LA Times Crossword 3 Oct 20, Saturday


Constructed by: Evan Kalish
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 19m 16s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies


16 Like most residents of Nunavut : INUIT

Nunavut is Canadian territory that dates back to 1999 when it was separated from the Northwest Territories. That makes Nunavut the youngest of all Canada’s territories. It is also the nation’s largest territory, the least populous, as well as the furthest north. Even though it is the second-largest country subdivision in North America (after Greenland), Nunavut is home to just over 30,000 people, who are mostly Inuit.

19 Org. created in 2001 : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in 2001, soon after the 9/11 attacks. TSA personnel carry out the baggage and body searches at US airports. The TSA has a Trusted Traveler program that allows certain passengers to move more quickly through security screening. These passengers pay the TSA a one-time fee that covers a background check after which successful applicants are issued a Known Traveler Number (KTN).

24 Disney princess voiced by Kristen Bell : ANNA

Actress Kristen Bell’s first major role was playing the title character in the TV show “Veronica Mars”. Her first major film role was also playing a title character, in the 2008 film “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”. Perhaps Bell’s most famous role is as a voice actor, playing Princess Anna in the 2013 Disney hit “Frozen”.

As of 2016, there are 11 “official” Disney princesses:

  1. Princess Snow White (from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”)
  2. Princess Cinderella (from “Cinderella”)
  3. Princess Aurora (from “Sleeping Beauty)
  4. Princess Ariel (from “The Little Mermaid”)
  5. Princess Belle (from “Beauty and the Beast”)
  6. Princess Jasmine (from “Aladdin”)
  7. Princess Pocahontas (from “Pocahontas”)
  8. Princess Mulan (from “Mulan”)
  9. Princess Tiana (from “The Princess and the Frog”)
  10. Princess Rapunzel (from “Tangled”)
  11. Princess Merida (from “Brave”)

25 Genre in a battle, perhaps : RAP

Battle rapping (also “rap battling”) is a contest in which two or more rappers “fight it out” using opposing, improvised lyrics. I’d be annihilated …

26 Pandemonium : CHAOS

The word “pandemonium” was coined in 1667 by John Milton in his epic poem “Paradise Lost”. It is the name he invented for the capital of Hell, “the High Capital, of Satan and his Peers”.

30 Territory from 1861 to 1889 : DAKOTA

The Dakota Territory was formed in 1861 and ceased to exist with the admission to the Union of the states of North Dakota and South Dakota. The territory was split into two states in 1889 largely due to lobbying by the Republican Party, which enjoyed a lot of support in the Dakota Territory. The admission of two states added to the political power of the party in the US Senate, by adding four safe Republican seats.

33 Dove headfirst, maybe : SLID

That might be baseball.

40 “Quo Vadis” director Mervyn __ : LEROY

Mervyn LeRoy was a Hollywood director who is best known perhaps for directing the historical epic “Quo Vadis” in 1951. That said, the list of other movies for which he was at the helm is long and impressive, including “Little Caesar” (1931) and “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo” (1944). LeRoy’s personal life was very much embedded in Hollywood. After his first marriage ended, he dated actress Ginger Rogers, before marrying Doris Warner, daughter of Harry Warner of Warner Bros. fame. When LeRoy sold his home in Bel Air, the buyer was TV host Johnny Carson.

“Quo Vadis” is an epic drama made in 1951 that is a film adaptation of the 1896 novel of the same name written by Henryk Sienkiewicz. At the top of the bill are Robert Taylor and Deborah Kerr, with Peter Ustinov playing Emperor Nero. There was also an uncredited extra making her first appearance on the screen, a young lady by the name of Sophia Loren.

44 Alma mater of about half the Supreme Court : YALE LAW

Yale Law School was established in 1824. The school only admitted male applicants up until 1918, when it began accepting the first female students.

Clarence Thomas is the second African American to serve on the US Supreme Court. Thomas replaced Thurgood Marshall who was the first American with African heritage to serve. Thomas is generally regarded as the most conservative member of the court. He doesn’t have a lot say, verbally anyway. Thomas made a joking remark in January 2013 during oral argument, the first time he had spoken at all during oral argument for almost seven years.

Associate Justice Samuel Alito was nominated to the US Supreme Court by President George W. Bush. Alito is the second Italian-American to serve on the Supreme Court (Antonin Scalia was the first). Alito studied law at Yale and while in his final year he left the country for the first time in his life, heading to Italy to work on his thesis about the Italian legal system.

Sonia Sotomayor is the first Hispanic justice on the US Supreme Court, and the third female justice. Sotomayor was nominated by President Barack Obama to replace the retiring Justice David Souter.

Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh was nominated by President Donald Trump to succeed Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh took the oath of office in 2018, after what can only be described as a contentious confirmation hearing. He has been married since 2004 to Ashley Estes, who served as Personal Secretary to President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2004.

49 Measures of current events? : AMPS

The unit of electric current is the ampere, which is abbreviated correctly to “A” rather than “amp”. It is named after French physicist André-Marie Ampère, one of the main scientists responsible for the discovery of electromagnetism.

51 Nepali wrap : SARI

The item of clothing called a “sari” (also “saree”) is a strip of cloth, as one might imagine, unusual perhaps in that it is unstitched along the whole of its length. The strip of cloth can range from four to nine meters long (that’s a lot of material!). The sari is usually wrapped around the waist, then draped over the shoulder leaving the midriff bare. I must say, it can be a beautiful item of clothing.

Nepal lies to the northeast of India. Today, the state is known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. In 2008, the Communist Party of Nepal won the country’s general election. Soon after, the Assembly voted to change the form of government, moving away from a monarchy and creating a secular republic.

55 Hogwash : ROT

“Hogwash” means “rubbish, of little value”. “Hogwash” was originally the name of swill fed to pigs.

61 “Skyfall” singer : ADELE

I have not been a fan of Daniel Craig as James Bond (preferring Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan in the role). However, I saw “Skyfall” when it first came out and have been won over. “Skyfall” is one of the best Bond films so far, in my humble opinion. And, Adele’s rendition of the title song is an added plus …


3 Jet Ski maker : KAWASAKI

“Jet Ski” is actually a brand name owned by Kawasaki Heavy Industries of Japan. The generic term, not often used, is “personal watercraft”. Most people use the term “Jet Ski” generically, although “WaveRunner” is also popular. But that’s another brand name, one owned by Yamaha.

4 Two for dinner? : ENS

There are two letters N (ens) in the word “dinner”.

6 Kids’ sandwich ingredient : JELLY

Jelly is made using strained juice from crushed fruit. Jam is similar, but the whole crushed fruit is used, and often includes seeds.

8 “Die Young” singer : KESHA

“Kesha” (formerly “Ke$ha”) is the stage name used by singer Kesha Rose Sebert.

12 Highlights? : AURORA

The spectacular aurora phenomenon is seen lighting up the night sky at both poles of the earth (the Aurora Borealis in the north, and the Aurora Australis in the south). The eerie effect is caused by charged particles colliding with atoms at high latitudes.

23 Toy with curly hair : POODLE

The standard poodle breed of dog is considered to be the second-most intelligent breed, after the border collie. The name “poodle” comes from a Low German word meaning “to splash about”, reflecting the original use of the breed as a water retriever.

The toy group of dogs is made up of the smallest breeds. The smallest of the small breeds are sometimes called teacup breeds.

26 Media with narrow tracks : CDS

The compact disc (CD) was developed jointly by Philips and Sony as a medium for storing and playing sound recordings. When the first commercial CD was introduced back in 1982, a CD’s storage capacity was far greater than the amount of data that could be stored on the hard drive of personal computers available at that time.

27 Movie villain that reads lips : HAL

In Arthur C. Clarke’s “Space Odyssey” (famously adapted for the big screen as “2001: A Space Odyssey”) the computer system that went rogue was called HAL 9000, or simply “HAL”. HAL stands for “Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer”. Even though Clarke denied it, there’s a good argument that can be made that the acronym HAL is a veiled reference to IBM, the big player in the world of computing at the time of the novel’s publication (1968). The acronym HAL is just a one-letter shift from the initials “IBM”.

29 “Relativity” artist : ESCHER

M. C. Escher was a graphic artist from the Netherlands. Escher was noted for creating works inspired by mathematics, often works that were physical impossibilities. One such work is “Drawing Hands” (1948) in which a pair of hands emerge from a piece of paper and actually draw themselves. He also created a drawing in which a group of red ants are crawling around a Möbius strip, never reaching the end.

31 Slopeside sight : A-FRAME

An A-frame house is one that has a steeply-angled roof, one forming the shape of the letter “A”. The A-frame design is popular in snowy regions, as the roof is so steeply pitched that it does not collect snow.

37 “Cool Hand Luke” restraints : LEG IRONS

“Cool Hand Luke” is a prison drama from 1967 starring Paul Newman in the title role. The film was an adaptation of Donn Pearce’s novel of the same name. One of the most quoted lines from any movie comes from “Cool Hand Luke”, namely: “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” That is also one of the most misquoted lines from a movie, as it is often cited as “What we have here is a failure to communicate”.

38 Chase Field team, on scoreboards : ARI

Chase Field in Phoenix is the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks MLB team. The stadium opened in 1998 as Bank One Ballpark, which earned it the nickname “BOB”. The name changed in 2005 following the merger of Bank One with JPMorgan Chase. Chase Field has a natural grass playing surface, and a retractable roof. The roof is kept open almost all the time, and is only closed for games when the temperature needs to be dropped using the stadium’s massive air conditioning plant.

45 “The Suburbs” Grammy-winning indie rock band __ Fire : ARCADE

Arcade Fire is an indie rock band from Montreal. The group is a bit of a family affair as two of the band’s members are husband and wife, and one is the husband’s brother.

50 American __ : SAMOA

American Samoa is a US territory in the South Pacific located southeast of the nation of Samoa. Home to about 55,000 people, it is the southernmost American territory. American Samoa’s capital is the busy port city Pago Pago.

57 Nice place for a cap? : TETE

In French, one wears a “chapeau” (hat), a “béret” (beret) perhaps, on one’s “tête” (head).

The French city of Nice is on the Mediterranean coast in the southeast of the country. Although Nice is only the fifth most populous city in France, it is home to the busiest airport outside of Paris. That’s because of all the tourists flocking to the French Riviera.

Complete List of Clues/Answers


1 Handle the roasting : TAKE A JOKE
10 Large amounts : LOADS
15 Words of exasperation : I CAN’T EVEN
16 Like most residents of Nunavut : INUIT
17 Ironic lead-in to stating the obvious : NEWS FLASH …
18 Slowly consume : NURSE
19 Org. created in 2001 : TSA
20 Request while extending a glass : I’LL HAVE SOME
22 Light-footed : SPRY
24 Disney princess voiced by Kristen Bell : ANNA
25 Genre in a battle, perhaps : RAP
26 Pandemonium : CHAOS
28 Flakes in boxes : CEREALS
30 Territory from 1861 to 1889 : DAKOTA
32 Branches : SECTS
33 Dove headfirst, maybe : SLID
34 Surreptitious sip source : FLASK
36 __ hammer : CLAW
40 “Quo Vadis” director Mervyn __ : LEROY
42 Area of influence : SPHERE
44 Alma mater of about half the Supreme Court : YALE LAW
47 On the level : LEGIT
48 Long beginning? : ERE-
49 Measures of current events? : AMPS
51 Nepali wrap : SARI
52 Briskly depart : SCAMPER AWAY
55 Hogwash : ROT
58 Nets : MAKES
59 Lecturer’s “My bad” : I MISSPOKE
61 “Skyfall” singer : ADELE
62 “Dang!” : CONSARN IT!
63 Ones who rarely skip class : NERDS
64 Obvious : EASY TO SEE


1 Add some contrast to : TINT
2 High pair : ACES
3 Jet Ski maker : KAWASAKI
4 Two for dinner? : ENS
5 Before digging deeper : AT FIRST
6 Kids’ sandwich ingredient : JELLY
7 Like zeroes : OVAL
8 “Die Young” singer : KESHA
9 Increases in desirability : ENHANCES
10 Illustrations without shades and hues : LINE ART
11 Heavy weight : ONUS
12 Highlights? : AURORA
13 Really bad : DISMAL
14 Soaks : STEEPS
21 Tee choices : V-NECKS
23 Toy with curly hair : POODLE
26 Media with narrow tracks : CDS
27 Movie villain that reads lips : HAL
29 “Relativity” artist : ESCHER
31 Slopeside sight : A-FRAME
32 “… to name one” : … SAY
35 Ad come-on : LOW PRICE
37 “Cool Hand Luke” restraints : LEG IRONS
38 Chase Field team, on scoreboards : ARI
39 __ paint : WET
41 Goes by : ELAPSES
43 Doesn’t do seriously : PLAYS AT
44 Boss-pleasing guy : YES MAN
45 “The Suburbs” Grammy-winning indie rock band __ Fire : ARCADE
46 Secret source : LEAKER
50 American __ : SAMOA
51 Showing ‘tude : SASSY
53 Merge : MELD
54 Standings column : WINS
56 Arkansan’s neighbor : OKIE
57 Nice place for a cap? : TETE
60 Behind : PRO

38 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 3 Oct 20, Saturday”

  1. 10:32, no errors.

    From yesterday…
    ikr? I think that stuff happens more with the harder puzzles – “people just don’t use language that way!” happens way too much. The words in crossword puzzles are really another language, most definitely!

    @Anonymous 8:52am
    That really wasn’t as bad as puzzles can get sometimes.

    Depends on where you’re at, I guess. I don’t begrudge where anyone else is at, I just like to know how I did. Just part of my evolution in doing this involved timing things to find out, as looking up things and errors increasingly started to not be required for me the more I did these.

    @Big John
    I used to have a blog that I posted answers to all these kinds of questions to (and videos of me doing puzzles), but couldn’t justify keeping it with my current financial problems and the readers it was getting. That said, my original reason for starting this was to be able to complete the Sunday New York Times as I was seeing it in the paper, but I learned of other/different challenges looking around online after I found the other puzzle (The Daily Commuter) so easy as to be boring. Believe it or not, you can follow a lot of my progress by reading the history of this very blog where I actually struggled with Monday puzzles and didn’t keep track of times or was even hard on myself about errors (five years ago, wow time flies!).

    More or less, the goal for me is finishing with no errors and no lookups with the best effort I can make. The first two are almost routine with a lot of things anymore (finishing everything, however…). To that end, I’m nothing competitive (as is everyone else here, no one’s winning any crossword contests anyway), but the way I see it if I’m going to put effort towards something I need a “best effort” and I need to improve (if I’m spending the time I need to get better at it). I rarely get roundly defeated anymore by an honest effort (I did last week, actually, spent an hour and a half and only got maybe 15% of the grid filled in), but still have a lot of “hitches” as it were including not being able to solve meta grids after trying for about four years. That said, I really don’t care all that much about timing from a competitive standpoint here – it’s just a measure of how I did for myself, mostly.

    As a hint, it’s not always practice that makes you perfect, but *perfect* practice. I’ve learned a lot about doing crosswords since I started this, but I’m still not sure I’m doing crosswords entirely the right way. Just what it is.

  2. One dumb error–the first box in the grid–I had “make a joke” instead
    of “take a joke” so of course 1D was wrong too. I think I did pretty well

  3. LAT: More than an hour. A big struggle with the upper half, especially the NE side. I had no errors but am still in the dark about 5 Down. What does “at first” mean in response to “digging deeper”? Also agree with Sallee about “consarnit.” In general, I loved the puzzle.

    1. Had some of the same issues, but it’s “before digging deeper”, so I think it just means what you do before that, so “at first”…

  4. So it took my just about 54 minutes to get this one done and then I had to do some cheating in the upper right corner. Sheesh! Yesterday I spent hours putting up a ceiling fan while standing on my bed. It was a struggle and I kept dropping small parts. I’m finally thinking it’s time to start hiring this kind of thing done, though I’ve always prided myself on doing things myself. But at almost 74, maybe it’s time. Sigh. Happy Sunday, all.

    1. I know what you mean I am 76 and my kitchen sink was stopped up and I could’t get a plumber for days. So I rodded it out myself, which is a little difficult because the pipes were not really properly laid out, with clean outs placed correctly. It is also difficult to get down under the sink, etc. But I did it and got it working again.

    2. I recently learned that ceiling fans can spin in both direction and that you should use different directions for different seasons.

  5. I also note my times not to be competitive, but as a measure of my own progress as I improve as a solver. And also to compare (not compete) against other people’s times… as I’ve said before, if I get a really slow time on a puzzle, it helps to see how others did so I know whether the puzzle was particularly difficult, or if I’m just having an off day.

    After years of steadily improving, my times have more or less plateaued, maybe getting very slowly faster as I keep learning new words (especially obscure proper nouns). When I look at just how way much faster a “competitive” solver does, I know that that just wouldn’t be my cup of tea…

    That said, 9:54 was my time on this one. I had a very slow start and then caught my stride, until the very end. I’ve never ever heard the term “Consarn it!” before. Had no clue what to put for the R, and wound up guessing it, so my solution today feels a little “dirty.” Once the R was there, “PRO” made sense, although I couldn’t come up with it. CONSARN IT, though… wow, that’s a brand new one.

  6. An unenjoyable puzzle. Lots of general phrases— I’ll have some….I can’t even (although the latter just about summed up this puzzle). Consarn it? Who says that? Dang!

  7. CONSARNIT, I got it right!! Took about 30 minutes.
    @Glen – I like your reference to getting it “right” vs just being competitive. I’ve learned with doing crosswords that if I stopped and looked up something I really didn’t know, I learn and retain it better. One thing for sure when I started this, I knew no authors, no Greek mythology and nothing about poets.. Nowhere near all of these crossworders.. I guess I feel somewhat like a debutant. I’m ready for society!! Too bad I don’t feel like it, hah!!

  8. You would have to watch really old western movies to hear “Consarn it! {My computer spell check didn’t even recognize it.)
    “Ere long” was immortalized when Jimmy Cagney (as George M. Cohen)
    sang “Over There” promising Europe that the Yanks would be there “ere long.”

  9. No errors. Going down the “alternate-alternate” interpretation path led me to some interesting wrong responses for 21D ‘blacks’ (championship tees in golf) & 14D ‘steals’ (soaks the taxpayers) before eventually changing them to V-NECKS & STEEPS.

    Can’t SAY that I’m happy with the three 3-letter answers at 4D, 32D & 60D as even after I was done, I didn’t get them, even as short as they were. Bill only had an explanation for 4D and I get that one now, but 32D still doesn’t sound natural to me and I’m still behind the 8-ball on PRO for 60D.

    1. @Chris – for 32D I took it as in the expression – “Say, why don’t we…” in that case you are giving an option of something to do – naming one of the options.

      As for 60D, the PRO is relative to CON. If you are PRO something you support it, you are BEHIND it.

      And this will take 3 hrs. to post.

  10. 16:07. Something must be wrong. I’m faster than Bill on this today and just 2:30 behind him on the NYT puzzle. Typically, I’m happy if I can come in at under 2X Bill’s times on a Fri. or Sat.

    As per @Glenn’s discussion, I only started timing once I started using the online app for this and the NYT puzzle. Otherwise I did not start a watch when I was solving on paper – tho I do find the app solving faster. Easier to step thru the clues and see both the across and down at the same time. Takes me far longer to do the scanning on paper, not to mention not wanting to make incorrect entries on paper. On a screen it’s much easier to make an educated guess and then fix it.

    Like @Charley, I’m mostly comparing my times to myself to see how / if I am improving (still need to work on my Spanish pronouns) and like today, if I am close to Bill or @Nonny or @Glenn’s times – all VERY good at this – then I figure it must have been a relatively easy puzzle.

  11. After googleing 29D and 45D, I was able to work most of the puzzle except for the Northwest section. I had ‘Alaska’ for 30A and couldn’t change it because it worked perfectly with 31D. Naturally, 3D & 5D were victims. I finally gave up which will ruin my day.
    My G’ma was an old farm gal and raised chickens her whole life. She wouldn’t cuss but loved ‘consarnit’. She didn’t know where she picked it up.

    1. Someone has probably replied already as the comments are taking some time to post, but …. *Before* you dig deeper into something, you look at it at first, perhaps at first glance.

  12. 53:00 with 2 errors.
    58A…what you make is not what you net it’s what you earn.
    63A…Why do people who don’t skip classes get called nerds?
    21D…that’s a horrible clue.
    This was almost my 2nd DNF of the day and not very enjoyable👎👎
    Stay safe and go Ravens

  13. 21:26 no errors

    Got stuck for a while, it took three lookups to break the logjam.

    Consarn it! sounds like something Yosemite Sam would say, especially if he were doing this puzzle.

  14. Very stiff challenge today. Screwed up the NE corner. D’oh! And this will be my last comment until the site gets real time posting of the comments. It’s just not enjoyable wondering if its ever going to show. Sorry for being a buzz kill…

  15. 23 minutes, 28 seconds, no errors.

    But it wasn’t for a lack of trying by our “too cute” constructor. Hard to recall a puzzle more loaded with oily, misleading clues, bad puns and overall trickery. With some more straightforward clueing and a competent editor, this would have been likely half as “difficult” as it was.

    New rule: can we quit with the cornball use of non-words like CONSARNIT????

  16. Kind of a tough Saturday; took me 1 hr with 3 errors. I had PLAYSup and EASYpeSEE instead of what they should have been. Didn’t know a few things but everything was doable with crosses. I certainly remember hearing CONSARNIT in plenty of older movies and cartoons.

    Had tenS before ACES and ILLtAkESOME before ILLHAVESOME.

    re Quo Vadis – Our library didn’t have it, so I paid to watch it on YouTube. Mostly pretty good, but not really a great movie in my opinion. I checked and apparently Sophia Loren is a young slave girl that throws flowers in front of the incoming chariot in the opening scenes.

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