LA Times Crossword 1 Oct 20, Thursday

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Constructed by: MaryEllen Uthlaut
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): A Crack Puzzle

Themed clues are each the same, namely “Pops”:

  • 17A Pops : BOSTON ORCHESTRA
  • 33A Pops : ICE CREAM BARS
  • 42A Pops : DAD’S NICKNAME
  • 63A Pops : CARBONATED SODAS

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

Bill’s time: 6m 20s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Old storyteller : BARD

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.

9 Worthless stuff : DROSS

When metals are smelted, there is a scum made up of impurities that floats on the surface of the molten metal. This scum is called “dross” and is drawn off and discarded. The term “dross” has come to mean any waste or impure matter.

15 Muslim community leader : IMAM

An imam is a Muslim leader, and often the person in charge of a mosque and/or perhaps a Muslim community.

17 Pops : BOSTON ORCHESTRA

The marvelous Boston Pops orchestra specializes in playing light classical and popular music. The Boston Pops Orchestra grew out of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), founded in 1885 by Henry Lee Higginson. Higginson instituted a series of performances by the BSO of lighter classics for the summer months, starting in 1885. These performances were originally known as the “Promenade Concerts”, and soon became year-round events. The name evolved into “Popular Concerts”, which was shortened to “Pops” and officially adopted in 1900.

20 Female bighorn : EWE

The male bighorn sheep of North America has horns that can weigh up to 30 pounds, which is about 10% of the animal’s body weight.

21 Ensign __ Crusher, Wil Wheaton’s “Star Trek: TNG” role : WESLEY

Wil Wheaton is the actor who grew up playing Ensign Wesley Crusher on the best of the “Star Trek” TV series, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. In recent years Wheaton has become a de facto spokesman for the so-called “geek” or “nerd” community via a blog that he writes called “Wil Wheaton Dot Net”. He has been playing Dungeons & Dragons for years, and is also someone you’ll see at celebrity poker games on TV.

When Gene Roddenberry first proposed the science fiction series that became “Star Trek”, he marketed it as “Wagon Train to the Stars”, a pioneer-style Western in outer space. In fact, his idea was to produce something more like “Gulliver’s Travels”, as he intended to write episodes that were adventure stories on one level, but morality tales on another. Personally, I think that he best achieved this model with the spin-off series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (TNG). If you watch individual episodes you will see thinly disguised treatments of moral issues such as racism, homosexuality, genocide etc. For my money, “The Next Generation” is the best of the whole franchise …

23 Trio from Don Giovanni? : ENS

There is a trio of letters N (ens) in “Don Giovanni”.

“Don Giovanni” is a comic opera by Mozart, with a libretto in Italian by Lorenzo Da Ponte. The opera follows the adventures of Don Giovanni, a young rakish nobleman who finally comes to a bad end.

27 Parachute attachment : HARNESS

The term “parachute” was coined by Frenchman François Blanchard, from “para-” meaning “defense against” and “chute” meaning “a fall”.

33 Pops : ICE CREAM BARS

The term “ice pop” has largely been supplanted in the US by “popsicle”, as the Popsicle brand of ice pop became so popular. We still use “ice pop” in Ireland, and in the UK the same thing is called an “ice lolly”, and in Australia it’s an “ice block”.

38 Mild Dutch cheese : EDAM

Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

52 Christmas pudding fruit : PLUM

Christmas pudding is a traditional holiday dish served mainly in Britain and Ireland. It is also referred to as plum pudding, even though there aren’t any plums included in the list of ingredients. “Plums” was a term that used to mean “raisins”, which are included. One of the appetizing ingredients is suet, animal fat. There’s also a lot of alcohol, which allows the pudding to be aged for months if desired. I must admit, I love Christmas pudding, soaked in brandy that’s set alight. And a little brandy butter on the side …

56 Seal-hunting swimmer : ORCA

The taxonomic name for the killer whale is “Orcinus orca”. The use of the name “orca”, rather than “killer whale”, is becoming more and more common. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

58 Protective charm : AMULET

Amulets are items worn to ward off disease or to protect against harmful magic spells.

69 Changed course, nautically : YAWED

The word “yaw” means to deviate from the line of a course and is used mainly at sea and in the air. “Yaw” is derived from the Old Norse word “jaege” which means “to drive, chase”. As such, “yaw” is etymologically related to our word “yacht”.

71 Long shot, in hoops lingo : TREY

A trey is a three in a deck of cards. The term “trey” can also be used for a domino with three pips, and even for a three-point play in basketball.

Down

1 Sheep herder in a 1995 Best Picture nominee : BABE

The hit 1995 film “Babe” was produced and filmed in Australia. The movie is an adaptation of a 1983 novel called “The Sheep-Pig” written by Dick King-Smith. “Babe” was a smash hit at the box office and was extremely well received by the critics. The film was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, but lost out to “Braveheart”. However, it did win the Oscar for Best Visual Effects by beating out “Apollo 13”, which was an amazing feat, I’d say…

4 EPA-banned insecticide : DDT

DDT is dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (don’t forget now!). DDT was used with great success to control disease-carrying insects during WWII, and when made available for use after the war it became by far the most popular pesticide. And then Rachel Carson published her famous book “Silent Spring”, suggesting there was a link between DDT and diminishing populations of certain wildlife. It was the public outcry sparked by the book, and reports of links between DDT and cancer, that led to the ban on the use of the chemical in 1972. That ban is touted as the main reason that the bald eagle was rescued from near extinction.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

6 8th-century B.C. Hebrew prophet : AMOS

Amos is one of the twelve minor prophets in the Hebrew Bible. The Old Testament’s Book of Amos is attributed to him.

7 Western burger franchise __ Jr. : CARL’S

The Carl’s Jr. fast-food restaurant chain was founded in 1941 by Carl Karcher. Karcher’s first restaurant was a full-service establishment called Carl’s Drive-In Barbeque. He then built on his first success by opening a chain of smaller restaurants with a smaller menu and called them simply “Carl’s”, which was changed to Carl’s Jr. in 1954.

8 Bob Hope, often, for the Oscars ceremony : EMCEE

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

I remember my first non-business visit to Los Angeles. I was a typical tourist and bought a map showing the homes of the stars and drove around Beverly Hills absorbing all the glitz. At one point I drove past a Rolls Royce that was stopped in oncoming traffic, waiting to make a left turn. The window was down, and the driver was puffing away on a big cigar. It was none other than Bob Hope. Seeing him there right beside me; that was a big thrill …

10 Supreme singer? : ROSS

Diana Ross is one of the most prolific recording artists in history. She sang with the Supremes from 1959 to 1970 and then launched an incredibly successful solo career. Ross was listed in the 1993 edition of “The Guinness Book of World Records” as the most successful music artist ever, with eighteen #1 records.

The Supremes were the most successful vocal group in US history based on number-one hits. The group started out in 1959 as a four-member lineup called the Primettes. The name was changed to the Supremes in 1961. One member dropped out in 1962, leaving the Supremes as a trio. Lead singer Diana Ross began to garner much of the attention, which eventually led to a further name change, to Diana Ross & the Supremes.

19 Nocturnal scavenger : HYENA

The spotted hyena of Sub-Saharan Africa is also known as the laughing hyena because of the sound it oftens makes, which resembles maniacal laughter.

25 Part of rpm : PER

Revolutions per minute (rpm)

29 Sleep cycle : 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.

32 Early online forum : USENET

Remember the good old days, when you read messages online in “newsgroups”? Well, that system of aggregating public messages is known as Usenet, and it’s still around today. Usenet started operating in 1980, some ten years before the World Wide Web was introduced (which system has displaced Usenet in terms of popularity). Usenet definitely played a significant part in the history of the Internet. For instance, the terms “FAQ” and “spam” were both born on Usenet.

40 Sound system equipment : AMP

In a home audio system, one might have a preamplifier (preamp) and a power amplifier. In such an arrangement, the preamp isn’t really an amplifier at all as it does not amplify a signal or sound. The amplification task is left to the power amplifier, and the preamp serves as a switch between signal sources (cable box, CD player, DVD player etc.).

43 Mountain in the Tour de France route : ALP

Back in the late 1800s, long-distance cycle races were used as promotional events, traditionally to help boost sales of newspapers. These races usually took place around tracks, but in 1902 the backers of the struggling sports publication “L’Auto” decided to stage a race that would take the competitors all around France. That first Tour de France took place in 1903, starting in Paris and passing through Lyon, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Nantes and then back to Paris.

44 Subject of the biopic “I’m Not There” : DYLAN

“I’m Not There” is a 2007 film that uses six different actors to depict different aspects of the life of singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. The six actors are: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger and Ben Whishaw. The film’s title is the name of a song recorded by Dylan in 1967, although “I’m Not There” was not officially released then and made its first appearance on the movie’s soundtrack.

45 Guided by a statement of faith : CREEDAL

A creed or credo is a confession of faith, or a system of belief or principles. “Credo” is Latin for “I believe”.

46 “The Poetry of earth is never dead” poet : KEATS

English poet John Keats died in Rome in 1821, and is buried there in the Protestant Cemetery. His last wish was that his grave be marked with a tombstone bearing just the words “”Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water”, and no name nor a date. Keats’ friends honored his request to some extent, as the words were included on the stone and no name is given. The full epitaph reads:

This Grave
contains all that was Mortal
of a
Young English Poet
Who
on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his Heart
at the Malicious Power of his Enemies
Desired
these Words to be
engraven on his Tomb Stone:
Here lies One
Whose Name was writ in Water.
24 February 1821

48 Albania’s capital : TIRANA

Tirana is the capital of Albania, and the nation’s largest city.

The Republic of Albania is a country in the Balkans in southeastern Europe. Albania was made a communist state after WWII but became independent again with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990. Albania has been a member of NATO since 2009, and was accepted as an official candidate to join the European Union in 2014. The nation’s capital and largest city is Tirana.

49 Mortgage provision : ESCROW

One type of escrow account is held by a trusted third party for two parties who have some contractual arrangement, an arrangement that is often in dispute. The third party only releases the funds when both parties have fulfilled their contractual obligations.

53 Taste sensation : UMAMI

Umami is one of the five basic tastes, along with sweet, sour, bitter and salty. “Umami” is a Japanese word used to describe “a pleasant savory taste”. Umami was proposed as a basic taste in 1908, but it wasn’t until 1985 that the scientific community finally accepted it as such.

57 Willing partner : ABLE

“Willing and able”

59 Toy company with theme parks : LEGO

Lego is manufactured by the Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934 and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. The blocks were originally sold under the name “Automatic Binding Bricks” but I think “Lego” is easier to remember! The name “Lego” comes from the Danish term “leg godt” meaning “play well”.

61 British title : DAME

The title “Dame” in the British system of honors is the female equivalent to “Sir”, as used to address a knight. In days of old, the wife of a knight was given the title of Dame. Since the 17th century, the wife of a knight has been called “Lady”. So now, anyone with the title of Dame has earned the honor in her own right and not through marriage.

62 Best Game, e.g. : ESPY

ESPY

64 Passé : OLD

“Passé” is a French word, meaning “past, faded”. We’ve imported the term into English, and use it in the same sense.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Old storyteller : BARD
5 __ value : FACE
9 Worthless stuff : DROSS
14 Eager : AVID
15 Muslim community leader : IMAM
16 Time of one’s life : YOUTH
17 Pops : BOSTON ORCHESTRA
20 Female bighorn : EWE
21 Ensign __ Crusher, Wil Wheaton’s “Star Trek: TNG” role : WESLEY
22 Tasteless gruel : SLOP
23 Trio from Don Giovanni? : ENS
24 Flow slowly : SEEP
26 Manage, with “out” : EKE …
27 Parachute attachment : HARNESS
31 Like “it,” grammatically : NEUTER
33 Pops : ICE CREAM BARS
36 Note from the office : MEMO
37 Buddy : PAL
38 Mild Dutch cheese : EDAM
42 Pops : DAD’S NICKNAME
47 Hardened : STEELY
50 Replace on the schedule : PREEMPT
51 Poetic contraction : ‘TIS
52 Christmas pudding fruit : PLUM
55 Take in the groceries? : EAT
56 Seal-hunting swimmer : ORCA
58 Protective charm : AMULET
60 46-Down work : ODE
63 Pops : CARBONATED SODAS
66 Mound : KNOLL
67 Great start? : MEGA-
68 Ceremonial grandeur : POMP
69 Changed course, nautically : YAWED
70 Worshipped image : IDOL
71 Long shot, in hoops lingo : TREY

Down

1 Sheep herder in a 1995 Best Picture nominee : BABE
2 Swear : AVOW
3 Come to the surface : RISE
4 EPA-banned insecticide : DDT
5 Skillful handling : FINESSE
6 8th-century B.C. Hebrew prophet : AMOS
7 Western burger franchise __ Jr. : CARL’S
8 Bob Hope, often, for the Oscars ceremony : EMCEE
9 Turn red, say : DYE
10 Supreme singer? : ROSS
11 Current source : OUTLET
12 One of four on a par-4 : STROKE
13 Metal-cutting machine : SHAPER
18 Proprietor : OWNER
19 Nocturnal scavenger : HYENA
23 Represent in cipher : ENCODE
25 Part of rpm : PER
27 “That’s the guy!” : HIM!
28 First-rate player : ACE
29 Sleep cycle : REM
30 Drains of power : SAPS
32 Early online forum : USENET
34 Fellow : MAN
35 Spot on a screen : BLIP
39 Hydroelectric power source : DAM
40 Sound system equipment : AMP
41 Came upon : MET
43 Mountain in the Tour de France route : ALP
44 Subject of the biopic “I’m Not There” : DYLAN
45 Guided by a statement of faith : CREEDAL
46 “The Poetry of earth is never dead” poet : KEATS
47 Short and solid : STOCKY
48 Albania’s capital : TIRANA
49 Mortgage provision : ESCROW
53 Taste sensation : UMAMI
54 Subtle, as a shade : MUTED
57 Willing partner : ABLE
59 Toy company with theme parks : LEGO
60 Reminder to take out the trash? : ODOR
61 British title : DAME
62 Best Game, e.g. : ESPY
64 Passé : OLD
65 Get off the fence : OPT

21 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 1 Oct 20, Thursday”

  1. Bill, might take a look at your 31A script. It’s the same for 33A about ICE POPS..

    No errors but took way longer than I thought I should take. Seemed like I was getting distracted with each clue.. It was like I was on a completely different track. CREEDAL, NEUTER, and didn’t get the connection of ICE CREAM BARS as POPS.. But I made it.

    Have to wait till tomorrow to see comments. Still seems to be a problem with me seeing any comments. I don’t even get the 4 minute prompt.. I just his “post” and it goes blank.. Oh well. Still enjoy reading them tomorrow..

  2. The puzzle worked but nothing spectacular. Heard of credo but not creedal. And it looks like ode is the new “Orr” and “Ott”. Seemed like there was an inordinate amount of 3 letter words.

  3. SW corner a bit slow. Always think poetic contraction will be e’er or o’er, not tis. And Tirana isn’t in my memory banks.
    Hadn’t run into the comments issue others have mentioned until yesterday — apologies for the double postings.
    And, indeed, there’s no debate about the debate.

  4. No Googles, but left one square blank, the last one, a Natick of 2 sports clues. Still don’t understand either.

    Did not actually know, or never heard of BABE, WESLEY, CARLS, TIRANO, USENET.
    Theme was good.

    Haven’t been able to correct my comments, snce they don’t show up right away.

    1. I didn’t know trey or espy either. After doing a little reading, I think an espy is a sports award given by ESPN, the sports medium.

      Trey must mean three points, but I don’t know what it has to do with a basketball long shot as opposed to any other basketball score. Maybe a regular score is two points, not three. I don’t really care. hahahaha

  5. 9:38, no errors. For me, easy enough, but a plodder. Had AGE before DYE (silly me!) and EARL before DAME. Decent Thursday puzzle.

    1. I also paused over “CREEDAL”, but that’s not why I’m posting again. An encounter with another web site gave me an idea about something that could be causing the posting problem here …

    2. And … the idea didn’t pan out. (BEQ’s web site insisted on my putting in a valid email address before it would let me post a comment there, so I thought maybe that had some bearing on the problems here. However, supplying my email address didn’t seem to help.)

  6. 10:08 Also had EARL before DAME. Looking again, DAME and DAM are almost directly underneath each other – just off one column. Otherwise no issues.

    Postings still taking about 3 hrs. to materialize.

  7. 11:32 and DNF: STOCKY, YAWED, TIS and TIRANA just would not come to mind. The city was totally out of my ken, but the others I suppose I should have known.

  8. 7:08 no errors

    Fun! I like the pops.

    I remember Usenet. Back in the day when the Internet was nearly all text, and you had to supply the images in your mind when reading about “dogs in elk.”

    1. Dogs in elk?!?! I just found an explanation for this!!! Why was I not aware of it at the time???

      (But thank you, Pam, for a rather bizarre interlude … 😜.)

  9. 19 minutes with no errors.

    Dog in elk! wow, what a story!! I was all over Usenet, from 1985-2000 or so, before I moved on. Never did spend too much time in rec.pets…actually never.
    Love the comments: “I’m glad I have cats”, “no, there is no such thing as too much elk meat for a dog”, “Bet you could fit a whole lot of Pomeranians in that there elk carcass!” and “And that the nice deputy didn’t arrest me for terrifying her with elk parts before dawn.”

  10. Babe was nominated in 1996 not 1995. I read about each film nominated in 1995 but found no sheep herders. This definitely slowed me down. The 1995 winner for Best Picture was Forrest Gump with the other nominees being Four Weddings and a Funeral, Pulp Fiction, Quiz Show, and The Shawshank Redemption.
    The 1996 winner for Best Picture was Brave Heart with the other nominees being Apollo 13, Babe, Il Postino: The Postman, and Sense and Sensibility.

    I suspect others must have immediately known that Babe was the right answer because no one questioned this. Regardless, I enjoyed reading about other 1995 nominees like for Paul Newman in Nobody’s Fool which I’d seen recently and enjoyed. He was excellent in the role, and I found his nomination interesting. Oh the places a good crossword can take you!

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