LA Times Crossword 9 Feb 21, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Michael A. Macdonald
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Way to Go

Themed answers are common phrases, each ending with a WAY TO GO:

  • 60A Cry of approval … and what the end of each answer to a starred clue is : WAY TO GO!
  • 18A *Nostalgic place for a walk : MEMORY LANE
  • 27A *Place to pursue pleasure : PRIMROSE PATH
  • 47A *Place with no options : END OF THE ROAD
  • 62A *Evidence in white-collar crime : PAPER TRAIL

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

Bill’s time: 5m 21s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 One of the Three Bears : MAMA

The story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” was first recorded in 1837 in England, although the narrative was around before it was actually written down. The original fairy tale was rather gruesome, but successive versions became more family-oriented. The character that eventually became Goldilocks was originally an elderly woman, and the three “nameless” bears became Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear.

5 Pro concerned with Apr. 15 : CPA

Certified public accountant (CPA)

April 15th wasn’t always Tax Day in the US. The deadline for returns was March 1st from 1913-18, when it was moved to March 15th. Tax Day has been April 15th since 1955.

8 Like one liable for libel : SUABLE

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.

15 The Boston Bruins retired his #4 in 1979 : ORR

Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn’t skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking. While still 31 years old, in 1979, Orr became the youngest person inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Prior to that, in 1967, Orr became the youngest person named the NHL’s Rookie of the Year.

The Boston Bruins professional ice hockey team goes way back, and has been in existence since 1924. The National Hockey League back then was a Canadian-only league, but was expanded to include the US in 1923. The Bruins were the first US-team in the expanded league.

16 Like mosaic stones : INLAID

In the Middle Ages, mosaics were often dedicated to the Muses. The term “mosaic” translates as “of the Muses”.

20 Patella : KNEECAP

The patella is the kneecap. The bone’s Latin name is “patella”, which is a diminutive form of “patina”, the word for “pan”. The idea is that the kneecap is pan-shaped.

22 Sign of summer : LEO

Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 23 to August 22 are Leos.

23 D.C. figure : SEN

Senator (sen.)

24 Alabama march city : SELMA

The Bloody Sunday march took place between Selma and Montgomery, Alabama on 7 March 1965. The 600 marchers involved were protesting the intimidation of African-Americans registering to vote. When the marchers reached Dallas County, Alabama they encountered a line of state troopers reinforced by white males who had been deputized that morning to help keep the peace. Violence broke out with 17 marchers ending up in hospital, one nearly dying. Because the disturbance was widely covered by television cameras, the civil rights movement picked up a lot of support that day. The route of the march is memorialized as a US National Historic Trail called the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights Trail.

25 Porcine sounds : OINKS

“Porcine” means “of a pig”, coming into English via French from the Latin “porcus” meaning “pig”.

27 *Place to pursue pleasure : PRIMROSE PATH

According to the idiom, one might be “led down the primrose path”, meaning that one can be led astray or deceived. It’s likely that the phrase “primrose path” was coined by William Shakespeare, in “Hamlet”. Ophelia says:

Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,

Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,
Whiles, like a puff’d and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads

And recks not his own rede.

36 Song for a diva : ARIA

The term “diva” comes to us from Latin via Italian. “Diva” is the feminine form of “divus” meaning “divine one”. The word is used in Italy to mean “goddess” or “fine lady”, and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

38 Some shower components : METEORS

A meteoroid is a small rocky or metallic body travelling through space. Once in the atmosphere, the meteoroid is referred to as a “meteor” or “shooting star”. Almost all meteoroids burn up, but if one is large enough to survive and reach the ground then we call it a meteorite. The word “meteor” comes from the Greek “meteōros” meaning “high in the air”.

43 Plumbing concern : DRIP

“Plumbum” is Latin for “lead”, explaining why the symbol of the element in the Periodic Table is “Pb”. It also explains why the original lead weight on the end of a line used to check vertical was called a “plumb line”. And, as pipes were originally made of lead, it also explains why we would call in a “plumber” if one of those pipes was leaking.

52 Trivial, as issues : MINOR

Trivia are things of little consequence. “Trivia” is the plural of the Latin word “trivium” which means “a place where three roads meet”. Now that’s what I call a trivial fact …

59 Without end, to the Bard : E’ER

The original bards were storytellers, poets and composers of music in medieval Britain and Ireland, with the term coming from the Old Celtic word “bardos” that described a poet or singer. I guess the most famous bard was William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon.

62 *Evidence in white-collar crime : PAPER TRAIL

We are perhaps most familiar with blue-collar and white-collar classifications for groups of workers. There are many more “collar colours” that have been coined:

  • White collar – office worker
  • Blue collar – manual worker
  • Pink collar – service industry worker
  • Gold collar – academic, scientific or hi-tech worker
  • Red collar – government worker
  • No collar – artists and “free spirits”
  • Steel collar – robots who have replaced blue-collar workers

65 Dunkable cookie : OREO

How the Oreo cookie came to get its name seems to have been lost in the mists of time. One theory is that it comes from the French “or” meaning “gold”, a reference to the gold color of the original packing. Another suggestion is that the name is the Greek word “oreo” meaning “beautiful, nice, well-done”.

66 Aphrodite’s love : ADONIS

In Greek mythology, Adonis is a beautiful young god loved by Aphrodite. Adonis dies in a hunting accident (gored by a boar), but not before he gives Aphrodite a child. Adonis was originally a Phoenician god “absorbed” into Greek lore (Phoenicia is modern day Lebanon). The child born of Adonis to Aphrodite was called Beroe, after which is named Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon. We also use the term “adonis” to mean “beautiful male”.

67 Web address : URL

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a Uniform Resource Locator (URL).

Down

1 Batman and Robin wore them : MASKS

Batman and Robin are somewhat unique among their superhero compatriots in that they have no special powers, just a whole load of cool gadgets. Batman is sometimes referred to as the Caped Crusader, Robin as the Boy Wonder, and the pair as the Dynamic Duo.

3 Type of mushroom : MOREL

The morel is that mushroom with the honeycomb-like structure on the cap. Morels are highly prized, especially in French cuisine. They should never be eaten raw as they are toxic, with the toxins being removed by thorough cooking.

5 Robin Cook’s breakout 1977 novel : COMA

Robin Cook is a novelist from New York who writes thrillers dealing with medical situations. Cook’s first major novel, 1977’s “Coma”, was made into a 1978 feature film directed by Michael Crichton and starring Geneviève Bujold and Michael Douglas. Cook is himself a physician, and at one point served as a doctor and aquanaut with the US Navy’s SEALAB program.

9 Break up, as a bovine team : UNYOKE

A yoke is a wooden beam used between a pair of animals so that they are forced to work together.

Something described as bovine is related to a cow, ox or buffalo, indeed any ruminant in the genus Bos. “Bos” is the Latin for “cow”, and “bovinus” a Late Latin derivative term.

13 First home : EDEN

According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers, including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

19 Potpourri : OLIO

“Olio” is a term meaning “hodgepodge, mixture” that comes from the mixed stew of the same name. The stew in turn takes its name from the Spanish “olla”, the clay pot used for cooking.

The French term “pot pourri” literally translates literally to “rotten pot”, but in France it used to mean “stew”. Over time, the term “potpourri” evolved in English usage to mean a “medley”, and eventually a mixture of dried flowers and spices.

21 Pool shot : CAROM

A carom is a ricochet, the bouncing of some projectile off a surface. “Carom” has come to describe the banking of a billiard ball, the bouncing of the ball off the side of the table.

25 Said, “I’ll have the lobster,” say : ORDERED

A male lobster is called a cock, and a female a hen. A lobster weighing less than a pound is called a chicken.

30 Seed cover : ARIL

The casing surrounding many seeds is called the aril, and it may be quite fleshy. This fruit-like characteristic makes it desirable as a food and hence aids in the dispersion of the seeds.

33 Went in a taxi : RODE

We call cabs “taxis”, a word derived from “taximeter cabs” that were introduced in London in 1907. A taximeter was an automated meter designed to record distance travelled and fare to be charged. The term “taximeter” evolved from “taxameter”, with “taxa” being Latin for “tax, charge”.

39 “__ the ramparts … ” : O’ER

The words “o’er the ramparts we watched” come from “The Star Spangled Banner” written by Francis Scott Key.

A rampart is a raised embankment, mound of earth, or length of wall that is used as a fortification. Ramparts often surround castles and forts.

40 P-like Greek letter : RHO

Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter “p”, although it is equivalent to the Roman letter R.

41 Sordid : SEAMY

We’ve used “seamy” to mean “the least pleasant, the worst” since the 1600s. The idea comes from the seamed side of a sewn garment being the less attractive.

44 Author of macabre tales : POE

Edgar Allan Poe (EAP) lived a life of many firsts. Poe is considered to be the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He was also the first notable American author to make his living through his writing, something that didn’t really go too well for him as he was always financially strapped. In 1849 he was found on the streets of Baltimore, delirious and in dire need of medical help. Poe died a few days later in hospital at 40 years of age.Edgar Allan Poe (EAP) lived a life of many firsts. Poe is considered to be the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He was also the first notable American author to make his living through his writing, something that didn’t really go too well for him as he was always financially strapped. In 1849 he was found on the streets of Baltimore, delirious and in dire need of medical help. Poe died a few days later in hospital at 39 years of age.

48 Spenser’s “The __ Queene” : FAERIE

“The Faerie Queene” is an epic poem by Edmund Spenser. It is one of the longest poems written in the English language.

49 Fly to avoid : TSETSE

The tsetse fly is responsible for the transmission of sleeping sickness, a disease that is more correctly called African trypanosomiasis. The disease is only observed in humans who have been bitten by a tsetse fly that is infected with the trypanosome parasitic protozoan.

50 Bonn mister : HERR

In German, a “Herr” (Mr.) is married to a “Frau” (Mrs.), and they live together in a “Haus” (house).

After WWII, Bonn was chosen as the capital of West Germany. That choice was promoted by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer who was from the area. After German reunification, the nation’s capital was moved to Berlin.

53 Like Odin and Loki : NORSE

In Norse mythology, Odin was the chief of the gods. He is usually depicted as having one eye, reflecting the story of how he gave one of his eyes in exchange for wisdom.

Loki is a god appearing in Norse mythology. In one story about Loki, he was punished by other gods for having caused the death of Baldr, the god of light and beauty. Loki is bound to a sharp rock using the entrails of one of his sons. A serpent drips venom which is collected in a bowl, and then his wife must empty the venom onto Loki when the bowl is full. The venom causes Loki great pain, and his writhing results in what we poor mortals experience as earthquakes.

54 Curved moldings : OGEES

An ogee is a type of S-curve. Specifically, it is a figure consisting of two arcs that curve in opposite directions (like an S) but both ends of the curve end up parallel to each other (which is not necessarily true for an S).

56 Australian gem : OPAL

97% of the world’s opals come from Australia, so it’s no surprise perhaps that the opal is the national gemstone of the country. The state of South Australia provides the bulk of the world’s production, i.e. about 80%.

58 Grand-scale poetry : EPOS

“Epos” is a Greek word for a story or a poem. We have absorbed the term into English with the same meaning. We also use it in English to mean “epic”, i.e. a long narrative poetic work featuring heroic deeds and ventures.

63 Sunny pair? : ENS

There is a pair of letters N (ens) in the word “sunny”.

64 Arctic diving bird : AUK

Auks are penguin-like sea birds that live in colder northern waters including the Arctic. Like penguins, auks are great swimmers, but unlike penguins, auks can fly.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 One of the Three Bears : MAMA
5 Pro concerned with Apr. 15 : CPA
8 Like one liable for libel : SUABLE
14 Tons : A LOT
15 The Boston Bruins retired his #4 in 1979 : ORR
16 Like mosaic stones : INLAID
17 Ilk : SORT
18 *Nostalgic place for a walk : MEMORY LANE
20 Patella : KNEECAP
22 Sign of summer : LEO
23 D.C. figure : SEN
24 Alabama march city : SELMA
25 Porcine sounds : OINKS
27 *Place to pursue pleasure : PRIMROSE PATH
33 Brought back to its original condition : RESTORED
36 Song for a diva : ARIA
37 Sturdy tree : OAK
38 Some shower components : METEORS
42 Overnight option : INN
43 Plumbing concern : DRIP
45 Fixed, as old shoes : REHEELED
47 *Place with no options : END OF THE ROAD
51 Relaxed : EASED
52 Trivial, as issues : MINOR
56 Have debts : OWE
59 Without end, to the Bard : E’ER
60 Cry of approval … and what the end of each answer to a starred clue is : WAY TO GO!
62 *Evidence in white-collar crime : PAPER TRAIL
65 Dunkable cookie : OREO
66 Aphrodite’s love : ADONIS
67 Web address : URL
68 Measure of versatility : USES
69 Renter : LESSEE
70 Map part : KEY
71 Measure of proficiency : TEST

Down

1 Batman and Robin wore them : MASKS
2 Without help : ALONE
3 Type of mushroom : MOREL
4 NFL passing stat : ATTEMPT
5 Robin Cook’s breakout 1977 novel : COMA
6 Pre-cooking job : PREP
7 Limb on a rest : ARM
8 Fire alerts : SIRENS
9 Break up, as a bovine team : UNYOKE
10 Without exception : ALL
11 Ewe sounds : BAAS
12 One drawn in the sand : LINE
13 First home : EDEN
19 Potpourri : OLIO
21 Pool shot : CAROM
25 Said, “I’ll have the lobster,” say : ORDERED
26 Health resort : SPA
28 Rage : IRE
29 Bumped into : MET
30 Seed cover : ARIL
31 Diner sticker : TINE
32 Round of applause : HAND
33 Went in a taxi : RODE
34 Merit : EARN
35 Icy street risk : SKID
39 “__ the ramparts … ” : O’ER
40 P-like Greek letter : RHO
41 Sordid : SEAMY
44 Author of macabre tales : POE
46 Remove from text : EDIT OUT
48 Spenser’s “The __ Queene” : FAERIE
49 Fly to avoid : TSETSE
50 Bonn mister : HERR
53 Like Odin and Loki : NORSE
54 Curved moldings : OGEES
55 Fowl pole : ROOST
56 Australian gem : OPAL
57 Walk in the shallows : WADE
58 Grand-scale poetry : EPOS
60 Line with a plug : WIRE
61 One on your side : ALLY
63 Sunny pair? : ENS
64 Arctic diving bird : AUK

10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 9 Feb 21, Tuesday”

  1. No errors today; pretty easy puzzle. Again we see the oft-used word
    “ogee” (or “ogees” in this case). It seems it is used quite often as a fill-in
    word.

    1. Aha! I see what you did there! … 😜 (And I should have known you’re way too careful to have left a “caps lock” on accidentally … 🙂.)

      And, since I’m here: a pedestrian 8:02, no errors.

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