LA Times Crossword 23 Jan 19, Wednesday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Roland Huget
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Repeated Letters

Themed answers each stretch right across the grid, and include no REPEATED LETTERS:

  • 53A. Neither 20-, 34- nor 41-Across has any : REPEATED LETTERS
  • 20A. 2011 Steve Carell romcom : CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE
  • 34A. Rickety abode : TUMBLEDOWN SHACK
  • 41A. “Stop whining!” : DON’T BE SUCH A WIMP!

Bill’s time: 5m 36s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Soft ball : NERF

Nerf is soft material used in a whole series of toys designed for “safe” play indoors. The Nerf product is used to make darts, balls and ammunition for toy guns. “NERF” is an acronym, standing for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

5. Berkshire Hathaway headquarters city : OMAHA

Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska. It is located on the Missouri River, about 10 miles north of the mouth of the Platte River When Nebraska was still a territory Omaha was its capital, but when Nebraska achieved statehood the capital was moved to the city of Lincoln.

Berkshire Hathaway is the holding company that is controlled by Warren Buffett, the so-called “Oracle of Omaha”. Berkshire Hathaway is the eighth largest public company in the world.

10. Greenish-yellow pear : BOSC

Bosc is a cultivar of the European pear grown in the northwest of the United States. The Bosc is that pear with a skin the color of a potato, with a long neck. I always seem to use the potato as my point of reference. How Irish am I …?

14. Mine, in Montréal : A MOI

The original name of Montreal was Ville-Marie, meaning the City of Mary. Ville-Marie is now the name of a borough in the city, the borough which includes the downtown area and “Old Montreal”. The present-day city covers most of the Island of Montreal (in French, “Île de Montréal”) that is located where the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers meet. The name “Montreal” comes from the three-headed hill that dominates the island and is called “Mount Royal”.

15. Chicano rock band Los __ : LOBOS

Los Lobos are an American Chicano rock band, who released their first LP in 1978 and are still going strong today. The band’s name “Los Lobos” translates from Spanish as “The Wolves”.

16. “Enchanted” girl in a 2004 film : ELLA

“Ella Enchanted” is a fantasy novel written by Gail Carson Levine, and published in 1997. It is a retelling of the story of Cinderella, with lots of mythical creatures added. A film adaptation was released in 2004 that features Anne Hathaway in the title role.

17. Hors d’oeuvre cracker : RITZ

I’ve always liked Ritz crackers. They’ve been around since 1934 when they were introduced by Nabisco. The name Ritz was chosen because the marketing folks felt that the association with Ritz-Carlton would evoke images of wealth and the highlife.

An hors d’oeuvre is a first course in a meal. “Hors d’oeuvre” translates from French as “apart from the work”, really meaning “not the main course”.

20. 2011 Steve Carell romcom : CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE

“Crazy, Stupid, Love” is an entertaining 2011 romantic-comedy film with a great cast that includes Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone and Marisa Tomei.

The actor Steve Carell has achieved great success on both television and in movies. On the small screen, Carell came to prominence on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and then of as the lead in the US version of “The Office”. On the big screen, he starred in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”, “Evan Almighty”. My personal favorite Carell movie is 2007’s ”Dan in Real Life”, in which he stars opposite the wonderful Juliette Binoche.

25. Poseidon’s realm : SEA

Poseidon was the god of the sea in Greek mythology as well as the “Earth-Shaker”, the god responsible for earthquakes.

28. Lav, in Bath : LOO

Bath is a beautiful city in South West England of which I have very fond memories. Bath is an old Roman spa town, and the city’s name comes from the Roman baths that have been excavated and restored.

31. Federal bldgs. with mailboxes : POS

The US Postal Service (USPS) is a remarkable agency in many ways. For starters, the government’s right and responsibility to establish the Post Office is specifically called out in Article One of the US constitution. Also, the first postmaster general was none other than Benjamin Franklin. And, the USPS operates over 200,000 vehicles, which is the largest vehicle fleet in the world.

34. Rickety abode : TUMBLEDOWN SHACK

Something describes as rickety is lacking in stability and is liable to fall down. The adjective “rickety” arose in late 17th century and, unkindly I think, refers to the disorder known as rickets. Rickets is mainly a childhood disease that causes soft bones that can deform.

38. Diva’s time to shine : ARIA

The term “diva” comes to us from Latin via Italian. “Diva” is the feminine form of “divus” meaning “divine one”. The word is used in Italy to mean “goddess” or “fine lady”, and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

39. Savings plan inits. : IRA

Individual retirement account (IRA)

40. Fair-haired sci-fi race : ELOI

In the 1895 novel by H. G. Wells called “The Time Machine”, there are two races that the hero encounter in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet’s surface. The Morlocks are a domineering race living underground who use the Eloi as food.

41. “Stop whining!” : DON’T BE SUCH A WIMP!

Our term “wimp”, describing a “timid person”, is probably an alteration of “whimper”, the sound that such an individual might make.

46. Chinese menu surname : TSO

General Tso’s chicken is an American creation, and a dish often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zongtang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

48. Pine-__: cleaning brand : SOL

Pine-Sol first came on the market in 1929, and is a cleaner based on pine oil.

49. Old Nintendo game console: Abbr. : NES

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to to 1995. The NES was the biggest selling gaming console of the era. Nintendo replaced the NES with Wii, which is also the biggest-selling game console in the world.

50. UFO pilots, supposedly : ETS

One might speculate that an unidentified flying object (UFO) is flown by an extraterrestrial (ET).

51. Nintendo game console : WII

Introduced in 2006, Nintendo’s Wii quickly became the biggest-selling game console in the world.

64. Compete for the America’s Cup : SAIL

The America’s Cup is a trophy that has been awarded for yacht racing since 1851. It was first presented to the winner of a race around the Isle of Wight in England that was won by a schooner called “America”. The trophy was eventually renamed to “The America’s Cup” in honor of that first race winner.

68. Aussie greeting : G’DAY

In Australia, one might say “G’day” to one’s mate/pal.

69. Part of LED : DIODE

A Light Emitting Diode (LED) is a specialized form of semiconductor that when switched on releases photons (light). LEDs were used in early digital watches, and are getting more and more popular even though their use in electronic equipment is fading away. LEDs are used now as a replacement for the much less efficient tungsten light bulb. I replaced all of my tungsten Xmas lights a few years ago and saved a lot on my electricity bill.

Down

1. DEA operative : NARC

“Narc” is a slang term for a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. “Narc” is short for “narcotics officer”. Narcs might work for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

2. House of Saud bigwig : EMIR

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest Arab country in the Middle East and is the world’s largest oil producer, home to the world’s largest oil reserves. The Saudi dynasty started in central Arabia in 1744 when the secular leader Muhammad ibn Saud joined forces with the Islamic scholar and Imam, Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab. At the time, Saud was a ruler of a town near Riyadh and he was determined to bring “true” Islam to the Arabian peninsula. Since 1744 the fortunes of the Saudi family have risen and fallen, but it is that same family who rules what we know today as Saudi Arabia.

3. Duty roster : ROTA

“Rota”, meaning “roster of names”, isn’t a word that I hear much in the US. We use it all the time back in Ireland.

5. Part of a comfort simile : OLD SHOE

As comfortable as an old shoe.

6. Mad Magazine cartoonist Drucker : MORT

Mort Drucker is a caricaturist and longtime contributor to “Mad” magazine. He worked with “Mad” for over five decades, starting in 1956.

7. Leigh Hunt’s “__ Ben Adhem” : ABOU

Abou Ben Adhem, also known as Ibrahim Bin Adham, was an Arab Muslim saint. He was made famous in the western world with the publication in 1838 of the poem “Abou Ben Adhem” that was composed by the English poet James Henry Leigh Hunt.

9. “Take two __ and call me … ” : ASPIRIN

“Aspirin” used to be a brand name for the drug acetylsalicylic acid. Aspirin was introduced by the German drug company Bayer AG in the late 1800s. As part of the war reparations paid by Germany after WWI, Bayer AG lost the use of the trademark “Aspirin” (as well as the trademark Heroin!) and it became a generic term.

10. Kind of dancer : BELLY

The Middle Eastern dance referred to in Arabic as “Raqs Sharqi” was known in French as “danse du ventre” meaning “belly dance”. The English and French name is a reference to the abdominal movements used, and the tradition of performing with a bare midriff.

11. Breakfast spread : OLEO

Emperor Louis Napoleon III of France announced a competition to develop a substitute for butter, a substitute that would be more accessible to the lower classes and more practical for the armed forces. A French chemist called Hippolyte Mege-Mouries came up with something he called oleomargarine in 1869, which was eventually manufactured under the trade name “margarine”. The name “oleomargarine” also gives us our generic term “oleo”.

12. Balkan native : SLAV

The Slavic peoples are in the majority in communities covering over half of Europe. This large ethnic group is traditionally broken down into three smaller groups:

  • the West Slavic (including Czechs and Poles)
  • the East Slavic (including Russians and Ukrainians)
  • the South Slavic (including Bulgarians and Serbs)

The Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe is usually referred to as “the Balkans”. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains located in present-day Bulgaria and Serbia. “Balkan” is Bulgarian for “mountain”.

22. Beaver creations : DAMS

Beavers build dams so that they can live in and around the slower and deeper water that builds up above the dam. This deeper water provides more protection for the beavers from predators such as bears. Beavers are nocturnal animals and do all their construction work at night.

25. Town, in Germany : STADT

“Stadt” is the German word for “city” or “town”.

26. Irish banknotes : EUROS

Euro coins carry a design on one side that indicates the country of issue (Ireland uses a harp, for example). Euro banknotes, on the other hand, lack any such indication. The banknotes all feature stylized architectural designs of bridges, arches and gateways that reflect the large number of historic structures found throughout the continent.

27. Protein-building acid : AMINO

Amino acids are essential to life in many ways, not least of which is their use as the building blocks of proteins. Nine amino acids are considered “essential” for humans. These nine must be included in the diet as they cannot be synthesized in the body.

30. Military plane acronym : AWACS

When the British developed radar in WWII, they also came up with an airborne system that they actually deployed during the war. In 1944 the US Navy commissioned a similar system, and so launched the first American Airborne Early Warning (AEW) system, also before the war was over. The more modern term for the technology is “Airborne Warning and Control System”, or “AWACS” for short.

31. McCain’s running mate : PALIN

When John McCain selected Sarah Palin as candidate for Vice President in the 2008 presidential election, she became the first Alaskan to go on the national ticket for a major party. She also became the first woman nominated for Vice President by the Republican Party.

32. “__, all ye faithful … ” : O COME

The lovely Christmas hymn “Adeste Fideles” (entitled “O Come, All Ye Faithful” in English) was written by one John Francis Wade in the 13th century. Well, he wrote the original four verses, with four more verses being added over time. A kind blog reader pointed out to me that the English translation is in fact a little “off”. The term “adeste” best translates from Latin as “be present, attend”, rather that “come”. The verb “come” appears later in the lyrics in “venite adoremus”, meaning “come, let us worship”.

36. Tulsa sch. named for an evangelist : ORU

Oral Roberts University (ORU) is a private school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. ORU was founded relatively recently, in 1963 by the late televangelist Oral Roberts. The campus includes a Prayer Tower at its center, a spectacular glass and steel structure designed by architect Frank Wallace. The tower includes an observation deck, and is a popular tourist attraction. The school’s sports teams are known as the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles.

42. Test version : BETA

In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the alpha version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a beta and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, hopefully bug-free.

43. London area that includes Canary Wharf : EAST END

Canary Wharf is a commercial estate in the East End of London that is located in a bend in the River Thames known as the Isle of Dogs. The estate takes its name from the original Canary Wharf, which was a berth built for the docking of ships laden with fruit from the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean. Today’s Canary Wharf is a major financial center, and is home to some of the tallest buildings in Europe.

55. Pocket bread : PITA

Pita is a lovely bread from Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Pita is usually round, and has a “pocket” in the center. The pocket is created by steam that puffs up the dough during cooking leaving a void when the bread cools.

56. Small decorative case : ETUI

An etui is an ornamental case used to hold small items, in particular sewing needles. We imported both the case design and the word “etui” from France. The French also have a modern usage of “etui”, using the term to depict a case for carrying CDs.

57. Carpentry groove : DADO

In the world of joinery, a dado is a slot cut into a piece of wood across the grain. On the other hand, a groove is a slot cut with the grain.

59. French waters : EAUX

“Eau” (plural “eaux”) is the French for “water”.

61. Malamute’s burden : SLED

The Alaskan Malamute was bred as a working dog, and in particular to pull sleds. The breed takes its name from the Mahlemut tribe of Inuit people. The Alaskan Malamute was designated as Alaska’s official state dog in 2010.

Advertisement

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Soft ball : NERF
5. Berkshire Hathaway headquarters city : OMAHA
10. Greenish-yellow pear : BOSC
14. Mine, in Montréal : A MOI
15. Chicano rock band Los __ : LOBOS
16. “Enchanted” girl in a 2004 film : ELLA
17. Hors d’oeuvre cracker : RITZ
18. Lose tautness : DROOP
19. Logician’s error, maybe : LEAP
20. 2011 Steve Carell romcom : CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE
23. Slangy affirmative : YEH
24. Light beam : RAY
25. Poseidon’s realm : SEA
28. Lav, in Bath : LOO
30. Zero in : AIM
31. Federal bldgs. with mailboxes : POS
34. Rickety abode : TUMBLEDOWN SHACK
38. Diva’s time to shine : ARIA
39. Savings plan inits. : IRA
40. Fair-haired sci-fi race : ELOI
41. “Stop whining!” : DON’T BE SUCH A WIMP!
46. Chinese menu surname : TSO
47. Put away : EAT
48. Pine-__: cleaning brand : SOL
49. Old Nintendo game console: Abbr. : NES
50. UFO pilots, supposedly : ETS
51. Nintendo game console : WII
53. Neither 20-, 34- nor 41-Across has any : REPEATED LETTERS
62. Similar in nature : AKIN
63. Online biz : ETAIL
64. Compete for the America’s Cup : SAIL
65. Fish catchers : NETS
66. Art class subjects : NUDES
67. Stubborn sort : MULE
68. Aussie greeting : G’DAY
69. Part of LED : DIODE
70. Marked for deletion : EXED

Down

1. DEA operative : NARC
2. House of Saud bigwig : EMIR
3. Duty roster : ROTA
4. Like soda pop : FIZZY
5. Part of a comfort simile : OLD SHOE
6. Mad Magazine cartoonist Drucker : MORT
7. Leigh Hunt’s “__ Ben Adhem” : ABOU
8. Earring style : HOOP
9. “Take two __ and call me … ” : ASPIRIN
10. Kind of dancer : BELLY
11. Breakfast spread : OLEO
12. Balkan native : SLAV
13. Superman accessory : CAPE
21. Holler : YELL
22. Beaver creations : DAMS
25. Town, in Germany : STADT
26. Irish banknotes : EUROS
27. Protein-building acid : AMINO
29. Poet with dedication? : ODIST
30. Military plane acronym : AWACS
31. McCain’s running mate : PALIN
32. “__, all ye faithful … ” : O COME
33. Decides not to attend : SKIPS
35. Baseball club : BAT
36. Tulsa sch. named for an evangelist : ORU
37. Use an axe on : HEW
42. Test version : BETA
43. London area that includes Canary Wharf : EAST END
44. “Is there another way?” : HOW ELSE?
45. Landed : ALIT
50. Itty : EENSY
52. Answer at the door : IT’S ME
53. Pealed : RANG
54. Scratched (out) : EKED
55. Pocket bread : PITA
56. Small decorative case : ETUI
57. Carpentry groove : DADO
58. Wasn’t honest : LIED
59. French waters : EAUX
60. Stir up : RILE
61. Malamute’s burden : SLED

Advertisement

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 23 Jan 19, Wednesday”

    1. I also used S for the plural of French waters.

      Put STUD for HOOP and that messed up four other words. Final tally was
      4 omissions and 9 errors for 93% solved correctly. Actually counted 185
      total squares; one other actual count was 186, so will use one of these to
      calculate our % solved in the future. Only changes result by 1%. Pretty
      good for us overall.

  1. I didn’t think 57d dado sounded right. New one for me. This week I really enjoyed the puzzles. But going back to Monday with 48d, Yare. A lot of boaters live here and I did ask some boater friends about Yare, shook their heads, but one gentleman said it sounds like a pirate term or from long ago. Funny so did I.

    1. Re YARE
      In the movie Philadelphia Story, Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn agree more than once that the yacht they owned in their earlier marriage was YARE. “My…she was yare”. Great movie.

  2. No Googling, but had one big fat error that appeared to work.
    Had OcAlA instead of OMAHA. Didn’t know Berkshire Hathaway headquarters from Adam, but also didn’t know MORT, and lOOP seemed ok. Never had a wierd error like that.

    Liked the theme.

    YARE of yore – I’m the queen of old stuff. Also familiar with DADO and EAUX. I never took French, but after doing thousands of crosswords, I’ve learned that French is pushed more than any other language. I took 5 years of Deutsch in the days when we were told it was to be the language of science. I took 1 year of Italian, which was much smoother and logical. Both were 50 years ago.

    No trouble barging into the blog today, after 2 days that took 3 tries. Weather?

  3. 12:58. I had DONT BE SUCH A baby at first, but I had to back out of that quickly.

    I didn’t know of the connection of RITZ crackers and Ritz Carlton -even if in name only. There was a Ritz Carlton about 3 miles from my new house here in the Las Vegas area near Lake Las Vegas. It failed and was closed down after the crash of 2007-8. Everyone here tells me that it’s the only Ritz Carlton that ever failed. There’s a Hilton and a Westin there now so I guess the area turned out ok…

    Tony – Bizarre story about Barbara Bain, her dog and the Sunday LA Times. Sounds like it’s sort of true, but it’s hard to know which part.

    Best –

  4. Bill: the speed is back to normal. Thanks. Guess I also need to change how I log in. No problem, I’ll figure it out.

    Fun puzzle. I missed the pl. of eau too. That was my only mishap. Otherwise thought it was pretty easy. AND I NEEDED THAT. Too much stress right now.

  5. Fairly straight-forward Wednesday; took 15:17 on-line which required fixing the NE corner.

    The Barbara Bain story from yesterday brought back memories from when I delivered the SJ Mercury News as a teen. I used to hate Sundays with all that extra weight to carry. That’s also when I developed a sort-of-dislike of dogs, which I’ve gradually been able to overcome – as long as they’re small and relatively quiet. Still, I hope the Bain story was just acting.

  6. Greetings!!😎

    No errors. Clever theme with the no-repeat letters! Wasn’t sure of DADO/DIODE till I came here.

    Does anyone remember the LAX puzzle from about two years ago which contained no “E”s? The black squares at the center formed a big E. I think it was a Friday….that was a good one.

    I’d like to see a puzzle that uses each letter only once, but that would be quite a small grid.🤔

    Be well ~~😻

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.