LA Times Crossword Answers 15 Jan 16, Friday

Quicklink
Jump to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: Jeffrey Wechsler
THEME: CK to RK … each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase, but with a CK letter sequence changed to RK:

17A. Response from a dog on a horse? BARK IN THE SADDLE (from “back in the saddle”)
20A. Barista’s schedule? PERKING ORDER (from “pecking order”)
35A. Pet peeve? IRK FACTOR (from “ick factor”)
54A. Jerk in a cove? DORK OF THE BAY (from “Dock of the Bay”)
57A. Satisfying sight to an Istanbul clothing designer? TURK IN YOUR SHIRT (from “tuck in your shirt”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 07s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

8. Girl who calls Peppermint Patty “sir” MARCIE
Peppermint Patty is a character in the long-running comic strip “Peanuts”, by Charles M. Schulz. Peppermint Patty has a friend named Marcie who famously refers to her as “Sir”, perhaps a reference to Peppermint Patty’s reputation as a tomboy. Tomboy or not, it is revealed in the strip that Peppermint Patty has quite a crush on Charlie Brown.

15. “High Hopes” critter ANT
Sammy Cahn wrote the lyrics for “High Hopes” for the 1959 film “A Hole in the Head”, and the song won an Oscar. Frank Sinatra was the star of the movie, and he recorded the most famous version of “High Hopes”.

20. Barista’s schedule? PERKING ORDER (from “pecking order”)
The person who serves coffee in a coffee shop is often called a “barista”. “Barista” is the Italian for “bartender”.

23. Diving birds LOONS
The bird known as a loon here in North America is called a diver in the British Isles. The name “diver” comes from the bird’s habit of swimming calmly and then suddenly diving below the surface to catch a fish. The name “loon” comes from an Old English word meaning “clumsy” and reflects the awkward gait of the bird when walking on land.

24. Iraq War weapon: Abbr. IED
Sadly, having spent much of my life in the border areas between southern and Northern Ireland, I am all too familiar with the devastating effects of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). One has to admire the bravery of soldiers who spend their careers defusing (or attempting to defuse) such devices in order to save the lives and property of others. Of course these days, IEDs are very much in the news in Iraq and Afghanistan.

28. Little biter GNAT
Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and to vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.

29. Way of the East TAO
The Chinese character “tao” translates as “path”, but the concept of Tao signifies the true nature of the world.

30. Oklahoma native OSAGE
The Osage Nation originated in the Ohio River valley in what we now call Kentucky. They were forced to migrate west of the Mississippi by the invading Iroquois tribe. Most of the tribe members now live in Osage County, Oklahoma.

40. Words on a jacket BLURB
A “blurb” is a brief publicity note, something often found on the jacket of a book.

44. Chilean currency PESO
The coin called a “peso” is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

48. “The West Wing” actor SMITS
Jimmy Smits’ most noted acting roles were probably Victor Sifuentes on “L.A. Law” and President Matt Santos on “The West Wing”. Smits is very fond of playing jai alai in a local league in his hometown of Los Angeles.

54. Jerk in a cove? DORK OF THE BAY (from “Dock of the Bay”)
I consider “dork” to be pretty offensive slang. It emanated in the sixties among American students, and has its roots in another slang term, a term for male genitalia.

Otis Redding is often referred to as the “King of Soul”, and what a voice he had. Like so many of the greats in the world of popular music it seems, Redding was killed in a plane crash, in 1967 when he was just 26 years old. Just three days earlier he had recorded what was to be his biggest hit, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”.

57. Satisfying sight to an Istanbul clothing designer? TURK IN YOUR SHIRT (from “tuck in your shirt”)
Istanbul, Turkey is the only metropolis in the world that is situated in two continents. The city extends both on the European side and on the Asian side of the Bosphorus river.

60. Colorful songbird ORIOLE
The songbird called an oriole builds an interesting nest. It is a woven cup-like structure that is suspended from a branch like a hammock.

61. Ramallah-based org. PLO
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964. The PLO’s early stated goal was the liberation of Palestine, with Palestine defined as the geographic entity that existed under the terms of the British Mandate granted by the League of Nations back in 1923. The PLO is recognized as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people by over one hundred countries, and was granted observer status (i.e. no voting rights) at the United Nations in 1974.

Ramallah is a city located just north of Jerusalem that serves as the administrative capital of the Palestinian National Authority.

62. Very short time: Abbr. MSEC
A millisecond is one thousandth of a second, and is often abbreviated to “msec”. However, the more correct abbreviation for millisecond is “ms”.

64. Carrier offering Carlsberg beer SAS
SAS was formerly known as Scandinavian Airlines System and is the flag carrier of three countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden. SAS is based at Stockholm Arlanda Airport located just north of the Swedish capital.

Carlsberg beer is Danish, and has a Royal Warrant from the Danish royal court, meaning that Carlsberg is an official beer of the court. As such, Carlsberg is often referred in Denmark as “Hof” meaning “court”.

65. Ersatz SHAM
Something described as “ersatz” is a copy, and usually not a good one. “Ersatz” comes from the German verb “ersetzen” meaning “to replace”.

Down
3. Peter Maas biography subtitled “The Cop Who Defied the System” SERPICO
The 1973 movie “Serpico”, starring Al Pacino, is a based on a book by Peter Maas. The book is based on the true story of undercover police officer Frank Serpico. Serpico went undercover to investigate corruption within the New York Police Department.

5. Like many caves DANK
“Dank” is such a lovely word, now largely superseded by another nice word “damp”. It is thought that “dank” came into English from Scandinavia some time before the 14th century. The modern Swedish word “dank” means “moist place”.

6. “… I thought, / __ my head was dizzy”: “Endymion” UNTIL
“Endymion” is an 1818 poem by John Keats that is based on the Greek myth of Endymion, the shepherd who was loved by the moon goddess Selene. The first line is quite well known: “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever”.

7. Graphic introduction? ETHNO-
Ethnography is a branch of anthropology. An ethnographer studies large cultural groups that interact over time.

8. Trowel wielder MASON
That would be a stonemason.

9. Microbiologist’s gels AGARS
Agar is a jelly extracted from seaweed that has many uses. Agar is found in Japanese desserts, and can also be used as a food thickener or even as a laxative. In the world of science it is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in Petri dishes.

10. Demond’s co-star in a ’70s sitcom REDD
Redd Foxx was the stage name of John Elroy Sanford, best known for starring in “Sanford and Son”. “Sanford and Son” was an American version of a celebrated hit BBC sitcom that I grew up with in Ireland, called “Steptoe and Son”.

Demond Wilson was the actor who played Lamont Sanford, the “son” in the seventies sitcom “Sanford and Son”. Wilson became an ordained minister in 1984.

11. Cough syrup ingredient CODEINE
Codeine is found naturally in opium, the latex sap exuded by the opium poppy. Opium latex contains about 12% morphine, and 3% codeine. That said, most of the world’s codeine is now produced synthetically. It is used to treat pain, and is a constituent of cough medicines as codeine is also a cough suppressant.

12. Like one who goes by the books? ILL-READ
I guess the opposite of “well-read” might be “ill-read”. I can’t find the term in the dictionary, although it does seem to be used quite often.

18. Smelter input IRON ORE
Metals are found in ore in the form of oxides. In order to get pure metal from the ore, the ore is heated and the metal oxides within are reduced (i.e. the oxygen is removed) in the chemical process known as smelting. The oxygen is extracted by adding a source of carbon or carbon monoxide which uses up the excess oxygen atoms to make carbon dioxide, a waste product of smelting (and of course, a greenhouse gas).

22. Miley Cyrus label RCA
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 …

25. Sot’s woe DTS
The episodes of delirium that can accompany withdrawal from alcohol are called Delirium Tremens (the DTs). The literal translation of this Latin phrase is “trembling madness”.

Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

28. An official lang. of Luxembourg GER
Luxembourg has three official languages: German, French and Luxembourgish (a West Germanic language).

Luxembourg is a relatively small country in the middle of Europe, just 100 square miles in area with a population of over half a million. The country is a representative democracy (just like the United Kingdom) and it has a constitutional monarch, namely Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg. As such, Luxembourg is the only remaining sovereign Grand Duchy in the world.

31. Edwards, e.g.: Abbr. AFB
Edwards Air Force Base is in a desert area in Southern California. Edwards is a flight test center for the Air Force, and it was here that Chuck Yeager famously broke the sound barrier for the first time. And of course, Edwards was used for many landings of the Space Shuttle.

33. Old French coin ECU
The ecu is an Old French coin. When introduced in 1640, the ecu was worth three livres (an older coin, called a “pound” in English). The word “ecu” comes from the Latin “scutum” meaning “shield”. The original ecu had a coat of arms on it, a shield.

34. Works the room HOBNOBS
“To hobnob with ” means “to rub elbows with, associate with”. The term dates back to the mid 1700s and is derived from “hob and nob”, a phrase meaning to toast each other in turn, or to buy alternate rounds of drinks.

35. Common court response I DO
Do you solemnly (swear/affirm) that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, (so help you God/under pains and penalties of perjury)?

37. Org. monitoring brownfields EPA
A “brownfield” site is land that was previously used for industrial or commercial purposes. Such land might be contaminated with hazardous waste and in need of clean up.

39. Oregon port named for a 19th-century multi-millionaire ASTORIA
The city of Astoria, Oregon started out as Fort Astoria in 1810. Fort Astoria was a fur-trading post built by John Jacob Astor’s Pacific Fur Company, hence the “Astoria” name.

43. EKG readers MDS
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.

46. Composer who championed Dvorák BRAHMS
Johannes Brahms was a leading German composer during the Romantic period. Brahms is one of the “Three Bs”, often grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven.

Antonín Dvořák was a composer from Czechoslovakia who spent three years working and composing in the United States. He was the director of the National Conservatory of Music of America in New York from 1892 to 1895. Certainly here in the US, Dvořák’s best known work is his Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”, which is often referred to as “The New World Symphony”. His career was very much helped along by fellow composer Johannes Brahms, who very much appreciated Dvořák’s work.

51. ‘Vette roof options T-TOPS
A T-top is a car roof that has removable panels on either side of a rigid bar that runs down the center of the vehicle above the driver.

The Chevrolet Corvette was introduced to the world in 1953, and was named after the small maneuverable warship called a corvette. The Corvette has legs. It is the only American sports car that has been around for over 50 years.

52. Only NFL coach with a perfect season SHULA
Don Shula is a former football player and coach. Shula appeared as head coach in a record six Super Bowls, including a run of three successive Super Bowls (1971-73, winning twice). Shula holds the record for most NFL career wins (347). He also led the Miami Dolphins during their 1972 perfect season, the only perfect season in the history of the NFL.

55. Golden age theaters RKOS
During the Golden Age of Cinema (roughly, the thirties and forties), the “Big Five” Hollywood studios were:

– Lowe’s/MGM
– Paramount
– Fox (later “20th Century Fox”)
– Warner Bros.
– RKO

56. God with a quiver EROS
Eros, the Greek god of love, was also known as Amor.

57. Alley prowler TOM
A group of cats can be referred to as a “clowder” or a “glaring”. A male cat is a “tom” or “tomcat”, and a neutered male is a “gib”. An unaltered female cat is a “queen”, and a spayed female might be referred to informally as a “molly”. A young cat is of course a “kitten”.

58. Actor Stephen REA
Stephen Rea is an Irish actor from Belfast. Rea’s most successful role was Fergus in 1992’s “The Crying Game”, for which performance he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. In “The Crying Game”, Fergus was a member of the IRA. In real life, Rea was married to IRA bomber and hunger striker Dolours Price at the time he made the movie.

59. Channel that shows Bogart films TCM
Humphrey Bogart’s breakthrough movie was “The Petrified Forest” released in 1936, but for me nothing beats “Casablanca”. Although the original version of the film “Sabrina” from 1954, that’s a real delight.

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is one of my favorite television channels, delivering just what its name promises, i.e. classic movies.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Kid JEST
5. Sufficient DUE
8. Girl who calls Peppermint Patty “sir” MARCIE
14. __ map AREA
15. “High Hopes” critter ANT
16. Longstanding AGE-OLD
17. Response from a dog on a horse? BARK IN THE SADDLE (from “back in the saddle”)
20. Barista’s schedule? PERKING ORDER (from “pecking order”)
21. A-one PRIMO
23. Diving birds LOONS
24. Iraq War weapon: Abbr. IED
26. Emphasize ACCENT
28. Little biter GNAT
29. Way of the East TAO
30. Oklahoma native OSAGE
34. Takes to heart HEEDS
35. Pet peeve? IRK FACTOR (from “ick factor”)
37. Skirt EVADE
40. Words on a jacket BLURB
41. Esteemed one GEM
44. Chilean currency PESO
45. Native INBRED
47. Etchings, for example ART
48. “The West Wing” actor SMITS
53. Degree requirements for some ORALS
54. Jerk in a cove? DORK OF THE BAY (from “Dock of the Bay”)
57. Satisfying sight to an Istanbul clothing designer? TURK IN YOUR SHIRT (from “tuck in your shirt”)
60. Colorful songbird ORIOLE
61. Ramallah-based org. PLO
62. Very short time: Abbr. MSEC
63. Inconsequential MEASLY
64. Carrier offering Carlsberg beer SAS
65. Ersatz SHAM

Down
1. Hook alternative JAB
2. Jazz __ ERA
3. Peter Maas biography subtitled “The Cop Who Defied the System” SERPICO
4. “I want to go!” TAKE ME!
5. Like many caves DANK
6. “… I thought, / __ my head was dizzy”: “Endymion” UNTIL
7. Graphic introduction? ETHNO-
8. Trowel wielder MASON
9. Microbiologist’s gels AGARS
10. Demond’s co-star in a ’70s sitcom REDD
11. Cough syrup ingredient CODEINE
12. Like one who goes by the books? ILL-READ
13. Ending with stamp -EDE
18. Smelter input IRON ORE
19. It may require delicate handling EGO
21. Touch lightly PAT
22. Miley Cyrus label RCA
25. Sot’s woe DTS
27. Sound of disdain TSK
28. An official lang. of Luxembourg GER
31. Edwards, e.g.: Abbr. AFB
32. __ pal GAL
33. Old French coin ECU
34. Works the room HOBNOBS
35. Common court response I DO
36. Prefix with centennial TRI-
37. Org. monitoring brownfields EPA
38. Greenery VERDURE
39. Oregon port named for a 19th-century multi-millionaire ASTORIA
41. Somewhat ashen GRAYISH
42. Long swimmer EEL
43. EKG readers MDS
46. Composer who championed Dvorák BRAHMS
48. Proficiency SKILL
49. What chips may represent MONEY
50. Suffix with beaut -IFY
51. ‘Vette roof options T-TOPS
52. Only NFL coach with a perfect season SHULA
55. Golden age theaters RKOS
56. God with a quiver EROS
57. Alley prowler TOM
58. Actor Stephen REA
59. Channel that shows Bogart films TCM

Return to top of page

9 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 15 Jan 16, Friday”

  1. Finished the puzzle on the plane up here. Still mild right now in Chicago, but it should be close to 0 here tomorrow. Yikes.

    Liked the theme. I actually got a chuckle out of DORK OF THE BAY. Couldn't understand I'LL READ until I read the blog ILL-READ. Strange either way.

    I thought the write up was particularly interesting today. Did not know that about Istanbul being in both Europe and Asia. Also didn't know Redd Foxx's real last name was indeed Sanford.

    Did not realize Bill was from that part of Ireland. I remember the Omagh bombing in the late 90's. Ugly stuff there for a while. "The Troubles" – quite a euphemism.

    On a lighter note – There are jai-alai leagues in Los Angeles? I still play in an ice hockey league in Houston, but jai alai??

    Be back here Sunday or Monday.

    Best –

  2. The puzzle was difficult and my computer is now totally down, and I am typing this on my wife's IPad. Hope she doesn't find out. Also there is a mandatory auto correct.

    The Oriole's nest is not as good as a Weaver birds nest. Sorry, I don't know how to link with the IPad.

    The temps in Cleveland are getting milder, and tomorrow is 32 ….. We should be grateful for small favors.

    Have a nice day, all.

  3. BTW Codeine is THE best medicine for a chronic cough, but ever since the abuse of cough syrups, codeine is given only under dr s prescription. The cost is not. Onerous, but you still have the pay the MDs fees or the fees at the Urgi Surgi care center charges.

    Even the best medicines are soon stock piled and become controlled substances because fools insist on abusing them.

  4. Successful solve with some cogitation time mulling over the clues. I still don't know how Bill gets these grids done so darn fast? After I got Smits for West Wing actor I then remembered he was in that series, but he was much better known for two other shows; L.A. Law and NYPD Blue.

    Hope you all have an enjoyable Friday. We shall see what mind bending awaits us on the morrow! Ha!

  5. Thank you Ms. Michaels from 2 days ago.

    Beginning to think of Wechsler as another Barry Silk.

    How about Native equals INBRED. Kinda shkeevy. What we call "pedigree collapse," or finding the same person on both sides of your tree, does occur more frequently in the past when people didn't move as much and wanted to keep property and/or class in the family.

    I always wondered if Redd Foxx was related to my ancestor, Mary Sanford, of the CT witch trials 1660s (not Salem). Most spellings are with a d (Sandford). The punishment was called "stoning," but consisted of laying large stones on the convicted until they were crushed and stopped breathing. Salem preferred hanging and Europe burning at the stake.

    And being a New Yorker, I think of Astoria as being a neighborhood in Queens.

  6. Unsolvable for me – gave up after an hour. REALLY disliked "native=inbred" (shows an intellectual intolerance) and "sufficient=due" (Roget is turning in his grave).I dislike themes that attempt punning – they show a silly contempt for basic word knowledge and language usage. Though I realize changing this sort of puzzle-making would result in a more difficult task for the constructor, life-long Times puzzle solvers deserve more.

  7. @Sfingi-wait, you have an ancestor who was brought up on charges as a witch? And executed? Omigosh that is dreadful. You should write a book about her. Or have I misunderstood?
    I didn't mind the puns in this puzzle — they were cute and not overworked, IMO. That said, OF COURSE I DNF this one, not by a mile. I cheated plenty, and just figured out what I could. I like TURK IN YOUR SHIRT! Instead of SHULA, I had SHUMA, and was proud of myself, thinking I'd come up with the name even tho I don't know football… :-
    Speaking of which… Isn't it weird that the Rams are suddenly back in LA?!
    Enjoy your Saturday, everyone!
    Be well ~~™

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.