LA Times Crossword 8 Feb 19, Friday

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Constructed by: Andy Morrison
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Missing Link

Themed answers are common phrases that are MISSING the letters LINK, in order as we descend the grid:

  • 37A. Literal and figurative hint to four puzzle answers : MISSING LINK
  • 18A. Boxing academy? : FIGHT SCHOOL (“flight school” missing an L)
  • 30A. Optimist’s hopeful list? : GREAT PLANS (“Great Plains” missing an I)
  • 48A. Wild party in Dallas? : TEXAS RAGER (“Texas Ranger” missing an N)
  • 58A. Literary alliance? : WRITER’S BLOC (“writer’s block” missing a K)

Bill’s time: 8m 32s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Yukon supplier : GMC

The GMC Yukon is basically the same vehicle as the Chevrolet Tahoe.

4. __ pants : HAREM

Harem pants are an item of female clothing that originated in the Arabian Peninsula. They are loose fitting pants that gather at the ankle. The pants worn by belly dancers would be called harem pants.

9. Scorned lover of Jason : MEDEA

In Greek mythology, Medea was the wife of Jason, the heroic leader of the Argonauts. Medea was a sorceress who pledged to help Jason in his search for the Golden Fleece, on condition that he take her as his wife. According to some accounts, Jason left Medea and took up with Glauce, the daughter of the king of Corinth. Medea got her own back by sending Glauce a golden coronet and a dress that were covered with poison. The poison killed Glauce, and her father the king. To further her revenge on Jason, Medea killed two of her own children that were fathered by him.

15. CNN correspondent Hill : ERICA

Erica Hill was the co-anchor of “CBS This Morning”, and before that she was co-anchor of CBS’s “The Early Show”. Hill moved in 2008 to NBC News and co-hosted the weekend edition of “Today”. She moved to CNN in 2016.

30. Optimist’s hopeful list? : GREAT PLANS (“Great Plains” missing an I)

The Great Plains lie between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains in North America. This vast grassland is known as “the Prairies” in Canada.

33. “Othello” role : IAGO

Iago is the schemer in Shakespeare’s “Othello”. He is a soldier who fought alongside Othello and feels hard done by, missing out on promotion. Iago hatches a plot designed to discredit his rival Cassio by insinuating that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona, Othello’s wife.

34. Pamphlet ending : -EER

The original pamphlet was a unbound treatise back in the late 1500s. The term “pamphlet” came from “Pamphilus, seu de Amore” (“Pamphilus, or about Love”), which was a Latin love poem that was very popular and widely copied in the Middle Ages. The term “pamphilus” comes from the Greek for “loved by all”.

35. Have __ for : A YEN

The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium.

36. Colorful bird : MACAW

Macaws are beautifully colored birds of native to Central and South America, and are actually a type of parrot. Most species of macaw are now endangered, with several having become extinct in recent decades. The main threats are deforestation and illegal trapping and trafficking of exotic birds.

37. Literal and figurative hint to four puzzle answers : MISSING LINK

The term “missing link” is usually applied to the concept that there existed some form of animal that is a hybrid between apes and humans. The idea that there was some “apeman” is discounted these days by the scientific community, who now favor the theory of evolution.

43. Sword-and-sandal feature, e.g. : EPIC

A sword-and-sandal genre of film comprises Italian-made biblical costume dramas that were produced by the Italian movie industry in the late fifties and early sixties. Unlike Hollywood epics of the time like “Spartacus” and “The Ten Commandments”, the Italian versions were dubbed. The italian film industry turned away from sword-and-sandal movies fairly decisively to spaghetti westerns.

44. Turkish title : AGA

“Aga” (also “agha”) is a title that was used by both civil and military officials in the Ottoman Empire.

47. Award using spelled-out initials : OBIE

The Obies are the “Off-Broadway Theater Awards”. The Obies have been presented annually since 1956. The recipients used to be chosen by “The Village Voice” newspaper, but now are jointly administered with the American Theatre Wing.

48. Wild party in Dallas? : TEXAS RAGER (“Texas Ranger” missing an N)

The Texas Rangers are a law enforcement agency that has been around since 1835, although an unofficial force existed since 1823.

51. Wednesday, to be exact : MIDWEEK

The phrase “hump day” is very North American. It refers to Wednesday, which is the middle day (the hump) of a typical work week.

53. Souvenirs : TOKENS

A souvenir is a memento, a token of remembrance. We imported the word “souvenir” from French, in which language it has the same meaning. The term comes from the Latin “subvenire” meaning “to come to mind”, or literally “to come up”.

57. Musical collaboration instruction : A DUE

“A due” is a musical term meaning “together”, and literally translates from Italian as “by two”.

63. A, in Aachen : EIN

Aachen is a city in the very west of Germany, right on the border with Belgium and the Netherlands. In English, we quite often refer to this city by its French name, Aix-la-Chapelle.

65. Coke or Pepsi : BRAND

“Cola Wars” is the phrase used to describe the competing marketing campaigns of Coca Cola and PepsiCo. Coke is winning …

66. Young Darth’s nickname : ANI

Anakin “Ani” Skywalker is the principal character in the first six of the “Star Wars” movies. His progress chronologically through the series of films is:

  • Episode I: Anakin is a 9-year-old slave boy who earns the promise of Jedi training by young Obi-Wan Kenobi.
  • Episode II: Anakin is 18-years-old and goes on a murdering rampage to avenge the killing of his mother.
  • Episode III: Anakin is 21-years-old and a Jedi knight, but he turns to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader. His wife Padme gives birth to twins, Luke and Leia Skywalker.
  • Episode IV: Darth Vader, comes into conflict with his children, Luke Skywalker and the Princess Leia.
  • Episode V: Darth Vader attempts to coax his son Luke over to the dark side, and reveals to Luke that he is his father.
  • Episode VI: Luke learns that Leia is his sister, and takes on the task of bringing Darth Vader back from the Dark Side in order to save the Galaxy. Vader saves his son from the Emperor’s evil grip, dying in the process, but his spirit ends up alongside the spirits of Yoda and Obi-Wan. They all live happily ever after …

68. Hindu mystics : YOGIS

A yogi is a practitioner of yoga.

69. Ballet composer Delibes : LEO

Léo Delibes was a French composer, famous for the ballets “Coppélia” and “Sylvia”, as well as the operas “Le roi l’a dit” and “Lakmé”. Even non-fans of ballet or even classical music will recognize Delibes’ “Divertissement – Pizzicato from ‘Sylvia’”.

Down

2. Poe genre : MACABRE

Edgar Allan Poe (EAP) lived a life of many firsts. Poe is considered to be the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He was also the first notable American author to make his living through his writing, something that didn’t really go too well for him as he was always financially strapped. In 1849 he was found on the streets of Baltimore, delirious and in dire need of medical help. Poe died a few days later in hospital at 39 years of age.

3. Title servant in a 1946 Paulette Goddard film : CHAMBERMAID

Paulette Goddard was a Hollywood actress, one most famous on the screen as the leading lady in the Charlie Chaplin movies “Modern Times” and “The Great Dictator”. Goddard and Chaplin lived as husband and wife for several years and apparently married in secret in Canton, China in 1936. The couple were granted a Mexican divorce in 1942.

“The Diary of a Chambermaid” is a 1946 film that is based on a 1900 novel of the same name by Octave Mirbeau. The title role is played by Paulette Goddard. She is a chambermaid who attracts the attention of two characters played by Burgess Meredith and Hurd Hatfield. Spoiler alert: Hatfield’s character wins out in the end.

4. Mag mogul : HEF

Hugh Hefner (often called “Hef”) was from Chicago. His first publishing job was in the military, where he worked as a writer for a US Army newspaper from 1944-46. He went to college after his military service and then worked as a copywriter for “Esquire” magazine. He left “Esquire” to found his own publication that he called “Playboy”, which first hit the newsstands in 1953. “Playboy” has been around ever since.

5. Home of the 2001 World Series champs, on scoreboards : ARI

The Arizona Diamondbacks joined Major League Baseball’s National League in 1998. By winning the World Series in 2001, the Diamondbacks became the fastest expansion team to do so in Major League history.

8. Only deaf performer to win an Oscar : MATLIN

Marlee Matlin won her well-deserved Oscar for the role she played in “Children of a Lesser God”. Matlin played opposite William Hurt in the movie, and won her Academy Award in in 1986 when she was just 21 years old. My favorite performance of hers though, was the recurring role she had in “The West Wing”.

9. Waikiki, to surfers : MECCA

Waikiki is a neighborhood of Honolulu that is home to the famous Waikiki Beach. The name “Waikiki” means “spouting fresh water” in Hawaiian.

10. Recipient of a New Testament epistle attributed to Saint Paul : EPHESIAN

It seems that the Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians (Eph.) is now regarded by scholars as written “in the style of Paul” by someone who was influenced by Paul’s thought.

11. __-wop : DOO

Doo-wop developed in the 1940s and can be described as a vocal-based R&B music. Even though the style has been around since the forties, the name doo-wop wasn’t introduced until the early sixties.

13. Calder Cup org. : AHL

The American Hockey League (AHL) is the so-called development circuit for the National Hockey League (NHL), the equivalent of the minors in professional baseball. The AHL’s playoff trophy is called the Calder Cup, which is named for Frank Calder who was the first president of the NHL.

25. 1974 CIA spoof : S*P*Y*S

“S*P*Y*S” is a 1974 comedy starring Elliott Gould and Donald Sutherland as two men mistaken as spies and targeted by the KGB. With all those asterisks in the film’s title, one has to assume the movie was intended to capitalize on the success of the 1970 Gould/Sutherland vehicle called “M*A*S*H”.

28. Supermarket chain : IGA

The initialism “IGA” stands for “Independent Grocers Alliance”, and is a chain of supermarkets that extends right around the world. IGA’s headquarters is in Chicago. The company uses the slogan “Hometown Proud Supermarkets”.

29. “__ is the winter of our discontent”: Shak. : NOW

“Richard III” is one of the more famous of William Shakespeare’s historical plays. A well-known 1955 version of the play was made for the big screen with Laurence Olivier playing the title role. The most oft-quoted words from “Richard III” are probably the opening lines “Now is the winter of our discontent/Made glorious summer by this sun of York”, and Richard’s plea at the climax of battle “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!”

39. College admissions fig. : GPA

Grade point average (GPA)

41. Cousin of org : COM

The .com domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

  • .com (commercial enterprise)
  • .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
  • .mil (US military)
  • .org (not-for-profit organization)
  • .gov (US federal government entity)
  • .edu (college-level educational institution)

42. Band of Tokyo? : OBI

The sash worn as part of traditional Japanese dress is known as an obi. The obi can be tied at the back in what is called a butterfly knot. The term “obi” is also used for the thick cotton belts that are an essential part of the outfits worn by practitioners of many martial arts. The color of the martial arts obi signifies the wearer’s skill level.

46. Hall of fame : ARSENIO

Arsenio Hall got his big break with his role in the movie “Coming to America” with Eddie Murphy in 1988. The following year he started hosting “The Arsenio Hall Show”, which ran until 1994. He had a loyal group of fans in the audience that had the habit of almost “barking” while pumping their fists in the air. The raucous move became so popular it extended far beyond the influences of Arsenio, and to this day it is still used as a mark of appreciation in some arenas. Not by me, mind you …

48. Puerto Rico, e.g.: Abbr. : TERR

Puerto Rico (PR) is located in the northeastern Caribbean (in the Atlantic Ocean), east of the Dominican Republic. The name “Puerto Rico” is Spanish for “rich port”. The locals often call their island Borinquen, the Spanish form of “Boriken”, the original name used by the natives.

50. Handle preceder : AKA

Also known as (aka)

55. Iberian river : EBRO

The Iberian Peninsula in Europe is largely made up of Spain and Portugal. However, also included is the Principality of Andorra in the Pyrénées, a small part of the south of France, and the British Territory of Gibraltar. Iberia takes its name from the Ebro, the longest river in Spain, which the Romans named the “Iber”.

56. Metallic waste : SLAG

The better lead ores are processed in a blast furnace, to extract the metal. The waste from this process is called “slag”. Slag does contain some lead and it can be processed further in a slag furnace to extract the residual metal. Slag furnaces also accept poorer lead ores as a raw material.

60. Early civil rights activist __ B. Wells : IDA

Ida B. Wells was an African-American journalist and leader of the civil rights movement. She published a pamphlet in 1892 called “Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases”, which publicized the horrors of lynching of African Americans by white mobs in the South.

61. Covert maritime gp. : ONI

The Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) is the oldest of the US intelligence services. The ONI was set up in 1882 to determine the state of advancement of foreign naval forces.

62. Cred. union offerings : CDS

A certificate of deposit (CD) is like a less-flexible and higher-paying savings account. Instead of depositing money into a savings account and earning interest periodically, one can open a CD. With a CD one deposits a minimum amount of money but must leave it there for a specified length of time. In return for committing the funds for a fixed period, one is given a higher interest rate than a savings account and can redeem that interest and the initial deposit when the term has expired. CDs are relatively low-risk investments as they are FDIC insured, just like savings accounts.

A credit union is a member-owned financial cooperative that focuses on providing credit to those members. One comparison of credit unions to regular banks is the credit unions had a five times lower failure rate during the global financial crisis of 2007-2008.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Yukon supplier : GMC
4. __ pants : HAREM
9. Scorned lover of Jason : MEDEA
14. Aptly, it rhymes with “spa” : AAH!
15. CNN correspondent Hill : ERICA
16. Big period : EPOCH
17. TV trailblazer : RCA
18. Boxing academy? : FIGHT SCHOOL (“flight school” missing an L)
20. Loud noises : BAMS
22. “There, there,” e.g. : SOLACE
23. One at the top of the order : ABBESS
26. Whirling : IN A SPIN
30. Optimist’s hopeful list? : GREAT PLANS (“Great Plains” missing an I)
33. “Othello” role : IAGO
34. Pamphlet ending : -EER
35. Have __ for : A YEN
36. Colorful bird : MACAW
37. Literal and figurative hint to four puzzle answers : MISSING LINK
41. Field supervisor : COACH
43. Sword-and-sandal feature, e.g. : EPIC
44. Turkish title : AGA
47. Award using spelled-out initials : OBIE
48. Wild party in Dallas? : TEXAS RAGER (“Texas Ranger” missing an N)
51. Wednesday, to be exact : MIDWEEK
53. Souvenirs : TOKENS
54. Plays ball : AGREES
57. Musical collaboration instruction : A DUE
58. Literary alliance? : WRITER’S BLOC (“writer’s block” missing a K)
63. A, in Aachen : EIN
64. Senate staffers : AIDES
65. Coke or Pepsi : BRAND
66. Young Darth’s nickname : ANI
67. Bright : SMART
68. Hindu mystics : YOGIS
69. Ballet composer Delibes : LEO

Down

1. Refuse : GARBAGE
2. Poe genre : MACABRE
3. Title servant in a 1946 Paulette Goddard film : CHAMBERMAID
4. Mag mogul : HEF
5. Home of the 2001 World Series champs, on scoreboards : ARI
6. Eighteen-wheelers : RIGS
7. Call back? : ECHO
8. Only deaf performer to win an Oscar : MATLIN
9. Waikiki, to surfers : MECCA
10. Recipient of a New Testament epistle attributed to Saint Paul : EPHESIAN
11. __-wop : DOO
12. Prefix with conscious : ECO-
13. Calder Cup org. : AHL
19. Without : SANS
21. Vast expanse : SEA
24. Tuck away : STASH
25. 1974 CIA spoof : S*P*Y*S
27. Discounted combo : PACKAGE DEAL
28. Supermarket chain : IGA
29. “__ is the winter of our discontent”: Shak. : NOW
31. Luau ring : LEI
32. Architect’s addition : ANNEX
36. Start to manage? : MICRO-
38. Summer refresher : ICE WATER
39. College admissions fig. : GPA
40. Document with bullets : LIST
41. Cousin of org : COM
42. Band of Tokyo? : OBI
45. Sincere : GENUINE
46. Hall of fame : ARSENIO
48. Puerto Rico, e.g.: Abbr. : TERR
49. Barely makes it : EKES BY
50. Handle preceder : AKA
52. Discharge : EGEST
55. Iberian river : EBRO
56. Metallic waste : SLAG
58. Lived : WAS
59. Basket border : RIM
60. Early civil rights activist __ B. Wells : IDA
61. Covert maritime gp. : ONI
62. Cred. union offerings : CDS

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17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 8 Feb 19, Friday”

  1. I do read all the explanations for the grid when done. You explain them all so well, very interesting, I’ve learned tons of info. Thank you for such a good job. Yesterdays puzzle was kinda tuff in spots for me. I had Loo for lav also, and antlion, I never heard that one before, and kitten on the piano, stumped me but your explanation was interesting. Today Friday, was tough for me in some areas. I’m brain dead today. everyone have a safe weekend

  2. We bombed on Thursday and Friday, after such a good start to the week.
    One day, I would like to construct a puzzle for these constructors and see
    if I couldn’t fix it so that they would all get zero.

  3. LAT: 17:32, no errors. Newsday: 9:08, no errors. WSJ: 13:00, no errors; meta solved and submitted. Croce to come …

  4. 20:11. I got the theme, but at first I assumed there was more to it. There wasn’t.

    I first put “NHL” instead of “AHL” for 13D. The NHL has a Calder Trophy that is essentially their “Rookie of the Year” award, but it’s indeed the AHL which has the Calder Cup. I only figured it out when I didn’t get the congratulatory banner at the end of the puzzle.

    Richard III’s line “my kingdom for a horse…” is often misunderstood as I understand it. He is not making a plea for a trade (as most believe) – i.e. he’d trade his kingdom if only he could get his hands on a horse. Rather, he is simply lamenting the fact that he’s losing his kingdom because he can’t get his hands on a horse. “I’m losing my kingdom for a horse?? Are you kidding me??” might be a modern way of putting it. It’s one of the few things I learned my second semester of my senior year of high school a.k.a. my senior slump….

    Where has Carrie been?

    Best – (I’m taking it back…)

  5. LAT 25:08 with no errors
    NYT #0104 from my paper today. DNF ,I got about 90% but answers like refusenik and sabra did me in. Sometimes I wonder what world some of these constructors live in.

  6. Compared to my performance yesterday, this was a piece of cake. Not really very hard for a Fri., but I needed an easy one after flunking Thurs.

    1. I just looked this up and it appears that Puerto Rico is, in fact a commonwealth. However, a commonwealth is a type of territory, so the clue is right and you’re right. Happiness abounds … 😜

  7. Untimed (online version didn’t turn the stopwatch on), but finished with no errors. Took a while to come into my own; I guesstimate 18 or 19 minutes or thereabouts. Nice Friday challenge, without getting out of hand on naticks or trickery. Took a bit of issue with the “clue” for SANS, without mentioning Fr.(ench). That was quite cynical.

  8. I do not like multiple word answers in a puzzle. I don’t know who started this, but I don’t care for them. Sorry, but otherwise I learn new words every day. I call it my brain work.

  9. Moderately difficult Friday for me; took 34:01 online with no peaking. Did have some trouble with the middle top section where I had edt before HEF and didn’t know who ERICA or MATLIN were. Thankfully crosses eventually came to the rescue.

    I was wondering where Carrie is keeping herself as well. Vacation…but where do you go when you already live in sunny LA? Come back, we miss the emojis! 🙂

  10. Hi folks!!🐔

    Thanks Jeff and Dirk for the shout-outs– I’m present and accounted for; I’ve just had a cold that lingered into this week, and somehow the “lingering” part is worse than the initial cold — my voice is hoarse and I’m sleeping a lot. 🤕 My best guess is I’ll survive…

    4 errors on this Friday puzzle!! 😮 Could NOT get WRITER’S BLOC… I had solver’s block there! Also I had EYES instead of A YEN…I found this one hard! Hope Saturday’s is kinder.🤞

    Jeff! It’s funny that you put NHL before AHL– I ALSO had NHL and when it didn’t work I thought “Jeff will know this one!” 🤗 BTW I am sure you’re right on that Shakespeare quote.

    Be well~~🍹

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