LA Times Crossword 18 Mar 22, Friday

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Constructed by: Jamey Smith
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Watteau Great Puzzle!

Themed answers start with an artist, and sound like a common phrase:

  • 17A Spanish artist’s portrait of an American president? : DALI MADISON (sounds like “Dolley Madison”)
  • 31A Swiss artist’s painting of a bird? : KLEE PIGEON (sounds like “clay pigeon”)
  • 37A American artist’s condiment rendering? : SARGENT PEPPER (sounds like “Sergeant Pepper”)
  • 45A American pop artist’s drawing of an ulna? : HARING BONE (sounds like “herringbone”)
  • 61A Mexican artist’s poinsettia painting? : KAHLO FLOWER (sounds like “cauliflower”)

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

Bill’s time: 8m 04s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Westernmost African capital : DAKAR

The Republic of Senegal is a country on the far western coast of Africa. For many years Senegal was a French colony, gaining independence in 1960. The capital of Senegal is Dakar. Dakar is located on the Cap-Vert Peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, thus making it the westernmost capital on the African mainland.

6 Ballroom dance : RUMBA

The rumba (sometimes “rhumba”) is a Cuban dance, with influences brought by African slaves and Spanish colonists. The name “rumba” comes from “rumbo”, the Spanish word for “party, spree”.

11 World’s oldest natl. channel : BBC

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is also known as “the Beeb”, a name given to the network by the great Peter Sellers on the classic British radio comedy called “The Goon Show”. The BBC was founded in 1922, and was the world’s first national broadcasting organization.

14 Historical 1960 John Wayne film, with “The” : … ALAMO

“The Alamo” is a 1960 film, and was very much a personal project for John Wayne. He directed the movie, and put one and half million dollars of his own money into it (which he lost). Wayne wanted to play a small role in the film so that he could focus on directing, as the film marked his directorial debut. However, investors insisted on Wayne playing the lead role of Davy Crockett as they felt they would have a better chance of recouping their money using the box office draw of the Wayne name.

15 Ewoks’ forest moon : ENDOR

The fictional forested moon of Endor features prominently in the “Star Wars” movie “Return of the Jedi”. The moon is home to the race of furry aliens known as Ewoks. Filming for the forest scenes actually took place in Humboldt Redwoods State Park in Northern California.

17 Spanish artist’s portrait of an American president? : DALI MADISON (sounds like “Dolley Madison”)

Artist Salvador Dalí liked to make a splash in public. He was known to walk an anteater on a lead around Paris. He also brought an anteater on stage to an interview on “The Dick Cavett Show” in 1970.

Dolley Madison was the wife of President James Madison. Her maiden name was Payne, and her first marriage was to a Quaker lawyer named John Todd. The Todd couple had two children, two boys. Sadly, husband and youngest son died in a yellow fever epidemic in 1793. 43-year-old James Madison married the 26-year-old widow the following year. The Madisons moved to Washington in 1800 when James was appointed as Secretary of State in the Jefferson administration. Dolley often took on the role of First Lady at social functions for the president, as Thomas Jefferson was a widower. James Madison succeeded Jefferson as US President in 1809, and Dolley became the official First Lady (although the title didn’t really take root until the early 20th century).

19 What Marcie calls Peppermint Patty : SIR

Peppermint Patty is a character in the long-running comic strip “Peanuts”, by Charles M. Schulz. Peppermint Patty has a friend named Marcie who famously refers to her as “Sir”, which is perhaps a reference to Peppermint Patty’s reputation as a tomboy. Tomboy or not, it is revealed in the strip that Peppermint Patty has quite a crush on Charlie Brown.

20 Tokyo beer brand : ASAHI

Asahi is a Japanese beer, and the name of the brewery that produces it. “Asahi” is Japanese for “morning sun”. Asahi introduced a “dry beer” in 1987, igniting a craze that rocketed the brewery to the number one spot in terms of beer production in Japan, with Sapporo close behind.

31 Swiss artist’s painting of a bird? : KLEE PIGEON (sounds like “clay pigeon”)

Artist Paul Klee was born in Switzerland, but studied art in Munich in Germany. We can see many of Klee’s works in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. If you get to Bern in Switzerland, even more of them can be seen at the Zentrum Paul Klee that was opened in 2005. Klee’s most celebrated work is his pointillist painting from 1932 called “Ad Parnassum”, which is owned by the Kunstmuseum, also located in Bern.

There are three types of competitive shotgun target shooting sports:

  • Skeet shooting
  • Trap shooting
  • Sporting clays

36 Press start? : PERMA …

The term “permanent press” (also “permapress”) applies to fabrics marketed as “wrinkle-free”. The phrase was coined in 1964, describing a textile made from cotton and polyester with formaldehyde-impregnated resins.

37 American artist’s condiment rendering? : SARGENT PEPPER (sounds like “Sergeant Pepper”)

John Singer Sargent was an American artist, one best known for his portrait painting. Sargent trained as an artist mainly in Paris, although he found that he had to leave the city after one of his paintings was deemed “scandalous” by French society. The work was “Portrait of Madame X” (1884), a painting of a noted lady in society that was considered too risque and sensual. After the painting was exhibited, his commissions dried up and Sargent moved to London in order to continue his career. Today the “Portrait of Madame X” is considered by many to be Sargent’s best work.

“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was the alter-ego of the Beatles, and the title of a famous studio album released in 1967, as well as the name of the album’s title track.

42 Temple reading : TORAH

The word “Torah” best translates as “teaching”, I am told.

43 Vegas natural : SEVEN

The term “natural” applies to several games of chance. In blackjack, it describes a total of 21 achieved with just two cards. In craps, it is a total of 7 or 11 with two dice on the come out roll. In baccarat, it is a total of 8 or 9 in a two-card hand.

45 American pop artist’s drawing of an ulna? : HARING BONE (sounds like “herringbone”)

Keith Haring was an artist who started out making chalk drawings on the New York City subway system in the late seventies and early eighties. As his work gained some recognition, he became friends with Andy Warhol, who helped Haring achieve his success.

Herringbone is a v-shape pattern found in some fabrics, particularly twill. Woolen fabrics with a herringbone pattern are often used to make suits and other outerwear.

The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinky-side”.

51 Dutch __ : OVEN

A Dutch oven is a cooking pot with a tight lid, usually made from cast-iron. Back in Ireland we call them casserole dishes.

54 Elton’s john : LOO

It has been suggested that the British term “loo”, meaning “toilet”, comes from “Waterloo” (water closet … water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of “lanterloo”, in which the pot was called the loo!

“Elton John” is the stage name of English singer and pianist Reginald Dwight. John is an avid football (soccer) supporter, and is especially enthusiastic about Watford Football Club, which was his local team growing up. After he achieved financial success, John was able to purchase Watford FC, and owned the club from 1976 to 1987, and again from 1997 until 2002.

60 Nectar collector : BEE

The sugary liquid known as nectar is produced by plants to attract animals needed for the plant’s survival. The classic example is the nectar produced in flowers that attracts insects needed to facilitate pollination. Some plants produce nectar in leaves that attracts favorable insects that in turn prey on insects that can harm the plants.

The waggle dance is a behavior exhibited by bees that informs other members of the hive about the direction and distance to a supply of nectar. Apparently the meaning of the dance “moves” are fairly well understood. The direction of the dance relative to the sun indicates the direction to the nectar source. The length of time spent “waggling” in one direction indicates how far away the source is.

61 Mexican artist’s poinsettia painting? : KAHLO FLOWER (sounds like “cauliflower”)

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.

The poinsettia plant is named for botanist Joel Roberts Poinsett, who was also the first US Minister to Mexico. Poinsett introduced the species into the US from south of the border in 1828. The association of the poinsettia with the Christmas season started in Mexico and are based on a 16th-century tale. It tells of a young girl who could not afford a gift to celebrate Christmas so she was told by an angel to gather weeds from the side of the road and place them on the church altar. The weeds blossomed into showy poinsettias. Since 2002, here in the US we’ve been celebrating Poinsettia Day on December 12th, which is the day that Joel Roberts Poinsett died.

67 Kids’ refrain : E-I-E-I-O

There was an old American version of the English children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (E-I-E-I-O) that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the older US version goes “Old MacDougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o”.

Down

1 __ joke : DAD

I tell dad jokes all the time, just to annoy the kids …

  • I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. It’s impossible to put down!
  • If you see a robbery at an Apple Store, does that make you an iWitness?
  • A termite walks into a bar and asks, “Is the bar tender here?”
  • Two guys walk into a bar, the third one ducks.
  • What’s the best part about living in Switzerland? I don’t know, but the flag is a big plus.

2 __ mode : A LA

In French, “à la mode” simply means “fashionable”. In America, the term has also come to describe a way of serving pie. Pie served à la mode includes a dollop of cream or ice cream, or as I recall from my time living in Upstate New York, with a wedge of cheddar cheese.

3 Greek olive named for its place of origin : KALAMATA

The kalamata olive is a large, dark purple, almond-shaped olive that is perhaps the most common table olive from Greece. It is named for the city of Kalamata in the southern Peloponnese, which is at the center of the region where the olive variety is grown. Even though the EU reserves the name “kalamata” for only those olives grown in the region, we can buy kalamata olives grown elsewhere, from California for example.

4 Côte d’Azur comrades : AMIS

The Côte d’Azur is on the Mediterranean coast of France and stretches from Saint-Tropez in the west and to the Italian border in the east. In English, we often refer to the area as “the French Riviera”. It’s a little crowded for me (okay, “expensive”), especially in the summer.

5 Canning tomatoes : ROMAS

The Roma tomato isn’t considered an heirloom variety but it is very popular with home gardeners, especially those gardeners that don’t have a lot of space. It is a bush type (as opposed to vine type) and needs very little room to provide a lot of tomatoes.

7 Cambridge, colloquially : UNI

In Australia (Down Under), and in Britain and Ireland, the term “uni” is used routinely for “university”.

The University of Cambridge in England is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world (after the University of Oxford). It is also the third-oldest university in the world (the University of Bologna is the oldest).

8 Checkup pros : MDS

Medical doctor (MD)

10 River through Florence : ARNO

The Arno is the principal river in the Tuscany region of Italy, and passes through the cities of Florence and Pisa. Famously the Arno flooded in 1966, the worst flood in the region for centuries. There were numerous deaths and extensive destruction of priceless art treasures, particularly in Florence.

12 S.O.S alternative : BRILLO

Brillo is a soapy, steel wool pad patented in 1913. The company claims that the name “Brillo” is derived from the Latin word for “bright”.

S.O.S is a brand of scouring pads made from steel wool impregnated with soap. The product was invented as a giveaway by an aluminum pot salesman in San Francisco called Ed Cox. His wife gave it the name “S.O.S” as an initialism standing for “Save Our Saucepans”. Note the punctuation! There is no period after the last S, and that is deliberate. When Cox went to register the trademark, he found that “S.O.S.” could not be a trademark because it was used as an international distress signal. So he dropped the period after the last S, and I hope made a lot of money for himself and his wife.

13 Turn recklessly : CAREEN

The term “careen” dates back to 1590 when it meant “to turn a ship on its side, exposing the keel”. The word evolved from the Middle French word “carene” meaning “keel”. Our modern usage, meaning to lean or tilt, only dates back as far as the 1880s. Careen should not be confused with “career”, a verb meaning to move rapidly. One has to “career” from side-to-side in order to “careen”.

22 King Kong and Lady Kong : BIG APES

The 1986 movie “King Kong Lives” features King Kong and his love interest, a giant female ape known as “Lady Kong”.

26 Served in a chafing dish, say : KEPT HOT

A chafing dish is a portable grate used for food that must be cooked over a slow heat, The heat source is often charcoal or an alcohol burner. The term “chafing” comes from the French “chauffer” meaning “to make warm”.

30 Bond holding? : MARTINI

Why have a vodka martini shaken and not stirred (as does James Bond, 007)? For one thing, the shaken drink tends to be colder. And with more melted ice in the drink, it isn’t as strong. These are my personal observations. No need to write in …

32 TSA __Check : PRE

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) operates its precheck program known as “TSA Pre✓” (or “TSA PreCheck”). Members of the program receive expedited screening at most airports. In order to become a member, a traveler must apply online, appear in person at a designated office for a background check and fingerprinting, and pay a fee for a 5-year membership.

35 Commercial letters after Bug or Weed : B-GON

Bug B-Gon and Weed B-Gon are product lines sold under the Ortho brand name by Scotts Miracle-Gro.

38 Small amount of work : ERG

An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, with one joule comprising 10 million ergs. It has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off. The term comes from “ergon”, the Greek word for work.

40 Villain in Stephen King’s “The Dark Half,” e.g. : EVIL TWIN

“The Dark Half” is a 1989 horror novel by Stephen King. The book was adapted into a film of the same name in 1993 starring Timothy Hutton. But, horror … not for me …

41 Silver State city : RENO

The official nickname of Nevada is the Silver State, a reference to the importance of silver ore in the state’s growth and economy. An unofficial nickname is the Battle Born State. “Battle Born” is a reference to Nevada being awarded statehood during the American Civil War.

45 Halfling of Middle-earth : HOBBIT

“The Hobbit, or There and Back Again” is a children’s fantasy novel by J. R. R. Tolkien that was popular from the time of its first publication in 1937. Included in the early awards for “The Hobbit” was a prize for best juvenile fiction from “The New York Herald Tribune”. Tolkien adapted his succeeding novel “The Lord of the Rings” to incorporate elements in “The Hobbit”, so that the two tales are very much related.

46 Olay rival : AVEENO

Aveeno is a manufacturer of skincare and haircare products that was founded in 1945. The name Aveeno comes from the Latin name for the common oat, i.e. Avena sativa.

48 Errant, as a field goal : NO GOOD

Someone described as errant is roving around, especially in search of adventure, as in “knight-errant”.The term “errant” has come to mean “behaving wrongly” and “straying outside the bounds”.

57 __ accompli : FAIT

“Fait accompli” is a French term that translates literally as “accomplished fact”. It is used in English to mean “a done deal”.

64 Half a mammal? : EMS

Half of the letters in the word “mammal” are letters M (ems).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Westernmost African capital : DAKAR
6 Ballroom dance : RUMBA
11 World’s oldest natl. channel : BBC
14 Historical 1960 John Wayne film, with “The” : … ALAMO
15 Ewoks’ forest moon : ENDOR
16 Notable period : ERA
17 Spanish artist’s portrait of an American president? : DALI MADISON (sounds like “Dolley Madison”)
19 What Marcie calls Peppermint Patty : SIR
20 Tokyo beer brand : ASAHI
21 Up and about : MOBILE
23 “Just like that!” : BAM!
25 Charges too much : SOAKS
28 Loaf : IDLE
29 Skill-measuring method : EXAM
31 Swiss artist’s painting of a bird? : KLEE PIGEON (sounds like “clay pigeon”)
34 Do well on the test : GET A B
36 Press start? : PERMA-
37 American artist’s condiment rendering? : SARGENT PEPPER (sounds like “Sergeant Pepper”)
42 Temple reading : TORAH
43 Vegas natural : SEVEN
45 American pop artist’s drawing of an ulna? : HARING BONE (sounds like “herringbone”)
50 Betray the gang : SING
51 Dutch __ : OVEN
52 Merciless : STONY
54 Elton’s john : LOO
55 Opinion : BELIEF
58 66-Across arrival : GUEST
60 Nectar collector : BEE
61 Mexican artist’s poinsettia painting? : KAHLO FLOWER (sounds like “cauliflower”)
66 58-Across booking : INN
67 Kids’ refrain : E-I-E-I-O
68 Top-notch : PRIMO
69 Kid : TOT
70 Cowgirl’s ride : STEED
71 Perceive : SENSE

Down

1 __ joke : DAD
2 __ mode : A LA
3 Greek olive named for its place of origin : KALAMATA
4 Côte d’Azur comrades : AMIS
5 Canning tomatoes : ROMAS
6 Phone timesaver : REDIAL
7 Cambridge, colloquially : UNI
8 Checkup pros : MDS
9 Sailing spar : BOOM
10 River through Florence : ARNO
11 Not relevant to : BESIDE
12 S.O.S alternative : BRILLO
13 Turn recklessly : CAREEN
18 “I see now” : AH, OK
22 King Kong and Lady Kong : BIG APES
23 Beseech : BEG
24 Plot lines : AXES
26 Served in a chafing dish, say : KEPT HOT
27 Trickle : SEEP
30 Bond holding? : MARTINI
32 TSA __Check : PRE
33 Little devils : IMPS
35 Commercial letters after Bug or Weed : B-GON
38 Small amount of work : ERG
39 Slaps the cuffs on : NABS
40 Villain in Stephen King’s “The Dark Half,” e.g. : EVIL TWIN
41 Silver State city : RENO
44 Park __: airport facility : ‘N GO
45 Halfling of Middle-earth : HOBBIT
46 Olay rival : AVEENO
47 Let up : RELENT
48 Errant, as a field goal : NO GOOD
49 Sufficient, in texts : ENUF
53 Sounds from pounds : YELPS
56 Barely makes, with “out” : EKES …
57 __ accompli : FAIT
59 Ticked : SORE
62 Texter’s chuckle : HEE
63 Rest : LIE
64 Half a mammal? : EMS
65 Sushi garnish : ROE

26 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 18 Mar 22, Friday”

  1. “Kahlo flower” was a real stretch. At first I thought “Haring bone” was a stretch too until I remembered that outside my region people in the US pronounce “herring” the same as “Haring”.

    I guess they’re not counting Praia as African?

  2. At first I thought “Great, now I need to know a bunch of artists”. But, they stuck to the regulars .

    At first I didn’t get 44D. Then I looked it up. PARK ‘N GO…. groaner.

    1. Hi Mike. I’d totally agree with you about “sticking to the regulars” if it wasn’t for throwing in Haring. Until I looked him up after I was finished I didn’t know Keith Haring at all. The others I agree with you.

  3. Nice somewhat tricky Friday cluing and misdirection without sending me into a teeth gnashing, muttering tailspin.

    On to the WSJ

  4. No lookups, no errors except that I failed to fill in one letter
    in “Asahi”….knew better but didn’t check my work. That is
    all-too-often habit of mine. Anyway, enjoyable puzzle.

  5. (1 across) Praia, capital of Cape Verde (República de Cabo Verde) is about 650km west of Dakar. Just saying.

  6. Cute. That’s more like it. One error: Kallo instead of Kahlo. Dumb mistake and should know better.

  7. 30D was a big stretch from the answer, but I certainly enjoyed several clues and answers that I have never seen before. That’s always a pleasure. And, I will refresh my visual memory of those paintings that I have not seen for quite some time.

  8. 17 across: clue should have been “…..American president’s wife.” Dolly Madison was never president. I wasted time trying to think of a man’s name instead of a woman’s name.

    1. The clue for 17-Across is “Spanish artist’s portrait of an American president?” and the answer is, aptly, a “DALI MADISON” (which is to say, “a portrait of Madison, by Dali”). The gimmick is that it sounds like “Dolly Madison”, just as the answer “KLEE PIGEON” (clued as “Swiss artist’s painting of a bird?”) sounds like “clay pigeon”.

  9. 15:48 – no lookups or errors. Clever theme, which helped with some answers.

    Revisions were: MOVING>MOBILE, DRIP>SEEP, NUFF>ENUF, IRED>SORE.

    New items: ASAHI, “The Dark Half”, HARING.

    I think this was an easier than usual Friday puzzle.

    1. Really?? Not according to dictionaries.

      condiment
      noun
      A substance, such as a relish, vinegar, or spice, used to flavor or complement food.
      Something used to give relish to food; a relish; seasoning; sauce.
      Something used to give relish to food, and to gratify the taste; a pungment and appetizing substance, as pepper or mustard; seasoning.
      The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  10. No look ups, no errors. Clever theme but
    definitely a couple of “groaners”. Still not
    sure how “axes” fits but I got it. One fix on
    the fly, moving/mobile. Bring on Saturday!

  11. 17:07 and 2 errors, based on a misspelling in one of the horribly punny theme names.

    This puzzle was incredibly poor, from the theme to the clues. Just all-around BAD.

    The new editor can’t get here soon enough. I’m sick to DEATH of Rich Norris.

  12. 23:41

    I found the theme difficult. For one thing, I’ve only recently learned the correct pronunciation of KLEE.

    By the way, today was the first session of
    Bumblebee Short Course for Community Scientists
    https://u.osu.edu/thebumblebeeshortcourse/

    This is a free six-week series meeting on Fridays at 1pm EDT. If you can’t attend the webinars, the recordings will be available.

    1. It’s interesting in a sense to be able to look back through the history of these figures. Admittedly, when I try to share that it tends to make a backlash though.
      Rich Norris was primarily a themeless constructor and tended to bomb at making themed puzzles himself (think mostly Thu-Sat is where he showed up), hence the editing shows it as the Saturday ones seem to be a lot more polished than the rest of the week – and reveals a lot of his weaknesses as an editor. That said, looking at the puzzles that show up here, it’s not hard to know what he favors for content, as many of them are like what shows up here. While it has been interesting to look back and be able to do a number of his (and others) puzzles at various times, it definitely begs a large number of questions.

      The “new editor” may not be all that some might anticipate though. Varol has functioned as Norris’s assistant for a number of years now, and a lot of the problem we might be seeing in these puzzles might be from her more than Norris. And things might get much worse in LAT land. Again, a lot of evaluation to come next month.

  13. Fun enjoyable Friday for me; took 19:14 with no peeks or errors. Theme was funny and helped on my way from the top to the bottom. I thought I didn’t know HARING, but when I visited the SFMOMA, with relatives in town, they had a whole floor devoted to this work. Re Bill’s explanation of J. Singer Sargent: During the “scandalous” exhibit of “Portrait of Madame X” one critic wrote “One more struggle and the lady will be free” regarding the errant strap of her gown…so silly 🙂

    Loved the “Bond holding?” and “Elton’s john” clues. And, of course the “Nectar collector” clue…it’s the busy time of the year for me. You’ve got to have fun while doing these, so thanks to Jamey Smith or Rich Norris.

    Thanks for the the tip Pam, I’ve been called by two of my sites in past years to “take care” of bumblebee hives, when they thought they were honeybees.

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