LA Times Crossword 1 Jan 21, Friday

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Constructed by: Robin Stears
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Godly Expressions

Happy New Year, everyone! Themed answers each sound like a common expression, but actually refer to a god:

  • 17A Zeus’ nickname for his relentlessly tenacious wife? : HERA THE DOG (sounds like “hair of the dog”)
  • 26A “What else do you expect from the god of the Underworld”? : HADES GONNA HATE (sounds like “haters gonna hate”)
  • 40A Allows Persephone’s mother to compete in a marathon? : LETS DEMETER RUN (sounds like “lets the meter run”)
  • 50A How Spanish fighters refer to the Greek god of war? : BUENOS ARES (sounds like “Buenos Aires”)

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 12m 23s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Tammany Hall caricaturist : NAST

Thomas Nast was an American caricaturist and cartoonist. He was the creator of the Republican Party elephant, the Democratic Party donkey, Uncle Sam and the image of the plump and jocular Santa Claus that we use today. Thomas Nast drew some famous cartoons in which he depicted the Tammany Society as a vicious tiger that was killing democracy. Nast’s use of the tiger symbology caught on and was used by other cartoonists to harp at the society.

The building known as Tammany Hall was home to the Tammany Society, an organization in New York City that came to be the political machine behind the Democratic Party that held sway in New York State from the late-18th century to the mid-20th century. The society was named for Tamanend, a leader of the Native American Lenape people.

16 100 centavos : PESO

“Centavo” is a Spanish and Portuguese word, and is used for the coin that represents 1/100 of the basic monetary unit of quite a few countries, including Cuba. “Centavo” comes from the Latin “centum” meaning “one hundred” and “-avo” meaning “portion, fraction”.

The peso is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

17 Zeus’ nickname for his relentlessly tenacious wife? : HERA THE DOG (sounds like “hair of the dog”)

In Greek mythology, Hera was the wife of Zeus and the goddess of women, marriage, family and childbirth. She was noted for her jealous and vengeful nature, particularly against those who vied for the affections of her husband. The equivalent character to Hera in Roman mythology was Juno. Hera was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea.

The hair of the dog is an alcoholic drink that is taken to lessen the symptoms of an existing hangover. The expression is written more completely as “the hair of the dog that bit you”. It originated with the belief that if a dog bit someone, placing some hairs of the dog into the wound would fend off the potential of rabies. The more contemporary practise is to treat a hangover with a glass of the same alcoholic drink that caused it in the first place.

19 Rowing exercise targets : LATS

The muscles known as the “lats” are the latissimi dorsi, and are the broadest muscles in the back. “Latissimus” is the Latin for “broadest” and “dorsum” is Latin for “back”.

20 Gunk : CRUD

“Gunk” is a thick greasy substance. The original “Gunk” was a brand of thick liquid soap that was patented in 1932.

21 “Ciao __”: long-running cooking show : ITALIA

Mary Ann Esposito is a celebrity chef. Her PBS show “Ciao Italia with Mary Ann Esposito” has been on the air since 1989, making it the longest-running cooking program in the US.

23 Ginnie __: investments : MAES

“Ginnie Mae” is the familiar nickname for the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA), a government-owned corporation created in 1968 with the objective of promoting home ownership. The “Ginnie Mae” nickname is derived from the “GNMA” abbreviation.

26 “What else do you expect from the god of the Underworld”? : HADES GONNA HATE (sounds like “haters gonna hate”)

Hades was the god of the underworld to the ancient Greeks. Over time, Hades gave his name to the underworld itself, the place where the dead reside. The term “Hades” was also adopted into the Christian tradition, as an alternative name for hell. But, the concept of hell in Christianity is more akin to the Greek “Tartarus”, which is a dark and gloomy dungeon located in Hades, a place of suffering and torment.

31 1970s first family : FORDS

Gerald Ford was the only person to have served as both Vice President and President of the US, without having been elected to those positions. Ford was nominated by President Richard Nixon to replace Vice President Spiro Agnew after he resigned in 1973. Vice President Ford assumed the presidency the following year after President Nixon resigned.

Betty Ford was the First Lady and wife of President Gerald Ford, who was in office from 1973 to 1974. Betty Ford was forced to face her alcoholism and addiction to painkillers when her family staged an intervention in 1978. She managed to recover and then famously co-founded the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California which treats victims of chemical dependency.

35 Feast where the Haggadah is read : SEDER

The Haggadah is an ancient Jewish text that is traditionally read aloud at the Passover seder. The Haggadah (“telling” in Hebrew) acts as a guide to the seder ritual, which commemorates the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt.

36 Penny-farthing, for one : BIKE

The first bicycle was the penny-farthing, which had a very large front wheel and a relatively small rear wheel. The name “penny-farthing” was a reference to the British coins, with an old penny being quite large, and a farthing being very small.

38 Milky stones : OPALS

An opal is often described as having a milky iridescence known as opalescence.

40 Allows Persephone’s mother to compete in a marathon? : LETS DEMETER RUN (sounds like “lets the meter run”)

In Greek mythology, Demeter was the goddess of the harvest. Her Roman equivalent was Ceres.

In Greek mythology, Persephone was made queen of the underworld after having been abducted by Hades, the god of the underworld.

43 Windblown silt : LOESS

Loess is a wind-blown accumulation of silt. The word “loess” is German in origin and was first used to describe silt along the Rhine Valley.

45 Honda model : ACCORD

Honda started manufacturing its Accord model in Marysville, Ohio in 1982, making the Accord the first Japanese car to be produced in the US. The Accord was the best-selling Japanese car in America from 1982 to 1997, and 1989 was the first import to become the best-selling car in the US.

48 Keaton role in “The Founder” : KROC

The original McDonald’s restaurant was opened in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald as a barbecue restaurant. The brothers then moved into fast food hamburgers, eventually selling out to one of their franchise agents, Ray Kroc. It was Ray Kroc who really led the company to its worldwide success. He was played by Michael Keaton in the movie about Ray Kroc’s business life called “The Founder”.

49 Uneven do : SHAG

A shag cut is a layered hairstyle. Actress Meg Ryan famously sported a shag cut for many years, as did fellow actress Farrah Fawcett.

50 How Spanish fighters refer to the Greek god of war? : BUENOS ARES (sounds like “Buenos Aires”)

The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and the Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina, and is located on the estuary of the Ria de la Plata. As it is a port city, the people of Buenos Aires are known as porteños (“people of the port”). The name “Buenos Aires” can be translated from Spanish as “fair winds”.

57 __ All: car care brand : ARMOR

The Armor All line of car care products was introduced in 1972, although back then the brand was known as “Trid-on”. The latter name is “no dirt” spelled backwards.

58 2000 candidate : GORE

George W. Bush won the 2000 US presidential election over Al Gore despite losing the popular vote. The result of the electoral college effectively came down to a narrow margin of votes in Florida, which triggered a recount. Eventually, the US Supreme made a decision that effectively stopped the recount, and allowed a vote certification for candidate Bush to stand. President Bush wasn’t the first candidate to take the office without winning the popular vote. Three earlier presidents came to office in the same way : John Quincy Adams (1824), Rutherford B. Hayes (1876) and Benjamin Harrison (1888). Subsequently, Donald J. Trump (2016) did the same thing.

61 Microsoft browser : EDGE

The Microsoft Edge web browser was introduced in 2015 as a replacement for Internet Explorer. As of 2020, Microsoft Edge has 10% of the web browser market, second only to Google Chrome that dominates with 70% market share.

Down

3 Big __ : SUR

Big Sur is a lovely part of the California Coast located south of Monterey and Carmel. The name “Big Sur” comes from the original Spanish description of the area as “el sur grande” meaning “the big south”.

4 Ceylon gunpowder container : TEA CADDY

Gunpowder tea is a mainly Chinese green tea in which the leaves are rolled into small pellets. Apparently the resulting grains of tea resemble black powder, giving the name “gunpowder tea”. There is also a variety known as Formosa gunpowder grown in Taiwan, and a Ceylon gunpowder grown in Sri Lanka.

5 Go downhill fast : SCHUSS

A schuss is a very fast run downhill in skiing, one with no turns taken to slow the pace of the descent. “Schuss” is a German word for “shot”.

8 GI entertainers : USO

The United Service Organization (USO) was founded in 1941 at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt “to handle the on-leave recreation of the men in the armed forces”. A USO tour is undertaken by a troupe of entertainers, many of whom are big-name celebrities. A USO tour usually includes troop locations in combat zones.

The initialism “GI” stands for “Government Issue”, and not “General Infantry” as is widely believed. “GI” was first used in the military to denote equipment made from Galvanized Iron and during WWI, incoming German shells were nicknamed “GI cans”. Soon after, the term GI came to be associated with “Government Issue” and eventually became an adjective to describe anything associated with the Army.

10 Amount of vermouth in a dry martini : SPLASH

The term “martini” probably takes its name from the “Martini & Rossi” brand of dry vermouth, although no one seems to be completely sure. What is clear is that despite the Martini name originating in Italy, the martini drink originated in the US. The original martini was made with gin and sweet vermouth, but someone specifying a “dry” martini was given gin and dry vermouth. Nowadays we use dry vermouth for all martinis, and the term “dry” has become a reference to how little vermouth is included in the drink. Famously, Noël Coward liked his drink very dry and said that a perfect martini is made by “filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy”. The German-American journalist and satirist H. L. Mencken referred to the martini as “the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet”.

12 Piedmont wine region : ASTI

Asti is a city in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.

13 “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” detective Diaz : ROSA

Argentine-American actress Stephanie Beatriz is best known for her role on the comedy show “Brookly Nine-Nine”, playing Detective Rosa Diaz.

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is a sitcom set in the 99th precinct of the NYPD in Brooklyn. Star of the show is “Saturday Night Live” alum Andy Samberg, who plays Detective Jake Peralta.

18 Beech and peach : TREES

Beech bark is very thin and delicate, and is often scarred by people carving their initials or other forms of graffiti. These markings are permanent because the tree cannot heal itself. There is also a fungal infection that damages the American beech that is called beech bark disease, which can be fatal to the tree.

There are two broad categories of peaches: freestones and clingstones. Clingstones (also “cling peaches”) have flesh that clings tightly to the pit. Freestones are easier to consume as the flesh separates easily from the pit.

23 Burrowing rodent : MARMOT

Marmots are large ground squirrels. Included in the genus is the famous groundhog, but not the equally famous prairie dog.

26 Multitude : HORDE

A horde is a large crowd. “Horde” ultimately derives from the Turkish “ordu” meaning “camp, army”.

29 T-Rex on a Monopoly board : TOKEN

The tokens included with a game of Monopoly have changed over the years. Two of the more interesting tokens are the battleship and cannon. These were created by Hasbro for a board game called Conflict. When Conflict failed in the market, the excess tokens were recycled and included with Monopoly.

30 Sources of Roquefort : EWES

Roquefort is a cheese made from sheep milk. It comes from the commune of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon in the South of France.

35 Fighter’s training apparatus : SPEED BAG

A speed bag is an air-filled punching bag hung vertically and used by boxers in training. Working out with a speed bag has many benefits, one of which is helping the boxer keep his or her hands up to protect the head.

36 1996 Robin Williams comedy, with “The” : … BIRDCAGE

The musical “La Cage aux Folles” opened on Broadway in 1985. It is an adaptation of the French play of the same name by Jean Poiret that was first staged in 1973. I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing the stage play nor the musical, but I love the wonderful movie adaptation called “The Birdcage”, which was released in 1996. The film has a very strong cast that includes Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman and Hank Azaria.

38 Gas leak tip-off : ODOR

Natural gas that is piped into our homes is naturally odorless. A tiny amount of odorant is added to assist in the detection of leaks. A common additive is tert-Butylthiol, which is said to impart the smell of rotten eggs.

41 L’Oréal’s “Because We’re Worth It,” e.g. : SLOGAN

L’Oréal is a French cosmetics company, the largest cosmetics and beauty company in the world. Here in the US, L’Oréal runs a “Women of Worth” program that honors women who volunteer in their communities. The phrase “Women of Worth” underlines the longstanding L’Oréal slogan “Because I’m worth it”, which evolved into “Because you’re worth it” and eventually “Because we’re worth it”.

45 Nile serpents : ASPS

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

46 Dry and crack : CHAP

The verb “to chap” means “to crack”, and has been used to describe a crack in the skin since way back in the 14th century.

47 Delevingne of “Suicide Squad” : CARA

Cara Delevingne is a model and actress from England. One might say that Delevingne was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. She is descended from two Lord Mayors of London, her maternal grandmother was lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret, and her godmother is actress Joan Collins.

“Suicide Squad” is superhero film released in 2016, although the title characters are a team of DC Comics “antiheroes”. I haven’t seen the film (I don’t really do superhero movies) but the plot reminds me of 1967’s “The Dirty Dozen”. A government agency puts together a team of supervillains to carry out a dangerous mission in exchange for reduced prison sentences.

48 Macramé basic : KNOT

Macramé is a way to make cloth that uses a knotting technique rather than weaving or knitting. Macramé was popularised at sea, where sailors would decorate the likes of knife handles, bottles and even parts of the ship.

51 Business card letters : URL

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a Uniform Resource Locator (URL).

54 Indoor rower, for short : ERG

An indoor rowing machine is often referred to as an ergometer (or simply “erg”). However, the term “ergometer” really applies to a device that measures the amount of work performed.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Tammany Hall caricaturist : NAST
5 Nursery buy : SHRUB
10 Trade jabs : SPAR
14 Accurate : TRUE
15 Discontinue : CEASE
16 100 centavos : PESO
17 Zeus’ nickname for his relentlessly tenacious wife? : HERA THE DOG (sounds like “hair of the dog”)
19 Rowing exercise targets : LATS
20 Gunk : CRUD
21 “Ciao __”: long-running cooking show : ITALIA
23 Ginnie __: investments : MAES
24 Feasts : DINES
26 “What else do you expect from the god of the Underworld”? : HADES GONNA HATE (sounds like “haters gonna hate”)
31 1970s first family : FORDS
32 Partner, often : LOVER
33 At the moment : NOW
34 Major employer : ARMY
35 Feast where the Haggadah is read : SEDER
36 Penny-farthing, for one : BIKE
37 Vow avowal : I DO
38 Milky stones : OPALS
39 What “x” may mean : TIMES
40 Allows Persephone’s mother to compete in a marathon? : LETS DEMETER RUN (sounds like “lets the meter run”)
43 Windblown silt : LOESS
44 Purges : RIDS
45 Honda model : ACCORD
48 Keaton role in “The Founder” : KROC
49 Uneven do : SHAG
50 How Spanish fighters refer to the Greek god of war? : BUENOS ARES (sounds like “Buenos Aires”)
56 Prefix for an assistant : PARA-
57 __ All: car care brand : ARMOR
58 2000 candidate : GORE
59 From tip-to-tip : SPAN
60 Fills to the gills : GLUTS
61 Microsoft browser : EDGE

Down

1 __ degree : NTH
2 We may precede it, but I can’t : ARE
3 Big __ : SUR
4 Ceylon gunpowder container : TEA CADDY
5 Go downhill fast : SCHUSS
6 Obey : HEED
7 “Way cool, dude!” : RAD!
8 GI entertainers : USO
9 One who has all the luck? : BEGINNER
10 Amount of vermouth in a dry martini : SPLASH
11 Ring out : PEAL
12 Piedmont wine region : ASTI
13 “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” detective Diaz : ROSA
18 Beech and peach : TREES
22 Something shed : TEAR
23 Burrowing rodent : MARMOT
24 Marginal drawings : DOODLES
25 Use money to make money : INVEST
26 Multitude : HORDE
27 Sparkles : GLEAMS
28 Bad blood : ANIMUS
29 T-Rex on a Monopoly board : TOKEN
30 Sources of Roquefort : EWES
31 Fall flat : FAIL
35 Fighter’s training apparatus : SPEED BAG
36 1996 Robin Williams comedy, with “The” : … BIRDCAGE
38 Gas leak tip-off : ODOR
39 Small combos : TRIOS
41 L’Oréal’s “Because We’re Worth It,” e.g. : SLOGAN
42 Bloopers : ERRORS
45 Nile serpents : ASPS
46 Dry and crack : CHAP
47 Delevingne of “Suicide Squad” : CARA
48 Macramé basic : KNOT
51 Business card letters : URL
52 Bird on Australian coins : EMU
53 Towel holder : ROD
54 Indoor rower, for short : ERG
55 Go out with : SEE

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 1 Jan 21, Friday”

  1. Nothing eventful today.. thanks glen for link to Grabowski yesterday.. appreciate that.
    OMG, its 2021!!!!!!!

    1. You’re not missing anything Corky. It’s just another example of FORCING something to work in a grid when it just doesn’t work. And not having an editor with the judgment to see that, and reject such slapdash work before we have to contend with it.

  2. 55:335 and I had chip for chap in what IMO was a ver tough puzzle with a lot of “never heard ofs”.
    Is this what 2021 is going to be like?
    Everyone have a happy and safe New Year.😀
    Go Ravens 🙏

  3. 18 minutes, 41 seconds, 2 errors where ARMY and MARMOT cross.

    Not a great thing to wake up to a new year and your first puzzle is a punfest, full of disingenous clues and nonsense. Hope this isn’t an omen…

  4. Regarding the drive martini, I’m amused by Auntie Mame’s method of teaching her nephew how to make an extra dry martini. After putting the ice cubes in the shaker, she pours in a large amount of dry vermouth, stirs it, then dumps out all the vermouth leaving the ice cubes coated. The resulting martini is truly extra dry.
    Did you know that a Gibson is an extra dry martini (gin or vodka) served with a pearl onion instead of the usual green olive?

  5. Tricky puns.
    @Corky – HADES could sound like haters in those parts of the country where the letter “r” is dropped at the end of the word. This would be parts of the South and parts of downstate NY.

    I had to Google for SPEEDBAG, the last syllable, my usual sports deficiency. There were several “never heard ofs” completed with good guesses. Yesterday, there were too many possible Googles to bother with.

  6. Whaaat? I didn’t know about httpss://www.nyxcrossword.com/

    I’d been wishing there were a blog like that this for the nytimes puzzle.

  7. Tough Friday for me; took 23:36 with three peeks via “check-grid” after getting irritated with SPEE__A_ and _L_GAN, among two other squares. Top half was pretty easy as was most of the bottom half…

    I did real well with all my other puzzles, so that’s something.

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