LA Times Crossword 18 Jan 22, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Animal Noises?

The start of each themed answer might be interpreted as the sound of an animal, but it has a different meaning:

  • 16A Antidote fraud that doesn’t come from a duck? : QUACK CURE
  • 28A Social media barrage that doesn’t come from a bird? : TWEETSTORM
  • 43A Voguish term that doesn’t come from a bee? : BUZZ PHRASE
  • 58A Fabric made from tree exteriors that doesn’t come from a dog? : BARKCLOTH

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

Bill’s time: 5m 42s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Retired flier : SST

The first supersonic transport (SST) to fly was the Tupolev Tu-144, which was constructed in the Soviet Union. The Tu-144 first flew in 1968, but did not carry passengers until 1977. The aircraft was permanently grounded as a passenger craft in 1978 due to concerns about safety (there had been two Tu-144 crashes). The second SST to fly was the Anglo-French Concorde, which operated at a profit for over 27 years until it was withdrawn from service in 2003. There was one Concorde crash, in Paris in July 2000. Since then, there have been no commercial SST services.

9 Lola’s nightclub, in song : COPA

The Copacabana of the 1978 Barry Manilow song is the Copacabana nightclub in New York City (which is also the subject of the Frank Sinatra song “Meet Me at the Copa”). The Copa opened in 1940 and is still going today, although it is struggling. The club had to move due to impending construction and is now “sharing” a location with the Columbus 72 nightclub.

Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl
With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there
She would merengue and do the cha-cha
And while she tried to be a star
Tony always tended bar
Across the crowded floor, they worked from 8 ’til 4
They were young and they had each other
Who could ask for more?

14 Lyndon Johnson girl beagle : HER

Him and Her were two beagles owned by President Lyndon Johnson and his family while they were living in the White House. Her died after only a year when she swallowed a stone. Him died at three years of age, when he was hit by a car while chasing a squirrel across the White House lawn.

15 Breakfast sizzler : BACON

“Bacon” is an Old French word that we imported into English. The term ultimately comes from the Proto-Germanic “bakkon” meaning “back meat”.

16 Antidote fraud that doesn’t come from a duck? : QUACK CURE

A quack is a person who pretends to have knowledge that he or she does not in fact possess. The term especially applies to someone fraudulently pretending to have medical skills. Our modern word is an abbreviation of “quacksalver”, an archaic term with Dutch roots that translates as “hawker of salve”, Back in the Middle Ages, quacksalvers would shout out (quack) as they sold their pseudo-medical wares.

18 Northeast express train : 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”.

25 Bat’s home : CAVE

Bats are the only mammals that are capable of sustained flight. There are many, many different kinds of bats, and indeed they make up about 20% of all mammalian species.

28 Social media barrage that doesn’t come from a bird? : TWEETSTORM

In the wonderful world of Twitter (said he, sarcastically), a tweetstorm is a series of related tweets by a single user on a related subject.

33 German river : EDER

The Eder is a river in Germany, and a tributary of the Fulda River. The Eder has a dam near the small town of Waldeck which holds water in the large Edersee reservoir. This was one of the dams that was attacked by the RAF during WWII with the famous Barnes Wallis bouncing bombs. It was destroyed in the Dam Busters raid in 1943, but rebuilt the same year.

35 Asian language : LAO

Lao, the language of Laos, does not use spaces between words (or periods!), although this is apparently changing. Spaces are used between sentences and clauses.

36 Director Wertmüller : LINA

Lina Wertmüller was an Italian movie director of Swiss descent. Wertmüller was the first woman ever to receive an Academy Award nomination for directing. She won for her 1975 film “Seven Beauties”.

37 Rock gp. sometimes joined by Young : CSN

The supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN) is made up of David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash. The band can grow to “CSNY” when the trio is joined by Neil Young. Fans have been known to call the act “C, S, N and sometimes Y”, a play on the expression that names all the vowels, “A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y”.

Neil Young is a singer and songwriter from Toronto, Ontario. Young is known for his solo work, as well as his earlier recordings with Buffalo Springfield and as the fourth member of Crosby, Stills & Nash. Young is also a successful movie director, although he uses the pseudonym “Bernard Shakey” for his movie work. Included in his filmography are “Human Highway” and “Greendale”.

38 __ stick: bouncing toy : POGO

What we know today as a pogo stick was invented in Germany by Max Pohlig and Ernst Gottschall. The name “pogo” comes from the first two letters in each of the inventors’ family names: Po-hlig and Go-ttschall.

40 “When I Need You” singer Leo : SAYER

Leo Sayer is a British singer who was big in the seventies with hits such as “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” and “When I Need You”. Sayer now lives in Australia.

“When I Need You” is a hit song released by English-Australian singer Leo Sayer in 1976. It was written by Albert Hammon and Carole Baker, and Hammond was the first to record the song, in 1976. Sayer’s is the most famous version, but it has been recorded by many famous names such as Perry Como, Rod Stewart, Celine Dion and Julio Iglesias.

42 Hunchbacked lab assistant : IGOR

In the world of movies, Igor has been the assistant to Dracula, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein among others. Igor is almost invariably portrayed as a hunchback.

43 Voguish term that doesn’t come from a bee? : BUZZ PHRASE

There are over 16,000 species of bees, with the best-known probably being the western honey bee, the most common of the honey bees worldwide. Bees feed on nectar and pollen, and in so doing play a crucial role in the pollination of many plants. That’s one of the main reasons there is great concern about diminishing populations of wild bees.

46 Daly of “Judging Amy” : TYNE

Actress Tyne Daly really came into the public eye playing Detective Lacey in “Cagney and Lacey”. From 1999 to 2005, Daly played the mother of the title character in the TV show “Judging Amy”.

47 Three-vowel African river : UELE

The Uele River is a tributary to the Ubangi River, and is found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Uele is the 5th longest river in Africa. There are lengths of the river that appear bright red in color due to iron oxide pollution.

50 Military “pineapples” : GRENADES

Our word “grenade”, used for a small explosive missile, came via French from the word for the pomegranate fruit. The name reflects the similarity between the seed-filled fruit and the powder-filled, fragmentation bomb. Grenades also resemble pineapples in appearance, and so sometimes are called “pineapples”.

54 Wikipedia policy : NO ADS

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, and is the most-used reference site on the Internet. The site was launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in 2001. I, for one, am very grateful …

57 Archaeological find : RELIC

A relic is something that has survived from the past, reminding us of that past.

“Archaeology” is a word that looks like it’s British English, and one might be forgiven for using the spelling “archeology” in American English. Even though the latter spelling has been around for a couple of hundred years, the former is the standard spelling on both sides of the Atlantic.

58 Fabric made from tree exteriors that doesn’t come from a dog? : BARKCLOTH

The original barkcloth was made by soaking the inner bark of certain trees, and then beating the bark into sheets. There is a soft, textured fabric made from cotton that is also called barkcloth. This cotton barkcloth is used as an upholstery material.

61 __ worse than death : A FATE

The phrase “a fate worse than death” describes a misfortune that would make life unlivable. Although the term is used quite generally these days, it was originally a euphemism for the horrific crime of rape. It first appeared in print in the 1781 work “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” by English historian Edward Gibbon:

The matrons and virgins of Rome were exposed to injuries more dreadful, in the apprehension of chastity, than death itself.

63 Arm bones : ULNAE

The bones in the forearm are the radius and ulna. “Ulna” is the Latin word for “elbow”, and “radius” is Latin for “ray”. The humerus (plural “humeri”) is the long bone in the upper arm.

64 Ho Chi __ City : MINH

Hanoi (“Hà Nội” in Vietnamese) was the capital of North Vietnam, and Saigon the capital of South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, Hanoi was made capital of the reunified state. Saigon, the larger metropolis, was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi is located in the delta of the Red River, and is just over 50 miles from the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea.

66 Certain NCOs : SSGTS

A staff sergeant (SSgt.) is a non-commissioned officer (NCO).

Down

1 Letters on a law office door : ESQ

The title “esquire” is of British origin and is used differently today depending on whether one is in the US or the UK. Here in America the term is usually reserved for those practicing the law (both male and female). In the UK, “esquire” is a term of gentle respect reserved for a male who has no other title that one can use. So a mere commoner like me might receive a letter from the bank, say, addressed to W. E. Butler Esq.

2 We, to one who says “oui” : NOUS

In French, “nous” (we) might say “oui ou non” (yes or no).

5 Senegal’s capital : DAKAR

The Republic of Senegal is a country on the far western coast of Africa. For many years Senegal was a French colony, gaining independence in 1960. The capital of Senegal is Dakar. Dakar is located on the Cap-Vert Peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, thus making it the westernmost capital on the African mainland.

6 Moo __ pork : SHU

Moo shu pork (also “mu shu pork”) is a traditional dish from northern China, with the main ingredients being shredded pork and scrambled egg. In North America, the dish is served with tortilla-like wrappers that are sometimes referred to as “moo shu pancakes”.

7 Balkan native : SERB

Serbs are an ethnic group native to the Balkans in southeastern Europe. Although Serbs exist as a minority group in many countries in the region, they are the majority ethnic group in Serbia, in Montenegro and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe is usually referred to as “the Balkans”. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains located in present-day Bulgaria and Serbia. “Balkan” is Bulgarian for “mountain”.

8 Certain surgeon’s “patient” : TREE

Tree surgeons are also known as “arborists”. Such professionals focus on the health of individual trees, whereas foresters manage whole forests.

9 Prestige : CACHET

“Cachet” is a French word that we use in English for an official seal, usually one applied to a document. We also use the term figuratively. When we say that something has “a certain cachet”, we are implying that it has a certain level of prestige, as if some authority has given it a seal of approval.

10 Cousteau’s field : OCEANOLOGY

Oceanography (also “oceanology”) is an Earth science, the scientific study of the oceans. Oceanographers study marine physics, chemistry, biology and geology.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau started off his career in the French Navy, aiming for a working life in aviation. Because of a car accident, Cousteau had to abandon his first career choice and instead went to sea. Famously, he co-invented the Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA), also called the aqua-lung.

11 Gallup specialty : POLL

The Gallup company is best known for its public opinion polls. The company was founded by George Gallup in 1935 as the American Institute of Public Opinion.

12 Fastidious to a fault : ANAL

The use of the word “anal” to mean “stiffly conventional” is an abbreviated form of “anal-retentive”, a term derived from Freudian psychology. Regardless, I’m not a big fan of the term …

17 Thickens, as cream : CLOTS

Clotted cream is a product associated with the southwest of England. It is thick cream prepared by heating rich cow’s milk and allowing it to cool and “clot”. The clots are collected, and sold as “clotted cream”. If you ever order a “cream tea” in England, you’ll get scones, jam and clotted cream. Delicious …

21 Approximate nos. : ESTS

Estimate (est.)

Something approximate is nearly correct, but not precisely. “Approximate” comes into English from Latin “ad” meaning “to” and “proximare” meaning “to come near”.

23 Like a good-sized garage : TWO-CAR

We imported the word “garage” into English from French, in which language the term historically described a place for storing or sheltering something. Later the term specifically applied to a “shelter” for a car. The verb “garer” is French for “to shelter”.

25 People focus, for short : CELEB

There used to be a “People” page in each issue of “Time” magazine. This page was spun-off in 1974 as a publication of its own, which we now call “People” magazine. “People” is noted for its annual special editions with features such as “Best & Worst Dressed” and “Sexiest Man Alive”. The “Sexiest Man Alive” edition now appears at the end of November each year. The first choice for “Sexiest Man” was Mel Gibson, in 1985.

26 “Bye” that’s bid : ADIEU

“Adieu” is French for “goodbye, farewell”, from “à Dieu” meaning “to God”. The plural of “adieu” is “adieux”.

27 Caracas native : VENEZUELAN

The country name “Venezuela” originated with the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci. Vespucci saw stilt houses around Lake Maracaibo that reminded him of the city of Venice, leading him to call the region “Veneziola” meaning “Little Venice”. Over time, “Veneziola” evolved into “Venezuela” as a result of Spanish influence.

Caracas is the capital of Venezuela, and is located in the north of the country. The original settlement of Caracas was named by the Spanish using the name of a local indigenous tribe.

30 Writer Hemingway : ERNEST

Ernest Hemingway’s writing style has been described variously as lean, terse, economical, spare and tight. He didn’t waste words, and avoided complicated syntax. His writing is “Hemingwayesque”.

32 Mandy of “This Is Us” : MOORE

Mandy Moore is a singer turned actress from Nashua, New Hampshire. She co-stars in the TV comedy-drama “This Is Us”, playing Rebecca Pearson.

“This Is Us” is a television drama that debuted in 2016. The storyline centers on three siblings and their parents. Two of the siblings are the surviving members of a triplet pregnancy. The parents decide to adopt a child born on the same day as the surviving siblings. The adopting family is white, and the adopted child is black.

44 Highest point : ZENITH

The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith. We use the terms “nadir” and “zenith” figuratively to mean the low and high points in a person’s fortunes.

45 “Peyton __” : PLACE

Grace Metallius’s 1956 novel “Peyton Place” had such an impact that to this day, the expression “Peyton Place” is used to describe a neighborhood where the residents have sordid secrets. The novel has it all, including incest, abortion, adultery, lust and murder. No wonder it stayed on “The New York Times” bestseller list for 59 weeks …

50 Fat unit : GRAM

Today, the gram is defined as one thousandth of a kilogram, with the kilogram being equal to the mass of a physical sample preserved by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (well, up until 2019, when it became more hi-tech than I can explain!). Prior to 1960, the gram was defined as the weight of a cubic centimeter of pure water (at the temperature of melting ice).

51 Bank offering, briefly : REFI

Refinance (refi)

52 “Buy It Now” site : EBAY

eBay is an auction site with a twist. If you don’t want to enter into an auction to purchase an item, there’s a “Buy It Now” price. Agree to pay it, and the item is yours!

53 Fill to the max : SATE

“Sate” is a variant of the older word “satiate”. Both terms can mean either to satisfy an appetite fully, or to eat to excess.

56 PDQ, in the ER : STAT

The exact etymology of “stat”, a term meaning “immediately” in the medical profession, seems to have been lost in the mists of time. It probably comes from the Latin “statim” meaning “to a standstill, immediately”. A blog reader has helpfully suggested that the term may also come from the world of laboratory analysis, where the acronym STAT stands for “short turn-around time”.

Pretty darn quick (PDQ)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Broke off, as talks : ENDED
6 Retired flier : SST
9 Lola’s nightclub, in song : COPA
13 To a degree, informally : SORTA
14 Lyndon Johnson girl beagle : HER
15 Breakfast sizzler : BACON
16 Antidote fraud that doesn’t come from a duck? : QUACK CURE
18 Northeast express train : ACELA
19 Swipe : STEAL
20 Pub with suds and entertainment : BEER HALL
22 Jog or racing gait : TROT
24 Caught in the act : SEEN
25 Bat’s home : CAVE
28 Social media barrage that doesn’t come from a bird? : TWEETSTORM
33 German river : EDER
34 Gets really high : SOARS
35 Asian language : LAO
36 Director Wertmüller : LINA
37 Rock gp. sometimes joined by Young : CSN
38 __ stick: bouncing toy : POGO
39 Wide shoe spec : EEE
40 “When I Need You” singer Leo : SAYER
42 Hunchbacked lab assistant : IGOR
43 Voguish term that doesn’t come from a bee? : BUZZ PHRASE
46 Daly of “Judging Amy” : TYNE
47 Three-vowel African river : UELE
48 Bit of bickering : TIFF
50 Military “pineapples” : GRENADES
54 Wikipedia policy : NO ADS
57 Archaeological find : RELIC
58 Fabric made from tree exteriors that doesn’t come from a dog? : BARKCLOTH
61 __ worse than death : A FATE
62 Downed : ATE
63 Arm bones : ULNAE
64 Ho Chi __ City : MINH
65 “Sure” : YEP
66 Certain NCOs : SSGTS

Down

1 Letters on a law office door : ESQ
2 We, to one who says “oui” : NOUS
3 “Dang!” : DRAT!
4 And so on : ET CETERA
5 Senegal’s capital : DAKAR
6 Moo __ pork : SHU
7 Balkan native : SERB
8 Certain surgeon’s “patient” : TREE
9 Prestige : CACHET
10 Cousteau’s field : OCEANOLOGY
11 Gallup specialty : POLL
12 Fastidious to a fault : ANAL
15 Exposes : BARES
17 Thickens, as cream : CLOTS
21 Approximate nos. : ESTS
23 Like a good-sized garage : TWO-CAR
25 People focus, for short : CELEB
26 “Bye” that’s bid : ADIEU
27 Caracas native : VENEZUELAN
29 Snap course : EASY A
30 Writer Hemingway : ERNEST
31 Make fun of : RAG ON
32 Mandy of “This Is Us” : MOORE
38 Traps for the unwary : PITFALLS
40 Lawn tool storage building : SHED
41 Sign again : RE-INK
44 Highest point : ZENITH
45 “Peyton __” : PLACE
49 Concentrate : FOCUS
50 Fat unit : GRAM
51 Bank offering, briefly : REFI
52 “Buy It Now” site : EBAY
53 Fill to the max : SATE
55 Bell sound : DONG
56 PDQ, in the ER : STAT
59 Sales agent : REP
60 Cock and bull : HES

21 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 18 Jan 22, Tuesday”

  1. No errors.. theme was a little “quacky” but I made it….

    I remember when I first heard Leo Sayer on the radio (there was no MTV or video stream back in the 70’s), I thought it was a female voice. When I eventually saw a picture (probably when the album came out) I was stunned.!! He could really hit the high notes!!!

    1. Due to your comment, I just listened to Sayer’s “When I Need You” on YouTube. I remembered hearing (and liking) it on the radio, and I’m more or less convinced that, at the time, like you, I thought it was a female voice. So … live and (sometimes) learn … 😜.

  2. Drat it all. If 25D is a magazine, then italics must be used. Seems like the puzzle editor gets lazier and lazier every year.

    1. Seems like quotation marks should be used in reference to the “editor,” too. Otherwise, the breakfast test is ignored, and solvers can start their day with images of 12D, 55D, and the like. And with at least 25 PPPs in the puzzle, we have to wonder if the “editor” favors clues gleaned from the unitalicized People.

      1. I find it odd that you are offended by “images of 12D, 55D, and the like”, considering that the last name that you have chosen to use in posting here might easily be offensive to others … 😜.

    1. Your pun is the “bee’s knees”! 😂

      Never heard of Barkcloth which I’m kinda
      glad about and Tweet storm just sounds silly….
      2 errors. Fun theme.

  3. My response to Joe Bleaux (above) was, of course, meant as humor (though I was also trying to make the point that filth, like beauty, is usually in the eye of the beholder … 😜).

    This afternoon, I have done several other puzzles and come across a couple of “coincidences” that make me wonder if a pair of setters are indulging in a private joke.

    On Monday, I did the latest “Marching Bands” puzzle from BEQ (Brendan Emmett Quigley) and had some difficulty coming up with the word “DRUB” (clued as “Beat but good” and also used, backwards, as part of the word “BURDENED”). I have been known, in the past, to criticize BEQ a bit for off-color entries, but that puzzle contained only one (and, in any case, I’ve mostly made my peace with his penchant for such things). Later, I did the latest themeless from Tim Croce, whose puzzles are usually quite tame, and was shocked to find no less than eight off-color words, in either a clue or an entry – far more than I have seen in any other puzzle of his. And, curiously, the word “DRUB” is also there (clued as “Crush on a field”).

    So then, I did tomorrow’s WSJ puzzle (observing, as I did so, that it was created by none other than BEQ!) and found that the most off-color entry in Croce’s puzzle (a word that I will not repeat here, with a clue referencing a meaning that I was actually unaware of until now) also occurs in BEQ’s WSJ puzzle, but with a clue referencing its “respectable” meaning.

    Okay … a bit confusing, I know. Suffice it to say that two words that I very seldom see in crosswords have just appeared in pairs of puzzles by two constructors, making me wonder if they were working together; if so, I am a bit suspicious about their motives for using one of those words. This would not be the first time that co-creators of a literary endeavor have indulged in a bit of sly humor (as in, “Let’s see if we can get away with using this bit of slang in a puzzle!”).

  4. Slightly tricky Tuesday for me; took 12:28 with no peeks or errors. I didn’t get the banner when I finished and not feeling like looking for it, I did a “check-grid” which turned up nothing?? Finally spotted a missing S at SORTS/ESTS…sigh, but still, no errors technically.

    re Peyton Place – I remember that series being on TV when I was a kid. But being a preteen, I was way more interested in all the comedy shows on at the time and then maybe The Time Tunnel, Green Lantern and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, when I wanted some drama. Now though, after reading what Peyton Place was about… well maybe I should take another look 🙂 Of course, Nonny would disapprove, or should I say Nanny 🙂 and, are you saying that “drub” is bl(ea)u(x) language?! Probably not, but it’s hard to tell.

    1. @ Dirk
      There is a Movie based on the novel
      Peyton Place which should be available.
      I worked on a Print a few years ago. Great
      cast but a bit dated of course. I still watch
      those drama shows you mentioned on
      ME TV 🙂

    2. @Dirk …

      The presence of “drub” (which is not “blue”, but is also not a word that I’ve often encountered in puzzles) in two of the three puzzles is just an oddity (coincidence?) that made me wonder if the two constructors were in recent contact with each other.

      The word that I think they may have been going out of their way to use is at 26-Down in Croce’s puzzle, with an obviously “blue” clue, and at 48-Down in BEQ’s puzzle (in today’s WSJ), with a very innocuous clue. So the net effect is to put an old word with a very “blue” alternate meaning in a widely-circulated grid and slyly explain what they’ve done with a simultaneous entry in a not-so-widely-circulated one. (If you do look the word up, be forewarned that, like me, you may have to do some research to discover the “blue” meaning.)

      As it happens, BEQ and Croce are my two favorite constructors, and I have done enough of their puzzles to understand that they view any word (hateful, racist, and sexist words excluded) as fair game for use in a puzzle, whether or not it has a “blue” connotation, and I mostly agree with them (though I have reservations about at least one of the words I’ve seen BEQ use).

  5. 11:33 with 1 lookup and 1 error. Did not get that “People” focus was the magazine (looking for a personality trait) nor recall Wertmuller’s first name (Lisa? Dina?). I also did not know of the Eder River – had ODER and wasn’t going to change it.

    So, I looked up Wertmuller and got Lina instead of Dina when 25D looked to be CODE something, but bUZZPHRASE had to be correct. COLEB made no sense to me, so I gave up and took the error on oDER.

    Not happy with that for a Tuesday puzzle.

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