LA Times Crossword 9 Oct 19, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Craig Stowe
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Low-Hanging Fruit

Themed answers are all in the down-direction. There is a FRUIT “HANGING LOW”, at the bottom of each themed answer:

  • 10D Easy pickings, and a hint to the four other longest Down answers : LOW-HANGING FRUIT
  • 3D 1971 Kubrick film, with “A” : … CLOCKWORK ORANGE
  • 4D Big cheese : TOP BANANA
  • 15D Clue character with a bow tie : PROFESSOR PLUM
  • 37D Yoga-inspired athletic brand : LULULEMON

Bill’s time: 6m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Washington’s Sea-__ Airport : TAC

Sea-Tac Airport (SEA) is more fully known as Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Sea-Tac is the main hub for Alaska Airlines.

7 Model S and Model X electric cars : TESLAS

The Model X is an all-electric crossover SUV made by Tesla Motors in Fremont, California. The Model X is built on Tesla’s Model S sedan platform.

13 “Snowy” bird : OWL

The snowy owl (also “snow owl”) is such a beautiful-looking creature. Itl has plumage that is thick and white, making it well-adapted for life in its native habitat in the Arctic north.

14 “Movin’ __”: “The Jeffersons” theme : ON UP

“Movin’ On Up” is the theme song for “The Jeffersons” sitcom that was first broadcast in the seventies and eighties.

16 World Cup chant : OLE OLE!

The FIFA World Cup is the most prestigious tournament in the sport of soccer. The competition has been held every four years (excluding the WWII years) since the inaugural event held in Uruguay in 1930. The men’s World Cup is the most widely viewed sporting event in the world, even outranking the Olympic Games.

17 Chinese chairman : MAO

Mao Zedong (also “Mao Tse-tung”) was born on December 16, 1893 in the Hunan Province of China. As Mao was the son of a peasant farmer, his prospects for education were limited. Indeed he left school at age 13 to work on the family farm but did eventually get to secondary school in Changsha, the provincial capital. In the years following, Mao continued his education in Beijing and actually turned down an opportunity to study in France.

18 Henry VIII’s sixth wife Catherine : PARR

Henry VIII was the English King with the most wives. Well, something rubbed off on his last wife Catherine Parr. She was to become the English Queen with the most husbands! By the time she married Henry, she had been widowed twice. After Henry died, she married once again, racking up four husbands in all.

20 How some get across town : BY CAB

A hansom cab is a very specific design of horse and buggy that was patented by Joseph Hansom in 1834 in England. The “cab” in the name is short for “cabriolet”, an earlier design of carriage on which the hansom was based. It’s from “hansom cab” that we get our modern term “cab”.

22 “I’m __ a robot”: phrase with captcha tests : NOT

A CAPTCHA is a challenge-and-response test that is used to determine if a user is a human or some automated program. The acronym “CAPTCHA” stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”.

24 Percussion pair : HI-HAT

In a drum kit, a hi-hat is a pairing of cymbals that sits on a stand and is played by using a foot pedal. The top cymbal is raised and lowered by the foot, hence creating a crashing sound.

25 Sack opening? : KNAP-

“Knapsack” is a Low German word describing a bag with straps designed to be carried on the back. The word “knapsack” probably comes from the German verb “knappen” meaning “to eat”.

27 Leg bone : FIBULA

The fibula is the calf bone. The fibula lies beside the tibia, with both bones sitting under the femur.

29 Holly’s “Raising Arizona” role : EDWINA

1987’s “Raising Arizona” is a comedy crime film written by the Coen brothers, and directed by Joel Coen. It stars Nicolas Cage as an ex-convict, and Holly Hunter as the ex-convicts wife who is also a former police officer. “Raising Arizona” is one of those films that people seem to either love or hate.

Holly Hunter won her Best Actress Oscar for her performance in the 1993 film “The Piano”. Hunter is quite the pianist, and played all her piano pieces in the film herself.

31 Summer in Quebec : ETE

The name of the province Québec comes from an Algonquin word “kebec” meaning “where the river narrows”. This refers to the area around Quebec City where the St. Lawrence River narrows as it flows through a gap lined by steep cliffs.

32 “Orinoco Flow” singer : ENYA

“Orinoco Flow” is a song by Irish singer Enya that she released in 1988. It’s the one that goes “sail away, sail away, sail away …”

36 “The Giving Tree” author Silverstein : SHEL

Author Shel Silverstein had a varied career and did a lot more than write books. Silverstein was a poet, composer, cartoonist and screenwriter among other things. One of his successful children’s books is “The Giving Tree”, which was first published in 1964. “The Giving Tree” tells of a young boy who has a special relationship with a tree in a forest. The message of the book seems to be that the tree provides the little boy with everything he needs.

43 Lodge member : ELK

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) was founded in 1868, and is a social club that has about a million members today. It started out as a group of men getting together in a “club” in order to get around the legal opening hours of taverns in New York City. The club took on a new role as it started to look out for poor families of members who passed away. The club now accepts African Americans as members (since the seventies) and women (since the nineties), but atheists still aren’t welcome. The list of US presidents that have been members of the BPOE includes Presidents Eisenhower, Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Ford.

44 Guthrie at Woodstock : ARLO

Singer Arlo Guthrie is known for his protest songs, just like his father Woody Guthrie. The younger Guthrie only ever had one song in the top 40: a cover version of “City of New Orleans”. He has lived for years in the town of Washington, just outside Pittsfield, Massachusetts. His 1976 song “Massachusetts” has been the official folk song of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts since 1981.

1969’s Woodstock Music & Art Fair was held on a dairy farm located 43 miles southwest of the town of Woodstock, New York. 400,000 young people attended, and saw 32 bands and singers perform over three days.

46 Walk-in health facility : CLINIC

One use of the word “clinic” is to describe a medical facility at which one dignoses and treats outpatients. Ultimately, the term “clinic” comes from the Greek “kline” meaning “bed”.

47 City on the Rhône : LYON

The city of Lyon in France, is also known as “Lyons” in English. Lyon is the second-largest metropolitan area in the country, after Paris. It is located just to the north of the confluence of the Rhône and Saône Rivers.

49 Word with drum or trumpet : EAR …

The eardrum lies at the intersection of the outer ear and middle ear. Also called the tympanic membrane, the eardrum picks up vibrations in air caused by sound waves, and transmits these vibrations to three tiny bones called “ossicles”. These ossicles (hammer, anvil and stirrup) are in the middle ear, and transmit the vibration to an oval window. The oval window is the membrane-covered opening lying at the intersection of the middle ear and the inner ear. The vibrations are transmitted into fluid in the inner ear, and converted into nerve impulses in the cochlea that are transmitted to the brain.

51 Do over : REVAMP

The vamp is that part of a shoe upper that extends from behind the toe to the back of the heel. Prior to the 1650s, the verb “new-vamp” was used to describe the replacement of the vamp, in order to extend the life of a show. After 1650, the verb evolved into “revamp”. We now use “revamp” figuratively, to mean “remake, renovate”.

53 Royal Norwegian name : OLAF

Of the many kings of Norway named Olaf/Olav (and there have been five), Olaf II is perhaps the most celebrated, as he was canonized and made the patron saint of the country. Olaf II was king from 1015 to 1028 and was known as “Olaf the Big” (or “Olaf the Fat”) during his reign. Today he is more commonly referred to as “Olaf the Holy”. After Olaf died he was given the title of “Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae”, which is Latin for “Norway’s Eternal King”.

58 “The Jetsons” son : ELROY

“The Jetsons” is an animated show from Hanna-Barbera that had its first run in 1962-1963, and then was recreated in 1985-1987. When it debuted in 1963 on ABC, “The Jetsons” was the network’s first ever color broadcast. “The Jetsons” is like a space-age version of “The Flintstones”. The four Jetson family members are George and Jane, the parents, and children Judy and Elroy. Residing with the family in Orbit City are Rosie the household robot and Astro the pet dog.

61 Chanted phrase : MANTRA

A mantra is a word that is used as a focus for the mind while meditating. The term is Sanskrit in origin, and is now used figuratively in English to describe any oft-repeated word or phrase.

63 Word on U.S. coins : UNUM

From 1776, “E pluribus unum” was the unofficial motto of the United States. The phrase translates from Latin as “Out of many, one”. It was pushed aside in 1956 when an Act of Congress designated “In God We Trust” as the country’s official motto. “In God We Trust” had appeared on US coins since 1864, but was only introduced on paper currency in 1957.

65 Luau instrument : UKE

The ukulele (uke) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

Nowadays the word “luau” denotes almost any kind of party on the Hawaiian Islands, but to the purist a luau is a feast that always includes a serving of poi, the bulbous underground stems of taro.

68 “Roth” savings plan : IRA

Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (Roth IRAs) were introduced in 1997 under a bill sponsored by Senator William Roth of Delaware, hence the name.

69 Political pundit Myers : DEE DEE

Dee Dee Myers was a very capable White House Press Secretary in the first two years of the Clinton administration, and was the first woman to hold that post. After leaving the White House, Myers acted as a consultant on the TV show “The West Wing”, and I am sure helped add that touch of authenticity to a great television program.

70__ Antonio : SAN

The city of San Antonio, Texas was named by Spanish explorers. They came upon a Native American settlement in the area on 13 June 1631, the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua.

71 Street covering : TAR

The terms “tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call tarmac.

Down

1 Grant’s __: NYC landmark : TOMB

The bodies of President Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia Dent Grant are entombed in sarcophagi in the structure known as “Grant’s Tomb” in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of New York City. There’s an old chestnut of a riddle that goes “Who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb?” The answer is “No one”, as the former president and first lady are entombed above ground.

3 1971 Kubrick film, with “A” : … CLOCKWORK ORANGE

“A Clockwork Orange” is a novella by Anthony Burgess that was first published in 1962. The story is about a young teenager named Alex who leads a small gang on violent rampages each night. The story has been adapted for the big and small screens, most famously in a 1971 film by Stanley Kubrick. It’s way too violent for me …

4 Big cheese : TOP BANANA

The expression “top banana” is used to mean “the main man” or “the main woman”. The first person to use “top banana” was supposedly Vaudeville performer Harry Steppe in 1927, who applied the term to the top comic on the bill. The phrase comes from a comedy routine in which three comics struggle to share two bananas.

The phrase “the big cheese” doesn’t have its roots in the word “cheese” at all. The original phrase was “the real cheese” meaning “the real thing”, and was used way back in the late 1800s. “Chiz” is a Persian and Hindi word meaning “thing”, and it’s not hard to see how the expression “the real chiz” morphed into “the real cheese”. In early-20th century America, instead of a “real cheese”, the most influential person in a group was labeled as “the big cheese”.

5 Article in El País : UNA

“El País” is a national daily newspaper published in Spain. “El País” is Spanish for “The Country”.

6 “Sick insult, dude!” : BURN

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.

8 Nobelist Root : ELIHU

Elihu Root was an American statesman, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1912 for his diplomatic work that brought “nations together through arbitration and cooperation”. Root served as Secretary of State under President Theodore Roosevelt.

11 Et __: and others : ALIA

“Et alii” (et al.) is the equivalent of “et cetera” (etc.), with “et cetera” being used in place of a list of objects, and “et alii” used for a list of names. In fact, “et al.” can stand for “et alii” (a group of males, or males and females), “et aliae” (a group of women) and “et alia” (a group of neuter nouns, or a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

15 Clue character with a bow tie : PROFESSOR PLUM

Clue is a board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

21 “Yu-Gi-Oh!” genre : ANIME

“Yu-Gi-Oh!” is a series of Japanese manga about a young gamer name Yugi Mutou. Yugi solves an ancient puzzle, which results in his body being occupied by a spirit gambler.

23 10% donation : TITHE

Traditionally, a tithe is a payment of one tenth of a person’s annual income and is usually given to a church. Tithing is a practice taught in many traditions, and according to a 2002 survey, about 3% of American adults donate 10% or more of their income to a church.

26 Faux __ : PAS

The term “faux pas” is French in origin, and translates literally as “false step” (or “false steps”, as the plural has the same spelling in French).

28 Four-winged flier : 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.

29 Artistic stand : EASEL

The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey” would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.

30 Deadpan : DRILY

The term “deadpan”, slang for “impassive expression”, comes from “dead” (expressionless) and “pan” (slang for “face”).

33 New Haven student : YALIE

Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut was founded in 1701, making it the third-oldest university in the US. Originally called the Collegiate School, it was renamed to Yale University in honor of retired merchant Elihu Yale, who made generous contributions to the institution. Yale University’s nickname is “Old Eli”, in a nod to the benefactor.

34 Smart fellows? : ALECS

Apparently the original “smart Alec” (sometimes “Aleck”) was one Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.

37 Yoga-inspired athletic brand : LULULEMON

Lululemon Athletica is a brand of athletic clothing that was founded by Chip Wilson in 1998 and is headquartered in Vancouver. The company’s name is very much associated with the activity of yoga in particular. Every Lululemon store offers a weekly complimentary yoga class.

45 Irish actor Stephen : REA

Stephen Rea is an Irish actor from Belfast. Rea’s most successful role was Fergus in 1992’s “The Crying Game”, for which performance he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. In “The Crying Game”, Fergus was a member of the IRA. In real life, Rea was married to IRA bomber and hunger striker Dolours Price at the time he made the movie.

46 Fiscal VIP : CFO

Chief financial officer (CFO)

55 Downfall : BANE

Today, we tend to use the word “bane” to mean anathema, a source of persistent annoyance. A few centuries ago, a bane was a cause of harm or death, perhaps a deadly poison.

57 Small bills : ONES

Conspiracy theorists love to point out “suspicious” symbols on the one-dollar bill. The pyramid on the bill is unfinished, with 13 steps. The number 13 has been associated with the occult, but it is also the number of original colonies that declared independence from Britain forming the United States. Not so suspicious after all …

59 Gumbo ingredient : OKRA

Gumbo is a type of stew or soup that originated in Louisiana. The primary ingredient can be meat or fish, but to be true gumbo it must include the “holy trinity” of vegetables, namely celery, bell peppers and onion. Okra used to be a requirement but this is no longer the case. Okra gave the dish its name as the vernacular word for the African vegetable is “okingumbo”, from the Bantu language spoken by many of the slaves brought to America.

64 Actress Thurman : UMA

Uma Thurman started her working career as a fashion model, at the age of 15. She appeared in her first movies at 17, with her most acclaimed early role being Cécile de Volanges in 1988’s “Dangerous Liaisons”. Thurman’s career really took off when she played the gangster’s moll Mia in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” in 1994. My favorite of all Thurman’s movies is “The Truth About Cats & Dogs”, a less acclaimed romcom released in 1996. She took a few years off from acting from 1998 until 2002 following the birth of her first child. It was Tarantino who relaunched her career, giving her the lead in the “Kill Bill” films.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Washington’s Sea-__ Airport : TAC
4 Bubble bath spot : TUB
7 Model S and Model X electric cars : TESLAS
13 “Snowy” bird : OWL
14 “Movin’ __”: “The Jeffersons” theme : ON UP
16 World Cup chant : OLE OLE!
17 Chinese chairman : MAO
18 Henry VIII’s sixth wife Catherine : PARR
19 Like an ideal situation : WIN-WIN
20 How some get across town : BY CAB
22 “I’m __ a robot”: phrase with captcha tests : NOT
24 Percussion pair : HI-HAT
25 Sack opening? : KNAP-
27 Leg bone : FIBULA
29 Holly’s “Raising Arizona” role : EDWINA
31 Summer in Quebec : ETE
32 “Orinoco Flow” singer : ENYA
35 Good scents : AROMAS
36 “The Giving Tree” author Silverstein : SHEL
38 __ pal : GAL
39 Fire truck wail : SIREN
40 Toronto-to-D.C. dir. : SSE
41 Handy : UTILE
43 Lodge member : ELK
44 Guthrie at Woodstock : ARLO
46 Walk-in health facility : CLINIC
47 City on the Rhône : LYON
49 Word with drum or trumpet : EAR …
50 Distorts, as data : FUDGES
51 Do over : REVAMP
53 Royal Norwegian name : OLAF
54 Let up : ABATE
56 __-mo replay : SLO
58 “The Jetsons” son : ELROY
61 Chanted phrase : MANTRA
63 Word on U.S. coins : UNUM
65 Luau instrument : UKE
66 Consume : INGEST
67 Personnel note : MEMO
68 “Roth” savings plan : IRA
69 Political pundit Myers : DEE DEE
70__ Antonio : SAN
71 Street covering : TAR

Down

1 Grant’s __: NYC landmark : TOMB
2 See 7-Down : AWAY
3 1971 Kubrick film, with “A” : … CLOCKWORK ORANGE
4 Big cheese : TOP BANANA
5 Article in El País : UNA
6 “Sick insult, dude!” : BURN
7 With 2-Down, type of zone in which parking is restricted : TOW-
8 Nobelist Root : ELIHU
9 Declining in old age : SENILE
10 Easy pickings, and a hint to the four other longest Down answers : LOW-HANGING FRUIT
11 Et __: and others : ALIA
12 Dispatched : SENT
15 Clue character with a bow tie : PROFESSOR PLUM
21 “Yu-Gi-Oh!” genre : ANIME
23 10% donation : TITHE
26 Faux __ : PAS
28 Four-winged flier : BEE
29 Artistic stand : EASEL
30 Deadpan : DRILY
33 New Haven student : YALIE
34 Smart fellows? : ALECS
37 Yoga-inspired athletic brand : LULULEMON
40 Closes forcibly : SLAMS
42 __ pool : TIDAL
45 Irish actor Stephen : REA
46 Fiscal VIP : CFO
48 Brought home : NETTED
52 Song section : VERSE
54 In the thick of : AMID
55 Downfall : BANE
57 Small bills : ONES
59 Gumbo ingredient : OKRA
60 Junior or senior : YEAR
62 Had a burger, say : ATE
64 Actress Thurman : UMA

12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 9 Oct 19, Wednesday”

  1. 6:46. Didn’t bother to notice the theme. I knew the long answers off the top of my head except for LULULEMON even though I think I’ve seen that in crosswords before. Interesting tidbits on bees and their wings and flight muscles.

    I used to like A CLOCKWORK ORANGE because it fused English and Russian in its futuristic society, implying somehow the cultures fused over time. He mentions his “droogies” (droog is “friend” in Russian) and the Moloko (milk) bars. There are a few others in there, but it’s been so long since I saw the movie I don’t remember what they are. As an adult, I don’t like it as much as I used to for the same reasons Bill states.

    “The Giving Tree” was one of the most popular books on my grade school’s reading list for book reports, but not for the reasons you might think. The subject matter was irrelevant to a 10 or 12 year old. It was so short that you could read the whole thing and do a report on it in an hour or two. Even at that age, I guess we were all pragmatists…

    Best –

  2. No errors, but never heard of TAC, EDWINA, DEEDEE, LULU LEMON. Used the theme to finish. Had DRoLl before DRILl before DRILY, agILE before UTILE, “pen” before GAL. I guess there is no such thing as a penpal anymore, since no one writes.

  3. This was a simple puzzle for a Wed. No errors either.

    Jeff: Guess the Cards. must have poisoned the water there in St.L. What a score and the game isn’t over yet! Go Dodgers!!!!!

  4. I found it much harder than you guys and gals made it appear. We could only
    get 80%, I regret to say.

    Kudos to all you good solvers.

  5. Mostly easy Wednesday for me; took about 17 minutes with 1 error. I mistook El Pais as French and put UNe, instead of UNA. Other than that I had to redo Area to AWAY, ALECk to ALECS and diGEST to INGEST.

    re Clockwork Orange – Strange, I saw it for the first time 5 or 6 years ago and didn’t really think it was that violent compared to other movies now a days. I was most put off by the device to keep his eyes open while being indoctrinated.

    re Lulu Lemon – I knew they were onto some four years ago, but decided not to buy the stock after all. You know something is up when they have several grab and run robberies over the course of a few weeks. Missed out on spectacular gains over that time…sigh!

    @Carrie – Such a bummer. I tuned in when they were leading and then later when they were tied. My condolences, even considering my own team(s) spectacular failures lately…although 1. FC Koeln is showing signs of hope.

  6. Hello gang 😣

    No errors. Didn’t know PROFESSOR PLUM, as I’ve never played Clue. (!) Managed via crosses. Wasn’t sure of PARR but guessed right for the A.

    Thanks Dirk! I’m crushed. It wouldn’t bother me so much if the Dodgers hadn’t had such a great season! They deserved at LEAST to survive the national league!! Time to root for the Cardinals…🐔

    Be well~~😫⚾️

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