LA Times Crossword 31 Jul 20, Friday

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Constructed by: David Alfred Bywaters
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Pend

Themed answers are common phrases, but with a letter P added to the END:

  • 68A Remain unsettled, or, read as two words, what five of this puzzle’s long answers have : PEND or P END
  • 17A Really cool traffic sound? : KILLER BEEP (killer bee + p)
  • 29A Reaction to an impressive flower? : GREENHOUSE GASP (greenhouse gas + p)
  • 37A Summer getaway for a young Peter Parker? : WEB CAMP (webcam + p)
  • 45A Waterproofer’s guarantee? : LONG TIME NO SEEP (long time no see + p)
  • 60A Part of a bad restaurant review on Yelp? : DINING CARP (dining car + p)

Bill’s time: 6m 30s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 On the quiet side : ALEE

Alee is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing aweather.

16 Steady guy : BEAU

A beau (plural “beaux”) is the boyfriend of a belle, a young lady. “Beau” and “belle” are the masculine and feminine forms of the French word for “handsome, beautiful”.

17 Really cool traffic sound? : KILLER BEEP (killer bee + p)

Killer bees are descended from European and African bees that were deliberately interbred by a Brazilian geneticist in 1957. The resulting hybrid was intended to be isolated from local populations, but 28 swarms were accidentally released into the wild. Over the coming decades, the Africanized bees have been remarkably successful in ecological terms and have spread right through South and Central America. The first to be found in the US were discovered in California in 1985.

19 __’acte : ENTR

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.

24 Literary count, familiarly : DRAC

“Dracula” is a novel written by the Irish author Bram Stoker and first published in 1897. Dracula wasn’t the first vampire of literature, but he certainly was the one who spawned the popularity of vampires in theater, film and television, and indeed more novels. Personally, I can’t stand vampire fiction …

29 Reaction to an impressive flower? : GREENHOUSE GASP (greenhouse gas + p)

Greenhouse gases are those that absorb and emit infrared radiation, meaning that they act as an insulator for our planet. The most abundant greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide and methane. Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have increased by about 40% since 1750, and levels of methane have increased over 150% in the same time frame.

34 Large cask : TUN

A tun is a barrel, often a large barrel used in winemaking. The term “tun” came to be a measure of volume, originally 252 gallons of wine. The weight of such a volume of wine was referred to as a “tun”, which evolved into our contemporary unit “ton”.

35 Mediterranean island nation : MALTA

The island state of Malta is relatively small (122 square miles), but its large number of inhabitants makes it one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. Malta’s strategic location has made it a prized possession for the conquering empires of the world. Most recently it was part of the British Empire and was an important fleet headquarters. Malta played a crucial role for the Allies during WWII as it was located very close to the Axis shipping lanes in the Mediterranean. The Siege of Malta lasted from 1940 to 1942, a prolonged attack by the Italians and Germans on the RAF and Royal Navy, and the people of Malta. When the siege was lifted, King George VI awarded the George Cross to the people of Malta collectively in recognition of their heroism and devotion to the Allied cause. The George Cross can still be seen on the Maltese flag, even though Britain granted Malta independence in 1964.

37 Summer getaway for a young Peter Parker? : WEB CAMP (webcam + p)

Aunt May and Uncle Ben Parker are characters in the spider-Man universe created by Marvel Comics. The couple’s nephew is Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man.

43 Game with a “Moo!” version for preschoolers : UNO

UNO is a card game that was developed in the early seventies and that has been sold by Mattel since 1992. UNO falls into the shedding family of card games, meaning that the goal is to get rid of all your cards while preventing opponents from doing the same.

44 Future atty.’s hurdle : LSAT

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

49 Rio Grande city : LAREDO

Laredo is a border city in Texas that is situated on the banks of the Rio Grande, across the border from Nuevo Laredo in Mexico.

50 Env. directive : ATTN

Attention (attn.)

51 Short-order order : BLT

The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

58 “How the Other Half Lives” author Jacob : RIIS

Journalist Jacob Riis is famous for his photographs and newspaper articles that highlighted the plight of the impoverished in New York City. He wrote “How the Other Half Lives”, originally an extensive article that appeared in “Scribner’s Magazine” at Christmas 1889. The article had such an impact that Riis was commissioned to expand it into a book, which was published the following year.

60 Part of a bad restaurant review on Yelp? : DINING CARP (dining car + p)

yelp.com is a website that provides a local business directory and reviews of services. The site is sort of like Yellow Pages on steroids, and the term “yelp” is derived from “yel-low p-ages”.

63 Cornerstone word : ANNO

Anno (plural “anni”) is the Latin for “year”.

65 French friend : AMIE

A male friend in France is “un ami”, and a female friend is “une amie”.

66 Like custard : EGGY

Our word “custard” evolved from the Middle French “croustade” meaning “meat or fruit pie with a crust”. Over time, the letter R fell away from “croustade” leading to “custard”, possibly due to the influence of the other food item “mustard”.

Down

1 Shaggy beasts : YAKS

The English word “yak” is an Anglicized version of the Tibetan name for the male of the species. Yak milk is much prized in the Tibetan culture. It is made into cheese and butter, and the butter is used to make a tea that is consumed in great volume by Tibetans. The butter is also used as a fuel in lamps, and during festivals the butter is even sculpted into religious icons.

3 Pull up stakes for one’s co. : RELO

Relocate (relo)

4 Played for a chump : DELUDED

We’ve been using the word “chump” to mean “blockhead” dates back to the 1880s. Prior to that, a chump was a short and thick lump of wood.

5 Env. insert : LTR

An envelope (env.) might hold a letter (ltr.).

6 Eye, to a bard : ORB

The original bards were storytellers, poets and composers of music in medieval Britain and Ireland, with the term coming from the Old Celtic word “bardos” that described a poet or singer. I guess the most famous bard was William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon.

9 Shivering trees : ASPENS

The “quaking” aspen tree is so called because the structure of the leaves causes them to move easily in the wind, to “tremble, quake”.

10 Japanese prime minister since 2012 : ABE

Shinzo Abe first became Prime Minister of Japan in 2006, at which time he was the youngest person to hold the post since WWII and was the first PM born after the war. Abe was in office for less than a year, but was voted in again in 2012. At the end of 2019, Abe became the longest-serving Prime Minister in the history of Japan.

11 Dakar residents : SENEGALESE

The Republic of Senegal is a country on the far western coast of Africa. For many years Senegal was a French colony, gaining independence in 1960. The capital of Senegal is Dakar. Dakar is located on the Cap-Vert Peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, thus making it the westernmost capital on the African mainland.

13 German capital : EURO

One of the currencies replaced by the euro was Germany’s Deutsche Mark (known as “deutschmark” in English).

18 Raison d’__ : ETRE

“Raison d’être” is a French phrase meaning “reason for existence”.

22 One of the Stooges : SHEMP

If you’ve seen a few of the films starring “The Three Stooges” you might have noticed that the line-up changed over the years. The original trio was made up of Moe and Shemp Howard (two brothers) and Larry Fine (a good friend of the Howards). This line up was usually known as “Moe, Larry and Shemp”. Then Curly Howard replaced his brother when Shemp quit the act, creating the most famous trio, “Moe, Larry And Curly”. Shemp returned when Curly had a debilitating stroke in 1946. Shemp stayed with the troupe until he himself died in 1955. Shemp was replaced by Joe Besser, and then “Curly-Joe” DeRita. When Larry Fine suffered a stroke in 1970, it effectively marked the end of the act.

25 Penny-__ : ANTE

Penny Ante poker is a game in which bets are limited to a penny, or some other small, friendly sum. The expression “penny-ante” has come to describe any business transaction that is on a small scale.

26 Fish used for bait : CHUB

There is a whole family of fish called “chubs” including European chubs, lake chubs, hornyhead chub, creek chubs, and a host of others.

28 Supermarket franchise initials : IGA

The initialism “IGA” stands for “Independent Grocers Alliance”, and is a chain of supermarkets that extends right around the world. IGA’s headquarters is in Chicago. The company uses the slogan “Hometown Proud Supermarkets”.

33 Old TV control : DIAL

The first television remote control was introduced by Zenith Radio Corporation, in 1950. That remote was hard-wired to the TV, and was marketed as “Lazy Bones”. Personally, my first “remote” was a broomstick that I used by pushing in large mechanical buttons that selected each of the three channels that were available back then on the east coast of Ireland …

37 Word with buffalo or wings : WATER …

Domestic water buffalo are found all over the world, but mainly in the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and China. More people depend on water buffaloes than any other domestic animal. They have many uses to man, from pulling plows to providing milk.

38 “Frozen” sister : ANNA

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle. Spoiler alert: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles seems to be a good guy for most of the film, but turns out to be a baddie in the end. And, a snowman named Olaf provides some comic relief.

39 Academic : MOOT

To moot is to bring up as a subject for discussion or debate. So, something that is moot is open to debate. Something that is no longer moot, is no longer worth debating. We don’t seem to be able get that right, which drives me crazy …

42 Dept. head : MGR

Manager (mgr.)

48 Deer sir : STAG

A male deer is usually called a buck, and a female is a doe. However, the male red deer is usually referred to as a stag. The males of even larger species of deer are often called bulls, and females cows. In older English, male deer of over 5 years were called harts, and females of over 3 years were called hinds. The young of small species are known as fawns, and of larger species are called calves. All very confusing …

53 Short-lived spinoff of “The Dukes of Hazzard” : ENOS

Enos Strate (played by Sonny Shroyer) was the small-town deputy in the television sitcom “The Dukes of Hazzard”, and the success of his character merited a follow-on show. The spin-off “Enos” only ran for 18 episodes.

“The Dukes of Hazzard” is a comedy adventure TV show that originally aired from 1979 to 1985. The title characters are Bo and Luke Duke, two cousins from the rural part of the fictional county of Hazzard in Georgia. The pair drive around in the General Lee, a flashy Dodge Charger stock car. Other notable characters in the show were Daisy Duke (played by Catherine Bach) and Boss Hogg (played by Sorrell Booke).

56 Sportscaster Andrews : ERIN

Erin Andrews is a sports reporter. I don’t watch much in the line of sports but I do know Ms. Andrews for her appearances on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2010. She did quite well and made it to the final of the show. Then she became the show’s co-host alongside Tom Bergeron.

59 __ sauce : SOY

Soy sauce is made by fermenting soybeans with a mold in the presence of water and salt. Charming …

61 Mineral suffix : -ITE

Physically speaking, a mineral differs from a rock in that the former has one chemical composition and the later is an aggregate of several minerals. The study of minerals is known as mineralogy.

62 Paper read on the LIRR or Metro-North, perhaps : NYT

“The New York Times” (NYT) has been published since 1851, and is sometimes referred to as “the Gray Lady”. These days a viable alternative to buying the paper is to read the news online. NYTimes.com is the most popular online newspaper website in the country.

The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) is the commuter rail service that runs all over Long Island, New York with 124 stations and 700 miles of track. More people use the LIRR than any other commuter railroad in the US. It is also the only commuter railroad in the country that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The MTA’s Metro-North Commuter Railroad runs service between New York and the city’s northern suburbs. Metro-North’s current form dates back 1983, although the service has its roots in railroad lines that have been in operation since 1832.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Thing with three feet : YARD
5 Mucho : LOTSA
10 Life __ know it : AS WE
14 On the quiet side : ALEE
15 Has a go : TRIES
16 Steady guy : BEAU
17 Really cool traffic sound? : KILLER BEEP (killer bee + p)
19 __’acte : ENTR
20 Hardy : STOUT
21 Makes blue, maybe : DYES
23 Friendly opening? : ECO-
24 Literary count, familiarly : DRAC
27 Up in the air : ON HIGH
29 Reaction to an impressive flower? : GREENHOUSE GASP (greenhouse gas + p)
33 Feat : DEED
34 Large cask : TUN
35 Mediterranean island nation : MALTA
36 “__ not over” : IT’S
37 Summer getaway for a young Peter Parker? : WEB CAMP (webcam + p)
40 Go awry : ERR
41 Kitchen magnet? : AROMA
43 Game with a “Moo!” version for preschoolers : UNO
44 Future atty.’s hurdle : LSAT
45 Waterproofer’s guarantee? : LONG TIME NO SEEP (long time no see + p)
49 Rio Grande city : LAREDO
50 Env. directive : ATTN
51 Short-order order : BLT
52 Ceremony : RITE
54 Beasts of burden : ASSES
58 “How the Other Half Lives” author Jacob : RIIS
60 Part of a bad restaurant review on Yelp? : DINING CARP (dining car + p)
63 Cornerstone word : ANNO
64 In need of a sweep : SOOTY
65 French friend : AMIE
66 Like custard : EGGY
67 Beginning : ONSET
68 Remain unsettled, or, read as two words, what five of this puzzle’s long answers have : PEND or P END

Down

1 Shaggy beasts : YAKS
2 Came to rest : ALIT
3 Pull up stakes for one’s co. : RELO
4 Played for a chump : DELUDED
5 Env. insert : LTR
6 Eye, to a bard : ORB
7 Headed for extra innings : TIED
8 “Bye now” : SEE YOU
9 Shivering trees : ASPENS
10 Japanese prime minister since 2012 : ABE
11 Dakar residents : SENEGALESE
12 What prevents time from slipping away? : WATCH STRAP
13 German capital : EURO
18 Raison d’__ : ETRE
22 One of the Stooges : SHEMP
25 Penny-__ : ANTE
26 Fish used for bait : CHUB
28 Supermarket franchise initials : IGA
29 Initiate : GET ROLLING
30 Striking a chord (with) : RESONATING
31 As prompted : ON CUE
32 Hair line : PART
33 Old TV control : DIAL
37 Word with buffalo or wings : WATER …
38 “Frozen” sister : ANNA
39 Academic : MOOT
42 Dept. head : MGR
44 Shot spoiler : LENS CAP
46 “You couldn’t have!” retort : I DID SO!
47 Security lighting trigger : MOTION
48 Deer sir : STAG
51 Highlands hillside : BRAE
53 Short-lived spinoff of “The Dukes of Hazzard” : ENOS
55 Identical : SAME
56 Sportscaster Andrews : ERIN
57 Went fast : SPED
59 __ sauce : SOY
61 Mineral suffix : -ITE
62 Paper read on the LIRR or Metro-North, perhaps : NYT

29 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 31 Jul 20, Friday”

    1. Only when attached to a specific name, as I understand that grammar rule. For instance, we would refer to the dean or the president — lowercase — but to Dean Allan or President Lincoln — uppercase with the names. In the case of a crossword clue, one could see it either way, but not capitalizing it seems similar to the deliberately confusing/punny clues that appear frequently (and that I don’t enjoy all that much when it looks like the puzzle writer is showing off his/her cleverness).

  1. No errors. About 12 minutes.. Quick finish for a friday! Did not know there was a MOO version of UNO.. for 37A , what are WATER WINGS? … I thought 24A was a reference to COUNT DRACULA on sesame street, because he COUNTS? Ha! Then the clue and answer for 27A? ON HIGH? Dad groaner.

    Be safe

  2. Not so fun puzzle & theme, common phrases? Killer beep?? sounds odd to me. I’m sure l’m the only one. Sorry, got up on the wrong side of the bed l guess. I’ll do the jumble to kill time waiting for the supposed storm or not a storm? Another news hype for Florida to upset people more than they already are.

    1. @Anon Mike, water wings is a poor description, because those are the blow up rings you put on children’s upper arms, that don’t swim well or can’t. And they definitely do not resemble Wings, l have them for acouple of my grandchildren.

  3. Oh my goodness! I’m okay with theme answers having a P on the end but pend as p-end???? Who says that? How about these filler words…. entr and etre. And don’t get me started on moot!

  4. 1 error, 3 write-overs. Went with ‘Bean’ (ol’ bean) instead of BEAU, got tricked again by capital on the down cross. Changed ‘On hold’ to ON HIGH after initially jumping the gun.

    My favorite old TV control growing up was Vertical Hold, could really get that picture spinning if you tried. Don’t think my father was a fan though. Second favorite was the UHF dial (vs. VHF). We could only get one channel (59?) from Long Island with lots of fuzz and us kids would waste lots of time trying to tune it in, usually unsuccessfully.

  5. Bywaters provided another good puzzle this morning in my estimation. I didn’t care as much for the theme today as I did for his last puzzle on July 3rd (yes, I keep a puzzle spreadsheet going – lots of time on my hands). That one had clues like Horse sense? EQUINEAWARENESS and Hog wash? PORCINEABLUTION. This one was a little if-y comparatively, but for me, the puzzle as a whole was really good.

    Be safe and well, all.

  6. 7:29, no errors, absolutely no complaints (though I am sorely tempted to register my discomfort over the fact that this setter had the unmitigated gall to P in my puzzle … 😜).

  7. Enjoyable Friday puzzle, no errors, mediocre time.
    Like yesterday I liked the theme. Unlike yesterday I actually made use of it in places including, because I am an idiot, a place where I shouldn’t have. 12D – I took too much time trying to figure out what goes before STRA that makes it a word (astra? rostra?).

  8. Nonny Muss – good one.

    Water wings and Mae Wests are sort of old school. Adult water wings are full in front of the chest and attached in the back. If any were worn we would have fewer deaths, including Naya Rivera.

    No Googles, no errors, easier than yesterday. I liked the theme. I did not actually know: Peter Parker, ENOS or ERIN. Had starT before ONSET, RSVP before ATTN and think the latter should be clued as an abbrev, one of my pet peeves. Abbrev in abbrev out.

  9. @John Daigle …

    I got your email. I’m speculating that the length of my email replies may be an issue, so I sent a very short reply. Let me know if you get it.

    I hope to do another experiment that may shed some light on the “mystery”. After that, I intend to summarize what I’ve learned about the three odd golf balls that I’ve found and write it up. When I do, I will send a copy to you. (The guy I bought the “Golden Ram” ball from is also interested.)

  10. 13 minutes, 41 seconds, and needed Check help to sort out 8 entries. This one was a bit devious in the clueing, and so less enjoyable than most. I see from many of the comments, that I’m not alone in thinking this could have used a better editing job. Rich seems to be asleep at the wheel half the time.

  11. 18:03 2 errors
    At least the theme helped me fill in a couple squares. But I thought bait fish were called CHUM, not CHUB.

    1. @Pam … You probably won’t see this, but …

      I wrote in “CHUM”, which is a mixture of fish parts thrown in the water to attract other fish (especially sharks), before changing it to “CHUB”, which is a type of carp often used as bait (especially by one of my brothers when I was a youngster … 😜), and it was really “WEB CAMP” that gave it to me. So … a typical bit of setter misdirection … 😜.

  12. Terry, there are three feet in a linear yard. I was thinking of some
    kind of animal instead of a measurement.

    Very poor for us today, barely over half. After seeing the solution,
    I knew most of the words, despite some woeful clues. Caboose again.
    Sad to say that I missed all of the puns. Too long, I think. I was proud
    that I solved the Jumble despite not knowing two of the four words, as
    well as the Wonderword in a pretty fast time for me.

    Stay safe and well, all.

    @A Nonny Muss – good job. I will go look for your e-mail shortly. I am
    again reminded of the first oval golfcross balls I ever saw. They were the
    exact shape of a football and that is why I thought that one of the ones
    you found was a damaged golfcross ball. Will be in touch.

  13. Pretty easy Friday for me; took 15 minutes on paper with no errors. After filling in a few in the top half, I ventured down to the reveal and solved that. I had to ponder that for a bit, but it helped me get the first theme clue. After that it was off to the races, except for the second theme clue, where I had sET ROLLING/sREENHOUSE GASP. After a part alphabet roll I finally got the “G” to finish off this puppy.

    *Tsk* re KILLER BEES – They’re just misunderstood. Although a good bee suit is highly recommended!!

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