LA Times Crossword 18 Aug 21, Wednesday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Jerry Edelstein
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Blockbusters

Themed answers each include the letter string B-L-O-C-K divided between the start and finish:

  • 57A Megahits, and what the interior letters of 20-, 33- and 43-Across effectively are? : BLOCKBUSTERS
  • 20A Longtime game show that features stunts and a time limit : BEAT THE CLOCK
  • 33A High-quality investment : BLUE-CHIP STOCK
  • 43A Lose it : BLOW ONE’S STACK

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

Bill’s time: 5m 53s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Temple mascot Hooter T. __ : OWL

Temple University chose the owl as its mascot and symbol way back in the 1880s. The school’s first costumed owl mascot was named Victor T. Owl, and was introduced in 1977. Victor was renamed to Hooter T. Owl in 1984. The choice of the owl as a symbol reflected Temple’s original mission as a night school, catering to individuals of limited means who had to hold down jobs during the day.

9 Edsel and “Ishtar,” e.g. : FLOPS

The Edsel brand of automobile was named for Edsel Ford, son of Henry. Sadly, the name “Edsel” has become synonymous with “failure”, which was no fault of Edsel himself who had died several years before the Edsel line was introduced. When the Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel on 4 September 1957, Ford proclaimed the day to be “E Day”.

“Ishtar” is a 1987 film that really bombed at the box office. It stars Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman, as lounge singers working in Morocco! There’s a Cold War plot and, thank goodness, it’s a comedy. Apparently, the film is so bad that it never even made it to DVD.

14 Gossipy Hopper : HEDDA

Hedda Hopper was a gossip columnist who was famous for her long-running feud with her rival gossip columnist Louella Parsons.

15 Month in printemps : MAI

In French, the month of “mai” (May) is in the season of “printemps” (spring).

16 “Chicago” showgirl : ROXIE

The wonderful 1975 musical “Chicago” is based on a 1926 play of the same name written by a news reporter called Maurine Dallas Watkins. Watkins had been assigned to cover the murder trials of Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner for the “Chicago Tribune”, and used the story that unfolded as the basis for her play. Annan became the character Roxie Hart, and Gaertner became Velma Kelly. I’ve only ever seen the movie version of “Chicago” and never a live performance …

17 Singing the praises of : EXTOLLING

To extol something is to praise it loudly. The term comes from the Latin “extollere” meaning “to raise up, elevate”.

19 “Tiny Alice” dramatist : ALBEE

“Tiny Alice” is a play by Edward Albee that premiered on Broadway in 1964. The play deals with the corruption that can arise with the mixing of religion and money.

20 Longtime game show that features stunts and a time limit : BEAT THE CLOCK

“Beat the Clock” is a TV game show that first aired in 1950. The show already existed on the radio as “Beat the Time” (previously “Time’s A-Wastin’”). International versions of “Beat the Clock” were also made. I remember watching it as a kid in the 1960s, as a segment on the British show “Sunday Night at the London Palladium”.

26 Horror film director Craven : WES

Wes Craven was a very successful film director and writer specializing in movies of the horror genre, which means that I don’t watch them! He was responsible for “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and the “Scream” films. Craven passed away in August 2015.

27 Website help sect. : FAQ

Most websites have a page listing answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Even this blog has one!

28 Résumés, for short : CVS

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”.

A résumé is a summary of a person’s job experience and education and is used as a tool by a job seeker. In many countries, a résumé is equivalent to a curriculum vitae. “Résumé” is the French word for “summary”.

33 High-quality investment : BLUE-CHIP STOCK

In the world of gambling, white chips traditionally have the lowest value. On the other hand, blue chips are the most expensive, giving us our figurative adjective “blue-chip”, as in “blue-chip stock”.

40 Wynonna’s mother : NAOMI

The Judds were a country music singing duo made up of Naomi Judd and her daughter Wynonna. Naomi Judd is also the mother of actress Ashley Judd, with Ashley and Wynonna being half-sisters.

46 Kalamazoo-to-Cincinnati dir. : SSE

The Michigan city of Kamazoo was settled in 1829, and was originally known as Bronson, after the first settler Titus Bronson. Bronson was eccentric and argumentative, and eventually was run out of town. The settlement’s name was changed to Kalamazoo in the mid-1830s.

47 Only even prime number : TWO

A prime number is a number greater than 1 that can only be divided evenly by 1 and itself. There are still some unanswered questions involving prime numbers, perhaps most notably Goldbach’s Conjecture. This conjecture dates back to the 1740s and is assumed to be true, but has never been proven. It states that every even integer greater than 2 can be expressed as the sum of two prime numbers.

48 Ka __: southernmost Big Island point : LAE

Ka Lae is the most southerly point on the Big Island of Hawaii, and indeed the most southerly point of the fifty states in the US. It is believed that the first Polynesians to settle the Hawaiian Islands landed at Ka Lae.

49 “Black-ish” network : ABC

“black-ish” is a sitcom starring Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross that premiered in 2014. The show is noted for tackling tough issues such as racism, police brutality, attitudes toward the LGBT community, and the 2016 US presidential election.

54 Pax __ : ROMANA

“Pax Romana” is Latin for “Roman Peace”. The term described a period in Roman history for the 1st and 2nd centuries AD during which the Roman Empire was ruled by Caesar Augustus. Under his control, expansionist ideas by powerful generals were held in check, and the peoples of foreign lands ruled by the Romans were relatively calm. The peace enjoyed was considered uneasy as Rome governed its conquered territories with an iron fist, and insurrection was likely at all times. The expression “pax Romana” then came to be used in English to describe any situation in which there is an uneasy peace, a peace imposed by a powerful state on a weaker state.

66 Muscat native : OMANI

Muscat is the capital of Oman. The city lies on the northeast coast of the state on the Gulf of Oman, a branch of the Persian Gulf.

69 Router button : RESET

In the world of computing, a router is a device that helps direct traffic, as it were. A router in a house is often found in combination with a modem, and directs traffic between the Internet and the computers in the home.

Down

1 Michael of “SNL” : CHE

Michael Che is a standup comedian from New York City. Che had worked as a writer for “Saturday Night Live” (SNL), and then started to appear in front of SNL cameras in September 2014. One of his roles was co-anchor for the “Weekend Update” segment of the show.

2 Spell : HEX

“Hexen” is a German word meaning “to practice witchcraft”. The use of the word “hex” in English started with the Pennsylvania Dutch in the early 1800s.

3 Summer hrs. at Augusta National : EDT

The Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia was founded in 1933 by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts. Famously, Augusta hosts the Masters Tournament each year. Augusta is very much a private club, and some of its policies have drawn criticism over the years. Prior to 1959, the club had a bylaw requiring that all caddies be African American. There were no African-American club members admitted until 1990, and no women until 2012.

4 Acrobat maker : ADOBE

Adobe Acrobat is the software used to create .pdf files. Most of us are more familiar with the associated application called Adobe Reader, because that’s what we use to read those .pdf files.

8 Tenth word of the National Anthem : LIGHT

“O say can you see by the dawn’s early light” is the opening line of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key. The song was adopted as the US national anthem in 1931, although it had been used officially by the US Navy since 1889, played when raising the flag.

11 U-shaped river bend : OXBOW

The term “oxbow” can describe both a meander in the course of a river as well as the lake that forms if such a meander gets cut off from the main stream.

12 King or queen, perhaps : PIECE

That would be chess.

22 Dover and Edwards, e.g., briefly : AFBS

Dover Air Force Base (AFB) is located just outside the city of Dover, Delaware. The aircraft operating from Dover are huge C-5 Galaxy transport planes. The base is also home to the Department of Defense’s largest mortuary, which has the sad mission of processing the remains of military personnel killed overseas and returned to the US before being transferred to family.

Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) is in a desert area in Southern California. Edwards is a flight test center for the Air Force, and it was here that Chuck Yeager famously broke the sound barrier for the first time. And of course, Edwards was used for many landings of the Space Shuttle.

24 __ kick: tricky football ploy : SQUIB

A squib kick is a kickoff tactic used in American football. When kicking off, the ball is kicked short, so that it bounces on the ground and lands in front of the slower players of the receiving team, rather than reaching the faster kick returner. Also, the bounce on the ground can make it difficult for the receiving players to catch the ball.

29 Asti product : VINO

In Italian, in a “ristorante” (restaurant) one might order a glass of “vino” (wine), or maybe two …

Asti is in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy. It is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine. Moscato d’Asti is produced from the same grape (Moscato Bianco). Moscato is a much sweeter wine with a lower alcohol content, and is usually served as a dessert wine.

32 Order to go : SCAT

Our word “scat!” means “get lost!” It comes from a 19th-century expression “quicker than s’cat”, which meant “in a great hurry”. The original phrase probably came from the words “hiss” and “cat”.

36 Hearty entrée : STEW

“Entrée” means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found the ordering of meals to be very confusing when I first came to America!

37 It’s not a bear : KOALA

The koala bear really does look like a little bear, but it’s not even closely related. The koala is an arboreal marsupial and a herbivore, native to the east and south coasts of Australia. Koalas aren’t primates, and are one of the few mammals other than primates who have fingerprints. In fact, it can be very difficult to tell human fingerprints from koala fingerprints, even under an electron microscope. Male koalas are called “bucks”, females are “does”, and young koalas are “joeys”. I’m a little jealous of the koala, as it sleeps up to 20 hours a day …

41 Classic name in shoes : MCAN

Thom McAn footwear was introduced in 1922 by the Melville Corporation (now CVS Caremark). The brand was named after a Scottish golfer called Thomas McCann. The Thom McAn line is epitomized by the comfortable leather casual and dress shoe, so sales have really been hurt in recent decades by the growing popularity of sneakers.

42 Maker of BILLY bookcases : IKEA

BILLY is a line of bookcases supplied by IKEA since 1979. As of 2017, over 60 million BILLY bookcase units had been sold. The line was named for an IKEA advertising manager, Billy Liljedhal. Liljedhal had made the request for the design of “a proper bookcase just for books”.

44 “MacArthur Park” songwriter Jimmy : WEBB

Songwriter Jimmy Webb wrote some of the modern classics, including “Up, Up and Away”, “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”, “Wichita Lineman”, “Galveston” and “MacArthur Park”. Webb is the only person to have won Grammy Awards for music, lyrics and orchestration.

“MacArthur Park” is a song by Jimmy Webb that was first recorded by actor Richard Harris, in 1969. Donna Summer released an equally successful disco version of the song in 1978. Webb was inspired to write it by the relationship and breakup that he had with a former girlfriend. The couple occasionally met for lunch in MacArthur Park in Los Angeles.

51 Musical endings : CODAS

In music, a coda is primarily a passage that brings a movement to a conclusion. “Coda” is Italian for “tail”.

53 Grand Canyon animal : BURRO

The wild donkey that we know as a burro was introduced into the Grand Canyon in the late 1800s, where they used the animal to help pack out mined copper, asbestos and lead. When the miners moved on, they left the burros to roam free. Feral burros essentially overran the Grand Canyon in subsequent years, leading to the forced removal of 500 of them in the early eighties by the National Park Service. Burros wreak havoc on the canyon’s ecosystem, and in particular compete with native bighorn sheep. The bighorn sheep population has rebounded since the number of wild donkeys has dropped.

55 Thins, for instance : OREOS

For those of us counting calories, Oreo Thins were introduced in 2015. There are only 40 calories in each thin cookie, compared to 53 calories in the real deal.

56 Rachel Maddow’s network : MSNBC

We used to be able to listen to “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Air America Radio before the radio station went bust. Now we can see Maddow on a TV show with the same name, every night on MSNBC. She was the first openly gay anchor to host a primetime news program in the US.

58 Volcano apex : CONE

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.

63 __ Spiegel : DER

“Der Spiegel” is a very successful German magazine found on newsstands all over Europe. The name “Der Spiegel” translates from German into “the Mirror”.

64 Legal conclusion? : -ESE

Lingo is specialized vocabulary. Journalese and legalese would be good examples.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Inferior in quality : CHEAP
6 Temple mascot Hooter T. __ : OWL
9 Edsel and “Ishtar,” e.g. : FLOPS
14 Gossipy Hopper : HEDDA
15 Month in printemps : MAI
16 “Chicago” showgirl : ROXIE
17 Singing the praises of : EXTOLLING
19 “Tiny Alice” dramatist : ALBEE
20 Longtime game show that features stunts and a time limit : BEAT THE CLOCK
22 State as fact : ASSERT
25 Parlor art, briefly : TAT
26 Horror film director Craven : WES
27 Website help sect. : FAQ
28 Résumés, for short : CVS
31 Family nickname : SIS
33 High-quality investment : BLUE-CHIP STOCK
38 Quiet : STILL
39 __ pay : NET
40 Wynonna’s mother : NAOMI
43 Lose it : BLOW ONE’S STACK
46 Kalamazoo-to-Cincinnati dir. : SSE
47 Only even prime number : TWO
48 Ka __: southernmost Big Island point : LAE
49 “Black-ish” network : ABC
52 Weaken : EBB
54 Pax __ : ROMANA
57 Megahits, and what the interior letters of 20-, 33- and 43-Across effectively are? : BLOCKBUSTERS
61 Sported : HAD ON
62 Didn’t stop behind in time : REAR-ENDED
66 Muscat native : OMANI
67 Managed : RAN
68 Corpulent : OBESE
69 Router button : RESET
70 Texter’s “Yikes!” : OMG!
71 Bit of hardware : SCREW

Down

1 Michael of “SNL” : CHE
2 Spell : HEX
3 Summer hrs. at Augusta National : EDT
4 Acrobat maker : ADOBE
5 Not as tanned : PALER
6 Forget about : OMIT
7 Crave, e.g. : WANT
8 Tenth word of the National Anthem : LIGHT
9 Elementary math subject : FRACTIONS
10 Lounge around : LOLL
11 U-shaped river bend : OXBOW
12 King or queen, perhaps : PIECE
13 Goes after : SEEKS
18 Hold (onto) : LATCH
21 Part of 46-Across : EAST
22 Dover and Edwards, e.g., briefly : AFBS
23 “Pass the __” : SALT
24 __ kick: tricky football ploy : SQUIB
29 Asti product : VINO
30 Used up : SPENT
32 Order to go : SCAT
34 Wings with rooms : ELLS
35 Tightly connected : CLOSE-KNIT
36 Hearty entrée : STEW
37 It’s not a bear : KOALA
41 Classic name in shoes : MCAN
42 Maker of BILLY bookcases : IKEA
44 “MacArthur Park” songwriter Jimmy : WEBB
45 More angry : SORER
49 Detest : ABHOR
50 Fault : BLAME
51 Musical endings : CODAS
53 Grand Canyon animal : BURRO
55 Thins, for instance : OREOS
56 Rachel Maddow’s network : MSNBC
58 Volcano apex : CONE
59 Ore source : SEAM
60 Strong taste : TANG
63 __ Spiegel : DER
64 Legal conclusion? : -ESE
65 Morning moisture : DEW

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 18 Aug 21, Wednesday”

  1. No errors. Never heard of BILLY book cases or MCAN shoes.. got something to look up and see what I missed.

  2. Pretty easy one today; those few answers that I didn’t know for
    sure were filled through cross letters. No errors, no lookups.

  3. Pretty typical for a Wednesday, I’d say. I knew both Billy and McAn but of course there were others I didn’t. Now back to real life …

  4. Just over 18 min. no errors…had no idea what 28A was…Who really knows clues like 46A?
    I remember as a kid going into Thom Mcan shoe stores and putting your feet in the big X-ray machine…who knows what if any damage we did👣.
    Stay safe😀
    Get the shot PLEASE.

    1. Who really knows clues like 46A?

      Once in a long while, one of those is a gimme. Mostly, though, such clues just tell me to expect one of the combinations of N, S, E, and W that are used as compass headings. Helpful, but not very precise.

      So … you’re not alone … 😜.

      1. Cincinnati is just on the other side of the bridge from Memphis, TN,
        over the Mississippi River, and practically on the boundary lines of
        Tennessee and Ohio. It was felt that Michigan had to be North of that
        and most of us know that MI is West of OH. So, SSE from Kalamazoo
        to Cincinnati. Is so?

        I was all set to report three perfect days in a row, but saw that I blew
        the clues about the Ford Edsel and the bend in the river. I used ELBOW
        for the latter. The X would have alerted me to both words.

        How is my old friend of golf with egg-shaped golf balls? I had to be careful there.

        1. I think your compass may be a little off John. Cincinnati is on the Ohio River across from Kentucky and very far from Memphis, TN. Cincinnati is close to the border of Indiana and Ohio with Michigan to the North, but it wasn’t clear to me whether Kalamazoo was to the east or west of that line. Turns out it is to the west, so getting from Kalamazoo to Cincinnati would be SSE, but I got that from guessing at the cross W_BB.

    2. Jack, the term CV is primarily used outside the US – heavily in Europe which has influences in Australia and India. It might be used in South America, but I’m not sure about that.

    3. Jack, instead of resume’, CV is used mostly outside the US – primarily in Europe, but also in Australia and India. I’m not sure about Asia and South America.

  5. Easy one today. Finished the whole thing. Never heard of Billy bookcases either or a Squib kick. Most of the shoes I wore as a child were Mcans.

  6. 5:34

    Theme was cute. Can’t say it helped.

    Today I learned about the SQUIB kick.

    I still think of ELBOW first, not OXBOW. Had to translate WINE to VINO. Thought of Thin MINTS before our old friend, OREOS. Led with LED instead of RAN.

  7. Happy Wednesday! 10:47 with no errors or lookups. Things I didn’t know outright were easy to figure out (e.g., Temple mascot, “Tiny Alice”, and BILLY bookcase maker). Had to change MINE>SEAM.

  8. 11:06 and 2 errors HE[D]DA/E[D]T.

    This one was full of proper names, a sure sign of poor construction. Names, each with any number of ways they can be (mis)spelled make a grid inordinately more difficult.

    1. Alan …

      HEDDA and EDT are correct. What was your mispelling? And don’t proper names also have correct spellings?

  9. A curriculum vitae (CV) provides a summary of your experience and skills. It is mainly used for professionals in academic, scientific, and medical fields. (I knew this as I was in HR for many years).

    I didn’t get the theme either, until reading this webpage.

    Question – When proving a comment, what “Website” is the page asking for?

  10. Mostly easy Wednesday for me; took me 9:29 with no errors or peeks. Didn’t quite catch the theme today and that slowed me down a bit getting the second theme answer. Also didn’t really know OWL, SQUIB, LAE and WEBB. Had an idea, based on doing crosswords, for ROXIE, MCAN and IKEA, although the last to fall was the A in MC_N/L_E.

    @Sunshine – Not really sure, but if you have a personal website, I’m guessing that’s where you could put it.

  11. Got em all. About 5 hours – lay back, eat some cheese and crackers, sip some wine. Hey, I’m 86. Wake up and go back to the puzzle. Each time, refreshed, I get a little bit more until I get it all. “I’m Buster Brown, and I live in a shoe. This is my dog Tige, he lives in there too,” or something like that. Thom McAn sponsored kid’s radio programs and Buster Brown and Tige were audio and print ad mascots. To see a great panoply of “antique” ads, just google “Buster Brown and Tige.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.