LA Times Crossword 23 Oct 19, Wednesday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Gary Larson
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Treats

Themed answers are candies clued as “treats for” various professionals:

  • 17A Treats for a comedian? : SNICKERS
  • 26A Treats for a teacher? : SMARTIES
  • 40A Treats for an oil tycoon? : GUSHERS
  • 50A Treats for a submarine pilot? : WARHEADS
  • 64A Treats for a fisher? : WHOPPERS

Bill’s time: 9m 45s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Victoria’s Secret purchase : BRA

The word “brassière” is French in origin, but it isn’t the word that the French use for a “bra”. In France, what we call a bra is known as a “soutien-gorge”, translating to “held under the neck”. The word “brassière” is indeed used in France but there it describes a baby’s undershirt, a lifebelt or a harness. “Brassière” comes from the Old French word for an “arm protector” in a military uniform (“bras” is the French for “arm”). Later “brassière” came to mean “breastplate” and from there the word was used for a type of woman’s corset. The word jumped into English around 1900.

Victoria’s Secret was founded in 1977 in San Francisco, California. The founder wanted to create an environment where men were comfortable buying lingerie for their wives or girlfriends, an alternative to a department store.

4 US Open stadium named for a US Open winner : ASHE

Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York opened in 1997 and for years was the largest outdoor, tennis-only venue in the world. The stadium was often criticized for not having a retractable dome to protect the playing surface from inclement weather. Well, that changed in 2016 when the stadium debuted its new retractable roof, a $150 million investment in the facility.

15 Ostrich relative : RHEA

The rhea is a flightless bird that is native to South America. The rhea takes its name from the Greek Titan Rhea. It’s an apt name for a flightless bird as “rhea” comes from the Greek word meaning “ground”.

The ostrich is a flightless bird that is native to Africa. It is extensively farmed, mainly for its feathers but also for its skin/leather and meat. Famously, the ostrich is the fastest moving of any flightless bird, capable of achieving speeds of over 40 mph. It is also the largest living species of bird, and lays the largest eggs.

17 Treats for a comedian? : SNICKERS

Snickers is a candy bar made by Mars. When I was growing up in Ireland, the same candy bar was sold as a Marathon. The name was changed in Europe to Snickers in 1990. 75% of the world’s Snickers bars are made in the Mars factory in Waco, Texas.

21 Name in the makeup aisle : ESTEE

Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, and someone with a great reputation as a salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

23 Mars rover org. : NASA

There have been several rovers sent to Mars from Earth. The Soviet Union’s Mars 2 landed in 1971, and failed. Mars 3 landed the same year, and ceased operation just 20 seconds after landing. NASA’s Sojourner landed in 1997 (what a great day that was!) and operated from July through September. The British rover Beagle 2 was lost six days before its scheduled entry into the Martian atmosphere. NASA’s Spirit landed in 2004, and operated successfully for over six years before getting trapped in sand and eventually ceasing to communicate. NASA’s Opportunity also landed in 2004, and it is still going. And then NASA’s Curiosity made a spectacular, hi-tech landing in 2012 and is continuing to explore the planet today.

24 Young newt : EFT

Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

26 Treats for a teacher? : SMARTIES

Here in the US, Smarties are tablet-like candy. Smarties are known as Rockets in Canada. The latter brand name is used to differentiate the product from Nestlé’s Smarties, which are sugar-coated chocolate candies that resemble M&Ms.

34 Santa’s reindeer, e.g. : OCTET

We get the names for Santa’s reindeer from the famous 1823 poem called “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, although we’ve modified a couple of the names over the years. The full list is:

  • Dasher
  • Dancer
  • Prancer
  • Vixen
  • Comet
  • Cupid
  • Donder (originally “Dunder”, and now often “Donner”)
  • Blitzen (originally “Blixem”)

Rudolph was added to the list by retailer Montgomery Ward, would you believe? The store commissioned Robert L. May to create a booklet that could be handed out to children around Christmas in 1939, and May introduced us to a new friend for Santa, namely Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

40 Treats for an oil tycoon? : GUSHERS

Fruit Gushers are candies made from sugar and fruit juice. Biting into the gummy coating causes a sweet liquid to “gush” out, hence the name.

45 Blender maker : OSTER

The Oster brand of small appliances was introduced in 1924 by John Oster. He started out by making manually-powered hair clippers designed for cutting women’s hair, and followed up with a motorized version in 1928. The clippers kept the company in business until 1946 when Oster diversified, buying a manufacturer of liquefying blenders in 1946. The blender was renamed to “Osterizer” and was a big hit. Oster was bought by Sunbeam, which has owned the brand since 1960.

47 “True Detective” rating : TV-MA

“True Detective” is a crime drama made by HBO that has an interesting format. Each series has its own narrative and cast. The show seems to be attracting some great actors. The first season was led by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, and the second by Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams.

48 Browned in butter : SAUTEED

“Sauté” is a French word. The literal translation from the French is “jumped” or “bounced”, a reference to the tossing of food while cooking it in a frying pan.

50 Treats for a submarine pilot? : WARHEADS

Warheads candy is so called because the sour taste is said to resemble a “warhead” going off in one’s mouth. Warheads are a Taiwanese creation, invented there in 1975 and first imported into the US in 1993.

54 Pontiac muscle car : GTO

The Pontiac GTO was produced by GM from 1964 to 1974, and again by a GM subsidiary in Australia from 2004 to 2006. The original GTO’s design is credited to Pontiac chief engineer at the time John DeLorean, who later founded the DeLorean Motor Company.

56 Bel __: creamy cheese : PAESE

Bel Paese is a mild Italian cheese that was developed in 1906. The name “bel paese” means beautiful country in Italian, and is taken from the title of a book written by Antonio Stoppani.

58 Miranda __ of “Homeland” : OTTO

Miranda Otto is an actress from Brisbane, Australia. Otto played Éowyn in “The Lord of the Rings” series of films.

“Homeland” is a psychological drama on Showtime about a CIA officer who is convinced that a certain US Marine is a threat to the security of the United States. The show is based on a series from Israeli television called “Hatufim” (Prisoners of War”). I saw the first season of this show and highly recommend it …

64 Treats for a fisher? : WHOPPERS

Whoppers candies are chocolate-flavored balls with a malted milk center. They were introduced in 1949 by the Leaf Candy Company, and are now produced by Hershey’s. I’m a fan …

71 Pooh pal : ROO

Like most of the characters in A. A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh”, the kangaroo named “Roo” was inspired by a stuffed toy belonging to Milne’s son Christopher Robin.

Down

2 Old character : RUNE

A rune is a character in an alphabet that is believed to have mysterious powers. In Norse mythology, the runic alphabet was said to have a divine origin.

3 Bizet’s “Habanera,” e.g. : ARIA

When Georges Bizet wrote his famous opera “Carmen”, he used the melody of what he thought was an old folk song as a theme in the lovely aria “Habanera”. Not long after he finished “Carmen”, he discovered that the folk song was in fact a piece that had been written by another composer, who had died just ten years before “Carmen” was published. Fittingly, Bizet added a note to the score, declaring the original source.

Georges Bizet was a French composer active in the Romantic era. Bizet’s most famous work has to be his opera “Carmen”. “Carmen” initially received a lukewarm reception from the public, even though his fellow composers had nothing but praise for it. Sadly, Bizet died very young at only 36, before he could see “Carmen’s” tremendous success.

4 Genesis vessel : ARK

The term “ark”, when used with reference to Noah, is a translation of the Hebrew word “tebah”. The word “tebah” is also used in the Bible for the basket in which Moses was placed by his mother when she floated him down the Nile. It seems that the word “tebah” doesn’t mean “boat” and nor does it mean “basket”. Rather, a more appropriate translation is “life-preserver” or “life-saver”. So, Noah’s ark was Noah’s life-preserver during the flood.

5 Units in a ream : SHEETS

A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a “short ream”. We also use the term “reams” to mean a great amount, evolving from the idea of a lot of printed material.

6 “His,” to Bierce : HERS

“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.

7 Bridge seats : EASTS

The four people playing bridge (the card game) are positioned around a table at seats referred to as north, east, south and west. Each player belongs to a pair, with north playing with south, and east playing with west.

8 Runner in the raw : STREAKER

People have been running around naked for an awfully long time, but the application of the word “streaking” to the phenomenon only dates back to 1973. A journalist was reporting on a mass nude run of 533 people at the University of Maryland in 1973, and used the words “they are streaking (i.e. moving quickly) past me right now. It’s an incredible sight!”. The Associated Press picked up the story the next day, and interpreting “streaking” as the term to describe “running naked”, and we’ve been using it that way ever since.

9 Victorian __ : ERA

The Victorian era was a period in British history from 1837 to 1901 that is defined by the reign of Queen Victoria. Generally speaking, the Victorian era was a period of peace and prosperity for the UK. How times have changed …

10 Like porcelain teacups : DAINTY

The ceramic known as “porcelain” can be referred to as “china” or “fine china”, as porcelain was developed in China.

11 Estes’ ticket-mate : ADLAI

Adlai Stevenson (AES) ran for president unsuccessfully against Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE), once in 1952 and again in 1956. Some years after his second defeat, Stevenson served under President Kennedy (JFK) as Ambassador to the United Nations. Stevenson was always noted for his eloquence and he had a famous exchange in a UN Security Council meeting during the Cuban missile crisis. Stevenson bluntly demanded that the Soviet representative on the council tell the world if the USSR was installing nuclear weapons in Cuba. His words were “Don’t wait for the translation, answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’!” followed by “I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over!”

Estes Kefauver was a Democratic politician from Tennessee. Kefauver was the running mate of Adlai Stevenson in 1956, when Stevenson made a bid for the presidency. The pair lost to the Eisenhower-Nixon ticket.

13 “¿Cómo __?” : ESTAS

“Cómo estas?” is Spanish for “how are you?”

18 __ de chine: light fabric : CREPE

Crêpe de Chine (French for “Chinese crepe”) is a particularly thin form of crepe fabric.

29 Linen hue : ECRU

The color ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

30 They’re spotted in casinos : DICE

The numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. There are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting …

31 Taqueria order : TOSTADA

In Mexican cuisine, a tostada is a flat or bowl-shaped tortilla

35 Michael of “SNL” : CHE

Michael Che is a standup comedian from New York City. Che had worked as a writer for “Saturday Night Live” (SNL), and then started to appear in front of SNL cameras in September 2014. One of his roles was co-anchor for the “Weekend Update” segment of the show.

37 Weapon with two accents : EPEE

The sword known as an épée has a three-sided blade. The épée is similar to a foil and sabre, although the foil and saber have rectangular cross-sections.

46 Brownstone porch : STOOP

A stoop is a raised platform at the door of a house. “Stoop” came into American and Canadian English in the mid-1700s from the Dutch “stoep” meaning “flight of steps”.

49 Antediluvian : AGE-OLD

Something “antediluvian” is very old. The term comes from “ante” meaning “before” and “diluvium” meaning “flood”. The idea is that something really old took place before Noah’s Flood.

57 Miracle Mets’ stadium : SHEA

Shea Stadium in Flushing Meadows, New York was named after William A. Shea, the man credited with bringing National League baseball back to the city in the form of the New York Mets. Shea Stadium was dismantled in 2008-2009, and the site now provides additional parking for the new stadium nearby called Citi Field.

The New York Mets baseball team was founded in 1962 as a replacement for two teams that the city had lost, namely the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. For several years the Mets played very poorly, finishing no better than second-to-last in their division. Then along came the “Miracle Mets” (aka “Amazin’ Mets”) who beat the Baltimore Orioles in 1969 to claim the World Series in a huge upset.

61 Sonja Henie’s birthplace : OSLO

Sonja Henie was a World and Olympic Champion figure skater from Oslo, Norway who competed in the days when “amateur” sports stars were not paid. Henie made up for her lack of income from competing by developing a career in Hollywood. She was one of the highest-paid film stars at the height of her movie career.

63 Play for a sap : USE

“Sap” is slang for “fool, someone easily scammed”. The term arose in the early 1800s in Britain when it was used in “saphead” and “sapskull”. All these words are derived from “sapwood”, which is the softwood found in tree trunks between the bark and the heartwood at the center.

65 Message afterthoughts: Abbr. : PSS

One adds a PS (post scriptum, or simply “postscript”) at the end of a letter (ltr.). A second postscript is a post post scriptum, a PPS.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Victoria’s Secret purchase : BRA
4 US Open stadium named for a US Open winner : ASHE
8 Calm : SEDATE
14 Couple’s word : OUR
15 Ostrich relative : RHEA
16 Swaps : TRADES
17 Treats for a comedian? : SNICKERS
19 Scold harshly : RAIL AT
20 Blacken on the outside : SEAR
21 Name in the makeup aisle : ESTEE
23 Mars rover org. : NASA
24 Young newt : EFT
26 Treats for a teacher? : SMARTIES
28 Headboard pole : BEDPOST
32 “I’m down with that” : OKAY
33 More likely to cause skidding : ICIER
34 Santa’s reindeer, e.g. : OCTET
36 Family game room : DEN
39 Semicircle, e.g. : ARC
40 Treats for an oil tycoon? : GUSHERS
42 Wild way to go : APE
43 Lawyer’s advice : SUE
44 Prefix with personal : INTER-
45 Blender maker : OSTER
47 “True Detective” rating : TV-MA
48 Browned in butter : SAUTEED
50 Treats for a submarine pilot? : WARHEADS
54 Pontiac muscle car : GTO
55 Way out there : AFAR
56 Bel __: creamy cheese : PAESE
58 Miranda __ of “Homeland” : OTTO
62 Destroyed, as documents : TORE UP
64 Treats for a fisher? : WHOPPERS
66 Clothes line : CREASE
67 Snakelike fish : EELS
68 Feel crummy : AIL
69 Drove on the trail : HERDED
70 Some stay at home : DADS
71 Pooh pal : ROO

Down

1 Supervisor : BOSS
2 Old character : RUNE
3 Bizet’s “Habanera,” e.g. : ARIA
4 Genesis vessel : ARK
5 Units in a ream : SHEETS
6 “His,” to Bierce : HERS
7 Bridge seats : EASTS
8 Runner in the raw : STREAKER
9 Victorian __ : ERA
10 Like porcelain teacups : DAINTY
11 Estes’ ticket-mate : ADLAI
12 Give body to, as hair : TEASE
13 “¿Cómo __?” : ESTAS
18 __ de chine: light fabric : CREPE
22 Actors, often : EMOTERS
25 Let bygones be bygones : FORGIVE
27 Informs on : RATS OUT
28 Media critic’s concern : BIAS
29 Linen hue : ECRU
30 They’re spotted in casinos : DICE
31 Taqueria order : TOSTADA
35 Michael of “SNL” : CHE
36 “It’s a __!” : DATE
37 Weapon with two accents : EPEE
38 Unlikely candidate for prom king : NERD
41 Not charted : UNMAPPED
46 Brownstone porch : STOOP
47 Fine line : THREAD
49 Antediluvian : AGE-OLD
50 Item on a wrist : WATCH
51 Earlier than, to poets : AFORE
52 Not as common : RARER
53 Put in stitches : SEWED
57 Miracle Mets’ stadium : SHEA
59 Drop from an eye : TEAR
60 Jazz __ : TRIO
61 Sonja Henie’s birthplace : OSLO
63 Play for a sap : USE
65 Message afterthoughts: Abbr. : PSS

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 23 Oct 19, Wednesday”

  1. LAT: 7:37, 1 dumb error. Thought this was a lot harder than normal, but maybe not, seeing how Bill did? WSJ: 16:46 (!!), no errors. Definitely much harder than normal. Newsday: 6:21, no errors.

  2. A little off the beaten path and I made some funny ??? mistakes. I put “char” instead of “sear” and then “ruth” for an old character. 🙂
    Never heard of war heads as a treat. Ditto for gushers. But somehow it all worked and I finished under 15 minutes, so I guess I can’t complain.

  3. Wrote in “serene” instead of “sedate” causing me to get stuck in that corner for a while. Never heard of “gushers” or “warheads” either.

  4. I thought it was easier than usual – except for a couple of places. I never heard of most of the candies, only SNICKERS. I had a Natick at TVMA crosses TOSTADA. Sorry Bill, your explanation didn’t explain TV MA. I Googled it, though everyone else apparently knows what it means, and MA means mature audiences. Also, had Deal before DATE.

    Btw – is this the same Gary Larson who created The Far Side?

  5. 27:16 with one error….I had inner for inter and didn’t know tostada…also never heard of smarties,gushers, and warheads

  6. 12:30. Like many here, I’d heard of SNICKERS and nothing else as far as the candies go.

    NASA is sending another Mars rover next year when the two planets’ orbits are more conducive to a quicker journey. It still takes about 7 months to get there. This new rover is supposed to pave the way for human exploration in (give or take) the mid 2030’s. It’s going to study the atmosphere, geology etc for ways to create an oxygen atmosphere in the 96% (!!) carbon dioxide atmosphere on Mars (maybe they should plant a few million trees?) . It also will have the capability of drilling for samples of rock and terrain to be collected at a later date and shipped back to earth. Imagine the Fedex bill for that one….

    Best –

  7. 8:52 for me, which is slow for a Wednesday. Although in the end I knew all the candies in the theme answers, for some reason I was very slow to pick up what the theme actually was. That and a couple of proper nouns I didn’t know held me up.

  8. Did not know “warheads” so didn’t have tostada either. I knew Snickers,
    Whoppers and Smarties. Oh well, win some, lose some.

  9. 12:52 and an escape with no errors. No end to the problems in this grid. My entire NE quadrant was overwritten two or three times!!! I’ve got another fill idea for this one: ##A: Apt description for this puzzle. The fill? HOT TAMALE

  10. Got no where with this one, maybe 85%, but had the same problems a lot of you did. So DNF either. Larson is always tough. As soon as I see his name, I know it going to be a rough ride. And, “I’m down with that”? Had no idea what that clue meant. Curses!

  11. @Glenn – Thanx!

    @Jeff – I’m in favor of robots traversing the universe, but humans need lots of water and oxygen, and that expense would be mammoth. Remember Biosphere 2? That failed. And there’s no way to cheat out in space.
    “There is not jelly donut on the other side of the window – only death.”

  12. I had a tough time with this puzzle and hadn’t heard of Gushers ….
    …. ( though I’ve eaten some candies with the same ‘pulpy center’ principle … but they are more spicy or filled with tamarind juice…. ) . I hadn’t heard of Warheads either.
    I had serene instead of sedate for a loong time.
    The puzzle took me a long time as well, I had stopped doing Xwords for a few months, ….. and like anything else, I am losing my touch.

    On Using subtitles in DVDs and Movies on TV ….
    Jeff, I started using subtitles when I started losing my hearing about 5 years ago … and now I enjoy them so much, I dont feel like watching a movie without the subtitles.!!! … even though I wear fairly decent, and fairly expensive hearing aids now…. Subtitles really get you into the mood, because i might never have heard that lark’s twill or the sigh from a passerby etc. that the subtitles will alert you to.
    You lose a little bit of the suspense, but your never miss important clues in the story.!! sometimes they even tell you the names of the characters who otherwise are never named …. unless you read their wikipedia review. Plus, what with losing my vision in one eye …. I feel I need all the help I can get. TMI.
    British movies, especially the ones of Hercule Poirot and others are impossible to understand with their quaint accents, without subtitles — or mystery detectives from Australia or New Zealand …. leave alone some Irish (!!) movies … Hi Bill !!

    REgarding my poor opinion on Mr. Churchill, I was hasty and wrong. But this being the internet I cant take it back. Oh well !

    Have a great day tomorrow, all.

  13. Ms. Jane Blando (Sfingi?) … thanks for asking the question about this Gary Larson. I too, had exactly the same question, when I read his name. I have a big collection of all his cartoon ‘From the Wild Side’ !
    Thanks Glenn for answering that question …. I guess Gary Larson is a name more common than we think. His puzzle was very very tricky !

    Hi Bill .. I hope you are in good health and spirits, and thanks to you we have this beautiful forum to learn and learn and converse.

  14. Fairly tough Wednesday for me too; took 22 minutes with no errors in the end, but with plenty of double checking. I too had SErenE before SEDATE and for some reason I put SHEafs instead of SHEETS, thinking it some kind of quantity of paper. Only knew SNICKERS and SMARTIES from the candies.

    re Subtitles – I started using them on German movies, especially from Austria, Switzerland and Bavaria. Now, I kinda like to use them on English movies as well, unless it kills the mood.

    re Gary Larson – I was wondering if he was the cartoonist as well; thanks for clearing that up Glenn.

  15. HIYA folks!!🦆

    No errors. I can’t believe there’s a candy called WARHEADS!! That’s kinda hilarious. 😁 I never knew that antediluvian meant just very old. I only knew the before-the-flood definition. So, I got stuck in that section, also not knowing PAESE. Smooth sailing otherwise.

    How about those Nationals??! They’re killing it.⚾️

    Be well~~🍷🍷

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.