LA Times Crossword 3 Feb 22, Thursday

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Constructed by: Lewis Rothlein & Nancy Stark
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer(s): Your Loss

Themed answers are common phrases, but we LOSE the word “YOUR” from the middle:

  • 68A With 71-Across, possible result of my gain … and what four long answers have undergone? : YOUR …
  • 71A See 68-Across : … LOSS
  • 20A Psychiatry? : MIND BUSINESS (from “mind your business”)
  • 32A A noble title and entrée into high society? : COUNT BLESSINGS (from “count your blessings”)
  • 42A Passion of a well-trained city dog? : CURB ENTHUSIASM (from “curb your enthusiasm”)
  • 58A Blue plumage, say? : SWALLOW PRIDE (from “swallow your pride”)

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

Bill’s time: 7m 25s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 Spiky succulent : ALOE

Succulent plants are those with thickened stems and/or leaves that have evolved to retain water. As such, succulents are often found where the climate is particularly dry. The term “succulent” comes from the Latin “sucus” meaning “juice, sap”.

15 Half a salon job : -PEDI

Manicure & pedicure (mani-pedi)

17 Failed to honor : RENEGED ON

To renege on something is to back out of it. It’s a verb commonly used in card games like bridge and whist. A renege is when a player doesn’t follow suit, even though there may be a card of the suit led in his/her hand.

19 Like some diets : VEGAN

A vegan is someone who stays away from animal products. A dietary vegan eats no animal foods, not even eggs and dairy that are usually eaten by vegetarians. Ethical vegans take things one step further by following a vegan diet and also avoiding animal products in other areas of their lives e.g. items made from leather or silk.

22 Like a pin? : AS NEAT

Apparently, the idiom “neat as a pin” arose in the early 1800s, with the advent of mass production. Up until that time, pins were handmade and so were irregular and relatively flawed. Mass-produced pins were uniform and of consistent quality. So, something that was uniform and of consistent quality came to be described as “neat as a pin”.

25 Hockey great Phil, to fans : ESPO

Phil “Espo” Esposito is a former professional hockey player who played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. Espo scored 126 points in the 1969 season, hence becoming the first NHL player to score 100 points in a season.

26 Golfer’s support : TEE

A tee is a small device on which, say, a golf ball is placed before striking it. The term “tee” comes from the Scottish “teaz”, which described little heaps of sand used to elevate a golf ball for the purpose of getting a clean hit with a club.

27 L.A. commuter org. : MTA

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has public transportation responsibility in the state of New York (as well as part of Connecticut). “MTA” might also refer to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is known as “the Metro” and sometimes “the MTA”.

30 Neighbor of Greece: Abbr. : ALB

The Republic of Albania is a country in the Balkans in southeastern Europe. Albania was made a communist state after WWII but became independent again with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990. Albania has been a member of NATO since 2009, and was accepted as an official candidate to join the European Union in 2014. The nation’s capital and largest city is Tirana.

39 Jimmy Eat World genre : EMO

Jimmy Eat World is an alternative rock band from Mesa, Arizona.

40 R&B artist India.__ : ARIE

India.Arie is an American soul and R&B singer who was born India Arie Simpson in Denver, Colorado.

42 Passion of a well-trained city dog? : CURB ENTHUSIASM (from “curb your enthusiasm”)

“Curb” is another of those words that I had to learn when I came to the US. We park by the “kerb” on the other side of the Atlantic. Oh, and the “pavement”, that’s what we call the “footpath” (because the footpath is “paved”!). It’s very confusing when you arrive in this country from Ireland, and a little dangerous, when one has been taught to “walk on the pavement” …

48 German grandpa : OPA

The German for “grandpa” is “Opa”, and for “grandma” is “Oma”.

49 ’60s war zone : ‘NAM

By some definitions, the official involvement of Americans in the Vietnam War started in 1955. At that time, President Eisenhower deployed a Military Assistance Advisory Group to assist in the training of the South Vietnamese Army. American involvement in the conflict officially ended in 1973, with the signing of an agreement that came out of the Paris Peace Accords.

50 Speaker in a typical Swifty : TOM

A Tom Swifty is a phrase consisting of a made-up quotation followed by a punning adverb. Such devices were common in the “Tom Swift” series of adventure novels for juveniles, hence the name. Examples would be:

  • “I’ll have a martini,” said Tom, dryly.
  • “Hurry up and get to the back of the ship!” Tom said sternly.
  • “Careful with that chainsaw,” Tom said offhandedly.
  • “I have no flowers,” Tom said lackadaisically.
  • “I dropped my toothpaste,” Tom said, crestfallen.

53 Craft brew choices : IPAS

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

56 How Mona Lisa smiles : SUBTLY

Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece that we know in English as the “Mona Lisa” is called “La Gioconda” in Italian, the language of the artist. It’s also known as “La Joconde” by the Government of France which owns the painting and displays it in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The title comes from the name of the subject, almost certainly Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo. Giocondo was a wealthy silk merchant in Florence who commissioned the painting for the couple’s new home to celebrate the birth of their second son.

58 Blue plumage, say? : SWALLOW PRIDE (from “swallow your pride”)

Swallows are remarkable birds, at least in one aspect. Swallows, and the related martins, have evolved so that they can feed while flying, snapping up insects in mid-air.

62 Settings for hiking and running : GRIDIRONS

We never used the word “gridiron” when I was growing up in Ireland (meaning a grill used for cooking food over an open fire). So, maybe I am excused for taking two decades living in the US to work out that a football field gridiron is so called because the layout of yard lines over the field looks like a gridiron used in cooking.

69 “The Dancing Couple” painter Jan : STEEN

Jan Steen was a painter from the Netherlands who was active in the Dutch Golden Age, the 17th century. Steen’s most famous work is probably “The Feast of Saint Nicholas”, which we can see at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

70 Place for pupils : EYES

The pupil of the eye is the hole located in the center of the iris through which light enters the retina. The term “pupil” came into English via French from the latin “pupilla”, which is the diminutive form of “pupa” meaning “girl, doll”. The term came about due to the tiny doll-like image that one can see of oneself when looking into the center of another’s eyes.

Down

1 Mason __ : JAR

Mason jars were invented in 1858 in Philadelphia by a tinsmith, a tinsmith named John Landis Mason.

5 Drinks may be put on one : OPEN TAB

When we run a “tab” at a bar, we are running a “tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.

6 Funny Foxx : REDD

“Redd Foxx” was the stage name of John Elroy Sanford, who was best known for starring in “Sanford and Son”. “Sanford and Son” was an American version of a celebrated hit BBC sitcom that I grew up with in Ireland called “Steptoe and Son”.

7 Spanish for “mudbrick” : ADOBE

The building material known as adobe has been around a long time, and has been used in dry climates all over the world. The original form of the word “adobe” dates back to Middle Egyptian times, about 2000 BC. The original spelling is “dj-b-t”, and translates as mud (sun-dried) brick.

8 “House intellectual” in “Peanuts,” per Schulz : LINUS

In Charles Schulz’s fabulous comic strip “Peanuts”, Charlie Brown is friends with at least three members of the van Pelt family. Most famously there is Lucy van Pelt, who bosses everyone around, and who operates a psychiatric booth that looks like a lemonade stand. Then there is Linus, Lucy’s younger brother, the character who always has his security blanket at hand. Lastly there is an even younger brother, Rerun van Pelt. Rerun is constantly hiding under his bed, trying to avoid going to school.

9 Pockets usually stuffed : RAVIOLI

Ravioli (singular “raviolo”) are filled dumplings served in Italian cuisine.

10 Mideast port city : ADEN

Aden is a seaport in Yemen that is located on the Gulf of Aden by the eastern approach to the Red Sea. Aden has a long history of British rule, from 1838 until a very messy withdrawal in 1967. A native of Aden is known as an Adeni. Some believe that Cain and Abel are buried in the city.

18 Oracle Park player : GIANT

Oracle Park has been home to the San Francisco Giants baseball team since 2000, although the “Oracle” moniker has only been in place since 2019. The park sits right on San Francisco Bay, on a cove named China Basin. Since the stadium has been in use, that cove is known unofficially as McCovery Cove, after Giants first baseman Willie McCovey. When a Giants player hits a home run that lands directly in the water of McCovery Cove, it is known as a “splash hit”.

22 Old Ramblers, briefly : AMCS

When Nash-Kelvinator Corporation and Hudson Motor Car Company came together in 1954, it was the largest US corporate merger to date. The new company was called American Motors Corporation (AMC), and was of a size that could compete with the “Big Three” automakers. A few months after the merger, George W. Romney was given the top job at AMC. George was the father of presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

The Nash Rambler is credited with establishing a new segment in the North American auto market. It is often cited as the first successful American compact car.

23 Stiff-upper-lip type : STOIC

Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher famous for teaching at the Stoa Poikile, the “Painted Porch”, located on the north side of the Ancient Agora of Athens. Because of the location of his classes, his philosophy became known as stoicism (from “stoa”, the word for “porch”). We get our adjective “stoic”, meaning “indifferent to pleasure or pain”, from the same root.

24 Tiny Pacific nation : NAURU

Nauru is the world’s smallest island nation, and is located in the South Pacific 300 km to the east of Kiribati. The island was taken as a colony by Germany in the late 1800s, and came under the administration of Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom after WWI. The Japanese invaded during WWII, but Nauru was one of the islands that was bypassed in the US advance across the Pacific towards Japan. Nauru achieved independence in 1968.

33 Indoor ball brand : NERF

Nerf is a soft material used in a whole series of toys designed for “safe” play indoors. The Nerf product is used to make darts, balls and ammunition for toy guns. “NERF” is an acronym, standing for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

34 Lifesaver, briefly : EMT

Emergency medical technician (EMT)

35 Carnaby Street’s district : SOHO

The area of London called Soho had a very poor reputation for most of the 20th century as it was home to the city’s red-light district. Soho went through a transformation in recent decades, and has been a very fashionable neighborhood since the 1980s.

Carnaby Street is in Soho in London, and is famous for its fashion boutiques. It gained a reputation for leading the mod and hippie styles of dress in the late fifties and sixties. Mary Quant, who introduced the world to the miniskirt, had her boutique in Carnaby Street, and bands like the Rolling Stones and the Who worked and socialized in the area in the Swinging Sixties.

36 Johnson successor : GRANT

Ulysses S. Grant (USG) had risen to commander of all Union armies by the end of the Civil War. He was elected as the 18th president of the US in 1869. Grant served two terms as president, and also made a failed bid for a third term. Grant’s reputation was tarnished by his apparent tolerance of corruption in his administration. On the other hand, Grant worked hard to protect African Americans during Reconstruction after the Civil War, and pursued peaceful relations with Native Americans.

Andrew Johnson was the 17th President of the US, the man who came to power after the assassination of President Lincoln. As well as being Lincoln’s successor, Johnson is remembered as the first sitting president to be impeached. Johnson fell foul of the so-called “Radical Republicans” due to his efforts to quickly incorporate the southern states back into the Union. His political opponents chose the Tenure of Office Act as their “weapon” for impeachment. The Act prevented a president from removing an appointee of a past-president without the consent of the Senate. Johnson had removed the sitting Secretary of War without consulting Congress creating the opportunity for an impeachment trial in Congress. He was acquitted though, as his opponents fell one vote shy of the majority needed. The impeachment of President Johnson was the only presidential impeachment until that of President Clinton in 1999.

37 Scratching post material : SISAL

The sisal plant is an agave, the flesh of which is not generally used in making tequila. Sisal is grown instead for the fibers that run the length of its leaves. The fiber is used extensively for twine, rope, carpeting, wall coverings etc. My favorite application though, is in the construction of dartboards. Sisal takes its name from the port of Sisal in Yucatan, Mexico that was a major shipping point for sisal plants.

41 Part of EGOT : EMMY

The acronym “EGOT” stands for “Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony”, and is a reference to performers who have won all four awards.

43 Abandons in a crisis : BAILS ON

The phrase “to bail out” (sometimes just “to bail”) means to leave suddenly. We’ve been using the term since the early thirties, when it originated with airline pilots. To bail out is to make a parachute jump.

44 Fairly large fair : EXPO

The first “World’s Fair” was held in 1851, known back then as the “Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations”. The fair was the idea of Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria. It was held in a magnificent glass and cast-iron structure called the Crystal Palace that was purpose-built for the occasion. The “Great Exhibition” spawned a tradition of what became known as World’s Fairs, expositions that feature national pavilions created by participating countries. The term “Expo” was coined for Expo 67, a 1967 World’s Fair held in Montreal. Since then, we’ve been using “expo” to describe any large exposition or trade show.

45 Silver linings : UPSIDES

The idiom “every cloud has a silver lining” suggests that there is something good to be found in every bad situation. The phrase “silver lining” was coined by English poet John Milton in “Comus”, a piece of dramatic entertainment that was first performed in 1634. The relevant lines are:

Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
I did not err; there does a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
And casts a gleam over this tufted grove.

46 Medina resident : SAUDI

Medina is a city in western Saudi Arabia. Medina is the second holiest city in the Islamic tradition after Mecca, as it is the burial place of the Prophet Muhammad.

50 Makeup of a long Russian line : TSARS

The last ruler of Imperial Russia was Tsar Nicholas II (of the House of Romanov). Famously, the Tsar and his family were murdered in 1918 in the basement of a house in Yekaterinburg, Russia by members of the Bolshevik secret police. The Tsar’s youngest daughter was 16-year-old Anastasia and rumors of her escape have persisted for years. The rumors grew with the help of numerous women who claimed to be Anastasia. In 2009, DNA testing finally proved that the remains of all of the Tsar’s immediate family, including Anastasia, have been found and identified.

51 Parliament newcomer? : OWLET

Here are some colorful collective nouns:

  • A pride of lions
  • A shrewdness of apes
  • A cloud of bats
  • A bench of bishops
  • A parliament of owls
  • A clowder of cats
  • A waddling of ducks
  • An army of frogs
  • A knot of toads

57 New Hampshire state mineral : BERYL

The mineral beryl is a source of a number of different semi-precious stones, depending on the nature of the impurities present. Pure beryl is colorless; blue beryl is called aquamarine, and green beryl is emerald. Traces of iron cause the blue color, and traces of chromium give the green hue.

The US state of New Hampshire takes its name from the former British colony known as the Province of New Hampshire. In turn, the colony was named for the English county of Hampshire by Captain John Mason, who was the first proprietor of the Province of New Hampshire.

63 Castle queenside, in chess notation : O-O-O

In the notation used to record moves in games of chess, castling with the kingside rook can be recorded as O-O, and with the queenside rook as O-O-O.

In the game of chess, the move known as “castling” involves the king moving two squares towards one of the rooks, and then placing that rook in the square over which the king crossed. It is the only chess move involving two pieces at the same time.

64 Xi preceders : NUS

Nu is the thirteenth letter in the Greek alphabet, and is the equivalent of our letter N. An uppercase nu looks just like the Latin capital N, but the lowercase nu looks like our lowercase V. Very confusing …

65 Prom gp. : SRS

A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them “formals” over in Ireland). The term “prom” is short for “promenade”, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Goes on and on : JAWS
5 Like storytelling : ORAL
9 Continued violently : RAGED
14 Spiky succulent : ALOE
15 Half a salon job : -PEDI
16 Prize : ADORE
17 Failed to honor : RENEGED ON
19 Like some diets : VEGAN
20 Psychiatry? : MIND BUSINESS (from “mind your business”)
22 Like a pin? : AS NEAT
25 Hockey great Phil, to fans : ESPO
26 Golfer’s support : TEE
27 L.A. commuter org. : MTA
28 Remind over and over : NAG
30 Neighbor of Greece: Abbr. : ALB
32 A noble title and entrée into high society? : COUNT BLESSINGS (from “count your blessings”)
38 Father : SIRE
39 Jimmy Eat World genre : EMO
40 R&B artist India.__ : ARIE
42 Passion of a well-trained city dog? : CURB ENTHUSIASM (from “curb your enthusiasm”)
47 Alternative to email : FAX
48 German grandpa : OPA
49 ’60s war zone : ‘NAM
50 Speaker in a typical Swifty : TOM
53 Craft brew choices : IPAS
56 How Mona Lisa smiles : SUBTLY
58 Blue plumage, say? : SWALLOW PRIDE (from “swallow your pride”)
61 Many pop soloists : ALTOS
62 Settings for hiking and running : GRIDIRONS
66 In again : RETRO
67 Comfort : EASE
68 With 71-Across, possible result of my gain … and what four long answers have undergone? : YOUR …
69 “The Dancing Couple” painter Jan : STEEN
70 Place for pupils : EYES
71 See 68-Across : … LOSS
Down
1 Mason __ : JAR
2 It may be blonde or amber : ALE
3 Captured : WON
4 Note below F? : SEE ME
5 Drinks may be put on one : OPEN TAB
6 Funny Foxx : REDD
7 Spanish for “mudbrick” : ADOBE
8 “House intellectual” in “Peanuts,” per Schulz : LINUS
9 Pockets usually stuffed : RAVIOLI
10 Mideast port city : ADEN
11 Fetch : GO GET
12 Totally remove : ERASE
13 Hard to get through … or get through to : DENSE
18 Oracle Park player : GIANT
21 Places for 15-Acrosses : SPAS
22 Old Ramblers, briefly : AMCS
23 Stiff-upper-lip type : STOIC
24 Tiny Pacific nation : NAURU
29 Scottish lowland : GLEN
31 “Sons of,” in temple names : B’NAI
33 Indoor ball brand : NERF
34 Lifesaver, briefly : EMT
35 Carnaby Street’s district : SOHO
36 Johnson successor : GRANT
37 Scratching post material : SISAL
41 Part of EGOT : EMMY
43 Abandons in a crisis : BAILS ON
44 Fairly large fair : EXPO
45 Silver linings : UPSIDES
46 Medina resident : SAUDI
50 Makeup of a long Russian line : TSARS
51 Parliament newcomer? : OWLET
52 Photo finish : MATTE
54 “What a shame!” : AW GEE!
55 Surf feature : SPRAY
57 New Hampshire state mineral : BERYL
59 Stories to pass on : LORE
60 Hike : RISE
63 Castle queenside, in chess notation : O-O-O
64 Xi preceders : NUS
65 Prom gp. : SRS

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 3 Feb 22, Thursday”

  1. No errors. Got the theme very early on this on.

    Did not know a group of owls is a parliament.

    Overall, seemed like a lot of “punnery” going on today.

  2. 31:47, no errors. I liked the theme but thought the cluing was a bit tougher than usual for a Thursday.
    Example: 53A Craft brew choices is IPAS, most of the time the clue would include “abbr.”, “in brief”, “for short”, etc.

  3. What a strange puzzle! After about 10 minutes, I only had about six things filled in. Thought of just quitting, but I kept at it. Eventually I figured out what was going on, which helped some. So it took me more than 25 minutes, not that I care about that.
    But it’s sunny and dry here in Minnesota. No new snow or sleet or rain or anything else. 🙂

  4. Yet another puzzle constructor more interested in obfuscation rather than enlightenment. Too clever for its own good, it seems to me. And 20A and 22A are ridiculous clues after you learn their answers. To end on a more positive note, the clue and answer to 36D is wonderful.

  5. 36:46 no errors despite the dreaded 2 setter puzzle😀
    I got the theme but didn’t get some meanings as to the clues.
    Stay safe😀

    1. Maybe it’s a reference to the blue swallowtail butterfly? There’s a question mark after the clue, so I guess that’s possible.

    2. I’m with you John, swallows aren’t blue. I guess if you swallow your pride, you’d be in a blue mood. But what that has to do with plumage or feathers; your guess is as good as mine.

  6. A tough one for me today, especially the bottom sections – 42:01 with an alphabet scroll to get the ‘N’ in NAURU from Google.

    Took a long time to figure out where Medina was (Italy? South America?); that Mona Lisa’s smile is considered SUBTLE; that Swifty was not a reference to Taylor (originally had AMP); that Parliament was not the UK legislature (that it’s a group of owls was new to me); to recall the chess notation for castling; that the “Surf feature” was at the shore and not on open water or on the computer; and that “hiking and running” was not in a forest or mountain setting.

    For me, a lot of tough cluing for a Thursday.

    @Bill Butler, I guess you adapted your Irish vocabulary pretty well to have survived in the US all these years (curb vs pavement)!

  7. Been doing puzzles for over fifty years..Today some of the “dumbest” clues I have ever seen!!!But the clever theme saved it.

  8. 15 mins 20 seconds, no errors. A lot of squinting, though and saying, “Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat???” Couldn’t really get into the mindset of this one. Finishing time reflects that…

  9. Tough for a Thursday. At a certain point I
    didn’t think I was gonna finish but I persevered. No look ups, no errors. Clever
    theme but some “groaner” clues…
    One big fix in that I wrote in Nixon knowing
    it might be Grant 😂

  10. This one was different; I started this morning, got nowhere–had to
    leave for several hours and when I got home and looked at it again, the
    theme suddenly became clear and I finished with no errors and
    one lookup–the R&B artist India.

  11. It took me longer than usual, but I finally completed it with no errors. I agree with some of the other comments that a few of the clues seemed “off” to me, too.

    Jeri T.

  12. Kinda tough Thursday for me; took 26:40 with one error and one “check-grid.” Didn’t understand the “Blue plumage, say?” clue and had SmALL…, or “Parliament newcomer” for that matter – OmLET. Had a blank at CUR_SYOUR…, when I did the “Check-grid” but I managed to get that right. Should’ve paid a little closer attention to the theme.

    I was an avid reader of Tom Swift and Hardy Boys novels as a preteen and I’m a little embarrassed that I don’t remember noticing “Tom Swiftys.”

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