LA Times Crossword 24 Feb 20, Monday

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Constructed by: Matt McKinley
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Skip Intro

Themed answers each include the word INTRO, although we have to SKIP some letters to see it:

  • 65A Command to bypass a recap of prior episodes … and what the puzzle circles do : SKIP INTRO
  • 17A Keyboard chamber work : PIANO TRIO
  • 24A Shih Tzu or Chihuahua : MINIATURE DOG
  • 40A Authorize someone to represent you at the shareholder meeting : DESIGNATE A PROXY
  • 52A Personal unrest : INNER TURMOIL

Bill’s time: 5m 07s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Panda Express kitchen items : WOKS

“Wok” is a Cantonese word, and is the name for the frying pan now used in many Asian cuisines.

Panda Express is a restaurant chain specializing in American-Chinese cuisine. The chain was founded in 1983 by husband and wife team Andrew and Peggy Cherng. Andrew opened his first restaurant in 1973 with his father, Master Chef Ming Tsai Cherng from the Yangzhou region of China. That full-service restaurant in Pasadena, California was named the Panda Inn. The Panda Express chain was introduced as a fast-food version of the Panda Inn.

9 Aerospace giant __ & Whitney : PRATT

Pratt & Whitney is a huge manufacturer of aircraft engines that competes with General Electric and Roll-Royce. The company is headquartered in East Hartford, Connecticut.

15 Rapper/actor with a cool name? : ICE-T

Rapper Ice-T must be sick of having his name come up as an answer in crossword puzzles (I know I am!). Born Tracy Marrow, Ice-T has been interested in acting for decades and made his film debut in the 1984 movie about breakdancing called “Breakin’”. He has also played Detective Fin Tutuola in the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” since the year 2000.

16 Talk show host in the National Women’s Hall of Fame : OPRAH

What can you say about Oprah Winfrey that hasn’t been said already? Born into poverty to a single mother and with a harrowing childhood, Oprah is now the greatest African American philanthropist the world has ever known. Oprah’s name was originally meant to be “Orpah” after the Biblical character in the Book of Ruth, and that’s how it appears on her birth certificate. Apparently folks had trouble pronouncing “Orpah”, so she’s now “Oprah”.

The National Women’s Hall of Fame is located in Seneca Falls, New York, which was home to the nation’s first women’s rights convention, in 1848. The Hall was established in 1969, when it was hosted by Eisenhower College, which is also in Seneca Falls. The current facility opened for visitors in 1979. I was lucky enough to spend a very uplifting afternoon there several years ago ….

17 Keyboard chamber work : PIANO TRIO

In the world of chamber music, a trio often includes a piano. Common forms are:

  • Clarinet-cello-piano
  • Clarinet-viola-piano
  • Clarinet-violin-piano

19 Pending state : LIMBO

In the Roman Catholic tradition, “Limbo” is a place where souls can remain who cannot enter heaven. For example, infants who have not been baptized are said to reside in Limbo. Limbo is said to be located on the border of Hell. The name was chosen during the Middle Ages from the Latin “limbo” meaning “ornamental border to a fringe”. We use the phrase “in limbo” in contemporary English to mean “in a state of uncertainty”.

20 Go off-script : AD-LIB

“Ad libitum” is a Latin phrase meaning “at one’s pleasure”. In common usage, the phrase is usually shortened to “ad lib”. On the stage, the concept of an ad lib is very familiar.

21 Indian royal : RAJA

“Raja” (also “rajah”) is a word derived from Sanskrit that is used particularly in India for a monarch or princely ruler. The female form is “rani” (also “ranee”) and is used for a raja’s wife.

23 Very long time : EON

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

24 Shih Tzu or Chihuahua : MINIATURE DOG

The Shih Tzu is one of the oldest breeds of dog, and a breed that originated in China. Shih Tzus have long hairy coats but they don’t shed.

Chihuahua is a state in northern Mexico that shares a border with Texas and New Mexico. Chihuahua is the largest state in the country, so has the nickname “El Estado Grande”. The state takes its name from the Chihuahuan Desert which lies largely within its borders. The Chihuahua breed of dog takes its name from the state.

31 Airer of old films : TCM

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is one of my favorite television channels as it delivers just what its name promises, i.e. classic movies.

32 Kindle download : APP

Amazon’s Kindle line of e-book readers was introduced in 2007. The name “kindle” was chosen to evoke images of “lighting a fire” through reading and intellectual stimulation. I bought myself a Kindle Fire HD several years ago. I started reading e-books for the first time in my life, as well as enjoying other computing options available with the tablet device …

33 Norse royal name : OLAV

Of the many kings of Norway named Olaf/Olav (and there have been five), Olaf II is perhaps the most celebrated, as he was canonized and made the patron saint of the country. Olaf II was king from 1015 to 1028 and was known as “Olaf the Big” (or “Olaf the Fat”) during his reign. Today he is more commonly referred to as “Olaf the Holy”. After Olaf died he was given the title of “Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae”, which is Latin for “Norway’s Eternal King”.

40 Authorize someone to represent you at the shareholder meeting : DESIGNATE A PROXY

Our word “proxy”, meaning “the agency of one who acts instead of another”, comes from the Latin “procurare” meaning “to manage”. So, “proxy” has the same root as our word “procure”.

46 Fellows : MEN

Our word “fellow”, meaning “comrade, associate”, is related to our word “fee”. Both terms are rooted in the Old Norse “fe” meaning “money”. The idea is that a “fellow” might “lay down” a “fee” to participate in a joint venture.

47 Pontiac muscle car : GTO

The Pontiac GTO was produced by GM from 1964 to 1974, and again by a GM subsidiary in Australia from 2004 to 2006. The original GTO’s design is credited to Pontiac chief engineer at the time John DeLorean, who later founded the DeLorean Motor Company.

57 __ Paulo : SAO

São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. It is also the city with the highest number of helicopters in the world. This is partly driven by the horrendous traffic jams in São Paulo, but also by the wealthy having a very real fear of being kidnapped on the city’s streets.

58 Bruins star Phil, to fans : ESPO

Phil “Espo” Esposito is a former professional hockey player who played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. Espo scored 126 points in the 1969 season, hence becoming the first NHL player to score 100 points in a season.

The Boston Bruins professional ice hockey team goes way back, and has been in existence since 1924. The National Hockey League back then was a Canadian-only league, but was expanded to include the US in 1923. The Bruins were the first US-team in the expanded league.

59 Eye surgery acronym : LASIK

LASIK surgery uses a laser to reshape the cornea of the eye to improve vision. The LASIK acronym stands for “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis”.

63 Singer Ronstadt : LINDA

Linda Ronstadt is a singer-songwriter from Tucson, Arizona. Ronstadt really does have a lovely voice, and is someone who can make any song her own. In the late seventies, she was the highest-paid woman in the world of rock music.

69 “Electric” fish : EELS

“Electrophorus electricus” is the biological name for the electric eel. Despite its name, the electric “eel” isn’t an eel at all, but rather what is called a knifefish, a fish with an elongated body that is related to the catfish. The electric eel has three pairs of organs along its abdomen, each capable of generating an electric discharge. The shock can go as high as 500 volts with 1 ampere of current (500 watts), and that could perhaps kill a human.

72 Deuce topper : TREY

A trey is a three in a deck of cards. The term “trey” can also be used for a domino with three pips, and even a three-point play in basketball.

A “two” playing card might be called a “deuce”, from the Middle French “deus” (or Modern French “deux”) meaning “two”.

73 Smoochy love letter letters : SWAK

“SWAK” is an initialism standing for “sealed with a kiss”. SWAK, and the related SWALK (sealed with a loving kiss), are postal acronyms that originated during WWII.

Down

1 Cantina snack : TAPA

“Tapa” is the Spanish word for “lid”, and there is no clear rationale for why this word came to be used for an appetizer. There are lots of explanations cited, all of which seem to involve the temporary covering of one’s glass of wine with a plate or item of food to either preserve the wine or give one extra space at the table.

2 Oklahoma city : ENID

Enid, Oklahoma takes its name from the old railroad station around which the city developed. Back in 1889, that train stop was called Skeleton Station. An official who didn’t like the name changed it to Enid Station, using a character from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King”. Maybe if he hadn’t changed the name, the city of Enid would now be called Skeleton, Oklahoma! Enid has the nickname “Queen Wheat City” because is has a huge capacity for storing grain, the third largest grain storage capacity in the world.

4 Jeans : DENIMS

Denim fabric originated in Nimes in France. The French phrase “de Nimes” (meaning “from Nimes”) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (meaning “blue of Genoa”) gives us our word “jeans”.

6 Text digitization meth. : OCR

Optical character recognition (OCR) is the conversion of scanned typewritten text into digital text. Basically, OCR is the conversion of an image into a text document.

7 Knightley of “Love, Actually” : KEIRA

English actress Keira Knightley had her big break in the movies when she co-starred in 2002’s “Bend It Like Beckham”. Knightley played one of my favorite movie roles, Elizabeth Bennett in 2005’s “Pride and Prejudice”. Knightley won a Golden Globe for that performance, although that 2005 film isn’t the best adaptation of Austen’s novel in my humble opinion …

8 Brown ermine : STOAT

The stoat has dark brown fur in the summer, and white fur in the winter. Sometimes the term “ermine” is used for the animal during the winter when the fur is white. Ermine skins have long been prized by royalty and are often used for white trim on ceremonial robes.

9 Frigid zone ice formation : POLAR CAP

The polar ice cap at the north of our planet is floating pack ice in the Arctic Ocean. The southern polar ice cap is an ice sheet that covers the landmass known as Antarctica. About 70% of all the freshwater on Earth is held in the southern polar ice cap.

10 N.Y. tech school : RPI

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a private school in Troy, New York. The university is named after its founder Stephen Van Rensselaer who set up the school in 1824. The goal of RPI has always been the “application of science to the common purposes of life”, an objective set by the founder. Given that, the name for the school’s sports teams is quite apt: the Engineers.

12 It’s forbidden : TABOO

The word “taboo” was introduced into English by Captain Cook in his book “A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean”. Cook described “tabu” (likely imitative of a Tongan word that he had heard) as something that was both consecrated and forbidden.

18 Column that aptly includes the letters BIO : OBIT

Our word “obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”. The Latin term was used for “record of the death of a person”, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

25 Sign gas : NEON

Neon was discovered in 1898 by two British chemists Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers. They chilled a sample of air, turning it into a liquid. They then warmed that liquid and separated out the gases that boiled off. Along with nitrogen, oxygen and argon (already known), the pair of scientists discovered two new gases. The first they called “krypton” and the second “neon”. “Krypton” is Greek for “the hidden one” and “neon” is Greek for “new”.

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.

27 Mideast bigwig : EMIR

An emir is a prince or chieftain, one most notably from the Middle East. In English, “emir” can also be written variously as “emeer, amir, ameer” (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).

A bigwig is someone important. The use of the term “bigwig” harks back to the days when men of authority and rank wore … big wigs.

28 Magazines with Alfred E. Neuman : MADS

Alfred E. Neuman is the mascot of “Mad” magazine, although the image of the smiling, jug-eared youth had been around for decades before the magazine. “Mad” first used the likeness in 1955, and young Mr. Neuman has appeared on the cover of almost every issue of the magazine since then. Neuman’s name was inspired by American composer Alfred Newman, a prolific writer of film scores.

29 Intl. oil group : OPEC

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in 1960 at a conference held in Baghdad, Iraq that was attended by Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Nine more countries joined the alliance soon after, and OPEC set up headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and then Vienna, Austria in 1965. The basic aim of OPEC was to wrest control of oil prices from the oil companies and put it in the hands of the sovereign states that own the natural resource.

30 __ facto : IPSO

“Ipso facto” is Latin, meaning “by the fact itself”. Ipso facto describes something that is a direct consequence of particular act, as opposed to something that is the result of some subsequent event. For example, my father was born in Dublin and was an Irish citizen ipso facto. My son was born in California and is an Irish citizen by virtue of being the son of an Irish citizen (i.e. “not” ipso facto).

35 Snake’s poison : VENOM

Antivenom (also “antivenin”) is made by extracting venom from say a snake (so called “milking”) and then diluting it and injecting it into a host animal (like a cat, horse or sheep). The animal undergoes an immune response and produces antibodies to neutralize the poison. The antibodies are harvested from the animal’s blood and are stored for use with victims who are bitten by the same snake, or by some other creature that injects the same or a similar venom. I guess antivenom might also be called antiserum …

37 Capital of Italia : ROMA

In Italian, “Roma” (Rome) is the “capitale” (capital) of “Italia” (Italy).

39 Unit of force : DYNE

A dyne is a unit of force. The name “dyne” comes from the Greek “dynamis” meaning “power, force”. Ergs and dynes are related to each other in that one erg is the amount of energy needed to move a force of one dyne over a distance of one centimeter.

41 “Picnic” dramatist : INGE

Playwright William Inge had a run of success on Broadway in the early fifties. Inge’s most celebrated work of that time is the play “Picnic”, for which he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. The original 1953 cast of “Picnic” included a young male actor making his debut on Broadway. His name was Paul Newman. Many of Inge’s works are set in the American heartland and so he became known as the “Playwright of the Midwest”.

48 Tense NBA periods : OTS

Overtime (OT)

50 Taylor of “Mystic Pizza” : LILI

Actress Lili Taylor had supporting roles in films like “Mystic Pizza”, “The Haunting” and “Rudy”. She also had a recurring role in the HBO series “Six Feet Under”.

“Mystic Pizza” is a coming-of-age film released in 1988. Included in the cast are Annabeth Gish and Julia Roberts. If you watch closely, you’ll also see Matt Damon speaking his first line in a movie. The title refers to the name of a pizza restaurant located in Mystic, Connecticut.

51 Largest living antelopes : ELANDS

The eland (plural “eland, elands”) is a large African antelope, in fact the largest antelope on the planet. Both male and female eland have horns, and those horns have a steady spiral ridge along their length.

52 Muslim religion : ISLAM

Over 50% of the world’s population consider themselves to be adherents of the “big three” Abrahamic religions: Christianity (2-2.2 billion), Islam (1.6-1.7 billion) and Judaism (14-18 million).

56 “Today” weather anchor : ROKER

As part of a fundraiser to benefit the military and USO, weatherman Al Roker did a non-stop, 34-hour weather forecast on NBC in November, 2014. The event was nicknamed a “Roker-thon”, and set a new Guinness World Record. Roker reproduced the event in different forms in 2015 and 2017. For Roker-thon 2, Al reported on the weather from all fifty states and Washington, D.C. in the same week. For Roker-thon 3, he visiting colleges around the country and participated in record-setting stunts such as the longest conga line on ice, and the largest human letter.

60 Crock-Pot dinner : STEW

We often use the term “crockpot” as an alternative for “slow cooker”. The generic term comes from the trademark “Crock-Pot”, which is now owned by Sunbeam products.

61 Hogwarts librarian __ Pince : IRMA

In the “Harry Potter” universe, Irma Pince is the librarian at Hogwarts. Ms. Pince is a severe woman, and is said to look like an “underfed vulture”. Pince is played on the big screen by English actress Sally Mortemore.

62 Screwball : KOOK

The original screwball was a delivery in the sport of cricket. That term “screwball” was imported into baseball in the 1920s, and applied to an erratic baseball pitch. By the 1930s, a screwball was an eccentric and erratic person.

66 Land in l’eau : ILE

In French, an “île” (island) is “terre dans la mer” (land in the sea).

67 Future therapist’s maj. : PSY

Psychology (psy.)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 On a peg, as a golf ball : TEED
5 Panda Express kitchen items : WOKS
9 Aerospace giant __ & Whitney : PRATT
14 Pre-deal payment : ANTE
15 Rapper/actor with a cool name? : ICE-T
16 Talk show host in the National Women’s Hall of Fame : OPRAH
17 Keyboard chamber work : PIANO TRIO
19 Pending state : LIMBO
20 Go off-script : AD-LIB
21 Indian royal : RAJA
23 Very long time : EON
24 Shih Tzu or Chihuahua : MINIATURE DOG
28 Wet just a bit : MOISTEN
31 Airer of old films : TCM
32 Kindle download : APP
33 Norse royal name : OLAV
36 Was shown on TV : AIRED
40 Authorize someone to represent you at the shareholder meeting : DESIGNATE A PROXY
44 Tea biscuit : SCONE
45 Sank, with “down” : WENT …
46 Fellows : MEN
47 Pontiac muscle car : GTO
49 Financed like many fleet cars : ON LEASE
52 Personal unrest : INNER TURMOIL
57 __ Paulo : SAO
58 Bruins star Phil, to fans : ESPO
59 Eye surgery acronym : LASIK
63 Singer Ronstadt : LINDA
65 Command to bypass a recap of prior episodes … and what the puzzle circles do : SKIP INTRO
68 Make sure not to see : AVOID
69 “Electric” fish : EELS
70 Product preview : DEMO
71 Like a bad breakup : MESSY
72 Deuce topper : TREY
73 Smoochy love letter letters : SWAK

Down

1 Cantina snack : TAPA
2 Oklahoma city : ENID
3 And others: Abbr. : ET AL
4 Jeans : DENIMS
5 Quipster : WIT
6 Text digitization meth. : OCR
7 Knightley of “Love, Actually” : KEIRA
8 Brown ermine : STOAT
9 Frigid zone ice formation : POLAR CAP
10 N.Y. tech school : RPI
11 Carrying a weapon : ARMED
12 It’s forbidden : TABOO
13 Skimpy swimsuit : THONG
18 Column that aptly includes the letters BIO : OBIT
22 Stick (out) : JUT
25 Sign gas : NEON
26 Relative via marriage : IN-LAW
27 Mideast bigwig : EMIR
28 Magazines with Alfred E. Neuman : MADS
29 Intl. oil group : OPEC
30 __ facto : IPSO
34 Had lunch : ATE
35 Snake’s poison : VENOM
37 Capital of Italia : ROMA
38 They aren’t together anymore : EXES
39 Unit of force : DYNE
41 “Picnic” dramatist : INGE
42 Prepare (for) : GET READY
43 __ extra cost : AT NO
48 Tense NBA periods : OTS
50 Taylor of “Mystic Pizza” : LILI
51 Largest living antelopes : ELANDS
52 Muslim religion : ISLAM
53 Hardly worldly : NAIVE
54 They’re forbidden : NO-NOS
55 Unexpected win : UPSET
56 “Today” weather anchor : ROKER
60 Crock-Pot dinner : STEW
61 Hogwarts librarian __ Pince : IRMA
62 Screwball : KOOK
64 Prefix with card or count : DIS-
66 Land in l’eau : ILE
67 Future therapist’s maj. : PSY

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 24 Feb 20, Monday”

  1. Argh. This went super fast — until … I got all messed up in the top middle. Had no idea for Keira. Then I put in RKO or RCA for airer of old movies, which then screwed up stick (out) and — well, you all know how it can go sometimes.

  2. It’s Monday, and I had a Google and an error! I had to Google for SWAK, and then Google SWAK to see what it stood for. I thought it had to be something with O and X. As I get older, I’m sure to have more of these.
    The error was LAZIK. I had LASER, which means I also erred with IRMA and KOOK. Of course , I never heard of IRMA, as well as LILI, KEIRA, all actresses in newer movies; and also never heard of OCR. I watched Wonder Woman last night. Mostly ouldn’t stand it, but some good acting. I’m too old for Sci-Fi, or I need more plausible science in it.

  3. It’s Monday, and I had a Google and an error! I had to Google for SWAK, and then Google SWAK to see what it stood for. I thought it had to be something with O and X. As I get older, I’m sure to have more of these.
    The error was LAZIK. I had LASER, which means I also erred with IRMA and KOOK. Of course , I never heard of IRMA, as well as LILI, KEIRA, all actresses in newer movies; and also never heard of OCR. I watched Wonder Woman last night. Mostly couldn’t stand it, but some good acting. I’m too old for Sci-Fi, or I need more plausible science in it.

  4. 6:42. The wording of the reveal (65A) is troubling to me. The circles don’t SKIP INTRO. To the contrary, the circles go right to the intro. They illustrate it. Maybe they skip TO the intro?

    I’ll stop now or I’ll spend all day worrying about this..

    Best –

    1. Circles are used in puzzles to highlight certain letters. What’s happening is that INTRO is spread out within the entries (or “skipped”). One consistent criticism I can make of these crossword puzzles is how ham-handed they are in their themes and revealers – today being a good example. Of course, I can note that language and how it’s used is a consistent problem in all the crossword puzzles I see. As I understand it, Rich Norris likes explicit theme revealers (the letters being circled reveal the theme well enough on this one) and would rather than have them than not in accepted puzzles.

  5. Ugh! 9:15 to complete a Monday puzzle… top center just wouldn’t come together for me… Well, at least I did emerge error free…

  6. 4:12 … thought it was an interesting theme that generated some unusually long answers for a Monday puzzle. That made it feel kinda fresh to me.

  7. Yes, the lower SE was odd. I got “sw_k” and just didn’t fill it in after I thought I’d finish. It should have been indicated that it wasn’t an actual word IMO. I seem to do better when I don’t over think it and just put in what work with the crosses. I can do that early in the week, but later……..no.

  8. 3 errors and 1 omission for a pretty good 98%, letter basis.
    All mishaps were in that infamous SE quadrant. I used
    ENTRY for INTRO, misspelled LASIK (used X) and didn’t
    know SWAK (the K).

    Some great times, guys.

  9. Aloha y’all!!🦆

    OMG was today THURSDAY??! …. is what I thought when I hit that center top, as well as the NE. Almost rage-quit. I didn’t know OCR or PRATT and was unsure of STOAT. Tony– chain collision indeed!!😠

    Survived with no errors– but my biggest problem here is the misdirect of the clue for PIANO TRIO. The clue “Keyboard chamber work” suggests a composed piece, like a sonata. It should have read “Keyboard chamber combo!!” IMO anyway…..even once I figured it out I didn’t want to write it.🤔

    After that mess, I found the puzzle Monday-easy. I think I was stressed out going into this anyway; I’d headed out to the pharmacy shortly after noon, and I got STUCK in bumpertobumper traffic. Had to go a mile out of my way before I could make a turn and backtrack to the darn pharmacy. It wasn’t till I finally got home that I found out I had gotten caught in traffic leaving downtown LA, where a memorial for Kobe was held at the Staples Center. 🏀

    Be well ~~

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