LA Times Crossword 9 Feb 19, Saturday

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Constructed by: Greg Johnson
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 8m 47s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6. Site with a Pill Identification Tool : WEBMD

WebMD is a website containing health information. Online since 1996, WebMD is read by over 80 million readers each month. One example of the useful features on the site is the “Pill Identification Tool”.

14. Sea of Azov peninsula : CRIMEA

Crimea is a peninsula jutting out into the Black Sea that is almost completely surrounded by water. It is connected to the Ukrainian mainland to the north by the Isthmus of Perekop, and is separated from the nearby Russian region of Kuban by the narrow (less than 10 miles) Kerch Strait. Crimea has been occupied by foreign powers many times over the centuries, and now control of the region is disputed by Ukraine and Russia.

The Sea of Azov lies east of the Crimean Peninsula and is linked to the larger Black Sea via the narrow Strait of Kerch. The Sea of Azov is the shallowest sea in the world, with the depth never going above forty-six feet.

20. Brand with an orange-and-yellow bull’s-eye trademark : TIDE

Tide is a laundry detergent that has been made by Procter & Gamble since 1946. Back then, Tide was marketed as “America’s Washday Favorite”.

24. X or Z preceder : GEN-

The term “Generation X” originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By one definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

The Millennial Generation are sometimes referred to as “Generation Y” (Gen-Y). Millennials were born after the “Gen-Xers”, from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

25. Stella Artois product : LAGER

The Belgian beer Stella Artois is named for the brewer Sebastianus Artois. Artois was the master brewer at the Den Hoorn Brewery in Leuven, Belgium in the early 1700s. The Den Hoorn Brewery has been around at least since 1366 … yes, 1366!

28. Product of sugar and heat : CARAMEL

The confectionery product known as caramel is made by heating sugar. The process of caramelization requires slow heating of the sugar to about 170 °C. The heating causes the sugar molecules to break down and convert into the compounds that provide the characteristic color and flavor of caramel.

32. Retrieved at an airport carousel : CLAIMED

Apparently, the baggage carousel was developed by a French company. The first installation was in Paris Orly Airport in the 1950s.

33. Pet holdable in one hand : HAMSTER

The rodents known as hamsters are commonly kept as house pets. Male hamsters are called bucks, females are called does, and baby hamsters are known as pups.

37. Cleanser compound : BORAX

Borax is also known as sodium borate, and is a salt of boric acid. Borax is a white powder that dissolves easily in water. The compound has many uses, for example as an antifungal agent, water-softening agent and as an antiseptic. Actor and future US president Ronald Reagan used to tout 20 Mule Team Borax that was used as a laundry product.

38. Saint, in Brazil : SAO

In Portuguese, the word “são” can mean “saint”, as in São Paulo (Saint Paul) and São José (Saint Joseph). If the saint’s name starts with a letter H or with a vowel, then the word “santo” is used instead, as in Santo Agostinho (Saint Augustine) and Santo Antônio (Saint Anthony).

Brazil is the largest country in South America, and the fifth largest country in the world (after Russia, Canada, China and the US). Brazil was a Portuguese colony from 1500 to 1815. The official name of the country under Portuguese rule was Terra da Santa Cruz (Land of the Holy Cross). However, European sailors used the name Terra do Brasil (Land of Brazil), a reference to the brazilwood tree that was much prized in Europe for the deep red dye that it produced.

45. Highest Italian peak south of the Alps : ETNA

Mount Etna on the island of Sicily is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy, and indeed the largest of all active volcano in Europe. Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Mt. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-gauge railway, and two ski resorts. It is sometimes referred to as “Mongibello” in Italian, and as “Mungibeddu” in Sicilian. The English name “Etna” comes from the Greek “aitho” meaning “I eat”.

48. Fit to serve : ONE-A

The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System (SSS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).

51. Metaphors, e.g. : TROPES

A trope is a figure of speech. The term “trope” comes from the Greek word “tropos” that has the same meaning.

53. Homicide official : CORONER

The term “coroner” is derived from the Latin “custos placitorum coronae”, which was once the title of the officer responsible for protecting the property of the royal family (“corona” is Latin for “crown”). Over time, the responsibilities of the office narrowed and changed until by the 17th century, the main task was to determine the cause of death in cases not obviously natural.

54. Event associated with a blue moon : RARITY

As there is a full moon once every four weeks, approximately monthly, there are usually twelve full moons in any given year. However, every 2-3 years, depending on the phase of the moon at the beginning of the calendar year, there may be a thirteenth full moon. The “extra” full moon is called a “blue moon”, although no one seems to really know why the term “blue” is used, as far as I can tell. Which of the thirteen full moons that is designated as the blue moon varies depending on tradition. My favorite definition is from the Farmer’s Almanac. It states that as each of the seasons normally has three full moons (one for each calendar month), then the season with four full moons is designated as “special”, then the third (and not the fourth) full moon in that “special” season is the blue moon. Complicated, huh?

55. Concrete-reinforcing rod : REBAR

A steel bar or mesh that is used to reinforce concrete is called “rebar”, which is short for “reinforcing bar”.

Down

1. Heart chambers : ATRIA

The heart has four chambers. The two upper chambers (the atria) accept deoxygenated blood from the body and oxygenated blood from the lungs. The atria squeeze those blood supplies into the two lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles), “priming” the pump, as it were. One ventricle pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs, and the other pumps oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.

3. Siberian industrial center : TOMSK

Tomsk is one of the oldest towns in Siberia, having been founded in 1604. The city gets its name from the Tom River on which it is situated.

5. What John Wayne and Cary Grant weren’t : REAL NAMES

John Wayne was named Marion Mitchell Morrison at birth, after his grandfather who was a Civil War veteran. When young Marion was a little boy, a local fireman used to call him “Little Duke” because he was always seen walking with his large dog called “Duke”. Marion liked the name “Duke” and so he called himself Duke Morrison for the rest of his life. That said, Duke Morrison also used John Wayne as a stage name.

The wonderful, wonderful actor Cary Grant was born in Bristol in England, and was given the name Archibald Leach. In the 1949 Howard Hawks film “His Girl Friday”, there’s a line where Grant describes the fate suffered by someone who crossed him. He names that person “Archie Leach”, an ad-lib using his real name.

7. Painter’s aid : EASEL

The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey” would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.

8. A/C letters : BTU

In the world of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), the power of a heating or cooling unit can be measured using the British Thermal Units (BTU). This dated unit is the amount of energy required to heat a pound of water so that the water’s temperature increases by one degree Fahrenheit.

11. Harbor hauler : SCOW

A scow is a flat-bottomed boat with squared-off ends that’s often used for transportation, usually pushed or pulled by a barge. Often a scow can be seen carrying junk or garbage.

12. Brand on Barbie boxes : MATTEL

Mattel is the world’s largest toy manufacturer. Mattel was founded by Harold “Matt” Matson and Elliot Handler in 1945, and they chose the company name by combining “Matt” with “El-liot” giving “Matt-el”.

The famous Barbie doll was created by businesswoman Ruth Handler and first appeared on store shelves in 1959. Barbie was based on a German fashion doll called Bild Lilli that was introduced in 1955. Lilli had been a German cartoon character before taking on a three-dimensional form. Prior to the introduction of Bild Lilli and Barbie, children’s dolls were primarily representations of infants.

16. Stretching muscle : TENSOR

A tensor muscle is one that tightens or stretches a part of the body.

22. Bay Area city : ALAMEDA

“Alameda” is Spanish for “a place full of poplars”. There are number of locations in the US and elsewhere with the name “Alameda”, including the county of Alameda, California where I am right now, writing this post. Alameda County is also home to the city of Alameda located on Alameda Island.

23. Female R&B group with the ’80s hit “I Miss You” : KLYMAXX

Klymaxx is an all-female R&B band that first got together in 1979 in Los Angeles. The group’s biggest hit was “I Miss You”, a 1985 song composed Klymaxx keyboardist Lynn Malsby.

27. MIT part: Abbr. : INST

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was founded in 1861 and first offered classes in 1865, in the Mercantile building in Boston. Today’s magnificent campus on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge opened in 1916.

28. Of concern to the Weather Channel : CLIMATIC

The Weather Channel opened for business in 1982 and has been broadcasting weather forecasts and weather-related news stories 24 hours a day since then.

29. Twelve-step helper : AA SPONSOR

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was founded in 1935, by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in Akron, Ohio. As the organization grew, the guiding principles established by the founders were formatted into a 12-step program that was in place by the forties.

33. Massive group : HORDE

A horde is a large crowd. “Horde” ultimately derives from the Turkish “ordu” that means “camp, army”.

37. Flat-topped straw hat : BOATER

A boater is a straw hat often associated with boating, hence the name.

40. Davis with a recurring role on “Grey’s Anatomy” : GEENA

As well as being a successful Hollywood actress, Geena Davis is an accomplished archer and came close to qualifying for the US archery team for the 2000 Summer Olympics. Davis is also a member of American Mensa. She is quite the lady …

“Gray’s Anatomy” is a very successful human anatomy textbook that was first published back in 1858 and is still in print today. The original text was written by English anatomist Henry Gray, who gave his name to the work. The TV medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” (note “Grey” vs. Gray”) is centered on the character Dr. Meredith Grey, but the show’s title is a nod to the title of the famous textbook.

41. Denver’s __ Field : COORS

Coors Field in Denver is home to the Colorado Rockies MLB team. Coors Field used to give up the most home runs in the league, due to low air density and dry air at Denver’s high elevation. The number of home runs has dropped dramatically since 2002 when officials began to store game balls in a high-humidity environment.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. In honor of : AFTER
6. Site with a Pill Identification Tool : WEBMD
11. Tried hard : STROVE
12. More substantial : MEATIER
14. Sea of Azov peninsula : CRIMEA
15. When many photos are taken : AT SUNSET
17. Some therapeutic applications : OILS
18. Didn’t get in the way of : LET BE
20. Brand with an orange-and-yellow bull’s-eye trademark : TIDE
21. Conversation on the go : WALK AND TALK
24. X or Z preceder : GEN-
25. Stella Artois product : LAGER
26. Waiters stand in them : LINES
28. Product of sugar and heat : CARAMEL
31. Real go-getter : DYNAMO
32. Retrieved at an airport carousel : CLAIMED
33. Pet holdable in one hand : HAMSTER
34. Critical sounds : HISSES
35. Took turns : ROTATED
36. Energized : AMPED
37. Cleanser compound : BORAX
38. Saint, in Brazil : SAO
39. What you’d better have if you miss work : A GOOD EXCUSE
45. Highest Italian peak south of the Alps : ETNA
47. Like yummy desserts, sooner or later : EATEN
48. Fit to serve : ONE-A
49. Separate : DISCRETE
51. Metaphors, e.g. : TROPES
53. Homicide official : CORONER
54. Event associated with a blue moon : RARITY
55. Concrete-reinforcing rod : REBAR
56. Kind of question : YES/NO

Down

1. Heart chambers : ATRIA
2. Nonessential decoration : FRILL
3. Siberian industrial center : TOMSK
4. Big event lead-in : EVE
5. What John Wayne and Cary Grant weren’t : REAL NAMES
6. Dinner party amenity : WET BAR
7. Painter’s aid : EASEL
8. A/C letters : BTU
9. Flavor that pairs well with chocolate : MINT
10. Appoint : DESIGNATE
11. Harbor hauler : SCOW
12. Brand on Barbie boxes : MATTEL
13. Cashed in : REDEEMED
16. Stretching muscle : TENSOR
19. Trimmed, in a way : EDGED
22. Bay Area city : ALAMEDA
23. Female R&B group with the ’80s hit “I Miss You” : KLYMAXX
27. MIT part: Abbr. : INST
28. Of concern to the Weather Channel : CLIMATIC
29. Twelve-step helper : AA SPONSOR
30. Start the day : RISE
31. Requirement for statistical analysis : DATA ENTRY
32. Tried to catch : CHASED
33. Massive group : HORDE
35. Fan : ROOTER
37. Flat-topped straw hat : BOATER
40. Davis with a recurring role on “Grey’s Anatomy” : GEENA
41. Denver’s __ Field : COORS
42. Remove from the bulletin board : UNPIN
43. Take care of : SEE TO
44. Unchallenging : EASY
46. A football field is about 32% larger than one : ACRE
50. Not take well : ROB
52. Female name that’s a body part backwards : RAE

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20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 9 Feb 19, Saturday”

  1. LAT: 11:03, no errors; mercifully easy. WSJ: 26:41, no errors; a theme having to do with song titles (a couple of which I actually remembered 😜). Newsday: 37:37, no errors; did pretty well on it but, on another day, it might have stumped me completely. Up late last night, so I’m a bit underslept.

    1. @Glenn – I just want to know if craps were in season when you began to shoot them and did you have a valid crap shooting permit? Finally, I trust you didn’t take more craps than the limit for crap taking this time of the year? ;-D>

  2. LAT 31:30 no errors
    NYT #0105 from my paper, I got a total of 4 answers and 2 of them were wrong. This was IMO one of the worst puzzles I have ever attempted to solve. Is it just me?

  3. Too difficult for a 92 year old. I love Mon, Tues, Wed,
    and sometimes Thurs, but I realize I’m out of sync with Friday and Sat.

  4. Agree that it was unusually easy for a Saturday. No time to report, but
    my son-in-law and I got 100%, after the wife and I agonized over two
    consecutive 75% debacles. I want LuLu to know that I am dreaming up
    a puzzle that will be unsolveable.

  5. 16:35. Easy by Saturday standards, but I still took a couple of minutes to get going on this one. I started the NYT Saturday puzzle last night and just put it down. I was hoping I was just tired, but it really is that hard.

    I was thinking of Climax Blues Band when I saw KLYMAXX, but I guess there’s no relation. I guess I couldn’t get it right…..(pun)

    Dave – I’m heading up to Denver Monday and Tuesday on business. Make sure it’s not snowing or cold, and make sure the city has ample supplies of Fat Tire waiting for me…

    Best –

    1. @Jeff … The weather report for Denver is pretty good for the next few days. We had a little snow last Wednesday and some pretty cold nights afterward, but it’s warming up nicely now. I can’t speak for the city’s supply of Fat Tire, but I suspect they’ll have enough … 😜.

      Would you be interested in a brief meeting somewhere on Monday? I actually have an ulterior motive: an ill-considered attempt to replicate my experience with “extra añejo” tequila in Cozumel has left me with a 750ml bottle of Don Julio 70 “crystal claro añejo” , which I assume is pretty good stuff, but it just isn’t the same. I’ve been trying to find someone to give it to, but so far without success. If you want it, it’s yours. (Of course, you’d have to figure out how to take it back with you.) Let me know …

  6. Easy peasy. More like a Wednesday puzzle. At first spelled “Horde” as ” Hoard” but quickly corrected.

    São José is Portuguese for Saint Joseph not Saint John.

    Now what do I do with the rest of this snowy Saturday afternoon in Central NY?

  7. Yes, easy one. The only area of trouble for me with the NW. Wanted ‘strife’ to fit for 11A but that never worked. So NW was incomplete. But still a fun puzzle.

  8. Nice and easy Saturday; took 27 minutes with no errors on paper. Just had to fix my poor spelling of DeSCRETE to make CLIMATIC work. Didn’t know Klymaxx but the crosses pulled it through. I watched the song on YouTube…it was okay.

    All this extra time on a Saturday…

  9. Aloha every buddy!!🐔

    No errors; a fun and satisfying solve. I kinda want to listen to that KLYMAXX song now too. Don’t remember it at all. 🤔

    Be well~~🌺

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