 called “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. I’m not too fond of Tim Burton movies, so I haven’t seen that one …

4 Drag : SCHLEPP

Our word “schlep” (sometimes “schlepp”) means “carry, drag”. “Schlep” comes from Yiddish, with “shlepen” having the same meaning.

5 Rarely used antonym of bumbling : GAINLY (an antonym of “ungainly”)

Something described as “ungainly” is awkward or clumsy. The antonym “gainly” is probably a back-formation of “ungainly”.

6 “Star Trek” actor : TAKEI

Mr. Hikaru Sulu was played by George Takei in the original “Star Trek” series. Takei has played lots of roles over the years, and is still very active in television. Did you know that he appeared in the 1963 film, “Pt-109”? He played the helmsman steering the Japanese destroyer that ran down John F. Kennedy’s motor torpedo boat. From destroyer helmsman to starship helmsman …

9 Tap : FAUCET

The common “faucet” in an American house is almost always referred to as a “tap” on the other side of the pond.

11 Melville novel : OMOO

Herman Melville mined his own experiences when writing his novels. Melville sailed from New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1841 on a whaler heading into the Pacific Ocean (a source for “Moby-Dick”). Melville ended up deserting his ship 18 months later and lived with natives on a South Pacific Island for three weeks (a source for “Typee”). He picked up another whaler and headed for Hawaii, where he joined the crew of a US navy frigate that was bound for Boston (a source for “Omoo”).

12 Half an Orkan farewell : NANU

The sitcom “Mork & Mindy” was broadcast from 1978 to 1982. We were first introduced to Mork (played by Robin Williams) in a special episode of “Happy Days”. The particular episode in question has a bizarre storyline culminating in Fonzie and Mork having a thumb-to-finger duel. Eventually Richie wakes up in bed, and alien Mork was just part of a dream! Oh, and “Nanu Nanu” means both “hello” and “goodbye” back on the planet Ork. “I am Mork from Ork, Nanu Nanu”. Great stuff …

21 Poet’s muse : ERATO

In Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of lyric poetry. She is often depicted with a wreath of myrtle and roses, and playing a lyre.

25 Sushi bar finger food : EDAMAME

Edamame is a simple dish made of immature soybeans still in the pod. The pods are boiled and then salted before serving, usually as a snack or side dish. The name “edamame” translates as “twig bean”.

29 Years in España : ANOS

In Spanish, “Spain” is written as “España”.

30 Gp. with a “Know Your Rights” web page : ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has its roots in the First World War when it was founded to provide legal advice and support to conscientious objectors. The ACLU’s motto is “Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself”. The ACLU also hosts a blog on the ACLU.org website called “Speak Freely”.

34 Scat legend Fitzgerald : ELLA

Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

Scat singing is a vocal improvisation found in the world of jazz. There aren’t any words as such in scat singing, just random nonsense syllables made up on the spot.

36 Vidal’s Breckinridge : MYRA

Gore Vidal’s 1968 novel “Myra Breckinridge” was considered controversial in its day. I haven’t read it, but I understand it addresses transsexuality and other sexual practices considered outside the norm at the time. There was a movie version of the novel made in 1970, with Raquel Welch in the title role.

40 India’s first prime minister : NEHRU

Jawaharlal Nehru was the very first prime minister of India, serving from 1947-64. Nehru was basically the heir to his mentor Mahatma Gandhi. Nehru’s only daughter Indira, also became prime minister (known as Indira Gandhi through marriage, though she was no relation to Mahatma).

44 Seattle NFLer : SEAHAWK

The Seattle Seahawks joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1976, along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Seahawks have enthusiastic fans, often referred to as the “12th man”, a reference to how well their support can buoy the team. The Seahawks fans have twice broken the Guinness World Record for the loudest crowd noise at a sporting event.

50 Rarely used antonym of friendliness : COOLTH (an antonym of “warmth”)

“Coolth” is the opposite of “warmth”, would you believe? Would you further believe, that it was coined as the antonym of “warmth” back in the mid-16th century? Amazing …

53 PC key combo for “copy” : CTRL-C

The Control (CTRL) key on a PC keyboard is used to modify the function of other keys. For example, pressing CTRL+C copies a selection to the clipboard, and CTRL+V pastes the contents of the clipboard to a location defined by the cursor. Control keys were introduced on teletypewriters to generate “control characters”, which are non-printing characters that instruct a computer to do something like print a page, ring a bell etc.

54 New York City divisions, informally : BOROS

The five boroughs (informally “boros”) of New York City were created in 1898. Those five boroughs are:

  • Manhattan
  • The Bronx
  • Brooklyn
  • Queens
  • Staten Island

55 “The Waste Land” poet : ELIOT

T. S. Eliot (TSE) wrote his poem called “The Waste Land” in 1922. “The Waste Land” opens with the famous line, “April is the cruellest month …”

56 Peruvian grazer : LLAMA

The wool from a llama is much softer than that from a sheep, and it is also free from lanolin.

57 Amtrak track : RAIL

Amtrak is the name used commercially by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. “Amtrak” comes from a melding of the words “America” and “track”.

58 Annapolis inst. : USNA

The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is located in Annapolis, Maryland. The USNA was founded in 1845 and educates officers for both the US Navy and the US Marine Corps. The motto of the USNA is “Ex Scientia Tridens”, which translates as “From Knowledge, Sea Power”.

59 Ruler until 1917 : TSAR

The year 1917 saw two revolutions in Russia, with the pair collectively called “the Russian Revolution”. As a result of the February Revolution that centered on Petrograd, the last Emperor of Russia (Tsar Nicholas II) abdicated and members of the Imperial parliament took control of the country, forming the Russian Provisional Government. The Provisional Government was itself overthrown in the October Revolution, which was led by Vladimir Lenin and the Bolshevik party.

60 “__ we forget” : LEST

“Lest we forget” is an oft-quoted phrase, one that comes from a poem by Rudyard Kipling called “Recessional”. Kipling wrote the piece on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897 and used it to express sadness at the waning of the British Empire. The phrase “lest we forget” is used in this context, a warning that the empire will decline. Ever since WWI we’ve been using the words on memorials as a plea not forget the sacrifices made by others in the past.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Fourth of eight : MARS
5 Classic Pontiacs : GTOS
9 “Shrek” ogress : FIONA
14 Colorado-based sports org. : USOC
15 Boomers’ lobbying group : AARP
16 Equally hot : AS MAD
17 Ousted Iranian : SHAH
18 Flat-package furniture retailer : IKEA
19 Me.-to-Fla. highway : US-ONE
20 Greek : HELLENE
22 Rarely used antonym of harmless : NOCUOUS (an antonym of “innocuous”)
24 Serve as a foundation for : UNDERLIE
26 Text titter : HEE
27 Grab the tab : PAY
28 Quick, speculative stock transaction : DAY TRADE
33 Rarely used antonym of disheveled : KEMPT (an antonym of “unkempt”)
36 Jorge’s hand : MANO
37 Nae sayer : SCOT
38 Mets’ div. : NLE
39 Rarely used antonym of unidentified : ONYMOUS (an antonym of “anonymous”)
42 Inc. cousin : LLC
43 Bullring bravos : OLES
45 Time line units : ERAS
46 Rarely used antonym of crude : COUTH (an antonym of “uncouth”)
48 Entrée topped with pineapple rings : BAKED HAM
50 Tuna holder : CAN
51 Fizzy prefix : AER-
52 Sticker on organic produce : ECOLABEL
57 Rarely used antonym of cruel : RUTHFUL (an antonym of “ruthless”)
61 American Girl product : TOY DOLL
62 Very, in music : ASSAI
63 British peer : EARL
65 Rossini’s “Largo al factotum,” e.g. : ARIA
66 Blown away : IN AWE
67 Pinch at the table : SALT
68 Space : ROOM
69 Small songbirds : LARKS
70 Dash gadget : TACH
71 “¿Cómo __ usted?” : ESTA

Down

1 __ pork: Asian dish : MU SHU
2 Pale with fright : ASHEN
3 Wonka creator Dahl : ROALD
4 Drag : SCHLEPP
5 Rarely used antonym of bumbling : GAINLY (an antonym of “ungainly”)
6 “Star Trek” actor : TAKEI
7 Vein glory? : ORE
8 Life time : SPAN
9 Tap : FAUCET
10 Publishers, e.g. : ISSUERS
11 Melville novel : OMOO
12 Half an Orkan farewell : NANU
13 Fruity drinks : ADES
21 Poet’s muse : ERATO
23 “Such a tease!” : OH YOU!
25 Sushi bar finger food : EDAMAME
29 Years in España : ANOS
30 Gp. with a “Know Your Rights” web page : ACLU
31 Simpleton : DOLT
32 Sharply outline : ETCH
33 Gearshift topper : KNOB
34 Scat legend Fitzgerald : ELLA
35 Submissive : MEEK
36 Vidal’s Breckinridge : MYRA
40 India’s first prime minister : NEHRU
41 Like the skin of most fish : SCALY
44 Seattle NFLer : SEAHAWK
47 How some risks are taken : ON A DARE
49 Goes against : DEFIES
50 Rarely used antonym of friendliness : COOLTH (an antonym of “warmth”)
53 PC key combo for “copy” : CTRL-C
54 New York City divisions, informally : BOROS
55 “The Waste Land” poet : ELIOT
56 Peruvian grazer : LLAMA
57 Amtrak track : RAIL
58 Annapolis inst. : USNA
59 Ruler until 1917 : TSAR
60 “__ we forget” : LEST
64 Battery size : AAA

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 6 Jun 19, Thursday”

  1. Same here Cathy. No errors, but a lot of it by guess and help from cross words. I never heard anyone use the word “coolth” or “ruthful”.I guess that’s why all the theme words are “rarely used.”

    1. Admittedly, I had to go to a larger dictionary for “onymous”, but all the rest were in my recent Webster’s college dictionary (and they’re all in various online dictionaries).

  2. Well, this twisted my brain on a “June gloom” LA morning. Finished all but two letters. And agree with the above comments about how rare these words really are. But it was enjoyable.

  3. 34:20 one error….I had sco label for eco label and don’t know what it means….As everyone else I have never heard of all those antonyms

  4. LAT: 10:02, no errors. Newsday: 10:33, no errors. WSJ: 14:11, no errors. BEQ: 17:43, no errors. Jones: 12:14, no errors; a great example of “manufactured ease”, with a theme involving a bunch of names that I didn’t know, all of which nevertheless had in common a characteristic making it possible to be confident that my guesses were correct.

  5. Very fun and challenging, but I was plain lucky on the antonyms,
    getting all but one – ONYMOUS, 39A. Could find neither the definition
    of “antonym” nor “synonym” in my old puzzle dictionary. May not have
    helped that much, because we only missed one.

    2 posting errors and 1 omission for a satisfying 97.5%. I will take it and
    run on that puzzle! Fun, though. That good a score on one that took Bill
    over 8 minutes is very acceptable.

    Kudos to all.

  6. 17:06 while on the phone and carrying on a conversation at the same time. I believe that’s a first for me. Was this puzzle flammable or inflammable? oh wait… Clever theme. I give it an A minus on my random grading scale based on nothing but my gut feeling.

    I can’t wait to use the word COOLTH in a conversation and then condescend to the person who doesn’t know what it means…..

    LEST we forget (to steal from Bill’s comments over at the NYT) that today is the 75th (!!) anniversary of D-Day. I’m a little upset there was no D-Day theme as there was today over at the NYT. Regardless, thank you D-Dayers (is that a word?).

    In HBO’s “Band of Brothers” I remember the feeling when, after waiting for days to get the go-ahead to launch, the first propeller of the first plane started up, and they knew it was time to go into a hell storm they couldn’t imagine. Made me nervous just watching that. Can’t imagine what being there was like.

    Best –

  7. I had a very tough time with this puzzle and had to turn on the error hint colors to see where I was. Very tough …. !! …. that I just had to rush here and have Bill explain it all to me …. in ordinary comprehensible English…!!!!

    After I got the idea, and now, ….. I think it’s really coolth (!!!) … my auto check hates that word …. I think the constructor should be congratulated on his excellent theme idea….. it’s not his fault that I could not strike on it ….

    Jeff, for whatever it’s worth …. I thought of You !!!

    Because you had once ranted about some antonym that should have existed but maybe, it just didn’t exist ….

    I have been on an extended tour to Israel … the Holy Land , but with the temps in the above 105oF , I might have been tempted to think of H—l…

    Seriously I went for nonreligious reasons and enjoyed the trip throughly.

    Have a nice day tomorrow, all.

  8. Jeff, I haven’t seen Band of Brothers, but I did watch a colorized documentary by Peter Jackson ( Of The lord of the Rings fame …) called “ They shall not grow old..”.
    About the trench warfare in World War One from a British soldier’s point of view…

    And, in the end, when the war finally ended …. the men who survived …. had got so used to the horrible hardships of the war, and the desultory way of life ….

    … it had become a way of life for them …. and some of them were actually disappointed that the war had finally ended …. because for some of them , the war had become a raison d’etre … they knew of no other peacetime life ….

    Sometimes you are a small cog in a mass movement and just carry on mechanically… like being on the Titanic and hitting the iceberg … that you have no time or chance to fear or worry …

    At least that’s the way I think of it …
    Best. (!)

  9. Pretty tough Thursday for me; took 40 minutes and goofed up two squares…CruLTH…sigh!

    I did get the theme eventually but I was thinking cruel instead of cool, which is wrong but I was getting antsy to finish.

    So, we get Vidwan back, but Glen seems to have disappeared. I hope he is alright what with all those tornadoes out there.

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