LA Times Crossword 9 Oct 21, Saturday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Kyle Dolan
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 10m 04s

Bill’s errors: 3

  • WEDGE (hedge)
  • SIMIAN (simiam!!!!!!!!!!)
  • WARN (harm!!!)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Feat rarely but only accomplished from home : GRAND SLAM

In baseball, a grand slam is a home run hit with runners on all three bases, leading to a score of four runs.

16 Ancient public space : AGORA

In early Greece, an agora was a place of assembly. The assemblies held there were often quite formal, perhaps for the reading of a proclamation. Later in Greek history, things became less formal as the agora evolved into a marketplace. Our contemporary word “agoraphobia” comes from these agorae, in the sense that an agoraphobe has a fear of open spaces, a fear of “public meeting places”.

17 Uniform tone : OLIVE DRAB

Olive drab is a dull, light brown color. The term “drab” once described a dull, light brown color. We probably most associate olive drab with the color of uniforms worn by US soldiers during WWII. Many GIs referred to those uniforms as “ODs”, a reference to the olive drab color.

18 “Gotcha” : ROGER

The term “roger”, meaning “yes” or “acknowledged”, comes from the world of radiotelephony. The British military used a phonetic alphabet in the fifties that included “Roger” to represent the letter “R”. As such, it became customary to say “Roger” when acknowledging a message, with R (Roger) standing for “received”.

19 Assent in Asturias : SI SI

The Principality of Asturias is part of Spain, and is located on the northern coast of the country. The principal cities of Asturias are the capital Oviedo, the large seaport Gijón, and the industrial town of Avilés.

20 Ape : SIMIAN

“Simian” means “pertaining to monkeys or apes”, from the Latin word “simia” meaning “ape”.

22 Shooting technique : PAN

To “pan” a camera is to move in such a way as to create a “panoramic” effect, to sweep from one side of a scene to another.

23 Immune system agent : T CELL

T cells are a group of white blood cells that are essential components of the body’s immune system. T cells are so called because they mature in the thymus, a specialized organ found in the chest.

26 “I __ a traveller … “: Shelley’s “Ozymandias” : MET

“Ozymandias” is a sonnet written by Percy Bysshe Shelley that was first published in 1818:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

27 Equivalent of some crying emojis : LOL

Laugh out loud (LOL)

29 Cold front sites? : IGLOOS

The Inuit word for “house” is “iglu”, which we usually write as “igloo”. The Greenlandic (yes, that’s a language) word for “house” is very similar, namely “igdlo”. The walls of igloos are tremendous insulators, due to the air pockets in the blocks of snow.

36 Penn of “Harold & Kumar” films : KAL

Indian-American actor Kal Penn made a name for himself in the “Harold & Kumar” series of comedy films. These so-called “stoner comedies” are not my cup of tea, but I enjoyed him playing his more mainstream roles on TV’s “House” and “24”. He left the world of acting when President Obama won the 2008 election to work as an Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement (although he did leave the White House briefly to film the “Harold & Kumar” sequel).

37 Like basset hounds : SAD-EYED

The basset hound wouldn’t be my favorite breed of dog, to be honest. Basset hounds have a great sense of smell with an ability to track a scent that is second only to that of the bloodhound. The name “basset” comes from the French word for “rather low”, a reference to the dog’s short legs.

39 Thai language : LAO

Lao is the official language of Laos. Lao is also spoken in the northeast of Thailand, but there the language is known as Isan.

42 Eisenhower Era bombs? : EDSELS

The Edsel brand of automobile was named for Edsel Ford, son of Henry. Sadly, the name “Edsel” has become synonymous with “failure”, which was no fault of Edsel himself who had died several years before the Edsel line was introduced. When the Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel on 4 September 1957, Ford proclaimed the day to be “E Day”.

The US Interstate System is more correctly known as the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, a nod to President Eisenhower who championed the construction. The President had come to recognise the value of the German autobahn system in his experiences during WWII, and resolved to give the US a similar infrastructure. In real terms, the US Interstate construction project is said to have been the largest public works project since the Pyramids of Egypt.

44 He collaborated with Rihanna in “Love the Way You Lie” : EMINEM

“Love the Way You Lie” is a 2010 song released by Eminem and featuring Rihanna. The song was very successful in the charts, and spawned a sequel. “Love the Way You Lie (Part II)” was released later in 2010, this time with Rihanna getting the top billing, with Eminem “featuring”.

45 Called before : NEE

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”. The term “née” is mainly used in English when referring to a married woman’s birth name, assuming that she has adopted her husband’s name, e.g. Michelle Obama née Robinson, Melania Trump née Knavs, and Jill Biden née Jacobs.

47 Anjou relative : BOSC

Bosc is a cultivar of the European pear that is grown mainly in the northwest of the United States. It is named for French horticulturist Louis Bosc. The cultivar originated in Belgium or France in the early 19th century. The Bosc is that pear with a skin the color of a potato, with a long neck.

The Anjou pear is a cultivar of the European Pear. The Anjou is thought to have originated in Belgium or France (Anjou is a province in the Loire Valley of western France).

54 Big name in luxury cars : BMW

The initialism “BMW” stands for “Bayerische Motoren Werke”, which translates into Bavarian Motor Works. BMW was making aircraft engines during WWI, but had to cease that activity according to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The company then started making motorcycles, and moved into automobile production starting in 1928. BMW moved back into aircraft engine manufacturing during the build-up of the Luftwaffe prior to WWII.

55 Flower flow : NECTAR

The sugary liquid known as nectar is produced by plants to attract animals needed for the plant’s survival. The classic example is the nectar produced in flowers that attracts insects needed to facilitate pollination. Some plants produce nectar in leaves that attracts favorable insects that in turn prey on insects that can harm the plants.

58 Remoulade cousin : AIOLI

To the purist, especially in Provence in the South of France, aioli is prepared just by grinding garlic with olive oil. However, other ingredients are often added to the mix, particularly egg yolks.

A remoulade is a mayonnaise-based sauce that is similar to tartar sauce. Classic French rémoulade includes vinegar, mustard, shallots, capers, chopped pickles and fresh herbs. Yum …

63 Imaginary axe : AIR GUITAR

The concept of playing an imaginary electric guitar (“air guitar”) is so popular that there are several championship competitions held, including a world championship since 1996. Crazy …

In the world of music, “axe” is a slang term describing a musical instrument, especially a guitar or horn.

65 Shade on a field : TRASH TALK

To throw shade is to show disrespect to someone publicly using insults or criticisms.

Down

1 Suddenly stop returning texts, say : GHOST

A rather insensitive person might break off a relationship simply by cutting off all communication with his or her partner, without any warning. Such a move is referred to as “ghosting” in modern parlance, particularly when the relationship relies heavily on online interaction.

2 Car phone, for one : RELIC

A relic is something that has survived from the past, reminding us of that past.

4 Renowned English conductor Sir __ Marriner : NEVILLE

Neville Marriner was a violinist and conductor from England. He also founded the world-famous Academy of St Martin in the Fields chamber orchestra, in London in 1959.

12 Lab lovers, e.g. : DOG PEOPLE

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”.

13 Image on a dollar bill : GREAT SEAL

The Great Seal of the United States is a device used to authenticate some US federal documents. The obverse (front) of the Great Seal is used as the coat of arms of the US, and is a design that can be seen on all American passports.

The nation’s first president, George Washington, is on the US one-dollar bills produced today. When the original one-dollar bill was issued in 1863, it featured a portrait of Salmon P. Chase, President Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of the Treasury.

21 Soul singer inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 : AL GREEN

Al Green is a gospel and soul music singer. Green was born in Arkansas, where he started out as a gospel singer and moved into R&B. In 1974, he was assaulted by a girlfriend who burned him badly on much of his body by pouring boiling grits over him (and then she committed suicide). The incident changed Green’s life and he turned to the church, becoming a pastor in Memphis in 1976. He continued to record music, but never really enjoyed the same success that he had in the early seventies with hits like “Let’s Stay Together” and “I’m Still In Love With You”.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame can be visited on the shores of Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ohio. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was created in 1983 and started inducting artists in 1986. The Foundation didn’t get a home until the museum was dedicated in Cleveland in 1995. I had the great privilege of visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame some years ago and really enjoyed myself. The magnificent building was designed by famed architect I. M. Pei.

31 Wanted letters : AKA

Also known as (aka)

32 Logitech products : LASER MICE

The computer mouse was invented at the Stanford Research Institute in 1963, by one Douglas Engelbart. Sadly for him, his patent ran out before mice became standard equipment on computers, so he never made any money from his amazing invention.

Most of Logitech’s products are computer peripherals such as keyboards, mice, microphones and webcams. Logitech is a Swiss company, founded in 1981 by two Stanford graduates and a former Olivetti engineer.

33 Material for Quechua weavers : LLAMA WOOL

The wool from a llama is much softer than that from a sheep, and it is also free from lanolin.

Quechua was the Native-American language adopted by the Incan Empire and favored over other dialects. Today, Quechua is one of the official languages in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, alongside Spanish.

34 One out of 100: Abbr. : 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.

38 Among presidents, Jackson was the first : DEMOCRAT

The modern-day Democratic Party was founded in 1828, when supporters of Andrew Jackson broke away from the former Democratic-Republican Party during the presidency of John Quincy Adams. That date makes the Democratic Party the oldest voter-based political party in the world. Andrew Jackson became the first Democratic US president, in 1829.

Like many of the earlier US presidents, Andrew Jackson was a career military man. Jackson distinguished himself as commander of American forces during the War of 1812, particularly in the defense of New Orleans. He had a reputation of being fair to his troops, but strict. It was during this time that he was described as “tough as old hickory”, giving rise to the nickname “Old Hickory” that stuck with him for life.

41 Boodles or Booth’s : GIN

Boodles British Gin was introduced in 1845, and was named for the Boodle’s gentlemen’s club in London. Winston Churchill was a member of the club, and Boodles was purportedly his favorite brand.

Booth’s Gin was introduced in 1740, and ceased production in 2017. Supposedly, it was a favorite gin of Queen Elizabeth II, and her mom Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

49 “It Happened One Night” director : CAPRA

I can’t tell you how many of Frank Capra’s movies are on my list of all-time favorites. He directed such classics as “It Happened One Night”, “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town”, “Lost Horizon”, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”, “Meet John Doe”, “Arsenic and Old Lace” and the holiday favorite “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Capra was the first person to win three directorial Oscars: for “It Happened One Night”, “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” and “You Can’t Take It With You”. Capra also did his bit during WWII, enlisting just a few days after Pearl Harbor was attacked. Given his great talent, and the fact that he enlisted at the relatively advanced age of 44, the US Army put him to work directing 11 documentary war films in the “Why We Fight” series, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.

“It Happened One Night” is a favorite film of mine, a 1934 romantic comedy starring Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable, and directed by Frank Capra. It was the first movie to win all five of the top Oscars. Only two other films have achieved that feat since then: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975), and “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991). “It Happened One Night” has one of the sexiest scenes in movies (I think), where Claudette Colbert shows a little leg in order to hitch a ride for her and Gable.

51 Indian novelist Desai : ANITA

Anita Desai is an Indian novelist whose list of works includes “In Custody”, which was made into a 1993 film of the same name.

53 Dance provocatively : TWERK

Twerking is a dancing move in which someone (usually a woman) shakes her hips up and down causing a lot of “wobbling”. It’s possible that “twerk” is a portmanteau of “twist” and “jerk”. The term may have been coined back in the early 2000s with the song “Whistle While You Twurk” released by the Ying Yang Twins. Twerking became a real phenomenon in 2013 when Miley Cyrus posted a video of herself twerking in a unicorn suit to the 2011 song “Wop” by J. Dash. That video went viral on YouTube, amassing over 4 million views in no time at all.

55 Pedants’ pickings : NITS

A pedant is a person “who trumpets minor points of learning”, a person who tends to nit-pick. “Pedant” comes via Middle French from the Italian word “pedante” meaning “teacher”.

61 [Facepalm] : [DUH]

A facepalm is the gesture made by lowering one’s face into the palm of one’s hand or hands. A facepalm can be an expression of surprise perhaps, frustration or embarrassment. A related gesture with the same meaning is the headdesk, the gentle striking of the forehead against a desk or a wall perhaps.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Feat rarely but only accomplished from home : GRAND SLAM
10 Divisive element : WEDGE
15 Passing comment? : HERE YOU GO
16 Ancient public space : AGORA
17 Uniform tone : OLIVE DRAB
18 “Gotcha” : ROGER
19 Assent in Asturias : SI SI
20 Ape : SIMIAN
22 Shooting technique : PAN
23 Immune system agent : T CELL
25 Low spot : DELL
26 “I __ a traveller … “: Shelley’s “Ozymandias” : MET
27 Equivalent of some crying emojis : LOL
29 Cold front sites? : IGLOOS
31 Claim : ALLEGE
34 Low on cash, say : STRAPPED
36 Penn of “Harold & Kumar” films : KAL
37 Like basset hounds : SAD-EYED
39 Thai language : LAO
40 Without question : AS A GIVEN
42 Eisenhower Era bombs? : EDSELS
44 He collaborated with Rihanna in “Love the Way You Lie” : EMINEM
45 Called before : NEE
46 Directed : RAN
47 Anjou relative : BOSC
50 Jump, maybe : REACT
54 Big name in luxury cars : BMW
55 Flower flow : NECTAR
57 Wet blanket : SNOW
58 Remoulade cousin : AIOLI
60 In quick succession : RAPID-FIRE
62 Move quickly : SCOOT
63 Imaginary axe : AIR GUITAR
64 Makes it better : HELPS
65 Shade on a field : TRASH TALK

Down

1 Suddenly stop returning texts, say : GHOST
2 Car phone, for one : RELIC
3 Come up : ARISE
4 Renowned English conductor Sir __ Marriner : NEVILLE
5 Vat contents : DYE
6 Rolls out the green carpet on? : SODS
7 Sensational : LURID
8 Best effort : A-GAME
9 Upward __ : MOBILITY
10 Bark or bite : WARN
11 __ massage : EGO
12 Lab lovers, e.g. : DOG PEOPLE
13 Image on a dollar bill : GREAT SEAL
14 Bring in : EARN
21 Soul singer inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 : AL GREEN
24 Uses a password : LOGS IN
26 Cleaning tool : MOP
28 Do not disturb : LEAVE BE
30 Roofer’s need : LADDER
31 Wanted letters : AKA
32 Logitech products : LASER MICE
33 Material for Quechua weavers : LLAMA WOOL
34 One out of 100: Abbr. : SEN
35 How-to list heading : DOS
38 Among presidents, Jackson was the first : DEMOCRAT
41 Boodles or Booth’s : GIN
43 Deems proper : SEES FIT
48 Help in getting to the next level? : STAIR
49 “It Happened One Night” director : CAPRA
51 Indian novelist Desai : ANITA
52 Reddish pink : CORAL
53 Dance provocatively : TWERK
54 Big party : BASH
55 Pedants’ pickings : NITS
56 Some convoys have big ones : RIGS
59 Hack : LOP
61 [Facepalm] : [DUH]

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 9 Oct 21, Saturday”

  1. LAT: Finished without error after a long struggle. Got some of the long ones just because they fit the space and sounded good, not because I understood. For example, I got “trash talk” only with the help of the crosses, not because I knew it was possibly “shade on a field.” Very difficult but enjoyable puzzle.

  2. 33:03
    3 errors, all in ASAGIVEN.
    Boodles and Booth’s were completely meaningless to me. Nor did the meaning of 100 come to me. And LOGSIN/LOGSON — hoo boy.

    Generally a slog, biggest obstacles were needing to change DOGOWNERS->DOGPEOPLE and LABELMICS->LASERMICE. I’m even using a Logitech wireless mouse and keyboard right now!

  3. I found Kyle Dolan’s puzzle to be solid, extraordinarily intelligent Saturday fare. One reason: the unusually low number (only about 15!) of PPPs* (but including one that’s as bad as any three others combined: 41D, to avoid the spoiler.) Enjoyable solve.

    * Products, Places, People and other proper nouns

  4. 6:24, no errors. Kinda amazed between that one and the other Saturday ones I did (29, 37 & 73 minutes). Not counting the WSJ, which was a PR for me for all 21x21s not constructed by Birnholz.

    @Lou lu
    That’s something experience helps on. Gets easier to figure out you’re on a wrong path and those resolve quicker. I’m a little loathe to tear out things I’m relatively sure on while I’m doing one of these, so it probably contributes pretty well to some of the slow times I do get. I definitely am reminded that I’m not that good at these several times a week.

  5. So I blow thru the 1st half of the puzzle in about 1:30 and figure “WOW, this may be the first Saturday I ever did 100% with no errors/lookups.

    28:22 – then reality set in on the second half. At least 8 letters asked for, enough for a technical DNF …

    There’s always Monday.

    Note to Dodger fans: Stay with them there’s always tomorrow (usually). You could be from New Jersey and be a Yankee fan – now that’s painful. George Steinbrenner’s kid Hal is unwilling to spend (enough), unlike the Dodgers new owners who said “the heck with the salary cap, we want to win!”.

    Be Well

  6. During the Cold War, it’s told that Eisenhower revamped our highway system to made sure that there were plenty of long, straight lengths of highway to serve as emergency landing strips in the event that air fields were destroyed during WWIII. Strange but true.

  7. 22 mins 38 sec, and NO ERRORS!!! This completes my first PERFECT WEEK this year!!! All 7 grids with not a single blemish. Better late than never, I suppose, but I was surely lamenting the fact that I had nothing but “skid mark weeks” on my tracking spreadsheet this late in the year. Nice to see the “purple patch” back on my ‘scoresheet’!!!

    1. Nice job, Allen. Nothing like success to breed more of it.

      I finally finished this grid but the ink overs were making the puzzle look like a Jackson Pollock painting done with a high velocity spray gun…

  8. @Bill, when I was in the USAF in the late 1970s olive was a dull green with no tan. Think about the color of some green olives. BTW for those who bemoan the quick times of some solvers I don’t pay attention to their times since it takes me longer to read the clues than their solve times.

  9. Tricky Saturday for me; took 50:50 with 4 errors down in the SW corner. Took the wrong turn putting in HEalS and my apparent inability to spell AoiLI. Also had …hair before …WOOL which made me change BMW to B__ for awhile. Did a “check-grid” to confirm hair was wrong and then I managed to get the banner shortly thereafter.

    Good game to the Dodgers tonight…we will see!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.