LA Times Crossword 16 Feb 22, Wednesday

Advertisement

Constructed by: George Jasper
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Hidden Valley

Themed answers each include a synonym of “VALLEY” as a hidden word:

  • 51A Salad dressing brand … and what each set of circles reveals : HIDDEN VALLEY
  • 20A Cuban missile crisis strategy : NAVAL EMBARGO (hiding “VALE”)
  • 31A Web app for the latest : GOOGLE NEWS (hiding “GLEN”)
  • 41A Pre-wedding show : BRIDAL EXPO (hiding “DALE”)

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

Bill’s time: 7m 45s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 Early Greek public space : AGORA

In early Greece, an agora was a place of assembly. The assemblies held there were often quite formal, perhaps for the reading of a proclamation. Later in Greek history, things became less formal as the agora evolved into a marketplace. Our contemporary word “agoraphobia” comes from these agorae, in the sense that an agoraphobe has a fear of open spaces, a fear of “public meeting places”.

16 Aerosol target : ODOR

Strictly speaking, the term “aerosol” defines a suspension of either liquid droplets or solid particles in a gas. A good example of an aerosol is smoke. We tend to use the “aerosol” to describe what comes out of a spray can, even though the liquid droplets usually fall out of the gas and don’t stay suspended.

17 Mall map clarification : YOU ARE HERE

Surprisingly (to me!), our word “mall”, meaning “shady walk” or “enclosed shopping space”, comes from the Italian for “mallet”. All of our shopping-style malls are named for “The Mall” in St. James’s Park in London. This tree-lined promenade was so called as it used to be a famous spot to play the croquet-like game called “pall-mall”. The game derived its name from the Italian for ball (palla) and mallet “maglio”. The London thoroughfare called the Mall still exists, at one end of which is Buckingham Palace. Indeed, parallel to the Mall is a street called Pall Mall.

19 Half a patio pair : TONG

A pair of tongs is a tool with a scissor-like hinge used to pick up things, like meat cooking on a barbecue grill or ice from an ice bucket. The verb “to tong” means “to handle with tongs”.

20 Cuban missile crisis strategy : NAVAL EMBARGO

“Embargo” and “blockade” are two similar yet different terms. An embargo is a legal prohibition of trade with a particular country, whilst a blockade is an act of war, a militarily enforced prevention of the movement of goods and services. The term “embargo” came into English from Spanish, in the late 16th century.

The Cuban Missile Crisis was a 13-day standoff between the US and the USSR in 1962 concerning the deployment of ballistic missiles. The US had deployed ballistic missiles in Turkey in 1961, which had the capability of striking Moscow before the USSR had time to react. The crisis erupted when the US discovered preparations for the deployment of Soviet ballistic missiles in Cuba, which missiles could strike American cities before the US had time to react. The crisis was resolved when the USSR publicly stated that they would dismantle all offensive weapons in Cuba, and the US declared that it would never again attempt to invade Cuba (the Bay of Pigs Invasion had taken place in 1961). Secretly, the US also agreed to dismantle its ballistic missiles in Turkey, and did so almost immediately.

25 Even the queen, in chess : MAN

In the game of chess, the pawns are the weakest pieces on the board. A pawn that can make it to the opposite side of the board can be promoted to a piece of choice, usually a queen. Using promotion of pawns, it is possible for a player to have two or more queens on the board at one time. However, standard chess sets come with only one queen per side, so a captured rook is often used as the second queen by placing it on the board upside down.

26 Beat in a hot dog contest : OUT-EAT

A hot dog is a sausage served in a split roll. The term “hot dog” dates back to the 19th-century and is thought to reflect a commonly-held opinion that the sausages contained dog meat.

29 Slow movement : LARGO

Largo is an instruction to play a piece of music with a very slow tempo. “Largo” is an Italian word meaning “broadly”. The instruction “larghetto” means “play broadly”, and “Larghissimo” means “play very, very slowly”.

31 Web app for the latest : GOOGLE NEWS

Google News is a news aggregation app that Google released in 2006. Among other features, the app allows a user to the top stories, as well as a selection of news items curated especially for the user. Dangerous, I’d say …

33 What 15 U.S. presidents formerly were, briefly : VPS

Here is a list of US vice presidents who rose to the office of US president:

  1. John Adams: under George Washington
  2. Thomas Jefferson: under John Adams
  3. Martin Van Buren: under Andrew Jackson
  4. John Tyler: under William Henry Harrison
  5. Millard Fillmore: under Zachary Taylor
  6. Andrew Johnson: under Abraham Lincoln
  7. Chester Arthur: under James Garfield
  8. Theodore Roosevelt: under William McKinley
  9. Calvin Coolidge: under Warren G. Harding
  10. Harry Truman: under Franklin D. Roosevelt
  11. Lyndon Johnson: under John F. Kennedy
  12. Richard Nixon: under Dwight Eisenhower
  13. Gerald Ford: under Richard Nixon
  14. George H.W. Bush: under Ronald Reagan
  15. Joe Biden: under Barack Obama

36 Son of Chingachgook, in a Cooper novel : UNCAS

“The Last of the Mohicans” is an 1826 novel by James Fenimore Cooper. It is the second in a series of five novels that comprise the “Leatherstocking Tales”. All five titles are:

  • “The Deerslayer” (1841)
  • “The Last of the Mohicans” (1826)
  • “The Pathfinder” (1840)
  • “The Pioneers” (1823)
  • “The Prairie” (1827)

37 Be in the red : OWE

To be in the red is to be in debt, to owe money. The expression “in the red” is a reference to the accounting practice of recording debts and losses in red ink in ledgers. The related phrase “in the black” means “solvent, making a profit”.

40 Shaggy pack animal : YAK

The English word “yak” is an Anglicized version of the Tibetan name for the male of the species. Yak milk is much prized in Tibetan culture. It is made into cheese and butter, and the butter is used to make a tea that is consumed in great volume by Tibetans. The butter is also used as a fuel in lamps, and during festivals the butter is even sculpted into religious icons.

41 Pre-wedding show : BRIDAL EXPO

The first World’s Fair was held in 1851, known back then as the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations. The fair was the idea of Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria. It was held in a magnificent glass and cast-iron structure called the Crystal Palace that was purpose-built for the occasion. The Great Exhibition spawned a tradition of what became known as World’s Fairs, expositions that feature national pavilions created by participating countries. The term “Expo” was coined for Expo 67, a 1967 World’s Fair held in Montreal. Since then, we’ve been using “expo” to describe any large exposition or trade show.

43 Frequents dive bars, say : SLUMS

We’ve been using the word “dive” in American English for a run-down bar since the latter half of the 19th century. The term comes from the fact that disreputable taverns were usually located in basements, so one had to literally and figuratively dive into them. I’m a big fan …

45 Pretentious type : POSEUR

“Poseur” is a French word that we absorbed into English in the mid-1800s to describe someone who pretends to be what he or she is not. The root French verb “poser” means “to affect an attitude or pose”.

49 NBA tiebreakers : OTS

Overtime (OT)

51 Salad dressing brand … and what each set of circles reveals : HIDDEN VALLEY

Ranch dressing has been the best-selling salad dressing in the country since 1992. The recipe was developed by Steve Henson who introduced it in the fifties to guests on his dude ranch, the Hidden Valley Ranch in Northern California. His ranch dressing became so popular that he opened a factory to produce packets of ranch seasoning that could be mixed with mayonnaise and buttermilk. Henson sold the brand for $8 million in 1972.

56 Start of a proverb for which Ben Franklin is credited : EARLY TO BED …

The proverb “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” comes to us courtesy of Benjamin Franklin. He published it in his “Poor Richard’s Almanack”.

61 “Star Trek: T.N.G.” counselor : TROI

Deanna Troi is a character on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” who is played by the lovely Marina Sirtis. Sirtis is a naturalized American citizen and has what I would call a soft American accent on the show. However, she was born in the East End of London and has a natural accent off-stage that is more like that of a true Cockney.

63 Online craft shop : ETSY

Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

64 Newcastle’s river : TYNE

The River Tyne is in the northeast of England. The most famous city on the river is Newcastle upon Tyne. Newcastle upon Tyne is home to the famous Newcastle Brown Ale.

65 Summer Triangle star : DENEB

Deneb is the brightest star in the constellation Cygnus, the Swan. The name “Deneb” comes from the Arabic word “dhaneb” meaning “tail”, as it lies at the tail of the swan.

The Summer Triangle is the name given to a pattern of stars seen in the northern hemisphere. It is so named as it sits almost directly overhead at midnight in most northern latitudes. The points of the triangle are the bright stars Altair, Deneb and Vega.

Down

1 __ window : BAY

A bay window is a window that projects outside, beyond the wall. The resulting space inside the wall forms a “bay-like” space inside a room.

3 Thing of little worth : SOU

A sou is an old French coin. We use the term “sou” to mean “an almost worthless amount”.

4 Turkey neighbor : IRAN

Before 1935, the country we know today as Iran was referred to as Persia by the Western world. The official name of the country since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is the “Islamic Republic of Iran”.

5 Whitman’s Sampler choices : CARAMELS

The confectionery product known as caramel is made by heating sugar. The process of caramelization requires slow heating of the sugar to about 170 °C. The heating causes the sugar molecules to break down and convert into the compounds that provide the characteristic color and flavor of caramel.

Whitman’s chocolate confections have been marketed since 1842, when the company was founded by Stephen F. Whitman on the Philadelphia waterfront. 19-year-old Whitman bought imported fruits, nuts and cocoa from ships in the harbor, from which he made European-style confections that were popular with sailors and their families at home. The Whitman Sampler is a collection of assorted chocolates in a box with a stitched pattern design reminiscent of folk art needlework.

6 “Freaky Friday” actress Lindsay : LOHAN

I think that actress Lindsay Lohan’s big break came with the Disney remake of “The Parent Trap” in 1998. I’ve really only enjoyed one of Lohan’s films though, “Freaky Friday” from 2003 in which she stars alongside the fabulous Jamie Lee Curtis.

“Freaky Friday” is a well-known children’s novel, written by Mary Rodgers and published in 1972. The basic story is that one Friday, a mother and her teenage daughter have their bodies switched due to the effects of an enchanted fortune cookie. Hilarity ensues! Disney adapted the novel into a movie three times in all:

  1. In 1976, starring Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster
  2. In 1995, starring Shelley Long and Gaby Hoffman
  3. In 2003, starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan

7 First name in daredevilry : EVEL

Daredevil Evel Knievel contracted hepatitis C from the many blood transfusions that he needed after injuries incurred during stunts. He had to have a liver transplant as a result, but his health declined after that. Knievel eventually passed away in 2007.

8 Saharan : SERE

The name “Sahara” means “greatest desert” in Arabic. The Sahara is just that, a great desert covering almost 4 million square miles of Northern Africa. That’s almost the size of the United States.

10 One may be sweet : POTATO

Although in the US we sometimes refer to sweet potatoes as “yams”, the yam is actually a completely different family of plants. True yams are more common in other parts of the world than they are in this country, and are especially common in Africa.

12 __ line : CONGA

The conga line is a dance that originated as a Cuban carnival march. It became popular in the US starting in the thirties. The dance is apparently named after the Congo region of Africa, and it was originated by slaves who were brought from there to Cuba.

13 Cereal killer : ERGOT

Ergots are fungi that cause disease in rye and related plants. If humans eat ergot-contaminated grain, a condition called ergotism can result. Ergotism is the result of consumption of alkaloids produced by the fungi, alkaloids that can cause seizures and manic behavior. It has even been suggested that the hysteria exhibited by the Salem “witches” was perhaps caused by the ingestion of ergot-contaminated rye.

22 Company’s tech guru : IT GUY

Information technology (IT)

23 “Shrek” princess : FIONA

Princess Fiona is the title character’s love interest in the “Shrek” series of films.

28 NYC airport on Flushing Bay : LGA

Fiorello La Guardia was the Mayor of New York from 1934 to 1945, racking up three full terms in office. The famous airport that bears La Guardia’s name was built at his urging, stemming from an incident that took place while he was in office. He was taking a TWA flight to “New York” and was outraged when the plane landed at Newark Airport, in the state of New Jersey. The Mayor demanded that the flight take off again and land at a small airport in Brooklyn. A gaggle of press reporters joined him on the short hop and he gave them a story, urging New Yorkers to support the construction of a new commercial airport within the city’s limits. The new airport, in Queens, opened in 1939 as New York Municipal, often called “LaGuardia” as a nickname. The airport was officially relabeled as “LaGuardia” (LGA) in 1947.

Flushing Bay is a tidal embankment in New York City that takes its name from the town of Flushing. Flushing was settled in 1645 by the Dutch and was named for the port of Vlissingen in the southwest Netherlands. “Flushing” is the English name for the Dutch port.

29 Civil rights legend John : LEWIS

John Lewis was a civil rights leader, and a prominent leader in the 1963 March on Washington in which Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. Lewis also suffered a fractured skull as he walked at the head of the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma on Bloody Sunday. Lewis was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1987, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 by President Obama. Lewis passed away in 2020.

34 __ New Guinea : PAPUA

Papua New Guinea is a country occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea (the western side of the island is part of Indonesia).

38 Like idiomatic skeletons : CLOSETED

In Old French a “clos” was an enclosure, with the diminutive form “closet” describing a small enclosure or private room. Over time this evolved into our modern usage of “closet”, describing a cabinet or cupboard.

The idiom “skeleton in the closet” means “secret to hide”. On the other side of the Atlantic, the concept is more likely to be expressed as “skeleton in the cupboard”.

41 TV host/comedian with 23 Emmy nominations : BURNETT

Carol Burnett routinely ended “The Carol Burnett Show” with a rendition of the song “I’m So Glad We Had This Time Together”. As she sang the last line, she would gently tug on her left ear. According to Burnett, that ear tug was a secret signal to her grandmother meaning, “Hi Nanny. I’m fine. I love you”.

43 New South Wales capital : SYDNEY

Sydney is the most populous city in Australia. People from Sydney are known as “Sydneysiders”.

New South Wales (NSW) is the most populous state in Australia and is home to Sydney, the most populous city in the country. New South Wales was founded in 1788. When the British took over New Zealand in 1840, New Zealand was actually governed for a while as part of New South Wales.

44 Jeans brand : LEE

The Lee company that is famous for making jeans was formed in 1889 by one Henry David Lee in Salina, Kansas.

47 __-year : LIGHT

A light-year (lt. yr.) is a measure of distance, not time. It is the distance that light travels in a vacuum in one year, which is almost six trillion miles. The accepted abbreviation for a light-year is “ly”. A light-second is a much shorter distance: about 186,000 miles.

48 “So long, amigo” : ADIOS

The term “adiós” is Spanish for “goodbye”. “Adiós” comes from the phrase “a Dios vos acomiendo” meaning “I commend you to God”.

49 Skateboard move : OLLIE

An ollie is a skateboarding trick invented in 1976 by Alan “Ollie” Gelfand. Apparently it’s a way of lifting the board off the ground, while standing on it, without touching the board with one’s hands. Yeah, I could do that …

52 Fluctuate : VARY

To fluctuate is to shift back and forth uncertainly, or to rise and fall as if in waves. The verb “to fluctuate” comes from “fluctus”, a Latin word meaning “wave”.

53 “East of Eden” twin : ARON

John Steinbeck considered “East of Eden” his magnum opus. Most of the storyline takes place near Salinas, just south of the San Francisco Bay Area. Two of the characters in the story are brothers Cal and Aron Trask, representative of the biblical Cain and Abel.

According to the Bible’s Book of Genesis, after Cain murdered his brother Abel, he fled to the “Land of Nod” located “east of Eden” (from which John Steinbeck got the title for his celebrated novel “East of Eden”).

54 Bygone days : YORE

We use the word “yore” to mean “time long past” as in “the days of yore”. “Yore” comes from the Old English words for “of years”.

58 Austin-to-Houston dir. : ESE

Austin is the capital of the state of Texas. When the area was chosen to be the capital of the Republic of Texas, it was known as Waterloo. The name was changed in honor of Stephen F. Austin, a native of Virginia who was raised in Missouri and led the first successful colonization of Texas.

59 Star of the ball : DEB

“Deb” is short for “debutante”, which translates from French as “beginner” when referring to a female.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Bare-bones : BASIC
6 Out of concern that : LEST
10 Distance runner’s concern : PACE
14 Early Greek public space : AGORA
15 Excessively: Pref. : OVER-
16 Aerosol target : ODOR
17 Mall map clarification : YOU ARE HERE
19 Half a patio pair : TONG
20 Cuban missile crisis strategy : NAVAL EMBARGO
22 Uncertainties : IFS
25 Even the queen, in chess : MAN
26 Beat in a hot dog contest : OUT-EAT
27 Like nobility : TITLED
29 Slow movement : LARGO
31 Web app for the latest : GOOGLE NEWS
33 What 15 U.S. presidents formerly were, briefly : VPS
36 Son of Chingachgook, in a Cooper novel : UNCAS
37 Be in the red : OWE
38 Hustle : CHEAT
40 Shaggy pack animal : YAK
41 Pre-wedding show : BRIDAL EXPO
43 Frequents dive bars, say : SLUMS
45 Pretentious type : POSEUR
46 Key participant : PLAYER
49 NBA tiebreakers : OTS
50 Water holder : DAM
51 Salad dressing brand … and what each set of circles reveals : HIDDEN VALLEY
55 Opposed to, in dialect : AGIN
56 Start of a proverb for which Ben Franklin is credited : EARLY TO BED …
60 It’s about a foot : SHOE
61 “Star Trek: T.N.G.” counselor : TROI
62 Do away with : ERASE
63 Online craft shop : ETSY
64 Newcastle’s river : TYNE
65 Summer Triangle star : DENEB

Down

1 __ window : BAY
2 Before now : AGO
3 Thing of little worth : SOU
4 Turkey neighbor : IRAN
5 Whitman’s Sampler choices : CARAMELS
6 “Freaky Friday” actress Lindsay : LOHAN
7 First name in daredevilry : EVEL
8 Saharan : SERE
9 Shakes : TREMORS
10 One may be sweet : POTATO
11 Love to death : ADORE
12 __ line : CONGA
13 Cereal killer : ERGOT
18 Artfully escape : EVADE
21 Listening device : BUG
22 Company’s tech guru : IT GUY
23 “Shrek” princess : FIONA
24 Keep in the supply room : STOCK
28 NYC airport on Flushing Bay : LGA
29 Civil rights legend John : LEWIS
30 Blown away : AWED
32 What do you expect? : NORM
33 Put out : VEXED
34 __ New Guinea : PAPUA
35 Perfect thing that’s not beneficial : STORM
38 Like idiomatic skeletons : CLOSETED
39 Tom, Dick and Harry : HES
41 TV host/comedian with 23 Emmy nominations : BURNETT
42 In a suitable manner : APTLY
43 New South Wales capital : SYDNEY
44 Jeans brand : LEE
46 Part of a process : PHASE
47 __-year : LIGHT
48 “So long, amigo” : ADIOS
49 Skateboard move : OLLIE
52 Fluctuate : VARY
53 “East of Eden” twin : ARON
54 Bygone days : YORE
57 Stop legally : BAN
58 Austin-to-Houston dir. : ESE
59 Star of the ball : DEB

22 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 16 Feb 22, Wednesday”

  1. No errors but I got really stuck in that middle east side. Did not know BRIDAL EXPO was a pre-wedding thing. Did not know VEXED means to “put out” (really?) And i didn’t help myself with MEN on 39D for a long time. Oh, and throw in a semi-french word POSEUR for good measure.

    There’s more but I’ve gone long enough.

  2. for once I decided to check my answers and found a misspelling
    or two which helped me finish with no errors. I have to ask, though,
    is “hes” a real word or just a crossword puzzle fill-in?

    1. >is “hes” a real word or just a crossword puzzle fill-in?

      Dictionary wise, “hes” is not a real word in the sense it’s used in this puzzle. Where it passes muster is a contraction for “he is” or “he has” and if the editor/constructor actually had a concern to be correct, the clue would be written as such. While I wish this could be passed off as many of the “says no ones” that populate this puzzle, ultimately wrong stuff like this is only done with the direct intent of being confusing or otherwise annoying. (and it definitely was!)

      1. Nonsense! One of the definitions of “he” in Webster’s is as a noun meaning “a male person or animal” and the plural is “hes”. Surely you have sometimes said to yourself, upon seeing someone on the street, “Is that a he or a she?” The plural form would be, “Are they hes or shes?”

  3. Wow. For a Wednesday, I nearly gave up. Like Anon Mike, the middle east side did me in and I had to do a grid check.

  4. 28:50 no errors butI don’t get BRIDAL EXPO? Is it where the bride sees an assortment of gowns and picks out hers?
    Stay safe😀

    1. A bridal expo is a one stop shopping adventure where you can get everything you need for a wedding. Dress, catering, flowers, venue……

  5. Clever theme but got it too late to help. A
    little rough for a Wednesday but got
    through it with no look ups and just one
    spelling error. Had y instead of I for troi/ollie ☹️

  6. Like others, the Middle East did me in. Hard for a Wednesday but it does all make sense at the end (Water holder: CAN? JAR? …)
    I am quite put out by this puzzle…

  7. Bill… I think you have two typos with your explanation to 33A. You show both VP’s Millard Fillmore and Chester Arthur succeeding William Henry Harrison to the presidency. They succeeded Zachary Taylor and James Garfield respectively.
    Thank you for your fantastic source of information. By the amount of work and research you must do, I’m surprised that you have so few errors.

  8. 8:22

    The valleys might be hidden, but they helped me find the theme.

    You guys who don’t know what a bridal expo is must not have any bridezillas in the family!

  9. 13:42, and escaped with no errors.

    A few of these clues were really clumsily written (or edited for affect, as the case may be). The one for VEXED and BRIDAL EXPO, especially.

  10. 15:56 with one letter error – BAr/DErEB. Guess I should learn the stars and constellations better! The middle-right section was slow to resolve for me, same as others. ERGOT was a new thing today.

  11. Along with all the other complaints about this puzzle, the clue for 32D is more than clumsy. And 38A is a lousy clue for the answer to it. Yuk is a good description for this one.

  12. A little tough for a Wednesday, took me 26:14 with one error. I finally did a “check-grid” with 6 spaces in the ME still to be filled and one was wrong: STORy. So, I switched to M and then got DAM, which led to EXPO and VEXED and I was done…sheesh!

    Recently read that Marina Sirtis moved back to London, from LA. She was shaken by the raw political tone in the US…kinda sad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.