LA Times Crossword 14 Jan 21, Thursday

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Constructed by: MaryEllen Uthlaut
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Prisonbreak

Four lines in the grid include a synonym of “PRISON” as a hidden word. That hidden word is “BROKEN” by a black square:

  • 65A “The Shawshank Redemption” event, and what’s hidden in four puzzle rows : PRISONBREAK
  • 17A Angry reaction : HORNETS NEST
  • 19A “This American Life” host Glass : IRA (hiding “STIR”)
  • 27A Indian noble : RAJA
  • 31A Surly : ILL-NATURED (hiding “JAIL”)
  • 38A It went down in history : TITANIC
  • 40A Connects with : LINKS TO (hiding “CLINK”)
  • 47A Stable cleaner : SADDLE SOAP
  • 51A Tolkien tree creatures : ENTS (hiding “PEN”)

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

Bill’s time: 7m 17s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

11 Pair of Grammys? : EMS

There is a pair of letters M (ems) in the word “Grammys”.

15 Old photo tint : SEPIA

Sepia is that rich, brown-grey color so common in old photographs. “Sepia” is the Latinized version of the Greek word for cuttlefish, as sepia pigment is derived from the ink sac of the cuttlefish. Sepia ink was commonly used for writing and drawing as far back as ancient Rome and ancient Greece. The “sepia tone” of old photographs is not the result of deterioration over time. Rather, it is the result of a deliberate preservation process which converts the metallic silver in the photographic image to a more stable silver sulfide. Prints that have been sepia-toned can last in excess of 150 years.

16 Dwarf who mixes up his words : DOC

In the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale called “Snow White”, the seven dwarfs were not given any names. The names were added for the 1937 classic Disney film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. The seven dwarfs are:

  • Doc (the leader of the group)
  • Grumpy (that would be me, according to my wife …)
  • Happy
  • Sleepy
  • Bashful
  • Sneezy
  • Dopey

19 “This American Life” host Glass : IRA

“This American Life” is a radio show that is broadcast weekly on National Public Radio (NPR). Host of the show is the much-respected Ira Glass. I was interested to learn that one of my favorite composers, Philip Glass, is Ira’s first cousin.

21 Nuclear energy device : REACTOR

A nuclear reactor is a device designed to maintain a self-contained nuclear chain reaction. Nuclear fission generates heat in the reactor core. That heat is transferred out of the core by a nuclear reactor coolant, and is used to turn steam turbines. Those steam turbines usually drive electrical generators, or perhaps a ship’s propellers.

27 Indian noble : 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.

31 Surly : ILL-NATURED

Someone described as surly is menacing or threatening in appearance. This meaning of “surly” has existed since the 1600s. An earlier definition was “haughty, imperious” from the Middle English “sirly”, which literally meant “like a sir”.

35 Soft palate projection : UVULA

The uvula is a conical fleshy projection hanging down at the back of the soft palate. The uvula plays an important role in human speech, particularly in the making of “guttural” sounds. The Latin word for “grape” is “uva”, so “uvula” is a “little grape”.

38 It went down in history : TITANIC

The RMS Titanic set off on her tragic maiden voyage in 1912, sailing from Southampton, England bound for New York City. Regulations only required that the ship have lifeboat capacity for 1,178 people, even though a full complement of passengers and crew was 3,547. When the order was given to abandon ship, the captain adhered to the traditional protocol of “women and children first”. As a result, only 20% of male passengers survived the disaster, compared to 75% of the female passengers. Perhaps more telling is that 61% of those in first class survived, and only 25% of those in third class. The crew fared even worse though, with only 24% making it.

44 Mexican bread : DINERO

“Dinero” is a Spanish word meaning “money”, as well as a slang term for money here in the US.

46 Single-master : SLOOP

Sloops and cutters are sailboats, and each has just one mast. One major difference between the two types of vessel is that the mast on a cutter is set much further aft than the mast on a sloop.

51 Tolkien tree creatures : ENTS

Ents are tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth in his series of books “The Lord of the Rings”. “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.

52 Palm tree superfood : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

53 Ancient home : EDEN

According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers, including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

55 Predator with a heart-shaped face : BARN OWL

The barn owl is the most common species of owl. It is found everywhere in the world, except in desert and polar regions.

59 Card game with trumps : EUCHRE

Euchre is a card game that probably came to the US from Germany, introduced by German farmers who settled in Wisconsin. Euchre is a trick-taking game usually played by four people in two partnerships. Unlike bridge, Euchre is played with a stripped down deck of 24 or 32 cards. The verb “to euchre” is slang for “to cheat, swindle”, a term that presumably comes from the card game.

64 Hurricane season mo. : OCT

October is the tenth month in our calendar but was the eighth month in the old Roman calendar, hence the prefix “octo-”. Back then there were only ten months in the year. “Ianuarius” (January) and “Februarius” were then added as the eleventh and twelfth months of the year. Soon after, the year was reset and January and February became the first and second months.

A severe tropical storm is called a hurricane when it occurs in the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, a typhoon in the Northwest Pacific, and a cyclone in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean. Tropical storms form over warm water, picking up energy from the evaporation from the ocean surface.

65 “The Shawshank Redemption” event, and what’s hidden in four puzzle rows : PRISONBREAK

Stephen King’s novella “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” was adapted into a 2009 stage play and a 1994 film, both of which were titled “The Shawshank Redemption”. The Ohio State Reformatory was used for exterior shots of the fictional Shawshank Prison. That same facility was used for the prison scenes in the 1997 film “Air Force One”.

68 Cravat and Ascot : TIE

An ascot is a wide tie that narrows at the neck, which these days is only really worn at weddings or part of a dress uniform. The tie takes its name from the Royal Ascot horse race at which punters still turn up in formal wear at Ascot Racecourse in England.

69 Like Caspar Milquetoast : TIMID

Someone described as a “milquetoast” is weak and timid. The term comes from a character called Caspar Milquetoast in the comic strip “The Timid Soul” drawn by H. T. Webster. Webster came up with Caspar’s name by deliberately misspelling “milk toast”, which is a bland food that is suitable for someone with a weak stomach.

70 Give a false idea of : BELIE

The verbs “to confute” and “to belie” both mean “to show to be false”.

72 Deposit in the attic, say : STORE

An attic or loft is a room or space located below the roof of a building. The term “attic” is a shortened form of “attic story”, the uppermost story or level of a house. This term “attic story” originally applied to a low, decorative level built on top of the uppermost story behind a building’s decorative facade. This use of decoration at the top of buildings was common in ancient Greece, and was particularly important in the Attica style. That Attica style was so called because it originated in the historical region of Attica that encompassed the city of Athens. And that’s how our attics are linked to ancient Greece.

Down

1 “James and the Giant Peach” author : DAHL

Roald Dahl’s name is Norwegian. Dahl’s parents were from Norway, although Dahl himself was Welsh. Dahl became one of the most successful authors of the twentieth century. Two of his most famous titles are “James and the Giant Peach” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.

“James and the Giant Peach” is a 1961 children’s novel by British author Roald Dahl. The title character is a young orphan who enters into a surreal world inside a huge, magical peach.

2 Wind heard in Dion’s “Abraham, Martin and John” : OBOE

“Abraham, Martin and John” is a 1968 song recorded by singer/songwriter Dion. It was written by dick Holler right after the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy in April and June of the same year. The lyrics actually pay tribute to four victims of the assassin’s bullet, as they also reference Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.

Dion and the Belmonts were a vocal group from the fifties who had success in the late fifties. The four singers were from the Bronx in New York, with two living on Belmont Avenue, hence the name that was chosen. Perhaps the biggest hits for Dion and the Belmonts were “A Teenager in Love” and “Where or When”.

3 Desolate : LORN

To be lorn is to be bereft, forsaken. “Lorn” is an archaic term meaning “lost”. A lovely word, I think …

4 Organ in a chest : LUNG

The lungs are the two main organs in the human respiratory system. It is in the lungs that oxygen is extracted from the air and transferred into the bloodstream. At the same time, carbon dioxide is removed from the bloodstream and released into the atmosphere.

5 Decides to leave alone : STETS

“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

6 Biblical mount : ASS

The ass or donkey is mentioned several times in the Bible. One of the most-quoted biblical stories involving an ass is the story of Balaam. Balaam was a diviner who appears in the Book of Numbers in. In one account, Balaam is held to task by an angel for particularly cruel treatment of an ass.

7 Harmless cyst : WEN

“Wen” is the common name for any of a number of different growths that can occur on or under the skin. A wen can be a lipoma for example, a benign fatty growth that can form under the skin.

10 It may be crunched : DATA

Our word “data” (singular “datum”) comes from the Latin “datum” meaning “given”. The idea is that data are “things given”.

18 Bangkok native : THAI

Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand. The exact etymology of the name “Bangkok” seems unclear, although “bang” is a Thai word for “a village situated on a stream”.

24 Golfing mishaps : SLICES

A slice in golf doesn’t head straight down the fairway, but instead turns off to the right (if you’re a right-handed golfer).

25 Camera type, briefly : SLR

Single-lens reflex camera (SLR)

28 Prefix with fauna : AVI-

“Avifauna” is the collective name for birds of a specific region. An older term for the same thing is “ornis”, which has the same root as “ornithology”.

30 2019 Mena Massoud title role : ALADDIN

The 2019 Disney movie “Aladdin” is a live-action adaptation of Disney’s 1992 animated feature of the same name starring Robin Williams. In the 2019 film, Will Smith plays the genie, and Mena Massoud plays the title character.

Mena Massoud is an Egyptian-born Canadian actor. He is perhaps best known for playing Tarek Kassar in the action drama series “Jack Ryan”, and the title character in the 2019 movie “Aladdin”.

32 Free of commissions, as a mutual fund : NO-LOAD

Mutual fund loads are percentages levied as a commission. Mutual funds can be classified by the type of load levied. There are front-end loaded funds, back-end loaded funds and even no-load funds.

33 Young Darth : ANI

Darth Vader is (to me) the most colorful antagonist in the “Star Wars” universe. Born as Anakin “Ani” Skywalker, he was corrupted by the Emperor Palpatine, and turned to “the Dark Side”. In the original films, Darth Vader was portrayed by English bodybuilder David Prowse, and voiced by actor James Earl Jones. Jones asked that he go uncredited for the first two “Star Wars” films, feeling that his contributions were insufficient to warrant recognition. I disagree …

36 Indigo plant : ANIL

“Anil” is another name for the indigo plant, as well as the name of the blue indigo dye that is obtained from it. The color of anil is relatively close to navy blue. The main coloring agent in indigo dye is a crystalline powder called indigotin.

41 Absalom, to David : SON

According to the Hebrew Bible, Absalom was the third son of David, after Amnon and Chileab.

42 “PAW Patrol” fan : TOT

“PAW Patrol” is an animated children’s show that started airing in 2013. It’s all about Ryder, a young lad who leads the PAW Patrol, a pack of search-and-rescue dogs.

45 Caviar : ROE

Caviar is the roe of a large fish that has been salted and seasoned, and especially the roe of a sturgeon. Beluga caviar comes from the beluga sturgeon, which is found primarily in the Caspian Sea. It is the most expensive type of caviar in the world. 8 ounces of US-farmed beluga caviar can be purchased through Amazon.com for just over $850, in case you’re feeling peckish …

47 Clogs : SABOTS

There is a story that disgruntled textile workers would kick their wooden shoes, called “sabots”, into the looms in order to disable them so that they didn’t have to work. This act of vandalism was named for the shoe, an act of … “sabotage”.

Clogs are shoes made from wood, at least in part. The clog originated as a protective item of footwear for use by farm, factory and mine workers.

48 Thorny shrub : ACACIA

Acacia is a genus of trees and shrubs, that is also known as thorntree, whistling thorn and wattle. The acacia is the primary food source for the giraffe in the wild, with the animal eating the leaves high in the tree, leaves that are inaccessible to competing species. The natural gum from two species of acacia tree is known as gum arabic, which is used in the food industry as a stabilizer.

50 Rounded hammer part : PEEN

The peen of a hammer is on the head, and is the side of the head that is opposite the striking surface. Often the peen is in the shape of a hemisphere (as in a ball-peen hammer), but usually it is shaped like a claw (mainly for removing nails).

57 Court order : WRIT

A writ is an order issued by some formal body (these days, usually a court) with the order being in “written” form. Warrants and subpoenas are examples of writs.

58 Ride to the prom : LIMO

The word “limousine” derives from the name of the French city of Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving rise to that type of transportation being called a “limousine”. Well, that’s how the story goes …

60 Algonquin language : CREE

The Cree are one of the largest groups of Native Americans on the continent. In the US, Montana is home to most of the Cree nation. They live on a reservation shared with the Ojibwe people. In Canada, most of the Cree live in Manitoba.

67 “To Autumn,” for one : ODE

Here’s the first verse from John Keats’ ode “To Autumn” …

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Bobbleheads, e. g. : DOLLS
6 Jury decision : AWARD
11 Pair of Grammys? : EMS
14 “It’s __ time!” : ABOUT
15 Old photo tint : SEPIA
16 Dwarf who mixes up his words : DOC
17 Angry reaction : HORNETS NEST
19 “This American Life” host Glass : IRA
20 Meeting goal often not achieved : LENGTH
21 Nuclear energy device : REACTOR
23 Lip : SASS
26 Firefighter’s tool : HOSE
27 Indian noble : RAJA
31 Surly : ILL-NATURED
35 Soft palate projection : UVULA
37 Not what one would expect : IRONIC
38 It went down in history : TITANIC
40 Connects with : LINKS TO
44 Mexican bread : DINERO
46 Single-master : SLOOP
47 Stable cleaner : SADDLE SOAP
51 Tolkien tree creatures : ENTS
52 Palm tree superfood : ACAI
53 Ancient home : EDEN
55 Predator with a heart-shaped face : BARN OWL
59 Card game with trumps : EUCHRE
64 Hurricane season mo. : OCT
65 “The Shawshank Redemption” event, and what’s hidden in four puzzle rows : PRISONBREAK
68 Cravat and Ascot : TIE
69 Like Caspar Milquetoast : TIMID
70 Give a false idea of : BELIE
71 Low : SAD
72 Deposit in the attic, say : STORE
73 Cheerleaders’ assortment : YELLS

Down

1 “James and the Giant Peach” author : DAHL
2 Wind heard in Dion’s “Abraham, Martin and John” : OBOE
3 Desolate : LORN
4 Organ in a chest : LUNG
5 Decides to leave alone : STETS
6 Biblical mount : ASS
7 Harmless cyst : WEN
8 Imitator : APER
9 Slope : RISE
10 It may be crunched : DATA
11 Spell-checker, say : EDITOR
12 Lacking in joy : MOROSE
13 Rustled (up) : SCARED
18 Bangkok native : THAI
22 Private laugh : CHUCKLE
24 Golfing mishaps : SLICES
25 Camera type, briefly : SLR
27 Rural road feature : RUT
28 Prefix with fauna : AVI-
29 Stick (out) : JUT
30 2019 Mena Massoud title role : ALADDIN
32 Free of commissions, as a mutual fund : NO-LOAD
33 Young Darth : ANI
34 Cookie containers : TINS
36 Indigo plant : ANIL
39 Having four sharps : IN E
41 Absalom, to David : SON
42 “PAW Patrol” fan : TOT
43 Special ___ : OPS
45 Caviar : ROE
47 Clogs : SABOTS
48 Thorny shrub : ACACIA
49 Made a sudden move : DARTED
50 Rounded hammer part : PEEN
54 Lumpy, as a knit fabric : NUBBY
56 Comes down on one side of something : OPTS
57 Court order : WRIT
58 Ride to the prom : LIMO
60 Algonquin language : CREE
61 Severe criticism : HELL
62 Fence crosspiece : RAIL
63 Manages to get, with “out” : EKES …
66 Military address : SIR
67 “To Autumn,” for one : ODE

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 14 Jan 21, Thursday”

  1. No errors, but I sure didn’t get the theme. But it was evident after
    reading Bill’s blog. Took me awhile to find the words though.

  2. 8:27, no errors. Very distracted by other things and totally forgot to check out the theme when I was done. (Gee … I don’t think I’ve ever done that before … or … have I? … 😜)

  3. 8:52 no errors

    Took me a minute to find the prison breaks, but then successful ones are not immediately detected.

  4. 23:02 no errors but after finishing I stared at the grid for about 10 ten minutes and it could have been 10 hours and the theme escaped me.
    Stay safe.😀
    Go Ravens 🙏

  5. Getting tired of having to know 12 different languages to find all the foreign words in these puzzles. Shows such lazy writers. How about all English for a change?

  6. 13 mins 53 sec, DNF: 6 fills I just had no idea of, and 2 pun-forced mistakes: SADDLESOAP, BARNOWL, DINERO, etc. I guess I don’t live out in the country enough to mindmeld with this constructor.

  7. I always wished I could read minds. Except for those of the criminally insane. Even the best solvers walk away scratching their heads on this one.

  8. One Google – ANI. Had jarS before TINS.
    Like everyone, I didn’t get the theme, and figured I’d have a lot of mistakes when I came here, but didn’t!

  9. Tricky Thursday for me; took 15:42 with no errors or peeks. Some squares I filled in on a hope and prayer, and yet everything came out okay.

    re Peaches – Steven Colbert has a wonderful sequence called “Don and the Giant Impeach” and now “2”, and now I know where the joke got the original inspiration. 🙂

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