LA Times Crossword 17 Oct 19, Thursday

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Constructed by: Susan Gelfand
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Articles

Themed answers are common phrases that have been reinterpreted as articles in a newspaper:

  • 20A Article about life jackets? : SAFETY FEATURE
  • 31A Article about a European language? : GREEK COLUMN
  • 41A Article about crosswords? : PUZZLE PIECE
  • 55A Article about a dessert? : ICE CREAM SCOOP

Bill’s time: 7m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9 “Back to the Future” surname : MCFLY

In the fun 1985 movie “Back to the Future”, Marty McFly finds himself back in 1955, and is trying to get back to HIS future, 1985. But on the other hand, 1985 is really Marty’s present, before he went back in time. Why does time travel have to be so complicated …?

14 Kitchen topper : OLEO

Emperor Louis Napoleon III of France announced a competition to develop a substitute for butter, a substitute that would be more accessible to the lower classes and more practical for the armed forces. A French chemist called Hippolyte Mege-Mouries came up with something he called oleomargarine in 1869, which was eventually manufactured under the trade name “margarine”. The name “oleomargarine” also gives us our generic term “oleo”.

16 Pine or Rock : CHRIS …

Actor Chris Pine played a very young Captain James T. Kirk in the 2009 “Star Trek” film. Pine was also the fourth actor to play the role of Jack Ryan in the film series from the Tom Clancy novels (after Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck).

Chris Rock is a great stand-up comedian. Interestingly, Rock cites his paternal grandfather as an influence on his performing style. Grandfather Allen Rock was a preacher.

17 Duo in the news : ITEM

An unmarried couple known to be involved with each other might appear in the gossip columns. This appearance as “an item” in the papers, led to the use of “item” to refer to such a couple, but only since the very early seventies.

19 Fountain pen precursor : QUILL

Quills have been used as writing implements since the 6th century. Historically, goose, swan and turkey feathers have been the quills of choice. A bird’s feather is well suited for writing, as the hollow shaft acts as a reservoir for ink which then flows to the tip due to capillary action. Choice of feather is important. Right-handed writers are best served by feathers from the left wing, as the feather curves away from the palm of the hand when writing. The tip of the quill is sharpened using a “quill knife”. This quill knife is the ancestor of what we know today as a “penknife”.

The fountain pen is the successor to the dip pen. Both pens have a nib, but the fountain pen has its own internal reservoir of ink that flows to the nib as required.

23 Whirl, so to speak : TRY

Let’s give it a whirl …

25 Didn’t let renege on : HELD TO

To renege on something is to back out of it. It’s a verb commonly used in card games like bridge and whist. A renege is when a player doesn’t follow suit, even though there may be a card of the suit led in his/her hand.

28 Chi follower : PSI

Psi is the 23rd and penultimate letter of the Greek alphabet, and the one that looks a bit like a trident or a pitchfork.

29 Bumbler : BEE

Bumblebees aren’t very aggressive, but they can sting if they deem it necessary. Unlike honey bees, bumblebees survive the stinging action as their stinger has no barb. There are a few misconceptions about bumblebees. One is that a bumblebee should be incapable of flight based on the laws of aerodynamics, but this isn’t true. Another misconception is that the bee’s buzzing sound is caused by the beating of its wings. In fact, the sound comes from the vibration of its flight muscles. The bee can decouple those muscles from its wings, and so can make a buzzing sound without the wings moving at all.

38 Monet medium : OIL

French artist Claude Monet was one of the founders of the Impressionist movement, and indeed the term “Impressionism” comes from the title of his 1872 painting “Impression, Sunrise”. That work depicts the port of Le Havre, which was Monet’s hometown. Later in his life, Monet purchased a house in Giverny, and famously installed lily ponds and a Japanese bridge in the property’s extensive gardens. He spent two decades painting the water lily ponds, producing his most famous works.

39 CBS military series : NCIS

NCIS is the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which investigates crimes in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The service gives its name to the CBS TV show “NCIS”, a spin-off drama from “JAG” in which the main “NCIS” characters were first introduced. The big star in “NCIS” is the actor Mark Harmon. “NCIS” is now a franchise, with spin-off shows “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: New Orleans”.

40 Texter’s “Yikes!” : OMG!

“OMG” is text-speak for “Oh My Gosh!” “Oh My Goodness!” or any other G-words you might care to use …

46 Word ending for enzymes : -ASE

The names of enzymes usually include the suffix “-ase”. Enzymes are basically catalysts, chemicals that act to increase the rate of a particular chemical reaction. For example, starches will break down into sugars over time, especially under the right conditions. However, in the presence of the enzyme amylase (found in saliva) this production of sugar happens very, very quickly.

47 Deli delicacy : LOX

Lox is a brine-cured salmon fillet that is finely sliced. The term “lox” comes into English via Yiddish, and derives from the German word for salmon, namely “Lachs”.

48 Surround, as with a glow : ENHALO

The Greek word “halos” is the name given to the ring of light around the sun or moon, which gives us our word “halo” that is used for a radiant light depicted above the head of a saintly person.

50 Cherokee on the road : JEEP

The Jeep Cherokee is an SUV with some legs. The original SJ series Jeep Cherokee was produced from 1974 until 1983, and derivative models are very much alive today.

52 Dude : BRO

Our term “dude” arose as slang in New York City in the 1880s, when it was used to describe a fastidious man. In the early 1900s, the term was extended to mean “city slickers”, easterners who vacationed in the West. The first use of the term “dude ranch” was recorded in 1921.

58 Choral work : MOTET

A motet is a simple musical composition based on a sacred text that is usually sung without accompaniment. The term “motet” is a diminutive form of “mot”, the French for “word”.

63 School near Windsor : ETON

Eton College near Windsor in the south of England was founded way back in 1440 by King Henry VI. Originally known as “The King’s College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor”, the school was intended to provide free education to poor boys. Free education today at Eton? Not so much …

65 Entourage : POSSE

Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.

66 “The Metaphysics of Morals” writer : KANT

“The Metaphysics of Morals” is a 1797 treatise on ethics by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant. In the work, Kant discusses the the rights that people have and can acquire, as well as the virtues that Kant believed people should acquire.

67 Cubs spring training city : MESA

The city of Mesa, Arizona is in effect a suburb of Phoenix. The original settlement of non-Native Americans was founded by Daniel Webster Jones who led a Mormon group from St. George, Utah. The settlement was first called Jonesville, then Fort Utah and eventually Lehi. A second group of Mormons arrived and formed a settlement on top of a nearby mesa. It was this use of a mesa that eventually gave the city its current name.

The Chicago Cubs baseball team was supposedly subject to the “Curse of the Billy Goat” from 1945 until 2016. Billy Sianis, the owner of a Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago, took his pet goat with him to a World Series game against the Detroit Tigers at Wrigley Field. Fans sitting nearby didn’t like the smell of the goat, and so the owner was asked to leave. As he left, Sianis yelled out, “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more.” And that is how a curse is born …

Down

1 Support beam : JOIST

In a building, a joist is a supporting member running horizontally to support a ceiling or floor.

8 Class with mats : YOGA

In the West we tend to think of yoga as a physical discipline, a means of exercise that uses specific poses to stretch and strengthen muscles. While it is true that the ancient Indian practice of yoga does involve such physical discipline, the corporeal aspect of the practice plays a relatively small part in the whole philosophy. Other major components are meditation, ethical behavior, breathing and contemplation.

9 “12 Years a Slave” director Steve : MCQUEEN

Steve McQueen is a film director from England who is best known for the 2013 movie “12 Years a Slave”. That movie won the Best Picture Oscar.

“12 Years a Slave” is a powerful 2013 film adapted from the memoir “Twelve Years a Slave” by Solomon Northup. Northup was an African American who was born a free man in Upstate New York where he worked as a farmer and a violinist. He was lured to Washington, D.C. where slavery was legal, and there was kidnapped by slave traders. Northup spent twelve years as a slave in Louisiana before an intermediary made contact with friends and family who were able to obtain his release. The slave trader in Washington who committed the crime was arrested and tried, although he was acquitted, because D.C. law prohibited an African American from testifying against Caucasians.

10 Boor : CHURL

A churl is rude, boorish person. The word “churl” comes from the Old English word “ceorl”, meaning a freeman of the lowest class.

11 Panda Express staple : FRIED RICE

Panda Express is a restaurant chain specializing in American-Chinese cuisine. The chain was founded in 1983 by husband and wife team Andrew and Peggy Cherng. Andrew opened his first restaurant in 1973 with his father, Master Chef Ming Tsai Cherng from the Yangzhou region of China. That full-service restaurant in Pasadena, California was named the Panda Inn. The Panda Express chain was introduced as a fast-food version of the Panda Inn.

12 Short short? : LI’L

“Li’l” is a little, abbreviated, form of “little”.

13 Designer monogram : YSL

Yves Saint Laurent (YSL)

22 Classic 1954 horror film about giant ants : THEM!

“Them!” is a 1954 science fiction movie about giant ants attacking humans after receiving a dose of nuclear radiation in the New Mexico desert. “Them!” was the first of a whole host of “giant bug” films, of which I think I’ve seen … none …

26 Vodka __ : TONIC

The distilled beverage we call “vodka” takes its name from the Slavic word “voda” meaning “water”, with “vodka” translating as “little water”.

The original tonic water was a fairly strong solution of the drug quinine dissolved in carbonated water. It was used in tropical areas in South Asia and Africa where malaria is rampant. The quinine has a prophylactic effect against the disease, and was formulated as “tonic water” so that it could be easily distributed. In British colonial India, the colonial types got into the habit of mixing in gin with the tonic water to make it more palatable by hiding the bitter taste of quinine. Nowadays, the level of quinine in tonic water has been dropped, and sugar has been added.

28 Middle of Tripoli? : PEE

There is a letter P (pee) in the middle of the word “Tripoli”.

Tripoli is the capital city of Libya and sits on the Mediterranean Coast. The city was founded by the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC and was originally called Oea.

29 One advocating buying : BULL

The terms “bull market” and “bear market” come from the way in which each animal attacks. A bull thrusts his horns upwards (an “up” market), whereas a bear swipes with his paws downward (a “down” market).

32 San __, city near San Francisco : RAMON

The city of San Ramon is located about 35 miles east of San Francisco. One of San Ramon’s claims to fame is that it is home to the Chevron headquarters.

35 Claiborne of fashion : LIZ

Liz Claiborne was a Belgian-American fashion designer and founder of the Liz Claiborne fashion company. She was the first woman to become CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Indeed, Liz Claiborne Inc. was also the first company founded by a woman to make the Fortune 500 list, doing so in 1986.

42 Biennial games org. : USOC

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has a federal charter but it doesn’t receive any funds from the US government. As such, it has to engage in fundraising just like any other charitable organization. The USOC was founded in 1894, and is headquartered in Colorado Springs.

43 Mercury, for one : ELEMENT

Mercury is the only metallic element that is a liquid at room temperature. Mercury used to be known as “hydrargyrum”, from the Greek “hydr-” meaning “water” and “argyros” meaning “silver”. As a result, Mercury’s modern chemical symbol is “Hg” (for “Hydrargyrum”).

44 Orchestra name reflecting its music : POPS

A pops orchestra is one noted for playing popular music and the more approachable and well-known classical pieces. A noted example would be the Boston Pops orchestra.

49 Superb servers : ACERS

That would be tennis, for example.

50 Volkswagen sedan : JETTA

“Jetta” is one in a series of model names related to winds that has been used by Volkswagen. “Jetta” comes from the German for “jet stream”, and the model name “Passat” comes from the German for “trade wind”.

51 Big name in stationery : EATON

Eaton Cards and Stationery is a company that specializes in supplying stationery for weddings.

52 Capital WNW of Cheyenne : BOISE

Boise, Idaho is the capital and the largest metropolitan area in the state by far. There are a number of stories pertaining to the etymology of the name “Boise”. One is that French trappers called the tree-lined river that ran through the area “la rivière boisée”, meaning “the wooded river”.

Cheyenne is the capital and most populous city in Wyoming. The city was settled in the 1860s when it was chosen as the point at which the Union Pacific Railroad would cross the Crow Creek river. The city name was taken from the Native-American Cheyenne nation that is indigenous to the Great Plains.

54 Stage performance with singing : OPERA

Opera is a performing art involving musicians as well as singers who perform a dramatic work that combines a libretto and a musical score. The art form developed in Italy in the late 1500s, with the first opera being recognised as “Dafne”, a work by Jacopo Peri that is now lost but was first performed in Florence in 1598. The oldest surviving opera score is also by Peri, a work called “Euridice” that was first staged in 1600. The oldest opera that is still performed regularly today is “L’Orfeo” by Claudio Monteverdi, which dates back to 1607.

59 Lacto-__ vegetarian : OVO

A lacto-ovo vegetarian is someone who does not consume meat or fish, but does who eat eggs (ovo) and dairy (lacto) products.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Quick blows : JABS
5 In need of a massage : ACHY
9 “Back to the Future” surname : MCFLY
14 Kitchen topper : OLEO
15 Repeatable toy vehicle sound : CHOO!
16 Pine or Rock : CHRIS …
17 Duo in the news : ITEM
18 Pushed the bell : RANG
19 Fountain pen precursor : QUILL
20 Article about life jackets? : SAFETY FEATURE
23 Whirl, so to speak : TRY
24 Brewed beverages : ALES
25 Didn’t let renege on : HELD TO
28 Chi follower : PSI
29 Bumbler : BEE
30 Steal from : ROB
31 Article about a European language? : GREEK COLUMN
36 Serpent suffix : -INE
37 Latest thing : RAGE
38 Monet medium : OIL
39 CBS military series : NCIS
40 Texter’s “Yikes!” : OMG!
41 Article about crosswords? : PUZZLE PIECE
45 Solemn assurance : VOW
46 Word ending for enzymes : -ASE
47 Deli delicacy : LOX
48 Surround, as with a glow : ENHALO
50 Cherokee on the road : JEEP
52 Dude : BRO
55 Article about a dessert? : ICE CREAM SCOOP
58 Choral work : MOTET
60 Small addition? : -ETTE
61 Honey haven : HIVE
62 Ward off : AVERT
63 School near Windsor : ETON
64 __-friendly : USER
65 Entourage : POSSE
66 “The Metaphysics of Morals” writer : KANT
67 Cubs spring training city : MESA

Down

1 Support beam : JOIST
2 Destination for a wedding : ALTAR
3 Like many wrestlers : BEEFY
4 Unspecified amount : SOME
5 Nail salon material : ACRYLIC
6 Irritate : CHAFE
7 Sharpens : HONES
8 Class with mats : YOGA
9 “12 Years a Slave” director Steve : MCQUEEN
10 Boor : CHURL
11 Panda Express staple : FRIED RICE
12 Short short? : LI’L
13 Designer monogram : YSL
21 Assignment : TASK
22 Classic 1954 horror film about giant ants : THEM
26 Vodka __ : TONIC
27 More than a bit heavy : OBESE
28 Middle of Tripoli? : PEE
29 One advocating buying : BULL
31 Trees of a kind, often : GROVE
32 San __, city near San Francisco : RAMON
33 Meringue ingredients : EGG WHITES
34 Go slowly : OOZE
35 Claiborne of fashion : LIZ
39 Scuttle : NIX
41 Painter’s set of colors : PALETTE
42 Biennial games org. : USOC
43 Mercury, for one : ELEMENT
44 Orchestra name reflecting its music : POPS
49 Superb servers : ACERS
50 Volkswagen sedan : JETTA
51 Big name in stationery : EATON
52 Capital WNW of Cheyenne : BOISE
53 Wanders : ROVES
54 Stage performance with singing : OPERA
56 Give a strong impression (of) : REEK
57 Buddy : CHUM
58 Hiker’s guide : MAP
59 Lacto-__ vegetarian : OVO

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 17 Oct 19, Thursday”

  1. Sigh. I put in zoom instead of choo, teas instead of ales, Remos (???) instead of Ramon, and struggled with enhalo.
    Not my best day. 🙁

  2. No errors at the end but had to do some rethinking because I
    originally had “hod” for scuttle (39D) and had to do some quick
    refiguring. Enjoyable puzzle.

    1. Bill does not endeavor to try to explain all things, but the things that might not be so easy to figure out or something that’s entertaining to talk about. “Reek” is one of those cases that Bill does not explain, because “reek” can simply be found in the dictionary: “to give a strong impression of some constituent quality or feature” “a neighborhood that reeks of poverty”

  3. I always connect reek to odor. Maybe the guy had body odor. Probably not.

    Enjoyed trying it and got all of the long puns correct.

    Missed 9 letters for what we call 96% solved (rounded up), an acceptable grade.
    The most damage was suffered in the NE quadrant; missed the LY in MCFLY and
    the IS IN CHRIS. Also missed BEE, USOC and ENHALO. Didn’t like that last one.

  4. I was doing fine, but could’t get “usOc” which didn’t give me “enhalO” otherwise, not a tough puzzle for a Thurs.

  5. 14:14. Back in Monterrey, Mexico. Someday this incessant travel will end. It’s been an odd few months to say the least.

    John Daigle – Indeed that’s great you got to see Stan Musial. We could have used him this post season.

    Best –

  6. Pretty easy Thursday for me; took 19 minutes with no errors, which I did at home after forgetting to bring the paper with me today.

  7. Greetings all!🥂

    No errors on a fun Thursday!! EATON crossing ETON was even better than JEEP crossing JETTA.😁 It’s funny– just today I happened on an episode of MASH where someone calls someone else “CHUM” and I thought “Great old word! I gotta use it!” Then here it appears in the puzzle!😍

    Be well~~🦆

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