LA Times Crossword 26 Feb 22, Saturday

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Constructed by: Jamey Smith
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 10m 54s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Pulitzer-winning journalist for her Clinton-Lewinsky columns : DOWD

Maureen Dowd is a celebrated columnist for “The New York Times” as well as a best-selling author. Dowd won a Pulitzer for her columns about the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

13 Heckle : TAUNT

Originally, the verb “to heckle” meant “to question severely”, and for many years was associated with the public questioning of parliamentary candidates in Scotland. In more recent times, the meaning has evolved into questioning that is less polite and that is directed at stand-up comics.

14 2018 documentary about Alex Honnold’s conquest of El Capitan : FREE SOLO

“Free Solo” is an excellent, albeit frightening (to me), 2018 documentary about Alex Honnold’s record-setting free-solo ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. The film won that season’s Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, as well it should …

16 Like a classic Reuben : ON RYE

There are conflicting stories about the origin of the Reuben sandwich. One such story is that it was invented around 1914 by Arnold Reuben, an immigrant from Germany who owned Reuben’s Deli in New York.

18 Key of Chopin’s Ballade No. 1 : G MINOR

Frédéric Chopin completed his “Ballade No. 1” in 1835. It is a popular and quite famous piece. On the big screen, we hear it played in the excellent 1944 film “Gaslight”, and it also features prominently in the storyline of the 2002 movie “The Pianist”.

Frédéric Chopin was a Polish composer who spent most of his life in France. He was most famous for his piano works in the Romantic style. Chopin was a sickly man and died quite young, at 39. For many of his final years he had a celebrated and tempestuous relationship with the French author George Sand (the nom de plume of the Baroness Dudevant). Those years with Sand may have been turbulent, but they were very productive in terms of musical composition.

19 Mariner’s worry : REEFS

A reef is a ridge of stable material lying beneath the surface of a body of water. They can be made up of sand or rock, and also of coral. The largest coral reef on the planet is Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, which stretches over 1,400 miles.

33 “My Fair Lady” composer : LOEWE

Frederick Loewe was a composer who was best known for his collaborations with the lyricist Alan Jay Lerner, the most famous of which were “My Fair Lady”, “Gigi” and “Camelot”.

George Bernard Shaw’s play “Pygmalion” was adapted by Lerner and Loewe to become the Broadway musical “My Fair Lady”. The musical spun off the wonderful 1964 film of the same name starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. To cockney Eliza Doolittle, Professor Henry Higgins was “‘Enry ‘Iggins”.

34 Law school newbie : ONE L

“One L” is a name used in general for first-year law students, especially those attending Harvard.

44 Enervate : TIRE

To enervate is to drain of energy. “Enervare” is the Latin for “to weaken”.

46 John of Scotch fame : DEWAR

Dewar’s is a blended Scotch whisky introduced to the market in 1846 by John Dewar. Dewar’s White Label is the company’s most popular Scotch. It was first sold in 1899, and with a taste that is described as “heather and honey”. Dewar’s also makes some single malts, under the labels Aberfeldy 12 and Aberfeldy 21. Today, Dewar’s is owned by Bacardi.

48 Showrunner Shonda : RHIMES

Shonda Rhimes is the creator and head writer of the TV shows “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal”. She also serves as executive producer for the crime shows “How to Get Away with Murder” and “The Catch”. Rhimes also runs her own production company called Shondaland.

49 Colorful quartz variety : AMETHYST

Amethyst is a form of quartz that is purple in color. There was a belief that the stone protected the owner from drunkenness, which is how amethyst got its name. The Ancient Greek “ἀméthystos” means “not intoxicated”.

Quartz is a form of silicon oxide and is the second most abundant mineral found in the Earth’s crust, after feldspar. The name “quartz” comes into English via German, and probably ultimately derives from a Slavic word meaning “hard”.

53 Victim of Hermes : ARGUS

Argus Panoptes was a monster of Greek mythology. “Panoptes” means “all-seeing”, so over time Argus has been described as having many, many eyes. Argus was noted for being alert, always keeping some eyes open when sleeping. This characteristic led to Argus being used for a vigilant person, and has been adopted as the name for many newspapers. After the monster died, the goddess Hera transferred Argus’s eyes to the tail of the peacock.

Hermes was the Greek god of transitions and boundaries, one who intercedes between mortals and the divine. The Roman equivalent to Hermes was the god Mercury.

54 Trepidatious query starter : DARE I ASK?

Our word “trepidation”, meaning “fear”. comes from the Latin verb “tridare” meaning “to tremble”.

58 City near Düsseldorf : ESSEN

Essen is a large industrial city located on the River Ruhr in western Germany. The city experienced major population growth in the mid-1800s that was driven by the iron works established by the Krupp family.

Düsseldorf lies in the west of Germany, fairly close to the border with France. The city is located on the River Rhine.

Down

1 __ Fireball: hot candy : ATOMIC

The Atomic Fireball is a type of jawbreaker. It is a round and hard candy, with a strong cinnamon flavor. Apparently, flight controllers in NASA like them, and they are the “Console Candy of Choice” in Mission Control.

2 Boxer, for instance : CANINE

The boxer breed of dog (one of my favorites) originated in Germany. My first dog was a boxer/Labrador mix, a beautiful combination. Our current family dog is a boxer/pug mix, and is another gorgeous animal.

5 Sound choice : STEREO

Monophonic sound (“mono”) is sound reproduced using just one audio channel, which is usually played out of just one speaker. Stereophonic sound is reproduced using two audio channels, with the sound from each channel played out of two different speakers. The pair of stereo speakers are usually positioned apart from each other so that sound appears to come from between the two. Quadraphonic sound (4.0 surround sound) uses four audio channels with the sound played back through four speakers that are often positioned at the corners of the room in which one is listening.

6 Tex. airport that’s bigger than Manhattan : DFW

Dallas/Fort Worth Airport (DFW) is the largest hub for American Airlines, and is also the third busiest airport in the world in terms of aircraft landings and takeoffs (Chicago O’Hare is the world’s busiest, followed by Atlanta). At 27 square miles in area, DFW is the second-largest airport in the US, second only to Denver. That makes Dallas/Fort Worth larger than the island of Manhattan!

7 1/24 of un giorno : ORA

In Italian, an “ora” (hour) is 1/24 of “un giorno” (a day).

8 One of China’s Northern Dynasties : WEI

There were two Wei dynasties in Chinese history. The Cao Wei (220-265) existed during the Three Kingdoms period, and the Northern Wei (386-534) existed during the Southern and Northern dynasties period.

11 “Frozen” snowman who sings “In Summer” : OLAF

In the 2013 animated film “Frozen”, Olaf is a happy-go-lucky snowman who provides a lot of comic relief in the movie. Olaf is voiced by actor and comedian Josh Gad.

12 Some spammers : BOTS

A bot is a computer program designed to imitate human behavior. It might crawl around the Web doing searches for example, or it might participate in discussions in chat rooms by giving pre-programmed responses. It might also act as a competitor in a computer game.

18 Sporty rides : GTS

In the automotive world, “GT” stands for “Grand Touring” or “Gran Turismo”.

21 Calif. home of works by Matisse and Warhol : SFMOMA

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) was founded in 1935 in the city’s War Memorial Building. The museum’s collection moved to its own building in 1995.

Henri Matisse was a French artist renowned for his contribution to modern art. In his early career, Matisse was classed as a “fauve”, one of the group of artists known as the “wild beasts” who emphasized strong color over realism in their works. He was a lifelong friend of Pablo Picasso, and the two were considered to be good-natured rivals so their works are often compared. One major difference between their individual portfolios is that Picasso tended to paint from his imagination, whereas Matisse tended to use nature as his inspiration.

American artist Andy Warhol was a leader in the pop art movement that emerged in the mid-1950s. Many of his works became the most expensive paintings ever sold. A 1963 Warhol canvas titled “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)” fetched over 100 million dollars in 2013.

23 Prefix with diction : BENE-

A benediction is a prayer usually spoken at the end of a religious service in which one invokes divine help and guidance.

25 Mooring cable openings : HAWSES

The hawse is that part of the bow of a ship containing the hawse holes, holes through which hawsers can be passed. Hawsers are thick cables or ropes used in mooring or towing.

26 U.K. honor : MBE

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry in the UK that was established in 1917 by King George V. There are five classes within the order, which are in descending seniority:

  • Knight Grand Cross (GBE)
  • Knight Commander (KBE)
  • Commander (CBE)
  • Officer (OBE)
  • Member (MBE)

27 Sushi bar fare : EEL

“Unagi” is the Japanese term for” freshwater eel”, and “anago” is the term for “saltwater eel”.

29 False start? : EFF

The word “false” starts with a letter F (eff).

30 __ Maria : TIA

Tia Maria is a coffee liqueur that was invented just after WWII in Jamaica using Jamaican coffee beans, Jamaican rum, vanilla and sugar. The drink’s name translates to “Aunt Maria”.

33 Ukulele forebear : LUTE

The lute is a stringed instrument with a long neck and usually a pear-shaped body. It is held and played like a guitar, and was popular from the Middle Ages right through to the late Baroque era. A person who plays the lute can be referred to as a “lutenist”.

36 Like a costly victory : PYRRHIC

A Pyrrhic victory is one which comes at a great cost, perhaps one that was not worth fighting for in the first place. The name comes from King Pyrrhus of Epirus, a ruler of a land in southern Europe that fought two devastating battles with the Romans. Pyrrhus won both engagements, but the loss of men was so great that it left him unable to match the Romans in the next battle. As Pyrrhus recorded himself, the Romans lost more men, but they had plentiful reinforcements and he had not. He enjoyed a Pyrrhic victory …

38 Schwab rival : E-TRADE

E-Trade is mainly an online discount brokerage. It was founded in 1982 in Palo Alto, California, and I used to drive by its headquarters almost every day. The company is now run out of New York City. E-Trade used to produce those famous Super Bowl ads with the talking babies staring into a webcam.

The Charles Schwab investment company was founded in 1971 as First Commander Corporation. Investor and businessman Charles Schwab and four partners purchased First Commander and changed the name to Charles Schwab in 1973.

39 ’60s-chic jackets : NEHRUS

A Nehru jacket is very like a regular suit jacket, except that the collar buttons at the neck. It was originally created in the 1940s in India, and then marketed as the Nehru jacket in the west in the sixties. The name Nehru was lifted from Jawaharlal Nehru, the prime minister of India from 1947 to 1964.

41 Protected, in a way : IMMUNE

Immunization is the process used to boost an individual’s immune system making it less likely to succumb to a particular disease. Before we learned to intervene, the immune system was bolstered only by contracting the disease and surviving it. Inoculation was developed specifically for the prevention of smallpox, and involves the introduction of small samples of diseased tissue into the body resulting in a mild case of the disease, and significant boost to the immune system. The related process of vaccination involves the introduction of a benign form of the microorganism or virus into the body so that a boost to the immune system can occur without catching the disease itself.

42 “Taken” trilogy surname : NEESON

Irish actor Liam Neeson got his big break when he played Oskar Schindler in the Spielberg epic, “Schindler’s List”. Neeson was in the news some years later when he lost his wife, actress Natasha Richardson, in a tragic skiing accident in 2009. Earlier in his life, in the 1980s, Neeson lived for several years with Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren.

“Taken” is a fabulous thriller movie released in 2008. It stars Liam Neeson as kind of an older James Bond-ish character, and he is great in the role. “Taken 2” followed in 2012 and it wasn’t a bad sequel, I must say. 2014’s “Taken 3” was just “okay” …

43 Dept. store stock : GDS

A warehouse (whse.) is usually filled with goods (gds.).

46 Post-WWI art movement : DADA

Dadaism thrived during and just after WWI, and was an anti-war, anti-bourgeois and anti-art culture. The movement was launched in Zurich, Switzerland by a group of artists and writers who met to discuss art and put on performances in the Cabaret Voltaire. The same group frequently expressed disgust at the war that was raging across Europe.

47 Kindle read : E-MAG

Amazon’s Kindle line of e-book readers was introduced in 2007. The name “kindle” was chosen to evoke images of “lighting a fire” through reading and intellectual stimulation. I bought myself a Kindle Fire HD several years ago. I started reading e-books for the first time in my life, as well as enjoying other computing options available with the tablet device …

50 Former hoopster __ Ming : YAO

Yao Ming is a retired professional basketball player from Shanghai who played for the Houston Rockets. At 7’6″, Yao was the tallest man playing in the NBA.

51 Org. funded by FICA : SSA

The Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (FICA) was introduced in the 1930s as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal. FICA payments are made by both employees and employers in order to fund Social Security and Medicare.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) was set up as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. The first person to receive a monthly retirement benefit was Ida May Fuller of Vermont who received her first check for the sum of $22.54 after having contributed for three years through payroll taxes. The New Deal turned out to be a good deal for Ms. Fuller, as she lived to be 100 years of age and received a total benefit of almost $23,000, whereas her three years of contributions added up to just $24.75.

52 Box office buy: Abbr. : TKT

The term “box office” may date back to Shakespearean times. In those days long past, patrons would deposit fees for seeing theater performances in boxes. The full boxes would be collected and placed in an office called, imaginatively enough, the “box office”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Be temporarily : ACT AS
6 Pulitzer-winning journalist for her Clinton-Lewinsky columns : DOWD
10 Part of an ear : COB
13 Heckle : TAUNT
14 2018 documentary about Alex Honnold’s conquest of El Capitan : FREE SOLO
16 Like a classic Reuben : ON RYE
17 “Are you serious!?” : WAIT, WHAT?!
18 Key of Chopin’s Ballade No. 1 : G MINOR
19 Mariner’s worry : REEFS
20 Minute quality : TININESS
23 Pastoral sounds : BAAS
24 Return address for guilty sorts? : SCENE OF THE CRIME
28 Written in the stars : MEANT TO BE
29 6-Down info : ETAS
33 “My Fair Lady” composer : LOEWE
34 Law school newbie : ONE L
35 Postgame celebrations : FIST PUMPS
37 Elusive result : FAIRY-TALE ENDING
44 Enervate : TIRE
45 Well-thought-of : ESTEEMED
46 John of Scotch fame : DEWAR
48 Showrunner Shonda : RHIMES
49 Colorful quartz variety : AMETHYST
53 Victim of Hermes : ARGUS
54 Trepidatious query starter : DARE I ASK?
55 [Shrug] : [DUNNO]
56 Mellow, in some cases : AGE
57 What one often wears out? : COAT
58 City near Düsseldorf : ESSEN

Down

1 __ Fireball: hot candy : ATOMIC
2 Boxer, for instance : CANINE
3 Call it a night : TURN IN
4 Fishing line? : ANYONE?
5 Sound choice : STEREO
6 Tex. airport that’s bigger than Manhattan : DFW
7 1/24 of un giorno : ORA
8 One of China’s Northern Dynasties : WEI
9 Take away : DETRACT
10 Unity : COHESION
11 “Frozen” snowman who sings “In Summer” : OLAF
12 Some spammers : BOTS
15 Certify : SWEAR TO
18 Sporty rides : GTS
21 Calif. home of works by Matisse and Warhol : SFMOMA
22 Skyline feature : STEEPLE
23 Prefix with diction : BENE-
25 Mooring cable openings : HAWSES
26 U.K. honor : MBE
27 Sushi bar fare : EEL
29 False start? : EFF
30 __ Maria : TIA
31 So to speak : AS IT WERE
32 Mark with bands : STRIATE
33 Ukulele forebear : LUTE
36 Like a costly victory : PYRRHIC
38 Schwab rival : E-TRADE
39 ’60s-chic jackets : NEHRUS
40 Stoops : DEIGNS
41 Protected, in a way : IMMUNE
42 “Taken” trilogy surname : NEESON
43 Dept. store stock : GDS
46 Post-WWI art movement : DADA
47 Kindle read : E-MAG
50 Former hoopster __ Ming : YAO
51 Org. funded by FICA : SSA
52 Box office buy: Abbr. : TKT

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 26 Feb 22, Saturday”

  1. LAT: 40 minutes with a few errors caused by 18D. I had AMS, thinking of Trans AMS, instead of GTS. Also the resulting guesses of Mininess instead of the correct Tininess, and Aminor instead of Gminor seemed okay.

  2. Well, at least I got it done in under an hour, although with a number of letter and word checks. Just too difficult for my little pea brain, I guess. Ora, Wei, Yao and others left me at a total loss. I expect I’m not the only one. But it’s Saturday.

  3. No errors but a lot of lightly inked in answers that got rewritten such as “fist bumps” at first turning into “fist pumps” to work with 36 Down’s pyrrhic.

  4. 40:49 – lotsa check grids and single letter reveals, not many Googles.

    I’m really not ready for Saturdays (yet). But I’m s l o w l y getting there.

    @Corky -yes, I feel your pain …

    Be Well.

  5. 23:29 – no errors or lookups. Revisions were: GSHARP>GMINOR, ____THAT>____WHAT, OBE>MBE, AVE>TIA, ARIES>ARGUS.

    New items were: WEI, Giorno, ARGUS. SFMOMA was a bit of a guess. Just enough “known” answers to help come up with the unknowns.

    Not sure that NEESON counts as a surname for “Trilogy,” because I would expect it to be referring to a character’s surname.

  6. Too tough for me today; took 49:46 with numerous “check-grids” and guesses. Still, once I saw the results, I probably should have persevered a bit longer. Had the SE and parts of the NE. I knew a lot of the SW but apparently I don’t know how to spell PYRRHIC – well I do now. Didn’t have much of the NW.

    I have been in the SF MOMA two or three times now.

    Stay strong Ukraine!!

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