LA Times Crossword 29 Jul 20, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Dee’s Final Two Letters

Themed answers are each famous people with 4-letter family names ending in two letters D:

  • 17A “Shane” star : ALAN LADD
  • 27A Melville’s “handsome sailor” : BILLY BUDD
  • 48A “Wabbit” hunter : ELMER FUDD
  • 64A Woman who married the 16th president : MARY TODD
  • 9D “Saturday Night Live” cast member since 2017 : CHRIS REDD
  • 11D Half of a longtime country duo : NAOMI JUDD
  • 37D Former CBS anchor with a Peabody and five Emmys : ROGER MUDD
  • 38D Ten-time NBA All-Star who is now a Laker assistant coach : JASON KIDD

Bill’s time: 5m 48s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 One of the fam : SIB

A sibling (sib) is a member of a family (fam).

14 “Strange Magic” rock gp. : ELO

“Strange Magic” is a song by English rock band the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) that was released as a single in 1976. It had appeared earlier as a track on the ELO’s 1975 album “Face the Music”.

15 Revlon rival : 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.

Revlon was founded in the depths of the Great Depression in 1932 by Charles and Joseph Revson. The “S” in the “Revson” name was replaced by the “L” from Charles “Lachman”, a chemist who partnered with the two brothers.

16 Defeat decisively : THRASH

To thrash someone or something is to beat it, as if with a flail. “Thrash” is a variant of the Old English “threshen”, from which we get “thresh” describing the separation of grain from chaff, often using a flail.

17 “Shane” star : ALAN LADD

The last few years of actor Alan Ladd’s life were pretty rough. In 1962, he was found unconscious in a pool of blood with a bullet wound in his chest, an abortive suicide attempt. Two years later he was found dead, apparently having succumbed to an accidental overdose of drugs and sedatives. He was 50 years old.

The classic 1953 western movie “Shane” is based on the novel of the same name by Jack Schaefer published in 1949. Heading the cast is Alan Ladd in the title role, alongside Jean Arthur and Van Heflin.

19 Cactus bud : AREOLE

Areoles are bumps on the side of cacti from which grow clusters of spines. These areoles are one of the features of cacti that distinguish them from other succulent plants.

21 Beam splitter : PRISM

When light passes through a prism, it splits up (disperses) into differing wavelengths. It then becomes clear that white light is actually a mixture of different colors, which show up as a beautiful spectrum.

22 Lend __: pay attention : AN EAR

To lend an ear is to listen. The phrase “lend an ear”, like so many phrases, was coined by the Bard. There is a famous speech made by Mark Antony in William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” that starts with:

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar.

24 NYC subway line : IRT

The Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) was the original private operator of the New York Subway when it opened in 1904. The city took over ownership of the system in 1940, but the lines originally operated by the IRT are still known by the IRT moniker.

27 Melville’s “handsome sailor” : BILLY BUDD

“Billy Budd, Sailor” is a novella by American author Herman Melville. However, Melville didn’t actually finish “Billy Budd” before he died in 1891. The incomplete manuscript was discovered among the author’s papers in the 1920s, after which scholars restructured the text using Melville’s notes containing revisions and corrections.

31 Indian royal : RAJAH

“Raja” (also “rajah”) is a word derived from Sanskrit that is used particularly in India for a monarch or princely ruler. The female form is “rani” (also “ranee”) and is used for a raja’s wife.

33 Egyptian goddess : ISIS

Isis was the ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility, as well as the protector of the dead and the goddess of children. She was the personification of the pharaoh’s power. The name “Isis” translates as “throne”, and she is usually depicted with a headdress shaped like a throne.

39 Nike rival : ADIDAS

The Adidas brand dates back to when Adolf “Adi” Dassler started making his own sports shoes in his mother’s laundry room in Bavaria after returning from WWI. With his brother, Adi founded Dassler shoes. The company’s big break came in 1936 at the Berlin Olympics, when Adi persuaded American sprinter Jesse Owens to use his shoes, and with the success of Jesse Owens came success for the fledgling shoe company. After WWII the brothers split, acrimoniously. Adi’s brother, Ru-dolf Da-ssler, formed “Ruda” shoes (later to become Puma), and Adi Das-sler formed “Adidas”.

44 Dr. who co-founded a record label : DRE

“Dr. Dre” is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such as Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

47 __ pad : STENO

Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

48 “Wabbit” hunter : ELMER FUDD

Elmer Fudd is one of the most famous Looney Tunes cartoon characters, and is the hapless nemesis of Bugs Bunny. If you have never seen it, check out Elmer and Bugs in the marvelous “Rabbit of Seville”, a short cartoon that parodies Rossini’s “Barber of Seville”. Wonderful stuff …

62 “__ Rouge!”: Kidman film : MOULIN

“Moulin Rouge!” is a musical film that was released in 2001, starring Nicole Kidman as the star of the Moulin Rouge cabaret, and Ewan McGregor as the young man who falls in love with her. Although set in the early 1900s, the film uses many, many contemporary songs. There were so many that it took the producers almost two years to secure the rights to use the music.

Nicole Kidman is an Australian-American actress whose breakthrough role was the female lead in 1989’s “Dead Calm”. Kidman was actually born in Hawaii, to Australian parents. As a result, she has dual citizenship of Australia and the US. Famously, Kidman was married to fellow-actor Tom Cruise from 1990 to 2001, and is now married to New Zealand-born country singer Keith Urban.

64 Woman who married the 16th president : MARY TODD

Mary Todd moved in the best of the social circles in Springfield, Illinois and there met the successful lawyer, Abraham Lincoln. The path to their marriage wasn’t exactly smooth, as the engagement was broken once but reinstated, with the couple eventually marrying in 1842.

67 GPS display : RTE

A global positioning system (GPS) might point out a route (rte.).

68 Table salt additive : IODIDE

Potassium iodide is an important nutrient, and is the most common additive used in iodized table salt. The addition of a source of iodine to table salt is a public health measure taken to prevent iodine deficiency. Additional iodine in the diet isn’t really necessary for those who eat a reasonable amount of seafood, as there is a lot of iodine in the oceans.

70 Persona __ grata : NON

A persona non grata (plural “personae non gratae”) is someone who is not welcome. The phrase is Latin for “an unacceptable person”. The opposite phrase is “persona grata”, meaning “acceptable person”.

Down

1 Naval test site : SEALAB

SEALAB I, II and II were man-made habitats built by the US Navy designed to advance the technology needed for humans to live and work underwater for extended periods. SEALAB I was lowered to a depth of just under 200 feet off the coast of Bermuda in 1964. Four divers (“aquanauts”) stayed in SEALAB for 11 days, before the experiment was halted due to the approach of a tropical storm.

2 “Fighting” Big Ten team : ILLINI

The Illini (also “Fighting Illini”) are the athletic teams and marching band of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Illinois” is a French name that was given to the people who lived in the area (called “Illiniwek”).

3 Waterside inn : BOATEL

A “boatel” or “botel” is a “boat hotel”. The term can be used to describe a hotel on land close to water that caters mainly for guests arriving on boats. A boatel can also be a ship that has been converted to function as a hotel.

4 Pay : 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.

5 Shape of Ford’s logo : OVAL

Industrialist Henry Ford was born in Michigan, and was the son of an Irish immigrant from County Cork. Ford’s most famous vehicle was the one that revolutionized the industry: the Model T. Ford’s goal with the Model T was to build a car that was simple to drive, and cheap to purchase and repair. The Model T cost $825 in 1908, which isn’t much over $20,000 in today’s money.

6 Went by Segway : RODE

The Segway PT is a self-balancing two-wheel electric vehicle introduced to the world in 2001 by American inventor Dean Kamen.

9 “Saturday Night Live” cast member since 2017 : CHRIS REDD

Actor and stand-up comedian Chris Redd joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live” in 2017, after a stint with the Second City Touring Company based in Chicago.

11 Half of a longtime country duo : NAOMI JUDD

The Judds were a country music singing duo made up of Naomi Judd and her daughter Wynonna. Naomi Judd is also the mother of actress Ashley Judd, with Ashley and Wynonna being half-sisters.

12 Subj. for a non-native speaker : ESL

English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

13 Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t __ Lovely” : SHE

“Isn’t She Lovely” is a Stevie Wonder song that he released in 1976. The song refers to Wonder’s daughter Aisha Morris, who was born in the prior year.

The great musician Stevie Wonder signed up with Motown Records when he was just 11-years-old. He has been remarkably loyal to the label and is still recording with Motown some 50 years later. The level of Stevie Wonder’s success is illustrated by his 22 Grammy Awards, the most Grammys awarded to a male solo artist. Wonder was born 6 weeks prematurely, and incomplete development of blood vessels in his eyes caused the retinas to detach leaving him blind soon after birth. His mother, Lula Mae Hardaway, co-wrote many of Stevie’s songs when he was a teenager, including “I Was Made to Love Her”, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” and “I Don’t Know Why I Love You”.

18 Sci-fi author Stephenson : NEAL

Neal Stephenson is a novelist and video game designer whose work is often classified as science fiction or speculative fiction. I must admit, I haven’t indulged …

25 “M*A*S*H” corporal who hears choppers before anyone else : RADAR

Corporal Radar O’Reilly is a character in the “M*A*S*H” television series and film. The role was played by Gary Burghoff in both the film and on television.

29 __ port : USB

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard dealing with how computers and electronic devices connect and communicate, and deal with electrical power through those connections.

32 “Rope-a-dope” boxer : ALI

The Rumble in the Jungle was the celebrated 1974 fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman that took place in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). The fight was set in Zaire because of financial arrangements between promoter Don King and Zaire’s President Mobutu Seko. Ali coined the term “rope-a-dope” to describe his incredibly successful strategy in the contest. From the second round onwards, Ali adopted a protected stance on the ropes letting Foreman pound him with blows to the body and head, with Ali using his arms to dissipate the power of the punches. He kept this up until the eighth round, and then opened up and downed the exhausted Foreman with a left-right combination. I hate boxing but I have to say, that was an interesting fight …

37 Former CBS anchor with a Peabody and five Emmys : ROGER MUDD

After a career with CBS and NBC, Roger Mudd was more recently an anchor for the History Channel. Mudd is perhaps best known for his 1979 interview with Senator Edward Kennedy. Ted Kennedy’s lackluster responses to some of Mudd’s questions were cited as the reason support plummeted for the senator’s 1980 Presidential nomination.

38 Ten-time NBA All-Star who is now a Laker assistant coach : JASON KIDD

Jason Kidd is a former point guard in the NBA. He finished his career with the New York Knicks, and then took coaching positions with the Brooklyn Nets, Mulwaukee Bucks and LA Lakers.

43 “Slippery” tree : ELM

The slippery elm is a species of elm native to North America that is also known as the Red Elm. The inner bark of the slippery elm can be used in a medicinal tea. Elm bark tea is said to ease a sore throat or irritated stomach.

46 Adheres (to) : HEWS

To hew to something is to conform to it, especially to a rule or principle.

50 Turin-based automaker : FIAT

Fiat is the largest car manufacturer in Italy, and is headquartered in Turin in the Piedmont region in the north of the country. Fiat was founded in 1899 by Giovanni Agnelli, when the company’s name was “Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili Torino” (FIAT). A few years ago, Fiat became the majority shareholder in Chrysler.

52 __ rights: red-handed : DEAD TO

To be caught red-handed is to be caught in the act. The expression originated in Scotland and dates back at least to the 1400s. The red in question is blood, as in being caught with blood on one’s hands after perhaps committing a murder or an act of poaching.

53 England’s first poet laureate : DRYDEN

John Dryden was a highly influential poet and playwright in the late 1600s. He came from good literary stock, and was a cousin once-removed of Jonathan Swift. Dryden was made England’s first Poet Laureate, in 1668.

A poet laureate is a poet who is officially pointed by some institution to compose works for special occasions. The US Poet Laureate is more correctly known as the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. To be “laureate” is to be “crowned with laurels”. In ancient Greece, poets and heroes were honored with a crown or wreath made from laurels.

56 Choice word : EENIE

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch the tiger/monkey/baby by the toe.
If it hollers/screams let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, you are it!

59 Et __: and others : ALII

“Et alii” (et al.) is the equivalent of “et cetera” (etc.), with “et cetera” being used in place of a list of objects, and “et alii” used for a list of names.

60 Paleo no-no : CARB

The paleolithic (or “paleo, caveman”) diet is a fad diet that became popular in the 2000s. The idea is to eat wild plants and animals that would have been available to humans during the Paleolithic era (roughly the Stone Age). This period precedes the introduction of agriculture and the domestication of animals. As a result, someone on the diet avoids consuming grains, legumes, dairy and processed foods. The diet consists mainly of lean meat (about 45-65% of the total calorie intake), non-starchy vegetables, fruits, berries and nuts.

61 Eurasian range : URAL

Eurasia is the combined continental landmass of Europe and Asia. It accounts for 36% of the total landmass on the planet, and is home to 71% of the Earth’s population.

62 Avril follower : MAI

In French, “avril” (April) is followed by “mai” (May).

64 NYC subway org. : MTA

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has public transportation responsibility in the state of New York (as well as part of Connecticut). “MTA” might also refer to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is known as “the Metro” and sometimes “the MTA”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 One of the fam : SIB
4 Peeved : SORE
8 Small quick breads : SCONES
14 “Strange Magic” rock gp. : ELO
15 Revlon rival : AVON
16 Defeat decisively : THRASH
17 “Shane” star : ALAN LADD
19 Cactus bud : AREOLE
20 Lo-cal brew : LITE ALE
21 Beam splitter : PRISM
22 Lend __: pay attention : AN EAR
23 Gives the nod : OKS
24 NYC subway line : IRT
27 Melville’s “handsome sailor” : BILLY BUDD
31 Indian royal : RAJAH
33 Egyptian goddess : ISIS
34 Sidestep : ELUDE
35 Spanish “for” : POR
38 Positions : JOBS
39 Nike rival : ADIDAS
40 Bakery allures : AROMAS
42 Put right : MEND
44 Dr. who co-founded a record label : DRE
45 Has a fit : RAGES
46 Sentry’s shout : HALT!
47 __ pad : STENO
48 “Wabbit” hunter : ELMER FUDD
54 Always, to 53-Down : E’ER
55 Emergent : NEW
57 Feminine German article : EINER
58 Earns : MAKES
60 Model offering interior views : CUTAWAY
62 “__ Rouge!”: Kidman film : MOULIN
64 Woman who married the 16th president : MARY TODD
65 “Same experience for me” : AS DID I
66 Snare : TRAP
67 GPS display : RTE
68 Table salt additive : IODIDE
69 Up to the task : ABLE
70 Persona __ grata : NON

Down

1 Naval test site : SEALAB
2 “Fighting” Big Ten team : ILLINI
3 Waterside inn : BOATEL
4 Pay : SALARY
5 Shape of Ford’s logo : OVAL
6 Went by Segway : RODE
7 Finale : END
8 Barren : STARK
9 “Saturday Night Live” cast member since 2017 : CHRIS REDD
10 Mining hauls : ORES
11 Half of a longtime country duo : NAOMI JUDD
12 Subj. for a non-native speaker : ESL
13 Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t __ Lovely” : SHE
18 Sci-fi author Stephenson : NEAL
21 They’re full of beans : PODS
25 “M*A*S*H” corporal who hears choppers before anyone else : RADAR
26 This and this : THESE
28 Life stories : BIOS
29 __ port : USB
30 Grim : DISMAL
32 “Rope-a-dope” boxer : ALI
35 Examine grammatically : PARSE
36 Give a speech : ORATE
37 Former CBS anchor with a Peabody and five Emmys : ROGER MUDD
38 Ten-time NBA All-Star who is now a Laker assistant coach : JASON KIDD
39 Start a pot : ANTE
41 Guys : MEN
43 “Slippery” tree : ELM
46 Adheres (to) : HEWS
49 Key in again : RETYPE
50 Turin-based automaker : FIAT
51 Still on the hanger : UNWORN
52 __ rights: red-handed : DEAD TO
53 England’s first poet laureate : DRYDEN
56 Choice word : EENIE
59 Et __: and others : ALII
60 Paleo no-no : CARB
61 Eurasian range : URAL
62 Avril follower : MAI
63 Baja bear : OSO
64 NYC subway org. : MTA

25 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 29 Jul 20, Wednesday”

  1. No errors. Mr Wechsler didn’t disappoint me. He made me think a little more. Never heard of BOATEL or HEWS in that context. Then there was IODIDE and I had IODINE initially but good thing I knew JASON KIDD. Also, the Second City Touring Company popped up again in Bills explanation for Chris Redd. I wasn’t familiar with that group until it popped up about a week ago. Always something new to learn. All told, took me about 15 minutes..

    Be safe

  2. No problems, liked the puzzle. Glad to see that Bill kept the theme ‘clean’.

    Shane was a great Western, but oh that kid. He was the Jar-Jar Binks of the fifties.

    @Nonny, checked out your crossword resource, thanks. If I move onto “two-a-days” I’ll let you know how I do.

      1. No problem. If you need some specific advice on things to try out of that list, let me know. Need to go ahead and update it with the rest of my links (Contests), I suppose. (Reminded, because I did the Bosword puzzles over the weekend…)

  3. I liked the theme, it was something different. Getting 8 names in was pretty impressive. Was looking for Sweeney Todd before coming across Mary.

  4. Can’t believe no one doing this puzzle speaks German! The feminine German article is “eine”, “einer” is the Masculine German article. From Gernan 101: der, die, das, einer, eine, eines.

    Get it right mr editor.

    1. @michael … It’s been almost 60 years since I was in a German class, so I had to look this up, but, as I suspected, in the genitive case, the feminine article is “einer”. From Google:

      “If the noun is in the genitive case, the articles change to eines (masculine/neuter) and einer (feminine). For example, ‘Es ist das Auto einer Freundin’, meaning ‘It’s the car of a (female) friend.’ If the noun is in the dative case the articles change to einem (masculine/neuter) and einer (feminine).”

      So, a bit tricky cluing, but I think “mr editor” got it right … 😜

    2. They can’t get it right with the ENGLISH words half the time. So sick of breezy, non-words like BOATEL.

  5. 8:19, no errors. Also wrote in “IODINE” before “IODIDE“, but fixed it a bit later, after grokking the theme. Paused over the “R” of “EINER”, but “DRYDEN” was solid and I suspected what I later verified about the German word (as I said above).

  6. 26:17 no errors.
    In honor of my 59th wedding aniversery I am offering all of you my newest book NONNY AND THE OBLONG GOLF BALL for the amazing low price of $49:95 plus shipping…BUT WAIT order in the next 10 minutes and I will throw in my tell all HOW TO WORK 50 PUZZLES A WEEK AND STILL HAVE KIDS for free…act now…go to http://www.makejackrich.com ORDER NOW.
    Stay safe😀

    1. Damn it, Jack … it’s not just oblong, it’s egg-shaped! … 😜

      (And congratulations on the anniversary … a great milestone! … 🙂.)

    2. In honor of your 59th, I have ordered 59 of your books and cannot wait to receive them. 😉 Congrats on this big day!

  7. 12 minutes, 46 seconds, and needed the cyber Check feature to root out errors in 6 fills. One of them, BOATEL, really made me roll my eyes. Come on, that’s not a word (I’ll BET it came from the ultra-lax Merriam-Webster, right?). As a German speaker, I filled in EINE and of course, it was “too short”… so I “fixed” the incorrect answer (!) via down fills. Ach, mein Lieber…!!! Was fuer ein Wahnsinn!!!

    1. The word “boatel” was coined more than 60 years ago, in the late 1950s. It’s in a bunch of dictionaries. The spell checker here has no problem with it. I’ve seen it in use.

      And the clue for 57-Across did not specify the case of the “feminine German article”. A feminine German article in the genitive or dative case is still a feminine German article, just like a feminine German article in the nominative case.

  8. Didn’t notice the theme, had one error (BOATEL – I had sOATEL and SIs) and one Google (LITE ALE). The entire NW was a writeover.

    I studied too much German and knew that was in the masculine declension after I ruled out EINEm, EINEs, EINEn. German was predicted to be the future language of science! And my paternal grampa was a northern Deutscher. What I didn’t know was: AREOLE, IODIDE, ILLINI, JASON KIDD, ALII.

  9. No omissions, but 3 errors, 2 in BOATEL and the other in AREOLE.
    I will settle for that any day of the week.

    When I asked why I had to take German in college, I was told that all
    of the handbooks would be written in the language. Hasn’t happened yet.
    I thought I knew that EINE was masculine.

    @A Nonny Muss – I sent you a private e-mail.

    Stay safe and well, all.

  10. 8:17 no errors, two lookups

    Caught on to the theme early on, for a change, but it didn’t help when I got bogged down. I had to search for NAOMIJUDD and JASONKIDD. I only got CHRISREDD via crosses, even though I enjoyed his recent interview with Conan O’Brien and resolved to remember his name. I’m terrible with names, even with people I’ve met!

    By the way, I highly recommend Neal Stephenson’s brand of breakneck hard SF. Most of his recent books weigh in around 900 pages, so if you want just a taste try Snow Crash. It’s a cyberpunk classic that’s so overstuffed with ideas, it’s hard to describe. I most recently enjoyed his latest, Seveneves, which starts with the premise of what would happen if a chunk were knocked off the Moon. Since you all enjoy word play, consider Anathem. It’s set in an alternate reality where scientists are cloistered, so they have plenty of time to hold philosophical arguments in a terminology in which many technical terms have Greek roots where we have Latin and vice versa.

  11. Kind of tricky Wednesday, after two easy early week puzzles. Took me 22 minutes with no errors, but with plenty of waiting for crosses. Didn’t know Jason (vaguely) and Chris, and BOATEL was a bit of a stretch. I did stay in a hotel in Amsterdam that was fashioned from a boat, with very steep stairs.

    Although I speak fluent German, all that dative, nominative etc stuff is still mostly beyond me; Nonny’s explanation definitely makes sense though, with the feminine being, ‘Es ist das Auto einer Freundin’, and the masculine, ‘Es ist das Auto einem Freund.’

  12. Aloha meine Freunden!!🦆

    Another DNF, not because I was stuck but because after a point I wasn’t inspired to continue. And it’s a fine puzzle! Am I not supposed to be MORE inclined to do puzzles when we’re all stuck at home? Who knows. PRISM was tricky – beam splitter. Vintage Wechsler! And of course, fool that I am, I couldn’t remember whether it was IODINE or IODIDE…..🙃

    NONNY!! From Monday – I figured you would catch that! 🤗

    Be well~~⚾️

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