LA Times Crossword 25 Jan 19, Friday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): F to FL Sounding

Themed answers sound like common phrases in which an F-sound at the start of a word has been changed to an FL-sound:

  • 16A. Feature of frequently sheared sheep? : SHORT-TERM FLEECE (from “short-term lease”)
  • 23A. Like aromatic, weather-resistant plants? : FLORAL AND HARDY (from “Laurel and Hardy”)
  • 42A. Skills acquired manufacturing linens? : FLAX EXPERIENCE (from “lacks experience”)
  • 56A. Shepherds’ view during breakfast? : BAGELS AND FLOCKS (from “bagels and lox”)

Bill’s time: 12m 23s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7. Accident-prone : HAPLESS

One’s “hap” is one’s luck. So to be “hapless” is to be out of luck, unfortunate.

14. Fuel calculation : OCTANE

The difference between a premium and regular gasoline is its octane rating. The octane rating is measure of the resistance of the gasoline to auto-ignition i.e. its resistance to ignition just by virtue of being compressed in the cylinder. This auto-ignition is undesirable as multiple-cylinder engines are designed so that ignition within each cylinder takes place precisely when the plug sparks, and not before. If ignition occurs before the spark is created, the resulting phenomenon is called “knocking”. We sometimes use the adjective “high-octane” to mean “intense, dynamic, high-powered”

19. Orioles’ div. : AL EAST

The Baltimore Orioles (the “O’s”) are one of the eight charter teams of MLB’s American League, so the franchise dates back to 1901. Prior to 1901, the team has roots in the Minor League Milwaukee Brewers, and indeed entered the American League as the Brewers. In 1902 the Brewers moved to St. Louis and became the Browns. The team didn’t fare well in St. Louis, so when it finally relocated to Baltimore in the early fifties the team changed its name completely, to the Baltimore Orioles. The owners so badly wanted a fresh start that they traded 17 old Browns players with the New York Yankees. The trade didn’t help the team’s performance on the field in those early days, but it did help distance the new team from its past.

21. Miss equivalent, in some cases : MILE

A miss is as good as a mile.

22. Player under Auerbach, familiarly : CELT

Red Auerbach was a professional basketball coach. When he retired, after coaching the Boston Celtics from 1950 until 1966, Auerbach has racked up a record 938 wins. He had the habit of lighting up a cigar during a game when he deemed that victory was assured. So famous was the cigar as the symbol of victory that many Boston restaurants had signs reading “No cigar or pipe smoking, except for Red Auerbach”.

23. Like aromatic, weather-resistant plants? : FLORAL AND HARDY (from “Laurel and Hardy”)

Stan Laurel was an English comic actor (born Arthur Stanley Jefferson), who made a great career for himself in Hollywood. Laurel ended up at the Hal Roach studio directing films, intent on pursuing a career in writing and directing. However, he was a sometime actor and was asked to step in when another comic actor, Oliver Hardy, was injured and couldn’t perform. Laurel and Hardy started to share a stage together during that time and when it was clear they worked so well together, their partnership was born. Oh, and the oft-quoted story that Clint Eastwood is the son of Stan Laurel … that’s just an urban myth.

Oliver Hardy was born Norvell Hardy in 1892 in Harlem, Georgia. Hardy used the stage name “Oliver” as a tribute to his father Oliver Hardy. His early performances were credited as “Oliver Norvell Hardy”, and off camera his nickname was “Babe Hardy”. Hardy appeared in several films that also featured the young British actor Stan Laurel, but it wasn’t until 1927 that they teamed up to make perhaps the most famous double act in the history of movies. The Laurel and Hardy act came to an end in 1955. That year, Laurel suffered a stroke, and then later the same year Hardy had a heart attack and stroke from which he never really recovered.

30. Namely : TO WIT

The verb “to wit” means “to know”. The verb really isn’t used anymore except in the phrase “to wit” meaning “that is to say, namely”.

41. Twill fabric : CHINO

Chino is a twill cloth that is most often used to make hard-wearing pants. The pants have come to be referred to as chinos. Chino cloth was originally developed for use by the military, but quickly became popular with civilians.

42. Skills acquired manufacturing linens? : FLAX EXPERIENCE (from “lacks experience”)

Flax is mainly grown for its seeds (to make oil) and for its fibers. Flax fibers have been used to make linen for centuries, certainly back as far as the days of the Ancient Egyptians. Flax fibers are soft and shiny, resembling blonde hair, hence the term “flaxen hair”.

49. Prohibit : ENJOIN

In legal terms, “to enjoin” means “to prohibit”, to issue an injunction prohibiting a specific act.

56. Shepherds’ view during breakfast? : BAGELS AND FLOCKS (from “bagels and lox”)

The bagel was invented in the Polish city of Kraków in the 16th century. Bagels were brought to this country by Jewish immigrants from Poland who mainly established homes in and around New York City.

Lox is brine-cured salmon fillet that is finely sliced. The term “lox” comes into English via Yiddish, and derives from the German word for salmon, namely “Lachs”.

59. “__ Arms”: Coldplay song : ANOTHER’S

Coldplay is a rock band that was formed in London in 1996 by Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland. Chris Martin was married to the American actress Gwyneth Paltrow for twelve years.

60. Brother of Isis : OSIRIS

Osiris was the Egyptian god of the underworld. Osiris was the son of Geb the Earth god, and Nut the sky goddess. His wife Isis was also his sister. Osiris was killed and mutilated by Set, his own brother. Isis reassembled Osiris and revived him, just long enough that they could conceive their son Horus.

61. Business representatives : SYNDICS

A syndic is a civil magistrate in several countries. The term “syndic” is also used for a corporation or university’s agent.

Down

1. Kid : JOSH

When the verb “to josh”, meaning “to kid”, was coined in the 1840s as an American slang term, it was written with a capital J. It is likely that the term somehow comes from the proper name “Joshua”, but no one seems to remember why.

4. Works on a route : TARS

The terms “tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call tarmac.

5. Rhinitis-treating MD : ENT

Ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT)

6. Target field : RETAIL

Target Corporation was founded by George Draper Dayton in 1902 in Minneapolis, Minnesota as Dayton Dry Goods Company. Dayton developed into a department store, and the company opened up a discount store chain in 1962, calling it Target. Today, Target is the second-largest discount retailer in the country, after Walmart.

9. Bearskin rug, e.g. : PELT

A pelt is the skin of a furry animal.

10. “Fever” singer Peggy : LEE

Peggy Lee was a jazz and popular music singer from Jamestown, North Dakota. “Peggy Lee” was a stage name, as she was born Norma Egstrom. She was a successful songwriter as well as singer, and supplied several numbers for the Disney movie “Lady and the Tramp”. Lee also sang in the film and voiced four of the characters.

12. Mediterranean island : SICILY

In the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, the “boot” is the mainland of Italy, and the the ball being kicked by the boot is the island of Sicily.

17. “First Lady of Song” : ELLA

Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

21. 1999 Best Visual Effects Oscar winner, with “The” : MATRIX

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”.

22. December display : CRECHE

In the Christian tradition, a nativity scene (also “crèche”) is a display of representing the the scene of the birth of Jesus. Nativity scenes might be subjects for paintings, for example, although the term is usually used for seasonal displays associated with the Christmas season.

23. Fraud watchdog org. : FTC

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was established in 1914 with the mission of protecting consumers. The FTC runs the National Do Not Call Registry which can limit the amount of telemarketing calls that consumers receive. To register your number, simply go to the website www.donotcall.gov.

24. Comedic Costello : LOU

Lou Costello was half of the Abbott & Costello double act. One tragic and terrible event in Lou Costello’s life was the death of his baby son, Lou Costello, Jr. Lou was at NBC studios one night for his regular broadcast when he received word that the 11-month-old baby had somehow drowned in the family swimming pool. With the words, “Wherever he is tonight, I want him to hear me”, he made the scheduled broadcast in front of a live and unsuspecting audience.

25. Big-eyed flier : OWL

Much of an owl’s diet consists of small mammals. As a result, humans have used owls for centuries to control rodent populations, usually by placing a nest box for owls on a property. Despite the the fact that owls and humans live together in relative harmony, owls have been known to attack humans from time to time. Celebrated English bird photographer Eric Hosking lost an eye when attacked by a tawny owl that he was trying to photograph. Hosking wrote an 1970 autobiography with the wry title “An Eye for a Bird”.

27. Cabinet agcy. founded under Bush 43 : DHS

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was a created in 2002 after the September 11th attacks. Today, the DHS has over 200,000 employees making it the third largest department in the cabinet (the biggest employers are the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs). The formation of the DHS was the biggest government reorganization in US history, with 22 government agencies drawn into a single organization.

29. Pain relief brand : ANACIN

Anacin is a brand of pain reliever that comprises aspirin and caffeine as active ingredients.

33. North Atl. country : IRE

The island of Ireland is politically divided between the the Republic of Ireland in the south and Northern Ireland in the north. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, and covers about one-sixth of the island.

34. “Oedipus __” : P.D.Q. Bach western-themed parody : TEX

P.D.Q. Bach is an alter ego used by musical satirist Peter Schickele. Schickele creates works that he bills as compositions written by P.D.Q. Bach, the “only forgotten son” of Johann Sebastian Bach.

36. Many bar mitzvah guests : KIN

A Jewish girl becomes a Bat Mitzvah at 12 years of age, the age at which she becomes responsible for her actions. Boys become Bar Mitzvahs at 13. The terms translate into English as daughter and son of the commandments.

37. Chapel Hill sch. : UNC

The University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill started enrolling students way back in 1795, making it the oldest public university in the country, i.e. the first to enrol students.

38. “MS. Found in a Bottle” author : POE

Edgar Allan Poe’s 1833 short story “MS. Found in a Bottle” earned the author fifty dollars, a prize offered by the “Baltimore Saturday Visiter” in a writing contest.

40. Jug band percussionist’s tools : SPOONS

A jug band features a jug player, as well as others playing ordinary objects perhaps modified to make sound. One such instrument is the washtub bass. The “tub” is a stringed instrument that uses a metal washtub as a resonator. A washboard might also be used in a jug band, as a percussion instrument. The ribbed surface of the washboard is usually scraped using thimbles on the ends of the fingers.

44. Oklahoma city : ENID

Enid, Oklahoma takes its name from the old railroad station around which the city developed. Back in 1889, that train stop was called Skeleton Station. An official who didn’t like the name changed it to Enid Station, using a character from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King”. Maybe if he hadn’t changed the name, the city of Enid would now be called Skeleton, Oklahoma! Enid has the nickname “Queen Wheat City” because is has a huge capacity for storing grain, the third largest grain storage capacity in the world.

46. Marching band section : TUBAS

The tuba is the lowest-pitched of all the brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). “Tuba” is the Latin word for “trumpet, horn”. Oom-pah-pah …

49. K-12 : ELHI

“Elhi” is an informal word used to describe anything related to schooling from kindergarten through grade 12, i.e. elementary through high school.

50. Very short time pd. : NSEC

“Nanosecond” is more correctly abbreviated to “ns” (as opposed to “nsec”) and really is a tiny amount of time: one billionth of a second.

52. Source of rage, briefly : ‘ROID

Steroids are found commonly in nature, with familiar examples being cholesterol and testosterone. The controversial class of drugs called anabolic steroids (known informally as “roids” or simply “steroids”) are artificially produced chemicals designed to mimic the effect of the male sex hormone, testosterone. They are termed “anabolic” as they build up cellular tissue (particularly muscle) in a process called anabolism. Taking anabolic steroids can be termed “juicing”, and the aggressive behavior that can be a side-effect is known as “roid rage”.

53. Farm unit : ACRE

At one time, an acre was defined as the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. Then, an acre was more precisely defined as a strip of land “one furrow long” (i.e. one furlong) and one chain wide. The length of one furlong was equal to 10 chains, or 40 rods. A area of one furlong times 10 rods was one rood.

57. LAX stat : ETD

Estimated time of departure (ETD)

Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA”, but when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently, the “X” has no significant meaning.

58. SEC school : LSU

The Tigers are the sports teams of Louisiana State University (LSU). They are officially known as the Fightin’ Tigers, and the school mascot is “Mike the Tiger”. The name comes from the days of the Civil War, when two Louisiana brigades earned the nickname the “Louisiana Tigers”. Given the French/Cajun history of Louisiana, the LSU fans use the cheer “Geaux Tigers” instead of “Go Tigers”.

The Southeastern Conference (SEC) is an athletic conference comprised mainly of schools in the southeastern US. The SEC was founded back in 1932 with a roster of thirteen schools, ten of which are still members of the conference.

Advertisement

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Court player : JESTER
7. Accident-prone : HAPLESS
14. Fuel calculation : OCTANE
15. Satanic attribute : PURE EVIL
16. Feature of frequently sheared sheep? : SHORT-TERM FLEECE (from “short-term lease”)
18. “__ everything?” : HOW’S
19. Orioles’ div. : AL EAST
20. Chill in the air : NIP
21. Miss equivalent, in some cases : MILE
22. Player under Auerbach, familiarly : CELT
23. Like aromatic, weather-resistant plants? : FLORAL AND HARDY (from “Laurel and Hardy”)
30. Namely : TO WIT
31. Turn heads during the audition : SHINE
32. Whodunit revelation : CULPRIT
35. Compare to, with “against” : STACK UP
39. Fathers : SIRES
41. Twill fabric : CHINO
42. Skills acquired manufacturing linens? : FLAX EXPERIENCE (from “lacks experience”)
46. Pennywhistle sound : TOOT
47. Take __ empty stomach : ON AN
48. Coffee hour vessel : URN
49. Prohibit : ENJOIN
52. It might be used before sandpapering : RASP
56. Shepherds’ view during breakfast? : BAGELS AND FLOCKS (from “bagels and lox”)
59. “__ Arms”: Coldplay song : ANOTHER’S
60. Brother of Isis : OSIRIS
61. Business representatives : SYNDICS
62. Least courteous : RUDEST

Down

1. Kid : JOSH
2. Repeat : ECHO
3. Put away : STOW
4. Works on a route : TARS
5. Rhinitis-treating MD : ENT
6. Target field : RETAIL
7. “__ few bars and I’ll play it for you” : HUM A
8. Pound sounds : ARFS
9. Bearskin rug, e.g. : PELT
10. “Fever” singer Peggy : LEE
11. Tied : EVENED
12. Mediterranean island : SICILY
13. Was out all night, maybe : SLEPT
15. Works on one’s image, in a way : PREENS
17. “First Lady of Song” : ELLA
21. 1999 Best Visual Effects Oscar winner, with “The” : MATRIX
22. December display : CRECHE
23. Fraud watchdog org. : FTC
24. Comedic Costello : LOU
25. Big-eyed flier : OWL
26. Excitedly tries to open, as a gift : RIPS AT
27. Cabinet agcy. founded under Bush 43 : DHS
28. Broadway success : HIT
29. Pain relief brand : ANACIN
33. North Atl. country : IRE
34. “Oedipus __” : P.D.Q. Bach western-themed parody : TEX
36. Many bar mitzvah guests : KIN
37. Chapel Hill sch. : UNC
38. “MS. Found in a Bottle” author : POE
40. Jug band percussionist’s tools : SPOONS
42. To fit every possible : FOR ANY
43. Well-supplied with : LONG ON
44. Oklahoma city : ENID
45. Tried to be elected : RAN FOR
46. Marching band section : TUBAS
49. K-12 : ELHI
50. Very short time pd. : NSEC
51. Unsettles : JARS
52. Source of rage, briefly : ‘ROID
53. Farm unit : ACRE
54. Downhill runners : SKIS
55. Restrained “Hey!” : PSST!
57. LAX stat : ETD
58. SEC school : LSU

Advertisement

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 25 Jan 19, Friday”

  1. LAT: 31:44, 3 errors. Lucky I only got away with 3 errors for all the guessing I had to do on this for all the poor cluing. Terrible puzzle. WSJ: 15:14, 1 error. No, no idea on the meta, per usual. Newsday: 28:14, no errors. Pretty similar to the LAT today.

  2. LAT: 17:43, no errors; cute gimmick. Newsday: 21:01, no errors; more difficult than usual. WSJ: 10:27, no errors; meta solved and submitted, except … it was too easy … (if you’ve seen a certain movie) … and I have a feeling that everyone is falling for the same red herring … so I’m still looking at it. NYT: 17:26, no errors (NYX blog for today is not available yet); a bit more difficult than usual, I thought.

  3. Total (somewhat educated – so it wasn’t total after all) guess on “syndics” that turned out to be right and brought this grid to a successful conclusion. Will wonders never cease!

    1. I felt the F sky’s at the start of the word was misleading. Seems like it should have been L changed to FL. Maybe I missed something.

  4. 35:40 with no errors but a lot of crosses to help and some dictionary .
    NYT #1221. One hour and twenty minutes with two errors.
    Rex Parker slammed this puzzle and I agree. For example hullo is a British greeting ? Really?
    Try as I may I still can’t get Bills NYT blog.

  5. SW is a hot mess:

    ^ SYNDICS!? Uh-huh.
    ^ “To fit every possible” *what*?
    ^ ETD is *not* a stat

    That slog of a corner, along with an overall display of broad, lazy clues, makes for a Friday puzzle that doesn’t exactly SHINE. I hope Coldplay fans liked it.

    1. I agree totally with your assessment of the SW corner.

      As to your Coldplay reference, since most of their songs sound alike, I would hope that that never extends to the quality of our daily puzzles. I wouldn’t want to see many more like this one.

  6. 18 mins 26 seconds, and 2 errors centered on the D at SYNDICS/ETD. Never heard of such a word as SYNDIC (perhaps whence syndicate comes?). I found this puzzle chock full of clumsily-worded, squint-inducing clues I could barely read, making his an unenjoyable slog.

    On a website level, more growing pains with the new design. I had a devil of a time getting to the comments section. The long body of text needed for a day’s clues, answers and the puzzle itself appears to be “truncated” when I display it, and clicking the #bookmark link or using the links at the “botom” to get here often sends me to another day’s puzzle altogether. Don’t even remember how I finally stumbled onto where I wanted to go in the first place. Bill, you’ve got your work cut out for ya….

  7. 1 omission and 1 error for 99%, a wonderful score for any day of the week.
    I didn’t know SYNDIC and that cost us the total solve. And I used FORALL
    instead of FORANY. But, very happy with our result. I know one thing; any
    puzzle that takes Bill 12 minutes is a hard puzzle. Kudos to our guru.

  8. Mostly straight-forward Friday Wechsler; took about an hour with 25 minutes in the failed SW and 2 errors. I had FORAll and just couldn’t get figure out SYNDIC. A new one for me. It would have helped if I knew the Coldplay song, of which I’ve only listened to sporadically.

    When I finally saw the answer SYNDIC, I was thinking syndication-alist/specialist like for a cartoonist or crossword constructor. But I guess it just an obscure term for a business rep for a university, institution or corporation.

    I like the “miss equivalent” MILE, when I finally got it.

    Well, outside of the SW, this was a good intro to the weekend…

  9. Greetings all!!

    No errors on a well done puzzle. I also didn’t know SYNDIC, so I guess we can form a good-sized club on that one.

    The first thing I thought of for “Shepherd’s view during breakfast?” was this hilarious clip of a certain shepherd and HIS view — I don’t know why but I laugh out loud at this thing:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxVS6_FO41o

    Be well~~ (:

  10. I’m with lee smith on this one – “Get the F out” is a better theme. Reminds me of a Corner Gas episode where the Ruby’s F & E (in CAFE) are blown off the roof in a windstorm.

    Hank: Where’s your “F & E” ? Lacy: Hank, this is a family restaurant
    Oscar Leroy: “Hey you kids – get the “F” off my lawn”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *