LA Times Crossword Answers 16 Feb 16, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Mark McClain
THEME: Collections … each of today’s themed answers starts with an item that is often COLLECTED:

58A. What the starts of 18-, 23-, 38- and 50-Across can be part of COLLECTIONS

18A. Add to the language COIN A PHRASE
23A. Unusually high temperatures, often RECORD HEAT
38A. Law enforcement slogan STAMP OUT CRIME
50A. Dessert with swirls MARBLE CAKE

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 44s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Mud wrap venue SPA
The word “spa” migrated into English from Belgium, as Spa is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name “Spa” comes from the Walloon word “espa” meaning “spring, fountain”.

4. Bridge, to Botticelli PONTE
Sandro Botticelli was a painter of the Early Renaissance belonging to the Florentine school. Perhaps his best known work is “The Birth of Venus”, painted about 1486, which can be seen in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

15. Unalaska inhabitant ALEUT
The Aleuts live on the Aleutian Islands of the North Pacific, and on the Commander Islands at the western end of the same island chain. The Aleutian Islands are part of the United States, and the Commander Islands are in Russia.

Unalaska Island is one of the Aleutian chain of islands off the coast of Alaska. Dutch Harbor, located within the city of Unalaska, is the largest fisheries port in the whole of the United States.

16. With 27-Down, striped holiday treat CANDY
(27d. See 16-Across CANE)
Apparently candy canes were created at the behest of the choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral in Germany in 1672. The sweet sticks were basically used as bribes to keep children quiet during services. The choirmaster specified that the candy sticks should have a crook at the top so that they reminded the children of the three shepherds who visited the infant Jesus just after his birth.

17. Tycoon Onassis ARI
Aristotle Onassis was born to a successful Greek shipping entrepreneur in Smyrna in modern-day Turkey. However, his family lost its fortune during WWI and so Aristotle worked with his father to build up a new business empire centered on the importation of tobacco. In 1957, Aristotle founded the Greek national airline, what is today called Olympic Air, and he also got into the business of shipping oil around the world. He married Athina Livanos in 1946, the daughter of a wealthy shipping magnate. They couple had two children together, with one being the famous Christina Onassis. Livanos divorced Onassis on discovering him in bed with the opera singer Maria Callas. Onassis ended his affair with Callas in order to marry Jackie Kennedy in 1968.

20. North Atlantic hazard ICEBERG
An iceberg is a large piece of freshwater ice that is floating freely after having broken off from a glacier or ice shelf. Out use of “iceberg” comes from the Dutch word for the same phenomenon “ijsberg”, which translates literally as “ice mountain”.

26. Letters used in old dates BCE
The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.

29. Beirut’s country: Abbr. LEB
Beirut is the capital city of Lebanon. After WWI, Lebanon was placed under administrative control of the French and Beirut flourished as a financial center in the Middle East and as a major world tourist destination. The city was devastated in the Lebanese Civil War that raged from 1975 to 1990, but reconstruction has restored the city to much of its former glory, making it a major cultural center once again.

30. __-Cat: winter vehicle SNO
The brand name Sno-Cat is owned by the Tucker company. All “snowcats” are tracked vehicles built to work in snow, famously used in expeditions to the polar regions. The modern Sno-Cat from Tucker differs from its competitors in that it has four, independently-mounted tracks.

33. Fish and chips option COD
When I was a young lad on the other side of the pond, a take-out meal of fish and chips was a common “treat” on a Friday evening. I am old enough to remember the fish and chips coming wrapped in old newspaper, the traditional method of serving the dish at the “fish and chip shop”. Yummy …

36. Wonton, e.g. DUMPLING
A wonton is a dumpling used in Chinese cooking. Wontons are often boiled and served in a wonton soup.

41. Felix Unger et al. NEATNIKS
“The Odd Couple” is a play by the wonderfully talented Neil Simon first performed on Broadway, in 1965. This great play was adapted for the big screen in 1968, famously starring Jack Lemmon (as Felix Unger, the neat-freak) and Walter Matthau (as Oscar Madison, the slob). The success of the play and the film gave rise to an excellent television sitcom that ran from 1970-1975, starring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. In 1985, Neil Simon even went so far as to adapt the play for an all-female cast, renaming it “The Female Odd Couple”. I’d like to see that one …

42. “Atlas Shrugged” author Rand AYN
Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist born Alisa Rosenbaum. Her two best known works are her novels “The Fountainhead” published in 1943 and “Atlas Shrugged” from 1957. Back in 1951, Rand moved from Los Angeles to New York City. Soon after, she gathered a group of admirers around her with whom she discussed philosophy and shared drafts of her magnum opus, “Atlas Shrugged”. This group called itself “The Collective”, and one of the founding members was none other than future Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan.

43. Many opera villains BASSI
The bass is the lowest male singing voice. A man with such a voice might be called a “basso” (plural “bassi”).

57. Ice-T or Jay Z RAP STAR
Rapper Ice-T must be sick of having his name come up as an answer in crossword puzzles. Maybe he should have stuck to his real name, Tracy Marrow? Then again, maybe not … Ice-T has been interested in acting for decades and made his film debut in the 1984 movie about break-dancing called “Breakin’”. He has also played Detective Fin Tutuola in the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” since the year 2000.

Jay Z, as well as being a successful and very rich rap artist, is married to singer Beyonce.

63. German river, to Germans RHEIN
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.

64. Adult insect IMAGO
The imago is a stage in the development of an insect. All four stages are embryo, larva, pupa and imago.

65. Not quite lge. MED
Small (sm.), medium (med.) and large (lge.); each is an adjective (adj.)

67. Web surfing tool MODEM
A modem is a device that is used to facilitate the transmission of a digital signal over an analog line. At one end of the line a modem is used to “modulate” an analog carrier signal to encode the the digital information, and at the other end a modem is used to “demodulate” the analog carrier signal and so reproduce the original digital information. This modulation-demodulation gives the device its name: a MOdulator-DEModulator, or “modem”.

Down
1. Step between landings STAIR
A “landing” is the area at the top and bottom of a staircase. Apparently, we called the steps between the landings a “flight” of stairs, because one flies between landings! Can that be true?

2. Part of UPS PARCEL
United Parcel Service (UPS) is based in Sandy Springs, Georgia and has its own airline that operates out of Louisville, Kentucky.

4. Hoosier hoopster PACER
The Indiana Pacers are the professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, who play in the NBA. The name was chosen when the team was formed in 1967. “Pacers” is a homage harness racing pacers (famed in Indiana) and the pace car used in the Indianapolis 500.

The exact origin of the word “Hoosier” is unknown, but has been around since at least 1830. The term had no direct linkage with Indiana until John Finley of Richmond, Indiana wrote a poem called “The Hoosier’s Nest” in 1833. A few years later, by 1840, “hoosier” was generally accepted as a term for Indiana residents.

5. Grace opening O LORD …
A “grace” is a short prayer recited before or after a meal.

7. Vineyard vat TUN
Back in the late 1300s, the unit of weight known as a “ton” was the quantity of wine that filled a cask or “tun”.

8. Approximate touchdown hr. ETA
Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

9. Vier und vier ACHT
In German “Vier und vier” (four and four) adds up to “acht” (eight).

10. Hawaiian root TARO
The corm of some taro plants is used to make poi, the traditional Hawaiian dish (that I think tastes horrible). When a taro plant is grown as an ornamental, it is often called Elephant Ears due to the shape of its large leaves.

11. Feature of most fedoras SNAP BRIM
A fedora is a lovely hat, I think. It is made of felt, and is similar to a trilby, but has a broader brim. “Fedora” was a play written for Sarah Bernhardt and first performed in 1889. Bernhardt had the title role of Princess Fedora, and on stage she wore a hat similar to a modern-day fedora. The play led to the women’s fashion accessory, the fedora hat, commonly worn by women into the beginning of the twentieth century. Men then started wearing fedoras, but only when women gave up the fashion …

21. Spotted members of the lynx family BOBCATS
A lynx is a wild cat, of which there are four species. These are:

– The Eurasian lynx: the biggest of the four species.
– The Canada lynx: well-adapted to life in cold environments.
– The Iberian lynx: a native of the Iberian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and the most endangered cat species in the world.
– The Bobcat: our North American wildcat, the smallest of the four lynxes

25. Month after juillet AOUT
Août is the French for August, and juillet is French for July (note that the name of months aren’t capitalized in French).

28. Urge (on) EGG
The verb “edge” has been used to mean to incite, to urge on, from the 16th century. Somewhere along the way “edge” was mistakenly replaced with “egg”, giving us our term “to egg on” meaning “to goad”.

34. Upscale hotel chain OMNI
Omni Hotels & Resorts is headquartered in Irvine, California and has properties in the US, Canada and Mexico.

35. Printer resolution spec. DPI
Dots per inch (DPI) is a term usually reserved for printing resolution, a measure of the density of individual ink dots that can be positioned on the printed surface. Screen resolution is measured in pixels per inch (PPI), a measure of how closely individual pixels can be placed in a digital display.

37. __ Nashville: country label MCA
Today’s MCA Nashville country music label started out in 1945 as the country music division of Decca Records, and was based in New York. The division was moved to Nashville in 1955.

38. Bering and North SEAS
The Bering Sea in the very north of the Pacific Ocean is named for the Danish navigator Vitus Bering who was the first European to systematically explore the area in 1728. Many believe that the first humans arrived in the Americas from Asia when the waters of the Bering Sea were lower during the last ice age, over what is known as the Bering land bridge.

The North Sea is an offshoot of the Atlantic Ocean that is located between Britain and Scandinavia.

41. Steph Curry’s org. NBA
Steph Curry is a professional basketball player who was named the league’s MVP in 2015, the same season that he led the Golden State Warriors to their first NBA championship since 1975. Steph’s father is former NBA player Dell Curry, and the older brother of current NBA player Seth Curry.

47. Daughter of Muhammad FATIMA
Fatimah was the youngest daughter of the prophet Muhammad and his first wife Khadija.

50. Comfy slip-on MOC
“Moc” is short for “moccasin”, the type of shoe.

51. “Tootsie” actress Jessica LANGE
The actress Jessica Lange is also an accomplished and published photographer. She was married for ten years to Spanish photographer Paco Grande. After separating from Grande, Lange had three children with the great Russian dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov. Those must be some good-looking kids …

“Tootsie” is a hilarious 1982 comedy starring Dustin Hoffman in the title role, a male actor who adopts a female identity in order to land an acting job. Jessica Lange won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in the film. “Tootsie” was also provided Geena Davis with her first movie role.

52. Word with Downs or salts EPSOM
The Surrey town of Epsom in England is most famous for its racecourse (Epsom Downs), at which is run the Epsom Derby every year, one of the three races that make up the English Triple Crown. We also come across Epsom salt from time to time. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, originally prepared by boiling down mineral waters. Epsom was indeed a spa town at one time.

55. Ad writer’s award CLIO
The Clio Awards are the Oscars of the advertising world and are named after Clio, the Greek Muse of History. Clio was also the recorder of great deeds, the proclaimer and celebrator of great accomplishments and a source of inspiration and genius. The Clio Awards were first presented in 1959.

58. Dated PC hookup CRT
Cathode Ray Tube (CRT)

60. Bob Cratchit’s boy TIM
Tiny Tim is the nickname of Timothy Cratchit, the little disabled boy in the Charles Dickens novella “A Christmas Carol”. “A Christmas Carol” is such a popular book that it has not been out of print since its first publication in December 1843.

61. I believe, in texts IMO
In my opinion (IMO)

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Mud wrap venue SPA
4. Bridge, to Botticelli PONTE
9. On a cruise AT SEA
14. Knock gently TAP
15. Unalaska inhabitant ALEUT
16. With 27-Down, striped holiday treat CANDY
17. Tycoon Onassis ARI
18. Add to the language COIN A PHRASE
20. North Atlantic hazard ICEBERG
22. Perching on ATOP
23. Unusually high temperatures, often RECORD HEAT
26. Letters used in old dates BCE
29. Beirut’s country: Abbr. LEB
30. __-Cat: winter vehicle SNO
31. Skin-and-bones sort SCRAG
33. Fish and chips option COD
36. Wonton, e.g. DUMPLING
38. Law enforcement slogan STAMP OUT CRIME
41. Felix Unger et al. NEATNIKS
42. “Atlas Shrugged” author Rand AYN
43. Many opera villains BASSI
44. Grassland LEA
46. Uncertainties IFS
49. Braying beast ASS
50. Dessert with swirls MARBLE CAKE
54. Canyon feedback ECHO
57. Ice-T or Jay Z RAP STAR
58. What the starts of 18-, 23-, 38- and 50-Across can be part of COLLECTIONS
62. “Who am __ judge?” I TO
63. German river, to Germans RHEIN
64. Adult insect IMAGO
65. Not quite lge. MED
66. Chore list entries TO-DOS
67. Web surfing tool MODEM
68. Beverage suffix -ADE

Down
1. Step between landings STAIR
2. Part of UPS PARCEL
3. Unit-pricing word APIECE
4. Hoosier hoopster PACER
5. Grace opening O LORD …
6. Sounds from a stable NEIGHS
7. Vineyard vat TUN
8. Approximate touchdown hr. ETA
9. Vier und vier ACHT
10. Hawaiian root TARO
11. Feature of most fedoras SNAP BRIM
12. Newspaper hires, briefly EDS
13. Vote for AYE
19. __ on the back PAT
21. Spotted members of the lynx family BOBCATS
24. Laptop buyer, for one END USER
25. Month after juillet AOUT
27. See 16-Across CANE
28. Urge (on) EGG
31. Energetic SPRY
32. Outpatient treatment sites CLINICS
34. Upscale hotel chain OMNI
35. Printer resolution spec. DPI
37. __ Nashville: country label MCA
38. Bering and North SEAS
39. Like graduation caps TASSELED
40. St. with a panhandle OKLA
41. Steph Curry’s org. NBA
45. In Europe, say ABROAD
47. Daughter of Muhammad FATIMA
48. Enjoyed the ice SKATED
50. Comfy slip-on MOC
51. “Tootsie” actress Jessica LANGE
52. Word with Downs or salts EPSOM
53. Slowly eat into ERODE
55. Ad writer’s award CLIO
56. Feathered brooders HENS
58. Dated PC hookup CRT
59. “So that’s it!” OHO!
60. Bob Cratchit’s boy TIM
61. I believe, in texts IMO

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5 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 16 Feb 16, Tuesday”

  1. An awful lot of stuff I didn't know/remember in this one – AOUT MOC MCA TUN FATIMA as well as EPSOM Downs, but I managed to finish anyway. OHO reared its ugly head too.

    I read 40D as Saint (St) with a pan handle so I had no idea what was going on with that one until I got all 4 letters. Then I realized St was state. Ouch.

    Continuing yesterdays conversation, Felix Unger could probably be added to the list. The CBS list of "greatest" characters is pretty subjective and it's a different set of criteria – although I'd argue Archie should be higher and Ralph Cramden definitely needs to be on that list regardless.

    But you could probably measure how many people could define an "Archie Bunker type" or a "Barney Fife type" (especially if you've ever gotten a speeding ticket in a small town..) or a "Felix Unger type" . That's what I was talking about in terms of Archie Bunker being one of the most defineable characters in tv history.

    Currently Netflixing (did I just COIN A PHRASE?) Sons of Anarchy, a show I never thought I would like. But I am hooked. I limit myself to 1 or 2 episodes per evening, and even that is proving to be difficult. Very compelling tv.

    Best –

  2. @Jeff – how about a Street with a panhandle?

    Though I didn't Google, did not know: TUN, SCRAG, SNAPBRIM, Unalaska, Steph Curry, DPI. But, I consider it a good puzzle if one can get these by crosses/perpendiculars.

    Was glad to see Italian words (BASSI, PONTE) and of the German (RHEIN, ACHT) one was asked to perform math in the later. I get so tired of being expected to know French when it is no less dead than German or Italian. We should all be picking up Spanish, however.

  3. In Unalaska, do uneskimos live in unigloos and hunt unseals with unharpoons ? Why do I get this feeling that this name could have been one of Lewis Carroll's creations ?

    I had a challenging but enjoyable time with this puzzle, which I had expected to be easy, this being a Tuesday. Sfingi, we happen to have a street with a (regular) panhandler ….

    I did not know the italian words PONTE or BASSI, but I managed to suss them out. My wife is a confirmed neatnik, but I have endeavored, over our long marriage to get her to relax her habit and OCD complex – with mixed results ….

    I thought the answer to 'Vier und Vier' was 'Heir und Their'.

    The Elephant Ears plant leaf ( and corm =root) is used extensively as a vegetable wrap (steamed and cooked) in Indian cooking. The vegetable must be cooked throughly, since it has some allergens and some Ca. oxalate and other irritants to the mouth and throat.

    Have a nice day, all.

  4. Hi folks! Nice challenge for a Tuesday, IMO. (!)/I also didn't know the ones you mentioned, Sfingi, but I do now, thanks to Bill.
    A lot of non English stuff here.
    @Jeff, yes you're right about Archie, and Felix too for that matter. Personality archetypes, I guess. I was slightly off your topic yesterday, talking about my faves, but I do love my faves!
    Mary Richards
    Lennie Briscoe
    Jesse Pinkman, of Breaking Bad
    Jerry Seinfeld, as himself
    Bob Hartley, of the Bob Newhat Show
    But back to the archetypes: die-hard Sex And the City fans would apparently identify with one of the ladies. They wore T shirts proclaiming "I'm a Carrie!" or "I'm a Samantha!" (Myself, I'm equal parts Carrie and Miranda — some of the women in our group will understand, methinks!)
    Back tomorrow my friemds!
    Sweet dreams~~™

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