LA Times Crossword 21 Sep 20, Monday

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Constructed by: David Distenfeld
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Four 3s

Our four themed answers each start with a “3-related” word:

  • 17A Red bonus square on the Scrabble board : TRIPLE WORD SCORE
  • 26A Serious injury for a firefighter : THIRD-DEGREE BURN
  • 47A 1975 made-for-TV horror anthology starring Karen Black : TRILOGY OF TERROR
  • 61A Appetizer-entrée-dessert serving : THREE-COURSE MEAL

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

Bill’s time: 4m 56s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • KATZ (Gatz)
  • KOTB (Gotb)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 New York deli namesake Willy : KATZ

Katz’s of New York City is a famous delicatessen in Manhattan, New York City. Ever since WWII, Katz’s has had a promotion called “send a salami to your boy in the army”. Katz’s has shipped a lot of salamis in gift packages to Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years.

5 Nobel __ : PRIZE

The Peace Prize is the most famous of the five prizes bequeathed by Alfred Nobel. The others are for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature. There is also a Nobel Prize in Economics that is awarded along with the original five, but it is funded separately and is awarded “in memory of Alfred Nobel”. Four of the prizes are awarded by Swedish organizations (Alfred Nobel was a Swede) and so the award ceremonies take place in Stockholm. The Peace Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, and is presented in Oslo.

14 Wind instrument : OBOE

The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”.

15 “Superbad” co-screenwriter Seth : ROGEN

“Superbad” is a comedy movie released in 2007. The script for the film was written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Rogen and Goldberg started work on the script when they were just thirteen years old, with the first draft being completed by the time they were fifteen.

16 Pulitzer author Jennifer : EGAN

Jennifer Egan is an author who grew up in San Francisco. Egan’s 2010 work “A Visit from the Goon Squad” won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Usually termed a novel, “A Visit from the Goon Squad” is structured in such a way that it is sometimes described as a collection of linked short stories.

17 Red bonus square on the Scrabble board : TRIPLE WORD SCORE

Here’s a little Scrabble trivia … “Pizzazz” is the only 7-letter word in English that cannot be played in Scrabble. You can get close by using the Z-tile with the two blank tiles to get to three of the required four Zs, but there’s no way to get to that fourth letter-Z.

21 Casino wheel : ROULETTE

The term “roulette” means “little wheel” in French, and the game as we know it today did in fact originate in Paris, in 1796. A roulette wheel bears the numbers 1-36. A French entrepreneur called François Blanc introduced the number “0” on the wheel, to give the house an extra advantage. Legend has it that Blanc made a deal with the devil in order to unearth the secrets of roulette. The legend is supported by the fact that the numbers 1 through 36 add up to a total of “666”, which is the “Number of the Beast”. Spooky …

22 Michelle of “Crazy Rich Asians” : YEOH

Michelle Yeoh is an actress from Malaysia who appeared in several Hong Kong action films in which she did her own stunts and martial arts scenes. Her most famous action performance was in the 2000 movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, although I best know her for playing opposite Pierce Brosnan in the Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies”.

“Crazy Rich Asians” is a 2018 romcom based on a 2013 novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan. The film garnered a lot of attention and accolades, not only for the quality of the script and performances. It was the first major Hollywood movie to feature a principal cast of Asian descent since 1993’s “The Joy Luck Club”.

25 Sleep acronym : REM

“REM” is an acronym standing for “rapid eye movement”. REM sleep takes up 20-25% of the sleeping hours and is the period associated with one’s most vivid dreams.

35 Brazilian mountain chain : SERRA

The word “serra” appears in the name of many mountain ranges in Brazil. “Serra” is Portuguese for “mountain range”, and for “saw”, and is equivalent to the Spanish “sierra” that has the same meaning.

36 Pop star whose name used to be spelled with a dollar sign : KESHA

“Kesha” (formerly “Ke$ha”) is the stage name used by singer Kesha Rose Sebert.

39 Particulars, informally : DEETS

“Deets” is slang for “details”.

41 DEA bust : RAID

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was set up in 1973 while President Nixon was in office.

44 Descendant : SCION

“Scion” comes from the old French word “sion” or “cion”, meaning “a shoot or a twig”. In botanical terms today, a scion is used in grafting two compatible plants together. In grafting, one plant is selected for its root system (the “rootstock”), and the other plant is selected for its stems, leaves and fruit (the “scion”). The term scion migrated naturally into the world of family history. A scion is simply a descendant, a son or a daughter and therefore a branching point in the family tree.

47 1975 made-for-TV horror anthology starring Karen Black : TRILOGY OF TERROR

“Trilogy of Terror” is a made-for-TV horror film that was first aired in 1975. I don’t do horror movies today, and didn’t do them back then, so I haven’t seen it …

Actress Karen Black played quite a few memorable roles, including the waitress girlfriend of Jack Nicholson in “Five Easy Pieces” for which performance she received an Oscar nomination. If you have ever seen “Airport 1975”, Black is the one playing the stewardess who flew the plane after a mid-air collision.

50 Online guffaw : LOL

Laugh out loud (LOL)

“Guffaw”, meaning “boisterous laugh”, is an imitative word that is Scottish in origin.

51 “Seize the day” acronym : YOLO

You only live once (YOLO)

“Carpe diem” is a quotation from Horace, one of ancient Rome’s leading lyric poets. “Carpe diem” translates from Latin as “seize the day” or “enjoy the day”. The satirical motto of a procrastinator is “carpe mañana”, “translating” as “seize tomorrow”.

57 Royally named singer with the #1 album “Melodrama” : LORDE

“Lorde” is a stage name of the singer-songwriter Ella Yelich-O’Connor from New Zealand. Lorde’s cover version of the great Tears for Fears song “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” was used in the soundtrack for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (2013). Her song “Yellow Flicker Beat” is included in the soundtrack for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”.

65 Divided Asian peninsula : KOREA

Korea was occupied by the Japanese military from 1910 until Japan surrendered at the end of WWII in 1945. While the UN was working towards a trusteeship administration for Korea, the Soviet Union managed the Korean Peninsula north of the 38th parallel and the US managed the south. The UN’s plans came to naught as the Cold War dictated the establishment of the two separate states of North Korea and South Korea. North Korea invaded the South in 1950, leading to the Korean War. After three years of fighting, the border between the two states became the demarcation line between the two military forces on the day the Armistice Agreement was signed. That line runs diagonally across the 38th parallel, and is better known as the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

66 Happy hour places : BARS

I personally think that Happy Hour is best enjoyed shaken, not stirred; and with a good crossword …

Down

1 “Today” co-anchor Hoda : KOTB

Hoda Kotb is an Egyptian-American television journalist who is perhaps best known as a co-host of the NBC morning show “Today”. She is also the author of the bestselling autobiography “Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee”.

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.

2 Incantation opener : ABRA-

The incantation “abracadabra” has a long history. It was used as far back as the 2nd century AD in ancient Rome when the word was prescribed by a physician to be worn on an amulet to help his emperor recover from disease. “Abracadabra” is Aramaic, and roughly translates as “I will create as I speak”.

4 Gentle breeze : ZEPHYR

A zephyr is a gentle breeze, traditionally a light wind from the west. The term comes from the Greek god of the west wind, who was called Zephyrus.

7 Hunchbacked lab assistant : IGOR

In the world of movies, Igor has been the assistant to Dracula, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein among others. Igor is almost invariably portrayed as a hunchback.

8 Love, in tennis : ZERO

In tennis the score of zero is designated as “love”. Some people believe that this usage originates from the French “l’oeuf” (meaning “the egg”). The idea is that the written character “0” looks like an egg.

10 Month in which Kwanzaa starts : DECEMBER

Kwanzaa is a celebration of African heritage that lasts from December 26 to January 1 annually. The holiday was introduced in 1966 as an alternative to the existing holidays at the end of the year. The name comes from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza”, meaning “first fruits of the harvest”. The seven days of Kwanzaa are dedicated to seven core principles known as “Nguzo Saba”.

  • Umoja (Unity)
  • Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
  • Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
  • Nia (Purpose)
  • Kuumba (Creativity)
  • Imani (Faith)

11 Four-award acronym : EGOT

The acronym “EGOT” stands for “Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony”, and is a reference to performers who have won all four awards. Also known as the “Showbiz Award Grand Slam”, there are relatively few individuals who have been so honored. The first five to do so were:

  1. Richard Rodgers in 1962
  2. Helen Hayes in 1977
  3. Rita Moreno in 1977
  4. John Gielgud in 1991
  5. Audrey Hepburn in 1994 (posthumously)

18 __ United: English soccer team : LEEDS

Historically, Leeds United is one of the most successful clubs playing professional soccer in England, and is a team with a passionate fan base. The club is based in the city of Leeds in West Yorkshire, and the club badge features the White Rose of York.

23 Had too much, briefly : ODED

Overdose (OD)

24 Joan of Arc’s crime : HERESY

Joan of Arc (also “Jeanne d’Arc”, her birth name) led the French Army successfully into battle a number of times during the Hundred Years War with England. When she was eventually captured, Joan was tried in Rouen, the seat of the occupying English government in France at that time. There she was burned at the stake having been found guilty of heresy. In fact, after the fire died down, the executioner raked the coals to display the charred body, proving Joan had died, and then burned the corpse again, twice, so that relics could not be collected. The remaining ashes were then cast into the Seine River. Joan of Arc was canonized some 600 years later, in 1920, and is now one of the patron saints of France.

28 Formal “Who’s there?” reply : IT IS I

The much debated statement “it is I” is grammatically correct, and should not be “corrected” to “it is me”. Traditionally, pronouns following linking verbs, such as “is”, “appear” and “seem”, are written in the nominative case. Examples are:

  • It is I (who called)
  • It was he (who did it)
  • It is we (who care)

29 Spanish artist El __ : GRECO

El Greco (“the Greek”, in Spanish) was the nickname of the artist whose real name was Domenikos Theotokopoulos. El Greco was born in Crete in 1541, and moved to Venice to study art when he was in his early twenties. A few years later he moved to the city of Toledo in central Spain, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life.

31 Delta rival renamed in 1997 : USAIR

From 1953, what we recently referred to as US Airways was called Allegheny Airlines. In the seventies, customers became very dissatisfied with the company’s service levels as it struggled to manage a rapid expansion in its number of flights. These problems earned the airline the nickname “Agony Air”. Allegheny tried to leave the “agony” behind in 1979 and changed its name to USAir, but commuters then just used the nickname “Unfortunately Still Allegheny”. The name was changed again, in 1997, to US Airways. US Airways merged with American Airlines in 2013, and the “US Airways” brand name was gradually replaced with “American Airlines”.

Delta was the world’s largest airline for a while (after merging with Northwest Airlines in 2008) and is also the oldest airline still operating in the US. Delta’s roots go back to 1924 before it started carrying passengers and was called Huff Daland Dusters, a crop-dusting company based in Macon, Georgia. The name “Delta Air Service” was introduced in 1928.

32 Safari beast : RHINO

There are five types of rhinoceros that survive today, with the smaller Javan Rhino being the most rare. The rhinoceros is probably the rarest large mammal on the planet, thanks to poaching. Hunters mainly prize the horn of the rhino as it is used in powdered form in traditional Chinese medicine.

33 Consumerist Ralph : NADER

Ralph Nader has run as a third-party candidate for the office of President of the United States four times now, in every election from 1996 to 2008. Nader’s name was first first linked with the presidential race in 1971, when the famous Dr. Benjamin Spock offered to stand aside as candidate in the 1972 race if Nader would agree to run, but he declined.

38 Scorekeepers, at times : TALLIERS

Back in the mid-1600s, a tally was a stick marked with notches that tracked how much one owed or paid. The term “tally” came from the Latin “talea” meaning “stick, rod”. The act of “scoring” the stick with notches gave rise to our word “score” for the number in a tally.

40 Explorer Hernando de ___ : SOTO

Hernando de Soto was a Spanish conquistador who led expeditions throughout the southeastern US. De Soto’s travels were unsuccessful in that he failed to bring gold or silver back to Spain, and he did not establish any colonies in the Spanish name. What de Soto did achieve was the exposure of local populations to devastating Eurasian diseases. De Soto was the first European to cross the Mississippi River, in 1541. The first European to see the Mississippi (but not cross it) was Alonso Álvarez de Pineda, in 1519.

43 Lorna of literature : DOONE

The novel “Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor” was written by Richard Doddridge Blackmore. R. D. Blackmore was an English novelist, very celebrated and in demand in his day (the late 1800s). His romantic story “Lorna Doone” was by no means a personal favorite of his, and yet it is the only one of his works still in print.

45 Portia de Rossi’s “Ally McBeal” role : NELLE

Portia de Rossi is an actress from Australia who played Nelle Porter on “Ally McBeal” and Lindsay Bluth/Fünke on “Arrested Development”. Off the screen, de Rossi is famous as the wife of Ellen DeGeneres, whom she married in 2008.

“Ally McBeal” is a very successful television show that aired from 1997 to 2002. It starred Calista Flockhart in the title role, playing a successful lawyer. I must admit, I never watched the show, but I am told by a kind blog reader that it’s good viewing. It was created by David E. Kelley, who is also the man behind other successful legal dramas including “The Practice”, “Boston Legal” and “Harry’s Games’. Kelley is married to actress Michelle Pfeiffer.

48 Austrian pistols : GLOCKS

Glock is an Austrian company that produces the Glock series of pistols. Much of the frame of a Glock pistol is made out of a polymer, as opposed to metal.

49 Self-moving vacuum : ROOMBA

The Roomba vacuum cleaner is a cool-looking device that navigates its way around a room by itself, picking up dirt as it goes. Like I said, it’s cool-looking but I am not sure how effective it is …

52 Texter’s “Chat soon” : TTYL

Talk to you later (ttyl)

54 Algerian seaport : ORAN

Oran lies on the Algerian coast, and is famous for being the port where the French Navy was largely destroyed by the British during WWII in order to avoid the French vessels falling into the hands of Nazi Germany after France surrendered. This decisive and unexpected unilateral action by the British sent a very strong message around the world that Britain was willing to fight alone against the axis powers if necessary.

56 French franc successor : EURO

The French franc was made up of 100 centimes, before being replaced by the Euro.

58 Fanny : REAR

“Fanny” is a slang term for the buttocks, rump. You have to be careful using the slang term “fanny” if traveling in Britain and Ireland, because over there it has a much ruder meaning …

60 Lioness of film : ELSA

The life story of Elsa the lion was told by game warden Joy Adamson, who had a very close relationship with the lioness from when Elsa was orphaned as a young cub. Adamson wrote the book “Born Free” about Elsa, and then “Living Free” which tells the story of Elsa and her three lion cubs. In the 1966 film based on “Born Free”, Adamson is played by the talented actress Virginia McKenna.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 New York deli namesake Willy : KATZ
5 Nobel __ : PRIZE
10 Pack of cards : DECK
14 Wind instrument : OBOE
15 “Superbad” co-screenwriter Seth : ROGEN
16 Pulitzer author Jennifer : EGAN
17 Red bonus square on the Scrabble board : TRIPLE WORD SCORE
20 Soak in the tub : BATHE
21 Casino wheel : ROULETTE
22 Michelle of “Crazy Rich Asians” : YEOH
25 Sleep acronym : REM
26 Serious injury for a firefighter : THIRD-DEGREE BURN
34 Go bad : ROT
35 Brazilian mountain chain : SERRA
36 Pop star whose name used to be spelled with a dollar sign : KESHA
37 Army outfit : UNIT
39 Particulars, informally : DEETS
41 DEA bust : RAID
42 “What a shame” : SO SAD
44 Descendant : SCION
46 Ending with hero or alp : -INE
47 1975 made-for-TV horror anthology starring Karen Black : TRILOGY OF TERROR
50 Online guffaw : LOL
51 “Seize the day” acronym : YOLO
52 Dual-purpose : TWO-IN-ONE
57 Royally named singer with the #1 album “Melodrama” : LORDE
61 Appetizer-entrée-dessert serving : THREE-COURSE MEAL
64 Wine bottle date : YEAR
65 Divided Asian peninsula : KOREA
66 Happy hour places : BARS
67 Camera part : LENS
68 Wintry and white : SNOWY
69 Geometry class calculation : AREA

Down

1 “Today” co-anchor Hoda : KOTB
2 Incantation opener : ABRA
3 “Nothing __!”: “Easy!” : TO IT
4 Gentle breeze : ZEPHYR
5 Start to fix? : PRE-
6 Use oars : ROW
7 Hunchbacked lab assistant : IGOR
8 Love, in tennis : ZERO
9 Last a long time : ENDURE
10 Month in which Kwanzaa starts : DECEMBER
11 Four-award acronym : EGOT
12 Golfer’s transport : CART
13 Leg joint : KNEE
18 __ United: English soccer team : LEEDS
19 Smooth and glossy : SLEEK
23 Had too much, briefly : ODED
24 Joan of Arc’s crime : HERESY
26 Put faith in : TRUST
27 “It’s an __ just to be nominated” : HONOR
28 Formal “Who’s there?” reply : IT IS I
29 Spanish artist El __ : GRECO
30 Okay, as a treaty : RATIFY
31 Delta rival renamed in 1997 : USAIR
32 Safari beast : RHINO
33 Consumerist Ralph : NADER
38 Scorekeepers, at times : TALLIERS
40 Explorer Hernando de ___ : SOTO
43 Lorna of literature : DOONE
45 Portia de Rossi’s “Ally McBeal” role : NELLE
48 Austrian pistols : GLOCKS
49 Self-moving vacuum : ROOMBA
52 Texter’s “Chat soon” : TTYL
53 Roller coaster cry : WHEE!
54 Algerian seaport : ORAN
55 Midday : NOON
56 French franc successor : EURO
58 Fanny : REAR
59 Have the nerve : DARE
60 Lioness of film : ELSA
62 VCR go-back button : REW
63 Come out with : SAY

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 21 Sep 20, Monday”

  1. LAT: 5:52, no errors. I have a feeling that I posted this time on the wrong blog a few minutes ago (but I can’t be sure, because apparently posts are still going into a gray/black hole).

    NYT: 9:51, no errors. Made a royal mess of that one, but (as I may or may not have said in a post … somewhere … a few minutes ago), all’s well that ends well.

    Very distracted these days … may I be excused now? … 😜

    1. Actually, I just realized what’s happening: The blogs have become small black holes, but Hawking radiation is allowing them to slowly dissipate their contents … 😜.

  2. Looking at the puzzle in finished mode, it doesn’t seem very difficult. Maybe it was a little odd. 12 minutes, far too long for a Monday.

  3. I think the posts are going through a COVID-19 test and the results
    come out several hours later.

    No errors but still wonder how Hoda’s last name is pronounced. I guess
    I’ll have to tune in to Today and maybe I’ll find out.

  4. No errors, no Googles. After all, it’s Monday. But, didn’t know: KATZ, EGAN, YEOH, KESHA, LORDE, LEEDS, TTYL, ORAN.

  5. This one took a bit longer than I’m used to for a Monday (8 minutes, 45 seconds), but no errors. Despite looking sidelong at that KOTB entry for 1D, which is all kinds of dirty pool (how do you *pronounce* that, anyway??). Overall, though, it’s a grid by a name I haven’t seen (and who knows, maybe they’ll be better alternatives than the usual crew here), and I actually had a better outcome than poor Bill, who has had 2 errors in each of the last two puzzles (quel scandal!!!)

  6. Greetings y’all!!🦆

    No errors– the only one I didn’t know was YEOH. Oh, EGAN was new to me too. Got them easily thru crosses. 🤗

    Currently bingeing The West Wing, which I’d never seen. It’s pretty good but it makes me miss VEEP. I do like some noise in the house when I’m stuck inside all day…..

    Be well ~~⚾️

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