LA Times Crossword 12 Sep 20, Saturday

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Constructed by: Peter Wentz
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 12m 07s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 Hawaiian senator in six decades : INOUYE

Senator Daniel Inouye was a US Senator for the state of Hawaii and was the President pro tem of the Senate (the US Vice President is the President of the Senate). Given this role, he was the highest-ranking Japanese-American in the country’s history as he was third in the line of succession to the office of US President. Senator Inouye passed away in 2012. Honolulu’s airport was renamed to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in 2017 in his honor.

18 Neutral areas, briefly : DMZS

A demilitarized zone (DMZ) is usually a border between two countries where military activity is banned according to some treaty between interested parties. The most famous DMZ today has to be the buffer zone between North and South Korea. The Korean DMZ snakes right across the Korean peninsula near the 38th parallel. The centerline of the DMZ is where the front was when the ceasefire came into effect in 1953 after the Korean War. According to the armistice signed, all troops had to move back 2,000 meters from the front line on both sides, creating the DMZ that is in place today. Paradoxically perhaps, the areas on either side of the DMZ form the most heavily militarized border in the world.

21 “Wayne’s World” rejoinder : WAY!

“Wayne’s World” was originally a “Saturday Night Live” sketch starring Mike Myers (as Wayne Campbell) and Dana Carvey as Garth Algar. The sketch was so successful that it was parlayed into two hit movies, released in 1992 and 1993. Not my cup of tea though …

27 Dramatist Edward with three Pulitzers and three Tonys : ALBEE

Playwright Edward Albee’s most famous play is “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Albee won three Pulitzer Prizes for Drama:

  • 1967: “A Delicate Balance”
  • 1975: “Seascape”
  • 1994: “Three Tall Women”

Albee also won three Tony Awards:

  • 1963: “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (Best Play)
  • 2002: “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?”
  • 2005: Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement

35 2011 film set in Brazil : RIO

“Rio” is a 2011 animated movie about a male blue macaw who is brought to mate with a female blue macaw in Rio de Janeiro, hence the movie’s title. Fans can go see “Rio 2” that was released in 2014.

36 Diner seating option : COUNTER

When we sit at a counter, in a diner say, there’s a connection with money lenders. Back in the mid-1300s, a counter was the table used by a money lender doing business. The term “counter” came into English from Latin via French, ultimately from “computare” meaning “to count”.

40 Caucasian native : HUN

The Huns were a nomadic people who originated in Eastern Europe in the 4th century. Under the command of Attila the Hun they developed a unified empire that stretched from modern-day Germany across to the steppes of Central Asia. The whole of the Hunnic Empire collapsed within a year of Attila’s death in 453 AD.

The Caucasus is a geographic region lying between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea on the European-Asian border. The region is home to the Mount Elbrus in the Caucasian Mountains, which is the highest peak in the whole of Europe.

41 Truculent god : ARES

The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and the Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

43 Goat cheese : CHEVRE

Chèvre is a goat cheese. It takes its name from “chèvre”, the French word for “goat”.

44 Key used to stop : ESC

The escape key (Esc) was originally used to control computer peripherals. It was a key that allowed the computer operator to stop what the peripheral was doing (cancel a print job, for example). Nowadays the escape key is used for all sorts of things, especially in gaming programs.

47 Situation for a sac bunt, maybe : ONE ON

That would be baseball.

48 Try to get clean : REHAB

One might go to rehab (rehabilitation) for detox (detoxification).

53 Some near homers : FLYOUTS

That would also be baseball.

55 Mythical Spartan queen : LEDA

In Greek mythology, Leda was the beautiful Queen of Sparta who was seduced by Zeus when he took the form of a swan. Leda produced two eggs from the union. One egg hatched into Clytemnestra and the beautiful Helen of Troy, over whom was fought the Trojan War. The other egg hatched into the twins Castor and Pollux. Castor and Pollux had different fathers according to the myth. Pollux was the son of Zeus and was immortal, while Castor was the son of Leda’s earthly husband, and so he was a mortal. In the world of the arts, William Butler Yeats wrote a famous sonnet called “Leda and the Swan” in 1924, and Peter Paul Rubens made a copy of a now-lost painting called “Leda and the Swan” by Michelangelo.

59 Former Sears Holdings holdings : KMARTS

Kmart is the third-largest discount store chain in the world, behind Wal-Mart and Target. The company was founded by S. S. Kresge in 1899, with the first outlets known as S. S. Kresge stores. The first “Kmart” stores opened in 1962, with the “K” standing for “Kresge”. Kmart is famous for its promotions known as “blue light specials”, a program first introduced in 1965 and discontinued in 1991. I remember being in a Kmart store soon after coming to live in the US. That evening an employee installed a light stand an aisle away from me, switched on a flashing blue light and there was some unintelligible announcement over the loudspeaker system. I had no idea what was going on …

61 Greek courtier associated with a symbolic sword : DAMOCLES

In the legend “The Sword of Damocles”, Damocles was a member of the court of Dionysius II of Syracuse. Damocles was a bit of a smarmy type and weaseled his way into sitting on the throne of his king so that he could taste the power and privilege that came with the position. The price Damocles had to pay was to sit on the throne under a sword that was suspended by a single hair of a horse’s tail. Such was the tension felt by Damocles that he begged to give up the privileges of the throne.

62 Bespectacled friend of Peppermint Patty : MARCIE

Peppermint Patty is a character in the long-running comic strip “Peanuts”, by Charles M. Schulz. Peppermint Patty has a friend named Marcie who famously refers to her as “Sir”, which is perhaps a reference to Peppermint Patty’s reputation as a tomboy. Tomboy or not, it is revealed in the strip that Peppermint Patty has quite a crush on Charlie Brown.

63 Checked legs for arms? : FRISKED

Back in the 1500s, the verb “to frisk” meant “to dance, frolic”, a sense that carries through to our contemporary adjective “frisky”. “Frisk” somehow took on the meaning “pat down in a search” in the late 1700s.

Down

1 Cardinal fan, say? : BIRDWATCHER

Cardinals are a family of birds that inhabit the Americas. The northern cardinal is the species from which the family gets the cardinal name. It was named by early settlers from Europe for the red crest on the male, the color of which resembled the color of a Roman Catholic cardinal’s biretta (a square cap).

2 Delta Tau Chi, in a 1978 film title : ANIMAL HOUSE

The very funny 1978 movie “Animal House” has the prefix “National Lampoon’s …” because the storyline came out of tales that had already appeared in “National Lampoon” magazine. “Animal House” was to become the first in a long line of successful “National Lampoon” films. The main pledges in the movie are Tom Hulce (Pinto), who later played a magnificent “Amadeus”, and Stephen Furst (Flounder), who later played a regular role on television’s “Babylon 5”.

5 Cleaning chemical : LYE

What we call “lye” is usually sodium hydroxide, although historically the term “lye” was used for potassium hydroxide. Lye has many uses, including to cure several foodstuffs. Lye can make olives less bitter, for example. The chemical is also found in canned mandarin oranges, pretzels and Japanese ramen noodles. More concentrated grades of lye are used to clear drains and clean ovens. Scary …

6 Like “Halloween” music : EERIE

I really, really don’t do horror films. The one exception perhaps is the original “Halloween” movie, starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasance. To me, this first movie in the “Halloween” series is more in the style of Hitchcock’s “Psycho” whereas the sequels were chock full of gore and graphic violence.

8 Salt Lake City players : UTES

The Utah Utes are the athletic teams of the University of Utah.

Salt Lake City (SLC) was founded by Brigham Young, in 1847. The city takes its name from the Great Salt Lake on which it sits, and indeed was known as “Great Salt Lake City” up until 1868.

9 Delicate chip, e.g. : FINESSE SHOT

That would be golf.

11 Home brewer’s creation : IPA

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

15 Longtime “Today” co-anchor : COURIC

Katie Couric left NBC’s “The Today Show” in 2006 and took over as news anchor for “CBS Evening News”. In doing so, she became the first solo female anchor of a broadcast network evening news program. Couric also has the honor of being the only person to guest-host on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”. In fact she “swapped jobs” on that particular day, and Leno filled in for Couric on “The Today Show”.

NBC’s “Today” show first aired way back in 1952 when it was the first “morning show” in the world. The first host of “Today” was Dave Garroway.

20 Title less common nowadays : MRS

“Mr.” is an abbreviation for “mister”, and “Mrs.” is an abbreviation for “mistress”.

24 Overseas “Later!” : ARRIVEDERCI

“Ciao” is Italian for “‘bye”. “Arrivederci” is more formal, and translates as “goodbye”.

25 Track support : RAILROAD TIE

The rectangular supports under rails in railroad tracks are known as railroad ties or crossties here in North America. Over on the other side of the Atlantic, we call them railway sleepers.

26 Lou Brock’s 938 : STOLEN BASES

Lou Brock was a professional baseball player who played most of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals. Brock broke Ty Cobb’s all-time stolen base record (938) in 1977, and held that record until 1982.

28 Long division? : EON

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

30 Fire chief’s concern, briefly : EVAC

Evacuation (evac.)

33 “Unfaithful” actor : GERE

“Unfaithful” is a 2002 drama film with leads played by Richard Gere and Diane Lane. The Hollywood movie is a remake of a French film called “La Femme infidèle” (The Unfaithful Wife).

37 Facial description in a classic holiday song : RED-NOSED

We get the names for Santa’s reindeer from the famous 1823 poem called “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, although we’ve modified a couple of the names over the years. The full list is:

  • Dasher
  • Dancer
  • Prancer
  • Vixen
  • Comet
  • Cupid
  • Donder (originally “Dunder”, and now often “Donner”)
  • Blitzen (originally “Blixem”)

Rudolph was added to the list by retailer Montgomery Ward, would you believe? The store commissioned Robert L. May to create a booklet that could be handed out to children around Christmas in 1939, and May introduced us to a new friend for Santa, namely Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

39 Golfer Crenshaw : BEN

Ben Crenshaw is a retired professional golfer who was nicknamed “Gentle Ben”. He only won one of the four major championship tournaments, the Masters, but did so twice: in 1984 and 1995.

42 Darker-than-amber brews : STOUTS

The term “stout” was first used for a type of beer in the 1600s when it was used to describe a “strong, stout” brew, and not necessarily a dark beer as it is today.

46 Bard’s “frequently” : OFT

The original bards were storytellers, poets and composers of music in medieval Britain and Ireland, with the term coming from the Old Celtic word “bardos” that described a poet or singer. I guess the most famous bard was William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon.

54 Maya Lin’s alma mater : YALE

Maya Lin is a Chinese-American artist and architect from Athens, Ohio. Her most famous work is the moving Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Lin was only 21-years-old when she won a public design competition in 1981 to create the memorial. Although her design is very fitting, sadly Lin was not a popular choice for the work given her Asian heritage. As she said herself, she probably would not have been picked had the competition been judged with the knowledge of who was behind each submission.

55 Hog product : LARD

Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called suet. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be rendered, purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call lard. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as tallow.

56 Adobe doc suffix : PDF

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format introduced by Adobe Systems in 1993. PDF documents can be shared between users and read using many different applications, making them more universally accessible than documents saved by one particular program.

58 Sarcastic “Thanks for sharing” : TMI

Too much information (TMI)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Gibberish : BABBLE
7 Out of breath : PUFFING
14 Hawaiian senator in six decades : INOUYE
15 Honeybunch : CUTIE PIE
16 Revolting person? : RIOTER
17 A rainout might be rescheduled on one : OPEN DATE
18 Neutral areas, briefly : DMZS
19 Mad man’s comment : I’M UPSET
21 “Wayne’s World” rejoinder : WAY!
22 Jocund : MERRY
23 Flies high : SOARS
27 Dramatist Edward with three Pulitzers and three Tonys : ALBEE
29 Parts of lunch combos : SIDES
31 One often paid to talk : RAT
32 Herd or host : THRONG
34 Sheltered area : COVE
35 2011 film set in Brazil : RIO
36 Diner seating option : COUNTER
38 It’s higher when it’s colder : GAS BILL
40 Caucasian native : HUN
41 Truculent god : ARES
43 Goat cheese : CHEVRE
44 Key used to stop : ESC
45 Engendered : LED TO
47 Situation for a sac bunt, maybe : ONE ON
48 Try to get clean : REHAB
50 Oil-free salad dressing property : NO-FAT
52 Pat : DAB
53 Some near homers : FLYOUTS
55 Mythical Spartan queen : LEDA
56 Family meal entrée : POT ROAST
59 Former Sears Holdings holdings : KMARTS
61 Greek courtier associated with a symbolic sword : DAMOCLES
62 Bespectacled friend of Peppermint Patty : MARCIE
63 Checked legs for arms? : FRISKED
64 Whirlpools : EDDIES

Down

1 Cardinal fan, say? : BIRDWATCHER
2 Delta Tau Chi, in a 1978 film title : ANIMAL HOUSE
3 Spirited midday meal? : BOOZY BRUNCH
4 Reservations : BUTS
5 Cleaning chemical : LYE
6 Like “Halloween” music : EERIE
7 Litter member : PUPPY DOG
8 Salt Lake City players : UTES
9 Delicate chip, e.g. : FINESSE SHOT
10 Gave, as a script line : FED TO
11 Home brewer’s creation : IPA
12 Minor matter : NIT
13 “Well, look at that!” : GEE!
15 Longtime “Today” co-anchor : COURIC
20 Title less common nowadays : MRS
22 Creation hurdle : MENTAL BLOCK
24 Overseas “Later!” : ARRIVEDERCI
25 Track support : RAILROAD TIE
26 Lou Brock’s 938 : STOLEN BASES
28 Long division? : EON
30 Fire chief’s concern, briefly : EVAC
33 “Unfaithful” actor : GERE
37 Facial description in a classic holiday song : RED-NOSED
39 Golfer Crenshaw : BEN
42 Darker-than-amber brews : STOUTS
46 Bard’s “frequently” : OFT
49 Locks that are picked : AFROS
51 Tour guide’s badge words : ASK ME
54 Maya Lin’s alma mater : YALE
55 Hog product : LARD
56 Adobe doc suffix : PDF
57 Silently propel : OAR
58 Sarcastic “Thanks for sharing” : TMI
60 More than enthusiastic : MAD

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 12 Sep 20, Saturday”

  1. 14:01, no final errors, but … with a footnote: As I was finishing this one, I was interrupted by a phone call that I couldn’t ignore and jotted down an end time. At that point, I had BOOZE BRUNCH instead of BOOZY BRUNCH. When the interruption was over, I remembered that I wanted to recheck the crossing entry, did so, and corrected the error. So … call it what you will … 😜.

    I thought this puzzle was a bit thoughtful and made a few missteps: SOUPS before SIDES, BEGAN before LED TO and MARSHA before MARCIA before MARCIE.

    I don’t know if I’m up late or up early, but I’m up … 😳.

  2. No errors and I finished quite a bit quicker than most Saturday puzzles;
    I guess my mind was just working this morning. Started off well when
    I knew Inouye. For awhile I was considering “panting” for 7A, but that
    didn’t fit with Utes so used “puffing”…good call.

  3. Talk about a slow start. After about 8 minutes, I thought I’d have to give up since I only had about four things filled in. Struggled through it. First I got railroad tie and then — just because I recently read an article about Lou Brock — I got stolen bases. Otherwise I didn’t even know who he was. So… 31 minutes for me.

  4. Typical Saturday grind. The sports references got me through, in fact I got 1D by thinking of a St Louis Cardinal fan. And the Lou Brock clue was very timely as the Hall of Famer unfortunately passed away this past week.

  5. Sometimes Peter Wentz’s clueing, and many of his answers, just grate on me. PUPPY *DOG*?! That rules out puppy cats, puppy chicks, or puppy tadpoles, I guess. SIDES are part of *lunch* combos … but not breakfast or dinner meals? A rainout might be rescheduled on an *OPEN* DATE? Ya think? Oh, and his FINESSE SHOT? The allusion to Attila the Caucasian gets my vote for that honor. At least Wentz’s editor may have enjoyed this one; he or she obviously had the day off.

  6. Almost gave up due to that little knot of venomous snakes where cove and sides and evac and the tail of Couric all came together in a witches brew. But I kept grinding away at it and finally, when that got straightened out, the puzzle was done without final error. And before I came to Bill’s blog I told myself if he had finished today’s grid in under 10 minutes I was going to quit crosswords and take up knitting. Whew!

  7. 22 minutes, 57 seconds, and needed “Check grid” help to ferret out three fills. Wasn’t sure I’d get through this one; first time through, nothing made any sense.

  8. Mostly satisfying Saturday for me; took 41 minutes on paper with no errors. Kind of tricky here and there but slowly filled in with crosses and educated guesses.

    Had to change CUTeyPIE and scruB to REHAB, with everything else fitting the first time. Had spelled out versions of Auf Weidersehen and Au Revoir when CHEVRE and RAILROAD TIES made those untenable, not withstanding that they were either too long or short. I’m going to have to work on my Italian along with my French.

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