LA Times Crossword 30 Aug 19, Friday

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Constructed by: Joe Deeney
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Fliers

Themed answers are common phrases that have been reinterpreted with reference to birds/fliers:

  • 18A Fat flier? : ROUND ROBIN
  • 26A Frozen flier? : COLD TURKEY
  • 40A Feeble flier? : LAME DUCK
  • 53A Funny flier? : SILLY GOOSE
  • 64A Frugal flier? : BUDGET HAWK

Bill’s time: 14m 04s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Letters before QIA : LGBT-

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA)

10 Chance in a box : AT BAT

That would be baseball.

17 First two-time Nobelist : CURIE

Marie Curie lived a life of firsts. She was the first female professor at the University of Paris, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and indeed was the first person to win two Nobel prizes (in Physics in 1903, and in Chemistry in 1911). Most of Curie’s work was in the field of radioactivity, and was carried out in the days when the impact of excessive radiation on the human body was not understood. She died from aplastic anemia, caused by high exposure to radiation. To this day, Curie’s personal papers are kept preserved in lead-lined boxes as they are highly radioactive, even her personal cookbook.

18 Fat flier? : ROUND ROBIN

The American robin has a reddish-orange breast. This coloring gave the bird its name, due to the similarity to the European robin. The two species are not in fact related, with the American robin being a thrush, and its European cousin an Old World flycatcher. It is the American robin that famously lays light-blue eggs.

The original use of the term “round-robin” was in signing documents. The idea was that multiple signatures were added to a controversial document in an arrangement that disguised the name of the “ring leader” of those endorsing the letters contents.

21 Suffix with violin : -IST

Our word “violin” comes from the Italian “violino” meaning “small viola”.

The viola looks like and is played like a violin, but is slightly larger. It is referred to as the middle voice in the violin family, lying between the violin and the cello.

22 For whom Wednesday is named : ODIN

In Norse mythology, Odin was the chief of the gods. Odin’s wife Frigg was the queen of Asgard whose name gave us our English term “Friday” (via Anglo-Saxon). Odin’s son was Thor, and his name gave us the term “Thursday”. Odin himself gave us our word “Wednesday” from “Wodin”, the English form of his name.

23 One of a famous 154 : SONNET

William Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets. Here is Sonnet 110:

Alas! ’tis true, I have gone here and there,
And made my self a motley to the view,
Gored mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear,
Made old offences of affections new;
Most true it is, that I have looked on truth
Askance and strangely; but, by all above,
These blenches gave my heart another youth,
And worse essays proved thee my best of love.
Now all is done, have what shall have no end:
Mine appetite I never more will grind
On newer proof, to try an older friend,
A god in love, to whom I am confined.
Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best,
Even to thy pure and most most loving breast.

26 Frozen flier? : COLD TURKEY

The phrase “cold turkey” surfaced in 1910 with the meaning “without preparation”. We started to use the phrase in the early 1920s in the sense of unprepared withdrawal from an addictive substance. The underpinning notion is that cold turkey is a food requiring little preparation.

32 Metaphorical Donne poem : THE FLEA

“The Flea” is metaphysical poem by John Donne that was first published in 1633, a couple of years after his death. Despite the less-than-arousing title, “The Flea” is an erotic piece in which the speaker tries to convince a lady to sleep with him.

John Donne was one of England’s most celebrated poets, and was active at the start of the 17th century. He spent much of his life in poverty and even spent a short time in prison for having married his wife without procuring the appropriate permissions. After his release, his wife bore him 12 children in 16 years, passing away a few days after the twelfth child was born.

34 Rand who created Howard Roark : AYN

“The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand was first published in 1943, and was her first novel to achieve public success. The story focuses on an idealistic architect named Howard Roark. Roark is uncompromising in his designs, refusing the give the public what it wants, staying doggedly loyal to his own vision.

35 Old phone part : DIAL

The first patent for a rotary dial mechanism for a phone was granted in 1898, and the familiar rotary dial phones (with holes for the finger) were introduced by the Bell System in 1919. This form of dialing was called “pulse dialing”. When you dialed the number 5 say, the dial would rotate back to the start position, opening and closing electrical contacts five times and sending five pulses over the telephone line. I used to love rotary dial phones when I was a kid. My grandfather was a telephone engineer and he showed me how to “tap out” the pulses on the “hook” at the top of a pay phone. I was able to make free calls that way. He definitely contributed to the corruption of a minor …

39 Half a matching set : HIS

His ‘n’ hers.

40 Feeble flier? : LAME DUCK

The original usage of the term “lame duck” was on the London Stock Exchange where it referred to a broker who could not honor his debts. The idea was that a lame duck could not keep up with the rest of the flock and so was a target for predators. A lame duck in the world of politics is an incumbent who is nearing the end of his or her term, and who is deemed to have reduced influence as a result.

46 Phil’s twin on “Rugrats” : LIL

“Rugrats” is a cartoon show that aired on Nickelodeon from 1991 to 2004. The show spawned a series of movies, starting with 1998’s “The Rugrats Movie”.

49 Baffler : ENIGMA

Our term “enigma” meaning “puzzle, riddle” comes from the Greek “ainigma”, which means the same thing.

57 “Creed” actress Thompson : TESSA

Tessa Thompson is an actress from Los Angeles who is known for playing the supporting role of Jackie Cook on the TV show “Veronica Mars”, and for playing student leader Diane Nash in the 2014 film “Selma”.

“Creed” is a 2015 boxing movie, the seventh in the “Rocky” franchise. Sylvester Stallone returns as Rocky Balboa, but this time as a trainer. Rocky trains Apollo Creed’s son Adonis. Stallone was nominated for an Oscar for his supporting role in the film. It was the first Academy Award nomination he had received since the first “Rocky” film, which was released almost forty years earlier.

60 Rick’s “kid” : ILSA

The famous line “Here’s looking at you, kid.” from 1942’s “Casablanca” was ranked no. 2 in a list of top movie quotes compiled by “The Hollywood Reporter”. The top of the list makes interesting reading, with the following comprising the top five:

  1. “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” from “Gone With the Wind” (1939)
  2. “Here’s looking at you, kid.” from “Casablanca” (1942)
  3. “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” from “Jaws” (1975)
  4. “May the Force be with you.” from “Star Wars” (1977)
  5. “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” from “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)

63 Colorful four-tone toy : SIMON

Simon is an electronic memory game that was released in the 1980s. The idea is to press four big colored buttons in the right order.

64 Frugal flier? : BUDGET HAWK

A budget hawk is someone who believes that control of the federal budget is of paramount importance. An inflation hawk focuses on the use of interest rates to keep inflation under control.

67 Vintner’s concern : AGING

Our word “vintner”, meaning “wine merchant”, ultimately comes from “vinum”, Latin for “wine”.

69 Latin 101 verb : AMAT

“Amo, amas, amat” translates from Latin as “I love, you love, he/she/it loves”.

72 “So Sick” singer : NE-YO

“Ne-Yo” is the stage name of R&B singer Shaffer Chimere Smith.

Down

1 Sri Lankan primate : LORIS

The loris is a nocturnal primate found in the forests of southeast Asia.

The island nation of Sri Lanka lies off the southeast coast of India. The name “Sri Lanka” translates from Sanskrit into English as “venerable island”. Before 1970, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, a name given to the country during British rule.

2 The Flying Dutchman, for one : GHOST SHIP

The Flying Dutchman is a ghost ship of legend that is doomed to sail the oceans, never being able to come into port.

3 Group with an extremely high population? : BHUTANESE

Bhutan is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is located high up in the Eastern Himalayas between China to the north and India to the south, east and west. Bhutan has been a constitutional monarchy since 2008, and has been ranked by “Businessweek” as the “happiest” country in Asia.

4 Sn, on a table : TIN

The Latin word for tin is “stannum”, and so tin’s atomic symbol is “Sn”. One of the ores used as a source of tin is “stannite”.

5 Cowpoke’s pal : PARD

“Cowpoke” is a term used nowadays for any cowboy, but it was originally limited to the cowboys who prodded cattle onto railroad cars using long poles.

6 Not easily moved : STOIC

Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher famous for teaching at the Stoa Poikile, the “Painted Porch”, located on the north side of the Ancient Agora of Athens. Because of the location of his classes, his philosophy became known as stoicism (from “stoa”, the word for “porch”). We get our adjective “stoic”, meaning “indifferent to pleasure or pain”, from the same root.

7 Fraternize : HOBNOB

“To hobnob with” means “to rub elbows with, associate with”. The term dates back to the mid 1700s and is derived from “hob and nob”, a phrase meaning to toast each other in turn, or to buy alternate rounds of drinks.

8 Team’s lack? : AN I

“There is no I in team”.

9 Harmless cyst : WEN

“Wen” is the common name for any of a number of different growths that can occur on or under the skin. A wen can be a lipoma for example, a benign fatty growth that can form under the skin.

13 “Mental Illness” Grammy winner Mann : AIMEE

Aimee Mann is a rock singer and guitarist from Virginia. Mann is married to Michael Penn, the brother of actor Sean Penn.

25 One sometimes accused of being blind : REF

Back in the early 17th century, a referee was someone who examined patent applications. We started using the same term for a person presiding over a sporting event in the 1820s. “Referee” is a derivative of the verb “to refer”, and literally describes someone who has the authority to make a decision by “referring to” a book, archive etc.

27 Pb, on a table : LEAD

Plumbum is the Latin for “lead”, explaining why the symbol of the element in the Periodic Table is “Pb”. It also explains why the original lead weight on the end of a line used to check vertical was called a “plumb line”. And, as pipes were originally made of lead, it also explains why we would call in a “plumber” if one of those pipes was leaking.

33 Pal of Picasso : AMIGO

Artist Pablo Picasso’s full name was Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso, a name he was given right from birth. Got that?

41 Muppet who doesn’t use the pronoun “I” : ELMO

The “Sesame Street” character named Elmo has a birthday every February 3rd, and on that birthday he always turns 3½ years old. The man behind/under Elmo on “Sesame Street” for many years was Kevin Clash. If you want to learn more about Elmo and Clash, you can watch the 2011 documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”.

45 __ Column: Trafalgar Square monument : NELSON’S

Trafalgar Square in Central London commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar that took place in 1805. The naval engagement resulted in Admiral Lord Nelson’s Royal Navy fleet defeating a coalition of French and Spanish fleets. Nelson died from injuries sustained during the battle. A statue of Nelson sits atop a tall column at the center of Trafalgar Square.

50 “12 Years a Slave” Oscar winner Lupita __ : NYONG’O

Lupita Nyong’o is a Kenyan-Mexican actress who was born in Mexico, raised in Kenya, and educated in the US. Nyong’o got her big break in movies with an Oscar-winning supporting role in the 2013 film “12 Years a Slave”. She was named “People” magazine’s “ Most Beautiful Woman” in 2014.

“12 Years a Slave” is a powerful 2013 film adapted from the memoir “Twelve Years a Slave” by Solomon Northup. Northup was an African American who was born a free man in Upstate New York where he worked as a farmer and a violinist. He was lured to Washington, D.C. where slavery was legal, and there was kidnapped by slave traders. Northup spent twelve years as a slave in Louisiana before an intermediary made contact with friends and family who were able to obtain his release. The slave trader in Washington who committed the crime was arrested and tried, although he was acquitted, because D.C. law prohibited an African American from testifying against Caucasians.

53 Geena’s “Thelma & Louise” co-star : SUSAN

Actress Susan Sarandon was born Susan Tomalin in Queens, New York. Although Sarandon played in some notable films from 1969 onwards, it was her appearance opposite Kevin Costner and Tim Robbins in 1988’s “Bull Durham” that truly propelled her into the limelight.

As well as being a successful Hollywood actress, Geena Davis is an accomplished archer and came close to qualifying for the US archery team for the 2000 Summer Olympics. Davis is also a member of American Mensa. She is quite the lady …

“Thelma & Louise” is a thought-provoking movie, and one that is very entertaining. It was directed by Ridley Scott in 1991, and stars two fabulous leads in Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon. You’ll also spot Brad Pitt onscreen in his first significant movie role.

54 Fictional fencer Montoya : INIGO

In the William Goldsmith novel “The Princess Bride”, the title character is kidnapped by a trio of outlaws that includes fencing master Inigo Montoya. In the 1987 film adaptation, Montoya is played by Mandy Patinkin.

56 Onetime Rolex rival : ELGIN

The Elgin Watch Company was a US manufacturer of watches from 1867 until it closed down in 1968. The business was named for the Illinois city of Elgin, which was the location of the firm’s manufacturing plant.

65 Acting guru Hagen : UTA

Uta Hagen was a German-born, American actress. Hagen married Jose Ferrer in 1938, but they were divorced ten years later after it was revealed that she was having a long-running affair with Paul Robeson. Her association with Robeson, a prominent civil rights activist, earned her a spot on the Hollywood Blacklist during the McCarthy Era. This forced her away from film, but towards a successful stage career in New York City.

66 Role for Harrison : HAN

Han Solo is the space smuggler in “Star Wars” played by Harrison Ford. Ford was originally hired by George Lucas just to read lines for actors during auditions for “Star Wars”, but over time Lucas became convinced that Ford was right for the pivotal role of Han Solo.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Letters before QIA : LGBT-
5 “Harrumph!” : PSHAW!
10 Chance in a box : AT BAT
15 “Small world” : OH, HI
16 Make it right : ATONE
17 First two-time Nobelist : CURIE
18 Fat flier? : ROUND ROBIN
20 Cuts back : TRIMS
21 Suffix with violin : -IST
22 For whom Wednesday is named : ODIN
23 One of a famous 154 : SONNET
24 Ignite : START
26 Frozen flier? : COLD TURKEY
29 Unpleasant look : SNEER
31 Dress down : BERATE
32 Metaphorical Donne poem : THE FLEA
34 Rand who created Howard Roark : AYN
35 Old phone part : DIAL
39 Half a matching set : HIS
40 Feeble flier? : LAME DUCK
43 __ wrongs … : TWO
44 Bet first : OPEN
46 Phil’s twin on “Rugrats” : LIL
47 Eyes slyly : PEEPS AT
49 Baffler : ENIGMA
52 Jet : SPRAY
53 Funny flier? : SILLY GOOSE
57 “Creed” actress Thompson : TESSA
59 Simultaneity : UNISON
60 Rick’s “kid” : ILSA
62 Comedy club reactions : HAS
63 Colorful four-tone toy : SIMON
64 Frugal flier? : BUDGET HAWK
67 Vintner’s concern : AGING
68 Didn’t dine out : ATE IN
69 Latin 101 verb : AMAT
70 “That’s incorrect” : NOT SO
71 “It __ happened yet” : HASN’T
72 “So Sick” singer : NE-YO

Down

1 Sri Lankan primate : LORIS
2 The Flying Dutchman, for one : GHOST SHIP
3 Group with an extremely high population? : BHUTANESE
4 Sn, on a table : TIN
5 Cowpoke’s pal : PARD
6 Not easily moved : STOIC
7 Fraternize : HOBNOB
8 Team’s lack? : AN I
9 Harmless cyst : WEN
10 Carry on : ACT OUT
11 Flush : TURN RED
12 Precipice : BRINK
13 “Mental Illness” Grammy winner Mann : AIMEE
14 Cross : TESTY
19 “How about that” : DO TELL!
23 Politician’s positions : STANCES
25 One sometimes accused of being blind : REF
27 Pb, on a table : LEAD
28 Stop producing opportunities, as a financial market : DRY UP
30 Adjust, as wheels : REALIGN
32 Brief while? : THO
33 Pal of Picasso : AMIGO
36 “So sad!” : IT’S A SHAME!
37 Far off : A WAYS AWAY
38 Land purchase : LOT
41 Muppet who doesn’t use the pronoun “I” : ELMO
42 Didn’t give up on : KEPT AT
45 __ Column: Trafalgar Square monument : NELSON’S
48 Mature leader? : PRE-
50 “12 Years a Slave” Oscar winner Lupita __ : NYONG’O
51 Thought-revealing drama techniques : ASIDES
53 Geena’s “Thelma & Louise” co-star : SUSAN
54 Fictional fencer Montoya : INIGO
55 Age __ : LIMIT
56 Onetime Rolex rival : ELGIN
58 Invite as one’s date for : ASK TO
61 Email folder : SENT
64 “Harrumph!” : BAH!
65 Acting guru Hagen : UTA
66 Role for Harrison : HAN

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 30 Aug 19, Friday”

  1. LAT: 13:29, no errors. Newsday: 12:11, no errors. WSJ: 14:55, no errors; got the meta. New Yorker: 13:35, no errors; a little harder than usual, I thought, with references to a few things I’d never heard of (all guessable, though, so AWTEW). No CHE this week, I guess. Croce later.

    1. Tim Croce’s latest: 1:08:39, no errors. Very difficult, I thought, and with a couple of clues that I had to think about for a while after I was done in order to understand them. But … in the end … they all made perfect sense … 😜.

  2. No errors, tons of erasures- found it very challenging, esp. with the flu.
    Re 1A- I thought of a clue/answer combo-
    Clue: Homosexual sandwich?
    Answer: GBLT
    Re 53D: One of my favorite sightings was Miss Davis at the next table at Milk Milk Milk. I hope I didn’t stare too much! I never want to be like Lucy with William Holden.
    Once again, learned a lot from Bill’s notes.

  3. Carrie- I’m not so sure. Have you ever heard the Jamaican dialect of English, especially in rock reggae recordings? I can’t understand half of it. Same with the Cajun and Creole dialects. And there’s South Carolina coastal dialects, like Gullah. And Cockney, rural areas of Scotland and Wales, etc. In Spanish, I’m more familiar with European and Caribbean variations than in the Americas, though, except the naughty words they use in Mexico. I have an “adopted” son, 100% Yashua, parents from Estado de Mexico, but he insists on speaking English (he was born in L.A.), so I can’t practice my Spanish with him.
    Sounds like you’ve had some enriching experiences. INVU.

  4. A very long time.
    Instead of peeps at, I had peers at, then peeks at and couldn’t for the life of me think of PRE mature. Duh
    Also didn’t know The Flea, but it sounds like a fun read.

  5. A DNF 30% that lowered our previously good weekly average down to 85%.
    No posting errors, just way too hard. One Google search for INIGO. It
    was one of my favorite movies and I just wanted to know.

    Happy Labor Day to all and to all a good day.

    Looking for Monday’s puzzle and hope for an ego boost.

  6. 26:20. Very tough for an LAT Friday, but I liked it for that reason. Several missteps along the way especially putting “ump” before REF which led to a mess in that area.

    My first thought for 26A was that turkeys don’t fly. I looked it up and wild turkeys do fly…a little, but our Thanksgiving Day turkeys don’t. Lesson learned.

    LBGTQIA? How many letters can we put in one grouping? If you made it LBGTQIAH (heterosexual), you could simply say “everyone” instead….

    Looking forward to a long relaxing weekend. I can’t remember ever needing one more.

    Best –

  7. This was a tough one for sure. I did finish after almost throwing it away, but continued on. Had a few errors, BUT I did it!!!

    Can’t believe it’s Labor Day weekend. This summer seemed to go fast. Maybe it’s an aging thing……. (gasp!)

  8. LAT: 27:59, no errors. WSJ: 13:53, 3 errors. Absolutely no clue on the meta per usual. Newsday: 24:44, 4 errors. New Yorker: 13:42, no errors. Pretty bad puzzles today, overall, save the New Yorker which was average for a Monday.

  9. Pretty tough Friday; took 57 minutes with – amazingly – no errors. A little bit of extra ink on the page today and a lot of educated guesses and familiarity with past puzzles.

    Had to change angrY to ansrY to TESTY, skIMp to TRIMS, SPeed to SPRAY, lighT to START and AnImES ( it looked like it fit) to ASIDES. Those, plus wags for SIMON, NEYO, INIGO and LORIS. Although crosses helped on those wags too.

    I still don’t understand THO which, after untangling the NE corner, was the last to fall. I had to do an alphabet roll to get the H.

  10. Hi folks!!🦆

    Got irritated right out of the gate with this puzzle, so I cheated for two answers. Could have gotten LGBT if the clue had simply been “Letters before Q” !! 🤔 Didn’t know TESSA or THE FLEA, but overall this was easier than it first seemed.

    Michael– you may be right at that. I know of one show where subtitles are used for this guy from Liverpool! Mostly not needed but sometimes helpful…

    Dodgers lost AGAIN!! … but so did the Yankees.

    Be well~~🚋⚾️

  11. Ridiculously hard LAT! Finished it on Saturday after sleeping on it, but even tho I had no errors I was unsure of several of my entries. Nevertheless, I totally enjoyed the challenge.

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