LA Times Crossword 8 Apr 22, Friday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): I Butted In

Themed answers are common phrases with a letter L at the end of one word replaced by a letter I:

  • 17A Field worker having a pastrami on rye? : FARMER IN THE DELI (from “Farmer in the Dell”)
  • 27A Prominent part of a Tex-Mex chain’s logo? : THE BIG CHILI (from “The Big Chill”)
  • 49A Indonesian dive bar? : BALI JOINT (from “ball joint”)
  • 51A Memory of the 1996 Olympic flame lighting? : ALI IN YOUR MIND (from “all in your mind”)

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

Bill’s time: 12m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Mumbai melody : RAGA

Raga isn’t really a genre of music, but has been described as the “tonal framework” in which Indian classical music is composed. Ravi Shankar was perhaps the most famous raga virtuoso (to us Westerners). Western rock music with a heavy Indian influence might be called raga rock.

Mumbai is the most populous city in India, and the second-most populous city in the world (after Shanghai). The name of the city was changed from Bombay to Mumbai in 1995.

5 Group playing mind games : MENSA

Mensa is a high-IQ society that was founded in Oxford, England in 1946. The founders were two lawyers: Australian Roland Berrill and Englishman Lancelot Ware. Apparently, the elitist founders were unhappy with the development of Mensa, given that most members came from the working and lower classes.

15 Poem of 15,000+ lines : ILIAD

“Iliad” is an epic poem by the Greek poet Homer that tells the story of the ten-year siege of “Ilium” (i.e. “Troy”) during the Trojan war. “The Odyssey”, also attributed to Homer, is sometimes described as a sequel to “Iliad”.

16 And more of the same, in brief : ET AL

“Et alii” (et al.) is the equivalent of “et cetera” (etc.), with “et cetera” being used in place of a list of objects, and “et alii” used for a list of names.

17 Field worker having a pastrami on rye? : FARMER IN THE DELI (from “Farmer in the Dell”)

In the US, pastrami was originally called “pastrama”, and was a dish brought to America by Jewish immigrants from Romania in the second half of the nineteenth century. The original name may have evolved from the Turkish word “pastirma” meaning “pressed”. “Pastrama” likely morphed into “pastrami” influenced by the name of the Italian sausage called salami.

20 Like the Godhead : TRIUNE

“Triune” is another word for a trinity, three beings in one. The term is often associated with triple deities.

The term “Godhead” is used in many traditions, with varying meanings. In the most general sense, the term refers to the essential nature of a god or divinity. The word comes from an Old English word “godhad” meaning “godhood”, the state of being a god. In Christianity, Godhead can refer to the Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

23 “Isle of Dogs” director Anderson : WES

“Isle of Dogs” is a 2018 animated and stop-action film by Wes Anderson. The movie has a science-fiction storyline, and is set in near-future Japan. All dogs are banished to Trash Island after an outbreak of dog flu threatens to cross into the human population. The voice cast of “Isle of Dogs” is very impressive, and includes Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson, Yoko Ono and many other A-list names.

26 Tom or jack : MALE

A male turkey is called a tom or a gobbler. Female turkeys are hens, and baby turkeys are called poults.

A female donkey/ass is known as a jenny, and a male is known as a jack, or sometimes “jackass”. We started using the term “jackass” to mean “fool” in the 1820s.

27 Prominent part of a Tex-Mex chain’s logo? : THE BIG CHILI (from “The Big Chill”)

The first Chili’s restaurant opened in 1975 in Dallas, Texas. There are now more than 1,400 Chili’s restaurants operating all over North America.

“The Big Chill” is a 1983 baby-boomer comedy-drama that is noted as much for its “oldies” soundtrack as for the acting, both of which are excellent. The film follows a group of college friends who get together at the funeral of a friend who committed suicide. The great cast includes Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt and Kevin Kline. Kevin Costner actually played Alex, the man who died, but scenes showing his face were cut from the final version of the movie.

30 Bygone Mideast gp. : UAR

The United Arab Republic (UAR) was a union between Egypt and Syria established in 1958. The UAR dissolved in 1961 when Syria pulled out of the arrangement.

32 Capital of colonial Burma : RANGOON

Yangon is a former capital city of Burma, which is a nation now known as Myanmar. Yangon is sometimes referred to as “Rangoon” in English.

33 Bill : TAB

When we run a “tab” at a bar, we are running a “tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.

41 Israeli-born designer Tahari : ELIE

Elie Tahari is an American fashion designer, although he was born in Jerusalem. Tahari immigrated to the US from Israel in 1971 and started work as an electrician in the Garment District in New York City. It was there that he became interested in fashion.

42 Kane’s boyhood sled : ROSEBUD

A central plot line in the 1941 movie “Citizen Kane” is a newsreel reporter’s quest to find the meaning of the dying word “Rosebud” spoken by the title character. Spoiler alert … it is revealed at the end of the movie that “Rosebud” is the name of the sled used by Kane in his childhood, which was the only period of his life in which he was really happy.

46 Taps : FAUCETS

The common “faucet” in an American house is almost always referred to as a “tap” on the other side of the pond.

49 Indonesian dive bar? : BALI JOINT (from “ball joint”)

Bali is both an island and a province in Indonesia. It is a popular tourist spot, although the number of visitors dropped for a few years as a result of terrorist bombings in 2002 and 2005 that killed mainly tourists. Bali became more popular starting in 2008 due to a significant and favorable change in the exchange rate between the US dollar and the Indonesian rupiah.

In mechanical engineering terms, a ball joint consists of a ball-like termination on one side, which is held inside a concave, spherical socket on the other. Almost all cars have ball joints connecting the front wheels to the automobile’s suspension system.

We’ve been using the word “dive” in American English for a run-down bar since the latter half of the 19th century. The term comes from the fact that disreputable taverns were usually located in basements, so one had to literally and figuratively dive into them. I’m a big fan …

51 Memory of the 1996 Olympic flame lighting? : ALI IN YOUR MIND (from “all in your mind”)

Boxer Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was born in 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali when he converted to Islam in 1964. Who can forget Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic flame for the 1996 games in Atlanta?

55 Lucretius’ love : AMOR

Lucretius was a poet and philosopher in ancient Rome. We know very little about him, and only one of his works survives: the philosophical poem “De rerum natura” (On the Nature of Things). Despite this, Lucretius is credited with originating the concept of the three-age system of human prehistory, which was formalized much later, in the 19th century. That’s the system that divides prehistory into the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age.

59 Pastoral group : HERD

The term “pastoral” means “relating to the countryside”, or more specifically “relating to shepherds”. “Pastor” is Latin for “shepherd”.

61 Simone of song : NINA

“Nina Simone” was the stage name of Eunice Waymon. Simone was very much associated with jazz music, although she really wanted to be a classical musician early in her career. She was inspired by a love for the music of Bach.

63 Since Jan. 1 : YTD

Year-to-date (YTD)

64 Impede : SLOW

To impede something is to slow its progress. The verb “to impede” comes from the Latin “impedire”, which has the same meaning and can be translated literally as “to shackle the feet” (from “pedis” meaning “of the foot”).

Down

1 Passel : RAFT

A passel is a large group or quantity. “Passel” is a variant of the word “parcel”.

3 Job field that embraces seniority : GERIATRICS

Gerontology is the study of all aspects of aging, including its biology, psychology and sociology. Geriatrics is the study of diseases encountered in older adults.

6 Ivy attendee : ELI

Elihu Yale was a wealthy merchant born in Boston in 1649. Yale worked for the British East India Company, and for many years served as governor of a settlement at Madras (now Chennai) in India. After India, Yale took over his father’s estate near Wrexham in Wales. It was while resident in Wrexham that Yale responded to a request for financial support for the Collegiate School of Connecticut in 1701. He sent the school a donation, which was used to erect a new building in New Haven that was named “Yale” in his honor. In 1718, the whole school was renamed to “Yale College”. To this day, students of Yale are nicknamed “Elis”, again honoring Elihu.

7 “Collages” novelist : NIN

“Collages” is a 1964 work by French author Anaïs Nin, and the last novel that she had published.

9 Condition treated by Ritalin, briefly : ADHD

The “official” name for the condition we sometimes still refer to as “attention deficit disorder” (ADD) is “attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder” (ADHD).

Ritalin is a trade name for the drug methylphenidate that is used for treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. Methylphenidate has a similar structure and similar properties to the drug cocaine, although it is less potent.

12 ___ d’Or: Cannes award : PALME

The “Palme d’Or” (or “Golden Palm” in English) is the highest award given at the Cannes Film Festival. The Palme d’Or goes to the director of the film that is selected as the best shown at the festival that year. The palm was selected as an emblem for the award as there is a palm featured on the coat of arms of the Commune of Cannes.

19 Fur that’s a symbol of royalty : ERMINE

The stoat has dark brown fur in the summer, and white fur in the winter. Sometimes the term “ermine” is used for the animal during the winter when the fur is white. Ermine skins have long been prized by royalty and are often used for white trim on ceremonial robes.

25 Refuse craft : SCOW

A scow is a flat-bottomed boat with squared-off ends that’s often used for transportation, usually pushed or pulled by a barge. Often, a scow can be seen carrying junk or garbage.

28 Cartoon ruckus sound : BAM!

The word “ruckus” is used to mean “commotion”, and has been around since the late 1800s. “Ruckus” is possibly a melding of the words “ruction” and “rumpus”.

29 Old TV knob : HOR

Remember the “horizontal hold” (HOR) and “vertical hold” (VER) on old TV sets? Our kids have no idea what we had to go through …

31 Soul, for one : AUTO

The Kia Soul is a compact car produced in South Korea, although it was designed by Kia here in the US, in Irvine, California. Yep, the Kia Soul is made in Seoul …

37 1963 film that was a 1991 Horror Hall of Fame inductee : THE BIRDS

“The Birds” is a 1963 film made by Alfred Hitchcock based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier. I’ve read the story and seen the film and find them both strangely disturbing (it’s probably just me!). I can’t stand the ending of either version, as nothing resolves itself!

43 Keurig Dr Pepper brand : BAI

Bai Brands is a beverage company that specializes in low-cal soft drinks that include antioxidants.

44 Like the “funny bone” nerve : ULNAR

The ulnar nerve runs alongside the ulna (one of the bones in the lower arm). It is the largest unprotected (not surrounded by muscle or bone) nerve in the human body. The nerve can be touched under the skin at the outside of the elbow. Striking the nerve at this point causes an electric-type shock known as hitting one’s “funny bone” or “crazy bone”.

47 Buenos __ : AIRES

Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina, and is located on the estuary of the Ria de la Plata. As it is a port city, the people of Buenos Aires are known as porteños (“people of the port”). The name “Buenos Aires” can be translated from Spanish as “fair winds”.

48 Albuquerque sch. : UNM

The University of New Mexico (UNM) is a school in Albuquerque that was founded in 1889. The UNM sports teams are called the Lobos, and there are two mascots who work the crowds named Lobo Louie and Lobo Lucy.

Albuquerque is the most populous city in the state of New Mexico. The city was founded in 1706 as a Spanish colonial outpost named “La Villa de Alburquerque” (note the extra letter “r”) in honor of Francisco, Duke of Alburquerque, who had been viceroy of New Spain from 1653 to 1669. Alburquerque is a town in the west of Spain, close to the border with Portugal.

50 Floor support : JOIST

In a building, a joist is a supporting member running horizontally to support a ceiling or floor.

51 Visa competitor : AMEX

“Amex” is short for “American Express”, the name of the financial services company that is best known for its credit card, charge card and traveler’s check businesses. The company name is indicative of its original business. American Express was founded in 1850 in Buffalo, New York as an express mail service.

52 Actress Petty : LORI

Lori Petty is the actress who played the character Kit Keller in the fabulous movie “A League of Their Own”. Petty also played the title role in a 1995 science fiction film called “Tank Girl”.

54 Bond baddie : DR NO

“Dr. No” may have been the first film in the wildly successful James Bond franchise, but it was the sixth novel in the series of books penned by Ian Fleming. Fleming was inspired to write the story after reading the Fu Manchu tales by Sax Rohmer. If you’ve read the Rohmer books or seen the films, you’ll recognize the similarities between the characters Dr. Julius No and Fu Manchu. By the way, the author Ian Fleming tells us that Julius No attended medical school in Milwaukee.

55 “Eureka!” : AHA!

“Eureka” translates from Greek as “I have found it”. The word is usually associated with Archimedes, uttered as he stepped into his bath one day. His discovery was that the volume of water that was displaced was equal to that of the object (presumably his foot) that had been submerged. He used this fact to determine the volume of a crown, something he needed in order to determine if it was made of pure gold or was a forgery.

58 Bromide : SAW

A saw is an old saying, one that is often repeated and is very familiar. The term “old saw” is actually a tautology, as by definition a “saw” is “old”.

A bromide is a compound containing a bromide ion i.e. a bromine atom with a singular negative charge. Potassium bromide was commonly used as a sedative in the 19th century, and this led to our use of the term “bromide” to mean “boring cliché” or “verbal sedative”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Mumbai melody : RAGA
5 Group playing mind games : MENSA
10 Criticizes : RAPS
14 Mocks : APES
15 Poem of 15,000+ lines : ILIAD
16 And more of the same, in brief : ET AL
17 Field worker having a pastrami on rye? : FARMER IN THE DELI (from “Farmer in the Dell”)
20 Like the Godhead : TRIUNE
21 Fantasized : DREAMT
22 Diplomacy : TACT
23 “Isle of Dogs” director Anderson : WES
26 Tom or jack : MALE
27 Prominent part of a Tex-Mex chain’s logo? : THE BIG CHILI (from “The Big Chill”)
30 Bygone Mideast gp. : UAR
32 Capital of colonial Burma : RANGOON
33 Bill : TAB
36 “No objection here” : SUITS ME
38 Try to deal (with) : WRESTLE
40 Sharply outline : ETCH
41 Israeli-born designer Tahari : ELIE
42 Kane’s boyhood sled : ROSEBUD
46 Taps : FAUCETS
49 Indonesian dive bar? : BALI JOINT (from “ball joint”)
51 Memory of the 1996 Olympic flame lighting? : ALI IN YOUR MIND (from “all in your mind”)
55 Lucretius’ love : AMOR
56 Spry : AGILE
57 Rowers : OARS
59 Pastoral group : HERD
60 Sly tactics : RUSES
61 Simone of song : NINA
62 Revolution constant : AXIS
63 Since Jan. 1 : YTD
64 Impede : SLOW

Down

1 Passel : RAFT
2 Besides, with “from” : APART …
3 Job field that embraces seniority : GERIATRICS
4 To an equal extent : AS MUCH
5 Bog : MIRE
6 Ivy attendee : ELI
7 “Collages” novelist : NIN
8 Couldn’t stand anymore? : SAT
9 Condition treated by Ritalin, briefly : ADHD
10 Overturned card consequence, perhaps : REDEAL
11 Nibbled : ATE A LITTLE
12 ___ d’Or: Cannes award : PALME
13 Cut : SLIT
18 Records : ENTERS
19 Fur that’s a symbol of royalty : ERMINE
23 Its nose says a lot about its quality : WINE
24 __ roll : EGG
25 Refuse craft : SCOW
28 Cartoon ruckus sound : BAM!
29 Old TV knob : HOR
30 One often paying a fee : USER
31 Soul, for one : AUTO
34 Came down : ALIT
35 They work in cells : BEES
37 1963 film that was a 1991 Horror Hall of Fame inductee : THE BIRDS
39 Strings, woodwinds, etc. : SECTIONS
43 Keurig Dr Pepper brand : BAI
44 Like the “funny bone” nerve : ULNAR
45 Mr. Fixit, casually : DIY GUY
46 Made illegal contact with, in some sports : FOULED
47 Buenos __ : AIRES
48 Albuquerque sch. : UNM
50 Floor support : JOIST
51 Visa competitor : AMEX
52 Actress Petty : LORI
53 File target : NAIL
54 Bond baddie : DR NO
55 “Eureka!” : AHA!
58 Bromide : SAW

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 8 Apr 22, Friday”

  1. Messed up on 10A. RAPS? I had RAGS. Which made GALME for 12D. Should have known better that PALME works better. But I was stuck on RAGS.

    nothing like a good ole Weschler to finish the week.

    I remember watching the Birds when I was a kid. Same age as when I watched The Wizard of Oz. Both scared the Dickenson out of me. I hid beind the couch when the birds (or monkeys) attacked.

    1. Hi Mike. So, flying creatures are scary…no doubt. My wife to this day insists flying monkeys are real. I think she just does it to make me shake my head at her “joke”, but I’m not quite sure she doesn’t believe it.

      No real problems with today’s grid. A little time spent working out “Farmer in the deli” but all things considered it wasn’t too bad. Each time I see Bali used in a crossword (which is fairly often) it makes me think about the time I spent there in the early 80’s, diving, riding motorcycles and visiting the magic mushroom cafe (which was legal…or at least tolerated in those days). In total I spent a couple of months hanging out on Kuta beach. Good times and lovely people.

        1. Hi Saul. Far, far, far above the proverbial kite…couldn’t even see the ground! ;-D> I used to get breakfast at the Treehouse Cafe on Poppies Lane. Looking across to the palm tree right outside the”window” (no glass in any window) I watched these two lizards, a bigger one chasing a smaller one around and around the palm. Just as the bigger one was going to grab the the smaller one it launched itself off the palm and hidden wings appeared and he flew (well, glided actually) about 25 feet to a whole different palm. Very cool stuff going on in Bali…

  2. Jeff had a couple of real “Stretch’s” in this one Passel and Bromide…..way down the list of what Webster would consider there meaning. Fun puzzle though!

  3. 11:19

    If it weren’t for the theme I wouldn’t have finished the SW corner without doing a lookup.

    I did forget that Muhammad Ali lit the Olympic flame for the 1996 games in Atlanta. I barely remember which cities get suckered into hosting the Olympics.

  4. 14:19 and 2 errors from misspelling GERIATRICS.

    Not as evil as most Wechslers, but the gadget answers (and clues) were all maddeningly nonsensical as any. This is the one “tradition” of crosswords I wish would just STOP. These are worse than REBUSES.

  5. Amazingly easy, for a Friday, for me. Usually I set them down, pick them up half a dozen times. I loved Farmer in the Deli, which also told me what to look for further on.
    I grew up abt 30 miles from where The Birds was filmed, and have a watercolor of the Bodega School, not because I love the movie, but because the scenery is lovely and familiar. I couldn’t watch the movie. After abt 15 minutes I was too scared. My brother lives near Bodega, and knows people who were screaming children in the film. To have been in the movie or contributed in some way is a source of local pride, but it’s been a long time now…almost 60 yrs.

    Hitchcock also filmed Shadow of a Doubt in Sonoma County, and although that one scares me too, I love seeing Santa Rosa as it was when I was growing up.

  6. 15:48 – no errors, lookups, or revisions. I think that’s pretty good for a Friday, and a Jeffrey Wechsler grid as well!

    Got the theme with THEBIGCHILI, and that helped with the others.

    New items: ELIE Tahari, NINA Simone, BAI, LORI Petty.

  7. A bit too tricky for me today; took me 30:49 with 6 errors, mostly in the NW, N and BA? and DI?GUY. Didn’t know NIN and stupidly forgot what passel means. Still, fair puzzle, and in my defense, I’m recovering from a bunch of bee stings after moving 2 hives last night…youch!

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