LA Times Crossword 14 Aug 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: 15m 35s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Ottoman Empire symbol : FEZ

A fez is a red, cylindrical hat worn mainly in North Africa, and by Shriners here in the US. The fez used to be a very popular hat across the Ottoman Empire. The etymology of “fez” is unclear, although it might have something to do with the Moroccan city named Fez.

9 __ candle : ROMAN

A Roman candle is a type of firework. It looks somewhat like a candle, with a wick at the top. When lit, it shoots out stars or exploding shells. There is a tendency of the Roman candle to cause a lot of accidents, so it is banned in some countries.

14 Martinique, par exemple : ILE

The island of Martinique in the eastern Caribbean is actually a part of France, and is referred to as an “overseas department”. As such, Martinique is part of the European Union and even uses the euro as its currency. The island is fully represented in the French National Assembly and Senate, just like any department within France. It’s sort of like the status of Hawaii within the US.

15 Shade : UMBRA

A shadow usually has three distinct parts called the umbra, penumbra and antumbra, with the terms most often used with reference to the shadows cast by celestial bodies. The terms can also be used to describe the levels of darkness in sunspots. The umbra (Latin for “shadow”) is the innermost, darkest part of a shadow. The penumbra (“almost shadow”, from Latin) is a lighter part of a shadow, where part of the light source “leaks” around the body casting the shadow. The antumbra phenomenon is experienced when the object casting the shadow is sufficiently far away from the viewer so that it appears smaller than the light source, with an annular ring around it. When the eye is in the shadow cast by an object that has light passing around it, the eye is in the antumbra.

16 Soul, to Aristotle : ANIMA

The Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle wrote a treatise called “On the Soul” (“De Anima” in Latin). Aristotle postulated that living things had different kinds of souls. The soul of a plant is characterized by its ability to take up nourishment and to reproduce. Animals also have these powers, as well as the powers of sense-perception and of self-motion. Humans have all of these powers, and are alone in having the power of intellect.

19 Principle : TENET

A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.

34 Name on a “Speed” movie poster : SANDRA

The actress Sandra Bullock is the daughter of a part-time voice coach (her father) and an opera singer and voice coach (her mother). Her father was an American soldier stationed in Nuremberg in Germany when he met his German wife. Sandra Bullock’s maternal grandfather was a rocket scientist working in Nuremberg.

“Speed” is an entertaining 1994 action film starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, as well as the late Dennis Hopper as the bad guy.

35 Letter spelled by inserting a letter into another letter : PSI

Place a letter S into the Greek letter pi, to get psi.

38 Protein-building molecule : RNA

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

39 __ Ideas Festival: annual Western resort conference : ASPEN

The Aspen Ideas Festival (AIF) was inaugurated in 2005 and is an annual event hosted by the Aspen Institute. The AIF serves as a meeting place for experts to discuss global and social issues, and to present innovative solutions.

41 Clemson’s conf. : ACC

The collegiate athletic conference known as the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) was founded in 1953. The seven charter members of the ACC were Clemson, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina and Wake Forest.

Clemson University was founded in 1889. The school takes its name from the town in which it is located: Clemson, South Carolina. The athletic teams of Clemson University have been called the Tigers since 1896 when football coach Walter Riggs arrived from Auburn University. Riggs was an admirer of the Princeton Tigers, so he gave his new school the tiger mascot.

42 Toshiro ___, actor in many Kurosawa films : MIFUNE

Toshiro Mifune was an actor from Japan who is best known for appearing in films made by Akira Kurosawa, including “Rashomon” (1950) and “Seven Samurai” (1954). Mifune received wide exposure to western audiences when he played Yoshi Toranaga, Lord of the Kwanto in the miniseries “Shōgun” in 1980. He also portrayed Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto in the 1975 movie “Midway”.

45 1940 toon goldfish : CLEO

In the 1940 Disney animated feature “Pinocchio”, the woodcarver Geppetto has two pets. He has a tuxedo cat named Figaro and a goldfish named Cleo.

49 Mideast carrier : EL AL

El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. El Al is known for its high levels of security, both on the ground and in the air. Reportedly, the airline’s passenger aircraft have been operating with anti-missile technology for several years.

57 “__ moi, le déluge”: Louis XV : APRES

“Après moi, le déluge” is a French phrase that was supposedly used by Louis XV. The king was referring to the impending demise of the French monarchy and predicting the French Revolution. The phrase translates as “After me, the deluge”.

58 24-part epic : ILIAD

“Iliad” is an epic poem by the Greek poet Homer that tells the story of the ten-year siege of “Ilium” (i.e. “Troy”) during the Trojan war. “The Odyssey”, also attributed to Homer, is sometimes described as a sequel to “Iliad”.

62 Cosmic balance : KARMA

Karma is a religious concept with its basis in Indian faiths. Karma embraces the notion of cause and effect. Good deeds have good consequences at some later point in one’s life, one’s future life, or one’s afterlife. And, bad deeds have bad consequences.

63 College sports channel : ESPNU

ESPNU (short for “ESPN Universities”) is a sports channel focused on college athletics.

64 Nottingham-to-London dir. : SSE

Nottingham is a city in the East Midlands of England. To us on this side of the Atlantic, perhaps Nottingham is most famous as a setting for the legend of Robin Hood.

Down

1 Played a high wind : FIFED

A fife is a small flute that is often used in military and marching bands. The name “fife” comes from the German “Pfeife” meaning “pipe”.

4 Winter Olympian : CURLER

I think curling is such a cool game (pun!). It’s somewhat like bowls, but played on a sheet of ice. The sport was supposedly invented in medieval Scotland, and is called curling because of the action of the granite stone as it moves across the ice. A player can make the stone take a curved path (“curl”) by causing it to slowly rotate as it slides.

5 Kaiser offering : HMO

Kaiser Permanente is a health maintenance organization (HMO) based in Oakland, California. Kaiser is the largest provider of managed care in the whole country.

6 SALT subject : ABM

An anti-ballistic missile (ABM) is a rocket designed to intercept and destroy a ballistic missile (as one might expect from the name). A ballistic missile, as opposed to a cruise missile, is guided during the initial launch phase but later in flight just relies on thrust and gravity (hence “ballistic”) to arrive at its target. As an aside, an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with a range greater than 3,500 miles.

There were two rounds of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) between the US and the Soviet Union, and two resulting treaties (SALT I & SALT II). The opening round of SALT I talks were held in Helsinki as far back as 1970, with the resulting treaty signed by President Richard Nixon and General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev in 1972. Brezhnev also signed the SALT II treaty, with President Jimmy Carter in 1979.

7 Mumbai misters : SRIS

Mumbai is the most populous city in India, and the second-most populous city in the world (after Shanghai). The name of the city was changed from Bombay to Mumbai in 1995.

8 Courtship ritual : MATING DANCE

To court someone is to woo them, to offer homage. One might do something similar at court, hence the use of the term.

10 What yoga may be practiced on : ONE LEG

“Asana” is a Sanskrit word that translates literally as “sitting down”. The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called “padmasana”.

11 iPad choice : MINI

The iPad mini is a line of smaller iPads that was introduced by Apple in 2012. The iPad mini has a screen size of 7.9 inches, whereas the regular iPad’s screen is 9.7 inches.

12 “Agreed!” : AMEN!

The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

13 Silver of FiveThirtyEight : NATE

Nate Silver is a statistician who gained celebrity by developing a forecasting system that predicted the future performance of baseball players. He then made a name for himself in the world of politics by predicting the outcome of the 2008 US presidential race on his website FiveThirtyEight.com. Silver successfully predicted the outcome of the election in 49 of the 50 states, missing out on Indiana, which Barack Obama won by less than 1% of the vote. FiveThirtyEight was less successful in predicting the specifics of the 2012 presidential election, but came closer than almost all other pollsters. In 2016, FiveThirtyEight predicted a victory for Hillary Clinton, but with a much lower probability than other poll aggregators. And, they all got it wrong. Oh, and why the name FiveThirtyEight.com? Because there are 538 electors in the US electoral college.

24 Some RPI grads : EES

Electrical engineer (EE)

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a private school in Troy, New York. The university is named after its founder Stephen Van Rensselaer who set up the school in 1824. The goal of RPI has always been the “application of science to the common purposes of life”, an objective set by the founder. Given that, the name for the school’s sports teams is quite apt: the Engineers.

25 Ceres, for one : DWARF PLANET

Pluto was discovered in 1930, and was welcomed as the ninth planet in our solar system. Pluto is relatively small in size, just one fifth of the mass of our own moon. In the seventies, astronomers began to discover more large objects in the solar system, including Eris, a “scattered disc object” at the outer reaches. Given that Eris is actually bigger than Pluto, and other objects really aren’t that much smaller, Pluto’s status as a planet was drawn into question. In 2006 there was a scientific definition for a “planet” agreed for the first time, resulting in Pluto being relegated to the status of “dwarf planet”, along with Eris.

Ceres is the smallest dwarf planet in our solar system. Ceres was discovered in 1801 and is the largest body in the asteroid belt, and is the only asteroid that is classified as a dwarf planet. For fifty years, Ceres was classified as the eighth planet circling our sun. The Dawn space probe launched by NASA entered Ceres orbit in March 2015, and became the first mission to study a dwarf planet at close range.

28 The blahs : ENNUI

“Ennui” is the French word for “boredom”, and a term that we now use in English. It’s one of the few French words we’ve imported and haven’t anglicized, and actually pronounce “correctly”.

29 Classic autumn treat : APPLE CRISP

“Apple crisp” is the name used in the US for a dessert comprising baked apples topped with a crisp streusel crust. The latter is a crumbly topping made from flour, butter and sugar. Apple crisp is usually referred to as “apple crumble” in Canada and the UK.

31 Baja boy : NINO

Baja California is both the most northern and the most western of the Mexican states. The name translates from Spanish as “Lower California”.

43 “Hometown Proud” supermarkets : IGAS

The initialism “IGA” stands for “Independent Grocers Alliance”, and is a chain of supermarkets that extends right around the world. IGA’s headquarters is in Chicago. The company uses the slogan “Hometown Proud Supermarkets”.

44 DFW posting : ETA

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

Dallas/Fort Worth Airport (DFW) is the largest hub for American Airlines, and is also the third busiest airport in the world in terms of aircraft landings and takeoffs (Chicago O’Hare is the world’s busiest, followed by Atlanta).

47 “__ Mucho”: classic Consuelo Velázquez song : BESAME

“Bésame Mucho” was written in 1940, by Mexican songwriter Consuelo Velázquez. The title translates into “kiss me a lot”. Remarkably, according to Velázquez, at the time she wrote the song she had never herself been kissed! “Besame Mucho” was just one of Jimmy Dorsey’s eleven number-one hits, all from the thirties and forties.

48 Seventh of eight : URANUS

One of the unique features of the planet Uranus is that its north and south poles lie where most other planets have their equators. That means that Uranus’ axis of rotation is almost in its solar orbit.

51 “Siddhartha” author : HESSE

Hermann Hesse was not only a novelist, but also a poet and a painter. His best known work is probably his 1927 novel “Steppenwolf”. Hesse was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946.

The 1922 novel “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse focuses on the spiritual journey of a man called Siddhartha. Even though the Buddha’s name was Siddhartha Gautama before he renounced his former life, Hesse’s Siddhartha is a different character who lived around the time of the Buddha.

52 Fruity compound : ESTER

Esters are very common chemicals. The smaller, low-molecular weight esters are usually pleasant smelling and are often found in perfumes. At the other end of the scale, the higher-molecular weight nitroglycerin is a nitrate ester and is very explosive, and polyester is a huge molecule and is a type of plastic. Fats and oils found in nature are fatty acid esters of glycerol known as glycerides.

53 Rabbit relative : PIKA

A pika is a small mammal with no external tail that lives in many parts of the world. The pika is prone to emitting a high-pitched alarm call as it dives for cover into its burrow, which behavior led to it being nicknamed the “whistling hare”. Taxonomically, the pika does indeed belong to the same order as rabbits and hares.

56 600 Home Run Club member : SOSA

Sammy Sosa was firmly in the public eye in 1998 when he and Mark McGwire were vying to be the first to surpass the home run record held by Roger Maris. McGwire fell out of public favor due to stories of steroid abuse (stories which he later admitted were true) while Sosa fell out of favor when he was found to be using a corked bat in a 2003 game.

60 Online addresses, for short : IPS

An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a numerical label assigned to every device on a computer network. The device that you’re using to read this blog post on has been assigned a unique IP address, as has the computer that I’m using to make this post …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Ottoman Empire symbol : FEZ
4 Deep divide : CHASM
9 __ candle : ROMAN
14 Martinique, par exemple : ILE
15 Shade : UMBRA
16 Soul, to Aristotle : ANIMA
17 “On the contrary” : FAR FROM IT
19 Principle : TENET
20 Online loan calculator, e.g. : E-TOOL
21 Put out of action : SIDELINE
23 Ordained : DECREED
26 Junction point : NODE
27 [Eyeroll] : [HERE WE GO AGAIN]
32 Vast amounts : SEAS
34 Name on a “Speed” movie poster : SANDRA
35 Letter spelled by inserting a letter into another letter : PSI
36 Wish list items : WANTS
38 Protein-building molecule : RNA
39 __ Ideas Festival: annual Western resort conference : ASPEN
41 Clemson’s conf. : ACC
42 Toshiro ___, actor in many Kurosawa films : MIFUNE
45 1940 toon goldfish : CLEO
46 Broad perspective : THE BIG PICTURE
49 Mideast carrier : EL AL
50 Dizziness cause, perhaps : EARACHE
53 Could be taken for : PASSES AS
57 “__ moi, le déluge”: Louis XV : APRES
58 24-part epic : ILIAD
59 “Sorry, you can’t talk me out of this” : NO, I INSIST
62 Cosmic balance : KARMA
63 College sports channel : ESPNU
64 Nottingham-to-London dir. : SSE
65 Operative : ASSET
66 Things to do : TASKS
67 Word in many rates : PER

Down

1 Played a high wind : FIFED
2 Gratify : ELATE
3 “Not a prayer” : ZERO CHANCE
4 Winter Olympian : CURLER
5 Kaiser offering : HMO
6 SALT subject : ABM
7 Mumbai misters : SRIS
8 Courtship ritual : MATING DANCE
9 Like investment-grade bonds : RATED-AAA
10 What yoga may be practiced on : ONE LEG
11 iPad choice : MINI
12 “Agreed!” : AMEN!
13 Silver of FiveThirtyEight : NATE
18 __ green : FOREST
22 In spot? : DOOR
24 Some RPI grads : EES
25 Ceres, for one : DWARF PLANET
28 The blahs : ENNUI
29 Classic autumn treat : APPLE CRISP
30 “Ah” : I SEE
31 Baja boy : NINO
32 Thwack : SWAT
33 Term regarding distribution : EACH
37 Was friendly to : SMILED AT
40 Throws out : SCRAPS
43 “Hometown Proud” supermarkets : IGAS
44 DFW posting : ETA
47 “__ Mucho”: classic Consuelo Velázquez song : BESAME
48 Seventh of eight : URANUS
51 “Siddhartha” author : HESSE
52 Fruity compound : ESTER
53 Rabbit relative : PIKA
54 “That’s too bad” : ALAS
55 Quaint letter opener : SIRS, …
56 600 Home Run Club member : SOSA
60 Online addresses, for short : IPS
61 Publicity : INK

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 14 Aug 21, Saturday”

  1. LAT: A little over a half hour with no errors. Some of these puzzles seem way too hard at first, but with perseverance and lucky guesses they can be solved. Of course that presupposes a lot of experience and some education.

  2. No errors, but a couple of proper name lookups; i.e. Mifune and
    Nate. Kind of strange puzzle; I got the long answers quickly–it
    was the short little words that stumped me for awhile.

    1. “NO, I INSIST” on both I’s being present for the fill to be correct. But, like any multiword fill, it looks odd without the proper “spaces”.

  3. I knew Nate Silver right off from being glued to 538 before and during the 2020 election. However, that’s about all I knew in this horrid puzzle. Gave up after 45 minutes with much undone in the top left and middle left.

  4. No errors.. I echo the feelings of @RJB, I struggled to start. First pass was weak. PIKA really slowed me down then I don’t know how many times I went from ABYSS to CHASM for 4A… it all worked out eventually and I didn’t give up. No lookups!!

  5. All things considered I didn’t have much difficulty with today’s puzzle. I only had one ink over (well actually three squares in one answer) for 65 Across, which for me on a Saturday is pretty damn good.

  6. 11:07

    Yesterday’s comment are hilarious. Now.

    Nice to see Toshiro Mifune. He did a lot of great work with Akira Kurosawa. I think my favorite is the darkly hilarious YOJIMBO.

    I managed to put ASSET in twice. Had to change AAARATED to RATEDAAA. I put in HIJO until I remembered that the right word is NIÑO. Or NINO as crosswords would have us believe.

    Perhaps the FEZ symbolizes the Ottoman Empire to Europeans. I dunno about that clue.

  7. 15 minutes, 57 seconds, and 4 misspellings rooted out by Check Grid. It’s always NAMES that *get ya*.

  8. 45 min. no errors on another world tour…my paper omitted the clue for 61D which didn’t help things…who knew that DFW was Dallas Fort Worth?
    @Sandra…No I Insist looks right to me.
    Stay safe

  9. Tricky but fun Saturday for me; took 29:53 with no errors or peeks. I was careful putting answers in the grid, waiting for crosses and leaving out guesses until I had more fill. Then, I pounced when I had a good guess on the themes, and that helped get all but the NW and SW themes, even though I had parts of them. Groped around until I finally figured out ETOOL and sLAkE needed to be ELATE. Just had to guess on the P in PIKA for the final, which I’d never heard of before. Learned FEZ (I dunno either), ANIMA, SANDRA and PIKA. I actually used SIRS in an email this year 🙂

    @PeaKay 🙂 Its just that you guys are following us around *all season* when we’re trying to set up dates for late September and October. 🙂

    And, yea I’ve been trying to get up earlier and be more productive…backslid a bit today. The bees always get up really early.

  10. Didn’t get the Saturday paper until Sunday. There have been delays before (shortage of delivery people), but next day is unusual.

    31:52 with no errors or lookups. Had to changed ETA>ARR>ETA, REEVES>SANDRA, AROD>SOSA. The SW corner was a bear! Lots of reworking answers until I got rid of HARE & AGENT, got BESAME (and spelled it correctly), figured out ILIAD and stayed with KARMA; then the rest fell into place. Sheesh!

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