LA Times Crossword Answers 6 Feb 16, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Barry C. Silk
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 20m 05s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. R&B Foods brand since 2014 RAGU
The Ragú brand of pasta sauce is owned by Unilever. The name ” Ragù” is the Italian word for a sauce used to dress pasta, however the spelling is off a little. In Italian the word is “Ragù” with a grave accent over the “u”, but if you look at a jar of the sauce on the supermarket shelf it is spelled “Ragú” on the label, with an acute accent. Sometimes I think we just don’t try …

5. Potential diamond winner GO-AHEAD RUN
A “go-ahead run” in baseball is a run or potential run that would give the lead to the batting team.

15. Old Testament book AMOS
Amos is one of the twelve minor prophets in the Hebrew Bible.

17. Prepare for a meal MAKE
I guess one makes a dish in preparation for a meal …

19. Burpee product PLANT SEEDS
The Burpee Seeds company was formed in 1876 by Washington Atlee Burpee (what a name!).

23. D-Day transport LST
LST stands for Landing Ship, Tank. LSTs were the large vessels used mainly in WWII that had doors at either ends through which tanks and other vehicles could roll off and onto beaches. The design concept persists to this day in the huge fleet of commercial roll-on/roll-off car ferries, all inspired by the LST.

24. Indicator of stress: Abbr. ITAL
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.

25. 1997 Hawke/Thurman sci-fi film GATTACA
“Gattaca” is a science fiction movie starring Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman that was released in 1997. Set in the not-too-distant future, the film describes a society in which potential children are preselected so that they inherit the most desirable traits from their parents. The title “Gattaca” is the space agency featured in the storyline. I haven’t seen this movie, but it’s on my “must see” list …

28. Cell terminal ANODE
A battery is a device that converts chemical energy into electric energy. A simple battery is made up of three parts: a cathode, an anode and a liquid electrolyte. Ions from the electrolyte react chemically with the material in the anode producing a compound and releasing electrons. At the same time, the electrolyte reacts with the material in the cathode, absorbing electrons and producing a different chemical compound. In this way, there is a buildup of electrons at the anode and a deficit of electrons at the cathode. When a connection (wire, say) is made between the cathode and anode, electrons flow through the resulting circuit from the anode to cathode in an attempt to rectify the electron imbalance.

29. Hummingbird’s pair? EMS
There are a pair of letters M (ems) in the word “hummingbird”.

32. Kudos PROPS
“Props” is North American slang for “proper respect”.

Our word “kudos” means acclaim given for an exceptional achievement. “Kudos” is not a plural, despite a common misapprehension. It is a singular noun derived from the Greek “kyddos” meaning “glory, fame”.

33. Old, fading ad on a building GHOST SIGN
A “ghost sign” is a old, hand-painted advertisement, usually found on a brick building. The ghost sign might have been preserved out of a sense of nostalgia, or just left on a building wall that has not been refurbished since the creation of the original sign.

35. Jazz dance STOMP
A “stomp” is a jazz composition with a driving rhythm and a fast tempo.

37. “Aaugh!” OH NO!
The exclamation of dismay “Aaugh!” is particularly associated with Carlie Brown and his cohorts in the “Peanuts” cartoon strip.

41. Crystal of country GAYLE
Country singer Crystal Gayle is perhaps best known for her 1977 hit song “Don’t It Make My Brown eyes Blue”. She is also well known for the length of hair, which almost reaches the ground as she is standing. Another claim to fame for Ms. Gayle is that she is the younger sister of fellow singer Loretta Lynn.

42. Poisonous plant in the nightshade family HENBANE
Henbane is a toxic plant that has been used historically in poisonous, anesthetic and psychoactive potions.

45. Low-fat meat source EMU
Even though emu meat is classified as a red meat because of its color, it has a fat content that is comparable to other poultry.

48. Busters NARCS
“Narc” is a slang term for a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. “Narc” is short for “narcotics”.

49. Psalm words O GOD
The Greek word “psalmoi” originally meant “songs sung to a harp”, and gave us the word “psalms”.

55. Cyan relative AQUA
The color known as “aqua” is a light greenish blue.

“Cyan” is short for “cyan blue”. The term comes from the Greek word “kyanos” meaning “dark blue, the color of lapis lazuli”.

56. Putty base LINSEED OIL
Linseed oil is also known as flaxseed oil, as the oil is extracted from the dried seeds of the flax plant.

58. Newark neighbor EAST ORANGE
East Orange, New Jersey is a suburb of Newark. The list of famous former residents includes Whitney Houston (as a girl) and Janis Ian (also as a girl).

59. Nantes noodle? TETE
“Tête” is French for “head”.

“Noodle” and “bean” are slang terms for the head.

Nantes is a beautiful city located on the delta of the Loire, Erdre and Sèvre rivers. It has the well deserved nickname of “The Venice of the West”. I had the privilege of visiting Nantes a couple of times on business, and I can attest that it really is a charming city.

Down
2. Mixture AMALGAM
Amalgam is an alloy of mercury with some other metal. Many dental fillings are made of an amalgam of silver and mercury.

3. Mario game racers GO-KARTS
“Mario Kart” is a go-kart racing video game series from Nintendo.

Mario Bros. started out as an arcade game back in 1983, developed by Nintendo. The more famous of the two brothers, Mario, had already appeared in an earlier arcade game “Donkey Kong”. Mario was given a brother called Luigi, and the pair have been around ever since. In the game, Mario and Luigi are Italian American plumbers from New York City.

4. Online discussion venue USENET
Remember the good old days, when you read messages online in “newsgroups”? Well, that system of aggregating public messages is known as Usenet, and it’s still around today. Usenet started operating in 1980, some ten years before the World Wide Web was introduced (which system has displaced Usenet in terms of popularity). Usenet definitely played a significant part in the history of the Internet. For instance, the terms “FAQ” and “spam” were both born on Usenet.

5. Storms of the ’90s GEOS
Geos were small vehicles manufactured by General Motors, mainly in the nineties. Geos were designed to compete head-to-head with the small imports that were gaining market share at the time in the US. Some Geo models that you might remember are the Metro, the Prizm and the Storm. The cars were actually built as joint-ventures with Japanese manufacturers. The Prizm was a GM/Toyota project, the Metro was GM/Suzuki, and the Storm was GM/Isuzu.

6. Alençon’s department ORNE
Alençon is a commune in Normandy in northern France, and is the capital of the Orne department. In the 17th century it was renowned for lace production, lace that went by the name of “point d’Alençon”.

Orne is a department and river in the northwest of France. Perhaps one of the most famous locations in Orne is the village of Camembert, the home of the famous (and delicious!) cheese.

7. Fourth-largest moon of Uranus ARIEL
All of the twenty-seven moons of the planet Uranus are named for characters from literature, characters created by William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope. The five major moons are so large that they would be considered planets in their own right if they were orbiting the sun directly. The names of these five moons are:

– Miranda (from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”)
– Ariel (from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock”)
– Umbriel (from Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock”)
– Titania (from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”)
– Oberon (from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”)

8. Range protectors HOODS
Those would be ranges in a kitchen.

9. Physicist Mach ERNST
The Mach number of a moving object (like say an airplane) is its speed relative to the speed of sound. A plane travelling at Mach 2, for example, is moving at twice the speed of sound. The term “Mach” takes its name from the Austrian physicist Ernst Mach who published a groundbreaking paper in 1877 that even predicted the “sonic boom”.

10. Diamond birthstone mo. APR
Here is the “official” list of birthstones by month, that we tend to use today:

January: Garnet
February: Amethyst
March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
April: Diamond
May: Emerald
June: Pearl or Moonstone
July: Ruby
August: Sardonyx or Peridot
September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
November: Topaz or Citrine
December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

12. Antique shop furniture item ROLLTOP
A rolltop desk is one with a sliding cover made of wooden slats. The slat mechanism is also known as a “tambour”.

27. It borders It. AUS
The name “Austria” is a Latin variant of the German name for the country, “Österreich”. “Österreich” itself means “Eastern borderlands”, a reference to the country’s history as a prefecture of neighboring Bavaria to the west.

28. French battle site in WWI ARGONNE
The Meuse-Argonne Offensive (also called the Battle of the Argonne Forest) was an Allied offensive along the entire western front that took place in the last few weeks of WWI. Fought by US and French forces against the Germans, the offensive was the biggest operation launched by the American Expeditionary Force in WWI. The Meuse-Argonne was the deadliest battle in US history, as 26,277 US soldiers lost their lives.

31. “Little modified Pon-Pon” in a 1964 hit GTO
The 1964 song “G.T.O” was the debut recording for the surf rock group from the sixties known as Ronny & the Daytonas.

34. Proctor’s warning SHH!
A “proctor” is a supervisor, especially of an examination in a school, or perhaps of a dormitory. The word “proctor” originated in the late 1500s, a contraction of the word “procurator”, the name given to an official agent of a church.

35. Wine-and-fruit beverage SANGRIA
Sangria is red wine punch, usually associated with Portugal and Spain. Recipes for sangria vary, but almost all include a robust red wine, sliced fruit, something sweet (e.g. orange juice, sugar), a spirit (e.g. brandy, triple sec), carbonated water or perhaps 7up, and ice. The drink is named for its color, as “sangre” is the Spanish for blood.

38. Bernini’s genre BAROQUE
Something described as “baroque” is extremely ornate and convoluted. The term comes from the Baroque Period, in which many of the arts focused on great detail and elaborate design.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini was an Italian sculptor and architect, generally regarded as the successor to Michelangelo. Bernini’s most famous work perhaps is the design for the Piazza San Pietro (Saint Peter’s Square) located in front of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

41. Android developer GOOGLE
The Android Operating System is used by many manufacturers of smartphones. Google partners with several companies to produce Android One phones. The beauty of the Android One is that it runs an unadulterated version of the Android Operating System, one that hasn’t been “customized” by the likes of T-Mobile or Verizon.

43. Volcanic rock BASALT
Basalt is a volcanic rock that is created when lava cools rapidly at the earth’s surface.

46. Tribute maker MAZDA
The Mazda Tribute is a small SUV that Mazda developed jointly with Ford.

54. Hero in a virtual reality film trilogy NEO
Neo is the character played by Keanu Reeves in “The Matrix” series of films.

The 1999 movie sensation “The Matrix” was meant to be set in a nondescript urban environment. It was actually shot in Australia, as one of the co-producers of the film was the Australian company, Village Roadshow Pictures. You can pick up all sorts of clues about the location when watching the film, including a view of Sydney Harbour Bridge in a background shot. Also, traffic drives along on the left and there are signs for the “lift” instead of an “elevator”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. R&B Foods brand since 2014 RAGU
5. Potential diamond winner GO-AHEAD RUN
15. Old Testament book AMOS
16. Far from perfect ERROR PRONE
17. Prepare for a meal MAKE
18. Bakery aisle offerings ONION ROLLS
19. Burpee product PLANT SEEDS
21. Place to build PLOT
22. Get together AGREE
23. D-Day transport LST
24. Indicator of stress: Abbr. ITAL
25. 1997 Hawke/Thurman sci-fi film GATTACA
28. Cell terminal ANODE
29. Hummingbird’s pair? EMS
30. Guzzle CHUG
32. Kudos PROPS
33. Old, fading ad on a building GHOST SIGN
35. Jazz dance STOMP
37. “Aaugh!” OH NO!
38. Avoid, as an issue BEG
41. Crystal of country GAYLE
42. Poisonous plant in the nightshade family HENBANE
44. How some data is backed up ON CD
45. Low-fat meat source EMU
48. Busters NARCS
49. Psalm words O GOD
50. Plan Z? LAST RESORT
53. Most elementary level GROUND ZERO
55. Cyan relative AQUA
56. Putty base LINSEED OIL
57. Crave, with “for” LUST
58. Newark neighbor EAST ORANGE
59. Nantes noodle? TETE

Down
1. Agitated state RAMPAGE
2. Mixture AMALGAM
3. Mario game racers GO-KARTS
4. Online discussion venue USENET
5. Storms of the ’90s GEOS
6. Alençon’s department ORNE
7. Fourth-largest moon of Uranus ARIEL
8. Range protectors HOODS
9. Physicist Mach ERNST
10. Diamond birthstone mo. APR
11. Surprise with a visit DROP IN ON
12. Antique shop furniture item ROLLTOP
13. Vents UNLOADS
14. Get cozy NESTLE
20. “I want to learn” TEACH ME
26. Ocean turbulence CHOP
27. It borders It. AUS
28. French battle site in WWI ARGONNE
31. “Little modified Pon-Pon” in a 1964 hit GTO
32. Needle source PINE
33. Valuable particles GOLD DUST
34. Proctor’s warning SHH!
35. Wine-and-fruit beverage SANGRIA
36. Barons TYCOONS
38. Bernini’s genre BAROQUE
39. Coat, in a way ENCRUST
40. Develop over time, as an idea GESTATE
41. Android developer GOOGLE
43. Volcanic rock BASALT
45. Superior ELDER
46. Tribute maker MAZDA
47. Apply to USE ON
51. Course with many angles, briefly TRIG
52. Something to fill ROLE
54. Hero in a virtual reality film trilogy NEO

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20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 6 Feb 16, Saturday”

  1. Finished, 5 errors. Mostly things I got wrong in the grid. A surprising effort to me, indeed.

    Onward to the Sunday grid.

  2. Would 58 Across EAST ORANGE be considered a natick? How anyone not from New Jersey would know this answer is beyond me. I live twenty minutes from Newark and it took me a while to get it, not knowing some of the crosses like NEO or MAZDA.

    By the way, Newark was one of the last attempts by the early Puritans to create a city of God in the New World — "New Ark." In 1666 a group of them came down the Passaic River and disembarked, only to be driven back into their boats by indignant Native Americans. They soon returned better armed, and gunfire has been going off in the town ever since.

  3. I actually found this grid to be easier than Thursday's or Friday's although a couple of clues "puzzled" me. Wouldn't "baroque" be considered a style, rather than a genre? Or are style and genre synonymous?

    Why is it that Saturday's grids almost always lack a theme? Just tradition?

  4. @JustJoel
    That's a fine point you're making, but I'd tend to agree. When I first saw the clue I thought "sculpture" as opposed to, say, oil painting or fresco painting. I'd take those to be genres of visual art, whereas baroque is a particular historical style.

  5. Not bad for a Silkie. It's no small victory when I "merely" double Bill's time on any puzzle. Had hemlock before HENBANE, but ARGONNE straightened me out.

    Is this Glenn's fault for mentioning Barry yesterday, or did he have inside knowledge this was coming?

    Just how many moons are orbiting Uranus?? Grade school joke, but I couldn't resist…

    @macaronijack
    It's only a Natick where 2 words intersect that no normal person would know either answer. In theory EAST ORANGE wouldn't be a natick bacause it was gettable via crosses.

    @justjoel
    I always thought of style and genre as synonymous but I'm hardly an expert in those things.
    And – Saturdays never have themes. It's a law mandated by the crossword council in The Hague….I guess

    Best –

  6. Forgot – Would it be ironic if I had to Google the answer for 41D? Or would it only be ironic if I did it at a bus stop? 🙂 (that was for macaronijack)

    Best –

  7. "Why is it that Saturday's grids almost always lack a theme? Just tradition?"

    Well that and the general tradition that the Friday/Saturday grids mostly be "challenge" grids. It could be seen that having a theme in a crossword might lessen the difficulty as once the solver figures out the theme, the rest of the theme answers would fall pretty quickly. Or at least certain letters would fall pretty quickly.

    You could go back through this week's puzzles and knock down a lot of the grids if you know what to look for. Like with yesterday's grids, I got the two on the bottom and suspected that they made more sense with "town" after them (seeing it very quickly as I paged to the comments nailed it down for me). So suspecting more of the clues fit that in a logical sequence, the rest of the outer clues fell pretty quickly. Same goes for the other grids that have themes. If you can see an possible "theme" answer with a logical pattern, you could probably apply it to the others and get a leg-up.

  8. @Jeff
    "Is this Glenn's fault for mentioning Barry yesterday, or did he have inside knowledge this was coming?"

    Again, spotting patterns more or less. Silk never does any other grids besides Saturdays and appears roughly every two weeks, so just made the observation that I haven't seen him lately since that much time has passed.

  9. @macaronijack

    Generally, one could consider EASTORANGE a Natick clue. The thing of it though is that a pure Natick has to be an intersection where two things are put that the average person wouldn't have a chance to know. The closest group is 35D-58A in that sequence, since 35D would be pretty esoteric to those who haven't played with mixed drinks or studied "Potent Potables" for a tryout on Jeopardy. Admittedly most of my problem with late week puzzles is lack of knowledge, so I'm quite sympathetic.

    FWIW, if I had to call out a Natick in this one, it would be 28D-42A, since I haven't heard of either one personally and not sure most would know either one (specific WWI knowledge or specific horticulture knowledge?). I had ARGOM?? for 28D, but 42A turned out to be a wrong answer (HEMLOCK) along with 52D (HOLE), so the whole thing was pretty locked up until I started looking up things in that area.
    Of course, if I knew about ARGONNE, the rest would have clarified itself pretty quickly, save 42A. Lack of knowledge is still better than an answer you should have gotten but didn't, IMO

  10. @Jeff
    My head is still spinning from the last time that came up. Here's another one — more clever that discombobulating, but I think it's brilliant:
    Q: What does the "B." in Benoit B. Mandlebrot stand for?
    A.: Benoit B. Mandlebrot.

  11. Just plain disagree that EAST ORANGE is a natick. A natick is not simply an uncommone answer not many people would know. A natick requires the intersection of 2 such words.

    @macaronijack
    Where do you get these things? That's an infinite loop, correct?…or an infinite embedded loop? Not sure what the correct terminology would be, but I get it

  12. @Glenn
    Thanks for that explanation. I was also wondering if there's a "crossword word" for a really resistant solution. This time or me it was 5 Across, where I had 8 out of 10 letters and still couldn't get it. Obviously I don't know baseball.

  13. @Jeff
    It makes a fractal out of his name, which is the area of math he was famous for. As for where I get this stuff, well, one day I was waiting at a bus stop . . . .

  14. I never comment here (although I do enjoy's Bill's blog), but 17 Across – MAKE was one of the worst clues/answers I've ever seen in an LA Times Puzzle and I came here to vent.

  15. @macaronijack
    Totally missed the mathemetician part of that reference. Better than I realized.

    @ArashD
    I'd talk about that with you, but I have to go make lunch…. 🙂

  16. Successful fill, but it was preceded by a long period of head scratching when it came to 5 Down/Across. When I finally got "go ahead" for the start of 5 across that gave me "Geo's" for 5 Down.

    As to Baroque as a genre I would find it to me used more commonly when referring to Baroque music, but it does get used when describing art at times so think it's a legitimate clue/answer – especially for a Saturday grid.

  17. @Jeff
    Your question had me actually going to the dictionary to check that the word was really there. Of course it had to be, yet what could be more absurd? But necessary redundancies are apparently a big deal in the field of engineering.

  18. Hi folks, I believe I'm the lone female here today, or did I miss someone?
    This grid was fun, because I came here to read the comments first! Then I read some of Bill's blog, and I quickly lost track of how many answers I appropriated before turning to the puzzle itself.
    THAT'S how to deal with Mr. Silk, IMO!
    I'm going to look up the word "word," myself.
    Be well ~~™

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