LA Times Crossword 19 Apr 19, Friday

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Constructed by: David Alfred Bywaters
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Homophonic Phrases

Themed answers are homophones of common phrases:

  • 17A Flatfish family founders? : SOLE MATES (sounds like “soul mates”)
  • 25A Barbershop levy? : POLE TAX (sounds like “poll tax”)
  • 38A Rabbit monopolizing the entrance to the warren? : HOLE HOG (sounds like “whole hog”)
  • 51A Part in a Humpty Dumpty biopic? : EGG ROLE (sounds like “egg roll”)
  • 62A Mutant tree trunk with extraordinary powers? : SUPER BOLE (sounds like “Super Bowl”)

Bill’s time: 7m 50s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Bonkers : LOCO

In Spanish, if one isn’t “sano” (sane) one might be described as “loco” (crazy).

The word “bonkers” meaning “crazy” originated in the fifties. The term might come from navy slang meaning “slightly drunk”, behaving as though one received a “bonk” on the head.

5 Raucous animal sound : BRAY

Something described as raucous can be hoarse, as in “raucous voices”. Something raucous can also be disorderly and boisterous, as in “raucous frat house”. The term “raucous” comes from the Latin “raucus” meaning “hoarse”.

9 Sambuca flavoring : ANISE

Sambuca is an Italian liqueur that is flavored with anise. Sambuca is often served straight up with three coffee beans floating on the surface. The beans are said to represent health, happiness and prosperity. A more “saucy” representation for the beans is the husband, wife and mistress.

16 Trio in the logo of a national motorists’ group : RED AS

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit organization focused on lobbying, provision of automobile servicing, and selling of automobile insurance. The AAA was founded in 1902 in Chicago and published the first of its celebrated hotel guides back in 1917.

17 Flatfish family founders? : SOLE MATES (sounds like “soul mates”)

The group of flatfish known as soles take their name from “solea”, the Latin word for “sandal”. And, they do kind of have that shape.

21 “Metamorphoses” poet : OVID

“The Metamorphoses” is a narrative poem by the Roman poet Ovid that deals with a lofty subject. It describes the history of the world from creation until the “present day”, that is Ovid’s “present day”, the era of Julius Caesar. A lot of the storyline makes use of Greek mythology (rather than Roman).

23 When doubled, a German spa town : BADEN

Baden-Baden is located in the southwest of German in the Black Forest close to the border with France. The natural springs of Baden-Baden were greatly prized by the Ancient Romans who used the town as a spa. Baden-Baden became very popular with the aristocracy in the 1800s when visitors included Queen Victoria, as well as the composers Berlioz and Brahms, and the writer Dostoevsky. The town’s reputation earned it the nickname of the “European Summer Capital”. The town was originally called just Baden in the Middle Ages, and the name was officially changed to Baden-Baden in 1931. Baden-Baden is short for “the town of Baden in the state of Baden”.

25 Barbershop levy? : POLE TAX (sounds like “poll tax”)

Barbers originally offered a wide range of services, including surgery. Back in the Middle Ages, one of the primary services offered was bloodletting. The red and white sign outside a barber’s place of business represented bloody bandages wrapped around a pole. Henry VIII restricted barbers to just haircutting … and dentistry. Our term “barber” comes to us via Anglo-French from the Latin “barba” meaning “beard”.

A poll tax is a fixed sum levied equally on every liable individual. “Poll” is a 14th-century word for “head, hair of the head”.

26 Broadway restaurant founder : SARDI

Sardi’s is a famous restaurant in the Theater District of Manhattan that was opened in 1927 by Italian immigrant Vincent Sardi, Sr. Sardi’s is famous for attracting celebrities who sometimes pose for caricatures that are then displayed on the restaurant’s walls. After the death of actress and director Antoinette Perry in 1946, her friend and partner Brock Pemberton was having lunch at Sardi’s and came up with idea of a theater award that could be presented in Perry’s honor. The award was to be called the Tony Award. In fact, Vincent Sardi, Sr. was presented with a special Tony at the first award ceremony, held in 1947.

28 Energizes : GOOSES

To goose is to prod into action, albeit a in a very rude way. A “goose” is a prod or a pinch in the rear end.

37 NFL pass, complete or not : ATT

Attempt (att.)

38 Rabbit monopolizing the entrance to the warren? : HOLE HOG (sounds like “whole hog”)

We tend to think of a “warren” today as a place where rabbits are bred, or where rabbits are found in abundance in the wild. Back in the 1300s, a warren was a more general term for an enclosed piece of land used for breeding any domestic animals. We also use “warren” figuratively now, to describe a cluster of densely populated living spaces.

41 Fez or fedora : HAT

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.

A fedora is a lovely hat, I think. It is made of felt, and is similar to a trilby, but has a broader brim. “Fedora” was a play written for Sarah Bernhardt and first performed in 1889. Bernhardt had the title role of Princess Fedora, and on stage she wore a hat similar to a modern-day fedora. The play led to the women’s fashion accessory, the fedora hat, commonly worn by women into the beginning of the twentieth century. Men then started wearing fedoras, but only when women gave up the fashion …

42 Pedi concerns : TOES

Pedicure (pedi)

44 Day in Durango : DIA

Durango is one of the 31 states of Mexico. Durango is landlocked, and is located in the northwest of the country.

50 Laconic : TERSE

Ancient Laconia was a region in southern Greece that was dominated by the city of Sparta. The people from Laconia were proud of their brevity of speech, which gives rise our modern term “laconic” meaning someone who uses few words.

51 Part in a Humpty Dumpty biopic? : EGG ROLE (sounds like “egg roll”)

Humpty Dumpty is a character in a nursery rhyme, actually an egg although that isn’t specifically called out in the original rhyme:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

57 Die, e.g. : CUBE

The numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. There are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting …

65 God with a quiver : EROS

A quiver is a container used for carrying arrows.

69 Tavern array : ALES

Our lovely word “tavern” comes into English via Old French from the Latin “taberna”, the word for a “shop, inn, alehouse”.

Down

2 Vowel-rich woodwind : OBOE

The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”.

4 One was written on an urn : ODE

English Romantic poet John Keats wrote the famous “Ode on a Grecian Urn” in 1819, and published it anonymously in 1820. The most famous lines of the poem are the last two:

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know

7 Like fine Scotch : AGED

We use the spelling “whiskey” for American and Irish versions of the drink, and “whisky” for Scotch, the Scottish version.

9 Sock pattern : ARGYLE

The argyle pattern is based on the Campbell tartan. The Campbell clan is based in the Argyll region (note the spelling) in the west of Scotland, giving the Argyle pattern its name.

12 One-night-a-year flier : SANTA

The name “Santa Claus” is American English, and came into the language as a phonetic variant of “Sinterklaas”, the Dutch for “Saint Nicholas”.

13 County not far from London : ESSEX

Essex is a county in England that is referred to as one of the “home counties”. The home counties are those that surround the city of London, outside of London itself. “Home county” is not an official designation but has been in popular use since the 1800s. The list of home counties usually comprises Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey, and Sussex.

22 With 52-Down, paper since 1872 : BOSTON ….
(52D See 22-Down : … GLOBE)

“The Boston Globe” is a daily newspaper that was founded in 1872 as a morning daily. “The Boston Evening Globe” followed a few years later, although it ceased publication in 1979. Today you can read the online version of “The Globe” at Boston.com.

25 Friend of Tigger : POOH

Tigger is a character in the “Winnie-the-Pooh” stories by A. A. Milne. He is a tiger with a springy tail and just loves to bounce around. Tigger will tell you himself that “bouncing is what tiggers do best.”

27 Choir voice : ALTO

In choral music, an alto (plural “alti”) is the second-highest voice in a four-part chorus made up of soprano, contr(alto), tenor and bass. The word “alto” describes the vocal range, that of the deepest female singing-voice, whereas the term “contralto” describes more than just the alto range, but also its quality and timbre. An adult male’s voice (not a boy’s) with the same range as an alto is called a “countertenor”.

29 Mountain nymph : OREAD

The Oreads were the mountain nymphs that accompanied the ancient Greek goddess Artemis on her hunting expeditions. Each Oread dwelled on a different mountain, for example:

  • Daphnis (on Mount Parnassos)
  • Echo (on Mount Cithaeron)
  • Ida (on Mount Ida)

36 Eyelid problem : STYE

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

43 Low cloud : STRATUS

Stratus clouds (plural “strati”) are very common, and as they are wider than they are tall and flat along the bottom, we might just see them as haze in a featureless sky above us. Stratus clouds are basically the same as fog, but some distance above the ground. Indeed, many stratus clouds are formed when morning fog lifts into the air as the ground heats up.

46 Trafficking org. : DEA

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

51 Dazzling effect : ECLAT

“Éclat” can describe a brilliant show of success, as well as the applause or accolade that one receives for that success. The word “éclat” derives from the French “éclater” meaning “to splinter, burst out”.

59 Natural soother : ALOE

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in relatively dry climates. The plants leaves are full of biologically-active compounds that have been studied extensively. Aloe vera has been used for centuries in herbal medicine, mainly for topical treatment of wounds.

63 Product of Bali : BRA

Bali is an American lingerie company that has been around since 1927.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Bonkers : LOCO
5 Raucous animal sound : BRAY
9 Sambuca flavoring : ANISE
14 Not up : ABED
15 Ire : RAGE
16 Trio in the logo of a national motorists’ group : RED AS
17 Flatfish family founders? : SOLE MATES (sounds like “soul mates”)
19 Acquires : GAINS
20 Shirt with a slogan : TEE
21 “Metamorphoses” poet : OVID
22 Mindless way to learn : BY ROTE
23 When doubled, a German spa town : BADEN
25 Barbershop levy? : POLE TAX (sounds like “poll tax”)
26 Broadway restaurant founder : SARDI
28 Energizes : GOOSES
30 Upscale : CLASSY
32 Go bad : ROT
33 Pairs : TWOS
37 NFL pass, complete or not : ATT
38 Rabbit monopolizing the entrance to the warren? : HOLE HOG (sounds like “whole hog”)
41 Fez or fedora : HAT
42 Pedi concerns : TOES
44 Day in Durango : DIA
45 N, in a TV content warning : NUDITY
47 Directions : TRENDS
50 Laconic : TERSE
51 Part in a Humpty Dumpty biopic? : EGG ROLE (sounds like “egg roll”)
54 Come to : TOTAL
56 Turf grippers : CLEATS
57 Die, e.g. : CUBE
58 Pet’s attention-getter, perhaps : PAW
61 Great deal of, slangily : LOTTA
62 Mutant tree trunk with extraordinary powers? : SUPER BOLE (sounds like “Super Bowl”)
64 Concerning : ABOUT
65 God with a quiver : EROS
66 Carrot (always) or stick (sometimes) : ROOT
67 On edge : TENSE
68 Used to be : WERE
69 Tavern array : ALES

Down

1 Final : LAST
2 Vowel-rich woodwind : OBOE
3 Have a party, say : CELEBRATE
4 One was written on an urn : ODE
5 Valorous : BRAVE
6 Five stars, e.g. : RATING
7 Like fine Scotch : AGED
8 Fist-pumper’s cry : YES!
9 Sock pattern : ARGYLE
10 Minimally distant : NEAREST
11 Jerk : IDIOT
12 One-night-a-year flier : SANTA
13 County not far from London : ESSEX
18 Fashionable : MODISH
22 With 52-Down, paper since 1872 : BOSTON ….
24 Sunday paper barrage : ADS
25 Friend of Tigger : POOH
26 “Go away!” : SCAT!
27 Choir voice : ALTO
29 Mountain nymph : OREAD
31 Mountain melodies : YODELS
34 Draining effect : WHIRLPOOL
35 Equine eats : OATS
36 Eyelid problem : STYE
39 Triangle side, say : LINE
40 Site of unwanted suburban vegetation : GUTTER
43 Low cloud : STRATUS
46 Trafficking org. : DEA
48 Go around : ROTATE
49 Daze : STUPOR
51 Dazzling effect : ECLAT
52 See 22-Down : … GLOBE
53 Mount : GET ON
55 More than a little plump : OBESE
57 Medical research objective : CURE
59 Natural soother : ALOE
60 Dampens : WETS
62 Put in stitches : SEW
63 Product of Bali : BRA

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 19 Apr 19, Friday”

  1. Also didn’t get “stick” as a ROOT. Anybody?

    Had to Google a couple.

    Carrie – did you buy the car? I had a 63 Polera I loved – but no air, cruise control, or seatbelts, remember? Also, my pushbutton darlin only got 8 miles to the gallon. I just wish modern ones had more color. Black, white, grey, brown, duh.
    I’d be afraid fixes would cost a lot, or it would lose value quickly. Can it be insured for the whole shot? Maybe there’s one in Cuba for less. If you live in Florida. I hate spending $ on cars.

    1. Hi Jane. I think the root/stick thing was about “being rooted” to a place, or in other words “sticking” to that place. At least that’s my story and I’m “sticking” to it … ;-D>

  2. Possibly my fastest Friday ever, with no crossovers, but somehow very annoying.

    I think the stick/root thing is that sticks can be made of roots. I didn’t like it either.

  3. LAT: 14:25, no errors. WSJ: 11:55, no errors. Think I see what I am supposed to see for the meta, but no idea of what to do with it. Newsday: 30:48, no errors. Very very difficult.

  4. No fast time; 1 error. Very satisfied that we missed only one each
    day of the week. Thought that ROLE was the theme and missed the
    Bali product.

    I didn’t get hung up on ROOT, just knew that beets and carrots are
    roots. Don’t really see how BOLE works in 62A; understand the pun.

  5. 14:49. I didn’t completely understand HOLE HOG either. For some reason I always thought a “warren” was a maze. When I tried to Google it afterwards, all I got were articles on Elizabeth Warren so I lost interest in researching any further….

    So Henry VIII had to come in and be the voice of reason for the barber industry? Yikes.

    Best –

  6. Contrary to the rubbish sentiments above I personally enjoyed the puzzle as it didn’t seem as hypercryptic or un~doable as most Friday puzzles.
    Eddie

  7. Done while a bit sleepy, but with no real trouble; took about 45 minutes with no errors. Fun puzzle with fun theme, which helped with the finish.

    I’ve had trouble with the word “laconic” for ages, tying it with the word languid, but finally getting it straightened out and remembered “terse” with just a bit of thought today. The ROOT thing with stick confused me too, but at least with carrot it made sense, and didn’t slow me down.

    @Jeff – I know, that’s what I was thinking. Still, “…and dentistry” gives you pause. A little of the top and a root canal!?

    @Jane – I had to look that up and found “Polara,” which I didn’t remember and I’m afraid doesn’t do anything for me, although some models look OK.

    @Carrie – I want to say – go for it, but I’m leaning electric myself, and can’t in good consciousness. Although I’ve been checking Harley ads myself also…hmm

  8. Salve folks!!😎

    No errors– good Friday puzzle (no pun intended but I’ll leave it…) HOLE HOG took a long time — I expected something with HOP, like a rabbit, but that left me with PUTTER instead of GUTTER. Glad I figured it out. 😊

    Hey Sfingi! I also Googled Polara — cute!! Looks like a Rambler.

    As to my muscle car affinity: I like the Dodge Challenger too. 1970 was a great year for them. They’ve come out with a new challenger modeled on the ones from that era!! Looks fabulous– but it ain’t the real thing. The only trouble with those cars is they’re 2-door. Even my ’68 Le Mans, more of a family car, was a 2-door. The front and back seats were like two sofas. !!! Loved it!

    Sadly, I don’t think I can buy my dream car until I have a slightly better income stream to work with….🤨

    Dirk, I’d probably keep my Corolla for long trips, to spare the environment the incredible volume of waste!! But, I sure would love an old Firebird for shorter distances–

    Be well~~🚘

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