LA Times Crossword 6 Mar 19, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Roland Huget
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Spreadsheet

The letters S-H-E-E-T are SPREAD throughout each of today’s themed answers:

  • 57A. Table with columns, and what literally can be found in 17-, 27- and 43-Across : SPREADSHEET
  • 17A. It may require a permission slip : SCHOOL EVENT
  • 27A. Nearly one-third of Africa : SAHARA DESERT
  • 43A. Gathering with much networking : SCHMOOZEFEST

Bill’s time: 7m 34s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • OXI (Oxy)
  • ESIASON (Esyason)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Nurse Barton : CLARA

Clara Barton was deeply disturbed by her experiences caring for the wounded during the Civil War. She dedicated herself after the war towards American recognition of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The American Red Cross was inevitably formed, in 1881, and Barton was installed as its first president.

6. Work with a libretto : OPERA

Opera is a performing art involving musicians as well as singers who perform a dramatic work that combines a libretto and a musical score. The art form developed in the Italy in the late 1500s, with the first opera being recognised as “Dafne”, a work by Jacopo Peri that is now lost but was first performed in Florence in 1598. The oldest surviving opera score is also by Peri, a work called “Euridice” that was first staged in 1600. The oldest opera that is still performed regularly today is “L’Orfeo” by Claudio Monteverdi, which dates back to 1607.

14. Spring for a drink? : OASIS

An isolated area of vegetation in a desert is called an oasis (plural “oases”). As water is needed for plant growth, an oasis might also include a spring, pond or small lake. We often use the term “oasis” more generally to describe a haven, a place of rest.

15. Piece of info : DATUM

Our word “data” (singular “datum”) comes from the Latin “datum” meaning “given”. The idea is that data are “things given”.

19. “Narcos” org. : DEA

“Narcos” is a Netflix show that deals with the Drug Enforcement Agency’s battles against drug cartels. The first two seasons focus on the rise and fall of drug lord Pablo Escobar of the Medellín Cartel, and is set and filmed in Colombia.

20. First encounter in a romcom : MEET CUTE

“Meet cute” is a term used since the 1930s or 1940s for a scene in a film or TV show in which a future couple have an amusing first encounter.

25. General sense : TENOR

The purport or tenor of something is its general sense.

27. Nearly one-third of Africa : SAHARA DESERT

The name “Sahara” means “greatest desert” in Arabic. The Sahara is just that, a great desert covering almost 4 million square miles of Northern Africa. That’s almost the size of the United States.

31. Roadside business : MOTEL

The term “motel” is a portmanteau of “motor” and “hotel”.

34. Decorating job on “Cake Boss” : ICER

“Cake Boss” is a reality show set in Carlo’s Bake Shop in Hoboken, New Jersey. Apparently the show is very popular, and Carlo’s Bake Shop has become quite the tourist attraction.

43. Gathering with much networking : SCHMOOZEFEST

To schmooze is to chat intimately. “Schmooze” is a word that comes from the Yiddish “schmusen” meaning “to chat” .

47. Neutral shade : TAUPE

Taupe is a dark, gray-brown color. The word “taupe” comes from the Latin name of the European Mole, which has skin with the same color.

48. __Clean: stain remover : OXI

OxiClean is a bleaching agent and cleaner that was famously marketed using infomercials that featured the late Billy Mays.

49. Tarzan raiser : APE

In the stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes was actually Englishman John Clayton, Viscount Greystoke.

52. Razor sharpener : STROP

A strop is a strip of leather used to sharpen a razor.

60. Rock concert need : AMP

An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

61. Angel who directs Satan to Earth in “Paradise Lost” : URIEL

Uriel is one of the archangels in the Jewish and Christian traditions. Uriel makes a few notable appearances in literature: in John Milton’s epic poem “Paradise Lost” and in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem “Uriel”.

64. Diver’s gem : PEARL

Pearls form in oysters because of a reaction that is similar to an immune system response in higher animals. The pearl is formed as the oysters lays down successive layers of calcium carbonate around some microscopic foreign body that has penetrated the shell.

65. Renoir subjects : NUDES

Pierre-Auguste Renoir was a French painter who was very much at the forefront of the Impressionist Movement. Renoir was a prolific artist, with several thousand works attributed to him. The largest collection of Renoirs is actually in the United States. You can see 181 of his paintings at the Barnes Foundation just outside Philadelphia.

Down

1. Pink drink, for short : COSMO

Like so many famous cocktails, the actual origins of the cosmopolitan are disputed. It is a nice drink. One of the standard recipes is 4 parts citrus vodka, 1.5 parts Cointreau, 1.5 parts lime juice and 3 parts cranberry juice.

5. Hardly gregarious : ASOCIAL

Back in the 1600s, the word “gregarious” applied to animals and meant “disposed to live in flocks”. The root word is the Latin “grex” meaning “flock, herd”. I guess the idea is that a gregarious creature plays nice with others.

6. One-named folk singer : ODETTA

Odetta Holmes (or just “Odetta”) was a singer and a human rights activist. She has been cited as an influence by such singers as Harry Belafonte, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and Carly Simon.

8. Saison that starts in juin : ETE

In French, the season of “été” (summer) starts in “juin” (June). Note that the names of months are not capitalized in French.

10. Radio component : AM TUNER

In telecommunications, a radio signal is transmitted using a sinusoidal carrier wave. Information is transmitted using this carrier wave in two main ways, by varying (modulating) the instantaneous amplitude (signal strength) of the carrier wave, and by modulating the instantaneous frequency of the carrier wave. The former is referred to as an AM signal (“amplitude modulation”), and the latter as an FM signal (“frequency modulation”).

13. PRNDL selection : GEAR

PRNDL … that would be Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive and Low. The gear shift for an automatic transmission is sometimes known familiarly as the “prindle” stick, from the abbreviation PRNDL.

26. Genesis place : EDEN

According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

27. Jiffy : SEC

“Jiff” or “jiffy”, meaning “short time, instant” is thought originally to be thieves’ slang for “lightning”.

28. Blue __ Mountains : RIDGE

The Blue Ridge Mountains are part of the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern US. The range is noted for the bluish colors of the peaks. The blue hue is actually caused by the emission of an organic compound called isoprene into the atmosphere. The isoprene contributes to the blue haze that covers mountain ranges.

29. Prepare to sing an anthem : RISE

The word “anthem” used to describe a sacred song, especially one with words taken from the Scriptures. The British national anthem (“God Save the Queen/King”) technically is a hymn, and so it came to be described as “the national hymn” and later “the national anthem”. The use of the word “anthem” extended from there to describe any patriotic song.

31. “Alice” diner : MEL’S

The sitcom “Alice” is set in Mel’s Diner, which is supposedly frequented by locals and truckers on the outskirts of Phoenix. There is a real Mel’s Diner in Phoenix, and the restaurant’s sign is used in the opening credits. The real-world Mel’s was called “Chris’ Diner”, but the owner agreed to a temporary change in name for the purposes of the show. But, “Chris” never came back, and “Mel’s” is still serving customers today.

32. Oil org. : OPEC

The OPEC cartel was formally established in 1960 and has been headquartered in Vienna since 1965. The US is actually the third largest oil producer in the world (after Russia and Saudi Arabia). One reason America isn’t in OPEC, even though we are a big producer, is that we import a lot more than we export. But we all probably knew that already …

39. Granola bar morsel : OAT

The names “Granola” and “Granula” were trademarked back in the late 1800s for whole-grain foods that were crumbled and baked until crisp. Granola was created in Dansville, New York in 1894.

41. Makes more powerful : SOUPS UP

To soup up an engine is to increase its horsepower. The verb probably derives from the older slang term “soup”, which was a narcotic illegally injected into racehorses to make them run faster.

42. Co-host of the sports radio show “Boomer and Gio” : ESIASON

Boomer Esiason is a retired NFL quarterback who developed a second career as a sports commentator. Esiason has had the nickname “Boomer” since before he was born. His mother called him “Boomer” because he was constantly kicking away in her womb.

“Boomer and Carton” was a morning drivetime sports program that ran from 2007 until 2017. The show was hosted by retired quarterback Boomer Esiason and radio personality Craig Carton. The partnership ended when Carton was arrested and convicted of crimes related to a Ponzi scheme that he ran promising concert tickets to investors. After a brief stint hosting the show by himself and with guest co-hosts, Esiason then paired up with radio host Gregg Giannotti and the show was rebranded at the end of 2017 as “Boomer and Gio”.

44. Chinese chairman : MAO

Mao Zedong (also “Mao Tse-tung”) was born on December 16, 1893 in the Hunan Province of China. As Mao was the son of a peasant farmer, his prospects for education were limited. Indeed he left school at age 13 to work on the family farm but did eventually get to secondary school in Changsha, the provincial capital. In the years following, Mao continued his education in Beijing and actually turned down an opportunity to study in France.

45. Last words of the Pledge of Allegiance : … FOR ALL

The Pledge of Allegiance of the US was composed by Francis Bellamy in 1892 and was adopted by Congress in 1942. The actual words used in the pledge have changed over time. Here is the original 1892 version shown in comparison to the current version that was adopted in 1954:

1892: I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

1954: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

50. Golfer Calvin : PEETE

Calvin Peete was the most successful African-American golfer on the PGA tour before Tiger Woods hit the circuit. Peete played on the Ryder Cup teams of 1983 and 1985.

51. Some Deco collectibles : ERTES

“Erté” was the pseudonym of French (Russian-born) artist and designer Romain de Tirtoff. Erté is the French pronunciation of his initials “R.T.” Erté’s diverse portfolio of work included costumes and sets for the “Ziegfeld Follies” of 1923, productions of the Parisian cabaret show “Folies Bergère”, as well as the 1925 epic movie “Ben-Hur”. Erté’s most famous work by far is an image titled “Symphony in Black”. It depicts a tall and slender woman dressed in black, holding a black dog on a leash.

53. Big volume : TOME

“Tome” first came into English from the Latin “tomus” which means “section of a book”. The original usage in English was for a single volume in a multi-volume work. By the late 16th century, “tome” had come to mean “large book”.

54. Stein filler : BEER

A stein is a type of beer glass. The term is German in origin, and is short for “Steinkrug” meaning “stone jug”. “Stein” is German for “stone”.

59. River inlet : RIA

A drowned valley might be called a ria or a fjord, with both formed as sea level rises. A ria is a drowned valley created by river erosion, and a fjord is a drowned valley created by glaciation.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Nurse Barton : CLARA
6. Work with a libretto : OPERA
11. Capture : BAG
14. Spring for a drink? : OASIS
15. Piece of info : DATUM
16. “What __ the odds?” : ARE
17. It may require a permission slip : SCHOOL EVENT
19. “Narcos” org. : DEA
20. First encounter in a romcom : MEET CUTE
21. Open, as a gate latch : UNBAR
23. Pigs out (on), briefly : ODS
24. Believer’s suffix : -IST
25. General sense : TENOR
27. Nearly one-third of Africa : SAHARA DESERT
31. Roadside business : MOTEL
34. Decorating job on “Cake Boss” : ICER
35. Coin-op gas station machine output : AIR
36. Grand-scale production : EPIC
37. Extra feature : ADD-ON
39. “And your point is?” : OK SO?
40. Drumstick : LEG
41. Guys-only party : STAG
42. Let up : EASED
43. Gathering with much networking : SCHMOOZEFEST
47. Neutral shade : TAUPE
48. __Clean: stain remover : OXI
49. Tarzan raiser : APE
52. Razor sharpener : STROP
54. Time-out : BREATHER
56. Seek the affections of : WOO
57. Table with columns, and what literally can be found in 17-, 27- and 43-Across : SPREADSHEET
60. Rock concert need : AMP
61. Angel who directs Satan to Earth in “Paradise Lost” : URIEL
62. Speak formally : ORATE
63. “__-haw!” : YEE
64. Diver’s gem : PEARL
65. Renoir subjects : NUDES

Down

1. Pink drink, for short : COSMO
2. Tied, as sneakers : LACED
3. Volcanic particles : ASHES
4. Real hoot : RIOT
5. Hardly gregarious : ASOCIAL
6. One-named folk singer : ODETTA
7. Make car-friendly : PAVE
8. Saison that starts in juin : ETE
9. Diamond score : RUN
10. Radio component : AM TUNER
11. Instances of rotten luck : BAD BREAKS
12. Carpet calculation : AREA
13. PRNDL selection : GEAR
18. Like rainforests : LUSH
22. Turndowns : NOS
25. Tex-Mex snack : TACO
26. Genesis place : EDEN
27. Jiffy : SEC
28. Blue __ Mountains : RIDGE
29. Prepare to sing an anthem : RISE
30. Stepped (on) : TROD
31. “Alice” diner : MEL’S
32. Oil org. : OPEC
33. Metaphor for a precarious course : TIGHTROPE
37. Surmounting : ATOP
38. Bewildered state : DAZE
39. Granola bar morsel : OAT
41. Makes more powerful : SOUPS UP
42. Co-host of the sports radio show “Boomer and Gio” : ESIASON
44. Chinese chairman : MAO
45. Last words of the Pledge of Allegiance : … FOR ALL
46. Deleted, with “out” : EXED
49. In the future : AHEAD
50. Golfer Calvin : PEETE
51. Some Deco collectibles : ERTES
52. Persuade : SWAY
53. Big volume : TOME
54. Stein filler : BEER
55. By way of, briefly : THRU
58. Register opening? : PRE-
59. River inlet : RIA

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 6 Mar 19, Wednesday”

  1. Was sure that “cutemeet” was wrong, but I guess I had it right. Never
    heard of that term before….but then I don’t know much about movies.

  2. Had to fight my way through this one, but did finish. Couldn’t make sense of “work with a libretto,” as I was reading it as “working on a libretto.” Also never heard of “meet cute.” Think it just took me too long to get into Huget’s head today. Maybe it’s the rain in LA. Ha.

  3. Meetcute was new to me, too. We got 93% of it in like 30 minutes,
    but then stalled out and only gained a couple percent more. Total
    of 3 errors and 8 omissions. Still pretty good so far this week.
    Harder than Tuesday to me.

  4. I had s good time with this puzzle. This week has been good to me, so far.
    Never heard of Meet Cute … but then I am not that hip anyway. The words do make sense.
    I had heard of Boomer Esiason through the Super Bowl though I’ve forgotten what he looks like. 😉

    I can’t understand why an arch angel would direct Satan to earth … to cause troubles ? I must read up on this.
    Have a nice day all .
    Thank you Bill for info on Soups Up and the Opera !

  5. @Vidwan – I vaguely remember that Satan changes his form and pretends to be a cherub, then approaches Uriel for directions. I have about every translation of Dante’s works, all packed in storage. We named our son Dante.

    Had to Google for PEETE, ESIASON (both sports), and PRNDL, not at all a dirndl. Had nAb before BAG, nuT before OAT. Never heard of MEET CUTE.

    1. Jane, I’m glad I read the comments in the course of my day!

      Thank you for the Satan story. I just read it …. In Paradise Lost, (the summary, that is – ). Satan is kicked out of heaven, down to hell and slithers up to Earth as a Serpent to wreck vengeance… in many pages of verse….
      I hope your son Dante becomes a great writer, as well!

      On drindl I thought you meant a dreidel ( ancient Jewish spinning top – ) but I googled drindl and found out about the Austrian Swiss German peasant- like apron- skirt and blouse combo… which is apparently, quite fashionable nowadays. The one I liked cost 77 Euros ! 😉
      So I learnt a lot today … 🙂

  6. 8:34 and no errors. Glad my knowledge of NFL lore has enabled me to have a better outcome than Bill for the first time this year.

    Sure could’ve done without MEET CUTE. What an idiotic term. Cute is just not a noun.

  7. Fairly easy. Seen lots of romcoms from many decades. Never heard of “meetcute” ….more like a Saturday clue.

  8. The first time I heard the term “meet cute” was in the movie “The Holiday.” Eli Wallach plays an aging screenwriter who befriends the woman who is vacationing in the house next door played by Kate Winslet. It’s a cute movie with it’s own “meet cute” in it.

  9. Mostly easy Wednesday for me; took about 15 minutes with no errors. I knew who ESIASON was so I didn’t misspell OXI. Boomer was the QB of the Bengals when they played that epic SB in ’88 against the 49ers. That was when I was still into the NFL.

    Had nAb before BAG and could tell almost right away that it wasn’t going that way. I think I’ve seen “meetcute” here before…not completely sure.

    Anyway, off to bed early for my market tomorrow…

  10. Hello every buddy!!🐔

    No errors. Didn’t notice the theme, but it was a good one.

    I’ve heard MEET-CUTE in a previous puzzle, and in fact I believe it was a Saturday!! 🤔

    DAVE! Did you see the later post Tuesday from Anonymous? Peacock emojis! Pretty!! I guess he/she has even more emojis than we do!🐔🦆🦃🦅🦆🕊🐧🐦🐥

    Be well~~🍹

  11. @Carrie … Thanks for the “heads up”! I had not noticed the post with a peacock emoji, but it confirms my suspicions that there are groups of emojis available for download, if you know where to look. If I finally remember to look into this (I got sidetracked yesterday and forgot), I’ll post something about it.

    Recently, while looking for something unrelated in the LAT blog archives, I came across something that amused me and made a mental note to tell you about it, but forgot (the story of my life, these days 😜). Take a look at your post from Friday, May 6, 2016:

    https://laxcrossword.com/2016/05/la-times-crossword-answers-6-may-16.html#comments

    Sadly, a lot of emojis from that time no longer display properly (for me, anyway).

    Glenn and I recently collaborated on resurrecting some NYT “Super Mega” crosswords from 2016, 2017, and 2018, and we had similar problems with certain “special” characters being displayed properly on some systems and not on others.

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