LA Times Crossword 1 Jan 22, Saturday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Adrian Johnson
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Happy New Year, everyone!

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

Bill’s time: 15m 16s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Over the moon : HAPPY AS A CLAM

Our phrase “happy as a clam” dates back to the mid-1600s. Back then it was a more lengthy expression: “happy as a clam in the mud at high tide”. The idea was that a clam would be happy in its muddy home at high tide, because no one from land could get to it and eat it.

To be over the moon is to be elated, extremely happy. The phrase “over the moon” comes from the nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle”.

The nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle” has been around at least since the mid-1700s.

Hey diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon,The little dog laughed to see such fun,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

13 Figurehead?: Abbr. : CPA

Certified public accountant (CPA)

16 Japanese art piece that symbolizes good fortune and longevity : ORIGAMI CRANE

Origami is the traditional Japanese art form of paper folding. The best-known example of the craft is the paper crane (“orizuru“). The word “origami” is derived from “ori“ (folding) and “kami” (paper).

18 Much-photographed event : TOTAL ECLIPSE

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes into the shadow cast by the Earth from the light of the Sun, in other words when the Earth is positioned directly between the Sun and the Moon. The more spectacular solar eclipse takes place when the Moon passes in front of the Sun, so that the Earth falls into the shadow cast by the Moon.

19 Fairy-tale disruption : PEA

“The Princess and the Pea” is a fairy tale from the pen of Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. The essence of the story is that a prince’s mother tests the royal blood of an apparent princess by placing a pea under a pile of mattresses on which the young girl sleeps. The girl complains of a restless night, demonstrating a physical sensitivity that can only be attributed to a princess. And they all lived happily ever after …

20 Son of Akhenaten : TUT

“King Tut” is a name commonly used for the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun. Tutankhamun may not have been the most significant of the pharaohs historically, but he is the most famous today largely because of the discovery of his nearly intact tomb in 1922 by Howard Carter. Prior to this find, any Egyptian tombs uncovered by archaeologists had been ravaged by grave robbers. Tutankhamun’s magnificent burial mask is one of the most recognizable of all Egyptian artifacts.

Akhenaten was a pharaoh in ancient Egypt who is perhaps best known these days as the reputed father of Tutankhamun. Akhenaten is also known for abolishing ancient Egypt’s rich pantheon of gods in favor of worshiping the Aten, the disk of the sun.

28 Drawing game : KENO

The name of the game keno has French or Latin roots, with the French “quine” being a term for five winning numbers, and the Latin “quini” meaning “five each”. The game originated in China and was introduced into the West by Chinese immigrants who were working on the first Transcontinental Railroad in the 1800s.

35 Dickered : HAGGLED

Our verb “to haggle”, meaning “to argue about the price”, originally meant “to cut unevenly”. The suggestion is that haggling is chopping away at the price.

49 DOL watchdog : OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1970 during the Nixon administration. It is a direct successor to the Bureau of Labor Standards that dealt with some work safety issues since its founding in 1934. OSHA regulates workplaces in the private sector and regulates just one government agency, namely the US Postal Service.

52 Hill assistant : AIDE

The designer of Washington D.C., Pierre L’Enfant, chose the crest of a hill as the site for the future Congress House. He called the location “Jenkins Hill” and “Jenkins Heights”. Earlier records show the name as “New Troy”. Today we call it “Capitol Hill”.

56 Papyrus plants, e.g. : SEDGES

The papyrus plant was commonly found in the Nile Delta of North Africa. The pith of the plant was used to make a thick paper-like material on which one could write. This writing material, which became known as papyrus (plural “papyri”), became a competitor for the most popular writing surface of the day known as parchment, which was made from animal skins.

58 Vet : SCREEN

The verb “to vet” comes from the term “veterinarian”. The idea is that to vet something is to subject it to careful examination, like a veterinarian checking out an animal.

59 Island in a popular board game : CATAN

The Settlers of Catan (now just “Catan”) is a board game that was introduced in 1995, in Germany as “Die Siedler von Catan”. The game is very popular in the US and was called “the board game of our time” by the “Washington Post”. My son plays it a lot, and as a lover of board games, I am going to have to check it out …

62 Dance step : PAS

“Pas” is a French word meaning “step”.

64 Iran, for one : ISLAMIC STATE

Before 1935, the country we know today as Iran was referred to as Persia by the Western world. The official name of the country since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is the “Islamic Republic of Iran”.

67 It may be plucked on a beach : UKE

The ukulele (uke) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

68 Vader underling : STORMTROOPER

Darth Vader is (to me) the most colorful antagonist in the “Star Wars” universe. Born as Anakin “Ani” Skywalker, he was corrupted by the Emperor Palpatine and turned to “the Dark Side”. In the original films, Darth Vader was portrayed by English bodybuilder David Prowse, and voiced by actor James Earl Jones. Jones asked that he go uncredited for the first two “Star Wars” films, feeling that his contributions were insufficient to warrant recognition. I disagree …

69 Talking stuffed bear in a 2012 film : TED

“Ted” is a 2012 movie written, directed, produced and starring Seth MacFarlane. In the story, MacFarlane voices a somewhat irreverent teddy bear who is the best friend of a character played by Mark Wahlberg. The audiences liked the film, and “Ted 2” followed in 2015.

70 Permanent marker? : TATTOO ARTIST

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

Down

2 Galvanized : AROUSED

Direct electric current produced by chemical reaction is referred to as galvanism. The term “galvanism” comes from the Italian anatomist Luigi Galvani, who discovered the phenomenon in the legs of dead frogs in the late 18th century. The verb “to galvanize” means “to stimulate using galvanic electricity”. We started using “to galvanize” figuratively in the mid-1800s, meaning “to excite, stimulate”.

4 __ Tour : PGA

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) was founded in 1916 and today has its headquarters (unsurprisingly) in Florida, where so many golfers live. Back in 1916, the PGA was based in New York City.

5 Amy Klobuchar, for one : YALIE

Amy Klobuchar was elected to the US Senate in 2006, and became the first elected female senator for Minnesota when she took her seat in the following January. Former Second Lady of the US Muriel Humphrey was Minnesota’s first female senator. Ms. Humphrey was appointed to serve out the balance of her husband’s term after Hubert Humphrey died.

6 Chorus of approval : AMENS

The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

7 Unleashes : SICS

“Sic ’em” is an attack order given to a dog, one instructing the animal to growl, bark or even bite. The term dates back to the 1830s, with “sic” being a variation of “seek”.

8 Women’s Rights Project org. : ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has its roots in the First World War. It grew out of the National Civil Liberties Bureau (CLB) that was founded to provide legal advice and support to conscientious objectors. The ACLU’s motto is “Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself”. The ACLU also hosts a blog on the ACLU.org website called “Speak Freely”.

10 2.5 miles, at Indy : LAP

The Indianapolis 500 race is held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. The race is run around a 2.5 mile oval, hence requiring 200 laps for completion. The first Indy 500 race was held on Memorial Day in 1911. The winner that day was one Ray Harroun. Harroun had seen someone using a rear view mirror on a horse-drawn vehicle, and decided to fit one on his Marmon “Wasp” motor car. Supposedly, that was the first ever use of a rear-view mirror on a motor vehicle.

11 Elgort of “The Fault in Our Stars” : ANSEL

Ansel Elgort is a relatively young actor, and someone who has had a remarkable string of successful roles. He played Tommy Ross in 2013’s “Carrie”, Caleb Prior in “The Divergent Series” movies, Augustus Waters in 2014’s “The Fault in Our Stars”, and the title character in 2017’s “Bay Driver”.

“The Fault in Our Stars” is a 2012 novel by John Green that was adapted into an extremely successful film of the same name in 2014. Both film and novel are about two teenage cancer patients who fall in love with each other. The title is a rewording of lines spoken by Cassius in the play “Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare:

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

13 Building partly burned by Britain in 1814 : CAPITOL

The Burning of Washington was an invasion of Washington City by the British during the War of 1812. Several government and military buildings were set alight by the invading forces on the night of August 24th, including the Presidential Mansion (now “the White House”) and the US Capitol. Damage was limited as the fires were largely extinguished by a heavy thunderstorm, now referred to as “The Storm that Saved Washington”.

25 John in court, maybe : DOE

Though the English court system does not use the term today, “John Doe” first appeared as the “name of a person unknown” in England in 1659, along with the similar “Richard Roe”. An unknown female is referred to as “Jane Doe ”, and the equivalent to Richard Roe is Jane Roe (as in Roe v. Wade, for example). Variants of “John Doe” used outside of the courts are “Joe Blow” and “John Q. Public”.

29 __ Age: post-Civil War period : GILDED

“The Gilded Age” was a phrase coined by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner in a book they wrote together. It describes the period of growth in the economy and the population following the Civil War. One of the men to profit during this time of expansion was Diamond Jim Brady. Brady started out as a bellboy and messenger, but at a young age made his fortune. He was known for having a big appetite for jewels (hence the moniker “Diamond Jim”), as well as a huge appetite for food. One restaurateur described him as “the best 25 customers I ever had”.

30 Gig gear : AMP

An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

Musicians use “gig” to describe a job, a performance. The term originated in the early 1900s in the world of jazz. The derivative phrase “gig economy” applies to a relatively recent phenomenon where workers find themselves jumping from temporary job to temporary job, from gig to gig.

33 It accounts for about 7% of all printed English words : THE

The top 5 most common words used in English are, in order:

  1. The
  2. Be
  3. To
  4. Of
  5. And

34 “The Villain in Black” rapper MC __ : REN

“MC Ren” is the stage name of rapper Lorenzo Patterson. The “Ren” in his stage name comes from the middle letters in his given name “Lorenzo”.

36 “The Phantom Menace” boy : ANI

Anakin “Ani” Skywalker is the principal character in the first six of the “Star Wars” movies. His progress chronologically through the series of films is:

  • Episode I: Anakin is a 9-year-old slave boy who earns the promise of Jedi training by young Obi-Wan Kenobi.
  • Episode II: Anakin is 18-years-old and goes on a murdering rampage to avenge the killing of his mother.
  • Episode III: Anakin is 21-years-old and a Jedi knight, but he turns to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader. His wife Padme gives birth to twins, Luke and Leia Skywalker.
  • Episode IV: Darth Vader, comes into conflict with his children, Luke Skywalker and the Princess Leia.
  • Episode V: Darth Vader attempts to coax his son Luke over to the dark side, and reveals to Luke that he is his father.
  • Episode VI: Luke learns that Leia is his sister, and takes on the task of bringing Darth Vader back from the Dark Side in order to save the Galaxy. Vader saves his son from the Emperor’s evil grip, dying in the process, but his spirit ends up alongside the spirits of Yoda and Obi-Wan. They all live happily ever after …

“Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” was the fourth film released in the “Star Wars” franchise, and the first in a prequel trilogy (the first three films were Episodes IV, V & VI). “The Phantom Menace” was released in 1999, twenty-two years after the original “Star Wars” movie, and sixteen years after the previous episode, “Return of the Jedi”.

39 Wall St. asset : MBA

The world’s first Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree was offered by Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, in 1908.

41 Bread named for how it’s baked : ASH CAKE

There is a southern dish called “ash cake”, which is corn bread wrapped in cabbage leaves and baked in hot ashes.

43 “Sexual Politics” author Millett : KATE

Kate Millet is a feminist writer, artist and activist who was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. After earning a postgraduate degree at Oxford University, Millett spent most of her working life in New York City. She established the Woman’s Art Colony in Poughkeepsie, New York, which was renamed in her honor in 2012 to the Millett Center for the Arts.

46 2000s Red Sox hero, familiarly : BIG PAPI

The Dominican-American baseball player David Ortiz has the nickname “Big Papi”. After each home run that Ortiz scores, he looks upwards and points to the sky in a tribute to his mother who died in a car crash in 2002 when she was only 46 years old.

48 Madeleine or Napoleon : DESSERT

A madeleine is a small sponge cake associated with the Commercy and Liverdun communes in northeastern France.

A Napoleon is a French layered pastry that is often called a “mille-feuille” on the other side of the Atlantic. “Mille-feuille” is French for “thousand-leaf”. The origin of the “Napoleon” name is unclear, but is thought to derive from the French “napolitain” meaning “from Naples”. The shift to “Napoleon” perhaps took place during the reign of Napoleon I, although there is no direct connection to the emperor.

51 Soap Box Derby entrant : GO-CART

A Soap Box Derby is a soapbox car racing competition. The first All-American race was held in Dayton, Ohio in 1934. The annual race was moved to Akron, Ohio the following year. Soon after, a purpose built track was built called Derby Downs, as part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) program of the late thirties.

54 Dmitri Mendeleev, religiously : DEIST

Deism (from the Latin “deus” meaning god) is the belief that a supreme being created the universe, a belief based on observation and reason and without the need for faith. Further, a deist does not accept divine intervention and rather believes that the supreme being, having created the universe, leaves the world to its own devices.

Dmitri Mendeleev was a Russian chemist. When Mendeleev classified elements according to their chemical properties, he noticed patterns and was able to group elements into his famous 1869 Periodic Table. So powerful was his table that he actually predicted the properties of some elements that had not even been discovered in 1869. Element number 101 is mendelevium and was named after Mendeleev.

55 Photo-sharing app, for short : INSTA

Instagram (often abbreviated to “Insta”) is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular. Instagram started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram company had just 13 employees at the time of the sale …

56 Triangular pelvic bones : SACRA

The sacrum and the two ilia are three bones in the human pelvis.

57 Former CNN journalist David : ENSOR

David Ensor worked for thirty years as a journalist with National Public Radio (NPR). Ensor was appointed as the Director of Voice of America in 2011.

60 Snowball pile, say : AMMO

The word “munitions” describes materials and equipment used in war. The term derives from the Latin “munitionem” meaning “fortification, defensive wall”. Back in the 17th century, French soldiers referred to such materials as “la munition”, a Middle French term. This was misheard as “l’ammunition”, and as a result we ended up importing the word “ammunition” (often shortened to “ammo”), a term that we now use mainly to describe the material fired from a weapon.

61 Jazz great Puente : TITO

After serving in the Navy in WWII for three years, musician Tito Puente studied at Juilliard, where he got a great grounding in conducting, orchestration and theory. Puente parlayed this education into a career in Latin Jazz and Mambo. He was known as “El Rey” as well as “The King of Latin Music”.

65 Parking __ : LOT

In American English, a lot is a small piece of land available for development. The term “lot” was first used in this context in the 17th century when the more desirable properties were assigned by casting “lots”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Over the moon : HAPPY AS A CLAM
13 Figurehead?: Abbr. : CPA
16 Japanese art piece that symbolizes good fortune and longevity : ORIGAMI CRANE
17 Inlet, to the sea : ARM
18 Much-photographed event : TOTAL ECLIPSE
19 Fairy-tale disruption : PEA
20 Son of Akhenaten : TUT
21 “To recap … ” : IN SUM …
22 Law school course : ETHICS
24 Tangents : ASIDES
26 Throbs : PULSATES
28 Drawing game : KENO
29 Sound of alarm : GASP
31 Connection point : NODE
32 Aid in fixing rough borders : EDGE TRIM
35 Dickered : HAGGLED
38 Program resource : HELP MENU
40 Last part : BACK END
44 Offer not seen by competitors : BLIND BID
49 DOL watchdog : OSHA
50 “My stars!” : EGAD!
52 Hill assistant : AIDE
53 “Who, me?” : WHAT’D I DO?
56 Papyrus plants, e.g. : SEDGES
58 Vet : SCREEN
59 Island in a popular board game : CATAN
62 Dance step : PAS
63 Crew implement : OAR
64 Iran, for one : ISLAMIC STATE
67 It may be plucked on a beach : UKE
68 Vader underling : STORMTROOPER
69 Talking stuffed bear in a 2012 film : TED
70 Permanent marker? : TATTOO ARTIST

Down

1 Provocative opinion : HOT TAKE
2 Galvanized : AROUSED
3 Placing in direct competition : PITTING
4 __ Tour : PGA
5 Amy Klobuchar, for one : YALIE
6 Chorus of approval : AMENS
7 Unleashes : SICS
8 Women’s Rights Project org. : ACLU
9 Pinches together : CRIMPS
10 2.5 miles, at Indy : LAP
11 Elgort of “The Fault in Our Stars” : ANSEL
12 Some contests : MEETS
13 Building partly burned by Britain in 1814 : CAPITOL
14 Antedate : PRECEDE
15 Brought together : AMASSED
23 Get hooked? : HANG
25 John in court, maybe : DOE
27 Maintained : UPHELD
29 __ Age: post-Civil War period : GILDED
30 Gig gear : AMP
33 It accounts for about 7% of all printed English words : THE
34 “The Villain in Black” rapper MC __ : REN
36 “The Phantom Menace” boy : ANI
37 Cause to race : GUN
39 Wall St. asset : MBA
40 Gracefully exits : BOWS OUT
41 Bread named for how it’s baked : ASH CAKE
42 Blackened : CHARRED
43 “Sexual Politics” author Millett : KATE
45 Witness to a delivery, often : DAD
46 2000s Red Sox hero, familiarly : BIG PAPI
47 Conceives : IDEATES
48 Madeleine or Napoleon : DESSERT
51 Soap Box Derby entrant : GO-CART
54 Dmitri Mendeleev, religiously : DEIST
55 Photo-sharing app, for short : INSTA
56 Triangular pelvic bones : SACRA
57 Former CNN journalist David : ENSOR
60 Snowball pile, say : AMMO
61 Jazz great Puente : TITO
65 Parking __ : LOT
66 Little one : TOT

24 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 1 Jan 22, Saturday”

  1. LAT: Couldn’t quite finish. I went pretty quickly until the bottom right. Didn’t know the board game island or the jazz great. Didn’t know quite a few others but got them though the crosses. CPA for figurehead was cute.

  2. He got me got me good at 38A and 37D intersection. I had HELPDESK for 38A and SKI for 37D… which left me with a bunch of other errors. HASSLED and I couldn’t get anything out of 44A… I had the BID part but since I messed up the other words, I was in an uphill race to nowhere. Ended up with JLIIDBID… yikes. I even started 36D with ANI.
    What a way to start 2022.

  3. 23:55

    Welcome to the new year!

    This puzzle put up a fight, especially with those vague clues in the northwest. A much-photographed event could be anything!

  4. Some clues were much too general. Then there is 39D. “Wall Street asset” is not an MBA. Wall Street JOB asset should have been written. Finally, Amy Klobuchar is an Eli (or the clue should have had a “slang.”

  5. Many of the clues were far too general. “Wall Street asset” is not an MBA. The clue should have been written as “Wall Street job asset.” Let’s resolve that 2022 puzzles be edited more accurately, please.

    1. I would respectfully disagree. I like it when I need to think of different ways to interpret a clue..that’s the challenge for me that I enjoy. Taken literally, a Wall Street asset might be a stock or a bond, I think to myself. But the answer is only 3 letters. Maybe they’re looking for something that would be an asset to someone working on Wall Street. Adding job to the clue would eliminate this mental leap and just make it easier. Just one example, but unless a clue is intentionally misleading (which I don’t think this one was), I have no problem with it requiring extra thought.. I welcome it.

      1. Jim G. – Couldn’t agree with you more on this. I work crosswords for enjoyment and for challenging myself. For me, part of both is figuring out where the constructor’s clue wants me to go. Do I always get there – no. But then, I have no problem with shaking my head and saying “Duh” In other words, it is on me – not the constructor or editor. Just my way of looking at it. Everyone has their own.

  6. 15:16, and no errors. Glad to start a new year with a finishing time this close to ol’ Bill!!! Bodes well for the future, I hope!

  7. Finished it, but I’m still puzzled by 23 Down: “Get hooked?” = HANG
    I’m not seeing how that makes sense.

    1. I hang up my jacket on a hook on the wall rack when I come in… or else I hear about it. I’m well trained. 🙂

  8. 19:08, 1 error. Can’t really tell whether it’s “dumb” or “Natick” but is what it is. Agreed with Steve 100% on the clue he specified and two or three others on this one. It shouldn’t be a high hill to climb to expect the clues and answers to make sense as written. Regardless, this was harder than the day’s Sat NYT.

    A lot of the “same” is definitely coming out regarding the “writing device” experiment and is a bit disappointing that I haven’t improved on those things at all. Sun left, but I have a very good idea what to expect on that, especially coupled with the text too small for my poor eyes I get for printing 21×21 on a Ltr . sheet of paper.

  9. One wrong letter (put in Go Kart instead of Go Cart). And, while some idiot has put in both Go Kart and Go Kart as Internet synonyms for a Soap Box Derby “race” car they have about as much relevance to the Soap Box Derby as my looks have to George Clooney…in other words NONE!

    1. I agree, Tony. I’ve always considered that a go-kart (or cart) had a motor. The only propulsion system on a soap box derby car is gravity.

  10. 25:16 with a check grid because I couldn’t come up with the K in “Drawing game” or “Provocative opinion.” Turned out I had 18A wrong with SOLARECLIPSE (and didn’t catch that Klobuchar should have been YALIE and not YARIE). I had assumed solar or lunar for 18A. Silly me, I saw the total eclipse from Scottsbluff, NE, in 2017, so should have thought of that, too!

    Also had to revise EGAD>GASP, LAND>HANG, GOLDEN>GILDED.

    A Happy New Year to everyone!

  11. Too tough for me today; got most of the puzzle except for the whole NW section, of which I had INSUM, ASIDES and the last 4 letters of the top three clues. Also had the island wrong.

    Oh well…looking at it now, it was at least a little more solvable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *