LA Times Crossword 28 Jan 20, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Gail Grabowski & Bruce Venzke
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Power Hitter

Themed answers each contain the hidden abbreviation RBI:

  • 57A One batting cleanup who gets a lot of the stat hidden in 17-, 24-, 34- and 48-Across : POWER HITTER
  • 17A Corporate acquisition offer : TAKEOVER BID
  • 24A Unfair hiring practice : GENDER BIAS
  • 34A Marquee actor’s honor : STAR BILLING
  • 48A Life-changing incident for Peter Parker : SPIDER BITE

Bill’s time: 6m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 2019 Australian Open winner Naomi : OSAKA

Naomi Osaka is a Japanese-born tennis professional who became the first Asian player to be ranked number-one in singles.

16 King Kong or Donkey Kong : APE

When RKO released the 1933 movie “King Kong”, the promotional material listed the ape’s height as 50 feet. During filming, a bust was created for a 40-foot ape, as well as a full-size hand that went with a 70-foot Kong.

The first video game featuring the ape called Donkey Kong was created in 1981. That same game introduced the world to the character known as Mario, four years before the game Super Mario Bros became such a big hit.

21 Studio stand : 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.

27 Nixon’s older daughter : TRICIA

President Richard Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon had two daughters. The eldest daughter is Tricia. Tricia married Harvard law student Edward Cox in a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden in 1971.

30 Belfast’s province : ULSTER

Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland, and an important port city. That said, much of Belfast’s success as a port is in the past. In the early 1900s, the Harland and Wolff shipyard was the world’s largest. The most famous vessel built by Harland & Wolff was the RMS Titanic. Belfast was also the largest linen producing center in the world, resulting in the city being nicknamed “Linenopolis”. More recently, Belfast is noted as home to the film studios where “Game of Thrones” was produced.

34 Marquee actor’s honor : STAR BILLING

A marquee is a large sign that is placed over the entrance to a theater. The marquee usually displays the names of the film or play currently showing, as well as the principal actors performing.

39 “Close Encounters” hoverers, briefly : UFOS

A “close encounter” is an occasion when a person witnesses an unidentified flying object (UFO). The term was introduced to us in a 1972 book by Allen Hynek called “The UFO Experience: A Scientific Inquiry”. The public really became aware of the concept with the release of the excellent 1977 Steven Spielberg movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”.

43 Christie of mystery : AGATHA

Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time, having sold about 4 billion copies worldwide in total. The only books to have sold in higher volume are the works of William Shakespeare and the Bible.

48 Life-changing incident for Peter Parker : SPIDER BITE

Spider-Man is a creation of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, and first appeared in comics in 1962. Spider-Man was a somewhat groundbreaking character in that his alter ego was a teenage high school student (Peter Parker), which marked the first time that a young person featured front and center as the superhero.

52 Link to the internet : MODEM

A modem is a device that is used to facilitate the transmission of a digital signal over an analog line. At one end of the line, a modem is used to “modulate” an analog carrier signal to encode digital information. At the other end of the line, a modem is used to “demodulate” the analog carrier signal and so reproduce the original digital information. This modulation-demodulation gives the device its name: a MOdulator-DEModulator, or “modem”.

56 Soufflé need : EGG

A soufflé is a French dish, usually served as a dessert. The verb “souffler” means “to blow, blow up”.

57 One batting cleanup who gets a lot of the stat hidden in 17-, 24-, 34- and 48-Across : POWER HITTER

Run batted in (RBI)

60 Big name in jeans : LEE

The Lee company that is famous for making jeans was formed in 1889 by one Henry David Lee in Salina, Kansas.

62 “__ Jacques” : FRERE

“Frère Jacques” is a children’s song from France. The French lyrics are:

Frère Jacques, frère Jacques,
Dormez-vous ? Dormez-vous ?
Sonnez les matines ! Sonnez les matines !
Ding, daing, dong. Ding, daing, dong.

The lyrics are usually translated into English as:

Are you sleeping, are you sleeping,
Brother John? Brother John?
Morning bells are ringing! Morning bells are ringing!
Ding, dang, dong. Ding, dang, dong.

65 Fork-tailed seabirds : TERNS

Terns are a family of seabirds. They are similar to gulls, but are more slender and more lightly built. Many species of tern are known for their long-distance migrations, with the Arctic tern migrating so far that it is believed to see more daylight in a year than any other animal.

Down

4 DIY furniture store : IKEA

Every IKEA store features a restaurant that serves traditional Swedish food, including Swedish meatballs and lingonberry jam. Each store also has a Swedish Food Market where customers can purchase specialty foods from Sweden.

5 Art community NNE of Santa Fe : TAOS

The town of Taos, New Mexico is named for the Native American village nearby called Taos Pueblo. Taos is famous for its art colony. Artists began to settle in Taos in 1899, and the Taos Society of Artists was founded in 1915.

6 Prolonged battle : SIEGE

Our word “siege” comes from a 13th century word for a “seat”. The military usage derives from the concept of a besieging force “sitting down” outside a fortress until it falls.

7 Scandal-plagued energy giant : ENRON

After all the trials following the exposure of fraud at Enron, several of the key players ended up in jail. Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Officer. He plea-bargained and received ten years without parole, and became the key witness in the trials of others. Even Fastow’s wife was involved and she was sentenced to one year for helping her husband hide money. Jeffrey Skilling (ex-CEO) was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months. Kenneth Lay (CEO) died in 2006 after he had been found guilty but before he could be sentenced. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice for shredding thousands of pertinent documents and deleting emails and files (a decision that the Supreme Court later overturned on a technicality). But still, Arthur Andersen collapsed under the weight of the scandal and 85,000 people lost their jobs (despite only a handful being directly involved with Enron).

10 Matzo meals : SEDERS

In the Jewish tradition, the Hillel sandwich plays a role in the Passover Seder. The sandwich combines matzo (unleavened flatbread) and maror (“bitter herbs”), with the combination of bitter and non-bitter having symbolic significance.

11 Collie of old TV : LASSIE

The canine character Lassie is the creation of Eric Knight, an author who wrote a short story that he expanded into a novel called “Lassie Come Home” published in 1940. “Lassie Come Home” was turned into a movie three years later, the first of a very successful franchise. The original Lassie (a female) was played by a dog called Pal, a male dog. In fact, all of the dogs that played Lassie over the years were males, because they looked better on camera, retaining a thick coat even during the summer months.

18 “Tom’s Diner” singer Suzanne : VEGA

Suzanne Vega is a singer-songwriter from Santa Monica, California. Her two most famous songs are “Luka” and “Tom’s Diner”, both released in the eighties.

22 NYC dance company : ABT

The American Ballet Theatre (ABT) was founded in New York City in 1939. ABT was officially recognized by the US Congress as “America’s National Ballet Company” in 2006.

26 Airline that doesn’t fly on Shabbat : EL AL

El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”. The company started operations in 1948, with a flight from Geneva to Tel Aviv. Famously, El Al only operates six days a week, not flying on the Sabbath.

28 Op. __: footnote abbr. : CIT

“Op. cit.” is short for “opus citatum”, Latin for “the work cited”. Op. cit. is used in footnotes to refer the reader to an earlier citation. It is similar to ibid, except that ibid refers the reader to the last citation, the one immediately above.

32 Britcom starring Jennifer Saunders : AB FAB

“Absolutely Fabulous” (sometimes shortened to “Ab Fab”) is a cult-classic sitcom produced by the BBC. The two stars of the show are Jennifer Saunders (Edina Monsoon) and Joanna Lumley (Patsy Stone). “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” hit the screens in 2016. I haven’t seen it yet, but my wife did and really enjoyed it. She said that there’s a veritable cavalcade of British stars that make an appearance …

Jennifer Saunders is a remarkable English comedian who is perhaps best known in North America as a lead in the Brticom “Absolutely Fabulous”. She also made guest appearances on the American sitcoms “Roseanne” and “Friends”.

33 __ Grande : RIO

The Rio Grande (Spanish for “big river”) is a waterway that forms part of the border between Mexico and the United States. Although we call the river the Rio Grande on this side of the border, in Mexico it is called the Río Bravo or Río Bravo del Norte (Spanish for “furious river of the north”).

35 Industrial area of western Germany : RUHR

The Ruhr is a river in Germany that flows into the lower Rhine. The river gives its name to the Ruhr River Valley and the Ruhr district, the largest urban agglomeration in the country.

37 Agency under FDR : NRA

The National Recovery Administration (NRA) was one of the first agencies set up under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program. On the one hand the NRA help set minimum wages and maximum working hours for workers in industry, and on the other hand it helped set minimum prices for goods produced by companies. The NRA was very popular with the public, and businesses that didn’t opt to participate in the program found themselves boycotted. The NRA didn’t survive for long though, as after two years of operation it was deemed to be unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court and so it ceased operations in 1935.

38 Casino regular : GAMESTER

The term “casino” originated in the 1700s, then describing a public room for music or dancing. “Casino” is a diminutive of “casa” meaning “house”.

42 Concert extras : ENCORES

“Encore” is French for “again, one more time”, and is a shout that an audience member will make here in North America to request perhaps another song. But, the term is not used this way in France. Rather, the audience will shout “Bis!”, which is the Italian for “twice!”

43 Orbital high point : APOGEE

In the celestial world, an apsis is a point in an orbit when the orbiting body is at its greatest, or least, distance from it’s center of orbit. The farthest and closest points of orbit are known as the apogee and perigee, when talking about bodies orbiting the Earth. The farthest and closest points for bodies orbiting the sun are known as the aphelion and perihelion.

44 1959 Sandra Dee title role : GIDGET

“Gidget” is an early “beach party film” that was released in 1959. The movie stars Sandra Dee as a teenage girl who falls in love with a young surfer. The surfer’s gang gives the young lass the nickname “Gidget”, a portmanteau of “girl” and “midget”.

Actress Sandra Dee started out as a model before moving into film. After a promising start to her career it seemed to peter out, and the public became more interested in her 7-year marriage to Bobby Darin. And of course she will forever be remembered from the song in the movie and stage-show “Grease” called “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee”.

46 Dangles a carrot in front of : TEMPTS

There is some debate about the “carrot/stick” metaphor. Some say that a carrot represents an incentive and a stick represents a threat, with the idea being that an incentive is more effective than a threat. Another version of the metaphor is that the carrot is dangled on a stick before a donkey, incentivizing the animal to move forward. There’s no threat, just a reward that never gets any more attainable …

47 New Age pianist John : TESH

John Tesh is a pianist and composer, as well as a radio and television presenter. For many years Tesh presented the show “Entertainment Tonight”. For “ET” he once covered the filming of an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. As part of the piece, he volunteered to act as a Klingon warrior. If you see the “Star Trek: TNG” episode called “The Icarus Factor” in reruns, watch out for John Tesh engaging in ritual torture with Mr. Worf as his victim.

New-Age music is created to provide a relaxing and stress-free atmosphere. The New Age movement is often said to have begun with the release of an album called “Spectrum Suite” by Steven Halpern in 1975.

50 Sculpted form : TORSO

“Torso” (plural “torsi”) is an Italian word meaning the “trunk of a statue”, and is a term that we imported into English.

55 Basic French verb : ETRE

The verb “to be” is “ser” in Spanish and “être” in French.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Sister’s attire : HABIT
6 Transmits, as a text : SENDS
11 Young guy : LAD
14 2019 Australian Open winner Naomi : OSAKA
15 Get used (to) : INURE
16 King Kong or Donkey Kong : APE
17 Corporate acquisition offer : TAKEOVER BID
19 Pampering place : SPA
20 “You should leave now” : PLEASE GO
21 Studio stand : EASEL
23 Crew team’s blade : OAR
24 Unfair hiring practice : GENDER BIAS
27 Nixon’s older daughter : TRICIA
30 Belfast’s province : ULSTER
31 Coil of yarn : SKEIN
32 Geometry product : AREA
34 Marquee actor’s honor : STAR BILLING
39 “Close Encounters” hoverers, briefly : UFOS
40 Arrange loosely : DRAPE
43 Christie of mystery : AGATHA
47 Without exception : TO A MAN
48 Life-changing incident for Peter Parker : SPIDER BITE
51 “Yada, yada, yada” letters : ETC
52 Link to the internet : MODEM
53 Has an easy catch with : TOSSES TO
56 Soufflé need : EGG
57 One batting cleanup who gets a lot of the stat hidden in 17-, 24-, 34- and 48-Across : POWER HITTER
60 Big name in jeans : LEE
61 Airport shuttles : TRAMS
62 “__ Jacques” : FRERE
63 Give permission to : LET
64 Final authority : SAY-SO
65 Fork-tailed seabirds : TERNS

Down

1 Family-style Asian dishes : HOT POTS
2 Just for fun : AS A LARK
3 Bear claw makers : BAKERIES
4 DIY furniture store : IKEA
5 Art community NNE of Santa Fe : TAOS
6 Prolonged battle : SIEGE
7 Scandal-plagued energy giant : ENRON
8 Well-worn pencil : NUB
9 Soft & __: deodorant : DRI
10 Matzo meals : SEDERS
11 Collie of old TV : LASSIE
12 Become visible : APPEAR
13 Handshake events : DEALS
18 “Tom’s Diner” singer Suzanne : VEGA
22 NYC dance company : ABT
25 Dramatic one-on-ones : DUELS
26 Airline that doesn’t fly on Shabbat : EL AL
28 Op. __: footnote abbr. : CIT
29 __ flash: quickly : IN A
32 Britcom starring Jennifer Saunders : AB FAB
33 __ Grande : RIO
35 Industrial area of western Germany : RUHR
36 Words of commitment : I DO
37 Agency under FDR : NRA
38 Casino regular : GAMESTER
41 Dressmaker’s guide : PATTERN
42 Concert extras : ENCORES
43 Orbital high point : APOGEE
44 1959 Sandra Dee title role : GIDGET
45 Drink suffix : -ADE
46 Dangles a carrot in front of : TEMPTS
47 New Age pianist John : TESH
48 Get a whiff of : SMELL
49 Market express lane units : ITEMS
50 Sculpted form : TORSO
54 Sort (through) : SIFT
55 Basic French verb : ETRE
58 Man-mouse connector : OR A
59 Method : WAY

10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 28 Jan 20, Tuesday”

  1. Agree with all above.

    That having been said, though solved, I did not actually know: OSAKA, VEGA, TESH, HOTPOTS, ABT.

  2. 5 minutes even for me. Pretty straightforward Tuesday with not many difficult answers. I did have PINCH HITTER before realizing it was POWER HITTER, but that didn’t slow me down too much.

    1. Hi Kay. It’s just another way to say that everyone agreed without any contrary opinions. “They voted yes, to a man.”

  3. Wassup y’all?!🦆

    No errors. I actually used the theme and it confirmed what I thought for two theme answers. Easy, as a Tuesday should be. Had NEA before NRA and I’m glad I caught that in time.

    Always happy to see a baseball theme…⚾️

    Be well~~🍻

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