LA Times Crossword 25 Mar 19, Monday

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Constructed by: C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Middle East

Themed clues include “EAST” in the MIDDLE, as a hidden word:

  • 57A Arabian Peninsula region, and what 16-, 20-, 36- and 50-Across literally have : MIDDLE EAST
  • 16A Sellers of build-it-yourself furniture : IKEA STORES
  • 20A Mets’ home before Citi Field : SHEA STADIUM
  • 36A Five-armed ocean creature : SEA STAR
  • 50A Leaves-catching brewing sieve : TEA STRAINER

Bill’s time: 5m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Ed.’s backlog : MSS

Editors (eds.) might read or edit a manuscript (MS)

14 “Good Morning America” co-anchor Spencer : LARA

Lara Spencer has been co-anchor of “Good Morning America” since 2011, working alongside Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos. Back in 2004/2005, PBS viewers will have seen Spencer hosting the hit show “Antiques Roadshow”.

16 Sellers of build-it-yourself furniture : IKEA STORES

The furniture chain IKEA was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943, when he was just 17-years-old. IKEA is an acronym standing for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (don’t forget now!). Elmtaryd was the name of the farm where Ingvar Kamprad grew up, and Agunnaryd is his home parish in Sweden.

19 Delt neighbor : PEC

“Pecs” is the familiar name for the chest muscle, which is more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is a the Latin word for “breast, chest”.

The deltoid “muscle” is actually a group of muscles, the ones that cover the shoulder and create the roundness under the skin. The deltoids (delts) are triangular in shape resembling the Greek letter delta, hence the name.

20 Mets’ home before Citi Field : SHEA STADIUM

Shea Stadium in Flushing Meadows, New York was named after William A. Shea, the man credited with bringing National League baseball back to the city in the form of the New York Mets. Shea Stadium was dismantled in 2008-2009, and the site now provides additional parking for the new stadium nearby called Citi Field.

24 Climate-affecting Pacific current : EL NINO

When the surface temperature of much of the Pacific Ocean rises more that half a degree centigrade, then there is said to be an El Niño episode. That small temperature change in the Pacific has been associated with climatic changes that can stretch right across the globe. El Niño is Spanish for “the boy” and is a reference to the Christ child. The phenomenon was given this particular Spanish name because the warming is usually noticed near South America and around Christmas-time.

27 Citrus-flavored soda, on its labels : MTN DEW

If you check the can, you’ll see that “Mountain Dew” is now marketed as “Mtn Dew”.

29 Minnesota’s state bird : LOON

The great northern loon is the provincial bird of Ontario, and the state bird of Minnesota. The loon once appeared on Canadian $20 bills and also appears on the Canadian one-dollar coin, giving the coin the nickname “the loonie”.

30 Final Four org. : NCAA

In the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship, the teams remaining at various stages of the tournament are known as:

  • The “Sweet Sixteen” (the regional semi-finalists)
  • The “Elite Eight” (the regional finalists)
  • The “Final Four” (the national semi-finalists)

32 Eye-boggling work : OP ART

Op art is also known as optical art, and puts optical illusions to great effect.

36 Five-armed ocean creature : SEA STAR

Starfish (sometimes known as “sea stars”) come in many shapes and sizes, but commonly have “pentaradial symmetry”, meaning they have symmetrical body-shapes with five points. Most starfish are predators, mainly living on a diet of mollusks such as clams and oysters.

42 Warehouse gds. : MDSE

Merchandise (mdse.)

43 East Asian home of Acer and Asus : TAIWAN

Prior to 1945, the island that we know today as Taiwan was called “Formosa”, the Portuguese word for “beautiful”. Portuguese sailors gave the island this name when they spotted it in 1544. The official name for the state of Taiwan is the “Republic of China”.

47 Merkel of Germany : ANGELA

The formidable politician Angela Merkel was first elected Chancellor of Germany, the country’s head of state, in 2005. She is the first female German Chancellor. When she chaired the G8 in 2007 she became only the second woman to do so, after the UK’s Margaret Thatcher. Merkel grew up in East Germany under Communist rule.

56 Witty Bombeck : ERMA

Erma Bombeck wrote for newspapers for about 35 years. She produced more than 4,000 witty and humorous columns under the title “At Wit’s End”, with all describing her home life in suburbia.

57 Arabian Peninsula region, and what 16-, 20-, 36- and 50-Across literally have : MIDDLE EAST

In geographical terms there are three “Easts”. “Near East” and “Middle East” are terms that are often considered synonymous, although “Near East” tends to be used when discussing ancient history and “Middle East” when referring to the present day. The Near/Middle East encompasses most of Western Asia and Egypt. The term “Far East” describes East Asia (including the Russian Far East), Southeast Asia and South Asia.

The Arabian Peninsula is shaped like a boot, with the Sultanate of Oman occupying the toe of that boot.

60 Falco of “Nurse Jackie” : EDIE

“Nurse Jackie” is a comedy-drama series centered on an emergency room nurse at a hospital in New York City. The lead character is played by Edie Falco, who also played Tony Soprano’s wife on the “The Sopranos”. I binge-watched “Nurse Jackie” a while back and found it to be a very well-written show …

62 Mario Bros. console : NES

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to to 1995. The NES was the biggest selling gaming console of the era. Nintendo replaced the NES with Wii, which is also the biggest-selling game console in the world.

Mario Bros. started out as an arcade game back in 1983, developed by Nintendo. The more famous of the two brothers, Mario, had already appeared in an earlier arcade game “Donkey Kong”. Mario was given a brother called Luigi, and the pair have been around ever since. In the game, Mario and Luigi are Italian American plumbers from New York City.

Down

2 Box office income : TAKE

The term “box office” may date back to Shakespearean times. In those days long past, patrons would deposit fees for seeing theater performances in boxes. The full boxes would be collected and placed in an office called, imaginatively enough, the “box office”.

4 “Selma” director DuVernay : AVA

“Selma” is a 2014 film about the Selma to Montgomery marches of 1965. Directed by Ava DuVernay, the movie stars David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson.

7 __ Lee cakes : SARA

In 1935, businessman Charles Lubin bought a chain of three bakeries in Chicago called Community Bake Shops, and soon expanded the operation into seven stores. Lubin introduced a cream cheesecake that he named after his daughter who was only 8-years-old at the time, Sara Lee Lubin. The cheesecake was a hit and he renamed the bakeries to Kitchen of Sara Lee. The business was bought out by Consolidated foods in 1956, but the brand name Sara Lee persists to this day, as does Ms. Sara Lee herself who now goes by the name Sara Lee Schupf.

11 Peacock’s gait : STRUT

The male peafowl is known as a peacock, and the female a peahen. The peafowl’s young are sometimes called peachicks.

22 Dolphin feature : FIN

Bottlenose dolphins have a very large brain to body mass ratio, second only to humans among mammals in general. Along with the brain-size comes high intelligence. Many dolphins have been trained to carry out military tasks. And then there is their acting ability, as exemplified by “Flipper”.

24 Vogue competitor : ELLE

“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

28 “Ciao!” : TA-TA!

“Ciao” is Italian for “‘bye”. “Arrivederci” is more formal, and translates as “goodbye”.

31 Irene of “Fame” : CARA

Irene Cara co-wrote and sang the Oscar-winning song “Flashdance… What a Feeling” from the 1983 movie “Flashdance”. Cara also sang the title song for the 1980 movie “Fame”, and indeed played the lead role of student Coco Hernandez.

33 Poison ivy symptom : RASH

Two of the plants that are most painful to humans are poison oak and poison ivy. Poison oak is mainly found west of the Rocky Mountains, and poison ivy to the east.

34 Rock music’s __ Might Be Giants : THEY

They Might Be Giants is an alternative rock band that formed in 1982. The band’s name is lifted from the 1971 movie of the same name starring George C. Scott.

37 Dutch beer brand : AMSTEL

Amstel is a Dutch beer and brewery that was founded in 1870 in Amsterdam. The brewery takes its name from the Amstel river that runs through the city.

40 Ides of March victim : CAESAR

In Act I of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” a soothsayer warns the doomed emperor to “beware the ides of March”. Caesar ignores the prophecy and is subsequently killed on the steps of the Capitol by a group of conspirators on that fateful day.

42 Tight-lipped : MUM

The phrase “mum’s the word” has been around since the early 1700s. “Mum” has been used to mean “silent” for centuries, the idea being that “mum” is the sound made when the lips are tightly sealed.

46 Parent of Maybelline : L’OREAL

L’Oréal is a French cosmetics company, and indeed the largest cosmetics and beauty company in the world. Here in the US, L’Oréal runs a “Women of Worth” program that honors women who volunteer in their communities.

Maybelline was founded in 1925 in New York by a chemist who was inspired to produce a line of mascara when he noticed his sister applying some makeup. The young lady was using a mixture of Vaseline and coal dust on her eyelashes to make them appear darker and fuller. He produced a product in the laboratory that had a similar effect and started to sell it. The sister’s name was Maybel, and Maybelline became the new company name.

47 Used, as china : ATE ON

The ceramic known as “porcelain” can be referred to as “china” or “fine china”, as porcelain was developed in China.

48 Chutzpah : NERVE

Our word “chutzpah” meaning “nerve, gall, impudence” is derived from the Yiddish “khutspe”, which has the same meaning.

49 South American mountain range : ANDES

The Andes range is the longest continuous chain of mountains in the world. It runs down the length of the west coast of South America for about 4,300 miles, from Venezuela in the north to Chile in the south. The highest peak in the Andes is Mt. Aconcagua, at an elevation of 22,841 feet. Interestingly, the peak of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest point on the Earth’s surface from the center of the planet. That’s because of the equatorial “bulge” around the Earth’s “waist”.

55 Site for handmade art : ETSY

Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

58 Application file suffix : EXE

In the Windows operating system, a file with the extension .exe is an “executable” file.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Super bargain : STEAL
6 Effective on : AS OF
10 Ed.’s backlog : MSS
13 Bisect : HALVE
14 “Good Morning America” co-anchor Spencer : LARA
15 Boarding site : GATE
16 Sellers of build-it-yourself furniture : IKEA STORES
18 Mythical monster : OGRE
19 Delt neighbor : PEC
20 Mets’ home before Citi Field : SHEA STADIUM
22 Enemies : FOES
23 Puts up, as a skyscraper : ERECTS
24 Climate-affecting Pacific current : EL NINO
27 Citrus-flavored soda, on its labels : MTN DEW
29 Minnesota’s state bird : LOON
30 Final Four org. : NCAA
32 Eye-boggling work : OP ART
35 __-di-dah: pretentious : LAH
36 Five-armed ocean creature : SEA STAR
38 ”I’ll pass” : NAH
39 Decree : EDICT
41 Wander about : ROAM
42 Warehouse gds. : MDSE
43 East Asian home of Acer and Asus : TAIWAN
45 Like partly melted snow : SLUSHY
47 Merkel of Germany : ANGELA
49 Molecule component : ATOM
50 Leaves-catching brewing sieve : TEA STRAINER
53 Drag to court : SUE
56 Witty Bombeck : ERMA
57 Arabian Peninsula region, and what 16-, 20-, 36- and 50-Across literally have : MIDDLE EAST
59 Done with : OVER
60 Falco of “Nurse Jackie” : EDIE
61 Wheel connectors : AXLES
62 Mario Bros. console : NES
63 Ruby and scarlet : REDS
64 Suspicious (of) : LEERY

Down

1 Cruise vessel : SHIP
2 Box office income : TAKE
3 Monthly util. bill : ELEC
4 “Selma” director DuVernay : AVA
5 Classroom session : LESSON
6 Soothing medicinal plants : ALOES
7 __ Lee cakes : SARA
8 Mine extractions : ORES
9 Make secure, as a seat belt : FASTEN
10 “Presto!” sticks : MAGIC WANDS
11 Peacock’s gait : STRUT
12 Appears to be : SEEMS
15 Try for a long pass, in football lingo : GO DEEP
17 Romantic ideal : THE ONE
21 Fervent feeling : ARDOR
22 Dolphin feature : FIN
24 Vogue competitor : ELLE
25 Laundry batch : LOAD
26 Pitching masterpieces : NO-HIT GAMES
27 Bricklayer : MASON
28 “Ciao!” : TA-TA!
31 Irene of “Fame” : CARA
33 Poison ivy symptom : RASH
34 Rock music’s __ Might Be Giants : THEY
36 Prop for a clown : STILT
37 Dutch beer brand : AMSTEL
40 Ides of March victim : CAESAR
42 Tight-lipped : MUM
44 Not as cold : WARMER
46 Parent of Maybelline : L’OREAL
47 Used, as china : ATE ON
48 Chutzpah : NERVE
49 South American mountain range : ANDES
51 Staff assistant : AIDE
52 “Look what __!”: “Yay me!” : I DID
53 Bargain hunter’s delight : SALE
54 App downloader : USER
55 Site for handmade art : ETSY
58 Application file suffix : EXE

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 25 Mar 19, Monday”

  1. Didn’t get RASH or OPART. KEpt trying itcH or oucH. I think it’s difficult for C.C. Burnikel to turn it down for Monday. She’s excellent for Thursdays.

  2. I kept wishing the answer to 29 Across “State bird of Minnesota” had been mosquito instead of Loon. ;- D>

  3. A little over 30 minutes, no errors or omissions. Did not know OPART, but
    surrounding letters made it work. Fun and doable, no agony or stress.

  4. 9:22. Back from Spring Training and this was a good way to ease back into crosswords. Had “gate” for 2D “Box office income” initially. Also had “itch” before RASH. Good thing this was a Monday puzzle.

    Best –

  5. LAT: 5:54, no errors. Newsday: 5:40, no errors. WSJ: 8:32, no errors. CHE: 13:37, no errors, but I missed a cute gimmick in the very center of the puzzle and went with one of the two possible solutions. BEQ: 28:09, no errors; couple of rough spots in that one. New Yorker: 49:14, no errors; a bit distracted by lots of interruptions, so my time shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but I did pause over a few entries that now make complete sense, but did not come readily to mind. And … I did get Friday’s WSJ meta (though there wasn’t much doubt about that, as the gimmick was one vanishing likely to occur by chance).

  6. LAT: 4:11, no errors, after searching some time for a typo. I wonder if there’s such a thing as getting “jitters” over something like this. WSJ: 6:07, no errors. Newsday: 4:59, no errors. Shocked as this one was hand-written. CHE: 9:24, no errors, but missed the Schrodinger gimmick in the center too. Always miss those.
    New Yorker and BEQ sometime later…

    @Daigle (Saturday)
    Always a joy to see you post. As for others looking over my shoulder, I really don’t have that simply because people have a way of “begging out” over these puzzles being too hard (how do they know? They haven’t even tried), and then most of the time I have them in good enough time anyway. So I really don’t have conditions where anyone would look. Such are things.

    @all/others
    I notice there’s a lot more people posting through the week than they do on Sunday. Is there a particular reason why this might be? Just the idea of the bigger puzzle, or the perception that it’s harder because the Saturday one is hard? Or another reason?

    1. New Yorker: 27:07, 1 error off a bad guess that ultimately looked sort of dumb to me in the end. BEQ: 25:14, no errors. Nothing awfully strange, but I had to guess at things more than I really should have to as a solver.

    2. @ Glenn.
      For me I do the puzzle from the daily newspaper but the Sunday paper for my area doesn’t carry the puzzle. So I don’t get to do it. But I do read all the comments about it.

  7. I had a good time with this puzzle …. just the thought that it is a Monday seems to give me plenty of extra confidence.
    In other news, glad to see Jeff is back on the blog…

    Nothing much to comment on
    Have s nice day and a good week, folks

  8. Hello every buddy!!😎

    No errors– a cakewalk! 🎂

    Re: NO-HIT GAME — it’s been awhile since I mentioned it here, and y’all know I like to brag: I saw a perfect game at Dodger Stadium in 1991!! Dennis Martinez of the Montreal Expos pitched that gem. We actually had great seats — it was a day game in July– and we could see the faces of the Dodger hitters as they walked back to the dugout and their expressions said “Whaaa…the guy’s UNHITTABLE!!” Amazing experience. ⚾️😯

    Glenn re: Sunday puzzles– Sallee makes a good point. I think it’s also true — for me at least– that one doesn’t always have time for a long puzzle. For me, if I don’t think I’m going to finish it I often don’t even start. I remember we discussed this a few years ago– there might have been another reason brought up at the time but I don’t recall…

    Be well~~🐔

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