LA Times Crossword 7 Jan 21, Thursday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Mixed Beverages

Themed answers come in pairs. One element in each pair is a BEVERAGE. The letters in that beverage’s name appear as a MIXED sequence in the other element of the pair:

  • 1A Ancient beverage “mixed” in 46-Across : MEAD
  • 46A “Give me time to collect myself” : I NEED A MOMENT (hiding mixed “MEAD”)
  • 5A Dinner beverage “mixed” in 27-Across : CLARET
  • 27A Driver’s aid, once : CAR TELEPHONE (hiding mixed “CLARET”)
  • 45A Fountain beverage “mixed” in 17-Across : SODA
  • 17A Air Force Academy city : COLORADO SPRINGS (hiding mixed “SODA”)
  • 66A After-dinner beverage “mixed” in 60-Across : PORT
  • 60A Balancing act : TIGHTROPE WALKER (hiding mixed “PORT”)

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

Bill’s time: 7m 05s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Ancient beverage “mixed” in 46-Across : MEAD

Mead is a lovely drink that’s made from fermented honey and water.

5 Dinner beverage “mixed” in 27-Across : CLARET

Clairet is a dark rosé wine. Although it is uncommon today, clairet used to be the most common wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France. For centuries now, English consumers have used the derivative term “claret” to describe any red wine from Bordeaux.

11 Cooking meas. : TSP

Teaspoon (tsp.)

17 Air Force Academy city : COLORADO SPRINGS (hiding mixed “SODA”)

The US Air Force Academy (USAFA) is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I had the privilege not too long ago of visiting the Academy, and what an impressive campus it is. When the USAF Academy graduated its first class in 1959, it became the youngest of the five service academies to do so. Significantly, female candidates were first accepted by the academy in 1976, and today the graduating classes include over 20% women.

20 Abbr. between names, perhaps : AKA

Also known as (aka)

21 Gulf of __ : OMAN

The Gulf of Oman isn’t actually a gulf, and rather is a strait. It connects the Arabian Sea to the Strait of Hormuz and hence to the Persian Gulf.

22 Starkers, on this side of the pond : NAKED

The British slang term “starkers” means “nude”, and comes from the expression “stark naked”.

27 Driver’s aid, once : CAR TELEPHONE (hiding mixed “CLARET”)

Clairet is a dark rosé wine. Although it is uncommon today, clairet used to be the most common wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France. For centuries now, English consumers have used the derivative term “claret” to describe any red wine from Bordeaux.

36 It’s a wrap : SARAN

What’s known as plastic wrap in America, we call cling-film in Ireland. The brand name “Saran” is often used generically in the US, while “Glad” wrap is common down under. Plastic wrap was one of those unintended inventions, a byproduct of a development program to create a hard plastic cover for cars.

37 Bond was kicked out of it : ETON

The world-famous Eton College is just a brisk walk from Windsor Castle, which itself is just outside London. Eton is noted for producing many British leaders including David Cameron who was British prime minister from 2010 to 2016. The list of Old Etonians also includes Princes William and Harry, the Duke of Wellington and George Orwell. Author Ian Fleming was also an Eton alumnus, as was Fleming’s iconic character James Bond, although 007 was expelled by the school.

38 Fireplace shelf : HOB

A hob is the cooking surface on a stove. The term “hob” originally applied to a shelf at the back or side of a fireplace that was used for keeping food warm.

39 Berkeley sch. : CAL

The University of California, Berkeley (Cal) is the most difficult public university to get into in the world. It opened in 1869, and is named for Anglo-Irish philosopher George Berkeley.

41 ESPN MLB analyst : A-ROD

Baseball player Alex Rodriguez, nicknamed “A-Rod”, broke a lot of records in his career, albeit under a shroud of controversy due to his use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs. When he signed a 10-year contract with the Texas Rangers for $252 million in 2000, it was the most lucrative contract in sports history. In 2007, Rodriguez signed an even more lucrative 10-year contract with the New York Yankees, worth $275 million. Rodriguez retired in 2016.

46 “Give me time to collect myself” : I NEED A MOMENT (hiding mixed “MEAD”)

Mead is a lovely drink that’s made from fermented honey and water.

49 Animal rights gp. : PETA

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is a very large animal rights organization, with 300 employees and two million members and supporters worldwide. Although the group campaigns for animal rights across a broad spectrum of issues, it has a stated focus in opposition of four practices:

  • Factory farming
  • Fur farming
  • Animal testing
  • Use of animals in entertainment

50 Make more powerful : SOUP UP

To soup up an engine is to increase its horsepower. The verb probably derives from the older slang term “soup”, which was a narcotic illegally injected into racehorses to make them run faster.

54 Gut feeling? : AGITA

“Agita” is another name for “acid indigestion”, and more generally for “agitation, anxiety”.

57 Simon Says player : APER

“Simon Says” is a kids’ game. The idea is for the players of the game to obey the “controller” who gives instructions. But the players should only obey when the controller uses the words, “Simon says …”. The game has very old roots, with a Latin version that uses the words “Cicero dicit fac hoc” (Cicero says do this).

59 That, in Oaxaca : ESA

Oaxaca (officially “Oaxaca de Juárez”) is the capital city of the Mexican state of Oaxaca, which is located in the south of the country.

60 Balancing act : TIGHTROPE WALKER (hiding mixed “PORT”)

Portugal’s city of Oporto (“Porto” in Portuguese) gave its name to port wine in the late 1600s. Oporto was the seaport through which most of the region’s fortified red wine was exported.

64 Artist Yoko : ONO

Yoko Ono is an avant-garde artist. Ono actually met her future husband John Lennon for the first time while she was preparing her conceptual art exhibit called “Hammer a Nail”. Visitors were encouraged to hammer in a nail into a wooden board, creating the artwork. Lennon wanted to hammer in the first nail, but Ono stopped him as the exhibition had not yet opened. Apparently Ono relented when Lennon paid her an imaginary five shillings to hammer an imaginary nail into the wood.

69 Costner role : NESS

“The Untouchables” is a 1957 memoir by famed Prohibition agent Eliot Ness. The book was adapted into a TV show of the same name that in the late fifties and early sixties, starring Robert Stack as Ness. The same memoir was the basis of the 1987 film, again of the same name, with Kevin Costner in the lead role.

Down

1 Rainforest parrot : MACAW

Macaws are beautifully colored birds native to Central and South America that are actually a type of parrot. Most species of macaws are now endangered, with several having become extinct in recent decades. The main threats are deforestation and illegal trapping and trafficking of exotic birds.

2 Mushroom in Asian cuisine : ENOKI

Enokitake (also known as “enoki”) are long and thin white mushrooms often added to soups or salads.

3 World record? : ATLAS

The famous Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator published his first collection of maps in 1578. Mercator’s collection contained a frontispiece with an image of Atlas the Titan from Greek mythology holding up the world on his shoulders. That image gave us our term “atlas” that is used for a book of maps.

4 “Gloria in Excelsis __” : DEO

“Gloria in excelsis Deo” is a Latin hymn, the title of which translates as “Glory to God in the Highest”.

6 Helen of Troy’s mother : LEDA

In Greek mythology, Leda was the beautiful Queen of Sparta who was seduced by Zeus when he took the form of a swan. Leda produced two eggs from the union. One egg hatched into Clytemnestra and the beautiful Helen of Troy, over whom was fought the Trojan War. The other egg hatched into the twins Castor and Pollux. Castor and Pollux had different fathers according to the myth. Pollux was the son of Zeus and was immortal, while Castor was the son of Leda’s earthly husband, and so he was a mortal. In the world of the arts, William Butler Yeats wrote a famous sonnet called “Leda and the Swan” in 1924, and Peter Paul Rubens made a copy of a now-lost painting called “Leda and the Swan” by Michelangelo.

According to Greek mythology, Helen (later “Helen of Troy”) was the daughter of Zeus and Leda. When Helen reached the age of marriage, she had many suitors as she was considered the most beautiful woman in the world. Menelaus was chosen as her husband, and he took her back to his home of Sparta. Paris, a Trojan prince, seduced Helen, as she eloped with him and travelled to Troy. This event sparked the Trojan War that waged between the city of Troy and Greece. Because of this war, Helen was said to have “the face that launched a thousand ships”. And because of this phrase, it has been suggested, probably by author Isaac Asimov, that the amount of beauty needed to launch a single ship is one “millihelen”.

7 John Irving’s “__ of the Circus” : A SON

“A Son of the Circus” is a 1994 novel by John Irving. Although the story is set in Mumbai, the title refers to the Great Blue Nile Circus.

Novelist and screenwriter John Irving became famous with publication of his novel “The World According to Garp”. As a screenwriter Irving won an Oscar for the screen adaptation he wrote for another of his novels, “The Cider House Rules”.

8 __ feed: online news aggregator : RSS

Many websites and blogs publish content in a format known as Rich Site Summary (RSS). The “feed” can be read using an RSS reader. The advantage of using an RSS reader, is that the user doesn’t have to check the website for new content. That new material is fed to the RSS reader as soon as it is published.

9 Medium gift : ESP

Extrasensory perception (ESP)

11 Honky-__ : TONK

A honky-tonk is a bar with musical entertainment, usually country music. The etymology of the term “honky-tonk” seems unclear. The term has evolved to mean any cheap, noisy bar or dance hall.

13 Condition once called “shell shock,” for short : PTSD

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

18 Membership list : ROTA

Our word “roster”, meaning “list, register”, actually comes from the same root as our word “roast”, would you believe. “Roster” came into English from the Dutch “rooster”, meaning “table, list”. An alternative use of the Dutch “rooster” was “gridiron”, from the “roosten” meaning “to roast”. The connection is that a roster of names is often listed on a sheet of paper that has grid lines resembling the marks left by a gridiron on roasted meat. Quite interesting …

24 Novelist Umberto : ECO

Umberto Eco was an Italian writer who is probably best known for his novel “The Name of the Rose”, published in 1980. In 1986, “The Name of the Rose” was adapted into a movie with the same title starring Sean Connery.

25 Go this way and that : SLALOM

“Slalom” is an anglicized version of the Norwegian word “slalam” that translates as “skiing race”. There is a longer version of the traditional slalom that is called giant slalom

26 Actor Cariou : LEN

Len Cariou is a Canadian actor who is famous for his Broadway portrayal of “Sweeney Todd”. I most recognize Cariou from supporting roles in “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Thirteen Days”, two great movies.

28 City near Seattle : TACOMA

Tacoma is a city on Puget Sound in the state of Washington. The city took its name from Mount Rainier that is nearby, as the peak is also known as Tacoma (or “Tahoma”).

29 Muse for Shelley : ERATO

In Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of lyric poetry. She is often depicted with a wreath of myrtle and roses, and playing a lyre.

Percy Bysshe Shelley was an English Romantic poet. Shelley had strong views on vegetarianism. He was dedicated to the cause of all sentient beings, believing that the slaughter of animals by humans for the use of food was a barbaric practice. He wrote a famous essay on the subject called “A Vindication of Natural Diet” in 1813.

30 “The Simpsons” bus driver : OTTO

Otto Mann drives the school bus on the TV show “The Simpsons”. Otto is a Germanic character voiced by Harry Shearer, and his name is a play on “Ottoman Empire”. Whenever Bart sees him, he greets Otto with the words “Otto, man!”

32 One-named New Ager : ENYA

Enya’s real name is Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, which can translate from Irish into Enya Brennan. Her Donegal family (in the northwest of Ireland) formed a band called Clannad, which included Enya. In 1980 Enya launched her very successful solo career, eventually becoming Ireland’s best-selling solo musician. And, she sure does turn up a lot in crosswords!

33 Spiced tea : CHAI

Chai is a drink made from spiced black tea, honey and milk, with “chai” being the Hindi word for “tea”. We often called tea “a cup of char” growing up in Ireland, with “char” being our slang word for tea, derived from “chai”.

34 Cornucopia shape : HORN

The horn of plenty is a symbol of abundance that has been used in Western art since the days of antiquity. It is usually depicted as a horn-shaped vessel containing flowers and edible delights. The horn of plenty may also be referred to as the cornucopia.

35 Bassoon kin : OBOE

The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”.

Our modern bassoon first appeared in the 1800s and has had a place in the concert orchestra ever since.

45 “Rugrats” dad : STU

“Rugrats” is a cartoon show that aired on Nickelodeon from 1991 to 2004. The show spawned a series of movies, starting with 1998’s “The Rugrats Movie”.

47 __-head: Hell’s Angels insignia : DEATH’S

The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club was founded by Scottish-American war immigrants in 1948. The founders were members of the Bishop family of Fontana, California. Today, the Hells Angels are listed as an organized crime syndicate by the US Department of Justice.

48 Romance novelist Roberts who writes mysteries as J.D. Robb : NORA

Nora Roberts is a very successful author who has written over 165 romance novels. Roberts is published under a number of pen names, i.e. J.D. Robb, Jill March and Sarah Hardesty.

51 Tea variety : PEKOE

A pekoe (or more commonly “orange pekoe”) is a medium-grade black tea. There is no orange flavor in an orange pekoe tea. The “orange” name most likely derived from the name of the trading company that brought the tea to Europe from Asia.

54 Tiny bit : ATOM

Leucippus lived in the 5th century BC in ancient Greece. He founded the Atomist Movement. The atomists believed that the world was composed of just atoms and voids, and that the atom was an indestructible particle. How wrong they were …

55 Carano of “Deadpool” : GINA

Gina Carano is a former martial artist from Texas who took up acting when she retired from fighting. As one might expect, Carano tends to appear in action films.

“Deadpool” is a 2016 superhero film, the eighth of the “X-Men” series of movies. The title character is played by Ryan Reynolds.

56 Horror movie assistant : IGOR

In the world of movies, Igor has been the assistant to Dracula, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein among others. Igor is almost invariably portrayed as a hunchback.

57 Lhasa __ : APSO

The Lhasa apso breed of dog originated in Tibet and is named after “Lhasa” (the capital city) and “apso” (a Tibetan word meaning “bearded”). The Lhasa apso has been around since 800 BC and is one of the oldest breeds in the world, one very closely related to the ancestral wolf.

58 Soccer great : PELE

“Pelé” is the nickname of Edson de Nascimento, a soccer player who has used the name “Pelé” for most of his life. Pelé is now retired, and for my money was the world’s greatest ever player of the game. He is the only person to have been a member of three World Cup winning squads (1958, 1962 and 1970), and is a national treasure in his native Brazil. One of Pele’s nicknames is “O Rei do Futebol” (the King of Football).

63 Hosp. staffer : LPN

Licensed practical nurse (LPN)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Ancient beverage “mixed” in 46-Across : MEAD
5 Dinner beverage “mixed” in 27-Across : CLARET
11 Cooking meas. : TSP
14 Part of a pot : ANTE
15 On a smaller scale : LESS SO
16 Bit in a horse’s mouth : OAT
17 Air Force Academy city : COLORADO SPRINGS (hiding mixed “SODA”)
20 Abbr. between names, perhaps : AKA
21 Gulf of __ : OMAN
22 Starkers, on this side of the pond : NAKED
23 Not fooled by : WISE TO
25 City blight : SLUM
27 Driver’s aid, once : CAR TELEPHONE (hiding mixed “CLARET”)
33 Sneeze syllable : CHOO!
36 It’s a wrap : SARAN
37 Bond was kicked out of it : ETON
38 Fireplace shelf : HOB
39 Berkeley sch. : CAL
40 Effort : TRY
41 ESPN MLB analyst : A-ROD
43 Drive : MOTOR
45 Fountain beverage “mixed” in 17-Across : SODA
46 “Give me time to collect myself” : I NEED A MOMENT (hiding mixed “MEAD”)
49 Animal rights gp. : PETA
50 Make more powerful : SOUP UP
54 Gut feeling? : AGITA
57 Simon Says player : APER
59 That, in Oaxaca : ESA
60 Balancing act : TIGHTROPE WALKER (hiding mixed “PORT”)
64 Artist Yoko : ONO
65 Filling out forms, often : HASSLE
66 After-dinner beverage “mixed” in 60-Across : PORT
67 Make a dent in : MAR
68 Drove off : SHOOED
69 Costner role : NESS

Down

1 Rainforest parrot : MACAW
2 Mushroom in Asian cuisine : ENOKI
3 World record? : ATLAS
4 “Gloria in Excelsis __” : DEO
5 Demands loudly, with “for” : CLAMORS …
6 Helen of Troy’s mother : LEDA
7 John Irving’s “__ of the Circus” : A SON
8 __ feed: online news aggregator : RSS
9 Medium gift : ESP
10 Ripped to shreds : TORN UP
11 Honky-__ : TONK
12 Wise one : SAGE
13 Condition once called “shell shock,” for short : PTSD
18 Membership list : ROTA
19 “You found the right guy,” formally : I AM HE
24 Novelist Umberto : ECO
25 Go this way and that : SLALOM
26 Actor Cariou : LEN
28 City near Seattle : TACOMA
29 Muse for Shelley : ERATO
30 “The Simpsons” bus driver : OTTO
31 North of Paris : NORD
32 One-named New Ager : ENYA
33 Spiced tea : CHAI
34 Cornucopia shape : HORN
35 Bassoon kin : OBOE
42 Profundity : DEPTH
43 Welcome __ : MAT
44 Mended, in a way : RESEWED
45 “Rugrats” dad : STU
47 __-head: Hell’s Angels insignia : DEATH’S
48 Romance novelist Roberts who writes mysteries as J.D. Robb : NORA
51 Tea variety : PEKOE
52 Computer operators : USERS
53 Labor go-with : PARTS
54 Tiny bit : ATOM
55 Carano of “Deadpool” : GINA
56 Horror movie assistant : IGOR
57 Lhasa __ : APSO
58 Soccer great : PELE
61 “Go team!” : RAH!
62 Spanish bear : OSO
63 Hosp. staffer : LPN

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 7 Jan 21, Thursday”

  1. He got me.. didn’t know “starker”, didn’t know actor Cariou first name and didn’t get the formal “I AM HE”.. I blame it on the distraction in the US capital yesterday.. not really but thats all I got right now.

  2. 26:09 no errors…I thought an LPN was the lesser of the nurses and worked more in Drs offices and RNs were hospital staffers…I’ve been wrong before.
    Stay safe😀
    Go Ravens 🙏
    What will today bring in Washington?

    1. Hmmm. The issue is outside my area of expertise, but … the last time LPN’s were discussed here, there were some dissenting opinions … and I found this using Google:

      “In hospitals, LPNs care for patients under the direction of doctors and RNs, taking vital signs, giving shots, applying and changing dressings, treating bedsores, giving massages and rubs, monitoring, collecting samples, performing routine lab tests, and more. That’s a broad and diverse list of skills.”

      Maybe the situation is different in different hospitals?

  3. LAT: 8:30, no errors. WSJ: 14:52, no errors. A clever and enjoyable pair of puzzles. (And I had not noticed that they had the same author.)

    Running late today, as I did not sleep well last night, undoubtedly for the reason that others have mentioned (and I would agree that “horror” is an entirely appropriate word).

  4. No errors, 2 Googles: A SON, DEATH’S.
    Took a long time discerning if the bird was a MACAW or a MynAh.
    Did not know: GINA, HOB. RSS should be indicated as abbrev.

    AGITA is a real Italian word.

    My paternal uncle trained at COLORADO SPRINGS, and I have his yearbook. He didn’t get to fly in WWII because the war ended just as he finished training.
    A friend of ours had a CAR TELEPHONE and tried to steal it from his car! Apparently there was some sort of tower network.

  5. A lot easier than his WSJ puzzle; took 16:17 on-line with no peeks or errors. I confess I still don’t understand his WSJ puzzle…someone said “an IPA will inspire you”…?

    12 more days….or maybe less

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