LA Times Crossword Answers 6 Jan 16, Wednesday

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

CROSSWORD SETTER: Matt Skoczen
THEME: Let Me In … our themed answers today describe what happens to a visitor trying to get into an empty abode:

17A. Visitor’s first attempt DING DONG!
30A. Visitor’s second attempt KNOCK KNOCK!
50A. Visitor’s third attempt ANYONE HOME?!
64A. Visitor’s last words FORGET IT

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 9m 24s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Big initials in tobacco RJR
The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJR) was founded by Richard Joshua “R. J.” Reynolds. Reynolds founded his business in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1875. The company employed nearly 30,000 people in the area at its peak, but now has fewer than 3,000 employees locally.

4. Devices with scroll wheels MICE
The first computer mouse was invented at the Stanford Research Institute in 1963, by one Douglas Engelbart. Sadly for him, his patent ran out before mice became standard equipment on computers, so he never made any money from his amazing invention.

14. Perrier, par exemple EAU
In French, a bottled “eau” (water) might be Perrier, “par exemple” (for example).

Perrier is bottled from spring water that is naturally carbonated. The natural carbonation is lost during the purification process, and so has to be restored artificially before bottling. The spring used by Perrier is in the South of France, and has been used since Roman times as a spa.

19. Emphatic type ITALIC
Italic type leans to the right. The style is known as “italic” because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

20. Training group CADRE
A “cadre” is most commonly a group of experienced personnel at the core of a larger organization that the small group trains or heavily influences. “Cadre” is a French word meaning a “frame”. We use it in the sense that a cadre is a group that provides a “framework” for the larger organization.

23. Baseball family name ALOU
Jesus Alou played major league baseball, as did his brothers Matty and Felipe, and as does Felipe’s son Moises.

24. Actress Thompson of “Family” SADA
Sada Thompson was an actress from Des Moines, Iowa. Thompson is best known for playing the mother and wife in the eighties television drama series called “Family”.

29. Queen-to-be, maybe PAWN
In the game of chess, the pawns are the weakest pieces on the board. A pawn that can make it to the opposite of the board can be “promoted” to a piece of choice, usually a queen. Using promotion of pawns, it is possible for a player to have two or more queens on the board at one time. However, standard chess sets come with only one queen per side, so a captured rook is often used as the second queen by placing it on the board upside down.

36. Justice Dept. division FBI
What we know today as the FBI was set up in 1908 as the BOI, the Bureau of Investigation. The name was changed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935. The Bureau was set up at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt. President Roosevelt was largely moved to do so after the 1901 assassination of President McKinley, as there was a perception that anarchists were threatening law and order. The FBI’s motto uses the organization’s initialism, and is “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity”.

37. Sean’s mom YOKO
Sean Taro Ono Lennon is the only child of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Sean’s godfather is Elton John. Sean is a musician and composer, and has a band called the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger.

39. Unlikely Monopoly outcomes TIES
The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of “The Landlord’s Game” created in 1903 by a Quaker woman called Lizzie Phillips. Phillips used her game as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord’s Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, who became a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

46. “Big crunch” pickle brand VLASIC
Apparently Vlasic invented the glass-packed, shelf-stable pickle. The company adopted the stork mascot in the late sixties, with the stork originally carrying a baby. The mascot was a play on the perception that pregnant women have a higher than average appetite for pickles.

53. Asti export VINO
In Italian, Asti is a sparkling white “vino” (wine).

Asti is in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.

55. “The Dukes of Hazzard” deputy ENOS
Enos Strate (played by Sonny Shroyer) was the small-town deputy in the television sitcom “The Dukes of Hazzard”, and the success of his character merited a follow-on show. The spinoff “Enos” only ran for 18 episodes though.

56. Indigo source ANIL
Anil is another name for the indigo plant, as well as the name for the blue indigo dye that is obtained from it. The color of anil is relatively close to navy blue. The main coloring agent in indigo dye is a crystalline powder called indigotin.

57. Ottoman shelter IMARET
Imarets were inns or hostels used by pilgrims throughout the Ottoman Empire. The network of imarets was set up to provide food to anyone in need, so also served as “soup kitchens”.

60. Playing marble AGATE
A playing marble made from agate is called just that, an agate. Steelies on the other hand, are made from solid steel.

Agate is a micro-crystalline form of quartz (so is related to sand/silica). Some agate samples have deposited layers that give a striped appearance, and these are called “banded agate”.

61. Nixes VETOES
“Veto” comes directly from Latin and means “I forbid”. The word was used by tribunes of Ancient Rome to indicate that they opposed measures passed by the Senate.

The use of “nix” as a verb, meaning “to shoot down”, dates back to the early 1900s. Before that “nix” was just a noun meaning “nothing”. “Nix” comes from the German “nichts”, which also means “nothing”.

69. Assumes to be true POSITS
“To posit” is to assume as fact, to lay down as a “position”.

70. Ring units: Abbr. RNDS
Boxers fight a number of rounds (rnds.) in a boxing ring.

71. Porter kin ALE
Porter is a dark beer that originated in London in the 1700s and is named for the street and river porters with whom it was very popular. Porter is a well-hopped beer made using brown malt, which gives it the dark color.

Down
1. Baggage handlers REDCAPS
“Redcap” is a term used for a railroad station porter here in North America. That term comes from the fact that redcaps wear red caps!

2. Game with cestas and pelotas JAI ALAI
The essential equipment in the sport of jai alai is the pelota (ball) and the cesta (wicker scoop).

3. Seedy RUN-DOWN
(18D. Seedy GRUNGY)
We use the word “seedy” to mean “shabby”. The usage probably arose from the appearance of a flowering plant that has gone to seed.

7. Stirred up EGGED ON
The verb “to egg on”, meaning “to goad”, has nothing to do with birds’ eggs. Rather, the term evolved from “to edge on”, to move forward a small amount.

8. Conservationist John MUIR
John Muir was a famous American naturalist, although he was born in Scotland. He published “My First Summer in the Sierra” in 1911, describing one of his favorite places in the country, the Sierra Nevada range in California. Muir was a co-founder of the Sierra Club.

13. B’way setting NYC
Broadway really is, and always has been, the Main Street of New York City. It started out as the Wickquasgeck Trail that was trampled into the Manhattan brush land by the Native Americans of the area. In the days of the Dutch, the trail became the main road though the island of Manhattan, down to the New Amsterdam settlement in the south. The Dutch described it as a “Breede weg”, a broad street or broad way. The name Broadway was adopted as the official name for the whole thoroughfare in 1899 … on Valentine’s Day.

24. Chicago suburb SKOKIE
The Chicago suburb of Skokie was incorporated in 1888 under the name Niles Center. The name was changed in 1940 to Skokie, which comes from a Potawatomi word for “marsh”.

27. Banned chem. contaminant PCB
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were banned with good reason. Apart from their link to cancer and other disorders in humans and animals, they are extremely persistent in the environment once contamination has occurred. Among other things, PCBs were used as coolants and insulating fluids in electrical gear such as transformers and large capacitors.

31. Sushi chef’s array KNIVES
Sushi is a Japanese dish that has as its primary ingredient cooked, vinegared rice. The rice is usually topped with something, most often fish, and can be served in seaweed rolls. If you want raw fish by itself, then you have to order “sashimi”.

38. “Rings __ Fingers”: 1942 Fonda/Tierney film ON HER
“Rings on Her Fingers” is a 1942 comedy film about a department store salesgirl (played by Gene Tierney) who is asked to impersonate a society belle. The heroine falls for a hard-working accountant (played by Henry Fonda). I don’t think I’ve seen this one, but I’m putting it on the list as I do love screwball comedies …

41. Emeril exclamation BAM!
Emeril Lagasse is an American chef, born in Massachusetts. Lagasse first achieved notoriety 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.

42. Le Mans article UNE
“Une” is the French word for “a”, but only when used with a feminine noun (like “une dame”: a lady).

Le Mans is a city in northwestern France. The city is famous for the 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race that has been held annually since 1923. The 24-hour race uses the city’s race track, but closed city streets are also used for part of the circuit.

43. Peek, for peep: Abbr. SYN
Synonym (syn.)

47. Ol’ Blue Eyes SINATRA
Frank Sinatra was the only child of Italian immigrants living in Hoboken, New Jersey. Like so many of our heroes, Sinatra had a rough upbringing. His mother was arrested several times and convicted of running an illegal abortion business in the family home. Sinatra never finished high school, as he was expelled for rowdy conduct. He was later arrested as a youth on a morals charge for carrying on with a married woman, which was an offence back then. But Sinatra straightened himself out by the time he was twenty and started singing professionally.

In 1973, Frank Sinatra came out of retirement with a TV special and an album called “Ol’ Blue Eyes is Back”. The nickname stuck.

49. “Gigi” author COLETTE
The best known work of French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette is “Gigi”, the source material for the wonderful film starring Leslie Caron in the title role. The novel that brought Colette celebrity was published in 1920, called “Cheri”. “Gigi” followed much later, in 1944. “Cheri” was adapted into a screen version starring Michelle Pfeiffer. Colette led a very colorful life. She had three marriages, an affair with her stepson, and many affairs with other women.

52. Four Tops’ record label MOTOWN
Motown Records is a record label that was founded in 1959 in Detroit (aka “Motor City” or “Motown”). The founder of Motown records was Berry Gordy, Jr.

The original lineup of the Four Tops agreed to form a vocal quartet when they were high school students together in Detroit. The group started out using the name “The Four Aims”, but changed it to Four Tops to avoid confusion with the Ames Brothers.

62. Brian of Roxy Music ENO
Brian Eno is a musician, composer and record producer from England who first achieved fame as the synthesiser player with Roxy Music. As a producer, Eno has worked with David Bowie, Devo and U2.

63. Airer of some MLB postseason games TBS
The tbs cable television station started out in 1967 as local broadcast TV station in Atlanta. The station’s first call letters were WJRJ-TV, and this was changed to WTCG in 1970 when it was acquired by Ted Turner (the TCG stood for Turner Communications Group). In 1976, Turner started distributing WTCG via satellite making its programming available in other parts of the country. WTCG was only the second channel to transmit via satellite, following HBO. The difference was that WTCG was broadcast without requiring a premium subscription. The station’s call sign was changed again in 1979, to WTBS, and in 1981 adopted the moniker “Superstation WTBS”.

Return to top of page

For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Big initials in tobacco RJR
4. Devices with scroll wheels MICE
8. Many an old-movie criminal mastermind MADMAN
14. Perrier, par exemple EAU
15. Sick as __ A DOG
16. Jittery UNEASY
17. Visitor’s first attempt DING DONG!
19. Emphatic type ITALIC
20. Training group CADRE
21. Like milligrams and kilograms METRIC
23. Baseball family name ALOU
24. Actress Thompson of “Family” SADA
25. “My bad!” OOPS!
29. Queen-to-be, maybe PAWN
30. Visitor’s second attempt KNOCK KNOCK!
33. Hum a lullaby for SING TO
35. Common starting time NINE
36. Justice Dept. division FBI
37. Sean’s mom YOKO
39. Unlikely Monopoly outcomes TIES
41. Student carrier BUS
44. Peeled-off item RIND
46. “Big crunch” pickle brand VLASIC
50. Visitor’s third attempt ANYONE HOME?!
53. Asti export VINO
54. Kids’ __: restaurant offering MENU
55. “The Dukes of Hazzard” deputy ENOS
56. Indigo source ANIL
57. Ottoman shelter IMARET
60. Playing marble AGATE
61. Nixes VETOES
64. Visitor’s last words FORGET IT
66. How megastores buy goods IN BULK
67. Boo-boo OWIE
68. Snitch RAT
69. Assumes to be true POSITS
70. Ring units: Abbr. RNDS
71. Porter kin ALE

Down
1. Baggage handlers REDCAPS
2. Game with cestas and pelotas JAI ALAI
3. Seedy RUN-DOWN
4. Good way to have it? MADE
5. Knot-tying words I DO
6. One with a racket CON MAN
7. Stirred up EGGED ON
8. Conservationist John MUIR
9. Against ANTI
10. Church official DEACON
11. Start to practice? MAL-
12. “__ live and breathe!” AS I
13. B’way setting NYC
18. Seedy GRUNGY
22. Unspoken TACIT
24. Chicago suburb SKOKIE
26. Stomach-punch response OOF!
27. Banned chem. contaminant PCB
28. Snow glider SKI
31. Sushi chef’s array KNIVES
32. Ship’s spine KEEL
34. Unable to choose TORN
38. “Rings __ Fingers”: 1942 Fonda/Tierney film ON HER
40. Wild and fierce SAVAGE
41. Emeril exclamation BAM!
42. Le Mans article UNE
43. Peek, for peep: Abbr. SYN
45. Toast, so to speak DONE FOR
47. Ol’ Blue Eyes SINATRA
48. Monogram component INITIAL
49. “Gigi” author COLETTE
51. “Right away, madame!” OUI OUI!
52. Four Tops’ record label MOTOWN
58. Get all mushy MELT
59. Invites ASKS
60. Long stretches AGES
61. Bigwig VIP
62. Brian of Roxy Music ENO
63. Airer of some MLB postseason games TBS
65. Clear (of) RID

Return to top of page

10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 6 Jan 16, Wednesday”

  1. Zero errors. Weird grid, especially the theme. But the theme helped, once I figured out how to word the things correctly. Overall, a measure easier than yesterday, difficulty wise.

  2. Sfingi, from yesterday, talking about tales, may I put in a plug for one of my favorite 'tale' books, The Pancha-tantra ( the five stories ) an indian compilation, translated by Arthur W Ryder. His translation is better than the original, and his verse is fantastic. There are stories-in-stories-in-stories. Make sure you get ONLY the Arthur Ryder version and translation. He is that important, like Edward FitzGerald for 'The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam'.

    The puzzle was quite challenging, but I enjoyed it. It being a Wednesday, I should have tried the theme answers first, but I forgot, and ironically came up with the theme answers, in the reverse order, which was no help at all. But nevertheless an enjoyable experience.

    Banded Agates from Botswana . I may have linked this before, but its so pretty, I can't help but link it again !

    The word 'Imarat' ( a new word, for me, in crosswords ) is also used in India, to mean something like an 'edifice', a building or a statue or an idol or a monument.

    Finally, my Ginsu knives will beat your Sushi knives anytime, and everytime !

    Have a good day, all.

  3. Relatively difficult for a Wednesday. I about doubled my time from yesterday. OOPS and OOF intersecting is criminal, but who listens to me? Add PCB to that section and your talking serious jail time. IMARET was totally new to me so that section slowed me down a bit along with putting Kids' meal instead of MENU at first.

    I got 33A, but SING TO for "HUM a lullaby"? I think of singing and humming as 2 entirely different things, but definition number 2 for hum says "sing with closed lips"…which still sounds like a contradiction to me..like "spoke silently". Oh well. Strangely, hum can also mean to smell unpleasant (British) and to express dissent (as an exclamation). Who knew?

    Almost forgot OWIE. Ugh. At least the setter mentioned porters. Very underrated beers IMO

    Best –

  4. A fair challenge given that it's only Wednesday. I too thought that this was a very weird theme (almost like no theme at all really), but then again I've never constructed, or tried to construct, a crossword puzzle so who am I too quibble?

    Hope everyone has a good hump day. More rain today and I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow. And now we return you to our regularly scheduled programming! (g)

  5. I did better than I usually do on a Wed. Didn't get the S in Skokie, was looking for a vowel. Didn't get oops/ski/PCB-should have, since I had OOF. I liked the theme, it helped a bit.
    Some day I'll remember ALOU isn't Aloo.

    West Coasters, watch out for the weather!

    Bella

  6. @ Sfingi from yesterday. I was just musing about frogs and princes and you gave me information on how it really came to be! Thank you so much for that. I must look up your references. Mwah!Poof! Prince!
    Thompson… EMMA,SARA, SADA!
    Kids' MEAL, nope MENU. Me too, Jeff.
    Visitor's first, second third attempt. Whaa?
    RING RING? Nope. When it finally dawned on me I got them all. I liked the theme.
    @ Bill thanks for the chess information. I kept saying, "It CAN"T be PAWN".
    BTW, I thought yesterday's grid was strange. It didn't seem symmetrical to me.
    Got to run errands before we get the predicted heavy rain.Catch you all later.

  7. Here's some random chess trivia, though albeit somewhat controversial.

    Did you know once upon a time the rules were much different? This is solely due to the narcissism of Queen Isabella of Spain. It is said that once upon a time she happened upon someone playing a game of "original" chess and then observed the queen in the game and said "is that how you liken me?" The original queen or vizier moved one space diagonally in any direction and the bishop could move two spaces diagonally. After she did this, the modern rules ("Queen's Chess" or "Mad Queen's Chess") were devised in 1475 where the Queen could move in any direction in any number of spaces. Likely, the bishop was given a increased range in an attempt to balance the game. The paradox of the Queen being so powerful, yet the King being the "end game piece" is explained in the Catholic doctrines of Mary (as the Queen of Heaven), wherein Mary is thought as the powerful one, but in service of her son Jesus.

    Other facets of chess have religious connotations. The typical colors (white and black) are fashioned in the idea of the final battle of good and evil, where white is seen as "good", where black is seen as "evil". The original rule of promotion of pieces that Bill mentions was limited in the same way, as the Catholic Church saw the game as evil (and banned it at times). The possibility of two queens on the board was seen as the teaching of polygamy, so it was changed in a lot of circles that the promotion of a pawn could only be with the condition that it did not produce more pieces that were originally on the board at the start of the game (1 queen, 2 rooks, 2 knights, etc).

    The history of most games is steeped in these kind of cultural mores. The interesting part of it is like most phrases we use (like "throw out the baby with the bathwater" or "raining cats and dogs") we forget the "why" behind a lot of things. For instance, the face cards on a standard deck representing certain monarchs.

    Anyhow, hope someone found that interesting.

  8. @Glenn I found this VERY interesting. I know really nothing about chess, tried to play ages ago. It's always fun to hear the story behind the story. Thanks for taking the time to post!
    @Sfingi from yesterday. Looked up Aarne Tale type #440
    and realized where this frog business came from. I just wonder why a "frog"? Maybe they look wise and pensive sitting on a rock. ^0^
    Poured here today and starting up again. I'm glad we picked an area that isn't prone to fires or mudslides, but then we wouldn't live in such an area anyway.

  9. Ha ha @Jeff, at first I thought, with mention of "porter," that you were saying baggage handlers were underrated!! Perhaps they are…
    Nice challenge today. Didn't know IMARET at all, and that had me hung up. Had KATE before PAWN. It's often weird to note the things you remember when doing grids (SADA! Why would I know that??!)
    Not to mention the things you have COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN!! Those I find more upsetting than the stuff I just don't know… :-
    Lots of rain here, which is great unless you're driving in it!
    Be well~~™

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.