LA Times Crossword 21 Feb 20, Friday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Shellfish Responses

Themed answers each include a type of shellfish, but sound like common phrases:

  • 20A Offering in shellfish worship? : PRAWN SACRIFICE (sounds like “pawn sacrifice”)
  • 29A Shellfish massage? : MUSSEL RELAXER (sounds like “muscle relaxer”)
  • 38A Good name for a budget shellfish dealer? : SHRIMP AND SAVE (sounds like “scrimp and save”)
  • 52A Like one who exchanges texts with a shellfish? : WHELK-CONNECTED (sounds like “well-connected”)

Bill’s time: 8m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “… morning roses newly wash’d with __”: Petruchio : DEW

William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” is about a courting couple. The male in the couple is Petruchio, a gentleman of Verona, and the female is Katharina/Kate, the so-called “shrew”. As the play progresses, the “shrew” is “tamed” and becomes an “obedient” bride … a controversial storyline in the contemporary world, to say the least. Regardless, modern adaptations have been made, including 1948’s Broadway musical “Kiss Me Kate” and the 1999 romantic comedy “10 Things I Hate About You”.

8 Caused trepidation : SCARED

Our word “trepidation”, meaning “fear”. comes from the Latin verb “tridare” meaning “to tremble”.

14 Phoenix-to-Albuquerque dir. : ENE

The city of Phoenix is the capital of the state of Arizona. Home to almost 1.5 million people, Phoenix is the most-populous state capital in the country.

Albuquerque is the most populous city in the state of New Mexico. The city was founded in 1706 as a Spanish colonial outpost named “La Villa de Alburquerque” (note the extra letter “r”) in honor of Francisco, Duke of Alburquerque, who had been viceroy of New Spain from 1653 to 1669. Alburquerque is a town in the west of Spain, close to the border with Portugal.

15 O’Neill’s daughter : OONA

Oona O’Neill dated J. D. Salinger and Orson Welles in her teens, but ended up marrying Charlie Chaplin in 1943. Oona was still quite young when she married Chaplin, much to the dismay of her famous father, playwright Eugene O’Neill. Eugene went as far as disowning 18-year-old Oona because of the marriage to 54-year-old Chaplin.

16 “Happy Days” diner namesake : ARNOLD

Much of the sitcom “Happy Days” was set in Arnold’s Drive-In. Arnold Takahashi was played by Pat Morita, who also played Mr Miyagi in the movie “The Karate Kid”. Morita left the show after three seasons, and was replaced by Al Molinaro as Al Delvecchio, the character who ran the diner as “Al’s” for the rest of the series’ run.

17 Networking technology : ETHERNET

“Ethernet” is the name given to a standardized configuration of local area networks (LANs). An ethernet cable is that one that has a connector on the end that looks like a regular telephone connector, but is about twice as wide. Ethernet dates back to the mid seventies, when it was developed by the Xerox Corporation.

19 Jalopy sound : RATTLE

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.

20 Offering in shellfish worship? : PRAWN SACRIFICE (sounds like “pawn sacrifice”)

The terms “prawn” and “shrimp” are often used interchangeably on menus. Over in the UK, the term “prawn” is most common, while “shrimp” is seen more often here in North America. Sometimes there is a differentiation from a food standpoint, with “prawn” being used for larger species and “shrimp” for smaller species. As a result, “jumbo prawns” seems to be an acceptable descriptor for a dish, whereas “jumbo shrimp” seems to be an oxymoron.

In the game of chess, the pawns are the weakest pieces on the board. A pawn that can make it to the opposite side of the board can be promoted to a piece of choice, usually a queen. Using promotion of pawns, it is possible for a player to have two or more queens on the board at one time. However, standard chess sets come with only one queen per side, so a captured rook is often used as the second queen by placing it on the board upside down.

22 Mississippi sight : LEVEE

A levee is an artificial bank, usually made of earth, that runs along the length of a river. It is designed to hold back river water at a time of potential flooding. “Levée” is the French word for “raised” and is an American term that originated in French-speaking New Orleans around 1720.

The Mississippi River runs right through the Midwest. It originates in Lake Itasca, Minnesota and flows into the Gulf of Mexico about a hundred miles below New Orleans. The name Mississippi is a corruption of a Native American name “misi-ziibi”, meaning “Great River”.

29 Shellfish massage? : MUSSEL RELAXER (sounds like “muscle relaxer”)

“Mussel” is a common name for several types of clam and other bivalve molluscs, both saltwater and freshwater.

35 Perfect place : UTOPIA

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.

37 “Modern Family,” e.g. : SITCOM

“Modern Family” is a marvelous television show shown on ABC since 2009. The show’s format is that of a “mockumentary”, with the cast often addressing the camera directly. In that respect “Modern Family” resembles two other excellent shows: “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation”, both of which might also be described as “mockumentaries”.

44 Rate for records, briefly : RPM

Revolutions per minute (rpm)

The first vinyl records designed to play at 33⅓ rpm were introduced by RCA Victor in 1931, but were discontinued due to quality problems. The first long play (LP) 33⅓ rpm disc was introduced by Columbia Records many years later in 1948, with RCA Victor following up with a 45 rpm “single” the following year, in 1949.

52 Like one who exchanges texts with a shellfish? : WHELK-CONNECTED (sounds like “well-connected”)

“Whelk” is a name given to various sea snails. The actual usage, and its application to various species depends on where you are in the world.

56 Sore application : POULTICE

A poultice is a moist, warm mass that is spread over a cloth and applied to an aching or inflamed part of the body. The term “poultice” comes from “pultes” the plural of the Latin word meaning “porridge”. My mother applied quite a few bread poultices over our skinned knees when we were kids …

57 City adjoining Champaign, Illinois : URBANA

The Champaign-Urbana metropolitan area is located in Illinois, southwest of Chicago. Champaign-Urbana is home to the flagship campus of the University of Illinois.

58 Began, as a co. : ESTD

Established (“est.” or “estd.”)

59 Fourth bk. of the Jewish Torah : NUM

The Book of Numbers in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles relates much of the journey of Moses and the Israelites from Egypt to the promised land. The title comes from the numbering of the people that is described in the beginning of the book.

The Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, are traditionally believed to have been written by Moses. As such, they are sometimes referred to as the Law of Moses, or Mosaic Law. Those five books are:

  • Bereshit/Genesis
  • Shemot/Exodus
  • Vayikra/Leviticus
  • Bamidbar/Numbers
  • Devarim/Deuteronomy

60 U.S. IOUs : T-NOTES

A Treasury note (T-note) is a government debt that matures in 1-10 years. A T-note has a coupon (interest) payment made every six months. The T-note is purchased at a discount to face value, and at the date of maturity can be redeemed at that face value. A Treasury bill (T-bill) is a similar financial vehicle, but it matures in one year or less, and a T-bond matures in 20-30 years.

62 Fast sports cars : GTS

In the automotive world, “GT” stands for “Grand Touring” or “Gran Turismo”.

Down

2 Dinner menu item : ENTREE

“Entrée” means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found the ordering of meals to be very confusing when I first came to America!

7 Bag with a strap : SATCHEL

A satchel is a soft-sided bag, one usually with a strap that is often worn diagonally across the body. When we were kids in Ireland, we’d carry our books to and from school in a backpack satchel. Virtually every Irish schoolchild had a satchel back then.

8 Bollywood costumery : SARIS

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.

“Bollywood” is the informal name given to the huge film industry based in Mumbai in India. The term “Bollywood” is a melding of “Bombay” (the former name of Mumbai), and “Hollywood”.

11 Uniform education org.? : ROTC

The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is a training program for officers based in colleges all around the US. The ROTC program was established in 1862 when as a condition of receiving a land-grant to create colleges, the federal government required that military tactics be part of a new school’s curriculum.

12 Bardot was on its cover at age 14 : ELLE

“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

Brigitte Bardot is a former model and actress, as well as a noted animal rights activist. Perhaps her best-known screen performance is in the 1956 French film “And God Created Woman” that was directed by her then husband, Roger Vadim.

13 Golfing pres. : DDE

There’s a lot of talk these days about how much golf is played by US presidents. One of the most enthusiastic golfers to sit in the Oval Office was President Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE). “Ike” loved the game so much that he even played through the winter. He had his golf balls painted black so that he could see them against the snow on the ground.

21 __ admiral : REAR

The rank of rear admiral is usually the lowest of the “admiral” ranks. The term originated with the Royal Navy. In days gone by, an admiral would head up the activities of a naval squadron from the central vessel. He would be assisted by a “vice admiral” who acted from the lead vessel. There would also be a lower-ranking admiral to command the ships at the rear of the squadron, and this was the “rear admiral”.

25 “Don’t delay!” letters : ASAP

As soon as possible (ASAP)

27 Early initials in American cars : REO

Ransom Eli Olds was a pioneer in the automotive industry, and the founder of the Oldsmobile and REO brands. Olds introduced the first modern “stationary” assembly line (Henry Ford’s famous innovation was the “moving” assembly line). As a result, it can be argued that the Oldsmobile Curved Dash was the first mass-produced, low-priced automobile, rather than the Ford’s Model T.

30 News agcy. since 1958 : UPI

Founded in 1958, United Press International (UPI) used to be one of the biggest news agencies in the world, sending out news by wire to the major newspapers. UPI ran into trouble with the change in media formats at the end of the twentieth century and lost many of its clients as the afternoon newspapers shut down due to the advent of television news. UPI, which once employed thousands, still exists today but with just a fraction of that workforce.

31 __City: computer game : SIM

SimCity is a very clever computer game. Players build and grow cities and societies by creating the conditions necessary for people (the Sims) to move in and thrive. SimCity was launched in 1989, and to this day it is consistently ranked as one of the greatest computer games of all time.

32 In __: actual : ESSE

The Latin term “in esse” is used to mean “actually existing”, and translates literally as “in being”.

33 YouTube star __ Marie Johnson : LIA

Lia Marie Johnson is an Internet personality turned actress and singer. Johnson’s celebrity is the result of her YouTube channel, which has 1-2 million subscribers. Her mother actually established the channel when Johnson was just 11 years old.

34 Honda FourTrax, e.g.: Abbr. : ATV

All-terrain vehicle (ATV)

35 Very active port? : USB

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard dealing with how computers and electronic devices connect and communicate, and deal with electrical power through those connections.

36 Genesis pronoun : THY

“Genesis” is a Greek word meaning “origin, creation” that was absorbed into Latin, and then into English. We use the Latin plural “geneses”.

39 Baldwin of “30 Rock” : ALEC

Alec Baldwin is the oldest of the acting Baldwin brothers. I think Alec’s big break was playing Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan in “The Hunt for Red October”, but thank goodness that role was taken over by Harrison Ford for the subsequent Jack Ryan movies. Baldwin also made a name for himself playing Jack Donaghy on “30 Rock”, opposite Tina Fey. More recently, he is known for impersonating President Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live”.

“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”.

41 Vet’s concern, perhaps : DRY NOSE

There’s a bit of a myth that a dry nose indicates that a dog is ailing. Usually, that’s not the case …

45 Like many hobby shop mat boards : PRECUT

Back in the 16th century, a hobbyhorse was a mock horse that was used as a prop in morris dancing. The figure was wrapped around the waist of a dancer, creating the impression that the horse was being ridden. By the 1580s, the term “hobbyhorse” began to describe toy riding horse used by a child. A century later, the word “hobby” was being used for a favorite pastime, an activity that doesn’t real go anywhere, just like a hobbyhorse, or a crossword blog …

46 Surfing equipment : MODEMS

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”.

48 Dior design : A-LINE

An A-line skirt is one that fits snugly at the hips and flares towards the hem. The term “A-line” was first used in fashion by French designer Christian Dior in his 1955 spring collection.

49 Some big box stores : IKEAS

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.

50 Neuters : GELDS

To geld is to castrate a male animal. “Geld” comes from the Old Norse word “gelda” meaning “castrate”.

51 Canadian Thanksgiving mo. : OCT

The Canadian Thanksgiving holiday predates the related celebration in the US. The first Canadian Thanksgiving was held in 1578 by an explorer from England named Martin Frobisher. Frobisher was giving thanks for his safe arrival in the New World, and made the observance in the month of October as this was a tradition in England. All this happened 43 years before the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

53 Vagrant : HOBO

No one seems to know for sure how the term “hobo” originated, although there are lots of colorful theories. My favorite is that “hobo” comes from the first letters in the words “ho-meward bo-und”, but it doesn’t seem very plausible. A kind blog reader tells me that according to Click and Clack from PBS’s “Car Talk” (a great source!), “hobo” comes from “hoe boy”. Hoe boys were young men with hoes looking for work after the Civil War. Hobos differed from “tramps” and “bums” in that “bums” refused to work, “tramps” worked when they had to, while “hobos” traveled in search of work.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “… morning roses newly wash’d with __”: Petruchio : DEW
4 Jacket stories : BIOS
8 Caused trepidation : SCARED
14 Phoenix-to-Albuquerque dir. : ENE
15 O’Neill’s daughter : OONA
16 “Happy Days” diner namesake : ARNOLD
17 Networking technology : ETHERNET
19 Jalopy sound : RATTLE
20 Offering in shellfish worship? : PRAWN SACRIFICE (sounds like “pawn sacrifice”)
22 Mississippi sight : LEVEE
23 Storage furniture : CHESTS
24 “__-haw!” : YEE
25 Expanse : AREA
26 Word often preceded by a leader’s name : … ERA
29 Shellfish massage? : MUSSEL RELAXER (sounds like “muscle relaxer”)
35 Perfect place : UTOPIA
37 “Modern Family,” e.g. : SITCOM
38 Good name for a budget shellfish dealer? : SHRIMP AND SAVE (sounds like “scrimp and save”)
42 “Catch you later” : BYE
43 Traditional knowledge : LORE
44 Rate for records, briefly : RPM
47 High spirits : GAIETY
50 Hit the big time : GO PRO
52 Like one who exchanges texts with a shellfish? : WHELK-CONNECTED (sounds like “well-connected”)
55 One of an infant’s pair : BOOTIE
56 Sore application : POULTICE
57 City adjoining Champaign, Illinois : URBANA
58 Began, as a co. : ESTD
59 Fourth bk. of the Jewish Torah : NUM
60 U.S. IOUs : T-NOTES
61 Relative of -ity : -NESS
62 Fast sports cars : GTS

Down

1 With intensity : DEEPLY
2 Dinner menu item : ENTREE
3 Merchant’s assurance during a sale : WE HAVE MORE
4 Carried : BORNE
5 They’re charged : IONS
6 Land parcel size : ONE ACRE
7 Bag with a strap : SATCHEL
8 Bollywood costumery : SARIS
9 Modeling, say : CRAFT
10 They’re not with you : ANTIS
11 Uniform education org.? : ROTC
12 Bardot was on its cover at age 14 : ELLE
13 Golfing pres. : DDE
18 Lea grazer : EWE
21 __ admiral : REAR
25 “Don’t delay!” letters : ASAP
26 Taking parts of : EXCERPTING
27 Early initials in American cars : REO
28 Certain limb : ARM
30 News agcy. since 1958 : UPI
31 __City: computer game : SIM
32 In __: actual : ESSE
33 YouTube star __ Marie Johnson : LIA
34 Honda FourTrax, e.g.: Abbr. : ATV
35 Very active port? : USB
36 Genesis pronoun : THY
39 Baldwin of “30 Rock” : ALEC
40 Closed : NOT OPEN
41 Vet’s concern, perhaps : DRY NOSE
45 Like many hobby shop mat boards : PRECUT
46 Surfing equipment : MODEMS
47 Hint : GET AT
48 Dior design : A-LINE
49 Some big box stores : IKEAS
50 Neuters : GELDS
51 Canadian Thanksgiving mo. : OCT
52 Well-used : WORN
53 Vagrant : HOBO
54 “Dang!” : NUTS!
55 Objection : BUT

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 21 Feb 20, Friday”

  1. 11:22. I struggled in both the NW and SW quite a lot. The center went pretty well once I got the punny shellfish theme, but I also took a while to come up with WHELK… it’s a word I’ve heard but only rarely. Lots of trick clues today, like “surfing equipment.” And I bet everyone put INTERNET at first for the “networking technology.” I sure did and that along with BARGE instead of LEVEE really had me scratching my head in that corner.

    Happy Friday!

  2. 13:02, no errors. Cute one.

    Today is closing day on my old house and my new house! By some miracle, it all came together! (But I have the feeling that Murphy is lurking in the shadows, waiting to pull one of his tricks … 😜.)

  3. I could not make any sense out of the “whelk’ ~ connected
    That screwed up completing the bottom right hand section for me.
    Touche’ Jeffery !

    Eddie

  4. Spays before gelds. When I finally got that sorted out then “Whelk Connected” came together and I straightened out that entire SE corner which had me mumbling to myself for too long.

    On to the WSJ 21 X 21 next.

  5. PRAWN and ETHERNET were the last to fall for me. Needed Bill’s help to figure out what a PRAWNSACRIFICE is. It’s been a loooong time since I’ve played chess.

  6. 17:32. Nice to finally have time to do one of these again. I didn’t know WHELK either, but I got it via crosses before I realized I didn’t know it. Agreed – Wechsler puzzles seldom disappoint.

    Tonight I get the chance of a lifetime. I’m going to a function with the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team celebrating the 40th anniversary of that “Miracle on Ice” game vs the Soviet Union. I don’t get starstruck very easily. In fact, the only time I ever felt that way was when I met Mission Control Flight Director Gene Kranz on a flight from Houston to Boston. However, this might be comparable. Just hope I don’t make a fool of myself talking to any of them. Well…any more so than I normally do.

    Best –

    1. Jeff! That’s awesome! Its 2 a.m. now so the event is likely over, but I hope you enjoyed it to the hilt. Let us know how it was!!🏒

  7. 18 mins 6 seconds before I gave up on this pun-fest. Most of the unfilled entries were in the bottom third. I don’t know from a “whelk” so there was just no way I was ever going to finish this one.

  8. Too tough for me today; breezed through the top 2/3 before getting swamped in the bottom. Managed to clear up the left side but couldn’t break through in the bottom right side. Never heard of a WHELK or LIA or POULTICE or NUM or PRECUT. Same with DRYNOSE but I was able to get that and LIA with crosses.

    Just not my day…

    1. Dirk from yesterday- thanks! Dang, I heard about his piece of metal comment but didn’t know the connection to the scandal…

  9. Aloha y’all!!🦆

    No errors. I was flummoxed by WHELK and thought I had it wrong, but I resisted the temptation to over-work it….the NW gave me problems too. I wrote LEVEE, erased it, wrote it again- did that twice. Finally saw the first themed answer and it helped with the rest.🤗

    A Nonny — congratulations! Enjoy the new pad.

    Be well~~🚋⚾️ wow! Nice to use my baseball emojis again, but I’ll have to suspend after today until it’s the regular season!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.