LA Times Crossword 24 Jun 20, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Roland Huget
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Jam Session

Themed answers each start with a type of JAM:

  • 58A Impromptu performance … or what the starts of 17-, 24-, 34- and 50-Across comprise? : JAM SESSION
  • 17A Sequential written evidence : PAPER TRAIL (giving “paper jam”)
  • 24A Firewood device : LOG SPLITTER (giving “log jam”)
  • 34A Winter carnival attraction : ICE PALACE (giving “ice jam”)
  • 50A Roadwork marker : TRAFFIC CONE (giving “traffic jam”)

Bill’s time: 6m 19s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 West Coast NFLer : LA RAM

The Los Angeles Rams are the only franchise to have won NFL championships in three different cities, i.e. Cleveland (1945), Los Angeles (1951) and St. Louis (1999). The Rams were based in Cleveland from 1936 to 1945, in Los Angeles from 1946 to 1994, in St. Louis from 1995 to 2015, and returned to Los Angeles in 2016.

6 John Deere logo animal : STAG

John Deere invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837. Prior to Deere’s invention, farmers used an iron or wooden plow that constantly had to be cleaned as rich soil stuck to its surfaces. The cast-steel plow was revolutionary as its smooth sides solved the problem of “stickiness”. The Deere company that John founded uses the slogan “Nothing Runs Like a Deere”, and has a leaping deer as its logo.

19 Colombian city : CALI

In terms of population, Cali is the third largest city in Colombia (after Bogotá and Medellin). Santiago de Cali (the full name for the city) lies in western Colombia. Apparently, Cali is a destination for “medical tourists”. The city’s surgeons have a reputation for being expert in cosmetic surgery and so folks head there looking for a “cheap” nose job. Cali has also been historically associated with the illegal drug trade and money laundering.

20 Removes from the roster : CUTS

Our word “roster”, meaning “list, register”, actually comes from the same root as our word “roast”, would you believe. “Roster” came into English from the Dutch “rooster”, meaning “table, list”. An alternative use of the Dutch “rooster” was “gridiron”, from the “roosten” meaning “to roast”. The connection is that a roster of names is often listed on a sheet of paper that has grid lines resembling the marks left by a gridiron on roasted meat. Quite interesting …

21 Mojito liquor : RUM

A mojito is a Cuban cocktail, although the exact origins appear to be unclear, as does the derivation of the name. Want one? Put 4 mint leaves in a glass, and add the juice of half a lime and a teaspoon of powdered sugar. Muddle the ingredients, smashing them together with a muddler or a spoon. Add some crushed ice, two ounces of white rum and stir. Top with a couple of ounces of club soda, and garnish with a sprig of mint and/or a slice of lime. Cheers!

23 Singer DiFranco : ANI

Ani DiFranco is a folk-rock singer and songwriter. DiFranco has also been labeled a “feminist icon”, and in 2006 won the “Woman of Courage Award” from National Organization for Women.

27 Juicy morsels : TIDBITS

A “morsel” is a small bite, a mouthful of food. The term comes from the Latin “morsus” meaning “a bite”.

29 Bond creator Fleming : IAN

Ian Fleming is most famous for writing the “James Bond” series of spy novels. You might also know that he wrote the children’s story “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, which was made into a cute movie released in 1968 and even a stage musical that opened in 2002.

31 Rudder area : STERN

A rudder is usually a flat sheet of wood or metal located at the stern of a boat, and under the waterline. The rudder is attached to a rudder post, which rotates to change the orientation of the rudder hence steering the boat. That rotation of the rudder post can be achieved by pulling or pushing a lever called a tiller, which is located at the top of the post.

34 Winter carnival attraction : ICE PALACE (giving “ice jam”)

An ice palace is a temporary structure, one made from blocks of ice. The first such structure was built on the order of the Empress Anna in Saint Petersburg, Russia in the winter of 1739. That particular ice palace was an elaborate affair, erected during the celebrations following Russia’s victory over the Ottoman Empire. The palace survived for several months, eventually melting at the start of the following summer.

A blockage made from ice that restricts the flow of a river is called an ice jam (sometimes “ice dam”). The ice usually floats downriver in fragments, and gets stuck at some natural or man-made obstruction.

47 Galley mover : OAR

Galleys were large medieval ships found mainly in the Mediterranean. They were propelled by a combination of sails and oars.

48 The art of sculpted shrubbery : TOPIARY

Topiary is the practice of training and clipping perennial plants into clearly defined shapes.

53 Hide-hair connector : … NOR …

The phrase “neither hide nor hair” means “nothing whatsoever”. This peculiarly American phrase arose in the mid 1800s, and paradoxically may have its origins in a much older English expression that means exactly the opposite. The older “in hide and hair” meant “wholly, entirely”.

54 Mar. honoree : ST PAT

There is a fair amount known about Saint Patrick, some of which comes from two letters written in his own hand. St. Patrick lived in the fifth century, but was not born in Ireland. He was first brought to Ireland at about 16 years of age from his native Britain, by Irish raiders who made him a slave for six years. Patrick managed to escape and returned to his homeland where he studied and entered the Church. He went back to Ireland as a bishop and a missionary and there lived out the rest of his life. There seems to be good evidence that he died on March 17th (now celebrated annually as Saint Patrick’s Day), although the year is less clear. The stories about shamrock and snakes, I am afraid they are the stuff of legend.

55 Story __ : ARC

A story arc is a continuing storyline in say a television show that runs through a number of episodes. Story arcs are also found in comics, books, video games, and other forms of media.

56 “Show Boat” author Ferber : EDNA

Edna Ferber was a novelist and playwright from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ferber won a Pulitzer for her novel “So Big”, which was made into a film a few times, most famously in 1953 starring Jane Wyman. Ferber also wrote “Show Boat”, “Cimarron” and “Giant”, which were adapted successfully for the stage and/or big screen.

“Show Boat” is a 1926 novel by Edna Ferber that tells the story of performers on a floating theater, a riverboat named Cotton Blossom. The novel was famously adapted into a stage musical by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein that premiered in 1927. “Show Boat”, the musical, gave us classic songs such as “Ol’ Man River” and “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man”.

58 Impromptu performance … or what the starts of 17-, 24-, 34- and 50-Across comprise? : JAM SESSION

The use of “jam”, meaning an improvised passage performed by a whole jazz band, dates back to the late twenties. This gave rise to “jam session”, a term used a few years later. The use of “jam” in this context probably stems from the meaning of “jam” as something sweet, something excellent.

61 Iowa State city : AMES

Iowa State University of Science and Technology (ISU) is located in Ames, Iowa. Among many other notable milestones, ISU created the country’s first school of veterinary medicine, in 1879. The sports teams of ISU are known as the Cyclones.

62 Creme-filled cookie : OREO

The Oreo cookie was introduced in 1912. The Oreo was intended to be a competitor to the very similar Hydrox cookie which had debuted four years earlier. The Oreo won the resulting battle on the grocery store shelves …

63 Philly Ivy League sch. : UPENN

The University of Pennsylvania (also “Penn” and “UPenn”) was founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia. Penn was the first school in the country to offer both graduate and undergraduate courses. Penn’s sports teams are known as the Quakers, and sometimes the Red & Blue.

64 French pop : PERE

In French, a “père” (father) is a “membre de la famille” (member of the family).

65 Ring stats : TKOS

In boxing, a knockout (KO) is when one of the fighters can’t get up from the canvas within a specified time, usually 10 seconds. This can be due to fatigue, injury, or the participant may be truly “knocked out”. A referee, fighter or doctor may also decide to stop a fight without a physical knockout, especially if there is concern about a fighter’s safety. In this case the bout is said to end with a technical knockout (TKO).

Down

3 Dangerous current : RIPTIDE

Riptides are stretches of turbulent water caused by the meeting of different currents in the ocean.

5 Côte d’Azur view : MER

In French, “La Méditerranée” (the Mediterranean) is a “mer” (sea).

The Côte d’Azur is on the Mediterranean coast of France and stretches from Saint-Tropez in the west and to the Italian border in the east. In English, we often refer to the area as “the French Riviera”. It’s a little crowded for me (okay, “expensive”), especially in the summer.

7 Reds and Red Sox : TEAMS

The Red Scare (i.e. anti-communist sentiment) following WWII had such an effect on the populace that it even caused the Cincinnati baseball team to change its name from the Reds. The team was called the Cincinnati Redlegs from 1953-1958, as the management was fearful of losing money due to public distrust of any association with “Reds”.

The Boston Red Sox are one of the most successful Major League Baseball teams and so command a large attendance, but only when on the road. The relatively small capacity of Boston’s Fenway Park, the team’s home since 1912, has dictated that every game the Red Sox has played there has been a sell-out since May of 2003. I recently had the pleasure of touring Fenway Park. It’s quite a place …

8 Radio journalist Shapiro who sings with Pink Martini : ARI

Ari Shapiro served very ably as White House correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR) for several years. He then became a co-host of network’s drive-time program “All Things Considered” in 2015. When he’s not working, Shapiro likes to sing. He regularly appears as a guest singer with the group Pink Martini, and has appeared on several of the band’s albums.

Pink Martini is a rather unusual group from Portland, Oregon in that they play many different genres of music from classical to classic pop. Billing themselves as a “little orchestra”, Pink Martini do indeed have a “little orchestral” line up of instrumentalists with brass, strings and percussion players backing up two lead vocalists.

10 Fancy neckwear : ASCOT

An ascot is a horrible-looking (I think!), wide tie that narrows at the neck, which these days is only really worn at weddings. The tie takes its name from the Royal Ascot horse race at which punters still turn up in formal wear at Ascot Racecourse in England.

11 Street sealer : ROAD TAR

The terms “tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call tarmac.

13 Impoverished urban area : SKID ROW

The term “skid row” is used to describe a run-down urban neighborhood. “Skid row” appears to have originated in the Pacific Northwest where a “skid road” was a wooden pathway used for “skidding” logs through forests and over bogs. The terms “skid road” and “skid row” came to be used for logging camps and mills, and then somehow was applied to run-down areas in cities up and down the west coast of North America. The related term “hit the skids”, meaning “fall into ruin”, has the same etymology, and embraces the concept of logs moving rapidly downhill on skids in a skid road.

24 “The Mod Squad” role : LINC

The 1999 movie “The Mod Squad” was an adaptation of the seventies television show of the same name. The part of Lincoln “Linc” Hayes was played by Omar Epps, Claire Danes played Julie Barnes and Giovanni Ribisi played Peter Cochran.

25 Tiresome person : PILL

The term “pill” can be used to describe a boring and disagreeable person, a “bitter pill to swallow”.

26 Tibetan priest : LAMA

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

28 Actress Larson who plays Captain Marvel : BRIE

I mainly recognize actress Brie Larson from playing the daughter of Toni Collete’’s character on the excellent TV show “United States of Tara”. Larson is from Sacramento, and trained at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, where she was the youngest person ever admitted.

“Captain Marvel” is a superhero movie released in 2019. It was the first film in the Marvel franchise of films to feature a female lead. The title character, Carol Davers (aka “Captain Marvel”) is played by Brie Larson.

35 Actor Morales : ESAI

Actor Esai Morales is best known in the world of film for the 1987 movie “La Bamba”, which depicted the life of Ritchie Valens and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Esai). On the small screen, Morales plays Lt. Tony Rodriguez on “NYPD Blue” and Joseph Adama on “Caprica”.

36 Paris picnic area : PARC

In France, one might have a “pique-nique” (picnic) in the “parc” (park).

39 Dating site for singles 50 and older : OURTIME

OurTime.com is an online dating service that specializes in matching singles who are aged 50 years and over. The site is owned and operated by Match.com.

48 Sculpted trunks : TORSOS

“Torso” (plural “torsi”) is an Italian word meaning the “trunk of a statue”, and is a term that we imported into English.

51 F on a test, often : FALSE

An answer (ans.) might be true (T) or false (F).

52 Brief appearance : CAMEO

Even in my day, a cameo role was more than just a short appearance in a movie (or other artistic piece). For the appearance to be a cameo, the actor had to play himself or herself, and was instantly recognizable. With this meaning it’s easy to see the etymology of the term, as a cameo brooch is one with the recognizable carving of the silhouette of a person. Nowadays, a cameo is any minor role played by a celebrity or famous actor, regardless of the character played.

56 Hockey’s Phil, to fans : ESPO

Phil “Espo” Esposito is a former professional hockey player who played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. Espo scored 126 points in the 1969 season, hence becoming the first NHL player to score 100 points in a season.

58 Make a note of, with “down” : JOT …

A jot is something very small, with “jot” coming from the Latin “jota”. In turn, “jota” is from the Greek “iota”, which is the smallest letter in the Greek alphabet. The verb “to jot” comes from the noun, in the sense of making a small, short note.

59 Noah’s craft : ARK

The term “ark”, when used with reference to Noah, is a translation of the Hebrew word “tebah”. The word “tebah” is also used in the Bible for the basket in which Moses was placed by his mother when she floated him down the Nile. It seems that the word “tebah” doesn’t mean “boat” and nor does it mean “basket”. Rather, a more appropriate translation is “life-preserver” or “life-saver”. So, Noah’s ark was Noah’s life-preserver during the flood.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 West Coast NFLer : LA RAM
6 John Deere logo animal : STAG
10 Hugging duo : ARMS
14 Stage remark akin to thinking aloud : ASIDE
15 “Take it!” : HERE!
16 Linger in the bath : SOAK
17 Sequential written evidence : PAPER TRAIL (giving “paper jam”)
19 Colombian city : CALI
20 Removes from the roster : CUTS
21 Mojito liquor : RUM
22 Was an omen of : BODED
23 Singer DiFranco : ANI
24 Firewood device : LOG SPLITTER (giving “log jam”)
27 Juicy morsels : TIDBITS
29 Bond creator Fleming : IAN
30 Before now : AGO
31 Rudder area : STERN
32 Shade tree : ELM
33 Figurehead location : PROW
34 Winter carnival attraction : ICE PALACE (giving “ice jam”)
38 Sprinkler attachment : HOSE
41 Took a load off : SAT
42 Planetary path : ORBIT
46 No longer fashionable : OUT
47 Galley mover : OAR
48 The art of sculpted shrubbery : TOPIARY
50 Roadwork marker : TRAFFIC CONE (giving “traffic jam”)
53 Hide-hair connector : … NOR …
54 Mar. honoree : ST PAT
55 Story __ : ARC
56 “Show Boat” author Ferber : EDNA
57 Estate document : WILL
58 Impromptu performance … or what the starts of 17-, 24-, 34- and 50-Across comprise? : JAM SESSION
61 Iowa State city : AMES
62 Creme-filled cookie : OREO
63 Philly Ivy League sch. : UPENN
64 French pop : PERE
65 Ring stats : TKOS
66 Prone to giving orders : BOSSY

Down

1 Purring companions : LAP CATS
2 In sync, teamwise : AS A UNIT
3 Dangerous current : RIPTIDE
4 Fruit drinks : ADES
5 Côte d’Azur view : MER
6 Gestures of indifference : SHRUGS
7 Reds and Red Sox : TEAMS
8 Radio journalist Shapiro who sings with Pink Martini : ARI
9 Come together : GEL
10 Fancy neckwear : ASCOT
11 Street sealer : ROAD TAR
12 Guy’s sense of self-importance : MALE EGO
13 Impoverished urban area : SKID ROW
18 Jogging pace : TROT
22 Coal holder : BIN
24 “The Mod Squad” role : LINC
25 Tiresome person : PILL
26 Tibetan priest : LAMA
28 Actress Larson who plays Captain Marvel : BRIE
32 Enjoy a meal : EAT
33 Prefix with meter : PERI-
35 Actor Morales : ESAI
36 Paris picnic area : PARC
37 Manage : COPE
38 Replacement of computer parts without a reboot : HOT SWAP
39 Dating site for singles 50 and older : OURTIME
40 Desk gadget : STAPLER
43 Tosses about, as ideas : BANDIES
44 T-shirt transfers : IRON-ONS
45 Oppressive rule : TYRANNY
47 Many times o’er : OFT
48 Sculpted trunks : TORSOS
49 Way back when : ONCE
51 F on a test, often : FALSE
52 Brief appearance : CAMEO
56 Hockey’s Phil, to fans : ESPO
58 Make a note of, with “down” : JOT …
59 Noah’s craft : ARK
60 Underwater craft : SUB

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 24 Jun 20, Wednesday”

  1. No errors. Never heard of the movie ROOM with Brie Larson. Got side tracked and had to look it up.

    Be safe

  2. 7:48, no errors, no complaints, no deep philosophical insights … 😜.

    I guess I did have BREE (which I swear I’ve seen before) before BRIE and PEST before PILL. Otherwise straightforward.

    Is anyone else noticing that the phrase “reach out to” is suddenly to be heard everywhere? Whatever happened to “contact”?

    1. Nonny — YES! I have noticed that and I don’t like it!! It sounds smarmy. It’s actually been happening for ten years now. Is it supposed to sound more conciliatory or friendly? I actually have been known to correct people on it cuz it bugs me so much….For example, if someone says “I’ll reach out to your doctor for that referral” I’ll say “No. You’ll contact my doctor.” …. hmmmm – do I have too much time on my hands?? No.

      1. @Carrie … I’m delighted by your response! The sales rep I talked to while buying my new house sensitized me to the phrase, but now I’m hearing it everywhere and it really sets my teeth on edge.

  3. No surprises. Got the revealer before any of the themed answers. One minor complaint. This is about the 4th time in a month that I’ve seen “la ram”. Also had Bree before Brie before the cross cleaned that up. I guess it really is I before E except after C!

  4. 7:53 no errors – The “jam” theme prompted me to look for a place for “traffic” to turn up. I feel like I’m getting the hang of this!

    @A Nonny Muss – Not a chef, but we do pay attention to food. Between my husband and I, we have always cooked nearly all our meals. Our first choice is usually Chinese dishes, so it has long felt routine to set up the rice cooker and cut up ingredients for a stir-fry.

  5. Surprisingly easy for Wednesday. Didn’t know Brie.

    @A Nonny Muss – because of the yearning for – real contact.

    1. @Jane … Well, I can certainly empathize with a yearning for contact.

      For some reason, today has been my worst day of isolation yet. (I guess I’m not as much of an introverted loner as I thought I was … 😳.)

      1. Nonny– I hear you! The solitude gets to me on certain days….but at least we’re staying safe…🤔 Hang in there!!

  6. We scored what I consider to be a strong DNF. 3 errors and 17 empty squares for
    a 90% solved score. Not great by comparison with you guys, but a fun and tricky
    puzzle with some new words learned. I suppose a DNF is just what it says, but I
    had fun trying.

    Stay well, everybody. Wash the hands!

  7. 9 minutes, 57 seconds, no errors. I suppose this is just a set up for some backbreaking grids to follow….

  8. I got the small print, hard to read puzzle today; took me 22 minutes with no errors.

    Had to change my initial d to an S in STAG, where I’d jumped the gun. Also hod to BIN, PaRa to PERI, LINk to LINC and even though I watch the movie BRea to BRIE.

    When they made the “French Connection” one of the requirements was to have a car chase as memorable as the one in “Bullitt.” I got that from the extras on the DVD. In Brie Larson’s “Captain Marvel there is a remake of the “French Connection” chase that is kind of astounding and tops it a little bit, having just re-watched the “French Connection” just recently as well. 4 Stars all the way around – Check it out!

  9. Hey Dirk– I love both car chase scenes but I’ve heard that the one in The French Connection was done without blocking off any streets — and without informing the authorities. Maybe that’s just a legend; seems so unlikely in retrospect. Then of course, in Bullitt, McQueen did his own driving….🚘

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