LA Times Crossword 18 Feb 21, Thursday

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Constructed by: David Alfred Bywaters
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Kitchen Match

Themed answers each start with an item found in a KITCHEN, MATCHED with the same item at the end of the answer:

  • 55A Pilot lighter, and a hint to the four other longest puzzle answers : KITCHEN MATCH
  • 20A “Even dialogue wouldn’t have saved that show,” e.g.? : PANTOMIME PAN
  • 29A Alpo holder? : CANINE CAN
  • 36A Misleading gossip? : DISHONEST DISH
  • 44A Face of a petty criminal? : MUGGER MUG

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

Bill’s time: 8m 11s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Slavic title derived from “Caesar” : CZAR

The term “czar” (also “tsar”) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time. We tend to use the “czar” spelling, as opposed to “tsar”, when we describe a person today with great power or authority, e.g. “Drug Czar”.

9 President born in Hawaii : OBAMA

Despite rumors to the contrary, Barack Hussein Obama II was indeed born in Hawaii. Future US President Obama was born on August 4, 1961 at Kapi’olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu.

14 Wrath, in a hymn title : IRAE

“Dies Irae” is Latin for “Day of Wrath”. It is the name of a famous melody in Gregorian Chant, one that is often used as part of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass.

16 Egret, for one : HERON

Egrets are a group of several species of white herons. Many egret species were faced with extinction in the 1800s and early 1900s due to plume hunting, a practice driven by the demand for egret plumes that could be incorporated into hats.

18 __ of March : IDES

There were three important days in each month of the old Roman calendar. These days originally depended on the cycles of the moon but were eventually “fixed” by law. “Kalendae” were the first days of each month, originally the days of the new moon. “Nonae” were originally the days of the half moon. And “idus” (the ides) was originally the day of the full moon, eventually fixed at the 15th day of a month. Well, actually the ides were the 15th day of March, May, July and October. For all other months, the ides fell on the 13th. Go figure …

Julius Caesar was assassinated on the 15th (the ides) of March, 44 BC. He was attacked by a group of sixty people in the Roman Senate, and was stabbed 23 times. The first to strike a blow was Servilius Casca, who attacked Caesar from behind and stabbed him in the neck. In Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”, Casca utters the words “Speak, hands, for me!” just before making the fatal blow. The following line, uttered by Caesar, is more famous though: “Et tu, Brute?”

19 “Good Will Hunting” actor : DAMON

Matt Damon is an actor and screenwriter from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Damon’s big break came with the 1997 movie “Good Will Hunting”, in which he starred. He co-wrote the screenplay with his childhood friend Ben Affleck.

“Good Will Hunting” was the movie that gave both Matt Damon and Ben Affleck their big break in films, and deservedly so. Affleck and Damon are actually distant cousins who lived two blocks from each other in Cambridge, Massachusetts where the pair spent their teen years. The two friends wrote the film’s screenplay and of course took starring roles, alongside Robin Williams and Minnie Driver. Affleck and Damon won an Academy Award for the screenplay. What a great success story, eh?

20 “Even dialogue wouldn’t have saved that show,” e.g.? : PANTOMIME PAN

To pan something is to criticize it harshly.

Our word “pantomime” comes from the Greek word “pantomimos” meaning “actor”. The literal translation of the Greek is “imitator of all”, from “panto-” (all) and “mimos” (imitator). We use the term today to describe communication by means of facial expression and physical gestures. On the other side of the Atlantic, pantomimes (often “pantos”) are also very popular Christmas entertainments based on nursery tales like “Mother Goose”, “Aladdin” and “Jack and the Beanstalk”. Great, great stuff …

23 Stir-fry ingredient : SNAP PEA

Sugar peas are also known as snap peas. These peas are eaten before the seeds mature, and the whole pod is consumed.

24 Camden Yards player : ORIOLE

Oriole Park is home to the Baltimore Orioles baseball team. The full name of the stadium is Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The name “Camden Yards” is used because the ballpark is built on land that was once used as the rail yard for B&O Railroad’s Camden Station.

28 Golden __ : AGER

A golden ager is a senior citizen.

29 Alpo holder? : CANINE CAN

Alpo is a brand of dog food introduced by Allen Products in 1936, with “Alpo” being an abbreviation for “Allen Products”. Lorne Greene used to push Alpo in television spots, as did Ed McMahon and Garfield the Cat, would you believe?

32 Needlefish : GAR

“Gar” was originally the name given to a species of needlefish found in the North Atlantic. The term “gar” is now used to describe several species of fish with elongated bodies that inhabit North and Central America and the Caribbean. The gar is unusual in that it is often found in very brackish water. What I find interesting is that the gar’s swim bladders are vascularized so that they can actually function as lungs. Many species of gar can actually be seen coming to the surface and taking a gulp of air. This adaptation makes it possible for them to live in conditions highly unsuitable for other fish that rely on their gills to get oxygen out of the water. Indeed, quite interesting …

35 Abbr. after Shaker or Brooklyn : HTS

Shaker Heights is situated very close to the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. The city takes its name from the United Society of Believers (more commonly known as “Shakers”), as the church formerly owned the land on which Shaker Heights was founded.

The part of the borough of Brooklyn known as Brooklyn Heights was the first commuter town for New York, blossoming when the steam ferry service started to run between the Heights and Wall Street in the early 19th-century.

36 Misleading gossip? : DISHONEST DISH

To dish the dirt is to talk about someone or something without regard to veracity. The phrase comes from “dish” (in the sense of dishing out food) and “dirt” (in the sense of negative information). To be dishy is to be given to gossip.

41 Richard Wright’s “Native __” : SON

Richard Wright’s work “Native Son” is a protest novel penned in 1940. It is the story of a 20-year-old African-American man living in poverty on the South Side of Chicago in the thirties. “Native Son” was adapted for the big screen more than once, including a 1986 film of the same name starring Victor Love, Elizabeth McGovern, Matt Dillon and Oprah Winfrey.

42 __ Center: L.A. skyscraper : AON

The Aon Center in Chicago is the third-tallest building in the city. There is also an Aon Center in Los Angeles that is the second-tallest building in that city.

43 Urge : YEN

The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium.

44 Face of a petty criminal? : MUGGER MUG

The verb “to mug” meaning “to attack, to rob” dates back to the mid-1800s. The earlier usage described a striking of the face (the “mug”), especially in the context of boxing.

The verb “to mug” means “to make an exaggerated facial expression”. The term comes from mugs used to drink beer (called Toby mugs) that are made in the shape of heads with grotesque expressions. “Mug” can also be a noun meaning “face”.

48 Egyptian goddess : ISIS

Isis was the ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility, as well as the protector of the dead and the goddess of children. She was the personification of the pharaoh’s power. The name “Isis” translates as “throne”, and she is usually depicted with a headdress shaped like a throne.

51 Anatomical ring : AREOLA

An areola (sometimes “areole”) in anatomy is a small ring of color, as in the areola surrounding the nipple, and the areola surrounding the pupil of the eye. “Areola” (plural “areolae”) comes from Latin, meaning “small open space”, and is a diminutive of the Latin word “area”, meaning “open space”.

52 Dead Sea Scrolls sect : ESSENES

The Essenes were a Jewish religious group who are most noted these days perhaps as the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Essenes led simple lives devoted to poverty.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered over a period of years, between 1947 and 1956, in eleven caves on the shores of the Dead Sea. The scrolls are believed to have been written by an ancient Jewish sect called the Essenes, although this has been called into question recently. Many of the texts are copies of writings from the Hebrew Bible.

55 Pilot lighter, and a hint to the four other longest puzzle answers : KITCHEN MATCH

A pilot light is a small gas flame, one using a relatively small amount of fuel that remains lit as an ignition source for larger gas burners.

65 Lacking depth and width : ONE-D

The dimension of an object is defined as the minimum number of coordinates needed to specify each point in the object. Therefore, a line is one-dimensional, as you only need an x-coordinate to specify a particular point on the line. A surface is two-dimensional, as you need both an x-coordinate and a y-coordinate to locate a point on the surface. The inside of a solid object is then three-dimensional, needing an x-, y- and z-coordinate to specify a point, say within a cube.

68 Lepidopterists’ tools : NETS

A lepidopterist is a person who studies butterflies and moths, a name coming from Lepidoptera, the order of insects that encompasses such flying insects. “Lepidoptera” comes from the Greek words for “scale” and “wing”.

Down

2 “God Is a Woman” singer Grande : ARIANA

Ariana Grande is a singer and actress from Boca Raton, Florida. Grande plays the role of Cat Valentine on the sitcom “Victorious” that aired for four season on Nickelodeon. Grande’s singing career took off with the release of the 2011 album “Victorious: Music from the Hit TV Show”.

3 “Stop badgering me!” : NAG NAG!

To badger is to harass. The verb “to badger” comes from the cruel practice of badger-baiting, which dates back to medieval times. Badger-baiting is a blood sport in which a dog is used as bait for a badger in its den, to draw it out into the open. The den is an artificial structure built to resemble a natural badgers’ den, complete with a tunnel entrance. The dog is sent down the tunnel causing the badger and dog to lock their jaws on each other. The badger and dog are then removed from the den by pulling on the dog’s tale. Horrible …

6 Belt with 12 parts : ZODIAC

In astronomical terms, the zodiac is a group of 13 constellations that together form a roughly circular pattern in the night sky. Most of these constellations are named for animals, which explains with the word “zodiac” comes from the Greek “zodiakos” meaning “circle of little animals”. We can’t see the whole Zodiac at any one time in the year, but one constellation does dominate the sky every four weeks. In astrological terms, there are only 12 signs of the zodiac. Astrologists skip the constellation Ophiuchus (visible November/December). Ophiuchus is the serpent bearer.

8 Flower with hips : ROSE

The fruit of the rose plant is known as the rose hip or rose haw. I remember drinking rose hip syrup when I was a kid …

10 Brimless cap : BEANIE

A beanie is a knitted, close-fitting hat with no brim. The name probably comes from the slang term “bean” meaning “head”.

11 Limb with biceps and triceps : ARM

The biceps muscle is made up of two bundles of muscle, both of which terminate at the same point near the elbow. The heads of the bundles terminate at different points on the scapula or shoulder blade. “Biceps” is Latin for “two-headed”.

The triceps brachii muscle is found at the back of the upper arm. The muscle’s name translates to “three-headed arm muscle”, fitting as it is actually made up of three bundles of muscles.

12 Low in the field : MOO

The cattle are lowing, mooing.

13 Martin who wrote many of the “Baby-Sitters Club” novels : ANN

Ann M. Martin is an author of children’s fiction who is perhaps best known for penning “The Baby-Sitters Club” (BSC) series of novels. Martin wrote the first 36 of the BSC books, and retired into a quieter life leaving ghostwriters to continue the series since 2000.

21 Winfrey of HBO’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” : OPRAH

“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” is a 2017 TV movie adapted from a 2010 non-fiction book of the same name by Rebecca Skloot. The film stars Oprah Winfrey, who was also a driving force behind getting the film produced. Winfrey plays Henrietta Lacks’ daughter Deborah, and Rose Byrne portrays the author Skloot. Both film and book deal with the use of Henrietta’s cervical cancer cells to create the HeLa cell line that is still used for medical research.

25 Folk singer Phil : OCHS

Phil Ochs was an American protest singer who was active in the days of the Vietnam War. Sadly, the singer’s mental health declined at the very time the war was winding down. Saigon fell in 1975, and Ochs committed suicide in 1976.

26 Wood strip : LATH

The words “lath” and “lattice” have the same root in Old French. Laths are thin strips of wood that are nailed across a frame forming a backing to which plaster can be applied to finish a wall. The term is also used for the main elements in a trellis, or the lengths of wood in a roof to which shingles are nailed.

27 Minnesota twins? : ENS

The word “Minnesota” includes a pair of letters N (ens).

31 1980s-’90s game console : NES

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to 1995. The NES was the biggest selling gaming console of the era. Nintendo replaced the NES with Wii, which is also the biggest-selling game console in the world.

37 “Bus Stop” dramatist : INGE

During his career, dramatist William Inge was known as the “Playwright of the Midwest”, as many of his works were set in the American heartland and explored small town life. When Inge was 60 years old, he committed suicide by poisoning himself with carbon monoxide. He was buried in his hometown of Independence, Kansas. Inge’s grave is marked with a headstone that reads simply “Playwright”.

“Bus Stop” is a marvelous play written by William Inge in 1955. The famous 1956 movie of the same name, starring Marilyn Monroe, is only very loosely based on the play.

38 __ de plume : NOM

“Nom de plume” translates from French simply as “pen name”.

39 Reason-based faith : DEISM

Deism (from the Latin “deus” meaning god) is the belief that a supreme being created the universe, a belief based on observation and reason and without the need for faith. Further, a deist does not accept divine intervention and rather believes that the supreme being, having created the universe, leaves the world to its own devices.

41 Like a wee bairn : SMA

The Scots dialect word sma’ means “small”.

“Bairn” is a Scots word for “child”.

56 Thunder sound : CLAP

The word “thunder” precedes the word “lightning” in the phrase “thunder and lightning”. However, thunder comes after lighting in reality, at least to the observer. The observer sees the flash of lightning and then seconds later hears the crash of thunder. That’s because light travels faster than sound.

57 Rabbit-like animal : HARE

Hares belong to the genus Lepus. Young hares under one-year-old are called leverets.

58 Bowler, for one : HAT

I think that a bowler hat is usually called a derby here in the US. The bowler was first produced in 1849 in London by hatmakers Thomas and William Bowler, hence the name. The alternative name of “derby” comes from the tradition of wearing bowler hats at the Derby horse race (a major race held annually in England).

60 Jazz instrument : SAX

The saxophone was invented by Belgian musician Adolphe Sax, hence the name. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “I __ out!” : WANT
5 Slavic title derived from “Caesar” : CZAR
9 President born in Hawaii : OBAMA
14 Wrath, in a hymn title : IRAE
15 Syllables from Santa : HO HO
16 Egret, for one : HERON
17 Highway reading : SIGN
18 __ of March : IDES
19 “Good Will Hunting” actor : DAMON
20 “Even dialogue wouldn’t have saved that show,” e.g.? : PANTOMIME PAN
23 Stir-fry ingredient : SNAP PEA
24 Camden Yards player : ORIOLE
28 Golden __ : AGER
29 Alpo holder? : CANINE CAN
32 Needlefish : GAR
34 Guys : MEN
35 Abbr. after Shaker or Brooklyn : HTS
36 Misleading gossip? : DISHONEST DISH
41 Richard Wright’s “Native __” : SON
42 __ Center: L.A. skyscraper : AON
43 Urge : YEN
44 Face of a petty criminal? : MUGGER MUG
48 Egyptian goddess : ISIS
51 Anatomical ring : AREOLA
52 Dead Sea Scrolls sect : ESSENES
55 Pilot lighter, and a hint to the four other longest puzzle answers : KITCHEN MATCH
58 Goes after : HAS AT
61 Do nothing : LAZE
62 Hot under the collar : SORE
63 On top of things : AWARE
64 Pentagon measure : AREA
65 Lacking depth and width : ONE-D
66 Phone messages : TEXTS
67 Exec’s benefit : PERK
68 Lepidopterists’ tools : NETS

Down

1 Tiny tufts : WISPS
2 “God Is a Woman” singer Grande : ARIANA
3 “Stop badgering me!” : NAG NAG!
4 Camper’s supply : TENT PEGS
5 Wind instrument? : CHIME
6 Belt with 12 parts : ZODIAC
7 “I’m standing right here” : AHEM!
8 Flower with hips : ROSE
9 “Phooey!” : OH DARN!
10 Brimless cap : BEANIE
11 Limb with biceps and triceps : ARM
12 Low in the field : MOO
13 Martin who wrote many of the “Baby-Sitters Club” novels : ANN
21 Winfrey of HBO’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” : OPRAH
22 Sharp : POINTY
25 Folk singer Phil : OCHS
26 Wood strip : LATH
27 Minnesota twins? : ENS
30 “May I see __?”: diner’s query : A MENU
31 1980s-’90s game console : NES
33 Find incredibly funny : ROAR AT
36 Stern : DOUR
37 “Bus Stop” dramatist : INGE
38 __ de plume : NOM
39 Reason-based faith : DEISM
40 Available and fresh : IN SEASON
41 Like a wee bairn : SMA
45 Small racer : GO KART
46 Select groups : ELITES
47 Eccentric type : GEEZER
49 Pray aloud, perhaps : INTONE
50 It’s not for everyone : SECRET
53 __ preview : SNEAK
54 Tool storage sites : SHEDS
56 Thunder sound : CLAP
57 Rabbit-like animal : HARE
58 Bowler, for one : HAT
59 More than impress : AWE
60 Jazz instrument : SAX

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 18 Feb 21, Thursday”

  1. Well, this was very fast,.. until I hit the south east corner. I got the theme, mostly… I was stuck on KITCHEN STOVE? KITCHEN TOOLS? KITCHEN XXXX? so I worked on the downs. Took me forever to get INSEASON, INTONE and SECRET… Of course I didn’t see the ONED for a longtime either and had no clue what a LEPIDOPTERIST was… and to top it off those ESSENES didn’t help.. I didn’t look one word up! I was way too stubborn today. I worked it out and said “YES” out loud and there’s Noone to hear me.
    YES YES YES!!!

  2. Pretty easy going today. I got “geezer” from the crossing letters, but
    didn’t associate that word with the clue “eccentric type”…oh, well, learn
    something every day. No errors.

    Have an appointment for my first COVID vaccination today.

  3. 25:26 no errors…I took about 2 minutes to answer a telemarketer and argue with someone who speaks very broken English…it’s my diversion from boredom…try it sometime. It can be fun, for example when they tell me that someone in Nigeria has charged a large sum on my Amazon acct I tell them “it’s ok he’s a friend of mine”…that’s usually when they hang up.
    Stay safe😀

  4. 5:51 no errors

    Fun puzzle! I caught to the repetitions right away, but not the kitchen aspect until I was nearly done.

    My husband and I got the first shot of the Moderna vaccine last Friday. By morning, my shoulder ached so bad I couldn’t fully lift my arm. 24 hours after the jab, I had chills and a 99-100 degree fever overnight. I took some aspirin, and felt pretty normal by Saturday afternoon. The next day, my husband had some joint aches and fatigue for about that day. My shoulder wasn’t completely pain-free until yesterday.

    That said, the flu shot last fall hit me harder and faster. I seem to be one of those people that has a strong reaction to vaccinations. This link seems to explain what’s going on:
    https://xkcd.com/2425/

    Be well, everyone!

  5. 8:18, no errors, no missteps, no complaints.

    Thanks for the responses to my query from yesterday. It would have been reassuring to have a noticeable reaction to the second COVID shot. (For the record, I am one of those people who almost never react noticeably to shots, but, in this case, my fear is/was that it might have been improperly administered, because the person doing it made two or three comments that made me wonder if there was a problem. At this point, I’ve decided that it was probably done correctly, but I still think the accompanying comments were ill-advised.)

    Now, off to check out Pam’s link … 🤨

  6. 12 minutes, 58 seconds, no errors. Lots of cynical little “tricks” in this one, and a forced theme. Not a favorite.

  7. you all are just too smart for me! this was hard! I’ve had, by the way, both pfizers and only a sore arm for 24 hours as a reaction! I highly recommend getting the vaccine! Good luck everyone…stay safe!

  8. Was I the only one thrown by ONED? I did figure it out, but is that even a word? Maybe an abbreviation, the the clue didn’t call for one.

  9. Made all kinds of wrong decisions today; took 27:27 with one error revealed by the “check grid” at the end: AHEn…apparently I don’t know how to spell pantomime. Lots of backtracking and error correcting but eventually got it all – well most – straightened out. Theme helped a lot.

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