LA Times Crossword 25 Oct 22, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Julian Lim
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Speak of the Devil

Themed answers each start with a feature OF THE DEVIL:

  • 62A “We were just talking about you!” and a hint to the first words of the answers to the starred clues : SPEAK OF THE DEVIL
  • 17A *Equally disagreeable choices : HORNS OF A DILEMMA
  • 23A *Easy to cut, as meat : FORK-TENDER
  • 40A *Improvises : WINGS IT
  • 51A *Braking signals : TAILLIGHTS

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

Bill’s time: 4m 53s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Baby horse : FOAL

There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:

  • Foal: horse of either sex that is less than one year old
  • Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
  • Filly: female horse under the age of four
  • Colt: male horse under the age of four
  • Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
  • Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
  • Mare: female horse four years or older

16 Director Sergio : LEONE

Sergio Leone was an Italian film director, and someone very much associated with the Spaghetti Western movie genre . Perhaps most famous of Leone’s westerns were the so-called “Man with No Name” trilogy starring Clint Eastwood. The three films are:

  • “A Fistful of Dollars” (1964)
  • “For a Few Dollars More” (1965)
  • “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966)

17 *Equally disagreeable choices : HORNS OF A DILEMMA

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”. To be on the horns of a dilemma is to be faced with two equally unattractive choices. The suggestion is that one is faced with a “horned” argument, meaning that if you avoid the horn of one choice, you will get impaled on the other.

32 Mideast title : EMIR

An emir is a prince or chieftain, one most notably from the Middle East in Islamic countries. In English, “emir” can also be written variously as “emeer, amir, ameer” (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).

35 Org. that certifies albums as gold or platinum : RIAA

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) represents music distributors. It is the RIAA that certifies records that have gone gold and platinum i.e. reached fixed sales thresholds. It’s also the RIAA that goes after individuals who share music illegally online.

39 __ Vegas Raiders : LAS

The Las Vegas Raiders football team was founded in 1960, and was originally intended to play in Minnesota. Instead, the team played in Oakland from 1960 to 1981 and then spent 12 years in Los Angeles before returning to Oakland in 1995. In 2017, the Raiders announced their plan to relocate to Las Vegas starting in 2020.

40 *Improvises : WINGS IT

To wing it is to improvise, to do something without sufficient preparation. There is some debate about the term’s etymology, but I like the idea that it came from the theater. An actor would be described as winging it if he or she learned lines while standing in the wings just before going on stage.

42 Gym cushion : MAT

Our word “gymnasium” comes from the Greek “gymnasion” meaning “public place where exercise is taken”. The Greek term comes from “gymnos” meaning “naked”, as that physical training was usually done unclothed in ancient Greece.

43 “Erin go __” : BRAGH

“Erin go bragh!” is an anglicization of the Irish phrase “Éirinn go brách!”, which translates as “Ireland forever!”

47 “The Handmaid’s Tale” novelist Margaret : ATWOOD

Canadian author Margaret Atwood is best known for her novels. However, Atwood also conceived the idea of the LongPen, a remote robotic writing technology. The LongPen allows a user to write remotely in ink via the Internet. Atwood came up with the idea so that she could remotely attend book signings.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” is a 1985 novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. It is a set in a dystopian New England of the near future, after the overthrow of the US government. The central character is named Offred, who is a “handmaid” forced to bear children for the male ruling class. The novel was adapted into a highly successful TV series of the same name, starring Elisabeth Moss as Offred.

58 Alumna bio word : 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.

An alumnus (plural “alumni”) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural “alumnae”). The term comes into English from Latin, in which an alumnus is a foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or alumnus.

62 “We were just talking about you!” and a hint to the first words of the answers to the starred clues : SPEAK OF THE DEVIL

“Speak/talk of the devil” is used when someone being discussed turns up unexpectedly. The phrase is a short form of the idiom “speak of the devil and he doth appear” that dates back to the 16th century.

67 Oompah instrument : TUBA

The tuba is the lowest-pitched of all brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). “Tuba” is the Latin word for “trumpet, horn”. Oom-pah-pah …

71 Whitehall whitewall : TYRE

The British spelling of “tyre”, for what we call a “tire” here in North America, was indeed the original spelling. The English started to use “tire” spelling in the 17th century, and then shifted back to the current “tyre” in the 19th century.

Whitehall is the main thoroughfare running from Trafalgar Square towards Parliament Square in London. The street is home to many government buildings, including the British Cabinet Office. It is because of this association that the term “Whitehall” has become a metonym for the British Government.

Down

1 “Who Let the Dogs Out” group __ Men : BAHA

The Baha Men are so called because they hail from the Bahamas. Their big hit was “Who Let the Dogs Out?” That song once ranked third in a list of the world’s most annoying songs!

2 Greek Cupid : EROS

The name of Eros, the Greek god of love, gives rise to our word “erotic” meaning “arousing sexual desire”. Eros was referred to in Latin as both “Amor” (meaning “love”) and “Cupid” (meaning “desire”).

3 Calligraphy stroke : SERIF

Calligraphy is the art of fine handwriting. The term “calligraphy” comes from the Greek “kallos” meaning “beauty” and “graphein” meaning “to write”.

4 Clay oven for baking naan : TANDOOR

A tandoor is a cylindrical clay or metal oven used in cuisines from several Asian locales, including India.

11 House-shaped browser button : HOME

A web browser is a piece of software used to access the World Wide Web. The first web browser was called “WorldWideWeb” and was invented in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the World Wide Web. The browser known as Mosaic came out in 1993, and it was this browser that drove so much interest in the World Wide Web, and indeed in the Internet in general. Marc Andreessen led the team that created Mosaic, and he then set up his own company called Netscape. Netscape created the Netscape Navigator browser that further popularized the use of the Web starting in 1994. Microsoft responded by introducing Internet Explorer in 1995, which sparked the so-called “browser war”, a war that Microsoft clearly won. As Netscape floundered, the company launched the open-source Mozilla project which eventually led to the Firefox browser. Apple then came out with its own Safari browser in 2003. Google’s Chrome browser, introduced in 2008, is by far the most popular way to view the Web today.

18 Balkan native : SERB

Serbs are an ethnic group native to the Balkans in southeastern Europe. Although Serbs exist as a minority group in many countries in the region, they are the majority ethnic group in Serbia, in Montenegro and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe is usually referred to as “the Balkans”. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains located in present-day Bulgaria and Serbia. “Balkan” is Bulgarian for “mountain”.

19 Film research website : IMDB

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) website was launched in 1990, and is now owned by Amazon.com. It’s a great site for answering questions one has about movies and actors.

24 “The Americans” star Russell : KERI

Actress Keri Russell’s big break in television came with the title role in the drama show “Felicity” that ran from 1998 from 2002. The lead character in the show is Felicity Porter, a young lady introduced to the audience with a head of long curly blonde hair. Famously, Russell cut her hair extremely short at the start of the second season, an action that was associated with a significant drop in the show’s viewership. Russell had to grow out her hair over the season. I haven’t seen “Felicity”, but I really do enjoy Russell playing one of the leads in the entertaining Cold War drama called “The Americans” that is aired by FX.

“The Americans” is a very engaging drama series set during the Cold War that features two KGB spies living as a married couple just outside Washington, D.C. The show was created by Joe Weisberg, who is a novelist and former CIA officer. The lead roles in “The Americans” are played by real-life couple Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys.

30 Eurasian border river : URAL

The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia and Kazakhstan is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

31 Phased-out fast planes, for short : SSTS

The first supersonic transport (SST) to fly was the Tupolev Tu-144, which was constructed in the Soviet Union. The Tu-144 first flew in 1968, but did not carry passengers until 1977. The aircraft was permanently grounded as a passenger craft in 1978 due to concerns about safety (there had been two Tu-144 crashes). The second SST to fly was the Anglo-French Concorde, which operated at a profit for over 27 years until it was withdrawn from service in 2003. There was one Concorde crash, in Paris in July 2000. Since then, there have been no commercial SST services.

32 Actor Idris : ELBA

English actor Idris Elba plays the drug lord Stringer Bell in the marvelous HBO drama series “The Wire”, and played the title character in the 2013 film “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”. Off the screen, Elba occasionally appears as a disk jockey using the name “DJ Big Driis”.

36 “Four score and seven years __ … ” : AGO

I visited Gettysburg for the first time in 2010, and goodness me what a moving place that is. As I discovered on my visit, there are five known copies of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address and all of them differ in some way or another, so I suppose the exact words spoken will never be known. Martin Luther King Jr. evoked Abraham Lincoln’s words in another of America’s iconic addresses, his “I Have a Dream” speech. Lincoln’s speech began with “Four score and seven years ago …”, and King’s speech began with “Five score years ago …” as a nod to the Gettysburg Address.

37 Japanese beer brand : ASAHI

Asahi is a Japanese beer, and the brewery that produces it. “Asahi” is Japanese for “morning sun”. Asahi introduced a “dry beer” in 1987, igniting a craze that rocketed the brewery to the number one spot in terms of beer production in Japan, with Sapporo close behind.

44 “Adios!” : GOTTA GO

The term “adiós” is Spanish for “goodbye”. “Adiós” comes from the phrase “a Dios vos acomiendo” meaning “I commend you to God”.

46 Springsteen’s __ Band : E STREET

The E Street Band is the backing group for Bruce Springsteen. The band came together in 1972 but didn’t take a formal name until two years later. The keyboard player in the original line up was David Sancious, and his mother allowed the group to rehearse at her home. That home was on E Street in Belmar, New Jersey, and that’s where the band got their name.

48 Flintstone family pet : DINO

In the Hanna-Barbera cartoon “The Flintstones”, Dino the pet dinosaur was voiced by the famous Mel Blanc, until Blanc passed away in 1989.

50 Wearing kicks : SHOD

“Kicks” is American slang for “shoes, sneakers”.

54 Expertise : SAVVY

The term “savvy”, meaning “understanding”, comes from the French “savez-vous?”. The French phrase translates as “do you know?”

55 Tennis legend Arthur : ASHE

Arthur Ashe was a professional tennis player from Richmond, Virginia. In his youth, Ashe found himself having to travel great distances to play against Caucasian opponents due to the segregation that still existed in his home state. He was rewarded for his dedication by being selected for the 1963 US Davis Cup team, the first African-American player to be so honored. Ashe continued to run into trouble because of his ethnicity though, and in 1968 was denied entry into South Africa to play in the South African Open. In 1979, Ashe suffered a heart attack and had bypass surgery, with follow-up surgery four years later during which he contracted HIV from blood transfusions. Ashe passed away in 1993 due to complications from AIDS. Shortly afterwards, Ashe was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.

63 London’s __ Gardens : KEW

Kew Gardens is a beautiful location in southwest London that was formerly known as the Royal Botanic Gardens. Kew Gardens has the world’s largest collection of different living plants.

64 “House of the Dragon” cable network : HBO

The “House of the Dragon” fantasy TV series serves as a prequel to the TV show “Game of Thrones”. Both shows are adaptations of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels by George R. R. Martin. Due to the success of “Game of Thrones”, expectations were high for “House of the Dragon”. The premiere episode of the latter was really well received by audiences, and so it took just five days for HBO to decide to renew “House of Dragons” for a second season.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Brief email sign-off : BEST
5 Baby horse : FOAL
9 Utterly detest : ABHOR
14 __ rug: floor decor : AREA
15 Extreme anger : RAGE
16 Director Sergio : LEONE
17 *Equally disagreeable choices : HORNS OF A DILEMMA
20 Line spoken to the audience : ASIDE
21 Boo-boo kisser : MOM
22 Serve dinner to : FEED
23 *Easy to cut, as meat : FORK-TENDER
27 Be a good dog, say : OBEY
28 Grade just above C : B-MINUS
32 Mideast title : EMIR
35 Org. that certifies albums as gold or platinum : RIAA
38 Pronoun-shaped girders : I-BARS
39 __ Vegas Raiders : LAS
40 *Improvises : WINGS IT
42 Gym cushion : MAT
43 “Erin go __” : BRAGH
45 Prod : GOAD
46 Snaky swimmers : EELS
47 “The Handmaid’s Tale” novelist Margaret : ATWOOD
49 Tire leak sound : HISS
51 *Braking signals : TAILLIGHTS
55 Admin. aide : ASST
58 Alumna bio word : NEE
59 Deliver a speech : ORATE
62 “We were just talking about you!” and a hint to the first words of the answers to the starred clues : SPEAK OF THE DEVIL
66 Depend (on) : HINGE
67 Oompah instrument : TUBA
68 12/24 and 12/31 : EVES
69 Provide with funding : ENDOW
70 “You missed a __” : SPOT
71 Whitehall whitewall : TYRE

Down

1 “Who Let the Dogs Out” group __ Men : BAHA
2 Greek Cupid : EROS
3 Calligraphy stroke : SERIF
4 Clay oven for baking naan : TANDOOR
5 To and __ : FRO
6 Bumbling fool : OAF
7 Athlete’s peak performance : A-GAME
8 Gave false hope to : LED ON
9 Every last one : ALL
10 Barbecue cut : BEEF RIB
11 House-shaped browser button : HOME
12 “Looks like the joke’s __” : ON ME
13 Get lost in a book : READ
18 Balkan native : SERB
19 Film research website : IMDB
24 “The Americans” star Russell : KERI
25 Making, as a knot : TYING
26 Radiate : EMIT
29 Birth certificate information : NAME
30 Eurasian border river : URAL
31 Phased-out fast planes, for short : SSTS
32 Actor Idris : ELBA
33 Small store : MART
34 “No need to describe what happened” : I SAW
36 “Four score and seven years __ … ” : AGO
37 Japanese beer brand : ASAHI
40 “Not so fast!” : WHOA!
41 “With ya so far” : I DIG
44 “Adios!” : GOTTA GO
46 Springsteen’s __ Band : E STREET
48 Flintstone family pet : DINO
50 Wearing kicks : SHOD
52 Some boxing jabs : LEFTS
53 Ease off, as rain : LET UP
54 Expertise : SAVVY
55 Tennis legend Arthur : ASHE
56 Laundry cycle : SPIN
57 Ship : SEND
60 Cake layer : TIER
61 “You are something __!” : ELSE
63 London’s __ Gardens : KEW
64 “House of the Dragon” cable network : HBO
65 “Dig in!” : EAT!

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 25 Oct 22, Tuesday”

  1. No errors; one lookup: the “Baha” group and one guess for
    the Japanese beer. Clever Halloween-season puzzle.

  2. 6:24 – not errors or lookups. False starts: COLT>FOAL, TANDORI>TANDOOR, SHOP>MART, GOODBYE>GOTTOGO>GOTTAGO.

    The theme didn’t help with solving, but made sense.

    Couldn’t come up with ASAHI and KEW on my own, but they seem familiar after the fact.

    “Whitehall whitewall” was clever, but I typically see whitewalls only on classic cars these days.

  3. Clever enough theme. Although BEST didn’t sound right, guessed it, making for BAHA, which I didn’t know either. So, a lucky perfecto.

  4. If a “Mart” is a small store, explains Walmart or K-mart which was large before Sears collapsed. And H-Mart.
    None are or were small.

  5. 7 mins 50 seconds, no errors or issues. Nice to see a relative LACK of proper names today. Silly theme, though.

  6. Mostly easy Tuesday; took 9:15 with no peeks or errors. Had a DEVIL of a time with FORK TENDER, struggling with KERI, IMDB, RIAA and BEEF RIB, but finally nailed it down. Also thought C Plus should’ve been 28A…

    Boy what a couple of weeks…Less than 2 miles from the Buried Car House and today we get an earthquake that set my earthquake app alarm off…duck and cover! I suspect Bill felt it more than I did.

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