LA Times Crossword 25 Mar 21, Thursday

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Constructed by: Emma Oxford
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Four Kings

Themed clues are identical, i.e. “King”:

  • 17A King : HIGHEST FACE CARD
  • 33A King : MALE MONARCH
  • 41A King : TYPE OF COBRA
  • 57A King : POWERFUL CHECKER

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

Bill’s time: 6m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Pacific island called “The Gathering Place” : OAHU

Oahu has been called “The Gathering Place”, although the word “O’ahu” has no translation in Hawaiian. It seems that “O’ahu” is simply the name of the island. One story is that it is named after the son of the Polynesian navigator who first found the islands. The island is made up of two volcanoes, Wai’anae and Ko’olau, joined together by a broad valley, the O’ahu Plain.

5 Lots of land : ACRES

One acre is equivalent to 43,560 square feet.

14 Cold-shoulder : SHUN

To give someone the cold shoulder is to ignore the person deliberately. A little research into the etymology of “cold shoulder” reveals that there’s some dispute over the origin of the phrase. To me, the most credible suggestion is that the term was coined by Sir Walter Scott in his writings, and he simply used the imagery of someone “turning away, coldly”, to suggest the act of ignoring someone. Less credible is the suggestion that unwelcome visitors to a home in days gone by might be offered a “cold shoulder” of mutton, rather than a hot meal.

15 Material from the French for a Scandinavian country : SUEDE

Suede is leather made from the underside of an animal’s skin, usually the skin from a lamb. As such it is very soft, although not as durable as leather made from the exterior skin. The soft leather was, and is still used for making gloves. Back in 1859 these gloves were called “gants de Suede” in France, or “gloves of Sweden”. So, the name “suede” comes from the French word for Sweden.

Strictly speaking, Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe that covers the kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The broader region that includes Finland and Iceland is referred to locally as “the Nordic countries”.

16 MLB shortstop who agreed to play third because Jeter was already the shortstop : A-ROD

Baseball player Alex Rodriguez, nicknamed “A-Rod”, hit his 600th home run on August 4th, 2010. He had hit his 500th home run exactly three years earlier, on August 4th, 2007, when he became the youngest player in Major League history to join the 500-home run club.

Derek Jeter played his entire professional baseball career with the New York Yankees, and was the team’s captain. Jeter is the all-time career leader for the Yankees in hits, games played, stolen bases and at bats. He is also the all-time leader in hits by a shortstop in the whole of professional baseball. Jeter’s performances in the postseason earned him the nicknames “Captain Clutch” and “Mr. November”. Jeter retired from the game in 2014.

20 Used, as china : ATE ON

The ceramic known as “porcelain” can be referred to as “china” or “fine china”, as porcelain was developed in China.

22 Mudville dud : CASEY

“Casey at the Bat” is a poem written in 1888 by Ernest Thayer, first published in the San Francisco Examiner. The poem became very popular due to repeated live performances in vaudeville by DeWolf Hopper. Casey played for the Mudville Nine, and the last line of the poem is “But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out.”

23 Theater section : LOGE

In most theaters and stadiums today, “loge” is the name given to the front rows of a mezzanine level. Loge can also be used for box seating.

25 “Queer Eye” fashion expert __ France : TAN

Tanveer “Tan” France is the fashion expert on the Netflix reboot of the reality show “Queer Eye”. Tan was born and raised in Britain, and immigrated to the US in 2015. He published a memoir in 2019 titled “Naturally Tan”.

“Queer Eye” is a reality TV show that was launched in 2003 as “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”. Each episode features a panel of gay professional experts in the fields of fashion and design giving a makeover to a straight man. The show was given a new life in 2018 when it was launched on Netflix as “Queer Eye” with a new “Fab Five” cast.

26 Clara Bow nickname : IT GIRL

Clara Bow was a fabulous silent film star, with her most famous movie being “It” from 1927. Clara Bow’s performance was so celebrated in the movie that she was forever to be known as the “It girl”. The term “it” was a euphemism for “sex appeal”, and that is what Clara Bow was known to “exude”. Bow applied her red lipstick in the shape of a heart, and women who copied this style were said to put on a “Clara Bow”.

35 Society newbie : DEB

“Deb” is short for “debutante”, which translates from French as “beginner” when referring to a female.

37 Kuwaiti ruler : EMIR

The State of Kuwait sits at the northern tip of the Persian Gulf, sharing a border to the north with Iraq. After WWI, Kuwait was a Protectorate within the British Empire and then gained independence from the UK in 1961. Iraq annexed Kuwait in 1990, which led to the Gulf War of 1990-1991.

38 Name synonymous with synonyms : ROGET

Peter Mark Roget was an English lexicographer. Roget was an avid maker of lists, apparently using the routine of list-making to combat depression, a condition he endured for most of his life. He published his famous thesaurus in 1852, with revisions and expansions being made years later by his son, and then in turn by his grandson.

39 Frosty glaze : HOAR

The Old English word “har” meant “gray, venerable, old”, and came into English as “hoar” (and later “hoary”) with the same meaning. The term “hoar-frost” dates back to the 13th century, and reflects the similarity of the white feathers of frost to the gray/white of an old man’s beard.

41 King : TYPE OF COBRA

“Cobra” is the name given to a group of snakes, some of which are in different families. The term is reserved for those snakes that can expand their neck ribs to create a hood. The name “cobra” is an abbreviated form of “cobra de capello” which translates from Portuguese as “snake with hood”.

43 Disco lights : STROBES

A strobe light is a device that produces regular flashes, like the light on top of a police car. The term derives from the Greek “strobos” meaning “twisting, whirling”.

46 “Who now the price of his dear blood doth __?”: Shak. : OWE

In William Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet”, Romeo’s friend Mercutio is fatally wounded by Tybalt in a duel. Romeo confronts Tybalt, and slays him for murdering his friend. Lady Capulet petitions the Prince of Verona for Romeo’s head, for slaying a Capulet. The patriarch of the house of Montague argues that Romeo was right to kill Tybalt, in revenge for Tybalt’s crime. The Prince notes,

Romeo slew him; he slew Mercutio.
Who now the price of his dear blood doth owe?

A compromise is reached. Romeo’s life is spared, but he is sent into exile.

47 Roman commoner : PLEB

In ancient Rome, the patricians were the members of the families in the ruling classes. Those Romans who were not patricians by birth were known as plebs.

48 Part of a 13-piece suit? : SPADE

Spades is one of the four suits in a standard deck of cards. The spade symbol represents the pike, a medieval weapon.

51 19th-century mystery writer with just one complete novel : POE

American author Edgar Allen Poe was noted mainly for his short stories and only wrote one complete novel in his short life, namely “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket”. The novel recounts the adventures of a young man who journeys to the South Seas aboard four different vessels. The book was to become an inspiration for the more famous “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville.

57 King : POWERFUL CHECKER

In the game of checkers, when a “man” reaches the other side of the board, it is promoted to “king”. The king is designated by placing a second piece on top of the first.

60 Short mystery writer? : ANON

Anonymous (anon.)

61 Patch plant : BRIAR

“Briar” (sometimes “brier”) is a generic name describing several plants that have thorns or prickles, including the rose. Famously, Br’er Rabbit lives in a briar patch.

62 23rd-century captain : KIRK

According to the storyline in “Star Trek”, Captain James Tiberius Kirk was born in Riverside, Iowa on March 22, 2233. The town of Riverside displays a plaque, noting Riverside as the “future birthplace of James T. Kirk.”

Down

1 Job safety org. : OSHA

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

2 “It’s __!”: SRO show headline : A HIT

Standing room only (SRO)

8 Dutch cheese : EDAM

Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

9 Champagne label word : SEC

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

11 Some S&L plans : IRAS

Savings and Loan (S&L)

24 “Hallelujah!” : GLORY BE!

The interjection “hallelujah!” means “praise ye the Lord!” The term comes from the Hebrew “halălūyāh” meaning “praise ye Yahweh”.

26 Chatted with, but not IRL : IMED

Even though instant messaging (sending and receiving IMs) has been around since the 1960s, it was AOL who popularized the term “instant message” in the eighties and nineties. The “AOL Instant Message” service was known as AIM.

In real life (IRL)

30 Snack with Red Velvet and Key Lime Pie varieties : OREO

Red Velvet Oreo cookies were introduced in 2015. They are red cookies sandwiching a cream cheese-flavored cream filling.

Key Lime Pie Oreo cookies were introduced as a limited edition promotion in 2015. They were graham-flavored cookies with a key-lime flavored creme filling.

31 Acrobat maker : ADOBE

Adobe Acrobat is the software used to create .pdf files. Most of us are more familiar with the associated application called Adobe Reader, because that’s what we use to read those .pdf files.

36 Frank’s cousin : BRAT

A bratwurst (sometimes “brat” in the US) is a German sausage. The name comes from “brät-” meaning “finely chopped meat”, and “Wurst” meaning “sausage”.

The frankfurter sausage that is typically used in a North American hot dog gets its name from Frankfurter Würstchen. The latter is a German sausage that is prepared by boiling in water, just like a hot dog frank.

44 Capybara, for one : RODENT

The capybara is the largest rodent in the world, and a native of South America. This huge animal is related to the tiny little guinea pig, a remarkable relationship given that a fully grown adult capybara can be over four feet long, and weigh up to 140 pounds.

47 Praline nut : PECAN

The pecan is the state nut of Alabama, Arkansas and California. Also, the pecan is the state tree of Texas.

A praline is a candy made out of nuts and sugar syrup. The first pralines were made in France in the 17th century for an industrialist named Marshal du Plessis-Praslin, who gave his name to the confection.

48 Unwanted email : SPAM

The term “spam”, used for unwanted email, is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch (which I’ve seen) the dialog is taken over by the word Spam, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So “spam” is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon …

49 Fried Dixie bread : PONE

“Pone” is another name for corn bread, and comes from the Powhatan term “apan” meaning “something baked”.

50 Badly off base : AWOL

MPs (military police officers) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).

56 Sacred cabinets : ARKS

The Torah ark is found in a synagogue, and is the ornamental container in which the Torah scrolls are stored. The word “Torah” best translates as “teaching” or “law”, I am told.

58 “The Sopranos” org. : FBI

“The Sopranos” is an outstanding television drama made by HBO that is a story about Italian-American mobsters in New Jersey. “The Sopranos” is regularly cited as one of the best TV series of all time. It’s “must see TV” …

59 Store door nos. : HRS

Hour (hr.)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Pacific island called “The Gathering Place” : OAHU
5 Lots of land : ACRES
10 Workshop gadget : VISE
14 Cold-shoulder : SHUN
15 Material from the French for a Scandinavian country : SUEDE
16 MLB shortstop who agreed to play third because Jeter was already the shortstop : A-ROD
17 King : HIGHEST FACE CARD
20 Used, as china : ATE ON
21 Belief ending : -ISM
22 Mudville dud : CASEY
23 Theater section : LOGE
25 “Queer Eye” fashion expert __ France : TAN
26 Clara Bow nickname : IT GIRL
29 By the seashore : COASTAL
33 King : MALE MONARCH
35 Society newbie : DEB
37 Kuwaiti ruler : EMIR
38 Name synonymous with synonyms : ROGET
39 Frosty glaze : HOAR
40 Place to relax : DEN
41 King : TYPE OF COBRA
43 Disco lights : STROBES
45 Pressing : URGENT
46 “Who now the price of his dear blood doth __?”: Shak. : OWE
47 Roman commoner : PLEB
48 Part of a 13-piece suit? : SPADE
51 19th-century mystery writer with just one complete novel : POE
53 Ristorante order : PASTA
57 King : POWERFUL CHECKER
60 Short mystery writer? : ANON
61 Patch plant : BRIAR
62 23rd-century captain : KIRK
63 Unfreeze : MELT
64 Golfer’s set : IRONS
65 Relaxing spots : SPAS

Down

1 Job safety org. : OSHA
2 “It’s __!”: SRO show headline : A HIT
3 Very significant : HUGE
4 Less saintly : UNHOLIER
5 Obstinate mount : ASS
6 __ pie : CUTIE
7 Touchdown signalers : REFS
8 Dutch cheese : EDAM
9 Champagne label word : SEC
10 Unoccupied : VACANT
11 Some S&L plans : IRAS
12 Ticked off : SORE
13 Water whirled : EDDY
18 3-Down, poetically : ENORM
19 Cybercurrency : E-CASH
24 “Hallelujah!” : GLORY BE!
25 Diplomatic : TACTFUL
26 Chatted with, but not IRL : IMED
27 Subdues : TAMES
28 Shimmer : GLINT
29 Pet store array : CAGES
30 Snack with Red Velvet and Key Lime Pie varieties : OREO
31 Acrobat maker : ADOBE
32 Absorb : LEARN
34 “Ain’t gonna happen” : NOPE
36 Frank’s cousin : BRAT
39 Ridges with steeply sloped sides : HOGBACKS
41 Loom : TOWER
42 French pancake : CREPE
44 Capybara, for one : RODENT
47 Praline nut : PECAN
48 Unwanted email : SPAM
49 Fried Dixie bread : PONE
50 Badly off base : AWOL
51 Sound of a contented cat : PURR
52 Medley : OLIO
54 Decide not to go to : SKIP
55 Giga- x 1,000 : TERA-
56 Sacred cabinets : ARKS
58 “The Sopranos” org. : FBI
59 Store door nos. : HRS