LA Times Crossword 9 Apr 21, Friday

Advertisement

Constructed by: David Alfred Bywaters
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Fifth

Themed answers are common phrases with the FIFTH letter removed. And, those five missing letters spell out the word “FIFTH” as we descend the grid:

  • 66A What’s taken in some court proceedings, and also (in two ways) from the answers to starred clues : FIFTH
  • 17A *French cheesemonger’s luggage? : BRIE CASES (F from BRIEFCASES)
  • 22A *Potemkin village? : REALTY SHOW (I from REALITY SHOW)
  • 35A *Top performer who’s hopelessly off course? : LOST ACE (F from LOST FACE)
  • 48A *Heresies? : HOLY ERRORS (T from HOLY TERRORS)
  • 55A *PETA protester’s emotion? : COAT ANGER (H from COAT HANGER)

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

Bill’s time: 9m 32s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Highland hats : TAMS

A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”) but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of the Robert Burns poem “Tam O’Shanter”.

14 Missouri’s __ de Terre Lake : POMME

Pomme de Terre Lake is a manmade lake in southwest Missouri. It is fed by the Pomme de Terre river, which gives the lake its name. “Pomme de Terre” is French for “potato”, a crop that Native Americans harvested in the area.

16 Game millions can play : 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.

17 *French cheesemonger’s luggage? : BRIE CASES (F from “briefcases”)

Brie is a soft cheese that is named for the French region in which it originated. Brie is similar to the equally famous (and delicious) Camembert. Brie is often served baked in puff pastry.

A briefcase is a bag or case mainly designed for carrying papers. The name “briefcase” comes from the practise of lawyers carrying “briefs” to court in such a case. The term “brief”, in this context, applies to a written legal document presented in court as an argument in a legal process. “Brief” comes from the Latin “brevis” meaning “short”. So, I guess those arguments were originally meant to be short, concise.

19 Like a storied equine statue : TROJAN

The ancient city of Troy was located on the west coast of modern-day Turkey. The Trojan War of Greek mythology was precipitated by the elopement of Helen, the wife of the king of Sparta, with Paris of Troy. The war itself largely consisted of a nine-year siege of Troy by the Greeks. We know most about the final year of that siege, as it is described extensively in Homer’s “Iliad”. The city eventually fell when the Greeks hid soldiers inside the Trojan Horse, which the Trojans brought inside the city’s walls. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts …

22 *Potemkin village? : REALTY SHOW (I from “reality show”)

Grigory Potemkin was a former lover of Russian Empress Catherine II, and a minister in Catherine’s government. Purportedly, Potemkin was faced with the need to impress the empress with how well the country was faring. He chose to erect facades of houses suggesting thriving settlements along the banks of the Dnieper as Catherine traveled along the river. As a result of this story, we now use the term “Potemkin village” both figuratively and literally to describe any impressive facade designed to hide something undesirable.

31 Heroic collie : LASSIE

The canine character Lassie is the creation of Eric Knight, an author who wrote a short story that he expanded into a novel called “Lassie Come Home” published in 1940. “Lassie Come Home” was turned into a movie three years later, the first of a very successful franchise. The original Lassie (a female) was played by a long-haired collie called Pal (a male). In fact, all of the dogs that played Lassie over the years were males, because they looked better on camera, retaining a thick coat even during the summer months.

The collie isn’t actually a breed of dog, but rather the name given to a group of herding dogs that originated in Scotland and Northern England. An obvious (and wonderful) example would be the Border collie. Many dogs classed as collies don’t have the word “collie” in the name of the breed, for example the Old English sheepdog and the Shetland sheepdog.

34 Bks. in progress : MSS

Manuscript (MS)

45 Lyric poems : EPODES

An epode is a lyric poem made up of couplets in which the first line is long, and the second line much shorter. The form was invented by the Greek poet Archilochus, and was most famously used by the Roman poet Horace.

47 Memo heading : IN RE

The term “in re” is Latin, and is derived from “in” (in) and “res” (thing, matter). “In re” literally means “in the matter”, and is used to mean “in regard to” or “in the matter of”.

52 Cardiologist’s implant : STENT

In the world of surgical medicine, a stent is an artificial tube inserted inside a vessel in the body, say an artery, in order to reduce the effects of a local restriction in the body’s conduit.

55 *PETA protester’s emotion? : COAT ANGER (H from “coat hanger”)

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is a large animal rights organization, with about 300 employees and two million members and supporters worldwide. Although the group campaigns for animal rights across a broad spectrum of issues, it has a stated focus in opposition of four practices:

  • Factory farming
  • Fur farming
  • Animal testing
  • Use of animals in entertainment

61 Hill builder : ANT

Anthills are actually underground nests. The ants in the colony excavate below ground, resulting in a pile of sand or soil above ground.

66 What’s taken in some court proceedings, and also (in two ways) from the answers to starred clues : FIFTH

The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. It addresses a number of issues associated with criminal procedure, including the right not to testify against oneself in a criminal trial (“taking the fifth”).

Down

1 NBC show with Ego Nwodim : SNL

Actress and comedian Ego Nwodim joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live” in 2018. She was a biology major at the University of Southern California, a classic foundation for a successful comedian …

3 Verizon competitor : ATT

The American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T, Ma Bell) was a subsidiary of the original Bell Telephone Company that was founded by Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. AT&T was forced to divest several subsidiaries in 1982 when the company lost an antitrust lawsuit. Those subsidiaries were known as Regional Bell Operating Systems, or “Baby Bells”.

The telecommunications company that we know today as Verizon was founded in 1983 as Bell Atlantic, and was one of the “Baby Bells” that were formed after the breakup of AT&T. Bell Atlantic merged with fellow Baby Bell NYNEX in 1997, and then merged with GTE in 2000 to form Verizon. The new company name is a portmanteau of “veritas” (“truth” in Latin) and “horizon”.

5 Tennis wear : SKORTS

The garment called a “skort” is a hybrid between a “skirt” and “shorts”.

6 Hebrew scripture : TORAH

The Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, are traditionally believed to have been written by Moses. As such, they are sometimes referred to as the Law of Moses, or Mosaic Law. Those five books are:

  • Bereshit/Genesis
  • Shemot/Exodus
  • Vayikra/Leviticus
  • Bamidbar/Numbers
  • Devarim/Deuteronomy

7 __ acid : AMINO

Amino acids are essential to life in many ways, not least of which is their use as the building blocks of proteins. Nine amino acids are considered “essential” for humans. These nine must be included in the diet as they cannot be synthesized in the body.

8 Toulouse title: Abbr. : MME

The equivalent of “Mrs.” in French is “Mme.” (Madame), in Spanish is “Sra.” (Señora) and in Portuguese is also “Sra.” (Senhora).

Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France, and is located in the southwest of the country. These days, Toulouse is noted as home to the Airbus headquarters and is known as the center of the European aerospace industry.

9 Brief intervals : SECS

The hour is subdivided into 60 parts, each of which was known as a “pars minuta prima” in Medieval Latin, translating as “first small part”. This phrase “pars minuta prima” evolved into our word “minute”. The “pars minuta prima” (minute) was further divided into 60 parts, each called a “secunda pars minuta”, meaning “second small part”. “Secunda pars minuta” evolved into our term “second”.

14 Two-spread sandwiches, for short : PBJS

Peanut butter and jelly (PB&J or PBJ)

23 Coop collections : EGGS

The Old English word “cypa”, meaning “basket”, evolved in the 14th century to the word “coop” to describe a small cage for poultry. We still use “coop” today.

24 Son of Zeus and Hera : ARES

The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and the Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

25 Ill. neighbor : WISC

The state of Wisconsin is nicknamed “the Badger State”. This name came about in the early days of lead mining in the 1800s. The miners would often set up home in the holes they were digging, earning them the nickname “badgers”, and leading to the state’s nickname.

31 Vehicle for some ’60s trips : LSD

LSD (known colloquially as “acid”) is lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist named Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

35 Napoleonic Code part : LOI

In France, a “gendarme” (police officer) enforces the “loi” (law).

When Napoleon Bonaparte rose to the position of First Consul of France in 1799, he inherited a legal system that was weighed down by what might be described as a mish-mash of local laws. Napoleon felt that all French citizens should be subject to the same laws, regardless of where they lived, and so he set up a commission to establish a uniform civil code. The resulting Napoleonic Code was established in 1804, with a frequently amended version in force today.

37 Birdbrain, or an extinct bird : DODO

The dodo was a direct relative of the pigeon and dove, although the fully-grown dodo was usually three feet tall. One of the reasons the dodo comes to mind when we think of extinction of a species, is that it disappeared not too long ago (last recorded alive in 1681) and humans were the reason for its demise. The dodo lived exclusively on the island of Mauritius and when man arrived, we cut back the forests that were its home. We also introduced domestic animals, such as dogs and pigs, that ransacked the dodo’s nests. The dodo was deemed to be an awkward flightless bird and so the term “dodo” has come to mean a dull-witted person.

40 Home to the van Eycks’ “Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” : GHENT

The Ghent Altarpiece (also known as the “Adoration of the Mystic Lamb”) is a large panel painting that was originally installed in 1432 in what was then the parochial church of John the Baptist in the Flemish city of Ghent. It was painted by two brothers, Flemish artists Hubert and Jan van Eyck. The painting changed hands over the centuries and was one of many works of art that was plundered by the Nazis during WWII. This particular piece was recovered from a salt mine by American forces and returned to Belgium.

41 Rhine siren : LORELEI

The Lorelei is a 300-foot tall rock on the eastern bank of the Rhine in Germany. The Lorelei juts out into the river creating a strong current as the water is forced through the narrows. The current combined with numerous rocks under the waterline have led to numerous boating accidents. Appropriately enough, Lorelei is the name of a legendary mermaid who lured fishermen to their death on the rocks by singing a beautiful song.

In Greek mythology, the Sirens were seductive bird-women who lured men to their deaths with their song. When Odysseus sailed closed to the island home of the Sirens he wanted to hear their voices, but in safety. He had his men plug their ears with beeswax and then ordered them to tie him to the mast and not to free him until they were safe. On hearing their song Odysseus begged to be let loose, but the sailors just tightened his bonds and the whole crew sailed away unharmed. We sometimes use the term “siren” today to describe a seductively charming woman.

42 Europe’s Bay of __ : BISCAY

The Bay of Biscay is the large gulf that sits north of Spain and west of France. The bay is named after the Spanish province of Biscay located in Basque country.

45 “And all that beauty, all that wealth __ gave … “: Gray : E’ER

Thomas Gray was an 18th-century poet from England. Gray’s most famous work is his “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”, which is the source of many oft-quoted phrases, including:

  • Celestial fire
  • Far from the Madding Crowd
  • Kindred spirit

51 Story to spin : YARN

The phrase “to spin a yarn”, meaning “to tell a tall tale”, originated in the early 1800s with seamen. The idea was that sailors would tell stories to each other while engaged in mindless work such as twisting yarn.

53 Soviet news agency : TASS

“TASS” is the abbreviation used for the former news agency that had the full name Telegraph Association of the Soviet Union (Telegrafnoe Agentstvo Sovetskogo Soyuza). When the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, the Moscow-based agency’s scope changed along with its name. It is now known as the Information Telegraph Agency of Russia (ITAR-TASS).

56 Sgt., e.g. : NCO

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

59 Sinus doc : ENT

The branch of medicine known as “ear, nose and throat” (ENT) is more correctly called “otolaryngology”.

In anatomical terms, a sinus is a cavity in tissue. Sinuses are found all over the body, in the kidney and heart for example, but we most commonly think of the paranasal sinuses that surround the nose.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Lab kit supply : SWABS
6 Highland hats : TAMS
10 Teacher’s handful : IMP
13 “Uncalled for!” : NOT OK!
14 Missouri’s __ de Terre Lake : POMME
15 Revival prefix : NEO-
16 Game millions can play : LOTTO
17 *French cheesemonger’s luggage? : BRIE CASES (F from “briefcases”)
19 Like a storied equine statue : TROJAN
21 Fire alarm? : SMOKE
22 *Potemkin village? : REALTY SHOW (I from “reality show”)
26 __ bargain : PLEA
27 Female monster : OGRESS
28 Unoccupied ones : IDLERS
30 Word in a kids’ game recommendation : AGES
31 Heroic collie : LASSIE
34 Bks. in progress : MSS
35 *Top performer who’s hopelessly off course? : LOST ACE (F from “lost face”)
37 Hydroelectric project : DAM
40 Prodded : GOADED
41 Romcom subject : LOVE
42 Chartbuster : BIG HIT
45 Lyric poems : EPODES
47 Memo heading : IN RE
48 *Heresies? : HOLY ERRORS (T from “holy terrors”)
52 Cardiologist’s implant : STENT
54 Old-style “Listen up!” : HEAR YE!
55 *PETA protester’s emotion? : COAT ANGER (H from “coat hanger”)
57 Of yore : OLDEN
61 Hill builder : ANT
62 Sneerer’s sentiment : SCORN
63 False move : FEINT
64 Word of assent : YES
65 Lays down the lawn : SODS
66 What’s taken in some court proceedings, and also (in two ways) from the answers to starred clues : FIFTH

Down

1 NBC show with Ego Nwodim : SNL
2 Try to win : WOO
3 Verizon competitor : ATT
4 Wine orders : BOTTLES
5 Tennis wear : SKORTS
6 Hebrew scripture : TORAH
7 __ acid : AMINO
8 Toulouse title: Abbr. : MME
9 Brief intervals : SECS
10 Arch support : INSOLE
11 More likely to give : MEEKER
12 Pretend to be : POSE AS
14 Two-spread sandwiches, for short : PBJS
18 Sufficient : AMPLE
20 Yiddish cries : OYS
22 Travel here and there : ROAM
23 Coop collections : EGGS
24 Son of Zeus and Hera : ARES
25 Ill. neighbor : WISC
29 Run out of juice : DIE
31 Vehicle for some ’60s trips : LSD
32 Fed on : ATE
33 Depressing : SAD
35 Napoleonic Code part : LOI
36 Swearing-in custom : OATH
37 Birdbrain, or an extinct bird : DODO
38 Claim with confidence : AVER
39 Confusion result : MESS
40 Home to the van Eycks’ “Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” : GHENT
41 Rhine siren : LORELEI
42 Europe’s Bay of __ : BISCAY
43 Chant : INTONE
44 Record setters : GREATS
45 “And all that beauty, all that wealth __ gave … “: Gray : E’ER
46 Remove with difficulty : PRY OFF
49 “My Lord!” : OH GOD!
50 Wanton gazes : LEERS
51 Story to spin : YARN
53 Soviet news agency : TASS
56 Sgt., e.g. : NCO
58 “What’s the __?” : DIF
59 Sinus doc : ENT
60 Unnamed degree : NTH

21 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 9 Apr 21, Friday”

  1. @glenn – did you do the NEWSWEEK today?? EVACUEE and NAIVETE had me for a loop. Tough run for me…. haven’t heard from you in a few days??

    1. @Anon Mike …

      I posted a comment on the other blog about that Newsweek puzzle. FWIW, it took me 16:21, with no errors, and I also paused over NAIVETE, for which I wanted NAIVETY ( and the spell checker here wants NAÏVETÉ). I also tried to use NEGLIGEE (too many letters) before NIGHTIE, but never mind that … 😜.)

      What I found most interesting about that puzzle (titled “ARGON”) was the theme (and, beware, there be spoilers ahead): ARGON is the 18th element in the periodic table and its chemical symbol is “Ar”, which is also a name for the 18th letter of the English alphabet (“R”). Meanwhile, the name suggests the phrase “R gone” and, indeed, the letter “R” is nowhere to be found, either in the grid or in the clues. It took awhile for all of this to sink in, during which time my appreciation for the cleverness of the construction steadily increased.

      I briefly wondered if the name of the element was chosen with some of this in mind, but it turns out that it’s simply named after a Greek word meaning “lazy” or “inactive”.

      1. I got the R gone about midway through.. I stared at the puzzle when I was done and had one of those “how did he do that?” Moments.

  2. Seemed pretty easy for a Friday. No real difficulties and, while I never time myself, this seemed to get done fairly quickly.

  3. And, since I’m here … my time on the LAT puzzle was … drum roll … 9:32 (exactly the same as Bill’s)! (I guess it’s my day for coincidences … 😜.) No errors, but I have to admit I’d never heard of a “Potemkin village” and got “REALTY SHOW” entirely from crosses. I did (belatedly) figure out the theme … 😜.

  4. 10:02

    Really enjoyed today’s puzzle. It’s not often we get a meta!

    Thanks for the comments yesterday about posting glitches. It’s always good to get confirmation that I’m not the only one. Due to the time delay, I make it my custom to check yesterday’s comments before posting today.

    @Carrie, there’s nothing wrong with liking the song Africa, but not the band Toto. Even the best bands will create a few songs that are clearly a cut above the rest. It also shows you’re not letting a generalized impression interfere with your ability to honestly enjoy a song.

  5. 14 minutes, 14 seconds and no errors, but it took some Check Grid e-help to finish. I found this theme, and the tortuous clues needed for the theme answers to be really **stretched**. Beyond just bad puns, just “c’mon!!”-level stupid.

  6. I did not enjoy this puzzle, but as Fridays are my most likely DNF’s, I can’t complain. At least I finished it.

    Bill, thanks for the def of Potemkin village. I’ve seen the phrase a few times, but never bothered to look it up.

  7. Strange… I had two errors, and I would like to make a case for those two answers.
    1) 35 Across – Bill’s answer “Lost (F)ace”
    My answers “Lost (R)ace” OR “Lost (P)ace”
    I’m thinking that any one of the three are correct, but since the “performer” was “off course” it would have been a (R)ace.
    2) 55 Across – Bill’s answer “Coat (H)anger”
    My answer “Coat(i) Anger”
    It seems that PETA would be more interested in a “coati” than a “coat”… unless they’re talking about a mink coat.
    Apparently all the previous posters got Bill’s answers… hmm?

  8. OK, OK… I now see the “F” “I’ “F” “T” “H” pattern (sigh), I still like my answers, even though they are wrong (double sigh).

  9. Since I’m here, 6:10, no errors.

    @Anon Mike
    Actually been pretty busy for a couple of days on other stuff, so I have that Newsday sitting, waiting for me to do along with the BEQ and all the other Friday stuff. Been trying to give a lot of the crossword stuff a rest in favor of some other things, so really haven’t been too interested in LAT through the week lately, along with a couple of other things I used to do. Basically, only had time for that Friday NYT since Thursday day. Couple of real good, fun days though that have been very profitable in a number of ways.

    Anyhow, I’ll post back on that Fri Newsday when I get to it if you are interested.

  10. must have been pretty easy for a Friday because I was actually able to finish it! But got two stupid/careless errors — instead of not ok, I wrote not oh (why did I think this would be correct? because it never occurred to me to guess skorts!). Also, stupid error at 45 across — opodes for epodes which made, of course, 45 down in correct! But I liked the puns and the tie-in with 66 across!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.