LA Times Crossword 11 Aug 20, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Public Utilities

Themed answers each end with a PUBLIC UTILITY:

  • 60A Providers of the necessities that end 17-, 26- and 46-Across : PUBLIC UTILITIES
  • 17A One who doesn’t fit in : A FISH OUT OF WATER
  • 26A Measure of what you can buy : PURCHASING POWER
  • 46A Drove faster : STEPPED ON THE GAS

Bill’s time: 6m 06s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Prohibition incursion : RAID

The 18th Amendment to the US Constitution was a great victory for the temperance movement (the “dry” movement), and in 1919 ushered in the Prohibition era. Highly unpopular (with the “wet” movement), Prohibition was repealed in 1933 by the 21st Amendment.

15 Grabbing-the-tab words : ON ME

Thank you!

16 “Scream” star Campbell : NEVE

Neve Campbell is a Canadian actress whose big break in the movies came with the “Scream” horror film series, in which she had a leading role. I don’t do horror films, so I haven’t seen any of the “Scream” movies. Nor have I seen the TV series “Party of Five” that launched the acting careers of both Campbell and Jennifer Love Hewitt in the nineties.

I don’t do horror films, so I haven’t seen any of the “Scream” movies …

20 Library sect. for Christie books : MYST

Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time, having sold about 4 billion copies worldwide in total. The only books to have sold in higher volume are the works of William Shakespeare and the Bible.

21 Maiden name lead-in : NEE

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”. The term “née” is mainly used in English when referring to a married woman’s birth name, assuming that she has adopted her husband’s name, e.g. Michelle Obama née Robinson, and Melania Trump née Knavs.

22 The Governator, as he might pronounce it : AHNOLD

Body-builder, actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in Graz in Austria, the son of the local police chief. Schwarzenegger’s family name translates into the more prosaic “black plough man”. In his bodybuilding days, he was often referred to as the Austrian Oak. When he was Governor of California he was called “the Governator”, a play on his role in the “The Terminator” series of movies.

25 Oklahoma city : ENID

Enid, Oklahoma takes its name from the old railroad station around which the city developed. Back in 1889, that train stop was called Skeleton Station. An official who didn’t like the name changed it to Enid Station, using a character from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King”. Maybe if he hadn’t changed the name, the city of Enid would now be called Skeleton, Oklahoma! Enid has the nickname “Queen Wheat City” because it has a huge capacity for storing grain, the third largest grain storage capacity in the world.

34 Mayo is fifth in it : ANO

In Spanish, “mayo” (May) is one of the months of the “año” (year).

35 Makes right : AMENDS

The verb “to amend” means “to change for the better, put right, alter by adding”. The related verb “to emend” is used more rarely, and mainly in reference to the editing of professional writing. Both terms are derived from the Latin “emendare” meaning “to remove fault”.

36 Herr’s honey : FRAU

In German, a “Herr” (Mr.) is married to a “Frau” (Mrs.), and they live together in a “Haus” (house).

39 Fig. with a radius : CIR

“Radius” (plural “radii”) is a Latin word, as one might expect, a word meaning “spoke of a wheel”. Makes sense, huh …?

42 Smooth transitions : SEGUES

A segue is a transition from one topic to the next. “Segue” is an Italian word that literally means “now follows”. It was first used in musical scores directing the performer to play into the next movement without a break. The oft-used term “segway” is given the same meaning, although the word “segway” doesn’t really exist. It is a misspelling of “segue” that has been popularized by its use as the name of the personal transporter known as a Segway.

45 WSJ competitor : 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 Wall Street Journal” (WSJ) is a daily newspaper with a business bent that is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company. The WSJ has a larger US circulation than any other newspaper, with “USA Today” coming in a close second place.

49 Brazilian soccer legend : PELE

“Pelé” is the nickname of Edson de Nascimento, a soccer player who has used the name “Pelé” for most of his life. Pelé is now retired, and for my money was the world’s greatest ever player of the game. He is the only person to have been a member of three World Cup winning squads (1958, 1962 and 1970), and is a national treasure in his native Brazil. One of Pele’s nicknames is “O Rei do Futebol” (the King of Football).

51 Lampoon : SATIRE

A lampoon is a parody, a spoof or send-up.

56 Diamond Head locale : OAHU

Diamond Head on the Hawaiian island of Oahu was given its name by British sailors in the 1800s. These sailors found calcite crystals in the rock surrounding the volcanic tuff cone and mistook the crystals for diamonds.

68 Mary of “The Maltese Falcon” (1941) : ASTOR

Mary Astor was an American actress who is best remembered perhaps for playing Brigid O’Shaughnessy in 1941’s “The Maltese Falcon” opposite Humphrey Bogart. As well as being an Oscar-winning actress, Mary Astor was also the author of five novels and a best-selling autobiography.

The classic detective novel “The Maltese Falcon” was written by Dashiell Hammett and first published in 1930. The main character is Sam Spade, a character played by Humphrey Bogart in the third movie adaptation of the book, a film of the same name and released in 1941.

Down

1 Eaton of the Washington Nats : ADAM

Adam Eaton is a professional baseball player who was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010, before signing with the Chicago White Sox in 2014 and then the Washington Nationals in 2017. Eaton often gets confused with another Adam Eaton who played in the majors. The latter is a retired pitcher who played from 2000 to 2009.

3 Eastern sashes : OBIS

The sash worn as part of traditional Japanese dress is known as an obi. The obi can be tied at the back in what is called a butterfly knot. The term “obi” is also used for the thick cotton belts that are an essential part of the outfits worn by practitioners of many martial arts. The color of the martial arts obi signifies the wearer’s skill level.

5 Horn of Africa country: Abbr. : ETH

Ethiopia is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation on the continent (after Nigeria) and, with 90 million inhabitants, the most populous landlocked country in the world. Most anthropologists believe that our Homo sapiens species evolved in the region now called Ethiopia, and from there set out to populate the planet.

The Horn of Africa is that horn-shaped peninsula at the easternmost tip of the continent, containing the countries Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia as well as Somalia. The Horn of Africa is also known as the Somali Peninsula.

6 Scoundrel : ROUE

“Roue” is a lovely word, but one used to describe a less than lovely man, someone of loose morals. “Roue” comes from the French word “rouer” meaning “to break on a wheel”. This describes the ancient form of capital punishment where a poor soul was lashed to a wheel and then beaten to death with cudgels and bars. I guess the suggestion is that a roue, with his loose morals, deserves such a punishment.

7 Required Hold ’em bet : ANTE

The official birthplace of the incredibly popular poker game of Texas hold ’em is Robstown, Texas where the game dates back to the early 1900s. The game was introduced into Las Vegas in 1967 by a group of Texan enthusiasts including Doyle Brunson, a champion often seen playing on TV today. Doyle Brunson published a poker strategy guide in 1978, and this really helped increase the popularity of the game. But it was the inclusion of Texas hold ‘em in the television lineup that really gave the game its explosive surge in popularity, with the size of the prize money just skyrocketing.

8 Texter’s two-cents intro : IMO

In my opinion (IMO)

11 Quash, as a bill : VETO

The verb “veto” comes directly from Latin and means “I forbid”. The term was used by tribunes of ancient Rome to indicate that they opposed measures passed by the Senate.

12 Daredevil Knievel : EVEL

Daredevil Evel Knievel contracted hepatitis C from the many blood transfusions that he needed after injuries incurred during stunts. He had to have a liver transplant as a result, but his health declined after that. Knievel eventually passed away in 2007.

13 Dorky sort : NERD

I consider “dork” and “adorkable” to be pretty offensive slang. “Dork” originated in the sixties among American students, and has its roots in another slang term, a term for male genitalia.

24 When doubled, a dance : CHA

The cha-cha-cha (often simplified to “cha-cha”) is a Latin dance with origins in Cuba, where it was introduced by composer Enrique Jorrin in 1953.

28 TV sports pioneer Arledge : ROONE

Roone Arledge was an executive at ABC. Arledge made a name for himself in sports broadcasting and then took over ABC News in 1977, a position he held until his death in 2002.

30 Architect Jones : INIGO

Inigo Jones was a British architect, and a native of London. The most famous of Jones’ designs is probably London’s Covent Garden Square.

32 Course that helps your GPA : EASY A

Grade point average (GPA)

33 Corrodes : RUSTS

Rust is iron oxide. Rust forms when iron oxidizes, reacts with oxygen.

43 Merman on Broadway : ETHEL

Ethel Merman was an actress and singer, one noted for having a very powerful voice. Merman was married and divorced four times, the last time to the actor Ernest Borgnine, albeit for only 32 days in 1964.

47 “Frasier” actress Gilpin : PERI

Peri Gilpin is an actress best known for playing Roz Doyle on the hit sitcom “Frasier”. “Frasier” was a spinoff of “Cheers”. Gilpin actually made an appearance on “Cheers”, albeit playing a completely different character.

“Frasier” is a very successful sitcom that originally ran for eleven seasons, from 1993 to 2004. Kelsey Grammer plays the title character, psychiatrist Frasier Crane. The show is a spinoff of the equally successful sitcom “Cheers” that ended its original run just a few months before “Frasier” premiered. By the time “Frasier” aired its last show, Grammer’s portrayal of Crane tied the record for the longest-running character on primetime TV. As an aside, that tie was with James Arness’ portrayal of Matt Dillon on “Gunsmoke”. As a further aside, the record was later broken by Richard Belzer’s portrayal of Detective John Munch on the shows “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “Law & Order: SVU”.

52 Ghostly glow : AURA

An aura (plural “aurae”) is an intangible quality that surrounds a person or thing, a “je ne sais quoi”. “Je ne sais quoi” is French for “I don’t know what”.

53 Alpine transport : T-BAR

A T-bar is a ski lift on which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of a T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There’s also a J-bar, which is a similar device but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

58 Protagonist : HERO

The protagonist is the principal character in a work of literature. The antagonist is the main character opposing the protagonist. The term “protagonist” comes from the Greek “protos” (first) and “agonistes” (actor, character).

61 One-eighty : UIE

Hang a “uey” or “uie”, make a u-turn, make a 180.

62 “Hometown Proud” supermarket chain : 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”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Really dig : ADORE
6 Prohibition incursion : RAID
10 Baking device : OVEN
14 Coming-out : DEBUT
15 Grabbing-the-tab words : ON ME
16 “Scream” star Campbell : NEVE
17 One who doesn’t fit in : A FISH OUT OF WATER
20 Library sect. for Christie books : MYST
21 Maiden name lead-in : NEE
22 The Governator, as he might pronounce it : AHNOLD
23 Rocks in bars : ICE
25 Oklahoma city : ENID
26 Measure of what you can buy : PURCHASING POWER
34 Mayo is fifth in it : ANO
35 Makes right : AMENDS
36 Herr’s honey : FRAU
37 Hoof sound : CLOP
39 Fig. with a radius : CIR
40 Bother : FUSS
41 Utensil sticker : TINE
42 Smooth transitions : SEGUES
45 WSJ competitor : NYT
46 Drove faster : STEPPED ON THE GAS
49 Brazilian soccer legend : PELE
50 Tailor’s alteration : HEM
51 Lampoon : SATIRE
54 Piece of poetic praise : ODE
56 Diamond Head locale : OAHU
60 Providers of the necessities that end 17-, 26- and 46-Across : PUBLIC UTILITIES
63 Face-to-face exam : ORAL
64 Bad thing to blow on the road : TIRE
65 Horror or humor : GENRE
66 Blackens : TARS
67 It may be reserved : SEAT
68 Mary of “The Maltese Falcon” (1941) : ASTOR

Down

1 Eaton of the Washington Nats : ADAM
2 Buck : DEFY
3 Eastern sashes : OBIS
4 Backwoodsy : RUSTIC
5 Horn of Africa country: Abbr. : ETH
6 Scoundrel : ROUE
7 Required Hold ’em bet : ANTE
8 Texter’s two-cents intro : IMO
9 Renders harmless : DEFANGS
10 Intermittent : ON-AND-OFF
11 Quash, as a bill : VETO
12 Daredevil Knievel : EVEL
13 Dorky sort : NERD
18 An hr. past midnight : ONE AM
19 Beat into a froth : WHIP
24 When doubled, a dance : CHA
25 Evasive maneuver : END RUN
26 Agreements : PACTS
27 Lacking illumination : UNLIT
28 TV sports pioneer Arledge : ROONE
29 Formally break away : SECEDE
30 Architect Jones : INIGO
31 Twisted dry : WRUNG
32 Course that helps your GPA : EASY A
33 Corrodes : RUSTS
38 Uppers, drug-wise : PEP PILLS
42 Culls : SELECTS
43 Merman on Broadway : ETHEL
44 Pronoun for many an individual : SHE
47 “Frasier” actress Gilpin : PERI
48 Chews the scenery : EMOTES
51 __ card: two through nine in each suit : SPOT
52 Ghostly glow : AURA
53 Alpine transport : T-BAR
54 __ vez: another time, in Spanish : OTRA
55 Losing proposition? : DIET
57 “If it __ broke … ” : AIN’T
58 Protagonist : HERO
59 Computer operator : USER
61 One-eighty : UIE
62 “Hometown Proud” supermarket chain : IGA

24 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 11 Aug 20, Tuesday”

  1. I thought this was a good puzzle and theme. Fun to do. Didn’t know 42d, l have seen that word, never heard it used. So spent awhile working around. Not on the ball. Actually lied & canceled an appt. I don’t know why? That’s not how I roll, normally. Must be something in the air. Not funny.

  2. Meh, I found this to be somewhat stale and trite. Any time I see “Tbar” I lose interest. At the least you ought to amend your definition to indicate that it is obsolete, IMHO.

  3. No errors, but a few do-overs. I couldn’t at first think of “spot”
    cards, so that corner slowed me down a little. All in all an
    enjoyable puzzle.

  4. I’ve been a card player all my life (and I’m 73) and I never heard of spot cards. Guess I play the wrong games.

  5. 17:08 no errors…I also never heard of spot cards.
    34A …really folks 👎
    I am familiar with off and on or on again off again but not on and off.
    Stay safe😀

  6. No problems no complaints. For some reason constructors think the only city in Oklahoma is Enid; the only city in Minnesota is Edina; the only city in Florida is Ocala and the only city in New York is Olean. Fill that grid!

    1. Not to mention ISLIP. There’s definitely a lot of geographic assumptions and assumptions that people that solve crosswords only live in the Northeastern US. Good example is a clue of a puzzle I just got done. No one outside of the northeast is going to associate 10001 with New York City. Ever.

      I’m really convinced to a certain extent that crosswords are impossible to do by their very nature unless you’re of a very specific demographic.

      1. And the question that immediately springs unbidden to my mind is, “How in the world does Bill do that?” … 😜.

        1. The question in my mind is “How is anybody able to do that?” On one level I’m always agape that I’m even able to finish any of these. Much less anyone else.

        2. And my point was that you don’t actually have to be “of a very specific demographic” in order to “do crosswords“. Bill is from Ireland! (Or is that part of your “specific demographic”?)

          And I would have associated 10001 with New York City, partly because I saw it some time ago in a crossword puzzle and partly because it was mentioned in an article that I read – somewhere, sometime – about the assignment of zip codes.

          You read, you listen, you pay attention, you do crosswords … and you get better at doing crosswords, even if you’re a doddering old fool. (See my earlier post, below … 😜). A bit mind-boggling, yes, but it happens … 🙂.

          1. I think overall there is often a few 😛 ‘s that get missed in some of the stuff I write here, including in that passage. But seriously, that last sentence is true from a certain perspective. Bill doesn’t do all of these puzzles successfully. Neither do you or I. In a honest sense, how many of these do you know absolutely 100% of all the answers without needing crossings or for that matter the grid itself? That’s always a good test if you want a good check on this. Take any random grid, just isolate on the clues (only use the grid to get how many letters) and see how many you get right? Or even just attempt something downs-only. It changes a lot of your perspective on how these things work, for sure.

          2. @Glenn … I agree that, if you take a difficult crossword puzzle and reduce it to a Q&A test, getting a passing score on that test can easily become almost impossible (even if you are told the exact length of each answer). But, such a test is no longer a crossword puzzle. Your statement purported to say something about crossword puzzles and I still contend that it was completely false.

            As I have repeatedly tried to say here, the most powerful weapon that you have at your disposal when you solve a crossword is that all the answers have to fit together in a grid. Novices tend to make insufficient use of this. They encounter a clue for which they can’t come up with a suitable answer and they give up instead of moving on to the next clue, and the next, and the next.

            Today’s Croce is a good case in point. If it were reduced to a test, and I spent an hour on it, I might easily score around 10%: a near-total failure. Given the additional magic of the grid, I did it in 1:11:11, with no errors.

            I think we probably agree about this; I’m only quarreling about the literal meaning of your original statement … 🙂

  7. 8:44, no errors. Had DEER before DEFY, CAN before CHA, and FRET before FUSS, but, in the end, it all worked out … 😜.

    While walking yesterday, I finally photographed and identified (using a marvelous app called “PictureThis” on my iPad) a strange plant that I first noticed a couple of weeks ago. The plant is called “Chaparral Dodder”, it’s parasitic, and it’s a Colorado native that I have somehow contrived never to notice for most of my 50 years here. It basically looks like the result of some kid playing with a can of yellow/orange “Silly String”. Weird stuff. And I can’t help but wonder: if I collected seeds from the plant and propagated them, would that make me a “doddering old fool”? (It may be best not to answer that … 😜.)

    @John … As I said yesterday, I did appreciate your comments about the role of the “waggle” in golf. I never golfed, but, as an at-one-time-better-than-average bowler, I can relate to some of the complexity you describe. I was never able to accurately control a normal curve ball, but I found that throwing a “back-up” ball – using a clockwise twist of my (right) wrist and aiming slightly to the left of the headpin – worked quite well, mostly because the bio-mechanical properties of the wrist make the maneuver more predictable. Unfortunately, after a few years, the result was some arthritic problems: I last bowled with my kids about 25 (?) years ago, and it took several weeks for the resulting pain to go away. I think it’s awesome that you’re still golfing at 85 …

    1. We are alike in some things, A. Nonny. I also do better with a
      backup ball in bowling. One night in the league I played in, I
      made 7 straight strikes. When I got up to roll Frame 8, there
      was a complete silence in the bowling alley. I looked around
      and everyone in the place was standing, looking at me. I blew
      my cool and shot 174 for the game. My other favorite bowling
      story, I bowled 143 – 143 the first two games and had one ball
      left in the 10th frame. My roomie came up and told me that
      you got a patch if you rolled 3 games of the same score. So,
      I intentionally rolled that last ball in the gutter and I still have
      that patch somewhere! May as well make it fun.

      I thought we had a 100% today, but missed GENRE and had to
      settle for a “measly”, letter-basis 99%. I think we are still ahead
      in the Super Senior Division.

      Thanks, old friend, but I am 87 now and have been playing golf
      for 70 years! I got into clubmaking when I could no longer play
      well and have gotten pretty knowledgeable and good at it.

      What is going on with your study on oval golfcross balls?

      Stay safe and well, everybody.

  8. 7:02 no errors. The theme helped a bit, for a change.

    I, too, never heard — I mean — Today I learned the term “spot card”.

  9. 10 minutes, 52 seconds, no errors, but needed Check to uncover 2 “typos” affecting 4 fills. No strong feelings either way on this grid.

  10. No Googles, no errors. Did not know ADAM, ROONE (both sports), PERI, or SPOT, like many. Educational, and it makes sense.

    @Rich – my city, Utica, county, Oneida and canal, Erie are often on crosswords. Binghamton doesn’t have a chance.

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