LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Aug 2017, Saturday










Constructed by: Doug Peterson & Patti Varol

Edited by: Rich Norris

Quicklink to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

Quicklink to comments

Theme: None

Bill’s time: 9m 53s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Modern categorizing aid : HASHTAG

A hashtag is a word preceded by the symbol #. Hashtags are big these days because of Twitter, a microblogging service that I don’t think I will ever understand …

15. Pennsylvania home of the world’s oldest operating wooden roller coaster : ALTOONA

Altoona is in central Pennsylvania, and is home to the Ivyside Park Campus of Pennsylvania State University. Altoona is also home to Lakemont Park and Leap-The-Dips, the world’s oldest operating wooden roller coaster.

17. Homophonically named ’60s sitcom lady : JEANNIE

The name “Jeannie” is a homophone of “genie”.

Back in 1964, the second most watched show on American television was ABC’s “Bewitched”. Sidney Sheldon was tasked with the job of creating a rival sitcom and he came up with “I Dream of Jeannie”, which first aired in 1965 and starred Barbara Eden in the title role. The censors had a big say in how the story developed. For starters, Jeannie’s skimpy costume was permitted on air, provided that Eden didn’t show off her navel on the screen. Also, Jeannie was only allowed to live with an unmarried man as long as the story made it clear that she slept in a bottle.

18. Steel work : ROMANCE

Danielle Steel is a remarkably popular author. She has sold over 800 million copies of her novels, making her the eighth best-selling writer in history.

19. It’s cut and dried : JERKY

Jerky is meat that has been trimmed of fat and dried. The term “jerky” comes into English via Spanish from the Incan Quechua “ch’arki” meaning “dried flesh”.

20. Fish-eating bird : LOON

The great northern loon is the provincial bird of Ontario, and the state bird of Minnesota. The loon once appeared on Canadian $20 bills and also appears on the Canadian one-dollar coin, giving the coin the nickname “the Loonie”.

23. Coast Guard pickup : SOS

The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are also mnemonics, introduced after the “SOS” signal was adopted.

The US Coast Guard (USCG) has the distinction of being the country’s oldest continuous seagoing service. The USCG was founded as the Revenue Cutter Service by Alexander Hamilton in 1790.

25. Wave function symbols : PSIS

A wave function in quantum mechanics is usually denoted with the Greek letter psi. A wave function is a mathematical function that describes the quantum state of a particle and how it behaves.

28. Financial pg. debut : IPO

An initial public offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

31. “The __ of King William”: Old English poem : RIME

“The Rime of King William” is an old English poem that dates back to 1087. The poem’s subject is the death of King William the Conqueror. Nothing is known about the author, other than he or she was a member of the the king’s household.

33. “Golden Boy” dramatist : ODETS

“Golden Boy” is a play written by Clifford Odets that was first performed in 1937 on Broadway. There was a film adaptation released in 1939 that starred a young William Holden. “Golden Boy” was the film that launched Holden’s career.

35. Friend of the Fry Kids : RONALD MCDONALD

“Fast Food Nation” is an expose by investigative journalist Eric Schlosser that reveals in the inner workings of the US fast food industry. One of Schlosser’s more controversial findings was the deliberate targeting of children by the marketing folks at McDonald’s. McDonald’s copied the marketing plans of Walt Disney to attract not only children, but also their parents and grandparents. That’s how Ronald McDonald was born …

The Fry Kids are characters used in McDonald’s advertising who were introduced in 1972 under the name “Gobblins”. They were given the name “Fry Guys” in 1983, and then finally “Fry Kids” in 1987 after someone decided it would be a good idea to include “Fry Girls”.

42. It’s generally celebrated on the same day as Tet : CHINESE NEW YEAR

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

46. Nevada copper town : ELY

Ely is a city in eastern Nevada. The city was founded as a Pony Express stagecoach station, and then experienced a mining boom after copper was discovered locally in 1906. One of Ely’s former residents was First Lady Pat Nixon, who was born there in 1912.

47. Troubling bank msg. : NSF

Not sufficient funds (NSF)

48. Cutlass, e.g. : OLDS

Oldsmobile made the Cutlass Ciera from 1982 to 1996. The Ciera was the most successful model that bore the Oldsmobile badge.

51. Angels’ org. : MLB

The Anaheim Angels are today more correctly called the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The “Angels” name dates back to 1961 when the team was founded in the “City of Angels”, Los Angeles. When the franchise moved to Anaheim in 1965 they were known as the California Angels, then the Anaheim Angels, and most recently the Los Angeles Angels at Anaheim. The Angels are also known as “the Halos”.

53. Peabody-winning journalist Ifill : GWEN

Gwen Ifill was a television journalist who was regularly seen on PBS’s “Newshour”. Ifill was also the moderator on the weekly PBS show “Washington Week”, and was also selected to moderate the US Vice Presidential debates in 2004 and 2008.

The Peabody Awards have been presented annually since 1941 to individuals and organizations for excellence in broadcasting. They are named for businessman and philanthropist George Foster Peabody, who provided the funds to establish the awards program.

57. Buckwheat porridge : KASHA

Kasha is a type of porridge made from roasted whole-grain buckwheat. The dish is most popular in the Russian and Jewish cultures.

Despite the name, “buckwheat” is not related to wheat, and nor is it a grass. Buckwheat is related to rhubarb. As the seeds are eaten, it is known as a “pseudocereal”. The name comes from “beech wheat”, a reference to the resemblance of buckwheat seeds to beech nuts from the “beech” tree, and the fact that buckwheat seeds are used like “wheat”.

63. Studio mascot : MGM LION

There has been a lion in the logo of the MGM studio since 1924. The original was an Irishman (!), a lion named Slats who was born in Dublin Zoo in 1919. However, it wasn’t until Jackie took over from Slats in 1928 that the roar was heard, as the era of silent movies was coming to an end. The current lion is called Leo, and he has been around since 1957.

68. Only president to win a Pulitzer Prize : KENNEDY

“Profiles in Courage” is 1957 book by John F. Kennedy, who was at that time a US Senator. Kennedy’s collaborator was his speechwriter Ted Sorensen, and most of the research and writing was done in 1954 and 1955 while the Kennedy was bedridden following back surgery. “Profiles in Courage” is a collection of the biographies of eight US Senators, eight Senators who despite criticism and loss of popularity acted in the best interests of the country and its citizens. Kennedy won a Pulitzer in 1957 for the book, making him the only US President to have been so honored.

Down

1. Pillar of Islam : HAJJ

Followers of the Muslim tradition believe in the Five Pillars of Islam, five obligatory acts that underpin Muslim life. The Five Pillars are:

  1. The Islamic creed
  2. Daily prayer
  3. Almsgiving
  4. Fasting during the month of Ramadan
  5. The pilgrimage to Mecca (haj) once during a lifetime

2. Nautical direction : ALEE

“Alee” is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing “aweather”.

3. Michelin unit : STAR

Michelin is a manufacturer of tires based in France. The company was founded by brothers Édouard and André Michelin in 1888. The brothers were running a rubber factory at the time, and invented the world’s first removable pneumatic tire, an invention that they used to launch their new company. Michelin is also noted for rating restaurants and accommodation in its famous Michelin Travel Guides, awarding coveted Michelin “stars”.

5. “Candida” singer : TONY ORLANDO

Singer Tony Orlando’s birth name is Michael Cassavitis. He had two hits in 1970 while performing with studio backup singers in an act called Dawn, namely “Candida” and “Knock Three Times”. His greatest success came in 1973 with “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree”, which was released by “Dawn featuring Tony Orlando”.

6. “The Phantom Menace” boy : ANI

Anakin “Ani” Skywalker is the principal character in the first six of the “Star Wars” movies. His progress chronologically through the series of films is:

  • Episode I: Anakin is a 9-year-old slave boy who earns the promise of Jedi training by young Obi-Wan Kenobi.
  • Episode II: Anakin is 18-years-old and goes on a murdering rampage to avenge the killing of his mother.
  • Episode III: Anakin is 21-years-old and a Jedi knight, but he turns to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader. His wife Padme gives birth to twins, Luke and Leia Skywalker.
  • Episode IV: Darth Vader, comes into conflict with his children, Luke Skywalker and the Princess Leia.
  • Episode V: Darth Vader attempts to coax his son Luke over to the dark side, and reveals to Luke that he is his father.
  • Episode VI: Luke learns that Leia is his sister, and takes on the task of bringing Darth Vader back from the Dark Side in order to save the Galaxy. Vader saves his son from the Emperor’s evil grip, dying in the process, but his spirit ends up alongside the spirits of Yoda and Obi-Wan. They all live happily ever after …

7. Certain Celt : GAEL

A Gael is anyone of a race that speaks or spoke one of the Erse tongues. There are actually three Erse languages. Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be Gaeilge (in Ireland), Gaelg (on the Isle of Man) and Gaidhlig (in Scotland).

The Celts were a very broad group of people across Europe, linked by common languages. The Celts were largely absorbed by other cultures, although a relatively modern revival of the “Celtic identity” is alive and well in the British Isles. Such Celtic peoples today are mainly found in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brittany in France..

9. “Madam Secretary” actress : LEONI

Téa Leoni is an American actress. One of Leoni’s early parts was in the great film “A League of Their Own” (a minor role, Racine at first base). She also played the fiancée of Sam Malone from “Cheers” on the spin-off sitcom “Frasier”. A leading role on the big screen was opposite Adam Sandler in “Spanglish”. My favorite of her more prominent movie roles was as Jane in “Fun with Dick and Jane”. Leoni is now playing the title role in the drama series “Madam Secretary”, a show that I really enjoy …

“Madam Secretary” is TV show that first aired in 2014. It is about an ex-CIA analyst who is appointed as US Secretary of State. Téa Leoni plays the title role, ably supported by a favorite actress of mine, Bebe Neuwirth. I like this show …

10. Flee : LAM

To be “on the lam” is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. “On the lam” is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word “lam” also means to “beat” or “thrash”, as in “lambaste”. So “on the lam” might derive from the phrase “to beat it, to scram”.

11. Word with grass : CRAB

Crabgrass may be considered a weed and a scourge of the lawn-loving population, but it has its uses. In Africa, the seeds of some species of crabgrass are toasted and ground into a flour that is used to make porridge, or better still, to make beer.

12. Poe classic : ANNABEL LEE

“Annabel Lee” was the last complete poem written by Edgar Allan Poe. The opening lines are:

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;

The closing lines are:

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

21. Org. Indonesia left in 2008 : OPEC

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in 1960 at a conference held in Baghdad, Iraq that was attended by Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Nine more countries joined the alliance soon after, and OPEC set up headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and then Vienna, Austria in 1965. The basic aim of OPEC was to wrench control of oil prices from the oil companies and to put it in the hands of the sovereign states that own the natural resource.

26. Pioneering music player : SONY WALKMAN

Walkman is a brand of portable audio and video products manufactured by Sony. The first Walkman was introduced in 1979 and popularized the practice of carrying music around and listening through lightweight headphones.

28. Radio host Glass : IRA

Ira Glass is a well-respected presenter on American Public Radio, most noted for his show “This American Life”. I was interested to learn that one of my favorite composers, Philip Glass, is Ira’s first cousin.

32. Fr. titles : MMES

The equivalent of “Mrs.” in French is “Mme.” (Madame), in Spanish is “Sra.” (Señora) and in Portuguese is also “Sra.” (Senhora).

34. “The Voice” host Carson : DALY

Carson Daly is a radio and television personality who is perhaps best known today as host of the reality show “The Voice”. If you stay up late enough on New Year’s Eve, you might also know him from NBC’s “New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly”.

“The Voice” is yet another reality television show. “The Voice” is a singing competition in which the judges hear the contestants without seeing them in the first round. The judges then take on chosen contestants as coaches for the remaining rounds. “The Voice” is a highly successful worldwide franchise that originated in the Netherlands as “The Voice of Holland”.

36. Section in Disney’s Animal Kingdom : ASIA

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a zoo-based theme park in the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Animal Kingdom covers 580 acres in total, making it the largest theme park in the world.

38. Greek theater : ODEUM

In Ancient Greece an odeon (also “odeum”) was like a small theater, with “odeon” literally meaning a “building for musical competition”. Odea were used in both Greece and Rome for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.

44. Old name for England : ANGLIA

The Romans referred to Britain as “Brittania”, from which the island took its name. Also, the Latin for Scotland is “Caledonia”, and for Ireland is “Hibernia”. Centuries after the Romans left, a German tribe called the Angles settles in the part of Britain now known as England. The word “Angle” is the root of the name “England”, as in medieval times the country was called Anglia, its late-Latin name.

50. Con targets : DUPES

A dupe is someone who is easily fooled, a “live one”, one who is easily the victim of deception.

52. Dwarf who traveled with Bilbo : BALIN

Balin is a dwarf in the Middle-earth universe created by J. R. R. Tolkien. He is played by Scottish actor Len Stott in the Peter Jackson film adaptation of “The Hobbit”.

In J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel “The Hobbit”, the title character is Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who stumbles across a magical ring and then embarks on a series of adventures.

54. “The Old Curiosity Shop” girl : NELL

“The Old Curiosity Shop” by Charles Dickens tells the story of little 14-year-old Nell Trent and her grandfather who live in the Old Curiosity Shop in London. If you visit London, there actually is an “Old Curiosity Shop”, in Westminster. It is an establishment selling odds and ends, old curiosities, and is believed to have been the inspiration for the shop in the Dickens story. The building has been around since the 1500s, but the name “The Old Curiosity Shop” was added after the book was published.

56. Trans-Siberian Railway city : OMSK

Omsk is a city in southwest Siberia. It is located over 1400 miles from Moscow and was chosen as the destination for many internal exiles in the mid-1900s. Perhaps the most famous of these exiles was the author Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Siberia is a vast area in Northern Asia. The region’s industrial development started with the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway from 1891 to 1916, which linked Siberia to Russia in the west.

58. __ wave : SINE

A sine wave is a mathematical function that describes a simple, smooth, repetitive oscillation. The sine wave is found right throughout the natural world. Ocean waves, light waves and sound waves all have a sine wave pattern.

60. Red’s pal in “The Shawshank Redemption” : ANDY

Stephen King’s novella “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” was adapted into a 2009 stage play and a 1994 film, both called “The Shawshank Redemption”. The Ohio State Reformatory was used for exterior shots of the fictional Shawshank Prison. That same facility was used for the prison scenes in the 1997 film “Air Force One”.

64. Former AT&T rival : GTE

GTE was a rival to AT&T, the largest of the independent competitors to the Bell System. GTE merged with Bell Atlantic in 2000 to form the company that we know today as Verizon. Verizon made some high-profile acquisitions over the years, including MCI in 2005 and AOL in 2015.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Modern categorizing aid : HASHTAG

8. Sign of stress : ALL CAPS

15. Pennsylvania home of the world’s oldest operating wooden roller coaster : ALTOONA

16. “All will be well” : FEAR NOT

17. Homophonically named ’60s sitcom lady : JEANNIE

18. Steel work : ROMANCE

19. It’s cut and dried : JERKY

20. Fish-eating bird : LOON

22. Really feel the heat : BAKE

23. Coast Guard pickup : SOS

25. Wave function symbols : PSIS

27. Night spot : BED

28. Financial pg. debut : IPO

31. “The __ of King William”: Old English poem : RIME

33. “Golden Boy” dramatist : ODETS

35. Friend of the Fry Kids : RONALD MCDONALD

39. Place to buy a landscape : ART SALE

40. Unspoiled : IDYLLIC

42. It’s generally celebrated on the same day as Tet : CHINESE NEW YEAR

44. Per person : A HEAD

45. __ con gas: Spanish soda water : AGUA

46. Nevada copper town : ELY

47. Troubling bank msg. : NSF

48. Cutlass, e.g. : OLDS

51. Angels’ org. : MLB

53. Peabody-winning journalist Ifill : GWEN

55. Cutlass, e.g. : AUTO

57. Buckwheat porridge : KASHA

61. Waiting to get in, say : LINED UP

63. Studio mascot : MGM LION

65. Cover, as a cover charge : INCLUDE

66. __ glass : STAINED

67. Like most cartoon characters : AGELESS

68. Only president to win a Pulitzer Prize : KENNEDY

Down

1. Pillar of Islam : HAJJ

2. Nautical direction : ALEE

3. Michelin unit : STAR

4. Traffic chorus : HONKS

5. “Candida” singer : TONY ORLANDO

6. “The Phantom Menace” boy : ANI

7. Certain Celt : GAEL

8. High dos : AFROS

9. “Madam Secretary” actress : LEONI

10. Flee : LAM

11. Word with grass : CRAB

12. Poe classic : ANNABEL LEE

13. Make an unexpected connection with : POCKET-DIAL

14. Stable population : STEEDS

21. Org. Indonesia left in 2008 : OPEC

24. Edge furtively : SIDLE

26. Pioneering music player : SONY WALKMAN

28. Radio host Glass : IRA

29. Rocker alternative : PORCH SWING

30. Torn : ON THE FENCE

32. Fr. titles : MMES

34. “The Voice” host Carson : DALY

36. Section in Disney’s Animal Kingdom : ASIA

37. “Correct!” sound : DING!

38. Greek theater : ODEUM

41. Word with war or far : CRY

43. Point in the right direction? : EAST

44. Old name for England : ANGLIA

49. Praises : LAUDS

50. Con targets : DUPES

52. Dwarf who traveled with Bilbo : BALIN

54. “The Old Curiosity Shop” girl : NELL

56. Trans-Siberian Railway city : OMSK

58. __ wave : SINE

59. Broke ground : HOED

60. Red’s pal in “The Shawshank Redemption” : ANDY

62. Expected : DUE

64. Former AT&T rival : GTE

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15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Aug 2017, Saturday”

  1. 34 minutes, 1 error on this (a bad guess at 46-A, 12-D). About like my average – most of it falls pretty quickly, a couple of spots stick up the time.

    @Tony
    41 minutes, no errors on today’s WSJ. Pretty straight forward with some nice puns for the themers. Finally did finish the Friday one with no errors, but a whole lot more time than this one.

    @Dave
    DNF on the Newsday Stumper. Couldn’t break into the grid after an hour, per usual. Better than last week’s though, where I couldn’t get a single clue at all. Finally got my backlog of NYT stuff caught up – can’t say I did too well with those either. How it goes sometimes.

    @Vivian
    I’m not entirely sure what you’re asking. Every once in a while with crosswords, there’s grids that tend to play with the format. There’s a number of ways that can happen. Yesterday’s LAT is one that bends around a square in a specific way, but that’s one variation of many. Puzzles like that tend to show up more in other venues (the New York Times is especially known for it, but others will do it too), but will occasionally show up in the LAT (I think the last one was about a year and a half ago?).

    As a tip for working with crossword puzzles in general, if you scan the grid and see missing numbers or other things (dashes on the online version), something is usually up like that. But the biggest tip for any of them is if you can locate a revealer clue (65-A in yesterday’s grid), it’s always good to work that area of the puzzle first until you get that one down.

    Of course, there’s often word play as most all these things have. Usually you just work them until you find spots that don’t make sense and when you do you know something is up consistent with the revealer. But often times with a lot of theme answers and word play, you just have to work the opposite clues until you can see enough of what’s going on to solve the theme clues, which is especially true on Sunday and some Friday grids.

    1. Just finished the WSJ 21 X 21 grid. I started in the upper left corner, like always and could not get any traction at all. Eventually things began to come together in other parts of the grid and when I got back up to that corner I finally saw that I was using the wrong word in Spanish for 1 Across. Once I got that sorted out the last of the grid came together.

      Hey, Glenn…did you submit a meta answer yesterday? For one of the few times I actually had an idea and submitted it for the contest. I’m sure I’ll be wrong, but at least I actually had a WAG for the contest. Woo Hoo!

  2. I was out of town Thursday and Friday and finally got to work on those puzzles last night and this morning. Man they were tough. Usually the theme is helpful for me, but they were both lost on me, especially Thursday’s puzzle. Normally I only have to look here or google things for Saturday and Sunday but I was lost both days. Even after filling in Thursday I didn’t get the theme until I read the write-up. At least I wasn’t the only one that found them to be harder than normal.

    I had a tough time getting started today but was able to get a decent amount completed with minimal help (which is good for myself on a Saturday).

    Can’t wait for Monday! Have a great weekend everyone!

    -Megan

  3. 20:04, no errors (but a significant level of angst … :-). For the third day in a row, I struggled with an LAT crossword, and I have a sneaking suspicion that perhaps it wasn’t really all that hard: the first two days just softened me up for today. (My hat is off to Bill, who appears to have sailed through all three days with little difficulty.)

    @Glenn … I have not yet gotten to today’s Newsday or WSJ puzzles. I did spend some time with Friday’s WSJ: the puzzle itself took me 12:37, but I think this is going to be another of those weeks when the meta is unsolved by me (unlike last week, when I found a perfectly serviceable solution that the setter appeared to have overlooked … 😄). More later …

  4. Just finished the LAT’s and, after my travails with Thursday and Friday, I’m glad to say this came together without any real problems and only one strike over. Redemption!

    On to the WSJ and I’ll report back to Glenn above since he was kind enough to let me know how he did on it.

  5. Northwest corner did me in. My first DNF in many puzzles. Thought for sure that “Michelin unit” was TIRE instead of STAR and wouldn’t give that up. Also JEANNIE was a headslapper after my reading the comments.

    Moving on to Sunday with humility 🙂

  6. @Dave
    I’ve made a lot of comments here to it before, but I’ve often wondered why my times and performances fluctuate so wildly sometimes. That’s especially true when I start comparing to some of the other times. I can say some of it is my mental state and health, because I know I’m tired, distracted or impaired sometimes when I do puzzles. Some of it is simply not knowing enough things straight out (like these Stumpers). Some of it is mental jet lag. I often wonder whether I’m missing something in doing these seeing how much time I take compared to everyone else – but then it’s odd to me that sometimes I can look at a grid for 35 minutes, not come up with much of anything and then have the whole thing fall in the following 10. Or put it up to the next day and then get a similar result. Of course, I write slow too, so that adds to it. I know if I didn’t have those odd mental pauses like that I’d be very quick on a lot of these. Can’t say I understand it all, especially my Mon-Wed NYT this week, but it’d definitely be some interesting study if someone hasn’t already done it.

    @Tony
    I usually stick to the LAT here, unless I know someone else might be interested. Then I usually either do the grid or just report if I already have… Friday WSJ versus several other grids I did in that same period was interesting enough to talk about (especially since I did the Friday LAT directly after), especially since the Saturday time was quicker than my usual average. Don’t know what happened there, which is why what I wrote above. Isolated puzzles like that are weird to me, for sure.

  7. @Glenn …

    Saturday’s WSJ: 21:48, no errors. Pleasantly easy …

    Saturday’s Newsday (the “Stumper”): 41:45, no errors, with the usual progression from “I simply can’t do this!” to “Well, maybe … ” to “That really wasn’t too bad.” The clue for 16A was unusually evil, I thought – requiring a little knowledge of French and a little knowledge of pop music, all wrapped in one little clue. Weird puzzles, the Stumpers …

    Still no clue on Friday’s WSJ meta. I think I should just give up on it and enjoy the rest of my weekend …

  8. @Glenn … I think we share a common interest in the psychological aspects of doing crossword puzzles. I have much to say on the subject, and started to say it here, but I then realized that my observations may be of little interest to others, so perhaps I will contact you on your blog instead …

    1. My joy in doing CWP’s is twofold. First the solution and the filled in grid has something very soul satisfying to me. It’s so orderly and clean. Secondly, and maybe more importantly, it acts on me like I imagine meditation acts on those who practice it. I completely clears my mind and takes me out of the moment while I concentrate on figuring out the answers. When I come up with a particularly difficult answer it makes my heart take a little leap of joy and I feel so very satisfied at that moment in time.

    2. @David K. I always find your comments on crosswording relevant and interesting. I think most of the regulars who post here would ditto my encouragement that you share your observations with all.

      On to the puzzle, again today the NYT didn’t make the LAT appear to be aimed at bush leaguers. Doug Peterson and Patti Varol worked my butt off, but I finally finished (dunno how long — I’m not a timer) without having to call Dr. Google. I was gonna carp on a couple of things (LAM as an active verb, e.g.), but for every nit I could pick, there’s a pretty good clue (8A, e.g., ALL CAPS as a “sign of stress”) to offset it, so nah.

      Not until the afternoon did I have time to solve the puz, so I haven’t read Bill’s comments yet. I know I’ll be impressed a few times when I do. Have a good weekend, all (what’s left of it 😋).

  9. Took me forever but I did finish; two hours with three errors. The NE and to a lesser extent the NW took a heck of a lot of time.

    Had tire before STAR, updOS before AFROS and OrSK before OMSK. It sure would of helped if I’d ever heard of LEONI or DALY or KASHA or BALIN.

    Couldn’t figure out “Steel work” until I got here, even though I got it right. I really like POCKETDIAL now that I finally get it.

    Nice to see Jeannie making a reappearance.

  10. Hi y’all!! 😁
    No errors, tho I also struggled with the NE. The long answers seemed to come easily on this one.

    If I can chime in with David and Tony on the psychology of crosswording: I’ve said before: crossword puzzles are the one place that can make you feel brilliant one moment and stoopid the next! And then brilliant again! 😊 It’s both encouraging and humbling. Tony, I also find it meditative. I’ve tried forms of meditation and my hyper brain can’t handle it!!😮 Puzzles put me in The Zone.

    Hi Vivian! From yesterday: FYI, crossword setters often read Bill’s blog, and sometimes they comment. So, you may just get a message through to them in your comments here! (Not that that’s the purpose of this blog, but they do stop in…)

    Hey Dirk!! JEANNIE showed up especially for you!! 😊

    Jeff, if you’re out there, hope the tequila tour goes well!

    Be well~~™⚾

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