LA Times Crossword 14 Apr 21, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Julian Lim
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Enemy

Themed answers each include the letter sequence N-M-E (which sounds like “ENEMY”):

  • 67A Foe found phonetically in four puzzle answers : ENEMY
  • 17A Monument on one end of the National Mall : LINCOLN MEMORIAL
  • 29A Singer of the 2019 #1 hit “Señorita” : SHAWN MENDES
  • 44A Local political gathering : TOWN MEETING
  • 59A Upscale restaurant’s offering : DEGUSTATION MENU

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

Bill’s time: 7m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Treble symbol : G-CLEF

“Clef” is the French word for “key”. In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on a stave. The bass clef is also known as the F-clef, the alto clef is the C-clef, and the treble clef is the G-clef.

14 Siri’s Amazon counterpart : ALEXA

Alexa is a personal assistant application that is most associated with Amazon Echo smart speakers. Apparently, one reason the name “Alexa” was chosen is because it might remind one of the Library of Alexandria, the “keeper of all knowledge”.

15 Felipe of baseball : ALOU

Felipe Alou is a former professional baseball player and manager. Alou managed the Montreal Expos from 1992 to 2001, and the San Francisco Giants from 2003 to 2006. Alou was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and came to the US to play for the Giants in 1955. Felipe’s brothers Matty and Jesús followed him to the US, and into Major League baseball.

16 “The Thin Man” canine role : ASTA

Asta is the wonderful little dog in the superb “The Thin Man” series of films starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). In the original story by Dashiell Hammett, Asta was a female Schnauzer, but on screen Asta was played by a wire-haired fox terrier called “Skippy”. Skippy was also the dog in “Bringing Up Baby” with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, the one who kept stealing the dinosaur bone. Skippy retired in 1939, so Asta was played by other dogs in the remainder of “The Thin Man” films.

17 Monument on one end of the National Mall : LINCOLN MEMORIAL

The Lincoln Memorial is my favorite place to visit in the whole of Washington D.C. The memorial itself was designed by Henry Bacon, and the sculptor of the magnificent statue of President Lincoln was Daniel Chester French. I spent a wonderful afternoon a few years ago touring the workshop and home of French, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The workshop is stunning, with miniature studies for his magnum opus, the Lincoln Statue, as well as many other beautiful works.

The National Mall is a park in downtown Washington, D.C. The National Mall is home to several museums that are part of the Smithsonian, as well as the National Gallery of Art.

20 Cathedral recess : APSE

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.

25 Rice-like pasta : ORZO

Orzo is pasta that has been formed into granular shapes, much like barley. And indeed, “orzo” is the Italian word for “barley”. Orzo is also called “risoni”, meaning “large rice”.

26 Eleven-yr.-old insurance law : ACA

The correct name for what has been dubbed “Obamacare” is the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (ACA).

34 Mall cop’s ride : SEGWAY

The Segway PT is a self-balancing two-wheel electric vehicle introduced to the world in 2001 by American inventor Dean Kamen.

36 “Brava!” : OLE!

To express appreciation for a male performer at an operatic performance, traditionally one calls out “bravo!”. Appreciation for a female performer is shown by using “brava!”, and for more than one performer of either sex by using “bravi!”

38 O. __ : HENRY

“O. Henry” was the pen name of writer William Sydney Porter from Greensboro, North Carolina. O. Henry is famous for his witty short stories that have a clever twist in the tail.

39 __ rub: BBQ spices : DRY

It is believed that our word “barbecue” (BBQ) comes from the Taíno people of the Caribbean in whose language “barbacoa” means “sacred fire pit”.

41 Bread spread : OLEO

Emperor Louis Napoleon III of France announced a competition to develop a substitute for butter, a substitute that would be more accessible to the lower classes and more practical for the armed forces. A French chemist called Hippolyte Mege-Mouries came up with something he called oleomargarine in 1869, which was eventually manufactured under the trade name “margarine”. The name “oleomargarine” also gives us our generic term “oleo”.

43 Mexican state south of Veracruz : OAXACA

Oaxaca is a state in the southern part of Mexico on the Pacific coast. The state takes the name of Oaxaca, its largest city.

47 “Acid” : LSD

LSD (known colloquially as “acid”) is lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist named Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

48 Capricorn critter : GOAT

The astrological sign of Capricorn is associated with the constellation Capricornus. “Capricornus” is Latin for “horned goat”. That said, Capricorn is often represented by a sea-goat symbol, a mythical half-fish, half-goat creature.

49 Poker variety : STUD

“Stud poker” is the name given to many variants of poker, all of which are characterized by the dealer giving each player a mix of cards face-down and face-up. The cards facing upwards are called “upcards”. The cards facing downwards are called “hole cards”, cards only visible to the individual who holds that particular hand. This gives rise to the phrase “ace in the hole”, a valuable holding that only the player with the ace is aware of.

55 File format for digital books : EPUB

EPUB is a standard format used in the publishing of e-books. Books in the EPUB file format have the extension “.epub”.

59 Upscale restaurant’s offering : DEGUSTATION MENU

Degustation is the tasting of something, especially in small portions. “Degustation” comes from the Latin “degustare” meaning “to take a taste, a sample”.

62 Christian on a label : DIOR

Christian Dior was a French fashion designer. As WWII approached, Dior was called up by the French military, drawing a temporary halt to his career in fashion. He left the army in 1942 and for the duration of the war designed clothes for wives of Nazi officers and French collaborators. After the war his designs became so popular that he helped to re-establish Paris as the fashion center of the world.

63 “Marriage Story” actor Alan : ALDA

“Marriage Story” is a 2019 movie starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver as a couple going through a messy divorce. The critics loved this one. Me, not so much …

65 Tall tale : YARN

The phrase “to spin a yarn”, meaning “to tell a tall tale”, originated in the early 1800s with seamen. The idea was that sailors would tell stories to each other while engaged in mindless work such as twisting yarn.

Down

3 Many a Zeiss product : LENS

Zeiss is a manufacturer of optical systems that was founded in Germany in 1846 by optician Carl Zeiss.

5 Toy retailer __ Schwarz : FAO

FAO Schwarz was perhaps the most famous, and certainly the oldest, toy store in the United States. The FAO Schwarz outlet on Fifth Avenue in New York City closed in 2015. This store was famously used in several Hollywood movies. For example, it was home to the Walking Piano that Tom Hanks played in the movie “Big”.

6 Meditation word : MANTRA

A mantra is a word that is used as a focus for the mind while meditating. The term is Sanskrit in origin, and is now used figuratively in English to describe any oft-repeated word or phrase.

7 __ mater : ALMA

The literal translation for the Latin term “alma mater” is “nourishing mother”. The phrase was used in ancient Rome to refer to mother goddesses, and in Medieval Christianity the term was used to refer to the Virgin Mary. Nowadays, one’s alma mater is the school one attended, either high school or college, usually one’s last place of education.

11 Himalayas locale : ASIA

The magnificent Himalaya range of mountains in Asia takes its name from the Sanskrit for “abode of snow”. Geographically, the Himalaya separates the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau to the north.

18 Patrick __, Vermont senator since 1975 : LEAHY

Patrick Leahy has served as a US Senator for Vermont since 1975. That makes him the only current member of the Senate to have served prior to the election of President Jimmy Carter in 1976. Leahy is a big fan of the Grateful Dead. He once presented Republican colleague Orrin Hatch with a tie designed by the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia. Hatch responded by presenting Democrat Leahy with a Rush Limbaugh tie. A little “reaching across the aisle” …

19 Cinq plus six : ONZE

In French, “cinq plus six” (five plus six) makes “onze” (eleven).

24 Words to an old chap : I SAY

“Chap” is an informal term meaning “lad, fellow” that is used especially in England. The term derives from “chapman”, an obsolete word meaning “purchaser” or “trader”.

27 Songwriter Green : CEELO

“CeeLo Green” is the stage name of rapper Thomas DeCarlo Callaway. Apparently Green is one of the coaches for the contestants on the singing TV show “The Voice”. That’s all I need to know …

28 Nixon’s first veep : AGNEW

Spiro Agnew served as Vice-President under Richard Nixon, before becoming the only VP in American history to resign because of criminal charges (there was a bribery scandal). Agnew was also the first Greek-American to serve as US Vice President as he was the son of a Greek immigrant who had shortened the family name from Anagnostopoulos.

30 Razzie Award adjective : WORST

“Razzie” is the familiar name for the Golden Raspberry Award, an award presented annually for the worst in the world of film. The Razzies have been presented on the day before the Oscars since 1981.

31 Hot rod attachment : DECAL

A decal is a decorative sticker. “Decal” is a shortening of “decalcomania”. The latter term is derived from the French “décalquer”, the practice of tracing a pattern from paper onto glass or perhaps porcelain.

A hot rod is an American car that has been modified for speed by installing a larger than normal engine. A street rod is generally a more comfortable type of hot rod, with the emphasis less on the engine and more on custom paint jobs and interiors. By definition, a street rod must be based on an automobile design that originated prior to 1949.

32 Management bigwigs : EXECS

A bigwig is someone important. The use of the term “bigwig” harks back to the days when men of authority and rank wore … big wigs.

33 Highly coveted violin : STRAD

Generations of the Stradivari family produced violins and other stringed instruments, the most famous of which were constructed by Antonio Stradivari.

39 Paleo __ : DIET

The paleolithic (or “paleo, caveman”) diet is a fad diet that became popular in the 2000s. The idea is to eat wild plants and animals that would have been available to humans during the Paleolithic era (roughly the Stone Age). This period precedes the introduction of agriculture and the domestication of animals. As a result, someone on the diet avoids consuming grains, legumes, dairy and processed foods. The diet consists mainly of lean meat (about 45-65% of the total calorie intake), non-starchy vegetables, fruits, berries and nuts.

40 Tortellini topper : RAGU

A ragout is a dish from French cuisine, and is a highly-seasoned stew of either meat or fish. The name “ragout” comes from the verb “ragouter”, “to revive the taste”. The Italian “ragù” is a term borrowed from the French that describes a meat-based sauce served with pasta.

Tortellini are stuffed pasta that are ring-shaped, or navel-shaped. In fact, tortellini can also be called “umbellico”, the Italian for “belly button”.

42 Five-armed ocean creature : SEA STAR

Starfish (sometimes known as “sea stars”) come in many shapes and sizes, but commonly have “pentaradial symmetry”, meaning they have symmetrical body-shapes with five points. Most starfish are predators, mainly living on a diet of mollusks such as clams and oysters.

43 When a football may be snapped : ON TWO

The quarterback (QB) starts each play in football with a snap (also called a “hike”). He announces to his teammates the exact moment of the snap by calling out signals, usually including the word “hut” one or more times in a prearranged sequence.

45 Springfield bar : MOE’S

Moe Szyslak is the surly bartender and owner of Moe’s Tavern in “The Simpsons” animated TV show. I don’t really care for “The Simpsons”, but Hank Azaria who supplies the voice for the Moe character … him I like …

“The Simpsons” television show is meant to be set in “Anytown, USA”. The creators chose the name “Springfield”, as it is one of most common town and city names in the country.

46 Old Testament prophet : ISAIAH

The Book of Isaiah is part of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament. Isaiah is not mentioned in the Qur’an, but many Muslim scholars consider Isaiah a prophet. Isaiah is widely regarded as the most eloquent of the prophets, earning him the moniker “Shakespeare of the Prophets”.

50 Exorcist’s target : DEMON

An exorcist is a religious figure who is believed to be able to cast out demons that have possessed a person or perhaps a building.

51 Jacuzzi effect : EDDY

“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.

52 Kylo Ren’s mother : LEIA

Kylo Ren is the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa in the “Star Wars” universe. The character’s birth name was Ben Solo. He was trained as a Jedi knight by his uncle, Luke Skywalker. However, Ben came to embrace the Dark Side, and changed his name to Kylo Ren. Ren is played by actor Adam Driver.

53 Composer Stravinsky : IGOR

Composer Igor Stravinsky’s most famous works were completed relatively early in his career, when he was quite young. His three ballets “The Firebird”, “Petrushka” and “The Rite of Spring” were published in 1910-1913, when Stravinsky was in his early thirties.

56 Best of the Beatles, once : PETE

Musician Pete Best is most famous as the first drummer with the Beatles. Famously, Best was sacked from the band by manager Brian Epstein. However, Epstein took this step reluctantly, and at the request of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison. Several stories have emerged about why the decision was made, but it seems that record producers at Parlophone were insisting that a session drummer be used in the band’s first recordings, and things snowballed from there. And of course, Best was soon replaced by Ringo Starr.

57 Word on U.S. coins : UNUM

From 1776, “E pluribus unum” was the unofficial motto of the United States. The phrase translates from Latin as “Out of many, one”. It was pushed aside in 1956 when an Act of Congress designated “In God We Trust” as the country’s official motto. “In God We Trust” had appeared on US coins since 1864, but was only introduced on paper currency in 1957.

60 __ carte : A LA

On a restaurant menu, items that are “à la carte” are priced and ordered separately. A menu marked “table d’hôte” (also called “prix fixe”) is a fixed-price menu with limited choice. “Table d’hôte” translates from French as “table of the host”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Treble symbol : G-CLEF
6 “Do the __!” : MATH
10 Toppers with visors : CAPS
14 Siri’s Amazon counterpart : ALEXA
15 Felipe of baseball : ALOU
16 “The Thin Man” canine role : ASTA
17 Monument on one end of the National Mall : LINCOLN MEMORIAL
20 Cathedral recess : APSE
21 Expected-in hr. : ETA
22 At first, say : ON BASE
23 Falsehood source : LIAR
25 Rice-like pasta : ORZO
26 Eleven-yr.-old insurance law : ACA
29 Singer of the 2019 #1 hit “Señorita” : SHAWN MENDES
34 Mall cop’s ride : SEGWAY
36 “Brava!” : OLE!
37 Schoolbook : TEXT
38 O. __ : HENRY
39 __ rub: BBQ spices : DRY
40 One with a need for speed : RACER
41 Bread spread : OLEO
42 Bro’s sib : SIS
43 Mexican state south of Veracruz : OAXACA
44 Local political gathering : TOWN MEETING
47 “Acid” : LSD
48 Capricorn critter : GOAT
49 Poker variety : STUD
51 Chosen groups : ELITES
54 Watched : SAW
55 File format for digital books : EPUB
59 Upscale restaurant’s offering : DEGUSTATION MENU
62 Christian on a label : DIOR
63 “Marriage Story” actor Alan : ALDA
64 “We didn’t do it” : NOT US
65 Tall tale : YARN
66 Itchy red area : RASH
67 Foe found phonetically in four puzzle answers : ENEMY

Down

1 Lavish party : GALA
2 Film segment : CLIP
3 Many a Zeiss product : LENS
4 Shine : EXCEL
5 Toy retailer __ Schwarz : FAO
6 Meditation word : MANTRA
7 __ mater : ALMA
8 Piggy in a crib : TOE
9 “It’s weird, but just do it” : HUMOR ME
10 Ecological levy : CARBON TAX
11 Himalayas locale : ASIA
12 Education orgs. : PTAS
13 Bargain hunter’s delight : SALE
18 Patrick __, Vermont senator since 1975 : LEAHY
19 Cinq plus six : ONZE
24 Words to an old chap : I SAY
25 Sole : ONLY
26 Had __: was still in the running : A SHOT
27 Songwriter Green : CEELO
28 Nixon’s first veep : AGNEW
30 Razzie Award adjective : WORST
31 Hot rod attachment : DECAL
32 Management bigwigs : EXECS
33 Highly coveted violin : STRAD
35 Right that isn’t right, e.g. : WRONG TURN
39 Paleo __ : DIET
40 Tortellini topper : RAGU
42 Five-armed ocean creature : SEA STAR
43 When a football may be snapped : ON TWO
45 Springfield bar : MOE’S
46 Old Testament prophet : ISAIAH
50 Exorcist’s target : DEMON
51 Jacuzzi effect : EDDY
52 Kylo Ren’s mother : LEIA
53 Composer Stravinsky : IGOR
54 Criteria: Abbr. : STDS
56 Best of the Beatles, once : PETE
57 Word on U.S. coins : UNUM
58 At it : BUSY
60 __ carte : A LA
61 Omaha-to-St. Paul dir. : NNE

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 14 Apr 21, Wednesday”

  1. Never heard of 59A “degustation.” Did fine to that point and then came to dead end after many exploratory changes. Ugh! New one on me. I guess I’ll have to frequent more upscale restaurants! (Can’t wait for pandemic to be over and go anywhere. ) Be safe. This too shall pass.

  2. I have never been given a 59A menu in my long life and I have certainly eaten in some critically distinctive restaurants. And why would any puzzle editor allow a clue with one English word and one Spanish word (19D). My oh my, are standards slowly slipping away? I hope not.

    1. A degustation menu in France is what we in the U.S. call a Tasting Menu. Many restaurants, fine dining and otherwise, offer them.

      Both words in the D19 clue (as well as the answer) are French. cinq in French = five in English, six in French = six in English, and onze in French = eleven in English.

    2. Spanish? In 19D? French, yes. Spanish, no.

      And I’d never heard of a “degustation menu”, either. I got the entry using crosses and thought it was probably not something Iowa farm boys know about. (I do know something about “disgusting menus”, however … 😜.) After reading up on the topic, it appears to me that a “degustation menu” is something you have to seek out; it’s not what you expect to see in any old fine restaurant you drop into on a whim.

  3. 7:04

    The theme made no sense until I was done, and searched for the enemy and found NME.

    I got most of the long ones surprisingly easily, but the last one was the real surprise. Degustation Menu? That’s a very fancy term. La!

    One more comment about nom-nom-nom: I’m pretty sure it originates from Cookie Monster.

  4. 23.54 for me with no errors. Just thrilled to get a Wednesday puzzle with no errors or cheats.

    I’m not one of the “pro” – just don’t know how you get those times day after day.

    My best time ever was 6:33 …..

    Just loved 45D “Springfield Bar”!

  5. Greetings y’all!!!🤗

    No errors. Fun puzzle, altho I couldn’t find the N M E thing. I like this constructor, julian Lim. Haven’t seen him in awhile. He’s probably been here when I wasn’t. 🤔

    FWIW– also, plus = plus in French.

    How bout them Dodgers??!! ⚾️

    Be well ~~⚾️

  6. Pretty quick Wednesday for me; took 14:16 with no errors or peeks, although I did look at degustation with a bit of side-eye. I’ve seen pictures but never heard the name before.

    re Cee Lo Green – Also known as Gnarls Barkley with the great hit “Crazy”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-N4jf6rtyuw

    How bout them Giants??!!

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