LA Times Crossword 15 Aug 20, Saturday

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Constructed by: Christopher Adams
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 15m 13s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Sony videocassette brand developed in 1982 : BETACAM

Betacam is a range of video cassette products that was released by Sony starting in 1982.

13 Wide-brimmed hat : SOMBRERO

In English we think of a sombrero as a wide-brimmed hat, but in Spanish “sombrero” is the word for any hat. “Sombrero” is derived from “sombra” meaning “shade”.

14 Plunder : BOOTY

“Booty”, meaning “plunder, profit”, is derived from the Old French word “butin” that has the same meaning.

17 “Out of the Cellar” rock band : RATT

Ratt is a heavy metal band based in Los Angeles. Ratt was formed out of a San Diego group called Mickey Ratt. Mickey Ratt was named for an underground comic called “Mickey Rat”, which in turn was named as a parody of Mickey Mouse.

19 Last ruler of the Julio-Claudian dynasty : NERO

The Julio-Claudian dynasty comprised five emperors from the families Julii Caesares and Claudii Nerones:

  1. Augustus: the first emperor of the Roman Empire
  2. Tiberius: the stepson of Augustus
  3. Caligula: the nephew, and adopted son, of Tiberius
  4. Claudius: the uncle of Caligula
  5. Nero: the great-nephew of Claudius

20 Organisms that move via pseudopodia : AMOEBAS

A pseudopod is a projection of a cell’s membrane that develops to facilitate the cell’s movement. Amoebae use this type of movement.

23 Sporty Audis : TTS

The TT is a 2-door sports car that Audi introduced to the market in 1998. The “TT” name comes from the Isle of Man TT motorcycle race. In turn, the abbreviation “TT” used in the name of the race stands for “Tourist Trophy”.

26 French pointillist : SEURAT

Georges Seurat was a French Post-Impressionist. His most famous work is “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte – 1884”, a work in the pointillist style that can be viewed in the Art Institute of Chicago. If you’ve seen the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, it features quite prominently in a wonderful, wonderful scene shot at the gallery. The painting features ordinary people enjoying a day at a park, and is the inspiration for the 1984 musical by Stephen Sondheim called “Sunday in the Park with George”.

Pointillism is a style of painting that grew out of Impressionism. The pointillist technique calls for the artist to use small, distinct dots of bold color to build up the image. Pointillism was developed in the late 1800s by the great French painter, Georges Seurat. You can go see his magnificent work “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” at The Art Institute of Chicago the next time you’re in town.

27 Cookout options : WEENIES

“Wienie” and “weenie” are informal variants of “wiener”.

What we call a wiener in this country is known as a Vienna sausage in Germany. It was first produced by a butcher from Frankfurt who was living in Vienna, hence the name “Wiener”, which is German for “of Vienna”. Paradoxically, the same sausage is called a Frankfurter in Vienna, as it was created by someone from Frankfurt. It’s all very confusing …

29 Honolulu setting: Abbr. : HST

Hawaii–Aleutian Standard Time (HST)

Honolulu is the largest city in Hawaii, and the state capital. Located on the island of Oahu, the name “Honolulu” translates from Hawaiian as “place of shelter, calm port, sheltered bay”.

30 Genre originally called the West Coast Sound : YACHT ROCK

Yacht rock is a genre of soft rock music that originally went by the name “West Coast sound”. The genre covers music created from the mid-seventies to mid-eighties, but the moniker “yacht rock” was only coined in 2005. The term “yacht rock” is a reference to the sport of sailing, which is a popular pastime in Southern California.

32 Gender identity spectrum : NON-BINARY

The non-binary spectrum of gender identities covers those that do not qualify as exclusively masculine or feminine.

33 “I am Iron Man” speaker : TONY STARK

Iron Man is another comic book superhero, this one created by Stan Lee for Marvel Comics. The character is the alter ego of Tony Stark, and has become very famous in recent years since the appearance of the 2008 action movie “Iron Man” starring Robert Downey, Jr. in the title role. Iron Man’s love interest, Pepper Potts, is routinely played by Gwyneth Paltrow in the same series of films.

34 MLB “twin killings” : DPS

Double play (DP)

38 Exclusive MLB cap supplier : NEW ERA

The New Era Cap Company is a headwear manufacturer based in Buffalo, New York. It is New Era that supplies all the official baseball caps used by the Major League teams.

40 Med. insurance plan : HMO

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

42 Wave that maintains its shape and speed through collisions : SOLITON

A soliton (also “solitary wave”) is a special kind of wave that propagates through a medium with very little loss of shape of energy when meeting other waves. For example, a soliton might form in water ahead of a vessel passing through a narrow channel. The phenomenon was first documented by Scottish engineer John Scott Russell in 1834 after observing it in the Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal.

43 Swedish pop band : ABBA

I am an unapologetic fan of ABBA’s music. ABBA was the Swedish group who topped the charts in the seventies and eighties. The name ABBA is an acronym formed from the first letters of the given names of each of the band members: Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid. Early in their careers, the four fell in love and formed two married couples: Agnetha and Bjorn, and Benny and Anni-Frid. However, at the height of their success, the relationships became strained and both couples divorced.

45 Peter of reggae : TOSH

Peter Tosh was a musician from Jamaica, a member of the Wailers reggae band. Sadly, Tosh was murdered in a home invasion and extortion attempt in 1987.

48 Alerts about potentially disturbing content : TRIGGER WARNINGS

A trauma trigger is a stimulus that causes a person to recall some prior psychological trauma. The derivative term “trigger warning” describes an alert at the beginning of a work that warns of content that might be upsetting to some readers or viewers.

52 “Elements of Algebra” author : EULER

Leonhard Euler was a brilliant Swiss mathematician and physicist, and a pioneer in the fields of logarithms and graph theory. Euler’s eyesight deteriorated during his working life, and eventually became almost totally blind.

54 Dodger Pee Wee : REESE

Pee Wee Reese was a shortstop who played his professional career with the Brooklyn and LA Dodgers. Reese is remembered not only for his skill on the field, but for his very visible support for teammate Jackie Robinson, who famously struggled to be accepted as the first African-American player in the majors. As he was an outstanding marbles player as a child, Reese was given the nickname “pee wee” after the name for a small marble.

55 Sneaky programs : SPYWARE

Spyware is software that is installed on a computer to gather information without the owner’s knowledge. Nasty stuff …

Down

3 “Full Frontal” network : TBS

Samantha Bee is a comedian from Toronto who found fame as a correspondent on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” starting way back in 2003. Bee left “The Daily Show” in 2015 to host her own late-night talk show “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” on TBS.

4 NL West team, on scoreboards : ARI

The Arizona Diamondbacks (also “D-backs”) joined Major League Baseball’s National League in 1998. By winning the World Series in 2001, the Diamondbacks became the fastest expansion team to do so in Major League history.

5 Pair in a view? : CENTS

To put in one’s two cents is to add one’s opinion. The American expression derives from the older English version, which is “to put in one’s two pennies’ worth”.

6 2012 Affleck thriller : ARGO

“Argo” is a 2012 movie that is based on the true story of the rescue of six diplomats hiding out during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The film was directed by and stars Ben Affleck and is produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, the same pair who produced the excellent “Good Night, and Good Luck”. I highly recommend “Argo”, although I found the scenes of religious fervor to be very frightening …

Actor and filmmaker Ben Affleck started his career as a child actor in the PBS show “The Voyage of the Mimi”. His big break came with the release of the film “Good Will Hunting” which he co-wrote and co-starred in with his childhood friend Matt Damon. Affleck had a relationship with actress and singer Jennifer Lopez, with the celebrity couple often being referred to as “Bennifer” in the media. He was also married for several years to actress Jennifer Garner, with whom he has three children.

7 Hephaestus’ workshop was said to be under it : MOUNT ETNA

In Greek mythology, Hephaestus was the god of blacksmiths, sculptors, metallurgy, fire and volcanoes. The Roman equivalent of Hephaestus was Vulcan. Given his spheres of influence, it is perhaps not surprising that Hephaestus made all of the weapons for the gods of Olympus.

8 Pilates targets : ABS

Pilates is a physical exercise system developed by, and named for, Joseph Pilates. Pilates introduced his system of exercises in 1883 in Germany.

10 “10” co-star : BO DEREK

Bo Derek’s most famous role was in the comedy film from 1979 titled “10”, in which she starred opposite Dudley Moore. Born Mary Cathleen Collins in Long Beach, California, she started a romantic relationship when she was 16 with actor and director John Derek, who was thirty years her senior. The couple moved to Germany in order to avoid the statutory rape laws in California, eventually returning to the US to marry in 1976, when Cathleen was 20. Around the same time, she changed her name to Bo Derek.

“10” is a fun romantic comedy released in 1979 starring Dudley Moore, Bo Derek and Julie Andrews. Famously, the movie made stars of Moore and Derek, as well as popularizing Maurice Ravel’s marvelous piece of music called “Boléro”.

11 Development site : UTERUS

“Uterus” (plural “uteri”) is the Latin word for “womb”.

12 Last words of Kipling’s “If—” : … MY SON!

Rudyard Kipling wrote his famous poem “If—” in 1895 as a tribute to British colonial military leader Leander Starr Jameson. Kipling writes in the first person, as if he is giving advice to his son. Here’s the final verse:

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son.

16 Longtime New Yorker cartoonist : PETER ARNO

Peter Arno was a cartoonist from New York who had his work published mainly in “The New Yorker” magazine from 1925 until he passed away in 1968. Arno’s real name was Curtis Arnoux Peters.

21 Sharp weapon : BAYONET

A bayonet is a blade that is attached to the muzzle end of a rifle. It’s thought that the term “bayonet” derives from the French city of Bayonne in Gascony, where perhaps bayonets were first made.

24 Diving device : SNORKEL

Our word “snorkel” comes from German navy slang “Schnorchel” meaning “nose, snout”. The German slang was applied to an air-shaft used for submarines, due to its resemblance to a nose, in that air passed through it and it made a “snoring” sound. “Schnorchel” comes from “Schnarchen”, the German for “snore”.

31 Longtime Masters TV venue : CBS SPORTS

Golf’s Masters Tournament is the first of the four major championships in the annual calendar, taking place in the first week of April each year. It is played at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, and has a number of traditions. One is that the winner is awarded the famous “green jacket”, but he only gets to keep it for a year and must return it to the club after twelve months.

32 Snarfing sound : NOM

To snarf down is to gobble up, to eat voraciously. “Snarf” is a slang term that is probably related to “scarf”, which has the same meaning.

33 It acquired the naming rights for the former Safeco Field : T-MOBILE

T-Mobile Park (formerly “Safeco Field”) is the home stadium of the Seattle Mariners. Safeco Insurance was the highest bidder when it came to christening the new stadium opened in 1999, paying $40m for a 20-year contract. T-Mobile took over the naming rights in 2019, after signing a 25-year contract.

34 Cold War warm-up : DETENTE

“Détente” is a French word meaning “loosening, reduction in tension” and in general it is used to describe the easing of strained relations in a political situation. In particular, the policy of détente came to be associated with the improved relations between the US and the Soviet Union in the seventies.

The term “Cold War” was coined by the novelist George Orwell in a 1945 essay about the atomic bomb. Orwell described a world under threat of nuclear war as having a “peace that is no peace”, in a permanent state of “cold war”. The specific use of “cold war” to describe the tension between the Eastern bloc and the Western allies is attributed to a 1947 speech by Bernard Baruch, adviser to Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

37 Saturate : IMBRUE

To imbrue something is to stain it, especially with blood.

40 Twitter malcontent : HATER

Still managing to avoid Twitter …

46 Quid pro quo : SWAP

“Quid pro quo” is Latin for “something for something”, i.e. a swap.

49 Its General Test consists of six sections: Abbr. : GRE

Passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is usually a requirement for entry into graduate school here in the US.

50 Fire TV button: Abbr. : REW

Fire TV is Amazon’s digital media player. It is used to deliver audio and video programming to televisions by picking up content from the Internet. I use the smaller version of the player, the Fire TV Stick, quite a lot when traveling.

51 Kawhi Leonard’s org. : NBA

Kawhi Leonard is an NBA player who is nicknamed the “Klaw” for his ability to claw away the ball from the opposing team.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Sony videocassette brand developed in 1982 : BETACAM
8 Wedding memento : ALBUM
13 Wide-brimmed hat : SOMBRERO
14 Plunder : BOOTY
15 Making teams, in a way : CHOOSING UP SIDES
17 “Out of the Cellar” rock band : RATT
18 Hit the gym, with “up” : TONE …
19 Last ruler of the Julio-Claudian dynasty : NERO
20 Organisms that move via pseudopodia : AMOEBAS
23 Sporty Audis : TTS
25 A show may have a long one : RUN
26 French pointillist : SEURAT
27 Cookout options : WEENIES
29 Honolulu setting: Abbr. : HST
30 Genre originally called the West Coast Sound : YACHT ROCK
32 Gender identity spectrum : NON-BINARY
33 “I am Iron Man” speaker : TONY STARK
34 MLB “twin killings” : DPS
37 Involve deeply : IMMERSE
38 Exclusive MLB cap supplier : NEW ERA
40 Med. insurance plan : HMO
41 [“Is this thing on?”] : [TAP]
42 Wave that maintains its shape and speed through collisions : SOLITON
43 Swedish pop band : ABBA
45 Peter of reggae : TOSH
47 Advance : LEND
48 Alerts about potentially disturbing content : TRIGGER WARNINGS
52 “Elements of Algebra” author : EULER
53 Emulate a bookie : TAKE BETS
54 Dodger Pee Wee : REESE
55 Sneaky programs : SPYWARE

Down

1 Eject : BOOT OUT
2 Glowing star, say? : EMOTER
3 “Full Frontal” network : TBS
4 NL West team, on scoreboards : ARI
5 Pair in a view? : CENTS
6 2012 Affleck thriller : ARGO
7 Hephaestus’ workshop was said to be under it : MOUNT ETNA
8 Pilates targets : ABS
9 Butcher buy : LOIN
10 “10” co-star : BO DEREK
11 Development site : UTERUS
12 Last words of Kipling’s “If—” : … MY SON!
13 Disgraces : SHAMES
15 Computer problem : CRASH
16 Longtime New Yorker cartoonist : PETER ARNO
21 Sharp weapon : BAYONET
22 “Regardless … ” : AT ANY RATE …
24 Diving device : SNORKEL
27 Wintry, in a way : WHITE
28 Wintry, in a way : ICY
31 Longtime Masters TV venue : CBS SPORTS
32 Snarfing sound : NOM
33 It acquired the naming rights for the former Safeco Field : T-MOBILE
34 Cold War warm-up : DETENTE
35 Fine points : PRONGS
36 Smooths, in a way : SANDS
37 Saturate : IMBRUE
39 More cunning : WILIER
40 Twitter malcontent : HATER
42 Unstable : SHAKY
44 Rusts or grays : AGES
46 Quid pro quo : SWAP
49 Its General Test consists of six sections: Abbr. : GRE
50 Fire TV button: Abbr. : REW
51 Kawhi Leonard’s org. : NBA

33 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 15 Aug 20, Saturday”

      1. Once upon a time. Given finances, time, and a few other things, I couldn’t justify keeping the site. Especially since I couldn’t consistently create content and promote it so people would give it regular views. Got another couple of blogs that are still sitting that got more traffic and that I can more readily create content, but hard to mentally gather myself to create content with those.with all the financial and other stress going on around me right now.

  1. No errors.. Little over 30 minutes for me. Never heard of YACHT ROCK, SOLITON, NONBINARY (Gender), or knew SEURAT or the elusive TTS Audi. All made for tough crosses to fill in as I wasn’t sure they were right, .. But I got it!! I’m happy.

  2. Yecchhh! What the heck is yacht rock? Nom is a snarfing sound? Pair in a view for cents? Had Betamax before betacam and Tony Scott before Tony Stark. That set me back. Thank goodness for all the sports clues. (I counted 7 in all.) Forget non-binary. How about 35 minutes of non enjoyment.

    1. @ Rich
      I could be wrong — and I was too old for Sesame Street — but I think “nom nom nom” is something Cookie Monster says when gobbling down cookies.

      1. Robert-
        You could be right but that’s not a word…. it’s a sound. And I’ll take clever over obscure any day of the week. Memo to constructors…. if you can’t think of a decent clue… it’s probably not worth doing. How about something along the lines of nom de guerre….?

  3. LAT: Couldn’t do it. The middle section did me in. Too many too long that I never heard of (e.g., yacht rock, Tony Stark). Even guessed at many way more than usual.

  4. DNF. Mainly in the center. Betamax and spelled IMBRUE as embrue which led me to embroil on the cross. Downhill after that.

    Saw a little messaging today. 48A for 31D? In the news, HBO Max will have a professor explain the movie to you if you opt to watch ‘Blazing Saddles’ now. If an explanation is needed, probably shouldn’t be watching.

  5. Took an hour and then I had to do a grid check. I had betamax. Once I changed it to betacam, it blinked. I knew nonbinary, but lots of others I did not know.

  6. Didn’t know several of this puzzles answers. Going across didn’t help cause the spelling looked wrong. I never heard of allot of them. Uck

  7. 18:09, no errors. Never heard of “YACHT ROCK”, had forgotten about the “BETACAM”, dredged up “SOLITON” from my crossword lizard brain (though I couldn’t have defined it). Decent puzzle.

    Did it during a walk-away from today’s (Newsday) “Stumper”, which I found very challenging (4 hours, including walk-aways … but no errors … and all the answers eventually made sense!).

    Thanks for all the empathy vis-a-vis my crown issue. Bottom line, though: however annoying the episode was, a month from now, I will (mostly) have forgotten about it. So many, these days, have so much more to worry about than I do … 😳.

    Be well, everyone … 🙂.

  8. Awful time with this one. I completed (or rather Google completed )
    it but was pretty disgusted with the whole thing. The only section I
    completed without help was the northeast part because I knew
    Bo Derek. Yuch!

  9. 20 mins, 39 sec and four errors, where PETER ARNO, NEW ERA and SOLITON meet. No coincidence that two of those are proper noun names and the other is a stone natick that you either know or you don’t.

    A fittingly annoying puzzle to bring “that kind of week” to a close. Glad to see it go.

    1. That’s where my 3 errors were. Rough when you get Naticked – as it’s happening all too frequently to me lately (sadly). Chief examples of today being the DNF I got on the WSJ and the NYT for that.

  10. Two incorrect letters (the max in beta max did me in) so 3 wrong words. Still and all I felt good about coming up with yacht rock and soliton – so all things considered I didn’t feel too bad about the errors.

  11. 30ish minutes, error(s) at amoebas & cents, I had amoebae & didn’t have a clue w.r.t. cents until after reading Bill’s explanation, tricky clue but fair enough for a Saturday

  12. HST, TTS, GRE … great fill, worthy of the long gems like YACHT ROCK (like in RATT?), and SOLITON. But seriously, folks — call me the SHAKY HATER on this slog from Christopher Adams. Rich and Mary, above, pretty well say it for me today.

    1. Here’s something scary for this one: Agard came within 2 points of getting into the top 3 of this tournament….playing downs-only.

  13. 20:11 lots and lots of errors

    The first New Yorker cartoonist I thought of was Roz Chast, but she doesn’t fit.

    Today I learned about Yacht Rock and Betacam. Apparently the latter lasted a bit longer than Betamax.

    Solitons are very strange. I certainly didn’t expect to see one in a crossword!

  14. 1:04:00 no errors…everything everybody else said…when was the last time you said NOM while snarfing a pizza?
    I used to look forward to a break after a tough NYT but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.👎
    Stay safe everybody😀

  15. One wrong letter in today’s WSJ 21X21. For 65 Down I had agira instead of agita which also goofed up the last name for the skier Alberto Tomba (and for which I had Romba as his last name) which gave me two errors.

  16. My lawyer son-in-law and I tried it, but did not do very much more
    than half. A real DNF that is usually a DNS on Saturdays.

    I got the Jumble and am working on the Wonderword as we speak.

    A Nonny, I am planning to remake three golf clubs that I hope will
    respect my advanced age of 87, which I have also set as my par. I
    think I can go lower if my club ideas pan out. Easier to swing and
    hit the ball higher. Any progress on the egg balls?

    Continued good luck with your crown. I had to have a couple redone
    in the past few years and this dentist we have now is the best I have
    ever used when it comes to crowns. Perfect fits.

    Stay safe and well, everybody. Our Parish is still going in the wrong
    direction, but it is what it is. When it gets cool enough (101 yesterday)
    to play golf, the virus will be intensifying. Sad, but true.

  17. Did better than yesterday, but still didn’t finish until I got here. Had about 12 errors – not sure, they’re filled in now – after a little over an hour. After peeking at two entries, I got the rest in a minute.

    Had BETAmAx at the top and then all the rest in the SE corner around SOLITON, which I kept trying to form into SEISMIC, even though I had WILIER earlier and was pretty sure SANDS was 36D. I’m going to have to get a new SF Giant’s cap so I can accidentally gaze over to the manufacturer, like I occasionally do with my keyboard. 🙂

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