LA Times Crossword 6 Jul 20, Monday

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Constructed by: Jeff Stillman
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Catchwords

Themed answers are each catchwords used by celebrated animated characters:

  • 18A Catchwords from Bart Simpson : AY CARAMBA!
  • 20A Catchwords from Ren : YOU EEDIOT!
  • 35A Catchwords from Fred Flintstone : YABBA DABBA DOO!
  • 52A Catchwords from Charlie Brown : GOOD GRIEF!
  • 54A Catchword from a Ninja Turtle : COWABUNGA!

Bill’s time: 5m 38s

Bill’s errors: 2!

  • YOU EEDIOT (You hediot)
  • SIPE (Siph)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 IRS form experts : CPAS

Certified public accountant (CPA)

5 Computer data unit : BYTE

In the world of computing, a bit is the basic unit of information. It has a value of 0 or 1. A “byte” is a small collection of “bits” (usually 8), the number of bits needed to uniquely identify a character of text. The prefix mega- stands for 10 to the power of 6, so a megabyte (meg) is 1,000,000 bytes. The prefix giga- means 10 to the power of 9, and so a gigabyte (gig) is 1,000,000,000 bytes. Well, those are the SI definitions of megabyte and gigabyte. The purists still use 2 to the power of 20 for a megabyte (i.e. 1,048,576), and 2 to the power of 30 for a gigabyte.

9 MLB’s Indians, on scoreboards : CLE

The Cleveland baseball franchise started out in 1869 as the Forest Citys, named after Forest City, the nickname for Cleveland. After a number of transitions, in 1914 the team took on the name “Indians”. The media came up with the name “Indians” after being asked for suggestions by the team owners. “Indians” was inspired by the successful Boston team of the day, the Boston Braves.

12 Natural history museum piece : RELIC

A relic is something that has survived from the past, reminding us of that past.

17 First Hebrew letter : ALEPH

Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and beth is the second.

18 Catchwords from Bart Simpson : AY, CARAMBA!

Bart Simpson apparently uses the expression “Ay, caramba!” when he is positively surprised about something, often something related to a female I am told …

20 Catchwords from Ren : YOU EEDIOT!

“The Ren & Stimpy Show” is an animated television show created by Canadian animator John Kricfalusi, and which ran on Nickelodeon from 1991 to 1996. The title characters are Marland “Ren” Höek, a scrawny Chihuahua, and Stimpson J. Cat, a rotund Manx cat. Not my cup of tea …

23 Giant of a Giant Mel : OTT

At 5′ 9″, baseball legend Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don’t think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old. And, according to Wikipedia, “Ott’s name frequently appears in crossword puzzles, on account of its letter combination and brevity.” True that …

24 Rx orders : MEDS

There seems to be some uncertainty about the origin of the symbol “Rx” that’s used for a medical prescription. One explanation is that it comes from the astrological sign for Jupiter, a symbol put on prescriptions in days of old to invoke Jupiter’s blessing to help a patient recover.

25 Proves to be false : BELIES

The verbs “to confute” and “to belie” both mean “to show to be false”.

34 James of blues : ETTA

“Etta James” was the stage name of celebrated blues and soul singer Jamesetta Hawkins. James’ most famous recording was her 1960 hit “At Last”, which made it into the pop charts. James performed “At Last” at the age of 71 in 2009 on the reality show “Dancing with the Stars”, which was to be her final television appearance. She passed away in 2012.

35 Catchwords from Fred Flintstone : YABBA-DABBA-DOO!

“Yabba-dabba-doo!” is one of Fred Flintstone’s catchphrases.

38 Speaker’s place : DAIS

A dais is a raised platform for a speaker. The term “dais” comes from the Latin “discus” meaning a “disk-shaped object”. I guess that the original daises had such a shape.

40 City trains above the street : ELS

Elevated railroad (El)

42 Twins Mary-Kate and Ashley : OLSENS

I know very little about the Olsen twins, but I am told that many folks believe Mary-Kate and Ashley to be identical twins. They look very much alike, but are in fact fraternal twins. The sisters were cast as Michelle Tanner on the eighties sitcom “Full House”, taking turns playing the role.

46 Dudes : FELLAS

Our term “dude” arose as slang in New York City in the 1880s, when it was used to describe a fastidious man. In the early 1900s, the term was extended to mean “city slickers”, easterners who vacationed in the West. The first use of the term “dude ranch” was recorded in 1921.

48 Sheet of ice : FLOE

An ice floe is a sheet of ice that has separated from an ice field and is floating freely on the surface of the ocean.

51 Lager or pilsner : BEER

Lager is so called because of the tradition of cold-storing the beer during fermentation. “Lager” is the German word for “storage”.

Pilsener (also “pilsner” or “pils”) is a pale lager. The name “pilsener” comes from the city of Pilsen, now in the Czech Republic. It was in Pilsen, in 1842, that the first bottom-fermented lager was produced. A bottom-fermented beer is much clearer that a top-fermented beer, and has a crisper taste. The “top” and “bottom” refers to where the yeast gathers during the brewing process.

52 Catchwords from Charlie Brown : GOOD GRIEF

Charlie Brown is the main character in the long-running comic strip called “Peanuts”, created by Charles Schulz. Charlie’s catchphrase is “good grief”. He has several persistent frustrations in his life, including an inability to fly a kite. The focus of his kite-flying frustration is the dreaded Kite-Eating Tree.

54 Catchword from a Ninja Turtle : COWABUNGA!

“Cowabunga!” is an exclamation adopted by surfers in the sixties. The original use of “cowabunga!” was on television, as a catchphrase of Chief Thunderthud in “The Howdy Doody Show” in the fifties. The term got even more exposure in the nineties when it was adopted by the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”.

56 Designer Nina : RICCI

The Nina Ricci fashion house was founded by Italian-born Maria “Nina” Ricci, in Paris in 1932.

57 Airline once owned by Howard Hughes : TWA

Trans World Airlines (TWA) was a big carrier in the US, but was perhaps even more recognized for its extensive presence in Europe and the Middle East. For many years, especially after the collapse of Pan Am and TWA’s purchase by Howard Hughes, TWA was considered the unofficial flag carrier for the US. The company started in 1930, the product of a forced merger of Transcontinental Air Transport and Western Air Express. The Transcontinental and Western Air that resulted (the original meaning of the initialism “TWA”) was what the Postmaster General wanted, a bigger airline to which the Postal Service could award airmail contracts.

Businessman Howard Hughes made a name for himself first as a film producer, and then in the aviation industry. Nowadays, Hughes is perhaps best known for the eccentric behavior that he exhibited late in his life. He was very much an eccentric, and suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder, and became a germaphobe. Perhaps the most approachable way of gaining insight into the life of Hughes is a viewing of the Martin Scorsese film “The Aviator”, in which Hughes is played by Leonardo DiCaprio.

59 Furry swimmer : OTTER

The fur of the sea otter is exceptionally thick. It is the densest fur in the whole animal kingdom.

61 “Green” Vt. peaks : MTNS

The name “Vermont” probably comes from the French “les Verts Monts”, meaning “The Green Mountains”.

62 To be, to Brutus : ESSE

The most famous man with the name “Brutus” in ancient Rome was Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger. It was this Brutus that Julius Caesar turned to when he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate. William Shakespeare immortalized Brutus by featuring him in his play, “Julius Caesar”, and giving his victim the line “Et tu, Brute?”

Down

1 Kid’s coloring stick : CRAYON

We use the word “crayon” for a stick of colored wax used for drawing. The term was imported in the 16th century from French, in which language it means “pencil”.

2 Jai alai ball : PELOTA

The essential equipment in the game of jai alai is the pelota (ball) and the cesta (wicker scoop).

3 Indigenous Alaskan islanders : ALEUTS

The Aleuts live on the Aleutian Islands of the North Pacific, and on the Commander Islands at the western end of the same island chain. The Aleutian Islands are part of the United States, and the Commander Islands are in Russia.

4 ’70s-’80s quarterback Brian : SIPE

Brian Sipe is a former professional football quarterback who played in the National Football League and the US Football League. As well as playing football, Sipe played in the Little League World Series in 1961.

6 “Around the world” toys : YO-YOS

Would you believe that the first yo-yos date back to 500 BC? There is even an ancient Greek vase painting that shows a young man playing with a yo-yo. Centuries later Filipinos were using yo-yos as hunting tools in the 1500s. “Yo-yo” is a Tagalog (Filipino) word meaning “come-come” or simply “return”.

A basic yo-yo trick is to make it go “around the world”. It looks cool, but it’s hard to describe in words …

8 That, in Madrid : ESA

Madrid is the most populous city in Spain, and is the nation’s capital. It is located very close to the geographical center of the country. Madrid is the second-largest city in the European Union by population, after Berlin. People from Madrid called themselves Madrileños.

10 Opera text : LIBRETTO

A libretto can be the book that contains the text of a dramatic musical work, with the text itself also being called the libretto.

26 __ Na Na : SHA

Do you remember the band “Johnny Casino & The Gamblers” in the movie “Grease”? That was actually the real-world group named Sha Na Na. Johnny Casino & the Gamblers sang “Those Magic Changes” at the high school dance, in between “Rock’N Roll Is Here to Stay” and “Hound Dog”. Sha Na Na got together in the sixties, hosted the variety show “Sha Na Na” from 1977 to 1981, and are still performing today.

28 Alerts from the LAPD : APBS

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

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is the third-largest local law enforcement agency in the country, after New York PD and Chicago PD. Among other things, LAPD is famous for creating the first Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team in the US, in 1965.

29 Country star McEntire : REBA

Reba McEntire is a country music singer and television actress. McEntire starred in her own sitcom called “Reba” that aired on the WB and the CW cable channels from 2001 to 2007. She is sometimes referred to as “The Queen of Country”.

34 Ice cream brand : EDY’S

Dreyer’s ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyer’s in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.

35 Home of the Ivy League’s Bulldogs : YALE BOWL

The Yale Bowl is the football stadium that is home to the Yale Bulldogs.

37 Swiftly, to Schubert : ALLEGRO

The tempo (plural “tempi”) of a piece of music is usually designated with an Italian word on the score. For example, “grave” is slow and solemn, “andante” is at a walking pace, “scherzo” is fast and light-hearted, and “allegro” is fast, quickly and bright.

Franz Schubert (1797-1828) was an Austrian composer who was particularly noted for his large portfolio of lieder (songs). Schubert is also famous for his “Unfinished Symphony”. Schubert’s “Symphony No. 7” was left as a draft after he passed away, and as such was “unfinished”. However, it was more complete than his “Symphony No. 8”, which is the one we know as “The Unfinished”.

38 Dict. meaning : DEF

One might find a definition (def.) in a dictionary (dict.).

41 Atkins diet concern : CARBS

Perhaps most notably, the eating of relatively few carbohydrates is central to the diet proposed by Robert Atkins. Atkins first laid out the principles behind the Atkins diet in a research paper published in 1958 in the “Journal of the American Medical Association”. He popularized his diet starting in 1972 with his book “Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution”.

45 “On Language” columnist William : SAFIRE

William Safire was a syndicated columnist for “The New York Times”. In that paper, he wrote the column title “On Language”, which explored the etymologies of popular words. Safire also worked for the Nixon election campaigns in 1960 and 1968, and was a speechwriter for both Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew.

52 Tiny biter : GNAT

Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.

53 Baptism or bris : RITE

Baptism is a rite, in many Christian traditions, in which a candidate is admitted to the Church. The ceremony usually uses water as a sign of purification. Water may be poured on the head, or the candidate may be totally immersed.

A mohel is a man who has been trained in the practice of brit milah (circumcision). Brit milah is known as “bris” in Yiddish. The brit milah ceremony is performed on male infants when they are 8-days old.

54 Pennies: Abbr. : CTS

The official name of our smallest denomination coin is “cent”, and our use of the word “penny” is just a colloquialism derived from the British coin of the same name. In the UK, the plural of penny is “pence”, whereas we have “pennies” in our pockets.

55 Einstein’s birth city : ULM

Ulm is a city in the south of Germany that sits on the River Danube. Ulm is famous as home to the tallest church in the world, Ulm Minster, a Gothic building with a steeple that is 530 feet tall, with 768 steps to climb. Ulm is also the birthplace of Albert Einstein, and is where the entire Austrian army surrendered to Napoleon after the Battle of Ulm in 1805.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 IRS form experts : CPAS
5 Computer data unit : BYTE
9 MLB’s Indians, on scoreboards : CLE
12 Natural history museum piece : RELIC
14 __ beef : ROAST
16 Put on TV : AIR
17 First Hebrew letter : ALEPH
18 Catchwords from Bart Simpson : AY, CARAMBA!
20 Catchwords from Ren : YOU EEDIOT!
22 Pretty pitcher : EWER
23 Giant of a Giant Mel : OTT
24 Rx orders : MEDS
25 Proves to be false : BELIES
27 “m” and “n” sounds : NASALS
29 “Far out, dude!” : RAD!
30 Greatest possible degree : NTH
31 Decorated the walls, in a way : PAPERED
34 James of blues : ETTA
35 Catchwords from Fred Flintstone : YABBA-DABBA-DOO!
38 Speaker’s place : DAIS
39 In perfect circumstances : IDEALLY
40 City trains above the street : ELS
41 React to sad news : CRY
42 Twins Mary-Kate and Ashley : OLSENS
46 Dudes : FELLAS
48 Sheet of ice : FLOE
50 By way of, in itineraries : VIA
51 Lager or pilsner : BEER
52 Catchwords from Charlie Brown : GOOD GRIEF
54 Catchword from a Ninja Turtle : COWABUNGA!
56 Designer Nina : RICCI
57 Airline once owned by Howard Hughes : TWA
58 Done in, as a dragon : SLAIN
59 Furry swimmer : OTTER
60 Cagey : SLY
61 “Green” Vt. peaks : MTNS
62 To be, to Brutus : ESSE

Down

1 Kid’s coloring stick : CRAYON
2 Jai alai ball : PELOTA
3 Indigenous Alaskan islanders : ALEUTS
4 ’70s-’80s quarterback Brian : SIPE
5 Interweave, as hair : BRAID
6 “Around the world” toys : YO-YOS
7 Mediator’s forte : TACT
8 That, in Madrid : ESA
9 Inherited, as a lot of money : CAME INTO
10 Opera text : LIBRETTO
11 Chapter in history : ERA
13 School course with beakers : CHEM LAB
15 Trapped on a branch, say : TREED
19 Hole-making tool : AWL
21 Abandons all hope : DESPAIRS
25 Hostile feelings, as between feuding families : BAD BLOOD
26 __ Na Na : SHA
28 Alerts from the LAPD : APBS
29 Country star McEntire : REBA
32 Water whirled : EDDY
33 Female name that’s a body part backwards : RAE
34 Ice cream brand : EDY’S
35 Home of the Ivy League’s Bulldogs : YALE BOWL
36 Warehouse passage : AISLEWAY
37 Swiftly, to Schubert : ALLEGRO
38 Dict. meaning : DEF
41 Atkins diet concern : CARBS
43 Forces out : EVICTS
44 Nephews’ sisters : NIECES
45 “On Language” columnist William : SAFIRE
47 Grazing locale : LEA
48 Paralyze with mist, as an airport : FOG IN
49 Student financing options : LOANS
52 Tiny biter : GNAT
53 Baptism or bris : RITE
54 Pennies: Abbr. : CTS
55 Einstein’s birth city : ULM

25 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 6 Jul 20, Monday”

  1. 6:01, no errors, though did struggle a bit with the corner with YALEBOWL (not too into college sports) and AISLEWAY (wondering what could come after “aisle”). Originally thought about putting “YOU idiots” for 20A, and “cowAbungA” for the Bart Simpson clue since if I’m not mistaken it is one of his catchphrases.

  2. Cowabunga really first came from the Indian on the Howdy Doody show, in the 50’s, with Buffalo Bob Smith. Also 36d, aisle way sounds strange. “We have to go down the next aisle way to find the door.” ?? Sounds weird to me. Never heard of the yalebowl either. Super bowl, Rose bowl, yes. Anyway an ok puzzle, pretty easy.

  3. No errors. Never saw the Ren & Stimpy show, but guessed right on
    the catch phrase. Aisleway sounds strange to me too.

  4. Did not Google, but had a Natick at SIPE crosses YOU EEDIOT. There were 5 sports clues, which was 4 too many, since OTT has become crosswordese.

    I never cared for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Just not cute. Unlike Bill, I thought Ren and Stimpy were funny in a gross sort of way.

    @Mary – agree. AISLEWAY is stupid.

  5. Your answer on 8D ESA and then comment on largest city in the European Union — be clearer, please… Is that by area, or population? Makes a big difference!
    Your answer is correct if by area. By population, I think it’s Berlin, Madrid, and Rome.
    Thanks for doing a good job!

  6. Nice fun puzzle for a Monday. Noticing lots of sports clues in Rich Norris edited puzzles. He had numerous ones in when he was a constructor if I’m not mistaken.

    Which begs the question. Which sports superstar’s last name appears more frequently…. Mel OTT or Bobby ORR?

    1. crosswordtracker dot com apparently maxes out at 30 mentions – both Orr & Ott are at 30 as is my choice: Ashe

      1. Further examination of the same site:
        so far in 2020
        Ott – used 13 times
        Orr – 21 times
        Ashe – 35 times

        1. I grew up in the seventies, but it took a long time to dredge up Brian SIPE out of the memory banks; that was the only way I was able to fill out the NW corner correctly.

          I’d like to put in a vote for a new sports name to overuse, Jim Otto, hall of fame center for the Oakland Raiders during that timeframe. I just loved that his uniform number was 00.

  7. 3:48 was my time, which isn’t a bad way to start my week! I have to admit it was a lot of fun filling out YABBA DABBA DOO which I did first since that clue caught my eye just as I started. That was probably a good way to begin as a lot of crossings fell out of that really quickly.

    I stumbled in the northeast by misspelling it AY CARUMBA (which is phonetically what it sounds like when Bart says it) but the crossing AWL allowed me to correct that quickly.

    Fun little Monday morning wakeup puzzle.

  8. No errors. Hardest part was figuring out to spell a catch phrase that you hear but never see.. Never watched Stempy and Ren so never heard the phrase.. Actually sounds more like something from Pinky and the Brain.

  9. 7:20, and no errors! Very ironic that Bill fell down on YOU EEDIOT, although I would never say that in his direction; he probably misses fewer than 10 fills in a year!!!

  10. Snoopy said Cowabunga too, probably 50 yrs ago.
    I missed the E crossing SIPE and EEDIOT.
    I filled in YALEBOWL, but was confused because it sounds like an event, not a “home”.

  11. @anon Mike agree had to work with spelling on the catchwords. Have to admit look up for Ren. Never heard of the animated adventures. Aisleway seems fine to me. Worked on warehousing and that’s what we call them, at least in So California. Fun Monday puzzle.

  12. 4:54 no errors. Fun!

    Probably helps that I’ve seen at least one episode of all the cartoons in the puzzle.

  13. Greetings y’all!!🦆

    My personal catchphrase is órale, which I toss in whether I’m speaking Spanish or English…🤔

    Had to cheat for YOU EEDIOT, on a Monday!! Didn’t know SIPE. Still off my game when it comes to crosswords dang it. Maybe I won’t be back to 2019 form until 2021.

    Be well~~🍷

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