LA Times Crossword 7 Jan 20, Tuesday

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Constructed by: David Poole
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Rocky Road

Themed answers include the letter sequence R-O-A-D, but the order of that sequence is a little “ROCKY”, has changed:

  • 61A Nutty ice cream parlor order … and a hint to each set of circled letters : ROCKY ROAD
  • 17A Not be serious : KID AROUND
  • 24A “Answer with the first thing that comes to mind” exercise : WORD ASSOCIATION
  • 36A World’s largest lizards : KOMODO DRAGONS
  • 52A ’70s Chilean president : SALVADOR ALLENDE

Bill’s time: 5m 29s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Indian music style : RAGA

Raga isn’t really a genre of music, but has been described as the “tonal framework” in which Indian classical music is composed. Ravi Shankar was perhaps the most famous raga virtuoso (to us Westerners). Western rock music with a heavy Indian influence might be called raga rock.

9 Goldman __: investment banking giant : SACHS

The investment banking firm Goldman Sachs was founded in New York in 1869 by Marcus Goldman. Samuel Sachs joined the firm in 1882, the same year that he married Louisa Goldman, Marcus’s daughter. The name “Goldman Sachs” was adopted by the firm in 1885. Goldman Sachs made out like bandits during the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007-08 as the company actually short-sold subprime mortgage bonds. As the price of the bonds nose-dived, Goldman Sachs made huge profits.

19 Like the accent in passé : ACUTE

In French, accents over the letter E can be acute (é) or grave (è).

“Passé” is a French word, meaning “past, faded”. We’ve imported the term into English, and use it in the same sense.

20 French monarch : ROI

In French, a “roi” (king) might be found in a “palais” (palace).

23 Cold War mil. program : SDI

One of the positive outcomes of President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), aka “Star Wars”, was a change in US defense strategy. The new approach was to use missiles to destroy incoming hostile weapons, rather than using missiles to destroy the nation attacking the country. The former doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction went by the apt acronym of MAD …

29 Golfer Michelle : WIE

Michelle Wie is an American golfer on the LPGA Tour. Wie began playing golf at the age of four and was the youngest player ever to qualify for an LPGA tour event. She turned pro just before her 16th birthday.

33 Passé : OLD HAT

The use of “old hat” to mean something “out of date, stale” started about 1911. Before that, the term “old hat” meant something very different, and very vulgar. “Old hat” was the name given to a very private part of the female anatomy, the idea being that it was “often felt” (as in a “felt hat”). I just don’t know what to say …

36 World’s largest lizards : KOMODO DRAGONS

The large lizard called a Komodo dragon is so named because it is found on the island of Komodo (and others) in Indonesia. It can grow to a length of over 9 1/2 feet, so I guess that explains the dragon part of the name …

42 “Peer Gynt Suite” dancer : ANITRA

Anitra is a minor character Henrik Ibsen’s play “Peer Gynt”. She is the daughter of a Bedouin chief.

Henrik Ibsen’s play “Peer Gynt” is based on a Scandinavian fairy tale “Per Gynt”. The incidental music to the play, written by Edvard Grieg, is some of the most approachable classical music ever written, at least in my humble opinion …

43 “Mangia!” : EAT!

“Mangia!” is Italian for “Eat!” and is often used in the names of Italian restaurants or in brand names of Italian foods.

45 Wine city north of Lisbon : OPORTO

Portugal’s city of Oporto (“Porto” in Portuguese) gave its name to port wine in the late 1600s. Oporto was the seaport through which most of the region’s fortified red wine was exported.

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. It is the westernmost capital city in Europe, and indeed is the westernmost large city on the continent. Lisbon is also the oldest city in Western Europe, and was founded hundreds of years before London, Paris and Rome.

48 CEO’s degree : MBA

A chief executive officer (CEO) might have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

52 ’70s Chilean president : SALVADOR ALLENDE

Salvador Allende was President of Chile in the early 1970s. Allende was ousted by the CIA-backed Chilean military in a coup in 1973. He committed suicide by shooting himself, the same day that he was removed from power. There followed over a decade of military rule under the leadership of General Augusto Pinochet, along with persecution of dissidents and the disappearance or murder of over 3,000 civilians.

56 Ed.’s backlog : MSS

Editors (eds.) might read or edit a manuscript (MS)

57 Actress Russo : RENE

The very talented actress Rene Russo is a native of Burbank, California. Russo went to highschool (with actor/director Ron Howard), but dropped out in tenth grade. At seventeen, she was given the opportunity to train as a model and within a very short time appeared on the cover of “Vogue”. As her modelling jobs slowed down in her early thirties, Russo made a career change and studied theater and acting. I am so glad she did, as Rene Russo is one of my favorite actresses …

58 World Cup cheer : OLE!

The FIFA World Cup is the most prestigious tournament in the sport of soccer. The competition has been held every four years (excluding the WWII years) since the inaugural event held in Uruguay in 1930. The men’s World Cup is the most widely viewed sporting event in the world, even outranking the Olympic Games. And, the women’s World Cup is fast catching up …

59 Funny Cheri : OTERI

Cheri Oteri was the SNL (“Saturday Night Live”) cast member who regularly appeared with Will Ferrell in the skit featuring a pair of Spartan cheerleaders.

61 Nutty ice cream parlor order … and a hint to each set of circled letters : ROCKY ROAD

The flavor of ice cream known as rocky road is made using chocolate ice cream mixed with nuts and marshmallows. The exact origin of the flavor seems to be disputed, but one story is that William Dreyer invented in 1929, chopping up walnuts and marshmallows with sewing scissors belonging to his wife.

69 German steel city : ESSEN

Essen is a large industrial city located on the River Ruhr in western Germany. The city experienced major population growth in the mid-1800s that was driven by the iron works established by the Krupp family.

71 Utopia : EDEN

The word “Utopia” was coined by Sir Thomas More in his book “Utopia” published in 1516 to describe an idyllic fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. More’s use of the name Utopia comes from the Greek “ou” meaning “not” and “topos” meaning “place”. By calling his perfect island “Not Place”, More was apparently making the point that he didn’t think that the ideal could actually exist.

Down

1 D.C. United’s former stadium : RFK

Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) Memorial Stadium opened in 1961 as the District of Columbia Stadium, and is actually owned by the District of Columbia. The stadium was renamed in 1969, a few months after Robert Kennedy was assassinated. Kennedy had been instrumental the racial integration of the Washington Redskins who played in the stadium for 36 seasons. As Attorney General, Kennedy threatened to oust the Redskins from the federally-owned stadium unless the team agreed to sign African-American players.

D.C. United is a professional soccer team based in the nation’s capital. The team competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) and plays home games at the Audi Field, moving from Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in 2017.

2 “Green Book” Oscar winner Mahershala : ALI

Mahershala Ali is an actor and sometime rapper. Among the more memorable roles Ali has had are lobbyist Remy Danton in TV’s “House of Cards”, and Colonel Boggs in “The Hunger Games” series of movies. He also won Best Supporting Actor Oscars for playing Juan in the 2016 drama “Moonlight”, and Dr. Don Shirley in 2018’s “Green Book”.

“Green Book” is a 2018 comedy film that is based on the true story of a 1962 tour of the Deep South by Florida-born classical and jazz pianist Don Shirley. Shirley, an African American, hires Italian-American bouncer Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga as his driver and bodyguard. I haven’t seen this one, but I hear that audiences and critics loved it …

3 Neptune or Pluto : GOD

Neptune was a Roman god, of both the sea and of freshwater. He was sometimes known as “Neptunus Equester” as he was also the god of horses and patron of horse-racing.

In classical mythology, the god of the underworld was named Hades. Over time, “Hades” came to mean the underworld itself and the name for the god became “Pluto”. Pluto’s character was more positive than the god Hades, and he represented a more rewarding afterlife compared to that offered by the darker Hades.

4 Palme d’Or, e.g. : AWARD

The “Palme d’Or” (or “Golden Palm” in English) is the highest award given at the Cannes Film Festival. The Palme d’Or goes to the director of the film that is selected as the best shown at the festival that year. The palm was selected as an emblem for the award as there is a palm featured on the coat of arms of the Commune of Cannes.

5 Kid-lit girl who lives on the “tippy-top floor” of the Plaza Hotel : ELOISE

Kay Thompson wrote the “Eloise” series of children’s books. Kay Thompson actually lived at the Plaza Hotel in New York, the setting she would choose for her “Eloise” stories. Eloise started out as a hit song for Thompson, a success that she parlayed into the book franchise.

6 Cross-shaped Greek letter : TAU

Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, and the letter which gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

7 Second Beatle on the “Abbey Road” cover : RINGO

Abbey Road in London was named for Kilburn Priory and the Abbey Farm in the priory’s grounds. The road is famous for the Abbey Road recording studios used most famously by the Beatles. The band’s last studio album is called “Abbey Road”, and the famous cover photo depicts John, Paul, George and Ringo walking across the zebra crossing located just outside the studio.

Sir Ringo Starr’s real name is Richard Starkey. Before he joined the Beatles, replacing drummer Pete Best, Starkey played with the Raving Texans. It was with the Raving Texans that he adopted the name “Ringo Starr”, because he wore a lot of rings and he thought it sounded “cowboyish”. Back then his drum solos were billed as “Starr Time”.

8 Ambulance patient’s MD : ER DOC

Our word “ambulance” originated from the French term “hôpital ambulant” meaning “field hospital” (literally “walking hospital”). In the 1850s, the term started to be used for a vehicle transporting the wounded from the battlefield, leading to our “ambulance”.

9 Scoundrel : SCALAWAG

The American word “scalawag” meaning “rogue” was used as a nickname for southern white people who supported reconstruction after the Civil War.

10 Fly ball’s path : ARC

That would be baseball.

11 “My __ Vinny”: 1992 comedy : COUSIN

“My Cousin Vinny” is a really fun film from 1992 starring Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei. In 2008, the American Bar Association rated “My Cousin Vinny” as the #3 Greatest Legal Movie of all time, after “To Kill a Mockingbird” (#1) and “12 Angry Men” (#2)!

12 Show-off : HOT-DOG

Although “hotdogging” is a term now used across all sports, it was primarily associated with skiing and described the performance of showy and risky stunts on the slopes.

22 “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” host Tyler : AISHA

Aisha Tyler is an actor and comedian who was a co-host on “The Talk” for several years starting in 2011. She began hosting the reboot of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” in 2013.

The American improv comedy TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway” is a spin-off of a very successful British show of the same name. The British TV show is itself a spin-off of a BBC radio show that I well remember. Lots of fun …

24 1914-’18 conflict, briefly : WWI

Prior to the outbreak of World War II, what we now know as World War I was referred to as “the World War” or “The Great War”.

26 Nevada casino city : RENO

The city of Reno’s economy took off when open gambling was legalized in Nevada in 1931. Within a short time, a syndicate had built the Bank Club in Reno, which was the largest casino in the world at the time.

28 Latin jazz great Puente : TITO

After serving in the Navy in WWII for three years, musician Tito Puente studied at Juilliard, where he got a great grounding in conducting, orchestration and theory. Puente parlayed this education into a career in Latin Jazz and Mambo. He was known as “El Rey” as well as “The King of Latin Music”.

34 Pres. or P.M. : LDR

Leader (ldr.)

35 Pulitzer category : DRAMA

Pulitzer Prizes are awarded annually for achievements in journalism, literature and musical composition. The prize was established back in 1917 by the Hungarian-American newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer. Pulitzer left money in his will for the prize, and for its administration by Columbia University.

37 Sportscaster Albert : MARV

Marv Albert is television and radio sportscaster who is often referred to as “the voice of basketball”. Marv has two younger brothers who are also sports announcers, and his son Kenny calls baseball and football for New York Rangers games on FOX radio. In addition, Marv’s daughter is a reporter for NBA TV.

38 Toronto native : ONTARIAN

Beautiful Toronto, Ontario is the largest city in Canada, and the fourth most populous city in North America (after Mexico City, New York and Los Angeles).

39 LED component : DIODE

A Light Emitting Diode (LED) is a specialized form of semiconductor that when switched on releases photons (light). LEDs were used in early digital watches, and are getting more and more popular even though their use in electronic equipment is fading away. LEDs are used as replacements for the much less-efficient tungsten light bulbs. I replaced all of my tungsten Xmas lights a few years ago and saved a lot on my electricity bill.

40 Hard-to-miss sign : NEON

The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

45 Be absorbed gradually : OSMOSE

Osmosis is the movement of a solvent (often water) across a semipermeable membrane. In the process of osmosis, the solvent tends to flow from an area of less concentration to an area of higher concentration. This sense of absorbing water effortlessly gives rise to the expression “learning by osmosis”.

46 Farfalle and fusilli : PASTAS

Farfalle is commonly referred to as bow-tie pasta because of its shape. The name comes from the Italian “farfalla” meaning “butterfly”.

Fusilli is a corkscrew-shaped pasta. The term “fusilli” comes from the Italian word “fuso” meaning “spindle”.

47 Acting twins Mary-Kate and Ashley : OLSENS

I know very little about the Olsen twins, but I am told that many folks believe Mary-Kate and Ashley to be identical twins. They look very much alike, but are in fact fraternal twins. The sisters were cast as Michelle Tanner on the eighties sitcom “Full House”, taking turns playing the role.

49 Cambridge chaps : BLOKES

“Bloke” is British slang for “fellow”. The etymology of “bloke” seems to have been lost in the mists of time.

The famous university city of Cambridge in England takes its name from an Old English term meaning “Bridge on the River Granta”. The river in question is now called the River Cam, with “Cam” being a back formation from “Cambridge”.

55 Like “Stranger Things” : EERIE

“Stranger Things” is a sci-fi horror TV show made for Netflix that aired its first season in 2016. I don’t do horror, and so haven’t seen it …

62 Lowest-ranking NCO : CPL

A non-commissioned officer (NCO) might be a sergeant (sgt.) or a corporal (cpl.).

63 Roulette bet : ODD

The term “roulette” means “little wheel” in French, and the game as we know it today did in fact originate in Paris, in 1796. A roulette wheel bears the numbers 1-36. A French entrepreneur called François Blanc introduced the number “0” on the wheel, to give the house an extra advantage. Legend has it that Blanc made a deal with the devil in order to unearth the secrets of roulette. The legend is supported by the fact that the numbers 1 through 36 add up to a total of “666”, which is the “Number of the Beast”. Spooky …

64 Brewpub pour : ALE

The many, many different styles of beer can generally be sorted into two groups: ales and lagers. Ales are fermented at relatively warm temperatures for relatively short periods of time, and use top-fermenting yeasts, i.e. yeasts that float on top of the beer as it ferments. Lagers ferment at relatively low temperatures and for relatively long periods of time. Lagers use bottom-fermenting yeasts, i.e. yeasts that fall to the bottom of the beer as it ferments.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Indian music style : RAGA
5 French “to be” : ETRE
9 Goldman __: investment banking giant : SACHS
14 Go with the __ : FLOW
15 Thieves’ hideout : LAIR
16 Thief : CROOK
17 Not be serious : KID AROUND
19 Like the accent in passé : ACUTE
20 French monarch : ROI
21 Hockey score : GOAL
23 Cold War mil. program : SDI
24 “Answer with the first thing that comes to mind” exercise : WORD ASSOCIATION
29 Golfer Michelle : WIE
30 “I’ve seen better” : MEH
31 Playground equipment : SWINGS
32 Quaint lodging : INN
33 Passé : OLD HAT
36 World’s largest lizards : KOMODO DRAGONS
42 “Peer Gynt Suite” dancer : ANITRA
43 “Mangia!” : EAT!
45 Wine city north of Lisbon : OPORTO
48 CEO’s degree : MBA
51 Wallet single : ONE
52 ’70s Chilean president : SALVADOR ALLENDE
56 Ed.’s backlog : MSS
57 Actress Russo : RENE
58 World Cup cheer : OLE!
59 Funny Cheri : OTERI
61 Nutty ice cream parlor order … and a hint to each set of circled letters : ROCKY ROAD
66 Seasonal mall temp : SANTA
67 “Omigosh!” : YIPE!
68 Loitering, say : IDLE
69 German steel city : ESSEN
70 Some pipe joints : ELLS
71 Utopia : EDEN

Down

1 D.C. United’s former stadium : RFK
2 “Green Book” Oscar winner Mahershala : ALI
3 Neptune or Pluto : GOD
4 Palme d’Or, e.g. : AWARD
5 Kid-lit girl who lives on the “tippy-top floor” of the Plaza Hotel : ELOISE
6 Cross-shaped Greek letter : TAU
7 Second Beatle on the “Abbey Road” cover : RINGO
8 Ambulance patient’s MD : ER DOC
9 Scoundrel : SCALAWAG
10 Fly ball’s path : ARC
11 “My __ Vinny”: 1992 comedy : COUSIN
12 Show-off : HOT-DOG
13 Wound yarn units : SKEINS
18 Travel aimlessly : ROAM
22 “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” host Tyler : AISHA
24 1914-’18 conflict, briefly : WWI
25 Farm grunt : OINK!
26 Nevada casino city : RENO
27 Photo session : SHOOT
28 Latin jazz great Puente : TITO
34 Pres. or P.M. : LDR
35 Pulitzer category : DRAMA
37 Sportscaster Albert : MARV
38 Toronto native : ONTARIAN
39 LED component : DIODE
40 Hard-to-miss sign : NEON
41 Beach pailful : SAND
44 Summer shirt : TEE
45 Be absorbed gradually : OSMOSE
46 Farfalle and fusilli : PASTAS
47 Acting twins Mary-Kate and Ashley : OLSENS
49 Cambridge chaps : BLOKES
50 Treaty partner : ALLY
53 Sandwich shop specification : ON RYE
54 Lubricate again : RE-OIL
55 Like “Stranger Things” : EERIE
60 Numbered hwy. : RTE
62 Lowest-ranking NCO : CPL
63 Roulette bet : ODD
64 Brewpub pour : ALE
65 Thieves’ hideout : DEN

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 7 Jan 20, Tuesday”

  1. Anyone remember “The Fusili Jerry?” 🙂

    All crossfill today, nothing of interest. The theme could be better described as an Irish ballad, “The ROCKY ROAD To Dublin.” And if you believe Luke Kelly, you haven’t properly learned English until you can sing it.

  2. 4:25, pretty smooth going for me. I have to say though that all those 3-letter answers were not the best crossword construction. WIE, OLE, MSS, SDI, and especially LDR (?!) were, I thought, all pretty MEH.

  3. 7 minutes 9 sec, no errors, and felt comfortable all the way through, perhaps for the first time this year!!! Can only get better from last week!!

  4. Missed one letter yesterday for 99%.
    6 omissions and 2 errors today for 96%, both days were letter basis.
    About our usual average. Missed 4 easy letters and misunderstood the SANTA
    clue.
    Liked this puzzle, for the most part.

  5. Not bad. Didn’t actually know AISHA, ALI, OPORTO. I misunderstood the SANTA clue at first, I think because I thought “temp” meant temperature.

  6. Aloha y’all!!🦆

    No errors. I agree with Charley; too many initials. LDR was quite weak. Other than that, not a bad puzzle. Didn’t know AISHA. At first I wondered if the scrambled letters spelled DORA.

    Ha ha!! In my above comments: I just realized I spelled it “week” instead of “weak!!” I’ve corrected it, but I must have thought I had it right for a minute there. That’s what I get for complaining….😁

    Be well ~~🍺

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