LA Times Crossword 3 Jul 19, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Debbie Ellerin
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Stir-Crazy

Themed answers each include the letter sequence S-T-I-R, although the order of those letters is “CRAZY”, moved around:

  • 61A Having cabin fever … and a hint to this puzzle’s circles : STIR-CRAZY
  • 16A Mullet or mohawk : HAIRSTYLE
  • 23A Cartoon boy voiced by Nancy Cartwright : BART SIMPSON
  • 38A One of many that begin with “Honk” : BUMPER STICKER
  • 50A Where attorneys Darrow and Bryan faced off : SCOPES TRIAL

Bill’s time: 5m 22s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Calamine target : ITCH

Calamine is mainly zinc oxide, with a small percentage of iron oxide. Calamine is incorporated into a lotion that is used for many things, including treatment of sunburn and itching.

5 It may be a stretch : LIMO

The word “limousine” derives from the name of the French city Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving rise to that type of transportation being called a “limousine”. Well, that’s how the story goes …

9 “Amscray!” : SCAT!

Pig Latin is in effect a game. One takes the first consonant or consonant cluster of an English word and moves it to the end of the word, and then adds the letters “ay”. So, the Pig Latin for the word “nix” is “ixnay” (ix-n-ay), and for “scram” is “amscray” (am-scr-ay).

13 Old King or Nat King : COLE

Old King Cole was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe, and he called for his bowl
And he called for his fiddlers three.
Every fiddler he had a fiddle,
And a very fine fiddle had he;
Oh there’s none so rare, as can compare
With King Cole and his fiddlers three.

Nat King Cole’s real name was Nathaniel Adams Coles. Cole made television history in 1956 when his own show debuted on NBC, a first for an African-American. Cole couldn’t pick up a national sponsor, so in order to save money and possibly save the show, many guest artists worked for no fee at all – the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte and Peggy Lee. The show survived for a year, but eventually Nat King Cole had to pull the plug on it himself.

14 Exiled Roman poet : OVID

The Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso is known today simply as Ovid. Ovid is usually listed alongside the two other great Roman poets: Horace and Virgil. Although he was immensely popular during his own lifetime, Ovid spent the last ten years of his life in exile. He fell foul of Emperor Augustus, although what led to this disfavor isn’t truly understood.

15 Quench : SLAKE

To slake is to satisfy a craving, as in slaking one’s thirst.

16 Mullet or mohawk : HAIRSTYLE

A mullet haircut is one that is short at the front and sides, and is long in the back.

Here is another example of a difference in terminology on either side of the Atlantic. What we call the Mohawk hairstyle in the US is known as a Mohican in Britain and Ireland. The Mohawk hairstyle is named after the Mohawk nation, who wore their hair in the same fashion. The Mohawk style has been around for a long time elsewhere in the world. There was a well-preserved male body found in a bog near Dublin in Ireland in 2003. The body is about 2,000 years old, and has the Mohawk haircut.

18 Like one who errs? : HUMAN

Alexander Pope’s 1709 poem “An Essay on Criticism” is the source of at least three well-known quotations:

  • A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.
  • To err is human, to forgive divine.
  • For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

19 Tech gurus : IT PROS

Information technology (IT)

22 Prefix with “-phyte” : NEO-

A neophyte is a recent convert to a particular doctrine or practice.

23 Cartoon boy voiced by Nancy Cartwright : BART SIMPSON

Bart Simpson is the main character in television’s “The Simpsons”. Bart’s name was chosen by the writers as it is an anagram of “brat”. Bart is voiced by actress and comedian Nancy Cartwright.

28 Trait transmitter : GENE

A gene is a section of a chromosome that is responsible for a particular characteristic in an organism. For example, one gene may determine eye color and another balding pattern. We have two copies of each gene, one from each of our parents, with each copy known as an allele.

30 Actor McGregor : EWAN

Ewan McGregor is a very talented Scottish actor, one who got his break in the 1996 film “Trainspotting”. McGregor’s first big Hollywood role was playing the young Obi-Wan-Kenobi in the “Star Wars” prequels. Less known is his televised marathon motorcycle journey from London to New York via central Europe, Ukraine, Siberia, Mongolia and Canada. The 2004 trip was shown as “Long Way Round” on TV. McGregor did a similar trip in 2007 called “Long Way Down”, which took him and the same travelling companion from the north of Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa.

31 The Beatles’ “__ Just Seen a Face” : I’VE

“I’ve Just Seen a Face” is a song that the Beatles released on the “Help!” album in 1965. The song was written by Paul McCartney and features McCartney on vocals.

32 Kenyan tribe : MASAI

The Masai (also “Maasai”) are a semi-nomadic people found in Kenya and Tanzania. They are semi-nomadic in that over the years they have been migrating from the Lower Nile Valley in northwest Kenya, and are moving into Tanzania.

38 One of many that begin with “Honk” : BUMPER STICKER

Honk if you do the crossword in ink.

42 Pinto-riding sidekick : TONTO

Famously, the Lone Ranger’s horse was named “Silver” and Tonto’s mount was named “Scout”. In the earlier shows, Tonto rode a horse named “White Feller”.

A pinto is a horse with patchy markings of white mixed with another color. “Pinto” means “painted” in American Spanish.

44 Personal bearing : MIEN

One’s mien is one’s bearing or manner. “Mien” shares the same etymological root as our word “demeanor”.

50 Where attorneys Darrow and Bryan faced off : SCOPES TRIAL

In 1925, Tennessee passed the Butler Act which made it unlawful for a public school teacher to teach the theory of evolution over the Biblical account of the origin of man. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sought to challenge this law and found a test case of a Tennessee high school teacher named John Scopes, who was charged with violating the law by presenting to his students ideas put forth by Charles Darwin. Celebrity lawyers descended on the small town of Dayton, Tennessee to argue the case. Three-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan prosecuted the case, and famed defense attorney Clarence Darrow spoke for John Scopes. At the end of a high-profile trial, Scopes was found guilty as charged and was ordered to pay a fine.

55 FDR agency : NRA

The National Recovery Administration (NRA) was one of the first agencies set up under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program. On the one hand the NRA help set minimum wages and maximum working hours for workers in industry, and on the other hand it helped set minimum prices for goods produced by companies. The NRA was very popular with the public, and businesses that didn’t opt to participate in the program found themselves boycotted. The NRA didn’t survive for long though, as after two years of operation it was deemed to be unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court and so it ceased operations in 1935.

56 Colorful Danish blocks : LEGOS

Lego produces some wonderful specialized sets with which you can build models of celebrated structures, including:

  • The Statue of Liberty (2,882 pieces)
  • The Sydney Opera House (2,989 pieces)
  • The Eiffel Tower (3,428 pieces)
  • Tower Bridge (4,295 pieces)
  • The Taj Mahal (5,922 pieces)

57 Seasoning blend from Maryland : OLD BAY

Old Bay Seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices that is named for the Old Bay Line, a passenger ship that sailed in Chesapeake Bay between Baltimore, Maryland and Norfolk, Virginia. Created in 1939, the blend was originally named “Delicious Brand Shrimp and Crab Seasoning”.

59 Skin care brand : NIVEA

Nivea is a brand name of skin-care products from Germany. The Latin word “nivea” means “snow-white”.

61 Having cabin fever … and a hint to this puzzle’s circles : STIR-CRAZY

Newgate prison in London was originally located at a gate in the Roman London Wall named Newgate. The first Newgate prison opened in 1188, and the last manifestation of the facility closed its substantial doors for business in 1902. The list of inmates incarcerated in Newgate includes Venetian libertine Giacomo Casanova, English author Daniel Defoe, playwright Ben Johnson, pirate William “Captain” Kidd, and founder of Pennsylvania William Penn. Locals referred to Newgate as “stir”, a word that is now applied to prisons in general.

65 “__ No Sunshine”: Bill Withers hit : AIN’T

Bill Withers was working as an assembly operator while he was trying to make a name for himself in the music industry. Even as he found success with his glorious 1971 single “Ain’t No Sunshine”, he held onto his day job, worried that the music industry was unpredictable.

67 Eponyms of seven planets : GODS

All of the planets in the Solar System, except for Earth, were named for Greek and Roman gods and goddesses:

  • Mercury was Roman god of travel
  • Venus was the Roman goddess of love and beauty
  • Mars was the Roman god of war
  • Jupiter was the king of the Roman gods
  • Saturn was the Roman god of agriculture
  • Uranus was the Greek god of the sky
  • Neptune was the Roman god of the sea
  • (also, Pluto was the Roman god of the underworld)

68 Comedian Carvey : DANA

Dana Carvey, along with the likes of Phil Hartman and Kevin Nealon, was part of the new breed of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) comedians credited with resurrecting the show in the late eighties. One of Carvey’s most popular characters was the Church Lady, and he became so associated with her that among fellow cast members Carvey was often referred to simply as “the Lady”. Another favorite Carvey character was Garth Algar who went to feature in the “Wayne’s World” movies. Carvey had open-heart surgery in 1997 to clear a blocked artery, but the surgical team operated on the wrong blood vessel. To recover, he had to have five more procedures. He ended up suing for medical malpractice and donated his $7.5 million compensation payment to charity.

Down

1 Chinese book of divination : I CHING

The “I Ching” is an ancient Chinese text dating back to the 2nd millennium BC. The text deals with aspects of cosmology and divination, and perhaps served as a guide for making predictions of the future. The statements in the “I Ching” consist of 64 hexagrams, sets of six lines composed in horizontal stacks.

4 Münster mister : HERR

Münster is a city in the northwestern part of Germany, in the Westphalia region. Münster is noted for being the most bicycle-friendly city in the country with almost 40% of all traffic in the city being cyclists.

6 One of a collegiate octet : IVY

The term “Ivy League” originally defined an athletic conference, but now it is used to describe a group of schools of higher education that are associated with both a long tradition and academic excellence. The eight Ivy League Schools are: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

7 “Cool” sum : MIL

“Cool mil” is slang for “million dollars”.

8 Texas or Ukraine city : ODESSA

The city of Odessa, Texas has as its symbol the jack rabbit. This is because from the thirties through the seventies the city hosted a rodeo for roping rabbits. The Humane Society applied pressure and the city did away with the tradition in 1977.

The city of Odessa (also “Odesa”) in Ukraine was founded relatively recently, in 1794 by Catherine the Great. The city was originally meant to be called Odessos after an ancient Greek city believed to have been located nearby. Catherine liked the way the locals pronounced the name as “Odessa” and so went with the less Greek-sounding name.

11 Letters in a BOLO alert : AKA

Also known as (aka)

A BOLO is a police alert, with the acronym standing for “be on the look-out”. A BOLO can also be called an APB, an “all-points bulletin”.

15 Bogus : SHAM

A sham is something that is imitation, fake. In the world of bed linens, a sham is also an imitation or fake, in the sense that it is a decorative cover designed to cover up a regular pillow used for sleeping.

Our word “bogus”, meaning “not genuine” was coined (pun!) in the 1830s, when it applied to counterfeit money.

24 “Cracked __ View”: Hootie & the Blowfish debut album : REAR

Hootie & the Blowfish is an American rock band, first formed in 1986 at the University of South Carolina. The leading figure in the band was Darius Rucker, and it was he who came up with the band’s very original name. “Hootie” and “Blowfish” were the nicknames of two friends of Rucker from the college choir. Hootie had a round face and glasses, and was so-named due to his owl-like appearance. Blowfish had chubby cheeks, which earned him his moniker.

25 Party game inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2015 : TWISTER

Twister is a game requiring a lot of physical dexterity and flexibility. It involves players placing specific hands and feet onto colored pads on a mat, as directed by a spinning arrow on a board. Sales of the game got a great boost in 1966, when Eva Gabor played Twister with Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show”.

The National Toy Hall of Fame was established in Salem, Oregon in 1998, but was relocated to Rochester, New York in 2002. There were seventeen original inductees, including:

  • Barbie
  • Etch A Sketch
  • Frisbee
  • Hula Hoop
  • Marbles
  • Monopoly

27 Neighbor of 23-Across : NED
(23A Cartoon boy voiced by Nancy Cartwright : BART SIMPSON)

Ned Flanders lives next door to Homer Simpson on TV’s “The Simpsons”. Ned is voiced by actor Harry Shearer, and has been around since the very first episode aired in 1989.

29 Austen novel that inspired the film “Clueless” : EMMA

Jane Austen’s novel “Emma” is the tale of Emma Woodhouse and the wonderful George Knightley. At the end of the story, Emma marries Knightley and her young friend Harriet marries Robert Martin, who had been trying to get Harriet’s attention practically from page one of the novel. Emma interfered in that troubled courtship.

The 1995 movie “Clueless” is apparently based on Jane Austen’s “Emma”, which is a favorite novel of mine. As a result, I am going to have to check out the film. That said, “Clueless” is set in a Beverly Hills high school, so I probably should prepare myself to be disappointed …

33 Apropos : APT

“Apropos”, meaning “relevant, opportune”, comes into English directly from French, in which language “à propos” means “to the purpose”. Note that we use the term as one word (apropos), whereas the original French is two words (à propos).

37 Hershey toffee bar : SKOR

Skor is a candy bar produced by Hershey’s. “Skor” is Swedish for “shoes”, and the candy bar’s wrapping features a crown that is identical to that found in the Swedish national emblem. What shoes have to do with candy, I don’t know …

38 Pear type : BOSC

Bosc is a cultivar of the European pear that is grown mainly in the northwest of the United States. It is named for French horticulturist Louis Bosc. The cultivar originated in Belgium or France in the early 19th century. The Bosc is that pear with a skin the color of a potato, with a long neck.

40 Novelist Morrison : TONI

Writer Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Amongst other things, Morrison is noted for coining the phrase “our first black President”, a reference to President Bill Clinton.

41 Prosecutors: Abbr. : DAS

District Attorney (DA)

47 Hoping to make it home : ON BASE

That would be baseball.

48 Shamelessly bold : BRAZEN

Someone described as brazen might also be described as shameless. The term “brazen” comes from the Middle English “brasen” meaning “made of brass”. The suggestion is that a shameless person has a hardened, brass-like face. And so, the similar-meaning word “brassy” has the same etymology.

51 Hammer heads : PEENS

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).

53 Major artery : AORTA

The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

54 Partners’ legal entity: Abbr. : LLC

A limited liability company (LLC) has a structure that limits the liability of the owner or owners. It is a hybrid structure in the sense that it can be taxed as would an individual or partnership, while also maintaining the liability protection afforded to a corporation.

60 “Here’s what I think,” in texts : IMO

In my opinion (IMO)

62 Madre’s hermana : TIA

In Spanish, the “hermana” (sister) of your “madre” (mother) is your “tia” (aunt).

63 Hampton __ : INN

Hampton by Hilton is a chain of moderately-priced hotels that was founded in 1984 by Holiday Inn using the brand name “Hampton Inn”. The first Hampton Inn opened in Memphis, Tennessee.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Calamine target : ITCH
5 It may be a stretch : LIMO
9 “Amscray!” : SCAT!
13 Old King or Nat King : COLE
14 Exiled Roman poet : OVID
15 Quench : SLAKE
16 Mullet or mohawk : HAIRSTYLE
18 Like one who errs? : HUMAN
19 Tech gurus : IT PROS
20 Overwhelm : SWAMP
22 Prefix with “-phyte” : NEO-
23 Cartoon boy voiced by Nancy Cartwright : BART SIMPSON
28 Trait transmitter : GENE
30 Actor McGregor : EWAN
31 The Beatles’ “__ Just Seen a Face” : I’VE
32 Kenyan tribe : MASAI
35 Frittered away : WASTED
38 One of many that begin with “Honk” : BUMPER STICKER
41 Make a contribution : DONATE
42 Pinto-riding sidekick : TONTO
43 Donkey : ASS
44 Personal bearing : MIEN
46 Fleeces : ROBS
50 Where attorneys Darrow and Bryan faced off : SCOPES TRIAL
55 FDR agency : NRA
56 Colorful Danish blocks : LEGOS
57 Seasoning blend from Maryland : OLD BAY
59 Skin care brand : NIVEA
61 Having cabin fever … and a hint to this puzzle’s circles : STIR-CRAZY
64 Improve : AMEND
65 “__ No Sunshine”: Bill Withers hit : AIN’T
66 Aha moment remark : I SEE
67 Eponyms of seven planets : GODS
68 Comedian Carvey : DANA
69 Desk drawer items : PENS

Down

1 Chinese book of divination : I CHING
2 Exactly : TO A TEE
3 Like some earrings : CLIP ON
4 Münster mister : HERR
5 Tons of, casually : LOTSA
6 One of a collegiate octet : IVY
7 “Cool” sum : MIL
8 Texas or Ukraine city : ODESSA
9 Batter’s rough patch : SLUMP
10 Pitcher’s spot? : CAMPSITE
11 Letters in a BOLO alert : AKA
12 Midmorning time : TEN
15 Bogus : SHAM
17 Lament loudly : SOB
21 Best type of situation : WIN-WIN
24 “Cracked __ View”: Hootie & the Blowfish debut album : REAR
25 Party game inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2015 : TWISTER
26 “Get __ it!” : OVER
27 Neighbor of 23-Across : NED
29 Austen novel that inspired the film “Clueless” : EMMA
33 Apropos : APT
34 Appear to be : SEEM SO
36 Make a move : ACT
37 Hershey toffee bar : SKOR
38 Pear type : BOSC
39 Like some mysteries : UNSOLVED
40 Novelist Morrison : TONI
41 Prosecutors: Abbr. : DAS
45 “How tragic” : IT’S SAD
47 Hoping to make it home : ON BASE
48 Shamelessly bold : BRAZEN
49 Accept a proposal : SAY YES
51 Hammer heads : PEENS
52 “Jeepers” : EGAD
53 Major artery : AORTA
54 Partners’ legal entity: Abbr. : LLC
58 Coffee brewing choice : DRIP
59 Back-seat driver, e.g. : NAG
60 “Here’s what I think,” in texts : IMO
62 Madre’s hermana : TIA
63 Hampton __ : INN

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 3 Jul 19, Wednesday”

  1. 16:40 no errors….NYT #0529 22:05 no errors….Take Bills solve time X 3 and that’s where you will usually find me

  2. LAT: 8:13, no errors. Newsday: 5:48, no errors. WSJ: ~20:00 (forgot to time it), no errors that I know of (can’t find an answer key that shows the rebuses, but they’re all pretty obvious) ; did it while very distracted and made lots of missteps.

    1. I’ve seen and/or heard things like “Harvard is an Ivy” as a short way of saying “Harvard is a member of the Ivy League group of universities”.

  3. No accurate time to report, but 0 errors. I had to do most of it, because
    the newspaper was a late arrival and the wife had no help on her scan.
    I found it harder than Tuesday, but Bill certainly had no trouble with it.

    I made a few guesses and would not have gotten it all without my
    puzzle dictionary; I needed its help on several words, either for identity
    or confirmation of my thought.

    Had fun with it.

  4. 9:57. The SE gave me some trouble when I just couldn’t think of BRAZEN for way too long. These things always look so obvious in retrospect. I actually used the theme in a couple of places to find typos.

    Carrie – I’m curious what you think of that rabies-vampire link. Seems plausible to me. I suspect almost all of our myths started with people trying to explain things they couldn’t understand.

    Best –

  5. LAT: 5:13, no errors. WSJ: 25:43, 2 errors (43A, not knowing 45D, dumb error on 42D). Definitely an awesome puzzle and notable for being an exceedingly rare rebus puzzle. Newsday: 7:50, no errors. Music Meta: 27:12, not sure on the errors yet (no Internet until just now, so couldn’t look up stuff I wasn’t 100% on), haven’t looked at the meta.

  6. Didn’t know BOLO. Thought, Buy One, Lose One; or Buy One, Lift One.
    Then there’s the Bolo tie.

    @Jeff – it’s old. Check out, “12 Spookiest Vampire Legends from around the World

  7. This wasn’t much of a challenge, but didn’t know the word “slake.” Got it in crosses however. Bet I won’t remember it next time though.

    Jeff: read the article on vampires. Interesting theory and I’m sure it got them through the health scare, without actually having any scientific facts. Something has to get us though difficult times when we can’t understand “why!” I guess fiction is as good as anything. A lot of religions are based on this whole concept.

  8. Mostly easy Wednesday for me; took 14 minutes with no errors. Kind of noticed the theme while doing the puzzle.

    Just had to change SEEMtO, which involved the theme and an obvious cross. Never heard of OLD BAY, but got it with crosses.

    re Rabies and Vampires. I’ll read it tonight, but I’m really curious about how rabies is supposed to be treatable as long as you treat it before symptoms.

    @Jeff – It looks like the Cardinals are due in SF today. I just hope the modest roll the Giants are on continues. Yes! 3rd worst team in the NL.

  9. Hi folks!! 🦆

    No errors. I thought Where attorneys met meant the geographic locale and wanted to put Tennessee … then I misspelled MIEN as mein and was so sure I was right that it took awhile to change it! 😯 I just love the Beatles’ I’ve Just Seen A Face. It’s a favorite of mine and I’ve tried often to play it on guitar but it’s hard!! Quick chord changes.

    Jeff! Totally plausible, I think. It makes sense! Especially considering certain details, like fresh blood oozing from a dead person’s mouth (sorry so graphic…) Interesting study. Agreed– many myths likely result from things humans can’t explain, tho I’d also note that some, passed down as folklore, exist to create origin stories for societies as a way to rally people together– I’m thinking Remus and Romulus, who founded Rome.

    Good thing our country has a plausible origin story– which as of two hours ago we’ve been celebrating!

    DIRK– re curing rabies before symptoms — I think the idea is that if you’re bitten by a strange dog or wild animal you get the shot ASAP, no matter how you feel. No symptoms, but you know you’ve been bitten– and maybe one in a thousand the creature really was rabid…😫

    Be well~~🚋⚾️

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