LA Times Crossword 16 Feb 19, Saturday

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Constructed by: Christopher Adams
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 8m 22s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

13. No-nonsense marker : SHARPIE

Sharpie is a brand of marker pen that has been on sale since 1964.

14. Runs off, in a way : XEROXES

A xerox is a copy made on a xerography machine. Xerography is a dry photocopying technique that was invented in 1938 by Chester Carlson, although he originally referred to the process as electrophotography. Joseph Wilson commercialized Carlson’s process some years later, coining the term “Xerography” using the Greek words for “dry” and “writing”. Wilson changed the name of his own photographic company to Xerox.

16. Leader of New Netherland before it was renamed New York : PETER STUYVESANT

Peter Stuyvesant was director-general of the Dutch colony of New Netherland from 1647 until 1664. That made him the last administrator of the colony, as New Netherland became New York when it was ceded provisionally to England in 1664. Stuyvesant operated a farm that he named the “Bouwerij”, which is simply the Dutch word for “farm”. “Bouwerij” gives us the name “the Bowery”, which is used for a major street and neighborhood in Manhattan.

18. Caltech, e.g.: Abbr. : INST

Caltech is more properly known as the California Institute of Technology, and is a private research-oriented school in Pasadena. One of Caltech’s responsibilities is the management and operation of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. If you watch “The Big Bang Theory” on television like me, you might know that the four lead characters all work at Caltech.

19. The __ Man: Major Arcana card : HANGED

In a 78-card tarot deck, the picture cards are referred to as the Major Arcana. The remaining cards are known as the Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana included The Fool, the Wheel of Fortune, the Hanged Man, and Death.

20. “Nixon in China” tenor role : MAO

“Nixon in China” is an opera by John Adams, with a libretto by Alice Goodman. The piece was inspired by President Nixon’s famous visit to China in 1972.

21. Multiple of LXVII : CCI

In Roman numerals, LXVII x III (67 x 3) comes to CCI (201).

22. Mobile maker : CALDER

Alexander Calder was an American sculptor and artist. Calder is famous for having invented the mobile sculpture, a work made up of several pieces hanging on a string in equilibrium. In effect they are what we might known as “mobiles”, operating on the same principle as mobiles that sit over cribs in a nursery. Calder refers to his large, stationary sculptures as “stabiles”.

23. Flirtatious bat : WINK

At least as far back as the 1800s, the term “batting” was used in falconry to describe the fluttering of a hawk’s wings while on a perch or a fist, as if the bird intended to fly away. The usage of “batting” extended to the fluttering of a human’s eyelids, giving us the expressions “batting an eye” and “batting an eyelid”.

24. 1983 Streisand film : YENTL

“Yentl” is a play that opened in New York City in 1975. The move to adapt the play for the big screen was led by Barbra Streisand, and indeed she wrote the first outline of a musical version herself as far back as 1968. The film was eventually made and released in 1983, with Streisand performing the lead role.

26. Spy novelist Deighton : LEN

I used to walk my dog right past author Len Deighton’s house years ago, as we lived in the same village in Ireland (probably my only claim to “fame”). Deighton wrote the excellent espionage thriller “The IPCRESS File”, made was into a 1965 movie starring Michael Caine.

27. “Clerks” clerk : DANTE

“Clerks” is a 1994 black comedy movie that was shot on a budget of under $28,000. It grossed over three million dollars in theaters.

28. Gandhi family notable : RAJIV

Rajiv Gandhi was the oldest son of Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India who was assassinated. Rajiv took over the office of PM when his mother was killed in 1984. In the election that followed soon after the assassination, Rajiv Gandhi led his Congress Party to victory with the biggest margin in Indian history, capturing 411 seats out of 542, an incredible majority. He remained in power until he too was killed, by a suicide bomber while on the campaign trail in 1991.

31. “The Card Players” artist : PAUL CEZANNE

Paul Cézanne was a Post-Impressionist artist who was born and worked in the beautiful city of Aix-en-Provence in the South of France. Cézanne has the reputation of being the artist who bridged the late 19th century Impressionist movement with the early 20th century Cubist movement. Both Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso are quoted as saying that Cézanne “is the father of us all”.

“The Card Players” is a series of five paintings from the 1890s by French Post-Impressionist Paul Cézanne. All of the paintings feature male Provençal peasants smoking pipes and playing cards intently. One painting in the series was sold in 2011 for $250-300 million, making it the third most expensive work of art ever sold.

34. Contract with a flat fee? : LEASE

“Flat”, in the sense of an apartment or condominium, is a word more commonly used in the British Isles than on this side of the pond. The term “flat” is Scottish in origin, in which language it used to mean “floor in a house”.

35. Sweetly, in suites : DOLCE

The musical term “dolce” instructs the performer to play “gently and sweetly”.

36. Dizzy genre : BOP

Dizzy Gillespie was a musician from Cheraw, South Carolina who was best known as a jazz trumpeter. Gillespie was also known for playing a “bent” trumpet, one with the bell projecting upwards at a 45-degree angle. The unusual configuration of the instrument came about accidentally, when a pair of dancers fell on it during a birthday party. The damage to the instrument caused a change in the tone which Gillespie liked, so he left it as is.

41. Old senate setting : ROME

Our word “senate” comes from the Latin for such a body, namely “senatus”. In turn, “senatus” is derived from “senex” meaning “old man”, reflecting the original Roman senate’s makeup as a council of “elders”.

42. Japan, to natives : NIPPON

The Japanese names for “Japan” are “Nippon” and “Nihon”. These translate literally as “the sun’s origin”, but the more ornate translation of “Land of the Rising Sun” is often cited.

45. PC space bar neighbor : ALT

The Alt (alternate) key is found on either side of the space bar on US PC keyboards. The Alt key evolved from what was called a Meta key on old MIT keyboards, although the function has changed somewhat over the years. Alt is equivalent in many ways to the Option key on a Mac keyboard, and indeed the letters “Alt” have been printed on most Mac keyboards starting in the nineties.

46. Homer, in baseball lingo : GO DEEP

Lingo is specialized vocabulary. “Journalese” and “legalese” would be good examples.

47. Pieces for one : SOLI

“Soli” (the plural of “solo”) are pieces of music performed by one artist, whereas “tutti” are pieces performed by all of the artists.

48. Historical role played by Sally Field in 2012 : MARY TODD LINCOLN

Mary Todd moved in the best of the social circles in Springfield, Illinois and there met the successful lawyer, Abraham Lincoln. The path to their marriage wasn’t exactly smooth, as the engagement was broken once but reinstated, with the couple eventually marrying in 1842.

The 2012 movie “Lincoln” is a historical drama that portrays the last four months of the life of President Abraham Lincoln. The main focus in the story is Lincoln’s work to have the US House of Representatives pass the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, the amendment that finally abolished slavery. “Lincoln” was co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field and Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln. It’s a film I’d recommend …

Actress Sally Field first came to the public’s attention in the sixties with title roles in the TV shows “Gidget” and “The Flying Nun”. She has two Best Actress Oscars: one for “Norma Rae” (1979) and one for “Places in the Heart” (1984).

52. Dr. Scholl’s products : INSOLES

William Scholl worked part time as a cobbler and then in a shoe retailer in Chicago. Noting that many people had similar foot problems he went to night school and qualified as a podiatrist in 1904. Soon after he started his own company making footcare products, giving us the brand name Dr. Scholl’s.

54. More adroit : NEATER

The French for “to the right” is “à droit”, from which we get our word “adroit”. The original meaning of “adroit” was “rightly, properly”, but it has come to mean dexterous and skillful. Someone described as “maladroit” is unskilled and awkward.

Down

1. Word of origin : WHENCE

“Whence” is a lovely word, with the meaning “from where”.

3. Poison frontman Michaels : BRET

Bret Michaels is a singer-songwriter who came to fame as the lead vocalist of the glam metal band called Poison. Michaels also won the third season of the reality show “Celebrity Apprentice”.

4. Bit of EMT expertise : CPR

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

5. “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” host Tyler : AISHA

Aisha Tyler is an actor and comedian who was a co-host on “The Talk” for several years starting in 2011. She began hosting the reboot of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” in 2013.

7. Space shuttle gas : OXYGEN

Most spacecraft carry oxygen for sustaining life in pressurized tanks. As the supply in tanks is limited, the oxygen used on space stations is mainly generated locally. Oxygen generators work by passing an electric current through water (H2O), and hence producing gaseous hydrogen and oxygen.

9. Couples of golf : FRED

The golfer Fred Couples is a former World No. 1 whose biggest win was the 1992 Masters Tournament, his only Major championship victory. Couples in known for his long drives, for which he earned the nickname “Boom Boom”.

10. “Help wanted” sign? : SOS

The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are also mnemonics, introduced after the “SOS” signal was adopted.

17. Like film in a camera : UNDEVELOPED

In black and white photography, photographic film and paper both contain tiny silver halide crystals in a layer of emulsion. If the silver ion in the halide is exposed to light then it is converted from an ion into metallic silver. Visually there is no difference at this stage between the light-exposed and unexposed parts of the film/paper. When a liquid developer (such as amidol) is applied, then the metallic silver is reduced, turning the silver into metallic crystals that make up the dark areas of the exposed film or paper. A solution known as a fixer is then used to remove unexposed silver halide, hence rendering the image insensitive to further action by light.

22. Composer Debussy : CLAUDE

Claude Debussy is one of my favorite composers, and someone who epitomises the Romantic Era and Impressionist Movement in music. One of my favorite CDs is a collection of some “lighter” Debussy pieces called “Debussy for Daydreaming”, and what an evocative collection it is. Included are “Syrinx”, “Maid with the Flaxen Hair”, “Rêverie” and everyone’s favorite, “Clair de Lune”.

27. Ted of “The Good Place” : DANSON

The actor Ted Danson is noted for in particular for three successful roles that he has played on television. He played Sam Malone on the sitcom “Cheers”, the title role on the sitcom “Becker”, and eventually led the cast on the drama series “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”. Danson has been married to the lovely actress Mary Steenburgen since 1995.

“The Good Place” is a fantasy-comedy TV show about a woman who wakes up in the afterlife. The woman is played by Kristen Bell, and the afterlife is a heaven-like utopia designed by Michael, an immortal architect portrayed by Ted Danson. I haven’t seen this one …

29. Eponymous 2001 pop album : JLO

“J.Lo” is the nickname of singer and actress Jennifer Lopez. “J.Lo” is also the title of her second studio album, one released in 2001.

31. Coconut source : PALM TREE

The coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm. The term “coconut” comes from “coco” and “nut”, with “coco” being 16th-century Spanish and Portuguese for “head”, and more specifically “grinning face”. The three holes found in the base of a coconut shell might be said to resemble a human face.

32. Early transatlantic flier : ZEPPELIN

The zeppelin airship was developed by the German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, the design of which was granted a US patent in 1899. When zeppelins went into service, they were operated by the company Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-AG (DELAG), making that company the world’s first commercial airline. DELAG was operating commercial flights even before WWI. Famously, that big spire at the top of the Empire State Building was designed to be a docking point for zeppelin airships. However, after several attempts to use it as such, the idea was abandoned as the updrafts coming up from the streets below made docking too hazardous a maneuver.

33. Nuclear reactor need : COOLANT

A nuclear reactor is a device designed to maintain a self-contained nuclear chain reaction. Nuclear fission generates heat in the reactor core. That heat is transferred out of the core by a nuclear reactor coolant, and is used to turn steam turbines. Those steam turbines usually drive electrical generators, or perhaps a ship’s propellers.

35. Golden Globes genre : DRAMA

The first Golden Globe Awards ceremony was held in 1944 to honor the best in filmmaking. The award was created by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which had been formed the year before by a group of writers in Los Angeles. One of the most famous of the Golden Globes is the Cecil B. DeMille Award, which is presented for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment”.

38. 1962 Lawrence portrayer : O’TOOLE

Irish actor Peter O’Toole got his big break in movies when he played the title role in the 1962 epic film “Lawrence of Arabia”. My favorite of O’Toole’s movies is much lighter fare, namely “How to Steal a Million” in which he stars opposite Audrey Hepburn. O’Toole never won an Oscar, but holds the record for the greatest number of Best Actor nominations without a win.

“Lawrence of Arabia” is a 1962 movie that recounts the real life story of T. E. Lawrence, a British army officer famous for his role in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I. The title role in the film is played by Irish actor Peter O’Toole. The role of Sherif Ali ibn el Kharish is played by Omar Sharif.

42. 2007 #1 hit for Alicia Keys : NO ONE

“Alicia Keys” is the stage name of Alicia Cook, an R&B and soul singer from Hell’s Kitchen in New York City.

43. Put in one’s two cents : OPINE

“To put in one’s two cents” is to add one’s opinion. The American expression derives from the older English version, which is “to put in one’s two pennies’ worth”.

46. Classic muscle cars : GTOS

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.

47. Andy Murray, by birth : SCOT

Andy Murray is a tennis player from Scotland who became British number in 2006, rising to world number one in 2016. Much to the delight of the locals, Murray won the Wimbledon Championship in 2013, making him the first British male player to win in 77 years. Murray also won Olympic gold in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and again in the Rio Games in 2016.

49. Soprano Sumac : YMA

Yma Sumac was a Peruvian soprano. Sumac had a notable vocal range of five octaves.

50. “The Puzzle Palace” org. : NSA

“The Puzzle Palace” is a 1982 book by James Bamford book that deals with the history of the National Security Agency (NSA). As perhaps might be expected, release of the book was fraught with controversy. The Reagan administration threatened legal action if Bamford did not return classified documents that the government claimed were released in error. Those documents dealt with the illegal monitoring of domestic communication and surveillance of Americans without a warrant.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. High-tech accessory that may pose privacy issues : WEBCAM
7. Not quite aligned : OFFSET
13. No-nonsense marker : SHARPIE
14. Runs off, in a way : XEROXES
16. Leader of New Netherland before it was renamed New York : PETER STUYVESANT
18. Caltech, e.g.: Abbr. : INST
19. The __ Man: Major Arcana card : HANGED
20. “Nixon in China” tenor role : MAO
21. Multiple of LXVII : CCI
22. Mobile maker : CALDER
23. Flirtatious bat : WINK
24. 1983 Streisand film : YENTL
26. Spy novelist Deighton : LEN
27. “Clerks” clerk : DANTE
28. Gandhi family notable : RAJIV
30. Exposes : BARES
31. “The Card Players” artist : PAUL CEZANNE
33. Positive : CAN-DO
34. Contract with a flat fee? : LEASE
35. Sweetly, in suites : DOLCE
36. Dizzy genre : BOP
37. Secret targets? : ODORS
41. Old senate setting : ROME
42. Japan, to natives : NIPPON
44. Roof, e.g. : TOP
45. PC space bar neighbor : ALT
46. Homer, in baseball lingo : GO DEEP
47. Pieces for one : SOLI
48. Historical role played by Sally Field in 2012 : MARY TODD LINCOLN
51. Coral relative : ANEMONE
52. Dr. Scholl’s products : INSOLES
53. Promo : TEASER
54. More adroit : NEATER

Down

1. Word of origin : WHENCE
2. Dirties the dishes : EATS IN
3. Poison frontman Michaels : BRET
4. Bit of EMT expertise : CPR
5. “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” host Tyler : AISHA
6. Like gong sounds : METALLIC
7. Space shuttle gas : OXYGEN
8. Contagious enthusiasm : FEVER
9. Couples of golf : FRED
10. “Help wanted” sign? : SOS
11. Test taker : EXAMINEE
12. What letters need : TENANTS
13. Hot : SPICY
15. Fuel : STOKE
17. Like film in a camera : UNDEVELOPED
22. Composer Debussy : CLAUDE
23. Put on notice : WARNED
25. Blank state : TRANCE
27. Ted of “The Good Place” : DANSON
29. Eponymous 2001 pop album : JLO
30. Barnyard sound : BAA!
31. Coconut source : PALM TREE
32. Early transatlantic flier : ZEPPELIN
33. Nuclear reactor need : COOLANT
35. Golden Globes genre : DRAMA
36. Potential stock buyer : BIDDER
38. 1962 Lawrence portrayer : O’TOOLE
39. Painting supply : ROLLER
40. Pleasant rides : SPINS
42. 2007 #1 hit for Alicia Keys : NO ONE
43. Put in one’s two cents : OPINE
46. Classic muscle cars : GTOS
47. Andy Murray, by birth : SCOT
49. Soprano Sumac : YMA
50. “The Puzzle Palace” org. : NSA

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30 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 16 Feb 19, Saturday”

  1. Please explain, anyone, 21A: Where does the III come from to be multiplied by LXVII to equal CCI? Also, 54A: How does “adroit” equate to “neat?”

    1. Good questions, RJB, and two of the more glaring examples of this pointless puzzle’s goofy cluing. Others: In baseball lingo, “homer” is (almost always) a noun; GO DEEP is never a noun. Without “as in” or some other reference to attitude, “positive” is not a defensible clue for CAN DO. And STOKE equating to “fuel”?! C’mon. Constructor Adams sorely needed the useful editor he obviously didn’t have.

      1. One *could* read that 46A clue as a verb phrase: as in (to) homer (is to) GO DEEP. Just one of those annoying, soundalike clues that I believe are sometimes intentionally written to addle our brains with our own perceptions. STOKE is okay, too, to “fuel” a fire is to “stoke” it with additional logs, kindling, etc. This puzzle was a bit difficult, but in this case, it wasn’t the editor’s fault… (much as I carp on those guys, I feel I have to defend them when they’re unfairly under attack). 🙂

        1. The above explanations are correct, and positive can apply to an attitude, with can do (or can-do) being an entirely appropriate synonym. Honestly, Anonymous, your carping about clues that you just don’t get is becoming tiresome, to say the least. I know criticism is frowned upon here, but I believe you’ve forfeited any protection from same!

      2. Interesting comments and I completely agree with the different
        parts of speech that are supposed to be the same and are not.

        ” JLo” is Jennifer Lopez, known primarily as a dancer. Currently in a
        romantic involvement with Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod), the retired
        New York Yankees baseball star. May be married by this time (or not).

        After four good days, we bombed on Friday, less than half. After I looked
        at the completed puzzle, I saw that I knew all but two words. The trouble
        was that I didn’t know them at either the time or the place. I almost put “nor”, but one has to be careful in this crowd! Did not attempt Saturday’s (today). Hoping for a good start on Monday. Kudos to all.

      3. Anonymous– Homer is a verb as much as it is a noun. As Allen and Jay point out below, STOKE means FUEL. This is normal Saturday stuff. It’s supposed to be tricky….it’s a PUZZLE.

    1. To rent is “to let”. A letter, in this case, is another soundalike clue very cynically, and effectively, put in your path to make your own brain work against you. You got *got*. You got took. (And you’re likely not alone).

  2. LAT: 15:29, no errors. Newsday: 38:09, no errors; very difficult one, I thought. WSJ: 39:10, no errors; clever theme, but a bit tedious to deal with. NYT: 18:42, no errors; pretty thoughtful solve.

    @RJB … I was a math major, which may have something to do with it, but the III came to mind pretty readily when I realized that LXVII = 67, which is almost exactly 1/3 of 200. In any case, if you start writing out multiples of LXVII, you get CXXXIV, CCI, CCLXVIII, CCCXXXV, CDII, CDLXIX, DXXXVI, …, and the one that’s three letters long jumps out at you early. I agree that “More adroit” was a pretty weird clue for “NEATER” (which I got through crosses), but I think the other things @Anonymous points out are defensible. It’s a Saturday puzzle, after all!

      1. But … I just checked … and … the connection between “adroit” and “neat” comes straight out of Roget’s Thesaurus. So … there it is … 😜.

  3. 17 mins, 36 sec, 2 errors in one unfortunate cross. This one was tough; I despaired to finish it halfway through my first pass at the clues. And my first confident entry was well into the Across clues!!! The setters have put me through the wringer this week!!!

  4. My, my, my. So many opinions today. This was not as hard for a Sat. puzzle. I can say that because I finished it! Do agree with some of the above comments however. But I made it through this Sat. one for a change.

  5. 23:39. Fun one. How many puzzles can squeeze PETER STUYVESANT, PAUL CEZANNE and RAJIV into it??

    I must admit NEATER had me a bit confused as well. My only thought of “adroit” was dextrous, nimble etc. Turns out it has so many meanings it can even mean “mean” or “wicked” – quick-witted in a bad way, perhaps? The closest syn. I found to “neat” was “polished” or “slick”, and I’ll just have to accept that. Learned a lot about the word though.

    …And I forget that I ALWAYS have to note (i.e. complain) that while “adroit” in French means “right”, “gauche” comes from French for “left”…Grr. And of course in Latin dexter=right and sinister=left. Being left-handed I take exception to that….

    OXYGEN even tripped me up. It was too easy for a gas used on the space shuttle. Duh. I was thinking hydrogen. They love to use liquid hydrogen for rocket fuel as it has what they call a high “specific impulse” which is just a fancy way of saying it produces a lot of thrust for how heavy (or really how light) it is – its thrust per pound burned is very high in other words.

    Looks like the NYT is back up, but Bill hasn’t added to it since Wednesday. I’m sure it will be running like normal soon.

    Best –

  6. LAT: 21:53, no errors. Lot easier and felt quicker than the time indicated. WSJ: 32:23, no errors.

    @Dave (yesterday)
    >“The Post’s own crossword”?
    They didn’t have a daily crossword (they got Birnholz on Sunday, Reagle before that, which qualifies as “The Post’s own crossword”), but the Washington Post was one of the major presences of a syndicate that a number of crossword setters tried to start called CrosSynergy. I don’t know how long it lasted, but they ultimately folded a couple of years ago. The WP adopted the LAT puzzles afterwards.

    They primarily did puzzles of Tues NYT difficulty every day of the week, which is probably where your commenter of yesterday’s angst comes from.

  7. Pretty fun Saturday; took about an hour with three dumb mistakes. Just filled everything in writing lightly.

    Misspelled YENTa and, at least somewhat reasonably, put in weLDER for “Mobile maker,” because I was getting tired trying to remember Debussy’s first name. Other than that, it sort of filled itself in without too much difficulty.

    Nice spot Marilyn: Peter, Paul and Mary…..Leav’n on a zeppelin 🙂

  8. Aloha everyone!!🐔

    No errors on a challenging Saturday! I definitely had to walk away a few times and then return to it. 🤔 It took me FOREVER to get WEBCAM, which is strange because webcams are on my mind lately– I’m in the market for one.

    Interesting variety in terms of answers, what with J LO and DEBUSSY et al.

    Dave, you’re quite the whiz with the Roman numerals. 🙀 I never do the math on those things; I just know I can narrow it down to a few letters: I, V, X, C, M, D….I think that’s all …oh I forgot L!!!

    Be well~~😻

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