LA Times Crossword 6 Sep 19, Friday

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Constructed by: Bruce Haight
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Football Players?

Themed answers are common phrases that have been reinterpreted as football players:

  • 18A Philanthropic football player? : GIVING BACK
  • 24A Football player who’s PR-savvy? : MEDIA CENTER
  • 36A Football player with a line? : FISHING TACKLE
  • 50A Football player with management skills? : BUSINESS END
  • 57A Football player at the beach? : COAST GUARD

Bill’s time: 11m 03s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Source of seasonal color : LEAF

Leaves are green because of the presence of the pigment chlorophyll. There is so much chlorophyll in a leaf during the growing season that it masks out the colors of any other pigments. The amount of chlorophyll falls off in the autumn so that other pigments, present all year, become evident. These pigments are carotenoids which are orange-yellow in color, and anthocyanins which are red-purple.

10 Golfer at Royal Troon, often : SCOT

Troon is a town located on the west coast of Scotland just north of Glasgow. One of Troon’s claims to fame is the Royal Troon golf course, which regularly hosts the Open Championship.

15 “America” soloist in “West Side Story” : ANITA

In Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story”, the female lead character is Maria. Her older friend Anita is also in the gang called the Sharks.

“America” is a song from Broadway musical “West Side Story” with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and music by Leonard Bernstein. The lyrics used in the stage version of the musical differ somewhat from the lyrics used in the 1961 film adaptation. The original lyrics were reportedly changed to present a more honest view of the immigration experience, and to remove wording that demeaned Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican people.

16 It parallels a radius : ULNA

The humerus is the long bone in the upper arm. The bones in the forearm are the radius and ulna. “Ulna” is the Latin word for “elbow”, and “radius” is Latin for “ray”.

18 Philanthropic football player? : GIVING BACK

Philanthropy is a concern for human welfare, and the act of donating to persons or groups who support such concerns. The term “philanthropy” derives from the Greek “phil-” meaning “loving”, and “anthropos” meaning “mankind”.

22 “Diana” singer : ANKA

Canadian-born Paul Anka’s big hit was in 1957, the song entitled “Diana”. Anka was the subject of a much-lauded documentary film in 1962 called “Lonely Boy”.

23 Stooge Howard : MOE

“Moe Howard” was the stage name of Moses Harry Horwitz. Howard was one of the Three Stooges. In 1925, he married Helen Schonberger, who was a cousin of Harry Houdini.

24 Football player who’s PR-savvy? : MEDIA CENTER

Public relations (PR)

45 Fjord kin : RIA

A drowned valley might be called a ria or a fjord, and both are formed as sea levels rise. A ria is a drowned valley created by river erosion, and a fjord is a drowned valley created by glaciation.

55 Fictional hunchbacked helper : IGOR

In the world of movies, Igor has been the assistant to Dracula, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein among others. Igor is almost invariably portrayed as a hunchback.

62 Cover for an ear : HUSK

The husk (sometimes “hull”) of a seed is its outer coating or shell. With reference to corn, the husk is the leafy outer covering of a whole ear. In the case of a legume, the husk is the pod.

63 Ending with poly- : ESTER

In a general sense, a polyester is any polymer containing the ester functional group in the main chain. In this sense, the list of polyesters includes naturally occurring compounds as well as synthetics. More specifically, the term “polyester” is often synonymous for the synthetic compound polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is the main constituent of the manufactured fibers Dacron and Terylene.

65 “At Last” singer James : ETTA

Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song “At Last”. Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.

66 Monopoly stack : DEEDS

There are 28 deed cards in the game of Monopoly. There are deeds for 22 properties/streets, 2 utilities, and 4 railroads.

67 Friend of Mary Poppins : BERT

The “Mary Poppins” series of children’s novels were written by Australian-born English writer and actress P. L. Travers. Mary Poppins is a magical children’s nanny with a best friend Bert. In the famous 1964 musical film adaptation of the Mary Poppins stories, Poppins is played by Julie Andrews and Bert is played Dick Van Dyke.

Down

3 Changes, as a law : AMENDS

The verb “to amend” means “to change for the better, put right, alter by adding”. The related verb “to emend” is used more rarely, and mainly in reference to the editing of professional writing. Both terms are derived from the Latin “emendare” meaning “to remove fault”.

4 Luxury handbag brand : FENDI

Fendi is an Italian fashion house that was founded in 1925 by Adele Casagrande. Fendi started out as a fur and leather shop in Rome, and these days is famous for its line of handbags.

7 Backless sofa : DIVAN

Divans are essentially couches without backs or arms. The design originated in the Middle East, where the couches were commonly found lining the walls of an office that was known as a “divan” or “diwan”, meaning “government office”.

9 “Sandman” or “Joltin’ Joe” : YANKEE

Mariano Rivera is a professional baseball pitcher from Panama City. Rivera played for the New York Yankees from 1995 until his retirement at the end of the 2013 season. Rivera holds the league record for the most career saves (at 652). He is known by the nicknames “Mo” and “Sandman”.

Joe DiMaggio was born not too far from here, in Martinez, California, the son of Italian immigrants. The family moved to San Francisco when Joltin’ Joe was just a baby. Joe’s Dad was a fisherman, and it was his hope that all his sons would follow him into his trade. But Joe always felt sick at the smell of fish, so fishing’s loss was baseball’s gain.

19 Long-nosed fish : GARS

“Gar” was originally the name given to a species of needlefish found in the North Atlantic. The term “gar” is now used to describe several species of fish with elongated bodies that inhabit North and Central America and the Caribbean. The gar is unusual in that it is often found in very brackish water. What I find interesting is that the gar’s swim bladders are vascularized so that they can actually function as lungs. Many species of gar can actually be seen coming to the surface and taking a gulp of air. This adaptation makes it possible for them to live in conditions highly unsuitable for other fish that rely on their gills to get oxygen out of the water. Indeed, quite interesting …

21 Joe’s 2008 election counterpart : SARAH

Famously, Sarah Palin was the Governor of Alaska from 2006 until 2009, and had been the Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska from 1996 until 2002. However, Palin is not a native Alaskan. She was born Sarah Heath in 1964 in Sandpoint, Idaho. Her father was a science teacher and took a position in Skagway, Alaska when Palin was just a few months old.

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”.

25 Lingerie item, briefly : CAMI

A camisole (also “cami”) is a sleeveless undergarment worn by women that extends down to the waist. “Camisole” is a French word that we imported into English that ultimately derives from the Latin “camisia” meaning “shirt, nightgown”.

32 Govt. IDs : SSNS

Social Security number (SSN)

36 Hit one that was caught on the warning track, say : FLIED OUT

In a baseball field, there is a dirt track around the outside of the grass field that runs parallel to the ballpark’s wall. This is the warning track, which serves as a warning to a fielder making a deep catch that he is approaching the wall.

38 Parisian friend : AMIE

A male friend in France is “un ami”, and a female friend is “une amie”.

40 Pizazz : PANACHE

Someone exhibiting panache is showing dash and verve, and perhaps has a swagger. “Panache” is a French word used for a plume of feathers, especially one in a hat.

Pizazz (also “pizzazz”) is energy, vitality. There’s a kind of cool thing about the “pizzazz” spelling, namely that it is the only 7-letter word in English that cannot be played in Scrabble. You can get close by using the Z-tile with the two blank tiles to get to three of the required four Zs, but there’s no way to get to the fourth Z.

51 Drunkard : SOUSE

The verb “to souse” dates back to the 14th century and means “to pickle, steep in vinegar”. In the early 1600s, the usage was applied to someone pickled in booze, a drunkard.

53 Indian title of respect : SAHIB

“Sahib” is most recognized as a term of address used in India, where it is used in much the same way as we use “mister” in English. The term was also used to address male Europeans in the days of the British Raj. The correct female form of address is “sahiba”, but in the colonial days the address used was “memsahib”, a melding of “ma’am” and “sahib”

58 Reggae relative : SKA

Ska originated in Jamaica in the late fifties and was the precursor to reggae music. No one has a really definitive etymology of the term “ska”, but it is likely to be imitative of a sound.

60 No and J : DRS

“Dr. No” may have been the first film in the wildly successful James Bond franchise, but it was the sixth novel in the series of books penned by Ian Fleming. Fleming was inspired to write the story after reading the Fu Manchu tales by Sax Rohmer. If you’ve read the Rohmer books or seen the films, you’ll recognize the similarities between the characters Dr. Julius No and Fu Manchu. By the way, author Ian Fleming tells us that Julius No attended medical school in Milwaukee.

Julius Erving is a retired professional basketball player who was known as “Dr. J”, a nickname he picked up in high school. Dr. J was a trailblazer in many ways, being the first player associated with slam dunking and other moves above the rim.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Source of seasonal color : LEAF
5 Like bubble baths : SUDSY
10 Golfer at Royal Troon, often : SCOT
14 “I’m buying!” : ON ME!
15 “America” soloist in “West Side Story” : ANITA
16 It parallels a radius : ULNA
17 Hot spot : OVEN
18 Philanthropic football player? : GIVING BACK
20 Varieties : KINDS
22 “Diana” singer : ANKA
23 Stooge Howard : MOE
24 Football player who’s PR-savvy? : MEDIA CENTER
27 Head for the hills : RUN
28 Spots : ADS
29 Groovy cousin : RAD
30 Usher : ESCORT
32 No different from, with “the” : SAME AS
35 “One more thing … ” : ALSO …
36 Football player with a line? : FISHING TACKLE
40 Work out ahead of time : PLAN
41 Appropriate : SEEMLY
42 Targets : AIMS AT
45 Fjord kin : RIA
46 Book jacket info : BIO
49 Goal feature : NET
50 Football player with management skills? : BUSINESS END
54 Hubbub : ADO
55 Fictional hunchbacked helper : IGOR
56 Like many windows : PANED
57 Football player at the beach? : COAST GUARD
61 It’s abuzz with activity : HIVE
62 Cover for an ear : HUSK
63 Ending with poly- : ESTER
64 Chills : ICES
65 “At Last” singer James : ETTA
66 Monopoly stack : DEEDS
67 Friend of Mary Poppins : BERT

Down

1 Start of a kid’s show-offy cry : LOOK, MA …!
2 Painfully wished one had : ENVIED
3 Changes, as a law : AMENDS
4 Luxury handbag brand : FENDI
5 Give somewhat : SAG
6 Start to cycle? : UNI-
7 Backless sofa : DIVAN
8 Period of work : STINT
9 “Sandman” or “Joltin’ Joe” : YANKEE
10 Long sandwich : SUB
11 Seafood sandwich : CLAM ROLL
12 Headed the right way : ON COURSE
13 Fallen for : TAKEN TO
19 Long-nosed fish : GARS
21 Joe’s 2008 election counterpart : SARAH
25 Lingerie item, briefly : CAMI
26 Blissful settings : EDENS
31 Like dried mud : CAKY
32 Govt. IDs : SSNS
33 Time of one’s life? : AGE
34 Harsh : STERN
36 Hit one that was caught on the warning track, say : FLIED OUT
37 Acknowledgment of being sunk? : I AM TOAST
38 Parisian friend : AMIE
39 Hold tight : CLASP
40 Pizazz : PANACHE
43 Barely more than not at all : A BIT
44 Pulled : TUGGED
46 “No fighting, now” : BE NICE
47 “The nerve!” : I NEVER!
48 Weird to the max : ODDEST
51 Drunkard : SOUSE
52 Ticked off : IRATE
53 Indian title of respect : SAHIB
58 Reggae relative : SKA
59 Wine choice : RED
60 No and J : DRS

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 6 Sep 19, Friday”

  1. 0 errors/erasures. Able to complete acrosses in order, making it a very easy puzzle for a Friday. Cute theme, though.
    55A: Where I worked we had an IT tech for a year or so, from Russia, named Igor. He told me that after saving some money, he was going to med school. I asked him what specialty he wanted to pursue. He said surgery. Would anyone out there want a dr. named Igor to operate on them? I advised him to consider using a diff. name.
    9D: My neighbor’s grandson is named Mariano. He wants to be a baseball player. His mother said he was not named after the baseball player. His father is hispanic/latino, but I know some Italian Marianos, too.
    Happy weekend!

  2. LAT: 14:24, 1 error. WSJ: 16:19, 1 error. No clue on the meta. Newsday: 11:24, no errors. New Yorker: 11:00, 1 error.

    From yesterday: A DNF is where you leave the grid unfinished or you look up something to complete the grid. If you finish the grid yourself but are incorrect, those are errors.

  3. This was easy compared to yesterdays. And agree with the comments that the theme was a big help in finishing error free.

    As to my comment from Thurs., I DNF (had missing letters) and had errors in several places. So is everyone happy now? But today I redeemed myself!!!!

  4. 12:42. Pretty easy for a Friday. Fitting in that football season is just starting.

    First time I’ve done a crossword (or anything else for that matter) with a clear head in 6 weeks. My schedule is finally clearing up a bit after finishing up a large project yesterday. The people around me couldn’t be happier. I don’t think I’ve been too pleasant too be around lately….

    Interesting note about the word “pizzazz” and scrabble. Maybe if there were multiple board scrabble games…..like multiple deck black jack? Then you could do it.

    Best –

  5. If I get help from my dictionary, I don’t consider that a DNF. If I did, I may
    never have finished one. I count posting errors and omissions of letters as
    errors that affect the score. Anyway, what’s in a number?

    Got this one, too, though it took over an hour; we are just that slow. We had
    only 90% before I took a short break to test my blood sugar. When I went
    back to it, I just started seeing them. I found it very challenging and
    enjoyable. We whited over almost half the squares, but you do what
    you gotta do!

    A 100 is a 100, as we see it.

    An excellent week; one empty square on Tuesday. Great average.

  6. LAT: 11:09, no errors. Newsday: 13:44, no errors. WSJ: 15:26, no errors; still working on the meta. New Yorker: 15:47, no errors; a bit harder than usual, I thought (but the New Yorker puzzles tend to be a little inconsistent from week to week). Croce later …

    1. Croce: 1:06:04, with a one-square error at the intersection of an S&M activity and a hip-hop group – well outside my areas of expertise 😜. (Actually, I pleased to have finished this one at all … 🤪.)

  7. Michael, re your comment on an MD named Igor: I once had a foreign customer who named his company Visual Dialog. I had to explain to him why “VD” was not a good logo…..

  8. For some reason that I can’t quite explain, I just didn’t care for this puzzle. Maybe it was the two rusty nails I had at dinner? 🙂

  9. Pretty quick and easy Friday for me; took 23 minutes with no errors. The theme helped for once, even though I don’t watch gridiron anymore.

    Had to change ruSHING… to FISHING…, when I remembered the theme. Also ague to ICES and AsS to ADS.

  10. Greetings y’all!!🦆

    Hi Dirk!! Just missed you last night, I see! Thought I’d see your comment after I posted mine–

    No errors. I really like Bruce Haight’s puzzles. Challenging and varied. The theme helped, tho I barely know football. 🤔

    For me a DNF includes when I’ve filled in all squares but have errors. DNF = did not finish successfully. Maybe we need to take a vote!!😁

    Be well~~🚋⚾️

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