LA Times Crossword 22 Feb 21, Monday

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Constructed by: Fred Piscop
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Really!

Themed answers all have the same clue, i.e. “Really!”:

  • 17A “Really!” : SURE ENOUGH!
  • 60A “Really!” : FOR CERTAIN!
  • 11D “Really!” : I KID YOU NOT!
  • 28D “Really!” : BY ALL MEANS!

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

Bill’s time: 4m 50s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Hand-dyeing method : BATIK

Genuine batik cloth is produced by applying wax to the parts of the cloth that are not to be dyed. After the cloth has been dyed, it is dried and then dipped in a solvent that dissolves the wax. Although wax-resist dyeing of fabric has existed in various parts of the world for centuries, it is most closely associated historically with the island of Java in Indonesia.

6 Alaskan malamute team’s burden : SLED

The Alaskan Malamute was bred as a working dog, and in particular to pull sleds. The breed takes its name from the Mahlemut tribe of Inuit people. The Alaskan Malamute was designated as Alaska’s official state dog in 2010.

10 __ Field: Mets’ home : CITI

Citi Field is the relatively new baseball stadium used by the New York Mets that sits right next door to the site of Shea stadium, where the Mets had played for decades. And the new facility’s name comes from corporate sponsor Citigroup.

15 Attire for Caesar : TOGA

In ancient Rome, the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae” or “togas”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

19 Pinball flub : TILT

In a game of pinball, some players get an irresistible urge to “nudge” the machine . Such a nudge, a movement of the machine designed to influence the path taken by the ball, is called a “tilt”. Most pinball machines have sensors designed to detect a tilt, and when activated a “tilt” warning light comes on and the player’s controls are temporarily disabled.

Our modern game of pinball evolved from an earlier table game called bagatelle which used balls, pins and holes (and I remember playing bagatelle as a boy in a pub in Ireland). The first pinball machine was made by a British inventor who settled in Cincinnati, Ohio. He modified the game of bagatelle, adding a coiled spring and a plunger to introduce balls at the end of the table, a device that is still in use today. From there, manufacturers developed coin-operated versions of pinball, which became popular during the depression as they provided a little entertainment for a few pennies. One distributor of the coin-operated pinball machines started manufacturing them himself as he couldn’t source new games fast enough. He called his pinball game Ballyhoo, and eventually named his company Bally, a brand name well known in the gambling industry to this day.

20 Metal-shaping tool : STAMPER

A stamping press (sometimes “stamper”) is a machine tool used to shape metal. It does so by deforming the metal between a male and female die. The effect on the metal is much the same as the result of hammering metal on an anvil.

21 Defame verbally : SLANDER

The word “libel” describes a published or written statement likely to harm a person’s reputation. It comes into English from the Latin “libellus”, the word for a small book. Back in the 1500s, libel was just a formal written statement, with the more damaging association arising in the 1600s. The related concept of slander is defamation in a transient form, such as speech, sign language or gestures.

23 Fifth Avenue retailer : SAKS

Saks Fifth Avenue is a high-end specialty store that competes with the likes of Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus. The original Saks & Company business was founded by Andrew Saks in 1867. The first Saks Fifth Avenue store was opened on Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1924. There are now Saks Fifth Avenue stores in many major cities in the US, as well in several locations worldwide.

Fifth Avenue in New York is sometimes referred to as the “most expensive street in the world” as the section that runs through Midtown Manhattan is home to upscale stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue.

26 Even though : ALBEIT

“Albeit” is a conjunction meaning “although, even if”. The term dates back to the 1300s, when it was a contraction of the phrase “al be it” meaning “although it be that”.

33 Early synthetic fiber : RAYON

Rayon is a little unusual in the textile industry in that it is not truly a synthetic fiber, but nor can it be called a natural fiber. Rayon is produced from naturally occurring cellulose that is dissolved and then reformed into fibers.

35 D.C.’s nation : USA

The District of Columbia was established by the Residence Act in 1790. Article One, Section 8 of the US constitution provides for the establishment of a district outside of the states, over which the federal government has authority. The constitution also specifies that the district cannot exceed an area of ten miles square.

38 Kilt-wearing family : CLAN

The Scottish skirt called a “kilt” takes its name from the Middle English word “kilten” meaning “to tuck up”. The idea is that the kilt can be tucked up around the body to give freedom to the legs.

40 Soon, to a bard : ANON

“Anon” originally meant “at once”, but the term’s meaning evolved into “soon” apparently just because the word was misused over time.

41 Rogue computer in “2001” : HAL

In Arthur C. Clarke’s “Space Odyssey” (famously adapted for the big screen as “2001: A Space Odyssey”) the computer system that went rogue was called HAL 9000, or simply “HAL”. HAL stands for “Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer”. Even though Clarke denied it, there’s a good argument that can be made that the acronym HAL is a veiled reference to IBM, the big player in the world of computing at the time of the novel’s publication (1968). The acronym HAL is just a one-letter shift from the initials “IBM”.

43 Sci-fi robot : DROID

“Droid” is short for “android” and is used to describe a robot that resembles a human. The Latin word “androides” was used in English in the 18th century to mean “like a man”. Science fiction writers introduced us to “android” in the early 1950s.

47 Davis Jr. of the Rat Pack : SAMMY

Singer, actor and comedian Sammy Davis, Jr. started his show business career in vaudeville as a child as a part of a song and dance trio that included his father. After WWII, Davis became friends with Frank Sinatra, and soon found himself a member of the famed Rat Pack. Along with his fellow Rat Packers, he made movies like “Ocean’s 11” (1960) and “Robin and the 7 Hoods” (1964).

The original Rat Pack from the fifties was a group of actors that centered on Humphrey Bogart, and included a young Frank Sinatra. Supposedly, Bogart’s wife, Lauren Bacall, christened them the Rat Pack after seeing them all return from one of their nights on the town in Las Vegas. The sixties Rat Pack was a reincarnation of the fifties version, with the core group of actors being Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin (Dino), Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford.

51 Source of maple syrup : TREE 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.

54 One of 12 at the Last Supper : APOSTLE

At the Last Supper, Jesus told his apostles that one of them would betray him that day. According to the Gospel of Matthew:

And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?

63 Cleveland’s lake : ERIE

Cleveland, Ohio was named after the man who led the team that surveyed the area prior to the founding of the city. General Moses Cleaveland did his work in 1796 and then left Ohio, never to return again.

65 The “S” in CBS: Abbr. : SYST

CBS used to be known as the Columbia Broadcasting System. CBS introduced its “eye” logo in 1951. That logo is based on a Pennsylvania Dutch hex sign.

Down

1 Deep choir voice : BASS

The bass is the lowest male singing voice. A man with such a voice might be called a “basso” (plural “bassi”). In an opera, the villain of the piece is usually played by a basso.

3 “Gone With the Wind” estate : TARA

In Margaret Mitchell’s novel “Gone with the Wind”, Scarlett O’Hara’s home is the Tara plantation. Tara was founded not far from the Georgia city of Jonesboro by Scarlett’s father, Irish immigrant Gerald O’Hara. Gerald won the square mile of land on which Tara was built in an all-night poker game. He named his new abode after the Hill of Tara back in his home country, the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland. Rhett’s rival for the affections of Scarlet is Ashley Wilkes who lives at the nearby Twelve Oaks plantation.

6 Storied baby-bringing bird : STORK

In German and Dutch society, storks resting on the roof of a house were considered a sign of good luck. This tradition led to nursery stories that babies were brought to families by storks.

7 Gehrig in Cooperstown : LOU

Baseball legend Lou Gehrig was known as a powerhouse. He was a big hitter and just kept on playing. Gehrig broke the record for the most consecutive number of games played, and he still holds the record for the most career grand slams. His durability earned him the nickname “The Iron Horse”. Sadly, he died in 1941 at 37-years-old suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an illness we now call “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”. The New York Yankees retired the number four on 4th of July 1939 in his honor, making Lou Gehrig the first baseball player to have his number retired.

Cooperstown is a village in New York that is famous as the home to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The village was named for Judge William Cooper, the founder of Cooperstown and the father of the noted writer James Fenimore Cooper.

8 Dairy case dozen : EGGS

Our word “dozen” is used for a group of twelve. We imported it into English from Old French. The modern French word for “twelve” is “douze”, and for “dozen” is “douzaine”.

9 Roald who created Willy Wonka : DAHL

Roald Dahl’s name is Norwegian. Dahl’s parents were from Norway, although Dahl himself was Welsh. Dahl became one of the most successful authors of the twentieth century. Two of his most famous titles are “James and the Giant Peach” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.

Willy Wonka is the lead character in the 1964 novel by Roald Dahl called “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory”. Willy Wonka has been portrayed on the big screen twice. Gene Wilder was a fabulous Wonka in the 1971 version titled “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”, and Johnny Depp played him in the Tim Burton movie from 2005 called “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. I’m not too fond of Tim Burton movies, so I haven’t seen that one …

12 Scrabble pieces : TILES

The game of Scrabble has been produced in many international versions, and each of these editions has its own tile distribution to suit the local language. For example, in English we have two tiles worth ten points: one “Q” and one “Z”. If you play the game in French then there are five tiles worth ten points: one “K”, one “W”, one “X”, one “Y” and one “Z”.

13 Emcee’s lead-in : INTRO

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

18 In apple-pie order : NEAT

Something said to be in apple-pie order is tidy and well-ordered. The etymology of the phrase isn’t very clear, well, not to me …

22 “Hurry!” on a memo : ASAP!

As soon as possible (ASAP)

24 Windbags’ speeches : SCREEDS

A screed is a long speech or piece of writing, often one that is full of anger and emotion.

26 One of two in McDonald’s “M” : ARCH

The McDonald’s fast-food chain uses a stylized letter M as a logo, with the logo going by the name “Golden Arches”. Those Golden Arches are commonly integrated into the architecture of purpose-built McDonald’s restaurants.

27 In __ land: spaced out : LA-LA

“La-la land” is a euphemism for a state of unconsciousness or a dreamworld.

29 A billion years, in geology : EON

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

31 Tire leak sound : HISS

Here’s another example of terms that change as we cross the Atlantic Ocean. When talking about tires (“tyres” in Britain and Ireland), a defect can cause a “flat” (“puncture” in Britain and Ireland).

32 911 responder: Abbr. : EMT

The first use of a national emergency phone number was in 1937 in the UK, where the number 999 was introduced to call emergency services. If you need emergency services in the UK or Ireland to this day, you have to dial 999. It’s not really clear why 911 became the emergency number in the US. The most credible suggestion (to me) is that when it was introduced by the FCC in 1967, it was a number that “fit” with the numbers already used by AT&T for free services (211-long distance; 411-information; 611-repair service).

34 Pickled veggie : CUKE

Apparently scientists have shown that the inside of a cucumber (“cuke” for short) growing in a field can be up to twenty degrees cooler than the surrounding air. That’s something that was believed by farmers as early as the 1730s, at which time the phrase “cool as a cucumber” was coined.

37 Warhol of pop art : ANDY

American artist Andy Warhol was a leader in the pop art movement that emerged in the mid-1950s. Many of his works became the most expensive paintings ever sold. A 1963 Warhol canvas titled “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)” fetched over 100 million dollars in 2013.

39 Thor or Zeus : GOD

In Norse mythology, Thor was the son of Odin. Thor wielded a mighty hammer and was the god of thunder, lightning and storms. Our contemporary word “Thursday” comes from “Thor’s Day”.

In Greek mythology, Zeus served as the king of the Olympic gods, and the god of the sky and thunder. He was the child of Titans Cronus and Rhea, and was married to Hera. Zeus was the equivalent of the Roman god Jupiter, who had similar realms of influence.

55 Word on an octagonal sign : STOP

In the US, a “stop” road sign is red and octagonal.

57 Legal claim on property : LIEN

A lien is a right that one has to retain or secure someone’s property until a debt is paid. When an individual takes out a car loan, for example, the lending bank is usually a lien holder. The bank releases the lien on the car when the loan is paid in full.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Hand-dyeing method : BATIK
6 Alaskan malamute team’s burden : SLED
10 __ Field: Mets’ home : CITI
14 Lose strength : ABATE
15 Attire for Caesar : TOGA
16 Closely related : AKIN
17 “Really!” : SURE ENOUGH!
19 Pinball flub : TILT
20 Metal-shaping tool : STAMPER
21 Defame verbally : SLANDER
23 Fifth Avenue retailer : SAKS
25 Final word : SAY-SO
26 Even though : ALBEIT
30 Low-cost and inferior : CHEAPO
33 Early synthetic fiber : RAYON
34 Pinch, as piecrust : CRIMP
35 D.C.’s nation : USA
38 Kilt-wearing family : CLAN
39 Hotel visitor : GUEST
40 Soon, to a bard : ANON
41 Rogue computer in “2001” : HAL
42 Uses a fireplace tool : POKES
43 Sci-fi robot : DROID
44 Really rich : LOADED
46 With dexterity : DEFTLY
47 Davis Jr. of the Rat Pack : SAMMY
49 Pig’s meal : SLOP
51 Source of maple syrup : TREE SAP
54 One of 12 at the Last Supper : APOSTLE
59 Straight from the mouth : ORAL
60 “Really!” : FOR CERTAIN!
62 Subside : WANE
63 Cleveland’s lake : ERIE
64 Carried in a bag : TOTED
65 The “S” in CBS: Abbr. : SYST
66 Gets hitched : WEDS
67 Reaches across : SPANS

Down

1 Deep choir voice : BASS
2 Share a boundary with : ABUT
3 “Gone With the Wind” estate : TARA
4 Checklist detail : ITEM
5 Represses, as emotions : KEEPS IN
6 Storied baby-bringing bird : STORK
7 Gehrig in Cooperstown : LOU
8 Dairy case dozen : EGGS
9 Roald who created Willy Wonka : DAHL
10 Bit of shuteye : CATNAP
11 “Really!” : I KID YOU NOT!
12 Scrabble pieces : TILES
13 Emcee’s lead-in : INTRO
18 In apple-pie order : NEAT
22 “Hurry!” on a memo : ASAP!
24 Windbags’ speeches : SCREEDS
26 One of two in McDonald’s “M” : ARCH
27 In __ land: spaced-out : LA-LA
28 “Really!” : BY ALL MEANS!
29 A billion years, in geology : EON
31 Tire leak sound : HISS
32 911 responder: Abbr. : EMT
34 Pickled veggie : CUKE
36 Gardener’s bagful : SOIL
37 Warhol of pop art : ANDY
39 Thor or Zeus : GOD
40 Comics bark : ARF!
42 Forks over : PAYS
43 Kicks out of the country : DEPORTS
45 Brunch fare made with 8-Down : OMELET
46 Dimwit : DOPE
47 Stashes in a hold : STOWS
48 Assortment : ARRAY
50 Shoe strings : LACES
52 Not very many : A FEW
53 Skin opening : PORE
55 Word on an octagonal sign : STOP
56 Brit’s goodbye : TA-TA
57 Legal claim on property : LIEN
58 Comes to a halt : ENDS
61 Get __ of: dump : RID

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 22 Feb 21, Monday”

  1. THANK YOU!!! Love trying to work your daily puzzle in my AJC newspaper and ….today…I GOT THEM ALL RIGHT BY MYSELF!!! Usually have to go to your site after I’ve given up on a few or sometimes at the end of the week, a lot.
    Dr. says working crosswords helps me keep my 79 year old brain working better.
    Keep it going!

  2. A “no-brainer” one today. Not complaining but I enjoy crossword puzzles
    and this one didn’t keep me occupied nearly long enough! We humans are
    never satisfied, are we??

  3. Completed this “no peek” at the four long answers – and guessed the theme as YES! But it looks like the theme is really REALLY!.

  4. I consider Sammy Davis, Jr. to be the epitome of a complete entertainer. A great dancer, comedian and actor with a singing voice that rivalled Sinatra. I was fortunate enough to watch him several times in Las Vegas and was mesmerised by his enthusiasm and ability to connect with the audience.

    Was “La-La Land” originally intended to berate Los Angeles due to Hollywood’s fanciful antics?

    Bill: Is the Hill of Tara an actual place in Ireland? If so, what is it’s history?

  5. We got our first 100% score today. No great shakes on time and didn’t
    know the windbags’ speeches; got by fills across.

    Tricky in places, but fun to succeed.

    Hi to A Nonny Muss and Wayne Sanford.

  6. Greetings y’all!!🐧

    Hi John!!
    Easy Monday. A well done grid, I think.

    “Open the pod bay doors, HAL.” 🙃 I’m compelled quote that line every time HAL shows up in a grid….

    I always thought SCREED only referred to something written, not spoken. Now I know.

    Be well ~~🤗

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