LA Times Crossword 28 Feb 22, Monday

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Constructed by: John Michael Currie
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Secret Sauce

Themed answers each include letters circled in the grid that spell out types of SAUCES:

  • 55A Subtle element in a success story … and what’s revealed by each set of circles : SECRET SAUCE
  • 20A Like civilizations that antedate written records : PREHISTORIC (secret “PESTO” sauce)
  • 30A Pop singer’s list of recordings, e.g. : DISCOGRAPHY (secret “SOY” sauce)
  • 46A Sourced locally, as a menu : FARM-TO-TABLE (secret “MOLE” sauce)
  • 11D Official inspection spot : CHECKPOINT (secret “HOT” sauce)
  • 29D Diver’s rotation : SOMERSAULT (secret “MEAT” sauce)

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

Bill’s time: 5m 00s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Taiwanese bubble tea : BOBA

Bubble tea, sometimes called “boba tea”, is a tea-based drink from Taiwan. The “bubbles” are chewy tapioca balls that are usually added to the drink.

15 Fruit whose oil is used in cooking : OLIVE

Virgin olive oil is oil produced from olives with no chemical treatment involved in the production process at all. To be labeled “virgin”, the oil must have an acidity level of less than 2% and must be judged to have “a good taste”. Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) comes from virgin oil production, and is the portion with acidity levels of less than 0.8% acidity that is judged to have “superior taste”.

16 Onetime Ralston cereal now owned by General Mills : CHEX

The original Chex cereal was introduced in 1937 by Ralston Purina, although it is now produced by General Mills. Ralston Purina had a logo with a checkerboard square on it, which gave the pattern to the cereal as well as its name. Chex used characters from the “Peanuts” comic strip in its advertising for many years.

17 Wine lover’s prefix : OENO-

In Greek mythology, Oeno was the goddess of wine, giving us “oeno-” as a prefix meaning “wine”. For example, oenology is the study of wine and an oenophile is a wine-lover.

18 Nine-piece combo : NONET

A nonet is a piece of music requiring nine musicians for a performance. The term is also used for the group itself.

19 U. of Maryland athlete : TERP

The sports teams of the University of Maryland are called the Maryland Terrapins, or “Terps” for short. The name dates back to 1932 when it was coined by the university’s president at the time, Curley Byrd. He took the name from the diamondback terrapins that are native to the Chesapeake Bay.

20 Like civilizations that antedate written records : PREHISTORIC (secret “PESTO” sauce)

We define “prehistory” as that span of time before humans started keeping written records or had writing systems.

Pesto sauce is more completely called “pesto alla genovese”, i.e. pesto from Genoa. A traditional recipe calls for crushed garlic, pine nuts, salt, basil leaves, parmesan cheese and olive oil. Yum …

23 Pigeon sound : COO

Taxonomically, doves and pigeons are the only members of the order Columbidae. The terms “dove” and “pigeon” are often used interchangeably. Scientifically speaking, dove species tend to be smaller than pigeon species. Colloquially though, many refer to doves as the white or nearly white species in the family.

24 “SNL” alum Gasteyer : ANA

Ana Gasteyer is an actress best known for being a cast member of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) from 1996 to 2002. Gasteyer was famous on SNL for playing Martha Stewart … topless!

25 Armored vehicle : TANK

During WWI, First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill formed the Landship Committee to oversee development of armored fighting vehicles. The vehicles in development were referred to using the codeword “tank” for secrecy. Within a few months, the committee was renamed to the “Tank Supply Committee”. The codeword eventually became the overt name for the weapon.

27 Tres menos uno : DOS

In Spanish, “tres menos uno” (three minus one) is “dos” (two).

30 Pop singer’s list of recordings, e.g. : DISCOGRAPHY (secret “SOY” sauce)

Soy sauce is made by fermenting soybeans with a mold in the presence of water and salt. Charming …

36 Traditional piano key wood : EBONY

The traditional materials used for the manufacture of piano keys were ebony (black) and ivory (white). Ebony is still used, but now for both white and black keys. The white keys are made by covering ebony with white plastic.

38 Root for a luau : TARO

Taro is a root vegetable that is grown for its edible underground plant stems (corms). The English name “taro” is borrowed from the Maori language of New Zealand. The same plant is known as “gabi” in the Philippines, “arbi” in much of India, and “jimbi” in parts of Africa where Swahili is spoken.

The Hawaiian party or feast known as a “luau” really dates back to 1819, when King Kamehameha II removed religious laws that governed the eating of meals. These laws called for women and men to eat separately. At the same time as he changed the laws, the king initiated the luau tradition by symbolically eating with the women who moved in his circle.

39 Pâté de __ gras : FOIE

Pâté is a rich spreadable paste made from a mixture of ground meat and fat, to which various vegetables, herbs and spices may be added. The most famous version of the paste is pâté de foie gras, which is made from the fattened livers of geese (“foie gras” means “fat liver” in French).

40 Covert ops outfit : CAMO

Our word “camouflage” (often abbreviated to “camo”) evolved directly from a Parisian slang term “camoufler” meaning “to disguise”. The term was first used in WWI, although the British navy at that time preferred the expression “dazzle-painting” as it applied to the pattern painted on the hulls of ships.

42 Fey with nine Emmys : TINA

Comedian and actress Tina Fey was born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. Fey is perhaps best known to television viewers as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” (1997-2006), and as the creator and star of the sitcom “30 Rock” (2006-2013).

43 Part of BSA: Abbr. : AMER

Boy Scouts of America (BSA)

46 Sourced locally, as a menu : FARM-TO-TABLE (secret “MOLE” sauce)

Mole sauce comes in various guises. “Mole negro” includes everyone’s favorite ingredient, namely chocolate.

49 Vietnamese New Year : TET

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

51 Tiny colonist : ANT

“Formicary” is another name for “ant nest”, and comes from the Latin “formica” meaning “ant”. The phrase “ant colony” describes the ants living in an ant nest. A formicarium is similar to an aquarium, and used to house an ant colony perhaps for study. The phrase “ant farm” is usually reserved for ant nests built by an ant colony in a formicarium.

53 Reggae relative : SKA

Reggae is a genre of music that developed in the late sixties, evolving out of the genres of ska and rocksteady.

55 Subtle element in a success story … and what’s revealed by each set of circles : SECRET SAUCE

The dressing on a McDonald’s Big Mac was first described as a “special sauce” in a 1974 advertising campaign. Apparently, the “special sauce” is no “secret sauce”, as the recipe can be found quite readily online. It consists of a mixture of regular mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish and yellow mustard all blended together, with some vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika.

62 Unseating plan? : COUP

A coup d’état (often just “coup”) is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French for “stroke of state”. The Swiss-German word “putsch” is sometimes used instead of “coup”, with “Putsch” translating literally as “sudden blow”. We also use the abbreviated “coup” to mean “sudden, brilliant and successful act”.

69 Greek B : BETA

Beta is the second letter in the Greek alphabet. “Beta” comes from the Phoenician letter “beth”.

71 Abel and Cain, to Adam and Eve : SONS

In the story of Cain and Abel in the Book of Genesis, Cain murders his brother Abel. Subsequently, God asks Cain, “Where is Abel thy brother?” Cain replies, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Down

3 Scourge : BANE

Today, we tend to use the word “bane” to mean “anathema, a source of persistent annoyance”. A few centuries ago, a bane was a cause of harm or death, perhaps a deadly poison.

4 Hawaiian greeting : ALOHA

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.

5 Dwarf planting : BONSAI

The term “bonsai” is used more correctly to describe the Japanese art of growing carefully shaped trees in containers, although it has come to be used as the name for all miniature trees in pots.

7 Barcelona boy : NINO

Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, after the capital Madrid. It is also the largest European city that sits on the Mediterranean coast, and the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia.

13 Montreal MLBer before 2005 : EXPO

The Washington Nationals (“Nats”) started out life as the Montreal Expos in 1969, and were the first Major League Baseball team in Canada. The Expos moved to Washington in 2005 becoming the Nats.

21 “500” race, familiarly : INDY

The Indianapolis 500 race is held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. The race is run around a 2.5 mile oval, hence requiring 200 laps for completion. The first Indy 500 race was held on Memorial Day in 1911. The winner that day was one Ray Harroun. Harroun had seen someone using a rear view mirror on a horse-drawn vehicle, and decided to fit one on his Marmon “Wasp” motor car. Supposedly, that was the first ever use of a rear-view mirror on a motor vehicle.

26 Tripartite commerce pact acronym : NAFTA

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was a treaty between Canada, Mexico and the United States. When NAFTA came into force in 1994, it set up the largest free trade zone in the world. It was replaced by the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in 2020, an agreement that is often referred to as NAFTA 2.0 because it largely maintains the provisions in the original NAFTA treaty.

27 Pre-bedtime coffee, often : DECAF

Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant that is found in several plants. The chemical serves as a natural pesticide by paralyzing and killing certain insects that would otherwise feed on the plant. Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug that is consumed by humans across the world.

28 President with degrees from Columbia and Harvard : OBAMA

There are only two US Presidents who have two degrees from Ivy League schools. The first is President George W. Bush. President Bush holds a BA from Yale and an MBA from Harvard. The second is President Barack Obama. President Obama holds a BA in political science from Columbia and a JD from Harvard Law School.

31 Dark beer : STOUT

The term “stout” was first used for a type of beer in the 1600s when it was used to describe a “strong, stout” brew, and not necessarily a dark beer as it is today.

32 Diane’s “Cheers” co-server : CARLA

Rhea Perlman’s most famous role has to be Carla Tortelli, the irascible waitress in the long-running sitcom “Cheers”. Perlman is also a successful children’s author, and has published a series of six books called “Otto Undercover”. She married Hollywood actor Danny DeVito in 1982.

Actress Shelley Long is best known for playing Diane Chambers on the sitcom “Cheers”. There are lots of stories out there about tension on the set of “Cheers”, particularly between Long and her co-star Ted Danson. Long decided to leave the show after the fifth season, but “Cheers” kept running, for eleven seasons in all.

33 Colgate rival : ORAL-B

The Oral-B toothbrush was introduced to the world in 1950, designed by a California periodontist. The first “model” was the Oral-B 60, a name given to reflect the 60 tufts in the brush. In 1969, the Oral-B was the first toothbrush to get to the moon as it was the toothbrush of choice for the crew of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

35 Brewery need : YEAST

Yeasts are unicellular microorganisms in the kingdom Fungi. The species of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used for centuries in the making of wine and beer, and in breadmaking. Saccharomyces cerevisiae converts carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohol in the process of fermentation. When making beer and wine, the carbon dioxide and alcohol may be captured by the liquid. When making bread, the carbon dioxide and alcohol is driven off by heat.

37 __ Rae, Sally Field role : NORMA

“Norma Rae” is a 1979 movie starring Sally Field as Norma Rae Webster in a tale of union activities in a textile factory in Alabama. The film is based on the true story of Crystal Lee Sutton told in a 1975 book called “Crystal Lee, a Woman of Inheritance”.

Actress Sally Field first came to the public’s attention in the sixties with title roles in the TV shows “Gidget” and “The Flying Nun”. She has two Best Actress Oscars; one for “Norma Rae” (1979) and one for “Places in the Heart” (1984).

47 Apt “it’s” anagram : ‘TIS

Here are some of my favorite anagrams:

  • “Dormitory” and “dirty room”
  • “Elvis” and “lives”
  • “The eyes” and “they see”
  • “Eleven plus two” and “twelve plus one”
  • “William Shakespeare” and “I’ll make a wise phrase”

48 Hanukkah pancakes : LATKES

A latke is a delicious potato pancake (I’m Irish, so anything made with potatoes is delicious, to be fair).

54 Asian beef city : KOBE

Kobe is a port city on the island of Honshu in Japan. Here in North America, the city of Kobe is perhaps most famous for its beef. And yes, basketball star Kobe Bryant was named after that very same beef.

56 Indian spiced tea : CHAI

Chai is a drink made from spiced black tea, honey and milk, with “chai” being the Hindi word for “tea”. We often called tea “a cup of char” growing up in Ireland, with “char” being our slang word for tea, derived from “chai”.

58 Art Deco artist : ERTE

“Erté” was the pseudonym of French (Russian-born) artist and designer Romain de Tirtoff. “Erté” is the French pronunciation of his initials “R.T.” Erté’s diverse portfolio of work included costumes and sets for the “Ziegfeld Follies” of 1923, productions of the Parisian cabaret show “Folies Bergère”, as well as the 1925 epic movie “Ben-Hur”. Erté’s most famous work by far is an image titled “Symphony in Black”. It depicts a tall and slender woman dressed in black, holding a black dog on a leash.

60 Ethan or Joel of film : COEN

I think it’s great to see two brothers working together and being so successful. Joel and Ethan Coen are two movie producers and directors who both live in New York City. The Coen brothers do love the movie-making business and they even married industry “insiders”. Ethan’s wife is film editor Tricia Cooke, and Joel is married to one of my favorite actresses, the talented Frances McDormand.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Taiwanese bubble tea : BOBA
5 Yawn-inducing : BANAL
10 Dull pain : ACHE
14 Racetrack shape : OVAL
15 Fruit whose oil is used in cooking : OLIVE
16 Onetime Ralston cereal now owned by General Mills : CHEX
17 Wine lover’s prefix : OENO-
18 Nine-piece combo : NONET
19 U. of Maryland athlete : TERP
20 Like civilizations that antedate written records : PREHISTORIC (secret “PESTO” sauce)
23 Pigeon sound : COO
24 “SNL” alum Gasteyer : ANA
25 Armored vehicle : TANK
27 Tres menos uno : DOS
30 Pop singer’s list of recordings, e.g. : DISCOGRAPHY (secret “SOY” sauce)
36 Traditional piano key wood : EBONY
38 Root for a luau : TARO
39 Pâté de __ gras : FOIE
40 Covert ops outfit : CAMO
41 “Chopsticks __ fork?” : OR A
42 Fey with nine Emmys : TINA
43 Part of BSA: Abbr. : AMER
44 Ponder (over) : MULL
45 Hunger signs that hurt : PANGS
46 Sourced locally, as a menu : FARM-TO-TABLE (secret “MOLE” sauce)
49 Vietnamese New Year : TET
50 Articulated : SAID
51 Tiny colonist : ANT
53 Reggae relative : SKA
55 Subtle element in a success story … and what’s revealed by each set of circles : SECRET SAUCE
62 Unseating plan? : COUP
64 Avoid, as duty : SHIRK
65 Broadway event : SHOW
66 Adept : ABLE
67 One of the senses : TASTE
68 Joint above the ankle : KNEE
69 Greek B : BETA
70 “Oof!” : YIKES!
71 Abel and Cain, to Adam and Eve : SONS

Down

1 Cutesy nose-poke word : BOOP!
2 Mind-matter link : -OVER-
3 Scourge : BANE
4 Hawaiian greeting : ALOHA
5 Dwarf planting : BONSAI
6 Very much : A LOT
7 Barcelona boy : NINO
8 Declare : AVER
9 “Time to stop obsessing on this” : LET IT GO
10 Play a part (in) : ACT
11 Official inspection spot : CHECKPOINT (secret “HOT” sauce)
12 One who comes to the rescue : HERO
13 Montreal MLBer before 2005 : EXPO
21 “500” race, familiarly : INDY
22 Automobile : CAR
26 Tripartite commerce pact acronym : NAFTA
27 Pre-bedtime coffee, often : DECAF
28 President with degrees from Columbia and Harvard : OBAMA
29 Diver’s rotation : SOMERSAULT (secret “MEAT” sauce)
31 Dark beer : STOUT
32 Diane’s “Cheers” co-server : CARLA
33 Colgate rival : ORAL-B
34 Depend (on) : HINGE
35 Brewery need : YEAST
37 __ Rae, Sally Field role : NORMA
44 “Aw shucks” quality : MODESTY
45 Writers’ tools : PENS
47 Apt “it’s” anagram : ‘TIS
48 Hanukkah pancakes : LATKES
52 Duties : TASKS
53 Wound cover : SCAB
54 Asian beef city : KOBE
56 Indian spiced tea : CHAI
57 Take a chance on : RISK
58 Art Deco artist : ERTE
59 “Hmm … doubt it” : UH … NO
60 Ethan or Joel of film : COEN
61 Fleecy females : EWES
63 Podded plant : PEA

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 28 Feb 22, Monday”

  1. Pretty straight forward.

    Discovered last Friday that FREDDYS has a jalapeño based sauce for your fries. Boy, that was a nice discovery. Don’t know if it’s old age but I’m liking jalapeño with a lot of things lately.

  2. Well, shoot! I missed the very first letter of the very first word. Had
    “soba” instead of “boba”….wild guess that went wrong. Otherwise
    error-free.

  3. I had a triple Natick – BOBA and OETO cross BOOP.- on a MONDAY.
    Otherwise, had to guess EXPO.
    Maybe Tuesday will be Monday easy.

  4. 7:35 – no errors, lookups, or revisions.

    Interesting that BOBA showed up today after yesterday’s “tea spilling.”

    @Bill, with the way it’s used today, I think that the “secret sauce” of a success story can be applied generally, not just to McDonald’s or any single company or endeavor. It’s the hidden or key component that made all the other aspects succeed as a whole.

  5. 11:23 – BOBA, BOOP, OENO ate me alive.

    I must lead a very sheltered life, bc everyone else cruised thru this puzzle.

    Ah, there’s always tomorrow (especially if it’s a Tuesday).

    Be Well.

  6. Nice and easy Monday; took me 7:23 with no peeks or errors. I think I’ve almost remembered how to spell FOIE, although I left the E off and checked the cross just to be sure. Still haven’t tried BOBA tea yet, although I’ve never really been a fan of tapioca.

  7. BSA for me is the name of a motorcycle – I must have grown up outside of (US) America! A nice piece of trivia here, though – the motorcycle company name stands for the Birmingham Small Arms Company.

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