LA Times Crossword 15 Mar 21, Monday

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Constructed by: Michael Lieberman
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Silent Partner

Themed answers each start with a word that can follow SILENT:

  • 54A Behind-the-scenes money source … and a hint to the start of 20-, 35- and 43-Across : SILENT PARTNER
  • 20A Youngster, metaphorically : SPRING CHICKEN (from “Silent Spring”)
  • 35A Toddler’s monster deterrent : NIGHTLIGHT (from “Silent Night”)
  • 43A Morning awakener : ALARM CLOCK (from “silent alarm”)
  • Read on, or jump to …
    … a complete list of answers

    Bill’s time: 5m 59s

    Bill’s errors: 0

    Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

    Across

    6 First of a cereal box trio : SNAP

    Snap, Crackle and Pop are three elves employed as the mascots for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. The trio first appeared in an ad campaign in 1933, although the phrase “snap, crackle and pop” had been used for the cereal for some time in radio ads. By the way, the elves are selling “Rice Bubbles” in Australia, and the elves have different names in other parts of the world (like “Cric!, Crac! and Croc! in Quebec).

    10 Box score number : STAT

    In the world of sports, a box score lists the score of a game as well as achievements of the competing teams and team members.

    15 Dorothy’s dog : TOTO

    Toto is Dorothy’s dog in the film “The Wizard of Oz”, and in the original book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum. Toto was played in the movie by a dog called Terry, but Terry’s name was soon changed to Toto in real life due to the success of the film.

    Dorothy Gale is the protagonist in L. Frank Baum’s book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, and indeed a major character in almost all of the “Oz” series of novels. There is a suggestion that the young heroine was named for Baum’s own niece Dorothy Gage, who died as an infant.

    16 Distinctive vibe : AURA

    An aura (plural “aurae”) is an intangible quality that surrounds a person or thing, a “je ne sais quoi”. “Je ne sais quoi” is French for “I don’t know what”.

    17 Sauce with basil : PESTO

    Pesto sauce is more completely called “pesto alla genovese”, i.e. pesto from Genoa. A traditional recipe calls for crushed garlic, pine nuts, salt, basil leaves, parmesan cheese and olive oil. Yum …

    19 “Jurassic Park” predator : T-REX

    The Tyrannosaurus rex (usually written “T-rex”) was a spectacular looking dinosaur. “Tyrannosaurus” comes from the Greek words “tyrannos” (tyrant) and “sauros” (lizard) and “rex” the Latin for “king”. They were big beasts, measuring 42 feet long and 13 feet tall at the hips, and weighing 7.5 tons.

    “Jurassic Park” is a 1990 novel by Michael Crichton that was adapted into a hugely successful movie by Steven Spielberg in 1993. One of the main premises of the novel is that dinosaur DNA could be harvested from mosquitoes trapped in amber (fossilized tree resin), the DNA coming from the dinosaur blood consumed by the mosquitoes. The dinosaur DNA is then sequenced and used to create clones of the original beasts. Apparently, that’s a clever idea, but not very practical …

    20 Youngster, metaphorically : SPRING CHICKEN (from “Silent Spring”)

    A spring chicken is a young chicken, one destined for the dinner table. We also use “spring chicken” as a slang term to describe a young person, particularly in the phrase “He/she is no spring chicken”.

    23 Antlered Yellowstone beast : ELK

    The elk (also “wapiti”) is one of the largest species of deer in the world, with only the moose being bigger. Early European settlers were familiar with the smaller red deer back in their homelands, so when they saw the “huge” wapiti they assumed it was a moose, and incorrectly gave it the European name for a moose, namely “elk”. The more correct name for the beast is “wapiti”, which means “white rump” in Shawnee. It’s all very confusing …

    Yellowstone was the first National Park to be established in the world when it was designated as such by President Grant in 1872. What a great tradition it started! The American National Parks truly are a treasure.

    24 Lao Tzu’s “way” : TAO

    The name of the Chinese character “tao” translates as “path”, but the concept of Taoism signifies the true nature of the world.

    Lao Tse (also “Lao-Tzu”) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.

    25 __City: computer game : SIM

    SimCity is a very clever computer game. Players build and grow cities and societies by creating the conditions necessary for people (the Sims) to move in and thrive. SimCity was launched in 1989, and to this day it is consistently ranked as one of the greatest computer games of all time.

    28 Stick a stake in, as a vampire : IMPALE

    Legends about vampires were particularly common in Eastern Europe and in the Balkans in particular. The superstition was that vampires could be killed using a wooden stake, with the preferred type of wood varying from place to place. Superstition also defines where the body should be pierced. Most often, the stake was driven through the heart, but Russians and northern Germans went for the mouth, and northeastern Serbs for the stomach.

    35 Toddler’s monster deterrent : NIGHTLIGHT (from “Silent Night”)

    The beautiful Christmas carol “Silent Night” was first performed in Austria in 1818. The words were written by a priest, Father Joseph Mohr, and the melody by an Austrian headmaster, Franz Xaver Gruber. The carol was in German and called “Stille Nacht”. The English translation that we use today was provided to us in 1859 by an American bishop, John Freeman Young from Florida.

    41 Luau neckwear : LEI

    “Lei” is a Hawaiian word meaning “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a lei is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

    The Hawaiian party or feast known as a “luau” really dates back to 1819, when King Kamehameha II removed religious laws that governed the eating of meals. These laws called for women and men to eat separately. At the same time as he changed the laws, the king initiated the luau tradition by symbolically eating with the women who moved in his circle.

    42 He played Grant on “Lou Grant” : ASNER

    “Lou Grant” is a spin-off from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. The title character, played so ably by Ed Asner, had headed up a television newsroom in Minneapolis in the original series. In the spin-off, Grant was the city editor of the fictional “Los Angeles Tribune”. The original show was a sitcom, the spin-off was a drama series.

    46 Poi source : TARO

    The corm of some taro plants is used to make poi, a traditional Hawaiian dish (which I think tastes horrible). When a taro plant is grown as an ornamental, it is often called Elephant Ears due to the shape of its large leaves.

    47 One of four in five : LETTER

    There are four letters in the word “five”.

    51 “__ Misérables” : LES

    Victor Hugo’s famous 1862 novel “Les Misérables” has been translated into English several times. However, the title is usually left in the original French as a successful translation of “les misérables” seems to be elusive. Some suggestions for an English title are “The Wretched”, “The Victims” and “The Dispossessed”. The novel follows the lives of several characters including an ex-convict Jean Valjean, a fanatic police inspector Javert, a beautiful prostitute Fantine, and Fantine’s illegitimate daughter Cosette.

    54 Behind-the-scenes money source … and a hint to the start of 20-, 35- and 43-Across : SILENT PARTNER

    A silent partner in a business relationship is one who shares in profit and losses but is uninvolved in management of the business. Usually, a silent partner’s main role is to provide capital.

    61 Elton or Lennon : JOHN

    “Elton John” is the stage name of English singer and pianist Reginald Dwight. John is an avid football (soccer) supporter, and is especially enthusiastic about Watford Football Club, which was his local team growing up. After he achieved financial success, John was able to purchase Watford FC, and owned the club from 1976 to 1987, and again from 1997 until 2002.

    John Lennon grew up in a modest home in Liverpool in the northwest of England. Named “Mendips”, the house belonged to Lennon’s maternal aunt and her husband. Lennon was raised by his aunt from the age of five, after his mother was persuaded that the arrangement would be of benefit to young John. Mendips was purchased by Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono in 2002, who then handed it over to the National Trust, a British conservation organization.

    63 Boxer’s foursome : PAWS

    The boxer breed of dog (one of my favorites) originated in Germany. My first dog was a boxer/Labrador mix, a beautiful combination. Our current family dog is a boxer/pug mix, and is another gorgeous animal.

    64 Garlicky mayo : AIOLI

    To the purist, especially in Provence in the South of France, aioli is prepared just by grinding garlic with olive oil. However, other ingredients are often added to the mix, particularly egg yolks.

    Mayonnaise originated in the town of Mahon in Menorca, a Mediterranean island belonging to Spain. The Spanish called the sauce “salsa mahonesa” after the town, and this morphed into the French word “mayonnaise” that we use in English today.

    65 CNN anchor Burnett : ERIN

    Erin Burnett is a television journalist and the host of her own show on CNN called “Erin Burnett OutFront”. Apparently Burnett also used to show up occasionally as advisor to Donald Trump on “The Celebrity Apprentice”.

    66 Great Lake with the shortest name : ERIE

    A well-known mnemonic for remembering the names of the Great Lakes is HOMES, an acronym standing for Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior.

    67 King of rock ‘n’ roll : ELVIS

    Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi and moved to Memphis, Tennessee with his family when he was 13-years-old. Once he had achieved fame, Elvis purchased Graceland, the famous Memphis home that he used for himself and his family. I visited Graceland some years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

    Down

    1 Officials calling strikes : UMPS

    Back in the 15th century, “an umpire” was referred to as “a noumpere”, which was misheard and hence causing the dropping of the initial letter N. The term “noumpere” came from Old French “nonper” meaning “not even, odd number”. The idea was that the original umpire was a third person called on to arbitrate between two, providing that “odd number” needed to decide the dispute.

    3 Cold War initials : USSR

    After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Rus.) became the largest and most influential Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Today, Russia is a sovereign state, and the largest country in the whole world.

    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.

    4 Italian wine region : ASTI

    Asti is a city in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.

    5 With 14-Across, soccer’s GOAT, to many : LIONEL …
    (14A See 5-Down : … MESSI)

    Lionel “Leo” Messi is a soccer player from Argentina. Messi was awarded FIFA’s Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) award from 2009 to 2013. The Ballon d’Or is presented to the player who is considered the best in the world in the prior year.

    Greatest of all time (GOAT)

    7 Light snack : NOSH

    Our word “nosh” has been around since the late fifties, when it was imported from the Yiddish word “nashn” meaning “to nibble”. We use “nosh” as a noun that means “snack”, or as a verb meaning “to eat between meals”.

    9 Online talk show : PODCAST

    A podcast is basically an audio or video media file that is made available for download. The name comes from the acronym “POD” meaning “playable on demand”, and “cast” from “broadcasting”. So, basically a podcast is a broadcast that one can play on demand, simply by downloading and opening the podcast file.

    10 Fill until full : SATE

    “Sate” is a variant of the older word “satiate”. Both terms can mean either to satisfy an appetite fully, or to eat to excess.

    11 Car’s blinker : TURN SIGNAL

    I wish all drivers would use their turn signals. Back in Ireland we don’t call them “turn signals”, but rather “indicators”.

    12 “Roses __ red … ” : ARE

    As little kids we used to taunt each other with:

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    God made me beautiful
    What happened to you?

    We weren’t very nice …

    22 Eucalyptus eater : KOALA

    The koala bear really does look like a little bear, but it’s not even closely related. The koala is an arboreal marsupial and a herbivore, native to the east and south coasts of Australia. Koalas aren’t primates, and are one of the few mammals other than primates who have fingerprints. In fact, it can be very difficult to tell human fingerprints from koala fingerprints, even under an electron microscope. Male koalas are called “bucks”, females are “does”, and young koalas are “joeys”. I’m a little jealous of the koala, as it sleeps up to 20 hours a day …

    Eucalyptus is a genus of flowering trees and shrubs that is particularly widespread in Australia. The species known as mountain ash or swamp gum is the tallest flowering plant in the world, with the tallest example located in Tasmania and standing at over 325 feet tall.

    27 Urban transit systems : METROS

    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.

    29 “The Naked and the Dead” author Norman : MAILER

    Norman Mailer was a writer from Long Branch, New Jersey. Mailer’s work was much acclaimed and he won two Pulitzer Prizes and one National Book Award. One of his most famous novels is “The Naked and the Dead” published in 1948, a story based on Mailer’s experiences in the Philippines with the 112th Cavalry Regiment during WWII.

    30 Hook’s vessel : PIRATE SHIP

    Captain Hook is the bad guy in “Peter Pan”, the famous play by J. M. Barrie. Hook is Peter Pan’s sworn enemy, as Pan had cut off Hook’s hand causing it to be replaced by a “hook”. It is implied in the play that Hook attended Eton College, just outside London. Hook’s last words are “Floreat Etona”, which is Eton College’s motto. Barrie openly acknowledged that the Hook character is based on Herman Melville’s Captain Ahab from the novel “Moby Dick”.

    37 Cable TV’s Nat __ Wild : GEO

    The National Geographic Channel (Nat Geo) is jointly owned by Fox and the National Geographic Society, and was launched in 2001. Nat Geo has a sister channel known as National Geographic Wild (Nat Geo Wild) that focuses on programming about wildlife.

    38 Hyphenated fruit drink brand : HI-C

    Hi-C orange drink was created in 1946, and introduced to the market in 1948, initially in the south of the country. The name “Hi-C” was chosen to emphasize the high vitamin C content in the drink, as it contained added ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

    40 Incense-sensing sense : SMELL

    Incense is a material that produces a fragrant odor when burned. The term “incense” comes from the Latin verb “incendere” meaning “to set on fire”.

    45 Hindu god of desire : KAMA

    Kama is the Hindu god of love. He is portrayed as a youth bearing a bow and arrows, much like Eros and Cupid. Kama lends his name to the “Kama Sutra”.

    49 Tel Aviv’s land : ISRAEL

    The full name of Israel’s second largest city is Tel Aviv-Yafo. “Tel Aviv” translates into “Spring Mound”, and is a name that was chosen in 1910.

    52 Drum type : SNARE

    Snare drums are so called because they have a set of wire strands (snares) stretching across the bottom surface of the drum. When the drum is struck, the snares vibrate against the bottom drumhead producing a unique sound.

    53 Underdog’s victory : UPSET

    The most dominant person in a situation is the “top dog”. The person likely to be beaten is the “underdog”.

    56 Mary-Kate, to Ashley : TWIN

    I know very little about the Olsen twins, but I am told that many folks believe Mary-Kate and Ashley to be identical twins. They look very much alike, but are in fact fraternal twins. The sisters were cast as Michelle Tanner on the eighties sitcom “Full House”, taking turns playing the role.

    57 Mah-jongg piece : TILE

    Mahjong (also “mahjongg” and “mah-jongg”) is the Chinese word for “sparrow”. Mahjong is a game that originated in China, and is usually played by four players. There is a myth that the game was developed by the Chinese philosopher, Confucius. The myth also suggests that Confucius was fond of birds, and hence chose the name “sparrow”.

    58 PBS science series : NOVA

    “Nova” is an excellent science television series on PBS. “Nova” was created back in 1974, and was inspired by a very similar BBC show called “Horizon”, a show that I grew up with. Many “Nova” episodes are actually co-productions with the BBC with an American narrator used for the PBS broadcasts and a British narrator for the BBC broadcasts.

    59 Yale students : ELIS

    “Eli” is the nickname for a graduate of Yale University, and a term used in honor of the Yale benefactor Elihu Yale.

    60 Heed a bailiff’s order : RISE

    All rise!

    Here in the US, the term “bailiff” is sometimes applied to a peace officer who provides security in a court.

    61 Hot tub feature : JET

    “Jacuzzi” is one of those brand names that has become so much associated with the product that it is often assumed to be a generic term. The Jacuzzi company was founded in 1915 by the seven(!) Jacuzzi brothers in Berkeley California. The brothers, who were Italian immigrants, pronounced their name “ja-coot-si”, as one might suspect when one realizes the name is of Italian origin. The company started off by making aircraft propellers and then small aircraft, but suspended aircraft production in 1925 when one the brothers was killed in one of their planes. The family then started making hydraulic pumps, and in 1948 developed a submersible bathtub pump so that a son of one of the brothers could enjoy hydrotherapy for his rheumatoid arthritis. The “hydrotherapy product” took off in the fifties with some astute marketing towards “worn-out housewives” and the use of celebrity spokesman Jack Benny.

    Complete List of Clues/Answers

    Across

    1 What a regular often orders, with “the” : … USUAL
    6 First of a cereal box trio : SNAP
    10 Box score number : STAT
    14 See 5-Down : … MESSI
    15 Dorothy’s dog : TOTO
    16 Distinctive vibe : AURA
    17 Sauce with basil : PESTO
    18 Like many cars sold online : USED
    19 “Jurassic Park” predator : T-REX
    20 Youngster, metaphorically : SPRING CHICKEN (from “Silent Spring”)
    23 Antlered Yellowstone beast : ELK
    24 Lao Tzu’s “way” : TAO
    25 __City: computer game : SIM
    28 Stick a stake in, as a vampire : IMPALE
    32 Dry-eyes solution : SALINE
    34 Manual filing target? : NAIL
    35 Toddler’s monster deterrent : NIGHTLIGHT (from “Silent Night”)
    39 Brings on board : HIRES
    41 Luau neckwear : LEI
    42 He played Grant on “Lou Grant” : ASNER
    43 Morning awakener : ALARM CLOCK (from “silent alarm”)
    46 Poi source : TARO
    47 One of four in five : LETTER
    48 Theater walkways : AISLES
    50 Before, in poems : ERE
    51 “__ Misérables” : LES
    53 Hesitant utterances : UMS
    54 Behind-the-scenes money source … and a hint to the start of 20-, 35- and 43-Across : SILENT PARTNER
    61 Elton or Lennon : JOHN
    63 Boxer’s foursome : PAWS
    64 Garlicky mayo : AIOLI
    65 CNN anchor Burnett : ERIN
    66 Great Lake with the shortest name : ERIE
    67 King of rock ‘n’ roll : ELVIS
    68 Spinning toys : TOPS
    69 Apt word found in “accident” : DENT
    70 Tenant’s contract : LEASE

    Down

    1 Officials calling strikes : UMPS
    2 Trickle : SEEP
    3 Cold War initials : USSR
    4 Italian wine region : ASTI
    5 With 14-Across, soccer’s GOAT, to many : LIONEL …
    6 Experiencing writer’s block, say : STUCK
    7 Light snack : NOSH
    8 Bit the dust : ATE IT
    9 Online talk show : PODCAST
    10 Fill until full : SATE
    11 Car’s blinker : TURN SIGNAL
    12 “Roses __ red … ” : ARE
    13 Collectors’ item? : TAX
    21 Secluded valley : GLEN
    22 Eucalyptus eater : KOALA
    26 Response from the next room : IN HERE!
    27 Urban transit systems : METROS
    28 Take a breath : INHALE
    29 “The Naked and the Dead” author Norman : MAILER
    30 Hook’s vessel : PIRATE SHIP
    31 Wide awake : ALERT
    33 Grocery shoppers’ aids : LISTS
    36 Sick : ILL
    37 Cable TV’s Nat __ Wild : GEO
    38 Hyphenated fruit drink brand : HI-C
    40 Incense-sensing sense : SMELL
    44 Scared, with “out” : CREEPED …
    45 Hindu god of desire : KAMA
    49 Tel Aviv’s land : ISRAEL
    52 Drum type : SNARE
    53 Underdog’s victory : UPSET
    55 Roadside lodgings : INNS
    56 Mary-Kate, to Ashley : TWIN
    57 Mah-jongg piece : TILE
    58 PBS science series : NOVA
    59 Yale students : ELIS
    60 Heed a bailiff’s order : RISE
    61 Hot tub feature : JET
    62 Spanish gold : ORO

    17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 15 Mar 21, Monday”

      1. Super great time, Glenn.

        We had a successful day as well; I misspelled LIONEL for our only error,
        and in very good time for us.

    1. Do you ever wonder if some people study all the clues before they enter anything? That way, by the time the clock starts ticking they already know all the answers…

        1. That is very fast time, in my book. It reminded me of the time I had a completed
          puzzle in one hand, my ballpoint pen in the other and a blank puzzle grid on the
          desk in front of me. Took me 20 minutes to transpose all of the answers onto the
          blank grid.

          Anyway, congratulations on your dexterity.

    2. No Googles, but an error where T REX crosses TAX; don’t know why.
      Don’t know what GOAT stands for, but I got LIONEL MESSI. Just looked it up: Greatest Of All Time. Whatever; I don’t follow sports except horsies.
      UMP should be indicated as an abbrev.

    3. Agree with Anonymous. You’d have to study all the clues first, then set that timer. Is it even possible to WRITE in all the answers in 3 (or even 5) minutes, let alone READ and SOLVE them? I’ll be proud of my 10:16 time!
      Stay safe 😊

    4. Can someone explain 8D. Not explained in down comments. Don’t understand. I’m missing something (probably obvious to everyone but me.) Perplexed in HB

    5. 8D got it! Really threw me. I read it as “bit of dust ” not Bit the dust. Old eyes. Old brain. Dah.

    6. 4:19

      Very impressed with Glenn’s time. Sometimes everything just falls into place as you go.

      I liked IMPALE crossing INHALE.

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