LA Times Crossword 29 Jan 20, Wednesday

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Constructed by: John Guzzetta
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: False Start

Themed answers each start with something that smacks of “FALSE”:

  • 58A Gridiron infraction, and a hint to 17-, 25-, 37- and 49-Across : FALSE START
  • 17A Exclusive place for tennis : RACKET CLUB
  • 25A Unpredictable leg joint : TRICK KNEE
  • 37A Skeet enthusiast : TRAP SHOOTER
  • 49A Big Apple power company : CON EDISON

Bill’s time: 7m 42s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 Latina toon explorer : DORA

“Dora the Explorer” is a cartoon series shown on Nickelodeon. Part of Dora’s remit is to introduce the show’s young viewers to some Spanish words and phrases.

15 Bay of Bengal nation : INDIA

The Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean is the largest bay in the world.

16 Ceviche flavoring : LIME

Ceviche is a raw seafood dish that is popular in South and Central America. Ceviche is typically made from fish marinated in lemon or lime juice and spiced with hot peppers.

19 Slavic John : IVAN

The name “John” translates into Scottish as “Ian”, into Russian as “Ivan”, into Italian as “Giovanni”, into Spanish as “Juan”, into Welsh as “Evan”, and into Irish as “Seán”.

21 Tizzy : SNIT

The exact etymology of “snit”, meaning “fit of temper”, isn’t really known. The term was first used in print in the play “Kiss the Boys Goodbye” by Clare Boothe Luce, which dates back to the 1930s and is set in the American South.

29 Cleaver nickname : BEAV

Wally Cleaver and his younger brother Theodore (“the Beaver”) were the children of Ward and June Cleaver on the fifties sitcom “Leave It to Beaver”.

30 Rapper __ Rida : FLO

Tramar Dillard is better known as rapper Flo Rida. As you might have guessed, Flo Rida was born in the state of Florida.

32 Throat condition : STREP

Streptococcus bacteria multiply and divide along a single axis so that they form linked chains. That behavior gives the genus of bacteria its name, as “streptos” is Greek for “easily twisted, like a chain”. I had to battle with streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat) twice in the past few years and it was not at all pleasant, I must say. Another species of streptococcus is responsible for that terrible “flesh-eating” infection that makes the news from time to time.

34 Ed who plays Santa in “Elf” : ASNER

Ed Asner is most famous for playing the irascible but lovable Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and on the spin-off drama “Lou Grant”. Off-screen Asner is noted for his political activism. He served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and was very involved in the 1980 SAG strike. When “Lou Grant” was cancelled in 1982, despite decent ratings, there was a lot of talk that the cancellation was a move by the network against Asner personally. In fact, one of Asner’s activist colleagues, Howard Hesseman (who played Johnny Fever) found that his show “WKRP in Cincinnati” was also canceled … on the very same day.

“Elf” is a comedy movie that was released for the 2003 Christmas season. “Elf” was directed by Jon Favreau and stars Will Ferrell in the title role, with James Caan supporting and Ed Asner playing Santa Claus. It’s all about one of Santa’s elves who finds out he is human and goes to meet his father in New York City.

37 Skeet enthusiast : TRAP SHOOTER

There are three types of competitive shotgun target shooting sports:

  • Skeet shooting
  • Trap shooting
  • Sporting clays

40 Salary : PAY

It has been suggested that out term “salary” comes from the Latin “sal” meaning “salt”. The idea is that a Roman soldier’s “salarium” might have been an allowance to purchase salt.

43 Mary, Queen of __ : SCOTS

Mary, Queen of Scots ruled over Scotland from 1542 until 1567, even though she spent most of that reign in France, where she had grown up. 16-year-old Mary married 9-year-old Francis, the Dauphin of France in 1558, and the following year became queen consort when her husband acceded to the throne. Francis only ruled for a year before dying of natural causes. The young widow returned to Scotland, the country of her birth, in 1561. In 1567, Mary was forced to abdicate the Scottish throne in favor of her one-year-old son James, after an uprising against Mary and her third husband, the Earl of Bothwell. Mary fled south to seek the protection of her cousin, Elizabeth I of England. As Mary had once claimed Elizabeth’s throne as her own, Elizabeth had Mary imprisoned. Mary was held in confinement for over 18 years and eventually beheaded in 1587, having been found guilty of plotting to assassinate Elizabeth.

46 Air quality watchdog: Abbr. : EPA

The air quality index (AQI) is monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

49 Big Apple power company : CON EDISON

Consolidated Edison (Con Ed) has its roots in the New York Gas Light Company, founded in 1823. The company changed its name to Consolidated Gas when it merged six gas companies in 1884. Consolidated Gas participated in the electrification of the New York City area, and owned the New York Edison Company. In 1936, as electricity sales dominated Consolidated Gas’s revenues, the company name was changed again, to Consolidated Edison.

53 Big and strong : HEFTY

The heft of something is its weight, heaviness. The term “heft” is derivative of the verb “to heave” meaning “to lift, raise”.

54 Roman who wrote “The History of Rome” : LIVY

Titus Livius (aka “Livy”) was a Roman historian who lived from 59 BC to AD 17. Livy wrote the definitive history of Rome at that time.

57 Unconscious state : COMA

Our term “coma” comes from the Greek “koma” meaning “deep sleep”.

58 Gridiron infraction, and a hint to 17-, 25-, 37- and 49-Across : FALSE START

We never used the word “gridiron” when I was growing up in Ireland (meaning a grill used for cooking food over an open fire). So, maybe I am excused for taking two decades living in the US to work out that a football field gridiron is so called because the layout of yard lines over the field looks like a gridiron used in cooking.

65 Rooms to Go rival : IKEA

The IKEA furniture chain was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943, when he was just 17-years-old. IKEA is an acronym standing for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (don’t forget now!). Elmtaryd was the name of the farm where Ingvar Kamprad grew up, and Agunnaryd is his home parish in Sweden.

Rooms to Go is a chain of furniture stores that was founded in 1990 by Morty and Jeffrey Seaman. The brothers set up the business using funds from the sale of Seaman’s Furniture, a chain of stores founded by their father Julius in 1933.

66 Singer Lovett : LYLE

As well as being famous in his own right, country singer Lyle Lovett is known for his 1993 marriage to actress Julia Roberts. The pair had a whirlwind romance lasting just three weeks before they eloped and were wed. The marriage itself was also relatively whirlwind, lasting less than two years.

67 One with piece offerings? : REESE

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were invented by Harry Burnett “H.B.” Reese. Peanut Butter Cups were originally called penny cups, reflecting the price at which they were sold. Then inflation took over, and maybe that’s why they were broken into smaller “Pieces” …

Down

1 Yalta Conf. attendee : FDR

The Yalta Conference was a wartime meeting between WWII leaders Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin. Held in February of 1945, the conference is most remembered for decisions made on the post-war organization of Europe. To a large extent, the three leaders made decisions carving up political influence around the world, decisions that have profound implications to this day.

2 Mauna __ Observatory : LOA

The Mauna Loa Observatory (MLO) on the Big Island of Hawaii primarily monitors and collects data about changes in the Earth’s atmosphere. The MLO has been continuously monitoring CO2 levels in the atmosphere longer than any other facility on the planet, with records going back to 1958.

3 Rainbow shape : ARC

Sunlight reflected by airborne water droplets can produce rainbows. The water droplets act as little prisms, dispersing the white light into its constituent colors. Sometimes we see double rainbows. If we look carefully, we can see that the order of the colors in the first and second arcs is reversed.

8 Lucy who voices Master Viper in the “Kung Fu Panda” films : LIU

Lucy Liu is an actress from Queens, New York. Liu’s big break came when she was chosen to play the Ling Woo character in “Ally McBeal”. I liked her in the 2000 film “Charlie’s Angels” but as I am no fan of Quentin Tarantino, I did not enjoy the movie “Kill Bill”. I am having fun watching one of Liu’s more recent projects, in which she plays Jane Watson, one of the two lead characters in the TV crime drama “Elementary”.

“Kung Fu Panda” is a 2008 animated film from DreamWorks. It’s all about a panda who is expert in kung fu, as one might guess …

9 It might be opened in a bar : TAB

When we run a “tab” at a bar, we are running a “tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.

10 Sound of toasts : CLINK

The tradition of toasting someone probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word “toast” was an indicator that the lady’s beauty would enhance the wine. Very charming, I must say …

13 Urge : YEN

The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium.

18 USCG rank : ENS

Ensign (ens.)

The US Coast Guard (USCG) has the distinction of being the country’s oldest continuous seagoing service. The USCG was founded as the Revenue Cutter Service by Alexander Hamilton in 1790.

21 Hybrid apparel : SKORTS

The garment called a “skort” is a hybrid between shorts and a skirt.

22 “Miracle Workers” (2019) network : TBS

“Miracle Workers” is a comedy show based on a 2012 novel by Simon Rich titled “What in God’s Name”. Rich created the show, which stars Daniel Radcliffe as an angel whose job it is to handle all of the prayers of humanity. Steve Buscemi plays God. I haven’t seen this one yet, but it sounds intriguing …

23 “Is it soup __?” : YET

There was a famous TV spot advertising Lipton instant soup in the seventies. Kids would watch as boiling water was added to powdered soup, exclaiming excitedly “Is it soup yet?” Ugh …

27 Geppetto’s goldfish : CLEO

In the 1940 Disney animated feature “Pinocchio”, the woodcarver Geppetto has two pets. He has a tuxedo cat named Figaro and goldfish named Cleo.

28 Angsty rock genre : EMO

The emo musical genre originated in Washington D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. “Emo” is also the name given to the associated subculture. Not my cup of tea …

34 Burros : ASSES

Our word “burro”, meaning “donkey”, comes from the Spanish word for the same animal, namely “burrico”.

35 “That’s all __ wrote” : SHE

No one seems to be very certain of the origin of “that’s all she wrote”, meaning “there’s nothing more to be said”. One popular story is that it stems from the unfortunate “Dear John” letters that some soldiers received during WWII.

38 Spa treatment, for short : PEDI

Pedicure (pedi)

40 Upper-bod muscle : PEC

“Pecs” is the familiar name for the chest muscle, which is more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is a the Latin word for “breast, chest”.

51 Skateboard stunt : OLLIE

An ollie is a skateboarding trick invented in 1976 by Alan “Ollie” Gelfand. Apparently it’s a way of lifting the board off the ground, while standing on it, without touching the board with one’s hands. Yeah, I could do that …

53 “__ Dark Materials”: HBO fantasy series : HIS

“His Dark Materials” is a fantasy series based on the epic trilogy of novels of the same name by Philip Pullman. Not for me …

56 Code carrier : GENE

DNA contains nucleotide base sequences called genes, which are blueprints used in the manufacture of proteins needed by the body. Our DNA is also “decorated” with epigenetic markers that modify the activity level of genes, and can even turn genes off. These epigenetic markers respond to environmental conditions, so that organisms with the same DNA can exhibit differences in behavior and appearance, as a result of differing environments. This explains why identical twins develop differences in appearance over time.

57 Animation frame : CEL

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

59 SweetWater Georgia Brown, e.g. : ALE

SweetWater Brewery was founded in 1997 in Atlanta, Georgia. It is named for the Sweetwater Creek that runs near the brewery.

60 Alias letters : AKA

Also known as (aka)

61 Sleep cycle : REM

“REM” is an acronym standing for rapid eye movement sleep. REM sleep takes up 20-25% of the sleeping hours and is the period associated with one’s most vivid dreams.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Like much desert terrain : FLAT
5 Constructed : BUILT
10 Modeling material : CLAY
14 Latina toon explorer : DORA
15 Bay of Bengal nation : INDIA
16 Ceviche flavoring : LIME
17 Exclusive place for tennis : RACKET CLUB
19 Slavic John : IVAN
20 Come next : ENSUE
21 Tizzy : SNIT
22 Keyboard slips : TYPOS
25 Unpredictable leg joint : TRICK KNEE
29 Cleaver nickname : BEAV
30 Rapper __ Rida : FLO
31 Balls in coin-op machines, say : GUM
32 Throat condition : STREP
34 Ed who plays Santa in “Elf” : ASNER
36 Con’s opposite : PRO
37 Skeet enthusiast : TRAP SHOOTER
40 Salary : PAY
42 Game console button : RESET
43 Mary, Queen of __ : SCOTS
46 Air quality watchdog: Abbr. : EPA
47 Poem of praise : ODE
48 “The thing is … ” : LOOK …
49 Big Apple power company : CON EDISON
53 Big and strong : HEFTY
54 Roman who wrote “The History of Rome” : LIVY
55 Puzzle-solving asset : LOGIC
57 Unconscious state : COMA
58 Gridiron infraction, and a hint to 17-, 25-, 37- and 49-Across : FALSE START
63 Quaint oath : EGAD!
64 Otherworldly : ALIEN
65 Rooms to Go rival : IKEA
66 Singer Lovett : LYLE
67 One with piece offerings? : REESE
68 Sleep in a tent : CAMP

Down

1 Yalta Conf. attendee : FDR
2 Mauna __ Observatory : LOA
3 Rainbow shape : ARC
4 Corporate acquisition : TAKEOVER
5 Drill parts : BITS
6 Like some directors’ editions : UNCUT
7 Car waiting at the airport, maybe : IDLER
8 Lucy who voices Master Viper in the “Kung Fu Panda” films : LIU
9 It might be opened in a bar : TAB
10 Sound of toasts : CLINK
11 Walking, talking example : LIVING PROOF
12 Hobbyist : AMATEUR
13 Urge : YEN
18 USCG rank : ENS
21 Hybrid apparel : SKORTS
22 “Miracle Workers” (2019) network : TBS
23 “Is it soup __?” : YET
24 Fun-loving type : PARTY ANIMAL
26 On the other hand : IF NOT
27 Geppetto’s goldfish : CLEO
28 Angsty rock genre : EMO
33 Send-up : PARODY
34 Burros : ASSES
35 “That’s all __ wrote” : SHE
38 Spa treatment, for short : PEDI
39 Drawn from various sources : ECLECTIC
40 Upper-bod muscle : PEC
41 Words of regret : APOLOGY
44 Tyke on a trike : TOT
45 Where thunderheads form : SKY
50 Get away from : EVADE
51 Skateboard stunt : OLLIE
52 Circus clown’s collection : NOSES
53 “__ Dark Materials”: HBO fantasy series : HIS
56 Code carrier : GENE
57 Animation frame : CEL
58 Distant : FAR
59 SweetWater Georgia Brown, e.g. : ALE
60 Alias letters : AKA
61 Sleep cycle : REM
62 Put to use : TAP

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 29 Jan 20, Wednesday”

  1. Sorry I don’t get the lame connection between “gridiron infraction” and the four words.
    But I do like doing the puzzle every day.

  2. A fun puzzle. Nothing too tricky, although I didn’t know Livy. Appreciated lack of French terms.

    I’m going to have to go to Google Images and look up “sun” because it’s been so long since I’ve seen it here in the Twin Cities.

    1. From my dictionary:

      Sendup: an act of imitating someone or something in order to ridicule them; a parody. “A delicious sendup of a speech given by a trendy academic.”

  3. Managed 4:57 on this… it’s always weird when I can beat my Tuesday time on a Wednesday. I didn’t get the theme until I was done, though, and even once I did, I’m not really a fan of it. I don’t usually think “something false” when I think of a RACKET or a CON

  4. I’m with you on 33D. Didn’t get connection between send up and parody. It was the only guess I could make. Little old to know skate board stunts, another w.a
    Guess that worked out. Fun puzzle. Like others did better than Tuesday puzzle.

  5. Sailed along until I got to the bottom of the middle. Then, Google did not have the correct answer for REESE, which for me was part of a Natick involving ALE and OLLIE. Rather than Googling both, I came here.There were many others I didn’t know but got through crosses: FLO, LIU, TBS, HIS. The ones I don’t know are either sports, young people’s interests, alcohol or French. I didn’t notice the theme. REM should be indicated as an abbrev.

    Yesterday – “to a man” is probably an oldster’s expression. It means each and every person.

  6. We started this week with 100, 98.5 and 93% solved. About our average for three days.

    My old dictionary had “parody” as one of the definitions of “send-up”. Only way I got it.
    I knew the word, didn’t know what it meant.

    Nice going, guys and gals. Very impressive times, in my estimation. Bill’s time told me
    that it was a little harder than the average puzzle.

  7. Nice easy Wednesday for me that I didn’t time. No errors in the end.

    I was going to complain about rapper Flo, but then I remembered we’ve seen him at least 3 or 4 times…spelling out Flo Rida…so I got it after all.

    Off to bed early for first market of the new year.

  8. 37 across – I am a trap shooter with 50 years experience. Skeet is a clay pigeon sport but it is a different game. I am not a skeet shooting enthusiastic. I knew what the writer wanted but this is not a proper answer. “Pull!”

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