LA Times Crossword 19 Jan 21, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Kevin Christian & Andrea Carla Michaels
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): 3-Letter B-ending

Themed answers each span the entire grid, and end with a 3-letter word starting with B. Readers of the blog helped me here, by pointing out that the B-words sound like a vowel progression as we descend the grid:

  • 17A Where Alcatraz sits : SAN FRANCISCO BAY
  • 23A Disc sport popular on college campuses : ULTIMATE FRISBEE
  • 38A Give-it-a-test-run advice : TRY BEFORE YOU BUY
  • 48A Storied pot-of-gold spot : END OF THE RAINBOW
  • 59A Hiding-your-eyes parent-baby game : PLAYING PEEKABOO
  • Read on, or jump to …
    … a complete list of answers

    Bill’s time: 5m 47s

    Bill’s errors: 0

    Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

    Across

    5 Scuttlebutt : RUMOR

    Just as modern day office workers gather around the water cooler to gossip, on board a ship back in the early 1800s the sailors would gather around the water barrel on the deck to shoot the breeze. That water barrel was called a “scuttlebutt”, from “scuttle” (opening in a ship’s deck) and “butt” (barrel). Quite interesting …

    10 Col. Sanders’s chain : KFC

    “Colonel” Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) fame has been portrayed in ads on television by several celebrities. The list includes Norm Macdonald, Jim Gaffigan, George Hamilton, Billy Zane, Rob Lowe, Ray Liotta and even Reba McEntire.

    13 Soft palate feature that translates to “little grape” : 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”.

    15 Battery terminal : ANODE

    A battery is a device that converts chemical energy into electric energy. A simple battery is made up of three parts: a cathode, an anode and a liquid electrolyte. Ions from the electrolyte react chemically with the material in the anode producing a compound and releasing electrons. At the same time, the electrolyte reacts with the material in the cathode, absorbing electrons and producing a different chemical compound. In this way, there is a buildup of electrons at the anode and a deficit of electrons at the cathode. When a connection (wire, say) is made between the cathode and anode, electrons flow through the resulting circuit from the anode to cathode in an attempt to rectify the electron imbalance.

    17 Where Alcatraz sits : SAN FRANCISCO BAY

    Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary was a maximum high-security prison operating from 1934 to 1963 on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. The US Army had opened Fort Alcatraz on the island back in 1859, and constructed the first prison there in 1868. The first buildings that were to become the Federal Penitentiary were erected between 1910 and 1912, and again were used as a military prison. The construction was modernized and became the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in 1934. The Federal prison housed famous inmates like Al Capone, The Birdman of Alcatraz and “Machine Gun” Kelly. The prison was closed in 1963 by Attorney General Robert Kennedy, as the cost of operation was excessively high and major capital improvements were needed.

    22 “A __ Day’s Night”: Beatles song : HARD

    “A Hard Day’s Night” is a 1964 musical comedy starring the Beatles. I think that it’s the kind of movie that you either love or hate, and I love it! And, what a fabulous soundtrack …!

    23 Disc sport popular on college campuses : ULTIMATE FRISBEE

    Ultimate is a team sport that is similar to football or rugby in that the goal is to get a flying disc into an endzone or goal area. The sport used to be called “Ultimate Frisbee”, but the “Frisbee” was dropped as it is a registered trademark.

    28 Shakespearean fairy queen : MAB

    In Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, Mercutio refers to the fairy known as Queen Mab. It seems that Queen Mab was Shakespeare’s creation, although she became popular in subsequent works of literature. For example, she is referred to in Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”, in Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility”, and Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote a large poetic work called “Queen Mab: A Philosophical Poem”.

    29 Jay of late-night TV : LENO

    Jay Leno was born James Leno in New Rochelle, New York. Jay’s father was the son of Italian immigrants, and his mother was from Scotland. Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and actually dropped out of school on the advice of a high school guidance counsellor. However, years later he went to Emerson College and earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech therapy. Leno also started a comedy club at Emerson in 1973. Today Jay Leno is a car nut and owns about 200 vehicles of various types. You can check them out on his website: www.jaylenosgarage.com.

    33 “A Room of One’s Own” author : WOOLF

    Virginia Woolf was an English author who was active in the period between the two World Wars. Woolf’s most famous novels were “Mrs. Dalloway”, “To the Lighthouse” and “Orlando”. She also wrote a long essay entitled “A Room of One’s Own” in which she states “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

    42 Kiki, Sandra or Ruby : DEE

    Kiki Dee is an English singer best known for her hit duet with Elton John from 1976 called “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”. Kiki Dee had the honor of being the first Caucasian singer to be signed by Motown.

    Actress Sandra Dee started out as a model before moving into film. After a promising start to her career it seemed to peter out, and the public became more interested in her 7-year marriage to Bobby Darin. And of course she will forever be remembered from the song in the movie and stage-show “Grease” called “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee”.

    Ruby Dee was an actress and civil rights activist. On the big screen, she is perhaps best remembered for co-starring in “A Raisin in the Sun” alongside Sidney Poitier, in “Do the Right Thing” alongside her husband Ossie Davis, and in “American Gangster” in which she played Denzel Washington’s mother.

    44 Mass __: an I-90 nickname : PIKE

    I-90 runs in an east-west direction from Seattle to Boston, and is the longest interstate in the US. When I-90 was built, it made use of several existing roads, including the Massachusetts Turnpike, New York State Thruway, Ohio Turnpike, Indiana Toll Road, Chicago Skyway, and the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway.

    48 Storied pot-of-gold spot : END OF THE RAINBOW

    A leprechaun is a mischievous fairy of Irish folklore. Traditionally, leprechauns spend their days making shoes and hide all their money in a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Our word “leprechaun” comes from the Irish name for such a sprite, i.e. “leipreachán”.

    58 Nitrogen-based dye : AZO

    Azo compounds have very vivid colors and so are used to make dyes, especially dyes with the colors red, orange and yellow. The term “azo” comes from the French word “azote” meaning “nitrogen”. French chemist Lavoisier coined the term “azote” from the Greek word “azotos” meaning “lifeless”. He used this name as in pure nitrogen/azote animals die and flames are snuffed out (due to a lack of oxygen).

    64 Veer off course : YAW

    The word “yaw” means to deviate from the line of a course and is used mainly at sea and in the air. “Yaw” is derived from the Old Norse word “jaege” which means “to drive, chase”. As such, “yaw” is etymologically related to our word “yacht”.

    65 Vegan and Paleo regimens : DIETS

    A vegan is someone who stays away from animal products. A dietary vegan eats no animal foods, not even eggs and dairy that are usually eaten by vegetarians. Ethical vegans take things one step further by following a vegan diet and also avoiding animal products in other areas of their lives e.g. items made from leather or silk.

    The paleolithic (or “paleo, caveman”) diet is a fad diet that became popular in the 2000s. The idea is to eat wild plants and animals that would have been available to humans during the Paleolithic era (roughly the Stone Age). This period precedes the introduction of agriculture and the domestication of animals. As a result, someone on the diet avoids consuming grains, legumes, dairy and processed foods. The diet consists mainly of lean meat (about 45-65% of the total calorie intake), non-starchy vegetables, fruits, berries and nuts.

    66 Roadside hot dog seller : STAND

    A hot dog is a sausage served in a split roll. The term “hot dog” dates back to the 19th-century and is thought to reflect a commonly-held opinion that the sausages contained dog meat.

    67 NBC staple for 45 years : SNL

    NBC first aired a form of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in 1975 under the title “NBC’s Saturday Night”. The show was actually created to give Johnny Carson some time off from “The Tonight Show”. Back then “The Tonight Show” had a weekend episode, and Carson convinced NBC to pull the Saturday or Sunday recordings off the air and hold them for subsequent weeknights in which Carson needed a break. NBC turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to put together a variety show to fill the vacant slot, and he came up with what we now call “Saturday Night Live”.

    68 Daisy variety : OXEYE

    Oxeyes are in the daisy family of plants. Also known as dog daisies or marguerites, the flowers of oxeyes feature white petals surrounding yellow disc florets.

    69 Three in a deck : TREY

    A trey is a three in a deck of cards. The term “trey” can also be used for a domino with three pips, and even for a three-point play in basketball.

    Down

    1 __ pork: Chinese menu item : MU SHU

    Moo shu pork (also “mu shu pork”) is a traditional dish from northern China, with the main ingredients being shredded pork and scrambled egg. In North America, the dish is served with tortilla-like wrappers that are sometimes referred to as “moo shu pancakes”.

    3 Kirsten of Spider-Man films : DUNST

    Kirsten Dunst is a Hollywood actress from Point Pleasant, New Jersey. Dunst is perhaps best known for playing the love interest and female lead in the “Spider-Man” series of movies opposite Tobey Maguire. Personally, my favorite Dunst films are “Wimbledon” and “Marie Antoinette”. Dunst is a dual citizen of the US and Germany, as her father is from Hamburg.

    7 “Surely you don’t mean me?!” : MOI?!

    “Moi” is the French word for “me”. One might say “Moi?” when feigning innocence.

    8 Has too much, briefly : ODS

    Overdose (OD)

    9 __ center : REC

    Recreation (rec.)

    10 Skewered dish : KEBAB

    The term “kebab” (also “kabob”) covers a wide variety of meat dishes that originated in Persia. In the West, we usually use “kebab” when talking about shish kebab, which is meat (often lamb) served on a skewer. “Shish” comes from the Turkish word for “skewer”.

    11 Bell-bottom bottom : FLARE

    Bell-bottom pants have legs that flare out from the knees downwards. It is common knowledge that bell-bottoms originated as a style worn by sailors. They were standard uniform wear in the British Royal Navy starting in the mid-19th century. American sailors, however, were wearing bell-bottoms in the very early 1800s. The wide pant leg allows bell-bottoms to double as a life-saving device. Sailors are trained to remove the pants (without the need to remove shoes), tie a knot in the end of each leg, and then inflate the pants with air so that they can be used to aid flotation.

    12 Only non-rhyming Pac-Man ghost : CLYDE

    The Pac-Man arcade game was first released in Japan in 1980, and is as popular today as it ever was. The game features characters that are maneuvered around the screen to eat up dots and earn points, while being pursued by ghosts named Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde. The name of the game comes from the Japanese folk hero “Paku”, who is known for his voracious appetite. The spin-off game called Ms. Pac-Man was released in 1981.

    18 Many a Mideast native : ARAB

    In geographical terms there are three “Easts”. “Near East” and “Middle East” are terms that are often considered synonymous, although “Near East” tends to be used when discussing ancient history and “Middle East” when referring to the present day. The Near/Middle East encompasses most of Western Asia and Egypt. The term “Far East” describes East Asia (including the Russian Far East), Southeast Asia and South Asia.

    24 Website for film buffs : IMDB

    The website called the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) was launched in 1990, and is now owned by Amazon.com. It’s a great site for answering questions one has about movies and actors.

    25 Polar bear hangouts : FLOES

    An ice floe is a sheet of ice that has separated from an ice field and is floating freely on the surface of the ocean.

    Polar bears are close cousins of brown bears, and are thought to have evolved from a population of brown bears that became isolated during a period of glaciation. Most polar bears live north of the Arctic Circle, and live mainly on seals that they capture near the edge of ice floes.

    30 Inc., in England : LTD

    In Britain and Ireland, the most common type of business (my perception anyway) is one that has private shareholders whose liability is limited to the value of their investment. Such a company is known as a private limited company, and has the abbreviation “Ltd.” after the name. If the shares are publicly traded, then the company is a public limited company, and has the letters “plc” after the name.

    32 Pastrami holder : RYE

    In the US, pastrami was originally called “pastrama”, and was a dish brought to America by Jewish immigrants from Romania in the second half of the nineteenth century. The original name may have evolved from the Turkish word “pastirma” meaning “pressed”. “Pastrama” likely morphed into “pastrami” influenced by the name of the Italian sausage called salami.

    34 Chicago airport code : ORD

    The IATA airport code for O’Hare International in Chicago is ORD, which comes from Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field (OR-D).

    35 “The X-Files” org. : FBI

    “The X-Files” is a very successful science fiction show that originally aired on the Fox network from 1993 to 2002. The stars of the show are David Duchovny (playing Fox Mulder) and the very talented Gillian Anderson (playing Dana Scully). By the time the series ended, “The X-Files” was the longest running sci-fi show in US broadcast history. An “X-Files” reboot started airing in 2016 with Duchovny and Anderson reprising their starring roles.

    36 Arctic seabird : AUK

    Auks are penguin-like sea birds that live in colder northern waters including the Arctic. Like penguins, auks are great swimmers, but unlike penguins, auks can fly.

    37 TV’s “Science Guy” : NYE

    That would be “Bill Nye the Science Guy”. Bill’s show ran on PBS for four years, from 1993-97.

    41 “Once __ … ” : UPON

    The stock phrase “Once upon a time …” has been used in various forms as the start of a narrative at least since 1380. The stock phrase at the end of stories such as folktales is often “and they all lived happily ever after”. The earlier version of this ending was “happily until their deaths”.

    45 Kangaroo kid : JOEY

    A male kangaroo is known as a buck, jack or boomer. A female is called a jill flier or doe. A young kangaroo is a joey, and a group of kangaroos is a mob or troop.

    46 Diamond bag : BASE

    “Bag” is an informal term describing a base in baseball.

    48 TV sports awards : ESPYS

    The ESPY Awards are a creation of the ESPN sports television network. One difference with similarly named awards in the entertainment industry is that ESPY winners are chosen solely based on viewer votes.

    49 Hall of Fame pitcher Ryan : NOLAN

    Nolan Ryan is famous for having more career strikeouts that any other baseball pitcher. However, he also holds the record for the most career walks and wild pitches. Another record that Ryan holds is the most no-hitters, a total of seven over his career.

    51 E, on a gauge : EMPTY

    When gassing up a car, the fuel gauge might go from empty (E) to full (F).

    52 Peanut Butter Cup creator : REESE

    Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were invented by Harry Burnett “HB” Reese. Peanut Butter Cups were originally called penny cups, reflecting the price at which they were sold. Then inflation took over, and maybe that’s why they were broken into smaller “Pieces” …

    53 Storybook elephant : BABAR

    “Babar the Elephant” originated in France, a creation of Jean de Brunhoff in 1931. The first book was “Histoire de Babar”, a book so successful it was translated into English two years later for publication in Britain and the US. Jean de Brunhoff wrote six more Babar stories before he died in 1937, and then his son Laurent continued his father’s work.

    54 Layer with a hole : OZONE

    Ozone gets its name from the Greek word “ozein” meaning “to smell”. It was given this name as ozone’s formation during lightning storms was detected by the gas’s distinctive smell. Famously, there is a relatively high concentration of the gas in the “ozone layer” in the Earth’s stratosphere. This ozone layer provides a vital function for animal life on the planet as it absorbs most of the sun’s UV radiation. A molecule of ozone is made up of three oxygen atoms (O3), whereas a “normal” oxygen (O2) has just two atoms.

    55 “Toy Story” cowboy : WOODY

    1995’s “Toy Story” was the world’s first feature-length computer-animated movie. “Toy Story” was also the studio Pixar’s first production. The main roles in the film are Buzz Lightyear and Woody, who are voiced by Tim Allen and Tom Hanks respectively. Hanks was the first choice to voice Woody, but Allen was asked to voice Buzz after Billy Crystal turned down the role.

    61 Give a thumbs-down : NIX

    The use of “to nix” as a verb, meaning “to shoot down”, dates back to the early 1900s. Before that, “nix” was just a noun meaning “nothing”. “Nix” comes from the German “nichts”, which also means “nothing”.

    63 Law firm fig. : ATT

    Attorney (att.)

    Complete List of Clues/Answers

    Across

    1 Prepared, as a bed : MADE
    5 Scuttlebutt : RUMOR
    10 Col. Sanders’s chain : KFC
    13 Soft palate feature that translates to “little grape” : UVULA
    15 Battery terminal : ANODE
    16 Right-angle shape : ELL
    17 Where Alcatraz sits : SAN FRANCISCO BAY
    20 Towel embroidery word : HIS
    21 Like many meds : ORAL
    22 “A __ Day’s Night”: Beatles song : HARD
    23 Disc sport popular on college campuses : ULTIMATE FRISBEE
    28 Shakespearean fairy queen : MAB
    29 Jay of late-night TV : LENO
    30 Lady’s man : LORD
    33 “A Room of One’s Own” author : WOOLF
    35 Admirer : FAN
    38 Give-it-a-test-run advice : TRY BEFORE YOU BUY
    42 Kiki, Sandra or Ruby : DEE
    43 Brainiacs, maybe : NERDS
    44 Mass __: an I-90 nickname : PIKE
    45 Fair : JUST
    46 “Dude!” : BRO!
    48 Storied pot-of-gold spot : END OF THE RAINBOW
    56 Achy : SORE
    57 What a slob makes : MESS
    58 Nitrogen-based dye : AZO
    59 Hiding-your-eyes parent-baby game : PLAYING PEEKABOO
    64 Veer off course : YAW
    65 Vegan and Paleo regimens : DIETS
    66 Roadside hot dog seller : STAND
    67 NBC staple for 45 years : SNL
    68 Daisy variety : OXEYE
    69 Three in a deck : TREY

    Down

    1 __ pork: Chinese menu item : MU SHU
    2 To no __: in vain : AVAIL
    3 Kirsten of Spider-Man films : DUNST
    4 Toymaker for Santa : ELF
    5 Charged : RAN AT
    6 Mom’s brother : UNCLE
    7 “Surely you don’t mean me?!” : MOI?!
    8 Has too much, briefly : ODS
    9 __ center : REC
    10 Skewered dish : KEBAB
    11 Bell-bottom bottom : FLARE
    12 Only non-rhyming Pac-Man ghost : CLYDE
    14 Roastery draw : AROMA
    18 Many a Mideast native : ARAB
    19 Very, very : OH SO
    24 Website for film buffs : IMDB
    25 Polar bear hangouts : FLOES
    26 Bank (on) : RELY
    27 Inside scoop : INFO
    30 Inc., in England : LTD
    31 Underground find : ORE
    32 Pastrami holder : RYE
    33 Value : WORTH
    34 Chicago airport code : ORD
    35 “The X-Files” org. : FBI
    36 Arctic seabird : AUK
    37 TV’s “Science Guy” : NYE
    39 Plenty, in texts : ENUF
    40 Gala : FEST
    41 “Once __ … ” : UPON
    45 Kangaroo kid : JOEY
    46 Diamond bag : BASE
    47 Daredevil dangers : RISKS
    48 TV sports awards : ESPYS
    49 Hall of Fame pitcher Ryan : NOLAN
    50 Southern twang : DRAWL
    51 E, on a gauge : EMPTY
    52 Peanut Butter Cup creator : REESE
    53 Storybook elephant : BABAR
    54 Layer with a hole : OZONE
    55 “Toy Story” cowboy : WOODY
    60 “Yes, indeed!” : I DO!
    61 Give a thumbs-down : NIX
    62 “__ whiz!” : GEE
    63 Law firm fig. : ATT

    19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 19 Jan 21, Tuesday”

    1. ..and the three-letter words’ endings follow the a-e-i-o-u sound-pattern. I
      didn’t discover the theme until it was all done. No errors after I changed
      “fete” to “fest”. Nice puzzle.

      1. Thank you Mary S. (and others) for pointing out what I missed in the theme. As always, I appreciate the (very necessary) help!

    2. Bill: Just reading this a little closer. The theme entries actually also have progressing vowel sounds after the B.

      BAY = B + A
      BEE = B + E
      BUY = B + I
      BOW = B + O
      BOO = B + U

      1. Back to my childhood! This is also known as “Swingin’ the Alphabet”, most famously performed by the Three Stooges in the oddly-titled short “Violent is the word for Curly.”

    3. Bill – You got the five 3-letter B-words, but that’s only half the fun. In order they are bay, bee, buy, bow, boo, i.e. a-e-i-o-u. Happy new year, and stay well. “Doc” Irwin

    4. 16:56 with one VERY dumb error resulting from again not going over my answers…I remind myself of the guy who sticks his finger in the electric socket, yells “ouch” and then does it again…not too smart👎.
      Stay safe 😀
      Hope you have more luck than me in getting good vaccine info👎

    5. Easier than Monday. Didn’t notice the theme. (Wow, Glenn!)

      It’s a bit annoying that “text” now means something you do on your iPhone; and, also, that “artist” means singer. I detect a 2nd vowel shift (the first being half a millenium ago in England). This one turns mail, pail, sale, etc. to mel, pel, sel among other things. I wonder what the oldtimers thought back then?

    6. I hesitate to say this, but here’s final piece of the puzzle for today’s theme:
      Yes, we’re moving through all of the vowels, but with a ‘b’ in front of them. Making the theme… “bowel movement” perhaps?

    7. @Bill
      Reflecting on your Alcatraz history I am reminded of how I got started doing crosswords. My grandmother worked on the island in the early ’40s as a private nurse to Warden Johnson’s wife. They mostly drank, smoked and played cards. But, grandma loved doing crosswords. Even when her eyes were failing badly I remember her with a huge magnifying glass struggling to complete her puzzles.

    8. Nice “no-peek” puzzle, as soon as the “BAY” filled in I went to each of the long answers and wrote “B_ _”. Now I have to avoid reading any of the long clues while solving the shorter ones. Always a lot of fun, and then trying to guess what the five “clues” are. I’m usually close on the guessing, but never exactly correct (sigh).

    9. 7 mins, 7 sec, no errors. Pretty benign, guile-less puzzle, although it must be said that the “theme” if there truly is one, requires way more thought than it’s worth.

    10. Fast one today! I didn’t get to it until after work so I’m the last to weigh in, here, but my time was 4:10. The long acrosses just rolled out, almost too easy. I think the only thing that made me pause was “AZO” which I hadn’t heard of, and a few false starts on “PLAYING PEEKABOO” (I was going for variations on “hide and seek” for a little while)

    11. Hi folks!!🤗

      Easy Tuesday; no errors. I caught onto the theme quickly and it helped. My only hesitation was at NIX/OXEYE – I had to run the alphabet to get the X. Glad I did.

      Charley, you’re never the last to weigh in when I’m here – I’m always at 2 a.m. or so, Pacific time!! Night owl! 🦉

      Jack re. vaccine – have you spoken to your health care provider?

      Be well~~🇺🇸

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