LA Times Crossword 2 Jan 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: Craig Stowe
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 17m 15s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • ALL (aml!)
  • OREL (Orem!)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Payments to some volunteers : HONORARIA

An honorarium (plural “honoraria”) is a payment made to a professional for a service that usually does not merit a fee. The term is Latin, and was originally used for a bribe that was paid to be awarded an honorary post.

10 Band wind instruments : JUGS

A jug band features a jug player, as well as others playing ordinary objects perhaps modified to make sound. One such instrument is the washtub bass. The “tub” is a stringed instrument that uses a metal washtub as a resonator. A washboard might also be used in a jug band, as a percussion instrument. The ribbed surface of the washboard is usually scraped using thimbles on the ends of the fingers.

15 Peel out, maybe : GUN IT

One might peel out at the start of a drag race, for example.

16 1994 Chuck Norris movie : HELLBOUND

“Hellbound” is a 1994 action movie starring Chuck Norris and Calvin Levels as two Chicago. police detectives. The pair head to Israel on the trail of the murderer of a rabbi, and then the storyline heads into the realm of the supernatural.

Chuck Norris is a martial artist and actor from Ryan, Oklahoma. Norris’s first real exposure to martial arts was in the US Air Force when he was serving in South Korea. When he left the service Norris opened up a chain of karate schools, and among his clients were Steve McQueen and his son, as well as Donny and Marie Osmond.

17 Pope’s “An __ on Criticism” : ESSAY

Alexander Pope’s 1709 poem “An Essay on Criticism” is the source of at least three well-known quotations:

  • A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.
  • To err is human, to forgive divine.
  • For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

18 Apiece, in scores : ALL

The score in a game might be “one all”, meaning “one apiece”.

19 Art Deco icon : ERTE

“Erté” was the pseudonym of French (Russian-born) artist and designer Romain de Tirtoff. “Erté” is the French pronunciation of his initials “R.T.” Erté’s diverse portfolio of work included costumes and sets for the “Ziegfeld Follies” of 1923, productions of the Parisian cabaret show “Folies Bergère”, as well as the 1925 epic movie “Ben-Hur”. Erté’s most famous work by far is an image titled “Symphony in Black”. It depicts a tall and slender woman dressed in black, holding a black dog on a leash.

25 Neologism : COINAGE

To coin a phrase is to invent a new phrase or expression. The greatest “coiner” of them all has to be William Shakespeare. Here are a few everyday expressions that were created by the Bard:

  • The game is afoot (Henry IV, Part I)
  • Brave new world (The Tempest)
  • Break the ice (The Taming of the Shrew)
  • Dead as a doornail (Henry VI, Part II)
  • Eaten me out of house and home (Henry IV, Part II)
  • Forever and a day (As You Like It)
  • For goodness’ sake (Henry VIII)
  • Knock knock! Who’s there? (Macbeth)
  • Set my teeth on edge (Henry IV, Part I)
  • Wild-goose chase (Romeo and Juliet)

A neologism is a new word or phrase, or a new meaning or usage for an existing word.

27 Megan of “The Blacklist” : BOONE

Actress Megan Boone is perhaps best known for playing the lead role of FBI agent Elizabeth Keen on the TV show “The Blacklist”. Boone grew up in The Villages in Florida, the fast-growing retirement community that featured so much in the news during the 2020 US presidential election. In fact, Boone’s grandfather was H. Gary Morse, the billionaire responsible for developing The Villages project.

“The Blacklist” is an entertaining, albeit a little formulaic, crime drama TV show starring James Spader and Megan Boone. Spader plays a successful criminal who surrenders to the FBI in order to help catch a “blacklist” of high-profile criminals.

28 Robert __, unsuccessful 1987 Supreme Court nominee : BORK

Robert Bork serves as Solicitor General of the US in Nixon and Ford administrations. He was a key figure in the infamous “Saturday Night Massacre” in 1973. It was Bork who fired Watergrate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, after Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus resigned rather than carry out President Nixon’s order. Bork was nominated to the US Supreme Court by President Reagan in 1987, but that nomination was rejected by the Democrat-controlled US Senate.

35 Eastern nurse : AMAH

“Amah” is an interesting word in that we associate it so much with Asian culture and yet the term actually comes from the Portuguese “ama” meaning “nurse”. Ama was imported into English in the days of the British Raj in India when a wet-nurse became known as an amah.

36 Pac-12 team since 2011 : UTES

The Utah Utes are the athletic teams of the University of Utah.

41 Island birthplace of Pythagoras : SAMOS

Samos is an island in the eastern Aegean Sea off the coast of Greece. Samos is the birthplace of the famed mathematician Pythagoras, the philosopher Epicurus, and the astronomer Aristarchus of Samos. The latter was the first person known to have proposed that the Earth revolves around the sun.

Pythagoras of Samos is remembered by most these days for his work in mathematics, and for his famous Pythagorean theorem that states that in any right triangle, the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. Although there is very little of Pythagoras’s own work that survives, much has been written by his successors that shows how great his influence was above and beyond mathematics, in the fields of philosophy and religion in particular. In fact, it is believed that Pythagoras coined the word “philosophy”, coming from the Greek for “loving wisdom or knowledge”. On a “timeline” of famous Greek philosophers, Pythagoras was doing his work over a hundred years before Socrates, who was followed by Plato and then Aristotle.

46 Jazz phrase : RIFF

A riff is a short rhythmic phrase in music, especially one improvised on a guitar.

51 Small driers, to Brits : TEA TOWELS

What we know as a dish towel, is usually referred to as a tea towel and tea cloth in Britain and Ireland.

53 “Jay __ Garage”: Emmy-winning reality show : LENO’S

“Jay Leno’s Garage” is a weekly show that has aired on TV since 2015. The show originated as a web series for NBC, but popularity dictated a move to primetime. The show focuses on Jay Leno’s Big Dog Garage located in Burbank, California that houses his huge collection of cars and motorcycles.

55 Grandson of Abraham : ESAU

Esau was the grandson of Abraham and the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When Esau was born to Isaac and Rebekah, the event was described with “Now the first came forth, red all over like a hairy garment”. Esau is portrayed later in life as being very different from his brother Jacob, as a hunter and someone who loves the outdoor life.

Down

2 Russian city : OREL

Orel (also “Oryol”) is a city lying on the Oka River, just over 200 miles SSW of Moscow. Orel was one of the cities occupied by Germany during WWII. It was liberated in 1943, but had been almost completely destroyed.

3 Dudley Do-Right’s love : NELL

Dudley Do-Right appeared on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, a cartoon that appeared on television in a couple of different versions from 1959-1964. Dudley was a bungling Mountie who struggled with his nemesis, the evil Snidely Whiplash, while pursuing the romantic intentions of Nell Fenwick (who always seemed to prefer Dudley’s horse!).

4 Symbol of Athena : OWL

The Greek goddess Athena (sometimes “Athene”) is often associated with wisdom, among other attributes. In many representations. Athena is depicted with an owl sitting on her head. It is this linkage of the owl with the goddess of wisdom that led to today’s perception of the owl as being “wise”. Athena’s Roman counterpart was Minerva.

6 Hellenic gathering places : AGORAE

In early Greece, an agora was a place of assembly. The assemblies held there were often quite formal, perhaps for the reading of a proclamation. Later in Greek history, things became less formal as the agora evolved into a marketplace. Our contemporary word “agoraphobia” comes from these agorae, in the sense that an agoraphobe has a fear of open spaces, a fear of “public meeting places”.

Someone from Greece can be called a Hellene. “Ellas” is the Greek word for “Greece”, the name of the country. Greece is also known as the “Hellenic” Republic.

8 “Rhinoceros” playwright : IONESCO

Eugène Ionesco was a Romanian and French playwright who was very active in the Avant-garde and Theater of the Absurd movements.

12 17th-century sculptor Bernini : GIAN

Gian Lorenzo Bernini was an Italian sculptor and architect, one generally regarded as the successor to Michelangelo. Bernini’s most famous work perhaps is the design for the Piazza San Pietro (Saint Peter’s Square) that is located in front of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

13 Ocular woe : STYE

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

22 Wood lots : CORDS

A cord of firewood has a volume of 128 cubic feet. More commonly it’s a neat stack measuring 4 feet high, 8 feet long and 4 feet deep.

24 Manilow hit featuring Tony and Lola : COPACABANA

The Copacabana of the 1978 Barry Manilow song is the Copacabana nightclub in New York City (which is also the subject of the Frank Sinatra song “Meet Me at the Copa”). The Copa opened in 1940 and is still going today, although it is struggling. The club had to move due to impending construction and is now “sharing” a location with the Columbus 72 nightclub.

Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl
With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there
She would merengue and do the cha-cha
And while she tried to be a star
Tony always tended bar
Across the crowded floor, they worked from 8 ’til 4
They were young and they had each other
Who could ask for more?

26 White-tailed fliers : ERNES

The ern (sometimes “erne”) is also known as the white-tailed eagle or the sea eagle.

27 Hood accessory : BRA

A front-end bra is a tight-fitting cover that fits over the front of a car’s hood in order to provide protection against scratches. What was eventually branded as the Original Car Bra was invented in 1961 as a special order for three owners of Porsche 356 sports cars.

28 Units usually prefixed : BYTES

In the world of computing, a bit is the basic unit of information. It has a value of 0 or 1. A “byte” is a small collection of “bits” (usually 8), the number of bits needed to uniquely identify a character of text. The prefix mega- stands for 10 to the power of 6, so a megabyte (meg) is 1,000,000 bytes. The prefix giga- means 10 to the power of 9, and so a gigabyte (gig) is 1,000,000,000 bytes. Well, those are the SI definitions of megabyte and gigabyte. The purists still use 2 to the power of 20 for a megabyte (i.e. 1,048,576), and 2 to the power of 30 for a gigabyte.

32 Vegas hotel that once had a King Tut’s Tomb replica : LUXOR

Luxor is a hotel and casino in Las Vegas that is shaped like a black pyramid. The hotel is named for the city of Luxor in Egypt, which is the site of the ancient city of Thebes. One of the features of the building is the Luxor Sky Beam, the intense beam of light that projects upwards from the top of the pyramid at night time. The Luxor Sky Beam is the strongest beam of light in the world.

34 Home of the Cardinal : STANFORD

Leland Stanford became a very successful businessman in California after moving there from New York during the Gold Rush. Stanford then served as governor of the state for two years, and later US Senator for California. He founded the Leland Stanford Junior University in memory of his teenage son who died of typhoid fever while the family was travelling in Italy in 1884. The university opened its doors for business in 1891, and the first student admitted was none other than Herbert Hoover, the man destined to become the 31st President of the US.

The Stanford Cardinal are the athletic teams of Stanford University. The nickname is not a reference to the bird, but rather to the primary color of the teams’ uniforms.

37 Where the Boss’ band once rehearsed : E STREET

The E Street Band is the backing group for Bruce Springsteen. The band came together in 1972 but didn’t take a formal name until two years later. The keyboard player in the original line up was David Sancious, and his mother allowed the group to rehearse at her home. That home was on E Street in Belmar, New Jersey, and that’s where the band got their name.

40 Corral : AMASS

“Corral” is Spanish word that we’ve imported into English describing an enclosure for livestock. Ultimately, the term comes from the Vulgar Latin “currale” meaning “enclosure for carts”, itself coming from “currus”, the Latin for “cart”.

43 Mythical hunter : DIANA

Diana was the Roman goddess of the hunt, the moon and birthing. The Greek equivalent of Diana was the goddess Artemis. According to Roman mythology, Diana was the twin sister of Apollo, and the daughter of Jupiter and Latona.

45 Bari __: low-pitched strings : UKES

The ukulele (uke) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

47 Sixth of 24 : ZETA

Zeta is the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a precursor of our Roman letter Z. The word “zeta” is also the ancestor of the letter name “zed”, which became “zee”, the term that we use here in the US.

48 Porters, e.g. : ALES

Porter is a dark beer that originated in London in the 1700s. It is named for the street and river porters with whom it was very popular. Porter is a well-hopped beer made using brown malt, which gives it the dark color.

49 Sibilant “Hey!” : PSST!

“Sibilant” is a lovely word that describes a sound of speech, i.e. the sound of an “s” or “z”, a hissing sound. The word “sissies”, for example, has three sibilant sounds.

51 Sharp offerings : TVS

Sharp Corporation is a Japanese manufacturer of electronic goods, headquartered in Osaka. The company takes its name from one of the first inventions of one of its founders, namely the Ever-Ready Sharp Pencil.

52 Post-WWII feminine flier : WAF

The program called Women in the Air Force (WAF) started in 1948 with the signing of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act in 1948 by President Truman. The WAF program gave women only a limited role in the service, and so ended in 1976 when women were given equal status with men in the USAF.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Payments to some volunteers : HONORARIA
10 Band wind instruments : JUGS
14 “Is everything resolved now?” : ARE WE GOOD?
15 Peel out, maybe : GUN IT
16 1994 Chuck Norris movie : HELLBOUND
17 Pope’s “An __ on Criticism” : ESSAY
18 Apiece, in scores : ALL
19 Art Deco icon : ERTE
20 Reconcile : ATTUNE
21 Entertainer with a desk : CLASS CLOWN
23 Spectrum : SCALE
25 Neologism : COINAGE
27 Megan of “The Blacklist” : BOONE
28 Robert __, unsuccessful 1987 Supreme Court nominee : BORK
29 Poet’s preposition : THRO’
31 Without delay : RAPIDLY
33 Drop : DESCEND
35 Eastern nurse : AMAH
36 Pac-12 team since 2011 : UTES
38 “Me __!” : THREE
39 Tools used on the way up : ICE AXES
41 Island birthplace of Pythagoras : SAMOS
42 “Just one more” : ALMOST DONE
44 Poor : SUBPAR
46 Jazz phrase : RIFF
47 Electrify : ZAP
50 Sanctions : OKAYS
51 Small driers, to Brits : TEA TOWELS
53 “Jay __ Garage”: Emmy-winning reality show : LENO’S
54 Reveres : VENERATES
55 Grandson of Abraham : ESAU
56 Refuse to budge : STAND FAST

Down

1 “Funny not funny” : HA HA
2 Russian city : OREL
3 Dudley Do-Right’s love : NELL
4 Symbol of Athena : OWL
5 Rose up : REBELLED
6 Hellenic gathering places : AGORAE
7 Creams : ROUTS
8 “Rhinoceros” playwright : IONESCO
9 Cookbook directive : ADD
10 “Pay attention and see how it’s done” : JUST WATCH ME
11 One who didn’t get what they deserved : UNSUNG HERO
12 17th-century sculptor Bernini : GIAN
13 Ocular woe : STYE
15 Board : GET ON
20 Matching in many ways : ALIKE
21 Offer to a customer : CAN I HELP YOU?
22 Wood lots : CORDS
23 “Same here” : SO AM I
24 Manilow hit featuring Tony and Lola : COPACABANA
26 White-tailed fliers : ERNES
27 Hood accessory : BRA
28 Units usually prefixed : BYTES
30 Poetic tribute : ODE
32 Vegas hotel that once had a King Tut’s Tomb replica : LUXOR
34 Home of the Cardinal : STANFORD
37 Where the Boss’ band once rehearsed : E STREET
40 Corral : AMASS
41 Give in a bit : SOFTEN
43 Mythical hunter : DIANA
44 Exclusive : SOLE
45 Bari __: low-pitched strings : UKES
47 Sixth of 24 : ZETA
48 Porters, e.g. : ALES
49 Sibilant “Hey!” : PSST!
51 Sharp offerings : TVS
52 Post-WWII feminine flier : WAF

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 2 Jan 21, Saturday”

  1. LAT: 35 minutes, no errors. Thought impossible on my first scan, but a hit on “Bork” got me going. The Barry Manilow clue also greatly helped out as well as many, many good guesses. A solid Saturday puzzle.

  2. Done with no errors, but it wasn’t easy. The thing that held me up for
    a long time was I had “Orion” for the mythical hunter instead of Diana.
    Once Diana was in place, the finish came fast. Not without some lookups
    though…mostly proper names.

  3. Ok, a few errors today. I couldn’t get the SHARPE’s of the NFL out of my head on 51D so I said TD instead of TV… even though I spelled it wrong.. aarrgghh. Why can’t I break out of that.!! Missed 8D IONESCE instead of IONESCO so that meant i had BERK instead of BORK.. was stuck on GUNIT and ATTUNE for a long time.. wasn’t in sync. Good puzzle.

  4. Can any Greek scholars out there explain why AGORA, a Greek word, has a Latin plural ending, AGORAE? This would make sense if ancient Rome had an agora but from what I’ve read (admittedly not very much) the Roman version of an agora was a forum.

  5. Can any Greek scholars out there explain why AGORA, a Greek word, has a Latin plural ending, AGORAE? This would make sense if ancient Rome had an agora but from what I’ve read (admittedly not a lot) the Roman version of an agora was a forum.

  6. 17:21, no errors. Unusually difficult for an LAT puzzle. Or, perhaps, I was just having a slow day – I’m embarrassed to admit that I spent at least three hours yesterday searching through boxes (that I still haven’t unpacked from my move, ten months ago), looking for a replacement tea kettle that I was sure I had bought, only to discover it on my stove and finally recall that I threw the old one out at least a year ago. (In my defense, I will add that the new one is showing signs of the problem that caused me to buy the replacement; still, it shouldn’t have taken me that long to grok the situation. I am becoming an old fossil.)

    I’m mostly here to check whether the posting time lag situation has changed. This morning, for the second day in a row, my post to Bill’s NYX blog appeared instantly. So … here’s hoping that … maybe … we will now get one post without delay? We’ll see …

  7. Even though in college I acted in the play “Rhinoceros” thus easily filling in the answer to that clue, the rest of the puzzle was too much of a struggle for me on this relaxing first day of a new year.

  8. How could Megan Boone have grown up in The Villages, since it is a 55+ community? I guess the developers of the place get to live by their own special rules. I have heard of cases where orphaned children were not allowed to move in with their grandparents in such places.

  9. 45:57 no errors…again I say it looks like the LAT is catching up to the NYT in degree of difficulty.
    Stay safe.😀
    Go Ravens 🙏

  10. 20 mins 31 sec before I threw in the towel on this one, a legitimate first stumper of the year. Once you start throwing in fills like AGORAE and HONORARIA, well, you’re determined that almost nobody will finish your grid. I’m sure this is the earliest in a year Bill has missed any…

  11. Well I got some of this but kind of fizzled out. After a few “check-grids” I got on track and managed to finish it in 1:02:23.

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