LA Times Crossword 20 Mar 19, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Mark McClain
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Sound Speak

Themed answers include a “peak” sound:

  • 18A Breed also known as a Lion Dog : PEKINGESE
  • 26A Angry display : FIT OF PIQUE
  • 49A When the volume is the highest : PEAK SEASON
  • 62A Survey surreptitiously : TAKE A PEEK

Bill’s time: 6m 08s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 About, in dates : CIRCA

“Circa” is a Latin word meaning “around, near, about the time of”. We use “circa” directly in English to mean “about the time of”, as well as in derivative words such as “circle” and “circus”.

6 Words With Friends and such : APPS

“Words With Friends” is a word game application that can be played on smartphones and other electronic devices. “Words With Friends” is basically Scrabble under a different name, or so I hear.

16 Rebecca’s firstborn : ESAU

Esau, was the grandson of Abraham and the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When Esau was born to Isaac and Rebekah, the event was described “Now the first came forth, red all over like a hairy garment”. Esau is portrayed later in life as being very different from his brother Jacob, as a hunter and someone who loves the outdoor life.

17 General opening? : SOFT G

The opening letter in the word “general” is a soft letter G (gee).

18 Breed also known as a Lion Dog : PEKINGESE

The pekingese (“peke”) breed originated in China, as one might suspect from the name. Breeding practices have resulted in the the dog having many health problems, including breathing issues related to the “desirable” flat face. Standards have been changed in recent years, demanding an “evident muzzle” in an attempt to breed healthier “pekes”.

25 Gridiron official : REF

We never used the word “gridiron” when I was growing up in Ireland (meaning a grill used for cooking food over an open fire). So, maybe I am excused for taking two decades as a US resident to work out that a football field gridiron is so called because the layout of yard lines over the field looks like a gridiron used in cooking!

26 Angry display : FIT OF PIQUE

Our term “pique” meaning “fit of ill feeling” is a French word meaning “prick, sting, irritation”.

35 Big name in gaming : ATARI

At one point, the electronics and video game manufacturer Atari was the fastest growing company in US history. However, Atari never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983.

36 Like the Javanese calendar : LUNAR

A solar calendar is based on the 365 1/4 days it takes for the earth to orbit the sun. A lunar calendar is based on the moon’s phases, and has 12 lunar months of 29-30 days, with the “lunar year” ending eleven days earlier than the “solar year”. So, solar and lunar calendars are always out of sync. There is a device called an epact that adjusts the lunar calendar to bring it into sync with the solar calendar.

39 Catholic univ. in San Antonio : MARY’S

St. Mary’s University is a Roman Catholic school in San Antonio, Texas. It was founded by the Society of Mary in 1852, making St. Mary’s the oldest Catholic university in the American Southwest.

41 Kagan on the bench : ELENA

Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States from 2009 until 2010, when she replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the first female US Solicitor General and the fourth female US Supreme Court justice. Kagan also served as the first female dean of Harvard Law School from 2003 to 2009.

43 Symphonic rock gp. : ELO

The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) is a symphonic rock group from the north of England.

44 Port-au-Prince locale : HAITI

Port-au-Prince is the capital of Haiti. The city was hit by a devastating earthquake in January of 2010. The official government estimate of the death toll stands at 230,000 people, with many bodies never recovered.

46 “Otello” composer : VERDI

Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Otello” was first performed in 1887 at La Scala Theater in Milan. The opera is based on Shakespeare’s play “Othello” and is considered by many to be Verdi’s greatest work.

51 Guffaw syllable : HAR

“Guffaw”, meaning “boisterous laugh”, is an imitative word that is Scottish in origin.

66 Westin competitor : OMNI

Omni Hotels & Resorts is headquartered in Irvine, California and has properties in the US, Canada and Mexico.

67 Rope often coiled : LASSO

Our English word “lasso” comes from the Spanish “lazo”, and ultimately from the Latin “laqueum” meaning “noose, snare”.

Down

2 Nasdaq debuts : IPOS

An initial public offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

The National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) no longer exists per se. Since 2007, it’s functions are carried out by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). These functions include regulation of trading in equities, bonds, futures and options. In 1971, the NASD set up a new computerized trading system called the NASD Automated Quotations stock market, a system we know better by the acronym NASDAQ.

4 Hurricane strength term : CATEGORY

Hurricanes are given names primarily to help the public keep track of dangerous systems. The names are decided ahead of the hurricane season, with the first system given a name beginning with A, the second, B etc. The names are alternated between male and female names throughout the season. Also, if the first storm of the season is male, then the following year a female name is chosen. For hurricanes in the North Atlantic, names are assigned for every letter, except Q, U, X, Y and Z. The most frequently used name is Arlene, which was used for ten different storms from 1959 to 2011.

5 Colorful reef denizen : ANGELFISH

There several species of fish known as angelfish. Each is brightly colored with a laterally compressed body.

6 The Eiger, for one : ALP

The Eiger is a mountain in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland. It is a noted peak for mountain climbing, with its treacherous north face being the most famous approach to the summit. Over sixty climbers have died since 1935 on that north face.

8 Sack holding a pig, in an old idiom : POKE

“Poke” is an old term meaning “sack”. One wouldn’t want to buy “a pig in a poke”, i.e. in a sack and sight unseen.

9 Winter sports mecca : SKI AREA

We’ve been using “mecca” to mean “a place one holds sacred” since the 1850s, and have since extended the usage to include any center of activity. The term derives from the sacred city of Islam, the birthplace of Muhammad.

12 Barbershop member : BASS

Barbershop music is played in the a cappella style, meaning that it is unaccompanied vocal music. Barbershop music originated in the African-American communities in the South, as gospel quartets often gathered in neighborhood barber shops to sing together.

13 “X” author Grafton : SUE

Sue Grafton wrote detective novels, and her “alphabet series” feature the private investigator Kinsey Millhone. She started off with “A Is for Alibi” in 1982 and worked her way up to “Y is for Yesterday” before she passed away in 2017.

24 Singer Nelson : WILLIE

Country singer, actor and activist Willie Nelson was born during the Great Depression in Abbott, Texas. He wrote his first song at the age of seven and joined his first band at the age of ten, and he is still going strong. Nelson has a ranch in Texas but now spends most of his time in Maui, where he lives in a largely self-sustaining community alongside neighbors such as Kris Kristofferson, Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson.

27 Writer Calvino : ITALO

As well as being an author, Italo Calvino was a famous Italian journalist. He was a supporter of communism and so wasn’t very popular in the US nor in Britain.

28 Seer’s deck : TAROT

Tarot cards have been around since the mid-1400s, and for centuries were simply used for entertainment as a game. It has only been since the late 1800s that the cards have been used by fortune tellers to predict the future. The list of tarot cards includes the Wheel of Fortune, the Hanged Man and the Lovers.

29 Prescribed goal : QUOTA

A quota is an allotment. The term “quota” was used originally with reference to the number of soldiers or quantity of supplies required from a particular town or district.

30 “A tradition __ any other”: trademarked catchphrase for The Masters : UNLIKE

Golf’s Masters Tournament is the first of the four major championships in the annual calendar, taking place in the first week of April each year. It is played at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, and has a number of traditions. One is that the winner is awarded the famous “green jacket”, but he only gets to keep it for a year and must return it to the club after twelve months.

33 Housing choice : CONDO

The terms “condominium” and “apartment” tend to describe the same type of residential property, namely a private living space with facilities shared with others residing in the same building or complex. The difference is that a condominium is usually owned, and an apartment is rented. At least that’s how it is in the US. The word “condominium” comes from the Latin “com-” (together) and “dominum” (right of ownership).

34 Huck Finn creator : TWAIN

“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain was first published in 1884, not here in the US but rather in England. The original launch planned for the US had to be delayed until the following year because some rascal had defaced the plate for one of the illustrations, making an obscene joke. Once the problem was spotted a new plate had to be made, and 30,000 copies already printed had to be reworked to cover up the obscenity.

45 Fitting : APROPOS

“Apropos”, meaning “relevant, opportune”, comes into English directly from French, in which language “à propos” means “to the purpose”. Note that we use the term as one word (apropos), whereas the original French is two words (à propos).

52 In the manner of : A LA

The phrase “in the style of” can be translated into “alla” in Italian and “à la” in French.

56 San __: Riviera resort : REMO

The Italian city of San Remo sits on the Mediterranean, right on the border with France. In Italian, the city is named “Sanremo”, just one word. That said, the spelling “San Remo” dates back to ancient times.

“Riviera” is an Italian word meaning “coastline”. The term is often applied to a coastline that is sunny and popular with tourists. The term “the Riviera” is usually reserved for the French Riviera (the Mediterranean coastline in southeastern France), and the Italian Riviera (the Mediterranean coastline centered on Genoa).

59 Ingrid’s “Casablanca” role : ILSA

Ilsa Lund was played by Ingrid Bergman in the 1942 movie “Casablanca”. I love the words of one critic describing the chemistry between Bogart and Bergman in this film: “She paints his face with her eyes”. Wow …

61 There are five in ten : TWOS

I do love a little math on a Wednesday …

62 Word with dance or root : TAP …

The large, central and dominant root grown by many plants is known as the taproot. In plants like the carrot and parsnip, the taproot is used by the plant as a storage organ. And, we humans (and rabbits!) like to eat that storage organ.

63 Sedona, for one : KIA

The Kia Sedona is a minivan that is also sold as the Kia Carnival.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 About, in dates : CIRCA
6 Words With Friends and such : APPS
10 They form a “cage” : RIBS
14 Bee-related : APIAN
15 Cry while pointing a finger : LOOK!
16 Rebecca’s firstborn : ESAU
17 General opening? : SOFT G
18 Breed also known as a Lion Dog : PEKINGESE
20 High regard : ESTEEM
22 Nasty types : MEANIES
23 Warm feeling : GLOW
25 Gridiron official : REF
26 Angry display : FIT OF PIQUE
31 Skill useful in delicate situations : TACT
35 Big name in gaming : ATARI
36 Like the Javanese calendar : LUNAR
38 Swear : VOW
39 Catholic univ. in San Antonio : MARY’S
40 Facebook titter : LOL
41 Kagan on the bench : ELENA
43 Symphonic rock gp. : ELO
44 Port-au-Prince locale : HAITI
46 “Otello” composer : VERDI
47 Towns on some maps : DOTS
49 When the volume is the highest : PEAK SEASON
51 Guffaw syllable : HAR
53 Prominent fox features : EARS
54 Alters to fit : TAILORS
58 Souvenir with a slogan : T-SHIRT
62 Survey surreptitiously : TAKE A PEEK
64 Sanction : ALLOW
65 Graph line : AXIS
66 Westin competitor : OMNI
67 Rope often coiled : LASSO
68 Beer order : PINT
69 Pop : SODA
70 Moves rhythmically : SWAYS

Down

1 Detective’s job : CASE
2 Nasdaq debuts : IPOS
3 Breach : RIFT
4 Hurricane strength term : CATEGORY
5 Colorful reef denizen : ANGELFISH
6 The Eiger, for one : ALP
7 Work often recited : POEM
8 Sack holding a pig, in an old idiom : POKE
9 Winter sports mecca : SKI AREA
10 Pass along, with dubious etiquette : REGIFT
11 “It’s clear now!” : I SEE!
12 Barbershop member : BASS
13 “X” author Grafton : SUE
19 Austin-to-Dallas dir. : NNE
21 Do some floor work : MOP
24 Singer Nelson : WILLIE
26 Well-known : FAMED
27 Writer Calvino : ITALO
28 Seer’s deck : TAROT
29 Prescribed goal : QUOTA
30 “A tradition __ any other”: trademarked catchphrase for The Masters : UNLIKE
32 Declares : AVERS
33 Housing choice : CONDO
34 Huck Finn creator : TWAIN
37 Setbacks : REVERSALS
42 Pet control ordinance : LEASH LAW
45 Fitting : APROPOS
48 Least forward : SHIEST
50 Didn’t play : SAT
52 In the manner of : A LA
54 Bus alternative : TAXI
55 Similar (to) : AKIN
56 San __: Riviera resort : REMO
57 Transmit : SEND
59 Ingrid’s “Casablanca” role : ILSA
60 Optimistic : ROSY
61 There are five in ten : TWOS
62 Word with dance or root : TAP
63 Sedona, for one : KIA

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 20 Mar 19, Wednesday”

      1. Usually just do them around when they come out and have them done usually by 10pm or so. Whether I post about them here late at night or in the next morning depends on whether I happen to be awake or not.

  1. No errors. Sanremo (Liguria Province) is also the home of the Italian music festival in February, broadcast by RAI. Of course, we get that tv station.

  2. I had a good time with today’s puzzle – nothing out of the ordinary , except that I did not look for the central theme.

    The obscenity in Huck Finn’s printing proofs, piqued my curiosity and I googled it and found the offending member (!) in an article in Mental Floss…

    Thank you Bill, for the root of pique … I use the word piquant often , as I eat hot food, which is normally at room temperature …. the synonym « irritant » seems to fit quite well !

    Thank you also for the word ‘epact’ which is an adjustment between lunar and solar calendars … the Hindu calendar is a lunar- solar calendar so that certain festivals take place at the proper correct season and are not unduly displaced.

    Btw, today is Holi … in India , the festival where people spray or paint colored powders on each other. Happy Holi !

    Have a nice day folks.

    1. @Vidwan827 – Happy Holi! I recall the scene from the movie “Outsourced” in which the Holi day celebration took place. A good day to wear your “casual” clothes I imagine. Thanks for sharing.

  3. We can never compete with the times you guys and gals can do,
    but we aced today’s and have missed only 3 squares in the 3 days
    this week. Very satisfying. I left it after we had each made a pass
    and when I went back to it, the missing ones just started flowing and
    I only had to change “e” to “i” with the bee answer. Did not know that
    word and the answer to “general opening” threw me for a while until
    I finally saw it. But 100 is 100, no matter how you did it.

  4. Hey y’all!!🐔
    No errors. That “General opening” had me stumped too….pretty clever.🤔

    Vidwan! Wish I had known it was Holi today! I remember your posting about it last year, and I wore something colorful that day as a nod to the holiday. I’ve got to keep track for next year.

    @Tony Michaels– There was a movie called Outsourced that took place in India? I remember a sitcom by that name from a few years ago, which ran maybe 2 seasons….it was pretty funny. Wonder if they’re related! 🤔

    Of course I HAD to Google the Huck Finn image– got to the same article as Vidwan. Re. the 30,000 copies that had to be corrected– I wonder if one can still tell it’s been fixed. If so, they must go for a FORTUNE.😯

    I predict that Dirk is posting HIS comment as I write MINE….😎

    Be well ~~⚾️✌🏻

    1. Hi Carrie – Don’t know if you’ll ever see this reply (?) but that tv show was based on the movie of the same name. Check it out sometime. I imagine it’s on cable or maybe netflix or hulu or?

      Tony

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