LA Times Crossword 11 Sep 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: David Liben-Nowell
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 11m 03s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “Miracle on the Hudson” investigation gp. : NTSB

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is responsible for the investigation of major accidents involving transportation. Included in this broad definition is the transportation of fluids in pipelines. The organization is independent in that it has no ties to other government agencies or departments so that its investigations can be viewed as “impartial”. The NTSB also earns a little money for the US as it hires out its investigation teams to countries who don’t have the necessary resources available on their own soil.

The phrase “Miracle on the Hudson” is used to describe the 2009 ditching of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River after the plane lost all engine power soon after take-off. The loss of power happened when the plane flew through a flock of Canada geese. Pilots Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and Jeffrey “Jeff” Skiles managed to put the plane down with no loss of life. The two pilots were portrayed by Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart in the feature film “Sully” that was released in 2016.

8 Grads of Cornell’s Johnson Sch. : MBAS

Cornell University’s graduate business school is the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. It was established in 1946, and was named for Samuel Curtis Johnson, Sr. in 1984. He was founder of consumer goods company SC Johnson, and the grandfather of Samuel Curtis Johnson, Jr. whose family donated $20 million to the school.

14 Six-ton predator : ORCA

The taxonomic name for the killer whale is “Orcinus orca”. The use of the name “orca”, rather than “killer whale”, is becoming more and more common. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

15 Pride seekers’ lids : SAFARI HATS

“Safari” is a Swahili word meaning “journey” or “expedition”.

A group of lions is known as a pride. It’s possible that the term “pride”, in this context, derives from the Latin “praeda” meaning “prey”.

17 LeBlanc who played Joey on “Friends” : MATT

Actor Matt LeBlanc is best known for his portrayal of Joey Tribbiani in the sitcom “Friends”. LeBlanc was born in Newton Massachusetts. In 2011, LeBlanc started playing a fictionalized version of himself in the excellent BBC/Showtime collaboration called “Episodes”.

24 Zebras on a field : REFS

A football referee is sometimes called a “zebra”, a reference to the striped shirt that is part of the official uniform.

27 Classic muscle cars : GTOS

The initialism “GTO” was used on several touring cars (including a famous Pontiac) and stands for “Gran Turismo Omologato”. Italian car manufacturers started the tradition of calling their luxury performance cars “Gran Turismo”, and calling those cars they approved for racing “Gran Turismo Omologato”. The phrase “gran turismo omologato” translates as “grand touring homologated”, “homologated” being a technical term signifying official approval.

29 Senator Ben who wrote “The Vanishing American Adult” : SASSE

Ben Sasse was elected as a US Senator for Nebraska in 2014. Prior to serving in Congress, Sasse was President of Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska.

30 N.L. West team : ARI

The Arizona Diamondbacks (also “D-backs”) joined Major League Baseball’s National League in 1998. By winning the World Series in 2001, the Diamondbacks became the fastest expansion team to do so in Major League history.

31 Type of cable, briefly : COAX

Coaxial cable is designed to carry high frequency electrical signals, and is used in applications like cable television and broadband Internet networking. The use of coaxial cables dates way back, to the 1850s. The name “coaxial” refers to the two conductive parts of the cable, which share the same geometric axis. The inner conductive core is surrounded by an insulator, which in turn is surrounded by a relatively thin conducting shield. The whole assembly is covered with an external protective sheath.

38 2010 World Cup host: Abbr. : RSA

The 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament was held in South Africa. Spain emerged victorious, to win their first ever World Cup title.

40 Bass part : GILL

A fish’s gills are the organs equivalent to the lungs of many land animals. The gills can extract oxygen dissolved in water and excrete carbon dioxide.

41 It gives you the big picture : IMAX

The IMAX Corporation, which is behind the IMAX film format, is a Canadian company. The impetus for developing the system came after Expo ’67 in Montreal. Back then large format screenings were accomplished using multiple projectors with multiple screens, with images basically stitched together. The team behind the IMAX technology set out to simplify things, and developed a single-camera, single-projector system.

42 Title partner of “me” in a 1972 Billy Paul #1 hit : MRS JONES

“Me and Mrs. Jones” is a fabulous blues song first recorded by Billy Paul, in 1972. It’s all about a man and the extramarital affair he has with Mrs. Jones. The song is used to great effect in the soundtrack of the 2001 movie “Bridget Jones’s Diary”.

46 Metaphor for confidentiality popularized in a 1960s sitcom : CONE OF SILENCE

The “Cone of Silence” was an ineffective security device that featured on the espionage sitcom “Get Smart” in the sixties.

The satirical comedy series called “Get Smart” was the creation of Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, and starred Don Adams as Agent 86, Maxwell Smart. Agent 86 worked for the spy agency CONTROL, alongside the lovely Agent 99 (played by Barbara Feldon). CONTROL’s sworn enemy was the criminal organization called KAOS. Smart’s shoe phone was a hilarious prop used in almost every episode. When Smart dialed the number 117, the shoe converted into a gun. Cool stuff …

51 Type of jacket : FLAK

“Flak” was originally an acronym standing for the German term for an aircraft defense cannon (FLiegerAbwehrKanone). “Flak” then became used in English as a general term for antiaircraft fire and ultimately a term for verbal criticism, as in “to take flak”.

53 Shallot relative : GREEN ONION

Scallions are edible plants with a mild onion flavor. They are also called green onions or spring onions.

The shallot is a type of onion that is closely related to the garlic, leek and chive. I’m a big fan …

54 Card in Clue : ROPE

Clue is a board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

55 Ancient site of an iconic tree : EDEN

There is mention in the Bible of both the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Apparently there is some debate over whether or not the two trees are one and the same.

56 Command posts : HELMS

In its broadest sense, the term “helm” describes the whole of a ship’s steering mechanism, including the rudder and tiller. In a more specific sense, the helm is the handle, tiller or wheel that is used to control the steering gear.

Down

1 Legendary wildlife conservationist : NOAH

The term “ark”, when used with reference to Noah, is a translation of the Hebrew word “tebah”. The word “tebah” is also used in the Bible for the basket in which Moses was placed by his mother when she floated him down the Nile. It seems that the word “tebah” doesn’t mean “boat” and nor does it mean “basket”. Rather, a more appropriate translation is “life-preserver” or “life-saver”. So, Noah’s ark was Noah’s life-preserver during the flood.

2 Block in the kitchen : TOFU

“Tofu” is a name for bean curd, and is a Japanese word meaning just that … bean that has curdled. Tofu is produced by coagulating soy milk, using either salt or something acidic. Once the protein has coagulated, the curds are pressed into the familiar blocks. Personally I love tofu, but my wife, she absolutely hates it …

5 Speaker’s spot : SOAPBOX

Back in the 1650s, a soapbox was just that, a wooden box for holding or transporting soap. Empty soapboxes were easily carried by a potential orator and used as a stand from which to deliver an address.

7 Short bar order : COSMO

Like so many famous cocktails, the actual origins of the cosmopolitan are disputed. It is a very nice drink, in my humble opinion. One of the standard recipes is 4 parts citrus vodka, 1.5 parts Cointreau, 1.5 parts lime juice and 3 parts cranberry juice.

8 High-waisted garb, stereotypically : MOM JEANS

“Mom jeans” and “dad jeans” are not-so-nice names for high-waisted jeans, jeans usually worn by older women and men.

12 Prez who had no VP in his first term : HST

Harry S. Truman became vice president under President Franklin D. Roosevelt in January of 1945. He was in office for only 82 days when he was informed at the Whie House by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt that her husband had died in Warm Springs, Georgia. Truman was sworn in as US president, and served out the remainder of Roosevelt’s term without naming a replacement vice president. When Truman ran for president in his own right in 1948, he shared the ticket with Alben W. Barkley. Truman and Barkely won that election, and were in office until 1953.

13 Chinese pork dish word : SHU

Moo shu pork (also “mu shu pork”) is a traditional dish from northern China, with the main ingredients being shredded pork and scrambled egg. In North America, the dish is served with tortilla-like wrappers that are sometimes referred to as “moo shu pancakes”.

16 Squares, e.g. : ISOGONS

An isogon is a polygon with equal angles in the corners. Examples are squares and equilateral triangles.

23 Ricoh camera brand : PENTAX

The Pentax brand has its roots in a company founded in Tokyo in 1919. That company, Asahi Optical, acquired the Pentax brand from the East German optical manufacturer Zeiss in 1957, with the name coming from “pentaprism” and an earlier brand “Contax”. Today, the Pentax brand is a little unusual in that it is used cooperatively by several Japanese companies operating in different fields. Ricoh makes Pentax cameras and binoculars, Hoya Corporation makes Pentax medical products, TI Asahi makes Pentax surveying instruments, and Seiko makes Pentax lenses.

24 “To Kill a Mockingbird” theme : RACISM

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” was first published in 1960. The book is a mainstay in English classes all around the world. In my humble opinion, “To Kill A Mockingbird” is a great ambassador for American literature.

26 Obsolescent emergency exit : FIRE ESCAPE

Something described as obsolescent is going out of use, becoming obsolete.

28 Coll. exam graders, at times : TAS

Teaching assistant (TA)

31 Charles of Watergate infamy : COLSON

The Watergate Seven were the seven individuals close to President Richard Nixon who were indicted for their roles in the Watergate Scandal. The seven were:

  • John N. Mitchell – former United States Attorney General and director of Nixon’s 1968 and 1972 election campaigns
  • H. R. Haldeman – White House chief of staff
  • John Ehrlichman – former assistant to Nixon in charge of domestic affairs
  • Charles Colson – former White House counsel specializing in political affairs
  • Gordon C. Strachan – White House aide to Haldeman
  • Robert Mardian – aide to Mitchell and counsel to the Committee to Re-elect the President in 1972
  • Kenneth Parkinson – counsel for the Committee to Re-elect the President

34 Some corny humor : DAD JOKES

I tell dad jokes all the time, just to annoy the kids …

  • I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. It’s impossible to put down!
  • If you see a robbery at an Apple Store, does that make you an iWitness?
  • A termite walks into a bar and asks, “Is the bar tender here?”
  • Two guys walk into a bar, the third one ducks.
  • What’s the best part about living in Switzerland? I don’t know, but the flag is a big plus.

37 Common jam ingredient? : MISFEED

That would be a paper jam in a printer perhaps.

40 Scotty’s “Star Trek: TNG” counterpart : GEORDI

Geordi La Forge is a central character on the TV show “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, as well as the four spin-off movies. He is the naturally blind officer who wears what’s called a VISOR to see. La Forge is played by LeVar Burton.

41 Cara and Ryan : IRENES

Irene Cara co-wrote and sang the Oscar-winning song “Flashdance…What a Feeling” from the 1983 movie “Flashdance”. Cara also sang the title song for the 1980 movie “Fame”, and indeed played the lead role of student Coco Hernandez.

Irene Ryan was the wonderful actress who played “Granny” on “The Beverly Hillbillies”. Ryan was remarkable in that she had a successful career in vaudeville, on radio and television, on film and on Broadway.

43 Much of Israel : NEGEV

The Negev is a desert region in southern Israel. The largest city in the Negev is Beersheba. The Negev covers about 4,700 square miles, which is about 55% of Israel’s landmass.

45 Island reception : ALOHA

The Hawaiian word “aloha” has many meanings in English: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. More recently, “aloha” has come to mean “hello” and “goodbye”, but only since the mid-1800s.

47 D.C. VIP : SEN

The US Senate comprises 100 senators, with each of the fifty states being represented by two popularly elected senators. US senators were appointed by their state legislators from 1798 through 1913, until the Seventeenth Amendment called for popular elections.

48 Ancient Memphis setting : NILE

Depending on definition, the Nile is regarded generally as the longest river on the planet. The Nile forms from two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which join together near Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. From Khartoum the Nile flows north, traveling almost entirely through desert making it central to life for those living along its length.

Memphis was an ancient city on the River Nile. The ruins of Memphis are located just south of Cairo, Egypt. It was a magnificent city that eventually failed due to the economic success of the city of Alexandria, which was located further down the river and right on the Mediterranean coast.

50 3/8 of nineteen? : ENS

Three of the eight letters in the word “nineteen” are letters N (ens).

51 Questlove’s do : FRO

“Questlove” (also “?uestlove”) is the stage name of musician and DJ Ahmir Khalib Thompson. He is the drummer of hip-hop band the Roots. The Roots were the house band on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”, and followed the host when he moved in 2014 to “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Miracle on the Hudson” investigation gp. : NTSB
5 Venom holder : SAC
8 Grads of Cornell’s Johnson Sch. : MBAS
12 Kerfuffle : HOO-HA
13 Quartet quarter? : SOLO
14 Six-ton predator : ORCA
15 Pride seekers’ lids : SAFARI HATS
17 LeBlanc who played Joey on “Friends” : MATT
18 Texter’s approval : THUMBS-UP EMOJI
20 Cutesy answer to “How do you say that in Spanish?” : ESO
21 Uncoupled? : BROKEN UP
24 Zebras on a field : REFS
27 Classic muscle cars : GTOS
29 Senator Ben who wrote “The Vanishing American Adult” : SASSE
30 N.L. West team : ARI
31 Type of cable, briefly : COAX
32 Shade for a lifeguard : SUNTAN
33 Defensive lines : CORDONS
35 Dries, in a way : AIRS OUT
36 Sometimes unattainable maxima : IDEALS
37 Sticky situation : MIRE
38 2010 World Cup host: Abbr. : RSA
39 Origins : SEEDS
40 Bass part : GILL
41 It gives you the big picture : IMAX
42 Title partner of “me” in a 1972 Billy Paul #1 hit : MRS JONES
44 Blade in a shell : OAR
46 Metaphor for confidentiality popularized in a 1960s sitcom : CONE OF SILENCE
51 Type of jacket : FLAK
53 Shallot relative : GREEN ONION
54 Card in Clue : ROPE
55 Ancient site of an iconic tree : EDEN
56 Command posts : HELMS
57 Is behind, maybe : OWES
58 Kid-__: tots’ TV fare : VID
59 Sailing : ASEA

Down

1 Legendary wildlife conservationist : NOAH
2 Block in the kitchen : TOFU
3 Humbles : SHAMES
4 Fodder for unfriendly trades : BARBS
5 Speaker’s spot : SOAPBOX
6 Takes up, perhaps : ALTERS
7 Short bar order : COSMO
8 High-waisted garb, stereotypically : MOM JEANS
9 Play with ideas : BRAINSTORM
10 Do one’s part? : ACT
11 Couldn’t stand? : SAT
12 Prez who had no VP in his first term : HST
13 Chinese pork dish word : SHU
16 Squares, e.g. : ISOGONS
19 [Shrug] : [OK, SURE]
22 Olympics chant : USA! USA!
23 Ricoh camera brand : PENTAX
24 “To Kill a Mockingbird” theme : RACISM
25 Heavy surf, e.g. : ERODER
26 Obsolescent emergency exit : FIRE ESCAPE
28 Coll. exam graders, at times : TAS
31 Charles of Watergate infamy : COLSON
32 Skirt alternative : SIRLOIN
34 Some corny humor : DAD JOKES
35 Have something : AIL
37 Common jam ingredient? : MISFEED
40 Scotty’s “Star Trek: TNG” counterpart : GEORDI
41 Cara and Ryan : IRENES
43 Much of Israel : NEGEV
45 Island reception : ALOHA
47 D.C. VIP : SEN
48 Ancient Memphis setting : NILE
49 Food __: after-eating drowsiness : COMA
50 3/8 of nineteen? : ENS
51 Questlove’s do : FRO
52 Dirty : LOW

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 11 Sep 21, Saturday”

  1. One stupid mistake; even looked up Colson and still
    wrote down “code of silence” instead of “cone of silence”.
    How dumb was that?

  2. LAT: Almost two hours and almost all right. Had trouble with “cone of silence,” “Geordi,” and “misfeed.” I had “misdeed” for “misfeed,” causing most of the trouble. A real struggle, hardest Saturday in ages.

  3. Two of us working together took ONE HOUR. Had carbons instead of cordons, bad jokes instead of dad jokes and didn’t know ari at all. Neither of us follow sports.

  4. “Missed it by that much”!…. no not really.. no errors today. Just had that memory from Get Smart.
    BTW – SKIRT is a cut of beef… right next to flank steak they make brisket from… yummy yum!!!

  5. I was almost certain I wasn’t going to finish this puzzle, but somehow it came together with the NW corner the last to fall when I finally twigged to the fact that the “conservationist” in 1 Down wasn’t (by my way of thinking) a real person. I should have suspected something when the clue included the word “legendary”!

  6. 16:50, no errors. Complaints in the upper-left, but it is what it is. Of course, adjustments to be made and all that (I’m getting *older*). Maybe that part will be fixed in a couple of days.

  7. Nearly 20 minutes and half the grid still unfilled. DNF, obviously.

    This was a candidate for WORST PUZZLE OF THE YEAR. The clues were mostly useless. What the hell does “Sometimes unattainable maxima” even *mean*? Nobody uses language like that.

    What pretentious CRAP.

  8. 24:41

    Some good brain exercise. ISOGON! There’s a word!

    I liked MOMJEANS paired with DADJOKES.

    Most disappointing changes: DIVORCED->BROKENUP, TRAFFIC->MISFEED.

  9. Fun puzzle. Finished but ISOGON and GEORDI were new to me.
    It certainly helped to be a Get Smart fan and the NOAH clue was very clever.

  10. Took a long time, but I got it all. NW was last to fall.
    I didn’t remember Geordie being chief engineer, was thinking he was always on the bridge. I liked that show; now I’m in the mood to watch it.

  11. 25:36 – not too bad for a Saturday. No errors or lookups. Took a bit of cogitating on several less obvious clues. I also liked the pairing of DADJOKES and MOMJEANS.

    Along the way changed ASP>SAC, TREX>ORCA, OHSURE>OKSURE

  12. Slightly tricky Saturday for me; took 22:23 with one dum(B!) error at the end. I had accidentally put in THUMeS UP EMOJI, which had me wondering at the BAReS cross, but when I did the “check-grid”, there it was…grrr.

    Seemed pretty hard at first, but just kept plugging away and filling in stuff. Made some good guesses which gave me a chance at the things I didn’t have a clue on: MBAS, ROPE, VID and FRO.

    Still sleepy from getting up so early…tomorrow too.
    Really the only NL West team abbreviation you need to know: SF 🙂

  13. My hero, Bill, took 11 minutes??!! I rest my case. There were way too many far off clues for the answers deduced. 16D and 52D are prime examples of this. And the long stretch from “command posts” to “helm” is just wrong (and I am an ex-officer in the military).

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