LA Times Crossword 12 Oct 19, Saturday

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Constructed by: Erik Agard
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 9m 12s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Online gay dating site : GRINDR

Grindr is a social networking app aimed at gay and bisexual men. Subscribers locate potential partners using the geolocation capabilities of smartphones. A user in a particular location can view a grid showing pictures of fellow subscribers arranged by proximity.

7 Bridge accessory : SCOREPAD

The version of the card game bridge that is played mostly today is contract bridge. Auction bridge is a similar game, and is a precursor to contract bridge.

16 Provençal olive-and-capers spread : TAPENADE

The dish known as tapenade is traditionally made from olives, capers, anchovies and olive oil. The name comes from the Provençal word for capers, i.e. “tapenas”.

20 Eponymous German bacteriologist : PETRI

Julius Richard Petri was a German bacteriologist and was the man after whom the Petri dish is named. The petri dish can have an agar gel on the bottom which acts as a nutrient source for the specimen being grown and studied, in which case the dish plus agar is referred to as an “agar plate”.

23 Relative of “You go!” : ATTA

As in “Atta boy!” and “Atta girl!”

25 Yogurt-based condiment : RAITA

Raita is a condiment served in Indian restaurants that is made from yogurt flavored with coriander, cumin, mint and cayenne pepper.

30 Forensic workplace : DNA LAB

Something described as forensic is connected with a court of law, or with public discussion or debate. The term comes from the Latin “forensis” meaning “of a forum, of a place of assembly”. We mainly use the word today to mean “pertaining to legal trials” as in “forensic medicine” and “forensic science”.

41 Palindromic observance : TET

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

43 Stand-up comic Boosler : ELAYNE

Elayne Boosler is a stand-up comedian and was one of the first female comedians to have her act aired as a special on cable television. She does have some funny lines, and here’s one that I particularly like:

When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country.

47 Radio letters : AM/FM

Amplitude modulation/frequency modulation (AM/FM)

50 Many of the characters in the 2018 film “Smallfoot” : YETIS

“Smallfoot” is a 2018 computer-animated film that is based on a children’s book “Yeti Tracks” by Sergio Pablas. The storyline features many a yeti (bigfoot), and a human (smallfoot).

52 Italian cabbage? : EURO

Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, scratch, cheddar, simoleons, clams and moola(h) are all slang terms for money.

53 Part of UCSD : DIEGO

The name of the California city of San Diego dates back to 1602, when Spanish explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno named the area after the Catholic Saint Didacus. Saint Didacus was more commonly referred to as San Diego de Alcalá.

The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) is located in La Jolla. The school was founded in 1960 as the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Appropriately enough, UCSD’s athletic teams are known as the Tritons, and the school mascot is King Triton.

57 Cheese go-with : MAC

In many cases, the name given to a type of pasta comes from its shape. However, the name macaroni comes from the type of dough used to make the noodles. Here in the US, macaroni is usually elbow-shaped tubes, but it doesn’t have to be.

60 It was created in Philly in 1792 : US MINT

The nation’s first mint was established in Philadelphia in 1792, as back then Philadelphia was the capital of the United States. That first mint was located in a building that previously housed a whiskey distillery.

65 Unifying alloy : SOLDER

Solder is a metal alloy that is used to join pieces of work together using the principle that the melting point of the alloy is below the melting point of the workpieces.

Down

12 Meaning of two vertical lines, at times : PAUSE

Two vertical lines make up the icon representing “pause”, on say a TV’s remote control.

21 Tiny bit : TAD

Back in the 1800s, “tad” was used to describe a young child, and this extended into our usage of “small amount” in the early 1900s. The original use of “tad” for a child is very likely a shortened version of “tadpole”.

24 Wound application : ALOE

Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. ancient Egyptians knew it as the plant of immortality, and Native Americans called it the wand of heaven.

31 Base runners? : AWOLS

MPs (military police officers) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).

36 “Learning [is] the kind of __ distinguishing the studious”: Bierce : IGNORANCE

“The Devil’s Dictionary” is a satirical work by Ambrose Bierce, consisting of a list of common words with some very amusing definitions. First published in 1911, “The Devil’s Dictionary” is a more complete version of Bierce’s 1906 publication “The Cynic’s Word Book”. Here are some of my favorite definitions found therein:

  • Cabbage, n. A familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man’s head.
  • Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.
  • Dentist, n. A prestidigitator who, putting metal into your mouth, pulls coins out of your pocket.
  • Love, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
  • Hers, pron. His.
  • Money, n. A blessing that is of no advantage to us excepting when we part with it.
  • Quotation, n: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.
  • Selfish, adj. Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others.
  • Sweater, n. Garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.
  • Year, n. A period of three hundred and sixty-five disappointments.

37 Triangular chart user : EYE DOCTOR

The commonly used eye chart (that starts with the letters “E FP TOZ LPED”) is called a Snellen chart. The test is named after its developer Herman Snellen, who introduced it way back in 1862.

45 Familia member : TIA

In Spanish, a “tia” (aunt) is a member of “la familia” (the family).

48 __ Vanilli : MILLI

Milli Vanilli famously won a Grammy and had it revoked when it was discovered that they didn’t even provide the lead vocals for the award-winning recording, and just lip-synced when performing on stage.

49 Big bone : FEMUR

The thigh bone, the femur, is the longest and strongest bone in the human body.

51 Theater buff’s collection : STUBS

A buff or nut is someone who is extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable about a subject. For example, one might be a movie buff, or perhaps a baseball nut.

54 Turow memoir : ONE L

Scott Turow is an author and lawyer from Chicago. Turow has had several bestselling novels including “Presumed Innocent”, “The Burden of Proof” and “Reversible Errors”, all three of which were made into films. He also wrote the autobiographical book “One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School”.

56 Parliament : London :: Storting : __ : OSLO

The Storting is the Norwegian parliament and is located in Oslo, Norway’s capital city. The Storting differs in structure from say the US Congress and the British Parliament in that is unicameral, has only one legislative chamber.

59 Pale __ : ALE

Pale ale is a beer made using mainly pale malt, which results in a relatively light color for a malted beer.

61 Not bien : MAL

In French, when things are not “bien” (good), they are “mal” (bad).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Online gay dating site : GRINDR
7 Bridge accessory : SCOREPAD
15 Electrically overhaul : REWIRE
16 Provençal olive-and-capers spread : TAPENADE
17 Many : A LOT OF
18 Bent : APTITUDE
19 Legal end : BAN
20 Eponymous German bacteriologist : PETRI
22 Nuzzled : NOSED
23 Relative of “You go!” : ATTA
25 Yogurt-based condiment : RAITA
27 Contents of some weekly organizers : MEDS
28 “Alas … ” : SADLY …
30 Forensic workplace : DNA LAB
32 Volumes on devices : E-BOOKS
34 Cheeks asset : GLOW
35 Lose juice entirely : DIE
38 Sci-fi science : ALIEN TECHNOLOGY
41 Palindromic observance : TET
42 Imprecise words : OR SO
43 Stand-up comic Boosler : ELAYNE
44 Words of denial : I WASN’T
46 Was upheld on appeal : STOOD
47 Radio letters : AM/FM
50 Many of the characters in the 2018 film “Smallfoot” : YETIS
52 Italian cabbage? : EURO
53 Part of UCSD : DIEGO
55 Radical cousin : NEATO
57 Cheese go-with : MAC
58 Handy annuals : ALMANACS
60 It was created in Philly in 1792 : US MINT
62 Small tuft : PLUMELET
63 White, to Juan : BLANCO
64 Persistent : TIRELESS
65 Unifying alloy : SOLDER

Down

1 Park it : GRAB A SEAT
2 Sympathetic : RELATABLE
3 Defiant refusal : I WON’T DO IT
4 Micromanager’s excess : NIT
5 Fall : DROP
6 Direct : REFER
7 Competitions in which batting is forbidden : STARING CONTESTS
8 Goalpost look-alike : CAPITAL H
9 Go (for) : OPT
10 Control during riding : REIN
11 Lay to rest : ENTOMB
12 Meaning of two vertical lines, at times : PAUSE
13 Put in later : ADDED
14 Done things : DEEDS
21 Tiny bit : TAD
24 Wound application : ALOE
26 Without help : ALONE
29 Informal “Dig?” : Y’KNOW?
31 Base runners? : AWOLS
33 Deviate : STRAY
35 “Excu-u-use me!” : DO YOU MIND?!
36 “Learning [is] the kind of __ distinguishing the studious”: Bierce : IGNORANCE
37 Triangular chart user : EYE DOCTOR
39 Basic natures : ESSENCES
40 Having a timing problem : LATE
44 “Let’s” : I’M GAME
45 Familia member : TIA
47 Change for the better : ADAPT
48 __ Vanilli : MILLI
49 Big bone : FEMUR
51 Theater buff’s collection : STUBS
54 Turow memoir : ONE L
56 Parliament : London :: Storting : __ : OSLO
59 Pale __ : ALE
61 Not bien : MAL

21 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 12 Oct 19, Saturday”

    1. @Sallee
      My guess is that “radical” and its shortened form “rad” are — or were — slang for cool or nice, just like “neato” used to be.

  1. Yes, about an hour and then it took two of us for the top. Getting tapenade really helped. Not a whole lot of fun.

  2. Very difficult, almost gave up until I hit a few on the lower right. Guessed at many; never would have thought Petri was German, but the name fit. All in all, an enjoyable puzzle.

  3. Took forever but finally finished with no errors….had to rethink
    “volumes” and then hit on ebooks which helped me finish. That
    section was the most difficult for me.

  4. 15:21. I was nervous about dealing with an Erik Agard, but it wasn’t bad.

    I’d never heard of TAPENADE sauce, but it doesn’t sound like I’m missing anything.

    I was thinking that 2 vertical lines meaning pause might be a musical thing. The pause on a remote didn’t even occur to me.

    61D could also be Spanish. “bien” means “well” and “mal” means badly.

    Best –

  5. I am glad to say that I didn’t lay an eye on it, but my son-in-law aced it
    in an hour or so. I just marvel at him and at you guys and gals. Kudos to
    all.

    I did get a pretty hard Jumble (I can hear the snickering in the background)
    and started on Wonderword. Those are my three that I try to do daily during
    the week.

    Looking for Monday. Hope for a doable and enjoyable one.

  6. LAT: 15:53, no errors. WSJ: 30:48, 5 errors. Mostly on the revealer. What you get as a constructor when the communication is inadequate on the revealer and it happens to be crossed with exotic words I had to all guess. The usual DNF on the Newsday and Croce for marking wrong words into the grid to start.

  7. The NW was the hard section for me. Didn’t know 1A and had “ize” instead of “ban.” I was thinking of an ending to legal. Tough one for sure. Also had to laugh at 7 & 8D. That sucked up a lot of my time. Haven’t heard the term “staring contest” since I was 6yrs. old!

  8. 44:11 no errors….a lot of “never heard ofs” in this one…one day there will be a puzzle without any foreign words or phrases…NOT

  9. 14 and a half minutes before I had to concede defeat on this one. Most of Agard’s puzzles are, to me, unsolveable. I don’t frequent gay dating sites, so, what chance have I got with 1A? Even if I got it with crossing fills, I’d be looking askance at the (intentional) misspelling… and then you figure in the usual precious clues, the mix of new, hip slang and so-corny-you groan old terminology, and then stuff like “alien technology” which is so far in left field that I don’t even know where to begin with it.

    I have to cough and call BS on Bill’s finishing time. NOBODY finishes a grid like this well inside ten minutes, I’m sorry. Oh well, I didn’t finish at all, so no need to compare times, right?

    1. @Allen W Dickerson
      That’s a very ungracious comment you made about Bill’s finishing time and I hope he accepts your apology.

      1. Just an (honest) impression and reaction. Take it for what you think it’s worth and move on. I won’t apologize for it, if that’s what you’re fishing for.

  10. Pretty tough Saturday Agard; With one lookup, it took about an hour. Got everything except the NE corner and finally booted my computer and looked at SCOREPAD. After that it took another 2-3 minutes to get TAPENADE, APTITUDE, the I int PETRI, the T in RAITA and PAUSE.

    Pretty tricky and mostly fair in the end. At least there weren’t a bunch of proper nouns or at least a reasonable amount.

  11. Half (of the northern half) was much too obscure or had faulty clues (or faulty answers to those clues) for me to enjoy this one. Took over an hour to finish it. “Atta” and “radical” should have been in quotations, imho. The answer to 27A was out in left field in relation to the clue. 47D should have had “maybe” at the end of the clue. I’ve never heard of the adjective “glow” describing cheeks.

    This one was not a whole lot of fun and from now on I shall eschew an Agard puzzle the next time I see that name attached to it.

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