LA Times Crossword 28 Sep 20, Monday

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

Today’s Reveal Answer: Break It Up

Themed answers each comprise two words, the first ending with I and the second starting with T:

  • 60A Stop a fight … and a hint to a literal feature of the answers to starred clues : BREAK IT UP or BREAK “IT” UP
  • 17A *Half of a two-piece suit : BIKINI TOP
  • 31A *Indian spiced drink : CHAI TEA
  • 44A *Winter Olympics squad : SKI TEAM
  • 10D *Miniature garden grower : BONSAI TREE
  • 30D *”American Crime” actress : LILI TAYLOR

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

Bill’s time: 5m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Sampras of tennis : PETE

Pete Sampras is a retired Greek-American tennis professional. Sampras was rated number one in the world rankings for six years in a row in the nineties.

14 Door-to-door cosmetics company : AVON

In 1886, a young man called David McConnell was selling books door-to-door. To enhance his sales numbers he was giving out free perfume to the ladies of the houses that he visited. Seeing as his perfume was more popular than his books, he founded the California Perfume Company in New York City and started manufacturing and selling across the country. The company name was changed to Avon in 1939, and the famous “Avon Calling” marketing campaign was launched in 1954.

15 Folksy Guthrie : ARLO

Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for singing protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.

17 *Half of a two-piece suit : BIKINI TOP

The origin of the word “bikini”, describing a type of bathing suit, seems very uncertain. My favorite story is that it is named after the Bikini Atoll, site of American A-bomb tests in the forties and fifties. The name “bikini” was chosen for the swim-wear because of the “explosive” effect it had on men who saw a woman wearing the garment!

23 General with a Chinese dish named for him : TSO

General Tso’s chicken is an American creation, and a dish often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zongtang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

30 Actress Anderson : LONI

Loni Anderson’s best-remembered role is Jennifer Marlowe on the sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati”. Anderson has been married four times, most famously to actor Burt Reynolds from 1988 to 1993.

31 *Indian spiced drink : CHAI TEA

Chai is a drink made from spiced black tea, honey and milk, with “chai” being the Hindi word for “tea”. We often called tea “a cup of char” growing up in Ireland, with “char” being our slang word for tea, derived from “chai”.

37 Garr of “Tootsie” : TERI

Actress Teri Garr had a whole host of minor roles in her youth, including appearances in nine Elvis movies. Garr’s big break came with the role of Inga in “Young Frankenstein”, and her supporting role in “Tootsie” earned Garr an Academy Award nomination. Sadly, Teri Garr suffers from multiple sclerosis. She is a National Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

“Tootsie” is a hilarious 1982 comedy starring Dustin Hoffman in the title role, a male actor who adopts a female identity in order to land an acting job. Jessica Lange won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in the film. “Tootsie” also provided Geena Davis with her first movie role.

38 Cotton thread : LISLE

Lisle is a cotton fabric that has been through an extra process at the end of its manufacture that burns off lint and the ends of fibers leaving the fabric very smooth and with a clean edge. Cotton lisle is mainly used in the manufacture of underwear and stockings. The process to make the thread was invented in the French city of Lille (formerly “Lisle”), hence the name.

41 Italian sparkling wine : ASTI

Asti is a sparkling white wine from the Piedmont region of Italy, and is named for the town of Asti around which the wine is produced. The wine used to be called Asti Spumante, and it had a very bad reputation as a “poor man’s champagne”. The “Spumante” was dropped in a marketing attempt at rebranding associated with a reduction in the amount of residual sugar in the wine.

50 Old ultrafast plane, briefly : SST

The most famous supersonic transport (SST) is the retired Concorde. The Concorde routinely broke the sound barrier, and cruised at about twice the speed of sound. Above Mach 2, frictional heat would cause the plane’s aluminum airframe to soften, so airspeed was limited.

53 Popular search engine : YAHOO!

Jerry Yang and David Filo called their company “Yahoo!” for two reasons. Firstly, a Yahoo is a rude unsophisticated brute from Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels”. Secondly, Yahoo stands for “Yet another Hierarchical Officious Oracle”.

57 Colgate rival : ORAL-B

The Oral-B toothbrush was introduced to the world in 1950, designed by a California periodontist. The first “model” was the Oral-B 60, a name given to reflect the 60 tufts in the brush. In 1969, the Oral-B was the first toothbrush to get to the moon as it was the toothbrush of choice for the crew of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

62 Burnett with a namesake Golden Globe : CAROL

Comedian and actress Carol Burnett is perhaps best known for “The Carol Burnett Show” which ran on television for over ten years from 1967 to 1978. My favorite of Burnett’s performances is in the 1981 film “The Four Seasons”. The Golden Globe’s Carol Burnett Award for career achievement in television was inaugurated in 2019, with Burnett being the first recipient.

66 Anklebones : TALI

The collection of seven bones in the foot just below the ankle are known collectively as the tarsus. One of those bones is the talus (plural “tali”), more commonly called “ankle bone”. The talus is the lower part of the ankle joint and articulates with the lower ends of the tibia and fibula in the lower leg.

67 Cogito-sum link : ERGO

The great French philosopher Rene Descartes made the famous statement in Latin, “Cogito ergo sum”. This translates into French as “Je pense, donc je suis” and into English as “I think, therefore I am”. Anything pertaining to the philosophy of Descartes can be described by the adjective “Cartesian”.

Down

1 Blue Ribbon brewer : PABST

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) is the most recognizable brand of beer from the Pabst Brewing Company. There appears to be some dispute over whether or not Pabst beer ever won a “blue ribbon” prize, but the company claims that it did so at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The beer was originally called Pabst Best Select, and then just Pabst Select. With the renaming to Blue Ribbon, the beer was sold with an actual blue ribbon tied around the neck of the bottle until it was dropped in 1916 and incorporated into the label.

3 Planned 2020 Olympics city : TOKYO

The 2020 Summer Olympics were rescheduled from 2020 to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whenever it takes place, the Games are scheduled to take place in Tokyo. Tokyo first hosted the Olympics in 1964.

4 Oklahoma city NNW of Oklahoma City : ENID

Enid, Oklahoma takes its name from the old railroad station around which the city developed. Back in 1889, that train stop was called Skeleton Station. An official who didn’t like the name changed it to Enid Station, using a character from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King”. Maybe if he hadn’t changed the name, the city of Enid would now be called Skeleton, Oklahoma! Enid has the nickname “Queen Wheat City” because it has a huge capacity for storing grain, the third largest grain storage capacity in the world.

5 Ho Chi Minh City, formerly : SAIGON

Hanoi (“Hà Nội” in Vietnamese) was the capital of North Vietnam, and Saigon the capital of South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, Hanoi was made capital of the reunified state. Saigon, the larger metropolis, was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi is located in the delta of the Red River, and is just over 50 miles from the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea.

8 Last year’s frosh : SOPH

The term “sophomore” has been used for a student in the second year of university since the 1680’s. The original meaning of the word was “arguer”. The term has Greek roots, from two Greek words that have been artificially combined in English. The Greek “sophos” means “wise”, and “moros” means “foolish”.

9 Mystery award named for a British writer : AGATHA

The Agathas are literary awards given annually for mystery and crime writers producing exceptional works in the “cozy mystery” genre. “Cozies” are crime fiction in which there is a dearth of sex and violence, and in which the crime is committed and solved in a small community or gathering. The awards are named for the queen of the cozy mystery genre, Agatha Christie.

10 *Miniature garden grower : BONSAI TREE

The term “bonsai” is used more correctly to describe the Japanese art of growing carefully shaped trees in containers, although it has come to be used as the name for all miniature trees in pots.

11 Flier that sleeps upside-down : BAT

Bats are the only mammals that are capable of sustained flight.

13 Danson of TV : TED

Actor Ted Danson is noted in particular for three successful roles that he has played on television. He played Sam Malone on the sitcom “Cheers”, the title role on the sitcom “Becker”, and eventually led the cast on the drama series “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”. Danson has been married to actress Mary Steenburgen since 1995.

18 Nary a soul : NOT ONE

The adjective “nary” means “not one”, as in “nary a soul” or even “nary a one”.

25 Domed Native American dwelling : WIGWAM

The terms “wickiup” and “wigwam” are generally synonymous, with the former used mainly in the Southwest and West, and the latter used in the Northeast and Canada. Wickiups/wigwams are domed structures with a frame made from arched poles, and covered with a roofing material such as grass, bark, reeds, hide or cloth.

29 Singer Bonnie : RAITT

Bonnie Raitt is a blues singer who is originally from Burbank, California. Raitt has won nine Grammys for her work, but she is perhaps as well known for her political activism as she is for her music. She was no fan of President George W. Bush while he was in office, and she sure did show it.

30 *”American Crime” actress : LILI TAYLOR

Actress Lili Taylor had supporting roles in films like “Mystic Pizza”, “The Haunting” and “Rudy”. She also had a recurring role in the HBO series “Six Feet Under”.

“American Crime” is a crime drama TV series that ran for three seasons from 2015 to 2017. I haven’t seen this one, but I hear good things.

31 Keep tabs on a tabby : CAT-SIT

Tabbies aren’t a breed of cat, but rather are cats with particular markings regardless of breed. Tabbies have coats with stripes, dots and swirling patterns, and usually an “M” mark on the forehead.

40 “Jeopardy!” host : TREBEK

Alex Trebek has been the host of “Jeopardy!” since the syndicated version of the game show launched in 1984. Trebek has missed just one episode since then, when he and host of “Wheel of Fortune” Pat Sajak swapped roles in 1997 as an April Fool’s joke. In 2014, Trebek picked up the Guinness World Record for hosting the most episodes of a game show.

47 Italian sub meat : SALAMI

“Salame” (note the letter E at the end) is an Italian sausage that is traditionally associated with the peasant classes. The meat in the sausage is preserved with salt, and it can be hung and stored for as long as ten years. The name “salame” comes from “sale”, the Italian word for salt, and “-ame”, a suffix indicating a collective noun. Our English word “salami” is actually the Italian plural for “salame”.

50 Shankar’s strings : SITAR

The sitar has been around since the Middle Ages. It is a stringed instrument that is played by plucking, and is used most often in Hindustani classical music. In the West we have been exposed to the instrument largely through the performances of Ravi Shankar and some music by George Harrison of the Beatles, a onetime student of Shankar.

51 Bitten by bees : STUNG

A queen bee has a stinger, just like worker bees. When a worker bee stings, it leaves its stinger in its victim. The worker bee dies after losing its stinger as the loss rips out part of its insides. However, a queen bee can sting with impunity as her stinger’s anatomy is different.

52 Versatile blood donor : TYPE O

In general, a person with type O-negative blood is a universal donor, meaning that his or her blood can be used for transfusion into persons with any other blood type: A, B, AB or O, negative or positive (although there are other considerations). Also in general, a person with type AB-positive blood is a universal recipient, meaning that he or she can receive a transfusion of blood of any type: A, B, AB or O, negative or positive.

54 “In memoriam” bio : OBIT

Our word “obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”. The Latin term was used for “record of the death of a person”, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

“In memoriam” is a Latin phrase that we use in English to mean “in memory of” when referring to a person that is deceased.

56 “__ le roi!” : VIVE

“Vive le roi!” is French for “Long live the king!” “À bas le roi!” is French for “Down with the king!”, which was a phrase often heard during the French Revolution.

57 Costume-buying mo. : OCT

All Saints’ Day is November 1st each year. The day before All Saints’ Day is All Hallows’ Eve, better known by the Scottish term “Halloween”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Sampras of tennis : PETE
5 Biological pouches : SACS
9 Monastery leader : ABBOT
14 Door-to-door cosmetics company : AVON
15 Folksy Guthrie : ARLO
16 Lose one’s cool completely : GO APE
17 *Half of a two-piece suit : BIKINI TOP
19 Tossed in a chip : ANTED
20 Devious sort : SLY DOG
21 “__ the matter?” : WHAT’S
23 General with a Chinese dish named for him : TSO
24 Village cousin : TOWN
26 Beer after a shot : CHASER
30 Actress Anderson : LONI
31 *Indian spiced drink : CHAI TEA
32 Mental giant : BRAIN
35 Like gloomy skies : GRAY
37 Garr of “Tootsie” : TERI
38 Cotton thread : LISLE
39 In need of a towel : WET
40 Blue eyes, e.g. : TRAIT
41 Italian sparkling wine : ASTI
42 Dolts : OAFS
43 Get a new tenant for : RELET
44 *Winter Olympics squad : SKI TEAM
46 “So that’s it!” : I SEE!
48 Oppressive ruler : TYRANT
49 Grab with a toothpick : STAB
50 Old ultrafast plane, briefly : SST
53 Popular search engine : YAHOO!
55 Light humor : LEVITY
57 Colgate rival : ORAL-B
60 Stop a fight … and a hint to a literal feature of the answers to starred clues : BREAK IT UP or BREAK “IT” UP
62 Burnett with a namesake Golden Globe : CAROL
63 Checklist component : ITEM
64 Barn topper : VANE
65 At that place : THERE
66 Anklebones : TALI
67 Cogito-sum link : ERGO

Down

1 Blue Ribbon brewer : PABST
2 Lesser of two __ : EVILS
3 Planned 2020 Olympics city : TOKYO
4 Oklahoma city NNW of Oklahoma City : ENID
5 Ho Chi Minh City, formerly : SAIGON
6 Museum display : ART
7 Class cutup : CLOWN
8 Last year’s frosh : SOPH
9 Mystery award named for a British writer : AGATHA
10 *Miniature garden grower : BONSAI TREE
11 Flier that sleeps upside-down : BAT
12 Reveal, to a poet : OPE
13 Danson of TV : TED
18 Nary a soul : NOT ONE
22 Needing a rubdown : ACHY
25 Domed Native American dwelling : WIGWAM
27 Make off with : STEAL
28 Like a wolf’s howl : EERIE
29 Singer Bonnie : RAITT
30 *”American Crime” actress : LILI TAYLOR
31 Keep tabs on a tabby : CAT-SIT
32 Leave the launching pad, with “off” : BLAST
33 Foolhardy : RISKY
34 Up and about : ASTIR
36 Slo-mo reviewer : REF
40 “Jeopardy!” host : TREBEK
42 Sworn statement : OATH
45 Make possible : ENABLE
47 Italian sub meat : SALAMI
49 Not exactly, informally : SORTA
50 Shankar’s strings : SITAR
51 Bitten by bees : STUNG
52 Versatile blood donor : TYPE O
54 “In memoriam” bio : OBIT
56 “__ le roi!” : VIVE
57 Costume-buying mo. : OCT
58 Cheer word : RAH!
59 “All bets __ off” : ARE
61 Fish that swims backwards : EEL

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 28 Sep 20, Monday”

    1. Just like the made-up term Natick, how about a term for putting in words that cross fit the puzzle like Viva (Viva Las Vegas) and Argo (Jason’s ship) that are correct but don’t fit the clue?

      I say call it a Double. Anyone else care to come up with a term? Maybe it will stick….

  1. As our trusty newspaper reprinted the “puzzle page” for today from a page
    two weeks ago…LAX puzzle, horoscope, Jumble, etc., guess I won’t be able
    to comment on today’s puzzle. Wonder what they’ll print tomorrow????

  2. 7:37 4 errors

    As usual, I didn’t find the Monday puzzle super easy. The theme seems a bit lame.

    Being stung is not the same as being bitten. Bees can do both. Also, only honeybee workers lose their stinger

  3. No errors, no Googles. Didn’t notice the theme.
    Never heard of LILI TAYLOR. I’m still back in the time of LIZ.
    Didn’t know the plural of talus – TALI.

    1. “Tossed in a chip” is a reference to the beginning of a poker hand where everyone hoping to play would be expected to have ANTED up.

      “Reveal, to a poet” is a synonym that a poet might use like bare or perhaps an abbreviation of open, like OPE.

  4. HIYA folks!!🦆

    No errors on an easy Monday. Didn’t notice the theme till I came here, but I actually find it kinda cute.🤗 Nice bit of LEVITY in today’s world.

    Go Dodgers!!

    Be well ~~⚾️

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