LA Times Crossword 22 Aug 19, Thursday

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Constructed by: Winston Emmons
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Epicenter

Themed answers each include the letter string “EPI” at the very CENTER:

  • 65A Quake’s origin, and a feature of the answers to starred clues : EPICENTER
  • 17A *Watch : TIMEPIECE
  • 24A *Jazzman Fats Waller, style-wise : STRIDE PIANIST
  • 40A *”Boulevard Montmartre” series painter : CAMILLE PISSARRO
  • 52A *Understand : GET THE PICTURE

Bill’s time: 7m 00s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Suggestions, informally : RECS

Recommendation (rec.)

14 Monsieur’s mine : A MOI

In France, Monsieur (M.) is married to Madame (Mme.).

15 Champagne designation : BRUT

Sparkling wines can be classified according to sweetness. These classifications are, from driest to sweetest:

  • Brut Nature
  • Extra Brut
  • Brut
  • Extra Dry
  • Dry
  • Semi-Dry
  • Sweet

19 Palestinian leader Mahmoud : ABBAS

Mahmoud Abbas took over as Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 2004 after the death of Yasser Arafat. Abbas is also the President of the Palestinian National Authority, a position equivalent to “head of state”.

23 Simian : APE

“Simian” means “pertaining to monkeys or apes”, from the Latin word “simia” meaning “ape”.

24 *Jazzman Fats Waller, style-wise : STRIDE PIANIST

Stride is a jazz piano style that features an “oom-pah” action with the left hand, alternating between a bass note and a chord.

Fats Waller was the son of a clergyman in New York City. Fats started playing the piano when he was six, and his father’s church organ when he was ten. Waller took up the piano professionally when only fifteen years old, working in theaters and cabarets. Waller co-wrote such classics as “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Honeysuckle Rose”.

29 “St. Louis Blues” composer : WC HANDY

William Christopher “W. C.” Handy was a cornet player, often known as the “Father of the Blues”. He earned this moniker not for being the first musician to play the blues, but rather as the person who took the blues into the mainstream repertoire. The 1958 movie “St. Louis Blues” is broadly based on his life.

“St. Louis Blues” is a 1914 song composed by W. C. Handy that really has legs. It was recorded by the likes of Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Count Basie and Glen Miller. Handy made a great living from the song, with annual royalties amounting to over $25,000 a year by the time he passed away in 1958. That’s a tidy sum for the late fifties …

32 Nitrogen-based dye : AZO

Azo compounds have very vivid colors and so are used to make dyes, especially dyes with the colors red, orange and yellow. The term “azo” comes from the French word “azote” meaning “nitrogen”. French chemist Lavoisier coined the term “azote” from the Greek word “azotos” meaning “lifeless”. He used this name as in pure nitrogen/azote animals die and flames are snuffed out (due to a lack of oxygen).

33 Turow book set at Harvard : ONE L

Scott Turow is an author and lawyer from Chicago. Turow has had several bestselling novels including “Presumed Innocent”, “The Burden of Proof” and “Reversible Errors”, all three of which were made into films. He also wrote the autobiographical book “One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School”.

36 Quaking tree : ASPEN

The “quaking” aspen tree is so called because the structure of the leaves causes them to move easily in the wind, to “tremble, quake”.

40 *”Boulevard Montmartre” series painter : CAMILLE PISSARRO

Camille Pissarro was a French artist noted for working in both the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist styles. As such, Pissarro is sometimes considered as a father figure for many of the famous Impressionist painters that admired him, including Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.

Camille Pissarro painted a series of cityscapes in 1897 featuring the Boulevard Montmartre in Paris. The most famous of in the series is probably “Le Boulevard de Montmartre, Matinée de Printemps”. This particular work had belonged to German industrialist Max Silberberg, who was forced to sell it in 1935 by the Nazis. Siberberg died in the Holocaust, but the painting was eventually returned to his family in 2000. It sold for almost 20 million pounds in 2014.

44 Krispy __ : KREME

The Krispy Kreme chain of doughnut stores was founded in 1937 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The company introduced the Whole Wheat Glazed doughnut in 2007, which is great news for folks looking to eat a healthy diet, I am sure …

45 Room in una casa : SALA

In Spanish, a “sala” (room) is a “división” (division) of a “casa” (house).

49 Sisters on whom “Little Women” was loosely based : ALCOTTS

“Little Women” is a novel written by American author Louisa May Alcott. The quartet of “little women” comprises Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March. Jo is a tomboy, the main character in the story, and is based on Alcott herself.

59 Dreadlocks wearer : RASTA

Dreadlocks are matted coils of hair that are usually formed intentionally, although if one lets hair grow out without grooming then it naturally forms twisted and matted dreadlocks. The hairstyle is associated with the Rastafarian movement in which “dread” is a very positive term meaning “fear of the Lord”.

62 Golfer with an “army” : ARNIE

Arnold Palmer was one of the greats of the world of golf. He was very popular with many fans of the game, and his followers were usually referred to as “Arnie’s Army”. Off the course, Palmer was an avid pilot until his latter years. He resided in Latrobe, Pennsylvania for much of the year and the local airport is named in his honor: Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.

65 Quake’s origin, and a feature of the answers to starred clues : EPICENTER

The epicenter is the point on the surface of the earth that is directly above the focus of an earthquake.

70 “Star Trek” creator Roddenberry : GENE

When Gene Roddenberry first proposed the science fiction series that became “Star Trek”, he marketed it as “Wagon Train to the Stars”, a pioneer-style Western in outer space. In fact his idea was to produce something more like “Gulliver’s Travels”, as he intended to write episodes that were adventure stories on one level, but morality tales on another. Personally I think that he best achieved this model with the spin-off series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (TNG). If you watch individual episodes you will see thinly disguised treatments of moral issues such as racism, homosexuality, genocide etc. For my money, “The Next Generation” is the best of the whole franchise …

71 Sore throat cause : STREP

Streptococcus bacteria multiply and divide along a single axis so that they form linked chains. That behavior gives the genus of bacteria its name, as “streptos” is Greek for “easily twisted, like a chain”. I had to battle with streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat) twice in the past few years and it was not at all pleasant, I must say. Another species of streptococcus is responsible for that terrible “flesh-eating” infection that makes the news from time to time.

73 Novelist Ferber : EDNA

Edna Ferber was a novelist and playwright from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ferber won a Pulitzer for her novel “So Big”, which was made into a film a few times, most famously in 1953 starring Jane Wyman. Ferber also wrote “Show Boat”, “Cimarron” and “Giant”, which were adapted successfully for the stage and/or big screen.

Down

1 Female rodent, to Fernando : RATA

In Spanish, a “rata” (female rat) is the mate of a “rato” (male rat).

2 Arab chieftain : EMIR

An emir is a prince or chieftain, one most notably from the Middle East. In English, “emir” can also be written variously as “emeer, amir, ameer” (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).

4 Afternoon break : SIESTA

We use the word “siesta” to describe a short nap in the early afternoon, and imported the word into English from Spanish. In turn, the Spanish word is derived from the Latin “hora sexta” meaning “the sixth hour”. The idea is that the nap is taken at the sixth hour after dawn.

5 Kimono sash : OBI

The sash worn as part of traditional Japanese dress is known as an obi. The obi can be tied at the back in what is called a butterfly knot. The term “obi” is also used for the thick cotton belts that are an essential part of the outfits worn by practitioners of many martial arts. The color of the martial arts obi signifies the wearer’s skill level.

The lovely Japanese kimono is a garment worn by men, women and children. The word “kimono” translates simply as “thing to wear”, with “ki” meaning “wear” and “mono” meaning “thing”.

7 “Filthy” moolah : LUCRE

Our word “lucre” meaning “money, profits” comes from the Latin “lucrum” that means the same thing.

9 Physicians’ gp. : AMA

American Medical Association (AMA)

10 Bio info : DOB

Date of birth (DOB)

11 City with the world’s tallest building : DUBAI

Burj Khalifa is a spectacular skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is the tallest man-made structure in the world, and has been so since the completion of its exterior in 2009. The space in the building came onto the market at a really bad time, during the global financial crisis. The building was part of a US$20 billion development of downtown Dubai that was backed by the city government which had to go looking for a bailout from the neighboring city of Abu Dhabi. The tower was given the name Burj Khalifa at the last minute, apparently as a nod to UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan who helped to broker the bailout.

18 Dirty work? : PORN

The word “pornography” comes from the Greek “pornographos” meaning “writing of prostitutes”.

26 Newton fractions : DYNES

A dyne is a unit of force. The name “dyne” comes from the Greek “dynamis” meaning “power, force”. Ergs and dynes are related to each other in that one erg is the amount of energy needed to move a force of one dyne over a distance of one centimeter.

Newtons are units of force. The newton is named for Sir Isaac Newton, the English physicist and mathematician.

28 Voyager org. : NASA

NASA’s Voyager program launched two unmanned probes to explore the outer limits of our solar system. The probes were launched on different dates in 1977, with each date chosen to take advantage of particular alignments of the planets. The two probes are still active to some extent, and will be so for at least another decade. Voyager 1 is now the farthest man-made object from the Earth. In fact, Voyager 1 left our solar system in 2012, making it the first spacecraft to enter interstellar space. Cool …

30 Überauthority : CZAR

The term “czar” (also “tsar”) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “Caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time.

34 “Learn about the UV Index” org. : EPA

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The UV Index is a measure of the strength of ultraviolet radiation (UV) at a particular location and on a particular day.

38 Logician’s “E” : 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”.

39 Forget-me-__ : NOTS

The plants known as forget-me-nots were given their distinctive name first in French, i.e. “ne m’oubliez pas”. “Forget-me-not” is simply a translation into English.

41 “How __ Your Mother” : I MET

“How I Met Your Mother” is a sitcom that CBS has been airing since 2005. The main character is Ted Mosby, played by Josh Radnor. Mosby is also the narrator for the show looking back from the year 2030 (the live action is set in the present). As narrator, the older Mosby character is voiced by Bob Saget.

42 “Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology” memoirist Remini : LEAH

Leah Remini is an actress and comedian who is best known for playing Carrie Heffernan on the sitcom “The King of Queens”. More recently, in 2013, Remini competed on “Dancing with the Stars”. After that, Remini appeared as a guest co-host on the show several times. Famously, Remini was a member of the Church of Scientology, and left the organization in 2013. Since leaving, Remini has been very vocal in her criticism of the practices and policies of the church.

51 Creamsicle flavor : ORANGE

A creamsicle is a popsicle with vanilla ice cream in the middle.

53 Long-billed wader : EGRET

Egrets are a group of several species of white herons. Many egret species were faced with extinction in the 1800s and early 1900s due to plume hunting, a practice driven by the demand for egret plumes that could be incorporated into hats.

54 Copier cartridge : TONER

The key features of a laser printer (or copier) are that it uses plain paper and produces quality text at high speed. Laser printers work by projecting a laser image of the printed page onto a rotating drum that is coated with photoconductors (material that becomes conductive when exposed to light). The areas of the drum exposed to the laser carry a different charge than the unexposed areas. Dry ink (toner) sticks to the exposed areas due to electrostatic charge. The toner is then transferred to paper by contact and is fused into the paper by the application of heat. So, that explains why paper coming out of a laser printer is warm, and sometimes powdery.

63 Martinique, par exemple : ILE

The island of Martinique in the eastern Caribbean is actually a part of France, and is referred to as an “overseas department”. As such, Martinique is part of the European Union and even uses the euro as its currency. The island is fully represented in the French National Assembly and Senate, just like any department within France. It’s sort of like the status of Hawaii within the US.

64 Clairvoyant’s claim : ESP

We’ve been using the term “clairvoyant” to describe a psychic since the nineteenth century. Prior to that, a clairvoyant was a clear-sighted person. The term comes from French, with “clair” meaning “clear” and “voyant” meaning “seeing”.

66 Journalist Tarbell : IDA

Ida Tarbell was a teacher and what we would call today an “investigative journalist”, although back in her day she was known as a “muckraker”. Her most famous work is her 1904 book “The History of the Standard Oil Company”. It is an exposé that is credited with hastening the breakup of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil in 1911.

67 Steal, in slang : 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”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Suggestions, informally : RECS
5 Many 40-Across works : OILS
9 Supplement : ADD TO
14 Monsieur’s mine : A MOI
15 Champagne designation : BRUT
16 React to a loss : MOURN
17 *Watch : TIMEPIECE
19 Palestinian leader Mahmoud : ABBAS
20 Childish comeback : ARE SO!
21 Increase, with “up” : REV
23 Simian : APE
24 *Jazzman Fats Waller, style-wise : STRIDE PIANIST
29 “St. Louis Blues” composer : WC HANDY
31 Huntsville’s home: Abbr. : ALA
32 Nitrogen-based dye : AZO
33 Turow book set at Harvard : ONE L
36 Quaking tree : ASPEN
40 *”Boulevard Montmartre” series painter : CAMILLE PISSARRO
44 Krispy __ : KREME
45 Room in una casa : SALA
46 __ bran : OAT
47 Corn unit : EAR
49 Sisters on whom “Little Women” was loosely based : ALCOTTS
52 *Understand : GET THE PICTURE
57 It may be inflated : EGO
58 Not bright : DIM
59 Dreadlocks wearer : RASTA
62 Golfer with an “army” : ARNIE
65 Quake’s origin, and a feature of the answers to starred clues : EPICENTER
68 Walks unsteadily : REELS
69 Make over : REDO
70 “Star Trek” creator Roddenberry : GENE
71 Sore throat cause : STREP
72 Word with dash or happy : SLAP-
73 Novelist Ferber : EDNA

Down

1 Female rodent, to Fernando : RATA
2 Arab chieftain : EMIR
3 Returns : COMES HOME
4 Afternoon break : SIESTA
5 Kimono sash : OBI
6 Anger : IRE
7 “Filthy” moolah : LUCRE
8 Expensive : STEEP
9 Physicians’ gp. : AMA
10 Bio info : DOB
11 City with the world’s tallest building : DUBAI
12 Snares : TRAPS
13 Kickoff : ONSET
18 Dirty work? : PORN
22 By way of : VIA
25 Object of much reverence : IDOL
26 Newton fractions : DYNES
27 Rueful word : ALAS
28 Voyager org. : NASA
29 Eccentric : WACK
30 Überauthority : CZAR
34 “Learn about the UV Index” org. : EPA
35 Pastel shade : LILAC
37 Voiced one’s opposition : PROTESTED
38 Logician’s “E” : ERAT
39 Forget-me-__ : NOTS
41 “How __ Your Mother” : I MET
42 “Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology” memoirist Remini : LEAH
43 Brine has a lot of it : SALT
48 Signal to stop : RED
50 Virologist’s goal : CURE
51 Creamsicle flavor : ORANGE
52 Gets ready, with “up” : GEARS
53 Long-billed wader : EGRET
54 Copier cartridge : TONER
55 Places to tie up : PIERS
56 Drive : IMPEL
60 Miss. neighbor : TENN
61 Plane measurement : AREA
63 Martinique, par exemple : ILE
64 Clairvoyant’s claim : ESP
66 Journalist Tarbell : IDA
67 Steal, in slang : COP

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 22 Aug 19, Thursday”

  1. LAT: 6:55, no errors. WSJ: 11:19, no errors. Newsday: 9:35, 1 error. BEQ sometime later, as I need to arrange to be down one tooth directly.

    Full disclosure: The “WSJ #1” I mentioned on a Monday towards the beginning of the month was yesterday’s puzzle. So that was the second time at it.

  2. No errors, but unfamiliar with STRIDE or with WACK meaning eccentric. Thursday being easy, I’m ready for an impossible Friday.

    1. @Jane
      There’s “wacky” for eccentric, but maybe “wack” is young people’s shorthand, like saying “Have you ever been?” instead of “Have you ever been there?” In East Coast urban slang “wack” means stupid or uncool.

  3. No errors. Theme was very clever. I kicked myself after completing 65A, for having tried and failed to discern the theme. Should have tried harder, because it would have felt rewarding.
    Re 24A notes: Though I’m a major jazzbo, I never thought, and never before heard, of stride piano as using “oom-pah.” So I looked it up on the web. Yeah, though the wiki article uses that term, most others do not, and I found one that said stride is “sometimes described as employing oom-pah…” I wouldn’t. Nor had I ever heard that from any other afficionados or musicians. It’s like when people try to explain a sport by likening it to a “similar” sport. First time I’ve ever read anything on the internet that wasn’t 100% accurate!
    Re 73A: To me, the film version of “Come and Get it” is the best movie adaptation of any of Ferber’s works.

  4. 5:18, No errors, fastest on this site by quite a bit.

    Don’t appreciate the smut in these puzzle, as I was raised Christian in rural south Georgia.

  5. LAT: 9:31, no errors. Newsday: 7:54, no errors. WSJ: 13:40, no errors; very clever theme. BEQ: 19:44, no errors; all but one of the seven longest “across” entries referred to things I’d never heard of, but crossing entries and a helpful built-in gimmick came to the rescue.

    “PORN” is just a word. It exists. It’s fair game for use in a crossword puzzle. (I was raised Christian in rural Iowa, but I’m recovering … 😜.)

  6. You guys and gals are good. We gave it over an hour and DNF. Only got about
    3/4 of it, but all of our entries were correct. Sure didn’t find it fun and easy
    like you guys did. Kudos.

  7. 9:45. The St. Louis Blues hockey team has used the WC HANDY song as a theme song for the team since their inception in 1967…although they play it a lot faster than the original version. I once went to you tube and saw Handy’s own rendition of the song on Ed Sullivan and it was downright depressing. It’s much peppier played quickly in an arena filled with 18,000 people….

    Isn’t pride one of the seven deadly sins?

    Best –

    1. Thanks, Jeff. I just looked up W. C. Handy’s performance on YouTube, watched it, and liked it a lot. It seems to me that it ought to be a little depressing: it is a blues, after all … 😜.

      There are lots of piano versions of it on YouTube. I liked this one, by Cory Hall (and it has the same “feel” as Handy’s own version):

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_94hrye_vW4

      There’s also a version by a 12-year-old kid (he’s now 16), named Joey Alexander, that I thought was pretty amazing.

  8. Made it through this one, but had to work at it, especially in the middle left section. A lot of it was just guesses until something fit the crosses.

  9. This was a **horrible** puzzle. Full of (proper) names, arcane abbreviations and even an incredibly bad attempt at a cute pun (18 down, to my eyes, elicited [dirty] pool, not PORN.

    Close to 13 minutes but DNF. The middle and middle left quadrants would not work out for me.

  10. About 10 minutes and no errors. Always happy to complete a puzzles with clues I know nothing about. WC Handy ? Camille Pissaro ? Stride Pianist ? Too much crap to know and not enough brain space for it.

  11. Moderately tough Thursday for me; took about 30 minutes with one error. Even though I didn’t know a few things I was able to get through most of the puzzle pretty quickly through good guesses and crosses, except for the West middle section. I knew KREME and guessed CZAR and pretty much thought WACK was going to fit into 29D, but AZO and WC HANDY and CAMILL.. were all new too me. So I went for COMES TO ME, which gave me WC (T)ANDY. Also guessed on STRIDE, but I was thinking of someone playing standing up 🙂 , and well…okay that’s wrong, but it came out right.

    Okay, back to Woodstock videos…

  12. Salutations!!🦆

    Five errors, if I’m counting right. Haven’t done so poorly on a Thursday in years…but oh well. Didn’t know WC HANDY. I also went on YouTube just now and I do recognize the song; just didn’t know the composer. And I didn’t know STRIDE PIANO.

    As for WACK — I use the term a lot but I always thought it was spelled WHACK! Makes more sense as WACK, like wacky. To me it means messed up, especially an unfair situation. “You’re charging me a late fee?! That’s wack!!” I’ve not heard it used to mean eccentric. 🤔

    Be well ~~🚋⚾️

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