LA Times Crossword 8 Feb 21, Monday

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Constructed by: Jared Goudsmit
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: B and B

Themed answers are are two-word phrases starting with B AND B:

  • 38A Inn offering a morning meal, briefly … or a hint to six puzzle answers : B AND B
  • 17A Foamy tubful for unwinding : BUBBLE BATH
  • 27A Lumber on a diamond : BASEBALL BAT
  • 47A Bryan Cranston crime drama : BREAKING BAD
  • 62A Fish-and-chips coating : BEER BATTER
  • 3D Infant’s source of nourishment : BABY BOTTLE
  • 30D Icon with a left-facing arrow : BACK BUTTON

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

Bill’s time: 6m 24s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Swedish pop group with the hit “Chiquitita” : ABBA

The title of the ABBA hit “Chiquitita” translates from Spanish into “little girl”, The song was released in English, and became a great hit. None of the members of ABBA speak Spanish, but they managed to put together a Spanish version anyway.

10 Trojan War hero : AJAX

Ajax was a figure in Greek mythology, and was the cousin of Achilles. Ajax is an important figure in Homer’s “Iliad”. According to Homer, Ajax was chosen by lot to meet Hector in an epic duel that lasted a whole day. The duel ended in a draw.

14 Stroller, in Sheffield : PRAM

Another word used in the UK that’s rarely used over here is “pram”, which in my day was the most common term for what is called a “baby carriage” in the US. “Pram” is short for “perambulator”.

Sheffield is a city in the north of England, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Sheffield is famous for its production of steel, for being the setting of the film “The Full Monty” and … for being home to my alma mater, the University of Sheffield!

21 Mae __, first Black woman in space : JEMISON

Mae Jemison was a crew member on the Space Shuttle Endeavour on a 1992 mission, and as such became the first African-American woman to travel in space. She is also a big fan of “Star Trek” and appeared on an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. That made Jemison the first real astronaut to appear on any of the “Star Trek” shows.

23 Airer of Tyler Perry’s “The Oval” : BET

Black Entertainment Television (BET) is a TV network with programming primarily aimed at the African-American community. BET was launched in 1980, and is now owned by Viacom.

Tyler Perry is an actor, comedian and writer who is perhaps best known in front of the camera for his drag performances as a tough elderly woman named Madea. Perry also created the sitcom “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” that ran for eight seasons from 2006 until 2012.

“The Oval” is a soap opera created for the BET network by Tyler Perry. The series is set in the White House, with the title being a reference to the Oval Office.

25 “Last Week Tonight” network : HBO

“Last Week Tonight” is a satirical late-night talk show hosted by British comedian John Oliver. The HBO show shares a look and feel with Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show”, of which Oliver is an alumnus.

33 Deli sandwich, initially : BLT

The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

34 Nobelist Wiesel : ELIE

Elie Wiesel was a holocaust survivor, and is best known for his book “Night” that tells of his experiences in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. He was also the first recipient of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum Award, which was later renamed the Elie Wiesel Award in his honor.

38 Inn offering a morning meal, briefly … or a hint to six puzzle answers : B AND B

In the US, an intimate inn is a bed & breakfast (B&B). Traditionally, a bed & breakfast back in Ireland is more basic accommodation, and used to be much cheaper than a comparable hotel room.

41 Whole heap : SCAD

The origin of the word “scads”, meaning “lots and lots”, is unclear. That said, “scads” was used to mean “dollars” back in the mid-1800s.

47 Bryan Cranston crime drama : BREAKING BAD

The AMC drama “Breaking Bad” is a well-written show about a high school teacher stricken by lung cancer who turns to a life of crime to make money. It turns out that the teacher has a talent for making high-quality crystal meth. The show was created by Vince Gilligan who had spent many years as a producer and writer of “The X-Files”. There is a “Breaking Bad” spin-off show running on AMC called “Better Call Saul” that focuses on the life of lawyer Saul Goodman. To be honest, I enjoyed “Better Call Saul” even more than the original show …

Actor Bryan Cranston is best known today for playing Walter White in the crime drama “Breaking Bad”. Prior to joining that incredibly successful show, Cranston play Hal in the sitcom “Malcolm in the Middle”. He also had a recurring role on “Seinfeld” from 1994 to 1997, as Jerry’s dentist Dr. Tim Whatley.

50 Investigative journalist Nellie : BLY

“Nellie Bly” was a pen name used by American journalist Elizabeth Cochran. In 1888, Bly took a trip around the world, emulating the fictional trip of Phileas Fogg in “Around the World in Eighty Days”. She departed from New York and arrived back in San Francisco two days behind schedule, jeopardizing her goal of beating the “eighty days”. The owner of her newspaper chartered a private train for her and she made it back to New York in just over 72 days. Quite a woman …

52 Bird in Liberty Mutual ads : EMU

Liberty Mutual is an insurance company based in Boston. The business was founded in 1912 as the Massachusetts Employees Insurance Association (MEIA). Liberty Mutual has a famous advertising icon named LiMu Emu.

54 Ali of “Love Story” : MACGRAW

Ali MacGraw’s most famous role was the female lead in the 1970 film “Love Story”. MacGraw became romantically involved with Steve McQueen as they filmed “The Getaway” in 1972. The pair eventually wed, after they managed to unwind their first marriages. They divorced in 1978.

Erich Segal wrote two hit screenplays, namely “Yellow Submarine” (the Beatles’ animated movie) and “Love Story” (starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw). He wrote the novel “Love Story” after the screenplay. As the novel was published before the film was released, there is a popular misconception that the movie is based on the book.

62 Fish-and-chips coating : BEER BATTER

Beer is a common ingredient in batter used to coat foods before frying, Beer is a popular choice as the bubbles add lightness to the batter.

64 Old Russian ruler : CZAR

The term “czar” (also “tsar”) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time. We tend to use the “czar” spelling, as opposed to “tsar”, when we describe a person today with great power or authority, e.g. “Drug Czar”.

66 Caramel-filled candy : ROLO

Rolo was a hugely popular chocolate candy in Ireland when I was growing up. Rolo was introduced in the thirties in the UK, and is produced under license in the US by Hershey. I was a little disappointed when I had my first taste of the American version as the center is very hard and chewy. The recipe used on the other side of the Atlantic calls for a soft gooey center.

67 Shift and Tab : KEYS

The shift key on a modern keyboard is used primarily to type uppercase letters. The term “shift” is a hangover from typewriter keyboards. The shift keys on a typewriter are held down to “shift” either the type bar or the paper-bearing carriage in order to cause a capital version of the letter to imprint on the inked ribbon.

Like most features on our computer keyboards, the tab key is a hangover from the days of typewriters. When using a typewriter, making entries into a table was very tedious, involving lots of tapping on the spacebar and backspace key. So, a lever was added to typewriters that allowed the operator to “jump” across the page to positions that could be set by hand. Later this was simplified to a tab key which could be depressed, causing the carriage to jump to the next tab stop in much the same way that the modern tab key works on a computer.

69 Small bills : ONES

Conspiracy theorists love to point out “suspicious” symbols on the one-dollar bill. The pyramid on the bill is unfinished, with 13 steps. The number 13 has been associated with the occult, but it is also the number of original colonies that declared independence from Britain forming the United States. Not so suspicious after all …

Down

1 Police dept. alerts : APBS

An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

2 Very dry, as Champagne : BRUT

Sparkling wines can be classified according to sweetness. These classifications are, from driest to sweetest:

  • Brut Nature
  • Extra Brut
  • Brut
  • Extra Dry
  • Dry
  • Semi-Dry
  • Sweet

5 Help a robber, say : ABET

The word “abet” comes into English from the Old French “abeter” meaning “to bait” or “to harass with dogs” (literally “to make bite”). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of “abet” meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

7 Links org. : PGA

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) was founded in 1916 and today has its headquarters (unsurprisingly) in Florida, where so many golfers live. Back in 1916, the PGA was based in New York City.

The oldest type of golf course is a links course. The name “links” comes from the Old English word “hlinc” meaning “rising ground”. “Hlinc” was used to describe areas with coastal sand dunes or open parkland. As a result, we use the term “links course” to mean a golf course that is located at or on the coast, often amid sand dunes. The British Open is always played on a links course.

9 Greek goddess of wisdom : ATHENA

The Greek goddess Athena (sometimes “Athene”) is often associated with wisdom, among other attributes. In many representations. Athena is depicted with an owl sitting on her head. It is this linkage of the owl with the goddess of wisdom that led to today’s perception of the owl as being “wise”. Athena’s Roman counterpart was Minerva.

10 Trojan War hero : ACHILLES

Achilles is the protagonist in Homer’s “Iliad”. When Achilles was born, his mother attempted to make him immortal by dipping him into the River Styx. As he was held by the heel as he was immersed, this became the only vulnerable point on his body. Years later he was killed when a poisoned arrow struck him in the heel. That arrow was shot by Paris.

The ancient city of Troy was located on the west coast of modern-day Turkey. The Trojan War of Greek mythology was precipitated by the elopement of Helen, the wife of the king of Sparta, with Paris of Troy. The war itself largely consisted of a nine-year siege of Troy by the Greeks. We know most about the final year of that siege, as it is described extensively in Homer’s “Iliad”. The city eventually fell when the Greeks hid soldiers inside the Trojan Horse, which the Trojans brought inside the city’s walls. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts …

11 Blue birds : JAYS

The bird known as a “jay” is sometimes called a “magpie”, although the terms are not completely interchangeable.

12 Purina rival : ALPO

Alpo is a brand of dog food introduced by Allen Products in 1936, with “Alpo” being an abbreviation for “Allen Products”. Lorne Greene used to push Alpo in television spots, as did Ed McMahon and Garfield the Cat, would you believe?

Ralston Purina was founded in 1894 as Purina Mills, and originally supplied feed for farm animals. Most of Purina’s brand names include the word “Chow”, e.g. Purina Dog Chow, Purina Horse Chow and Purina Pig Chow. There’s even a Purina Monkey Chow.

13 Marvel-ous heroes? : X-MEN

The X-Men are a team of superheroes created by Stan Lee for Marvel Comics. Nowadays, the X-Men are perhaps best known as the subject of a series of movies, with Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine and Patrick Stewart playing Professor Xavier (or simply “Professor X”). Some very respected actors have also played the villains whom the X-Men have to battle. For example, the enemy called Magneto is portrayed by veteran Shakespearean actor Sir Ian McKellen.

Marvel Comics was founded in 1939 as Timely Comics, before becoming Atlas Comics in 1951 and eventually Marvel Comics in 1961. The “Marvel” brand had existed from day one, and Timely Comics’ first publication was “Marvel Comics #1” in October 1939. That first comic featured the superhero the Human Torch.

22 Retail complex : MALL

Surprisingly (to me!), our word “mall”, meaning “shady walk” or “enclosed shopping space”, comes from the Italian for “mallet”. All of our shopping-style malls are named for “The Mall” in St. James’s Park in London. This tree-lined promenade was so called as it used to be a famous spot to play the croquet-like game called “pall-mall”. The game derived its name from the Italian for ball (palla) and mallet “maglio”. The London thoroughfare called the Mall still exists, at one end of which is Buckingham Palace. Indeed, parallel to the Mall is a street called Pall Mall.

25 Cold War threat : H-BOMB

There are two classes of nuclear weapons, both of which get the energy for the explosion from nuclear reactions. The first nuclear bombs developed, called atomic bombs (A-bombs), use fission reactions. Uranium nuclei are split into smaller nuclei with the release of an awful lot of energy in the process. The second class of nuclear weapons are fusion bombs. These devices are called thermonuclear weapons or hydrogen bombs (H-bombs). In a fusion reaction, the nuclei of hydrogen isotopes are fused together to form bigger nuclei, with the release of even greater amounts of energy.

The term “Cold War” was coined by novelist George Orwell in a 1945 essay about the atomic bomb. Orwell described a world under threat of nuclear war as having a “peace that is no peace”, in a permanent state of “cold war”. The specific use of “cold war” to describe the tension between the Eastern bloc and the Western allies is attributed to a 1947 speech by Bernard Baruch, adviser to Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

28 Priest’s robe : ALB

An alb is a white, neck-to-toe vestment worn by priests, usually with a rope cord around the waist. The term alb comes from “albus”, the Latin word for “white”.

29 One-named “Chandelier” singer : SIA

“Sia” is the stage name of Australian singer Sia Furler from Adelaide. Sia is a cousin of Australian Christian Rock musician Peter Furler.

32 Bear in a kid’s bed : TEDDY

The stuffed toy known as a teddy bear was introduced in the early 1900s and was named for President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. The toy was inspired by a political cartoon that was drawn in 1902 showing President Roosevelt on a bear hunt and refusing to kill a black bear cub.

39 Name, as a knight : DUB

Kneel, and a monarch might “dub thee a knight” if you’re lucky. “Dub” is a specific term derived from Old English that was used to mean “make a knight”. As the knight was also given a knightly name at the same time, “dub” has come to mean “give someone a name”.

40 Bikini top : BRA

The origin of the word “bikini”, describing a type of bathing suit, seems very uncertain. My favorite story is that it is named after the Bikini Atoll, site of American A-bomb tests in the forties and fifties. The name “bikini” was chosen for the swim-wear because of the “explosive” effect it had on men who saw a woman wearing the garment!

43 Toffee candy bar : SKOR

Skor is a candy bar produced by Hershey’s. “Skor” is Swedish for “shoes”, and the candy bar’s wrapping features a crown that is identical to that found in the Swedish national emblem. What shoes have to do with candy, I don’t know …

45 Journalist __ Rogers St. Johns : ADELA

Adela Rogers St. Johns was a journalist, novelist and screenwriter from Los Angeles. St. Johns’ father was a good friend of William Randolph Hearst, and she secured her first job working for Hearst as a reporter on the “San Francisco Examiner”. St. Johns was most famous as what was then called a “girl reporter”, in the twenties and thirties. Much later in her life, she was a regular guest on the “Tonight Show” hosted by Jack Paar.

48 Author Allende : ISABEL

Isabel Allende is a Chilean writer, apparently the world’s most widely-read, Spanish-language author. Isabel is related to Salvador Allende, the ex-President of Chile.

53 Paris subway : METRO

The Paris Métro is the busiest underground transportation system in western Europe. The network carries about 4.5 million passengers a day, which is about the same ridership as the New York City Subway. The system took its name from the company that originally operated it, namely “La Compagnie du chemin de fer métropolitain de Paris”, which was shortened to “Métro”. The term “Metro” was then adopted for similar systems in cities all over the world.

54 Rocking Jagger : MICK

Even though Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have been the driving force behind the Rolling Stones for decades, they didn’t start the group. The band was the idea of guitarist and harmonica player Brian Jones, and it was he who invited Richards and Jagger to join, as well as Ian Stewart, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts to make an original lineup of six band members. Jones called the band “Rollin’ Stone” back then in 1962, named for the song by Muddy Waters. Jones was the leader, manager and decision maker for the first few years until songs written by Richards and Jagger became hits and he started to lose artistic control. In 1967, Jones was arrested for drug possession, and again in 1968. When his trouble with the law prevented him from getting a US work visa, Jones wasn’t able to accompany the Stones on a 1969 US tour. That was the last straw, it seems, and Jones and the Stones parted company. Famously, one month later, Jones was found dead, at the bottom of his swimming pool.

55 Axlike tool : ADZE

An adze (also “adz”) is similar to an axe, but is different in that the blade of an adze is set at right angles to the tool’s shaft. An axe blade is set in line with the shaft.

60 Greek matchmaker : EROS

As always seems to be the case with Greek gods, Eros and Aphrodite have overlapping spheres of influence. Aphrodite was the goddess of love between a man and a woman, and Eros was the god who stirred the passions of the male. The Roman equivalent of Aphrodite was Venus, and the equivalent of Eros was Cupid.

63 Tulane URL ending : EDU

Tulane University is a private research university in New Orleans, Louisiana. Tulane was founded in 1834 as the Medical College of Louisiana. The university was privatized with the aid of an endowment from philanthropist Paul Tulane in 1884, and as a result the school’s name was changed to Tulane University. The school’s sports teams use the name Tulane Green Wave, and the team mascot is Riptide the Pelican.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Swedish pop group with the hit “Chiquitita” : ABBA
5 Top dog : ALPHA
10 Trojan War hero : AJAX
14 Stroller, in Sheffield : PRAM
15 Give up, informally : BAG IT
16 Serenity “before the storm” : CALM
17 Foamy tubful for unwinding : BUBBLE BATH
19 Excessive publicity : HYPE
20 Needlelike engraving tools : STYLETS
21 Mae __, first Black woman in space : JEMISON
23 Airer of Tyler Perry’s “The Oval” : BET
24 Harmonic : TONAL
25 “Last Week Tonight” network : HBO
27 Lumber on a diamond : BASEBALL BAT
33 Deli sandwich, initially : BLT
34 Nobelist Wiesel : ELIE
35 Use the exit : LEAVE
36 On the __: quarreling : OUTS
38 Inn offering a morning meal, briefly … or a hint to six puzzle answers : B AND B
41 Whole heap : SCAD
42 Turns to soup, as ice cream : MELTS
44 Mystical vibe : AURA
46 Jest : KID
47 Bryan Cranston crime drama : BREAKING BAD
50 Investigative journalist Nellie : BLY
51 “Check it out for yourself!” : GO SEE!
52 Bird in Liberty Mutual ads : EMU
54 Ali of “Love Story” : MACGRAW
57 Artist’s board : PALETTE
61 Loafing around : IDLE
62 Fish-and-chips coating : BEER BATTER
64 Old Russian ruler : CZAR
65 Hosp. trauma pro : ER DOC
66 Caramel-filled candy : ROLO
67 Shift and Tab : KEYS
68 Praises highly : LAUDS
69 Small bills : ONES

Down

1 Police dept. alerts : APBS
2 Very dry, as Champagne : BRUT
3 Infant’s source of nourishment : BABY BOTTLE
4 Easygoing pace : AMBLE
5 Help a robber, say : ABET
6 Experiment sites : LABS
7 Links org. : PGA
8 Assassin’s assignment : HIT JOB
9 Greek goddess of wisdom : ATHENA
10 Trojan War hero : ACHILLES
11 Blue birds : JAYS
12 Purina rival : ALPO
13 Marvel-ous heroes? : X-MEN
18 Do not disturb : LET BE
22 Retail complex : MALL
24 Like many first-time workers : TEENAGE
25 Cold War threat : H-BOMB
26 Clearer, as a sky : BLUER
28 Priest’s robe : ALB
29 One-named “Chandelier” singer : SIA
30 Icon with a left-facing arrow : BACK BUTTON
31 Be of use to : AVAIL
32 Bear in a kid’s bed : TEDDY
37 Walks drunkenly : STAGGERS
39 Name, as a knight : DUB
40 Bikini top : BRA
43 Toffee candy bar : SKOR
45 Journalist __ Rogers St. Johns : ADELA
48 Author Allende : ISABEL
49 Period “ushered in” : NEW ERA
53 Paris subway : METRO
54 Rocking Jagger : MICK
55 Axlike tool : ADZE
56 Potter’s material : CLAY
57 Jab : PROD
58 Elementary lesson : ABCS
59 Marketing prefix : TELE-
60 Greek matchmaker : EROS
63 Tulane URL ending : EDU

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 8 Feb 21, Monday”

  1. 15:00 no errors…I failed to read the entire clue for38A and so I was unaware that there was a theme.
    Stay safe😀
    I actually got onto a website for a COVID shot only to have it shut down in the middle of me trying to get an appointment..I guess that’s what negative progress is?

  2. Do love Mondays!
    Haven’t seen the CZAR for a while.
    Had BreastmiLk before BABY BOTTLE until I figured the theme. I imagine a lot of people have BreastmiLk before BABY BOTTLE.

    Did not know SIA, ADELE, or JEMISON, and am unfamiliar with the expression BAG IT.
    PRAM should be indicated as an abbrev.
    I liked BREAKING BAD in the beginning, until our hero had to kill someone. My inmates would tell stories of thinking drug dealing was easy income until they got shot or stabbed or had to get violent. So, the show was realistic.

    1. @Jane – When you say you didn’t know “ADELE” I wonder if it might be because the answer was actually “ADELA”? ;-D>

  3. 6:19 no errors

    Interesting note about the origin of MALL.

    Nice refresher on Greek myths.

    Very cool to see Mae Jemison!

    Happy Monday!

  4. @A Nonny Muss
    Re FUSSPOT: As I’m sure you know, a lot of cluing in crosswords depends on mental association more than dictionary definitions to allow for varying clues for the same definition. FWIW, the latter part of that clue occurs with three or four different variations of the “straight definition”. So it just depends on what the setter at the time chooses to use.

    Re: Marching Bands. FWIW, BEQ posted a few of those to his site for several years (for free). Also, WSJ posts these and other variations (Rows Gardens, etc) to their site on Saturdays (variety puzzles). For the ones that don’t know: We’re talking about different variations of the standard crossword puzzles like this where clues are checked in different patterns (bands, hexagons, swirls, candy canes, etc) than the usual “across/down” you see in crosswords like this.

    1. @Glenn … I’m not at all sure what you mean by “depends on mental association more than dictionary definitions”. In my experience, even the most deceptive, misleading, punny clues almost invariably have a clear-cut interpretation that justifies the associated answer. (I think we’ve argued about this once orvtwic

      As for the word “fusspot”, I finally found this entry in a dictionary of idioms:

      “Old woman (informal, especially British English): (disapproving) a man who worries about things that are not important”. Their example of its usage is, “My boss is a real old woman. He gets so annoyed if I make even the smallest mistake.”

      The example rang a tiny bell for me and I now think that I actually have heard the usage, but it certainly didn’t come to mind when I was trying to make sense out of the cryptic clue. (And I still maintain that its use is ageist and sexist, but at least it’s on record somewhere.)

    2. Damn it! I was trying to compose a response and fumble-fingered my way to a premature post. I detest the way this interface works now! (What can happen, all too easily, on my iPad Mini is that the “POST COMMENT” button ends up just barely visible above the virtual keyboard, where a poorly aimed finger can easily hit it. Also, I just noticed that, under certain other conditions, the “return” button on the keyboard turns into a “GO” button, which can also be hit by accident. Add to that a completely useless“undo” button that was added to the keyboard a year or so ago, and you have a thoroughly unpleasant tool, filled with pitfalls. Grrrrr … 😳.)

      In any case, I was trying to insert a comment to the effect that, once again (mirabile dictu … 😜), we seem to be disagreeing about the nature of the cluing in the crossword puzzles we both do …

      And, as for the “Marching Bands” puzzles: I’ve now done more than fifty of them, mostly obtained from BEQ (though I’m aware of the others). My reason for mentioning them (which I neglected to state, I think) was simply that, unlike cryptics, I enjoy them a lot, their simple existence amazes me, and they sharpen my abilities to do “normal” crosswords in a way that I really appreciate.

  5. Greetings!!🦉

    I’m embarrassed to admit that I had to cheat for AJAX and ACHILLES….just don’t know Greek mythology, altho I’m pretty good on Roman. 🤔 Other than that, fun and easy puzzle.

    I don’t like the use of “crime drama” to describe BREAKING BAD– to me it’s a black comedy, most of the time anyway. And I always think of crike dramas as procedurals.

    Be well ~~🥂

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