LA Times Crossword 4 Feb 19, Monday

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Constructed by: Winston Emmons
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: No-No

Themed answers are each in the format NO xxxx, NO yyyy:

  • 59A. Forbidden thing, and what each of four long answers is? : NO-NO
  • 20A. Misdeed exculpation : NO HARM, NO FOUL
  • 29A. Done tidily and without stress : NO MUSS, NO FUSS
  • 46A. Precisely : NO MORE, NO LESS
  • 56A. Exercise mantra : NO PAIN, NO GAIN

Bill’s time: 4m 35s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6. City transport : BUS

We use the term “bus” for a mode of transportation, as it is an abbreviated form of the original “omnibus”. We imported “omnibus” via French from Latin, in which language it means “for all”. The idea is that an omnibus is a “carriage for all”.

18. China : cha :: U.S. : __ : TEA

“Cha” is a Chinese word for “tea”.

20. Misdeed exculpation : NO HARM, NO FOUL

“To exculpate” is a such a lovely verb. Meaning “to clear of guilt”, it comes from the Latin “ex culpa” that translates as “from blame”.

26. Lyricist Gershwin : IRA

Ira Gershwin was the lyricist who worked with his brother George to create such American classics as the songs “I Got Rhythm” and “Someone to Watch Over Me”, as well as the opera “Porgy and Bess”. After George Gershwin died, Ira continued to create great music, and worked with the likes of Jerome Kern and Kurt Weill.

29. Done tidily and without stress : NO MUSS, NO FUSS

A “muss” is state of disorder, and a term that probably evolved from “mess”. The phrase “no muss, no fuss” means “no bother, no mess made, no excessive hustle and bustle”.

35. Wyatt of the Old West : EARP

Wyatt Earp is famous as one of the participants in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Earp was a city policeman in Wichita, Kansas and also in Dodge City, Kansas. Earp was also deputy sheriff in Tombstone, Arizona where the O.K. Corral gunfight took place. Years later, Earp joined the Alaska Gold Rush and with a partner built and operated the Dexter Saloon in Nome.

39. Bedouin abode : TENT

Bedouin tribes are Arab ethnic groups that predominantly live in the Middle East, in desert areas. Bedouin tribes tend to be nomadic, not settling permanently in one location.

40. Takes out the sloop : SAILS

Sloops and cutters are sailboats, and each has just one mast. One major difference between the two types of vessel is that the mast on a cutter is set much further aft than the mast on a sloop.

42. Classic cookie : OREO

The Oreo cookie was introduced in 1912. The Oreo was intended to be a competitor to the very similar Hydrox cookie which had debuted four years earlier. The Oreo won the resulting battle on the grocery store shelves …

44. Suffix with alp : -INE

There are eight Alpine countries:

  • Austria
  • Slovenia
  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Germany
  • Monaco
  • Italy

50. Texter’s “I believe” : IMO

In my opinion (IMO)

53. Louis XIV, par exemple : ROI

Louis XIV is perhaps the most famous of the kings (“rois”) of France and was known as the Sun King (“le Roi Soleil”). Louis XIV was king from 1638 to 1715. That reign of over 72 years is the longest reign of any European monarch.

54. Badminton partition : NET

The game of badminton was developed in the mid-1700s by British military officers in India. There was already an old game called battledore and shuttlecock, so the creation of badminton was essentially the addition of a net and boundary lines for play. The game was launched officially as a sport in 1873 at Badminton House in Gloucestershire in England, hence the name that we now use.

55. Originally called : NEE

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”.

56. Exercise mantra : NO PAIN, NO GAIN

A mantra is a word that is used as a focus for the mind while meditating. The term is Sanskrit in origin, and is now used figuratively in English to describe any oft-repeated word or phrase.

60. Minotaur’s island : CRETE

Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands. Crete figures heavily in Greek mythology. Zeus was born in a cave at Mount Ida, the highest peak on the island. Crete was also home to the Labyrinth where the Minotaur was slain by Theseus. Icarus and Daedalus, after having crafted the Labyrinth, escaped from the island using wings that they crafted.

66. Brother of Moses : AARON

According to the Book of Exodus in the Bible, Moses’ brother Aaron made a golden calf as an idol for the Israelites to worship while Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments. When Moses returned, he became angry on seeing the calf and destroyed it.

70. Prefix with -lexic : DYS-

Dyslexia is a disorder in which a person with normal intelligence has difficulty in reading. The term “dyslexia” comes from the Greek “dys-” meaning “bad” and “lexis” meaning “word”.

Down

2. West of “My Little Chickadee” : MAE

Mae West was always pushing the envelope when it came to the “sexy” side of show business, even in her early days in Vaudeville. One of the first plays in which West starred on Broadway was called “Sex”, a work that she penned herself. The show was a sell-out, but city officials had it raided and West found herself spending ten days in jail after being convicted of “corrupting the morals of youth”. She started in movies in 1932, already 38 years old. West used her experience writing plays to rewrite much of the material she was given, and so really she was totally responsible for her own success and on-screen appeal.

“My Little Chickadee” was a catchphrase used by comic actor W. C. Fields. Fields first used it on film in the 1932 movie “If I Had a Million”. Years later in 1940, the phrase was used as the title of a film starring Fields opposite Mae West.

4. Ollie’s partner : STAN

Stan Laurel was an English comic actor (born Arthur Stanley Jefferson), who made a great career for himself in Hollywood. Laurel ended up at the Hal Roach studio directing films, intent on pursuing a career in writing and directing. However, he was a sometime actor and was asked to step in when another comic actor, Oliver Hardy, was injured and couldn’t perform. Laurel and Hardy started to share a stage together during that time and when it was clear they worked so well together, their partnership was born. Oh, and the oft-quoted story that Clint Eastwood is the son of Stan Laurel … that’s just an urban myth.

Oliver Hardy was born Norvell Hardy in 1892 in Harlem, Georgia. Hardy used the stage name “Oliver” as a tribute to his father Oliver Hardy. His early performances were credited as “Oliver Norvell Hardy”, and off camera his nickname was “Babe Hardy”. Hardy appeared in several films that also featured the young British actor Stan Laurel, but it wasn’t until 1927 that they teamed up to make perhaps the most famous double act in the history of movies. The Laurel and Hardy act came to an end in 1955. That year, Laurel suffered a stroke, and then later the same year Hardy had a heart attack and stroke from which he never really recovered.

6. WWII Philippine battleground : BATAAN

Bataan is a peninsula in the Philippines that is located on the side of Manila Bay opposite to the capital city. In WWII, Bataan was where American and Filipino forces made their last stand before the Japanese took control of the country. The Battle of Bataan lasted three months, at the end of which 75,000 captured prisoners were forced to march from Bataan to various prison camps. It is thought that between 6,000 and 11,000 men died on the march, many from the physical abuse above and beyond the rigors of the 5-6 day march without food or water. For obvious reasons, the 5-6 day trek is referred to as the Bataan Death March.

10. Sheet music symbol : CLEF

“Clef” is the French word for “key”. In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on the stave. The bass clef is also known as the F-clef, the alto clef is the C-clef, and the treble clef is the G-clef.

11. Forbidden : TABOO

The word “taboo” was introduced into English by Captain Cook in his book “A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean”. Cook described “tabu” (likely imitative of a Tongan word that he had heard) as something that was both consecrated and forbidden.

13. Disposes of on eBay : SELLS

There have been some notable things sold on eBay over the years. For example:

  • Ad space on a guy’s forehead, in the form of a temporary tattoo – $37,375
  • William Shatner’s kidney stone – $25,000
  • A cornflake shaped like Illinois – $1,350
  • A single corn flake – $1.63
  • A box of 10 Twinkies – $59.99
  • The original Hollywood sign – $450,400
  • The meaning of life – $3.26

21. 60-min. periods : HRS

We use base-10, the decimal system for our numbers. Base-60, the sexagesimal system, was used by the ancient Babylonians. This ancient usage gives rise to our 60 seconds in a minute, and 360 (6 x 60) degrees in a circle.

23. Bitty biters : GNATS

Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and to vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.

24. Show with horses and bulls : RODEO

“Rodeo” is a Spanish word that is usually translated into English as “round up”.

30. Model Kate married to Justin Verlander : UPTON

Kate Upton is a fashion model from St. Joseph, Michigan. Kate is a niece of US Representative Fred Upton of Michigan.

Justin Verlander is a professional baseball pitcher who made his MLB debut with the Detroit Tigers in 2015. Verlander was traded to the Astros in 2017, and that same season, the Astros won the World Series. He married the model Kate Upton in 2017.

31. Willow twig : OSIER

Most willows (trees and shrubs of the genus Salix) are called just that, “willows”. Some of the broad-leaved shrub varieties are called “sallow”, and the narrow-leaved shrubs are called “osier”. Osier is commonly used in basketry, as osier twigs are very flexible. The strong and flexible willow stems are sometimes referred to as withies.

32. South Korea’s capital : SEOUL

Seoul is the capital city of South Korea. The Seoul National Capital Area is home to over 25 million people and is the second largest metropolitan area in the world, second only to Tokyo, Japan.

36. Elizabeth of cosmetics : ARDEN

“Elizabeth Arden” was the business name used by Canadian-American Florence Nightingale Graham. Arden built a cosmetics empire that made her one of the wealthiest women in the world. Arden had a famous rivalry with fellow cosmetics entrepreneur Helena Rubinstein, and that rivalry even spawned a 2016 stage musical called “War Paint”.

37. Creator of yummy “pieces” : REESE

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were invented by Harry Burnett “H.B.” Reese. Peanut Butter Cups were originally called penny cups, reflecting the price at which they were sold. Then inflation took over, and maybe that’s why they were broken into smaller “Pieces” …

38. Entourage : POSSE

Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.

40. Do what he says or you lose : SIMON

“Simon Says” is a kids’ game. The idea is for the players of the game to obey the “controller” who gives instructions. But the players should only obey when the controller uses the words, “Simon says …”. The game has very old roots, with a Latin version that uses the words “Cicero dicit fac hoc” (Cicero says do this).

47. “Murder on the __ Express” : ORIENT

“Murder on the Orient Express” is perhaps the most famous detective novel penned by the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie. Christie’s Belgian detective Hercule Poirot has to determine which of the passengers on the Orient Express train committed a murder. Spoiler alert: they all did!

48. Marx co-author : ENGELS

Friedrich Engels was a German political theorist who worked closely with Karl Marx to develop what became known as Marxist Theory. Along with Marx, he also co-authored “The Communist Manifesto” in 1848, and later he supported Marx as he worked to publish “Das Kapital”.

49. Cultural funding org. : NEA

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is an agency funded by the federal government that offers support and financing for artistic projects. The NEA was created by an Act of Congress in 1965. Between 1965 and 2008, the NEA awarded over $4 billion to the arts, with Congress authorizing around $170 million annually through the eighties and much of the nineties. That funding was cut to less than $100 million in the late nineties due to pressure from conservatives concerned about the use of funds, but it is now back over the $150 million mark. I wonder how long that will last though …

50. Machu Picchu builders : INCAS

Machu Picchu is known as “The Lost City of the Incas”, and it can be visited on a mountain ridge in Peru, 50 miles northwest of the city of Cuzco in the southeast of the country. The name Machu Picchu means “old peak”. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu originates about 50 miles from Cusco on the Urubamba River in Peru. It can take travelers about 5 days to trek the full length of the trail, passing through many Incan ruins before reaching the Sun Gate on Machu Picchu mountain. The trail was becoming greatly overused, forcing the Peruvian government to limit the number of people on the trail each day to 500. Book early …

52. Wagner work : OPERA

Richard Wagner was born in the Jewish quarter of Leipzig in 1813. Decades later, Wagner became known not only for writing magnificent music, but also for his anti-semitic views and writings.

65. NFL scores : TDS

Touchdown (TD)

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Gather in a pile : AMASS
6. City transport : BUS
9. Assume the role of : ACT AS
14. Dashed in the direction of : RAN TO
15. Fireplace remnants : ASH
16. Baseball’s home __ : PLATE
17. Military decoration : MEDAL
18. China : cha :: U.S. : __ : TEA
19. Resistance member : REBEL
20. Misdeed exculpation : NO HARM, NO FOUL
23. Garden product word : GRO
26. Lyricist Gershwin : IRA
27. Ages and ages : EON
28. Word after photo or black : OPS
29. Done tidily and without stress : NO MUSS, NO FUSS
33. Skillful : ADEPT
34. Early riser? : SUN
35. Wyatt of the Old West : EARP
39. Bedouin abode : TENT
40. Takes out the sloop : SAILS
42. Classic cookie : OREO
43. Mediocre : SO-SO
44. Suffix with alp : -INE
45. Models for some Adam and Eve art : NUDES
46. Precisely : NO MORE, NO LESS
50. Texter’s “I believe” : IMO
53. Louis XIV, par exemple : ROI
54. Badminton partition : NET
55. Originally called : NEE
56. Exercise mantra : NO PAIN, NO GAIN
60. Minotaur’s island : CRETE
61. Overtime cause, in sports : TIE
62. Seashore : COAST
66. Brother of Moses : AARON
67. Right-angled pipe shape : ELL
68. Came to a conclusion : ENDED
69. Slope : SLANT
70. Prefix with -lexic : DYS-
71. Gives medicine to : DOSES

Down

1. Pitcher’s asset : ARM
2. West of “My Little Chickadee” : MAE
3. Plus : AND
4. Ollie’s partner : STAN
5. Single singer : SOLOIST
6. WWII Philippine battleground : BATAAN
7. Manipulative sort : USER
8. Causing disgrace : SHAMEFUL
9. Cooks’ protective wear : APRONS
10. Sheet music symbol : CLEF
11. Forbidden : TABOO
12. Consumed eagerly : ATE UP
13. Disposes of on eBay : SELLS
21. 60-min. periods : HRS
22. Subjects, usually, in grammar class : NOUNS
23. Bitty biters : GNATS
24. Show with horses and bulls : RODEO
25. Warning signs : OMENS
30. Model Kate married to Justin Verlander : UPTON
31. Willow twig : OSIER
32. South Korea’s capital : SEOUL
36. Elizabeth of cosmetics : ARDEN
37. Creator of yummy “pieces” : REESE
38. Entourage : POSSE
40. Do what he says or you lose : SIMON
41. Made sacred, as with oil : ANOINTED
45. Observed : NOTICED
47. “Murder on the __ Express” : ORIENT
48. Marx co-author : ENGELS
49. Cultural funding org. : NEA
50. Machu Picchu builders : INCAS
51. Point of a fable : MORAL
52. Wagner work : OPERA
57. Huge amount, as of homework : A TON
58. Slick, like a garage floor : OILY
59. Forbidden thing, and what each of four long answers is? : NO-NO
63. Spots on television : ADS
64. Understand : SEE
65. NFL scores : TDS

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14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 4 Feb 19, Monday”

  1. Why didn’t you also explain 23 ACROSS and 28 ACROSS?

    I couldn’t start my day without you puzzle — and to have the aid of
    laxc is GREAT.

  2. A really fun puzzle, I guess because we did so well. My enthusiasm was
    dampened on slightly when I saw that Bill did it in under 5 minutes. We
    had 0 omissions and 0 errors in about 30 minutes, a very fast time for us.
    A great way to start a week. I will check the other comments later. We are
    on CST and that puts us a lot earlier than farther West. Kudos to all.

  3. LAT 10:37 no errors
    NYT #1231 from my paper today,13::53 no errors.
    The people who set up this section of my paper (the Baltimore Sun )
    evidently are not crossword puzzle fans. This puzzle was in the center of the page with advertising on top and below which made it very awkward to lay out and write on, but alas we survived.

  4. LAT: 6:58, no errors. Newsday: 6:09, no errors. WSJ: 6:45, no errors; no surprises on Friday’s meta. New Yorker: 19:44, no errors. BEQ : 35:51, no errors. More to say, but no time to say it, as I’m headed for the high country … 😀.

  5. 6:21. Monday puzzles bore me in general, but it’s about all I have time for these days. Sigh.

    @John Daigle
    I suspect your Saints could have put up a better fight than the Rams did yesterday. They were robbed from getting the opportunity.

    Best –

  6. 5 minutes on the dot, and no errors. So, of course, I came here knowing Bill would manage it in 4 minutes and change. He’s a tough one to out-do. Maybe five times over the course of a year, will I manage to better his performance.

  7. My times were not that great but I managed to do this, (for me) an easy puzzle. I enjoyed it throughly!!

    With a pocket calc on my side I figured that if Louis XIV reigned from 1638 to 1715 … it was 77 years not 72 …. to double verify I went to wiki and discovered that 1638-1715 was his lifeline and he became king at 4.5 or 5 Yrs old so his reign was indeed only 72 years….

    A magnificent book by Antonia Fraser (Brit) on “Love and Louis XIV” … I highly recommend ! Spoiler ;:: he treated his mistresses and lovers .. and his so-called illegitimate children … with great kindness … and dignity. That fact alone, makes me appreciate him tremendously … irrespective of his other failings …

    A Roman joke … a Roman walks into a bar and asks for a martinus.
    ‘You mean a martini?” The bartender asks.
    The Roman replies,”If I wanted a double, I would have asked for it.”

    Another Roman walks into a bar, holds up two fingers, and says,” Five beers please.”

    Have a nice day. And a great week, all you folks,

  8. LAT: 5:38, 1 error. WSJ: 5:23, no errors. Newsday: 5:41, no errors. New Yorker: DNF, 43:08, 6 errors. BEQ: DNF, 41:00, 5 errors. CHE: 8:51, no errors.

    @Daigle
    You asked about the possibility of e-mailing me a long time ago. You can do so through my site you can get to by clicking my name on this post.

  9. On the very simplest Meta of all time I finally, at long last, got one right on Friday’s WSJ crossword. I didn’t look to see how many correct responses were sent in, but I have to believe it was in the 99% range. In any case, “Woo Hoo!”

  10. Easy puzzle. Takes me longer because of age issues, and that won’t get better.
    @Vidwan – can’t wait to tell my Italian speaking husband your jokes!

  11. Aloha meine Freunden!! 🐔

    No errors–

    Did anyone else see this line in the LA Times?
    “Patriots 13, Maroon 5, Rams 3”

    Struck me funny!!😁😁😁

    Be well~~🍹

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