LA Times Crossword 22 Jan 21, Friday

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Constructed by: Bruce Haight
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): That’s Golf?

Themed answers are common phrases reinterpreted with reference to golf:

  • 18A Difficult golf shot? : HARD DRIVE
  • 24A Breakfast spot for golfers? : DOUGHNUT HOLE
  • 38A Low-quality golf equipment? : MICKEY MOUSE CLUB
  • 49A Golf simulator shot? : COMPUTER CHIP
  • 60A Place to meet single golfers? : DATE RANGE

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

Bill’s time: 8m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Hard to rattle : STOIC

Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher famous for teaching at the Stoa Poikile, the “Painted Porch”, located on the north side of the Ancient Agora of Athens. Because of the location of his classes, his philosophy became known as stoicism (from “stoa”, the word for “porch”). We get our adjective “stoic”, meaning “indifferent to pleasure or pain”, from the same root.

6 Easy-to-read sign : NEON

The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

10 Two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom and teammates : METS

Jacob deGrom is a baseball pitcher who made his Major League debut with the New York Mets in 2014. Apart from his performance on the field, DeGrom was famous for wearing his hair unusually long for a couple of seasons. There was even a promotional Jacob DeGrom Hair Hat given away at games during the 2016 season.

14 “The Metamorphosis” author : KAFKA

“The Metamorphosis” is a famous novella by Franz Kafka, regarded by many as one of the greatest pieces of short fiction written in the 20th century. The story tells of the metamorphosis of Gregor Samsa into a gigantic insect. His sister Grete Samsa becomes his caregiver.

16 Miami Heat coach Spoelstra : ERIK

When Erik Spoelstra was appointed head coach for the Miami Heat in 2008, he became the first Asian-American to serve as head coach in any of the four major North American sports leagues.

20 Liftoff approx. : ETD

Estimated time of departure (ETD)

21 Approximately : CIRCA

“Circa” is a Latin word meaning “around, near, about the time of”. We use “circa” directly in English to mean “about the time of”, as well as in derivative words such as “circle” and “circus”.

27 Deck chair wood : TEAK

Teak is a hardwood tree in the mint family that is commonly found in monsoon forests of Asia. Teak’s tight grain and high oil content make it very suitable for constructing outdoor furniture, where weather resistance is valued. For the same reason, teak is the wood of choice for wooden decks on boats.

28 Sports standout : ALL-PRO

The term “All-Pro” is used in the NFL as a designation for the best player across the whole league in a particular position for a given season.

32 Ophthalmology concerns : STYES

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

Ophthalmology is that branch of medicine dealing with the physiology and health of the eye. “Ophthalmos” is the Greek word for “eye”.

38 Low-quality golf equipment? : MICKEY-MOUSE CLUB

The Mickey Mouse Club was created by Walt Disney in 1955, and it’s still going strong today. Over the years the show has given some famous names their start in “the business”, especially in recent times. Included in the list are Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake.

42 Número pequeño : UNO

In Spanish, “uno” (one) is a “número pequeño” (small number).

43 WNBA broadcaster : ESPN

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) was founded in 1996. The WNBA had to compete with the American Basketball League (ABL), a professional women’s basketball league that started playing games the same year the WNBA was founded. The ABL folded in its third season.

44 Fretted fiddles : VIOLS

The viola da gamba (also called simply “viol”) is a bass instrument in what is known as the viol family, with a tonal range that about matches that of the modern-day cello. It is the second largest of all the viols, so is played resting on the floor between the legs. In fact, “viola da gamba” is Italian translating into “viol for the leg”.

A fret is a metal strip embedded in the neck of a stringed instrument, a guitar perhaps. The fingers press on the frets, shortening a string and hence changing the note played. The note increases by one semitone as a finger shortens a string by one fret.

45 Easygoing folks : TYPE BS

The Type-A and Type-B personality theory originated in the fifties. Back then, individuals were labelled as Type A in order to emphasize a perceived increased risk of heart disease. Type-A personality types are so-called “stress junkies”, whereas Type Bs are relaxed and laid back. But there doesn’t seem to be much scientific evidence to support the linkage between the Type-A personality and heart problems.

55 State in two time zones : IDAHO

The US state of Idaho has a panhandle that extends northwards between Washington and Montana, right up to the border with Canada. Across that border is the Canadian province of British Columbia. Most of Idaho is in the Mountain Time Zone, but Northern Idaho (the Panhandle) is in the Pacific Time Zone.

62 Soup veggies : OKRAS

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.

64 Sporty Camaro : IROC

The IROC-Z is a model of Camaro that was introduced by Chevrolet in 1978. The IROC-Z takes its name from a famous stock car race, the International Race of Champions.

65 “That Is NOT a Good __!”: Mo Willems children’s book : IDEA

Mo Willems is a prolific children’s author and animator. As an animator, Willems earned several Emmys for his work on “Sesame Street”, and created the TV series “Sheep in the Big City” for Cartoon Network.

66 Food pkg. info : NET WT

Net weight (net wt.)

67 Like dungeons, typically : DANK

“Dank” is such a lovely word that has largely been superseded by “damp”, another nice word. It is thought that “dank” came into English from Scandinavia some time before the 14th century. The modern Swedish word “dank” means “moist place”.

Down

2 Non __: not so much, in music : TANTO

The Italian term “ma non tanto” is used on a musical score as a tempo qualifier meaning “but not so much”.

4 Mike and __: candy : IKE

“Mike and Ike” is a brand of fruit-flavored candy made by Just Born starting in 1940. Just Born launched quite a unique marketing campaign in 2012 asserting that Mike and Ike had “split up due to creative differences”. The campaign involved production of two different boxes for the candy showing one or the other name scratched out. Clever …

5 “Fast & Furious” staple : CAR CHASE

“The Fast and the Furious” is a series of action movies about street racing and car heists. The original 2001 film spawned several sequels, making it Universal Pictures most successful franchise of all time.

6 Indira Gandhi’s father : NEHRU

Jawaharlal Nehru was the first prime minister of India, serving from 1947-64. Nehru was basically the heir to his mentor Mahatma Gandhi. Nehru’s only daughter Indira, also became prime minister (known as Indira Gandhi through marriage, though she was not related to Mahatma).

Indira Gandhi’s father was Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India. Indira herself became prime minister in 1966. She was assassinated in 1984 by two of her own bodyguards as she was walking to meet Peter Ustinov, who was about to interview her for Irish television.

8 Harpo Productions CEO : OPRAH

Oprah Winfrey’s multimedia production company is known as Harpo Studios. “Harpo” is “Oprah” spelled backwards, and is also the name of the husband of the character who Winfrey played in the movie “The Color Purple”.

10 German chancellor since 2005 : MERKEL

The formidable politician Angela Merkel was first elected Chancellor of Germany, the country’s head of state, in 2005. She is the first female German Chancellor. When she chaired the G8 in 2007 she became only the second woman to do so, after the UK’s Margaret Thatcher. Merkel grew up in East Germany under Communist rule.

11 “The Night Circus” novelist Morgenstern : ERIN

Erin Morgenstern is an author from Marshfield, Massachusetts who published her first novel in 2011. It is a tale of magic and romance called “The Night Circus” that has been compared with the “Harry Potter” series of books.

12 Record for later : TIVO

TiVo was introduced in 1999 and was the world’s first commercially successful digital video recorder (DVR).

19 Pickle herb : DILL

Often, a dill pickle is actually a pickled gherkin, as the gherkin and cucumber are different cultivars within the same species. Here in the US, dill is commonly added to the pickling vinegar or brine, but this wasn’t the case when I used to eat them back in Ireland (I can’t stand dill!). You might see jars labeled as “cornichons”, but they’re gherkins. “Cornichon” is the French word for “gherkin”.

22 HP product : INK

“Inkjet” is a very accurate and descriptive name for the type of printer. Printing is accomplished by shooting extremely fine jets of ink onto the page.

25 Nerdy type : GEEK

Originally, a geek was a sideshow performer, perhaps one at a circus. Sometimes the term “geek” is used today for someone regarded as foolish or clumsy, and also for someone who is technically driven and expert, but often socially inept.

29 Top choices : POLO SHIRTS

René Lacoste was a French tennis player who went into the clothing business, and came up with a more comfortable shirt that players could use. This became known as a “tennis shirt”. When it was adopted for use in the sport of polo, the shirts also became known as “polo shirts”. The “golf shirt” is basically the same thing.

30 Fidel’s successor : RAUL

Raul Castro is the younger brother of Fidel Castro. Raul has been President of Cuba since 2008, when Fidel stepped aside.

Fidel Castro studied law at the University of Havana and there became a follower of left-wing ideals. He launched his first rebellion against Cuban president Fulgencio Batista in 1953, which landed him in jail for a year. He later led rebels in a guerrilla war against the Cuban government, which led to the Cuban Revolution and the overthrow of Batista in 1959. Castro took control of the country, and immediately formed a strong relationship with the Soviet Union. Concern over the alliance in the US led to the botched Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961. There followed the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Fidel Castro started to transfer power to his brother Raúl in 2008, and passed away in 2016.

31 Golf balls, e.g. : ORBS

The first golf balls had smooth surfaces. The idea of adding dimples grew out of the empirical observation that used balls flew further. These older balls were beaten up and had nicks in the surface. The nicks, and the dimples in a modern ball, create a turbulent layer of air that “sticks” to the surface of the ball, and this sticky layer of turbulent air has less drag as it slices through the rest of the air between the golfer and the ball’s destination.

32 Salacious stuff : SMUT

“Smut” means “dirt, smudge” and more recently “pornographic material”. The term comes from the Yiddish “schmutz”, which is a slang word used in English for dirt, as in “dirt on one’s face”.

33 Lilliputian : TINY

The word “lilliputian” meaning “wee” or “very small”, comes from Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels”. In Swift’s tale, Lilliput and Blefuscu are two island nations that are inhabited by tiny people who are under six inches tall.

34 Indian VIPs : PMS

Prime Minister (PM)

36 First answer in the first-ever published crossword : FUN

Arthur Wynne is generally credited with the invention of what we now know as a crossword puzzle. Wynne was born in Liverpool, England and emigrated to the US when he was 19-years-old. He worked as a journalist and was living in Cedar Grove, New Jersey in 1913 when he introduced a “Word-Cross Puzzle” in his page of puzzles written for the “New York World”. The first book of crossword puzzles was published by Shuster & Shuster, in 1924. The collection of puzzles was a huge hit, and crosswords were elevated to the level of “a craze” in 1924 and 1925.

41 POTUS, per Article II, Section 2 : CINC

Commander-in-Chief

Article Two of the US Constitution establishes and defines the powers of the executive branch of the federal government. The article specifically assigns those powers to the office of the US president.

47 Uncultured one : BOOR

Back in the early 1500s, a boor was a rustic person, a peasant farmer, someone associated with the countryside. The term “boor” ultimately comes from the Latin “bos” meaning “cow, ox”. By the mid-1500s, someone described as boorish was considered rude in manner, which is our usage today.

50 __ Express: fast-food chain : PANDA

Panda Express is a restaurant chain specializing in American-Chinese cuisine. The chain was founded in 1983 by husband and wife team Andrew and Peggy Cherng. Andrew opened his first restaurant in 1973 with his father, Master Chef Ming Tsai Cherng from the Yangzhou region of China. That full-service restaurant in Pasadena, California was named the Panda Inn. The Panda Express chain was introduced as a fast-food version of the Panda Inn.

52 Pick up the tab : TREAT

When we run a “tab” at a bar, we are running a “tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.

56 Uber CEO Khosrowshahi : DARA

Iranian-American businessman Dara Khosrowshahi left his position as CEO of online travel agency Expedia in 2017 to take over as CEO of transportation company Uber.

61 Asset in darts : AIM

Darts is a wonderful game that’s often played in English and Irish pubs, even over here in America. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called “Round the Clock” is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 on the dartboard in sequence.

63 Mauna __ : KEA

Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, the peak of which is the highest point in the whole state. Mauna Kea is in effect the tip of a gigantic volcano rising up from the seabed.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Hard to rattle : STOIC
6 Easy-to-read sign : NEON
10 Two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom and teammates : METS
14 “The Metamorphosis” author : KAFKA
15 Big show : EXPO
16 Miami Heat coach Spoelstra : ERIK
17 Gather : INFER
18 Difficult golf shot? : HARD DRIVE
20 Liftoff approx. : ETD
21 Approximately : CIRCA
23 “__, right?!” : I KNOW
24 Breakfast spot for golfers? : DOUGHNUT HOLE
27 Deck chair wood : TEAK
28 Sports standout : ALL-PRO
32 Ophthalmology concerns : STYES
34 Dismissive sound : PFFT!
37 Tool that only works in water : OAR
38 Low-quality golf equipment? : MICKEY-MOUSE CLUB
42 Número pequeño : UNO
43 WNBA broadcaster : ESPN
44 Fretted fiddles : VIOLS
45 Easygoing folks : TYPE BS
48 Desk set : PENS
49 Golf simulator shot? : COMPUTER CHIP
55 State in two time zones : IDAHO
58 Wide variety : ARRAY
59 Italian diminutive suffix : -INO
60 Place to meet single golfers? : DATE RANGE
62 Soup veggies : OKRAS
64 Sporty Camaro : IROC
65 “That Is NOT a Good __!”: Mo Willems children’s book : IDEA
66 Food pkg. info : NET WT
67 Like dungeons, typically : DANK
68 Support at sea : MAST
69 Makes more bearable : EASES

Down

1 Made tracks? : SKIED
2 Non __: not so much, in music : TANTO
3 One working a security detail, perhaps : OFF-DUTY COP
4 Mike and __: candy : IKE
5 “Fast & Furious” staple : CAR CHASE
6 Indira Gandhi’s father : NEHRU
7 __ change : EXACT
8 Harpo Productions CEO : OPRAH
9 Go-ahead : NOD
10 German chancellor since 2005 : MERKEL
11 “The Night Circus” novelist Morgenstern : ERIN
12 Record for later : TIVO
13 Slant : SKEW
19 Pickle herb : DILL
22 HP product : INK
25 Nerdy type : GEEK
26 Stable supply : OATS
29 Top choices : POLO SHIRTS
30 Fidel’s successor : RAUL
31 Golf balls, e.g. : ORBS
32 Salacious stuff : SMUT
33 Lilliputian : TINY
34 Indian VIPs : PMS
35 Clotheshorse : FOP
36 First answer in the first-ever published crossword : FUN
39 Polite assent : YES’M
40 All of us : EVERYONE
41 POTUS, per Article II, Section 2 : CINC
46 Payment option : E-CHECK
47 Uncultured one : BOOR
48 Soup veggie : PEA
50 __ Express: fast-food chain : PANDA
51 Impulses : URGES
52 Pick up the tab : TREAT
53 Dazzled : IN AWE
54 Formally records, as a golf score : POSTS
55 “Look what __!” : I DID
56 Uber CEO Khosrowshahi : DARA
57 Oodles : A TON
61 Asset in darts : AIM
63 Mauna __ : KEA

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 22 Jan 21, Friday”

  1. No errors but took a while.. about 30 minutes.. NE corner took me awhile until MERKEL fell then it fell quick.
    Several new words/names.. TANTO, VIOLS, DARA, then the whole ERIN ERIK cross in the NE corner.
    Fun.. especially for a HAIGHT. I’m finding it easier to get into one puzzle creators head when I’m solving than those partner grid creators.

  2. No errors; almost miraculous! With all the proper name clues, I thought
    I’d be Googling all morning, but it turned out I did a lot of fun guesses
    and came out on top! This one was really great!

  3. I have been a golfer for 50 years and done crossword puzzles for the same time, but I found the golf referenced clues to be the most ridiculous I have ever seen!

    1. When one skis in fresh snow, they leave tracks where they have skied. As for 60A, a golf range (course) can be a place for two singles to meet for a date.

    2. 1D – When you go skiing you make tracks in the snow
      60A – Kind of a stretch. We usually think of a DATE RANGE as a beginning and end date and all the dates in between. But then turning that to golf – instead of going to a driving range (golf) you’re going to a DATE RANGE to meet another single person for a date.

  4. 18:03 no errors, 2 lookups

    I had trouble coming up with an answer for “dazzled”, but I did know that
    “mickey-mouse” also has a slang meaning of slap-dash, or poorly assembled, as in “What kind of mickey-mouse operation is this, anyway?” When I tried to look up a good source for this meaning, I discovered there is nothing slapdash about the way Disney has assured that just about any search for the meaning of mickey is overwhelmed with mouse-positive results.

  5. 11:26, no errors, no complaints. I did have TAPE before TIVO. (I hate it when my age peeks through like that – on display, for all to see … 😜.)

    @Edward Jordan … You do understand that the clues were meant to be ridiculous, right? … 🤨😜🤪

  6. 14 mins 22 sec, no errors. Challenging, but fair Friday grid. Golf theme was actually fun, and not much of a “stretch”.

  7. Not too tricky Friday for me; took 22:42 with no peeks or errors. Theme helped, kind of. I will say that almost everything I know about golf, I learned from crosswords.

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