LA Times Crossword 14 Sep 19, Saturday

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Constructed by: Greg Johnson
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 9m 02s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • AT ONE WITH NATURE (alone with nature)
  • ATE (ale!!!)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Suggestion for stress relief : TAKE SOME TIME OFF

… and work on a crossword.

18 Big boat : ARK

According to the Bible’s Book of Genesis, Noah was instructed to build his ark 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. That’s about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high.

28 Paratha roti ingredient : GHEE

Ghee is clarified butter used in South Asian cuisines. “Ghee” comes from Sanskrit, and translates as “sprinkled”.

A paratha is an unleavened flatbread from the Indian subcontinent that is made using a whole wheat dough. It is a thick, layered bread in which the individual folds of dough have been coated with ghee or oil.

38 Supporters : RETINUE

A retinue is a body of aides who attend an important person. The term “retinue” comes from the Old French “retenue” that had the same meaning, although the literal translation is “that which is retained”. The idea is that the aides are retained to attend the VIP.

40 Treatment for dry skin : BODY BUTTER

A body butter is a moisturizer that contains no water. Whereas body lotions have a high water content to moisturize dry tissue, body butters create an oily barrier aimed at preventing evaporation of moisture from the skin.

42 It’s just above street level : CURB

“Curb” is another of those words that I had to learn when I came to the US. We park by the “kerb” on the other side of the Atlantic. Oh, and the “pavement”, that’s what we call the “footpath” (because the footpath is “paved”!). It’s very confusing when you arrive in this country from Ireland, and a little dangerous when one has been taught to “walk on the pavement” …

44 Ancient French region : ALSATIA

Alsatia is the Latin name for the region in France known as Alsace. Alsace is home to Strasbourg, a beautiful city that I had the privilege to visit some years ago. Strasbourg is home to many international organizations, including the European Court of Human Rights.

50 Chemical suffix : -IDE

In chemistry, when a metal combines with a nonmetal, the nonmetal is often given the suffix “-ide”. One example would be iron sulfide, made from iron (a metal) and sulfur (a nonmetal).

51 Vegas hotel with an operatic name : ARIA

The Aria hotel on the Las Vegas Strip opened at the end of 2009. Architecturally, it is noted for a design that minimizes energy consumption. In fact, it is the largest hotel in the world to have earned a LEED Gold certification.

54 Hosp. tubes : IVS

Intravenous drip (IV)

56 Pasta for vegetarians : MEATLESS LASAGNA

“Lasagna” was originally the name of a cooking pot, but the term came to mean a dish that was cooked in it. “Lasagna” also became the name of the flat noodle used in the dish. If you order lasagna on the other side of the Atlantic, you’ll notice the “lasagne” spelling, the plural of “lasagna”. The plural is used as there is more than one layer of pasta in the dish.

63 Scopes Trial site : DAYTON, TENNESSEE

The Tennessee city of Dayton was settled around 1820, when it was known as Smith’s Crossroads. It was renamed in 1877 for Dayton, Ohio. Famously, Dayton, Tennessee was home to science teacher John T. Scopes, who insisted on teaching the theory of evolution in his science class. The resulting Scopes “Monkey” Trial also took place in Dayton.

In 1925, Tennessee passed the Butler Act which made it unlawful for a public school teacher to teach the theory of evolution over the Biblical account of the origin of man. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sought to challenge this law and found a test case of a Tennessee high school teacher named John Scopes, who was charged with violating the law by presenting to his students ideas put forth by Charles Darwin. Celebrity lawyers descended on the small town of Dayton, Tennessee to argue the case. Three-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan prosecuted the case, and famed defense attorney Clarence Darrow spoke for John Scopes. At the end of a high-profile trial, Scopes was found guilty as charged and was ordered to pay a fine.

Down

3 Hawaiian coffee district : KONA

Kona coffee is cultivated on the Big Island of Hawaii, on the slopes of Mauna Loa and Hualalai, two of the five volcanoes on the island. Coffee plants were brought to Kona in 1828 and late in the 19th century, coffee became a viable and worthwhile crop. Today Kona is one of the most expensive and popular coffees in the world.

5 High-end watches : SEIKOS

Watch manufacturer Seiko was founded as a watch and jewelry shop in Tokyo in 1881. The store was opened by one Kintaro Hattori, who started to produce clocks under the name Seikosha, which can be translated as “House of Exquisite Workmanship”. The first Seiko watches went on sale in 1924, and today the company suggests that the name “Seiko” is Japanese for “exquisite” and “success”.

6 Barn __ : OWL

Barn owls are very effective at keeping down the population of rats, and have been used for this reason for centuries. However, the use of rat poison takes a toll not only on rats, but on small mammals like voles and mice, and indeed on barn owls who feed on such creatures.

7 Appropriate prefix for an embezzler? : MIS-

As in “misappropriation” of funds, perhaps?

9 Spring harbinger : THAW

A harbinger is a person or a thing that indicates what is to come. The word comes from the Middle English “herbenger” describing a person sent ahead to arrange lodgings.

10 Memo opener : IN RE

The term “in re” is Latin, and is derived from “in” (in) and “res” (thing, matter). “In re” literally means “in the matter”, and is used to mean “in regard to” or “in the matter of”.

12 Tanning time on the Riviera : ETE

In French, “été” (summer) is a common time to go “en vacances” (on vacation).

“Riviera” is an Italian word meaning “coastline”. The term is often applied to a coastline that is sunny and popular with tourists. The term “the Riviera” is usually reserved for the French Riviera (the Mediterranean coastline in southeastern France), and the Italian Riviera (the Mediterranean coastline centered on Genoa).

13 Smidgen : OUNCE

Our word “smidgen” (sometimes shortened to “smidge”) is used to describe a small amount. The term might come from the Scots word “smitch” that means the same thing or “a small insignificant person”.

14 Trademarked refrigerant : FREON

Freon is a DuPont trade name for a group of compounds used as a refrigerant and as a propellant in aerosols. Freon is used in the compressors of air conditioners as a vital component in the air-cooling mechanism. Freon used to contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which had a devastating effect on the Earth’s ozone layer. Use of CFCs is now banned, or at least severely restricted.

15 Decorative greenery : FERNS

Ferns are unlike mosses in that they have xylem and phloem, making them vascular plants. They also have stems, leaves and roots, but they do not have seeds and flowers, and reproduce using spores. Spores differ from seeds in that they have very little stored food.

24 Cheerleader’s asset : PEP

Our contemporary term “pep”, meaning “vigor, energy”, is a shortened version of “pepper” that used to have the same meaning.

26 Toy brand with a Taj Mahal set : LEGO

Lego produces some wonderful specialized sets with which you can build models of celebrated structures, including:

  • The Statue of Liberty (2,882 pieces)
  • The Sydney Opera House (2,989 pieces)
  • The Eiffel Tower (3,428 pieces)
  • Tower Bridge (4,295 pieces)
  • The Taj Mahal (5,922 pieces)

27 2001 Apple debut : IPOD

The iPod is Apple’s signature line of portable media players. The iPod first hit the market in 2001 with a hard drive-based device, now known as the iPod Classic. Later models all use flash memory, allowing a smaller form factor. The smallest of the flash-based models is the iPod Shuffle, which was introduced in 2005.

33 Short stories? : LIT

Literature (lit.)

35 “Hey” assistant : SIRI

Siri is a software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. Voice-over artist Susan Bennett revealed herself as the female American voice of Siri a few years ago. The British version of Siri is called Daniel, and the Australian version is called Karen. Also, “Siri” is a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”, and was the name the developer had chosen for his first child.

36 Polite-to-slurp Japanese noodle : SOBA

Soba is a thin Japanese noodle made from buckwheat flour. In Japan, the word “soba” tends to describe any thin noodle, in contrast with the thicker noodle called “udon”.

38 NFL ball carriers : RBS

Running back (RB)

42 Solicit support from, as voters : CANVASS

To canvass is to pass through a group of people in order determine opinions. At the start of the 16th century, “to canvass” meant “to toss in a canvas sheet for the purpose of sifting”. This meaning evolved into the figurative usage “to examine carefully”. Nowadays, the word “canvass” can describe both the determination of support for a political candidate, as well as the solicitation of votes.

47 Swelling : EDEMA

Both animals and plants can suffer from edema, which is a swelling caused by excessive accumulation of fluid.

52 Bit strap : REIN

The type of horse tack known as a bit is placed in a horse’s mouth and is used to aid communication of instruction from rider to mount. The bit is held in place by means of a bridle around the head, and is controlled by the rider using the attached reins.

53 “And __ it ironic”: Alanis Morissette lyric : ISN’T

“Ironic” is a 1996 song co-written and recorded by Alanis Morissette. A couple of lines in the song are:

It’s meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife

For an awards ceremony in 2004, Morissette changed these lyrics to demonstrate support for same-sex marriage:

It’s meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful husband

58 Super Bowl IV MVP Dawson : LEN

Len Dawson is a retired AFL-NFL quarterback who played for the Kansas City Chiefs (originally known as the Dallas Texans).

59 Valiant’s boy : ARN

In the comic strip “Prince Valiant”, Arn is the eldest son of the title character, and Aleta is his wife. Edward, Duke of Windsor, once declared that “Prince Valiant” comic strip the “greatest contribution to English Literature in the past one hundred years”. I’m not so sure …

61 Drink suffix with Power : -ADE

Powerade is one of those sports drinks, and is the only real competitor to Gatorade.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Suggestion for stress relief : TAKE SOME TIME OFF
16 Enjoying a solo walk in the woods : AT ONE WITH NATURE
17 It makes a good point : PENCIL SHARPENER
18 Big boat : ARK
19 Needs to remit : OWES
20 Trick : CON
21 Yellowy insides : YOLKS
24 Farm structures : PENS
25 Enters unnoticed : SLIPS IN
28 Paratha roti ingredient : GHEE
31 Showed joy, ironically : WEPT
32 Tricky hoops move that’s often an assist : NO-LOOK PASS
37 In the past : AGO
38 Supporters : RETINUE
39 Summary usually including a photo : BIO
40 Treatment for dry skin : BODY BUTTER
42 It’s just above street level : CURB
43 Road game : I SPY
44 Ancient French region : ALSATIA
46 Summer hire : TEMP
49 Check for fit : TRY ON
50 Chemical suffix : -IDE
51 Vegas hotel with an operatic name : ARIA
54 Hosp. tubes : IVS
56 Pasta for vegetarians : MEATLESS LASAGNA
62 “Pass” : I’M NOT INTERESTED
63 Scopes Trial site : DAYTON, TENNESSEE

Down

1 Dancing suitable for radio : TAP
2 Put away : ATE
3 Hawaiian coffee district : KONA
4 Protect from theft, in a way : ENCRYPT
5 High-end watches : SEIKOS
6 Barn __ : OWL
7 Appropriate prefix for an embezzler? : MIS-
8 Guiding beliefs : ETHOS
9 Spring harbinger : THAW
10 Memo opener : IN RE
11 Guides with scales : MAPS
12 Tanning time on the Riviera : ETE
13 Smidgen : OUNCE
14 Trademarked refrigerant : FREON
15 Decorative greenery : FERNS
22 Pregame managerial decision : LINEUP
23 Complicated : KNOTTY
24 Cheerleader’s asset : PEP
25 Makeup-applying aid : SWAB
26 Toy brand with a Taj Mahal set : LEGO
27 2001 Apple debut : IPOD
28 Approach : GO NEAR
29 Like most labor rates : HOURLY
30 Squeak (out) : EKE
33 Short stories? : LIT
34 Border on : ABUT
35 “Hey” assistant : SIRI
36 Polite-to-slurp Japanese noodle : SOBA
38 NFL ball carriers : RBS
41 Pup squeak : YIP
42 Solicit support from, as voters : CANVASS
45 “Indeed” : SO I SEE
46 Hardly outgoing : TIMID
47 Swelling : EDEMA
48 Not-so-nice sort : MEANY
49 Sample : TASTE
51 Vocal range : ALTO
52 Bit strap : REIN
53 “And __ it ironic”: Alanis Morissette lyric : ISN’T
55 Mil. ranks : SGTS
57 Day care attendee : TOT
58 Super Bowl IV MVP Dawson : LEN
59 Valiant’s boy : ARN
60 Formerly named : NEE
61 Drink suffix with Power : -ADE

23 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 14 Sep 19, Saturday”

  1. LAT: 20 minutes, no errors. Looked ominous at first with six answers going across the width, but it turned out to be a little too easy. I’d like more of a challenge for Saturday.

  2. At first looked impossible, but found it easy after I once penciled in
    “pencil sharpener”…no errors today. I will admit, though, that I didn’t
    have a clue what paratha roti was, so I looked up the ingredients.

    1. Mary, where did you find the ingredients?

      I will leave my summation here. My son-in-law came over and got 95%
      before he had to leave. I completed 3 answers and got it up to 98.5%.
      Best we could do.

      Back Monday.

      Kudos to all.

  3. LAT: 16:27, no errors. WSJ 21×21: 26:05, no errors. NYT: 14:30, no errors. Haven’t done Newsday’s “Saturday Stumper” yet.

    1. And … the “Stumper” has fallen … 50:03, no errors. A bit easier than usual, I would say, though I got hung up for a bit in the lower left.

  4. 0 errors. Yes, it looked like a bear at first glance, but turned out to be a bunny rabbit. Had to erase my very first entry, however: had entered “EAT” for 2D, and needed to correct it to “ATE.” I hate when they trick you like that!
    18A: I have the Bill Cosby LP with his hilarious Noah’s ark routine. Can we still find it funny?
    42D: Always thought canvassing referred to the canvas bags they’d use to schlep campaign literature and deliver it from door to door. I guess that was just a coincidence.
    Presidential campaign workers haven’t gone door-to-door in years.
    47D: Being prone to edema, I have had to more than halve my salt intake. Thought I’d miss it, but I don’t- a little is enough. And I’ve been able to resume my career as a leg model.
    Carrie- a friend in Mar Vista still needs to get her visible exterior cracks repaired. On her house. From the earthquake, which had to have been twelve years ago. A house on her block just like hers, a 2-br bungalow built in the early ’20s, sold for a million a couple years ago. WTH! They’re calling it Silicon Beach. Good luck w/ur project.

    1. Thanks Michael!! Yep– I still have interior cracks from that earthquake!
      As for the Noah routine~~ I remember it! Dad had the LP. Great how it starts off with Noah unconvinced it’s actually God: “Who is this really??!” And to the rabbits he’s like “only two…”

      Didn’t do the puzzle but kinda wish I had– looks fun.😊

  5. 8:51. I beat Bill, but then again he’s distracted with his brother in town and likely consuming a few adult beverages. No NYT write up yet today, but it took me 36:07 for that one.

    I heard GHEE on an episode of The Soprano’s as a possible cause of Tony’s food poisoning. I just like to know there are real world examples of things I only know from crosswords.

    As far as I’m concerned, MEATLESS LASAGNA is an oxymoron….

    Best –

  6. LAT 22:14 no errors….NYT 0901 DNF…NYT 0810 DNF….one outta three ain’t so good but they are Saturday and Sunday puzzles and yes I said ain’t

  7. Like everyone else, this looked daunting until I got enough letters to help with the long clues. Had one error, had “alone with nature” not “atone……….”. But it did turn out to be rather easy for a Sat.

  8. LAT: 14:12, no errors. Not too bad. WSJ: 38:04, no errors. Newsday: The usual 3 completely wrong answer DNF with very little gotten. FWIW, what makes this one so hard is that they work to design clues that could be anything for an answer. So you don’t get anywhere trying to get into the grid because you can’t be sure your other answers are right – or any of the other answers crossing those.

    1. I’m a regular Stumper constructor, and yes, there’s plenty of vagueness and misdirection. I have learned some of Stan’s cluing tendencies but still have trouble solving them sometimes. That’s part of the fun.

      Regarding today’s LA Times, I tried to keep things simple because the 15s can be hard to get sometimes. Rich does a good job of moderating the difficulty from week to week.

      My free puzzle site is alexashortbush.net and there are plenty of difficult themelesses.

      1. Thank you for your response. It’s always nice to see constructors out and about.

        Difficulty is kind of a funny thing, and I notice that with the Stumpers. I mention a lot of times that puzzles are either 2 or 9 for me. The odder part is that I have a Newsday book that I’ve been doing Stumpers out of and either have been completing them or getting very close. Difficulty seems so oddly relative. It’s a rare thing to find a puzzle just difficult enough to make you better. Of course, I can say difficulty is an odd thing with the LAT too. There’s been times when the LAT has been the hardest of the week for me.

        That said, I find it kind of a surprise to see triple 15s anymore (I think this is the first time in several months), simply because I read in a lot of places that they make the puzzle easier. There’s a dread aspect to new solvers in seeing the white space, but I would tend to agree with the assessment as many of my records feature 15 stacks. I will say today’s LAT was a fun well-constructed puzzle that I was happy to solve.

        Thank you for providing your site, and for providing the crosswords you do. One thing out of many I’ve wanted to do is learn how to make crosswords, but it’s another thing on the stack of a lot of things I want to do and not enough time and energy to do it. Isn’t that life?

        Thank you again!

  9. 15 mins 5 sec and no errors (Bill proved to be mortal after all, for a change!). Not easy, but not as hard as some Saturdays. Had to keep chipping away at those long top and bottom row-long entries…

  10. @Michael re Cosby’s “Noah” routine. I had the good fortune to see him perform this live at the old Hungry I nightclub in San Francisco, probably 1964. Hopefully he wasn’t the monster then that he is today, because that bit was drop dead hilarious. — Jack2

  11. Not too hard, not too easy; took about 45 minutes with no errors. It did look difficult at first, but managed a few 15 space spanners and things started to look up.

    Just two re-writes: attn to INRE and WEep to WEPT. I kept thinking it was eggplant lasagna but that, after a while, proved untenable. Got the bottom first and after fixing INRE, the top spanner became obvious. Very enjoyable Saturday…Thanks Greg.

  12. Got hung up in the middle. Body butter took awhile. So did lit, for some reason. Don’t know much about football, so didn’t get rbs for awhile. But still I managed 19 and a half minutes or so. Helped to have no French or Spanish terms.

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