LA Times Crossword 18 Jul 19, Thursday

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Constructed by: John-Clark Levin & Jeff Chen
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Side Hustle

Themed answers each start or finish with a synonym of “HUSTLE”:

  • 54A Freelance for extra income … and a hint to the answers to starred clues : SIDE HUSTLE
  • 16A *Goof off : FOOL AROUND (giving “fool”)
  • 24A *Mecca for sci-fi and superhero fans : COMIC-CON (giving “con”)
  • 29A *Trace-amount precipitation : SNOW FLURRIES (giving “snow”)
  • 39A *Object of Jason’s quest : GOLDEN FLEECE (giving “fleece”)
  • 46A *Make flashy modifications to : TRICK OUT (giving “trick”)

Bill’s time: 6m 52s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Like challah bread : EGGY

Challah is a special braided bread that is eaten by Ashkenazi Jews on the Sabbath. The bread is served to commemorate the manna that fell from the heavens as the Israelites wandered around the desert after the Exodus from Egypt.

10 Pistons’ org. : NBA

The NBA’s Detroit Pistons team was founded in 1941 as the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons of the National Basketball League. The team was owned by Fred Zollner, who supplied pistons to the automotive industry. The Pistons moved from Indiana to Detroit in 1957.

13 Broadway seductress : LOLA

“Whatever Lola Wants” is a song from the musical “Damn Yankees”. “Damn Yankees” is actually yet another version of the classic German legend of “Faust”, set in Washington, D.C. in the fifties. The show was written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, a production that turned out to be a very successful follow-up to their prior hit, “The Pajama Game”. The future was looking really rosy for Adler and Ross but, sadly, Jerry Ross died from obstructive lung disease only a few weeks after “Damn Yankees” opened on Broadway in 1955. He was just 29 years old.

14 Threepio’s pal : ARTOO

Artoo’s proper name is R2-D2. R2-D2 is the smaller of the two famous droids from the “Star Wars” movies. British actor Kenny Baker, who stood just 3 ft 8 ins tall, was the man inside the R2-D2 droid for the first six of the “Star Wars” movies.

C-3PO, or “Threepio”, is the protocol droid that appears in the “Star Wars” movie franchise.

18 Stunt legend Knievel : EVEL

Daredevil Evel Knievel contracted hepatitis C from the many blood transfusions that he needed after injuries incurred during stunts. He had to have a liver transplant as a result, but his health declined after that. Knievel eventually passed away in 2007.

24 *Mecca for sci-fi and superhero fans : COMIC-CON (giving “con”)

San Diego’s Comic-Con was founded in 1970 as the Golden State Comic Book Convention. Held over four days each summer, apparently Comic-Con is the largest show in North America.

25 Jessica of the “Fantastic Four” films : ALBA

Actress Jessica Alba got her big break when she was cast in the Fox science fiction show “Dark Angel”. Alba had a tough life growing up as she spent a lot of time in hospital and so found it difficult to develop friendships. As a youngster she twice had a collapsed lung, frequently caught pneumonia, suffered from asthma, had a ruptured appendix and a tonsillar cyst. On top of all that, Alba acknowledges that she suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder as a child.

“Fantastic Four” is a 2005 movie about the band of comic heroes made famous in Marvel Comics. The Fantastic Four are:

  • Mr. Fantastic (played by Ioan Gruffudd)
  • The Invisible Woman (played by Jessica Alba)
  • The Human Torch (played by Chris Evans)
  • Thing (played by Michael Chiklis)

26 Mysterious power : ESP

Extrasensory perception (ESP)

34 Co-star/co-creator Issa __ of HBO’s “Insecure” : RAE

Issa Rae is a Stanford University graduate who created a YouTube web series called “Awkward Black Girl”. Rae also plays the title role in the series, a young lady named “J”. “Awkward Black Girl” was adapted into an HBO comedy-drama called “Insecure”, in which Issa Rae stars.

35 Prefix with -gram : ANA-

Here are some of my favorite anagrams:

  • “Dormitory” and “dirty room”
  • “Elvis” and “lives”
  • “The eyes” and “they see”
  • “Eleven plus two” and “twelve plus one”

39 *Object of Jason’s quest : GOLDEN FLEECE (giving “fleece”)

The Golden Fleece was the fleece of a winged ram made from pure gold that was held by King Aeëtes in Colchis, a kingdom on the eastern coast of the Black Sea. The fleece is central to the tale of Jason and the Argonauts, who set out on a quest to steal the fleece by order of King Pelias.

42 Oil cartel : OPEC

The OPEC cartel was formally established in 1960 and has been headquartered in Vienna since 1965. The US is actually the third largest oil producer in the world (after Russia and Saudi Arabia). One reason America isn’t in OPEC, even though we are a big producer, is that we import a lot more than we export. But we all probably knew that already …

45 __ Stefani, returning coach on “The Voice” : GWEN

Gwen Stefani is lead singer with the rock band No Doubt. She joined the band in 1986, focused on a solo career from 2004-2008, but is now back singing and working with No Doubt. She joined the reality show “The Voice” as a coach in 2014, replacing Christina Aguilera. A year later, Stefani announced her relationship Blake Shelton, a fellow coach on “The Voice”.

49 Puts on Facebook : POSTS

If you’ve seen the movie “The Social Network”, you might remember that Facebook started off as “Facemash”, a site created by Mark Zuckerberg while he was attending Harvard. Facemash became “Thefacebook” and membership was opened to students beyond Harvard, initially including Ivy League schools and then most colleges across North America.

51 Often-dystopian conflict : WWIII

A dystopia is an imaginary community in which the residents live unhappily and in fear. “Dystopia” is the opposite of “utopia”. One example of such a society is that described by George Orwell in “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. A more contemporary example would be the setting for the novels “The Hunger Games”.

54 Freelance for extra income … and a hint to the answers to starred clues : SIDE HUSTLE

The term “free lance” was coined by Sir Walter Scott in his 1820 novel “Ivanhoe”, when he used it to describe a medieval mercenary warrior. Forty years later, a “freelancer” was a journalist who did work for more than one publication without a long-term commitment.

58 Start of D-Day? : DEES

The term “D-Day” starts with two letters D (dees).

59 Like Navy SEALs : ELITE

“SEAL” is an acronym used by the US Navy’s SEa, Air and Land teams. The SEALs were born out of the Navy’s special warfare groups from WWII, like the Underwater Demolition Teams and the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons. The Navy SEAL unit was established soon after President Kennedy’s famous speech in which he announced the plan to put a man on the moon, as in the same speech the president allocated $100m of funding to strengthen special operations forces. The Navy used some of this money to set up guerrilla and counter-guerrilla units, which soon became the SEALs.

63 Watson who played Hermione in Harry Potter films : EMMA

Emma Watson is the English actress famous for playing Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” series of movies. Watson continued her education while pursuing her acting career and studied at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Down

3 Car storage spot : GLOVE BOX

Glove boxes were more useful as containers for gloves in earlier times. When cars lacked a hard top, driving gloves were essential on cold days.

4 Sonia Sotomayor’s alma mater : YALE LAW

Yale Law School was established in 1824. The school only admitted male applicants up until 1918, when it began accepting the first female students.

5 Pub flier : DART

Darts is a wonderful game that’s often played in English and Irish pubs, even over here in America. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called “Round the Clock” is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 on the dartboard in sequence.

6 Greek Cupid : EROS

Cupid was the god of love in Roman mythology. Cupid’s name comes from the Latin verb “cupere” meaning “to desire”. Cupid’s Latin name was Amor, and his Greek counterpart was Eros.

7 Approx. 1,055 joules : BTU

In the world of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), the power of a heating or cooling unit can be measured using the British Thermal Units (BTU). This dated unit is the amount of energy required to heat a pound of water so that the water’s temperature increases by one degree Fahrenheit.

8 Depp’s “Lone Ranger” role : TONTO

In the television version of “The Lone Ranger”, Tonto was played by the actor Jay Silverheels. In the terrible 1981 movie “The Legend of the Lone Ranger”, Tonto was played by Michael Horse. In the 2013 movie “The Lone Ranger”, Tonto was played by Johnny Depp. Famously, the Lone Ranger’s horse was called Silver and Tonto’s mount was named Scout. But, in the early TV shows, Tonto rode a horse called White Feller.

9 Genesis city of sin : SODOM

The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as Admah and Zeboim, were destroyed by God for the sins of their inhabitants, according to the Bible. The name Sodom has become a metaphor for vice and homosexuality, and gives us our word “sodomy”.

11 __ Aires : BUENOS

Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina, and is located on the estuary of the Ria de la Plata. As it is a port city, the people of Buenos Aires are known as porteños (“people of the port”).

12 “Over the Rainbow” composer : ARLEN

Harold Arlen is a composer of popular music who will forever be associated with his composition “Over the Rainbow” from the movie “The Wizard of Oz”. Arlen also composed the music to “Come Rain or Come Shine”, “It’s Only a Paper Moon”, “Lydia the Tattooed Lady” and the wonderful “Stormy Weather”.

“Over the Rainbow” is a classic song written especially for the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”. It was sung by the young Judy Garland (Dorothy) in the film, and it was to become her signature song. There is an introductory verse that wasn’t used in the movie, and is very rarely heard:

When all the world is a hopeless jumble
And the raindrops tumble all around,
Heaven opens a magic lane
When all the clouds darken up the skyway,
There’s a rainbow highway to be found
Leading from your window pane
To a place behind the sun,
Just a step beyond the rain.

15 AT&T and Verizon : TELCOS

A telco is a telecommunications company.

The original AT&T logo was a blue bell inside a blue circle. That bell was a nod to the company’s founder and inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell. When AT&T was broken up by the US government in 1984, the core AT&T business adopted a new logo. That logo featured a blue-and-white globe symbolizing the company’s global reach. Apparently, AT&T employees sometimes refer to that globe as “the death star”, a reference to the spherical “Star Wars” space station.

The telecommunications company that we know today as Verizon was founded in 1983 as Bell Atlantic, and was one of the “Baby Bells” that were formed after the breakup of AT&T. Bell Atlantic merged with fellow Baby Bell NYNEX in 1997, and then merged with GTE in 2000 to form Verizon. The new company name is a portmanteau of “veritas” (“truth” in Latin) and “horizon”.

21 __ gland: organ that secretes melatonin : PINEAL

The pineal gland is a small gland located in the epithalamus, near the center of the brain. The gland gets its name from its shape, like a tiny pine cone. The pineal gland produces melatonin, a hormone that helps maintain our circadian rhythm, so varying levels of melatonin control our sleep-wake cycle.

23 Forearm bone : ULNA

The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinky-side”.

24 Life-saving proc. : CPR

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has for decades involved the simultaneous compression of the chest to pump blood using the heart, and artificial respiration by blowing air into the lungs. Nowadays emergency services are placing more emphasis on heart compressions, and less on artificial respiration.

26 Mideast airline : EL AL

El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”. The company started operations in 1948, with a flight from Geneva to Tel Aviv. Famously, El Al only operates six days a week, not flying on the Sabbath.

30 Monastic garments : FROCKS

A frock is a woman’s dress, but the term “frock” also describes a robe worn by monks. Our use of “frock” comes from the Old French “froc”, which back in the 12th century was the name for a monk’s habit.

31 South African capital : RAND

The rand is the currency of South Africa. Much of South Africa’s famed gold comes from mines around Johannesburg in the Witwatersrand (Afrikaans for “the ridge of white waters”). The rand currency takes its name from this ridge.

32 Recon target : INFO

A reconnaissance (recon) is a preliminary survey carried out to gather information. The term “reconnaissance” came into English in the early 19th century from French, from which language it translates literally as “recognition”.

37 “Law & Order: SVU” actor : ICE-T

Rapper Ice-T must be sick of having his name come up as an answer in crossword puzzles (I know I am!). Born Tracy Marrow, Ice-T has been interested in acting for decades and made his film debut in the 1984 movie about breakdancing called “Breakin’”. He has also played Detective Fin Tutuola in the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” since the year 2000.

“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is a spin-off from the TV crime drama “Law & Order”. “SVU” has been on the air since 1999, and is set in New York City. Interestingly (to me), there is a very successful Russian adaptation of the show that is set in Moscow.

38 Pilot products : PENS

Pilot is a Japanese pen company, and the largest manufacturer of pens in Japan. The “Pilot” name was adopted in 1938, a change from the original Namiki Manufacturing Company.

39 Sticky-toed lizards : GECKOS

The word “gecko” comes from an Indonesian/Javanese word “tokek”, which is imitative of the reptile’s chirping sound. In making such a sound, geckos are unique in the world of lizards. More interesting to me than a gecko’s chirping is its ability to cling to walls and to other vertical surfaces. Their feet are specially adapted with “toes” that make extremely intimate, close contact to a surface. The toes have millions of hairs called setae that enable the clinging. It isn’t suction that supports them, but rather van der Waals forces (weak “gravitational” attractions). Fascinating stuff …

41 Chanel fragrance for men : EGOISTE

Égoïste is a fragrance for men that is produced by Chanel.

The House of Chanel has its origin in a millinery shop in Paris that Gabrielle “CoCo” Chanel opened in 1909. The shop was on the ground floor of the home of socialite Étienne Balsan, of whom Chanel was his mistress. Using her connection to Balsan, Chanel met many women who lived extravagant lifestyles in Paris in those pre-war year, and hence was able to establish her reputation as a hatmaker. Chanel built on that reputation, and within a few years opened her first dress shop in Paris.

42 Words that begin the line before “Deny thy father and refuse thy name” : O ROMEO …

In William Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet”, the lovers discuss the sad fact that they have been born into two feuding families in the famous balcony scene. Juliet says:

O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

Romeo’s reply includes the famous lines:

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

47 Caravan stops : OASES

A camel train carrying passengers or goods across a desert can be referred to as a caravan. “Caravan” derives from the Persian “karwan”, which has the same meaning. Over in Britain, “caravan” is the name given to travel trailers.

49 More, on a score : PIU

“Più” is the Italian word for “more” and is often seen on musical scores, as in “più allegro” (more quickly) and “più mosso” (with more movement).

56 Quick flight : LAM

To be on the lam is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. “On the lam” is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word “lam” also means to “beat” or “thrash”, as in “lambaste”. So “on the lam” might derive from the phrase “to beat it, to scram”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Like challah bread : EGGY
5 Obligations : DEBTS
10 Pistons’ org. : NBA
13 Broadway seductress : LOLA
14 Threepio’s pal : ARTOO
15 Take the show on the road : TOUR
16 *Goof off : FOOL AROUND (giving “fool”)
18 Stunt legend Knievel : EVEL
19 Suit parts : VESTS
20 Gross sales, on an income statement : TOP LINE
22 Juices up : FUELS
24 *Mecca for sci-fi and superhero fans : COMIC-CON (giving “con”)
25 Jessica of the “Fantastic Four” films : ALBA
26 Mysterious power : ESP
28 Votes against : NOES
29 *Trace-amount precipitation : SNOW FLURRIES (giving “snow”)
33 Burden : TAX
34 Co-star/co-creator Issa __ of HBO’s “Insecure” : RAE
35 Prefix with -gram : ANA-
36 Quick drink : NIP
39 *Object of Jason’s quest : GOLDEN FLEECE (giving “fleece”)
42 Oil cartel : OPEC
44 Commotion : ADO
45 __ Stefani, returning coach on “The Voice” : GWEN
46 *Make flashy modifications to : TRICK OUT (giving “trick”)
49 Puts on Facebook : POSTS
50 Alerts on the road : HONKS AT
51 Often-dystopian conflict : WWIII
53 “Er, I’d rather not” : UM, NO
54 Freelance for extra income … and a hint to the answers to starred clues : SIDE HUSTLE
58 Start of D-Day? : DEES
59 Like Navy SEALs : ELITE
60 Run like heck : TEAR
61 Nursery roll : SOD
62 Intuit : SENSE
63 Watson who played Hermione in Harry Potter films : EMMA

Down

1 Sprite : ELF
2 Muck : GOO
3 Car storage spot : GLOVE BOX
4 Sonia Sotomayor’s alma mater : YALE LAW
5 Pub flier : DART
6 Greek Cupid : EROS
7 Approx. 1,055 joules : BTU
8 Depp’s “Lone Ranger” role : TONTO
9 Genesis city of sin : SODOM
10 Beginner : NOVICE
11 __ Aires : BUENOS
12 “Over the Rainbow” composer : ARLEN
15 AT&T and Verizon : TELCOS
17 Pack animal : ASS
21 __ gland: organ that secretes melatonin : PINEAL
22 Extreme diet : FAST
23 Forearm bone : ULNA
24 Life-saving proc. : CPR
26 Mideast airline : EL AL
27 Took to court : SUED
30 Monastic garments : FROCKS
31 South African capital : RAND
32 Recon target : INFO
36 One may trend on Twitter : NEWS ITEM
37 “Law & Order: SVU” actor : ICE-T
38 Pilot products : PENS
39 Sticky-toed lizards : GECKOS
40 Wear (away) : EAT
41 Chanel fragrance for men : EGOISTE
42 Words that begin the line before “Deny thy father and refuse thy name” : O ROMEO …
43 Determined precisely, with “down” : PINNED
46 Dull sounds : THUDS
47 Caravan stops : OASES
48 Functional : UTILE
49 More, on a score : PIU
51 Dampens : WETS
52 Roller coaster cry : WHEE!
55 Racket : DIN
56 Quick flight : LAM
57 Eventful chapter : ERA

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 18 Jul 19, Thursday”

  1. Fairly hard puzzle. got it only after googling Stefani’s first name. I did
    not get the theme and had not heard the term “side hustle”. No errors
    after my google.

  2. 14: mins, 48 sec, no errors. But, as evidenced by the slow solve, that was no gimme. I had IMP for 1 down, so right off the bat, I was struggling in that top left corner for a while. Add in the usual cynically-worded clues that you’ll find in any Jeff Chen puzzle (indeed, I saw the byline and thought seriously about just sidestepping this one; and when I saw the same name on the NYTimes puzzle, I *did* just skip it; who needs that aggravation on a [Tricky] Thursday). Completely opaque theme (and the “side” part of it is a REAL reach) that didn’t help one bit, except to addle.

  3. 25:10 no errors….I never got the theme and don’t understand what GIVING has to do with anything…..NYT 0613 49:12 no errors

  4. LAT: 10:39, no errors. Newsday: 7:40, no errors. WSJ: 13:52, no errors.

    BEQ: 25:12, no errors. It took me a while to figure out the gimmick on this one, but the most serious problem I had involved a single square, at the intersection of 16A (a sports/business reference outside my ken) and 11D (a gaming term I’d never heard, clued as “Beat but good, on the innertubes”, which involves another slang term I’ve never heard and can’t find a definition for online). I seldom meet a puzzle that I don’t like, but I think this puzzle illustrates the closest I come to having a pet peeve: a puzzle that is genuinely hard, but doable, except for one darned square that’s a lot harder than anything else. (Of course, it must be added that such judgments are highly subjective; it’s possible that everyone else in the world is familiar with the things I had trouble with in this puzzle. But … I have the problem with BEQ’s puzzles more often than others.)

    Headed for the hills today … 😜.

  5. Had to Google for EGOISTE and OROMEO. I used to buy Chanel Russia Leather. It can no longer be obtained because of the cost of the ingredients.

    I didn’t like NOES, and never heard of TELCOS, but that’s just me. I did think WWIII was clever. SIDE HUSTLE, FROCKS and VESTS are old – in other words, easy for us ancients.

    I’m sure Chen and Levin worked hard and produced a puzzle I never could have.

    Went to Cooperstown Tuesday to see the photo show at Fennimore – haven’t been to the baseball museum yet in all my 74 years. Started the car to leave and – no A.C.! I texted to a friend that they might read about a murder -suicide. The next day we had the darkest clouds and heaviest rainfall ever. Another reminder I’m in the Mohawk Valley.

  6. Very hard puzzle and we could find enough answers in the dictionary.
    We had 3 errors; NOES, NIP and WHEE. Used NAES, SIP and AIEE.
    Seemed to be OK at the time. Also had 19 omissions for a total success
    rate of 89%. Lowered our weekly average to 97%, still good.

    Not real hopeful for tomorrow, but come on, Monday.

  7. I couldn’t get out of the SE section. Wanted to use “side handle,” but that didn’t work and had “sip” rather than “nip.” So, yes, this was tough and missed the theme altogether.

  8. LAT: 10:23, 1 error. Typical Chen. WSJ: 15:53, no errors. Newsday: 13:06, 1 error. Fireball: 39:37, no errors. Good quality and up to the billing. BEQ: 15:44, 1 dumb error (not the crossing Dave mentioned). Very typical BEQ “Medium” puzzle.

    @Dave
    That’s how all puzzles act for me past a certain point. One spot I end up ultimately having to guess on. Or two or three. And I always end up guessing wrong. Hence most of the errors I make. Some are like “Yeah I should have known, that was dumb” after the fact, but others aren’t.

    1. @Glenn …

      What bothered me most about BEQ’s puzzle was not that I didn’t know that somebody named “Phil Knight” was the “COFOUNDER OF NIKE” or that some group might write “REKT” to mean “wrecked”; I guessed both of those pretty quickly. What really caused me grief was the inclusion of the phrase “on the innertubes” in the clue for “REKT”. It was that phrase that I spent a lot of time trying to figure out, both before I declared myself done and after, when I was free to consult Dr. Google … and I still don’t understand it.

      Tim Croce often writes clues that are crazy hard until you figure them out but, once you see where he’s coming from, they almost always click into place and make perfect sense … and, when he adds a little phrase to one of his clues, it’s usually helpful. I cannot say the same for BEQ (and, in fact, I’m occasionally paranoid enough to believe that he has a real mean streak 😜).

      BEQ did rate his puzzle “hard”, though; I’ll give him that … 😜

      1. @Dave
        Again that’s why what happens with me happens. Something in the clues that don’t make sense to the answer. As for other things, you’ll have to be careful or you’ll end up complaining of BEQ’s cynical cluing. 😛

        1. @Glenn …

          Not cynical. Never cynical. Just plain mean … 😜.

          As I said, most things do ultimately make sense to me. However …

          I just finished tomorrow’s Newsday puzzle and it has a clue that I just can’t wrap my head around: “Red roof in?” I won’t give you the answer, since you may be planning to do the puzzle; suffice it to say that, even though I got it and I can kind of see a connection, I don’t understand the wording of the clue. Maybe it’s just a misprint. (Or maybe the dementia that I fear is in my future is happening for real … 😳.) If you do the puzzle and understand the answer, please enlighten me.

  9. Re the construct “challah bread” (1A clue)- the word “challah” means “egg bread.” So the use of “bread” is redundant. It’s like saying “egg bread bread.” Don’t get me started!
    Despite this, I enjoyed the puzzle.

  10. I took off today to our once a month Farmers Market and forgot to bring the paper with me, which was a real drag. So, I did the puzzle after getting home and taking a nap. The top buzzed right by and then I ran into all kinds of strange cluing and strange answers on the bottom: SIDE HUSTLE, PUI, WWIII PINEAL ICET, LAM,EGOISTE. I was looking at maybe 15-18 minutes and ended up with about 40, fortunately without error, although I doubted PIU and WWIII.

    Had to change ARTwO and UhNO.

    Well at least I made through another year relatively unscathed 🙂

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