LA Times Crossword 16 Oct 20, Friday

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Constructed by: Steve Faiella
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Mixed Emotions

Themed answers are each common phrases with an EMOTION as the last word, but the letters of that EMOTION have been MIXED:

  • 55A Mental conflict … or what may be found in four long puzzle answers? : MIXED EMOTIONS
  • 21A Text from one who can’t get out of Buy Buy Baby? : LOST IN DIAPERS (from “lost in despair”)
  • 29A Comment after submitting yet another updated tax return? : WHAT A REFILE (from “what a relief”)
  • 36A Attendees of Biting Fly High School? : TEENAGE GNATS (from “teenage angst”)
  • 45A Zombie field mouse? : UNDYING VOLE (from “undying love”)

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

Bill’s time: 10m 44s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Band letters : AM/FM

In telecommunications, a radio signal is transmitted using a sinusoidal carrier wave. Information is transmitted using this carrier wave in two main ways, by varying (modulating) the instantaneous amplitude (signal strength) of the carrier wave, and by modulating the instantaneous frequency of the carrier wave. The former is referred to as an AM signal (“amplitude modulation”), and the latter as an FM signal (“frequency modulation”).

5 Lennon comrade : STARR

Sir Ringo Starr’s real name is Richard Starkey. Before he joined the Beatles, replacing drummer Pete Best, Starkey played with the Raving Texans. It was with the Raving Texans that he adopted the name “Ringo Starr”, because he wore a lot of rings and he thought it sounded “cowboyish”. Back then his drum solos were billed as “Starr Time”.

10 Hitchcock’s “The 39 __” : STEPS

“The 39 Steps” is a marvelous Alfred Hitchcock movie based on the John Buchan novel “The Thirty-Nine Steps”. Released in 1935, the film stars Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll. I love this movie …

15 London flat? : TYRE

Here’s another example of terms that change as we cross the Atlantic Ocean. When talking about tires (“tyres” in Britain and Ireland), a defect can cause a “flat” (“puncture” in Britain and Ireland).

16 Skating rink drink : COCOA

The beverages hot cocoa and hot chocolate differ from each other in that the latter contains cocoa butter, whereas the former does not.

18 Miracle Mets outfielder Tommie : AGEE

Tommie Agee was a Major League Baseball player who played mainly with the Indians, White Sox and Mets. He was one of the “Amazin’ Mets”, and was famous for making two phenomenal catches in game three of the 1969 world series, potentially saving five runs. Agee was also the first Mets outfielder to win a Gold Glove, doing so in 1970.

19 “Thy word is __ unto my feet”: Psalms : A LAMP

The Greek word “psalmoi” originally meant “songs sung to a harp”, and gave us the word “psalms”. In the Jewish and Western Christian traditions, the Book of Psalms contains 150 individual psalms, divided into five sections.

20 Garlicky mayo : AIOLI

To the purist, especially in Provence in the South of France, aioli is prepared just by grinding garlic with olive oil. However, other ingredients are often added to the mix, particularly egg yolks.

Mayonnaise originated in the town of Mahon in Menorca, a Mediterranean island belonging to Spain. The Spanish called the sauce “salsa mahonesa” after the town, and this morphed into the French word “mayonnaise” that we use in English today.

21 Text from one who can’t get out of Buy Buy Baby? : LOST IN DIAPERS (from “lost in despair”)

“Diaper” is another word that I had to learn when I moved to America. What are called “diapers” over here, we call “nappies” back in Ireland. The term “diaper” is actually the original term that was used in England for the garment, where “diaper” referred to the cloth that was used. The term “diaper” was brought to the New World where it stuck. Back in Britain, “diaper” was displaced by the word “nappy”, a diminutive of “napkin”.

24 Letter before Papa : OSCAR

The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

25 Adorkable style : NERD CHIC

I consider “dork” and “adorkable” to be pretty offensive slang. “Dork” originated in the sixties among American students, and has its roots in another slang term, a term for male genitalia.

33 Man, in Milan : UOMO

Milan (“Milano” in Italian) is Italy’s second largest city, second only to Rome. Milan is a European fashion capital, the headquarters for the big Italian fashion houses of Valentino, Gucci, Versace, Armani, Prada and others. Mario Prada was even born in Milan, and helped establish the city’s reputation in the world of fashion.

34 Spelling of “BH90210” : TORI

Tori Spelling is an American actress who made a name for herself playing Donna Martin on television’s “Beverly Hills, 90210”. Tori is the daughter of film and television producer Aaron Spelling.

“Beverly Hills, 90210” is a drama that aired on Fox from 1990 to 2000. The show follows the lives of little rich kids in Beverly Hills. Many of the cast members have made it big following their appearances on “90210”, including Jason Priestly, Luke Perry, Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling. I’ve never even seen one episode …

44 Mendel subjects : PEAS

Gregor Mendel was an Austrian monk, and a scientist who achieved fame after his passing when his work in the field of genetics was rediscovered. The conclusions he drew from his studies of garden peas led to him earning the moniker “father of modern genetics”.

45 Zombie field mouse? : UNDYING VOLE (from “undying love”)

Vole populations can increase very rapidly. Mama vole is pregnant for just three weeks before giving birth to litters of 5-10 baby voles. Then, the young voles become sexually mature in just one month! If you have one pregnant vole in your yard, within a year you could have over a hundred of the little critters.

A zombie is a corpse that has been brought back to life by some mystical means. Our modern use of the term largely stems from the undead creatures featured in the 1968 horror movie called “Night of the Living Dead”. Now that film I haven’t seen, and probably never will …

52 Bar owner, vis-à-vis selling drinks : LICENSEE

We can use the French phrase “vis-à-vis” as a preposition meaning “compared with”. When used as an adverb or adjective, it means “face-to-face”, which is a more literal translation from French.

54 Motes : IOTAS

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

59 Brother of Willow Smith : JADEN

The multi-talented Will Smith started his performing career as a rap artist in the late 1980s using the stage name “the Fresh Prince”. He then landed the lead role in the hit sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, and parlayed that into an extremely successful movie career. Smith has two children with his second wife, actress Jada Koren Pinkett. His son Jaden Smith co-starred with his dad in the movies “The Pursuit of Happyness” and “After Earth”. His daughter Willow Smith appeared with Will in the movie “I am Legend”.

63 Boxcars in un casino : DOCE

In Spanish, “seis” (six) doubled is “doce” (twelve).

“Boxcars” is a slang term for two sixes rolled on a pair of dice, particularly in the game of craps. The idea is that the twelve pips on the dice resemble a pair of boxcars on a freight train.

65 Food safety concern : E COLI

Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.

66 Pulitzer winner Robert __ Butler : OLEN

Robert Olen Butler is an American writer of fiction. He won a Pulitzer in 1995 for his collection of short stories called “A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain”. Each of the stories in the book tells of a different Vietnamese immigrant living in Louisiana.

67 Some etiquette tips : DON’TS

Our word “etiquette”, meaning “prescribed behavior” comes from French. The term developed in French from the older “estiquette” meaning “label, ticket”. It is suggested that the term developed from small cards or “tickets” that were printed with instructions on the prescribed behavior at the French court.

Down

3 Coca-Cola brand : FRESCA

Fresca is a Coca-Cola product introduced in 1966 that is a little unusual in that it has no Pepsi Cola equivalent. It has always been marketed as a zero-calorie grapefruit drink, and so is artificially sweetened.

4 Use for a tryst : MEET AT

In the most general sense, a tryst is a meeting at an agreed time and place. More usually we consider a tryst to be a pre-arranged meeting between lovers. The term comes from the Old French “triste”, a waiting place designated when hunting. Further, a tryst taking place at lunchtime is sometimes referred to as a nooner.

5 Checkout action : SCAN

The initialism “UPC” stands for Universal Price Code or Universal Product Code. The first ever UPC-marked item to get scanned in a store was on June 26, 1974 at 08:01 a.m. at Marsh’s supermarket in Troy, Ohio. It was a 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum.

7 Berry with three vowels and three syllables : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

8 Itinerant Europeans : ROMANI

The Romani people are an ethnic group mainly found across Europe. Outsiders often refer to the Romani as “gypsies”. The Romani arrived in Europe in the 15th century from the Middle East. The English term “gypsy” comes from a Middle English corruption of the word for an “Egyptian”.

9 Rock climber’s descent : RAPPEL

What we call “rappelling” in this country is known as “abseiling” in the rest of the world (from the German “abseilen” meaning “to rope down”).

10 Grassy expanse : SWARD

“Sward” is a version of the word “swarth”, and describes a grassy piece of land.

11 Shredded-wheat cracker : TRISCUIT

Triscuit snack crackers were introduced in 1903. The name “Triscuit” was chosen as a portmanteau of “electricity” and “biscuit”, the idea being that Triscuits were the only cracker “Baked by Electricity” back then.

12 Job listing abbr. : EEO

“Equal Employment Opportunity” (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was set up by the Civil Rights Act. Title VII of the Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion.

13 Chum : PAL

A chum is a friend. The term “chum” originated in the late 1600s as an alternative spelling for “cham”. In turn, “cham” was a shortened form of “chambermate”, a roommate at university.

26 Brewer’s flowers : HOPS

The foodstuff that we call “hops” are actually the female flowers of the hop plant. The main use of hops is to add flavor to beer. The town in which I live here in California used to be home to the largest hop farm in the whole world. Most of the harvested hops were exported all the way to the breweries of London, where they could fetch the best price.

30 “This Is Us” Emmy winner __ Cephas Jones : RON

Actor Ron Cephas Jones is perhaps best known for portraying chess master Bobby Fish on the Netflix superhero series “Luke Cage”, and Randall Pearson’s biological father William “Shakespeare” Hill on the TV drama “This Is Us”.

“This Is Us” is a television drama that debuted in 2016. The storyline centers on three siblings and their parents. Two of the siblings are the surviving members of a triplet pregnancy. The parents decide to adopt a child born on the same day as the surviving siblings. The adopting family is white, and the adopted child is black.

31 Diamond stat. : ERA

Earned run average (ERA)

32 Source of Adam and Eve’s leaves : FIG

The third plant named in the Bible, after the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge, is the fig tree. Adam and Eve used leaves from the fig tree to sew garments when they realized that they were naked.

36 Audio equipment brand : TEAC

The Japanese electronics company TEAC was founded in 1953 as the Tokyo Electro Acoustic Company.

37 Legal right of way : EASEMENT

In the world of law, an “easement” is the right given to an individual to make limited use of someone else’s real property. Usually this is a right of way allowing someone to cross the property.

38 Bridge expert Culbertson : ELY

Ely Culbertson was a great personality in the world of contract bridge (the greatest card game known to man!). He wrote an autobiography called “The Strange Lives of One Man” which is supposed to be an extraordinary read. I will have to put it on my Christmas wish list …

39 Moo goo __ pan : GAI

Moo goo gai pan is the American version of a traditional Cantonese dish. In Cantonese, “moo goo” means “button mushroom”, “gai” is “chicken” and “pan” is “slices”.

40 Diarist Anaïs : NIN

Anaïs Nin was a French author who was famous for the journals that she wrote for over sixty years from the age of 11 right up to her death. Nin also wrote highly regarded erotica and cited D. H. Lawrence as someone from whom she drew inspiration. Nin was married to banker and artist Hugh Parker Guiler in 1923. Decades later in 1955, Nin married former actor Rupert Pole, even though she was still married to Guiler. Nin and Pole had their marriage annulled in 1966, but just for legal reasons, and they continued to live together as husband and wife until Nin passed away in 1977.

41 Double-chevron wearer: Abbr. : CPL

A non-commissioned officer (NCO) might be a sergeant (sgt.) or a corporal (cpl.).

A chevron is a band that is shaped like an inverted “V”. One example of a chevron is the insignia that indicates rank on a military uniform.

42 Aloha State souvenir : LEI

The official nickname for Hawaii is “The Aloha State”. Hawaii is also referred to as “Paradise of the Pacific” and “The Islands of Aloha”.

45 Steel giant, from 1986 to 2001 : USX

US Steel was founded in 1901 with a merger of Carnegie Steel, Federal Steel and National Steel. The resulting company immediately became the world’s first billion-dollar corporation. US Steel reorganized in 1986 and changed its name to USX Corporation, but reverted to the US Steel name in 2001. I think I’m right in saying that the USX name was chosen because US Steel is traded under the symbol “X” on the New York Stock Exchange …

46 “Just What I __”: 1978 Cars hit : NEEDED

1978’s “Just What I Needed” was the first single released by the Cars.

The Cars are a rock band from Boston, Massachusetts who were at the height of their success in the late seventies and early eighties.

47 Emulate Ellery Queen : DEDUCE

The Ellery Queen series of detective novels was somewhat unique in that Ellery Queen was the hero of the tales, and was also the pen name of the author. Actually, the “author” was a pair of writers; two cousins from Brooklyn, New York.

49 “My Favorite Year” star : O’TOOLE

Irish actor Peter O’Toole got his big break in the movies when he played the title role in the 1962 epic film “Lawrence of Arabia”. My favorite of O’Toole’s movies is much lighter fare, namely “How to Steal a Million” in which he stars opposite Audrey Hepburn. O’Toole never won an Oscar, but holds the record for the greatest number of Best Actor nominations without a win (8).

“My Favorite Year” is a 1982 comedy film starring Peter O’Toole as Alan Swann, an actor reminiscent of Errol Flyne who takes on swashbuckling roles.

50 Surgical knife : LANCET

“Lancet” is another name for a scalpel. There’s a publication called “The Lancet”, which is probably the world’s most respected medical journal. It is certainly the oldest, first published in 1823.

51 Ancient ascetic : ESSENE

The Essenes were a Jewish religious group who are most noted these days perhaps as the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Essenes led simple lives devoted to poverty.

53 Lowest pinochle cards : NINES

Pinochle is a card game that was developed from the 19th-century French game called bezique.

58 Publisher Chandler : OTIS

Otis Chandler was the fourth member of the Chandler family to publish the “Los Angeles Times”. Otis Chandler was publisher from 1960 to 1980, when he retired from the job at the age of 52.

59 Martin’s “The West Wing” role : JED

In the excellent television show “The West Wing”, President Jed Bartlet is played by Martin Sheen. Sheen also played real-life President John F. Kennedy in the miniseries “Kennedy: Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy”.

60 Nitrogenous dye : AZO

Azo compounds have very vivid colors and so are used to make dyes, especially dyes with the colors red, orange and yellow. The term “azo” comes from the French word “azote” meaning “nitrogen”. French chemist Lavoisier coined the term “azote” from the Greek word “azotos” meaning “lifeless”. He used this name as in pure nitrogen/azote animals die and flames are snuffed out (due to a lack of oxygen).

61 Ruckus : DIN

The word “ruckus” is used to mean “commotion”, and has been around since the late 1800s. “Ruckus” is possibly a melding of the words “ruction” and “rumpus”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Band letters : AM/FM
5 Lennon comrade : STARR
10 Hitchcock’s “The 39 __” : STEPS
15 London flat? : TYRE
16 Skating rink drink : COCOA
17 Unleash : WREAK
18 Miracle Mets outfielder Tommie : AGEE
19 “Thy word is __ unto my feet”: Psalms : A LAMP
20 Garlicky mayo : AIOLI
21 Text from one who can’t get out of Buy Buy Baby? : LOST IN DIAPERS (from “lost in despair”)
24 Letter before Papa : OSCAR
25 Adorkable style : NERD CHIC
29 Comment after submitting yet another updated tax return? : WHAT A REFILE (from “what a relief”)
33 Man, in Milan : UOMO
34 Spelling of “BH90210” : TORI
35 Silly : DIPPY
36 Attendees of Biting Fly High School? : TEENAGE GNATS (from “teenage angst”)
41 Easy to follow : CLEAR
43 Rested : LAIN
44 Mendel subjects : PEAS
45 Zombie field mouse? : UNDYING VOLE (from “undying love”)
52 Bar owner, vis-à-vis selling drinks : LICENSEE
54 Motes : IOTAS
55 Mental conflict … or what may be found in four long puzzle answers? : MIXED EMOTIONS
59 Brother of Willow Smith : JADEN
62 Really enjoyed something : DUG IT
63 Boxcars in un casino : DOCE
64 Online periodical : E-ZINE
65 Food safety concern : E COLI
66 Pulitzer winner Robert __ Butler : OLEN
67 Some etiquette tips : DON’TS
68 Cubicle furniture : DESKS
69 Lavish bash : FETE

Down

1 Worse than ever : AT A LOW
2 “Holy moly!” : MY GOSH!
3 Coca-Cola brand : FRESCA
4 Use for a tryst : MEET AT
5 Checkout action : SCAN
6 Narrated : TOLD
7 Berry with three vowels and three syllables : ACAI
8 Itinerant Europeans : ROMANI
9 Rock climber’s descent : RAPPEL
10 Grassy expanse : SWARD
11 Shredded-wheat cracker : TRISCUIT
12 Job listing abbr. : EEO
13 Chum : PAL
14 Enjoy trails : SKI
22 More riled up : IRATER
23 Afore : ERE
26 Brewer’s flowers : HOPS
27 Small demon : IMP
28 Flirtatiously shy : COY
30 “This Is Us” Emmy winner __ Cephas Jones : RON
31 Diamond stat. : ERA
32 Source of Adam and Eve’s leaves : FIG
35 “Drat!” : DANG IT!
36 Audio equipment brand : TEAC
37 Legal right of way : EASEMENT
38 Bridge expert Culbertson : ELY
39 Moo goo __ pan : GAI
40 Diarist Anaïs : NIN
41 Double-chevron wearer: Abbr. : CPL
42 Aloha State souvenir : LEI
45 Steel giant, from from 1986 to 2001 : USX
46 “Just What I __”: 1978 Cars hit : NEEDED
47 Emulate Ellery Queen : DEDUCE
48 Without : VOID OF
49 “My Favorite Year” star : O’TOOLE
50 Surgical knife : LANCET
51 Ancient ascetic : ESSENE
53 Lowest pinochle cards : NINES
56 Self-images : EGOS
57 Do a farm chore : MILK
58 Publisher Chandler : OTIS
59 Martin’s “The West Wing” role : JED
60 Nitrogenous dye : AZO
61 Ruckus : DIN

22 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 16 Oct 20, Friday”

  1. Little tough getting starting.. Close to 60 minutes.. Messed up on 51D.. I went for ESSANE but I also got DOCA wrong… Just plugged along.

    FYI – Olive peppered TRISCUITS are my absolute favorite cracker… There is something about that flavor.. I keep at least two boxes on hand.

    1. Can you not! Make your crosswords more towards the layman? Clues are twisted in a 3-4-5 different answer depending upon whom is doing it. Also todays puzzle 10/16/20 22 down should that not be irated? Not irater! If lax/post continues in this inane method, I will cancel my subscription… I only get it for puzzles and comics for me and my wife! thank you

      1. I should point out to @Frank Wain and the like that most all of this stuff is offered for free. I’m a person that lives a multitude of states away from Los Angeles, but downloads this puzzle and many others to do for free each night off of the Internet (and can do so from multiple web sites) and prints it out or does it online. Usually online as of late for this one. Most of the comics also have online sites where their strips are published – the ones I follow have them anyway.

  2. No errors after a couple of proper name lookups, but the theme
    completely eluded me. 33A really bothered me because I wanted to
    use the Latin “homo”…I knew Triscuits” but couldn’t fit it and homo
    together so I just changed the A word to “uomo”…not thinking it was
    right, but that’s the only thing I knew to do.

  3. Glad to see it took Bill twice as long as normal – still only 10 minutes!! I wanna be Bill! 😂
    Anon Mike – ever tried Rosemary & Olive Oil Triscuit? Dee-lish!
    Happy weekend everyone!
    Stay safe 🙂

  4. I was down to the “W” in sward-never heard of this word-and the “W” for wreak at 23 min, so I couldn’t finish. I solved all the theme clues but didn’t understand them until I read Bill’s analysis.

    FYI: I had reduced fat triscuits for breakfast this morning and was grateful that I could always find a box somewhere during the early months of the pandemic. I hate all the flavored ones that I have tried, but now I am going to try the olive-peppered ones.

  5. 20:47, no errors, but it took me several more minutes to unscramble the anagrams and completely understand the theme. Not a big fan of words like “IRATER”, but … they exist … sigh … 😳. A good Friday tussle (even if it’s not Good Friday … or even a particularly good Friday … 😜).

    I spent much of yesterday trying to deal with a banking issue, so I’m feeling uncharacteristically churlish … 😳. (However, while typing this, I got a phone call that finally straightens everything out on that front, I think, so, if all goes well, the day is beginning to look up … 🙂.)

  6. 1:08:29 with one error…I had Nomani for 8D and the light never came on for Starr …I work 2 puzzles a day and always do the NYT first because it’s the toughest of the 2…lately it’s been the other way around…I get irater and irater every day…that’s makes 2 times in my life I used the word irater .
    Stay safe😀
    Go Ravens👍

  7. 13:24 before I threw in the towel, with unfilled squares in abundance. DNF “at a new low” to quote the naticky 1D. This grid is full of suspect fills, suspect clues, and suspect editing. A candidate for worst this year.

    1. @Liz …

      DESPAIR => DIAPERS
      RELIEF => REFILE
      ANGST => GNATS
      LOVE => VOLE

      They all look like anagrams to me … 😜.

  8. A little too tricky for me today; gave up after an hour with most of the NW and SE undone, along with other gaps here and there. It didn’t help that I had john instead of AGEE and scapel/gala instead of LANCET/FETE.

    Just a bit too many proper nouns, although I was making progress and maybe could of finished. Tough but mostly fair after seeing the answers.

    @Carrie – And, the Dodgers stay alive for another day. Now they’ll have to get over being away from home 🙂

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