LA Times Crossword 18 Feb 22, Friday

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Constructed by: Dick Shlakman & Fred Geldon
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): The Clue, Literally

Themed answers are common phrases in the format “X” IN THE “Y” written “literally” in the grid, with the “X” placed in between “THE” and “Y”:

  • 20A Naivete personified, literally : THE BABE WOODS (from “babe in the woods”)
  • 33A Abandoned, literally : THE LEFT LURCH (from “left in the lurch”)
  • 41A Low, literally : THE DOWN DUMPS (from “down in the dumps”)
  • 56A Metaphor for a sitting-pretty situation, literally : THE MADE SHADE (from “made in the shade”)

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

Bill’s time: 7m 51s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Ketch pair : MASTS

A ketch is a sailboat with two masts. The most forward mast is the mainmast, and is the taller of the two. The smaller mast is further aft, and is known as the mizzen mast.

6 Pre-weekend letters : TGIF

“Thank God It’s Friday” (TGIF)

10 Damson or Mirabelle : PLUM

There are many plum tree cultivars that bear edible fruit. Examples are damsons, prune plums, greengages and mirabelles.

15 Decimated sea : ARAL

The Aral Sea is a great example of how humankind can have a devastating effect on the environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

To decimate is to wipe out a large proportion of a population. The term arose from the ancient practice of punishing military units found guilty of mutiny. One in ten soldiers in the rebellious group would be executed, with the choice made in a lottery. The term comes from the Latin “decimare” meaning “to remove one-tenth”.

18 Old comics character who said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” : POGO

After defeating and capturing several Royal Navy vessels in the Battle of Lake Erie, American Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry sent a famous message to Major General William Henry Harrison:

We have met the enemy and they are ours. Two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop.

Strangely enough, the quote is perhaps best known these days on the form of a parody penned by Walt Kelly in his comic strip “Pogo”:

We have met the enemy and he is us.

Kelly’s parody was used in a strip published on Earth Day in 1971, a strip bemoaning humankind’s pollution of the planet.

19 Apple product : IPOD

The iPod is Apple’s signature line of portable media players. The iPod first hit the market in 2001 with a hard drive-based device, now known as the iPod Classic. Later models all use flash memory, allowing a smaller form factor. The smallest of the flash-based models is the iPod Shuffle, which was introduced in 2005.

20 Naivete personified, literally : THE BABE WOODS (from “babe in the woods”)

“Babes in the Wood” is a children’s tale, dating back to the late 1500s, that I think is quite morbid and scary. The basic story is that two children are abandoned in a wood, die, and are then covered in leaves by robins. It’s a morality tale that does describe the downfall of the uncle who has the children taken to the woods. However, today we think more of the “innocent babes”, as we describe someone who is naive as a “babe in the woods”.

24 Many a Nora Ephron film : ROMCOM

Nora Ephron had many talents, including writing film scripts and novels. Many of the movies that she wrote, she also directed. These would include some of my favorite movies of all time like “Sleepless in Seattle”, “You’ve Got Mail” and most recently, the wonderful “Julie & Julia”. And, did you know that Nora Ephron’s second marriage was to journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame? She wrote an autobiographical novel based on her life with Bernstein, which deals in particular with Bernstein’s affair with the daughter of British Prime Minister James Callaghan.

28 Old speedster: Abbr. : SST

The first supersonic transport (SST) to fly was the Tupolev Tu-144, which was constructed in the Soviet Union. The Tu-144 first flew in 1968, but did not carry passengers until 1977. The aircraft was permanently grounded as a passenger craft in 1978 due to concerns about safety (there had been two Tu-144 crashes). The second SST to fly was the Anglo-French Concorde, which operated at a profit for over 27 years until it was withdrawn from service in 2003. There was one Concorde crash, in Paris in July 2000. Since then, there have been no commercial SST services.

32 Co-founder of Artists Against Fracking : ONO

Artists Against Fracking is an association formed by Yoko One and her son Sean Lennon. The list of members in the anti-fracking group includes Paul McCartney, Robert de Niro, Mark Ruffalo, Lady Gaga and Deepak Chopra.

33 Abandoned, literally : THE LEFT LURCH (from “left in the lurch”)

To leave someone in the lurch is to abandon them in a difficult position. The phrase comes from an old French game called “lourche” or “lurch”, which was similar to backgammon. A player left “in the lurch” was in a hopeless position from which he or she could only lose the game.

39 Doce meses : ANO

In Spanish, there are “doce meses” (twelve months) in an “año” (year).

46 Medium power : ESP

Extrasensory perception (ESP)

49 Rte. finder : GPS

A global positioning system (GPS) might point out a route (rte.).

52 Presumes : POSITS

To “posit” is to assume as fact, to lay down as a “position”.

54 Feature of some Birkenstocks : T-STRAP

Birkenstock is a shoe manufacturer based in Germany.

60 Modern diary : BLOG

Many folks who visit this website regard it as just that, a website. That is true, but more specifically it is referred to as a blog, as I make regular posts (actually daily posts) that then occupy the “front page” of the site. The blog entries are in reverse chronological order, and one can just look back day-by-day, reading older and older posts. “Blog” is a contraction of the term “web log”.

64 Accord creator : HONDA

Honda started manufacturing the Accord model in Marysville, Ohio in 1982, making the Accord the first Japanese car to be produced in the US. The Accord was the best-selling Japanese car in America from 1982 to 1997, and 1989 was the first import to become the best-selling car in the US.

65 Bridges of Los Angeles County : BEAU

Actor Beau Bridges is the son of actor Lloyd Bridges, and brother of actor Jeff Bridges. Beau’s best-known role is perhaps one of “The Fabulous Baker Boys” alongside brother Jeff.

66 Fourth letter in a famous mnemonic : ERIE

A well-known mnemonic for remembering the names of the Great Lakes is HOMES, an acronym standing for Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior.

67 Like Barbara Bush, vis-à-vis Jenna : OLDER

Barbara Bush is one of the twin daughters of President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. She is co-founder and president of Global Health Corps., a non-profit that promotes health equity around the world. Barbara and her sister Jenna wrote the 2017 memoir “Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life”.

Jenna Bush is one of the twin daughters of President George W. Bush. During her father’s 2004 presidential campaign, Jenna met and started dating Henry Hager who was a White House aide for deputy chief of staff Karl Rove. The couple were married in 2008.

68 Lincoln or Jackson : CITY

The city of Lincoln is the second-largest in Nebraska, and is the state capital. In the days of the Nebraska Territory, the capital was the larger city of Omaha. When the territory was being considered for statehood, most of the population (which lived south of the River Platte) was in favor of annexation to Kansas. The pro-statehood legislature voted to move the capital nearer to that population in a move intended to appease those favoring annexation. As this conflict was taking place just after the Civil War, a special interest group in Omaha arranged for the new capital to be named Lincoln, in honor of the recently-assassinated president. The thought was that the populace south of the River Platte had been sympathetic to the Confederate cause and so would not pass the measure to move the capital if the Lincoln name was used. But the measure passed, the capital was moved, and Nebraska became the thirty-seventh State of the Union in 1867.

Jackson is the capital of the state of Mississippi. It was named for President Andrew Jackson, although the name was bestowed before he ran for electoral office. General Jackson was so honored in recognition of his victory at the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812.

69 Twice-monthly tide : NEAP

Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

Down

1 Rays that can live 50 years : MANTAS

The manta ray is the largest species of ray, with the biggest one recorded at over 25 feet across and weighing 5,100 pounds. It is sometimes referred to as the sea devil.

2 Island exchanges : ALOHAS

The Hawaiian word “aloha” has many meanings in English: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. More recently, “aloha” has come to mean “hello” and “goodbye”, but only since the mid-1800s.

4 “Survivor” group : TRIBE

The reality show “Survivor” is based on a Swedish television series created in 1997 called “Expedition Robinson”.

8 Classic stage betrayer : IAGO

Iago is the schemer in Shakespeare’s “Othello”. He is a soldier who fought alongside Othello and feels hard done by, missing out on promotion. Iago hatches a plot designed to discredit his rival Cassio by insinuating that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona, Othello’s wife.

10 Light bender : PRISM

When light passes through a prism, it splits up (disperses) into differing wavelengths. It then becomes clear that white light is actually a mixture of different colors, which show up as a beautiful spectrum.

12 Gulf War support gp. : USO

The United Service Organization (USO) was founded in 1941 at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt “to handle the on-leave recreation of the men in the armed forces”. A USO tour is undertaken by a troupe of entertainers, many of whom are big-name celebrities. A USO tour usually includes troop locations in combat zones.

Many of us tend to use “Operation Desert Storm” as the overall name for the conflict more correctly called the Persian Gulf War. Operation Desert Storm was in fact just the air and land battle that took place between January 17th and April 11th 1991. The buildup of forces was called Operation Desert Shield, and the withdrawal of forces after the liberation of Kuwait was known as Operation Desert Farewell.

21 Word with collar or chip : BLUE …

We are perhaps most familiar with blue-collar and white-collar classifications for groups of workers. There are many more “collar colours” that have been coined:

  • White collar – office worker
  • Blue collar – manual worker
  • Pink collar – service industry worker
  • Gold collar – academic, scientific or hi-tech worker
  • Red collar – government worker
  • No collar – artists and “free spirits”
  • Steel collar – robots who have replaced blue-collar workers

A blue chip is stock in a company that has a reputation for providing a solid return of investment in good times and in bad. The term “blue chip” comes from poker, as blue poker chips are traditionally those with the highest value.

22 American Girl purchase : DOLL

American Girl is a line of dolls introduced in 1986. The dolls were originally young girls dressed in clothes that evoked various periods of American history.

25 Abs are part of it : CORE

The abdominal muscles (abs) are more correctly referred to as the rectus abdominis muscles. They might be referred to as a “six-pack”, or even a “ten-pack”, in a person who has developed the muscles and who has low body fat. In my case, more like a keg …

27 Comic Jay : MOHR

Jay Mohr is an American actor, one I most remember playing a supporting role in the wonderful HBO series “From the Earth to the Moon” (must-see-TV!). Mohr also created and hosted a reality show called “Last Comic Standing”.

30 Lacking pizzazz : BLAND

Pizazz (also “pizzazz”) is energy, vitality. There’s a kind of cool thing about the “pizzazz” spelling, namely that it is the only 7-letter word in English that cannot be played in Scrabble. You can get close by using the Z-tile with the two blank tiles to get to three of the required four Zs, but there’s no way to get to the fourth Z.

31 On the wrong side (of) : AFOUL

To be afoul of something is to be in conflict with it. The term “afoul” sounds nautical to me, and indeed it was originally used at sea in the sense of being in a state of entanglement or collision.

33 Rocker Nugent : TED

Ted Nugent was the lead guitarist with the Amboy Dukes, and is now a successful solo artist. Off the stage, Nugent is noted for his conservative views, particularly when it comes to the Second Amendment. He serves on the board of directors of the National Rifle Association.

34 One who may go deep : END

That would be football.

36 Aerobic bit : STEP

Aerobic exercise is moderate activity designed to be at a low enough intensity that very little anaerobic activity takes place. In other words, the exercise is at a level where oxygen is taken in to burn fat and carbohydrate and to create energy. Anaerobic exercise is more intense and uses carbohydrate (glycogen) in the muscle to provide energy, without the need for oxygen. Aerobics are also called “cardio” as the exercises strengthen the cardiovascular system.

38 Gym set : REPS

Our word “gymnasium” comes from the Greek “gymnasion” meaning “public place where exercise is taken”. The Greek term comes from “gymnos” meaning “naked”, as that physical training was usually done unclothed in ancient Greece.

43 Guys with gifts : WISE MEN

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, “magi” is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar (also “Gaspar”): a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

44 Particle in a beam : MOTE

A mote is a speck of dust.

45 “Sesame Street,” e.g. : PBS SHOW

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) was founded in 1970, and is my favorite of the broadcast networks. I love PBS’s drama and science shows in particular, and always watch election results coming in with the NewsHour team.

Back in 1966, the Carnegie Institute allocated money to study the use of television to help young children prepare for school. The institute gave a multimillion dollar grant to set up the Children’s Television Workshop with the task of creating an educational TV program for young people. The program began to come together, especially after Jim Henson (of Muppet fame) got involved. The name “Sesame Street” was chosen simply because it was the “least disliked” of all names proposed just before the program went on the air.

49 About half of Trenta, at Starbucks : GRANDE

Starbucks introduced us to coffee drinks in a whole range of volumes:

  • Demi … 3 fl oz
  • Short … 8 fl oz
  • Tall … 12 fl oz
  • Grande … 16 fl oz (Italian for “large”)
  • Venti … 20 fl oz (Italian for “twenty”)
  • Trenta … 30 fl oz (Italian for “thirty”)

51 “Femme Fatale” artist, 2011 : SPEARS

Britney Spears was the best-selling female artist in the first decade of the 21st century. In recent years, Spears has attracted public attention for more than just her performances as a musician. Against her will, she was placed under the conservatorship of her father and an attorney in 2008, due to concerns about her mental wellbeing. Originally meant to last days, the conservatorship was extended to months, and was then made permanent. A social movement to “free” Britney from the conservatorship took off in 2019, and a court granted a termination of the arrangement in 2021.

53 PC fixer : IT GUY

Information technology (IT)

55 Oar fulcrum : THOLE

In a boat, a thole is a wooden peg or pin that acts as a fulcrum for an oar that it is used in rowing. The thole is inserted into a hole in the gunwale, the top edge of the side of the boat.

57 HBO’s “__ of Easttown” : MARE

“Mare of Easttown” is a 2021 TV miniseries starring Kate Winslet as Mare Sheehan, a detective investigating a murder in the Philadelphia suburb of Easttown. I haven’t seen this one yet, but I hear great things …

58 Latin “others” : ALIA

“Et alii” (et al.) is the equivalent of “et cetera” (etc.), with “et cetera” being used in place of a list of objects, and “et alii” used for a list of names. In fact, “et al.” can stand for “et alii” (a group of males, or males and females), “et aliae” (a group of women) and “et alia” (a group of neuter nouns, or a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

60 “Doctor Who” airer : BBC

The iconic science-fiction television show “Doctor Who” first aired in 1963 on the BBC, and relaunched in 2005. The relaunched series is produced in-house by the BBC in Cardiff in Wales, the location that is the setting of the successful “Doctor Who” spin-off called “Torchwood”. The new show is about the Cardiff branch of the Torchwood Institute which investigates incidents involving extraterrestrials. Why “Torchwood”? Well, “Torchwood” is an anagram of “Doctor Who”.

61 Island 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.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Ketch pair : MASTS
6 Pre-weekend letters : TGIF
10 Damson or Mirabelle : PLUM
14 On the lookout : ALERT
15 Decimated sea : ARAL
16 “All __” : RISE
17 “It’s the truth!” : NO LIE!
18 Old comics character who said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” : POGO
19 Apple product : IPOD
20 Naivete personified, literally : THE BABE WOODS (from “babe in the woods”)
23 It’s needed, but often “not included” : AA CELL
24 Many a Nora Ephron film : ROMCOM
28 Old speedster: Abbr. : SST
29 Ice cream holder : TUB
31 Bother : AIL
32 Co-founder of Artists Against Fracking : ONO
33 Abandoned, literally : THE LEFT LURCH (from “left in the lurch”)
36 Angry : SORE
39 Doce meses : ANO
40 Equal : PEER
41 Low, literally : THE DOWN DUMPS (from “down in the dumps”)
46 Medium power : ESP
47 Give a hand : AID
48 Tennis strategy : LOB
49 Rte. finder : GPS
52 Presumes : POSITS
54 Feature of some Birkenstocks : T-STRAP
56 Metaphor for a sitting-pretty situation, literally : THE MADE SHADE (from “made in the shade”)
60 Modern diary : BLOG
63 Like father, like son? : MALE
64 Accord creator : HONDA
65 Bridges of Los Angeles County : BEAU
66 Fourth letter in a famous mnemonic : ERIE
67 Like Barbara Bush, vis-à-vis Jenna : OLDER
68 Lincoln or Jackson : CITY
69 Twice-monthly tide : NEAP
70 Works in a garden : WEEDS

Down

1 Rays that can live 50 years : MANTAS
2 Island exchanges : ALOHAS
3 Handpicked : SELECT
4 “Survivor” group : TRIBE
5 Cat burglar’s asset : STEALTH
6 It’s broken at many races : TAPE
7 Become : GROW
8 Classic stage betrayer : IAGO
9 Request for maximum speed : FLOOR IT
10 Light bender : PRISM
11 Sass : LIP
12 Gulf War support gp. : USO
13 Pill, say : MED
21 Word with collar or chip : BLUE …
22 American Girl purchase : DOLL
25 Abs are part of it : CORE
26 Some time ago : ONCE
27 Comic Jay : MOHR
30 Lacking pizzazz : BLAND
31 On the wrong side (of) : AFOUL
33 Rocker Nugent : TED
34 One who may go deep : END
35 Good times : UPS
36 Aerobic bit : STEP
37 Quite : OH SO
38 Gym set : REPS
42 Hammer-strikes-thumb reaction : OATH
43 Guys with gifts : WISE MEN
44 Particle in a beam : MOTE
45 “Sesame Street,” e.g. : PBS SHOW
49 About half of Trenta, at Starbucks : GRANDE
50 Protected, in a way : PADDED
51 “Femme Fatale” artist, 2011 : SPEARS
53 PC fixer : IT GUY
55 Oar fulcrum : THOLE
57 HBO’s “__ of Easttown” : MARE
58 Latin “others” : ALIA
59 Like some pockets : DEEP
60 “Doctor Who” airer : BBC
61 Island greeting : LEI
62 Bit of horse feed : OAT

24 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 18 Feb 22, Friday”

  1. I woke up way too early this morning, with the following random (but somewhat related) thoughts running through my head:

    Consider the sentence, “A couple of days ago, I drove to the grocery store in my car to buy supplies for the next couple of weeks.” I could rephrase that using words and phrases like “motored”, “automobile”, “vendor of comestibles”, and “fortnight” and end up with a clumsy sentence, each part of which would no doubt elicit cries here of “said no one ever!”. To which I would reply, “said someone, sometime, somewhere, else it wouldn’t be in the dictionary!”

    It was said here yesterday that “just because a contrivance has been used in crossword puzzles doesn’t make it grammatically acceptable”. True, but if that “contrivance” is justified by a current dictionary entry, then it is “grammatically acceptable”, and the fact that a lot of puzzles have used it over a lengthy period of time just says that, for decades, setters and editors of crossword puzzles have actually paid attention to what’s in the dictionary.

    Of course, there are words in the older, larger dictionaries that we might all appreciate having fallen out of use. Recently, in some 90- to 100-year-old puzzles that have come to our attention, Glenn and I have encountered words like “dragade”, “prakrit”, “drongos”, “mandore”, “ectogenic”, “ratiocinate”, “moidore”, “trapanned”, “tirr”, “simar”, “biggin”, “aubade”, “fahaka”, “ligans”, “naevi”, “redient”, “igasurin”, “ajoupa”, “pterygoda”, and “pteropega”. Admittedly, there is a certain fascination in digging through these untidy piles of old words, but I’m very grateful that most of the puzzles I do now are free of them.

  2. @glen – I thought yesterday’s NEWSDAY was a little tricky. Will do today’s next!

    @tonymichaels – you referring to DC UNITED wsj crossword? I had a hard start to that with BEARD CHUG then realized the DC trick. Then the weird sounding answers made sense.

    Today’s la times – no errors. But 54A gave me fits. Didn’t know what a BIRKENSTOCK was and when I had TS TRAP I thought it might be a mouse trap? So maybe US TRAP? But that would give me MOUE? was that a subatomic particle in a light beam? Overthinking it… again. Left it as TS TRAP…. Oh, it’s a T STRAP!!!!
    Liked 65A.. Had me going in a different Bridge direction. BEAU was cute. How does the crossword constructor know where he lives?

  3. @glen yup , it was tough for me. The UTAH theme wasn’t hard. It was all the other clues. A sundry of misdirection.

    My big miss was ” Org. For the Williamses” . There were several others I didn’t know but my crosses saved me.

  4. A bit easier than average for a Friday? But enjoyable. Incentive theme without going over the top.
    Was Wednesday toughest this week?

  5. Not my best today. Had USA instead of USO and completely blew the
    Erie answer to the mnemonic. The only mnemonic that came to mind
    this morning was “roygbiv”. Oh well, tomorrow is another day even
    if it is Saturday.

  6. This seemed way to easy for a Friday…I’m sure the powers that be are just lulling us into a false sense of security before they lower the boom on us tomorrow…

    On to the WSJ.

  7. 27:20 with the same 2 errors as @Mary.
    I guess I’m too blue collar to understand Bills explanation of the theme🤪
    Stay safe😀

  8. Way too much pontificating going on in this blog by certain people.
    On another subject, why is the answer to 31A “ail?”

    1. It’s a synonym for bother, albeit a bit old-fashioned and not used much anymore I guess. My papa said it a lot…”What’s been ailing you young man?” Haven’t been able to call myself that for eons(crossword staple!).. so I guess it (and I) are a bit archaic. 🙂

  9. 19:44 – 4 cheats, no errors.

    Didn’t know MOHR, ALIA, MARE, TSTRAP and wasn’t good enough to get the crosses.

    Happy with the time, and yes, thought it a bit easy for a Friday, but I’ll take it

    Be Well.

  10. I thought the puzzle was clever and medium difficulty. I got the theme on the first one and had no trouble with the rest. Good job!

    Jeri T.

  11. 19:13, and staggered to the finish line error free, somehow.

    Another tortured, forced, labored “theme” not worth the ink wasted in printing this grid.

  12. Finished the puzzle, which doesn’t always happen on a Friday.
    I still don’t get the theme, although it helped me quite a bit. I just noticed they were common phrases which had the word IN taken out.
    My first mnemonic thought was Every Good Boy Does Fine, and then of course Roygbiv.
    My biggest problem in solving puzzles is reading my own handwriting. And no, I don’t want to do it online. I get tired of looking at screens.

    1. “My biggest problem in solving puzzles is reading my own handwriting.”

      That was the case for me as well. I just let whatever muscles atrophy for doing that by typing and being behind screens for probably 20 years and only picking up a pen to write checks. I’ve put a lot of work into trying to be able to write these puzzles both legibly and without hurting a lot during it.

      The thing is though, I’m almost at the point now that grabbing some of these to do online is a lot less trouble than getting the print done, so I do about half-and-half these days.

  13. 13:08 – no errors or lookups. Revised: IPAD>IPOD, ETAL>ALIA.

    The theme answers are rubrics. Initially, I thought “in the” was simply being omitted, and so it took me a little time to figure out why THE was included in the answers.

    Nothing new in this one. Relatively easy for a Friday.

  14. I’m a bit bewildered regarding why the constructor used the word “literally” in the clues. Is there some definition or meaning of that word that refers to re-ordering words in a phrase? Anyone care to explain?

    1. The constructors used “X in the Y” kind of phrases as their theme. The “literally” part denotes the ordering of the phrase. Like for “babe in the woods”, [THEBABEWOODS] literally has “babe” in “the woods” or inside of it. Often times with these puzzles, clues/answers will have a cryptic meaning behind them where they don’t look to describe the answer but some facet of the answer and this is one case. Another good example of a clue like this is “Tapestry infestation?” I can leave that as an exercise for the reader to figure out.

  15. Somewhat tricky Friday for me; took 15:04 with no peeks or errors, although my PC crashed about half way through and that probably affected my time a little in the restart.

    Got the theme – kind of – after the second theme clue and just went with it. Remembered MOHR from seeing this guy in the puzzles at least twice now, but didn’t know MARE, which almost caused trouble there. I guessed R, which got me the banner.

    @Tim in Sequim – I’ve been pondering that myself, and just a guess is, if you have the adage “babe in the woods,” you could call “babe woods” a literal expression of that metaphor.

    @Allen – Worldle is at https://worldle.teuteuf.fr/ I knew today’s after 3 guesses but couldn’t remember the name of the place. Needed 4 guesses on Wordle today.

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