LA Times Crossword 2 Feb 21, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Roger & Kathy Wienberg
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Catchphrase

Themed answers are common PHRASES with each starting with a synonym of “CATCH”:

  • 62A Familiar slogan … and what each answer to a starred clue is? : CATCHPHRASE
  • 17A *Carpe diem : SEIZE THE DAY
  • 23A *Be the first to begin : GET A HEADSTART
  • 38A *Party gifts container : GRAB BAG
  • 52A *Act in desperation : GRASP AT STRAWS

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

Bill’s time: 5m 57s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Morse code component : DASH

Samuel Morse came up with the forerunner to modern Morse code for use on the electric telegraph, of which he was the co-inventor. Morse code uses a series of dots and dashes to represent letters and numbers. The most common letters are assigned the simplest code elements e.g. E is represented by one dot, and T is represented by one dash. When words are spelled aloud in Morse code, a dot is pronounced as “dit”, and a dash is pronounced as “dah”.

5 John Wick, for one : HITMAN

“John Wick” is a 2014 action movie starring Keanu Reeves in the title role. Reeves plays a retired hitman who goes on a killing spree to avenge the murder of his dog. There’s quite the body count …

11 Wedding reception VIPs : DJS

The world’s first radio disc jockey (DJ) was one Ray Newby of Stockton, California who made his debut broadcast in 1909, would you believe? When he was 16 years old and a student, Newby started to play his records on a primitive radio located in the Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless in San Jose. The records played back then were mostly recordings of Enrico Caruso.

14 Puerto Rico, por ejemplo : ISLA

In Spanish, Puerto Rico “por ejemplo” (for example), is an “isla” (island).

Puerto Rico (PR) is located in the northeastern Caribbean (in the Atlantic Ocean), east of the Dominican Republic. The name “Puerto Rico” is Spanish for “rich port”. The locals often call their island Borinquen, the Spanish form of “Boriken”, the original name used by the natives.

15 Blueprint : SCHEMA

A schema is an outline or a model. The plural of “schema” is “schemata” and the adjectival form is “schematic”.

Blueprints are reproductions of technical or architectural drawings that are contact prints made on light-sensitive sheets. Blueprints were introduced in the 1800s and the technology available dictated that the drawings were reproduced with white lines on a blue background, hence the name “blue-print”.

16 Legendary bird of prey : ROC

The mythical roc is a huge bird of prey, one reputedly able to carry off and eat elephants. The roc was said to come from the Indian subcontinent. The supposed existence of the roc was promulgated by Marco Polo in the accounts that he published about his travels through Asia.

17 *Carpe diem : SEIZE THE DAY

“Carpe diem” is a quotation from Horace, one of ancient Rome’s leading lyric poets. “Carpe diem” translates from Latin as “seize the day” or “enjoy the day”. The satirical motto of a procrastinator is “carpe mañana”, “translating” as “seize tomorrow”.

19 Rap sheet letters : AKA

Also known as (aka)

A rap sheet is a criminal record. “Rap” is a slang term dating back to the 1700s that means “blame, responsibility” as in “to take the rap”, “bad rap” and “to beat the rap”. This usage morphed into “rap sheet” in the early 1900s.

21 Lust or greed : SIN

The cardinal sins of Christian ethics are also known as the seven deadly sins. The seven sins are:

  • Wrath
  • Greed
  • Sloth
  • Pride
  • Lust
  • Envy
  • Gluttony

22 “And how!” : AMEN!

The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

30 Extended pd. away from work : LOA

Leave of absence (LOA)

37 U.K. network : BBC

BBC One is the British Broadcasting Corporation’s flagship TV channel. BBC One was launched just a few years back, as the BBC Television Service. That year was 1936, making it the world’s first regular, high-image resolution television service.

49 Letters in alphabet soup : NOODLES

Believe it or not, alphabet pasta (pasta shaped like letters of the alphabet) has been around since the 1870s. Campbell’s introduced its Alphabet Soup brand in the 1950s.

56 Retinal cells : RODS

The retina is the tissue that lines the inside of the eye, and is the tissue that is light-sensitive. There are (mainly) two types of cells in the retina that are sensitive to light, namely rods and cones. Rods are cells that best function in very dim light and only provide black-and-white vision. Cones on the other hand function in brighter light and can perceive color.

57 Fannie or Ginnie follower : … MAE

The Federal National Mortgage Association is commonly called “Fannie Mae”, a play on the initialism FNMA. Fannie Mae was founded during the Great Depression as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal.

“Ginnie Mae” is the familiar nickname for the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA), a government-owned corporation created in 1968 with the objective of promoting home ownership. The “Ginnie Mae” nickname is derived from the “GNMA” abbreviation.

66 Wind instruments : FLUTES

A flute is a woodwind instrument that doesn’t have a reed. Instead, sound is produced by blowing air across an opening. A flute player is often referred to as a flautist (sometimes “flutist”). Flutes have been around a long, long time. Primitive flutes found in modern-day Germany date back 43,000 to 35,000 years, which makes the flute the oldest known musical instrument.

67 Biter on a pooch : FLEA

Fleas are flightless insects, but they sure can jump. Their very specialized hind legs allow them to jump up to 50 times the length of their bodies.

69 Corporate jet maker : CESSNA

The Cessna Aircraft manufacturing company was founded in 1911 by Clyde Cessna, a farmer from Kansas. Cessna is headquartered in Wichita and today has over 8,000 employees.

Down

1 Frisbee, for one : DISC

The Frisbee concept started back in 1938 with a couple who had an upturned cake pan that they were tossing between each other on Santa Monica Beach in California. They were offered 25 cents for the pan on the spot, and as pans could be bought for 5 cents, the pair figured there was a living to be earned.

5 FDR’s successor : HST

The letter “S” in the middle of the name Harry S. Truman (HST) doesn’t stand for anything. The future-president was named “Harry” in honor of his mother’s brother Harrison “Harry” Young. The initial “S” was chosen in honor of young Harry’s two grandfathers: Anderson S-hipp Truman and S-olomon Young.

6 German pronoun found in half of Munich? : ICH

“Ich” is the German for “I”, as in “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner), the famous words of support uttered by President John F. Kennedy in 1963 in a speech in West Berlin. The supposed translation of “Ich bin ein Berliner” as “I am a jelly doughnut” … that’s just an urban myth. President Kennedy’s use of German was perfectly correct.

The German word “ich” is hidden at the end of the word “Munich”.

Munich is the capital of the German state of Bavaria, and is the third-largest city in the country (after Berlin and Hamburg). The city is called “München” in German, a term that derives from the Old German word for “by the monks’ place”, which is a reference to the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city in 1158.

8 Highway divider : MEDIAN

Here in the US, the area separating opposing lanes of traffic on a divided highway called the “median strip”. Over in Britain and Ireland, that median strip is known as the “central reservation”.

9 Actress Seales of “Insecure” : AMANDA

Actress Amanda Seales break came when she was cast in the supporting role of Tiffany DuBois in the comedy-drama TV show “Insecure”.

“Insecure” is a comedy-drama TV show that premiered in 2016. It is co-written by and stars Issa Rae, who also created the comedy web series “Awkward Black Girl” on which “Insecure” is based.

11 Emmy category : DRAMA

The Emmy Awards are the television equivalent of the Oscars from the world of film, the Grammy Awards in music and the Tony Awards for the stage. Emmy Awards are presented throughout the year, depending on the sector of television being honored. The most famous of these ceremonies are the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Daytime Emmy Awards. The distinctive name “Emmy” is a softened version of the word “immy”, the nickname given to the video camera tubes found in old television cameras. The Emmy statuette was designed by television engineer Louis McManus in 1948, and depicts a woman holding up an atom. McManus used his wife as a model for the woman.

12 Phoenix’s 2019 Best Actor role : JOKER

“Joker” is a 2019 film starring Joaquin Phoenix as the DC Comics supervillain known as “the Joker”. The movie explores the origins of the Joker, presenting an alternative story to that outlined in the comic books.

Actor Joaquin Phoenix is the brother of actress Summer Phoenix and of the late River Phoenix, who was also an actor. In 2020, Jaoquin and his partner, actress Rooney Mara, had a son whom they named “River” after his deceased uncle.

18 “At Last” singer James : ETTA

“Etta James” was the stage name of celebrated blues and soul singer Jamesetta Hawkins. James’ most famous recording was her 1960 hit “At Last”, which made it into the pop charts. James performed “At Last” at the age of 71 in 2009 on the reality show “Dancing with the Stars”, which was to be her final television appearance. She passed away in 2012.

22 Hardly any : A 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”.

24 Taiwanese PC maker : ACER

Acer is a Taiwanese company that I visited a couple of times when I was in the electronics business. I was very impressed back then with the company’s dedication to quality, although I have heard that things haven’t gone so well in recent years …

25 Queen of Olympus : HERA

In Greek mythology, Hera was the wife of Zeus and the goddess of women, marriage, family and childbirth. She was noted for her jealous and vengeful nature, particularly against those who vied for the affections of her husband. The equivalent character to Hera in Roman mythology was Juno. Hera was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea.

26 Reel trouble : SNAG

That would be fishing, angling.

27 Napoleon’s 1814 place of exile : ELBA

I had a lovely two-week vacation in Tuscany once, including what was supposed to be a two-night stay on the island of Elba. I had envisioned Elba as a place full of history, and maybe it is, but it is also overrun with tourists who use it as a beach getaway. We left after one day and we won’t be going back again …

Napoléon Bonaparte was a military professional from Corsica who rose to prominence after the French Revolution during the French First Republic. He took over the country in 1799 in a coup d’état and installed himself as First Consul. Soon after, he led France in the Napoleonic Wars, conflicts between the growing French Empire and a series of opposing coalitions. He was eventually defeated at the Battle of Leipzig and was forced into exile on the Italian island of Elba off the Tuscan coast. Napoleon escaped in 1815 and regained power, only to be finally defeated a few months later at the Battle of Waterloo. The British dispatched him to the island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic where he lived out the last six years of his life as a prisoner.

32 Tummy muscles : ABS

The abdominal muscles (abs) are more correctly referred to as the rectus abdominis muscles. They might be referred to as a “six-pack”, or even a “ten-pack”, in a person who has developed the muscles and who has low body fat. In my case, more like a keg …

35 Shallowest Great 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.

39 Batter’s job in a squeeze play : BUNT

To bunt in baseball is to barely hit the ball, just enough to have it roll slowly in front of the infielders.

In baseball, a squeeze play (also “squeeze bunt”) is one in which a batter bunts the ball expecting to be thrown out at first, but gives a runner at third base a chance to score. In a safety squeeze the runner at third waits to see where the bunt is going before heading for home. In a suicide squeeze, the runner heads home as soon as the pitcher throws the ball.

40 Eros, in Rome : AMOR

Cupid was the god of love in Roman mythology. Cupid’s name comes from the Latin verb “cupere” meaning “to desire”. Cupid’s Latin name was Amor, and his Greek counterpart was Eros.

47 Husk-wrapped cantina food : TAMALE

A tamale is a traditional dish from Central America composed of a starchy dough that is steamed or boiled in a wrapper made from a corn husk or banana leaf. The dough is called masa, and can include many different ingredients including meat, cheese, fruit and vegetables.

48 Something to update on Facebook : STATUS

In the world of Facebook, there are several options for one’s relationship status:

  • Single
  • In a Relationship
  • Engaged
  • Married
  • It’s Complicated
  • In an Open Relationship
  • Widowed
  • Separated
  • Divorced
  • In a Civil Union
  • In a Domestic Partnership

51 “Whistle While You Work” septet : DWARFS

In the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale called “Snow White”, the seven dwarfs were not given any names. The names were added for the 1937 classic Disney film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. The seven dwarfs are:

  • Doc (the leader of the group)
  • Grumpy (that would be me, according to my wife …)
  • Happy
  • Sleepy
  • Bashful
  • Sneezy
  • Dopey

53 “Chicago” showgirl Hart : ROXIE

The wonderful 1975 musical “Chicago” is based on a 1926 play of the same name written by a news reporter called Maurine Dallas Watkins. Watkins had been assigned to cover the murder trials of Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner for the “Chicago Tribune”, and used the story that unfolded as the basis for her play. Annan became the character Roxie Hart, and Gaertner became Velma Kelly. I’ve only ever seen the movie version of “Chicago” and never a live performance …

60 Hardwood tree : TEAK

Teak is a hardwood tree in the mint family that is commonly found in monsoon forests of Asia. Teak’s tight grain and high oil content make it very suitable for constructing outdoor furniture, where weather resistance is valued. For the same reason, teak is the wood of choice for wooden decks on boats.

62 Ozone-depleting chemical : CFC

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used to be widely used as propellants in aerosols, and as refrigerants in cooling systems. CFCs make their way up into the ozone layer and trigger a chain reaction that converts ozone (O3) into regular oxygen (O2). That conversion creates “holes” in the ozone layer. Regular O2 is good stuff, but we need O3 to absorb harmful UV radiation raining down on us. CFC is not good stuff …

64 Free TV spot : PSA

Public service announcement (PSA)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Morse code component : DASH
5 John Wick, for one : HITMAN
11 Wedding reception VIPs : DJS
14 Puerto Rico, por ejemplo : ISLA
15 Blueprint : SCHEMA
16 Legendary bird of prey : ROC
17 *Carpe diem : SEIZE THE DAY
19 Rap sheet letters : AKA
20 “Zip your lip!” : CAN IT!
21 Lust or greed : SIN
22 “And how!” : AMEN!
23 *Be the first to begin : GET A HEADSTART
27 Hug : EMBRACE
29 Mom’s mom : NANA
30 Extended pd. away from work : LOA
31 Notable period : ERA
33 Commercial charge : AD FEE
37 U.K. network : BBC
38 *Party gifts container : GRAB BAG
41 Coffee dispenser : URN
42 Invite for : ASK TO
44 Aggregate : SUM
45 Container cover : LID
46 Escape clauses : OUTS
49 Letters in alphabet soup : NOODLES
52 *Act in desperation : GRASP AT STRAWS
56 Retinal cells : RODS
57 Fannie or Ginnie follower : … MAE
58 Silently understood : TACIT
61 Dismissal metaphor, with “the” : … AXE
62 Familiar slogan … and what each answer to a starred clue is? : CATCHPHRASE
65 A-lister : VIP
66 Wind instruments : FLUTES
67 Biter on a pooch : FLEA
68 Nonetheless : YET
69 Corporate jet maker : CESSNA
70 Hide partner : SEEK

Down

1 Frisbee, for one : DISC
2 Befuddled : ASEA
3 Shoe with a strap that nearly encircles the ankle : SLINGBACK
4 More smoke-filled : HAZIER
5 FDR’s successor : HST
6 German pronoun found in half of Munich? : ICH
7 What we have here : THESE
8 Highway divider : MEDIAN
9 Actress Seales of “Insecure” : AMANDA
10 Opposing vote : NAY
11 Emmy category : DRAMA
12 Phoenix’s 2019 Best Actor role : JOKER
13 Few and far between : SCANT
18 “At Last” singer James : ETTA
22 Hardly any : A TAD
24 Taiwanese PC maker : ACER
25 Queen of Olympus : HERA
26 Reel trouble : SNAG
27 Napoleon’s 1814 place of exile : ELBA
28 Unruly crowds : MOBS
32 Tummy muscles : ABS
34 Comprehensive : FULL-SCALE
35 Shallowest Great Lake : ERIE
36 Goals : ENDS
38 Rise, as prices : GO UP
39 Batter’s job in a squeeze play : BUNT
40 Eros, in Rome : AMOR
43 Discard : TOSS
47 Husk-wrapped cantina food : TAMALE
48 Something to update on Facebook : STATUS
50 Solemn vow : OATH
51 “Whistle While You Work” septet : DWARFS
52 Turkey topper : GRAVY
53 “Chicago” showgirl Hart : ROXIE
54 Highly skilled : ADEPT
55 Splinter groups : SECTS
59 Understanding words : I SEE
60 Hardwood tree : TEAK
62 Ozone-depleting chemical : CFC
63 Farm layer : HEN
64 Free TV spot : PSA

10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 2 Feb 21, Tuesday”

  1. Easy Tuesday. Had “hair” before SEEK, as in Hide nor hair.
    I thought the German pronoun would be Ihm or Ihr, as half of Munchen would be male or female. Overthinking.

    1. @Jane … I initially had the same thought as you about the German pronoun and slightly dented my forehead when I finally understood the pun. A little knowledge and all that … 😜.

  2. 17:25 with one error resulting from my ongoing laziness in not checking my answers…I had NEY for NAY because I thought scheme was a blueprint.
    One day I’ll learn…NOT
    Stay safe😀

  3. I had trouble thinking of a DJ as a wedding reception VIP. The wedding couple are VIPs. The parents of the wedding couple are VIPs, as are the brides maids and groomsmen, and of course, the officiator. Somehow I managed to marry off 5 kids without ever having a DJ. A DJ is an employee.

  4. Aloha y’all!!🤗

    I got lazy and cheated for several answers in order to get the grid done. So, can’t say no errors, but certainly none on the parts I did without cheating….I shoulda just worked it through. Pandemic has made me less motivated, which is not a good reaction. 🤔

    Be well~~🐧

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