LA Times Crossword 11 Jan 22, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Rebecca Goldstein
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Hidden Talent

Themed answers each include the letter sequence T-A-L-E-N-T spread (HIDDEN) throughout:

  • 36A With 38-Across, unpublicized skill found in each set of circles : HIDDEN …
  • 38A See 36-Across : … TALENT
  • 17A Iron or lead : METALLIC ELEMENT
  • 22A Home of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks : STAPLES CENTER
  • 49A Flat-topped South African landmark : TABLE MOUNTAIN
  • 55A Giving 110%, say : TOTAL COMMITMENT

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

Bill’s time: 5m 55s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7 Apple on a desk : IMAC

When Apple chose the letter “I” prefix for the iMac in 1998, that letter “I” stood for “Internet”. Steve Jobs and his marketing team followed up with the message that I also stood for “individual, instruct, inform and inspire”.

11 Endorses : OKS

Back around 1400, “endosse” was a verb meaning “confirm, approve”. The term translated literally as “put on the back” from “en-” meaning “put on”, and “dos” meaning “back”. The idea was that to “endosse” a document one “put” a signature “on” its back. The verb “endosse” evolved into our contemporary “endorse”.

15 Wax Ready-Strips maker : NAIR

Nair is a hair-removal product that has some pretty harsh ingredients. The most important active constituents are calcium hydroxide (“slaked lime”) and sodium hydroxide (“caustic soda”). Other Nair components seem to be there to soothe the skin after the harsher chemicals have done their job. The name “Nair” probably comes from combining “no” and “hair”.

17 Iron or lead : METALLIC ELEMENT

The Latin word for “iron” is “ferrum”, which gives us “Fe” as the metal’s chemical symbol.

Lead is a heavy metallic element with the symbol Pb (standing for “plumbum”, Latin for “lead”). Although lead proves to be a very useful metal, it is very toxic and is poisonous if absorbed into the body.

22 Home of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks : STAPLES CENTER

The Staples Center is a sports arena in Los Angeles that opened in 1999. It is home to several sporting franchises, including the LA Lakers and LA Clippers NBA teams, the LA Sparks WNBA team and the LA Kings hockey team.

The Los Angeles Sparks (LAS) women’s basketball team was founded just before the WNBA opened its doors for business in 1997.

27 Eight, in Ecuador : OCHO

“Ecuador” is the Spanish word for “equator”, which gives the country its name.

30 Dental care brand : ORAL-B

The Oral-B toothbrush was introduced to the world in 1950, designed by a California periodontist. The first “model” was the Oral-B 60, a name given to reflect the 60 tufts in the brush. In 1969, the Oral-B was the first toothbrush to get to the moon as it was the toothbrush of choice for the crew of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

32 “The Constant Gardener” Oscar winner Rachel : WEISZ

Rachel Weisz is an actress from England. I first remember Weisz playing the female lead in the excellent 2001 WWII movie “Enemy at the Gates”. She also appeared in 2005’s “The Constant Gardener”, winning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Weisz married fellow actor Daniel Craig in 2011.

“The Constant Gardener” is a 2001 novel by John le Carré (author of “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold”). The story is about a British diplomat called Justin Quayle who investigates the murder of his wife, Tessa. Le Carré’s traditional Cold War setting is replaced by the world of corporate cover-ups. The novel was adapted into a movie of the same name in 2005 starring Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz.

33 Public transit option : BUS

We use the term “bus” for a mode of transportation as it is an abbreviated form of the original “omnibus”. We imported “omnibus” via French from Latin, in which language it means “for all”. The idea is that an omnibus is a “carriage for all”.

45 Justice Sotomayor : SONIA

Sonia Sotomayor was the first Hispanic justice appointed to the US Supreme Court, and the third female justice. Sotomayor was nominated by President Barack Obama to replace the retiring Justice David Souter.

46 Early IHOPs, structurally : A-FRAMES

An A-frame house is one that has a steeply-angled roof, one forming the shape of the letter “A”. The A-frame design is popular in snowy regions, as the roof is so steeply pitched that it does not collect snow.

The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) was founded back in 1958. IHOP was originally intended to be called IHOE, the International House of Eggs, but that name didn’t do too well in marketing tests.

48 Mesa or Boulder : CITY

The city of Mesa, Arizona is in effect a suburb of Phoenix. The original settlement of non-Native Americans was founded by Daniel Webster Jones who led a Mormon group from St. George, Utah. The settlement was first called Jonesville, then Fort Utah and eventually Lehi. A second group of Mormons arrived and formed a settlement on top of a nearby mesa. It was this use of a mesa that eventually gave the city its current name.

The Colorado city of Boulder is located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains about 25 miles northwest of Denver. Boulder is a college town, and is home to the main campus of the University of Colorado.

49 Flat-topped South African landmark : TABLE MOUNTAIN

Table Mountain is a large, flat-topped mountain that overlooks the city of Cape Town in South Africa. The peak is part of Table Mountain National Park, which also includes the Cape of Good Hope, an equally popular tourist destination. Visitors can hike to the top of Table Mountain, or make use of an aerial cableway that opened for riders in 1929.

54 Form 1099 org. : IRS

There is a series of IRS 1099 forms used to report various types of income, other than wages, salaries and tips that are reported on Form W-2. Examples are Form 1099-INT used to report interest income, 1099-DIV used to report dividend income, and 1099-MISC used to report miscellaneous income.

63 Cal. neighbor : ORE

The Oregon Treaty of 1846 settled a dispute between the US and the UK over sovereignty of the Oregon Country. “The Oregon Country” was the name given by the Americans to a large swathe of land west of the Rocky Mountains. That same disputed land was known as the Columbia Department by the British. Oregon became a US state in 1859.

64 Greek liqueur : OUZO

Ouzo is an apéritif from Greece that is colorless and flavored with anise. Ouzo is similar to French pastis and Italian sambuca.

65 __ de Rossi of “Arrested Development” : PORTIA

Portia de Rossi is an actress from Australia who played Nelle Porter on “Ally McBeal” and Lindsay Bluth/Fünke on “Arrested Development”. Off the screen, de Rossi is famous as the wife of Ellen DeGeneres, whom she married in 2008.

“Arrested Development” is a sitcom that originally aired on Fox from 2003 to 2006. Ron Howard was heavily involved in the show behind the camera, serving as executive producer and also as the show’s narrator. Fifteen new episodes of “Arrested Development” were filmed specifically for release on Netflix in 2013, and there may even be a movie on the way.

66 Stark in “Game of Thrones” : NED

Ned Stark is the protagonist in George R. R. Martin’s fantasy novel “A Game of Thrones”, although his character doesn’t exactly come out on top by the end of the story. Stark is played by actor Sean Bean in the HBO television adaptation of the novel.

67 __ Virginia : WEST

The state of West Virginia (WVA) was formed during the civil war when the western counties in the old state of Virginia (VA) voted to secede from the Confederate States of America (CSA).

68 Faux : ERSATZ

Something described as ersatz is a copy, and usually not a good one. “Ersatz” comes from the German verb “ersetzen” meaning “to replace”.

Down

4 Lawyer’s org. : ABA

The American Bar Association (ABA) was founded back in 1878 and is a voluntary association for lawyers and law students. The ABA focuses on setting academic standards for law schools and setting ethical codes for the profession.

5 Meir of Israel : GOLDA

Golda Meir was known as the “Iron Lady” when she was Prime Minister of Israel, long before that sobriquet came to be associated with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Golda Meir was born Golda Mabovitch in Kiev (in modern-day Ukraine), and when she was a young girl she moved with her family to the United States and settled in Milwaukee. As a teenager she relocated to Denver where she met and married Morris Meyerson, at the age of 19. She and her husband joined a kibbutz in Palestine in 1921, when she was in her twenties. Meir had been active in politics in the US, and continued her political work in Palestine. She was very influential during WWII, and played a leading role in negotiations after the war leading to the setting up of the state of Israel. By the time she was called on to lead the country, Meir had already retired, citing exhaustion and ill health. But serve she did, and led Israel during turbulent times (e.g. the massacre at the Munich Olympics, and the Yom Kippur War). She eventually resigned in 1974, saying that was what the people wanted.

6 Yellow primroses : OXLIPS

The plant known as the oxlip is more properly called Primula elatior. The oxlip is often confused with its similar-looking cousin, the cowslip.

7 Company abbr. : 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.

8 Astronaut Jemison : MAE

Mae Jemison was a crew member on the Space Shuttle Endeavour on a 1992 mission, and as such became the first African-American woman to travel in space. She is also a big fan of “Star Trek” and appeared on an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. That made Jemison the first real astronaut to appear on any of the “Star Trek” shows.

10 Dining room pieces with cupboards : CREDENZAS

In modern terms, a credenza can be a wooden sideboard in a dining room from which buffet meals can be served. Back in 16th century Italy, the act of “credenza” was the tasting of food and drink by a servant to test for poison.

Back in the 1500s, a cupboard was just that, a board on which one might place cups and similar items. By the 1700s, “cupboard” described an open or closed cabinet, one mainly used for storing food-related items.

12 Kunta in “Roots” : KINTE

Not only did Alex Haley author the magnificent novel “Roots”, he was also the collaborator with Malcolm X on “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”. His 1976 novel “Roots” is based on Haley’s own family history, and he claimed to be a direct descendant of the real life Kunta Kinte, the slave who was kidnapped in the Gambia in 1767. If you remember the original television adaptation of “Roots”, you might recall that Kunta Kinte was played by LeVar Burton, who later went on to play another famous role, Geordi La Forge on “Star Trek: the Next Generation”.

13 Mythical man-goat : SATYR

The satyrs of Greek mythology came with a very high sex drive. They are the “rude” male subjects drawn on the side of old Greek vases. The nubile maidens known as nymphs were often an object of attention for the satyrs.

19 Vase-making dynasty : MING

The Ming Dynasty lasted in China from 1368 to 1644. The Ming Dynasty oversaw tremendous innovation in so many areas, including the manufacture of ceramics. In the late Ming period, a shift towards a market economy in China led to the export of porcelain on an unprecedented scale, perhaps explaining why we tend to hear more about Ming vases than we do about porcelain from any other Chinese dynasty.

23 Tattled : TOLD

Something described as tattletale is revealing, it gives away a secret. The term is a combination of “tattle” and “tale”, and is probably patterned on the similar word “telltale”. “To tattle” means “to tell secrets”, and the noun “tattletale” applies to someone who tells secrets and informs.

25 __ Lanka : SRI

The island nation of Sri Lanka lies off the southeast coast of India. The name “Sri Lanka” translates from Sanskrit into English as “venerable island”. Before 1970, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, a name given to the country during British rule.

28 Lit __ : CRIT

Literary studies, also called literary criticism (lit crit), is the evaluation and interpretation of literature.

33 Porto-Novo’s land : BENIN

The Republic of Benin is a country in West Africa. Benin used to be a French colony, and was known as Dahomey. Dahomey gained independence in 1975, and took the name Benin after the Bight of Benin, the body of water on which the country lies.

Porto-Novo is the capital city of Benin in West Africa. Porto-Novo may be the nation’s capital but it isn’t the biggest city, and nor is it the most economically important. That honor goes to the city of Cotonou.

34 Condo, e.g. : UNIT

The terms “condominium” and “apartment” tend to describe the same type of residential property, namely a private living space with facilities shared with others residing in the same building or complex. The difference is that a condominium is usually owned, and an apartment is rented. At least that’s how it is in the US. The word “condominium” comes from the Latin “com-” (together) and “dominum” (right of ownership).

39 Points in math class : LOCI

“Locus” (plural “loci”) is Latin for “place”, and is used in English with the same meaning. The term can also be used to describe a center of power or activity. In mathematics, a locus is a set of points that satisfy some property. For example, a locus might be a straight line, part of a line, a surface, or perhaps a curve.

42 Eastern “way” : TAO

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

43 Bird in Liberty Mutual ads : EMU

Liberty Mutual is an insurance company based in Boston. The business was founded in 1912 as the Massachusetts Employees Insurance Association (MEIA). Liberty Mutual has a famous advertising icon named LiMu Emu.

44 Acid-washed jeans fabric : DENIM

Denim fabric originated in Nîmes in France. The French phrase “de Nîmes” (meaning “from Nîmes”) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (meaning “blue of Genoa”) gives us our word “jeans”.

One might acid wash jeans, for example, to make them look older.

46 Actress Shawkat of “Arrested Development” : ALIA

Alia Shawkat is an actor who might be best known for playing Maeby Fünke on the sitcom “Arrested Development”. Shawkat is best friends with fellow actor Elliot Page (formerly Ellen Page), whom she met while filming the 2009 movie “Whip It”.

47 Zebra feature : STRIPE

The term “zebra” comes from an old Portuguese word “zevra” meaning “wild ass”. Studies of zebra embryos show that zebras are basically black in color, with white stripes that develop with growth. Before this finding, it was believed they were white, with black stripes.

49 Wyoming’s __ Range : TETON

The Teton Range is located just to the south of Yellowstone National Park, and is part of the Rocky Mountains. The origins of the name “Teton” is not very clear, although one story is that it was named by French trappers, as the word “tetons” in French is a slang term meaning “breasts”.

50 Love, in Sicily : AMORE

In the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, the “boot” is the mainland of Italy, and the “ball” being kicked by the boot is the island of Sicily.

51 With __ breath: tensely anticipatory : BATED

To bate is to restrain, as in “with bated breath” meaning “with restrained breath”. “Bate” can also mean “lessen”, and is a shortening of “abate”.

52 Fur tycoon for whom a northwest Oregon city was named : ASTOR

John Jacob Astor was the patriarch of the famous American Astor dynasty. He was the country’s first multi-millionaire, making his fortune in the trade of fur, real estate and opium. In today’s terms, it has been calculated that by the time of his death he has accumulated a fortune big enough to make him the fourth wealthiest man in American history (in the company of the likes of Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Bill Gates, Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller).

The city of Astoria, Oregon developed around Fort Astoria, which was established in 1810. Fort Astoria was a fur-trading post built by John Jacob Astor’s Pacific Fur Company, hence the “Astoria” name.

56 Billiards stick : CUE

The name of the game billiards comes from the French word “billiard” that originally described the wooden cue stick. The Old French “bille” translates as “stick of wood”.

57 Quarter-lb. quarters : OZS

There are 4 ounces (ozs.) in a quarter of a pound (lb.)

58 One-liner : MOT

“Bon mot” translates from French as “good word”. We use “bon mot” (and sometimes just “mot”) to mean “quip, witticism”.

59 __ America Pageant : MRS

The Mrs. America beauty pageant was first held in 1938. The spinoff Mrs. World pageant was launched in 1984.

60 GPS prediction : ETA

A global positioning system (GPS) might provide one with an estimated time of arrival (ETA).

62 Toon devil : TAZ

The “Looney Tunes” character known as the Tasmanian Devil, or “Taz”, first appeared in a cartoon short with Bugs Bunny called “Devil May Care” in 1954.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Attempts, with “at” : HAS A GO …
7 Apple on a desk : IMAC
11 Endorses : OKS
14 Refrigerator, once : ICEBOX
15 Wax Ready-Strips maker : NAIR
16 By way of : VIA
17 Iron or lead : METALLIC ELEMENT
20 Annoying noise : DIN
21 Unclean : DIRTY
22 Home of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks : STAPLES CENTER
27 Eight, in Ecuador : OCHO
29 Nowhere near appropriate : SO WRONG
30 Dental care brand : ORAL-B
32 “The Constant Gardener” Oscar winner Rachel : WEISZ
33 Public transit option : BUS
36 With 38-Across, unpublicized skill found in each set of circles : HIDDEN …
38 See 36-Across : … TALENT
40 Pigs’ digs : STY
41 Lavished affection (on) : DOTED
45 Justice Sotomayor : SONIA
46 Early IHOPs, structurally : A-FRAMES
48 Mesa or Boulder : CITY
49 Flat-topped South African landmark : TABLE MOUNTAIN
53 Contact info item : EMAIL
54 Form 1099 org. : IRS
55 Giving 110%, say : TOTAL COMMITMENT
63 Cal. neighbor : ORE
64 Greek liqueur : OUZO
65 __ de Rossi of “Arrested Development” : PORTIA
66 Stark in “Game of Thrones” : NED
67 __ Virginia : WEST
68 Faux : ERSATZ

Down

1 That guy : HIM
2 Perfect service : ACE
3 “Quiet on the __!” : SET
4 Lawyer’s org. : ABA
5 Meir of Israel : GOLDA
6 Yellow primroses : OXLIPS
7 Company abbr. : INC
8 Astronaut Jemison : MAE
9 Be unwell : AIL
10 Dining room pieces with cupboards : CREDENZAS
11 Not at all subtle : OVERT
12 Kunta in “Roots” : KINTE
13 Mythical man-goat : SATYR
18 Like a bicycle climbing a hill : IN LOW
19 Vase-making dynasty : MING
22 Not on the level : SHADY
23 Tattled : TOLD
24 Lamb’s mom : EWE
25 __ Lanka : SRI
26 “An arm and a leg” is a high one : COST
27 Sounds of awe : OOHS
28 Lit __ : CRIT
31 Strange one made by politics? : BEDFELLOW
33 Porto-Novo’s land : BENIN
34 Condo, e.g. : UNIT
35 Remain : STAY
37 Standard : NORM
39 Points in math class : LOCI
42 Eastern “way” : TAO
43 Bird in Liberty Mutual ads : EMU
44 Acid-washed jeans fabric : DENIM
46 Actress Shawkat of “Arrested Development” : ALIA
47 Zebra feature : STRIPE
49 Wyoming’s __ Range : TETON
50 Love, in Sicily : AMORE
51 With __ breath: tensely anticipatory : BATED
52 Fur tycoon for whom a northwest Oregon city was named : ASTOR
56 Billiards stick : CUE
57 Quarter-lb. quarters : OZS
58 One-liner : MOT
59 __ America Pageant : MRS
60 GPS prediction : ETA
61 Little point to pick : NIT
62 Toon devil : TAZ

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 11 Jan 22, Tuesday”

  1. 4:05, no errors. One second later on both this one and the NYT between yesterday and today. Wonder what the odds are of that happening?

  2. Glen,… you are a challenge to yourself!! Good job.

    No errors but hung for a while in places. CREDENZA WEISZ … and the odd clue for 57D “quarter-lb quarters”.

  3. No errors, no lookups. This one went fast because of the theme which
    was pretty evident from the beginning. My only problem was it was
    “over” too fast. We’re never satisfied, are we???

  4. Always wondered how far in advance of publication these puzzles are constructed. Now we know at least two weeks since Staples Center was officially re-named that long ago.

    1. The re-naming date was public knowledge for a long time before its occurrence. Sloppiness on the part of Rich Norris, I think, since the clue could have easily been changed (e.g., “Former home of….”)

  5. 16:13 and I spelled 32A Weiss because nobody spells it Weisz (wrong)
    I need to find another hobby but I’m too stubborn to do so👎
    Stay safe😀

  6. 8:44 with no errors or lookups. Guessed OXEYES for 6D, so ended up changing to OXLIPS (never heard of those as a plant before).

    The theme was evident early on, and so it helped fill in the circled squares before getting those entire answers.

    PORTIA, MAE, NED, ALIA were new names to me. Interesting about the name change for Staples Center. Reportedly, crypto.com bought the naming rights for the next 20 years for $700M. It’ll be interesting to see if crypto “currencies” stay strong enough for that long. Personally, I don’t trust it as a standard currency. It’s best left to people who have the technology resources to exploit it, high risk takers, and people who can afford to play around with it.

  7. A few Z’s in this one,pun intended 😵
    Had penciled in oxtips for oxlips and
    rte for eta but straightened them out.
    No look ups, no errors….

  8. 8 mins 41 sec, and needed Check help on two squares, for [T]ABLE MOUNTAIN and CR[E]DENZA.

    Never needed to notice the theme circles, as I filled the entry by looking at it partially filled. Not a bad one, as those go.

  9. Nice and easy Tuesday for me; took 7:34 with no peeks or errors. Never heard of Alia and only remembered WEISZ from these puzzles, although the last mention was a long while ago.

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