LA Times Crossword 30 Jan 19, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Doug Peterson
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Wind Quartet

Today’s QUARTET of themed answers each end with a type of WIND:

  • 62A. Musical ensemble … or what the ends of 17-, 24-, 38- and 50-Across comprise : WIND QUARTET
  • 17A. Blink of an eye : SPLIT SECOND (giving “second wind”)
  • 24A. “The Life of Pablo” hip-hop artist : KANYE WEST (giving “west wind”)
  • 38A. Comb and scissors, to a stylist : TOOLS OF THE TRADE (giving “trade winds”)
  • 50A. Tucked-in clothing part : SHIRT TAIL (giving “tailwind”)

Bill’s time: 5m 38s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Pursues with bloodhounds : TRACKS

Bloodhounds have an amazing sense of smell, and have been bred to track humans in particular. Bloodhounds have been used to follow humans since the Middle Ages.

11. Pampering, briefly : TLC

Tender loving care (TLC)

14. Mideast airline : EL AL

El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. El Al is known for its high levels of security, both on the ground and in the air. Reportedly, the airline’s passenger aircraft have been operating with anti-missile technology for several years.

19. Poison __: villain in Batman comics : IVY

Two of the plants that are most painful to humans are poison oak and poison ivy. Poison oak is mainly found west of the Rocky Mountains, and poison ivy to the east.

20. Tip of a wingtip : TOE CAP

A brogue is more commonly called a wingtip here in the US, I think. The shoe design originated in Ireland and Scotland, and “brog” the Irish word (and similar Scottish word) for shoe gives rise to the name. The brogue/wingtip design includes decorative perforations in the leather uppers. The toe cap of a brogue curves back in a shape that suggest the tip of a bird’s wing, hence the alternative name.

21. Oprah’s channel : OWN

Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)

23. Former Soviet orbiter : MIR

The Russian Mir space station was a remarkably successful project. It held the record for the longest continuous human presence in space at just under 10 years, until the International Space Station eclipsed that record in 2010. Towards the end of the space station’s life however, the years began to take their toll. There was a dangerous fire, multiple system failures, and a collision with a resupply ship. The Russian commitment to the International Space Station drained funds for repairs, so Mir was allowed to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up in 2001. “Mir” is a Russian word meaning “peace” or “world”.

24. “The Life of Pablo” hip-hop artist : KANYE WEST (giving “west wind”)

Kanye West is a rap singer who was born in Atlanta and raised in Chicago. He also spent some time in Nanjing, China as a child, where his mother was teaching as part of an exchange program. West is married to reality star Kim Kardashian.

29. Old AT&T rival : GTE

GTE was a rival to AT&T, the largest of the independent competitors to the Bell System. GTE merged with Bell Atlantic in 2000 to form the company that we know today as Verizon. Verizon made some high-profile acquisitions over the years, including MCI in 2005 and AOL in 2015.

30. ’60s pigskin org. : AFL

The American Football League (AFL) was founded in 1959 as a competitor to the already-established National Football League (NFL). The AFL eventually merged with the NFL, in 1970. It was the competition between the AFL and NFL that gave us the Super Bowl. The first-ever World Championship Game between the champions of the two leagues was held in 1967, a game that we now refer to as Super Bowl I.

34. Hank with 755 homers : AARON

The great Hank Aaron (“Hammerin’ Hank” or “the Hammer”) has many claims to fame. One notable fact is that he is the last major league baseball player to have also played in the Negro League.

38. Comb and scissors, to a stylist : TOOLS OF THE TRADE (giving “trade winds”)

The trade winds are the winds found in the tropics that blow predominantly from the east (from the northeast above the equator, and from the southeast below). Although the trade winds were crucial during the age of sail, allowing the European empires to grow and prosper, the use of the term “trade” had nothing to do with commerce. Rather, the name “trade” was a Middle English word that meant “path, track”, a reference to the predictable courses used by the sailing vessels. It was from these favorable “trade” winds that we began to associate commerce with the term “trade”.

42. Sean of “Stranger Things” : ASTIN

Sean Astin is best known for playing the title role in the 1993 film “Rudy” and the character Samwise Gamgee in “The Lord of the Rings” movies. You might also have seen him playing Lynn McGill in the 5th season of “24”. Astin is the son of actress Patty Duke, and the adopted son of actor John Astin (of “The Addams Family” fame).

“Stranger Things” is a sci-fi horror TV show made for Netflix that aired its first season in 2016. I don’t do horror, and so haven’t seen it …

45. Aunt, in Andalusia : TIA

Andalusia (“Andalucía” in Spanish) is one of the seventeen autonomous communities in the Kingdom of Spain, and is the most southerly. The capital of Andalusia is the old city of Seville. The name Andalusia comes from its Arabic name, Al-Andalus, reflecting the region’s history as the center of Muslim power in Iberia during medieval times.

62. Musical ensemble … or what the ends of 17-, 24-, 38- and 50-Across comprise : WIND QUARTET

A musical ensemble known as a wind quartet differs from a woodwind quartet in that a wind quartet includes both brass and woodwind instruments.

66. “M*A*S*H” star : ALDA

Alan Alda has had a great television career, especially of course as a lead actor in “M*A*S*H”. Alda won his first Emmy in 1972, for playing surgeon Hawkeye Pierce on “M*A*S*H”. He also won an Emmy in 2006 for his portrayal of Presidential candidate Senator Arnold Vinick in “The West Wing”. When it comes to the big screen, my favorite of Alda’s movies is the 1978 romantic comedy “Same Time, Next Year” in which he starred opposite Ellen Burstyn.

67. “Deck the Halls” contraction : ‘TIS

The music for the Christmas song “Deck the Halls” is a traditional Welsh tune that dates back to the 16th century. The same tune was used by Mozart for a violin and piano duet. The lyrics with which we are familiar (other than the “f-la-la”) are American in origin, and were recorded in 19th century.

“’Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la la la!”

Down

1. Suit piece : VEST

Here’s another word that often catches me out. What we call a vest here in the US is a waistcoat back in Ireland. And, the Irish use the word “vest” for an undershirt.

2. Gravy Cravers pet food brand : ALPO

Alpo is a brand of dog food introduced by Allen Products in 1936, with “Alpo” being an abbreviation for “Allen Products”. Lorne Greene used to push Alpo in television spots, as did Ed McMahon and Garfield the Cat, would you believe?

3. Stephen King novel featuring vampires : ‘SALEM’S LOT

Stephen King’s “’Salem’s Lot” was published in 1975, his second novel. It belongs to the horror genre, so you won’t catch me reading it. The title refers to the Maine town of Jerusalem’s Lot, or ‘Salem’s Lot for short. There’s an interesting story about the actual publication of the first edition. The intended price of $8.95 was changed at the last minute to $7.95, but not all the price changes were made before release. A few copies “escaped” with the dust cover marked $8.95, and they are now worth a lot of money. Go check your bookshelves …

5. Butter amt. : TBSP

Tablespoon (tbsp.)

7. Major maker of can material : ALCOA

The Aluminum Corporation of America (ALCOA) is the largest producer of aluminum in the United States. The company was founded in 1888 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where its headquarters are to this day.

9. Saxophonist with 17 Grammy nominations : KENNY G

Saxophonist Kenny G’s full name is Kenneth Bruce Gorelick. Kenny’s “G” might also stand for “golfer”, as in 2006 he was ranked by “Golf Digest” magazine as the number-one golfer working in the field of music.

10. Normal: Abbr. : STD

Standard (std.)

12. Wranglers competitor : LEVIS

Levi Strauss was the founder of the first company in the world to manufacture blue jeans. Levi Strauss & Co. opened in 1853 in San Francisco. Strauss and his business partner were awarded a patent in 1873 for the use of copper rivets to strengthen points of strain on working pants.

18. Pool protector : TARP

Originally, tarpaulins were made from canvas covered in tar that rendered the material waterproof. The word “tarpaulin” comes from “tar” and “palling”, with “pall” meaning “heavy cloth covering”.

25. Coup d’__ : ETAT

A coup d’état (often just “coup”) is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French for “stroke of state”. The Swiss-German word “putsch” is sometimes used instead of “coup”, with “Putsch” translating literally as “sudden blow”.

27. Aerial enigmas : UFOS

Unidentified flying object (UFO)

32. “Total Request Live” network : MTV

“Total Request Live” (TRL) is a music video TV show that originally ran on MTV from 1998-2008, and was revived in 2017. The original manifestation of the show included an incredibly popular rundown of the top ten most requested music videos of the day based on votes from viewers.

35. Competition where rhymes are exchanged : RAP BATTLE

Battle rapping (also “rap battling”) is a contest in which two or more rappers “fight it out” using opposing, improvised lyrics. I’d be annihilated …

36. Garfield housemate : ODIE

Odie is Garfield’s best friend, and is a slobbery beagle. Both are characters in Jim Davis’ comic strip named “Garfield”.

39. Petrol purchase : LITRE

“Petrol” is the chiefly British-English term used for gasoline. “Petrol” comes via French from the Latin “petroleum”, itself derived from “petra” meaning “rock” and “oleum” meaning “oil”.

40. Tizzy : SNIT

The exact etymology of “snit”, meaning “fit of temper”, isn’t really known. The term was first used in print in the play “Kiss the Boys Goodbye” by Clare Boothe Luce, which dates back to the 1930s and is set in the American South.

41. Cy Young Award winner’s stat : ERA

Earned run average (ERA)

46. Naturally lit courtyard : ATRIUM

In modern architecture, an atrium (plural “atria” or “atriums”) is a large open space usually in the center of a building and extending upwards to the roof. The original atrium was an open court in the center of an Ancient Roman house. One could access most of the enclosed rooms of the house from the atrium.

48. Home improvement guru Bob : VILA

“This Old House” first aired in 1979, on PBS, with Bob Vila as host. After ten years on the show, Vila was able to make extra income with commercial endorsements. These earnings caused conflict with commercial-free PBS, and so Vila was replaced by Steve Thomas.

49. Fur-lined jacket : ANORAK

Anoraks aren’t very popular over here in America. Everyone has one in Ireland! An anorak is a heavy jacket with a hood, often lined with fur (or fake fur), and is an invention of the Inuit people.

51. “America’s Got Talent” judge Klum : HEIDI

German-born Heidi Klum was married to the successful English singer, Seal. Klum is a talented lady and has built a multi-faceted career based on her early success as a model. She is the force behind the Bravo reality show called “Project Runway” that has been on the air since 2004. Klum has been nominated 4-5 times for an Emmy for her association with the show. Klum was also signed up as the official ambassador for Barbie in 2009, the 50th anniversary of the Barbie Doll, and for her service that year a Heidi Klum Barbie was produced. She has been adding a touch of class to the judging panel on the show “America’s Got Talent” since 2013.

53. “Storage Wars” network : A AND E

“Storage Wars” is a reality TV show about buyers looking for great deals when storage lockers are opened due to non-payment of rent.

54. “The Jungle Book” setting : INDIA

“The Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling was originally published in 1894, and is a collection of adventure stories or fables featuring the animals of the jungle and a young boy named Mowgli. Baloo is a sloth bear who teaches the cubs of a wolf pack the Law of the Jungle. His most challenging pupil however is no lupine, but rather the man-cub Mowgli.

59. Actress Lamarr : HEDY

Hedy Lamarr was an American actress who was actually born in Vienna in modern-day Austria. Not only was Lamarr a successful Hollywood performer, during WWII she was the co-inventor of the frequency-hopping spread-spectrum method of transmitting radio signals that is still used to this day in wireless communication. Impressive …

60. Flight sked info : ETAS

Schedule (sked)

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Arrangement holder : VASE
5. Pursues with bloodhounds : TRACKS
11. Pampering, briefly : TLC
14. Mideast airline : EL AL
15. Ace, in poker : BULLET
16. That lady : HER
17. Blink of an eye : SPLIT SECOND (giving “second wind”)
19. Poison __: villain in Batman comics : IVY
20. Tip of a wingtip : TOE CAP
21. Oprah’s channel : OWN
22. Quick cut : SNIP
23. Former Soviet orbiter : MIR
24. “The Life of Pablo” hip-hop artist : KANYE WEST (giving “west wind”)
26. Half-brush partner : DUSTPAN
29. Old AT&T rival : GTE
30. ’60s pigskin org. : AFL
31. Grows faint : DIMS
34. Hank with 755 homers : AARON
38. Comb and scissors, to a stylist : TOOLS OF THE TRADE (giving “trade winds”)
42. Sean of “Stranger Things” : ASTIN
43. In any way : EVER
44. Bakery order : PIE
45. Aunt, in Andalusia : TIA
47. Flat-lying volcanic flow : LAVA BED
50. Tucked-in clothing part : SHIRT TAIL (giving “tailwind”)
55. __ heartbeat : IN A
56. Formally surrender : CEDE
57. Did some laps : RAN
58. Put into gear? : CLOTHE
61. Liquid in a drum : OIL
62. Musical ensemble … or what the ends of 17-, 24-, 38- and 50-Across comprise : WIND QUARTET
64. Lyrical tribute : ODE
65. Periodic reviews : AUDITS
66. “M*A*S*H” star : ALDA
67. “Deck the Halls” contraction : ‘TIS
68. Inky goofs : SMEARS
69. Set in a purse : KEYS

Down

1. Suit piece : VEST
2. Gravy Cravers pet food brand : ALPO
3. Stephen King novel featuring vampires : ‘SALEM’S LOT
4. Draw forth : ELICIT
5. Butter amt. : TBSP
6. Kick oneself for : RUE
7. Major maker of can material : ALCOA
8. Rodeo __ : CLOWN
9. Saxophonist with 17 Grammy nominations : KENNY G
10. Normal: Abbr. : STD
11. Your, old-style : THINE
12. Wranglers competitor : LEVIS
13. Chamber in a vampire movie : CRYPT
18. Pool protector : TARP
22. Get bleeped, maybe : SWEAR
24. Item in a kitchen block : KNIFE
25. Coup d’__ : ETAT
26. Pollster’s collection : DATA
27. Aerial enigmas : UFOS
28. Hurly-burly : ADO
32. “Total Request Live” network : MTV
33. Seaside souvenir : SHELL
35. Competition where rhymes are exchanged : RAP BATTLE
36. Garfield housemate : ODIE
37. Have to have : NEED
39. Petrol purchase : LITRE
40. Tizzy : SNIT
41. Cy Young Award winner’s stat : ERA
46. Naturally lit courtyard : ATRIUM
48. Home improvement guru Bob : VILA
49. Fur-lined jacket : ANORAK
50. Hurry along : SCOOT
51. “America’s Got Talent” judge Klum : HEIDI
52. Lazes around : IDLES
53. “Storage Wars” network : A AND E
54. “The Jungle Book” setting : INDIA
58. Get bleeped, maybe : CUSS
59. Actress Lamarr : HEDY
60. Flight sked info : ETAS
62. “That __ close!” : WAS
63. NFL period : QTR

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15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 30 Jan 19, Wednesday”

  1. Really fun puzzles so far this week. And smart themes. I have a feeling this is too good to be true. We shall see.

  2. La times 14:10 with one error…… I had Etv for Mtv.
    NYT #1226 from my paper today……..24:34 with no errors. As usual I spent 5 min. in one area, in this case the lower left where a French city and a Japanese tennis player really slowed me down

  3. 3 omissions and 3 errors for a very good 97% solved.
    The “Middle East” section gave trouble. Missed 26A, 30A and 42A. Should
    have gotten AFL. A fun puzzle, as Cathy said. We hope for continued
    success tomorrow and Friday. Kudos to Bill and Glenn for some good work.

  4. had 3 missing letters. Trails for TRACKS gave me LennyG and a couple of other problems. I should have known KENNYG, but was unsure of bullet. Otherwise, just enough work to get me through breakfast.

  5. LAT: 7:15, no errors. Newsday: 4:56, no errors. WSJ: 9:31, no errors.

    Still looking at yesterday’s Croce, which has more than the usual share of “I’ve never heard of that!”s crossing each other (and they’re even hard to guess at). May have to turn to Dr. G, but I’m letting it sit and marinate for a bit.

  6. 11:37. I was looking for something music related so I missed the theme entirely. I had TRAilS as well until I recognized Kenny G vs Lenny G.

    Interesting bit on the origin of “trade” winds. The word trade as it refers to commerce comes from the enabling winds rather than the winds named for the act of commercial trading. Interesting as most of us would have guessed the reverse.

    Best –

  7. 11 mins 4 sec, no errors. But it wasn’t for lack of trying. I misread a few clues, leading to massive confusion. Some of the numbers on my printed grid were a bit too fine today, so I misread a few of them, too, which didn’t help.

    Me and this puzzle didn’t get along at all.

  8. Had to Google for KENNY G and BULLET, which crossed.

    Did not think much of having 9 abbrevs. Otherwise, ok.

  9. I had a moderately difficult time with this puzzle but finally got it done.
    Thank you Bill, for the trade winds … makes a lot of sense ! Like Jeff, I would have thought otherwise in the reverse. Very interesting! I wonder what they did when they were sailing on their way home or against the wind ?? I happen to know that airplanes both takeoff and land in the same direction … into the wind … but they are turbine powered . What did the ships do with no other method of power except the wind ??

    I have also been told that jets landing on an aircraft carrier do so at full power !! Because if they overfly the strip or miss the landing ropes with their hook …. they have to be able to takeoff immediately .., without interruption.
    Otherwise they fall ten floors right into the ocean !!

    I have read that bloodhounds were named that not because they can follow ‘blood’. Blood does not have a distinctive odor … it’s the dried skin cells that emit the characteristic odor …
    I read that blood hounds were named because they were the first class of dogs whose bloodlines were so carefully monitored and maintained …
    I have been in south Florida for the last twelve days and could not participate in the blog. It was s sort of vacationed that was thrust on me. That I enjoyed, but I did not look forward to ….. but it just happened..

    Havd a nice day all … it’s minus 21oF in Cleveland..

  10. Hi gang!🤗

    No errors. Fun puzzle, tho I agree with Sfingi– too many abbreviations!

    Poor KENNY G…I know he’s extremely accomplished at playing the sax but his music is deadly dull…🙄

    Vidwan! I think you added a “1” accidentally to the Cleveland temperature!! I did a double take there!!!! 😮 of course, minus 2 is certainly cold enough….

    Be safe with this cold weather, those back east!

    Be well❄

  11. Nice and easy Wednesday; took about 18 minutes with no errors, although a bit of noodling around waiting for crosses. I too read with interest the explanation on trade winds. Was worried when I had the two As in AANDE together, but finally figured it out.

    @Vidwan – When sailboats go into the wind they will do so in a zigzag fashion fashion called tacking.

    Try and stay warm – you guys – the weather reports are pretty interesting.

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