LA Times Crossword 15 Jan 20, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Kevin Christian
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Doggedly Communicating

Themed answers are possible interpretations of gestures made by a dog:

  • 20A Dog, barking : DANGER ALERT
  • 30A Dog, begging : TREAT, PLEASE
  • 46A Dog, ears erect : WHAT WAS THAT?
  • 55A Dog, tail wagging : WELCOME HOME

Bill’s time: 5m 57s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Pride Month letters : LGBT

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)

The police raided a gay bar called the Stonewall Inn on June 29th, 1969. That raid triggered to a spate of violent demonstrations led by the LGBT community. Now known as the Stonewall riots, those demonstrations are viewed by many as a significant event leading to the modern-day fight for LGBT rights in the US. Since then, June has been chosen as LGBT Pride Month in recognition of the Stonewall riots.

14 Sticky pod : OKRA

The plant known as okra is mainly grown for it edible green pods. The pods are said to resemble “ladies’ fingers”, which is an alternative name for the plant. Okra is known as “ngombo” in Bantu, a name that might give us the word “gumbo”, the name for the name of the southern Louisiana stew that includes okra as a key ingredient.

15 Grammy winner Jones : NORAH

The beguiling Norah Jones is the daughter of famed sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, and is one of my favorite singers. If you haven’t heard Jones singing her song “Come Away with Me”, you just haven’t lived …

19 Soda __: fountain worker : JERK

In the halcyon days of yore, a soda jerk was usually a young person whose main job was to serve ice cream sodas in a drugstore. The server would “jerk” the handle on the soda fountain to dispense the soda water, giving the job its distinctive name.

24 Common Scrabble tile value : ONE

The game of Scrabble has been around since 1938, the invention of an architect named Alfred Mosher Butts. Butts determined how many tiles of each letter, and the point value of each tile, by analyzing letter distributions in publications like “The New York Times”.

39 Rio contents : AGUA

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

40 Burton of “Star Trek: TNG” : LEVAR

Actor LeVar Burton is very much associated with two iconic roles on television: young Kunta Kinte in “Roots”, and Geordi La Forge in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Burton also hosted the children’s PBS show “Reading Rainbow” for many years. His portrayal of Kunta Kinte in 1977 was Burton’s first acting job. Indeed, Burton’s audition for the part was the first in his professional career!

When Gene Roddenberry first proposed the science fiction series that became “Star Trek”, he marketed it as “Wagon Train to the Stars”, a pioneer-style Western in outer space. In fact, his idea was to produce something more like “Gulliver’s Travels”, as he intended to write episodes that were adventure stories on one level, but morality tales on another. Personally, I think that he best achieved this model with the spin-off series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (TNG). If you watch individual episodes you will see thinly disguised treatments of moral issues such as racism, homosexuality, genocide etc. For my money, “The Next Generation” is the best of the whole franchise …

41 Rhea cousin : EMU

The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

The rhea is a flightless bird that is native to South America. The rhea takes its name from the Greek Titan Rhea. It’s an apt name for a flightless bird as “rhea” comes from the Greek word meaning “ground”.

42 Harry’s mom Lily __ Potter : EVANS

In the world of “Harry Potter”, Harry’s mother was Lily Potter née Evans. Lily Evans had magical abilities, even though she was born to Muggles, individuals with no magical powers. Lily married James Potter. Lily and James were murdered by Lord Voldemort, leaving their child Harry an orphan.

45 It flows below the Pont Neuf : SEINE

Paradoxically, Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge standing today that crosses the River Seine in Paris. The paradox is that the name translates to “new bridge”. The bridge is in two parts, as it crosses from the Left Bank to the Île de la Cité (on which stands Notre Dame) and then from the Île de la Cité to the Right Bank.

53 Southeast airport code : ATL

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world’s busiest airport, as measured by passenger traffic. Atlanta has had that distinction since 1998, and was the world’s busiest in terms of take-offs and landings from 2005 until 2013. Over 50% of Atlanta’s traffic comes from Delta Air Lines.

62 Thigh muscle, briefly : QUAD

The quadriceps femoris is the muscle group at the front of the thigh. It is the strongest muscle in the human body, and is also the leanest. The “quads” are actually a group of four muscles in the upper leg, hence the use of the prefix “quad-”.

64 “Outlander” series novelist Gabaldon : DIANA

Author Diana Gabaldon is best known for her “Outlander” series of novels, which were adapted into a very successful (and entertaining) television drama. The “Outlander” books are set in Scotland, and involve time travel. Gabaldon tells us that she was inspired to write her first “Outlander” book after watching an episode of “Doctor Who”.

65 Big name in big projections : IMAX

The IMAX Corporation, which is behind the IMAX film format, is a Canadian company. The impetus for developing the system came after Expo ’67 in Montreal. Back then large format screenings were accomplished using multiple projectors with multiple screens, with images basically stitched together. The team behind the IMAX technology set out to simplify things, and developed a single-camera, single-projector system.

66 Bear overhead : URSA

The constellation Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called “the Big Dipper” because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, “the Plough”.

67 Sprinter Bolt : USAIN

Usain Bolt is a Jamaican sprinter who won the 100m and 200m race gold medals in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. Back in Jamaica, Bolt was really into cricket, and probably would have been a very successful fast bowler had he not hit the track instead.

68 Daughter in the 2019 film “Judy” : LIZA

Actress and singer Liza Minnelli is the daughter of Judy Garland and movie director Vincente Minnelli. Liza won her only Oscar for her lead performance in 1972’s “Cabaret”. She has also won an Emmy, Grammy and Tony, and is one of the very few entertainers to have made that “sweep”.

The 2019 movie “Judy” is a biopic about singer and actress Judy Garland. The film is an adaptation of the 2005 Peter Quilter play “End of the Rainbow”. “Judy” focuses on the last year of Garland’s life, with Renée Zellweger in the title role.

70 __ hose : PANTY

The word “hose” meaning “covering for the leg” has the same roots as the contemporary German word “Hose” meaning “trousers, pants”.

71 Agenda bullet : ITEM

“Agenda” is a Latin word that translates as “things to be done”, coming from the verb “agere” meaning “to do”.

Down

1 Mary __ Lincoln : TODD

Mary Todd moved in the best of the social circles in Springfield, Illinois and there met the successful lawyer, Abraham Lincoln. The path to their marriage wasn’t exactly smooth, as the engagement was broken once but reinstated, with the couple eventually marrying in 1842.

2 Swedish superstore : IKEA

The IKEA furniture stores use the colors blue and yellow for brand recognition. Blue and yellow are the national colors of Sweden, where IKEA was founded and is headquartered.

3 San __: Cal. city nickname : FRAN

“Frisco” is not a term you’d hear used in the San Francisco Bay Area for the main city. Acceptable nicknames are “the City by the Bay” and “Fog City”. We usually just refer to it as “the City”.

4 FX series inspired by a Coen brothers film : FARGO

“Fargo” is a TV series inspired by the 1996 film of the same name by the Coen brothers. The small-screen version first aired in 2014, with the credits including Joel and Ethan Coen as executive producers. Each season of the show features a new cast. The 2014 cast is led by Billy Bob Thornton, the 2015 cast by Kirsten Dunst, and the 2017 cast by Ewan McGregor. Each episode, and indeed the original film, includes the on-screen claim that “This is a true story”. However, that claim is in fact untrue.

6 Traditional group dance : HORA

The hora is a circle dance that originated in the Balkans. It was brought to Israel by Romanian settlers, and is often performed to traditional, Israeli folk songs. The hora (also horah) is a regular sight at Jewish weddings. Sometimes the honoree at an event is raised on a chair during the hora.

7 Decimated Asian sea : ARAL

The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

8 Karma : FATE

Karma is a religious concept with its basis in Indian faiths. Karma embraces the notion of cause and effect. Good deeds have good consequences at some later point in one’s life, one’s future life, or one’s afterlife. And, bad deeds have bad consequences.

10 JFK-RMN link : LBJ

Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) was born in Stonewall, Texas to Samuel Ealy Johnson, Jr. and Rebekah Baines.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) was the son of Joe Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald, hence the president’s double-barreled name.

President Richard Milhous Nixon (RMN) used “Milhous” in his name in honor of his mother Hannah Milhous. Richard was born in a house in Yorba Linda, California. You can visit that house today as it is on the grounds of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. It’s a really interesting way to spend a few hours if you ever get to Yorba Linda …

28 First Hebrew letter : ALEPH

Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and beth is the second.

34 Branch of Islam : SUNNI

The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family, and favoured the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali.

35 Watercolor prop : EASEL

The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey”, would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.

42 First name in beauty products : ESTEE

Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, and someone with a great reputation as a salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

52 __ dog : CHILI

The full name of the dish that is often called simply “chili” is “chili con carne”, Spanish for “peppers with meat”. The dish was created by immigrants from the Spanish Canary Islands in the city of San Antonio, Texas (a city which the islanders founded). The San Antonio Chili Stand was a popular attraction at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and that stand introduced the dish to the rest of America and to the world.

53 Teal relative : AQUA

The beautiful color teal takes it name from the duck called a teal, which has dark greenish-blue (teal) markings on its head and wings.

56 Legal thriller writer Scottoline : LISA

Lisa Scottoline is an author from Philadelphia who specializes in legal thrillers. Scottoline also pens a humorous column in “The Philadelphia Inquirer” called “Chick Wit” with her daughter Francesca Serritella.

57 Scott of “Hawaii Five-0” : CAAN

Scott Caan is the actor who plays “Danno” on the remake of “Hawaii Five-0”. Scott is the son of Hollywood actor James Caan.

The cop show “Hawaii Five-O” originally ran from 1968 until 1980, with Jack Lord and James MacArthur playing detectives Steve McGarrett and “Danno” Williams. The famous theme music was composed by Morton Stevens. The show was rebooted as “Hawaii Five-0”, premiering in 2010, with Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan playing Steve McGarrett and “Danno” Williams. Notice the important difference in the titles of the two versions of the show: the former uses a capital letter O, and the latter the numeral 0. Now that’s trivial …

63 Prosecutors, briefly : DAS

District attorney (DA)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Minor misunderstanding : TIFF
5 Long part of an arrow : SHAFT
10 Pride Month letters : LGBT
14 Sticky pod : OKRA
15 Grammy winner Jones : NORAH
16 Channel marker : BUOY
17 Letter starter : DEAR …
18 Speechify : ORATE
19 Soda __: fountain worker : JERK
20 Dog, barking : DANGER ALERT
23 “Understand?” : SEE?
24 Common Scrabble tile value : ONE
25 Afflicts : AILS
27 Satisfied sigh sound : AAH
30 Dog, begging : TREAT, PLEASE
36 Driving problem : GLARE
38 Sinewy : WIRY
39 Rio contents : AGUA
40 Burton of “Star Trek: TNG” : LEVAR
41 Rhea cousin : EMU
42 Harry’s mom Lily __ Potter : EVANS
43 Not buttoned, as a shirt : OPEN
44 “Bummer!” : DRAT!
45 It flows below the Pont Neuf : SEINE
46 Dog, ears erect : WHAT WAS THAT?
49 Nada : NIL
50 Steel-toe item : BOOT
51 “Just a __!” : SEC
53 Southeast airport code : ATL
55 Dog, tail wagging : WELCOME HOME
62 Thigh muscle, briefly : QUAD
64 “Outlander” series novelist Gabaldon : DIANA
65 Big name in big projections : IMAX
66 Bear overhead : URSA
67 Sprinter Bolt : USAIN
68 Daughter in the 2019 film “Judy” : LIZA
69 Unwelcome diners : ANTS
70 __ hose : PANTY
71 Agenda bullet : ITEM

Down

1 Mary __ Lincoln : TODD
2 Swedish superstore : IKEA
3 San __: Cal. city nickname : FRAN
4 FX series inspired by a Coen brothers film : FARGO
5 Noisy bedmate : SNORER
6 Traditional group dance : HORA
7 Decimated Asian sea : ARAL
8 Karma : FATE
9 Course of treatment : THERAPY
10 JFK-RMN link : LBJ
11 “No, still not right” : GUESS AGAIN
12 Snooze inducer : BORE
13 Tot : TYKE
21 Go in : ENTER
22 Up to, briefly : ‘TIL
26 Split : LEAVE
27 Luminous : AGLOW
28 First Hebrew letter : ALEPH
29 Enjoy oneself immensely : HAVE A BLAST
31 Fancy pitchers : EWERS
32 Focus on, as a bull’s-eye : AIM AT
33 Alternative to dare : TRUTH
34 Branch of Islam : SUNNI
35 Watercolor prop : EASEL
37 Totaled, as costs : RAN TO
42 First name in beauty products : ESTEE
44 Went out with someone wealthier, say : DATED UP
47 Amaze : WOW
48 The same number : AS MANY
52 __ dog : CHILI
53 Teal relative : AQUA
54 Go bad : TURN
56 Legal thriller writer Scottoline : LISA
57 Scott of “Hawaii Five-0” : CAAN
58 Tending to the matter : ON IT
59 Exclude : OMIT
60 Puzzle with dead ends : MAZE
61 Checkup : EXAM
63 Prosecutors, briefly : DAS

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 15 Jan 20, Wednesday”

  1. Grrr. Flew through it until I got to the bottom middle. Didn’t know the proper names and “welcome home” just wouldn’t come to me.

  2. Holy cow, 4:14 was my time, quite fast for me. This seemed like a very-unusually-easy Wednesday puzzle. The “dog” theme was self-evident, and really I just imagined what my little dog Sasha would be thinking when her ears perk up or she sits up begging. Didn’t know several of the proper names, but had good luck with the crosses on each of them that they fell out.

    I had no idea that Norah Jones was the daughter of Ravi Shankar! My wife and I chose her “Come Away With Me” as the first dance at our wedding reception, so Norah and that song are pretty special to me.

  3. Think it was cruel of Mr. Christian to put four names in the same section. I didn’t know any of them but finally got that section. But……… had “Ubain” instead of “Usain.’ Bah. Otherwise, it was a good and fun puzzle.

  4. Also had a Natick at DIANA crosses CAAN. Had “awe” before WOW.Don’t really know wha a CHILI dog is. Cute with the other doggy things.

  5. 4 errors for 98%, letter basis. “Chili dog” cost me three of the four. Just missed the boat and
    was looking for a type of dog. I found “drag” for the definition of “bummer” and was wrong.
    I found it tougher than Tuesday’s. I would have to call it a hot dog!

  6. Kinda tough Wednesday for me; took 27 minutes, while falling asleep a few times, with 2 errors and 1 accidental omission. Guessed right on LISA, but goofed up the cross twice! sIhNA instead of DIANA. While double checking everything my scan missed CHI I, and I love chili and chili dogs. They are kind of messy, though, if your up in the stands stealing signs…

    Well, it can only get better…

  7. Greetings!!🦆

    Deceptively easy at first. No errors, but I didn’t know LISA or DIANA. I was okay on CAAN and USAIN so those helped.

    Be well ~~🥂

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