LA Times Crossword 1 Apr 20, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Debra Hamel
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): There’s More Than One?

Themed answers are plurals of common phrases that are usually seen in the singular. Each refers to either a mythical character or a figure in the Bible:

  • 17A Mythical hunter’s shots of liquor? : ORION’S BELTS
  • 27A First mortal woman’s moving supply? : PANDORA’S BOXES
  • 48A Greek hero’s stilettos? : ACHILLES’ HEELS
  • 63A Early man’s computers? : ADAM’S APPLES

Bill’s time: 6m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Buffalo team : BILLS

The Buffalo Bills, founded in 1959, were named after an earlier team with the same name that had merged with the Cleveland browns back in 1950. The Bills name was obviously popular with fans, as the name was chosen in a public contest. The older team had been named for “Buffalo Bill” Cody. The team mascot is Billy Buffalo, and the cheerleaders are known as the Buffalo Jills.

11 Pro with a gurney, briefly : EMT

Emergency medical technician (EMT)

Gurneys are stretchers with wheels that are used in hospitals and ambulances for transporting patients. Outside of North America, gurneys are usually called “trolleys”. The term “gurney” may have been used as the design is similar to a horse-drawn cab that was patented by one J. Theodore Gurney.

14 Grade of tea leaves : PEKOE

A pekoe (or more commonly “orange pekoe”) is a medium-grade black tea. There is no orange flavor in an orange pekoe tea. The “orange” name most likely derived from the name of the trading company that brought the tea to Europe from Asia.

15 Parting mot : ADIEU

“Adieu” is the French for “goodbye, farewell”, from “à Dieu” meaning “to God”. The plural of “adieu” is “adieux”.

“Mot” is the French word for “word”.

16 Menagerie : ZOO

A menagerie is a varied group, and particularly refers to a collection of wild or unusual animals. The term “menagerie“ comes from the French “ménagerie”, which described housing for domestic animals.

17 Mythical hunter’s shots of liquor? : ORION’S BELTS

A belt is a swift swig of hard liquor.

A subset of three particularly bright stars in the constellation of Orion is named “Orion’s Belt”. The three bright stars sit almost in a straight line and are about equidistant. They’re usually the easiest way to spot the constellation of Orion in the night sky.

19 With 22-Across, Lady Gaga, Madonna et al. : POP …
22A See 19-Across : … STARS

“Lady Gaga” is the stage name of Stefani Germanotta. Germanotta is a big fan of the band Queen, and she took her stage name from the marvelous Queen song titled “Radio Ga Ga”.

24 Law school accrediting org. : ABA

The American Bar Association (ABA) was founded back in 1878 and is a voluntary association for lawyers and law students. The ABA focuses on setting academic standards for law schools and setting ethical codes for the profession.

27 First mortal woman’s moving supply? : PANDORA’S BOXES

According to Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman. She was created by the gods, with each god bestowing on her a gift. Her name can be translated from Greek as “all-gifted”. Pandora is famous for the story of “Pandora’s Box”. In actual fact, the story should be about Pandora’s “Jar” as a 16th-century error in translation created a “box” out of the “jar”. In the story of Pandora’s Box, curiosity got the better of her and she opened up a box she was meant to leave alone. As a result she released all the evils of mankind, just closing it in time to trap hope inside.

33 Amherst sch. : UMASS

The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) is the largest public university in New England. UMass was founded back in 1863, although it took a while to get the school into service. Construction work was delayed and the college went through two presidents before William S. Clark took charge. He cracked the whip, completed the construction and enrolled the first students in the same year that he took over the reins, in 1867. As a result, although Clark was the third President of UMass, he is regarded by most as the school’s founding father.

35 He or I : ELEM

Helium is the chemical element with atomic number 2 and the element symbol “He”. Helium is a gas, and lighter than air. It is the second-most abundant element in the universe (after hydrogen). Helium was first detected in 1868 as an unknown yellow spectral line during a solar eclipse. As such, the gas was named for “Helios”, the Greek god of the Sun.

The chemical element iodine is a halogen (as is fluorine, chlorine and bromine) and has the symbol “I”. At room temperature, iodine is a purple-black solid. With heat, it melts into violet liquid, and at high temperatures a violet gas. The name “iodine” comes from the Greek “ioeides” meaning “violet-colored”.

42 “Selma” director DuVernay : AVA

Ava DuVernay is a filmmaker who became the first African-American woman to win the Best Director Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, a feat she achieved in 2012 for her feature film “Middle of Nowhere”. “Middle of Nowhere” tells the story of a woman who drops out of medical school to focus on her husband when he is sentenced to 8 years in prison. DuVernay also directed the 2014 film “Selma” about the 1965 voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

43 Plant with fronds : FERN

Ferns are unlike mosses in that they have xylem and phloem, making them vascular plants. They also have stems, leaves and roots, but they do not have seeds and flowers, and reproduce using spores. Spores differ from seeds in that they have very little stored food.

46 Capp chap : ABNER

“Li’l Abner” was created and drawn by Al Capp for over 43 years starting in 1934. Al Capp stopped producing the strip in 1977, largely due to illness (he died from emphysema two years later). As the strip finished up, he went so far as to apologize to his long-standing fans, saying that he should have stopped 3-4 years earlier as he felt that the quality of his work had gone down in those latter years. The title character’s full name is “Li’l Abner Yokum”.

48 Greek hero’s stilettos? : ACHILLES’ HEELS

Achilles is the protagonist in Homer’s “Iliad”. When Achilles was born, his mother attempted to make him immortal by dipping him into the River Styx. As he was held by the heel as he was immersed, this became the only vulnerable point on his body. Years later he was killed when a poisoned arrow struck him in the heel. That arrow was shot by Paris.

The stiletto knife was developed in Italy, and is a knife intended for thrusting and stabbing as opposed to slashing and cutting. The term “stiletto” comes from the Latin “stilus”, which was a thin pointed writing instrument used in ancient Rome to engrave wax or clay tablets. And, there are also stiletto heels on some women’s shoes, heels that are long and thin.

53 Letters for William or Catherine : HRH

His/Her Royal Highness (HRH)

Born in 1982, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge is the elder of the two sons of Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales. As such, William is second in line to the British throne, after his father.

Kate Middleton is the wife of Prince William of the UK. Middleton is what one might call a commoner, although since her marriage she is known as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. She was born to parents who had worked together as flight attendants before becoming quite wealthy running their own mail-order business. As is so often the case in Britain, Kate’s ancestry can be traced back far enough to show that she and William do have common ancestors, dating back to the 1500s on her mother’s side and to the 1400s on her father’s side.

54 Mill fodder : GRIST

When grain has been separated from its chaff, to prepare it for grinding, it is called “grist”. Indeed, the word “grist” is derived from the word “grind”. Grist can be ground into a relatively coarse meal, or into a fine flour. The names can be confusing though. For example, the grist from maize when ground to a coarse consistency is called “grits”, and when ground to a fine consistency is called “corn meal”. There is an idiomatic phrase “grist for one’s mill”, meaning something used to one’s advantage. The grinding mechanism, or the building that holds the mechanism, is known as a “gristmill”.

58 Free speech org. : ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has its roots in the First World War. It grew out of the National Civil Liberties Bureau (CLB) that was founded to provide legal advice and support to conscientious objectors. The ACLU’s motto is “Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself”. The ACLU also hosts a blog on the ACLU.org website called “Speak Freely”.

63 Early man’s computers? : ADAM’S APPLES

The voice box or larynx is where pitch and volume of sound are manipulated when we talk. The structure called the Adam’s apple that protrudes from the human neck is formed by the thyroid cartilage that surrounds the larynx. The Adam’s apple of males tends to increase in size during puberty, so the feature tended to be associated more with males in days gone by, perhaps leading to the name “Adam’s” apple. A doctor specializing in treating the larynx is a laryngologist.

66 Genesis name : EVE

According to the Bible, Eve was created as Adam’s companion by God, creating her from Adam’s rib.

68 Lyric poem : EPODE

An epode is a lyric poem made up of couplets in which the first line is long, and the second line much shorter. The form was invented by the Greek poet Archilochus, and was most famously used by the Roman poet Horace.

69 Where Schumer is a sen. : NYS

New York State (NYS)

Chuck Schumer is the senior US Senator from New York, and a Democrat. Schumer was elected Senate minority leader in 2016 following the retirement of Harry Reid. Schumer is a second cousin, once removed of comedian and actress Amy Schumer.

71 Royal-ly made? : TYPED

Back in the day, the Royal Typewriter Company was the world’s largest supplier of typewriters.

Down

1 Shout target : SPOT

Shout is a brand of cleaning products made by SC Johnson. The brand is most associated with stain removers.

5 Currency with the ISO code JPY : YEN

ISO 4217 is an international standard that lists currency designators, e.g.

  • Canadian dollar (CAD)
  • Euro (EUR)
  • Pound sterling (GBP)
  • Japanese yen (JPY)
  • Mexican peso (MXN)

6 Hindu title of respect : BABU

“Babu” is a Hindu word used in South Asia as a sign of respect to men. It can be used to mean “boss” or “father”.

7 Mid-month day : IDES

There were three important days in each month of the old Roman calendar. These days originally depended on the cycles of the moon but were eventually “fixed” by law. “Kalendae” were the first days of each month, originally the days of the new moon. “Nonae” were originally the days of the half moon. And “idus” (the ides) was originally the day of the full moon, eventually fixed at the 15th day of a month. Well, actually the ides were the 15th day of March, May, July and October. For all other months, the ides fell on the 13th. Go figure …

9 Chair umpire’s call : LET!

That could be tennis.

10 Harry, Duke of __ : SUSSEX

Harry, Duke of Sussex is the younger of the two sons of Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales. Famously, “Prince” Harry married American actress Meghan Markle in 2018. The groom’s name was Prince Henry of Wales until the marriage, at which time his name officially changed to “Prince Harry”. In January 2020, Harry and Markle stepped back from their official duties, resulting in Harry losing the “Prince” title, and becoming plain old “Harry, Duke of Sussex”.

11 Toll plaza choice in many states : E-ZPASS LANE

E-ZPass was a technology development driven (pun!) by the tolling agencies of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The first E-ZPass toll booth was built on the New York Thruway, and opened at the Spring Valley toll plaza in 1993.

12 Mandy of “This Is Us” : MOORE

Mandy Moore is a singer turned actress from Nashua, New Hampshire. She co-stars in the TV comedy-drama “This Is Us”, playing Rebecca Pearson.

“This Is Us” is a television drama that debuted in 2016. The storyline centers on three siblings and their parents. Two of the siblings are the surviving members of a triplet pregnancy. The parents decide to adopt a child born on the same day as the surviving siblings. The adopting family is white, and the adopted child is black.

23 Willow, but not Buffy : TREE

Most willows (trees and shrubs of the genus Salix) are called just that, “willows”. Some of the broad-leaved shrub varieties are called “sallow”, and the narrow-leaved shrubs are called “osier”. Osier is commonly used in basketry, as osier twigs are very flexible. The strong and flexible willow stems are sometimes referred to as withies.

Willow Rosenberg is a character in the TV show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. She is played by actress Willow Rosenberg, who also played Lily Aldrin on the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother”.

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is a TV series that originally aired from 1997 to 2003. “Buffy …” was incredibly successful, especially given that it wasn’t aired on one of the big four networks. The show was created by Joss Whedon and stars Sarah Michelle Gellar in the title role.

25 Bartlett alternative : BOSC

Bosc is a cultivar of the European pear that is grown mainly in the northwest of the United States. It is named for French horticulturist Louis Bosc. The cultivar originated in Belgium or France in the early 19th century. The Bosc is that pear with a skin the color of a potato, with a long neck.

The Bartlett is the most commonly grown pear outside of Asia, a cultivar of the European pear. Back in the UK, where the Bartlett originated, it is called a Williams Pear, or more completely a Williams’ Bon Chretien (Williams’ good Christian). Several Williams trees were imported to the US in 1799 and planted in Massachusetts. The land on which the trees were planted was eventually bought by one Enoch Bartlett, and he started to distribute the pears and basically introduced the variety to the US. He didn’t know that the pears were called Williams, so he named them after himself!

26 Bit of slack facial flesh : JOWL

The term “jowl” can be used for the jaw or cheek, and more specifically for a fold of flesh hanging from the jaw.

28 Parisian gal pal : AMIE

A male friend in France is “un ami”, and a female friend is “une amie”.

30 Time for fooling : APRIL

April Fools’ Day is celebrated on April 1st in the Western world. In the US (and Ireland) one can make practical jokes all day long if one wants. But in the UK there is a noon deadline. Anyone pranking after midday is called an “April Fool”.

31 Narrow racing boat : SHELL

A scull is a boat used for competitive rowing. The main hull of the boat is often referred to as a shell. Crew members who row the boat can be referred to as “oars”. And, a scull is also an oar mounted on the stern of a small boat. It’s all very confusing …

32 Memphis music festival street : BEALE

Beale Street in downtown Memphis, Tennessee is a major tourist attraction. In 1977, by act of Congress, the street was officially declared the “Home of the Blues” due to its long association with the musical genre. Apparently “Beale” is the name of some forgotten military hero.

36 Robbie’s daredevil father : EVEL

Daredevil Evel Knievel contracted hepatitis C from the many blood transfusions that he needed after injuries incurred during stunts. He had to have a liver transplant as a result, but his health declined after that. Knievel eventually passed away in 2007.

Robbie Knievel is a stunt performer, and a son of the famed Robert “Evel” Knievel. Robbie first performed with his dad when he was only 8 years old.

37 Where Mark Watney grew potatoes in a 2015 film : MARS

“The Martian” is an intriguing 2015 science fiction film starring Matt Damon as an astronaut who is accidentally stranded on Mars. The movie is based on a 2011 novel of the same name by Andrew Weir. One thing that I liked about the film is that the science cited is fairly realistic. In fact, NASA collaborated with the filmmakers extensively from script development to principal casting.

41 Comic actor Bert : LAHR

Bert Lahr’s most famous role was the cowardly lion in “The Wizard of Oz”. Lahr had a long career in burlesque, vaudeville and on Broadway. Remember the catchphrase made famous by the cartoon character Snagglepuss, “Heavens to Murgatroyd!”? Snagglepuss stole that line from a 1944 movie called “Meet the People” in which it was first uttered by none other than Bert Lahr.

44 Mark Harmon TV drama : 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”.

Actor Mark Harmon is best known today for playing the lead in the drama show “NCIS”. Harmon played a similar character for several episodes on “The West Wing”. Mark is the son of a football star Tom Harmon, and was the brother-in-law of rock and roll star Ricky Nelson and automotive executive John DeLorean (through his sisters). Harmon has been married since 1987 to actress Pam Dawber, who played the female title role on “Mork & Mindy”.

47 Advice from Bobby McFerrin : BE HAPPY

The jazz and pop singer Bobby McFerrin has music in his blood. His mother was a singer, and his father was famed operatic baritone Robert McFerrin, the first African-American man to sing at the Met in New York. Bobby McFerrin had a huge number-one hit in 1988 with his song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.

49 Bloviator’s output : HOT AIR

“To bloviate” is such a descriptive verb, one meaning to discourse pompously. “Bloviate” is mock-Latin and derived from “blow”.

50 Kind of butter used in skin care : SHEA

Shea butter is a common moisturizer and lotion used as a cosmetic. It is a fat that is extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. There is evidence that shea butter was used back in Cleopatra’s Egypt.

51 Poet Nash : OGDEN

Ogden Nash was a poet from Rye, New York who is remembered for his light and quirky verse. Nash had over 500 such works published between 1931 and 1972.

56 Wrote online, briefly : IM’ED

Even though instant messaging (sending and receiving IMs) has been around since the 1960s, it was AOL who popularized the term “instant message” in the eighties and nineties. The “AOL Instant Message” service was known as AIM.

57 Old pol. divisions : SSRS

The former Soviet Union (officially “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics”, i.e. USSR) was created in 1922, not long after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that overthrew the tsar. Geographically, the new Soviet Union was roughly equivalent to the old Russian Empire, and comprised fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs).

60 News article intro : LEDE

The opening paragraph in any work of literature is often just called “the lead”. In the world of journalism, this is usually referred to as “the lede”.

64 Ike’s monogram : DDE

Future US president Eisenhower was born in Denison, Texas in 1890 and given the name David Dwight, but by the time he made it to the White House he was going by the name Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE). Growing up, his family called him Dwight, and when “Ike” enrolled in West Point he himself reversed the order of his given names.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Like some questionable characters : SHADY
6 Buffalo team : BILLS
11 Pro with a gurney, briefly : EMT
14 Grade of tea leaves : PEKOE
15 Parting mot : ADIEU
16 Menagerie : ZOO
17 Mythical hunter’s shots of liquor? : ORION’S BELTS
19 With 22-Across, Lady Gaga, Madonna et al. : POP …
20 Work the bar : TEND
21 Remove from power : OUST
22 See 19-Across : … STARS
24 Law school accrediting org. : ABA
26 Numbered ballpark souvenir : JERSEY
27 First mortal woman’s moving supply? : PANDORA’S BOXES
33 Amherst sch. : UMASS
34 “That was close!” : PHEW!
35 He or I : ELEM
38 Plywood wood : FIR
39 Chicken soup, some say : CURE-ALL
42 “Selma” director DuVernay : AVA
43 Plant with fronds : FERN
45 Tablet : PILL
46 Capp chap : ABNER
48 Greek hero’s stilettos? : ACHILLES’ HEELS
51 Paper or plastic, say : OPTION
53 Letters for William or Catherine : HRH
54 Mill fodder : GRIST
55 Shop clamp : VISE
58 Free speech org. : ACLU
62 N.L. West, for one : DIV
63 Early man’s computers? : ADAM’S APPLES
66 Genesis name : EVE
67 Lazybones : IDLER
68 Lyric poem : EPODE
69 Where Schumer is a sen. : NYS
70 Stalks in a marsh : REEDS
71 Royal-ly made? : TYPED

Down

1 Shout target : SPOT
2 “Take it” : HERE
3 Similar (to) : AKIN
4 Whatsits : DOODADS
5 Currency with the ISO code JPY : YEN
6 Hindu title of respect : BABU
7 Mid-month day : IDES
8 Light air : LILT
9 Chair umpire’s call : LET!
10 Prince Harry, Duke of __ : SUSSEX
11 Toll plaza choice in many states : E-ZPASS LANE
12 Mandy of “This Is Us” : MOORE
13 __-turvy : TOPSY
18 Rise dramatically : SOAR
23 Willow, but not Buffy : TREE
25 Bartlett alternative : BOSC
26 Bit of slack facial flesh : JOWL
27 __ pastry : PUFF
28 Parisian gal pal : AMIE
29 Stories : NARRATIVES
30 Time for fooling : APRIL
31 Narrow racing boat : SHELL
32 Memphis music festival street : BEALE
36 Robbie’s daredevil father : EVEL
37 Where Mark Watney grew potatoes in a 2015 film : MARS
40 __ the air : UP IN
41 Comic actor Bert : LAHR
44 Mark Harmon TV drama : NCIS
47 Advice from Bobby McFerrin : BE HAPPY
49 Bloviator’s output : HOT AIR
50 Kind of butter used in skin care : SHEA
51 Poet Nash : OGDEN
52 In on, with “to” : PRIVY …
55 Lowland : VALE
56 Wrote online, briefly : IM’ED
57 Old pol. divisions : SSRS
59 Sound made by hitting coconut halves together : CLOP
60 News article intro : LEDE
61 Employed : USED
64 Ike’s monogram : DDE
65 Adopt-a-thon adoptee : PET

24 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 1 Apr 20, Wednesday”

  1. Wow, lots of misdirects. “He” or “I” ? Is that a lower case l or a capital I?? Oh,.. Its an element!!!! BTW, If you do these crosswords in pen and paper (like me), you won’t make these computer assisted times some of your fellow crossworders are doing. Bill has explained it more than once but we might have some new crossworders that don’t know. You can’t write that fast. I can get between 11 and 15 minutes on Monday thru Thursday. Friday and Saturday are another story. Sunday is just too fun to make it timed. However, I do give myself an hour before I start doing googles!! I have a much harder time with the NY TIMES.

    1. @Mike
      >BTW, If you do these crosswords in pen and paper (like me), you won’t make these computer assisted times some of your fellow crossworders are doing.

      FWIW, I don’t think Bill has talked about this. Anyhow, I have. One usually can’t write as fast as an accomplished typist can type, but you can get pretty close. I did all hand-written on the week starting with 02/10 (https://laxcrossword.com/2020/02/la-times-crossword-10-feb-20-monday.html#comments) if you want to see how I do on these with paper. Usually though, there’s at least a handful of puzzles I do a week by paper anyway.

      There’s a lot the electronic system does for you that you have to do with the paper, so it’s almost a night and day kind of experience if you want to compare the two. I’ll repeat too that there are many people that can easily half the times we post here – even by paper. Overall, while there are differences between paper and electronic solving, one shouldn’t overstate the difference.

  2. I couldn’t finish this without lots of help. Never heard of epode or Mark Watney. Didn’t know babu. Never was able to take chemistry. Never heard of Ava DuVernay. And on and on. Pretty sad for a Wednesday.

  3. Fun puzzle theme today; no errors, but I didn’t understand the answer
    I got for 35 across. Thanks, Bill, for explaining.

  4. 10:16, no errors. Nice puzzle. As I said on yesterday’s blog, though, today’s NYT puzzle is a gem! Look for it!

  5. @Mary – that’s what’s so great about Bill. I had no Googles or errors.but ended with my eyes crossed.Wha? ELEM. Also, AVA, MOORE, Willow, SHELL, LEDE.
    However, there was a lot of oldsters’ stuff to save me: DOODAD, ABNER, OGDEN, PRIVY.
    I work very slowly, which may have something to do with my age or not being able to see the numbers. And now I won’t be able to get my printer running til after this pandemic, as I wanted to print an enlargement.

  6. 20:24 (paper and pencil time, as always) no errors…I am not now or will I ever be a computer fan…I can barely respond to these puzzles and send an occasional email. When I see people walking down the street with their face buried in a “smart phone” I cringe. That is a world I have no interest in living in. Enough of that, stay safe everyone.

  7. @Jack -and people have been known to trip.
    While driving, I was hit by a texter who went on to hit another car, thus wrecking 3 in one blow. And it was my favorite car – an older model Ford Taurus station wagon, great for short persons like myself, and having a shark-like look. So, be safe.

  8. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll continue using pencil and paper, for the pure pleasure of it. I work in front of my dining room window and can see that the bushes and the birds know it’s spring even though it’s still chilly here
    I rarely ride on roads that use ez passes, so didn’t get that. I kept coming back to language for 35 across as language is my forte, and I am certainly no chemist. Right bottom was a wash. Never heard of an epode; pups instead of pets and lead. Now I’ve learned a few things. The theme was fun and I especially liked “Orion’s belts”.
    Take care and keep well in this strange time.

  9. 9:05. I really tripped over myself in the EPODE, BE HAPPY, LEDE nexus, but I got through it.

    “The Martian” was a great movie, and I don’t say that often. It was based on real science, and then it pushed the boundaries of imagination within that framework. Spoiler alert – it gave a whole new meaning to what a convertible should be…Highly highly recommend the movie.

    Anonymous mike – You should start posting over at Bill’s NYT blog nyxcrossword.com .

    18D SOAR put me in mind of something I hear WAY too much in the news today. “X” is/are increasing exponentially”.. I’d bet 99% of those people saying that don’t even know what exponential growth is. For one thing, it doesn’t even mean it’s necessarily fast growth. Compound interest is exponential growth. It just means it increases by a factor of a base. That factor can be tiny like compound interest in a savings account these days.

    But if they’re trying to make a point that something is increasing rapidly, they need to be careful. Even an exponential growth by factor of 2 is incredibly fast. If 1 person had a virus and it increased exponentially by a factor of 2, every person on the planet would have contracted it in under 5 weeks.

    End of rant. Not only is the term meaningless if you don’t say what the factor is, but the people saying don’t even know what it means in the first place. Sheesh. I can’t watch news anymore…or politicians.

    Ok – NOW it’s the end of my rant.

    Best –

  10. No errors, though I (confidently) guessed on EPODE. Never heard of the term LEDE.. I learn something every day!

  11. We got near 95%, letter basis, and were pretty happy with that. I may have been able
    to drag out another couple of letters, but was tired. Had fun trying. Having a mixed week,
    trying the LAT, Jumble and Wonderword daily. Got all but the WW answer yesterday.
    Everything seems to get more difficult as the week progresses. Oh, well, it’s good fun and
    I resurrected a few words that I didn’t think I knew.

    I didn’t catch on to the discussion of the different solving methods available. We use pen
    and “whiteover” and do the best we can. My son-in-law uses a pencil with an eraser and a
    much more nimble brain on this kind of stuff. I use this method in posting my golf scores
    and they have come down nicely. I missed the point on the electronic way. Oh, well. I majored
    in Chemistry and it didn’t help me a bit on this. I think I wouold go faster typing, but have not
    set that up and tried it.

    Stay well, everybody. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face and keep your distance. I have
    never known anything like this and it was supposedly caused by a single bat biting a single
    person. I find that hard to accept, also think that China is holding back information. We need
    to go back to the old days, make our own stuff and let the hanger-ons fend for themselves.
    We are too good to everybody, but I know that is not a bad way to be.

    Kudos to all.

  12. Response to Jeff – I’ve been a long time fan of Bills LATIMES and NYTIMES blog. Unfortunately I get the ny TIMES crossword up to two weeks later so posting a note is somewhat too late. . Also, it’s only since Bills been on this ‘new’ format have I discovered it is much easier to post. His earlier blogs had some restrictions that kept me from posting.. So i was just a sideline fan for a looonnngg time. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed both sites and all your posts.. Anyone remember “Pookie”?. Maybe someday I’ll splurge for the ny times subscription…

  13. 11 :58, and 4 errors. No, I don’t wanna talk about it.

    I’m just wondering how a profession as anal about spelling would tolerate the (mis)spelling of LEDE for LEAD. They must use the same “rules for everybody else, just not for us” as puzzle constructors. Yes, I’m bitter.

    1. Allen– it is spelled LEDE so that the pronunciation is not confused with “lead” as in the chemical element. When it is read it’s instantly understood. It’s used in an editorial setting, not in print. (I got my undergrad degree in journalism.)

  14. Ogden Nash is my favorite poet of all time. Some great examples:

    “The ant has made himself illustrious
    Through constant industry industrious.
    So what?
    Would you be calm and placid,
    If you were full of formic acid?”

    And:

    “I have a bone to pick with fate,
    Come here and tell me girly,
    Do you think my mind is maturing late,
    Or simply rotting early.”

    And an excerpt from “Peekabo, I Almost See You ” on how many pairs of glasses a middle-aged man needs:

    “You need two.
    One for reading Erle Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason and Keats’s
    “Endymion” with,
    And the other for walking around without saying Hello to strange
    wymion with.”

    And, of course, the classic:

    “Candy is dandy,
    but liquor is quicker.”

  15. Nice easy Wednesday for me; took me 13 minutes with no errors. I didn’t know a few things (MOORE, MARS, BABU, EPOD, NCIS) and only vaguely familiar with a few others, but crosses and quickly picking up on the theme helped a lot. I did want scull (before SHELL) but the cross PHEW seemed to nix that idea.

    re Quick solving – I employed Glenn’s technique of writing in lower case and it did speed up my times by a minute or two, although I now have to put “p”, “q” and “y” in the middle of the box to minimize confusion later. I always use a pen and only rarely have to overwrite, because I wait/check crosses or write in very lightly if I’m not sure.

    And now time for some “liquor is quicker.”

  16. Re No.35 down, nitrogen, not hydrogen, is the most abundant element in the air, and oxygen is next rather than helium.

    1. @Jan … Bill’s comment for 35-Across, as he says, addresses the relative abundance of elements in the universe, not the air.

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