LA Times Crossword 25 Jan 20, Saturday

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Constructed by: Evan Kalish
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 12m 38s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 Period that included the Civil War : LINCOLN ERA

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the US, elected in 1860 as the first president from the Republican Party. Lincoln’s electoral support came almost exclusively from the north and west of the country, winning only 2 out of 996 counties in the Southern slave states. Lincoln led the country through the Civil War, and then was assassinated in 1865 just a few days after Robert E. Lee surrendered his army of Northern Virginia. President Lincoln was succeeded in office by Vice President Andrew Johnson.

16 Place with rolling pins, perhaps : LANE

Bowling has been around for an awfully long time. The oldest known reference to the game is in Egypt, where pins and balls were found in an ancient tomb that is over 5,000 years old. The first form of the game to come to America was nine-pin bowling, which had been very popular in Europe for centuries. In 1841 in Connecticut, nine-pin bowling was banned due to its association with gambling. Supposedly, an additional pin was added to get around the ban, and ten-pin bowling was born.

19 Have the chutzpah : DARE

Our word “chutzpah” meaning “nerve, gall, impudence” is derived from the Yiddish “khutspe”, which has the same meaning.

20 Farm structure : SILO

“Silo” is a Spanish word that we absorbed into English. The term ultimately derives from the Greek “siros”, which described a pit in which one kept corn.

23 Date night convenience : ATM

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)

25 “Femina Cup” (1910s contest) competitor : AVIATRIX

The feminine suffix “-trix” is Latin in origin, and is equivalent to the male suffix “tor”. Examples of usage would be “aviatrix” and “aviator”. Similarly, the feminine suffix “-ette” came into English from French, with the suffix “-et” being the male equivalent. Examples of usage would be “brunette” and “brunet”.

The “Coupe Femina” (Femina Cup) was awarded annually in the early days of aviation to the woman who had made the longest non-stop flight for that year. The “coupe” was established by Pierre Lafitte, who was the publisher of the French women’s magazine “Femina”.

32 Ball, e.g. : GALA

Our use of the word “ball” to mean a round object comes from the Old Norse “bollr” meaning the same thing. However, the usage of “ball” to mean “dancing party” comes from the Late Latin “ballare” meaning “to dance”, which in turn derives from the Greek “ballizein” meaning the same thing.

33 Links legend : SNEAD

Sam Snead was probably the most successful golfer never to win a US Open title, as he won a record 82 PGA Tour events. Snead did win seven majors, but never the US Open. He was also quite the showman. He once hit the scoreboard at Wrigley Field stadium with a golf ball, by teeing off from home plate. Snead’s best-remembered nickname is “Slammin’ Sammy”.

The oldest type of golf course is a links course. The name “links” comes from the Old English word “hlinc” meaning “rising ground”. “Hlinc” was used to describe areas with coastal sand dunes or open parkland. As a result, we use the term “links course” to mean a golf course that is located at or on the coast, often amid sand dunes. The British Open is always played on a links course.

34 It’s above lead on tables : TIN

In the periodic table, tin (Sn) is found above lead (Pb).

Dmitri Mendeleev was a Russian chemist. When Mendeleev classified elements according to their chemical properties, he noticed patterns and was able to group elements into his famous 1869 Periodic Table. So powerful was his table that he actually predicted the properties of some elements that had not even been discovered in 1869. Element number 101 is mendelevium and was named after Mendeleev.

35 Ring of Saturn? : ORBIT

Saturn is easily visible from Earth with the unaided eye, but we need some help to see the planet’s famous rings. Galileo was the first person to see Saturn’s rings, when he turned his primitive telescope towards the night sky in 1610. However, he misinterpreted what he was observing and assumed that the rings were in fact two smaller planets located at either side of the larger Saturn.

36 Hash ingredient : SPUD

Hash, beef and vegetables mashed together, is a very American dish and one that really surprised me when I first came across it. “Hash” just seems like such an unappetizing item, but I soon found out how delicious it was. The name “hash” in this context comes from the French “hacher” meaning “to chop”. Back in the early 1900s the dish called “hashed browned potatoes” was developed, which quickly morphed into “hash browns”. From there the likes of corned beef hash was introduced.

40 Leo is one : FIRE SIGN

Each of the twelve astrological signs is associated with one of the classical elements:

  • Fire signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
  • Earth signs: Taurus, Capricorn, Virgo
  • Air signs: Libra, Aquarius, Gemini
  • Water signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

41 Jalopies : CRATES

The origins of our word “jalopy” meaning “dilapidated, old motor car” seem to have been lost in time, but the word has been around since the 1920s. One credible suggestion is that it comes from Xalapa, Mexico as the Xalapa scrap yards were the destination for many discarded American automobiles.

43 __ wolf : CRY

“The Boy Who Cried Wolf” is one of Aesop’s fable, and the tale that gives rise to our phrase “to cry wolf”, which means to give a false alarm. In the fable, a shepherd boy is in the habit of tricking nearby villagers into thinking a wolf is attacking his flock by crying “wolf!”. When an actual attack is made, the villages assume it’s another false alarm and the sheep are are eaten by the wolf.

44 Nasty current : RIP

A rip current (wrongly called a rip “tide” sometimes) is a localized current that flows seaward from near the shore. Rip currents are dangerous as they can pull swimmers out to sea.

47 R&B family name : ISLEY

The Isley Brothers are an R&B group from Cincinnati, Ohio. The original lineup was a vocal trio consisting of three brothers: O’Kelly, Jr., Rudolph and Ronald Isley. The three brothers wrote the fabulous 1959 hit “Shout”, the song which brought the group its first success.

48 Caps on a protective vest : SWAT

“SWAT” is an acronym standing for Special Weapons and Tactics. The first SWAT team was pulled together in the Los Angeles Police Department in 1968.

50 Fundació Joan __: Barcelona museum : MIRO

Joan Miró was a Spanish artist. Miro immersed himself in Surrealism, so much so that Andre Breton, the founder of the movement, said that Miró was “the most Surrealist of us all”. There are two museums dedicated to Miró’s work. The Fundació Joan Miró is in his native Barcelona, and the Fundació Miró Mallorca is in Palma de Mallorca, where he the artist spent much of his life.

52 Blocks off : BARRICADES

A barricade is an obstruction placed across some form of passage that is designed to prevent the advance of an enemy. The term “barricade” comes from the Spanish “barrica” meaning “barrel”, which possibly is a reference to the 1588 Huguenot riots in Paris. Rioters set up barriers in the streets made from barrels filled with earth and stones.

55 Gerald Ford and Glenn Ford, e.g. : FREEMASONS

Gerald Ford was the only person to have served as both Vice President and President of the US, without having been elected to those positions. Ford was nominated by President Richard Nixon to replace Vice President Spiro Agnew after he resigned in 1973. Vice President Ford assumed the presidency the following year after President Nixon resigned.

Actor Glenn Ford was born in Quebec, but moved with his family to the US when he was six years old. Ford appeared in many, many notable films over his long career, including “Gilda” (1946), “Blackboard Jungle” (1955) and “Midway” (1976). Ford was married four times, but was a notorious serial cheater. For decades, he used a recording system for decades to tape phone conversations he had with celebrity lovers, as well as some famous politicians. Ironically, one politician secretly caught on tape was President Richard Nixon.

56 Blues first name : ETTA

Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song “At Last”. Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.

Down

4 Estate unit : ACRE

At one time, an acre was defined as the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. Then, an acre was more precisely defined as a strip of land “one furrow long” (i.e. one furlong) and one chain wide. The length of one furlong was equal to 10 chains, or 40 rods. An area of one furlong times 10 rods was one rood.

5 __ the line : TOE

The idiomatic expression “to toe the line” means “to obey”. The etymology of the phrase is disputed, although it is likely to come from the Royal Navy. Barefooted sailors were required to stand to attention for inspection lined up along the seams for the wooden deck, hence “toeing the line”.

7 Part of the Enterprise’s power source : ANTIMATTER

In the world of particle physics, antimatter is made up of particles that have the same mass as particles of ordinary matter, but with the opposite charge and quantum spin. Mixing matter and antimatter causes the annihilation of both, with a release of energy equal to the mass of the particles according to Einstein’s equation E=mc².

In the “Star Trek” universe, starships were powered by matter-antimatter reactions. The warp speed achieved by the engines is very much like our real-world Mach number. Just as a plane traveling at Mach 1 is moving at the speed of sound, a starship traveling at warp factor 1 is moving at the speed of light. Mach 2 is twice the speed of sound, and warp factor 2 is twice the speed of light. Cool, huh …?

8 Diamond of song : NEIL

I saw Neil Diamond in concert back in the mid-nineties, and I must say he does put on a great show. His voice is cracking a bit, but that didn’t seem to spoil anyone’s enjoyment. I’ve also seen Diamond interviewed a few times on television, and I wouldn’t say he has the most scintillating of personalities.

9 Bond classic : DR NO

“Dr. No” may have been the first film in the wildly successful James Bond franchise, but it was the sixth novel in the series of books penned by Ian Fleming. Fleming was inspired to write the story after reading the Fu Manchu tales by Sax Rohmer. If you’ve read the Rohmer books or seen the films, you’ll recognize the similarities between the characters Dr. Julius No and Fu Manchu. By the way, the author Ian Fleming tells us that Julius No attended medical school in Milwaukee.

12 Early code name? : HAMMURABI

The Code of Hammurabi is a code of laws that dates back to 1772 BCE, enacted by the Babylonian king Hammurabi. . Partial copies of the code have been found on stone steles and clay tablets. The most complete copy of the code can be found on a large stele that is on display in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

13 Alphabetically second on a list of U.S. state capitals : ANNAPOLIS

The first five state capitals in an alphabetical list are:

  • Albany, New York
  • Annapolis, Maryland
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Augusta, Maine
  • Austin, Texas

The city of Annapolis is located on Chesapeake Bay, and is the capital of the state of Maryland. Annapolis also served for almost a year as the capital of the United States, right after the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783 that marked the end of the American Revolutionary War with Britain. The name “Annapolis” was chosen in 1694 by the British Governor of Maryland, honoring Princess Anne of Denmark and Norway who was destined to become Anne, Queen of Great Britain.

21 Curse : HEX

“Hexen” is a German word meaning “to practice witchcraft”. The use of the word “hex” in English started with the Pennsylvania Dutch in the early 1800s.

25 Ever so slightly : A TAD

Back in the 1800s, “tad” was used to describe a young child, and this extended into our usage of “small amount” in the early 1900s. The original use of “tad” for a child is very likely a shortened version of “tadpole”.

29 Like eight Supreme Court justices : ASSOCIATE

The US Constitution doesn’t specify the size of the Supreme Court, but authorizes the Congress to determine the number of justices. The court started with six justices in 1789, and the size of the bench grew with the size of the country and the number of judicial circuits. There were as many as ten justices, from 1863 to 1866. There have been nine justices since 1869.

31 Artificial intelligence framework : NEURAL NET

It used to be that “neural network” was just the name given to a network nerve cells in an organism. In the modern world, the term “neural net” (short for “neural network”) also applies to virtual or electronic devices designed to mimic the function of the human brain, and in particular learning from past experiences.

32 __ Torino: 1970s Ford : GRAN

Ford produced the Torino from 1968 to 1976. The name “Torino” is Italian for “Turin”, a nod to the city that has been dubbed “the Italian Detroit”, as Turin is home to auto manufacturers FIAT, Lancia and Alfa Romeo. Ford extended the Torino line’s offering by adding the Gran Torino, and the Gran Torino Sport in 1972. Famously, the Ford Gran Torino was used by the title characters in the seventies cop show “Starsky & Hutch”. Starsky’s Torino was red in color, with a large white vector stripe running along both sides. Ford cashed in on the popularity of the show by producing a thousand replicas of the “Starsky and Hutch” car, although they weren’t much more than the standard vehicle with a specialty paint job.

35 Bacchanalia : ORGY

A bacchanalia is a drunken spree. The term “bacchanalia” derives from the ancient Roman festival held in honor of Bacchus, the god of winemaking.

37 Beneficiaries of a 1944 bill : GIS

What we commonly refer to as the GI Bill is more correctly called the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944.

38 PAC’s election season purchase : AIRTIME

A political action committee (PAC) is a private group that works to influence the outcome of a particular election or group of elections. Any group becomes a PAC by law when it receives or spends more than $1,000 for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that PACS that did not make direct contributions to candidates or parties could accept unlimited contributions. These “independent, expenditure-only committees” are commonly referred to as “super PACs”.

40 “30 Rock” creator : FEY

“30 Rock” is a sitcom on NBC that was created by the show’s star Tina Fey. Fey plays an ex-performer and writer from “Saturday Night Live” and uses her experiences on that show as a basis for the “30 Rock” storyline. Fey plays Liz Lemon, the head writer for the fictional sketch comedy series “TGS with Tracy Jordan”.

42 One-third of dodeca- : TETRA-

The prefix “dodeca-” indicates 12, and the prefix “tetra-” denotes 4.

45 Sherlock’s foe Adler : IRENE

The character Irene Adler only appears in one of the many Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In the story “A Scandal in Bohemia”, Holmes expresses remarkable admiration for Adler as a woman and as a foe. As a result, derivative works in the Holmes genre often feature Adler as something of a romantic interest for Sherlock.

46 Term in Old West and hip-hop culture : POSSE

Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.

48 Indian garb : SARI

The item of clothing called a “sari” (also “saree”) is a strip of cloth, as one might imagine, unusual perhaps in that is unstitched along the whole of its length. The strip of cloth can range from four to nine meters long (that’s a lot of material!). The sari is usually wrapped around the waist, then draped over the shoulder leaving the midriff bare. I must say, it can be a beautiful item of clothing.

49 Chirpy bird : WREN

The wren is a small songbird belonging to the family troglodytidae and the genus troglodytes. Wrens are known for making dome-shaped nests.

50 Keyword in Newton’s second law : MASS

Newton’s second law of motion tells us that a body accelerates when a force is applied to it, and the greater the mass of the object, the greater the force required to cause that acceleration. Mathematically, the law can be written as Force = mass x acceleration (F=ma).

52 Texting partner, like, srsly! : BFF

Best friend forever (BFF)

“srsly?” is text-speak for “seriously?”

53 Ford product : CAR

Industrialist Henry Ford was born in Michigan, and was the son of an Irish immigrant from County Cork. Ford’s most famous vehicle was the one that revolutionized the industry: the Model T. Ford’s goal with the Model T was to build a car that was simple to drive, and cheap to purchase and repair. The Model T cost $825 in 1908, which isn’t much over $20,000 in today’s money.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Moisture-catching linings : SWEATBANDS
11 Barbecue crust : CHAR
15 Period that included the Civil War : LINCOLN ERA
16 Place with rolling pins, perhaps : LANE
17 Making a plea : ENTREATING
18 Present opener? : OMNI-
19 Have the chutzpah : DARE
20 Farm structure : SILO
21 Word with interest and error : HUMAN …
22 Farm structure : STY
23 Date night convenience : ATM
24 Pauses : LETUPS
25 “Femina Cup” (1910s contest) competitor : AVIATRIX
28 Turn : ROT
29 Informal “Right?” : AIN’T IT TRUE?
32 Ball, e.g. : GALA
33 Links legend : SNEAD
34 It’s above lead on tables : TIN
35 Ring of Saturn? : ORBIT
36 Hash ingredient : SPUD
37 Makes even more gross? : GETS A RAISE
39 Plural possessive : OUR
40 Leo is one : FIRE SIGN
41 Jalopies : CRATES
43 __ wolf : CRY
44 Nasty current : RIP
47 R&B family name : ISLEY
48 Caps on a protective vest : SWAT
50 Fundació Joan __: Barcelona museum : MIRO
51 Family member : AUNT
52 Blocks off : BARRICADES
54 Level : TIER
55 Gerald Ford and Glenn Ford, e.g. : FREEMASONS
56 Blues first name : ETTA
57 Intermediary’s compensation : FINDER’S FEE

Down

1 They often have runners : SLEDS
2 Succeed in : WIN AT
3 Contest form : ENTRY
4 Estate unit : ACRE
5 __ the line : TOE
6 “Dang!” : BLAST IT!
7 Part of the Enterprise’s power source : ANTIMATTER
8 Diamond of song : NEIL
9 Bond classic : DR NO
10 Decline : SAG
11 Leverage : CLOUT
12 Early code name? : HAMMURABI
13 Alphabetically second on a list of U.S. state capitals : ANNAPOLIS
14 Put back : REINSTATE
21 Curse : HEX
23 All in : AVID
24 Whopper you can’t eat : LIE
25 Ever so slightly : A TAD
26 Not remotely fresh : TRITE
27 Flees in a panic : RUNS SCARED
29 Like eight Supreme Court justices : ASSOCIATE
30 Chasing, with “of” : IN PURSUIT …
31 Artificial intelligence framework : NEURAL NET
32 __ Torino: 1970s Ford : GRAN
35 Bacchanalia : ORGY
37 Beneficiaries of a 1944 bill : GIS
38 PAC’s election season purchase : AIRTIME
40 “30 Rock” creator : FEY
42 One-third of dodeca- : TETRA-
44 No longer forced to deal with : RID OF
45 Sherlock’s foe Adler : IRENE
46 Term in Old West and hip-hop culture : POSSE
48 Indian garb : SARI
49 Chirpy bird : WREN
50 Keyword in Newton’s second law : MASS
52 Texting partner, like, srsly! : BFF
53 Ford product : CAR

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 25 Jan 20, Saturday”

  1. @Dirk
    Fun piece of trivia: Both Ken and Barbie have last names – as I was reminded in doing a puzzle recently. Doubt I’ll remember for next time, but I remembered enough crosses to get the answer that time.

    @Carrie
    Wonderword. “Auto” mode is highly recommended if you play it, but basically it’s a word find puzzle. Read up and it said all of them were hand-generated, but I’m surprised that they just don’t computer-generate them (I already made a word search maker, so I know it can be done). Feed in a word list, note the unused spots, lay a word or phrase over those, and away you go.

    1. Thank you Glenn!! It says plug in not supported but I’ll try your link on my desktop and/or search around. Appreciate the tips!😊

  2. 32:17 no errors….I got 12D strictly via crosses….Don’t the setters indicate Abbrs. Like caps in 48A anymore?….It sure would make things less confusing but then again maybe confusion is the goal.

    1. Hi Jack (don’t want to yell that as I see you ahead of me boarding a flight out of LAX!). I think the abbreviation is understood when the puzzle creator uses the word “Caps” in the clue, which is an abbreviation.

      Hard but doable Saturday. I shot myself in the foot by putting “bark” in for 11 across for BBQ crust. When I finally got that straightened out then Hammurabi became clear for 12 down “Early code name” and then I was off to the races.

  3. 15:47 was my time. I didn’t find it impossible, but it was a little bit of a challenge especially with all those long downs. I had LAPSES instead of LETUPS for a while, which slowed me down some. Like Tony above, I thought the BBQ crust was BARK, but something kept me from entering it into the grid, so it wasn’t quite the blocker that it might have been.

    Once I got ANNAPOLIS as the alphabetically second capital, I had to figure out the first one! 😀 (It’s Albany.)

  4. Too hard for me but easier than Fridays. Mostly the lower left was my downfall. Oh well…..that’s how it goes for the end of the week.

    Super Bowl next Sunday. Think Chiefs will win but will root for the 49ers, since I live in Calif. May the best team win I say!!!!

  5. 24 mins 34 sec, no errors. Like 1A suggests, I had to work for it, though!!!!

    This one was full of really difficult entries: ANTIMATTER, HAMMURABI, AVIATRIX (given the obscure clue), LETUPS, ENTREATING, they just kept coming, hard and fast!!!

  6. Too hard for me; had to come here for a few peeks to get the NE, SE and parts of the middlesections. I was trying to fit dilithium until I saw ANTIMATTER and had lapses before LETUPS. Also had dIdO instead of LIDO. At least I had the SW and NW by myself.

    @Glenn – Thanks, I just looked it up…just think of Barbie having the same family name as our Chief Justice and Ken as Kit Carson.

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