LA Times Crossword 26 Mar 19, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Parikshit S. Bhat
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: PR Blitz

Themed clues each comprise two words starting with the letters P & R:

  • 37A Intensive goodwill campaign, briefly … and a hint to the answers to starred clues : PR BLITZ
  • 18A *Evaluation by one’s colleagues : PEER REVIEW
  • 24A *1984 Prince classic : PURPLE RAIN
  • 49A *Region bordering the world’s largest ocean : PACIFIC RIM
  • 56A *Yellowstone VIP : PARK RANGER
  • 3D *Green Day genre : PUNK ROCK
  • 38D *Union demand : PAY RAISE

Bill’s time: 6m 37s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Captain Sparrow portrayer Johnny : DEPP

Johnny Depp got his big break as an actor on television, in the eighties television show “21 Jump Street”. Depp’s first film success came when he played the title role in 1990’s “Edward Scissorhands”. He has twice been named Sexiest Man Alive by “People” magazine.

Captain Jack Sparrow is the protagonist in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series of movies, and is played by Johnny Depp. Depp has said that he based his portrayal of Sparrow partly on the Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. I could believe that …

5 Exam for jrs. : PSAT

Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)

9 Indy 500 family name : UNSER

The Unser family seems to have auto racing in their blood. Al Unser, Sr. won the Indy 500 on four occasions. Al’s brother Jerry was the first of the Unsers to compete at Indianapolis. Al’s other brother Bobby, won the Indy three times. Al’s son, Al Junior, won the Indy twice. Al Junior’s son is also a racing driver who competes at the Indy Speedway.

14 Rio contents : AGUA

In Spanish, “agua” (water) is found in a “río” (river), and around an “isla” (island).

15 Machu Picchu builder : INCA

Machu Picchu is known as “The Lost City of the Incas”, and it can be visited on a mountain ridge in Peru, 50 miles northwest of the city of Cuzco in the southeast of the country. The name Machu Picchu means “old peak”. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu originates about 50 miles from Cusco on the Urubamba River in Peru. It can take travelers about 5 days to trek the full length of the trail, passing through many Incan ruins before reaching the Sun Gate on Machu Picchu mountain. The trail was becoming greatly overused, forcing the Peruvian government to limit the number of people on the trail each day to 500. Book early …

16 Loud salute : SALVO

A salvo is a simultaneous discharge of guns. Ironically, “salvo” comes from the Latin “salve” meaning “be in good health”. Salvo was originally the name given to the firing of guns in the air as a sign of respect or greeting for an important visitor. Good health!

17 Beethoven’s birth city : BONN

After WWII, Bonn was chosen as the capital of West Germany. That choice was promoted by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer who was from the area. After German reunification, the nation’s capital was moved to Berlin.

Ludwig van Beethoven is my favorite composer from the Classical period. There are two excellent films that showcase his music and give fictionalized yet entertaining accounts of different aspects of his life: “Immortal Beloved” (1994) that speculates on the identity of one of Beethoven’s lovers, and “Copying Beethoven” (2006) that explores the events leading up to the triumphant premiere of his 9th Symphony.

20 Colorful carp : KOI

Koi are fish that are also known as Japanese carp. Koi have been bred for decorative purposes and there are now some very brightly colored examples found in Japanese water gardens.

22 “Born Free” lioness : ELSA

The life story of Elsa the lion was told by game warden Joy Adamson, who had a very close relationship with the lioness from when Elsa was orphaned as a young cub. Adamson wrote the book “Born Free” about Elsa, and then “Living Free” which tells the story of Elsa and her three lion cubs. In the 1966 film based on “Born Free”, Adamson is played by the talented actress Virginia McKenna.

24 *1984 Prince classic : PURPLE RAIN

“Purple Rain” is a 1984 song by Prince that is the title track from an album of the same name. The album in turn was the soundtrack from the film “Purple Rain”. The song reached #2 in the charts in 1984, but then made it to #1 soon after Prince’s death in 2016.

28 Like plagiarized work, say : STOLEN

To plagiarize is to pass off the writings of another as one’s own. The term comes from the Latin “plagiare” meaning “to kidnap”.

29 Focus and Fiesta : FORDS

The Ford Focus compact automobile was introduced in 1998 as a replacement for the very successful Ford Escort.

The Fiesta is a car introduced by Ford in 1976, and is a model that has legs. There have been seven generations of Fiesta made, with over 16 million cars sold.

37 Intensive goodwill campaign, briefly … and a hint to the answers to starred clues : PR BLITZ

Public relations (PR)

38 Except for West Wendover, Nevada summer hrs. : PDT

Pacific Daylight Time (PDT)

The relatively small city of West Wendover, Nevada sits just across the state line from the city of Wendover, Utah. West Wendover started to develop as a city in its own right in the 1930s when gambling was legalized in Nevada. In 1999, West Wendover was moved out of the Pacific Time Zone and into the Mountain Time Zone. This move was made to facilitate economic ties between West Wendover and neighboring Wendover. Today, West Wendover is the only Nevada location that isn’t in the Pacific Time Zone.

41 Sicilian seaport : MESSINA

Messina is a port, and the third largest city, on the Italian island of Sicily. The city’s natural harbor has a curved shape like that of a scythe. When founded by Greek colonists in the 8th century BC, the settlements first name was “Zancle”, from the Greek word for “scythe”. The port gives its name the Strait of Messina, the narrow passage between the island of Sicily and the Italian mainland.

48 Very fancy : LUXE

“Luxe” is another word for “luxury”. The term came into English via French from the Latin “luxus” meaning “luxury”.

49 *Region bordering the world’s largest ocean : PACIFIC RIM

The phrase “Pacific Rim” describes the countries that surround the Pacific Ocean. The related phrase “Pacific Basin” includes the islands in the Pacific Ocean, in addition to the Pacific Rim nations.

53 USA part: Abbr. : AMER

The first known use of the phrase “United States of America” is in a letter dated January 2nd, 1776 from Irish-American Stephen Moylan, who was serving as acting secretary to General George Washington. Writing to Washington’s aide-de-camp Colonel Joseph Reed, Moylan stated:

I should like vastly to go with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain [to seek foreign assistance for the cause].

56 *Yellowstone VIP : PARK RANGER

Yellowstone was the first National Park to be established in the world, when it was designated as such by President Grant in 1872. What a great tradition it started! The American National Parks truly are a treasure.

66 Liberal or martial things : ARTS

Martial arts are various fighting traditions and systems used in combat or simply to promote physical well-being. The term “martial” ultimately derives from Latin and means “Arts of Mars”, a reference to Mars, the Roman god of war.

Down

3 *Green Day genre : PUNK ROCK

Green Day is a punk rock band from just down the road here, from Berkeley, California. The name “Green Day” was chosen by the band to reflect their fondness for marijuana. “Green day” is a slang term used to describe a day spent smoking the drug.

4 Impressive collection : PANOPLY

“Panoply” originally described the complete set of armor of a warrior, with the term coming from the Greek “pan-”meaning “all” and “hopla” meaning “arms”. We’ve been using “panoply” to mean “any splendid array” since the 1820s.

5 Spot on a die : PIP

A pip is a dot on a die or a domino, or a mark on a playing card.

7 Amtrak high-speed train : ACELA

The Acela Express is the fastest train routinely running in the US, as it gets up to 150 mph at times. The service runs between Boston and Washington D.C. via Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. Introduced in 2000, the brand name “Acela” was created to evoke “acceleration” and “excellence”.

Amtrak is the name used commercially by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. “Amtrak” comes from a melding of the words “America” and “track”.

8 Ankle bones : TARSI

The tarsals (also “tarsi”) are the ankle bones, and are equivalent to the carpals in the wrist.

10 Four Corners natives : NAVAJOS

The Four Corners region of the US surrounds the meeting point of the four states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. The Four Corners is the only point in the US that is shared by four states.

13 Sculls competitors : ROWERS

A scull is a boat used for competitive rowing. The main hull of the boat is often referred to as a shell. Crew members who row the boat can be referred to as “oars”. And, a scull is also an oar mounted on the stern of a small boat. It’s all very confusing …

26 Some MIT grads : ENGRS

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.

29 Tasseled hat : FEZ

A fez is a red, cylindrical hat worn mainly in North Africa, and by Shriners here in the US. The fez used to be a very popular hat across the Ottoman Empire. The etymology of “fez” is unclear, although it might have something to do with the Moroccan city named Fez.

32 Scale units: Abbr. : LBS

The unit of mass that we know today as a pound is descended from the old Roman unit of weight known as a “libra”. That “libra” connection is why we abbreviate “pound” to “lb”. The name “pound” though comes from the Latin “pondo” meaning “weight”. Our term “ounce” (abbreviated to “oz.”) comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a Roman “libra”.

33 Baba among thieves : ALI

In the folk tale “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, the title character is a poor woodcutter who discovers the magic words “open sesame”, which open the thieves’ den.

37 Cross product : PEN

A. T. Cross is a company that claims to be the oldest manufacturer of fine pens. Cross was founded in 1846 in Providence, Rhode Island by one Richard Cross. Richard passed the company on to his son Alonzo T. Cross, who gave it the current name.

39 Eins und zwei : DREI

In German, “eins und zwei” (one and two) comes to “drei” (three).

41 Mongoose family member that uses its tail to stand erect : MEERKAT

The meerkat (also called “suricate”) is a mongoose-like mammal that is native to parts of Africa including the Kalahari and Namib Deserts

49 “Don’t text and drive” ad, briefly : PSA

Public service announcement (PSA)

50 Snorer’s disorder, perhaps : APNEA

Sleep apnea (“apnoea” in British English) can be caused by an obstruction in the airways, possibly due to obesity or enlarged tonsils.

51 Groucho’s smoke : CIGAR

Groucho Marx’s real name was Julius Henry Marx. By the time Groucho started his successful, post-Hollywood career hosting the quiz show “You Bet Your Life”, he was sporting a real mustache. For all his movies, his mustache had been painted on with greasepaint.

52 Like noble gases : INERT

An inert gas can be different from a noble gas. Both are relatively non-reactive, but a noble gas is an element. An inert gas might be a compound, i.e. made up of more than one element.

57 Rotation meas. : RPS

Revolutions per second (rps)

58 IV league? : RNS

A registered nurse (RN) might administer an intravenous drip (IV).

60 Diarist Anaïs : NIN

Anaïs Nin was a French author who was famous for the journals that she wrote for over sixty years from the age of 11 right up to her death. Nin also wrote highly regarded erotica and cited D. H. Lawrence as someone from whom she drew inspiration. Nin was married to banker and artist Hugh Parker Guiler in 1923. Decades later in 1955, Nin married former actor Rupert Pole, even though she was still married to Guiler. Nin and Pole had their marriage annulled in 1966, but just for legal reasons, and they continued to live together as husband and wife until Nin passed away in 1977.

61 Amphibian youngster : EFT

Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Captain Sparrow portrayer Johnny : DEPP
5 Exam for jrs. : PSAT
9 Indy 500 family name : UNSER
14 Rio contents : AGUA
15 Machu Picchu builder : INCA
16 Loud salute : SALVO
17 Beethoven’s birth city : BONN
18 *Evaluation by one’s colleagues : PEER REVIEW
20 Colorful carp : KOI
22 “Born Free” lioness : ELSA
23 Skin woe : ACNE
24 *1984 Prince classic : PURPLE RAIN
27 Razz : JEER
28 Like plagiarized work, say : STOLEN
29 Focus and Fiesta : FORDS
30 Office asst. : SECY
31 Spectacles on one’s nose : GLASSES
36 “That isn’t nice” : TSK
37 Intensive goodwill campaign, briefly … and a hint to the answers to starred clues : PR BLITZ
38 Except for West Wendover, Nevada summer hrs. : PDT
41 Sicilian seaport : MESSINA
42 Hard to come by : RARE
43 Glossy finish : SHEEN
46 Harsh critic : FLAYER
48 Very fancy : LUXE
49 *Region bordering the world’s largest ocean : PACIFIC RIM
53 USA part: Abbr. : AMER
54 Whirl around : SPIN
55 Drink from leaves : TEA
56 *Yellowstone VIP : PARK RANGER
59 French movie : CINE
62 Like much bar beer : ON TAP
63 Make, as money : EARN
64 “In your dreams!” : AS IF
65 Abodes for birds : NESTS
66 Liberal or martial things : ARTS
67 Tenant’s payment : RENT

Down

1 Pat softly : DAB
2 Locker room issue : EGO
3 *Green Day genre : PUNK ROCK
4 Impressive collection : PANOPLY
5 Spot on a die : PIP
6 Derisive look : SNEER
7 Amtrak high-speed train : ACELA
8 Ankle bones : TARSI
9 Function : USE
10 Four Corners natives : NAVAJOS
11 Sandwich maker’s aid : SLICER
12 Smoothed : EVENED
13 Sculls competitors : ROWERS
19 Took off in a hurry : RAN
21 Percent suffix : -ILE
24 Attention-getting sound : PSST!
25 Four Corners natives : UTES
26 Some MIT grads : ENGRS
29 Tasseled hat : FEZ
32 Scale units: Abbr. : LBS
33 Baba among thieves : ALI
34 Confession disclosure : SIN
35 Work support group : STAFF
37 Cross product : PEN
38 *Union demand : PAY RAISE
39 Eins und zwei : DREI
40 Educational period : TERM
41 Mongoose family member that uses its tail to stand erect : MEERKAT
42 9-Across vehicle : RACE CAR
43 Apply hurriedly : SLAP ON
44 Showing compassion : HUMANE
45 Applies, as pressure : EXERTS
47 On fire : LIT
49 “Don’t text and drive” ad, briefly : PSA
50 Snorer’s disorder, perhaps : APNEA
51 Groucho’s smoke : CIGAR
52 Like noble gases : INERT
57 Rotation meas. : RPS
58 IV league? : RNS
60 Diarist Anaïs : NIN
61 Amphibian youngster : EFT

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 26 Mar 19, Tuesday”

  1. What is meant by;
    The Fiesta is a car introduced by Ford in 1976, and is a “model that has legs”. There have been seven generations of Fiesta made, with over 16 million cars sold.
    ?

    1. @gatz

      Urban dictionary
      have legs
      (of a concept, phenomenon, something discussed, etc.) To have the ability to endure, stay relevant, or continue to maintain interest. That theory really has legs—years later, most people still think that……..

  2. LAT: 7:53, no errors. Newsday: 4:34, no errors. WSJ: 7:02, no errors. Jones: 15:36, no errors; with references to contemporary culture (TV, music) that I simply had to guess at and am quite surprised to have gotten right. Croce at 4.

    1. Croce’s latest: 1:29:59, no errors. One of those with so many unfamiliar entries you feel as if you’re constructing a crossword puzzle, rather than solving one. But, in the end, all doable, with few doubts … 😜.

  3. 17 across. There is another Beethoven movie I enjoyed. Eroica (2003) starring Ian Hart as the composer. About the writing of Symphony No. 3. Music performed by Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique; Conducted by John Eliot Gardiner. No longer available on Netflix, but Amazon has the DVD.

  4. @Allen Dickerson yesterday – women (old?) like myself love ETSY, and wondered how long it would take for it to appear in a puzzle. I mentioned it during that long period as a good word for crosswords. I don’t mind telling you that I suspect prejudice against women’s interest. You guys sure get enough sports in puzzles, which I could do without.

    I liked today’s puzzle. Smooth and clever.

  5. 1 error and 1 omission. Could not resolve “Rio content” because I was not
    thinking of a river, rather a city. And omitted the “a” Panoply, a word I
    didn’t know. Very tough puzzle, I thought, but you guys did great as usual.
    Kudos to all.

  6. Thought that “panoply” and “flayer” were words for later in the week. Actually, I’ve never heard flayer used that way at all. Otherwise it wasn’t much of a struggle for me.

  7. It’s clear that, if everyone had veto power over the content of the puzzles, they’d be a whole lot less fun, interesting, and instructive. (As I’ve said before, I’ve even made my peace with “totes adorbs” … 😳😜.)

  8. 9:37. Fun one. Theme helped a little. I didn’t know there was a city in Nevada in the Mountain time zone.

    I use a cross pen and have for years. It’s the only “fancy” pen that I can actually write with. I can’t write with fountain pens….probably a left-handed thing.

    If everyone had veto power over the content of puzzles……they’d be blank.

    Best –

  9. Aloha!! 😎

    No errors– too many initials in this one, IMO– tho I do agree with Jeff that if we all had veto power the grids would be blank.

    ….but….FLAYER??!😖

    Sfingi, I also like Etsy, and I remember wondering when it would show up in crosswords! It seems it’s been making regular appearances for 2 years now. I tried selling my vintage clothes there a few years ago– didn’t have any luck, but I do shop on the site.

    Be well ~~🐔

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