LA Times Crossword 9 Oct 18, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Bruce Haight
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Sewn Up

Themed answers each end with a word related to SEWING:

  • 53A. Clinched, and a hint to the four longest Across answers : SEWN UP
  • 17A. How something precarious may hang : BY A THREAD
  • 29A. How a good comedian leaves the audience? : IN STITCHES
  • 47A. Difficult time : ROUGH PATCH
  • 64A. Care : GIVE A DARN

Bill’s time: 4m 55s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. “Big Board” that lists GM and GE : NYSE

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) can give some quite descriptive ticker symbols to companies, for example:

  • Anheuser-Busch (BUD, for “Budweiser”)
  • Molson Coors Brewing Company (TAP, as in “beer tap”)
  • Steinway Musical Instruments (LVB, for “Ludwig van Beethoven”)
  • Sotheby’s (BID, for the auction house)

General Motors (GM)

General Electric (GE)

5. Strauss of jeans : LEVI

Levi Strauss was the founder of the first company in the world to manufacture blue jeans. Levi Strauss & Co. opened in 1853 in San Francisco. Strauss and his business partner were awarded a patent in 1873 for the use of copper rivets to strengthen points of strain on working pants.

9. Scam using spam, say : PHISH

Phishing is the online practice of stealing usernames, passwords and credit card details by creating a site that deceptively looks reliable and trustworthy. Phishers often send out safe-looking emails or instant messages that direct someone to an equally safe-looking website where the person might inadvertently enter sensitive information. “Phishing” is a play on the word “fishing”, as in “fishing for passwords, PIN numbers etc.”

15. Eye layer that includes the iris : UVEA

The uvea is the middle of the three layers that make up the eyeball. The outer layer is called the fibrous tunic, and the inner layer is the retina.

16. Roman robes : TOGAE

In Ancient Rome, the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae” or “togas”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

19. Love, to Casanova : AMORE

Giacomo Casanova was an 18th-century adventurer from Venice. We know so much about him, and his reputation as a womanizer, because he left us his autobiography “Histoire de ma vie” (Story of My Life). A guy recounting stories of his love life and conquests? All true, I am sure …

28. Simon __ : SAYS

“Simon Says” is a kids’ game. The idea is for the players of the game to obey the “controller” who gives instructions. But the players should only obey when the controller uses the words, “Simon says …”. The game has very old roots, with a Latin version that uses the words “Cicero dicit fac hoc” (Cicero says do this).

37. Marisa of “My Cousin Vinny” : TOMEI

Marisa Tomei’s first screen role was in the daytime soap “As the World Turns”, but her break came with a recurring role in “The Cosby Show” spin-off “A Different World”. Tomei won an Oscar for her delightful performance in “My Cousin Vinny” in 1992.

“My Cousin Vinny” is a really fun film from 1992 starring Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei. In 2008, the American Bar Association rated “My Cousin Vinny” as the #3 Greatest Legal Movie of all time, after “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “12 Angry Men”!

40. Asian New Year : TET

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

44. Clinton’s veep : GORE

Al Gore was born in Washington DC, the son of Al Gore, Sr., then a US Representative for the state of Tennessee. After deferring his military service in order to attend Harvard, the younger Gore became eligible for the draft on graduation. Many of his classmates found ways of avoiding the draft, but Gore decided to serve and even took the “tougher” option of joining the army as an enlisted man. Actor Tommy Lee Jones shared a house with Gore in college and says that his buddy told him that even if he could find a way around the draft, someone with less options than him would have to go in his place and that was just wrong.

46. Fifth scale note : SOL

The solfa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti.

54. Schlepped : TOTED

Our word “schlep” means “to carry, drag”. “Schlep” comes from Yiddish, with “shlepen” having the same meaning.

67. New __: modern spiritualist : AGER

New-Age music is created to provide a relaxing and stress-free atmosphere. The New Age movement is often said to have begun with the release of an album called “Spectrum Suite” by Steven Halpern in 1975.

68. Rebuke from Caesar : ET TU

It was Shakespeare who popularized the words “Et tu, Brute?” (meaning “And you, Brutus?”). They appear in his play “Julius Caesar”, although the phrase had been around long before he penned his drama. It’s not known what Julius Caesar actually said in real life (if anything at all) as he was assassinated on on the steps of the Senate in Rome.

70. Gridiron throw : PASS

We never used the word “gridiron” when I was growing up in Ireland (meaning a grill used for cooking food over an open fire). So, maybe I am excused for taking two decades as a US resident to work out that a football field gridiron is so called because the layout of yard lines over the field looks like a gridiron used in cooking!

71. Stinging insect : WASP

While the wasp is considered to be a nuisance by many, the insect is very important to the agricultural industry. Wasps prey on many pest insects, while having very little impact on crops.

Down

2. Grammy-winning cellist : YO-YO MA

Yo-Yo Ma is a marvelous American cellist who was born in Paris to Chinese parents. Ma started studying the violin when he was very young, working his way up (in size) to the viola and finally to the cello. He has said that he wanted to play the double bass, but it was just too big for his relatively small frame.

6. “Brideshead Revisited” novelist Waugh : EVELYN

Evelyn Waugh was an English author who is most famous for his fabulous 1945 novel “Brideshead Revisited”. Evelyn Waugh met and fell in love with Evelyn Gardner in 1927. Known to friends as “He-Evelyn” and “She-Evelyn”, the couple were married in 1929 (but divorced one year later).

7. Wiener schnitzel meat : VEAL

Schnitzel is an Austrian dish made from slices of meat that have been tenderized and thinned with a wooden mallet, and then coated in breadcrumbs and fried. The variant known as Wiener Schnitzel (i.e. Viennese schnitzel) is usually made from veal, although now that veal had fallen into disfavor due to concerns about animal rights, it is often made from pork.

9. School fundraising gp. : PTA

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

10. Household skills class, for short : HOME EC

Home economics (home ec)

12. __ Lee desserts : SARA

In 1935, businessman Charles Lubin bought a chain of three bakeries in Chicago called Community Bake Shops, and soon expanded the operation into seven stores. Lubin introduced a cream cheesecake that he named after his daughter who was only 8-years-old at the time, Sara Lee Lubin. The cheesecake was a hit and he renamed the bakeries to Kitchen of Sara Lee. The business was bought out by Consolidated foods in 1956, but the brand name Sara Lee persists to this day, as does Ms. Sara Lee herself who now goes by the name Sara Lee Schupf.

22. Mideast chieftain : EMIR

An emir is a prince or chieftain, most notably in the Middle East. In English, “emir” can also be written variously as “emeer, amir, ameer” (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).

25. Arthur of tennis : ASHE

The great American tennis player Arthur Ashe spent the last years of his life writing his memoir called “Days of Grace”. He finished the manuscript just a few days before he passed away, dying from AIDS caused by a tainted blood transfusion.

27. Dictation pro : STENO

Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

31. Ambulance pro : EMT

Emergency medical technician (EMT)

32. 007, e.g. : SPY

The character James Bond was the creation of writer Ian Fleming. Fleming “stole” the James Bond name from an American ornithologist. The number 007 was “stolen” from the real-life, 16th century English spy called John Dee. Dee would sign his reports to Queen Elizabeth I with a stylized “007” to indicate that the reports were for “her eyes only”. There’s an entertaining miniseries that aired on BBC America called “Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond” that details Ian Fleming’s military career, and draws some nice parallels between Fleming’s experiences and aspirations and those of his hero James Bond. Recommended …

38. Musical Yoko : ONO

Yoko Ono was born in 1933 in Tokyo into a prosperous Japanese family, and is actually a descendant of one of the emperors of Japan. Yoko’s father moved around the world for work, and she lived the first few years of her life in San Francisco. The family returned to Japan, before moving on to New York, Hanoi and back to Japan just before WWII, in time to live through the great firebombing of Tokyo in 1945. Immediately after the war the family was far from prosperous. While Yoko’s father was being held in a prison camp in Vietnam, her mother had to resort to begging and bartering to feed her children. When her father was repatriated, life started to return to normal and Yoko was able to attend university. She was the first woman to be accepted into the philosophy program of Gakushuin University.

45. Newspaper opinion page : OP-ED

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

46. Norelco products : SHAVERS

Norelco is a brand of shavers and personal care products made by Philips. The brand name was introduced as the company was barred from using “Philips” in the US in the early 1940s. The name Norelco was chosen as an acronym for “NOR-th American Philips EL-ectrical CO-mpany.

48. Pointed beard : GOATEE

A goatee is a beard formed by hair on just a man’s chin. The name probably comes from the tuft of hair seen on an adult goat.

49. Baked potato topping paired with sour cream : CHIVES

Chives are the smallest species of edible onion, and a favorite of mine.

51. Piano piece : SONATA

A cantata is a piece of music that is sung, as opposed to a sonata, which is a piece that is played on some instrument, often a piano. A sonatina is in effect a sonata that has been labelled as something lighter and shorter.

52. Some big box stores : KMARTS

Kmart is the third largest discount store chain in the world, behind Wal-Mart and Target. The company was founded by S. S. Kresge in 1899, with the first outlets known as S. S. Kresge stores. The first “Kmart” stores opened in 1962, with the “K” standing for “Kresge”. Kmart is famous for its promotions known as “blue light specials”, a program first introduced in 1965 and discontinued in 1991. I remember being in a Kmart store soon after coming to live in the US. That evening an employee installed a light stand an aisle away from me, switched on a flashing blue light and there was some unintelligible announcement over the loudspeaker system. I had no idea what was going on …

56. “… and two if by __” : SEA

“One if by land, and two if by sea” is the famous signal code used by Paul Revere to warn the people of Charlestown when the British army was approaching. The words “one if by land, and two if by sea”, are immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride”.

60. Latvian capital : RIGA

Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city’s magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

65. “Do the __”: soft-drink slogan : DEW

If you check the can, you’ll see that “Mountain Dew” is now marketed as “Mtn Dew”.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. “Big Board” that lists GM and GE : NYSE
5. Strauss of jeans : LEVI
9. Scam using spam, say : PHISH
14. Fireworks cries : OOHS
15. Eye layer that includes the iris : UVEA
16. Roman robes : TOGAE
17. How something precarious may hang : BY A THREAD
19. Love, to Casanova : AMORE
20. Soft toss : LOB
21. “Out with it!” : TELL ME!
23. List-ending abbr. : ET AL
24. Diplomatic office : EMBASSY
26. “No more for me, thanks” : I’M SET
28. Simon __ : SAYS
29. How a good comedian leaves the audience? : IN STITCHES
33. Farm layer : HEN
35. Lamp-to-plug line : WIRE
36. Little mischief-maker : IMP
37. Marisa of “My Cousin Vinny” : TOMEI
40. Asian New Year : TET
41. Very unpleasant : NASTY
43. “It’s __-win situation” : A NO
44. Clinton’s veep : GORE
46. Fifth scale note : SOL
47. Difficult time : ROUGH PATCH
50. Queries : ASKS
54. Schlepped : TOTED
55. Eats a little : HAS SOME
57. “Verrrry funny” : HA HA
59. Stem (from) : DERIVE
61. Opposite of “yep” : NAW
62. Overplay the part : EMOTE
64. Care : GIVE A DARN
66. Career employee : LIFER
67. New __: modern spiritualist : AGER
68. Rebuke from Caesar : ET TU
69. Put off : DEFER
70. Gridiron throw : PASS
71. Stinging insect : WASP

Down

1. Aristocrats : NOBLES
2. Grammy-winning cellist : YO-YO MA
3. “Not too __!”: “Good work!” : SHABBY
4. “To the max” suffix : -EST
5. Slyly attracts : LURES IN
6. “Brideshead Revisited” novelist Waugh : EVELYN
7. Wiener schnitzel meat : VEAL
8. Words of confession : I ADMIT IT
9. School fundraising gp. : PTA
10. Household skills class, for short : HOME EC
11. “Let me handle it” : I GOT THIS
12. __ Lee desserts : SARA
13. Canine command : HEEL
18. Elevs. : HTS
22. Mideast chieftain : EMIR
25. Arthur of tennis : ASHE
27. Dictation pro : STENO
30. Like dessert wines : SWEET
31. Ambulance pro : EMT
32. 007, e.g. : SPY
34. Figure skating figure : EIGHT
37. Sticky subject? : TAR
38. Musical Yoko : ONO
39. Get sassy with someone : MOUTH OFF
40. Import-export imbalance : TRADE GAP
42. “Sadly … ” : ALAS …
45. Newspaper opinion page : OP-ED
46. Norelco products : SHAVERS
48. Pointed beard : GOATEE
49. Baked potato topping paired with sour cream : CHIVES
51. Piano piece : SONATA
52. Some big box stores : KMARTS
53. Clinched, and a hint to the four longest Across answers : SEWN UP
56. “… and two if by __” : SEA
57. __ up: robbed : HELD
58. Parisian gal pal : AMIE
60. Latvian capital : RIGA
63. Blow it : ERR
65. “Do the __”: soft-drink slogan : DEW

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10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 9 Oct 18, Tuesday”

  1. LAT: 5:49 no errors. The time after 4:30 looking for a typo. WSJ: 10:23, no errors. Newsday: 6:29, no errors. Jones: 13:29, 4 errors due to all the guessing in the lower left. Kind of puzzle I really hate simply for that guessing – what the author means, strange things, etc.

    1. Tim Croce’s latest: 35:23, no errors. About as easy as a Croce puzzle ever gets.

      I actually did another “old” Croce puzzle, from 11/08/2016, last night; it took me 2 hours and 17 minutes, with three one-square errors, two of which I could have avoided if I had remembered a bumper sticker I learned about a month or two ago and the other of which I might have been able to guess if I had spent a few more minutes on the puzzle, but … after spending almost five hours on hard Croce puzzles, I was a little too frazzled to manage it.

  2. No errors; some write-overs. SHoddY before SHABBY, don’t know why. TOGAs before TOGAE. CHeese before CHIVES, and still think mine tastes better. CHIVES grow in my yard, unasked. I thought KMARTS closed? At least around here.

  3. Same comments as Jane.

    Usual slower time, but no errors. Liked the layout. Easier than Monday.

    Bill brought his A Game and I thought the other people that commented
    also did well. Kudos to all; I am inspired by you guys and gals.

  4. 6 mins 24 seconds, no errors. Really enjoyed this. Although not part of the theme, I noticed a lot of repeating letter patterns in the grid, which I assume makes it a challenge to set. I appreciate that so much more than some contrived “stretch” the constructor uses to make some groaner theme “work”.

  5. 6:46. I forgot to look for the theme. I prefer Bruce Haight’s late week puzzles even though (or perhaps because) I seldom finish them unscathed.

    Interesting roots of Simon SAYS. If Cicero and I both played it (I’ll assume he played it at least once), it has indeed stood the test of time. I remember that game being a lot tougher than it sounds…

    Best –

  6. @Carrie –
    Just read your post from last night. I’ve been rewatching Breaking Bad before I go to sleep at night the last couple of months on Netflix. I had forgotten that both Bryan Cranston (Whatley the dentist) and Anna Gunn were in Seinfeld episodes. I tried to think of other crossovers, but I couldn’t think of anyone else. Jesse’s lines are classics.

    Best –

  7. Salve y’all!!🙃
    No errors on a well constructed Tuesday. He tried to get us with TOGAE, but no dice!!!!😀

    Jeff! Jesse’s the best — my favorite character on the show, and I wish I could include some of his witticisms here but they don’t quite pass the breakfast test! I re-watched the series a few months ago, after a two-year *interregnum*….a good length of time between binges, I think.🌼

    I also thought K MART was gone!😮

    Vidwan, where are you???

    Be well ~~⚾️

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