LA Times Crossword 4 Apr 22, Monday

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Constructed by: Chris Sablich
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Ball to Bull

Themed answers start with BxLL, where x represents the five vowels A through U:

  • 17A Rolling friction-reducing part : BALL BEARING
  • 24A Type of pants with a flared leg : BELL-BOTTOM
  • 38A “The Science Guy” : BILL NYE
  • 52A Cotton-picking pest : BOLL WEEVIL
  • 63A Stubborn but fun-loving dog breed : BULL TERRIER

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

Bill’s time: 5m 33s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • BOLL WEEVIL (boll weavil!)
  • LANE (Lana!!)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16 Tina Turner’s onetime partner : IKE

Musician Ike Turner is perhaps best known for the work in the sixties and seventies with then-wife Tina Turner. Turner met his future wife on the local club circuit in St. Louis in the mid-fifties, and together they formed the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Despite all of his success, Ike’s life went downhill in the eighties and nineties, largely due to addiction to cocaine and crack. He served time in jail, and Tina later described episodes of domestic abuse in her autobiography “I, Tina”. Ike was diagnosed with emphysema in 2005, which left him very weak and in need of a constant supply of oxygen. He passed away in 2007 due to a cocaine overdose.

23 Condo management gp. : HOA

Homeowner’s association (HOA)

The terms “condominium” and “apartment” tend to describe the same type of residential property, namely a private living space with facilities shared with others residing in the same building or complex. The difference is that a condominium is usually owned, and an apartment is rented. At least that’s how it is in the US. The word “condominium” comes from the Latin “com-” (together) and “dominum” (right of ownership).

24 Type of pants with a flared leg : BELL-BOTTOM

Bell-bottom pants have legs that flare out from the knees downwards. It is common knowledge that bell-bottoms originated as a style worn by sailors. They were standard uniform wear in the British Royal Navy starting in the mid-19th century. American sailors, however, were wearing bell-bottoms in the very early 1800s. The wide pant leg allows bell-bottoms to double as a life-saving device. Sailors are trained to remove the pants (without the need to remove shoes), tie a knot in the end of each leg, and then inflate the pants with air so that they can be used to aid flotation.

29 Flag maker Betsy : ROSS

Legend has it that Betsy Ross made the first American flag for General George Washington. However, this story only surfaced during the centennial celebrations of 1876, and although Betsy Ross was indeed one of several flag makers in Philadelphia in the days of George Washington, sadly there’s no definitive evidence that Ross provided that first Stars and Stripes.

31 Southern California Air Force base : EDWARDS

Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) is in a desert area in Southern California. Edwards is a flight test center for the Air Force, and it was here that Chuck Yeager famously broke the sound barrier for the first time. And of course, Edwards was used for many landings of the Space Shuttle.

32 Indy competitor : RACER

The Indianapolis 500 race is held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. The race is run around a 2.5 mile oval, hence requiring 200 laps for completion. The first Indy 500 race was held on Memorial Day in 1911. The winner that day was one Ray Harroun. Harroun had seen someone using a rear view mirror on a horse-drawn vehicle, and decided to fit one on his Marmon “Wasp” motor car. Supposedly, that was the first ever use of a rear-view mirror on a motor vehicle.

37 Punk rock offshoot : EMO

“Emo” is short for “emotional hardcore”.

38 “The Science Guy” : BILL NYE

That would be “Bill Nye the Science Guy”. Bill’s show ran on PBS for four years, from 1993-97.

42 WWII command for 16-Across : ETO
(16A Tina Turner’s onetime partner : IKE)

General Dwight D. Eisenhower (“Ike”) was in command of the European Theater of Operations (ETO) during WWII. If you’re a WWII buff like me, then I recommend you take a look at a great, made-for-TV movie starring Tom Selleck as Eisenhower called “Ike: Countdown to D-Day” that came out in 2004.

46 Juárez coins : PESOS

The peso is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

The Mexican city sitting across the border from El Paso is more correctly called Ciudad Juárez. Juárez used to be called El Paso del Norte (the North Pass). It was to be the younger settlement on the northern side of the Rio Grande which would retain the “El Paso” name.

52 Cotton-picking pest : BOLL WEEVIL

A weevil is a small beetle known for the damage that it can do to crops. The boll weevil damages cotton plants by laying eggs inside cotton bolls. The young weevils then eat their way out. Some weevils have snouts that are as long as their body.

54 Place to crash : PAD

Back in the 16th century a pad was a bundle of straw to lie on. “Pad” came to mean “place for sleeping” in the early 1700s. The term was revitalized in the hippie era.

57 Simpson trial judge Lance : ITO

Judge Lance Ito came in for a lot of criticism for his handling of the 1995 O.J. Simpson murder trial. The lead prosecutor in that trial was Marcia Clark, you might recall. I read the book that Clark wrote about the trial called “Without a Doubt”, and she pointed out one trait of Judge Ito that I think is quite telling. Ito would almost always refer to the prosecutor as “Marcia”, while addressing the men on both sides of the case with the honorific “Mister”.

63 Stubborn but fun-loving dog breed : BULL TERRIER

Bull terriers do have uniquely-shaped heads, and are the only dogs with triangular eyes. Like all pure-bred dogs, they have their health challenges. More than 20% of white bull terriers are born deaf. One of the more famous bull terriers is Bill Sikes’ dog Bull’s-eye, in Charles Dickens’ novel “Oliver Twist”.

66 “__ Misérables” : LES

Victor Hugo’s famous 1862 novel “Les Misérables” has been translated into English several times. However, the title is usually left in the original French as a successful translation of “les misérables” seems to be elusive. Some suggestions for an English title are “The Wretched”, “The Victims” and “The Dispossessed”. The novel follows the lives of several characters including an ex-convict Jean Valjean, a fanatic police inspector Javert, a beautiful prostitute Fantine, and Fantine’s illegitimate daughter Cosette.

70 Trunk of the body : TORSO

“Torso” (plural “torsi”) is an Italian word meaning the “trunk of a statue”, and is a term that we imported into English.

Down

1 Some Wall St. traders : ARBS

An arbitrageur (arb.) is someone one who profits from the purchase of securities in one market and the subsequent sale in another, by taking advantage of price discrepancies across markets.

3 Inuit home : IGLOO

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.

The Inuit people live in the Arctic, in parts of the US, Russia, Greenland and Canada.

4 Online viruses and such : MALWARE

Malware is software and program code that is created to intentionally disrupt and exploit computer systems. Viruses, worms, trojan horses and spyware are all covered by the term. “Malware” is short for “malicious software”.

5 Idris of “The Wire” : ELBA

English actor Idris Elba plays the drug lord Stringer Bell in the marvelous HBO drama series “The Wire”, and played the title character in the 2013 film “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”. Off the screen, Elba occasionally appears as a disk jockey using the name “DJ Big Driis”.

6 Oil-bearing rocks : SHALES

Shale oil can be extracted from oil shale (!), although the extraction process is more expensive than that used to produce crude oil.

7 WordPerfect producer : COREL

WordPerfect is a word processing application that was very popular in the eighties and nineties, after being developed at Brigham Young University in the seventies. The application’s downfall came with a failed release for Microsoft Windows, at which time Microsoft Word was released. Word pushed WordPress out of the market in short order.

8 Apt rhyme for sí : OUI

The English word “yes” is “sí” in Spanish and “oui” in French.

9 Admiral’s org. : USN

US Navy (USN)

11 Forest cone droppers : PINE TREES

The original use of the word “pineapple” was to describe what we now call a pine cone, the reproductive organ of a conifer tree. The term “pineapple” was then used by Europeans when they first encountered the tropical fruit, because it looked like a large pine cone.

12 Luau strings : UKE

The ukulele (uke) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

The Hawaiian party or feast known as a “luau” really dates back to 1819, when King Kamehameha II removed religious laws that governed the eating of meals. These laws called for women and men to eat separately. At the same time as he changed the laws, the king initiated the luau tradition by symbolically eating with the women who moved in his circle.

18 Goes out, as the tide : EBBS

Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

22 Salt Lake state : UTAH

The Great Salt Lake in Utah is extremely shallow, and so the area of the lake fluctuates greatly with the changing volume of water. Back in 1963 the lake shrunk to 950 square miles, whereas in 1988 the area was measured at a whopping 3,300 square miles.

25 Boxer Spinks : LEON

Leon Spinks was a professional boxer and former heavyweight champion. Spinks won the title in 1978 in an upset, defeating Muhammad Ali in a split decision. That championship win was only his eighth professional fight.

26 Person’s yearly celebration, for short : B-DAY

Birthday (b-day)

27 “__ Joy”: component of Beethoven’s Ninth : ODE TO

“Ode to Joy” is a poem written in 1785 by German poet Friedrich Schiller. Famously, Ludwig van Beethoven used “Ode to Joy” in the fourth movement of his Ninth “Choral” Symphony that was first performed in 1824.

Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9” has to be one of the most recognizable pieces of music in the classical repertoire. “Ode to Joy”, based on the final movement of the work, is now the anthem of the European Union. If you’d like to see a fictional tale that explores Beethoven’s life at the time he was writing the “Ninth Symphony”, I highly recommend you take a look at the 2006 movie “Copying Beethoven”. Ed Harris plays Beethoven, and the soundtrack is superb.

28 Windows predecessor : MS-DOS

MS-DOS (short for “Microsoft Disk Operating System”) was the main operating system used by IBM-compatible PCs in the eighties and for much of the nineties. Microsoft introduced the Windows operating environment in 1985 to sit above MS-DOS as a graphical user interface (GUI). That move was made in response to the success of Apple’s GUI released with the Lisa and Macintosh platforms. A court case ensued, one that was eventually settled in court in favor of Microsoft.

32 Provide new audio for : REDUB

If voices needed to be altered on the soundtrack of a film, that means double the work as there needs to be a re-recording. “Dub” is short for “double”, and is a term we’ve been using since the late 1920s. The term has been extended to describe the adding of sound to an otherwise silent film or tape.

33 Type of acid in proteins : AMINO

Proteins are synthesized in the body from amino acids, which are linked together in specific sequences that are determined by the genetic code. The language of the code is a sequence of nucleotides. The nucleotides are arranged in groups of three called “codons”, with each codon determining a specific amino acid.

35 Sandwich initials : BLT

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

40 Daily Planet colleague of Kent and Olsen : LANE

Lois Lane has been the love interest of Superman/Clark Kent since the comic series was first published in 1938. Lois and Clark both work for the big newspaper in the city of Metropolis called “The Daily Planet”. The couple finally got hitched in the comics (and on television’s “Lois and Clark”) in 1996. One has to wonder how challenging the crossword is in “The Daily Planet” …

Superman’s comic book creators gave their title character’s alter-ego the name “Clark Kent” by melding the names of Clark Gable and Kent Taylor, two leading men of the cinema at the time Superman was created. However, they modeled Clark’s character more on the silent film actor Harold Lloyd.

In the “Superman” stories, Jimmy Olsen is a cub photographer who works on the “Daily Planet” newspaper with Clark Kent and Lois Lane.

41 MPG-testing org. : EPA

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Miles per gallon (mpg)

44 Rock __: ice melter : SALT

Halite is the mineral form of sodium chloride, and is also known as “rock salt”. Halite is used to melt ice, as salt water has a lower freezing point than pure water. Adding salt to icy sidewalks can therefore cause any ice to melt (as long as the ambient temperature isn’t too low). A mixture of halite and ice can also be used to cool things below the freezing point of water, perhaps to make ice cream.

47 Roman and British realms : EMPIRES

Ancient Rome went through three distinct periods. From 753 to 509 BC, Rome was a kingdom founded by the legendary Romulus. From 509 to 27 BC, Rome was a republic. The Roman Republic started with the overthrow of the last monarch Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. He was replaced by two elected consuls who were advised by a senate. The Republic evolved over time, but came to an end when Octavian expanded his power and declared himself “First Citizen”. Octavian effectively became Rome’s first emperor, and took the name “Caesar Augustus”. The “Fall of the Western Roman Empire” took place in the 5th century, formally ending in 476 CE when the last emperor Romulus Augustus was deposed. The Eastern Roman Empire survived as the Byzantine Empire, which was centered on Constantinople.

The British Empire was the largest empire in the history of the world, and covered almost 14 billion square mile at its height in 1920. It was very much associated with the phrase “the empire on watch the sun never sets” as it was so extensive.

49 Small-time : TWO-BIT

The American quarter is a little unusual in the world of decimal currency, if you think about it. Most currencies have a “20-cent” coin, which is easier to work with mathematically. The US went for the quarter in deference to the practice of dividing Spanish Milled Dollars into eight wedge-shaped “bits”. That’s also why the quarter is sometimes referred to as “two bits”. We’ve been using the adjective “two-bit” to mean “cheap, tawdry” at least since 1929. State quarters were introduced in 1999.

50 Unpretentious restaurant : BISTRO

“Bistro” was originally a Parisian slang term describing a little wine shop or restaurant.

56 Plow pioneer : DEERE

John Deere invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837. Prior to Deere’s invention, farmers used an iron or wooden plow that constantly had to be cleaned as rich soil stuck to its surfaces. The cast-steel plow was revolutionary as its smooth sides solved the problem of “stickiness”. The Deere company that John founded uses the slogan “Nothing Runs Like a Deere”, and has a leaping deer as its logo.

59 “Laugh-In” regular Johnson : ARTE

Arte Johnson, as well as being a frequent judge on “The Gong Show”, played the German soldier on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In”. Johnson’s character’s famous catchphrase was, “Very interesting, but …”

“Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” was originally recorded as a one-off special for NBC in 1967, but it was so successful that it was brought back as a series to replace the waning spy show “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” Personally, I loved both shows!

60 Prohibitionists : DRYS

The 18th Amendment to the US Constitution was a great victory for the temperance movement (the “dry” movement), and in 1919 ushered in the Prohibition era. Highly unpopular (with the “wet” movement), Prohibition was repealed in 1933 by the 21st Amendment.

61 Austrian peak : ALP

There are eight Alpine countries:

  • Austria
  • Slovenia
  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Germany
  • Monaco
  • Italy

The name “Austria” is a Latin variant of the German name for the country, “Österreich”. “Österreich” itself means “Eastern borderlands”, a reference to the country’s history as a prefecture of neighboring Bavaria to the west.

62 Gift with an aloha : LEI

“Lei” is a Hawaiian word meaning “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a lei is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

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.

64 Game with Skip and Draw Two cards : UNO

UNO is a card game that was developed in the early seventies and that has been sold by Mattel since 1992. UNO falls into the shedding family of card games, meaning that the goal is to get rid of all your cards while preventing opponents from doing the same.

65 Paper size: Abbr. : LTR

Our paper sizes here in North America don’t conform with the standards in the rest of the world. ISO standard sizes used elsewhere were chosen so that the ratio of width to length is usually one to the square root of two. This mathematical relationship means that when you cut a piece of paper in two each half preserves the aspect ratio of the original, which can be useful in making reduced or enlarged copies of documents. Our standard size of “letter” (ltr., 8.5 x 11 inches) was determined in 1980 by the Reagan administration to be the official paper size for the US government. Prior to this, the “legal” size (8.5 x 14 inches) had been the standard, since 1921.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Japanese cartoon art : ANIME
6 Search high and low : SCOUR
11 Bar with beers : PUB
14 Like kings and queens : REGAL
15 Abode : HOUSE
16 Tina Turner’s onetime partner : IKE
17 Rolling friction-reducing part : BALL BEARING
19 After taxes : NET
20 Like a properly sized carry-on bag : STOWABLE
21 Regret : RUE
23 Condo management gp. : HOA
24 Type of pants with a flared leg : BELL-BOTTOM
29 Flag maker Betsy : ROSS
31 Southern California Air Force base : EDWARDS
32 Indy competitor : RACER
35 Fancy neckwear : BOA
36 Pay attention to : HEED
37 Punk rock offshoot : EMO
38 “The Science Guy” : BILL NYE
42 WWII command for 16-Across : ETO
43 Lowers, as lights : DIMS
45 Grabbed a chair : SAT
46 Juárez coins : PESOS
48 Still on one’s plate : UNEATEN
50 Shaft of light : BEAM
52 Cotton-picking pest : BOLL WEEVIL
54 Place to crash : PAD
57 Simpson trial judge Lance : ITO
58 Lashed out at : ASSAILED
61 11-Across drink : ALE
63 Stubborn but fun-loving dog breed : BULL TERRIER
66 “__ Misérables” : LES
67 Prefix with face or lace : INTER-
68 Visibly sad, say : TEARY
69 Orchestra space : PIT
70 Trunk of the body : TORSO
71 Twisty turns : ESSES

Down

1 Some Wall St. traders : ARBS
2 Opposite of o’er : NEATH
3 Inuit home : IGLOO
4 Online viruses and such : MALWARE
5 Idris of “The Wire” : ELBA
6 Oil-bearing rocks : SHALES
7 WordPerfect producer : COREL
8 Apt rhyme for sí : OUI
9 Admiral’s org. : USN
10 Sprout again : REGROW
11 Forest cone droppers : PINE TREES
12 Luau strings : UKE
13 Wager : BET
18 Goes out, as the tide : EBBS
22 Salt Lake state : UTAH
25 Boxer Spinks : LEON
26 Person’s yearly celebration, for short : B-DAY
27 “__ Joy”: component of Beethoven’s Ninth : ODE TO
28 Windows predecessor : MS-DOS
30 Planet : ORB
32 Provide new audio for : REDUB
33 Type of acid in proteins : AMINO
34 Most attractive : COMELIEST
35 Sandwich initials : BLT
39 “Ah, of course” : I SEE
40 Daily Planet colleague of Kent and Olsen : LANE
41 MPG-testing org. : EPA
44 Rock __: ice melter : SALT
47 Roman and British realms : EMPIRES
49 Small-time : TWO-BIT
50 Unpretentious restaurant : BISTRO
51 In addition : ELSE
53 Lowlands : VALES
55 Wanted poster word : ALIAS
56 Plow pioneer : DEERE
59 “Laugh-In” regular Johnson : ARTE
60 Prohibitionists : DRYS
61 Austrian peak : ALP
62 Gift with an aloha : LEI
64 Game with Skip and Draw Two cards : UNO
65 Paper size: Abbr. : LTR

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 4 Apr 22, Monday”

  1. I have always wondered about the reason for having “bell bottom”
    trousers, thank you Bill for your explanation
    One dumb error…had “anima” for 1A when I knew better.

  2. Easy Monday, yay! Bill, I don’t see any difference in your boll weevil spelling vs. the correct spelling. Did you do what I did and spell it BOWL then correct it? 😉
    Happy Monday!
    Stay safe! 😊

    1. My bad, Christine W. The error I made was BOLL WEAVIL. I fixed the typo in the writeup. Thanks!

  3. 14:30 no errors. Two “never heard ofs “ in a Monday puzzle (1D & 23A).
    That’s rare.
    @Glen 3:42? WOW

  4. 8:00 – no errors, lookups, or revisions.

    Decoded the theme after all filled in.

    One nit to pick with the cluing. ELSE does not connote “In addition;” that would be ALSO. Else refers to a choice, as in “otherwise.”

    1. Ray C

      “In addition” is one of the dictionary definitions of “else,” albeit not the first one.

      Person A – While I was in Madrid, I went to the Prado.

      Person B – What else did you do while in Madrid? – i.e. What, in addition to going to the Prado, did you do in Madrid?

    2. Hmm. People do say, “Will there be anything else?” That would seem to fit the meaning in the clue.

  5. 4:23

    Never noticed the theme. Glad to find it here. I do enjoy that sort of vowel sequence.

    COREL? Wow! There’s a company I haven’t heard of in years.

    I actually created a custom keyboard map in pre-Corel WordPerfect so I could type in Dvorak. Then I was surprised and pleased to find the Dvorak keyboard was part of Windows itself. No one has been able to borrow my computer ever since.

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