LA Times Crossword 22 Jan 22, Saturday

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Constructed by: Billy Bratton
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 12m 18s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Jiggly edible : ASPIC

Aspic is a dish in which the main ingredients are served in a gelatin made from meat stock. “Aspic” is a French word meaning “jelly”.

6 One swimming in a pod : ORCA

The taxonomic name for the killer whale is “Orcinus orca”. The use of the name “orca”, rather than “killer whale”, is becoming more and more common. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

A group of whales can be called a gam, as well as a pod.

10 It’s dangerous to trip on it : ACID

LSD (known colloquially as “acid”) is lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist named Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

15 Sound from a boxer : WOOF!

The boxer breed of dog (one of my favorites) originated in Germany. My first dog was a boxer/Labrador mix, a beautiful combination. Our current family dog is a boxer/pug mix, and is another gorgeous animal.

20 Former MLB outfielder whose name sounds very similar to a Kellogg’s cereal : COCO CRISP

Covelli “Coco” Crisp is a retired MLB player. Crisp was given his nickname by his sister, although he managed to “escape” from it until he started playing AA baseball. He shared the nickname with his teammates, and they wouldn’t drop it.

21 APB subject : PERP

Perpetrator (perp)

An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

23 Half a candy bar? : … KAT

I grew up eating Kit Kat bars as a kid. The Kit Kat hit the shelves on the other side of the pond in the 1930s, but didn’t make it into US stores until the 1970s. I’ve seen new varieties of Kit Kat bars over in Britain and Ireland, such as an orange-flavored version. I’ve been told that there are even more varieties available in Japan.

24 Ring setting : CIRCUS

The Circus Maximus was an ancient stadium used for chariot racing in Rome. It was the first such stadium built by the Romans, and was the largest ever to be built in the whole of the Roman Empire. The Circus Maximus was over 2,000 feet long and just under 400 feet wide, and could house about 15,000 spectators. There is very little of the original structure remaining and the site is now used as a major park. It was the Circus Maximus and similar “circa” that gave rise to our contemporary word “circus” describing an arena used by clowns, acrobats, etc.

27 “Downton Abbey” countess : CORA

American actress Elizabeth McGovern is perhaps most famous today on the small screen for playing Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham in the hit period drama “Downton Abbey”. She gets a lot of TV work in England, partly because she lives in London with her British husband, filmmaker Simon Curtis. McGovern is also a professional musician. She plays the guitar, and has fronted the UK-based Americana-folk band Sadie and the Hotheads since 2007.

In the incredibly successful period drama “Downton Abbey”, the patriarch of the family living at Downton is Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham or Lord Grantham. The character is played by Hugh Bonneville. Lord Grantham married American Cora Levinson (played by Elizabeth McGovern). Lord and Lady Grantham had three daughters, and no sons. The lack of a male heir implied that the Grantham estate would pass to a male cousin, and out of the immediate family. The Grantham daughters are Lady Mary (played by Michelle Dockery), Lady Edith (played by Laura Carmichael) and Lady Sybil (played by Jessica Brown Findlay). Lady Sybil had the audacity to marry the family chauffeur, who was an Irish nationalist. The shame of it all …

29 Lure for some conquistadors : ORO

In Spanish, “oro” (gold) is a “metal precioso” (precious metal).

“Conquistador” is the Spanish word for “conqueror”.

30 They hold less than 10% as much as their name suggests : TEN-GALLON HATS

The term “ten-gallon hat” describing a cowboy hat only appeared in 1925, and nobody seems to be exactly sure of the term’s origin. Some suggest that the relatively waterproof nature of the hat due to the tight weave might explain it, with images of cowboys giving drinks of water from their upturned hats. However, there’s no way any cowboy hat will hold ten gallons, more like three quarts.

36 Amontillado holder : CASK

“The Cask of Amontillado” is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe that was first published in 1846. The story tells of a vengeful man who lures his enemy into the catacombs, locks him in chains and then traps him in a niche by sealing it with a brick wall. Nice man …

Amontillado is a variety of sherry produced in the Montilla region of Spain. The name “Amontillado” is sometimes used today as a generic name for any sherry that has a color between a fino (the palest and driest sherry) and an oloroso (darker and sweeter).

38 Maker of 49-Down : LIPTON
(49D 38-Across product : TEA)

Sir Thomas Lipton was a grocer in Glasgow, Scotland. He founded a tea packing company in North America in 1893, in Hoboken, New Jersey. He was very successful as his blends of tea became popular in the US. Despite the Lipton roots in the UK, Lipton black tea isn’t available there, so I’ve always thought of it as an American brand.

40 Pride, for one : SIN

The cardinal sins of Christian ethics are also known as the seven deadly sins. The seven sins are:

  • Wrath
  • Greed
  • Sloth
  • Pride
  • Lust
  • Envy
  • Gluttony

41 Research bldg. : LIB

Library (lib.)

44 “Drive” band, with “The” : CARS

“Drive” is a 1984 song that was released, appropriately enough, by American rock band the Cars. It was written by the band’s frontman Ric Ocasek. Famously, the song was featured prominently in the Philadelphia Live Aid concert in 1985.

45 Conversation privée : TETE-A-TETE

A “tête-à-tête” is a one-on-one meeting, and a term that translates from French as “head-to-head”.

In French, one might have “une conversation privée” (a private conversation).

48 Cook Islands export : TARO

Taro is a root vegetable that is grown for its edible underground plant stems (corms). The English name “taro” is borrowed from the Maori language of New Zealand. The same plant is known as “gabi” in the Philippines, “arbi” in much of India, and “jimbi” in parts of Africa where Swahili is spoken.

The Cook Islands is a grouping of 15 small islands in the South Pacific that is an associated state with New Zealand. Under this arrangement, New Zealand is responsible for the defense of the Cook Islands and represents them on the world stage. Cook Islanders are citizens of New Zealand, but they are also Cook Island nationals. The Cook Islands have their own democratically elected parliament and are self-governed.

49 South side : TEXAS TOAST

Texas toast is made from toasted, sliced bread that is about double the usual thickness of sliced, packaged bread. It is prepared by simply spreading butter onto both sides and grilling until golden brown. Variants might include garlic in the butter, or the addition of cheese to one or both sides.

52 Jackson 5 features : AFROS

The Jackson 5 singing group were originally made up of brothers Tito, Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael. The four eldest brothers continued to perform, using the name “The Jacksons”, after Michael went solo.

Down

1 Humane gp. for 150+ years : ASPCA

Unlike most developed countries, the US has no umbrella organization with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

3 Paris play areas : PARCS

In France, “les enfants” (the children) might play in the “parc” (park).

5 Some antojitos : CHICKEN TACOS

Mexican street food is known as “antojitos” in Mexican Spanish, which translates as “little cravings”.

7 Joeys, e.g. : ROOS

A male kangaroo is known as a buck, jack or boomer. A female is called a jill, flyer or doe. A young kangaroo is a joey, and a group of kangaroos is a mob or troop.

8 Something to pull off : COUP

A coup d’état (often just “coup”) is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French for “stroke of state”. The Swiss-German word “putsch” is sometimes used instead of “coup”, with “Putsch” translating literally as “sudden blow”. We also use the abbreviated “coup” to mean “sudden, brilliant and successful act”.

10 Many a surfer : AOLER

Founded as Quantum Computer Services in 1983, the company changed its name in 1989 to America Online. As America Online went international, the initialism AOL was used in order to shake off the “America-centric” sound to the name. During the heady days of AOL’s success the company could not keep up with the growing number of subscribers, so people trying to connect often encountered busy signals. That’s when users referred to AOL as “Always Off-Line”.

11 Some sketches : CHARCOALS

Charcoal is made by heating wood in an atmosphere that minimizes the exposure to oxygen. This process, known as pyrolysis, removes water and volatile materials from the wood leaving the black carbon residue that we call charcoal. The charcoal itself will burn, at a higher temperature, if exposed to oxygen and an ignition source.

18 Rainforest denizen : ORANGUTAN

Orangutans (also “orangs”) are arboreal creatures, the largest arboreal animals known to man. They are native to Indonesia and Malaysia, and live in rainforests. Like most species in rainforests these days, orangutans are endangered, with only two species surviving. The word “orangutan” is Malay, meaning “man of the forest”.

21 Chopin trio : PIANO SONATAS

Frédéric Chopin wrote four sonatas in all. The first three are piano sonatas, and the fourth is referred to as a cello sonata, although it was written for piano and cello.

24 Features on a track : CROSSTIES

The rectangular supports under rails in railroad tracks are known as railroad ties or crossties here in North America. Over on the other side of the Atlantic, we call them railway sleepers.

25 Coast Guard pickup : SOS

The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots). That said, in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so “SOS” is really only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are back-formations that were introduced after the SOS signal was adopted.

The US Coast Guard (USCG) has the distinction of being the country’s oldest continuous seagoing service. The USCG was founded as the Revenue Cutter Service by Alexander Hamilton in 1790.

26 Waves overhead? : PERM

“Perm” is the common name given to a permanent wave, a chemical or thermal treatment of hair to produce waves or curls.

28 Pleasingly dated retail adjective : OLDE

The word “olde” wasn’t actually used much earlier than the 1920s. “Olde” was introduced to give a quaint antique feel to brand names, shop names etc. as in “Ye Olde Shoppe”.

30 BoJo’s political affiliation, informally : TORY PARTY

“Tory” comes from the Irish word “tóraí” meaning “outlaw, robber”. The term “tory” was originally used for an Irish outlaw and later became a term of abuse for Irish rebels. At the end of the reign of King Charles II in Britain, there was a political divide with one side being called “Whigs” and the other “Tories”. Historically, the term “Tory” evolved to basically mean a supporter of the British monarchy, and indeed was used to describe those who remained loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution. Today, “Tory” is used for a member of the British Conservative Party.

Boris Johnson is a larger-than-life Conservative politician in the UK, and former Mayor of London. He was the very visible frontman in the campaign for the UK to exit the European Union, the so-called Brexit campaign. As a result of the UK voting to exit the EU, Prime Minister David Cameron resigned, to be replaced by Theresa May. Theresa May then appointed Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary. Almost inevitably, Boris Johnson then replaced May as Prime Minister. In more recent times, Johnson famously made light of the coronavirus pandemic and ignored calls for social distancing. He then fell ill with COVID-19, ended up in an intensive care unit, and ultimately revised his advice about social distancing. Oh, and the media sometimes refer to Johnson as “BoJo”.

32 Black Panthers co-founder Newton : HUEY

Huey P. Newton is best known as a co-founder of the Black Panther Party (BPP), along with Bobby Seale. The pair founded the party in 1966 while attending community college in Oakland, California. The original name of the organization was the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, and it advocated the right of self defense for black people in the US. The founders assigned themselves posts in the party, with Seale becoming Chairman, and Newton Minister of Defense.

33 View from Bolivia’s Isla del Sol : TITICACA

Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America, and the highest navigable lake in the world (navigable by “large” commercial vessels). Lake Titicaca is located in the Andes, on the border between Peru and Bolivia.

Isla del Sol (Spanish for “Island of the Sun”) is a rocky, but inhabited, island located in the southern part of Lake Titicaca. There are no paved roads or motor vehicles on the island, but it is still home to about 800 families.

34 Digital communication syst. : ASL

It’s really quite unfortunate that American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) are very different, and someone who has learned to sign in one cannot understand someone signing in the other.

39 Cinq moins deux : TROIS

In French, “cinq moins deux” (five minus two) is “trois” (three).

41 Teach improperly? : LEARN

I’ll teach him, I’ll “learn” him …

43 First name in flags : BETSY

Legend has it that Betsy Ross made the first American flag for General George Washington. However, this story only surfaced during the centennial celebrations of 1876, and although Betsy Ross was indeed one of several flag makers in Philadelphia in the days of George Washington, sadly there’s no definitive evidence that Ross provided that first Stars and Stripes.

45 Cousin of a gull : TERN

Terns are a family of seabirds. They are similar to gulls, but are more slender and more lightly built. Many species of tern are known for their long-distance migrations, with the Arctic tern migrating so far that it is believed to see more daylight in a year than any other animal.

46 Bail : EXIT

The phrase “to bail out” (sometimes just “to bail”) means to leave suddenly. We’ve been using the term since the early thirties, when it originated with airline pilots. To bail out is to make a parachute jump.

47 Vegan staple : TOFU

“Tofu” is a name for bean curd, and is a Japanese word meaning just that … bean that has curdled. Tofu is produced by coagulating soy milk, using either salt or something acidic. Once the protein has coagulated, the curds are pressed into the familiar blocks. Personally I love tofu, but my wife absolutely hates it …

A vegan is someone who stays away from animal products. A dietary vegan eats no animal foods, not even eggs and dairy that are usually eaten by vegetarians. Ethical vegans take things one step further by following a vegan diet and also avoiding animal products in other areas of their lives e.g. items made from leather or silk.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Jiggly edible : ASPIC
6 One swimming in a pod : ORCA
10 It’s dangerous to trip on it : ACID
14 Put away : STASH
15 Sound from a boxer : WOOF!
16 Words of dismay : OH NO!
17 Allocate : PORTION OUT
19 Endure : LAST
20 Former MLB outfielder whose name sounds very similar to a Kellogg’s cereal : COCO CRISP
21 APB subject : PERP
22 Spots on a screen : ADS
23 Half a candy bar? : … KAT
24 Ring setting : CIRCUS
26 Stock room : PEN
27 “Downton Abbey” countess : CORA
29 Lure for some conquistadors : ORO
30 They hold less than 10% as much as their name suggests : TEN-GALLON HATS
33 Ones battling demons : TORTURED SOULS
34 They need to be blown up : AIR MATTRESSES
35 Dorm room metaphor, maybe : STY
36 Amontillado holder : CASK
37 Fidget (with) : TOY
38 Maker of 49-Down : LIPTON
40 Pride, for one : SIN
41 Research bldg. : LIB
44 “Drive” band, with “The” : CARS
45 Conversation privée : TETE-A-TETE
48 Cook Islands export : TARO
49 South side : TEXAS TOAST
50 Start of a play : ACT I
51 Norse name that means “eternal ruler” : ERIK
52 Jackson 5 features : AFROS
53 Suffers the consequences : PAYS
54 Get in the game : ANTE
55 Cheerful : SUNNY

Down

1 Humane gp. for 150+ years : ASPCA
2 Stopped lying : STOOD
3 Paris play areas : PARCS
4 : : IS TO
5 Some antojitos : CHICKEN TACOS
6 Answer for something : OWN IT
7 Joeys, e.g. : ROOS
8 Something to pull off : COUP
9 At the stern : AFT
10 Many a surfer : AOLER
11 Some sketches : CHARCOALS
12 Not all at once : IN SPURTS
13 Make a point : DOT
18 Rainforest denizen : ORANGUTAN
21 Chopin trio : PIANO SONATAS
24 Features on a track : CROSSTIES
25 Coast Guard pickup : SOS
26 Waves overhead? : PERM
27 Stocking employee : CLERK
28 Pleasingly dated retail adjective : OLDE
30 BoJo’s political affiliation, informally : TORY PARTY
31 Theater __ : ARTS
32 Black Panthers co-founder Newton : HUEY
33 View from Bolivia’s Isla del Sol : TITICACA
34 Digital communication syst. : ASL
39 Cinq moins deux : TROIS
40 Share : STAKE
41 Teach improperly? : LEARN
42 “You’re going down!” : IT’S ON!
43 First name in flags : BETSY
45 Cousin of a gull : TERN
46 Bail : EXIT
47 Vegan staple : TOFU
48 Designate : TAP
49 38-Across product : TEA

34 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 22 Jan 22, Saturday”

  1. @Christine – pen and “recycled” paper for me too. From my very beginning.!! Left handed also. I used to get ink on my left hand rubbing on the paper. I since try to solve bottom right to top left but on Fridays and Saturdays I take what I can get!!!

    For today, longer than usual. Close to an hour. Never heard of COCO CRISP. After reading Bill’s bio on him I “WIKIed” him. He played for the “Guardians”? For several years. Thought it was a AAA team or something. Found out it’s the Cleveland Guardians aka Indians! Did not know they renamed themselves.

  2. LAT: 30 minutes, no errors. My best time for Saturday in ages; it just flowed. Got “Texas toast” only because of the crosses; still unsure of its connection to “South side” unless it’s pertaining to a side course in southern states.

  3. One error box; had “lab” instead of “lib” , but the rest came pretty
    quickly. Not as difficult as most Saturday puzzles….and yet, there was
    that stupid error.

  4. I consider myself a very good speller. However, all my life I thought the animal was spelled orangutang. Now I know better.

  5. @Dirk (from yesterday) …

    I agree with your use of the word “colorful”, though “off-color-full” might also apply … 😜.

    I’ve become even more convinced that the theory I advanced a few days ago is correct. I’d even bet good money on it (good money, in my case, being defined as “at least five bucks” … 😜). I think that the love of wordplay that motivates good crossword constructors goes hand in hand with a certain iconoclastic love of other kinds of play.

    Today’s puzzle: 13:41, no errors. I liked 41-Down, though it took me a while to think of the phrase “I’m gonna learn you a thing or two!”

    And … I’m a pen and paper solver, except for the NYT puzzle. (I started doing that online in an “old-dogs-can-so-learn-new-tricks” kind of mood, took months to make my peace with it, and am sticking with it because of its record-keeping aspects.)

  6. Also got “Texas toast” but didn’t understand the clue. From Wikipedia: Texastoast is a side dish served with southern favorites like barbecue, chicken fried steak, and fried catfish.

  7. 19:45

    Just plugged away until the crosses helped me fill in the long answers. Oh, and changed FINGER->CIRCUS.

  8. Not too easy and not too hard. Kind of a Goldilocks puzzle. No errors but enough thinking time that it was enjoyable and not a walk over.

  9. I remember Coco Crisp. He had a teammate
    in Cleveland named Milton Bradley who
    people said had “a lot of game”. 😂

    Fun challenge today. As with many Saturdays half way through I’m
    thinking not gonna finish and then there’s
    a breakthrough. No look ups, no errors.
    Thought Orangutan had a g at the end as
    well….

  10. 45:16, no errors. Typical Saturday puzzle for me in that it takes a while, in retrospect it’s fair (with a few groaners like Texas Toast) and I felt accomplished on completion but… I didn’t have fun doing it. I think that’s just the nature of themeless puzzles for me.

  11. First run-through I thought it was hopeless. Made a couple of lucky guesses on long ones (and my husband knew Coco Crisp), then it sort of flowed.

  12. I worked for a railroad for 33 years and struggled with the clue track features. Had race tracks and music tracks on the brain until crosses finally slapped me in the face. SMH

  13. Kind of a tough one to figure out the meaning of some of the clues, the long answers in the middle, and the foreign language clue words.

    35:18 with one letter error: LaB/aTSON. I could not get what ATSON had to do with anything, and LAB was surely the correct “Research bldg.”

    I agree with others that “South side” was a difficult clue, and so I was unsure about it for a long time. I think “Southern side” might have been better. However, it is not a side “dish” for me – rice & beans, fried okra, sweet potatoes are southern side dishes!

  14. bill, non-standard flavored kitkats are huge and have made their way to the US for awhile now. i’ve had purple sweet potato, matcha, and apple pie to name a few, but my most favorite is the setouchi lemon with sea salt. absolutely fantastic. special edition kitkats are big business in japan and the makers take it very seriously – and it shows! even the regular ones taste better than the american made ones. (and i love those too.) if you have an asian or japanese market near you i highly recommend taking a look, or you can go online of course too. even target carries american made flavored kitkats – currently they have white chocolate, raspberry, mocha, and mint chocolate variations on the shelves.

    also, thanks to RBJ and others for clearing up my confusion about “south side” and “texas toast.” i originally had “texas *C*oast” but i knew it had to be sonaTas so i had to give it up for the finish banner.

  15. Well, gave up at about 40% filled and did a “grid-check” which showed 3 errors. Fixed LaB and soya/happy. After that I did maybe 2-3 more “check-grids” and got to the finish. In the end, not really that difficult, I just wasn’t on the same wavelength as the constructor until I got about 60% fill.

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