LA Times Crossword 15 Sep 18, Saturday

Advertisement

Advertisement

Constructed by: Michael Ashley
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 10m 50s

Bill’s errors: 0

Advertisement

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Ones going downhill fast : SKI JUMPERS

The winter sport of ski jumping originated in Norway. The first recorded, measured ski jump was by Norwegian-Danish military officer Olaf Rye. He launched himself a distance of 9.5 metres in front of fellow soldiers in 1809. There is now an offshoot of ski jumping known as ski flying, which involves the use of larger hills. Ski flyers have made jumps in excess of 250 meters.

18. Wolverine, for one : X-MAN

In the Marvel Comics universe, Wolverine is a mutant with keen animal-like senses and an ability to regenerate body parts after injury. He usually appears as a member of the X-Men superhero team. On the big screen, Wolverine is played regularly by Australian actor Hugh Jackman.

19. “Westworld” airer : HBO

“Westworld” is an HBO series that is based on a 1973 movie of the same name, which was written and directed by novelist Michael Crichton. Westworld is a high-tech theme park populated by androids that interact with the guests.

20. ’70s-’80s self-improvement course : EST

Erhard Seminars Training (est) was a 60-hour course designed to improve one’s ability to cope with life and find new fulfilment. The est training was popular throughout the seventies and into the mid-eighties. The training was developed by Werner Erhard from Philadelphia, and Erhard was able to attract some celebrity participants including Cher, Joe Namath, Yoko Ono, John Denver and Diana Ross.

21. Notre Dame’s river : SEINE

Notre-Dame de Paris is the spectacular Gothic cathedral that sits on the Île de la Cité, one of the islands in the middle on the River Seine in Paris. Notre Dame is home to many beautiful and significant artifacts, the most famous of which is the Crown of Thorns supposedly worn by Jesus Christ at his execution, placed in the cathedral in 1239. It’s also home to some magnificent gargoyles on the roof, and you can climb up to the roof and take a very close look at them.

22. Legendary chanteuse : PIAF

“La Môme Piaf” (the Little Sparrow) was the nickname of France’s most famous singer, Édith Piaf. What a voice this woman had, and what gorgeous ballads she sang. Édith Piaf lived a life that was not without controversy. She was raised by her mother in a brothel in Normandy, and had a pimp as a boyfriend in her teens. She had one child, while very young, born illegitimately and who died at 2-years-old from meningitis. Her singing career started when she was discovered in the Pigalle area of Paris by nightclub owner Louis Leplée. Leplée was murdered soon after, and Piaf was accused of being an accessory to the murder but was later acquitted. During World War II she was branded a traitor by many as she frequently performed for the German occupying forces, although there are other reports of her supporting the resistance movement. Later in her life she was seriously injured in no less than three, near-fatal car accidents, including one with her friend, Charles Aznavour. While recovering from her injuries she became addicted to pain medication, an addiction that lasted for the rest of her life. When she died in 1963 she was denied a Catholic funeral mass because of her lifestyle, but the crowds that turned out for her funeral procession managed to stop all traffic in Paris, the only time that has happened since the end of WWII.

In French, “une chanteuse” (a female singer) might sing of “amour” (love).

28. Equivalents of pairs of FGs : TDS

In American football, three points (pts.) are awarded for a field goal (FG).

29. Somewhat out of place, as hair : MUSSED

A “muss” is state of disorder, and a term that probably evolved from “mess”. The phrase “no muss, no fuss” means “no bother, no mess made, no excessive hustle and bustle”.

31. __ dish : PETRI

Julius Richard Petri was a German bacteriologist and was the man after whom the Petri dish is named. The petri dish can have an agar gel on the bottom which acts a nutrient source for the specimen being grown and studied, in which case the dish plus agar is referred to as an “agar plate”.

33. Type of medicine : HOLISTIC

A holistic approach to medicine emphasises not only physical symptoms but also social considerations and the environment.

35. 1969 retail clothing debut : THE GAP

The Gap is a San Francisco-based clothing retailer founded in 1969. The name “the Gap” was a homage to the popular sixties term “the generation gap”.

38. Second film with Craig as Bond : QUANTUM OF SOLACE

In addition to the James Bond series of novels, Ian Fleming wrote a collection of “Bond” short stories called “For Your Eyes Only”. The name of the collection was used as for one of the Bond films. “Quantum of Solace” was one of those stories, and this title was also used for a Bond film, even though the plot bears no resemblance to the storyline.

English actor Daniel Craig rocketed to fame in 2005 when he was chosen to replace Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in the series of films based on Ian Fleming’s character. One of Craig’s most famous appearances as Bond was alongside Queen Elizabeth II in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. Craig married actress Rachel Weisz in 2011.

40. “Counting Sheep” purchases : SERTAS

Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the Serta company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement. Serta advertisements feature the Serta Counting Sheep. Each numbered sheep has a different personality, such as:

  • #1 The Leader of the Flock
  • #½ The Tweener
  • #13 Mr. Bad Luck
  • #53 The Pessimist
  • #86 Benedict Arnold

45. “Avatar” actress Saldana : ZOE

American actress Zoë Saldana played the Na’vi princess in “Avatar”, and Uhura in the 2009 movie “Star Trek” (and sequels). Saldana seems to pick the right movies, as she is the only actress to have three different films in the top twenty at the box office for three consecutive weeks (“Avatar”, “The Losers” and “Death at a Funeral”).

47. Attorney’s letters : ESQ

The title “esquire” is of British origin and is used differently today depending on whether one is in the US or the UK. Here in America the term is usually reserved for those practicing the law (both male and female). In the UK, “esquire” is a term of gentle respect reserved for a male who has no other title that one can use. So a mere commoner like me might receive a letter from the bank say, addressed to W. E. Butler Esq.

48. Origin abbr. : ESTD

Established (“est.” or “estd.”)

54. Base figs. : GIS

The initials “GI” stand for “Government Issue”, and not “General Infantry” as is widely believed. “GI” was first used in the military to denote equipment made from Galvanized Iron and during WWI, incoming German shells were nicknamed “GI cans”. Soon after, the term GI came to be associated with “Government Issue” and eventually became an adjective to describe anything associated with the Army.

63. Shoe with a rope sole : ESPADRILLE

An espadrille is sandal, with its origins in the Pyrenees. The shoe is traditionally made from rope and canvas, and often laces extend from the shoe and wrap around the ankle to secure the shoe to the foot.

65. Film with cues : THE HUSTLER

“The Hustler” is a 1961 movie about the dark side of game of pool that is an adaptation of a novel of the same name by Walter Tevis. Paul Newman stars as small-time hustler Fast Eddie Felson, and Jackie Gleason as legendary player Minnesota Fats. Famously, Newman reprised the role of Fast Eddie in the 1986 film “The Color of Money”, for which he won his a Best Actor Oscar.

Down

1. Jedi foes : SITH

The Sith are characters in the “Star Wars” universe who use the “dark side” of “the Force”, and as such are the antithesis of the Jedi Knights. Members of the Sith use the title “Darth” before their name, as in Darth Vader. The last made of the six “Star Wars” movies is called “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”.

5. Midge __, co-organizer of the Live Aid benefit concert : URE

Midge Ure is a musician from Scotland who has worked with a number of famous bands and was the lead singer for Ultravox. He was the lesser-known name (along with Bob Geldof) behind the incredible Band Aid, Live Aid and Live 8 concerts. Ure also co-wrote the hit charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”

6. AOL alternative : MSN

The Microsoft Network (MSN) used to be an Internet service provider (ISP). These days, MSN is mainly a web portal.

8. “__ Comin'”: Laura Nyro song : ELI’S

Laura Nyro was a singer-songwriter from the Bronx, New York. Nyro had success with her own recordings, but her songs were even more successful when recorded by other big names. Two of Nyro’s compositions were “Eli’s Coming” recorded by Three Dog Night, and “Stoney End” by Barbra Streisand.

10. Retired flier : SST

The most famous supersonic transport (SST) is the retired Concorde. The Concorde routinely broke the sound barrier, and cruised at about twice the speed of sound. Above Mach 2, frictional heat would cause the plane’s aluminum airframe to soften, so airspeed was limited.

11. Opulent : LUXE

“Luxe” is another word for “luxury”. The term came into English via French from the Latin “luxus” meaning “luxury”.

21. Westernmost of the Virgin Islands : ST THOMAS

The US Virgin Islands (USVI) are located in the Caribbean, and are part of the Virgin Islands archipelago. The three largest islands of the US territory are Saint Croix, Saint John and Saint Thomas. The island chain was named by Christopher Columbus in 1493 in honor of Saint Ursula and her virgin followers. The United States bought the islands from Denmark during WWI in a move designed to thwart plans by Germany to use them as a submarine base.

25. Some ultrasound images : FETUSES

A sonogram is an image made created using ultrasound. “Ultrasound” is the name given to sound energy that has frequencies above the audible range.

29. Grimace : MOUE

The term “moue” comes from French, and means “small grimace, pout”.

36. Maker of Swift laptops : ACER

Computer manufacturer Acer has a line of ultra-portable laptops that are remarkably thin, and which are sold under the “Swift” label.

45. 1997 Grammy Lifetime Achievement awardee : ZAPPA

Frank Zappa was an American composer and guitarist. He was a solo artist as well as the founding member of the rock band Mothers of Invention. You might like to meet his four children: Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan, and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen.

59. Loyola domain : EDU

A domain name is basically the address of a website on the Internet. For example, the addresses of my crossword blogs, the domain names, are LAXCrossword.com and NYTCrossword.com.

Loyola University in Chicago was founded in 1870 by the Society of Jesus, originally as St. Ignatius College. It is now the largest Jesuit school in the whole country.

60. OR principals : DRS

One might find a medical doctor (MD) in an operating room (OR).

61. Peril in a Poe title : PIT

“The Pit and the Pendulum” is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe that was first published in 1842. It is a macabre tale about a prisoner who is being tortured at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition. For part of the tale, the prisoner is bound to a wooden board while a scythe-like pendulum wings above him, getting nearer and nearer with each oscillation.

Advertisement

[ad_below_googlies]

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Ones going downhill fast : SKI JUMPERS
11. Opulent : LUSH
15. They always get underfoot : INNER SOLES
16. Biblical preposition : UNTO
17. Pop music feature : TOP-TEN LIST
18. Wolverine, for one : X-MAN
19. “Westworld” airer : HBO
20. ’70s-’80s self-improvement course : EST
21. Notre Dame’s river : SEINE
22. Legendary chanteuse : PIAF
26. Max. : ULT
28. Equivalents of pairs of FGs : TDS
29. Somewhat out of place, as hair : MUSSED
31. __ dish : PETRI
33. Type of medicine : HOLISTIC
35. 1969 retail clothing debut : THE GAP
38. Second film with Craig as Bond : QUANTUM OF SOLACE
40. “Counting Sheep” purchases : SERTAS
41. Monthly reading : GAS METER
42. Pampers, with “on” : DOTES
44. More stingy : MEANER
45. “Avatar” actress Saldana : ZOE
47. Attorney’s letters : ESQ
48. Origin abbr. : ESTD
49. Pointed : AIMED
51. Small city? : URB
54. Base figs. : GIS
57. Scheme : PLAN
58. Left in the dust : SAILED PAST
62. Hang : PEND
63. Shoe with a rope sole : ESPADRILLE
64. Contributes : ADDS
65. Film with cues : THE HUSTLER

Down

1. Jedi foes : SITH
2. Round handle : KNOB
3. Hot : IN POPULAR DEMAND
4. Fly quickly : JET
5. Midge __, co-organizer of the Live Aid benefit concert : URE
6. AOL alternative : MSN
7. German’s neighbor : POLE
8. “__ Comin'”: Laura Nyro song : ELI’S
9. Gather one’s strength : REST UP
10. Retired flier : SST
11. Opulent : LUXE
12. Brass : UNMITIGATED GALL
13. Orchestra pit aid : STAND
14. Brushes up on : HONES
21. Westernmost of the Virgin Islands : ST THOMAS
23. Digs : IS INTO
24. Per prior mention : AS STATED
25. Some ultrasound images : FETUSES
27. “Well, as I recall … ” : LET’S SEE …
29. Grimace : MOUE
30. Skeptical, as a view : DIM
32. Cave : RELENT
33. Command ctrs. : HQS
34. Small part : COG
36. Maker of Swift laptops : ACER
37. Each : PER
39. Sibs, uncs, etc. : FAM
43. Suppress : SQUASH
45. 1997 Grammy Lifetime Achievement awardee : ZAPPA
46. Quieted, in a way : OILED
50. Closes : ENDS
52. Fit for harvesting : RIPE
53. Boring : BLAH
55. 21-Down, e.g. : ISLE
56. End of a mob? : -STER
58. Full collection : SET
59. Loyola domain : EDU
60. OR principals : DRS
61. Peril in a Poe title : PIT

Advertisement

[ad_below_clue_list]

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 15 Sep 18, Saturday”

  1. LAT: 23:36, no errors. Less time than I spent with the last 5 rows of yesterday’s grid. WSJ: 17:42, no errors. Surprising. In other news, got the result of my contest entry. Pretty much what I expected, but a fun experience that turned out to be a relatively respectable effort for my skill level (I suppose).

  2. LAT: Little over a half hour, no errors. Very enjoyable puzzle, especially the challenge of coming up with the right synonym, as in all the possibilities for “Rich.” Getting the rather easy James Bond film answer set me off on a tear.

  3. 17:40, no errors, and I even did this one electronically. A few hitches here and there, but fairly easy for a Saturday grid.

  4. LAT: 15:34, no errors. WSJ: 27:44, no errors; the usual “squint-n-solve” experience. Newsday’s “Saturday Stumper”: 35:34, no errors; easier than usual, I thought, but with a couple of sticky spots.

    1. Dave, you mention META re: WSJ. What exactly does that mean? I am beginning to do these puzzles and I was just curious?

      Thank you,

      Mark

      1. @Mark …

        Several posters here do the Wall Street Journal puzzles. On Friday, their crossword includes a “metapuzzle”: after solving the crossword itself in the usual way, you look for clues embedded in it that suggest a word or phrase of a specified nature. Once you figure it out, you can submit your answer to be entered in a drawing for a WSJ mug. The crosswords themselves are well worth doing and the metapuzzles can be fiendishly difficult, though an occasional one is easy. You kind of have to try a few of them to see how they work. Metapuzzles answers appear as addenda to the following Monday puzzles.

      2. I started doing meta puzzles a little over a year ago and now I’m addicted. There is definitely a learning curve to them, but they are ridiculously fun. If you go on the WSJ website, they explain and give some examples.

      3. @Mark
        Good explanation by Dave but not restricted to just WSJ puzzles. I’ll mention 2 others I have in sources that run at the first of every month (one free to play, one not, both with prizes like the WSJ one). FWIW, if you haven’t found it yet off the link on my name, there’s a list of crossword puzzles I’ve encountered and links to where you can play them along with my assessment of difficulty level. If you have any questions of what we discuss on here (as Bill graciously allows), that link will answer most of them.

  5. 22:38. I had two missteps that cost me a lot of time – namely oMeN before XMAN (what do I know?), but I fixed that relatively quickly. Early in the puzzle I had muSTer before REST UP (I like my answer better – correct or not), and I was too stubborn for too long before finally RELENTing.

    ESPADRILLE was completely new to me.

    @Bill –
    I think you mean Jackie Gleason played Minnesota Fats. I don’t think he played Jackie Gleason in THE HUSTLER 🙂

    Best –

  6. One hour and 10 min. I had poll for pole ( didn’t know est) otherwise ok. Good puzzle. Any ssturdy puzzle that I finish in less than 90 min. Is a win for me

  7. My Friday post did not appear because……. I don’t know why? Anyway, I too, had the Leeward Island issue, but that didn’t help me finish it anyway. Today was another tough one. Hope Sunday’s is kind and clever!

  8. Fairly tough Saturday; took 1.5 hrs with no errors. Still, it was very enjoyable as sections that were blank slowly filled, with the NW corner being the last.

    Didn’t have to do any rewrites as the fill was so slow, except for sBO, where I was thinking SHO, but stopped to wait for crosses. Probably went slower than I had to in anticipation of a difficult puzzle, which was very fair and solvable in the end.

  9. Greetings!!!! ✌
    No errors! I think I’ve solved 3 Saturdays in a row, which is good for me; I average 2 completed Saturdays a month, but maybe I’ll improve that number.🤔

    Today’s was a sturdy puzzle indeed! Fun solve. I thought it was QUANTUM OF SILENCE, and I filled that in till I realized it didn’t fit.

    I remember EST (est) from high school. Didn’t they lock participants in and not allow bathroom breaks? It was all very intense, and (no disrespect) I always felt uncomfortable talking to people who’d been thru the training. They had sort of a permanent glazed happy look…🤔

    Be well ~~🎼

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.