LA Times Crossword 28 Jan 21, Thursday

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Constructed by: Jeff Stillman
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): IV X V

Themed clues are the same, namely “V”:

  • 17A V : VICTORY SIGN
  • 27A V : T-SHIRT NECK TYPE
  • 44A V : GEESE FORMATION
  • 59A V : CAESAR’S FIVE

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

Bill’s time: 7m 04s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Two-mile-high city : LA PAZ

The administrative capital of Bolivia, La Paz, is officially named Nuestra Senora de La Paz (Our Lady of Peace). La Paz is the seat of the Bolivian government, even though the constitutional capital of the country is Sucre.

6 Numbskulls : BOOBS

The word “booby” has described a silly person since the late 1500s, with the term coming from the Spanish “bobo” meaning “stupid person. By the mid 1800s, schoolboys were pranking each other by setting “booby traps”. The latter innocent term took on a lethal meaning during WWI when it described a device designed to kill someone who triggered it unwittingly.

14 Sister of Euterpe : ERATO

In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:

  • Calliope (epic poetry)
  • Clio (history)
  • Erato (lyric poetry)
  • Euterpe (music)
  • Melpomene (tragedy)
  • Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
  • Terpsichore (dance)
  • Thalia (comedy)
  • Urania (astronomy)

Before the adoption of the nine muses of Greek mythology, there were originally three muses, the three Boeotian Muses. These were:

  • Mneme (memory)
  • Melete (meditation)
  • Aoede (song)

17 V : VICTORY SIGN

One has to be careful making that V-sign depending where you are in the world. Where I came from, the V-for-victory (or peace) sign has to be made with the palm facing outwards. If the sign is made with the palm facing inwards, it can be interpreted as a very obscene gesture.

24 Old PC display : CRT

Cathode ray tube (CRT)

26 City west of Hong Kong : MACAO

Macau (also “Macao”) is an autonomous territory of China located on the Pearl River estuary about 40 miles west of Hong Kong. Macau was a Portuguese colony from the mid-1500s until 1999. It was in fact the first European colony in China, and the last, having been handed back to the Chinese in 1999, two years after Hong Kong was returned by the British. Macau’s economy is driven by tourism and gambling. The territory’s gaming revenue is the highest for any gambling center in the world.

40 European erupter : ETNA

Mount Etna on the island of Sicily is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy, and indeed the largest of all active volcanoes in Europe. Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Mt. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-gauge railway, and two ski resorts. It is sometimes referred to as “Mongibello” in Italian, and as “Mungibeddu” in Sicilian. The English name “Etna” comes from the Greek “aitho” meaning “I eat”.

41 Low card : DEUCE

A “two” playing card might be called a “deuce”, from the Middle French “deus” (or Modern French “deux”) meaning “two”.

43 Female antelope : DOE

“Antelope” is the name given to just over 90 species of deer-like mammals. As a group, antelopes aren’t defined taxonomically, although they might be described as all members of the family Bovidae that aren’t sheep, cattle or goats.

44 V : GEESE FORMATION

Apparently, birds that fly in a V-formation do so for a couple of reasons. One is that it makes for efficient flight and conserves energy. The leading bird gets no advantage, but every following bird gets to “slipstream” a little. It has been noted that the lead bird drops to the back of the formation when he/she gets fatigued. It’s also thought that the flock can stick together more easily when in formation, so it is more difficult to lose someone along the way.

A collection of geese is referred to as a “gaggle” when on the ground. When geese are in V-formation in flight, they are referred to collectively as a “skein”.

48 La Scala locale : MILAN

La Scala Opera House opened in 1778. It was built on the site of the church of Santa Maria della Scala, which gave the theater its Italian name “Teatro alla Scala”.

50 Slanted, in a way : ITALIC

Italic type leans to the right, and is often used to provide emphasis in text. The style is known as “italic” because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

54 Bar requests : ALES

The many, many different styles of beer can generally be sorted into two groups: ales and lagers. Ales are fermented at relatively warm temperatures for relatively short periods of time, and use top-fermenting yeasts, i.e. yeasts that float on top of the beer as it ferments. Lagers ferment at relatively low temperatures and for relatively long periods of time. Lagers use bottom-fermenting yeasts, i.e. yeasts that fall to the bottom of the beer as it ferments.

58 A.L. East team : BOS

The Boston Red Sox are one of the most successful Major League Baseball teams and so command a large attendance, but only when on the road. The relatively small capacity of Boston’s Fenway Park, the team’s home since 1912, has dictated that every game the Red Sox has played there has been a sell-out from May of 2003 to April 2013. I recently had the pleasure of touring Fenway Park. It’s quite a place …

64 Official Wimbledon timekeeper : ROLEX

My most-prized possession is a beautiful stainless steel Rolex watch that my uncle bought while serving with the RAF in Canada during WWII. Rolex watches were made available to the Canadian servicemen at that time as they were shipping overseas. My uncle brought his Rolex home to Ireland after the war. He needed money one weekend and so sold the watch to my Dad, for five pounds. My Dad gave it to me just before he died, as he knew I loved the watch, and my brothers weren’t interested in it all. Not so long ago I had the watch appraised ($3,000), and my brothers suddenly took a liking to it! Still, it’s not something that will ever be sold, that’s for sure …

The Wimbledon Championships of tennis are held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club located in Wimbledon, a district of London. The Wimbledon Championships started in 1877, and have been played on grass since day one.

66 Article of faith : TENET

A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.

67 Title feeling “beyond power of speech,” in an “Into the Woods” song : AGONY

“Into the Woods” is a Stephen Sondheim musical that premiered in 1986. The storyline uses characters from several fairy tales, including “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Rapunzel” and “Cinderella”. The borrowed characters are held together with an underlying original tale about a baker and his wife who long to have a child, but cannot due to a curse placed on them by a witch.

Down

1 Son of Jacob : LEVI

According to the Hebrew and Christian Bibles, Levi was the third son of Jacob and Leah, and the great-grandfather of Aaron and Moses.

5 Wild place : ZOO

The world’s first zoo opened in Britain in 1820. Now known as “London Zoo”, the facility was referred to back then as the “Gardens and Menagerie of the Zoological Society of London”. The term “zoo” is a shortening of “zoological”.

8 Kimono closer : OBI

The sash worn as part of traditional Japanese dress is known as an obi. The obi can be tied at the back in what is called a butterfly knot. The term “obi” is also used for the thick cotton belts that are an essential part of the outfits worn by practitioners of many martial arts. The color of the martial arts obi signifies the wearer’s skill level.

The lovely Japanese kimono is a garment worn by men, women and children. The word “kimono” translates simply as “thing to wear”, with “ki” meaning “wear” and “mono” meaning “thing”.

9 Classic fast-food sandwich since 1967 : BIG MAC

The iconic Big Mac sandwich was introduced nationally by McDonald’s in 1967. It was the creation of a Pittsburgh franchisee who offered it on the menu as a response to the very similar “Big Boy” sandwich offered by the competing Big Boy restaurant chain.

10 Gift bearer, informally : ST NICK

Saint Nicholas of Myra is the inspiration for Santa Claus. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra (now in modern-day Turkey) during the 4th century AD, and was known for being generous to the poor. Centuries after he died, his remains were desecrated by Italian sailors and moved to Bari in Italy. One legend has it that the relics were moved again centuries later and reburied in the grounds of Jerpoint Abbey in Co. Kilkenny in Ireland, where you can visit the grave today. I choose to believe that Santa Claus’s relics are indeed buried in Ireland …

12 MP’s quarry : AWOL

MPs (military police officers) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).

27 Rich dessert cake : TORTE

A torte is a type of cake made primarily with eggs, sugar and ground nuts (but no flour).

31 Mountaineer’s tool : PITON

A piton is a piece of mountaineering equipment, an anchor designed to protect a climber if he or she falls. It is a metal spike driven into a crack in the rock face with a hammer. Pitons have eye holes through which a rope is attached using carabiners. “Piton” is a French word for a “hook”.

33 Photoshop image acronym : JPEG

The JPEG file format (also “.jpg”) was created by the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), hence the name.

Photoshop is a wonderful piece of software used for editing graphics. When I first bought a copy of Photoshop, it was really expensive (about $300 in 1995), but now there are cost-effective, stripped-down versions available. Also, the full version of Photoshop is now only available as a monthly subscription service.

37 Culinary herb : BASIL

Traditionally, basil is considered “the king of herbs”. In fact, the herb’s name comes from the Greek “basileus” meaning “king”.

39 Org. seeking far-out life : SETI

“SETI” is the name given to a number of projects that are searching for extraterrestrial life. The acronym stands for “search for extraterrestrial intelligence”. One of the main SETI activities is the monitoring of electromagnetic radiation (such as radio waves) reaching the Earth in the hope of finding a transmission from a civilization in another world.

46 False appearance : FACADE

Our word “facade” has been meaning “front of a building” since the mid-17th century. We started using the term figuratively, to mean “superficial appearance”, in the mid-19th century. “Façade” is the original French word with the same meaning, from which our English term derives.

51 __ party : TOGA

In ancient Rome, the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae” or “togas”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

52 “Lost” setting : ISLE

In the TV show “Lost”, the plane that crashed was operated by Oceanic Airlines. The fictional airline Oceanic Airlines or Oceanic Airways turns up a lot on the big and small screen. Try to spot Oceanic in the movies “Executive Decision” and “For Love of the Game”, and in episodes of the TV shows “Castle”, “Chuck”, “Flipper”, “The Goldbergs” and “The X-Files”.

55 Stitch’s movie pal : LILO

“Lilo & Stitch” was released by Disney in 2002. Compared to other Disney feature-length cartoons, “Lilo & Stitch” was relatively cheaply produced, using the voices of lesser-known actors. One interesting change had to take place in the storyline during production, when Lilo was meant to fly a Jumbo Jet through downtown Honolulu in one sequence. This was replaced with a sequence using a spaceship instead, as the producers were sensitive to public sentiment after the September 11 attacks.

60 Long division? : EON

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

61 Mexican Mrs. : SRA

The equivalent of “Mrs.” in French is “Mme.” (Madame), in Spanish is “Sra.” (Señora) and in Portuguese is also “Sra.” (Senhora).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Two-mile-high city : LA PAZ
6 Numbskulls : BOOBS
11 Ate : HAD
14 Sister of Euterpe : ERATO
15 Satellite’s path : ORBIT
16 “I __ you one!” : OWE
17 V : VICTORY SIGN
19 Carried the day : WON
20 Brainstorm : IDEA
21 Spanish pronoun : ESO
22 Understated way to put it : MILDLY
24 Old PC display : CRT
26 City west of Hong Kong : MACAO
27 V : T-SHIRT NECK TYPE
33 Scribble (down) : JOT
34 Read (over) closely : PORED
35 Wind into rings : COIL
36 Look into closely : PROBE
38 Egg: Pref. : OVI-
39 Suspends operations, with “down” : SHUTS …
40 European erupter : ETNA
41 Low card : DEUCE
43 Female antelope : DOE
44 V : GEESE FORMATION
48 La Scala locale : MILAN
49 Word with rolling or bowling : … PIN
50 Slanted, in a way : ITALIC
52 Diamonds, slangily : ICE
54 Bar requests : ALES
58 A.L. East team : BOS
59 V : CAESAR’S FIVE
62 It may need a boost : EGO
63 Revered ones : IDOLS
64 Official Wimbledon timekeeper : ROLEX
65 Summer shade : TAN
66 Article of faith : TENET
67 Title feeling “beyond power of speech,” in an “Into the Woods” song : AGONY

Down

1 Son of Jacob : LEVI
2 Dry as a bone : ARID
3 Go back and forth : PACE
4 Include with an email : ATTACH
5 Wild place : ZOO
6 Clothing store department : BOYS
7 Estimate phrase : OR SO
8 Kimono closer : OBI
9 Classic fast-food sandwich since 1967 : BIG MAC
10 Gift bearer, informally : ST NICK
11 Polite greeting : HOW DO YOU DO?
12 MP’s quarry : AWOL
13 Disallow : DENY
18 Old-school : RETRO
23 Door securer : LATCH
25 Ready to pluck : RIPE
26 Soda order : MEDIUM
27 Rich dessert cake : TORTE
28 Building artisan : STONEMASON
29 Trampled : TROD ON
30 Emphatic refusal : NEVER!
31 Mountaineer’s tool : PITON
32 “Is there something __?” : ELSE
33 Photoshop image acronym : JPEG
37 Culinary herb : BASIL
39 Org. seeking far-out life : SETI
42 Playful prank : CAPER
45 Summon up : ELICIT
46 False appearance : FACADE
47 Dazed : IN A FOG
50 “Yeah, sure!” : I BET!
51 __ party : TOGA
52 “Lost” setting : ISLE
53 Word before votes or shadows : CAST …
55 Stitch’s movie pal : LILO
56 Fifty-fifty : EVEN
57 Hot : SEXY
60 Long division? : EON
61 Mexican Mrs. : SRA

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 28 Jan 21, Thursday”

  1. This one seemed impossible at first but got through it
    without error. A leap of faith had me enter “victory sign”
    for the first V (using Levi as a hint) and it flowed from
    there.

  2. Ref the Rolex

    Mine is from 1967. I just had it revamped by Rolex two years ago. I’m assuming your dad’s is older than that.

    My 1967 Rolex was appraised for $10k. Not bad if you consider I paid $125.00 for in Italy. It was my High School graduation present.

    I would get yours fixed up and re appraised. Certain models of Rolexes are worth quite a bit. Be prepared for sticker shock on the repair. Trust me, it will be worth every penny. My son is getting mine, with luck my grandson will inherit it eventually.

    Because if the value, the Rolex is in a safe deposit box, and comes out for special occasions.

  3. Not as easy as the past few days, but a fun puzzle once I got the hang of it. I didn’t know La Paz was so high. Actually, I don’t know a thing about La Paz. Hahaha

  4. 8:08 no errors

    The V’s were fun, but then I got stuck in the southeast. Until ROLEX unlocked the rest of the squares.

  5. Had to Google for BOS. Did not know ROLEX. Both sports.
    Had morE before ELSE. ST NICK is an abbrev.

    Loved the theme!

  6. 19:08 no errors…I thought I was doing good until I saw some of your times.
    In the NYT#1224 there is an answer SLIDE that refers to a rule or a tackle…I know what a slide rule is but what is a slide tackle…If it is a football reference I don’t recall ever hearing it.
    Stay safe😀

    1. @Jack
      You’re doing well and you’re improving. You’ll get even better as time goes on and you see more of these things. As for your question, a slide tackle is a reference to the “other” football (i.e. soccer), where the defender slides with one foot out, attempting to take the control of the ball away from the player.

    2. The slide tackle refers to the quarterback sliding and being down without having to be touched. It was adopted to protect them.

  7. 11 minutes 9 sec, and 4 errors in the top left. “*Go* back and forth” is a really poor clue for PACE, and I’m just not up with biblical names, so I was at a distinct handicap with this one.

  8. Mostly easy Thursday for me; took 15:42 on-line with no peeks or errors. Went back and forth a bit in the S and SE, but finally got it together.

    re La Paz and slide tackle – Those fun loving Bolivians just love to invite visiting teams to play their World Cup qualifying matches in La Paz, leading to quite a few normally unlikely wins over teams from Brazil and Argentina. 🙂

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