LA Times Crossword 21 Oct 20, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Mike Peluso
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Safety First

Themed answers each start with a word that often follows “SAFETY”:

  • 38A Cautionary workplace axiom … or a hint to the starts of the answers to starred clues : SAFETY FIRST
  • 16A *Old bowling alley employee : PINSETTER (giving “safety pin”)
  • 23A *Pass prevention strategy : ZONE DEFENSE (giving “safety zone”)
  • 50A *Bad homes for critics? : GLASS HOUSES (giving “safety glass”)
  • 61A *One-on-one golf competition : MATCH PLAY (giving “safety match”)

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

Bill’s time: 6m 30s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “… where the sun / Came peeping in at __”: Thomas Hood : MORN

“I remember” is one of the best-known works penned by English poet Thomas Hood (1799-1845). It is a sentimental piece evoking a feeling of nostalgia for Hood’s childhood. The poem starts out:

I remember, I remember
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon
Nor brought too long a day;
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away.

5 Willie Mays, twice : MVP

MVP (most valuable player)

Willie Mays’ nickname was “Say Hey Kid”, although his friends and teammates were more likely to refer to him as “Buck”. When Mays was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, he was asked who was the best player he’d ever seen in the game. He replied, “I don’t mean to be bashful, but I was.”

8 Bowler’s test : SPLIT

In ten-pin bowling, a split takes place when the number-one pin (headpin) is knocked down with the first ball and two or more non-adjacent pins are left standing. The most difficult split to deal with is the infamous 7-10 split, where just the rear pins at the extreme right and left remain standing.

14 China setting : ASIA

The world’s most populous country is the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The Republic of China (ROC) is the official name of the sovereign state that we usually call Taiwan.

15 Soccer star Rossi : PAOLO

Paolo Rossi is a retired Italian soccer player. Rossi captained the Italian team that won the 1982 FIFA World Cup, and was the tournament’s top goalscorer for that year.

16 *Old bowling alley employee : PINSETTER (giving “safety pin”)

A pinsetter is a mechanical device that puts bowling pins into position, returns balls, and clears fallen pins. Prior to the invention of the pinsetting machine, young men known as “pinboys” used to reset the pins by hand.

18 Cry of dismay : OY VEY!

“Oy vey” is a Yiddish expression of dismay that translates literally as “oh, pain”. The more usual translation is “woe is me”.

19 Country singer Womack : LEE ANN

Lee Ann Womack is a country music singer and songwriter from Jacksonville, Texas.

22 Part of ESL: Abbr. : ENG

English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

23 *Pass prevention strategy : ZONE DEFENSE (giving “safety zone”)

In some team sports, there is a choice between man-to-man defense and zone defense. In the former, each defensive player guards a corresponding player on the other team. In the latter, each defensive player covers a particular “zone” of the playing area.

28 Editor’s change of heart : STET

“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

30 “I agree!” : AMEN!

The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

31 It’s north of Afr. : EUR

The continent of Europe was named for Europa, a Phoenician princess of Greek mythology.

The Carthaginian Republic was centered on the city of Carthage, the ruins of which are located on the coast of modern-day Tunisia. The Latin name for the people of Carthage was “Afri”. When the Romans took over Carthage, they created a province they called “Africa”. That name extended over time to include the whole continent.

35 Seasickness symptom : NAUSEA

Nausea is a sick feeling in the stomach. The term derives from the Greek “naus” meaning “ship”. Originally, “nausea” was associated only with seasickness.

40 Elk : WAPITI

The elk (also “wapiti”) is one of the largest species of deer in the world, with only the moose being bigger. Early European settlers were familiar with the smaller red deer back in their homelands, so when they saw the “huge” wapiti they assumed it was a moose, and incorrectly gave it the European name for a moose, namely “elk”. The more correct name for the beast is “wapiti”, which means “white rump” in Shawnee. It’s all very confusing …

46 Pacino’s voice, at times : RASP

Al Pacino seems to be best known for playing characters on both sides of the law. Pacino’s big break in the movies came when he played Michael Corleone in “The Godfather”, a role that grew for him as the series of films progressed. But his Oscar-winning role was that of a blind ex-military officer in “Scent of a Woman”.

50 *Bad homes for critics? : GLASS HOUSES (giving “safety glass”)

The old adage “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” is indeed “old”. A version of the phrase dates back at least to Geoffrey Chaucer who wrote in “Troilus and Criseyde” circa 1385:

Who that hath an hed of verre, Fro cast of stones war hym in the werre!

57 Capitol feature : CUPOLA

A cupola is a small dome-like structure on the top of a building. “Cupola” comes from the Latin “cupula” meaning “small cup”.

A capitol is a building in which a legislature meets. Such buildings are often constructed with an impressive dome. The term “capitol” is a reference to the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, the most important temple in ancient Rome, and which sat on top of Capitoline Hill.

59 Like four Sandy Koufax games : NO-HIT

Sandy Koufax is a retired baseball pitcher who turned out for the Dodgers from 1955 to 1966. Koufax was the first player to win three Cy Young Awards, and the first player to pitch four no-hitters. He was also an iconic Jewish American in the field of sports, notably refusing to play in the first game of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur. When Koufax was invited to attend a White House reception in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month in 2010, President Obama remarked that he and Kofax had something in common. The president continued, “He can’t pitch on Yom Kippur. I can’t pitch.” Funny …

61 *One-on-one golf competition : MATCH PLAY (giving “safety match”)

A strike-anywhere match will ignite if struck against almost any dry, hard, rough surface. The match head comprises two chemicals that are necessary for ignition. In order to minimize the chances of accidental ignition of matches, the safety match was developed. The safety match is safer because the match head only includes one of the chemicals necessary for ignition. The second chemical is included in a special striking surface provided with the matches, usually along the side of a matchbox.

64 It’s good in Chile : BUENO

The nation of Chile has a very distinctive shape. It is a narrow strip that runs up the west coast of South America. The average width of the country is only a little over 100 miles, and yet its length is about 2,700 miles. Chile is touted as the longest country in the world, although I am not so sure what that means exactly. I mean, Russia extends about 4,800 miles from east-to west, so maybe “longest” implies long in the north-south direction?

66 Shoppe modifier : OLDE

The word “olde” wasn’t actually used much earlier than the 1920s. “Olde” was introduced to give a quaint antique feel to brand names, shop names etc. as in “Ye Olde Shoppe”.

67 Shakespearean forest : ARDEN

The Forest of Arden is the setting for Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”. Even though there is a Forest of Arden surrounding Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-on-Avon, as the play is set in France one has to assume that the “As You Like It” Arden is an anglicization of the forested “Ardennes” region that stretches from Belgium into France.

68 2000s TV forensic technician, to pals : DEX

“Dexter” is a crime show that airs on Showtime. The title character works for the Miami Police Department as an expert in blood spatter patterns by day, but is a serial killer by night. The original series was based on the “Dexter” novels written by Jeff Lindsay. I haven’t seen this show myself, but my eldest son really enjoys it …

Down

1 Breakfast condiment sources : MAPLES

About 75% of the world’s maple syrup comes from the province of Quebec. The US’s biggest producer is the state of Vermont, which produces 5-6% of the world’s supply.

3 Go back on a promise : RENEGE

To renege on something is to back out of it. It’s a verb commonly used in card games like bridge and whist. A renege is when a player doesn’t follow suit, even though there may be a card of the suit led in his/her hand.

4 Org. in the biodrama “Hidden Figures” : NASA

“Hidden Figures” is an excellent 2016 film based on a book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly. Both book and film tell the story of female African-American mathematicians who worked for NASA during the Mercury and Apollo programs in the 1960s.

5 WY winter hrs. : MST

Mountain Standard Time (MST)

Wyoming is nicknamed the “Equality State”, and the state’s motto is “equal rights”. Wyoming was the first state to give women the vote, and the first to allow women to serve on juries. It was also the first state to have a female governor, Nellie Tayloe Ross, who took office in 1925. Unofficially, Wyoming is also referred to as the “Cowboy State”.

7 Pre-Rose Bowl tradition : PARADE

The first Rose Parade was staged in 1890 on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, California. The initial parades were organized by the Pasadena Valley Hunt Club, whose members wanted to highlight the mild winter weather in the area. The initial parades did not feature flowers, but these were added to underscore the favorable climate. It was the inclusion of the flowers that gave rise to the name “Tournament of Roses”. The first Rose Bowl football game was played in 1902.

8 Many an “SNL” skit : SPOOF

“Saturday Night Live” (SNL)

9 Two-time U.S. Open winner Stewart : PAYNE

Payne Stewart was a crowd favorite on the golf course, and someone always recognizable as he wore flamboyant attire that included bright, patterned knickerbockers. Sadly, Stewart died in a famous airplane accident. All aboard the private plane in which he was travelling, including the pilots, succumbed to hypoxia after a loss of cabin pressure. The stricken plane flew for hours on autopilot escorted by USAF planes, until it ran out of fuel and crashed in South Dakota.

11 La Corse, par exemple : ILE

Corsica (“La Corse” in French) is a large island in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to France. Napoléon Bonaparte was born on Corsica, in the town of Ajaccio.

14 53 for I, e.g. : AT NO

The atomic number (at. no.) of an element is also called the proton number, and is the number of protons found in the nucleus of each atom of the element.

Here is a list of all the single-letter element symbols:

  • B = boron
  • C = carbon
  • F = fluorine
  • H = hydrogen
  • I = Iodine
  • K = potassium
  • N = nitrogen
  • O = oxygen
  • P = phosphorus
  • S = sulfur
  • U = uranium
  • V = vanadium
  • W = tungsten
  • Y = yttrium

17 Split __: New Zealand band : ENZ

Split Enz was a rock band from New Zealand that was most active from 1973 until 1984. The band’s biggest success was the 1980 single “I Got You”.

21 Court sport : TENNIS

Our modern sport of tennis evolved from the much older racquet sport known as “real tennis”. Originally just called “tennis”, the older game was labeled “real tennis” when the modern version began to hold sway. Real tennis is played in a closed court, with the ball frequently bounced off the walls.

25 Harris of country : EMMYLOU

Emmylou Harris is a country singer from Birmingham, Alabama who grew up in North Carolina and Virginia. She has won many Grammys over the course of her career, culminating in the Grammy LIfetime Achievement Award in 2018.

27 Stat for Justin Verlander : ERA

Earned run average (ERA)

Justin Verlander is a professional baseball pitcher who made his MLB debut with the Detroit Tigers in 2015. Verlander was traded to the Astros in 2017, and that same season, the Astros won the World Series. He married model Kate Upton in 2017.

33 Time and again, to Yeats : OFT

Irish poet and dramatist William Butler Yeats won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923 for “inspired poetry” that gave “expression to a whole nation”. Yeats was Ireland’s first Nobel laureate.

34 Driver’s license datum : HEIGHT

Our word “data” (singular “datum”) comes from the Latin “datum” meaning “given”. The idea is that data are “things given”.

37 Cold War letters : USSR

The term “Cold War” was coined by the novelist George Orwell in a 1945 essay about the atomic bomb. Orwell described a world under threat of nuclear war as having a “peace that is no peace”, in a permanent state of “cold war”. The specific use of “cold war” to describe the tension between the Eastern bloc and the Western allies is attributed to a 1947 speech by Bernard Baruch, adviser to Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

39 Slight fabrications : FIBS

To fib is to tell a lie. The verb “to fib” likely comes from “fibble-fable” meaning “nonsense”, with “fibble-fable” coming from “fable”.

40 Freak (out) : WIG

The idea behind the expression “to wig out”, meaning “to go crazy”, is that there is so much going on in your brain that it might “lift your hair/wig”.

47 Swing era Harlem hot spot : APOLLO

The Apollo Theater in the Harlem district of Manhattan, New York opened in 1914 as Hurtig and Seamon’s New Burlesque Theater. The original facility was a whites-only venue. When it was opened to African Americans in 1934, the name was changed to “The Apollo”.

48 Tea since 1892 : SALADA

Salada Tea was founded in 1892 to provide tea packaged in foil to the consumer, as opposed to smaller wooden tea chests. This kept the tea fresher and more consistent in flavor.

51 River to the English Channel : SEINE

The Seine is the river that flows through Paris. The Seine empties into the English Channel to the north, at the port city of Le Havre.

The English Channel is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, the narrow part that separates the south of England from northern France. The French call the same body of water “La Manche”, which translates literally as “the sleeve”. At its narrowest point the Channel is just over 20 miles wide, and it is indeed possible to see France from England and vice versa. Nowadays of course there is a tunnel under the channel making travel extremely convenient. When I was living and working in Europe, with the help of the Channel Tunnel, one day I had a breakfast meeting in Brussels, a lunch meeting in London, and a dinner meeting in Paris. That said, it’s a lot more fun sitting here blogging about the crossword …

53 Danish shoe brand : ECCO

I have to say, after owning several pairs, that ECCO shoes are the most comfortable in the world …

54 NFL defensive end Ndamukong __ : SUH

Ndamukong Suh is an American footballer who joined the NFL when he was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2010. Suh is known as an aggressive player, and has racked up some hefty fines for violations on the field.

58 Med. plan options : PPOS

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) or Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). Make your choice, if you can …

59 Home to Kings: Abbr. : NBA

The Sacramento Kings are one of the oldest basketball franchises still operating, having been founded way back in 1923 as the Rochester Seagrams. The Kings moved to Sacramento in 1985 from Kansas City, Missouri.

60 “__ Gang” : OUR

The marvelous series of “Our Gang” comedy short films was also known as “The Little Rascals”. The series was produced by Hal Roach starting in 1922, and running up until 1944. There were 220 “Our Gang” film shorts made in all, and one feature film title “General Spanky” released in 1936.

62 Versatile card : ACE

In the card game blackjack, an ace has the point value of one or eleven. When one of the two cards dealt to a player is an ace, the hand is called “soft”. This means that the player cannot go bust by taking another card, as the ace can be revalued at “one” if necessary in order to stay under 21.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “… where the sun / Came peeping in at __”: Thomas Hood : MORN
5 Willie Mays, twice : MVP
8 Bowler’s test : SPLIT
13 Carpet calculation : AREA
14 China setting : ASIA
15 Soccer star Rossi : PAOLO
16 *Old bowling alley employee : PINSETTER (giving “safety pin”)
18 Cry of dismay : OY VEY!
19 Country singer Womack : LEE ANN
20 Even things : ATONE
22 Part of ESL: Abbr. : ENG
23 *Pass prevention strategy : ZONE DEFENSE (giving “safety zone”)
28 Editor’s change of heart : STET
30 “I agree!” : AMEN!
31 It’s north of Afr. : EUR
32 Not very exciting : HO-HUM
35 Seasickness symptom : NAUSEA
38 Cautionary workplace axiom … or a hint to the starts of the answers to starred clues : SAFETY FIRST
40 Elk : WAPITI
42 Pre-discount prices : LISTS
43 Not well : ILL
44 Dollop : GLOB
46 Pacino’s voice, at times : RASP
50 *Bad homes for critics? : GLASS HOUSES (giving “safety glass”)
55 Golf standard : PAR
56 Deal with : SEE TO
57 Capitol feature : CUPOLA
59 Like four Sandy Koufax games : NO-HIT
61 *One-on-one golf competition : MATCH PLAY (giving “safety match”)
64 It’s good in Chile : BUENO
65 Agree with : ECHO
66 Shoppe modifier : OLDE
67 Shakespearean forest : ARDEN
68 2000s TV forensic technician, to pals : DEX
69 Fly high : SOAR

Down

1 Breakfast condiment sources : MAPLES
2 Get one’s bearings : ORIENT
3 Go back on a promise : RENEGE
4 Org. in the biodrama “Hidden Figures” : NASA
5 WY winter hrs. : MST
6 Compete : VIE
7 Pre-Rose Bowl tradition : PARADE
8 Many an “SNL” skit : SPOOF
9 Two-time U.S. Open winner Stewart : PAYNE
10 Illicit rendezvous site : LOVE NEST
11 La Corse, par exemple : ILE
12 Play (with) : TOY
14 53 for I, e.g. : AT NO
17 Split __: New Zealand band : ENZ
21 Court sport : TENNIS
24 Astro’s finish? : -NAUT
25 Harris of country : EMMYLOU
26 Take to court : SUE
27 Stat for Justin Verlander : ERA
29 Spicy cuisine : THAI
33 Time and again, to Yeats : OFT
34 Driver’s license datum : HEIGHT
36 Poetic verb : ART
37 Cold War letters : USSR
38 Made waves? : SPLASHED
39 Slight fabrications : FIBS
40 Freak (out) : WIG
41 Every bit : ALL
45 Rose ominously : LOOMED
47 Swing era Harlem hot spot : APOLLO
48 Tea since 1892 : SALADA
49 Supplication : PRAYER
51 River to the English Channel : SEINE
52 Resolute about : SET ON
53 Danish shoe brand : ECCO
54 NFL defensive end Ndamukong __ : SUH
58 Med. plan options : PPOS
59 Home to Kings: Abbr. : NBA
60 “__ Gang” : OUR
62 Versatile card : ACE
63 “Much appreciated,” in texts : THX

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 21 Oct 20, Wednesday”

  1. Couple of dumb errors.. Couldn’t think of the texters THX and was trying to think of CSI character for 68A.

    I loved DEXTER too. My daughter got us hooked. It’s not on regular TV. Heard there might be another season coming. Lots of blood..

  2. This one was too hard for me. Too much sports and names I didn’t know. Got it done, but took more than 27 minutes. Oh well.

  3. 22:58 no errors.
    I was a “pin boy” at night as a teenager in Baltimore where we have “duckpins” which are the small pins and balls…I would set the pins for 2 leagues in the evening and go to school in the morning…and to answer your question no the route to school wasn’t uphill in the snow both ways.
    Stay safe😀.
    Go Ravens

  4. No Googles, but some errors. If I had paid attention to the theme, I would have got ZONE DEFENSE and its crosses, ENZ and NAUT. Also, had DE? instead of DEX, and also the cross THX. Some people text TY.
    There were too many sports – 14; and those, along with pop things of interest to young people, throw me.
    Did not know, but got: ECCO, ILE, ATNO, SUH, NBA, PPOS
    I can’t understand how anyone can mistake an elk for a moose. The elk is handsome, and the moose – well.

  5. 10 minutes, 44 seconds, no errors. Rough start, though, with 1A. The two elipses had me confused about where the answer was in the quote.

  6. Very difficult Wednesday for me; took 23:14 albeit with three grid-checks in the S and SE corner. Mostly because I had no idea about MATCHPLAY or THX/DEX or SUH or SALADA.

    The rest was mostly okay, although I had trouble with ENZ/ZONE… and PAYNE/OY VEY, but managed to get those right.

  7. Hello gang!!🦆

    I also thought this was tough for a Wednesday. Peeked for a coupla answers, particularly in the NE as I didn’t know PAYNE or PAOLO. I only vaguely remembered WAPITI from past puzzles. And I initially misspelled CUPOLA! 😯

    Be well~~⚾️

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