LA Times Crossword 2 Oct 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 11m 46s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

12 Spinning music holders : CDS

The compact disc (CD) was developed jointly by Philips and Sony as a medium for storing and playing sound recordings. When the first commercial CD was introduced back in 1982, a CD’s storage capacity was far greater than the amount of data that could be stored on the hard drive of personal computers available at that time.

17 “Casino” Best Actress nominee : SHARON STONE

Actress Sharon Stone’s big break came with her appearance in the erotic thriller “Basic Instinct” released in 1992. Stone really hasn’t landed huge roles in big movies since then, other than the role of Ginger in “Casino”, for which she earned a Golden Globe. Personally I enjoyed her performance in 1994’s “The Specialist”, an entertaining action film in which she played opposite Sylvester Stallone and James Woods.

“Casino” is a 1995 Martin Scorsese film. One of the movie’s stars is Robert De Niro, someone who collaborated with Scorsese in eight films in all, “Casino” being the last. The Tangiers Hotel in the movie was actually the Stardust Resort and Casino, which operated in Las Vegas from 1958 until 2006.

19 P&L report column : YTD

On an income statement, a profit & loss figure (P&L) might be year-to-date (YTD).

21 Mass production? : SERMON

Our word “sermon” comes from the Latin “sermonem” meaning “discourse, talk”. The literal translation of “sermonem” is “a stringing together of words”, from the Latin “serere” meaning “to join”, as in the related word “series”.

The principal act of worship in the Roman Catholic tradition is the Mass. The term “Mass” comes from the Late Latin word “missa” meaning “dismissal”. This word is used at the end of the Latin Mass in “Ite, missa est” which translates literally as “Go, it is the dismissal”.

23 Homes with brakes : RVS

Recreational vehicle (RV)

25 DVD alternative : BLU-RAY

A CD player reads the information on the disc using a laser beam. The beam is produced by what’s called a laser diode, a device similar to a light-emitting diode (LED) except that a laser beam is emitted. That laser beam is usually red in CD and DVD players. Blu-ray players are so called as they use blue lasers.

29 Largest of New York’s Finger Lakes : SENECA

When I first moved to the US, I settled in Upstate New York and was lucky enough to live near the beautiful Finger Lakes. The largest of the eleven lakes is Seneca Lake, which is one of the deepest bodies of water in the United States.

35 Grain of emmer or spelt : FARRO

The three hulled wheat species known as spelt, emmer and einkorn are referred to collectively as “farro”.

36 Bars from Mars : TWIX

I remember Twix bars from way back in 1967 when they were introduced in Britain and Ireland. Twix bars made it to the US over a decade later, in 1979. The name “Twix” is a portmanteau of “twin bix”, short for “twin biscuit”.

39 Old hat : STALE

The use of “old hat” to mean something “out of date, stale” started about 1911. Before that, the term “old hat” meant something very different, and very vulgar. “Old hat” was the name given to a very private part of the female anatomy, the idea being that it was “often felt” (as in a “felt hat”). I just don’t know what to say …

41 Strung treasures : PEARLS

Pearls form in oysters because of a reaction that is similar to an immune system response in higher animals. The pearl is formed as the oysters lay down successive layers of calcium carbonate around some microscopic foreign body that has penetrated the shell.

44 Comb creator : BEE

Honeybees create a structure within their nests called a honeycomb that is used to contain their larvae and also to store honey and pollen. The honeycomb comprises hexagonal cells made from wax.

45 Green sides : SALADS

Our word “salad” comes from the Latin “salare” meaning “to salt”. The Latin “herba salata” translates as “salted vegetables”, which I guess could be a salad …

46 Little fox : KIT

Kits are the young of several mammalian species, including the ferret and fox. “Kit” is probably a shortened form of “kitten”.

47 TV monitor : FCC

TV broadcasting is monitored by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC has been around since 1934, when it replaced the Federal Radio Commission.

55 Skagerrak country: Abbr. : NOR

The Skagerrak is a strait bounded by Norway to the northwest, Sweden to the east and Denmark to the south. It opens into the North Sea to the southwest.

56 Opinion page perspective : EDITORIAL WE

The “royal we” is more correctly called the “majestic plural”, and is the use of a plural pronoun to describe a single person in a high office. I suppose the most often quoted phrase that uses the majestic plural is “We are not amused”, which is often attributed to Queen Victoria. The “editorial we” is a similar concept, in which a newspaper editor or columnist refers to himself or herself as “we” when giving an opinion.

57 One in an army : ANT

Army ants are a collection of over two hundred different species of ants. Each species is known for aggressively raiding a certain area en masse, foraging for food. Army ants also stay on the move, never building permanent nests.

Down

1 Andalusian article : LOS

Andalusia (“Andalucía” in Spanish) is one of the seventeen autonomous communities in the Kingdom of Spain, and is the most southerly. The capital of Andalusia is the old city of Seville. The name Andalusia comes from its Arabic name, Al-Andalus, reflecting the region’s history as the center of Muslim power in Iberia during medieval times.

3 Aspiring doc’s hurdle : MCAT

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

4 Avon product? : BARD

William Shakespeare is referred to as the Bard of Avon, as he was born and raised in the lovely town of Stratford-upon-Avon in the English Midlands.

6 “Top Gun” org. : US NAVY

“Top Gun” is an entertaining action movie released in 1986 starring Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis. The movie is all about pilots training at the US Navy’s Fighter Weapons School. A lot of footage was shot on board the Navy’s carrier the USS Enterprise during flight operations. At one point in a day’s shooting, the commander of the Enterprise changed course as needed for normal operations, but this altered the light for the cameras that were filming at the time. Director Tony Scott asked for the course to be changed back, but was informed that a course change would cost the Navy $25,000. Scott wrote out a check there and then, and he got another five minutes of filming with the light he needed.

9 Pamplona pronoun : ESO

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 …

10 Hall of Famer whose #10 was retired by the Cubs : RON SANTO

Ron Santo was a professional baseball player most noted for his appearances as third baseman for the Chicago Cubs. Santo suffered diabetes, something he managed to keep to himself for most of his playing career. After he retired, the disease necessitated the amputation of both his legs and complications from diabetes eventually contributed to his death.

12 “The Charge of the Light Brigade” setting : CRIMEAN WAR

The Crimean War of 1855-1856 was fought between Russia and an alliance comprising France, Britain, the Ottoman Empire and Sardinia. One of the most famous engagements of the Crimean War was the 1854 Battle of Balaclava, which involved the disastrous Charge of the Light Brigade.

The disastrous “Charge of the Light Brigade” took place in Balaclava in the Crimea on October 25th 1854 during the Crimean War. Commander of the British Army that day was Lord Raglan, and in overall command of the Cavalry unit was the Earl of Lucan. Under Lucan, in command of the Light Brigade was the Earl of Cardigan. Raglan sent a Captain Nolan to Lucan with orders to attack “the guns”. When Lucan asked Nolan which guns, it appears that Nolan indicated the wrong ones. Lucan then instructed Cardigan to lead the Light Cavalry in a charge on the designated guns, which he dutifully did. As the charge started, Nolan noted the error and rode onto the field to intercept the Light Brigade, but was killed by an artillery shell. The charge continued into an overwhelming artillery battery (“into the Valley of Death”, to use Tennyson’s famous words), causing the loss of over 2/3 of the mounted brigade, a loss of 400 horses and 250 men killed or wounded, for no military purpose at all. Cardigan survived, left the field of battle immediately and boarded his yacht in Balaklava Harbor and had a champagne lunch. Lucan was made a member of the Order of the Bath the following year, and Raglan was promoted to Field Marshal …

13 Swiss skiing mecca : DAVOS

Davos is a resort town in the Swiss Alps. Known as a health resort in the 19th century, today it is best known as the host of the World Economic Forum, which is an annual meeting of political and corporate leaders from around the world.

14 Tuckered out : SPENT

The exact etymology of the verb “to tucker”, meaning “to tire”, seems to be uncertain. However, it seems to have originated in New England, and at least dates back to the 1830s.

22 Cheese for cannoli : RICOTTA

Ricotta is an Italian cheese made from the milk of a sheep or a cow. It produced from the whey of the milk, the liquid left after the curds have been separated out (curds are used to make “traditional” cheese). The whey is heated again so that the remaining protein precipitates out, producing ricotta cheese. The word “ricotta” literally means “recooked”, which makes sense to me now …

Cannoli (singular “connolo”) are Italian sweet pastries that originated in Sicily. Cannoli are made by filling tubes of fried pastry dough with a creamy filling that usually contains ricotta cheese. “Cannolo” is Italian for “little tube”.

25 Cup holders? : BRAS

The word “brassière” is French in origin, but it isn’t the word that the French use for a “bra”. In France, what we call a bra is known as a “soutien-gorge”, translating to “held under the neck”. The word “brassière” is indeed used in France but there it describes a baby’s undershirt, a lifebelt or a harness. “Brassière” comes from the Old French word for an “arm protector” in a military uniform (“bras” is the French for “arm”). Later “brassière” came to mean “breastplate” and from there the word was used for a type of woman’s corset. The word jumped into English around 1900.

28 “R.I.P.” singer : RITA ORA

Rita Ora is a British singer who was born Rita Sahatçiu in Pristina, Yugoslavia to Albanian parents. The family name “Sahatçiu” comes from a Turkish word meaning “watchmaker”. Rita’s parents changed their name to make it easier to pronounce. So, the family name morphed from “watchmaker” to “time”, which is “ora” in Albanian.

32 “A System of Logic” author, 1843 : MILL

John Stuart Mill was a philosopher from Britain who is particularly remembered for defining liberty as the freedom of the individual.

41 Old explosive device : PETARD

In days of old, a petard was a small bomb that was used to breach fortified gates and walls. The phrase “hoisted by his own petard” comes from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, and is a reference to a petard detonating prematurely and blowing up (“hoisting”) the bomber.

42 Wall-assisted handstand, e.g. : ASANA

“Asana” is a Sanskrit word that translates literally as “sitting down”. The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called “padmasana”.

44 Plains grazers : BISON

There are two species of bison left (four species are extinct). We are most familiar with the American bison (commonly called the American buffalo), but there is also a European bison, which is sometimes called a “wisent”.

46 Fat-heavy diet : KETO

A ketogenic (also “keto”) diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. When a body consumes insufficient carbohydrates to meet the need for energy, then the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies in order to make up the energy deficit. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the bloodstream is known as “ketosis”, a term that gives rise to the name “ketogenic diet”. Medical professionals sometimes prescribe a ketogenic diet in order to control epilepsy in children. A condition of ketosis can reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures.

47 Hamburg honorific : FRAU

In German, a “Herr” (Mr.) is married to a “Frau” (Mrs.), and they live together in a “Haus” (house).

Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany (after Berlin), and the third largest port in Europe (after Rotterdam and Antwerp).

48 Porter on a piano : COLE

Cole Porter was a little unusual amongst his peers in that he was one of the few successful songwriters who wrote both lyrics and music for his compositions. Porter was seriously injured in a riding accident in his forties and was left disabled and in pain. Despite this, he continued to work and produced his most successful work after the accident.

49 Sounds near the ears : CAWS

A caw is the harsh cry of a crow, and crows might be found in fields of corn …

52 Hall of Fame tennis player __ Seixas : VIC

Vic Seixas is a former tennis player from Philadelphia who was most successful on the court in the 1950s. When Seixas won Wimbledon in 1953, his winnings amounted to a shopping voucher worth about $25. Times have changed …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Grilled sandwiches sometimes served with yogurt sauce : LAMB BURGERS
12 Spinning music holders : CDS
15 Annual promotional period : OSCAR SEASON
16 Blame : RAP
17 “Casino” Best Actress nominee : SHARON STONE
18 “__ moved on” : I’VE
19 P&L report column : YTD
20 Took a course : ATE
21 Mass production? : SERMON
23 Homes with brakes : RVS
24 Least likely to volunteer, probably : LAZIEST
25 DVD alternative : BLU-RAY
29 Largest of New York’s Finger Lakes : SENECA
30 Fleet : RAPID
31 “My bad” : THAT’S ON ME
34 Admin. aide : ASST
35 Grain of emmer or spelt : FARRO
36 Bars from Mars : TWIX
37 Unseal without ripping : STEAM OPEN
39 Old hat : STALE
40 Went on the road : TOURED
41 Strung treasures : PEARLS
42 Like Oscars and Emmys : AWARDED
44 Comb creator : BEE
45 Green sides : SALADS
46 Little fox : KIT
47 TV monitor : FCC
50 Jazz __ : AGE
51 Studies in a foreign country, say : LIVES ABROAD
55 Skagerrak country: Abbr. : NOR
56 Opinion page perspective : EDITORIAL WE
57 One in an army : ANT
58 Many a sports fan’s criticism : SECOND GUESS

Down

1 Andalusian article : LOS
2 Pale : ASHY
3 Aspiring doc’s hurdle : MCAT
4 Avon product? : BARD
5 Fella : BRO
6 “Top Gun” org. : US NAVY
7 Naps, say : RESTS
8 Total ticket receipts : GATE
9 Pamplona pronoun : ESO
10 Hall of Famer whose #10 was retired by the Cubs : RON SANTO
11 Dismisses as insignificant, with “at” : SNEEZES …
12 “The Charge of the Light Brigade” setting : CRIMEAN WAR
13 Swiss skiing mecca : DAVOS
14 Tuckered out : SPENT
22 Cheese for cannoli : RICOTTA
23 “Wicked!” : RAD!
24 Hear : LEARN
25 Cup holders? : BRAS
26 Go the distance : LAST
27 Sports show warning message : UPSET ALERT
28 “R.I.P.” singer : RITA ORA
29 Trace, as of evidence : SHRED
31 Caught on video : TAPED
32 “A System of Logic” author, 1843 : MILL
33 They’re sometimes blocked on social media : EXES
35 Front : FORESIDE
38 Confused states : MUDDLES
39 Understand : SEE
41 Old explosive device : PETARD
42 Wall-assisted handstand, e.g. : ASANA
43 Tot’s ride : WAGON
44 Plains grazers : BISON
46 Fat-heavy diet : KETO
47 Hamburg honorific : FRAU
48 Porter on a piano : COLE
49 Sounds near the ears : CAWS
52 Hall of Fame tennis player __ Seixas : VIC
53 Front-page : BIG
54 Some French? : DES

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 2 Oct 21, Saturday”

  1. Ok. I had CAWS on 49D for a long time. But couldn’t get EDITORIALW to finish …
    So I went with EDITORIALLY. That gave me DYS for 54D..

    EDITORIAL ME says EGADS! and ARGH!

    1. @Anon Mike – LOL! I know the pain all too well. I fought that same SE corner and finally figured out that LCD as an answer for TV monitor was not working and had a sudden epiphany of FCC. That finally got me caws for 49 Down and the puzzle was complete.

    2. To Anon Mike:
      I relate…that was tricky, right? I had the down clues..caws and des(took h.s. French!), but had to look up what “editorial we” meant. “We” learned something new again! 🙂

  2. LAT: About 45 minutes and as usual for Saturday seemed undoable at first. Then with a start in the lower left corner words began to come. Had to guess an awful lot, and I answered some clues without knowing why until I read Bill’s explanation; 49 down (“Sounds near the ears”) being one of them. Tough puzzle!

  3. 29:52 2 lookups for MCAT and SHARONSTONE.

    The whole thing came very slowly until I was confronted with open wasteland in the northwest. I wanted the sandwich to be a shwarma or something similar, especially since I had a delicious LAMBROLLUP last Saturday. LAMBBURGER feels disappointing. I went back and forth between PLAY and BARD. The P&L clue had me in knots thinking about the rows, which are things like sales and R&D, instead of the columns, which are mostly previous years. I still managed to put in QTR before the final fix to YTD.

    Today I learned that FARRO is three ancient grains. They do make a tasty addition to a loaf of bread.

    1. Okay, so I guessed that the Ravens might be a Baltimore team (but only because there is a team called the “Baltimore Orioles” and I know that Edgar Allan Poe, who wrote a famous poem called “The Raven”, hailed from Baltimore, so it would make some sense to have a team called the “Baltimore Ravens”). I also guessed that they might play football and your “Sorry Nonny” told me that they’re probably playing a Denver team, so the “Denver Broncos” came to mind, but … I then used Google to make sure of all this, since, these days, other sports are sneaking into the picture (like basketball and soccer and lacrosse and competitive tiddly-winks 😜).

      (For some reason, it also occurred to me, in the middle of all this, that there is a team calling themselves the “Raptors”, but it turns out they’re in Toronto and they play basketball … which is too bad … I kind of like the image of the Ravens going up against the Raptors 🤪.)

      In any case, there’s absolutely no need to apologize to me, since I have no sense of connection to the Broncos whatsoever … 😜.

      Is there a sports team called the “Epsilons” … or the “Omicrons”? I suppose not … 😳.

  4. 31:03 with no errors or lookups. It was a very slow start – had trouble finding groups of answers that I knew. But, persistence and some deep cogitating paid off. The bottom started filling in first, with ASANA and SALADS filling in last.

    Filled in BURGERS before knowing it was LAMB (yogurt sauce?), and SEASON before knowing it was OSCAR, and so those downs gave me STONE which led to SHARON. Much of the puzzle was like that.

    Along the way, had to change DOZES>RESTS, AHINT>SHRED, HERR>FRAU.

  5. Too tough for me today; took 48:49 but I’d given up earlier and just filled and “check-grid”ed the rest of the way. Did okay mostly except for the NW and SE…oh! now I get “Sounds near the ears (of corn).” Got BEE obviously.

    And, the Giants bats went silent mostly, so it all comes down to tomorrow at high noon (+5 minutes)!!

  6. 49 D “Sounds near the ears” may be the most obtuse clue I have ever encountered. I’m surprised anyone got it.

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