LA Times Crossword 29 Aug 19, Thursday

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Constructed by: Ed Sessa
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Revolving Door

Themed answers each include the letter string DOOR. However, the order of those letters “REVOLVES” as we progress down the grid:

  • 58A It comes full circle as you work your way through 20-, 36-, 43- and 58-Across : REVOLVING DOOR
  • 20A Cookie with a whimsical name : SNICKERDOODLE
  • 36A The grapevine : WORD OF MOUTH
  • 43A Custom : MADE TO ORDER

Bill’s time: 5m 48s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Moves like Tinker Bell : FLITS

Tinker Bell is a fairy in the “Peter Pan” story by J. M. Barrie. “Tink” is a minor character in the original play and novel, but evolved into a major character in the many, many film and television adaptation of the tale.

10 “… thou damned whale!” speaker : AHAB

Captain Ahab is the obsessed and far from friendly captain of the Pequod in Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick”. The role of Captain Ahab was played by Gregory Peck in the 1956 John Huston film adaptation. Patrick Stewart played Ahab in a 1998 miniseries in which Peck made another appearance, as Father Mapple.

Here are the final words uttered by Captain Ahab, just before Moby Dick destroys his vessel, the Pequod:

Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee. Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool! and since neither can be mine, let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, though tied to thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!

15 Like some whiskey barrels : OAKEN

We use the spelling “whiskey” for American and Irish versions of the drink, and “whisky” for Scotch, the Scottish version.

16 Lawless character : XENA

The Xena character, played by New Zealander Lucy Lawless, was introduced in a made-for-TV movie called “Hercules and the Amazon Women”. Lawless reprised the role in a series called “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”. Xena became so popular that a series was built around her character, with Lawless retained for the title role. The fictional Xena supposedly came from the “non-fictional” Greek city of Amphipolis.

17 Turkmenistan neighbor : IRAN

The Republic of Turkmenistan is a sparsely populated country in Central Asia, and a former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR). About 70% of the country is covered by the Karakum Desert.

18 Huge herbivore : RHINOCEROS

There are five types of rhinoceros that survive today, with the smaller Javan Rhino being the most rare. The rhinoceros is probably the rarest large mammal on the planet, thanks to poaching. Hunters mainly prize the horn of the rhino as it is used in powdered form in traditional Chinese medicine.

20 Cookie with a whimsical name : SNICKERDOODLE

Snickerdoodles are cookies that well known in the US, but are relatively unknown in the rest of the world. It’s possible that “snickerdoodle” came from the German “Schneckennudel”, which is a variety of sweet bun.

22 Biden’s 2008 debate opponent : PALIN

When John McCain selected Sarah Palin as candidate for Vice President in the 2008 presidential election, she became the first Alaskan to go on the national ticket for a major party. She also became the first woman nominated for Vice President by the Republican Party.

Vice President Joe Biden was a US Senator representing the state of Delaware from 1973 until he joined the Obama administration. While he was a senator, Vice President Biden commuted to Washington from Wilmington, Delaware almost every working day. He was such an active customer and supporter of Amtrak that the Wilmington Station was renamed as the Joseph R. Biden Railroad Station in 2011. Biden has made over 7,000 trips from that station, and the Amtrak crews were known to even hold the last train for a few minutes so that he could catch it. Biden earned himself the nickname “Amtrak Joe”.

23 “Fresh Air” airer : NPR

“Fresh Air” is a marvelous radio talk show broadcast on NPR, and hosted by Terry Gross. The first broadcast of the program was made in 1975, with Judy Blank hosting. Terry Gross took over a few months later, and Gross has been presenting and producing the show ever since. I had the privilege of hearing Terry Gross give a talk here in my hometown some years ago. What a fascinating woman she is, full of great stories about her experiences interviewing so many interesting personalities.

27 Led Zeppelin’s “Whole __ Love” : LOTTA

Led Zeppelin was an English rock band founded in 1968. The band’s most famous release has to be the classic “Stairway to Heaven”. Led Zeppelin broke up right after drummer John Bonham was found dead in 1988.

31 Critical layer : OZONE

Ozone gets its name from the Greek word “ozein” meaning “to smell”. It was given this name as ozone’s formation during lightning storms was detected by the gas’s distinctive smell. Famously, there is a relatively high concentration of the gas in the “ozone layer” in the Earth’s stratosphere. This ozone layer provides a vital function for animal life on the planet as it absorbs most of the sun’s UV radiation. A molecule of ozone is made up of three oxygen atoms (O3), whereas a “normal” oxygen (O2) has just two atoms.

33 Torch-wielding group in “Frankenstein” : MOB

Mary Shelley’s Gothic novel has the full title of “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus”. The subtitle underscores one of the themes of the book, i.e. a warning about the expansion into the Industrial Revolution.

36 The grapevine : WORD OF MOUTH

There are competing stories about the etymology of the phrase “heard it through the grapevine”, meaning “heard it by means of gossip or rumor”. One is that it is a reference to the Grapevine Tavern in Greenwich Village, New York City. The Grapevine was a popular meeting place for Union officers and Confederate spies during the Civil War, and so was a great spot for picking up and spreading vital gossip.

41 LED component : DIODE

A diode is component in a circuit, the most notable characteristic of which is that it will conduct electric current in only one direction. Some of those vacuum tubes we used to see in old radios and television were diodes, but nowadays almost all diodes are semiconductor devices.

A Light Emitting Diode (LED) is a specialized form of semiconductor that when switched on releases photons (light). LEDs were used in early digital watches, and are getting more and more popular even though their use in electronic equipment is fading away. LEDs are used now as a replacement for the much less efficient tungsten light bulb. I replaced all of my tungsten Xmas lights a few years ago and saved a lot on my electricity bill.

46 “__ Como Va”: Santana hit : OYE

“Oye Como Va” is a song written by Tito Puente in 1963. The best-known recording is the cover version by Santana released in 1970.

Santana is a Latin rock band formed by guitarist Carlos Santana in San Francisco in 1967. Santana’s big break came with a well-received performance at Woodstock in 1969, before which the band was completely unknown.

50 Dalí contemporary : ARP

Jean Arp was a French artist renowned for his work with torn and pasted paper, although that wasn’t the only medium he used. Arp was the son of a French mother and German father and spoke both languages fluently. When he was speaking German he gave his name as Hans Arp, but when speaking French he called himself Jean Arp. Both “Hans” and “Jean” translate into English as “John”. In WWI Arp moved to Switzerland to avoid being called up to fight, taking advantage of Swiss neutrality. Eventually he was told to report to the German Consulate and fill out paperwork for the draft. In order to get out of fighting, Arp messed up the paperwork by writing the date in every blank space on the forms. Then he took off all of his clothes and walked with his papers over to the officials in charge. Arp was sent home …

51 Summer in la ville : ETE

“Ville” is a French word meaning “city, town”.

66 Countless years : EONS

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

67 Monastery wear : COWLS

A cowl is a long garment with a hood that is primarily worn by monks in the Christian tradition.

68 Monopoly card : DEED

The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of “The Landlord’s Game” created in 1903 by a Quaker woman named Lizzie Phillips. Phillips used her game as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord’s Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, who became a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

69 Name on a box of bricks : LEGO

Lego is manufactured by Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934 and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. The blocks were originally sold under the name “Automatic Binding Bricks” but I think “Lego” is easier to remember! The name “Lego” comes from the Danish term “leg godt” meaning “play well”.

71 Gaelic language : ERSE

There are actually three Erse languages: Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be Gaeilge (in Ireland), Gaelg (on the Isle of Man) and Gaidhlig (in Scotland).

Down

1 Like pretzel rods : CRISP

Pretzels originated in Europe and are especially popular in Southern Germany where a pretzel is known as “Brezel”. Pretzels were introduced into the US in the 1800s by immigrants from Germany and Switzerland who came to be known over here as the Pennsylvania Dutch.

2 Doone of Exmoor : LORNA

The novel “Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor” was written by Richard Doddridge Blackmore. R. D. Blackmore was an English novelist, very celebrated and in demand in his day (the late 1800s). His romantic story “Lorna Doone” was by no means a personal favorite of his, and yet it is the only one of his works still in print.

5 Driver’s warning : FORE!

No one seems to know for sure where the golfing term “fore!” comes from. It has been used at least as far back as 1881, and since then has been called out to warn other golfers that a wayward ball might be heading their way. My favorite possibility for its origin is that it is a contraction of the Gaelic warning cry “Faugh a Ballagh!” (clear the way!) which is still called out in the sport of road bowling. Road bowling is an Irish game where players bowl balls along roads between villages, trying to reach the end of the course in as few bowls as possible, just like in golf!

6 “The Wizard of Oz” actor : LAHR

Bert Lahr’s most famous role was the cowardly lion in “The Wizard of Oz”. Lahr had a long career in burlesque, vaudeville and on Broadway. Remember the catchphrase made famous by the cartoon character Snagglepuss, “Heavens to Murgatroyd!”? Snagglepuss stole that line from a 1944 movie called “Meet the People” in which it was first uttered by none other than Bert Lahr.

8 Mortise insert : TENON

One simple type of joint used in carpentry is a mortise and tenon. It is basically a projection carved at the end of one piece of wood that fits into a hole cut into the end of another. In the related dovetail joint, the projecting tenon is not rectangular but is cut at a bias, so that when the dovetails are joined they resist being pulled apart. You’ll see dovetail joints in drawers around the house.

10 Salchow kin : AXEL

An axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. The maneuver was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

The salchow jump in figure skating is named for Swedish skater Ulrich Salchow, who invented the move.

13 English lit degrees : BAS

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

19 Data disk : CD-ROM

“CD-ROM” stands for “compact disc read only memory”. The name indicates that you can read information from the disc (like a standard music CD for example), but you cannot write to it. You can also buy a CD-RW, which stands for “compact disc – rewritable”, with which you can read data and also write over it multiple times using a suitable CD drive.

25 Sweepstakes submission : ENTRY

A sweepstakes is a lottery in which the participants pay into a fund that becomes the prize. The term “sweepstakes” comes from the Middle English word “swepestake”, the name for the person who “sweeps up” all the stakes in a game.

29 The Chipmunks, e.g. : TRIO

Alvin and the Chipmunks is a cartoon musical group that was created for the recording of a novelty song in 1958 called “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)”. The three Chipmunks (Alvin, Simon and Theodore) were all voiced by singer Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. but with a speedy playback to create high-pitched voices.

32 Herpetologist’s employer : ZOO

Herpetology is the study of amphibians and reptiles. The term “herpetology” comes from the Greek “herpeton” meaning “creeping animal” and “-logia” meaning “knowledge”.

33 Famiglia nickname : MAMMA

In Italian, “Mamma” (Mom) is part of the “famiglia” (family).

44 Fountain near the Spanish Steps : TREVI

The Trevi Fountain (“Fontana di Trevi”) is a huge fountain in Rome, one that is the largest constructed in the Baroque style. The tradition is that if one throws a coin in the fountain then one is guaranteed a return visit to the city. Tourists throw in an amazing 3,000 euros (over $4,000) every day. The money is collected and is used to stock a supermarket for the needy of the city.

Rome’s Spanish Steps are known locally as the “Scalinata” and are a set of 135 steps that sit above the Piazza di Spagna. The Spanish Steps actually form the widest staircase in Europe. They always remind me of the movie “Roman Holiday”, as that is where Audrey Hepburn enjoyed her gelato.

49 Slangy greeting : YO, DUDE!

Our term “dude” arose as slang in New York City in the 1880s, when it was used to describe a fastidious man. In the early 1900s, the term was extended to mean “city slickers”, easterners who vacationed in the West. The first use of the term “dude ranch” was recorded in 1921.

52 Puccini opera : TOSCA

Unlike so many operas, Giacomo Puccini’s “Tosca” was a big hit right from day one, when it was first performed in 1900 at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome. “Tosca” is currently the eighth-most performed opera in America.

Giacomo Puccini was an Italian composer who was famous for his operas that are so often performed all over the world. Included in the list of his works are “La bohème”, “Tosca”, “Madama Butterfly” and “Turandot”. Puccini died in Brussels, Belgium in 1924 having suffered from throat cancer. An audience attending a performance of “La bohème” in Rome heard of the composer’s death in the middle of the performance. At the news, the opera was stopped, and the orchestra instead played Chopin’s “Funeral March”.

53 “__ World”: “Sesame Street” segment : ELMO’S

The last 15 minutes of the children’s show “Sesame Street” was called “Elmo’s World”. The ending segment was directed towards younger viewers, those around 3 years old.

55 Dumb move : BONER

“Boner” is one of those terms that I just don’t like because it can be used offensively. “Boner” can be used to mean “faux pas, error”.

56 High-yield deposits : LODES

A lode is a metal ore deposit that’s found between two layers of rock or in a fissure. The mother lode is the principal deposit in a mine, usually of gold or silver. “Mother lode” is probably a translation of “veta madre”, an expression used in mining in Mexico.

59 Petro-Canada competitor : ESSO

The brand name Esso has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

Petro-Canada started out life as a government-owned corporation in 1976. Petro-Canada is now a brand name of Suncor Energy.

63 Bit of animation : CEL

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

64 Anonym in a landmark case : ROE

Roe v. Wade was decided in a US District Court in Texas in 1970, and reached the Supreme Court on appeal. The basic decision by the Supreme Court was that a woman’s constitutional right to privacy applied to an abortion, but that this right had to be balanced with a state’s interest in protecting an unborn child and a mother’s health. The Court further defined that the state’s interest became stronger with each trimester of a pregnancy. So, in the first trimester the woman’s right to privacy outweighed any state interest. In the second trimester the state’s interest in maternal health was deemed to be strong enough to allow state regulation of abortion for the sake of the mother. In the third trimester the viability of the fetus dictated that the state’s interest in the unborn child came into play, so states could regulate or prohibit abortions, except in cases where the mother’s life was in danger. I’m no lawyer, but that’s my understanding of the initial Supreme Court decision …

An anonym is a person whose name is not given, one who retains “anonymity”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Respond to “Let’s give it up for … ” : CLAP
5 Moves like Tinker Bell : FLITS
10 “… thou damned whale!” speaker : AHAB
14 Gad about : ROVE
15 Like some whiskey barrels : OAKEN
16 Lawless character : XENA
17 Turkmenistan neighbor : IRAN
18 Huge herbivore : RHINOCEROS
20 Cookie with a whimsical name : SNICKERDOODLE
22 Biden’s 2008 debate opponent : PALIN
23 “Fresh Air” airer : NPR
24 Although : YET
27 Led Zeppelin’s “Whole __ Love” : LOTTA
31 Critical layer : OZONE
33 Torch-wielding group in “Frankenstein” : MOB
36 The grapevine : WORD OF MOUTH
39 From the beginning : ANEW
41 LED component : DIODE
42 Brute : OGRE
43 Custom : MADE TO ORDER
46 “__ Como Va”: Santana hit : OYE
47 Penny pincher : MISER
48 Composition : ESSAY
50 Dalí contemporary : ARP
51 Summer in la ville : ETE
54 One to the manor born : NOBLE
58 It comes full circle as you work your way through 20-, 36-, 43- and 58-Across : REVOLVING DOOR
63 It’s stressful to live in it : CRISIS MODE
65 Counterclockwise arrow function : UNDO
66 Countless years : EONS
67 Monastery wear : COWLS
68 Monopoly card : DEED
69 Name on a box of bricks : LEGO
70 Useful thing : ASSET
71 Gaelic language : ERSE

Down

1 Like pretzel rods : CRISP
2 Doone of Exmoor : LORNA
3 Be of service to : AVAIL
4 Eyeliner applicator : PENCIL
5 Driver’s warning : FORE!
6 “The Wizard of Oz” actor : LAHR
7 “Just messin’ around” : I KID
8 Mortise insert : TENON
9 Nose (around) : SNOOP
10 Salchow kin : AXEL
11 “Take it” : HERE YOU GO
12 Smart game-show vowel purchase for “D _ _ M AND GL _ _ M” : AN O
13 English lit degrees : BAS
19 Data disk : CD-ROM
21 Recognize : KNOW
25 Sweepstakes submission : ENTRY
26 Titter : TE-HEE
28 Stir : TO-DO
29 The Chipmunks, e.g. : TRIO
30 Go gaga over : ADORE
32 Herpetologist’s employer : ZOO
33 Famiglia nickname : MAMMA
34 Being broadcast : ON AIR
35 Support for a king? : BEDSPRING
37 Chances : ODDS
38 Tuition add-ons : FEES
40 Rather small : WEE
44 Fountain near the Spanish Steps : TREVI
45 Chimed : RANG
49 Slangy greeting : YO, DUDE!
52 Puccini opera : TOSCA
53 “__ World”: “Sesame Street” segment : ELMO’S
55 Dumb move : BONER
56 High-yield deposits : LODES
57 Wear away : ERODE
59 Petro-Canada competitor : ESSO
60 Swearing in a monastery? : VOWS
61 Not working : IDLE
62 House in a bush : NEST
63 Bit of animation : CEL
64 Anonym in a landmark case : ROE

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 29 Aug 19, Thursday”

  1. LAT: 9:24, no errors. Newsday: 8:51, no errors. BEQ: 16:16, no errors.

    WSJ: 16:16, no errors. This puzzle employed a gimmick seldom seen in the WSJ puzzles. I did it on paper and was surprised to find, when I went online to check my solution, that the app on the WSJ website isn’t equipped to handle the gimmick. I then downloaded a “.puz” version from another site and found that the gimmick wasn’t properly treated in that version. Surprisingly shabby work for the Wall Street Journal, I’d say! … 😜.

  2. No errors; some erasures. For 29D, I initially had TOON, which resulted in 36A being WOODOFMOUTH, which reminded me of a joke about Pinocchio, which I will not retell in this forum.
    52A: Tosca is the only full-length opera I’ve attended. To my chagrin, it was the modern extremely vulgar version. As if the original wasn’t vulgar enough. Ramey was scheduled but was ill. Seraphim was the soprano lead; the tenor I forget. Attending La Boheme in Oct. at the Dorothy Chandler. Following day, Gershwin’s concerto at the Disney.
    55D: A boner is a job title at a meat-processing plant, no pun intended. Ironically, some employers call them deboners. Kind of like flammable/inflammable.
    31A: Ozone is nice way up there, but not down here. Gas-burning vehicles produce it and it aggravates my asthma. In Europe, diesel-burning vehicles produce particulates, which don’t do my lungs any good either.
    Puzzle again took forever due to flu. Visited this AM by my military friend, Major Ague. Difficult to type with sweaty palms.

  3. Carrie- I asked because of the hours you keep. Your response literally cracked me up. But don’t make me laugh- I have chest congestion accompanying this flu. If I die, it’s on your head.
    Cuban, European, and Mexican Spanish have many diffs. And there are many diffs. within each of those countries.
    Kind of like within the English-speaking world.
    Buenos nachos.
    Can you tell I’m a little delirious with this flu?

  4. 10:42. I have no idea what my PR’s are for the LAT for any day of the week. The NYT app keeps track of such things so I can just go look those up.

    I tried to think of something intelligent to say about today’s puzzle, but I’m drawing a blank. I think I need a mental holiday.

    Best –

  5. LAT: 5:47, no errors. WSJ: 30:41, no errors. Don’t know if I wasn’t looking for rebuses or not (should have saw that much sooner), but those turned out to be the last squares I got on this one. Newsday: 8:16, no errors. BEQ: 16:32, 3 errors off of the typical garbage of poor crosses and poor communication.

  6. You guys are just so good. Our puzzle brains must not have been
    really tuned in today. We got it, but it took us over an hour! No
    matter; we both got a very good feeling of accomplishment. We
    either play in the wrong league or else have an inferior method of
    posting our results. Or both. Any hints? How do you guys post? Please put
    in Friday’s comments. So far this week, we are equaling our PR
    for a week, getting them all but a couple of squares.

    1. >We either play in the wrong league or else have an inferior method of
      posting our results. Or both. Any hints? How do you guys post?

      What do you mean?

  7. I was exhausted from yesterday and didn’t want to go out for lunch, so I decided to try out a new-fangled way of ordering a vegetarian meal … so here I sit … eatin’ Uber peas … 😜

  8. My, how things have descended here 🙂 How superion was it?

    Today, I first did the Jumble and then got stuck on my 5-star Sudoku…forever…so skipped to the KenKen and then today’s puzzle…very easy; took about 15 minutes with no errors. And, had great honey sales on the kids’ first day back in classes.

    Peas out!

  9. Aloha meine Freunden!!🦆

    No errors– agree it was easy for a Thursday, but it wasn’t a breeze. Didn’t know TENON, and I only got ELMO’S because we had it in a puzzle just a few days ago.

    Hey Michael! Duly noted! No jokes … at least for now!😁 Yes, the differences in Spanish are fascinating. I’m fluent, and I think Spanish has even more regional variety than English. I can usually tell someone from Mexico City– but there are people I’ve met from small Oaxacan towns whom I barely understand! It’s often someone whose native language is an indigenous tongue. Somehow the problem doesn’t exist for me in terms of understanding the Spanish spoken by indigenous people from Central America.🤔

    Be well~~🚋⚾️

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