LA Times Crossword 7 Aug 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: Brian E. Paquin
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 11m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Jazz genre : BOP

“Bop” is a shortened form of “bebop”, the name of a jazz style that dates back to the early 1940s. “Bebop” probably came from “Arriba! Arriba!”, which were words of encouragement uttered by Latin-American bandleaders to their musicians.

4 Muppet assistant of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew : BEAKER

The Muppet character named Dr. Bunsen Honeydew is a scientist in a lab coat. His given name comes from the Bunsen burner piece of lab equipment, and the family name is a reference to the character’s head, which is shaped like a honeydew melon. Dr. Bunsen Honeydew’s assistant is Beaker, who is also named for a piece of lab equipment.

14 Award-winning sportswriter Berkow : IRA

Ira Berkow is a sports reporter and writer who worked from 1981 until 2007 for “The New York Times”.

17 Negroni component : GIN

The Negroni is a lovely cocktail that hails from Italy. A classic recipe calls for equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and Campari. According to legend, the drink was first made by bartender Forsco Scarselli at the request of Count Camillo Negroni, hence the name. The count wanted a stronger version of an Americano, and so Scarselli dropped the Americano’s soda water and replaced it with gin!

18 Asian island capital : TAIPEI

Taipei (officially “Taipei City”) is the capital of Taiwan (officially “the Republic of China”). “Taipei” translates from Chinese as “Northern Taiwan City” and indeed, the capital is situated at the northern tip of Taiwan. The city is nicknamed “City of Azaleas” as flowers are said to bloom better in Taipei than in any other city on the island.

19 Bowie’s bride : IMAN

Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid is a supermodel from Somalia who goes simply by the name “Iman” these days. “Iman” is an Arabic word for “faith”. Iman is a smart cookie. Imam has a degree in Political Science and is fluent in five languages: Somali, Arabic, Italian, French and English. Iman was married to English rock star David Bowie from 1992 until his death in 2016.

In early 1969, the struggling David Bowie recorded a promotional film in an attempt to reach a wider audience. The film called “Love You Till Tuesday” featured seven of Bowie’s songs in what amounted to an extended music video, with one of the tracks being “Space Oddity”. Somebody smart put two and two together later in the year and decided that a fresh version of “Space Oddity” should be released, to coincide with the Apollo moon landings. Sure enough, the BBC snagged the track for their coverage of the landings and gave Bowie huge audiences. And the song still gets an awful lot of air time on the small screen. Famously, Bowie turned down the honor of Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2000. The British government tried again in 2003, offering a knighthood, but Bowie stuck to his guns and refused that honor too. Bowie did however accept the French title of Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1999.

25 Cone producer : FIR

Firs are evergreen coniferous trees, with several species being popular as Christmas trees. The most commonly used species during the holidays are the Nordmann fir, noble fir, Fraser fir and balsam fir. We also see a lot of Douglas fir trees at Christmas, but they’re not actually true firs.

26 Rus. neighbor : NOR

Norway has been ranked as the country in the world with the highest standard of living almost every year since 2001. It is rich in natural resources and has a relatively low population. The people benefit from a comprehensive social security system, subsidized higher education for all citizens and universal health care. And Norway is famous for her success at the Winter Olympic Games, having won more gold medals than any other nation in the world.

27 Early muscle cars : GTOS

The initialism “GTO” was used on several touring cars (including a famous Pontiac) and stands for “Gran Turismo Omologato”. Italian car manufacturers started the tradition of calling their luxury performance cars “Gran Turismo”, and calling those cars they approved for racing “Gran Turismo Omologato”. The phrase “gran turismo omologato” translates as “grand touring homologated”, “homologated” being a technical term signifying official approval.

28 Indolent : BONE LAZY

We usually use the word “indolence” these days to mean “habitual laziness”. We also use “indolent” to mean “causing very little pain”. The term derives from the Latin “indolentia” meaning “freedom from pain”. The jump to “laziness” took place in the 1700s. I think the idea is that when one is lazy, one avoids taking “pains”.

35 Causes of color blindness : MUTANT GENES

The most common cause of color blindness is inherited, and is a defect found on the X chromosome. As females have two X chromosomes, a defect gene is usually compensated by the non-defective gene on the other X chromosome. Males only have one X chromosome, and so inherited color blindness is far more prevalent in men than women.

36 Unpleasant digs : POTSHOTS

When firing a gun, a “potshot” is a “shot” taken purely to get the prey into the “pot” for cooking. The term “potshot” was coined in the 1830s, hence distinguishing between a shot taken for sport or marksmanship and a shot taken while hunting for game.

37 “I hate the Moor” speaker : IAGO

In William Shakespeare’s play ”Othello”, the villain of the piece Iago utters the words:

I hate the Moor,
And it is thought abroad that ’twixt my sheets
He’s done my office. I know not if ’t be true,
But I, for mere suspicion in that kind,
Will do as if for surety.

Iago is citing the widespread rumor that Othello slept with Iago’s wife Emilia. Iago is not certain that the rumor is true, but just the suspicion of it is enough for him to express his hatred for Othello.

41 Balderdash : ROT

“Balderdash” means “senseless jumble of words”. The original balderdash (back before the late 1600s) was a jumbled mix of liquids like maybe beer and wine, or even beer and milk!

42 Bygone greeting : AVE

“Ave” is a Latin word meaning “hail” as in “Ave Maria”, which translates as “Hail Mary”. “Ave” can also be used to mean “goodbye”.

43 Top 10 Carole King song of 1974 : JAZZMAN

Not only is Carole King a highly successful recording artist and performer, she is recognized by many as perhaps the greatest American female songwriter. Many of her earlier hits were co-written with her first husband Gerry Goffin. King’s life and career is celebrated in the marvelous stage show “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”, which I highly recommend.

46 Onetime Texas home of both Bushes : ODESSA

The city of Odessa, Texas has as its symbol the jack rabbit. This is because from the thirties through the seventies the city hosted a rodeo for roping rabbits. The Humane Society applied pressure and the city did away with the tradition in 1977.

48 Creek traveler : CANOEIST

The boat known as a canoe takes its name from the Carib word “kenu” meaning “dugout”. It was Christopher Columbus who brought “kenu” into Spanish as “canoa”, which evolved into our English “canoe”.

49 Catalan surrealist : MIRO

Joan Miró was a Spanish artist. He immersed himself in Surrealism, so much so that Andre Breton, the founder of the movement, said that Miró was “the most Surrealist of us all”. There are two museums dedicated to Miró’s work. The Fundació Joan Miró is in his native Barcelona, and the Fundació Miró Mallorca is in Palma de Mallorca, where the artist spent much of his life.

Catalonia is an autonomous community in the northeast of Spain, the capital of which is the city of Barcelona. Sandwiched between Catalonia and France to the north, is the lovely Principality of Andorra that is nestled in the Pyrenees. Andorra is the country in the world in which Catalan is an official language.

52 Printer resolution spec. : DPI

Dots per inch (DPI) is a term usually reserved for printing resolution, a measure of the density of individual ink dots that can be positioned on the printed surface. Screen resolution is measured in pixels per inch (PPI), a measure of how closely individual pixels can be placed in a digital display.

55 Frodo’s sidekick : SAM

Samwise Gamgee is the sidekick to Frodo Baggins in Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. “Sam” is portrayed by American actor Sean Astin in the Peter Jackson big screen adaptations of the novels.

56 Banks on a runway : TYRA

Tyra Banks is a tremendously successful model and businesswoman. Banks created and hosted the hit show “America’s Next Top Model “, and also had her own talk show. She was also the first African-American woman to make the cover of the “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issue.

58 Green Day drummer __ Cool : TRE

“Tré Cool” is the stage name of Frank Wright, the drummer for the punk rock band Green Day.

Green Day is a punk rock band from just down the road here, from Berkeley, California. The name “Green Day” was chosen by the band to reflect their fondness for marijuana. “Green day” is a slang term used to describe a day spent smoking the drug.

Down

1 Many a semi : BIG RIG

A “semi” is a “semi-trailer truck”. The vehicle is so called because it consists of a tractor and a half-trailer. The half-trailer is so called because it only has wheels on the back end, with the front supported by the tractor.

3 Mexican Villa : PANCHO

Mexican revolutionary José Doroteo Arango Arámbula was better known by his nom de guerre Francisco Villa, or more commonly “Pancho” Villa. Villa’s friends referred to him as “La Cucaracha” (The Cockroach).

7 “Keystone” klutzes : KOPS

The Keystone Cops (sometimes “Keystone Kops”) were a band of madcap policemen who appeared in silent movies. A 1914 short film called “A Thief Catcher” that was believed lost was rediscovered in 2010. “A Thief Catcher” featured the magnificent Charlie Chaplin in an early role as a Keystone Cop.

A klutz is an awkward individual, with the term “klutz” coming from Yiddish. The Yiddish word for a clumsy person is “klots”.

11 Advanced study groups : SEMINARS

A seminar is a meeting called for the exchange of information, especially in a university. The term comes from the Latin “seminarium” meaning “breeding ground, plant nursery”, which is also the root of our word “seminary”.

12 Pot cover : TEA COZY

A tea cozy is an insulated cover for a teapot, something to keep the tea hot. I don’t know what I’d do without my tea cosy/cozy …

13 Cantankerous : ORNERY

Back in the early 1800s, the word “ornery” was an informal contraction for the word “ordinary”, and meant commonplace, but with a sense of “poor quality, coarse, ugly” as opposed to “special”. Towards the end of the century, the usage “ornery” had evolved into describing someone who was mean or cantankerous.

21 Wigs out : HAS FITS

The idea behind the expression “to wig out”, meaning “to go crazy”, is that there is so much going on in your brain that it might “lift your hair/wig”.

25 Score direction : FORTE

In musical notation, the Italian word “piano” (p) instructs musicians to play softly, and “forte” (f) to play loudly. The additional notation “pianissimo” (pp) means “very soft”, and fortissimo (ff) means “very loud”.

28 Arctic hazards : BERGS

An iceberg is a large piece of freshwater ice that is floating freely after having broken away from a glacier or ice shelf. Our use of “iceberg” comes from the Dutch word for the same phenomenon “ijsberg”, which translates literally as “ice mountain”.

31 Midwestern natives : OMAHAS

The Omaha Nation was one of the most welcoming of the Native American tribes, never resisting the influx of European explorers and traders. The Omaha even fought alongside Union troops during the American Civil War, and have stood by the US people ever since. Regardless, the Omaha people lost most of their land and now reside on the Omaha Reservation in northeastern Nebraska and western Iowa.

39 One of the Magi : GASPAR

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, “magi” is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar (also “Gaspar”): a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

43 Kyoto’s country : JAPAN

The city of Kyoto was once the capital of Japan, and in fact the name “Kyoto” means “capital city” in Japanese. Kyoto is sometimes referred to as the City of Ten Thousand Shrines.

44 Sambuca flavoring : ANISE

Sambuca is an Italian liqueur that is flavored with anise. Sambuca is often served straight up with three coffee beans floating on the surface. The beans are said to represent health, happiness and prosperity. A more “saucy” representation for the beans is the husband, wife and mistress.

48 “Finally” singer Peniston : CECE

CeCe Peniston is a recording artist noted for the prevalence of her music in dance clubs. Her most successful song is “Finally”, released in 1991. Supposedly Peniston wrote the lyrics for “Finally” while she was still at school, and during a chemistry class!

51 Co. follower, perhaps : INC

A company that has incorporated uses the abbreviation “Inc.” after its name. By incorporating, a company forms a corporation, which is a legal entity that has legal rights similar to those of an individual. For example, a corporation can sue another corporation or individual. However, a corporation does not have all the rights of citizens. A corporation does not have the Fifth Amendment right of protections against self-incrimination, for example. It is perhaps understandable that the concept of “corporations as persons” is a frequent subject for debate.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Jazz genre : BOP
4 Muppet assistant of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew : BEAKER
10 About : AS TO
14 Award-winning sportswriter Berkow : IRA
15 Words often following “head over heels” : … IN LOVE
16 Pub order : BEER
17 Negroni component : GIN
18 Asian island capital : TAIPEI
19 Bowie’s bride : IMAN
20 Has another look at : RECHECKS
22 Spot : NOTICE
24 Too quickly : IN HASTE
25 Cone producer : FIR
26 Rus. neighbor : NOR
27 Early muscle cars : GTOS
28 Indolent : BONE LAZY
30 One-time renown : FORMER GLORY
34 Some street performers : MIME ARTISTS
35 Causes of color blindness : MUTANT GENES
36 Unpleasant digs : POTSHOTS
37 “I hate the Moor” speaker : IAGO
41 Balderdash : ROT
42 Bygone greeting : AVE
43 Top 10 Carole King song of 1974 : JAZZMAN
46 Onetime Texas home of both Bushes : ODESSA
48 Creek traveler : CANOEIST
49 Catalan surrealist : MIRO
50 Neckwear accessory : TIEPIN
52 Printer resolution spec. : DPI
53 Made a case : PLED
54 Protect, as a museum exhibit : ENCASE
55 Frodo’s sidekick : SAM
56 Banks on a runway : TYRA
57 Movie parts : SCENES
58 Green Day drummer __ Cool : TRE

Down

1 Many a semi : BIG RIG
2 Acquaint : ORIENT
3 Mexican Villa : PANCHO
4 Quick meals : BITES
5 Legally establish : ENACT
6 Similar : ALIKE
7 “Keystone” klutzes : KOPS
8 Time to start celebrating, maybe : EVE
9 Bringing under control : REINING IN
10 -ish : A BIT
11 Advanced study groups : SEMINARS
12 Pot cover : TEA COZY
13 Cantankerous : ORNERY
21 Wigs out : HAS FITS
23 “… and you know what happens if you don’t!” : … OR ELSE!
25 Score direction : FORTE
28 Arctic hazards : BERGS
29 Home buyer’s concern : LOT SIZE
31 Midwestern natives : OMAHAS
32 Overhauls : RENOVATES
33 Lacking in luster : MATTE
34 One speaking indistinctly : MUTTERER
35 How teens often act up : MOODILY
36 Cue : PROMPT
38 In the thick of : AMIDST
39 One of the Magi : GASPAR
40 Flight board status : ON TIME
43 Kyoto’s country : JAPAN
44 Sambuca flavoring : ANISE
45 Partitions : ZONES
47 Ice cream treat : SODA
48 “Finally” singer Peniston : CECE
51 Co. follower, perhaps : INC

12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 7 Aug 21, Saturday”

  1. 2 errors.. never heard of BONE LAZY or a TEA COZY… you got me Mr Paquin. I was all over the place in that NE corner..

    Not sure I understand how SODA is an ice cream treat unless it’s some sort of play on words..

  2. LAT: About a half hour with no errors. Rather straightforward puzzle with known surrounding answers helping to fill in the unknowns, which were mainly proper names.

  3. No errors, but had to look up Odessa; I stewed over “Caspar”
    wanting to use it for the Magi name, but finally had to name
    Iago so it became Gaspar. I had never seen it spelled this way,
    but what do I know?

    Fairly easy for a Saturday puzzle.
    To “Anon Mike”….an ice cream soda is one of my favorite
    treats!

  4. 18:16

    Had a terrible time in the NE corner until I changed PINT to BEER. I also wasn’t familiar with a meaning of SEMINAR being “advanced study”. I’ve been to plenty of seminars that didn’t seem all that advanced at all.

    A Tea Cozy is a cloth or knitted cover you put on a teapot to keep it warm.

    An ice cream soda is basically a float made from scratch, as in soda water, syrup, and ice cream.

  5. 17:59 and 4 errors in the center. I always thought mimes were simply that: mimes, not “mime artists”. Couldn’t figure out HAS FITS (I hear that as “HAS A FIT”), so this puzzle was a non-finisher for me. Just not in sync with the constructor.

  6. 25:22 with no errors or lookups on a Saturday! The NE corner was a trial, but eventually worked out. Had to change ORSO>ASTO, LIDCOSY>TEACOZY, BONELESS>BONELAZY. Also worked through HASAFIT>HASACOW>HASFITS, TIETAC>TIEPIN, WALLS>ZONES.

  7. Mostly easy for a Saturday; took 27:51 with no errors or peeks. Had to dance around a bit and use “crossword vibes” but no real trouble at all. Sensed that it wasn’t Dali and remembered MIRO from a recent puzzle. Had to change HASacow and stuterer. Didn’t know BEAKER, GIN, JAZZMAN, SAM, GASPAR and CECE, and only vaguely knew FORTE.

    I know we’ve had GTO loads of times, but this was the first time I actually read the explanation carefully…pretty interesting Gran Turismo Omologato = Gran Turismo Approved or Sanctioned.

    Checked out Cece Peniston since I wasn’t familiar with her: pretty cool. I like the first comment on the YouTube video: “back when you could only be famous if you could actually sing” 🙂
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk8mm1Qmt-Y

    1. You’ll find if you check George H.W. Bush’s Wiki entry, that after leaving CN, they – he, Barbara and 2 year old W. – first moved to Odessa to work for Dresser Industries for a short time, followed by Ventura, Compton (!!), Bakersfield and then Midland.

      So Midland and then Houston is what W considers his childhood home(s) but Odessa is also correct.

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