LA Times Crossword 4 Jan 21, Monday

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Constructed by: Gail Grabowski & Bruce Venzke
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: C and W

Themed answers each comprise two words, starting with the letters C AND W:

  • 67A Grand Ole Opry genre, briefly, that’s also a hint to 21-, 33-, 41- and 51-Across : C AND W
  • 21A Comfy clothing : CASUAL WEAR
  • 33A Fowl fencing material : CHICKEN WIRE
  • 41A Forecast that calls for a scarf and gloves : COLD WEATHER
  • 51A Circle with primary and secondary hues : COLOR WHEEL

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

Bill’s time: 5m 17s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 Apex predators of the sea : ORCAS

An apex predator is at the top of a food chain, and has no other natural predators. Examples are the orca (“killer whale”) in the oceans, the lion in Africa, and the Tyrannosaurus in the days of the dinosaurs.

16 Sacred Nile bird : IBIS

The ibis is a wading bird that was revered in ancient Egypt. “Ibis” is an interesting word grammatically speaking. You can have one “ibis” or two “ibises”, and then again one has a flock of “ibis”. And if you want to go with the classical plural, instead of two “ibises” you would have two “ibides”!

Depending on definition, the Nile is regarded generally as the longest river on the planet. The Nile forms from two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which join together near Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. From Khartoum the Nile flows north, traveling almost entirely through desert making it central to life for those living along its length.

17 Many a Mumbai resident : HINDU

Hinduism is the world’s third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam.

Mumbai is the most populous city in India, and the second most populous city in the world (after Shanghai). The name of the city was changed from Bombay to Mumbai in 1995.

18 Triangle ratio : SINE

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio: a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are cosecant, secant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

25 “Little ol’ me?” : MOI?

“Moi” is the French word for “me”. One might say “Moi?” when feigning innocence.

26 Supernatural : OCCULT

The adjective “occult” means “secret, beyond the realm of human comprehension”. The term derives from the Latin “occultus” meaning “hidden, concealed”.

36 Morse “T” : DAH

A “dah” or “dash” is Morse code for the letter “T”.

38 Abu Dhabi’s fed. : UAE

Abu Dhabi is one of the seven Emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy. Before 1971, the UAE was a British Protectorate, a collection of sheikdoms. The sheikdoms entered into a maritime truce with Britain in 1835, after which they became known as the Trucial States, derived from the word “truce”.

39 Nativity scene threesome : MAGI

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, “magi” is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar: a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

In the Christian tradition, a nativity scene (also “crèche”) is a display of representing the scene of the birth of Jesus. Nativity scenes might be subjects for paintings, for example, although the term is usually used for seasonal displays associated with the Christmas season.

40 Red Cross offering : AID

Back in 1859, a Swiss businessman called Henri Dunant went to meet French emperor Napoleon III, to discuss making it easier to conduct commerce in French-occupied Algeria. The Emperor was billeted at Solferino, where France and Austria were engaged in a major battle. In one day, Dunant witnessed 40,000 soldiers die or get wounded on the battlefield without any organized medical care. Dunant abandoned his business agenda and instead spent a week caring for the sick and wounded. Within a few years he had founded the precursor to the Red Cross, and in 1901 he was awarded the first ever Nobel Peace Prize.

48 LAX : Los Angeles :: __ : Chicago : ORD

The IATA airport code for O’Hare International in Chicago is ORD, which comes from Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field (OR-D).

51 Circle with primary and secondary hues : COLOR WHEEL

A color wheel is a visual device that illustrates the relationship between various colors and hues.

59 Apple gadget with playlists : IPOD

The iPod is Apple’s signature line of portable media players. The iPod first hit the market in 2001 with a hard drive-based device, now known as the iPod Classic. Later models all use flash memory, allowing a smaller form factor. The smallest of the flash-based models is the iPod Shuffle, which was introduced in 2005.

63 Pudding starch : SAGO

When I was growing up in Ireland I was very familiar with pearl sago, which is very similar to pearl tapioca. Pearls of sago are simply little balls of sago starch used to make breads, pancakes, biscuits, or steamed puddings that we ate as kids. Sago comes from the pith of the sago palm tree. To get at the starch the tree has to be cut down and the trunk split to reveal the pith. The pith is crushed and manipulated to make the starch available, which is then washed out of a fibrous suspension. One sago palm tree yields about 150-300 kg of starch. Personally I love the stuff, but then, I am a bit weird …

64 Prefix for Rome’s country : ITALO-

According to tradition, Rome was founded by the twin brothers Romulus and Remus. The pair had a heated argument about who should be allowed to name the city and Romulus hit Remus with a shovel, killing him. And so, “Rome” was born, perhaps instead of “Reme”!

66 Spiderweb, e.g. : TRAP

The silk that makes up a web is a protein fiber that is “spun” by a spider. Spider silk is about one sixth of the density of steel, yet has a comparable tensile strength.

67 Grand Ole Opry genre, briefly, that’s also a hint to 21-, 33-, 41- and 51-Across : C AND W

The Grand Ole Opry started out as a radio show in 1925 originally called the WSM “Barn Dance”. In 1927, the “Barn Dance” radio show was broadcast in a slot after an NBC production called “Musical Appreciation Hour”, a collection of classical works including Grand Opera. In a December show, the host of “Barn Dance” announced, “For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera. From now on we will present the ‘Grand Ole Opry'”. That name was used for the radio show from then on.

Down

1 Artsy Manhattan area : SOHO

The Manhattan neighborhood known today as SoHo was very fashionable in the early 1900s, but as the well-heeled started to move uptown the area became very run down and poorly maintained. Noted for the number of fires that erupted in derelict buildings, SoHo earned the nickname “Hell’s Hundred Acres”. The area was then zoned for manufacturing and became home to many sweatshops. In the mid-1900s artists started to move into open loft spaces and renovating old buildings as the lofts were ideal locations in which an artist could both live and work. In 1968, artists and others organized themselves so that they could legalize their residential use of an area zoned for manufacturing. The group they formed took its name from the name given to the area by the city’s Planning Commission i.e “South of Houston”. This was shortened from So-uth of Ho-uston to SoHo as in “SoHo Artists Association”, and the name stuck.

2 Chicago daily, for short : TRIB

“The Chicago Tribune” was first published in 1847. The most famous edition of “The Trib” was probably in 1948 when the headline was “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN”, on the occasion of that year’s presidential election. When it turned out that Truman had actually won, the victor picked up the paper with the erroneous headline and posed for photographs with it … a famous, famous photo, that must have stuck in the craw of the editor at the time.

3 Proactiv+ target : ACNE

The Proactiv range of skincare products were introduced in 1995 by two dermatologists who met up with each other while studying at Stanford. Proactiv is marketed to people suffering with acne. There are quite a few folks who complain about the direct marketing approach to sales used for the products. Customers are “members” of a club, and the products keep coming until a subscription is canceled.

5 The SEC’s Tigers : LSU

The Tigers are the sports teams of Louisiana State University (LSU). They are officially known as the Fightin’ Tigers, and the school mascot is “Mike the Tiger”. The name comes from the days of the Civil War, when two Louisiana brigades earned the nickname the “Louisiana Tigers”. Given the French/Cajun history of Louisiana, the LSU fans use the cheer “Geaux Tigers” instead of “Go Tigers”.

6 Acapulco abodes : CASAS

The Mexican city of Acapulco is on the southwest coast of the country, in the state of Guerrero. The name “Acapulco” translates from the local language into “at the big reeds”.

7 Pennsylvania sect : AMISH

The Amish are members of a group of Christian churches, and a subgroup of the Mennonite churches. The Amish church originated in Switzerland and Alsace in 1693 when it was founded by Jakob Ammann. It was Ammann who gave the name to the Amish people. Many Amish people came to Pennsylvania in the 18th century.

8 Half a Mork-to-Orson farewell : NANU

“Mork & Mindy” is a sitcom that originally aired from 1978 to 1982. The title characters were played by Robin Williams and Pam Dawber. Mork is an alien from the planet Ork who reports back to his superior called Orson. Orson is played by voice actor Ralph James. Ralph James was also known for providing the voice of Mr. Turtle in famous Tootsie Pop commercials in the seventies. Nanu nanu!

9 Soft-shell clam : STEAMER

Soft-shell clams are so called because they have thin calcium carbonate shells that are easily broken. They are known as “steamers”, especially in New England where they are often served at a clambake.

10 Kingpin : BIGWIG

A bigwig is someone important. The use of the term “bigwig” harks back to the days when men of authority and rank wore … big wigs.

The word “kingpin” is mainly used figuratively these days, to describe the most prominent member of a group. Back at the start of the 19th century, a kingpin was the largest pin in a bowling game called “kayles”. As a result, the term “kingpin” is also used sometimes in ten-pin bowling to describe the 5-pin, the pin in the center of the triangular array.

11 NYC drama award : OBIE

The Obies are the Off-Broadway Theater Awards. The Obies have been presented annually since 1956. The recipients used to be chosen by “The Village Voice” newspaper, but now are jointly administered with the American Theatre Wing.

12 Female opera star : DIVA

The term “diva” comes to us from Latin via Italian. “Diva” is the feminine form of “divus” meaning “divine one”. The word is used in Italy to mean “goddess” or “fine lady”, and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

13 Belgian river : YSER

The Yser river flows into the North Sea at Nieuwpoort in the Flemish province of West Flanders in Belgium.

21 Blanchett of “Ocean’s 8” : CATE

Cate Blanchett is a great actress from Australia, and a winner of an Academy Award for playing Katherine Hepburn in “The Aviator”. Winning for that role made Blanchett the first person to win an Academy Award for playing an actor (Hepburn) who had also won an Oscar. Now that, that is trivial information …

2018’s “Ocean’s 8” is the fourth in the “Ocean’s” series of films made by Steven Soderbergh. The lead character in the original trilogy is Danny Ocean, played by George Clooney. The lead character in “Ocean’s 8” is Danny’s sister Debbie Ocean, played by Sandra Bullock. The gang of “8” thieves is an all-female troupe played by the likes of Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna and Helena Bonham Carter.

22 Theater tier : LOGE

In most theaters and stadiums today, “loge” is the name given to the front rows of a mezzanine level. Loge can also be used for box seating.

24 Deer in a lodge logo : ELK

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) was founded in 1868, and is a social club that has about a million members today. It started out as a group of men getting together in a “club” in order to get around the legal opening hours of taverns in New York City. The club took on a new role as it started to look out for poor families of members who passed away. The club now accepts African Americans as members (since the seventies) and women (since the nineties), but atheists still aren’t welcome. The list of US presidents that have been members of the BPOE includes Presidents Eisenhower, Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Ford.

27 Committee head : CHAIR

Back in the late 1600s, a “committee” was someone “committed” or appointed to attend to some item of business. A few decades later, usage of “committee” had extended to include a group of people to whom some business function had been entrusted.

28 Williams of “Laverne & Shirley” : CINDY

On the late-seventies and early-eighties sitcom “Laverne & Shirley”, Penny Marshall played Laverne (De Fazio) and Cindy Williams played Shirley (Feeney). The show was a spin-off of “Happy Days”, in which Laverne and Shirley were friends of the Fonz.

30 Boise’s state : IDAHO

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”.

39 Calif. Cascades peak : MT SHASTA

Mount Shasta is in northern California. The origin of the name “Shasta” seems to be unclear. It may have come from the Russian “tchastal” meaning “white, clean, pure”, a name given to the volcanic peak by early Russian immigrants.

The Cascades are a mountain range in North America stretching from Northern California to southern British Columbia. The Cascade Range includes several active volcanoes, and is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. The range was named for the Cascades Rapids in the Columbia River Gorge, as they were referred to as the “mountains by the cascades” in the days following the Lewis and Clark expedition.

41 Author Caleb : CARR

One of Caleb Carr’s novels is a latter-day Sherlock Holmes mystery called “The Italian Secretary”. The novel was written as a homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (using the Holmes character with the permission of the Doyle estate). I am a big fan of Sherlock Holmes stories, so I must put this one on my reading list …

42 OK Corral setting : OLD WEST

The most famous gunfight in the history of the Old West has to be the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, which took place in Tombstone, Arizona. Strangely enough, the fight didn’t happen at the O.K. Corral, but played out six doors down the street in a vacant lot next to a photography studio.

43 British noble : EARL

In the ranking of nobles, an earl comes above a viscount and below a marquis. The rank of earl is used in the British peerage system and is equivalent to the rank of count in other countries. Other British ranks have female forms (e.g. marquis and marchioness, viscount and viscountess), but there isn’t a female word for the rank of earl. A female given the same rank as an earl is known as a countess.

44 Donkey : ASS

A female donkey/ass is known as a jenny, and a male is known as a jack, or sometimes “jackass”. We started using the term “jackass” to mean “fool” in the 1820s.

49 Hägar’s comics wife : HELGA

“Hägar the Horrible” is a comic strip that was created by the late Dik Browne and is now drawn by his son, Chris Browne. “Hägar the Terrible” (not “Horrible”) was the nickname given to Dik by his sons. The strip’s title character is a red-bearded Viking living on the Norwegian coast during the Middle Ages. Hägar lives with his overbearing wife Helga, his sensitive son Hamlet, his pretty daughter Honi, and his clever dog Snert.

50 Writer of tales with talking animals : AESOP

In the story of Androcles and the lion, a runaway slave named Androcles takes shelter in a cave. Inside he finds a wounded lion. Androcles removes a thorn from the pad of the lion’s foot, and bandages the injured limb. Years later, Androcles is captured and is condemned to be devoured by wild animals in the Circus Maximus of Rome. The lion that he faces turns out to be the lion that he befriended, and so he is able to demonstrate to the crown in the Circus that he can tame the beast. As a result, the Roman Emperor pardons Androcles. A similar story known as “The Shepherd and the Lion” emerged in the Middle Ages, and was attributed to Aesop of “fable” fame.

To anthropomorphize is to put into human form something that is not human. The noun “anthropomorphism” comes from the Greek “anthropos” meaning “human and “morphe” meaning “form”. The term only dates back to the mid-1700s, when it applied to the then heretic offense of applying human form to the God of Christianity. The concept of anthropomorphism dates back to ancient times, with examples being characters in Aesop’s fables such as the Hare and Tortoise.

52 Page with opinions : OP-ED

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

56 Tartan-sporting family : CLAN

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.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Play for time : STALL
6 Soup aisle array : CANS
10 Murder mystery staple : BODY
14 Apex predators of the sea : ORCAS
15 “I __ my wit’s end!” : AM AT
16 Sacred Nile bird : IBIS
17 Many a Mumbai resident : HINDU
18 Triangle ratio : SINE
19 Hand over : GIVE
20 Do as told : OBEY
21 Comfy clothing : CASUAL WEAR
23 Dog walker’s need : LEASH
25 “Little ol’ me?” : MOI?
26 Supernatural : OCCULT
29 Appetizer platter items : VEGGIES
33 Fowl fencing material : CHICKEN WIRE
36 Morse “T” : DAH
37 Gas container : TANK
38 Abu Dhabi’s fed. : UAE
39 Nativity scene threesome : MAGI
40 Red Cross offering : AID
41 Forecast that calls for a scarf and gloves : COLD WEATHER
45 Plasterboard : DRYWALL
47 Separate by type : ASSORT
48 LAX : Los Angeles :: __ : Chicago : ORD
49 Like extreme 41-Across : HARSH
51 Circle with primary and secondary hues : COLOR WHEEL
55 Variety show lineup : ACTS
59 Apple gadget with playlists : IPOD
60 Sinuous swimmers : EELS
61 Letter-shaped opening : T-SLOT
62 Column before ones : TENS
63 Pudding starch : SAGO
64 Prefix for Rome’s country : ITALO-
65 Jittery : EDGY
66 Spiderweb, e.g. : TRAP
67 Grand Ole Opry genre, briefly, that’s also a hint to 21-, 33-, 41- and 51-Across : C AND W

Down

1 Artsy Manhattan area : SOHO
2 Chicago daily, for short : TRIB
3 Proactiv+ target : ACNE
4 Female symbol of good fortune : LADY LUCK
5 The SEC’s Tigers : LSU
6 Acapulco abodes : CASAS
7 Pennsylvania sect : AMISH
8 Half a Mork-to-Orson farewell : NANU
9 Soft-shell clam : STEAMER
10 Kingpin : BIGWIG
11 NYC drama award : OBIE
12 Female opera star : DIVA
13 Belgian river : YSER
21 Blanchett of “Ocean’s 8” : CATE
22 Theater tier : LOGE
24 Deer in a lodge logo : ELK
26 Set of eight : OCTAD
27 Committee head : CHAIR
28 Williams of “Laverne & Shirley” : CINDY
29 Beach house selling point : VIEW
30 Boise’s state : IDAHO
31 All fired up : EAGER
32 T-__: 21-Across item : SHIRT
34 Void partner : NULL
35 Fistful of dollars : WAD
39 Calif. Cascades peak : MT SHASTA
41 Author Caleb : CARR
42 OK Corral setting : OLD WEST
43 British noble : EARL
44 Donkey : ASS
46 Like a forest : WOODSY
49 Hägar’s comics wife : HELGA
50 Writer of tales with talking animals : AESOP
51 Name in a footnote : CITE
52 Page with opinions : OP-ED
53 Time-consuming : LONG
54 Catch wind of : HEAR
56 Tartan-sporting family : CLAN
57 Broke the news to : TOLD
58 Store securely : STOW
61 Personal quirk : TIC

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 4 Jan 21, Monday”

  1. Was delighted to find out Bill expands on answers. Today’s background on Red Cross was a bit misleading as the combined dead and wounded at Sorefino were 40,000, not 40,000 dead.

  2. No errors, no googles. Got it done early but forgot to check with
    Bill’s blog; grocery shopping got in the way. Nice Monday puzzle.

  3. Hi all!!🤗

    No errors on an easy Monday. Felt strange doing a puzzle by someone who had recently passed away.

    I always forget ORD. I think of the fort, and I think I’m wrong when I fill it in.🤔

    Be well ~~🥂

    1. I don’t remember ORD and I think there’s a second airport in Chicago that I’m also forgetting.

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