LA Times Crossword 20 Oct 18, Saturday

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Constructed by: Lewis Rothlein
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 11m 37s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Name derived from a Kyrgyz word meaning “sea of islands” : ARAL

The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country in Central Asia that is a former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR). The country name’s root “Kyrgyz” translates as “We are forty”. This a reference to the forty united clans in the region that united under a legendary hero named Manas. The Kyrgyzstan flag also features a sun with forty rays, a further reference to the clans.

5. __ therapy : GENE

Gene therapy is an experimental technology used to treat disease. The basic principle is to transplant genes into a patient’s cells in order to cure a disease caused by the absence of those genes.

9. Food quality : SAPOR

“Sapor” is another word for “flavor, a quality that can be tasted”. “Sapor” is Latin for “taste, flavor”.

16. Patriotic nickname : US OF A

The first known use of the phrase “United States of America” is in a letter dated January 2nd, 1776 from Irish-American Stephen Moylan, who was serving as acting secretary to General George Washington. Writing to Washington’s aide-de-camp Colonel Joseph Reed, Moylan stated:

I should like vastly to go with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain [to seek foreign assistance for the cause].

21. Addie’s husband in “As I Lay Dying” : ANSE

“As I Lay Dying” is a novel by William Faulkner first published in 1930. The book has an unusual structure, with stream of consciousness writing throughout. There is one whole chapter that I’d like to quote here:

My mother is a fish.

That’s a five-word chapter …

22. “Our acts make or __ us”: Victor Hugo : MAR

Victor Hugo was a French poet and playwright who is known in his native country mainly for his poetry. However, outside of France, Hugo is perhaps more closely associated with his novels such as “Les Misérables” and “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”.

Here’s a quotation from French writer Victor Hugo:

Our acts make or mar us, we are the children of our own deeds.

23. Fee: Abbr. : CHG

Charge (chg.)

25. “The Night They Invented Champagne” musical : GIGI

In the lovely musical film “Gigi”, released in 1958, the title song is sung by Louis Jourdan who plays Gaston. My favorite number though, has to be “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” sung by Maurice Chevalier. Many say that “Gigi” is the last in the long line of great MGM musicals. It won a record 9 Academy Awards, a record that only lasted one year. Twelve months later “Ben Hur” won 11 Oscars. In the 1958 film, Gigi was played by the lovely Leslie Caron. A few years earlier, “Gigi” was a successful stage play on Broadway. Chosen for the title role on stage was the then-unknown Audrey Hepburn.

27. Curved sword, to Brits : SABRE

A saber (sometimes “sabre”) is a sword with a curved blade and a relatively large hand guard. It is thought that the term originated with the Hungarian verb “szabni” meaning “to cut”.

29. Elver, e.g. : EEL

An elver is a young eel.

30. Bug : DEFECT

Back in 1947, famed computer programmer Grace Hopper noticed some colleagues fixing a piece of equipment by removing a dead moth from a relay. She remarked that they were “debugging” the system, and so Hopper has been given credit for popularizing that term.

33. __ Fridays : TGI

T.G.I. Fridays is an American restaurant chain that was founded in 1965 in New York City. Today there are over a thousand T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants in over 50 countries. I think that Fridays has always been particularly successful overseas. I used to visit one a lot with my family when we lived in the Philippines, and I believe the most successful Fridays restaurant anywhere in the world is the one in Haymarket Leicester Square in London in the UK.

37. Teller’s output : YARN

The phrase “to spin a yarn”, meaning “to tell a tall tale”, originated in the early 1800s with seamen. The idea was that sailors would tell stories to each other while engaged in mindless work such as twisting yarn.

38. Sydney’s st. : NSW

New South Wales (NSW) is the most populous state in Australia and is home to Sydney, the most populous city in the country. New South Wales was founded in 1788. When the British took over New Zealand in 1840, New Zealand was actually governed for a while as part of New South Wales.

Sydney is the most populous city in Australia. People from Sydney are known as “Sydneysiders”.

39. Strong reaction : RISE

One might get a rise out of someone, provoke a reaction. The phrase “get a rise out of” comes from the world of angling. A fisherman might drop a fly on the water’s surface in the hope that a fish will rise to the bait.

42. First cloned mammal : EWE

Dolly is the most famous sheep in the world. She was a clone, and was born in 1996 near Edinburgh in Scotland, grown from a cell taken from the mammary gland of a healthy donor sheep. When asked why she was called Dolly, the scientist responsible said, and I quote:

“Dolly is derived from a mammary gland cell and we couldn’t think of a more impressive pair of glands than Dolly Parton’s”.

46. Noël Coward, for one : SIR

Noël Coward was the most flamboyant of personalities. A playwright, composer and actor, Coward worked in a remarkable range of genres. He wrote the wonderfully airy play “Blithe Spirit”, as well as the Oscar-winning WWII naval drama “In Which We Serve”. A couple of his more famous songs, many of which he performed himself in cabaret, are “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” and “London Pride”.

47. Proverbial team feature? : NO I

There’s no “I” in “team”.

48. Where Zeno taught : ELEA

Zeno of Elea was a Greek philosopher who lived in Elea, a Greek colony in Southern Italy. Zeno is famous for his paradoxes, a set of problems that really make you think! In the problem known as “Achilles and the Tortoise”, Zeno tells us that Achilles races a tortoise, giving the tortoise a head start (of say 100 meters). By the time Achilles reaches the starting point of the tortoise, the tortoise will have moved on, albeit only a small distance. Achilles then sets his sights on the tortoise’s new position and runs to it. Again the tortoise has moved ahead a little. Achilles keeps on moving to the tortoise’s new position but can never actually catch his slower rival. Or can he …?

56. “Twilight” author Stephenie : MEYER

The author Stephenie Meyer is best-known for her “Twilight” series of vampire romance novels. The “Twilight” books are aimed at young adults. Meyer also wrote a 2008 adult sci-fi novel called “The Host”, which went straight to the top of the New York Times Best Seller list.

57. “Nurse Jackie” Emmy winner : EDIE FALCO

“Nurse Jackie” is a comedy-drama series centered on an emergency room nurse at a hospital in New York City. The lead character is played by Edie Falco, who also played Tony Soprano’s wife on the “The Sopranos”. I binge-watched “Nurse Jackie” a while back and found it to be a very well-written show …

Down

1. Out of control : AMOK

The phrase “to run amok” (sometimes “to run amuck”) has been around since the 1670s and is derived from the Malay word for “attacking furiously”, “amuk”. The word “amok” was also used as a noun to describe Malay natives who were “frenzied”. Given Malaya’s troubled history, the natives probably had good reason for that frenzy …

2. Pasta __: food brand : RONI

Noodle Roni was a derivative product of Rice-A-Roni that was based on the classic recipe of Noodles Alfredo. Noodle Roni was renamed to Pasta Roni in 1995. Never tried it …

3. “__ plaisir!” : AVEC

“Avec plaisir!” is French for “with pleasure!”.

5. Braces (oneself) : GIRDS

The phrase “gird your loins” dates back to Ancient Rome. The expression describes the action of lifting “one’s skirts” and tying them between the legs to allow more freedom of movement before going into battle. Nowadays, “gird your loins” (or sometimes just “gird yourself”) is a metaphor for “prepare yourself for the worst”.

7. It can tide you over : 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”.

Something is said “to tide one over” if it (often money) will see one through a rough patch. The idea behind the expression is that a swelling tide can carry you over an obstacle without effort on your part, as perhaps a reserve fund might keep the lenders from your door. The use of “tide” in this sense might come from some famous lines spoken by Brutus in “Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare

There is a Tide in the affairs of men,
Which taken at the Flood, leads on to Fortune

8. Harmonious outfit : ENSEMBLE

In the most general sense, an ensemble is a group producing a single, harmonious effect. For example, a musical ensemble works together to perform a particular work, with no instrument really dominating the piece. An ensemble cast works on a movie, with the main actors sharing the spotlight relatively equally. An ensemble can also be a complete outfit of clothing and accessories that all work together to provide a harmonized look.

13. __ al-Khaimah: UAE emirate : RAS

Ras Al Khaimah is one of the seven members of the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Ras Al Khaimah was the last of the seven emirates to join the federation, doing so in 1972. It is a non-oil producing emirate, and has an economy that is focused on technology and tourism.

41. Roger Goodell’s gp. : THE NFL

Roger Goodell became Commissioner of the NFL in 2006. Goodell is married to Jane Skinner, a former daytime news anchor with Fox News.

49. Protest where people do and don’t take a stand? : LIE-IN

A die-in (also “lie-in”) is a protest in which those demonstrating lie on the ground and pretend to be dead. One of the more famous die-ins was held in Washington D.C. in 2007 to protest the Iraq War. There were several thousand protesters, almost two hundred of whom were arrested, including ten veterans of the Iraq War.

52. One from a penseur : IDEE

In French, a “penseur” (thinker) might use his or her “tête” (head) to produce an “idée” (idea).

53. “Pinocchio” goldfish : CLEO

In the 1940 Disney animated feature “Pinocchio”, the woodcarver Geppetto has two pets. He has a tuxedo cat named Figaro and goldfish named Cleo.

Disney’s “Pinocchio” was the studio’s second animated feature film, and was released three years after the hugely successful 1937 movie “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. “Pinocchio” is based the 1883 children’s novel “The Adventures of Pinocchio” by Italian author Carlo Collodi. It had the honor of becoming the first animated feature to win a competitive Oscar, winning for Best Original Score and Best Original Song (“When You Wish Upon a Star”).

56. __ money : MAD

Mad money is money that one sets aside for an unlikely contingency, or perhaps an impulse purchase. The term “mad money” originated in the 1920s, and back then applied to money that a woman would carry on a date in case her escort hadn’t the decency to drive her home. Times have changed …

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Name derived from a Kyrgyz word meaning “sea of islands” : ARAL
5. __ therapy : GENE
9. Food quality : SAPOR
14. Makes a play for : MOVES IN ON
16. Patriotic nickname : US OF A
17. Start of many a puzzle : ONE-ACROSS
18. Enjoys a course : GOLFS
19. Stopped using : KICKED THE HABIT
21. Addie’s husband in “As I Lay Dying” : ANSE
22. “Our acts make or __ us”: Victor Hugo : MAR
23. Fee: Abbr. : CHG
25. “The Night They Invented Champagne” musical : GIGI
27. Curved sword, to Brits : SABRE
29. Elver, e.g. : EEL
30. Bug : DEFECT
32. In a happy place : GLAD
33. __ Fridays : TGI
34. “Seriously?” : IT IS?
35. Hard-to-find items, to collectors : RARES
37. Teller’s output : YARN
38. Sydney’s st. : NSW
39. Strong reaction : RISE
40. “No more!” : STOP IT!
42. First cloned mammal : EWE
43. Increased : UPPED
45. Shaded : HUED
46. Noël Coward, for one : SIR
47. Proverbial team feature? : NO I
48. Where Zeno taught : ELEA
50. Experimental vehicle : SELF-DRIVING CAR
56. “Twilight” author Stephenie : MEYER
57. “Nurse Jackie” Emmy winner : EDIE FALCO
58. Compensate (for) : ATONE
59. Quick to recover : RESILIENT
60. Wet : DOUSE
61. Spotted : SEEN
62. Refusals : NOES

Down

1. Out of control : AMOK
2. Pasta __: food brand : RONI
3. “__ plaisir!” : AVEC
4. Auto fluid problems : LEAKAGES
5. Braces (oneself) : GIRDS
6. Online reminders : E-NOTES
7. It can tide you over : NOSH
8. Harmonious outfit : ENSEMBLE
9. Like many donuts : SUGARED
10. Tell __ story: elicit sympathy : A SOB
11. Legal barrier : POLICE TAPE
12. How some survivalists live : OFF THE GRID
13. __ al-Khaimah: UAE emirate : RAS
15. __ route : SCENIC
20. Hound : HARASS
24. Sparkle : GLINT
25. Sees through : GETS WISE TO
26. “Here’s my advice … ” : IF I WERE YOU …
28. Go along : AGREE
30. Patronizes, with “at” : DINES
31. Word from the Greek for “three-footed” : TRIPOD
36. Wannabes : ASPIRERS
37. “I thought we were done” : YOU AGAIN?
39. What animals do in the wild : RUN FREE
41. Roger Goodell’s gp. : THE NFL
44. Work out : DEVISE
49. Protest where people do and don’t take a stand? : LIE-IN
51. Viewpoint, metaphorically : LENS
52. One from a penseur : IDEE
53. “Pinocchio” goldfish : CLEO
54. Often embarrassing outbreak : ACNE
55. Doesn’t keep : ROTS
56. __ money : MAD

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11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 20 Oct 18, Saturday”

  1. LAT: 16:16, no errors; got a chuckle out of “Enjoys a course” as a clue for “GOLFS”. Newsday’s “Saturday Stumper”: 35:13, no errors; the upper right corner held me up for a bit. WSJ: 34:07, no errors; and with a rebus gimmick, which I think is a little unusual for them.

  2. 31:30, DNF. There were fills all over the grid I just couldn’t figure out. SAPOR, ANSE, GETS WISE, POLICE TAPE … all of those either totally out of my ken, or just wouldn’t appear to my eyes.

  3. 40 min.. and my usual one dump mistake (ilea for elea)
    One day I am going to learn how to go over a puzzle when I’m done and look for errors MAYBE.

  4. LAT: 32:39, 2 random errors like you get when you take random guesses at stuff. Dumb, maybe? WSJ: 23:22, 1 dumb error. Rebus gimmick but nothing too out of the ordinary besides that. Newsday: 56:05, 4 random errors more dumb than not – but what you get when all you are doing is guessing. I’ll call it a third completion for the year, but I can’t say it’s a full on victory.

    @Jack
    If you see them. A lot of my times involve doing just that, but not seeing them. Funny how that works.

  5. 26:25. Went through the top half very quickly but got bogged down in the lower part especially in the SW.

    Dirk/Carrie –
    Yes – mustard and onions is the only way to eat a hog dog or brat. But street hot dogs in Mexico come with mustard, onion, ketchup, mayo, a green chile salsa and a form of liquified refried beans. It sounds like a lot, but they are spectacular.

    And I’ll miss game 7 tonight as I’ll be at the Vegas Golden Knights’ game. Brewers have all the momentum, but we’ll see.

    Best –

  6. Dodger’s will pull this off tonight! BUT I must say that my hot dog gets onions, mustard & sweet relish. I’m originally from the Chicago area, so maybe that’s why the relish. Try it, you might like it, Mikey!

  7. Aloha peeps!!🙃

    No errors, but that center-right section??!! I barely got out alive. Could NOT get POLICE TAPE for the longest!! Really struggled on YARN and HUED –Finally changed NOT AGAIN to YOU AGAIN and the rest fell into place. 😮

    How about those Dodgers?! I still can’t believe we made it this far, let alone the World Series. They must be quaking in their cleats at facing the Red Sox— but how great for LA if they win. GO BLUE!! ⚾️

    The one thing I can’t understand is KETCHUP ON A HOT DOG!!! ….altho Jeff, I can see where the particular combo you describe would work. Reminds me of street elote here in LA: roasted corn on the cob with mayonnaise, lime, and chile sauce….excellent!! 🌽

    Be well ~~⚾️⚾️⚾️

  8. Gave up prematurely and checked what I had…all right except tOsS instead of ROTS. So, I powered on without looking at any other answers. After another 1/2 hour I got everything with just one error EdEA/dIEIN.

    Congratulations to the Dodgers!! C’mon Carrie, you have to believe! Although I am a little concerned in case they do win..I mean, didn’t they chase a couple of stage coaches out of town and put all the gas lights out along the LA river the last time?

    re Hot Dogs – If you google Dodger Dog and click on more Images, you’ll see one photo “Every Dog Has Its Day” which compares Chicago, LA, Boston and NY. I kinda like the NY and Chicago. Also, there’s an “etiquette” stating “Don’t use ketchup on your hot dog after the age of 18” 🙂

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