LA Times Crossword 18 Feb 19, Monday

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Constructed by: Kurt Krauss
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Ban to Bun

Themed answers include a vowel progression at the end, with words going from BAN to BUN as we progress down the grid:

  • 17A. Extreme-weather restriction, perhaps : TRAVEL BAN
  • 25A. Title bear of ’60s TV : GENTLE BEN
  • 37A. Brit’s trash can : DUSTBIN
  • 51A. Classic French song whose title means “It’s so good” : C’EST SI BON
  • 61A. Frank holder : HOT DOG BUN

Bill’s time: 4m 59s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Class-conscious gp. : PTA

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

4. Big name in underwear : SPANX

Spanx is an underwear brand. Most Spanx garments are designed to make the wearer appear thinner. Spanx is a privately held company that was founded by entrepreneur Sara Blakely in 2000. Despite the success of the product line, there is some controversy. Spanx have been referred to as the corset of the modern era.

9. Near-sighted Mr. : MAGOO

Mr. Quincy Magoo is a wonderful cartoon character voiced by Jim Backus. Backus is probably equally well-known for playing Mr. Magoo as well as Thurston Howell, III on “Gilligan’s Island”. Mr. Magoo first appeared on the screen in a short called “The Ragtime Bear” in 1949. His persona was at least in part based on the antics of W. C. Fields. Backus originally used a fake rubber nose that pinched his nostrils in order to create the distinctive voice, although in time he learned to do the voice without the prop. My absolute favorite appearance by Mr. Magoo is in “Mr Magoo’s Christmas Carol”, a true classic from the sixties. There was a movie adaptation of “Mr Magoo” released in 1997, with Leslie Nielsen playing the title role.

14. __-de-sac : CUL

Even though “cul-de-sac” can indeed mean “bottom of the bag” in French, the term cul-de-sac is of English origin (the use of “cul” in French is actually quite rude). The term was introduced in aristocratic circles at a time when it was considered very fashionable to speak French. Dead-end streets in France are usually signposted with just a symbol and no accompanying words, but if words are included they are “voie sans issue”, meaning “way without exit”.

15. Conical home : TEPEE

A tepee (also written as “tipi” and “teepee”) is a cone-shaped tent traditionally made from animal hides that is used by the Great Plains Native Americans. A wigwam is a completely different structure and is often a misnomer for a tepee. A wigwam is a domed structure built by Native Americans in the West and Southwest, intended to be a more permanent dwelling. The wigwam can also be covered with hides but more often was covered with grass, reeds, brush or cloth.

20. Krispy __ doughnuts : KREME

The Krispy Kreme chain of doughnut stores was founded in 1937 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The company introduced the Whole Wheat Glazed doughnut in 2007, which is great news for folks looking to eat a healthy diet, I am sure …

21. Chat room chuckle : LOL

Laugh out loud (LOL)

23. Japanese computer giant : NEC

“NEC” is the name that the Nippon Electric Company chose for itself outside of Japan after a rebranding exercise in 1983.

24. 18-wheeler : SEMI

An 18-wheeler semi-trailer truck has eight wheels under the trailer, i.e. four on each of the two rear axles. There are 10 wheels under the tractor unit. Two of the ten wheels are on the front axle, and eight are on the rear two axles that sit under the front of the trailer.

25. Title bear of ’60s TV : GENTLE BEN

The sixties television show “Gentle Ben” tells the story of the friendship between an Alaska brown bear named Ben, and a young boy called Mark. Mark was played by child actor Clint Howard, who is the younger brother of actor and director Ron Howard.

28. A flirt may bat one : EYELASH

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”.

31. Mount McKinley, now : DENALI

“Denali” means “the high one” in the native Athabaskan language, and is now the name used for Mount McKinley. Denali’s summit stands at 20,237 feet, making it the highest mountain peak in North America. I was surprised to learn that there is a Denali State Park, as well as the Denali National Park. The two are located adjacent to each other (which makes sense!). The State Park is undeveloped for all practical purposes, with just a few campgrounds and trailheads.

32. ’60s “acid” : LSD

The drug LSD is often sold impregnated into blotting paper. The paper blotter is usually divided into squares with ¼-inch sides, with each square referred to as a “tab”.

39. Paris’ river : SEINE

The Seine is the river that flows through Paris. The Seine empties into the English Channel to the north, at the port city of Le Havre.

43. Boxing’s “Iron Mike” : TYSON

The boxer Mike Tyson, nicknamed “Iron Mike”, has said some pretty graphic things about his opponents. For example:

  • About Lennox Lewis: “My main objective is to be professional but to kill him.”
  • To Razor Ruddock: “I’m gonna make you my girlfriend.”
  • About Tyrell Biggs: “He was screaming like my wife.”

44. Yahoo! rival : MSN

The Microsoft Network (MSN) used to be an Internet service provider (ISP). These days, MSN is mainly a web portal.

49. Attached, as hotel rooms : EN SUITE

The expression “en suite” is an example of the French language being used in English, but with a new meaning. Firstly, the word “ensuite” translates from French as “then” or “later”. The phrase “en suite” translates as “as a set, series”. The French also use the term “suite” as we do sometimes, as in a suite of connecting rooms. Over in Britain and Ireland, “en suite” is a phrase used in the hotel industry for a bedroom that has a private bathroom or shower room attached. Some smaller establishments in that part of the world might rent out bedrooms with the occupants having to share bathing facilities.

51. Classic French song whose title means “It’s so good” : C’EST SI BON

“C’est si bon” is a French popular song that dates back to 1947. It has been adapted into several languages, including English, although the title usually remains in French.

56. Suffix with iso- or poly- : -MER

In the world of chemistry, isomers are two compounds with the same chemical formula (i.e. the same atomic constituents), but with a slightly different arrangement of the atoms relative to each other. The differing arrangement of atoms often leads to different chemical properties.

In chemistry, a polymer is a large molecule comprising many repeated subunits. Most of our plastic materials are synthetic polymers. Examples of naturally occuring polymers are DNA and proteins.

57. Footnote abbr. : OP CIT

“Op. cit.” is short for “opus citatum”, Latin for “the work cited”. Op. cit. is used in footnotes to refer the reader to an earlier citation. It is similar to ibid, except that ibid refers the reader to the last citation, the one immediately above.

59. Sci-fi author Verne : JULES

Jules Verne really was a groundbreaking author. Verne pioneered the science fiction genre, writing about space, air and underwater travel, long before they were practical and proved feasible. Verne is the second-most translated author of all time, with only Agatha Christie beating him out.

61. Frank holder : HOT DOG BUN

The frankfurter sausage that is typically used in a North American hot dog get its name from Frankfurter Würstchen. The latter is a German sausage that is prepared by boiling in water, just like a hot dog frank.

65. Battery post : ANODE

A battery is a device that converts chemical energy into electric energy. A simple battery is made up of three parts: a cathode, an anode and a liquid electrolyte. Ions from the electrolyte react chemically with the material in the anode producing a compound and releasing electrons. At the same time, the electrolyte reacts with the material in the cathode, absorbing electrons and producing a different chemical compound. In this way, there is a buildup of electrons at the anode and a deficit of electrons at the cathode. When a connection (wire, say) is made between the cathode and anode, electrons flow through the resulting circuit from the anode to cathode in an attempt to rectify the electron imbalance.

68. What a rooster rules : ROOST

The term “rooster” dates back to the late 1700s, and is used to describe an adult male chicken, primarily here in the US. The word “rooster” originated as an alternative to “cock”, as puritans objected to the association with the slang usage of the latter term.

69. Like seven U.S. flag stripes : RED

The thirteen red and white stripes on the US flag represent the thirteen British colonies that declared independence from Britain, to become the first US states.

Down

2. Thanksgiving birds : TURKEYS

The tradition of the US President “pardoning” a Thanksgiving turkey was only formalized in 1989, during the administration of President George H, W. Bush. The pardoned turkey is taken to a farm where is gets to live out its life. Prior to 1989, the tradition was more focused on the presentation of a turkey to the White House, and less on the fate of the bird. President Eisenhower was presented with a turkey in each year of his two terms, and he ate them all …

5. Brazilian soccer legend : PELE

“Pelé” is the nickname of Edson de Nascimento, a soccer player who has used the name “Pelé” for most of his life. Pelé is now retired, and for my money was the world’s greatest ever player of the game. He is the only person to have been a member of three World Cup winning squads (1958, 1962 and 1970), and is a national treasure in his native Brazil. One of Pele’s nicknames is “O Rei do Futebol” (the King of Football).

6. Msg. for a cop car : APB

An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

7. “Their Eyes Were Watching God” novelist Zora __ Hurston : NEALE

Zora Neale Hurston was an American author who was most famous for her 1937 novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God”.

8. Arc lamp gas : XENON

Metal halide lamps that are called xenons don’t actually rely on the incorporated xenon gas to generate light. The xenon gas is added so that the lamp comes on “instantly”. Without the xenon, the lamp would start up rather like an older streetlamp, flickering and sputtering for a while before staying alight.

9. Animal’s gullet : MAW

“Maw” is a term used to describe the mouth or stomach of a carnivorous animal. “Maw” is also used as slang for the mouth or stomach of a greedy person.

12. Like amoebas : ONE-CELL

An ameba (also “amoeba”) is a single-celled microorganism. The name comes from the Greek “amoibe”, meaning change. The name is quite apt, as the cell changes shape readily as the ameba moves, eats and reproduces.

13. Wordsmith’s 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.

22. Inc., in Toronto : LTD

Limited (Ltd.)

26. Singer Rimes and soaps actress Hunley : LEANNS

LeAnn Rimes has been a country music star since she was 13 years old. In 2008 she disclosed publicly that she suffered from the autoimmune disease psoriasis. She has been active since then in raising money to fight the disease and helping fund cancer research as well. So, not only did Rimes win three Grammy Awards in 1997, she also won a 2009 Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Country Music.

Actress Leann Hunley is perhaps best known for her work in soap operas, portraying Anna DiMera on “Days of our Lives” and Dana Waring on “Dynasty”. Hunley played DiMera on “Days of our Lives” from 1982 until 1986, and then came back 21 years later to play the part from 2007 until 2017.

27. Never, in Neuss : NIE

Neuss is a German city located on the west bank of the Rhine opposite Düsseldorf. Founded by the Romans in 16 BC, Neuss jointly holds the title of “Germany’s oldest city”, along with Trier.

29. Birch family trees : ALDERS

Alder trees are deciduous (i.e. not evergreen), and the fruit of the tree is called a “catkin”. The tree carries both male and female catkins that look very similar to each other, but the male catkin is longer than the female. Alders are pollinated by wind usually, although bees can play a role.

30. Not worth a __ : SOU

A sou is an old French coin. We use the term “sou” to mean “an almost worthless amount”.

35. “Barnaby Jones” star Buddy : EBSEN

The actor Buddy Ebsen was best known for playing Jed Clampett in television’s “The Beverly Hillbillies”. Ebsen had been cast in the role of the Tin Man in the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”, but he developed an allergy to the aluminium dust that was used in the makeup. He ended up in hospital and had to walk away from the part. Ebsen blamed “The Wizard of Oz” on persistent problems that he had with his lungs in subsequent years. But Ebsen lived 16 years longers that any of the other major cast members of the film, so maybe he got the last laugh!

Barnaby Jones is a character on the seventies detective show “Cannon”. The Jones character was played by Buddy Ebsen. Ebsen then starred in the title role of the spin-off show “Barnaby Jones”.

48. Comic Conway : TIM

Comedy actor Tim Conway is best known in front of the TV camera for playing Ensign Parker in “McHale’s Navy” and for co-starring on “The Carol Burnett Show”. Our younger friends might be more familiar with Conway as the voice behind Barnacle Boy on “SpongeBob SquarePants”.

50. Maritime safety gp. : USCG

The US Coast Guard (USCG) has the distinction of being the country’s oldest continuous seagoing service. The USCG was founded as the Revenue Cutter Service by Alexander Hamilton in 1790.

52. Joy of “The View” : BEHAR

Joy Behar is a comedian, and former co-host of the hit talk show “The View”. Behar was one of the original co-hosts of “The View”, and stayed with the show from 1997 until 2013. She briefly hosted her own talk show called “Late Night Joy” in November 2015.

53. Maine college town : ORONO

The town of Orono is home to the University of Maine that was founded in 1862. The college is actually located on an island (Marsh island) lying between the Penobscot and Stillwater rivers. The town of Orono is named after Joseph Orono, a chief of the Penobscot Nation. The school’s athletic teams are named the Maine Black Bears.

58. Browning or Burns : POET

Robert Browning met fellow poet Elizabeth Barrett in 1845. Elizabeth was a sickly woman, confined to her parents’ house in Wimpole Street in London, largely due to the conservative and protective nature of her father. Robert and Elizabeth eventually eloped in 1846, and lived in self-inflicted exile in Italy. Away from the country of his birth, Browning was moved to write his now famous “Home Thoughts, From Abroad”, the first line of which is “Oh, to be in England …”

Robert Burns is a cultural icon in Scotland and for Scots around the world. As a poet, Burns was a pioneer in the Romantic movement in the second half of the 18th century. One of his most famous works is the poem “Auld Lang Syne”, which has been set to the tune of a traditional Scottish folk song and is used to celebrate the New Year in the English-speaking world.

63. Beatty of “Deliverance” : NED

Actor Ned Beatty is possible best remembered for the rather disturbing “squeal like a pig” scene in the movie “Deliverance”. Beatty also earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the 1976 movie “Network”.

“Deliverance” is a 1972 film based on a 1970 novel of the same name. It’s all about four guys from the city who get themselves into all kinds of trouble on a canoe trip in a remote part of Georgia. The four city boys were played by Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox, with Beatty and Cox making their film debuts. Famously, the soundtrack features the marvelous instrumental “Dueling Banjos”, although in the movie it was actually “dueling guitar and banjo”.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Class-conscious gp. : PTA
4. Big name in underwear : SPANX
9. Near-sighted Mr. : MAGOO
14. __-de-sac : CUL
15. Conical home : TEPEE
16. Do penance : ATONE
17. Extreme-weather restriction, perhaps : TRAVEL BAN
19. Dwindled : WANED
20. Krispy __ doughnuts : KREME
21. Chat room chuckle : LOL
23. Japanese computer giant : NEC
24. 18-wheeler : SEMI
25. Title bear of ’60s TV : GENTLE BEN
28. A flirt may bat one : EYELASH
31. Mount McKinley, now : DENALI
32. ’60s “acid” : LSD
33. Like baggy pants : LOOSE
36. Bewilder : ADDLE
37. Brit’s trash can : DUSTBIN
39. Paris’ river : SEINE
43. Boxing’s “Iron Mike” : TYSON
44. Yahoo! rival : MSN
47. Obtain through intimidation, as money : EXTORT
49. Attached, as hotel rooms : EN SUITE
51. Classic French song whose title means “It’s so good” : C’EST SI BON
54. Unexpected thing to hit : SNAG
55. Cornfield sound : CAW
56. Suffix with iso- or poly- : -MER
57. Footnote abbr. : OP CIT
59. Sci-fi author Verne : JULES
61. Frank holder : HOT DOG BUN
64. Leaning : ATILT
65. Battery post : ANODE
66. Absorbed, as a loss : ATE
67. Fishing line holders : REELS
68. What a rooster rules : ROOST
69. Like seven U.S. flag stripes : RED

Down

1. Cut for an agt. : PCT
2. Thanksgiving birds : TURKEYS
3. Fearful : ALARMED
4. Flower part : STEM
5. Brazilian soccer legend : PELE
6. Msg. for a cop car : APB
7. “Their Eyes Were Watching God” novelist Zora __ Hurston : NEALE
8. Arc lamp gas : XENON
9. Animal’s gullet : MAW
10. Finished : AT AN END
11. (Having) spoiled : GONE BAD
12. Like amoebas : ONE-CELL
13. Wordsmith’s ref. : OED
18. Wedding wear : VEIL
22. Inc., in Toronto : LTD
24. French salt : SEL
25. White-sheet wearer, on Halloween : GHOST
26. Singer Rimes and soaps actress Hunley : LEANNS
27. Never, in Neuss : NIE
29. Birch family trees : ALDERS
30. Not worth a __ : SOU
34. Hog’s home : STY
35. “Barnaby Jones” star Buddy : EBSEN
38. + or – particle : ION
39. “Just a __!” : SEC
40. Carry out, as a task : EXECUTE
41. “Don’t believe that!” : IT’S A LIE
42. Ailing : NOT WELL
44. Hotel room amenity : MINIBAR
45. It’s a law : STATUTE
46. Opposite of pos. : NEG
48. Comic Conway : TIM
50. Maritime safety gp. : USCG
52. Joy of “The View” : BEHAR
53. Maine college town : ORONO
57. Sports betting numbers : ODDS
58. Browning or Burns : POET
59. Pickle container : JAR
60. Ave. crossers : STS
62. As well : TOO
63. Beatty of “Deliverance” : NED

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11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 18 Feb 19, Monday”

  1. LAT 16:04 no errors. Didn’t realize there was a theme until I read Bills explanation . It seemed a tad hard for a Monday puzzle but then I see Bills time and…….
    NYT 0114 from my paper today 13:50 no errors. Kinda slow for a Monday

  2. LAT: 6:49, no errors. Newsday: 5:18, no errors. NYT: 5:43, no errors. WSJ: none (because of the holiday), but I verified that my answer for Friday’s meta was correct. CHE: 9:12, no errors; surprisingly easy. New Yorker: 19:11, no errors; quite easy once I realized that I had fallen into a trap on my answer for 46A and corrected it. BEQ: 45:25, no errors; so many guesses that I felt as if I were constructing a puzzle, rather than doing someone else’s … but, by some miracle, all of my guesses were correct!

  3. LAT: 5:59, no errors. Kind of surprised I got that close to Bill’s time since I handwrote this one. No WSJ like was said. Newsday: 5:37, no errors. CHE: 15:43, 1 error that I’m not sure I could tell was an error while doing it. New Yorker: 50:31, no errors. Very hard. BEQ: 1:14:02, no errors. Crushingly hard. Amazing I didn’t DNF the latter two, as I thought I probably would.

    NYT Syndies since I see the other blog doesn’t work – Thu (0110): 27:55, no errors. Fri (0111): 25:17, no errors. Sat (0112): 24:15, 1 dumb error. Sun (0210): 1:05:32, 1 very much cheap-shot error / Natick between a clue impossible to know a tense from and a very strange word I never heard of. Again, Sunday is the hardest day of the week for me, and especially comparing these to the two above, I keep wondering if Fri/Sat got easier or I’m in tune with these more for some reason.

  4. I thought we had gotten it and in like 30 minutes, very fast for us.
    But, 0 omissions and 2 errors for 99%. Missed MSN and OPCIT.
    Didn’t know either one and had used WINEBAR for 44D. Seemed OK.

    Kudos to Bill for breaking 5 minutes.

    Hope to continue tomorrow.

  5. Never noticed theme. Had “aNimaLs” before ONE CELL, GENTLEmaN before GENTLE BEN. Never watched the show, and thought GENTLE BEN was the human.

    I think the answer to “What a rooster rules, as ROOST is too close to the clue. And 9 abbrevs is too many.

    Didn’t actually know MSN.

  6. Yes, this was fine for a Monday. I got confused with 10D, but had “atanend” and couldn’t figure out what that meant. Aha, “at an end!” Got it. Phew!!!!

  7. Lots of errors but finished. First mistake was “Hanes” instead of “Spanx”. Then “ebbed” instead of “waned”.

    The answer “roost” was part of the clue “rooster”. Thought that was a no no??

  8. I had a good time with this easy Monday puzzle. The hot dog clue really knocked me out … I know frankfurters but thd word ‘frank’ … frankly just confused me !!!?!!
    I had AOL before MSN but I later corrected myself.
    Not familiar with Spanx and I never watched Gentle Ben on TV … I thought it was too contrived… plus I was always babysitting my kids…at that time….

    I hope Mr Butler and his family are all right. He has enough problems on his hands and these two blogs are very time consuming and very demanding. I don’t know how long he can carry on !!!!! Plus I’m sure his age may be catching up with him …
    Respectfully
    Have a nice day tomorrow all you folks

  9. Greetings!!🐔

    No errors, but I started off badly with those two sets of initials for 1A and 1D!! Agree with Sfingi– too many initials. 🤔

    Also agree with Sfingi and Ray regarding the clue for ROOST — not a red card but maybe a yellow one ⚽️

    Other than that, a good puzzle. Didn’t look for the theme, but that’s exactly the type of theme that I find helpful if I’m stuck.

    Spring training is ON!!⚾️

    Be well~~🍹

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