LA Times Crossword 15 Jun 20, Monday

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Constructed by: Mark McClain
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Aftershock

Themed answers each end with a word is often seen AFTER “SHOCK”:

  • 64A Earthquake echo, or where the last words of the answers to starred clues might go : AFTERSHOCK
  • 17A *Price a discarded item might fetch : SCRAP VALUE (giving “shock value”)
  • 27A *Preliminary book copy for editing : PRINTER’S PROOF (giving “shockproof”)
  • 48A *Salon job often shortened to its first four letters : PERMANENT WAVE (giving “shock wave”)

Bill’s time: 5m 50s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 The “M” in STEM, briefly : MATH

The acronym “STEM” stands for the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. An alternative acronym with a similar meaning is MINT, standing for mathematics, information sciences, natural sciences and technology.

5 Bistro offerings : MEALS

“Bistro” was originally a Parisian slang term for a “little wine shop or restaurant”.

14 New York canal : ERIE

The Erie Canal runs from Albany to Buffalo in the state of New York. What the canal does is allow shipping to proceed from New York Harbor right up the Hudson River, through the canal and into the Great Lakes. When it was opened in 1825, the Erie Canal had immediate impact on the economy of New York City and locations along its route. It was the first means of “cheap” transportation from a port on the Atlantic seaboard into the interior of the United States. Arguably it was the most important factor contributing to the growth of New York City over competing ports such as Baltimore and Philadelphia. It was largely because of the Erie Canal that New York became such an economic powerhouse, earning it the nickname of “the Empire State”. Paradoxically, one of the project’s main proponents was severely criticized. New York Governor DeWitt Clinton received so much ridicule that the canal was nicknamed “Clinton’s Folly” and “Clinton’s Ditch”.

15 Quiver projectile : ARROW

A quiver is a container used for carrying arrows.

16 “Buy It Now” site : EBAY

eBay is an auction site with a twist. If you don’t want to enter into an auction to purchase an item, there’s a “Buy It Now” price. Agree to pay it, and the item is yours!

20 Snail’s protection : SHELL

Snails and slugs are referred to collectively as gastropods. There are many, many species of gastropods, found both on land and in the sea. Gastropods with shells are generally described as snails, and those species without shells are referred to as slugs.

23 “__ on Down the Road”: “The Wiz” song : EASE

“Ease on Down the Road” is a song from “The Wiz”, the 1975 stage musical adaptation of the L. Frank Baum’s children’s novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. “Ease on Down the Road” is used for the same sequences as the songs “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” and “We’re Off to See the Wizard” from the celebrated 1939 movie adaptation “The Wizard of Oz”.

“The Wiz”, the 1975 musical, was written by Charlie Smalls and is an African-American adaptation of Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. The film version of the stage show was released in 1978, starring Diana Ross as Dorothy and Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow. I haven’t seen it, though. “The Wizard of Oz” scares me, as the flying monkeys creep me out. There, I’ve admitted it in public …

26 Bus sked info : ETA

A schedule (sked) might show the estimated time of arrival (ETA) of a plane or bus, perhaps.

33 Corp. money exec : CFO

Chief financial officer (CFO)

42 Great Pyramid site : GIZA

Giza is located on the west bank of the Nile, about 20 km southwest of Cairo. The nearby Giza Plateau is home to some of the most amazing ancient monuments on the planet, including the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Great Sphinx.

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and yet it is the only one of the Wonders that is basically intact today. Egyptologists believe that the structure took ten to twenty years to complete, and that it dates back to around 2560 BC. The Great Pyramid of Giza was the tallest man-made structure in the world for nearly 3,900 years, until it was surpassed by Lincoln Cathedral in England in 1311 AD.

43 Physicist Newton : ISAAC

Sir Isaac Newton was one of the most influential people in history, and the man who laid the groundwork for all of classical mechanics. The story about an apple falling on his head, inspiring him to formulate his theories about gravity, well that’s not quite true. Newton often told the story about observing an apple falling in his mother’s garden and how this made him acutely aware of the Earth’s gravitational pull. However, he made no mention of the apple hitting him on the head.

45 Surrey slammer : GAOL

Both “jail” and “gaol” are pronounced the same way, mean the same thing, and are rooted in the same Latin word for “cave”. The spelling “gaol” is seen quite often in the UK, although it is gradually being replaced with “jail”. The “gaol” spelling has Norman roots and tends to be used in Britain in more formal documentation.

The cooler, the pen, the joint, the slammer, the can … the prison.

Surrey is an English county located just to the southwest of London. Among the many historic locations in Surrey is Runnymede, famous for the signing of Magna Carta by King John in 1215.

48 *Salon job often shortened to its first four letters : PERMANENT WAVE (giving “shock wave”)

“Perm” is the common name given to a permanent wave, a chemical or thermal treatment of hair to produce waves or curls.

52 RVer’s stopover : KOA

Kampgrounds of America (KOA) was founded in 1962 by Montana businessman Dave Drum, who opened up his first property along the Yellowstone River. His strategy was to offer a rich package of services including hot showers, restrooms and a store, which he hoped would attract people used to camping in the rough. The original campground was an immediate hit and Drum took on two partners and sold franchises all over the country. There are about 500 KOA sites today.

Kampgrounds of America (KOA) was founded in 1962 by Montana businessman Dave Drum, who opened up his first property along the Yellowstone River. His strategy was to offer a rich package of services including hot showers, restrooms and a store, which he hoped would attract people used to camping in the rough. The original campground was an immediate hit and Drum took on two partners and sold franchises all over the country. There are about 500 KOA sites today.

59 Cinderella’s sweepings : ASHES

The folktale usually known as “Cinderella” was first published by French author Charles Perrault in 1697, although it was later included by the Brothers Grimm in their famous 1812 collection. The storyline of the tale may date back as far as the days of ancient Greece. A common alternative title to the story is “The Little Glass Slipper”.

63 Horror film assistant : IGOR

In the world of movies, Igor has been the assistant to Dracula, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein among others. Igor is almost invariably portrayed as a hunchback.

64 Earthquake echo, or where the last words of the answers to starred clues might go : AFTERSHOCK

An earthquake is followed by smaller aftershocks. The smaller tremors are caused by the displaced crust adjusting to the new configuration on either side of the faultline.

67 Sunscreen additive : ALOE

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in relatively dry climates. The plant’s leaves are full of biologically-active compounds that have been studied extensively. Aloe vera has been used for centuries in herbal medicine, mainly for topical treatment of wounds.

68 Stale-smelling : MUSTY

Something described as “musty” has a stale or moldy odor. The term derives from an obsolete word “moisty”, as in “moist”.

69 Grape soda brand : NEHI

Claude A. Hatcher ran a grocery store in Columbus, Georgia. He decided to develop his own soft drink formula when he balked at the price his store was being charged for Coca-Cola syrup. Hatcher launched the Union Bottling Works in his own grocery store, and introduced Royal Crown Ginger Ale in 1905. The Union Bottling Works was renamed to Chero-Cola in 1910, the Nehi Corporation in 1925, and Royal Crown Company in the mid-fifties. The first RC Cola hit the market in 1934.

71 “Family Ties” mother : ELYSE

Actress Meredith Baxter is best known for playing Elyse, the mother in the eighties sitcom “Family Ties”. Baxter’s big break on television came with a title role on a short-lived sitcom called “Bridget Loves Bernie”. She ended up marrying David Birney, her co-star on “Bridget Loves Bernie”, and so was known for many years as Meredith Baxter-Birney. She changed her name back to Meredith Baxter when the pair divorced in 1989.

“Family Ties” was one of the first TV shows that I enjoyed when I arrived in the US back in 1983. I found the situation very appealing, with two ex-hippie parents facing off against an ultra-conservative son. The main characters in the show were Michael J. Fox as Alex, Meredith Baxter-Birney as Alex’s mom Elyse, and Michael Gross as Alex’s dad Steven. Some future stars had recurring roles as well, including Courteney Cox as one of Alex’s girlfriends and Tom Hanks as Elyse’s young brother.

72 Asian wheat noodle : UDON

Udon noodles are made from wheat-flour and are very popular in Japanese cuisines such as tempura.

Down

4 Shaman, for one : HEALER

A shaman is a supposed intermediary between the human world and the spirit world.

5 Dallas NBAer : MAV

The Mavericks (also “Mavs”) are the NBA franchise in Dallas, Texas. The team was founded in 1980, and the Mavericks name was chosen by fan votes. The choice of “Mavericks” was prompted by the fact that the actor James Garner was a part-owner of the team, and Garner of course played the title role in the “Maverick” television series.

7 Woody’s singing son : ARLO

Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for singing protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.

11 Flute’s orchestral neighbor : OBOE

The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”.

A flute is a woodwind instrument that doesn’t have a reed. Instead, sound is produced by blowing air across an opening. A flute player is often referred to as a flautist (sometimes “flutist”). Flutes have been around a long, long time. Primitive flutes found in modern-day Germany date back 43,000 to 35,000 years, which makes the flute the oldest known musical instrument.

18 Flannel shirt pattern : PLAID

Tartan is sometimes called “plaid” over here in the US, and is a word not used in the same sense outside of this country. In Scotland, a “plaid” is a blanket or a tartan cloth slung over the shoulder.

27 Kind of ice cap : POLAR

The polar ice cap at the north of our planet is floating pack ice in the Arctic Ocean. The southern polar ice cap is an ice sheet that covers the landmass known as Antarctica. About 70% of all the freshwater on Earth is held in the southern polar ice cap.

30 Like sheep : OVINE

The Latin word for “sheep” is “ovis”, giving us the adjective “ovine” meaning “like a sheep”.

31 Move like molasses : OOZE

When sugar cane is processed to extract sugar, it is crushed and mashed to produce a juice. The juice is boiled to make a sugary concentrate called cane syrup, from which sugar crystals are extracted. A second boiling of the leftover syrup produces second molasses, from which more sugar crystals can be extracted. A third boiling results in what is called blackstrap molasses.

38 Perp’s escape : LAM

To be on the lam is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. “On the lam” is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word “lam” also means to “beat” or “thrash”, as in “lambaste”. So “on the lam” might derive from the phrase “to beat it, to scram”.

In cop-speak, a “perp” (perpetrator) might prey on a “vic” (victim).

40 Webber musical based on Eliot poems : CATS

“Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” is a 1939 collection of poems by T. S. Eliot (TSE). The collection of whimsical poetry was a favorite of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber when he was a child. Webber used Eliot’s poems as inspiration for his megahit musical “Cats”.

41 Sewing machine inventor Elias : HOWE

Elias Howe was an American inventor. Howe wasn’t the first to come up with the idea of a sewing machine, but he was the first to develop one that was functional.

46 Buddhist teachers : LAMAS

“Lama” is a Tibetan word meaning “chief, high priest”.

51 Hindu deity : VISHNU

Vishnu is one of the main deities in the Hindu tradition, and is one of the Trimurti (trinity) along with Brahma and Shiva. Vishnu is usually depicted as having four arms and pale blue skin.

54 Thailand, once : SIAM

Formerly known as Siam, the Kingdom of Thailand has been operating as a military dictatorship since a 2014 coup.

57 Western writer Zane __ : GREY

Zane Grey certainly did hit on the right niche. He wrote romanticized western novels and stories that really lent themselves to the big screen in the days when westerns were very popular movies. Incredibly, 110 films were made based on his work.

58 Crafter’s website : ETSY

Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

62 Largest human organ : SKIN

The skin is the largest organ in the human body by surface area. The largest organ by mass is the liver.

65 Sci-fi series extras : ETS

Extraterrestrial (ET)

66 Whiskey grain : RYE

For whiskey to be labelled as “rye” in the US, it has to be distilled from at least 51% rye grain. In Canada however, a drink called rye whiskey sometimes contains no rye at all.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 The “M” in STEM, briefly : MATH
5 Bistro offerings : MEALS
10 Darkened for emphasis, as text : BOLD
14 New York canal : ERIE
15 Quiver projectile : ARROW
16 “Buy It Now” site : EBAY
17 *Price a discarded item might fetch : SCRAP VALUE (giving “shock value”)
19 Zonk out : DOZE
20 Snail’s protection : SHELL
21 Directs : OVERSEES
23 “__ on Down the Road”: “The Wiz” song : EASE
26 Bus sked info : ETA
27 *Preliminary book copy for editing : PRINTER’S PROOF (giving “shockproof”)
33 Corp. money exec : CFO
35 Medical pros : DOCS
36 Take great pleasure in : SAVOR
37 Ship frame : HULL
39 “__ one is better?” : WHICH
42 Great Pyramid site : GIZA
43 Physicist Newton : ISAAC
45 Surrey slammer : GAOL
47 Butterfly catcher : NET
48 *Salon job often shortened to its first four letters : PERMANENT WAVE (giving “shock wave”)
52 RVer’s stopover : KOA
53 Interstate hauler : SEMI
54 Glam or punk, to rock : SUBGENRE
59 Cinderella’s sweepings : ASHES
63 Horror film assistant : IGOR
64 Earthquake echo, or where the last words of the answers to starred clues might go : AFTERSHOCK
67 Sunscreen additive : ALOE
68 Stale-smelling : MUSTY
69 Grape soda brand : NEHI
70 “Well, I’ll be darned!” : MY MY!
71 “Family Ties” mother : ELYSE
72 Asian wheat noodle : UDON

Down

1 Total disorder : MESS
2 Word with enemy or rival : ARCH-
3 Grow weary : TIRE
4 Shaman, for one : HEALER
5 Dallas NBAer : MAV
6 Important period : ERA
7 Woody’s singing son : ARLO
8 Shutter with slanted slats : LOUVER
9 Sugary goodies : SWEETS
10 Places to sleep : BEDS
11 Flute’s orchestral neighbor : OBOE
12 Lounge (around) : LAZE
13 Hair salon colors : DYES
18 Flannel shirt pattern : PLAID
22 Knocks loudly : RAPS
24 Winter forecast : SNOW
25 Mark permanently : ETCH
27 Kind of ice cap : POLAR
28 Endorse digitally : E-SIGN
29 Cleaner’s cloth : RAG
30 Like sheep : OVINE
31 Move like molasses : OOZE
32 Greek campus group : FRAT
33 Short golf shot : CHIP
34 Firecracker-lighting cord : FUSE
38 Perp’s escape : LAM
40 Webber musical based on Eliot poems : CATS
41 Sewing machine inventor Elias : HOWE
44 Wedding reception centerpiece : CAKE
46 Buddhist teachers : LAMAS
49 Generic : NO-NAME
50 Probably more than you wanted to hear : EARFUL
51 Hindu deity : VISHNU
54 Thailand, once : SIAM
55 Like eyesores : UGLY
56 Explosive sound : BOOM
57 Western writer Zane __ : GREY
58 Crafter’s website : ETSY
60 Worked the soil : HOED
61 Cavern phenomenon : ECHO
62 Largest human organ : SKIN
65 Sci-fi series extras : ETS
66 Whiskey grain : RYE

25 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 15 Jun 20, Monday”

  1. So I finally got the clue for Sunday’s 52A with Sisyphus and LISP; the constructor is making a ‘joke’ about people with speech impediments. Another reason not to like that puzzle.

    1. Some people lisp. A person who lisps would have trouble pronouncing the word “Sisyphus”. No one is being made fun of.

      Such wordplay is common in crossword puzzles. Try this one: Why would the clue “Nice pair?” give you the entry “DEUX”?

      1. Hmm– re lisp, I see both sides here. I think it’s insulting to people with speech issues, but I also see many like that in puzzles. 🤔 I don’t think the setter meant any harm.

  2. 5:56 How do you count errors?

    I always feel surprised when understanding the theme helps me fill in long answers. Usually I fill in the whole puzzle before the theme makes sense.

    Igor is not a generic assistant. He originates the Frankenstein movies.
    Dracula’s assistant is Renfield.

    1. @Pam … Well, in general, Igor is Frankenstein’s assistant, but Bill’s comment begins with “In the world of movies …” and, in the 2004 movie “Van Helsing”, we find “Kevin J. O’Connor as Igor, a former servant of Frankenstein’s, now working for Dracula”. (Nit-picky, yes but it’s there on Wikipedia … 😜.)

    2. @Pam … Re “counting errors”: I do the puzzle on paper, using a red-ink pen that allows me to write very lightly when I’m not sure of an answer. If I realize that I’ve made a mistake as I work the puzzle, I correct it: that’s not an error, just a misstep. At the end, I count the number of squares that are incorrectly filled and report that number, using a phrase such as “three one-square errors” to make it clear what I’m reporting. Others follow Bill’s example and report entries in error, but, somehow, that doesn’t fit my image of what it means to solve a puzzle: for me, it’s a process of filling in one square after another, as opposed to a process of answering one “question” after another. As for what it means to “cheat”, that’s up to each individual: if I get a letter in any other way except by retrieving it from my aging brain, I report it here. I think others here make it clear what their conventions are.

      And now … I want to take a walk, but it’s too hot out there … so I guess I’ll sit and read … and occasionally look up at the four walls and sigh … be safe, everyone … 🙂.

    3. @Pam
      It’s kind of a question people have between doing it by grid letters or by words. People have their own methods and things regardless as to “errors” which works for them and their skill level to keep their morale up, as there’s no real “right way” to do it. Unless you’re in a contest (which we’re not)…but that’s another kettle of fish.

    1. Udon is now a staple of my diet!! It’s a thick, worm-like rice noodle, with broth. When you add in your choice of vegetables, seafood, and other items (from a local asian market) you get a delightful, savory soup, similar to Vietnamese pho (pronounced “fuh”), but with thicker noodles. Real good eatin’!!!

  3. Allen, the clue said it was a wheat noodle and not rice. But, enjoy them
    anyway.

    I thought we had aced it, but we didn’t double check very well. We had
    3 errors and one omission for 98% solved. The only true way to score is
    by squares (letters and not words). In today’s puzzle, there are a total of
    225 squares: 15 across and 15 down. There are 34 black squares, so the
    number of active squares is 225 minus 34 = 191. We had 4 errors, so our
    per cent solved is (187/191) x 100 = 97.9 or round up to 98%. That is the
    only true way to score and our math lesson for the day. Enjoy.

    I got it, but take issue with 10 Across. DARKEN is a verb and BOLD is an adjective
    which modifies the noun TEXT. Picky, but correct and our English grammar lesson
    for the day. Class dismissed; I imagine you have heard enough.

    Stay safe, everybody, and keep those great times coming in.

    1. Well, hmm … “darken” is a verb, all right, but “darkened” is, in fact, a verb form that functions as an adjective, and the clue for 10-Across is “Darkened for emphasis, as text”, so “BOLD” works just fine, I think … (and it occurs to me that I just darkened “Darkened” … a rather meta operation … 😜).

      Did you get the letter I sent with my question about that weird golf ball?

  4. No errors,. Bills site didn’t show up until late today.. He usually gets it posted very early.. But I see Glenn got his posted early.. Twice.

    Not sure if there was a delay or what..

    1. Sometimes a page will cache in your browser and you’ll have to explicitly refresh in order to get the new content. Bill had this up the same time he usually does.

  5. Greetings folks!!🦆

    No errors on an easy Monday. Not a bad little puzzle.

    @Nonny– you’re right! A verb form functioning as an adjective, like “broken window. ” Wish my students loved grammar as much as I do!🤗

    Be safe ~~☕

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