LA Times Crossword 31 Aug 22, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Shannon Rapp
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Roll the Dice

Themed answers each include the letter string “DICE”, but with the order ROLLED around:

  • 62A Take a chance, and how to form the sequence in each set of circled letters : ROLL THE DICE
  • 17A Many a modern suburb : PLANNED CITY
  • 24A Shellfish dish often prepared with coconut milk : CURRIED CRAB
  • 38A “Helping You Ditch Wedding Stress” podcast/blog : BRIDECHILLA
  • 53A “Star Wars” ruling body : JEDI COUNCIL
  • Read on, or jump to …
    … a complete list of answers

    Bill’s time: 7m 15s

    Bill’s errors: 0

    Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

    Across

    1 Salat leaders : IMAMS

    Salah (also “salat”) are daily prayers performed by the faithful in the Islamic tradition. Collectively, the prayers form the second of the Five Pillars of Islam.

    6 Kraut-topped sausage : WURST

    “Wurst” is simply a German word meaning “sausage”.

    “Sauerkraut” translates from German as “sour herb” or “sour cabbage”. During WWI, sauerkraut producers changed its name in order to distance their product from the “enemy”. They called it “Liberty cabbage”.

    11 __ machine : FOG

    Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide (CO2). The material’s main use is to preserve food and for cooling in general. It is also used in fog machines in theaters and haunted houses.

    14 Arcade plumber : MARIO

    Mario Bros. started out as an arcade game back in 1983, developed by Nintendo. The more famous of the two brothers, Mario, had already appeared in an earlier arcade game “Donkey Kong”. Mario was given a brother called Luigi, and the pair have been around ever since. In the game, Mario and Luigi are Italian American plumbers from New York City.

    Our word “arcade” comes from the Latin “arcus” meaning “arc”. The first arcades were passages made from a series of arches. This could be an avenue of trees, and eventually any covered avenue. I remember arcades lined with shops and stores when I was growing up on the other side of the Atlantic. Arcades came to be lined with lots of amusements, resulting in amusement arcades and video game arcades.

    15 Sitcom set in a H.S. science class : AP BIO

    “AP Bio” is a sitcom that started airing in 2018. The main character in the show is a disgraced Harvard philosophy professor who is forced to return to his hometown of Toledo to work as an AP biology teacher.

    16 Game with a spinoff called Dos : UNO

    UNO! is a card game that was developed in the early seventies and that has been sold by Mattel since 1992. It falls into the shedding family of card games, meaning that the goal is to get rid of all your cards while preventing opponents from doing the same.

    23 NYC airport code : LGA

    Fiorello La Guardia was the Mayor of New York from 1934 to 1945, racking up three full terms in office. The famous airport that bears La Guardia’s name was built at his urging, stemming from an incident that took place while he was in office. He was taking a TWA flight to “New York” and was outraged when the plane landed at Newark Airport, in the state of New Jersey. The Mayor demanded that the flight take off again and land at a small airport in Brooklyn. A gaggle of press reporters joined him on the short hop and he gave them a story, urging New Yorkers to support the construction of a new commercial airport within the city’s limits. The new airport, in Queens, opened in 1939 as New York Municipal, often called “LaGuardia” as a nickname. The airport was officially relabeled as “LaGuardia” (LGA) in 1947.

    28 __ : raisins :: log : celery : ANTS

    Ants on a log is a snack food prepared by spreading something like peanut butter or cream cheese on celery and placing raisins on top. If you leave out the raisins, the snack becomes “ants on vacation”.

    31 Part of cellular plans : DATA

    What we mostly call a “cell phone” here in North America is more usually referred to as a “mobile phone” in Britain and Ireland. My favorite term for the device is used in Germany, where it is called a “Handy”.

    32 Food Network host Garten : INA

    Ina Garten is an author as well as the host of a cooking show on the Food Network called “Barefoot Contessa”. She is a mentee of Martha Stewart, and indeed was touted as a potential “successor” to the TV celebrity when Stewart was incarcerated in 2004 after an insider trading scandal. Garten has no formal training as a chef, and indeed used to work as a nuclear policy analyst at the White House!

    38 “Helping You Ditch Wedding Stress” podcast/blog : BRIDECHILLA

    Bridechilla is a website and podcast focused on wedding planning. The website was founded by Aleisha McCormack, who also hosts the podcast.

    43 Scottish swimming hole : LOCH

    “Loch” is the Scottish-Gaelic word for “lake”. The Irish-Gaelic word is “lough”, and the Welsh word is “llyn”.

    44 Money exec : CFO

    Chief financial officer (CFO)

    47 Jewish rite : BRIS

    A mohel is a man who has been trained in the practice of brit milah (circumcision). Brit milah is known as “bris” in Yiddish. The brit milah ceremony is performed on male infants when they are 8 days old.

    49 Pop singer Rexha : BEBE

    Bebe Rexha is a singer-songwriter from New York City. Her given name at birth was “Bleta”, which is Albanian for “bee”. Folks started to use the nickname “Bebe”, which stuck.

    53 “Star Wars” ruling body : JEDI COUNCIL

    The Jedi are the good guys in the “Star Wars” series of movies. The most famous Jedi knights from the films are Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness, and later Ewan McGregor) and Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz). Well, they’re my favorites anyway …

    61 Cargo unit : TON

    Cargo is freight carried by some vehicle. The term “cargo” comes into English via Spanish, ultimately deriving from the Latin “carricare” meaning “to load on a cart”.

    62 Take a chance, and how to form the sequence in each set of circled letters : ROLL THE DICE

    The numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. There are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so-called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting …

    66 Parabola portion : ARC

    A parabola is roughly a u-shape curve. Parabolic mirrors have cross-sections that are parabolic curves. Such mirrors have the characteristic that light emanating from the parabola’s focal point leaves the mirror as a parallel beam, a collimated beam.

    70 Smooth transition : SEGUE

    A segue is a transition from one topic to the next. “Segue” is an Italian word that literally means “now follows”. It was first used in musical scores directing the performer to play into the next movement without a break. The oft-used term “segway” is given the same meaning, although the word “segway” doesn’t really exist. It is a misspelling of “segue” that has been popularized by its use as the name of the personal transporter known as a Segway.

    Down

    1 Classic Chevy that shares its name with an antelope : IMPALA

    The Chevrolet Impala was introduced in 1957. “Impala” is the Zulu word for “gazelle”.

    “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.

    3 Noah’s Ark site : ARARAT

    Mount Ararat is in Turkey. It is a snow-capped, dormant volcano with two peaks. The higher of the two, Greater Ararat, is the tallest peak in the country. Ararat takes its name from a legendary Armenian hero called Ara the Beautiful (or “Ara the Handsome”). According to the Book of Genesis, Noah’s ark landed on Mount Ararat as the Great Flood subsided.

    5 SST part : SONIC

    Supersonic transport (SST)

    7 QR kin : UPC

    The initialism “UPC” stands for Universal Price Code or Universal Product Code. The first ever UPC-marked item to get scanned in a store was on June 26, 1974 at 08:01 a.m. at Marsh’s supermarket in Troy, Ohio. It was a 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum.

    A QR Code (for “Quick Response Code”) is a two-dimensional barcode that is favored over UPC barcodes as it can read more quickly and can store much more information. The QR Code comprises black squares within a square grid on a white background.

    8 Triple Crown stat : RBI

    In Major League baseball, a player can earn the Triple Crown when he is the leader in three specific statistics. The pitching Triple Crown includes wins, strikeouts and earned run average (ERA). The batting Triple Crown includes home runs, runs batted in (RBI) and batting average.

    11 Matt Groening series set in the 31st century : FUTURAMA

    “Futurama” is an animated sci-fi show that airs on Fox. It was co-created by cartoonist Matt Groening, who also created “The Simpsons”. I simply don’t understand either show …

    18 Bird on some Australian coins : EMU

    The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

    22 “Sound of Silver” band __ Soundsystem : LCD

    LCD Soundsystem is a rock band from New York City that was founded in 2001. The “LCD” initialism is a play on “liquid crystal display”, and actually stands for Liquid Christmas Display. It is a reference to one of the band’s early gigs at a Christmas party in which they performed cover versions of songs by Liquid Liquid.

    26 Foot part : INCH

    An inch is 1/12 of a foot. The term “inch” comes from the Latin “uncia” meaning “twelfth”.

    29 Round Table title : SIR

    King Arthur (and his Round Table) probably never really existed, but his legend is very persistent. Arthur was supposedly a leader of the Romano-British as they tried to resist the invasion of the Anglo-Saxons in the late 5th and early 6th centuries.

    34 Vinegary sauce : ADOBO

    In Spanish and Mexican cuisine, a dish prepared “adobo” style has been marinated in a mixture containing paprika, oregano, salt, garlic and vinegar. “Adobo” is Spanish for “marinade, seasoning”.

    36 Rivendell resident : ELF

    Rivendell is a location occupied by Elves in Middle-earth, the fictional realm created by novelist J. R. R. Tolkien.

    38 Hivemind communication? : BEE DANCE

    The waggle dance is a behavior exhibited by bees that informs other members of the hive about the direction and distance to a supply of nectar. Apparently the meaning of the dance “moves” are fairly well understood. The direction of the dance relative to the sun indicates the direction to the nectar source. The length of time spent “waggling” in one direction indicates how far away the source is.

    39 Color similar to greige : ECRU

    The color ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

    The term “greige” is a portmanteau of “gray” and “beige”. It describes the state of cloth taken from a loom before it is bleached and dyed. Many such textiles have a gray-beige, greige, color.

    41 Dish served sizzling : FAJITAS

    “Fajita” is a Tex-Mex term that refers to grilled meat served on a tortilla. The original Mexican-Spanish term “fajita” is used to describe a small strip of chicken or beef. Nowadays, fajitas are often served on a sizzling platter with the tortillas and condiments on the side.

    46 “Pose” wardrobe item : WIG

    “Pose” is a drama TV show set amid the Ballroom Scene of New York City. That Ballroom community can be described as an LQBTQ+ subculture within the African-American and Latino communities of the city.

    54 Mint brand discontinued in 2018 : CERTS

    Certs were the first breath mints to be marketed nationally in the US, hitting the shelves in 1956. A Cert is called a mint, but it isn’t really as it contains no mint oil and instead has its famous ingredient named “Retsyn”. Retsyn is a mixture of copper gluconate (giving the green flecks), partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil (not healthy!) and flavoring (maybe mint?).

    60 Savage of “MythBusters” : ADAM

    “MythBusters” is an entertaining TV show that was originally hosted by Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage. Prior to the launch of “Mythbusters”, Hyneman and Savage had both developed careers in the world of special effects. In the show, the hosts test the validity of myths and assumptions used in famous movie scenes.

    63 Catan resource : ORE

    The Settlers of Catan (now just “Catan”) is a board game that was introduced in 1995, in Germany as “Die Siedler von Catan”. The game is very popular in the US and was called “the board game of our time” by the “Washington Post”. My son plays it a lot and as a lover of board games, I am going to have to check it out …

    64 Zoom delay : LAG

    Zoom is a videoconferencing app that became remarkably popular in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The market deemed Zoom to be the easiest to use of the free videoconferencing apps. I’ve been using it, but really prefer Google’s Meet offering …

    65 Baton Rouge sch. : LSU

    LSU’s full name is Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, and is located in Baton Rouge. LSU was founded in 1860 as a military academy, with then-Colonel William Tecumseh Sherman as superintendent.

    Baton Rouge is the capital city of the state of Louisiana. The name “Baton Rouge” is French for “red stick” or “red staff”. The exact reason why such a name was given to the city isn’t really clear.

    Complete List of Clues/Answers

    Across

    1 Salat leaders : IMAMS
    6 Kraut-topped sausage : WURST
    11 __ machine : FOG
    14 Arcade plumber : MARIO
    15 Sitcom set in a H.S. science class : AP BIO
    16 Game with a spinoff called Dos : UNO
    17 Many a modern suburb : PLANNED CITY
    19 Neutral shade : TAN
    20 Broadcast hour : AIRTIME
    21 Get around : ELUDE
    23 NYC airport code : LGA
    24 Shellfish dish often prepared with coconut milk : CURRIED CRAB
    28 __ : raisins :: log : celery : ANTS
    30 Text status : SENT
    31 Part of cellular plans : DATA
    32 Food Network host Garten : INA
    35 Feel sore : ACHE
    37 __ school : MED
    38 “Helping You Ditch Wedding Stress” podcast/blog : BRIDECHILLA
    41 Sworn enemy : FOE
    43 Scottish swimming hole : LOCH
    44 Money exec : CFO
    45 All over again : ANEW
    47 Jewish rite : BRIS
    49 Pop singer Rexha : BEBE
    53 “Star Wars” ruling body : JEDI COUNCIL
    57 Cancel : NIX
    58 Public perception : IMAGE
    59 Like animals native to India or China : ASIATIC
    61 Cargo unit : TON
    62 Take a chance, and how to form the sequence in each set of circled letters : ROLL THE DICE
    66 Parabola portion : ARC
    67 Refuse : TRASH
    68 Food truck fare : TACOS
    69 “Told you!” : SEE?!
    70 Smooth transition : SEGUE
    71 Prophetic signs : OMENS

    Down

    1 Classic Chevy that shares its name with an antelope : IMPALA
    2 Speak ill of : MALIGN
    3 Noah’s Ark site : ARARAT
    4 __ condition : MINT
    5 SST part : SONIC
    6 Fly-fishing gear : WADERS
    7 QR kin : UPC
    8 Triple Crown stat : RBI
    9 Obey at obedience school, say : SIT
    10 Fiddled around (with) : TOYED
    11 Matt Groening series set in the 31st century : FUTURAMA
    12 Out with one’s sweetie : ON A DATE
    13 Like chunky milk : GONE BAD
    18 Bird on some Australian coins : EMU
    22 “Sound of Silver” band __ Soundsystem : LCD
    25 Prepare to draw a raffle ticket, say : REACH IN
    26 Foot part : INCH
    27 Moral support? : ETHIC
    29 Round Table title : SIR
    33 Not a one : NIL
    34 Vinegary sauce : ADOBO
    36 Rivendell resident : ELF
    38 Hivemind communication? : BEE DANCE
    39 Color similar to greige : ECRU
    40 Softball question : LOB
    41 Dish served sizzling : FAJITAS
    42 “Let’s have another” : ONE MORE
    46 “Pose” wardrobe item : WIG
    48 Criticize harshly : SCATHE
    50 Lure : ENTICE
    51 Celebrity revered by some in the queer community : BI-ICON
    52 Superabundance : EXCESS
    54 Mint brand discontinued in 2018 : CERTS
    55 “Or so” : ISH
    56 Mislead : LIE TO
    60 Savage of “MythBusters” : ADAM
    63 Catan resource : ORE
    64 Zoom delay : LAG
    65 Baton Rouge sch. : LSU

    19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 31 Aug 22, Wednesday”

          1. metaphorically a “softball question” is one that’s easy to answer, sometimes the metaphor is extended to call that kind of question a LOB

            (my time was 8:06)

    1. No errors, but a couple of lookups. The top center took me a while
      because Triple Crown to me meant horse racing (I’m a fan) not
      baseball (not a fan), but…..whatever.

    2. 15:16 with false starts of: ARCH>INCH, VET>MED, FAT>BAD (13D), PILAF>DCRAB (24A). One natick at square 51 where 49A intersects with 51D.

      New: APBIO as a sitcom, CURRIEDCRAB, BRIDECHILLA, BEBE Rexha, “Sound of Silver,” LCD Soundsystem, “griege,” “Pose” TV show.

      Not knowing Bebe Rexha, and assuming that 51D was also looking for a name, I could not figure out what was needed in square 51. I guess that BIICON means a bisexual icon.

      Having solved the theme answer at 62A, I was able to correct my PILAF and ARCH errors, and slowly suss out CURRIEDCRAB. For me to like a curried dish, the curry has to be prepared “just so.” If only I knew how that was . . . most lamely, it means with as little curry as possible!

    3. Pretty tough puzzle. Aced it but was a little lucky since there were a lot of things I didn’t know or hadn’t heard of. Getting the theme relatively early and the crosses helped. Unknowns:
      APBIO, ANTS, BRIDECHILLA, BEBE, BEEDANCE, ADOBO, UPC, ELF. Phew!

    4. 6:49, 1 lookup for BEBE Rexha, crossing BI ICON.

      Helpful theme, but I feel like I’ve seen it in another crossword not that long ago. Maybe NYT?

      It’s one thing to learn names in sports and pop culture, but I didn’t remember that CERTS were discontinued.

    5. For 40d think of lobbing questions instead of firing questions. @Pat the circled words all spell dice, hence the theme roll the dice.

    6. Kind of a tough Wednesday for me; took 35:10 with 1 error found through “check-grid” because I was too lazy to look for it. In my defense, I’m actually on hold – still – and was a bit distracted. I didn’t know a bunch of stuff though: BRIDECHILLA, BRIS(ick), ADAM and I’d heard of FUTUREAMA, but it didn’t immediately come to mind, so I left an “s” at the end instead of needed “A.” Lots other clues didn’t jump out at me right away.

      Really like the BEE DANCE clue though!!

    7. The puzzles were fun to solve when the late Merle Reagle was making them. The references since then have been more and more vague, arcane and obscure. Are you making this into a contest? Them against the LA Times?

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