LA Times Crossword 14 Aug 19, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Craig Stowe
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Daily Jumble

Themed answers each include the letter string “DAILY”, although the order of that string has been JUMBLED:

  • 58A Popular newspaper puzzle, and a hint to what’s hidden in the answers to starred clues : DAILY JUMBLE
  • 18A *1930 Faulkner novel : AS I LAY DYING
  • 24A *1986 Chris de Burgh hit, with “The” : LADY IN RED
  • 36A *Wits, when scared out of you : DAYLIGHTS
  • 52A *Hit below the belt : PLAY DIRTY

Bill’s time: 5m 53s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Mug : FACE

The verb “to mug” means to make an exaggerated facial expression. The term comes from mugs used to drink beer (called Toby mugs) that are made in the shape of heads with grotesque expressions. “Mug” can also be a noun meaning “face”.

15 “Bewitched” witch : ENDORA

In the television sitcom “Bewitched”, Endora is Samantha’s mother. Mother and daughter, and indeed granddaughter, have the magical powers accorded to witches. Endora is played flamboyantly by Agnes Moorehead.

16 Vigorous spirit : ELAN

Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e “style, flair”.

17 2018 giant shark film, with “The” : … MEG

“The Meg” is a 2018 movie about a deep-sea rescue team battling with a giant, 75-foot-long megalodon shark. In reality, megalodon sharks died out about 4 million years ago.

18 *1930 Faulkner novel : AS I LAY DYING

“As I Lay Dying” is a novel by William Faulkner first published in 1930. The book has an unusual structure, with stream of consciousness writing throughout. There is one whole chapter that I’d like to quote here:

My mother is a fish.

That’s a five-word chapter …

20 Enlightened Buddhist : ARHAT

“Arhat” is a Sanskrit word, the exact translation of which is somewhat disputed, with the various Buddhist traditions assuming different meanings. Translations vary from “worthy one” to “vanquisher of enemies”. In Theravada Buddhism, an arhat is someone who is fully enlightened, has achieved nirvana.

23 Letter between zeta and theta : ETA

Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character “H”. Originally denoting a consonant, eta was used as a long vowel in Ancient Greek.

24 *1986 Chris de Burgh hit, with “The” : LADY IN RED

“The Lady in Red” is a lovely ballad written and performed by Irish-English singer Chris de Burgh. It was released in 1986 and made it to number one in some parts of the world, but only number three in the US.

Chris de Burgh is a British-Irish singer who is perhaps only moderately popular in Britain and Ireland, but remarkably popular in countries like Norway and Brazil. De Burgh’s most famous song by far is 1986’s “Lady in Red”.

32 Time zone word: Abbr. : STD

Local solar time was replaced with standard time zones due to the increasing use of rail travel and telecommunications as the variations in local solar times became somewhat inconvenient. Time zones in the US vary in hourly increments, but in some parts of the world a 30-minute or even 15-minute difference can apply.

36 *Wits, when scared out of you : DAYLIGHTS

To beat or scare the living daylights out of someone is to beat or scare them severely. For centuries, the term “daylights” referred to the eyes. So, to beat or scare the living daylights out of someone is to beat or scare them severely, to take the life out of their eyes.

39 Feral : SAVAGE

“Feral”, meaning existing in a wild or untamed state, comes from the Latin word “fera” meaning “wild animal”.

43 __-Cat: winter vehicle : SNO

The brand name “Sno-Cat” is owned by the Tucker company. All snowcats are tracked vehicles built to work in snow, and are famously used in expeditions to the polar regions. The modern Sno-Cat from Tucker differs from its competitors in that it has four independently-mounted tracks.

46 Group of nine until 2006 : PLANETS

There are several mnemonics used to remember the planets and the order in which they are found in the Solar System. One example is “My Very Easy Method Just Shows Us Nine Planets”, but that doesn’t really work since Pluto was relegated from “planethood” in 2006. The most oft-quoted mnemonic for the eight planets is “My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nachos”. Given the relegation of Pluto, I kind of like “Many Very Educated Men Just Screwed Up Nature”.

51 DeGeneres who voices Dory : ELLEN

Ellen DeGeneres is a very, very successful TV personality, having parlayed her career in stand-up comedy into lucrative gigs as an actress and talk show host. Back in 1997 DeGeneres chose the “Oprah Winfrey Show” to announce that she was a lesbian. Her character on “The Ellen Show” also came out as a lesbian in a scene with her therapist, who was played by Oprah Winfrey. Nice twist!

Pixar’s 2016 animated feature “Finding Dory” is a sequel to the megahit film “Finding Nemo”. “Finding Dory” seems to have built on the success of its predecessor and had the highest-grossing opening weekend ever in North America for an animated movie.

54 Bird in 2019 Liberty Mutual commercials : EMU

Liberty Mutual is a very large insurance company based in Boston. It was founded in 1912 as the Massachusetts Employees Insurance Association (MEIA).

57 Small amounts : DRIBS

A drib is a negligible amount, as in “dribs and drabs”. The term “drib” arose in Scotland in the 18th century, and might possibly come from the verb “to dribble”.

58 Popular newspaper puzzle, and a hint to what’s hidden in the answers to starred clues : DAILY JUMBLE

The Daily and Sunday Jumbles are syndicated puzzles from Tribune Media Services that are syndicated widely in newspapers all over the English-speaking world. The first Jumble was created in 1954 by Martin Naydel.

62 Cal. pages : MOS

The pages in a calendar (cal.) usually show whole months (mos.)

63 Humerus neighbor : ULNA

The humerus is the long bone in the upper arm. The bones in the forearm are the radius and ulna. “Ulna” is the Latin word for “elbow”, and “radius” is Latin for “ray”.

64 Eye-related : OCULAR

“Oculus” (plural “oculi”) is the Latin word for “eye”, and gives us out term “ocular” meaning “eye-related”.

65 “Tamerlane” poet : POE

Edgar Allan Poe enlisted in the US Army when he was 18 years old, although he claimed to be 22 at the time and used the false name “Edgar A. Perry”. While serving at Fort Independence in Boston Harbor, Poe released his first book “Tamerlane and Other Poems”, of which there are purported to be only 12 copies left in existence. Poe negotiated his way out of a 5-year obligation to the army by arranging entry to West Point. He managed to cut short his time at West Point by purposely getting court-martialed for gross neglect of duty and disobeying orders. Soon after returning to civilian life, Poe published his third volume of poems, with financing provided by several of this West Point classmates. Simply titled “Poems”, the work includes the line “To the U.S. Corps of Cadets this volume is respectfully dedicated”.

66 Cribbage pieces : PEGS

Cribbage is a great card game that originated in 17th-century England. It was a creation of the poet Sir John Suckling. One of the unique features of the game is that a cribbage board with pegs is used to keep score. Here in the US, cribbage is very much associated with the submarine service, as it is a favorite game of submariners of all ranks.

67 Hospital fluids : SERUMS

Blood serum (plural “sera”) is the clear, yellowish part of blood i.e. that part which is neither a blood cell or a clotting factor. Included in blood serum are antibodies, the proteins that are central to our immune system. Blood serum from animals that have immunity to a particular disease can be transferred to another individual, hence providing that second individual with some level of immunity. Blood serum used to pass on immunity can be called “antiserum”.

Down

1 Mogadishu natives : SOMALIS

Mogadishu is a major port city on the west coast of Africa, and is the capital of Somalia. The city is known locally as “Xamar”.

3 Capital on the Tigris : BAGHDAD

According to the University of Baghdad, the name “Baghdad” dates way back, to the 18th-century BCE (yes, BCE!). The name can be translated into English from the language of ancient Babylon as “old garden” (bagh-) and “beloved” (-dad).

The Tigris is one of the two rivers that form the main boundaries of Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates.

5 Middle of dinner? : ENS

There are two letters N (ens) in the middle of the word “dinner”.

6 Ugandan dictator Amin : IDI

Idi Amin ruled Uganda as a dictator from 1971 until 1979. Amin started his professional career as a cook in the Colonial British Army. Amin seized power from President Milton Obote in a 1971 coup d’état. The former cook eventually gave himself the title “His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular”.

8 “Thank U, Next” singer Ariana : GRANDE

Ariana Grande is a singer and actress from Boca Raton, Florida. Grande plays the role of Cat Valentine on the sitcom “Victorious” that aired for four season on Nickelodeon. Grande’s singing career took off with the release of the 2011 album “Victorious: Music from the Hit TV Show”.

10 2010 Mark Twain Prize winner Tina : FEY

The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor has been awarded annually since 1998 by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The first recipient of the award was Richard Pryor. George Carlin won in 2008, and was the only person to be awarded posthumously.

13 Fighting words? : EN GARDE!

“En garde” is a French term that has been absorbed into the sport of fencing. Originally a warning “on guard!”, it is spoken at the start of an encounter to warn the fencers to take a defensive position.

19 Museum tour guide : DOCENT

“Docent” is a term used for a university lecturer. There are also museum docents, people who serve as guides for visitors to their institutions and who usually provide their services for free. The term comes from the Latin “docere” meaning “to teach”.

21 “Atlas Shrugged” writer Rand : AYN

Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist born Alisa Rosenbaum. Her two best known works are her novels “The Fountainhead” published in 1943 and “Atlas Shrugged” from 1957. Back in 1951, Rand moved from Los Angeles to New York City. Soon after, she gathered a group of admirers around her with whom she discussed philosophy and shared drafts of her magnum opus, “Atlas Shrugged”. This group called itself “The Collective”, and one of the founding members was none other than future Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan. Rand described herself as “right-wing” politically, and both she and her novel “Atlas Shrugged” have become inspirations for the American conservatives, and the Tea Party in particular.

28 Highly paid pitchers, typically : ACES

That would be baseball.

31 Host between Jack and Jay : JOHNNY

“The Tonight Show” has had six permanent hosts so far:

  • Steve Allen (1954-57)
  • Jack Paar (1957-62)
  • Johnny Carson (1962–92)
  • Jay Leno (1992–2009, 2010–14)
  • Conan O’Brien (2009–10)
  • Jimmy Fallon (2014–present)

34 Domino dot : PIP

White masks with black spots were commonly seen in the old Venetian Carnival. The masks were known as “domini”. The domini lent their name to the game of dominoes, due to the similarity in appearance between the mask and a domino tile.

40 Like many barbershop quartets : ALL MALE

Barbershop music is played in the a cappella style, meaning that it is unaccompanied vocal music. Barbershop music originated in the African-American communities in the South, as gospel quartets often gathered in neighborhood barber shops to sing together.

43 Goes for crustaceans : SHRIMPS

The terms “prawn” and “shrimp” are often used interchangeably on menus. Over in the UK, the term “prawn” is most common, while “shrimp” is seen more often here in North America. Sometimes there is a differentiation from a food standpoint, with “prawn” being used for larger species and “shrimp” for smaller species. As a result, “jumbo prawns” seems to be an acceptable descriptor for a dish, whereas “jumbo shrimp” seems to be an oxymoron.

44 Small laptop : NETBOOK

A netbook is in effect a stripped-down laptop. It is a small machine without a hard drive that is intended for use with an Internet connection. Netbooks were largely pushed out of the market by tablet computers. Google’s Chromebooks have really taken over the netbook concept, and have proved to be very successful in recent years. I love my Chromebook …

45 Wandering journey : ODYSSEY

“Odyssey” is one of two epic poems from ancient Greece that is attributed to Homer. “Odyssey” is largely a sequel to Homer’s other epic “Iliad”. “Odyssey” centers on the heroic figure Odysseus, and his adventures on his journey home to Greece following the fall of Troy. We now use the term “odyssey” to describe any long series of adventures.

47 Christmas tree choice : SPRUCE

The custom of decorating trees at Christmas seems to have originated in Renaissance Germany. Those first trees were placed in guildhalls and were decorated with sweets and candy for the apprentices and children. After the Protestant Reformation, the Christmas tree became an alternative in Protestant homes for the Roman Catholic Christmas cribs. The Christmas tree tradition was imported into Britain by the royal family because of its German heritage. That tradition spread from Britain into North America.

49 Puff __: venomous African snakes : ADDERS

There are several species of venomous snakes that are referred to as puff adders. The so-called common puff adder is more correctly called the Bitis arietans. The most widespread snake in Africa, the common puff adder is responsible for more snakebite fatalities on the continent than any other snake.

50 Elton John’s title : SIR

Elton John’s real name is Reginald Dwight. Sir Elton was knighted in 1998, not for his music per se, but for his charitable work. He founded his own Elton John AIDS Foundation back in 1992.

53 Madagascar primate : LEMUR

Lemurs are the most unusual-looking creatures that are native to the island of Madagascar off the east coast of Africa. With their white fur and dark eyes that are very reflective at night, they have a “ghostly” appearance. Indeed, the animals takes their name from Roman mythology in which “lemures” were spirits of the restless dead.

Madagascar is a large island country lying off the southeast coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. The main island of Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world (after Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo).

59 Vegas opening : LAS …

Back in the 1800s, the Las Vegas Valley was given its name from the extensive meadows (“las vegas” is Spanish for “the meadows”) present in the area courtesy of the artesian wells drilled by local farmers. Las Vegas was incorporated as a city in 1905, in the days when it was a stopping-off point for pioneers travelling west. It eventually became a railroad town, although with the coming of the railroad growth halted as travelers began to bypass Las Vegas. The city’s tourism industry took off in 1935 with the completion of the nearby Hoover Dam, which is still a popular attraction. Then gambling was legalized, and things really started to move. Vegas was picked, largely by celebrated figures in “the mob”, as a convenient location across the California/Nevada state line that could service the vast population of Los Angeles. As a result, Las Vegas is the most populous US city founded in the 20th century (Chicago is the most populous city founded in the 19th century, just in case you were wondering).

60 __-ray Disc : BLU

A CD player reads the information on the disc using a laser beam. The beam is produced by what’s called a laser diode, a device similar to a light-emitting diode (LED) except that a laser beam is emitted. That laser beam is usually red in CD and DVD players. Blu-ray players are so called as they use blue lasers.

61 Fugitive’s flight : 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”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Break down noisily : SOB
4 Living things : BEINGS
10 Mug : FACE
14 Lab eggs : OVA
15 “Bewitched” witch : ENDORA
16 Vigorous spirit : ELAN
17 2018 giant shark film, with “The” : … MEG
18 *1930 Faulkner novel : AS I LAY DYING
20 Enlightened Buddhist : ARHAT
22 “… __ many ways” : IN SO
23 Letter between zeta and theta : ETA
24 *1986 Chris de Burgh hit, with “The” : LADY IN RED
27 Patio furniture maker : CANER
29 Defiant comeback : I CAN TOO!
30 Thrown out of the game : EJECTED
32 Time zone word: Abbr. : STD
33 Money left on a diner table : TIP
35 Score often requiring overtime : ONE-ONE
36 *Wits, when scared out of you : DAYLIGHTS
39 Feral : SAVAGE
42 Unfavorable review : PAN
43 __-Cat: winter vehicle : SNO
46 Group of nine until 2006 : PLANETS
48 Grated together, as teeth : GNASHED
51 DeGeneres who voices Dory : ELLEN
52 *Hit below the belt : PLAY DIRTY
54 Bird in 2019 Liberty Mutual commercials : EMU
55 Apple discard : CORE
57 Small amounts : DRIBS
58 Popular newspaper puzzle, and a hint to what’s hidden in the answers to starred clues : DAILY JUMBLE
62 Cal. pages : MOS
63 Humerus neighbor : ULNA
64 Eye-related : OCULAR
65 “Tamerlane” poet : POE
66 Cribbage pieces : PEGS
67 Hospital fluids : SERUMS
68 Shade of blue : SKY

Down

1 Mogadishu natives : SOMALIS
2 Emote : OVERACT
3 Capital on the Tigris : BAGHDAD
4 “Scram!” : BEAT IT!
5 Middle of dinner? : ENS
6 Ugandan dictator Amin : IDI
7 “Honest!” : NO LIE!
8 “Thank U, Next” singer Ariana : GRANDE
9 Puts into words : SAYS
10 2010 Mark Twain Prize winner Tina : FEY
11 Incompatible with : ALIEN TO
12 Hiker’s flask : CANTEEN
13 Fighting words? : EN GARDE!
19 Museum tour guide : DOCENT
21 “Atlas Shrugged” writer Rand : AYN
25 “Just a bit longer” : NOT YET
26 Agitate : ROIL
28 Highly paid pitchers, typically : ACES
31 Host between Jack and Jay : JOHNNY
34 Domino dot : PIP
36 Swede’s neighbor : DANE
37 Means : AGENCY
38 Crazy (over) : GAGA
39 Step on the gas : SPEED UP
40 Like many barbershop quartets : ALL MALE
41 Appraising : VALUING
43 Goes for crustaceans : SHRIMPS
44 Small laptop : NETBOOK
45 Wandering journey : ODYSSEY
47 Christmas tree choice : SPRUCE
49 Puff __: venomous African snakes : ADDERS
50 Elton John’s title : SIR
53 Madagascar primate : LEMUR
56 Spanish eyes : OJOS
59 Vegas opening : LAS …
60 __-ray Disc : BLU
61 Fugitive’s flight : LAM

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 14 Aug 19, Wednesday”

  1. Thanks for all the responses on Monday’s blog. Very helpful. This is a good group. Got most of yesterday’s puzzle. Enjoyable.

  2. For some reason, this was pretty easy for me. Even though I had “get out” instead of “beat it,” I still finished in under ten minutes, which rarely happens.

  3. Easy except the NW, where I didn’t know: SOMALIS, BAGHDAD, ARHAT, MEG, LADY IN RED. For “break down noisily,” I kept thinking about automobiles. Didn’t notice the theme, which might have helped.

    My husband’s family’s town in Sicily is Bagheria, named after BAGHDAD. Lots of Arabic influence on the island.

    1. ARHAT is not a Sanskrit word. It is the corruption of the Sanskrit word ARIHANTA, that translates ‘ killer (or, conqurer) of enemies’. One finds it difficult to associate any kind of violence with a monk. But here the enemies are metaphorical: the vices that are obstacles in the path to enlightenment.

  4. This is indeed a good group and I am glad LSO is enjoying playing.
    And the “Old Man” did very well today. We have to post a DNF today,
    but still got 92%, leaving 16 blank squares. Averaging 97.3% so far this
    week, pretty close to goal to 100%, achieved only once.

  5. Re 61D: My TV guide’s synopsis for a noir film recently indicated that the protagonist had gone “on the lamb.” Seems a too conspicuous way to avoid the authorities.
    As always, elucidating notes from Bill. Never knew my favorite card game was invented by a Suckling.
    Re 19D: Knew someone that was a docent. I, on the other hand, am a dotard.

    1. @Michael – “My TV guide’s synopsis for a noir film recently indicated that the protagonist had gone “on the lamb.” Seems a too conspicuous way to avoid the authorities.”

      Ewe aren’t kidding!

      No problems with with the LAT’s or WSJ grids today.

  6. LAT: 10:16, no errors. Newsday: 5:46, no errors. WSJ: 12:24, no errors. Running late and slow, with fog between the ears … 😳.

    1. @Chuck – I took it in the same way as I do when I talk about my neighbors. They all don’t live directly next door to me, but rather they are in my neighborhood.

  7. Mostly easy Wednesday for me; took about 15 minutes with no errors. Didn’t know ARHAT and LADYINRED, but eventually got it them and a few others with crosses.

  8. Good evening! That is, good morning!!🦆

    Cheated for one answer, and I can’t believe I didn’t just get it right off: I couldn’t figure out BEAT IT!! I just kept thinking the first word was BE! All that led to was BE GONE! Got irritated and peeked for BEAT IT: “Be at it?!” Yikes! I lost it for a moment there. 🙄

    Pretty easy solve otherwise. Didn’t know NETBOOK.

    AS I LAY DYING is the only Faulkner I’ve read, and it’s one of the most difficult books I’ve encountered. I *guess* I’m glad I read it tho….🤔

    Be well~~🚋⚾️

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