LA Times Crossword 25 Aug 21, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Alan Olschwang
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Three-Peats

Themed answers each include a string of three letters that are the same (THREEPEATS):

  • 57A Features of the answers to starred clues, from a trademarked sports term : THREE-PEATS
  • 21A *Edge of a storm : SQUALL LINE
  • 39A *Chase away : SHOO OFF
  • 3D *Severe legal penalty : STIFF FINE
  • 35D *Incense-burning implement : JOSS STICK

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

Bill’s time: 5m 44s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Sun-blocking piece : VISOR

Nowadays, we tend to think of a “visor” as the front brim of a hat, or a shade for the eyes. The original “viser” was the front part of a helmet, back in the 14th century. The term comes from the Old French “vis” meaning “face”.

14 IV component : INTRA-

Intravenous (IV) drip

15 Sub that never plays? : HERO

A hero is a submarine sandwich. The hero originated in New York City in the 1800s among Italian immigrants who wanted an Italian sandwich that reminded them of home. The name “hero” was coined in the 1930s, supposedly by a food critic in the “New York Herald Tribune” when he wrote that “one had to be a hero” to finish the gigantic sandwich. Hero is a prevalent term to this day in New York City, reserved for a submarine sandwich with an Italian flavor.

16 Civil suit cause : TORT

“Tort” is a French word meaning “mischief, injury or wrong”. In common law, a tort is a civil wrong that results in the injured party suffering loss or harm, and the injuring party having a legal liability. Tort law differs from criminal law in that torts may result from negligence and not just intentional actions. Also, tort lawsuits may be decided on a preponderance of evidence, without the need of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

17 Met favorites : ARIAS

The Metropolitan Opera (often simply “the Met”) of New York City is the largest classical music organization in the country, presenting about 220 performances each and every year. Founded in 1880, the Met is renowned for using technology to expand its audiences. Performances have been broadcast live on radio since 1931, and on television since 1977. And since 2006 you can go see a live performance from New York in high definition on the big screen, at a movie theater near you …

18 Ship that survived the Clashing Rocks : ARGO

The Symplegades (usually “Clashing Rocks” in English) of Greek mythology were a pair of rocks encountered and defeated by Jason and the Argonauts. The rocks protected the Bosporus by clashing together and destroying vessels attempting to pass through the strait.

19 Instrument heard in the intro to Madonna’s “Crazy for You” : OBOE

“Crazy for You” was recorded by Madonna for the 1985 movie “Vision Quest”. The film was released in the UK, Australia and some other countries using the song’s title. This strategy was used to capitalize on the success of the song, and the increasing fame of Madonna, who performs “Crazy for You” onscreen in the film.

21 *Edge of a storm : SQUALL LINE

A squall line is a line of thunderstorms that sometimes precedes a cold front.

23 Crusty fellow : FOGY

An old fogey is someone with old-fashioned ideas, and is usually more advanced in years. The term “fogey”(sometimes “fogy”) comes to us from the Scottish “foggie”, which back in the late 1700s described an army pensioner or veteran.

30 __ shift : DAY

In a three-shift working system, the shifts are known by various names:

  1. First shift, day shift
  2. Second shift, swing shift
  3. Third shift, night shift, graveyard shift

31 “You mean yours truly?” : MOI?

“Moi” is the French word for “me”. One might say “Moi?” when feigning innocence.

32 States, abroad : ETATS

In French, an “état” (state) is an “entité politique” (political entity).

34 Bar Keepers Friend alternative : AJAX

Ajax cleanser has been around since 1947, and it’s “stronger than dirt!” That was the most famous slogan over here in the US. On my side of the pond, the celebrated slogan was “it cleans like a white tornado”.

Bar Keepers Friend is a scouring powder that was introduced way back in 1882. Another long-standing brand is Bon Ami, which hit the marker a few years later in 1886.

38 Tolkien’s The Prancing Pony, e.g. : INN

The Prancing Pony is an inn at the center of the village of Bree in Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”.

42 Pamplona plaudit : OLE!

Pamplona, Spain is famous for its San Fermin festival held in July every year, the highlight of which is the Running of the Bulls. Every year, 200-300 people are injured in the bull run, and 15 people have been killed since 1910. If you get to Pamplona two days before the Running of the Bulls, you can see the animal-rights protest event known as the Running of the Nudes. The protesters are as naked as the bulls …

Plaudits are enthusiastic expressions of approval. The term comes from the Latin word “plaudite!”, which was an appeal made by actors for “applause” at the end of a performance.

43 [It’s a keeper] : [STET]

“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

45 Native Israeli : SABRA

Jewish people born in the State of Israel, or the historical region of Israel, are known as Sabras. “Sabra” is actually the name of the prickly pear, the thorny desert cactus. Apparently the name “Sabra” is used because someone born in the region is said to be tough on the outside and sweet on the inside, just like a prickly pear.

46 __ Barton, first Triple Crown horse (1919) : SIR

Sir Barton was the first ever winner of the American Triple Crown (the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes), achieving the feat in 1919.

47 iPad launched in 2013 : AIR

The iPad Air is Apple’s 5th-generation tablet computer. The Air is just 7.5 mm thick, and is 22% lighter than the iPad 2.

50 Bolshevik foes : TSARISTS

At the second party congress of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1903, a split developed. The faction with the most support was led by Vladimir Lenin. As they were in the majority, the group became known as the Bolsheviks, a term derived from the Russian word for “more” or “majority”. Lenin and the Bolsheviks led the October Revolution of 1917, as a result of which Lenin came to power. He headed the new Soviet State during its formative years.

57 Features of the answers to starred clues, from a trademarked sports term : THREE-PEATS

A three-peat is the winning of a sports championship three seasons in a row. The term “three-peat” was coined in 1988 by LA Lakers’ player Byron Scott, and then trademarked by Lakers’ head coach Pat Riley. The Lakers were attempting in 1988 to clinch their third championship title in a row at that time, and eventually lost to the Detroit Pistons. The Lakers had to wait until the 2002 season to claim that three-peat.

63 Setting of Camus’ “The Plague” : ORAN

Oran lies on the Algerian coast, and is famous for being the port where the French Navy was largely destroyed by the British during WWII in order to avoid the French vessels falling into the hands of Nazi Germany after France surrendered. This decisive and unexpected unilateral action by the British sent a very strong message around the world that Britain was willing to fight alone against the axis powers if necessary.

“The Plague” is a novel by Albert Camus, first published in 1947. It is set in the Algerian port of Oran during a terrible plague.

64 French friar : ABBE

“Abbé” is a French word meaning “abbot”, although it is also used in France as a title for lower-ranking clergymen in the Roman Catholic faith.

65 Return option : E-FILE

E-file: that’s certainly what I do with my tax return every year …

66 Abolitionist Lucretia : MOTT

Lucretia Coffin Mott (what a name!) was an American Quaker, and an advocate for women’s rights. Mott has been called the first American “feminist”. Her first job was teaching in the Quaker school in which she was educated. There she learned that her salary was to be one third of that paid to the males with the same job (she married one of the male teachers!). That injustice initiated her interest in women’s rights.

68 Port St. __, FL : LUCIE

Port St. Lucie is located on the east coast of Florida between Orlando and Miami.

70 Shoe insert : TREE

A shoe tree (or boot tree) is an adjustable, foot-shaped device that is placed inside a shoe to preserve its shape. Shoe trees are often constructed from solid wood that absorb odor and wick away moisture from the shoe’s leather.

Down

1 Ampule : VIAL

An ampule is a sealed vial that is commonly used to hold pharmaceuticals. Ampoules are usually made from glass, and are opened by snapping off the neck of the container.

2 Legal memo opener : 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”.

5 College dorm figs. : RAS

A resident assistant/adviser (RA) is a peer leader found in a residence hall, particularly on a college campus.

6 NBAer seen in IcyHot ads : SHAQ

Retired basketball player Shaquille O’Neal now appears regularly as an analyst on the NBA TV show “Inside the NBA”. Shaq has quite a career in the entertainment world. His first rap album, called “Shaq Diesel”, went platinum. He also starred in two of his own reality shows: “Shaq’s Big Challenge” and “Shaq Vs.”

Heat rubs are products designed to produce a feeling of warmth in sore or tired muscles. The active ingredients are usually menthol (mint oil) and methyl salicylate (oil of wintergreen, an analgesic). A common brand name in this country is IcyHot, and we have Deep Heat in Ireland, and there’s Tiger Balm in Asia and Canada.

7 Machu Picchu’s place : PERU

Machu Picchu is known as “The Lost City of the Incas”, and it can be visited on a mountain ridge in Peru, 50 miles northwest of the city of Cuzco in the southeast of the country. The name Machu Picchu means “old peak”. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu originates about 50 miles from Cusco on the Urubamba River in Peru. It can take travelers about 5 days to trek the full length of the trail, passing through many Incan ruins before reaching the Sun Gate on Machu Picchu mountain. The trail was becoming greatly overused, forcing the Peruvian government to limit the number of people on the trail each day to 500. Book early …

8 Pipe __ : ORGAN

The organ that we often see in churches, synagogues and concert halls is a pipe organ. Sound is produced by pressurized air driven through particular pipes selected by keys on a keyboard.

11 Exxon merger partner : MOBIL

Mobil was founded as part of the breakup of Standard Oil in 1911. The company was originally called Socony (Standard Oil Company of New York). Socony merged with Magnolia Petroleum Company in the thirties and adopted Magnolia’s Pegasus emblem, and it has been used ever since. Mobil merged with Exxon in 1999 but the Mobil brand and Pegasus are alive and well.

The Exxon Corporation was a descendant of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company. Exxon merged with Mobil (yet another descendant of Standard Oil) in 1999 to form ExxonMobil.

21 Moog, briefly : SYNTH

In the sixties, Robert Moog invented the Moog Synthesizer, an electronic device that he used to produce music. I used to own a few of his albums, including a Moog version of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”. What a great performance that was …

22 __ & Perrins: Worcestershire sauce : LEA

Worcestershire sauce is a variant of a fermented fish sauce that has been around since the days of the Roman Empire. The modern sauce was developed and marketed by Messrs. Lea and Perrins in the city of Worcester, then in the county of Worcestershire, hence the name. We vegans aren’t supposed to touch it, as it contains anchovies! Oh, and “Worcestershire” is pronounced “wooster-sheer” …

28 Southwestern art mecca : TAOS

The town of Taos, New Mexico is named for the Native American village nearby called Taos Pueblo. Taos is famous for its art colony. Artists began settling in Taos in 1899, and the Taos Society of Artists was founded in 1915.

29 Weasel cousin : STOAT

The stoat has dark brown fur in the summer, and white fur in the winter. Sometimes the term “ermine” is used for the animal during the winter when the fur is white. Ermine skins have long been prized by royalty and are often used for white trim on ceremonial robes.

Weasels are small mammals with long, thin bodies. That body shape is an advantage when weasels chase their prey into narrow burrows.

35 *Incense-burning implement : JOSS STICK

A joss stick is a type of incense that is traditionally burned before religious images and shrines in many Asian cultures. The term “joss” comes into English via Portuguese from the Latin “deus” meaning “god”.

37 ’60s-’70s births : XERS

The term “Generation X” originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By one definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

41 Baccarat relative : FARO

Faro is a card game somewhat akin to Baccarat that was popular in England and France in the 18th century. Faro made it to the Old West, where it became a favorite of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp. The origin of the name “Faro” is unclear. One popular theory is that Faro is a contraction of ‘pharaoh’ given that Egyptian motifs used to be common on playing cards of the period. There’s another theory involving the usual suspects: Irish immigrants and famines …

Baccarat, in all of its three variants, is a relatively simple casino card game. Baccarat is the favored game of chance for James Bond 007, and it looks so cool when he plays it! Banco!

48 Land in l’eau : ILE

In French, an “île” (island) is “terre dans la mer” (land in the sea).

49 Meal : REPAST

Our word “repast”, meaning “meal”. came to us via French (in which language “repas” is “meal”). Ultimately the term comes from the Latin “repascere” meaning “to repeatedly graze”.

52 Tiny leaf opening : STOMA

Stomata (the usual plural of “stoma”, and not “stomas”) are pores found under almost every leaf, clearly visible under a simple microscope. The stomata take in air rich in carbon dioxide. Through the process of photosynthesis, the plants generate oxygen, which is released back into the air though the same stomata.

59 Chapeau’s place : TETE

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

61 Writer Wiesel : ELIE

Elie Wiesel was a holocaust survivor, and is best known for his book “Night” that tells of his experiences in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. He was also the first recipient of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum Award, which was later renamed the Elie Wiesel Award in his honor.

65 First name in pharmaceuticals : ELI

Eli Lilly is the largest corporation in the state of Indiana. Founder Eli Lilly was a veteran of the Union Army in the Civil War, and a failed Mississippi plantation owner. Later in life he returned to his first profession and opened a pharmaceutical operation to manufacture drugs and sell them wholesale. Under Lilly’s early guidance, the company was the first to create gelatin capsules to hold medicines and the first to use fruit flavoring in liquid medicines.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Sun-blocking piece : VISOR
6 Lay eyes on : SPOT
10 Mischievous types : IMPS
14 IV component : INTRA-
15 Sub that never plays? : HERO
16 Civil suit cause : TORT
17 Met favorites : ARIAS
18 Ship that survived the Clashing Rocks : ARGO
19 Instrument heard in the intro to Madonna’s “Crazy for You” : OBOE
20 Departed : LEFT
21 *Edge of a storm : SQUALL LINE
23 Crusty fellow : FOGY
25 Teased : NEEDLED
26 Insults : AFFRONTS
30 __ shift : DAY
31 “You mean yours truly?” : MOI?
32 States, abroad : ETATS
34 Bar Keepers Friend alternative : AJAX
38 Tolkien’s The Prancing Pony, e.g. : INN
39 *Chase away : SHOO OFF
42 Pamplona plaudit : OLE!
43 [It’s a keeper] : [STET]
45 Native Israeli : SABRA
46 __ Barton, first Triple Crown horse (1919) : SIR
47 iPad launched in 2013 : AIR
50 Bolshevik foes : TSARISTS
52 Allayed : STILLED
56 Wee ones : TOTS
57 Features of the answers to starred clues, from a trademarked sports term : THREE-PEATS
60 Brood : STEW
63 Setting of Camus’ “The Plague” : ORAN
64 French friar : ABBE
65 Return option : E-FILE
66 Abolitionist Lucretia : MOTT
67 Shaker fill : SALT
68 Port St. __, FL : LUCIE
69 Stuns, in a good way : AWES
70 Shoe insert : TREE
71 Tatted up : INKED

Down

1 Ampule : VIAL
2 Legal memo opener : IN RE
3 *Severe legal penalty : STIFF FINE
4 Source of windiness, maybe? : ORATOR
5 College dorm figs. : RAS
6 NBAer seen in IcyHot ads : SHAQ
7 Machu Picchu’s place : PERU
8 Pipe __ : ORGAN
9 Equipped with machinery : TOOLED
10 “Shoulda listened to me!” : I TOLD YA!
11 Exxon merger partner : MOBIL
12 Inclined (to) : PRONE
13 Knight’s horse : STEED
21 Moog, briefly : SYNTH
22 __ & Perrins: Worcestershire sauce : LEA
24 Departs : GOES
26 French friends : AMIS
27 Lettering choice : FONT
28 Southwestern art mecca : TAOS
29 Weasel cousin : STOAT
33 Sorrowful sounds : SOBS
35 *Incense-burning implement : JOSS STICK
36 Hit the ground : ALIT
37 ’60s-’70s births : XERS
40 Brothers’ housing : FRATS
41 Baccarat relative : FARO
44 Audition display : TALENTS
48 Land in l’eau : ILE
49 Meal : REPAST
51 “Whee!” : IT’S FUN!
52 Tiny leaf opening : STOMA
53 Fling : THROW
54 Quite hot : IRATE
55 Exclude from practice : DEBAR
58 Qualified : ABLE
59 Chapeau’s place : TETE
61 Writer Wiesel : ELIE
62 Work in the garden : WEED
65 First name in pharmaceuticals : ELI

21 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 25 Aug 21, Wednesday”

  1. Couple of errors.. did not know 35D… had all but the first letter.. and I couldn’t figure out 34A. So I went with A RAG.. That gave me ROSS STICK and GERS for 37D (I actually thought of GENXERS but didn’t shorten it).. also messed up on 52D. Went with STIMA .. that gave me IRAN for 63A.

  2. I got all the way to the end and could not remember where I saw 34A. I kept thinking “GenX” for 37D and didn’t come up with “Xers” or “Ajax”. After I saw “AJax” in Bill’s grid, I remembered it was mentioned in an online article about great cleaning products. Lots of French in this puzzle.

  3. 14:16 with 2 letter errors on squares 63 & 66. I also got stumped by 52D, and had STILA instead of STOMA (seem to have forgotten a bit of biology as well as botany!). Did not recall Lucretia MOTT, nor know Camus’ work. I could have “checked grid” online, but I work the puzzle on paper.

  4. 19:14 – but about 6 lookups.

    STOMA with crosses MOTT and ORAN got me, didn’t hear of any of them.

    STOAT and SABRA cross also got me, never heard of them.

    Found puzzle appropriate for Wednesday, but maybe a little tough for me.

  5. Tricky puzzle. I had to Google for SHAQ, but that’s my sports weakness. With that, I had no more trouble with the theme.
    Much else was puzzling.
    I had marxISTS before TSARISTS, siRs before INRE, NooDLED before NEEDLED.
    Didn’t really know LEA, JOSS STICK, OBOE, ORAN. Good guesses.
    Used to use a lot of AJAX (boom boom, the foaming cleanser).
    Some things live only in crosswords, like IMPS and STOATS. So expect them.
    And, yes, too much French.

  6. 13:11 and three errors: [J]OSSSTICK, A[J]A[X] and [X]ERS.

    I don’t know from Joss stick, for starters; then, I got confused with the Generation moniker, despite being in this group. I read Coupland’s book, and enjoyed it greatly at the time… but always thought the first generation described with a letter started with people born in the 1980s. So, with that misconception, I couldn’t possibly answer that one right.

  7. 9:48

    I liked the theme, perhaps because you could see it coming in time to really help.

    Ajax is a lot stronger than Bar Keepers Friend. A better alternative is Bon Ami, though it’s gotten hard to find lately.

    @Dirk, I’m in eastern Mass, and well inland, so Henri was no worse than other storms we’ve had this summer. Thanks for asking!

  8. Hard puzzle for me today. Way too many French and Latin words. I don’t understand why authors use so many foreign words in an English crossword puzzle. Very frustrating!

    1. I totally agree with you.If you don’t know French,Latin and Spanish these puzzles can be extremely difficult.

  9. Tough Wednesday for me; took 21:27 with a 4 errors in the SW, 1 in the middle(SuBRA) and 1 in the E(ArAX)..sheesh! I guessed ORAN, since Camus was in Algeria a lot and had AWED and AIR, but the rest was kind of a mess.

    Listening to ELP play “Pictures At An Exhibition”…pretty cool!!

  10. Why is “tongue-tied” the reveal answer? I don’t see it at all. I thought it was “threepeats.” I’m fairly new, so maybe I just don’t understand.

    Thank you for your explanations! Looking forward to “jossstick.”

  11. Yes, it is. To ‘debar’ is just to generally stop someone from doing something. The clue was a real stretch. But then it wasn’t the only one in this puzzle by a long shot. ‘Qualified’, as a clue for ‘able’, for example. Qualified just means one is adequately trained and certified, it says nothing about one’s ability. Or apparently thinking it’s reasonable for everyone working the puzzle to know all of the top largest in each state. That’s only a few hundred…

    I’m beginning to think that the puzzlemakers expect people to use the internet to solve the puzzles and so they feel free to throw in whatever they want on the assumption that people will get enough of the obscure crosses to figure the really ridiculous clues out.

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