LA Times Crossword 24 Jan 20, Friday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Turndown Service

Themed answers each end with a kind of SERVICE. That SERVICE TURNS DOWN from the across-direction in the grid to the down-direction:

  • 62A Hotel amenity, and a hint to three puzzle answers : TURNDOWN SERVICE
  • 16A Blamed for personal advantage : THROWN UNDER THE-BUS (from “bus service”)
  • 31A Punch with force, maybe : GIVE A FAT-LIP (from “lip service”)
  • 44A Chanoyu ceremony essential : JAPANESE-TEA (from “tea service”)

Bill’s time: 12m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Draft category : ONE-A

The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System (SSS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).

5 Crisply played, in mus. : STAC

Staccato (stac.) is a musical direction signifying that notes should be played in a disconnected form. The opposite of staccato would be legato, indicating long and continuous notes played very smoothly.

9 Qatar’s capital : DOHA

Doha is the capital city of the Persian Gulf state of Qatar. The name “Doha” translates from Arabic as “the big tree”.

Qatar is a sovereign state in the Middle East occupying the Qatar Peninsula, itself located in the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar lies on the Persian Gulf and shares one land border, with Saudi Arabia to the south. Qatar has more oil and gas reserves per capita of population than any other country in the world. In 2010, Qatar had the fastest growing economy in the world, driven by the petrochemical industry. Qatar is scheduled to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, although the nation’s eligibility to do so is under question after a far-reaching bribery scandal was uncovered at the sport’s governing body.

13 Inflammation treatment : CORTISONE

Cortisone is a type of steroid that is used to reduce inflammation, which can reduce pain caused by some medical conditions. It is usually administered using a syringe, as a shot.

15 Apple product : IPOD

The iPod is Apple’s signature line of portable media players. The iPod first hit the market in 2001 with a hard drive-based device, now known as the iPod Classic. Later models all use flash memory, allowing a smaller form factor. The smallest of the flash-based models is the iPod Shuffle, which was introduced in 2005.

20 Sci-fi helmsman : SULU

Mr. Hikaru Sulu was played by George Takei in the original “Star Trek” series. Takei has played lots of roles over the years, and is still very active in television. Did you know that he appeared in the 1963 film, “Pt-109”? He played the helmsman steering the Japanese destroyer that ran down John F. Kennedy’s motor torpedo boat. From destroyer helmsman to starship helmsman …

24 Portable chair : SEDAN

A sedan chair was a litter that was used in England. Being a litter, it had no wheels and was powered by humans. Most sedan chairs were built for one passenger, with two men providing the “lift”. Henry VIII had a sedan chair, but towards the end of his opulent life he needed four strong men to carry it.

26 “Uno __”: cantina request : MAS

In Spanish, one might request “uno mas” (one more) in a “cantina” (canteen, café).

27 Fundraising targets : ALUMNI

An alumnus (plural “alumni”) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural “alumnae”). The term comes into English from Latin, in which an alumnus is a foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or alumnus.

38 He reunited with his fictional ex on Valentine’s Day in 2011 : KEN

Barbie’s male counterpart doll is Ken, and Ken’s family name is Carson. Barbie’s full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts. When Ken was introduced in 1959, it was as Barbie’s boyfriend. In 2004 it was announced that Ken and Barbie were splitting up, and needed to spend quality time apart. Soon after the split, Barbie “met” Blaine, a boogie boarder from Australia. Happily, Barbie and Ken reconciled and reunited on Valentine’s Day 2011.

39 Ibuprofen brand : ADVIL

The anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen is sold under the brand names Advil and Motrin.

41 Backboard attachment : RIM

That would be basketball.

42 Place Sundance liked to see : ETTA

Etta Place is the schoolteacher character played by the lovely Katharine Ross in the superb 1969 movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”.

44 Chanoyu ceremony essential : JAPANESE TEA (from “tea service”)

The Japanese tea ceremony is called “chanoyu” in Japanese, and involves the preparation and presentation of powdered green tea. When leaf tea is used, the ceremony is called “senchado”.

47 Kazakhstan, once: Abbr. : SSR

The Republic of Kazakhstan in Central Asia is the world’s largest landlocked country. Kazakhstan was also the last of the former Soviet Republics (SSRs) to declare itself independent from Russia.

53 Many an Indian : HINDU

Hinduism is the world’s third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam.

57 Green : MOOLA

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

58 Game with two secret passages : CLUE

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 …

70 Do, for example : NOTE

The sol-fa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti.

71 Cutty __ : SARK

Cutty Sark Scotch whisky is named for the famous clipper ship. The British ship was built not far from where the Scotch was first blended. The ship in turn is named for the “cutty-sark”, a short skirt mentioned in the poem “Tam o’ Shanter” by Robert Burns.

Down

1 Fall mo. : OCT

October is the tenth month in our calendar but was the eighth month in the old Roman calendar, hence the prefix “octo-”. Back then there were only ten months in the year. “Ianuarius” (January) and “Februarius” were then added as the eleventh and twelfth months of the year. Soon after, the year was reset and January and February became the first and second months.

2 Kabuki kin : NOH

Kabuki is a Japanese form of theater involving dance and drama. In the original Kabuki theater, both male and female parts were played by women. In contrast, the Noh dramas have the male and female parts played by men.

5 IRS IDs : SSNS

The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an identity number to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income, so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So, from 1986 onward, it is a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, seven million dependents “disappeared” in 1987.

7 Musical in which FDR is a character : ANNIE

The Broadway musical “Annie” is based on the Harold Gray comic strip “Little Orphan Annie”. There have been two film adaptations of the musical. Both were really quite successful, including one released in 1982, directed by John Huston of all people. It was his only ever musical.

12 “A Passage to India” heroine : ADELA

“A Passage to India” is a wonderful 1924 novel by E. M. Forster set in the days of the British Raj. There are two excellent adaptations for the screen that I would recommend. There’s a BBC television version from 1965 starring a wonderful cast including Virginia McKenna and Cyril Cusack. There is also an Oscar-winning movie version from 1984 with Alec Guinness and Peggy Ashcroft. Forster had first-hand knowledge of life during the Raj, having worked in India during the twenties.

18 Clear : BUS

A busboy is a person who assists a waiter, mainly by clearing tables. The verb “to bus” arose in the early 1900s and is probably a reference to the wheeled cart that was used to carry dishes.

23 Comforter : DUVET

A duvet is a large flat bag that is filled with down, feathers or a synthetic substitute that is used as a top cover for a bed. Although a duvet is similar to what is called a “comforter” in the US, there is a difference. A duvet is often has an easily removed cover that is usually laundered at the same time as the bottom sheet and pillowcases. We use them a lot in Europe, and generally without a top sheet due to the ease of laundering.

25 It’s often served with nutmeg : 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.

The fruit of the nutmeg tree yields two very different spices. What we call “nutmeg” comes from the seed of the tree. “Mace” is the dried covering of the seed.

28 “… __ woodchuck could chuck wood?” : IF A

The woodchuck is also known as the groundhog, and is one in a group of large ground squirrels called marmots. Repeat after me:

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

30 Subjects of European trials during the Renaissance : WEREWOLVES

The prefix “were-” as in “werewolf” derives from an old word “wer” meaning “man”. Hence a werewolf is a “man-wolf”.

The persecution of women labeled as witches in the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Period was relatively widespread. “Witch trials” took place right across Europe as well as in the New World. A parallel labelling of some men as werewolves emerged from the persecution of females. “Werewolf trials” started in the early 15th century in what is now Switzerland, and spread across Europe, lasting until the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

32 Wd. ending in -less : ADJ

Adjective (adj.)

33 FDR power plan : TVA

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has to be one of America’s great success stories when it comes to economic development. Created in 1933, the TVA spearheaded economic development in the Tennessee Valley at the height of the Great Depression. Central to the success was the federally-funded construction of flood-control and electricity-generation facilities.

40 Bloke : LAD

“Bloke” is British slang for “fellow”. The etymology of “bloke” seems to have been lost in the mists of time.

45 Parents, usually : NAMERS

The Social Security Administration (SSA) publishes a list of the 1,000 most common baby names for the prior year annually, just before Mother’s Day. The list is compiled using applications for Social Security cards.

46 High __ : TEA

Especially in the UK, high tea is a major meal served in the late afternoon or early evening. Said meal should of course include a pot of tea!

48 P.R. part : RICO

Puerto Rico (PR) is located in the northeastern Caribbean (in the Atlantic Ocean), east of the Dominican Republic. The name “Puerto Rico” is Spanish for “rich port”. The locals often call their island Borinquen, the Spanish form of “Boriken”, the original name used by the natives.

52 Blender button : PUREE

A purée is a food that has been made smooth by straining or blending. “Purée” is a French term, which I believe is now used to mean “pea soup” (more completely written as “purée de pois”). The French verb “purer” means “to strain, clean”, from the Latin “purare” meaning “to purify, clean”.

61 Zaire’s Mobutu __ Seko : SESE

Mobutu Sese Seko was the longtime President of Zaire (later to be called the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Mobutu was known to be a very corrupt dictator and it is believed that he embezzled over $5 billion from his country. On a lighter note, Mobutu was the money man behind the famous 1974 boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman known as “The Rumble in the Jungle”. Mobutu was anxious to expand the image of Zaire so he used his nation’s funds to entice the fighters to have a go at each other in his homeland.

63 It ends shortly after 1-Down: Abbr. : DST
(1D Fall mo. : OCT)

Daylight saving time (DST)

65 “Bad Moon Rising” band, briefly : CCR

Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) was a rock band from San Francisco that played in a Southern rock style, with hits such as “Proud Mary”, “Bad Moon Rising”, “Down on the Corner” and “Who’ll Stop the Rain”.

“Bad Moon Rising” is a song recorded by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Written by band member John Fogerty, the song was inspired by the composer watching the hurricane scene in the movie “The Devil and Daniel Webster”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Draft category : ONE-A
5 Crisply played, in mus. : STAC
9 Qatar’s capital : DOHA
13 Inflammation treatment : CORTISONE
15 Apple product : IPOD
16 Blamed for personal advantage : THROWN UNDER THE-BUS (from “bus service”)
20 Sci-fi helmsman : SULU
21 Burdened : LADEN
24 Portable chair : SEDAN
26 “Uno __”: cantina request : MAS
27 Fundraising targets : ALUMNI
29 Boar’s mate : SOW
31 Punch with force, maybe : GIVE A FAT-LIP (from “lip service”)
35 Greatly beloved ones : GEMS
38 He reunited with his fictional ex on Valentine’s Day in 2011 : KEN
39 Ibuprofen brand : ADVIL
41 Backboard attachment : RIM
42 Place Sundance liked to see : ETTA
44 Chanoyu ceremony essential : JAPANESE-TEA (from “tea service”)
47 Kazakhstan, once: Abbr. : SSR
49 Waste time : DAWDLE
50 __ store : APP
53 Many an Indian : HINDU
57 Green : MOOLA
58 Game with two secret passages : CLUE
60 Advice : COUNSEL
62 Hotel amenity, and a hint to three puzzle answers : TURNDOWN SERVICE
67 They can make you better, briefly : MEDS
68 Basically : IN ESSENCE
69 Annoyance : PEST
70 Do, for example : NOTE
71 Cutty __ : SARK

Down

1 Fall mo. : OCT
2 Kabuki kin : NOH
3 Give the wrong change, say : ERR
4 Acts of reparation : ATONEMENTS
5 IRS IDs : SSNS
6 Talks up : TOUTS
7 Musical in which FDR is a character : ANNIE
8 Gave up : CEDED
9 Board mem. : DIR
10 Expresses a preference (for) : OPTS
11 Blah : HO-HUM
12 “A Passage to India” heroine : ADELA
14 “Lemme!” : I WANNA!
17 Age relatives : ERAS
18 Clear : BUS
21 Delay : LAG
22 Not quite identical : ALIKE
23 Comforter : DUVET
25 It’s often served with nutmeg : NOG
28 “… __ woodchuck could chuck wood?” : IF A
30 Subjects of European trials during the Renaissance : WEREWOLVES
32 Wd. ending in -less : ADJ
33 FDR power plan : TVA
34 Backtalk : LIP
36 Botch : MISDO
37 Common sense? : SMELL
40 Bloke : LAD
43 It may be tapped into a tray : ASH
45 Parents, usually : NAMERS
46 High __ : TEA
48 P.R. part : RICO
50 Appear : ACT
51 Fluff, as pillows : PLUMP
52 Blender button : PUREE
54 Hopeless : NO-WIN
55 “Beats me!” : DUNNO!
56 Up in the air : UNSET
59 Aims : ENDS
61 Zaire’s Mobutu __ Seko : SESE
63 It ends shortly after 1-Down: Abbr. : DST
64 __ moment : IN A
65 “Bad Moon Rising” band, briefly : CCR
66 “A rat!” : EEK!

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 24 Jan 20, Friday”

  1. 70A … Boo on DO clue. It’s DOE when either spoken or sung. And 50A … APPEAR = ACT? And 56D … Ever once in your life hear anyone say UNSET? Or 36D … MISDO? Next time I see a Coulter puz,, I END (59D) to not bother.

  2. Ugh, 13:47… this one wasn’t easy and I had to puzzle out an awful lot of the sections. And then I completely messed myself up with “backboard attachment” … NET, of course. I was so sure of it that I just left it there and spent a long LONG time scratching my head over the downs in the east. After minutes of complete confusion I finally erased NET with some reluctance, and then made a little progress before, oh duh, it’s RIM.

    Definitely a face-palmy puzzle for me this morning. I think I need more coffee.

    P.S. Oh right, there was a theme, and not a bad one at that. But I completely forgot about it in the midst of my frustration. 🙂

  3. Friday’s and Saturday’s puzzles are always the best.
    RES for TEA.. oh well — I still like HIGH RES better even if MOOLS doesn’t mean anything.. (heehee)

  4. Those damned proper names will get you every time. Never heard of ADELA. Eventually I tracked it down and completed in 19 mins, 9 seconds. The service types theme is a tad forced…

    1. You are ruthless and pitiless, but I don’t think you are mindless. Are you ageless? Is your internet connection wireless? (Sorry to be heartless, but I was helpless to resist replying…)

  5. I had many issues with this puzzle and knew right away that I wasn’t going to finish it. The SE was my the hardest section. That’s all I have to say about Coulter’s work today. Bah….

  6. I don’t know Mr.Coulter, but if this is an example of his puzzles, I will just ignore
    them as well, Jane. I wish these would just no be published. But, the aces in our
    group did OK. Out of my class.

    We got a whopping 39%, probably close to our worst ever. No fun at all. I did get the
    Jumble and the Wonderword, so some consolation. At least there are no tricks with
    Wonderword; the words are all on the grid, you just have to find them. And it has a
    repeating pattern for finding the mystery word from the remaining letters. It would
    probably bore all the fine puzzle solvers in this group. Sour grapes; couldn’t help it.

    Waiting for Monday.

    1. A Google search turned up the following entry on page 208 of a book titled “Pronouncing and Defining Dictionary of Music”: “Stac. An abbreviation of Staccato.”

  7. Kind of a tough Friday for me; I quit after an hour when nothing else seemed to be moving with 9 blanks. Surprisingly everything I had was right and just the 9 blanks that I couldn’t solve were wrong.

    Couldn’t get jAPAnEsEtEa, misDo, mOoLa and nAmERS. I was leaning towards MudDy and then it would’ve only been 8 errors.

    Kind of surprised about werewolves. I knew about witches, but that was new to me. And, so good to hear that Ken and Barbie are an item again…I didn’t know 🙂

  8. HIYA folks!!🦆

    YIKES!! The thing that really bothers me in puzzles is misspellings for the sake of the theme, and that’s what I thought I was up against. I had to QUIT when I had _ _ _ _ _FATL and I KNEW my crosses were right!! So I cheated long enough to see the FAT LIP connection, then got most of the rest on my own. 😬

    I usually like Mr Coulter’s grids but this one was kinda painful.

    John– Wonderword sounds like a welcome respite after a puzzle like this! I’ve never played it but will look for it next time I’m on the Times site. 🤗

    Be well ~~🍹

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