LA Times Crossword 1 Mar 21, Monday

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Constructed by: Catherine Cetta
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: False Starts

Themed answers each START with a FALSE statement:

  • 64A Track meet infractions … or short words hiding at the beginning of the answers to starred clues : FALSE STARTS
  • 17A *Data transmission science : FIBER OPTICS (starts with “FIB”)
  • 24A *Elementary school fundraiser : TALENT SHOW (starts with “TALE”)
  • 51A *Rank for TV’s Columbo : LIEUTENANT (starts with “LIE”)

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

Bill’s time: 5m 37s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Nannies and billies : GOATS

Male goats are bucks or billies, although castrated males are known as wethers. Female goats are does or nannies, and young goats are referred to as kids.

6 Skylit courtyards : ATRIA

In modern architecture, an atrium (plural “atria” or “atriums”) is a large open space usually in the center of a building and extending upwards to the roof. The original atrium was an open court in the center of an Ancient Roman house. One could access most of the enclosed rooms of the house from the atrium.

11 Toyota Prius, e.g. : CAR

The Toyota Prius is still the most fuel-efficient, gasoline-powered car sold in the US, according to the EPA. The name “Prius” is a Latin word meaning “ahead, leading”. In the US we pronounce the name “pree-us”, but across the Atlantic it’s pronounced “pry-us”. According to Toyota, the plural of “Prius” is “Prii”.

14 Tin Pan __ : ALLEY

Tin Pan Alley was originally a specific location, i.e. West 28th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue in Manhattan. The area was associated with the music publishing business from about 1885 to the start of the Great Depression The name itself is possibly a reference to the tinny sound of cheap pianos that were common at the time.

17 *Data transmission science : FIBER OPTICS (starts with “FIB”)

Optical fibers are lengths of glass or plastic that are slightly thicker than a human hair. They are usually bundled into cables, and then used for transmission of data signals. Optical transmission has advantages over electrical transmission, especially in terms of interference and loss of signal strength.

To fib is to tell a lie. The verb “to fib” likely comes from “fibble-fable” meaning “nonsense”, with “fibble-fable” coming from “fable”.

19 Khaki-colored : TAN

“Khaki” is an Urdu word that translates literally as “dusty”. The word was adopted for its current use as the name of a fabric by the British cavalry in India in the mid-1800s.

21 Full moon, e.g. : PHASE

The phases of the moon have been given the following names, in order:

  • New moon
  • Waxing crescent moon
  • First quarter moon
  • Waxing gibbous moon
  • Full moon
  • Waning gibbous moon
  • Third quarter moon
  • Waning crescent moon
  • Dark moon

22 Cartoon maker of iron bird seed : ACME

The Acme Corporation is a fictional company used mainly by Looney Tunes, and within the Looney Tunes empire it appears mostly in “Road Runner” cartoons. Wile E. Coyote is always receiving a new piece of gear from Acme designed to finally capture the Road Runner, but the equipment always leads to his downfall.

23 Salinger teen who says, “I prefer stories about squalor” : ESME

J. D. Salinger wrote a short story called “For Esmé – with Love and Squalor” that was originally published in “The New Yorker” in 1950. It is a story about a young English girl called Esme and an American soldier, and is set in WWII.

26 Whistle blower : REF

Back in the early 17th century, a referee was someone who examined patent applications. We started using the same term for a person presiding over a sporting event in the 1820s. “Referee” is a derivative of the verb “to refer”, and literally describes someone who has the authority to make a decision by “referring to” a book, archive etc.

32 Major artery : AORTA

The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

46 Pigs out (on), briefly : ODS

Overdose (OD)

49 Dictator Amin : IDI

Idi Amin received most of his military training in the British armed forces, eventually achieving the highest rank possible for a Black African in the British Colonial Army in 1959, that of Warrant Officer. On his return to Uganda Amin joined his country’s military and quickly rose to the rank of Deputy Commander of the Army. During that time he was quite the athlete. He was a noted rugby player and swimmer, and for nine years held the Ugandan national light-heavyweight boxing title. By the early seventies, Amin was commander of all the armed forces of Uganda and in 1971 seized power in a military coup, displacing the country’s president Milton Obote. There followed seven years of brutal rule by Amin during which it is estimated that between 100,000 and 500,000 people were murdered. Amin was ousted from power in 1979 after a war with Tanzania, and fled to Libya where he stayed for a year. He then moved to Saudi Arabia, where he was financially supported by the Saudi Royal Family for the remainder of his life. Amin died in 2003.

51 *Rank for TV’s Columbo : LIEUTENANT (starts with “LIE”)

“Columbo” is a police drama that aired from 1971-78, with some more episodes made as recently as 2003. Columbo was played by Peter Falk, although the character of Columbo was first played by Bert Freed in 1960 in an episode of “The Chevy Mystery Show”. That first appearance was so successful that the episode was adapted for the stage in 1962, with Thomas Mitchell taking on the role. Then, the same episode was stretched into a TV movie in 1968, with Peter Falk playing Lt. Columbo for the first time.

56 “Shoo!” : SCAT!

Our word “scat!” means “get lost!” It comes from a 19th-century expression “quicker than s’cat”, which meant “in a great hurry”. The original phrase probably came from the words “hiss” and “cat”.

60 The “I” in MIT: Abbr. : INST

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

61 Ceremonial conical structure : TEPEE

A tepee (also written as “tipi” and “teepee”) is a cone-shaped tent traditionally made from animal hides that is used by the Great Plains Native Americans. A wigwam is a completely different structure and is often a misnomer for a tepee. A wigwam is a domed structure built by Native Americans in the West and Southwest, intended to be a more permanent dwelling. The wigwam can also be covered with hides but more often was covered with grass, reeds, brush or cloth.

63 “__, humbug!” : BAH

The classic 1843 novella “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens has left us with a few famous phrases and words. Firstly, it led to popular use of the phrase “Merry Christmas”, and secondly it gave us the word “scrooge” to describe a miserly person. And thirdly, everyone knows that Ebenezer Scrooge uttered the words “Bah! Humbug!”.

66 Musician Brian : ENO

Brian Eno is a musician, composer and record producer from England who first achieved fame as the synthesizer player with Roxy Music. As a producer, Eno has worked with David Bowie, Devo, Talking Heads and U2.

67 Had the flu, say : AILED

Influenza (the “flu”) is an ailment that is caused by a virus. The virus is readily inactivated by the use of soap, so washing hands and surfaces is especially helpful in containing flu outbreaks … and other virus pandemics …

Down

1 Faux pas : GAFFE

Our word “gaffe”, meaning “social blunder”, comes from the French “gaffe” meaning “clumsy remark”, although it originally was a word describing a boat hook. The exact connection between a boat hook and a blunder seems to be unclear.

The term “faux pas” is French in origin, and translates literally as “false step” (or “false steps”, as the plural has the same spelling in French).

2 Mixed bags : OLIOS

“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.

3 “Tuesdays With Morrie” author Mitch : ALBOM

Author MItch Albom had established himself as a successful sports writer when he penned his breakthrough memoir “Tuesdays with Morrie” in 1997. Albom followed this with the 2003 novel “The Five People You Meet in Heaven”. Both books were adapted into extremely successful TV movies.

“Tuesdays with Morrie” is a novel by Mitch Albom, first published in 1997. The story is a work of nonfiction, telling the tale of sociologist Morrie Schwartz and his students, one of whom is the author Mitch Albom. Albom has frequent visits with his old professor when he discovers that Morrie is dying from ALS.

5 Leb. neighbor : SYR

The Syrian national flag is a red, white and black tricolor with two green stars in the middle. The design was adopted in 1958 when Syria joined the United Arab Republic, along with Egypt. The two green stars represent Syria and Egypt, the two members of that short-lived political union.

The Lebanese flag has two red stripes, one at the top and one at the bottom, designed to symbolize the blood that was shed in the cause of the country’s liberation. Between each red stripe is a white background that represents peace as well as the snow on the Lebanese mountains. In the center of the flag is a green cedar tree, a reference to the cedars of Lebanon that are mentioned several times in the Bible.

6 A, as in Athens : ALPHA

Athens is the capital city of Greece and is one of the world’s oldest cities, with a history that goes back around 3,400 years. In its heyday, Classical Athens was a remarkable center for the arts and philosophical debate, and was home to Plato and Aristotle. Athens is often called “the cradle of Western civilization” and “the birthplace of democracy”. The city was named for the Greek goddess Athena.

7 Invoice word : TOTAL

An invoice is an itemized bill. The term comes from the Middle French “envois” meaning “dispatch (of goods)”. The root verb is “envoyer”, which translates as “to send”.

9 Motivate : INCENT

The verb “to incent” is a relatively new creation, having been introduced in 1992 as a backformation from “incentive”. Apparently, the US government bears responsibility for this one.

10 Biblical beast of burden : ASS

The ass or donkey is mentioned several times in the Bible. One of the most-quoted biblical stories involving an ass is the story of Balaam. Balaam was a diviner who appears in the Book of Numbers in. In one account, Balaam is held to task by an angel for particularly cruel treatment of an ass.

12 San Antonio mission : ALAMO

The famous Alamo in San Antonio, Texas was originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero. The mission was founded in 1718 and was the first mission established in the city. The Battle of the Alamo took place in 1836, a thirteen-day siege by the Mexican Army led by President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Only two people defending the Alamo Mission survived the onslaught. One month later, the Texian army got its revenge by attacking and defeating the Mexican Army in the Battle of San Jacinto. During the surprise attack on Santa Anna’s camp, many of the Texian soldiers were heard to cry “Remember the Alamo!”.

22 Z __ zebra : AS IN

The term “zebra” comes from an old Portuguese word “zevra” meaning “wild ass”. Studies of zebra embryos show that zebras are basically black in color, with white stripes that develop with growth. Before this finding, it was believed they were white, with black stripes.

29 Oral health org. : ADA

The American Dental Association (ADA) is the largest and oldest national dental association in the world. Today the ADA is based in Chicago, but the association was founded in Niagara Falls, New York in 1859. The ADA started out as a group of 26 dentists, and it now has more than 152,000 members.

33 “Far out, dude!” : RAD!

Our term “dude” arose as slang in New York City in the 1880s, when it was used to describe a fastidious man. In the early 1900s, the term was extended to mean “city slickers”, easterners who vacationed in the West. The first use of the term “dude ranch” was recorded in 1921.

37 Ref. work that added “YOLO” in 2016 : OED

Work started on what was to become the first “Oxford English Dictionary” (OED) in 1857. Several interim versions of the dictionary were published in the coming years with the first full version appearing, in ten bound volumes, in 1928. The second edition of the OED appeared in 1989 and is made up of twenty volumes. The OED was first published in electronic form in 1988 and went online in 2000. Given the modern use of computers, the publishing house responsible feels that there will never be a third print version of the famous dictionary.

You only live once (YOLO)

50 Manhattan or Staten : ISLAND

The island we know as Manhattan was inhabited by the Lenape Indians when the first Europeans explorers arrived in the area. According to the logbook of one of the officers on explorer Henry Hudson’s yacht, the island was called “Manna-hata” in the local language, from which the modern name derives.

Staten Island is part of New York City and is the least populous of the city’s five boroughs. The island was originally called Staaten Eylandt by Henry Hudson and was named after the Dutch parliament, the Staaten Generaal.

51 Defame in print : LIBEL

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.

54 Vaulted alcoves : APSES

The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

57 Monte __ : CARLO

Monte Carlo is an administrative area in the Principality of Monaco that covers just under a quarter of a square mile. The area is known in particular as the location of the famous Monte Carlo Casino. “Monte Carlo” translates as “Mount Charles”, and was named in 1866 for Charles III of Monaco who was ruling the principality at the time.

64 Tide alternative : FAB

Fab is a laundry detergent that was introduced by Colgate-Palmolive, but sold off to Phoenix Brands in 2005.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Nannies and billies : GOATS
6 Skylit courtyards : ATRIA
11 Toyota Prius, e.g. : CAR
14 Tin Pan __ : ALLEY
15 Transactions with interest : LOANS
16 Pub pour : ALE
17 *Data transmission science : FIBER OPTICS (starts with “FIB”)
19 Khaki-colored : TAN
20 Pedal pusher : FOOT
21 Full moon, e.g. : PHASE
22 Cartoon maker of iron bird seed : ACME
23 Salinger teen who says, “I prefer stories about squalor” : ESME
24 *Elementary school fundraiser : TALENT SHOW (starts with “TALE”)
26 Whistle blower : REF
28 Piece for three instruments : TRIO
29 They’re often pop-ups : ADS
32 Major artery : AORTA
36 Irritate : ANNOY
39 Quick swim : DIP
40 Fell behind : TRAILED
42 Golf ball holder : TEE
43 Stockpile : AMASS
45 Dig deeply (into) : DELVE
46 Pigs out (on), briefly : ODS
47 Blacken in a pan : CHAR
49 Dictator Amin : IDI
51 *Rank for TV’s Columbo : LIEUTENANT (starts with “LIE”)
56 “Shoo!” : SCAT!
60 The “I” in MIT: Abbr. : INST
61 Ceremonial conical structure : TEPEE
62 Tra-__: refrain syllables : LA-LA
63 “__, humbug!” : BAH
64 Track meet infractions … or short words hiding at the beginning of the answers to starred clues : FALSE STARTS
66 Musician Brian : ENO
67 Had the flu, say : AILED
68 Cove, e.g. : INLET
69 Tennis do-over : LET
70 Sanctify : BLESS
71 Love to pieces : ADORE

Down

1 Faux pas : GAFFE
2 Mixed bags : OLIOS
3 “Tuesdays With Morrie” author Mitch : ALBOM
4 Wobble : TEETER
5 Leb. neighbor : SYR
6 A, as in Athens : ALPHA
7 Invoice word : TOTAL
8 Employee’s reward : RAISE
9 Motivate : INCENT
10 Biblical beast of burden : ASS
11 Not be fooled by : CATCH ONTO
12 San Antonio mission : ALAMO
13 Continue to subscribe : RENEW
18 Decide on : OPT FOR
22 Z __ zebra : AS IN
25 Swapped : TRADED
27 Patronizes, as a restaurant : EATS AT
29 Oral health org. : ADA
30 Not bright, as a light : DIM
31 Many a NASA mission : SPACE SHOT
33 “Far out, dude!” : RAD!
34 White-__: formal : TIE
35 Every one : ALL
37 Ref. work that added “YOLO” in 2016 : OED
38 Proposer’s preferred response : YES
41 Paperless party announcements : E-VITES
44 “__ up!”: “Quiet!” : SHUT
48 Sell directly to the consumer : RETAIL
50 Manhattan or Staten : ISLAND
51 Defame in print : LIBEL
52 Foolish : INANE
53 Woman’s name backward or forward : NELLE
54 Vaulted alcoves : APSES
55 Requirements : NEEDS
57 Monte __ : CARLO
58 Raise a hemline on, say : ALTER
59 Sample, as food : TASTE
64 Tide alternative : FAB
65 Spanish aunt : TIA

10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 1 Mar 21, Monday”

  1. 5:41 no error

    The theme actually helped me fill in the last square. I think that’s a first for me.

  2. A nice Monday no “peeky” — no problem with the grid, but the theme I had a little trouble with. I had “fib” and “tale,” but for the third answer I had “lieu.” I’m sure I was thinking how in lieu of… being a “false” start. Never even thought about “lie.” (sigh)

  3. okay, I will cop to how long it took me! 13 minutes! So when I see times in the four or five minute range, I’m thinking: I can’t even write that fast! Let alone think and write…You guys are awesome!

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