LA Times Crossword 10 Jul 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: Jamey Smith
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 10m 00s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 Brief outline : APERCU

An apercu is a first view, a glance. By extension, the term “apercu” can also be used for a detached view, an overview or a short synopsis. “Aperçu” is French for “perceived”.

19 Coach in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame : SABAN

Nick Saban is a former NFL coach with the Miami Dolphins, and head football coach at the University of Alabama starting in 2007.

25 Lifelong chum : OLD PAL

A chum is a friend. The term “chum” originated in the late 1600s as an alternative spelling for “cham”. In turn, “cham” was a shortened form of “chambermate”, a roommate at university.

29 It drains the east side of the San Juan Mountains : RIO GRANDE

The Rio Grande (Spanish for “big river”) is a waterway that forms part of the border between Mexico and the United States. Although we call the river the Rio Grande on this side of the border, in Mexico it is called the Río Bravo or Río Bravo del Norte (Spanish for “furious river of the north”).

The San Juan Mountains in Colorado and New Mexico are part of the Rocky Mountains range. They are high mountains, with Uncompahgre Peak being the highest, at over 14,300 feet. Telluride Regional Airport is located on a plateau in the range, and at an elevation of 9,078 feet is the highest commercial airport with scheduled passenger flights in North America.

35 Obfuscate : BLUR

To obfuscate is to make something unclear. The verb is derived from the Latin “obfuscare” meaning “to darken”.

36 “Wolves of the Calla,” vis-à-vis Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” : PART V

“The Dark Tower” is a series of books penned by Stephen King. The series plays an important part of King’s oeuvre, as it pulls together many of his other works, using characters and concepts introduced elsewhere.

38 Soft drink choice : COLA

The first cola drink to become a commercial success was Coca-Cola, soon after it was invented by a druggist in 1886. The first sales were in Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, where a glass of the new beverage sold for five cents. That original Coca-Cola was flavored mainly with kola nuts and vanilla. The formulation was based on an alcoholic drink called Coca Wine that had been on sale for over twenty years.

39 Clog cousin : SABOT

There is a story that disgruntled textile workers would kick their wooden shoes, called “sabots”, into the looms in order to disable them so that they didn’t have to work. This act of vandalism was named for the shoe, an act of … “sabotage”.

41 Radio City, for one : MUSIC HALL

New York City’s Radio City Music Hall in Rockefeller Center opened for business in 1932. Originally to be named International Music Hall, the current name was chosen in honor of the Radio Corporation of America, which was one of Rockefeller Center’s first tenants.

43 Soap star Susan : LUCCI

Susan Lucci is perhaps the most famous actor associated with daytime soap operas, and was the highest paid actor in daytime television. Lucci was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series an incredible 21 times for her portrayal of Erica Kane, the vixen in “All My Children”.

45 Stickpin kin : TIE TAC

I used to wear a tie pin (or “tie tack, tie tac”) in place of a tie clip many moons ago, but it just left little holes in my expensive silk ties!

46 Organ-shaped treats that David Foster Wallace dubbed “cinnamon toast from hell” : ELEPHANT EARS

Elephant ears are (usually) sweet snacks much associated with carnivals and seaside resorts. They are made from dough that has been deep-fried and sprinkled with toppings such as cinnamon, maple syrup or perhaps even cheese.

56 S.O.S alternative : BRILLO

Brillo is a soapy, steel wool pad, patented in 1913. The company claims that the name “Brillo” is derived from the Latin word for “bright”.

S.O.S is a brand of scouring pads made from steel wool impregnated with soap. The product was invented as a giveaway by an aluminum pot salesman in San Francisco called Ed Cox. His wife gave it the name “S.O.S” as an initialism standing for “Save Our Saucepans”. Note the punctuation! There is no period after the last S, and that is deliberate. When Cox went to register the trademark, he found that “S.O.S.” could not be a trademark because it was used as an international distress signal. So he dropped the period after the last S, and I hope made a lot of money for himself and his wife.

58 Confucian text, with “The” : … ANALECTS

The sayings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (anglicized from “K’ung Fu-Tse”) are collected in a work called “The Analects” or “Linyu”. It wasn’t Confucius who wrote down his thoughts though, but rather his pupils, some 40 or so years after his death in 479 BC.

Down

1 Niagara constant : ROAR

The Horseshoe Falls is the part of Niagara Falls over which 90% of the Niagara River flows. Also called the Canadian Falls, most of the Horseshoe Falls is located in Ontario, with the remainder in Upstate New York.

2 Thornfield Hall governess : EYRE

Thornfield Hall is the home of Mr. Rochester, and where much of the action takes place in Charlotte Brontë’s novel “Jane Eyre”. Ultimately, Thornfield is destroyed by fire, a fire in which Mr. Rochester loses a hand and his eyesight.

3 The Del-Satins or the Shirelles : DOOWOP GROUP

The Del-Satins were a group of five doo-wop vocalists who were most actve in the early sixties. Although they recorded singles themselves, the Del-Satins are best known for providing harmonies and backup vocals for other artists, and especially Dion after he parted ways with the Belmonts. Indeed, it’s the Del-Satins who provided (uncredited) harmonies for Dion’s massive 1961 hit “Runaround Sue”. The name “Del-Satins” was chosen as a tribute to the Dells and the Five Satins.

6 “Whither __ thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?”: Kerouac : GOEST

Here are some sentences from Jack Kerouac’s 1957 novel “On the Road”:

What is the meaning of this voyage to New York? What kind of sordid business are you on now? I mean, man, whither goest thou? Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?

Jack Kerouac’s 1957 novel “On the Road” is largely autobiographical, telling the story of Sal Paradise (Jack K.) and the road trips that he and his friends took across the country in the fifties.

7 Red wine grape : SYRAH

The Iranian city of Shiraz has long been associated with wine, but there is no proven link between the city and the wine/grape we know today as “Shiraz” (also called “Syrah”). Having said that, some clay jars were found just outside of the city of Shiraz that contained wine; wine that was 7,000 years old!

8 Zimbabwe’s capital : HARARE

Harare is the capital of Zimbabwe, and is the African nation’s largest city. It was founded by the British in 1890 as Fort Salisbury (later just “Salisbury”). The outpost was named after Lord Salisbury, who was Prime Minister of the UK at the time. Salisbury was renamed to Harare in 1982, on the second anniversary of the independence of Zimbabwe. The name “Harare” applied to the area in which Fort Salisbury had been erected. “Harare” is a local word meaning “It doesn’t sleep”, a word applied to locations with constant noise.

9 1968 to now, in pro tennis : OPEN ERA

In the sport of tennis, the Grand Slam tournaments were opened up to professional players, and not just amateurs, in 1968. So, the period since 1968 has been called the “Open Era”.

10 KFC selection : LEG

The famous “Colonel” of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) fame was Harland Sanders, an entrepreneur from Henryville, Indiana. Although not really a “Colonel”, Sanders did indeed serve in the military. He enlisted in the Army as a private in 1906 at the age of 16, lying about his age. He spent the whole of his time in the Army as a soldier in Cuba. It was much later, in the 1930s, that Sanders went into the restaurant business making his specialty deep-fried chicken. By 1935 his reputation as a “character” had grown, so much so that Governor Ruby Laffoon of Kentucky gave Sanders the honorary title of “Kentucky Colonel”. Later in the fifties, Sanders developed his trademark look with the white suit, string tie, mustache and goatee. When Sanders was 65 however, his business failed and in stepped Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s. Thomas simplified the Sanders menu, cutting it back from over a hundred items to just fried chicken and salads. That was enough to launch KFC into the fast food business. Sanders sold the US franchise in 1964 for just $2 million and moved to Canada to grow KFC north of the border. He died in 1980 and is buried in Louisville, Kentucky. The Colonel’s secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices is indeed a trade secret. Apparently there is only one copy of the recipe, a handwritten piece of paper, written in pencil and signed by Colonel Sanders. Since 2009, the piece of paper has been locked in a computerized vault surrounded with motion detectors and security cameras.

11 Traditional Chinese racing craft with a namesake festival : DRAGON BOAT

Dragon boats are traditional paddled longboats associated with the Pearl River Delta in South China. The locals have been engaged in the sport of dragon boat racing for over two millennia. The vessels are traditionally made from teak, but contemporary racing craft are built using carbon fiber and fiberglass. Traditionally, the boat has the head of a dragon at the prow and a dragon’s tail at the stern.

14 Secret message letters : BCC

A blind carbon copy (bcc) is a copy of a document or message that is sent to someone without other recipients of the message knowing about that extra copy.

20 Some tête toppers : BERETS

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

26 Mexican singer Downs : LILA

“Lila Downs” is the stage name for singer Ana Lila Downs Sánchez from Mexico. Downs has lived in both the US and in Mexico at various stages in her life.

30 T.S. Eliot’s “The __ of Cats” : NAMING

“The Naming of Cats” is a poem found in TS Eliot’s 1939 collection “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”. Famously, the collection provided the basis for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1981 musical “Cats”, and “The Naming of Cats” was adapted into a number in the show.

31 R&B group __ Hill : DRU

Dru Hill is an R&B singing group from Baltimore, Maryland. Dru Hill was formed in 1992, and is still going strong today. The name “Dru Hill” comes from Druid Hill Park which is found on the west side of Baltimore.

33 Ristorante menu preposition : ALLA

The phrase “in the style of” can be translated as “alla” in Italian and “à la” in French.

34 Tailor’s chalk : TALC

Talc is a mineral, hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days “baby powder” is also made from cornstarch.

37 Résumé, briefly : VITA

A curriculum vitae (“CV” or “vita”) is a listing of someone’s work experience and qualifications, and is used mainly in making a job application. The term “curriculum vitae” can be translated from Latin as “course of life”.

40 Real name of superhero Black Panther : T’CHALLA

“Black Panther” is a 2018 superhero film starring Chadwick Boseman in the title role. Black Panther is a Marvel Comics character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. When not a superhero, Black Panther is the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, and goes by the name “T’Challa”.

42 Small round ornament : CIRCLET

A circlet is a circular ornament made from a precious metal that is worn on the head.

44 Probably didn’t go up the river : CANOED

The boat known as a canoe takes its name from the Carib word “kenu” meaning “dugout”. It was Christopher Columbus who brought “kenu” into Spanish as “canoa”, which evolved into our English “canoe”.

47 TV producer Michaels : LORNE

Lorne Michaels is a television producer who is best known as the creator of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL). We can get some insight into Michaels’ character and demeanor by watching the show “30 Rock”. The character Jack Donaghy, played by Alec Baldwin, is inspired by Michaels.

49 Actor Hudson who played Winston Zeddemore in “Ghostbusters” films : ERNIE

Actor Ernie Hudson is perhaps best known for playing the “fourth” member of the “Ghostbusters” team in the original 1984 movie.

54 VA concern : PTSD

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was formed in 1930 to manage pre-existing government benefits for war veterans. Some of those benefits dated back to the Continental Congress. Today, the most visible benefit is probably the network of VA medical centers that provide comprehensive healthcare services to veterans.

57 Hip word in hip-hop handles : LIL

“Lil’” is a short form of the word “little”. There are a whole slew of rappers named “Lil’ something”, such as Lil Wayne, Lil’ J, and Lil’ Kim.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Signs of a sale : RED TAGS
8 “Gimme a sec … ” : HOLD IT …
14 “Yowza!” : BOY OH BOY!
15 Brief outline : APERCU
16 One on a binge : CAROUSER
17 Get back : REGAIN
18 Serves on a sailing vessel : CREWS
19 Coach in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame : SABAN
21 “Whaddya know” : GEE
22 “This goes no further … ” : OFF THE RECORD …
25 Lifelong chum : OLD PAL
28 Went with again, editorially : RERAN
29 It drains the east side of the San Juan Mountains : RIO GRANDE
32 In the box : AT BAT
35 Obfuscate : BLUR
36 “Wolves of the Calla,” vis-à-vis Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” : PART V
38 Soft drink choice : COLA
39 Clog cousin : SABOT
41 Radio City, for one : MUSIC HALL
43 Soap star Susan : LUCCI
45 Stickpin kin : TIE TAC
46 Organ-shaped treats that David Foster Wallace dubbed “cinnamon toast from hell” : ELEPHANT EARS
50 😀 : LOL
51 Outrage : ANGER
52 Ante matter? : CHIPS
56 S.O.S alternative : BRILLO
58 Confucian text, with “The” : … ANALECTS
60 Capable of being retrieved : ON FILE
61 Indefatigable : TIRELESS
62 Scottish sprout : WEE LAD
63 Put to rest : SETTLED

Down

1 Niagara constant : ROAR
2 Thornfield Hall governess : EYRE
3 The Del-Satins or the Shirelles : DOOWOP GROUP
4 Until now : THUS FAR
5 Exerciser’s target : ABS
6 “Whither __ thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?”: Kerouac : GOEST
7 Red wine grape : SYRAH
8 Zimbabwe’s capital : HARARE
9 1968 to now, in pro tennis : OPEN ERA
10 KFC selection : LEG
11 Traditional Chinese racing craft with a namesake festival : DRAGON BOAT
12 Not so affable : ICIER
13 Well-pitched? : TUNED
14 Secret message letters : BCC
20 Some tête toppers : BERETS
23 To-do : FLAP
24 Gets a good scolding : CATCHES HELL
25 Regal regalia : ORBS
26 Mexican singer Downs : LILA
27 Secret agent’s onus : DOUBLE LIFE
30 T.S. Eliot’s “The __ of Cats” : NAMING
31 R&B group __ Hill : DRU
33 Ristorante menu preposition : ALLA
34 Tailor’s chalk : TALC
37 Résumé, briefly : VITA
40 Real name of superhero Black Panther : T’CHALLA
42 Small round ornament : CIRCLET
44 Probably didn’t go up the river : CANOED
46 Arm-wrestling support : ELBOW
47 TV producer Michaels : LORNE
48 Natural dairy sources : TEATS
49 Actor Hudson who played Winston Zeddemore in “Ghostbusters” films : ERNIE
53 Frozen treat brand : ICEE
54 VA concern : PTSD
55 Snake’s sound : SSS!
57 Hip word in hip-hop handles : LIL
59 Forger’s focus, maybe : ART

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 10 Jul 21, Saturday”

  1. Bit of a tussle. Finished with no errors, but I spent an amusing (well, to me, anyway) minute or so on 36-Across: PAR-TV? (Yet another channel I’ve never heard of, I guess … 😜.)

    And … someday … I’m finally going to get the meaning of “aperçu” to stay in my head for longer than ten seconds.

    And “elephant ears” are houseplants, yes? I’ve never eaten one … 😜.

  2. LAT: More than an hour with one incorrect letter. I thought it was “pay tv,” not “part v” for the King novel. The incorrect y also made the R&B group wrong. At first the puzzle seemed “unfinishable.” Sticking with it and common-sense guesses paid off. Yet, I could never approach Bill’s time of 10 minutes if I did similar puzzles for the next 50 years.

  3. Completed with out errors but not without a lot of lookups,
    particularly proper names. One thing I looked up threw me
    in the wrong direction because the red wine grape was
    given as sirah. I had “boy oh boy” as 14A and sirah didn’t
    fit. So I went with syrah and that turned out to be correct
    as far as this constructor’s use.

    Has anyone out there ever used the word apercu aloud?

  4. I’m not sure what to say about this puzzle.
    I was stuck from the get go… then, pieces started to fall but man, what a slog. There was a lot I didn’t know. Just let the crosses fill it in .. thank goodness for the crosses.

    APERCU, CREWS? , ELEPHANT EARS?? VITA …. and how is a TIE TAC a cousin of a stick pin?? I guess in crossword lingo a BOWIE KNIFE is also a cousin but, once you get into the crossworders head, it starts to fall together regardless of your paradigm.

  5. So I had “Elephant Bars” instead of “Elephant Ears” and that meant I failed to get “Ernie” for 49 Down. D’oh!

  6. Elephant ear is a plant that will grow outdoors in a frost-free climate. It has a very large leaf shaped like an elephant’s ear. If you have ever chewed on the leaf, you will never forget the painful effect it has in the mouth that lasts for hours.

  7. Elephant Ears are like funnel cakes. I think commenters above are thinking of the fuzzy plant called Lambs Ears.

    Tough one. No errors but had to Google most proper names to get going because we were stuck for a while!

  8. To Mary S.
    The word ‘aperçu’ is pronounced as ‘aperssu’. The ç is a soft ‘s’. ‘Aperçu’ is the past participle of the verb ‘apercevoir’ which has several meanings: see, notice, perceive etc. Depends on the context.

  9. Second DNF in one day…yuk…36,46,50 and 62A all did me in 👎
    @Mary S …there are tons of words only setters use…in the NYT0605 from my paper today the term PREGGO meant pregnancy and I don’t think anyone including the setter ever used that before…go figure.
    Stay safe😀

    1. Well, Jack, Wikipedia knows about “preggo”:

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preggo

      And I have heard “preggo”, but, where I grew up, the more common term was “preggers”.

      Again, setters don’t make these things up, but, once a slang term is out there, it’s fair game for use in a puzzle.

  10. 22:23 and 6 errors, all in the top right corner. I felt lucky just to finish it, let alone not notice all the mistakes in northeast. I had trouble everywhere in this grid…

  11. Ugh, what a slog. Way too many “only in the constructor’s mind” answers IMHO. Of course, judging from some of the other comments it’s evident that others had much more success than I.

  12. I’ve heard Elephant Ears as a nickname for Palmier cookies. Which are melt in your mouth addicting and could be perceived then as “from hell”. And the ones I ate had an Elephant Ear shape.

  13. 22:02 1 lookup, 1 error

    Didn’t know about Coach Saban or the Open Era of tennis, so had to look him up. Also had PAYTV for 36A as I only made it a couple volumes in when I tried to read the Dark Tower series. Lots of great images and atmosphere, but I couldn’t tell whether it was going anywhere. Is PARTV the last? Or are there still more?

    Interesting to see ANALECTS and DRAGONBOAT, when the one time we ate an ELEPHANTEAR, it was a giant pastry purchased from a bakery in Flushing’s Chinatown.

    There hasn’t been a Dragon Boat Festival in my neck of the woods for the last 18 months, but they’re hoping to put oars in the water next year.

  14. Fun tricky Saturday for me; took 36:53 with two errors in what seemed impossible from the start. Still, I plugged away until a few things filled in and I was able to make some educated guesses. Had to change receipts to REDTAGS, holdon to HOLDIT amongst a few others. Felt pretty good about BOY something BOY and DOO WOP GROUP, MUSIC HALL, AT BAT, SABOT and OPEN ERA, getting those almost right away.

    Screwed up on FLA_ and WEEL_D, which I really should’ve gotten…

    Well, the South American war is over and Argentina is the champion over Brazil (1-0) in a very technical and tactical match – Congratulations!!

    Tomorrow, Italy vs England at high noon….Sergio Leone music playing 🙂

  15. A tough puzzle to struggle through – 48:03 with lookups for 26D & 31D because of no idea on those, and not clear at all in what was looked for that drains the east side of the San Juans even though I live in Colorado! Couldn’t get past it being a “RIVER” or “RANGE” until the lookups above. Also had to correct HOLDON>HOLDIT, TIVOUSER>CAROUSER (took a long time to figure out it was not a “caro user”), FEMALEGROUP>DOOWOPGROUP, ROBE>ORBS, TASK>FLAP. APERCU and ANALECTS are new words for me.

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