LA Times Crossword Solution 1 Jun 16, Wednesday

LA Times Crossword Solution 1 Jun 16 - 125%







Constructed by: C.C. Burnikel

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Theme: Escape Artist

Today’s themed answers end with words often preceded by the word ESCAPE:

  • 54A…Magician suggested by the ends of 20-, 27- and 47-Across..ESCAPE ARTIST
  • 20A…Bar exhortation..DOWN THE HATCH (giving “escape hatch”)
  • 27A…”Defence of Fort M’Henry” poet..FRANCIS SCOTT KEY (giving “escape key”)
  • 47A…”Let’s do it!”..SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN! (giving “escape plan”)

Bill’s time: 6m 50s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1…Bid with a weak hand, often..I PASS

That would be in bridge, the card game.

6…Nikon D5300, e.g…SLR

SLR stands for “single lens reflex”. Usually cameras with changeable lenses are the SLR type. The main feature of an SLR is that a mirror reflects the image seen through the lens out through the viewfinder, so that the photographer sees exactly what the lens sees. The mirror moves out of the way as the picture is taken, and the image that comes through the lens falls onto unexposed film, or nowadays onto a digital sensor.

Nikon was founded in 1917 with the merger of three companies making various optical devices. After the merger, the company’s main output was lenses (including the first lenses for Canon cameras, before Canon made its own). During the war, Nikon sales grew rapidly as the company focused on (pun!) equipment for the military including periscopes and bomb sights.

14…Like newly Botoxed skin..TAUT

Botulinum toxin is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The toxin is a protein that can cause botulism, an extremely dangerous illness in humans and animals. Botulinum toxin is sold under the trade name Botox. Botox is used therapeutically and in cosmetic applications to weaken muscles, perhaps muscles that are in uncontrollable spasm. The cosmetic application involves the paralyzing of facial muscles in order to eliminate or reduce wrinkles, at least for a few months.

16…Clip contents..AMMO

The word “munitions” describes materials and equipment used in war. The term derives from the Latin “munitionem” meaning “fortification, defensive wall”. Back in the 17th century, French soldiers referred to such materials as “la munition”, a Middle French term. This was misheard as “l’ammunition”, and as a result we ended up importing the word “ammunition” (often shortened to “ammo”), a term that we now use mainly to describe the material fired from a weapon.

18…When Valjean adopts Cosette..ACT I

Victor Hugo’s famous 1862 novel “Les Misérables”, has been translated into English several times. However, the title is usually left in the original French as a successful translation of “les misérables” seems to be elusive. Some suggestions for an English title are “The Wretched”, “The Victims” and “The Dispossessed”. The novel follows the lives of several characters including an ex-convict Jean Valjean, a fanatic police inspector Javert, a beautiful prostitute Fantine, and Fantine’s illegitimate daughter Cosette.

19…Sorento and Sedona..KIAS

The Kia Sorento is an SUV, and the Kia Sedona is a minivan.

25…Kerfuffle..ADO

“Kerfuffle” comes from the Scottish “curfuffle”, with both words meaning “disruption”.

26…It can cover a lot..TAR

The terms “tar”, “tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call Tarmac.

27…”Defence of Fort M’Henry” poet..FRANCIS SCOTT KEY (giving “escape key”)

The lyrics to the US national anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner” were written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key as a poem called “Defence of Fort M’Henry”. “The Star-Spangled Banner” was adopted for official use by the US Navy in 1889, and by President Woodrow Wilson in 1889. The US Congress designated the song as the national anthem in 1931, with an act that was signed into law by President Herbert Hoover.

33…”Total Recall” (2012) director Wiseman..LEN

Len Wiseman is a movie director best known for the films “Live Free or Die Hard” and “Total Recall”. Wiseman is married to English actress Kate Beckinsale.

“Total Recall” is a very entertaining 1990 sci-fi action movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The film is loosely based on a short story by Philip K. Dick called “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale”. The 1990 film was remade in 2012. The 2012 version stars Colin Farrell, and is very forgettable …

35…Designer Klein..ANNE

Anne Klein was a fashion designer from Brooklyn, New York.

36…Acting coach Hagen..UTA

Uta Hagen was a German-born American actress. Hagen married Jose Ferrer in 1938, but they were divorced ten years later after it was revealed that she was having a long-running affair with Paul Robeson. Her association with Robeson, a prominent civil rights activist, earned her a spot on the Hollywood Blacklist during the McCarthy Era. This forced her away from film, but towards a successful stage career in New York City.

37…”Don’t text and drive” ad, briefly..PSA

Public service announcement (PSA)

41…Up-in-the-air approx…ETA

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

44…Wingtip strings..LACES

A brogue is more commonly called a wingtip here in the US, I think. The shoe design originated in Ireland and Scotland, and “brog” the Irish word (and similar Scottish word) for shoe gives rise to the name. The brogue/wingtip design includes decorative perforations in the leather uppers. The toe cap of a brogue curves back in a shape that suggest the tip of a bird’s wing, hence the alternative name.

53…Egyptian slitherer..ASP

The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

67…Poppycock..TRIPE

It is thought that the relatively gentle term “poppycock”, meaning “nonsense”, comes from a Dutch word for “dung” combined with a Latin word for “excrete”. Not so gentle after all …

Down

2…Luau chow..POI

Nowadays the word “luau” denotes almost any kind of party on the Hawaiian Islands, but to the purist a luau is a feast that always includes a serving of “poi”, the bulbous underground stems of taro baked with coconut milk.

7…Cause of much intolerance?..LACTOSE

Lactase is an enzyme produced in the digestive system of all infant humans. Lactase breaks down lactose, the complex sugar in milk. Lactase is produced by some adult humans, mainly those of European descent. Anyone lacking the ability to produce lactase is said to be “lactose intolerant”.

8…Babe or Baby..RUTH

Jack Dunn was the owner/manager of the Baltimore Orioles back in 1913, when he signed on George Herman Ruth as a pitcher. The other players called Ruth “Jack’s newest babe”, and the name “Babe” stuck.

One might be forgiven for thinking that the candy bar called a Baby Ruth was named after baseball legend Babe Ruth. However, the Curtiss Candy Company that introduced the confection in 1921 has stated that it was in fact named for Ruth Cleveland, the daughter of President Grover Cleveland. That said, there seems to be some debate …

9…Capital of Indonesia..JAKARTA

Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia and is located on the northwest coast of the island of Java. The city’s name comes from “Jayakarta” meaning “complete victory”.

11…All-in-one Apple..IMAC

The iMac is a desktop computer platform from Apple introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is an “all-in-one” design, with the computer console and monitor integrated. The iMac also came in a range of colors, that Apple marketed as “flavors”, such strawberry, blueberry and lime.

12…Quick bite..NOSH

Our word “nosh” has been around since the late fifties, when it was imported from the Yiddish word “nashn” meaning “to nibble”. We use “nosh” as a noun that means snack, or as a verb meaning to eat between meals.

22…Bean cover?..HAT

A slang term for a “head” might be “bean” or “noggin”.

24…Second word of Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan”..XANADU

“Kubla Khan” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge is my wife’s favorite poem. Coleridge wrote his masterpiece one night in 1797 after a vivid dream heavily influenced by opium.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

28…Flagstick holder..CUP

That would be the flagstick marking a golf hole.

29…It’s swung by some pinch hitters..CRICKET BAT

In cricket, a “pinch hitter” is a batsman who is already listed in the batting order, but who is promoted in that order. This tactic usually promotes a less valuable batsman in order to make more aggressive but risky shots. So, a pinch hitter is not a substitute, as is the case in baseball.

Cricket is the national game of England. The term “cricket” apparently comes from the Old French word “criquet” meaning “goalpost, stick”.

40…Decryption org…NSA

The National Security Agency (NSA) was set up in 1952 by President Truman, a replacement for the Armed Forces Security Agency that had existed in the Department of Defense since 1949. The NSA has always been clouded in secrecy and even the 1952 letter from President Truman that established the agency was kept under wraps from the public for over a generation. I really like the organization’s nickname … “No Such Agency”.

45…Fits in a cabin?..AIR RAGE

Incidents of “air rage”, disruptive and violent behavior by a passenger on an aircraft, seems to be a recent phenomenon. However, the first documented case of air rage dates back to 1947, with a drunk man assaulting a fellow passenger and an attendant on a flight from Havana to Miami.

48…Hummus, e.g…DIP

The lovely dip/spread called hummus usually contains mashed chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. The name “hummus” is an Arabic word for “chickpeas”.

55…Tough navy guy..SEAL

SEAL is an acronym used by the US Navy’s SEa, Air and Land teams. The SEALs were born out of the Navy’s special warfare groups from WWII, like the Underwater Demolition Teams and the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons. The Navy SEAL unit was established soon after President Kennedy’s famous speech in which he announced the plan to put a man on the moon, as in the same speech the president allocated $100m of funding to strengthen special operations forces. The Navy used some of this money to set up guerrilla and counterguerrilla units, which soon became the SEALs.

57…Many a Meccan..ARAB

Mecca is in the Makkah province of Saudi Arabia and is the holiest city in Islam. Every year several million Muslims perform the Hajj, a holy pilgrimage to Mecca.

63…Manjula’s husband, on “The Simpsons”..APU

The fictional Kwik-E-Mart store is operated by Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on “The Simpsons” TV show. Apu is married to Manjula, and the couple have eight children. The convenience store owner doesn’t seem to be making much use of his Ph.D in computer science that he earned in the US. Apu’s undergraduate degree is from Caltech (the Calcutta Technical Institute), where he graduated top of his class of seven million students …

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1…Bid with a weak hand, often..I PASS

6…Nikon D5300, e.g…SLR

9…Team up with..JOIN

13…”Ya think?!”..NO DUH!

14…Like newly Botoxed skin..TAUT

16…Clip contents..AMMO

17…Young fella..KIDDO

18…When Valjean adopts Cosette..ACT I

19…Sorento and Sedona..KIAS

20…Bar exhortation..DOWN THE HATCH (giving “escape hatch”)

23…Firetruck tool..AXE

25…Kerfuffle..ADO

26…It can cover a lot..TAR

27…”Defence of Fort M’Henry” poet..FRANCIS SCOTT KEY (giving “escape key”)

33…”Total Recall” (2012) director Wiseman..LEN

34…Out-and-out..UTTER

35…Designer Klein..ANNE

36…Acting coach Hagen..UTA

37…”Don’t text and drive” ad, briefly..PSA

38…Lodging provider..INN

41…Up-in-the-air approx…ETA

42…”This doesn’t __ well … “..BODE

44…Wingtip strings..LACES

46…Get someone’s name wrong, e.g…ERR

47…”Let’s do it!”..SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN! (giving “escape plan”)

51…Rim..LIP

52…Wine stain color..RED

53…Egyptian slitherer..ASP

54…Magician suggested by the ends of 20-, 27- and 47-Across..ESCAPE ARTIST

59…Sweet pea..DEAR

60…Seafood restaurant order..CRAB

61…”In my view … “..I’D SAY …

65…Crew of buddies..GANG

66…Long-drawn-out account..SAGA

67…Poppycock..TRIPE

68…Alternatively..ELSE

69…Get into the pool..BET

70…Silver dollar topper..SYRUP

Down

1…Medium of much Chinese art..INK

2…Luau chow..POI

3…Tack on..ADD

4…Out-of-the-blue..SUDDEN

5…”Scat!”..SHOO!

6…Shows confidence and pride..STANDS TALL

7…Cause of much intolerance?..LACTOSE

8…Babe or Baby..RUTH

9…Capital of Indonesia..JAKARTA

10…Overlook..OMIT

11…All-in-one Apple..IMAC

12…Quick bite..NOSH

15…Connect with..TIE TO

21…Bides one’s time..WAITS

22…Bean cover?..HAT

23…Playground response..ARE TOO!

24…Second word of Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan”..XANADU

27…Blunders..FLUBS

28…Flagstick holder..CUP

29…It’s swung by some pinch hitters..CRICKET BAT

30…Prepares to be knighted..KNEELS

31…Trick..ENTRAP

32…Long (for)..YEARN

39…”__ say more?”..NEED I

40…Decryption org…NSA

43…Make easier to read, in a way..ENLARGE

45…Fits in a cabin?..AIR RAGE

48…Hummus, e.g…DIP

49…Publisher’s guidelines..SPECS

50…Gently towel off..PAT DRY

54…Slight lead..EDGE

55…Tough navy guy..SEAL

56…Case units, often..CANS

57…Many a Meccan..ARAB

58…Tends tots..SITS

62…Military address..SIR

63…Manjula’s husband, on “The Simpsons”..APU

64…”You betcha!”..YEP!




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25 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Solution 1 Jun 16, Wednesday”

  1. LAT: Relatively nice effort, but one letter off, pretty dumb mistake. Typical otherwise – not really too much that sticks out to me.

    1. from fclark@metrocast.net
      All the teaching I had received, all the books I had read, all the dictionary work, and all the pointed reminders I was given, instilled in me the fact that Djakarta was the proper spelling of the Capital of Indonesia.—-Sooooo– naturally I got that one wrong.

  2. Nice new digs here. FWIW – I never had any problems with the original site on any mobile device so I’m curious what some of those issues were. Kind of a moot point now though. Also like the easy access to archived material…once it’s all up.

    Otherwise, typical Wednesday with a few clever misdirections thrown in. Went through the puzzle quickly enough but stumbled briefly in the SE corner. Once I got SYRUP (groan) it all fell quickly after that. I won’t even make fun of NO DUH today since we’re going through so much adversity as it is here…

    Best –

    1. Oops … forgot to log in, Jeff. That last comment was from me (duh!). This new site is taking some getting used to, even for me! I hope that folks will bear with me …

  3. Jeff,
    The myriad complaints about mobile access mainly related to load time. Things were fine when the connection (4G or WiFi) was strong, but anything marginal resulted in really slow access. Also, the old design was very much focused on desktops and laptops, so there was a lot of resizing needed to read text. Anyway, the main reason for the change was the cost of maintaining the blog. It’s great to see so many folks visiting, but the level of traffic was eating away at my retirement account!

  4. I may have approached Bill’s solve time with today’s puzzle. This came together with nary a strike over. Hopefully I’m on a roll this week! Ha!

    Have a good Hump day all. See you tomorrow.

    1. No email required, nor name. I turned those options off, figuring it would be more friendly not “card” everyone at the door! One nice feature of the new comments section is that conversations can be threaded. You can comment on the post in general , or reply to a specific comment made by a particular person.

  5. @Bill
    I think I can speak for almost everyone here in saying that we hate to hear that what we take for granted here like we do a sunrise is costing you an arm and/or a leg. One suggestion – I don’t think anyone would take offense if you sent out a message the same way wikipedia does asking for voluntary contributions. They can all be anonymous. Anyone in financial duress (and there are a lot of people in that boat these days) could simply not donate anything and there would be no shame, hard feelings or even anyone’s knowledge of it. But those of us who wished to help out could do so. It’s not fair that you do all the work AND incur all the cost.

    From past comments you’ve made I realize this sort of thing is anathema to you, but I thought I would offer nonetheless on behalf of all of us willing to do so.
    Best –

    1. Thanks, Jeff. You’re too kind, and I appreciate it.

      This is a hobby for me, my main retirement hobby in fact, so I’m happy to cover the costs of maintaining the blog. It’s just a lot of fun for me and keeps the old grey cells exercised, and any hobby involves a little outlay. I realize that other crossword bloggers accept donations, but I made the choice a long time ago to inflict ads on readers (apologies!). I see it as one or the other, and my “Irishness” prefers a trickle of ad revenue instead of holding out my cap. I hope you understand. But again, thank you for the kind words, Jeff.

    2. @Jeff

      I don’t think anyone would take offense if you sent out a message the same way wikipedia does asking for voluntary contributions.

      Certainly. But having previous blogging experience myself, I’ve noted that there’s certain traps or snares in such things. Inevitably, you get people that expect something special in return, or an expectation to cater your content towards your contributors whims and wishes. It has a way of sabotaging your own goals and desires for doing it in favor of becoming the servant to others, either wittingly or unwittingly. Even if contributors don’t try to sway your editorial content, they do tend to want complete content regularly, which would turn it into more of a second job that begins to rule your other activities, than have it remain a hobby. It also has a way of preventing you from walking away should the need or whim desire.

      Just speaking for myself here, but thought I’d relay my own experiences in noting that there are always hidden costs (TANSTAAFL – good crossword entry btw that’s probably already been used somewhere).

      @Bill
      I definitely am thankful you are willing to do what you do with these blogs.

    1. I played cricket when I was a lad for a few years, and first heard the term “pinch hitter” when I attended my first baseball game in the US. When researching the “pinch hitter” clue, I was surprised to discover that the term is used with reference to cricket. I’m just not sure by whom!

      1. Now I’m curious. I’ll have to go back to my authority on cricket – Wodehouse’s “Mike at Wryken” and “Mike and Psmith”. They’re fun summer reads anyway.

        Yes, thanks for what you do, Bill. I’d never understand anything w/o you!

        Bella

  6. Great effort,Bill and easy to follow, even for a 76year old Luddite! Easier tread as well. Truly appreciate the pleasure your work brings.

  7. I’m liking the new layout. Even though the advert off to the left is urging me to buy a 2016 Mercedes-Benz SL-65 for $224,000! 😀

    Punny grid, not too bad.

    1. Willie,
      I’m told that the ads are tailored to your personal browsing history. The ads I get served are usually pedal bikes!

  8. I am shocked – rather I was shocked – when I googled for Bill’s website and it wasn’t there. My God, how dare they censor something right off the internet !!! Now, that I’ve read the comments and realize that it was all planned – then good. I’m glad, some people find it more ‘easier’ and useful. I actually preferred the old style, – I guess I’m old fashioned, and had gotten used to the face of the page. But, I’ll adjust.

    Bill, thanks for all you do. I only wish I had your energy and dedication.

    BTW, on the top, under the answers, you have Mr. Stewart, as the constructor – excuse me, but that is so ‘yesterday’. :-o)
    C.C. is correctly listed at the bottom…

    I first had, ‘No bid’ before ‘I pass’. Experienced bridge players, have often informed me, that in friendly gatherings, they just tap the table with their palm, to indicate a ‘no bid’. If they tap twice, it means ‘no bid’ on the second round as well.

    Re: Jakarta or DJakarta …. With my rustic sanskrit, I think Jaya- karta would translate better as ‘Victory – he causes’ or ‘causation -of -a-victory’. Karta, from the verb ‘kar’ – to do, thus karta is one who does, the initiator or doer. In legal documents, the karta is the one who ‘prepares’ or initials a document, as the “maker” of a last will and testament. Also the next largest city (?) Yogjakarta or Yogyakarta would mean ‘Yogya’ meaning project or a ‘fitting or appropriate’ act ,,,,, one who does….
    However, I dont know indonesian and I AM sometimes totally misguided, and more importantly, Wikipedia says I am wrong …. so please just disregard this paragraph….

    It is interesting that Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world, in terms of population, and yet, the place names and some of the peoples names hint at the 800 year hindu tradition that seems to somehow survive.

    I still have to find out why a silver dollar topper is a SYRUP ….

    Have a nice day, folks, and its so good to hear your voice Bill, in your various comments ….

    1. Thanks for spotting that slip, Vidwan. I wouldn’t want to miss out on giving full credit to C.C., perhaps the most prolific contributor of puzzle to the LA Times in recent years. I’m sorry that the old site had to go, but it really was time for a new coat of paint. I knew that I could depend on you to be understanding, Vidwan 🙂

    2. Funny, my side ads are for a more modest Lexus ….. it coulda been worse – I shudder if some slightly salacious site would turn up ….

      Bill, I am amazed that you made this massive catclysmic seismic change all by yourself with nary an elf to help you along. Massive, massive undertaking. Best wishes and mazel tov.

  9. Hello hello!!
    @Vidwan — silver dollar here refers to miniature pancakes, so called because they’re (theoretically) the size of silver dollars (they’re usually bigger, about a third the size of your traditional pancake.) So, you put syrup on them!
    I’m a pancake devotee, and I also never met a French toast I didn’t like. Waffles too!
    Aside from breakfast foods, I gotta say, as much as I like the new blog, I need to get used to it. When I get here it is always after midnight, so our Bill has next day’s puzzle posted. I’m used to clicking quickly for “Prior page.” Now that it’s archived differently I’ll have to be careful not to look at the next-day answers.
    And that, friends, is the personal struggle from which I hope to emerge soon…
    MY ad is for “YouTube Red.” Is that a thing??
    Very nice puzzle and a good Wednesday challenge. No mistakes.
    Back tomorrow!
    Sweet dreams~~?

    1. Hi there, Carrie.
      It’s always a sign that the day is closing when you appear here 🙂 For a while there, I was publishing my posts at about 9pm (Pacific time), the night before the puzzle appears in the paper. I’ve pushed that out to midnight, so that more “late arrivals” avoid seeing the solution too soon. I know what you mean about the “next/previous” buttons being missing (they’re actually now at the bottom of the post). I will see if I can find a way to move them somewhere near the top. In the meantime, my guess that the easiest way to jump to the prior post is to use the link in “The Latest Puzzles” list, which is in the sidebar or in the pull-down menu, depending on what size screen you are using. I hope that works for you, Carrie, because you are our much-valued night watchperson!

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