LA Times Crossword 5 Oct 20, Monday

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Constructed by: Tyler Burnett
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Rivals

Themed answers come in pairs, with each element of the pair being a RIVAL of the other:

  • 17A Big Ten school with eight national football titles : OHIO STATE
  • 46A Rival of 17-Across : MICHIGAN
  • 28A AP co-Driver of the Century Mario : ANDRETTI
  • 52D Rival of 28-Across : FOYT
  • 12D Car-collecting comic Jay : LENO
  • 60A Rival of 12-Down : LETTERMAN

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

Bill’s time: 4m 51s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

17 Big Ten school with eight national football titles : OHIO STATE

Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus was founded back in 1870 as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College. The athletic teams of OSU are called the Buckeyes, named after the state tree of Ohio. In turn the buckeye tree gets its name from the appearance of its fruit, a dark nut with a light patch thought to resemble a “buck’s eye”.

18 Stretched out like a sharpshooter : PRONE

When lying on one’s back, one is said to be in a supine position. When lying on one’s stomach, one is said to be prone.

22 Tolstoy’s Karenina : ANNA

I have to admit to not having read Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina”, but I did see the excellent 1977 British television adaptation starring Nicola Pagett. I also saw the 2012 film adaptation with a screenplay by Tom Stoppard and found that to be far from excellent, awful in fact. I am no Stoppard fan …

28 AP co-Driver of the Century Mario : ANDRETTI

Mario Andretti is a retired Italian American racing driver who was named US Driver of the Year in 1967, 1978 and 1984. Both of Mario’s sons, Michael and Jeff are successful auto racers, as well as Mario’s nephews, John and Adam Andretti. John and Adam are sons of Mario’s brother Aldo Andretti. Aldo also raced cars, but quit after a crash in 1969 that severely damaged his face. Aldo is Mario’s identical twin brother, but there is no resemblance after the reconstructive surgery necessitated by the accident.

35 Small amount : DRIB

A drib is a negligible amount, as in “dribs and drabs”. The term “drib” arose in Scotland in the 18th century, and might possibly come from the verb “to dribble”.

37 Mickey, to Rocky : TRAINER

In the “Rocky” series of movies, Rocky Balboa (played by Sylvester Stallone) is trained by Mickey Goldmill (played by Burgess Meredith). The character Rocky Balboa is based on real-life boxer Rocky Marciano. It is likely that the character Mickey Goldmill is based on Marciano’s real-life trainer Charley Goldman.

40 Pair in London? : ENS

There is a pair of letters N (en) in the word “London”.

London is the largest metropolitan area in the whole of the European Union (and one of my favorite cities in the world). London has been a major settlement for over 2,000 years and was founded as a town by the Romans who named it Londinium. The name “Londinium” may have existed prior to the arrival of the Romans, and no one seems too sure of its origins. Famously, the City of London is a one-square-mile area at the center of the metropolis, the area that marked old medieval London. “The City”, as it is commonly called, has its own Mayor of the City of London (the Mayor of London is someone else), and it’s own City of London Police Force (the London Metropolitan Police are the police usually seen on the streets, a different force).

41 Somber news item : OBIT

Our word “obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”. The Latin term was used for “record of the death of a person”, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

46 Rival of 17-Across : MICHIGAN
(17A Big Ten school with eight national football titles : OHIO STATE)

The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is the oldest university in the state, having been founded in 1817 in Detroit. The move to Ann Arbor from Detroit was made in 1837. Michigan’s athletic teams are known as the Wolverines.

55 Protein-rich egg part : YOLK

The yolk is the yellow part of a chicken’s egg. The term “yolk” comes from the Old English “geolu” meaning “yellow”.

60 Rival of 12-Down : LETTERMAN

(12D Car-collecting comic Jay : LENO)
Talk show host and comedian David Letterman has been appearing on late night television since 1982. Letterman had the longest late-night hosting career on US television, even longer than the iconic Johnny Carson.

62 French school : LYCEE

The “lycée” is the last stage of secondary education in France.

64 Displeases James Bond, at the bar? : STIRS

Why have a vodka martini shaken and not stirred (as does James Bond, 007)? For one thing, the shaken drink tends to be colder. And with more melted ice in the drink, it isn’t as strong. These are my personal observations. No need to write in …

65 When “the mouse ran down” : AT ONE

Hickory, dickory, dock.
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down,
Hickory, dickory, dock.

66 Fancy marble : TAW

In the game of marbles, the “taw” is the shooting marble, and is shot at the “ducks”.

Down

1 Playbill listings : BIOS

I get quite a kick out of reading the bios in “Playbill” as some of them can be really goofy and entertaining. “Playbill” started off in 1884 in New York as an in-house publication for just one theater on 21st St. You can’t see any decent-sized production these days anywhere in the United States without being handed a copy of “Playbill”.

6 Headpiece at the Miss America website : TIARA

The oldest beauty pageant still operating in the US is the Miss America contest. The Miss America beauty pageant started out as a marketing ploy in the early twenties to attract tourists to the Atlantic City boardwalk after Labor Day. Today, contestants must be between 17 and 24 years of age. Before those limits were introduced, Marian Bergeron won the 1933 title at only 15 years of age.

7 Greek “i” : IOTA

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.

8 Free throw value : ONE

That might be basketball.

11 Alka-Seltzer sound : PLOP

Alka-Seltzer is a brand of fizzy antacid that has been marketed since 1931. In terms of ingredients, it is a mix of sodium bicarbonate, aspirin and anhydrous citric acid.

12 Car-collecting comic Jay : LENO

Jay Leno was born James Leno in New Rochelle, New York. Jay’s father was the son of Italian immigrants, and his mother was from Scotland. Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and actually dropped out of school on the advice of a high school guidance counsellor. However, years later he went to Emerson College and earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech therapy. Leno also started a comedy club at Emerson in 1973. Today Jay Leno is a car nut and owns about 200 vehicles of various types. You can check them out on his website: www.jaylenosgarage.com.

13 Garden with a taboo 9-Across : EDEN
(9A Sauce fruit : APPLE)

In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This went against the bidding of God, and was at the urging of the serpent. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them from becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

21 Lettuce serving : WEDGE

Lettuce is a leaf vegetable in the daisy family.

25 Billiards bounce : CAROM

A carom is a ricochet, the bouncing of some projectile off a surface. “Carom” has come to describe the banking of a billiard ball, the bouncing of the ball off the side of the table.

26 Suspect’s story : ALIBI

“Alibi” is the Latin word for “elsewhere” as in, “I claim that I was ‘elsewhere’ when the crime was committed … I have an ‘alibi’”.

29 “Finale Ultimo” chorus in “The Sound of Music” : NUNS

In the musical “The Sound of Music”, the “Finale Ultimo” (Grand Finale) is sung by a group of nuns. That last musical number is a reprise of “Climb Ev’ry Mountain”.

32 “Peer Gynt” playwright Henrik : IBSEN

Henrik Ibsen was a Norwegian playwright who is considered by many to be the greatest playwright since William Shakespeare. Ibsen was famous for shocking his audiences by exploring subjects that offended the sensibilities of the day (the late 1800s).

Henrik Ibsen’s play “Peer Gynt” is based on a Scandinavian fairy tale “Per Gynt”. The incidental music to the play, written by Edvard Grieg, is some of the most approachable classical music ever written, at least in my humble opinion …

34 Prefix with trooper or legal : PARA-

A paralegal (sometimes just “para”) is a person who is trained sufficiently in legal matters to assist a lawyer. A paralegal cannot engage in the practice of law and must be supervised by a qualified lawyer.

38 Federer of tennis : ROGER

Roger Federer is a Swiss tennis player considered by many to be the greatest tennis player of all time. Federer is married to former tennis pro Mirka Vavrinec. The couple are parents to two sets of twins.

45 Lecherous man-goats : SATYRS

The satyrs of Greek mythology came with a very high sex drive. They are the “rude” male subjects drawn on the side of old Greek vases. The nubile maidens known as nymphs were often an object of attention for the satyrs.

47 Flowers in a van Gogh masterpiece : IRISES

Van Gogh painted his “Irises” while he was in an asylum in the south of France the year before he committed suicide. The original owner was a French art critic and supporter of van Gogh who paid 300 francs to purchase the painting. “Irises” was bought for $53.9 million in 1987, making it the most expensive painting sold up to that point. But, the buyer didn’t actually have the necessary funds, so it had to be resold in 1990. It was picked up by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, where you can see it today.

Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch post-impressionist painter who seems to have had a very tortured existence. Van Gogh only painted for the last ten years of his life, and enjoyed very little celebrity while alive. Today many of his works are easily recognized, and fetch staggering sums in auction houses. Van Gogh suffered from severe depression for many of his final years. When he was only 37, he walked into a field with a revolver and shot himself in the chest. He managed to drag himself back to the inn where he was staying but died there two days later.

48 Like a mosquito victim : BITTEN

“Mosquito” is the Spanish for “little fly”. The female mosquito actually has to have a “blood meal” before she is able to lay her eggs. Mosquitoes are sometimes referred to as “skeeters”.

50 Powerball, e.g. : LOTTO

Originally, lotto was a type of card game, with “lotto” being the Italian for “a lot”. We’ve used “lotto” to mean a gambling game since the late 1700s.

The Powerball lottery game is available in most states of the US, as is its major rival called Mega Millions.

52 Rival of 28-Across : FOYT
(28A AP’s Driver of the Century Mario : ANDRETTI)

A. J. Foyt is a retired racing driver. Foyt is the only driver to have won the Indianapolis 500 (four times, in fact), the Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

54 Ariana Grande album “thank u, __” : NEXT

Ariana Grande is a singer and actress from Boca Raton, Florida. Grande plays the role of Cat Valentine on the sitcom “Victorious” that aired for four season on Nickelodeon. Grande’s singing career took off with the release of the 2011 album “Victorious: Music from the Hit TV Show”.

57 Volcanic output : LAVA

Our word “volcano” comes from “Vulcano”, the name of a volcanic island off the coast of Italy. The island’s name comes from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. The Romans believed that the island of Vulcano was the chimney of the forge belonging to the god Vulcan. The Romans also believed that the eruptions on Mount Etna in Sicily were caused by Vulcan getting angry and working his forge so hard that sparks and smoke flew out of the top of the volcano.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Grocery store sack : BAG
4 Outdoor dining spot : PATIO
9 Sauce fruit : APPLE
14 Secluded plight on a desert island, say : ISOLATION
16 Stacked : PILED
17 Big Ten school with eight national football titles : OHIO STATE
18 Stretched out like a sharpshooter : PRONE
19 Good thing for a film’s audio and video to be in : SYNC
20 Presidential period, say : ERA
21 Dueler’s choice : WEAPON
22 Tolstoy’s Karenina : ANNA
24 Enjoy dinner : EAT
25 Contacted on a cellphone : CALLED
28 AP co-Driver of the Century Mario : ANDRETTI
33 Burn-soothing creams : ALOES
34 Socket insert : PLUG
35 Small amount : DRIB
36 Fix, as a fight : RIG
37 Mickey, to Rocky : TRAINER
40 Pair in London? : ENS
41 Somber news item : OBIT
43 Mining finds : ORES
44 Water bill basis : USAGE
46 Rival of 17-Across : MICHIGAN
48 Defeated : BEATEN
49 Before, in poetry : ERE
50 Santa’s naughty-and-nice record, e.g. : LIST
51 Illicit romance : AFFAIR
54 “Psych!” : NOT!
55 Protein-rich egg part : YOLK
59 Ransacks : LOOTS
60 Rival of 12-Down : LETTERMAN
62 French school : LYCEE
63 Far-reaching : EXTENSIVE
64 Displeases James Bond, at the bar? : STIRS
65 When “the mouse ran down” : AT ONE
66 Fancy marble : TAW

Down

1 Playbill listings : BIOS
2 Like an unswept fireplace : ASHY
3 Enter : GO IN
4 Partners for mas : PAS
5 Show up at : ATTEND
6 Headpiece at the Miss America website : TIARA
7 Greek “i” : IOTA
8 Free throw value : ONE
9 Show up : APPEAR
10 Robbed at sea : PIRATED
11 Alka-Seltzer sound : PLOP
12 Car-collecting comic Jay : LENO
13 Garden with a taboo 9-Across : EDEN
15 Site : LOCALE
21 Lettuce serving : WEDGE
23 Egg-laying spot : NEST
25 Billiards bounce : CAROM
26 Suspect’s story : ALIBI
27 Science that involves reasoning : LOGIC
28 Out of this world : ALIEN
29 “Finale Ultimo” chorus in “The Sound of Music” : NUNS
30 Word that excites a dog : TREAT
31 Trace of color : TINGE
32 “Peer Gynt” playwright Henrik : IBSEN
34 Prefix with trooper or legal : PARA-
38 Federer of tennis : ROGER
39 Regrets : RUES
42 Broadway destination : THEATER
45 Lecherous man-goats : SATYRS
47 Flowers in a van Gogh masterpiece : IRISES
48 Like a mosquito victim : BITTEN
50 Powerball, e.g. : LOTTO
51 “__ well that ends well” : ALL’S
52 Rival of 28-Across : FOYT
53 Central points : FOCI
54 Ariana Grande album “thank u, __” : NEXT
56 Fail to put in : OMIT
57 Volcanic output : LAVA
58 Had down pat : KNEW
60 Pasture : LEA
61 Opposite of WSW : ENE

39 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 5 Oct 20, Monday”

  1. But of a touchy for Monday.. 20 minutes.
    Didn’t get 54A. Had SOT and that have me SEXT for 54D. Didn’t know that one either.

    I remember mom taking us kids (5) to the sound of music when it first came out in mid 60s. Dad was in Vietnam at the time. It must of been important for her to see that movie. We rarely got to go to the movies especially since she had to drive to the next town where there was a theatre. Vivid memories of that movie. Seeing that scene of the mountain top in front of us on such a big screen was mesmerizing… Plus, having popcorn was such a treat.

  2. A little more challenging than most Monday puzzles. I left one box
    blank….the 54Down/Across because I had no clue about Ariana Grande’s
    song or the “psych” clue.

  3. No Googles, no errors. Words I didn’t know for a Monday, as Anon Mike mentioned, were NEXT and NOT; and TAW.
    DRIB should have been clued as an abbrev.

  4. 54A “Psych” answer “Not”. ????? Combine this with Ariana Grande album title Thank you, Next”. Bill gave us some info about her, but none regarding what the title means!

    Can anyone explain?

    1. It’s a song about what she’s learned from various exes, so she thanks them and asks for the next BF to step up, perhaps to stay, perhaps for her to learn something else.

    2. @Kenneth
      Think of a childish game played (usually by young boys). One boy offers his hand to another to shake, or makes like he is going to throw him a ball. When the other boy reciprocates the handshake or raises his hand to catch said ball the first boy pulls his hand away or holds onto said ball and yells ‘PSYCH!!!’. (He ‘psyched’ the other boy out.)

      As for me, no errors on the puzzle today and I can almost positively, completely, assuredly assert that I did not artfully change the ‘L’ in loci to a ‘F’ for 53D – NOT!!!

  5. Pretty good puzzle. Liked the James Bond clue. Had bested before beaten and traitor before trainer. Never heard of taw. GO BLUE!

  6. 13 minutes. As I always say… I LOVE Mondays!!
    For 11D, had FIZZ then quickly changed to PLOP when things weren’t working!
    Have a great week everyone!
    Stay safe! 😊

  7. Semi-random thoughts: Bond clue was nice; NE corner with apple running into Eden and piled/prone sort of antonyms plus lots of P’s was kinda interesting; 3 double-letter words together in SW corner — affair, loots, lycee — was interesting, especially when considering Letterman and Andretti (and the other rival, Ohio State, also has 2 T’s, probably nothing to it, but just looking); been working with one of my students on equations of ellipses, so foci was nice to see.
    Stay well, all.

  8. 6:25, no errors.

    @NonnyMuss
    Just reiterating the barriers to solving that last one. Like with this one, there was about a dozen false roads in the process of getting to the end. All I really was saying is a lot of times what is written as a “clue” is not really a clue and only just a random meaningless collection of words. I’m not a mind-reader, though many solving these things seem to be.

    1. @Glenn … I just reviewed all the clues for today’s LAT puzzle and I still see absolutely nothing that I would describe as “a random meaningless collection of words”. And, as I tried to say yesterday, “false roads” are just part of the game: when I see a clue like “Sty wallower”, I think, “Ah, pig. Or hog. Or sow. Better skip that entry and go on to the next one.” It slows things down, but it saves a lot of ink. And I don’t try to claim there was something wrong with the clues.

  9. As usual, basically a fill-in for a Monday except for a 54 A&D. I left the one square blank and stared at it for several minutes trying to figure out what letter would fit. So I guessed with the letter ‘N’ and, surprise, no errors.
    I mentioned that French phrases is one of my Achilles heels. Well, 62A bugged me. Bill’s explanation didn’t help either. Luckily, the ‘downs’ filled it in for me.

  10. Just like everyone else with the54D & 54A butMr Google knew about Ariana.
    While working this puzzle the Baltimore county police came to my door with just about everything that had been stolen from us about 2 weeks ago.
    It looks like the guy and his girlfriend are going to be out of circulation for quite some time…thank you for the effort to get a bad guy off the street.👍👍👍
    Stay safe😀
    Go Ravens

  11. 6:36. Had ECOLE before LYCEE. When learning some French many years ago I always confused ECOLE (school) with EGLISE (Church). Looks like I’m still confused. Also did not know TAW

  12. If you check out 13 down in today’s wsj puzzle and solve, it will explain 54 across (which I also thought was a silly clue). Another heck of a coincidence.

        1. It’s seriously a decent puzzle (Wed-Sat are going to be stiffer than most everything you get here). Unfortunately, the software they have on their site to do it online stinks horribly. I source Across Lite PUZ files when I do the WSJ because of this, but for a while I printed off the PDFs on the site (which are quite superior outside of the Saturday puzzle layout). If you want it for free, the New York Times is also available off of the Seattle Times site, but the software there can be kind of dodgy too.

          There are really quite a TON of puzzles out there, the catch beyond having to pick just a few you can actually do (or the 40-50 I do a week) is having the skills to get into all of them.

          1. Wow, 40-50 puzzles a week sounds like a glimpse of one of my possible futures. Choices, choices.

  13. 5:46 no errors

    Finally, a Monday puzzle that was easy for me! I liked the rivals, though I didn’t perceive that as a theme.

    As for 54A, both “Not!” or “Psych!” are equally childish ways to tell someone they’ve been lured into briefly believing that something false might be true.

    As in:
    “Hey, Mom just called. She says it’s okay to order a pizza for dinner.”
    “Really? I want extra pepperoni!”
    “Pysch!”

  14. Regarding 54A the psych and not are basically slang terms, as in, I don’t know, “Let me buy you dinner.” *pauses* “Not!” Or “Psych!” As in I’m not going to do it. Obnoxious I know but that’s how some folks would say.

    Also it’s a forbidden fruit in Eden, it’s never specified to be an apple.

  15. Right from the beginning, I thought this puzzle was a little strange. With isolation and Ohio State I had some other letters crossing and was sure something funny was going on. For site I put locate and wondered why they were spelling it site instead of sight. And to top it all off, I actually put in yoke instead of yolk. Now I have egg on my face …
    But I did know both not and next, so I must be young at heart.

  16. Greetings y’all!!🦆

    No errors. Clever theme! I liked the sets of rivals. Unique. 🤗

    I have no problem with NOT/NEXT. I’m 62 and I say “PSYCH!!” a lot, so I guess y’all can call me immature. I prefer young at heart. Didn’t know the Ariana Grande title – I’m not a fan – but NEXT fit. No complaints. It’s a puzzle.

    GO DODGERS!! ⚾️⚾️⚾️

    Be well~~⚾️

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