LA Times Crossword 17 Jan 20, Friday

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Constructed by: David Van Houten
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Head Cold

Themed answers sound like common phrases, spoken by someone with a HEAD COLD. A starting letter M is changed to a letter B:

  • 65A Malady that accounts for four Across puzzle answers : HEAD COLD
  • 17A What dogs do to set a tempo? : BARK TIME (from “mark time”)
  • 24A Bartender’s lager-serving skill? : BUD-SLINGING (from “mud-slinging”)
  • 40A Convenience for a fish traveling around the city? : BASS TRANSIT PASS (from “mass-transit pass”)
  • 52A Annoyed answer to “How’s your jobless roommate working out?”? : BUM’S THE WORD (from “mum’s the word”)

Bill’s time: 7m 09s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “__ Is Betta Than Evvah!”: 1976 R&B album : ETTA

“Etta James” was the stage name of celebrated blues and soul singer Jamesetta Hawkins. James’ most famous recording was her 1960 hit “At Last”, which made it into the pop charts. James performed “At Last” at the age of 71 in 2009 on the reality show “Dancing with the Stars”, which was to be her final television appearance. She passed away in 2012.

8 “The Real Housewives” series airer : BRAVO

“The Real Housewives …” franchise of reality TV shows was launched in 2006 with “The Real Housewives of Orange County”. Spin-off shows include “real housewives” in New York City, Atlanta, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Beverly Hills, Miami, Potomac, Dallas and Salt Lake City, and that’s just in the US. The list of international shows includes “real housewives” in Athens, Vancouver, Melbourne, Cheshire, Hungary, Johannesburg, Napoli and Bangkok. That’s a lot of “real housewives” …

13 Sprat’s choice : LEAN

Jack Sprat was a nickname given in the 16th century to people of small stature. Jack featured in a proverb of the day:

Jack will eat not fat, and Jull doth love no leane. Yet betwixt them both they lick the dishes cleane.

Over time, this mutated into a nursery rhyme that is still recited in England:

Jack Sprat could eat no fat. His wife could eat no lean. And so between them both, you see, they licked the platter clean.

14 Slice of pizza? : ZEE

One “slice” (letter) of the word “pizza” is a letter Z (zee).

23 Miler Sebastian : COE

Sebastian Coe is a retired middle-distance runner from the UK who won four Olympic medals including golds in the 1500m in 1980 and 1984. After retiring from athletics, Coe went into politics and served as a Member of Parliament from 1992 to 1997. In the year 2000, he was made a Life Peer, and so Coe now sits in the House of Lords. Lord Coe headed up London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

24 Bartender’s lager-serving skill? : BUD-SLINGING (from “mud-slinging”)

The American beer called Budweiser (often shortened to “Bud”) is named for the Czech town of Budweis (“České Budějovice” in Czech). The name is the subject of a dispute as here is an original Czech beer with a similar name, Budweiser Budvar. American Budweiser is sold in most European countries as “Bud”.

34 School subj. : SCI

Science (sci.)

46 Green subj. : ECOL

Ecology (ecol.) is a branch of biology (biol.).

47 Barflies : SOTS

Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

52 Annoyed answer to “How’s your jobless roommate working out?”? : BUM’S THE WORD (from “mum’s the word”)

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.

56 Beer choice : IPA

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

57 Prefix with byte : TERA-

The prefix “tera-” signifies a trillion, and comes from the Greek word “teras” meaning “monster”.

58 Name on Re-Nutriv cosmetics : 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 …

63 Sport played on a variety of surfaces : TENNIS

There are four different surfaces used for playing tennis competitively:

  • Clay courts (used for the French Open)
  • Hard courts (used for the US Open and the Australian Open)
  • Grass courts (used for Wimbledon)
  • Carpet courts

65 Malady that accounts for four Across puzzle answers : HEAD COLD

The common cold (also known as a “head cold”) is caused by a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. There are over 200 strains of virus that are known to cause the disease.

68 V-8, for example : ENGINE

69 1979 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee : ORR

Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn’t skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking. While still 31 years old, in 1979, Orr became the youngest person inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Prior to that, in 1967, Orr became the youngest person named the NHL’s Rookie of the Year.

70 Brest bestie : AMIE

Brest is a port city in northwest France, and is the second largest military port in the country. Brest was an important base for German U-boats during WWII when France was occupied by the Nazis. Brest is the most westerly city in the whole country.

Down

1 Italy’s Isola d’__ : ELBA

I had a lovely two-week vacation in Tuscany once, including what was supposed to be a two-night stay on the island of Elba. I had envisioned Elba as a place full of history, and maybe it is, but it is also overrun with tourists who use it as a beach getaway. We left after one day and we won’t be going back again …

2 Blue-green shade : TEAL

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.

3 Cover during a delay : TARP

Originally, tarpaulins were made from canvas covered in tar that rendered the material waterproof. The word “tarpaulin” comes from “tar” and “palling”, with “pall” meaning “heavy cloth covering”.

4 Pharaoh’s symbol : ANKH

The ankh was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character for “eternal life”. The ankh wasn’t just used in inscriptions but was often fashioned into amulets and as surrounds for mirrors (perhaps symbolizing a view into another world). The ankh is also known as “the key of the Nile” and “crux ansata” (Latin for “cross with a handle”).

5 Gun designer __ Gal : UZI

The first Uzi submachine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel “Uzi” Gal of the Israel Defense Forces, who gave his name to the gun.

8 Babies leader? : BEANIE …

There were originally just nine Beanie Babies when Ty Warner introduced the stuffed animal in 1993. In the late nineties the toy became a real fad, largely due to innovative marketing techniques. For example, there was no mass marketing with constant TV ads, and the production volume was limited pushing the line into the realm of collectibles. Beanie Baby models were also “retired” on a regular basis, fueling a “must have” behavior in the market.

9 Total mess : RAT’S NEST

Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, is credited with popularizing the elaborate hairstyle known as the pouf. The hair was styled using a pomade made from wholesome ingredients such as beef marrow and bear grease. Because of the complexity of the hairstyle, ladies wore it for a week or two, during which time the animal fat would become rancid. It was reported that vermin would be attracted to the hair while sleeping, which apparently led to the phrase “her hair is a rat’s nest”.

11 Leonardo’s birthplace : VINCI

Vinci is a town in Tuscany that is famous as the birthplace of famed artist Leonardo da Vinci. Vinci is now home to the Museo Leonardiano, a museum dedicated to the work of the renowned polymath. In particular, visitors can view several models constructed from Leonardo’s drawings. I’ve never made it to Vinci, and would love to visit that museum …

12 Situation after a leadoff double : ONE ON

That would be baseball.

16 One of the Bradys : GREG

The character Greg Brady is the oldest Brady son in the sitcom “The Brady Bunch”. Greg was played by Barry Williams in the TV show. It was revealed in spin-offs of the original sitcom that Greg married a nurse and became an obstetrician.

18 House of Dana fragrance : TABU

Tabu is a whole line of cosmetics and perfumes produced by the House of Dana. The company’s brand names were purchased by a Florida company called Dana Classic Fragrances in 1999.

25 Old map abbr. : USSR

The former Soviet Union (officially “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics”, i.e. USSR) was created in 1922, not long after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that overthrew the Tsar. Geographically, the new Soviet Union was roughly equivalent to the old Russian Empire, and comprised fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs).

27 Sour __ : GRAPES

Our expression “sour grapes” is used to describe a negative attitude adopted by somebody towards something just because that person can’t have the thing himself or herself. The phrase alludes to one of Aesop’s fables, the story of “The Fox and the Grapes”. In the fable, a squirrel could climb up to grapes high in a tree that a fox was unsuccessful in getting to. On seeing this, the fox said, “It’s okay, the grapes were sour anyway”.

28 1995 Oscar-nominated animatronics film : BABE

The hit 1995 film “Babe” was produced and filmed in Australia. The movie is an adaptation of a 1983 novel called “The Sheep-Pig” written by Dick King-Smith. “Babe” was a smash hit at the box office and was extremely well received by the critics. The film was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, but lost out to “Braveheart”. However, it did win the Oscar for Best Visual Effects by beating out “Apollo 13”, which was an amazing feat, I’d say…

29 Pizazz : ELAN

Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e “style, flair”.

Pizazz (also “pizzazz”) is energy, vitality. There’s a kind of cool thing about the “pizzazz” spelling, namely that it is the only 7-letter word in English that cannot be played in Scrabble. You can get close by using the Z-tile with the two blank tiles to get to three of the required four Zs, but there’s no way to get to the fourth Z.

35 Like Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 : IN D

Brahms wrote his “Symphony No. 2” in the summer of 1877, taking just a few months. That’s pretty speedy, as it took him 21 years to complete his “Symphony No. 1”.

38 “… __ is given”: Isaiah : A SON

According to the Bible’s Book of Isaiah:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

39 PC connections : DSLS

The initialism “DSL” originally stood for Digital Subscriber Loop, but is now accepted to mean (Asymmetric) Digital Subscriber Line. DSL is a technology that allows Internet service be delivered down the same telephone line as voice service, by separating the two into different frequency signals.

41 Palomino pace : TROTTING

A palomino is a horse with a gold coat and a white mane and tail. The color was prized by TV and film producers in the golden age of the Western. Two of the most famous palominos were Trigger ridden by Roy Rogers, and Mr. Ed who had his own TV show.

43 Hunchbacked assistant : IGOR

In the world of movies, Igor has been the assistant to Dracula, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein among others. Igor is almost invariably portrayed as a hunchback.

49 Preacher’s msg. : SER

Our word “sermon” comes from the Latin “sermonem” meaning “discourse, talk”. The literal translation of “sermonem” is “a stringing together of words”, from the Latin “serere” meaning “to join”, as in the related word “series”.

51 Binged (on) : OD’ED

Overdose (OD)

54 Japanese comics : MANGA

The Japanese word “manga” means “whimsical pictures” and is an apt term to describe the Japanese style of comic book. Manga publications are more diverse than American comic books and have a larger audience. Manga cover many subjects including romance, sports, business, horror, and mystery.

55 Large mackerel : WAHOO

The wahoo is a cousin of the mackerel, and is known as the “ono” in Hawaii.

59 Union member’s nemesis : SCAB

We first started calling strikebreakers “scabs” in the early 1800s, and before that a scab was a person who refused to join a trade union (back as early 1777). The word probably comes from the use of “scab” as a symptom of a skin disease, and so is a term that is meant to insult.

60 Great work : 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”.

61 Academy award-winning director Kazan : ELIA

Elia Kazan won Oscars for best director in 1948 for “Gentleman’s Agreement” and in 1955 for “On The Waterfront”. In 1999 Kazan was given an Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. He also directed “East of Eden”, which introduced James Dean to movie audiences, and “Splendor in the Grass” that included Warren Beatty in his debut role.

62 Fall site : EDEN

In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This went against the bidding of God, and was at the urging of the serpent. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them from becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

64 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.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “__ Is Betta Than Evvah!”: 1976 R&B album : ETTA
5 “Disgusting!” : UGH!
8 “The Real Housewives” series airer : BRAVO
13 Sprat’s choice : LEAN
14 Slice of pizza? : ZEE
15 Consuming : EATING
17 What dogs do to set a tempo? : BARK TIME (from “mark time”)
19 One making amends : ATONER
20 __ dog : ALPHA
21 Uproars : DINS
23 Miler Sebastian : COE
24 Bartender’s lager-serving skill? : BUD-SLINGING (from “mud-slinging”)
28 “Just __” : BECAUSE
32 Creepy glance : LEER
33 Word said with a sigh : ALAS
34 School subj. : SCI
36 Self-service bar offering : SALAD
40 Convenience for a fish traveling around the city? : BASS TRANSIT PASS (from “mass-transit pass”)
44 Join : ENTER
45 Excavation : DIG
46 Green subj. : ECOL
47 Barflies : SOTS
50 Works free : LOOSENS
52 Annoyed answer to “How’s your jobless roommate working out?”? : BUM’S THE WORD (from “mum’s the word”)
56 Beer choice : IPA
57 Prefix with byte : TERA-
58 Name on Re-Nutriv cosmetics : ESTEE
63 Sport played on a variety of surfaces : TENNIS
65 Malady that accounts for four Across puzzle answers : HEAD COLD
68 V-8, for example : ENGINE
69 1979 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee : ORR
70 Brest bestie : AMIE
71 Mild oaths : DANGS
72 Feed bit : OAT
73 Coffee __ : BEAN

Down

1 Italy’s Isola d’__ : ELBA
2 Blue-green shade : TEAL
3 Cover during a delay : TARP
4 Pharaoh’s symbol : ANKH
5 Gun designer __ Gal : UZI
6 Beloved person : GEM
7 Follows : HEEDS
8 Babies leader? : BEANIE …
9 Total mess : RAT’S NEST
10 Words on the first of a set, perhaps : A TO …
11 Leonardo’s birthplace : VINCI
12 Situation after a leadoff double : ONE ON
16 One of the Bradys : GREG
18 House of Dana fragrance : TABU
22 Down (with) : ILL
25 Old map abbr. : USSR
26 Octa- plus two : DECA-
27 Sour __ : GRAPES
28 1995 Oscar-nominated animatronics film : BABE
29 Pizazz : ELAN
30 Credits heading : CAST
31 Rate : ASSESS
35 Like Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 : IN D
37 Tie (up) : LACE
38 “… __ is given”: Isaiah : A SON
39 PC connections : DSLS
41 Palomino pace : TROTTING
42 Missile site : SILO
43 Hunchbacked assistant : IGOR
48 Dissertations : THESES
49 Preacher’s msg. : SER
51 Binged (on) : OD’ED
52 Quick meal : BITE
53 Capsize : UPEND
54 Japanese comics : MANGA
55 Large mackerel : WAHOO
59 Union member’s nemesis : SCAB
60 Great work : TOME
61 Academy award-winning director Kazan : ELIA
62 Fall site : EDEN
64 Diarist Anaïs : NIN
66 History book chapter : ERA
67 Fine print, say : ART

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 17 Jan 20, Friday”

  1. 8:10 was my time. Got a little bogged down in the NW for some reason, but after I worked out the theme, BARK TIME came to me, and then it got easier.

    I figured out the M -> B thing, but then when I got to the SE, puzzled over what that has to do with a HEAD COLD. Needed Bill’s explanation to get it. I liked this puzzle, it felt fresh enough, not too many proper names. VINCI was an amusing trick answer: I bet lots of us thought they had no idea where Leonardo was from, even though his name is literally “Leonardo of Vinci.” 😀

    Hmm… I’ve had WAHOO in restaurants (in Hawaii it’s called “ono”), and didn’t realize it was a kind of mackerel… a little Googling and seems like it *isn’t* a mackerel; “The taste has been said to be similar to mackerel” is all I can find. So I wonder about that clue.

    1. Following up to myself, it seems like half the Internet thinks Wahoo and Mackerel are not related, just similar; half thinks that Wahoo are a type of Mackerel, and the third half thinks that they’re “close relatives.” But most Mackerel have the scientific genus Scomberomorus while Wahoo are Acanthocybium. So who knows.

      I may be obsessing about this a bit.

  2. Enjoyed doing this puzzle but at the end got stuck on the “pizza” clue. Figured the gun gal had to be “uzi” so I finished it.

  3. Nobody in the history of mankind with a head cold has ever used a word or phrase beginning with “M” that sounded like a “B” when spoken because of the head cold. Incredibly poor and nonsensical theme. Should not have been published.

    1. Pinch your nose closed, and say “memory” as if your sinuses were blocked. Sounds alot like “bebory” to me. Just another whiner about clever/devious/misleading clues, which are what makes crosswords fun! If you want mindlessly easy crosswords that you can finish in 4.5 minutes, shut up and go away, and do the Tribune crossword.

  4. Had to work a little hard to get through this one. The trouble was with the SW. Finally filled it in but missed the letter A in “dangs.” Not bad for a Fri.

  5. Pretty easy Friday for me; took about 15 minutes with one stupid error: aTTA/aLBA. The rest just kind of filled itself in almost effortlessly, with just a bit waiting for crosses. No rewrites, everything was right the first time…well except…

    Feeling kind of upbeat lately.

  6. Aloha meine Freunden!!!🦆

    No errors. Fun Friday puzzle!! Not for the theme, which was just okay, but challenging and interesting.

    I always thought it was cool that there is a fish called a WAHOO, whoever he’s related to….😊

    @ Dirk re upbeat– you and I both 😁

    @ A Nonny Muss from yesterday– last year I was feeling so challenged by health issues and the work involved in taking care of my house; someone recommended that I move into a senior community. When I said “No way!” he said “but they’re for people who are 55 and older!” (I was 61 last year. ) The implication is that one is supposed to up and move out of one’s house the minute one hits 55!! I resent that attitude……HOWEVER– you have a coupla years on me and you will probably love it once you’re settled. So I hear, at least. These places are quite nice. No more chopping down trees or shoveling snow!! I wish you the best in your new digs. 🤗

    Be well~~🍸

  7. Thank you, Carrie! I needed that! (Once I get through the next couple of months, I’m sure I’ll be fine, but right now I’m a bit overwhelmed.)

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