LA Times Crossword 16 Oct 19, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Roland Huget
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Instagram

Themed answers each start with an “anaGRAM” of “INSTA”:

  • 59A Social networking service … or an apt portmanteau for the starts of 17-, 27- and 45-Across : INSTAGRAM
  • 17A Ellington-Strayhorn hit to which Johnny Mercer later added lyrics : SATIN DOLL
  • 27A Storied Alpine rescuer : SAINT BERNARD
  • 45A Spot treatment : STAIN REMOVER

Bill’s time: 6m 16s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Under-the-sink cleaners : LYES

What we call “lye” is usually sodium hydroxide, although historically the term “lye” was used for potassium hydroxide. Lye has many uses, including to cure several foodstuffs. Lye can make olives less bitter, for example. The chemical is also found in canned mandarin oranges, pretzels and Japanese ramen noodles. More concentrated grades of lye are used to clear drains and clean ovens. Scary …

14 On the protected side : ALEE

Alee is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing aweather.

15 Ward of “FBI” : SELA

Actress Sela Ward turns up in crosswords a lot. Ward played Teddy Reed in the TV show “Sisters” in the nineties, and was in “Once and Again” from 1999-2002. I don’t know either show, but I do know Ward from the medical drama “House” in which she played the hospital’s lawyer and Greg House’s ex-partner. That was a fun role, I thought. More recently, Ward played a lead role on “CSI: NY” and was a very welcome and much-needed addition to the cast. And, Ward played Dr. Richard Kimble’s murdered wife in the 1993 film version of “The Fugitive”.

The TV crime drama “FBI” premiered in 2018, and centers on the FBI office in New York City. Star of the show is Canadian actress Missy Peregrym, who plays FBI special agent Maggie Bell.

16 Author Zora __ Hurston : NEALE

Zora Neale Hurston was an American author who was most famous for her 1937 novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God”.

17 Ellington-Strayhorn hit to which Johnny Mercer later added lyrics : SATIN DOLL

“Satin Doll” is a jazz standard that was co-written and recorded by Duke Ellington. Johnny Mercer wrote lyrics to the song, but after it had already become an instrumental hit in 1953. Ellington usually closed his concerts with a rendition of “Satin Doll”.

20 “The Addams Family” cousin : ITT

In the television sitcom “The Addams Family”, the family had a frequent visitor called Cousin Itt. Itt is a short man with long hair that runs from his head to the floor. Cousin Itt was played by Italian actor Felix Silla.

They’re creepy and they’re kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They’re altogether ooky,
The Addams Family.

21 Device for scratch removal? : ATM

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)

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

24 Viagra competitor : LEVITRA

“Levitra” is a brand name for the drug vardenafil, which is used for treating erectile dysfunction. Levitra is very closely related to Viagra and Cialis, both of which treat the same syndrome.

“Viagra” is a trade name for the drug sildenafil citrate that is used primarily to treat erectile dysfunction. The drug was developed in the UK by Pfizer as a treatment for high blood pressure and angina, but the clinical trials showed that it induced penile erections. A decision was made to change the intended market of the drug and in 1998 it became the first orally-taken medication approved by the FDA for erectile dysfunction.

27 Storied Alpine rescuer : SAINT BERNARD

The St. Bernard dog originated in the Italian and Swiss alps, and was indeed specially bred for rescue. The breed dates back at least to the early 1700s when the dogs worked from the traveler’s hospice at the St. Bernard Pass in the Alps between Italy and Switzerland. The breed took its name from this famously treacherous route through the mountains. A group of St. Bernards is known as a floof. Yep, a floof …

36 Motes may be seen in one : RAY

A mote is a speck of dust.

37 Two-time Indy winner Luyendyk : ARIE

Arie Luyendyk is a racing driver from the Netherlands, winner of the Indianapolis 500 on two occasions. Luyendyk’s son, also called Arie, is following in his father’s footsteps and is also an auto racer.

39 Air Jordan company : NIKE

Nike was founded in 1964 in Eugene, Oregon by entrepreneur Phil Knight and track-and-field coach Bill Bowerman as Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS). BRS started out by distributing athletic shoes made in Japan. The company started making its own shoes in 1971 and changed its name to Nike, after the Greek goddess of victory.

Air Jordan is Nike brand of shoe (and other apparel), endorsed by NBA great Michael Jordan. The silhouette of a basketball player that features on Air Jordans is known as the “jumpman” logo.

41 Bodily fluids : SERA

Blood serum (plural “sera”) is the clear, yellowish part of blood i.e. that part which is neither a blood cell nor a clotting factor. Included in blood serum are antibodies, the proteins that are central to our immune system. Blood serum from animals that have immunity to a particular disease can be transferred to another individual, hence providing that second individual with some level of immunity. Blood serum used to pass on immunity can be called “antiserum”.

48 Senate helper : PAGE

US Senate Pages are 16 and 17-year-old high-school juniors who get to watch the political action up close in Washington, while doing the “gofer” jobs needed by the Senators and permanent staff. There are 30 Pages during the school year, 16 appointed by the majority party, and 14 by the minority. The list of former Senate Pages includes Amy Carter (daughter of the President), Chris Dodd (who became a Senator) and Spiro Agnew (who made it to the Vice President’s Office).

53 Reliable income source : CASH COW

On a farm, a dairy cow can produce a steady supply of milk, with relatively little maintenance. In the world of business, by analogy, a “cash cow” is an operation that delivers a steady stream of profits, with relatively little investment.

56 Coll. aides : TAS

Teaching assistant (TA)

59 Social networking service … or an apt portmanteau for the starts of 17-, 27- and 45-Across : INSTAGRAM

Instagram is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular. Instagram was started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram company had just 13 employees at the time of the sale …

62 Nary a soul : NO ONE

The adjective “nary” means “not one”, as in “nary a soul” or even “nary a one”.

64 Radiation units : REMS

The contemporary standard radiation dosage unit is the “roentgen equivalent in man”, abbreviated to “rem”.

66 Movie lab 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.

Down

1 Pesto herb : BASIL

The Italian term “pesto” applies to anything made by pounding. What we tend to know as pesto sauce is more properly called “pesto alla genovese”, i.e. pesto from Genoa in northern Italy. I love, love pesto sauce …

3 Hulu service : NET TV

Hulu.com is a website providing streaming video of full television shows. It is a joint venture of NBC and Disney, and so features a lot of their content.

4 Opus __: “The Da Vinci Code” sect : DEI

Opus Dei is a Roman Catholic institution that was founded in Spain in 1928, and officially approved by the church in 1950. In 2010, Opus Dei had over 90,000 members, mostly lay people. The institution’s mission is to promote certain aspects of the Roman Catholic doctrine. Opus Dei was portrayed as a sinister organization by Dan Brown in his novel “The Da Vinci Code”.

5 ’60s “journey” : LSD TRIP

LSD (known colloquially as “acid”) is lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist named Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

6 Coast Guard rank : YEOMAN

In the US Navy, a yeoman is tasked with administrative and clerical work. In fact, the position of yeoman is the oldest rating in the navy. You’ll also see a lot of yeomen in the background on “Star Trek”.

11 Gale family creator : BAUM

L. Frank Baum (the “L” is for Lyman) is famous for writing “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. Writing early in the 20th century, Baum actually described in his books things that had yet to be invented, like television, laptop computers and wireless telephones.

Dorothy Gale is the protagonist in L. Frank Baum’s book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, and indeed a major character in almost all of the “Oz” series of novels. There is a suggestion that the young heroine was named for Baum’s own niece Dorothy Gage, who died as an infant.

13 Cook Paula : DEEN

Paula Deen is a celebrity chef from Savannah, Georgia who is noted for her Southern cooking. Deen has been criticized for the amount of salt, fat and sugar in her recipes. The criticism became even more intense when Deen disclosed that she herself has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

28 Clock change hr. (though most do it sooner) : TWO AM

In the US, Daylight Saving Time starts and ends at 2:00 a.m. on the day designated for the change. In the EU, the equivalent Summer Time starts and ends at 1:00 a.m. on the designated day.

30 Golf bunker tool : RAKE

Sand traps on a golf course are referred to as “bunkers” on the other side of the Atlantic.

33 Fingerboard bar : FRET

A fret is a metal strip embedded in the neck of a stringed instrument, a guitar perhaps. The fingers press on the frets, shortening a string and hence changing the note played. The note increases by one semitone as a finger shortens a string by one fret.

38 Coffee shop amenity : FREE WI-FI

“Wi-Fi” is nothing more than a trademark, a trademark registered by an association of manufacturers of equipment that use wireless LAN (Local Area Network) technology. A device labeled with “Wi-Fi” has to meet certain defined technical standards, basically meaning that the devices can talk to each other. The name “Wi-Fi” suggests “Wireless Fidelity”, although apparently the term was never intended to mean anything at all.

39 DEA operative : NARC

“Narc” and “narco” are slang terms describing a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. Both words are short for “narcotics officer”. Narcs might work for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

42 Proof word : ERGO

“Ergo” is a Latin word meaning “hence, therefore”, and one that we’ve absorbed directly into English.

44 High-scoring club? : MENSA

If you ever learned Latin, “mensa” was probably taught to you in lesson one as it’s the word commonly used as an example of a first declension noun. Mensa means “table”. The Mensa organization, for folks with high IQs, was set up in Oxford, England back in 1946. To become a member, you have to have an IQ that is in the top 2% of the population.

46 Selfie stick attachment : IPHONE

Selfie sticks; oh, how I hate selfie sticks. A walk down the Strip in Vegas is an enlightening exercise in what’s wrong with contemporary photography …

50 Sultan’s group : HAREM

“Harem” is a Turkish word derived from the Arabic for “forbidden place”. Traditionally a harem was the female quarters in a household in which a man had more than one wife. Not only wives (and concubines) would use the harem, but also young children and other female relatives. The main point was that no men were allowed in the area.

The land ruled by a sultan is known as a sultanate. In the West, the feminine forms of “sultan” are “sultana” and “sultanah”. The adjectival form is “sultanic”.

51 Marlins’ home : MIAMI

The Miami Marlins baseball team started out life in 1993 as the Florida Marlins. The franchise changed its name to the Miami Marlins in 2011 when it relocated to the newly constructed Marlins Park.

52 Title loc. in six horror films : ELM ST

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” is a Wes Craven slasher-horror film that was released in 1984. As I don’t do “slasher” or “horror”, I was surprised to learn that Johnny Depp was in the movie, making his feature film debut.

60 Yule quaff : NOG

It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “eggnog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

Yule celebrations coincide with Christmas, and the words “Christmas” and “Yule” (often “Yuletide”) have become synonymous in much of the world. However, Yule was originally a pagan festival celebrated by Germanic peoples. The name “Yule” comes from the Old Norse word “jol” that was used to describe the festival.

“Quaff” is both a verb and a noun. One “quaffs” (takes a hearty drink) of a “quaff” (a hearty drink).

61 Miracle-__ : GRO

Scotts Miracle-Gro Company was founded in 1868 by one Orlando Scott, and initially sold seed to the agricultural industry. In the early 1900s, Scotts started to sell to homeowners, and mainly supplied lawn seed. The company merged with the gardening company Miracle-Gro in 1955, and then with TruGreen in 2016.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Give a little : BEND
5 Under-the-sink cleaners : LYES
9 Spherical : ORBED
14 On the protected side : ALEE
15 Ward of “FBI” : SELA
16 Author Zora __ Hurston : NEALE
17 Ellington-Strayhorn hit to which Johnny Mercer later added lyrics : SATIN DOLL
19 Mistreat : ABUSE
20 “The Addams Family” cousin : ITT
21 Device for scratch removal? : ATM
22 Something found under a chest : ABDOMEN
24 Viagra competitor : LEVITRA
26 Letter starter : DEAR …
27 Storied Alpine rescuer : SAINT BERNARD
32 Useful : OF HELP
35 Drop off : WANE
36 Motes may be seen in one : RAY
37 Two-time Indy winner Luyendyk : ARIE
38 Two-__-one : FOR
39 Air Jordan company : NIKE
40 Thing on a ring : KEY
41 Bodily fluids : SERA
43 Filled with wonder : AMAZED
45 Spot treatment : STAIN REMOVER
48 Senate helper : PAGE
49 “I must be seeing things” : PINCH ME
53 Reliable income source : CASH COW
56 Coll. aides : TAS
57 Feel poorly : AIL
58 Tablet download : E-BOOK
59 Social networking service … or an apt portmanteau for the starts of 17-, 27- and 45-Across : INSTAGRAM
62 Nary a soul : NO ONE
63 Snap, in ads : FOTO
64 Radiation units : REMS
65 In good shape : TONED
66 Movie lab helper : IGOR
67 Skip over : OMIT

Down

1 Pesto herb : BASIL
2 Really excite : ELATE
3 Hulu service : NET TV
4 Opus __: “The Da Vinci Code” sect : DEI
5 ’60s “journey” : LSD TRIP
6 Coast Guard rank : YEOMAN
7 Angled piece : ELL
8 Self-service food station : SALAD BAR
9 How some silly things are done : ON A DARE
10 Spiritually awakened : REBORN
11 Gale family creator : BAUM
12 Otherwise : ELSE
13 Cook Paula : DEEN
18 Birth-related : NATAL
23 “I’ve __ busy” : BEEN
25 “It’s clear now” : I SEE
28 Clock change hr. (though most do it sooner) : TWO AM
29 Nev. neighbor : ARIZ
30 Golf bunker tool : RAKE
31 Like green hair : DYED
32 Symbols of strength : OAKS
33 Fingerboard bar : FRET
34 Casual greeting : HIYA
38 Coffee shop amenity : FREE WI-FI
39 DEA operative : NARC
41 Ate at the theater, say : SNACKED
42 Proof word : ERGO
43 One who takes off a lot : AVIATOR
44 High-scoring club? : MENSA
46 Selfie stick attachment : IPHONE
47 Decides one will : OPTS TO
50 Sultan’s group : HAREM
51 Marlins’ home : MIAMI
52 Title loc. in six horror films : ELM ST
53 Coin often left in a dish : CENT
54 Peek-__ : A-BOO
55 “Are we there yet?” reply : SOON
60 Yule quaff : NOG
61 Miracle-__ : GRO

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 16 Oct 19, Wednesday”

  1. Sometimes I have to laugh at myself. I had “gem” for thing on a ring and then of course “hi ma” for a casual greeting.

  2. Over 7 minutes for me… the crossing at NEALE and BAUM had me stumped for a while (I hate it when two proper names cross like that). Like Wayne, I also struggled with the “thing on a ring” clue… I even had HIYA correctly but then just stared and stared at “_ _ Y” for a long time before I got it.

    It was definitely a high-tech puzzle today, with FREEWIFI, IPHONE, EBOOK, and of course INSTAGRAM, although I didn’t like NETTV very much.

  3. LAT: 6:35, no errors. WSJ: 7:33, no errors. Newsday: 6:48, no errors. Yesterday’s Croce: DNF after 60:37, about half filled in, 3 errors. Worst section being the south.

  4. 10:36. Had to guess the “R” at FRET/ARIE in order to finish. Another anagram theme that I didn’t bother to notice.

    Carrie – Yes the Cardinals just had probably their worst post season series in their history. I’ll root for the Astros again as I did after Hurricane Harvey devastated the city of Houston and after living there for 35 years. If it’s the Yankees and Nats, I might not root for either.

    Best –

  5. No Googles or errors, but similar problems as others had. gEm before KEY, “ale” before NOG, aidE before PAGE. Never heard of ARIE (sports). Did use the theme.

  6. Jeff, I saw the Cardinals play one time, in the Stan Musial era. I always liked them,
    the Braves and the Giants. Pulling for the Astros, but the Yankees have a lot of power.

    GEM or TOY looked good on the ring, was neither.

    Poor day, only about 75%. I use them a lot, but am not tuned in to computer lingo.

    Kudos to all you guys and gals that thought it was easy.

  7. Fairly easy Wednesday for me; took about 15 minutes with no errors. Like you guys, I got HIYA, but had to look at KEY for a while. Also had page before AIDE.

    Off to bed early for market tomorrow…

  8. Hi every buddy!!🐶

    John! You saw Stan Musial play?! Wow that is awesome!!⚾️

    No errors. I noticed the theme about halfway through. Clever. I too got stuck on KEY!! It’s funny– something rather obvious eludes us sometimes.

    I also didn’t like NET TV….

    Be well~~🦆

  9. WRT 6 down, YEOMAN is not a rank, it’s a rate–like aviation mate, culinary specialist, etc. A rank would be Yeoman 1st class, 2nd class, 3rd class, etc. (Or ensign like I thought at first because it fit). Grade (if curious) would be E-4, E-5, E-6…

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