LA Times Crossword 8 Oct 18, Monday

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Constructed by: Gail Grabowski & Bruce Venzke
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Soon

Themed answers are all phrases clued with “Soon”:

  • 20A. Soon : IN SHORT ORDER
  • 41A. Soon : BEFORE YOU KNOW IT
  • 58A. Soon : ANY MINUTE NOW

Bill’s time: 5m 21s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Stand watch for, say : ABET

The word “abet” comes into English from the Old French “abeter” meaning “to bait” or “to harass with dogs” (it literally means “to make bite”). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of “abet” meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

5. Oompah instrument : TUBA

The tuba is the lowest-pitched of all the brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). “Tuba” is the Latin word for “trumpet, horn”. Oom-pah-pah …

14. Greiner of “Shark Tank” : LORI

On the TV show “Shark Tank”, Lori Greiner is one of the “sharks”, one of the investors who choose whether or not to back entrepreneurs making a pitch of their businesses. Greiner has been described as a “serial inventor” and made her millions selling those inventions on QVC. Her success on the shopping channel earned her the nickname “the Queen of QVC”.

“Shark Tank” is a reality television show that features aspiring entrepreneurs making pitches to potential investors (the “sharks”) as they try to grow their businesses. The show is a Mark Burnett production and is based in a British series called “Dragons’ Den”.

15. Sister of Osiris : ISIS

Isis was the ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility, as well as the protector of the dead and the goddess of children. She was the personification of the pharaoh’s power. The name “Isis” translates as “throne”, and she is usually depicted with a headdress shaped like a throne.

Osiris was the Egyptian god of the underworld. Osiris was the son of Geb the Earth god, and Nut the sky goddess. His wife Isis was also his sister. Osiris was killed and mutilated by Set, his own brother. Isis reassembled Osiris and revived him, just long enough that they could conceive their son Horus.

16. Fabled wish granter : GENIE

The “genie” in the bottle takes his or her name from “djinn”. “Djinns” were various spirits considered lesser than angels, with people exhibiting unsavory characteristics said to be possessed by djinn. When the book “The Thousand and One Nights” was translated into French, the word “djinn” was transformed into the existing word “génie”, because of the similarity in sound and the related spiritual meaning. This “génie” from the Arabian tale became confused with the Latin-derived “genius”, a guardian spirit thought to be assigned to each person at birth. Purely as a result of that mistranslation the word genie has come to mean the “djinn” that pops out of the bottle. A little hard to follow, I know, but still quite interesting …

18. With “of” and 71-Across, Steinbeck classic : EAST …
71. See 18-Across : … EDEN

John Steinbeck considered “East of Eden” his magnum opus. Most of the storyline takes place near Salinas, just south of where I live here in the Bay Area. Two of the characters in the story are brothers Cal and Aron Trask, representative of the biblical Cain and Abel.

19. Swim cap material : LATEX

Latex is a naturally occurring polymer made by some plants, that can also be made synthetically. About one in ten of the flowering plants in the world make the milky fluid called latex. It serves as a defense against insects and is exuded when a plant is injured or attacked by insects. Latex is collected commercially and is the source of natural rubber, which can be used to make things such as gloves, condoms and balloons.

23. Hulu service : NETTV

Hulu is a video-on-demand service. Although competing directly with Netflix and Amazon Prime, Hulu’s primary focus is the streaming of television shows rather than movies.

25. Eyelid bump : STYE

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

29. Onetime Leno announcer Hall : EDD

Edd Hall is most famous as the former announcer for Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show”. Hall replaced Ed McMahon when Johnny Carson retired from the show.

34. Scoop in a cone : ICE CREAM

Ice cream, in its many forms, has been eaten for a long, long time. Ancient Greeks used to eat snow mixed with honey and fruit. As early as 200 BCE, the Chinese were using a mixture of snow and saltpeter around the exteriors of containers filled with syrup. The mixture lowered the freezing point of the water in the snow to below zero Celsius.

39. Katmandu native : NEPALI

Although Katmandu is the capital city of the lofty nation of Nepal, it sits in a bowl-shaped valley so is only at an elevation of 4,600 ft. Air pollution is a huge problem in the city. Industry and residents launch a lot of smog into the air, and given the surrounding geography and climate, any pollution blown away during the day tends to fall back into the valley at night.

44. Pedals on antique sewing machines : TREADLES

A treadle is a foot pedal that is used to create motion in a machine such as a loom or a potter’s wheel.

46. Gp. with Vikings : NFC

National Football Conference (NFC)

The Minnesota Vikings joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1960. Founded in Minnesota, the team’s name reflects the location’s reputation as a center of Scandinavian American culture.

48. Bearded beast : GNU

The gnu is also known as the wildebeest, and is an antelope native to Africa. “Wildebeest” is a Dutch meaning “wild beast”.

49. Fraction of a min. : NSEC

“Nanosecond” is more correctly abbreviated to “ns” (as opposed to “nsec”) and really is a tiny amount of time: one billionth of a second.

51. Hindu princess : RANI

A ranee (also “rani”) is an Indian queen or princess, and the female equivalent of a raja.

53. Andean pack animal : LLAMA

Many female mammals lick off their newborn. That’s not an option for llamas as their tongues only reach out of their mouths about half an inch. Instead, llama dams nuzzle their young and hum to them.

64. Med. readouts : EKGS

An EKG measures electrical activity in the heart. Back in my homeland of Ireland, an EKG is known as an ECG (for electrocardiogram). We use the German name in the US, Elektrokardiogramm, giving us EKG. Apparently the abbreviation EKG is preferred as ECG might be confused (if poorly handwritten, I guess) with EEG, the abbreviation for an electroencephalogram.

68. Vaccine fluids : SERA

A vaccine is a modified virus that causes a particular disease, which is administered to an individual to stimulate the immune system into developing immunity. British physician Edward Jenner came up with the first vaccine, injecting people with the cowpox virus in order to prevent smallpox. The term “vaccination” comes from the Latin “vaccinus” meaning “from cows”, with “vacca” translating as “cow”.

70. Actress Gunn of “Breaking Bad” : ANNA

Anna Gunn is an actress from Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is best known for playing Skyler White on the TV show “Breaking Bad”.

Down

2. Trailblazer Daniel : BOONE

Daniel Boone was a pioneer and folk hero. For frontiersman Boone, the frontier was what we now call the state of Kentucky. He led the building of the Wilderness Road through the famous Cumberland Gap in the Appalachians, a route subsequently taken by hundreds of thousands of migrants into Kentucky. Boone fought in the Revolutionary War with distinction, and after the war returned to Kentucky and got himself into land speculation. He became mired in debt, forcing him to emigrate to Missouri to settle down on land that was at that time owned by the French. It was there that he spent the last decades of his life.

3. Surrealist Max : ERNST

Max Ernst was a painter and sculptor, and a pioneer in the Dada movement and Surrealism. Ernst was born near Cologne in Germany in 1891 and he was called up to fight in WWI, as were most young German men at that time. In his autobiography he writes “Max Ernst died the 1st of August, 1914”, which was a statement about his experiences in the war. In reality, Ernst died in 1976 having lived to the ripe old age of 85.

6. Gannett’s flagship newspaper : USA TODAY

Gannett is a media holding company that is the largest newspaper publisher in the country in terms of circulation. The company’s flagship publication is “USA Today”.

7. Badlands bovine : BISON

There two species of bison left (four species are extinct). We are most familiar with the American bison (commonly called the American buffalo), but there is a also a European bison, sometimes called a “wisent”.

Badlands may be “bad lands” for agriculture (hence the name), but they can be beautiful. A badlands is an extensive area from which the topsoil has been eroded by wind and water, leaving exposed rock and very little vegetation. One of the most beautiful badlands areas in the US is preserved for the nation as South Dakota’s Badlands National Park.

8. Texas team that won the 2017 World Series : ASTROS

The Houston baseball team changed its name to the Astros (sometimes “’Stros”) from the Colt .45s in 1965 when they started playing in the Astrodome. The Astrodome was so called in recognition of the city’s long association with the US space program. The Astros moved from the National League to the American League starting in the 2013 season.

13. “__ sells”: ad biz mantra : SEX

Back in 1871, Pearl Tobacco featured an image of a naked maiden on the outer packaging and in print advertisements. Apparently, this was the earliest known use of sex appeal in advertising.

27. New Haven Ivy Leaguer : YALIE

Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut was founded in 1701, making it the third-oldest university in the US. Originally called the Collegiate School, it was renamed to Yale University in honor of retired merchant Elihu Yale, who made generous contributions to the institution. Yale University’s nickname is “Old Eli”, in a nod to the benefactor.

32. Le Car maker : RENAULT

French automaker Renault made the “mini-like” Renault 5 and sold it as the Renault Le Car in North America. My Dad had a Renault 5 in Ireland, back in the day …

34. “Peer Gynt” playwright : IBSEN

Henrik Ibsen was a Norwegian playwright who is considered by many to be the greatest playwright since William Shakespeare. Ibsen was famous for shocking his audiences by exploring subjects that offended the sensibilities of the day (the late 1800s).

Henrik Ibsen’s play “Peer Gynt” is based on a Scandinavian fairy tale “Per Gynt”. The incidental music to the play, written by Edvard Grieg, is some of the most approachable classical music ever written, at least in my humble opinion …

35. Honeycomb units : CELLS

Honeybees create a structure within their nests called a honeycomb that is used to contain their larvae and also to store honey and pollen. The honeycomb comprises hexagonal cells made from wax.

37. “Blue Bloods” extra : COP

“Blue Bloods” is a police drama series about a family of police officers led by Police Commissioner Frank Reagan, played by Tom Selleck. The show has been on the air since 2010.

38. Bon __: witticism : MOT

“Bon mot” translates from French as “good word”. We use “bon mot” (and sometimes just “mot”) to mean “quip, witticism”.

47. Picture taker : CAMERA

The original “camera” was a vaulted room, which is the meaning of the Latin term. In the 1600s, the term “camera obscura” was coined to describe a “darkened room”. This was usage was extended to describe an optical device made from a room with a small hole in one wall. Light from the scene outside passes through the hole and projects an image onto the inside walls of the room. The smaller the hole, the sharper is the image. Camera obscuras also came in smaller sizes, in the form of darkened boxes instead of rooms. These boxes developed (pun!) into our modern “cameras”.

50. Roasting bird : CAPON

A capon is a castrated cockerel (poor guy). Castration has a profound effect on the bird (duh!), making the meat more tender to eat when it is slaughtered.

52. 47-Down brand : NIKON
(47D. Picture taker : CAMERA)

The Japanese company Nikon was founded in 1917 with the merger of three manufacturers of various optical devices. After the merger, Nikon’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.

56. Bond portrayer Roger : MOORE

Roger Moore is best known in the US for taking on the role of 007 in seven James Bond movies from 1973 to 1985. In my part of the world we remember him playing a very debonair hero called Simon Templar in a TV series called “The Saint” from 1962 to 1969. Moore’s Templar character could very easily have morphed into a great James Bond, but by the time he was offered the part I personally think that he was just a tad too long in the tooth to pull off a credible 007.

60. Davis Cup org. : USTA

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the national organization governing the sport of tennis in the US. The USTA was founded way back in 1881 as the United States National Lawn Tennis Association.

The Davis Cup is referred to as the “World Cup of Tennis” as teams from competing countries play in a knock-out format. Although there are now over 120 nations competing, it all started in 1900 with an event featuring teams for just the US and Great Britain. That first competition came about when four members of the Harvard University tennis team wanted to challenge the British. One of the Harvard players was Dwight D. Davis. Davis designed the format for the tournament, and bought a sterling silver trophy using his own money. The event was called the International Lawn Tennis Challenge at first, but this evolved into the Davis Cup, taking the name of the trophy awarded to the winning nation.

62. Biker’s wheels : HOG

The Harley-Davidson motorcycle company was founded in the very early 1900s by two childhood friends, William Harley and Arthur Davidson, . Their first design was in effect an engine hooked up to a pedal bicycle, but the 116 cc cylinder capacity simply couldn’t generate enough power to get up the hills of their native city of Milwaukee. The pair came up with a redesigned model that had a cylinder capacity of 405 cc, which the partners built in a shed at the back of Davidson’s house. In 1906, the partners built their first factory, located where the company’s headquarters is to this day, on Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Famously, Harley motorcycles are nicknamed “hogs”.

63. Springfield presidential library nickname : ABE

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is located in the Illinois state capital, Springfield. As someone who has visited almost all of the nation’s presidential libraries, I must say that I found the Lincoln Library a little strange. There are some exhibits that use technology that I more associate with a theme park, and so I found them quite “jarring”. Regardless, visiting the library and museum is a wonderful way to learn more about one of America’s greatest presidents.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Stand watch for, say : ABET
5. Oompah instrument : TUBA
9. Think-on-your-feet tests : ORALS
14. Greiner of “Shark Tank” : LORI
15. Sister of Osiris : ISIS
16. Fabled wish granter : GENIE
17. Time-consuming : LONG
18. With “of” and 71-Across, Steinbeck classic : EAST …
19. Swim cap material : LATEX
20. Soon : IN SHORT ORDER
23. Hulu service : NETTV
24. __ about: roughly : ON OR
25. Eyelid bump : STYE
29. Onetime Leno announcer Hall : EDD
31. Prefix with mount or charge : SUR-
33. Head-butting beast : RAM
34. Scoop in a cone : ICE CREAM
39. Katmandu native : NEPALI
41. Soon : BEFORE YOU KNOW IT
43. Make an error : SLIP UP
44. Pedals on antique sewing machines : TREADLES
45. Right-angled piece : ELL
46. Gp. with Vikings : NFC
48. Bearded beast : GNU
49. Fraction of a min. : NSEC
51. Hindu princess : RANI
53. Andean pack animal : LLAMA
58. Soon : ANY MINUTE NOW
61. Pentagon, for one : SHAPE
64. Med. readouts : EKGS
65. Molecule part : ATOM
66. Usual bus. address for sending in payments : PO BOX
67. Cheer (for) : ROOT
68. Vaccine fluids : SERA
69. Hollywood go-between : AGENT
70. Actress Gunn of “Breaking Bad” : ANNA
71. See 18-Across : … EDEN

Down

1. Dead tired : ALL IN
2. Trailblazer Daniel : BOONE
3. Surrealist Max : ERNST
4. Tied snugly : TIGHT
5. Wedding cake layer : TIER
6. Gannett’s flagship newspaper : USA TODAY
7. Badlands bovine : BISON
8. Texas team that won the 2017 World Series : ASTROS
9. Look like a wolf? : OGLE
10. Brings up, as kids : REARS
11. Industrious insect : ANT
12. Tell it like it isn’t : LIE
13. “__ sells”: ad biz mantra : SEX
21. Exceed, as a budget : OVERRUN
22. Like an intoxicated spree : DRUNKEN
26. Fish with a net : TRAWL
27. New Haven Ivy Leaguer : YALIE
28. Radiates : EMITS
30. Cook, as onion rings : DEEP FRY
32. Le Car maker : RENAULT
34. “Peer Gynt” playwright : IBSEN
35. Honeycomb units : CELLS
36. Paperless tax return option : E-FILE
37. “Blue Bloods” extra : COP
38. Bon __: witticism : MOT
40. Pea container : POD
42. Encouraging : URGING ON
47. Picture taker : CAMERA
50. Roasting bird : CAPON
52. 47-Down brand : NIKON
54. Tenant’s contract : LEASE
55. Tossed in a chip : ANTED
56. Bond portrayer Roger : MOORE
57. “Seriously, bro!” : AW, MAN!
59. “I’m __!”: “My turn!” : NEXT!
60. Davis Cup org. : USTA
61. Place for a mud bath : SPA
62. Biker’s wheels : HOG
63. Springfield presidential library nickname : ABE

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12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 8 Oct 18, Monday”

  1. LAT: 7:05, no errors. Newsday: 5:03, no errors. WSJ: 7:34, no errors; never got Friday’s meta, which is kind of embarrassing; I was really overthinking it. New Yorker: 14:46, no errors; pretty easy one. BEQ later.

      1. @Heidi … Well, despite an unseemly touch of “Schadenfreude”, I’m sorry to hear that. I think it was the inclusion of the word “Casting” in the title that led me astray: I kept looking at the names of other members of the casts of the movies mentioned. Oh, well … there’s always next week … 😜.

        In other news: I was finally able to get to today’s BEQ: 16:59, no errors; not too difficult, and I was able to make logical guesses at a couple of names I didn’t know. Also, while waiting six and a half hours for my car to be serviced (because what I thought was a minor service was actually a major one), I tackled a Tim Croce puzzle from 11/01/2016: 2:36:09, no errors (but a serious head-scratcher). I’m convinced, more than ever, that Croce made a conscious decision, in early 2017, to make his puzzles a little easier; almost every time I try one from before that, it turns out to be a real corker.

  2. 11:41. I found this a little tricky for a Monday. I had the Vikings in the NFL rather than the NFC so it took me a while to figure out what a lAMERA was….

    Best –

  3. My first check to mark the ones I thought I knew and give my wife the first
    pass at it gave less than half and she got all but a couple of those. It started
    to then fall in place for me and I got all but 6 squares in the upper left-hand
    section. The dictionary gave me ERNST and the rest of them just came to me.
    So, no errors in about an hour’s time, good for us. I had to change NFL to NFC,
    TROLL to TRAWL and ASS to RAM, the last one being the only error my wife made. Bill brought his A Game and blazed in at about 5 minutes. Very awesome to me. I did enjoy the way it was laid out; I could just see it.

  4. LAT: 7:39, no errors. Much harder than average Monday norm. WSJ: 4:12, no errors. Having seen the answers, I would have never would have gotten 2 of the metas from last week. Waiting on the third tomorrow. Newsday: 5:55, no errors. New Yorker: 34:23, 1 error on the Natick at 51A-45D. BEQ to come as soon as I can get it done – I figured out he doesn’t schedule his posts a long time ago, but I know he typically posts his late anyway – just later than normal today.

    1. BEQ: 23:28, 2 errors, 1 dumb. I can say at least today went like I’d like every Monday to go, hopefully sometime soon I can be in the territory of “reasonable” with these puzzles.

  5. Had a Natick at USTA (sports) crosses ANNA. Did not know LORI or NFC, but got anyway. Sometimes it’s best not to know too much sports.

  6. Aloha !!🌹
    No errors on a fun Monday! 😀 Theme was cute, altho I didn’t notice it till halfway through. Shout-out to Skyler!! (ANNA Gunn’s character on my fave show, Breaking Bad.) Ms Gunn appeared many years ago on an episode of Seinfeld; she plays Jerry’s girlfriend in the episode where george loses his glasses. And of course, Bryan Cranston, later of Breaking Bad fame, had a recurring role there as Jerry’s dentist.

    It’s fun to see actors that you know from previous roles move to something completely different, or become really big after appearing in a B-level show. Tom Hanks was in some lame sitcom called “Bosom Buddies ” back in the ’80s (I hope I’m not stepping up on toes in calling that show lame!!) And of course it works in the opposite way, e.g., Orson Welles in wine commercials. !!!

    Be well ~~🍀

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