LA Times Crossword 17 Jul 19, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Kevin Salat
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Frayed Edges

The “EDGES” (start and finish) of themed answers comprise the letters F-R-A-Y:

  • 64A Worn-look fabric style that this puzzle’s four other longest answers exhibit? : FRAYED EDGES
  • 17A Squander little by little : FRITTER AWAY
  • 25A Unstructured recreation : FREE PLAY
  • 38A Inlet in an Otis Redding hit song : FRISCO BAY
  • 54A Ruffles snack company : FRITO-LAY

Bill’s time: 5m 23s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Santa __: Sonoma County seat : ROSA

Santa Rosa is the largest city in California’s Wine Country, and the county seat of Sonoma County. The epicenter of the so-called 1906 San Francisco Earthquake was located near Santa Rosa. There was actually more damage in Santa Rosa, for the size of the city, than there was in San Francisco.

5 Cordelia, to Regan : SISTER

“King Lear” is one of William Shakespeare’s tragedies. Lear’s three daughters figure prominently in the story line. The three are, in order of age:

  • Goneril
  • Regan
  • Cordelia

11 Small ammo : BBS

A BB gun is an air pistol or rifle that shoots birdshot known as BBs. Birdshot comes in a number of different sizes, from size 9 (0.070″ in diameter) to size FF (.230″). Birdshot that is size BB (0.180″ in diameter) gives the airgun its name.

14 At risk of offending, for short : UN-PC

To be un-PC is to be politically incorrect, not be politically correct (PC).

15 “Play more!” : ENCORE!

“Encore!” is French for “again, one more time!”, and is a shout that an audience member will make here in North America to request another song, say. But, the term is not used this way in France. Rather, the audience will shout “Bis!”, which is the Italian for “twice!”

19 Foot the bill : PAY

To foot the bill is pay it, to pay the total at the “foot” of the bill.

20 Expedia info : FARES

Expedia is one of the largest Internet-based travel companies, and has a site where you can book airline tickets and reserve hotel rooms and rental cars. I use Expedia a lot because I am an AARP member, and the AARP Travel website is powered by the Expedia search engine. In my travels I’ve found by comparison shopping that the AARP Travel site often has the best prices for hotel rooms.

21 “__ Tú”: 1974 hit sung in Spanish : ERES

We have a big event across Europe every year called the Eurovision Song Contest. Each nation enters one song in competition with each other, and then voters across the whole continent decide on the winner. That’s how ABBA got their big break when they won in 1974 with “Waterloo”. In 1973, Spain’s entry was “Eres tú” (“It’s You”, literally “You Are”) sung by the band Mocedades. “Eres tú” came second in the competition, but should have won in my humble opinion.

22 Boozer : SOT

Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

23 Nike rival : ADIDAS

The brand name Adidas dates back to when Adolf “Adi” Dassler started making his own sports shoes in his mother’s laundry room in Bavaria after returning from WWI. With his brother, Adi founded Dassler shoes. The company’s big break came in 1936 at the Berlin Olympics, when Adi persuaded American sprinter Jesse Owens to use his shoes, and with the success of Jesse Owens came success for the fledgling shoe company. After WWII the brothers split, acrimoniously. Adi’s brother, Ru-dolf Da-ssler, formed “Ruda” shoes (later to become Puma), and Adi Das-sler formed “Adidas”.

28 Back muscle, familiarly : LAT

The muscles known as the “lats” are the latissimi dorsi, and are the broadest muscles in the back. “Latissimus” is the Latin for “broadest” and “dorsum” is Latin for “back”.

29 Garnet or ruby : RED

Garnets are silicate minerals that comes in many colors. However, the color that we call “garnet” is a dark red.

Ruby is a precious stone made from the mineral corundum, also called aluminium oxide. The corundum includes some of the element chromium, which results in the red or pink color.

31 Double helix part : STRAND

Famously, James Watson and Francis Crick worked out the structure of DNA as a double helix. Well, it turns out that some strands of DNA can twist into different shapes. For example, the DNA at the ends of our chromosomes can form a rectangular structure called a triplex or quadruplex.

34 Old __: card game : MAID

Old maid is a card game that originated in Victorian England, although similar games are played throughout the world. When played with a regular deck of cards, the queen of clubs is removed before play starts. The cards are distributed to the players and are discarded as “matches” are made (two aces, two kings etc). The person left with an unmatched queen is the loser, the “old maid”.

38 Inlet in an Otis Redding hit song : FRISCO BAY

“(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” is a song that Otis Redding started composing in 1967 while sitting on a houseboat in Sausalito, on San Francisco Bay. Redding finished the song soon after, with the help of co-writer Steve Cooper. “The Dock of the Bay” was released in January of 1968, just one month after Redding was killed in a plane crash. The song became the first posthumous single to reach number in the US charts. As an aside, Janis Joplin’s recording of “Me and Bobby McGee” achieved the same feat in 1971.

41 “Hello” singer : ADELE

“Adele” is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. Her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US.

44 Subway fare? : HERO

“Hero” is another name for a submarine sandwich. The hero originated in New York City in the 1800s among Italian immigrants who wanted an Italian sandwich that reminded them of home. The name “hero” was coined in the 1930s, supposedly by a food critic in the “New York Herald Tribune” when he wrote that “one had to be a hero” to finish the gigantic sandwich. Hero is a prevalent term to this day in New York City, reserved for a submarine sandwich with an Italian flavor.

45 Pollen pouches : SACS

The fine powder known as pollen is basically a flower’s sperm. Pollen carries a seed plant’s male reproductive cells.

49 Overhaul : REVAMP

The vamp is that part of a shoe upper that extends from behind the toe to the back of the heel. Prior to the 1650s, the verb “new-vamp” was used to describe the replacement of the vamp, in order to extend the life of a show. After 1650, the verb evolved into “revamp”. We now use “revamp” figuratively, to mean “remake, renovate”.

53 Stick in the closet? : MOP

In Old French a “clos” was an enclosure, with the diminutive form “closet” describing a small enclosure or private room. Over time this evolved into our modern usage of “closet”, describing a cabinet or cupboard.

54 Ruffles snack company : FRITO-LAY

Ruffles are a brand of crinkle-cut potato chips. The chips take their name from their “ruffled” shape. The ruffles are designed to make the chip more sturdy, and better for dipping.

57 Mogadishu native : SOMALI

Mogadishu is a major port city on the west coast of Africa, and is the capital of Somalia. The city is known locally as “Xamar”.

60 __ Bator : ULAN

The name of Mongolia’s capital city Ulaanbaatar (formerly anglicized as “Ulan Bator”) translates as “the Red Hero”. The “Red Hero” name was chosen in honor of the country’s national hero Damdin Sükhbaatar. Sükhbaatar fought alongside the Soviet Red Army in the fight for liberation from Chinese occupation.

62 “Beauty and the Beast” role : BELLE

Disney’s 2017 romantic fantasy film “Beauty and the Beast” is based on the animated movie the same studio released in 1991. In turn, 1991’s “Beauty and the Beast” was an adaptation of the 18th-century version of the fairy tale “La Belle et la Bête” written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. Emma Watson and Dan Stevens play the title roles in the 2017 film, with both performances garnering critical acclaim.

66 Ginger __ : ALE

The brand most closely associated with ginger ale is Canada Dry. “Canada Dry Pale Ginger Ale” was first formulated in 1904 by a Canadian chemist called John McLoughlin from Ontario. Prohibition in the United States helped sales of the drink as it was particularly effective in masking the taste of illegally-produced homemade liquor.

67 2014 boxing biopic : I AM ALI

“I Am Ali” is a 2014 documentary covering the life of professional boxer Muhammad Ali. It was directed by Clare Lewins.

68 “Othello” villain : IAGO

Iago is the schemer in Shakespeare’s “Othello”. He is a soldier who fought alongside Othello and feels hard done by, missing out on promotion. Iago hatches a plot designed to discredit his rival Cassio by insinuating that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona, Othello’s wife.

69 ’60s hallucinogen : LSD

LSD (known colloquially as “acid”) is short for lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist called Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

Down

1 Mark who plays the Hulk : RUFFALO

Mark Ruffalo is a Hollywood actor whose career really took off when he portrayed Bruce Banner/Hulk in a series of superhero films. He also gave an acclaimed performance in the 2014 biographical drama “Foxcather”, playing wrestler Dave Schultz. My personal favorite of Ruffalo’s performances is in the excellent 2015 film “Spotlight”.

2 Tracked by air traffic control : ON RADAR

Scientists have been using radio waves to detect the presence of objects since the late 1800s, but it was the demands of WWII that accelerated the practical application of the technology. The British called their system RDF standing for Range and Direction Finding. The system used by the US Navy was called “Radio Detection And Ranging”, which was shortened to the acronym RADAR.

6 Memo starter : IN RE

The term “in re” is Latin, and is derived from “in” (in) and “res” (thing, matter). “In re” literally means “in the matter”, and is used to mean “in regard to” or “in the matter of”.

10 King of Spain : REY

“El rey” is Spanish for “the king”.

12 Glaringly obvious : BLATANT

Something blatant is flagrant, brazenly obvious. The term was coined by Edmund Spenser in his 1596 poem “The Faerie Queene”. Spenser used “blatant” to describe a “thousand-tongued monster”, a metaphor for slander. It has been suggested that Spenser’s term was derived from the Latin verb “blatire” meaning “to babble”.

13 Big __ Country: Montana : SKY

Montana goes by the nicknames “Big Sky Country” and “The Treasure State”.

18 Ivan the Terrible, e.g. : TSAR

The Grand Prince of Moscow, and first Tsar of Russia, Ivan IV became known as “Ivan the Terrible”. The name “terrible” is a translation from Russian, and perhaps creates the wrong impression about the man. The Russian word is “Grozny”, which is more akin to “strict” and “powerful” rather than “cruel” or “abominable”.

26 James of jazz : ETTA

“Etta James” was the stage name of celebrated blues and soul singer Jamesetta Hawkins. James’ most famous recording was her 1960 hit “At Last”, which made it into the pop charts. James performed “At Last” at the age of 71 in 2009 on the reality show “Dancing with the Stars”, which was to be her final television appearance. She passed away in 2012.

30 Superspeed boy in “The Incredibles” : DASH

“The Incredibles” is a 2004 animated feature from Pixar, and not a great movie if you ask me. But asking me probably isn’t a good idea, as the film won two Oscars …

35 Curling surface : ICE

I think curling is such a cool game (pun!). It’s somewhat like bowls, but played on a sheet of ice. The sport was supposedly invented in medieval Scotland, and is called curling because of the action of the granite stone is it moves across the ice. A player can make the stone take a curved path (“curl”) by causing it to slowly rotate as it slides.

36 Toon explorer : DORA

“Dora the Explorer” is a cartoon series shown on Nickelodeon. Part of Dora’s remit is to introduce the show’s young viewers to some Spanish words and phrases.

39 San __, Italy : REMO

The Italian city of San Remo sits on the Mediterranean, right on the border with France. In Italian, the city is named “Sanremo”, just one word. That said, the spelling “San Remo” dates back to ancient times.

46 Dental filling material : AMALGAM

Amalgam is an alloy of mercury with some other metal. Many dental fillings are made of an amalgam of silver and mercury. We started using “amalgam” to mean “blend of different things” around 1790.

47 Dartmouth, e.g. : COLLEGE

Dartmouth College is an Ivy League school in Hanover, New Hampshire. It was established in 1769 as a school designed to educate Native Americans in the English way of life and in Christian theology.

52 18-time NBA All-Star Bryant : KOBE

Kobe Bryant played basketball for the LA Lakers. Kobe Bryant got his name from a menu, would you believe? His parents were in a Japanese restaurant and liked the name of “Kobe” beef, the beef from around the city of Kobe on the island of Honshu in Japan.

55 Texas mission : ALAMO

The famous Alamo in San Antonio, Texas was originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero. The mission was founded in 1718 and was the first mission established in the city. The Battle of the Alamo took place in 1836, a thirteen-day siege by the Mexican Army led by President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Only two people defending the Alamo Mission survived the onslaught. One month later, the Texian army got its revenge by attacking and defeating the Mexican Army in the Battle of San Jacinto. During the surprise attack on Santa Anna’s camp, many of the Texian soldiers were heard to cry “Remember the Alamo!”.

56 “Get Yer __ Out!”: live Stones album : YA-YA’S

“Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!” is a live album that the Rolling Stones released in 1970. The title “Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!” is a slang phrase exhorting one to live life to the full.

61 Guitarist Cline of the band Wilco : NELS

Nels Cline is a guitarist who has played with the band Wilco since 2004. Cline is married to Japanese musician Yuka Honda, who co-founded the New York City band Cibo Matto.

64 Cookie fruit : FIG

The Fig Newton cookie is based on what is actually a very old recipe that dates back to ancient Egypt. Whereas we grew up with “Fig Rolls” in Ireland, here in America the brand name “Fig Newton” was used, as the cookies were originally produced in Newton, Massachusetts.

65 Kit letters : DIY

Back in Ireland, we don’t have “hardware stores” as such, but rather “DIY centres” (and that’s the spelling of “centres”). “DIY” is an initialism standing for “do-it-yourself”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Santa __: Sonoma County seat : ROSA
5 Cordelia, to Regan : SISTER
11 Small ammo : BBS
14 At risk of offending, for short : UN-PC
15 “Play more!” : ENCORE!
16 Variety : ILK
17 Squander little by little : FRITTER AWAY
19 Foot the bill : PAY
20 Expedia info : FARES
21 “__ Tú”: 1974 hit sung in Spanish : ERES
22 Boozer : SOT
23 Nike rival : ADIDAS
25 Unstructured recreation : FREE PLAY
28 Back muscle, familiarly : LAT
29 Garnet or ruby : RED
31 Double helix part : STRAND
32 Approximately : OR SO
34 Old __: card game : MAID
37 Small pies : TARTS
38 Inlet in an Otis Redding hit song : FRISCO BAY
41 “Hello” singer : ADELE
44 Subway fare? : HERO
45 Pollen pouches : SACS
49 Overhaul : REVAMP
51 Inquire : ASK
53 Stick in the closet? : MOP
54 Ruffles snack company : FRITO-LAY
57 Mogadishu native : SOMALI
59 Master : ACE
60 __ Bator : ULAN
62 “Beauty and the Beast” role : BELLE
63 Olive center : PIT
64 Worn-look fabric style that this puzzle’s four other longest answers exhibit? : FRAYED EDGES
66 Ginger __ : ALE
67 2014 boxing biopic : I AM ALI
68 “Othello” villain : IAGO
69 ’60s hallucinogen : LSD
70 Shiny photo : GLOSSY
71 “You said it!” : AMEN!

Down

1 Mark who plays the Hulk : RUFFALO
2 Tracked by air traffic control : ON RADAR
3 Bar supply : SPIRITS
4 Didn’t just sit there : ACTED
5 “I __ what you did there” : SEE
6 Memo starter : IN RE
7 Winter neckwear : SCARF
8 Cell network structure : TOWER
9 Clears a whiteboard : ERASES
10 King of Spain : REY
11 Like many magnets : BIPOLAR
12 Glaringly obvious : BLATANT
13 Big __ Country: Montana : SKY
18 Ivan the Terrible, e.g. : TSAR
22 Turns the hose on : SPRAYS
24 Rig on the road : SEMI
26 James of jazz : ETTA
27 Golf course meas. : YDS
30 Superspeed boy in “The Incredibles” : DASH
33 Recently : OF LATE
35 Curling surface : ICE
36 Toon explorer : DORA
39 San __, Italy : REMO
40 Overseer : BOSS
41 Greeting at a dog park : ARF!
42 Throws off track : DERAILS
43 Thrown out : EVICTED
46 Dental filling material : AMALGAM
47 Dartmouth, e.g. : COLLEGE
48 Watches through binoculars, maybe : SPIES ON
50 Like lions and tigers and bears : PLURAL
52 18-time NBA All-Star Bryant : KOBE
55 Texas mission : ALAMO
56 “Get Yer __ Out!”: live Stones album : YA-YA’S
58 Mass __ : MEDIA
61 Guitarist Cline of the band Wilco : NELS
63 Buddy : PAL
64 Cookie fruit : FIG
65 Kit letters : DIY

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

  1. LAT: 5:33, 2 errors. WSJ: 10:54, 1 error. Newsday: 6:01, no errors.

    @Carrie
    Did you see my answer to your question Saturday (07/13)? Hopefully it made some sense.

    1. @Glenn – I just finished the WSJ and I had a lot of strike overs, but no final errors. What caught you out?

      1. @Tony
        41A-43D. Didn’t know either, so turned into the usual bad guess. For the LAT it was just a dumb thing (entered a bad word for an entry across two others that I knew I had right).

    1. Also did the last three puzzles from Paolo Pasco’s website. I did them with lots of interruptions, so I don’t have good timings, but I think I averaged about twenty minutes apiece. Made no errors, but had to guess at a few things. I would say that he’s getting better at cluing the puzzles so as to give everyone – even an unhip old guy like me – a fair chance at finishing his puzzles. Very enjoyable.

  2. Had to Google for RUFFALO and DASH, both in the superhero genre, a genre of interest to adolescent boys, never to me.

    Had gEm before RED. Never heard of NELS.

    Have to check out Spotlight (film) and Wilco (band)!

  3. You guys are good and Bill beat his average time.

    We solved the puzzle in our comparatively slow time, but I had a lot
    of fun with it. Had to use changing, dictionary searches, reasoning,
    knowing, guessing, etc. Very challenging, but not punishing. A couple
    of answers threw me, like FARES and DIY, but we got them with the
    help of letters in neighboring squares.

    Very satisfying, no matter the day or the level of difficulty.

    I might note that I got the Jumble words in less than 30 seconds, but
    could not solve the four-word answer. Kinda grating.

    Kudos to all for your good, fast work. Very impressive, as usual.

  4. 21 across: My Spanish is pretty rudimentary, but I think “eres tu” means “it’s you” not “you are” (“tu esta”? “tu es”?). To me, “it’s you” makes more sense than “you are” for a romantic song…

    1. @Peter, Carrie
      Thanks for the Spanish lesson. I’ve incorporated your input into today’s post and updated by database of blurbs. I’m sure that song will com up again in a future puzzle! Many thanks.

  5. Aloha ladies and gents! 🦆

    GLENN– yes I did get that reply from you and just neglected to say thanks and agreed!! (RE Does limiting the number of letters make a puzzle easier or harder to solve?) I think it’s an interesting question tho– 🤔

    Peter! Yes, eres tu means it’s you — in this context. Literally, “tu eres” means “you are,” but they sing “eres tu” to give it lyrical flair and to suggest the sense of “it’s you.”

    No errors on this here thing…I knew everything except BELLE but that came easily.

    Be well ~~🚋⚾️

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