LA Times Crossword 10 Jul 19, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Alan Olschwang
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Deuces Wild

Themed answers each include the letter sequence “DEUCE”, but the order has been changed, is “WILD”:

  • 58A Card game declaration, and a hint to what can be found in the four other longest answers : DEUCES WILD
  • 18A *Soft material : SUEDE CLOTH
  • 23A *Supply support for a claim : PRODUCE EVIDENCE
  • 36A *”Coming Home” and “Nebraska” Oscar nominee : BRUCE DERN
  • 50A *Like many new job seekers : COLLEGE EDUCATED

Bill’s time: 8m 58s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Thailand neighbor : LAOS

The present-day nation of Laos can trace its roots back to the historic Lao kingdom of Lan Xang that existed from 1354 to 1707. The full name of the kingdom was “Lan Xang Hom Khao”, which translates as “The Land of a Million Elephants and the White Parasol”.

14 Basketball Hall of Famer Donovan : ANNE

Anne Donovan was a basketball player and coach. She became the first woman to coach a WNBA Championship team when she led the Seattle Storm to the title in 2004. Donovan also represented the US, both as a player and a coach.

16 Foot part : INCH

Our term “ounce” comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a “libra”, the Roman “pound”. “Uncia” is also the derivation of our word “inch”, 1/12 of a foot.

18 *Soft material : SUEDE CLOTH

Suede is leather made from the underside of an animal’s skin, usually the skin from a lamb. As such it is very soft, although not as durable as leather made from the exterior skin. The soft leather was, and is still used for making gloves. Back in 1859 these gloves were called “gants de Suede” in France, or “gloves of Sweden”. So, the name “suede” comes from the French word for Sweden.

20 “Downton Abbey” actor Stevens : DAN

Dan Stevens is an actor from London who came to prominence playing Matthew Crawley on the period drama “Downton Abbey”. After leaving “Downton”, he played the Beast in the 2017 Disney hit “Beauty and the Beast”, opposite Emma Watson.

In the incredibly successful period drama “Downton Abbey”, the patriarch of the family living at Downton is Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham or Lord Grantham. The character is played by Hugh Bonneville. Lord Grantham married American Cora Levinson (played by Elizabeth McGovern). Lord and Lady Grantham had three daughters, and no son. The lack of a male heir implied that the Grantham estate would pass to a male cousin, and out of the immediate family. The Grantham daughters are Lady Mary (played by Michelle Dockery), Lady Edith (played by Laura Carmichael) and Lady Sybil (played by Jessica Brown Findlay). Lady Sybil had the audacity to marry the family chauffeur, who was an Irish nationalist. The shame of it all …

21 Ph.D. hurdle : DISS

Dissertation (diss.)

22 Quarterback Manning : ELI

Eli Manning plays as quarterback for the New York Giants. Eli’s brother Peyton Manning retired from football as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos in 2015. Eli and Peyton’s father is Archie Manning, who was also a successful NFL quarterback. Eli, Peyton and Archie co-authored a book for children titles “Family Huddle” in 2009. It describes the Mannings playing football together as young boys.

30 Cork’s land: Abbr. : IRE

Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland. Cork has been a major port for many years, and was the last port of call for many, many Irish emigrants to America. When these Irish people reached the US it was common for them to give their point of origin as “Cork”, whereas they may have come from almost anywhere in Ireland. It’s because of this that many descendants of Irish immigrants who had been told they were from a Cork family often find out they were under a misapprehension as their ancestors just sailed from Cork.

31 “Mazel __!” : TOV

“Tov” is the Hebrew word for “good”, as in “mazel tov” meaning “good luck”.

32 Ancient city on the Nile : THEBES

Thebes was a city in ancient Egypt located on the river Nile, the ruins of which are now found with the bounds of the modern city of Luxor. The ruins of Ancient Thebes include the famous Luxor Temple and and Karnak Temple, as well as the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens.

36 *”Coming Home” and “Nebraska” Oscar nominee : BRUCE DERN

Bruce Dern is a Hollywood actor with quite a pedigree. Dern is the grandchild of former Utah governor and Secretary of War, George Henry Dern. Bruce’s godparents were Adlai Stevenson and Eleanor Roosevelt!

“Coming Home” is a 1978 movie about a love triangle between a young wife (Jane Fonda), her husband who is a US Marine (Bruce Dern), and a paralyzed Vietnam War veteran (Jon Voight).

“Nebraska” is a really interesting 2013 movie starring Bruce Dern as an elderly man who heads to Lincoln, Nebraska to collect a million-dollar sweepstakes prize that is clearly a scam. This one is filmed in black & white, which adds to the mood nicely. I noticed that a local movie theater here did a one-day showing of a color version.

39 West Point team : ARMY

West Point is a military reservation in New York State, located north of New York City. West Point was first occupied by the Continental Army way back in 1778, making it the longest, continually-occupied military post in the country. Cadet training has taken place at the garrison since 1794, although Congress funding for a US Military Academy (USMA) didn’t start until 1802. The first female cadets were admitted to West Point in 1976, and as of 2018, about 15% of all new cadets were women.

43 E-tailer : DOT-COM

A dot-com is a company that primarily makes it money by providing products and services using its online presence.

48 Spike TV, once : TNN

Spike TV was a 2003 relaunch of the Nashville Network (TNN) and was marketed as the first television channel for men. The station owners ran into trouble though as the director Spike Lee sued, claiming that viewers would assume he was associated with the channel because of the use of “Spike”. The suit was settled when Lee concluded that there was no intention to trade on his name.

56 Phnom __, Cambodia : PENH

Phnom Penh (also “Pnom Penh”) is the capital of Cambodia, and has been so since the French colonized the country in the late 1800s. The city’s name translates from the Khmer language as “Hill of Penh”.

58 Card game declaration, and a hint to what can be found in the four other longest answers : DEUCES WILD

A “two” playing card might be called a “deuce”, from the Middle French “deus” (or Modern French “deux”) meaning “two”.

63 “A Beautiful Mind” mathematician : NASH

The wonderful 2001 movie “A Beautiful Mind” was adapted from a very successful book of the same name written by Sylvia Nasar. Both book and film tell the life story of John Nash (played by Russell Crowe on the big screen). Nash was a mathematician and Nobel Laureate who struggled with paranoid schizophrenia. Sadly, Nash and his wife died in a car crash on the New Jersey Turnpike in 2015. They were on their way home from the airport, returning from Norway where Nash had been awarded the Abel Prize.

66 Slow-moving boats : ARKS

According to the Bible’s Book of Genesis, Noah was instructed to build his ark 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. That’s about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high.

67 Old Renault : LE CAR

French automaker Renault made the “mini-like” Renault 5 and sold it as the Renault Le Car in North America. My Dad had a Renault 5 in Ireland, back in the day …

Down

1 Barely able : HARD PUT

2 The heck : ON EARTH

What the heck, what on Earth?!

4 Paris’ Pont __ Arts : DES

The Pont des Arts is a footbridge crossing the River Seine in Paris. It is named for the nearby Palais du Louvre, which used to be known as the Palais des Arts. In recent years, tourists have attaching “love locks” to the railing on the side of the bridge. These are padlocks engraved with the names of a couple who are in love. The pair attach the lock to the railing and then throw the key into the Seine as a romantic gesture.

6 Vituperation : ABUSE

Vituperation is sustained, abusive language.

8 Brick carrier : HOD

A hod is a 3-sided box on the the end of a long handle used for carrying bricks (and sometimes mortar) at a construction site, usually up and down ladders.

10 De Gaulle’s birthplace : LILLE

Lille is a large city in the very north of France sitting right on the border with Belgium. The name “Lille” is a derivation of the term “l’isle” meaning “the island”. The former name “L’Isle” dates back to 1066, and is a reference to a castle that once stood on an island in the Deûle river that runs through the city. The city grew around the island and the castle.

Charles de Gaulle was a colonel in the French army at the outbreak of WWII. He was promoted to brigadier general after a successful attack on German tank forces in 1940, one of the few successes enjoyed by the French at the start of the war. Some months later, he was appointed junior minister in the French government, at which time he strenuously argued against surrender to Germany, advocating removal of the government to the French territory of Algeria. He was unsuccessful in his arguments and so flew to England where he set about building the Free French Forces from soldiers who had also fled the country. De Gaulle made several important radio addresses to the French from London that helped rally the resistance movement. Despite a shaky relationship with Winston Churchill and Dwight D. Eisenhower, De Gaulle managed to maintain a working relationship with the rest of the Allies and was accepted as leader of the new French government when Paris was liberated in 1944.

12 U.N. Day month : OCT

The Charter of the United Nations was signed by the member states in San Francisco in June 1945 and came into force on 24 October 1945. October 24 was chosen as United Nations Day in 1947. In 1971 the United Nations further resolved to make UN Day a public holiday in all UN member states.

21 Engraver Albrecht : DURER

Albrecht Dürer was a German artist who was noted for his etchings and engravings as well as for his paintings.

24 “You Light Up My Life” singer Boone : DEBBY

Singer Debby Boone, daughter of singer Pat Boone, is perhaps best known for her 1977 hit “You Light Up My Life”. Debby is married to Episcopal priest Gabriel Ferrer. Gabriel is also from a celebrity family, as he is the son of actor Jose Ferrer and singer Rosemary Clooney.

27 KFC title : COL

The famous “Colonel” of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) fame was Harland Sanders, an entrepreneur from Henryville, Indiana. Although not really a “Colonel”, Sanders did indeed serve in the military. He enlisted in the Army as a private in 1906 at the age of 16, lying about his age. He spent the whole of his time in the Army as a soldier in Cuba. It was much later, in the 1930s, that Sanders went into the restaurant business making his specialty deep-fried chicken. By 1935 his reputation as a “character” had grown, so much so that Governor Ruby Laffoon of Kentucky gave Sanders the honorary title of “Kentucky Colonel”. Later in the fifties, Sanders developed his trademark look with the white suit, string tie, mustache and goatee. When Sanders was 65 however, his business failed and in stepped Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s. Thomas simplified the Sanders menu, cutting it back from over a hundred items to just fried chicken and salads. That was enough to launch KFC into the fast food business. Sanders sold the US franchise in 1964 for just $2 million and moved to Canada to grow KFC north of the border. He died in 1980 and is buried in Louisville, Kentucky. The Colonel’s secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices is indeed a trade secret. Apparently there is only one copy of the recipe, a handwritten piece of paper, written in pencil and signed by Colonel Sanders. Since 2009, the piece of paper has been locked in a computerized vault surrounded with motion detectors and security cameras.

28 Biblical garden denizen : EVE

Nowadays we use “denizen” to mean simply a resident, but historically a denizen was an immigrant to whom certain rights had been granted, somewhat like today’s “resident alien”.

34 Poetic twilight : E’EN

Twilight is the light experienced when the sun is below the horizon, both in the morning and the evening. The prefix “twi-” seems to come from the sense of “half”, and in “half light”. There appears to be no connection to the word “twice”, despite twilight occurring twice each day.

35 IV part : INTRA-

Intravenous drip (IV)

37 Cold Stone Creamery buy : CONE

Cold Stone Creamery is a chain of ice cream parlors based in Scottsdale, Arizona. The chain takes its name from the frozen granite stone on which servers mix in “toppings” or other flavors of ice cream.

38 Orkin target : ROACH

The insect known as a cockroach is closely related to the termite. Although generally considered a pest, the lowly cockroach has at least one claim to fame. A cockroach named Nadezhda was sent into space in 2007 by Russian scientists, where it became the first terrestrial creature to give birth in space. Nadezhda bore 33 cockroaches.

Orkin is a pest-control company. If you want to learn more about insects, you might want to visit the O. Orkin Zoo, a permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. The exhibit has over 300 live insects, all displayed in their natural habitats.

39 “The Rookie” network : ABC

The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) was formed in 1943, when it was created out of the former NBC Blue radio network. Given the initialism “ABC”, it is sometimes referred to as “the Alphabet Network”.

“The Rookie” is a comedy-drama show about a 40-year-old man who becomes the oldest rookie in the LAPD. Nathan Fillion plays the title character.

40 __ Grande : RIO

The Rio Grande (Spanish for “big river”) is a waterway that forms part of the border between Mexico and the United States. Although we call the river the Rio Grande on this side of the border, in Mexico it is called the Río Bravo or Río Bravo del Norte (Spanish for “furious river of the north”).

44 Social circle : COTERIE

A coterie is a small group of friends who hang out together, and often share a common interest. The term comes to us from French, in which language a coterie was an organization of peasants all of whom held land owned by the same feudal lord.

45 Brunch buffet station fare : OMELETS

Our word “buffet” comes from the French “bufet” meaning “bench, sideboard”. So, a buffet is a meal served from a “bufet”.

48 Beret’s perch : TETE

In French, one wears a “chapeau” (hat), a beret perhaps, on one’s “tête” (head).

51 Highland waters : LOCHS

“Loch” is the Scottish Gaelic word for “lake”. The Irish Gaelic word is “lough”, and the Welsh word is “llyn”.

52 Protestant denom. : EPISC

The Episcopal Church in the US is a branch of the Anglican Communion, and so is associated with the Church of England. The Episcopal Church is descended from the Church of England’s presence in the American colonies, prior to the American Revolution. The American Anglicans split with mother church, largely because the clergy of the Church of England are required to swear allegiance to the British monarch. Members of the Episcopal Church are known as Episcopalians. “Episcopal” is an adjective and “Episcopalian” is a noun.

53 Street in a law office : DELLA

Della Street is Perry Mason’s very capable secretary in the Erle Stanley Gardner novels. Street was played on the TV show by Barbara Hale.

58 Paternity identifier : DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)

60 “Do the Right Thing” pizzeria owner : SAL

“Do the Right Thing” is a Spike Lee movie that was released in 1989. Much of the action in the film is centered on a local pizzeria called “Sal’s” owned by Italian-American Salvatore Frangione (played by Danny Aiello).

61 LPGA golfer Michelle : WIE

Michelle Wie is an American golfer on the LPGA Tour. Wie began playing golf at the age of four and was the youngest player ever to qualify for an LPGA tour event. She turned pro just before her 16th birthday.

62 Dose meas. : TSP

Teaspoon (tsp.)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Chopped garden clods : HOED
5 Wash : BATHE
10 Thailand neighbor : LAOS
14 Basketball Hall of Famer Donovan : ANNE
15 Dislike to the max : ABHOR
16 Foot part : INCH
17 Rose and ruby : REDS
18 *Soft material : SUEDE CLOTH
20 “Downton Abbey” actor Stevens : DAN
21 Ph.D. hurdle : DISS
22 Quarterback Manning : ELI
23 *Supply support for a claim : PRODUCE EVIDENCE
29 Absolute : UTTER
30 Cork’s land: Abbr. : IRE
31 “Mazel __!” : TOV
32 Ancient city on the Nile : THEBES
34 “That scared me!” : EEK!
35 Many a map dot : ISLE
36 *”Coming Home” and “Nebraska” Oscar nominee : BRUCE DERN
39 West Point team : ARMY
42 It’s never free of charge : ION
43 E-tailer : DOT-COM
47 Life story, briefly : BIO
48 Spike TV, once : TNN
49 Candle emanation : AROMA
50 *Like many new job seekers : COLLEGE EDUCATED
55 Filming site : LOT
56 Phnom __, Cambodia : PENH
57 Ancient times, poetically : ELD
58 Card game declaration, and a hint to what can be found in the four other longest answers : DEUCES WILD
62 Tire swing support : TREE
63 “A Beautiful Mind” mathematician : NASH
64 Numbered market section : AISLE
65 Is in session : SITS
66 Slow-moving boats : ARKS
67 Old Renault : LE CAR
68 38-Down, e.g. : PEST

Down

1 Barely able : HARD PUT
2 The heck : ON EARTH
3 Back-of-the-book explanatory comment : ENDNOTE
4 Paris’ Pont __ Arts : DES
5 Like 101 courses : BASIC
6 Vituperation : ABUSE
7 This and this : THESE
8 Brick carrier : HOD
9 Prior to, in verse : ERE
10 De Gaulle’s birthplace : LILLE
11 Applies holy oil to : ANOINTS
12 U.N. Day month : OCT
13 “Be quiet!” : SHH!
19 Relinquish officially : CEDE
21 Engraver Albrecht : DURER
24 “You Light Up My Life” singer Boone : DEBBY
25 Competed : VIED
26 Ticked : IRKED
27 KFC title : COL
28 Biblical garden denizen : EVE
33 Acting litigiously : SUING
34 Poetic twilight : E’EN
35 IV part : INTRA-
37 Cold Stone Creamery buy : CONE
38 Orkin target : ROACH
39 “The Rookie” network : ABC
40 __ Grande : RIO
41 Oyster or clam : MOLLUSK
44 Social circle : COTERIE
45 Brunch buffet station fare : OMELETS
46 Superlatively 26-Down : MADDEST
48 Beret’s perch : TETE
51 Highland waters : LOCHS
52 Protestant denom. : EPISC
53 Street in a law office : DELLA
54 Sedated : UNDER
58 Paternity identifier : DNA
59 Musical gift : EAR
60 “Do the Right Thing” pizzeria owner : SAL
61 LPGA golfer Michelle : WIE
62 Dose meas. : TSP

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 10 Jul 19, Wednesday”

    1. I saw that as a rather cute gimme, since the only phrase containing “the heck” that ever comes out of my mouth is “what the heck” and I tend to substitute “what on earth” for that whenever I happen to be in polite company (which, thankfully, is not often … 😜).

  1. LAT: 11:06, no errors. Lots of dubious cluing and too many proper nouns to make this one decent. WSJ: 15:52, no errors. Newsday: 6:24, no errors.

  2. LAT: 7:08, no errors; a decent puzzle, posing no real problems for me (somewhat supporting my notion that there really isn’t any such thing as a truly objective evaluation, by a single individual, of the difficulty level of a puzzle). Newsday: 5:33, no errors. WSJ: 11:07, no errors.

    @Jeff and @Carrie … As a result of your recent posts, I tried to look up the top song on my day of birth. I found quite a few sites for the purpose, the first of which didn’t have a database going back that far, but told me that the top song on my ninth birthday was “Cry”, by Johnnie Ray and The Four Lads. Other sites agreed on“There Are Such Things”, by Tommy Dorsey, for my date of birth. Hmmm. There would seem to be no positive message in this for me … 😜.

    1. @Dave – Assuming, given the bread crumbs you dropped in your comment above, that you were born in 1942 I seem to find a rather firm number 1 hit in “White Christmas” by Der Bingle. And for 1951 I’m finding the Nat King Cole hit, “Too Young” as numero uno. YMMV

      And that’s what I get for skipping right over the one very important word “day” of your birth in your statement above. D’oh!

  3. 14:57. Struggled with the NW which is always a bad sign. Then I did the rest of the puzzle and came back and struggled some more with the NW. Finally survived it. Had “arch” before INCH..duh. Also did not know DURER or HOD.

    I don’t say “what the heck” or “what ON EARTH” very often. I do say “what the [fill in stronger word here]” more often that not….

    So Orkin has 300 different kinds of insects living in their natural habitat. They call that a zoo?? I call that my front yard….

    Best –

  4. 13:56, and the first DNF in months for me. I had nothing on some of this horrid clueing, and the top left and top center just flummoxed me. 10 entries **not even attempted**. Didn’t have enough to go on to even guess. What (2 Down)?, indeed.

  5. NW was a bear! I had (5D) intro before basic and (21A) had oral before diss. That took me forever to fix. Finally finished but it was NOT pretty. And I don’t think of suede as a cloth but as leather. For a Wed., this was very tricky. Oh, there was the “arch” vs “inch too. Olschwang was messing with us today.

    1. @kay – If this was a Wednesday level puzzle I hate to see what’s in store for us on Friday and Saturday! ;-D>

  6. We almost completely bombed on the top left or NW quadrant.
    Just could not wrap my brain around them, getting only REDS.
    Like Jack, I left it and got zilch more when I went back. Still a fun
    and challenging one that I wanted to get, but couldn’t work around the
    somewhat dubious clues and answers there. Sour grapes, I suppose, but
    Bill took over 8 minutes overall and that tells me something.

  7. Pretty tough for a Wednesday, at least the NW corner. Took 26 minutes and 1 stupid error in the end.

    Had to change arCH to INCH, oral to DISS and gemS to REDS. Stupidly left HOEs for the error, even though the clue indicated past tense. Had no idea with Anne or Dan or Thebes – but at least crosses helped a bit on the last one.

    Still, outside of the NW corner, which took all of 15 minutes or so, the rest was pretty quick.

    @Carrie – My birthday song…which is coming up pretty soon, was “The Wayward Wind” by Gogi Grant (??) who I never heard of. Although, I was conceived to “The Yellow Rose of Texas”, which is kinda interesting 🙂 I remember being interested in that song as a kid.

    1. Hiya Dirk! I love it 😁 !! That “Wayward Wind” is kind of a pretty song, and it fits you, cuz you like to travel… I also had never heard of the artist.

  8. Greetings!!🦆

    No errors, but what a slog! Glad I’m not the only one who had problems in that NW…. “The heck” is a ridiculous clue. Easily coulda clued it as something like “What _________ = What the heck.” Its only Wednesday!!….

    I usually borrow the line from “Blazing Saddles “: WHAT IN THE WIDE WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS IS GOING ON HERE??!” 😁

    Hey Dave! I don’t know that Dorsey hit but I googled him and he did versions of several great tunes– tho I know them mainly because Frank Sinatra also recorded them: “Oh Look At Me Now,” “How About You,” etc. I’m curious now to listen to yours.

    Be well ~~⚽️🇺🇸

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