LA Times Crossword 29 Aug 22, Monday

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Constructed by: Fred Piscop
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Where is Shangri-La?

Themed answers each include a synonym of “Shangri-La”:

  • 17A John Steinbeck novel set in the Salinas Valley : EAST OF EDEN
  • 27A Fourth film in a series starring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Dorothy Lamour : ROAD TO UTOPIA
  • 47A Epic poem by John Milton : PARADISE LOST
  • 61A Grammy-nominated Keyshia Cole hit song : HEAVEN SENT

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

Bill’s time: 5m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Grilled sausage, for short : BRAT

A bratwurst (sometimes simply “brat” in the US) is a German sausage. The name comes from “brät-” meaning “finely chopped meat”, and “Wurst” meaning “sausage”.

10 “__ the night before Christmas … ” : ‘TWAS

The poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” was published anonymously in 1823, and is better known today by its first line “‘Twas the night before Christmas”. Most scholars believe that the poem was written by Clement Clarke Moore, a theologian from New York City. Others say that it was written by Henry Livingston, Jr., a poet from Upstate New York.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ’kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash …

14 Slacks fabric : CHINO

Chino is a twill cloth that is most often used to make hard-wearing pants. The pants have come to be referred to as chinos. Chino cloth was originally developed for use by the military, but quickly became popular with civilians.

The term “slacks” was introduced in the early 1800s with the meaning “loose trousers”. Those early slacks were part of a military uniform.

15 Lasso : ROPE

Our English word “lasso” comes from the Spanish “lazo”, and ultimately from the Latin “laqueum” meaning “noose, snare”.

17 John Steinbeck novel set in the Salinas Valley : EAST OF EDEN

John Steinbeck was born not far from here, in Salinas, California in 1902. His most famous novels are probably “The Grapes of Wrath” from 1939, “East of Eden” from 1952 and the novella “Of Mice and Men” from 1937. For his work, Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.

Salinas is a California city located south of the San Francisco Bay Area, just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean. Salinas was the hometown of Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck, and was the setting of his 1952 novel “East of Eden”.

19 Algebra, trig, etc. : MATH

Here’s another term that catches me out all the time, having done my schooling on the other side of the Atlantic. The term “mathematics” is shortened to “math” in the US, but to “maths” in Britain and Ireland.

20 Suffix with neat or beat : -NIK

The suffix “-nik” is of Slavic origin. It is somewhat like the suffix “-er” in English. By adding “-nik” to a noun, the new word describes a person related to what that noun describes. Examples of the use of “-nik” in mainstream English are “beatnik” and “”refusenik”. Examples of more casual “-nik” terms are “neatnik” and “peacenik”.

25 Delta Sigma __ sorority : THETA

Delta Sigma Theta is a sorority that was founded in 1913 at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Today, the organization has over 350,000 members, with over 1,000 chapters located all around the world. Delta Sigma Theta is largely an African-American society, although membership is open to any woman regardless of race, nationality or religion.

27 Fourth film in a series starring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Dorothy Lamour : ROAD TO UTOPIA

The trio of Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour made seven “Road” films in all:

  1. Road to Singapore (1940)
  2. Road to Zanzibar (1941)
  3. Road to Morocco (1942)
  4. Road to Utopia (1946)
  5. Road to Rio (1947)
  6. Road to Bali (1952)
  7. The Road to Hong Kong (1962)

There was an eighth “Road” movie planned for 1977 titled “Road to the Fountain of Youth”, but Crosby died that year from a heart attack.

32 “If the __ fits … ” : SHOE

The phrase “if the shoe fits, wear it” is used on this side of the Atlantic to mean “if the statement applies to you, then admit it”. The adage is a variant of the earlier English phrase “if the cap fits, wear it”. There is a similar phrase from even earlier in the 16th century that refers to the fit of a cloak.

35 Loewe’s partner : LERNER

Alan Jay Lerner was a lyricist from New York City who was known for his collaboration with Frederick Loewe and Burton Lane. Lerner was also known for his colorful private life. He was left with a persistent amphetamine addiction after being treated with “vitamins with enzymes” in the sixties, that were actually hypodermic shots laced with amphetamines. He also married eight times, and was often in dire financial straits due to the heavy load of alimony payments.

36 Post-op recovery area : ICU

Intensive care unit (ICU)

37 Iron-rich meat : LIVER

The human liver has many functions, one of which is to store vital substances. The list of substances stored in the liver includes glucose (as glycogen), vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin K, iron and copper. Another function of the liver is to produce bile, a substance stored in the gallbladder that aids in the digestion of fats.

40 Wild West film : OATER

The term “oater” that is used for a Western movie comes from the number of horses seen, as horses love oats!

43 Cover stories : ALIBIS

“Alibi” is the Latin word for “elsewhere” as in, “I claim that I was ‘elsewhere’ when the crime was committed, I have an ‘alibi’”.

46 Supermodel Banks : TYRA

Tyra Banks is a tremendously successful model and businesswoman. Banks created and hosted the hit show “America’s Next Top Model “, and also had her own talk show. She was also the first African-American woman to make the cover of the “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issue.

47 Epic poem by John Milton : PARADISE LOST

“Paradise Lost” is an epic poem written by Englishman John Milton. It is indeed an epic work, published originally in ten volumes with over ten thousand lines of verse. The “paradise” that is “lost” is the Garden of Eden, from which Adam and Eve were expelled by God in the “Fall of Man”.

English poet John Milton is best known for his epic poem “Paradise Lost”. Milton also wrote several sonnets, the most famous of which is probably “On His Blindness”. The poet developed glaucoma which rendered him completely blind so he had to dictate a lot of his work, including the whole of “Paradise Lost”.

50 Feature of italic letters : SLANT

Italic type leans to the right, and is often used to provide emphasis in text. The style is known as “italic” because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

51 Principality on the French Riviera : MONACO

The Principality of Monaco is on the Mediterranean coast, and is otherwise surrounded by France, even though it is just under 10 miles from the Italian border. Monaco is the world’s most densely populated country, and the world’s second smallest country (the smallest being Vatican City). The principality has been very prosperous since the late 1800s, with the economy given a tremendous boost with the opening of several gambling casinos.

“Riviera” is an Italian word meaning “coastline”. The term is often applied to a coastline that is sunny and popular with tourists. The term “the Riviera” is usually reserved for the French Riviera (the Mediterranean coastline in southeastern France), and the Italian Riviera (the Mediterranean coastline centered on Genoa).

57 Prom couple’s ride : LIMO

The word “limousine” derives from the name of the French city of Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving rise to that type of transportation being called a “limousine”. Well, that’s how the story goes …

60 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.

61 Grammy-nominated Keyshia Cole hit song : HEAVEN SENT

Keyshia Cole is an R&B singer and reality show star. After carving out a singing career, Cole starred in a series of reality shows:

  • “Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is”
  • “Keyshia & Daniel: Family First”
  • “Keyshia Cole: All In”
  • “Keyshia Cole: My New Life”

65 Apex : ACME

The acme is the highest point. The term “acme” comes from the Greek word “akme” that has the same meaning.

69 Helicopter blade : ROTOR

Our term “helicopter” was absorbed from the French word “hélicoptère” that was coined by Gustave Ponton d’Amécourt in 1861. d’Amécourt envisioned aircraft that could fly vertically using rotating wings that “screwed” into the air. He combined the Greek terms “helix” meaning “spiral, whirl” and “pteron” meaning “wing” to give us “helicopter”.

Down

1 Potpourri emanation : SCENT

The French term “pot pourri” literally translates literally to “rotten pot”, but in France it used to mean “stew”. Over time, the term “potpourri” evolved in English usage to mean a “medley”, and eventually a mixture of dried flowers and spices.

2 Part of a dinette set : CHAIR

Since the 1930s, a dinette has been a small dining space usually located off a kitchen. Before the thirties, “dinette” was a term meaning “lunch, preliminary dinner”.

4 Sinus specialist, for short : ENT

Ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT)

In anatomical terms, a sinus is a cavity in tissue. Sinuses are found all over the body, in the kidney and heart for example, but we most commonly think of the paranasal sinuses that surround the nose.

7 Drapery holders : RODS

When I was growing up on the other side of the pond, a drapery was a shop where one could buy cloth for making clothes or curtains. It was only when I came to America that I heard the term “drapes” used for curtains.

8 Big galoot : APE

“Galoot” is an insulting term describing an awkward or boorish man, an ape. “Galoot” comes from the nautical world, where it was originally what a sailor might call a soldier or marine.

9 Low card in a royal flush : TEN

The poker hand called a royal flush is the highest-ranking hand possible. It consists of a run of 10, jack, queen, king and ace, with all in the same suit.

10 Gazpacho ingredient : TOMATO

Gazpacho is a cold soup made from vegetables in a tomato base. It originated in Andalusia in southern Spain.

12 __-lock brakes : ANTI

The first anti-lock braking system (ABS) was developed for use on aircraft, in 1929. The system reduced braking distances for aircraft by 30% because pilots were able to apply a full braking force immediately on landing instead of applying gradual pressure to avoid skidding.

13 Nabe in London and Manhattan : SOHO

The area of London called Soho had a very poor reputation for most of the 20th century as it was home to the city’s red-light district. Soho went through a transformation in recent decades, and has been a very fashionable neighborhood since the 1980s.

The Manhattan neighborhood known today as SoHo was very fashionable in the early 1900s, but as the well-heeled started to move uptown the area became very run down and poorly maintained. Noted for the number of fires that erupted in derelict buildings, SoHo earned the nickname “Hell’s Hundred Acres”. The area was then zoned for manufacturing and became home to many sweatshops. In the mid-1900s artists started to move into open loft spaces and renovating old buildings as the lofts were ideal locations in which an artist could both live and work. In 1968, artists and others organized themselves so that they could legalize their residential use of an area zoned for manufacturing. The group they formed took its name from the name given to the area by the city’s Planning Commission i.e “South of Houston”. This was shortened from So-uth of Ho-uston to SoHo as in “SoHo Artists Association”, and the name stuck.

“Nabe” is a familiar term used to describe a neighborhood, or a local movie theater.

18 Like many an alley cat : FERAL

“Feral”, meaning “existing in a wild or untamed state”, comes from the Latin word “fera” meaning “wild animal”.

25 Throat tissue : TONSIL

The palatine tonsils are located at the back of the human throat. The exact role that tonsils play isn’t completely understood, but it is known that they are in the first line of defense in the body’s immune system. They provide some level of protection against pathogens that are ingested and inhaled.

28 Cease and __ order : DESIST

“Cease” and “desist” are very similar, but not identical terms. An order to cease an activity is an order to “stop”. An order to desist is an order not to do that activity again in the future.

29 Native American group : TRIBE

A tribe is a social group having a shared ancestry and language. The term “tribe” comes from the Latin “tribus” that described one of the three ethnic groups of ancient Rome, i.e. Tites, Ramnes and Luceres (which may have been the Latins, Sabines and Etruscans). Today, the term has racially offensive connotations, largely because European colonists used the word “tribes” to describe the indigenous peoples that they ousted from their lands.

31 Subtle glow : AURA

An aura (plural “aurae”) is an intangible quality that surrounds a person or thing, a “je ne sais quoi”. “Je ne sais quoi” is French for “I don’t know what”.

32 High-five sound : SLAP

The celebratory gesture that we call a “high five” is said to have been invented by former baseball players Dusty Baker and Glenn Burke when they were both playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the late 1970s.

38 Storm tracker : RADAR

Scientists have been using radio waves to detect the presence of objects since the late 1800s, but it was the demands of WWII that accelerated the practical application of the technology. The British called their system RDF standing for Range and Direction Finding. The system used by the US Navy was called “Radio Detection And Ranging”, which was shortened to the acronym “RADAR”.

41 Mailing label abbr. : ATTN

Attention (attn.)

44 “Hamilton” creator __-Manuel Miranda : LIN

Lin-Manuel Miranda is a composer and playwright from New York City, and the creator and star of the hit Broadway musicals “Hamilton” and “In the Heights”. Miranda also co-wrote the songs for the 2016 Disney animated feature “Moana”. He started composing early, and wrote jingles as a child. One of those jingles was later used by Eliot Spitzer in his 2006 gubernatorial campaign.

45 French river to the English Channel : SOMME

The Somme is a river in the north of France. The name “Somme” comes from a Celtic word meaning “tranquility”. Paradoxically, the Somme is remembered as the site of a devastating WWI battle. The river separated British and French forces from the German army from July to November 1916. By the end of the battle, over one million soldiers had been wounded or killed.

52 Alaskan native : ALEUT

The Aleuts live on the Aleutian Islands of the North Pacific, and on the Commander Islands at the western end of the same island chain. The Aleutian Islands are part of the United States, and the Commander Islands are in Russia.

53 Time-share unit, typically : CONDO

The terms “condominium” and “apartment” tend to describe the same type of residential property, namely a private living space with facilities shared with others residing in the same building or complex. The difference is that a condominium is usually owned, and an apartment is rented. At least that’s how it is in the US. The word “condominium” comes from the Latin “com-” (together) and “dominum” (right of ownership).

54 Playful river animal : OTTER

Male and female otters are known as dogs and bitches, with the offspring called pups. Males and females are sometimes referred to as boars and sows. A collection of otters is a bevy, family, lodge or perhaps a romp. When in water, a collection of otters can be called a raft.

55 “¿__ está usted?” : COMO

“¿Cómo está usted?” is the more formal way of asking “How are you?” in Spanish.

58 Currier’s partner : IVES

Currier and Ives was a printmaking concern in New York City run by Nathaniel Currier and his partner James Merritt Ives from 1834 to 1907. The firm specialized in making affordable, hand-colored black and white lithographs.

61 Fez or fedora : HAT

A fez is a red, cylindrical hat worn mainly in North Africa, and by Shriners here in the US. The fez used to be a very popular hat across the Ottoman Empire. The etymology of “fez” is unclear, although it may have something to do with the Moroccan city named Fez.

A fedora is a lovely hat, I think. It is made of felt, and is similar to a trilby, but has a broader brim. “Fedora” was a play written for Sarah Bernhardt and first performed in 1889. Bernhardt had the title role of Princess Fedora, and on stage she wore a hat similar to a modern-day fedora. The play led to the women’s fashion accessory, the fedora hat, commonly worn by women into the beginning of the twentieth century. Men then started wearing fedoras, but only when women gave up the fashion …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Threaded fastener : SCREW
6 Grilled sausage, for short : BRAT
10 “__ the night before Christmas … ” : ‘TWAS
14 Slacks fabric : CHINO
15 Lasso : ROPE
16 “How disappointing” : OH NO
17 John Steinbeck novel set in the Salinas Valley : EAST OF EDEN
19 Algebra, trig, etc. : MATH
20 Suffix with neat or beat : -NIK
21 Whacks with an ax : HEWS
22 Numerical relationship : RATIO
23 Make an attempt at : TRY FOR
25 Delta Sigma __ sorority : THETA
27 Fourth film in a series starring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Dorothy Lamour : ROAD TO UTOPIA
32 “If the __ fits … ” : SHOE
35 Loewe’s partner : LERNER
36 Post-op recovery area : ICU
37 Iron-rich meat : LIVER
39 Girl of the fam : SIS
40 Wild West film : OATER
42 Sailor’s yes : AYE
43 Cover stories : ALIBIS
46 Supermodel Banks : TYRA
47 Epic poem by John Milton : PARADISE LOST
50 Feature of italic letters : SLANT
51 Principality on the French Riviera : MONACO
55 Provide food service for : CATER
57 Prom couple’s ride : LIMO
59 Parking area : LOT
60 Actor Sharif : OMAR
61 Grammy-nominated Keyshia Cole hit song : HEAVEN SENT
64 Baseball glove : MITT
65 Apex : ACME
66 Evade skillfully : ELUDE
67 Poetic tributes : ODES
68 A++ : TOPS
69 Helicopter blade : ROTOR

Down

1 Potpourri emanation : SCENT
2 Part of a dinette set : CHAIR
3 Full of uncertainty : RISKY
4 Sinus specialist, for short : ENT
5 “Yippee!” : WOO-HOO!
6 Make, as coffee : BREW
7 Drapery holders : RODS
8 Big galoot : APE
9 Low card in a royal flush : TEN
10 Gazpacho ingredient : TOMATO
11 “That’s too bad” : WHAT A PITY
12 __-lock brakes : ANTI
13 Nabe in London and Manhattan : SOHO
18 Like many an alley cat : FERAL
22 Fashionably nostalgic : RETRO
24 Available for an appointment : FREE
25 Throat tissue : TONSIL
26 Shade on a paint color strip : HUE
28 Cease and __ order : DESIST
29 Native American group : TRIBE
30 Cake prettifier : ICER
31 Subtle glow : AURA
32 High-five sound : SLAP
33 “How’s it goin’?” : HIYA
34 Exaggerate : OVERSTATE
38 Storm tracker : RADAR
41 Mailing label abbr. : ATTN
44 “Hamilton” creator __-Manuel Miranda : LIN
45 French river to the English Channel : SOMME
48 Tips off : ALERTS
49 “__ rather than later, please” : SOONER
52 Alaskan native : ALEUT
53 Time-share unit, typically : CONDO
54 Playful river animal : OTTER
55 “¿__ está usted?” : COMO
56 Bunched in with : AMID
57 Reading light : LAMP
58 Currier’s partner : IVES
61 Fez or fedora : HAT
62 Green prefix : ECO-
63 __-pitch softball : SLO

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 29 Aug 22, Monday”

  1. Fast solve for me this morning. No errors or lookups, but
    still took me over 17 minutes …far cry from Bill’s 5+ minutes.
    How does he DO it???

  2. No errors. Happy monday.

    Bing, Bob and Dorothy made 7 films together over 20+ years. Who does that? Amazing. Had to look up ROAD TO UTOPIA. What a cast. Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin were in that!

  3. 3:18 Two changes after the first go: INUIT->ALEUT, OPEN->FREE

    @Mary, I don’t know about Bill but I am a very fast typist as I play classical piano. That helps a lot!

    1. It’s not just typing speed, but also reading. I don’t see how anyone can read all the clues while keying in the answers in under 4 minutes. Please tell us your secret.

    2. Thanks, Lily. through the years I have been a fast
      typist too, but I’m a newcomer to solving on line; and
      I goof up a lot yet.

  4. @Madukes, I don’t really know my secret except that I have been solving crossword puzzles for many years and in addition to being a fast typist I am also a fast reader. I average about 75 books a year. My son is the same; when he was in elementary and middle school, we bought all the Harry Potter books as soon as they were released, and he read each one in one day, including the later ones which were ~800 pages!

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