LA Times Crossword 9 Oct 20, Friday

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Constructed by: Will Tobias
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: MLB

Themed answers are phrases associated with Major League Baseball. Each, however, is clued assuming a different meaning:

  • 59A Org. in which you’d hear the answers to starred clues : MLB
  • 20A *Where to hang a lei on a rhino? : AROUND THE HORN
  • 32A *Bits of dialogue censored on network television? : FOUL LINES
  • 40A *Dracula after a hearty meal? : FULL COUNT
  • 51A *Crime of someone who wants folks to get lost? : STEALING SIGNS

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

Bill’s time: 6m 54s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 “Nothing but net” : SWISH

“Nothing but net” is a phrase used in basketball to describe a “clean basket”. A clean basket is a score in which the ball doesn’t touch the backboard or even the rim, and touches only the net.

10 One often looking down : SNOB

Back in the 1780s, a snob was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word “snob” was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.

14 Handmade blade : SHIV

“Shiv” is a slang term describing a weapon crudely fashioned to resemble a knife. Mostly we hear of shivs that have been fashioned by prison inmates to do harm to others.

15 George who co-wrote the graphic memoir “They Called Us Enemy” : TAKEI

Mr. Hikaru Sulu was played by George Takei in the original “Star Trek” series. Takei has played lots of roles over the years, and is still very active in television. Did you know that he appeared in the 1963 film, “Pt-109”? He played the helmsman steering the Japanese destroyer that ran down John F. Kennedy’s motor torpedo boat. From destroyer helmsman to starship helmsman …

20 *Where to hang a lei on a rhino? : AROUND THE HORN

There are five types of rhinoceros that survive today, with the smaller Javan Rhino being the most rare. The rhinoceros is probably the rarest large mammal on the planet, thanks to poaching. Hunters mainly prize the horn of the rhino as it is used in powdered form in traditional Chinese medicine.

Baseball players will often throw the ball to each other after an out, usually in a predetermined pattern. Typically, after an out at first, the first baseman throws to second, then the ball is thrown to the shortstop, to third, and finally to the pitcher. This practice is referred to as “around the horn”. The term also applies to some double plays, when the pattern of the throwing play resembles the around-the-horn practise.

25 Whitney and Washington: Abbr. : MTS

Mount Whitney in California has an elevation of 14,505 feet, making its peak the highest spot in the contiguous United States. Mt. Whitney was given its name in 1864 by members of the California Geographical Society who named it after Josiah Whitney, the State Geologist at the time.

Mount Washington in New Hampshire is the highest peak in the northeast of the country. It is located in the state’s White Mountains, in the Presidential Range. The Presidential Range comprises the highest peaks in the White Mountains, most of which are named for US Presidents including: Washington, Eisenhower, Monroe, Jefferson, Adams, Quincy Adams and Madison.

29 Bygone Russian title : TSAR

The last ruler of Imperial Russia was Tsar Nicholas II (of the House of Romanov). Famously, the Tsar and his family were murdered in 1918 in the basement of a house in Yekaterinburg, Russia by members of the Bolshevik secret police. The Tsar’s youngest daughter was 16-year-old Anastasia and rumors of her escape have persisted for years. The rumors grew with the help of numerous women who claimed to be Anastasia. In 2009, DNA testing finally proved that the remains of all of the Tsar’s immediate family, including Anastasia, have been found and identified.

32 *Bits of dialogue censored on network television? : FOUL LINES

The original “censor” was an officer in ancient Rome who had responsibility for taking the “census”, as well as supervising public morality.

39 “Strega __”: Tomie dePaola Caldecott winner whose title means “Grandma Witch” : NONA

“Strega Nona” is an illustrated children’s book by Tomie dePaola that was first published in 1975. The title character is a kind of witch doctor who lives in southern Italy. “Strega Nona” translates from broken Italian as “Grandma Witch”.

40 *Dracula after a hearty meal? : FULL COUNT

“Dracula” is a novel written by the Irish author Bram Stoker and first published in 1897. Dracula wasn’t the first vampire of literature, but he certainly was the one who spawned the popularity of vampires in theater, film and television, and indeed more novels. Personally, I can’t stand vampire fiction …

42 Doughnut-shaped : TORIC

A torus (plural “tori”) is a shape resembling a doughnut.

43 Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer Donovan : ANNE

Anne Donovan was a basketball player and coach. She became the first woman to coach a WNBA Championship team when she led the Seattle Storm to the title in 2004. Donovan also represented the US, both as a player and a coach.

45 Dark igneous rock : BASALT

Basalt is a volcanic rock that is created when lava cools rapidly at the earth’s surface.

49 Suffix with bass : -OON

Our modern bassoon first appeared in the 1800s and has had a place in the concert orchestra ever since.

55 “The Sopranos” actor Robert : ILER

Actor Robert Iler’s most famous role was A.J., son of mob leader Tony Soprano in HBO’s “The Sopranos”. Apparently Iler’s screen persona has spilled over into his personal life, as he was arrested for armed robbery of two tourists in 2001 (and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge).

60 Belafonte classic : DAY-O

“Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” is a traditional folk song from Jamaica. It is sung from the standpoint of dock workers unloading boats on the night shift, so daylight has come, and they want to go home. The most famous version of “Day-O” was recorded by Harry Belafonte, in 1956.

Singer and actor Harry Belafonte is of Caribbean descent, from Jamaica through his mother’s heritage and from Martinique through his father. Born in New York City, Belafonte came to be known as the “King of Calypso”. His most famous recording is 1956’s “The Banana Boat Song”, and I suspect that his most famous movie performance is in Otto Preminger’s “Carmen Jones”.

61 Cereal tidbit : FLAKE

Corn flakes breakfast cereal created by William Kellogg in 1894, with the recipe originally using wheat instead of corn. William came up with the flakes as a healthy food for the patients in his brother John Kellogg’s sanitarium. John Kellogg disagreed with William’s plan to add sugar to the recipe to make it more popular, and so William went off and founded the Kellogg Company to produce corn flakes. Today’s corn flakes not only have added sugar, but also added salt, so beware …

63 “Birds of Prey” actor McGregor : EWAN

Ewan McGregor is a very talented Scottish actor, one who got his break in the 1996 film “Trainspotting”. McGregor’s first big Hollywood role was playing the young Obi-Wan-Kenobi in the “Star Wars” prequels. Less known is his televised marathon motorcycle journey from London to New York via central Europe, Ukraine, Siberia, Mongolia and Canada. The 2004 trip was shown as “Long Way Round” on TV. McGregor did a similar trip in 2007 called “Long Way Down”, which took him and the same travelling companion from the north of Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa.

“Birds of Prey” is a 2020 superhero movie based on the superhero team of the same name created for the DC Comics universe. The film centers on a band of female superheroes, and is a spinoff of the 2016 movie “Suicide Squad”.

65 Cairo native : ARAB

Cairo is the capital city of Egypt. It is nicknamed “The City of a Thousand Minarets” because of its impressive skyline replete with Islamic architecture. The name “Cairo” is a European corruption of the city’s original name in Arabic, “Al-Qahira”.

Down

1 Bad check letters : NSF

Not sufficient funds (NSF)

2 Poke tuna : AHI

Poke is a Native-Hawaiian dish featuring diced raw fish. “Poke” is a Hawaiian word meaning “to slice”.

5 Dark drafts : STOUTS

The term “stout” was first used for a type of beer in the 1600s when it was used to describe a “strong, stout” brew, and not necessarily a dark beer as it is today.

9 Tall drink : HIGHBALL

A highball is a mixed drink comprising a relatively small amount of alcoholic drink, mixed with a larger amount of non-alcoholic mixer. The origin of the term is disputed, but one suggestion is that it derives from the practice of serving “highballs” in “tall” glasses.

10 Pitcher Warren with the most lifetime wins for a southpaw : SPAHN

Warren Spahn was a left-handed pitcher who won 363 games, more than any other left-handed pitcher in history. The Warren Spahn Award has been presented annually by the Oklahoma Sports Museum since 1999.

A southpaw is left-handed. The term “southpaw” arose as baseball slang in the mid-1880s to describe a left-handed pitcher. Back then, baseball diamonds were often laid out with home plate to the west. So, a pitcher’s left hand would be on his “south” side as he faced the batter.

11 Far from acceptable : NOT OK

Back in the late 1830s, there were some slang abbreviations coined mainly in Boston. The craze called for two-letter abbreviations of deliberately misspelled phrases. For example “no use” became “KY” from “know yuse”, and “enough said” became “NC” from “‘nuff ced”. Fortunately (I say!), the practice was short-lived. But, one of those abbreviations persists to this day. “All correct” was misspelled to give “oll korrect”, abbreviated to “OK”.

12 Quite unusual : OUTRE

The word “outré”, meaning “unconventional, bizarre”, comes to us from French, as one might imagine. It is derived from the verb “outrer” meaning “to overdo, exaggerate”. “Outrer” is also the ultimate root of our word “outrage”.

22 Rank between marquess and viscount : EARL

In Britain, there are five ranks of peers. They are duke, marquess, earl, viscount and baron, in descending order.

23 Staff symbol : G-CLEF

“Clef” is the French word for “key”. In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on a stave. The bass clef is also known as the F-clef, the alto clef is the C-clef, and the treble clef is the G-clef.

24 Verdi baritone aria : ERI TU

Every crossword constructor’s favorite aria “Eri tu” is from Verdi’s opera “Un ballo in maschera” (“A Masked Ball”). The opera tells the story of the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden during a masked ball.

28 Window ledge : SILL

“Sill plate”, or simply “sill”, is an architectural term describing a bottom horizontal member to which vertical members are attached. Window sills and door sills are specific sill plates found at the bottoms of windows and door openings.

29 1,000 kilograms : TONNE

The tonne, also known as a metric ton, is equivalent to 1,000 kg (or 2,205 lb). The tonne isn’t an official unit of mass in the metric system, but it is used a lot.

30 Bird feeder cake : SUET

Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called suet. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be rendered, purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call lard. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as tallow.

32 Woodland spirit : FAUN

Fauns are regarded as the Roman mythological equivalent of the Greek satyrs, but fauns were half-man and half-goat and much more “carefree” in personality than their Hellenic cousins. In the modern age we are quite familiar with Mr. Tumnus, the faun-like character encountered by the children entering the world of Narnia in C. S. Lewis’s “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”.

34 Stahm that may affect Bahston : NOR’EASTER

The Boston accent is noted for its broad letter A, and dropping of the letter R.

35 Early computer : ENIAC

The acronym ENIAC stands for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (although many folks insist that the C was for “Computer”). ENIAC was introduced at the University of Pennsylvania in 1946, at which time it was the first general-purpose electronic computer, and dubbed “Giant Brain” by the press. Its original purpose was the calculation of artillery firing tables, but it ended up being used early on to make calculations necessary for the development of the hydrogen bomb. Given its uses, it’s not surprising to hear that development of ENIAC was funded by the US Army during WWII.

36 “__ bleu!” : SACRE

French speakers don’t really use the profanity “sacré bleu”, at least not anymore, but we see it a lot in English literature featuring native French speakers. Most famously it is uttered by Agatha Christie’s delightful Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. There is some dispute about the origins of “sacré bleu” (sacred blue), but French dictionaries explain that it is a “softening” of the alternative “sacré Dieu” (Holy God).

44 __ water : TOILET

“Eau de toilette” (toilet water) is a diluted perfume. A French person when dressing is said to be attending to his or her “toilette”.

46 Shingle words : AT LAW

The phrase “to hang out a shingle” is mainly used in the legal profession with the meaning “to start one’s own law firm”. That said, the expression is sometimes applied to other businesses and trades. A shingle is a small signboard.

48 Judge on a diamond : AARON

Aaron Judge is a baseball outfielder who was selected as 2017’s American League Rookie of the Year. Judge is a big guy. He weighs 282 pounds, and is 6 foot 7 inches tall.

49 Japanese financial hub : OSAKA

The Japanese city of Osaka used to be called Naniwa, with the name changing to Osaka sometime before 1500. “Osaka” can be translated either as “large hill” or “large slope”. Osaka is sometimes referred to as “the Chicago of Japan” as it is a major center of commerce and industry. The city has also been named the “nation’s kitchen”, and was a center for Japan’s rice trade for centuries.

52 River delta where the Rosetta Stone was found : NILE

Rosetta is a coastal city and port on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. The Rosetta Stone is an ancient Egyptian artifact of tremendous importance in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics. Carvings on the stone are actually three translations of the same passage of prose, one in Egyptian hieroglyphics, one in Egyptian Demotic language, and one in classical Greek. The stone was discovered by the French military during Napoleon’s 1798 campaign in Egypt. Before the French could get it back to France, the stone somehow ended up in enemy hands (the British), so it is now on display in the British Museum. Ownership of the stone is very much in dispute. The French want it and, understandably, the Egyptians would like it back.

A river delta is a triangular landform at the mouth of a river created by the deposition of sediment. The Nile Delta in Northern Egypt is one of the world’s largest river deltas, and covers 150 miles of coastline on the Mediterranean. The most famous “delta” in the United States isn’t actually a delta at all. The Mississippi Delta is an alluvial plain that lies 300 miles north of the river’s actual delta, yet it is known as the “Mississippi River Delta”. Very confusing …

53 Winged pest : GNAT

Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.

54 Mission Control org. : NASA

NASA’s famous Mission Control is located in the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. NASA’s Launch Control Center is located at the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida. Responsibility for controlling the spacecraft resides with the Launch Control Center until the vehicle clears the launch tower, at which time control is passed over to Mission Control.

58 Goiânia greeting : OLA

Goiânia is the capital of Goiás, a state in central Brazil. It is a planned city, one founded 1933. The city name was actually chosen in a contest held by a local newspaper.

59 Org. in which you’d hear the answers to starred clues : MLB

Major League Baseball (MLB)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Travel pillow spot : NAPE
5 “Nothing but net” : SWISH
10 One often looking down : SNOB
14 Handmade blade : SHIV
15 George who co-wrote the graphic memoir “They Called Us Enemy” : TAKEI
16 Do the honors : POUR
17 Blaze : FIRE
18 Circular gasket : O-RING
19 “__ boy!” : ATTA
20 *Where to hang a lei on a rhino? : AROUND THE HORN
23 Acquire : GET
25 Whitney and Washington: Abbr. : MTS
26 Counted (on) : BANKED
27 Unstable time : CRISIS
29 Bygone Russian title : TSAR
31 Lawful : LICIT
32 *Bits of dialogue censored on network television? : FOUL LINES
37 And others, in Lat. : ET AL
38 Group of experts : PANEL
39 “Strega __”: Tomie dePaola Caldecott winner whose title means “Grandma Witch” : NONA
40 *Dracula after a hearty meal? : FULL COUNT
42 Doughnut-shaped : TORIC
43 Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer Donovan : ANNE
44 Musical inability : TIN EAR
45 Dark igneous rock : BASALT
49 Suffix with bass : -OON
50 High card : ACE
51 *Crime of someone who wants folks to get lost? : STEALING SIGNS
55 “The Sopranos” actor Robert : ILER
56 “And that’s __!” : FINAL
57 Elemental unit : ATOM
60 Belafonte classic : DAY-O
61 Cereal tidbit : FLAKE
62 Auction, say : SELL
63 “Birds of Prey” actor McGregor : EWAN
64 Attack : SET AT
65 Cairo native : ARAB

Down

1 Bad check letters : NSF
2 Poke tuna : AHI
3 Given to plundering : PIRATICAL
4 At any time : EVER
5 Dark drafts : STOUTS
6 Cautions : WARNS
7 “Joke, joke” : I KID
8 Email status : SENT
9 Tall drink : HIGHBALL
10 Pitcher Warren with the most lifetime wins for a southpaw : SPAHN
11 Far from acceptable : NOT OK
12 Quite unusual : OUTRE
13 __ awareness : BRAND
21 Drop : OMIT
22 Rank between marquess and viscount : EARL
23 Staff symbol : G-CLEF
24 Verdi baritone aria : ERI TU
28 Window ledge : SILL
29 1,000 kilograms : TONNE
30 Bird feeder cake : SUET
32 Woodland spirit : FAUN
33 Privy to : IN ON
34 Stahm that may affect Bahston : NOR’EASTER
35 Early computer : ENIAC
36 “__ bleu!” : SACRE
38 Popes : PONTIFFS
41 Ring up : CALL
42 Sound of a tiny bell : TING
44 __ water : TOILET
45 It may be a sleeper hit : B-SIDE
46 Shingle words : AT LAW
47 “Toodles!” : SEE YA!
48 Judge on a diamond : AARON
49 Japanese financial hub : OSAKA
52 River delta where the Rosetta Stone was found : NILE
53 Winged pest : GNAT
54 Mission Control org. : NASA
58 Goiânia greeting : OLA
59 Org. in which you’d hear the answers to starred clues : MLB

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 9 Oct 20, Friday”

  1. Missed a couple.. Got wrangled with the word PIRATICAL?? Never heard that before.. Then put LEGIT for 31A and that was wrong. .. Had PIRATIGAL for 3D.. Also means I missed my opera lesson for the day. Had ERETU instead of ERITU..

    Was completely dazed by 39A.. Good thing it was a 4 letter word that I got with crosses.. Looks like I’ll have to look up the Tomie dePaola Caldecott award..

  2. Got the baseball theme easy enough but was totally stumped on toric. On the cross couldn’t get the first letter.Thinking ding, ping, ring…. anything but ting. Never use the word piratical. Lots of sports clues in the fill…..Aaron, Spahn, and Anne. Why not one for highball? How about out of the strike zone?

  3. Fairly straightforward for a Friday puzzle, I think. I did write FINAL with the wrong F in PONTIFFS at first, making NILE and GNAT a bit confusing until I realized my mistake.
    Southpaw for SPAHN is a good clue and answer combination for a baseball-themed puzzle. Interestingly, Merriam-Webster says the first usage of southpaw dates to an 1848 boxing reference, meaning it had nothing to do with where a pitcher’s arm was on a baseball diamond. Interesting either way. I’ve heard it used in both sports, but certainly more so in baseball.
    Have a lovely weekend, all.

  4. Toric/ting threw me.
    30 minutes plus. There are worker bees here doing work in the bathroom and that distracted me. That’s my story and … you know.

  5. 10:31, no errors, no complaints except that, several times, I read the wrong clue for an entry. (I think I was just tired by the time the puzzle finally became available for download last night … and yes, that’s a pretty feeble excuse … 😜.)

    I also went to the dentist yesterday and found out I need more expensive repair work done. There’s an old phrase that’s taking on a new meaning for me: Put your money where your mouth is! … 😜.

  6. 25:15 with 3 errors…I had legit for licit and Doric for toric which BTW the spell checker refused 3 times before finally letting it stand. As for 34D I had no idea what that was and still don’t …I guess lm all wet on that one.👎
    Stay safe 😀
    Go Ravens

  7. Cool that baseball terms and names actually outnumber the themers: SPAHN, AARON (clued Judge, but you can’t help but think of Hank, too), CALL, HIGHBALL, DING, and in a nod to Pittsburgh fans😏, PIRATICAL. Fun Friday. Go, Braves!

  8. 6:23, 4 very dumb typing errors I couldn’t see after about 45 seconds of staring at the completed grid (that and not solving metas seem to be a pattern with me). Won’t blame it on all the very stiff grids I’ve been doing outside of the usual, though.

    @Jack
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nor%27easter

    Very interesting origin of the word. But basically what it is is a cold weather type tropical storm that happens and sweeps up the northeastern US, generally resulting in a lot of wind and snowfall

  9. 13:14 no errors, three lookups since I don’t know my pitchers or actors.

    I also learned that Around the Horn is a baseball term. I kept thinking of the old BBC Radio comedy, Round the Horne, but then I’m weird.

    Had no problem with Nor’easter!

  10. 14 minutes, 29 seconds, and 4 errors. This one was chock full of proper names, always a bad sign. And I especially did not appreciate the clue for Nor’easter. That phonetic expression was just over the top, especially with the capitalization of “Stahm”. Unnecessary cuteness and trickery.

  11. Pretty easy Friday for me; took 16 minutes on paper with no errors. Baseball being in my wheelhouse, I had no trouble with this one. Although I didn’t know NONA, ANNE, ILER or AARON crosses helped out there.

  12. Greetings y’all!! 🦆

    Can’t believe I completed this with no error, and not just cuz of the baseball theme….I have been doing so poorly on puzzles these last few months, not doing as many as I had the previous several years. Maybe this is a sign that I’m back to fighting weight ?! 🤔 Saturday will be the real test….if I do it. Used to love Saturday puzzles but have felt DEFEATED this year….😶

    Shout-out for sure not only to SPAHN and Judge but also to the wonderful George TAKEI!!! 🤗

    @Anonymous 9:48 – all due respect, but I think my DODGERS will beat Atlanta 🤗⚾️

    Be well~~⚾️

  13. Enjoyed the puzzle but wish there had not been three proper names needed in a small area at left bottom of puzzle. I don’t watch much “modern” tv so Iler and Ewan eluded me as well as Aaron for “Judge on a diamond.” I have never heard of him. I was thinking of umpire or someone who judges the qualities of a diamond. I prefer not having those types of clues interlocking so much but it was still a good puzzle. I liked the theme.

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