LA Times Crossword 12 Aug 19, Monday

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Constructed by: Matt McKinley
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Six Times Table

Themed answers start with multiples of SIX that increase as we descend the grid:

  • 17A Half a million in annual pay, say : SIX-FIGURE SALARY
  • 27A Chromatic basis of much modern music : TWELVE-TONE SCALE
  • 48A Big rig : EIGHTEEN-WHEELER
  • 63A Around the clock : TWENTY-FOUR SEVEN

Bill’s time: 5m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Golfer __ Thompson, who had her first LPGA tournament win at age 16 : LEXI

Lexi Thompson has been a professional golfer since the age of 15, and won her first LPGA tournament at just 16 years of age, which is a record. Thompson had also qualified for the US Women’s Open when she was the ripe old age of 12 years, making her the youngest golfer to play in that tournament.

5 College sports channel : ESPNU

ESPNU (short for “ESPN Universities”) is a sports channel focused on college athletics.

14 Have too much, briefly : OD ON

Overdose (OD)

16 “Ignore that dele” mark : STET

“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

“Dele” is the editorial instruction to delete something from a document, and is often written in red.

20 South Korean capital : SEOUL

Seoul is the capital city of South Korea. The Seoul National Capital Area is home to over 25 million people and is the second largest metropolitan area in the world, second only to Tokyo, Japan.

21 Proverb : MAXIM

Our word “maxim” meaning “precept, principle” has been around since the early 1600s. It ultimately comes from the Latin phrase “maxima propositio”, which translates as “greatest premise”.

22 Put the kibosh on : NIX

A kibosh is something that constrains or checks. “Kibosh” looks like a Yiddish word but it isn’t, and is more likely English slang from the early 1800s.

27 Chromatic basis of much modern music : TWELVE-TONE SCALE

A diatonic scale is one with which we’re most familiar perhaps, with the simplest being the C-major scale: C–D–E–F–G–A–B. For the key of C, these are all seven white notes on a piano keyboard. If we play all the black notes as well, then we end up with a scale of twelve pitches. This is a chromatic (also “twelve-tone”) scale.

36 In __: unborn : UTERO

“In utero” is a Latin term meaning “in the uterus”. The Latin “uterus” (plural “uteri”) translates as both “womb” and “belly”. The Latin word comes from the Greek “hystera” that also means “womb”, which gives us the words “hysterectomy”, and “hysterical”.

38 Mallorca o Menorca : ISLA

The Island of Majorca (“Isla Mallorca” in Spanish) is Spain’s largest island, and is located in the Mediterranean Sea. The population of the island ballooned over the past few decades as Majorca became a mecca for tourists from all over Europe.

The island of Minorca in the Mediterranean takes its name from the larger neighboring island of Majorca. The names come from the Latin “Insula Minor” meaning “Minor Island” and “Insula Major” meaning “Major Island”. The island is known as “Minorca” in English, and “Menorca” in Spanish and Catalan.

40 Med. research agency : NIH

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) organization is made up of 27 different institutes that coordinate their research and services. Examples of member institutes are the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Aging.

41 Part of Q.E.D. : ERAT

The initialism “QED” is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. QED stands for the Latin “quod erat demonstrandum” meaning “that which was to be demonstrated”.

42 Spanish girl : CHICA

In Spanish, a “niña” is a young girl, a child. The term “chica” applies to an older girl or perhaps a young woman. The term “muchacha” applies to girls in general, I think …

47 Garden of Eden woman : EVE

According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers, including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

48 Big rig : EIGHTEEN-WHEELER

An 18-wheeler semi-trailer truck has eight wheels under the trailer, i.e. four on each of the two rear axles. There are 10 wheels under the tractor unit. Two of the ten wheels are on the front axle, and eight are on the rear two axles that sit under the front of the trailer.

52 __ de toilette : EAU

“Eau de toilette” (toilet water) is a diluted perfume. A French person when dressing is said to be attending to his or her “toilette”.

66 Bonn article : EINE

“Eine” is the German indefinite article used with feminine nouns.

After WWII, Bonn was chosen as the capital of West Germany. That choice was promoted by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer who was from the area. After German reunification, the nation’s capital was moved to Berlin.

68 Captain hanged for piracy : KIDD

William Kidd was a Scottish privateer who went by the name “Captain Kidd”. Although Kidd was a privateer, someone authorized by the government to attack foreign shipping, he was eventually arrested and executed for piracy. There is a common opinion held today that the charges against Kidd were actually trumped up. Captain Kidd’s story was the basis of a 1945 film called “Captain Kidd” starring Charles Laughton in the title role. Laughton also appeared as Captain Kidd in 1952’s comic movie “Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd”.

70 Op-ed piece, e.g. : ESSAY

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

Down

2 Actress Falco : EDIE

Actress Edie Falco won three Emmy Awards for playing Carmela Soprano on HBO’s outstanding drama series called “The Sopranos”. Falco also won an Emmy in 2010 for playing the title role in “Nurse Jackie”, an excellent black comedy.

3 Hugs-and-kisses symbols : XOXO

In the sequence letter sequence “XOX”, the X represents a kiss, and the O a hug. “OOO” is a string of hugs, and “XXX” a string of kisses. Hugs and kisses …

5 Heart test: Abbr. : ECG

An EKG measures the electrical activity in the heart. Back in my homeland of Ireland, an EKG is known as an ECG (for electrocardiogram). We use the German name in the US, Elektrokardiogramm, giving us EKG. Apparently the abbreviation EKG is preferred as ECG might be confused (if poorly handwritten, I guess) with EEG, the abbreviation for an electroencephalogram.

7 Law office hire, for short : PARA

A paralegal (sometimes just “para”) is a person who is trained sufficiently in legal matters to assist a lawyer. A paralegal cannot engage in the practice of law and must be supervised by a qualified lawyer.

8 Ariz. neighbor : NMEX

The region now covered by the US state of New Mexico (NMex) was known as “Nuevo México” at least since 1563. Spanish explorers gave the area this name due to an erroneous belief that it was home to a branch of the Mexica, an indigenous people living in the Valley of Mexico. So, the region has had the “New Mexico” name for centuries before the nation of Mexico adopted its name in 1821.

10 Comm. system with hand motions : ASL

American Sign Language (ASL)

11 Oliver Hardy’s partner : STAN LAUREL

Stan Laurel was an English comic actor (born Arthur Stanley Jefferson), who made a great career for himself in Hollywood. Laurel ended up at the Hal Roach studio directing films, intent on pursuing a career in writing and directing. However, he was a sometime actor and was asked to step in when another comic actor, Oliver Hardy, was injured and couldn’t perform. Laurel and Hardy started to share a stage together during that time and when it was clear they worked so well together, their partnership was born. Oh, and the oft-quoted story that Clint Eastwood is the son of Stan Laurel … that’s just an urban myth.

12 “The Americans” actress Russell : KERI

Actress Keri Russell’s big break in television came with the title role in the drama show “Felicity” that ran from 1998 from 2002. The lead character in the show is Felicity Porter, a young lady introduced to the audience with a head of long curly blonde hair. Famously, Russell cut her hair extremely short at the start of the second season, an action that was associated with a significant drop in the show’s viewership. Russell had to grow out her hair over the season. I haven’t seen “Felicity”, but I really do enjoy Russell playing one of the leads in the entertaining Cold War drama called “The Americans” that is aired by FX.

“The Americans” is a very engaging drama series set during the Cold War that features two KGB spies living as a married couple just outside Washington, D.C. The show was created by Joe Weisberg, who is a novelist and former CIA officer. The lead roles in “The Americans” are played by real-life couple Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys.

13 River of Hades : STYX

The River Styx of Greek mythology was the river that formed the boundary between the Earth and the Underworld (or “Hades”). The souls of the newly dead had to cross the River Styx in a ferry boat piloted by Charon. Traditionally, a coin would be placed in the mouths of the dead “to pay the ferryman”.

18 Candy heart sentiment : I LUV U

The forerunner to Sweethearts candy was introduced in 1866, with the famous sayings written on the candy tailored for use at weddings. One of the original expressions was, “Married in pink, he will take a drink”. The original candy was a lot bigger, to fit all those words! The smaller, heart-shaped candy hit the shelves in 1901. We’ve been able to buy Sweethearts with the words “Text me” since 2010.

31 Mythical hunter : ORION

According to Greek mythology, Orion was a giant hunter who was placed in the night sky by Zeus, the king of the gods. Orion is very recognizable as a constellation, especially with the three bright stars known as “Orion’s Belt”. Additionally, the brightest star in the sky, Sirius, is said to be Orion’s hunting dog, and this star sits at Orion’s “foot”.

34 Compound with a fruity aroma : ESTER

Esters are very common chemicals. The smaller, low-molecular weight esters are usually pleasant smelling and are often found in perfumes. At the other end of the scale, the higher-molecular weight nitroglycerin is a nitrate ester and is very explosive, and polyester is a huge molecule and is a type of plastic. Fats and oils found in nature are fatty acid esters of glycerol known as glycerides.

43 Nuclear weapon trial : A-TEST

Atomic test (A-test)

45 First word in many Grisham titles : THE …

John Grisham is a lawyer and an incredibly successful author best known for his legal thrillers. After graduating from law school, Grisham practiced law for about ten years and then went into politics. He served in the Mississippi House of Representatives for six years, during which time he wrote his first novel, “A Time to Kill”.

46 Dublin-born poet : YEATS

Irish poet and dramatist William Butler Yeats won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923 for “inspired poetry” that gave “expression to a whole nation”. Yeats was Ireland’s first Nobel laureate.

49 Comic Boosler : ELAYNE

Elayne Boosler is a stand-up comedian and was one of the first female comedians to have her act aired as a special on cable television. She does have some funny lines, and here’s one that I particularly like:

When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country.

50 California’s motto : EUREKA

“Eureka” is the Greek for “I have found it”, and is the motto of the state of California. The motto was chosen as a nod to the discovery of gold in the state.

56 Mysterious sci-fi ships : UFOS

Unidentified flying object (UFO)

58 Arizona city on the Colorado River : YUMA

The city and county of Yuma, Arizona take their name from the Quechan (aka “Yuma”) Native American tribe that inhabited the area.

60 Gung-ho : AVID

“Kung ho” is a Chinese expression meaning “work together, cooperate”. The anglicized version “gung-ho” was adopted by a Major Evans Carlson as an expression of combined spirit for his 2nd Marine Raider Battalion during WWII. From there the term spread throughout the Marine Corps and back to America where it persists to this day.

64 Ping-Pong table divider : NET

Ping-Pong is called table tennis in the UK, where the sport originated in the 1880s. Table tennis started as an after-dinner activity among the elite, and was called “wiff-waff”. To play the game, books were stacked in the center of a table as a “net”, two more books served as “”rackets” and the ball used was actually a golf ball. The game evolved over time with the rackets being upgraded to the lids of cigar boxes and the ball becoming a champagne cork (how snooty is that?). Eventually the game was produced commercially, and the sound of the ball hitting the racket was deemed to be a “ping” and a “pong”, giving the sport its alternative name. The name “Ping-Pong” was trademarked in Britain in 1901, and eventually sold to Parker Brothers in the US.

65 Spanish throne occupant : REY

In Spanish, a “rey” (king) might live in a “palacio” (palace).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Golfer __ Thompson, who had her first LPGA tournament win at age 16 : LEXI
5 College sports channel : ESPNU
10 Inquires : ASKS
14 Have too much, briefly : OD ON
15 Surgical tool : CLAMP
16 “Ignore that dele” mark : STET
17 Half a million in annual pay, say : SIX-FIGURE SALARY
20 South Korean capital : SEOUL
21 Proverb : MAXIM
22 Put the kibosh on : NIX
23 Carry with effort : LUG
25 Like citizenship maintained in multiple countries : DUAL
27 Chromatic basis of much modern music : TWELVE-TONE SCALE
35 Victory : WIN
36 In __: unborn : UTERO
37 Sets straight : TRUES
38 Mallorca o Menorca : ISLA
40 Med. research agency : NIH
41 Part of Q.E.D. : ERAT
42 Spanish girl : CHICA
44 Like a chimney needing sweeping : SOOTY
47 Garden of Eden woman : EVE
48 Big rig : EIGHTEEN-WHEELER
51 Shoe or foot part : HEEL
52 __ de toilette : EAU
53 Inveterate imbiber : SOT
55 Impertinent : SAUCY
59 Copy on transparent paper : TRACE
63 Around the clock : TWENTY-FOUR SEVEN
66 Bonn article : EINE
67 “I’m innocent!” : NOT ME!
68 Captain hanged for piracy : KIDD
69 Toward the setting sun : WEST
70 Op-ed piece, e.g. : ESSAY
71 Fruity beverages : ADES

Down

1 It’s often covered by insurance : LOSS
2 Actress Falco : EDIE
3 Hugs-and-kisses symbols : XOXO
4 Paid __: completely settled : IN FULL
5 Heart test: Abbr. : ECG
6 Blighted inner city area : SLUM
7 Law office hire, for short : PARA
8 Ariz. neighbor : NMEX
9 Potential for profit : UPSIDE
10 Comm. system with hand motions : ASL
11 Oliver Hardy’s partner : STAN LAUREL
12 “The Americans” actress Russell : KERI
13 River of Hades : STYX
18 Candy heart sentiment : I LUV U
19 Not optional : A MUST
24 Obtain : GET
26 Farmland measure : ACRE
27 A couple of times : TWICE
28 “__ could help” : WISH I
29 Gives spiritual insight to : ENLIGHTENS
30 Past, present or future : TENSE
31 Mythical hunter : ORION
32 Not at all : NOHOW
33 Depart : LEAVE
34 Compound with a fruity aroma : ESTER
39 Nagging pain : ACHE
43 Nuclear weapon trial : A-TEST
45 First word in many Grisham titles : THE …
46 Dublin-born poet : YEATS
49 Comic Boosler : ELAYNE
50 California’s motto : EUREKA
53 Slow-cooked dish : STEW
54 Scrape, in totspeak : OWIE
56 Mysterious sci-fi ships : UFOS
57 Collapsible beds : COTS
58 Arizona city on the Colorado River : YUMA
60 Gung-ho : AVID
61 Formally turn over : CEDE
62 Concludes : ENDS
64 Ping-Pong table divider : NET
65 Spanish throne occupant : REY

22 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 12 Aug 19, Monday”

  1. Noob here, with a question. Do you all have a set of rules for how you solve the puzzle and how you keep track of errors? If not, it seems like its hard to compare notes wrt times and error counts. I mean, no offense, to each his own and all that, but the post yesterday that talked about an online solve with a spell checker turned on seemed like cheating to me.

    1. Self-honesty is the key element. If you enjoy doing puzzles, you want to get better, and that includes using Google, dictionaries, whatever to perhaps learn those “Natick” answers, to improve your vocabulary and be ready the next time you see it.

      The thing is, be honest in how you report your performance on any given puzzle. One thing that is often overlooked is the number to report: if a missed square or letter is crossed by another row or column (and the vast majority of puzzle squares ARE), that’s TWO mistakes; one for the down word, one for the across. You only get one if it’s a widow!!!
      Also, honestly report a DNF (did not finish) if you use ANY outside help (searched for the answer online, asked someone, etc.) I also report when I do a puzzle online because electronic puzzles have features that allow you to “proof” your puzzle for errors that you might have overlooked had you been doing the puzzle on paper. So, if I have a boo-boo online that is easily corrected, I’ll note in my records that that was the case (or, if I’m being hard on myself, just take the errors straightaway). There ARE cases when the physics of an online puzzle (such as changing from A to vertical, or sticky keys) introduce typing errors that I would NOT make on paper, and if I see an obvious sign of that, I’ll “forgive” myself, with the caveat that I’ll report it if I post my result here.

      Anyway, that’s how I approach it. Others are more or less stringent, and to each his own, I suppose.

  2. That’s true. It is cheating. If l am stuck, I go away and come back to it. Alot of times it helps. But l too am guilty. Today’s puzzle was fun, one error, I had ekg instead of ecg. Never had an ecg performed. l know clamp begins with a C, thought it was an error. So l looked it up when I finished.

  3. I use 0.5% error per square, whether or not it is missed or omitted, because most of the puzzles have a little less, but close to 200 squares. Like you say, different strokes, etc. I use my Puzzle Dictionary, but do not subscribe to Spell Check or Googling. If you choose to comment, do your best and post your result. It is all in fun.

    We got it in about 40 minutes today, fast for us. Had trouble with the music chromatogram; wanted to use NOTE instead of TONE, but the T messed up NOHOW going down. I, too, wondered about KLAMP (CLAMP).

    Anyway, fun and games and welcome at least to my part of the group, LSO..

    Kudos to Bill on his average fast time.

      1. Merriman-Webster Crossword Puzzle Dictionary, Fourth Edition.
        My wife got it for me at Books A Million; it is pretty old and I am
        thinking of replacing it. Will go look at what they have. It has helped
        me a few times and I would consider it fudging and possibly not
        count it in my favor if it gave just one definition and that was the correct answer for a particular word clue. It usually gives several answers to choose from and may help then, especially if you already have some
        of the letters. May not be the ideal system, but it is a system and I consider it to be pretty honest. My dictionary has only helped me with a handful of words per puzzle.

        Thanks for the question. It is appreciated.

  4. I don’t solve online, so a spell checker wouldn’t help, but I admit to using
    Google, especially for names in the entertainment world since I don’t
    watch TV much (except for horse racing) and haven’t been to a movie
    in over 20 years. Old time names like Stan Laurel aren’t a problem, it’s
    the new ones I don’t know.

    This particular puzzle was easy and fun. To each his own.

  5. @LSO – Great Q – I fill my crossword in on the newspaper with a Flair while lying on my back. I don’t like the computer entry method, and think spell check is cheating on a crossword.
    As I go along, I put X’s in front of clues I don’t know but could Google. I do the 3 letter and fill in the blank clues first. After several passes, if I still didn’t get everything, I Google; but I confess to it. If I still don’t know the Googled clue, I put a question mark after it and do some research.
    On both crosswords and my online game, Trivia Crack, sports and young pop are my weaknesses. I try to learn.
    Today I didn’t know LEXI, ESPNU, KERI, ECG, but didn’t Google.

  6. LAT: 4:19, no errors. WSJ: 4:41, no errors. Newsday: 4:50, no errors. CHE: 9:35, 1 error. New Yorker and BEQ sometime later.

    @LSO
    I do either via paper or online. I turn off any red letter or other on the fly error checking when I do online stuff. As for errors, my metric has changed since I started, but right now it’s number of letters in error. If I don’t finish the puzzle or look up something to finish it’s a DNF.

    The main thing to point out is that one shouldn’t really care how another person chooses to do the puzzle, as long as they’re honest about how they do it to other people. You really can’t say you finished the puzzle yourself if you used Google or the answer sheet to help yourself along.

  7. Not only no errors, but no erasures either. (I give myself extra credit for no erasures).
    My time: Nothing to brag about. (It never is).
    Dug the theme.
    If “noob” is interested in “official rules,” there is a big annual tournament. They might have a web page with the rules they use.

  8. LAT: 7:04, no errors; had “INCOME” before “SALARY” and “SASSY” before “SAUCY”. Newsday: 5:31, no errors. WSJ: 7:31, no errors. New Yorker: 17:53, no errors. BEQ: 20:27, no errors. CHE: 18:37, no errors. A decent day … 🙂.

    I’m reading a great book, by one Dean Olsher, called “From Square One – A Meditation, with Digressions, on Crosswords”. I’m only 52 pages into it, but I’m enjoying it immensely … 😜

    And … I was hoping to escape into the mountains today, but I had chores to do and I’m running late … 😳.

  9. All:
    My Xword style is generally;
    1. Print from LA TIMES
    2. Attach to a clip board
    3. Use ball point pen
    4. Sit on the patio
    5. When stumped, water plants
    then return
    6. Try again, maybe a Bloody Mary
    7. Usually done by now, if not,
    then Google and, of course,
    read Bill’s blog and everyone’s
    comments

  10. 9:09, and no errors, but an embarrassing number of “writeovers” and pauses for a mere Monday.

    Nice starting fill… I will have the distinct pleasure of watching Lexi Thompson play at my hometown PGA annual golf tournament in just over two weeks time. Always nice to see a familiar name (not TOO obscure) worked into a puzzle… and kudos for working “ElaYne” Boosler in there, too! 🙂

  11. 7:21. Good question about errors. Everybody sort of sees them differently so I just say what happens. If I had one square error, everyone knows what that is. If they want to call that one error or two, that’s their prerogative. Doesn’t matter to me. If I use Google I just say that. I don’t say whether I cheated or not. I just say I had to look something up. If I say nothing along those lines, it means I had no errors and didn’t look anything up. That would be the default in my case.

    More specifically regarding “square errors”, I contend that is only ONE error. The object is to fill in all the squares correctly – not to get all the answers correctly. If you know the across answer but don’t know the down but still get the square correctly, does that count as one error since you only knew one direction? Most see it as 2 errors, but this is a different way to look at it. There are 200 answers or squares (as John says), and if you miss one that’s only one error.

    Nice Monday grid. I always have to remind myself that according to various articles I’ve read, these are actually the toughest puzzles of the week to construct. Getting the theme and the cluing just right for Monday level is tricky apparently.

    Best –

  12. In order to have no errors, do you have to put the correct letter into each square on the first try? I’m thinking not. I see at least one person had put in “sassy” but latter changed it to “saucy” and yet reported no errors. And that’s how I think it should be, but just want to verify that.

    1. That is what I do and I bet most of the guys and gals do it also. If not, it
      would be like taking a test and correcting either a word or a math answer
      before you turn in your paper. The grader never sees the original, incorrect
      answer.

      I agree with Jeff about the squares. We are trying to fill each square correctly
      and if we do, we get both the A and D words. One square either missed or
      omitted should not count as two mistakes. I have counted the total number
      of squares and got like 168. I round up to 200 and assign each a value of 0.5%
      to calculate the % missed and thus the % correct by difference .

    2. >do you have to put the correct letter into each square on the first try?

      Definitely not. While it definitely helps for a fast time to be right the first time, what happens between the time you start and the time you declare “finished” is your business.

  13. For the benefit of the group, I did a little math study (my favorite subject).
    On today’s puzzle, we missed 2 squares, using MUSICAL NOTE instead of
    MUSICAL TONE.

    The puzzle had 189 squares and 73 words. I would welcome a check here.

    Using a square counting as one error, the success rate was 98.9%.
    The 2 wrong letters (30D and 32D) affected 3 words. 95.9% good.

    So, choose your poison. A DNF could be calculated either way.
    A DNS would obviously be 0% successful either way.

    Kudos.

  14. Aloha meine Freunden!!🦆

    No errors. Didn’t know LEXI but got it easily via crosses.

    Y’all know what’s interesting here? For each of us the crossword is a daily ritual, AND we all also have our own personal rituals in doing them! Most people like a little daily structure in their lives. That’s one of the things I like about doing crosswords. 😁

    I agree that one wrong square equals one error, not two, but I understand why one might calculate that as two errors. So, I report my error count by individual squares. I almost never time myself. I also use a clipboard, and I HAVE to have my black pen, a pencil, and some wite- out tape at hand before I start. I rarely finish in one sitting…I like to go do things and then come back to the puzzle, either because I get stuck or just distracted.

    I always say I cheated if I look something up, and I report a DNF. Quickest way for me to cheat is to peek at Bill’s grid! ….but then I always have to block part of the screen so as not to see anything but the word I’m cheating for.

    Be well~~🚋⚾️

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