LA Times Crossword 2 Sep 19, Monday

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Constructed by: Matt McKinley
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Labor Day

Happy Labor Day, everyone! Themed answers start with a word that often follows “LABOR”:

  • 64A September 2, 2019 … and what the first words of the answers to starred clues commemorate : LABOR DAY
  • 17A *New Year’s Eve headwear : PARTY HAT (giving “Labor Party”)
  • 40A *Billiards stick : POOL CUE (giving “labor pool”)
  • 11D *Ground out on which the fielder needn’t tag the runner : FORCE PLAY (giving “labor force”)
  • 35D *Great Britain’s flag : UNION JACK (giving “labor union”)

Bill’s time: 5m 18s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4 Islamic mystic : SUFI

A sufi is a Muslim mystic, an ascetic.

14 Rock concert gear : AMP

An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

16 Novelist __ de Balzac : HONORE

Honoré de Balzac was a French novelist and playwright from the 19th century. Balzac wrote a huge collection of related novels called “La Comédie humaine” (The Human Comedy). The work includes 91 stories, novels and essays, written from 1815 to 1848. Balzac also left 46 unfinished works as part of the collection.

24 Weather-affecting current : EL NINO

When the surface temperature of much of the Pacific Ocean rises more that half a degree centigrade, then there is said to be an El Niño episode. That small temperature change in the Pacific has been associated with climatic changes that can stretch right across the globe. El Niño is Spanish for “the boy” and is a reference to the Christ child. The phenomenon was given this particular Spanish name because the warming is usually noticed near South America and around Christmas-time.

33 France, under Caesar : GAUL

The Gauls were a Celtic race, with Gaul covering what is now known as France and Belgium. We use the term “Gallic” today, when we refer to something pertaining to France or the French.

Supposedly, when Julius Caesar marched back to Rome from Gaul, he defiantly “crossed the Rubicon” with his army while uttering the words “Alea iacta est” (“The die is cast”).

40 *Billiards stick : POOL CUE (giving “labor pool”)

The name of the game billiards comes from the French word “billiard” that originally described the wooden cue stick. The Old French “bille” translates as “stick of wood”.

42 “SNL” alum Poehler : AMY

Amy Poehler was a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” from 2001 to 2008, notable for appearing in many great sketches, including those where she played Hillary Clinton opposite Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin. Poehler also starred with Fey in the 2008 movie “Baby Mama”. And, Poehler led the cast of the sitcom “Parks and Recreation” for its seven-season run.

43 City near Syracuse : UTICA

Utica in New York is known as “Second Chance City” these days, due to the recent influx of refugees from war-torn parts of the world and from Bosnia in particular. These immigrants have helped revitalize the area and reverse a trend of population loss.

Syracuse is a large city in Central New York. The settlement that eventually became Syracuse was given its name in 1825, in honor of the city of Syracuse in Sicily. It just so happens that the US company that employed me in Ireland transferred me to Syracuse, New York, way back in 1983. As a result, I have fond memories of the city, and visit as often as I can …

45 “Trees,” for one : POEM

The American journalist and poet Joyce Kilmer is primarily known for his 1913 poem titled “Trees”. The original text of the poem is:

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Kilmer died a few years after writing “Trees”. He was a casualty of the Second Battle of the Marne in 1918 at the age of 31.

53 OSHA’s “S” : SAFETY

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.

57 Indian royal : RAJA

“Raja” (also “rajah”) is a word derived from Sanskrit that is used particularly in India for a monarch or princely ruler. The female form is “rani” (also “ranee”) and is used for a raja’s wife.

59 Powerful engine : V-TEN

The engine known as a V10 is configured with two rows of five cylinders mounted on the crankcase. The rows of cylinders are offset from each other around the crankshaft at right angles, or perhaps a little less. This arrangement of ten cylinders in a V-shape gives rise to the name “V10”.

61 Patty Hearst’s SLA alias : TANIA

The Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) was founded in 1973 by an escapee from the prison system, Donald DeFreeze. The group’s manifesto promoted the rights of African Americans although, in the 2-3 year life of the group, DeFreeze was the only black member. Famously, the SLA kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst in 1974. Hearst apparently fell victim to what is called the Stockholm syndrome and became sympathetic to her captors’ cause. She joined the SLA and assumed the name “Tania”.

64 September 2, 2019 … and what the first words of the answers to starred clues commemorate : LABOR DAY

Labor Day is a federal holiday observed every year on the first Monday in September. The tradition of honoring workers with a holiday started in Boston in 1878, when a day of observance was organized by the Central Labor Union, the major trade union at the time. There was a bloody dispute in 1894 between labor unions and the railroads called the Pullman Strike, which led to the death of some workers when the US Military and US Marshals were instructed to maintain order. President Grover Cleveland submitted a “Labor Day” bill to Congress which was signed into law just six days after the end of the strike. The introduction of a federal holiday to honor the worker was a move designed to promote reconciliation between management and unions after the bitter conflict.

66 “Hannibal” villain : LECTER

The top 5 movie villains in the American Film Institute’s list “100 Years … 100 Heroes & Villains” are:

  1. Dr. Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs”
  2. Norman Bates in “Psycho”
  3. Darth Vader in “The Empire Strikes Back”
  4. The Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz”
  5. Nurse Ratched in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

Hannibal Lecter is a character created by author Thomas Harris, first appearing in his novel “Red Dragon”. Lecter also features prominently in “Red Dragon’s” famous sequel “The Silence of the Lambs”, and even more so in the third book, “Hannibal Rising”. The latter title is a “prequel” exploring Lecter’s childhood and development into a serial killer. Famously, Lecter was portrayed in the 1991 film version of “The Silence of the Lambs” by Welsh actor Anthony Hopkins. Hopkins also played Lecter in 2001’s “Hannibal” and in 2002’s “Red Dragon”. Lector was also played by Brian Cox (“Manhunter” – 1986), by Gaspard Ulliel (“Hannibal Rising” – 2007), and by Mad Mikkelsen (“Hannibal” – TV series).

67 Jacob’s twin : ESAU

Esau, was the grandson of Abraham and the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When Esau was born to Isaac and Rebekah, the event was described “Now the first came forth, red all over like a hairy garment”. Esau is portrayed later in life as being very different from his brother Jacob, as a hunter and someone who loves the outdoor life.

69 Muslim ascetics : FAKIRS

A fakir (also “faqir”) is an ascetic in the Muslim tradition. The term “fakir” is derived from “faqr”, an Arabic word for “poverty”.

71 ___ Bo: fitness system : TAE

Tae Bo isn’t an ancient martial art, even though it perhaps sounds like one. The discipline was developed as a form of aerobic exercise in the 1990s by taekwondo expert Billy Blanks who gave it the name Tae Bo, a melding of “taekwondo” and “boxing”.

Down

2 Online shopping mecca : E-MALL

We’ve been using “mecca” to mean “a place one holds sacred” since the 1850s, and have since extended the usage to include any center of activity. The term derives from the sacred city of Islam, the birthplace of Muhammad.

3 Cook’s protection : APRON

In Old French, a “naperon” was “small table-cloth”. The term was absorbed into English as “napron”, describing a cloth used to cover the front of a person at work. Over time, “a napron” was heard as “an apron”, giving us our contemporary noun “apron”.

8 Kind of “Star Trek” torpedo : PHOTON

A MASER is a device that was around long before LASERs came into the public consciousness. A MASER (Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is similar to a LASER, but microwaves are emitted rather than light waves. When the storyline for “Star Trek” was being developed, the writers introduced a weapon called a “phaser”, with the name “phaser” derived from PHoton mASER.

11 *Ground out on which the fielder needn’t tag the runner : FORCE PLAY (giving “labor force”)

That would be baseball.

12 Canal across New York : ERIE

The Erie Canal runs from Albany to Buffalo in the state of New York. What the canal does is allow shipping to proceed from New York Harbor right up the Hudson River, through the canal and into the Great Lakes. When it was opened in 1825, the Erie Canal had immediate impact on the economy of New York City and locations along its route. It was the first means of “cheap” transportation from a port on the Atlantic seaboard into the interior of the United States. Arguably it was the most important factor contributing to the growth of New York City over competing ports such as Baltimore and Philadelphia. It was largely because of the Erie Canal that New York became such an economic powerhouse, earning it the nickname of “the Empire State”. Paradoxically, one of the project’s main proponents was severely criticized. New York Governor DeWitt Clinton received so much ridicule that the canal was nicknamed “Clinton’s Folly” and “Clinton’s Ditch”.

18 Woven fabric : TWILL

The verb “to twill” means to weave a cloth (called a twill) that has a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs.

22 Harry and William of England : PRINCES

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex is the younger of the two sons of Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales. Famously, Prince Harry married American actress Meghan Markle in 2018. The groom’s name was Prince Henry of Wales until the marriage, at which time his name changed officially to “Prince Harry”.

Born in 1982, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge is the elder of the two sons of Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales. As such, William is second in line to the British throne, after his father.

25 Enzo’s eight : OTTO

In Italian, “due” (two) cubed is “otto” (eight).

27 Slobbery comics pooch : ODIE

Odie is Garfield’s best friend, and is a slobbery beagle. Both are characters in Jim Davis’ comic strip named “Garfield”.

32 Interstate rds. : HWYS

The US Interstate System is more correctly known as the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, a nod to President Eisenhower who championed the construction. The President had come to recognise the value of the German autobahn system in his experiences during WWII, and resolved to give the US a similar infrastructure. In real terms, the US Interstate construction project is said to have been the largest public works project since the Pyramids of Egypt.

33 Vittles on the trail : GRUB

The larvae of stag beetles are commonly known as grubs, and the pupa known as the chrysalis. “Grub” is also slang for “food”. The word “grub” has been used in this sense since way back in the 1600s, and is possibly possible derived from birds eating grubs.

35 *Great Britain’s flag : UNION JACK (giving “labor union”)

The Union Jack is a “jack” (a flag) representing the “Union” (the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland). The flag is made up of three crosses:

  • The St. George’s Cross of England, a red cross (+) on a white background.
  • The St. Andrew’s Cross of Scotland, a white cross (x), on a blue background.
  • The St. Patrick’s Cross representing Northern Ireland, a red cross (x) on a white background.

37 Symphonic rock gp. : ELO

The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) is a symphonic rock group from the north of England.

41 Infield quartet : UMPS

Back in the 15th century, “an umpire” was referred to as “a noumpere”, which was misheard and hence causing the dropping of the initial letter N. The term “noumpere” came from Old French “nonper” meaning “not even, odd number”. The idea was that the original umpire was a third person called on to arbitrate between two, providing that “odd number” needed to decide the dispute.

44 Italian wine favored by 66-Across : CHIANTI
(“Hannibal” villain : LECTER)

Chianti is a red wine from the Chianti region of central Tuscany in Italy. Historically, Chianti was stored in a characteristically bulbous bottle wrapped in a straw basket. However, the pragmatists have won the day and regular wine bottles tend to be used nowadays.

In the Thomas Harris book “Silence of the Lambs”, Hannibal Lechter expresses a liking for an Amarone, a fine robust wine from the Valpolicella region of Italy, to accompany his dish of liver and fava beans. When the story moved to the big screen, the wine was apparently “dumbed down” to something more readily recognizable by us movie-goers, and so Hannibal will forever be associated with Chianti wines.

52 Big fight : MELEE

Our term “melee” comes from the French “mêlée”, and in both languages the word means “confused fight”.

57 Massage deeply : ROLF

Rolfing is a trademarked massage technique developed by Ida Pauline Rolf in the fifties.

58 Rectangle measure : AREA

The area of a rectangle is calculated by multiplying the length of one side (base) by another side (height).

60 Mission Control org. : NASA

NASA’s famous Mission Control is located in the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. NASA’s Launch Control Center is located at the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida. Responsibility for controlling the spacecraft resides with the Launch Control Center until the vehicle clears the launch tower, at which time control is passed over to Mission Control.

63 Olympic country code alphabetically just before GHA : GER

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) uses its own set of three-letter abbreviations for country names, e.g. GHA (Ghana) and GER (Germany).

65 Music majors’ degs. : BAS

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Grazing area : LEA
4 Islamic mystic : SUFI
8 Would rather have : PREFER
14 Rock concert gear : AMP
15 Mellowed in a cask : AGED
16 Novelist __ de Balzac : HONORE
17 *New Year’s Eve headwear : PARTY HAT (giving “Labor Party”)
19 Offshore driller : OIL RIG
20 Loses speed : SLOWS
21 Absorbed : RAPT
23 Treats with a cold pack : ICES
24 Weather-affecting current : EL NINO
26 Vinyl record feature : GROOVE
28 Building sites : LOTS
30 Comprehensive : IN DEPTH
33 France, under Caesar : GAUL
36 “And __ what happened?” : THEN
38 Relative via marriage : IN-LAW
39 Sprint : RUN
40 *Billiards stick : POOL CUE (giving “labor pool”)
42 “SNL” alum Poehler : AMY
43 City near Syracuse : UTICA
45 “Trees,” for one : POEM
46 Parting words : BYES
47 Compound cry of dissatisfaction : BOO HISS
49 Agile : SPRY
51 Common workday starting hr. : NINE AM
53 OSHA’s “S” : SAFETY
57 Indian royal : RAJA
59 Powerful engine : V-TEN
61 Patty Hearst’s SLA alias : TANIA
62 Florida fruit : ORANGE
64 September 2, 2019 … and what the first words of the answers to starred clues commemorate : LABOR DAY
66 “Hannibal” villain : LECTER
67 Jacob’s twin : ESAU
68 Outfielder’s asset : ARM
69 Muslim ascetics : FAKIRS
70 Sunrise direction : EAST
71 ___ Bo: fitness system : TAE

Down

1 Moment of forgetfulness : LAPSE
2 Online shopping mecca : E-MALL
3 Cook’s protection : APRON
4 Refuses : SAYS “NO”
5 “That stinks!” : UGH!
6 Fright : FEAR
7 Suitcase tie-on : ID TAG
8 Kind of “Star Trek” torpedo : PHOTON
9 King, in France : ROI
10 Give some pep to : ENLIVEN
11 *Ground out on which the fielder needn’t tag the runner : FORCE PLAY (giving “labor force”)
12 Canal across New York : ERIE
13 Rules, briefly : REGS
18 Woven fabric : TWILL
22 Harry and William of England : PRINCES
25 Enzo’s eight : OTTO
27 Slobbery comics pooch : ODIE
29 Frequents, as a store : SHOPS AT
31 Get under control : TAME
32 Interstate rds. : HWYS
33 Vittles on the trail : GRUB
34 Prefix with correct : AUTO-
35 *Great Britain’s flag : UNION JACK (giving “labor union”)
37 Symphonic rock gp. : ELO
40 Ache : PAIN
41 Infield quartet : UMPS
44 Italian wine favored by 66-Across : CHIANTI
46 Substantially : BY FAR
48 Cuts off, as diplomatic ties : SEVERS
50 Inform on : RAT OUT
52 Big fight : MELEE
54 Continue until : END AT
55 Jewel-studded topper : TIARA
56 “I did good!” : YAY ME!
57 Massage deeply : ROLF
58 Rectangle measure : AREA
60 Mission Control org. : NASA
63 Olympic country code alphabetically just before GHA : GER
65 Music majors’ degs. : BAS

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 2 Sep 19, Monday”

    1. We used a different format today. I marked the ones I knew or thought
      I knew, the wife filled in hers and our smart lawyer son-in-law came
      over and finished it off with no errors before I returned from a trip to
      town. Every time I use that phrase about going into town, I think of
      “Little House On The Prairie”. Michael Landon would take lengthy
      trips and not return for a month.

      I don’t and won’t know if I could have gotten them all or not. I was going
      to use TANYA as well. But, I did correct one of his letters, an E for an I in YAYME, a poor choice for an answer. So, a pretty good team effort.

      I then finished the Jumble, after struggling with the answer.

      Happy Labor Day to all.

      1. @Daigle
        You asked a question back on Thursday. I would love to answer/help but I can’t say I understand what you were wanting to know. Could you elaborate?

  1. Realized “intense” should be “indepth” so one cross out. Our Erie canal attracts recreation seekers, kayakers and cyclists along the old mule paths. Summer and particularly Fall color seasons. Restaurants springing up along the shore. Not as many commercial barges.

  2. No errors nor erasures.
    16A: Karl Marx said he relied on Balzac’s portrayal of the French bourgeoisie to, in the Manifesto, point out their hypocrisy when the capitalist class accused the working people of immorality. The rich were trying to deny working people a role in managing the affairs of the nation. Sound familiar? Balzac is one of my favorites, and I’ve been to everything ‘Balzacian’ in Paris.
    24A: My sons’ mother has an uncle nicknamed “El Nino.” He was the youngest of a large brood, ergo the moniker. Now, at the age of 90, he is still called El Nino. People ask him for weather forecasts.
    45A: My uncle Sid spent some time at Camp Kilmer, in NJ, when he served our great nation. It no longer exists, its functions being transferred to Fort Dix. The camp, not the nation. The camp was named after Joyce, who served in WWI, and not Val, who served in the Navy in a movie.
    53A: OSHA is part of the Dept. of Labor, in which I served our great nation.
    Re 64A notes: Labor Day in America was only celebrated May 1, though not ‘officially.’ The U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobbied, in essence, to have it switched to later in the calendar, as part of a strategy to de-radicalize America’s increasingly revolutionary working people. May 1st is still celebrated as the “true” labor day.
    60D: In the early ’80s, I had a month-long assignment at Kennedy Space Center. I had a pass allowing me to drive to all but the most-restricted areas. 95% of the people working there were employed by private contractors, from the janitors and groundskeepers to the official photographers. Even the people fishing the boosters out of the water and re-fueling them.
    HAPPY LABOR DAY TO ALL! And let us doff our hardhats to Bill, who continued to slave away during the holiday weekend to bring us this excellent web page to which I for one have become happily addicted.

  3. 6:15. I had to cheat a bit at the intersection of FAKIRS and ROLF. I didn’t know either so I had to do an alphabet run until I got the “F” which gave me the success banner.

    Best –

  4. LAT: 8:07, no errors. Newsday: 5:04, no errors. BEQ: 24:43, no errors; it had several names that I didn’t know and had to infer from crosses and I paused for some time over the intersection of 59D and 66A, but finally remembered a German song that was germane (pun intended 😜). New Yorker: ~36:00, no errors; pretty difficult, I thought.

    WSJ: as Glenn says, none, but I wanted to report that I got the correct answer for Friday’s meta and that the “Muggles” site where it is discussed has some interesting comments about solving metas:

    https://www.xword-muggles.com/forums/ucp.php?mode=login

    @Eric Wells (about the discussion of “portmanteau”) … In addition to what I said yesterday (that it’s “a word blending the sounds and combining the meanings of two others” and therefore can involve a change in spelling), I would observe also that, according to a site I found later, “Maypo” is derived from “maple” and “oats” (rather than “porridge”). Which perhaps would make it even less of a portmanteau, in your view? … 😜

    1. @Dave
      I was going to ask you something: Do you have any crossword book recommendations (history and the like)? I thought about looking for something else different than Connor that has a better look-in of the American side. Your comments before indicated you have some exposure to a lot of other books. Do you think any of them fit that bill – i.e. talks about Maleska/Weng/Farrar more, other puzzles more (like LAT or others), and basically isn’t Shortz-centric past Wynne and stuff like that? Been looking at books and the best candidate seems to be another book written by a Brit (a hotshot cryptic author), but I can’t hold out a lot of hope that it’ll be evenly researched much less have a bigger lookin on the American side. (Though I just had an idea come to mind if I can find it in my comments in the past on this blog.)

      1. I found it. I quoted out of this book when I was trying to cite a known alias of Rich Norris a couple of years ago on here. Looking at the previews on Google seems to indicate that it’s a lot more thorough on other matters but unfortunately it looks like the only vendors that will sell it want way too much. I may see if I can get an e-book of it off of Google (the link I used back then)…

  5. No errors, look-ups or erasures. Utica is my home, and I drove over the Erie a few minutes ago. Upstate NY is beautiful country.

  6. Greetings!! 🦆

    No errors. Fun puzzle!! I didn’t know FAKIRS but I have heard of rolfing so I got it.

    I read Balzac’s “Lost Illusions” several years ago and loved it. I should find another of his to read, altho I don’t think I could tackle the oeuvre Bill mentions ….just one installation…🤔

    Does anyone want to know why I use the duck emoji beside my greeting? You do? I thought so! The duck symbolizes outer calm and inner turmoil– he looks so serene gliding along the water, but underneath and out of view his little webbed feet are frantically paddling to stay afloat! Heard it from a baseball player– can’t remember who and I’m sure he didn’t originate the metaphor, but I like it.🦆

    Be well ~~🚋⚾️

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