LA Times Crossword 12 Jun 20, Friday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Gary Larson
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer(s): Putts Force

Themed answers are common phrases in which we PUT “TS” FOR “CE”:

  • 63A Golf strokes … and when combined with 48-Down and divided in four parts, a hint to four puzzle answers : PUTTS and PUT “TS” …
  • 48D Strong-arming : FORCE and … FOR “CE”
  • 17A Emulates Ogden Nash? : MINTS WORDS (from “mince words”)
  • 27A Imagined gifts? : PRESENTS OF MIND (from “presence of mind”)
  • 44A What cheerleaders lead? : SPORTING CHANTS (from “sporting chance”)
  • 54A Tracks on a lily pad? : FROG PRINTS (from “Frog Prince”)

Bill’s time: 18m 22s!

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Like some firs : NOBLE

The noble fir is also known as red fir, and even “Christmastree” as it is a popular choice for decoration during the December holiday.

10 After-school treat : MALT

Walgreens claims to have introduced the malted milkshake, back in 1922.

14 Actress Anderson : LONI

Loni Anderson’s best-remembered role is Jennifer Marlowe on the sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati”. Anderson has been married four times, most famously to actor Burt Reynolds from 1988 to 1993.

16 Cooking acronym popularized by Rachael Ray : EVOO

Virgin olive oil is oil produced from olives with no chemical treatment involved in the production process at all. To be labelled “virgin”, the oil must have an acidity level of less than 2% and must be judged to have “a good taste”. Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) comes from virgin oil production, and is the portion with acidity levels of less than 0.8% acidity that is judged to have “superior taste”.

17 Emulates Ogden Nash? : MINTS WORDS (from “mince words”)

Ogden Nash was a poet well known for his light and humorous verse, such as:

Candy
Is dandy
But liquor
Is quicker

Parsley
Is gharsley

The verb “to mince” can mean “to make light of”, and more specifically “to criticize using polite language”. William Shakespeare used the term in such a sense in a couple of his plays, although the derivative expression “mince words” was first used in print in Benjamin Disraeli’s first novel “Vivian Grey”, published in 1826:

Your Lordship’s heart is very warm in the cause of a party, which, for I will not mince my words, has betrayed you.

So, to mince words is to moderate one’s language while still giving criticism. The related phrase “minced oath” describes a euphemistic phrase used to replace a more profane phrase, e.g. “gosh” for “God”, “heck” for “hell”.

21 Student of Graham : AILEY

Alvin Ailey was a dancer who formed his own troupe in New York in 1958, naming it “the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater”. The most famous work that Ailey choreographed was called “Revelations”. President Barack Obama awarded Ailey the Presidential Medal of Freedom, posthumously in 2014.

Martha Graham was a much-respected modern dancer and choreographer from Pittsburgh. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1976 by President Gerald Ford. In fact, First Lady Betty Ford had studied dance with Martha Graham in New York City in the 1930s.

25 Ones working with maître d’s : GARCONS

The term “garçon” is still sometimes used in French to describe a waiter, as it is an abbreviated form of the more complete “garçon de café” (meaning “café boy”). My sense is that older Francophones might still use the term, but it has fallen out of favor for obvious reasons. It is considered extremely rude to attempt to attract the attention of male waiter by shouting out “Garçon!” A polite “S’il vous plait, monsieur!” is much more appropriate.

30 Word on a dipstick : ADD

One form of measuring dipstick is used to measure the level of oil in an internal combustion engine.

31 Country singer Blake who’s a coach on “The Voice” : SHELTON

Blake Shelton is a country singer who is also known as a coach on the reality show “The Voice”. Shelton also served as a judge on the shows “Nashville Star” and “Clash of the Choirs”.

“The Voice” is yet another reality television show. It is a singing competition in which the judges hear the contestants without seeing them in the first round. The judges then take on chosen contestants as coaches for the remaining rounds. “The Voice” is a highly successful worldwide franchise that originated in the Netherlands as “The Voice of Holland”.

35 Want ad initials : EEO

“Equal Employment Opportunity” (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was set up by the Civil Rights Act. Title VII of the Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion.

43 Slip in a pot : IOU

I owe you (IOU)

51 Kooky : WEIRD

“Kooky” is a slang word meaning “out there, crazy”. The term has been around since the beatnik era, and it may be a shortened version of the word “cuckoo”.

53 Gifford’s successor on “Live!” : RIPA

When Kelly Ripa secured the co-host spot on morning television with Regis Philbin, she was still acting in “All My Children” in a role she had been playing for over ten years. After a year of holding down two jobs, she eventually gave up the acting gig. Ripa has acted as spokeswoman for several brands over the years, including Electrolux and Rykä.

Kathie Lee Gifford is most famous for working alongside Regis Philbin on the talk show “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee”, in a stint that lasted for about 15 years.

54 Tracks on a lily pad? : FROG PRINTS (from “Frog Prince”)

“The Frog Prince” is a fairy tale about a princess and her encounter with a frog who magically turns into a prince. In the version that is most common today, the prince appears when the princess kisses the frog. In the original Brothers Grimm version of the tale, the transformation takes place when the princess throws a gold ball against a wall in disgust at seeing the frog. In even earlier versions of the tale, the frog changes into the prince when it is allowed to spend a night on the princess’s pillow.

59 Rep on the street : CRED

“Street cred” is slang for “street credibility”, of which I have none …

60 Deck with a Hanged Man : TAROT

Tarot cards have been around since the mid-1400s, and for centuries were simply used for entertainment as a game. It has only been since the late 1800s that the cards have been used by fortune tellers to predict the future. The list of tarot cards includes the Wheel of Fortune, the Hanged Man and the Lovers.

61 Duck that lends its name to a color : TEAL

The beautiful color teal takes its name from the duck called a teal, which has dark greenish-blue (teal) markings on its head and wings.

Down

1 West __: upscale store : ELM

West Elm is an upscale furniture store that is owned by Williams-Sonoma. The chain was founded in 2002.

2 “Who, me?” : MOI?

“Moi” is the French word for “me”. One might say “Moi?” when feigning innocence.

4 Some church contributions : TITHES

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.

5 Units of force : NEWTONS

Newtons are units of force. The newton is named for Sir Isaac Newton, the English physicist and mathematician.

6 Chiwere-speaking native : OTOE

Chiwere is a Siouan language spoken by the Otoe people, as well as by the Missouria and Iowa.

9 Yellow pair? : ELS

There is a pair of letters L (el) in the word “yellow”.

11 Toyota model : AVALON

The Avalon is a large sedan that has been produced by Toyota in Georgetown, Kentucky since 1994. “Avalon” was the name of an island featured in Arthurian legend, the place where the sword Excalibur was forged.

13 Tommy Tune’s ten : TONYS

Tommy Tune is an actor, dancer and director from Texas who was at the height of his fame in the late sixties and seventies.

The Tony Awards are more completely referred to as the Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Broadway Theatre. The awards are named for Mary Antoinette “Tony” Perry, who was a co-founder of the American Theatre Wing.

18 One-named Nigerian singer : SADE

Singer Sade’s real name is Helen Folasade Adu. Although born in Nigeria, Sade grew up and lives in the UK. She was the lead vocalist for the English group Sade, and adopted the name of the band. The band’s biggest hits were “Smooth Operator” (1984) and “The Sweetest Taboo” (1985).

22 WWII supply referred to as “meatloaf without basic training” : SPAM

Spam is a precooked meat product that is sold in cans. It was introduced by Hormel Foods in 1937. The main meat ingredients are pork shoulder meat and ham. The name “Spam” was chosen as the result of a competition at Hormel, with the winner earning himself a hundred dollars. According to the company, the derivation of the name “Spam” is a secret known by only a few former executives, but the speculation is that it stands for “spiced ham” or “shoulders of pork and ham”. Spam is particularly popular in Hawaii, so popular that it is sometimes referred to as “the Hawaiian steak”.

23 Pakistani tongue : URDU

Urdu is one of the two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English), and is one of the 22 scheduled languages in India. Urdu partly developed from Persian and is written from right to left.

25 Prepare for a Hail Mary : GO LONG

A Hail Mary pass (also called “the long bomb”) is a desperation move in American football in which a long pass is thrown with very little chance of success, right at the end of a game or at the end of a half. The term dates back to the thirties, and was probably first used at Notre Dame. The “Hail Mary” is a prayer in the Christian tradition that is of particular significance Roman Catholicism.

33 Nickname in late 20th-century British politics : IRON LADY

Margaret Thatcher served as Prime Minister of the UK from 1979 to 1990, making her the longest serving leader of the country in the 20th century, and the first woman to hold the office. Thatcher’s nickname in the press was the “Iron Lady”, a moniker bestowed on her by a Soviet journalist. The “Iron Lady” was born Margaret Hilda Roberts, the daughter of a grocer. She studied chemistry at Oxford University and worked for a while as a research chemist.

38 Schlep : TOTE

Our word “schlep” (sometimes “schlepp”) means “carry, drag”. “Schlep” comes from Yiddish, with “shlepen” having the same meaning.

41 TGIF part : IT’S

“Thank God It’s Friday” (TGIF) is a relatively new expression that apparently originated in Akron, Ohio. It was a catchphrase used first by disk jockey Jerry Healy of WAKR in the early seventies. That said, one blog reader wrote to me to say that he had been using the phrase in the fifties.

42 Libretto cousins : SCRIPTS

A libretto can be the book that contains the text of a dramatic musical work, with the text itself also being called the libretto.

44 “On Language” columnist : SAFIRE

William Safire was a syndicated columnist for “The New York Times”. Safire also worked for the Nixon election campaigns in 1960 and 1968, and was a speechwriter for both Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew.

46 München mister : HERR

In German, a “Herr” (Mr.) is married to a “Frau” (Mrs.), and they live together in a “Haus” (house).

Munich is the capital of the German state of Bavaria, and is the third largest city in the country (after Berlin and Hamburg). The city is called “München” in German, a term that derives from the Old German word for “by the monks’ place”, which is a reference to the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city in 1158.

51 St.-John’s-__ : WORT

St. John’s wort is a herb that is used by some as a treatment for depression. Extracts are available as over-the-counter purchases here in the US, but back in my homeland of Ireland, one needs a prescription.

52 Showbiz award “grand slam” : EGOT

The acronym “EGOT” stands for “Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony”, and is a reference to performers who have won all four awards. Also known as the “Showbiz Award Grand Slam”, there are relatively few individuals who have been so honored. The first five to do so were:

  1. Richard Rodgers in 1962
  2. Helen Hayes in 1977
  3. Rita Moreno in 1977
  4. John Gielgud in 1991
  5. Audrey Hepburn in 1994 (posthumously)

54 Uploading letters : FTP

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a standard protocol used when transferring files between computers on a network.

55 India-born author Santha Rama __ : RAU

Santha Rama Rau was a travel writer from India who lived much of her life in the US. As well as writing her own books, Rau also adapted the E. M. Forster novel “A Passage to India” for the stage.

56 Originally : NEE

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”. The term “née” is mainly used in English when referring to a married woman’s birth name, assuming that she has adopted her husband’s name, e.g. Michelle Obama née Robinson, and Melania Trump née Knavs.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Throw off : EMIT
5 Like some firs : NOBLE
10 After-school treat : MALT
14 Actress Anderson : LONI
15 Source of net profits? : E-TAIL
16 Cooking acronym popularized by Rachael Ray : EVOO
17 Emulates Ogden Nash? : MINTS WORDS (from “mince words”)
19 Early light time : DAWN
20 Can’t stand : HATES
21 Student of Graham : AILEY
22 “Of course” : SURE DO
25 Ones working with maître d’s : GARCONS
27 Imagined gifts? : PRESENTS OF MIND (from “presence of mind”)
30 Word on a dipstick : ADD
31 Country singer Blake who’s a coach on “The Voice” : SHELTON
32 Noted work : MUSIC
35 Want ad initials : EEO
36 Lies : RESTS
40 Fiber-rich snack : RAISINS
43 Slip in a pot : IOU
44 What cheerleaders lead? : SPORTING CHANTS (from “sporting chance”)
48 Remote situation : FARNESS
49 Gets more out of : REUSES
50 Gone by : OF OLD
51 Kooky : WEIRD
53 Gifford’s successor on “Live!” : RIPA
54 Tracks on a lily pad? : FROG PRINTS (from “Frog Prince”)
59 Rep on the street : CRED
60 Deck with a Hanged Man : TAROT
61 Duck that lends its name to a color : TEAL
62 Wriggling : EELY
63 Golf strokes … and when combined with 48-Down and divided in four parts, a hint to four puzzle answers : PUTTS and PUT “TS” …
64 Like hunks and knockouts : SEXY

Down

1 West __: upscale store : ELM
2 “Who, me?” : MOI?
3 Certain keeper’s charge : INN
4 Some church contributions : TITHES
5 Units of force : NEWTONS
6 Chiwere-speaking native : OTOE
7 Breakfast snacks : BARS
8 Topper : LID
9 Yellow pair? : ELS
10 It requires some orderly help : MEDICINE
11 Toyota model : AVALON
12 Bargain-basement : LOW-END
13 Tommy Tune’s ten : TONYS
18 One-named Nigerian singer : SADE
21 Defensive covering : ARMOR
22 WWII supply referred to as “meatloaf without basic training” : SPAM
23 Pakistani tongue : URDU
24 Wine list heading : REDS
25 Prepare for a Hail Mary : GO LONG
26 Where to see a wake : AFT
28 Degree requirement, perhaps : THESIS
29 Greet and seat : SEE IN
33 Nickname in late 20th-century British politics : IRON LADY
34 Liked, with “for” : CARED …
37 Offenses : SINS
38 Schlep : TOTE
39 Unravel, with “out” : SUSS …
41 TGIF part : IT’S
42 Libretto cousins : SCRIPTS
44 “On Language” columnist : SAFIRE
45 Move forward : PROPEL
46 München mister : HERR
47 Book reviews : AUDITS
48 Strong-arming : FORCE and … FOR “CE”
51 St.-John’s-__ : WORT
52 Showbiz award “grand slam” : EGOT
54 Uploading letters : FTP
55 India-born author Santha Rama __ : RAU
56 Originally : NEE
57 Try : TAX
58 Dodgy, on this side of the pond : SLY

35 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 12 Jun 20, Friday”

  1. At least 3 errors… Thought 25A was GARSONS not GARCONS???? GRAHAM and AILEE were totally foreign… Had OREO for 10A for a long time.. That whole NE corner was a mess… Maybe if I knew EVOO early enough it may have all fallen together… I got the theme!! 10 extra points!

    Be safe

    1. @Anon Mike
      You’re half right about GARSONS. That’s how it’s pronounced but in French it’s written with a C with a little inverted comma beneath (“C cedille”) which makes the C sound soft.

  2. No errors; had to look up 31A but for the rest, it was a hard slog but
    doable….but “farness”??? I understood what the setter was doing with
    the themed answers but never connected them with putts and force.

    Have a good weekend everybody and stay safe and well.

  3. Even though I got 3 of the longest clues and knew the theme was substituting t’s for c’s…… put t’s for”ce” was just about the most ridiculous revealer I have ever come across. I mean look how long the clue was.

  4. 17:56, no errors. Thoughtful one. Nice of the setter to give “FARNESS” some air time. (It’s in the dictionary, but I doubt that it gets out of there very often … and it probably gets to feeling trapped … 😜.)

  5. Where to start?? I have no clue. Didn’t get the theme till done. Some answers l totally couldn’t get, farness, malt, I never got a malt treat after school. Had to buy them at the candy store. Ok puzzle, but spent alot of time on it. I’m tired and I just got up. Keep safe.

  6. This is the worst puzzle they’ve put out in a long time. Farness? Malt? 10D? This was a slog with a lot of crappy clues.

  7. Exhausting and I almost quit. I though “farness” was ridiculous and I never heard of “suredo”. I was stuck on that for a long time. Glad it’s over until tomorrow.

  8. 17:25, 1 dumb error. Won’t add any more since it’s been made clear to me that discussing crosswords on this crossword blog is unwelcome here…

    1. Well, there’s plenty of “discussion” of this one, so you might as well join in … 😜.

      For the record, real discussion can involve disagreement, even dissension. The posts that really get under my skin are the ones that amount to simple mud-slinging (sometimes with a great deal of factual error thrown in). I’ve done my best to insert all the missing IMOs and to try to figure out what people were so exercised about, but it didn’t always help.

      In the past, I’ve gotten too serious about all this and I have to stop. So, my plan for the future is let the intemperate rants go by and respond only to an occasional outright error.

      Ominously, though, the “Baby Blues” comic strip from a couple of days ago ended with a possibly-applicable cautionary line: “Nobody likes a fact-checker, Zoe.” See it here:

      https://www.comicskingdom.com/baby-blues/2020-06-10

      So, have at it, Glenn … and, seriously, I do value many (maybe even most) of your contributions here … 🙂.

      1. Unfortunately, most of it devolves into something that’s often not based on the points mentioned but something that’s more akin to personal attacks. Regardless, I’ve discovered it’s fruitless to say much of anything here, as a lot of the response is arguing just to hear themselves instead of addressing anything specific that was said, so I’m going to quit.

        As for what I was going to say about this puzzle, most of it has already been said.

  9. Started out of the NW just flying, thought it was going to be easy, but then slowed wayyy down, and my time wound up being 12:56, and was definitely quite a slog. The NE was the worst, from reading the comments I was not alone in struggling with it. Graham and Ailey were about the most obscure thing I’ve seen in a puzzle in a while.

    FARNESS was quite a stretch as well.

    I got MINTS WORDS pretty fast while I was flying out of the NW, and actually said out loud, “oh okay, the theme is going to be one of those homonym things, where they put TS for CE.” (!) But then after I finally filled in “FORCE PUTTS” the theme revealer was a complete mystery to me until I read the explanation here. 🤦🏻‍♂️

  10. Constructor Gary Larson must be like me an old man — malts went out with malt shops which didn’t survive the 1960s. I’m not complaining. Makes me feel (erroneously) that things haven’t changed that much.

    1. @Rosemary
      It means “for example.” For example a clue might be “Black cloud, say.” The answer would be OMEN, but there are other things that are also omens, among which a black cloud is only one example.

  11. 4 errors in the NE corner, thinking an after-school treat was going to the MALL, and not having a clue what some of the others were, I ended up with Tommy Tune having ten LINES, leaving 2 other errors. This was not a fun puzzle, but I did get the theme fairly early, so the long answers helped with the other stuff that evaded me.
    @Glenn: I enjoy ALL of your comments. Please continue, as I learn stuff from them.

    1. You asked on Monday: “.. discovered links to crossword construction programs. I have wondered how crosswords are made, and think I’ll give one a try. Anybody have experience with these things?” I have some. Crossword creation programs are basically aids to help out with the grid – it’s a lot easier than drawing out a grid and scrapping it around. You can also get word-lists which the program will parse to fill sections of the grid. There’s Crossword Compiler and Crossfire, which are paid programs, and other efforts out there like QXW which are free. I’ve played with the demos of the first two (can’t do anything to evaluate them for purchase, almost), and use QXW otherwise.

      However, there’s still a lot of art to grids in terms of what makes a good grid or a bad grid (what informs a lot of what I’ve written on this blog since I learned and what you’ll see on a lot of the other blogs by the blog posters), and even more making a grid. This is a good book on that (along with some puzzles!) if you get really interested in constructing.

      If you even dabble in the idea of making grids, you ultimately start looking at grids you solve and evaluating the things that work and don’t work and ultimately finding good and bad examples of constructions (and constructors!). After all, there is such a thing, as reflected by the standards editors use in accepting or turning down grids. This is often reflected in other blogs that have been termed “negative” by many. A lot is in the eye of the beholder so to speak, but general opinions of the beholders matter, especially to the general opinion of an outlet.

  12. 1:06:43 with 2 errors in the now infamous NE corner…I usually do better with the LAT than the NYT but not today…I did not enjoy this one at all.
    Stay safe everybody.

  13. Very difficult. I thought some answers didn’t follow logically. Obscure. Tangential. But that is what makes it a puzzle.

  14. An epic fail…D’oh! For a change not getting the theme bit me in the rear, big time. I put in “mints poems” for 17 Across and then put in “leptons” for 5 Down and just could never recover from those errors. So, for 5 Across I ended up staring at “lo_re” which was due to the “r” starting “rim” for 8 Down. Man was my head spinning trying to get where I was supposed to go. But I shall live to crossword again. And another one bites the dust!

    Stay well and keep on keeping on! ;-D>

  15. Had a bad time yesterday and today. I’m not in the frame of mind to hack through some of these any more. Covid-19 has given me one huge headache! What’s the line “There’s no fun in Mudville!” Something like that…….I guess I’ll go back to playing solitaire.

  16. My left-handed brain was in action again. I knew who Graham, Ailey, and Tommy Tune were, but had trouble pretty much everywhere else. Tommy Tune’s legs are abt 6 ft long, and how he danced with them is a mystery, but he was terrific.

  17. There’s 16 minutes and 15 seconds of my life I can’t get back. A totally opaque and completely impossible puzzle. What the hell is he getting at with those mental gymnastics (also very clumsily expressed in the fills) required to “get” the theme? And then, he clogs the grid with silly little puns that are nearly impossible to divine. This puzzle is one big, steaming pile of [redacted]. Gary Larson goes on my “just skip it” list of hack constructors. Our editor should have known better than to foist this disaster upon us.

  18. I’ve not previously commented on the “quality” of a puzzle, but I thought this one was cleverly constructed and wickedly diabolical. Took me forever, but finally completed it. Hats off for the “PUTTS FORCE!”

  19. Too tough for me today; got everything except the NE and top middle and called it a day after a bit over and hour. I did have NEWTONS and HATES in the middle top and MALT, DAWN, …MIND and ARMOR in the NE. I finally figured out the theme and made heavy use of it but screwed up the top theme clue.

    Tough but a learning experience, even if I could have lived without EVOO, AVALON and a few others. There were some nice ones though: Where to see a wake and slip in a pot, among others.

  20. Greetings y’all!!🦆

    This was a tough one! Had to cheat for NEWTONS and EVOO and another I don’t recall. The saving grace was getting the theme early, altho I totally missed the PUTT – FORCE thing till I came here. 🤔

    I also put OREO before MALT. I recall exactly ONE time I ever had a MALT as an after-school snack. It was 1974 and I was in 10th grade, and my friend Nina whipped some up. I think that was the first time I ever had one, not including the Carnation chocolate malt ice cream the Good Humor Man used to sell.

    I’ve confessed this here before: I think Kelly RIPA is adorbs!! I’ve never seen her TV show, but I have seen her a coupla times on late night talk.

    Be safe~~🍷

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.