LA Times Crossword 9 Jul 20, Thursday

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Constructed by: Stella Zawistowski
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Keto

Themed answers each end with a food item avoided by those on a KETO diet:

  • 62A Diet that involves eating fat, cutting carbs, and avoiding the ends of the answers to the starred clues : KETO
  • 20A *49ers Hall of Famer who was MVP of Super Bowl XXIII : JERRY RICE
  • 26A *Inactive sort : COUCH POTATO
  • 40A *One hard to fool : SMART COOKIE
  • 51A *Head honcho : TOP BANANA

Bill’s time: 6m 40s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Number system in Programming 101? : BINARY

We use a base-ten numbering system, with ten digits (0 – 9). The binary system, or base-two, uses just two digits (0 & 1). The binary system is used at a fundamental level in computing, because the number 0 and 1 can be represented by microcircuits being switched “on” or “off”.

7 Tyler, the Creator work that won the 2019 Grammy for Best Rap Album : IGOR

“Tyler, the Creator” is the stage name of rap singer Tyler Okonma.

11 NYSE news : IPO

An initial public offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)

15 __ colada : PINA

“Piña colada” is a Spanish term that translates into “strained pineapple”. The piña colada cocktail was introduced in the Caribe Hilton San Juan in 1954, and since 1978 it has been the official beverage of Puerto Rico. Yum …

17 Best Actress between Halle and Charlize : NICOLE

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.

Actress Halle Berry was the first African-American woman to win a Best Actress Oscar, which she received for her performance in the 2001 movie “Monster’s Ball”. Berry also won a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress in 2005 for playing the title role in “Catwoman”, and she very graciously accepted that award in person. Good for her!

Charlize Theron is an actress from South Africa who has played leading roles in Hollywood films such as “The Devil’s Advocate”, “The Cider House Rules” and my personal favorite “The Italian Job”.

18 Late-day religious service : EVENSONG

Vespers is an evening prayer service in some Christian traditions. “Vesper” is the Latin for “evening”. Vespers is also known as “Evensong”.

20 *49ers Hall of Famer who was MVP of Super Bowl XXIII : JERRY RICE

Retired footballer Jerry Rice scored a record 208 touchdowns in his career. Rice also won three Super Bowl rings with the San Francisco 49ers; in Super Bowl XXIII vs the Bengals, Super Bowl XXIV vs the Broncos and Super Bowl XXIX vs the Chargers.

23 Produit de la tête : IDEE

In French, a “penseur” (thinker) might use his or her “tête” (head) to produce an “idée” (idea).

25 Writer Deighton : LEN

I used to walk my dog right past author Len Deighton’s house years ago, as we lived in the same seaside village in Ireland (probably my only claim to “fame”). Deighton wrote the excellent espionage thriller “The IPCRESS File”, which was made into a 1965 movie starring Michael Caine.

31 Bit of verbal derision : CATCALL

Back in the 1700s, a catcall was a noise-making device, one that emitted a squeak resembling that of an angry cat, hence the name. The device was used by unhappy audiences in play-houses to express dissatisfaction at the performers.

37 Not empirically derived : A PRIORI

In the world of philosophy, one can have “a priori” knowledge or “a posteriori” knowledge. A priori (“from the earlier”) knowledge is independent of experience, it is just known or assumed. For example, one might say that “all boys are males” is a priori knowledge. A posteriori knowledge relies on experience or some empirical evidence. For example, one might say that “boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ADD” is a posteriori knowledge.

44 Newark-based insurer, on the NYSE : PRU

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) can give some quite descriptive ticker symbols to companies, for example:

  • Anheuser-Busch (BUD, for “Budweiser”)
  • Molson Coors Brewing Company (TAP, as in “beer tap”)
  • Steinway Musical Instruments (LVB, for “Ludwig van Beethoven”)
  • Sotheby’s (BID, for the auction house)

The Prudential Insurance company was started in 1875 as The Widows and Orphans Friendly Society. The company’s first product was simply burial insurance. Prudential has been using the very memorable Rock of Gibraltar logo since the 1890s.

45 Musical note connector : SLUR

In the world of music, a slur is a curved line that connects neighboring notes that are to be played smoothly, without separation.

51 *Head honcho : TOP BANANA

The expression “top banana” is used to mean “the main man” or “the main woman”. The first person to use “top banana” was supposedly Vaudeville performer Harry Steppe in 1927, who applied the term to the top comic on the bill. The phrase comes from a comedy routine in which three comics struggle to share two bananas.

“Honcho” is a slang term meaning “leader”. The word comes to us from Japanese military, in which language a “hancho” is a “squad” (han) “leader” (cho).

59 Sooty passage : FLUE

The flue in a chimney is a duct that conveys exhaust gases from a fire to the outdoors. An important feature of a flue is that its opening is adjustable. When starting a fire, the flue should be wide open, maximizing airflow to get help ignition.

62 Diet that involves eating fat, cutting carbs, and avoiding the ends of the answers to the starred clues : KETO

A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. When a body consumes insufficient carbohydrates to meet the need for energy, then the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies in order to make up the energy deficit. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the bloodstream is known as “ketosis”, a term that gives rise to the name “ketogenic diet”. Medical professionals sometimes prescribe a ketogenic diet in order to control epilepsy in children. A condition of ketosis can reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures.

Down

1 Scruffy film dog : BENJI

Benji is the main character in a series of “Benji” movies made starting from 1974. Benji is a mixed-breed dog.

3 Mussel shell lining : NACRE

Nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl, is the strong iridescent material laid down by some mollusks on the inside of their shells, and it’s also what makes up pearls. The creature lays down nacre as a defensive mechanism, protecting the soft tissue of its body from the rough surface of the outer shell. Similarly, it uses nacre to encapsulate harmful debris or a parasite that penetrates the shell, and that’s how a pearl is formed. Cultured pearls are made by inserting a tissue graft from a donor oyster, around which the nacre is laid down.

6 River of Flanders : YSER

The Yser river flows into the North Sea at Nieuwpoort in the Flemish province of West Flanders in Belgium.

Flanders is the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium found in the north of the country. The capital city of Brussels lies within the bounds of the Flanders, although it is administratively separate from the region.

7 Poison remedy : IPECAC

Syrup of ipecac is a preparation made from the dried roots and rhizomes of the ipecacuanha plant. The syrup is used as an emetic, a substance that induces vomiting. Ipecac accomplishes this by irritating the lining of the stomach.

11 Music players discontinued in 2017 : IPOD NANOS

The iPod Nano was the successor to the iPod Mini and was introduced to the market at the end of 2005. There were seven versions of the Nano, until it was discontinued in 2017.

25 “Five Minutes” country singer Morgan : LORRIE

Lorrie Morgan is a country music singer with quite the pedigree. Born Loretta Lynn Morgan in Nashville, she is the daughter of country music singer George Morgan.

27 Acid found in vegetable oil : OLEIC

Oleic acid is a fatty acid, one found in many animal and plant sources, but most notably in olives. As such, “Oleic” means “derived from the olive”. Oleic acid dissolves in basic solutions to create soaps.

28 Longstocking of kiddie lit : PIPPI

Pippi Longstocking appears as the heroine in a series of books written by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. Lindgren was quite the activist, very well known in the circles working for children’s and animal rights, In particular, Lindgren campaigned heavily against corporal punishment.

29 __ Bora: Afghan cave complex : TORA

The famous cave that almost certainly housed Osama Bin Laden for a while was in Tora Bora in eastern Afghanistan. Tora Bora is not far (~ 30 mi) from what used to be an even more famous spot, the Khyber Pass. “Tora Bora” is a Pashto name which translates to “black dust”.

32 Cain raiser : ADAM

As Cain was the first murderer according to the Bible, he is associated with evil or trouble. The idiom “raise Cain” is the equivalent of “raise Hell” and “raise the Devil”. In all cases, the meaning is to bring back evil or to cause trouble.

33 Nielsen concern : TV RATINGS

Arthur Nielsen founded his Nielsen Media Research company to track brand advertising. He quickly moved into market analysis of radio audiences in the thirties, and today the company is famous for tracking television audiences. I remember watching the last episode of the TV series “Becker”, in which Ted Danson played a doctor. Given that the show had been ordered off the air due to declining viewership, there’s a great line in the last episode when Becker asks for the chart of a patient called “Nielsen”. He looks at the lab results and announces “I don’t know what everyone is talking about … these numbers aren’t so bad!” Great stuff …

34 Thick-skinned yellow fruit : CITRONS

Most of our citrus fruits are hybrids of four original fruits: the pomelo, mandarin, papeda and citron.

42 Words from a balcony : O ROMEO

In William Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet”, the lovers discuss the sad fact that they have been born into two feuding families in the famous balcony scene. Juliet says:

O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

Romeo’s reply includes the famous lines:

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

45 Ones looking down : SNOBS

Back in the 1780s, a snob was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word “snob” was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.

46 Molokai neighbor : LANAI

Lanai is the sixth largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Lanai was first spotted by Europeans just a few days after Captain Cook was killed on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1779. In 1922, the Hawaiian Pineapple Company bought the whole island of Lanai and turned most of it into the world’s largest pineapple plantation. Since then, Lanai has been known as “The Pineapple Island”. Today, 98% of the island is owned by Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, and 2% is owned by the State of Hawaii.

Molokai is the fifth largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Famously, Molokai was home to a leper colony that was managed by Father Damien, a Roman Catholic priest from Belgium. Father Damien cared for the victims of Hansen’s Disease (then known as “leprosy”) for sixteen years before succumbing to the illness himself in 1889. Father Damien was declared a saint in 2009.

48 Slot car, for one : RACER

Slot cars are those motorized toy cars that run around on tracks picking up power from a slot in the racing surface. The first slot cars were made in 1912 by the Lionel company, the manufacturer of toy train sets.

49 Urban portmanteau : SMOG

“Smog” is a portmanteau formed by melding “smoke” and “fog”. The term was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s. Several cities around the world have a reputation of being particularly smoggy. For example, the most smog-plagued city in Latin America is Mexico City, which is located in a highland “bowl” that traps industrial and vehicle pollution.

50 Greek goddess of marriage : HERA

In Greek mythology, Hera was the wife of Zeus and the goddess of women, marriage, family and childbirth. She was noted for her jealous and vengeful nature, particularly against those who vied for the affections of her husband. The equivalent character to Hera in Roman mythology was Juno. Hera was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea.

55 ’60s atty. general : RFK

Robert “Bobby” Francis Kennedy (RFK) was the US Attorney General (AG) in the administration of his brother President John F. Kennedy and President Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 to 1964. He then served as a US Senator for the State of New York from 1965 until 1968, when he was assassinated. Bobby was killed during his own run for the Democratic nomination for the presidency.

56 Cheer for un gol : OLE!

In Spanish, a “fútbol” (football) announcer might shout “gol!” (goal!).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Number system in Programming 101? : BINARY
7 Tyler, the Creator work that won the 2019 Grammy for Best Rap Album : IGOR
11 NYSE news : IPO
14 Gets around : EVADES
15 __ colada : PINA
16 Golf scorecard word : PAR
17 Best Actress between Halle and Charlize : NICOLE
18 Late-day religious service : EVENSONG
20 *49ers Hall of Famer who was MVP of Super Bowl XXIII : JERRY RICE
22 Envelope-pushing : EDGY
23 Produit de la tête : IDEE
24 Maze rodent : RAT
25 Writer Deighton : LEN
26 *Inactive sort : COUCH POTATO
31 Bit of verbal derision : CATCALL
35 Like some patches : IRON-ON
36 Student, to a counselor : ADVISEE
37 Not empirically derived : A PRIORI
38 Sequel title words : PART II
39 Shows contempt for : SPITS AT
40 *One hard to fool : SMART COOKIE
43 __ tee : TO A
44 Newark-based insurer, on the NYSE : PRU
45 Musical note connector : SLUR
49 Leg bone : SHIN
51 *Head honcho : TOP BANANA
54 Rest stop facility : MEN’S ROOM
57 Like much humor : IRONIC
58 Assn. : ORG
59 Sooty passage : FLUE
60 It has its pros and cons : DEBATE
61 Grill fuel : GAS
62 Diet that involves eating fat, cutting carbs, and avoiding the ends of the answers to the starred clues : KETO
63 Not so tough : EASIER

Down

1 Scruffy film dog : BENJI
2 Like some college walls : IVIED
3 Mussel shell lining : NACRE
4 Absolutely flip for : ADORE
5 Bank (on) : RELY
6 River of Flanders : YSER
7 Poison remedy : IPECAC
8 Donates, biblically : GIVETH
9 Unseparated : ONE
10 Bled or fled : RAN
11 Music players discontinued in 2017 : IPOD NANOS
12 Hunger twinge : PANG
13 Wild indulgence : ORGY
19 “Get this done” : SEE TO IT
21 “Who’s better than me?!” : I RULE!
25 “Five Minutes” country singer Morgan : LORRIE
26 Small Spanish house : CASITA
27 Acid found in vegetable oil : OLEIC
28 Longstocking of kiddie lit : PIPPI
29 __ Bora: Afghan cave complex : TORA
30 “I’ll get this done” : ON IT
31 Baseball hats : CAPS
32 Cain raiser : ADAM
33 Nielsen concern : TV RATINGS
34 Thick-skinned yellow fruit : CITRONS
37 Invite to a balcony : ASK UP
41 Refuse to participate : OPT OUT
42 Words from a balcony : O ROMEO
45 Ones looking down : SNOBS
46 Molokai neighbor : LANAI
47 Become 9-Down : UNITE
48 Slot car, for one : RACER
49 Urban portmanteau : SMOG
50 Greek goddess of marriage : HERA
52 Wait for : BIDE
53 Zone : AREA
55 ’60s atty. general : RFK
56 Cheer for un gol : OLE!

22 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 9 Jul 20, Thursday”

  1. No errors. About 25 minutes for me. Wasn’t sure about EVENSONG either. Never heard that before. In regards to 1A, when I got my computer science degree back in the 70’s, we had a course where you had to do programs in binary code so you would appreciate the first generation of coding ASSEMBLER and third generation code like and FORTRAN and COBOL. But We still had to know HEXADECIMAL in order to debug our programs. I’m losing my ‘memory’ a bit but I think HEXADECIMAL might actually be second generation programming but I never programmed in it.

    Be safe

  2. Same here, evensong has me stumped. Never heard that before. 37a, I don’t know what that even means. Only got it by working around it. Fun puzzle and theme anyway.

  3. One error, put in ‘Edge’ instead of EDGY. Was thinking of some kind of variant on ‘Urge’ for the 13D cross of ‘Orge’.
    Blehhh ☹️

  4. For me, a tough puzzle even though the theme wasn’t difficult to crack. Never heard of evensong and I’m not familiar with Lorrie Morgan. One sneers at people they have contempt for. Anyone you know who spits at them? Crass clue.

    1. Evensong, once more common in English Anglican churches. I was educated in an English Public School: the Chapel listed Evensong on it’s notice board. As one of two Roman Catholics in a wProtestant Church of England school, I was exempted from services.

  5. 9:50, no errors. Did the puzzle last night after a long day and don’t remember it very well, but I see that I had missteps on “EVENSONG“ (a word I’ve heard, but don’t know much about), “SPITS AT” (probably for the same reason @Rich cites, though I think it may happen in some circumstances), “CITRONS” (I think I had “CITRONE” initially), and “GAS“ (slip-of-the-pen error?).

    1. @Mr. Muss – I think the spit answer is more about the image of someone who is “spitting mad” rather than actually spitting saliva on someone. Can’t one spit an epithet?

      No problems. Really a fair Thursday grid.

  6. 29:35 no errors…same comments as Cathy…I’ve heard of vespers but never evensong . This puzzle was much tougher IMO than the NY TIMES from my paper today (0604).
    Stay safe

  7. Nice puzzle; hard enough to make interesting, not so hard that I had to resort to Google. Thanks, Bill, I had no idea a catcall was once a tangible item. I tried Google Images to see what one looked like, without any success, but it appears catcalls are now more akin to wolf whistles at women than “slurs”. I also had no idea that a slur could be a good thing.

  8. Nice Thursday puzzle for the most part except the southeast corner gave me fits. Nothing there particularly challenging in retrospect but while working it I couldn’t pull “banana” even though I had TOP filled. SLUR didn’t occur to me, but now I realize I’ve heard that before. I finally got BIDE and then the corner filled in. I grew up attending church at a Benedictine monastery on the desert north of LA, and they had vespers every evening – never heard of EVENSONG. Kind of like the word.

  9. 13 minutes, 58 seconds, no errors. Thoroughly unenjoyable puzzle, filled with suspect clues, obscure fills and chock-a-block with “manufactured difficulty”.

    1. This constructor happens to be a regular top 10 finisher in most crossword contests who regularly complains about the New York Times being “too easy” on her Twitter account. That’s a theory of mine, I wonder if this happens in puzzles more because the constructor (and editor – a lot of both are former top 20 ACPT finishers) doesn’t see what they do as “interesting enough” for their own selves given their skill level, so they lose sight of what solving is like for everyone else? (Ellen Ripstein’s rant on Wordplay especially comes to mind in such matters)

  10. 11:49 1 error, due to misspelling IPECAC.

    Evensong seems like a reasonable translation of vespers.

    Off to find out what a papeda is.

  11. 9:55 Also have not heard of EVENSONG. Did not even (catch that) know it was a thing until I read the blog. My problem was I did not know how to spell IPECAC. I had it EPICAC (sort of like EPI-pen). A bit akin, yet dissimilar to @AnonMike, I first learned FORTRAN and BASIC before having to learn some ASSEMBLER and then debug in HEX. That’s when I learned that “real programmers” would change the “99 Bottles of beer on the wall” song to FF bottles of beer. Took a LOT longer to count backwards to 1. 🙂

  12. Well, I have heard of EVENSONG. I must be reading some very esoteric books. I missed the letter L, crossing Lorrie and Len, 2 people I have never heard of.
    I was impressed with myself for knowing Jerry Rice’s name, once I got a few letters in place. My husband was a 49er fan, back in the day, and I remember Mr. Rice as being an exceptional player, and a very nice man.

  13. DNF today. Did not really give it a good effort; out and about too much.

    Didn’t find it that easy, but we never do.

    Stay safe and be well. Pray for a vaccine that will give a complete cure.

  14. Mostly easy Thursday for me; took 18:33 with no errors or peeking before I got the banner. Curiously I thought I was doing kind of poorly, and then suddenly after getting one more cross, I was done.

    I was thinking Matins, instead of EVENSONG, but beside being too short it also means the exact opposite – a morning service. Never heard of IGOR and had to change PIPPy, bathROOM and sewnON, but that was about it. I was also a bit shocked by SPITSAT and choose to accept Tony’s explanation…

    @Carrie – The move was smooth; the little dears were on their best behavior and perhaps the early Jethro Tull music calmed them on the drive 🙂

  15. Greetings!!🦆

    No errors. Pretty easy Thursday, altho I wasn’t sure of either LEN or LORRIE. Guessed right for the L.

    I think SPITS AT was meant figuratively. 🤔

    Dirk, that’s good! … I guess now I know what music to play if the bees in my yard seem agitated 🤗

    John, I HOPE there’s a vaccine soon! I know it might be many months off but at least many scientists are working toward that end. Difficult times.

    Be well ~~🍷

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