LA Times Crossword 20 Jan 21, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Steve Marron & C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Paper Carriers

Themed answers each include (CARRY) a quantity of PAPER as a hidden word:

  • 50A Morning news deliverers … or based on a hidden word in each, what 20-, 27- and 43-Across are? : PAPER CARRIERS
  • 20A It takes getting used to : ACQUIRED TASTE (carrying “QUIRE”)
  • 27A Native American leaders : TRIBAL ELDERS (carrying “BALE”)
  • 43A Exuberant compliment : YOU’RE AMAZING (carrying “REAM”)

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

Bill’s time: 5m 52s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Guthrie’s “Today” co-host : KOTB

Hoda Kotb is an Egyptian-American television journalist who is perhaps best known as a co-host of the NBC morning show “Today”. She is also the author of the bestselling autobiography “Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee”.

Savannah Guthrie is a broadcast journalist who started to co-anchor the NBC news show “Today” in 2012. Although raised in Arizona. Guthrie was actually born in Melbourne, Australia.

5 Apple tablet : IPAD

The groundbreaking iPad was introduced by Apple in 2010. The iOS-based iPads dominated the market for tablet computers until 2013, when Android-based tablets (manufactured by several companies) took over the number-one spot.

9 Easily bruised Cajun veggie : OKRA

The plant known as okra is mainly grown for its edible green pods. The pods are said to resemble “ladies’ fingers”, which is an alternative name for the plant. Okra is known as “ngombo” in Bantu, a name that might give us the word “gumbo”, the name for the name of the southern Louisiana stew that includes okra as a key ingredient.

Cajun cuisine is named for the French-speaking Acadian people who were deported from Acadia in Canada to Louisiana in the 18th century.

16 Currency with Khomeini’s picture : RIAL

The rial is the currency of Iran (as well as Yemen, Oman, Cambodia and Tunisia). Generally, there are 1,000 baisa in a rial.

The Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was one of the leaders of the 1979 Iranian Revolution which overthrew the Shah of Iran. After the revolution he came to power as the country’s Supreme Leader, holding the highest ranking political and religious position. When Khomeini died in 1989, there were two funerals. The first had to be aborted after a crowd of 2 million people got out of control and encroached on the funeral procession. The Ayatollah’s wooden casket broke open and his body nearly fell to the ground as devotees tried to grasp pieces of his death shroud.

18 Greek salad ingredient : FETA

Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk. The cheese is salted and cured in a brine solution for several months before it is eaten.

20 It takes getting used to : ACQUIRED TASTE (carrying “QUIRE”)

A quire is a measure of paper quantity. There are usually 25 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires (500 sheets) in a ream. To complicate things, a quire sometimes only contains 15, 18, 20 or 24 sheets, depending on the type of paper.

23 Note dispenser : ATM

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)

26 Geese cries : HONKS

A male goose is called a gander, with the female simply being referred to as a goose. Young geese are called goslings.

27 Native American leaders : TRIBAL ELDERS (carrying “BALE”)

A pack of 5,000 sheets of paper is known as a “bale”.

32 One of its first customers was a collector of broken laser pointers : EBAY

eBay was founded in 1995 as AuctionWeb. One of the first items purchased was a broken laser pointer, for $14.83. The buyer was a collector of broken laser pointers …

33 IRS forms expert : CPA

Certified public accountant (CPA)

36 Just slightly : A TAD

Back in the 1800s, “tad” was used to describe a young child, and this extended into our usage of “small amount” in the early 1900s. The original use of “tad” for a child is very likely a shortened version of “tadpole”.

37 Brown ermine : STOAT

The stoat has dark brown fur in the summer, and white fur in the winter. Sometimes the term “ermine” is used for the animal during the winter when the fur is white. Ermine skins have long been prized by royalty and are often used for white trim on ceremonial robes.

41 High time? : NOON

Our word “noon”, meaning “midday”, comes from the Latin “nona hora” that translates as “ninth hour”. Back in ancient Rome, the “ninth hour” was three in the afternoon. Over the centuries, traditions such as church prayers and “midday” meals shifted from 3 p.m. to 12 p.m., and so “noon” became understood as 12 noon.

42 “Shrek” princess : FIONA

Princess Fiona is the title character’s love interest in the “Shrek” series of films.

43 Exuberant compliment : YOU’RE AMAZING (carrying “REAM”)

A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a “short ream”. We also use the term “reams” to mean a great amount, evolving from the idea of a lot of printed material.

46 Some blue jeans : LEVI’S

Levi Strauss was the founder of the first company in the world to manufacture blue jeans. Levi Strauss & Co. opened in 1853 in San Francisco. Strauss and his business partner were awarded a patent in 1873 for the use of copper rivets to strengthen points of strain on working pants.

48 Sea-__ Airport : TAC

Sea-Tac Airport (SEA) is more fully known as Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Sea-Tac is the main hub for Alaska Airlines.

54 Late notice? : OBIT

Our word “obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”. The Latin term was used for “record of the death of a person”, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

55 “The __ Report”: 1976 bestseller : HITE

Shere Hite was a German sex educator, although she was born in the US. She married German concert pianist Friedrich Höricke in 1985 and renounced her US citizenship in favor of German nationality in the mid-nineties. Hite’s work focused on sexual experience and what meaning it holds for an individual. Her most famous publications are “The Hite Report on Female Sexuality” (1976) and “The Hite Report on Men and Male Sexuality” (1981).

56 Bangkok natives : THAIS

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”.

59 Ticket stub abbr. : SECT

Section (sect.)

62 Programmer’s alternative to “if” : ELSE

In the world of computer programming, an “if-then-else” construct is a type of conditional statement. The idea is that IF a particular condition is met THEN a particular action is executed. The additional ELSE statement can be used to define an alternative action.

63 Yom Kippur ritual : FAST

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people, and is also known as the Day of Atonement.

Down

2 Half of snake eyes : ONE

“Snake eyes” is the slang term for a roll of two dice in which one pip turns up on each die.

3 Ryokan floor cover : TATAMI MAT

A tatami is a traditional mat used on floors in Japan. The term “tatami” comes from the Japanese word “tatamu” meaning “to fold”, reflecting the fact that the mat is designed to be folded up for storage.

A “ryokan” is a Japanese inn that provides a very traditional experience. Examples of that experience are tatami mats on the floors and sliding doors, communal baths and public areas where residents can relax while wearing traditional Japanese clothing.

4 Political alliance : BLOC

“Bloc” is the French word for “block”.

8 Tie on a track : DEAD HEAT

A race ending in a dead heat ends in a tie. A heat is one of a series of races, and it might be described as “dead” if there is no decisive outcome, if there is a tie.

9 Instruments with stops : ORGANS

A stop is a component of a pipe organ that admits a flow of air to a specific set of organ pipes. The organ player can allow air to flow, or can “stop” it (hence the name “stop”). Stops are classified according to the group of pipes that are controlled, with stops often being named for the sounds imitated by those pipes. So, for example, there are flute stops, string stops and reed stops.

10 Key-cutting site : KIOSK

Our word “kiosk” came to us via French and Turkish from the Persian “kushk” meaning “palace, portico”.

11 Raging YouTube posts : RANTS

YouTube is a video-sharing website that was launched in 2005 by three ex-PayPal employees. Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. Yep, $1.65 billion, less than two years after it was founded …

12 Sheltered from the wind : ALEE

Alee is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing aweather.

14 Plumlike Asian fruit : LOQUAT

A loquat is an evergreen plant grown for its fruit and leaves, and as an ornamental. The fruit is orange when ripe, and tastes of peach, citrus and mango. The leaves are used to brew a tea known as “biwa cha” in Japan. The loquat also goes by the names Japanese plum and Chinese plum.

21 GoDaddy purchase : URL

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a Uniform Resource Locator (URL).

GoDaddy is a domain registrar and web hosting company. A domain registrar is an entity that manages the reservation of Internet domain names (I use GoDaddy to maintain my registration of the LAXCrossword.com and NYXCrossword.com domain names). The other side of GoDaddy’s business is web hosting, so GoDaddy provides space on servers where websites (like this one) are maintained, and also provides Internet connectivity so that the website is accessible via the World Wide Web.

22 Boris Johnson, e.g. : TORY

“Tory” comes from the Irish word “tóraí” meaning “outlaw, robber”. The term “tory” was originally used for an Irish outlaw and later became a term of abuse for Irish rebels. At the end of the reign of King Charles II in Britain, there was a political divide with one side being called “Whigs” and the other “Tories”. Historically, the term “Tory” evolved to basically mean a supporter of the British monarchy, and indeed was used to describe those who remained loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution. Today, “Tory” is used for a member of the British Conservative Party.

Boris Johnson is a larger-than-life Conservative politician in the UK, and former Mayor of London. He was the very visible frontman in the campaign for the UK to exit the European Union, the so-called Brexit campaign. As a result of the UK voting to exit the EU, Prime Minister David Cameron resigned, to be replaced by Theresa May. Theresa May then appointed Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary. Almost inevitably, Boris Johnson then replaced May as Prime Minister. In more recent times, Johnson famously made light of the coronavirus pandemic and ignored calls for social distancing. He then fell ill with COVID-19, ended up in an intensive care unit, and ultimately revised his advice about social distancing.

23 Book with insets : ATLAS

The famous Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator published his first collection of maps in 1578. Mercator’s collection contained a frontispiece with an image of Atlas the Titan from Greek mythology holding up the world on his shoulders. That image gave us our term “atlas” that is used for a book of maps.

24 Clichéd : TRITE

“Cliché” is a word that comes from the world of printing. In the days when type was added as individual letters into a printing plate, for efficiency some oft-used phrases and words were created as one single slug of metal. The word “cliché” was used for such a grouping of letters. It’s easy to see how the same word would become a term to describe any overused phrase. Supposedly, “cliché” comes from French, from the verb “clicher” meaning “to click”. The idea is that when a matrix of letters was dropped in molten metal to make a cliché, it made a clicking sound.

29 Africa’s Sierra __ : LEONE

The Republic of Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa that lies on the Atlantic Coast. The capital city of Freetown was originally set up as a colony to house the “Black Poor” of London, England. These people were mainly freed British slaves of Caribbean descent who were living a miserable life in the run-down parts of London. Perhaps to help the impoverished souls, perhaps to rid the streets of “a problem”, three ships were chartered in 1787 to transport a group of blacks, with some whites, to a piece of land purchased in Sierra Leone. Those who made the voyage were granted British citizenship and protection. The descendants of these immigrants, and others who made the journey over the next 60 years, make up the ethnic group that’s today called the Sierra Leone Creole.

30 Trade name letters : DBA

Doing business as (DBA)

33 Flaky bakery product : CROISSANT

Although similar pastries have been around since the 13th century, the croissant was introduced in a Viennese bakery in Paris in 1839. The pastry was named for its shape, as “croissant” is French for “crescent”.

34 Tubular pasta : PENNE

The pasta known as penne comes in two main types, i.e. penne lisce (which is smooth) and penne rigate (which is furrowed).

37 Kitchen bigwig-in-waiting : SOUS-CHEF

The “sous-chef de cuisine” (a French term) is the “under-chef of the kitchen”, the second-in-command.

38 A.L.’s Blue Jays : TOR

The Toronto Blue Jays baseball franchise was founded in 1977. The Blue Jays are the only team based outside the US to have won a World Series, doing so in 1992 and 1993. And since the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington, the Blue Jays are the only Major League Baseball team now headquartered outside of the US.

41 Black, in Biarritz : NOIR

The coastal city of Biarritz in southwestern France sits on the Bay of Biscay, about 20 miles from the Spanish border. It is a fashionable spa resort with an economy that largely depends on tourism.

42 Rhinestone surfaces : FACETS

A rhinestone is a colorless, artificial gem made from paste or glass. The original rhinestones were rock crystals that were gathered from the river Rhine in Germany.

43 __ Nicole Brown of “Community” : YVETTE

Actress and comedian Yvette Nicole Brown is perhaps best known for playing Shirley Bennett on the sitcom “Community”. Brown decided to leave the show after five seasons in order to care for her father.

45 Monet’s May : MAI

French artist Claude Monet was one of the founders of the Impressionist movement, and indeed the term “Impressionism” comes from the title of his 1872 painting “Impression, Sunrise”. That work depicts the port of Le Havre, which was Monet’s hometown. Later in his life, Monet purchased a house in Giverny, and famously installed lily ponds and a Japanese bridge in the property’s extensive gardens. He spent two decades painting the water lily ponds, producing his most famous works.

46 Record company imprint : LABEL

In the world of publishing, an imprint is a trade name used by the publisher. One publishing company might have more than one imprint. For example, Simon & Schuster have around 35 different imprints, including Howard Books and Scribner. The music industry also uses the term “imprint”, to describe record labels owned by a music publishing company.

51 Bygone audio brand : AIWA

Aiwa was a Japanese company that produced consumer electronics, mainly audio and video equipment. Sony bought Aiwa in 2002 and eventually discontinued the brand in 2006. The Aiwa trademark was acquired by a Chicago-based consumer electronics company in 2015.

52 66 and others: Abbr. : RTES

The famous old highway called Route 66 has largely been replaced by modern interstates. It ran from Chicago to Los Angeles, right through the heart of America, and so it was often called the “Main Street of America”. The road gained notoriety because of Nat King Cole’s song “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66”, and also because of the sixties TV show called “Route 66”.

53 Flightless bird of the pampas : RHEA

The rhea is a flightless bird that is native to South America. The rhea takes its name from the Greek Titan Rhea. It’s an apt name for a flightless bird as “rhea” comes from the Greek word meaning “ground”.

The pampas are fertile lowlands covering a large part of Argentina, Uruguay and some of Brazil. “Pampa” is a Quechua word meaning “plain”.

58 Phishing target, briefly : SSN

Social Security number (SSN)

Phishing is the online practice of stealing usernames, passwords and credit card details by creating a site that deceptively looks reliable and trustworthy. Phishers often send out safe-looking emails or instant messages that direct someone to an equally safe-looking website where the person might inadvertently enter sensitive information. “Phishing” is a play on the word “fishing”, as in “fishing for passwords, PINs, etc.”

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Guthrie’s “Today” co-host : KOTB
5 Apple tablet : IPAD
9 Easily bruised Cajun veggie : OKRA
13 Collectively : IN ALL
15 Possessive shout : MINE!
16 Currency with Khomeini’s picture : RIAL
17 “Same here!” : ME TOO!
18 Greek salad ingredient : FETA
19 Out of sight : GONE
20 It takes getting used to : ACQUIRED TASTE (carrying “QUIRE”)
23 Note dispenser : ATM
25 Large tea dispenser : URN
26 Geese cries : HONKS
27 Native American leaders : TRIBAL ELDERS (carrying “BALE”)
31 Put a cap on : LIMIT
32 One of its first customers was a collector of broken laser pointers : EBAY
33 IRS forms expert : CPA
36 Just slightly : A TAD
37 Brown ermine : STOAT
39 Born and __ : BRED
40 Theater backdrop : SET
41 High time? : NOON
42 “Shrek” princess : FIONA
43 Exuberant compliment : YOU’RE AMAZING (carrying “REAM”)
46 Some blue jeans : LEVI’S
48 Sea-__ Airport : TAC
49 Observe : SEE
50 Morning news deliverers … or based on a hidden word in each, what 20-, 27- and 43-Across are? : PAPER CARRIERS
54 Late notice? : OBIT
55 “The __ Report”: 1976 bestseller : HITE
56 Bangkok natives : THAIS
59 Ticket stub abbr. : SECT
60 Meadow mamas : EWES
61 Fires off : SENDS
62 Programmer’s alternative to “if” : ELSE
63 Yom Kippur ritual : FAST
64 Heavy homework amount : A TON

Down

1 Most common surname in Korea : KIM
2 Half of snake eyes : ONE
3 Ryokan floor cover : TATAMI MAT
4 Political alliance : BLOC
5 “Everything’s OK” : I’M FINE
6 Berth place : PIER
7 Initial poker payment : ANTE
8 Tie on a track : DEAD HEAT
9 Instruments with stops : ORGANS
10 Key-cutting site : KIOSK
11 Raging YouTube posts : RANTS
12 Sheltered from the wind : ALEE
14 Plumlike Asian fruit : LOQUAT
21 GoDaddy purchase : URL
22 Boris Johnson, e.g. : TORY
23 Book with insets : ATLAS
24 Clichéd : TRITE
28 Auction action : BID
29 Africa’s Sierra __ : LEONE
30 Trade name letters : DBA
33 Flaky bakery product : CROISSANT
34 Tubular pasta : PENNE
35 “Opposites attract,” e.g. : ADAGE
37 Kitchen bigwig-in-waiting : SOUS-CHEF
38 A.L.’s Blue Jays : TOR
39 Show __ : BIZ
41 Black, in Biarritz : NOIR
42 Rhinestone surfaces : FACETS
43 __ Nicole Brown of “Community” : YVETTE
44 Taking a breather : AT REST
45 Monet’s May : MAI
46 Record company imprint : LABEL
47 Heroic tales : EPICS
50 Sit for a portrait : POSE
51 Bygone audio brand : AIWA
52 66 and others: Abbr. : RTES
53 Flightless bird of the pampas : RHEA
57 Altar affirmation : I DO
58 Phishing target, briefly : SSN

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 20 Jan 21, Wednesday”

  1. No errors, but the theme eluded me once again. Easier than it
    first looked. I didn’t know Aiwa, but the crossing letters filed it in.

  2. No errors but I completely missed the theme. I thought they were papers or magazines.. CQ, TRIB and AMA..

    Ha!

    1. @Jack – Don’t think you were alone in the leaders vs elders error. I tried to cram Tribal Leaders into the answer line. When that couldn’t work I finally looked more carefully and got Elders. So either we are both making dumb errors or the puzzle constructor knew that us solvers would first jump at Leaders.

  3. Bill… your explanation for the word cliche was very interesting to me. Back in the fifties, my father owned a letterpress (vs offset) print shop and I often helped by setting the movable type for the printing press. Sadly, there was never a cliche among the letters within the bank. On occasion, I bet it could have saved me some time.

  4. Had to Google for GoDaddy. Also never heard of this YVETTE. I’ll have to study a list of airport abbrevs, as they all escape me.
    Don’t get Berth place = PIER.

  5. 12:20, and two errors, right where you’d expect them: at the junction of KOTB and TATAMI MAT. It’s a low-down dirty trick to cross a name as unusual as KOTB and some obscure piece of foreign building material (?????).

        1. Yeah. Every bit as obscure as “tsunami”, “typhoon”, “karaoke”, “sake”, “sushi”, “emoji”, “kimono”, and “obi”! … 😜

  6. Tricky Wednesday for me; took 20:04 with 3 errors – the same one Allen had and also STOll instead of STOAT….dumb really, but I was kind of distracted today.

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