LA Times Crossword 11 Feb 22, Friday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: No D

Themed answers are common phrases, but with NO D, a letter D removed from the end of the first word:

  • 60A Silent assent … or, in two parts, a hint to three long answers : NOD or, NO D
  • 21A Yogi’s barber? : BEAR TRIMMER (from “beard trimmer”)
  • 36A Tusker as tutor? : BOAR OF EDUCATION (from “board of education”)
  • 53A Function of a straw man? : CROW CONTROL (from “crowd control”)

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

Bill’s time: 12m 06s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “Smooth Operator” artist : SADE

Singer Sade’s real name is Helen Folasade Adu. Although born in Nigeria, Sade grew up and lives in the UK. She was the lead vocalist for the English group Sade, and adopted the name of the band. The band’s biggest hits were “Smooth Operator” (1984) and “The Sweetest Taboo” (1985).

10 Pop of punk : IGGY

Iggy Pop is a punk rock performer from Muskegon, Michigan. When he was in high school, he was a drummer for a local band called the Iguanas, and so was given the nickname “Iggy”. He was the vocalist for a band called the Stooges, and is often referred to as the Godfather of Punk.

14 Miso go-with, often : UDON

Udon noodles are made from wheat-flour and are very popular in Japanese cuisines such as tempura.

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.

15 Sean who played Samwise : ASTIN

Sean Astin is best known for playing the title role in the 1993 film “Rudy” and the character Samwise Gamgee in “The Lord of the Rings” movies. You might also have seen him playing Lynn McGill in the 5th season of “24”. Astin is the son of actress Patty Duke, and the adopted son of actor John Astin (of “The Addams Family” fame).

16 Many August births : LEOS

Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 23 to August 22 are Leos.

17 Panache : ZING

Someone exhibiting panache is showing dash and verve, and perhaps has a swagger. “Panache” is a French word used for a plume of feathers, especially one in a hat.

18 Grand __ : PIANO

A grand piano is one with the frame supported horizontally on three legs. An upright piano has the frame and strings running vertically. Grand pianos come in many sizes. For example, the length of a concert grand is about 9 feet, a parlor grand is about 7 feet, and a baby grand is about 5 feet.

20 Desire : YEN

The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium.

21 Yogi’s barber? : BEAR TRIMMER (from “beard trimmer”)

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.

Our term “barber” comes to us via Anglo-French from the Latin “barba” meaning “beard”. Barbers originally offered a wide range of services, including surgery. Henry VIII restricted barbers to just haircutting … and dentistry!

23 Cheesy Mexican appetizer : QUESO

Chili con queso (sometimes just “queso”) is a creamy dipping sauce made from blended melted cheeses, cream and chili peppers. Originating in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, it is a popular dish served in American Tex-Mex restaurants.

26 Related on mom’s side : ENATE

Something that is enate is growing outward, and “enate” is used to describe ancestors related on the mother’s side. Something that is agnate comes from a common source, and “agnate” is used to describe relatives on the father’s side of the family tree.

35 Troy, N.Y., campus : RPI

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a private school in Troy, New York. The university is named after its founder Stephen Van Rensselaer who set up the school in 1824. The goal of RPI has always been the “application of science to the common purposes of life”, an objective set by the founder. Given that, the name for the school’s sports teams is quite apt: the Engineers.

42 Light courses : SALADS

Our word “salad” comes from the Latin “salare” meaning “to salt”. The Latin “herba salata” translates as “salted vegetables”, which I guess could be a salad …

46 “A moveable feast,” to Hemingway : PARIS

“A Moveable Feast” is a 1964 memoir penned by Ernest Hemingway that was published three years after his death by suicide. The memoir was a work in progress when the author died, and so his widow Mary made the final edits prior to publication. The title came from Ernest Hemingway’s friend and biographer A. E. Hotchner, who remembered the author using the phrase:

If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a movable feast.

57 Ginza agreement : HAI

The word “yes” translates into “oui” in French, “ja” in German, and “hai” in Japanese.

Ginza is a district in Tokyo that is noted for its western shops, especially the leading fashion stores.

59 California coastal county : MARIN

When you leave the city of San Francisco via the famous Golden Gate Bridge (i.e. heading north), you cross into Marin County.

60 Super star : NOVA

A nova (plural “novae”) is basically a star that suddenly gets much brighter, gradually returning to its original state weeks or even years later. The increased brightness of a nova is due to increased nuclear activity causing the star to pick up extra hydrogen from a neighboring celestial body. A supernova is very different from a nova. A supernova is a very bright burst of light and energy created when most of the material in a star explodes. The bright burst of a supernova is very short-lived compared to the sustained brightness of a nova.

61 It precedes Romans : ACTS

The Acts of the Apostles is the fifth book of the Christian New Testament. It is believed that the author of the Gospel of Luke was the same person who wrote “Acts”.

66 Bench press muscle : DELT

The deltoid “muscle” is actually a group of muscles, the ones that cover the shoulder and create the roundness under the skin. The deltoids (delts) are triangular in shape resembling the Greek letter delta, hence the name.

Down

1 Bygone Devil Dog competitor : SUZY Q

Suzy Q was a line of snack cakes from Hostess. The cake was introduced in 1961, and named for the daughter of Cliff Isaacson, a vice president of Continental Baking that was a subsidiary of Hostess Brands.

2 One-consonant parting : ADIEU

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

3 “Any man’s death diminishes me” writer : DONNE

John Donne was one of England’s most celebrated poets, and was active at the start of the 17th century. He spent much of his life in poverty and even spent a short time in prison for having married his wife without procuring the appropriate permissions. After his release, his wife bore him 12 children in 16 years, passing away a few days after the twelfth child was born.

John Donne wrote a piece of prose called “Devotions upon Emergent Occasions”. One passage contains two phrases that are oft-quoted: “No man is an island”, and “for whom the bell tolls”.

No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

5 __ May : CAPE

Cape May is a peninsula and an island that forms the southern tip of New Jersey. The US Coast Guard basic training camp is located in Cape May.

6 K2 locale : ASIA

K2 is the second highest mountain on the planet (at 28, 251 ft), with Mount Everest being higher by over 700 feet. Located on the China-Pakistan border, K2 is known as the “Savage Mountain” as it is relatively difficult to climb. 1 in 4 mountaineers who have attempted to reach the summit have perished. It had never been climbed in winter until relatively recently (in 2021 by a team of Nepalese climbers). The name K2 dates back to what was called the Great Trigonometric Survey, a British survey of the geography of India carried out during the 19th century. Included in this survey were the heights of many of the Himalayan peaks, including Everest. The original surveyor, Thomas Montgomerie, included two peaks he first called K1 and K2. He discovered later that the locals called K1 Masherbrum (the 22nd highest mountain in the world), but the remote K2 had no local name that he could find, so it was christened Mount Godwin-Austen. This name was rejected by the Royal Geographic Society although it does still appear on some maps. So, the most common name used is K2, that original notation in a surveyor’s notebook.

8 Adds sepia to, say : TINTS

Sepia is that rich, brown-gray color so common in old photographs. “Sepia” is the Latinized version of the Greek word for cuttlefish, as sepia pigment is derived from the ink sac of the cuttlefish. Sepia ink was commonly used for writing and drawing as far back as ancient Rome and ancient Greece. The “sepia tone” of old photographs is not the result of deterioration over time. Rather, it is the result of a deliberate preservation process which converts the metallic silver in the photographic image to a more stable silver sulfide. Prints that have been sepia-toned can last in excess of 150 years.

10 “__ by moonlight, proud Titania” : Shak. : ILL MET

Oberon and Titania are the King and Queen of the Fairies in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is one of William Shakespeare’s comedies. An interesting characteristic of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is that it features a play-within-a-play. The cast of characters includes a troupe of six actors called the Mechanicals who perform a play called “Pyramus and Thisbe”.

11 Like art using circles, squares, etc. : GEOMETRIC

Academics studying art history sometimes categorize Greek art into four periods:

  1. Geometric (900-700 BCE)
  2. Archaic (700-480 BCE)
  3. Classical (480-323 BCE)
  4. Hellenistic (323-30 BCE)

12 Failed : GONE TO POT

The phrase “go to pot”, meaning “fall into ruin”, has been around since the 1500s. Back then, it really meant go to (the) pot, i.e. be chopped up and boiled for food.

13 River in Flanders : YSER

The Yser is a river that originates in northern France and flows through Belgium into the North Sea. The Yser is often associated with WWI as it figured in a major battle early in the conflict. In the first three months of the war, the German Army pushed almost completely through Belgium, inflicting heavy losses on the Belgian Army as the defenders were forced to fight a fast-moving rearguard action. The Germans were intent on pushing right through Belgium and across France in a “race to the sea”. But the Belgians, with the help of their Allies, decided to make a final stand at the Yser Canal in an effort to prevent the Germans reaching the French ports of Calais and Dunkirk. The 22-mile long defensive line was chosen at the Yser because the river and canal system could be flooded to create a barrier that might be defended. The plan was successful and the front was “stabilized”. As we now know, millions of lives were lost over the coming years with very little movement of that battle line.

Flanders is a region in northern Belgium that includes the Belgian capital of Brussels. The Flemish population are Dutch-speaking, although the residents of Brussels tend to speak French, or are bilingual.

21 Old coffeehouse drum : BONGO

Bongo drums are Cuban percussion instruments consisting of a pair of drums, one larger than the other. The smaller drum is called the “hembra” (female) and the larger the “macho” (male).

22 Choler : IRE

“Choler” is “anger, irritability”. Choler (also “cholera”) was one of the body’s four basic substances of medieval science, the so-called four humors. All diseases were caused by these four substances getting out of balance. The four humors were:

  • Black bile (melancholia)
  • Yellow bile (cholera)
  • Phlegm (phlegma)
  • Blood (sanguis)

27 Big letters in bowling : AMF

AMF Bowling Centers is an operator of bowling alleys, and is in fact the largest such company in the world.

28 Begins a round, with “off” : TEES …

Golf courses have sets of tee markers of differing colors that denote different yardages for the holes.

31 Envy, say : 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

33 Shoeless Joe Jackson portrayer in “Field of Dreams” : RAY LIOTTA

Actor Ray Liotta is best known for playing Shoeless Joe Jackson in the movie “Field of Dreams” and Henry Hill in “Goodfellas”.

Shoeless Joe Jackson was an outfielder who played for the Philadelphia Athletics, Cleveland Naps/Indians and most famously for the Chicago White Sox. Jackson was one of the eight White Sox players accused of accepting a bribe to throw the 1919 World Series, in the so-called “Black Sox” scandal. Jackson earned his nickname early in his career, while playing for a local mill team. A new pair of cleats fitted badly giving him blisters, so Jackson removed them before going to bat. A fan noticed him running the bases in his socks and yelled out “You shoeless son of a gun, you!” The name stuck.

“Field of Dreams” is a fantasy drama about baseball, released in 1989 and starring Kevin Costner. The movie is an adaptation of a 1982 novel titled “Shoeless Joe” by Canadian author W. P. Kinsella. Shoeless Joe Jackson was a real baseball player, and someone associated with the Black Sox Scandal that allegedly affected the outcome of the 1919 World Series. Jackson was portrayed by Ray Liotta in the movie. “Field of Dreams” was also the last film in which Burt Lancaster made an appearance. The baseball stadium that was built for the movie can be visited in Dubuque County, Iowa.

34 Low wind : TUBA

The tuba is the lowest-pitched of all brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). “Tuba” is the Latin word for “trumpet, horn”. Oom-pah-pah …

36 Band with members Jimin and Jin : BTS

BTS is a boy band from South Korea with seven members. The initialism “BTS” stands for the phrase “Bangtan Sonyeondan”, which translates literally as “Bulletproof Boy Scouts”. BTS is the best=selling musical act in the history of South Korea.

37 QB feeder : CTR

Center (ctr.)

38 Prospero’s servant : ARIEL

Ariel is a spirit, and a character who appears in William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and who becomes a servant of the magician Prospero. Ariel was actually viewed as a male character when the play was first staged, and the text of the play supports this assumption. Many believe that the part was originally played by a boy actor, and over time the tendency has been to use female actors, but not exclusively.

43 Division with A’s : AL WEST

The Oakland Athletics (OAK) baseball franchise was founded back in 1901 as the Philadelphia Athletics. The team became the Kansas City Athletics in 1955 and moved to Oakland in 1968. Today, the Athletics are usually referred to as “the A’s”.

44 Bugs address : DOC

Bugs Bunny first said “What’s up, Doc?” in the 1940 cartoon short “A Wild Hare”, while addressing the hunter Elmer Fudd.

50 “Fingers crossed” : I HOPE

The crossed-fingers hand gesture is used as a wish for good luck, or sometimes as an excuse for telling a white lie. The gesture originated in the early Christian church when crossing of the fingers invoked the protection of the Christian cross. Crossed fingers were also used by Christians as a secret sign of recognition during the days of persecution by the ancient Romans.

51 __ orange : NAVEL

Navel oranges are the ones with the small second fruit that grows at the base, at the “navel”. The navel orange has been traced back to a single mutation that took place in an orange tree in Brazil many years ago. The mutation also rendered the fruit seedless and hence sterile, so it is propagated using grafts.

53 Maryland catch : CRAB

The blue crab was declared the Maryland state crustacean in 1989.

A live blue crab gets its color from pigments in the shell, which predominantly result in a blue color. When a crab is cooked, all the pigments break down except for astaxanthin, a red pigment, which is why a crab turns up at the dinner table looking very red.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Smooth Operator” artist : SADE
5 Play groups : CASTS
10 Pop of punk : IGGY
14 Miso go-with, often : UDON
15 Sean who played Samwise : ASTIN
16 Many August births : LEOS
17 Panache : ZING
18 Grand __ : PIANO
19 Unique : LONE
20 Desire : YEN
21 Yogi’s barber? : BEAR TRIMMER (from “beard trimmer”)
23 Cheesy Mexican appetizer : QUESO
25 One found among blocks : STREET
26 Related on mom’s side : ENATE
30 Tiffs : SET-TOS
32 Break into pieces : FRAGMENT
35 Troy, N.Y., campus : RPI
36 Tusker as tutor? : BOAR OF EDUCATION (from “board of education”)
40 “Nice __!” : TRY
41 Do the math, perhaps : SUBTRACT
42 Light courses : SALADS
46 “A moveable feast,” to Hemingway : PARIS
47 They work in lofty places : PILOTS
49 Scratching (out) : EKING
53 Function of a straw man? : CROW CONTROL (from “crowd control”)
57 Ginza agreement : HAI
58 Formality : RITE
59 California coastal county : MARIN
60 Super star : NOVA
61 It precedes Romans : ACTS
62 Hardly a libertine : PRUDE
63 Word with season or mind : OPEN …
64 Vanquished : BEAT
65 Trim and graceful : SLEEK
66 Bench press muscle : DELT

Down

1 Bygone Devil Dog competitor : SUZY Q
2 One-consonant parting : ADIEU
3 “Any man’s death diminishes me” writer : DONNE
4 University dept. : ENG
5 __ May : CAPE
6 K2 locale : ASIA
7 Leading : STAR
8 Adds sepia to, say : TINTS
9 Is bullish? : SNORTS
10 “__ by moonlight, proud Titania” : Shak. : ILL MET
11 Like art using circles, squares, etc. : GEOMETRIC
12 Failed : GONE TO POT
13 River in Flanders : YSER
21 Old coffeehouse drum : BONGO
22 Choler : IRE
24 Blacken a bit : SEAR
27 Big letters in bowling : AMF
28 Begins a round, with “off” : TEES
29 Eventually become : END UP
31 Envy, say : SIN
32 “… but it isn’t free” : … FOR A PRICE
33 Shoeless Joe Jackson portrayer in “Field of Dreams” : RAY LIOTTA
34 Low wind : TUBA
36 Band with members Jimin and Jin : BTS
37 QB feeder : CTR
38 Prospero’s servant : ARIEL
39 Something to do : TASK
43 Division with A’s : AL WEST
44 Bugs address : DOC
45 Energetic dances : STOMPS
48 Tie-up : SNARL
50 “Fingers crossed” : I HOPE
51 __ orange : NAVEL
52 Fairy tale figure : GIANT
53 Maryland catch : CRAB
54 Not subject to debate : TRUE
55 Wheels : RIDE
56 Short jog : ONE-K
60 Silent assent … or, in two parts, a hint to three long answers : NOD or, NO D

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 11 Feb 22, Friday”

  1. Tough start but no errors. I keep wanting to put IZZY POP instead of IGGY POP.

    liked DOC for 44D. Ha!

    Once I got the theme I went much faster. Started with CROW CONTROL. Then worked my way up. I enjoy the WECHSLER puzzles.

    I don’t remember the SUZY Qs??

  2. Tough one for me today but ended up with no errors. It took several
    lookups: i.e. Iggy Pop and the BTS band. Tumbled to the theme with
    “boar of education” and that led me to the crow control. Hard but
    enjoyable.

  3. I didn’t even understand what some of the clues meant, so that didn’t help. And I might be wrong or confused (as I often am), but shouldn’t the clue for 44D be “bug’s address”?

  4. A lot of lightly inked in answers that got written over as I SLOWLY worked my way to a solution that was error free. I thought this was a pretty stiff challenge for a Friday grid. Now on to the WSJ.

  5. A lot of working and reworking to get 38:19 with no errors or lookups. Took a while to catch on to the theme, which helped with 53A & 36A. Revisions along the way were: ABC>AMF, DAY>TRY, EASYAS>SALADS, ENSUE>ENDUP, SALSAS>STOMPS, SNAFU>SNARL, FIRM>TRUE, RIGS>RIDE, TROT>ONEK.

    Needless to say, the bottom half was slooooow to come into view.

  6. Too many peeks to post a time, really a DNF.

    Don’t know if I’ll ever complete a Friday without cheats …

    @John Daigle – yes, nice to see you back!

    Be Well.

  7. Fun but a little tricky Friday; took me 38:14 with no peeks or errors. Had to dance around a bit to get things to work. Had to change SvElte to SLEEK and revisit BaNGA to get the banner. Another fun Wechsler Friday, with a funny theme.

    I just know AMF from when they bought Harley-Davidson in ’69, arguably HD’s worst years, but they did save them at the time. Listening to CCR Greatest Hits, including Suzy Q…never heard of the the snack cake Suzy Qs. Used ADIEU for my start in Wordle today and just barely made it on the last try…whew!

  8. Besides the fact that the word ‘leading’ has an impressively wide range of meanings, the fact is that it is a synonym for ‘starring’, not for ‘star’. I thought about putting in ‘star’, but it was clearly incorrect based on the clue.

    Middle upper grid was pretty nasty. Three proper names, one incorrect clue, a number of amazingly vague or general clues. Even with the theme answer filled in properly I made no progress in that section. Pretty rare for me not to finish one, but I can’t say it surprises me when Wechsler manages to screw up a puzzle so badly that I find it unworkable.

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