LA Times Crossword 3 Aug 20, Monday

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Constructed by: Gail Grabowski & Bruce Venzke
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Business Letters

Themed answers each include “INC” hidden within:

  • 40A Company correspondence … and a hint to the abbreviation hidden in 17-, 24-, 52- and 66-Across : BUSINESS LETTERS
  • 17A High-intensity indoor cycling group : SPIN CLASS
  • 24A Cinderella’s ride : PUMPKIN COACH
  • 52A Pipe unclogger : DRAIN CLEANER
  • 66A Feature of New York-style pizza : THIN CRUST

Bill’s time: 4m 37s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9 Stuffed shirts : 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.

14 Utah ski resort that means “high” : ALTA

Alta ski resort actually lies within the Salt Lake City Metropolitan Area. The first ski lift in the resort was opened way back in 1939. Today, Alta is one of only three ski resorts in the country that prohibits snowboarding (along with Deer Valley, Utah and Mad River Glen, Vermont. The ski resort of Snowbird, located next to Alta, has been in operation since 1971.

15 Statistician Silver : NATE

Nate Silver is a statistician who gained celebrity by developing a forecasting system that predicted the future performance of baseball players. He then made a name for himself in the world of politics by predicting the outcome of the 2008 US presidential race on his website FiveThirtyEight.com. Silver successfully predicted the outcome of the election in 49 of the 50 states, missing out on Indiana, which Barack Obama won by less than 1% of the vote. FiveThirtyEight was less successful in predicting the specifics of the 2012 presidential election, but came closer than almost all other pollsters. In 2016, FiveThirtyEight predicted a victory for Hillary Clinton, but with a much lower probability than other poll aggregators. And, they all got it wrong. Oh, and why the name FiveThirtyEight.com? Because there are 538 electors in the US electoral college.

17 High-intensity indoor cycling group : SPIN CLASS

Exercise classes that feature indoor cycling are usually referred to as “spin classes”. Apparently, “spinning” is a trademarked term owned by a company called Mad Dogg Athletics. That said, there are a lot of folks out there using “spinning” as a generic term.

19 Video game name for nearly 50 years : ATARI

Founded in 1972, electronics and video game manufacturer Atari was once the fastest-growing company in US history. However, Atari never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983.

20 Bar mitzvah scroll : TORAH

The Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, are traditionally believed to have been written by Moses. As such, they are sometimes referred to as the Law of Moses, or Mosaic Law. Those five books are:

  • Bereshit/Genesis
  • Shemot/Exodus
  • Vayikra/Leviticus
  • Bamidbar/Numbers
  • Devarim/Deuteronomy

A Jewish girl becomes a bat mitzvah at 12 years of age, the age at which she becomes responsible for her actions. Boys become bar mitzvahs at 13. The terms translate into English as daughter and son of the commandments.

21 __-Cola : COCA

The first cola drink to become a commercial success was Coca-Cola, soon after it was invented by a druggist in 1886. The first sales were in Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, where a glass of the new beverage sold for five cents. That original Coca-Cola was flavored mainly with kola nuts and vanilla. The formulation was based on an alcoholic drink called Coca Wine that had been on sale for over twenty years.

24 Cinderella’s ride : PUMPKIN COACH

The folktale usually known as “Cinderella” was first published by French author Charles Perrault in 1697, although it was later included by the Brothers Grimm in their famous 1812 collection. The storyline of the tale may date back as far as the days of ancient Greece. A common alternative title to the story is “The Little Glass Slipper”.

27 Barrio grocery : BODEGA

“Bodega” is a Spanish term describing a winery, or these days a grocery store.

“Barrio” is the name given to an urban district in Spanish-speaking countries.

31 Many a Monopoly prop. : AVE

The street names in the original US version of the board game Monopoly are locations in or around Atlantic City, New Jersey.

44 Protein-building acid : AMINO

Proteins are synthesised in the body from amino acids, which are linked together in specific sequences that are determined by the genetic code. The language of the code is a sequence of nucleotides. The nucleotides are arranged in groups of three called “codons”, with each codon determining a specific amino acid.

46 Epitome of slipperiness : EEL

The more common meaning of “epitome” is “perfect example of a group, quality, type”. An epitome is also an abstract or summary of a book or article.

49 __ Vision: eye care chain : PEARLE

Pearle Opticians were founded by Stanley Pearle in Savannah, Georgia back in 1961.

58 500 sheets of paper : REAM

A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a “short ream”. We also use the term “reams” to mean a great amount, evolving from the idea of a lot of printed material.

60 Duo Hall & __ : OATES

Daryl Hall & John Oates are a pop music duo who were most successful in the late seventies and early eighties. They had six number one hits, including the 1982 release “Maneater”.

64 Gillette razors : ATRAS

Fortunately for crossword constructors, the Atra was introduced by Gillette in 1977, as the first razor with a pivoting head. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.

69 Lamarr of old films : HEDY

Hedy Lamarr was an American actress who was actually born in Vienna in modern-day Austria. Not only was Lamarr a successful Hollywood performer, during WWII she was the co-inventor of the frequency-hopping spread-spectrum method of transmitting radio signals that is still used to this day in wireless communication. Impressive …

71 Nine-player chamber group : NONET

Chamber music is a style of classical musical that is written for a small group of instruments, as opposed to a full orchestra. That number of players should be able to stage a performance in a “chamber”, traditionally a large room in a palace or other grand residence.

72 Part of GE: Abbr. : ELEC

The General Electric Company is usually referred to simply as “GE”. One of the precursor companies to GE was Edison General Electric, founded in 1890 by the inventor Thomas Edison. What we know today as GE was formed two years later when Edison merged his company with Charles Coffin’s Thomson-Houston Electric Company. In 1896, GE was selected as one of the 12 companies listed on the newly formed Dow Jones Industrial Average. GE was the last of the original 12 to survive on that list, being replaced by Walgreens in 2018. I spent over ten years with GE at the beginning of my working career, and in fact it was GE that asked me to transfer to the US from Ireland back in the 1980s …

Down

2 Friskies sister brand : ALPO

Alpo is a brand of dog food introduced by Allen Products in 1936, with “Alpo” being an abbreviation for “Allen Products”. Lorne Greene used to push Alpo in television spots, as did Ed McMahon and Garfield the Cat, would you believe?

The Friskies brand is known today as a cat food, although it was first introduced as a dry dog food in 1930.

4 Cocktail party nibble : CANAPE

A canapé is a finger food, something small enough to eat in just one bite. In French, “canapé” is actually the word for a couch or a sofa. The name was given to the snack as the original canapés were savories served on toasted or stale bread that supposedly resembled a tiny couch.

5 NBC skit show : SNL

NBC first aired a form of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in 1975 under the title “NBC’s Saturday Night”. The show was actually created to give Johnny Carson some time off from “The Tonight Show”. Back then “The Tonight Show” had a weekend episode, and Carson convinced NBC to pull the Saturday or Sunday recordings off the air and hold them for subsequent weeknights in which Carson needed a break. NBC turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to put together a variety show to fill the vacant slot, and he came up with what we now call “Saturday Night Live”.

6 Rights org. since 1909 : NAACP

The full name of the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is remarkable in that it actually still uses the offensive term “colored people”. The NAACP was founded in 1909, by a group that included suffragette and journalist Mary White Ovington, wealthy socialist William English Walling, and civil rights activist Henry Moskowitz. Another member of the founding group was W. E. B. Du Bois, the first African-American to earn a doctorate at Harvard University. The date chosen for the founding of the NAACP was February 12th, 1909, the 100th anniversary of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln, the man most visibly associated with the emancipation of African-American slaves.

8 Joe of “Home Alone” : PESCI

Joe Pesci got his big break in movies with a supporting role in “Raging Bull” starring Robert De Niro, earning Pesci an Oscar nomination early in his career. There followed a string of gangster roles played alongside De Niro, namely “Once Upon a Time in America”, “Goodfellas” and “Casino”. But I like Pesci’s comedic acting best of all. He was marvelous in the “Home Alone” films, the “Lethal Weapon” series, and my personal favorite, “My Cousin Vinny”. Pesci gets a mention in the stage musical “Jersey Boys”, which isn’t too surprising as he is one of the show’s producers.

“Home Alone” is a 1990 film starring Macaulay Culkin that has become a Christmas classic. Culkin was nominated for a Best Actor Golden Globe for his performance, becoming the youngest actor ever to be so honored.

9 Agcy. that helps startups : SBA

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government agency with the mission of assisting small businesses. The SBA doesn’t give loans itself, but it does act as a guarantor under the right circumstances. The SBA was set up in 1953, and isn’t a favorite with fiscal conservatives.

11 Japanese port : OSAKA

The Japanese city of Osaka used to be called Naniwa, with the name changing to Osaka sometime before 1500. “Osaka” can be translated either as “large hill” or “large slope”. Osaka is sometimes referred to as “the Chicago of Japan” as it is a major center of commerce and industry. The city has also been named the “nation’s kitchen”, and was a center for Japan’s rice trade for centuries.

12 Antiseptic acid type : BORIC

Boric acid is a weak acid that usually comes as a white powder for domestic use. The powder can be dissolved in water and used as an antiseptic.

13 Worker suffix with black or silver : -SMITH

A blacksmith is someone who forges and shapes iron, perhaps to make horseshoes. A farrier is someone who fits horseshoes onto the hooves of horses. The term “blacksmith” is sometimes used for one who shoes horses, especially as many blacksmiths make horseshoes and fit them as well.

22 Gothic novelist Radcliffe : ANN

Ann Radcliffe was an English author famous for her Gothic novels, a genre that she helped to pioneer in the late 18th century. I’m not a huge fan of Gothic novels, Gothic horror in particular …

27 Ali __ : BABA

There is some controversy about the story “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” in that it has been suggested it was not part of the original collection of Arabic tales called “One Thousand and One Nights”. The suggestion is that the Ali Baba tale was added by one of the European translators of the collection.

29 Arnaz of early TV : DESI

Desi Arnaz has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. One was placed to mark his contribution to motion pictures, and the other for his work in television.

33 Deadly viper : ASP

The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

34 Awareness-raising TV ad: Abbr. : PSA

Public service announcement (PSA)

37 Leaper in a tractor company logo : DEER

John Deere invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837. Prior to Deere’s invention, farmers used an iron or wooden plow that constantly had to be cleaned as rich soil stuck to its surfaces. The cast-steel plow was revolutionary as its smooth sides solved the problem of “stickiness”. The Deere company that John founded uses the slogan “Nothing Runs Like a Deere”, and has a leaping deer as its logo.

38 Hershiser of baseball : OREL

Orel Hershiser is big into poker now that he has retired from Major League Baseball. Hershiser lives in Las Vegas and when he isn’t working for ESPN, apparently he is at the poker tables, playing professionally. When Hershiser is eliminated in a poker tournament, he is in the habit of presenting the person who ousts him with an autographed baseball.

43 Sports bar channel : ESPN

The initialism “ESPN” stands for Entertainment Sports Programming Network. ESPN is a cable network that broadcasts sports programming 24 hours a day, and was launched back in 1979. ESPN has a lot of ardent fans. Several parents have named their children Espn (usually pronounced “Espen”) in honor of the network.

48 Discreetly send a dupe email to : BCC

A blind carbon copy (bcc) is a copy of a document or message that is sent to someone without other recipients of the message knowing about that extra copy.

50 Fair-hiring agcy. : EEOC

“Equal Employment Opportunity” (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was set up by the Civil Rights Act. Title VII of the Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion.

51 Noah’s landfall : ARARAT

Mount Ararat is in Turkey. Ararat is a snow-capped, dormant volcano with two peaks. The higher of the two, Greater Ararat, is the tallest peak in the country. Ararat takes its name from a legendary Armenian hero called Ara the Beautiful (or Ara the Handsome). According to the Book of Genesis, Noah’s ark landed on Mount Ararat as the Great Flood subsided.

54 Composer Copland : AARON

Aaron Copland was the most American of all classical composers, I think. Perhaps his most famous work is the “Fanfare for the Common Man”. The piece was written in 1942 and was intended to be uplifting in the gloomy years leading up to WWII. “Fanfare” is recognized not just for performances of the original, but also for the progressive rock version that was recorded by Emerson, Lake & Palmer in 1977.

56 “I Love Lucy” role : ETHEL

In the hit television show “I Love Lucy”, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz play Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. The Ricardos’ best friends are also their landlords, Fred and Ethel Mertz. The Mertzes are played by William Frawley and Vivian Vance.

62 90° from norte : ESTE

The cardinal directions in Spanish are “norte” (north), “este” (east), “sur” (south) and “oeste” (west).

67 Five-bor. city : NYC

The five boroughs of New York City were created in 1898. Those five are:

  • Manhattan
  • The Bronx
  • Brooklyn
  • Queens
  • Staten Island

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Like “le” in Fr. or “el” in Sp. : MASC
5 Scissors sound : SNIP
9 Stuffed shirts : SNOBS
14 Utah ski resort that means “high” : ALTA
15 Statistician Silver : NATE
16 __ buddy : BOSOM
17 High-intensity indoor cycling group : SPIN CLASS
19 Video game name for nearly 50 years : ATARI
20 Bar mitzvah scroll : TORAH
21 __-Cola : COCA
23 Variety show bit : SKIT
24 Cinderella’s ride : PUMPKIN COACH
27 Barrio grocery : BODEGA
30 “Nope” : NAH
31 Many a Monopoly prop. : AVE
32 Microwaves : ZAPS
36 “Agree totally!” : SO DO I!
40 Company correspondence … and a hint to the abbreviation hidden in 17-, 24-, 52- and 66-Across : BUSINESS LETTERS
44 Protein-building acid : AMINO
45 Settles a bill : PAYS
46 Epitome of slipperiness : EEL
47 Bath fixture with claw feet, perhaps : TUB
49 __ Vision: eye care chain : PEARLE
52 Pipe unclogger : DRAIN CLEANER
58 500 sheets of paper : REAM
59 Scratching post users : CATS
60 Duo Hall & __ : OATES
64 Gillette razors : ATRAS
66 Feature of New York-style pizza : THIN CRUST
68 Jotted (down) : WROTE
69 Lamarr of old films : HEDY
70 Mandatory bet : ANTE
71 Nine-player chamber group : NONET
72 Part of GE: Abbr. : ELEC
73 Overflow (with) : TEEM

Down

1 Sail holder : MAST
2 Friskies sister brand : ALPO
3 Pudding recipe direction : STIR
4 Cocktail party nibble : CANAPE
5 NBC skit show : SNL
6 Rights org. since 1909 : NAACP
7 “Not to worry” : IT’S OK
8 Joe of “Home Alone” : PESCI
9 Agcy. that helps startups : SBA
10 Just fair : NOT SO HOT
11 Japanese port : OSAKA
12 Antiseptic acid type : BORIC
13 Worker suffix with black or silver : -SMITH
18 Drink all at once : CHUG
22 Gothic novelist Radcliffe : ANN
25 Puzzle with paths : MAZE
26 Group bowing to a curtain call : CAST
27 Ali __ : BABA
28 Egg cell : OVUM
29 Arnaz of early TV : DESI
33 Deadly viper : ASP
34 Awareness-raising TV ad: Abbr. : PSA
35 Devious : SLY
37 Leaper in a tractor company logo : DEER
38 Hershiser of baseball : OREL
39 Land in the ocean : ISLE
41 Very personal : INTIMATE
42 Part of speech after “the,” often : NOUN
43 Sports bar channel : ESPN
48 Discreetly send a dupe email to : BCC
50 Fair-hiring agcy. : EEOC
51 Noah’s landfall : ARARAT
52 Sketched : DRAWN
53 In style again : RETRO
54 Composer Copland : AARON
55 Wood shop tool : LATHE
56 “I Love Lucy” role : ETHEL
57 Actor-to-audience remark : ASIDE
61 Bring into pitch : TUNE
62 90° from norte : ESTE
63 Wineglass support : STEM
65 Good to go : SET
67 Five-bor. city : NYC

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 3 Aug 20, Monday”

  1. Seemed kind of odd to me to have a clue mentioning New York crossing the NYC answer. Also “skit” as both and answer and as part of a clue.

  2. @anonymous it’s Hedi not Hedy. Also l have seen answers that sometimes appear in clues. But it was a fun easy puzzle, since Saturday was a stinko!

  3. No errors, no problems.

    69A “That’s Hedley”.

    @Nonny (from Sunday)
    Very odd looking at the 40 year old Letterman / Natassja Kinski interview as if it aired yesterday – guess it’s true that with the internet nothing ever dies. I had probably tuned in for the subsequent John Candy interview as I was a big fan although it could have been the Kinski snake poster (I was 20).
    I have to agree with your assessment though. Back then, I would have mentioned ditzyness (or maybe high) as the reason for her eccentric behavior. Today, it looks to me like she was under a lot of stress. The Wiki bio of her early career mentions mistreatment by the movie industry that, were it to occur today, would end careers if not result in imprisonment, so I can understand the stress.
    I can’t blame Letterman or Candy for their reaction though. Any comedian, even ones as nice as Dave and John, couldn’t let that kind of erratic behavior on National TV go unremarked.
    Three films I thought she was great in: “TESS”, “Cat People”, and “Paris,Texas”. Her career seems to have stalled somewhat after that.

    1. @Chris … I agree with your take on the Kinski interview. (And thanks for the “Blazing Saddles” reminder … a nod to a great movie … 😜!)

  4. @Chris C, 69a is Hedi, in Hollywood she went by Hedi Lamarr. And she was beautiful, they said she was axiomatic, like Elizabeth Taylor. Meaning while taking a picture or filming at any angle there face was perfect.

    1. @Cathy
      I apologize if you thought I was correcting you. I have a tendency to post what pops into my head while I’m doing a puzzle, (usually something I think is humorous). In my defense, if you look at the timing of our original posts, I hadn’t seen your post when I put mine in, it was just a coincidence. @Rich is correct, I was making a reference to the movie Blazing Saddles. The running joke thru the movie is when the Harvey Korman character Hedley Lamarr, a villian, was misidentified as the actress, would shout in rage and frustration, “That’s Hedley”. More humor as the movie was set in the Old West decades before she was born.
      As for Lamarr the actress, I agree with you that she was very beautiful. I love all old movies and have several of hers on DVD and as Bill’s blurb says she was much more than just a pretty face.

  5. Nice easy Monday puzzle. The theme worked. The constructors are 2 of the best out there.

    As an aside I think Chris was talking about Harvey Korman’s role in Blazing Saddles when he said “That’s Hedley”.

  6. 5:44, no errors, though I briefly had “PESCE” instead of “PESCI” for 8-Down (some sort of mental cross-talk from an encounter with a menu in an Italian restaurant, no doubt … 😜).

  7. 4:17 no errors

    The puzzle revealed the theme as the crosses quickly filled in.

    By the way, bodegas are also home to delightful shop cats. Look up “Bodega Cats” for more.

  8. Never saw the ‘Hedi’ spelling…went to college in the ’60s with a girl named after the movie star…”Hedy”.

  9. It is Hedy and not Hedi. Sorry, Cathy.

    We aced it today and I guess it was easier for everybody, based on the
    times that were posted. Great work, guys.

    @A Nonny – still have not found you. Will look again in Blocked Senders,
    but I know you are not there.

    Stay safe and well, everybody.

  10. OMG! It happened again – I did the Tuesday puzzle rather than the Monday! I have to start printing out the puzzle earlier in the day. If it’s after 9 PM Pacific the next day’s puzzle is already there and topmost. 😟

    OR I could just take 3 seconds to check the DAY, but that seems like a lot of trouble…..🤔

    Be well ~~⚾️

  11. It’s funny l have 2 old photoplay magazines, from late 50’s with some stories of her & sorta saying that she was gay. But you didn’t say that then. And comparing her beauty with that of Liz Taylor & Grace Kelly. The 2, l have, spelled it Hedi in the article, so l always thought that was right. But that’s all l really know or thought l knew about her name. Thanks for correcting me. Todays puzzle was good and fun + theme. Everyone be safe.

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