LA Times Crossword 30 Jul 19, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Susan Smolinsky & C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: To Err Is Human

Themed answers are the name of a famous HUMAN, and each contains the hidden word “ERR”:

  • 65A Start of a Pope line about fallibility … as shown by 19-, 25-, 42- and 55-Across? : TO ERR IS HUMAN …
  • 19A Frequent Fred Astaire partner : GINGER ROGERS
  • 25A Army doctor for whom a D.C. medical center is named : WALTER REED
  • 42A Movies Superman portrayer : CHRISTOPHER REEVE
  • 55A “Glee” star who won “Dancing With the Stars” in 2017 : AMBER RILEY

Bill’s time: 5m 00s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16 Classic Dior style : A-LINE

An A-line skirt is one that fits snugly at the hips and flares toward the hem.

18 Pronoun for a filly : HER

There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:

  • Foal: horse of either sex that is less than one year old
  • Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
  • Filly: female horse under the age of four
  • Colt: male horse under the age of four
  • Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
  • Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
  • Mare: female horse four years or older

19 Frequent Fred Astaire partner : GINGER ROGERS

I am a huge Ginger Rogers fan. Rogers is famous as the on-screen and dancing partner of Fred Astaire. However, my favorite films are those romantic comedies she made later in her career, especially “The Major and the Minor” and “Monkey Business”. There is a musical stage show about Ginger Rogers’ life called “Backwards in High Heels: The Ginger Musical” that debuted in 2007. The title is taken from a 1982 “Frank & Ernest” cartoon about Fred & Ginger” with the words:

Sure he was great, but don’t forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did – backwards and in high heels.

23 River delta deposit : SILT

A river delta is a triangular landform at the mouth of a river created by the deposition of sediment. The Nile Delta in Northern Egypt is one of the world’s largest river deltas, and covers 150 miles of coastline on the Mediterranean. The most famous “delta” in the United States isn’t actually a delta at all. The Mississippi Delta is an alluvial plain that lies 300 miles north of the river’s actual delta, yet it is known as the “Mississippi River Delta”. Very confusing …

24 Salary : PAY

It has been suggested that out term “salary” comes from the Latin “sal” meaning “salt”. The idea is that a Roman soldier’s “salarium” might have been an allowance to purchase salt.

25 Army doctor for whom a D.C. medical center is named : WALTER REED

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is located in Bethesda, Maryland on a site that was selected by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938. The facility is named for US Army physician Walter Reed who discovered in 1901 that yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes rather than by direct contact. Originally called Walter Reed General Hospital, it was renamed in 1951 to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC). The WRMAC was absorbed into the tri-service Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in 2011.

29 Close bud, in texts : BFF

Best friend forever (BFF)

35 ’60s “acid” : LSD

LSD (known colloquially as “acid”) is lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist named 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 …

38 Lewd material : SMUT

“Smut” means “dirt, smudge” and more recently “pornographic material”. The term comes from the Yiddish “schmutz”, which is a slang word used in English for dirt, as in “dirt on one’s face”.

42 Movies Superman portrayer : CHRISTOPHER REEVE

The actor Christopher Reeve was most associated with his portrayal of Superman in the late seventies and early eighties. Reeve became paralyzed from the neck down when he fell from a horse in a jumping event in 1995. He passed away in 2004.

46 Big rig fuel : DIESEL

Rudolf Diesel was a German engineer, and the inventor of the diesel engine. Diesel died under mysterious circumstances, having disappeared from a passenger vessel sailing from Antwerp to London. Whether death was due to an accident, suicide or murder is the subject of much speculation.

51 Layered cookies : OREOS

How the Oreo cookie came to get its name seems to have been lost in the mists of time. One theory is that it comes from the French “or” meaning “gold”, a reference to the gold color of the original packing. Another suggestion is that the name is the Greek word “oreo” meaning “beautiful, nice, well-done”.

54 Kid’s bleat : MAA!

Male goats are called “bucks” or “billies”, although castrated males are known as “wethers”. Female goats are called “does” or “nannies”, and young goats are referred to as “kids”.

55 “Glee” star who won “Dancing With the Stars” in 2017 : AMBER RILEY

Actress Amber Riley portrays Mercedes Jones on the TV show “Glee”. Riley can dance too, and won season 17 of “Dancing with the Stars” along with her partner Derek Hough.

60 Grounded fast flier : SST

Supersonic transport (SST)

65 Start of a Pope line about fallibility … as shown by 19-, 25-, 42- and 55-Across? : TO ERR IS 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.

70 Coquettish : COY

A “coquet” is a male flirt, with “coquette” being a female flirt. The word comes from French, and is the diminutive of “coq”, the word for a cock.

71 Palindrome ending : … I’M ADAM

The three most famous palindromes in English have to be:

  • Able was I ere I saw Elba
  • A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
  • Madam, I’m Adam

One of my favorite words is “Aibohphobia”, although it doesn’t appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. “Aibohphobia” is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix “-phobia”.

75 Foamy coffee : LATTE

The term “latte” is an abbreviation of the Italian “caffelatte” meaning “coffee (and) milk”. Note that in the correct spelling of “latte”, the Italian word for milk, there is no accent over the “e”. An accent is often added by mistake when we use the word in English, perhaps meaning to suggest that the word is French.

76 Caustic solution : LYE

What we call “lye” is usually sodium hydroxide, although historically the term was used for potassium hydroxide. Lye has many uses, including to cure several foodstuffs. Lye can make olives less bitter, for example. The chemical is also found in canned mandarin oranges, pretzels and Japanese ramen noodles. More concentrated grades of lye are used to clear drains and clean ovens. Scary …

Down

2 Gladiator’s milieu : ARENA

The term “gladiator” means “swordsman”, and comes from “gladius”, the Latin word for “sword”.

3 Problem for Pauline : PERIL

“The Perils of Pauline” is a weekly silent film series that was made in 1914. There were twenty original episodes, with actress Pearl White playing the title character. Pauline was placed in a perilous situation in each episode, but was always rescued or managed to escape. There’s a widely-held belief that one of Pauline’s predicaments was being tied to railroad tracks with a locomotive bearing down on her. But, this never happened, at least not to Pauline.

4 Ring Cycle composer : WAGNER

Richard Wagner’s “Ring Cycle” is more properly called “Der Ring des Nibelungen” (The Ring of Nibelung), and comprises four very, very long operas. The individual operas are:

  1. “Das Rheingold”
  2. “Die Walkure”
  3. “Siegfried”
  4. “Gotterdammerung”

5 Boxer who proclaimed, “I am the greatest!” : ALI

One of Muhammad Ali’s famous most famous lines is “I am the greatest!” So famous is the line that in 1963, Ali released an album of spoken word that had the title “I Am the Greatest!”

6 Sardine container : TIN

Sardines are oily fish related to herrings. Sardines are also known as pilchards, although in the UK “sardine” is a noun reserved for a young pilchard. Very confusing …

8 Witherspoon of “Big Little Lies” : REESE

“Reese” is not actually actress Witherspoon’s given name. She started out life as Laura Jeanne Witherspoon. “Reese” is her mother’s maiden name.

“Big Little Lies” is 2017 TV miniseries that is based on a 2014 novel of the same name. It stars Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley as three women who, while dealing with their own emotional problems, find themselves involved in a murder investigation. I haven’t seen this one, but hear very good things …

9 PC corner key : CTRL

The Control (CTRL) key on a PC keyboard is used to modify the function of other keys. For example, pressing CTRL+C copies a selection to the clipboard, and CTRL+V pastes the contents of the clipboard to a location defined by the cursor. Control keys were introduced on teletypewriters to generate “control characters”, which are non-printing characters that instruct a computer to do something like print a page, ring a bell etc.

10 Classic A&W soda : ROOT BEER

A&W is a brand of root beer that has been around since 1920, when Roy Allen partnered with Frank Wright to create the A&W moniker from their family names.

11 Neighbor of Uru. : ARG

Argentina is the second largest country in South America (after Brazil), and the world’s largest Spanish-speaking nation. The name “Argentina” comes from the Latin “argentum”, the word for “silver”. It is thought that the name was given by the early Spanish and Portuguese conquerors who also named the Rio de la Plata (the “Silver River”). Those early explorers got hold of lots of silver objects that they found among the native population.

13 “Doctor Zhivago” heroine : LARA

The heroine of Boris Pasternak’s epic novel “Doctor Zhivago” is Lara. The Lara character was inspired by Pasternak’s mistress Olga Ivinskaya.

“Doctor Zhivago” is an epic novel by Boris Pasternak that was first published in 1957. I haven’t tried to read it the book, but the 1965 film version is a must-see, directed by David Lean and starring Omar Sharif in the title role. The story centers on Yuri Zhivago, a doctor and poet, and how he is affected by the Russian Revolution and the Russian Civil War.

14 Online craft shop : ETSY

Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

22 Baseball great Mel : OTT

At 5′ 9″, baseball legend Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don’t think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old. And, according to Wikipedia, “Ott’s name frequently appears in crossword puzzles, on account of its letter combination and brevity.” True that …

27 San __: Riviera resort : 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.

“Riviera” is an Italian word meaning “coastline”. The term is often applied to a coastline that is sunny and popular with tourists. The term “the Riviera” is usually reserved for the French Riviera (the Mediterranean coastline in southeastern France), and the Italian Riviera (the Mediterranean coastline centered on Genoa).

28 Blow, as a volcano : ERUPT

Our word “volcano” comes from “Vulcano”, the name of a volcanic island off the coast of Italy. The island’s name comes from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. The Romans believed that the island of Vulcano was the chimney of the forge belonging to the god Vulcan. The Romans also believed that the eruptions on Mount Etna in Sicily were caused by Vulcan getting angry and working his forge so hard that sparks and smoke flew out of the top of the volcano.

33 Creator of Atticus, Scout and Jem : HARPER

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” was first published in 1960. The book is a mainstay in English classes all around the world. In my humble opinion, “To Kill A Mockingbird” is a great ambassador for American literature.

Atticus Finch is the protagonist in Harper Lee’s great novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Atticus is the father of Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, the narrator of the piece, and of Scout’s younger brother Jeremy Atticus “Jem” Finch.

35 TV screen type : LCD

Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) are the screens that are found in most laptops today, and in flat panel computer screens and some televisions. LCD monitors basically replaced Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) screens, the old television technology.

36 Be sent via FedEx or UPS : SHIP

FedEx began operations in 1973 as Federal Express, but now operates very successfully under it’s more catchy, abbreviated name. Headquartered in Memphis with its “SuperHub” at Memphis International Airport, FedEx is the world’s largest airline in terms of tons of freight flown. And due to the presence of FedEx, Memphis Airport has the largest-volume cargo operation of any airport worldwide.

United Parcel Service (UPS) is based in Sandy Springs, Georgia and has its own airline that operates out of Louisville, Kentucky. UPS often goes by the nickname “Brown”, because of its brown delivery trucks and brown uniforms.

41 Spy novelist Deighton : LEN

I used to walk my dog right past author Len Deighton’s house years ago, as we lived in the same seaside village in Ireland (probably my only claim to “fame”). Deighton wrote the excellent espionage thriller “The IPCRESS File”, made was into a 1965 movie starring Michael Caine.

43 “Insecure” Emmy nominee __ Rae : ISSA

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.

45 Land of the banshee : EIRE

A banshee is a female spirit in Irish mythology, from the Irish “bean sí” meaning “woman of the fairy mounds”. The banshee is supposedly heard wailing in the night, especially when someone is about to die.

50 June honorees : DADS

Father’s Day was added as an official holiday in 1972, although bills to create the holiday had been with Congress since 1913. By rights, the holiday should be called “Fathers’ Day” (note the punctuation), but the bill that was introduced in 1913 used the “Father’s Day” spelling, and that’s the one that has stuck.

53 Title for Paul McCartney : SIR

The ex-Beatles bass player’s full name is Sir James Paul McCartney. “Paul” was knighted for his services to music in 1997.

56 Taj __ : MAHAL

“Mahal” is the Urdu word for “palace”, as in “Taj Mahal” meaning “crown of palaces”. The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum holding the body of Mumtaz Mahal, the third wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The name “Mumtaz Mahal” translates as “the chosen one of the palace”.

58 Atlanta university : EMORY

Emory is a private school in Atlanta, Georgia with a focus on graduate research. The school was named after a Methodist Episcopal bishop called John Emory, who was very popular at the time of the school’s founding in 1836.

66 Old food label abbr. : RDA

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs) in 1997.

67 Thurman of “Pulp Fiction” : UMA

Uma Thurman started her working career as a fashion model, at the age of 15. She appeared in her first movies at 17, with her most acclaimed early role being Cécile de Volanges in 1988’s “Dangerous Liaisons”. Thurman’s career really took off when she played the gangster’s “moll” in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” in 1994. My favorite of all Thurman’s movies is “The Truth About Cats & Dogs”, a less acclaimed romcom released in 1996. She took a few years off from acting from 1998 until 2002 following the birth of her first child. It was Tarantino who relaunched her career, giving her the lead in the “Kill Bill” films.

I’m not a big fan of director Quentin Tarantino. His movies are too violent for me, and the size of his ego just turns me right off. Having said that, I think “Pulp Fiction” is a remarkable film. If you can look past the violence, it’s really well written. And what a legacy it has. John Travolta’s career was on the rocks and he did the film for practically no money, and it turned out be a re-launch for him. Uma Thurman became a top celebrity overnight from her role. Even Bruce Willis got some good out of it, putting an end to a string of poorly-received performances.

68 Witty remark : MOT

“Bon mot” translates from French as “good word”. We use “bon mot” (and sometimes just “mot”) to mean “quip, witticism”.

69 Pantry pest : ANT

The word “pantry” dates back to 1300 when it came into English from the Old French “panetrie” meaning a “bread room”. Bread is “pain” in French, and “panis” in Latin.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Daytime snooze : NAP
4 Sprinkler liquid : WATER
9 Nursery rocker : CRADLE
15 Mine find : ORE
16 Classic Dior style : A-LINE
17 Eagerly unwrapped : TORE AT
18 Pronoun for a filly : HER
19 Frequent Fred Astaire partner : GINGER ROGERS
21 Salad veggie : ONION
23 River delta deposit : SILT
24 Salary : PAY
25 Army doctor for whom a D.C. medical center is named : WALTER REED
29 Close bud, in texts : BFF
31 More loyal : TRUER
32 Wool clippers : SHEARS
35 ’60s “acid” : LSD
38 Lewd material : SMUT
40 Photographed from a plane : AERIAL
42 Movies Superman portrayer : CHRISTOPHER REEVE
46 Big rig fuel : DIESEL
47 Excursion : TRIP
48 Lion’s lair : DEN
49 Attached with glue : PASTED
51 Layered cookies : OREOS
54 Kid’s bleat : MAA!
55 “Glee” star who won “Dancing With the Stars” in 2017 : AMBER RILEY
60 Grounded fast flier : SST
62 “I did it!” : TA-DA!
64 What the nose knows : AROMA
65 Start of a Pope line about fallibility … as shown by 19-, 25-, 42- and 55-Across? : TO ERR IS HUMAN …
70 Coquettish : COY
71 Palindrome ending : … I’M ADAM
72 Surrounded by : AMONG
73 Quarterback’s asset : ARM
74 Zones for different usage, say : REMAPS
75 Foamy coffee : LATTE
76 Caustic solution : LYE

Down

1 “Ain’t gonna happen” : NOHOW
2 Gladiator’s milieu : ARENA
3 Problem for Pauline : PERIL
4 Ring Cycle composer : WAGNER
5 Boxer who proclaimed, “I am the greatest!” : ALI
6 Sardine container : TIN
7 Required H.S. class : ENG
8 Witherspoon of “Big Little Lies” : REESE
9 PC corner key : CTRL
10 Classic A&W soda : ROOT BEER
11 Neighbor of Uru. : ARG
12 Like fish and chips : DEEP-FRIED
13 “Doctor Zhivago” heroine : LARA
14 Online craft shop : ETSY
20 Clears (of) : RIDS
22 Baseball great Mel : OTT
26 Steal steers : RUSTLE
27 San __: Riviera resort : REMO
28 Blow, as a volcano : ERUPT
30 Taxi charge : FARE
33 Creator of Atticus, Scout and Jem : HARPER
34 All but : SAVE
35 TV screen type : LCD
36 Be sent via FedEx or UPS : SHIP
37 Group of star athletes : DREAM TEAM
39 Beat strongly : THROB
41 Spy novelist Deighton : LEN
43 “Insecure” Emmy nominee __ Rae : ISSA
44 Attempt to ensnare, with “for” : SET A TRAP
45 Land of the banshee : EIRE
50 June honorees : DADS
52 Breakfast juice flavor : ORANGE
53 Title for Paul McCartney : SIR
56 Taj __ : MAHAL
57 Bus that makes all the stops : LOCAL
58 Atlanta university : EMORY
59 “I did it!” : YAY ME!
60 Recipe instruction : STIR
61 Not all : SOME
63 Goals : AIMS
66 Old food label abbr. : RDA
67 Thurman of “Pulp Fiction” : UMA
68 Witty remark : MOT
69 Pantry pest : ANT

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 30 Jul 19, Tuesday”

  1. We got it in about 30 minutes. Got hung up on what should have been
    some easy ones, finally hashed them out. Had trouble in the SW
    quadrant. A tricky, but fun puzzle.

    Kudos to Bill on his fast time.

    Good day to all.

  2. Re 71A: There is a very amusing music video, consisting entirely of palindromes- “Bob,” by Weird Al Yankovic, as Bob Dylan. It’s on You Tube.

  3. Got stuck in the SW and Googled for ISSA. Also, didn’t know AMBER RILEY and did not know the RDA was replaced.

  4. Nice puzzle! Would only note that “smut” is cognate to Yiddish/German “Schmutz” not derived from it.

    Kisses!

  5. LAT: 7:29, no errors. Newsday: 5:48, no errors. WSJ: 8:17, no errors. Croce at 4:00, if I’m awake 😜 (long day in the mountains yesterday.)

    @Glenn … Thanks for pointing out that I had done yesterday’s BEQ before. As I said (belatedly) on yesterday’s blog, I did not remember the puzzle, but I finished it ten minutes faster. An interesting, if unintentional, experiment … 😜.

    1. Tim Croce’s latest: 30:52, no errors. I actually spent several more minutes on this one, due to what I think is a mistake in the puzzle: The clue for one of the “across” entries is “*** Undefined clue ***”! Now, of course, considering that this is a Croce puzzle we’re talking about, I may be missing some subtlety, but I kind of think it’s just an error. (I’ve sent him an email about the issue and he’s been very responsive in the past, so … we’ll see … 😜)

  6. 8 mins 16 sec, no errors. Nothing too notable about this grid…. but I sure wish constructors could agree to NEVER AGAIN use ETSY as a fill. YAY ME could be retired as well.

  7. Hey Bill! It appears that you have accidentally put in Monday’s reveal answer instead of Tuesday’s. 🤔

    No errors. Didn’t notice the theme till I’d finished most of the grid. Easy stuff. 😁

    Be well ~~🚋⚾️

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