LA Times Crossword 12 Apr 22, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Jesse Goldberg
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Treble Clef

The first word in the themed answers collectively give us a mnemonic pointing to the lines of a staff headed by a TREBLE CLEF, i.e. EVERY GOOD BOY DOES FINE:

  • 59A The first words of the answers to starred clues are a mnemonic for this musical symbol’s staff lines : TREBLE CLEF
  • 17A *__ day: on alternating days : EVERY OTHER
  • 25A *Aussie’s “Well done!” : GOOD ON YOU!
  • 31A *One with the motto “Be Prepared” : BOY SCOUT
  • 42A *Serves a prison sentence : DOES TIME
  • 47A *Part of the contract where gotchas might be found : FINE PRINT

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

Bill’s time: 4m 43s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Chesapeake shellfish : CRAB

A live blue crab gets its color from pigments in the shell, which predominantly result in a blue color. When a crab is cooked, all the pigments break down except for astaxanthin, a red pigment, which is why a crab turns up at the dinner table looking very red.

Chesapeake Bay is on the Atlantic coast and is surrounded by the states of Maryland and Virginia. Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the whole country, with over 150 rivers and streams draining into it, including the Potomac.

15 Band whose debut album “Dreamboat Annie” was released in the U.S. on Valentine’s Day in 1976 : HEART

Heart is a rock band from Seattle, Washington that was founded in the seventies and is still going strong. The band has had a changing lineup, except for sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson.

21 What a vocalist may drop for emphasis : MIC

A mic drop takes place when a performer has done particularly well and decides to celebrate by throwing or dropping the microphone to the floor. That doesn’t seem to happen at the performances I tend to frequent …

31 *One with the motto “Be Prepared” : BOY SCOUT

As every little boy (of my era) knows, the Scouting movement was founded by Lord Baden-Powell, in 1907. He also founded the Girl Guide and Girl Scout organization in 1910, along with this sister Agnes Baden-Powell. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) soon followed, also in 1910. The Boy Scouts motto is “Be Prepared”.

34 Trait carriers : GENES

A gene is a section of a chromosome that is responsible for a particular characteristic in an organism. For example, one gene may determine eye color and another balding pattern. We have two copies of each gene, one from each of our parents, with each copy known as an allele.

38 Brazenly obvious : BLATANT

Something blatant is flagrant, brazenly obvious. The term “blatant” was coined by Edmund Spenser in his 1596 poem “The Faerie Queene”. Spenser used it to describe a “thousand-tongued monster”, a metaphor for slander. It has been suggested that Spenser’s term was derived from the Latin verb “blatire” meaning “to babble”.

39 Morton condiment : SEA SALT

The lobbyists have done their job when it comes to the labeling of “sea salt”. In the US, sea salt doesn’t even have to come from the sea. The argument is that all salt came from the sea if you look back far enough. The politics of food; don’t get me started …

Morton Salt started doing business in 1848 in Chicago, and now is the largest producer of salt in North America. The product’s logo is the Morton Salt Girl, a young girl walking with an open umbrella in the rain, while scattering salt behind her from a cylinder. The product’s motto is “When it rains, it pours”, which originated in 1914 after Morton started to use magnesium carbonate as an additive to ensure that the salt poured freely.

43 Daily record, as on a ship : LOGBOOK

The word “logbook” dates back to the days when the captain of a ship kept a daily record of the vessel’s speed, progress etc. using a “log”. A log was a wooden float on a knotted line that was dropped overboard to measure speed through the water.

46 Almost on “E” : LOW

When gassing up a car, the fuel gauge might go from empty (E) to full (F).

50 Mantra syllables : OMS

“Om” is a sacred mystic word from the Hindu tradition. “Om” is sometimes used as a mantra, a focus for the mind in meditation.

54 “You’re the One That I Want” musical : GREASE

“Grease” was, and still is, a very successful stage musical with a blockbuster film version released in 1978. “You’re the One That I Want” is a song that was written especially for the movie, and it made it to number one in the charts, followed soon after by the “Grease” theme song.

59 The first words of the answers to starred clues are a mnemonic for this musical symbol’s staff lines : TREBLE CLEF

“Clef” is the French word for “key”. In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on a stave. The bass clef is also known as the F-clef, the alto clef is the C-clef, and the treble clef is the G-clef.

In the world of music, EGBDF are the notes on the lines of the treble clef. The notes are often remembered with a mnemonic such as “Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge”.

62 Back up, on a PC : UNDO

The original IBM Personal Computer is model number 5150, which was introduced to the world on August 12, 1981. The term “personal computer” was already in use, but the success of the IBM 5150 led to the term “PC” being used for all computer products compatible with the IBM platform.

63 Philadelphia NFLer : EAGLE

The Philadelphia Eagles were established in 1933 and joined the National Football League as a replacement for the bankrupt Frankford Yellow Jackets, also from Philadelphia. The “Eagle” name was inspired by the Blue Eagle insignia that was used by companies who were in compliance with the National Industrial Recovery Act that was central to President Roosevelt’s New Deal Program.

66 Struck down, biblically : SMOTE

To smite is to strike with a firm blow. The term “smite” can also mean “strike down and slay”.

67 Pantry pests : ANTS

The word “pantry” dates back to 1300, when it came into English from the Old French “panetrie” meaning a “bread room”. Bread is “pain” in French, and “panis” in Latin.

Down

1 “Believe” singer : CHER

When Cher recorded the 1998 song “Believe”, the audio engineers routinely corrected the sound of Cher’s voice to ensure that all notes were sung with perfect pitch (all singers “cheat”, it seems!). The software that does this pitch correction is called “Auto-Tune”. Then, for a bit of fun, the same engineers played with the Auto-Tune software and created a special effect in her voice that she liked so much, it was left in the final release. You can easily detect the strange effect if you listen to the song. The process is now called the “Cher Effect” and is used by other artists in their recordings.

4 Quotable Yogi : BERRA

Yogi Berra is regarded by many as the greatest catcher ever to play in Major League Baseball, and has to be America’s most celebrated “author” of malapropisms. Here are some greats:

  • It ain’t over till it’s over.
  • 90% of the game is half mental.
  • Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.
  • When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
  • It’s déjà vu all over again.
  • Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t go to yours.
  • A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.

10 Comedian Wong : ALI

Ali Wong is a stand-up comedian from San Francisco who is a protégé of Chris Rock. She made two very successful Netflix stand-up specials “Baby Cobra” and “Hard Knock Wife”. She also worked as a writer for the hit sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat”.

11 Escalade, casually : CADDY

The Cadillac Automobile Company was founded in 1902. The company was named for French explorer Antoine Laumet de la Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, who founded the city of Detroit in 1701. The brand name was taken over by GM in 1909. Over the next thirty years, GM did a great job establishing Cadillac as the luxury car one just had to own.

The Escalade is a full-size SUV that Cadillac introduced in 1999. The word “escalade” describes the act of scaling defensive walls with ladders during a siege.

12 Kids’ song refrain : E-I-E-I-O

There was an old American version of the English children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (E-I-E-I-O) that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the older US version goes “Old MacDougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o”.

13 Big blunder : SNAFU

“SNAFU” is an acronym standing for “situation normal: all fouled up” (well, that’s the polite version!). As one might perhaps imagine, the term developed in the US Army, during WWII.

18 Hankering : YEN

The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium.

22 Barrel-shaped drums : CONGAS

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.

25 Joint ailment : GOUT

Gout is caused by an elevation of the levels of uric acid in the blood. As a result of the high concentrations, the uric acid can crystallize out in tissue causing extreme discomfort. What we tend to call gout occurs when the crystals are deposited in the big toe. Gout is sometimes referred to as “the disease of kings” or “the rich man’s disease”, as it is associated with a traditionally opulent diet.

26 Uneaten morsel : ORT

Orts are small scraps of food left after a meal. “Ort” comes from Middle English, and originally described scraps left by animals.

27 A-bomb tryout : N-TEST

Nuclear test (N-test)

30 “An ounce of action is worth a __ of theory”: Emerson (probably) : TON

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an essayist and poet who was active in the mid-1800s. Most of the essays that Emerson wrote were composed originally as lectures and then revised for print. He is often referred to as “The Sage of Concord”, as Emerson spent much of his life in Concord, Massachusetts.

35 Place for a manicure : NAIL SALON

Back in the 1870s, a manicure was a person who cared for the hands and fingernails. Before the end of the 1800s, the term “manicure” was applied to the treatment itself. “Manicure” comes from the Latin “manus” meaning “hand” and “cura” meaning “care”.

36 “Tickle Me” Muppet : ELMO

The Tickle Me Elmo toy was a sensational fad in the late nineties, with stores raising prices dramatically above the recommended retail price to take advantage of demand. Reportedly, prices as high as $1500 were paid at the height of the craze. The toy’s manufacturer, Tyco, originally planned to market the “tickle” toy as Tickle Me Tasmanian Devil (after the “Looney Tunes” character), but then went with “Elmo” after they bought the rights to use “Sesame Street” names.

37 Hearty entrée : STEW

“Entrée” means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found the ordering of meals to be very confusing when I first came to America!

42 Cheadle who was Basher in “Ocean’s” films : DON

Don Cheadle is a Hollywood actor who is perhaps best known for his lead role in the 2004 drama “Hotel Rwanda” that deals with the harrowing subject of genocide. Since then, Cheadle has been very active in campaigns to end genocide in Darfur, Sudan.

“Ocean’s 11” is a great film from 1960, starring Frank Sinatra as Danny Ocean. The original storyline is updated for the excellent 2001 remake, with George Clooney playing the lead. In the 1960 movie, the love interest is a character called Beatrice Ocean, played by Angie Dickinson. In the 2001 version, the love interest gets a new name, Tess Ocean, and is played by Julia Roberts. The 2001 remake (titled “Ocean’s Eleven”, note the spelling) spawned two sequels: “Ocean’s Twelve” in 2004 and “Ocean’s Thirteen” in 2007.

45 Yoga-as-exercise namesake : BIKRAM

Bikram Yoga is a form of yoga used as exercise. An exercise class consists of a fixed sequence of 26 poses, and takes place in a room heated to 105°F with a humidity of 40%. The ambient conditions are intended to replicate the Indian climate. The program was devised in America by Calcutta-born yoga teacher Bikram Choudhury.

47 Roman place of assembly : FORUM

The Latin “forum” (plural “fora”) translates as “marketplace, town square”. “The Roman Forum” is the most famous example of such a space. The Forum at the heart of the city of Rome is surrounded by the ruins of several ancient government buildings, and has been referred to as the most celebrated meeting place in the world.

48 Foolish : INANE

Our word “inane” meaning “silly, lacking substance” comes from the Latin “inanitis” meaning “empty space”.

51 Muslim holy city : MECCA

Mecca is in the Makkah province of Saudi Arabia. It was the birthplace of Muhammad and is the holiest city in Islam. Every year several million Muslims perform the Hajj, a holy pilgrimage to Mecca.

56 Young newts : EFTS

Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

58 Dawn goddess : EOS

In Greek mythology, Eos was the goddess of the dawn who lived at the edge of the ocean. Eos would wake each morning to welcome her brother Helios the sun. The Roman equivalent of Eos was Aurora. Rather delightfully, Homer referred to Eos as “rosy-fingered dawn” in both “Iliad” and “Odyssey”.

61 Three-letter sandwich : BLT

The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Chesapeake shellfish : CRAB
5 Swings at a fly : SWATS
10 Perfect tennis serves : ACES
14 Can’t stand : HATE
15 Band whose debut album “Dreamboat Annie” was released in the U.S. on Valentine’s Day in 1976 : HEART
16 Reclined : LAIN
17 *__ day: on alternating days : EVERY OTHER
19 Thought : IDEA
20 Raised, as kids : REARED
21 What a vocalist may drop for emphasis : MIC
23 “What’s the __?”: “So what?” : DIF
24 Pallid : WAN
25 *Aussie’s “Well done!” : GOOD ON YOU!
28 Historic period : ERA
30 Deluge : TORRENT
31 *One with the motto “Be Prepared” : BOY SCOUT
34 Trait carriers : GENES
38 Brazenly obvious : BLATANT
39 Morton condiment : SEA SALT
41 Determined to have : SET ON
42 *Serves a prison sentence : DOES TIME
43 Daily record, as on a ship : LOGBOOK
46 Almost on “E” : LOW
47 *Part of the contract where gotchas might be found : FINE PRINT
50 Mantra syllables : OMS
52 United : ONE
53 Talk incessantly : YAK
54 “You’re the One That I Want” musical : GREASE
57 Bloody, as steak : RARE
59 The first words of the answers to starred clues are a mnemonic for this musical symbol’s staff lines : TREBLE CLEF
62 Back up, on a PC : UNDO
63 Philadelphia NFLer : EAGLE
64 Winter wear : COAT
65 Extreme disorder : MESS
66 Struck down, biblically : SMOTE
67 Pantry pests : ANTS

Down

1 “Believe” singer : CHER
2 “Must-see” review : RAVE
3 Eroded : ATE AWAY AT
4 Quotable Yogi : BERRA
5 Not barefoot : SHOD
6 Drenched, e.g. : WET
7 “That feels good” : AAH
8 Seismic event : TREMOR
9 Long step : STRIDE
10 Comedian Wong : ALI
11 Escalade, casually : CADDY
12 Kids’ song refrain : E-I-E-I-O
13 Big blunder : SNAFU
18 Hankering : YEN
22 Barrel-shaped drums : CONGAS
25 Joint ailment : GOUT
26 Uneaten morsel : ORT
27 A-bomb tryout : N-TEST
28 Recedes to the sea : EBBS
29 Part in a play : ROLE
30 “An ounce of action is worth a __ of theory”: Emerson (probably) : TON
32 Pilfered : STOLE
33 Suspended cover above a bed : CANOPY
35 Place for a manicure : NAIL SALON
36 “Tickle Me” Muppet : ELMO
37 Hearty entrée : STEW
39 Chimney sweep’s target : SOOT
40 “A mouse!” : EEK!
42 Cheadle who was Basher in “Ocean’s” films : DON
44 Fireplace inserts : GRATES
45 Yoga-as-exercise namesake : BIKRAM
47 Roman place of assembly : FORUM
48 Foolish : INANE
49 Brainiacs, maybe : NERDS
50 Valuable deposit : ORE
51 Muslim holy city : MECCA
54 Joy : GLEE
55 Usher’s offering : SEAT
56 Young newts : EFTS
58 Dawn goddess : EOS
60 Alter __ : EGO
61 Three-letter sandwich : BLT

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 12 Apr 22, Tuesday”

  1. 5:05, no errors.

    @John
    As wasn’t explained in Bill’s writeup, the mnemonic is used to remember the notes on a piece of sheet music. If you look at a treble clef staff (the bars that start with the weird S/dollar sign shaped thing), the notes on the bars from bottom to top are E, G, B, D, and F. Hence, the first words in the theme answers.

    It’s well to note there’s also mnemonics for between the bars, as well as the bass clef (the swirly line with the two dots).

  2. Treble clef spaces: FACE=face

    Bass clef lines: GBDFA=Good boys deserve fudge always

    Bass clef spaces: ACEG= All cows eat grass

    At least that’s how I learned them. 🙂

  3. 6:38 – no cheats/errors.

    I thought it was one of the easier LAX puzzles in a long time, but I got hung up on ALI/LAIN. Didn’t know Wong and LAIN didn’t come until later.

    Sigh ….

    BTW: ?GOODONYOU?

    Be Well.

  4. 8:32 – no errors, lookups, or revisions.

    Recognizable theme from my school band days. 🙂 @Anonymous wrote the same mnemonics that I learned.

    I would need two Fs for “What’s the diff?”

  5. @Dirk …

    I drink a lot of tea. I sweeten it with “gently strained” honey that I buy in 48-ounce plastic containers from a Colorado company called the “Ambrosia Honey Co.” and I’ve always been very pleased with the product. Recently, I discovered that I could buy the same containers for a couple of dollars less from Walmart instead of King Soopers, so I bought a couple of them. All seemed well, but … the honey in at least one of the new containers wants to crystallize. Okay, so … it happens. I put a couple of inches of water in a seven-inch-deep pot, heat it to boiling, turn off the heat, insert the container of honey, and cover the pot. After the pot cools, the honey is back to normal, so I put it back on the shelf in the pantry … and … a few days later, it’s mostly crystallized again. I’d very much appreciate any observations you might have about this … 🤨.

    1. I checked “Ambrosia Honey Co.” and even though they’re a Colorado company, they collect honey from all over the US. What governs the crystallization process is the ratio of fructose to glucose…more glucose – quicker crystallization. But other factors contribute as well. Here is a fact sheet that explains it in detail: https://www.qsi-q3.com/fact-sheet-crystallization/

      That said, it really shouldn’t re-crystallize that quickly, at least not in my experience. It seems that your honey is in some strange location in the phase chart with regards to glucose/fructose ratio and glucose/water ratio.

      You also don’t really need to re-liquefy your honey, since it still works just fine the way it is; it’ll melt in your hot tea or coffee just fine. When I do re-liquefy honey, I usually put my glass jar in a pot of the hottest water I can get from the faucet and then turn the heat on as low as I can. Then just check it after 5-10 minutes, monitoring the process, and remove it to the counter when done. I would not do this with plastic containers, which I would never buy in the first place.

  6. As a long time solver and not very good I wonder why you do not explain all the answers such as 9 down blithe and 11 down steep. I did not understand the query or the answer

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