LA Times Crossword 20 Feb 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: Craig Stowe
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 12m 29s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 Mozart’s mother : ANNA MARIA

Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s parents were Leopold Mozart and Anna Maria Perti. Leopold and Anna Maria had seven children in all, with Wolfgang and his older sister Maria Anna being the most famous, as they were both gifted musicians. Leopold toured with Wolfgang and Maria Anna, showing off his talented children. Often, Maria Anna would be given top billing over her brother.

16 Dressing extreme? : NINES

The term “to the nines” means “to perfection”. The first person to use the term in literature was Robbie Burns. Apparently the idea behind the use of “nines” is figurative (pun!), with the number nine considered “ideal” as it is arrived at by multiplying three by three.

20 Best Actress between Hilary and Helen : REESE

“Reese” is not actually actress Witherspoon’s given name. She started out life as Laura Jeanne Witherspoon. “Reese” is her mother’s maiden name.

Actress Hilary Swank had her first major role in “The Next Karate Kid” released in 1994, in which she played the first female student of the sensei Mr. Miyagi.

Helen Mirren, one of my favorite English actresses, has played three different queens on film and television. She played Queen Elizabeth II on the 2006 film “The Queen”, the title role in the TV drama “Elizabeth I”, and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the wife of the title character in the 1994 film “The Madness of King George”. Mirren won the “Triple Crown of Acting” for playing:

  • Queen Elizabeth II in “The Queen” (winning Best Actress Oscar)
  • Queen Elizabeth II in “The Audience” (winning Best Actress in a Play Tony)
  • Detective Jane Tennison in “Prime Suspect” (winning Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy)

21 Franklin’s bill : C-NOTE

Benjamin Franklin’s portrait is featured on one side of the hundred-dollar bill (also called a “C-spot, C-note, benjamin”), and Philadelphia’s Independence Hall on the other side. There is a famous error in the image of Independence Hall. If you look closely at the clock face at the top of the building you can see that the “four” is written in Roman numerals as “IV”. However, on the actual clock on Independence Hall, the “four” is denoted by “IIII”, which has been the convention for clock faces for centuries.

26 Small sewing case : ETUI

An etui is an ornamental case used to hold small items, in particular sewing needles. We imported both the case design and the word “etui” from France. The French also have a modern usage of “etui”, using the term to depict a case for carrying CDs.

27 Cantore in a storm : JIM

Jim Cantore is a meteorologist who can be seen on the Weather Channel. There’s a famous video clip on YouTube of Cantore reporting on location when a student makes a run at him as an on-air prank. Cantore calmly knees the miscreant, and carries on reporting unphased.

30 Member of the first class of World Golf Hall of Fame inductees, 1974 : SNEAD

Sam Snead was probably the most successful golfer never to win a US Open title, as he won a record 82 PGA Tour events. Snead did win seven majors, but never the US Open. He was also quite the showman. He once hit the scoreboard at Wrigley Field stadium with a golf ball, by teeing off from home plate. Snead’s best-remembered nickname is “Slammin’ Sammy”.

34 “Voilà!” : THERE YOU ARE!

The French word “voilà” means “there it is”, and “voici” means “here it is”. The terms come from “voi là” meaning “see there” and “voi ici” meaning “see here”.

44 Part of un drame : ACTE

In French, an “acte” (act) is a part of “un drame” (a play).

58 “… quaint and curious volume of __ lore”: Poe : FORGOTTEN

The first verse of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” is:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore-
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

60 Democracy concern : FREE PRESS

The Constitution of the United States was adopted on September 17, 1787. There have been 27 amendments to the constitution, the first ten of which are collectively called the Bill of Rights. In essence the Bill of Rights limits the power of the Federal Government and protects the rights of individuals. For example, the First Amendment states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Down

1 Limited-access internet area : DARK WEB

“Dark web” is the name given to content on the World Wide Web that requires specific software and/or authorization for access. The dark web is a subset of the “deep web”, the collection of content on the Web that isn’t indexed by search engines. Dark web users refer to the regular Web that you and I access as “Clearnet”.

2 The least bit : ONE IOTA

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

4 “Our __ is loss, our hope but sad despair”: “Henry VI, Part III” : HAP

Our word “hap” means chance or fortune. It turns up combined in words like “haphazard” and even “happen”. “Happen” originally meant to “occur by hap, by chance”.

“Henry VI” is a set of three plays by William Shakespeare that deal with the life of King Henry VI of England. Many scholars agree that “Henry VI” was co-authored by Shakespeare with Chrisotpher Marloe, and possibly also with Thomas Nashe.

5 Subject of Dante’s “La Vita Nuova” : AMORE

“La Vita Nuova” is a text by Italian poet Dante Alighieri comprising both prose and verse. It recounts the author’s love for Beatrice, describing in 42 chapters the history of that love from the first time he saw her when they were children, right up his mourning after her death. “La Vita Nuova” translates into English from Italian as “The New Life”.

7 Gaelic tongue : ERSE

There are actually three Erse languages: Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be “Gaeilge” (in Ireland), “Gaelg” (on the Isle of Man) and “Gaidhlig” (in Scotland).

9 Hot spots’ hot spots? : OASES

An isolated area of vegetation in a desert is called an oasis (plural “oases”). As water is needed for plant growth, an oasis might also include a spring, pond or small lake. We often use the term “oasis” more generally to describe a haven, a place of rest.

10 Amazon threats : ANACONDAS

Anacondas are native to the tropical regions of South America. The green anaconda is one of the world’s largest snakes, growing to 17 feet long and weighing up to 550 pounds! Anacondas are not venomous, and prefer to kill their prey by coiling around it and then squeeeeeezing …

11 Mouse first voiced by Walt Disney : MINNIE

Minnie and Mickey Mouse were both introduced to the world in 1928. Minnie was originally known as Minerva, and sometimes still is. Both Mickey and Minnie were originally voiced by Walt Disney himself.

12 Namibia neighbor : ANGOLA

Angola is a country in south-central Africa on the west coast. It is the fourth largest diamond exporter in Africa, after Botswana, the Congo and South Africa. Such a valuable export hasn’t really helped the living standard of the country’s citizens as life expectancy and infant mortality rates are among the poorest on the continent.

The Republic of Namibia is a country in southern Africa on the Atlantic coast. The Namibian War of Independence fought from 1966 to 1988 eventually resulted in independence for Namibia from South Africa, and a transition from white minority apartheid rule.

14 Perfume compound : ESTER

Esters are very common chemicals. The smaller, low-molecular weight esters are usually pleasant smelling and are often found in perfumes. At the other end of the scale, the higher-molecular weight nitroglycerin is a nitrate ester and is very explosive, and polyester is a huge molecule and is a type of plastic. Fats and oils found in nature are fatty acid esters of glycerol known as glycerides.

23 Follower of Nanak : SIKH

Sikhism is a religion that was founded in the Punjab region, which straddles the India-Pakistan border. Even though Sikhism was established relatively recently, it is now the fifth-largest organized religion in the world. Sikhism was founded in the 15th century by Guru Nanak.

27 Fed chair Powell : JEROME

Jerome “Jay” Powell was appointed chairman of the Federal Reserve by President Donald Trump in 2018. Powell had been appointed in 2012 to the Board of the Federal Reserve by President Barack Obama.

28 Graphic intro? : IDEO-

An ideograph or ideogram is a pictorial symbol used to represent a concept. A good example would be an emoticon, like a smiley face 🙂

33 Good earth : LOAM

Loam is soil made up of sand, silt and clay in the ratio of about 40-40-20. Relative to other soil types, loam is usually rich in nutrients and moisture, drains well and is easy to till. Loam can also be used in constructing houses as it is quite strong when mixed with straw and dried.

35 One may be heard on safari : ROAR

“Safari” is a Swahili word meaning “journey” or “expedition”.

36 Get out of hand in a hurry : ESCALATE

Our verb “to escalate” came into the language with the simple meaning “to use an escalator”. We started to use the term more figuratively in the late 1950s.

40 Word on a Monopoly corner square : SALARY

It has been suggested that our term “salary” comes from the Latin “sal” meaning “salt”. The idea is that a Roman soldier’s “salarium” might have been an allowance to purchase salt.

In the game of Monopoly, a player collects a salary of $200 when he or she passes “GO”.

41 Asset protection plan, briefly : PRENUP

Prenuptial agreement (prenup)

Our word “nuptial” is an adjective meaning “of marriage, of the wedding ceremony”. The term derives from “nuptiae”, the Latin for “wedding, marriage”.

42 Place to play : ARCADE

Our word “arcade” comes from the Latin “arcus” meaning “arc”. The first arcades were passages made from a series of arches. This could be an avenue of trees, and eventually any covered avenue. I remember arcades lined with shops and stores when I was growing up on the other side of the Atlantic. Arcades came to be lined with lots of amusements, resulting in amusement arcades and video game arcades.

45 Branded wares, informally : MERCH

Merchandise (merch)

46 Spruce (up) : SPIFF

Our verb “to spruce up” means “to make trim or neat”. The term comes from the adjective “spruce”, meaning “smart, neat”. In turn, the adjective comes from “spruce leather”, which was a Prussian leather that was used in England in the 15th and 16th centuries to make a popular style of jerkin that was widely considered to look quite smart.

52 “Picnic” Pulitzer Prize winner : INGE

Playwright William Inge had a run of success on Broadway in the early fifties. Inge’s most celebrated work of that time is the play “Picnic”, for which he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. The original 1953 cast of “Picnic” included a young male actor making his debut on Broadway. His name was Paul Newman. Many of Inge’s works are set in the American heartland and so he became known as the “Playwright of the Midwest”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Can’t someone else?” : DO I HAVE TO?
10 Floor : AMAZE
15 Mozart’s mother : ANNA MARIA
16 Dressing extreme? : NINES
17 Comebacks : RESPONSES
18 See 43-Across : ANGST
19 Set to assemble : KIT
20 Best Actress between Hilary and Helen : REESE
21 Franklin’s bill : C-NOTE
22 Inferior : WORSE
24 Unwanted information, usually : SPOILER
26 Small sewing case : ETUI
27 Cantore in a storm : JIM
30 Member of the first class of World Golf Hall of Fame inductees, 1974 : SNEAD
31 Retreated : BACKPEDALED
34 “Voilà!” : THERE YOU ARE!
37 Expression of mock sympathy : TOO BAD, SO SAD
40 Involuntary contraction : SPASM
43 Genre full of 18-Across : EMO
44 Part of un drame : ACTE
45 Forms a union? : MARRIES
47 More than just talk : ORATE
48 Single out : ELECT
49 Appear by surprise : POP IN
53 Ring site : LIP
54 Rushed toward : RAN AT
55 “Either or” : I DON’T CARE
57 Rough : CRUDE
58 “… quaint and curious volume of __ lore”: Poe : FORGOTTEN
59 Really excited : HYPER
60 Democracy concern : FREE PRESS

Down

1 Limited-access internet area : DARK WEB
2 The least bit : ONE IOTA
3 Show how : INSTRUCT
4 “Our __ is loss, our hope but sad despair”: “Henry VI, Part III” : HAP
5 Subject of Dante’s “La Vita Nuova” : AMORE
6 Weather __ : VANE
7 Gaelic tongue : ERSE
8 Plastic bag accessories : TIES
9 Hot spots’ hot spots? : OASES
10 Amazon threats : ANACONDAS
11 Mouse first voiced by Walt Disney : MINNIE
12 Namibia neighbor : ANGOLA
13 Prepped, as peels : ZESTED
14 Perfume compound : ESTER
23 Follower of Nanak : SIKH
25 Unreal : PSEUDO
27 Fed chair Powell : JEROME
28 Graphic intro? : IDEO-
29 “I’ll get back to you” : MAYBE
32 Vacationer’s need, maybe : PET SITTER
33 Good earth : LOAM
35 One may be heard on safari : ROAR
36 Get out of hand in a hurry : ESCALATE
38 Dresses : ATTIRES
39 Becomes more complicated : DEEPENS
40 Word on a Monopoly corner square : SALARY
41 Asset protection plan, briefly : PRENUP
42 Place to play : ARCADE
45 Branded wares, informally : MERCH
46 Spruce (up) : SPIFF
47 Triumphant : ON TOP
50 Wrinkled-nose cause : ODOR
51 Study intently, with “over” : PORE …
52 “Picnic” Pulitzer Prize winner : INGE
56 NBA position : CTR

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 20 Feb 21, Saturday”

  1. I didn’t think Monopoly had “Salary” on any square, but then I haven’t played for more than 50 years. What the heck does “jim” mean for “Cantore in a storm”? Oh yeah, don’t we all know Mozart’s mother’s name? And I’m a little rusty on my Shakespeare quotes… Other than those things, it wasn’t so bad. Got done in about 27 minutes, once I guessed at jim.

  2. hitting the scoreboard at Wrigley Field is not such a big deal. It’s not that long of a shot, and the board is pretty large.

  3. 13:12, no errors. A good tussle. Depended on crosses to get some of it (in particular, the “J” of “JIM” and “JEROME”, neither of which was a gimme for me).

  4. Nice puzzle.. didn’t know JIM CANTORE or POWELS first name.. so I guessed VIM (I thought CANTORE was spanish for VIM)
    HA!! I know, VEROME doesn’t sound like a POWELL name either.. meh.

  5. 30:55 with 3 errors in 29D…inasmuch as I don’t sit and watch the weather channel I had no idea that Cantore was a persons name…I should have gotten a clue when Google couldn’t find anything on it…GRRR.
    Stay safe😀

    1. @Jack … So now I’m curious: When I Google “jim cantore”, I get many hits, the very first of which is this one:

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Cantore

      If you don’t get any hits, it says that Google is behaving differently for you than for me, and I would be very curious to know why that might be. So, could you try again?

  6. No errors, but looked up Mozart’s mother’s name. Actually the first couple
    of words that I could enter were “emo” and “angst”…because that’s what
    popped into my mind when I read the clues. Not as hard as I first feared,
    but it took me a while to put it all together.

  7. Mozart’s mother??!! C’mon puzzle author, just a tad on the arcane side wouldn’t you say? Then there’s answer to 48A. Sheesh!!

  8. 24:32 no errors, 1 lookup for Jerome Powell

    DOIHAVETO, TOOBADSOSAD, and IDONTCARE kind of make me wonder about the constructor’s mood.

  9. Tough Saturday for me; took 54:20 with no errors or peeks, although I was going to give up a few times, especially in the SW and middle. I finally just put in RAN AT and MARRIES and the section started to come together.

    I knew JEROME right away and even though I didn’t remember today, JIM was here a while ago. I remember looking him up and reading the story about the sign “Jim Cantore, Stay Home” to ward off a hurricane in New Orleans 🙂 He responded with a tweet, “where’s the love?” 🙂

    Good struggle…

  10. @Phil – *Some* people like to get their LIPs pierced and insert a ring. *Probably* a lot of the EMO fans who are into ANGST.

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