LA Times Crossword 25 Jul 20, Saturday

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Constructed by: Joe Deeney
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 14m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “Touché” : POINT TAKEN

“Touché” is a term from fencing, one acknowledging a successful “touch” in a duel. The term has been extended to mean that a successful criticism or riposte has hit home in a conversation.

11 Small complication? : PROB

Problem (“prob”)

15 Agree to take the long way there? : ORDER A LIMO

The word “limousine” derives from the name of the French city of Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving rise to that type of transportation being called a “limousine”. Well, that’s how the story goes …

16 Condominio, por ejemplo : CASA

In Spanish, a “condominio” (condominium) “por ejemplo” (for example) is a “casa” (home).

17 Dancer’s driver : SANTA CLAUS

We get the names for Santa’s reindeer from the famous 1823 poem called “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, although we’ve modified a couple of the names over the years. The full list is:

  • Dasher
  • Dancer
  • Prancer
  • Vixen
  • Comet
  • Cupid
  • Donder (originally “Dunder”, and now often “Donner”)
  • Blitzen (originally “Blixem”)

Rudolph was added to the list by retailer Montgomery Ward, would you believe? The store commissioned Robert L. May to create a booklet that could be handed out to children around Christmas in 1939, and May introduced us to a new friend for Santa, namely Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

18 First word in a classic poem about 17-Across : ‘TWAS

The poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” was published anonymously in 1823, and is better known today by its first line “‘Twas the night before Christmas”. Most scholars believe that the poem was written by Clement Clarke Moore, a theologian from New York City. Others say that it was written by Henry Livingston, Jr., a poet from Upstate New York.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ’kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash …

19 “Telephone Line” rock gp. : ELO

“Telephone Line” was released as a single in 1977 by the band ELO, and hit the top ten listings on both sides of the Atlantic. The initialism “ELO” stands for the Electric Light Orchestra, a symphonic rock group from the north of England. Their manager was Don Arden, father of Sharon Osbourne (wife of Ozzy).

23 “Dark side” sci-fi group : SITH

The Sith are characters in the “Star Wars” universe who use the “dark side” of “the Force”, and as such are the antithesis of the Jedi Knights. Members of the Sith use the title “Darth” before their name, as in Darth Vader. The last made of the six “Star Wars” movies is called “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”.

24 Stuffed grape leaves : DOLMAS

Dolmas are stuffed vegetable dishes from the Middle East. Strictly speaking, dolmas are made by hollowing out some vegetables before adding a stuffing. The derivative dish called “sarma” is made by wrapping vine or cabbage leaves around a filling. In many cuisines, the name “sarma” has been dropped in favor of “dolma”.

26 Rodeo ride : BRONC

A bronco (also “bronc”) is a horse that is untamed. In Mexican Spanish “bronco” is a word for “horse”, and in the original Spanish “bronco” means “rough, rude”.

29 Either Bush, in school : ELI

Five US presidents attended Yale University:

  • William Howard Taft
  • Gerald Ford
  • George H. W. Bush
  • Bill Clinton
  • George W. Bush

32 Spanish wine region : RIOJA

Rioja wines come from the province of La Rioja in Northern Spain. In my days living back in Europe, Rioja wines were noted for their heavy oaky flavors and it wasn’t uncommon to order a “rough Rioja” when out for dinner of an evening.

33 “The Mammoth Hunters” author : AUEL

“The Mammoth Hunters” is the third in the series of “Earth’s Children” historical fiction novels by Jean M. 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.

36 I-9 ID : SSN

Form I-9 is used by the federal government to verify the identity of an employee and confirm that the person has authorization to work in the US.

37 Caddies and cozies : TEAWARE

A caddy is a container used for tea. “Caddy” comes from the Malay word “kati”, a unit of weight used as a standard by British tea companies in the East Indies.

A tea cozy is an insulated cover for a teapot, something to keep the tea hot. I don’t know what I’d do without my tea cosy/cozy …

38 Pub pick : IPA

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

41 Katy Perry hit that starts “I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath” : ROAR

Katy Perry is an American singer who grew up listening to and singing gospel music, as she was the daughter of two Christian pastors. In fact, her first musical release was a gospel album in 2001. She has branched out since then. Her first successful single was “Ur so Gay”, followed by “I Kissed A Girl”. She was married (for only a year) to the British comedian Russell Brand, until 2012.

42 Youngest French Open champ : SELES

Monica Seles has a Hungarian name as she was born to Hungarian parents in former Yugoslavia. Seles was the World No. 1 professional tennis player in 1991 and 1992 before being forced from the sport when she was stabbed by a spectator at a match in 1993. She did return to the game two years later, but never achieved the same level of success.

43 Pueblo pronoun : ESA

The Pueblo peoples are Native Americans from the American Southwest who are known for their construction of towns and villages comprising buildings made from adobe and stone. The Pueblo inhabited pit houses dug into cliffs prior to c. 1050 CE. After this date, they started to develop planned villages that included apartment-like structures often located on ledges of rock that were easy to defend. The largest of these villages extant today is the magnificent Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. It is a “must see” when visiting the area …

45 Oscar-winning foreign language film based on a Fugard novel : TSOTSI

The 2005 film “Tsotsi” is an adaptation of a novel of the same name by South African writer Athol Fugard. The movie won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

53 Neon tips? : ENS

There is a letter N (en) at either end of the word “neon”.

56 Actor Kapoor of “Slumdog Millionaire” : ANIL

Anil Kapoor is an Indian actor who is probably best known in North America for playing the game show host in the 2008 film “Slumdog Millionaire”. He also played the president of the fictional nation of Kamistan in the eight season of the hit TV show “24”.

58 Pierre’s polite lead-in : EXCUSEZ-MOI …

“Excusez-moi” is French for “excuse me”.

61 Galileo, notably : ASTRONOMER

The great Italian polymath Galileo Galilei made many discoveries in the world of astronomy. For example, he was the first to identify Jupiter’s four largest moons. Notably, Galileo used his telescope to confirm the heliocentric model, in which the planets revolve around the Sun. For his denial of geocentrism, Galileo spent his final days under house arrest, having been deemed “suspect of heresy” by the Roman Inquisition in 1615.

62 NPR giveaway : TOTE

National Public Radio (now just called “NPR”) was established in 1970 after President Johnson signed into law the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. The station’s first broadcast took place in April of 1971, coverage of the US Senate hearings on the Vietnam War. The intent of the act was to provide funding for radio and television broadcasting that wasn’t simply driven by profit. As a longtime fan of the state-funded BBC in the UK, I’d have to agree with that intent …

Down

1 Prepare for cheese? : POSE

Photographers often instruct us to say “cheese” to elicit a smile-like expression. Even Japanese photographers use the word “cheese” to achieve the same effect. Bulgarians use the word “zele” meaning “cabbage”. The Chinese say “eggplant”, the Danish “orange”, the Iranians “apple” and many Latin Americans say “whiskey”.

3 Lic. figure : ID NO

Identity document (ID)

4 Barclays Center NBAer : NET

The NBA’s Brooklyn Nets were the New Jersey Nets until 2012, and were based in Newark. Prior to 1977, the team was known as the New York Nets and played in various locations on Long Island. Ten years earlier, the Nets were called the New Jersey Americans and were headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey.

The Barclays Center is an arena in Brooklyn, New York that is home to the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA, and to the New York Islanders of the NHL. Barclays ended up paying over $200 million for the naming rights, even though the London-based banking group has no retail banks or ATMs in the US.

5 Like some flaws : TRAGIC

In drama, a tragic flaw (sometimes “fatal flaw”) is a weakness or error made by the protagonist that ultimately leads to his or her reversal of fortune. “Tragic flaw” is often referred to as “hamartia”, a similar-meaning term from Greek tragedy.

6 “Don’t play,” in music : TACET

“Tacet” is a musical direction meaning “be silent”. It is typically written on a score to instruct a particular voice or instrument to remain silent for a whole movement. “Tacet” is Latin for “it is silent”.

8 Sorento and Sedona : KIAS

The Sorento is an SUV made by Kia since 2002. I’ve always assumed that the car is named for the Italian city, although the spelling is different (“Sorrento”).

The Kia Sedona is a minivan that is also sold as the Kia Carnival.

9 Big birds : EMUS

Emu eggs are very large, with a thick shell that is dark-green in color. One emu egg weighs about the same as a dozen chicken eggs. It is the male emu that incubates the eggs. The incubation period lasts about 8 weeks, during which time the male neither eats nor drinks, just lapping up any morning dew that is nearby. While incubating a clutch of eggs, male emus lose about a third of their weight.

11 Dietary info abbr. : PCT

Percent (pct.)

13 Honshu city : OSAKA, JAPAN

The Japanese city of Osaka used to be called Naniwa, with the name changing to Osaka sometime before 1500. “Osaka” can be translated either as “large hill” or “large slope”. Osaka is sometimes referred to as “the Chicago of Japan” as it is a major center of commerce and industry. The city has also been named the “nation’s kitchen”, and was a center for Japan’s rice trade for centuries.

Honshu is the largest island in Japan, and the seventh largest island in the world. The name “Honshu” translates as “Main Island”.

14 Factor in bonus size, perhaps : BASE SALARY

It has been suggested that our term “salary” comes from the Latin “sal” meaning “salt”. The idea is that a Roman soldier’s “salarium” might have been an allowance to purchase salt.

21 Hall of Famer who was an MVP and Manager of the Year : TORRE

As a manager, Joe Torre was part of four World Series wins, all of them with the New York Yankees baseball team. Torre is an Italian American who was born in Brooklyn, New York. During the run up (pun intended!) to the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Torre carried the Olympic flame part of the way through Florence in Italy, handing it over to the next runner at the famous Ponte Vecchio. I’d guess that was quite a thrill for him …

23 Longtime NBC hit : SNL

NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) was named “NBC’s Saturday Night” during its first season. This was to differentiate it from the ABC show airing at that time, called “Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell”. Chevy Chase uttered the famous line “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night” in the very first SNL episode on October 11, 1975. That careful wording has persisted, even though the NBC show’s name was changed to “Saturday Night Live” after Cosell’s show went off the air in 1976.

25 Only Super Bowl the Eagles won : LII

Super Bowl LII was played at the end of the 2017 season, with the Philadelphia Eagles defeating the defending champions, the New England Patriots. That result marked the first ever Super Bowl victory for the Eagles.

26 Victoria-Tasmania divider : BASS STRAIT

The island state of Tasmania is separated from the Australian mainland by Bass Strait. The strait is named for British naval explorer George Bass, who circumnavigated Tasmania (then “Van Diemen’s Land”) in 1798-99.

Tasmania is a large island lying off the southeast coast of Australia. In 1642, the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sail past the island. Tasman named his discovery Van Diemen’s Land after the Governor of the Dutch East Indies, Anthony van Diemen. The name was officially changed to Tasmania, after the discoverer himself, in 1856. In Australia, a more familiar name used is “Tassie”.

Victoria is the most densely populated state in Australia, with most inhabitants living in the state capital of Melbourne. Just like the Australian state of Queensland, Victoria was named for Queen Victoria, the British monarch at the time the state was founded.

28 Expert on ports? : OENOLOGIST

In Greek mythology, Oeno was the goddess of wine, giving us “oeno-” as a prefix meaning “wine”. For example, oenology is the study of wine and an oenophile is a wine-lover.

30 Martin’s partner : LEWIS

“Jerry Lewis” was the stage name of comedian and actor Joseph Levitch from Newark, New Jersey. Lewis gained fame when he teamed up with straight man Dean Martin in the 1940s. The duo broke up in 1961, largely because Lewis was always in the limelight and Martin’s role became less important in the eyes of the public. The relationship between the two was strained for many years until there was a reconciliation in the late eighties following the death of Martin’s son.

“Dean Martin” was the stage name of singer and actor Dino Crocetti. Martin was famous for his numerous hit songs such as “That’s Amore”, “Volare” and Everybody Loves Somebody”, as well as his film career with Jerry Lewis. Off screen, Martin was a member of the famous “Rat Pack” as he was a great friend of Frank Sinatra. Martin was always associated with Las Vegas and when he passed away in 1995 the lights on the strip were dimmed in his honor.

35 “The one way possible of speaking truth”: Browning : ART

Robert Browning met fellow poet Elizabeth Barrett in 1845. Elizabeth was a sickly woman, confined to her parents’ house in Wimpole Street in London, largely due to the conservative and protective nature of her father. Robert and Elizabeth eventually eloped in 1846, and lived in self-inflicted exile in Italy. Away from the country of his birth, Browning was moved to write his now famous “Home Thoughts, From Abroad”, the first line of which is “Oh, to be in England …”

37 “Creed” actress Thompson : TESSA

Tessa Thompson is an actress from Los Angeles who is known for playing the supporting role of Jackie Cook on the TV show “Veronica Mars”, and for playing student leader Diane Nash in the 2014 film “Selma”.

“Creed” is a 2015 boxing movie, the seventh in the “Rocky” franchise. Sylvester Stallone returns as Rocky Balboa, but this time as a trainer. Rocky trains Apollo Creed’s son Adonis. Stallone was nominated for an Oscar for his supporting role in the film. It was the first Academy Award nomination he had received since the first “Rocky” film, which was released almost forty years earlier.

46 Noodle nuggets : IDEAS

“Noodle” and “bean” are slang terms for the head.

48 Ply with drink : BESOT

Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s. The derivative term “besotted” means “muddled with drunkenness”, or more figuratively “infatuated”.

51 Austin festival, briefly : SXSW

South by Southwest, also known as “SXSW”, is an annual festival that has been taking place in Austin, Texas since 1987. SXSW is a melded event, combining a music festival, a film festival and an interactive festival.

52 Entr’__ : ACTE

The term “entr’acte” comes to us from French, and is the interval “entre deux actes” (between two acts) of a theatrical performance. The term often describes some entertainment provided during that interval.

53 Austen classic : EMMA

Jane Austen’s novel “Emma” is the tale of Emma Woodhouse and the wonderful George Knightley. At the end of the story, Emma marries Knightley and her young friend Harriet marries Robert Martin, who had been trying to get Harriet’s attention practically from page one of the novel. Emma interfered in that troubled courtship.

54 Coward with a knighthood : NOEL

Noël Coward was the most flamboyant of personalities. A playwright, composer and actor, Coward worked in a remarkable range of genres. He wrote the wonderfully airy play “Blithe Spirit”, as well as the Oscar-winning WWII naval drama “In Which We Serve”. A couple of his more famous songs, many of which he performed himself in cabaret, are “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” and “London Pride”.

57 Caustic chemical : LYE

What we call “lye” is usually sodium hydroxide, although historically the term “lye” was used for potassium hydroxide. Lye has many uses, including to cure several foodstuffs. Lye can make olives less bitter, for example. The chemical is also found in canned mandarin oranges, pretzels and Japanese ramen noodles. More concentrated grades of lye are used to clear drains and clean ovens. Scary …

59 Muppet friend of Elmo : ZOE

The muppet named Zoe is a young orange monster that appears on “Sesame Street”. Zoe is best friends with Elmo. She is a great lover of ballet and always appears wearing a tutu.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Touché” : POINT TAKEN
11 Small complication? : PROB
15 Agree to take the long way there? : ORDER A LIMO
16 Condominio, por ejemplo : CASA
17 Dancer’s driver : SANTA CLAUS
18 First word in a classic poem about 17-Across : ‘TWAS
19 “Telephone Line” rock gp. : ELO
20 Prepares (for) : GETS SET
22 Stretch (out) : EKE
23 “Dark side” sci-fi group : SITH
24 Stuffed grape leaves : DOLMAS
26 Rodeo ride : BRONC
29 Either Bush, in school : ELI
32 Spanish wine region : RIOJA
33 “The Mammoth Hunters” author : AUEL
34 Like some agreements : PREMARITAL
36 I-9 ID : SSN
37 Caddies and cozies : TEAWARE
38 Pub pick : IPA
39 Towels, e.g., aptly : SHOWER GIFT
41 Katy Perry hit that starts “I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath” : ROAR
42 Youngest French Open champ : SELES
43 Pueblo pronoun : ESA
44 Like undercooked eggs : RUNNY
45 Oscar-winning foreign language film based on a Fugard novel : TSOTSI
47 Sarcastic retort : I BET
49 Fix : RIG
50 TV revenue source : AD SALES
53 Neon tips? : ENS
56 Actor Kapoor of “Slumdog Millionaire” : ANIL
58 Pierre’s polite lead-in : EXCUSEZ-MOI …
60 Wee : ITSY
61 Galileo, notably : ASTRONOMER
62 NPR giveaway : TOTE
63 Great bargains : SWEET DEALS

Down

1 Prepare for cheese? : POSE
2 Spoken : ORAL
3 Lic. figure : ID NO
4 Barclays Center NBAer : NET
5 Like some flaws : TRAGIC
6 “Don’t play,” in music : TACET
7 Hot, hot, hot : ALL THE RAGE
8 Sorento and Sedona : KIAS
9 Big birds : EMUS
10 Barely bested, with “out” : NOSED …
11 Dietary info abbr. : PCT
12 What an actor may bring to an audition : RAW EMOTION
13 Honshu city : OSAKA, JAPAN
14 Factor in bonus size, perhaps : BASE SALARY
21 Hall of Famer who was an MVP and Manager of the Year : TORRE
23 Longtime NBC hit : SNL
25 Only Super Bowl the Eagles won : LII
26 Victoria-Tasmania divider : BASS STRAIT
27 Doesn’t stop to think about : RUSHES INTO
28 Expert on ports? : OENOLOGIST
30 Martin’s partner : LEWIS
31 Angsty lament : I’M A FAILURE
34 Each : PER
35 “The one way possible of speaking truth”: Browning : ART
37 “Creed” actress Thompson : TESSA
40 Like spring snow : WET
41 Sticking point? : RUT
44 Forward, say : RESEND
46 Noodle nuggets : IDEAS
48 Ply with drink : BESOT
51 Austin festival, briefly : SXSW
52 Entr’__ : ACTE
53 Austen classic : EMMA
54 Coward with a knighthood : NOEL
55 Knight titles : SIRS
57 Caustic chemical : LYE
59 Muppet friend of Elmo : ZOE

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 25 Jul 20, Saturday”

  1. 11:41, no errors. Tried to put SNAG before PROB and TEA SETS before TEAWARE, otherwise, no real snags … er … probs … 😜.

  2. No errors. stared at TEAWARE and LEWIS for a long time because I was sure 39A was SHOWER GARB… I sussed it out.
    TSOTSI was TSITSI for a awhile. Not familiar with that movie.
    Still a 45 minute puzzle for me..

    Be safe

  3. Difficult puzzle for me; strangely I got some of the long answers
    before some of the short ones. I too tried “snag” for 11A and I
    tried “rub” for 41 down before I had to regroup and change to “rut.”
    I still think “prob” is reaching; is it a real word???

    Ended up with no errors, but admit to a bit of googling…especially
    for proper names.

  4. LAT: About 40 minutes with several guesses but, surprisingly to myself, no errors. I thought it was a fair, clever puzzle with just enough “gimmies” to enable the guessing.

  5. For me, typical Saturday grind. Thank goodness for crosses!

    Bill, you went above and beyond on your history of the Brooklyn Nets (4d).

    I was a biddy booster for the team when they played in the Teaneck
    Armory (which is still in use) in Teaneck, NJ in 1967. Great memories!

  6. After 54:42 I got so frustrated with 31D and 50A that I filled in anything just to be done…the result was 4 errors…I did not enjoy this one.
    Stay safe😫

  7. Not that difficult, at least I didn’t tear any hair out or otherwise rend my garments and gnash my teeth in frustration. Although since Bill actually went over 14 minutes to solve it must have been harder than I thought…

  8. 21 mins 46 seconds until I threw in the towel. The entire middle section and the upper part of the right quadrant were pure natick. Really evil to put a country name with a city… and with fills like TSOTSI, how can anybody be expected to complete this?

  9. 22:33 2 errors, 4 lookups

    This one felt like a slog. Among many errors, I thought first of Rowan and Martin, not Martin and Lewis.

  10. DNF; way too hard for us. I will have to settle for completing the
    Wonderword; got the Jumble. Kindergarten in this group.

    Stay safe, all. We lost two acquaintances to the virus today.
    Everybody be very careful. Stay clean and wear the masks.

  11. Too tough for me today; took about an hour and then I started looking up things. Mostly trouble in the NE, E and C. I got the rest without too much trouble, although I did have mOE instead of ZOE. I also had rowan before LEWIS, but I did get IMAFAILURE, so I guess I sorta am and sorta not.

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