LA Times Crossword 11 Jan 21, Monday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Add G, Add S

Themed answers each comprise two words. The first is a noun followed by a letter G, the second is the same noun followed by a letter S:

  • 20A Providing post-bath garb to red-breasted singers? : ROBING ROBINS
  • 31A Doing poorly in baking class? : MUFFING MUFFINS
  • 39A Growing dried grapes? : RAISING RAISINS
  • 54A Recording easy putts? : TAPING TAP-INS

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

Bill’s time: 5m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Story like “Roots” : SAGA

Not only did Alex Haley author the magnificent novel “Roots”, he was also the collaborator with Malcolm X on “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”. His 1976 novel “Roots” is based on Haley’s own family history, and he claimed to be a direct descendant of the real life Kunta Kinte, the slave who was kidnapped in the Gambia in 1767. If you remember the original television adaptation of “Roots”, you might recall that Kunta Kinte was played by LeVar Burton, who later went on to play another famous role, Geordi La Forge on “Star Trek: the Next Generation”.

5 K9 Advantix II targets : FLEAS

K9 Advantix II is an insecticide used on dogs to treat and prevent an infestation of fleas. According to an article that I just read, the product is toxic to cats, and so pet owners with both dogs and cats should read the warning labels carefully.

10 Dance that tells a story : HULA

The hula is a native dance of Hawaii that uses arm movements to relate a story. The hula can be performed while sitting (a noho dance) or while standing (a luna dance).

15 Cuba __: rum cocktail : LIBRE

The cocktail known as a Cuba libre is basically a rum and Coke, although the traditional recipe also calls for a splash of lime juice.

16 Former Lacoste partner in sportswear : IZOD

Jack Izod was a tailor of some repute over in England, producing shirts for King George V as well as other members of the Royal Family. As Izod was about to retire, he was approached for the use of his name by an American clothing manufacturer based in New York. The brand Izod of London was introduced to America in 1938.

René Lacoste was a French tennis player who went into the clothing business, and came up with a more comfortable shirt that players could use. This became known as a “tennis shirt”. When it was adopted for use in the sport of polo, the shirts also became known as “polo shirts”. The “golf shirt” is basically the same thing.

17 Taj Mahal city : AGRA

Agra is a medieval city on the banks of the river Yamuna in India. Agra was also the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1658. The city is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  • The Taj Mahal: the famous mausoleum built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal.
  • Agra Fort: the site where the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond was seized.
  • Fatehpur Sikri: a historic city that’s home to well-preserved Mughal architecture.

20 Providing post-bath garb to red-breasted singers? : ROBING ROBINS

The American robin has a reddish-orange breast. This coloring gave the bird its name, due to the similarity to the European robin. The two species are not in fact related, with the American robin being a thrush, and its European cousin an Old World flycatcher. It is the American robin that famously lays light-blue eggs.

23 Letters before an alias : AKA

Also known as (aka)

24 Window sticker : DECAL

A decal is a decorative sticker. “Decal” is a shortening of “decalcomania”. The latter term is derived from the French “décalquer”, the practice of tracing a pattern from paper onto glass or perhaps porcelain.

28 Surg. areas : ORS

Surgery (surg.) is usually performed in an operating room (OR).

30 Chocolate-filled cookie : MILANO

Before the Milano, Pepperidge Farm produced the Naples cookie, a vanilla wafer with chocolate on top. The latter had problems when stored or transported in a warm environment as the cookies stuck to each other. The solution was to put the filling between two wafers, and hence the Milano cookie was born.

38 Like many SSA payment recipients : RET

Retired (ret.)

The Social Security Administration (SSA) was set up as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. The first person to receive a monthly retirement benefit was Ida May Fuller of Vermont who received her first check for the sum of $22.54 after having contributed for three years through payroll taxes. The New Deal turned out to be a good deal for Ms. Fuller, as she lived to be 100 years of age and received a total benefit of almost $23,000, whereas her three years of contributions added up to just $24.75.

39 Growing dried grapes? : RAISING RAISINS

“Raisin” is the French word for “grape”. The French for “raisin” is “raisin sec”, which translates literally as “dried grape”.

45 Jaguar XK-E, e.g. : CAR

XK and XK-E are models of Jaguar motorcar.

47 Hope/Crosby film destination : RIO

“Road to Rio” is the fifth of the “Road” series of films that starred Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour. “Road to Rio” was released in 1947. Crosby and Hope play vaudeville performers who stow away on an ocean liner bound for Rio. Lamour plays someone with a crooked guardian who is a fortune hunter, and who uses hypnosis to control the young woman.

50 Make roar, as an engine : REV UP

To “rev” an engine is to increase its “revolutions” per second.

60 Bluesy James : ETTA

“Etta James” was the stage name of celebrated blues and soul singer Jamesetta Hawkins. James’ most famous recording was her 1960 hit “At Last”, which made it into the pop charts. James performed “At Last” at the age of 71 in 2009 on the reality show “Dancing with the Stars”, which was to be her final television appearance. She passed away in 2012.

Down

2 One of the noble gases : ARGON

The chemical element argon has the symbol Ar. Argon is a noble gas, and so by definition is relatively nonreactive. The name “argon” comes from the Greek word for “lazy, inactive”. There’s a lot of argon around, as it is the third-most abundant gas in our atmosphere.

The noble gases (also “rare gases”) are those elements on the extreme right of the Periodic Table. Because of their “full” complement of electrons, noble gases are very unreactive. The six noble gases that occur naturally are helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon and radon.

3 Actress Greta : GARBO

Famously, Greta Garbo lived a life of seclusion in New York City after she retired from the entertainment business. Commentators often associated her need for privacy with a line she uttered in the great 1932 movie “Grand Hotel”. Her character Grusinskaya the Russian ballerina said, “I want to be alone (…) I just want to be alone”.

6 Heavenly scales : LIBRA

The constellation of Libra is named for the scales held by the goddess of justice. Libra is the only sign of the zodiac that isn’t named for a living creature.

7 Kindle download : E-BOOK

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 …

8 Dutch-speaking Caribbean island : ARUBA

Aruba is one of the so-called ABC Islands located off the northern coast of Venezuela. “ABC Islands” is a name given to the three westernmost islands of the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean. The nickname comes from the first letters of the island names: Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. All three of the ABC Islands are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

9 Alien-seeking org. : SETI

“SETI” is the name given to a number of projects that are searching for extraterrestrial life. The acronym stands for “search for extraterrestrial intelligence”. One of the main SETI activities is the monitoring of electromagnetic radiation (such as radio waves) reaching the Earth in the hope of finding a transmission from a civilization in another world.

10 “And he … HE __! … The Grinch carved the roast-beast!” : HIMSELF

The Grinch is the title character in Dr. Seuss’s 1957 children’s book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” He is a grouchy creature who lives as a hermit in a cave outside the town of Whoville. The Grinch’s only companion is his dog Max. Based on Seuss’s hero, we now use the term “grinch” for someone who is opposed to Christmas festivities or who is coarse and greedy in general.

11 Israeli weapon : UZI

The first Uzi submachine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel “Uzi” Gal of the Israel Defense Forces, who gave his name to the gun.

12 Enthusiastic online “Ha-ha!” : LOL!

Laugh out loud (LOL)

21 Foam-based ball : NERF

Nerf is a soft material used in a whole series of toys designed for “safe” play indoors. The Nerf product is used to make darts, balls and ammunition for toy guns. “NERF” is an acronym, standing for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

25 Piled-stones memorial : CAIRN

A cairn is a man-made pile of stones that can have various uses. A cairn might be a prosaic trail marker, or a distinctive landmark or monument. Our term “cairn” derives from the Gaelic “carn” meaning “rocky hill, heap of stones”.

26 Authors Rice and Tyler : ANNES

“Anne Rice” is the pen name of American author of erotic and Gothic novels Howard Allen O’Brien. Her famous series of novels “The Vampire Chronicles” centers on her character Lestat de Lioncourt, a French nobleman who was turned into a vampire in the 18th century. One of the stories, “Interview with the Vampire”, was adapted for the big screen in 1994 and features Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and others in a star-studded cast. Not my kind of movie though, as I don’t do vampires …

29 6-Down and 11 others : SIGNS
(6D Heavenly scales : LIBRA)

Most of the signs of the classical Greek zodiac are animals. This fact relates to the etymology of the term “zodiac”, which comes from the Greek “zodiakos kyklos”, literally “circle of animals”.

30 Beethoven’s love : MUSIC

Ludwig van Beethoven is my favorite composer from the Classical period. There are two excellent films that showcase his music and give fictionalized yet entertaining accounts of different aspects of his life: “Immortal Beloved” (1994) that speculates on the identity of one of Beethoven’s lovers, and “Copying Beethoven” (2006) that explores the events leading up to the triumphant premiere of his 9th Symphony.

31 Polynesian Disney princess : MOANA

“Moana” is a 2016 animated feature film and the 56th animated Disney movie. The title character is the daughter of a Polynesian chief who heads off in search of the demigod Maui, hoping that he can save her people.

32 Watts and volts : UNITS

James Watt was a Scottish inventor. He figured prominently in the Industrial Revolution in Britain, largely due to the improvements he made to the fledgling steam engine. The SI unit of power is called the watt, and was named in his honor.

Alessandro Volta was the physicist who invented the first battery, way back in 1800. One of Volta’s first applications of his new invention was to use a battery (and a very long run of wire between the Italian cities of Como and Milan) to shoot off a pistol from 30 miles away! The electric potential unit “volt” is named for Volta.

33 Rich holiday drink : NOG

It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “eggnog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

34 Long-nosed fish : GAR

“Gar” was originally the name given to a species of needlefish found in the North Atlantic. The term “gar” is now used to describe several species of fish with elongated bodies that inhabit North and Central America and the Caribbean. The gar is unusual in that it is often found in very brackish water. What I find interesting is that the gar’s swim bladders are vascularized so that they can actually function as lungs. Many species of gar can actually be seen coming to the surface and taking a gulp of air. This adaptation makes it possible for them to live in conditions highly unsuitable for other fish that rely on their gills to get oxygen out of the water. Indeed, quite interesting …

35 L.A. commuter org. : MTA

The MTA is the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is known as the Metro and sometimes the MTA.

42 Lee whom nobody doesn’t like : SARA

In 1935, businessman Charles Lubin bought a chain of three bakeries in Chicago called Community Bake Shops, and soon expanded the operation into seven stores. Lubin introduced a cream cheesecake that he named after his daughter who was only 8-years-old at the time, Sara Lee Lubin. The cheesecake was a hit and he renamed the bakeries to Kitchen of Sara Lee. The business was bought out by Consolidated foods in 1956, but the brand name Sara Lee persists to this day, as does Ms. Sara Lee herself who now goes by the name Sara Lee Schupf.

47 Copier brand : RICOH

Ricoh is a Japanese company that started out in 1936 and by the year 2000 was the biggest manufacturer of copiers in the world. The company is also well known as a supplier of cameras. The most successful of Ricoh’s lines of cameras is the compact model called a Caplio.

48 MC’s opening words : INTRO

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

51 Curriculum __: résumé : VITAE

A curriculum vitae (CV) is a listing of someone’s work experience and qualifications, and is used mainly in making a job application. The term “curriculum vitae” can be translated from Latin as “course of life”.

A résumé is a summary of a person’s job experience and education and is used as a tool by a job seeker. In many countries, a résumé is equivalent to a curriculum vitae. “Résumé” is the French word for “summary”.

53 Song of worship : PSALM

The Greek word “psalmoi” originally meant “songs sung to a harp”, and gave us the word “psalms”. In the Jewish and Western Christian traditions, the Book of Psalms contains 150 individual psalms, divided into five sections.

56 Spare in a Brit’s boot : TYRE

The British spelling of “tyre”, for what we call a “tire” here in North America, was indeed the original spelling. The English started to use “tire” spelling in the 17th century, and then shifted back to the current “tyre” in the 19th century.

59 Talking stuffed bear of film : TED

“Ted” is a 2012 movie written, directed, produced and starring Seth MacFarlane. In the story, MacFarlane voices a somewhat irreverent teddy bear who is the best friend of a character played by Mark Wahlberg. The audiences liked the film, and “Ted 2” followed in 2015.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Story like “Roots” : SAGA
5 K9 Advantix II targets : FLEAS
10 Dance that tells a story : HULA
14 Capturing device : TRAP
15 Cuba __: rum cocktail : LIBRE
16 Former Lacoste partner in sportswear : IZOD
17 Taj Mahal city : AGRA
18 5,000 feet, roughly : ABOUT A MILE
20 Providing post-bath garb to red-breasted singers? : ROBING ROBINS
22 Keep a roomie awake, maybe : SNORE
23 Letters before an alias : AKA
24 Window sticker : DECAL
28 Surg. areas : ORS
30 Chocolate-filled cookie : MILANO
31 Doing poorly in baking class? : MUFFING MUFFINS
36 Became the champ : WON
37 Farm bleaters : GOATS
38 Like many SSA payment recipients : RET
39 Growing dried grapes? : RAISING RAISINS
44 Mischievous doings : ANTICS
45 Jaguar XK-E, e.g. : CAR
46 Tomato concentrate : PASTE
47 Hope/Crosby film destination : RIO
50 Make roar, as an engine : REV UP
54 Recording easy putts? : TAPING TAP-INS
57 “That’s slightly inaccurate” : NOT EXACTLY
60 Bluesy James : ETTA
61 Put one __ on: fool : OVER
62 Gadget used on an apple : CORER
63 Ace, as a test : NAIL
64 High roller’s rolls : WADS
65 The ones over there : THOSE
66 Abound (with) : TEEM

Down

1 Overhead twinklers : STARS
2 One of the noble gases : ARGON
3 Actress Greta : GARBO
4 Two that match, as socks : A PAIR OF
5 Flier on a pole : FLAG
6 Heavenly scales : LIBRA
7 Kindle download : E-BOOK
8 Dutch-speaking Caribbean island : ARUBA
9 Alien-seeking org. : SETI
10 “And he … HE __! … The Grinch carved the roast-beast!” : HIMSELF
11 Israeli weapon : UZI
12 Enthusiastic online “Ha-ha!” : LOL!
13 Beverage suffix : -ADE
19 “__ I don’t?”: challenging words : AND IF
21 Foam-based ball : NERF
25 Piled-stones memorial : CAIRN
26 Authors Rice and Tyler : ANNES
27 Suffered defeat : LOST
29 6-Down and 11 others : SIGNS
30 Beethoven’s love : MUSIC
31 Polynesian Disney princess : MOANA
32 Watts and volts : UNITS
33 Rich holiday drink : NOG
34 Long-nosed fish : GAR
35 L.A. commuter org. : MTA
36 Rolled-up sandwich : WRAP
40 Paid tot minders : SITTERS
41 Mountaineer’s tool : ICE AX
42 Lee whom nobody doesn’t like : SARA
43 Sinner’s atonement words : I REPENT
47 Copier brand : RICOH
48 MC’s opening words : INTRO
49 Looks untowardly toward : OGLES
51 Curriculum __: résumé : VITAE
52 Loosen, as a knot : UNTIE
53 Song of worship : PSALM
55 Treaty : PACT
56 Spare in a Brit’s boot : TYRE
57 Currently : NOW
58 Egg cells : OVA
59 Talking stuffed bear of film : TED

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 11 Jan 21, Monday”

  1. No errors.. never heard of MILANO cookies. Even after looking them up on the internet, don’t believe I’ve ever seen them either..

    1. An easy putt is often known as a “tap in” and if someone is recording a few of these, it might be said that s/he is “taping tap ins”.

  2. Easy Monday.
    @Mike – MILANO cookies from Pepperidge farm are available all over my little city. And they are yummy. I remember Five Guys pizza was mentioned in a puzzle. I had never heard of it, but then I went shopping and noticed it everywhere.

  3. 17:43 no errors…my wife and I are in the same boat as Ms. Fuller as are most current recipients of SSA (see Bills explanation of 38A) It’s got to run dry someday.
    Stay safe.😀
    Ravens 20 Titans 13…the jinx is broken👍

  4. Greetings!!🤗

    Fun easy Monday. Got the theme right away. I do like Wechsler’s grids. 🙃

    Funny; MILANOs are among my favorite things, yet I drew a blank when trying to fill it in, even tho I had a coupla letters. My plan is not to eat any for the time being – I’m once again going to try to go on a diet and lose some of this Covid weight….🤔

    Be well~~🥂

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