LA Times Crossword 6 Feb 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: Ezra Brauner
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 10m 13s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 Early program marketing method : SHAREWARE

Shareware is software that is distributed for free, although there is usually a request to pay a non-compulsory license fee.

16 Clarinetist Shaw : ARTIE

Artie Shaw was a composer, bandleader and jazz clarinetist. Shaw’s real name was Arthur Jacob Arshawsky, born in New York City in 1910. One of his many claims to fame is that he (a white bandleader) hired Billie Holiday (a black vocalist) and toured the segregated South in the late thirties. Holiday chose to leave the band though, due to hostility from Southern audiences back then. Artie Shaw was married eight times in all. The list of his wives includes the actresses Lana Turner and Ava Gardner, as well as Betty Kern, daughter of songwriter Jerome Kern.

19 Byron’s “__ Walks in Beauty” : SHE

“She Walks in Beauty” is one of the most famous poems written by Lord Byron. The poem is very descriptive of an elegant and beautiful woman. He wrote it the day after seeing his cousin, who was in mourning, walking by in a black dress set with spangles. The opening lines are:

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies

21 24-Across’ love, with “the” : … BEAST
(24A 21-Across’ love : BELLE)

“Beauty and the Beast” is a fairy tale that was written by novelist Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. Titled “La belle et la bête” in French, the story was first published in 1756. The “beauty” in the tale is named “Belle”.

22 “God in His wisdom made the fly / And then forgot to tell us why” poet Nash : OGDEN

Ogden Nash was a poet from Rye, New York who is remembered for his light and quirky verse. Nash had over 500 such works published between 1931 and 1972.

27 Satisfied for now, with “over” : TIDED …

Something is said to tide one over if it (often money) will see one through a rough patch. The idea behind the verbal phrase “tide over” is that a swelling tide can carry one over an obstacle without effort, as perhaps a reserve fund might keep the lenders from one’s door. The use of “tide” in this sense might come from some famous lines spoken by Brutus in the play “Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare

There is a Tide in the affairs of men,
Which taken at the Flood, leads on to Fortune

29 Trip-taking aid : LSD

LSD (known colloquially as “acid”) is lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist named Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

38 Justice who clerked for Thurgood Marshall : ELENA KAGAN

Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States from 2009 until 2010, when she replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the first female US Solicitor General and the fourth female US Supreme Court justice. Kagan also served as the first female dean of Harvard Law School from 2003 to 2009.

44 Uses Venmo, say : PAYS

Venmo is a smartphone payment app that is now owned by PayPal. The first version of the product was introduced in 2009 by two entrepreneurs who had met as freshman students at the University of Pennsylvania. They sold the company in 2012 for over $26 million, and then PayPal acquired it the following year for a whopping $800 million. I wonder if PayPal ever buys blogs …

50 Bridge action : REBID

The version of the card game bridge that is played mostly today is contract bridge. Auction bridge is a similar game, and is a precursor to contract bridge.

51 Harley-Davidson’s NYSE symbol : HOG

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) can give some quite descriptive ticker symbols to companies, for example:

  • Anheuser-Busch (BUD, for “Budweiser”)
  • Molson Coors Brewing Company (TAP, as in “beer tap”)
  • Steinway Musical Instruments (LVB, for “Ludwig van Beethoven”)
  • Sotheby’s (BID, for the auction house)

The Harley-Davidson motorcycle company was founded in the very early 1900s by two childhood friends, William Harley and Arthur Davidson, . Their first design was in effect an engine hooked up to a pedal bicycle, but the 116 cc cylinder capacity simply couldn’t generate enough power to get up the hills of their native city of Milwaukee. The pair came up with a redesigned model that had a cylinder capacity of 405 cc, which the partners built in a shed at the back of Davidson’s house. In 1906, the partners built their first factory, located where the company’s headquarters is to this day, on Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Famously, Harley motorcycles are nicknamed “hogs”.

57 The “O” in football’s OBJ : ODELL

Odell Beckham Jr. is a National Football League wide receiver from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 2014, “OBJ” made a much-applauded, one-handed catch while falling backwards to score a touchdown for the New York Giants against the Dallas Cowboys, a move that some have dubbed the greatest catch ever made.

59 Shemar’s “Criminal Minds” role : DEREK

Shemar Moore is an actor and former fashion model. Moore played Malcolm Winters on the soap opera “The Young and the Restless” for many years. More recently, he took on the lead role of Sergeant Hondo Harrelson on the TV show “S.W.A.T”.

“Criminal Minds” is a police drama that has aired on CBS since 2005. The stories revolve around the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico, Virginia.

60 Two-person exchange : TETE-A-TETE

A “tête-à-tête” is a one-on-one meeting, and a term that translates from French as “head-to-head”.

Down

1 Figures to protect, briefly : SSNS

The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an identity number to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income, so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So, from 1986 onward, it is a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, seven million dependents “disappeared” in 1987.

4 “Blood hath been shed __ now”: Macbeth : ERE

There is a superstition in the theatrical world that uttering the name “Macbeth” in a theater will bring disaster of some sort. To avoid this, the euphemism “the Scottish Play” is used instead.

8 Georgia neighbor : ARMENIA

Armenia is a landlocked country found east of Turkey, and is a former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR). Back in the year 301 CE, the ancient Kingdom of Armenia became the first nation in the world to adopt Christianity as its national religion.

The former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) of Georgia is now an independent country. Supposedly, the Georgian people were given their name because they especially revered St. George. The flag of Georgia does indeed feature five St. George’s crosses.

9 Oboist’s need : REED

The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”.

10 Rihanna’s birthplace : BARBADOS

Now that Barbados is an independent country, by all measures it is a very developed country. Using the Human Development Index (HDI), Barbados is the third most developed country in the western hemisphere, coming up right behind the US and Canada.

Singer Rihanna was born and grew up on the island of Barbados and moved to the US when she was 16-years-old to pursue a singing career. The name “Rihanna” is derived from the Welsh name “Rhiannon”. And, Rihanna sometimes goes by the nickname “RiRi”, which is also the name of her line of beauty products.

11 One of the archangels : URIEL

Uriel is one of the archangels in the Jewish and Christian traditions. Uriel makes a few notable appearances in literature: in John Milton’s epic poem “Paradise Lost” and in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem “Uriel”.

24 Everything __ : BAGEL

An everything bagel has everything on it, i.e. a variety of traditional seasonings like poppy seeds, salt, and sesame seeds.

25 Food recall trigger : E COLI

Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.

34 Common toothbrush material : NYLON

The polymer known as “nylon” was developed by Dupont in the 1930s. The first application for the new product was as bristles in toothbrushes, in 1938. The second application became more famous. The first stockings made from nylon were produced in 1940, and since then stockings have been known as “nylons”. The polymer was developed as a replacement for silk, which was in short supply during WWII.

39 Ballet whose title heroine dies in Act I : GISELLE

“Giselle” is a charming ballet by French composer Adolphe Adam that was first performed in Paris in 1841. The title character is a peasant girl who dies from a broken heart when she discovers that her lover is betrothed to another. Giselle is resurrected by supernatural women called the Wilis, who dance mortal men to their death. It seems that the hero of the piece is doomed, but love conquers all.

43 Barrio market : BODEGA

“Bodega” is a Spanish term describing a winery, or these days a grocery store.

“Barrio” is the name given to an urban district in Spanish-speaking countries.

45 With 48-Down, only its Touch is still in production : APPLE
48 See 45-Down : IPOD

The iPod Touch is a portable media player, personal digital assistant and gaming console with a Wi-Fi capability. Essentially, I think it’s a stripped-down version of an iPhone.

50 Mesmerized : RAPT

Franz Mesmer was a German physician, and the person who coined the phrase “animal magnetism”. Back then the term described a purported magnetic field that resided in the bodies of animate beings. Mesmer also lent his name to our term “mesmerize”.

53 Trait carrier : GENE

A gene is a section of a chromosome that is responsible for a particular characteristic in an organism. For example, one gene may determine eye color and another balding pattern. We have two copies of each gene, one from each of our parents, with each copy known as an allele.

56 Saigon New Year : TET

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Big name : SUPERSTAR
10 Put together : BUILT
15 Early program marketing method : SHAREWARE
16 Clarinetist Shaw : ARTIE
17 Passing words : NONE FOR ME
18 Comes up : RISES
19 Byron’s “__ Walks in Beauty” : SHE
20 Pressed : URGED
21 24-Across’ love, with “the” : … BEAST
22 “God in His wisdom made the fly / And then forgot to tell us why” poet Nash : OGDEN
23 Campus building word : HALL
24 21-Across’ love : BELLE
27 Satisfied for now, with “over” : TIDED …
29 Trip-taking aid : LSD
32 Biting : ACID
33 Alarmist : FEARMONGER
35 Been in the fridge for too long : GONE BAD
37 “That I can answer!” : EASY ONE!
38 Justice who clerked for Thurgood Marshall : ELENA KAGAN
40 Bottom-line bummer : LOSS
41 Spill preventer : LID
42 Shroud : BEDIM
43 Presages : BODES
44 Uses Venmo, say : PAYS
46 Held for a more opportune time : SAT ON
48 Not suitable : INAPT
50 Bridge action : REBID
51 Harley-Davidson’s NYSE symbol : HOG
54 Household nickname : POPPA
55 Self-reflection period : ALONE TIME
57 The “O” in football’s OBJ : ODELL
58 Ready to be turned on : PLUGGED IN
59 Shemar’s “Criminal Minds” role : DEREK
60 Two-person exchange : TETE-A-TETE

Down

1 Figures to protect, briefly : SSNS
2 “Here comes trouble!” : UH-OH!
3 Glazier’s job : PANE
4 “Blood hath been shed __ now”: Macbeth : ERE
5 Harbor : REFUGE
6 Symbol of military power : SWORD
7 Marketing tailored to personal tastes : TARGETED AD
8 Georgia neighbor : ARMENIA
9 Oboist’s need : REED
10 Rihanna’s birthplace : BARBADOS
11 One of the archangels : URIEL
12 “We’re cool” : IT’S ALL GOOD
13 Rests : LIES
14 Final, e.g. : TEST
22 Long-ago : OLDEN
23 10-Across dude : HE-MAN
24 Everything __ : BAGEL
25 Food recall trigger : E COLI
26 Binder filler, perhaps : LINED PAPER
28 Fervently hope for : DREAM ABOUT
30 Make __ : SENSE
31 Get ready, as for a fancy dinner : DRESS
33 Forges : FAKES
34 Common toothbrush material : NYLON
36 Speech that’s hard to follow : BABY TALK
39 Ballet whose title heroine dies in Act I : GISELLE
43 Barrio market : BODEGA
45 With 48-Down, only its Touch is still in production : APPLE
47 Trace amount : TINGE
48 See 45-Down : IPOD
49 Joint : NODE
50 Mesmerized : RAPT
51 Surprise party cry : HIDE!
52 Leave unsaid : OMIT
53 Trait carrier : GENE
56 Saigon New Year : TET

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 6 Feb 21, Saturday”

  1. Well this was a real klunker for me. Couldn’t get any rhythm. I would get a word then nothing…

    42A and 7D and 39D got me. BEDIM GISELLE and TARGETED AD (as opposed to AT) … don’t know many operas / ballets so no help with that.

    I got 60A even though it was a French reference.. HA!

  2. Typical hard Saturday for me, but I finally got it done without looking anything up. I have no idea why now, but I recently read about both Elena Kagan and Rihanna. That’s what I get for spending most of my time sitting at the computer.

  3. 13:49, no errors. Good puzzle, though I briefly had BIB before LID, MAKES before FAKES, and BUILD before BUILT.

    Yesterday brought me one of those “déjà vu” moments sometimes discussed here: Two of the seven or eight puzzles I did used the (somewhat unusual?) word “FUSSPOT”! Unfortunately for those who imagine that setters are conspiring with one another to defeat us poor solvers, it turns out that the apparent synchronicity of the two events was indeed illusory, as the puzzles in question were created almost five years apart. (Of course, one is tempted to speculate about the temporal consequences of a newly-created puzzle on the entire space/time continuum … 😜.)

    Actually, “FUSSPOT” appears more frequently in puzzles than I would have thought. A site calling itself “crosswordgiant” gives an extensive list of clues that have been used for it, including this one (presumably from a British-style cryptic crossword): “Old woman following American game without resistance”. Anyone want to take a shot at explaining that to me? … 😜

  4. LAT: Finally finished in a time too long to keep track of. Almost gave up because of difficulty in the SW corner. What really threw me off was entering “babbling” instead of “babytalk.” Also I didn’t know “OBJ” or “Venmo.”

  5. No errors, but wasn’t sure about that until I looked up Bill’s answers.
    I was lucky to know a few proper names i.e. Artie and Ogden to get me
    started. I looked up the 59-across name which turned out to be Derek.
    Node for joint I still don’t understand. Is it a term for marijuana joint?

    1. I’m hung up on mode for joint, also. Both are anatomical terms, but much different structures. Slang for pot, that we’re unaware of?

  6. 14:48 no errors

    A node can be a place where two wires in a network meet, or join.

    If you like 43D, I can recommend looking up Bodega Cats on the social media platform of your choice.

  7. @A nonny muss
    Cryptics are a lot of fun. Usually. Way I’m reading this: “Old woman” is the straight definition. “game” is a sport. So “following” (F) American (US) game (SPORT) without resistance (R) = FUSSPOT.

    @MaryS
    It’s a dictionary equivalency (they’re synonyms in a very loosely drawn way).

    1. Thanks, Glenn … and I’m sure you’re right. A year or so ago, I had some notion of getting into cryptics, but I gave it up pretty quickly and it now seems that I’ve forgotten what little I learned. (It also appears that the Brits interpret “FUSSPOT” a bit differently than we USians do … 😜.)

  8. 11:37, and same result as yesterday… with these worthless clues, these puzzles are nigh-unsolveable. What a waste of time.

  9. Fun but challenging Saturday for me; took 43:56 with 4 errors, all in the NW corner. I really have no excuse as I should have gotten them, but I thought a glazier dealt with tiles and I completely forgot about Armenia…

    The rest was done in about 25 minutes. Good puzzle.

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