LA Times Crossword 23 Jan 21, Saturday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Stella Zawistowski
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 12m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Epithet : LABEL

An epithet is a word or phrase used in a name to describe the quality of the person or thing bearing that name. For example, King Richard I was also known as Richard the Lionheart. The term “epithet” can also describe a word that is disparaging or abusive.

6 Econ. indicators : GNPS

A country’s Gross National Product (GNP) is the value of all services and products produced by its residents in a particular year. GNP includes all production wherever it is in the world, as long as the business is owned by residents of the country concerned. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is different, although related, and is the value of all services and goods produced within the borders of the country for that year.

10 Sp. title : SRTA

“Señorita” (Srta.) is Spanish, and “Mademoiselle” (Mlle.) is French, for “Miss”.

18 Natl. law group whose “M” is largely obsolete : RCMP

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the Mounties, RCMP) is an unusual police force in that it provides policing for the whole country on the national level, and in many cases right down to the municipal level. The force’s distinctive uniform of red serge tunic, blue pants with a yellow stripe, stetson hat, etc. is known internally as “Review Order”. The red uniform dates back to the days of the North-West Mounted Police, which was one of the existing forces that were merged in 1920 to form the RCMP.

19 Picnic serving : EAR

Our term “picnic” comes from the French word that now has the same meaning, namely “pique-nique”. The original “pique-nique” was a fashionable potluck affair, and not necessarily held outdoors.

20 Prandial pokers : TINES

Something described as “preprandial” takes place before a meal, with “postprandial” coming after the meal. The term derives from “prandium”, the Latin for “luncheon”.

21 Cool veggies? : CUKES

Apparently scientists have shown that the inside of a cucumber (“cuke” for short) growing in a field can be up to twenty degrees cooler than the surrounding air. That’s something that was believed by farmers as early as the 1730s, at which time the phrase “cool as a cucumber” was coined.

22 Café de __: Mexican drink brewed in a pot : OLLA

“Café de olla” (literally “pot coffee”) is a Mexican coffee drink made in an earthenware pot. The ground coffee is usually flavored with cinnamon and Mexican brown sugar (“piloncillo”).

32 It’s not a side road : TRUNK LINE

I am more familiar with the term “trunk road” in Britain and Ireland than in the US. On the other side of the Atlantic, a trunk road is a major road connecting cities.

33 Skin lotion brand : KERI

Keri lotion was introduced by Bristol-Myers Squibb in 1960. Keri Lotion is now made by NOVARTIS Pharmaceuticals.

34 Stopping at a KOA, say : RVING

Recreational vehicle (RV)

Kampgrounds of America (KOA) was founded in 1962 by Montana businessman Dave Drum, who opened up his first property along the Yellowstone River. His strategy was to offer a rich package of services including hot showers, restrooms and a store, which he hoped would attract people used to camping in the rough. The original campground was an immediate hit and Drum took on two partners and sold franchises all over the country. There are about 500 KOA sites today.

35 Fall place : EDEN

In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This went against the bidding of God, and was at the urging of the serpent. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them from becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

38 Some shared rides : UBERS

The basic service offered by ride-hailing company Uber is known as UberX. The service provides a private ride for up to four passengers in a standard car. UberXL provides a minivan or SUV with room for up to 6 passengers.

40 Fictitious 18th-century autobiographer : CRUSOE

When Daniel Defoe wrote his marvelous 1719 novel called “Robinson Crusoe”, he was likely thinking of real-life Scottish castaway Alexander Selkirk. Selkirk was marooned and lived alone on the Pacific Island called “Mas a Tierra” off the coast of Chile, for four years. The island was officially renamed in 1966, and is now called Robinson Crusoe Island.

41 Mighty Dump Truck maker : TONKA

The toy manufacturer today known as Tonka started out as a manufacturer of garden implements in Mound, Minnesota in 1946. By 1955, toys had become the main product line for the company. At that time the owners decided to change the company name and opted for “Tonka”, a Dakota Sioux word meaning “great, big”.

42 Hold-up group? : BRAS

The word “brassière” is French in origin, but it isn’t the word that the French use for a “bra”. In France, what we call a bra is known as a “soutien-gorge”, translating to “held under the neck”. The word “brassière” is indeed used in France but there it describes a baby’s undershirt, a lifebelt or a harness. “Brassière” comes from the Old French word for an “arm protector” in a military uniform (“bras” is the French for “arm”). Later “brassière” came to mean “breastplate” and from there the word was used for a type of woman’s corset. The word jumped into English around 1900.

50 Italy’s Lake __ : COMO

Lake Como is a glacial lake in Lombardy in Italy. Lake Como has long been a retreat for the rich and famous. Lakeside homes there are owned by the likes of Madonna, George Clooney, Gianni Versace, Sylvester Stallone and Richard Branson.

51 “How many licks does it take … ?” treat : TOOTSIE POP

Tootsie Pops were developed as a derivative product from the popular Tootsie Roll candy. How popular, I hear you say? About 60 million Tootsie Rolls and 20 million Tootsie Pops are produced every day!

53 Jackie’s designer : OLEG

French-born American fashion designer Oleg Cassini had two big names particularly associated with his designs. In the sixties he produced the state wardrobe for First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and he was also the exclusive designer for Hollywood’s Gene Tierney, who was Cassini’s second wife.

56 Capital on a fjord : OSLO

The Norwegian capital of Oslo is located at the northern end of a fjord known as Oslofjord. The fjord is home to 40 islands that lie within the city’s limits. Oslo also has 343 lakes.

Down

1 Spike : LACE

To lace a drink, is to spike it, by adding perhaps some alcohol or other strong substance.

2 Ragù __ Bolognese : ALLA

Bolognese sauce is a meat-based sauce originating from Bologna in Italy, hence the name. The recipe is usually referred to as “ragù alla bolognese” in Italian, or simply “ragù”. Note that the Ragú brand of sauces introduced in North America in 1937 takes its name from the same source (pun … sauce!). However, the brand name uses the wrong accent (“Ragú” instead of “Ragù”), which drives a pedant like me crazy ..

5 Anchor’s responsibility : LAST LEG

That would be a relay race.

6 Akufo-Addo’s land : GHANA

Nana Akufo-Addo assumed the office of President of Ghana in 2017. Akufo-Addo comes from a powerful family. His father Edward Akufo-Addo served as non-executive President of Ghana from 1970 until 1972.

7 Marquee evening : NITE

A marquee is a large sign that is placed over the entrance to a theater. The marquee usually displays the names of the film or play currently showing, as well as the principal actors performing.

9 Familiar gp. of 50 : STS

Alaska became the 49th state to join the United States on January 3rd, 1959. Hawaii became the 50th state just a few months later, on August 21st.

10 Facetious metaphor for a difficult situation : STRUGGLE BUS

To be on the struggle bus is to be a situation that is difficult or frustrating.

12 Big volume : TOME

“Tome” first came into English from the Latin “tomus” which means “section of a book”. The original usage in English was for a single volume in a multi-volume work. By the late 16th century, “tome” had come to mean “large book”.

13 They didn’t stop Hannibal : ALPS

Hannibal was a military commander from Ancient Carthage. Hannibal lived during a time of great conflict between Carthage and the Roman Republic, as the Romans worked to extend their influence over the Mediterranean region. Famously, Hannibal took on Rome on their own territory by marching his army, including his war elephants, over the Alps into Italy. His forces occupied much of Italy for 15 years.

15 Alfred E. Neuman feature : SMILE

Alfred E. Neuman is the mascot of “Mad” magazine, although the image of the smiling, jug-eared youth had been around for decades before the magazine. “Mad” first used the likeness in 1955, and young Mr. Neuman has appeared on the cover of almost every issue of the magazine since then. Neuman’s name was inspired by American composer Alfred Newman, a prolific writer of film scores.

21 Bop on the bean : CONK

The bean, the conk, the head …

22 Aptly named jazz work co-written by Charlie “Bird” Parker : ORNITHOLOGY

Charlie Parker was a jazz saxophonist who was often just called “Bird” or “Yardbird”. He was a leader in the development of the style of jazz called “bebop”, which gained popularity in the forties. Parker had a rough life outside of music. He was a heroin addict, and a heavy drinker. When he died, the coroner who performed his autopsy estimated his age as between 50 and 60 years old based on the appearance of his body and condition of his organs. Charlie Parker was actually 34-years-old when he died in a New York City hotel room in 1955.

24 When repeated, acclaimed Chinese pianist : LANG

Lang Lang is a celebrated concert pianist from China who performs all around the world. One of Lan Lang’s more famous performances was at the opening ceremony for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

28 Legal orders : WRITS

A writ is an order issued by some formal body (these days, usually a court) with the order being in “written” form. Warrants and subpoenas are examples of writs.

29 Two before marzo : ENERO

In Spanish, the years start off with “enero, febrero, marzo” (January, February, March).

34 Twice-baked bread : RUSK

The term “rusk” can describe a crisp bread once used on board ships as it stores well. A rusk can also be a slice of bread that has been baked again until it becomes dry or crisp. An example of the latter is Melba toast.

37 Squirt : RUNT

Back around 1500, a runt was an old or decayed tree stump, and by the early 1600s “runt” was being used to describe animals that were similarly old and decayed. Ultimately “runt” came to mean the smallest and often sickest in a litter.

“Squirt” is a slang term describing a small child.

38 Metal named for a planet : URANIUM

The isotope of uranium that is mostly found in nature in uranium-238. Natural uranium also contains a small amount (less than 1%) of uranium-235. When uranium is “enriched”, the percentage of uranium-235 is increased. Uranium containing 80% or more uranium-235 is considered “weapons grade”. Uranium was discovered in 1789, and named for the planet Uranus that had been discovered a few years earlier.

43 Shallows craft : SCOW

A scow is a flat-bottomed boat with squared-off ends that’s often used for transportation, usually pushed or pulled by a barge. Often, a scow can be seen carrying junk or garbage.

44 Social science course, briefly : POLI

Political science (poli sci)

46 Gene __ : POOL

The set of all genes in a particular population is known as the “gene pool”, a term coined in Russian by geneticist Aleksandr Sergeevich Serebrovskii in the 1920s. In general, the larger the gene pool, the more diverse and robust the population.

51 Ontario-based music gp. : TSO

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) was founded in 1922 as the New Symphony Orchestra. Spanish conductor Gustavo Gimeno was named music director of the TSO in 2020.

52 Self-described “non-musician” Brian : ENO

Brian Eno was one of the pioneers of the genre of ambient music. Eno composed an album in 1978 called “Ambient 1: Music for Airports”, which was the first in a series of four albums with an ambient theme. Eno named the tracks, somewhat inventively, 1/1, 1/2, 2/1 and 2/2.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Epithet : LABEL
6 Econ. indicators : GNPS
10 Sp. title : SRTA
14 Loud item in a closet : ALOHA SHIRT
16 Easily manipulated type : TOOL
17 Study buddies, often : CLASSMATES
18 Natl. law group whose “M” is largely obsolete : RCMP
19 Picnic serving : EAR
20 Prandial pokers : TINES
21 Cool veggies? : CUKES
22 Café de __: Mexican drink brewed in a pot : OLLA
23 Arduous tasks : SLOGS
25 Like some premium services : AD-FREE
28 Scrapped : WRANGLED
31 On the offensive, legally : SUING
32 It’s not a side road : TRUNK LINE
33 Skin lotion brand : KERI
34 Stopping at a KOA, say : RVING
35 Fall place : EDEN
36 Doubts : MISTRUSTS
38 Some shared rides : UBERS
39 Excites : ENTHUSES
40 Fictitious 18th-century autobiographer : CRUSOE
41 Mighty Dump Truck maker : TONKA
42 Hold-up group? : BRAS
43 Like some milk, alas : SPILT
45 Watch with a webcam, perhaps : SPY ON
47 Impromptu speech fillers : UHS
50 Italy’s Lake __ : COMO
51 “How many licks does it take … ?” treat : TOOTSIE POP
53 Jackie’s designer : OLEG
54 Overwhelms : SNOWS UNDER
55 Lean and muscular : WIRY
56 Capital on a fjord : OSLO
57 Up one day, down the next : MOODY

Down

1 Spike : LACE
2 Ragù __ Bolognese : ALLA
3 Leaner alternative to pork : BOAR
4 “What?” utterances : EHS
5 Anchor’s responsibility : LAST LEG
6 Akufo-Addo’s land : GHANA
7 Marquee evening : NITE
8 Continuous newsroom operations : PRESS RUNS
9 Familiar gp. of 50 : STS
10 Facetious metaphor for a difficult situation : STRUGGLE BUS
11 Mountain dangers : ROCKSLIDES
12 Big volume : TOME
13 They didn’t stop Hannibal : ALPS
15 Alfred E. Neuman feature : SMILE
21 Bop on the bean : CONK
22 Aptly named jazz work co-written by Charlie “Bird” Parker : ORNITHOLOGY
24 When repeated, acclaimed Chinese pianist : LANG
25 “I’m here to help” : ASK ME
26 Expected : DUE IN
27 Inexperienced one : FIRST-TIMER
28 Legal orders : WRITS
29 Two before marzo : ENERO
30 Fog word : DENSE
32 Pilots start them : TV SEASONS
34 Twice-baked bread : RUSK
37 Squirt : RUNT
38 Metal named for a planet : URANIUM
40 Not pleased : CROSS
42 In half : BY TWO
43 Shallows craft : SCOW
44 Social science course, briefly : POLI
46 Gene __ : POOL
47 Prom style, often : UPDO
48 Turned some ground : HOED
49 Active : SPRY
51 Ontario-based music gp. : TSO
52 Self-described “non-musician” Brian : ENO

22 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 23 Jan 21, Saturday”

  1. What a slog.. took me an hour. I was sure I had several errors. Missed 22D. I had ORNOTHOLOGY instead of ORNITHOLOGY because I didn’t know 33A KERI. I had KERO. never heard of either one. Also didn’t know or ever heard of TRUNKLINE , RUSK or STRUGGLE BUS.

    The one that brought a SMILE was 51A TOOTZIE POP. I can still remember when that commercial came out.. classic.

      1. He is neither. There are better solvers at the ACPT and Bill is most definitely not a liar. Now … please … go wash your mouth out with soap and try to avoid making any more foolish statements here … 😜.

  2. Hard one today. No errors but didn’t think of “lace” for spike until I used
    my handy crossword dictionary. After I entered that, the pesky northwest
    corner finally came together.

  3. LAT: Just under an hour with no errors and a lot of good guesses. Never heard of the term “struggle bus” or “wrangled” meaning scrapped. Very hard puzzle.

  4. I pretty much agree with Anon Mike, right down to the time it took.
    I had the total wrong meaning of “scrapped”, so didn’t understand it until I looked up “wrangled”.

  5. 19:07, no errors. A halting solve, with a number of long pauses for reflection. The helpful use of the word “aptly” in the clue for 22-Down should have given me ORNITHOLOGY more quickly than it did (but, at least, it reassured me that my answer was right when I finally thought of it). All in all, I would say, a typical Stella Zawistowski puzzle: enjoyable, doable, but thoughtful.

  6. 33:27 no errors, 3 lookups

    Challenging. “Struggle Bus” is not an expression I’ve heard before. I did like learning about “Ornithology.”

  7. 3:30 in, I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to find enough straightforward clues to begin to make a dent in this exercise in obscurity and mental gymnastics. Puzzles like this are a complete and utter waste of time.

  8. Pretty tough Saturday for me; took 38:20 with a “check grid” to find I had two wrong squares. LiNG and BRAg. After finally settling on LANG, I had to resort to an alphabet roll for BRAS, which caused a doh! when I finally got it.

    re Lang Lang – I checked out the “Tiny Desk concert” on NPR and, boy, he sure plays beautifully and seemingly effortlessly.

    re Struggle Bus – A new one for me, which according to one dictionary, was first coined in the range 2000-2005, so relatively new idiom.

  9. How does “thrown” criticism mean “shade”? It seems there’s a pun of some type I’m not getting here! This is for 72 down on Sunday January 24

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.