LA Times Crossword 7 Sep 22, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Susan Gelfand
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Singing for Their Supper

Themed answers are dishes that start with the name of a singer cited in the clue:

  • 20A Favorite vegetable side dish of singer Donna? : SUMMER SQUASH (Donna Summer)
  • 31A Favorite leafy course of singer Al? : GREEN SALAD (Al Green)
  • 42A Favorite fish entree of singer Carole? : KING SALMON (Carole King)
  • 53A Favorite fruity dessert of singer Fiona? : APPLE STRUDEL (Fiona Apple)

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

Bill’s time: 5m 54s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Runs or walks, e.g. : STAT

That could be baseball.

14 Subway to the Louvre : METRO

The Paris Métro is the busiest underground transportation system in western Europe. The network carries about 4.5 million passengers a day, which is about the same ridership as the New York City Subway. The system took its name from the company that originally operated it, namely “La Compagnie du chemin de fer métropolitain de Paris” (The Metropolitan Paris Railroad Company), which was shortened to “Métro”. The term “Metro” was then adopted for similar systems in cities all over the world.

The Musée du Louvre has the distinction of being the most visited art museum in the whole world. The collection is housed in the magnificent Louvre Palace that was the seat of power in France until 1682, when Louis XIV moved to Versailles.

15 Spanish lake : LAGO

In Spanish, a “lago” (lake) is usually fed by a “rio” (river).

18 Many an Omani : ARAB

Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman is a monarchy, and the official name of the state is the Sultanate of Oman. All of the country’s legislative, executive and judiciary power resides with the hereditary sultan.

20 Favorite vegetable side dish of singer Donna? : SUMMER SQUASH (Donna Summer)

Donna Summer is known as “The Queen of Disco”, with great hits like “Love to Love You, Baby”, “I Feel Love” and “Hot Stuff”. In the late sixties and early seventies, LaDonna Gaines (her real name) lived and worked in Germany. There she met and married an Austrian actor called Helmuth Sommer. They divorced not long after the marriage, but Donna kept his family name, just changing the “o” to “u” to give her the stage name of “Donna Summer”.

27 Toepick-assisted skating leaps : LUTZES

In figure skating, a Lutz is a toe-pick-assisted jump that one starts skating backwards and ends skating backwards (there’s more to it that I don’t really understand!). The maneuver is named after Alois Lutz, an Austrian skater who first performed it in competition way back in 1913. Lutz wowed the crowd with a single jump, and today both men and women are landing triple Lutz jumps. No one has landed a clean quadruple Lutz in competition.

31 Favorite leafy course of singer Al? : GREEN SALAD (Al Green)

Al Green is a gospel and soul music singer. He was born in Arkansas, where he started out as a gospel singer and moved into R&B. In 1974, Green was assaulted by a girlfriend who burned him badly on much of his body by pouring boiling grits over him (and then she committed suicide). The incident changed Green’s life and he turned to the church, becoming a pastor in Memphis in 1976. He continued to record music, but never really enjoyed the same success that he had in the early seventies with hits like “Let’s Stay Together” and “I’m Still In Love With You”.

41 Crayola eight-pack choice : RED

Crayola has made the decision to rename colors of crayons a few times, often with a nod to changing attitudes in society. Some examples are:

  • “Flesh” to “Peach” (1962 … not all flesh is peach-colored)
  • “Prussian Blue” to “Midnight Blue” (1958 … as the Cold War was raging)
  • “Indian Red” to “Chestnut” (1999 … even though the name wasn’t a reference to “American Indian”)

42 Favorite fish entree of singer Carole? : KING SALMON (Carole King)

Also known as king salmon, the Chinook salmon is the largest species of Pacific salmon. The Chinook salmon that migrate upriver to spawn in the Yukon River in Alaska travel almost 2,000 miles from the Bering Sea to the spawning grounds. That is the longest freshwater migration of any salmon species.

Carole King is a marvelous singer-songwriter from Manhattan, New York. King started her career writing a string of hit songs with her partner and eventual husband Gerry Goffin (although they later divorced). King’s first composition to get to number one was “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”, which she wrote at 18 years of age for the Shirelles. Not so long ago, my wife and I saw the stage musical “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”, which tells the story of King’s music and life. I highly recommend “Beautiful” …

44 Speaker’s platform : DAIS

A dais is a raised platform for a speaker. The term “dais” comes from the Latin “discus” meaning a “disk-shaped object”. I guess that the original daises had such a shape.

46 Candy bar nut : ALMOND

“Almond” is the name of a deciduous tree, and of the edible seed of that tree. The fruit of the almond tree is a drupe, and not a nut. The drupe comprises an outer hull surrounding a woody endocarp. The edible seed is found inside the woody shell, and that’s the almond “nut”.

52 Big __ Conference: NCAA division that includes Montana : SKY

The Big Sky Conference is a college athletic conference that was founded in 1963 and is made up of schools from the western US.

53 Favorite fruity dessert of singer Fiona? : APPLE STRUDEL (Fiona Apple)

Strudel is a layered pastry that is usually sweet. The word “strudel” means “whirlpool, eddy” in German.

62 Quechua speaker : INCA

Quechua was the Native-American language adopted by the Incan Empire and favored over other dialects. Today, Quechua is one of the official languages in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, alongside Spanish.

63 Raven’s retreat : NEST

Ravens and crows are very similar species, and it can be difficult to tell them apart. Ravens are a little larger and often travel in pairs, whereas crows are a little smaller and are usually seen in larger groups. Crows make a cawing sound, while the raven’s call is more like a croak.

Down

1 Concert piece : AMP

An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

2 Gen __ : XER

The term “Generation X” originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By one definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

3 Meteor follower : -ITE

A meteoroid is a small rocky or metallic body traveling through space. Once in the atmosphere, the meteoroid is referred to as a “meteor” or “shooting star”. Almost all meteoroids burn up, but if one is large enough to survive and reach the ground then we call it a meteorite. The word “meteor” comes from the Greek “meteōros” meaning “high in the air”.

5 __ Valley: puzzle game with optical illusions : MONUMENT

Monument Valley is a computer game that was released in 2014. It was very successful, and was named the best game for the iPad that first year. It is a little unusual in the pantheon of computer game hits in that it was developed not by the big gaming companies, but rather by the relatively small London-based studio called Ustwo.

7 Keyboard symbol above 6 : CARET

The character known as a caret (^) was originally a proofreading mark, one used to indicate where a punctuation mark was to be inserted. “Caret” is Latin for “it lacks”.

8 Food thickener : AGAR

Agar (also “agar-agar”) is a jelly extracted from seaweed that has many uses. Agar is found in Japanese desserts, and can also be used as a food thickener or even as a laxative. In the world of science, it is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in Petri dishes.

9 Winter Olympics racer : BOBSLED

Bobsleds are so called because competitors in the sport originally would “bob” in and out of the sled in order to increase its speed.

10 Nancy Drew, e.g. : SLEUTH

The word “sleuth” came into English from Old Norse as far back as 1200 when it meant the “track or trail of a person”. In the mid-1800s, a sleuthhound described a keen investigator, a hound close on the trail of the suspect. Sleuthhound was shortened to “sleuth” and was used for a detective in general.

I loved the “Nancy Drew” mysteries as a kid (I know, as a boy I “shouldn’t” have been reading girls’ books!). The “Nancy Drew stories” were written by a number of ghost writers, all of whom went by the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. The character was introduced by publisher Edward Stratemeyer in 1930. Nancy Drew’s boyfriend is Ned Nickerson, a college student from Emerson.

11 Birthstone after opal : TOPAZ

Here is the “official” list of birthstones, by month, that we tend to use today:

  • January: Garnet
  • February: Amethyst
  • March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
  • April: Diamond
  • May: Emerald
  • June: Pearl or Moonstone
  • July: Ruby
  • August: Sardonyx or Peridot
  • September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
  • October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
  • November: Topaz or Citrine
  • December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

12 Pernod flavor : ANISE

The drink usually called just “Pernod” is a French beverage more correctly called “Pernod Anise”. The brand name was created by Henri-Louis Pernod in the late 1700s when he opened an absinthe distillery in Switzerland.

21 Red planet : MARS

The surface of the planet Mars has a very high iron oxide content, so Mars is red because it is rusty!

22 Sine __ non: essential : QUA

“Sine qua non” is a Latin phrase that we use to mean “the essential element or condition”. The literal translation is “without which not”. One might say, for example, “a challenging crossword is the sine qua non of a good newspaper”. Well, crossword fans might say that …

23 Mystery writers’ award : EDGAR

The Edgar Allan Poe Awards (“Edgars”) are presented annually by the Mystery Writers of America. There are several categories of awards. For example, the Ellery Queen Award honors “writing teams and outstanding people in the mystery-publishing industry”. The Raven Award is presented to non-writers, who contribute to the mystery genre.

29 Fox Sports MLB reporter Rosenthal : KEN

Sportswriter and reporter Ken Rosenthal is known for wearing a bow tie when appearing in broadcasts of games. He does so in support of the Bowtie Cause, a clothier that supports various charities with the sale of pricey bow ties.

30 Yin and __ : YANG

The yin and yang can be illustrated using many different metaphors. In one, as the sun shines on a mountain, the side in the shade is the yin and the side in the light is the yang. The yin is also regarded as the feminine side, and the yang the masculine. The yin can also be associated with the moon, while the yang is associated with the sun.

32 Seller’s caveat : AS IS

A caveat is a warning or a qualification. “Caveat” is the Latin for “let him beware”.

33 Chaney of classic horror : LON

Lon Chaney, Sr. played a lot of crazed-looking characters in the days of silent movies. He did much of his own make-up work, developing the grotesque appearances that became his trademark, and earning himself the nickname “the man of a thousand faces”. Most famous were his portrayals of the title characters in the films “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1923) and “The Phantom of the Opera” (1925).

34 “Mayans M.C.” star Edward James __ : OLMOS

Edward James Olmos is a Mexican-American actor. I mostly remember Olmos as the Lieutenant who was the boss of Crockett and Tubbs on television’s “Miami Vice”.

36 Jessica of “Cocoon” : TANDY

Actress Jessica Tandy was famous for playing very American roles, although she started out her career as an English actress. Tandy’s first marriage was to the marvelous English actor Jack Hawkins, but the couple divorced in 1940 and Tandy moved to New York. There she met Canadian actor Hume Cronyn whom she married in 1942. Cronyn and Tandy were jointly honored with a special Lifetime Achievement Tony Award in 1994. Tandy won the Best Actress Oscar in 1989 for playing the title role in “Driving Miss Daisy”.

“Cocoon” is a fun 1985 sci-fi film directed by Ron Howard. The movie is about a group of elderly friends who become rejuvenated due to exposure to alien cocoons. One of the stars of the film is Don Ameche, who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance.

40 West __: high-end design retailer : ELM

West Elm is an upscale furniture store that is owned by Williams-Sonoma. The chain was founded in 2002.

44 River mouth formations : DELTAS

A river delta is a triangular landform at the mouth of a river created by the deposition of sediment. The use of the term “delta” in this context comes from the triangular shape of the Greek letter delta. The Nile Delta in Northern Egypt is one of the world’s largest river deltas, and covers 150 miles of coastline on the Mediterranean. The most famous “delta” in the United States isn’t actually a delta at all. The Mississippi Delta is an alluvial plain that lies 300 miles north of the river’s actual delta, yet it is known as the “Mississippi River Delta”. Very confusing …

47 Criminal group : MAFIA

Apparently, “Cosa Nostra” is the real name for the Italian Mafia. “Cosa Nostra” translates as “our thing” or “this thing of ours”. The term first became public in the US when the FBI managed to turn several members of the American Mafia. The Italian authorities established that “Cosa Nostra” was also used in Sicily when they penetrated the Sicilian Mafia in the 1980s. The term “Mafia” seems to be just a literary invention that has become popular with the public.

48 Debuts : OPENS

A debut is a first appearance. “Debut” came into English from the French “début” which has the same meaning. This in turn came from the verber “débuter” meaning “to make the opening play in billiards or bowls”.

60 Due-in hr. : ETA

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Truism : AXIOM
6 Scrape cover : SCAB
10 Runs or walks, e.g. : STAT
14 Subway to the Louvre : METRO
15 Spanish lake : LAGO
16 One and only : LONE
17 Fuss at the mirror : PREEN
18 Many an Omani : ARAB
19 Legendary : EPIC
20 Favorite vegetable side dish of singer Donna? : SUMMER SQUASH (Donna Summer)
23 Go out, as the tide : EBB
26 Sail support : MAST
27 Toepick-assisted skating leaps : LUTZES
28 More gloomy : DARKER
30 “Okey-dokey” : YEAH
31 Favorite leafy course of singer Al? : GREEN SALAD (Al Green)
34 Decide (to) : OPT
37 Contract negotiator : AGENT
38 Family boy : SON
39 Bub : FELLA
41 Crayola eight-pack choice : RED
42 Favorite fish entree of singer Carole? : KING SALMON (Carole King)
44 Speaker’s platform : DAIS
46 Candy bar nut : ALMOND
47 Saunters : MOSEYS
50 Some ceiling fixtures : FANS
52 Big __ Conference: NCAA division that includes Montana : SKY
53 Favorite fruity dessert of singer Fiona? : APPLE STRUDEL (Fiona Apple)
56 Shoe inserts : FEET
57 Curling __ : IRON
58 Post-swim wrap : TOWEL
62 Quechua speaker : INCA
63 Raven’s retreat : NEST
64 Connect with : TIE TO
65 Queries : ASKS
66 Picks up on : GETS
67 Like draft beer : ON TAP

Down

1 Concert piece : AMP
2 Gen __ : XER
3 Meteor follower : -ITE
4 Raw metals : ORES
5 __ Valley: puzzle game with optical illusions : MONUMENT
6 Closes with force : SLAMS
7 Keyboard symbol above 6 : CARET
8 Food thickener : AGAR
9 Winter Olympics racer : BOBSLED
10 Nancy Drew, e.g. : SLEUTH
11 Birthstone after opal : TOPAZ
12 Pernod flavor : ANISE
13 Help desk pros : TECHS
21 Red planet : MARS
22 Sine __ non: essential : QUA
23 Mystery writers’ award : EDGAR
24 River transport : BARGE
25 Kennel club designation : BREED
29 Fox Sports MLB reporter Rosenthal : KEN
30 Yin and __ : YANG
32 Seller’s caveat : AS IS
33 Chaney of classic horror : LON
34 “Mayans M.C.” star Edward James __ : OLMOS
35 Cheap wine, in British slang : PLONK
36 Jessica of “Cocoon” : TANDY
39 Artificially high voice : FALSETTO
40 West __: high-end design retailer : ELM
42 Smooching : KISSING
43 Temporary castle material : SAND
44 River mouth formations : DELTAS
45 Affirmative vote : AYE
47 Criminal group : MAFIA
48 Debuts : OPENS
49 Tiny bit : SPECK
50 Cold coat : FROST
51 Many godmothers : AUNTS
54 Genealogy diagram : TREE
55 Meat cut : LOIN
59 In need of a 58-Across : WET
60 Due-in hr. : ETA
61 Cut (off) : LOP

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 7 Sep 22, Wednesday”

    1. Glen you are a brilliant puzzle solver.Your time for solving a.m. is always very early.Just curious what state do you live in ?

      1. I’m in the central time zone, while the server Bill uses is in the pacific time zone. If I post early it’s more or less in the early morning. (5:01am today)

  1. 8:44 no errors, this took me at least a minute longer than it should have because I was sure 34A couldn’t be OPT because it didn’t match the preposition “to”

  2. 8:28 (better than yesterday) – no lookups, or errors. False start: SOLE>LONE.

    New: Fiona APPLE, “Pernod,” KEN Rosenthal, PLONK, West ELM.

    Got the singer theme early, and knew all names but Fiona Apple in spite of her apparent notoriety.

    Plonk is a funny-sounding term for a wine.

  3. Easy Wednesday for me; took 7:37 with no peeks or errors. Didn’t know KEN, PLONK and ELM but managed okay with crosses.

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