LA Times Crossword 4 Apr 20, Saturday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Brian E. Paquin
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 9m 55s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

8 Dessert option : A LA MODE

In French, “à la mode” simply means “fashionable”. In America, the term has also come to describe a way of serving pie. Pie served à la mode includes a dollop of cream or ice cream, or as I recall from my time living in Upstate New York, with a wedge of cheddar cheese.

16 Online group study : WEBINAR

“Webinar” is short for “Web-based seminar”, i.e. a presentation, lecture or similar event held online. In a Webinar, there is two-way interaction, with the audience able to ask questions of the presenter.

17 Visiting the Louvre, say : IN PARIS

The Musée du Louvre has the distinction of being the most visited art museum in the whole world. The collection is housed in the magnificent Louvre Palace that was the seat of power in France until 1682, when Louis XIV moved to Versailles.

18 Namesake of brunch sauce : HOLLAND

Hollandaise sauce is a mixture of egg yolk and melted butter that is then seasoned, usually with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Hollandaise has an exalted position in French cuisine. Although the origin is debated, some say that the recipe was invented in the Netherlands and taken to France by the Huguenots, hence the name “Hollandaise”, meaning “of Holland”.

19 Sweet after-dinner drink : PORT WINE

Portugal’s city of Oporto (“Porto” in Portuguese) gave its name to port wine in the late 1600s. Oporto was the seaport through which most of the region’s fortified red wine was exported.

21 Cpl., for one : NCO

A non-commissioned officer (NCO) might be a sergeant (sgt.) or a corporal (cpl.).

27 “The Cookie Never Crumbles” co-author Wally : AMOS

Wally Amos was a talent agent, one who was in the habit of taking home-baked cookies with him as an enticement to get celebrities to see him. He was urged by friends to open a cookie store (the cookies were that delicious, I guess) and this he did in Los Angeles in 1975 using the name “Famous Amos”. The store was a smash hit and he was able to build on the success by introducing his cookies into supermarkets. The brand was eventually purchased, making Wally a rich man, and Famous Amos cookies are still flying off the shelf. Wally Amos also became an energetic literacy advocate. He hosted 30 TV programs in 1987 entitled “Learn to Read” that provided reading instruction targeted at adults.

29 Apollo unit, briefly : LEM

In the Apollo program, the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) was the vehicle that actually landed on the moon and returned the astronauts to the command module that was orbiting overhead. The third LEM built was named “Spider”, and it participated in the Apollo 9 mission which tested the functionality of the LEM design in space. The fourth LEM was called “Snoopy” and it flew around the moon in the Apollo 10 mission, the dress rehearsal for the upcoming moon landing. Apollo 11’s LEM was called “Eagle” and it brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to and from the moon’s surface. Another famous LEM was Apollo 13’s Aquarius. Although Aquarius never landed on the moon, it did serve as a “lifeboat” for the three astronauts after the explosive rupture of an oxygen canister in the Service Module.

30 Flour bag abbr. : LBS

The unit of mass that we know today as a pound is descended from the old Roman unit of weight known as a “libra”. That “libra” connection is why we abbreviate “pound” to “lb”. The name “pound” comes from the Latin “pondo” meaning “weight”. Our term “ounce” (abbreviated to “oz.”) comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a Roman “libra”.

40 __ web : DARK

“Dark web” is the name given to content on the World Wide Web that requires specific software and/or authorization for access. The dark web is a subset of the “deep deb”, the collection of content on the Web that isn’t indexed by search engines. Dark web users refer to the regular Web that you and I access as “Clearnet”.

42 Hardy title teenager : TESS

The full name of Thomas Hardy’s 1891 novel is “Tess of the d’Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented”. When it was originally published, “Tess …” received very mixed reviews, largely because it addressed some difficult sexual themes including rape, and sexual double standards (attitudes towards men vs women). I suppose the most celebrated screen adaptation is Roman Polanski’s “Tess” released in 1979. Polanski apparently made “Tess” because his wife, Sharon Tate, gave him Hardy’s novel as her last act before she was murdered by the Manson family. There is a dedication at the beginning of the movie that just says “To Sharon”.

45 12-time NBA All-Star Olajuwon, as originally spelled : AKEEM

Hakeem Olajuwon is a retired Nigerian American basketball player. Hakeem was born in Lagos in Nigeria, and came to the US to play for the University of Houston. He was drafted by the Houston Rockets in 1984, ahead of the likes of Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan.

46 Big bird : EMU

The large flightless birds called emus make sounds by manipulating inflatable neck-sacs. The sac is about a foot long, has a thin wall and allows the bird to emit a booming sound. The type of sound emitted is the easiest way to differentiate between male and female emus.

47 Dessert made with Oreos : DIRT CAKE

Dirt cake (sometimes “dirt pie, dirt pudding”) is a dessert usually made by breaking up Oreo cookies and scattering the pieces over chocolate pudding, and then adding gummy worms on top. Sounds delicious …

51 Baseball’s Browns, since 1954 : ORIOLES

The Baltimore Orioles (also, the O’s, the Birds”) are one of the eight charter teams of MLB’s American League, so the franchise dates back to 1901. Prior to 1901, the team had roots in the Minor League Milwaukee Brewers, and indeed entered the American League as the Brewers. In 1902 the Brewers moved to St. Louis and became the Browns. The team didn’t fare well in St. Louis, so when it finally relocated to Baltimore in the early fifties the team changed its name completely, to the Baltimore Orioles. The owners so badly wanted a fresh start that they traded 17 old Browns players with the New York Yankees. The trade didn’t help the team’s performance on the field in those early days, but it did help distance the new team from its past.

55 Camera maker that merged with Konica : MINOLTA

Minolta was a Japanese manufacturer of cameras and related products. Minolta was founded in 1928 to make cameras using imported German technology. One of the company’s most memorable products was the world’s first integrated autofocus 35mm SLR camera. Minolta merged with Konica in 2003 to form Konica Minolta.

Down

1 Bush press secretary Fleischer : ARI

Ari Fleischer was White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush. Fleischer now runs his own media consulting firm that specializes in representing sports players and organizations. Fleischer helped Mark McGwire handle the media when he had to admit to the use of steroids, and was briefly hired by Tiger Woods as he planned his return to the PGA after dropping out of the spotlight to handle the problems in his personal life.

2 PC linkup : LAN

Local area network (LAN)

5 Corrida chargers : TOROS

Spanish bullfighting is known locally as “corrida de toros”, literally “race of bulls”.

6 Muslim noble : EMIR

An emir is a prince or chieftain, one most notably from the Middle East in Islamic countries. In English, “emir” can also be written variously as “emeer, amir, ameer” (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).

8 1957 Marty Robbins hit : A WHITE SPORT COAT

“A White Sport Coat” is a 1957 country song written and recorded by Marty Robbins. According to Robbins, he passed a high school while being driven to a venue in Ohio and passed some students dressed for their prom. He wrote the song in 20 minutes, before the car ride had finished.

Marty Robbins was a country singer-songwriter from a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. Off the stage, Robbins was an avid fan of NASCAR and participated in quite a few races, with six finishes in the top ten.

9 Spaghetti Western director Sergio : LEONE

Sergio Leone was an Italian film director, and someone very much associated with the Spaghetti Western movie genre . Perhaps most famous of Leone’s westerns were the so-called “Man with No Name” trilogy starring Clint Eastwood. The three films are:

  • “A Fistful of Dollars” (1964)
  • “For a Few Dollars More” (1965)
  • “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966)

11 Wire measure : MIL

The thickness unit known as a “mil” here in the US is usually referred to as a “thou” on the other side of the Atlantic. A “mil” is actually one thousandth of an inch. So, I vote for “thou” …

13 Prom, say : DANCE

A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them “formals” over in Ireland). The term “prom” is short for “promenade”, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

14 Hungarian mathematician Paul : ERDOS

Paul Erdős was a famous Hungarian mathematician, and a very prolific writer. Erdős published more papers than any other mathematician in history.

20 Museum piece : WORK OF ART

The term “museum” comes from the ancient Greek word “mouseion” that denoted a temple dedicated to the “Muses”. The Muses were the patrons of the arts in Greek mythology.

22 “Happy Days” character Ralph : MALPH

On the sitcom “Happy Days”, the character Ralph Malph is played by Donny Most. Ralph and Potsie are Richie Cunningham’s good friends.

23 Permeate : IMBUE

To imbue is to pervade, to soak in. “Imbue” has the same etymological roots as our word “imbibe”.

26 Commerce, e.g.: Abbr. : DEPT

The US Department of Commerce is charged with the promotion of the nation’s economic growth. It was created in 1903 as the Department of Commerce and Labor. It was future US president Herbert Hoover who really established Commerce as a major cabinet post, while he was Secretary of Commerce from 1921 to 1928. Hoover was so active and visible in the role that he became known as “Secretary of Commerce and Under-Secretary of all other departments”.

45 Curly-tailed dog : AKITA

The Akita breed of dog is named for its point of origin, Akita Prefecture in Japan. When Helen Keller visited Japan in 1937, she asked for and was given an Akita breed of dog, with the name of Kamikaze-go. Sadly, the dog died within a year from distemper. The following year the Japanese government officially presented Keller with a replacement dog. Supposedly Keller’s dogs were the first members of the breed to be introduced into the US.

50 Actor Chaney : LON

Lon Chaney, Sr. played a lot of crazed-looking characters in the days of silent movies. He did much of his own make-up work, developing the grotesque appearances that became his trademark, and earning himself the nickname “the man of a thousand faces”. Most famous were his portrayals of the title characters in the films “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1923) and “The Phantom of the Opera” (1925).

52 Scale notes : LAS

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

53 Skull and Bones member : ELI

Skull and Bones is a secret society at Yale University, founded in 1832. The society is well-funded, and even owns a 40-acre island in Upstate New York that members and alumni use as a retreat. Noted members of Skull and Bones included William F. Buckley, Jr., President Bush (both father and son) and Senator John Kerry. And President William Howard Taft was the son of one of the society’s founders. “Bones” was a male-only society right up until 1991, when alumni voted to accept female members.

54 Old boomer : SST

The most famous supersonic transport (SST) is the retired Concorde. The Concorde routinely broke the sound barrier, and cruised at about twice the speed of sound. Above Mach 2, frictional heat would cause the plane’s aluminum airframe to soften, so airspeed was limited.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 One of the partying elite : A-LISTER
8 Dessert option : A LA MODE
15 Emphasize strongly : RAM HOME
16 Online group study : WEBINAR
17 Visiting the Louvre, say : IN PARIS
18 Namesake of brunch sauce : HOLLAND
19 Sweet after-dinner drink : PORT WINE
21 Cpl., for one : NCO
22 Some street performers : MIMES
25 __ learning : ROTE
26 Conks out : DIES
27 “The Cookie Never Crumbles” co-author Wally : AMOS
28 Stick : MIRE
29 Apollo unit, briefly : LEM
30 Flour bag abbr. : LBS
31 Enthusiastic well-wisher : BACKSLAPPER
35 Retire : PUT OUT TO PASTURE
37 Took over in a supervisor’s absence : HELD THE FORT
38 __-di-dah : LAH
39 So far : YET
40 __ web : DARK
41 To be, in Latin : ESSE
42 Hardy title teenager : TESS
44 Small store : MART
45 12-time NBA All-Star Olajuwon, as originally spelled : AKEEM
46 Big bird : EMU
47 Dessert made with Oreos : DIRT CAKE
49 Fell behind : RAN LATE
51 Baseball’s Browns, since 1954 : ORIOLES
55 Camera maker that merged with Konica : MINOLTA
56 What financial projections are compared with : ACTUALS
57 Guile : SLYNESS
58 “We’re done” : THAT’S IT

Down

1 Bush press secretary Fleischer : ARI
2 PC linkup : LAN
3 Little rascal : IMP
4 Pentagon and others : SHAPES
5 Corrida chargers : TOROS
6 Muslim noble : EMIR
7 They’re not for everyone : RESTRICTED AREAS
8 1957 Marty Robbins hit : A WHITE SPORT COAT
9 Spaghetti Western director Sergio : LEONE
10 Up to it : ABLE
11 Wire measure : MIL
12 Without thinking : ON AN IMPULSE
13 Prom, say : DANCE
14 Hungarian mathematician Paul : ERDOS
20 Museum piece : WORK OF ART
22 “Happy Days” character Ralph : MALPH
23 Permeate : IMBUE
24 Promising forecast : MOSTLY SUNNY
26 Commerce, e.g.: Abbr. : DEPT
28 “Do the __!” : MATH
29 Stand the test of time : LAST
31 Target : BUTT
32 Playful prank : LARK
33 Scrub away : ERASE
34 Alter, as a skirt : REHEM
36 Poems of honor : ODES
41 Just manage : EKE OUT
42 Contract listing : TERMS
43 Text alternative : EMAIL
44 Catchers’ catchers : MITTS
45 Curly-tailed dog : AKITA
47 Valley : DALE
48 Bridge structure : ARCH
50 Actor Chaney : LON
52 Scale notes : LAS
53 Skull and Bones member : ELI
54 Old boomer : SST

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 4 Apr 20, Saturday”

    1. Since we’re posting other times, might as well: Newsday: 1 hr 53 mins, no errors. Exceedingly difficult. Note that if you had the chance to attempt it, the 02-15 edition of that puzzle was stellar. Croce: 46 mins, 2 errors (lot better than the usual 20-40 errors I average attempting that one – I guess he managed to do a better job in communication than he usually does). Thurs BEQ: 69 min, 1 error. Longest time on the upper left with the numerous proper nouns. WSJ: 26:42, no errors.

      1. FWIW, I did that BEQ in 30:01, with no errors, and didn’t think it was all that difficult. I got JOE EXOTIC from crosses, but then vaguely remembered I’d seen the name in a news article. Strangely enough, the next day, it was in my local paper again: a lot of the animals rescued from the guy’s place have ended up in a wild animal sanctuary not too many miles north of me.

        I’m surprised you found the latest Stumper that difficult. I honestly thought it was considerably easier than the usual.

        I still have 15 Croce puzzles and Stumpers saved up, so I’ll get to the 02/15 Stumper you mention eventually (assuming the coronavirus doesn’t get me first 😳).

  1. LAT: About 20 minutes, no errors. Easiest Saturday I can remember and not because I’m becoming more proficient. Really prefer them a lot harder to while away more time and keep me from my chores.

  2. 11:35, no errors. What others said! (Maybe the setter felt we all need a break?)

    Today’s Newsday (the “Saturday Stumper”) was also easier than usual, I thought: 34:39, no errors. Ditto yesterday’s Croce (in spite of being an 18×16 instead of a 15×15, due to a timely theme that he wanted to explore): ~40:00 (neglected to time it), no errors. But today’s 21×21 WSJ breaks the pattern: 29:48, no errors, a bit thoughtful in places.

    1. I forgot to say that I spent about a minute staring at the answer for 22D: Ralph MALPH. Really? How weird is that?! (But the crosses were solid, so I went with it … 😜.)

  3. I wasn’t going to finish this one today but, in fact, I did much to my delight. Didn’t know Erdos so had the missing “R.” I can live with that. Those long answers always scare me off.

    I’m still trying to get paper towels. Like everyone else I guess. I’m going to try a drug store instead of the grocery.

    1. Hey Kay! Try Amazon prime for paper towels- I order mine there in bulk. Delivery isn’t as fast as it used to be and you’ll want to check prices…also you might try your neighborhood hardware store. They’re considered essential businesses. I got Ajax cleaner there when there was none to be found at supermarkets or CVS.

  4. 14:41. Last to fall for me was the middle. Usually those long answers come quickly, but I was drawing blanks for what felt like several minutes this morning. I think I’m distracted by the sunny 80 degree weather I want to get out into.

    Kay – I’m glad someone here appreciates my kitchen humor. How about this for my own gourmet recipe: I take a pureed nut spread with a grape relish reduction and pair it with a brioche bun. Once again, your welcome!

    Best –

    1. @jeff – I may be nuts, but are you certain that it’s not a pureed legume spread that you are utilizing? ;-D>

  5. 16 minutes, 48 seconds, no errors. Just kept chipping away at this one until it was just done, suddenly. No rhythm to it, and never really felt comfortable.

  6. Got to this late after a long drive and not as much sleep as I would like. That said, I finished in 64 minutes with no errors. I was having troubles, but never anything insurmountable, so I just kept plugging away. IMBUE and MALPH were the last to fall.

    re LEM – The BBC has/was doing a special on the Apollo 13 mission/almost disaster which has been really interesting. I vaguely remember it at the time and the details I’m learning now are kind of alarming, yet inspiring, how they overcame all the really difficult challenges. The key was going with the people who knew their stuff inside and out no matter how old they were.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.