LA Times Crossword 4 Oct 19, Friday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Mark McClain
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: IRS

Themed answers are common phrases with the letter sequence “IR” inserted:

  • 65D April 15 org., or, as a plural, a hint to four long puzzle answers : IRS (or IRs)
  • 20A Deity worshiped by backyard chefs? : BARBECUE SPIRIT (“barbecue spit” + IR)
  • 36A 7-10 split, to a bowler? : IRKING PINS (“kingpins” + IR)
  • 44A Distiller Walker’s treatise about a whisky grain? : HIRAM ON RYE (“ham on rye” + IR)
  • 54A Hester Prynne’s trademark milk-producing farm? : RED-LETTER DAIRY (“red-letter day” + IR)

Bill’s time: 7m 40s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Crossed the mob, in a way : SANG

Apparently, “Cosa Nostra” is the real name for the Italian Mafia. “Cosa Nostra” translates as “our thing” or “this thing of ours”. The term first became public in the US when the FBI managed to turn some members of the American Mafia. The Italian authorities established that “Cosa Nostra” was also used in Sicily when they penetrated the Sicilian Mafia in the 1980s. The term “mafia” seems to be just a literary invention that has become popular with the public.

9 When repeated, Second British Invasion band : DURAN

Duran Duran is a New Wave band from Birmingham in England. Duran Duran’s success was partially driven by some well-received MTV music videos in the 1980s. The band also worked hard on their image and paid a lot of money for very fashionable clothes in which they performed. As a result, one of Duran Duran’s nicknames is “the prettiest boys in rock”.

Pop and rock music’s British Invasion of the mid-sixties was followed by the Second British Invasion of the mid-eighties. The latter term describes a surge in interest in British new wave bands that was largely driven by the launch of MTV. The music channel’s lineup was heavily weighted towards British music videos because there were so many available for broadcast. Music videos had been common in Britain since the mid-seventies, whereas American bands really only started producing music videos after MTV gained in popularity. Performers associated with the Second British Invasion are Human League, Soft Cell, Duran Duran, Billy Idol, Bonnie Tyler, Robert Palmer and Bananarama.

16 “… the __ of defeat”: “Wide World of Sports” phrase : AGONY

ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” opened with an enduring musical fanfare and words uttered by broadcaster Jim McKay:

Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport… the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat… the human drama of athletic competition… This is ABC’s “Wide World of Sports!”

25 NFL scores : FGS

In American football, three points (pts.) are awarded for a field goal (FG).

31 “ASAP!” : PRONTO!

The Spanish and Italian (and now English) word “pronto” is derived from the Latin “promptus” meaning “ready, quick”.

36 7-10 split, to a bowler? : IRKING PINS (“kingpins” + IR)

In ten pin bowling, a split takes place when the number-one pin (headpin) is knocked down with the first ball and two or more non-adjacent pins are left standing. The most difficult split to deal with is the infamous 7-10 split, where just the rear pins at the extreme right and left remain standing.

The word “kingpin” is mainly used figuratively these days, to describe the most prominent member of a group. Back at the start of the 19th century, a kingpin was the largest pin in a bowling game called “kayles”. As a result, the term “kingpin” is also used sometimes in ten-pin bowling to describe the 5-pin, the pin in the center of the triangular array.

39 Exploring toon : DORA

“Dora the Explorer” is a cartoon series shown on Nickelodeon. Part of Dora’s remit is to introduce the show’s young viewers to some Spanish words and phrases.

43 Dumbo’s flying aids : EARS

The 1941 Disney animated film “Dumbo” was made a year after the feature called “Fantasia” was released. “Dumbo” was largely a commercial venture. The film was made quickly and released in theaters as soon as possible, the idea being to recoup the financial losses incurred by “Fantasia”.

44 Distiller Walker’s treatise about a whisky grain? : HIRAM ON RYE (“ham on rye” + IR)

Hiram Walker founded his distillery in Windsor, Ontario in 1858. Walker’s most successful brand was Canadian Club Whisky.

46 Home of the Senators : OTTAWA

The Senators are the NHL hockey team in Ottawa, Canada. The current team, founded in the 1992-93 season, is the second NHL team in the city to use the name “Senators”. The original team was founded in 1917, and had a very successful run until the league expanded into the US in the late twenties. The cost of operating in what became the smallest NHL city eventually drove the Senators to St. Louis where they played for a year as the Eagles before finally folding.

48 Ruckus : STIR

The word “ruckus” is used to mean “commotion”, and has been around since the late 1800s. “Ruckus” is possibly a melding of the words “ruction” and “rumpus”.

50 Two-time U.S. Open champ : ELS

Ernie Els is a South African golfer. Els a big guy but he has an easy fluid golf swing that has earned him the nickname “The Big Easy”. He is a former World No. 1 and has won four majors: the US Open (1994 & 1997) and the British Open (2002 & 2012).

54 Hester Prynne’s trademark milk-producing farm? : RED-LETTER DAIRY (“red-letter day” + IR)

The main character in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel “The Scarlet Letter” is Hester Prynne. After the birth of her illegitimate daughter Pearl, she is convicted by her puritanical neighbors of the crime of adultery. Hester is forced to wear a scarlet “A” (for “adultery”) on her clothing for the rest of her life, hence the novel’s title “The Scarlet Letter”.

A red-letter day is a day that is special for some reason. The term comes from the illuminated manuscripts of Medieval times. In such documents, initial letters were often written in red ink, so-called “red letters”.

63 Where I-90 and I-79 meet : ERIE

I-90 runs in an east-west direction from Seattle to Boston, and is the longest interstate in the US. When I-90 was built, it made use of several existing roads, including the Massachusetts Turnpike, New York State Thruway, Ohio Turnpike, Indiana Toll Road, Chicago Skyway, and the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway.

Interstate 79 runs from Charleston, West Virginia in the south to Erie, Pennsylvania in the north.

64 Rock’s Bon __ : JOVI

Jon Bon Jovi was born John Francis Bongiovi, Jr. He is the frontman of the band that took his name, i.e. Bon Jovi.

71 Loch with a legend : NESS

The Loch Ness monster has been talked about for centuries, but modern interest started in 1933 when a spate of sightings was reported. Those sightings don’t seem to have stopped, with photographs really sparking the imagination.

Down

1 Baseball Cards: Abbr. : STL

The St. Louis Cardinals were originally called the “Brown Stockings”, changing their name to the “Perfectos” in 1899. That obviously didn’t go down well with the locals, as the owners changed it one year later to the Cardinals.

2 Melville captain : AHAB

Captain Ahab is the obsessed and far from friendly captain of the Pequod in Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick”. The role of Captain Ahab was played by Gregory Peck in the 1956 John Huston film adaptation. Patrick Stewart played Ahab in a 1998 miniseries in which Peck made another appearance, as Father Mapple.

3 1960s-’80s Chevy : NOVA

The Chevrolet Nova was produced by General Motors from 1962 to 1979, and from 1985 to 1988. I owned one of those 1985-1988 Novas many years ago. Those latter models were actually Toyota Sprinters that were assembled just down the road here in Fremont, California in a GM/Toyota joint venture.

6 Apple on a desk : IMAC

The iMac is a desktop computer platform that Apple introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is an “all-in-one” design, with the computer console and monitor integrated. The iMac also came in a range of colors, that Apple marketed as “flavors”, such as strawberry, blueberry and lime.

7 Vegan staple : TOFU

“Tofu” is a name for bean curd, and is a Japanese word meaning just that … bean that has curdled. Tofu is produced by coagulating soy milk, using either salt or something acidic. Once the protein has coagulated, the curds are pressed into the familiar blocks. Personally I love tofu, but my wife, she absolutely hates it …

8 Sport with disks : SKEET

There are three types of competitive shotgun target shooting sports:

  • Skeet shooting
  • Trap shooting
  • Sporting clays

9 Togged out : DAPPER

The verb “to tog up”, meaning “to dress up”, comes from the Latin “toga” describing the garment worn in ancient Rome. “Tog” can be also be used as an informal word for a coat or a cloak. Back in Ireland, togs are what we call swimming shorts.

10 Not-cute fruit : UGLI

The ugli fruit is a hybrid of an orange and a tangerine that was first discovered growing wild in Jamaica where most ugli fruit comes from today. “UGLI” is a trademark name that is a variant of “ugly”, a nod to the fruits unsightly wrinkled rind.

13 Duma “Don’t think so!” : NYET!

“Nyet” is Russian for “no”, and “da” is Russian for “yes”.

25 Cops as a unit : FIVE-O

“Five-O” has become urban slang for a police officer, or the police force in general. The term is rooted in the 1970s TV Show “Hawaii Five-O”. Hawaii Five-O was a totally fictional police force created for the television show. The name recognizes that Hawaii was the 50th state to join the union. Steve McGarrett in the original show was played by Jack Lord, and “Danno” Williams was played by James MacArthur.

29 Eye-related prefix : OPTI-

The linguistic root “-opti-” appears in words such as “optical”, “autopsy” and “myopia”. “-opti-” comes from the Greek for “light, sight”.

32 Father of Thor : ODIN

In Norse mythology, Odin was the chief of the gods. Odin’s wife Frigg was the queen of Asgard whose name gave us our English term “Friday” (via Anglo-Saxon). Odin’s son was Thor, whose name gave us the term “Thursday”. Odin himself gave us our word “Wednesday” from “Wodin”, the English form of his name.

33 French possessive : NOTRE

“Notre” is a French word meaning “our”.

34 Low cards : TREYS

A trey is a three in a deck of cards. The term “trey” can also be used for a domino with three pips, and even a three-point play in basketball.

35 Relief providers : OASES

An isolated area of vegetation in a desert is called an oasis (plural “oases”). As water is needed for plant growth, an oasis might also include a spring, pond or small lake. We often use the term “oasis” more generally to describe a haven, a place of rest.

37 To whom Rick says, “We’ll always have Paris” : ILSA

Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund were played by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in the 1942 movie “Casablanca”. I love the words of one critic describing the chemistry between Bogart and Bergman in this film: “She paints his face with her eyes”. Wow …

42 Divided land : KOREA

Korea was occupied by the Japanese military from 1910 until Japan surrendered at the end of WWII in 1945. While the UN was working towards a trusteeship administration for Korea, the Soviet Union managed the Korean Peninsula north of the 38th parallel and the US managed the south. The UN’s plans came to naught as the Cold War dictated the establishment of the two separate states of North Korea and South Korea. North Korea invaded the South in 1950, leading to the Korean War. After three years of fighting, the border between the two states became the demarcation line between the two military forces on the day the Armistice Agreement was signed. That line runs diagonally across the 38th parallel, and is better known as the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

53 Tangy mustard : DIJON

Dijon is a city in eastern France in the Burgundy region. Dijon is famous for its mustard, a particularly strong variation of the condiment. The European Union doesn’t protect the name “Dijon” so anyone can use it on a label. That seems fair enough to me, given that 90% of the mustard made in and around Dijon is produced using mustard seed imported from Canada!

55 Dagwood neighbor : ELMO

“Blondie” was created as a comic strip by Chic Young. It was first published in 1930, and is still being created today (although the strip is now controlled by Chic’s son, Dean). The strip spawned a series of radio programs (1939-1950) and a series of “Blondie” films (1938-1950). Blondie Boopadoop married her boyfriend Dagwood Bumstead in 1933. Dagwood slaves away at a construction company run by Julius Dithers, whose wife is named Cora. Another famous character in the strip is Elmo Tuttle, a pesky kid who is always bugging Dagwood.

57 Third of four canonical gospels : LUKE

The Gospel According to Luke is the longest of the four Gospels in the Bible. Some well-known stories are unique to Luke, and do not appear in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark nor John. A couple of examples would be “The Prodigal Son” and “The Good Samaritan”. It is believed that the author of the Gospel of Luke was the same person who wrote “Acts of the Apostles”.

“Gospel” is a term that came to us via Old English. The Old English term is “godspel” meaning “good story”, and referred to the glad tidings announced by Jesus. There are four Gospels in the Christian New Testament: the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

61 Part of YSL : YVES

Yves Saint Laurent (YSL)

65 April 15 org., or, as a plural, a hint to four long puzzle answers : IRS (or IRs)

April 15th wasn’t always Tax Day in the US. The deadline for returns was March 1st from 1913-18, when it was moved to March 15th. Tax Day has been April 15th since 1955.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Crossed the mob, in a way : SANG
5 Insignificant points : NITS
9 When repeated, Second British Invasion band : DURAN
14 Second person of old? : THOU
15 “No problems here” : I’M OK
16 “… the __ of defeat”: “Wide World of Sports” phrase : AGONY
17 Steaming flow : LAVA
18 Casual eatery : CAFE
19 One spun by a juggler : PLATE
20 Deity worshiped by backyard chefs? : BARBECUE SPIRIT (“barbecue spit” + IR)
23 July 4th show failure : DUD
24 Attach, in a way : TIE
25 NFL scores : FGS
28 Underground support : ROOT
31 “ASAP!” : PRONTO!
36 7-10 split, to a bowler? : IRKING PINS (“kingpins” + IR)
39 Exploring toon : DORA
40 Conceals : VEILS
41 Support for driving and kicking : TEE
42 Flying toys : KITES
43 Dumbo’s flying aids : EARS
44 Distiller Walker’s treatise about a whisky grain? : HIRAM ON RYE (“ham on rye” + IR)
46 Home of the Senators : OTTAWA
48 Ruckus : STIR
49 Double curve : ESS
50 Two-time U.S. Open champ : ELS
52 Played the first card : LED
54 Hester Prynne’s trademark milk-producing farm? : RED-LETTER DAIRY (“red-letter day” + IR)
62 So it could be heard : ALOUD
63 Where I-90 and I-79 meet : ERIE
64 Rock’s Bon __ : JOVI
66 Fire sign : SMOKE
67 With 68-Across, words before “easy” : EGGS …
68 See 67- or 69-Across : … OVER
69 With 68-Across, studied : PORED …
70 Army installation : POST
71 Loch with a legend : NESS

Down

1 Baseball Cards: Abbr. : STL
2 Melville captain : AHAB
3 1960s-’80s Chevy : NOVA
4 Bank employee : GUARD
5 Words to a growler : NICE DOG
6 Apple on a desk : IMAC
7 Vegan staple : TOFU
8 Sport with disks : SKEET
9 Togged out : DAPPER
10 Not-cute fruit : UGLI
11 Large chorus of cheers : ROAR
12 Opposition prefix : ANTI-
13 Duma “Don’t think so!” : NYET!
21 Uses for warmth, as wood : BURNS
22 Dainty drinks : SIPS
25 Cops as a unit : FIVE-O
26 Marvelous : GREAT
27 Get around : SKIRT
29 Eye-related prefix : OPTI-
30 Layers : TIERS
32 Father of Thor : ODIN
33 French possessive : NOTRE
34 Low cards : TREYS
35 Relief providers : OASES
37 To whom Rick says, “We’ll always have Paris” : ILSA
38 Orderly : NEAT
42 Divided land : KOREA
44 Put a stop to : HALT
45 Least spicy : MILDEST
47 Tidied the garden : WEEDED
51 A lot to pay : STEEP
53 Tangy mustard : DIJON
54 Filing tool : RASP
55 Dagwood neighbor : ELMO
56 Saloon __ : DOOR
57 Third of four canonical gospels : LUKE
58 Thus : ERGO
59 Fixes on the sly : RIGS
60 Wander : ROVE
61 Part of YSL : YVES
65 April 15 org., or, as a plural, a hint to four long puzzle answers : IRS (or IRs)

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 4 Oct 19, Friday”

  1. Oddly easy Friday for me after an oddly difficult Thursday. Almost makes me wonder if they accidentally swapped the puzzles.

      1. I thought easy for friday also. Weird, the other day I spent over an hour for a few stupid letters. Had to study the long ones today then got it. Was looking for IRS. Never read anything about the puzzle, before I started. Still fun.

  2. Not related to today’s puzzle, but can anyone who solves this puzzle online tell me what site they use. I go to games.latimes.com, but since I updated my iPad to IOS 13, that site doesn’t work. Oddly, it does work on my phone, but I prefer to use the larger screen on the iPad.
    Thanks much.

  3. Agreed, unusually easy for Friday ~~nevertheless I still messed up on
    NFL scores which took some time for me to resolve.
    BTW~~Not my favorite game.

    Eddie

  4. LAT: 13:37, no errors. Typical Friday and harder than Thursday. WSJ: 6:58, no errors. No idea on the meta. Newsday: 19:43, no errors. New Yorker: 13:18, no errors.

  5. No great shakes on time, but I got all but one square, the D for DURAN and DAPPER.
    It seemed a good bit easier than Thursday, because I thought I had gotten 100%. If
    that is what happened, keep switching!

  6. 13 mins, 20 sec, no errors. Tricky in parts, the “theme” pattern didn’t come readily to me. OASES (instead of the more recognizable singular form) almost tripped me up at the end …

  7. 11:28. Theme was fine, but IRKING PINS had me scratching my head a bit. That Wide World of Sports intro was one of the most iconic intros ever.

    Carrie – Good luck or bad luck that the Cardinals were mentioned in this puzzle? You’ll know by the time you see this, but the game hasn’t started yet at this writing. Cardinals wobbled with bad defense and barely held on at the end yesterday. The Dodgers look like they could sleepwalk through this series if last night was any indication.

    Best –

  8. Mostly easy Friday for me; took a relaxing 30 minutes with about 10 minutes on the middle W section around IRKING… Finally figured out FIVEO after taking another look at the theme.

    @Bill – For your explanation of 2nd wave British band invasion, you have Bananama instead of Bananarama, NOT that I’m a huge fan or anything.

  9. Hello gang!🦆

    Wow! Guess I’m odd man out here, as I found this puzzle quite tough! I got totally stuck in the center west and had to cheat for VEILS and FIVE-O. Got the theme, so I managed RED LETTER DAIRY easily, but other than that I struggled. 😫 Not my best week. Too impatient with these things.

    Jeff– looks like it turned out to be bad luck for the Cards! I missed the ninth inning excitement Thursday but glad they held on. I just hate the Braves…Meanwhile, the Dodgers lost Friday too….GAWD!! If they go down to the Nats I may not recover!

    Be well~~🚋⚾️

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.