LA Times Crossword 19 Jan 19, Saturday

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Constructed by: Ryan McCarty
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 25m 44s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” is in it : B-FLAT MINOR

Samuel Barber was one of the most respected composers of 20th-century classical music. Barber’s most famous work is probably “Adagio for Strings”, a piece that has been used a lot in television and movies, including a memorable scene in the movie “Platoon”.

15. Kerry Washington’s “Scandal” role : OLIVIA POPE

“Scandal” is a political drama TV show centered on a former White House Communications Director named Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington. Pope has a complicated relationship with her ex-boss President Fitzgerald Grant, and therefore a complicated relationship with the First Lady. I haven’t seen this one …

16. Jukebox opening : SLOT

Although coin-operated music players had been around for decades, the term “jukebox” wasn’t used until about 1940. “Jukebox” derives from a Gullah word, the language of African Americans living in the coastal areas of South Carolina and Georgia. In Gullah, a “juke joint”, from “juke” or “joog” meaning “rowdy, wicked”, was an informal establishment where African Americans would gather and for some music, dancing, gambling and drinking. The coin-operated music players became known as “jukeboxes”.

18. Villa-studded Italian lake : COMO

Lake Como is a glacial lake in Lombardy in Italy. Lake Como has long been a retreat for the rich and famous. Lakeside homes there are owned by the likes of Madonna, George Clooney, Gianni Versace, Sylvester Stallone and Richard Branson.

19. Salon boards : EMERIES

Emery is a very hard type of rock that is crushed for use as an abrasive. Emery paper is made by gluing small particles of emery to paper. Emery boards are just emery paper with a cardboard backing. And emery boards are primarily used for filing nails.

20. One taking things literally? : REPO MAN

Repossession (repo)

23. Part of a football game-ending tradition : GATORADE

Gatorade was developed at the University of Florida by a team of researchers at the request of the school’s football team. And so, Gatorade is named after the Gators football team.

27. “Rabbit ears” antennae, e.g. : DIPOLES

When German physicist Heinrich Hertz first demonstrated radio waves in 1887, he used the simplest form of antenna, namely a dipole antenna. A dipole antenna comprises two metal rods that are usually pointing away from each other. ideally, the length of each rod is set at one half of the wavelength off the signal to be received.

28. Pixie and flip : DOS

The pixie cut is a hairstyle that is relatively short at the back and sides compared to the top. Famous examples of women wearing the cut are Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday”, Twiggy for much of the 1960s, Goldie Hawn on “Laugh-In” and Halle Berry in the Bond film “Die Another Day”.

The flip hairstyle was popular with women in the sixties, and was characterized by an upward curl in the ends of the hair (a “flip”).

33. Washington team : HUSKIES

The Huskies are the sports teams of the University of Washington. A student committee chose the husky as the school mascot in 1923, replacing the existing Sun Dodger. The name “Sun Dodger” was an abstract reference to the cloudy weather experienced in Washington.

34. Goat-man of myth : FAUN

Fauns are regarded as the Roman mythological equivalent of the Greek satyrs, but fauns were half-man and half-goat and much more “carefree” in personality than their Hellenic cousins. In the modern age we are quite familiar with Mr. Tumnus, the faun-like character encountered by the children entering the world of Narnia in C. S. Lewis’s “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”.

38. Cabinet member under Dubya : CONDI

Condoleezza “Condi” Rice was the second African American to serve as US Secretary of State (after Colin Powell) and the second woman to hold the office (after Madeleine Albright). Prior to becoming Secretary of State in President George W. Bush’s administration, Rice was the first woman to hold the office of National Security Advisor. In private life, Rice is a remarkably capable pianist. Given her stature in Washington, Rice has had the opportunity to play piano in public with the likes of cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and soul singer Aretha Franklin.

President George W. Bush was nicknamed “Dubya” based on the Texas pronunciation of his middle initial “W”.

40. “Clown Prince of Hip-hop” Biz __ : MARKIE

Biz Markie is the stage name of rapper Marcel Theo Hall. Markie has the nickname “the Clown Prince of Hip Hop”. His biggest hit is 1989’s “Just a Friend”.

42. Rocky Mountain rodents : MARMOTS

Marmots are large ground squirrels. Included in the genus is the famous groundhog, but not the equally famous prairie dog.

46. Reactor meltdown site : CORE

A nuclear reactor is a device designed to maintain a self-contained nuclear chain reaction. Nuclear fission generates heat in the reactor core. That heat is transferred out of the core by a nuclear reactor coolant, and is used to turn steam turbines. Those steam turbines usually drive electrical generators, or perhaps a ship’s propellers.

47. Old cooking show with a Creole theme : EMERIL LIVE

Emeril Lagasse is an American chef who was born in Massachusetts. Lagasse first achieved celebrity as executive chef in Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. Now famous for his television shows, his cuisine still showcases New Orleans ingredients and influences. Lagasse started using his famous “Bam!” catchphrase in order to keep his crew awake during repeated tapings of his show.

“Creole” is the term used in Haiti to describe all of the native people, as well as the music, food and culture of the country. 80% of the Haitian Creole people are so called black creoles, descendants of the original Africans brought to the island as slaves during the French colonial days.

Down

2. Spanish steps? : FLAMENCO

Flamenco is a style of Spanish music and dance. The origin of the word “flamenco” isn’t clearly understood, but the explanation that seems most credible to me is that it comes from Flanders in Northern Europe. Given that “flamenco” is the Spanish word for “Flemish” and Flanders is home to the Flemish people it makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

4. Staved off : AVERTED

The word “stave” was originally the plural of “staff”, a word describing a wooden rod. To “stave off” originated with the concept of holding off with a staff. In the world of barrel-making, a stave is a narrow strip of wood that forms part of a barrel’s side.

5. Larger, as a sum : TIDIER

A tidy sum, a pretty penny, a considerable amount of money.

6. Like gnus : MANED

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

7. Draft choices : IPAS

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

8. __ de guerre : NOM

“Nom de guerre” is a French term meaning “name of war”. It describes the practice of adopting a pseudonym when in a conflict, perhaps to protect family or to symbolize a separation between one’s life in the military and as a civilian. The term originates with the French Foreign Legion, in which recruits routinely adopted noms de guerre as they broke with their past lives and started afresh.

9. Macbeth and Otello : OPERA ROLES

Giuseppe Verdi was an Italian composer, mainly of operas, who was active during the Romantic era. Equally as famous as Verdi’s operas, are arias from those operas such as “La donna è mobile” from “Rigoletto”, “The Drinking Song” from “La Traviata” and “The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves” from “Nabucco”. Verdi was a big fan of William Shakespeare and wrote three operas based on the Bard’s plays: “Macbeth”, “Otello” and “Falstaff”.

11. Standard deviation measures : Z-SCORES

In the world of statistics, a z-score is the distance a specific observation is away from the mean of a normal distribution. For z-scores, that distance is measured in standard deviations.

12. Baseball family name : ALOMAR

Roberto Alomar is a former Major League Baseball (MLB) player, considered by many to be the greatest ever second baseman. Alomar won 10 Gold Glove awards in his career, which is more than any other second baseman in history. Roberto is the son of MLB second baseman Sandy Alomar Sr., and the younger brother of MLB catcher and base coach Sandy Alomar Jr.

13. Salon stuff : POMADE

Pomade is perfumed ointment, mainly used for grooming the hair. The word “pomade” comes from the Latin “pomum” meaning “apple”, as the original ointment recipe used smashed apples.

21. Johnnycakes : PONES

Johnnycake is a flatbread made from cornmeal that is associated with the Atlantic coast. There are claims that johnnycake originated in Rhode Island.

23. Retailer specializing in youth fashion : GAPKIDS

The Gap is a San Francisco-based clothing retailer founded in 1969. The name “the Gap” was a homage to the popular sixties term “the generation gap”.

32. River to the Black Sea : DNIESTER

The Dniester (also “Dnister”) is a river that rises in the Ukraine and empties into the Black Sea. For much of its length, it marks the border between Ukraine and Moldova.

34. Conventional writing method : FORMULA

Formula fiction is literature that is formulaic (!), fiction that uses storylines and plots that are predictable as they have been used in similar works over and over again.

35. “Uh-uh” : NO DICE

One suggestion for the origin of the phrase “no dice”, meaning “nothing doing, no way”, refers back to illegal gambling in the early 1900s. When approached by police, illegal gamblers would hide their dice (some even swallowed them). It was well known that city attorneys wouldn’t prosecute unless the police could produce the dice. Apparently there was an idiom at the time, “no dice, no conviction”.

36. “Little House” antagonist Nellie __ : OLESON

In the TV show “Little House on the Prairie”, Nellie Oleson is a daughter of mercantile owners Nels and Harriet Oleson. Nellie is a manipulative and sharp-tongued girl. Played by Alison Arngrim, Nellie’s role is greatly amplified in the TV show relative to the original “Little House” series of novels by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

37. Digital camera insert, briefly : SD CARD

SD cards are memory cards that were introduced in 1999. The initials “SD” stand for “Secure Digital”.

38. Steve of “Foxcatcher” : CARELL

The actor Steve Carell has achieved great success on both television and in movies. On the small screen, Carell came to prominence on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and then of as the lead in the US version of “The Office”. On the big screen, he starred in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”, “Evan Almighty”. My personal favorite Carell movie is 2007’s ”Dan in Real Life”, in which he stars opposite the wonderful Juliette Binoche.

“Foxcatcher” It’s a 2004 drama movie that is based on a true story. The film stars Steve Carell as multi-millionaire and wrestling enthusiast John du Pont. Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo portray Mark and David Schultz, two brothers who are Olympic gold medal-winning wrestlers. Spoiler alert: du Pont murders David Schultz.

45. Alumni newsletter word : NEE

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”.

An alumnus (plural “alumni”) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural “alumnae”). The term comes into English from Latin, in which an alumnus is a foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or an alumnus.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” is in it : B-FLAT MINOR
11. Hits with a charge : ZAPS
15. Kerry Washington’s “Scandal” role : OLIVIA POPE
16. Jukebox opening : SLOT
17. Sang : NAMED NAMES
18. Villa-studded Italian lake : COMO
19. Salon boards : EMERIES
20. One taking things literally? : REPO MAN
22. Angry : HEATED
23. Part of a football game-ending tradition : GATORADE
24. Rear attachment : -ENDER
25. Worked together : PARTNERED
26. Nailed, test-wise : ACED
27. “Rabbit ears” antennae, e.g. : DIPOLES
28. Pixie and flip : DOS
29. Wheat whackers : SICKLES
30. Poor : BAD
33. Washington team : HUSKIES
34. Goat-man of myth : FAUN
35. Rocks below bridges? : NOSE STUDS
38. Cabinet member under Dubya : CONDI
39. See 43-Across : … OLD CHAPS
40. “Clown Prince of Hip-hop” Biz __ : MARKIE
41. Boards around the house : DECKING
42. Rocky Mountain rodents : MARMOTS
43. With 39-Across, “Listen up, lads” : I SAY, …
44. Ones sniffing out trouble : CANINE UNIT
46. Reactor meltdown site : CORE
47. Old cooking show with a Creole theme : EMERIL LIVE
48. Outcomes : ENDS
49. “Gotta split!” : SEE YA LATER!

Down

1. Unthinking, as a mistake : BONEHEAD
2. Spanish steps? : FLAMENCO
3. Fruity refreshments : LIMEADES
4. Staved off : AVERTED
5. Larger, as a sum : TIDIER
6. Like gnus : MANED
7. Draft choices : IPAS
8. __ de guerre : NOM
9. Macbeth and Otello : OPERA ROLES
10. Puts down new roots : RESETTLES
11. Standard deviation measures : Z-SCORES
12. Baseball family name : ALOMAR
13. Salon stuff : POMADE
14. Hopped-up : STONED
21. Johnnycakes : PONES
23. Retailer specializing in youth fashion : GAPKIDS
25. Impromptu competition : PICK-UP GAME
27. Golfer’s yardage book data : DISTANCES
29. Bar food : SUSHI
30. “There’s no doubt about this” : BANK ON IT
31. Hearing-related : AUDITIVE
32. River to the Black Sea : DNIESTER
33. “Why, sure!” : HECK YES!
34. Conventional writing method : FORMULA
35. “Uh-uh” : NO DICE
36. “Little House” antagonist Nellie __ : OLESON
37. Digital camera insert, briefly : SD CARD
38. Steve of “Foxcatcher” : CARELL
40. Craze : MANIA
42. Like wetlands : MIRY
45. Alumni newsletter word : NEE

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 19 Jan 19, Saturday”

  1. LAT: 1:17:36, no errors. McCarty’s going to have a reputation as a hard puzzle maker outside of the usual candidates. Pretty much the only NYT Saturday I DNFed in a long while was by him. WSJ: 23:28, no errors. Fairly routine solve and a halfway adequate theme. Newsday later on if I manage to finish it, given the inordinate amount of time I ended up with on the LAT last night.

    @Bill
    Thank you again with everything you do with these blogs. I’m sure the last week between the URL change and the slowdowns have been hectic for you outside of the usual posts. It’s definitely appreciated!

    1. @Glenn
      Many thanks for the kind words. This has indeed been a rough few weeks, blog wise. Writing up the puzzles each day has proven to be a wonderful retirement hobby for me. Dealing with non-content issues related to the blog … not so much. And then there’s time needed for life in the real world! Thanks for your patience.

      1. Bill and Glenn, I have little or no clue as to what you guys are talking
        about, but thanks for all you do for the rest of us. My smart lawyer
        son-in-law came over this morning and got about 2/3 of it in like 30 minutes.
        I picked it up after he left and brought it up to 95% solved, with 8 omissions and 2 errors. Needless to say, I found it very hard. My son-in-law and I
        would be competitive if he would help me on the harder ones. Anyway,
        I really enjoy trying and get gratification when I get some that I am not
        100% sure of. Kudos to all. Look forward to Monday.

  2. LAT: 25:40, no errors. WSJ: 21:25, no errors; clever theme.

    NYT: 18:45, no errors. Surprisingly doable, despite the names of the constructors.

    Newsday’s “Saturday Stumper”: 58:09, no errors. Some outrageously difficult cluing (either that, or I was having a “difficult” day 😜). Favorite clue: “What surrounders” for “IT IS” (got a belly laugh out of that one when I finally understood it). Got ‘er done, in any case.

    Friday’s Croce: Still working on it. A relatively easy one except for what appears to be a veritable Nest of Nasty Naticks. Hoping that “crossword lizard brain” Jeff talks about will come to my rescue, but I’m beginning to give up hope.

    And … @Bill … what Glenn said!

    1. So … after spending the better part of three hours staring at eight empty squares on the latest Tim Croce puzzle, I finally caved in and looked up two things, after which I was able to guess the rest. Just a collection of things from outside my little world! … 😜

  3. Today is Saturday the 19th of January, right? I am really ticked off, the constant ads between comments, lax not coming up all week unless you keep redoing it. Someone said they finally got the theme, there is none today. I did not enjoy this puzzle at all to add to my tirade. Does anyone else have this trouble? My pc is working fine. Sorry, I just had to vent.

    1. I’m with you, Cathy, and I’m also surprised given the obscurity of some of the clues that MARMOTS was not “Bratty children in French.”

  4. I’ve always thought a puzzle oughta be challenging and if not fun, at least enjoyable. This one is challenging, and if you go for a grueling slog that you finish only because you started it, this grinder — with its SDCARD, ZSCORES, DNEISTER, and (canine)UNIT — is for you! That’s an AUDITIVE HECKYES.
    @Bill — Ditto the thanks!

  5. @Bill I join with the others in thanking you.
    LATimes 1 hr 25 min.
    I got Olivia from crosses but had to look up the cast of Scandal for the last name as I have never watched this show.
    Also had nice studs for nose studs.
    NYT 1 hr and 2 minutes and DNF . The bottom right corner got me.
    (That’s NYT 1215)

  6. This was a mess from the beginning. Never even attempted to get a good start. Thought the last two days were a challenge too.

    I’m finding it takes a long time for Bill’s blog to appear once I’ve clicked on it. Maybe it’s due to his new system? It use to pop up quickly. The ads don’t bother me, as I just skip over them. So is this going to be the usual, long wait? Even to post this takes too long.

  7. 26:40. Less trouble with this one than the NYT today but difficult nonetheless. I had a lot of things in my wheelhouse and was able to guess some long answers quickly (e.g. PICK UP GAME, LIMEADES, BANK ON IT among others). Also a few missteps like I kept wanting to put “sigmas” or “six sigmas” before Z SCORES and “Dneiper” river before DNEISTER…none of which fit.

    Foxcatcher is a very strange story indeed. There’s a documentary on it on Netflix that goes by the same name I watched a while back.

    Interesting info on the origin of the “jukebox”

    Best –

  8. About 17:30 before I threw in the towel on this, with only about 40% filled. Had the top left sussed out, but that was about it. I had **nothing** on this one.

    Blog wise, I’m getting a lot of 404s and load failures, and I use the cache memory to help me find pages I visit every day. Frustrating to be sure.

  9. Dang!!! 😩 I’ve broken my Saturday solve streak — I think I’ve only had one Saturday DNF for two months before today….so I guess that’s not really a streak, but this puzzle really did me in! 🤨

    I peeked for 4 answers and still ended up with 3 errors…kinda gave me a headache.

    At least I have this setter’s number now! I’ll likely skip it if he does another Saturday. 😶

    Be well~~🥂

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