LA Times Crossword 19 Jul 19, Friday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Breed the Answers Here

Themed answers sound like common phrases beginning with the letter R, but with a B added to at the start:

  • 17A That necessary morning cup of coffee? : BREWED AWAKENING (b-rude awakening)
  • 24A Prepare some fish for frying? : BREAD HERRINGS (b-red herrings)
  • 44A Good nickname for Stephen King? : BRAIN OF TERROR (b-Reign of Terror)
  • 58A Part of the Hulk’s healthy diet? : BRUTE VEGETABLES (b-root vegetables)

Bill’s time: 12m 45s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Martial arts move : CHOP

Martial arts are various fighting traditions and systems used in combat or simply to promote physical well-being. The term “martial” ultimately derives from Latin and means “Arts of Mars”, a reference to Mars, the Roman god of war.

5 Lawrence with an eponymous college : SARAH

Sarah Lawrence College is a private school in Yonkers, New York that was established in 1926 by real-estate mogul William Van Duzer Lawrence. He named the institution in honor of his wife Sarah, who died that same year. The school was originally intended to provide an education in the arts and humanities for women students, although back then the curriculum included modeling, shorthand, typing and applying makeup. Things have changed a little since then …

15 British Columbia neighbor : IDAHO

Idaho borders six states, and one Canadian province:

  • Montana
  • Wyoming
  • Nevada
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • British Columbia, Canada

The Canadian province of British Columbia (BC) is in the Pacific Northwest. The British referred to the territory drained by the Columbia River as the “Columbia District”. Queen Victoria chose the name “British Columbia” for that section of the Columbia District that fell under British control. The remainder of the Columbia District was referred to as “American Columbia” or “Southern Columbia”, which became the Oregon Territory in 1848.

16 Court contemporary of Bjorn : ILIE

I think that Ilie Nastase was the most entertaining tennis player of the 1970s, the days of Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. No matter how much pressure there was in a match, Nastase always had time to share a joke with the crowd. After retiring from the sport, he had a few novels published (in French) during the eighties. Then Nastase went into politics, making an unsuccessful run for the mayorship of Bucharest in 1996. He made a successful run for the Romanian Senate though, and was elected senator in 2014.

Björn Borg is a retired tennis player from Sweden, and a former World No. 1. Borg won 41% of the 27 Grand Slam singles tournaments that he entered, which is a record that stands to the day. He was known for reacting very calmly under pressure on the tennis court and hence earned the nicknames “Ice Man” and “Ice Borg”, which is my personal favorite.

21 Great Society era, with “the” : SIXTIES

The Great Society was a social initiative launched by President Lyndon B. Johnson in the mid-sixties. The initiative had the goal of eliminating poverty and racial injustice. Some of the Great Society programs still exist today, including Medicare and Medicaid.

22 [There’s another doc] : [ENC]

Enclosure (enc.)

23 “The X-Files” subjects : ETS

“The X-Files” is a very successful science fiction show that originally aired on the Fox network from 1993 to 2002. The stars of the show are David Duchovny (playing Fox Mulder) and the very talented Gillian Anderson (playing Dana Scully). By the time the series ended, “The X-Files” was the longest running sci-fi show in US broadcast history. An “X-Files” reboot started airing in 2016 with Duchovny and Anderson reprising their starring roles.

24 Prepare some fish for frying? : BREAD HERRINGS (b-red herrings)

The exact origin of the term “red herring”, meaning “something that misleads”, isn’t known. The most common explanation for the use of the phrase is that kippers (strong-smelling smoked herrings) were used to by fugitives to distract bloodhounds who were on their trail. Kippers become red-colored during the smoking process, and are no longer “white herrings”.

31 Nashville awards org. : CMA

Country Music Association (CMA)

33 Very : REAL

Those were her very words, her real words (for example).

34 Baku native : AZERI

An Azeri is someone from the country of Azerbaijan.

Baku is the capital city of Azerbaijan and sits on the Caspian Sea. It’s thought that the name “Baku” comes from the Persian “Bad-kube” meaning “wind-pounded city”.

38 Show set in Vegas : CSI

The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been tremendously successful, but has finally wound down. “CSI: Miami” (the “worst” of the franchise, I think) was cancelled in 2012 after ten seasons. “CSI: NY” (the “best” of the franchise) was cancelled in 2013 after nine seasons. The original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, set in Las Vegas, hung in there until 2015 when it ended with a two-hour TV movie. The youngest show in the series was “CSI: Cyber”. It lasted for two seasons, before being canceled in 2016.

41 Work with an Ethiopian princess : AIDA

“Aida” is a celebrated opera by Giuseppe Verdi that is based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette. Mariette also designed the costumes and stages for the opening performance. The opera was first staged in 1871 in an opera house in Cairo. In the storyline, Aida is an Ethiopian princess brought into Egypt as a slave. Radames is an Egyptian commander who falls in love with her, and then complications arise!

44 Good nickname for Stephen King? : BRAIN OF TERROR (b-Reign of Terror)

Stephen King is a remarkably successful author. He has sold well over 350 million copies of his books, with many of them made into hit movies. I’ve tried reading two or three of the novels, and didn’t get too far. I really don’t do horror …

“Reign of Terror” is the name given to the violent months that marked the beginning of the French Revolution. The guillotine earned the nickname “the National Razor” during those days in 1793 and 1794, with tens of thousands of people losing their lives (and heads).

48 Cedar Rapids campus : COE

Coe College is a private school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa that was founded in 1851. Coe is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.

49 __ canto : BEL

“Bel canto” is a term used in Italian opera, the literal translation of which is “beautiful singing”. The term specifically describes a style of singing that emphasises beauty of tone over dramatic power.

58 Part of the Hulk’s healthy diet? : BRUTE VEGETABLES (b-root vegetables)

The comic book hero named “The Hulk” first made an appearance in 1962. The Hulk is the alter ego of reserved and withdraw physicist Bruce Banner. Banner mutates into the Hulk when he gets angry.

62 One of Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” : OLGA

Olga, Masha and Irina are the “Three Sisters” in the play by Anton Chekhov. The three title characters were inspired by the three Brontë sisters, the English authors.

63 “__ Cassius has a lean and hungry look” : YOND

Here are some lines spoken by the title character in the play “Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare:

Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look.
He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous.

Caesar is referring to Cassius, one of the leading figures in the plot to assassinate him.

64 Belgian expressionist James : ENSOR

James Ensor was a Belgian painter who was active in the first half of the twentieth century. He lived in Ostend for almost all of his life. In fact, Ensor only made three brief trips abroad, to Paris, London and Holland.

65 Oenology datum : YEAR

In Greek mythology, Oeno was the goddess of wine, giving us “oeno-” as a prefix meaning “wine”. For example, oenology is the study of wine and an oenophile is a wine-lover.

Down

1 Many have meters : CABS

We call cabs “taxis”, a word derived from “taximeter cabs” that were introduced in London in 1907. A taximeter was an automated meter designed to record distance travelled and fare to be charged. The term “taximeter” evolved from “taxameter”, with “taxa” being Latin for “tax, charge”.

2 Sub : 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.

3 Russian city : OREL

Orel (also “Oryol”) is a city lying on the Oka River, just over 200 miles SSW of Moscow. Orel was one of the cities occupied by Germany during WWII. It was liberated in 1943, but had been almost completely destroyed.

5 Cognac cocktail : SIDECAR

The sidecar is my favorite cocktail. It was invented around the end of WWI, possibly in the Ritz Hotel in Paris. It’s a simple drink to make, and contains brandy, cointreau or triple sec, and lemon or lime juice. It’s really the brandy version of a margarita (or vice versa).

6 Month after Shevat : ADAR

Adar is the twelfth month of the Hebrew ecclesiastical calendar. Adar is equivalent to February-March in the Gregorian calendar.

9 Apt to use more corn? : HOKIER

“Hokum” was originally theater slang, meaning “melodramatic, exaggerated acting”. Now the term just means “empty talk”. It is also the root for our word “hokey” meaning “silly, old-fashioned”.

10 Wee : PINT-SIZE

A US pint is made from 16 fluid ounces, and an imperial pint is 20 fluid ounces. The term “pint” comes into English via Old French, ultimately from the Latin “picta” meaning “painted”. The name arose from a line painted on the side of a beer glass that marked a full measure of ale.

11 Et __ : ALII

“Et alii” (et al.) is the equivalent of “et cetera” (etc.), with “et cetera” being used in place of a list of objects, and “et alii” used for a list of names. In fact, “et al.” can stand for “et alii” (a group of males, or males and females), “et aliae” (a group of women) and “et alia” (a group of neuter nouns, or a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

12 Black Friday likelihood : LINE

In the world of retail, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the US. Black Friday is when many stores start the holiday shopping season, and so offer deep discounts to get ahead of the competition.

24 Model material : BALSA

Balsa is a very fast growing tree that is native to parts of South America. Even though balsa wood is very soft, it is actually classified as a hardwood, the softest of all the hardwoods (go figure!). Balsa is light and strong, so is commonly used in making model airplanes. Amazingly, in WWII a full-size British plane, the de Havilland Mosquito, was built largely from balsa and plywood. No wonder they called it “The Wooden Wonder” and “The Timber Terror”.

25 Dunkin’ Donuts option : DECAF

Dunkin’ Donuts was founded in 1950 in Quincy, Massachusetts. Now the chain has over 15,000 restaurants in almost 40 different countries. The company’s biggest competitor is actually Starbucks, as over half of Dunkin’ Donuts’ revenue comes from coffee, and not donuts.

32 Naturalist John : MUIR

John Muir was a famous American naturalist, although he was born in Scotland. Muir founded the Sierra Club in 1892. He published “My First Summer in the Sierra” in 1911, which described one of Muir’s favorite places in the country, the Sierra Nevada range in California.

45 Haydn’s includes 106 symphonies : OEUVRE

The sum of an artist’s work in his or her lifetime is known as his or her “oeuvre”.

Josef Haydn was an Austrian composer, often called the “Father of the Symphony” due to his prolific output of symphonies that helped define the form. This is one of the reasons that he was known, even in his own lifetime, as “Papa Haydn”. Haydn was also the father figure among “the big three” composers of the Classical Period: Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Hayden was a good friend to Mozart, and a teacher of Beethoven.

46 “General Hospital” Emmy winner Sofer : RENA

Rena Sofer came to prominence as an actor in daytime television, most notably playing Lois Cerullo on “General Hospital”. Sofer’s love interest on the show was played by Wally Kurth, and the online romance led to the pair walking down the aisle in real life in 1995 (although they divorced two years later).

50 Major success of the dot-com bubble : EBAY

eBay was founded in 1995 as AuctionWeb. One of the first items purchased was a broken laser pointer, for $14.83. The buyer was a collector of broken laser pointers …

The dot-com bubble was a phenomenon seen in 1997 to 2000 during which speculation led to the overvaluation of poorly-understood Internet stocks. The bubble burst on March 10, 2000. Within ten days, the value of the NASDAQ was down by over 10%.

51 Oil acronym : ARCO

The company name “ARCO” is an acronym standing for “Atlantic Richfield Company”. One of ARCO’s claims to fame is that it is responsible for the nation’s largest Superfund site. Mining and smelting in the area around Butte, Montana polluted the region’s water and soil, and ARCO have agreed to pay $187 million to help clean up the area.

52 Dice roll, say : TURN

The numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. There are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting …

53 Hammer part : PEEN

The peen of a hammer is on the head, and is the side of the head that is opposite the striking surface. Often the peen is in the shape of a hemisphere (as in a ball-peen hammer), but usually it is shaped like a claw (mainly for removing nails).

54 Numbers game : KENO

The name of the game keno has French or Latin roots, with the French “quine” being a term for five winning numbers, and the Latin “quini” meaning “five each”. The game originated in China and was introduced into the West by Chinese immigrants who were working on the first Transcontinental Railroad in the 1800s.

55 Cosmo rival : ELLE

“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

56 Phantasy Star Online publisher : SEGA

Phantasy Star Online is a role-playing game (RPG) that was published by Sega in 2000. It was the first online RPG that could be played on game consoles.

57 Bygone dynast : TSAR

A dynast is someone who rules by virtue of heredity. “Dynastes” is a Greek word meaning “ruler, chief, master”.

59 Mouse in Disney’s “Cinderella” : GUS

In the 1950 Disney animated feature “Cinderella”, the title character has two mousy sidekicks named Jaq and Gus. Along with two other mice, Jaq and Gus are transformed by the Fairy Godmother into horses that pull Cinderella’s carriage so that she can attend the ball.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Martial arts move : CHOP
5 Lawrence with an eponymous college : SARAH
10 Oppressive atmosphere : PALL
14 Dynamic opening : AERO-
15 British Columbia neighbor : IDAHO
16 Court contemporary of Bjorn : ILIE
17 That necessary morning cup of coffee? : BREWED AWAKENING (b-rude awakening)
20 Persevere, with “on” : SOLDIER
21 Great Society era, with “the” : SIXTIES
22 [There’s another doc] : [ENC]
23 “The X-Files” subjects : ETS
24 Prepare some fish for frying? : BREAD HERRINGS (b-red herrings)
31 Nashville awards org. : CMA
33 Very : REAL
34 Baku native : AZERI
35 Decided in court : RULED
38 Show set in Vegas : CSI
39 Discontinue : SEVER
40 Theater area with no seats : AISLE
41 Work with an Ethiopian princess : AIDA
43 Lea feeder : EWE
44 Good nickname for Stephen King? : BRAIN OF TERROR (b-Reign of Terror)
48 Cedar Rapids campus : COE
49 __ canto : BEL
50 Truly enjoy something : EAT IT UP
54 Most beneficent : KINDEST
58 Part of the Hulk’s healthy diet? : BRUTE VEGETABLES (b-root vegetables)
60 Lot measure : ACRE
61 See some sorority sisters, say : REUNE
62 One of Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” : OLGA
63 “__ Cassius has a lean and hungry look” : YOND
64 Belgian expressionist James : ENSOR
65 Oenology datum : YEAR

Down

1 Many have meters : CABS
2 Sub : HERO
3 Russian city : OREL
4 Ground material : POWDER
5 Cognac cocktail : SIDECAR
6 Month after Shevat : ADAR
7 Cold and damp : RAW
8 Signs of solutions : AHAS
9 Apt to use more corn? : HOKIER
10 Wee : PINT-SIZE
11 Et __ : ALII
12 Black Friday likelihood : LINE
13 Durability metaphor : LEGS
18 German article : EINE
19 Epic film budget line : EXTRAS
24 Model material : BALSA
25 Dunkin’ Donuts option : DECAF
26 Is charismatic : HAS IT
27 Omit, in speaking : ELIDE
28 “Not happening” : NEVER
29 Expanded : GREW
30 Royal address : SIRE
31 Food often served with a mallet : CRAB
32 Naturalist John : MUIR
36 Drew out : ELICITED
37 Indicate : DENOTE
42 Settler? : ARBITER
45 Haydn’s includes 106 symphonies : OEUVRE
46 “General Hospital” Emmy winner Sofer : RENA
47 Member of an exclusive network : OLD BOY
50 Major success of the dot-com bubble : EBAY
51 Oil acronym : ARCO
52 Dice roll, say : TURN
53 Hammer part : PEEN
54 Numbers game : KENO
55 Cosmo rival : ELLE
56 Phantasy Star Online publisher : SEGA
57 Bygone dynast : TSAR
59 Mouse in Disney’s “Cinderella” : GUS

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

  1. LAT: 30:35, no errors. Lot of brain-dead useless cluing resulting in lots of guessing at what the constructor meant, which is par for the course here. WSJ: 11:16, no errors. Meta solved (if I got it, legions will). Newsday: 30:27, 2 errors on the exact thing Dave pointed out yesterday. The LAT comment applies to this one. Lot of illogical brain-dead nonsensical cluing that’s ultimately useless to the solver.

    @Dave
    “Red roof in?” is a good example out of many. The PALATE is the roof of your mouth. And the flesh there should be red. And its inside your mouth/body. So…

    1. @Glenn … Well, as usual, I disagree with your characterization of the cluing in the LAT and Newsday puzzles, with that single exception: “Red roof in?” as a clue for “PALATE” is simply ungrammatical. I understood what to put in the grid, but I spent a lot of time trying to construct a sentence in which the phrase “red roof in” can be replaced by “palate” and make sense. Try this:

      “There’s a red roof in my mouth.” => “There’s a palate my mouth.”

      I’d have been okay with the clue “Red roof” or “Anatomical red roof” or even “Interior red roof”, but “Red roof in” just didn’t do it for me.

  2. Once I finally got it done, the clues made sense, but it was a long time
    coming. No errors, but had to google Baku native and hadn’t seen
    “oeuvre” used in that sense before. Entertaining puzzle.

  3. LAT: 15:49, no errors. I did it after a long drive in the mountains, so I wasn’t too quick on the draw, and I’m mildly surprised that there wasn’t more of a revealer for the gimmick, but, in the end, everything made sense. And … kudos to Bill for his interpretation of the theme!

    Newsday: 20:30, no errors, but I wasted a lot of time trying to make sense out of a particular clue … and I would maintain that the clue is in error (as I intend to explain above).

    WSJ: 16:14, no errors. Another one that I finished late last night in a bit of a stupor. Haven’t thought much about the meta.

    New Yorker: 13:22, no errors. An easy romp from Erik Agard … who’d a thunk it? … 😜

    Croce later …

    1. And … After finishing some minor outdoor chores, I got the WSJ meta, so I won’t have that to fret about all weekend … 😜.

  4. One reason I’m glad I found this web site is the service Bill supplies in providing background for clues and answers one may not be familiar with. What Bill does, I used to do for myself. Keep up the good work, Bill!

  5. This one went faster than most Friday puzzles, although I thought some of the cluing was a little sketchy, even for a Friday.
    Spelling French words is always tricky.

  6. Just like its NYT compatriot, utterly impenetrable today. I don’t know why I even bothered to look at a grid.

  7. Worst LA Times crossword I can remember — it’s as if the constructor was out to show us how clever he could be — I felt that so many of the clues were extremely obtuse, not clever. Byuk.

  8. I can’t say that I enjoyed this puzzle, I guess because we got so few
    words correct. A DNF is all I can report and less than half solved.
    Hope to recharge on Monday.

    Kudos to all you guys. Bill took twice as long as usual. Too hard for us.

  9. I wasn’t geting too far, so I Googled 2 of the longest: BRUTE VEGETABLES and BREWED AWAKENINGS. At that point, I got the theme and plenty to hang on.
    I had kiEv for my Russian City, and it wasn’t working, so Googled for OREL, which I’ve never heard of. Googled for PINT SIZE, which I would never have got since I would have said PINT SIZED.
    Then I was OK, but at the end, did not actually know COE, AZERI, RENA or SEGA.

  10. Fairly tough Friday for me; took about an hour with six errors all in the South. Didn’t know COE, OEUVRE, GUS, ENSOR and couldn’t figure out REUNE. All the rest was kinda slow as well and I finally gave up on the South.

    Did get the all the theme answers and that helped get RENA which I had no clue about. Boy, that James Ensor guy would’ve been a Dead fan if he lived a bit later. I liked “Lea feeder” and “Work with an Ethiopian princess” clues. Had to change AHha to AHAs and ALIa to ALII.

  11. Hello gang!🦆

    One error– dang! I spelled OEUVRE wrong! I always thought it was OUVRE, tho it’s not like I use the word too often….I sometimes use it in a sarcastic sense, as in “Are you familiar with Kendrick Lamar’s OEUVRE??” …which to some people wouldn’t be sarcastic…🤔

    …but I really liked the puzzle, especially once I got the theme. This was difficult but a good challenge. I don’t think too many clues were overly tricky– maybe a few were.

    Happy belated birthday, Dirk! 🎂👍

    Be well~~🚋⚾️

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