LA Times Crossword 16 Aug 19, Friday

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Constructed by: Bruce Haight
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Work Attire

Themed answers are items of clothing that have been clued as if they are special attire for a particular occupation:

  • 17A Railway inspector’s attire? : TRACK SHOES
  • 22A Blackjack dealer’s attire? : DECK PANTS
  • 33A Corporate director’s attire? : BOARDSHORTS
  • 49A Toothpaste maker’s attire? : TUBE SOCKS
  • 57A Roadside mechanic’s attire? : FLARE JEANS

Bill’s time: 7m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Congress, with “the” : HILL

Washington D.C.’s designer Pierre L’Enfant chose the crest of a hill as the site for the future Congress House. He called the location “Jenkins Hill” and “Jenkins Heights”. Earlier records show the name as “New Troy”. Today we call it “Capitol Hill”.

10 Whistle blower : COP

“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”.

19 60 minuti : ORA

In Italian, there are “sessanta minuti” (sixty minutes) in an “ora” (hour).

21 San Jose skaters : SHARKS

The San Jose Sharks hockey team play their home games at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, a venue that we locals call “the Shark Tank”.

22 Blackjack dealer’s attire? : DECK PANTS

The card game known as “twenty-one” was first referred to in print in a book by Cervantes, the author famous for writing “Don Quixote”. He called the game “ventiuna” (Spanish for “twenty-one”). Cervantes wrote his story just after the year 1600, so the game has been around at least since then. Twenty-one came to the US but it wasn’t all that popular so bonus payments were introduced to create more interest. One of the more attractive bonuses was a ten-to-one payout to a player who was dealt an ace of spades and a black jack. This bonus led to the game adopting the moniker “Blackjack”.

25 With 18-Down, ’30s-’40s band leader : ARTIE
(18D See 25-Across : SHAW)

Artie Shaw was a composer, bandleader and jazz clarinetist. Shaw’s real name was Arthur Jacob Arshawsky, born in New York City in 1910. One of his many claims to fame is that he (a white bandleader) hired Billie Holiday (a black vocalist) and toured the segregated South in the late thirties. Holiday chose to leave the band though, due to hostility from Southern audiences back then. Artie Shaw was married eight times in all. The list of his wives includes the actresses Lana Turner and Ava Gardner, as well as Betty Kern, daughter of songwriter Jerome Kern.

26 Israeli military hero : DAYAN

Moshe Dayan had a long and distinguished military career (including command of Israeli forces during the 1956 Suez Crisis). He also played a pivotal, and militarily active, role as Minister for Defense during the Six-Day War of 1967. He was a very recognizable figure with a black patch over his left eye. Dayan received that injury when he was fighting for the Allies in Vichy French Lebanon during WWII. He was using a pair of binoculars that was hit by an enemy bullet, smashing metal and glass fragments into his eye.

27 Writer born Herbert George : HG WELLS

The full name of the English author known as H. G. Wells was Herbert George Wells. Wells is particularly well known for his works of science fiction, including “The War of the Worlds”, “The Time Machine”, “The Invisible Man” and “The Island of Doctor Moreau”. He was a prolific author, and a prolific lover as well. While married to one of his former students with whom he had two sons, he also had a child with writer Amber Reeves, and another child with author Rebecca West.

31 Leader who was painted by Warhol : MAO

Andy Warhol made a famous series of portraits of Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong in 1973. An exhibition of Warhol’s works toured China in 2012 but the images of Mao were excluded, apparently at the request of the Chinese government.

32 Canon model : EOS

I’ve been using Canon EOS cameras for decades now, and have nothing but good things to say about both the cameras and the lenses. The EOS name stands for Electro-Optical System, and was chosen because it evokes the name of Eos, the Titan goddess of dawn from Greek mythology.

37 Disneyland’s Main Street, __ : USA

The first thing most people see when visiting Disneyland is Main Street, U.S.A. Main Street is designed to resemble a Midwest town in America’s Victorian period, and was inspired by Marceline, Missouri where Walt Disney spent his boyhood.

39 Lead-in to X, Y or Z : GEN-

The term “Generation X” originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By one definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

The Millennial Generation are sometimes referred to as “Generation Y” (Gen-Y). Millennials were born after the “Gen-Xers”, from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

Definitions vary, but it seems that the term “Generation Z” is reserved for the children of “Generation X”, and for the generations that follows the “Millennials” (Generation Y).

40 West Bank gp. : 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.

The bulk of the Palestinian territories are located in the West Bank. The term “West Bank” is a reference to lands west of the River Jordan.

41 Word with jam or joint : … SESSION

The use of “jam”, meaning an improvised passage performed by a whole jazz band, dates back to the late twenties. This gave rise to “jam session”, a term used a few years later. The use of “jam” in this context probably stems from the meaning of “jam” as something sweet, something excellent.

The term “joint session” usually describes an occasion when both houses of a bicameral legislative assembly sit together. A good example of a joint session in the US Congress is the State of the Union address given by the president.

49 Toothpaste maker’s attire? : TUBE SOCKS

The first toothpaste in a tube was introduced by Johnson & Johnson, in 1889. Back then, toothpaste tubes were made from tin, zinc or lead.

55 Deduce, with “out” : SUSS

The verb “to suss” means “to figure out”. The term originated in the 1950s as police slang, and is a shortening of “to suspect”.

56 Sea-__ : TAC

Sea-Tac Airport (SEA) is more fully known as Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Sea-Tac is the main hub for Alaska Airlines.

59 Don Corleone : VITO

Mario Puzo created the Corleone Mafia family in his 1969 novel “The Godfather”. The head of the family is Vito Corleone (whose birth name was Vito Andolini), a native of Corleone in Sicily. He was given the name Corleone by immigration officers at Ellis Island. Don Corleone was played so very memorably, with a distinctive rasping voice, by Marlon Brando in the 1972 movie adaptation directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

60 W competitor : ELLE

“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

“W” is an American fashion magazine that first hit newsstands in 1971.

63 You might be shocked to meet one : EEL

“Electrophorus electricus” is the biological name for the electric eel. Despite its name, the electric “eel” isn’t an eel at all, but rather what is called a knifefish, a fish with an elongated body that is related to the catfish. The electric eel has three pairs of organs along its abdomen, each capable of generating an electric discharge. The shock can go as high as 500 volts with 1 ampere of current (500 watts), and that could perhaps kill a human.

65 __ Point : WEST

West Point is a military reservation in New York State, located north of New York City. West Point was first occupied by the Continental Army way back in 1778, making it the longest, continually-occupied military post in the country. Cadet training has taken place at the garrison since 1794, although Congress funding for a US Military Academy (USMA) didn’t start until 1802. The first female cadets were admitted to West Point in 1976, and as of 2018, about 15% of all new cadets were women.

Down

2 Measured two-dimensionally : IN AREA

The dimension of an object is defined as the minimum number of coordinates needed to specify each point in the object. Therefore a line is one-dimensional, as you only need an x-coordinate to specify a particular point on the line. A surface is two-dimensional, as you need both an x-coordinate and a y-coordinate to locate a point on the surface. The inside of a solid object is then three-dimensional, needing an x-, y- and z-coordinate to specify a point, say within a cube.

4 Trip provider : LSD

The drug LSD is often sold impregnated into blotting paper. The paper blotter is usually divided into squares with ¼-inch sides, with each square referred to as a “tab”.

6 It has strings attached : APRON

In Old French, a “naperon” was “small table-cloth”. The term was absorbed into English as “napron”, describing a cloth used to cover the front of a person at work. Over time, “a napron” was heard as “an apron”, giving us our contemporary noun “apron”.

9 Nordstrom competitor : SAKS

Saks Fifth Avenue is a high-end specialty store that competes with the likes of Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus. The original Saks & Company business was founded by Andrew Saks in 1867. The first Saks Fifth Avenue store was opened on Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1924. There are now Saks Fifth Avenue stores in many major cities in the US, as well in several locations worldwide.

The Nordstrom chain of fashion stores was founded in 1901 by John W. Nordstrom and Carl F. Wallin as a retailer of shoes, under the name “Wallin & Nordstrom”. The store’s name changed to just “Nordstrom” in 1930, soon after both founders retired and sold their shares to Nordstrom’s two sons.

11 About 2.2 lbs. : ONE KILO

Today, the gram is defined as one thousandth of a kilogram, with the kilogram being equal to the mass of physical sample preserved by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures. Prior to 1960, the gram was defined as the weight of a cubic centimeter of pure water (at the temperature of melting ice).

15 Midwestern hub : O’HARE

The IATA airport code for O’Hare International in Chicago is ORD, which comes from Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field (OR-D).

20 Sleep disorder : APNEA

Sleep apnea (“apnoea” in British English) can be caused by an obstruction in the airways, possibly due to obesity or enlarged tonsils.

23 Floor : KAYO

A kayo is a knockout (KO).

24 Bygone Mideast sovereign : SHAH

“Shah” was a title used by Persian emperors that translate into English as “king”. The full title in Persian is “Sahahsah”, which means “King of Kings”.

30 Ship that survived the Clashing Rocks : ARGO

In Greek mythology, Jason and the Argonauts sailed on the Argo in search of the Golden Fleece. The vessel was called “Argo” in honor of the ship’s builder, a man named Argus.

The Symplegades (usually “Clashing Rocks” in English) of Greek mythology were a pair of rocks encountered and defeated by Jason and the Argonauts. The rocks protected the Bosporus by clashing together and destroying vessels attempting to pass through the strait.

31 AOL rival : MSN

The Microsoft Network (MSN) used to be an Internet service provider (ISP). These days, MSN is mainly a web portal.

33 Game involved in several Costner films : BASEBALL

Actor Kevin Costner has famously appeared in several movies that include a baseball theme. The list includes some favorites of mine, including:

  • Bull Durham (1988)
  • Field of Dreams (1989)
  • For Love of the Game (1999)

35 Like four midyear months : R-LESS

There is a traditional warning that one shouldn’t eat shellfish in a month without an R i.e. May through August. That’s because these are the warmer months here in the northern hemisphere when algae blooms can spread toxins that are soaked up by clams, mussels and oysters. Personally, I only eat shellfish in months containing a Q … that would be never …

36 Snapper rival : TORO

Toro is a manufacturer of lawn mowers and snow removal equipment that is based in Bloomington, Minnesota. The company was founded in 1914 to build tractor engines.

Snapper is a manufacturer of lawn mowers and snow removal equipment. The company was founded as Southern Saw Works in 1894 and the first lawnmower produced was called the “Snappin’ Turtle”. The inventor gave it that name because he felt that the mower “snapped” the grass, and he installed a turtle figurine on the front of the first model that was sold.

38 Figaro’s hometown : SEVILLE

Figaro is the title character in at least two operas: “The Barber of Seville” (“Il barbiere di Siviglia”) by Rossini, and “The Marriage of Figaro” (“Le nozze di Figaro”) by Mozart. The two storylines are based on plays by Pierre Beaumarchais, with one basically being a sequel to the other.

43 Man, for one : ISLE

The Isle of Man is a large island located in the middle of the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland. I used to spend a lot of time there in my youth, and a very interesting place it is indeed. The Isle of Man is classed as a British Crown Dependency and isn’t part of the United Kingdom at all. It is self-governing and has its own parliament called the Tynwald. The Tynwald was created in AD 979 and is arguably the oldest continuously-running parliament in the world. The inhabitants of the island speak English, although they do have their own language called Manx, which is very similar to Irish Gaeilge and Scottish Gaelic. And then there are those Manx cats, the ones without any tails. I’ve seen lots of them, and can attest that they are indeed found all over the island.

50 Bolt with great speed : USAIN

Usain Bolt is a Jamaican sprinter who won the 100m and 200m race gold medals in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. Back in Jamaica, Bolt was really into cricket, and probably would have been a very successful fast bowler had he not hit the track instead.

51 __ cake : BUNDT

Here in the US, what we know as bundt cake takes its name from the ring-shaped pan in which it is usually baked. This pan was introduced in 1950 by the company Nordic Ware, at which time the “Bundt” name was trademarked.

52 Word containing three of itself : ESSES

There are three letters S (esses) in the word “esses”.

54 Worked a party, briefly : DJ’ED

Disc jockey (DJ)

58 “Xanadu” rock gp. : ELO

The title song of the 1980 movie “Xanadu” was performed by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and Olivia Newton-John (who starred in the film). Despite the popularity of ELO around the world, the song “Xanadu” was the band’s only number one hit back in their homeland of the UK.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Congress, with “the” : HILL
5 Bashes : GALAS
10 Whistle blower : COP
13 Burden : ONUS
14 It often follows an overture : OPERA
15 “That’s not good” : OH NO
16 Help during spelling : WAND
17 Railway inspector’s attire? : TRACK SHOES
19 60 minuti : ORA
20 Oodles : A TON
21 San Jose skaters : SHARKS
22 Blackjack dealer’s attire? : DECK PANTS
25 With 18-Down, ’30s-’40s band leader : ARTIE
26 Israeli military hero : DAYAN
27 Writer born Herbert George : HG WELLS
29 Floor support? : YEA
31 Leader who was painted by Warhol : MAO
32 Canon model : EOS
33 Corporate director’s attire? : BOARDSHORTS
37 Disneyland’s Main Street, __ : USA
39 Lead-in to X, Y or Z : GEN-
40 West Bank gp. : PLO
41 Word with jam or joint : … SESSION
44 Wipe off : ERASE
48 Equalizes : EVENS
49 Toothpaste maker’s attire? : TUBE SOCKS
53 Crude, as humor : RIBALD
55 Deduce, with “out” : SUSS
56 Sea-__ : TAC
57 Roadside mechanic’s attire? : FLARE JEANS
59 Don Corleone : VITO
60 W competitor : ELLE
61 Gloss over : ELIDE
62 Finished : OVER
63 You might be shocked to meet one : EEL
64 Things to avoid : DON’TS
65 __ Point : WEST

Down

1 “Strange … ” : HOW ODD …
2 Measured two-dimensionally : IN AREA
3 Madness : LUNACY
4 Trip provider : LSD
5 Must, informally : GOTTA
6 It has strings attached : APRON
7 Relied (on) for support, to a Brit : LEANT
8 Basketball’s three-point line, for one : ARC
9 Nordstrom competitor : SAKS
10 Laughs gleefully : CHORTLES
11 About 2.2 lbs. : ONE KILO
12 Do demons’ work : POSSESS
15 Midwestern hub : O’HARE
18 See 25-Across : SHAW
20 Sleep disorder : APNEA
23 Floor : KAYO
24 Bygone Mideast sovereign : SHAH
28 Sticky stuff : GOOP
30 Ship that survived the Clashing Rocks : ARGO
31 AOL rival : MSN
33 Game involved in several Costner films : BASEBALL
34 Bad impression : DENT
35 Like four midyear months : R-LESS
36 Snapper rival : TORO
37 Access charge : USER FEE
38 Figaro’s hometown : SEVILLE
42 Capture : SNARE
43 Man, for one : ISLE
45 Like some volcanoes and military personnel : ACTIVE
46 Hockey gear : SKATES
47 Go along with : ESCORT
50 Bolt with great speed : USAIN
51 __ cake : BUNDT
52 Word containing three of itself : ESSES
54 Worked a party, briefly : DJ’ED
58 “Xanadu” rock gp. : ELO
59 Promise : VOW

26 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 16 Aug 19, Friday”

  1. Wow! At first I thought this was impossible, but my goofy mind came to
    my aid and I got through it without error. Although I had to change
    “a lot” for 20A to “a ton” and then it all came together.

  2. No errors on LAT, but still don’t understand 1 down. Are we quoting something or not. Does anyone know. How odd.

    Conversely, am I being too picky?

  3. LAT: 10:40, no errors. Newsday: 8:10, no errors. WSJ: 17:31, no errors; got the meta, I think (but it somehow seemed a little too easy 😳). New Yorker: 13:06, no errors; an easy one, but with a personal Natick at the intersection of “MIA” (clued as “‘Paper Planes’ rapper”) and “DIPLO” (clued as “Major Lazer d.j.”); I mean, I guessed correctly, but geez … am I an old fossil or what? … 😜.

    Croce at 4:00.

    I’m still having some problems with Bill’s sites: yesterday, it was mid-afternoon before I could access them at all; today, I can get to them, but it’s a vveerryy ssllooww pprroocceessss … Anyone else having problems?

    1. Tim Croce’s latest: 1:12:37, no errors, but I had to sit and stare at the upper right corner for about 30 minutes in order to figure out what the entries there had to be (and the rest of it wasn’t all that easy 😳). As usual, though, all’s well that ends well … 😜.

      Also, thanks for responses about slow response … misery loves company, as they say … 😳.

  4. No errors, two erasures- had to change 15A from OHOH to OHNO.
    Re 10D: I’ve always been more prone to guffaw than to chortle.
    Re Artie Shaw: I always preferred Goodman’s style of music but thought Shaw was a better clarinetist. For what that’s worth.
    As a member of the Woodstock generation, I wish all a Groovy Weekend.

  5. 28:33 no errors
    @Ken Mick…have you ever felt something was strange and said to yourself “how odd “…I hope that is what you were asking.
    What the heck are board pants?

  6. 14:44. Tricky one. Hadn’t done a crossword in a couple of days, and that has a surprising effect on me for some reason – i.e. it makes the puzzle seem harder after being away.

    After 3 insane days here in Houston, I’m heading back to Las Vegas tonight. I’m heading to Las Vegas because I need the rest?? How often has that sentence ever been uttered?

    Best –

  7. I don’t know what BOARDSHORTS are, but I know my grandsons wear them. I think they’re baggy and knee-length.

    I’m so proud of myself for remembering Moshe Dayan. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen his name in the paper.

  8. No real problems with either the LAT’s or the WSJ and actually took a WAG on the meta. Two in row? Say it ain’t so! And the WSJ will probably say exactly that to me on Monday when they reveal the meta solution. But, nothing ventured…nothing gained!

    @Jeff. We are actually going to Vegas next week for a couple of days. I find Vegas very relaxing since I do basically nothing…and I do it damn well.

  9. 13 mins 57 sec, no errors. Several minutes wasted looking at 35 down and trying to make sense of it. I really detest fills like R-LESS.

  10. I have scars on my body from this puzzle. Got about 85% but, I had to twist my mind around and around. Haight is always good, but usually beyond my talents especially on a Fri.

    Dave: I’m not having problems with getting into the blog. I just log on to the site and not through anything else. I’m very basic in computer knowledge. Very basic!!!! Simple works for me.

  11. DNF would be putting it mildly; almost DNS. We were able to solve only
    the SW quadrant. May not have put enough time on it, but it seemed very
    wacky and we didn’t pursue it.

    Waiting for Monday.

    Kudos to all you good solvers.

    1. A “Natick” is the crossing of two very obscure entries in a crossword puzzle (so obscure that most people would not be expected to know them). The word was coined by a well-known blogger who calls himself “Rex Parker”. (Natick is a small town in Massachusetts that figured in his ur-example of a “Natick”.)

      More information may be found here:

      http://rexwordpuzzle.blogspot.com/p/frequently-asked-questions-i-get-lots.html

      I am reluctant to declare anything a Natick, but I’m not above referring to something as a “personal Natick”. (I may not know what others are likely to know, but I know what I know. 😜)

  12. Fairly easy Friday for me; took about 20-25 minutes – didn’t time it accurately – with no errors. Had a bit of a problem with getting RLESS and TORO, the last to fall, but after staring at them for 5 minutes, I just put R and T in. I have been reading about board shorts in a couple of articles recently, even though I’d never heard of them before, so that sealed the deal.

    Had to change AlOt to ATON, EOn to EOS and nONoS to DONTS.

    I think I’ve blown the last two or three Fridays, so it’s nice to finally get one again.

  13. Hello every buddy!!🦆

    DNF without cheating…😒 I think I got about 80% on my own so Kay, you beat me!!

    Here’s what happened mid-solve. I was thinking “wow, there are a lot of “S”s in this puzzle! POSSESS and SESSION and all the plurals…” then the next thing I see I’m filling in ESSES!! Kind of a mini-theme. 😯

    MICHAEL! Funny you mention– I was all set to ask who y’all think is better, Goodman or Shaw??! I agree — I prefer Benny Goodman but Artie Shaw has the edge in terms of virtuosity.

    Of course, Shaw was lousy at being a husband…😊

    Be well~~🚋⚾️

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