LA Times Crossword 6 Jul 19, Saturday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 10m 29s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Copper container? : POLICE CAR

“To cop” was northern British dialect for “to seize, catch”, and is still a slang term meaning “to get hold of, steal”. This verb evolved in the noun “copper”, describing a policeman, someone who catches criminals. “Copper” is often shortened to “cop”.

10 Avian sounds : CAWS

“Avis” is the Latin word for “bird”, giving rise to our adjective “avian” meaning “relating to birds”.

16 Field of operations? : ARITHMETIC

Arithmetic is the most elementary branch of mathematics. It is concerned with the effect of basic operations on numbers, and especially the effect of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

19 Follower of TV? : … SET

Scottish inventor John Logie Baird is credited as the inventor of the television. Baird’s invention is classified as a “mechanical” television because it used a mechanical device to scan the scene and generate the video signal. Modern televisions use “electronic” scanning technology. A mechanical scanning device might be a rotating disc or mirror, whereas an electronic scanning device might be a cathode ray tube.

20 Grapefruit stuff : PULP

The somewhat bitter fruit that we know as “grapefruit” originated in the island nation of Barbados in the Caribbean. It developed as a hybrid (possibly accidentally) of the Jamaican sweet orange and the Indonesian pomelo. Back in the mid-1700s, the new hybrid was referred to as “the forbidden fruit”, and later as the shaddock. Some believe that a “Captain Shaddock” brought Indonesian pomelo seeds to Barbados and was responsible for developing the hybrid. The contemporary name is perhaps an allusion to the fact that grapefruit grow in clusters like grapes.

21 Penultimate of 24 letters : PSI

Psi is the 23rd and penultimate letter of the Greek alphabet, and the one that looks a bit like a trident or a pitchfork.

25 2002 Soderbergh film based on a 1961 sci-fi novel : SOLARIS

“Solaris” is a 2002 film adaptation of a 1961 novel of the same name by Polish author Stanislaw Lem. The movie stars George Clooney as a clinical psychologist on a solo mission from Earth to a space station orbiting the planet Solaris.

27 “Stone walls do not a prison make” poet : LOVELACE

“To Althea, from Prison” is a 1642 poem penned by English poet Richard Lovelace. The most famous lines from the poem come at the start of the last verse:

Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage:
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for an hermitage.
If I have freedom in my love,
And in my soul am free,
Angels alone, that soar above,
Enjoy such liberty.

33 Tolkien terror : ORC

According to Tolkien, Orcs are small humanoids that live in his fantasy world of Middle-earth (also called “Mordor”). They are very ugly and dirty, and are fond of eating human flesh.

39 Mideast group with observer status at the U.N. : PLO

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964. The PLO’s early stated goal was the liberation of Palestine, with Palestine defined as the geographic entity that existed under the terms of the British Mandate granted by the League of Nations back in 1923. The PLO was granted observer status (i.e. no voting rights) at the United Nations in 1974.

40 “After the Gold Rush” musician : NEIL YOUNG

Neil Young is a singer and songwriter from Toronto, Ontario. Young is known for his solo work, as well as his earlier recordings with Buffalo Springfield and as the fourth member of Crosby, Stills & Nash. Young is also a successful movie director, although he uses the pseudonym “Bernard Shakey” for his movie work. Included in his filmography are “Human Highway” and “Greendale”.

43 Bushes seem to flourish in it: Abbr. : GOP

The Republican Party has had the nickname Grand Old Party (GOP) since 1875. That said, the phrase was coined in the “Congressional Record” as “this gallant old party”. The moniker was changed to “grand old party” in 1876 in an article in the “Cincinnati Commercial”. The Republican Party’s elephant mascot dates back to an 1874 cartoon drawn by Thomas Nast for “Harper’s Weekly”. The Democrat’s donkey was already an established symbol. Nast drew a donkey clothed in a lion’s skin scaring away the other animals. One of the scared animals was an elephant, which Nast labeled “The Republican Vote”.

President George W. Bush (GWB) is named for his father, George H. W. Bush. The “W” in the name of both father and son stands for “Walker”. Walker was the family name of President George H. W. Bush’s mother, Dorothy Walker.

45 Playful Pacific Northwest marine denizen : SEA OTTER

Sea otters actually hold hands while sleeping on their backs so that they don’t drift apart. When sea otter pups are too small to lock hands, they clamber up onto their mother’s belly and nap there.

50 Dallas sch. : SMU

Southern Methodist University (SMU) is located in University Park, Texas (part of Dallas), and was founded in 1911. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Mustangs. Also, SMU is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

51 Auditor, often: Abbr. : CPA

Certified public accountant (CPA)

53 Position, briefly : POV

Point of view (POV)

55 Where the tibialis anterior originates : SHIN

The tibialis anterior is a muscle that runs down the front of the leg from the knee to the foot.

61 In __: unmoved : SITU

“In situ” is a Latin phrase meaning “in the place”, and we use the term to mean “in the original position”.

63 Robert of “Airplane!” : HAYS

The 1980 movie “Airplane!” has to be one of the zaniest comedies ever made. The lead roles were Ted Striker (played by Robert Hays) and Elaine Dickinson (played by Julie Hagerty). But it was Leslie Nielsen who stole the show, playing Dr. Barry Rumack. That’s my own humble opinion of course …

64 Insignificant : PENNY-ANTE

Penny Ante poker is a game in which bets are limited to a penny, or some other small, friendly sum. The expression “penny-ante” has come to describe any business transaction that is on a small scale.

Down

1 “The Mikado” props : PARASOLS

A parasol is a light umbrella that is used as a sunshade. The term “parasol” ultimately comes from Latin “para-” meaning “defense against”, and “sol” meaning “sun”.

“The Mikado” is a wonderful comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan that is set in the exotic location of Japan. “Mikado” is a word formerly used for the “Emperor of Japan”. In the story, Nanki-Poo is the Mikado’s son, who falls in love with Yum-Yum.

3 With 23-Down, chow line : LET’S …
(23D See 3-Down : … EAT)

“Chow” is a slang term for food that originated in California in the mid-1800s. “Chow” comes from the Chinese pidgin English “chow-chow” meaning “food”.

5 Cell feature : CAM

What we mostly know as a “cell phone” here in North America is more usually referred to as a “mobile phone” in Britain and Ireland. My favorite term for the device is used in Germany, where it is called a “Handy”.

6 One of Bo Peep’s charges : EWE

The lines that are most commonly quoted for the rhyme about “Little Bo Peep” are:

Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep,
And can’t tell where to find them;
Leave them alone, And they’ll come home,
Wagging their tails behind them.

But, there are actually four more verses, including this one:

It happened one day, as Bo-peep did stray
Into a meadow hard by,
There she espied their tails side by side,
All hung on a tree to dry.

7 Best Musical Tony winner after “Nine” : CATS

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s source material for his hit musical “Cats” was T. S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”. Eliot’s collection of whimsical poems was published in 1939, and was a personal favorite of Webber as he was growing up. “Cats” is the second longest running show in Broadway history (“Phantom of the Opera” is the longest and is still running; deservedly so in my humble opinion). My wife and I have seen “Cats” a couple of times and really enjoyed it …

“Nine” is a musical by Maury Yeston that is based on the semi-autobiographical film “8½” by Federico Fellini. “Nine” opened on Broadway in 1982 starring Raul Julia.

8 First of 12 : ARIES

Aries the Ram is the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, and is named after the constellation. Your birth sign is Aries if you were born between March 21 and April 20, but if you are an Aries you would know that! “Aries” is the Latin word for “ram”.

10 Niels Bohr, to Victor Borge : COMPATRIOT

A compatriot is a fellow-countryman or -countrywoman.

Niels Bohr was a Danish physicist who won his 1922 Nobel Prize for his work on quantum mechanics and atomic structure. Later in his life, Bohr was part of the team working on the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic bomb. Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein had a series of public debates and disputes in the twenties and thirties. Although the two respected each other very highly, they held very different views on quantum theory, different views on the laws of physics at the atomic level. The passage of time has shown that Bohr won out in those debates.

Victor Borge was such a talented Danish entertainer. He was nicknamed “The Great Dane” as well as “The Clown Prince of Denmark”. Borge was a trained concert pianist, but soon discovered that the addition of a stand up comedy routine to his musical presentations brought him a lot of work. He toured Europe in the 1930s, and found himself in trouble for telling anti-Nazi jokes, so when Germany occupied Denmark during WWII Borge escaped to America.

11 Affaire de coeur : AMOUR

“Affaire de coeur” is French for “love affair”, literally “love of the heart”.

13 Prominent Lincoln Memorial features : STEPS

The Lincoln Memorial is my favorite place to visit in the whole of Washington D.C. The memorial was designed by Henry Bacon, and the sculptor of the magnificent statue of President Lincoln was Daniel Chester French. I spent a wonderful afternoon a few years ago touring the workshop and home of French, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The workshop is stunning, with miniature studies for his magnum opus, the Lincoln Statue, as well as many other beautiful works.

14 Sleuth who knits : MARPLE

Miss Jane Marple is a much-loved character in detective stories penned by Agatha Christie. Miss Marple has been played by a number of excellent actresses on the large and small screens, but my favorite has to be Margaret Rutherford. Rutherford starred in very light comedic “Miss Marple” films that were very popular, although Christie herself didn’t care for them at all.

The word “sleuth” came into English from Old Norse as far back as 1200 when it meant the “track or trail of a person”. In the mid-1800s, a sleuthhound described a keen investigator, a hound close on the trail of the suspect. Sleuthhound was shortened to “sleuth” and was used for a detective in general.

22 Military group : PLATOON

In military terms, a platoon is a subdivision of a company-sized unit, and is usually divided into squads or sections. The term “platoon” arose in the 1630s from the French “peloton”. “Peloton” translates literally as “little ball”, and is used to this day to mean “agglomeration”. “Pelaton” gives rise to our word “pellet”. Also, we use the Modern French “peloton” in English now to refer to the main body (agglomeration) of riders in a bicycle race.

28 Typical Bond foe : EVIL GENIUS

The character James Bond was the creation of writer Ian Fleming. Fleming “stole” the James Bond name from an American ornithologist. The number 007 was “stolen” from the real-life, 16th century English spy called John Dee. Dee would sign his reports to Queen Elizabeth I with a stylized “007” to indicate that the reports were for “her eyes only”. There’s an entertaining miniseries that aired on BBC America called “Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond” that details Ian Fleming’s military career, and draws some nice parallels between Fleming’s experiences and aspirations and those of his hero James Bond. Recommended …

29 Iroquois enemies : ERIES

The Erie people lived on lands south of Lake Erie, in parts of the modern-day US states of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. The Erie were sometimes referred to as the Cat Nation, a reference to the mountain lions that were ever-present in the area that they lived. The name “Erie” is a shortened form of “Erielhonan” meaning “long tail”, possibly a further reference to the mountain lion or cat, which was possibly used as a totem. The Erie people gave their name to the Great Lake.

34 Walk-off home run, e.g. : CLUTCH HIT

In baseball, a clutch hitter is a go-to-guy, a player often called on at the end of a game when the pressure is on.

41 On the __ : 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”.

42 Starbucks size : GRANDE

Starbucks introduced us to coffee drinks in a whole range of volumes:

  • Demi … 3 fl oz
  • Short … 8 fl oz
  • Tall … 12 fl oz
  • Grande … 16 fl oz (Italian for “large”)
  • Venti … 20 fl oz (Italian for “twenty”)
  • Trenta … 30 fl oz (Italian for “thirty”)

44 Repetitive British farewell : PIP PIP!

“Pip pip” is a colloquial expression used somewhat humorously by some English people to say “goodbye”.

46 Word with mob or card : FLASH

A flash mob is a group of people who gather to perform a sudden, brief act in a public location and then quickly disperse. Flash mobs originated in Manhattan in 2003, as a social experiment by an editor of “Harper’s Magazine” called Bill Wasik. Wasik’s first attempt to form a flash mob was unsuccessful, but the second attempt worked. The first successful flash mob was relatively tame by today’s elaborate standards, and consisted of about 130 people gathered on the 9th floor of Macy’s department store pretending to be shopping en masse for a “love rug”.

47 Ancient Greek region : IONIA

The geographic region called Ionia is located in present day Turkey. Ionia was prominent in the days of ancient Greece although it wasn’t a unified state, but rather a collection of tribes. The tribal confederacy was more based on religious and cultural similarities than a political or military alliance. Nowadays we often refer to this arrangement as the Ionian League.

48 Dapper : NATTY

A natty dresser is one who dresses smartly. The term “natty” may come from the Middle English “net” meaning “fine, elegant”, in which case it shares its etymology with the word “neat”.

49 Northernmost Kentucky county : BOONE

Boone County, Kentucky was founded in 1798, and is named for frontiersman Daniel Boone. Located on the border with Ohio, Boone County is home to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

54 Lindsey on skis : VONN

Lindsey Vonn is a retired World Champion alpine ski racer from Saint Paul, Minnesota. She is one of the few women to have won World Cup races in all five alpine racing disciplines: downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom and super combined. In fact, Vonn is the most successful US ski racer in history.

55 “For violent fires __ burn out themselves”: Shak. : SOON

Here are a couple of lines spoken by John of Gaunt in William Shakespeare’s play “Richard II”:

For violent fires soon burn out themselves;
Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short;

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Copper container? : POLICE CAR
10 Avian sounds : CAWS
14 Clues in : MAKES AWARE
15 Bypass : OMIT
16 Field of operations? : ARITHMETIC
17 Infiltrator : MOLE
18 Car wash supply : RAGS
19 Follower of TV? : … SET
20 Grapefruit stuff : PULP
21 Penultimate of 24 letters : PSI
22 Soup base : PEA
25 2002 Soderbergh film based on a 1961 sci-fi novel : SOLARIS
27 “Stone walls do not a prison make” poet : LOVELACE
30 Go bad : ROT
31 Boxy conveyances : ELEVATORS
33 Tolkien terror : ORC
35 Accommodate : SUIT
36 Pull apart : RIP
37 Part of a bust : KILO
39 Mideast group with observer status at the U.N. : PLO
40 “After the Gold Rush” musician : NEIL YOUNG
43 Bushes seem to flourish in it: Abbr. : GOP
45 Playful Pacific Northwest marine denizen : SEA OTTER
46 Like pens designed for detailed work : FINE-NIB
50 Dallas sch. : SMU
51 Auditor, often: Abbr. : CPA
52 Bank product : LOAN
53 Position, briefly : POV
55 Where the tibialis anterior originates : SHIN
56 Opposed to : ANTI
57 Dismissed lightly : POOH-POOHED
61 In __: unmoved : SITU
62 Conscience : INNER VOICE
63 Robert of “Airplane!” : HAYS
64 Insignificant : PENNY-ANTE

Down

1 “The Mikado” props : PARASOLS
2 “Just tell me already!” : OK, I GIVE UP!
3 With 23-Down, chow line : LET’S …
4 Cousin of -like : -ISH
5 Cell feature : CAM
6 One of Bo Peep’s charges : EWE
7 Best Musical Tony winner after “Nine” : CATS
8 First of 12 : ARIES
9 Clerical leader : RECTOR
10 Niels Bohr, to Victor Borge : COMPATRIOT
11 Affaire de coeur : AMOUR
12 “__ ever!”: “Yes!” : WILL I
13 Prominent Lincoln Memorial features : STEPS
14 Sleuth who knits : MARPLE
22 Military group : PLATOON
23 See 3-Down : … EAT
24 Seed with a prominent cap : ACORN
26 “And another thing, buddy … ” : LOOK, YOU …
28 Typical Bond foe : EVIL GENIUS
29 Iroquois enemies : ERIES
32 Infiltrators : SPIES
34 Walk-off home run, e.g. : CLUTCH HIT
38 Swimwear option : ONE-PIECE
41 On the __ : LAM
42 Starbucks size : GRANDE
44 Repetitive British farewell : PIP PIP!
46 Word with mob or card : FLASH
47 Ancient Greek region : IONIA
48 Dapper : NATTY
49 Northernmost Kentucky county : BOONE
54 Lindsey on skis : VONN
55 “For violent fires __ burn out themselves”: Shak. : SOON
58 Farm female : HEN
59 Explore where you shouldn’t : PRY
60 Fertility clinic supply : OVA

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 6 Jul 19, Saturday”

  1. LAT: Under 30 minutes, no errors. Clever clues made for an enjoyable puzzle.
    Special thanks to Bill for all his work on this site.

  2. I always begin in the NW corner. When all I could fill in was “ewe” for 6 Down I began to fear that this was going to be a terrible slog of staring at a sea of white squares. Luckily when I shifted over to the NE corner I began to pick up steam and eventually the grid came together without any final errors. As RJB said above there were some very clever clues that both made me think and got a chuckle or two after seeing the answer. For instance 43 Across is a perfect example. Kudos to Mr. Wechsler.

    1. @Glenn – I’m in complete agreement with you about the level of difficulty of today’s WSJ 21X21 puzzle. A real bear. Finally finished with no mistakes, but it was a struggle. Just as an example, the clue for 62 Across “Letters to an opinionated neighbor” had me going in circles for quite sometime.

  3. 29 mins 56 sec, no errors. My experience was quite like that of Tony Michaels, except I had EWE early and ERASED it, returning to it late in the game after seeing POLICECAR and MAKESAWARE. This was indeed a tough one. Shaking my fist at the “chow line” reference; really evil ‘phrasing’ of that clue.

    Worthy Saturday challenge, and the bonus for finishing is… no stupid, “reach” theme.

  4. This started out being undoable, but I made it thru the whole thing. Aways get hung up on ‘chow line” clue. Must remember for next time.

    Didn’t feel the 2nd quake either. That’s the way I like it, too!

    Jeff: you crack me up. Anvil collection! Your best was the reply to the woman who typed in all caps. “Try decaf”

  5. Very late to the party today, as I spent most of yesterday with family and was too worn out to tackle any puzzles last night … anyhoo …

    LAT: 12:26, no errors; pretty easy, I thought, though I tried “PATROL CAR” before “POLICE CAR”, “COOS” before “CAWS”, and “SOAP” before “RAGS”. WSJ: 23:34, no errors, no missteps; also rather easy, I thought. Yesterday’s New Yorker: 8:54, no errors; also very easy though, at one point in the solve, I momentarily had “IST” before “ISM”.

    Erik Agard did today’s NYT puzzle (1:05:24, no errors) and (with Wyna Liu) today’s “Saturday Stumper” (2:53:18, with two one-square errors, after which I spent another five minutes on Google, justifying a couple of the entries). Crazy hard puzzles, both of them!

    I haven’t done yesterday’s Tim Croce puzzle yet, as it’s another of his anagram puzzles (which I find a bit tedious) and I have other things to do today (starting with a catch-up nap 😜).

    1. Did yesterday’s Croce, but I don’t know how long it took me, because I did it lackadaisically, in a very unplanned way. I thought it was easier than previous anagram crosswords of his, but I ended up with a square in error (due to inattention, I think – as I said, I find the genre a bit tedious).

  6. 11:41 time for me, which is faster than my average. I too quickly switched to the NE when the NW looked daunting. I was helped out with SOLARIS which for me was a gimme because it is one of my favorite movies. From there the rest of the E and center fell out pretty quickly. Stalled out a little in the W because I had FINETIP instead of FINENIB, which kept me from getting PLATOON for longer than I should have taken.

    I especially liked the cross of PIPPIP and POOHPOOHED. 🙂

  7. 18:29. Fun one. Racing around a lot today. Just getting to this late.

    A lot of the long answers came quickly including 1A which is always a nice place to begin. I got a little cocky and actually had “countryman” before COMPATRIOT. Took a while to dismantle all of that damage. Also had FINEtip before FINENIB as did Charley.

    I saw an Erik Agard Saturday puzzle over at the NYT. Then I saw Bill and Dave’s times on it. I don’t know if I’m up for that today.

    Kay – Thanks for the kind words. If only someone I knew thought that. Actually the woman I date just says I’m “a lot”. I ask her why she never finishes that thought, and she just tells me to be glad she doesn’t… And yes – I do miss Thelma and her..uhh…energetic posts. Hopefully she’ll come back and visit soon. She’s quite entertaining with her zeal.

    Best –

  8. Had to peek a bit to get this over the finish line. Had most everything except the NW, W and middle, although I did have EWE, ISH and MAKESAWARE. Had to wrap it up and get to bed as I have stuff to do tomorrow.

    @Carrie – Yeah, 7-1 sounds good, but it was an exhibition/practice match between a newly promoted 1 div team and 5th div team.

  9. Aloha!!🦆

    No errors. I found this quite easy for a Saturday. Maybe Wechsler is mellowing in his old age (not that I know his age…but you figure he’s older than he was 5 years ago–) POLICE CAR came to me quickly. When I work Saturday puzzles my mantra is “The long answers are always easier than you think. ” Then the rest was fairly straightforward too. Jeff, I also had COUNTRYMAN at first instead of COMPATRIOT. Got nervous in the SW when I couldn’t get NIB or PIP PIP, but I saw the light soon enough. 💡

    Shout-out to NEIL YOUNG, whom I adore…🎶

    Dirk, I see! BTW I hope the US women win the finals on Sunday…⚽️

    Be well~~🚋⚾️

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