LA Times Crossword 12 Jan 22, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Craig Stowe
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Whose Bird?

Themed answers are the names of celebrities, with their first name turned into a possessive by adding a letter S. Each family name is a kind of bird:

  • 17A 1994 Best New Artist Grammy winner’s winged pet? : SHERYL’S CROW
  • 28A “La La Land” actor’s winged pet? : RYAN’S GOSLING
  • 44A “Shake It Off” singer’s winged pet? : TAYLOR’S SWIFT
  • 58A “Network” Oscar winner’s winged pet? : PETER’S FINCH

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

Bill’s time: 6m 37s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Gauchos’ gear : BOLAS

Bolas are heavy balls connected by cords that constitute a throwing weapon. Bolas are often used to capture animals by tripping them as they run. The weapon is usually associated with gauchos, South American cowboys, although there is evidence that the Inca army used them in battle.

11 Shakespearean possessive : THY

William Shakespeare is referred to as the Bard of Avon, as he was born and raised in the lovely town of Stratford-upon-Avon in the English Midlands.

14 Pass a test with flying colors : ACE IT

The phrase “to pass with flying colors” is a reference to the flying of the flag of a regiment or ship, i.e. the colors.

15 __ Lodge : ECONO

Econo Lodge is a low-cost hotel chain in the Choice Hotels portfolio of brands. The chain started in 1969 as Econo-Travel, and demonstrated pretty quickly that budget-hotels were a good idea. The first hotel was built in Norfolk, Virginia and it started making money three weeks after welcoming its first guests.

17 1994 Best New Artist Grammy winner’s winged pet? : SHERYL’S CROW

Famously, Sheryl Crow dated cyclist Lance Armstrong from 2003-2006. Armstrong has stated publicly more than once that Crow’s music cured his cancer.

22 Google __ : EARTH

Google Earth is a program that maps the Earth by superimposing satellite images and aerial photographs. Google acquired the technology when it purchased Keyhole, Inc in 2004. Keyhole had been partially funded by the CIA.

24 Retirement fund : NEST EGG

A nest egg is an amount of money laid down as a reserve. This is the figurative use of “nest egg” that originally described an artificial egg left in a nest to encourage a hen to lay real eggs in that spot. So our financial nest egg is set aside in anticipation of continued growth, more eggs being laid.

26 Causing the heebie-jeebies : EERIE

The plural noun “heebie-jeebies” describes a condition of extreme nervousness, one caused by worry or fear. The suggestion is that the term was coined in 1923 by cartoonist Billy De Beck in the “New York American”, although this might just have been the first time that the “heebie-jeebies” appeared in print.

28 “La La Land” actor’s winged pet? : RYAN’S GOSLING

A male goose is called a gander, with the female simply being referred to as a goose. Young geese are called goslings.

Ryan Gosling is a Canadian actor who really seems to be riding high right now. He is one of a string of entertainers to graduate from the Mickey Mouse Club on the Disney Channel.

“La La Land” is a 2016 romantic musical film starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as a musician and actress who fall in love in “La La Land” (Los Angeles, i.e. “LA”). The film was written and directed by Damien Chazelle, who had found success two years earlier with the musical drama “Whiplash”. “La La Land” won a record-breaking seven Golden Globes and tied the record number of Oscar nominations at fourteen, winning six.

32 “1984” antagonist : O’BRIEN

O’Brien is the main antagonist in George Orwell’s 1949 classic novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. In the 1984 movie adaptation, O’Brien is played by the great Welsh actor Richard Burton. It was the last role that Burton played before his death.

39 Sheepish? : OVINE

The Latin word for “sheep” is “ovis”, giving us the adjective “ovine” meaning “like a sheep”.

44 “Shake It Off” singer’s winged pet? : TAYLOR’S SWIFT

Swifts are birds that are related to hummingbirds. Swifts are aptly named, with larger swift species clocked at airspeeds of over 100 miles/hour.

“Shake It Off” is a 2014 song recorded and composed by Taylor Swift. The song’s title refers to Swift “shaking off” negative comments made by her detractors.

48 Arctic abode : IGLOO

The Inuit word for “house” is “iglu”, which we usually write as “igloo”. The Greenlandic (yes, that’s a language) word for “house” is very similar, namely “igdlo”. The walls of igloos are tremendous insulators, due to the air pockets in the blocks of snow.

49 Biblical shout of praise : HOSANNA!

“Hosanna” is derived from Hebrew, probably from the term “hoshi’ah-nna” meaning “save, we pray”.

56 Defensive ditch : MOAT

A moat is a protective trench that surrounds a castle, say, or an exhibit in a zoo. A moat may or may not be filled with water.

57 “I need a __” : HUG

So do I …

58 “Network” Oscar winner’s winged pet? : PETER’S FINCH

True finches are relatively small, colorful birds known for their robust conical bills that have evolved for eating nuts and seeds. Back in the day, finches were used (along with canaries) in coal mines to detect the presence of carbon monoxide.

Actor Peter Finch was born in England, but spent many of his formative years in Australia. He is best-remembered for his appearance in the 1976 movie “Network”, for which he won a Best Actor Oscar. Notably, the award meant he was the first person to be honored with an acting Oscar posthumously. Even though he was married three times, it was the affairs that Finch had that gained the attention of the press. His affair with actress Vivien Leigh contributed to his first divorce, and his affair with singer Shirley Bassey reportedly led to the birth of Bassey’s eldest daughter Samantha.

62 Kerfuffle : ADO

“Kerfuffle” comes from the Scottish “curfuffle”, with both words meaning “disruption”.

63 “Superman” actor : REEVE

Actor Christopher Reeve was most associated with his portrayal of Superman in the late seventies and early eighties. Reeve became paralyzed from the neck down when he fell from a horse in a jumping event in 1995. He published a best-selling autobiography 1999 called “Still Me”, and sadly passed away in 2004.

64 Start of el año : ENERO

In Spanish, “el año” (the year) starts in “enero” (January) and ends in “diciembre” (December).

65 Bronze component : TIN

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. Compare this with bronze, an alloy of copper and tin. Brass and bronze are often mistaken for each other.

Down

1 Tidal low area : BASIN

A tidal basin is an area that fills with water at high tide, and then that water level is maintained by artificial means. I used to live in a village on the East Coast of Ireland where there was a saltwater swimming pool that would be filled by the high tide twice a day. The same principle I guess.

2 Yellowish shade : OCHRE

Ocher is a light, yellowish-brown color, although variations of the pigment are possible such as red ocher and purple ocher. “Ocher” is usually spelled “ochre” on the other side of the pond.

3 Onion relatives : LEEKS

The leek is a vegetable closely related to the onion and the garlic. It is also a national emblem of Wales (along with the daffodil), although I don’t think we know for sure how this came to be. One story is that the Welsh were ordered to wear leeks in their helmets to identify themselves in a battle against the Saxons. Apparently, the battle took place in a field of leeks.

7 Bk. after Proverbs : ECCL

Ecclesiastes is a book in the Hebrew Bible and in the Christian Old Testament. The term “ecclesiastes” is usually translated as “teacher” or “preacher”, although a more literal translation is “gatherer”.

9 Music producer Brian : ENO

Brian Eno is a musician, composer and record producer from England who first achieved fame as the synthesizer player with Roxy Music. As a producer, Eno has worked with David Bowie, Devo, Talking Heads and U2.

10 Coxswain’s charges : ROWERS

The coxswain of a boat is one in charge of steering and navigation. The word “coxswain” is shortened to “cox”, particularly when used for the person steering and calling out the stroke in a competition rowing boat.

18 Easternmost major U.S. airport : LOGAN

Boston’s Logan Airport (BOS) is named for General Edward Lawrence Logan, a military officer from South Boston who fought in the Spanish-American War.

27 Dog’s age, so to speak : EON

The phrase “a dog’s age”, meaning “a long time”, is a reference to the typical lifetime of a dog, namely 10-15 years.

30 Squat : NONE

“Squat” is a slang word meaning “nothing”, and is a term that probably has a distasteful derivation related to a bodily function.

32 Last bio : OBIT

Our word “obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”. The Latin term was used for “record of the death of a person”, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

33 Horror film first name : BELA

Bela Lugosi was a Hungarian stage and screen actor who was perhaps best known for playing the title role in the 1931 film “Dracula” and for playing the same role on Broadway. Lugosi found himself typecast for the rest of his career and almost always played the role of the villain, often in horror movies. When he passed away in 1956, his wife had him buried in the costume he wore playing Count Dracula on Broadway.

39 Big galoots : OAFS

“Galoot” is an insulting term describing an awkward or boorish man, an ape. “Galoot” comes from the nautical world, where it was originally what a sailor might call a soldier or marine.

40 Nutrient abundant in liver : VITAMIN A

Vitamin A is actually a group of chemicals, including retinol, retinal and beta-carotene.

The human liver has many functions, one of which is to store vital substances. The list of substances stored in the liver includes glucose (as glycogen), vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin K, iron and copper. Another function of the liver is to produce bile, a substance stored in the gallbladder that aids in the digestion of fats.

42 Dude : BRO

Our term “dude” arose as slang in New York City in the 1880s, when it was used to describe a fastidious man. In the early 1900s, the term was extended to mean “city slickers”, easterners who vacationed in the West. The first use of the term “dude ranch” was recorded in 1921.

45 Tee size: Abbr. : LGE

Large (lge.)

47 Waldo forerunner? : WHERE’S …

The series of children’s illustrated books called “Where’s Waldo?” were originally titled “Where’s Wally?” in Britain, where the books originated. The book contains page after page of illustrations with crowds of people surrounding famous landmarks from around the world. The challenge is to find Waldo/Wally, who is hidden in the crowd.

50 Large chamber ensemble : NONET

A nonet is a piece of music requiring nine musicians for a performance. The term is also used for the group itself.

Chamber music is a style of classical musical that is written for a small group of instruments, as opposed to a full orchestra. That number of players should be able to stage a performance in a “chamber”, traditionally a large room in a palace or other grand residence.

51 Mother-of-pearl : NACRE

Nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl, is the strong iridescent material laid down by some mollusks on the inside of their shells, and it’s also what makes up pearls. The creature lays down nacre as a defensive mechanism, protecting the soft tissue of its body from the rough surface of the outer shell. Similarly, it uses nacre to encapsulate harmful debris or a parasite that penetrates the shell, and that’s how a pearl is formed. Cultured pearls are made by inserting a tissue graft from a donor oyster, around which the nacre is laid down.

52 Oldest Musketeer : ATHOS

Alexandre Dumas’ “Three Musketeers” are Athos, Porthos and Aramis, although the hero of the novel is the trio’s young protégé D’Artagnan. A musketeer was an infantry soldier who was equipped with a musket. Funnily enough, the three “musketeers” really don’t use their muskets, and are better known for prowess with their swords.

54 Volkswagen subsidiary : AUDI

The Audi name has an interesting history. The Horch company was founded by August Horch in 1909. Early in the life of the new company, Horch was forced out of his own business. He set up a new enterprise and continued to use his own name as a brand. The old company sued him for using the Horch name so a meeting was held to choose something new. Horch’s young son was studying Latin in the room where the meeting was taking place. He pointed out that “horch” was German for “hear” and he suggested “Audi” as a replacement, the Latin for “listen”.

55 Bunch of beauties : BEVY

“Bevy” is a collective noun used for a number of types of bird, including quail and swans. “Bevy” is also sometimes used as a collective noun for women.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Gauchos’ gear : BOLAS
6 Postpone : DEFER
11 Shakespearean possessive : THY
14 Pass a test with flying colors : ACE IT
15 __ Lodge : ECONO
16 Tint : HUE
17 1994 Best New Artist Grammy winner’s winged pet? : SHERYL’S CROW
19 Noteworthy time : ERA
20 Drives up the wall : IRKS
21 Word with filter or field : OIL …
22 Google __ : EARTH
24 Retirement fund : NEST EGG
26 Causing the heebie-jeebies : EERIE
28 “La La Land” actor’s winged pet? : RYAN’S GOSLING
32 “1984” antagonist : O’BRIEN
35 Got the pot : WON
36 Also : TOO
37 Backing-up warnings : BEEPS
38 Auntie, to mom : SIS
39 Sheepish? : OVINE
41 “__ say!” : I’LL
42 Quagmire : BOG
43 Sees, and then some : RAISES
44 “Shake It Off” singer’s winged pet? : TAYLOR’S SWIFT
48 Arctic abode : IGLOO
49 Biblical shout of praise : HOSANNA!
53 Lost strength : WANED
55 It may be called : BET
56 Defensive ditch : MOAT
57 “I need a __” : HUG
58 “Network” Oscar winner’s winged pet? : PETER’S FINCH
62 Kerfuffle : ADO
63 “Superman” actor : REEVE
64 Start of el año : ENERO
65 Bronze component : TIN
66 Gives the green light : OKAYS
67 Sees : DATES

Down

1 Tidal low area : BASIN
2 Yellowish shade : OCHRE
3 Onion relatives : LEEKS
4 Landing site : AIRSTRIP
5 Farm structure : STY
6 Pattern : DESIGN
7 Bk. after Proverbs : ECCL
8 In favor of : FOR
9 Music producer Brian : ENO
10 Coxswain’s charges : ROWERS
11 Pointer’s proclamation : THERE IT IS!
12 Damage : HURT
13 “Uh-huh” : YEAH
18 Easternmost major U.S. airport : LOGAN
23 Plague : AIL
25 Seers? : EYES
26 Big heads? : EGOS
27 Dog’s age, so to speak : EON
29 Gulps : SWIGS
30 Squat : NONE
31 Leaves : GOES
32 Last bio : OBIT
33 Horror film first name : BELA
34 Putting one’s faith in : RELYING ON
38 Middling : SO-SO
39 Big galoots : OAFS
40 Nutrient abundant in liver : VITAMIN A
42 Dude : BRO
43 Rolling-in-the-aisles causes : RIOTS
45 Tee size: Abbr. : LGE
46 Seasoned expert : OLD PRO
47 Waldo forerunner? : WHERE’S …
50 Large chamber ensemble : NONET
51 Mother-of-pearl : NACRE
52 Oldest Musketeer : ATHOS
53 “__ now?” : WHAT
54 Volkswagen subsidiary : AUDI
55 Bunch of beauties : BEVY
59 Comics shriek : EEK!
60 Green or black beverage : TEA
61 Sustained : FED

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 12 Jan 22, Wednesday”

    1. Well, it’s been a dog’s age since I last heard the phrase!

      (Somebody had to do it … 😜!)

      (And maybe already has.)

    2. You’ve never heard someone say, “I haven’t seen Anon Mike in a *dog’s age*”? Meaning, “in like, forever”?

  1. finished this one almost as fast as Bill did….no errors, no lookups.
    I wondered about the “dog’s age” answer too. Probably similar to
    “coon’s age”….

  2. Fun puzzled….loved the theme….what’s with Bill taking “forever” to finish theses puzzles…💕😂

    1. @Jack – gotta luv ya … that’s almost as good as your “5:31 …, aw, not really, just wanted to see what it felt like.”

      You beat my 21:32.

      Be Well.

  3. 9:47 with no errors or lockups, only a couple of minor revisions. No struggles. Kind of “flew” through it!

    Dog’s age, coon’s age, my age – all seems the same at times.

    A little interesting that there are clues of “Sees, and then some,” “Sees,” and “Seers?”.

  4. My very 1st thought when reading 47D- “Waldo forerunner?” was Kilroy. Before “Where’s Waldo?” there was “Kilroy was here”. How many of you remember that character during the 40’s?

    1. I remember Kilroy. American soldiers
      on their march across Europe during
      WW2 would leave a drawing of a
      figure with the words”Kilroy was here”.

      Fun theme. No look ups,no errors.

  5. 10:56, and no errors. Seemed to take “a dog’s age” to finish, though. Like a piece of good beef jerky, I had to chew on this a while.

  6. A little late in doing the puzzle; took me 13:16 with no peeks or errors. Didn’t get the banner when I finished and found that I’d left out the B in OBRIEN/BELA, which I promptly put in.

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