LA Times Crossword 9 Sep 20, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Susan Gelfand
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Horseplay

Themed answers each comprise two words. The first is a type of HORSE, and the second is a word that often follows “HORSE”:

  • 60A Roughhousing, or a hint to both parts of the answers to starred clues : HORSEPLAY
  • 17A *Feature of Santa Claus’ beard : WHITE HAIR (white horse & horsehair)
  • 39A *Out-of-control guy : WILD MAN (wild horse & horseman)
  • 11D *Bobbysoxer’s footwear : SADDLE SHOES (saddle horse & horseshoes)
  • 25D *Football field director : QUARTERBACK (quarter horse & horseback)
  • Bill’s time: 5m 23s

    Bill’s errors: 0

    Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

    Across

    1 “The Grapes of Wrath” family name : JOAD

    John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” is set during the Great Depression. The novel tells the story of the Joad family from Oklahoma, farmers who had to leave their home and head for California due to economic hardship.

    9 Havana houses : CASAS

    Havana is the capital of Cuba. The city was founded by the Spanish in the early 1500s after which it became a strategic location for Spain’s exploration and conquest of the Americas. In particular, Havana was used as a stopping-off point for treasure-laden ships on the return journey to Spain.

    14 Court legend Arthur : ASHE

    The great American tennis player Arthur Ashe spent the last years of his life writing his memoir called “Days of Grace”. He finished the manuscript just a few days before he passed away, dying from AIDS caused by a tainted blood transfusion.

    16 Pixel pattern : IMAGE

    A pixel is a dot, and the base element that goes to make up a digital image.

    17 *Feature of Santa Claus’ beard : WHITE HAIR (white horse & horsehair)

    The Santa Claus with whom we are familiar today largely comes from the description in the 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, and from the 1863 caricature created by the political cartoonist Thomas Nast. Nast is also responsible for locating Santa’s workshop at the North Magnetic Pole, a fact that he revealed to the world in a series of drawings in 1879.

    19 Kind of wave : TIDAL

    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.

    20 Colorful birds : ORIOLES

    The songbird called an oriole builds an interesting nest. It is a woven cup-like structure that is suspended from a branch like a hammock.

    22 Woodworking tool : ADZE

    An adze (also “adz”) is similar to an axe, but is different in that the blade of an adze is set at right angles to the tool’s shaft. An axe blade is set in line with the shaft.

    23 Arouse : PIQUE

    The words “whet” and “pique” can both be used in the sense of sharpening or awaking one’s interest or desire.

    33 Santa __: dry winds : ANAS

    The Santa Ana winds are the very dry air currents that sweep offshore late in the year in Southern California. Because these air currents are so dry, they are noted for their influence over forest fires in the area, especially in the heat of the fall. The winds arise from a buildup of air pressure in the Great Basin that lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Under the right conditions, that air spills over the peaks of the Sierra Nevada and basically “falls” down the side of the Sierra range, heading for the ocean. As the air falls it becomes drier and heats up so that relative humidity can fall to below 10% by the time it hits the coast.

    34 Chess pieces : MEN

    It is believed that the game of chess originated in northwest India. It evolved from a 6th-century game called “chaturanga”, a Sanskrit word meaning “four divisions”. These four (military) divisions were represented in the game:

    • Infantry (now “pawns”)
    • Cavalry (now “knights”)
    • Elephants (now “bishops”)
    • Chariots (now “rooks”)

    44 Tiny ammo : BBS

    A BB gun is an air pistol or rifle that shoots birdshot known as BBs. Birdshot comes in a number of different sizes, from size 9 (0.070″ in diameter) to size FF (.230″). Birdshot that is size BB (0.180″ in diameter) gives the airgun its name.

    45 Rocky Road holder : CONE

    The flavor of ice cream known as rocky road is made using chocolate ice cream mixed with nuts and marshmallows. The exact origin of the flavor seems to be disputed, but one story is that William Dreyer invented it in 1929, chopping up walnuts and marshmallows with sewing scissors belonging to his wife.

    46 Italian peak : ETNA

    Mount Etna on the island of Sicily is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy, and indeed the largest of all active volcanoes in Europe. Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Mt. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-gauge railway, and two ski resorts. It is sometimes referred to as “Mongibello” in Italian, and as “Mungibeddu” in Sicilian. The English name “Etna” comes from the Greek “aitho” meaning “I eat”.

    47 Holiday veggie : YAM

    Although in the US we sometimes refer to sweet potatoes as “yams”, the yam is actually a completely different family of plants. True yams are more common in other parts of the world than they are in this country, and are especially common in Africa.

    52 Genre for the Village People : DISCO

    Village People is a disco group formed in New York City in 1977. From day one, the band’s act and music was aimed at the gay community. The name refers to New York’s Greenwich Village, which at the time had a large gay population. The group’s members dressed up as characters associated with stereotypical gay culture, including a cop, Native American, GI, construction worker and cowboy. The biggest hits for Village People are “Y.M.C.A.” and “In the Navy”.

    53 Lipstick container : TUBE

    Lipsticks have a remarkably long list of ingredients. Die-hard vegans have to be careful in their choice of lipstick, as most contain beeswax. and the “shimmering” types often contain fish scales. Yuk …

    54 Custard-filled pastries : ECLAIRS

    The name for the pastry known as an “éclair” is clearly French in origin. The French word for lightning is “éclair”, but no one seems to be too sure how it came to be used for the rather delicious bakery item.

    68 Church recess : APSE

    The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

    Down

    1 Word with bone or breaker : JAW-

    Jawbreakers (also “gobstoppers”) are spherical, hard candy that usually consist of a number of layers that reveal themselves as the sweet dissolves in the mouth.

    2 __Kosh B’gosh : OSH

    OshKosh B’gosh is a company that produces and sells children’s clothes. The trademark OshKosh bib-overalls remind us of the company’s roots, as it was originally a manufacturer of adult work clothes based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

    3 Tuna type : AHI

    Yellowfin and bigeye tuna are usually marketed as “ahi”, the Hawaiian name. They are both big fish, with yellowfish tuna often weighing over 300 pounds, and bigeye tuna getting up to 400 pounds.

    5 Half a food fish : MAHI

    “Mahi-mahi” (meaning “very strong”) is the Hawaiian name for the dolphinfish, which is also called the dorado. The mahi-mahi is an ugly looking creature if ever I saw one …

    6 Golfer Aoki : ISAO

    Isao Aoki is one of Japan’s greatest golfers. Aoki’s best finish in a major tournament was runner-up to Jack Nicklaus in the 1980 US Open.

    7 Actor __ Patrick Harris : NEIL

    Neil Patrick Harris (NPH) got his big break very early in his career, playing the title role in television’s “Doogie Howser, M.D.” More recently, he played a lead role on the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother”, portraying the shallow womanizer Barney Stinson. Harris is also quite the magician and serves on the Board of Directors of Hollywood’s Magic Castle, a nightclub for magicians and magic enthusiasts.

    9 Op. __: footnote abbr. : CIT

    “Op. cit.” is short for “opus citatum”, Latin for “the work cited”. Op. cit. is used in footnotes to refer the reader to an earlier citation. It is similar to ibid, except that ibid refers the reader to the last citation, the one immediately above.

    11 *Bobbysoxer’s footwear : SADDLE SHOES (saddle horse & horseshoes)

    Bobby socks (or “bobby sox”) are so called because they are shorter than knee socks, they are “bobbed”, shortened, as in a bob haircut. Bobby soxers were young women who were fans of pop music in the 1940s, and who often wore poodle skirts and bobby socks, hence the name.

    Saddle shoes are those two-tones shoes (usually black and white) that were worn particularly by young women with poodle skirts and bobby socks in the fifties. The name comes from the dark (black) “saddle” of leather that goes over the top of the shoe, in which the eyelets for the laces are inserted. Saddle shoes didn’t make it to Ireland, but bell-bottoms certainly did …

    13 Monica of tennis : SELES

    Monica Seles has a Hungarian name as she was born to Hungarian parents in former Yugoslavia. Seles was the World No. 1 professional tennis player in 1991 and 1992 before being forced from the sport when she was stabbed by a spectator at a match in 1993. She did return to the game two years later, but never achieved the same level of success.

    18 Bard’s “before” : ERE

    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.

    24 Ancient Greek region : IONIA

    The geographic region called Ionia is located in present day Turkey. Ionia was prominent in the days of ancient Greece, although it wasn’t a unified state and rather a collection of tribes. The tribal confederacy was more based on religious and cultural similarities than a political or military alliance. Nowadays we often refer to this arrangement as the Ionian League.

    25 *Football field director : QUARTERBACK (quarter horse & horseback)

    A quarter horse is one that has been bred to run short-distance races of about quarter of a mile, hence the name.

    30 Cartoon frame : CEL

    In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

    37 Courtroom staple, for short : STENO

    Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

    40 Corp. VP’s degree : MBA

    The world’s first Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree was offered by Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, in 1908.

    43 Metal marble : STEELIE

    A playing marble made from agate is called just that, an agate. Steelies on the other hand, are made from solid steel.

    49 Grey Goose rival : STOLI

    Stolichnaya is a brand of “Russian” vodka made from wheat and rye grain. “Stoli” originated in Russia, but now it’s made in Latvia. Latvia is of course a completely different country, so you won’t see the word “Russian” on the label anymore.

    Grey Goose is a vodka that is produced in France. The beverage was developed especially for the American market using resources and expertise available in the French Cognac region.

    50 Shroud city : TURIN

    Turin (“Torino” in Italian) is a major city in the north of Italy that sits on the Po River. Back in 1861, when the Kingdom of Italy was formed, Turin was chosen as the first capital of the country.

    The Shroud of Turin has to be one of the most controversial, and most studied, human artifacts ever unearthed. The Shroud is a linen cloth on which there is the image of a man who appears to have wounds inflicted by crucifixion. Many believe that the Shroud is the burial cloth in which Jesus Christ was placed after he died on the cross. The Shroud was kept in various locations in France for centuries before being moved to Turin Cathedral in 1578, from which it gets its name, and where it has been located ever since.

    51 The “u” sound in “census” : SCHWA

    A schwa is an unstressed and toneless vowel found in a number of languages including English. Examples from our language are the “a” in “about”, the “e” in “taken” and the “i” in pencil.

    52 “__ Day”: 1993 rap hit : DRE

    “Dre Day” is the cleaned-up name for a 1993 single released by rap artist Dr. Dre, with a guest appearance by Snoop Doggy Dogg.

    56 Slow-moving boats : ARKS

    The term “ark”, when used with reference to Noah, is a translation of the Hebrew word “tebah”. The word “tebah” is also used in the Bible for the basket in which Moses was placed by his mother when she floated him down the Nile. It seems that the word “tebah” doesn’t mean “boat” and nor does it mean “basket”. Rather, a more appropriate translation is “life-preserver” or “life-saver”. So, Noah’s ark was Noah’s life-preserver during the flood.

    59 Normal: Abbr. : STD

    Standard (std.)

    62 Hail, to Hadrian : AVE

    The Roman Emperor Hadrian is best remembered today for building Hadrian’s Wall, a barrier marking the northern limit of Roman Britain. Construction of the stone wall started in AD 122, and the end result was the most fortified border in the whole of the Roman Empire. Much of Hadrian’s Wall can still be seen today, and I’ve had the privilege of walking along part of it when visiting Northern England.

    Complete List of Clues/Answers

    Across

    1 “The Grapes of Wrath” family name : JOAD
    5 Pay attention to : MIND
    9 Havana houses : CASAS
    14 Court legend Arthur : ASHE
    15 On the ocean : ASEA
    16 Pixel pattern : IMAGE
    17 *Feature of Santa Claus’ beard : WHITE HAIR (white horse & horsehair)
    19 Kind of wave : TIDAL
    20 Colorful birds : ORIOLES
    22 Woodworking tool : ADZE
    23 Arouse : PIQUE
    26 Enjoys now and then, with “in” : DABBLES …
    28 __ hand : HOUR
    29 Skater’s surface : ICE
    32 Auditioner’s aim : ROLE
    33 Santa __: dry winds : ANAS
    34 Chess pieces : MEN
    35 Peaks : CRESTS
    38 Polite address : SIR
    39 *Out-of-control guy : WILD MAN (wild horse & horseman)
    41 Primitive dwelling : HUT
    42 Bothers quite a bit : EATS AT
    44 Tiny ammo : BBS
    45 Rocky Road holder : CONE
    46 Italian peak : ETNA
    47 Holiday veggie : YAM
    48 Bridle strap : REIN
    49 Many map lines : STREETS
    52 Genre for the Village People : DISCO
    53 Lipstick container : TUBE
    54 Custard-filled pastries : ECLAIRS
    58 Challenging tests : ORALS
    60 Roughhousing, or a hint to both parts of the answers to starred clues : HORSEPLAY
    64 Permissible : LICIT
    65 Roused : WOKE
    66 Roof overhang : EAVE
    67 Signed : INKED
    68 Church recess : APSE
    69 Sometimes seedy loaves : RYES

    Down

    1 Word with bone or breaker : JAW-
    2 __Kosh B’gosh : OSH
    3 Tuna type : AHI
    4 Routes that contain the letters in “routes” : DETOURS
    5 Half a food fish : MAHI
    6 Golfer Aoki : ISAO
    7 Actor __ Patrick Harris : NEIL
    8 Took a risk : DARED
    9 Op. __: footnote abbr. : CIT
    10 Friendly : AMIABLE
    11 *Bobbysoxer’s footwear : SADDLE SHOES (saddle horse & horseshoes)
    12 Staring intently : AGAZE
    13 Monica of tennis : SELES
    18 Bard’s “before” : ERE
    21 Cutting talk : SARCASM
    23 Temporary stage : PHASE
    24 Ancient Greek region : IONIA
    25 *Football field director : QUARTERBACK (quarter horse & horseback)
    27 Partner of raised, in bios : BORN
    29 Copy : IMITATE
    30 Cartoon frame : CEL
    31 Finish no later than : END BY
    36 Long, loose top : TUNIC
    37 Courtroom staple, for short : STENO
    39 Ebb : WANE
    40 Corp. VP’s degree : MBA
    43 Metal marble : STEELIE
    45 Lettuce keeper : CRISPER
    49 Grey Goose rival : STOLI
    50 Shroud city : TURIN
    51 The “u” sound in “census” : SCHWA
    52 “__ Day”: 1993 rap hit : DRE
    55 Circuit : LOOP
    56 Slow-moving boats : ARKS
    57 “Now it’s clear” : I SEE
    59 Normal: Abbr. : STD
    61 Put down : LAY
    62 Hail, to Hadrian : AVE
    63 Cry of success : YES

    23 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 9 Sep 20, Wednesday”

    1. Boring puzzle. Okay theme. Clue for 32A was kind of a stretch. Had sale before role. The best clue constructor could come up with for ice was skater’s surface? And the clue for white hair is feature of Santa’s beard? All that’s missing is opposite of NNW and tic tac toe win.

    2. No errors, but 23D was also my hardest clue. I kept picturing the
      “stage” where plays are given, not the other meaning for stage. When
      I wrote in pique, that’s when I got the correct answer.

    3. 15:15 no errors…checked the theme after the fact.
      @RICH…some of us older and slower folks enjoy an easy clue here and there…give us a break.
      Stay safe😊

    4. Rich, how was 32A a stretch? If you audition, you’re trying out for a ROLE or a PART. SALE (your answer) might refer to an Auctioneer, if you misread the clue!? I know I’ve done that a few times! 😂

      1. Christine-

        You are 100% correct. I misread the clue! I thought it said AUCTIONEER’S goal. And I looked at it more than once. That’s what happens when you get up in years!

        Which brings me to Jack. I hear what you’re saying as well but what I’m looking for is creativity and a challenge from the constructor. For me, finishing a puzzle is not the main criteria of whether it was good or not.
        I am in no way commenting on your puzzle skills. Not my style. Stay safe my friend.

    5. I also, very briefly, had “SALE” before “ROLE” for 32-Across, having misread “Auditioner” as “Auctioneer”.

      Curiously, in the New York Times crossword for August 24th, the clue for 6-Down was “Auditioner’s hope” and four posters on Bill’s NYT blog for that day (including me and Glenn) reported having misread it as “Auctioneer’s hope”.

      https://nyxcrossword.com/2020/07/0724-20-ny-times-crossword-24-jul-20-friday.html

      What are the odds?! (Pretty good, apparently! … 😜)

      1. I caught myself briefly putting SALE into that spot here (half of it typed before I caught myself). Maybe only lost a second this time as opposed to probably 2 or 3 minutes on that puzzle you linked…

        1. This time I also read it more carefully and Put in ROLE, as I was one of the ones referenced in @Nonny’s link. However, when I first see something like “Auditioner’s aim”, I’m never quite sure if the answer will be ROLE or PART, so I have to get a few crosses first, unless I just flat out guess – and if I have a crossing “A” in the right place, I might misread and put in SALE.

    6. No real problems with the LAT’s grid today. For some reason I put in “bred” for 27 Down. Once I got that straightened out with “born” then the rest fell into place.

      I thought today’s WSJ grid was definitely tougher. It has some clever puns for the long answers and some tricky cluing generally, which had me staring and thinking for awhile. Eventually I got the SE corner to fall and that concluded my crossword afternoon endeavors.

    7. Re: 52A Genre for the Village People : DISCO – I recall having quite a chuckle watching a Republican convention on TV (1980 or 1984 for Reagan? 1988 for Bush Sr.?). In the music between speeches, to keep the crowd in the hall revved up, one of the numbers they played was the Village People’s “YMCA”. The clueless Republican conventioneers all sang along, and they even did the YMCA dance! Same is true since then, when hard-right types stomp and sing along with “We Will, We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions Of The World” by Queen – arguably THE MOST overtly in-your-face Gay band ever. Hee-hee…

    8. No Googles, no errors. Didn’t really know STOLI or DRE.

      Also triped over Auditioner for a min. Do you think the creator of the puzzle knew this would be the biggest stutter? Or was that a surprise to her? I often wonder about such things.

    9. Mostly easy Wednesday, after two easy early week sub 10 minute efforts; took me 12:27 before I got the “all done” banner, with no peeking. I also fell for the Auctioneer/Auditioner misread, but corrected it fairly quickly. Never heard of NEIL either, but crosses helped there. Last to fall was the PIQUE/PHASE section.

      Woke up to an orange hellscape (no, not Trump) from all the fires around here. The air is mostly breathable since the smoke is up high, with a cooler marine layer of air in between. Very weird…I think I know how that guy in “The Scream” feels.

    10. Greetings y’all!!🦆

      Well done grid. No errors. I paused over LICIT/STEELIE and had to remind myself how illicit is spelled to make sure. Didn’t notice the theme till I’d finished, but it made me want to go horseback riding. It’s been years. 🏇

      Jane can probably relate – I’ve taught ESL and GED Prep most of my career, and it’s always an adventure to teach pronunciation of the SCHWA sound!! 😯

      Be well ~~⚾️

    11. Rich – I think it’s funny that I saw how you might have misread the clue! And others did it too! I do it all the time and meant no disrespect to you! As I, too, get older I see things (literally and figuratively) as I WANT TO see them!! 😂
      Stay safe!

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