LA Times Crossword 20 Feb 19, Wednesday

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Constructed by: George Jasper
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Five-Man Rotation

The grid includes FIVE sets of four circled letters. Read clockwise from the top-left, these four letters spell out synonyms of “MAN”:

  • MALE
  • DUDE
  • CHAP
  • STUD
  • GENT

Bill’s time: 6m 17s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Gaping mouths : MAWS

“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.

5. “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” composer : DUKAS

“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” is a poem penned by Goethe in 1797. Paul Dukas wrote a symphonic poem based on the Goethe work, 10 years later. Famously, the Dukas music was used in the 1940 Disney movie called “Fantasia”.

10. States in an outdated atlas: Abbr. : SSRS

The former Soviet Union (USSR) was created in 1922, not long after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that overthrew the Tsar. Geographically, the new Soviet Union was roughly equivalent to the old Russian Empire, and comprised fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs).

14. Nobelist Wiesel : ELIE

Elie Wiesel was a holocaust survivor, and is best known for his book “Night” that tells of his experiences in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. He was also the first recipient of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum Award, which was later renamed the Elie Wiesel Award in his honor.

19. Stereotypical pooch : FIDO

“Fido”, the name for many a dog, is Latin for “I trust”.

20. D.C.’s Pennsylvania, e.g. : AVE

Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. is sometimes called “America’s Main Street”, as it runs between the White House and the US Capitol. The exact reason why this important thoroughfare was given the name “Pennsylvania” seems to be unclear. One favored theory is that it was a gesture to the state of Pennsylvania after moving the country’s capital from Philadelphia.

22. Shop talk : LINGO

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

23. One in a hundred? : SENATOR

The US Senate comprises 100 senators, with each of the fifty states being represented by two popularly elected senators. US senators were appointed by their state legislators from 1798 until 1913, until the Seventh Amendment called for popular elections.

25. Cafeteria worker’s cover : HAIRNET

“Cafeteria” is a Mexican Spanish word meaning “coffee store” that we imported into American English around 1840. Somehow, that coffee store became a self-service dining establishment in the 1890s.

27. Affleck of “Gone Girl” : BEN

Actor and filmmaker Ben Affleck started his career as a child actor in the PBS show “The Voyage of the Mimi”. His big break came with the release of the the film “Good Will Hunting” which he co-wrote and co-starred in with his childhood friend Matt Damon. Affleck had a relationship with actress and singer Jennifer Lopez, with the celebrity couple often being referred to as “Bennifer” in the media. He was also married for several years to actress Jennifer Garner, with whom he has three children.

“Gone Girl” is a thriller novel written by Gillian Flynn that was first published in 2012. The story tells of a man whose wife has disappeared, with the reader not being certain if the husband is involved in the disappearance. The book was adapted into a movie of the same name released in 2014, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.

28. “Downton __”: PBS show : ABBEY

In the incredibly successful period drama “Downton Abbey”, the patriarch of the family living at Downton is Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham or Lord Grantham. The character is played by Hugh Bonneville. Lord Grantham married American Cora Levinson (played by Elizabeth McGovern). Lord and Lady Grantham had three daughters, and no son. The lack of a male heir implied that the Grantham estate would pass to a male cousin, and out of the immediate family. The Grantham daughters are Lady Mary (played by Michelle Dockery), Lady Edith (played by Laura Carmichael) and Lady Sybil (played by Jessica Brown Findlay). Lady Sybil had the audacity to marry the family chauffeur, who was an Irish nationalist. The shame of it all …

32. Many an emailer : AOLER

The iconic phrase “You’ve got mail” was first used by AOL in 1989. The greeting was recorded by voice actor Elwood Edwards. Edwards has parlayed his gig with AOL into some other work. He appears in an episode of “The Simpsons” as a doctor who says the line “You’ve got leprosy”. Edwards also worked as a weatherman for a while and got to use the line “You’ve got hail” …

34. ’50s political monogram : DDE

Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE) was the 34th US president, but he wanted to be remembered as a soldier. He was a five-star general during WWII in charge of the Allied Forces in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). President Eisenhower died in 1969 at Walter Reed Army Hospital. He was buried in an $80 standard soldier’s casket in his army uniform in a chapel on the grounds of the beautiful Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas.

37. Typical MLB pitching alignment, and a hint to this puzzle’s circles : FIVE-MAN ROTATION

In professional baseball, teams have several starting pitchers. Said list of starting pitchers is referred to as a “rotation”. The most common number of starting pitchers in Major League Baseball team is five, i.e. a five-man rotation.

41. Train stopping at every sta. : LOC

Local (loc.)

42. They turn litmus paper red : ACIDS

Litmus is a mixture of naturally-occurring dyes that responds to acidity by changing color. Litmus was probably first used around 1300 by the Spanish alchemist Arnaldus de Villa Nova, who extracted the blue dye from lichens. One suggestion is that the term “litmus” comes from the Old Norse “litmose” meaning “lichen for dyeing”. Litmus is often absorbed onto filter paper, creating “litmus paper” or “pH paper”.

48. Large goblet : CHALICE

A chalice is large drinking cup. The term “chalice” comes from the Latin word “calix” meaning “cup”. A chalice is often used for drinking during ceremonies. One notable example is the Holy Chalice of the Christian tradition, in which Jesus served wine to his apostles at the Last Supper.

54. Bamboo lover : PANDA

The giant panda is a bear, and so has the digestive system of a carnivore. However, the panda lives exclusively on bamboo, even though its gut is relatively poorly adapted to extract nutrients from plants per se. The panda relies on microbes in its gut to digest cellulose, and consumes 20-30 pounds of bamboo each day to gain enough nourishment.

The grass known as bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world. Sadly, there are stories of growing bamboo being used as a device of torture. Supposedly, a victim can be staked out over bamboo shoots so that the shoots grow into the human flesh. Theoretically, bamboo can grow several inches in just three days.

55. Alternative to fries : TOTS

Ore-Ida’s founders came up with the idea for Tater Tots when they were deciding what to do with residual cuts of potato. They chopped up the leftovers, added flour and seasoning, and extruded the mix through a large hole making a sausage that they cut into small cylinders. We eat 70 million pounds of this extruded potato every year!

56. Korean automaker : KIA

Kia Motors is the second largest manufacturer of cars in South Korea, behind Hyundai (and Hyundai is a part owner in Kia now). Kia was founded in 1944 as a manufacturer of bicycle parts, and did indeed produce Korea’s first domestic bicycle. The company’s original name was Kyungsung Precision Industry, with the Kia name introduced in 1952.

61. Sun Devils’ rival : UTES

The Utah Utes are the athletic teams of the University of Utah.

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.

62. Canadian fliers : GEESE

The Canada goose has quite a distinctive coloring, with a black head and neck broken up by a white “chinstrap”. They thrive in parks that are frequented by humans, and are so successful that they are considered pests by some.

63. Language of Pakistan : URDU

Urdu is one of the two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English), and is one of 22 scheduled languages in India. Urdu partly developed from Persian and is written from right to left.

64. Riverbank residue : SILT

Today, we mostly think of silt as a deposit of sediment in a river. Back in the mid-1400s, silt was sediment deposited by seawater. It is thought that word “silt” is related to “salt”, as found in seawater.

65. Govt.-backed bond : T-NOTE

A Treasury note (T-note) is a government debt that matures in 1-10 years. A T-note has a coupon (interest) payment made every six months. The T-note is purchased at a discount to face value, and at the date of maturity can be redeemed at that face value. A T-bill is a similar financial vehicle, but it matures in one year or less, and a T-bond matures in 20-30 years.

Down

1. Small plateaus : MESAS

“Mesa” is the Spanish for “table” and is how we get the term “mesa” that describes the geographic feature. A mesa is similar to a butte. Both are hills with flat tops, but a mesa has a top that is wider than it is tall. A butte is a much narrower formation, taller than it is wide.

7. 10-time NBA All-Star Jason : KIDD

Jason Kidd was a point guard playing in the NBA. He finished his career with the New York Knicks, and then became head coach with the Brooklyn Nets.

8. Commonly injured knee part, briefly : ACL

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four major ligaments that support the knee.

9. Sault __ Marie : STE

Sault Ste. Marie is the name of two cities on either side of the Canada-US border, one in Ontario and the other in Michigan. The two cities were originally one settlement in the 17th century, established by Jesuit Missionaries. The missionaries gave the settlement the name “Sault Sainte Marie”, which can be translated as “Saint Mary’s Falls”. The city was one community until 1817, when a US-UK Joint Boundary Commission set the border along the St. Mary’s River.

10. “On Language” columnist : SAFIRE

William Safire was a syndicated columnist for “The New York Times”. He also worked for the Nixon election campaigns in 1960 and 1968, and was a speechwriter for both Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew.

12. First Homeland Security secretary : RIDGE

Politician Tom Ridge is most famous as the first Secretary of Homeland Security, although he also served as Governor of Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2001.

13. Condescending one : SNOOT

“Snoot” is a variant of “snout” and is a word that originated in Scotland. The idea is that someone who is snooty, or “snouty”, tends to look down his or her nose at the rest of the world.

22. First sign of fall : LIBRA

The constellation of Libra is named for the scales held by the goddess of justice. Libra is the only sign of the zodiac that isn’t named for a living creature.

24. Rose’s Broadway beau : ABIE

“Abie’s Irish Rose” is comedy play by Anne Nichols that opened in 1922 on Broadway and ran for over five years. Back then, that made it the longest run for any show in New York. The show then went on tour, and stayed on tour for an amazing 40 years. The play tells of a young Jewish man called Abie Levy who marries an Irish Catholic girl called Rosemary Murphy. Abie lies to his family and pretends that his “Irish Rose” is Jewish.

25. Saintly glows : HALOS

The Greek word “halos” is the name given to the ring of light around the sun or moon, which gives us our word “halo” that is used for a radiant light depicted above the head of a saintly person.

26. Drive the getaway car, say : ABET

The word “abet” comes into English from the Old French “abeter” meaning “to bait” or “to harass with dogs” (it literally means “to make bite”). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of “abet” meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

29. Partner of 30-Down : AFL

30. Partner of 29-Down : CIO

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded in 1886, making it one of the first federations of unions in the country. Over time the AFL became dominated by craft unions, unions representing skilled workers of particular disciplines. In the early thirties, John L. Lewis led a movement within the AFL to organize workers by industry, believing this would be more effective for the members. But the craft unions refused to budge, so Lewis set up a rival federation of unions in 1932, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The two federations became bitter rivals for over two decades until finally merging in 1955 to form the AFL-CIO.

32. Ouzo flavoring : ANISE

Ouzo is an apéritif from Greece that is colorless and flavored with anise. Ouzo is similar to French pastis and Italian sambuca.

33. MDW : Midway :: __ : O’Hare : ORD

Midway Airport (MDW) started off with just one cinder runway in 1923, and was called Chicago Air Park. By 1927 the airport had expanded and earned the name Chicago Municipal Airport. In 1932 Midway was the world’s busiest airport, a title it held for thirty years. In 1949, in honor of the WWII Battle of Midway, the airport was renamed again to Chicago Midway Airport. Then in 1955, along came Chicago International Airport (ORD) and all the major airlines started moving their operations over to the newer facility. Today, Midway is a major hub for Southwest.

35. Anonymous Jane : DOE

Though the English court system does not use the term today, “John Doe” first appeared as the “name of a person unknown” in England in 1659, along with the similar “Richard Roe”. An unknown female is referred to as “Jane Doe”. Variants of “John Doe” are “Joe Blow” and “John Q. Public”.

36. Peyton Manning’s four? : ENS

There are four letters N (ens) in the name “Peyton Manning”.

Peyton Manning is a former NFL quarterback who played most of his professional career with the Indianapolis Colts. Manning retired at the top of his game, holding records for passing yards, touchdown passes, Pro Bowl appearances, and several other records. Peyton is the son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning, and the older brother of NFL quarterback Eli Manning.

38. Educator Montessori : MARIA

The Montessori approach to education was developed by the Italian educator Maria Montessori in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Montessori system arrived in the US in 1911, but most classes were shut down by 1914 due to unfavorable criticism from the established education system. There was a revival in interest in the US starting in 1960 and now there are thousands of schools using the Montessori approach all over the country.

39. Adapter letters : AC/DC

Anyone with a laptop with an external power supply has an AC/DC converter, that big “block” in the power cord. It converts the AC current from a wall socket into the DC current that is used by the laptop.

46. Parlor piece : SETTEE

“Settee” is another word for “couch”. The term come from the Old English “setl”, which was a long bench with a high back and arms.

Back in the early 13th century, a “parlur” was a window through which someone could confess to a priest, and also a room in a monastery that was used by the monks for conversations with visitors. The term “parlur” arose from the French “parler” meaning “to speak”. Today, we sit in the “parlor” to enjoy our conversations.

49. One side of Hispaniola : HAITI

The island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean, shared between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, is known in Spanish as “La Española”.

55. Early smartphone : TREO

The Treo is a smartphone that was originally developed by a company called Handspring. Handspring was bought by Palm Inc. Subsequently, the Treo was phased out and replaced by the Palm Pre.

58. Rank above cpl. : SGT

Sergeant (sgt.) is a rank above corporal (cpl.).

60. Mercury astronaut Grissom : GUS

Gus Grissom was the second American to fly in space, and the first astronaut at NASA to make two space flights. Sadly, Grissom was one of the three astronauts who died in that terrible launch pad fire in 1967.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Gaping mouths : MAWS
5. “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” composer : DUKAS
10. States in an outdated atlas: Abbr. : SSRS
14. Nobelist Wiesel : ELIE
15. Official mandate : EDICT
16. Analogous (to) : AKIN
17. One way to ride a horse : SIDESADDLE
19. Stereotypical pooch : FIDO
20. D.C.’s Pennsylvania, e.g. : AVE
21. Named, briefly : ID’ED
22. Shop talk : LINGO
23. One in a hundred? : SENATOR
25. Cafeteria worker’s cover : HAIRNET
27. Affleck of “Gone Girl” : BEN
28. “Downton __”: PBS show : ABBEY
29. Dramatic opening? : ACT I
32. Many an emailer : AOLER
34. ’50s political monogram : DDE
37. Typical MLB pitching alignment, and a hint to this puzzle’s circles : FIVE-MAN ROTATION
41. Train stopping at every sta. : LOC
42. They turn litmus paper red : ACIDS
43. Does impressions of : APES
44. Grazing groups : HERDS
46. “Gimme a __” : SEC
48. Large goblet : CHALICE
50. “Haven’t the foggiest” : BEATS ME
54. Bamboo lover : PANDA
55. Alternative to fries : TOTS
56. Korean automaker : KIA
57. Script fraction : LINE
58. Military expert, say : STRATEGIST
61. Sun Devils’ rival : UTES
62. Canadian fliers : GEESE
63. Language of Pakistan : URDU
64. Riverbank residue : SILT
65. Govt.-backed bond : T-NOTE
66. “Freeze!” : STOP!

Down

1. Small plateaus : MESAS
2. Still in contention : ALIVE
3. Alleviate traffic on, perhaps : WIDEN
4. “Told you” : SEE?
5. Exactly right : DEAD ON
6. Milk source : UDDER
7. 10-time NBA All-Star Jason : KIDD
8. Commonly injured knee part, briefly : ACL
9. Sault __ Marie : STE
10. “On Language” columnist : SAFIRE
11. Barely enjoy the pool? : SKINNY-DIP
12. First Homeland Security secretary : RIDGE
13. Condescending one : SNOOT
18. Place : SITE
22. First sign of fall : LIBRA
24. Rose’s Broadway beau : ABIE
25. Saintly glows : HALOS
26. Drive the getaway car, say : ABET
29. Partner of 30-Down : AFL
30. Partner of 29-Down : CIO
31. Remote choice : TV CHANNEL
32. Ouzo flavoring : ANISE
33. MDW : Midway :: __ : O’Hare : ORD
35. Anonymous Jane : DOE
36. Peyton Manning’s four? : ENS
38. Educator Montessori : MARIA
39. Adapter letters : AC/DC
40. Delicate handling : TACT
45. Firstborn : ELDEST
46. Parlor piece : SETTEE
47. Let up : EASE
48. Just above average : C-PLUS
49. One side of Hispaniola : HAITI
50. Talk oneself up : BOAST
51. School uniform part, perhaps : SKIRT
52. Foul up : MISDO
53. Thoroughly enjoy : EAT UP
55. Early smartphone : TREO
58. Rank above cpl. : SGT
59. Coffee break time : TEN
60. Mercury astronaut Grissom : GUS

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18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 20 Feb 19, Wednesday”

  1. LAT: 10:10, no errors. Several minutes trying to clear up some nonsense in a section of the puzzle. WSJ: 17:31, no errors. Pretty difficult for a midweek. Newsday: 6:03, no errors.

  2. I’m told what we now call the “living room” in our home used to be the “parlor.” Wakes and funerals were held there before funeral homes took over those functions. The term “parlor” is now applied to them: “funeral parlors.”

  3. LAT: 8:47, no errors. WSJ: 16:05, no errors; more difficult than usual.

    Newsday: 6:05, no errors; the clue for 33D is either wrong or involves a kind of word play that I don’t understand: “Ranch herd” for “STEER”? (You could, of course, have a herd of steerS.) Are “herd” and “steer” to be interpreted as verbs? And, if so, what kind of “ranch” is being “herded” or “steered”? Am I being obtuse?

    1. Perhaps the Newsday setter is a city boy and thinks a steer is a game animal? (Hunters speak of a herd of elk and a herd of deer, so why not a herd of steer? … 😜)

  4. LAT 18:49 no errors. Never have been a fan of clues like. 29 & 30 down.
    NYT # 0116 from my paper today 21:52 with 2 very dumb errors. I enjoyed this puzzle and the theme even thou Rex Parker kinda slammed it. Of course it could be because I am sitting in my dining room watching what could be a significant snowfall begin and knowing that I don’t have to go to work anymore is an influence on my overall outlook (maybe) .

    1. @Jack (re “not having to go to work in a snowstorm anymore”): I can definitely relate! … 😜

      @Bill … To repeat what I just posted on the NYX blog, the name “Dave Kennison” seems to have gotten onto some kind of “verboten” or “persona non grata” list over there. It’s no big deal, but could you look into it when you get a chance? (In the meantime, I’ll just use my full first name.)

  5. Thanks Carrie for that funny comment on Bluerinse and ‘who wants to look like a Clairol girl ?’ … last night. ! I’m glad I read the previous day’s comments before I start in my commentary ! I must strongly confess that I don’t use arsenic oxide or sulphide as a hair dye … though it’s been used before ..

    . a) you can’t get arsenic in stores b)it’s toxic as heck
    and c ) there are better hair dyes available… I’m just too lazy or carefree to name them ..

    I had a good time with today’s puzzle … though tough, …. the long answers were a big help. I was not familiar with some of the names like Dukas etc but it was all good. I thought of Yugoslavia before a Ssrs as an outdated country.
    Though of Lady before Fido. ( I trust !)
    Downtown abbey and the male primogeniture rules tells you how prejudiced we were against the female gender in years past….

    The fact that vegetarians like pandas, koala bears and elephants spend over 88% of their awake time feeding on low nutritious grasses and leaves seems to be a powerful motive for turning to a carnivorous diet ??!!!

    Have a nice day all

  6. 62a’s explanation correctly refers to the goose as a Canada Goose, therefore the clue should have read Canada fliers. The goose may or may not come from Canada but is never Canadian.

  7. Very tough, but fun to wrestle with it. 9 omissions and 6 errors
    for 92% success. Pretty good for a Wednesday and kept us in the
    low to high nineties for the week so far. Good times, you guys.
    Kudos to all of you.

  8. 12:53. Theme helped. A misstep in the midwest. I put “melo” for “Dramatic opening”. Hilarity ensued, but I fixed it eventually. Sometimes you get too clever doing these things.

    Best –

      1. @Sallee … I would guess that Jack knows that. I think he was responding to Bill’s comment about 35D, which seems to suggest that “Roe” is male.

  9. Pretty easy Wednesday for me; took 16:31 on-line, no peeky. Had MELO for dramatic opening as well and AES before DDE and didn’t know/forgot MARIA but got them all in crosses.

    Off to bed early for my market tomorrow…

  10. Hi every buddy!!🐔

    No errors, but I found this HARD for a Wednesday!! Totally messed up the center left! I also put MELO instead of ACT I, and I really thought it was correct so I stuck with it too long.🙀 Then I wrote STARTING ROTATION…until I ran out of real estate. Shoulda read the whole clue and figured out the theme earlier !

    Also initially put KOALA instead of PANDA… I actually get those two confused unless I’m looking at pictures of them…yikes! Feeling not so smart….🤔

    Thanks Vidwan! 🤗

    I meant to mention yesterday: there’s a restaurant called UMAMI here in Hollywood…a few other locations too. They make a fantastic burger (the Cali Burger is my fave) and the buns have a slightly sweet-savory taste. I think of that flavor as “umami.”

    Be well~~🍹🍹🍹

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