LA Times Crossword 26 Aug 22, Friday

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Constructed by: Christina Iverson & Beth Rubin
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Book Drops

Themed answers each include the title of BOOK as a hidden word, but that title has DROPPED from the across-direction to the down-direction:

  • 60A Places to return library materials, and a hint to how the authors in four Down clues help complete the answers to the starred clues : BOOK DROPS
  • 15A *Folded brunch dish : FRENCH OMELET
  • 16A (Robinson) : HOME
  • 21A *Ethical challenges : MORAL DILEMMAS
  • 25A (Austen) : EMMA
  • 36A *Fleet operator headquartered in Montreal : AIR CANADA
  • 38A (Nabokov) : ADA
  • 49A *Planet in the Super Mario Galaxy : MUSHROOM WORLD
  • 50A (Donoghue) : ROOM

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

Bill’s time: 8m 11s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Tats : INK

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

13 Aromatic neckwear : 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.

14 “J’accuse!” : GOT YA!

The most famous work by French writer Émile Zola is his 1898 open letter “J’Accuse!” written to French president Félix Faure. The letter was published on the front page of a leading Paris newspaper, and accused the government of anti-Semitism in its handling of the trial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus. Dreyfus was a Jewish military officer in the French army, falsely accused and convicted of spying for Germany. Even after the error was discovered, the government refused to back down and let Dreyfus rot away on Devil’s Island rather than admit to the mistake. It wasn’t until 1906, 12 years after the wrongful conviction, that Dreyfus was freed and reinstated, largely due to the advocacy of Emile Zola.

15 *Folded brunch dish : FRENCH OMELET

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 Dalmatian with a red hat, maybe : FIRE DOG

The Dalmatian breed of dog originated in Dalmatia, in the Republic of Croatia. Here in the US, Dalmatians are known as “firehouse dogs”. This association dates back to the use of Dalmatians in firehouses to guard the valuable horses that pulled the fire engines.

19 Gunk : GOO

“Gunk” is a thick greasy substance. The original “Gunk” was a brand of thick liquid soap that was patented in 1932.

20 Walk of Fame figure : STAR

The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a series of sidewalks taking up 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and 3 blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood. The Walk of Fame is an ever-changing monument dedicated to those who have achieved greatness in the entertainment industry, both in front of and behind the camera. The first stars installed in the sidewalk were a group of eight, officially laid in 1960. That group consisted of:

  • Joanne Woodward (actor)
  • Olive Borden (actor)
  • Ronald Colman (actor)
  • Louise Fazenda (actor)
  • Preston Foster (actor)
  • Burt Lancaster (actor)
  • Edward Sedgwick (director)
  • Ernest Torrence (actor)

21 *Ethical challenges : MORAL DILEMMAS

A lemma is a helping theorem, a subsidiary proposition that helps prove some other proposition. A problem offering two equally acceptable (or unacceptable) possibilities might be described as a “double lemma”, and hence our term “dilemma”.

27 Where to see Chicago touchdowns : O’HARE

O’Hare International was the world’s busiest airport from 1963 to 1998. The original airport was constructed on the site between 1942 and 1943, and was used by the Douglas Aircraft Company for the manufacture of planes during WWII. Before the factory and airport were built, there was a community in the area called Orchard Place, so the airport was called Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field. This name is the derivation of the airport’s current location identifier: ORD (OR-chard D-ouglas). Orchard Place Airport was renamed to O’Hare International in 1949 in honor of Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare who grew up in Chicago. O’Hare was the US Navy’s first flying ace and a Medal of Honor recipient in WWII.

34 Capote nickname : TRU

The larger-than-life Truman “Tru” Capote was an author and comedian. Capote is perhaps most associated with his novella “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and his true crime novel “In Cold Blood”. Truman Capote grew up in Monroeville, Alabama. There he met, and became lifelong friends with, fellow novelist Harper Lee. Capote was the inspiration for the character “Dill” in Lee’s celebrated work “To Kill a Mockingbird”. In turn, Harper Lee was the inspiration for the character “Idabel” in Capote’s “Other Voices, Other Rooms”.

36 *Fleet operator headquartered in Montreal : AIR CANADA

Air Canada is the largest airline in Canada, and the country’s flag carrier. The airline started out as Trans-Canada Air Lines, which was founded by Canada’s federal government in 1936.

45 “Unböring” furniture chain : IKEA

“Unböring” is a marketing campaign that IKEA launched in 2002.

47 “500” initials on Wall Street : S AND P

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) is a financial services company that is famous for its stock market indices, especially the S&P 500. The company also publishes credit ratings for sovereign governments, and in 2011 famously lowered the rating of the US federal government from AAA to AA+.

49 *Planet in the Super Mario Galaxy : MUSHROOM WORLD

“Super Mario” is a series of video games created by Nintendo that features the character Mario, and his adventures in the Mushroom Kingdom.

52 Tree whose seeds yield an organic insecticide : NEEM

Neem is a tree that is native to the Indian subcontinent and Africa. The neem fruit and seeds are the source of neem oil, which is used as an organic pesticide.

55 Cox of “Orange Is the New Black” : LAVERNE

Actress Laverne Cox’s big break came with the role Sophia Burset on the hit show “Orange is the New Black”. The Burset character is a trans woman and, in flashbacks on the show, the pre-transition Burset is portrayed by Laverne’s identical twin brother Reginald, known by the stage name M Lamar. In 2018, Laverne became the first openely transgender woman to make the cover of a “Cosmopolitan” magazine, and is also the first openly transgender woman to have a wax figure representation of herself in Madame Tussauds.

“Orange Is the New Black” is a very entertaining comedy-drama series made by Netflix about an upper middle-class woman who goes to jail for a drug-related offense committed ten years earlier, in her youth. The series is based on a memoir by Piper Kerman called “Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison”.

57 __ ball : MATZO

Matzo is an unleavened bread that is very brittle. The bread is crushed, creating a Matzo meal that is then formed into balls using eggs and oil as a binder. The balls are usually served in a chicken stock.

62 Pulitzer-winning composer Ned : ROREM

American composer Ned Rorem is famous for his musical compositions, but also for his book “Paris Diary of Ned Rorem” that was published in 1966. Rorem talks openly about his sexuality in the book, and also about the sexual orientation of others including Noël Coward, Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber, much to some people’s chagrin.

64 Some running shoes : AVIAS

The “Avia” brand name for athletic shoes was chosen as “avia” is the Latin word for “to fly”, and suggests the concept of aviation. Avia was founded in Oregon in 1979.

65 Terrier breed : SKYE

The Skye terrier is a breed of dog that is actually under threat of extinction. A few years ago, there were only 30 Skye terriers born in the breed’s native land of the UK. The breed was named for the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

66 Light shade? : RED

The first traffic lights date back to 1868 when they were installed outside the Houses of Parliament in London. They resembled the signals already in use for trains, with semaphore arms and red and green gas lamps for nighttime use. That first system was operated manually, by a policeman at the base. Sadly, one police officer was killed just one year after the light’s installation, when the gas system exploded.

Down

1 Flamin’ Hot chip : DORITO

The product that was to become Doritos was a creation at the Casa de Fritos in Disneyland in the early sixties. A marketing executive from Frito-Lay noticed how well the snack was selling in the park, and made a deal to produce the chips under the name “Doritos”, starting in 1964. “Doritos” translates from Spanish as “little bits of gold”.

4 How some mixtapes are really stored : ON CD

The compact disc (CD) was developed jointly by Philips and Sony as a medium for storing and playing sound recordings. When the first commercial CD was introduced back in 1982, a CD’s storage capacity was far greater than the amount of data that could be stored on the hard drive of personal computers available at that time.

6 Once called : NEE

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”. The term “née” is mainly used in English when referring to a married woman’s birth name, assuming that she has adopted her husband’s name, e.g. Michelle Obama née Robinson, Melania Trump née Knavs, and Jill Biden née Jacobs.

7 Harington of “Game of Thrones” : KIT

English actor Kit Harington’s big break came when he landed the leading role of Jon Snow in the hit fantasy TV show “Game of Thrones”. In 2017, he appeared in the historical drama miniseries “Gunpowder”, a show that he also developed and produced. The series is about the failed 1605 Gunpowder Plot to blow up the House of Parliament in London. Harington plays the leader of the group behind the plan, Robert Catesby. In real life, Harington is a direct descendent of Catesby. Harington married fellow “Game of Thrones” actor Rose Leslie in 2018.

9 NFL stat : ATT

In football, one statistic (stat) used to track the performance of a quarterback (QB) is attempts (ATT).

12 Close chums, for short : BFFS

Best friend forever (BFF)

16 (Robinson) : HOME

“Home” is a 2008 novel by Pulitzer-winning author Marilynne Robinson. Although “Home” is a stand-alone work, it serves as a companion to Robinson’s earlier novel “Gilead”.

Author Marilynne Robinson won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2005 for her 2004 novel “Gilead”. Her other notable work is her 1980 novel “Housekeeping”, which was a Pulitzer finalist.

19 Close in theaters : GLENN

Glenn Close is a wonderful actress who has played many varied roles, but is well known for her portrayals of less than wholesome characters. She played the crazy Alex Forrest in “Fatal Attraction”, and Cruella de Vil in “101 Dalmatians”. More recently, Close had a regular role on a TV show called “Damages”. Glenn Close is an avid fan of the New York Mets and regularly sings the national anthem before games. As of 2021, Close is tied with Peter O’Toole for the record for the most Oscar acting nominations without a win (that would be eight).

22 Nuclear plant : REACTOR

A nuclear reactor (originally “atomic pile”) is a device designed to maintain a self-contained nuclear chain reaction. Nuclear fission generates heat in the reactor core. That heat is transferred out of the core by a nuclear reactor coolant, and is used to turn steam turbines. Those steam turbines usually drive electrical generators, or perhaps a ship’s propellers.

24 Calming aromatherapy option : LAVENDER OIL

“Lavender” is the common name for the plant genus Lavandula. Lavender is used as an ornamental plant, as a culinary herb and for the production of essential oils. The plant’s name might ultimately be derived from the Latin word “lavare” meaning “to wash”, a reference to the use of essential oils in bathing.

25 (Austen) : EMMA

Jane Austen’s novel “Emma” is the tale of Emma Woodhouse and the wonderful George Knightley. At the end of the story, Emma marries Knightley and her young friend Harriet marries Robert Martin, who had been trying to get Harriet’s attention practically from page one of the novel. Emma interfered in that troubled courtship.

English novelist Jane Austen is best known today for her six major novels, only four of which were published before she died in 1817, at the age of 41:

  1. “Sense and Sensibility” (1811)
  2. “Pride and Prejudice” (1813)
  3. “Mansfield Park” (1814)
  4. “Emma” (1816)
  5. “Northanger Abbey” (1818)
  6. “Persuasion” (1818)

28 Nutritional amt. : RDA

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs) in 1997.

32 Ragú rival : PREGO

The Prego brand of pasta sauce is owned by the Campbell Soup Company. It is actually based on the family recipe of one of the company’s chefs. “Prego” literally means “I pray” in Italian, but it translates best in English as “you’re welcome” when it is used after a “thank you” (“grazie”, in Italian).

The Ragú brand of pasta sauce was introduced in 1937. The name ”Ragù” is the Italian word for a sauce used to dress pasta, however the spelling is a little off in the name of the sauce. In Italian, the word is “Ragù” with a grave accent over the “u”, but if you look at a jar of the sauce on the supermarket shelf it is spelled “Ragú” on the label, with an acute accent. Sometimes I think we just don’t try …

35 Device for cord cutters : ROKU

Roku is a manufacturer of digital media players that allow access to audio and video programming over the Internet that is shown on television. Roku was founded in Los Gatos, California in 2002 by Anthony Wood. Wood chose the company name “Roku” as it is the Japanese word for “six”, and Roku is the sixth company that Wood founded. For what it’s worth, Rokus used to be my streaming device of choice, until I discovered Google TV …

38 (Nabokov) : ADA

“Ada” is a 1969 novel by Vladimir Nabokov. The story takes place in the 1800s on Antiterra, an Earth-like planet that has a history similar to ours but with interesting differences. For example, there is a “United States”, but that country covers all of North and South America. What we call eastern Canada is a French-speaking province called “Canady”, and western Canada is a Russian-speaking province called “Estody”. The storyline is about a man called Van Veen who, when 14 years old, meets for the first time his cousin, 11-year-old Ada. The two cousins eventually have an affair, only to discover later that they are in fact brother and sister.

Vladimir Nabokov was a Russian-American novelist who achieved international recognition only after he moved to the US and started to write in English. His most famous work has to be the 1995 novel “Lolita”. As well devoting time to writing, Nabokov had quite the reputation as a composer of chess problems, and as a lepidopterist. In fact, the butterfly genus Nabokovia was named in his honor.

41 Triumphant cry in a dice game : YAHTZEE!

The dice game Yahtzee was introduced in 1956 and is a variant of earlier dice games, especially the game “Yacht” (which even has a similar name). Yahtzee is required entertainment in our house during holidays. The game involves the rolling of five dice, with the intent of getting certain combinations. A lot of those combinations resemble poker hands, such as “three of a kind”, “four of a kind” and “full house”.

47 Neb. neighbor : SDAK

The Dakota Territory was formed in 1861 and ceased to exist with the admission to the Union of the states of North Dakota and South Dakota. The territory was split into two states in 1889 largely due to lobbying by the Republican Party, which enjoyed a lot of support in the Dakota Territory. The admission of two states added to the political power of the party in the US Senate, by adding four safe Republican seats.

50 (Donoghue) : ROOM

Emma Donoghue is an Irish-born Canadian author and historian. Her 2010 novel “Room” was a big success, and one that she adapted herself into a 2015 film of the same name (earning an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay).

51 Two-time Olympic soccer gold medalist Carli __ : LLOYD

Carli Lloyd is a retired professional soccer player who played on the US teams that won the FIFA World Cup in 2015 and 2019. In the 2015 tournament, she scored a hat-trick in the final. I well remember the only other hat trick in a World Cup final, a feat accomplished by Geoff Hurst for England in 1966.

56 Feb. 14 : V-DAY

Saint Valentine’s Day was introduced by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD to honor various martyrs with the name Valentine. However, the saint’s day was dropped by the Roman Catholic church in 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Try telling that to Hallmark though …

57 “The Marvelous __ Maisel” : MRS

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is a comedy drama TV show set in the late fifties and early sixties. The title character, played by Rachel Brosnahan, is a New York housewife who opts for a career as a standup comedian.

58 Just peachy : A-OK

Our term “A-OK” is supposedly an abbreviation for “A(ll systems are) OK”, and arose at NASA in the sixties during the space program.

60 Soap unit : BAR

Soap is basically made by adding a strong alkali (like lye) to a fat (like olive oil or palm oil). The fats break down in the basic solution in a process called saponification. The crude soap is extracted from the mixture, washed, purified and finished in molds.

61 Small digit : ONE

The Arabic numerals 1 through 9 are referred to as digits. The complete set of digits usually includes the additional numeral 0. That makes ten digits in all, which is also the number of fingers and the number of toes.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “__ arigato”: Japanese “thank you very much” : DOMO
5 Tats : INK
8 Collars : NABS
12 Pop by : BOP IN
13 Aromatic neckwear : LEI
14 “J’accuse!” : GOT YA!
15 *Folded brunch dish : FRENCH OMELET
17 Chose : OPTED
18 Dalmatian with a red hat, maybe : FIRE DOG
19 Gunk : GOO
20 Walk of Fame figure : STAR
21 *Ethical challenges : MORAL DILEMMAS
27 Where to see Chicago touchdowns : O’HARE
29 Long opening in poetry? : ERE
30 Handle : NAME
31 Hand-me-down : OLD
32 Nuisance : PAIN
33 Not for kids, in short : TV-MA
34 Capote nickname : TRU
36 *Fleet operator headquartered in Montreal : AIR CANADA
39 Break a fast : EAT
40 Optimistic : ROSY
42 Earns after taxes : NETS
43 Grayish-brown : DUN
45 “Unböring” furniture chain : IKEA
46 Earlier : AGO
47 “500” initials on Wall Street : S AND P
49 *Planet in the Super Mario Galaxy : MUSHROOM WORLD
52 Tree whose seeds yield an organic insecticide : NEEM
54 Small digit : TOE
55 Cox of “Orange Is the New Black” : LAVERNE
57 __ ball : MATZO
60 Places to return library materials, and a hint to how the authors in four Down clues help complete the answers to the starred clues : BOOK DROPS
62 Pulitzer-winning composer Ned : ROREM
63 “__ volunteers?” : ANY
64 Some running shoes : AVIAS
65 Terrier breed : SKYE
66 Light shade? : RED
67 Shout : YELL

Down

1 Flamin’ Hot chip : DORITO
2 Places where things often end on a high note? : OPERA HOUSES
3 __ water : MINERAL
4 How some mixtapes are really stored : ON CD
5 “Send me!” : I’LL GO!
6 Once called : NEE
7 Harington of “Game of Thrones” : KIT
8 “Ugh, why bother?” : NO POINT
9 NFL stat : ATT
10 “Later!” : BYE!
11 Blue : SAD
12 Close chums, for short : BFFS
14 “I approve” : GOOD
16 (Robinson) : HOME
19 Close in theaters : GLENN
22 Nuclear plant : REACTOR
23 Solos in 2-Down : ARIAS
24 Calming aromatherapy option : LAVENDER OIL
25 (Austen) : EMMA
26 Plane reservation : SEAT
28 Nutritional amt. : RDA
32 Ragú rival : PREGO
34 Cut to fit : TRIM
35 Device for cord cutters : ROKU
37 Floored : IN AWE
38 (Nabokov) : ADA
41 Triumphant cry in a dice game : YAHTZEE!
44 Rattle : UNNERVE
47 Neb. neighbor : SDAK
48 Foreign correspondent? : PEN PAL
50 (Donoghue) : ROOM
51 Two-time Olympic soccer gold medalist Carli __ : LLOYD
53 Extreme clutter : MESS
56 Feb. 14 : V-DAY
57 “The Marvelous __ Maisel” : MRS
58 Just peachy : A-OK
59 “Give it a go!” : TRY!
60 Soap unit : BAR
61 Small digit : ONE

27 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 26 Aug 22, Friday”

  1. 9:19, no errors, a few minor nitpicks. There doesn’t seem to be a Mushroom World in Super Mario Galaxy from a quick glance at the Super Mario Wiki, though apparently where Super Mario Bros. 3 takes place is called “Mushroom World”, which I didn’t know despite having played that game. A few more names than I personally like too, though solvable with crosses. Didn’t know NEEM tree and only vaguely recalled DUN as a tannish color after filling it in. And “BOP IN”? Still, got the theme clues quicker than I expected to.

  2. No error. A real “Artsy” grid. Got the theme and trick ok. But didn’t know all the books.

    Interesting cross with LAVENDER and LAVERNE???

  3. Definitely needed to solve the theme to be able to
    complete this one. However I didn’t know all the authors’
    books (except for Emma) but got them with crosses and
    a few lookups. It was “Air Cana
    d
    a
    that gave me the theme.

  4. This was absolutely horrible for me. I had no idea what they were doing and when I finally figured that out, I didn’t know some of the authors, let alone what they wrote. Neem is a kind of tree? Oh yeah, now we’re supposed to speak Japanese. Right.

      1. , Beachlife.
        Three lookups.
        Marilynne Robinson also wrote “Housekeeping”. The movie starred Christine Lahti – I have been a fan of hers ever since!

  5. Bill, for 65A and 66A you gave the same description for a Skye terrier!
    Did not care for this puzzle. Too clever for me!
    😂

  6. 14:42, no errors but lots of things I had never heard before, ROREM, SKYE terriers, AVIAS, DUN, NEEM sounded vaguely familiar but who knows, and BOP IN is pretty dubious

  7. 22:07, no errors. The only book I had heard of (Emma) was in the last area of the puzzle that I worked on. Still a fun puzzle.

  8. 12: 56, and DNF. This theme made no sense whatsoever. Not only did you choose book titles that were completely out of ken for most (only EMMA was recognizable), then it got stretched by complicating crossing fills.

    Candidate for “worst of the year”. Both constructors go on my “skip list” for the future. (I see Beth is already on there)

  9. 7:34, took a while to parse the theme but it helped to know FRENCHOMELET. I didn’t know ROREM or LLOYD but crosses took care of both.

  10. 19:31 with revisions of: JANE>EMMA, LAVENDAR>LAVENDER, IDES>VDAY.

    New: DUN (color), NEEM, LAVERNE Cox, Ned ROREM, KIT Harington, HOME and
    Marilynne Robinson, ROOM and Emma Donoghue, Carli LLOYD, Mushroom World sounded familiar, but not as a planet.

    Extra challenging today because my newspaper version didn’t print the last line of clues, so 64A “shoes,” 26D, and 48D “correspondent?” were missing. I got the answers anyway!

    The theme construction helped since I didn’t know two of the books at all.

  11. No look ups, no errors. Didn’t bother with
    the inane theme. This felt very forced. Too
    clever by half…..
    Hoping for a good Saturday puzzle!

  12. I did not enjoy this puzzle at all! Clues too far fetched and too many things unknown. 21A clue was plural but you had to go down to complete it before the S was added was just one small item. Same for omelette but not for aircanada. Inconsistent.

  13. Kinda fun for a Friday; took 23:42 with no peeks or errors. Knew just enough to then make good guesses and a few changes to get to the banner, much to my surprise. Figured out the theme and was able to use it to all the theme clues. Only knew EMMA and ADA of the books.

    Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto from Styx was a nice way to start: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc6f_2nPSX8

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