LA Times Crossword 13 Feb 19, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Blake Slonecker
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: I Can’t Get to Sleep

Themed answers are suggestions made by various professionals to someone who CAN’T GET TO SLEEP:

  • 37A. Insomniac’s lament : I CAN’T GET TO SLEEP
  • 18A. Cook’s reply to 37-Across? : HAVE A SNACK
  • 23A. Librarian’s reply to 37-Across? : READ A BOOK
  • 48A. Trainer’s reply to 37-Across? : TAKE A WALK
  • 57A. Auditor’s reply to 37-Across? : COUNT SHEEP

Bill’s time: 7m 13s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14. Herod sent them to Bethlehem : MAGI

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, “magi” is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar: a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

Herod the Great was a vassal king in the first century BCE who ruled Judea under Roman supremacy. According to the Christian Bible, It was Herod the Great who ordered the Massacre of the Innocents, the execution of all young, male children in Bethlehem at the time of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. When Herod the Great died circa 4 BCE, Rome divided his kingdom between his three sons and one daughter. The son named Herod Antipas became ruler of Galilee and Perea. It is Herod Antipas who is cited as “King Herod” in the Bible, and who played a key role in the executions of John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth.

16. __ Day: Bayer vitamin brand : ONE A

One A Day is a line of multivitamins made by Bayer. One A Day was introduced way back in 1940.

20. Nightmarish street of film : ELM

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” is a Wes Craven slasher-horror film that was released in 1984. As I don’t do “slasher” or “horror”, I was surprised to learn that Johnny Depp was in the movie, making his feature film debut.

21. Gimlet garnish : LIME

A gimlet is a relatively simple cocktail that is traditionally made using just gin and lime juice. The trend in more recent times is to replace the gin with vodka.

22. Dr. Reid in “Criminal Minds,” familiarly : SPENCE

“Criminal Minds” is a police drama that has aired on CBS since 2005. The stories revolve around the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico, Virginia.

26. Double Stuf treats : OREOS

Double Stuf Oreo was introduced in 1975, and has twice the normal amount of white cream filling as the original cookie.

28. “__ and the Real Girl”: 2007 film : LARS

“Lars and the Real Girl” is a pretty weird 2007 film about a shy young man who develops a relationship with an anatomically-correct, life-size doll. Said shy, young man is played by actor Ryan Gosling.

37. Insomniac’s lament : I CAN’T GET TO SLEEP

Our word “insomnia” ultimately comes from the Latin prefix “-in” meaning “not” and “somnus” meaning “sleep”.

40. Canadian singer DeMarco : MAC

Mac DeMarco is a singer and musician from Canada. He was born Vernor Winfield McBriare Smith IV, but his mother changed that name when he was five-years old to McBriare Samuel Lanyon DeMarco. A lot easier to remember …

42. Slugger Barry : BONDS

Barry Bonds is a former baseball player who holds numerous records as a batter. He is a controversial figure in the sport, and was mired for years in baseball’s steroids scandal.

44. Remnant : DREG

The dregs in wine, the sediment that settles during fermentation (and sometimes in the bottle), are also called “lees”.

A remnant is a small part that’s left over from something larger. The term comes from the Latin “remanour” meaning “to remain”. So, a “remnant” is something “remaining”.

45. Buffalo NHL player : SABRE

The Buffalo Sabres joined the National Hockey League in the 1970-71 season. The team took the name “Sabres” as the result of a fan contest.

53. Photographer Alda married to Alan : ARLENE

Arlene Alda children’s author, photographer and musician. Born Arlene Weiss, she is the wife of actor Alan Alda.

55. Prefix with pit or pool : CESS-

A cesspit (also “cesspool”) is a covered tank or pit used for the disposal of human waste. The term can be used figuratively to describe a corrupt place or situation.

56. Classic auto : REO

The REO Motor Company was founded by Ransom Eli Olds (hence the name REO). The company made cars, trucks and buses, and was in business from 1905 to 1975 in Lansing, Michigan. Among the company’s most famous models were the REO Royale and the REO Flying Cloud.

59. Flamboyant Dame : EDNA

Dame Edna Everage is the outrageous character created and played by Australian comedian Barry Humphries. I saw him/her perform live in a San Francisco theater, and what a great show it was …

60. Word spoken con affetto : CARA

In Italian, “cara” (dear) is a word of “amore” (love) that is spoken “con affetto” (with affection).

61. Arroz con __: chicken dish : POLLO

In Spanish, “pollo” (chicken) might be served with “con arroz” (with rice).

64. Cake raiser : YEAST

Yeasts are unicellular microorganisms in the kingdom Fungi. The species of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used for centuries in the making of wine and beer, and in breadmaking. Saccharomyces cerevisiae converts carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohol in the process of fermentation. When making beer and wine, the carbon dioxide and alcohol may be captured by the liquid. When making bread, the carbon dioxide and alcohol is driven off by heat.

65. Wilson of Heart et al. : ANNS

Heart is a rock band from Seattle, Washington, founded in the seventies and still going strong. The band has had a changing lineup, except for sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson.

Down

2. Pixar film robot who falls in love with 8-Down : WALL-E
(8D. Robot who falls in love with 2-Down : EVE)

WALL-E is a very cute Pixar movie that was released in 2008. The hero of the piece is a robot named WALL-E, who loves his “Hello Dolly”, and who also falls in love with a robot named EVE.

4. [Not my bad] : SIC

[Sic] indicates that a quotation is written as originally found, perhaps including a typo. “Sic” is Latin for “thus, like this”. The term is more completely written as “sic erat scriptum”, which translates as “thus was it written”.

5. Misters, in old India : SAHIBS

“Sahib” is most recognized as a term of address used in India, where it is used in much the same way as we use “mister” in English. The term was also used to address male Europeans in the days of the British Raj. The correct female form of address is “sahiba”, but in the colonial days the address used was “memsahib”, a melding of “ma’am” and “sahib”

6. Texas tourist spot : ALAMO

The famous Alamo in San Antonio, Texas was originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero. The mission was founded in 1718 and was the first mission established in the city. The Battle of the Alamo took place in 1836, a thirteen-day siege by the Mexican Army led by President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Only two people defending the Alamo Mission survived the onslaught. One month later, the Texian army got its revenge by attacking and defeating the Mexican Army in the Battle of San Jacinto. During the surprise attack on Santa Anna’s camp, many of the Texian soldiers were heard to cry “Remember the Alamo!”.

7. The cops : FIVE-O

“Five-O” has become urban slang for a police officer, or the police force in general. The term is rooted in the 1970s TV Show “Hawaii Five-O”. Hawaii Five-O was a totally fictional police force created for the television show. The name recognizes that Hawaii was the 50th state to join the union. Steve McGarrett in the original show was played by Jack Lord, and “Danno” Williams was played by James MacArthur.

9. Old salts’ haunts : SEAS

“Sea dog” and “old salt” are familiar terms for a sailor, especially one that has lots of experience.

11. Ridiculous : INANE

Our word “inane” meaning silly or lacking substance comes from the Latin “inanitis” meaning “empty space”.

12. Wafer maker : NECCO

Necco Wafers were the best-known product line of the candy manufacturer called the New England Confectionery Company. The firm’s name was abbreviated to “NECCO”, an acronym that became synonymous with the wafers.

13. Sushi bar brews : SAKES

We refer to the Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice as “sake”. We’ve gotten things a bit mixed up in the West. “Sake” is actually the word that the Japanese use for all alcoholic drinks. What we know as sake, we sometimes refer to as rice wine. Also, the starch in the rice is first converted to sugars that are then fermented into alcohol. This is more akin to a beer-brewing process than wine production, so the end product is really a rice “beer” rather than a rice “wine”.

21. Torts enrollee : LAW STUDENT

“Tort” is a French word meaning “mischief, injury or wrong”. In common law, a tort is a civil wrong that results in the injured party suffering loss or harm, and the injuring party having a legal liability. Tort law differs from criminal law in that torts may result from negligence and not just intentional actions. Also, tort lawsuits may be decided on a preponderance of evidence, without the need of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

24. Actor James or singer Jimmy : DEAN

In his short life, James Dean starred in three great movies: “East of Eden”, “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Giant”, for which he received two posthumous Best Actor Oscar nominations (the only person to do so). On a fateful day in September 1955, Dean set off in Porsche for a race in Salinas, California. While driving to the race he was given a speeding ticket. Two hours later Dean was involved in a near head-on collision and was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital in Paso Robles, California.

The Jimmy Dean brand of sausage was introduced in 1969 by singer and actor Jimmy Dean. Although he was at the height of his singing and acting career in 1950s and 1960s, I best remember Dean for playing reclusive billionaire Willard Whyte in the 1971 James Bond film “Diamonds Are Forever”.

25. 1971 Sutherland title role : KLUTE

“Klute” is an entertaining 1971 crime thriller film starring Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland. Fonda won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance.

Donald Sutherland is an actor from Saint John, New Brunswick who I mainly associate with war movies from the sixties and seventies, notably “The Dirty Dozen” (1967), “The Eagle Has Landed” (1976), “M*A*S*H” (1970) and “Kelly’s Heroes” (1970). Donald is the father of actor Kiefer Sutherland.

29. Chilean year : ANO

The land of Chile has a very distinctive shape. It is a narrow strip that runs up the west coast of South America. The average width of the country is only a little over 100 miles, and yet its length is about 2,700 miles. Chile is touted as the longest country in the world, although I am not so sure what that means exactly. I mean, Russia extends about 4,800 miles from east-to west, so maybe “longest” implies long in the north-south direction?

31. Nipper’s label : RCA

Nipper is the name of the dog that appears in the RCA logo. Nipper was a real dog from England. His owner, Francis Barraud, made a painting of Nipper listening to a gramophone. Barraud then approached several gramophone manufacturers in the hope they would be interested in using the image for advertising. Nipper’s likeness was indeed picked up, and around that time it was Barraud himself who came up with the slogan “His Master’s Voice”.

33. NHL’s Thrashers : ATL

Winnipeg’s professional hockey team is called the Winnipeg Jets. The team was founded as the Atlanta Thrashers in 1999 and relocated to the Manitoba city in 2011. The new team name was chosen in honor of Winnipeg’s former professional hockey team called the Jets, a franchise that was founded in the city in 1972 but relocated to become the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996.

34. Meditation setting with rocks and gravel : ZEN GARDEN

Japanese Zen gardens are inspired by the meditation gardens of Zen Buddhist temples. Zen gardens have no water in them, but often there is gravel and sand that is raked in patterns designed to create the impression of water in waves and ripples.

35. Exhaustive ref. : OED

Work started on what was to become the first “Oxford English Dictionary” (OED) in 1857. Several interim versions of the dictionary were published in the coming years with the first full version appearing, in ten bound volumes, in 1928. The second edition of the OED appeared in 1989 and is made up of twenty volumes. The OED was first published in electronic form in 1988 and went online in 2000. Given the modern use of computers, the publishing house responsible feels that there will never be a third print version of the famous dictionary.

36. Black __ : OPS

“Black ops” is the name given to covert operations, activities that are usually outside of standard military protocol and may even be against the law. Funding for black ops is usually provided by a secret “black budget”.

38. Sporty ’60s Pontiac : GTO

The Pontiac GTO was produced by GM from 1964 to 1974, and again by a GM subsidiary in Australia from 2004 to 2006. The original GTO’s design is credited to Pontiac chief engineer at the time John DeLorean, who later founded the DeLorean Motor Company.

39. MGM mogul Marcus : LOEW

Marcus Loew was a New Yorker born into a poor Jewish family. He started out in a penny arcade business and used its profits to buy into a nickelodeon. He built a whole chain of movie theaters, and then moved into the production of films so that he could guarantee supply of features that he could show in his theaters. Eventually he pulled together the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) film production company, and sadly passed away just three years after he inked the deal.

44. Totalitarian leader : DESPOT

A despot is a ruler with absolute power, and often one who wields that power oppressively. “Despot” is an old French term from the 14th century that is ultimately derived from the Greek “despotes” meaning “master of a household, absolute ruler”.

Totalitarianism is the political system in which the state strives for complete control over all aspects of public and private life. One of the more famous leaders in recent times who openly embraced totalitarianism was Benito Mussolini, leader of Italy’s National Fascist Party up until his ousting in 1943.

45. Vanzetti’s partner : SACCO

Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were two anarchists accused of committing murder during an armed robbery in 1920. They were arrested the day after the crime. There followed two controversial trials, guilty verdicts and several appeals that went all the way to the US Supreme Court. Despite mounting evidence that the pair was innocent, the guilty verdicts were repeatedly upheld. A lot of the public accepted that Sacco and Vanzetti were not guilty, and many protests were staged. Regardless, the two were executed in the electric chair in 1927.

46. Like Times Square on New Year’s Eve : AROAR

The famous New Year’s Eve ball-dropping tradition in Times Square started on January 1st 1908. The original ball was lit with one hundred 25-watt light bulbs and was dropped at one second after midnight. A fifth version of the ball was introduced in 2008 for the centennial anniversary of the ceremony. The 2008 ball was built by Waterford Crystal and was lit by 9,567 LED bulbs that consumed the same amount of power as ten electric toasters. The current ball was used for the first time in 2009, and is double the size of the 2008 ball at 12 feet in diameter. The ball now sits atop Times Square year round, so you can go see it next time you are in town.

47. Book jacket entry : BLURB

The use of the word “blurb”, to describe a publicity notice on a book jacket, dates back to 1907 when it was used by American humorist Gelett Burgess. Burgess used a picture of a fictitious young woman named Miss Belinda Blurb on the dust jacket of a limited run of his 1906 book “Are You a Bromide?” That jacket proclaimed “YES, this is a ‘BLURB’!” The term persists to this day, without the young damsel.

49. Swift Northeast train : ACELA

The Acela Express is the fastest train routinely running in the US, getting up to 150 mph at times. The service runs between Boston and Washington D.C. via Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. Introduced in 2000, the brand name “Acela” was created to evoke “acceleration” and “excellence”.

51. Red Square honoree : LENIN

“Lenin” wasn’t the birth name of the Russian leader. He was born Vladimir Ulyanov, and originally used “Lenin” as a pen name.

Lenin’s Tomb is a mausoleum in which lie the embalmed remains of Vladimir Lenin. The tomb lies just outside the walls of the Kremlin in Red Square. Lenin died in 1924, after which his body was housed in a wooden structure in Red Square for viewing by mourners. The current marble and granite structure was completed in 1930. The body has rested there on display ever since, except for the years of WWII when there was a perceived danger of Moscow falling to the Germans. The body was evacuated to Tyumen in Siberia for the war years.

52. 34-Down teaching aids : KOANS
(34D. Meditation setting with rocks and gravel : ZEN GARDEN)

The concept of koan appears in the Zen Buddhist tradition. A koan is a story, question or perhaps a statement that is used as an aid to meditation. It often takes the form of a problem or riddle that has no logical solution and is intended to help the meditator break free of reason and develop intuition.

54. Athlete’s award : ESPY

The ESPY Awards are a creation of the ESPN sports television network. One difference with similarly named awards in the entertainment industry is that ESPY winners are chosen solely based on viewer votes.

59. Pitcher’s stat : ERA

Earned run average (ERA)

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Lamb bearers : EWES
5. Common Vegas hotel room amenities : SAFES
10. Tea holders : TINS
14. Herod sent them to Bethlehem : MAGI
15. Full of energy : ALIVE
16. __ Day: Bayer vitamin brand : ONE A
17. Faction : BLOC
18. Cook’s reply to 37-Across? : HAVE A SNACK
20. Nightmarish street of film : ELM
21. Gimlet garnish : LIME
22. Dr. Reid in “Criminal Minds,” familiarly : SPENCE
23. Librarian’s reply to 37-Across? : READ A BOOK
26. Double Stuf treats : OREOS
27. “That’s __ to me” : NEWS
28. “__ and the Real Girl”: 2007 film : LARS
30. Operatic solos : ARIAS
32. Spook : HAUNT
34. Animal house : ZOO
37. Insomniac’s lament : I CAN’T GET TO SLEEP
40. Canadian singer DeMarco : MAC
41. Of help : UTILE
42. Slugger Barry : BONDS
43. Big fusses : ADOS
44. Remnant : DREG
45. Buffalo NHL player : SABRE
48. Trainer’s reply to 37-Across? : TAKE A WALK
53. Photographer Alda married to Alan : ARLENE
55. Prefix with pit or pool : CESS-
56. Classic auto : REO
57. Auditor’s reply to 37-Across? : COUNT SHEEP
59. Flamboyant Dame : EDNA
60. Word spoken con affetto : CARA
61. Arroz con __: chicken dish : POLLO
62. Horseback rider’s control : REIN
63. Globes : ORBS
64. Cake raiser : YEAST
65. Wilson of Heart et al. : ANNS

Down

1. Arson evidence, perhaps : EMBER
2. Pixar film robot who falls in love with 8-Down : WALL-E
3. Vanity case? : EGOMANIAC
4. [Not my bad] : SIC
5. Misters, in old India : SAHIBS
6. Texas tourist spot : ALAMO
7. The cops : FIVE-O
8. Robot who falls in love with 2-Down : EVE
9. Old salts’ haunts : SEAS
10. Complexion aids : TONERS
11. Ridiculous : INANE
12. Wafer maker : NECCO
13. Sushi bar brews : SAKES
19. Some exercise tops : SPORTS BRAS
21. Torts enrollee : LAW STUDENT
24. Actor James or singer Jimmy : DEAN
25. 1971 Sutherland title role : KLUTE
29. Chilean year : ANO
30. Intent or intend : AIM
31. Nipper’s label : RCA
32. Bank job : HEIST
33. NHL’s Thrashers : ATL
34. Meditation setting with rocks and gravel : ZEN GARDEN
35. Exhaustive ref. : OED
36. Black __ : OPS
38. Sporty ’60s Pontiac : GTO
39. MGM mogul Marcus : LOEW
43. Stadiums : ARENAS
44. Totalitarian leader : DESPOT
45. Vanzetti’s partner : SACCO
46. Like Times Square on New Year’s Eve : AROAR
47. Book jacket entry : BLURB
49. Swift Northeast train : ACELA
50. Ship stabilizers : KEELS
51. Red Square honoree : LENIN
52. 34-Down teaching aids : KOANS
54. Athlete’s award : ESPY
58. Row maker : HOE
59. Pitcher’s stat : ERA

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14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 13 Feb 19, Wednesday”

  1. LAT 19:33 no errors.
    NYT #0109 from my paper today 31:55 no errors but as usual I spent 10 min. in one small area ( by design I believe )

  2. 14:18 and DNF: 15 total Naticks all over the grid, including half of the punny “suggestions”. No idea what this setters is on about. Never knew eating or walking were keys to fighting insomnia. Although, fretting about this grid might keep me awake tonight.

  3. “Fast” time of about an hour.

    1 omission and 0 errors. Didn’t know the classic car REO.

    Very good for us on a Wednesday.

  4. @Kennison – you mean instead of sleeping?

    Anyway, I Googled once – EVE – and that kicked off the rest; however, I realized I had only guessed for many: SPENCE, LARS, MAC, SABRE, CESS (never heard of a CESSpit), ANNS, FIVE O, KLUTE (remember Jane Fonda in this, only), ATL, ZEN GARDEN, LOEW, ESPY. So, I guess I’m a good guesser, and I’ll stick with that.

    1. @Jane … Ah, yes, I could have phrased that better: things to do when you can’t sleep, in place of sleeping, instead of sleeping. Thank you.

  5. 19:46. I got the theme, but the fill was a little tricky for me.

    Is (was) it just me or was this site down for a while today. Several times I tried to access this site and the NYT site, and all I got was a blank screen. It seems fixed now, no one mentioned it, and there are 9 other posts as of this writing so perhaps it was something going on with my machine or specific to my operating system (Firefox).

    Oh well – a good challenge by Wednesday standards I thought.

    Best –

  6. The NYT blog was down and/or malfunctioning most of the day for me, and I found this note from Bill: “I’m afraid that I had to fly to Ireland unexpectedly today, and just had time to solve today’s puzzle and write up this abbreviated post in between flights. I will catch up just as soon I can when I land in the Auld Sod. Apologies for the inconvenience.”

    The blog seems to be up now, except that I can’t get to the comments for the syndicated date …

    1. >The blog seems to be up now, except that I can’t get to the comments for the syndicated date …

      Can’t do that, can’t make posts. Sometimes don’t even get pages by clicking on links. Lesser extent on this blog as well.

    2. Thanks, Dave, for the info (and “good searching”!). The New York Times version of the blog has been unavailable to me for quite a while now (without any explanation), and just decided to do a web-search. I see that the L.A. version is still being posted. I found Bill’s Facebook page, but the link he provided there, does NOT work. I’m stumped. I hope that this will be straightened out, at some point. Take care.

  7. Fairly straight-forward Wednesday; took 15:04 minutes on-line without peeking. Didn’t know quite a few proper nouns but crosses came through. Also, surprised that five-o applies to more than just the tee-vee show.

    Had to change ALert to ALIVE and took a while to figure out the SW with SACCO and ARLENE. I checked out “Klute” from our library a couple of months ago and thought it okay. I love Jane Fonda but she doesn’t come across as a very believable prostitute and Sutherland is kinda unbelievable as a private eye.

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