LA Times Crossword 11 Feb 21, Thursday

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Constructed by: Chuck Deodene
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Outsider Artists

Circled letters in the grid at the start and finish of themed answers spell out the names of ARTISTS:

  • 60A Self-taught creators, in modern lingo, and a hint to each set of circles : OUTSIDER ARTISTS
  • 17A Security perimeter feature : POLICE ROADBLOCK (“POL-LOCK” OUTSIDE)
  • 26A Formally begins, as a meeting : CALLS TO ORDER (“CAL-DER” OUTSIDE)
  • 35A Successfully lured : ROPED IN (“RO-DIN” OUTSIDE)
  • 38A High-intensity light source : ARC LAMP (“AR-P” OUTSIDE)
  • 45A Navy Cross recipient, for one : MILITARY HERO (“MI-RO” OUTSIDE)

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

Bill’s time: 7m 42s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Goat of the Alps : IBEX

“Ibex” is a common name for various species of mountain goat. “Ibex” is a Latin name that was used for wild goats found in the Alps and Apennines in Europe.

10 Fine cotton : PIMA

Pima is a soft cotton that is very durable and absorbent. Pima cotton is named after the Pima Native Americans who first cultivated it in this part of the world.

14 Turing and Cumming : ALANS

Alan Turing was an English mathematician. He was well-respected for his code-breaking work during WWII at Bletchley Park in England. However, despite his contributions to cracking the German Enigma code and other crucial work, Turing was prosecuted for homosexuality in 1952. He agreed to chemical castration, treatment with female hormones, and then two years later he committed suicide by taking cyanide. Turing’s life story is told in the 2014 film “The Imitation Game” with Benedict Cumberbatch playing the lead. I thoroughly enjoyed that film …

Alan Cumming is a very versatile Scottish actor. Cumming has played some pretty “commercial” roles, like the bad guy Boris Grishenko in “GoldenEye” and Fegan Floop in the “Spy Kids” movies. He also played the unwanted suitor in the fabulous film “Circle of Friends” and won a Tony for playing the emcee in the 1998 Broadway revival of “Cabaret”.

17 Security perimeter feature : POLICE ROADBLOCK (“POL-LOCK” OUTSIDE)

Jackson Pollock was an abstract expressionist painter who famously used a “drip painting” style. Pollock was married to Lee Krasner, herself an influential abstract expressionist.

24 Camping gear retailer with an #OptOutside campaign : REI

Sporting goods company REI introduced a #OptOutside campaign starting on Black Friday in 2015. The initial focus of the campaign was to encourage customers and employees alike to head out into nature instead of swamping retail outlets on the day that kicked off the holiday shopping season. REI actually closed its doors on Black Friday 2015, rather than participate in the annual shopping frenzy.

25 “Seasons in the Sun” songwriter : BREL

Jacques Brel was a songwriter from Belgium whose songs were most popular in France, although English translations of his works became hits for artists all around the world. One of the more famous English translations was for the song “Seasons in the Sun”, a big hit in 1974 for Canadian singer Terry Jacks.

26 Formally begins, as a meeting : CALLS TO ORDER (“CAL-DER” OUTSIDE)

Alexander Calder was an American sculptor and artist. Calder is famous for having invented the mobile sculpture, a work made up of several pieces hanging on a string in equilibrium. In effect they are what we might know as “mobiles”, operating on the same principle as mobiles that sit over cribs in a nursery. Calder refers to his large, stationary sculptures as “stabiles”.

33 Lightkeeper’s view : SEA

The oldest lighthouse still in use is the Tower of Hercules located on the coast of Galicia in northwest Spain. Renovated in 1791, this magnificent lighthouse was built by the Romans in 2nd century CE and has been in constant use since that time. It is believed that the structure’s design is based on the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of Ancient World.

35 Successfully lured : ROPED IN (“RO-DIN” OUTSIDE)

Auguste Rodin was a French sculptor who was known for realistic representations of the human form. Two of Rodin’s most famous works started out as details from a larger work called “The Gates of Hell”. One of these details is “The Thinker”, and the other “The Kiss”.

38 High-intensity light source : ARC LAMP (“AR-P” OUTSIDE)

The first electric light was an “arc lamp”, a lamp in which light is produced by an arc of ionized gas between two electrodes. The arc lamp was largely replaced by incandescent lighting, in which light was produced by a glowing filament that was heated by passing an electric current through it.

Jean Arp was a French artist renowned for his work with torn and pasted paper, although that wasn’t the only medium he used. Arp was the son of a French mother and German father and spoke both languages fluently. When he was speaking German he gave his name as Hans Arp, but when speaking French he called himself Jean Arp. Both “Hans” and “Jean” translate into English as “John”. In WWI Arp moved to Switzerland to avoid being called up to fight, taking advantage of Swiss neutrality. Eventually he was told to report to the German Consulate and fill out paperwork for the draft. In order to get out of fighting, Arp messed up the paperwork by writing the date in every blank space on the forms. Then he took off all of his clothes and walked with his papers over to the officials in charge. Arp was sent home …

41 “Much __ About Nothing”: “The Simpsons” episode : APU

“The Problem with Apu” is a 2017 documentary that explores the use of racial stereotypes by focusing on the character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon from the animated sitcom “The Simpsons”. The film was written by and stars American stand-up comedian Hari Kondabolu.

44 Pocket bread : PITA

Pita is a lovely bread from Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Pita is usually round, and has a “pocket” in the center. The pocket is created by steam that puffs up the dough during cooking leaving a void when the bread cools.

45 Navy Cross recipient, for one : MILITARY HERO (“MI-RO” OUTSIDE)

The highest military decoration awarded for gallantry is the Medal of Honor. The second highest medal is specific to the service, namely the Distinguished Service Cross (Army), the Navy Cross (Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) and the Air Force Cross. The third highest award is the Silver Star.

50 “Buy It Now” site : EBAY

eBay is an auction site with a twist. If you don’t want to enter into an auction to purchase an item, there’s a “Buy It Now” price. Agree to pay it, and the item is yours!

63 Mystery writer Gardner : ERLE

I must have read all of the “Perry Mason” books when I was in college. I think they kept me sane when I was facing the pressure of exams. Author Erle Stanley Gardner was himself a lawyer, although he didn’t get into the profession the easy way. Gardner went to law school, but got himself suspended after a month. So, he became a self-taught attorney and opened his own law office in Merced, California. Understandably perhaps, Gardner gave up the law once his novels became successful.

64 “The Hobbit” soldiers : ORCS

According to Tolkien, Orcs are small humanoids that live in his fantasy world of Middle-earth (also called “Mordor”). They are very ugly and dirty, and are fond of eating human flesh.

“The Hobbit, or There and Back Again” is a children’s fantasy novel by J. R. R. Tolkien that was popular from the time of its first publication in 1937. Included in the early awards for “The Hobbit” was a prize for best juvenile fiction from “The New York Herald Tribune”. Tolkien adapted his succeeding novel “The Lord of the Rings” to incorporate elements in “The Hobbit”, so that the two tales are very much related.

66 __ Inn : DAYS

The Days Inn hotel chain was founded in 1970 by a real estate developer called Cecil B. Day. One of the features of a Days Inn hotel in those early days was an on-site gas pump, which dispensed gasoline at discount prices.

67 Pool strikers : CUES

The more correct name for the game of pool is “pocket billiards”. The designation “pool” arose after pocket billiards became a common feature in “pool halls”, places where gamblers “pooled” their money to bet on horse races.

Down

1 Used Juul pods : VAPED

An electronic cigarette (also called an “e-cigarette”) is a battery-powered device that resembles a real cigarette. The e-cigarette vaporizes a solution that contains nicotine, forming a vapor that resembles smoke. The vapor is inhaled in a process called “vaping”, delivering nicotine into the body. The assumption is that an e-cigarette is healthier than a regular cigarette as the inhaled vapor is less harmful than inhaled smoke. But, that may not be so …

The Juul is a brand of e-cigarette on sale in the US. Cigarette supplier Altria (formerly Philip Morris) purchased a 35% share in manufacturer Juul Labs in 2018.

2 “__ Supreme”: classic Coltrane album : A LOVE

John Coltrane was a jazz saxophonist who also went by the nickname “Trane”. John’s son Ravi Coltrane is also a noted jazz saxophonist.

3 Old NBC legal drama : LA LAW

“L.A. Law” ran on NBC from 1986 to 1994, and was one of the network’s most successful drama series. It took over from the equally successful “Hill Street Blues” in the Thursday night 10 p.m. slot until, after a six-year run, it was itself replaced by yet another respected drama, “E.R.” The opening credits showed that famous California licence plate. The plate was on a Jaguar XJ for most of the series, but moved onto a Bentley towards the end of the run. For each series the registration sticker was updated, so no laws were being broken.

5 PC key : ESC

The escape key (Esc) was originally used just to control computer peripherals. It was a key that allowed the computer operator to stop what the peripheral was doing (cancel a print job, for example). Nowadays the escape key is used for all sorts of things, especially in gaming programs.

8 Low nos. for aces : ERAS

Earned run average (ERA)

In the world of baseball, an ace is the best starting pitcher on a team.

10 Filch : PILFER

“Filch” is a slang word meaning “steal”. One suggestion is that the term derives from the German “filzen” meaning “comb through”.

11 Lukewarm “You hungry?” reply : I COULD EAT

The obsolete adjective “luke” meant “tepid, moderately warm”. Said adjective used to exist in words like “luke-hot” and “luke-hearted”, but now only survives in the word “luke-warm” (usually “lukewarm”). So, I guess “lukewarm” means “tepidly tepid” …

12 Comfy shoes : MOCS

“Moc” is short for “moccasin”, a type of shoe. The moccasin is a traditional form of footwear worn by members of many Native American tribes.

13 German tennis player Huber : ANKE

Anke Huber is a retired professional tennis player from Germany. Huber stepped out of the shadow of fellow German star Steffi Graf when Graf retired in 1999, and for the last two years of her playing career Huber enjoyed recognition as Germany’s top player.

18 British peer : EARL

In Britain, there are five ranks of peers. They are duke, marquess, earl, viscount and baron, in descending order.

19 NYC division : BORO

The five boroughs of New York City were created in 1898. Those five are:

  • Manhattan
  • The Bronx
  • Brooklyn
  • Queens
  • Staten Island

28 Sun __ : TEA

Sun tea is tea that is made simply by dropping tea into water and letting it “brew” in the sun for a few hours, and then adding ice. A blog reader has kindly pointed out that he was told by a doctor that sun tea has the potential to be dangerous. The sun-heated brew is warm enough and sits long enough to incubate any bacterial contamination that may be present. I think I’ll stick to my regular iced tea that is speedily brewed at high temperature …

29 Humorist Bombeck : ERMA

Erma Bombeck wrote for newspapers for about 35 years. She produced more than 4,000 witty and humorous columns under the title “At Wit’s End”, with all describing her home life in suburbia.

31 Native Arizonans : HOPI

Many members of the Hopi nation live on a reservation that is actually located within the much larger Navajo reservation in Arizona.

37 Easter lead-in? : NOR-

A nor’easter is a storm that blows from the northeast.

39 EMT skill : CPR

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

40 Pride Rock monarch : LION KING

In “The Lion King”, Nala is a lioness and the childhood friend of Simba. By the end of the story, Nala and Simba become wedded. “The Lion King” is inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, with Simba representing the title character, and Nala representing Hamlet’s love interest Ophelia.

46 Hieroglyphics birds : IBISES

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”!

47 Filmmaker Jacques : TATI

Jacques Tati was a very famous filmmaker and comic actor in his homeland of France. Even though he only directed six feature-length movies, Tati is often cited by insiders as one of the greatest movie directors of all time.

53 App with pics : INSTA

Instagram (often abbreviated to “Insta”) is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular. Instagram started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram company had just 13 employees at the time of the sale …

54 Order to a Western posse : GET ‘EM!

Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.

55 “Siddhartha” author : HESSE

The 1922 novel “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse focuses on the spiritual journey of a man called Siddhartha. Even though the Buddha’s name was Siddhartha Gautama before he renounced his former life, Hesse’s Siddhartha is a different character who lived around the time of the Buddha.

58 Lake Titicaca is partly in it : PERU

Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America, and the highest navigable lake in the world (navigable by “large” commercial vessels). Lake Titicaca is located in the Andes, on the border between Peru and Bolivia.

61 MRI interpreter : DOC

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses powerful magnetic fields to generate its images so there is no exposure to ionizing radiation (such as X-rays). We used MRI equipment in our chemistry labs at school, way back in the days when the technology was still called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). Apparently the marketing folks didn’t like the term “nuclear” because of its association with atomic bombs, so now it’s just called MRI.

62 Browser window feature : TAB

A web browser is a piece of software used to access the World Wide Web. The first web browser was called “WorldWideWeb” and was invented in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the World Wide Web. The browser known as Mosaic came out in 1993, and it was this browser that drove so much interest in the World Wide Web, and indeed in the Internet in general. Marc Andreessen led the team that created Mosaic, and he then set up his own company called Netscape. Netscape created the Netscape Navigator browser that further popularized the use of the Web starting in 1994. Microsoft responded by introducing Internet Explorer in 1995, which sparked the so-called “browser war”, a war that Microsoft clearly won. As Netscape floundered, the company launched the open-source Mozilla project which eventually led to the Firefox browser. Apple then came out with it’s own Safari browser in 2003. Google’s Chrome browser, introduced in 2008, is by far the most popular way to view the Web today.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Appreciate : VALUE
6 Goat of the Alps : IBEX
10 Fine cotton : PIMA
14 Turing and Cumming : ALANS
15 Resentful : SORE
16 Screen image : ICON
17 Security perimeter feature : POLICE ROADBLOCK (“POL-LOCK” OUTSIDE)
20 Extraction by rescue copter, e.g. : EVAC
21 Contented sighs : AAHS
22 Helpful : OF USE
23 Like the lawn at dawn : DEWY
24 Camping gear retailer with an #OptOutside campaign : REI
25 “Seasons in the Sun” songwriter : BREL
26 Formally begins, as a meeting : CALLS TO ORDER (“CAL-DER” OUTSIDE)
31 Clutch : HOLD
33 Lightkeeper’s view : SEA
34 Afore : ERE
35 Successfully lured : ROPED IN (“RO-DIN” OUTSIDE)
38 High-intensity light source : ARC LAMP (“AR-P” OUTSIDE)
41 “Much __ About Nothing”: “The Simpsons” episode : APU
42 Have a good cry : SOB
44 Pocket bread : PITA
45 Navy Cross recipient, for one : MILITARY HERO (“MI-RO” OUTSIDE)
50 “Buy It Now” site : EBAY
51 Best-liked, online : FAV
52 Nearly here : NIGH
56 “That’s enough!” : CAN IT!
58 Peruse, with “over” : PORE …
59 __-deep: very involved : KNEE
60 Self-taught creators, in modern lingo, and a hint to each set of circles : OUTSIDER ARTISTS
63 Mystery writer Gardner : ERLE
64 “The Hobbit” soldiers : ORCS
65 Starts a pot : ANTES
66 __ Inn : DAYS
67 Pool strikers : CUES
68 So-so effort, in sports : B-GAME

Down

1 Used Juul pods : VAPED
2 “__ Supreme”: classic Coltrane album : A LOVE
3 Old NBC legal drama : LA LAW
4 Street performer’s vehicle : UNICYCLE
5 PC key : ESC
6 Holy Land nation : ISRAEL
7 [“You need new glasses, ump!”] : [BOO HISS!]
8 Low nos. for aces : ERAS
9 Crossed (out) : XED
10 Filch : PILFER
11 Lukewarm “You hungry?” reply : I COULD EAT
12 Comfy shoes : MOCS
13 German tennis player Huber : ANKE
18 British peer : EARL
19 NYC division : BORO
25 Piglet’s dad : BOAR
27 “Just __ water” : ADD
28 Sun __ : TEA
29 Humorist Bombeck : ERMA
30 One ab crunch, say : REP
31 Native Arizonans : HOPI
32 In a luxurious manner : OPULENTLY
35 Sheep’s dad : RAM
36 Words of surprise : I SAY!
37 Easter lead-in? : NOR-
39 EMT skill : CPR
40 Pride Rock monarch : LION KING
43 Using coercion : BY FORCE
46 Hieroglyphics birds : IBISES
47 Filmmaker Jacques : TATI
48 Beset : HARASS
49 At any time : EVER
53 App with pics : INSTA
54 Order to a Western posse : GET ‘EM!
55 “Siddhartha” author : HESSE
56 Like dorms for men and women : COED
57 Radiance : AURA
58 Lake Titicaca is partly in it : PERU
61 MRI interpreter : DOC
62 Browser window feature : TAB

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 11 Feb 21, Thursday”

  1. Couple of errors. The 19D BORO and 25A BREL got me. Didnt know either so guessed at BOHO and BHEL. Wrong! But boy does “Seasons in the Sun ” bring back some memories!!! Right about the time 8 tracks were going out and the raging cassette player was coming into fad. You could rewind a cassette player better than an 8 track. I had match books shimmed in the 8 track just to keep it on track!! Much less rewind it.
    Good times

  2. No errors. Had some do-overs though. Changed “hassle” to “harass”
    and guessed at “much Apu about nothing” to come up with Hopi. Not as
    difficult as it first seemed.

  3. I made it harder than it should have been by making dumb mistakes. I had Etsy instead of Ebay, REO instead of REI, and I didn’t know Apu.
    Somehow I skipped the whole 8 track thing. Was in the army in Berlin in the late 60’s and we were heavily into reel-to-reel tapes. After that, I gradually moved to cassettes. Ancient history, though I still have all my reel-to-reel tapes and a player.

  4. 8:55 no errors.

    Had to brute force the cross between BORO and BREL. Usually, I accept some crazy spellings, but BORO for BOROUGH? Is that a thing now?

    Also, I’m not sure I accept the artists in the theme being outsider artists. I thought outsider art refers to the works of people who are really on their own, and not easily acknowledged as artists, such as the Watts Towers by Simon Rodia.

  5. 26:25 no errors…I noticed that the NYT#0107 and today’s LAT puzzle share 4 answers although different clues, they are Ibis, era, Ibex and sea…seems odd.
    Stay safe😀

    1. And, I may regret this, but, in today’s post, Brendan Emmett Quigley recommends a couple of books of English-style cryptic crosswords. I sort of gave up on them in the past, but there was another book I wanted to order from Amazon, anyway, and the combination gave me free shipping, so (sigh) here I go again … 🤨.

      Just for reference, BEQ’s web site is here:

      https://www.brendanemmettquigley.com/

      (I’ve grown to have a lot of respect for his puzzles and his opinions.)

      1. BEQ is definitely more of a cryptic guy when it comes to solving puzzles (he’s definitely a salesman-type when it comes to his “recommendations”). I ended up looking at a cryptic (Hook and Rathvon) last night and it went a lot smoother than I expected, so I’m looking forward to getting into those once the book I have is solved. Got some comments regarding the solving experience there and what Shortz does as Editor, but I’ll refrain.

  6. 16 mins 24 sec and DNF: most of the bottom right corner and one cross in the center unfilled or incorrect. Some really suspect clues and fills.

  7. Mostly easy Thursday for me; took 13:00 on the nose, with no errors or peeks. Had to dance around a bit with some of the clues and didn’t really see or follow the theme.

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