LA Times Crossword 8 Aug 19, Thursday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Roland Huget
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Random Order

Themed answers include the letter sequence RANDOM, although the ORDER of those letters has been changed:

  • 61A Ideal deck-shuffling goal … and a hint to a hidden word, and how it appears, in the four other longest answers : RANDOM ORDER
  • 17A Annual e-tail sale event : CYBER MONDAY
  • 25A Expensive gift : DIAMOND RING
  • 38A Old West wanted poster figure : REWARD MONEY
  • 51A Apollo craft : LUNAR MODULE

Bill’s time: 6m 11s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Image problem, briefly : BAD PR

Public relations (PR)

11 Navy letters : USS

The abbreviation “USS” stands for “United States Ship”. The practice of naming US Navy vessels in a standard format didn’t start until 1907 when President Theodore Roosevelt issued an executive order that addressed the issue.

14 Muscat native : OMANI

Muscat is the capital of Oman. The city lies on the northeast coast of the state on the Gulf of Oman, a branch of the Persian Gulf.

15 Catherine of “Best in Show” : O’HARA

Catherine O’Hara is an actress and comedienne from Toronto, Ontario. One of O’Hara’s more famous film roles is Kevin’s mother in the Christmas classic “Home Alone”. She also plays a lead character in the excellent sitcom “Schitt’s Creek” alongside Eugen Levy.

“Best in Show” is comedy film released in 2000 that is in the mockumentary style. It follows five entrants to a big dog show. It is a Christopher Guest film, so I gave up after about 10 minutes of viewing …

17 Annual e-tail sale event : CYBER MONDAY

Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving, when retailers offer incentives to online shoppers in the hope of boosting sales. The term “Cyber Monday” was coined in 2005 in a press release issued by the website Shop.org. In recent years, consumers have been spending more money online on Cyber Monday than any other day in the year.

19 Good Grips gadget brand : OXO

The OXO line of kitchen utensils and housewares is designed to be ergonomically superior to the average household tools. The intended user of OXO products is someone who doesn’t have the normal range of motion or strength in the hands e.g. someone suffering from arthritis.

21 Any of six classic Clue cards : WEAPON

Clue is a board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

23 “I kissed thee __ I killed thee”: “Othello” : ERE

“I kissed thee ere I killed thee, no way but this, Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.” is a line from Shakespeare’s “Othello”. The words are spoken by Othello as he kisses his wife Desdemona, whom he has just strangled, and then takes his own life in repentance.

25 Expensive gift : DIAMOND RING

Only 20% of mined diamonds are suitable for use as gemstones. 80% of mined diamonds are used industrially, for example in the blades of diamond saws.

31 Shock, in a way : TASE

Victor Appleton wrote a novel for young adults called “Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle”. The company that developed the TASER electroshock weapon partly named its product as a homage to the novel. The acronym “TASER” stands for “Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle”.

41 Soprano Fleming : RENEE

Renée Fleming is a marvelous soprano from Indiana, Pennsylvania. Famous for her appearances in opera houses and concert halls all over the world, Fleming is also noted for her willingness to bring her craft to the masses. She was a guest on “Sesame Street”, singing “counting lyrics” to an aria from “Rigoletto”, and she has appeared a few times on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion”.

50 Govt. workplace watchdog : OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1970 during the Nixon administration. OSHA regulates workplaces in the private sector and regulates just one government agency, namely the US Postal Service.

51 Apollo craft : LUNAR MODULE

In the Apollo program, the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) was the vehicle that actually landed on the moon and returned the astronauts to the command module that was orbiting overhead. The third LEM built was named “Spider”, and it participated in the Apollo 9 mission which tested the functionality of the LEM design in space. The fourth LEM was called “Snoopy” and it flew around the moon in the Apollo 10 mission, the dress rehearsal for the upcoming moon landing. Apollo 11’s LEM was called “Eagle” and it brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to and from the moon’s surface. Another famous LEM was Apollo 13’s Aquarius. Although Aquarius never landed on the moon, it did serve as a “lifeboat” for the three astronauts after the explosive rupture of an oxygen canister in the Service Module.

56 “The Fountainhead” author Rand : 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, Howard Roark. Roark is uncompromising in his designs, refusing the give the public what it wants, staying doggedly loyal to his own vision.

58 Raptor’s grabber : TALON

“Raptor” is a generic term for a bird of prey, one that has talons to grip its victims.

68 Small change in a small bank : PENNY

The official name of our smallest denomination coin is “cent”, and our use of the word “penny” is just a colloquialism derived from the British coin of the same name. In the UK, the plural of penny is “pence”, whereas we have “pennies” in our pockets.

The word “pig” can be used for earthenware, or an earthenware shard. From this usage there evolved the term “pig jar” that described an earthenware pot that could be filled with water for use as a bed-warmer. Crockery pots were also used to collect coins and these were also termed “pig jars”. By the 1700s, these pig jars had evolved into the first “piggy banks”.

70 City on the Rhone : LYONS

The city of Lyon in France, is also known as “Lyons” in English. Lyon is the second-largest metropolitan area in the country, after Paris. It is located just to the north of the confluence of the Rhône and Saône Rivers.

The Rhône river rises in Switzerland, passes through Lake Geneva, flows through the southeast of France, and empties into the Mediterranean Sea near Arles.

71 Ham it up : EMOTE

The word “ham”, describing a performer who overacts, is a shortened form of “hamfatter” and dates back to the late 1800s. “Hamfatter” comes from a song in old minstrel shows called “The Ham-Fat Man”. It seems that a poorly performing actor was deemed to have the “acting” qualities of a minstrel made up in blackface.

Down

1 Big bird of myth : ROC

The mythical roc is a huge bird of prey, one reputedly able to carry off and eat elephants. The roc was said to come from the Indian subcontinent. The supposed existence of the roc was promulgated by Marco Polo in the accounts that he published about his travels through Asia.

2 Adams of HBO’s “Sharp Objects” : AMY

Amy Adams is an American actress, although she was actually born in Vicenza, Italy while her father was a US serviceman stationed on an Italian base. My favorite Amy Adams film so far is the outstanding “Julie & Julia” in which she acted alongside Meryl Streep. I highly recommend this truly delightful movie.

“Sharp Objects” is a 2018 HBO miniseries based on a 2006 novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn. The TV show stars Amy Adams as an alcoholic journalist who returns to her hometown to investigate and report on the murders of two young girls. I haven’t read the book or seen the series, but I hear good things about both …

3 Iconic San Francisco transport : CABLE CAR

The Cable Car Museum in San Francisco is a little special in that it is housed in the same complex as the city’s cable car power house. While touring the museum, visitors can look out over the power house and see the huge haulage cables heading out to the streets to pull the cars up all of those steep hills.

7 “Kung Fu” actor Philip : AHN

The actor Philip Ahn is perhaps best known for playing Master Kahn, one of Caine’s teachers on the television show “Kung Fu”. Ahn was the first Asian-American actor to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

9 Decapod on a menu : PRAWN

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

Decapods are an order of crustaceans that includes crayfish, crabs, lobsters, prawns and shrimp. Even though decapods can have perhaps over 30 appendages, only ten of these are considered legs, hence the name “decapod”.

10 Like starfish : RAYED

Starfish (sometimes known as “sea stars”) come in many shapes and sizes, but commonly have “pentaradial symmetry”, meaning they have symmetrical body-shapes with five points. Most starfish are predators, mainly living on a diet of mollusks such as clams and oysters.

11 Ideal place : UTOPIA

The word “Utopia” was coined by Sir Thomas More for his book “Utopia” published in 1516 describing an idyllic fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. More’s use of the name Utopia comes from the Greek “ou” meaning “not” and “topos” meaning “place”. By calling his perfect island “Not Place”, More was apparently making the point that he didn’t think that the ideal could actually exist.

12 Battle of Hastings combatants : SAXONS

Germanic tribes invaded Great Britain from the early 5th century and created the nation that we now call England. The Anglo-Saxons (sometimes simply “Saxons”), as these tribes came to be called, held sway in the country until the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Anglo-Saxons were descendants of three Germanic tribes:

  • The Angles, from Angeln in Northern Germany (and the tribe that gave the name “England”).
  • The Saxons, from Lower Saxony and Holland.
  • The Jutes, from the Jutland peninsula in Denmark.

The Battle of Hastings took place in the South East of England in 1066. The battle took place between the native Anglo-Saxons led by King Harold Godwinson, and the Norman-French led by Duke William II of Normandy. William emerged victorious, earning him the moniker William the Conqueror, and the crown of England as William I. The victory also launched the Norman conquest of England.

18 Orthopedist’s pic : MRI

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses powerful magnetic fields to generate its images so there is no exposure to ionizing radiation (such as X-rays). We used MRI equipment in our chemistry labs at school, way back in the days when the technology was still called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). Apparently the marketing folks didn’t like the term “nuclear” because of its association with atomic bombs, so now it’s just called MRI.

Orthopedics (orth.) is the branch of surgery that deals with the musculoskeletal system. The term “orthopedics” was coined in 1741 by French physician Nicolas Andry. Actually, Andry used the French term “Orthopédie” for the title of a book. The term comes from the Greek “orthos” meaning “straight” and “paidon” meaning “child”.

22 Like the Empire State Building : ART DECO

New York City’s Empire State Building was the world’s tallest building from 1931, the date of its completion, until 1970 when the North Tower of the World Trade Center surpassed it in height in 1970. The Empire State Building was constructed in less than 15 months, handily beating the planned 18-month schedule.

23 Presumed UFO crew : ETS

One might speculate that an unidentified flying object (UFO) is flown by an extraterrestrial (ET).

27 2016 Tony winner Leslie __ Jr. : ODOM

Leslie Odom Jr. is the actor and singer who originated the role of Aaron Burr in “Hamilton” on Broadway.

29 Like a bogey : OVER PAR

The term “bogey” originated at the Great Yarmouth Golf Club in England in 1890, and was used to indicate a total round that was one-over-par (and not one-over-par on a particular hole, as it is today). The name “bogey” came from a music hall song of the time “Here Comes the Bogeyman”. In the following years it became popular for players trying to stay at par to be “playing against Colonel Bogey”. Then, during WWI, the marching tune “Colonel Bogey” was written and named after the golfing term. If you don’t recognize the name of the tune, it’s the one that’s whistled by the soldiers marching in the great movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai”.

33 Romano cheese source : EWE

“Romano” is actually an American term, and is used for a selection of hard and salty cheeses that are typically grated. One of these cheeses is the Italian Pecorino Romano, from which we get the more generic term “Romano”.

34 Singer Fogelberg : DAN

Singer Dan Fogelberg is probably best known for his soft rock hits “Longer” (1980), “Leader of the Band” (1981) and “Same Old Lang Syne” (1981).’

36 Mauna __ : LOA

Mauna Loa on the “Big Island” of Hawaii is the largest volcano on the planet (in terms of volume). The name “Mauna Loa” is Hawaiian for “Long Mountain”.

37 Fortune rival : INC

“Inc.” is a business magazine that specializes in articles about growing companies. “Inc.” publishes a list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the country each year, calling it the “Inc. 500”. The “Inc 5000” is an expanded list also published by the magazine.

39 Seized wheels : REPO

Repossession (repo)

43 Short : SHY

To be shy is to be short, lacking. This use of “shy” originated as gambling slang meaning “owe money to the pot”.

44 Japanese title of respect : SAN

The Japanese honorific “-san” is added to the end of names as a title of respect, and can be translated as “Mr.” or “Ms.” The usage is wider than it is in English, though. Sometimes “-san” is added to the name of a company, for example.

46 Trick-taking card game : EUCHRE

Euchre is a card game that probably came to the US from Germany, introduced by German farmers who settled in Wisconsin. Euchre is a trick-taking game usually played by four people in two partnerships. Unlike bridge, Euchre is played with a stripped down deck of 24 or 32 cards. The verb “to euchre” is slang for “to cheat, swindle”, a term that presumably comes from the card game.

47 Recital bonus : ENCORE

“Encore!” is French for “again, one more time!”, and is a shout that an audience member will make here in North America to request another song, say. But, the term is not used this way in France. Rather, the audience will shout “Bis!”, which is the Italian for “twice!”

52 Like much of Idaho : RURAL

Idaho has the nickname “Gem State”, mainly because almost every known type of gemstone has been found there. Idaho is also sometimes called the Potato State as potatoes are such a popular crop in the state. I’d go for the potatoes over the gems, but that’s probably just me …

54 Hightail it : LAM

To be on the lam is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. “On the lam” is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word “lam” also means to “beat” or “thrash”, as in “lambaste”. So “on the lam” might derive from the phrase “to beat it, to scram”.

59 Utah city on I-15 : OREM

Orem, Utah was originally known as “Sharon” (a Biblical name), then “Provo Bench”, and in 1914 it was given the family name of a local railroad operator called “Orem”. Orem gave itself the nickname “Family City USA” and sure enough in 2010, “Forbes” rated Orem the 5th best place in the country to raise a family.

Interstate 15 runs north-south from the US-Canada border at Sweet Grass, Montana to San Diego, California.

62 Private aid prog. : NGO

Non-governmental organization (NGO)

64 Tolkien creature : ENT

Ents are tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth in his series of books “The Lord of the Rings”. “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.

65 Manhattan liquor : RYE

The cocktail called a Manhattan is made from whiskey, sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters. I favor my own version of a brandy Manhattan, using brandy, sweet vermouth and orange bitters.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Shelves for cooking : RACKS
6 Image problem, briefly : BAD PR
11 Navy letters : USS
14 Muscat native : OMANI
15 Catherine of “Best in Show” : O’HARA
16 Water source : TAP
17 Annual e-tail sale event : CYBER MONDAY
19 Good Grips gadget brand : OXO
20 Distrustful : LEERY
21 Any of six classic Clue cards : WEAPON
23 “I kissed thee __ I killed thee”: “Othello” : ERE
25 Expensive gift : DIAMOND RING
28 Folded snack : TACO
30 Put away : HID
31 Shock, in a way : TASE
32 Sliced very thin : SHAVED
35 Substantial : SOLID
38 Old West wanted poster figure : REWARD MONEY
41 Soprano Fleming : RENEE
42 Log on to : ACCESS
45 Barely go (through) : SEEP
48 Like a favored project : PET
50 Govt. workplace watchdog : OSHA
51 Apollo craft : LUNAR MODULE
56 “The Fountainhead” author Rand : AYN
57 Build up : ACCRUE
58 Raptor’s grabber : TALON
60 E’en if : THO’
61 Ideal deck-shuffling goal … and a hint to a hidden word, and how it appears, in the four other longest answers : RANDOM ORDER
66 Call someone by the wrong name, e.g. : ERR
67 Outrage : ANGER
68 Small change in a small bank : PENNY
69 Catch : SEE
70 City on the Rhone : LYONS
71 Ham it up : EMOTE

Down

1 Big bird of myth : ROC
2 Adams of HBO’s “Sharp Objects” : AMY
3 Iconic San Francisco transport : CABLE CAR
4 Tot’s perch : KNEE
5 Fathered : SIRED
6 “Take that!” : BOOYAH!
7 “Kung Fu” actor Philip : AHN
8 Pops : DAD
9 Decapod on a menu : PRAWN
10 Like starfish : RAYED
11 Ideal place : UTOPIA
12 Battle of Hastings combatants : SAXONS
13 Dish cleaner : SPONGE
18 Orthopedist’s pic : MRI
22 Like the Empire State Building : ART DECO
23 Presumed UFO crew : ETS
24 Cheering word : RAH!
26 Transgression : MISDEED
27 2016 Tony winner Leslie __ Jr. : ODOM
29 Like a bogey : OVER PAR
33 Romano cheese source : EWE
34 Singer Fogelberg : DAN
36 Mauna __ : LOA
37 Fortune rival : INC
39 Seized wheels : REPO
40 Ambiguous response : YES AND NO
43 Short : SHY
44 Japanese title of respect : SAN
45 Roofing pieces : SLATES
46 Trick-taking card game : EUCHRE
47 Recital bonus : ENCORE
49 Private teachers : TUTORS
52 Like much of Idaho : RURAL
53 Nasty type : MEANY
54 Hightail it : LAM
55 Hitch on the fly : ELOPE
59 Utah city on I-15 : OREM
62 Private aid prog. : NGO
63 Spot for a recliner : DEN
64 Tolkien creature : ENT
65 Manhattan liquor : RYE

21 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 8 Aug 19, Thursday”

  1. LAT: 5:40, no errors. WSJ: 21:30, no errors. Newsday: 8:48, no errors. BEQ sometime later…

    Signed up for another at-home thing for a contest in a couple of weeks (the puzzles that turned into an actual entry *into* a contest), so that’ll be interesting to see if I improve in the standings from last year when they come available.

    @Michael, @Jeff
    I listened to Liddy’s radio show for a long while when I lived in another location with a station that carried it. He’s quite an interesting guy. Unfortunately he’s gotten old enough that I read he retired from the show. But I’d say an autobiography of his would be rather interesting.

    @Dave
    While there were a lot of sites that explained the meaning of “So much this.” quite adequately, I thought it interesting that someone cooked up a whole article about the phraseology. I’m not into Facebook/Instagram (basically I’m out of the millennial culture entirely at this point), so I wouldn’t have been aware. I pick up a few phrases sitting in web chats that have ultimately been useful in crosswords, so I’m not entirely immune.

    1. @Glenn … I didn’t spend as much time searching for “so much this” as I might have. Google kept giving me irrelevant stuff and I couldn’t seem to hit on a search phrase that would work, so I kind of gave up. Again, thanks for the link to the article …

  2. Euchre is sometimes called buck euchre, at least here in Minnesota.
    I never heard of booyah, but then I’m not a sports person.

  3. “Random order” is an oxymoron, though frequently used by magicians while doing card tricks.
    Re 46D: I learned euchre from a guy from Rome in New York state; he said the game is popular there. Funny thing is, I’m from Milwaukee but never came across the game there.

  4. LAT: 8:40, no errors. Newsday: 10:46, no errors. WSJ: 15:17, no errors. BEQ: 10:48, no errors; a strangely easy one except for a personal Natick at 50A/50D that I got by guessing at what seemed to be the most likely vowel.

    1. Sorry, but I can’t find any source to confirm the alternative spelling for Lyon. Not Google, not Wikipedia, no dictionary, nothing I could find.

  5. 11:20. Yet another anagram theme. There’s been a lot of those lately here and at the NYT. Anagrams aren’t my favorites so I tend to ignore those themes and just enjoy solving it as a themeless.

    I’ve still never tried Bill’s version of a Manhattan as I very seldom drink brandy, but it does sound interesting. When I have a Manhattan I have it with Maker’s Mark bourbon rather than rye. When it’s done correctly, a Manhattan is probably my favorite cocktail.

    Carrie – I saw the Dodgers sweep the Cardinals, and Wednesday’s game was especially painful. But I did eat a Dodger dog at each game. They’re just like I remembered them, and I ate them as I always have – with mustard and onion. I think you can buy them at supermarkets now, but it wouldn’t be the same. What a great stadium.

    Best –

    1. Do you stay at a hotel when you visit Dodger Stadium or with friends or family. I live in Henderson and stay in West Hollywood with friends when I spend time with the Dodgers.

      1. Steve –

        This was my first trip to Dodger stadium in many years so I don’t have a “usual” place to go. I have a friend who lives in Santa Monica, and I went to the games with him so I got a hotel there. I stayed in the Le Meridian Delfina hotel there in Santa Monica. Loved it.

        I did not realize you live in Henderson. Henderson, NV? If so, so do I…Small world.

        Best-

        1. @Jeff
          Indeed a small world. I realized last week in reading the NYT blog and stuff that one of the constructors actually lives within very short driving distance of me. You never know where people are.

  6. I hate to have to say that we did a DNF today, with 15 omissions
    (all in the top middle). I knew only PRAWN, but didn’t see it at
    the time. Still averaging 97% for the week, not too shabby.

    Kudos to all on your continued good performances with fast times.

  7. Not much of a challenge for a Thurs. It did take me forever to get “lunar” even though I already had module! (Some little “brain freeze” I think.) Never bothered with the theme as I had “random order” ahead of the other clues.

  8. 9:00 even, no errors. Interesting mix. Not disingenuous, like so many Thursday grids are… but had a few decidedly rank fills, like BOOYAH/BADPR (so wrong, for different reasons, but I have to admit feeling a small triumph by figuring out BOOYAH without a lot of crosses). Interesting theme, but likely not figured out by investigating the fills it references. I got it by other crosses suggesting the words.

  9. Pretty difficult Thursday for me; took 50 minutes with 1 error in the end. Never heard of Catherine OHara or Philip Ahn or Amy Adams or OXO and wasn’t familiar with Clue. That said I managed to get/guess all except OnARA/AnN. Outside of guessing correctly on EUCHRE and SEEP the rest came fairly quickly in about 20 minutes.

    @Jeff – It’s tough to watch your team get swept, I sympathize. After the Giants went on a terrific streak, to get to just a bit over .500 and into 2nd in the West, they then fell back to 3 under and 3rd place. At least they won again today. Thankfully the rest of the Wild Card teams are playing just as crappy.

  10. Greetings from the Night Watch!!🦆

    Always glad to work the late shift here. I enjoy reading everyone’s comments 😊

    No errors, but several missteps! For “put away” I thought of EAT, since that’s a common crossword thing, so that held me up for awhile. Sometimes you have to think like a puzzle setter and sometimes you have to go with your instincts. 🤔

    I also have never seen that spelling of LYON.

    Jeff! Quite the finish to Wednesday’s game! Another walk-off win….sorry for your Cardinals tho. I remember we agreed once before on the Dodger Dog issue! Mustard and onions!! So, there’s that…

    Wild Card race is crazy in the NL–

    Be well~~🚋⚾️

  11. Did this with my buddies at the espresso bar – about 15 minutes no errors. Had to fix someone’s CYBER SUNDAY to MONDAY and WRENCH to WEAPON but nothing to exciting. Good job – Sam, Ross and Maurizio …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.