LA Times Crossword 16 Jan 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: Peter A. Collins
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 6m 58s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “__ Secretary” : MADAM

“Madam Secretary” is A TV show that first aired in 2014. It is about an ex-CIA analyst who is appointed as US Secretary of State. Téa Leoni plays the title role, ably supported by a favorite actress of mine, Bebe Neuwirth. I like this show …

6 First Negro League electee to Cooperstown : PAIGE

Satchel Paige pitched baseball in the Negro League and then the majors, before retiring in 1966. When he moved to the Major League, Paige was 42 as he pitched his first game, making him the oldest ever “rookie” to play Major League Baseball. And when he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971, Paige was the first person to be so honored from the Negro League.

11 Radical ’70s org. : SLA

The Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) was founded in 1973 by an escapee from the prison system, Donald DeFreeze. The group’s manifesto promoted the rights of African Americans although, in the 2-3 year life of the group, DeFreeze was the only black member. Famously, the SLA kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst in 1974. Hearst apparently fell victim to what is called the Stockholm syndrome and became sympathetic to her captors’ cause. She joined the SLA and assumed the name “Tania”.

14 Durance who plays Lois on “Smallville” : ERICA

Erica Durance is an actress from Calgary, Alberta. Durance played Lois Lane in the TV show “Smallville” and moved on to play the lead in the medical drama “Saving Hope”.

“Smallville” is a superhero TV show set in the fictional Kansas town of Smallville, where Clark Kent grew up before becoming Superman. The show originally ran from 2001 to 2011, and starred Tom Welling as Clark Kent, and Kristin Kreuk as Lana Lang.

15 Per __ : ANNUM

The Latin word for year is “annus”. We often see it used in Latin phrases, but usually with a different spelling. In “anno Domini”, the “anno” is the ablative case of “annus” as the phrase means “in the year of the Lord”. Another example is “per annum”, in which “annum” is the accusative case as the literal translation of the phrase is “during the year”.

23 Pouchlike shoulder bag : HOBO

A hobo bag is a rather unstructured-looking, crescent-shaped bag with a long strap and soft sides that tends to slump when set down. It’s called a hobo bag because the shape resembles that of the bundle carried by archetypal hobos on the ends of sticks resting on their shoulders.

25 Nearly straight-horned antelope : ORYX

The oryx is a large antelope species, mainly found in Africa but also in the Arabian Peninsula. One species was introduced by man into the White Sands Missile Range. As a result, the oryx is now considered an invasive species in the neighboring White Sands National Monument.

34 Cote sounds : COOS

The Old English word “cote” was used for a small house. Our modern word “cottage” comes from “cote”. We now use “cote” to describe a small shelter on a farm for sheep or birds.

36 442 or 88, e.g. : OLDS

The Oldsmobile 442 is a so-called “muscle car”, one that was produced by GM from 1964 to 1980. The name “442” comes from the fact that the car has a “four”-barrel carburetor, a “four”-speed manual gearbox and “dual” exhaust.

The last Oldsmobile 88 came off the production line in 1999. The first 88 was made way back in 1949. The Oldsmobile 98 was discontinued in 1996, but had been introduced in 1940.

37 Guideline when something is dropped from one’s diet? : FIVE-SECOND RULE

There’s a myth that food dropped on the floor that is picked up within five seconds is free from contamination. The myth goes by the name “five-second rule”, or sometimes “ten-second rule”.

40 Eclair filling : CREME

The name for the pastry known as an “éclair” is clearly French in origin. The French word for lightning is “éclair”, but no one seems to be too sure how it came to be used for the rather delicious bakery item.

41 Stylish filmmakers : AUTEURS

We use the term “auteur” to describe a film director with a distinctive style, and someone who is distinguished enough to overcome the influence of a movie studio and other commercial pressures. Examples often cited are Akira Kurosawa, Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks and Jean Renoir. “Auteur” is a French word meaning “author”.

42 Shepherd’s pie bits : PEAS

Shepherd’s pie, also known as “cottage pie”, is one of my favorite dishes. It is a meat pie (although my wife makes a vegetarian version), with a crust made from mashed potato. Yum …

44 Poet’s rhyme for “home” : ROAM

“Home! Sweet Home!” is a song that has been around at least since 1827. The melody was composed by Englishman Sir Henry Bishop, using lyrics written by American John Howard Payne.

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home;
A charm from the skies seems to hallow us there,
Which seek thro’ the world, is ne’er met elsewhere.
Home! Home!
Sweet, sweet home!
There’s no place like home
There’s no place like home!

48 Construction equipment : DOZERS

The largest bulldozer ever manufactured is the Acco Super Bulldozer, built in Italy. It weighs in at 183 tonnes, and has a dozer blade that is 7 meters wide and 2.7 meters high. Only one of these bulldozers was ever built, and it was intended for shipment to Libya in the early eighties. The machine never left Italy, as sanctions were placed on the Libyan regime run by Colonel Gaddafi.

55 Vaudeville production : REVUE

“Revue” is the French word for “review”.

The Vire is a river that flows through Normandy in France. The poets of the Vire valley were known as the “Vau de Vire”, a term that some say gave rise to our word “Vaudeville”.

57 Name in 1976 Olympic news : NADIA

Nadia Comaneci won three golds in the 1976 Summer Olympics and was the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of ten in the gymnastics competition. Comaneci published a book called “Letters to a Young Gymnast” in 2003, and now lives in the United States.

59 Palindromic song from a palindromic band : SOS

The palindromic song “SOS” was recorded by palindromic band ABBA.

The ABBA song “SOS” was originally titled “Turn Me On”. In the movie “Mamma Mia!”, “SOS” is performed by Meryl Streep (brilliantly) and by Pierce Brosnan (terribly).

Down

1 Most populous U.S. city that isn’t a county seat : MESA

The city of Mesa, Arizona is in effect a suburb of Phoenix. The original settlement of non-Native Americans was founded by Daniel Webster Jones who led a Mormon group from St. George, Utah. The settlement was first called Jonesville, then Fort Utah and eventually Lehi. A second group of Mormons arrived and formed a settlement on top of a nearby mesa. It was this use of a mesa that eventually gave the city its current name.

4 One of Yellowstone’s two million-plus : ACRE

Yellowstone was the first National Park to be established in the world, when it was designated as such by President Grant in 1872. What a great tradition it started! The American National Parks truly are a treasure.

5 Be opportunistic, metaphorically : MAKE HAY

Make hay while the sun shines … seize the opportunity.

7 “A Cook’s Tour” host : ANTHONY BOURDAIN

Anthony Bourdain was a chef, author and television personality from New York City. Bourdain’s celebrity came with the publication of his book “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly” in 2000. He moved on to host the television shows “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” and “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown”. Bourdain was working on an episode of “Parts Unknown” when he committed suicide in 2018 in his Paris hotel room. Sad …

8 Cross letters : INRI

The letters written on the cross on which Jesus died were INRI. “INRI” is an initialism standing for the Latin “Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum”, which translates into English as “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews”.

9 Forklift truck friend of Luigi in “Cars” films : GUIDO

“Cars” is a 2006 animated feature from Pixar. The great cast of voice actors includes Paul Newman in his last movie role before he passed away in 2008.

10 Largest penguin : EMPEROR

The emperor penguin is the largest species of penguin, weighing in at 50-100 pounds fully grown. The emperor penguin is known for the incredible journey taken by the adults during the breeding season in the Antarctic winter. Females lay an egg and then trek 30-70 miles from the breeding colony to the sea to feed, returning to feed their chicks.

11 Seat of South Dakota’s Minnehaha County : SIOUX FALLS

Sioux Falls is the largest city in the state of South Dakota. The city is named for the cascades on the Big Sioux River on which Sioux Falls is built.

12 Bailed : LEFT

The phrase “to bail out” (sometimes just “to bail”) means to leave suddenly. We’ve been using the term since the early thirties, when it originated with airline pilots. To bail out is to make a parachute jump.

26 Lincoln wore them : STOVEPIPES

A stovepipe hat is also known as a top hat.

27 Window with a crank, often : CASEMENT

A casement window is one that is attached to the frame by a set of hinges. So, casement windows open inwards or outwards, whereas sash windows open with an up or down motion.

30 Köln closing : ENDE

Cologne is the fourth largest city in Germany, and is known as “Köln” in German.

33 Foes of Buffy : UNDEAD

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is a TV series that originally aired from 1997 to 2003. “Buffy …” was incredibly successful, especially given that it wasn’t aired on one of the big four networks. The show was created by Joss Whedon and stars Sarah Michelle Gellar in the title role.

34 Phased-out propellant : CFC

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used to be widely used as propellants in aerosols, and as refrigerants in cooling systems. CFCs make their way up into the ozone layer and trigger a chain reaction that converts ozone (O3) into regular oxygen (O2). That conversion creates “holes” in the ozone layer. Regular O2 is good stuff, but we need O3 to absorb harmful UV radiation raining down on us. CFC is not good stuff …

45 Field food, briefly : MRES

The Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) comes in a lightweight package that’s easy to tote around. The MRE replaced the more cumbersome Meal, Combat, Individual (MCI) in 1981, a meal-in-a-can. In turn, the MCI had replaced the C-ration in 1958, a less sophisticated meal-in-a-can with a more limited choice.

47 John/Rice musical : AIDA

The rock musical “Aida” is based on Giuseppe Verdi’s original opera. It premiered in 1998 and is still performed today. Music is by Elton John and lyrics are by Tim Rice.

49 Celsius freezing point : ZERO

Anders Celsius was a Swedish astronomer. The temperature scale that Celsius created was the reverse of that used today, with “zero” representing the boiling point of water and “100” representing water’s freezing point. This scale was “upended” (in 1744) just after Celsius died, by the Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus. The resulting temperature scale then became known as the centigrade scale for over 200 years, until in 1948 it was decided to adopt the “degree Celsius”. So, anyone still using “degrees centigrade” is actually way behind the times …

50 __-Picone: fashion house : EVAN

Evan-Picone is a women’s fashion house co-founded by Charles Evans and Joseph Picone in 1949. One of Evan-Picone’s claims to fame is that it was the first company to use darts in the pockets of women’s clothes to inhibit tears and rips.

51 Sign of age, maybe : RUST

Rust is iron oxide. Rust forms when iron oxidizes, reacts with oxygen.

54 N.L. East player : NAT

The Washington Nationals (“Nats”) started out life as the Montreal Expos in 1969, and were the first Major League Baseball team in Canada. The Expos moved to Washington in 2005 becoming the Nats.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “__ Secretary” : MADAM
6 First Negro League electee to Cooperstown : PAIGE
11 Radical ’70s org. : SLA
14 Durance who plays Lois on “Smallville” : ERICA
15 Per __ : ANNUM
16 Comparative suffix : -IER
17 Grim : STARK
18 Removes with a putty knife : STRIPS OFF
20 Out : ASLEEP
22 Where hauls may be divided : HIDEOUTS
23 Pouchlike shoulder bag : HOBO
25 Nearly straight-horned antelope : ORYX
26 Going up : SCALING
29 Tender : OFFER
32 Warning to a meddler : STAY IN YOUR LANE
34 Cote sounds : COOS
35 Pilot’s place : CABIN
36 442 or 88, e.g. : OLDS
37 Guideline when something is dropped from one’s diet? : FIVE-SECOND RULE
40 Eclair filling : CREME
41 Stylish filmmakers : AUTEURS
42 Shepherd’s pie bits : PEAS
44 Poet’s rhyme for “home” : ROAM
45 Important artery : MAIN ROAD
48 Construction equipment : DOZERS
53 Coldly devious : REPTILIAN
55 Vaudeville production : REVUE
56 Preceding, poetically : ERE
57 Name in 1976 Olympic news : NADIA
58 Totally remove : ERASE
59 Palindromic song from a palindromic band : SOS
60 Funding source : GRANT
61 Prohibition details : DON’TS

Down

1 Most populous U.S. city that isn’t a county seat : MESA
2 Fine things? : ARTS
3 Tuner, sometimes : DIAL
4 One of Yellowstone’s two million-plus : ACRE
5 Be opportunistic, metaphorically : MAKE HAY
6 Dance step : PAS
7 “A Cook’s Tour” host : ANTHONY BOURDAIN
8 Cross letters : INRI
9 Forklift truck friend of Luigi in “Cars” films : GUIDO
10 Largest penguin : EMPEROR
11 Seat of South Dakota’s Minnehaha County : SIOUX FALLS
12 Bailed : LEFT
13 Warnings, perhaps : ARFS
19 Alternative baking staple : SOY FLOUR
21 Regulate : POLICE
24 Breath spray brand : BINACA
26 Lincoln wore them : STOVEPIPES
27 Window with a crank, often : CASEMENT
28 Pursue : GO INTO
30 Köln closing : ENDE
31 Lo-__ : RES
32 Yvette’s evening : SOIR
33 Foes of Buffy : UNDEAD
34 Phased-out propellant : CFC
38 Intense, as pain : SEARING
39 Spread by moving dirt? : RUMORED
43 __ energy : SOLAR
45 Field food, briefly : MRES
46 Dynamic start? : AERO-
47 John/Rice musical : AIDA
49 Celsius freezing point : ZERO
50 __-Picone: fashion house : EVAN
51 Sign of age, maybe : RUST
52 Dates : SEES
54 N.L. East player : NAT

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 16 Jan 21, Saturday”

  1. Thanks for the write-up, Bill. As I’ve said before, I always learn something about my own puzzles by reading your comments.

    I also share your love of shepherd’s pie 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Pete, and for a great Saturday workout. There are a lot of fans of your crosswords here on the blog. Keep ’em coming!

  2. LAT: 28 minutes, no errors. Another puzzle that at first glance seemed too challenging, but after skipping around and getting a few, I found it all falling into place rather quickly. Thoroughly enjoyable.

  3. Struggled to put this one together and still ended up with a dumb,
    dumb error. I should have remembered Nadia Comaneci, but didn’t.
    Not a good day.

    1. Hi, Mary. I had Bruce at first for this one, despite the dead-naming issue, thinking the NL East player was Met, not Nat. Turned both of those around ultimately.
      I hope the rest of your day is a 10🤓

  4. 21:54, no errors, but an awful lot of missteps along the way. It would have helped considerably if I had remembered Anthony Bourdain’s name right out of the gate and “stay in your lane” as a “warning to a meddler” is new to me, but … I finally got ‘em both, so … AWTEW … 😜. (Also, I got a real chuckle out of the clue for 37-Across … 😜.)

  5. I guess I’m not reading the clue to 1 down correctly, but aren’t chicago, NYC, LA larger than Mesa and also are not county seats?

    1. You’re reading it right but are wrong in your county seats. L.A. is the county seat of L.A. County, and Chicago is the seat of Cook County. NYC is “considered” the seat of the five surrounding counties.

        1. Washington DC has about 90K more people than Baltimore and 200K more than Mesa, and DC most definitely is not a county seat.

          This was simply a poorly researched, and incorrect, clue.

  6. AUTEURS got me and so did ARFS.. I had SLO for 11A instead of SLA.

    Also didn’t help that I didn’t know who ANTHONY BOURDAIN was. I hoped I would get it through all the crosses but AUTEURS got me there.

    It was fun.

    Not bad for

  7. 44A was thinking of “home, home on the range. Where the deer and the antelope roam…”. But guess that would be song lyrics not a poem. But coulda been a poem then a song? LOL Didn’t know the poem Bill quoted.

  8. @Jack
    My LA Times also had the clue as “KLN ending.” Didn’t have the foggiest what it was referring to, but got it by crosses – still didn’t understand what it was until I read Bill’s entry on it. Thanks Bill.

  9. Looked tough at first but managed it in 31:33 with no peeks or errors. Very fun puzzle in the end, with a lot of waiting for crosses and looking at patterns to guess the multi word spanners.

    I also love Shepard’s Pie…simply yummy!

    Having been in Köln (Cologne) many times – a really cool city, with fun friendly people, this clue was a gimme.

    @Burble – I was definitely thinking of “Home on the Range” as well 🙂

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