LA Times Crossword 6 Feb 19, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Jerry Edelstein
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Loose Parts

Themed answers each include the letter string “PARTS” arranged in a different order:

  • 58A. With 62-Across, handyman’s assortment, and a hint to what’s in each set of circles : LOOSE …
  • 62A. See 58-Across : … PARTS
  • 17A. Does really well, for a weekend golfer : SHOOTS PAR
  • 22A. “Next time’s for real” : JUST PRACTICING
  • 36A. Cardiologist : HEART SPECIALIST
  • 46A. Jewish deli meat : KOSHER PASTRAMI
  • 56A. “America’s Got Talent” judges’ concern : STAR POWER

Bill’s time: 6m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Area with pews : NAVE

In large Christian churches, the nave is the main approach to the altar, and is where most of the congregation are seated.

5. It’s saved for a rainy day : TARP

Originally, tarpaulins were made from canvas covered in tar that rendered the material waterproof. The word “tarpaulin” comes from “tar” and “palling”, with “pall” meaning “heavy cloth covering”.

14. Singer Adams : EDIE

Edie Adams was an all-round entertainer. She worked for many years on television with Ernie Kovacs and Jack Paar, marrying Ernie Kovacs in 1954. On the big screen she had a major supporting role in “The Apartment”, and was one of the stars of “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”.

19. Sophs, come Sep. : JRS

The term “sophomore” has been used for a student in the second year of university since the 1680’s. The original meaning of the word was “arguer”. The term has Greek roots, from two Greek words that have been artificially combined in English. The Greek “sophos” means “wise”, and “moros” means “foolish”.

20. “Who Dat Girl” rapper __ Rida : FLO

Tramar Dillard is better known as rapper Flo Rida. As you might have guessed, Flo Rida was born in the state of Florida.

21. Corkscrew pasta : ROTINI

Rotini is a corkscrew-shaped pasta that is often used in pasta salads. Even though “rotini” sounds like it comes from a word meaning “twist, rotate”, the word “rotini” doesn’t exist in Italian other than as the name for the pasta.

28. Hairy spider : TARANTULA

Tarantulas are spider-like arachnids that are usually quite hairy. The original tarantula was a type of wolf spider found in Europe, found near the southern Italian town called Taranto, hence the name.

40. Energy unit : ERG

An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, with one joule comprising 10 million ergs. it has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off. The term comes from “ergon”, the Greek word for work.

42. Tennis immortal : ASHE

Arthur Ashe was a professional tennis player from Richmond, Virginia. In his youth, Ashe found himself having to travel great distances to play against Caucasian opponents due to the segregation that still existed in his home state. He was rewarded for his dedication by being selected for the 1963 US Davis Cup team, the first African American player to be so honored. Ashe continued to run into trouble because of his ethnicity though, and in 1968 was denied entry into South Africa to play in the South African Open. In 1979, Ashe suffered a heart attack and had bypass surgery, with follow-up surgery four years later during which he contracted HIV from blood transfusions. Ashe passed away in 1993 due to complications from AIDS. Shortly afterwards, Ashe was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.

46. Jewish deli meat : KOSHER PASTRAMI

In the US, pastrami was originally called “pastrama”, and was a dish brought to America by Jewish immigrants from Romania in the second half of the the nineteenth century. The original name may have evolved from the Turkish word “pastirma” meaning “pressed”. “Pastrama” likely morphed into “pastrami” influenced by the name of the Italian sausage called salami.

54. Little newt : EFT

Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

55. Bloke : GUV

“Guv” is an informal word used in the UK, and a shortened form of “governor”. It is usually a friendly address to a man, sort of like our “Mac” or “Dad”.

56. “America’s Got Talent” judges’ concern : STAR POWER

NBC’s show “America’s Got Talent” is part of a global franchise based in the UK. The original show is called “Britain’s Got Talent”, and the whole franchise is owned by Simon Cowell. The first host of “America’s Got Talent” was Regis Philbin (2006), followed by Jerry Springer, Nick Cannon and Tyra Banks.

60. Latvian seaport : RIGA

Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city’s magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

Latvia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs). People from Latvia are called Letts.

61. De __: again : NOVO

“De novo” is Latin for “anew”, and is a term that we use in English with the same meaning.

Down

1. ’60s jacket style : NEHRU

A Nehru jacket is very like a regular suit jacket, except that the collar buttons at the neck. It was originally created in the 1940s in India, and then marketed as the Nehru jacket in the west in the sixties. The name Nehru was lifted from Jawaharlal Nehru, the prime minister of India from 1947 to 1964.

5. Musk’s electric car brand : TESLA

Tesla Motors is a manufacturer of electric vehicles based in Palo Alto, California. Tesla is noted for producing the first electric sports car, called the Tesla Roadster. The company followed the sports car with a luxury sedan, the Model S. The Model S was the world’s best selling plug-in electric vehicle of 2015.

Elon Musk is a successful businessman who has founded or led some very high-profile companies, namely PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX. Musk received a lot of publicity in early 2018 during a test launch by SpaceX of the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle. A Tesla Roadster belonging to Musk was carried into space as a dummy payload.

6. Limited in scope, as a committee : AD HOC

The Latin phrase “ad hoc” means “for this purpose”. An ad hoc committee, for example, is formed for a specific purpose and is disbanded after making its final report.

7. Grande opening : RIO …

The Rio Grande (Spanish for “big river”) is a waterway that forms part of the border between Mexico and the United States. Although we call the river the Rio Grande on this side of the border, in Mexico it is called the Río Bravo or Río Bravo del Norte (Spanish for “furious river of the north”).

8. Illinois city that symbolizes mainstream America : PEORIA

Peoria is the oldest European settlement in the state of Illinois, having been settled by the French in 1680. The city is famous for being cited as “the average American city”. The phrase, “Will it play in Peoria?” is used to mean, “Will it appeal to the mainstream?” It is believed the expression originated as a corruption of, “We shall play in Peoria”, a line used by some actors in the 1890 novel “Five Hundred Dollars” by Horatio Alger, Jr.

10. Clinton’s first Defense secretary : ASPIN

Les Aspin was Secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration, although just for a year. He had a turbulent year in office, and during this time oversaw the introduction of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for the military. But it was the loss of US lives in Somalia that brought his year to an end, causing him to resign for personal reasons at the end of 1993.

11. Sporty Ford, to devotees : ‘STANG

The Ford Mustang car was introduced in 1964. Back then the Mustang wasn’t a brand new design, but was based on the Ford Falcon. The Mustang was the first of the “pony cars”, American models that are compact and affordable, as well as sporty in image and performance.

12. Big name in spydom : HARI

“Mata Hari” was the stage name used by Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, born in the Netherlands in 1876. After an unsuccessful and somewhat tragic marriage, Zella moved to Paris in 1903 where she struggled to make a living. By 1905 she was working as an exotic dancer and using the name Mata Hari. She was a successful courtesan, notably moving in various circles of high-ranking military officers. She apparently worked as a double agent, both for the French and the Germans. When Mata Hari was accused by the French of passing information to the enemy, she was tried, found guilty and executed by firing squad at the height of WW1, in 1917.

13. Pilgrimage to Mecca : HAJJ

“Haji” (also “Hajji” and “Hadji”) is the term used for someone who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca, and it is sometimes also used as a form of address for such a person. The journey itself goes by the name “haj”, “hajj” or “hadj”.

20. Guitar neck features : FRETS

A fret is a metal strip embedded in the neck of a stringed instrument, like a guitar perhaps. The fingers press on the frets, shortening a string and hence changing the note played. The note increases by one semitone as a finger shortens a string by one fret.

23. Whaling direction : THAR

“Thar she blows!” is a phrase that originated on whaling ships. A lookout spotting a whale surfacing to breathe might see the spray from the blowhole caused by the expulsion of carbon dioxide. Thar (there) she blows!

24. Pub order : PINT

A US pint is made from 16 fluid ounces, and an imperial pint is 20 fluid ounces. The term “pint” comes into English via Old French, ultimately from the Latin “picta” meaning “painted”. The name arose from a line painted on the side of a beer glass that marked a full measure of ale.

32. Blues legend John __ Hooker : LEE

John Lee Hooker was a blues singer and songwriter. One of Hooker’s more memorable compositions is the song “Boom Boom”, which he wrote and recorded himself in 1961. A version of “Boom Boom” performed by Big Head Todd and the Monsters serves as the theme song for the TV drama “NCIS: New Orleans”.

35. WWII arena : ETO

European Theater of Operations (ETO)

43. Fox News anchor Smith : SHEP

Shep Smith is a television journalist and host with Fox News. Smith has been hosting “Shepard Smith Reporting” on Fox since 2013.

44. Wading birds : HERONS

Herons are birds with long legs that inhabit freshwater and coastal locales. Some herons are routinely referred to as egrets, and others as bitterns. Herons look a lot like storks and cranes, but differ in their appearance in flight. Herons fly with their necks retracted in an S-shape, whereas storks and cranes have their necks extended.

46. Five-time Olympic swimming gold medalist Ledecky : KATIE

Katie Ledecky is a swimmer who won her first Olympic gold medal at just 15 years of age, in the 800-meter freestyle. In 2016, Ledecky also became the youngest person to make “Time” magazine’s “Time 100” annual list of most influential people in the American world. Katie’s uncle is Jon Ledecky, owner of the New York Islanders hockey team.

47. Missouri river : OSAGE

Much of the Osage River in Missouri is now taken up by two large reservoirs created behind two dams that provide power for St. Louis and the surrounding area. The two reservoirs are the Truman Reservoir and the Lake of the Ozarks.

48. “Pet” irritation : PEEVE

The phrase “pet peeve”, meaning “thing that provokes one most”, seems to be somewhat ironic. A “peeve” is a source of irritation, and the adjective “pet” means “especially cherished”.

50. Greek marketplace : AGORA

In early Greece, the agora was a place of assembly. The assemblies held there were often quite formal, perhaps for the reading of a proclamation. Later in Greek history, things became less formal as the agora evolved into a marketplace. Our contemporary word “agoraphobia” comes from these agorae, in the sense that an agoraphobe has a fear of open spaces, a fear of “public meeting places”.

51. Smelling of mold : MUSTY

Something described as “musty” has as stale or moldy odor. The term derives from an obsolete word “moisty”, as in “moist”.

52. Lithographer James : IVES

Currier and Ives was a printmaking concern in New York City run by Nathaniel Currier and his partner James Merritt Ives from 1834 to 1907. The firm specialized in making affordable, hand-colored black and white lithographs.

Lithography is a printing technique that was invented in 1796 as a cheap way to publish theatrical works. In the litho process the image is drawn on a metal plate, although originally it was drawn on a stone (hence the prefix “litho-“). The image is drawn in such a way that some regions of the plate repel ink, and then when paper is applied to the plate, those areas are ink-free. A “lithograph” is a print that is made using the technique, and is often a reproduction of a work of art.

53. No. on a new car window : MSRP

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Area with pews : NAVE
5. It’s saved for a rainy day : TARP
9. Monster party : BASH
13. Constrain : HEM IN
14. Singer Adams : EDIE
15. Spanish “this” : ESTA
16. In first place : AHEAD
17. Does really well, for a weekend golfer : SHOOTS PAR
19. Sophs, come Sep. : JRS
20. “Who Dat Girl” rapper __ Rida : FLO
21. Corkscrew pasta : ROTINI
22. “Next time’s for real” : JUST PRACTICING
26. Hurry, old-style : HIE
27. Leaf-clearing tool : RAKE
28. Hairy spider : TARANTULA
33. It stings : BEE
36. Cardiologist : HEART SPECIALIST
40. Energy unit : ERG
41. Looks through, as a keyhole : PEERS INTO
42. Tennis immortal : ASHE
45. Spanish “that” : ESA
46. Jewish deli meat : KOSHER PASTRAMI
53. Learn from A to Z : MASTER
54. Little newt : EFT
55. Bloke : GUV
56. “America’s Got Talent” judges’ concern : STAR POWER
58. With 62-Across, handyman’s assortment, and a hint to what’s in each set of circles : LOOSE …
60. Latvian seaport : RIGA
61. De __: again : NOVO
62. See 58-Across : … PARTS
63. Cocktail garnish : PEEL
64. Gets the picture : SEES
65. Keep up (with) : STAY

Down

1. ’60s jacket style : NEHRU
2. “What __!”: “Ick!” : A MESS
3. By way of : VIA
4. See 28-Down : … END
5. Musk’s electric car brand : TESLA
6. Limited in scope, as a committee : AD HOC
7. Grande opening : RIO …
8. Illinois city that symbolizes mainstream America : PEORIA
9. Lifelong pal : BESTIE
10. Clinton’s first Defense secretary : ASPIN
11. Sporty Ford, to devotees : ‘STANG
12. Big name in spydom : HARI
13. Pilgrimage to Mecca : HAJJ
18. Clock sound : TOCK
20. Guitar neck features : FRETS
23. Whaling direction : THAR
24. Pub order : PINT
25. Copy on a transparent sheet : TRACE
28. With 4-Down, fairy tale’s last words : THE …
29. Fizzy prefix : AER-
30. Tattered cloth : RAG
31. Word with class or case : UPPER …
32. Blues legend John __ Hooker : LEE
33. Storage container : BIN
34. Approximate fig. : EST
35. WWII arena : ETO
37. “__ my case” : I REST
38. Exec’s hire, perhaps : ASST
39. “Tell the truth!” : LIAR!
42. Starlike : ASTRAL
43. Fox News anchor Smith : SHEP
44. Wading birds : HERONS
46. Five-time Olympic swimming gold medalist Ledecky : KATIE
47. Missouri river : OSAGE
48. “Pet” irritation : PEEVE
49. High dos : AFROS
50. Greek marketplace : AGORA
51. Smelling of mold : MUSTY
52. Lithographer James : IVES
53. No. on a new car window : MSRP
57. Misery : WOE
58. CD predecessors : LPS
59. Breakfast grain : OAT

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18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 6 Feb 19, Wednesday”

    1. Cathy, I did the exact same thing. I didn’t like the result, because it then said
      that sophomores became doctors instead of juniors. I took a peek at the
      completed puzzle, planning to check only NAVE, which I did not know. But, it led me to look again for the pilgrimage to Mecca. The last correct option in the list was HAJJ (the first being HADJ), so I guess I can’t report a perfect
      score, rather 1 error. Still very good for us on a Wednesday. I had been all
      ready to say that it was harder than yesterday, but I just started seeing them.
      Kudos to you et al.

  1. LAT 21:11 no errors
    NYT 0102 from my paper today, 36:13 with 5 errors. Clever theme but a bit much for a Wednesday . It was by Jacob stulberg, nuf said.

  2. A trip to Mecca is a haj, hajj, or hadj (depending on the transliteration from the Arabic that is used), and a person making such a trip is a haji, hajji, or hadji.

    One who is a freshman now will be a sophomore when September comes. One who is a sophomore now will be a junior when September comes. The phrase “sophomore, come September” is ambiguous because we don’t know if it refers to a “sophomore now” or a “sophomore then”. (And ambiguity is, of course, the heart and soul of crossword cluing … 😜.)

    For a number of years, I worked as a computer consultant in a laboratory with many foreign visitors, a stint that made me painfully aware of the ways in which English sentences can be ambiguous.

    1. @Dave. During my years in Saudi working for Aramco we had a once a week “Aramco” weekly news that was about things going on with the company, or more generally in the Kingdom.

      One day we got a notification in the paper saying that the Powers that Be (Saudi executives or some politician/Emir or who the hell knows) had decided that Mecca was a heathen spelling and that, from now on, it was to be spelled “Makkah” for any official publication or interoffice memo, etc. And that, as they say, was that for Mecca…

      1. @Tony … Thanks for the update! As a certified heathen, I shall continue to use the spelling “Mecca” but, if I ever find myself in Saudi Arabia, I shall review the situation … 😜

  3. 8 mins 23 sec, no errors. No chance of shading Bill, but the time difference isn’t double his, like it usually is by this time of a week.

    Looks like many of us had to make a pilgrimage to a dictionary, to figure out the HAJJ fill. I’d always thought it spelled HADJ, but the JRS fill was easy to commit to.

  4. 10:20. I just remember seeing HAJJ all the time in crosswords so I never thought about it. Very late to the party today. Is there any dip left?

    Best –

  5. @ Tony M – doesn’t look like Makkah stuck.

    @Dave K – right about ambiguity. I’m sure other languages do that well, too.

  6. I had an easier time with this puzzle than yesterday or even the day before … I am very happily surprised and enjoying myself.

    I tried Hadj first then Hajj. The “d” is there because English is not phonetic hence the very soft d may or may not be discerned. Some Indian Muslims pronounce it as hu(d)j …. but that maybe local slang.
    The hajji is the pilgrim himself/herself… in fact some use it as a prefix to their names for the rest of their lives …example … Hajji Tom Smith..

    Mecca is the anglicized Makkah … I would assume both are legit for crosswords. Makka is also the Hindi/Urdu word for corn …. different roots..

    I have a problem with the name in spydom.. Hari. … Mata Hari was only a stage name of this Dutch exotic dancer (?) … Mata Hari translates as “mother Hari”. Hari is an avatar of Vishnu or the absolute being … and is generally pronounced as “hurry”., not as Harry as the spy is pronounced.
    Also, for what it is worth, after reading her bio on wiki I have a nagging feeling that she may not have been a spy after all , …. merely a salacious exotic mostly nude dancer and the French just railroaded her because they were out to get some scapegoats … because of their reverses in the WWI …. and she happened to be handy … so they hung onto her. ( pun intended).
    Hardly a great spy …. plus I am of the opinion that the French used to find ways to convict people just out of convenience … like the Dreyfus case.

    Have a Great day tomorrow all you folks,

  7. Pretty easy Wednesday for me; took 14:34 online, since the paper guy only leaves very few of the papers in the bin lately. I only hesitated a moment on HAJJ, which I’ve seen here before and crosses dictated.

    Anyway, off to bed early for my market tomorrow and since there’s no dip and only warm beer leftover 🙂

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