LA Times Crossword 8 Jul 19, Monday

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Constructed by: Jennifer Marra
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Investigating Teams

Themed answers are TEAMS (pairs) of INVESTIGATORS seen on the small screen:

  • 20A Investigating team in “Sherlock” : HOLMES AND WATSON
  • 39A Investigating team in “Dragnet” : FRIDAY AND GANNON
  • 56A Investigating team in “The X-Files” : MULDER AND SCULLY

Bill’s time: 5m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Head honcho : BOSS

“Honcho” is a slang term meaning “leader”. The word comes to us from Japanese military, in which language a “hancho” is a “squad” (han) “leader” (cho).

5 Bird’s crop : CRAW

“Craw” is another name for “crop”, a portion of the alimentary tract of some animals, including birds. The crop is used for the storage of food prior to digestion. It allows the animal to eat large amounts and then digest that food with efficiency over an extended period. The expression “to stick in one’s craw” is used one when one cannot accept something, cannot “swallow” it.

13 Canal about which the 1905 song “Low Bridge, Everybody Down” was written : ERIE

The Erie Canal runs from Albany to Buffalo in the state of New York. What the canal does is allow shipping to proceed from New York Harbor right up the Hudson River, through the canal and into the Great Lakes. When it was opened in 1825, the Erie Canal had immediate impact on the economy of New York City and locations along its route. It was the first means of “cheap” transportation from a port on the Atlantic seaboard into the interior of the United States. Arguably it was the most important factor contributing to the growth of New York City over competing ports such as Baltimore and Philadelphia. It was largely because of the Erie Canal that New York became such an economic powerhouse, earning it the nickname of “the Empire State”. Paradoxically, one of the project’s main proponents was severely criticized. New York Governor DeWitt Clinton received so much ridicule that the canal was nicknamed “Clinton’s Folly” and “Clinton’s Ditch”.

14 Subs from delis : HEROS

“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.

18 Now, in Nicaragua : AHORA

Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America. It lies between Honduras to the north, and Costa Rica to the south. The etymology of the name “Nicaragua” is not very certain. One suggestion is that it is a melding of the name “Nicarao” and “agua”, the Spanish for “water”. Nicarao was the name of the largest city in the area when the Spanish arrived, and it is thought that “agua” refers to the two large lakes: Lake Managua and Lake Nicaragua.

20 Investigating team in “Sherlock” : HOLMES AND WATSON

“Sherlock” is a BBC crime drama in which Benedict Cumberbatch plays a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, with Martin Freeman playing the Dr. Watson. The show is produced in Cardiff, Wales by many of the same team involved in the reboot of the “Dr. Who” sci-fi series. Excellent television …

24 “__ woods these are I think I know”: Frost : WHOSE

When I was a schoolkid back in Ireland, Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” was our first introduction to American poetry, and what a lovely introduction it was:

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

28 “Moby-Dick” narrator : ISHMAEL

Ishmael is the narrator and protagonist in the Herman Melville novel “Moby-Dick”.

32 Archaeologist’s find : RELIC

“Archaeology” is a word that looks like it’s British English, and one might be forgiven for using the spelling “archeology” in American English. Even though the latter spelling has been around for a couple of hundred years, the former is the standard spelling on both sides of the Atlantic.

39 Investigating team in “Dragnet” : FRIDAY AND GANNON

The TV detective show “Dragnet” opened up each episode with lines spoken by the character Sergeant Joe Friday:

This is the city, Los Angeles, California, I work here. I’m a cop.

In later series, the phrase “I’m a cop” was replaced with “I carry a badge”.

44 Eisenhower nickname : IKE

When the future president was growing up, the Eisenhowers used the nickname “Ike” for all seven boys in the family, as “Ike” was seen as an abbreviation for the family name. “Big Ike” was Edgar, the second oldest boy. “Little/Young Ike” was Dwight, who was the third son born. Dwight had no sisters.

45 Jack of “Twin Peaks” : NANCE

Jack Nance was an American actor who worked a lot with director David Lynch. He was one of the stars of the TV series “Twin Peaks” in which he played Pete Martell, a henpecked lumberjack. Coincidentally, the Log Lady in “Twin Peaks” was played by Catherine E. Coulson, one-time wife of Nance.

50 Sugar substitute brand : EQUAL

Equal was the first aspartame-based artificial sweetener to hit the market, and did so in the early eighties. Up to that point, the only artificial sweetener available was saccharin.

54 “The Andy Griffith Show” tyke : OPIE

Opie Taylor is the character played by Ron Howard on “The Andy Griffith Show”. Opie lives with widowed father Andy Taylor (played by Andy Griffith) and his great-aunt Beatrice “Aunt Bee” Taylor (played by Frances Bavier). Ron Howard first played the role in 1960 in the pilot show, when he was just 5 years old. Howard sure has come a long way since playing Opie Taylor. He has directed some fabulous movies including favorites of mine like “Apollo 13”, “A Beautiful Mind” and “The Da Vinci Code”.

56 Investigating team in “The X-Files” : MULDER AND SCULLY

“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.

64 “… had a farm, __” : E-I-E-I-O

There was an old American version of the English children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (E-I-E-I-O) that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the older US version goes “Old MacDougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o”.

65 In __ of: replacing : LIEU

As one might imagine perhaps, “in lieu” came into English from the Old French word “lieu” meaning “place”, which in turn is derived from the Latin “locum” that also means “place”. So, “in lieu” translates as “in place of”.

67 “The Wife” actress Close : GLENN

Glenn Close a wonderful actress who has played many varied roles, but is well known for her portrayals of less than wholesome characters. She play the crazy Alex Forrest in “Fatal Attraction”, and Cruella de Vil in “101 Dalmatians”. More recently, Close had a regular role on a TV show called “Damages”. Glenn Close is an avid fan of the New York Mets and regularly sings the national anthem before games.

“The Wife” is a marvelous 2017 film based on the 2003 novel of the same name by Meg Wolitzer. Glenn Close plays the title role, the wife of a narcissistic husband who is selected to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. However, it is actually “the wife” who has been doing the writing, and the husband who was getting his name on the books.

70 Fr. holy women : STES

“Sainte” (ste.) is French for “saint”, when referring to a “femme” (woman).

Down

1 Second Hebrew letter : BETH

Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and beth is the second.

2 Three-ply snack : OREO

There is an “official” competition involving Oreo cookies, in case anyone is interested in participating. A competitor has to take several steps to finish an OREO Lick Race:

  1. Twist open the cookie.
  2. Lick each half clean of creme.
  3. Show the clean cookie halves to the fellow competitors.
  4. Dunk the cookie halves in a glass of milk.
  5. Eat the cookie halves.
  6. Drink the milk.
  7. Ready, set, go …

3 Window ledge : SILL

“Sill plate”, or simply “sill”, is an architectural term for a bottom horizontal member to which vertical members are attached. Windowsills and doorsills are specific sill plates found at the bottoms of a window and door openings.

4 1965 Alabama march site : SELMA

The Bloody Sunday march took place between Selma and Montgomery, Alabama on 7 March 1965. The 600 marchers involved were protesting the intimidation of African-Americans registering to vote. When the marchers reached Dallas County, Alabama they encountered a line of state troopers reinforced by white males who had been deputized that morning to help keep the peace. Violence broke out with 17 marchers ending up in hospital, one nearly dying. Because the disturbance was widely covered by television cameras, the civil rights movement picked up a lot of support that day. The route of the march is memorialized as a US National Historic Trail called the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights Trail.

7 Elvis __ Presley : ARON

Elvis Aron Presley (aka “the King”) was the younger of two identical twins. His brother was stillborn, and delivered 35 minutes before Elvis. The brother was named Jesse Garon Presley. So, although born a twin, Elvis was raised as an only child.

8 Scrabble play : WORD

Here’s a little Scrabble trivia … “Pizzazz” is the only 7-letter word in English that cannot be played in Scrabble. You can get close by using the Z-tile with the two blank tiles to get to three of the required four Zs, but there’s no way to get to that fourth letter-Z.

10 Roundup rope : LASSO

Our English word “lasso” comes from the Spanish “lazo”, and ultimately from the Latin “laqueum” meaning “noose, snare”.

12 Piper Cub, e.g. : PLANE

The name “Piper Cub” is used for a family of light aircraft that were built in the 1930s and 1940s, most of which were the Piper J-3 Cub design. The Cub was produced in high volume, and was very affordable. It is a two-seater plane, with the pilot usually sitting in the rear seat when flying solo (for better balance).

21 Author Jong : ERICA

Author Erica Jong’s most famous work is her first: “Fear of Flying”, a novel published in 1973. Over twenty years later, Jong wrote “Fear of Fifty: a midlife memoir”, published in 1994.

22 Shoemaker’s tool : AWL

An awl is a pointed tool used for marking a surface or for piercing small holes. The earliest “awls” were used to pierce ears, apparently. The tool then became very much associated with shoemakers.

25 “Carmina Burana” composer : ORFF

“Carmina Burana” is a cantata by Carl Orff based on a collection of medieval poems that go by the same name. The name translates as “Songs from Beuern”. The best known movement of the cantata by far is the dramatic “O Fortuna” used at the opening and closing of the piece. One study placed “O Fortuna” as the most often played piece of classical music in the UK over the past 75 years, largely due to its use in television commercials. Famously, the piece appeared in the US in ads for Gatorade and Old Spice aftershave.

26 Prefix with scope or meter : PERI-

The prefix “peri-” is Greek in origin and means “around”. An example of its use is “periscope”, a device on a submarine for looking “around”.

31 Work unit : ERG

An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, with one joule comprising 10 million ergs. it has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off. The term comes from “ergon”, the Greek word for work.

33 Cards shown to get past bouncers : IDS

Identity document (ID)

35 Some trial evidence : DNA

I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that the DNA of living things is so very similar across different species. Human DNA is almost exactly the same for every individual (to the degree of 99.9%). However, those small differences are sufficient to distinguish one individual from another, and to determine whether or not individuals are close family relatives.

36 Diarist Frank : ANNE

Anne Frank has to be one of the most famous victims of the Holocaust. This is largely because the story of this young girl lives on in her widely published diary, and in adaptations of the diary for stage and screen. Anne Frank was a German until she lost her nationality in 1941 when the Nazis came to power. By this time she was living with her family in Amsterdam, as the Franks chose to flee Germany in 1933. When the Germans occupied the Netherlands, the family went into hiding in the attic of Otto Frank’s office building (Otto was Anne’s father). There the family hid for two whole years until they were betrayed. The family was split up, and Anne and her sister died from typhus in a concentration camp in 1945.

40 Yang partner : YIN

The yin and the yang can be illustrated using many different metaphors. In one, as the sun shines on a mountain, the side in the shade is the yin and the side in the light is the yang. The yin is also regarded as the feminine side, and the yang the masculine. The yin can also be associated with the moon, while the yang is associated with the sun.

41 Alias letters : AKA

Also known as (aka)

46 Corrida cheer : OLE!

Spanish bullfighting is known locally as “corrida de toros”, literally “race of bulls”.

47 “I” on the periodic table : IODINE

Here is a list of all the single-letter element symbols:

  • B = boron
  • C = carbon
  • F = fluorine
  • H = hydrogen
  • I = Iodine
  • K = potassium
  • N = nitrogen
  • O = oxygen
  • P = phosphorus
  • S = sulfur
  • U = uranium
  • V = vanadium
  • W = tungsten
  • Y = yttrium

48 Many office printers : EPSONS

Seiko Epson is a Japanese company, and one of the largest manufacturers of printers in the world. The company has its roots in the watch business, roots that go back to 1942. Seiko was chosen as the official timekeeper for the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and was asked to supply a timer that produced a printed record. This request brought Seiko into the business of printer production. The company developed the world’s first mini-printer for the 1964 Games and called it EP-101 (EP standing for Electronic Printer). In 1975 Seiko introduced the next generation of EP printers which was called EPSON, from “SON of EP”. Cute, huh?

51 Marketing target : QUOTA

A quota is an allotment. The term “quota” was used originally with reference to the number of soldiers or quantity of supplies required from a particular town or district.

52 Of an arm bone : ULNAR

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 “pinkie-side”.

55 Swiss calculus pioneer : EULER

Leonhard Euler was a brilliant Swiss mathematician and physicist, and a pioneer in the fields of logarithms and graph theory. Euler’s eyesight deteriorated during his working life, and eventually became almost totally blind.

57 Rule, for short : REG

Regulation (reg.)

59 Bygone Nair rival : NEET

The hair removal product “Neet” was launched in Canada in 1901, and was also sold as “Immac”. Today, it is sold under the name “Veet”.

Nair is a hair-removal product that has some pretty harsh ingredients. The most important active constituents are calcium hydroxide (“slaked lime”) and sodium hydroxide (“caustic soda”). Other Nair components seem to be there to soothe the skin after the harsher chemicals have done their job. The name “Nair” probably comes from combining “no” and “hair”.

61 Wranglers alternative : LEES

The Lee company that is famous for making jeans was formed in 1889 by one Henry David Lee in Salina, Kansas.

Wrangler is a manufacturer of jeans headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina. Wrangler jeans were first made in the mid-1940s and were designed specifically for use by cowboys in rodeos.

62 Asian tent : YURT

A yurt is a wood-framed dwelling that is used by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. Although a yurt is a substantial structure, it is also extremely portable.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Head honcho : BOSS
5 Bird’s crop : CRAW
9 Fare in a pigsty : SLOP
13 Canal about which the 1905 song “Low Bridge, Everybody Down” was written : ERIE
14 Subs from delis : HEROS
16 One can be painted or papered : WALL
17 Tattle : TELL
18 Now, in Nicaragua : AHORA
19 On the ocean : ASEA
20 Investigating team in “Sherlock” : HOLMES AND WATSON
23 Limbs in sleeves : ARMS
24 “__ woods these are I think I know”: Frost : WHOSE
25 Black __ : covert missions : OPS
28 “Moby-Dick” narrator : ISHMAEL
32 Archaeologist’s find : RELIC
34 Ventilation : AIR
35 Turkey meat choice : DARK
39 Investigating team in “Dragnet” : FRIDAY AND GANNON
43 Is the right size : FITS
44 Eisenhower nickname : IKE
45 Jack of “Twin Peaks” : NANCE
46 Losing weight : ON A DIET
49 __ out: just manage : EKE
50 Sugar substitute brand : EQUAL
54 “The Andy Griffith Show” tyke : OPIE
56 Investigating team in “The X-Files” : MULDER AND SCULLY
63 Tight connection, as between mother and baby : BOND
64 “… had a farm, __” : E-I-E-I-O
65 In __ of: replacing : LIEU
66 Bibliography space saver : ET AL
67 “The Wife” actress Close : GLENN
68 Unceasingly : EVER
69 Steak order : RARE
70 Fr. holy women : STES
71 Part that’s left : REST

Down

1 Second Hebrew letter : BETH
2 Three-ply snack : OREO
3 Window ledge : SILL
4 1965 Alabama march site : SELMA
5 Deep fissures : CHASMS
6 Discuss to death : REHASH
7 Elvis __ Presley : ARON
8 Scrabble play : WORD
9 Lawn mower’s trail : SWATH
10 Roundup rope : LASSO
11 Spreads on breads : OLEOS
12 Piper Cub, e.g. : PLANE
15 Observed : SAW
21 Author Jong : ERICA
22 Shoemaker’s tool : AWL
25 “Carmina Burana” composer : ORFF
26 Prefix with scope or meter : PERI-
27 Use a box cutter on : SLIT
29 Like horses’ necks : MANED
30 Help : AID
31 Work unit : ERG
33 Cards shown to get past bouncers : IDS
35 Some trial evidence : DNA
36 Diarist Frank : ANNE
37 __ the boat: make waves : ROCK
38 Leg joint : KNEE
40 Yang partner : YIN
41 Alias letters : AKA
42 Caper : ANTIC
46 Corrida cheer : OLE!
47 “I” on the periodic table : IODINE
48 Many office printers : EPSONS
50 Live coal fragment : EMBER
51 Marketing target : QUOTA
52 Of an arm bone : ULNAR
53 Bewilder : ADDLE
55 Swiss calculus pioneer : EULER
57 Rule, for short : REG
58 Isn’t feeling up to par : AILS
59 Bygone Nair rival : NEET
60 Being broadcast as it happens : LIVE
61 Wranglers alternative : LEES
62 Asian tent : YURT

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 8 Jul 19, Monday”

  1. I’m getting old. All I could think of for Dragnet was “Jack Webb, Jack
    Webb” until I began the cross letters and then of course Friday popped
    into my head. Just the facts, guys.

  2. No errors, no Googles.
    I hadn’t remembered the names GANNON or NANCE, so, as always, I looked them up afterward:
    Harry Morgan played Bill GANNON, Friday’s sidekick in Dragnet.
    John NANCE, for me, was most notable in one of my favorite wierd movies, Eraserhead, a David Lynch creation. One of my sisters, who lives in Baltimore, was in a crowd scene in, I think, Hairspray.

    I hold that OPs and IDs abbreviations. If someone decides not to use a period or “full stop” when upper cases are used, that should not negate that. The rule shouldn’t be, “Oh, they’ll get it anyway.” Are there any rules I’ve missed?

  3. No errors and in a pretty fast time; less than an hour.

    I didn’t get to do much, because the wife got just under 90% on her
    first and only pass and that is fine with me. I got the rest in a short time.

    I knew all but the Hebrew and Spanish words and they filled in with
    neighboring letters. I only had to change two letters in her spelling.
    Kudos to her for a great job.

    Fun puzzle.

  4. LAT: 5:51, no errors. Newsday: 5:18, no errors. WSJ: 8:51, no errors; got Friday’s meta okay. New Yorker: 12:41, no errors; pretty easy. BEQ: 17:20, no errors; lots of things I didn’t know, but I was able to guess them all correctly (a minor miracle 😜).

  5. 5:51. Easier than usual Monday as I knew all the theme answers off the top of my head.

    I was (am) a huge fan of the old Dragnet series. I’m sure it’s on somewhere, but I don’t have access to it that I know of.

    John Daigle – I’m working on a project (soon to be dominating all my time) with a guy who is 87, and I have an uncle who is still running his law practice at the age of 88. You aren’t alone…

    Best –

      1. Steve –

        I just do the LA Times and the NY Times. I don’t have time to do more. In fact, I really don’t have time to do these 2, but I try anyway.

        I had a similar progression to the one Glenn has mentioned in that when I started 6 years ago (at age 50) most Monday puzzles took me 20 minutes or more, Fridays took an hour or more (when I could even finish them which was about half the time), and I couldn’t finish a Saturday on my own for a year or two. I just enjoy the challenge. I don’t get frustrated by puzzles, and I do them every day. I’ll take an hour-long puzzle that might take me a Google or two to finish over a 5 minute one any day.

        Best –

    1. Thanks, Jeff, it was good to see your note. I don’t feel like or think like
      a geezer my age and that is a good thing. I can still easily break 86 on my
      course if I pay attention and really try. But, I have only played once this
      summer. I had that fall and it is just too hot. Those pros can really play; I
      watched the 3M Open and Matthew Wolff has the oddest backswing, but
      as good a downswing as I have ever seen. Like Jim Furyk, who I think got
      rid of his backswing loop and is now not playing as good. The other half
      of the swing is more important, (obviously I suppose). You don’t hit it
      when you are swinging back. And you should dance with the one you brung.

      Send me an e-mail at jadsli@camtel.net so I can put your address in my
      ID’s file.

      Kudos to you.

  6. 6 mins 27 sec, no errors. Kudo to the constructor for shoehorning in three famous duos all with the same letter count. That had to be more challenging than finding some pun to “force” or word to mangle into some contrived theme.

  7. LAT: 3:40, no errors. (Shocked me when I saw it!) WSJ: 4:18, no errors. Newsday: 4:27, no errors. Jones: 9:23, 1 error at the cross of two individuals I’ve never heard of. BEQ and New Yorker sometime later.

  8. Boy, Glenn, you brought your A Game today! Kudos to you. That was
    some kind of time on the LAT puzzle. Move over, little guys, there’s a
    big guy movin’ in! A line from an old Hank Williams song.

    I can just hear the chuckles when I declare that we did a fast time, less
    than an hour! And so it goes, first your money and then your clothes!
    A line from me.

  9. This is the second CW puzzle using Elvis’ middle name, Aaron. Except in both puzzles it is asking for only four spaces, thus making it Aron with only one A. Wondering why the misspelling?

    1. @Dawn – I’ve read that his mom misspelled the name with one a when she filled out the birth certificate, but that she meant to spell it the conventional way.

      At least that’s the story from what I’ve gleaned online.

  10. Greetings!!🦆

    Glenn! Wow– you’re the Iron Man of crosswording. I’ve never noticed Bill to come in at under 4. 😯

    No errors. A very easy Monday, and I agree with Allen that it was well constructed.

    Speaking of Elvis– just today I found online a site that tells you what song was #1 on the Billboard charts on the day you were born. Mine is Jailhouse Rock!! How cool. I just love that number– I’m not a huge Elvis fan, and I’ve never been in jail (yet), but that song seems so appropriate for me.

    Be well ~~🚋⚾️

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