LA Times Crossword 17 Jan 22, Monday

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Constructed by: Catherine Cetta
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Code-Switch

Themed answers each include the name of a CODE, but with the letters in the name SWITCHED around:

  • 60A Say “See you mañana,” e.g. … and a hint to each set of circles : CODE-SWITCH
  • 18A Coen Brothers’ “Best Original” Oscar-winning output for “Fargo” : SCREENPLAY (giving “PENAL code”)
  • 24A Weather warning on your cellphone, e.g. : TEXT ALERT (giving “TAX code”)
  • 39A Informal name for the classic painting “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1” : WHISTLER’S MOTHER (giving “MORSE code”)
  • 50A Sleight-of-hand swindle : SHELL GAME (giving “LEGAL code”)

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

Bill’s time: 5m 06s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Toon frames : CELS

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

5 Honking birds : GEESE

A collection of geese is referred to as a “gaggle” when on the ground. When geese are in V-formation in flight, they are referred to collectively as a “skein”.

10 U.S. state that hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics : UTAH

The last Olympic Games held in the US was in Salt Lake City in 2002, a winter games. That made Utah the fifth US state to host the Olympics.

15 Comparable to a beet : AS RED

Chard is a lovely leafy vegetable, in my humble opinion. It is the same species as the garden beet, but chard is grown for the leaves and beet is grown for the roots. Chard also goes by the names Swiss chard, silverbeet, mangold. In some parts of Australia, it’s even known as spinach.

16 Prefix with physics : META-

The word “metaphysics” comes from the Greek “meta” (beyond) and “physika” (physical). Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that investigates reality beyond the principles of science. Not something I would understand …

18 Coen Brothers’ “Best Original” Oscar-winning output for “Fargo” : SCREENPLAY (giving “PENAL code”)

“Fargo” is one of my favorite films of all time, and stars perhaps my favorite actress, Frances McDormand. “Fargo” was directed by the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan. Frances McDormand is Joel’s wife.

I think it’s great to see two brothers working together and being so successful. Joel and Ethan Coen are two movie producers and directors who both live in New York City. The Coen brothers do love the movie-making business and they even married industry “insiders”. Ethan’s wife is film editor Tricia Cooke, and Joel is married to one of my favorite actresses, the talented Frances McDormand.

22 Egypt’s Mubarak : HOSNI

Hosni Mubarak was the fourth President of Egypt, taking over after Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981. Mubarak resigned in 2011 in the early months of the Arab Spring after 18 days of public demonstrations. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2012, released in 2017, and passed away in 2020.

28 Detroit labor gp. : UAW

The United Auto Workers (UAW) was founded to represent workers in auto plants in the Detroit area in 1935. Nowadays the UAW’s membership extends into aerospace, agriculture and other industries.

29 Amtrak express : ACELA

The Acela Express is the fastest train routinely running in the US, as it gets up to 150 mph at times. The service runs between Boston and Washington D.C. via Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. Introduced in 2000, the brand name “Acela” was created to evoke “acceleration” and “excellence”.

Amtrak is the name used commercially by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. “Amtrak” comes from a melding of the words “America” and “track”.

39 Informal name for the classic painting “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1” : WHISTLER’S MOTHER (giving “MORSE code”)

James Abbott McNeill Whistler was an American-born painter who spent most of his working life in Britain. His most famous work is the 1871 painting usually referred to as “Whistler’s Mother”. That actual title of the piece is “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1”.

Samuel Morse came up with the forerunner to modern Morse code for use on the electric telegraph, of which he was the co-inventor. Morse code uses a series of dots and dashes to represent letters and numbers. The most common letters are assigned the simplest code elements e.g. E is represented by one dot, and T is represented by one dash. When words are spelled aloud in Morse code, a dot is pronounced as “dit”, and a dash is pronounced as “dah”.

42 Ships’ records : LOGS

The word “logbook” dates back to the days when the captain of a ship kept a daily record of the vessel’s speed, progress etc. using a “log”. A log was a wooden float on a knotted line that was dropped overboard to measure speed through the water.

43 Yalie : ELI

Elihu Yale was a wealthy merchant born in Boston in 1649. Yale worked for the British East India Company, and for many years served as governor of a settlement at Madras (now Chennai) in India. After India, Yale took over his father’s estate near Wrexham in Wales. It was while resident in Wrexham that Yale responded to a request for financial support for the Collegiate School of Connecticut in 1701. He sent the school a donation, which was used to erect a new building in New Haven that was named “Yale” in his honor. In 1718, the whole school was renamed to “Yale College”. To this day, students of Yale are nicknamed “Elis”, again honoring Elihu.

45 Ibsen’s “__ Gabler” : HEDDA

“Hedda Gabler” is a play by the great Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen that was first published in 1890. Considered one of the greatest theater roles, the title character of Hedda Gabler is sometimes referred to as the female Hamlet.

Henrik Ibsen was a Norwegian playwright who is considered by many to be the greatest playwright since William Shakespeare. Ibsen was famous for shocking his audiences by exploring subjects that offended the sensibilities of the day (the late 1800s).

47 Actor Stephen : REA

Stephen Rea is an Irish actor from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Rea’s most successful role was Fergus in 1992’s “The Crying Game”, for which performance he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. In “The Crying Game”, Fergus was a member of the IRA. In real life, Rea was married to IRA bomber and hunger striker Dolours Price at the time he made the movie.

48 Siri 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”.

50 Sleight-of-hand swindle : SHELL GAME (giving “LEGAL code”)

A shell game (also “thimblerig”) is a gambling game, at least at first sight. It is usually a confidence trick. Typically, a small ball is placed under three face-down containers on a flat surface. The containers are shuffled around, and a player wins if he or she can “follow the ball” and correctly guess which container has that ball. In an illegal street game, the operator will often use sleight of hand to fool the players. The alternative name “thimblerig” comes from the fact that the con was originally played out using sewing thimbles.

57 Greek i’s : IOTAS

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

59 Shipwreck site : SHOAL

A shoal is an underwater ridge or bank that is covered with a material such as sand or silt.

60 Say “See you mañana,” e.g. … and a hint to each set of circles : CODE-SWITCH

The linguistic term “code-switching” refers to the practice of a speaker switching between languages while in the same conversation.

63 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”.

64 Small bills : ONES

Conspiracy theorists love to point out “suspicious” symbols on the one-dollar bill. The pyramid on the bill is unfinished, with 13 steps. The number 13 has been associated with the occult, but it is also the number of original colonies that declared independence from Britain forming the United States. Not so suspicious after all …

68 Mississippi quartet : ESSES

There is a quartet of letters S (esses) in the word “Mississippi”.

69 Stun with a zapper : TASE

Victor Appleton wrote a novel for young adults called “Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle”. The company that developed the TASER electroshock weapon partly named its product as a homage to the novel. The acronym “TASER” stands for “Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle”.

Down

1 Diamond weight : CARAT

The carat is a unit of mass equal to 200 mg (0.2 grams). It is used in sizing gemstones.

3 “I speak for the trees” Seuss character : LORAX

“The Lorax” is a children’s book written by Dr. Seuss. It is an allegorical work questioning the problems created by industrialization, and in particular its impact on the environment. At one point in the story, the Lorax “speaks for the trees, for the trees have no tongues”. “The Lorax” was adapted into an animated film that was released in 2012, with Danny DeVito voicing the title character.

5 Fuel from a pump : GAS

The gas pump was actually around before there were cars on the road. The first gas pump was the invention of one Sylvanus Bowser from Fort Wayne, Indiana. His first pump was designed to pump kerosene for lamps and stoves, and was introduced in 1885. As automobiles became popular, he modified the design to pump gasoline. He introduced the Self-Measuring Gasoline Storage Pump in 1905. He marketed his devices all around the world, and in some parts the name “bowser” is still used sometimes to refer to fuel pumps, and indeed some fuel tankers.

6 Abstain from : ESCHEW

“To eschew”, meaning “to avoid, shun”, comes from the Old French word “eschiver” that means the same thing.

7 There’s one in “beleive” : ERROR

“I before E, except after C”. With so many exceptions, I think this is one rule that’s not taught in schools anymore …

9 Biblical garden : EDEN

In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This went against the bidding of God, and was at the urging of the serpent. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them from becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

10 Strike caller : UMP

Back in the 15th century, “an umpire” was referred to as “a noumpere”, which was misheard and hence causing the dropping of the initial letter N. The term “noumpere” came from Old French “nonper” meaning “not even, odd number”. The idea was that the original umpire was a third person called on to arbitrate between two, providing that “odd number” needed to decide the dispute.

12 Gaming brand since 1972 : ATARI

Founded in 1972, electronics and video game manufacturer Atari was once the fastest-growing company in US history. However, Atari never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983.

31 Boring tool : AWL

An awl is a pointed tool used for marking a surface or for piercing small holes. The earliest awls were used to pierce ears, apparently. The tool then became very much associated with shoemakers.

32 Vietnamese soup : PHO

Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a noodle soup from Vietnam that is a popular street food.

34 Southeast England county : ESSEX

Essex is a county in England that is referred to as one of the “home counties”. The home counties are those that surround the city of London, outside of London itself. “Home county” is not an official designation but has been in popular use since the 1800s. The list of home counties usually comprises Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey, and Sussex.

35 Thu. follower : FRI

We have seven days in a week because there are seven classical planets in the Solar System. The days were named for these “planets” during the Roman era:

  • Sun (Sunday)
  • Moon (Monday)
  • Mars (Tuesday)
  • Mercury (Wednesday)
  • Jupiter (Thursday)
  • Venus (Friday)
  • Saturn (Saturday)

37 Golf driving aid : TEE

A tee is a small device on which, say, a golf ball is placed before striking it. The term “tee” comes from the Scottish “teaz”, which described little heaps of sand used to elevate a golf ball for the purpose of getting a clean hit with a club.

38 Part of MoMA : ART

The founding of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City was very much driven by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, wife of John D. Rockefeller. Working with two friends, Abby managed to get the museum opened in 1929, just nine days after the Wall Street Crash. The MoMA’s sculpture garden bears the name of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and has done so since 1949.

40 Stretchy things : ELASTICS

Our word “elastic” was coined in the mid-17th century to describe the ability of gases to recover to their former volume after compression. The use of elastic was extended to solids in the 1670s to describe solids that could spring back to the original form after being bent.

46 Speaker’s stand : DAIS

A dais is a raised platform for a speaker. The term “dais” comes from the Latin “discus” meaning a “disk-shaped object”. I guess that the original daises had such a shape.

48 Big name in foil : ALCOA

The Aluminum Corporation of America (ALCOA) is the largest producer of aluminum in the United States. The company was founded in 1888 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where its headquarters are to this day.

49 “Madam Secretary” star Téa : LEONI

Téa Leoni is an American actress. One of Leoni’s early parts was in the great film “A League of Their Own” (a minor role: Racine at first base). She also played the fiancée of Sam Malone from “Cheers” on the spin-off sitcom “Frasier”. A leading role on the big screen was opposite Adam Sandler in “Spanglish”. My favorite of her more prominent movie roles was as Jane in “Fun with Dick and Jane”. Leoni started playing the title role in the drama series “Madam Secretary” in 2014, and that’s a show I quite enjoy …

“Madam Secretary” is A TV show that first aired from 2014 to 2019. It is about an ex-CIA analyst who is appointed as US Secretary of State. Téa Leoni plays the title role, ably supported by a favorite actress of mine, Bebe Neuwirth. I like this show …

52 Halloween sheet wearer : GHOST

All Saints’ Day is November 1st each year. The day before All Saints’ Day is All Hallows’ Eve, better known by the Scottish term “Halloween”.

53 Big blood vessel : AORTA

The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

62 Some PCs : HPS

The giant multinational HP (originally “Hewlett-Packard”) was founded in 1939 with an investment of $538 in a one-car garage in Palo Alto, California by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. The company name would have been Packard-Hewlett, if Dave Packard had won a coin toss!

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Toon frames : CELS
5 Honking birds : GEESE
10 U.S. state that hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics : UTAH
14 Declare openly : AVOW
15 Comparable to a beet : AS RED
16 Prefix with physics : META-
17 Like collectible coins : RARE
18 Coen Brothers’ “Best Original” Oscar-winning output for “Fargo” : SCREENPLAY (giving “PENAL code”)
20 Roll with the punches : ADAPT
22 Egypt’s Mubarak : HOSNI
23 Before, to a bard : ERE
24 Weather warning on your cellphone, e.g. : TEXT ALERT (giving “TAX code”)
26 Lukewarm : TEPID
28 Detroit labor gp. : UAW
29 Amtrak express : ACELA
31 Add, as to a list : APPEND
35 To’s counterpart : FRO
36 “__ girl!”: encouraging words : ATTA
39 Informal name for the classic painting “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1” : WHISTLER’S MOTHER (giving “MORSE code”)
42 Ships’ records : LOGS
43 Yalie : ELI
44 Like favorite car radio stations : PRESET
45 Ibsen’s “__ Gabler” : HEDDA
47 Actor Stephen : REA
48 Siri counterpart : ALEXA
50 Sleight-of-hand swindle : SHELL GAME (giving “LEGAL code”)
56 Green expanse : LEA
57 Greek i’s : IOTAS
59 Shipwreck site : SHOAL
60 Say “See you mañana,” e.g. … and a hint to each set of circles : CODE-SWITCH
63 Rice-like pasta : ORZO
64 Small bills : ONES
65 Freeze over : ICE UP
66 Resign, with “down” : STEP …
67 Senator’s helper : AIDE
68 Mississippi quartet : ESSES
69 Stun with a zapper : TASE

Down

1 Diamond weight : CARAT
2 Sidestep : EVADE
3 “I speak for the trees” Seuss character : LORAX
4 Won every game : SWEPT
5 Fuel from a pump : GAS
6 Abstain from : ESCHEW
7 There’s one in “beleive” : ERROR
8 Reel from a bang on the head : SEE STARS
9 Biblical garden : EDEN
10 Strike caller : UMP
11 Mind readers : TELEPATHS
12 Gaming brand since 1972 : ATARI
13 Cut and collected in bales : HAYED
19 After-dark period, in ads : NITE
21 Tease : TAUNT
25 Served, as soup : LADLED
27 Delight to the max : ELATE
30 Force, as to do something : COMPEL
31 Boring tool : AWL
32 Vietnamese soup : PHO
33 Stubborn in a porcine way : PIGHEADED
34 Southeast England county : ESSEX
35 Thu. follower : FRI
37 Golf driving aid : TEE
38 Part of MoMA : ART
40 Stretchy things : ELASTICS
41 Grad school grillings : ORALS
46 Speaker’s stand : DAIS
47 Save : RESCUE
48 Big name in foil : ALCOA
49 “Madam Secretary” star Téa : LEONI
51 Despises : HATES
52 Halloween sheet wearer : GHOST
53 Big blood vessel : AORTA
54 Lab rats’ challenges : MAZES
55 Say “I do” without the ado : ELOPE
58 Bruise, to a tot : OWIE
61 Opposite of WNW : ESE
62 Some PCs : HPS

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 17 Jan 22, Monday”

  1. Easy Monday. No errors, but I had never heard the term “code switching”
    so until I read Bill’s explanation, I wondered what it meant. Like I’ve
    said before…I learn something new every day.

  2. @dirk – had to go back and read up on “dimebag darrell “… I completely forgot about that incident. What a shame.

    As for today’s puzzle, no errors.. but I don’t get how Manana translates to code switch??

    3 words I wasn’t familiar with “HAYED HOSNI and HEDDA” and they all start with H?? And it’s monday the 17th? Is this the “secret code switch” that I’m looking for or am I just being a smart alec?
    Oh well.

  3. Took me 8 minutes, 33 seconds to solve this. A dog’s age!!! Oh well, at least it was still error free, unlike 7Down.

  4. 7:39 with no errors, lookups, or revisions.

    “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1”? I like “Whistler’s Mother” much better. And where are the No. 2-n arrangements in grey and black?

  5. 8:06, no errors. I’m in the crowd that wasn’t familiar with code-switch. Afterwards I asked the wife (who listens to NPR, thanks for the clue Pam in MA!) & she knew all about it…

  6. Easy Monday for me; took 7:50 with no peeks or errors. Cruised through without hardly any pausing for crosses – except ASRED. Didn’t get the banner when I finished but found I accidentally put in ErCHEW, which I spotted almost immediately.

    So, one of my favorite uses of eschew was in the somewhat popular bumper sticker around here back in the ’90s – ‘Eschew Obfuscation’, and given the French translation, I wonder if they had a similar ‘éviter l’obscurcissement’ bumper sticker 🙂

    @Anon Mike – Yeah, I had actually never heard of the band – not being big on Heavy Metal – when it happened, but I remember reading about it and being profoundly shocked…so sad.

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