LA Times Crossword 1 Jul 19, Monday

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Constructed by: Brock Wilson
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Checklist

Themed answers each start with a synonym of “CHECK”:

  • 62A To-do items to tick off … and what the starts of the answers to starred clues comprise : CHECKLIST
  • 17A *Cold one from a tap : DRAFT BEER
  • 38A *Nuclear restraint pact : TEST BAN
  • 11D *”Ghostbusters” co-star : BILL MURRAY
  • 28D *Attractiveness when viewed from the street, to a Realtor : CURB APPEAL

Bill’s time: 4m 58s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Six-legged picnic invaders : ANTS

Our term “picnic” comes from the French word that now has the same meaning, namely “pique-nique”. The original “pique-nique” was a fashionable potluck affair, and not necessarily held outdoors.

9 Like a mad dog : RABID

“Rabies” is actually the Latin word for “madness”. The name is a good choice for the viral disease, as once the virus spreads to the brain the infected person or animal exhibits very tortured and bizarre behavior including hydrophobia, a fear of water. The virus is passed on to humans most often through a bite from an infected dog. It is curable if it is caught in time, basically before symptoms develop. Once the virus passes up the peripheral nervous system to the spine and the brain, there isn’t much that can be done. We can also use the derivative term “rabid” figuratively, to mean extremely violent, to have extreme views.

14 Bossa __: dance : NOVA

Bossa nova is a style of music from Brazil that evolved from samba. The most famous piece of bossa nova is the song “The Girl from Ipanema”.

17 *Cold one from a tap : DRAFT BEER

For centuries now, a draft has been a rough copy of a writing, or a preliminary sketch or drawing. It is this link to “drawing” that led in the 19th century to the use of “draft” in the context of beer, as beer is “drawn” from the keg.

19 Room in le chalet : SALLE

In French, one might sit in a “salle” (room) in “le chalet” (the chalet/lodge).

23 Hesitates : BALKS

To balk is to stop and refuse to go on. It’s not just a baseball term …

25 Economist Smith : ADAM

Adam Smith was a pioneer in the field of “political economy”, an original term used for the study of production and trade and their relationship with law, government and the distribution of wealth. Adam Smith’s great work is called “The Wealth of Nations” that was published in 1776. The book was a big hit within his own lifetime and went a long way to earning him the reputation as the father of modern economics and capitalism. Smith coined the phrase “the invisible hand of the market”, describing his assertion that a marketplace tends to self-regulate.

26 Playground time at school : RECESS

To recess is to go back, to retreat. The use of the noun “recess” to mean “period of stopping from usual work” dates back to the early 1600s. This usage might stem from the action of parliamentarians “recessing” into, returning to private chambers.

29__ Beta Kappa : PHI

Phi Beta Kappa was the first collegiate Greek fraternity in the US, founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. The organization served as a model for future collegiate fraternities and sororities, although in the 19th century Phi Beta Kappa distanced itself from the fraternal focus and transformed into the honor society that it is today, recognizing academic excellence. The initials Phi Beta Kappa stand for “philosophia biou kybernētēs”, which translates into “philosophy is the guide of life”. The symbol of the Phi Beta Kappa Society is a golden key.

31 Call to the sled dogs : MUSH

Mushing is the use of one or more dogs to pull a sled. “Mush” is thought to come from the French “marche” meaning “go, run”.

34 Like two right-triangle angles : ACUTE

In geometry, there are several classes of angles:

  • Acute (< 90 degrees) 
  • Right (= 90 degrees) 
  • Obtuse (> 90 degrees and < 180 degrees) 
  • Straight (180 degrees) 
  • Reflex (> 180 degrees)

35 Poker pot promises : IOUS

I owe you (IOU)

36 __-Navy game: annual football rivalry : ARMY

The first Army-Navy football game took place in November 1890. The annual event is most often played in Philadelphia, as the city is about the same distance from the USMA at West Point, New York and the USNA at Anapolis, Maryland. One of the more memorable Army-Navy games (to trivia lovers) was played in 1893. That’s because Navy Midshipman Joseph M. Reeves wore a helmet, marking the first time a helmet was used for protection in a football game.

37 Road surface goo : TAR

The terms “tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call tarmac.

47 Bismarck’s st. : NDAK

Bismarck is the second most populous city in North Dakota (after Fargo), and the state capital. The site that became the city was originally known as Missouri Crossing, as it was the location where the Lewis and Clark Expedition crossed the river. Missouri Crossing became Edwinton after an employee of the Northern Pacific Railway. The railway company renamed the city Bismarck in honor of German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, as Northern Pacific was hoping for German investment.

48 Whiskey sour whiskey : RYE

A whiskey sour is made from whiskey, lemon juice and sugar, and is usually garnished with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.

54 Oft-framed college memento : DIPLOMA

Our word “diploma” comes from Greek via Latin, with an original meaning of “state or official document”. The Greek word “diploma” described a license or a chart, and originally meant “paper doubled over” from “diploos” the word for “double”.

57 Alan who played Snape : RICKMAN

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.

61 Fitness motto opening : USE IT …

… or lose it.

64 Large Dallas suburb : PLANO

Plano, Texas is located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. Settlers chose the name “Plano” in the 1840s. “Plano” is Spanish for “flat”, a reference to the terrain in the area.

66 Yale students : ELIS

Eli is the nickname for a graduate of Yale University, a term used in honor of the Yale benefactor Elihu Yale.

68 Ambulance staffers, for short : EMTS

Emergency medical technician (EMT)

Down

2 Sushi seaweed : NORI

Nori is an edible seaweed that we used to know as “laver” when I was living in Wales. Nori is usually dried into thin sheets. Here in the US, we are most familiar with nori as the seaweed used as a wrap for sushi.

3 Prime-time spot : TV AD

In the world of television, “prime time” is that part of the day when networks and advertisers bring maximize revenues due to the high number of viewers. Prime time is often defined as 7-10 p.m. Mountain and Central Time, and 8-11 p.m. Pacific and Eastern Time.

5 Old Greek prophets : SIBYLS

The word “sibyl” and the name “Sibyl” come from the Greek word “sibylla” meaning “prophetess”. There were many prophetic sibyls, but most famous is probably the Delphic Sibyl.

7 Luau strings : UKE

The ukulele (uke) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

Nowadays the word “luau” denotes almost any kind of party on the Hawaiian Islands, but to the purist a luau is a feast that always includes a serving of poi, the bulbous underground stems of taro.

8 Car sticker no. : MSRP

Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP)

10 Gulf of Mexico state : ALABAMA

Alabama is known as the Yellowhammer State, in honor of the state bird. Alabama is also called the “Heart of Dixie”.

The Gulf of Mexico is a notorious site for oil exploration. There are about 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells on the Gulf’s seabed.

11 *”Ghostbusters” co-star : BILL MURRAY

Actor and comedian Bill Murray got his big break on “Saturday Night Live” when he replaced the departing Chevy Chase in the show’s second season. Murray then launched an hugely successful film career, starring in a host of hit movies such as “Caddyshack”, “Stripes”, “Tootsie”, “Ghostbusters”, “What About Bob?” and “Groundhog Day”. His film career took off again with a lead role in 2003’s “Lost in Translation”. A favorite Bill Murray movie of mine is 2012’s “Hyde Park on the Hudson”, in which Murray plays President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1984’s “Ghostbusters” really is an entertaining movie. It stars Bill Murray and Harold Ramis, and was directed by Ivan Reitman (a trio that also worked together on 1981’s “Stripes”). The first draft of the screenplay was written by another star of the movie, Dan Aykroyd. Aykroyd originally envisioned “Ghostbusters” as a vehicle for himself and John Belushi, but sadly Belushi passed away before the project could be realized.

22 Gorbachev’s wife : RAISA

Raisa Gorbacheva was the wife of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. There’s no doubt that Raisa’s charm and personality helped her husband as he worked to change the image of the Soviet Union.

24 Helper during gym practice : SPOTTER

People at the gym who are doing weight training will often “spot” for each other. This means that the person who is spotting assists in the lift, allowing the lifter to work with more weight than usual.

26 Boca __, Florida : RATON

The name of the city of Boca Raton in Florida translates from Spanish as “Mouse Mouth”. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive etymology of the name but one plausible explanation is a nautical one. “Boca”, as well as meaning “mouth” can mean “inlet”. “Ratón”, as well as meaning “mouse” was also used to describe rocks that chewed away at a ship’s anchor cable. So possibly Boca Raton was named for a rocky inlet.

28 *Attractiveness when viewed from the street, to a Realtor : CURB APPEAL

“Curb” is another of those words that I had to learn when I came to the US. We park by the “kerb” on the other side of the Atlantic. Oh, and the “pavement”, that’s what we call the “footpath” (because the footpath is “paved”!). It’s very confusing when you arrive in this country from Ireland, and a little dangerous when one has been taught to “walk on the pavement” …

“Real estate agent” is a general, generic term. “Realtor” is the name given to a member of the trade association known as the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The NAR has gone so far as the trademark the term “Realtor” in the US.

32 Whack, biblically : SMITE

To smite is to strike with a firm blow. The term “smite” can also mean “strike down and slay”.

35 Dr. Watson exclamation : I SAY!

In the marvelous Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Holmes’ sidekick Dr. Watson is referred to only by his family name, except for two occasions when it is revealed that his first name is John. However, in a third and final mention, Dr. Watson is called “James” by his wife, perhaps indicating a lapse in memory on the part of the author.

39 Violinist Zimbalist : EFREM

Efrem Zimbalist was a prominent concert violinist from Russia. Zimbalist was married to the famous American soprano Alma Gluck. The couple had a son called Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. who became a well-known actor (co-star on “77 Sunset Strip”). Zimbalist, Sr. was therefore also the grandfather of actress Stephanie Zimbalist (co-star on “Remington Steele”).

43 City panorama : SKYLINE

Panoramic paintings have existed for centuries, but the word “panorama” was coined around 1790 to describe an invention by the artist Robert Barker. He created an apparatus for exhibiting pictures on the inside of a cylindrical surface, allowing the viewer to stand in the middle with access to a 360-degree vista. The term comes from Greek “pan-” meaning “all” and “horama” meaning “sight, spectacle”.

51 Copter blade : ROTOR

Our term “helicopter” was absorbed from the French word “hélicoptère” that was coined by Gustave Ponton d’Amécourt in 1861. d’Amécourt envisioned aircraft that could fly vertically using rotating wings that “screwed” into the air. He combined the Greek terms “helix” meaning “spiral, whirl” and “pteron” meaning “wing” to give us “helicopter”.

54 Put one over on : DUPE

A dupe is someone who is easily fooled, a “live one”, one who can fall victim to deception.

56 Clearasil target : ACNE

Clearasil acne medication was developed in 1940 by Ivan Combe and Kedzie Teller. Combe promoted the product by sponsoring the television show “American Bandstand” for many years.

59 One side of the Urals : ASIA

The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia and Kazakhstan is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

60 Govt. crash investigator : NTSB

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is responsible for the investigation of major accidents involving transportation. Included in this broad definition is the transportation of fluids in pipelines. The organization is independent in that it has no ties to other government agencies or departments so that its investigations can be viewed as “impartial”. The NTSB also earns a little money for the US as it hires out its investigation teams to countries who don’t have the necessary resources available on their own soil.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Six-legged picnic invaders : ANTS
5 Nasty film : SCUM
9 Like a mad dog : RABID
14 Bossa __: dance : NOVA
15 Really bugs : IRKS
16 Fail to pronounce, as the “g” in an “-ing” word : ELIDE
17 *Cold one from a tap : DRAFT BEER
19 Room in le chalet : SALLE
20 Disdainful glance : SIDE-EYE
21 “Something wrong?” : PROBLEM?
23 Hesitates : BALKS
25 Economist Smith : ADAM
26 Playground time at school : RECESS
29__ Beta Kappa : PHI
31 Call to the sled dogs : MUSH
34 Like two right-triangle angles : ACUTE
35 Poker pot promises : IOUS
36 __-Navy game: annual football rivalry : ARMY
37 Road surface goo : TAR
38 *Nuclear restraint pact : TEST BAN
41 Fabric flaw : RIP
42 Sun circlers : ORBS
44 Dieter’s count : FATS
45 Make deliveries to large groups? : ORATE
47 Bismarck’s st. : NDAK
48 Whiskey sour whiskey : RYE
49 Game competitor : PLAYER
50 Flammable pile : PYRE
52 Show shown over : RERUN
54 Oft-framed college memento : DIPLOMA
57 Alan who played Snape : RICKMAN
61 Fitness motto opening : USE IT …
62 To-do items to tick off … and what the starts of the answers to starred clues comprise : CHECKLIST
64 Large Dallas suburb : PLANO
65 “Have a __ day” : NICE
66 Yale students : ELIS
67 Pursuer of snakelike fish : EELER
68 Ambulance staffers, for short : EMTS
69 Hunk of beef : SLAB

Down

1 “No ifs, __ or buts” : ANDS
2 Sushi seaweed : NORI
3 Prime-time spot : TV AD
4 Sure thing : SAFE BET
5 Old Greek prophets : SIBYLS
6 Small stream : CREEK
7 Luau strings : UKE
8 Car sticker no. : MSRP
9 Fill in, as a lawn bare spot : RESOD
10 Gulf of Mexico state : ALABAMA
11 *”Ghostbusters” co-star : BILL MURRAY
12 Not working : IDLE
13 Regard : DEEM
18 Service with cups and saucers : TEA SET
22 Gorbachev’s wife : RAISA
24 Helper during gym practice : SPOTTER
26 Boca __, Florida : RATON
27 Online b’day wish : E-CARD
28 *Attractiveness when viewed from the street, to a Realtor : CURB APPEAL
30 Central airports : HUBS
32 Whack, biblically : SMITE
33 Bursting with energy : HYPER
35 Dr. Watson exclamation : I SAY!
39 Violinist Zimbalist : EFREM
40 Frustrated searcher’s news : NO LUCK
43 City panorama : SKYLINE
46 Irritates : RANKLES
49 What shoppers compare : PRICES
51 Copter blade : ROTOR
53 Standing upright : ERECT
54 Put one over on : DUPE
55 Site in shipwreck cartoons : ISLE
56 Clearasil target : ACNE
58 Pepper grinder : MILL
59 One side of the Urals : ASIA
60 Govt. crash investigator : NTSB
63 That guy : HIM

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 1 Jul 19, Monday”

  1. 15:28 no errors….never heard of side eye ….the day I finish a puzzle in under 5 minutes is the day I retire

  2. Never heard of SIDE EYE. Wished Bill had an esplanation. Anybody? Might be a flirt.

    Also didn’t know, but got SALLE, NTSB. Gotta memorize.

  3. We got it in a record time for us; 25 minutes and no errors. I figured that
    Bill would be under his 5.5 minutes average solving time. Anyway, glad.
    Got some help from surrounding letters and had to make some changes as I
    went along, but did not have to use the dictionary. Very unusual.

    I did not know SIDEEYE, but that had to be it with what I already had.

  4. LAT: 6:30, no errors. Newsday: 5:50, no errors. WSJ: 6:35, no errors; feeling rather stupid that I didn’t get Friday’s meta. BEQ: 22:54, with a one-square error where I used a German plural instead of an English one (and I kinda think that, in this case, a skier would tend to do that, but … what do I know from skiing these days?). New Yorker: 35:07, no errors (by some miracle, given the number of unfamiliar things referenced in the grid). CHE: 13:47, with two one-square errors at the intersection of an odd name and a couple of sports-related things, all unfamiliar to me. Not my best Monday (but I’ll take it … 😜).

  5. LAT: 4:54, no errors. WSJ: 4:04, no errors. Newsday: 4:57, no errors. CHE: 5:57, no errors. Jones: 6:11, no errors. BEQ and New Yorker to come.

    Kind of doing all these late because my Internet’s been out and been working on it (more or less for a week, I’d disconnect after about 15 seconds. I could do stuff, but was a pain). Not to mention, my computer decided to fail so I had to reload the OS. Finally got all my Fireball books today (gonna see what I need to do to start them without messing them up), and read the book on crosswords I mentioned Saturday night (when you don’t have Internet, stuff like that goes a lot quicker for some reason 😛 ). I may start posting stories from that book very soon…we’ll see.

    @all, re: “Side Eye”
    Side eye is, according to Merriam-Webster: ” a sidelong glance or gaze especially when expressing scorn, suspicion, disapproval, or veiled curiosity ” It’s a piece of slang, but obviously hit the dictionary. From what I can tell, it’s by no means new, but a bit more popular these days.

    An interesting article on Merriam-Webster’s site about “side eye”:
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/words-were-watching-side-eye

    @Daigle
    You’ll get better with time and the more you do. I remember when 15 minutes on a Monday was an astounding achievement to me (not too long ago). But I think pushing on the hard ones taught me a lot, too. Regardless it’s always a joy to see you around.

  6. 7:30. I too am late to the party today.

    There was a good article written by a Spanish neurologist about 20 years ago about how the effects of rabies morphed into our myth of the vampire. The age where that myth broke out and a rabies outbreak in Hungary coincide as do many of the symptoms of rabies – aggression (e.g. biting), fear of high stimuli like light, water, strong odors (garlic e.g.). I couldn’t find the article online, but I found an article about the article https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321780.php

    It’s an interesting read. As the article states, it may never be proven because no one would ever bother to fund such research. But it does make a compelling case that people with what we now call rabies could have been the genesis of the myth of the vampire.

    Best –

  7. “Side-eye” is an African-American term, mostly. It’s very evocative, really, of the way it’s used. It’s usually accompanied by a disapproving scowl or frown, and regarding the target without turning the head. Maybe “sidelong glance, with attitude” might evoke the proper feeling.

  8. 8 mins, 55 sec, somewhat hampered by solving on the computer, which always seems to add a goodly amount of added time wasted changing directions, cleaning up entry errors, etc. But, with Bill going sub-5-minutes, my time wasn’t going to be impressive anyway….

  9. Hiya folks!!🦆

    No errors– one of those mondays that kinda fills itself in. 👌

    I know SIDE EYE and use it a lot — I mean I use the term; I don’t generally give the side eye unless it’s really called for 😁😒 One of my dogs is a cattle dog mix and often gives me the old side eye. Supposedly the breed “gives eye” when herding cattle.

    The term was used after the democratic debates last week. Apparently Cory Booker gave Beto O’Rourke the side eye when O’Rourke started speaking Spanish. 😒

    Be well ~~🚋⚾️

  10. I guess I’m dense but I don’t see how the starts of the starred clues are synonyms for “check”.

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