LA Times Crossword 11 Jul 22, Monday

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Constructed by: Justin Daneau
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Where to Watch …

Themed answers are common phrases reinterpreted with reference to television:

  • 16A Where to watch pillars and frames? : SUPPORT NETWORK
  • 36A Where to watch Stonehenge and Big Ben? : ENGLISH CHANNEL
  • 59A Where to watch tracks and tunnels? : RAILWAY STATION

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

Bill’s time: 5m 09s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9 Edinburgh resident : SCOT

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, and is a really beautiful city. In days gone by it might not have been quite so charming though. Like many cities, plumes of smoke hung over Edinburgh when coal and wood fires weren’t regulated. To this day, the city has the nickname “Auld Reekie”, Scots for “Old Smoky”.

14 Metal corrosion : RUST

Rust is iron oxide. Rust forms when iron oxidizes, reacts with oxygen.

15 Novelist Tokarczuk who won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature : OLGA

Olga Tokarczuk is a Polish author who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2018. She also won the 2018 Man Booker International Prize for her novel “Flights”. Her epic historical novel “The Books of Jacob”, published in 2014, is generally regarded as Tokarczuk’s magnum opus.

20 Big name in ridesharing : UBER

The rideshare service Uber takes its name from the English colloquial word “uber” meaning “super, topmost”, which in turn comes from the German “über” meaning “above”.

22 “Rugrats” dad : STU

Tommy Pickles is the protagonist on the Nickelodeon cartoon show “Rugrats”. Dil Pickles is Tommy’s younger brother, and Tommy and Dil’s parents are Didi and Stu.

24 “Almost Famous” director Cameron : CROWE

Cameron Crowe was a contributing editor for “Rolling Stone” magazine before he moved into the world of film, becoming an actor, producer, director and screenwriter. Crowe wrote “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”, and wrote and directed “Say Anything…” and the huge hit “Jerry Maguire”. He also wrote and directed the semi-autobiographical movie “Almost Famous”, which was released in 2000.

29 Guzzles (down) : SNARFS

To snarf down is to gobble up, to eat voraciously. “Snarf” is a slang term that is probably related to “scarf”, which has the same meaning.

32 Serious hwy. crime : DUI

In some states, there is no longer a legal difference between a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). Other states retain that difference, so that by definition a DUI is a lesser offense than a DWI.

33 One-sixth of an inch, to a typesetter : PICA

A pica is a unit of measure used in typography. One pica is equivalent to 1/6 of an inch. Also, each pica unit contains 12 points.

36 Where to watch Stonehenge and Big Ben? : ENGLISH CHANNEL

The English Channel is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, the narrow part that separates the south of England from northern France. The French call the same body of water “La Manche”, which translates literally as “the sleeve”. At its narrowest point the Channel is just over 20 miles wide, and it is indeed possible to see France from England and vice versa. Nowadays of course there is a tunnel under the channel making travel extremely convenient. When I was living and working in Europe, with the help of the Channel Tunnel, one day I had a breakfast meeting in Brussels, a lunch meeting in London, and a dinner meeting in Paris. That said, it’s a lot more fun sitting here blogging about the crossword …

The magnificent Stonehenge monument in the south of England was built from 3000 to 2000 BC. “Stonehenge” has given its name to “henges”, a whole class of earthwork monuments that are circular in form with an internal ditch surrounded by a bank. Paradoxically, Stonehenge doesn’t qualify as a henge by this contemporary definition, as its earthen bank is surrounded by an external ditch.

“Big Ben” is the name commonly used for the large bell in the Clock Tower (“Elizabeth Tower” since 2012) of the Palace of Westminster (aka “Houses of Parliament”). Big Ben’s official name is the Great Bell, and there is some debate about the origins of the nickname. It may be named after Sir Benjamin Hall who supervised the bell’s installation, or perhaps the English heavyweight champion of the day Benjamin Caunt. Big Ben fell silent in 2017 to make way for four years of maintenance and repair work to the clock’s mechanism and the tower.

40 Bengay target : ACHE

Bengay is sold as a painkilling heat rub, to relieve aching muscles. It was developed in France by Dr. Jules Bengue (hence the name), and was first sold in America way back in 1898.

42 Ultrasound goop : GEL

A sonogram is an image made using ultrasound. “Ultrasound” is the name given to sound energy that has frequencies above the audible range.

46 Put a hex on : CURSED

“Hexen” is a German word meaning “to practice witchcraft”. The use of the word “hex” in English started with the Pennsylvania Dutch in the early 1800s.

51 “Frankly,” in texts : TBH

To be honest (TBH)

53 Coup d’__: sudden regime change : ETAT

A coup d’état (often just “coup”) is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French for “stroke of state”. The Swiss-German word “putsch” is sometimes used instead of “coup”, with “Putsch” translating literally as “sudden blow”. We also use the abbreviated “coup” to mean “sudden, brilliant and successful act”.

55 Modern creatures that are technically dinosaurs : BIRDS

The Cretaceous is the geologic period that followed the Jurassic and preceded the Paleogene. The dinosaurs that emerged during the Jurassic period continued to dominate during the Cretaceous. The period was brought to close with a mass extinction event called the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event. This event killed off the dinosaurs, except those that could fly. The avian dinosaurs evolved into the birds that we know today.

63 Egg on : GOAD

A goad is a pointed rod that is used to push on an animal. It is from the noun that we get the verb “to goad” meaning “to incite, rouse”.

The verb “to edge” has been used to mean to incite, to urge on, from the 16th century. Somewhere along the way “edge” was mistakenly replaced with “egg”, giving us our term “to egg on” meaning “to goad”.

64 Volcano on Sicily : ETNA

Italy is home to three active volcanoes:

  • Stromboli (in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the north coast of Sicily)
  • Vesuvius (overlooking Naples)
  • Etna (on the island of Sicily)

65 “The Martian” actor Damon : MATT

Matt Damon is an actor and screenwriter from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Damon’s big break came with the 1997 movie “Good Will Hunting”, in which he starred. He co-wrote the screenplay with his childhood friend Ben Affleck.

“The Martian” is an intriguing 2015 science fiction film starring Matt Damon as an astronaut who is accidentally stranded on Mars. The movie is based on a 2011 novel of the same name by Andy Weir. One thing that I liked about the film is that the science cited is fairly realistic. In fact, NASA collaborated with the filmmakers extensively from script development to principal casting.

66 Writes the wrong ZIP code, say : ERRS

ZIP codes were introduced in 1963. The acronym “ZIP” stands for “Zone Improvement Plan”, a name indicating that mail travels more efficiently when the codes are included in the postal address.

Down

2 Magnum __: masterpiece : OPUS

“Magnum opus” is a Latin term meaning “great work”. The magnum opus of a writer or composer perhaps, is his or her greatest work.

3 Gym sets, briefly : REPS

Our word “gymnasium” comes from the Greek “gymnasion” meaning “public place where exercise is taken”. The Greek term comes from “gymnos” meaning “naked”, as that physical training was usually done unclothed in ancient Greece.

5 Flight update abbr. : ARR

Arrival (arr.)

6 Ballet skirt : TUTU

The word “tutu”, used for a ballet dancer’s skirt, is actually a somewhat “naughty” term. It came into English from French in the early 20th century. The French “tutu” is an alteration of the word “cucu”, a childish word meaning “bottom, backside”.

7 “The Beat With Ari Melber” broadcaster : MSNBC

Ari Melber is a television journalist and the chief legal correspondent for MSNBC. He started hosting his own daily show called “The Beat with Ari Melber” in 2017.

9 Female pig : SOW

A male pig is a boar, and a female is a sow. Young pigs are piglets.

11 Big, mean giant : OGRE

An ogre is a monster of mythology and folktales that has the appearance of a man, and which eats human beings. The term “ogre” comes to us via French from the name of the Etruscan god Orcus, who feasted on the flesh of humans.

17 Ocean floor dwellers with many arms : OCTOPI

The name “octopus” comes from the Greek for “eight-footed”. The most common plural used is “octopuses”, although the Greek plural form “octopodes” is also quite correct. The plural “octopi” isn’t really correct as the inference is that “octopus” is like a second-declension Latin noun, which it isn’t. That said, dictionaries are now citing “octopi” as an acceptable plural. Language does evolve, even though it drives me crazy …

18 Sci-fi film with light cycles : TRON

Released in 1982, Disney’s “Tron” was one of the first mainstream films to make extensive use of computer graphics. The main role in the movie is played by Jeff Bridges. The original spawned a 2010 sequel called “Tron: Legacy”, as well as a 2012 TV show called “Tron: Uprising”.

23 Aussie colleges : UNIS

In Australia (Down Under), and in Britain and Ireland, the term “uni” is used routinely for “university”.

26 Postal scale unit : OUNCE

Our term “ounce” (abbreviated to “oz.”) comes from the Latin “uncia”. An “uncia” was 1/12 of a Roman “libra” (pound).

28 Amazon gadget activated by saying “Alexa” : ECHO

Amazon Echo is a voice-controlled hardware device that can be used to provide several services including playing radio programs and music, recording of shopping lists, and managing a calendar. The device just sits in the home listening, until it hears a “wake up” command.

34 Rock band with the album “Powerage” : AC/DC

The Heavy Metal band known as AC/DC was formed by two brothers Malcolm and Angus Young in Australia. Malcolm and Angus chose the name “AC/DC” after their sister Margaret noticed them on a sewing machine (the abbreviation for alternating current/direct current). The group is usually called “Acca Dacca” down under.

37 “__ we forget” : LEST

“Lest we forget” is an oft-quoted phrase, one that comes from a poem by Rudyard Kipling called “Recessional”. Kipling wrote the piece on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897 and used it to express sadness at the waning of the British Empire. The phrase “lest we forget” is used in this context, a warning that the empire will decline. Ever since WWI we’ve been using the words on memorials as a plea not to forget the sacrifices made by others in the past.

39 Joyful Spanish shout : ARRIBA!

“Arriba” is Spanish for “above”. Cartoon character Speedy Gonzales used to yell out “Arriba!” a lot, meaning “get up!”.

51 Barbershop request : TRIM

Barbers originally offered a wide range of services, including surgery. Back in the Middle Ages, one of the primary services offered was bloodletting. The red and white sign outside a barber’s place of business represented bloody bandages wrapped around a pole. Henry VIII restricted barbers to just haircutting … and dentistry. Our term “barber” comes to us via Anglo-French from the Latin “barba” meaning “beard”.

52 “Dirty John” actor Eric : BANA

Eric Bana is an Australian actor who enjoyed a successful career in his home country before breaking into Hollywood playing an American Delta Force sergeant in “Black Hawk Down”. A couple of years later he played the lead in Ang Lee’s 2003 movie “Hulk”, the role of Dr Bruce Banner. More recently he played the Romulan villain Nero, in the 2009 “Star Trek” movie.

“Dirty John” is an excellent drama series based on true crimes. Show gets its name from the antagonist in the first series, a con man named John Michael Meehan (played by Eric Bana). The second season tells the story of murderer Betty Broderick (played by Amanda Peet).

54 Ruler of imperialist Russia : TSAR

The term “czar” (also “tsar”) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time. We tend to use the “czar” spelling, as opposed to “tsar”, when we describe a person today with great power or authority, e.g. “Drug Czar”.

58 One of the Rice Krispies trio : SNAP

Snap, Crackle and Pop are three elves employed as the mascots for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. The trio first appeared in an ad campaign in 1933, although the phrase “snap, crackle and pop” had been used for the cereal for some time in radio ads. By the way, the elves are selling “Rice Bubbles” in Australia, and the elves have different names in other parts of the world (like “Cric!, Crac! and Croc!” in Québec).

61 QB stats : TDS

In American football, one “goal” of a quarterback (QB) is to score touchdowns (TDs).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Apple discard : CORE
5 Cash dispensers : ATMS
9 Edinburgh resident : SCOT
13 Highest point : APEX
14 Metal corrosion : RUST
15 Novelist Tokarczuk who won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature : OLGA
16 Where to watch pillars and frames? : SUPPORT NETWORK
19 Professional org. : ASSOC
20 Big name in ridesharing : UBER
21 Observe : SEE
22 “Rugrats” dad : STU
24 “Almost Famous” director Cameron : CROWE
26 Low-scoring tie : ONE-ONE
29 Guzzles (down) : SNARFS
32 Serious hwy. crime : DUI
33 One-sixth of an inch, to a typesetter : PICA
35 Uncommon : RARE
36 Where to watch Stonehenge and Big Ben? : ENGLISH CHANNEL
40 Bengay target : ACHE
41 Smell : ODOR
42 Ultrasound goop : GEL
43 “Onwards!” : LET’S GO!
46 Put a hex on : CURSED
48 Play idly, as a guitar : STRUM
50 Stitching target : RIP
51 “Frankly,” in texts : TBH
53 Coup d’__: sudden regime change : ETAT
55 Modern creatures that are technically dinosaurs : BIRDS
59 Where to watch tracks and tunnels? : RAILWAY STATION
62 Facts and figs. : INFO
63 Egg on : GOAD
64 Volcano on Sicily : ETNA
65 “The Martian” actor Damon : MATT
66 Writes the wrong ZIP code, say : ERRS
67 Filter (through) : SEEP

Down

1 Spanish house : CASA
2 Magnum __: masterpiece : OPUS
3 Gym sets, briefly : REPS
4 Tell-all news story : EXPOSE
5 Flight update abbr. : ARR
6 Ballet skirt : TUTU
7 “The Beat With Ari Melber” broadcaster : MSNBC
8 Has the wheel : STEERS
9 Female pig : SOW
10 From a short distance, with “at” : … CLOSE RANGE
11 Big, mean giant : OGRE
12 Help oneself to : TAKE
17 Ocean floor dwellers with many arms : OCTOPI
18 Sci-fi film with light cycles : TRON
23 Aussie colleges : UNIS
25 Wave a red flag at : WARN
26 Postal scale unit : OUNCE
27 Workforce during the wee hours : NIGHT SHIFT
28 Amazon gadget activated by saying “Alexa” : ECHO
30 Set loose : FREED
31 Unload for cash : SELL
32 Start a card game : DEAL
34 Rock band with the album “Powerage” : AC/DC
37 “__ we forget” : LEST
38 Length of many TV dramas : HOUR
39 Joyful Spanish shout : ARRIBA!
44 Mushroomed : GREW
45 Power interruption : OUTAGE
47 Treats with petty malice : SPITES
49 City hall bigwig : MAYOR
51 Barbershop request : TRIM
52 “Dirty John” actor Eric : BANA
54 Ruler of imperialist Russia : TSAR
56 Solemn observance : RITE
57 “All finished!” : DONE!
58 One of the Rice Krispies trio : SNAP
60 “Thanks a __!” : LOT
61 QB stats : TDS

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 11 Jul 22, Monday”

  1. The word “octopus” is of Greek origin, not Latin. Therefore its plural is octopuses, not octopi.

    1. Careful … you may arouse a linguist who will insist the proper plural is “octopodes.” And that’s as arguably correct as “octopuses.” Regardless,
      “octopi” isn’t correct, because “octopus” is, as you noted, of Greek origin.

  2. 6:28; no errors. This was the fastest I’ve ever completed a crossword–even an easy Monday puzzle. Small victories.

    1. Well thanks, Mary S. … I was expecting to have the record time! Although I blanked on T?H and ?ANA (as did Jane D. B., below.) So 15 min an one error.

  3. Two errors on a Monday. As I age, I suspect this will increase.
    Had ScARFS, though I wondered if TRON was the answer for the perpendicular. Also, had a blank for the middle of TBH, since I knew neither that nor BANA. Ho-hum.

  4. Fast time for me had scarfs,…should have checked closer to get Tron.,.,oh well happy Monday all fun puzzle

  5. Slightly tricky Monday for me; took 10:13 with no peeks or errors and a hunt for an error after I didn’t get the banner: FREEs/CURSEs. Also screwed up CROdE/dARe, but I managed to get that straightened out. Never heard of OLGA and STU and only know vaguely knew BANA and MSNBC.

    Theme didn’t make sense until I got here…actually did way better on the WSJ puzzle at 9 and change.

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