LA Times Crossword 9 Feb 22, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Peter A. Collins
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Hot Pants

Themed answers each start with “HOT” and end with a part(s) of PANTS:

  • 71A Sexy ’70s fad … and where the answers to starred clues might be found? : HOT PANTS
  • 24A *1977 Rod Stewart hit : HOT LEGS
  • 26A *Difficult spot : HOT SEAT
  • 45A *Microwaveable turnovers : HOT POCKETS

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

Bill’s time: 7m 36s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Kid lit elephant : BABAR

“Babar the Elephant” originated in France, a creation of Jean de Brunhoff in 1931. The first book was “Histoire de Babar”, a book so successful it was translated into English two years later for publication in Britain and the US. Jean de Brunhoff wrote six more Babar stories before he died in 1937, and then his son Laurent continued his father’s work.

16 Dunkable snack : OREO

There is an “official” competition involving Oreo cookies, in case anyone is interested in participating. A competitor has to take several steps to finish an OREO Lick Race:

  1. Twist open the cookie.
  2. Lick each half clean of creme.
  3. Show the clean cookie halves to the fellow competitors.
  4. Dunk the cookie halves in a glass of milk.
  5. Eat the cookie halves.
  6. Drink the milk.
  7. Ready, set, go …

19 Prefix with type : LINO-

Linotype printing was the main technology used in the publication of newspapers and magazines for most of the 20th century, up until the 1970s when it was gradually replaced by offset printing and computer typesetting. Linotype printing was so called as a complete “line of type” was produced at one time.

21 Measure used by navigators : NAUTICAL MILE

A nautical mile (sometimes “sea mile”) is a distance measurement that is about a one-minute arc of longitude at the equator. A nautical mile is also equal to about a one-minute arc of latitude along any meridian. The accepted length today is 1,852 meters. The unit of speed known as a “knot” is equal to one nautical mile per hour.

24 *1977 Rod Stewart hit : HOT LEGS

English singer Rod Stewart first achieved success with the Jeff Beck Group in the late sixties before launching a solo career while recording with a new lineup called Faces. Stewart is an ardent soccer fan, and actually supports the Scottish national team (Rod’s father was Scottish). Stewart plays the game himself, playing for a team called the LA Exiles along with a few other celebrities. He even kicks autographed soccer balls into the audience at his concerts.

29 NYSE debut : IPO

An initial public offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

The roots of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) go back to 1792 when a group of 24 stock brokers set up the New York Stock & Exchange Board. They did so in an agreement signed under a buttonwood tree outside 68 Wall Street. That document became known as the Buttonwood Agreement. Today, the NYSE is located in a National Historic Landmark building with the address 11 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City.

33 Turkish title : AGA

“Aga” (also “agha”) is a title that was used by both civil and military officials in the Ottoman Empire.

34 Semester : TERM

“Semester” is a German word from the Latin “semestris”, an adjective meaning “of six months”. We use the term in a system that divides an academic year into two roughly equal parts. A trimester-system has three parts, and a quarter-system has four.

37 “Miracle on 34th Street” hero Kringle : KRIS

“Kris Kringle” (sometimes “Kriss Kringle”) is the name often used here in North America for Santa Claus. “Kris Kringle” is an anglicized form of “Christkind”, the bringer of gifts in many other countries including Austria, the Czech Republic and parts of Germany. “Christkind” is German for “Christ-child”.

Edmund Gwenn was an actor from London who appeared in some famous films over the years. Most famously, Gwenn played Kris Kringle in 1947’s “Miracle on 34th Street”, for which performance he won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

“Miracle on 34th Street” is a classic Christmas film from 1947 starring Maureen O’Hara, John Payne and a very young Natalie Wood. If I might ruin the end of the story for you, Santa Claus does exist ‘cause the US Post Office says so …

40 Part of Batman’s outfit : COWL

A cowl is a long garment with a hood that is primarily worn by monks in the Christian tradition. The term “cowl” can also describe the hood itself.

Batman and Robin are somewhat unique among their superhero compatriots in that they have no special powers, just a whole load of cool gadgets. Batman is sometimes referred to as the Caped Crusader, Robin as the Boy Wonder, and the pair as the Dynamic Duo.

42 Horse-drawn cab : HANSOM

A hansom cab is a very specific design of horse and buggy that was patented by Joseph Hansom in 1834 in England. The “cab” in the name is short for “cabriolet”, an earlier design of carriage on which the hansom was based. It’s from “hansom cab” that we get our modern term “cab”.

45 *Microwaveable turnovers : HOT POCKETS

Hot Pockets were introduced in the seventies by brothers David and Paul Merage. Hot Pockets are microwaveable turnovers filled with cheese, meat or vegetables.

53 Minor, as a sin : VENIAL

In some Christian denominations, sins can be either venial or mortal in terms of severity, with mortal sins being the more grievous.

54 Twin Falls-to-Sioux Falls direction : EAST

The Idaho city of Twin Falls is named for a waterfall on the Snake River that bears the same name. Also in the Twin Falls area are Shoshone Falls and Pillar Falls, with the former being 46 feet higher than Niagara Falls.

Sioux Falls is the largest city in the state of South Dakota. The city is named for the cascades on the Big Sioux River on which Sioux Falls is built.

58 Old Route 66 city : TULSA

Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma (after Oklahoma City). Tulsa started out as a settlement established by the Loachapoka and Creek Native American tribes in 1836. These early settlers called their new home “Tallasi” meaning “old town”, and this name morphed into “Tulsa” that we use today.

The famous old highway called Route 66 has largely been replaced by modern interstates. It ran from Chicago to Los Angeles, right through the heart of America, and so it was often called the “Main Street of America”. The road gained notoriety because of Nat King Cole’s song “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66”, and also because of the sixties TV show called “Route 66”.

61 Army leader sometimes seen in a bunker? : ARNIE

Arnold Palmer was one of the greats of the world of golf. He was very popular with many fans of the game, and his followers were usually referred to as “Arnie’s Army”. Off the course, Palmer was an avid pilot until his latter years. He resided in Latrobe, Pennsylvania for much of the year and the local airport is named in his honor: Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.

Sand traps on a golf course are referred to as bunkers on the other side of the Atlantic.

62 Crest box abbr. : ADA

The American Dental Association (ADA) is the largest and oldest national dental association in the world. Today the ADA is based in Chicago, but the association was founded in Niagara Falls, New York in 1859. The ADA started out as a group of 26 dentists, and it now has more than 152,000 members.

Crest is a Procter & Gamble brand of toothpaste that was introduced in 1953.

69 Food store letters : IGA

The initialism “IGA” stands for “Independent Grocers Alliance”, and is a chain of supermarkets that extends right around the world. IGA’s headquarters is in Chicago. The company uses the slogan “Hometown Proud Supermarkets”.

70 Tip of a wing tip : TOE

A brogue is more commonly called a wing tip here in the US, I think. The shoe design originated in Ireland and Scotland, and “brog” the Irish word (and similar Scottish word) for shoe gives rise to the name. The brogue/wingtip design includes decorative perforations in the leather uppers. The toe cap of a brogue curves back in a shape that suggests the tip of a bird’s wing, hence the alternative name.

71 Sexy ’70s fad … and where the answers to starred clues might be found? : HOT PANTS

Hot pants were quite the fad. They were introduced in fashion shows in the winter of 1970/71, and became a huge sensation in the summer of ’71. By the end of the year, hot pants were “gone”.

72 “__ Misérables” : LES

Victor Hugo’s famous 1862 novel “Les Misérables” has been translated into English several times. However, the title is usually left in the original French as a successful translation of “les misérables” seems to be elusive. Some suggestions for an English title are “The Wretched”, “The Victims” and “The Dispossessed”. The novel follows the lives of several characters including an ex-convict Jean Valjean, a fanatic police inspector Javert, a beautiful prostitute Fantine, and Fantine’s illegitimate daughter Cosette.

Down

1 Humanities degs. : BAS

The academic studies of human culture are collectively called the humanities. Subjects included in the humanities are languages, literature, philosophy, religion and music.

3 1975 Springsteen hit : BORN TO RUN

“Born to Run” is a 1975 Bruce Springsteen song that was the title track of an album of the same name. Springsteen wrote the song, but he wasn’t actually the first to record it. Allan Clarke of the Hollies had that honor, but the release of the Clarke version was delayed until Springsteen’s hit the record shelves. “Born to Run” became Springsteen’s first US Top 40 hit.

4 No-frills typeface : ARIAL

We tend to use the terms typeface and font interchangeably. Technically, a typeface and font are not the same thing. A complete set of characters with a common design is referred to as a typeface (common examples being Helvetica and Arial). That typeface consists of a whole collection of fonts, all varying in weight and size. One set of Helvetica fonts, for example, might be Helvetica 14 point or Helvetica 16 point, i.e. a specific size. Another set might be Helvetica bold, or Helvetica italic. The difference between fonts and typefaces mattered a great deal when printers had collections of individual letters to make up blocks of text. Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about that these days.

6 Like mind-and-body medicine : HOLISTIC

A holistic approach to medicine emphasizes not only physical symptoms but also social considerations and the environment.

7 __ the Red : ERIC

According to Icelandic tradition, Erik the Red was the man responsible for founding the first Norse settlement in Greenland. Erik had a famous son: the explorer Leif Ericson.

8 Horne of jazz : LENA

Lena Horne was an American jazz singer, actress, dancer and civil rights activist. Horne started her career as a nightclub singer and then began to get some meaty acting roles in Hollywood. However, she ended up on the blacklist during the McCarthy Era for expressing left wing political views. One of Horne’s starring roles was in the 1943 movie “Stormy Weather” for which she also performed the title song.

9 Shark’s hangout : POOL HALL

A pool shark is a player who hustles others in a pool hall with the goal of making money unfairly in competition. The term “pool shark” used to be “pool sharp”.

10 Diminutive : PETITE

“Petite” is the French word for “small”, when applied to a feminine noun.

12 Promethium’s element class : RARE EARTH

Rare earth elements are so called because they are rarely found in mineral form in a sufficient concentration for exploitation.

Promethium is a chemical element in the rare earth category. It has an atomic number 61 and the element symbol Pm. It is one of the “rarest” of “rare-earth metals, as all of its isotopes are radioactive.

13 Chicago hrs. : CST

Central Standard Time (CST)

22 “Yay, the weekend!” : TGIF!

“Thank God It’s Friday” (TGIF)

25 Soap __ : OPERA

The original soap operas were radio dramas back in the fifties. Given the structure of society back then, the daytime broadcasts were aimed at women working in the home as housewives. For some reason the sponsors of those radio shows, and the television shows that followed, were soap manufacturers like Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers. And that’s how the “soap” opera got its name …

28 Shocks, in a way : TASES

To tase is to use a taser, a stun gun.

31 Brian of ambient music : ENO

Brian Eno was one of the pioneers of the genre of ambient music. Eno composed an album in 1978 called “Ambient 1: Music for Airports”, which was the first in a series of four albums with an ambient theme. Eno named the tracks, somewhat inventively, 1/1, 1/2, 2/1 and 2/2.

39 Place to go in Gloucester : LOO

Gloucester is a city in South West England that lies close to the Welsh border. It is the county seat of Gloucestershire. Fans of “Harry Potter” might want to visit the magnificent Gloucester Cathedral. Its cloisters were used in two “Harry Potter” movies as corridors of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

43 1981 cable debut : MTV

The first video played at the launch of MTV the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star” (I love that song), followed by Pat Benatar singing “You Better Run”.

44 Pompadour need : GEL

In the pompadour style, hair at the front is swept up and worn high over the forehead. The style was originally associated with women, and was named for the mistress of King Louis XV, Madame de Pompadour. Males began to sport a similar style in the late 1940s, popularized by rock and roll stars such as Elvis Presley.

48 Movie house : CINEMA

We usually use the term “movie theater” in the US to describe a location that shows films. In many English-speaking countries outside of the US, the term “cinema” is used instead, with the word “theater” (usually spelled “theatre”) reserved for venues that show live performances.

49 “The Big Chill” director : KASDAN

Lawrence Kasdan is a film producer, director and screenwriter. He wrote the script of the movie “The Bodyguard” and worked on the screenplays for “Return of the Jedi” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. Kasdan also directed and wrote the screenplay for “The Big Chill”.

“The Big Chill” is a 1983 baby-boomer comedy-drama that is noted as much for its “oldies” soundtrack as for the acting, both of which are excellent. The film follows a group of college friends who get together at the funeral of a friend who committed suicide. The great cast includes Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt and Kevin Kline. Kevin Costner actually played Alex, the man who died, but scenes showing his face were cut from the final version of the movie.

50 Maze word : START

Back around 1300, “maze” meant “delusion, bewilderment”, and came from the same root as our verb “to amaze”. It was almost two centuries later that a labyrinth, or baffling network of paths, came to be described as a “maze”. Mazes are amazing, bewildering.

51 Zoom meeting component : AUDIO

Zoom is a videoconferencing app that became remarkably popular in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The market deemed Zoom to be the easiest to use of the free videoconferencing apps. I’ve been using it, but really prefer Google’s Meet offering …

55 Blacksmith’s block : ANVIL

A blacksmith is someone who forges and shapes iron, perhaps to make horseshoes. A farrier is someone who fits horseshoes onto the hooves of horses. The term “blacksmith” is sometimes used for one who shoes horses, especially as many blacksmiths make horseshoes and fit them as well.

56 Lengthy assault : SIEGE

Our word “siege” comes from a 13th-century word for a “seat”. The military usage derives from the concept of a besieging force “sitting down” outside a fortress until it falls.

57 Where to find Katy and Austin : TEXAS

The city of Katy, Texas is in the Greater Houston metropolitan area. Back in the early 1800s, the original settlement in the area was known as Cane Island. The name “Katy” was applied in 1896, and was a reference to the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Company that built a station in the area. The railroad used the name “MKT”, which led to the nicknames “the K-T” and “the Katy”.

Austin is the capital of the state of Texas. When the area was chosen to be the capital of the Republic of Texas, it was known as Waterloo. The name was changed in honor of Stephen F. Austin, a native of Virginia who was raised in Missouri and led the first successful colonization of Texas.

64 “Xanadu” rock gp. : ELO

The title song of the 1980 movie “Xanadu” was performed by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and Olivia Newton-John (who starred in the film). Despite the popularity of ELO around the world, the song “Xanadu” was the band’s only number-one hit back in their homeland of the UK.

65 Neighbor of N.Y. and Minn. : ONT

The Canadian province of Ontario takes its name from the Great Lake. In turn, Lake Ontario’s name is thought to be derived from “Ontari:io”, a Huron word meaning “great lake”. Ontario is home to the nation’s capital of Ottawa as well as Toronto, Canada’s most populous city (and the capital of the province).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Kid lit elephant : BABAR
6 Lend support to : HELP
10 Outdoor sitting area : PORCH
15 Love : ADORE
16 Dunkable snack : OREO
17 Leave no trace of : ERASE
18 Feature that 4-Down lacks : SERIF
19 Prefix with type : LINO-
20 Some pastries : TARTS
21 Measure used by navigators : NAUTICAL MILE
24 *1977 Rod Stewart hit : HOT LEGS
26 *Difficult spot : HOT SEAT
29 NYSE debut : IPO
30 Versed in creative writing : LITERATE
33 Turkish title : AGA
34 Semester : TERM
36 Usually dramatic symphony ending : FINALE
37 “Miracle on 34th Street” hero Kringle : KRIS
38 More than unkind : CRUEL
40 Part of Batman’s outfit : COWL
41 Owner’s document : TITLE
42 Horse-drawn cab : HANSOM
44 Cuts needing stitches : GASHES
45 *Microwaveable turnovers : HOT POCKETS
50 Not out : SAFE
53 Minor, as a sin : VENIAL
54 Twin Falls-to-Sioux Falls direction : EAST
58 Old Route 66 city : TULSA
60 Gets some sun : TANS
61 Army leader sometimes seen in a bunker? : ARNIE
62 Crest box abbr. : ADA
63 Sat atop : RESTED ON
66 Bother : VEX
67 Wheel edge : RIM
68 Petitioner : CLAIMANT
69 Food store letters : IGA
70 Tip of a wing tip : TOE
71 Sexy ’70s fad … and where the answers to starred clues might be found? : HOT PANTS
72 “__ Misérables” : LES

Down

1 Humanities degs. : BAS
2 Fruit drink suffix : -ADE
3 1975 Springsteen hit : BORN TO RUN
4 No-frills typeface : ARIAL
5 Fill ‘er up … again : REFUEL
6 Like mind-and-body medicine : HOLISTIC
7 __ the Red : ERIC
8 Horne of jazz : LENA
9 Shark’s hangout : POOL HALL
10 Diminutive : PETITE
11 Postgrad tests : ORALS
12 Promethium’s element class : RARE EARTH
13 Chicago hrs. : CST
14 Bulls and bucks : HES
22 “Yay, the weekend!” : TGIF!
23 Tiny bit of dust : MOTE
24 Snag : HITCH
25 Soap __ : OPERA
27 Nimble : AGILE
28 Shocks, in a way : TASES
31 Brian of ambient music : ENO
32 Cold and rainy : RAW
35 Interacts well : MESHES
37 One fond of smooching : KISSER
39 Place to go in Gloucester : LOO
41 Bit of arm art : TAT
43 1981 cable debut : MTV
44 Pompadour need : GEL
46 Cared for a cat, say : PET-SAT
47 How stock may be bought : ON A TIP
48 Movie house : CINEMA
49 “The Big Chill” director : KASDAN
50 Maze word : START
51 Zoom meeting component : AUDIO
52 Lover : FLAME
55 Blacksmith’s block : ANVIL
56 Lengthy assault : SIEGE
57 Where to find Katy and Austin : TEXAS
59 Part of a foot : ARCH
61 Colony members : ANTS
64 “Xanadu” rock gp. : ELO
65 Neighbor of N.Y. and Minn. : ONT

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 9 Feb 22, Wednesday”

  1. Got stuck with some of the songs. Wanted to put Born in the USA for Bruce Springsteen and of course that wasn’t right. Not into religion, so didn’t know venial. And I never heard of Lawrence Kasdan, which really surprised me after I looked him up. And that’s my sob story for today.

  2. @Jennifer E (from yesterday) …

    You are, of course, right about “año” and “ano”, but … one of the conventions in crosswords is that things like accents, umlauts, spaces, hyphens – anything but the unadorned letters – get dropped from entries in the grid.

  3. Whoops… had MTM for 43D and MENIAL for 53A… pretty dumb of me in hindsight.

    got 3D and 24A right out of the chute. Those 2 brought back some memories.

  4. 23:40 with one dumb error😥
    I stopped in the middle to answer the phone…someone wanted to buy my house…I said “sure, I got up this morning and decided to sell…if only someone would call”she didn’t get the message and asked me how much?
    I told her 150,000 for the house and 350,000 for violating the DO NOT CALL LIST…she still didn’t get it…I hung up🤪
    @Mary…one of 5 right?
    Stay safe😀

  5. Menial instead of venial. I thought a small sin would be menial…D’oh! So that gave me MTM (thinking of Mary Tyler Moore) instead of MTV. Double D’oh!

    On to the WSJ!

  6. 9:41 with no errors or lookups. Had kind of a hot streak on some clues. Changed along the way: PATIO>PORCH, IRK>VEX.

    No issues. Clever cross with ARIAL & SERIF.

  7. Today was easier than Mon or Tues. Sometimes it feels like the constructor and I grew up together; we seem to have the same vocabulary.

    Re yesterday or Monday-last night a book I was reading had the word REECHO. If I remember right, it involved cheering.
    Re ARIAL and SERIF. Several yrs ago I borrowed a book on font design from a web site designer. It is an amazingly complex subject, and they have a reason and a name for everything they do.

    1. I am back borrowing space, Glenn, and nice going. We are having
      a good M-Th, averaging in the 90’s for per cent solved. My wife got
      95% on her own on Tuesday’s puzzle. I thought they were too hard
      on M, W and Th. But so it goes, it is what it is.

      Hi to my pal A Nonny Muss.

      Did I miss seeing Nolanski’s comment?

      Thanks for the space. I am still shuto ut.

  8. 16:34 – error on ARCH – just looked past it … happy for a Wednesday.

    Enjoyed the puzzle. Got the theme early, but it really didn’t help that much.

    Be Well.

  9. 7:00

    A theme hoping for summer. I like that the LEGS, SEAT, and POCKETS are in the PANTS.

    Is it just me, or is the grid smiling? Or maybe it’s an 8-bit character with stubby legs and arms spread wide. Somehow it puts me in mind of Space Invaders.

  10. Very tough Wednesday for me; took 19:00 with 2 errors , all in VENIAL of which I didn’t have the V and the A. I guessed A correctly for KASDAN and then went through almost the entire alphabet to get the V…which in retrospect I should have got right away.

    Boy, the top 2/3 was pretty easy and then I just got bogged down a bit in the bottom 1/3, until I just hit a rock with VENIAL.

  11. 1A. ‘lit’ is not the same as ‘lit.’ The puzzlemaker clearly understands the difference because in 62A, 1D, 13D, 64D and 65D he correctly uses a period to indicate an abbreviation. Incorrect clue.

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