LA Times Crossword 19 Mar 21, Friday

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Constructed by: Mark McClain
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: pH Number

Themed answers are 4 common phrases in which the letters PH have been inserted (giving 5 incidents of “PH” in the grid in total):

  • 35D Chemistry class measurement (it’s 5 for this puzzle’s grid) : PH NUMBER
  • 16A Analytical diagrams of Tuesday rush hour traffic in Paris? : MARDI GRAPHS (pH in “Mardi Gras”)
  • 30A Deli favorite with a floral garnish? : BAGEL AND PHLOX (pH in “bagel and lox”)
  • 38A Rodent that’s a Broadway star? : THEATER GOPHER (pH in “theatergoer”)
  • 58A Mobile device for the unhip? : SQUARE PHONE (pH in “square one”)

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

Bill’s time: 13m 09s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 Like the top stripe of a pride flag : RED

The best-known rainbow flag is the one representing gay pride. Such usage of the rainbow flag was popularized in 1978 by artist Gilbert Baker. The varying colors of the flag represent the diversity of the gay community.

16 Analytical diagrams of Tuesday rush hour traffic in Paris? : MARDI GRAPHS (pH in “Mardi Gras”)

In French, “lundi” (Monday) is the day before “mardi” (Tuesday), which is the day before “mercredi” (Wednesday).

“Mardi Gras” translates from French as “Fat Tuesday”, and gets its name from the practice of eating rich foods on the eve of the fasting season known as Lent. Lent starts on the next day, called Ash Wednesday.

18 “I’ve heard enough, thanks” : TMI

Too much information (TMI)

21 Port SSE of Sana’a : ADEN

Aden is a seaport in Yemen that is located on the Gulf of Aden by the eastern approach to the Red Sea. Aden has a long history of British rule, from 1838 until a very messy withdrawal in 1967. A native of Aden is known as an Adeni. Some believe that Cain and Abel are buried in the city.

Sana (also “Sana’a”) is the capital city of Yemen. Sitting at an elevation of 7,380 feet, Sana is one of the highest capital cities in the world. Within the bounds of today’s metropolis is the old fortified city of Sana, where people have lived for over 2,500 years. The Old City is now a World Heritage Site. According to legend, Sana was founded by Shem, the son of Noah.

25 Code opener : AREA …

Area codes were introduced in the 1940s. Back then, the “clicks” one heard when dialling a number led to mechanical wear on various pieces of equipment. In order to minimize overall mechanical wear, areas with high call volumes were given the most efficient area codes (lowest number of clicks). That led to New York getting the area code 212, Los Angeles 213 and Chicago 313.

26 SoCal team : LAD

The Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team were known as the Brooklyn Dodgers before the franchise moved to California. Before being called the Dodgers, the team was known in Brooklyn as the Robins, the Superbas, the Trolley Dodgers, the Bridegrooms/Grooms, the Grays and the Atlantics.

28 One of two tarot card groups : ARCANA

In a 78-card tarot deck, there are four 14-card suits known as the four minor arcana. There is also a 21-card trump suit, and a card referred to as the Fool. The Fool and trump suit are sometimes collectively called the major arcana.

30 Deli favorite with a floral garnish? : BAGEL AND PHLOX (pH in “bagel and lox”)

Phlox is a genus of flowering plants found mainly in North America. A common name for the plant is Jacob’s Ladder.

Lox is a brine-cured salmon fillet that is finely sliced. The term “lox” comes into English via Yiddish, and derives from the German word for salmon, namely “Lachs”.

34 30-day mo. : APR

The exact etymology of “April”, the name of the fourth month of our year, seems to be uncertain. The ancient Romans called it “mensis Aprilis”, which roughly translated as “opening month”. The suggestion is that April is the month in which fruits, flowers and animals “open” their life cycles.

36 N.J. town across from northern Manhattan : FT LEE

Fort Lee, New Jersey is located at the western side of the George Washington Bridge that spans the Hudson River. Fort Lee is known as the birthplace of the motion picture industry. The world’s first movie studio was built there by Thomas Edison, in a facility known as the Black Maria.

37 “… __ he drove out of sight”: Moore : ERE

Here are the closing lines to the Christmas poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

The poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” was published anonymously in 1823, and is better known today by its first line “‘Twas the night before Christmas”. Most scholars believe that the poem was written by Clement Clarke Moore, a theologian from New York City. Others say that it was written by Henry Livingston, Jr., a poet from Upstate New York.

38 Rodent that’s a Broadway star? : THEATER GOPHER (pH in “theatergoer”)

Gophers are burrowing rodents that are more fully referred to as “pocket gophers”. While it’s not clear how the name “goper” arose, the “pocket” reference is to the animal’s large cheek pouches.

45 Japanese noodle : UDON

Udon noodles are made from wheat-flour and are very popular in Japanese cuisines such as tempura.

46 Leaves for dim sum : TEA

Dim sum is a Chinese cuisine made up of small portions of various dishes. The tradition of serving dim sum is associated with the serving of tea, when small delicacies were offered to travelers and guests along with tea as a refreshment. The name “dim sum” translates as “touch the heart” implying that dim sum is not a main meal, just a snack “that touches the heart”.

56 Blintz topping : ROE

A blintz (also “blintze” and “blin”, plural “blini”) is a thin pancake similar to a crêpe, although unlike a crêpe, a blintz may contain yeast.

57 Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy org. : NBA

The NBA’s Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy is named for a former commissioner of the NBA. Prior to working with the NBA, O’Brien had been Postmaster General in President Lyndon Johnson’s cabinet.

62 “Cupcake Wars” fixture : OVEN

“Cupcake Wars” is a reality show on the Food Network. Each episode features four teams competing to make the best cupcakes.

63 Some replacement sites, for short : ORS

Surgery (surg.) is usually performed in an operating room (OR).

Down

1 Shrub often toxic : SUMAC

Sumacs are a group of flowering shrubs and small trees that include poison oak, poison ivy and poison sumac (nasty stuff!). The leaves of some species of sumac contain tannins that are used for tanning leather. Morocco leather is an example of the use of sumac tannins.

2 Pub __ : CRAWL

A pub crawl (not that I’ve ever been on one!) is a tour of a selection of local public houses. One usually takes one drink at each stop, which might perhaps explain the use of the word “crawl” …

4 Board companion : BED

A board is a piece of sawn lumber that is significantly longer than it is wide. Centuries ago, the term “board” was extended to mean “table”, and later “meals served on a table”. That’s where we get our phrase “bed and board” meaning “a place to sleep and meals”.

6 Headwear for kid-lit’s Fancy Nancy : TIARA

“Fancy Nancy” is a best-selling children’s picture book by Jane O’Connor that was released in 2005. That release launched a whole series of “Fancy Nancy” titles, as well as “Fancy Nancy the Musical” that was produced Off-Broadway in 2012.

12 Frigga’s husband : ODIN

In Norse mythology, Odin was the chief of the gods. Odin’s wife Frigg was the queen of Asgard whose name gave us our English term “Friday” (via Anglo-Saxon). Odin’s son was Thor, whose name gave us the term “Thursday”. Odin himself gave us our word “Wednesday” from “Wodin”, the English form of his name.

17 Luggage attachment : ID TAG

Identity document (ID)

21 Aqueduct support : ARCH

A viaduct is a bridge composed of several small spans that is used as a thoroughfare for traffic. It is similar to an aqueduct, a bridge used to convey water. The term “viaduct” was coined relatively recently, around 1800, by analogy with the ancient Roman term “aqueduct”.

23 __ mode : A LA

In French, “à la mode” simply means “fashionable”. In America, the term has also come to describe a way of serving pie. Pie served à la mode includes a dollop of cream or ice cream, or as I recall from my time living in Upstate New York, with a wedge of cheddar cheese.

25 Strasbourg-born Dadaist : ARP

Jean Arp was a French artist renowned for his work with torn and pasted paper, although that wasn’t the only medium he used. Arp was the son of a French mother and German father and spoke both languages fluently. When he was speaking German he gave his name as Hans Arp, but when speaking French he called himself Jean Arp. Both “Hans” and “Jean” translate into English as “John”. In WWI Arp moved to Switzerland to avoid being called up to fight, taking advantage of Swiss neutrality. Eventually he was told to report to the German Consulate and fill out paperwork for the draft. In order to get out of fighting, Arp messed up the paperwork by writing the date in every blank space on the forms. Then he took off all of his clothes and walked with his papers over to the officials in charge. Arp was sent home …

Strasbourg is a beautiful city in the Grand Est region of France that I had the privilege to visit some years ago. Strasbourg is home to many international organizations, including the European Court of Human Rights and the European Parliament.

Dadaism thrived during and just after WWI, and was an anti-war, anti-bourgeois and anti-art culture. The movement was launched in Zurich, Switzerland by a group of artists and writers who met to discuss art and put on performances in the Cabaret Voltaire. The same group frequently expressed disgust at the war that was raging across Europe.

29 Tool in the Portland Timbers’ logo : AXE

Portland’s professional soccer team is known as the Timbers. The current Major League Soccer (MLS) club was founded in 2009, and took the name of the original Portland Timbers team that played in the North American Soccer League from 1975 to 1982.

31 Copier tray abbr. : LTR

Our paper sizes here in North America don’t conform with the standards in the rest of the world. ISO standard sizes used elsewhere were chosen so that the ratio of width to length is usually one to the square root of two. This mathematical relationship means that when you cut a piece of paper in two each half preserves the aspect ratio of the original, which can be useful in making reduced or enlarged copies of documents. Our standard size of “letter” (ltr., 8.5 x 11 inches) was determined in 1980 by the Reagan administration to be the official paper size for the US government. Prior to this, the “legal” size (8.5 x 14 inches) had been the standard, since 1921.

32 Eighth-grade subj., often : ALG

Algebra (alg.) is a branch of mathematics in which arithmetical operations are performed on variables rather than specific numbers (x,y etc). The term “algebra” comes from the Arabic “al jebr” meaning “reunion of broken parts”.

35 Chemistry class measurement (it’s 5 for this puzzle’s grid) : PH NUMBER

As we all recall from chemistry class, a pH of 7 is considered neutral. Anything less than 7 is an acid, and anything above 7 is a base.

39 Book after Joel : AMOS

Amos is one of the twelve minor prophets in the Hebrew Bible. The Old Testament’s Book of Amos is attributed to him.

40 It may be gross : TON

Here in the US, a ton is equivalent to 2,000 pounds. Over in the UK, a ton is 2,240 pounds. The UK unit is sometimes referred to as an Imperial ton, long ton or gross ton. Folks over there refer to the US ton then as a short ton. To further complicate matters, there is also a metric ton or tonne, which is equivalent to 2,204 pounds. Personally, I wish we’d just stick to kilograms …

41 Simona who won Wimbledon in 2019 : HALEP

Simona Halep is a tennis professional from Romania who was ranked No. 1 in the world in 2017.

42 Prefix with Pen : EPI-

EpiPen is a brand of epinephrine auto-injector. An EpiPen delivers a measured dose of epinephrine, which is a common treatment for an extreme allergic reaction.

46 Channel for reality show fans : TRUTV

truTV is a Turner Broadcasting cable network that launched in 1991 as Court TV. The name, and programming, was changed to truTV in 2008.

52 Typical winter highs at the summit of Mt. Washington : TEENS

Mount Washington in New Hampshire is the highest peak in the northeast of the country. It is located in the state’s White Mountains, in the Presidential Range. The Presidential Range comprises the highest peaks in the White Mountains, most of which are named for US Presidents including: Washington, Eisenhower, Monroe, Jefferson, Adams, Quincy Adams and Madison.

55 Nov. honoree : VET

Veterans Day used to be known as Armistice Day, and is observed on November 11th each year. This particular date was chosen as the Armistice that ended WWI was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Scrape remnant : SCAB
5 Get off topic : STRAY
10 Hurly-burly : ADO
13 Natural feeling : URGE
14 Sharing word : APIECE
15 Like the top stripe of a pride flag : RED
16 Analytical diagrams of Tuesday rush hour traffic in Paris? : MARDI GRAPHS (pH in “Mardi Gras”)
18 “I’ve heard enough, thanks” : TMI
19 Amazed feeling : AWE
20 Apt rhyme for “sincerely” : DEARLY
21 Port SSE of Sana’a : ADEN
22 Sports shoe feature : CLEAT
24 “Hurrah!” : YAY!
25 Code opener : AREA …
26 SoCal team : LAD
28 One of two tarot card groups : ARCANA
30 Deli favorite with a floral garnish? : BAGEL AND PHLOX (pH in “bagel and lox”)
34 30-day mo. : APR
36 N.J. town across from northern Manhattan : FT LEE
37 “… __ he drove out of sight”: Moore : ERE
38 Rodent that’s a Broadway star? : THEATER GOPHER (pH in “theatergoer”)
43 Charm : ENAMOR
44 Take advantage of : TAP
45 Japanese noodle : UDON
46 Leaves for dim sum : TEA
49 Easy to pick up : LIGHT
53 Rascals : IMPS
54 Come in : ARRIVE
56 Blintz topping : ROE
57 Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy org. : NBA
58 Mobile device for the unhip? : SQUARE PHONE (pH in “square one”)
60 Swampy spot : FEN
61 Get-go : OUTSET
62 “Cupcake Wars” fixture : OVEN
63 Some replacement sites, for short : ORS
64 Greeted wordlessly : WAVED
65 Forms a union : WEDS

Down

1 Shrub often toxic : SUMAC
2 Pub __ : CRAWL
3 Feel the same way : AGREE
4 Board companion : BED
5 Mist : SPRAY
6 Headwear for kid-lit’s Fancy Nancy : TIARA
7 Comeback : REPLY
8 In some pain : ACHY
9 “I’d be glad to” : YES
10 Buyer and seller of oils : ART DEALER
11 Conduct : DEMEANOR
12 Frigga’s husband : ODIN
14 Notable period : AGE
17 Luggage attachment : ID TAG
21 Aqueduct support : ARCH
23 __ mode : A LA
25 Strasbourg-born Dadaist : ARP
27 Schedule for later : DEFER
28 More than competent : ADEPT
29 Tool in the Portland Timbers’ logo : AXE
30 Bakery containers : BREAD PANS
31 Copier tray abbr. : LTR
32 Eighth-grade subj., often : ALG
33 Modernist : NEO
34 Enjoyed a lot, with “up” : ATE …
35 Chemistry class measurement (it’s 5 for this puzzle’s grid) : PH NUMBER
39 Book after Joel : AMOS
40 It may be gross : TON
41 Simona who won Wimbledon in 2019 : HALEP
42 Prefix with Pen : EPI-
46 Channel for reality show fans : TRUTV
47 Backspace over : ERASE
48 Broadcast : AIRED
50 Trees of a kind, often : GROVE
51 Improved : HONED
52 Typical winter highs at the summit of Mt. Washington : TEENS
53 Facts and figures : INFO
54 Teal relative : AQUA
55 Nov. honoree : VET
58 Barnyard mom : SOW
59 Method : HOW

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 19 Mar 21, Friday”

  1. No errors; went through this one quickly, but had to go back and change
    a few boxes: i.e. arcane to arcana to pick up axe and cow to sow to get
    squarephone. Loved the theme!

  2. The SE corner took some study. That and putting in “rally” for 7 down kept me going for awhile until I saw that rally was not working with the crosses and figured out “reply” finally. But no final errors. Probably would have gotten the theme before coming to Bill’s blog but never slowed down to look at what the pun answers had in common.

    Still worried about Carrie. Hope she is okay and returns one of these days.

  3. 37:04 with one error…LAR (Los Angela’s Rams) for LAD…refer for27D seemed to fit…the story of my life.
    Stay safe😀
    Play ball!!!

  4. 11:06

    I caught on to the theme usually early for me. So looking for places to insert the Ph strip helped a lot.

    Today I learned about Simona Halep.

    I’d had sweet cheese blintzes from time to time. But 56A puzzles me. What kind of blintz would you top with roe?

  5. I had Rally for REPLY, and then was looking for a french word for transportation, but shorter than Plan de Metro. I do not like an answer that consists of 2 languages.
    I also couldn’t figure out LAD. Demons? Dummies? Neither sounded familiar.
    About par for a Friday for me.
    Welcome back, Willie.

  6. 13 minutes, 27 seconds, no errors, surprisingly enough. Now this was a good puzzle. At first, I thought there was no way I’d finish, but I kept at it, and it slowly gave up its secrets. Next thing I knew I was cleaning up a few empty squares and was rewarded with a trouble-free solve!!!

    We need more like these!

  7. Blintzes, have jam, sour cream as toppings (they are generally sweet). You might be thinking of Russian Blini . A yeasty silver dollar sized “pancake” topped with grated hard cooked egg, minced chives, sour cream and a small dollop of caviar (roe)

  8. all this talk about blintzes, jam, sour cream, blini and roe has got me hungry!!

    thought this was a fun puzzle today!

  9. Greetings folks!!🤗

    Hi Tony!! Saw your note from last week and replied – I guess we are ships in the night – I am fine and trying to do the puzzle more often now 🙃

    Hi Willie!! 🤗

    I liked this puzzle. Had to cheat for a few, including FT LEE . I’ll speak for Jane and say that TMI should have been clued as an abbreviation!!!

    Clever theme. Helped me get THEATER GOPHER right away.

    I just LOVE cheese blintzes with preserves and sour cream and now I really want some….🤔

    Be well~~🐧

  10. Mostly easy Friday for me; took 27:39 with no errors or peeks. Got the theme relatively early and managed with only a bit of dancing around waiting for a few crosses.

    @Randy – No problem at all, it is kind of both a hobby and income, since there’s no way you could live around here on a beekeeper’s income alone. It mostly keeps me out of trouble 🙂

    @Catherine – I’m pretty sure it’s demons 🙂

    @Babbot – Thanks very much for the explanation. I actually finally did come up with it later after thinking more about “fare.” Just not an expression that I’ve ever used. Hoof it, bike it, drive it…I guess it does make sense.

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