LA Times Crossword 14 Feb 19, Thursday

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Constructed by: Bruce Haight
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Tools Around

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Today’s themed answers are all located AROUND the edges of the grid, and each is a TOOL:

  • 35A. Takes a casual drive … and a literal description of 10 puzzle answers : TOOLS AROUND
  • 1A. Queen, e.g. : RULER
  • 6A. Fell for the joke : BIT
  • 9A. Put away for future reference : FILE
  • 61A. Laryngitis symptom : RASP
  • 62A. Spied : SAW
  • 63A. Fire __ : DRILL
  • 1D. Wi-Fi conduit : ROUTER
  • 16D. Work (out) with effort, as an agreement : HAMMER
  • 37D. Polo need : MALLET
  • 45D. Swindle : CHISEL

Bill’s time: 8m 51s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

13. ArkivMusic.com purchase : OPERA

ArkivMusic is an online retailer sells classical music online. Depending on the work, the piece of music might be streamed, delivered on a digital disk, or even delivered on vinyl.

14. Sch. with a Tempe campus : ASU

Arizona State University (ASU) has a long history, and was founded as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory in 1885. The athletic teams of ASU used to be known as the Normals, then the Bulldogs, and since 1946 they’ve been called the Sun Devils.

Tempe is a city in the metropolitan area of Phoenix. The city is named for the Vale of Tempe in Greece.

17. “Little Book of Mind-Power” author : URI GELLER

Uri Geller’s most famous performance is perhaps his uncomfortable failure on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson in 1973. Carson “hijacked” Geller on live television by providing him with spoons to bend and watches to start, none of which had been available to Geller before the show aired. Clever!

19. Battery inventor Alessandro : VOLTA

Alessandro Volta was the physicist who invented the first battery, way back in 1800. One of Volta’s first applications of his new invention was to use a battery (and a very long run of wire between the Italian cities of Como and Milan) to shoot off a pistol from 30 miles away!

21. Danish city named for a Norse god : ODENSE

Odense is a city in Denmark, named after the Norse god Odin. One of the most famous sons of Odense was Hans Christian Andersen, the celebrated author of children’s stories.

24. Gate info : ETA

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

27. Hasty escape : LAM

To be on the lam is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. “On the lam” is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word “lam” also means to “beat” or “thrash”, as in “lambaste”. So “on the lam” might derive from the phrase “to beat it, to scram”.

28. Superman specialty : RESCUE

Superman’s comic book creators gave their title character’s alter-ego the name “Clark Kent” by melding the names of Clark Gable and Kent Taylor, two leading men of the cinema at the time Superman was created. However, they modeled Clark’s character more on the silent film actor Harold Lloyd.

30. Wrigley Field feature : IVY

The famous ballpark that is home to the Chicago Cubs was built in 1914. Back then it was known as Weeghman Park, before becoming Cubs Park when the Cubs arrived in 1920. It was given the name Wrigley Field in 1926, after the owner William Wrigley, Jr. of chewing gum fame. Wrigley Field is noted as the only professional ballpark that has ivy covering the outfield walls. The ivy is a combination of Boston Ivy and Japanese Bittersweet, both of which can survive the harsh winters in Chicago.

32. Peter of “9-1-1” : KRAUSE

Actor Peter Krause is perhaps best known for his TV work, and in particular for heading the cast of the HBO show “Six Feet Under”, and more recently for working alongside Angela Bassett on the police drama “9-1-1”. Krause started a relationship with fellow actor Lauren Graham in 2010 while they were playing brother and sister on the show “Parenthood”.

34. Tunisian currency : DINAR

The dinar is the official currency in many countries, such as Iraq, Tunisia and Serbia. The gold dinar dates back to the early days of Islam, with the name deriving from the Roman currency called “denarius” meaning “ten times” (as it was originally a coin worth ten asses).

The North African nation of Tunisia takes its name from its capital city Tunis. Present-day Tunisia is roughly equivalent to the Roman province known as “Africa Proconsularis”, which gave its name to the whole continent.

37. Bearings : MIENS

One’s mien is one’s bearing or manner. “Mien” shares the same etymological root as our word “demeanor”.

39. Casual eatery : BISTRO

“Bistro” was originally a Parisian slang term for a “little wine shop or restaurant”.

42. Touchdown site : TARMAC

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.

47. Shooting initials : SLR

Single-lens reflex camera (SLR)

48. “Jeopardy!” record-setter Jennings : KEN

Ken Jennings is a remarkable man, the person who had the longest winning streak on television’s “Jeopardy”. He has also won more game show money than any other person. He was defeated after 75 appearances on the show, after racking up over $2.5 million in the prior episodes.

49. Spa emanation : AAH!

The word “spa” migrated into English from Belgium, as Spa is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name “Spa” comes from the Walloon word “espa” meaning “spring, fountain”.

50. Source of some ’60s trips : LSD

LSD (known colloquially as “acid”) is short for lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist called Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

51. 1840s-’50s home to Liszt : WEIMAR

Weimar is city in Germany, one that is perhaps best known as the location of the signing of the country’s first democratic constitution. The German state that resulted is known unofficially as the Weimar Republic.

Franz Liszt was a Hungarian composer and a fabulous pianist. Particularly towards the end of his life, Liszt gained a tremendous reputation as a teacher. While he was in his sixties, his teaching profession demanded that he commute regularly between the cities of Rome, Weimar and Budapest. It is quite remarkable that a man of such advanced age, and in the 1870s, could do so much annual travel. It is estimated that Liszt journeyed at least 4,000 miles every year!

53. End of an old boast : … VICI

The oft-quoted statement “Veni, vidi, vici” (“I came, I saw, I conquered”) is believed by many to have been written by Julius Caesar. The words date back to 47 BCE and refer to the short war between Rome and Pharnaces II of Pontus.

54. Military camp : ETAPE

“Étape” is the French word for stage, as in a “stage” in the Tour de France. The term is used in English military circles to describe where troops halt overnight, but can also describe the section of the march itself. So, a march can be divided into stages, into étapes.

56. Luxury accommodations for bigwigs : VIP SUITES

A bigwig is someone important. The use of the term “bigwig” harks back to the days when men of authority and rank wore … big wigs.

58. Church offering : TITHE

Traditionally, a tithe is a payment of one tenth of a person’s annual income and is usually given to a church. Tithing is a practice taught in many traditions, and according to a 2002 survey, about 3% of American adults donate 10% or more of their income to a church.

60. 1960 Wimbledon champ Fraser : NEALE

Neale Fraser is a former tennis player from Australia. Fraser won Wimbledon in 1960, and the US Open in 1959 and 1960. He also captained the Australian Davis Cup team for 24 years, during which Australia won the tournament four times. Notably, Fraser won the singles, doubles and mixed doubles title at the 1959 US Open (then known as the US Nationals). Remarkably, Fraser repeated the feat the following year. No one else has ever won the singles, doubles and mixed doubles in a Grand Slam tournament in the same year, never mind two years in a row.

61. Laryngitis symptom : RASP

The suffix “-itis” is used to denote inflammation, as in laryngitis (inflammation of the larynx), otitis (inflammation of the ear), tendinitis (inflammation of a tendon), tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils) and sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses).

The voice box or larynx is where pitch and volume of sound are manipulated when we talk. The structure called the Adam’s apple that protrudes from the human neck is formed by the thyroid cartilage that surrounds the larynx. The Adam’s apple of males tends to increase in size during puberty, so the feature tended to be associated more with males in days gone by, perhaps leading to the name “Adam’s” apple. A doctor specializing in treating the larynx is a laryngologist.

Down

1. Wi-Fi conduit : ROUTER

In the world of computing, a router is a device that helps direct traffic, as it were. A router in a house is often found in combination with a modem, and directs traffic between the Internet and the computers in the home.

“Wi-Fi” is nothing more than a trademark, a trademark registered by an association of manufacturers of equipment that use wireless LAN (Local Area Network) technology. A device labeled with “Wi-Fi” has to meet certain defined technical standards, basically meaning that the devices can talk to each other. The name “Wi-Fi” suggests “Wireless Fidelity”, although apparently the term was never intended to mean anything at all.

3. Classic cameras : LEICAS

Leica is a German optics company that is famous for production of lenses and cameras. The 1913 Leica was the first practical camera that could use 35mm film, a size chosen because it was already the standard for film used in motion pictures.

4. So : ERGO

“Ergo” is a Latin word meaning “hence, therefore”, and one that we’ve absorbed directly into English.

5. Singer Carly __ Jepsen : RAE

Carly Rae Jepsen is a singer/songwriter from Mission, British Columbia. Jepsen got her start on TV’s “Canadian Idol” when she placed third in the show’s fifth season.

8. Hoops goofs : TURNOVERS

Basketball is truly a North American sport. It was created in 1891 by Canadian James Naismith at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. His goal was to create something active and interesting for his students in the gym. The first “hoops” were actually peach baskets, with the bottoms of the baskets intact. When a player got the ball into the “net”, someone had to clamber up and get the ball back out again in order to continue the game!

9. BFFs : FAVES

Best friend forever (BFF)

10. __ Jima : IWO

Iwo Jima is a volcanic island located south of Tokyo that today is uninhabited. The name is Japanese for “Sulfur Island”, referring to the sulfur mining on which Iwo Jima’s economy once depended. There were about a thousand Japanese civilians living on the island prior to WWII. In 1944, there was a massive influx of Japanese military personnel in anticipation of the inevitable US invasion. As the Japanese military moved in, the civilians were forced out and no one has lived there since. Control of the island was wrested from the Japanese in the five-week Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. Said battle was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific theater in WWII.

11. Space cadet’s world : LA-LA LAND

“La-la land” is a euphemism for a state of unconsciousness or a dreamworld.

The expression “space cadet” is used to describe someone who is eccentric and disconnected with reality. It may even imply that the person is a user of hallucinogens. The phrase has been around since the sixties, and may be derived from the science fiction TV show “Tom Corbett, Space Cadet” which aired in the fifties.

12. Erik of “CHiPs” : ESTRADA

Actor Erik Estrada’s big break came with the movie “Airport 1975”, in which he played the doomed flight engineer of a Boeing 747. A couple of years later, Estrada began a six-year gig, co-starring on the television show “CHiPs” as motorcycle police officer Poncherello.

The TV cop show “CHiPs” ran from 1977 until 1983. Stars of the show were Larry Wilcox and Erik Estrada, who played two California HIghway Patrol (CHP) motorcycle officers. I find it interesting that the storylines never once called for the officers to draw their firearms over the six seasons (how shows have changed!). Erik Estrada had to learn how to ride a motorcycle for the show, but wasn’t licensed to drive one during the whole of production. He eventually qualified, but only after three attempts to pass the test.

18. Cosmetics giant : L’OREAL

L’Oréal is a French cosmetics company, and indeed the largest cosmetics and beauty company in the world. Here in the US, L’Oréal runs a “Women of Worth” program that honors women who volunteer in their communities.

22. What’s up? : SKY

Our word “sky” was originally an Old Norse term meaning “cloud”.

25. Pierre’s bills : EUROS

The French franc was made up of 100 centimes, before being replaced by the Euro.

29. Designer fragrance : CK ONE

CK One is a fragrance that was developed for Calvin Klein and launched in 1994. It was to become the first really successful unisex fragrance.

31. Trivial : MINOR

Trivia are things of little consequence. “Trivia” is the plural of the Latin word “trivium” which means “a place where three roads meet”. Now that’s what I call a trivial fact …

33. PC storage options : USB DRIVES

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard dealing with how computers and electronic devices connect and communicate, and deal with electrical power through those connections.

34. “Hands of Stone” boxer Roberto : DURAN

Roberto Durán is a retired professional boxer from Panama. He earned the nickname “Manos de Piedra” (Hands of Stone) during his very successful career. Durán retired in 2001 after being involved in a car crash which required life-saving surgery.

35. Fortune 500 IT company : TECH DATA

Tech Data is a company that provides IT products and services. We’re probably more familiar with the companies with which Tech Data does business (Apple, Cisco, HP, IBM, etc), rather than Tech Data itself.

“Fortune” is a tri-weekly business magazine that was founded by Henry Luce in 1930, just four months after the 1929 Wall Street Crash. “Fortune” is noted for its annual ranking of companies by revenue, especially the Fortune 500.

36. Frisky whiskered critters : OTTERS

The fur of the sea otter is exceptionally thick. It is the densest fur in the whole animal kingdom.

37. Polo need : MALLET

The sport of polo originated in Iran, possibly before the 5th century BC. Polo was used back them primarily as a training exercise for cavalry units.

43. Tiki bar cocktail : MAI TAI

The mai tai cocktail is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but the drink was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curaçao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice and then a float added of 6 parts dark rum. “Maita’i” is the Tahitian word for “good”.

The world’s first tiki bar was called “Don the Beachcomber”, and was opened in L.A. in 1933 by Ernest Gantt (also known as “Donn Beach”). The bar became famous for its exotic rum cocktails. Gantt was called to serve in WWII, and the business expanded dramatically under his ex-wife’s management so that there was a 160-restaurant chain waiting for Gantt when he returned stateside.

45. Swindle : CHISEL

“Chisel” is a word used as slang for “cheat, defraud”. The slang term originated in the early 1800s, and might possibly come from the idea of gouging someone, cheating the person out of money.

47. Win the first four World Series games : SWEEP

The first World Series of baseball in the so-called “modern” era was played in 1903, between the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League and the Boston Americans (now the Red Sox) of the American League. Boston emerged victorious by five games to three.

52. Flaky mineral : MICA

Mica is a silicate mineral. Thin sheets of mica are transparent and are used in place of glass in certain applications. This form of mica is called isinglass, and as it has a better thermal performance than glass it is a great choice for “peepholes’ in boilers and lanterns. Mica is also used in the electronics industry, making use of its unique electrical and thermal insulating properties.

55. Acidity nos. : PHS

As we all recall from chemistry class, a pH of 7 is considered neutral. Anything less than 7 is an acid, and anything above 7 is a base.

57. German conjunction : UND

“Und” is German for “and”.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Queen, e.g. : RULER
6. Fell for the joke : BIT
9. Put away for future reference : FILE
13. ArkivMusic.com purchase : OPERA
14. Sch. with a Tempe campus : ASU
15. Flooded : AWASH
17. “Little Book of Mind-Power” author : URI GELLER
19. Battery inventor Alessandro : VOLTA
20. Stand food : TACO
21. Danish city named for a Norse god : ODENSE
23. Place for a shot : ARM
24. Gate info : ETA
25. Conversation stumbles : ERS
26. Gives the nod : OKS
27. Hasty escape : LAM
28. Superman specialty : RESCUE
30. Wrigley Field feature : IVY
31. Like beds in cleaned hotel rooms : MADE
32. Peter of “9-1-1” : KRAUSE
34. Tunisian currency : DINAR
35. Takes a casual drive … and a literal description of 10 puzzle answers : TOOLS AROUND
37. Bearings : MIENS
39. Casual eatery : BISTRO
40. Ending to avoid? : -ANCE
41. Interject : ADD
42. Touchdown site : TARMAC
46. “Well, __-di-dah!” : LAH
47. Shooting initials : SLR
48. “Jeopardy!” record-setter Jennings : KEN
49. Spa emanation : AAH!
50. Source of some ’60s trips : LSD
51. 1840s-’50s home to Liszt : WEIMAR
53. End of an old boast : … VICI
54. Military camp : ETAPE
56. Luxury accommodations for bigwigs : VIP SUITES
58. Church offering : TITHE
59. Prefix with warrior : ECO-
60. 1960 Wimbledon champ Fraser : NEALE
61. Laryngitis symptom : RASP
62. Spied : SAW
63. Fire __ : DRILL

Down

1. Wi-Fi conduit : ROUTER
2. Raise from three to four stars, as a hotel : UPRATE
3. Classic cameras : LEICAS
4. So : ERGO
5. Singer Carly __ Jepsen : RAE
6. Gets thinner on top : BALDS
7. “So THAT’s what’s going on here!” : I SEE!
8. Hoops goofs : TURNOVERS
9. BFFs : FAVES
10. __ Jima : IWO
11. Space cadet’s world : LA-LA LAND
12. Erik of “CHiPs” : ESTRADA
16. Work (out) with effort, as an agreement : HAMMER
18. Cosmetics giant : L’OREAL
22. What’s up? : SKY
25. Pierre’s bills : EUROS
29. Designer fragrance : CK ONE
30. “To repeat … ” : I SAID …
31. Trivial : MINOR
33. PC storage options : USB DRIVES
34. “Hands of Stone” boxer Roberto : DURAN
35. Fortune 500 IT company : TECH DATA
36. Frisky whiskered critters : OTTERS
37. Polo need : MALLET
38. Excited : IN A STIR
41. Tap outflow : ALE
43. Tiki bar cocktail : MAI TAI
44. Small battery : AA CELL
45. Swindle : CHISEL
47. Win the first four World Series games : SWEEP
48. “Whammo!” : KAPOW!
52. Flaky mineral : MICA
53. Contender : VIER
55. Acidity nos. : PHS
57. German conjunction : UND

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24 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 14 Feb 19, Thursday”

  1. Maybe these are clues to something bigger, but at least twice this week the clue had a part of the answer root word within it. Today it was 35 down: IT=information TECHnology in the clue; TECHdata the answer. Is this just sloppiness, or is there a bigger puzzle going on?

  2. 54A, Military camp: ETAPE? I have never heard this word used. Even after Bill’s explanation, I am flummoxed. Guess i need to find some English military friends.

    Found it only on crosses.

  3. LAT: 13:48, no errors; totally missed the theme. Newsday: 8:09, no errors. WSJ: 25:45, no errors; took me a long time to grok the gimmick. BEQ: 12:41, no errors; an easy Valentine’s Day gift except for one cross I had a little trouble with. NYT: 9:13, no errors; rather easy for a Thursday.

    And Glenn is right: Bill’s NYT blog is still basically down. (I caught it during a brief period yesterday when it seemed to be working.) I infer that Bill is dealing with some sort of emergency back in Ireland; let’s all be patient and send good thoughts his way …

  4. Fine Thurs puz by the great Bruce Haight … cool run of 10 themers on the edges of the grid, not stuffed with crosswordese, fairly clued.

  5. LAT 31:15 no errors . Never did pick up the theme. A lot of obscure clues picked up on crosses.
    NYT # 0110 from my paper today 35:45 no errors. Getting the theme helped on this one.

  6. No great shakes on time again and found it pretty hard.
    Finally dragged out 5 omissions and 0 errors. Very
    satisfied with that. Crosses gave us several answers;
    the rest we just did not know. Enjoyed the struggle.
    Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody.

  7. Thought theme would have to due with Valentines Day. Xoxo’s, but it’s about tools, must be a guy thing. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

  8. 16:13. A few good guesses helped me on this one. I didn’t notice the theme either. Solved like a themeless.

    Kenneth Mick –
    I think ETAPE’s connection to a military camp is in that it is a “staging area”. That, I assume, is its connection to the French.

    Dave – The tequila was great. It’s clear so I thought it was a blanco, but it is indeed an anejo. It’s what they call an “anejo claro” which I had never tried before. It was very smooth.

    Best –

    1. @Jeff … I’m glad to hear that my tequila has found its way to an appreciative owner. I’ve been doing some research on extra añejo tequilas (what I should have done instead of giving in to an impulse). Prices and quality seem to be all over the place … very confusing … perhaps I’ll have to wait until the next time I’m in Cozumel … 😜.

  9. 13:59 and five errors in this, the second puzzle in a row jammed with highly arcane, specialized-knowledge fills. It may be Valentine’s Day, but I am *not* loving it.

  10. LAT: 27:07, no errors. WSJ: 28:21, no errors. Newsday: 9:02, no errors. BEQ: 14:19, 2 errors, more or less bad corners involving 41A. Fireball: 37:10, DNF, no errors. Had similar troubles to the BEQ with a 2×2 block around 31A I couldn’t even hazard guesses on. Fair enough effort for me that I keep solving these “well enough” anyway.

    And since I can’t post to the other blog, some NYT Syndies – for those that watch that blog and don’t know, I get them some time after publication so there’s a day or few delay when I show up: Mon (0107): 6:39, 1 error (Natick 66A-47D). Tue (0108): 7:22, no errors. Wed (0109): 13:43, no errors.

  11. A tough puzzle. I had a tough time.

    Thank you Bill for your lovely blog – I learned a whole hell of a lot – and that was the biggest fun part of all.
    I hope you are keeping well and everything is all right for your folks, and back in Ireland.

    We should think of you more often !!!
    Have a great evening and a nice day all you folks.

  12. @Dave – I agree. Rules is rules.

    @Kenneth – ETAPE is a crossword word, like ETUI or OMOO.

    @Mary – There was a theme?

    1. @Jane … I think you were responding to @David, rather than to me, but … as far as I have been able to determine, there is no rule that says a clue may not contain some portion of the answer. It’s just that it usually isn’t done and we solvers get used to it’s not being done. If you can find a pointer to such a rule, please post it. You might start with with this short list of rules, provided by Will Shortz:

      https://www.cruciverb.com/index.php?action=ezportal;sa=page;p=21

      (And there’s a link to more rules on that site.)

      You can also use Google to search for “rules for crossword puzzle construction” and check out some of the hits that turn up, like the ones on Wikipedia.

      In any case, there are few of the basic rules that are not broken at times, if the design of the puzzle calls for it.

      My 2 cents’ worth …

  13. Moderately easy Thursday for me; took about 25 minutes with one careless omission. Had a bit of trouble in the NW but eventually straightened it out.

    Had to change kodakS to LEICAS, reRATE to UPRATE and fix MALLoT. My omission was C_ONE, the fragrance which I’m not familiar with but the cross looked like it should have been KRAUSE, if I would’ve revisited it… Other than that it was pretty easy.

    @Carrie – What’s up, did your cold reoccur? Hope things are going okay.

  14. Hi folks! 🐔

    One error, and I KNEW I had it wrong but just left it: VIDI instead of VICI. Dang!😮

    Great theme which I actually did not even notice till coming here! I wish I had…sometimes I do puzzles so desultorily (word?) — just a little here and there thru the day, and I miss the theme.

    Hey Dirk! I’m A-okay; I just couldn’t access the site yesterday!! Twas about 1:30 a.m. and the site appeared to be down for at least 20 minutes– I had to give up trying at a certain point.

    So yes, Jeff: it wasn’t just you! Sounds like the site just disappeared at a few points yesterday!! 😮

    Be well ~~🙀

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