LA Times Crossword 23 Feb 22, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Judy Hughes
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Hammer out a Win

Themed answers each start with word associated with a WIN:

  • 54A Work really hard for victory … and a hint to the start of 20-, 31- and 39-Across : HAMMER OUT A WIN
  • 20A Train vigorously : WHIP INTO SHAPE
  • 31A Show eager anticipation : LICK ONE’S CHOPS
  • 39A Search everywhere : BEAT THE BUSHES

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

Bill’s time: 5m 56s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Pierre’s st. : SDAK

Here’s an old chestnut of a trivia question for you … what’s the only state capital in the Union for which the name of the capital and the name of its state share no common letters? You guessed it: Pierre, South Dakota …

5 Retro ski area sight : T-BAR

A T-bar is a ski lift on which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of a T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There’s also a J-bar, which is a similar device but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

14 Dance at Jewish weddings : HORA

The hora is a circle dance that originated in the Balkans. It was brought to Israel by Romanian settlers, and is often performed to traditional, Israeli folk songs. The hora (also “horah”) is a regular sight at Jewish weddings. Sometimes the honoree at an event is raised on a chair during the hora.

17 Like a GI doing dishes : ON KP

The initialism “KP” is US military slang that stands for either “kitchen police” or “kitchen patrol”.

19 Former Portuguese territory in China : MACAO

Macau (also “Macao”) is an autonomous territory of China located on the Pearl River estuary about 40 miles west of Hong Kong. Macau was a Portuguese colony from the mid-1500s until 1999. It was in fact the first European colony in China, and the last, having been handed back to the Chinese in 1999, two years after Hong Kong was returned by the British. Macau’s economy is driven by tourism and gambling. The territory’s gaming revenue is the highest for any gambling center in the world.

24 Worldwide cultural org. : UNESCO

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is better known by the acronym “UNESCO”. UNESCO’s mission is to help build peace in the world using programs focused on education, the sciences, culture, communication and information. The organization’s work is aimed in particular at Africa, and gender equalization. UNESCO also administers a World Heritage Site program that designates and helps conserve sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to humanity across the world.

29 Like wee bairns : SMA

The Scots dialect word sma’ means “small”. The word famously appears in the Robert Burns poem, “To a Mouse”. The pertinent lines read:

A daimen icker in a thrave
’S a sma’ request;
I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,
An’ never miss’t!

which “translates” to:

An occasional ear of corn out of twenty-four sheaves
Is a small request;
I’ll be blest with the rest of the corn,
And never miss the ear you took!

“Bairn” is a Scots word meaning “child”.

30 Street-paving goop : TAR

The terms “tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call “tarmac”.

37 Brazil __ : NUT

The Brazil nut tree is native to South America, however, the largest exporter of Brazil nuts isn’t Brazil but is in fact Bolivia. And, the Brazil nut isn’t actually a nut in the strict sense of the word and instead is a seed (as opposed to a hard-shelled fruit).

38 Cookies-and-cream ingredient : OREO

Apparently, Oreo Ice Cream flavors were introduced relatively recently, in 2010.

46 Honor society starter : PHI …
(4D Honor society ender : … KAPPA)
Phi Beta Kappa was the first collegiate Greek fraternity in the US, founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. The organization served as a model for future collegiate fraternities and sororities, although in the 19th century Phi Beta Kappa distanced itself from the fraternal focus and transformed into the honor society that it is today, recognizing academic excellence. The initials Phi Beta Kappa stand for “philosophia biou kybernētēs”, which translates into “philosophy is the guide of life”. The symbol of the Phi Beta Kappa Society is a golden key.

47 Subject of the Book of Proverbs : WISDOM

The Book of Proverbs is in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament. The original Hebrew title for the book translates as “Proverbs of Solomon”.

58 Classic mother-and-son statue : PIETA

The Pietà is a representation of the Virgin Mary holding in her arms the dead body of her son Jesus. The most famous Pietà is undoubtedly the sculpted rendition by Michelangelo that is located in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. That particular sculpture is thought to be the only work that Michelangelo signed. In some depictions of the Pietà, Mary and her son are surrounded by other figures from the New Testament. Such depictions are known as Lamentations.

60 Pub projectile : DART

Darts is a game that’s often played in English and Irish pubs, even over here in America. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called “Round the Clock” is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 on the dartboard in sequence.

65 Cline of country : PATSY

Patsy Cline was a country music singer who managed to cross over into the world of pop music where she enjoyed great success. Cline is one of a long list of musical legends who died in plane crashes. Cline was 30 years old when she was killed in 1963 in a Piper Comanche plane piloted by her manager, Randy Hughes. Hughes and Cline decided to make that last flight despite warnings of inclement weather, and it was a severe storm that brought down the plane in a forest outside Camden, Tennessee.

Down

2 Hawaiian singing legend : DON HO

Singer and entertainer Don Ho apparently had a pretty liberal arrangement with his wife. When Ho was touring with his two backing singers, Patti Swallie and Elizabeth Guevara, all three of them shared a room together. He had two children with each of his roommates, giving a total of ten kids, including the six he had with his wife. The arrangement was quite open, it seems, with all ten kids visiting each other regularly.

3 Alan of “Argo” : ARKIN

Actor Alan Arkin won his only Oscar (Best Supporting Actor) for his role in “Little Miss Sunshine” from 2006 (a movie that I just did not understand!). More recently, Arkin appeared alongside Michael Douglas in the TV show “The Kominsky Method”. Arkin plays the character Norman Newlander. Arkin chose the name “Newlander” in honor of his wife Suzanne Newlander.

“Argo” is a 2012 movie that is based on the true story of the rescue of six diplomats hiding out during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The film was directed by and stars Ben Affleck and is produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, the same pair who produced the excellent “Good Night, and Good Luck”. I highly recommend “Argo”, although I found the scenes of religious fervor to be very frightening …

5 Town where the New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets played home games for their first year : TEANECK

The township of Teaneck, New Jersey is a suburb that forms part of the New York metropolitan area. One of Teaneck’s claims to fame is that it is the eastern terminus of Interstate 80, which runs all the way to San Francisco in the west.

The NBA’s Brooklyn Nets were the New Jersey Nets until 2012, and were based in Newark. Prior to 1977, the team was known as the New York Nets and played in various locations on Long Island. Ten years earlier, the Nets were called the New Jersey Americans and were headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey.

7 The “A” in SATB : ALTO

The voice types soprano, alto, tenor and bass can be abbreviated to the initialism “SATB”.

8 Bar shelf lineup : RYES

For whiskey to be labeled as “rye” in the US, it has to be distilled from at least 51% rye grain. In Canada however, a drink called rye whiskey sometimes contains no rye at all.

10 Act bonkers : GO APE

The word “bonkers” meaning “crazy” originated in the fifties. The term might come from navy slang meaning “slightly drunk”, behaving as though one received a “bonk” on the head.

12 North __ : SEA

The North Sea is an offshoot of the Atlantic Ocean that is located between Britain and Scandinavia.

21 Apple desktop : IMAC

The iMac is a desktop computer platform that Apple introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is an “all-in-one” design, with the computer console and monitor integrated. The iMac also came in a range of colors that Apple marketed as “flavors”, such as strawberry, blueberry and lime.

28 Printer supply : TONER

The key features of a laser printer (or copier) are that it uses plain paper and produces quality text at high speed. Laser printers work by projecting a laser image of the printed page onto a rotating drum that is coated with photoconductors (material that becomes conductive when exposed to light). The areas of the drum exposed to the laser carry a different charge than the unexposed areas. Dry ink (toner) sticks to the exposed areas due to electrostatic charge. The toner is then transferred to paper by contact and is fused into the paper by the application of heat. So, that explains why paper coming out of a laser printer is warm, and sometimes powdery.

31 Bare bones musical notation : LEAD SHEET

A performer can sometimes use what’s called a musical lead sheet to quickly learn a new song. The lead sheet contains just the melody line, basic chords and lyrics. A collection of lead sheets is called a “fake book”, a book that allows a singer to “fake” familiarity with a song.

36 Business with a slicer : DELI

The word “delicatessen” (or “deli” for short) came into English from the German “Delikatessen”. The Germans borrowed the word from French, in which language “délicatesse” means “delicious things (to eat)”. The term’s ultimate root is “delicatus”, the Latin for “giving pleasure, delightful”.

41 Soccer great Mia : HAMM

Mia Hamm is a retired American soccer player. She played as a forward on the US national team that won the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991. Hamm scored 158 international goals, which was more than any other player in the world, male or female, until the record was broken in 2013. Amazingly, Hamm was born with a clubfoot, and so had to wear corrective shoes when she was growing up.

50 Anklebone : TALUS

The collection of seven bones in the foot just below the ankle are known collectively as the tarsus. One of those bones is the talus (plural “tali”), more commonly called “ankle bone”. The talus is the lower part of the ankle joint and articulates with the lower ends of the tibia and fibula in the lower leg.

52 Old copy machine : MIMEO

A mimeograph (also “mimeo”) is a cheap printing press that applies ink to paper through a stencil wrapped around a rotating drum. Mimeographs are still around, but have largely been replaced by offset printers and photocopiers.

53 Four before mayo : ENERO

In Spanish, “mayo” (May) comes four months after “enero” (January).

55 Dutch cheese : EDAM

Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

56 __ avis : RARA

A “rara avis” is anything that is very rare. The Latin term translates as “rare bird”.

58 Very softly, in music : PPP

The musical term “pianissimo” is abbreviated to “pp”, and is an instruction to the performer to sing or play very softly. The concept can be extended to “ppp”, short for “pianississimo”, an instruction of play even more softly. The opposite instructions are fortissimo (ff) and fortississimo (fff), instructions to perform very loudly, and even more loudly.

59 Sr.’s nest egg : IRA

Individual retirement account (IRA)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Pierre’s st. : SDAK
5 Retro ski area sight : T-BAR
9 Sounding amazed : AGASP
14 Dance at Jewish weddings : HORA
15 Slippery : EELY
16 Not exactly a company person : LONER
17 Like a GI doing dishes : ON KP
18 It starts the pot : ANTE
19 Former Portuguese territory in China : MACAO
20 Train vigorously : WHIP INTO SHAPE
23 Obscure : NO-NAME
24 Worldwide cultural org. : UNESCO
27 Part of a play : ACT
29 Like wee bairns : SMA
30 Street-paving goop : TAR
31 Show eager anticipation : LICK ONE’S CHOPS
35 Citrus drinks : ADES
37 Brazil __ : NUT
38 Cookies-and-cream ingredient : OREO
39 Search everywhere : BEAT THE BUSHES
44 Timeworn : OLD
45 Paddle relative : OAR
46 Honor society starter : PHI …
47 Subject of the Book of Proverbs : WISDOM
49 Neither early nor late : ON TIME
54 Work really hard for victory … and a hint to the start of 20-, 31- and 39-Across : HAMMER OUT A WIN
58 Classic mother-and-son statue : PIETA
60 Pub projectile : DART
61 Yellowish green : LIME
62 Primp : PREEN
63 Geometry product : AREA
64 Techie, say : USER
65 Cline of country : PATSY
66 Sail support : MAST
67 “Get lost!” : SHOO!

Down

1 Exhibited, as a home for sale : SHOWN
2 Hawaiian singing legend : DON HO
3 Alan of “Argo” : ARKIN
4 Honor society ender : … KAPPA
5 Town where the New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets played home games for their first year : TEANECK
6 Twisted : BENT
7 The “A” in SATB : ALTO
8 Bar shelf lineup : RYES
9 Annual fact book : ALMANAC
10 Act bonkers : GO APE
11 Family tree members : ANCESTORS
12 North __ : SEA
13 Play-for-pay : PRO
21 Apple desktop : IMAC
22 Sings without lyrics : HUMS
25 Common superhero garb : CAPE
26 Estimate qualifier : OR SO
28 Printer supply : TONER
29 Prep : SETUP
31 Bare bones musical notation : LEAD SHEET
32 Loyal end? : -IST
33 Heart : NUB
34 Garden tool : HOE
35 Take __: acknowledge applause : A BOW
36 Business with a slicer : DELI
40 More than needed : TOO MANY
41 Soccer great Mia : HAMM
42 Call to from a distance : SHOUT AT
43 Clue : HINT
48 Sources of high school jitters : DATES
50 Anklebone : TALUS
51 “If only” : I WISH
52 Old copy machine : MIMEO
53 Four before mayo : ENERO
55 Dutch cheese : EDAM
56 __ avis : RARA
57 Mining targets : ORES
58 Very softly, in music : PPP
59 Sr.’s nest egg : IRA

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 23 Feb 22, Wednesday”

  1. 6:27, no errors.

    @Lou lu
    Online solvers should otherwise mark the squares you either got wrong or asked for in the process of solving. So that usually makes it a lot easier to see what you need to look at.

  2. No errors but at least 15 minutes. I was focused on the HAMMER and not the WIN. Couldn’t justify WHIP and LICK for a HAMMER? Bill had to shed the light.

    I-80 runs right through the middle of our great state. Can’t wait to show off how I know the eastern terminus of TEANECK! I looked up the WIKI history on TEANECK. A very interesting read. The name seems to have Dutch origin.

    I used a MIMEO machine. What a mess. When it worked, it was great. But if you typed an error on the stencil, good luck.
    Not sure who would win the messiest machine. The mimeo machine or that printer with the 5 gallon toner cartridge that you had to “shake” to get the toner to work. What a mess.

    1. I also used a MIMEO machine once a week for a year eons ago. You’re right, what a mess! Can’t believe there was a time in my life that copiers didn’t exist. 😆

  3. Easier than last Wednesday’s. Theme was decent. Not a huge fan of EELY. Also don’t like “st.” as an abbreviation for state. It doesn’t compute for me for some reason. Is “state” too easy to spell out? Does the abbr. make it more difficult (or just more annoying)? Have a good day, everyone

    1. Usually (not always), an abbreviation in a clue is a cue to the solver that the answer is also abbreviated in some way. In this case, this is true. [Pierre’s st.] is indeed SDAK which is indeed abbreviated. The bigger issue often that crosswords have these weird “only in crosswords” abbreviations. like S. Dak. but it’s one of those things you have to cope with and figure out as they seem to be way too common.

  4. play-for-pay = pro. Somehow I just don’t like that.
    And having Macau instead of Macao didn’t help.
    Looks like the usual hot shots had their usual great times.

  5. 10:19

    I really struggled to parse 31A into something that made sense. Maybe the constructor shouldn’t have ruled out KICKYOURBUTT.

  6. Good theme but didn’t really help. No look
    ups,no errors. Appreciated the explanation on SMA. Scottish is truly a “foreign” language…

  7. 13:12 and no errors. Lots of overwrites though, throughout. I didn’t find this one nearly as easy as Bill and others did.

  8. Somewhat tricky for a Wednesday; took 16:33 with no peeks or errors. Struggled with PRO and MACAO for longer than necessary and I just about gave up until I tried fixing SHOWs with the N that made a little more sense…whew! Didn’t know LEAD SHEET either but PIETA made more sense than PIaTA.

    At least the theme answers mostly made sense.

  9. I knew everything! And I remember the messy MIMEO.
    Scots is a northern Germanic language, and I got used to it years ago through Robert Burns’ poetry and songs, which I still love.

  10. 8:57 – no errors or lookups. One revision of TOOMUCH>TOOMANY.

    Did not know LEAD SHEET, or that MACAO (MACAU) was previously Portugese.

  11. A ‘user’ is not a techie. A user is to a driver of a car like a techie is to a car mechanic.

    ‘A gasp’ is not ‘sounding amazed’. It’s not doing anything since it’s not a verb, it’s a noun. ‘A gasp’ is a sound one makes when one is amazed. A correct clue would be ‘amazed sound’.

    ‘Cookies and cream ingredient’ should really be ‘oreos’, not ‘oreo’. Imagine someone saying that this concoction contains oreo. It’s actually humorous to see it written that way or to hear it out loud.

    Crossing an obscure place name with ‘eely’ isn’t really reasonable, but I suppose that’s sort of a common theme in this puzzle.

    The theme works with ‘hammer’ or ‘win’. ‘Whip’ is to beat something. To hit something a ‘lick’ or to ‘give licks’ (remember the days of paddlings in schools?) is to beat or hit something.

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