LA Times Crossword 8 Jun 19, Saturday

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Constructed by: Brian E. Paquin
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 10m 19s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 “Dance of the Seven Veils” play : SALOME

“Salomé” is an 1891 play by Irishman Oscar Wilde that the playwright originally wrote in French. It tells the biblical story of Salome who requested the head of John the Baptist in return for performing the dance of the seven veils. Wilde’s work was adapted by Richard Strauss into an opera of the same name that was premiered in Dresden in 1905.

In the New Testament, Salome was a dancer and a seductress. She was the stepdaughter of Herod and when she danced for him on his birthday, her mother demanded as a reward the execution of John the Baptist. Salome is not actually named in the account in the gospels, and historians rely on other sources to determine that she was indeed “Salome”. Famously, the seductive dance that she performed is said to be the Dance of the Seven Veils. The dance isn’t named in the Biblical account, and is an elaboration that developed in later Christian mythology.

11 Common commuter letters : MTA

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has public transportation responsibility in the state of New York (as well as part of Connecticut). “MTA” might also refer to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is known as “the Metro” and sometimes “the MTA”.

16 Slur in musical notation, e.g. : ARC

In the world of music, a slur is curved line that connects neighboring notes that are to be played smoothly, without separation.

18 Shocking weapons : TASERS

Victor Appleton wrote a novel for young adults called “Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle”. The company that developed the TASER electroshock weapon partly named its product as a homage to the novel. The acronym “TASER” stands for “Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle”.

24 Personal ad “looking for” : ISO

In search of (ISO)

27 Gates of philanthropy : MELINDA

Melinda French was working as a project manager at Microsoft when she met Bill Gates. The couple were married in Hawaii in 1994, after which she left Microsoft to start and raise a family.

38 Many a “Twister” character : STORM CHASER

“Twister” is a 1996 film about a group of storm chasers in Oklahoma. Stars of the movie are Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt. A lot of scenes were shot in a particular farmhouse in Fairfax, Oklahoma. That same farmhouse was destroyed by an actual tornado in 2010.

45 Rascals, old-style : VARLETS

A varlet was an attendant or servant, and perhaps a knight’s page. The term “varlet” comes from the Old French “vaslet” meaning “squire, young man”. “Vaslet” also gave us our contemporary word “valet”. The term “varlet” came to be pejorative, describing an unprincipled person.

50 __-pitch : SLO

Slo-pitch (or “slow-pitch”) is a type of softball.

51 High seas greeting : AHOY, MATE!

“Ahoy!” is a nautical term used to signal a vessel. When the telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell, he suggested that “ahoy” be used as a standard greeting when answering a call. However, Thomas Edison came up with “hello”, and we’ve been using that ever since.

53 Harassed “SNL” clay character : MR BILL

Mr. Bill is a clay figure who appeared in shorts broadcast on “Saturday Night Live”. During each episode, Mr. Bill inevitably falls foul of either a clay character called Sluggo or live character called “Mr. Hands”. Mr. Bill first featured in a Super-8 reel that was shot by filmmaker Walter Williams and submitted to the show. Williams went on to become a full-time writer for the show.

56 1887 Verdi debut : OTELLO

Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Otello” was first performed in 1887 at La Scala Theater in Milan. The opera is based on Shakespeare’s play “Othello” and is considered by many to be Verdi’s greatest work.

58 __ rage : ‘ROID

Steroids are found commonly in nature, with familiar examples being cholesterol and testosterone. The controversial class of drugs called anabolic steroids (known informally as “roids” or simply “steroids”) are artificially produced chemicals designed to mimic the effect of the male sex hormone, testosterone. They are termed “anabolic” as they build up cellular tissue (particularly muscle) in a process called anabolism. Taking anabolic steroids can be termed “juicing”, and the aggressive behavior that can be a side-effect is known as “roid rage”.

60 Kind of calendar : JULIAN

Our contemporary western calendar was introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII, giving it the name “Gregorian” calendar. The Gregorian calendar superseded the Julian calendar, and both were aligned with movement of the sun across the sky. At issue was that the Julian calendar was misaligned with the solar year by about 11 minutes, creating an error that accumulated over time. Pope Gregory corrected the length of the year by introducing a more accurate rule for calculating leap years. He also wiped out the cumulated “misalignment”, in order to bring together the Christian celebration of Easter and the spring equinox. That correction involved the “loss” of 11 days. The last day of the Julian calendar (Thursday, 4 October 1582) was immediately followed by the first day of the Gregorian calendar (Friday, 15 October 1582).

61 Girl of Avonlea : ANNE

“Anne of Green Gables” is a 1908 novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery that she set in the fictional Prince Edward Island community of Avonlea. Montgomery wrote several sequels to “Anne”, with them all being set on Prince Edward Island (PEI), from where the author hailed.

64 Roman Catholic prelate: Abbr. : MSGR

Monsignor (Msgr.) is a form of address used when speaking to some high ranking members of the Roman Catholic Church. The word “monsignor” comes from the Italian “monsignore” which in turn comes from the French “mon seigneur” meaning “my lord”.

Down

4 German aviation pioneer Lilienthal : OTTO

German aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal was the first to make repeated flights in a true glider, and the first to prolong glider-flight using rising air currents. Sadly, he died in 1896 as the result of a crash in a glider.

8 Concert hall : ODEUM

In Ancient Greece an odeon (also “odeum”) was like a small theater, with “odeon” literally meaning a “building for musical competition”. Odea were used in both Greece and Rome for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.

9 Emulate Time and Warner : MERGE

WarnerMedia is a media and entertainment conglomerate that was formed in 1990 under the name Times Warner, when Time Inc. merged with Warner Communications.

Time Warner is the third-largest TV and film media company in the world, after Disney and Comcast. Today’s conglomerate came about in 1990 with the merger of Time with Warner Communications. Time is a large magazine publisher, notably of “Time” magazine. Warner Communications was an entertainment company, the parent of Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Music Group.

10 Ford who championed the Model A : EDSEL

Edsel Ford was the only child of automobile manufacturing pioneer Henry Ford. Edsel became president of Ford Motors, as Henry’s sole heir, and served in that capacity from 1919 until his death in 1943. Henry’s name is very much associated with the Model T, the Tin Lizzie. Edsel was the man behind the subsequent development of the more fashionable Model A. However, despite Edsel’s many successes, his name is inextricably linked with the highly unsuccessful Edsel line of cars.

The Ford Model A was the original car produced by the Ford Motor Company. The first production run lasted from 1903 to 1904, when it was replaced by the Model C. The name “Model A” was brought back in 1927 and used for the successor to the Model T.

11 Procrastinator’s word : MANANA

In Spanish, the day after “hoy” (today) is “mañana” (tomorrow).

21 New Orleans Saints chant : WHO DAT?

The entire community of fans of the New Orleans Saints are sometimes referred to as the “Who Dat Nation”. The name comes from a popular chant heard at a Saints game:

Who dat?
Who dat?
Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?

26 Earth pigment : OCHER

Ocher is a light, yellowy-brown color, although variations of the pigment are possible such as red ocher and purple ocher. “Ocher” is usually spelled “ochre” on the other side of the pond.

30 Big wheels : HELMS

In its broadest sense, the term “helm” describes the whole of a ship’s steering mechanism, including the rudder and tiller. In a more specific sense, the helm is the handle, tiller or wheel that is used to control the steering gear.

33 Sheet of microfilm : FICHE

A microfiche is a micro-reproduction of some document(s) on a flat sheet of film. Usually a fiche can fit 98 document-size pages, reducing the storage space required by up to 95%.

34 Singing like Pentatonix, e.g. : IN HARMONY

Pentatonix (sometimes “PTX”) is an a cappella group that was founded by school chums in Arlington, Texas. The group’s break came with a win in 2011 on the NBC reality show “The Sing-Off”.

40 Gamer’s icon : AVATAR

The Sanskrit word “avatar” describes the concept of a deity descending into earthly life and taking on a persona. It’s easy to see how in the world of “online presences” one might use the word avatar to describe one’s online identity.

41 About 30% of Africa : SAHARA

The name “Sahara” means “greatest desert” in Arabic. The Sahara is just that, a great desert covering almost 4 million square miles of Northern Africa. That’s almost the size of the United States.

46 Tiny birthday cake, perhaps : EMOJI

An emoji is a character found on many cell phones that is much like an emoticon, but is more elaborate.

47 Art of jazz : TATUM

Art Tatum was a jazz pianist who overcame the disability of being nearly blind from birth. Many laud Tatum as the greatest jazz pianist of all time.

48 Stone marker : STELE

Stelae (singular “stele” or “stela”) were used all over the world, sometimes as territorial markers and sometimes to commemorate military victories. In later times stelae were commonly erected as commemorative markers in graveyards or other religious sites.

52 Director Kazan : ELIA

Elia Kazan won Oscars for best director in 1948 for “Gentleman’s Agreement” and in 1955 for “On The Waterfront”. In 1999 Kazan was given an Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. He also directed “East of Eden”, which introduced James Dean to movie audiences, and “Splendor in the Grass” that included Warren Beatty in his debut role.

54 Name on the cover of “Dracula” : BRAM

Bram Stoker was an Irish writer best known for the 1897 novel “Dracula”. Stoker’s fame as an author came after his death. During his lifetime he was better known as the personal assistant of renowned English actor Henry Irving. It is believed that Stoker used Irving as his inspiration for the title character in “Dracula”.

57 Syllables in some madrigals : LAS

A madrigal is a piece of vocal music, but notably a piece that is secular in content rather than religious. The madrigal originated in Italy in the early 16th century and it dominated secular music for the next one hundred years until it was gradually displaced by the aria, a product of operatic works.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Yikes!” : OH NO!
5 “Dance of the Seven Veils” play : SALOME
11 Common commuter letters : MTA
14 __ red : BEET
15 Got around : ELUDED
16 Slur in musical notation, e.g. : ARC
17 Not at all slack : TAUT
18 Shocking weapons : TASERS
19 Spendable amount : NET
20 Set of keyboard keys : ARROWS
22 Season ticket holders, usually : HUGE FANS
24 Personal ad “looking for” : ISO
25 Boo-__ : HOO
27 Gates of philanthropy : MELINDA
28 Impressive : NO SLOUCH
31 Votes against : NAYS
32 Make a bad situation worse : FEED THE FIRE
36 Magnificence : STATELINESS
38 Many a “Twister” character : STORM CHASER
40 “Not happening!” : AS IF!
43 Colors in the family : SHADES OF
45 Rascals, old-style : VARLETS
49 Bard’s preposition : ERE
50 __-pitch : SLO
51 High seas greeting : AHOY, MATE!
53 Harassed “SNL” clay character : MR BILL
55 Salon acquisition : TAN
56 1887 Verdi debut : OTELLO
58 __ rage : ‘ROID
59 “__ too!” : ARE
60 Kind of calendar : JULIAN
61 Girl of Avonlea : ANNE
62 “Gnarly!” : RAD!
63 “Either way” : I’M EASY
64 Roman Catholic prelate: Abbr. : MSGR

Down

1 Come into : OBTAIN
2 Learns about : HEARS OF
3 Obsessions, often : NEUROSES
4 German aviation pioneer Lilienthal : OTTO
5 Has every intention that one will : SETS OUT TO
6 In the manner of : A LA
7 Well-kept, as a lawn : LUSH
8 Concert hall : ODEUM
9 Emulate Time and Warner : MERGE
10 Ford who championed the Model A : EDSEL
11 Procrastinator’s word : MANANA
12 Fashionable : TRENDY
13 Plays the role of : ACTS AS
21 New Orleans Saints chant : WHO DAT?
23 Tactful handling : FINESSE
26 Earth pigment : OCHER
29 Unleashes : LETS FLY
30 Big wheels : HELMS
33 Sheet of microfilm : FICHE
34 Singing like Pentatonix, e.g. : IN HARMONY
35 Keeper of many books : READER
37 Meetings : SESSIONS
39 On the road : ROLLING
40 Gamer’s icon : AVATAR
41 About 30% of Africa : SAHARA
42 Did a laundry job : IRONED
44 Office item : FOLDER
46 Tiny birthday cake, perhaps : EMOJI
47 Art of jazz : TATUM
48 Stone marker : STELE
52 Director Kazan : ELIA
54 Name on the cover of “Dracula” : BRAM
57 Syllables in some madrigals : LAS

10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 8 Jun 19, Saturday”

  1. LAT: Couldn’t finish after a fast start, gave up, NW corner with “no slouch” for “Impressive” was my main undoing. First time in a long time I just quit.

  2. LAT: 13:30, no errors. WSJ: 22:08, no errors. Newsday’s “Saturday Stumper”: 1:14:59 (including a phone call and some “walkaway” time), no errors; quite difficult. And yesterday’s Tim Croce puzzle turned out to be one of his non-crossword anagram specials, which are not my favorites: I did a little of it and will probably work on it some more just for the mental workout, but they definitely make my head hurt … 😜.

  3. 15:53. I had issues in the upper left, did the rest of the puzzle and had to come back and finally conquer the upper left.

    I kept wanting to put “varmint(s)” for “Rascals” for 45A – ala Yosemite Sam. Sad when it didn’t fit.

    Best –

  4. 15 mins, 5 sec no errors. I have to say, it’s a pretty chicken-sh*t thing to do to clue for a foreign language word like MANANA with no hint in the clue that it’s not english. Just not cool.

    He *almost* makes up for it with the NO SLOUCH fill. Right clever, I have to say. *Almost* makes up for the faux pas…

  5. The SW was my problem area. Just couldn’t come up with anything. But I did better than yesterday. Wasn’t even going to try to get through this one, but somehow I did most of it.

  6. Hi folks!✌🏻

    No errors — I got off to a slow start but ultimately found it rather easy for a Saturday. Learned a new word! VARLET ~~ I like it! Rhymes with harlot….!😯

    I also like that Saints chant. I’m in the market for a new catchphrase, but I’m not sure if WHO DAT will fit the bill. I’ll try it out. Could be good when someone says something slightly insulting: “Who dat saying my lipstick is too bright??!” 😉

    Be well ~~🚋⚾️

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