LA Times Crossword 4 Jul 22, Monday

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Constructed by: Catherine Cetta
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Firecracker

Happy Fourth of July, everyone! Three rows of the grid include FIRE as a hidden word, but that FIRE has been CRACKED into two pieces by a black square:

  • 59A Fourth of July noisemaker … and the function of the black squares in lines 3, 6, and 10 : FIRECRACKER … and “FIRE” CRACKER
  • 16A Half-__: rhyming coffee order : CAF
  • 17A Closing line after presenting an argument : I REST MY CASE
  • 28A Nebula Award genre : SCI-FI
  • 30A One way to get caught : RED-HANDED
  • 47A North American evergreen : BALSAM FIR
  • 50A Say “I do” without the ado : ELOPE

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

Bill’s time: 5m 01s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4 Girl __ Cookies : SCOUT

Depending on which bakery makes the particular variety of Girl Scout cookies, the name can vary. For example, Little Brownie Bakers makes Samoa cookies, while ABC Bakers uses the same recipe and calls the cookies Caramel deLites. The assumption is that these cookies have the exotic name “Samoa” because they contain the tropical ingredients of coconut and cocoa. The most popular variety of Girl Scout cookies sold are Thin Mints.

9 Journalist Swisher : KARA

Kara Swisher is a much-respected technology and business journalist known for covering topics related to Silicon Valley. Swisher was married for about a decade to former Chief Technology Officer of the United States Megan Smith.

14 Alpha __ Alpha sorority : KAPPA

The Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority was founded in 1908 at Howard University in Washington, D.C. It was the first African-American sorority in the country.

16 Half-__: rhyming coffee order : CAF

Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant that is found in several plants. The chemical serves as a natural pesticide by paralyzing and killing certain insects that would otherwise feed on the plant. Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug that is consumed by humans across the world.

19 Elsie the Cow’s dairy brand : BORDEN

Elsie the Cow is the mascot of the Borden Company. Elsie first appeared at the New York World’s Fair in 1939, introduced to symbolize the perfect dairy product. She is so famous and respected that she has been awarded the degrees of Doctor of Bovinity, Doctor of Human Kindness and Doctor of Ecownomics. Elsie was also given a husband named Elmer the Bull. Elmer eventually moved over to the chemical division of Borden where he gave his name to Elmer’s Glue.

22 Ireland, to the Irish : EIRE

“Éire” is the Irish name for Ireland, coming from “Ériu”. Ériu was the matron goddess of Ireland in Irish mythology.

23 “The Dancing Class” painter Edgar : DEGAS

Edgar Degas’ 1874 painting “The Dance Class” can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It depicts ballet master Jules Perrot holding a class in a rehearsal room in the old Paris Opéra. The scene is imagined by the artist, as the building had been destroyed by fire the year before. The Musée d’Orsay in Paris owns a variant of the painting that goes by the title “The Ballet Class”, which was painted before the fire took place.

26 Cedar Rapids state : IOWA

Cedar Rapids is the second largest city in the state of Iowa. It is named for rapids on the Cedar River on which the city is located. The river itself was named for the red cedars growing along the river’s banks.

28 Nebula Award genre : SCI-FI

The best works of science fiction and fantasy published each year are recognized annually by the Nebula Awards. The first Nebulas were awarded in 1966.

30 One way to get caught : RED-HANDED

To be caught red-handed is to be caught in the act. The expression originated in Scotland and dates back at least to the 1400s. The red in question is blood, as in being caught with blood on one’s hands after perhaps committing a murder or an act of poaching.

32 Silky fabrics : SATINS

The material known as “satin” takes its name from “Zayton”, the medieval Arabic name for the Chinese port city of Quanzhou. Quanzhou was used for the export of large amounts of silk to Europe.

34 Island home of the Hana Highway : MAUI

Maui’s Hana Highway (commonly “Road to Hana”) is a spectacular stretch of roadway connecting Kahului on the northern coast with Hana in the east, and continuing to Kipahulu in the southeast. Even without stops, the 64-mile drive usually takes 2½ hours. I’ve driven the route a couple of times, and cannot imagine making the trip without several stops to enjoy the amazing ocean and rainforest vistas.

42 Scheduled : SLATED

Back in the early 1800s, “to slate” meant “to nominate”, perhaps by writing a name on a slate. By the end of the 1800s, this usage of “slate” extended to “propose, schedule”.

47 North American evergreen : BALSAM FIR

The Balsam fir is an evergreen tree that is native to eastern and central North America. It is commonly used as a Christmas tree, especially in the northeastern US.

57 Hide-and-seek hideout : CLOSET

In Old French a “clos” was an enclosure, with the diminutive form “closet” describing a small enclosure or private room. Over time this evolved into our modern usage of “closet”, describing a cabinet or cupboard.

59 Fourth of July noisemaker … and the function of the black squares in lines 3, 6, and 10 : FIRECRACKER … and “FIRE” CRACKER

A firecracker is a noisemaker usually comprising a small amount of explosive in a paper tube with a fuse. Prior to the invention of fireworks in China, the equivalent of firecrackers were made by exposing bamboo to continuous heat, until it exploded with a loud crack. Indeed, the Chinese name for gunpowder firecrackers translates literally as “exploding bamboo”, a reference to the older devices.

On 11 June 1776, the Continental Congress appointed a committee of five people to draft a declaration of independence. Included in the five were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Adams persuaded the other committee members to give Jefferson the task of writing the first draft. A resolution of independence was passed by the Congress on 2 July 1776. The final draft of the declaration was approved by the Congress two days later, on July 4th. John Adams wrote a letter to his wife that included an assertion that July 2nd (the date of the resolution of independence) would become a great American holiday. Of course Adams was wrong, and it was actually the date the Declaration of Independence was finalized that came to be celebrated annually.

64 Future DAs’ exams : LSATS

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

66 Actress Thurman : UMA

Robert Thurman was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Robert raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and called his daughter “Uma” as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name “Dbuma”. Uma’s big break in the movies came with her starring role in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 hit “Pulp Fiction”. My favorite Uma Thurman film is the wonderful 1996 romantic comedy “The Truth About Cats and Dogs”.

67 Eclectic online digest : UTNE

The “Utne Reader” is known for aggregation and republishing of articles on politics, culture and the environment from other sources in the media. It was founded in 1984 by Eric Utne, with management taken over by Eric’s wife Nina Rothschild Utne in 1990.

68 Arizona’s __ National Forest : TONTO

The Tonto National Forest is sometimes referred to as an “urban” forest because of its proximity to the Phoenix metropolitan area. Covering almost 3 million acres, it is the most visited “urban” forest in the country.

Down

1 “This Is Us” TV network : NBC

The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) has had a number of different logos in its history, including the famous peacock with which we are familiar today. The first peacock logo was introduced in the early days of color television and was designed to illustrate how wonderful color television would be, so go buy one! (NBC was owned by RCA, and so had a vested interest in sales of color television sets).

“This Is Us” is a television drama that debuted in 2016. The storyline centers on three siblings and their parents. Two of the siblings are the surviving members of a triplet pregnancy. The parents decide to adopt a child born on the same day as the surviving siblings. The adopting family is white, and the adopted child is black.

2 Coffee bean variety : ARABICA

The species Coffea arabica is thought to be the first plant cultivated for coffee. Today, 75-80% of the world’s coffee comes from Coffea arabica.

10 Dessert menu phrase : A LA MODE

In French, “à la mode” simply means “fashionable”. In America, the term has also come to describe a way of serving pie. Pie served à la mode includes a dollop of cream or ice cream, or as I recall from my time living in Upstate New York, with a wedge of cheddar cheese.

20 Mortgage adjustment, for short : REFI

Our word “mortgage” comes from the Old French “mort gaige” which translated as “dead pledge”. Such an arrangement was so called because the “pledge” to repay “dies” when the debt is cleared.

24 Some spring babies : GEMINIS

Gemini is the third sign of the Zodiac. “Gemini” is the Latin word for “twins”.

25 Driver at the Oscars : ADAM

Adam Driver is an actor perhaps best known to TV audiences for playing Adam Sackler on the show “Girls” that airs on HBO. Driver’s movie career got a huge boost in 2015 when he played villain Kylo Ren in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.

29 Lead-in to “gram” in social media : INSTA-

Instagram (often abbreviated to “Insta”) is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular. Instagram started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram company had just 13 employees at the time of the sale …

31 Ideological gap in Congress : AISLE

The concept of left-right politics started in France during the French Revolution. When members of France’s National Assembly convened in 1789, supporters of the King sat to the President’s right, and supporters of the revolution to the President’s left. The political terms “left” and “right” were then coined in the local media and have been used ever since.

33 Bagel spread : SCHMEAR

The word “schmear” comes from the Yiddish word “shmir” meaning “spread”. The phrase “the whole schmear” is a relatively recent one, dating back to around 1969 and coming from the world of business.

37 Nadal of tennis, familiarly : RAFA

Rafael “Rafa” Nadal is a Spanish tennis player. He is noted for his expertise on clay courts, which earned him the nickname “The King of Clay”.

38 Actor Vigoda : ABE

Abe Vigoda played Detective Sergeant Phil Fish in television’s “Barney Miller” in the seventies, and even got his own spin-off show called “Fish”. On the big screen, Vigoda played Sal Tessio in “The Godfather” and Grandpa Ubriacco in “Look Who’s Talking”.

43 European peaks : ALPS

There are eight Alpine countries:

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

45 Perfect example : EPITOME

The more common meaning of “epitome” is “perfect example of a group, quality, type”. An epitome is also an abstract or summary of a book or article.

46 Rep.’s opponent : DEM

The modern-day Democratic Party was founded in 1828, when supporters of Andrew Jackson broke away from the former Democratic-Republican Party during the presidency of John Quincy Adams. That date makes the Democratic Party the oldest voter-based political party in the world. Andrew Jackson became the first Democratic US president, in 1829.

48 Tampa Bay city, familiarly : ST PETE

Saint Petersburg, Florida is often referred to as “St. Pete” by locals and visitors alike. Located on a peninsula lying between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, St. Pete was founded in 1888 and named for Saint Petersburg in Russia. The co-founders were Russian immigrant Peter Demens and Detroit native John C. Williams. The pair tossed a coin for the privilege of naming the new city, and Demens won. Williams lost, but did get to name the city’s first hostelry “The Detroit Hotel”.

56 Some HP products : PCS

The giant multinational HP (originally “Hewlett-Packard”) was founded in 1939 with an investment of $538 in a one-car garage in Palo Alto, California by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. The company name would have been Packard-Hewlett, if Dave Packard had won a coin toss!

59 Wintertime bug : FLU

Influenza (the “flu”) is an ailment that is caused by a virus. The virus is readily inactivated by the use of soap, so washing hands and surfaces is especially helpful in containing flu outbreaks, and other virus pandemics …

61 Dove sound : COO

Taxonomically, doves and pigeons are the only members of the order Columbidae. The terms “dove” and “pigeon” are often used interchangeably. Scientifically speaking, dove species tend to be smaller than pigeon species. Colloquially though, many refer to doves as the white or nearly white species in the family.

63 Number on older business cards : FAX

A facsimile is a copy. The term comes from the Latin phrase “fac simile” meaning “make similar”, with “fac” being the imperative form of “facere”, to make. The term “fax” (as in “fax machine”) is an abbreviated form of “facsimile”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Remind repeatedly : NAG
4 Girl __ Cookies : SCOUT
9 Journalist Swisher : KARA
13 “My man!” : BRO!
14 Alpha __ Alpha sorority : KAPPA
15 Lubricated : OILED
16 Half-__: rhyming coffee order : CAF
17 Closing line after presenting an argument : I REST MY CASE
19 Elsie the Cow’s dairy brand : BORDEN
21 “Questions welcome” : ASK ME
22 Ireland, to the Irish : EIRE
23 “The Dancing Class” painter Edgar : DEGAS
26 Cedar Rapids state : IOWA
28 Nebula Award genre : SCI-FI
30 One way to get caught : RED-HANDED
32 Silky fabrics : SATINS
34 Island home of the Hana Highway : MAUI
35 Magazine VIPs : EDS
36 Pinches pennies : SCRIMPS
38 “Now I get it!” : AHA!
41 Holier-__-thou : THAN
42 Scheduled : SLATED
47 North American evergreen : BALSAM FIR
50 Say “I do” without the ado : ELOPE
51 Quaint “once” : ERST
52 Lets up : EASES
54 __ and proper : PRIM
55 Fatherly nickname : POPPA
57 Hide-and-seek hideout : CLOSET
59 Fourth of July noisemaker … and the function of the black squares in lines 3, 6, and 10 : FIRECRACKER … and “FIRE” CRACKER
62 “That hurt!” : OOF!
64 Future DAs’ exams : LSATS
65 Member-owned grocery stores : CO-OPS
66 Actress Thurman : UMA
67 Eclectic online digest : UTNE
68 Arizona’s __ National Forest : TONTO
69 __-Mex cuisine : TEX

Down

1 “This Is Us” TV network : NBC
2 Coffee bean variety : ARABICA
3 “Pursue your dream!” : GO FOR IT!
4 Slide on an icy road : SKID
5 Was concerned : CARED
6 First game of the season : OPENER
7 Emotional highs : UPS
8 Body ink, for short : TAT
9 Begin to take effect, as medicine : KICK IN
10 Dessert menu phrase : A LA MODE
11 Mended for a second time : RESEWED
12 Citrus drink suffix : -ADE
15 Yiddish laments : OYS
18 Songs made by mixing two songs : MASH-UPS
20 Mortgage adjustment, for short : REFI
22 Twisty letter : ESS
24 Some spring babies : GEMINIS
25 Driver at the Oscars : ADAM
27 Commercials : ADS
29 Lead-in to “gram” in social media : INSTA-
31 Ideological gap in Congress : AISLE
33 Bagel spread : SCHMEAR
37 Nadal of tennis, familiarly : RAFA
38 Actor Vigoda : ABE
39 Plucky member of an orchestra? : HARPIST
40 Losing candidate : ALSO-RAN
43 European peaks : ALPS
44 Left in a big hurry : TORE OUT
45 Perfect example : EPITOME
46 Rep.’s opponent : DEM
48 Tampa Bay city, familiarly : ST PETE
49 __ with: take into consideration : RECKON
53 Was out : SLEPT
56 Some HP products : PCS
58 “In that neighborhood” phrase : OR SO
59 Wintertime bug : FLU
60 Do something : ACT
61 Dove sound : COO
63 Number on older business cards : FAX

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 4 Jul 22, Monday”

  1. 7:29; no errors. If I ever get down into the 4 to 5 minute range like Glenn and Bill, I will consider my life complete. 😉

  2. No errors. About 8 minutes.

    Coffee Arabica? 75-80%? Wow. I always assumed most came from south America.

  3. Mostly easy Monday the 4th for me; took 9:31 with no peeks or errors. Didn’t get the banner and after about a minute or so I found PaPPA/ALSaRAN. Never heard of “This is Us”, KARA and wasn’t sure about TONTO, but got those with crosses.

  4. 8:14 with no revisions or errors.

    New items/names: KARA Swisher, “The Dancing Class.”

    Simple theme.

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