LA Times Crossword 12 Feb 21, Friday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): According to the Plumber …

Themed answers are common phrases reinterpreted with reference to a PLUMBER:

  • 17A Morning beverage for a plumber? : PIPING HOT COFFEE
  • 26A Plumber’s response about connecting hardware? : FITTING ANSWER
  • 43A Like a successful plumber’s bank account? : FLUSH WITH CASH
  • 56A Where a plumber learns new moves? : TAP DANCE CLASSES

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

Bill’s time: 8m 50s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Golfer Jon __, 2020 BMW Championship winner : RAHM

Jon Rahm is a golfer from Basque Country in Spain who climbed to the world number one ranking in 2020. He attended Arizona State University, and now lives in Scottsdale. Rahm is often referred to by his nickname “Rahmbo”.

14 Historic mission : ALAMO

The famous Alamo in San Antonio, Texas was originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero. The mission was founded in 1718 and was the first mission established in the city. The Battle of the Alamo took place in 1836, a thirteen-day siege by the Mexican Army led by President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Only two people defending the Alamo Mission survived the onslaught. One month later, the Texian army got its revenge by attacking and defeating the Mexican Army in the Battle of San Jacinto. During the surprise attack on Santa Anna’s camp, many of the Texian soldiers were heard to cry “Remember the Alamo!”.

22 Condor quarters : AERIE

An aerie (sometimes “eyrie”) is an eagle’s nest. The term “aerie” can also more generally describe any bird’s nest that is located on a cliff or a mountaintop.

The condor is actually a vulture, and is the largest flying land bird in the Western Hemisphere. There are two species: the Andean Condor found in the Andes in South America, and the California Condor found in the west of the US and Mexico.

25 Greek celebratory cry : OPA!

“Opa!” is a celebratory cry very much associated with Greece and Greek restaurants, where it often accompanies the celebratory smashing of plates and glasses.

31 High points : ACMES

The acme is the highest point. The term “acme” comes from the Greek word “akme” that has the same meaning.

35 Ala. neighbor : FLA

What we know as the US state of Florida, was named by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who led the first Europeans to the area in 1513. The actual name he used was “La Florida”, Spanish for “the Flowery (Land)”.

36 5G __: mobile standard : LTE

In the world of telecommunications, the initialism LTE stands for Long-Term Evolution, and is wireless broadband communication standard. In general terms, LTE improves broadband speeds. As I understand it, LTE technology allows a 3G network to perform almost as well as a true 4G network, and so LTE is sometimes marketed as 4G LTE, even though it’s really “3G plus”.

Telecommunication companies started deploying 5G broadband cellular networks in 2019. The name “5G” stands for “fifth generation”. 5G network speeds are about 100 times faster than 4G speeds. However, 5G uses a higher frequency signal than 4G. Higher-frequency signals are more easily blocked by walls and other structures, and so wireless carriers are forced to install many, many small cell sites around the network’s backbone sites in order to provide “seamless” coverage.

37 Asian language : LAO

Lao, the language of Laos, does not use spaces between words (or periods!), although this is apparently changing. Spaces are used between sentences and clauses.

38 Corn __ : BELT

The Corn Belt (sometimes “Grain Belt”) is a region in the Midwest where, since the mid-1800s, corn has been the major crop. Geographically, the Corn Belt covers Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and parts of Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota and Missouri. About 40% of the world’s corn production comes from the region, and most of that production is used for the feeding of livestock.

46 Job ad abbr. : EOE

Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE)

47 Falls hard : POURS

That would be rain, for example …

56 Where a plumber learns new moves? : TAP DANCE CLASSES

The common “faucet” in an American house is almost always referred to as a “tap” on the other side of the pond.

60 Caspian Sea land : IRAN

Before 1935, the country we know today as Iran was referred to as Persia by the Western world. The official name of the country since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is the “Islamic Republic of Iran”.

The Caspian Sea is a landlocked body of water lying between Asia and Europe. By some definitions, the Caspian is the largest lake on the planet. The name “Caspian” comes from the Caspi people who lived to the southwest of the sea in the South Caucasus.

63 Kate Atkinson’s “One Good __” : TURN

Kate Atkinson is an author from England who is perhaps best known for her crime novels that feature private investigator Jackson Brodie.

64 Medium for Michelangelo : STONE

The celebrated Italian Renaissance artist and poet Michelangelo was born Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni in a village near Arezzo in the present-day province of Tuscany. Michelangelo achieved renown during his own lifetime. He was the first Western artist to see his biography published during his own lifetime.

Down

4 Kuwait, for one : EMIRATE

The State of Kuwait sits at the northern tip of the Persian Gulf, famously sharing a border to the north with Iraq. After WWI, Kuwait was a Protectorate within the British Empire and then gained independence from the UK in 1961. Iraq annexed Kuwait in 1990, which led to the Gulf War of 1990-1991.

5 Browning’s 44 “from the Portuguese” : SONNETS

“Sonnets from the Portuguese” is a collection of 44 sonnets published in 1850 by English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. These are love poems, and Browning was reluctant to publish because of their intimate tone. Her husband Robert Browning urged her to put them in print, and suggested the rather misleading title for the anthology. The idea was to create the impression that the sonnets were a translation of Portuguese works. The most famous of the collection is “Number 43”, which starts with the well-known line “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”

Here is the beautiful “Sonnet 43” penned by English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

8 URL letters : HTTP

“http” are the first letters in many Internet links. “http” stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. More secure and “safer” websites (like this one!) use links starting with “https”, which stands for “http secure”).

9 Millionth-of-a-meter measures : MICRONS

The measurement of length called a micron (plural “micra”) is more correctly referred to as a micrometer (or “micrometre”). One micron is equivalent to one millionth of a meter.

10 Hearty laughs : GUFFAWS

“Guffaw”, meaning “boisterous laugh”, is an imitative word that is Scottish in origin.

11 “Carmina Burana” composer : ORFF

“Carmina Burana” is a cantata by Carl Orff based on a collection of medieval poems that go by the same name. The name translates as “Songs from Beuern”. The best known movement of the cantata by far is the dramatic “O Fortuna” used at the opening and closing of the piece. One study placed “O Fortuna” as the most often played piece of classical music in the UK over the past 75 years, largely due to its use in television commercials. Famously, the piece appeared in the US in ads for Gatorade and Old Spice aftershave.

12 “The African Queen” screenwriter : AGEE

James Agee was a noted American film critic and screenwriter. Agee wrote an autobiographical novel “A Death in the Family” that won him his Pulitzer in 1958, albeit posthumously. He was also one of the screenwriters for the 1951 classic movie “The African Queen”.

“The African Queen” is a 1935 novel by C. S. Forester that was adapted into a very successful 1951 film of the same name starring Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. The title refers to a steam-powered launch that travels the Ulanga River. The story is set during World War I. At the climax of the tale, the African Queen is used as a makeshift torpedo to sink a German gunboat (spoiler!).

18 “Deadwood” actress Jewell : GERI

Geri Jewell’s appearances on the TV show “The Facts of Life” were remarkable in that she was the first actor with a disability to have a regular role on a prime-time show. Jewell was born with cerebral palsy. More recently, Jewell had a recurring role in the western drama “Deadwood”.

“Deadwood” is a very enjoyable western series that aired on HBO from 2004 to 2006. The show is set in Deadwood, South Dakota in the 1870s. At that time, Deadwood was transitioning from an illegal settlement on Native American land thriving on the discovery of gold, into a fully-fledged frontier town. Some famous and colorful characters appear in the storyline, including Seth Bullock, Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. Recommended viewing …

26 Bass staff symbol : F-CLEF

“Clef” is the French word for “key”. In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on a stave. The bass clef is also known as the F-clef, the alto clef is the C-clef, and the treble clef is the G-clef.

28 Emma Thompson role in “Men in Black 3” : AGENT O

“Men in black” (MIB) are said to have appeared in the past whenever there have been reports of UFO sightings. Supposedly, these men are government agents whose job it is to suppress reports of alien landings. The conspiracy theorists got their day in the movies with the release of a pretty good sci-fi comedy in 1997 called “Men in Black”, starring Will Smith (as Agent J) and Tommy Lee Jones (as Agent K).

Emma Thompson is one of my favorite English actresses, and someone who has appeared in many of my favorite films. She probably first came to attention in the US when she won an Oscar for her role in “Howards End”, which she followed up with “Remains of the Day” and “In the Name of the Father”. Perhaps my favorite production of hers is her own adaptation of “Sense and Sensibility”, which won her Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actress. Emma Thompson went to Cambridge University and was good friends with a host of successful British actors and entertainers, including her ex-boyfriend Hugh Laurie who is famous in the US for playing the title role in television’s “House”.

29 New York Harbor’s __ Island : ELLIS

Ellis Island is an exclave of New York City that is geographically located within the bounds of Jersey City, New Jersey. The name comes from Samuel Ellis, who owned the island around the time of the American Revolution. Ellis Island was the nation’s main immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954.

30 Raid victim? : ROACH

The insect known as a cockroach is closely related to the termite. Although generally considered a pest, the lowly cockroach has at least one claim to fame. A cockroach named Nadezhda was sent into space in 2007 by Russian scientists, where it became the first terrestrial creature to give birth in space. Nadezhda bore 33 cockroaches.

Raid insecticide has been killing bugs since 1956.

31 Andrews, e.g.: Abbr. : AFB

Air Force Base (AFB)

Joint Base Andrews is located just outside Washington, D.C. It is noted as the home base for the two Boeing VC-25A (Air Force One) aircraft that serve the US President. Joint Base Andrews is so called as it resulted from the merger of Andrews Air Force Base and the US Navy Naval Air Facility Washington.

34 Asian pan : WOK

“Wok” is a Cantonese word, and is the name for the frying pan now used in many Asian cuisines.

39 Election time : TUESDAY

Election day was chosen by Congress back in 1845. The month of November was selected as it suited an agricultural society, following the fall harvest and yet not too far into winter, which could make travel difficult. Tuesday was chosen so that people had time to travel to polling stations. Monday elections might have meant that some would have to start out on Sunday, and that could interfere with Christian services.

40 2000s TV series inspired by Army Delta Force operations : THE UNIT

“The Unit” is an action TV show that originally aired from 2006 to 2009. “The Unit” referred to in the title bears a strong resemblance to the US Army’s real-life Delta Force. I enjoyed watching this show, even though the many off-shore settings were so clearly film sets and locations here in California. Star of the show is actor Dennis Haysbert, the “Allstate guy”.

The US Army’s special operations unit that we know as “Delta Force” is more correctly referred to as the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment–Delta. Delta Force was formed in 1977 as a counter-terrorism unit, and is headquartered in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

44 Bubbly quaff : SODA

We call carbonated water “club soda”, because “Club Soda” used to be a brand name. The Club brand of drinks is actually Irish, and is owned by a company now known as C&C. As kids, we grew up on Club Orange and Club Lemon. Club Soda, not so much …

“Quaff” is both a verb and a noun. One “quaffs” (takes a hearty drink) of a “quaff” (a hearty drink).

49 13-time NBA All-Star Dwyane : WADE

Dwyane Wade is a basketball player who started his NBA career with the Miami Heat in 2003. “D-Wade” was chosen as the “Sports Illustrated” Sportsman of the Year in 2006.

51 Neutral shade : ECRU

The color ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

55 In __: actual : ESSE

The Latin term “in esse” is used to mean “actually existing”, and translates literally as “in being”.

58 MSNBC rival : CNN

CNN (Cable News Network) was launched in 1980 by the Turner Broadcasting System, and was the first television channel in the world to provide news coverage 24 hours a day.

MSNBC was founded in 1996 as a partnership between Microsoft (“MS”) and GE’s “NBC” broadcasting operation. Microsoft only owns a minority share in MSNBC today, but is still an equal partner in the separate company that runs msnbc.com.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Batting practice structures : CAGES
6 Golfer Jon __, 2020 BMW Championship winner : RAHM
10 Target : GOAL
14 Historic mission : ALAMO
15 One saying “Don’t do it!” : ANTI
16 Say “Do it!” : URGE
17 Morning beverage for a plumber? : PIPING HOT COFFEE
20 Everlasting, to a poet : ETERNE
21 Tender : PROFFER
22 Condor quarters : AERIE
25 Greek celebratory cry : OPA!
26 Plumber’s response about connecting hardware? : FITTING ANSWER
31 High points : ACMES
32 Mists (up) : FOGS
33 Boring : SLOW
35 Ala. neighbor : FLA
36 5G __: mobile standard : LTE
37 Asian language : LAO
38 Corn __ : BELT
40 Undecided : TORN
41 Crafty : SLICK
43 Like a successful plumber’s bank account? : FLUSH WITH CASH
46 Job ad abbr. : EOE
47 Falls hard : POURS
48 “Finally, good news” : I WAS DUE
52 Studio do-over : RETAKE
56 Where a plumber learns new moves? : TAP DANCE CLASSES
59 Something to think about : IDEA
60 Caspian Sea land : IRAN
61 Doles (out) : METES
62 Alluring : SEXY
63 Kate Atkinson’s “One Good __” : TURN
64 Medium for Michelangelo : STONE

Down

1 Loose garment : CAPE
2 Came to rest : ALIT
3 Hang open : GAPE
4 Kuwait, for one : EMIRATE
5 Browning’s 44 “from the Portuguese” : SONNETS
6 Bit of a cheer? : RAH!
7 “Is that __?” : A NO
8 URL letters : HTTP
9 Millionth-of-a-meter measures : MICRONS
10 Hearty laughs : GUFFAWS
11 “Carmina Burana” composer : ORFF
12 “The African Queen” screenwriter : AGEE
13 Creepy stare : LEER
18 “Deadwood” actress Jewell : GERI
19 “My bad” : OOPS
23 Donations to a fund drive, say : INFLOW
24 Me time? : EGO TRIP
26 Bass staff symbol : F-CLEF
27 “__ ears!” : I’M ALL
28 Emma Thompson role in “Men in Black 3” : AGENT O
29 New York Harbor’s __ Island : ELLIS
30 Raid victim? : ROACH
31 Andrews, e.g.: Abbr. : AFB
34 Asian pan : WOK
39 Election time : TUESDAY
40 2000s TV series inspired by Army Delta Force operations : THE UNIT
41 Hollers : SCREAMS
42 Numbers before closing time : LAST SET
44 Bubbly quaff : SODA
45 Launch : HURL
48 “No kidding” : IT IS
49 13-time NBA All-Star Dwyane : WADE
50 High point : APEX
51 Neutral shade : ECRU
53 Concerning : AS TO
54 Excited about, with “on” : KEEN …
55 In __: actual : ESSE
57 Kernel holder : EAR
58 MSNBC rival : CNN

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 12 Feb 21, Friday”

  1. No errors; there were quite a few clues I didn’t know but got them
    through good guesses and cross letters. I did google Dwyane though,
    because I’m not good at sports names.

  2. That was kind of fun and I did pretty well, although I thought some of the clues were a little misleading (crafty for slick) and of course I didn’t know Rahm and Geri and Agent O. Now I do, I guess.
    It’s sunny and minus eleven in the Twin Cities at 9 a.m.

  3. I really enjoyed the Kate Atkinson clue. She is one of my favorite authors, and I’m always promoting her on Facebook. Thanks.

  4. 11 minutes, 7 seconds, no errors. Surprisingly easy for a Friday. And refreshing for its lack of guile or trickery. Even the theme didn’t “throw a wrench into the works”; it wasn’t forced in the least.

  5. The explanation for 8 down should read “Hypertext Transfer Protocol” – a set of rules for transferring files on the WWW.

    HTML is something quite different.

  6. Tricky Friday for me; took 26:25 with plenty of waiting for crosses and making guesses for stuff I didn’t know. Theme helped, except for the last theme clue which took a few extra minutes. Never heard of RAHM, GERI, WADE or THE UNIT.

    Mr. Wechsler is incorrect in calling it 5G LTE, they are two separate things, like Bill explains. LTE is another name for 4G and the new 5G standard is never referred to as LTE.

  7. Greetings!!🤗

    No errors– seemed easy for a Friday. Didn’t know RAHM or WADE but got them easily via crosses.

    I also like Kate Atkinson and have read the book mentioned here!

    What do you call a microwave WOK?

    A run. 😆

    Be well~~🦉

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