LA Times Crossword 11 Feb 20, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Robin Stears
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Mate

Themed answers comprise two words, each of which is a type of MATE:

  • 63A Aussie pal, or what can follow each word in the answers to starred clues : MATE
  • 17A *Expensive flying option : FIRST CLASS (giving “first mate” & “classmate”)
  • 28A *Space for home projects, e.g. : WORKROOM (giving “workmate” & “roommate”)
  • 43A *Collaborative activity : TEAM PLAY (giving “teammate” & “playmate”)
  • 56A *Payment method being replaced by mobile banking : PAPER CHECK (giving “Paper Mate” & “checkmate”)

Bill’s time: 5m 05s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Come clean, with “up” : FESS …

The term “fess” is most often seen as part of the phrasal verb “to fess up” meaning “to admit to something”. “Fess” is simply a shortened form of “confess”.

15 Greek marketplace : AGORA

In early Greece, an agora was a place of assembly. The assemblies held there were often quite formal, perhaps for the reading of a proclamation. Later in Greek history, things became less formal as the agora evolved into a marketplace. Our contemporary word “agoraphobia” comes from these agorae, in the sense that an agoraphobe has a fear of open spaces, a fear of “public meeting places”.

16 Ski resort near Salt Lake City : ALTA

Alta ski resort actually lies within the Salt Lake City Metropolitan Area. The first ski lift in the resort was opened way back in 1939. Today, Alta is one of only three ski resorts in the country that prohibits snowboarding (along with Deer Valley, Utah and Mad River Glen, Vermont. The ski resort of Snowbird, located next to Alta, has been in operation since 1971.

17 *Expensive flying option : FIRST CLASS (giving “first mate” & “classmate”)

On a merchant ship, the first mate (sometimes “first officer, chief mate”) is the highest-ranking deck officer, and reports directly to the captain.

19 Greenish-blue : 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.

22 Scarlett of Tara : O’HARA

In Margaret Mitchell’s novel “Gone with the Wind”, Scarlett O’Hara’s home is the Tara plantation. Tara was founded not far from the Georgia city of Jonesboro by Scarlett’s father, Irish immigrant Gerald O’Hara. Gerald won the square mile of land on which Tara was built in an all-night poker game. He named his new abode after the Hill of Tara back in his home country, the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland. Rhett’s rival for the affections of Scarlet is Ashley Wilkes who lives at the nearby Twelve Oaks plantation.

23 Chemical reaction named for its two processes : REDOX

In the world of chemistry, redox reactions are those in which electrons are transferred between species. “Redox” is a portmanteau of “reduction” and “oxidation”, where reduction is the gain of electrons by a molecule or atom, and oxidation is the corresponding loss of electrons. Examples of redox reactions are the oxidation of carbon to create carbon dioxide, and the reduction of carbon using hydrogen to create methane.

25 Rhoda’s sister : BRENDA

Julie Kavner is an actress whose big break came playing the role of Brenda Morgenstern on the sitcom “Rhoda” in the 1070s. Nowadays, she is known for voicing Marge Simpson on “The Simpsons”. Kavener leads a very, very private life. She even has a clause in her contract with the producers of “The Simpsons” that she never has to promote the show on video.

26 __ of Capricorn : TROPIC

Lines of latitude are imaginary horizontal lines surrounding the planet. The most “important” lines of latitude are, from north to south:

  • Arctic Circle
  • Tropic of Cancer
  • Equator
  • Tropic of Capricorn
  • Antarctic Circle

30 Old fast jets : SSTS

The first supersonic transport (SST) to fly was the Tupolev Tu-144, which was constructed in the Soviet Union. The Tu-144 first flew in 1968, but did not carry passengers until 1977. The aircraft was permanently grounded as a passenger craft in 1978 due to concerns about safety (there had been two Tu-144 crashes). The second SST to fly was the Anglo-French Concorde, which operated at a profit for over 27 years until it was withdrawn from service in 2003. There was one Concorde crash, in Paris in July 2000. Since then, there have been no commercial SST services.

31 Augusta National signature shrub : AZALEA

Azaleas are very toxic to horses, sheep and goats, but strangely enough cause no problem for cats or dogs. And if you go to Korea, you might come across “Tug Yonju”, which is azalea wine made from the plant’s blossoms. Azaleas are usually grown as shrubs, but are also seen as small trees, and often indoors.

The Augusta National Golf Club was built on a former plant nursery. As such, each hole on the course is named for a tree or shrub associated with that hole. For example, the par-5 thirteenth hole is named “Azalea”.

33 __ Titanic: ill-fated ship : RMS

The ship prefix “HMS” is used by the warships of the Royal Navy, and stands for “Her/His Majesty’s Ship/Submarine”. The prefix “RMS” is used by ships of the merchant navy, and stands for “Royal Mail Ship/Steamer”.

The RMS Titanic set off on her tragic maiden voyage in 1912, sailing from Southampton, England bound for New York City. Regulations only required that the ship have lifeboat capacity for 1,178 people, even though a full complement of passengers and crew was 3,547. When the order was given to abandon ship, the captain adhered to the traditional protocol of “women and children first”. As a result, only 20% of male passengers survived the disaster, compared to 75% of the female passengers. Perhaps more telling is that 61% of those in first class survived, and only 25% of those in third class. The crew fared even worse though, with only 24% making it.

34 Of the seventh planet : URANIAN

One of the unique features of the planet Uranus is that its north and south poles lie where most other planets have their equators. That means that Uranus’ axis of rotation is almost in its solar orbit.

38 Red wine choice : MERLOT

Merlot is one of the main grapes used to make Bordeaux wines, along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

45 1920s-’30s “Blonde Bombshell” Jean : HARLOW

Jean Harlow was a Hollywood actress who was at the height of her success in the nineteen-thirties, appearing in many hit movies for MGM. Sadly, Harlow died in 1937, when she was only 26 years old, from kidney failure that was probably the result of her suffering scarlet fever when she was 15. Harlow wrote a novel that took many years to get published. Called “Today is Tonight”, it first appeared on bookshelves in 1965.

48 Vodka brand, familiarly : STOLI

Stolichnaya is a brand of “Russian” vodka made from wheat and rye grain. “Stoli” originated in Russia, but now it’s made in Latvia. Latvia is of course a completely different country, so you won’t see the word “Russian” on the label anymore.

50 Lauder of makeup : 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 …

54 Auto title ID : VIN

Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) were introduced by the automotive industry in 1954.

55 Word after King or Hong : … KONG

“King Kong” really is a classic movie. It stars Fay Wray as the young woman (Ann Darrow) with whom Kong falls in love. Wray was very interested in the role as she was told that she would be playing opposite the “tallest, darkest leading man in Hollywood”. She thought it might be Clark Gable. At least that’s how the story goes …

Hong Kong first became part of the British Empire after the First Opium War in 1842. In 1898, Britain signed a 99-year lease to retain control of Hong Kong. That control ended 99 years later in 1997 with a formal transfer of sovereignty back to China.

56 *Payment method being replaced by mobile banking : PAPER CHECK (giving “Paper Mate” & “checkmate”)

The Paper Mate pen was introduced in 1949 by the Frawley Pen Company, with the attraction being that it delivered a revolutionary ink that dried instantly on paper.

In the game of chess, when the king is under immediate threat of capture it is said to be “in check”. If the king cannot escape from check, then the game ends in “checkmate” and the player in check loses. In the original Sanskrit game of chess, the king could actually be captured. Then a rule was introduced requiring that a warning be given if capture was imminent (today we announce “check!”) so that an accidental and early ending to the game doesn’t occur.

59 Prepare, as Parmesan : GRATE

Genuine Parmesan cheese is made in and around the province of Parma in northern Italy, which province gives the cheese its name.

60 Et __: and others : ALII

“Et alii” (et al.) is the equivalent of “et cetera” (etc.), with “et cetera” being used in place of a list of objects, and “et alii” used for a list of names. In fact, “et al.” can stand for “et alii” (a group of males, or males and females), “et aliae” (a group of women) and “et alia” (a group of neuter nouns, or a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

61 Bridge “no bid” : PASS

The version of the card game bridge that is played mostly today is contract bridge. Auction bridge is a similar game, and is a precursor to contract bridge.

Down

3 August birthstone : PERIDOT

Olivine is relatively common mineral, but is rarely found with purity that is sufficient for use as a gemstone. When the olivine is pure enough to be used as a gem, it is called “peridot”. Peridot is always olive green in color, with its color intensity a function of how much iron is in the stone.

5 Table salt, to a chemist : NACL

Sodium chloride (NaCl, common salt) is an ionic compound. It comprises a crystal lattice made up of large chloride (Cl) ions in a cubic structure, with smaller sodium (Na) ions in between the chlorides.

8 Once, once upon a time : ERST

“Erst” is an archaic way of saying “formerly, before the present time”. The term is mostly seen as part of the word “erstwhile”, an adjective meaning “of times past”.

9 Some govt. lawyers : DAS

District attorney (DA)

11 __ Roosevelt, first lady for 12 years : ELEANOR

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the daughter of Elliot, brother to President Theodore Roosevelt. “Eleanor” met Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was her father’s fifth cousin, in 1902. The two started “walking out together” the following year after they both attended a White House dinner with President Theodore Roosevelt.

13 Respectful bows : SALAAMS

The word “salaam” is an Anglicized spelling of the Arabic word for “peace”. The term can describe an act of deference, and in particular a very low bow.

22 Like Mindy’s alien husband : ORKAN

“Mork & Mindy” is a sitcom that originally aired from 1978 to 1982. The title characters were played by Robin Williams and Pam Dawber. Mork is an alien from the planet Ork who reports back to his superior called Orson. Orson is played by voice actor Ralph James. Ralph James was also known for providing the voice of Mr. Turtle in famous Tootsie Pop commercials in the seventies. Nanu nanu!

24 Covert missions : OPS

“Black ops” is the name given to covert operations, activities that are usually outside of standard military protocol and may even be against the law. Funding for black ops is usually provided by a secret “black budget”.

27 “The Office” star Steve : CARELL

Actor Steve Carell has achieved great success on both television and in movies. On the small screen, Carell came to prominence on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and then as the lead in the US version of “The Office”. On the big screen, he starred in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”, “Evan Almighty”. My personal favorite Carell movie is 2007’s ”Dan in Real Life”, in which he stars opposite the wonderful Juliette Binoche.

The excellent sitcom “The Office” is set in a branch of a paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. If you haven’t seen the original UK version starring Ricky Gervais, I do recommend you check it out. Having said that, the US cast took the show to a whole new level. Great television …

29 Miscellany : OLIO

“Olio” is a term meaning “hodgepodge, mixture” that comes from the mixed stew of the same name. The stew in turn takes its name from the Spanish “olla”, the clay pot used for cooking.

32 Swedish singer Larsson with the Top 20 hit “Never Forget You” : ZARA

Zara Larsson is a singer/songwriter from Sweden. She won the Swedish version of “America’s Got Talent” in 2008, when she was just 10 years old.

34 Called balls and strikes : UMPED

That would be baseball.

36 Portuguese lady : SENHORA

The equivalent of “Mrs.” in French is “Mme.” (Madame), in Spanish is “Sra.” (Señora) and in Portuguese is also “Sra.” (Senhora).

37 South Seas wrapped garments : SARONGS

“Sarong” is the Malay word for “sheath. The term originally described a garment worn by Malay men and women around their waists. The Malay sarong is actually a tube of fabric, about a yard wide and two-and-a-half yards long. Many variations of the sarong are worn all over South Asia and the Pacific Islands. I had occasion to wear one in Hawaii many years ago, and found it very … freeing!

39 “The A-Team” actor : MR T

Mr. T’s real name is Laurence Tero Tureaud. Mr. T is famous for many things, including the wearing of excessive amounts of jewelry. He started this habit when he was working as a bouncer, wearing jewelry items that had been left behind by customers at a nightclub so that the items might be recognized and claimed. It was also as a bouncer that he adopted the name Mr. T. His catch phrase comes from the movie “Rocky III”. In the film, before he goes up against Rocky Balboa, Mr. T says, “No, I don’t hate Balboa, but I pity the fool”. He parlayed that line into quite a bit of success. He had a reality TV show called “I Pity the Fool”, and produced a motivational video called “Be Somebody … or Be Somebody’s Fool!”.

“The A-Team” is an action television series that originally ran in the eighties. The A-Team was a group of ex-US special forces personnel who became mercenaries. Star of the show was Hollywood actor George Peppard (as “Hannibal” Smith), ably assisted by Mr. T (as “B.A.” Baracus) and Robert Vaughn (as Hunt Stockwell).

40 Randy Newman song played at Dodger Stadium : I LOVE LA

“I Love L.A.” is a song written and recorded by Randy Newman in 1983. The song is played at major sporting events in the city, usually after the home team scores or wins.

Randy Newman is a singer/songwriter who is most famous for his movie scores. The list of scores on his resume includes “The Natural”, “Meet the Parents” and all the “Toy Story” movies from Pixar. Also on his resume are songs that he wrote, but were made hits by others. Included in this list are “You Can Leave Your Hat On” (Joe Cocker & Tom Jones) and “Mama Told Me Not to Come” (Three Dog Night).

Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles is the third oldest stadium currently used in Major League Baseball (after Fenway Park in Boston and Wrigley Field in Chicago).

42 Hostess sponge cake : TWINKIE

The snack cakes called Twinkies have been around since 1930. They were created by a baker called James Dewar, who chose the name from a billboard advertising “Twinkle Toe Shoes”. The original filling in the cake was a banana cream, but this was swapped out as a result of rationing during WWII. The vanilla cream became so popular that the banana recipe was dropped completely.

50 Wild West Wyatt : EARP

Wyatt Earp is famous as one of the participants in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Earp was a city policeman in Wichita, Kansas and also in Dodge City, Kansas. Earp was also deputy sheriff in Tombstone, Arizona where the O.K. Corral gunfight took place. Years later, Earp joined the Alaska Gold Rush and with a partner built and operated the Dexter Saloon in Nome.

52 A beret covers it : TETE

In French, the “tête” (head) is the top of “le corps” (the body).

53 “__ Tu”: 1974 hit : ERES

We have a big event across Europe every year called the Eurovision Song Contest. Each nation enters one song in competition with each other, and then voters across the whole continent decide on the winner. That’s how ABBA got their big break when they won in 1974 with “Waterloo”. In 1973, Spain’s entry was “Eres tú” (“It’s You”, literally “You Are”) sung by the band Mocedades. “Eres tú” came second in the competition, but should have won in my humble opinion.

56 Tiger Woods’ org. : PGA

Golfer Tiger Woods’ real name is Eldrick Tont Woods. “Tont” is a traditional Thai name. Tiger’s father Earl Woods met his second wife Kultida Punsawad in 1966, while on a tour of duty with the US Army in Thailand.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Catch sight of : ESPY
5 Nudged with one’s snout : NOSED
10 Come clean, with “up” : FESS …
14 Escape : FLEE
15 Greek marketplace : AGORA
16 Ski resort near Salt Lake City : ALTA
17 *Expensive flying option : FIRST CLASS (giving “first mate” & “classmate”)
19 Greenish-blue : TEAL
20 Egg: Pref. : OVI-
21 Warning word often preceded by a color : ALERT
22 Scarlett of Tara : O’HARA
23 Chemical reaction named for its two processes : REDOX
25 Rhoda’s sister : BRENDA
26 __ of Capricorn : TROPIC
28 *Space for home projects, e.g. : WORKROOM (giving “workmate” & “roommate”)
30 Old fast jets : SSTS
31 Augusta National signature shrub : AZALEA
33 __ Titanic: ill-fated ship : RMS
34 Of the seventh planet : URANIAN
35 Snake’s sound : SSS
38 Red wine choice : MERLOT
39 Atomizer output : MIST
43 *Collaborative activity : TEAM PLAY (giving “teammate” & “playmate”)
45 1920s-’30s “Blonde Bombshell” Jean : HARLOW
47 Let out, as fishing line : UNREEL
48 Vodka brand, familiarly : STOLI
49 Group of musical notes : CHORD
50 Lauder of makeup : ESTEE
54 Auto title ID : VIN
55 Word after King or Hong : … KONG
56 *Payment method being replaced by mobile banking : PAPER CHECK (giving “Paper Mate” & “checkmate”)
58 Impulse : URGE
59 Prepare, as Parmesan : GRATE
60 Et __: and others : ALII
61 Bridge “no bid” : PASS
62 After, in French : APRES
63 Aussie pal, or what can follow each word in the answers to starred clues : MATE

Down

1 Serious attempts : EFFORTS
2 Thin fragments : SLIVERS
3 August birthstone : PERIDOT
4 Cry of success : YES!
5 Table salt, to a chemist : NACL
6 Look at rudely : OGLE
7 Skyrocket : SOAR
8 Once, once upon a time : ERST
9 Some govt. lawyers : DAS
10 Priest’s title : FATHER
11 __ Roosevelt, first lady for 12 years : ELEANOR
12 Celebrity status : STARDOM
13 Respectful bows : SALAAMS
18 Curbside cry : TAXI!
22 Like Mindy’s alien husband : ORKAN
24 Covert missions : OPS
25 Inhalation : BREATH
27 “The Office” star Steve : CARELL
28 Without vigor : WANLY
29 Miscellany : OLIO
32 Swedish singer Larsson with the Top 20 hit “Never Forget You” : ZARA
34 Called balls and strikes : UMPED
35 Snobby : STUCK-UP
36 Portuguese lady : SENHORA
37 South Seas wrapped garments : SARONGS
39 “The A-Team” actor : MR T
40 Randy Newman song played at Dodger Stadium : I LOVE LA
41 Formally request : SOLICIT
42 Hostess sponge cake : TWINKIE
44 Joins the flow of traffic : MERGES
46 “Just gimme __!” : A SEC
50 Wild West Wyatt : EARP
51 Practice boxing : SPAR
52 A beret covers it : TETE
53 “__ Tu”: 1974 hit : ERES
56 Tiger Woods’ org. : PGA
57 Sandwich meat : HAM

12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 11 Feb 20, Tuesday”

  1. I would be a whole lot better off if only I’d taken Latin and chemistry in high school (or college).

    I found most of the puzzle extremely easy, but stumbled with Carell and Zara and peridot. Oh well, another learning experience.

  2. 4:59 was my time. A lot of odd, sometimes awkward word forms here. ORKAN, URANIAN, ALII. And while I’ve seen that bow of respect and greeting among Arabs, I learned today it is called a salaam. I only knew “salaam” as in “salaam alaikum” (peace be upon you), the spoken greeting.

  3. @Wayne – Take Italian, not Latin! So much more fun, and you can speak it. Better yet, get the book I used with my GED students: Harold Levine’s Vocabulary for the College Bound. The first half groups English affixes by language source, with plenty of quizes.

    I had to Google for ZARA. The girl is more than a half century younger than I. Didn’t really know REDOX, ALTA, RMS.

    Loved all the comments on OCD yesterday.
    .

  4. Took more time than the usual Tuesday puzzle, but I worked
    all areas out with the help of a dictionary. At any rate it was enjoyable leisure time.

    Eddie

  5. 9:25 and two errors (that consumed a good four minutes): where OVI and PERIDOT cross. Had OVA for the former, and no idea what the down fill was. I just can’t ever imagine “using that in a sentence”, either, so fat chance I’ll remember it. Pretty lame construction for a Tuesday.

  6. Mixed emotions about this one; not as much fun as yesterday’s,
    but we had only 2 errors for 99% letter basis. Missed 22D, using
    ORKAL and 40D, using I LOVE YA. And to think that we live in LA!
    Anyway, I wouldn’t miss trying and I can usually find the time.

  7. Hi gang!🦆

    Fun puzzle- no errors. I almost put DEBBIE instead of BRENDA for Rhoda’s sister….that was the original sister’s name in season one of the Mary Tyler Moore show. Debbie mysteriously disappeared after a few seasons. 😮

    In other pop culture news- always strikes me as funny that “I Love LA” is used at Dodger Stadium and was even used during the 1984 Olympics — but it’s actually satirical. Randy sings about the less appealing aspects of LA. As an LA native, you get that the first time you hear “rolling down Imperial Highway…” LOL– All due respect, but that’s not exactly the city’s best vista….

    Be well~~🍸

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