LA Times Crossword 21 Feb 22, Monday

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Constructed by: Timothy Schenck
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Body Double

Themed answers are common phrases in the format “X-TO-X”, where X is a BODY part:

  • 63A 1984 De Palma film, and a hint to five puzzle answers : BODY DOUBLE
  • 17A How a boat may rock : SIDE-TO-SIDE
  • 21A How boxers square off : TOE-TO-TOE
  • 27A How Fred and Ginger sometimes danced : CHEEK-TO-CHEEK
  • 48A How BFFs converse : HEART-TO-HEART
  • 55A How people may agreeably see : EYE-TO-EYE

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

Bill’s time: 4m 28s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Skin growth : WART

A wart is a small eruption on the skin caused by a localized viral infection. Apparently, the most successful treatment is topical use of salicylic acid, with a cure rate of 75%. I think it’s best to try to avoid getting them …

10 Riot spray : MACE

“Mace” is actually a brand name, one introduced by Lake Erie Chemical when they started to manufacture “Chemical Mace”, with the name being a play on the club-like weapon from days of old. Mace was originally a form of tear gas, but Mace today uses a formula that is actually a pepper spray, a different formulation.

14 Camera or eye part : IRIS

The iris diaphragm of a lens is analogous to the iris of the eye, in that it is the opening through which light passes. The size of that aperture changes the amount of light passing through the lens. The size of the aperture is routinely referred to as the f-stop, and can be varied on many cameras.

The iris is the colored part of the eye. It has an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.

15 Bates __: “Psycho” setting : MOTEL

Bates Motel and house were constructed on the backlot of Universal Studios for the 1960 HItchcock movie “Psycho”. They are still standing, and for me are highlights of the backlot tour that is available to visitors.

The classic Alfred Hitchcock suspense film “Psycho” released in 1960 is based on a 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch. The Bloch novel in turn is loosely based on actual crimes committed by murderer and grave robber Ed Gein. When “Psycho” was making its initial run in theaters, latecomers were not granted admission, abiding by a policy instigated by Hitchcock himself. He felt that anyone missing the opening scenes would not enjoy the film.

16 Muslim holy man : IMAM

An imam is a Muslim leader, and often the person in charge of a mosque and/or perhaps a Muslim community.

19 Busting agent : NARC

“Narc” and “narco” are slang terms describing a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. Both words are short for “narcotics officer”. Narcs might work for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

20 Ziti or rigatoni : PASTA

Cylindrical pasta is known in general as “penne”, and there are many variants. For example, ziti is a particularly large and long tube with square-cut ends. “Penne” is the plural of “penna”, the Italian for “feather, quill”.

Rigatoni is a tubular pasta that is relatively short, and with ridges along its length. The name “rigatoni” comes from the Italian “rigato” meaning “ridged, lined”.

26 Macho : VIRILE

“Vir” is the Latin word for “man”. It is the root of our word “virile”, for example, meaning “manly”.

A macho man is one showing pride in his masculinity. “Macho” is a Spanish word for “male animal”.

27 How Fred and Ginger sometimes danced : CHEEK-TO-CHEEK

Fred Astaire’s real name was Frederick Austerlitz. Fred was from Omaha, Nebraska and before he made it big in the movies, he was one half of a celebrated music hall act with his sister Adele. The pair were particularly successful in the UK, and Adele ended up marrying into nobility in England, taking the name Lady Charles Cavendish.

I am a huge Ginger Rogers fan. She is famous as the on-screen and dancing partner of Fred Astaire. However, my favorite films are those romantic comedies she made later in her career, especially “The Major and the Minor” and “Monkey Business”. There is a musical stage show about Ginger Rogers’ life called “Backwards in High Heels: The Ginger Musical” that debuted in 2007. The title is taken from a 1982 “Frank & Ernest” cartoon about Fred & Ginger” with the words:

Sure he was great, but don’t forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did – backwards and in high heels.

33 Stadium attendance counter : STILE

A stile is a structure allowing people to pass over or through a fence, while at the same time preventing livestock from escaping. The derivative term “turnstile” describes a revolving structure in a wall or fence that allows the controlled passage of people.

38 Not fer : AGIN

If you’re not “fer” (for), then you could be “agin” (against).

42 Lotus position discipline : YOGA

“Asana” is a Sanskrit word that translates literally as “sitting down”. The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called “padmasana”.

47 Fond du __, Wisconsin : LAC

“Fond du lac” is French and translates as “bottom of the lake”. It is an apt name for the Wisconsin city of Fond du Lac, located at the foot of Lake Winnebago. If you like to play the lottery, you might want to stop off in Fond du Lac as there is a stretch of South Main Street called “Miracle Mile”. Back in 1993, someone bought a ticket there and won $100 million. Then in 2006, another store sold a ticket that won $209 million. These things always come in threes, so buy your tickets now …

48 How BFFs converse : HEART-TO-HEART

Best friend forever (BFF)

51 Division in a church : SCHISM

A schism is a split or division, especially in a religion.

54 Black gemstone : ONYX

Onyx is a form of quartz that comes in many different shades, but most often it’s the black version that’s used for jewelry. The name “onyx” comes from the Greek word for “fingernail”, as onyx in the flesh color is said to resemble a fingernail.

63 1984 De Palma film, and a hint to five puzzle answers : BODY DOUBLE

“Body Double” is a 1984 thriller film that takes its inspiration from three specific Alfred Hitchcock films from the fifties: “Rear Window”, “Vertigo” and “Dial M for Murder”. Brian De Palma conceived the original story, co-wrote the script, and produced and directed the film. Somehow, I haven’t seen this movie, but I hear very good things …

66 “__ Talkin'”: Bee Gees #1 hit : JIVE

“Jive Talkin’” is a 1975 song written and recorded by the Bee Gees. The rhythm of the song was inspired by the sound the group’s car made each day as it crossed a bridge on the way to the recording studios in Miami. As a result, the original title was “Drive Talking”.

67 Birch relative : ALDER

Alders are deciduous (i.e. not evergreen) trees with fruit called catkins. The tree carries both male and female catkins that look very similar to each other, but the male catkin is longer than the female. Alders are pollinated by wind usually, although bees can play a role.

Birch is a hardwood tree. The smooth bark of the birch has eye-like features, leading to the tree’s nickname of “the Watchful Tree”.

68 Cosecant’s reciprocal : SINE

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio: a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are cosecant, secant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

70 Video chat choice : SKYPE

The main feature of the Skype application when introduced was that it allows voice communication to take place over the Internet (aka VoIP). Skype has other features such as video conferencing and instant messaging, but the application made its name from voice communication. Skype was founded by two Scandinavian entrepreneurs and the software necessary was developed by a team of engineers in Estonia. The development project was originally called “Sky peer-to-peer” so the first commercial name for the application was “Skyper”. This had to be shortened to “Skype” because the skyper.com domain name was already in use.

71 Abbr. at the end of a list : ET AL

“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.

Down

2 Mozart’s “Il mio tesoro,” e.g. : ARIA

The aria “Il mio tesoro” comes from Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni”. The title translates into “My treasure”.

4 Scary African fly : TSETSE

The tsetse fly is responsible for the transmission of sleeping sickness, a disease that is more correctly called African trypanosomiasis. The disease is only observed in humans who have been bitten by a tsetse fly that is infected with the trypanosome parasitic protozoan.

5 Managed care gp. : HMO

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) or Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). Make your choice, if you can …

6 Camera named for a Greek goddess : EOS

I’ve been using Canon EOS cameras for decades now, and have nothing but good things to say about both the cameras and the lenses. The EOS name stands for Electro-Optical System, and was chosen because it evokes the name of Eos, the Titan goddess of dawn from Greek mythology.

10 Beethoven’s Ninth is written in one : MINOR KEY

Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9” has to be one of the most recognizable pieces of music in the classical repertoire. “Ode to Joy”, based on the final movement of the work, is now the anthem of the European Union. If you’d like to see a fictional tale that explores Beethoven’s life at the time he was writing the “Ninth Symphony”, I highly recommend you take a look at the 2006 movie “Copying Beethoven”. Ed Harris plays Beethoven, and the soundtrack is superb.

11 Stradivari’s tutor : AMATI

The first of the Amati family to make violins was Andrea Amati, who lived in the 14th century. He was succeeded by his sons Antonio and Girolamo. In turn, the two brothers were succeeded by Girolamo’s son Nicolo. Nicolo had a few students who achieved fame making musical instruments as well. One was his own son, Girolamo, and another was the famed Antonio Stradivari.

Generations of the Stradivari family produced violins and other stringed instruments, the most famous of which were constructed by Antonio Stradivari.

12 Christmas song : CAROL

The word “carol” came into English via the Old French word “carole”, which was a “dance in a ring”. When “carol” made it into English, about 1300 AD, the term was used to describe a dance as well as a joyful song. Around 1500 AD, carols that were sung came to be associated with Christmas.

13 Roast host : EMCEE

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

22 Bleacher feature : TIER

At a sports event one might sit in the bleachers. “Bleachers” is a particularly American term used to describe the tiered stands that provide seating for spectators. These seats were originally wooden planks, and as they were uncovered they would be bleached by the sun, giving them the name we use today. Sometimes the fans using the bleachers might be referred to as “bleacherites”.

27 Chew the fat : CHAT

Back in the day, a wealthy person would “bring home the bacon”, and sit around with guests “chewing the fat”.

28 Tipsy from wine, say : HIGH

The term “tipsy” comes from the verb “to tip” meaning “to overturn, knock over”, and has been meaning “drunk” since the late 1500s.

29 Kuwaiti ruler : EMIR

The State of Kuwait sits at the northern tip of the Persian Gulf, sharing a border to the north with Iraq. After WWI, Kuwait was a Protectorate within the British Empire and then gained independence from the UK in 1961. Iraq annexed Kuwait in 1990, which led to the Gulf War of 1990-1991.

30 “Cry Macho” (2021) star Eastwood : CLINT

“Cry Macho” is a 2021 Western movie set in the 1970s. It is based on a 1975 novel of the same name by N. Richard Nash. The film’s director Clint Eastwood plays the lead role, a retired rodeo star who had a severe back injury.

Actor and director Clint Eastwood is a native of San Francisco, California. As a few of us perhaps remember, Eastwood’s big break was playing the supporting role of Rowdy Yates in the TV show “Rawhide” in the late fifties and early sixties. He then became the face of the spaghetti western genre of movie in the sixties, most notably in the classic “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. In later years, Eastwood branched out into directing and producing with remarkable success. In the late eighties, he also served as mayor of his hometown, Carmel-by-the-Sea.

35 Pepsi, for one : COLA

The Pepsi-Cola formulation was developed by one Caleb Bradham who made the drink at home and sold it as Brad’s Drink. Bradham’s aim was to provide a drink that was pleasant to taste, that would aid digestion and boost energy. Included in the formula were pepsin (a digestive enzyme) and kola nuts. These two ingredients inspired the brand name Pepsi-Cola. That name was shortened to just “Pepsi” in 1961.

36 Food thickener : AGAR

Agar (also “agar-agar”) is a jelly extracted from seaweed that has many uses. Agar is found in Japanese desserts, and can also be used as a food thickener or even as a laxative. In the world of science, it is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in Petri dishes.

39 One of Nolan Ryan’s seven : NO-HITTER

Nolan Ryan is famous for having more career strikeouts than any other baseball pitcher. However, he also holds the record for the most career walks and wild pitches. Another record that Ryan holds is the most no-hitters, a total of seven over his career.

44 Kiss from Consuela : BESO

In Spanish, a “beso” (kiss) is an “indicación de afecto” (display of affection).

49 One-celled pond dwellers : AMEBAS

An ameba (also “amoeba”) is a single-celled microorganism. The name comes from the Greek “amoibe”, meaning change. The name is quite apt, as the cell changes shape readily as the ameba moves, eats and reproduces.

51 Conductor Ozawa : SEIJI

Seiji Ozawa is most famous for his work as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, although he is also the principal conductor of the Vienna State Opera. Ozawa is renowned for wearing a white turtleneck under his dress suit when he conducts, rather than the traditional starched shirt and white tie.

56 Egg yellow : YOLK

The yolk is the yellow part of a chicken’s egg. The term “yolk” comes from the Old English “geolu” meaning “yellow”.

59 Passing words? : OBIT

Our word “obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”. The Latin term was used for “record of the death of a person”, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

60 Arm bone : ULNA

The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinky-side”.

65 Dr. of hip-hop : 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.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Skin growth : WART
5 Learns via word of mouth : HEARS
10 Riot spray : MACE
14 Camera or eye part : IRIS
15 Bates __: “Psycho” setting : MOTEL
16 Muslim holy man : IMAM
17 How a boat may rock : SIDE-TO-SIDE
19 Busting agent : NARC
20 Ziti or rigatoni : PASTA
21 How boxers square off : TOE-TO-TOE
23 Generous slice : SLAB
26 Macho : VIRILE
27 How Fred and Ginger sometimes danced : CHEEK-TO-CHEEK
32 “The guy over there” : HIM
33 Stadium attendance counter : STILE
34 Sports show rundown : RECAP
38 Not fer : AGIN
40 Assumed name : ALIAS
42 Lotus position discipline : YOGA
43 Pulsate : THROB
45 Furnish with a fund : ENDOW
47 Fond du __, Wisconsin : LAC
48 How BFFs converse : HEART-TO-HEART
51 Division in a church : SCHISM
54 Black gemstone : ONYX
55 How people may agreeably see : EYE-TO-EYE
58 Use elbow grease on : SCOUR
62 Take __ the waist: alter : IN AT
63 1984 De Palma film, and a hint to five puzzle answers : BODY DOUBLE
66 “__ Talkin'”: Bee Gees #1 hit : JIVE
67 Birch relative : ALDER
68 Cosecant’s reciprocal : SINE
69 Cake decorator : ICER
70 Video chat choice : SKYPE
71 Abbr. at the end of a list : ET AL

Down

1 Thin trail of smoke : WISP
2 Mozart’s “Il mio tesoro,” e.g. : ARIA
3 Frees (of) : RIDS
4 Scary African fly : TSETSE
5 Managed care gp. : HMO
6 Camera named for a Greek goddess : EOS
7 Going __: bickering : AT IT
8 Second effort : REDO
9 Place to hide a metaphorical ace : SLEEVE
10 Beethoven’s Ninth is written in one : MINOR KEY
11 Stradivari’s tutor : AMATI
12 Christmas song : CAROL
13 Roast host : EMCEE
18 Conversations : TALKS
22 Bleacher feature : TIER
24 “__ boy!” : ATTA
25 Water heater : BOILER
27 Chew the fat : CHAT
28 Tipsy from wine, say : HIGH
29 Kuwaiti ruler : EMIR
30 “Cry Macho” (2021) star Eastwood : CLINT
31 Set out for, as a destination : HEAD TO
35 Pepsi, for one : COLA
36 Food thickener : AGAR
37 Agreement : PACT
39 One of Nolan Ryan’s seven : NO-HITTER
41 “Any day now” : SOON
44 Kiss from Consuela : BESO
46 “And your reason?” : WHY SO?
49 One-celled pond dwellers : AMEBAS
50 “The dog ate my homework” is a sad one : EXCUSE
51 Conductor Ozawa : SEIJI
52 Pessimist : CYNIC
53 Throw with effort : HEAVE
56 Egg yellow : YOLK
57 Drain swirl : EDDY
59 Passing words? : OBIT
60 Arm bone : ULNA
61 Fishing rod attachment : REEL
64 “You betcha” : YEP
65 Dr. of hip-hop : DRE

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 21 Feb 22, Monday”

  1. 3:43, no errors.

    @Allen (yesterday)
    It isn’t. It’s an inherent problem with themes. They tended to be cleverer in the past, but there’s always a question of originality. Most of the time, since the theme is required for the puzzle, one is just slopped together that’s often not very coherent or entertaining.

    1. @Glenn – I need some guidance, if you would be so kind.

      I usually don’t even attempt a Friday or Saturday because I would need a dozen or so cheats (Unlike today which was ridiculously easy).

      Should I attempt the “hard ones” and keep peeking or should I just continue with some that are just a bit difficult (usually), such as some of Arkadiums “Themed”, “Best Daily American”, etc?

      I usually only try NYT mon-wed or thu.

      Be Well.

  2. The power went out in my neighborhood for a while, so I sat at an east window to solve my easy Monday puzzle; a beautiful feeling.
    Also had SCrub before SCOUR. Nice seeing EMIR in same puzzle as IMAM.
    It’s expected to warm up today.

  3. 4:07

    Fun theme. Now I’ve got “Dancing CHEEKTOCHEEK” playing on the brain radio. When I got to the revealer, though, the first movie that came to mind was From Dusk to Dawn.

  4. Nice and easy Monday; took me 7:37 with no peeks or errors – unless we’re talking about Boeings. Typed in akira before realizing that I needed somebody else. Nice theme that proved useful.

    Fascinating discussion here, listening to “Fresh Air” in the background: “because of trading AI software, they sometimes get these weird glitches, where if Ann Hathaway debuts in a new movie, that Berkshire Hathaway stock goes up, because….no real reason.” (sic – more or less)

  5. Whoops, that should read “World Affairs Council.” Interview with Rupert Russell on his new book: “Price Wars: How the Commodity Markets made our Chaotic World.”

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