LA Times Crossword 19 Feb 21, Friday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer(s): Cheese Crackers

Four rows of the grid include a CHEESE as a hidden word, but each CHEESE has been “CRACKED” by a black square:

  • 56A With 58-Across, savory base for a canapé … and the function of a black square in four puzzle rows? : CHEESE …
  • 58A See 56-Across : … CRACKER
  • 16A African Queen, for one : STEAMER
  • 17A “Don’t doubt my abilities!” : I CAN SO! (hiding “AMER/ICAN”)
  • 22A Longtime senator Thurmond : STROM
  • 23A Battery parts : ANODES (hiding “ROM/ANO”)
  • 34A Extravagant : BAROQUE
  • 38A Lot : FORTUNE
  • (hiding “ROQUE/FORT”)

  • 47A Like some ornate doorways : ARCHED
  • 50A Fixes tears : DARNS
  • (hiding “CHED/DAR”)

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

Bill’s time: 6m 32s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7 Sandpiper family birds : SNIPES

Snipes are wading birds with very long and thin bills that they use to search for small invertebrates in mud. In bygone days, a shot taken by a hunter at one of these wading birds became known as a “snipe”. This usage evolved into the word “sniper” applying to anyone shooting from a hidden position.

Sandpipers are a family of shore birds that mainly feed on small invertebrates picked out of the sand using their long beaks.

15 Shunned one : PARIAH

“Pariah” is an anglicized version of the Tamil word “Paraiyar”. The Paraiyar are a social group of about 9 million people found in some Indian states and in Sri Lanka. The term “pariah” came to be a general term for members of the lowest caste in society, outcasts.

16 African Queen, for one : STEAMER

“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!).

21 London’s __ Gardens : KEW

Kew Gardens is a beautiful location in southwest London that was formerly known as the Royal Botanic Gardens. Kew Gardens has the world’s largest collection of different living plants.

22 Longtime senator Thurmond : STROM

Strom Thurmond was a US Senator for the state of South Carolina for 48 years, until he stepped down in 2003. Thurmond was the oldest-serving senator in US history. He retired from his office at the age of 100-years-old, and passed away just a few months after leaving Washington.

23 Battery parts : ANODES

A battery is a device that converts chemical energy into electric energy. A simple battery is made up of three parts: a cathode, an anode and a liquid electrolyte. Ions from the electrolyte react chemically with the material in the anode producing a compound and releasing electrons. At the same time, the electrolyte reacts with the material in the cathode, absorbing electrons and producing a different chemical compound. In this way, there is a buildup of electrons at the anode and a deficit of electrons at the cathode. When a connection (wire, say) is made between the cathode and anode, electrons flow through the resulting circuit from the anode to cathode in an attempt to rectify the electron imbalance.

27 Fraternal order : ELKS

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) was founded in 1868, and is a social club that has about a million members today. It started out as a group of men getting together in a “club” in order to get around the legal opening hours of taverns in New York City. The club took on a new role as it started to look out for poor families of members who passed away. The club now accepts African Americans as members (since the seventies) and women (since the nineties), but atheists still aren’t welcome. The list of US presidents that have been members of the BPOE includes Presidents Eisenhower, Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Ford.

34 Extravagant : BAROQUE

Something described as baroque is extremely ornate and convoluted. The term comes from the Baroque Period of the early 17th to mid-18th century. Many of the arts focused on great detail and elaborate design during that time.

39 Buttonhole : ACCOST

To accost is to confront boldly. The verb “to accost” is a term that ultimately derives from the Latin “ad” meaning “to” and “costa” meaning “side, coast”. Originally, the term applied to warships that were attacking an enemy’s “coast”.

To buttonhole someone is to hold a person in conversation against his or her will. The verb “buttonhole” evolved from “buttonhold”, so the original concept was to detain someone by grabbing a coat-button.

42 Storytelling singer Guthrie : ARLO

Singer Arlo Guthrie is known for his protest songs, just like his father Woody Guthrie. The younger Guthrie only ever had one song in the top 40: a cover version of “City of New Orleans”. He has lived for years in the town of Washington, just outside Pittsfield, Massachusetts. His 1976 song “Massachusetts” has been the official folk song of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts since 1981.

Down

1 Pre-euro coin : PESETA

The peseta is the former currency of Spain and was also the de facto currency of Spain’s neighbor, the Principality of Andorra. The peseta was replaced by the euro in 2002.

5 West __: upscale store : ELM

West Elm is an upscale furniture store that is owned by Williams-Sonoma. The chain was founded in 2002.

8 Shell material : NACRE

Nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl, is the strong iridescent material laid down by some mollusks on the inside of their shells, and it’s also what makes up pearls. The creature lays down nacre as a defensive mechanism, protecting the soft tissue of its body from the rough surface of the outer shell. Similarly, it uses nacre to encapsulate harmful debris or a parasite that penetrates the shell, and that’s how a pearl is formed. Cultured pearls are made by inserting a tissue graft from a donor oyster, around which the nacre is laid down.

9 Rollover acronym : IRA

A rollover IRA is a subtype of traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA). The funds for a rollover IRA come from another qualified plan such as a 401(k) or 403(b) account.

10 __ lady: gin and grenadine cocktail : PINK

A pink lady is a cocktail consisting of gin, grenadine and egg white. The most basic recipe is:

  • a glass of gin
  • a tablespoon of grenadine
  • an egg white

14 Starbucks size : GRANDE

Starbucks introduced us to coffee drinks in a whole range of volumes:

  • Demi … 3 fl oz
  • Short … 8 fl oz
  • Tall … 12 fl oz
  • Grande … 16 fl oz (Italian for “large”)
  • Venti … 20 fl oz (Italian for “twenty”)
  • Trenta … 30 fl oz (Italian for “thirty”)

18 Baking powder amt. : TSP

Teaspoon (tsp.)

Baking powder is a mixture of substances used to release carbon dioxide into a batter or dough in order to lighten it. In this respect, baking powder has a similar effect as yeast, and can be described as a leavening agent. A common mixture comprises sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) with a weak acid. The acid reacts with the bicarbonate when water is added, releasing carbon dioxide.

24 Hot message : SEXT

Sexting (a portmanteau of “sex” and “texting”) is the sending of explicit dialog and images between cell phones. The term “sexting” was coined by the UK’s “Sunday Telegraph Magazine” in a 2005 article.

28 Lucy of “Kill Bill” : LIU

Lucy Liu is an actress from Queens, New York. Liu’s big break came when she was chosen to play the Ling Woo character in “Ally McBeal”. I liked her in the 2000 film “Charlie’s Angels” but as I am no fan of Quentin Tarantino, I did not enjoy the movie “Kill Bill”. I do enjoy one of Liu’s more recent projects in which she plays Joan Watson, one of the two lead characters in the TV crime drama “Elementary”.

“Kill Bill” is a 3-part Quentin Tarantino movie (I haven’t seen it, as I really don’t do Tarantino). “Kill Bill” started off as one film, but as the running time was over four hours, it was split into two “volumes”, released several months apart in 2003 and 2004. There has been a lot of talk about making “Kill Bill: Volume 3”.

29 Tennis great Rosewall : KEN

Ken Rosewall is a former tennis player from Australia who won more tennis majors (23) than any other person. Rosewall earned the tongue-in-cheek nickname “Muscles” from his fellow players. He had a powerful and effective backhand, despite a relatively small and wiry build.

31 Main bases: Abbr. : HQS

Headquarters (HQ)

32 Deere rival : TORO

Toro is a manufacturer of lawn mowers and snow removal equipment that is based in Bloomington, Minnesota. The company was founded in 1914 to build tractor engines.

John Deere invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837. Prior to Deere’s invention, farmers used an iron or wooden plow that constantly had to be cleaned as rich soil stuck to its surfaces. The cast-steel plow was revolutionary as its smooth sides solved the problem of “stickiness”. The Deere company that John founded uses the slogan “Nothing Runs Like a Deere”, and has a leaping deer as its logo.

33 Ararat craft : ARK

Mount Ararat is in Turkey. It is a snow-capped, dormant volcano with two peaks. The higher of the two, Greater Ararat, is the tallest peak in the country. Ararat takes its name from a legendary Armenian hero called Ara the Beautiful (or “Ara the Handsome”). According to the Book of Genesis, Noah’s ark landed on Mount Ararat as the Great Flood subsided.

36 TV pioneer : RCA

During WWI, the US government actively discouraged the loss of certain technologies to other countries, including allies. The developing wireless technologies were considered to be particularly important by the army and navy. The government prevented the General Electric Company from selling equipment to the British Marconi Company, and instead facilitated the purchase by GE of the American Marconi subsidiary. This purchase led to GE forming the Radio Corporation of America that we know today as RCA.

37 Actress Chaplin : OONA

Oona Chaplin is an actress from Madrid in Spain. Chaplin is getting a lot of airtime these days as she plays Talisa Maegyr on HBO’s hit fantasy series “Game of Thrones”. Oona is the granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin, and is named for her maternal grandmother Oona O’Neill, the daughter of playwright Eugene O’Neill.

38 Utter nonsense : FOLDEROL

“Falderal” (also “folderal”) is a nonsense word that originated in the 18th century. Aptly enough, “folderol” means “nonsense”. Lovely term …

42 “Eureka!” : AHA!

“Eureka” is the Greek for “I have found it”, and is the motto of the state of California. The motto was chosen as a nod to the discovery of gold in the state.

43 Some decafs : SANKAS

The first successful process for removing caffeine from coffee involved steaming the beans in salt water, and then extracting the caffeine using benzene (a potent carcinogen) as a solvent. Coffee processed this way was sold as Sanka here in the US. There are other processes used these days, and let’s hope they are safer …

44 Lanvin scent since 1927 : ARPEGE

Jeanne Lanvin was a Parisian fashion designer and founder of the Lanvin fashion house and perfumerie. Lanvin introduced its signature fragrance Arpège in 1927.

46 Summer hrs. : DST

On the other side of the Atlantic, daylight saving time (DST) is known as “summer time”. The idea behind summer/daylight-savings is to move clocks forward an hour in spring (“spring forward”), and backwards in the fall (“fall back”) so that afternoons have more daylight. Here in the US, DST starts on the second Sunday of March, and ends on the first Sunday of November.

48 Blush wines : ROSES

Rosé wines get their color from the skins of the grapes, although the intensity of the color is not sufficient to make them red wines. Of the varying type of rosé wines available, we are most familiar with sweet White Zinfandels. Personally, I am fond of the really dry Provençal rosé wines.

The term “blush” has only been used in the world of wine since the late seventies, and is really only used here in the US. Today we think of a blush as a relatively sweet pink wine, and a rosé as something more dry.

49 Minos’ kingdom : CRETE

Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands. Crete figures heavily in Greek mythology. Zeus was born in a cave at Mount Ida, the highest peak on the island. Crete was also home to the Labyrinth where the Minotaur was slain by Theseus. Icarus and Daedalus, after having crafted the Labyrinth, escaped from the island using wings that they crafted.

Minos was the King of Crete in Greek mythology, and the son of Zeus and Europa. Minos had an elaborate labyrinth built under the island that was designed by the architect Daedalus and his son Icarus (who famously died trying to escape from the island by “flying” away). In the labyrinth, King Minos kept the Minotaur, a dreadful creature with the head of a bull on the body of a man.

50 Formal decrees : DICTA

“Dictum” (plural “dicta”) is a legal term describing a statement by a court as part of a judgment.

51 When Lear disowns Cordelia : ACT I

William Shakesepeare’s play “King Lear”, the title character disowns Cordelia, his youngest and most faithful daughter, using the words:

… for we
Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see
That face of hers again.

52 Young passenger on the 33-Down : SHEM
(33D Ararat craft : ARK)

According to the Book of Genesis, Noah lived to a ripe old age. Noah fathered his three sons Shem, Ham and Japheth when he was 500 years old, and the Great Flood took place when he was 600.

59 Enzyme suffix : -ASE

The names of enzymes usually include the suffix “-ase”. Enzymes are basically catalysts, chemicals that act to increase the rate of a particular chemical reaction. For example, starches will break down into sugars over time, especially under the right conditions. However, in the presence of the enzyme amylase (found in saliva) this production of sugar happens very, very quickly.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Adopted gradually, with “in” : PHASED …
7 Sandpiper family birds : SNIPES
13 One of two sound recommendations for a light sleeper? : EARPLUG
15 Shunned one : PARIAH
16 African Queen, for one : STEAMER
17 “Don’t doubt my abilities!” : I CAN SO!
18 January temps, often : TEENS
19 Do lunch? : CATER
21 London’s __ Gardens : KEW
22 Longtime senator Thurmond : STROM
23 Battery parts : ANODES
25 History : PAST
26 Short on manners : RUDE
27 Fraternal order : ELKS
31 Coil in a garden : HOSE
32 Prepares for takeoff : TAXIES
34 Extravagant : BAROQUE
38 Lot : FORTUNE
39 Buttonhole : ACCOST
40 Function : WORK
41 Campus figure : DEAN
42 Storytelling singer Guthrie : ARLO
43 Declared : SAID
47 Like some ornate doorways : ARCHED
50 Fixes tears : DARNS
51 Firepit residue : ASH
54 Speak publicly : ORATE
55 Advice from colleagues, say : INPUT
56 With 58-Across, savory base for a canapé … and the function of a black square in four puzzle rows? : CHEESE …
58 See 56-Across : … CRACKER
60 Afternoon service : TEA SET
61 One held for ransom : HOSTAGE
62 Force (upon) : IMPOSE
63 Allowed paid use of : LEASED

Down

1 Pre-euro coin : PESETA
2 Critics who can’t be pleased : HATERS
3 Childish denial : ARE NOT!
4 Jerk, e.g. : SPASM
5 West __: upscale store : ELM
6 Sufficient grounds for action, in law : DUE CAUSE
7 Used bugs, perhaps : SPIED
8 Shell material : NACRE
9 Rollover acronym : IRA
10 __ lady: gin and grenadine cocktail : PINK
11 Fluency : EASE
12 Make an appearance : SHOW
14 Starbucks size : GRANDE
18 Baking powder amt. : TSP
20 Sock part : TOE
24 Hot message : SEXT
26 Beat decisively : ROUT
28 Lucy of “Kill Bill” : LIU
29 Tennis great Rosewall : KEN
30 Orlando-to-Miami dir. : SSE
31 Main bases: Abbr. : HQS
32 Deere rival : TORO
33 Ararat craft : ARK
34 Shoddy : BAD
35 Top player : ACE
36 TV pioneer : RCA
37 Actress Chaplin : OONA
38 Utter nonsense : FOLDEROL
40 Deplorable sort : WRETCH
42 “Eureka!” : AHA!
43 Some decafs : SANKAS
44 Lanvin scent since 1927 : ARPEGE
45 Accustomed (to) : INURED
46 Summer hrs. : DST
48 Blush wines : ROSES
49 Minos’ kingdom : CRETE
50 Formal decrees : DICTA
51 When Lear disowns Cordelia : ACT I
52 Young passenger on the 33-Down : SHEM
53 Rattletrap : HEAP
57 Spanish “that” : ESO
59 Enzyme suffix : -ASE

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 19 Feb 21, Friday”

  1. No errors… FOLDEROL???? Mr wechsler must have really painted himself in a corner to come up with that.

    Overall, relatively quick finish.

  2. Lovely fun puzzle this morning. No errors, no lookups.

    No bad reactions (yet) from my COVID vaccination yesterday other
    than a sort of bad taste in my mouth about an hour after the shot.

  3. Easy Friday: No Googles or errors, unlike Wednesday or Thursday.
    Did not figure out that we were looking for types of cheeses, though, til I got here.
    The only answer I did not know was KEN, a sports figure.
    This should’ve been Wednesday’s.

  4. Some lovely, less common words and only one obscure (to me) sports name. Finished it and enjoyed a pleasant glow accomplishment. Good day, all.

  5. A clever and fun puzzle. I like it when the reveal is needed to understand the theme and then everything is well executed and makes sense. Well done!

  6. Fun Friday for me; took 11:30 with no errors or peeks. Didn’t get the theme until I got here. Didn’t know ARPEGE or KEN, but all the crosses were easy.

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