LA Times Crossword 25 Sep 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: Adrian Johnson
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 13m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 P.D.Q. Bach’s “Iphigenia in Brooklyn,” e.g. : CANTATA

A cantata is a piece of music that is sung, as opposed to a sonata, which is a piece that is played on some instrument, often a piano. A sonatina is in effect a sonata that has been labelled as something lighter and shorter.

P. D. Q. Bach is an alter ego used by musical satirist Peter Schickele. Schickele creates works that he bills as compositions written by P. D. Q. Bach, the “only forgotten son” of Johann Sebastian Bach.

15 So cool it hurts : UBERHIP

“Über” is the German word for “over, across, above”. We have absorbed “uber-” into English as a prefix meaning “very”.

18 Bistro cheese? : MAITRE’D

The full title of a maître d’ is “maître d’hôtel”, which means “master of the hotel”.

The phrase “the big cheese” doesn’t have its roots in the word “cheese” at all. The original phrase was “the real cheese” meaning “the real thing”, and was used way back in the late 1800s. “Chiz” is a Persian and Hindi word meaning “thing”, and it’s not hard to see how the expression “the real chiz” morphed into “the real cheese”. In early-20th century America, instead of a “real cheese”, the most influential person in a group was labeled as “the big cheese”.

19 “90 Day Fiancé” airer : TLC

The cable channel TLC started out life as The Learning Channel. Programming on TLC originally focused on educational content, but today there is an emphasis on reality television.

“90 Day Fiancé” is a reality TV show featuring couples who have 90 days to marry each other. One member of the couple is an American citizen, while the other is a foreign national. The 90-day period is defined by the terms of a K-1 visa, which is issued by the US government to a fiancé from a foreign country to allow for travel to the US to prepare for and participate in a marriage ceremony.

20 Fireballs, e.g. : METEORS

A meteoroid is a small rocky or metallic body travelling through space. Once in the atmosphere, the meteoroid is referred to as a “meteor” or “shooting star”. Almost all meteoroids burn up, but if one is large enough to survive and reach the ground then we call it a meteorite. The word “meteor” comes from the Greek “meteōros” meaning “high in the air”.

22 Kings, on NBA scoreboards : SAC

The Sacramento Kings are one of the oldest basketball franchises still operating, having been founded way back in 1923 as the Rochester Seagrams. The Kings moved to Sacramento in 1985 from Kansas City, Missouri.

23 Ungulate feature : HOOF

Ungulates are hoofed animals. “Ungulate” comes from the Latin “ungula” meaning “hoof” or “claw”, which in turn comes from “unguis” meaning “nail”.

25 Music with conga drums : SALSA

The genre of music called salsa is a modern interpretation of various Cuban traditional music styles.

The type of drum called a conga is more properly known as a tumbadora. The conga is regarded as a Cuban instrument today, but it probably evolved from older African drums made from hollowed logs.

26 Nigerian pop star : SADE

Singer Sade’s real name is Helen Folasade Adu. Although born in Nigeria, Sade grew up and lives in the UK. She was the lead vocalist for the English group Sade, and adopted the name of the band. The band’s biggest hits were “Smooth Operator” (1984) and “The Sweetest Taboo” (1985).

27 Get a tat : INK UP

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

30 ESPN analyst Rose : JALEN

Jalen Rose is a former NBA basketball player who retired in 2007 and took up a new career as a sports analyst. A couple of years before retiring, Rose earned a BS in Management Studies for himself from the University of Maryland Global Campus.

33 Samovar transport : TEA CART

The samovar originated in Russia. It is a water boiler, one usually used for making tea. As such, there is often an attachment on top of a samovar to keep a teapot warm.

36 German gripe : ACH!

The German exclamation “ach!” is usually translated into English as “oh!”

37 Offered as proof : ADDUCED

To adduce is to cite as an example or as a means of proof. “To adduce” somes from the Latin “ad” meaning “to”, and “ducere” meaning “to lead”.

41 Pay-to-play system : JUKEBOX

Although coin-operated music players had been around for decades, the term “jukebox” wasn’t used until about 1940. “Jukebox” derives from a Gullah word, the language of African Americans living in the coastal areas of South Carolina and Georgia. In Gullah, a “juke joint”, from “juke” or “joog” meaning “rowdy, wicked”, was an informal establishment where African Americans would gather and for some music, dancing, gambling and drinking. The coin-operated music players became known as “jukeboxes”.

45 Director Sergio : LEONE

Sergio Leone was an Italian film director, and someone very much associated with the Spaghetti Western movie genre . Perhaps most famous of Leone’s westerns were the so-called “Man with No Name” trilogy starring Clint Eastwood. The three films are:

  • “A Fistful of Dollars” (1964)
  • “For a Few Dollars More” (1965)
  • “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966)

46 Sr. income source : IRA

Individual retirement account (IRA)

49 Streaming concerns : LAGS

In Internet terms, lag is a delay in response caused by network latency. We might notice lag when streaming a video, for example.

52 Leader of a popular breakfast trio : SNAP

Snap, Crackle and Pop are three elves employed as the mascots for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. The trio first appeared in an ad campaign in 1933, although the phrase “snap, crackle and pop” had been used for the cereal for some time in radio ads. By the way, the elves are selling “Rice Bubbles” in Australia, and the elves have different names in other parts of the world (like “Cric!, Crac! and Croc! in Québec).

53 ER personnel : MDS

Medical doctors (MDs) might be found in an operating room (OR) or emergency room (ER).

54 “Heather Has Two __”: 1989 children’s book : MOMMIES

“Heather Has Two Mommies” is a 1989 children’s book by feminist author Lesléa Newman. It is recognized as a pioneering piece of children’s literature, one of the first to depict a lesbian relationship.

56 Buck Henry was the first to host it five times, briefly : SNL

Buck Henry is an actor, writer and film director with quite a varied resume. He was co-creator and writer with Mel Brooks for the zany TV comedy “Get Smart”, and he hosted “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) ten times in the late seventies. Famously, John Belushi actually injured Henry with a samurai in a SNL sketch on live television, forcing Henry to wear a bandage on his forehead for the remainder of the show. Henry also co-wrote the screenplay for the 1967 film “The Graduate”, and even had an acting part in the movie playing a room clerk.

59 Common cleanser : SAL SODA

Sodium carbonate is a well known as a water softener sold for use in laundry, and is variously described as Sal Soda, Washing Soda and Soda Crystals.

61 Habitual surfer : NETIZEN

A netizen is an “Internet citizen”, someone with a presence on the Internet. I guess I would be a netizen, then …

62 Medieval trumpet : CLARION

The term “clarion” is used for a small trumpet from Medieval and Renaissance times. The common phrase “clarion call” describes a call to action, a request for something to happen.

63 London area : EAST END

The East End of London was associated with overcrowding, poverty and accompanying social strife. It is also very much associated with Cockney culture and dialect. The traditional definition of a Cockney is someone “born within the sound of Bow Bells”, the bells in the church of St Mary-le-Bow on the thoroughfare Cheapside.

64 “The Entertainer” playwright : OSBORNE

John Osborne was an English playwright whose most famous work was “Look Back in Anger”, first performed in 1956.

Down

1 “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” e.g. : CULT HIT

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” has to have the most devout cult-following of any movie ever made. Famously, fans attending a midnight show of the film will dress up in outrageous costumes used in the film, and bring props with them. The props bear little relation to the storyline, but a tradition of using certain props in a particular way has been established. For example, at one point a character proposes a toast, and the audience throws toast around the theater. Go figure …

2 Awabi sushi mollusk : ABALONE

The large edible sea snails that we call abalone are called ormer in Britain and Ireland, and are served as “awabi” at a sushi bar. The abalone shell resembles a human ear, giving rise to the alternative names “ear shell” and “sea ear”.

3 Unsuccessful rollout that tried to imitate Pepsi : NEW COKE

When “new Coke” was introduced in 1985, the market reacted very, very badly. The public reaction was so negative that the Coca-Cola company quickly reintroduced its “Coca-Cola Classic” line. Ironically, the whole debacle resulted in Coke actually gaining market share when the “old coke” returned to supermarket shelves.

7 High-level H.S. math course : AP STATS

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school (HS). After being tested at the end of an AP course, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

8 Abenaki leader who first contacted Plymouth settlers : SAMOSET

Samoset was a member of the Eastern Abenaki tribe who learned some English from fishermen from England who fished in the Gulf of Maine. Famously, he was the first Native American to approach the Pilgrims who established the Plymouth Colony. Samoset greeted the settlers in English, surprising them, and then asked for beer.

10 Goddess of discord : ERIS

In Greek mythology, Eris was the goddess of discord. The name “Eris” is derived from the Greek word for strife, and translates into Latin as “Discordia”. In Greek her counterpart was Harmonia, and in the world of the Roman gods, Concordia. The largest dwarf planet in our solar system is called Eris, named after the goddess.

12 Wine used to flavor zabaglione : MARSALA

Marsala is a seaport lying in the very west of Sicily. If you visit Marsala, you’ll find what’s called “vintage” Marsala wine, a “regular” red wine. If you buy a bottle of Marsala at your local store though, it will be a “fortified” wine, wine with a higher alcohol content.

Zabaglione (also “zabaione”) is a dessert from Italian cuisine made from egg yolks, sugar and sweet wine (often Marsala). There is also a thinner version that is served as a drink.

14 Trifling sum : RED CENT

Something that is not worth a red cent has very little value. The “red” reference is to the color of a copper penny.

21 Certain Ivy Leaguer : ELI

“Eli” is the nickname for a graduate of Yale University, and a term used in honor of the Yale benefactor Elihu Yale.

26 Potpourri packets : SACHETS

A sachet is a small packet of perfumed powder left in perhaps a closet or trunk to scent clothes. The word “sachet” is a diminutive of the French word “sac” meaning “bag”.

The French term “pot pourri” literally translates literally to “rotten pot”, but in France it used to mean “stew”. Over time, the term “potpourri” evolved in English usage to mean a “medley”, and eventually a mixture of dried flowers and spices.

30 Pickup game : JACKS

Knucklebones (also “jacks, jackstones”) is a game in which small objects are tossed in the air, while others are picked up, and the tossed objects caught. There are many variations of the game.

32 Manhattan liquor : RYE

The cocktail called a manhattan is made from whiskey, sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters. I favor my own version of a brandy manhattan, using brandy, sweet vermouth and orange bitters.

38 Jordan River outlet : DEAD SEA

The Dead Sea is a salt lake that lies over 1,000 feet below sea level in the Middle East. It is one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world, with a salt content that is almost ten times that of most oceans.

The Jordan River forms the border between the nations of Israel and Jordan, and flows into the Dead Sea. According to the Christian Bible, Jesus was baptised in the Jordan by John the Baptist. The country of Jordan takes its name from the river.

39 Monitors a Lab, say : DOG-SITS

The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814, and the chocolate Labrador appeared over a century later in the 1930s. The name “Labrador Retriever” is simply a reference to the breed’s origin and behavior. Labs originally “retrieved” from the “Labrador Sea”.

40 Place to play ball : DIAMOND

That would be a baseball diamond.

41 State known for its tequila : JALISCO

Tequila is a city in Mexico that is located about 40 miles northwest of Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco. The city is the birthplace of the drink called “tequila”. Local people made a variety of a drink called mezcal by fermenting the heart of the blue agave plant that is native to the area surrounding Tequila. It was the Spanish who introduced the distillation process to the mescal, giving us what we now know as “tequila”.

42 Lyon greeting : BONSOIR

In French, the one-word greeting “bonsoir” means “good evening”. The two-word phrase “bon soir” also means “good evening”, but might be used in the sense of “it was a good evening”.

The city of Lyon in France is sometimes known as “Lyons” in English. Lyon is the second-largest metropolitan area in the country, after Paris. It is located just to the north of the confluence of the Rhône and Saône Rivers.

47 Net support : RIM

That might be a basketball net.

50 Seth who played Wozniak in “Steve Jobs” : ROGEN

Seth Rogen is a Canadian comedian who got a lot of credit for his supporting role in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”. That led to him being cast as the lead in the 2007 film “Knocked Up”. Rogen also co-directed and co-starred in “The Interview”, a movie that created a huge ruckus in the North Korean regime.

Steve “Woz” Wozniak was one of the founders of Apple Computer, along with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne. Wozniak was the driving force behind the creation of the Apple I and Apple II computers that revolutionized the computer market in the seventies.

“Steve Jobs” is a 2015 biographical film about the life of the Apple co-founder. The film is based on an excellent biography of the same name by Walter Isaacson. Michael Fassbender plays Jobs, and Seth Rogen plays Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Aaron Sorkin wrote the screenplay, which is always a good thing as far as I’m concerned. I’m going to have to put this film on my watch list …

58 Start of a fair exchange : TIT

The phrase “tit for tat”, meaning some sort of retaliation, has been around for an awfully long time, since the mid-1500s. It might be derived from “tip for tap”, meaning “blow for blow”.

60 Sign of success : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 P.D.Q. Bach’s “Iphigenia in Brooklyn,” e.g. : CANTATA
8 Dumpling cooker, perhaps : STEAMER
15 So cool it hurts : UBERHIP
16 Cost of winging it? : AIRFARE
17 Court figures : LAWYERS
18 Bistro cheese? : MAITRE’D
19 “90 Day Fiancé” airer : TLC
20 Fireballs, e.g. : METEORS
22 Kings, on NBA scoreboards : SAC
23 Ungulate feature : HOOF
25 Music with conga drums : SALSA
26 Nigerian pop star : SADE
27 Get a tat : INK UP
29 Connection : TIE
30 ESPN analyst Rose : JALEN
31 Adolescents : TEENERS
33 Samovar transport : TEA CART
35 Bit of hope : RAY
36 German gripe : ACH!
37 Offered as proof : ADDUCED
41 Pay-to-play system : JUKEBOX
45 Director Sergio : LEONE
46 Sr. income source : IRA
48 Emotionless : STONY
49 Streaming concerns : LAGS
50 Skate park features : RAILS
52 Leader of a popular breakfast trio : SNAP
53 ER personnel : MDS
54 “Heather Has Two __”: 1989 children’s book : MOMMIES
56 Buck Henry was the first to host it five times, briefly : SNL
57 “Do we have the ok?” : IS IT A GO?
59 Common cleanser : SAL SODA
61 Habitual surfer : NETIZEN
62 Medieval trumpet : CLARION
63 London area : EAST END
64 “The Entertainer” playwright : OSBORNE

Down

1 “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” e.g. : CULT HIT
2 Awabi sushi mollusk : ABALONE
3 Unsuccessful rollout that tried to imitate Pepsi : NEW COKE
4 Shot : TRY
5 “I’m talking now” : AHEM
6 Rotation targets : TIRES
7 High-level H.S. math course : AP STATS
8 Abenaki leader who first contacted Plymouth settlers : SAMOSET
9 Crown : TIARA
10 Goddess of discord : ERIS
11 Sailor’s direction : AFT
12 Wine used to flavor zabaglione : MARSALA
13 Modern book case? : E-READER
14 Trifling sum : RED CENT
21 Certain Ivy Leaguer : ELI
24 Community-building races : FUN RUNS
26 Potpourri packets : SACHETS
28 Parting word : PEACE
30 Pickup game : JACKS
32 Manhattan liquor : RYE
34 Café freebie : EAU
37 Hardly sharing words : ALL MINE!
38 Jordan River outlet : DEAD SEA
39 Monitors a Lab, say : DOG-SITS
40 Place to play ball : DIAMOND
41 State known for its tequila : JALISCO
42 Lyon greeting : BONSOIR
43 Without respite : ON AND ON
44 Where many plots are made : XY-PLANE
47 Net support : RIM
50 Seth who played Wozniak in “Steve Jobs” : ROGEN
51 Makes watertight : SEALS
54 Place to use an exit strategy : MAZE
55 Rock quarry unit : SLAB
58 Start of a fair exchange : TIT
60 Sign of success : SRO

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 25 Sep 21, Saturday”

  1. LAT: About 45 minutes. Friday’s and today’s puzzles were among the hardest I’ve been able to finish. It was so easy to be misled by the cues.

  2. No errors but got hangup with SALSODA ADDUCED and the NE corner with MARSALA JALEN ERIS and SAMOSET..

    I was stuck on ONECENT for 14D for a long time.

    I remember wen New Coke came out. It wasn’t even close to anything Coke. Apparently that was their strategy. But I am still a die hard coke fan. Pepsi seems like they give away their product at any venue they can find. I was at a state fair once and I ordered a corn dog and a coke. The guy said only pepsi!! I said “come on, you have coke here somewhere! Noone drinks Pepsi!” He turned around and opened his personal cooler where he had coke!!! I laughed so hard.

    1. Ironic: You travel abroad, that’s all you’re going to get when you order Coke: New Coke. Got reacquainted with it in the early 90’s when I got the opportunity. Personally I never thought it was that bad for the short time it was being sold in the US and that was a nice trip down memory lane the first time I ordered one. Fun times.

  3. I thought yesterday was a bit more difficult, but this was no pushover. Finished with no final errors and not too too many ink overs.

  4. Finally finished with no errors, but more Google help than I
    ever had to use! My hangup corner was the NW mainly because
    I never heard of “newcoke” and at first I had “centers” instead of
    lawyers

  5. First off, 13:59, no errors. Closer to general expectation for a LAT Saturday here.

    @Lou lu
    “as a newbie, should I keep doing the more difficult puzzles and keep looking bunches of things up or just stick to Monday – Thursday, get better at them, and then move on?”

    All I can really tell you is what I did. I started out with the LAT. More or less, I did them all but only looked up just enough to keep going. The temptation is always going to be there when you get stuck to hop right to that instead of seeing what you could figure out yourself. I use two different colors (pen for errors/what I look up, pencil for what I solve) so I can see which part of the puzzle was what. Even when you have to look stuff up, you can be surprised how little of the puzzles are pen. Then I’d look at the pen sections and try (operative word there a lot of times) to see how the clue gets to the answer.

    Of course, the more you do the more you learn too. I originally allotted a time out of the day to do crosswords and found I had a lot left on Monday’s after doing the LAT. Or I got to the point of discouragement late in the week and still had time left. So I’d find something matching my skill level and do it.

    So basically, try what you see, but be sure you do enough at the top end of your skill level that you don’t get discouraged and don’t hop too quick to looking up the answer. It’s easy when you bomb out a Saturday to forget you utterly nailed the Wednesday and therefore making some progress.

  6. 24:10, 1 lookup to learn about OSBORNE

    ADDUCED is an interesting word.

    Nice to see PDQ Bach.

    Is SALSODA really that common?

  7. I’m confused abt a SLAB being a quarry unit. As I understand it, slabs from a quarry can be any size, so when you pay for it, you pay by size or weight.

    1. I’d say this is an example of crossword stretch. The unit here is not the amount you pay for, but the piece that comes out of the quarry.

  8. 37:04 with one letter error in cACHETS/cADE. Should have figured out the ‘S’ instead of the ‘C’ but was set on cachet for potpourri (memory failed me) and did not know SADE was from Nigeria.

    First guessed at CAL and MNF which changed to SAC and SNL. The NE corner was a trial for figuring out SAMOSET, ERIS, MARSALA, MAITRED.

  9. Tough Saturday for me; took 49:32 with two errors in the end. For some stupid reason I couldn’t get …HIT and tried pIc and cIn and finally “check-grid” just to get it over with. Never heard of TEENERS and unfortunately forgot that UNGULATES are hoofed animals.

    Also didn’t know JALEN, MARSALA, SALSODA, MOMMIES and just guessed right at ABALONE, ADDUCED and OSBORNE.

    I think the last time I had a coke, pepsi or any kind of soft drink was some time in the early ’90s, when I occasionally ordered a Dictator.

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