LA Times Crossword 22 Jan 19, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Punctuation Mark

Themed answers each start with a punctuation mark:

  • 58A. What ends many a line, and what begins each of the puzzle’s three other long answers : PUNCTUATION MARK
  • 17A. Mortgage check, say : PERIODIC PAYMENT (giving “period”)
  • 23A. Brit’s sausage-with-potatoes dish : BANGERS AND MASH (giving “bang”)
  • 49A. 42-7, say, in an NFL game : COMMANDING LEAD (giving “comma”)

Bill’s time: 6m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Senegal’s capital : DAKAR

The Republic of Senegal is a country on the far western coast of Africa. For many years Senegal was a French colony, gaining independence in 1960. The capital of Senegal is Dakar. Dakar is located on the Cap-Vert Peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, thus making it the westernmost capital on the African mainland.

6. Website for techies : CNET

c|net is an excellent technology website. c|net started out in 1994 as a television network specializing in technology news. The host of “American Idol”, Ryan Seacrest, started off his career as host of a c|net show.

14. 2018 romaine lettuce concern : E COLI

Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.

17. Mortgage check, say : PERIODIC PAYMENT (giving “period”)

Our word “mortgage” comes from the Old French “mort gaige” which translated as “dead pledge”. Such an arrangement was so called because the “pledge” to repay “dies” when the debt is cleared.

The punctuation mark used to terminate a sentence is called a “period” in American English, and a “full stop” in British English. The same punctuation mark has no symbol in Morse code, so the word STOP is used instead in telegraphy.

20. Italian three : TRE

“One, two, three” in Italian is “uno, due, tre”.

21. Classified ad abbr. : EEO

“Equal Employment Opportunity” (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was set up by the Civil Rights Act. Title VII of the Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion.

23. Brit’s sausage-with-potatoes dish : BANGERS AND MASH (giving “bang”)

Sausages are often referred to as “bangers” on the other side of the pond. The term “banger” is a reference to the tendency of the sausage to burst open with a bang while cooking. The rather tasty dish called “bangers and mash” is traditional British fare and comprises sausages with mash potatoes smothered in brown gravy.

An exclamation mark is sometimes referred to as a “bang”. The term comes from printer’s jargon.

30. Benelux locale: Abbr. : EUR

Back in 1944, the three neighboring European countries of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg made a customs cooperation agreement. This was known as the Benelux Agreement, with “Benelux” coming from the first two-three letters of the participating countries’ names. The term “Benelux” is now used to describe several more agreements and structures shared by the three nations.

31. Furniture chain also known for Swedish meatballs : IKEA

Every IKEA store features a restaurant that serves traditional Swedish food, including Swedish meatballs and lingonberry jam. Each store also has a Swedish Food Market where customers can purchase specialty foods from Sweden.

32. Wash. Nats’ div. : NLE

National League East (NLE)

The Washington Nationals (“Nats”) baseball team started out life as the Montreal Expos in 1969, and were the first Major League Baseball team in Canada. The Expos moved to Washington in 2005 becoming the Nats. There are only two Major Leagues teams that have never played in a World Series, one being the Mariners and the other the Nats.

33. “Encore!” : AGAIN!

“Encore!” is French for “again, one more time!”, and is a shout that an audience member will make here in North America to request another song, say. But, the term is not used this way in France. Rather, the audience will shout “Bis!”, which is the Italian for “twice!”

36. Barbara of TV’s “Mission: Impossible” : BAIN

The actress Barbara Bain is perhaps best known for playing the sultry Cinnamon Carter on the TV show “MIssion: Impossible”. One of Cinnamon’s cohorts was Rollin Hand played by Martin Landau, who was Bain’s husband at that time. Bain and Landau also starred together in the sci-fi series “Space: 1999”, which ran in the mid-seventies for a couple of years.

The “Mission: Impossible” TV show featured the following line close to the start of each episode:

As always, should you or any of your I.M. Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.

And then the tape self-destructed. Great stuff …

37. Patriarch from Eden : ADAM

According to the Bible, God created Adam from “the dust of the ground”. Eve was created as Adam’s companion, from Adam’s rib.

42. Highland caps : TAMS

A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”) but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of the Robert Burns poem “Tam O’Shanter”.

45. “I don’t mind eels / Except as meals” poet Nash : OGDEN

Ogden Nash was a poet from Rye, New York who is remembered for his light and quirky verse. Nash had over 500 such works published between 1931 and 1972.

46. __ nutshell: briefly : IN A

The phrase “in a nutshell” is used to mean “in a very brief statement”. The idea is that very few few words are small enough to fit “in a nutshell”. The expression has been around for a very long time, and was used by Pliny the Elder in 77 CE. He referred to a (probably fictional) copy of the Iliad that was written on parchment with such small handwriting that it fit “in a nutshell”.

48. Évian water : EAU

Évian-les-Bains (or simply Évian) is in the very east of France, on the shores of Lake Geneva directly across the lake from Lausanne, Switzerland. As one might imagine, Évian is the home of Évian mineral water, the most successful business in town. Personally, I can’t stand the distinctive taste of Évian water …

49. 42-7, say, in an NFL game : COMMANDING LEAD (giving “comma”)

Our word “comma” comes into English via Latin from the Greek “komma” meaning “clause in a sentence”.

55. Eggy drink : NOG

It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “eggnog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

56. Key lime __ : PIE

The species of citrus fruit called a key lime is so named due to its association with the Florida Keys.

64. Citizenship recitation : OATH

The current text of the Oath of Allegiance reads:

I hereby declare, “on oath”(or “and solemnly affirm”), that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.

The last four words are optional.

65. Bad day for Caesar : IDES

There were three important days in each month of the old Roman calendar. These days originally depended on the cycles of the moon but were eventually “fixed” by law. “Kalendae” were the first days of each month, originally the days of the new moon. “Nonae” were originally the days of the half moon. And “idus” (the ides) was originally the day of the full moon, eventually fixed at the 15th day of a month. Well, actually the ides were the 15th day of March, May, July and October. For all other months, the ides fell on the 13th. Go figure …

Julius Caesar was assassinated on the 15th (the ides) of March, 44 BC. He was attacked by a group of sixty people in the Roman Senate, and was stabbed 23 times. The first to strike a blow was Servilius Casca, who attacked Caesar from behind and stabbed him in the neck. In Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”, Casca utters the words “Speak, hands, for me!” just before making the fatal blow. The following line, uttered by Caesar, is more famous though: “Et tu, Brute?”

67. Cancún cash : 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”.

Cancún is a city and island on the east coast of Mexico, on the other side of the Yucatan Channel from Cuba. The city is growing rapidly due to its booming tourist business. Cancún is the center of what’s often called “The Mexican Caribbean” or the “Mayan Riviera”.

Down

1. Cabinet div. : DEPT

In the Westminster system, the Cabinet is a group of sitting politicians chosen by the Prime Minister to head up government departments and also to participate collectively in major governmental decisions in all areas. In the US system, the Cabinet is made up not of sitting politicians, but rather of non-legislative individuals who are considered to have expertise in a particular area. The Cabinet members in the US system tend to have more of an advisory role outside of their own departments.

2. Biting : ACERB

“Acerb” is a variant of “acerbic”, with both terms meaning “sour, bitter-tasting, acidic”.

3. South __, 2018 Olympics site : KOREA

The 2018 Winter Olympic Games was held in Pyeongchang, a county in the north of South Korea.The games were somewhat overshadowed by political tension in the region in the wake of the testing of nuclear weapons by North Korea. With several nations threatening to pull out of the games due to security concerns, the North and South Korean governments made the gesture of having their athletes participate in the opening ceremony under a Korean Unification Flag.

4. Boxing legend : ALI

After Muhammad Ali passed away in June 2016, there was a large prayer service and funeral procession in his hometown of Louisville. The pallbearers included actor Will Smith and boxer Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson. Eulogies were delivered by Ali’s wife Lonnie, Billy Crystal, Bryant Gumbel and former President Bill Clinton.

5. 2016 Olympics city : RIO

Even though the 2016 Olympic Games was a summer competition, it was held in Rio de Janeiro in winter. As Rio is in the southern hemisphere, the opening ceremony on 5th August 2016 fell in the local winter season. The 2016 games was also the first to be held in South America, and the first to be hosted by a Portuguese-speaking country.

6. Colonial news source : CRIER

Town criers make public announcements on the streets, usually shouting “Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!” to attract attention. The term “oyez” derives from the Anglo-Norman word for “listen” and is used in this instance to me “Hear ye!”

7. Capital of Cyprus : NICOSIA

Nicosia is the capital of the island nation of Cyprus. Given the location of Cyprus in the eastern part of the Mediterranean, Nicosia is the most southeasterly of all capital cities in the European Union.

8. Old Rom. ruler : EMP

Ancient Rome went through three distinct periods. From 753 to 509 BC, Rome was a kingdom founded by the legendary Romulus. From 509 to 27 BC, Rome was a republic. The Roman Republic started with the overthrow of the last monarch Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. He was replaced by two elected consuls who were advised by a senate. The Republic evolved over time, but came to an end when Octavian expanded his power and declared himself “First Citizen”. Octavian effectively became Rome’s first emperor, and took the name “Caesar Augustus”. The “Fall of the Western Roman Empire” took place in the 5th century, formally ending in 476 CE when the last emperor, Romulus Augustus, was deposed. The Eastern Roman Empire survived as the Byzantine Empire, which was centered on Constantinople.

9. Airport screening org. : TSA

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

12. RR stop : STN

A station (“stn.” or “sta.”) is a railroad (RR) or bus stop.

13. Typical Nick Jr. watcher : TOT

Nick Jr. is a Nickelodeon pay channel that is aimed at children under six years old. The channel was launched 1999 as “Noggin”, and was relaunched in 2009 as “Nick Jr.” at the same time that “The N” was relaunched as “TeenNick”.

18. Venison source : DEER

Venison is the meat of a deer. In days of yore, the term “venison” applied not just to deer, but to any large game. The word ultimately derives from the Latin “venare” meaning “to hunt”.

19. “Patience you must have” Jedi master : YODA

Yoda is one of the most beloved characters of the “Star Wars” series of films. Yoda’s voice is provided by the great modern-day puppeteer Frank Oz of “Muppets” fame.

24. Bundestag nos : NEINS

The German parliament is known as the “Bundestag”, and has been since its founding in 1949. The Bundestag meets in the magnificent Reichstag building in Berlin.

26. Part of SWAK : A KISS

“SWAK” is an initialism standing for “sealed with a kiss”. SWAK, and the related SWALK (sealed with a loving kiss), are postal acronyms that originated during WWII.

27. Endangered Hawaiian goose : NENE

The nene is a bird that is native to Hawaii, and is also known as the Hawaiian goose. The name “nene” is imitative of its call. When Captain Cook landed on the islands in 1778, there were 25,000 nene living there. By 1950, the number was reduced by hunting to just 30 birds. Conservation efforts in recent years have been somewhat successful. The nene was named State Bird of Hawaii in 1957.

33. Heirloom storage spot : ATTIC

An attic or loft is a room or space located below the roof of a building. The term “attic” is a shortened form of “attic story”, the uppermost story or level of a house. This term “attic story” originally applied to a low, decorative level built on top of the uppermost story behind a building’s decorative facade. This use of decoration at the top of buildings was common in ancient Greece, and was particularly important in the Attica style. That Attica style was so called because it originated in the historical region of Attica that encompassed the city of Athens. And that’s how our attics are linked to ancient Greece.

34. Organic fertilizer : GUANO

Guano is the droppings of seabirds, bats and seals. It is prized as fertilizer as it doesn’t really smell, and contains high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen. The word “guano” means “seabird droppings” in the Quechua language spoken in the Andes region of South America.

35. Arsenal contents : ARMAMENTS

Our word “arsenal” comes from the Italian “arzenale”, a work adapted from the Arabic for “workshop”. There was a large wharf in Venice called the Arzenale that became associated with the storage of weapons and ammunition, and this led to our contemporary usage of “arsenal”.

39. SpongeBob, e.g. : TOON

SpongeBob SquarePants is a cartoon character in a Nickelodeon television series. Spongebob first appeared in 1999, and he “lives in a pineapple under the sea”. The character was created by marine biologist, cartoonist and animator Stephen Hillenburg.

41. What Frosty’s eyes are made of : COAL

“Frosty the Snowman” is a song that was recorded first by Gene Autry, in 1950. The song was specifically written in the hope that it would become a follow-up hit to Autry’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” that topped the charts the previous year.

47. “W” on a light bulb : WATT

James Watt was a Scottish inventor. He figured prominently in the Industrial Revolution in Britain, largely due to the improvements he made to the fledgling steam engine. The SI unit of power is called the watt, and was named in his honor.

48. Thick & Fluffy waffle brand : EGGO

Eggo is a line of frozen waffles made by Kellogg’s. When they were introduced in the 1930s, the name “Eggo” was chosen to promote the “egginess” of the batter. “Eggo” replaced “Froffles”, the original name chosen by melding “frozen” and “waffles”.

50. Like 29-Down : MACHO

A macho man is one showing pride in his masculinity. “Macho” is a Spanish word for “male animal”.

53. Mournful song : DIRGE

A dirge is a slow and mournful piece of music, like perhaps a funeral hymn.

59. Federation in OPEC : UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates (states) in the Middle East. Included in the seven are Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with the city of Abu Dhabi being the UAE capital and cultural center.

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

60. One-eighty : UIE

Hang a “uey, uie”, make a “u-turn,180”.

62. Org. with Nets … and nets : NBA

The NBA’s Brooklyn Nets were the New Jersey Nets until 2012, and were based in Newark. Prior to 1977, the team was known as the New York Nets and played in various locations on Long Island. Ten years earlier, the Nets were called the New Jersey Americans and were headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey.

63. Dude : MAC

“Mac” is a casual and generic form of address to a man. The term comes from the Gaelic “mac” that is commonly used in Scottish and Irish names, and which means “son of”.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Senegal’s capital : DAKAR
6. Website for techies : CNET
10. Talk show runner : HOST
14. 2018 romaine lettuce concern : E COLI
15. Drinking glass edges : RIMS
16. “What’s gotten __ you?” : INTO
17. Mortgage check, say : PERIODIC PAYMENT (giving “period”)
20. Italian three : TRE
21. Classified ad abbr. : EEO
22. “How exciting!” : OOH!
23. Brit’s sausage-with-potatoes dish : BANGERS AND MASH (giving “bang”)
30. Benelux locale: Abbr. : EUR
31. Furniture chain also known for Swedish meatballs : IKEA
32. Wash. Nats’ div. : NLE
33. “Encore!” : AGAIN!
36. Barbara of TV’s “Mission: Impossible” : BAIN
37. Patriarch from Eden : ADAM
38. Calls on for help : TURNS TO
40. Stash out of sight : SECRETE
42. Highland caps : TAMS
43. Blockheads : OAFS
45. “I don’t mind eels / Except as meals” poet Nash : OGDEN
46. __ nutshell: briefly : IN A
47. Had on : WORE
48. Évian water : EAU
49. 42-7, say, in an NFL game : COMMANDING LEAD (giving “comma”)
54. Consume : EAT
55. Eggy drink : NOG
56. Key lime __ : PIE
58. What ends many a line, and what begins each of the puzzle’s three other long answers : PUNCTUATION MARK
64. Citizenship recitation : OATH
65. Bad day for Caesar : IDES
66. Intrude rudely, with “in” : BARGE
67. Cancún cash : PESO
68. Whirling current : EDDY
69. Pretended to be : ACTED

Down

1. Cabinet div. : DEPT
2. Biting : ACERB
3. South __, 2018 Olympics site : KOREA
4. Boxing legend : ALI
5. 2016 Olympics city : RIO
6. Colonial news source : CRIER
7. Capital of Cyprus : NICOSIA
8. Old Rom. ruler : EMP
9. Airport screening org. : TSA
10. Greeting mouthed to a stadium cam : HI, MOM!
11. Like home-run-robbing catches : ONE-HANDED
12. RR stop : STN
13. Typical Nick Jr. watcher : TOT
18. Venison source : DEER
19. “Patience you must have” Jedi master : YODA
24. Bundestag nos : NEINS
25. Tries hard (for) : GUNS
26. Part of SWAK : A KISS
27. Endangered Hawaiian goose : NENE
28. Bluish gray : SLATE
29. Studly dudes : HE-MEN
33. Heirloom storage spot : ATTIC
34. Organic fertilizer : GUANO
35. Arsenal contents : ARMAMENTS
36. Lumber unit : BOARD
37. Bicker : ARGUE
39. SpongeBob, e.g. : TOON
41. What Frosty’s eyes are made of : COAL
44. Made a misleading move : FEINTED
47. “W” on a light bulb : WATT
48. Thick & Fluffy waffle brand : EGGO
50. Like 29-Down : MACHO
51. Clamorous : NOISY
52. In different places : APART
53. Mournful song : DIRGE
57. Barely managed, with “out” : EKED
58. Drop by, with “in” : POP
59. Federation in OPEC : UAE
60. One-eighty : UIE
61. Do simple math : ADD
62. Org. with Nets … and nets : NBA
63. Dude : MAC

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17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 22 Jan 19, Tuesday”

    1. MMMM (it’s a music-themed meta grid): 26:49, no errors that I’m aware of. Meta solved. These come in on the easy end and increase in difficulty as the year goes, so this is a perfect time to get involved if you like meta puzzles.

  1. 18:58 no errors.
    I had to refer to “my notes” for bangers and mash and Nicosia.
    My paper, the Baltimore sun published the same NYT puzzle today as yesterday

  2. Good, fast start that never got much better when coming back after a two-hour
    hiatus. 0 errors, but 10 omissions for 95%, a shade low for a Tuesday. Got all
    all of the long ones except for the first half of the British dish. Just did not
    know the others and could not find any help from any of my sources. Overall, I thought it was a good puzzle; it even took Bill an extra minute. I had fun and 95 has always been an A to me.

  3. LAT: 8:01, no errors. Newsday: 5:19, no errors. WSJ: 8:34, no errors. CHE: 9:47, no errors. Jones: 20:15, no errors, but I had to guess at several things; not an easy one.

  4. I’m old enough, (and weird enough) to recall this story about Barbara Bain and the L.A. Times Sunday print edition. Since the near death by lack of advertisements there is no longer any danger to man nor beast by a thrown Sunday LA Times.
    ——————————————————————————————————————————
    A SUNDAY TIMES THROWN BY A NEWSBOY KILLED A DOG

    The unusual size and heft of the newspaper you are now reading became so pronounced in the mid-1980s that a popular story circulated that one particularly massive pre-Christmas edition–hurled by a carrier onto a front stoop–landed on a small dog and crushed it to death.

    The story originated with “Mission: Impossible” actress Barbara Bain, whose pooch was the alleged victim of the unintended bomb of award-winning newsprint. Writer Gregg Kilday, then a columnist for the Herald Examiner, says he heard Bain give a first-person account of the incident during a party at producer Allan Carr’s Hollywood home. Kilday reported the story a day later in print, and it quickly spread across the country and into myth.

    Now a writer with Entertainment Weekly, Kilday says, “She did tell it as a real story. There may have been an element of exaggeration in the way that actresses are capable of, but the story was so good I didn’t press her on it.”

    Bain’s business manager at the time phoned The Times to say that Kilday’s version was not true. Times’ officials later determined that it was possibly the carrier’s car, not the paper itself, that had killed the dog, whose exact size and breed were never revealed. Bain has declined to comment further on the incident that became the source of the story.

    Says Kilday: “It was a time when you were hearing people complaining about the Sunday paper, how fat it was, how it landed with such a thud, and [the story] definitely played into that.”

  5. No errors, no Googles. Too many sports questions (8).
    What kind of punctiotion mark is a BANG?
    Never heard of SWAK, though I was born during WWII.

    1. @Jane
      I am of a similar age as you. But in my younger days you put SWAK on the back of a letter to your special guy friend, sealed with a kiss.

  6. 10 mins 49 sec, no errors.
    Somebody explain to me how a “bang” is a punctuation mark of any kind. It flat out **isn’t**. Luckily, I’m a fan of bangers ‘n mash, so I got the fill correct regardless.

    Really annoying when the constructors get too damned cute for their own good, and worse, the editors indulge them.

    1. Well, despite your emphatic protestations, it most certainly is. See the following, under the heading “Slang and other names for the exclamation mark”:

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exclamation_mark

      I’m not a part of the group mentioned (the “hacker culture”), but, as a long-time computer programmer, I’ve certainly heard the usage.

      You might also want to check out “interrobang”, which combines a question mark with an exclamation mark.

      The fact that one of us hasn’t heard of a thing does not mean that it does not exist!

      (Bang! … 😜)

  7. 15:34. Struggled a bit with this one. I didn’t know BANG as another word for exclamation point.

    The original “Mission: Impossible” show was one of the best ever.

    Best –

  8. Greetings from the Night Watch!!😎

    No errors, but I almost fell over at what I THOUGHT was an error on the constructor’s part!!!😮 I thought SECRETE only meant “produce and discharge, ” like a gland, and that he’d confused it with SECRET, as in “hide away.” OMGEE!! Never saw an error like that in a puzzle!!!…. and I’m not seeing it now, cuz the dictionary does in fact have “hide away” as the second definition of SECRETE. 😮 Must apologize to ANYONE whom I ever corrected when I heard “I’m going to secrete this gift in the closet….”🤩

    Wonder if Mission: Impossible is available to stream anywhere. Never knew that Ms Bain was married to Martin Landau– love him.

    Be well~~😻

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