LA Times Crossword 18 May 20, Monday

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Constructed by: Matt McKinley
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): The End of the Road

Themed answers each end with something seen walking down the road:

  • 20A Discards as useless or obsolete : KICKS TO THE CURB
  • 35A What people are saying : WORD ON THE STREET
  • 49A Through many experiences : AROUND THE BLOCK

Bill’s time: 4m 48s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Parson’s home : MANSE

A manse is a minister’s home in various Christian traditions. “Manse” derives from “mansus”, the Latin for “dwelling”. The term can also be used for any stately residence.

6 Wall St. hedgers : ARBS

An arbitrageur (arb.) is someone one who profits from the purchase of securities in one market and the subsequent sale in another, by taking advantage of price discrepancies across markets.

14 Carne __: burrito filling : ASADA

The name of the dish called “carne asada” translates from Spanish as “roasted meat”.

15 Anklebones : TALI

The collection of seven bones in the foot just below the ankle are known collectively as the tarsus. One of those bones is the talus (plural “tali”), more commonly called “ankle bone”. The talus is the lower part of the ankle joint and articulates with the lower ends of the tibia and fibula in the lower leg.

16 Piece that starts next to a knight : ROOK

The corner piece in the game of chess is called a “rook”, a word coming from the Persian “rokh” meaning a “chariot”. The rook has also been called, perhaps incorrectly, the castle, tower, marquess and rector.

20 Discards as useless or obsolete : KICKS TO THE CURB

“Curb” is another of those words that I had to learn when I came to the US. We park by the “kerb” on the other side of the Atlantic. Oh, and the “pavement”, that’s what we call the “footpath” (because the footpath is “paved”!). It’s very confusing when you arrive in this country from Ireland, and a little dangerous, when one has been taught to “walk on the pavement” …

25 It comes before the ques. on “Jeopardy!” : ANS

The TV show “Jeopardy!” first went on the air in 1964, and is another successful Merv Griffin creation. But, it took the introduction of Alex Trebek as host in order to bring the show into the big times. Trebek has been the host since 1984.

34 Mangy mutts : CURS

Mange is a skin disorder in animals caused by parasitic mites that embed themselves in the skin, perhaps living in hair follicles. The same disorder in humans is called scabies.

38 Deuce topper : TREY

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

A “two” playing card might be called a “deuce”, from the Middle French “deus” (or Modern French “deux”) meaning “two”.

41 Diminutive two-seater : SMART CAR

“smart cars” are manufactured by Daimler AG, the same company that makes Mercedes-Benz automobiles. The smart car was developed in cooperation with the wristwatch brand Swatch. The name “smart” (always in lowercase letters) stands for Swatch Mercedes ART.

44 Furniture wood : OAK

The oak is the state tree of several US states:

  • Oak tree: Iowa
  • Northern red oak: New Jersey
  • White oak: Connecticut, Illinois and Maryland
  • Live oak: Georgia

46 Musical gp. that performs summer programs at Tanglewood : BSO

The Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) is one of the Big Five in the US (along with the New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras). The BSO was founded in 1881, and has been calling Boston’s Symphony Hall its home since the building was purpose-built for the orchestra in 1900. The BSO’s first conductor was German-born British baritone and conductor George Henschel, who was a close friend of composer Johannes Brahms.

Tanglewood is an estate in Lenox, Massachusetts. Tanglewood is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO). The estate takes its name from “Tanglewood Tales” written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The author wrote the book in 1853 while staying in a cottage in the area. The owner renamed the cottage after Hawthorne’s work, and the name was then adopted for the nearby estate.

54 Persia, now : IRAN

Before 1935, the country we know today as Iran was referred to as Persia by the Western world. The official name of the country since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is the “Islamic Republic of Iran”.

56 Route-finding app : WAZE

Waze is a navigation app that is similar to Google Maps and Apple Maps. Waze was developed in Israel, and was acquired by Google in 2013.

57 Baseball Hall of Famer Willie : MAYS

Willie Mays’ nickname was “Say Hey Kid”, although his friends and teammates were more likely to refer to him as “Buck”. When Mays was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, he was asked who was the best player he’d ever seen in the game. He replied, “I don’t mean to be bashful, but I was.”

58 Appliance brand : AMANA

The Amana Corporation takes its name from the location of its original headquarters, in Middle Amana, Iowa. Today, the Amana name is very much associated with household appliances. The company was founded in 1934 to manufacture commercial walk-in coolers.

60 Fashion monthly : ELLE

“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

61 Battery components, to a doctor : TESTS

Tests often come in batteries, as in “a battery of tests”.

Down

2 Computer data acronym : ASCII

ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) lists codes for 32 “control” characters, as well as the 95 printable characters. These binary codes are the way that our computers can understand what we mean when we type, say a letter or a number. Unicode is a more contemporary standard, and is like “Ascii on steroids”, encompassing more characters.

3 Feds busting dealers : NARCS

“Narc” and “narco” are slang terms describing a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. Both words are short for “narcotics officer”. Narcs might work for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

4 State known for 60-ft.-high presidents’ faces : SDAK

The four presidents whose faces are carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore are (from left to right) George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Each of the presidents is about 60 feet in height, although they might have been larger. The original intent was for each president to be depicted from head to waist, but the project lost funding.

6 Musketeer pal of Aramis : ATHOS

Alexandre Dumas’ “Three Musketeers” are Athos, Porthos and Aramis, although the hero of the novel is the trio’s young protégé D’Artagnan. A musketeer was an infantry soldier who was equipped with a musket. Funnily enough, the three “musketeers” really don’t use their muskets, and are better known for prowess with their swords.

13 Novels and such: Abbr. : BKS

Our word “novel”, used for a lengthy work of fiction, comes from the Latin “novella” meaning “new things”.

18 Amazon delivery boxes: Abbr. : CTNS

A delivery (dely.) to our home might come in a carton (ctn.).

25 Longtime “60 Minutes” closer : ANDY ROONEY

Andy Rooney began his career in newspapers during WWII working for “Stars and Stripes” in London. He had some memorable experiences during the war, including flying on the first American bombing raid over Germany. He was also one of the first American journalists to visit the German concentration camps as they were liberated. He started his segment called “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney” on CBS’s “60 Minutes” way back in 1978, and so was on our screens for over 30 years. Rooney passed away in 2011.

28 “The Clan of the Cave Bear” author Jean : AUEL

As Jean Auel prepared her first book in the “Earth’s Children” series, she did a lot of research about the Ice Age, the setting for her stories. She went as far as taking a survival course in cold conditions, learning to build an ice cave and how to make fire, tan leather and knap stone.

29 “__ chic!” : TRES

“Très chic” is a French term meaning “very stylish”.

30 N.J. winter hours : EST

Eastern Standard Time (EST)

32 General vicinity : AREA

A vicinity is an area surrounding a place. The term “vicinity” ultimately comes from the Latin “vicus” meaning “group of houses, village”.

33 Gillette razor : ATRA

Fortunately for crossword constructors, the Atra was introduced by Gillette in 1977, as the first razor with a pivoting head. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.

35 Lb. and kg. : WTS

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”.

Today, the gram is defined as one thousandth of a kilogram, with the kilogram being equal to the mass of a physical sample preserved by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures. Prior to 1960, the gram was defined as the weight of a cubic centimeter of pure water (at the temperature of melting ice).

36 “Stevie” for Stevie Nicks, e.g. : NICKNAME

Singer Stevie Nicks came to fame as the lead singer of Fleetwood Mac. Nicks has a very distinctive voice, heard at its best (I think) on the famous 1977 album “Rumours”.

37 Former magazine aimed at adolescents : TEEN BEAT

“Teen Beat” was a fan magazine geared towards teenagers that was published from 1967 to 2007. It was a follow-on publication to “16 Magazine” that was launched in 1956, and “Tiger Beat” launched in 1965.

42 Greek cross : TAU

Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, and the letter which gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

43 Conked out : DIED

The phrase “conk out” was coined by airmen during WWI, and was used to describe the stalling of an engine.

46 Gauchos’ weapons : BOLAS

Bolas are heavy balls connected by cords that constitute a throwing weapon. Bolas are often used to capture animals by tripping them as they run. The weapon is usually associated with gauchos, South American cowboys, although there is evidence that the Inca army used them in battle.

47 Bloodhound’s pickup : SCENT

Bloodhounds have an amazing sense of smell, and have been bred to track humans in particular. Bloodhounds have been used to follow humans since the Middle Ages.

48 Gumbo vegetables : OKRAS

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.

49 Speedy steed : ARAB

The Arab (also “Arabian”) breed of horse takes its name from its original home, the Arabian Peninsula. Like any animal that humans have over-bred, the horse falls prey to genetic diseases, some of which are fatal and some of which require the horse to be euthanized.

50 Level, as an abandoned building : RAZE

To raze (“rase”, in UK English) is to level to the ground. I’ve always thought it a little quirky that “raise”, a homophone of “raze”, means “build up”.

52 “Chat soon,” in texts : TTYL

Talk to you later (ttyl)

54 __ Jima : IWO

Iwo Jima is a volcanic island located south of Tokyo that today is uninhabited. The name is Japanese for “Sulfur Island”, referring to the sulfur mining on which Iwo Jima’s economy once depended. There were about a thousand Japanese civilians living on the island prior to WWII. In 1944, there was a massive influx of Japanese military personnel in anticipation of the inevitable US invasion. As the Japanese military moved in, the civilians were forced out and no one has lived there since. Control of the island was wrested from the Japanese in the five-week Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. Said battle was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific theater in WWII.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Parson’s home : MANSE
6 Wall St. hedgers : ARBS
10 Seize with a quick motion : GRAB
14 Carne __: burrito filling : ASADA
15 Anklebones : TALI
16 Piece that starts next to a knight : ROOK
17 Set of blank pages for notes and doodles : SCRATCHPAD
19 Rowboat pair : OARS
20 Discards as useless or obsolete : KICKS TO THE CURB
22 Bro’s sibling : SIS
23 Ones elected to office : INS
24 Make illegal : BAN
25 It comes before the ques. on “Jeopardy!” : ANS
26 Unfilled calendar slot : OPEN DATE
31 Desire : WANT
33 Going __: fighting : AT IT
34 Mangy mutts : CURS
35 What people are saying : WORD ON THE STREET
38 Deuce topper : TREY
39 Riles up : IRES
40 Snakelike fish : EELS
41 Diminutive two-seater : SMART CAR
43 Morning moisture : DEW
44 Furniture wood : OAK
45 Come out on top : WIN
46 Musical gp. that performs summer programs at Tanglewood : BSO
49 Through many experiences : AROUND THE BLOCK
54 Persia, now : IRAN
55 Car showroom site : AUTO DEALER
56 Route-finding app : WAZE
57 Baseball Hall of Famer Willie : MAYS
58 Appliance brand : AMANA
59 Do as ordered : OBEY
60 Fashion monthly : ELLE
61 Battery components, to a doctor : TESTS

Down

1 Surgeons’ protection : MASKS
2 Computer data acronym : ASCII
3 Feds busting dealers : NARCS
4 State known for 60-ft.-high presidents’ faces : SDAK
5 Erodes, as profits : EATS INTO
6 Musketeer pal of Aramis : ATHOS
7 Engrossed : RAPT
8 Uninteresting : BLAH
9 Auxiliary wagers : SIDE BETS
10 Airplane maintenance group : GROUND CREW
11 Lion’s warning : ROAR
12 Choice of two : A OR B
13 Novels and such: Abbr. : BKS
18 Amazon delivery boxes: Abbr. : CTNS
21 Recycled container : CAN
25 Longtime “60 Minutes” closer : ANDY ROONEY
26 Significant __ : OTHER
27 Crusted desserts : PIES
28 “The Clan of the Cave Bear” author Jean : AUEL
29 “__ chic!” : TRES
30 N.J. winter hours : EST
31 Wriggling bait : WORM
32 General vicinity : AREA
33 Gillette razor : ATRA
35 Lb. and kg. : WTS
36 “Stevie” for Stevie Nicks, e.g. : NICKNAME
37 Former magazine aimed at adolescents : TEEN BEAT
42 Greek cross : TAU
43 Conked out : DIED
45 Start of a question of possession : WHOSE …
46 Gauchos’ weapons : BOLAS
47 Bloodhound’s pickup : SCENT
48 Gumbo vegetables : OKRAS
49 Speedy steed : ARAB
50 Level, as an abandoned building : RAZE
51 For two countries, as citizenship : DUAL
52 “Chat soon,” in texts : TTYL
53 Unconvincing, excuse-wise : LAME
54 __ Jima : IWO

23 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 18 May 20, Monday”

  1. Who abbreviates Dakota as dak??? Books as bks??? Carton at ctn??? Does someone understand 23 across???

    1. Agree, wish l was that young. Never heard of Waze either. Ok puzzle, theme is, End of the road? Block, you could be riding on blocks for miles, or l found the block. Street, almost there. And then I guess I hit the curb. End of the puzzle for me.

  2. No errors.. Typical Monday with more than enough abbreviations..

    Ref: “guy from internet”- those are typical crossword abbreviations. It’s a gravity issue. As far as 23A, the reference to “INS” in this context, is a sort of political slang for the “IN” crowd. You are either In or Out or Hasbeen or Wannabe in longer crossword versions. That’s my short version., there are more grammatically trained crossworders here that can give a better academic explanation.

    Be safe

  3. Started off rough. Did not know “manse”, or “asada”. The rest of the puzzle was not too much of a problem. No errors after that. I agree, “ins” is a bit of a stretch.

  4. 7:48, no errors, no complaints.

    I finally got the remaining bit of Croce’s puzzle (from Friday). It only took me nine hours of hiking over the weekend and my last hour of “sleep” this morning. Glad I did the “easy” version … 😜.

    1. @ Mr. Muss. I just did the LAT’s Sunday grid and went back to see what Bill’s blog had garnered in the way of comments. While it was a typical Sunday puzzle and not remarkable enough to comment on as far as I’m concerned, I just wanted to take the time to tell you how very well thought out and outstanding your defense of crossword puzzles levels of difficulty and need for a trivial pursuit like breadth of knowledge was to me.

      Just to put your idea in a slightly different context I strongly doubt it would ever occur to anyone who is a fan of the game show Jeopardy to say that it is unfair that they didn’t have the knowledge base that would allowed them to get every question to every answer provided by Alex Trebek correct.

      Sometimes you get the bear. Sometimes the bear gets you.

  5. 13:45 with one error…I had raSe for raZe and had no idea what 56A was…I hope this isn’t an omen for the rest of the week.
    I cut down some vines and other overgrowth yesterday and Mother Nature reminded me of how old I am (ouch).
    Stay safe y’all

  6. Amana’s heyday was probably the 1950’s – 1970’s; I know growing up we certainly had our share. I think they came out with the microwave oven.

  7. I hope the rest of my day goes as easy as this puzzle. It is a nice way to start off the week, with a fun little puzzle. I did not get the theme, although it was clear to me that it had something to do with roads. I don’t mind clues that don’t make sense to the young folk, as I need every advantage I can get as my body wears out!

  8. @Cathy – WAZE is a great app that my nephew turned me on to. Free. It helps to communicate with younger people.
    @Guy – Once someone is elected, they’re “IN.” Plural, INS.

    I had to Google, on a Monday, for TESTS, as in a battery of TESTS. The SE was a total problem for me. I would never call The Boston Symphony “BSO.” I never heard of TEEN BEAT, or TTYL. But TESTS showed me the way.

    The best 3-Musketeers was the 0ne with Gene Kelly, who played D’Artagnan. Athos was Van Heflin.
    I’ve been to the AMANA Colony in Iowa, only because it is near my sister.

    1. I’ve also been to Amana colonies. Took my father and mother in laws. Great peaceful time. Actually saw the Amana plant.

  9. Bill, you had a fabulous time. A lot of other good ones as well.
    Kudos to all.

    We got in in a little less than 40 minutes, good for us. I chipped in with
    the Jumble and Wonderword.

    A good way to start the week.

    Stay well, everybody.

  10. Greetings 🦆

    Apologies in advance but OMG what a lousy puzzle!! I try not to complain too much — I REALLY do — and usually there’s nothing to complain about, but this one had so many weak abbreviations!! BSO was the worst. And CTNS?? I don’t mind if at least it’s an abbreviation that’s sometimes used, but these are just weird, and I feel they’re the sign of a lazy approach to setting.

    It’s been a tough Mapril for me, and not just because of Corona– I still don’t have a diagnosis and I’ve been poked and prodded by all sorts of specialists!! And I’m not googling anything pertaining to my symptoms, as that would only cause me to imagine the worst.

    All due respect to medical professionals– but some really think they’re God’s gift to humankind. 😡

    Be safe~~🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷

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