LA Times Crossword 15 Jul 20, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Ed Sessa
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Boy Meets Girl

Themed answers each include a BOY’s name and a GIRL’s name as hidden words, side-by-side:

  • 51A Like some conventional romances, as illustrated by each set of circled letters : BOY MEETS GIRL
  • 20A Sweets in an edible bouquet : CANDY FLOWERS (hiding “ANDY/FLO”)
  • 27A Birth of a baby : BLESSED EVENT (hiding “ED/EVE”)
  • 43A Government bonds are part of it : NATIONAL DEBT (hiding “AL/DEB”)

Bill’s time: 6m 52s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Esau’s twin : JACOB

Esau was the grandson of Abraham and the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When Esau was born to Isaac and Rebekah, the event was described with “Now the first came forth, red all over like a hairy garment”. Esau is portrayed later in life as being very different from his brother Jacob, as a hunter and someone who loves the outdoor life.

6 Latticework piece : LATH

The words “lath” and “lattice” have the same root in Old French. Laths are thin strips of wood that are nailed across a frame forming a backing to which plaster can be applied to finish a wall. The term is also used for the main elements in a trellis, or the lengths of wood in a roof to which shingles are nailed.

10 Anew Skinvincible maker : AVON

In 1886, a young man called David McConnell was selling books door-to-door. To enhance his sales numbers he was giving out free perfume to the ladies of the houses that he visited. Seeing as his perfume was more popular than his books, he founded the California Perfume Company in New York City and started manufacturing and selling across the country. The company name was changed to Avon in 1939, and the famous “Avon Calling” marketing campaign was launched in 1954.

16 Start to suction? : LIPO-

Liposuction (lipo) dates back to the 1920s when it was developed by a surgeon in France. However, the procedure quickly lost favor when a French model developed gangrene after surgery. As a result, it wasn’t until the mid-seventies that modern liposuction took off, after being popularized by two Italian-American surgeons in Rome.

19 Aspiring DA’s exam : LSAT

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

20 Sweets in an edible bouquet : CANDY FLOWERS (hiding “ANDY/FLO”)

“Bouquet” comes from the French word for “bunch” in the sense of “bunch of flowers”. In French, the term is derived from an older word describing a little wood or small grove of trees.

22 Urgent PD call : APB

An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

25 Sport-__ : UTE

A utility vehicle is often called a “ute” for short. Nowadays one mainly hears about sport-utes and crossover-utes.

31 Hanukkah pancake : LATKE

A latke is a delicious potato pancake (I’m Irish, so anything made with potato is delicious!).

The term “Hanukkah” derives from the Hebrew for “to dedicate”. Hanukkah is a holiday lasting eight days that commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem after successful Jewish revolt against the Seleucids in the 2nd-century BCE. The story of Hanukkah includes the miracle of the one-day supply of oil that kept the menorah alight for eight days.

33 Mosquito-eating critter : BAT

Bats do eat mosquitoes, although they prefer to go after moths and beetles. A friend of mine built a bat house in his yard, in the hope that attracting bats would suppress the mosquito population. Well, that hasn’t worked. My experience is that moving air with fans prevents mosquitoes from landing on you …

36 DIY 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.

Back in Ireland, we don’t have “hardware stores” as such, but rather “DIY centres” (and that’s the spelling of “centres”). “DIY” is an initialism standing for “do-it-yourself”.

40 Singer Orbison : ROY

Roy Orbison had to be one the sickliest looking performers I’ve ever seen. Orbison had a very sallow complexion, pock-marked from teenage acne. The yellowish skin tone came from a severe bout of jaundice as a child. Perhaps poor nutrition affected him and his siblings, because all of them had very poor eyesight, with Roy almost blind and wearing very thick lenses from a very young age. He was also very ashamed of his head of hair, which was almost a ghostly white, and so he dyed it jet black even when he was young. Despite all this, he was immensely popular in his heyday with teenage girls, particularly in Canada and Ireland for some reason. On a tour of Ireland in 1963, the Irish police had to stop one of his performances in order to pull a bevy of local lasses off poor Mr. Orbison …

41 Tallow source : SUET

Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called suet. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be rendered, purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call lard. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as tallow.

43 Government bonds are part of it : NATIONAL DEBT (hiding “AL/DEB”)

Historically speaking, significant increases in the US national debt expressed as a percentage of the gross domestic product are caused by only two factors: war and recession. So, we should just avoid both of those things. Easy, huh …?

46 Italian fashion giant : ARMANI

Giorgio Armani is an Italian fashion designer and founder of the company that has borne his name since 1975. Although Armani is famous for his menswear, the company makes everything from jewelry to perfume.

50 “Big Eyes” singer Lana Del __ : REY

“Big Eyes” is a 2014 movie about the artist Margaret Keane (played by Amy Adams). Margaret’s husband Walter Keane (played by Christoph Waltz) fraudulently claimed that it was him who actually created the paintings. The title “Big Eyes” refers to the exaggerated size of the eyes of the subjects in Keane’s paintings. The movie’s title song was co-written and performed by Lana Del Rey.

55 Wile E. Coyote’s supplier : ACME

The Acme Corporation is a fictional company used mainly by Looney Tunes, and within the Looney Tunes empire it appears mostly in “Road Runner” cartoons. Wile E. Coyote is always receiving a new piece of gear from Acme designed to finally capture the Road Runner, but the equipment always leads to his downfall.

60 Cardamom-flavored Indian tea : CHAI

Chai is a drink made from spiced black tea, honey and milk, with “chai” being the Hindi word for “tea”. We often called tea “a cup of char” growing up in Ireland, with “char” being our slang word for tea, derived from “chai”.

The spice known as cardamom comes from the seeds of several plants that are native to India. Those plants were introduced to Guatemala in the early 20th century, and now Guatemala produces and exports more cardamom than any other country in the world, even India. Cardamom is the third-priciest spice on the market today by weight, after vanilla and saffron.

61 She asked Sam to play “As Time Goes By” : ILSA

There is a famous exchange in the movie “Casablanca” that results in the piano player Sam singing “As Time Goes By”.

Ilsa: Play it once, Sam. For old times’ sake.
Sam: I don’t know what you mean, Miss Ilsa.
Ilsa: Play it, Sam. Play “As Time Goes By.”
Sam: Oh, I can’t remember it, Miss Ilsa. I’m a little rusty on it.
Ilsa: I’ll hum it for you. Da-dy-da-dy-da-dum, da-dy-da-dee-da-dum…
Ilsa: Sing it, Sam.

62 Writer Zola : EMILE

The most famous work by French writer Émile Zola is his 1898 open letter “J’Accuse!” written to French president Félix Faure. The letter was published on the front page of a leading Paris newspaper, and accused the government of anti-Semitism in its handling of the trial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus. Dreyfus was a Jewish military officer in the French army, falsely accused and convicted of spying for Germany. Even after the error was discovered, the government refused to back down and let Dreyfus rot away on Devil’s Island rather than admit to the mistake. It wasn’t until 1906, 12 years after the wrongful conviction, that Dreyfus was freed and reinstated, largely due to the advocacy of Emile Zola.

63 Mild-mannered Clark : KENT

Superman’s comic book creators gave their title character’s alter-ego the name “Clark Kent” by melding the names of Clark Gable and Kent Taylor, two leading men of the cinema at the time Superman was created. However, they modeled Clark’s character more on the silent film actor Harold Lloyd.

64 Vaping device, casually : E-CIG

An electronic cigarette (also called an “e-cigarette”) is a battery-powered device that resembles a real cigarette. The e-cigarette vaporizes a solution that contains nicotine, forming a vapor that resembles smoke. The vapor is inhaled in a process called “vaping”, delivering nicotine into the body. The assumption is that an e-cigarette is healthier than a regular cigarette as the inhaled vapor is less harmful than inhaled smoke. But, that may not be so …

65 Jeans material : DENIM

Denim fabric originated in Nimes in France. The French phrase “de Nimes” (meaning “from Nimes”) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (meaning “blue of Genoa”) gives us our word “jeans”.

Down

1 Moses, for one : JEW

Moses is an important prophet in Christianity and Islam, and the most important prophet in Judaism. It fell to Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt across the Red Sea. He was given the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, and then wandered the desert with his people for forty years. Moses then died within sight of the Promised Land.

2 Boxing legend : ALI

The boxer Muhammad Ali is recognized on both sides of the Atlantic as one of the greatest sports figures of the 1900s. In 1999, Ali was named “Sportsman of the Century” by “Sports Illustrated” and “Sports Personality of the Century” by the BBC.

3 Hornswoggle : CON

To hornswoggle is to cheat, to deceive, to bamboozle.

4 Crude gp.? : OPEC

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

6 __ it over: ruled : LORDED

To “lord” it over is to act as though one is better that someone, to act like a “lord”.

9 Like gravity wedges : HEELLESS

Gravity wedges are a relatively new style of woman’s shoe. It’s a wedge, without a heel. To me, they look bizarre, uncomfortable, and dangerous …

12 Reality-bending paintings : OP ART

Op art is also known as optical art, and puts optical illusions to great effect.

18 Feed the kitty : ANTE

The pot in a card game has been referred to as “the kitty” since the 1880s. It’s not certain how the name “kitty” evolved but possibly it comes from “kit”, the necessary equipment for the game.

23 “Allegory of the cave” philosopher : PLATO

Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” appears in his Socratic dialogue titled “Republic”. He uses the allegory to make the point that some people can be comfortable in their ignorance, and become hostile towards someone who tries to educate them, to make them aware of their ignorance.

24 “Breaking Bad” actress Brandt : BETSY

Betsy Brandt is an actress best known for playing Marie Schrader on “Breaking Bad”. Brandt has two children, the second of which was born while the second season of “Breaking Bad” was being filmed.

28 Star-spangled expanse : SKY

“Sky” is an Old Norse word meaning “cloud”.

29 Muse for poets : ERATO

In Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of lyric poetry. She is often depicted with a wreath of myrtle and roses, and playing a lyre.

30 Vigor’s partner : VIM

“Vim” and “pep” are both words that mean “energy, power”.

34 Sun-dried brick : ADOBE

The building material known as adobe has been around a long time, and has been used in dry climates all over the world. The original form of the word “adobe” dates back to Middle Egyptian times, about 2000 BC. The original spelling is “dj-b-t”, and translates as mud (sun-dried) brick.

35 Out of sorts : TESTY

Somebody described as testy is touchy, irritably impatient. The term “testy” comes into English from Old French, ultimately deriving from “testu” meaning “stubborn, headstrong”, literally “heady”. So, our word “testy” comes from the same root as the French word “tête” meaning “head”.

38 Wreath of plumeria blossoms : LEI

The plumeria genus of plants has the common name “frangipani”. The genus is named after French botanist Charles Plumier. The common name comes from an Italian noble family with roots in ancient Rome. Various species of plumeria are commonly used for making leis in several Pacific islands.

39 Chum : BUD

A chum is a friend. The term “chum” originated in the late 1600s as an alternative spelling for “cham”. In turn, “cham” was a shortened form of “chambermate”, a roommate at university.

42 Protected from burglars : ALARMED

The crime of burglary is the breaking into and entering of a building with the intent to steal. The actual theft itself is a separate crime.

47 Tamiflu producer : ROCHE

Tamiflu is a brand name for the antiviral medication oseltamivir.

The giant pharmaceutical and medical diagnostics company Hoffmann-La Roche is based in Basel, Switzerland. The company was founded back in 1896 by Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche, and initially produced vitamins.

52 Soft mineral : TALC

Talc is a mineral, hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days “baby powder” is also made from cornstarch.

54 Mojito fruit : LIME

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!

58 Manning who announced his retirement in 2020 : ELI

Eli Manning is a retired footballer who played quarterback for the New York Giants. Eli’s brother Peyton Manning retired from football as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos in 2015. Eli and Peyton’s father is Archie Manning, who was also a successful NFL quarterback. Eli, Peyton and Archie co-authored a book for children titled “Family Huddle” in 2009. It describes the Mannings playing football together as young boys.

59 Sleep cycle : REM

“REM” is an acronym standing for “rapid eye movement”. REM sleep takes up 20-25% of the sleeping hours and is the period associated with one’s most vivid dreams.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Esau’s twin : JACOB
6 Latticework piece : LATH
10 Anew Skinvincible maker : AVON
14 Act unceremoniously? : ELOPE
15 Boo-boo : OWIE
16 Start to suction? : LIPO-
17 Improvised container for roses : WINE CARAFE
19 Aspiring DA’s exam : LSAT
20 Sweets in an edible bouquet : CANDY FLOWERS (hiding “ANDY/FLO”)
22 Urgent PD call : APB
25 Sport-__ : UTE
26 Deceives : LIES TO
27 Birth of a baby : BLESSED EVENT (hiding “ED/EVE”)
31 Hanukkah pancake : LATKE
32 Chance : RISK
33 Mosquito-eating critter : BAT
36 DIY website : ETSY
37 Seafood boil staple : CLAMS
39 Wait patiently : BIDE
40 Singer Orbison : ROY
41 Tallow source : SUET
42 Dealership inventory : AUTOS
43 Government bonds are part of it : NATIONAL DEBT (hiding “AL/DEB”)
46 Italian fashion giant : ARMANI
49 Fashioned after : A LA
50 “Big Eyes” singer Lana Del __ : REY
51 Like some conventional romances, as illustrated by each set of circled letters : BOY MEETS GIRL
55 Wile E. Coyote’s supplier : ACME
56 Hardware store gadget that creates the perfect color : PAINT MIXER
60 Cardamom-flavored Indian tea : CHAI
61 She asked Sam to play “As Time Goes By” : ILSA
62 Writer Zola : EMILE
63 Mild-mannered Clark : KENT
64 Vaping device, casually : E-CIG
65 Jeans material : DENIM

Down

1 Moses, for one : JEW
2 Boxing legend : ALI
3 Hornswoggle : CON
4 Crude gp.? : OPEC
5 “__ I said so!” : BECAUSE
6 __ it over: ruled : LORDED
7 Off in the distance : AWAY
8 Small spat : TIFF
9 Like gravity wedges : HEELLESS
10 Full of baloney : ALL WET
11 Woodshop grippers : VISES
12 Reality-bending paintings : OP ART
13 “You’re mistaken” : NOT SO
18 Feed the kitty : ANTE
21 Trough grunt : OINK!
22 More proficient : ABLER
23 “Allegory of the cave” philosopher : PLATO
24 “Breaking Bad” actress Brandt : BETSY
28 Star-spangled expanse : SKY
29 Muse for poets : ERATO
30 Vigor’s partner : VIM
33 Dog to beware : BITER
34 Sun-dried brick : ADOBE
35 Out of sorts : TESTY
37 Cupcake : CUTIE PIE
38 Wreath of plumeria blossoms : LEI
39 Chum : BUD
41 Sensible : SANE
42 Protected from burglars : ALARMED
43 “Your call” : NAME IT
44 “Stop reminding me!” : NAG NAG!
45 Touched down : ALIT
46 Taken __ : ABACK
47 Tamiflu producer : ROCHE
48 “Bro!” : MY MAN!
52 Soft mineral : TALC
53 Spanish ayes : SI SI
54 Mojito fruit : LIME
57 Mark, as a survey square : X IN
58 Manning who announced his retirement in 2020 : ELI
59 Sleep cycle : REM

23 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 15 Jul 20, Wednesday”

    1. Unless you missed an “orphan” letter, that’s TWO errors. One square wrong makes two fills wrong.

      1. @Allen … This has been discussed ad nauseam. Glenn, like many others, counts squares in error, rather than answers in error. Geez … 😳.

        1. Well, then he should know that you count your errors in FILLS, not squares. Occasionally, you *will* have a “orphan” letter, and hence, just one error for a missed square. But, more often than not, it’s 2 errors per square. One error for the across fill and one error for the down fill. In such cases, that cannot be disputed: BOTH, by definition, HAVE to be wrong.

  1. No errors.. But I don’t get the theme.. Are Andy and Flo and Ed and Eve and Al and Deb someone or just names?

    Never heard the term LORDED over or a HEELLESS wedge?

    Be safe

      1. And … as Bill says above … that’s what “gravity wedges” are! Heelless shoes! As worn by the likes of Lady Gaga. Google will show you lots of examples. They look terribly uncomfortable to me. (I wouldn’t want go hikin’ in ‘em 😜).

  2. No errors for once, but the theme ……? I got “boy meets girl” but
    couldn’t see the names in the circled letters. Too early in the
    morning maybe.

  3. The dreaded circle letters. The theme was weak. It would have been much more clever if the boy and girl were a couple (Adam and Eve……JLO and AROD) instead of just random names. On to Thursday!

  4. 8:15, no errors, no quibbles.

    @John Daigle … I got your emails, but haven’t had much chance to reply (or much to report). Will send something later today, though.

  5. 19:43 no errors…I got the theme ok and thought this was a good Wednesday puzzle…It seems when I like a puzzle others find fault and viseversa…guess I’m the odd man out.
    Stay safe.

  6. I think the following exercise might lead to a bit more respect for the theme: Try to come up with ten common two-word phrases such that the first word ends with the name of a boy/girl and the second word begins with the name of a girl/boy. (Admittedly, I haven’t put much time into it, but, so far, I got nothin’. 🤪)

    Oh, wait … how about ROSE(MARY) (PAT)CH? (Not common enough, I would guess 😳.)

    1. FWIW there’s GREP-style search engines for word-lists out there (I coded one myself). Basically you start down a name list and search each way and come up with words and then if you can put them together, away you go! In this day and age, it really isn’t that hard. Just time consuming if anything.

      If you got coding skills, you can even do special stuff. For example, I got a long list of long words (think 10-15 characters) that only use a particular letter once. Might do something with it someday, but kinda hard to justify spending that kind of time given everything else going on.

  7. Andy Capp and Flo.. okay. ANDYFLO I get. I’m trying to come up with the other two — I’m sure there out there somewhere. Let’s ask Ed Sessa, maybe he knows.

  8. Agree with @Rich on the theme.

    Had to Google for ECIG and ROCHE, but also did not know Skinvincible, REY (liked the movie), gravity wedges, BETSY (stopped watching when it got too violent), plumeria. Don’t think TESTY is “out of sorts.” Had AfAr before AWAY.

  9. 7:22 no errors. I liked this one!

    Hardly got any acrosses on the first pass, but hit the jackpot with NATIONALDEBT. My first thought about the meaning of ALDEB was the star Aldebaran. It took another pass before I figured out Boy Meets Girl, and then it just flowed.

  10. We filled all of the squares, thus avoiding a DNF. I knew I was going to miss 6A.
    Did not know LATH. So, one incorrect letter. Enjoyed this onet.

    I would think that LORDED was in the context of “The ruler lorded it over the people”.

    The themes never bother me because I don’t try to figure them out.

    Stay safe, all.

  11. 10 minutes, 26 seconds, no errors. Challenging enough for a Wednesday. The theme just didn’t help much.

  12. No real trouble on this Wednesday; took me 14 minutes and change with no errors. Had to change AfAr to AWAY and CUTeyPIE, but got the rest right the first time, even if I had to wait for a few crosses.

    I think I like Ed Sessa’s early weeks better than his Saturdays.

    re Bats – Besides eating loads of bugs, and at night to boot, they also are responsible for pollinating Mango trees and the VERY important Agave plant, including the Blue Agave plant.

  13. The “it” in the 6 down threw me off.
    Had it simply said ______ over, I would have gotten it easier.
    The lath clue, I had no idea!!

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