LA Times Crossword 12 Feb 22, Saturday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Chase Dittrich & Jeff Chen
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme : None

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

Bill’s time: 10m 08s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7 One that may come from Yale : PADLOCK

The Yale brand name of lock comes from Linus Yale Jr., the founder of the original company. Linus Yale was the inventor of the pin tumbler lock.

15 Hot sauce with a rooster logo : SRIRACHA

Sriracha hot chili sauce is named for the coastal city of Si Racha in eastern Thailand, where the recipe likely originated. Here in North America, we are most familiar with the Sriracha sold in a red bottle with a green that is made by Huy Fong Foods in the city of Irwindale, California. The manufacturer was founded by Vietnamese refugee David Tran, who escaped from Vietnam in 1978 on a Taiwanese freighter called the Huey Fong, after which he named his new company.

16 __ Ravenclaw, founder of a Hogwarts house : ROWENA

In J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” universe, the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was founded by the four most brilliant witches and wizards of their time: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin. Each of the founders lent their name to a House in the school, i.e. Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin.

19 Galoot : LOUT

“Galoot” is an insulting term describing an awkward or boorish man, an ape. “Galoot” comes from the nautical world, where it was originally what a sailor might call a soldier or marine.

22 Conciliatory gestures : SOPS

Cerberus is a dog with three heads that appears in both Greek and Roman mythology. Cerberus had the job of guarding the gates of Hades and preventing those who had crossed the River Styx from ever escaping. A sop is a piece of food that has been dipped in some liquid, as one might sop a piece of bread in soup. There is an idiomatic expression, “to give a sop to Cerberus”, which means “to give someone a bribe, pay someone off”. The idea is that if one could bribe Cerberus, give him a sop to eat, then he would let you pass and escape from Hades.

23 “Enemy of the State” org. : NSA

“Enemy of the State” is an excellent thriller film released in 1998 starring Will Smith and Gene Hackman. The movie is all about the NSA and surveillance.

25 They circle worlds : EQUATORS

Lines of latitude are imaginary horizontal lines surrounding the planet. The most “important” lines of latitude are, from north to south:

  • Arctic Circle
  • Tropic of Cancer
  • Equator
  • Tropic of Capricorn
  • Antarctic Circle

35 Miniseries given a 5-star rating (out of 6) by Magnus Carlsen : THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT

“The Queen’s Gambit” is a wonderful 2020 miniseries based on a 1983 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis. Anya Taylor-Joy plays a young chess prodigy who has a tough upbringing in an orphanage, and who then struggles with alcohol and drug dependency. The series was so popular with viewers that it sparked a renewed interest in the game of chess, with sales of chess sets and chess books increasing dramatically.

Magnus Carlsen is a chess grandmaster from Norway who first became World Chess Champion in 2013. Carlsen achieved world no. 1 ranking for the first time in 2010 when he was just 19 years of age, making him the youngest player ever to be so honored.

38 Croatia neighbor : SERBIA

Serbia is a landlocked country in southeast Europe. After WWII, Serbia became one of several states making up the nation called Yugoslavia. Serbia became independent again in 2006 as Yugoslavia broke up after the declaration of independence by Montenegro.

39 Autumn gemstone : OPAL

Here is the “official” list of birthstones, by month, that we tend to use today:

  • January: Garnet
  • February: Amethyst
  • March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
  • April: Diamond
  • May: Emerald
  • June: Pearl or Moonstone
  • July: Ruby
  • August: Sardonyx or Peridot
  • September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
  • October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
  • November: Topaz or Citrine
  • December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

40 Carrier to Osaka : ANA

All Nippon Airways (ANA) is a Japanese airline, one that is now larger in size than the nation’s flag carrier Japan Airlines (JAL).

The Japanese city of Osaka used to be called Naniwa, with the name changing to Osaka sometime before 1500. “Osaka” can be translated either as “large hill” or “large slope”. Osaka is sometimes referred to as “the Chicago of Japan” as it is a major center of commerce and industry. The city has also been named the “nation’s kitchen”, and was a center for Japan’s rice trade for centuries.

41 Wide receiver, historically : SPLIT END

In American football, a wide receiver is sometimes referred to as a wideout, split end, or simply a receiver.

43 Scuba diver’s item : FIN

The self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) was co-invented by celebrated French marine explorer Jacques Cousteau.

44 Name-linking trio : AKA

Also known as (aka)

47 “__ a Bad Mama Jama”: 1981 Carl Carlton hit : SHE’S

Carl Carlton is a singer-songwriter who launched his career in the mid-sixties as “Little Carl Carlton”, apparently in an effort to emphasize the similarity of his voice to “Little Stevie Wonder” whose career had taken off a couple of years earlier. Carlton’s two biggest hits were a cover version of “Everlasting Love” that he released in 1974, and his own 1981 song “She’s a Bad Mama Jama (She’s Built, She’s Stacked)”.

49 Norse prankster : LOKI

Loki is a god appearing in Norse mythology. In one story about Loki, he was punished by other gods for having caused the death of Baldr, the god of light and beauty. Loki is bound to a sharp rock using the entrails of one of his sons. A serpent drips venom which is collected in a bowl, and then his wife must empty the venom onto Loki when the bowl is full. The venom causes Loki great pain, and his writhing results in what we poor mortals experience as earthquakes.

51 Stopped at a base, in a way : SLID

That would be baseball.

52 1980 Crichton lost-world novel : CONGO

“Congo” is a 1980 novel by Michael Crichton. It’s all about searching for diamonds in the dense rainforest of Congo. The novel was turned into a movie in 1995. I hear that the book is a lot better than the film …

53 Exam involving a pupil : IRIS SCAN

An iris scan is a method of biometric identification. It relies on the fact that the complex patterns in the irises are unique to an individual. Note that an iris scan differs from a retinal scan. The latter uses technology that scans the unique pattern of blood vessels in an individual’s retina.

55 Lake on the California/Arizona border : HAVASU

Lake Havasu is the reservoir that resulted from the construction of the Parker Dam in the mid-1930s. The dam is on the Colorado River, and the lake is on the border between California and Arizona. The name “Havasu” comes from a Mohave word meaning “blue”.

Lake Havasu City is a planned community that was founded relatively recently, in 1964. It was originally a rest camp on the lake for the Army Air Corps during WWII. It is now a popular stop for tourists, as it is home to London Bridge. The bridge is the second most popular tourist attraction in the whole state, being beaten out of the top spot by the Grand Canyon. London Bridge spanned the River Thames from 1831 until it was dismantled in 1967 due to its inability to carry the loads required in the center of the City of London. The city council sold the bridge to the developer of Lake Havasu City for $2.5 million. And the developer, Robert McCulloch, knew which bridge he was getting. The urban legend that he thought he was buying the more recognizable Tower Bridge; it’s just not true.

56 Comics hero’s weapon : BATARANG

A batarang is a bat-shaped boomerang used as a weapon by Batman.

59 Razzie winners : WORSTS

“Razzie” is the familiar name for the Golden Raspberry Award, an award presented annually for the worst in the world of film. The Razzies have been presented on the day before the Oscars since 1981.

Down

1 Boaters, e.g. : STRAW HATS

A boater is a straw hat often associated with boating, hence the name.

2 Canine woe : TOOTHACHE

The canine teeth of a mammal are also called the eyeteeth or cuspids. The name “canine” is used because these particular teeth are very prominent in dogs. The prefix “eye-” is used because in humans the eyeteeth are located in the upper jaw, directly below the eyes.

3 Shucked edible : RAW OYSTER

To shuck is to remove the husk from (say, an ear of corn) or to remove the shell from (say, an oyster).

4 Express lane sign word : ITEMS

I say avoid any express checkout lane in a market that is labeled “10 items or less”. It should be “10 items or fewer”. I know, I know … I should calm down … and get a life …

6 Java __ : SEA

The Java Sea is a relatively shallow body of water bounded by the islands of Borneo, Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi.

The Battle of the Java Sea took place in February 1942, and resulted in a decisive victory for the Japanese over an Allied strike force comprising American, British, Dutch and Australian vessels. Ten Allied ships were sunk, and over 2,000 sailors lost their lives.

7 “Remembrance of Things Past” author : PROUST

The title of Marcel Proust’s 7-volume novel “À la recherche du temps perdu” translates as “In Search of Lost Time” or “Remembrance of Things Past”.

9 Dr. without a degree : DRE

“Dr. Dre” is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such as Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

10 Actress Cheryl : LADD

Cheryl Ladd’s most famous role was Kris Munroe in television’s “Charlie’s Angels”. Ladd replaced Farrah Fawcett-Majors when the latter opted out of the show. Cheryl Ladd was the daughter-in-law of famed Hollywood actor Alan Ladd, as she was married to Ladd’s son, David. After the couple divorced, Cheryl retained the Ladd name.

11 Indian __ : OCEAN

The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world’s oceans, and accounts for almost 20% of the Earth’s surface. It was named for the country of India, which forms much of the ocean’s northern boundary.

13 “All language is but a poor translation” author : KAFKA

Franz Kafka was born in 1883 in Prague, then part of Bohemia and today the capital of the Czech Republic. Kafka is known as one of the greatest novelists who worked in the German language, and even has an adjective named after him. Something that is “kafkaesque” is senseless, disorienting and may have menacing complexity. As it was for many great artists, Kafka’s fame came after his death when much of his work was published.

19 Disney duck : LOUIE

Donald Duck’s nephews are identical triplets called Huey, Dewey and Louie, and they first appeared on the screen in 1938. Once in a while, due to errors in production, a fourth duck can be seen in the background. This little “mistake” is affectionately called “Phooey Duck” by folks in the industry.

26 Hearts, e.g. : ORGANS

The heart has four chambers. The two upper chambers (the atria) accept deoxygenated blood from the body and oxygenated blood from the lungs. The atria squeeze those blood supplies into the two lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles), “priming” the pump, as it were. One ventricle pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs, and the other pumps oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.

27 “The BFG” author Dahl : ROALD

Roald Dahl’s name is Norwegian. Dahl’s parents were from Norway, although Dahl himself was Welsh. Dahl became one of the most successful authors of the twentieth century. Two of his most famous titles are “James and the Giant Peach” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.

“The BFG” is a 1982 children’s book by Welsh author Roald Dahl. The initialism in the title stands for “Big Friendly Giant”. Dahl dedicated “The BFG” to his daughter Olivia, who had passed away at the age of 7 in 1962. Steven Spielberg made a 2016 movie adaptation of the book under the same title.

32 Bulls dominated them in the ’90s : NBA FINALS

The Chicago Bulls have won six NBA championships in the life of the franchise, all of them in the nineties. They won in the 1991, 1992 and 1993 seasons (a so-called “three-peat”), and then again in 1996, 1997 and 1998 (a second “three-peat”).

33 China can be found in one : DINING SET

The ceramic known as “porcelain” can be referred to as “china” or “fine china”, as porcelain was developed in China.

34 Humdingers : STANDOUTS

A humdinger or pip is someone or something outstanding. “Humdinger” is American slang dating back to the early 1900s, and was originally used to describe a particularly attractive woman.

36 Montana et al.: Abbr. : QBS

Joe Montana played most of his NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers, and the last two seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. With the 49ers, Montana went to the Super Bowl four times, winning every time. In retirement one of his activities is to produce wine, so keep an eye out for his “Montagia” label.

44 It may check out : ALIBI

“Alibi” is the Latin word for “elsewhere” as in, “I claim that I was ‘elsewhere’ when the crime was committed, I have an ‘alibi’”.

45 Arabic holy book : KORAN

The Koran is also known as the “Qur’an” and “Quran” in English. “Qur’an” a transliteration of the Arabic name for the holy text of the Muslim faith. The literal translation of “Koran” is “the recitation”.

46 Breed in “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” : AKITA

The Akita breed of dog is named for its point of origin, Akita Prefecture in Japan. When Helen Keller visited Japan in 1937, she asked for and was given an Akita breed of dog, with the name of Kamikaze-go. Sadly, the dog died within a year from distemper. The following year the Japanese government officially presented Keller with a replacement dog. Supposedly Keller’s dogs were the first members of the breed to be introduced into the US.

“Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” is a 2009 American remake of a 1987 Japanese film “Hachiko Monogatari”. The original film tells the true story of an exceptionally loyal Akita dog who waits at a railway station every day for his master to return from work, even though his owner died years earlier. “Hachi” is set in the US, but tells a similar story. Richard Gere leads the cast, but I hear that the dog steals the show …

48 Dolly user : MOVER

A dolly is a small platform on rollers, especially on a movie set. Apparently, it is so called because it’s supposed to look like a doll. No, it doesn’t. I don’t believe that …

50 Part of Caesar’s boast : I SAW

The oft-quoted statement “Veni, vidi, vici” (“I came, I saw, I conquered”) is believed by many to have been written by Julius Caesar. The words date back to 47 BCE and refer to the short war between Rome and Pharnaces II of Pontus.

51 Toon lion voiced by Jeremy Irons : SCAR

In the 1994 movie “The Lion King”, the protagonist is Simba, a lion cub born to Mufasa and Sarabi. The main antagonist is Scar, Simba’s uncle and Mufasa’s brother. Simba is voiced by Matthew Broderick, and Scar is voiced by Jeremy Irons. “Simba” is Swahili for “lion, king, strong”.

Jeremy Irons is a much-respected English actor who is noted for his stage, television and film performances. My favorite of these performances is the one that brought him into the limelight, playing Charles Ryder in the 1981 TV adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s “Brideshead Revisited”. Irons won a Best Actor Oscar for playing Claus von Bülow in 1990’s “Reversal of Fortune”. He is married to Irish actress Sinéad Cusack, and the couple own a castle in County Cork in the south of Ireland.

52 Grunt wear : CAMO

Our word “camouflage” (often abbreviated to “camo”) evolved directly from a Parisian slang term “camoufler” meaning “to disguise”. The term was first used in WWI, although the British navy at that time preferred the expression “dazzle-painting” as it applied to the pattern painted on the hulls of ships.

The slang term “grunts”, meaning “low-level personnel”, first applied to US infantrymen during the Vietnam War. The equivalent term for British infantrymen is “squaddies”.

54 Sellout letters : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Gets debriefed? : STRIPS
7 One that may come from Yale : PADLOCK
14 Exactly as planned : TO A TEE
15 Hot sauce with a rooster logo : SRIRACHA
16 __ Ravenclaw, founder of a Hogwarts house : ROWENA
17 Like one who can’t even hit an easy pitch : TONE-DEAF
18 Matter makeup : ATOMS
19 Galoot : LOUT
20 Like some humor or meat : DARK
21 Causes : WHYS
22 Conciliatory gestures : SOPS
23 “Enemy of the State” org. : NSA
24 Snacks on : HAS
25 They circle worlds : EQUATORS
29 Behave : ACT
30 Stopped working, as an engine : QUIT
31 Celebratory bar buys : ROUNDS
35 Miniseries given a 5-star rating (out of 6) by Magnus Carlsen : THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
38 Croatia neighbor : SERBIA
39 Autumn gemstone : OPAL
40 Carrier to Osaka : ANA
41 Wide receiver, historically : SPLIT END
43 Scuba diver’s item : FIN
44 Name-linking trio : AKA
47 “__ a Bad Mama Jama”: 1981 Carl Carlton hit : SHE’S
48 Care : MIND
49 Norse prankster : LOKI
51 Stopped at a base, in a way : SLID
52 1980 Crichton lost-world novel : CONGO
53 Exam involving a pupil : IRIS SCAN
55 Lake on the California/Arizona border : HAVASU
56 Comics hero’s weapon : BATARANG
57 Folded dish : OMELET
58 Briefly : IN A WORD
59 Razzie winners : WORSTS

Down

1 Boaters, e.g. : STRAW HATS
2 Canine woe : TOOTHACHE
3 Shucked edible : RAW OYSTER
4 Express lane sign word : ITEMS
5 Source of some black and blue marks : PENS
6 Java __ : SEA
7 “Remembrance of Things Past” author : PROUST
8 Informal negative : AIN’T
9 Dr. without a degree : DRE
10 Actress Cheryl : LADD
11 Indian __ : OCEAN
12 Seals in the juices of : CHARS
13 “All language is but a poor translation” author : KAFKA
15 Do whatever it takes : STOP AT NOTHING
19 Disney duck : LOUIE
22 Delighted sound : SQUEAL
25 Furnish : EQUIP
26 Hearts, e.g. : ORGANS
27 “The BFG” author Dahl : ROALD
28 (In) brief : SUM
32 Bulls dominated them in the ’90s : NBA FINALS
33 China can be found in one : DINING SET
34 Humdingers : STANDOUTS
36 Montana et al.: Abbr. : QBS
37 Arrival time factor : SPEED
42 Kitchen prep spot : ISLAND
44 It may check out : ALIBI
45 Arabic holy book : KORAN
46 Breed in “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” : AKITA
48 Dolly user : MOVER
50 Part of Caesar’s boast : I SAW
51 Toon lion voiced by Jeremy Irons : SCAR
52 Grunt wear : CAMO
54 Sellout letters : SRO
55 Method : HOW

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 12 Feb 22, Saturday”

  1. No errors but what a start.. had nothing halfway thru.. wasn’t until I hit ALINI and KORAN did things start to click…
    How about HAVASU?? didn’t know it has such a storied past.
    Binge watched Queens Gambit. Enjoyed it.

    Finally…. SOP? really?

  2. No errors, but 3 lookups: the Crichton novel, the Japanese airline
    and the Proust name. Had to change the stopped motor answer
    from “dead” to “quit” and then it kind of all fell together.

  3. LAT: About 45 minutes with a letter error resulting in two wrong answers. Whizzed along until the lower right side, which consumed half my time.

  4. Did not know batarang or scar. And let’s see a show of hands of those who were able to spell sriracha correctly on the first try. 🙂
    Still, I found it a lot easier than Friday’s puzzle.

    1. Me. I use this almost on a daily basis, and I don’t normally even go in for hot sauce. But, you can’t beat it with Udon soup, pho or other asian fare.

  5. A bit of a temporary bobble in the SW corner as “batarang” made/makes no sense to me. But I finally figured it had to be right as the down answers were correct.

  6. 14:14

    The first few passes mostly came up empty, but enough crosses came along to help fill in the ones I didn’t know. I thought it was a puzzle that played fair.

    We used to call SRIRACHA “rooster sauce” because it was easier to remember.

  7. 44:50 with 2 frustrating errors…siracho for sriracha and bataring for batarang, but then again it’s Jeff Chen and partner.
    Stay safe😀

  8. I agree with all the questionable comments seen above. Let me add the worst of them 28D. Horrible clue. As usual, the longest answers were the easiest. My Viet Nam experience made 52D a snap, but my guess is that most people these days would never equate the answer with that clue.

  9. 18:14 with no errors or lookups. Revisions were: DIPLOMA>PADLOCK, JAL>ANA. The NE corner was the last to solve. Just had to find and work the ones I knew and hope they filled in enough to get the others.

    Didn’t know about SRIRACHA and the Rooster, ROWENA, SOP as a conciliatory gesture, Carl Carlton or his hit song, or Crichton’s lost-world novel. Did recognize that PROUST was forming, but nothing of the book.

    WORSTS was kind of an odd word usage, but I got it for the puzzle. I sear meat to seal in juices – hadn’t heard of char(ing) in order to do that.

  10. 47 minutes no errors in pen. Some punny clues. SOPS and ANA I just had to accept as correct. Luckily knew the pop culture answers and the long answers fell into place.

  11. Surprisingly easy Saturday for me; took 27:25 with no peeks or errors. Didn’t have much after the first pass but quickly got THEQUEENS… and that led to getting most of the SE. I knew the hot sauce but I only put in what I felt sure of to start. Don’t know my H. Potter stuff but kind of recognized the name and had trouble with BATARANG for a minute.

    Didn’t get the banner at the finish with NSA and KAFKA, but noticed I’d spelled NBA FINiLS right away. That did it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.