LA Times Crossword 14 Sep 20, Monday

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Constructed by: Craig Stowe
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Auto Mates

Themed answers each start with a word that often follows “AUTO-”:

  • 63A Streamlines, as a factory … or, when read as two words, what the beginnings of the answers to starred clues are : AUTOMATES or AUTO MATES
  • 17A *Smartphone download : MOBILE APP (giving “automobile”)
  • 25A *Sheet for plotting : GRAPH PAPER (giving “autograph”)
  • 39A *Mr. Lube service jobs : TUNE-UPS (giving “Auto-Tune”)
  • 50A *Sample set of buyers used in market research : FOCUS GROUP (giving “autofocus”)

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

Bill’s time: 3m 54s!!!

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Old Hollywood sex symbol West : MAE

Mae West was always pushing the envelope when it came to the “sexy” side of show business, even in her early days in Vaudeville. One of the first plays in which West starred on Broadway was called “Sex”, a work that she penned herself. The show was a sell-out, but city officials had it raided and West found herself spending ten days in jail after being convicted of “corrupting the morals of youth”. She started in movies in 1932, already 38 years old. West used her experience writing plays to rewrite much of the material she was given, and so really she was totally responsible for her own success and on-screen appeal.

4 Hooded winter coat : PARKA

A parka is a hooded jacket that is often lined with fur, and that is worn in cold weather. The original parka was a pullover design, but nowadays it is usually zipped at the front. “Parka” is the Russian name for the garment, and it was absorbed into English in the late 1700s via the Aleut language.

14 Computer giant whose motto is “THINK” : IBM

Tech giant IBM was founded as the Tabulating Machine Company in 1896. The company changed its name to the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation (CTR) in 1911 and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1916. The name “International Business Machines” (IBM) was given first to the company’s Canadian subsidiary, and then to its South American subsidiary. In 1924, it was decided to adopt the International Business Machines name for the whole company. Good choice …

“THINK” is a slogan that longtime IBM head Thomas J. Watson first used in 1911 while he was employed by the National Cash Register Company. Watcon brought the slogan with him to the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (later known as “IBM”) in 1914. “THINK” is now an IBM trademark, and it was used for IBM’s ThinkPad line of laptops. Many say that the Apple’s 1997 slogan “Think different” was a response to IBM’s “THINK”.

16 One-named “Hello” singer : ADELE

“Adele” is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. Her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US.

“Hello” is a 2015 song by English singer Adele that won her three Grammy Awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance.

20 Chris of “The Avengers” (2012) : EVANS

Chris Evans’ Hollywood career really took off when he was cast as the Human Torch in the “Fantastic Four” movies starting in 2005. He portrayed another superhero in 2011, playing the title role in “Captain America: The First Avenger”.

The Avengers are a team of superheroes in the Marvel Comics universe. The original lineup, which dates back to 1963, consisted of Ant-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and the Wasp. Soon after their formation, the Avengers rescued Captain America trapped in ice, and thereafter he joined the team. There is a 2012 movie called “The Avengers” that features Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk and Thor.

24 Feudal worker : SERF

A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. “Serf” comes from the Latin “servus”, meaning “slave”.

28 Variety show : REVUE

“Revue” is the French word for “review”.

31 Barbecued pork snack : SPARERIB

Spareribs are so called because “spare” can indicate the absence of fat.

38 Platform for Siri : IOS

Siri is a software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. Voice-over artist Susan Bennett revealed herself as the female American voice of Siri a few years ago. The British version of Siri is called Daniel, and the Australian version is called Karen. Also, “Siri” is a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”, and was the name the developer had chosen for his first child.

39 *Mr. Lube service jobs : TUNE-UPS (giving “Auto-Tune”)

Mr. Lube is a chain of automotive service centers that was founded in 1976 in Alberta, Canada.

Auto-Tune is a proprietary audio process that is primarily used to alter pitch in a recorded track. One of the main uses of Auto-Tune is to correct voice tracks that are slightly off-pitch, which probably explains why even professional singers tend to sound better on a recording than they do live. More extreme levels of Auto-Tune adjustment are now quite common, creating a sound effect that distorts vocals. Such sound effects really took off with the release of Cher’s 1998 hit song “Believe”, in which you can really notice the vocal distortion.

42 “If you ask me,” to a texter : IMO

In my opinion (IMO)

43 Basil-and-pine-nuts sauce : PESTO

Pesto sauce is more completely called “pesto alla genovese”, i.e. pesto from Genoa. A traditional recipe calls for crushed garlic, pine nuts, salt, basil leaves, parmesan cheese and olive oil. Yum …

50 *Sample set of buyers used in market research : FOCUS GROUP (giving “autofocus”)

A focus group is a small group of people who are asked their opinions about a product or perhaps a political candidate. Researchers use the information learned as an approximation of the opinions of the larger population.

58 Persian Gulf sultanate : OMAN

Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman is a monarchy, and the official name of the state is the Sultanate of Oman. All of the country’s legislative, executive and judiciary power resides with the hereditary sultan.

The land ruled by a sultan is known as a sultanate. In the West, the feminine forms of “sultan” are “sultana” and “sultanah”. The adjectival form is “sultanic”.

60 Roast host : EMCEE

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

61 Part of USNA : NAVAL

The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is located in Annapolis, Maryland. The USNA was founded in 1845 and educates officers for both the US Navy and the US Marine Corps. The motto of the USNA is “Ex Scientia Tridens”, which translates as “From Knowledge, Sea Power”.

66 Recurring motif : THEME

A motif is a recurring element in an artistic work or design.

67 Soccer shoe gripper : CLEAT

Soccer (also known as “association football”) is the most popular sport in the world. The term “association football” was introduced in 1863 in England, with the name chosen to distinguish the sport from rugby football. The term “soccer” started to appear about 20 years later in Oxford, as an abbreviation for “association”.

69 __ Hawkins Day : SADIE

Sadie Hawkins is a character in Al Capp’s comic strip “Li’l Abner”. Sadie was in search of a husband and so declared a “Sadie Hawkins Day” in which she chased the local men in a foot race, with marriage as the prize when one was caught. Starting in 1938, Sadie Hawkins Dances were introduced in schools across the US, to which the woman invites the man of her choosing.

71 Eagle or evil organ : EYE

The evil eye is a curse that is cast by giving a malicious glare.

Down

6 Irish actor Stephen : REA

Stephen Rea is an Irish actor from Belfast. Rea’s most successful role was Fergus in 1992’s “The Crying Game”, for which performance he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. In “The Crying Game”, Fergus was a member of the IRA. In real life, Rea was married to IRA bomber and hunger striker Dolours Price at the time he made the movie.

7 Phi Beta __ : KAPPA

Phi Beta Kappa was the first collegiate Greek fraternity in the US, founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. The organization served as a model for future collegiate fraternities and sororities, although in the 19th century Phi Beta Kappa distanced itself from the fraternal focus and transformed into the honor society that it is today, recognizing academic excellence. The initials Phi Beta Kappa stand for “philosophia biou kybernētēs”, which translates into “philosophy is the guide of life”. The symbol of the Phi Beta Kappa Society is a golden key.

10 Sushi soybean side dish : EDAMAME

Edamame is a simple dish made of immature soybeans still in the pod. The pods are boiled and then salted before serving, usually as a snack or side dish. The name “edamame” translates as “twig bean”.

11 “The Frog and the Fox” fabulist : AESOP

“The Frog and the Fox” is one of the fables in the collection attributed to Aesop, the Greek storyteller. In the fable, a frog leaps out of a swamp and declares himself a great doctor. The fox, on seeing the toad’s sickly-looking complexion, taunts the toad with the word’s “Physician, heal thyself”. Aesop didn’t coin the phrase “Physician, heal thyself”, and neither did Saint Luke who later attributes the words to Jesus in his gospel in the New Testament.

13 Barbershop quartet voice : TENOR

Barbershop music is played in the a cappella style, meaning that it is unaccompanied vocal music. Barbershop music originated in the African-American communities in the South, as gospel quartets often gathered in neighborhood barber shops to sing together.

25 Expert : GURU

“Guru” is a Hindi word meaning “teacher” or “priest”.

27 Star that’s also a source of radio waves : PULSAR

A pulsar is a rotating neutron star that emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation. As the beam is not emitted in all directions, it is only seen from Earth when at particular rotations, hence creating a cycle of pulsed gamma rays known as the lighthouse effect.

29 Presidential rejections : VETOES

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.

32 “The Raven” poet : POE

“The Raven” is a narrative poem by Edgar Allan Poe that tells of a student who has lost the love of his life, Lenore. A raven enters the student’s bedchamber and perches on a bust of Pallas. The raven can talk, to the student’s surprise, but says nothing but the word “nevermore” (“quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore’”). As the student questions all aspects of his life, the raven taunts him with the same comment, “nevermore”. Finally, the student decides that his soul is trapped beneath the raven’s shadow and shall be lifted “nevermore”.

33 B and B’s first B : BED

In the US, an intimate inn is a bed & breakfast (B&B). Traditionally, a bed & breakfast back in Ireland is more basic accommodation, and used to be much cheaper than a comparable hotel room.

35 Game with x’s and o’s : TIC-TAC-TOE

When I was growing up in Ireland we played “noughts and crosses” … our name for the game tic-tac-toe.

36 Thurman of “The Avengers” (1998) : UMA

Robert Thurman was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Robert raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and called his daughter “Uma” as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name “Dbuma”. Uma’s big break in the movies came with her starring role in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 hit “Pulp Fiction”. My favorite Uma Thurman film is the wonderful 1996 romantic comedy “The Truth About Cats and Dogs”.

1998’s film “The Avengers” is an action movie inspired by the British television series of the same name. The film stars Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman as secret agents John Steed and Emma Peel. I am a big fan of the original TV show, and really did not like the 1998 movie … at all …

37 __ favor : POR

“Por favor” is Spanish for “please”.

40 Pakistani language : URDU

Urdu is one of the two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English), and is one of the 22 scheduled languages in India. Urdu partly developed from Persian and is written from right to left.

The suffix “-stan” in many place names is Persian for “place of”. One example is “Pakistan”, the Place of the Pure. “Pakistan” is a relatively recent name, first coined in 1933. It comes from the abbreviation PAKSTAN, standing for Punjab – Afghan Province – Kashmir – Sindh – BaluchisTAN, all regions in the north of India. The “I” was added to Pakistan to make it easier to pronounce, and to fit the translation “Land of the Pure”.

44 Tidal wave cousin : TSUNAMI

Even though the terms “tidal wave” and “tsunami” are often used interchangeably by the lay person, scientists use the terms to describe two related but different phenomena. A tsunami is an ocean wave triggered by the large displacement of water caused by a large earthquake (usually). A tidal wave is a wave triggered by the displacement of water under the gravitational influence of the Sun, Moon and Earth.

46 Igneous rock, once : MAGMA

Magma is the molten material below the Earth’s surface. When magma cools, it forms igneous rock. “Magma” is a Greek term that describes a thick ointment.

51 Nebraska city near Boys Town : OMAHA

The village of Boys Town, Nebraska is a suburb of Omaha. The village was founded in 1917 as the headquarter of the Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home, which is dedicated to the care of at-risk children.

53 Exterminator’s target : ROACH

The insect known as a cockroach is closely related to the termite. Although generally considered a pest, the lowly cockroach has at least one claim to fame. A cockroach named Nadezhda was sent into space in 2007 by Russian scientists, where it became the first terrestrial creature to give birth in space. Nadezhda bore 33 cockroaches.

54 Reproductive cell : OVULE

As we all remember from botany class (don’t we?), an ovule is a small structure in many plants that develops into the seed after fertilization.

56 Like dive bars : SEEDY

We use the word “seedy” to mean “shabby”. The usage probably arose from the appearance of a flowering plant that has gone to seed.

We’ve been using the word “dive” in American English for a run-down bar since the latter half of the 19th century. The term comes from the fact that disreputable taverns were usually located in basements, so one had to literally and figuratively dive into them.

57 “Siddhartha” author : HESSE

Hermann Hesse was not only a novelist, but also a poet and a painter. His best known work is probably his 1927 novel “Steppenwolf”. Hesse was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946.

The 1922 novel “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse focuses on the spiritual journey of a man called Siddhartha. Even though the Buddha’s name was Siddhartha Gautama before he renounced his former life, Hesse’s Siddhartha is a different character who lived around the time of the Buddha.

60 CPR pros : EMTS

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

62 Jeans label : LEE

The Lee company that is famous for making jeans was formed in 1889 by one Henry David Lee in Salina, Kansas.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Old Hollywood sex symbol West : MAE
4 Hooded winter coat : PARKA
9 Flinch or gasp, say : REACT
14 Computer giant whose motto is “THINK” : IBM
15 Go-to crew : A-TEAM
16 One-named “Hello” singer : ADELE
17 *Smartphone download : MOBILE APP (giving “automobile”)
19 Bricklayer : MASON
20 Chris of “The Avengers” (2012) : EVANS
21 “… to __ it mildly” : PUT
23 Prefix meaning “one” : MONO-
24 Feudal worker : SERF
25 *Sheet for plotting : GRAPH PAPER (giving “autograph”)
28 Variety show : REVUE
30 “Delish!” : YUM!
31 Barbecued pork snack : SPARERIB
34 Rain more gently : LET UP
38 Platform for Siri : IOS
39 *Mr. Lube service jobs : TUNE-UPS (giving “Auto-Tune”)
42 “If you ask me,” to a texter : IMO
43 Basil-and-pine-nuts sauce : PESTO
45 Ideal wheels : DREAM CAR
47 Observe : SEE
49 Rid of vermin : DERAT
50 *Sample set of buyers used in market research : FOCUS GROUP (giving “autofocus”)
55 Deep cut : GASH
58 Persian Gulf sultanate : OMAN
59 Statehouse VIP : GOV
60 Roast host : EMCEE
61 Part of USNA : NAVAL
63 Streamlines, as a factory … or, when read as two words, what the beginnings of the answers to starred clues are : AUTOMATES or AUTO MATES
66 Recurring motif : THEME
67 Soccer shoe gripper : CLEAT
68 Has too much, briefly : ODS
69 __ Hawkins Day : SADIE
70 Learns (of) : HEARS
71 Eagle or evil organ : EYE

Down

1 Performers often “trapped” in imaginary boxes : MIMES
2 Overhead : ABOVE
3 Humiliate : EMBARRASS
4 Close friends : PALS
5 Dug in, at dinner : ATE
6 Irish actor Stephen : REA
7 Phi Beta __ : KAPPA
8 Increase the intensity of : AMP UP
9 Ewe’s beau : RAM
10 Sushi soybean side dish : EDAMAME
11 “The Frog and the Fox” fabulist : AESOP
12 Replicate genetically : CLONE
13 Barbershop quartet voice : TENOR
18 Deduce : INFER
22 Biblical “your” : THY
25 Expert : GURU
26 Harness strap : REIN
27 Star that’s also a source of radio waves : PULSAR
29 Presidential rejections : VETOES
31 Nurse, as a drink : SIP
32 “The Raven” poet : POE
33 B and B’s first B : BED
35 Game with x’s and o’s : TIC-TAC-TOE
36 Thurman of “The Avengers” (1998) : UMA
37 __ favor : POR
40 Pakistani language : URDU
41 “Not a __ out of you!” : PEEP
44 Tidal wave cousin : TSUNAMI
46 Igneous rock, once : MAGMA
48 Omelet ingredient : EGG
50 Roman and Comic Sans : FONTS
51 Nebraska city near Boys Town : OMAHA
52 Gave in : CAVED
53 Exterminator’s target : ROACH
54 Reproductive cell : OVULE
56 Like dive bars : SEEDY
57 “Siddhartha” author : HESSE
60 CPR pros : EMTS
62 Jeans label : LEE
64 Leaves in hot water? : TEA
65 Rowboat rower : OAR

24 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 14 Sep 20, Monday”

  1. No errors.. About 8 minutes which is about as fast as I can write with a pen. No errors. Actual paused for a bit on 51D. As I am extremely familiar with nebraska, there is a city named NEBRASKA CITY, and the clue included the words Nebraska city, I paused. How would you put Nebraska city near Boys town? Although it is actually very near Boys Town already. About 50 miles.. Which is close in nebraska. Then after looking at the clue again and seeing that the word city was in lower case, and applying those unwritten crossword rules, then the clue made sense… Omaha.. Actually, Boys town is now considered a suburb of Omaha. Its like what Coppell Texas or McKinley Texas is to Dallas. Maybe the crossword constructor knew that and was trying to trick people from Nebraska??? … Nah.

  2. Two write-overs. On a Monday, I like to see how far I can go sequentially in the down column until I am stumped. Got to 3D and entered ’embarass’, stared at the empty box and was….well, you know.

    49A: A neighbor’s friendly pet recently came in my house to explore when I opened the door. When I (nicely) shooed the feline out, did I decat? I also threw out a ratty old ball cap, did I dehat? When I stood up did I de _ _ _?

    69A & 71A made me think of Evil Eye Fleagle and the dreaded quadruple whammy.

    1. Chris – with you on this. It was one of my last fill-ins. Why do we “deplane” but not detrain or debus or deboat, decar, etc. We exit or disembark our various modes of transports, except for a plane. I’ve always had a gripe with de-planing. Of course, in the current day, far fewer of us are deplaning since we are not “enplaning” – which my dictionary tells me is a real word. Guess I’ll have to encar to go to the grocery in the future. 🙂

      Otherwise, I seemed to cruise thru this.

  3. 14:07 with one dumb error resulting from laziness in checking my answers. Me too with the DERAT nonsense.
    Ravens 38 Browns 6…one down 15 to go.
    Happy defenders day 🇺🇸
    Stay safe.

  4. Easy Monday, as it should be. Did not know EVANS, IOS, EDAMAME. Never noticed the theme.

    @Mike – OMAHA is one of those perfect crosswords as it has a majority of vowels. Like UTICA, ONEIDA, SADIE, MAE, ATEAM. Expect them.

    1. Dan Feyer is nationally known for speed solving crossword puzzles. He has been profiled on tv numerous times and if I’m not mistaken, has competed and won many tournaments. He is pretty remarkable!

  5. Well, I kind of hate myself for even wanting to post this, but … my best time for a 15×15 puzzle was a 3:45 on the New York Times for Monday, December 30, 2019. It was an outrageously easy puzzle, I did it on my iPad Mini (managing, somehow, to avoid the usual fat-fingerings that I so detest on that device), and I apparently achieved some sort of Zen state. (I’m quite sure, if I had realized what was happening, I’d have found a way to screw it up … 😜.)

    As I’ve said here before, I’m in awe of the fast times others achieve, but I’m unwilling to do all the things I would have to do to improve my own times and I’m quite sure that the small ego boost I got out of it would do little to repay my investment. That’s not what I do puzzles for … 🙂.

    1. Most of the time, I really don’t want to call attention to anything I do on these most times (especially who’s faster than who). A lot of times I just post that simply because after doing 40 to 50 puzzles a week for a few years (now), a lot of these get pretty uneventful on other perspectives (other puzzles now…but this isn’t the venue for that). I’m sure Bill gets some cover on the “cheating” accusations, too. It’s amazing to me that you’re able to remember your missteps a lot of times as I really couldn’t tell you mine on a puzzle after I finish them.

      That said, I just try to be more efficient in what I do and try to get things the first time I look at them as opposed to the third or fourth, with grid help (that kind of grates at me). I know too I’m never going to be fast as a lot of the solving public (and trust me I’m reminded of that rather frequently) for several reasons, but as long as I’m finishing puzzles, and at least doing my best, I’m happy.

  6. 4:36 no errors

    Had to shrug at DERAT. Sure, why not?

    Also smiled at two old crossword pals right next to other, TEA and OAR.

    Hope everyone affected by the fires is safe.

  7. Hello every buddy!!🦆

    Wow! I think this IS a personal best for Bill….in my 6 years here I’ve not seen him go below 4:00 before. 👍🏻

    No errors, no problems. Didn’t notice the theme unless you count 66A, THEME. 🤗

    DERAT doesn’t bother me. I’d be bugged if a puzzle contained 4 or 5 of such fill but I’m used to the obscure terms that don’t seem real but still show up in puzzles. Well done grid overall.

    Be well~~⚾️

  8. I recently turned 70 and have just taken up Crossword Puzzles. I was able to complete this Monday’s. (Sept 14) I amazed myself! Thank you for Mondays!!!!!!
    It gives one the courage to try the harder ones and forgive those “senior moments” Shiela.

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