LA Times Crossword 28 Jan 22, Friday

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Constructed by: Dan Schoenholz
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Drop 1t

Themed answers are common phrases comprising two words, the first ending in T and the second starting with T. That starting T has been dropped to suit the themed clues:

  • 16A Reason for a robot’s knee trouble? : JOINT RUST (from “joint trust”)
  • 29A Drinking espresso before bed, say? : NIGHT ERROR (from “night terror”)
  • 36A Flushing problem? : TOILET ISSUE (from “toilet tissue”)
  • 43A Babe who never lied? : HONEST RUTH (from “honest truth”)
  • 57A Mom and dad’s rhythmic genre? : PARENT RAP (from “parent trap”)

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

Bill’s time: 7m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 Church niche : APSE

The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

15 Beethoven wrote just one : OPERA

“Fidelio” is Ludwig van Beethoven’s one and only opera, and a work with which he really struggled. “Fidelio” tells of a woman named Leonore who disguises herself as a prison guard in order to get her condemned husband out of prison.

16 Reason for a robot’s knee trouble? : JOINT RUST (from “joint trust”)

Karel Čapek was a Czech writer noted for his works of science fiction. Čapek’s 1921 play “R.U.R.” is remembered in part for introducing the world to the word “robot”. The words “automaton” and “android” were already in use, but Capek gave us “robot” from the original Czech “robota” meaning “forced labor”. The acronym “R.U.R.”, in the context of the play, stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots”.

26 Ad for a good cause, briefly : PSA

Public service announcement (PSA)

27 Japanese port city : KOBE

Kobe is a port city on the island of Honshu in Japan. Here in North America, the city of Kobe is perhaps most famous for its beef. And yes, basketball star Kobe Bryant was named after that very same beef.

28 Yellowfin tuna : AHI

Yellowfin and bigeye tuna are usually marketed as “ahi”, the Hawaiian name. They are both big fish, with yellowfish tuna often weighing over 300 pounds, and bigeye tuna getting up to 400 pounds.

29 Drinking espresso before bed, say? : NIGHT ERROR (from “night terror”)

Espresso is made by forcing extremely hot water, under pressure, through finely ground coffee beans. The result is a thick and concentrated coffee drink that contains quite a lot of solids and a lot of foam. An espresso machine was first patented in 1884 in Italy, although it was a machine to make the beverage in bulk. The first patent for a machine that made individual measures was applied for in 1901, also in Italy.

32 Orange County seat : SANTA ANA

Orange County in the Greater Los Angeles Area is the smallest county in Southern California by area, and yet it is the sixth most populous county in the US. The county seat is Santa Ana.

35 Tibetan priest : LAMA

“Lama” is a Tibetan word meaning “chief, high priest”.

36 Flushing problem? : TOILET ISSUE (from “toilet tissue”)

Sir John Harington was an author and a member of the court of Queen Elizabeth I of England. However, Harington is perhaps best remembered as the inventor of the flush toilet. Our slang term “john”, meaning “toilet”, is thought to be a reference to John Harington.

40 Like beat cops : ON PATROL

In the context of policing, a beat is territory that is patrolled regularly. Back in the 1700s, a beat was a regular route traveled by a person or an animal, from the sense of the “beat” of the feet on the ground while walking.

43 Babe who never lied? : HONEST RUTH (from “honest truth”)

Baseball legend George Herman Ruth, Jr. had several nicknames, the best known being “Babe”. He was also called “the Bambino” and “the Sultan of Swat”.

46 Greek X : CHI

The letter chi is the 22nd letter in the Greek alphabet, and the one that looks like our Roman letter X.

48 Vacuum’s lack : AIR

Our word “vacuum” is Latin in origin, in which language it means the same thing, “void, empty space”.

49 Biological catalyst : ENZYME

The names of enzymes usually include the suffix “-ase”. Enzymes are basically catalysts, chemicals that act to increase the rate of a particular chemical reaction. For example, starches will break down into sugars over time, especially under the right conditions. However, in the presence of the enzyme amylase (found in saliva) this production of sugar happens very, very quickly.

52 Sgt., e.g. : NCO

A non-commissioned officer (NCO) might be a sergeant (sgt.) or a corporal (cpl.).

54 Penélope who is the only Spanish actress with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame : CRUZ

Penélope Cruz is an actress from Madrid, Spain. She was the first Spanish actress to win an Oscar, and the first to be given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

55 Georgia rivals of the Tide : DAWGS

The sports teams of the University of Georgia are called the Bulldogs. The team mascot is known as Hairy Dawg. “Forbes” magazine lists Hairy Dawg as the third-best sports mascot. Impressive …

The athletic teams of the University of Alabama (“Bama”) are nicknamed the Crimson Tide, which is a reference to the team colors of crimson and white.

57 Mom and dad’s rhythmic genre? : PARENT RAP (from “… Parent Trap”)

“The Parent Trap” is a very cute 1961 romantic comedy based on a 1949 novel “Lottie and Lisa” by German author Erich Kästner. The film stars English actress Hayley Mills in a dual role, playing identical twins who were separated at birth. The film was such a success for Disney, that three television sequels were made, as well as a 1998 film remake starring Lindsay Lohan. None are as good as the original though, in my humble opinion …

62 Like many elephants : ASIAN

There are only three species of elephant living today, with all others being extinct. These are the African bush elephant, the African forest elephant, and the Asian elephant (or “Indian elephant”). As is well known, the African elephant is distinguished from the Asian/Indian elephant by its much larger ears. The African bush elephant is the largest living land animal.

67 Low-level worker : PEON

A peon is a lowly worker who has no real control over his/her working conditions. The word “peon” comes into English from Spanish, in which language it has the same meaning.

Down

1 Indian friend of Sheldon and Leonard : RAJ

Raj Koothrappali is a character on the sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” who is played by British-Indian actor Kunal Nayyar. Nayyar is married to Neha Kapur, a former Miss India.

2 Big name in kitchenware : OXO

The OXO line of kitchen utensils and housewares is designed to be ergonomically superior to the average household tools. The intended user of OXO products is someone who doesn’t have the normal range of motion or strength in the hands e.g. someone suffering from arthritis.

3 Ring master : ALI

Boxer Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Mercellus Clay Jr. in Lousville, Kentucky in 1942. Clay joined the Nation of Islam in the early sixties, at which point he changed his name to Muhammad Ali. The name he chose translates into “one who is worthy of praise” (Muhammad) and “most high” (Ali).

4 Organization name that means “table” in Latin : MENSA

Mensa is a high-IQ society that was founded in Oxford, England in 1946. The founders were two lawyers: Australian Roland Berrill and Englishman Lancelot Ware. Apparently, the elitist founders were unhappy with the development of Mensa, given that most members came from the working and lower classes.

5 Magnum __ : OPUS

“Magnum opus” is a Latin term meaning “great work”. The magnum opus of a writer or composer perhaps, is his or her greatest work.

6 Animal in some fables : ASS

Aesop used an ass in at least four of his fables:

  • The Ass and his Masters
  • The Ass and the Pig
  • The Ass Carrying an Image
  • The Ass in the Lion’s Skin

7 Amulet : FETISH

At the beginning of the 19th century, fetishism was the worship of “fetishes”. Back then, a fetish was an object that was revered and considered to have mysterious powers. A few decades later, the usage of the term “fetish” was extended, probably by New England Transcendentalists such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, to describe an object of blind devotion. The concept of sexual fetishism arose at the end of the 19th century.

Amulets are items worn to ward off disease or to protect against harmful magic spells.

9 Clean Air Act org. : EPA

The Clean Air Act of 1963 is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

11 Amazonian arboreal snake : TREE BOA

Tree boas are a genus of snakes with exceptionally long anterior teeth. Like all boas, they are nonvenomous snakes. The long teeth are used to penetrate layers of feathers so that they better grip birds, which make up most of their diet.

14 Longtime Tottenham football rival : ARSENAL

Arsenal Football Club (nicknamed “the Gunners”) is an English soccer team based in the Holloway district of London. The club was founded in 1886 as Dial Square by workers at the Royal Arsenal munitions factory. Dial Square was the name given to the workshops at the center of the Royal Arsenal complex. After just a few weeks in existence, the club changed its name to Royal Arsenal, which was eventually shortened to just Arsenal.

Tottenham is an area in north London in England. It is home to a famous football (soccer) club called Tottenham Hotspur, the team that I used to follow as a kid many moons ago …

25 GameCube successor : NINTENDO WII

The Nintendo GameCube video game console was the successor to the Nintendo 64, and the predecessor to the Nintendo Wii.

26 Gp. with many of the best drivers : PGA TOUR

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) was founded in 1916 and today has its headquarters (unsurprisingly) in Florida, where so many golfers live. Back in 1916, the PGA was based in New York City.

27 Brat go-with : KRAUT

“Sauerkraut” translates from German as “sour herb” or “sour cabbage”. During WWI, sauerkraut producers changed its name in order to distance their product from the “enemy”. They called it “Liberty cabbage”.

A bratwurst (sometimes simply “brat” in the US) is a German sausage. The name comes from “brät-” meaning “finely chopped meat”, and “Wurst” meaning “sausage”.

30 Like Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 109 : IN E

Beethoven wrote his “Piano sonata No. 30” in 1820. He dedicated it to Maximiliaine Brentano, a daughter of Beethoven’s close friend and patron Antonie Brentano. Antonie has been suggested by scholars as the intended recipient of Beethoven’s famous “Immortal Beloved” letter, an unsent love letter found in the composer’s estate after his passing.

31 Snow queen in “Frozen” : ELSA

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle. Spoiler alert: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles seems to be a good guy for most of the film, but turns out to be a baddie in the end. And, a snowman named Olaf provides some comic relief.

37 Acct. earnings : INT

A bank account (acct.) usually earns interest (int.)

39 Online entertainment : PODCAST

A podcast is basically an audio or video media file that is made available for download. The name comes from the acronym “POD” meaning “playable on demand”, and “cast” from “broadcasting”. So, basically a podcast is a broadcast that one can play on demand, simply by downloading and opening the podcast file.

41 Omega, in physics : OHM

The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every school kid knows as Ohm’s Law.

43 Pilots on the road : HONDAS

The Honda Pilot is a mid-size crossover SUV that was introduced in 2002. The luxury version of the vehicle is sold as the Acura MDX.

44 One might be doffed in Dundee : TAM

A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap worn traditionally by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”) but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of the Robert Burns poem “Tam o’ Shanter”.

One doffs one’s hat, usually as a mark of respect. To doff is to take off, with “doff” being a contraction of “do off”. The opposite of “doff” is “don”, meaning “to put on”.

The city of Dundee lies on the north bank of the Firth of Tay in Scotland. The origins of the name “Dundee” are a little obscure, although the omnipresent “dùn” in place names all over Scotland and Ireland is the Celtic word for “fort”.

50 “The Sound of Music” extra : NUN

“The Sound of Music” is a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical that was made into a celebrated movie in 1965 starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The musical is based on “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers”, a memoir by Maria von Trapp. The von Trapp family ended up in Stowe, Vermont after the war. One family descended from the Vermont von Trapps lives in the same town in which I used to live in California.

51 “Tres Hombres” band : ZZ TOP

In the blues rock band ZZ Top, the hairy guitar players are Billy F. Gibbons and Dusty Hill (although Hill died in 2021). The relatively clean-shaven drummer is, wait for it … Frank Beard.

56 Milk purch. : GAL

The name of our fluid measure called a “gallon” ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin term “galleta” meaning “bucket, pail”.

59 Anonymous plaintiff in a landmark case : ROE

Though the English court system does not use the term today, “John Doe” first appeared as the “name of a person unknown” in England in 1659, along with the similar “Richard Roe”. An unknown female is referred to as “Jane Doe ”, and the equivalent to Richard Roe is Jane Roe (as in Roe v. Wade, for example). Variants of “John Doe” used outside of the courts are “Joe Blow” and “John Q. Public”.

Roe v. Wade was decided in a US District Court in Texas in 1970, and reached the Supreme Court on appeal. The basic decision by the Supreme Court was that a woman’s constitutional right to privacy applied to an abortion, but that this right had to be balanced with a state’s interest in protecting an unborn child and a mother’s health. The Court further defined that the state’s interest became stronger with each trimester of a pregnancy. So, in the first trimester the woman’s right to privacy outweighed any state interest. In the second trimester the state’s interest in maternal health was deemed to be strong enough to allow state regulation of abortion for the sake of the mother. In the third trimester the viability of the fetus dictated that the state’s interest in the unborn child came into play, so states could regulate or prohibit abortions, except in cases where the mother’s life was in danger. I’m no lawyer, but that’s my understanding of the initial Supreme Court decision …

60 __ dye : AZO

Azo compounds have very vivid colors and so are used to make dyes, especially dyes with the colors red, orange and yellow. The term “azo” comes from the French word “azote” meaning “nitrogen”. French chemist Lavoisier coined the term “azote” from the Greek word “azotos” meaning “lifeless”. He used this name as in pure nitrogen/azote animals die and flames are snuffed out (due to a lack of oxygen).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Exhibit wanderlust : ROAM
5 Graceless sort : OAF
8 Settled things : DEBTS
13 Revolution site : AXLE
14 Church niche : APSE
15 Beethoven wrote just one : OPERA
16 Reason for a robot’s knee trouble? : JOINT RUST (from “joint trust”)
18 Behind bars : CAGED
19 Figure (out) : SUSS
20 “Gross!” : ICK!
22 Gratified : FED
23 Run things : MANAGE
26 Ad for a good cause, briefly : PSA
27 Japanese port city : KOBE
28 Yellowfin tuna : AHI
29 Drinking espresso before bed, say? : NIGHT ERROR (from “night terror”)
32 Orange County seat : SANTA ANA
35 Tibetan priest : LAMA
36 Flushing problem? : TOILET ISSUE (from “toilet tissue”)
39 Hang : PEND
40 Like beat cops : ON PATROL
43 Babe who never lied? : HONEST RUTH (from “honest truth”)
46 Greek X : CHI
47 Chances : ODDS
48 Vacuum’s lack : AIR
49 Biological catalyst : ENZYME
52 Sgt., e.g. : NCO
53 Little mischief maker : IMP
54 Penélope who is the only Spanish actress with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame : CRUZ
55 Georgia rivals of the Tide : DAWGS
57 Mom and dad’s rhythmic genre? : PARENT RAP (from “parent trap”)
62 Like many elephants : ASIAN
63 Former partners : EXES
64 Flow like lava : OOZE
65 Clown elevator : STILT
66 Source of early glistening : DEW
67 Low-level worker : PEON

Down

1 Indian friend of Sheldon and Leonard : RAJ
2 Big name in kitchenware : OXO
3 Ring master : ALI
4 Organization name that means “table” in Latin : MENSA
5 Magnum __ : OPUS
6 Animal in some fables : ASS
7 Amulet : FETISH
8 Park on the water? : DOCK
9 Clean Air Act org. : EPA
10 Seek leniency : BEG FOR MERCY
11 Amazonian arboreal snake : TREE BOA
12 Further down? : SADDER
14 Longtime Tottenham football rival : ARSENAL
17 Pull : TUG
21 Popular adoptee : CAT
23 Miguel’s more : MAS
24 Reaction to a light bulb turning on? : AHA!
25 GameCube successor : NINTENDO WII
26 Gp. with many of the best drivers : PGA TOUR
27 Brat go-with : KRAUT
30 Like Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 109 : IN E
31 Snow queen in “Frozen” : ELSA
33 Eases, with “down” : TONES …
34 Helps out : AIDS
37 Acct. earnings : INT
38 Ranges of influence : SPHERES
39 Online entertainment : PODCAST
41 Omega, in physics : OHM
42 Fail to be straight : LIE
43 Pilots on the road : HONDAS
44 One might be doffed in Dundee : TAM
45 Muscular : RIPPED
50 “The Sound of Music” extra : NUN
51 “Tres Hombres” band : ZZ TOP
53 Ain’t proper? : ISN’T
54 Captain’s help : CREW
56 Milk purch. : GAL
58 Let go : AXE
59 Anonymous plaintiff in a landmark case : ROE
60 __ dye : AZO
61 Home near a barn : PEN

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 28 Jan 22, Friday”

  1. No errors no lookups. Once I realized the theme, it went fairly
    easily. It also helped that I lived for a short time in Orange County.

  2. No errors. Had a little trouble with the cluing but adapted to it. I wasn’t “T”ed off but I felt “1” off.

  3. 27:55 no errors…after finishing about 60% of NYT1224 I’ll take it.
    Sometimes I feel good about my results until I read others times and comments…then not so much.
    Stay safe😀

    1. @Jack
      It’s not a race. If you managed what you did and you’re happy with it, please be happy with it. You’re doing well, I think!

    2. @Jack – 51:05 for NYT, but really a technical DNF bc of so many cheats/peeks.

      Heck, if you did what you did on that puzzle you did darn well and lot better than I!

      One of the most difficult (for me, at least) puzzles I’ve seen.

      Be Well.

  4. No look ups, no errors. Good “T”heme and
    it helped 🙂
    I’m a big Manchester City fan and if I recall
    correctly Tottenham hasn’t won a trophy in
    a long,long time….

  5. 17:06 with no errors or lookups. Revisions of SANMATEO>SANTAANA, ENZENE>ENZYME, TIE>AZO, STY>PEN. Mainly just had to work through the various clue meanings. SUSSed out the theme’s scheme early.

    Did not know of azo dye, or that Beethoven had written an opera. Interesting history on the use of the word “fetish.”

  6. 12:21 and no errors. Top left stymied me for several minutes, bloating the finishing time. Otherwise easy for a Friday.

  7. The word ‘recess’ is much more descriptive on an apse IMHO. A couple of other clues had long stretches for the answers. Poor theme, too.

  8. 24:36 – lotsa peeks.

    @Jack – yeah, I feel the same way sometimes. Thought I did pretty well today and then checked other times. Guess it was a little easy for a Friday.

    Oh well, the trials and tribs of a newbie …

    Be Well

  9. Mostly easy for a Friday; took me 18:32 with no peeks or errors. Just a bit of dancing around getting TREEBOA and fixing my spelling of KOBi. Put in OXO right away after seeing it here in puzzles enough times. Cuter theme and it helped.

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