LA Times Crossword 27 Jan 21, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): It’s Due to Dew

Themed answers end with words that rhyme, i.e. DUE, DOO, DO & DEW:

  • 17A Later than late : LONG OVERDUE
  • 27A Gleeful Bedrock shout : YABBA DABBA DOO!
  • 44A Busywork : SOMETHING TO DO
  • 60A Moonshine : MOUNTAIN DEW

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

Bill’s time: 5m 31s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

11 Like sashimi : RAW

Sashimi is thinly sliced raw fish, although it can also be raw meat. The word “sashimi” translates literally as “pierced body”, which may be a reference to the practice of sticking the tail and fin to sliced fish to identify it.

14 Kind of acid in proteins : AMINO

Amino acids are essential to life in many ways, not least of which is their use as the building blocks of proteins. Nine amino acids are considered “essential” for humans. These nine must be included in the diet as they cannot be synthesized in the body.

15 Paddled transport : CANOE

The boat known as a canoe takes its name from the Carib word “kenu” meaning “dugout”. It was Christopher Columbus who brought “kenu” into Spanish as “canoa”, which evolved into our English “canoe”.

16 Investment acronym : IRA

Individual retirement account (IRA)

19 Formal apparel : TUX

Apparently, the style of men’s evening dress called a “tuxedo” was first worn to a country club event in 1886 in New York. The use of a dark dinner jacket without tails became fashionable at the club with the members, and the tradition spread from there. The country club was located in Tuxedo Park, New York, giving the style of dress its name.

22 Prez on a fiver : ABE

The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Abraham Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

23 Word with sky or spy : -CAM

“Skycam” is a brand name that now tends to be used generically. “Skycam” refers to that TV camera mounted on cables over say a football field that allows for some very cool shots as the camera seems to swoop down to the play and follow the action, almost like it’s part of a video game.

25 “Gypsy” star, 1959 : MERMAN

Ethel Merman was an actress and singer, one noted for having a very powerful voice. Merman was married and divorced four times. The last marriage was to actor Ernest Borgnine in 1964, although it lasted only 32 days.

“Gypsy” is a 1959 musical stage show with music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The show is loosely based on the memoirs of famous striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee, published in 1957. The stage show focuses more on Gypsy’s mother Rose.

27 Gleeful Bedrock shout : YABBA DABBA DOO!

“Yabba dabba doo!” is one of Fred Flintstone’s catchphrases.

33 Happening, to Holmes : AFOOT

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in writing the “Sherlock Holmes” stories, had his hero use the phrase “the game is afoot” on more than one occasion. Holmes first uttered the expression in “The Adventures of the Abbey Grange”. However, the phrase was used long before Conan Doyle put pen to paper. In William Shakespeare’s “King Henry IV Part I” there is the line “Before the game is afoot, thou let’st slip”.

35 “Main” road : DRAG

The principal thoroughfare in town or city might be referred to as the “main drag”.

Back in the 18th century, “drag” was slang for a wagon or buggy, as it was “dragged” along by a horse or horses. In the 1930s, the underworld adopted “drag” as slang for an automobile. This sense of the word was imported into automobile racing in the forties, giving the name to “drag racing”. A drag race is basically a competition between two cars to determine which can accelerate faster from a standstill.

38 Discontinued iPods : NANOS

The iPod Nano was the successor to the iPod Mini and was introduced to the market at the end of 2005. There were seven versions of the Nano, until it was discontinued in 2017.

39 [There’s another doc] : [ENC]

An envelope (env.) might include an enclosure (enc.).

41 Food on the trail : GRUB

The larvae of stag beetles are commonly known as grubs, and the pupa known as the chrysalis. “Grub” is also slang for “food”. The word “grub” has been used in this sense since way back in the 1600s, and is possibly derived from birds eating grubs.

47 Caterpillar casing : COCOON

Strictly speaking, the term “cocoon” only applies to the tough outer casing created by moth caterpillars. Butterfly caterpillars protect themselves in a hard outer skin to form a pupa known as a chrysalis. But, butterfly caterpillars don’t go the extra step by spinning a silky cocoon. Famously, silk thread comes from silk cocoons created by silkworms, which mature into silk moths.

51 Layered mineral : MICA

Mica is a silicate mineral. Thin sheets of mica are transparent and are used in place of glass in certain applications. This form of mica is called isinglass, and as it has a better thermal performance than glass it is a great choice for “peepholes” in boilers and lanterns. Mica is also used in the electronics industry, making use of its unique electrical and thermal insulating properties.

54 Flannel patterns : PLAIDS

Tartan is sometimes called “plaid” over here in the US, and is a word not used in the same sense outside of this country. In Scotland, a “plaid” is a blanket or a tartan cloth slung over the shoulder.

Flannel is a fabric, originally woven using worsted wool, and nowadays mainly using regular wool, cotton or a synthetic fiber. The softness of flannel makes it ideal for blankets, bed sheets and sleepwear.

59 Salem-to-Boise dir. : ESE

Salem is the state capital of Oregon. It is thought that the city takes its name from the older city of Salem, Massachusetts.

Boise, Idaho is the capital and the largest metropolitan area in the state by far. There are a number of stories pertaining to the etymology of the name “Boise”. One is that French trappers called the tree-lined river that ran through the area “la rivière boisée”, meaning “the wooded river”.

60 Moonshine : MOUNTAIN DEW

The illegal distilled spirits known as moonshine can also be referred to as white lightning, mountain dew and hooch.

62 [Not my mistake] : [SIC]

[Sic] indicates that a quotation is written as originally found, perhaps including a typo. “Sic” is Latin for “thus, like this”. The term is more completely written as “sic erat scriptum”, which translates as “thus was it written”.

63 Adler of Sherlock Holmes fame : IRENE

The character Irene Adler only appears in one of the many Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In the story “A Scandal in Bohemia”, Holmes expresses remarkable admiration for Adler as a woman and as a foe. As a result, derivative works in the Holmes genre often feature Adler as something of a romantic interest for Sherlock.

64 Stealthy warrior : NINJA

The ninjas were around in Japan at the time of the samurai, but were a very different type of warrior. The ninjas were covert operatives, specializing in the use of stealth to accomplish their missions. As they were a secretive cadre they took on a mystical reputation with the public, who believed they had the ability to become invisible or perhaps walk on water. We now use the term “ninja” figuratively, to describe anyone highly-skilled in a specific field.

66 County bordering London : ESSEX

Essex is a county in England that is referred to as one of the “home counties”. The home counties are those that surround the city of London, outside of London itself. “Home county” is not an official designation but has been in popular use since the 1800s. The list of home counties usually comprises Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey, and Sussex.

Down

1 Like blokes : MALE

“Bloke” is British slang for “fellow”. The etymology of “bloke” seems to have been lost in the mists of time.

2 “My turn to sing!” : I’M ON!

Well then, run …

4 “Young Frankenstein” role : INGA

Actress Teri Garr had a whole host of minor roles in her youth, including appearances in nine Elvis movies. Garr’s big break came with the role of Inga in “Young Frankenstein”, and her supporting role in “Tootsie” earned Garr an Academy Award nomination. Sadly, Teri Garr suffers from multiple sclerosis. She is a National Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

I am not really a big fan of movies by Mel Brooks, but “Young Frankenstein” is the exception. I think the cast has a lot to do with me liking the film, as it includes Gene Wilder (Dr. Frankenstein), Teri Garr (Inga), Marty Feldman (Igor) and Gene Hackman (Harold, the blind man).

5 Hipsters : COOL CATS

Back in the early 40s, hipsters were just folks who were “hip”.

The slang term “hep” meaning “cool” has the same meaning as the later derivative term “hip”. The origins of “hep” seem unclear, but it was adopted by jazz musicians of the early 1900s.

6 Pre-A.D. : BCE

The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.

7 Metallica drummer Ulrich : LARS

Lars Ulrich is a drummer from Denmark, and one of the founding members of the American heavy metal band called Metallica. Lars is the son of former professional tennis player Torben Ulrich, the oldest Davis Cup player in history.

8 Root canal procedure, briefly : ENDO

The specialty field of dentistry known as endodontics is concerned with the treatment of the dental pulp, the living tissue found within a tooth.

9 Classic 1967 Sam & Dave hit : SOUL MAN

Sam & Dave were and R&B singing duo comprising Sam Moore and Dave Prater. Moore and Prater performed together for two decades, starting in the early sixties. Famously, the pair didn’t get on well together, with Moore claiming that they never talked to each other offstage for 13 of the 20 years Sam & Dave were active.

11 EGOT-winning actress from “West Side Story” : RITA MORENO

Puerto Rican singer, dancer and actress Rita Moreno is one of the few performers to have won an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony. Moreno got her big break, and won her Oscar, for playing Anita in the 1961 screen adaptation of “West Side Story”. And, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2004.

12 Curaçao neighbor : ARUBA

Aruba is one of the so-called ABC Islands located off the northern coast of Venezuela. “ABC Islands” is a name given to the three westernmost islands of the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean. The nickname comes from the first letters of the island names: Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. All three of the ABC Islands are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

18 Prince who inspired Dracula : VLAD

Vlad III was a 15th century ruler in modern-day Romania. He was given the name “Vlad the Impaler” after he died, and this suggests that he was in the habit of impaling his enemies. His father, Vlad II, was known as Vlad Dracul, which translates as Vlad the Devil or Dragon. As a result, Vlad the Impaler was also known by the diminutive form of his father’s name, i.e. “Dracula”. Bram Stoker borrowed this name for his famous 1897 novel titled “Dracula”.

26 Rat or squirrel : RODENT

Rodents are characterized by incisor teeth that grow continually. The name “rodent” ultimately comes from the Latin verb “rodere” meaning “to gnaw, eat away”.

27 Yin’s partner : YANG

The yin and yang can be illustrated using many different metaphors. In one, as the sun shines on a mountain, the side in the shade is the yin and the side in the light is the yang. The yin is also regarded as the feminine side, and the yang the masculine. The yin can also be associated with the moon, while the yang is associated with the sun.

37 Greek food truck offering : GYRO

A gyro is a traditional Greek dish of meat roasted on a tall vertical spit that is sliced from the spit as required. Gyros are usually served inside a lightly grilled piece of pita bread, along with tomato, onion and tzatziki (a yogurt and cucumber sauce).

42 Many prom attendees : SENIORS

A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them “formals” over in Ireland). The term “prom” is short for “promenade”, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

45 Christina Crawford’s “__ Dearest” : MOMMIE

“Mommie Dearest” is a 1978 memoir written by Christian Crawford, the daughter of actress Joan Crawford. The book did not paint Joan in a good light, with claims of alcoholism and neglect of her four children.

46 Big wine valley : NAPA

The first commercial winery in Napa Valley, California was established way back in 1858. However, premium wine production only dates back to the 1960s, with the region really hitting the big time after its success at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The story of that famous blind wine tasting is told in the entertaining 2008 film “Bottle Shock”.

47 Pepsodent rival : CREST

Crest is a Procter & Gamble brand of toothpaste that was introduced in 1953.

When Pepsodent toothpaste was introduced to the market in 1915, the formula included the digestive agent pepsin (hence the name). The pepsin was intended to break down and digest residual food particles on the teeth.

48 Welcome desert sight : OASIS

An isolated area of vegetation in a desert is called an oasis (plural “oases”). As water is needed for plant growth, an oasis might also include a spring, pond or small lake. We often use the term “oasis” more generally to describe a haven, a place of rest.

53 Hathaway married to Shakespeare : ANNE

William Shakespeare was married to Anne Hathaway. There are suggestions that there was some pressure for the marriage to take place, with 18-year-old Anne pregnant and William eight years her senior. The two lived much of their lives apart; William working in London and Anne back at the family home in Stratford.

55 Actor Kapoor of “Slumdog Millionaire” : ANIL

Anil Kapoor is an Indian actor who is probably best known in North America for playing the game show host in the 2008 film “Slumdog Millionaire”. He also played the president of the fictional nation of Kamistan in the eight season of the hit TV show “24”.

The brilliant film “Slumdog Millionaire” is a screen adaptation of a 2005 novel by Indian author Vikas Swarup. A low-budget movie, it ended up winning eight Oscars in 2008. I reckon it turned a profit …

56 Online sign-in fig. : ID NO

Identity document (ID)

57 __ vu : DEJA

“Déjà vu” is French for “already seen”.

58 Law enforcement acronym : SWAT

“SWAT” is an acronym standing for Special Weapons and Tactics. The first SWAT team was pulled together in the Los Angeles Police Department in 1968.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Make fun of : MIMIC
6 Consecrate : BLESS
11 Like sashimi : RAW
14 Kind of acid in proteins : AMINO
15 Paddled transport : CANOE
16 Investment acronym : IRA
17 Later than late : LONG OVERDUE
19 Formal apparel : TUX
20 Ultimate goal : END-ALL
21 Welcome word in real estate : SOLD
22 Prez on a fiver : ABE
23 Word with sky or spy : -CAM
25 “Gypsy” star, 1959 : MERMAN
27 Gleeful Bedrock shout : YABBA DABBA DOO!
33 Happening, to Holmes : AFOOT
34 Campus leader : DEAN
35 “Main” road : DRAG
38 Discontinued iPods : NANOS
39 [There’s another doc] : [ENC]
40 Tearful : WEEPY
41 Food on the trail : GRUB
42 Ailing : SICK
43 __ strength : INNER
44 Busywork : SOMETHING TO DO
47 Caterpillar casing : COCOON
49 Bug : NAG
50 Word of good cheer? : RAH!
51 Layered mineral : MICA
54 Flannel patterns : PLAIDS
59 Salem-to-Boise dir. : ESE
60 Moonshine : MOUNTAIN DEW
62 [Not my mistake] : [SIC]
63 Adler of Sherlock Holmes fame : IRENE
64 Stealthy warrior : NINJA
65 Sound of disapproval : TSK!
66 County bordering London : ESSEX
67 Toot one’s own horn : GLOAT

Down

1 Like blokes : MALE
2 “My turn to sing!” : I’M ON!
3 Be concerned with : MIND
4 “Young Frankenstein” role : INGA
5 Hipsters : COOL CATS
6 Pre-A.D. : BCE
7 Metallica drummer Ulrich : LARS
8 Root canal procedure, briefly : ENDO
9 Classic 1967 Sam & Dave hit : SOUL MAN
10 Like some rye : SEEDED
11 EGOT-winning actress from “West Side Story” : RITA MORENO
12 Curaçao neighbor : ARUBA
13 Like candles : WAXEN
18 Prince who inspired Dracula : VLAD
24 Finally got there : MADE IT
26 Rat or squirrel : RODENT
27 Yin’s partner : YANG
28 In the distance : AFAR
29 Employee’s end-of-year reward : BONUS CHECK
30 Owie : BOO-BOO
31 Park seat : BENCH
32 Start to park, perhaps : BACK IN
36 Acted like : APED
37 Greek food truck offering : GYRO
40 Moving, as one’s toes : WIGGLING
42 Many prom attendees : SENIORS
45 Christina Crawford’s “__ Dearest” : MOMMIE
46 Big wine valley : NAPA
47 Pepsodent rival : CREST
48 Welcome desert sight : OASIS
52 Pool equipment : CUES
53 Hathaway married to Shakespeare : ANNE
55 Actor Kapoor of “Slumdog Millionaire” : ANIL
56 Online sign-in fig. : ID NO
57 __ vu : DEJA
58 Law enforcement acronym : SWAT
61 Ranch nickname : TEX

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 27 Jan 21, Wednesday”

  1. No errors.
    Bill, take a look at 27A. I think you forgot to insert 33A ? Looks like your Holmes entry is mixed with 27A ??

    1. I found this on the internet:

      Give your grandparents a great surprise by calling a $5 bill a “fin”. This was the dubbed nickname for the note in the 19th and early 20th century; a name that comes from the German/Yiddish language. In Yiddish, “fin” means “five”.

  2. 20:53 no errors…I didn’t realize that there was a theme.
    Stay safe😀
    I hope you have better luck than me getting an appointment for the COVID shot…I finally got on a website an the message was “no appointments available within 30 miles of my zip code”👎👎

  3. No errors, no Googles. Didn’t know NANOS.
    TUX is an abrev for tuxedo, named for Tuxedo Park, NY.

    “Word with sky” reminded me of 1-2-3-4 Skybars. So a little research revealed that they can still be purchased on-line. I might just do that.

    Also changed BACKup to BACKIN. in my opinion, the first thing one does in parking is to “line up” one’s car with the one in front of the parking space. This from someone who flunked my first driving test because of failure to park.

  4. 11D Rita Morino… She was my very 1st crush. Back in ’49 or ’50, she was an upcoming starlet and made an appearance in Inglewood, Ca. to open their little league season by throwing out the 1st pitch. I was lucky to be the opening pitcher for the game and, when I walked to the mound, she bent down and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I was only 9 or 10 at the time but I still remember watching her walk away and falling in love. Ahh, beautiful memories!

  5. 11 minutes, 30 seconds, no errors. The top left and top middle quadrants just did not come easy for me.

    On the plus side, any day without a forced, labored “theme” is a good one.

  6. RIP Cloris Leachman who died yesterday at age 94. She was in Young Frankenstein and Mel Brooks paid tribute to her in a tweet upon hearing of her death.

  7. Hello folks!!🤗

    Nice Wechsler puzzle. No errors. I had I’M UP at first instead of I’M ON.

    Yes, I was also saddened to hear of Cloris Leachman’s passing. I LOVED her as Phyllis on Mary Tyler Moore. Her wardrobe rivaled Mary’s. Wonderful comic instincts.

    Fitz – that’s a nice story about Rita Moreno!!🤗

    Be well ~~🥂

  8. Much to my surprise, I blazed through a Wechsler puzzle, even if it was a Wednesday. Took me 9:58 on-line with no peeks or errors.

    Nice story about Rita, Fitz. RIP Cloris Leachman.

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