LA Times Crossword 13 Oct 18, Saturday

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Constructed by: Craig Stowe
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 15m 24s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. N.A. boundary river : ST LAWRENCE

The Saint Lawrence River (“Fleuve Saint-Laurent”) in French” rises as the principal outflow of Lake Ontario. It runs almost 2,000 miles before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean at the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, which is the largest estuary on the planet. The first European known to have navigated the river was Jacques Cartier, the Breton explorer who claimed what is now Canada for France. Cartier arrived in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in 1534 on the feast day of Saint Lawrence, and so gave the estuary the saint’s name.

11. Pompano kin : SCAD

“Scad” is the common name for various species in the family of fish known taxonomically as the Carangidae. “Scad” is a Cornish term that dates back to about 1600, when it was used to describe the fish also known as the horse mackerel.

The fish known as a pompano takes its name via Spanish from the Latin “pampinus” meaning “tendril, leaf of a vine”. The name probably comes from the shape of the fish, which somewhat resembles a vine leaf.

16. Weight allowance : TARE

Tare is the weight of a container that is deducted from the gross weight to determine the net weight, the weight of the container’s contents.

21. Two-time Tony-winning playwright Yasmina __ : REZA

Yasmina Reza is a playwright from Paris who is best known for her plays “Art” and “God of Carnage”, both of which won her Tony Awards.

25. Dodo : NIMROD

“Nimrod” is a slang term used to describe a foolish person.

The dodo was a direct relative of the pigeon and dove, although the fully-grown dodo was usually three feet tall. One of the reasons the dodo comes to mind when we think of extinction of a species, is that it disappeared not too long ago (last recorded alive in 1681) and humans were the reason for its demise. The dodo lived exclusively on the island of Mauritius and when man arrived, we cut back the forests that were its home. We also introduced domestic animals, such as dogs and pigs, that ransacked the dodo’s nests. The dodo was deemed to be an awkward flightless bird and so the term “dodo” has come to mean a dull-witted person.

27. “The Quiet American” novelist : GRAHAM GREENE

Graham Greene was a writer and playwright from England. Greene wrote some of my favorite novels, including “Brighton Rock”, “The End of the Affair”, “The Confidential Agent”, “The Quiet American” and “Our Man in Havana”. Greene’s books often feature espionage in exotic locales. Greene himself worked for MI6, the UK’s foreign intelligence agency. In fact, Greene’s MI6 supervisor was Kim Philby, the famed Soviet spy who penetrated high into British intelligence.

“The Quiet American” is a 1955 Graham Greene novel depicting the transition of French and British colonialism with American influence in Southeast Asia. The book was adapted for the big screen twice, once in 1958 with Audie Murphy leading the cast, and again in 2002 with Michael Caine taking top billing.

30. __ noir : CAFE

“Café noir” is French for “black coffee”.

33. Angela Lansbury role : MAME

The musical “Mame” opened on Broadway in 1966, with Angela Lansbury in the title role. The musical is based on the 1955 novel “Auntie Mame” written by Patrick Dennis.

Angela Lansbury is a veteran actress and singer from London. When she won her fifth Tony Award, in 2009, she equalled the record for the most Tony Awards held by Julie Harris. My wife and I particularly enjoy Lansbury’s first film performance, in the 1944 classic film “Gaslight”. Lansbury also played Jessica Fletcher on the small screen in “Murder, She Wrote”.

35. You can tie one on : OBI

The sash worn as part of traditional Japanese dress is known as an obi. The obi can be tied at the back in what is called a butterfly knot. The term “obi” is also used for the thick cotton belts that are an essential part of the outfits worn by practitioners of many martial arts. The color of the martial arts obi signifies the wearer’s skill level.

38. Sea-__ Airport : TAC

Sea-Tac Airport (SEA) is more fully known as Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Sea-Tac is the main hub for Alaska Airlines.

39. Like Loki : NORSE

Loki is a god appearing in Norse mythology. In one story about Loki, he was punished by other gods for having caused the death of Baldr, the god of light and beauty. Loki is bound to a sharp rock using the entrails of one of his sons. A serpent drips venom which is collected in a bowl, and then his wife must empty the venom onto Loki when the bowl is full. The venom causes Loki great pain, and his writhing results in what we poor mortals experience as earthquakes.

41. Include “[sic],” perhaps : CITE

[Sic] indicates that a quotation is written as originally found, perhaps including a typo. “Sic” is Latin for “thus, like this”. The term is more completely written as “sic erat scriptum”, which translates as “thus was it written”.

42. Skye of “Say Anything…” : IONE

Ione Skye is an American actress born in Hertfordshire in England. She is best known for portraying the character Diane Court in the 1989 high school romance movie “Say Anything…”, starring opposite John Cusack. Skye is the daughter of the Scottish folk singer Donovan.

50. WTO predecessor : GATT

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was laid down in 1949, and was a compromise solution reached by participating governments after they failed in their goal to establish the International Trade Organization. In 1995, that goal was realized with the formation of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which effectively succeeded GATT.

54. Odorless gas : RADON

The element radon (Rn) is a radioactive gas, and a byproduct produced when uranium decays naturally in the earth. Radon gas can collect and accumulate in buildings and rooms that are particularly well insulated with very little air exchange. The danger is very real, as radon is listed as the second most frequent cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoke.

57. Bouncer’s milieu : TRAMPOLINE

The first modern trampoline was developed in 1936. The apparatus was given its name from the Spanish “trampolín” meaning “diving board”. Trampolines were used during WWII in the training of pilots, to give them exposure to some spatial orientations that would be encountered during flight. Trampolines were also used by astronauts training in the space flight program. The sport of trampolining became in Olympic event starting in the 2000 Games.

We use the French term “milieu” (plural “milieux”) to mean “environment, surroundings”. In French, “milieu” is the word for “middle”.

60. Ponderous pages : TOME

“Tome” first came into English from the Latin “tomus” which means “section of a book”. The original usage in English was for a single volume in a multi-volume work. By the late 16th century, “tome” had come to mean “large book”.

Something ponderous is very weighty, or unwieldy because of weight and size. The term “ponderous” comes from the Latin “pondus” meaning “weight”.

62. “Dizzy-_ fury and great rage of heart”: Shak. : EYED

The line “Dizzy-eyed fury and great rage of heart” is from William Shakespeare’s play “King Henry VI, Part I”.

The consensus seems to be that William Shakespeare wrote 38 plays in all. Seven of the plays are about kings called “Henry”:

  • Henry IV, Part 1
  • Henry IV, Part 2
  • Henry V
  • Henry VI, Part 1
  • Henry VI, Part 2
  • Henry VI, Part 3
  • Henry VIII

63. Part of a Kipling poem opening : EAST IS EAST

The phrase “East is East” originated in a Rudyard Kipling poem from 1892 titled “The Ballad of East and West”. The full quotation is:

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.

Kipling’s reference here is to the British (the “West”) and the people of India (the “East”), and the lack of understanding that existed between the two in the days of the Raj.

Down

1. Salt : SWAB

“Swabbie” (also “swabby, swab, swabber”) is a slang term for a sailor that we’ve been using since the late 1700s. A “swab” was originally a member of the crew assigned to the swabbing (mopping) of the ship’s decks.

“Sea dog” and “salt” are familiar terms for a sailor, especially one that has lots of experience.

2. Doberman pincher? : THIEF

The Doberman Pinscher is a breed of dog that was developed around 1890 in Germany. The person responsible for introducing the breed was Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, explaining the “Doberman” (sometimes “Dobermann”) name. “Pinschers” are a group of Germanic breeds that probably owe their name to the English word “pinch”, a reference to the tradition of cropping (pinching) the ears.

3. Key __ : LARGO

Key Largo is an island in the Florida Keys. The island gained a lot of celebrity in 1948 when the John Huston movie “Key Largo” was released, starring Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson and Lauren Bacall.

6. Call on the field : REF

Back in the early 17th century, a referee was someone who examined patent applications. We started using the same term for a person presiding over a sporting event in the 1820s. “Referee” is derivative of the verb “to refer”, and literally describes someone who has the authority to make a decision by “referring to” a book, archive etc.

7. “Errare humanum __” : EST

According to the Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger, “Errare humanum est, perseverare autem diabolicum”. This translates literally as “To err is human, to persist (in committing such errors) is of the devil”.

13. Cesar Chavez, by birth : ARIZONIAN

César Chávez was a Mexican American farm worker, and co-founder of the union today known as the United Farm Workers. Chávez was born in Yuma, Arizona, but moved to California as a child with his family. He never attended high school, dropping out to become a full-time migrant farm worker. In 1944, at 17 years of age, he joined the US Navy and served for two years. 5-6 years after returning from the military, back working as a farm laborer, Chávez became politically active and rose to national attention as an articulate union leader during some high profile strikes. He is remembered annually here in California on his birthday, March 31, which is a state holiday.

23. Arctic natives : SAMI

Lapland is a geographic region in northern Scandinavia, largely found within the Arctic Circle. Parts of Lapland are in Norway, Sweden and Finland. The people who are native to the region are called the Sami people. The Sami don’t like to be referred to as “Lapps” and they regard the term as insulting.

26. Destinations for some PR deductions : IRAS

An individual retirement account (IRA) might be funded using payroll (PR) deductions.

28. Prenatal procedure, briefly : AMNIO

Amniocentesis (“amnio” for short) is the prenatal test which involves the removal of a small amount of the amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus using a hypodermic needle. The fluid naturally contains some fetal cells, the DNA of which can then be tested to determine the sex of the child and to check for the presence of genetic abnormalities.

31. Nick Hornby novel : ABOUT A BOY

“About a Boy” is a 2002 film adaptation of a 1988 novel of the same name by Nick Hornby (who also wrote “High Fidelity” and “Fever Pitch”, which were also turned into successful movies). “About a Boy” stars Hugh Grant and Toni Collette, with Nicholas Hoult playing the title character. Hornby’s novel has now been adapted for the small screen, and a TV series of the same name premiered on NBC in 2014.

English author Nick Hornby wrote three books that were adapted into successful movies, namely the novels “High Fidelity” and “About a Boy”, and the memoir “Fever Pitch”.

32. There’s one for everything : FIRST TIME

There’s a first time for everything.

37. Sonic Dash publisher : SEGA

Sonic Dash is a game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series published by Sega. It was released in 2013, and I’ve been playing it ever since. Yeah, right …

40. Decided to keep : STETTED

“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

44. Trypanosome carrier : TSETSE

The tsetse fly is responsible for the transmission of sleeping sickness, a disease that is more correctly called African trypanosomiasis. The disease is only observed in humans who have been bitten by a tsetse fly that is infected with the trypanosome parasitic protozoan.

45. Wyandot people : HURONS

The Native Americans known as the Wyandot people are also called the Huron. The Wyandot people mainly inhabit a reservation in Quebec.

48. Ritzy Twin Cities suburb : EDINA

Edina, Minnesota is an affluent suburb of Minneapolis that lies just to the southwest of the city. The town takes its name from Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. The name was suggested by a Scottish mill owner at the time the new village was founded in 1888.

53. Meadow plaints : BAAS

A plaint is a grouse, a complaint.

55. Queen’s domain : NEST

The queen ant of some species can live to the ripe old age of 30 years, which is one of the longest lifespans in the insect world.

58. Calgary winter hrs. : MST

Calgary, the largest city in the Canadian province of Alberta, is named for Calgary on the Isle of Mull in Scotland. The Canadian Calgary hosted the 1988 Winter Olympic Games.

59. Islands staple : POI

I am a big fan of starch (being an Irishman I love potatoes). That said, I think that poi tastes horrible! Poi is made from the bulbous tubers (corm) of the taro plant by cooking the corm in water and mashing it until the desired consistency is achieved.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. N.A. boundary river : ST LAWRENCE
11. Pompano kin : SCAD
15. “I agree” : WHAT HE SAID
16. Weight allowance : TARE
17. Emergency transportation method : AIRLIFTING
18. Auricular : OTIC
19. Originated : BEGAN
20. Fragrant garland : LEI
21. Two-time Tony-winning playwright Yasmina __ : REZA
22. Word with rain or pine : FOREST
25. Dodo : NIMROD
27. “The Quiet American” novelist : GRAHAM GREENE
30. __ noir : CAFE
33. Angela Lansbury role : MAME
34. Cookbook direction : ADD IN
35. You can tie one on : OBI
36. Court figure : WITNESS
38. Sea-__ Airport : TAC
39. Like Loki : NORSE
41. Include “[sic],” perhaps : CITE
42. Skye of “Say Anything…” : IONE
43. “For what it’s worth” : JUST A THOUGHT
46. Says : UTTERS
47. Breaks : PAUSES
50. WTO predecessor : GATT
51. Recede : EBB
54. Odorless gas : RADON
56. Insignificantly : A BIT
57. Bouncer’s milieu : TRAMPOLINE
60. Ponderous pages : TOME
61. Salt and pepper : SEASONINGS
62. “Dizzy-_ fury and great rage of heart”: Shak. : EYED
63. Part of a Kipling poem opening : EAST IS EAST

Down

1. Salt : SWAB
2. Doberman pincher? : THIEF
3. Key __ : LARGO
4. On the run : AT LARGE
5. Crybaby : WHINER
6. Call on the field : REF
7. “Errare humanum __” : EST
8. Do perfectly : NAIL
9. Theater : CINE
10. Trim : EDGING
11. Left angrily, with “out” : STORMED
12. Humored : CATERED TO
13. Cesar Chavez, by birth : ARIZONIAN
14. Debauchery : DECADENCE
23. Arctic natives : SAMI
24. Rustic roofing : THATCH
26. Destinations for some PR deductions : IRAS
28. Prenatal procedure, briefly : AMNIO
29. Connect (with) : MEET UP
30. Do a tense recitation? : CONJUGATE
31. Nick Hornby novel : ABOUT A BOY
32. There’s one for everything : FIRST TIME
36. Become tedious : WEAR
37. Sonic Dash publisher : SEGA
40. Decided to keep : STETTED
42. “No way!” : IT’S A LIE!
44. Trypanosome carrier : TSETSE
45. Wyandot people : HURONS
48. Ritzy Twin Cities suburb : EDINA
49. Many are hits : SONGS
52. Spanish for “tar” : BREA
53. Meadow plaints : BAAS
55. Queen’s domain : NEST
58. Calgary winter hrs. : MST
59. Islands staple : POI

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14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 13 Oct 18, Saturday”

  1. LAT: DNF at 61:29, 9 errors, about 50% done. Most difficult thing I’ve done in months (since Jeff Chen anyway). WSJ: 27:11, no errors. Pretty standard fare. Newsday: DNF at 60:49, 3 errors, about 75% done. Easier than the LAT.

  2. I really enjoy reading your notes. As I’m doing the puzzle, I find myself thinking, “I wonder what Bill will have to say about this answer….”. Your notes extend the pleasure of puzzle-doing, for me! Thank you for your work.

  3. LAT: 18:12, no errors; “REZA” and “IONE” did not spring readily to mind and I had never heard of “GATT”, but crossing entries came to the rescue; otherwise, pretty straightforward.

    WSJ: 32:37, no errors; another squint-and-solve outing, with a few missteps and a transitory WOE in the middle left.

    Newsday: 51:33, no errors; not too difficult, but … I had trouble in the lower right corner because I confidently made two or three entries, in ink, that turned out to be wrong and had a heck of a time trying to correct them; the final result is a messy sea of overwrites. Also, I stared for a long time at the clue for 13D, which refers to “10D” and I took that to mean “the entry for 10D” rather than “the clue for 10D”. I finally went with the only obvious answer for 13D, but I didn’t really understand how to interpret the clue until this morning.

  4. 29:29 and 6 errors, centered around ARIZONIAN. I just flat out didn’t know it, and guessed OREGONIAN.

    This was a real *bitch* of a puzzle… as it ought to be for a Saturday.

  5. 70 min. and 2 errors , I had begat for began and stented for stetted which by the way my spell checker wouldn’t accept as a word.
    I am not a fan of clues like1 across, this could be North America, North Africa or some other area. These puzzles are tough enough without having clues you can’t decipher .
    Don’t even get me started on lines from Shakespeare etc

  6. 27:49. Some good guesses (e.g. IONE) in certain circumstances helped me a lot. The M in MAME/SAMI was the last guess that finished the puzzle.

    I had Oregonian before ARIZONIAN as well. I couldn’t believe STETTED when I got it. I had the “is that a word??” moment after seeing STET a hundred times in crosswords.

    This was a hard one, but it was a nice recovery from the debacle that was today’s NYT puzzle. That was a DNF after 45 minutes, and then I needed several cheats to finish at all.

    Carrie –
    As John Daigle and I would tell you, the Dyson is so much more than a vacuum cleaner (ok – maybe I’ve been watching too many infomercials…). I use it to “sweep” tile, clean shelves, furniture, mattresses, even to clean off my computer keyboard.

    Best –

  7. @Carrie
    I’m not sure ORECK is anything these days. The one I hear in competition with DYSON these days is a brand called SHARK. I can’t say I know too much about any of these though, as I really have never had the money to spend on anything like that. Besides, I find a lot of low-end machines in junk piles that I could clean up and have work properly enough to do the job, so it’s kind of a moot question for me.

  8. Could not get on the same page with Stowe. This was way beyond my talents, even with cheating! Got the NW & SE, but nothing more. Ah, and I was having such a nice week.

  9. Had the NW, the middle, and most of the SE and NE and a little bit of the SW. Hard, but looking at the answers, I should have persisted a bit longer. Oh well…

    re Dyson – There is a great interview of the inventor on the “How I Built This” with the, for me, somewhat annoying Guy Raz: https://www.npr.org/2018/03/26/584331881/dyson-james-dyson He eventually wants to challenge Tesla with a new type of battery, but that part seems to be a dud, from what I’ve read.

    In general, it is a great show with entrepreneurs of all kinds and the stuff they overcome on the way to success. And Raz, doesn’t do that annoying rasp to his voice as much anymore, at least on this show.

  10. Greetings y’all!!🙃
    DNS!!! 😮 Did not even start this one. I couldn’t think of ST LAWRENCE; then I scanned the rest of the clues and realized I was in for a tough time– so I quit😮😮😮!!!

    Gentlemen, thanks for the info on Dyson vacuum cleaners!! And Dirk, appreciate the link– I’d never heard of that show. I’ll find a way to get a Dyson…I saw some less expensive “certified refurbished” models on Amazon more in my price range, but that would be a risky way to go, methinks.

    Is “Dyson” the new BORON?😀

    Be well ~~🌹

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