LA Times Crossword 7 Feb 19, Thursday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Mature Expressions

Themed answers are common phrases in which a young animal has been replaced with a mature animal of the same species:

  • 16A. Mature gentle treatment? : GOAT GLOVES (from “kid gloves”)
  • 26A. Mature sprightly piano classic? : CAT ON THE KEYS (from “Kitten on the Keys”)
  • 35A. Mature young infatuation? : DOG LOVE (from “puppy love”)
  • 45A. Mature news newbie? : BEAR REPORTER (from “cub reporter”)
  • 59A. Mature “Agnus Dei” translation? : SHEEP OF GOD (from “Lamb of God”)

Bill’s time: 7m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Musical series set at McKinley High : GLEE

The TV show called “Glee” has proven to be very popular. The storyline focuses on a high school glee club in Lima, Ohio called New Directions.

9. “Wealth of Nations” author Smith : ADAM

Adam Smith was a pioneer in the field of “political economy”, an original term used for the study of production and trade and their relationship with law, government and the distribution of wealth. Adam Smith’s great work is called “The Wealth of Nations” that was published in 1776. The book was a big hit within his own lifetime and went a long way to earning him the reputation as the father of modern economics and capitalism. Smith coined the phrase “the invisible hand of the market”, describing his assertion that a marketplace tends to self-regulate.

13. Pot for paella : OLLA

Paella is sometime referred to as the Spanish national dish, but not by Spaniards. In Spain, paella is regarded as a typical regional dish from Valencia.

An olla is a traditional clay pot used for the making of stews. “Olla” was the Latin word used in Ancient Rome to describe a similar type of pot.

16. Mature gentle treatment? : GOAT GLOVES (from “kid gloves”)

Back in the late 1600s, “kid gloves” were gloves made from the skin of a young goat, a kid. Kid gloves were expensive and became associated with the nouveau riche, and so the wearing of kid gloves was viewed as ostentatious. When the phrase “kid gloves” crossed the Atlantic to America, the notion of using kid gloves morphed into the current meaning of “treating with delicacy and care”.

18. B’way hit signs : SROS

Standing room only (SRO)

19. News letters : UPI

Founded in 1958, United Press International (UPI) used to be one of the biggest news agencies in the world, sending out news by wire to the major newspapers. UPI ran into trouble with the change in media formats at the end of the twentieth century and lost many of its clients as the afternoon newspapers shut down due to the advent of television news. UPI, which once employed thousands, still exists today but with just a fraction of that workforce.

21. Decides not to dele : STETS

“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

22. Bodega miss : SENORITA

“Bodega” is the Spanish term describing a winery, or these days a grocery store.

25. Roe-producing fish : SHAD

The shad is also known as the river herring. The eggs (roe) of the female shad are prized as a delicacy in the Eastern US.

26. Mature sprightly piano classic? : CAT ON THE KEYS (from “Kitten on the Keys”)

“Kitten on the Keys” is a 1921 novelty piano solo written by American pianist and composer Zez Confrey. Confrey was inspired to write the song after hearing his grandmother’s cat walk over the keyboard of her piano. If only he’d have posted that on YouTube …

30. Canaanite deity : BA’AL

According to Canaanite mythology, Ba’al was the most powerful of all gods. He was worshiped as the sun, storm and fertility god.

32. Half a cocktail : TAI

The mai tai cocktail is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but the drink was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curaçao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice and then a float added of 6 parts dark rum. “Maita’i” is the Tahitian word for “good”.

33. Handler of “Sex and the City” : EVAN

Evan Handler is an actor from New York City who is perhaps best known for his roles on the TV shows “Californication” (Charlie Runkle) and “Sex and the City” (Harry Goldenblatt). Handler made a rather unlikely recovery from acute myeloid leukemia in his twenties. He wrote about that experience in a 1997 book titled “Time On Fire: My Comedy of Terrors”.

34. Costa del __ : SOL

Spain’s Costa del Sol (“Coast of the Sun”) is in Andalusia in the South of Spain. It lies sandwiched between two other “costas”, the Costa de la Luz and the Costa Tropical. The city of Malaga is on the Costa del Sol, as well as the famous European tourist destinations of Torremolinos and Marbella. The Costa del Sol was made up of sleepy little fishing villages until the 1980s when the European sunseekers descended on the region. I wouldn’t recommend it for a holiday quite frankly …

42. Versailles ruler : ROI

Versailles is a city located just 10 miles from the center of Paris. It is famous as home to the magnificent Palace of Versailles. The palace started out as a hunting lodge built in the village of Versailles in 1624, built for Louis XIII. Louis XIII extended the lodge into a full-blown château, but it was Louis XIV who expanded it into one of the largest palaces on the planet. Louis XIV moved the royal court from Paris to Versailles starting in 1678.

43. Mouselike animal : VOLE

Vole populations can increase very rapidly. Mama vole is pregnant for just three weeks before giving birth to litters of 5-10 baby voles. Then, the young voles become sexually mature in just one month! If you have one pregnant vole in your yard, within a year you could have over a hundred of the little critters.

49. Salty margarita glass spots : RIMS

No one seems to know for sure who first created the cocktail known as a margarita. The most plausible and oft-quoted is that it was invented in 1941 in Ensenada, Mexico. The barman mixed the drink for an important visitor, the daughter of the German ambassador. The daughter’s name was Margarita Henkel, and she lent her name to the new drink. The basic recipe for a margarita is a mixture of tequila, orange-flavored liqueur (like Cointreau) and lime juice.

50. Low-alcohol beverage : NEAR BEER

“Near beer” is slang term for a malt liquor that doesn’t contain enough alcohol to be labelled as “beer”. An example would be “O’Doul’s”, a beverage that I tend to consume in a glass full of ice when I am the designated driver.

56. French menu word : JUS

The French term “au jus” is usually translated as “with it’s own juice”.

57. Singer Grande’s perfume brand : ARI

Ariana Grande is a singer and actress from Boca Raton, Florida. Grande plays the role of Cat Valentine on the sitcom “Victorious” that aired for four season on Nickelodeon. Grande’s singing career took off with the release of the 2011 album “Victorious: Music from the Hit TV Show”.

59. Mature “Agnus Dei” translation? : SHEEP OF GOD (from “Lamb of God”)

“Agnus Dei” is Latin for “Lamb of God”, The expression is used in Christian traditions to describe Jesus Christ, hence symbolizing his role as a sacrificial offering to atone for the sins of man.

66. Scandinavian literary work : EDDA

The Poetic Edda and Prose Edda are two ancient works that are the source for much of Norse mythology. Both Eddas were written in the 13th century in Iceland.

68. Wedding couple? : DEES

There are a couple of letters D (dees) in the word “wedding”.

Down

1. Phony : BOGUS

Our word “bogus”, meaning “not genuine” was coined (pun!) in the 1830s, when it applied to counterfeit money.

4. Ankle pic : TAT

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

5. Cavern : GROTTO

A “grotto’ is a cave or cavern. It is a word that we have imported from Italian, in which language it has the same meaning, or can describe a vault.

6. Brit’s facilities : LAV

Our word “lavatory” (sometimes “lav”) originally referred to a washbasin, and comes from the Latin “lavatorium”, a place for washing. In the 1600s, “lavatory” came to mean a washroom, and in the 1920s a toilet.

7. Bud on a spud : EYE

The word “spud” is used as a slang term for a potato and was first recorded in the mid-1800s, in New Zealand would you believe?

12. Food in a hall : MESS

“Mess” first came into English about 1300, when it described the list of food needed for a meal. The term comes from the Old French word “mes” meaning a portion of food or a course at a meal. This usage in English evolved into “mess” meaning a jumbled mass of anything, from the concept of “mixed food”. The original usage, in the sense of a food for a meal, surfaced again in the military in the 1500s when a “mess” was a communal eating place.

17. Notable Ford of the ’70s : GERALD

Gerald Ford was the only person to have served as both Vice President and President of the US, without having been elected to those positions. Ford was nominated by President Richard Nixon to replace Vice President Spiro Agnew after he resigned in 1973. Vice President Ford assumed the presidency the following year after President Nixon resigned.

21. “__ Persisted”: children’s book about inspirational women : SHE

“She Persisted” is a 2017 children’s picture book authored by Chelsea Clinton, and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger. The book introduces readers to inspirational women, such as Helen Keller and Harriet Tubman.

23. Andean tuber : OCA

The plant called an oca is also known as the New Zealand yam, even though it isn’t a true yam. The tubers of the oca are used as a root vegetable.

24. Pit-digging insect : ANTLION

“Doodlebug” is a name given to the larva of an antlion, a type of flying insect. Antlions tend to live in sandy areas, and their larvae move through the sand leaving winding spirals that look like doodles, inattentive drawings. Hence the name “doodlebug”.

25. Handmade blade : SHIV

“Shiv” is a slang term describing a weapon crudely fashioned to resemble a knife. Mostly we hear of shivs that have been fashioned by prison inmates to do harm to others.

27. Eastern “way” : TAO

The name of the Chinese character “tao” translates as “path”, but the concept of Taoism signifies the true nature of the world.

28. Second-oldest Ivy : YALE

The term “Ivy League” originally defined an athletic conference, but now it is used to describe a group of schools of higher education that are associated with both a long tradition and academic excellence. The eight Ivy League Schools are: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

29. NBC show since 1975 : SNL

NBC first aired a form of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in 1975 under the title “NBC’s Saturday Night”. The show was actually created to give Johnny Carson some time off from “The Tonight Show”. Back then “The Tonight Show” had a weekend episode, and Carson convinced NBC to pull the Saturday or Sunday recordings off the air and hold them for subsequent weeknights in which Carson needed a break. NBC turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to put together a variety show to fill the vacant slot, and he came up with what we now call “Saturday Night Live”.

37. Political initials since 1884 : GOP

The Republican Party has had the nickname Grand Old Party (GOP) since 1875. That said, the phrase was coined in the “Congressional Record” as “this gallant old party”. The moniker was changed to “grand old party” in 1876 in an article in the “Cincinnati Commercial”. The Republican Party’s elephant mascot dates back to an 1874 cartoon drawn by Thomas Nast for “Harper’s Weekly”. The Democrat’s donkey was already an established symbol. Nast drew a donkey clothed in a lion’s skin scaring away the other animals. One of the scared animals was an elephant, which Nast labeled “The Republican Vote”.

41. Asmara’s nation : ERITREA

Eritrea is a country located in the Horn of Africa, and surrounded by Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti and the Red Sea. Some scientists believe that the area now known as Eritrea was the departure point for the anatomically modern humans who first left Africa to populate the rest of the world.

Asmara is the capital and largest city in Eritrea. The same city is known locally as “Asmera”.

46. Rental ad abbr. : RMS

Room (rm.)

47. Veto : REJECT

The verb “veto” comes directly from Latin and means “I forbid”. The term was used by tribunes of Ancient Rome to indicate that they opposed measures passed by the Senate.

48. Brownish gray : TAUPE

Taupe is a dark, gray-brown color. The word “taupe” comes from the Latin name of the European Mole, which has skin with the same color.

51. Birdie topper : EAGLE

The following terms are routinely used in golf for scores relative to par:

  • Bogey: one over par
  • Par
  • Birdie: one under par
  • Eagle: two under par
  • Albatross (also “double eagle”): three under par
  • Condor: four under par

No one has ever recorded a condor during a professional tournament.

52. Jagged, as a leaf’s edge : EROSE

An edge that is erose is irregularly notched or indented.

54. Data unit : BYTE

In the world of computing, a bit is the basic unit of information. It has a value of 0 or 1. A “byte” is a small collection of “bits” (usually 8), the number of bits needed to uniquely identify a character of text. The prefix mega- stands for 10 to the power of 6, so a megabyte (meg) is 1,000,000 bytes. The prefix giga- means 10 to the power of 9, and so a gigabyte (gig) is 1,000,000,000 bytes. Well, those are the SI definitions of megabyte and gigabyte. The purists still use 2 to the power of 20 for a megabyte (i.e. 1,048,576), and 2 to the power of 30 for a gigabyte.

55. Musician’s forte? : LOUD

A person’s forte is his or her strength. The term “forte” came into English via French from the Latin “fortis” meaning strong. “Forte” is also a musical direction meaning “loud”.

60. Lang. of the Torah : HEB

The Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, are traditionally believed to have been written by Moses. As such, they are sometimes referred to as the Law of Moses, or Mosaic Law.

61. __ minérale: French spring supply : EAU

In a restaurant in Paris, one might order “eau minérale” (mineral water).

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Correspondence sign-off : BEST
5. Musical series set at McKinley High : GLEE
9. “Wealth of Nations” author Smith : ADAM
13. Pot for paella : OLLA
14. Speaks up? : PRAYS
15. Bit of folklore : TALE
16. Mature gentle treatment? : GOAT GLOVES (from “kid gloves”)
18. B’way hit signs : SROS
19. News letters : UPI
20. “Have some” : EAT
21. Decides not to dele : STETS
22. Bodega miss : SENORITA
25. Roe-producing fish : SHAD
26. Mature sprightly piano classic? : CAT ON THE KEYS (from “Kitten on the Keys”)
30. Canaanite deity : BA’AL
32. Half a cocktail : TAI
33. Handler of “Sex and the City” : EVAN
34. Costa del __ : SOL
35. Mature young infatuation? : DOG LOVE (from “puppy love”)
39. Taking a sick day, presumably : ILL
40. Trivial, as talk : IDLE
42. Versailles ruler : ROI
43. Mouselike animal : VOLE
45. Mature news newbie? : BEAR REPORTER (from “cub reporter”)
49. Salty margarita glass spots : RIMS
50. Low-alcohol beverage : NEAR BEER
54. Dries gently : BLOTS
56. French menu word : JUS
57. Singer Grande’s perfume brand : ARI
58. “__ move” : YOUR
59. Mature “Agnus Dei” translation? : SHEEP OF GOD (from “Lamb of God”)
63. Air : TUNE
64. Word with offering or officer : PEACE …
65. “Who __ knows?” : ELSE
66. Scandinavian literary work : EDDA
67. Lie next to : ABUT
68. Wedding couple? : DEES

Down

1. Phony : BOGUS
2. Run secretly to the chapel : ELOPE
3. Dispatched, as a dragon : SLAIN
4. Ankle pic : TAT
5. Cavern : GROTTO
6. Brit’s facilities : LAV
7. Bud on a spud : EYE
8. Snaky curve : ESS
9. On the line : AT STAKE
10. Stunt performer, say : DAREDEVIL
11. Boatloads : A LOT
12. Food in a hall : MESS
14. Braid : PLAIT
17. Notable Ford of the ’70s : GERALD
21. “__ Persisted”: children’s book about inspirational women : SHE
23. Andean tuber : OCA
24. Pit-digging insect : ANTLION
25. Handmade blade : SHIV
27. Eastern “way” : TAO
28. Second-oldest Ivy : YALE
29. NBC show since 1975 : SNL
30. Portend : BODE
31. Versatile : ALL-AROUND
34. Bro or sis : SIB
36. Rich rocks : ORES
37. Political initials since 1884 : GOP
38. Exceedingly : EVER SO
41. Asmara’s nation : ERITREA
44. Poetic sphere : ORB
46. Rental ad abbr. : RMS
47. Veto : REJECT
48. Brownish gray : TAUPE
51. Birdie topper : EAGLE
52. Jagged, as a leaf’s edge : EROSE
53. Carnival attractions : RIDES
54. Data unit : BYTE
55. Musician’s forte? : LOUD
59. Place for a chemical peel : SPA
60. Lang. of the Torah : HEB
61. __ minérale: French spring supply : EAU
62. Gratified : FED

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19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 7 Feb 19, Thursday”

  1. Had a bit of a time attempting to spell ETITREA but it came together after I got BLOTS right. Enjoyable at any rate.

    Eddie

  2. Holy smoke, didn’t think Hajj would get such a response. Thank you all. I should of just looked it up. I try not to do that. If I started doing that it would become a habit for me. The point of these crosswords is too use your brain power and mess with your head. Todays theme had me stymied couldn’t get it till done, which took awhile. Still was a good puzzle.

  3. LAT 35:57 no errors. Took a while to get the theme and replace LOO with LAV.
    NYT #0103 from my paper today, 54:56 with 5 errors.
    Too many unfamiliar clues. Getting the theme helped a little but not enough.

    1. @Jack … I also had “LOO” before “LAV”, because it’s always the correct answer for that clue … well, nine times out of ten, anyway … 😜.

  4. LAT: 8:25, no errors. Newsday: 9:52, no errors. WSJ: 17:48, no errors. BEQ: 17:19, no errors; and (if anyone cares) I fudged my time a little: at 16:49, I thought I was done and rushed off to deal with a minor emergency; when I got back, I realized I had left one square blank and it took me about 30 seconds to fill in the correct letter.

    @cathy … I make a habit of looking things up after I’m done with a puzzle, the point being to learn about the things I got wrong (or got right, but didn’t really understand).

  5. 16:12. I got the theme early, but other than DOG LOVE none of the other theme answers came to me without a lot of crosses first. I had to remember EROSE from my crossword lizard brain. I think I’ve come across it once or twice.

    1 Across (Since they stole it from me) –

  6. I wasn’t on the same page with this guy at all. It was killing me. Guess the rest of you did AOK. I think my stars are not lined up correctly, I seem to be having all kinds of little things go wrong already this year. Alas.

    1. @kay – “The fault, dear kay, is not in our stars / But in ourselves…”

      Shakespeare telling it like it is for all of us and our earthly travails. No matter what, those “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” will be our constant companions for as long as we live.

      Sorry for waxing philosophical today…who’d a thunk it?
      We now return you to out regularly scheduled programming. ;-D>

  7. I’ve been using AdBlock in Safari (on my iPad) to get rid of the pesky ads here but recently other sites (like, Newsday, as of this morning) have begun to complain that they won’t let me continue unless I turn off my ad blocker. So I turn it off, per AdBlock’s instruction, but that doesn’t work by itself; I also have to go into “Settings”, find an entry for “Safari” and toggle a switch there. Anyone have a better solution?

    Also, @Jeff … I thought of you when I saw 1A in today’s LAT!

  8. 15 mins 6 sec, 4 “forced” errors due to the groaner theme. Took me ~forever~ to “get” the theme, and then that’s when I broke it. Can’t say I enjoyed it at all, though…

  9. LAT: 14:01, no errors. WSJ: 17:00, 1 crap shoot error at 43A-41D on incredibly suspicious cluing. Newsday: 15:57, 1 error. BEQ: 13:42, 2 crap shoot errors (14A-4D, 11A-13D).

    No excuses that crosswords can’t have clear and effective communication.

  10. I also thought of Jeff, when I came across the 1 across … Best !

    All in all, a fairly tough puzzle. The long answers theme took me a lot of time to resolve, but some of the short answers were fairly easy. I remember playing with ant lions, and the word ‘erose’ is firmly in my mind, about the serrated leaves….

    Not too bad for a Thursday… although I am at present grappling with a minor money problem, that I better resolve soon. All, my own fault, for being so careless.

    I remember ‘Agnus dei ‘ from a previous Bill’s blog… will never forget it.
    I also took the time today, to read all about Adam Smith … although his book was a best seller, then and now, … economists are very ambivalent about what he meant by ‘the invisible hand’.

    Although he believed in free capitalism … his theories ….. of not importing goods from abroad, and trickle down economics and that the government should never regulate trade … is not favored today.
    Economics has gone through such massive changes, that nobody, leave alone Adam Smith would have recognized it as it is practiced today … the government has a thousand laws on a multitude of monetary branches …. from securities, trade, cartels and banking, …. imports are considered beneficial, (sometimes – ) ….. foreign investment is encouraged ….. and so on….

    Have a great day tomorrow, and a great evening today,
    and for Jeff, … Best

  11. @Cathy – I usually Google come Thursday. Today it was for GERALD – kept trying for Ford cars. Also ERITREA.

    @Kay – I wasn’t on Coulter’s wavelength either. Didn’t get the theme til the end, esp since I never heard of “kitten” ON THE KEYS, and I’m old.
    I usually miss youth subjects, for instance, EVAN and ARI, which I got by crosses. Another one that threw me for a while was RIMS, since I was thinking of round spots made by the salt.

    Also, didn’t know ANTLION, but that was a learning experience and I like those.

  12. Moderately difficult Thursday for me, done at a leisurely pace while selling my honey. It was kinda cold today and I filled in most of the easy stuff while struggling with the theme. Finally got “dog” love which helped get GOAT… and BEAR… but had to get CAT… and SHEEP… with crosses. BTW, YouTube has a nice version of “kitten on the keys.”

    Never heard of an antlion and LOUD was new to me, as well as EVAN. Also had to change Loo to LAV and mAI to TAI. I now get “Speaks up?” and guessed GLEE right away.

    @Dave – At least in Firefox, all I have to do is refresh the page and that usually does it, and probably should for Safari as well.

    BEST (tm Jeff)

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