LA Times Crossword 5 Feb 22, Saturday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Stella Zawistowski
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 17m 44s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9 Bucks’ gp. : NBA

The Bucks are the NBA team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin who joined the league as an expansion team in 1968. There was a fan contest held to choose the team’s name, and the winning entry was “Robins”, in honor of Wisconsin’s state bird. However, the judges opted for “Bucks”, the second-most popular choice and a reference to the state’s official wild animal, the white-tailed deer.

14 Greeting or parting word : CIAO

“Ciao” is Italian for “‘bye”. “Arrivederci” is more formal, and translates as “goodbye”.

15 Larter of “Heroes” : ALI

Ali Larter is an American actress who plays two roles (identical twins) on the NBC series “Heroes”. Larter was originally a model, before moving into acting. One of her more famous roles on the big screen was supporting Reese Witherspoon in the 2001 film “Legally Blonde”.

“Heroes” is a television show that ran on NBC from 2006 to 2010. It’s all about ordinary folk developing superhuman powers, sort of like many comic book characters.

20 Gossamer : LACY

Something described as “gossamer” is light, delicate or flimsy. The term arose in the 1400s when it described spider webs that had been spun in harvested fields in the late fall. It is suggested that “gossamer” comes from “gos” (goose) and “sumer” (summer), the idea being that the silky spider webs resemble goose down, and geese were more commonly seen in the summer. Sounds like a stretch to me …

21 Talk with one’s hands : SIGN

It’s really quite unfortunate that American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) are very different, and someone who has learned to sign in one cannot understand someone signing in the other.

22 Conductor Klemperer : OTTO

Otto Klemperer was a conductor and composer from Germany. Klemperer was a friend of the noted composer Gustav Mahler and assisted Mahler in the first production of his “Symphony of a Thousand”, one of the largest scale choral works in the repertoire. Otto’s son was Werner Klemperer, the actor who played Colonel Klink on the TV show “Hogan’s Heroes”.

27 Composer of “furniture music” : SATIE

The French term “musique d’ameublement” (“furniture music”) describes background music. When the term was coined by French composer Erik Satie in 1917, that background music was played by live performers.

Erik Satie was a French composer best known for his beautiful composition, the three “Gymnopédies”. I have tried so hard to appreciate other works by Satie but I find them so very different from the minimalist simplicity of the lyrical “Gymnopédies”.

29 Decision-making board with no members : OUIJA

The Ouija board was introduced to America as a harmless parlor game at the end of the 19th century, although variations of the board date back to 1100 AD in China, where it was apparently used to “contact” the spirit world. The name “Ouija” is relatively recent, and is probably just a combination of the French and German words for “yes” … “oui” and “ja”.

33 Haydn oratorio, with “The” : … CREATION

“The Creation” is an oratorio by composer Joseph Haydn that was written between 1796 and 1798. Many consider it to be his magnum opus. Haydn was a deeply religious man (he wrote the words “Praise to God” at the end of every composition) and spent more time working on “The Creation” than any other single work. He was inspired to write “The Creation” after spending time in England and hearing the oratorios of Handel.

Josef Haydn was an Austrian composer, often called the “Father of the Symphony” due to his prolific output of symphonies that helped define the form. This is one of the reasons that he was known, even in his own lifetime, as “Papa Haydn”. Haydn was also the father figure among “the big three” composers of the Classical Period: Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Haydn was a good friend to Mozart, and a teacher of Beethoven.

35 Bull elk, at times : BUGLER

Male elks are called bulls, and females are known as cows. Bull elks are known for their very loud screaming, which is called bugling. Cow elks are attracted to bulls that bugle more often and most loudly.

36 Sauce named for a city : CINCINNATI CHILI

Cincinnati chili is a spiced meat sauce that was developed by immigrant restaurateurs from Macedonia in the 1920s. The sauce is rarely served in a bowl (like traditional chili), and is rather served as a topping for spaghetti or hot dogs. Variants of the sauce are ordered traditionally as “ways”:

  • Two-way: spaghetti topped with chili
  • Three-way: spaghetti, chili, and cheese
  • Four-way onion: spaghetti, chili, onions, and cheese
  • Four-way bean: spaghetti, chili, beans, and cheese
  • Five-way: spaghetti, chili, beans, onions, and cheese

Cincinnati, Ohio was the first major city to be founded after the American Revolution, and indeed was the first major inland city to be founded in the whole country. Cincinnati was a boomtown in the 1800s, but it’s growth slowed as the railroads displaced the steamboats as the major form of transportation. The city was founded in 1788, and was named “Cincinnati” two years later. It was named for the Society of Cincinnati, an organization with a mission to preserve the ideals and fellowship of the officers of the Revolutionary War. The society was in turn named for Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus. Cincinnatus was a farmer in ancient Rome who left his land to serve as Consul and then lawful dictator of Rome during a war emergency, before happily handing back power to the Senate after the war was won.

39 Transaction involving the repurchase of securities recently unloaded : WASH SALE

The IRS allows investors to sell stocks at a loss, and use that loss to offset gains. However, the IRS does not allow an investor to sell off that losing stock, and repurchase it within 30 days. That is deemed artificial reduction of capital gains. Any repurchase made within 30 days is known as a wash sale.

40 “… a __ sorrows and acquainted with grief”: “Messiah” : MAN OF

“Messiah” is a famous oratorio composed by George Frideric Handel that was first performed in Dublin, Ireland in 1742. The libretto is a text from the King James Bible that was compiled by Handel’s friend Charles Jennens. Not long after he received the libretto from Jennens, Handel took just 24 days to compose the full oratorio. He was obviously on a roll, because Handel started into his next oratorio, “Samson”, just one week after finishing “Messiah”. He completed the first draft of “Samson” within a month.

41 Pound parts : PENCE

The official name of our smallest denomination coin is “cent”, and our use of the word “penny” is just a colloquialism derived from the British coin of the same name. In the UK, the plural of penny is “pence”, whereas we have “pennies” in our pockets.

42 Bobs and weaves : DOS

A bob cut is a short hairstyle in which the hair is cut straight around the head, at about the line of the jaw. Back in the 1570s, “bob” was the name given to a horse’s tail that was cut short, and about a century later it was being used to describe short hair on humans. The style became very popular with women in the early 1900s (as worn by actress Clara Bow, for example), with the fashion dying out in the thirties. The style reemerged in the sixties around the time the Beatles introduced their “mop tops”, with Vidal Sassoon leading the way in styling women’s hair in a bob cut again. Personally, I like it …

47 __ Minor : ASIA

Asia Minor is also known as Anatolia. It is the geographic part of Asia that protrudes out into the west, towards Europe, and is roughly equivalent to modern-day Turkey.

50 Certain cookie vendor’s reward : MERIT BADGE

Depending on which bakery makes the particular variety of Girl Scout cookies, the name can vary. For example, Little Brownie Bakers makes Samoa cookies, while ABC Bakers uses the same recipe and calls the cookies Caramel deLites. The assumption is that these cookies have the exotic name “Samoa” because they contain the tropical ingredients of coconut and cocoa. The most popular variety of Girl Scout cookies sold are Thin Mints.

57 Semana seventh : DIA

In Spanish, an “año” (year) comprises 52 “semanas” (weeks), and a week comprises 7 “dias” (days).

Down

2 Broadway theatre dedicatee Alfred : LUNT

Alfred Lunt was an actor who was best known for appearing in stage productions with his wife Lynn Fontaine from the 1920s through the 1960s.

The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre is a Broadway theater that originally opened in 1910 as the Globe Theatre, named for the London playhouse used by William Shakespeare. The theater was named in honor of actors Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne in 1958.

7 Insert indicator : CARET

The character known as a caret (^) was originally a proofreading mark, one used to indicate where a punctuation mark was to be inserted. “Caret” is Latin for “it lacks”.

9 Org. in 2018’s “First Man” : NASA

“First Man” is a 2018 film based on the biography “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong” by James R. Hansen. Ryan Gosling plays Armstrong in the movie, which follows the years leading up to the first moon landing in 1969. The film disappointed at the box office, although I must say I enjoyed it …

10 Like-minded group : BLOC

“Bloc” is the French word for “block”.

12 Car-wash-sponsoring org., maybe : PTA

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

13 Black numbers? : NET GAINS

To be in the red is to be in debt, to owe money. The expression “in the red” is a reference to the accounting practice of recording debts and losses in red ink in ledgers. The related phrase “in the black” means “solvent, making a profit”.

17 Prominent figure in the Reign of Terror : DANTON

Georges Danton and Maximilien de Robespierre were two influential figures of the French Revolution. Both men fought to establish a republic after the overthrow of the monarchy, but they were destined to become bitter enemies. Danton envisioned a loose republic based on tradition, nobility and domestic peace, whereas Robespierre favored a strong republic built on virtue, philosophy and justice. During the Reign of Terror, Danton was the first leader the Committee of Public Safety, France’s de facto executive government at that time, and he was soon replaced by Robespierre. Danton was arrested and guillotined, and a few months later Robespierre was deposed and suffered the same fate.

“Reign of Terror” is the name given to the violent months that marked the beginning of the French Revolution. The guillotine earned the nickname “the National Razor” during those days in 1793 and 1794, with tens of thousands of people losing their lives (and heads).

18 Loses, with “off” : SLOUGHS …

To slough off is to cast off, especially when one is talking about the skin of a snake or other animal.

24 Certain razor namesake : OCCAM

Ockham’s (also “Occam’s”) razor is a principle in philosophy and science that basically states that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. This explanation is a corollary to the more exact statement of the principle, that one shouldn’t needlessly use assumptions in explaining something. The principle is referred to as “lex parsimoniae” in Latin, or “the law of parsimony”. Parsimony is being thrifty with money or resources.

25 2002 title role for Salma : FRIDA

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter famous for her self-portraits. She was married to the equally famous artist Diego Rivera. Kahlo was portrayed by actress Salma Hayek in a film about her colorful life called “Frida” released in 2002.

Salma Hayek is a Mexican actress. Hayek was the first Mexican national to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, earning that nomination with her portrayal of artist Frida Kahlo in the 2002 movie “Frida”.

26 Carpenter’s joint component : TENON

One simple type of joint used in carpentry is a mortise and tenon. It is basically a projection carved at the end of one piece of wood that fits into a hole cut into the end of another. In the related dovetail joint, the projecting tenon is not rectangular but is cut at a bias, so that when the dovetails are joined they resist being pulled apart. You’ll see dovetail joints in drawers around the house.

30 Tale in which Hector and Achilles duel : ILIAD

“Iliad” is an epic poem by the Greek poet Homer that tells the story of the ten-year siege of “Ilium” (i.e. “Troy”) during the Trojan war. “The Odyssey”, also attributed to Homer, is sometimes described as a sequel to “Iliad”.

As described in Homer’s “Iliad”, Hector was a Trojan prince and a great fighter. Hector was slain during the Trojan War, as the Greeks lay siege to Troy. If we are to believe the 2004 film “Troy”, Hector actually died at the hands of Achilles, while fighting a duel. Homer’s “Iliad” is less specific about the circumstances of Hector’s death.

Achilles is the protagonist in Homer’s “Iliad”. When Achilles was born, his mother attempted to make him immortal by dipping him into the River Styx. As he was held by the heel as he was immersed, this became the only vulnerable point on his body. Years later he was killed when a poisoned arrow struck him in the heel. That arrow was shot by Paris.

31 __ shot : JELL-O

The earliest published recipe for Jell-O shots (or equivalent) was published in 1862 in a book called “How to Mix Drinks” by Jerry Thomas. That recipe called for gelatin, cognac, rum and lemon juice.

32 Horned zodiac animal : ARIES

According to the ancient Greeks, the constellation Aries the Ram represents the mythological winged ram with the Golden Fleece. The Greeks “hijacked” the constellation though, because it also represented a ram in late Babylonian times, long before the Golden Fleece came along.

34 Agile performer : ACROBAT

An acrobat is someone who performs gymnastic feats. The term “acrobat“ comes into English via French from the Greek “akrobatos” meaning “going on tip-toe, climbing up high”.

35 Twice-baked cookies : BISCOTTI

What we know in this country as “biscotti” are more properly called “biscotti di Prato”. A biscotto is a twice-baked, almond-flavored confection that originated in the Italian city of Prato. Modern versions of biscotti often contain anise or cinnamon in addition to the almond flavoring.

37 Astringent in red wine : TANNIN

Some red wines and teas can have an astringent taste, a dry and puckering feeling, because of the presence of tannins. Tannins occur naturally in plants, probably as a defensive measure against predators who shy away from the astringent. The word “tannin” comes from an Old German word for oak or fir tree, as in “Tannenbaum”.

49 Words from Dr. Watson : I SAY

In the marvelous Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Holmes’ sidekick Dr. Watson is referred to only by his family name, except for two occasions when it is revealed that his first name is John. However, in a third and final mention, Dr. Watson is called “James” by his wife, perhaps indicating a lapse in memory on the part of the author.

51 Great American Ball Park team : REDS

Great American Ball Park is named after the Great American Insurance Group. It seems a pity to me that the name was chosen for a sponsor, as it is such a grand name for a field dedicated to America’s pastime. Oh, and it is home to the Cincinnati Reds baseball team.

53 Command in BASIC : GO TO

BASIC is a family of computer programming languages. The original version in the series was released in 1964 at Dartmouth College. The program was designed to enable students in fields outside the sciences to program computers. The acronym BASIC stands for “Beginners’ All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code”.

54 Musician whose name is a number in reverse : ENO

Brian Eno is a musician, composer and record producer from England who first achieved fame as the synthesizer player with Roxy Music. As a producer, Eno has worked with David Bowie, Devo, Talking Heads and U2.

56 Pitmaster’s application : RUB

A pitmaster is someone skilled in the use of a barbecue.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Possible cause of price cuts : GLUT
5 Sensitivity symptom : ITCH
9 Bucks’ gp. : NBA
12 Overdo, perhaps : POUR ON
14 Greeting or parting word : CIAO
15 Larter of “Heroes” : ALI
16 One might be involved in a gag : TONGUE DEPRESSOR
19 Finish in a winery : AFTERTASTE
20 Gossamer : LACY
21 Talk with one’s hands : SIGN
22 Conductor Klemperer : OTTO
24 Again and again, in verse : OFT
27 Composer of “furniture music” : SATIE
29 Decision-making board with no members : OUIJA
33 Haydn oratorio, with “The” : … CREATION
35 Bull elk, at times : BUGLER
36 Sauce named for a city : CINCINNATI CHILI
38 Fancifies : ADORNS
39 Transaction involving the repurchase of securities recently unloaded : WASH SALE
40 “… a __ sorrows and acquainted with grief”: “Messiah” : MAN OF
41 Pound parts : PENCE
42 Bobs and weaves : DOS
43 Lean meat source : BOAR
45 Shows interest … or a lack of it : NODS
47 __ Minor : ASIA
50 Certain cookie vendor’s reward : MERIT BADGE
55 Symphonist’s work : INSTRUMENTATION
57 Semana seventh : DIA
58 Pre-owned : USED
59 Digs : IS INTO
60 Stock thriller character : SPY
61 Queens, e.g. : BEDS
62 Within: Pref. : ENTO-

Down

1 Slip : GOOF
2 Broadway theatre dedicatee Alfred : LUNT
3 Drives : URGES
4 Travelers’ aids, briefly : TOURIST INFO
5 Lays on, as buttercream : ICES
6 Sneak, in a way : TIPTOE
7 Insert indicator : CARET
8 Plot device? : HOE
9 Org. in 2018’s “First Man” : NASA
10 Like-minded group : BLOC
11 Like a screened-in porch, say : AIRY
12 Car-wash-sponsoring org., maybe : PTA
13 Black numbers? : NET GAINS
17 Prominent figure in the Reign of Terror : DANTON
18 Loses, with “off” : SLOUGHS
23 Connected (with) : TOUCHED BASE
24 Certain razor namesake : OCCAM
25 2002 title role for Salma : FRIDA
26 Carpenter’s joint component : TENON
28 Open-mouthed : IN AWE
30 Tale in which Hector and Achilles duel : ILIAD
31 __ shot : JELL-O
32 Horned zodiac animal : ARIES
34 Agile performer : ACROBAT
35 Twice-baked cookies : BISCOTTI
37 Astringent in red wine : TANNIN
41 Like some bio majors : PRE-MED
44 Get to chuckle : AMUSE
46 Observed, maybe : SAT IN
47 Some are visual : AIDS
48 Short cut? : SNIP
49 Words from Dr. Watson : I SAY
51 Great American Ball Park team : REDS
52 Effort : DINT
53 Command in BASIC : GO TO
54 Musician whose name is a number in reverse : ENO
56 Pitmaster’s application : RUB

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 5 Feb 22, Saturday”

  1. LAT: No errors but quite some time to finish off. So many clues with more than one meaning, e.g., “Queens,” “Digs,” to name a few. A clever, enjoyable puzzle.

  2. @CYRIL from yesterday.. THANKS!! it was a DOH! moment when you said R was at the head.. aarrgh.

    Today was a toughy. 52D got me. Had ENDO for 62A and that left me with DIND for 52D.

    I got the rest of the puzzle but too many artsy references that I didn’t know and waited for crosses.

    Liked the MERIT BADGE… looking forward to some SAMOAN cookies!!!

  3. A bit easier than most Saturday puzzles. No errors, but one lookup: the
    Larter first name. Some words I wasn’t familiar with, like “washsale”,
    but got them through cross letters. Thanks to a Polish friend who baked
    them, I was familiar with biscotti.

  4. Multiple errors – all in the SE corner. Instead of “sat in” I had “saw it” and instead of “dint” for 52 Down I had “dine”. I don’t even want to total all of them up! As Homer Simpson is fond of saying when something like this occurs, “D’oh!”

  5. WhenBill takes over 17 min you know your in for a long day.If it wasn’t for the fill-ins I might have taken all day.Fun pretty difficult puzzle.

  6. 15:55, no errors. Thoughtful solve (as might be expected from Stella Zawistowski). Today’s NYT was created by a fellow named Kameron Austin Collins and was equally thoughtful (as I’ve come to expect from him). I’m grateful to have made it through both puzzles without brain damage … 😜.

  7. 23:23 and at least six errors: DAN[N][O]N, SATIE, INAWE (I had AGAPE), WASHSALE, TANNON, CREATION.

    Fiendishly difficult grid, full of stuff (and names) “you either know or you don’t”.

  8. The Saturday puzzle is my favorite of the
    week but this one didn’t have that certain
    something. Perhaps it was the short
    answers of the top two columns. In any
    event I found it very challenging. Not up
    on my Oratorios. No look ups, 2 errors
    (On proper names). The 2 Cincinnati references are timely as the Bengals are
    coming to town to play the Rams 😎

  9. 1:26:35 and with references to “my notes” and some guesses I still had 2 errors…the setter must be a fan of opera.
    Stay safe😀

  10. 21:25 with DINd/ENdO. Should have double-checked that, because I did not know DIND.

    Had revisions of ADORES>ADORNS, OUNCE>PENCE (one I realized the plural didn’t match up), ARTS>AIDS. Had several cases of where a partially filled in answer looked like it should be a certain word, and so it got filled in, like TANNIN, BISCOTTI, CINCINNATTI, CREATION; because I didn’t know the answer, otherwise. Did not know Satie’s works were considered “furniture music.”

  11. A bit too tricky for me today; with 3 “Grid-checks” I manged to get to the finish in 39:45. I did know WASHSALE, BISCOTTI and spotted CINCINNATI CHILI with the crosses that I had – Colbert joked about this during the week, so that helped.

    I mostly had trouble in the NW, S, E and SE, where I just needed a little push.

  12. Fun! Figuring out the long answers early helped with some of the more esoteric short ones. Worked from the middle right outwards.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.