LA Times Crossword 18 Jul 22, Monday

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Constructed by: Howard Barkin
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Dollar Menu

Themed answers are items found on a MENU, and each starts with slang term meaning “DOLLAR”:

  • 57A Budget option at a fast-food joint that the answers to the starred clues could all belong to? : DOLLAR MENU
  • 17A *Fried seafood appetizer : CLAM STRIPS
  • 27A *Sandwiches with leafy exteriors : LETTUCE WRAPS
  • 43A *Starchy and eggy dessert : BREAD PUDDING

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

Bill’s time: 6m 39s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Karaoke devices, for short : MICS

“Karate” is a Japanese word meaning “empty hand”, and the related word “karaoke” translates as “empty orchestra”.

5 Chip maker __-Lay : FRITO

The Frito Corporation was started in 1932 by Elmer Doolin, basically in his mother’s kitchen. Doolin paid $100 for a corn chip recipe from a local restaurant and started producing Fritos at the rate of 10 pounds per day.

Lay’s potato chips were introduced in 1938 by Herman W. Lay. Lay started selling his chips out the trunk of his car, traveling all over the US. In those days the chips were pretty much handmade, but Lay put an end to that in 1942. He invented the first continuous potato processor in 1948, and chips started to take over the world!

10 Big rig : SEMI

A “semi” is a “semi-trailer truck”. The vehicle is so called because it consists of a tractor and a half-trailer. The half-trailer is so called because it only has wheels on the back end, with the front supported by the tractor.

14 Dept. of Labor div. : OSHA

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

15 First name of Yankee manager Boone and Yankee slugger Judge : AARON

Aaron Boone is a former MLB infielder who retired as a player in 2009, a few months after undergoing open-heart surgery to have a heart valve replaced. He then pursued a successful career in sports broadcasting, primarily with ESPN. In late 2017, Boone was hired as manager of the New York Yankees.

Aaron Judge is a baseball outfielder who was selected as 2017’s American League Rookie of the Year. Judge is a big guy. He weighs 282 pounds, and is 6 foot 7 inches tall.

17 *Fried seafood appetizer : CLAM STRIPS

“Clam” is a slang term for “dollar”. It has been suggested that “clam” is a throwback to the supposed use of clams as units of currency in ancient cultures.

20 Stage hog : HAM

The word “ham”, describing a performer who overacts, is a shortened form of “hamfatter” and dates back to the late 1800s. “Hamfatter” comes from a song in old minstrel shows called “The Ham-Fat Man”. It seems that a poorly performing actor was deemed to have the “acting” qualities of a minstrel made up in blackface.

21 Blackjack cards : ACES

In the card game blackjack, an ace has the point value of one or eleven. When one of the two cards dealt to a player is an ace, the hand is called “soft”. This means that the player cannot go bust by taking another card, as the ace can be revalued at “one” if necessary in order to stay under 21.

24 Savanna antelopes : IMPALAS

“Impala” is the Zulu word for “gazelle”. When running at a sustained speed, gazelles can move along at 30 miles per hour. If needed, they can accelerate for bursts up to 60 miles per hour.

A savanna (also “savannah”) is a grassland. If there are any trees in a savanna, by definition they are small and widely spaced so that light can get to the grasses allowing them to grow unhindered.

26 Emotionally detached : ALOOF

I suppose one might guess from the “feel” of the word “aloof” that it has nautical roots. Originally “aloof” meant “to windward” and was the opposite of “alee”. A helmsman might be instructed to stay aloof, to steer the boat into the weather to keep a distance from a lee-shore. It is from this sense of maintaining a distance that aloof came to mean “distant” in terms of personality. Interesting, huh …?

27 *Sandwiches with leafy exteriors : LETTUCE WRAPS

Lettuce is a leaf vegetable in the daisy family.

35 Debtor’s letters : IOU

I owe you (IOU)

36 “We try harder” car rental chain : AVIS

Rental car company Avis used the tagline “We Try Harder” for five decades, starting in the early 1960s. The slogan had its roots in a 1962 ad campaign in which the company made brilliant use of its position behind market leader Hertz. The first rendition of the new tagline was “When you’re only No. 2, you try harder. Or else”. Within a year, Avis turned its first profit in over a decade, and within three years, increased the company’s market share from 29% to 36%. Avis eventually moved on to the slogan “It’s Your Space” in 2012.

37 Faceplanted off a skateboard, say : ATE IT

The activity of skateboarding emerged in California in the fifties. Enthusiasts made their own boards, by attaching roller skates to boards. Back then, skateboarding was referred to as “sidewalk surfing”.

40 Sleep stage letters : REM

“REM” is an acronym standing for “rapid eye movement”. REM sleep takes up 20-25% of the sleeping hours and is the period associated with one’s most vivid dreams.

41 Pizazz : ELAN

Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e “style, flair”.

Pizazz (also “pizzazz”) is energy, vitality. There’s a kind of cool thing about the “pizzazz” spelling, namely that it is the only 7-letter word in English that cannot be played in Scrabble. You can get close by using the Z-tile with the two blank tiles to get to three of the required four Zs, but there’s no way to get to the fourth Z.

42 Bridge positions : EASTS

The four people playing bridge (the card game) are positioned around a table at seats referred to as north, east, south and west. Each player belongs to a pair, with north playing with south, and east playing with west.

47 Zero : AUGHT

An “aught” is a zero. The term can be used in the context of dates as in “the aughts”, the years 2000-2009. I’ve also heard those years referred to as “the noughties”.

48 Takes down, as a flyer : UNTACKS

What we know as a thumb tack here in North America is called a drawing pin in British English. Thumbtacks made from brass might be referred to as “brass tacks”, giving us the expression “getting down to brass tacks” meaning “getting down to the finer details”.

Fliers are notices that are circulated. The original fliers (also “flyers”) were police bulletins that were “scatter-broadcast”.

54 Fashion monthly : ELLE

“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

63 Hoops long shot : TREY

A trey is a three in a deck of cards. The term “trey” can also be used for a domino with three pips, and even for a three-point play in basketball.

64 Honking birds : GEESE

A collection of geese is referred to as a “gaggle” when on the ground. When geese are in V-formation in flight, they are referred to collectively as a “skein”.

65 Luxurious : POSH

No one really knows the etymology of the word “posh”. The popular myth that “posh” is actually an acronym standing for “port out, starboard home” is completely untrue, and is a story that can actually be traced back to the 1968 movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”. The myth is that wealthy British passengers traveling to and from India would book cabins on the port side for the outward journey and the starboard side for the home journey. This trick was supposedly designed to keep their cabins out of the direct sunlight.

Down

1 Chewy rice cake : MOCHI

Mochi is a sweet rice cake in Japanese cuisine. Special versions of mochi are produced for certain times of the year or holidays, e.g. New Year, spring time, Children’s Day and Girls’ Day.

2 Ramadan faith : ISLAM

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is traditionally a period of fasting. The faithful who observe Ramadan refrain from eating, drinking and sexual relations from dawn to dusk everyday, a lesson in patience, humility and spirituality.

3 Tourney winner : CHAMP

“Tourney” is another word for “tournament”. The term comes from the Old French word “tornei” meaning “contest of armed men”, from “tornoier” meaning “to joust, jilt”.

4 “You Send Me” singer Cooke : SAM

Sam Cooke was a soul singer from Clarksdale, Mississippi. Cooke is considered by many to have been one of the founders of the soul genre. Cooke’s impressive list of hits includes “You Send Me”, “Chain Gang” and “Twistin’ the Night Away”. Cooke was only 33 years old when he died. He was shot after a drunken brawl by a motel manager in what was deemed by the courts to be a justifiable homicide.

“You Send Me” is a 1957 song written and recorded by Sam Cooke, his debut single. “You Send Me” was originally released as the B-side to a recording by Cooke of “Summertime” from George Gershwin’s opera “Porgy and Bess”. The B-side turned out to be more popular with disk jockeys, and so the subsequent releases had the A-side and B-side designations switched.

7 Colorful eye part : IRIS

The iris is the colored part of the eye. It has an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.

12 Brunch, e.g. : MEAL

Our word “brunch” is a portmanteau of “breakfast” and “lunch”. The term was coined as student slang in Oxford, England in the late 1890s. However, “brunch” described a combined meal closer to the breakfast hour, and the term “blunch” was used for a meal closer to lunchtime.

18 Oregon capital : SALEM

Salem is the state capital of Oregon. It is thought that the city takes its name from the older city of Salem, Massachusetts.

26 Smoothie berry : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

29 Maya Angelou, for one : POET

Maya Angelou was an African-American author and poet. Angelou recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at the inauguration of President Clinton in 1983. Here are some words of wisdom from the great lady:

I work very hard, and I play very hard. I’m grateful for life. And I live it – I believe life loves the liver of it. I live it.

39 “Born This Way” singer Lady __ : GAGA

“Born This Way” is a 2011 song recorded and co-written by Lady Gaga. Gaga describes it as her “freedom song”, and wrote lyrics that suggest self-empowerment of minority groups.

44 “Sabrina” actress Hepburn : AUDREY

Actress Audrey Hepburn was trained as a ballet dancer for much of her early life. She had to give up her ambitions to become a prima ballerina due to a weak constitution attributed to malnutrition she experienced during WWII. Hepburn turned to acting, and earned her first starring film role after a screen test for 1953’s “Roman Holiday”, in which she played opposite Hollywood legend Gregory Peck. That performance changed her life, as she was a surprising winner of the Best Actress Oscar that season. After a long and successful acting career, Hepburn devoted many years to humanitarian causes. She was appointed Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF in 1989, and traveled the world promoting programs that benefited humanity. In recognition for her work with UNICEF, President George H. W. Bush awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

45 Airport serving the D.C. area : DULLES

Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) opened for business in 1962. It was named for John Foster Dulles, who served as Secretary of State in the Eisenhower administration. When it opened, Dulles used the airport code “DIA”, standing for Dulles International Airport. However, “IAD” was often confused with “DCA” when handwritten, with the latter being the code for nearby Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. So, Dulles adopted the IAD code letters in 1968.

46 Arriving after curfew : IN LATE

Our word “curfew” comes from an Old French word meaning “cover fire”. In medieval days a bell would ring in the evenings as a signal to bank the hearths in preparation for sleeping. The intent was to prevent uncontrolled fires starting from fireplaces that were not tended during the night.

49 Statement of faith : CREDO

A creed or credo is a profession of faith, or a system of belief or principles. “Credo” is Latin for “I believe”.

53 “Doctor Zhivago” actor Sharif : OMAR

Omar Sharif was a great Hollywood actor from Egypt, someone who played major roles in memorable movies such as “Doctor Zhivago” and “Lawrence of Arabia”. But to me, he was my bridge hero (the card game). In his heyday, Sharif was one of the best bridge players in the world.

“Doctor Zhivago” is an epic novel by Boris Pasternak that was first published in 1957. I haven’t tried to read the book, but the 1965 film version is a must-see, directed by David Lean and starring Omar Sharif in the title role. The story centers on Yuri Zhivago, a doctor and poet, and how he is affected by the Russian Revolution and the Russian Civil War.

59 Atlas page : MAP

The famous Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator published his first collection of maps in 1578. Mercator’s collection contained a frontispiece with an image of Atlas the Titan from Greek mythology holding up the world on his shoulders. That image gave us our term “atlas” that is used for a book of maps.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Karaoke devices, for short : MICS
5 Chip maker __-Lay : FRITO
10 Big rig : SEMI
14 Dept. of Labor div. : OSHA
15 First name of Yankee manager Boone and Yankee slugger Judge : AARON
16 Mimicked : APED
17 *Fried seafood appetizer : CLAM STRIPS
19 Small container in a chemistry lab : VIAL
20 Stage hog : HAM
21 Blackjack cards : ACES
22 Frozen spike : ICICLE
24 Savanna antelopes : IMPALAS
26 Emotionally detached : ALOOF
27 *Sandwiches with leafy exteriors : LETTUCE WRAPS
31 “Catch those villains!” : GET ‘EM!
34 Cooking vessels : PANS
35 Debtor’s letters : IOU
36 “We try harder” car rental chain : AVIS
37 Faceplanted off a skateboard, say : ATE IT
39 Unmitigated joy : GLEE
40 Sleep stage letters : REM
41 Pizazz : ELAN
42 Bridge positions : EASTS
43 *Starchy and eggy dessert : BREAD PUDDING
47 Zero : AUGHT
48 Takes down, as a flyer : UNTACKS
52 Know-it-all’s taunt : TOLD YA!
54 Fashion monthly : ELLE
55 Canyon edge : RIM
56 Love, in Spanish : AMOR
57 Budget option at a fast-food joint that the answers to the starred clues could all belong to? : DOLLAR MENU
60 Walking aid : CANE
61 Initial stage : ONSET
62 Contributes : ADDS
63 Hoops long shot : TREY
64 Honking birds : GEESE
65 Luxurious : POSH

Down

1 Chewy rice cake : MOCHI
2 Ramadan faith : ISLAM
3 Tourney winner : CHAMP
4 “You Send Me” singer Cooke : SAM
5 Big shot with big bucks : FAT CAT
6 Least likely to be found : RAREST
7 Colorful eye part : IRIS
8 Spinning toy : TOP
9 Like a cellphone in a theater, hopefully : ON SILENT
10 Knight in shining armor : SAVIOR
11 Major faceplants : EPIC FAILS
12 Brunch, e.g. : MEAL
13 Inactive : IDLE
18 Oregon capital : SALEM
23 Dairy farm animals : COWS
25 Gastropub pours : ALES
26 Smoothie berry : ACAI
28 Flip over : UPEND
29 Maya Angelou, for one : POET
30 Seeks damages from : SUES
31 Attire : GARB
32 Happily __ after : EVER
33 Chance to unwind and read a book, perhaps : TIME ALONE
37 Pack leader : ALPHA DOG
38 Lacking slack : TAUT
39 “Born This Way” singer Lady __ : GAGA
41 Tense and irritable : EDGY
42 Word near a maze arrow : ENTER
44 “Sabrina” actress Hepburn : AUDREY
45 Airport serving the D.C. area : DULLES
46 Arriving after curfew : IN LATE
49 Statement of faith : CREDO
50 “It takes all __” : KINDS
51 Flatten : SMUSH
52 Social finesse : TACT
53 “Doctor Zhivago” actor Sharif : OMAR
54 “What __ can I say?” : ELSE
58 Individual : ONE
59 Atlas page : MAP

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 18 Jul 22, Monday”

  1. No errors. Haven’t heard SMUSH in a long time

    @glen – thanks for the BURNIKEL info. Shows what I know about these crossworders. I’m learning.

  2. Nice puzzle, only four PPPs, easily crossed in. Pretty comfortable, but I learned nothing.

    Re 64A: my air force pilot brother had a highly technical explanation for why one leg (wing?) of the flying ‘V’ is usually longer than the other. His engineer brother has a more practical explanation: the longer leg has more geese in it…

  3. No errors, no Googles. Did not know SMUSH, FACEPLANT, MOCHI, AARON, TREY; the last 2 were sports.
    And I despise the spelling, MIC.

    1. Jane, I’m with you on ‘mic.’ I refuse to pronounce it any other way than I do the first three letters in ‘mickey mouse.’

      …and I’m getting TARD of ‘OREO’ and ‘ERIE.’

    2. I think “mic” (the first 3 letters of microphone) is better than “mike” as a shortened form of the word.

  4. 5:05 today, and no errors or issues!!! Wow! Closest I’ve ever been to Glenn and his sub-5:00 times he posts with such regularity!

  5. 7:54 with revisions of: UNTAPES>UNTACKS, SMASH>SMUSH.

    New: AARON Boone|Judge, MOCHI, “Born This Way.”

    Simple theme.

    I initially wanted 47A to be “naught,” but not enough spaces, so the intersections had to tell me what went there. When I smush something, it doesn’t necessarily flatten, but it can get jammed into a small space.

  6. Nice, mostly easy Monday for me; took 8:50 with no peeks or errors, although I had to spend about a minute to hunt down two errors, since I didn’t get the banner. Finally fixed AUDRie/CANi/TREe…drat, and I was in the 7s, which is good for me.

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