LA Times Crossword 5 Feb 20, Wednesday

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Constructed by: MaryEllen Uthlaut
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Compacts

Themed clues are the same, i.e. “Compact”:

  • 17A Compact : MAKEUP CONTAINER
  • 39A Compact : FORMAL AGREEMENT
  • 62A Compact : SMALL AUTOMOBILE

Bill’s time: 5m 28s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Twinings products : TEAS

Twinings is a distributor of tea that was founded in England in 1706. That’s a long time ago! The Twinings logo is the oldest continuously-used logo in the world.

14 Hall of Famer Donovan, first woman to coach a WNBA championship team : ANNE

Anne Donovan was a basketball player and coach. She became the first woman to coach a WNBA Championship team when she led the Seattle Storm to the title in 2004. Donovan also represented the US, both as a player and a coach.

15 One-piece dresses : 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.

16 Georgetown athlete : HOYA

The athletic teams of Georgetown University are known as the Hoyas. The name is derived from “Hoya Saxa”, a traditional cheer yelled out at Georgetown games as far back as 1893. The term is a mixture of Greek and Latin, with the Greek word “hoya” meaning “such” or “what”, and “saxa” translating from Latin as “rocks” or “small stones”. The cheer is usually rendered in English as “what rocks!”.

21 Codgers : GEEZERS

“Geezer”, “codger” and “coot” are all not-so-nice terms meaning “old man”.

22 Shorthand writer, for short : STENO

Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

23 Haus husband : HERR

In German, a “Herr” (Mr.) is married to a “Frau” (Mrs.), and they live together in a “Haus” (house).

24 “Apollo 11” org. : NASA

“Apollo 11” is a 2019 documentary film about the famed 1969 moon landing. This remarkable movie consists entirely of archival footage, without any contemporary narration added. Recommended …

27 Solution for contacts : SALINE

The concepts that underpin the technology of contact lenses date back to Leonardo Da Vinci. Although Da Vinci didn’t propose the development of the contact lens, he did write about correcting vision by submerging the eye in a bowl of water. Over a hundred years later, René Descartes made a somewhat impractical suggestion, but along the right lines, of using a glass tube filled with liquid that could be placed in contact with the eye to correct vision. The first real contact lenses were developed by German ophthalmologist Adolf Gaston Eugen Fick in 1887.

38 Fibula neighbor : TIBIA

The tibia is the shin bone, and is the larger of the two bones right below the knee. It is the strongest weight-bearing bone in the human body. “Tibia” is the Roman name for a Greek flute and it is thought that the shin bone was given the same name because flutes were often fashioned out of the shin bones of animals.

The fibula is the calf bone. The fibula lies beside the tibia, with both bones sitting under the femur.

43 Air Quality Index factor : SMOG

“Smog” is a portmanteau formed by melding “smoke” and “fog”. The term was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s. Several cities around the world have a reputation of being particularly smoggy. For example, the most smog-plagued city in Latin America is Mexico City, which is located in a highland “bowl” that traps industrial and vehicle pollution.

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

60 Nutritionist’s unit : CALORIE

I wish we’d stop using the term “calorie”, because it is so confusing. In terms of physics, a calorie is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree celsius (at one atmosphere of pressure). The so-called “food calorie” is one thousand times as large, as it is defined in terms of kilograms instead of grams. In attempts to differentiate between these two definitions, the former is sometimes referred to as the “small calorie” and is given the symbol “cal”. The latter is referred to as the “large calorie” and given the symbol “Cal”, with a capital C. If only we’d use the SI system of units, we’d be think in just joules, instead of large and small and food calories.

65 Aptly named 1955 and 2019 Disney dog : TRAMP

“Lady and the Tramp” is a classic animated feature from Walt Disney that was released in 1955. The title characters are a female American cocker spaniel and a male stray mutt. Who can forget the scene where the Tramp and Lady are “on a date”, and together eat that one strand of spaghetti? So cute! Disney made a 2019 live-action adaptation of the original using the same title.

66 Oboe vibrator : REED

The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”.

67 Tupelo, e. g. : TREE

The tupelo is genus of tree in the dogwood family. The tree gives its name to the city of Tupelo, Mississippi.

Down

5 Snakes in hieroglyphics : ASPS

The venomous snake called an asp was a symbol of royalty in ancient Egypt.

The prefix “hiero-” comes from the Greek word “hieros” meaning sacred or holy. The classic use of the prefix is in the term “hieroglyphics” (meaning “sacred carving”), the writing system that uses symbols and pictures.

9 Daisylike fall flowers : ASTERS

Apparently, most aster species and cultivars bloom relatively late in the year, usually in the fall. The name “aster” comes into English via Latin from the Greek word “astéri” meaning “star”, a reference to the arrangement of the petals of the flower.

12 Open hearing, in law : OYER

“Oyer” is a term used to describe the reading out loud of a document in court.

13 “24K Magic” singer Bruno : MARS

Bruno Mars is a singer-songwriter from Honolulu who has been active in the music business since 2006. “Bruno Mars” is a stage name, as Mars was born Peter Hernandez.

23 Word-guessing game : HANGMAN

The word-guessing game called Hangman seems to have been played first in Victorian England. At one time it was known as “Birds, Beasts and Fishes” as the words to be guessed had to be types of animal.

25 Cobbler’s tool : AWL

An awl is a pointed tool used for marking a surface or for piercing small holes. The earliest “awls” were used to pierce ears, apparently. The tool then became very much associated with shoemakers.

28 Margarita garnish : LIME

No one seems to know for sure who first created the cocktail known as a margarita. The most plausible and oft-quoted is that it was invented in 1941 in Ensenada, Mexico. The barman mixed the drink for an important visitor, the daughter of the German ambassador. The daughter’s name was Margarita Henkel, and she lent her name to the new drink. The basic recipe for a margarita is a mixture of tequila, orange-flavored liqueur (like Cointreau) and lime juice.

29 Goat with recurved horns : IBEX

“Ibex” is a common name for various species of mountain goat. “Ibex” is a Latin name that was used for wild goats found in the Alps and Apennines in Europe.

31 Revived Alton Brown cooking show “Good __” : EATS

Alton Brown is a celebrity chef who is behind the Food Network show “Good Eats”, and is the host of “Iron Chef America”.

33 Olympic vaulter’s need : POLE

The pole vault has been an Olympic event for men since the 1896 games. However, women’s pole vaulting was only introduced at the 2000 games.

35 Indecent matter : SMUT

“Smut” means “dirt, smudge” and more recently “pornographic material”. The term comes from the Yiddish “schmutz”, which is a slang word used in English for dirt, as in “dirt on one’s face”.

46 Piano __ : SONATA

48 46-Down, often : SOLO

A cantata is a piece of music that is sung, as opposed to a sonata, which is a piece that is played on some instrument, often a piano. A sonatina is in effect a sonata that has been labelled as something lighter and shorter.

52 One leading a charmed life? : COBRA

“Cobra” is the name given to a group of snakes, some of which are in different families. The term is reserved for those snakes that can expand their neck ribs to create a hood. The name “cobra” is an abbreviated form of “cobra de capello” which translates from Portuguese as “snake with hood”.

Snake charmers don’t actually hypnotize their cobras, but they do train them. The snake is trained to “follow” the movement of end of the pungi, the instrument that the charmer uses in the act. The snake presents no danger to the charmer or the audience, as it is typically defanged or has it’s mouth partially stitched up so that only the tongue can be moved in and out. Not a very nice practice …

55 Closing documents : DEEDS

That would be the closing of a house sale.

57 Deity with a bow : AMOR

Cupid was the god of love in Roman mythology. Cupid’s name comes from the Latin verb “cupere” meaning “to desire”. Cupid’s Latin name was Amor, and his Greek counterpart was Eros.

61 Concert gear : AMPS

An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

63 Bit of body ink : TAT

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Twinings products : TEAS
5 Wolf pack leader : ALPHA
10 Oft-misused pronoun : WHOM
14 Hall of Famer Donovan, first woman to coach a WNBA championship team : ANNE
15 One-piece dresses : SARIS
16 Georgetown athlete : HOYA
17 Compact : MAKEUP CONTAINER
20 Outshine : ECLIPSE
21 Codgers : GEEZERS
22 Shorthand writer, for short : STENO
23 Haus husband : HERR
24 “Apollo 11” org. : NASA
27 Solution for contacts : SALINE
32 Decides : OPTS
36 Attended, as college, with “to” : WENT …
38 Fibula neighbor : TIBIA
39 Compact : FORMAL AGREEMENT
42 Thumb one’s nose at : FLOUT
43 Air Quality Index factor : SMOG
44 Old flames : EXES
45 Bench-clearing brawls, e.g. : SET-TOS
47 Big fusses : ADOS
49 Grammar, in grammar : NOUN
51 Slices in a pie, often : OCTAD
56 Christmas show : PAGEANT
60 Nutritionist’s unit : CALORIE
62 Compact : SMALL AUTOMOBILE
64 Soaks (up) : SOPS
65 Aptly named 1955 and 2019 Disney dog : TRAMP
66 Oboe vibrator : REED
67 Tupelo, e. g. : TREE
68 Chips in a chip : ANTES
69 Mixes in : ADDS

Down

1 Subdues : TAMES
2 Make into law : ENACT
3 Common sprain site : ANKLE
4 Welcome at the door : SEE IN
5 Snakes in hieroglyphics : ASPS
6 Bodice trim : LACE
7 In favor of : PRO
8 Depend (on) : HINGE
9 Daisylike fall flowers : ASTERS
10 Zoom (by) : WHIZ
11 Refine, as skills : HONE
12 Open hearing, in law : OYER
13 “24K Magic” singer Bruno : MARS
18 Familiar with : UP ON
19 Force gas into : AERATE
23 Word-guessing game : HANGMAN
25 Cobbler’s tool : AWL
26 Swell places? : SEAS
28 Margarita garnish : LIME
29 Goat with recurved horns : IBEX
30 Start of many a workday : NINE
31 Revived Alton Brown cooking show “Good __” : EATS
32 Rip-__: thefts : OFFS
33 Olympic vaulter’s need : POLE
34 Home run pace : TROT
35 Indecent matter : SMUT
37 Stepped heavily : TROD
40 Without a musical key : ATONAL
41 Self-awareness : EGO
46 Piano __ : SONATA
48 46-Down, often : SOLO
50 Difficult move in a busy intersection : U-TURN
52 One leading a charmed life? : COBRA
53 Made an attempt : TRIED
54 Needed to skip work, perhaps : AILED
55 Closing documents : DEEDS
56 “Hey, you!” : PSST!
57 Deity with a bow : AMOR
58 Stare in amazement : GAPE
59 Otherwise : ELSE
60 “The best is yet to __” : COME
61 Concert gear : AMPS
63 Bit of body ink : TAT

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 5 Feb 20, Wednesday”

  1. 5:10 for me today, went pretty fast for a Wednesday. Now I know that Tupelo is also a tree, and that “Oyer” is a particular kind of court hearing. Looking it up, “oyer” is an old French verb meaning “to hear” so that makes sense I guess.

  2. No Goofles, no errors.
    Did not know HOYER, but did know OYER!

    TUPELO is the tree whose blossom is the source of TUPELO honey. Also, van Morrison’s song and album. Both nice.

    Didn’t know Alton Brown or the usual sports refs.

    Did anyone notice there were only 2 3-letter answers?

  3. A tough one, but I trudged through. Just what I needed clear my mind after watching the state of the union dog & pony show last night.
    Eddie

  4. Typical Wednesday sail through.
    One “octad” isn’t a very big piece of the pie.. I think one “quads” (or even a “sixth”) would be more to my liking.

    1. I’ll say for those that might do it that I thought the WSJ was pretty hard today (28:50, no errors) – pretty much typical gibberish in a Chen puzzle. Rougher for anyone else today?

      1. @Glenn. The WSJ grid was a magnitude or 2 more difficult than the LAT’s today, for sure. I did finish the WSJ without final error but a lot of strike overs in the process.

  5. 8 mins 50 sec no errors. Nowhere close to Bill (or Glenn’s) solve times, but still remaining error free for the time being…

  6. Hi every buddy!!🦆

    One error….couldn’t get the Y at HOYA/OYER, so I cheated for that square. I shoulda figured it out. Sometimes if I have a Natick early on I give up more quickly, thinking it’s all downhill and the whole puzzle is blown!! Not a good attitude. 🤔

    @John from yesterday– I’m also wondering where our Jeff is! This might be a busy time for him, work-wise.

    Fred! I’m right there with you on the pie issue!!🥧

    A Nonny Muss! How goes it in the new digs?🤗

    Be well~~🍻

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