LA Times Crossword 10 Jan 19, Thursday

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Constructed by: David Poole
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Tax Break

The grid includes four black squares that BREAK up a type of TAX. Those taxes are outlined in my grid:

  • IMPORT (TAX)
  • INCOME (TAX)
  • SCHOOL (TAX)
  • STATE (TAX)

Bill’s time: 8m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7. 8 Series automaker : BMW

The initialism “BMW” stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke, which translates into Bavarian Motor Works. BMW was making aircraft engines during WWI, but had to cease that activity according to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The company then started making motorcycles, and moved into automobile production starting in 1928. BMW moved back into aircraft engine manufacturing during the build-up of the Luftwaffe prior to WWII.

10. Comics possum : POGO

“Pogo” is a comic strip that launched in 1948, and was the creation of cartoonist Walt Kelly. The story centers on animals that live in the Okefenokee Swamp on the Georgia-Florida border, with the title character “Pogo Possum” being an anthropomorphic opossum.

15. Dinner table boors : REACHERS

Back in the early 1500s, a boor was a rustic person, a peasant farmer, someone associated with the countryside. The term “boor” ultimately comes from the Latin “bos” meaning “cow, ox”. By the mid-1500s, someone described as boorish was considered rude in manner, which is our usage today.

23. Toklas’ life partner : STEIN

Gertrude Stein was a great American writer who spent most of her life in France. Gertrude Stein met Alice B. Toklas in Paris in 1907 and the two were life partners until Stein died in 1946. Cleverly, Stein published her own memoirs in 1933 but called the book “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas”. It was to become her best selling title.

24. Cupid cohort : COMET

We get the names for Santa’s reindeer from the famous 1823 poem called “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, although we’ve modified a couple of the names over the years. The full list is:

  • Dasher
  • Dancer
  • Prancer
  • Vixen
  • Comet
  • Cupid
  • Donder (originally “Dunder”, and now often “Donner”)
  • Blitzen (originally “Blixem”)

Rudolph was added to the list by retailer Montgomery Ward, would you believe? The store commissioned Robert L. May to create a booklet that could be handed out to children around Christmas in 1939, and May introduced us to a new friend for Santa, namely Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

28. “The Hunger Games” president Coriolanus __ : SNOW

In “The Hunger Games” trilogy of novels by Suzanne Collins, Coriolanus Snow is the principal antagonist. He is the president of Panem, the post-apocalyptic nation that includes twelve impoverished districts that participate in the annual Hunger Games. In the big screen adaptations, Snow is portrayed by Donald Sutherland.

32. “A Little Nightmare Music” composer P.D.Q. __ : BACH

P.D.Q. Bach is an alter ego used by musical satirist Peter Schickele. Schickele creates works that he bills as compositions written by P.D.Q. Bach, the “only forgotten son” of Johann Sebastian Bach.

“A Little Nightmare Music” is a one-act opera by Peter Schickele that he published under the pseudonym P. D. Q. Bach. The opera is very much a parody, and retells the tale of composers Mozart and Salieri.

36. Canadian coin : LOONIE

The great northern loon is the provincial bird of Ontario, and the state bird of Minnesota. The loon once appeared on Canadian $20 bills and also appears on the Canadian one-dollar coin, giving the coin the nickname “the loonie”.

38. Lowbrow stuff : KITSCH

“Kitsch” is a German word, and is an adjective that means “gaudy, trash”.

40. 58-Across type meaning “black dragon” : OOLONG
(58A. See 40-Across : TEA)

The name for the Chinese tea called “oolong” translates into English as “black dragon”.

41. Disney’s Montana : HANNAH

Miley Cyrus became famous playing the Disney Channel character “Hannah Montana”. Miley is the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. When she was born, Billy Ray and his wife named their daughter “Destiny Hope”, but soon they themselves calling her “Smiley” as she was always smiling as a baby, and this got shortened to Miley over time. Cute …

44. Whole lot : SCAD

The origin of the word “scads”, meaning “lots and lots”, is unclear. That said, “scads” was used to mean “dollars” back in the mid-1800s.

46. Hamburger’s home : HAUS

In German, a “Herr” (Mr.) is married to a “Frau” (Mrs.), and they live together in a “Haus” (house).

Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany (after Berlin), and the third largest port in Europe (after Rotterdam and Antwerp).

55. Durham sch. : UNH

The University of New Hampshire (UNH) is the largest university in the state. UNH was founded as the New Hampshire College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts in 1866 in Hanover. The college was moved to Durham in the early 1890s, which is where UNH’s main campus is located to this day.

56. ’70s-’90s Pontiacs : SUNBIRDS

The Pontiac Sunbird is an automobile made by General Motors from 1976 to 1994, with a hiatus between generations from 1981 to 1982.

Down

1. Mary-Kate, Ashley and Elizabeth : OLSENS

I know very little about the Olsen twins, but I am told that many folks believe Mary-Kate and Ashley to be identical twins. They look very much alike, but are in fact fraternal twins. The sisters were cast as Michelle Tanner on the eighties sitcom “Full House”, taking turns playing the role.

Elizabeth Olsen is an actress and singer, and the younger sister of the famed Olsen twins Mary-Kate and Ashley.

3. “Do I __ eat a peach?”: Eliot : DARE TO

“The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock”, the famous poem by T. S. Eliot, includes the line “Do I dare to eat a peach?”

4. Prefix with graph or gram : EPI-

In the world of literature, an epigraph is a few words at the beginning of a composition that sets forth a theme, and is often a quotation. The term “epigraph” can also be used for an inscription on maybe a building or a statue.

An epigram is a short and clever statement, poem or discourse.

5. “Groundhog Day” director Harold : RAMIS

Harold Ramis was a real all-rounder: a very successful actor, director and writer. Indeed, in both “Ghostbusters” and “Stripes” he was a co-writer as well as playing a lead character. Ramis worked as writer-director on “Caddyshack”, “National Lampoon’s Vacation”, “Groundhog Day” and “Analyze This”.

“Groundhog Day” is a 1993 comedy film that has already become a classic. The star of the movie is Bill Murray, with the lovely Andie MacDowell putting in a great supporting performance. “Groundhog Day” is set in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania although it was actually filmed in the town of Woodstock, Illinois.

6. Mid-Mar. honoree : ST PAT

There is a fair amount known about Saint Patrick, some of which comes from two letters written in his own hand. St. Patrick lived in the fifth century, but was not born in Ireland. He was first brought to Ireland at about 16 years of age from his native Britain, by Irish raiders who made him a slave for six years. Patrick managed to escape and returned to his homeland where he studied and entered the Church. He went back to Ireland as a bishop and a missionary and there lived out the rest of his life. There seems to be good evidence that he died on March 17th (now celebrated annually as Saint Patrick’s Day), although the year is less clear. The stories about shamrock and snakes, I am afraid they are the stuff of legend.

7. Trite saying : BROMIDE

A bromide is a compound containing a bromide ion i.e. a bromine atom with a singular negative charge. Potassium bromide was commonly used as a sedative in the 19th century, and this led to our use of the term “bromide” to mean “boring cliché” or “verbal sedative”.

8. Sheep prized for its wool : MERINO

The Merino breed of sheep is prized for the soft quality of its wool.

9. Power unit : WATT

James Watt was a Scottish inventor. He figured prominently in the Industrial Revolution in Britain, largely due to the improvements he made to the fledgling steam engine. The SI unit of power is called the watt, and was named in his honor.

10. Kiosk with a camera : PHOTO BOOTH

Our word “kiosk” came to us via French and Turkish from the Persian “kushk” meaning “palace, portico”.

11. Ref. work whose 2018 Word of the Year is “toxic” : OED

The Oxford University Press, publisher of the “Oxford English Dictionary”, announces both a UK Word of the Year and a US Word of the Year (although they are often the same word). Here are some recent examples:

  • 2016: “post-truth”
  • 2014: “vape”
  • 2013: “selfie”
  • 2010: “big society” (UK); “refudiate” (US)
  • 2007: “carbon footprint” (UK); “locavore” (US)
  • 2005: “sudoku” (UK); “podcast” (US)

12. Miracle-__ : GRO

Scotts Miracle-Gro Company was founded in 1868 by one Orlando Scott, and initially sold seed to the agricultural industry. In the early 1900s, Scotts started to sell to homeowners, and mainly supplied lawn seed. The company merged with the gardening company Miracle-Gro in 1955, and then with TruGreen in 2016.

13. Mac platform : OS X

Apple introduced the OS X Operating System in 2000. Each version of this operating system has had a code name, and that code name until recently has been a type of big cat. The versions and code names are:

  • 10.0: Cheetah
  • 10.1: Puma
  • 10.2: Jaguar
  • 10.3: Panther
  • 10.4: Tiger
  • 10.5: Leopard
  • 10.6: Snow Leopard
  • 10.7: Lion
  • 10.8: Mountain Lion
  • 10.9: Mavericks
  • 10.10: Yosemite
  • 10.11: El Capitan
  • 10.12: macOS Sierra
  • 10.13: macOS High Sierra

16. In vogue : CHIC

“Chic” is a French word meaning “stylish”.

21. First word in titles by Arthur Miller and Agatha Christie : DEATH

“Death of a Salesman” is a famous play by Arthur Miller that was first produced in 1949. “Death of a Salesman” won a Pulitzer and several Tony Awards over the years. The “Salesman” is the famous character Willy Loman. The play originally opened up on Broadway and ran for 724 performances. The lead role was played by veteran actor Lee J. Cobb.

Agatha Christie wrote a very successful crime novel called “Death on the Nile” that was first published in 1937. That novel had started off life as a play that was was never performed, one that Christie called “Moon on the Nile”. Christie then adapted the novel back into a play again calling it “Murder on the Nile”, which opened in London in 1946.

25. Flutist Herbie : MANN

Herbie Mann was a Jewish-American flautist, recognized as perhaps the greatest jazz flautist in the sixties. Mann recorded a best selling single called “Hijack” in 1975, which topped the disco charts for three weeks.

26. Vaper’s need, informally : E-CIG

An electronic cigarette (also called an “e-cigarette”) is a battery-powered device that resembles a real cigarette. The e-cigarette vaporizes a solution that contains nicotine, forming a vapor that resembles smoke. The vapor is inhaled in a process called “vaping”, delivering the nicotine into the body. The assumption is that an e-cigarette is healthier than a regular cigarette as the inhaled vapor is less harmful than inhaled smoke. But, that may not be so …

31. Blackthorn plum : SLOE

The sloe is the fruit of the blackthorn bush, and the main flavoring ingredient in sloe gin. A sloe looks like a small plum, but is usually much more tart in taste.

34. Bloemfontein’s land: Abbr. : RSA

Bloemfontein is the judicial capital of South Africa (RSA), and one of three capital cities in the country. Cape Town is the legislative capital, and Pretoria is the executive capital.

35. Rhine whines : ACHS

The German exclamation “ach!” is usually translated into English as “oh!”

The river running through Europe that we know in English as the Rhine, is called “Rhein” in German, “Rhin” in French and “Rijn” in Dutch.

37. Ipanema greeting : OLA

“Olá” is both Spanish and Portuguese for “hello”.

Ipanema is a beach community in the south of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The name Ipanema is a local word meaning “bad water”, signifying that the shore is bad for fishing. The beach became famous on release of the song “The Girl from Ipanema” written in 1965.

38. With 66-Across, German philosopher buried in London’s Highgate Cemetery : KARL …
66A. See 38-Down : … MARX

Karl Marx was a German philosopher and revolutionary who helped develop the principles of modern communism and socialism. Marx argued that feudal society created internal strife due to class inequalities which led to its destruction and replacement by capitalism. He further argued that the inequalities created in a capitalist society create tensions that will also lead to its self-destruction. His thesis was that the inevitable replacement of capitalism was a classless (and stateless) society, which he called pure communism.

The “Communist Manifesto” written in 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels contains the phrase “Proletarians of all countries, unite!” (“Proletarier aller Länder vereinigt Euch!” in German). This evolved into the English saying “Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!” The words “Workers of all lands, unite“ are written on Karl Marx’s headstone in Highgate Cemetery in London.

39. “Bus Stop” dramatist : INGE

“Bus Stop” is a marvelous play written by William Inge in 1955. The famous 1956 movie of the same name starring Marilyn Monroe is only very loosely based on the play.

42. Hand-dyed with wax : BATIKED

Genuine batik cloth is produced by applying wax to the parts of the cloth that are not to be dyed. After the cloth has been dyed, it is dried and then dipped in solvent that dissolves the wax. Although wax-resist dyeing of fabric has existed in various parts of the world for centuries, it is most closely associated historically with the island of Java in Indonesia.

45. Place to put on a suit : CABANA

Our word “cabana” comes from the Spanish “cabaña”, the word for a small hut or a cabin. We often use the term to describe a tent-like structure beside a pool.

47. Filmmaker with a unique style : AUTEUR

We use the term “auteur” to describe a film director with a distinctive style, and someone who is distinguished enough to overcome the influence of a movie studio and other commercial pressures. Examples often cited are Akira Kurosawa, Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks and Jean Renoir. “Auteur” is a French word meaning “author”.

53. “Hasta mañana” : ADIOS

The term “adiós” is Spanish for “goodbye”. In the Spanish language, “adiós” comes from the phrase “a Dios vos acomiendo” meaning “I commend you to God”.

“Hasta mañana” translates from Spanish as “See you tomorrow”, and literally “Until tomorrow”.

54. “The Beat with Ari Melber” network : MSNBC

Ari Melber is a television journalist and chief legal correspondent for MSNBC. He has hosted his own daily show called “The Beat with Ari Melber” since 2017.

57. Avant-garde sorts : NEOS

Someone or something described as avant-garde is especially innovative. “Avant-garde” is French for “advance guard”.

59. Hiddleston who plays Loki in Marvel films : TOM

Tom Hiddleston is an English actor who garnered international attention when he was given the role of Loki in the superhero film “Thor” (2011). More recently, I enjoyed Hiddleston’s performance in the excellent thriller miniseries “The Night Manager” that’s based on a John le Carré novel.

60. Santa __ : ANA

Santa Ana is the county seat of Orange County, California and takes its name from the Santa Ana River that runs through the city.

61. Boomer’s kid : XER

The term “Generation X” originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By one definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

A baby boomer is someone who was born in the post-WWII baby boom. The rate of births had been falling fairly steadily in the US at least since 1900, but this trend was sharply reversed in 1946 after WWII. The higher birth rate continued until 1964, when it returned to pre-war levels. Since then the birth rate has continued to decline, although at a slower pace. The period between 1946 and 1964 is often defined as the “baby boom”.

63. RR stop : STA

A station (“stn.” or “sta.”) is a railroad (RR) or bus stop.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Online shopping units : ORDERS
7. 8 Series automaker : BMW
10. Comics possum : POGO
14. Eagerly accept : LEAP AT
15. Dinner table boors : REACHERS
17. Pinch pennies : SCRIMP
18. Strictly religious : ORTHODOX
19. __ out a living : EKE
20. “My bad” : I ADMIT IT
22. “Kidding!” : NOT!
23. Toklas’ life partner : STEIN
24. Cupid cohort : COMET
28. “The Hunger Games” president Coriolanus __ : SNOW
30. Flaps : ADOS
32. “A Little Nightmare Music” composer P.D.Q. __ : BACH
33. Hot under the collar : IRATE
36. Canadian coin : LOONIE
38. Lowbrow stuff : KITSCH
40. 58-Across type meaning “black dragon” : OOLONG
41. Disney’s Montana : HANNAH
42. Lamb’s lament : BLEAT
43. See 27-Down : … URGE
44. Whole lot : SCAD
46. Hamburger’s home : HAUS
50. Hallowed : BLEST
52. Starters : A-TEAM
55. Durham sch. : UNH
56. ’70s-’90s Pontiacs : SUNBIRDS
58. See 40-Across : TEA
59. Common campaign promise, and what four black squares in this puzzle create : TAX BREAK
62. Tailor’s measure : INSEAM
64. Person-to-person : ONE-ON-ONE
65. Rather thick : OBTUSE
66. See 38-Down : … MARX
67. Frowny-faced : SAD
68. Chicken : SCARED

Down

1. Mary-Kate, Ashley and Elizabeth : OLSENS
2. S’pose : RECKON
3. “Do I __ eat a peach?”: Eliot : DARE TO
4. Prefix with graph or gram : EPI-
5. “Groundhog Day” director Harold : RAMIS
6. Mid-Mar. honoree : ST PAT
7. Trite saying : BROMIDE
8. Sheep prized for its wool : MERINO
9. Power unit : WATT
10. Kiosk with a camera : PHOTO BOOTH
11. Ref. work whose 2018 Word of the Year is “toxic” : OED
12. Miracle-__ : GRO
13. Mac platform : OS X
16. In vogue : CHIC
21. First word in titles by Arthur Miller and Agatha Christie : DEATH
25. Flutist Herbie : MANN
26. Vaper’s need, informally : E-CIG
27. With 43-Across, feeling often fought : THE …
29. British courtroom fixture : WITNESS BOX
31. Blackthorn plum : SLOE
34. Bloemfontein’s land: Abbr. : RSA
35. Rhine whines : ACHS
37. Ipanema greeting : OLA
38. With 66-Across, German philosopher buried in London’s Highgate Cemetery : KARL …
39. “Bus Stop” dramatist : INGE
40. Not as current : OLDER
41. Busy airport : HUB
42. Hand-dyed with wax : BATIKED
45. Place to put on a suit : CABANA
47. Filmmaker with a unique style : AUTEUR
48. Anxiety : UNEASE
49. Disgraced : SHAMED
51. Go sour : TURN
53. “Hasta mañana” : ADIOS
54. “The Beat with Ari Melber” network : MSNBC
57. Avant-garde sorts : NEOS
59. Hiddleston who plays Loki in Marvel films : TOM
60. Santa __ : ANA
61. Boomer’s kid : XER
63. RR stop : STA

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20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 10 Jan 19, Thursday”

  1. LAT: 11:15, no errors; took me another couple of minutes to locate all the “tax breaks” (“SCHOOL” being the final one I found). Newsday: 9:19, no errors. WSJ: 13:43, no errors. BEQ: 25:09, no errors; a rather difficult solve, given that I’d never heard of the movie that provided the theme, but a key word in its title was enough of a hint to finally allow me to see what was going on. (I even got past a personal Natick at the intersection of 6D and 17A.)

    And the NYX blog is up and running properly. Thank you, Bill!

      1. What is meant by your comment? That you were the person who posted
        the same comment as the girl whose name I have not committed to memory?

        Too hard today and we only got about half of it.

    1. Great eye and mental coordination!!!! Fantastic !!
      I looked back and sure enough the “E” was right there….!!
      I am a CPA, but blind in my left eye – detached retina and partly blind in the other .. but still have a drivers license … but I can’t see 3 D pics no more and small details escape me….
      Plus my computer is gone kaput and this is on a small iPhone so somewhat difficult.
      But hey, things could be worse ! And I admire people who look and think outside the box !!!!! On s much bigger screen I might have noticed that !!
      Although state income taxes range from 0% to 18% ( NY and Ca etc) … estate taxes after the ~8 million limit can go up to 55%. !!

  2. 30:25 with no errors despite not speaking several languages .
    I was looking for the word TAX to be split and never picked up on import etc.
    Can someone tell me in plain English how to find Bills NYT answers now?

    1. @Jack … One way, right now, is to click on the following link:

      http://www.nyxcrossword.com

      Tomorrow, though, you’ll have to tap on whatever is currently in the address bar of your browser (for me, now, that’s “laxcrossword.com”), type “www.nyxcrossword.com”, and hit “return”.

    2. @Jack … The above gets you to Bill’s NYT blog. To get to the discussion of the current puzzle in syndication requires one more step: click on the link Bill provides just below the grid.

    3. @Jack
      The left-side margin on Bill’s blog is still gone (think it links to NYTCrossword.com), so you can’t use those. The best you can do is look for the current day and then click the link that says “… syndicated NY Times crossword”. Alternatively, the calendar applet still works on the left where you can select the proper date as specified on the puzzle.

  3. Clever and well-executed theme. Some snags, though: SCAD, singular? / BLEST without “quaint” or “archaic” qualifier / Both ACHS (wines?!) and NEOS new to me. Kinda heavy on the proper nouns, too, but all around a good Thurs puz from David Poole.

  4. I didn’t try to figure out the “tax” thread. Really didn’t need it as I got Tax Break way ahead of other answers. It was a fun one, but I got stumped on the Tea/oolong answer for a while.

  5. @dave I tried following your instructions but for a 77 yr old computer illiterate it didn’t work.
    I guess I’ll figure it out

    1. @Jack – I just click on the link that Bill supplies under his USEFUL LINKS menu on the left hand margin of the page.

  6. 14:27, and no errors. The theme was a tad “too clever”, and pretty much picayune. No help in solving the puzzle, hard to even “see” and just a big self-patting on the back for the constructor. We could do with much less of this.

  7. LAT: 17:06, no errors. Didn’t notice the theme at all, as I don’t 95% of the time. One of those that took longer than it felt to actually do. WSJ: 27:49, no errors. Difficult to think of some things, but finally got it. Newsday: 28:57, no errors. Incredibly difficult for some reason. BEQ: 15:46, 1 dumb error. By far easiest of the batch (I haven’t found my cave yet. :P).

  8. This puzzle was very difficult !!! I was guessing guessing and more guessing! Very difficult but I guess it must be a real lulu of a puzzle !!
    Many personal names I did not know and the possum ‘s name was on the top of my tongue.
    But I’ve learnt to enjoy life as I can. And complaining won’t get you anywhere …

    Have s great day tomorrow folks !
    And Bill thanks for everything, as always !!! Respects and love.

  9. Very difficult Thursday for me; took over an hour and ended up with one error. I had UNc/ScAMED. I never heard of Durham, NH but if I had properly spelled scammed, that wouldn’t have happened.

    Didn’t know Harold Ramis, Coriolanus Snow, Tom Hiddleston or Ari Melber, so that caused a lot of delays and guesses. BLEST, WITNESSBOX and RECKON took forever. NEOS is a new one for me as well. I also hate the, this, along with this type clues.

    Not my best today, that’s for sure. Oh well, on to Friday…

  10. Salve!!😎

    No errors. Not a bad puzzle, but one of my pet peeves appeared a lot: #27. See 40D. Irksome!! I don’t like having to refer to ANOTHER clue to figure out the first one!!😩

    That should be my biggest problem, right?☺

    By chance has anyone here seen “Grand Hotel,” a Spanish TV show that ran here on PBS? OMG it’s SUCH a soap opera!! Somehow I think Americans perceive it as more sophisticated than it is, because it’s from Spain and because it takes place in 1905. I’m hooked — I started watching it for the language– it’s in Spanish and I watch it with Spanish subtitles (closed-captioned.) It is SO melodramatic!! In any given 24 hours, the characters will deal with a murder, a suicide attempt, an arrest, an opium overdose, AND at least one big family secret revealed….😯 It’s on Netflix now.

    Be well ~~🥂

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