LA Times Crossword 14 Feb 22, Monday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Pretty Punchy Puzzle

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Themed answers all alliterate:

  • 16A Alliterative union litigator : LABOR LAWYER
  • 25A Alliterative craftsperson : WOODWORKER
  • 47A Alliterative marriage specialist : MATCHMAKER
  • 60A Alliterative accompanist : PIANO PLAYER

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

Bill’s time: 5m 42s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Erykah Badu hairdo : AFRO

“Erykah Badu” is the stage name of Erica Wright, an American “neo-soul” singer. Badu gained some notoriety in March of 2010 when she shot a scene for a music video in Dallas. In the scene, she walks to the spot where President Kennedy was assassinated, removing her clothes until she is nude, and then falls to the ground as if she has been shot in the head. For that stunt she was charged with disorderly conduct.

10 The Beatles’ Pepper, e.g.: Abbr. : SGT

“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was the alter-ego of the Beatles, and the title of a famous studio album released in 1967, as well as the name of the album’s title track.

14 Pennsylvania in Washington, for example : AVENUE

Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. is sometimes called “America’s Main Street”, as it runs between the White House and the US Capitol. The exact reason why this important thoroughfare was given the name “Pennsylvania” seems to be unclear. One favored theory is that it was a gesture to the state of Pennsylvania after moving the country’s capital from Philadelphia.

16 Alliterative union litigator : LABOR LAWYER

Alliteration is a literary device in which the same sounds are repeated in a phrase. An extreme form of alliteration is a tongue twister, for example:

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers;
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked;
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

18 State sch. with campuses in Providence : URI

The University of Rhode Island (URI) was chartered as an agricultural school back in 1888. Rhody the Ram was chosen as the school’s mascot in 1923, a nod to URI’s agricultural past. As a result, the school’s sports teams are known as the Rams. URI’s main campus today is located in the village of Kingston, with smaller campuses in Providence, Narragansett and West Greenwich.

Providence is the capital of the state of Rhode Island. The city was founded way back in 1636 by a religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony called Roger Williams. Williams believed that it was “God’s merciful providence” that revealed the location of today’s city as a haven for him and his followers, and so gave the new settlement the name “Providence”.

19 DoorDash rival : UBER EATS

Uber Eats is a food-delivery platform offered by ride-sharing service Uber. For a delivery fee of a few bucks, users can order food from local restaurants using an app. That food might be delivered by car, bike or foot depending on the city and courier.

DoorDash is the largest food delivery company in the country. Customers can order food from many different restaurants using the DoorDash app, and a DoorDash driver delivers it to a home or office. DoorDash also operates ghost kitchens, facilities that prepare meals for delivery customers of a group of restaurants.

22 Ancestry.com concern : DNA

I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that the DNA of living things is so very similar across different species. Human DNA is almost exactly the same for every individual (to the degree of 99.9%). However, those small differences are sufficient to distinguish one individual from another, and to determine whether or not individuals are close family relatives.

Ancestry.com is the largest commercial genealogy company in the world. It operates out of Provo, Utah.

30 Lawyers: Abbr. : ATTS

Attorney (att.)

36 __ Tin Tin : RIN

The original Rin Tin Tin was a real-life dog, a puppy discovered by a GI in a bombed-out kennel in France during WWI. The soldier named the pup Rin Tin Tin, the same name as a puppet given to American soldiers for luck. On returning to the US, “Rinty” was trained by his owner and was spotted doing tricks by a film producer. Rinty featured in some films, eventually getting his first starring role in 1923 in the silent movie “Where the North Begins”. Legend has it that this first Rin Tin Tin died in the arms of actress Jean Harlow. Not a bad way to go …

38 Word that fittingly fills the blanks in “_ _ propria _ e” : APT

The letters APT appear in order in the word “appropriate”.

41 Rapper __ Kim : LIL’

“Lil’ Kim” is the stage name of rap artist Kimberly Denise Jones from Brooklyn, New York. Lil’ Kim spent a year in jail in 2005 for lying to a jury in a case about a shooting.

42 “__, Brute?” : ET TU

The most famous man with the name “Brutus” in ancient Rome was Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger. It was this Brutus that Julius Caesar turned to when he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate. William Shakespeare immortalized Brutus by featuring him in his play, “Julius Caesar”, and giving his victim the line “Et tu, Brute?”

44 Nativity display : CRECHE

In the Christian tradition, a nativity scene (also “crèche”) is a display representing the scene of the birth of Jesus. Nativity scenes might be subjects for paintings, for example, although the term is usually used for seasonal displays associated with the Christmas season.

51 One-named “Cheap Thrills” singer : SIA

“Cheap Thrills” is a 2015 song that was the first number-one hit in the US for Australian singer/songwriter Sia.

“Sia” is the stage name of Australian singer Sia Furler from Adelaide. She is a cousin of Australian Christian Rock musician Peter Furler. Sia is a very private person, and even covers her face with a blond wig while performing.

52 ’90s trade acronym : NAFTA

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was a treaty between Canada, Mexico and the United States. When NAFTA came into force in 1994, it set up the largest free trade zone in the world. It was replaced by the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in 2020, an agreement that is often referred to as NAFTA 2.0 because it largely maintains the provisions in the original NAFTA treaty.

59 NFL’s Cardinals : ARI

The Arizona Cardinals were founded in 1898 as the Chicago Cardinals. That makes the Cardinals the oldest, continuously-run, professional football team in the whole country.

60 Alliterative accompanist : PIANO PLAYER

What was remarkable about the piano when it was invented, compared to other keyboard instruments, was that notes could be played with varying degrees of loudness. This is accomplished by pressing the keys lightly or firmly. Because of this quality, the new instrument was called a “pianoforte”, with “piano” and “forte” meaning “soft” and “loud” in Italian. We tend to shorten the name these days to just “piano”.

66 Civil War nickname : ABE

I admit to having profound respect and admiration for great speeches delivered by great men and women. Forgive me as I reproduce here the full text of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address:

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal.”

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow, this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.

It is rather for us the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

68 Nordstrom rival : SAKS

Saks Fifth Avenue is a high-end specialty store that competes with the likes of Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus. The original Saks & Company business was founded by Andrew Saks in 1867. The first Saks Fifth Avenue store was opened on Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1924. There are now Saks Fifth Avenue stores in many major cities in the US, as well in several locations worldwide.

The Nordstrom chain of fashion stores was founded in 1901 by John W. Nordstrom and Carl F. Wallin as a retailer of shoes, under the name “Wallin & Nordstrom”. The store’s name changed to just “Nordstrom” in 1930, soon after both founders retired and sold their shares to Nordstrom’s two sons.

Down

1 Censorship-fighting org. : ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has its roots in the First World War. It grew out of the National Civil Liberties Bureau (CLB) that was founded to provide legal advice and support to conscientious objectors. The ACLU’s motto is “Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself”. The ACLU also hosts a blog on the ACLU.org website called “Speak Freely”.

3 Broccoli __ : RABE

Broccoli rabe is perhaps better known as “rapini”, and is a vegetable often used in Mediterranean cuisines. It is quite delicious sauteed with garlic …

5 Personal user pic : AVATAR

The Sanskrit word “avatar” describes the concept of a deity descending into earthly life and taking on a persona. It’s easy to see how in the world of online presences one might use the word avatar to describe one’s online identity.

6 Seats with kneelers : PEWS

A pew is a church bench, usually one with a high back. The original pews were raised and sometimes enclosed seats in the church used by women and important men or families. “Pew” comes from the Old French “puie” meaning “balcony, elevation”.

7 “__ questions?” : ANY

Nope …

9 Brusque : TERSE

Someone described as “brusque” is “gruff, abrupt and curt in manner”. The term comes into English from French, in which language it means “lively, fierce”.

11 Trusted adviser : GURU

“Guru” is a Hindi word meaning “teacher” or “priest”.

14 Group co-founded by Bill W.’s wife : AL-ANON

Al-Anon and Alateen are fellowships for relatives and friends of alcoholics. Alateen specifically supports teens who are affected by another’s drinking, whereas Al-Anon focuses on people of all ages.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in Akron, Ohio. As the organization grew, the guiding principles established by the founders were formatted into a 12-step program that was in place by the 1940s.

17 Merlot or Syrah : RED WINE

Merlot is one of the main grapes used to make Bordeaux wines, along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

The Iranian city of Shiraz has long been associated with wine, but there is no proven link between the city and the wine/grape we know today as “Shiraz” (also called “Syrah”). Having said that, some clay jars were found just outside of the city of Shiraz that contained wine; wine that was 7,000 years old!

21 Acapulco article : UNA

The Mexican city of Acapulco is on the southwest coast of the country, in the state of Guerrero. The name “Acapulco” translates from the local language into “at the big reeds”.

25 Novelist Cather : WILLA

American novelist Willa Cather wrote what’s referred to as the “prairie trilogy”, books that tell the story of Swedish immigrants living in Nebraska. The titles in the trilogy are “O Pioneers!”, “The Song of the Lark” and “My Ántonia”. Cather won the Pulitzer Prize for another novel “One of Ours”, which is set in Nebraska and the French battlefields of WWI.

26 Negro Leagues legend Buck __ : O’NEIL

Buck O’Neil was a first baseman and manager with the Kansas City Monarchs, a team in the Negro American League. He was appointed as a coach with the Chicago Cubs in 1962, making him the first African-American coach in the major leagues.

27 Presidential workplace : OVAL OFFICE

Although there have been several “oval” offices used by US presidents in the White House, the current Oval Office was designed and constructed at the bequest of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The room has four doors. One door opens onto the Rose Garden; a second door leads to a small study and dining room; a third opens onto the main corridor running through the West Wing; the fourth door opens to the office of the president’s secretary.

28 Patriotic org. since 1890 : DAR

In order to be a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), an applicant has to prove that she is a descendant of someone closely associated with, and supportive of, the American Revolution. The DAR maintains an online database of Revolutionary War patriots. The database is searchable, and is known as the Patriot Index.

29 Dead, as an engine : KAPUT

“Kaput” is a familiar term meaning “incapacitated, destroyed”, and comes to us from French (via German). The original word “capot” means “not having won a single trick” in the French card game Piquet.

31 Church donation : TITHE

Traditionally, a tithe is a payment of one tenth of a person’s annual income and is usually given to a church. Tithing is a practice taught in many traditions, and according to a 2002 survey, about 3% of American adults donate 10% or more of their income to a church.

35 “Par avion” letters : AIRMAIL

“Par avion” is a French term meaning “by airplane”. We’re used to seeing “par avion” on a blue sticker under the words “Air Mail” on our mail.

38 Just slightly : A TAD

Back in the 1800s, “tad” was used to describe a young child, and this extended into our usage of “small amount” in the early 1900s. The original use of “tad” for a child is very likely a shortened version of “tadpole”.

40 “The Crying Game” actor Stephen : REA

Stephen Rea is an Irish actor from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Rea’s most successful role was Fergus in 1992’s “The Crying Game”, for which performance he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. In “The Crying Game”, Fergus was a member of the IRA. In real life, Rea was married to IRA bomber and hunger striker Dolours Price at the time he made the movie.

“The Crying Game” is a fascinating film that made quite a splash when it was released in 1992. Although it was set in Ireland and the UK, it didn’t do well in cinemas in either country yet made a lot of money over here in the US. I think the politics of the movie were a bit raw for Irish and UK audiences back then. It’s an unusual plot, blending Irish political issues with some raw sexuality questions. I won’t tell you about the “surprise” scene, just in case you haven’t seen it and want to do so.

43 “Enough!” in a text : TMI!

Too much information (TMI)

44 Happy as a lark? : CHIRPY

Larks are small songbirds that are found all over the world, although only the horned lark species is found here in North America. Despite their size, larks are sometimes considered game birds, and can be served up as food. It’s not uncommon to find a dish containing lark meat in southern Europe.

46 Hanoi holiday : TET

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

Hanoi (“Hà Nội” in Vietnamese) was the capital of North Vietnam, and Saigon the capital of South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, Hanoi was made capital of the reunified state. Saigon, the larger metropolis, was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi is located in the delta of the Red River, and is just over 50 miles from the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea.

48 $100 bills, in slang : C-SPOTS

Benjamin Franklin’s portrait is featured on one side of the hundred-dollar bill (also called a “C-spot, C-note, benjamin”), and Philadelphia’s Independence Hall on the other side. There is a famous error in the image of Independence Hall. If you look closely at the clock face at the top of the building you can see that the “four” is written in Roman numerals as “IV”. However, on the actual clock on Independence Hall, the “four” is denoted by “IIII”, which has been the convention for clock faces for centuries.

50 Narrow to a point : TAPER

I used to think that the word “taper” was used for a slender candle because said candle was “tapered” in shape, but it’s exactly the opposite. It turns out that our word “tapered” comes from the candle. “Taper” and “tapur” are Old English words meaning “candle”. From these nouns arose the verb “to taper” meaning “shoot up like flame”. This meaning evolved into “become slender” from the idea that a candle’s flame has such a shape.

52 Astronaut’s insignia : NASA

The official insignia of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is referred to as a “meatball”. It is round in shape, with white stars on a blue background. There is also a white orbital path, a red chevron, and the letters NASA in white.

53 Speedy steed : ARAB

The Arab (also “Arabian”) breed of horse takes its name from its original home, the Arabian Peninsula. Like any animal that humans have over-bred, the horse falls prey to genetic diseases, some of which are fatal and some of which require the horse to be euthanized.

54 Barbershop sound : SNIP

Barbers originally offered a wide range of services, including surgery. Back in the Middle Ages, one of the primary services offered was bloodletting. The red and white sign outside a barber’s place of business represented bloody bandages wrapped around a pole. Henry VIII restricted barbers to just haircutting … and dentistry. Our term “barber” comes to us via Anglo-French from the Latin “barba” meaning “beard”.

56 Actress Sedgwick : KYRA

Actress Kyra Sedgwick is perhaps best known for playing Deputy Chief Johnson, the lead character on the crime drama show “The Closer”. Sedgwick married fellow actor Kevin Bacon in 1988. Sedgwick appeared on a family history show, and discovered that she and her husband are cousins, albeit tenth cousins once removed. I bet that was a surprise …

57 Plumbing problem : LEAK

“Plumbum” is Latin for “lead”, explaining why the symbol of the element in the Periodic Table is “Pb”. It also explains why the original lead weight on the end of a line used to check vertical was called a “plumb line”. And, as pipes were originally made of lead, it also explains why we would call in a “plumber” if one of those pipes was leaking.

58 Units of work : ERGS

An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, with one joule comprising 10 million ergs. It has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off. The term comes from “ergon”, the Greek word for work.

62 Bank convenience, for short : ATM

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Erykah Badu hairdo : AFRO
5 In pieces : APART
10 The Beatles’ Pepper, e.g.: Abbr. : SGT
13 Attired : CLAD
14 Pennsylvania in Washington, for example : AVENUE
15 Couple’s pronoun : OUR
16 Alliterative union litigator : LABOR LAWYER
18 State sch. with campuses in Providence : URI
19 DoorDash rival : UBER EATS
20 It follows dawn : SUNUP
22 Ancestry.com concern : DNA
23 Wicked one : FIEND
25 Alliterative craftsperson : WOODWORKER
30 Lawyers: Abbr. : ATTS
33 To no avail : IN VAIN
34 On a cruise, say : ASEA
36 __ Tin Tin : RIN
37 Discover : LEARN
38 Word that fittingly fills the blanks in “_ _ propria _ e” : APT
39 About to explode : IRATE
41 Rapper __ Kim : LIL’
42 “__, Brute?” : ET TU
44 Nativity display : CRECHE
45 Quite often : A LOT
47 Alliterative marriage specialist : MATCHMAKER
49 Malodorous : FETID
51 One-named “Cheap Thrills” singer : SIA
52 ’90s trade acronym : NAFTA
54 Rain in light drops : SPRINKLE
59 NFL’s Cardinals : ARI
60 Alliterative accompanist : PIANO PLAYER
63 Anatomical pouch : SAC
64 Being : ENTITY
65 Act the blowhard : BRAG
66 Civil War nickname : ABE
67 Indoor parking lot features : RAMPS
68 Nordstrom rival : SAKS

Down

1 Censorship-fighting org. : ACLU
2 Love handles, essentially : FLAB
3 Broccoli __ : RABE
4 Aroma : ODOR
5 Personal user pic : AVATAR
6 Seats with kneelers : PEWS
7 “__ questions?” : ANY
8 Regret : RUE
9 Brusque : TERSE
10 Music for a movie : SOUNDTRACK
11 Trusted adviser : GURU
12 Excursion : TRIP
14 Group co-founded by Bill W.’s wife : AL-ANON
17 Merlot or Syrah : RED WINE
21 Acapulco article : UNA
23 Big celebration : FEST
24 Anger : IRE
25 Novelist Cather : WILLA
26 Negro Leagues legend Buck __ : O’NEIL
27 Presidential workplace : OVAL OFFICE
28 Patriotic org. since 1890 : DAR
29 Dead, as an engine : KAPUT
31 Church donation : TITHE
32 Contemptuous look : SNEER
35 “Par avion” letters : AIRMAIL
38 Just slightly : A TAD
40 “The Crying Game” actor Stephen : REA
43 “Enough!” in a text : TMI!
44 Happy as a lark? : CHIRPY
46 Hanoi holiday : TET
48 $100 bills, in slang : C-SPOTS
50 Narrow to a point : TAPER
52 Astronaut’s insignia : NASA
53 Speedy steed : ARAB
54 Barbershop sound : SNIP
55 Apprehends : NABS
56 Actress Sedgwick : KYRA
57 Plumbing problem : LEAK
58 Units of work : ERGS
61 “Be there __ sec!” : IN A
62 Bank convenience, for short : ATM

12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 14 Feb 22, Monday”

  1. Happy Monday. No errors or Googles.
    Didn’t actually know: KYRA, SIA, RABE; in sports: ONEIL, ARI. But Mondays give you the info to fill it in.
    Happy St. Valentine’s Day!

  2. 16:24 no errors…never heard of 1A and 44A was new to me.
    I watched the super bowl yesterday and did not understand half of the commercials as to what their message was or what they were trying to sell but I’m the guy who watches BILLIONS on Showtime and doesn’t understand half of the conversations so I guess it’s me🤪🤪🤪
    Stay safe😀
    Happy Valentine’s Day to all😀😀

  3. 5:40 – no peeks/errors.

    OMG I beat Bill by ONE second!

    Knew Buck O’Neil, NAFTA and CRECHE so that helped.

    Never heard of SIA or KYRA Sedgwick but got the crosses.

    Be Well.

  4. 9:24 with no errors or lookups. Revised FETE>FEST, CNOTES>CSPOTS. Without thinking, the NFL Cardinals are still in STL!

    SRI and Erykah Badu are new to me. Not a bad theme.

  5. 5:47

    Today’s puzzle alliterates in Love Letters.

    I managed to guess wrong on every single clue in the SE corner. That’s a personal first!

    Enjoy the day!

  6. Sheesh, kind of a tough Monday for me; took an embarrassingly long 25:02, but with no peeks or errors. I kinda dozed for a while, since it was taking so long.

    Didn’t know SIA, ONEIl, WILLA, RABE, ALANON and had CHeerY before CHIRPY and FEtE before FEST.

    The rest was pretty straight-forward though.

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