LA Times Crossword 15 Feb 21, Monday

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Constructed by: Stella Zawistowski
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Swipe Left

Themed answers each start with a synonym of “SWIPE”, there’s a synonym of “SWIPE” at the LEFT in the answer:

  • 57A Express lack of interest on Tinder … or a hint to the answers to starred clues : SWIPE LEFT
  • 17A *Test of hand strength : PINCH GRIP
  • 29A *Ski resort purchase : LIFT TICKET
  • 43A *Accidentally call without touching one’s cellphone : POCKET-DIAL

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

Bill’s time: 5m 39s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Man __: 1920 Horse of the Year : O’ WAR

Man o’ War is thought by many to be the greatest thoroughbred racehorse of all time, having won 20 of 21 races in his career just after WWI.

13 Sunburn-soothing balm : ALOE

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in relatively dry climates. The plant’s leaves are full of biologically-active compounds that have been studied extensively. Aloe vera has been used for centuries in herbal medicine, mainly for topical treatment of wounds.

15 __ God: earthquake, e.g. : ACT OF

“Force majeure” is a French phrase meaning “superior force”. We use the term in English to describe circumstances or events that are beyond the control of the parties in a contract. Examples of force majeure are war, strike and “act of God” (e.g. hurricane, flood, earthquake).

17 *Test of hand strength : PINCH GRIP

A pinch grip is one in which an object is held between the thumb on one side, and one or more fingers on the other.

27 Drink with a polar bear mascot : ICEE

Slush Puppie and ICEE are brands of frozen, slushy drinks. Ostensibly competing brands, ICEE company now owns the Slush Puppie brand.

31 Diagram for Web navigation : SITEMAP

A sitemap is a hierarchical list of pages on a web site. A well-designed sitemap can be useful to site visitors, but is more commonly used by search engines to get a complete and accurate picture of a site so that it is correctly represented in search results.

33 “Game of Thrones” channel : HBO

“A Game of Thrones” is the first novel in the series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin titled “A Song of Ice and Fire”. That first novel’s title gives its name to “Game of Thrones”, the incredibly popular HBO television series that uses the storyline from the whole series of books.

35 It’s given in the form of a question on “Jeopardy!” : ANSWER

The TV show “Jeopardy!” first went on the air in 1964, and is another successful Merv Griffin creation. But, it took the introduction of Alex Trebek as host in order to bring the show into the big times. Trebek was host from 1984 until his sad passing in 2020.

40 Soccer official : REF

Back in the early 17th century, a referee was someone who examined patent applications. We started using the same term for a person presiding over a sporting event in the 1820s. “Referee” is a derivative of the verb “to refer”, and literally describes someone who has the authority to make a decision by “referring to” a book, archive etc.

42 “Goosebumps” series author : RL STINE

Author R. L. Stine is sometimes referred to as the Stephen King of children’s literature, as he writes horror stories for young people.

“Goosebumps” is a series of children’s horror novels written by author R.L. Stine. The novels have been adapted into a television series shown on Canadian TV.

49 Ohio border lake : ERIE

Lake Erie is the fourth-largest of the five Great Lakes by area (Lake Ontario is the smallest). The lake takes its name from the Erie tribe of Native Americans that used to live along its southern shore. Erie is the smallest of the Great Lakes by volume and the shallowest, something for which nearby residents must be quite grateful. Being relatively shallow, much of Erie freezes over part way through most winters putting an end to most of the lake-effect snow that falls in the snow belt extending from the lake’s edge.

51 Brittany port city : BREST

Brest is a port city in northwest France, and is the second largest military port in the country. Brest was an important base for German U-boats during WWII when France was occupied by the Nazis. Brest is the most westerly city in the whole country.

A Breton is a native of Brittany. Brittany is a large peninsula in the northwest of France that is known in French as “Bretagne”.

57 Express lack of interest on Tinder … or a hint to the answers to starred clues : SWIPE LEFT

Tinder is a matchmaking app that uses Facebook profiles. Users “swipe” photos of potential matches, either to the right (“like”) or to the left (“not interested”). Users who “match” each other can then chat within the app.

61 Downy duck : EIDER

Eiders are large sea ducks. Their down feathers are used to fill pillows and quilts, giving the name to the quilt called an “eiderdown”.

62 Compress, with “down” : TAMP …

To tamp is to pack down tightly by tapping. “Tamp” was originally used specifically to describe the action of packing down sand or dirt around an explosive prior to detonation.

63 Idris of “The Wire” : ELBA

English actor Idris Elba plays the drug lord Stringer Bell in the marvelous HBO drama series “The Wire”, and played the title character in the 2013 film “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”. Off the screen, Elba occasionally appears as a disk jockey using the name “DJ Big Driis”.

I didn’t watch the HBO series called “The Wire” when it first aired. We ended up buying all five series on DVD and we watched the whole thing several years ago. It is a great drama series, and I thoroughly recommend it. Personally, I think that HBO produces some of the best dramas on American television.

Down

1 Maple-syrup-to-be : SAP

About 75% of the world’s maple syrup comes from the province of Quebec. The US’s biggest producer is the state of Vermont, which produces 5-6% of the world’s supply.

2 “Baby Cobra” comic Wong : ALI

Ali Wong is a stand-up comedian from San Francisco who is a protégé of Chris Rock. She made two very successful Netflix stand-up specials “Baby Cobra” and “Hard Knock Wife”. She also worked as a writer for the hit sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat”.

3 Jaden, to Will Smith : SON

Actor Jaden Smith is the son of actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. Jaden played the title character in the 2010 remake of “The Karate Kid”. I must say, that is a very entertaining film and young Jaden did a great job. More recently, Jaden Smith has focused more on a career as a rap singer.

The multi-talented Will Smith started his performing career as a rap artist in the late 1980s using the stage name “the Fresh Prince”. He then landed the lead role in the hit sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, and parlayed that into an extremely successful movie career. Smith has two children with his second wife, actress Jada Koren Pinkett. His son Jaden Smith co-starred with his dad in the movies “The Pursuit of Happyness” and “After Earth”. His daughter Willow Smith appeared with Will in the movie “I am Legend”.

5 Lingerie brand : OLGA

Olga is a brand of lingerie that is produced by American clothing retailer Bare Necessities.

“Lingerie” is a French term. As used in France, it describes any underwear, worn by either males or females. In English we use “lingerie” to describe alluring underclothing worn by women. The term “lingerie” comes into English via the French word “linge” meaning “washables”, and ultimately from the Latin “linum”, meaning “linen”. We tend not to pronounce the word correctly in English, either here in the US or across the other side of the Atlantic. The French pronunciation is more like “lan-zher-ee”, as opposed to “lon-zher-ay” (American) and “lon-zher-ee” (British).

8 Sales agent : REP

Representative (rep.)

10 Acid type found in vinegar : ACETIC

Acetic acid has the formula CH3COOH, and is the main component of vinegar.

12 Evening party : SOIREE

“Soir” is the French word for “evening” and a soirée is an evening party. The French word “soirée” has an acute accent over the first “e”, but we tend to drop this when using the word in English.

18 Billy Joel’s “Tell __ About It” : HER

“Tell Her About It” is a 1983 hit written and recorded by Billy Joel. I love that song, and its retro feel …

Billy Joel is the third-best selling solo artist in the US, after Elvis Presley and Garth Brooks. Joel’s name has been associated with two supermodels in his life. He dated Elle Macpherson, and wrote two songs about their relationship: “This Night” and “And So It Goes”. Joel’s second wife was Christie Brinkley, to whom he was married from 1985 to 1994. Brinkley appeared in the title role in the music video for “Uptown Girl”.

21 NYC museum’s fundraising gala : MET BALL

The Costume Institute Gala is an annual fundraising event that benefits the Anna Wintour Costume Center in New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. The fundraiser is commonly referred to as the Met Gala or Met Ball, and was established in 1948.

22 Bone, in Bologna : OSSO

Bologna is a city in northern Italy. The city is home to the University of Bologna that was founded way back in 1088. The University of Bologna is the oldest existing university in the world.

23 Biblical brother : CAIN

As Cain was the first murderer according to the Bible, he is associated with evil or trouble. The idiom “raise Cain” is the equivalent of “raise Hell” and “raise the Devil”. In all cases, the meaning is to bring back evil or to cause trouble.

29 Baby shower gift : LAYETTE

A newborn baby’s collection of clothing and accessories is called a layette.

32 Female in a stable : MARE

There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:

  • Foal: horse of either sex that is less than one year old
  • Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
  • Filly: female horse under the age of four
  • Colt: male horse under the age of four
  • Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
  • Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
  • Mare: female horse four years or older

41 Med-approving agcy. : FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has its roots in the Division of Chemistry (later “Bureau of Chemistry”) that was part of the US Department of Agriculture. President Theodore Roosevelt gave responsibility for examination of food and drugs to the Bureau of Chemistry with the signing of the Pure Food and Drug Act. The Bureau’s name was changed to the Food, Drug and Insecticide Organization in 1927, and to the Food and Drug Administration in 1930.

42 Scott Joplin’s music : RAGTIME

Ragtime music was at the height of its popularity in the early 1900s. It takes its name from its characteristic “ragged” rhythms. The most famous ragtime composer was Scott Joplin, who had a big hit with his “Maple Leaf Rag” when it was published in 1899. He followed that up with a string of hits, including the “Pine Apple Rag” (sic). Ragtime fell out of favor about 1917 when the public turned to jazz. It had a resurgence in the forties when jazz musicians started to include ragtime tunes in their repertoires. But it was the 1973 movie “The Sting” that brought the true revival, as the hit soundtrack included numerous ragtime tunes by Scott Joplin, including the celebrated “The Entertainer” originally published in 1902.

43 “__ porridge hot … ” : PEASE

Pease pudding, or pease porridge, is a very English dish that is similar to split pea soup. We used to sing a nursery rhyme as kids:

Pease pudding hot, pease pudding cold, pease pudding in the pot, nine days old.

44 Corsage flower : ORCHID

“Corsage” is a word that we imported from French in the late 15th century and meaning , believe it or not, “body size”. By the early 1800s, a corsage was a bodice, or the body of a woman’s dress. At the beginning of the 20th century, the French term “bouquet de corsage” was being used for a “bouquet worn on the bodice”, and this has been shortened simply to “corsage”.

45 Loud insect : CICADA

Cicadas are insects that are found all over the world. Although they resemble locusts, cicadas are an unrelated family. The name “cicada” is Latin and translated as “tree cricket”. However, the name is imitative of the clicking sound the insect makes using parts of its exoskeleton known as “tymbals”.

46 Lighthouse guardian : KEEPER

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.

51 Modern honey : BAE

“Bae” is a contemporary term of endearment. It is a pet name that is an abbreviation of “babe, baby”, although I’ve also read that it is an acronym standing for “before anyone else”.

53 Laura who won an Oscar for “Marriage Story” : DERN

Actress Laura Dern is the daughter of the actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. Among her many notable roles, Laura Dern played the Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the 2008 movie “Recount”, and Dr. Ellie Sattler in the 1993 blockbuster “Jurassic Park”.

“Marriage Story” is a 2019 movie starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver as a couple going through a messy divorce. The critics loved this one. Me, not so much …

55 Omar of “House” : EPPS

Omar Epps is the actor who played Eric Foreman on the excellent television series “House”. Prior to playing Dr. Foreman, Epps had a recurring role playing Dr. Dennis Gant on “ER”. And, in another link to the world of medicine, Epps was born in Savannah, Georgia to single mom, Dr. Bonnie Epps.

I think that “House” is one of the better shows made by Fox television. It is fun for me, coming from the other side of the Atlantic, to see English actor Hugh Laurie in the dramatic title role. I have been watching him in various comedic roles for decades. Famously, he played Bertie Wooster opposite Stephen Fry in P.G. Wodehouse’s “Jeeves & Wooster”, as well as one of the bumbling “bad guys” in the film “101 Dalmatians” (the version starring Glenn Close).

57 Part of EST: Abbr. : STD

Eastern Standard Time (EST)

58 Rockies bugler : ELK

Male elks are called bulls, and females are known as cows. Bull elks are known for their very loud screaming, which is called bugling. Cow elks are attracted to bulls that bugle more often and most loudly.

59 DOJ division : FBI

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was set up in 1908 as the Bureau of Investigation (BOI), with the name changing in 1935. The Bureau was set up at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt. President Roosevelt was largely moved to do so after the 1901 assassination of President McKinley, as there was a perception that anarchists were threatening law and order. The FBI’s motto uses the organization’s initialism, and is “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity”.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) was created in 1870 by the administration of President Ulysses S. Grant, although the office of the Attorney General had been operating since 1789. The DOJ Building in Washington, D.C. was completed in 1935, and was named the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building in 2001.

60 Wee amount : TAD

Back in the 1800s, “tad” was used to describe a young child, and this extended into our usage of “small amount” in the early 1900s. The original use of “tad” for a child is very likely a shortened version of “tadpole”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Impertinent talk : SASS
5 Man __: 1920 Horse of the Year : O’ WAR
9 Avoid failing : PASS
13 Sunburn-soothing balm : ALOE
14 Earring holder : LOBE
15 __ God: earthquake, e.g. : ACT OF
17 *Test of hand strength : PINCH GRIP
19 Danger : PERIL
20 “It’s the __ I can do” : LEAST
21 Grown-up : MATURE
22 Take place : OCCUR
25 Refine, as skills : HONE
27 Drink with a polar bear mascot : ICEE
28 Gave voice to : SAID
29 *Ski resort purchase : LIFT TICKET
31 Diagram for Web navigation : SITEMAP
33 “Game of Thrones” channel : HBO
34 At some future point : ONE DAY
35 It’s given in the form of a question on “Jeopardy!” : ANSWER
40 Soccer official : REF
42 “Goosebumps” series author : RL STINE
43 *Accidentally call without touching one’s cellphone : POCKET-DIAL
48 Contributes : ADDS
49 Ohio border lake : ERIE
50 Pungent flavor : TANG
51 Brittany port city : BREST
52 Give in (to) : ACCEDE
54 Patronized, as a diner : ATE AT
56 Circle or polygon : SHAPE
57 Express lack of interest on Tinder … or a hint to the answers to starred clues : SWIPE LEFT
61 Downy duck : EIDER
62 Compress, with “down” : TAMP …
63 Idris of “The Wire” : ELBA
64 Fix, as socks : DARN
65 Salon selections : DYES
66 Lose traction : SKID

Down

1 Maple-syrup-to-be : SAP
2 “Baby Cobra” comic Wong : ALI
3 Jaden, to Will Smith : SON
4 Peacefully hidden, as a retreat : SECLUDED
5 Lingerie brand : OLGA
6 Bow down to, perhaps : WORSHIP
7 Not very much : A BIT OF
8 Sales agent : REP
9 Daddy : PAPA
10 Acid type found in vinegar : ACETIC
11 Found in abundance, as oil : STRUCK
12 Evening party : SOIREE
16 Group of ships : FLEET
18 Billy Joel’s “Tell __ About It” : HER
21 NYC museum’s fundraising gala : MET BALL
22 Bone, in Bologna : OSSO
23 Biblical brother : CAIN
24 Make mention of : CITE
26 High math degree : NTH
29 Baby shower gift : LAYETTE
30 Charged particles : IONS
32 Female in a stable : MARE
36 Takes by surprise : STARTLES
37 Double-__ trailer : WIDE
38 What means may justify : ENDS
39 “Don’t play” symbol, in music : REST
41 Med-approving agcy. : FDA
42 Scott Joplin’s music : RAGTIME
43 “__ porridge hot … ” : PEASE
44 Corsage flower : ORCHID
45 Loud insect : CICADA
46 Lighthouse guardian : KEEPER
47 Sort of : IN A WAY
51 Modern honey : BAE
53 Laura who won an Oscar for “Marriage Story” : DERN
55 Omar of “House” : EPPS
57 Part of EST: Abbr. : STD
58 Rockies bugler : ELK
59 DOJ division : FBI
60 Wee amount : TAD

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 15 Feb 21, Monday”

  1. @corky – saw your Friday/ Saturday post. Not familiar with “the hill”. I was at McNair kasserne. C 94 field artillery. ’75 to ’78.

    Wasn’t as quick monday as normal. Stella Z. Has some groove!!!

    Never heard of a LAYETTE. kept trying to force BASINETTE.. it all worked out.

  2. @Mike -LAYETTE must be old-fashioned, cuz it’s very familiar to me at 76. Speaking of old, I got my first COVID vaccine!

    Anyway, found it a little tougher than the usual Monday. No Googles, but never heard of PINCHGRIP or ALI Wong. Bill didn’t have a description of her (turns out to be a woman). That usually means, from my experience, that he doesn’t know or he thinks everyone should know.

    Had a hard time getting ICEE. I believe that’s ICEE’s fault. If, after watching an ad, you remember a company’s ad but not the common product they were advertising, they did something wrong.

    1. @Gene (belatedly) …

      I’d say you have the right of it. The often-quoted phrase does indeed say that the ends justify the means.

    1. It was only easy for me because I now live in Colorado. I am sure I would not have gotten it if I still lived in Maryland.

  3. @Jane Drees Blando – As an 80 yr old, I’m with you. But in spite of Bill’s description, I always thought a layette was a platform used to change or care for a baby.

    Didn’t know 51D “BAE” for modern honey, but I blame that on my senior status.

  4. Started the morning with a ice-caused power outage… and by lunchtime, it took me 11 minutes, 16 seconds to get through this one. All the trouble was at the bottom, as I had SLIP in for SKID, and the literary misspelling of PEASE, crossed by the rather specific EIDER complicated my solve.

  5. Hi folks!!🤗

    Easy Monday that pretty much solved itself, till I got to PEASE. I never did know whether it was peas or please, but now I do 🙃

    Be well ~~🦉

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