LA Times Crossword 1 Feb 22, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Julian Lim
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Any Moment

Themed answers each include “ANY” as a hidden word:

  • 62A “It’s about to happen” … or what each of the four other longest answers in this puzzle has? : ANY MOMENT
  • 17A Poseidon’s companions : SEA NYMPHS
  • 23A When a major might be chosen : FRESHMAN YEAR
  • 39A Query from “Test Man” in old Verizon ads : CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
  • 50A Oscar-winning actress for “12 Years a Slave” : LUPITA NYONG’O

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

Bill’s time: 6m 04s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • LUPITA NYONG’O (Cupita Nyong’o)
  • LATCH (catch)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 iOS computers : MACS

iOS is what Apple now calls its mobile operating system. Previously, it was known as iPhone OS.

5 Inbox annoyance : SPAM

The term “spam”, used for unwanted email, is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch (which I’ve seen) the dialog is taken over by the word Spam, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So “spam” is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon …

14 Texter’s modest “I think … ” : IMHO …

In my humble opinion (IMHO)

15 Trendy berry : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

16 Stadium levels : TIERS

The Greek word “stadion” was a measure of length, about 600 feet. The name “stadion” then came to be used for a running track of that length. That “running track” meaning led to our contemporary term “stadium” (plural “stadia”).

17 Poseidon’s companions : SEA NYMPHS

In Greek mythology, Nereus and Doris had fifty daughters, and these were called the sea nymphs or nereids. The nereids often hung around with Poseidon and were generally very helpful creatures to sailors in distress. Mainly they were to be found in the Aegean, where they lived with their father in a cave in the deep. Some of the more notable names of the nereids were: Agave, Asia, Calypso, Doris, Erato, Eunice and Ione.

27 Watson’s creator : IBM

Watson is a computer system developed by IBM. Watson is designed to answer questions that are posed in natural language, so that it should be able to interpret questions just as you and I would, no matter how the question is phrased. The program is named after the founder of IBM, Thomas J. Watson. Today’s Watson competed in a few memorable episodes of “Jeopardy!” in 2011 taking out two of the best players of the quiz show. That made for fun television …

33 Road crew supply : TAR

The terms “tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call “tarmac”.

34 Netflix series set in central Missouri : OZARK

“Ozark” is an excellent TV crime show starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney as a married couple who relocate from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks. The couple fall foul of a Mexican drug lord after a money laundering scheme goes awry. The show is set at a lake resort in the Ozarks, although filming actually takes place at lakes in the Atlanta area in order to take advantage of tax breaks offered by the State of Georgia.

The Ozark Mountains aren’t really mountains geographically speaking, and so the Ozarks are better described by the alternate name, the Ozark Plateau. It’s not really certain how the Ozarks got their name, but my favorite theory is that “Ozarks” is the phonetic spelling of “aux Arks”, short for “of Arkansas” in French.

39 Query from “Test Man” in old Verizon ads : CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

Actor Paul Marcarelli played Verizon’s Test Man in commercial spots starting in 2002 (he was the “Can you hear me now?” guy). Verizon dropped the character in 2011. In 2016, Sprint hired Marcarelli as a spokesperson referring to his switch from Verizon to Sprint.

The telecommunications company that we know today as Verizon was founded in 1983 as Bell Atlantic, and was one of the “Baby Bells” that were formed after the breakup of AT&T. Bell Atlantic merged with fellow Baby Bell NYNEX in 1997, and then merged with GTE in 2000 to form Verizon. The new company name is a portmanteau of “veritas” (“truth” in Latin) and “horizon”.

43 Disney mermaid : ARIEL

In the 1989 Disney animated film “The Little Mermaid”, the title character is given the name “Ariel”. In the original fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen that dates back to 1836, the Little Mermaid is given no name at all. There is a famous statue of the unnamed Little Mermaid sitting in Copenhagen Harbor, in Andersen’s homeland of Denmark.

45 Californian wine valley : NAPA

The first commercial winery in Napa Valley, California was established way back in 1858. However, premium wine production only dates back to the 1960s, with the region really hitting the big time after its success at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The story of that famous blind wine tasting is told in the entertaining 2008 film “Bottle Shock”.

46 Territory that became two states : DAKOTA

The Dakota Territory was formed in 1861 and ceased to exist with the admission to the Union of the states of North Dakota and South Dakota. The territory was split into two states in 1889 largely due to lobbying by the Republican Party, which enjoyed a lot of support in the Dakota Territory. The admission of two states added to the political power of the party in the US Senate, by adding four safe Republican seats.

49 Floral greeting : LEI

“Lei” is a Hawaiian word meaning “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a lei is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

50 Oscar-winning actress for “12 Years a Slave” : LUPITA NYONG’O

Lupita Nyong’o is a Kenyan-Mexican actress who was born in Mexico, raised in Kenya, and educated in the US. Nyong’o got her big break in movies with an Oscar-winning supporting role in the 2013 film “12 Years a Slave”. She was named “People” magazine’s “ Most Beautiful Woman” in 2014.

“12 Years a Slave” is a powerful 2013 film adapted from the memoir “Twelve Years a Slave” by Solomon Northup. Northup was an African American who was born a free man in Upstate New York where he worked as a farmer and a violinist. He was lured to Washington, D.C. where slavery was legal, and there was kidnapped by slave traders. Northup spent twelve years as a slave in Louisiana before an intermediary made contact with friends and family who were able to obtain his release. The slave trader in Washington who committed the crime was arrested and tried, although he was acquitted, because D.C. law prohibited an African American from testifying against Caucasians.

56 Turn to mist, in Manchester : ATOMISE

Manchester is the second-most populous city in the UK, and is located in the northwest of England. Manchester grew in size dramatically during the Industrial Revolution. Home to a thriving textile industry, Manchester is often referred to as the world’s first industrialized city.

57 Cocktail cubes : ROCKS

Our word “cocktail” first appeared in the early 1800s. The exact origin of the term is not clear, but it is thought to be a corruption of the French word “coquetier” meaning “egg cup”, a container that was used at that time for serving mixed drinks.

61 Brunch hr. : TEN AM

Our word “brunch” is a portmanteau of “breakfast” and “lunch”. The term was coined as student slang in Oxford, England in the late 1890s. However, “brunch” described a combined meal closer to the breakfast hour, and the term “blunch” was used for a meal closer to lunchtime.

66 __ de cacao : CREME

A “cream liqueur” is one that includes dairy cream. The most famous example is probably Baileys Irish Cream, which is made from cream and Irish whiskey. A “crème liqueur”, on the other hand, is one that includes a lot of added sugar, but no dairy cream. Examples are crème de cacao (chocolate-flavored), crème de menthe (mint-flavored) and crème de cassis (blackcurrant-flavored).

68 Ballet class bend : PLIE

The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent. A “demi-plié” is a similar move, but with less bending of the knees. A fondu is similar to a plié, except that only one leg remains on the ground.

71 URL opening : HTTP

“http” are the first letters in many Internet links. “http” stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. More secure and “safer” websites (like this one!) use links starting with “https”, which stands for “http secure”).

Down

1 Japanese soup : MISO

Miso is the name of the seasoning that makes miso soup. Basic miso seasoning is made by fermenting rice, barley and soybeans with salt and a fungus to produce a paste. The paste can be added to stock to make miso soup, or perhaps to flavor tofu.

2 Sermon-ending word : AMEN

Our word “sermon” comes from the Latin “sermonem” meaning “discourse, talk”. The literal translation of “sermonem” is “a stringing together of words”, from the Latin “serere” meaning “to join”, as in the related word “series”.

5 “Stay With Me” singer Smith : SAM

Sam Smith is a singer from London. I think that the only recording I’ve heard of his is “Writing’s on the Wall”, which is the theme song from the 2015 James Bond movie “Spectre”.

6 Angel dust letters : PCP

Phencyclidine is a recreational drug usually referred to on the street as “PCP” or “angel dust”.

10 Anne Frank journal : DIARY

Anne Frank has to be one of the most famous victims of the Holocaust. This is largely because the story of this young girl lives on in her widely published diary, and in adaptations of the diary for stage and screen. Anne Frank was a German until she lost her nationality in 1941 when the Nazis came to power. By this time she was living with her family in Amsterdam, as the Franks chose to flee Germany in 1933. When the Germans occupied the Netherlands, the family went into hiding in rooms concealed behind a bookcase in Otto Frank’s office building (Otto was Anne’s father). There the family hid for two whole years until they were betrayed. The family was split up, and Anne and her sister died from typhus in a concentration camp in 1945.

11 Al __: pasta order : DENTE

The Italian expression “al dente” literally means “to the tooth” or “to the bite” and is used to describe not only pasta, but also vegetables that are cooked so that they are tender and yet still crisp.

13 Long-time kitchen products brand : OSTER

The Oster brand of small appliances was introduced in 1924 by John Oster. He started out by making manually-powered hair clippers designed for cutting women’s hair, and followed up with a motorized version in 1928. The clippers kept the company in business until 1946 when Oster diversified, buying a manufacturer of liquefying blenders in 1946. The blender was renamed to “Osterizer” and was a big hit. Oster was bought by Sunbeam, which has owned the brand since 1960.

18 “__ out!”: ump’s call : YER

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.

24 Caesar’s rebuke : ET TU?

It was Shakespeare who popularized the words “Et tu, Brute?” (meaning “And you, Brutus?”). They appear in his play “Julius Caesar”, although the phrase had been around long before he penned his drama. It’s not known what Julius Caesar actually said in real life (if anything at all) as he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate in Rome.

25 Ousted Iranian ruler : SHAH

The last Shah of Iran was Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, who was overthrown in the revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. The post-revolution government sought the extradition of the Shah back to Iran while he was in the United States seeking medical care (he had cancer). His prolonged stay in the United States, recovering from surgery, caused some unrest back in Iran and resentment towards the United States. Some say that this resentment precipitated the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran and the resulting hostage crisis.

27 Ancient Cuzco resident : INCA

Cusco (also “Cuzco”) is a city in the southeast of Peru. Historically, Cusco was the historic capital of the Inca Empire, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

28 Boo Boo or Yogi : BEAR

Yogi Bear made his debut for Hanna-Barbera in 1958, on “The Huckleberry Hound Show” before he was given his own series. Do you remember that collar that Yogi wore around his neck? That was a little trick from the animators. By using the collar, for many frames all they had to do was redraw everything from the collar up, saving them lots and lots of time. Yogi and Boo-Boo lived in Jellystone Park, and made Ranger Smith’s life a misery.

29 Salon service, briefly : MANI

Manicure (mani)

32 Bread for corned beef : RYE

Corned beef is beef that has been cured with salt. “Corn” is an alternative term describing a grain of salt, giving the dish its name. Corned beef is also known as “salt beef”, and “bully beef” if stored in cans (from the French “bouilli” meaning “boiled”).

35 Extremely chill : ZEN

Zen is a Buddhist school that developed its own tradition in China back in the 7th century AD. Zen is a Japanese spelling of the Chinese word “chan”, which in turn derives from the Sanskrit word “dhyana” meaning “meditation”.

36 Like neat freaks : 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 …

37 Lasso : ROPE

Our English word “lasso” comes from the Spanish “lazo”, and ultimately from the Latin “laqueum” meaning “noose, snare”.

38 River in a 1957 movie title : KWAI

The river referred to in the movie (and novel) “The Bridge on the River Kwai” is actually called the Khwae Yai River, and is in western Thailand. The original novel by Pierre Boulle was published in French in 1952, and the wonderful movie released in 1957. Both tell the story of the construction of part of the Burma Railway and a bridge over the river, using prisoners of war as laborers. The film stars William Holden, Alec Guinness and Jack Hawkins.

42 Meg of “The Women” : RYAN

Meg Ryan is the stage name of the actress Margaret Mary Hyra. Ryan’s big break came with the excellent 1989 movie “When Harry Met Sally …”, from which she went on to star in some of the most popular romantic comedies ever made.

“The Women” is a 1936 comedy play by author and politician Clare Boothe Luce. Notably, the cast of characters is very large, and that cast is all-female. The play has been adapted for the big screen several times. There is a 1939 version starring Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell, and a 2008 version starring Meg Ryan, Annette Bening and Eva Mendes.

51 Gestation sites : UTERI

“Uterus” (plural “uteri”) is the Latin word for “womb”.

The normal gestation period for humans is 280 days, a little over 9 months. The gestation period can be a little shorter, or longer. Back in 1945, a pregnancy was confirmed at 375 days, which is just over 12 months.

52 Corn breads : PONES

“Pone” is another name for corn bread, and comes from the Powhatan term “apan” meaning “something baked”.

53 Muslim officials : IMAMS

An imam is a Muslim leader, and often the person in charge of a mosque and/or perhaps a Muslim community.

54 Miracle-__: garden product : GRO

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company was founded in 1868 by one Orlando Scott, and initially sold seed to the agricultural industry. In the early 1900s, Scotts started to sell to homeowners, and mainly supplied lawn seed. The company merged with the gardening company Miracle-Gro in 1955, and then with TruGreen in 2016.

58 Boston NBAer : CELT

The Boston Celtics NBA basketball team was founded just after WWII, in 1946. The Celtics won eight league championships in a row from 1958 to 1966. That’s the longest consecutive championship winning streak of any professional sports team in North America.

63 Three-time role for Keanu Reeves : NEO

Neo is the character played by Keanu Reeves in “The Matrix” series of films.

64 Japanese coins : YEN

The Korean won, Chinese yuan, and Japanese yen (all of which are Asian currencies) take their names from the Chinese written character that represents “round shape”.

65 41-Down efficiency stat : MPG
(41D One on the road : AUTO)

Miles per gallon (mpg)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 iOS computers : MACS
5 Inbox annoyance : SPAM
9 Increase : ADD TO
14 Texter’s modest “I think … ” : IMHO …
15 Trendy berry : ACAI
16 Stadium levels : TIERS
17 Poseidon’s companions : SEA NYMPHS
19 Rushed : RAN AT
20 How ballerinas dance : ON TOE
21 Surprise from hiding : STARTLE
23 When a major might be chosen : FRESHMAN YEAR
27 Watson’s creator : IBM
30 Closing words : THE END
31 About to arrive : NEAR
33 Road crew supply : TAR
34 Netflix series set in central Missouri : OZARK
39 Query from “Test Man” in old Verizon ads : CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
43 Disney mermaid : ARIEL
44 Purchase : BUY
45 Californian wine valley : NAPA
46 Territory that became two states : DAKOTA
49 Floral greeting : LEI
50 Oscar-winning actress for “12 Years a Slave” : LUPITA NYONG’O
56 Turn to mist, in Manchester : ATOMISE
57 Cocktail cubes : ROCKS
61 Brunch hr. : TEN AM
62 “It’s about to happen” … or what each of the four other longest answers in this puzzle has? : ANY MOMENT
66 __ de cacao : CREME
67 Insightful : DEEP
68 Ballet class bend : PLIE
69 __ fit: tantrum : HISSY
70 Work with notes : SONG
71 URL opening : HTTP

Down

1 Japanese soup : MISO
2 Sermon-ending word : AMEN
3 Brit : chin-wag :: Yank : __ : CHAT
4 “__ a gun!” : SON OF
5 “Stay With Me” singer Smith : SAM
6 Angel dust letters : PCP
7 “Feels amazing!” : AAH!
8 Returning lover’s question : MISS ME?
9 Unsystematically : AT RANDOM
10 Anne Frank journal : DIARY
11 Al __: pasta order : DENTE
12 Cheerful refrain : TRA-LA
13 Long-time kitchen products brand : OSTER
18 “__ out!”: ump’s call : YER
22 Sunbather’s goal : TAN
24 Caesar’s rebuke : ET TU?
25 Ousted Iranian ruler : SHAH
26 Call to a pooch : HERE, BOY!
27 Ancient Cuzco resident : INCA
28 Boo Boo or Yogi : BEAR
29 Salon service, briefly : MANI
32 Bread for corned beef : RYE
35 Extremely chill : ZEN
36 Like neat freaks : ANAL
37 Lasso : ROPE
38 River in a 1957 movie title : KWAI
40 Quaint : OLD-TIMEY
41 One on the road : AUTO
42 Meg of “The Women” : RYAN
47 Remote batteries : AAS
48 Works with dough : KNEADS
50 Fastening feature : LATCH
51 Gestation sites : UTERI
52 Corn breads : PONES
53 Muslim officials : IMAMS
54 Miracle-__: garden product : GRO
55 Zing : OOMPH
58 Boston NBAer : CELT
59 Work with needles : KNIT
60 Dance class move : STEP
63 Three-time role for Keanu Reeves : NEO
64 Japanese coins : YEN
65 41-Down efficiency stat : MPG

21 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 1 Feb 22, Tuesday”

  1. Didn’t know LUPITA NYONGO. Had to rely on crosses. I looked her up. Amazing actress. I’ve seen many of her movies but didn’t know her name

    1. Well, this is technically correct, in that Reeves had to play the role three times before he could play it a fourth, but yes, this is at best misleading.
      What makes it especially annoying is that there is a character whom Reeves has played only three times, and whose name has three letters. I, quite reasonably, put down “Ted,” and feel cheated that it did not work.

    1. The name is Lupita Nyong’o, not Lupitan Yongo.

      I am really amazed at how the people posting here are treating her as some super-obscure nobody. Academy Award winner, leading lady in one of the most popular movies of the last four years, and yet no one here has ever heard of her. It is really hard not to see race as a factor in this.

  2. 8:24, no errors. The 4th Matrix film was released in December 2021; there’s no excuse for the wording of the 63D clue…

  3. Had to Google for LUPITA NYONGO.
    Did not know OZARK or SAM.
    FRESHMAN threw me for a while, since I hardly decided my major then.

  4. 4:46, no errors.

    On the note of yesterday, I picked up the option to do puzzles on my phone. Can’t say there’s appeal to it, but I know people that can text about as well as I can type, so you never know…

  5. I haven’t seen a Lim puzzle for a long time. This one was much easier than most Julian Lim puzzles, but then, it is only Tuesday! Still think he is one of the best.

    Jeri T.

  6. 7 mins 38 sec, and the same two errors Bill made. *Really* get pissed off at name fills… especially when there’s so much variation even in the >common< ones …

  7. 8:43 with no lookups. Had a careless error due to AUdi instead of AUTO. I failed to later see the misspelling of the intersecting DAKOdA which I would have corrected, and then changed AUTi to AUTO.

    I know of Lupita Nyong’o, and have seen some of her work, but also did not notice that misspelling (NYiNGO). Her acting versatility is evident in her roles in Twelve Years a Slave, as Maz Kanata in 3 Star Wars movies, and in Black Panther.

    The theme linkages seems weak to me.

  8. SW corner tough for me. Didn’t know 50 A, Lupita Nyongo and originally had Old Style for 40D. “Oldtimey” through everything off. Otherwise not too hard. Tomorrow is another day to sharpen my skills.

  9. 15:25 – 2 cheats/no errors. Didn’t know OZARK and should’ve known KWAI.

    So much for yesterday’s ego trip … it’s amazing how quick you can be put back in your place!

    Bridge On The River Kwai was superb – Alec Guinness absolutely stole the show and earned a well deserved Oscar. Guinness called it the “finest piece of work” he had ever done. Holden was fodder/fill-in material in a lame attempt to lure the US audience. Sessue Hayakawa was also excellent as the Japanese commandant and earned best supporting actor. Screenplay was by Michael Wilson and Carl Foreman, but both were on the Hollywood Black List at the time. Both posthumously received an Academy Award. Film won 8 Oscars overall.

    Who can ever forget the Colonel Bogey March – which was on the charts for awhile.

    Be Well.

  10. Just a little tricky Tuesday for me; took 21:20 with no peeks or errors. Started to doze off there towards the end and had to pull myself together to get the SW and S sections. I had sEN before YEN and tEa before NEO. Probably lost 5 minutes dozing…

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