LA Times Crossword 19 Aug 21, Thursday

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Constructed by: Tomas Spiers
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Ending up Loaded

Themed answers are common phrases that have been reinterpreted, with the ends of each treated as a synonym of “MONEY”:

  • 20A Money for a visit to the Colonel? : CHICKEN TENDER
  • 28A Money for some golf course features? : PUTTING GREEN
  • 45A Money for government expenses? : STATE CAPITAL
  • 53A Money for meteorological studies? : CLIMATE CHANGE

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

Bill’s time: 6m 41s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Champagne choice : BRUT

Sparkling wines can be classified according to sweetness. These classifications are, from driest to sweetest:

  • Brut Nature
  • Extra Brut
  • Brut
  • Extra Dry
  • Dry
  • Semi-Dry
  • Sweet

9 Faith that acknowledges the value of all religions : BAHA’I

The Baha’i Faith is relatively new in the scheme of things, and was founded in Persia in the 1800s. One of the tenets of the religion is that messengers have come from God over time, including Abraham, the Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and most recently Bahá’u’lláh who founded the Baha’i Faith. Baha’i scripture specifies some particular architectural requirements for houses of worship, including that the building have a nine-sided, circular shape. It is also specified that there be no pictures, statues or images displayed within a temple.

14 Mysterious character : RUNE

A rune is a character in an alphabet that is believed to have mysterious powers. In Norse mythology, the runic alphabet was said to have a divine origin.

15 2012 Best Picture : ARGO

“Argo” is a 2012 movie that is based on the true story of the rescue of six diplomats hiding out during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The film was directed by and stars Ben Affleck and is produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, the same pair who produced the excellent “Good Night, and Good Luck”. I highly recommend “Argo”, although I found the scenes of religious fervor to be very frightening …

17 Chichén __: pyramid site : ITZA

The giant step-pyramid known as El Castillo at Chichen Itza is probably the most famous example of Mayan ceremonial architecture. Chichén Itzá is a Mayan ruin located in the Mexican state of Yucatán. It is the second-most visited archaeological site in the country (after the ancient city of Teotihuacan). Chichén Itzá has seen a surge in the number of visitors since the development of nearby Cancún as a tourist destination.

18 Thought input? : FOOD

Food for thought.

19 Texas battle site : ALAMO

The famous Alamo in San Antonio, Texas was originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero. The mission was founded in 1718 and was the first mission established in the city. The Battle of the Alamo took place in 1836, a thirteen-day siege by the Mexican Army led by President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Only two people defending the Alamo Mission survived the onslaught. One month later, the Texian army got its revenge by attacking and defeating the Mexican Army in the Battle of San Jacinto. During the surprise attack on Santa Anna’s camp, many of the Texian soldiers were heard to cry “Remember the Alamo!”.

20 Money for a visit to the Colonel? : CHICKEN TENDER

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.

23 Like a roulette wheel : SPUN

The term “roulette” means “little wheel” in French, and the game as we know it today did in fact originate in Paris, in 1796. A roulette wheel bears the numbers 1-36. A French entrepreneur called François Blanc introduced the number “0” on the wheel, to give the house an extra advantage. Legend has it that Blanc made a deal with the devil in order to unearth the secrets of roulette. The legend is supported by the fact that the numbers 1 through 36 add up to a total of “666”, which is the “Number of the Beast”. Spooky …

24 Callas offering : ARIA

Although Maria Callas was born in New York City, she was educated in music in Greece and launched her career in Italy. Her marvelous performances earned her the nickname “La Davina”, and she was described by Leonard Bernstein as “the Bible of opera …”

25 LIRR org. : MTA

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has public transportation responsibility in the state of New York (as well as part of Connecticut). “MTA” might also refer to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is known as “the Metro” and sometimes “the MTA”.

The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) is the commuter rail service that runs all over Long Island, New York with 124 stations and 700 miles of track. More people use the LIRR than any other commuter railroad in the US. It is also the only commuter railroad in the country that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

32 Coll. application stat : GPA

Grade point average (GPA)

35 Brunch serving : CREPE

“Crêpe” is the French word for “pancake”.

Our word “brunch” is a portmanteau of “breakfast” and “lunch”. The term was coined as student slang in Oxford, England in the late 1890s. However, “brunch” described a combined meal closer to the breakfast hour, and the term “blunch” was used for a meal closer to lunchtime.

37 Good evening omen, it’s said : RED SKY

We often see red in the sky at sunrise and sunset. This is because at those times of day, sunlight travels through the thickest part of the atmosphere and only the red wavelengths of light make it through. Dust and moisture particles in the atmosphere tend to scatter the other wavelengths. These scattering particles are most concentrated in high pressure weather systems, and high pressure is associated with stable air. Weather systems tend to move from west to east, because of westerly trade winds. So, if we see a red sky illuminated by the sun rising in the east, then the red is caused by a high-pressure system to the east i.e. a period of stable air that has passed. If we see a red sky lit by a setting sun in the west, it is likely that the sunlight is coming through a high-pressure system that is on its way. So the old adage has some truth to it:

Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning

40 Wile E. Coyote once attached one to a balloon : ANVIL

Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are two much-loved cartoon characters from Warner Bros. Wile E. Coyote was created first, and Road Runner was invented as someone for Wile E. to play off. I love this cartoon; it’s definitely one of the best …

41 Soccer star with six Ballon d’Or awards : MESSI

Lionel “Leo” Messi is a soccer player from Argentina. Messi was awarded FIFA’s Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) award from 2009 to 2013. The Ballon d’Or is presented to the player who is considered the best in the world in the prior year.

44 __ Aviv : TEL

The full name of Israel’s second largest city is Tel Aviv-Yafo. “Tel Aviv” translates into “Spring Mound”, and is a name that was chosen in 1910. Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 as a housing development outside the port city of Jaffa. Tel Aviv and Jaffa merged in 1950.

48 Paella cooker : PAN

Paella is sometimes referred to as the Spanish national dish, but not by Spaniards. In Spain, paella is regarded as a typical regional dish from Valencia. The name “paella” means “frying pan” in Valencian, and is a reference to the shallow vessel traditionally used to cook the dish over an open fire.

50 Forum wear : TOGA

In ancient Rome, the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae” or “togas”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

The Latin “forum” (plural “fora”) translates as “marketplace, town square”. “The Roman Forum” is the most famous example of such a space. The Forum at the heart of the city of Rome is surrounded by the ruins of several ancient government buildings, and has been referred to as the most celebrated meeting place in the world.

58 Toyota hybrid : PRIUS

The Toyota Prius is still one of the most fuel-efficient, gasoline-powered cars sold in the US, according to the EPA. The name “Prius” is a Latin word meaning “ahead, leading”. In the US we pronounce the name “pree-us”, but across the Atlantic it’s pronounced “pry-us”. According to Toyota, the plural of “Prius” is “Prii”.

60 “__ arigato”: Japanese “thanks a lot” : DOMO

“Domo arigato” is Japanese for “thank you very much”.

61 Borzoi and Brittany : DOGS

The borzoi breed of dog looks like a hairy version of a greyhound. The borzoi is also known as the Russian wolfhound.

The Brittany is a hunting dog that originated in Brittany in northwest France. Even though it is sometimes called a Brittany spaniel, it is more closely related to pointers and setters than to spaniels.

63 Its national animal is the Arabian oryx : OMAN

The Arabian oryx is the smallest antelope in the Oryx genus, and is native to the Arabian Peninsula. Some believe that Arabian oryxes that lost one horn may have given rise to the myth of the unicorn, with its single horn at the center of its head.

65 Shift gears : SEGUE

A segue is a transition from one topic to the next. “Segue” is an Italian word that literally means “now follows”. It was first used in musical scores directing the performer to play into the next movement without a break. The oft-used term “segway” is given the same meaning, although the word “segway” doesn’t really exist. It is a misspelling of “segue” that has been popularized by its use as the name of the personal transporter known as a Segway.

67 Monopoly card : DEED

In the game of Monopoly there are 28 title deeds:

  • 22 streets
  • 4 railroads
  • 2 utilities

Down

1 __-a-brac : BRIC

“Bric-a-brac” is a French phrase (actually “bric-à-brac”) that was used as far back as the 16th century. Back then, it was a nonsense term meaning “at random” or “any old way”. Since Victorian times we have used the phrase in English to describe a collection of curios, statues and the like. In modern usage, bric-a-brac tends to be a selection of cheaper items.

2 Baby __: candies : RUTHS

One might be forgiven for thinking that the candy bar called a Baby Ruth was named after baseball legend Babe Ruth. However, the Curtiss Candy Company that introduced the confection in 1921 has stated that it was in fact named for Ruth Cleveland, the daughter of President Grover Cleveland. That said, there seems to be some debate …

4 Vessel for a spot : TEACUP

I guess the reference here is to the oft-quoted British phrase “a spot of tea”. Mind you, I’ve only ever heard that said in jest …

5 Close call, maybe : SAFE

That would be baseball.

6 Rotate inward while walking, as one’s foot : PRONATE

“Pronation” is the medical term describing rotation of the forearm so that the palm faces backwards, or rotation of the foot so that it comes down on the inner margin while walking.

8 Cough syrup ingredient : CODEINE

“Codeine” is the common name for the opiate 3-methylmorphine, which is a common ingredient in cough medicines. Codeine occurs naturally, making up about 2% of opium sap, although most codeine is synthesized from the more abundant morphine. The name “codeine” comes from the Greek “kodeia” meaning “poppy head”. There is so much codeine produced that it is the most commonly consumed opiate across the world.

21 __ under: give in : KNUCKLE

The verb “to knuckle” was coined in the 18th century to describe the motion of kneeling down with a knuckle on the ground to play the game of marbles. The derivative phrasal verb “to knuckle down” came to mean “to apply oneself earnestly”, as in the game. The related verb phrase “to knuckle under”, meaning “to submit, give in”, seems also to refer back to the game, and refers to the action of kneeling.

27 Early Sierra Club member Adams : ANSEL

As an avid amateur photographer, I have been a big fan of the work of Ansel Adams for many years and must have read all of his books. Adams was famous for clarity and depth in his black and white images. Central to his technique was the use of the zone system, his own invention. The zone system is a way of controlling exposure in an image, particularly when there is a high contrast in the subject. Although the technique was developed primarily for black & white film, it can even apply to digital color images. In the digital world, the main technique is to expose an image for the highlights, and one or more images for the shadows. These images can then be combined digitally giving a final photograph with a full and satisfying range of exposures.

The Sierra Club was founded in San Francisco in 1892 by the Scottish conservationist John Muir.

30 Book of Samuel aggressor : GOLIATH

In the story of David and Goliath, the Israelites and the Philistines faced each other in battle at the Valley of Elah. Goliath was the warrior champion of the Philistines and each day he challenged the Israelites to send out their champion to decide the battle in a one-on-one fight. No one was courageous enough to accept the challenge until young David agreed to face the mighty Goliath. David felled the giant soldier with a stone from his sling.

31 Nutritional fig. : RDA

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs) in 1997.

33 Hepta- minus two : PENTA-

The prefixes “hept-” and “sept-” both mean “seven”. The difference is that the former is Greek and the later Latin. “Hept-” is added to roots of Greek origin, and “sept-” to roots of Latin origin e.g. heptagon and September.

39 Winter hrs. in Ill. : CST

Central Standard Time (CST)

41 Cape user : MATADOR

The “muleta” is the red flannel cloth that a matador uses towards the end of a bull fight, instead of a cape. The muleta serves to distract the bull and also to hide the sword that is used for the kill. The term “matador” is only used in English, and translates aptly enough as “killer”.

42 Perfect example : EPITOME

The more common meaning of “epitome” is “perfect example of a group, quality, type”. An epitome is also an abstract or summary of a book or article.

43 Structured internet listing : SITEMAP

A sitemap is a hierarchical list of pages on a web site. A well-designed sitemap can be useful to site visitors, but is more commonly used by search engines to get a complete and accurate picture of a site so that it is correctly represented in search results.

51 Pointy-hat wearer : GNOME

In English folklore, the fairy’s anti-hero is the diminutive gnome, an evil ugly character. Although the charastics of gnomes vary in folklore, typically they are described as diminutive humanoids who live underground. Over the centuries, the gnome has become more lovable. We now have garden gnomes, and even the Travelocity Gnome.

52 Longhorn rival : AGGIE

Texas A&M is the seventh largest university in the country, and was the first public higher education institute in the state when it accepted its first students in 1876. The full name of the school was the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (hence “A&M”) and its primary mission used to be the education of males in the techniques of farming and military warfare. That’s quite a combination! Because of the agricultural connection, the college’s sports teams use the moniker “Aggies”. Texas A&M is also home to the George Bush Presidential Library.

The University of Texas at Austin was established back in 1883. UT Austin is known as one of the “Public Ivies”, a publicly-funded university at which a student can get an education comparable to that provided by the Ivy League. The school’s sports teams are known as the Texas Longhorns, named for the Longhorn cattle that is now the official “large animal” of the state of Texas.

54 Lomi-lomi salmon might be served at one : LUAU

Lomi-lomi salmon is a salad dish in Hawaiian cuisine that is made using raw salted salmon.

55 Scotland’s __ of Arran : ISLE

The Isle of Arran is in Scotland, and is the largest island in the Firth of Clyde. The Isle of Arran is often confused with the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland, because of the similarity in names.

57 Began, as a co. : ESTD

Established (“est.” or “estd.”)

58 Judy Woodruff’s network : PBS

Judy Woodruff is a broadcast journalist who has been the anchor of the “PBS NewsHour” (formerly “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour) since 2013. Woodruff’s husband is fellow broadcast journalist Al Hunt, whom she married in 1980.

59 Actress Issa : RAE

Issa Rae is a Stanford University graduate who created a YouTube web series called “The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl”. Rae also plays the title role in the series, a young lady named “J”. “Awkward Black Girl” was adapted into an HBO comedy-drama called “Insecure”, in which Issa Rae stars.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Champagne choice : BRUT
5 Technical detail, briefly : SPEC
9 Faith that acknowledges the value of all religions : BAHA’I
14 Mysterious character : RUNE
15 2012 Best Picture : ARGO
16 Use : EXERT
17 Chichén __: pyramid site : ITZA
18 Thought input? : FOOD
19 Texas battle site : ALAMO
20 Money for a visit to the Colonel? : CHICKEN TENDER
23 Like a roulette wheel : SPUN
24 Callas offering : ARIA
25 LIRR org. : MTA
28 Money for some golf course features? : PUTTING GREEN
32 Coll. application stat : GPA
35 Brunch serving : CREPE
36 Trash pile emanations : ODORS
37 Good evening omen, it’s said : RED SKY
39 Contract part : CLAUSE
40 Wile E. Coyote once attached one to a balloon : ANVIL
41 Soccer star with six Ballon d’Or awards : MESSI
44 __ Aviv : TEL
45 Money for government expenses? : STATE CAPITAL
48 Paella cooker : PAN
49 Back __: making a comeback : AT IT
50 Forum wear : TOGA
53 Money for meteorological studies? : CLIMATE CHANGE
58 Toyota hybrid : PRIUS
60 “__ arigato”: Japanese “thanks a lot” : DOMO
61 Borzoi and Brittany : DOGS
62 Ho-hum : BANAL
63 Its national animal is the Arabian oryx : OMAN
64 Let out : EMIT
65 Shift gears : SEGUE
66 Sales staff : REPS
67 Monopoly card : DEED

Down

1 __-a-brac : BRIC
2 Baby __: candies : RUTHS
3 Begin to remove, in a way : UNZIP
4 Vessel for a spot : TEACUP
5 Close call, maybe : SAFE
6 Rotate inward while walking, as one’s foot : PRONATE
7 Journey with stroking : EGO TRIP
8 Cough syrup ingredient : CODEINE
9 Sweat bit : BEAD
10 Toll booth pricing unit : AXLE
11 “Just listen” : HEAR ME OUT
12 Shot spot : ARM
13 “Who am __ judge?” : I TO
21 __ under: give in : KNUCKLE
22 Bug : NAG
26 Succinct : TERSE
27 Early Sierra Club member Adams : ANSEL
29 Put to the test : TRY
30 Book of Samuel aggressor : GOLIATH
31 Nutritional fig. : RDA
32 Wrap one’s mind around : GRASP
33 Hepta- minus two : PENTA-
34 Lender’s activity : ADVANCING
38 Pet-training word : SIT
39 Winter hrs. in Ill. : CST
41 Cape user : MATADOR
42 Perfect example : EPITOME
43 Structured internet listing : SITEMAP
46 Spy __ : CAM
47 Really rich : LOADED
51 Pointy-hat wearer : GNOME
52 Longhorn rival : AGGIE
54 Lomi-lomi salmon might be served at one : LUAU
55 Scotland’s __ of Arran : ISLE
56 Decision-making column heading : CONS
57 Began, as a co. : ESTD
58 Judy Woodruff’s network : PBS
59 Actress Issa : RAE

21 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 19 Aug 21, Thursday”

  1. Got me on 17A. I started out with INCA then realized 2D was RUTHS but I left 3D as UNCIP.. ITCA vs ITZA… speaking of pyramids, I was stunned to find out while watching a documentary that Sudan has the most pyramids in the world.

  2. 7:15

    PUTTINGGREEN clued me in to the theme, which helped. I really wanted 20A to be CHICKENSCRATCH, but that wouldn’t fit.

    Sized down TEAPOT to TEACUP. TOGA warned me that I had to change WITCH to GNOME, and STEER to AGGIE. Sometimes doing the Downs first gets you into trouble.

  3. I got stuck in a similar place. I misread the clue for 2d as candles instead of candies. Duh. But also had Inca. Itza is new to me. Now off to look at a map of Sudan.

  4. Just under 30 min. With no errors…one of those rare instances where the theme actually helped me in the solve😀
    Stay safe😀

      1. Hi Maryl. If you think of the expression “That was real shot in the arm” for something that made you feel better then it might make more sense. YMMV

  5. Finished in about 17 min. Got stuck on “Longhorn rival” for a while as I was thinking of the steak house chain. Cute theme.

  6. Those of us in Louisville have always heard that it was John Y. Brown Jr. who made the Colonel famous., not Dave Thomas. John Y. Brown later married Phyllis George, a former Miss America, and then became governor of Kentucky.

  7. 19:46 – no errors/lookups

    Spent 4 mins until I saw misspelling of GOLIATH … duh.

    I really liked the puzzle, great clues and a lot of fun.

  8. 10 minutes, 36 seconds, no errors. The theme actually helped early. Not that simple, with a few head-scratcher clues…

  9. 11:31 with no errors or lookups. Had to change MILE>AXLE and rework a misspelling of CAFFEINE after getting ARGO, ergo CODEINE. Not a bad theme.

    Learned about Borzoi and Brittany dogs and how that little ditty about red skies might have come about. Thanks, Bill!

  10. Tricky Thursday for me; took 23:39 with one error. Got most of the puzzle at about 18 minutes with the N, a part of the NW and the D in DOGS left. Got the D right away and changed TEApot to TEACUP, which got me CHICKENTENDER completed. Still stuck on __GO and __OD in the N. Did a “check-grid” and everything was okay…except for my missing 4 squares. Finally tried Pe_NATE and “check-grid” again…nope. Then I remembered ARGO, which I never actually saw, which gave me SAFE and FOOD…Rats!

  11. Just catching up on the puzzles so just finished Thursday on Friday evening! this was fun…happy to have completed it. Agree that candies looked like candles and yes I want to go to the Yucatan — Mexico is amazing!

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