LA Times Crossword 2 Mar 22, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Ed Sessa
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Go Round and Round

Themed answers each include two “wheels on the BUS”, two letters O sitting under the letters BUS in the grid:

  • 50A What the filled-in circles do, in a tots’ song : GO ROUND AND ROUND
  • 18A Catskills restaurant job for young Jerry Lewis : BUSBOY
  • 19A Acted with total independence : ANSWERED TO NO ONE
  • 24A Farm units : BUSHELS
  • 29A Some wind components : OBOE REEDS
  • 31A Smooch : BUSS
  • 38A Melville sequel to “Typee” : OMOO
  • 45A Garment aptly named for where it’s worn : BUSTIER
  • 50A What the filled-in circles do, in a tots’ song : GO ROUND AND ROUND

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

Bill’s time: 6m 29s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Animal fat : LARD

Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called suet. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be rendered, purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call lard. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as tallow.

5 Mer, here : SEA

In French, the “mer” (sea) is “bleu” (blue).

8 Business entities : FIRMS

A business is sometimes called a firm. “Firm” comes into English from Latin via the Italian “firma” meaning signature. The concept is that business transactions are confirmed, made firm, by applying a signature.

15 Patronize a bistro, say : EAT OUT

“Bistro” was originally a Parisian slang term describing a little wine shop or restaurant.

17 Onassis, familiarly : ARI

Aristotle “Ari” Onassis was born to a successful Greek shipping entrepreneur in Smyrna in modern-day Turkey. However, his family lost its fortune during WWI and so Aristotle worked with his father to build up a new business empire centered on the importation of tobacco. In 1957, Aristotle founded the Greek national airline, what is today called Olympic Air, and he also got into the business of shipping oil around the world. He married Athina Livanos in 1946, the daughter of a wealthy shipping magnate. They couple had two children together, with one being the famous Christina Onassis. Livanos divorced Onassis on discovering him in bed with the opera singer Maria Callas. Onassis ended his affair with Callas in order to marry Jackie Kennedy in 1968.

18 Catskills restaurant job for young Jerry Lewis : BUSBOY

A busboy is a person who assists a waiter, mainly by clearing tables. The verb “to bus” arose in the early 1900s and is probably a reference to the wheeled cart that was used to carry dishes.

Back in the 1920s through the 1960s, it was common practice for Jewish families from New York City to vacation upstate in resorts in the Catskill Mountains. As a result, this collection of 500 or so resorts came to be known colloquially as the Borscht Belt, or the Jewish Alps.

“Jerry Lewis” was the stage name of comedian and actor Joseph Levitch from Newark, New Jersey. Lewis gained fame when he teamed up with straight man Dean Martin in the 1940s. The duo broke up in 1961, largely because Lewis was always in the limelight and Martin’s role became less important in the eyes of the public. The relationship between the two was strained for many years until there was a reconciliation in the late eighties following the death of Martin’s son.

22 Parrot’s screech : AWK!

Scientists tell us that parrots are some of the most intelligent species of birds. Many of those species are able to imitate the human voice. Such characteristics have led to parrots becoming popular house pets, and a resulting drop in populations of parrots living in the wild.

23 Voiced sounds : SONANTS

In phonetics, a letter or syllable that is “sonant” is voiced, whereas an “assonant” (also “asonant”) letter is not voiced.

24 Farm units : BUSHELS

In the imperial system of weights and measures, a bushel is a unit of dry volume made up of 4 pecks. In the US system, a bushel is a dry volume of 8 gallons. We have used the term “bushel” to mean “large quantity” since the 14th century.

28 Yeoman’s “yo” : AYE

In the US Navy, a yeoman (yeo.) is tasked with administrative and clerical work. In fact, the position of yeoman is the oldest rating in the navy. You’ll also see a lot of yeomen in the background on “Star Trek”.

29 Some wind components : OBOE REEDS

A double-reed instrument is one in which two pieces of cane vibrate against each other to produce sound. In a single-reed instrument, just one piece of cane vibrates the mouthpiece. The best-known examples of double-reed instruments are the oboe and the bassoon.

31 Smooch : BUSS

To buss is to kiss.

35 Fluids used for blood typing : SERA

Blood serum (plural “sera”) is the clear, yellowish part of blood i.e. that part which is neither a blood cell nor a clotting factor. Included in blood serum are antibodies, the proteins that are central to our immune system. Blood serum from animals that have immunity to a particular disease can be transferred to another individual, hence providing that second individual with some level of immunity. Blood serum used to pass on immunity can be called “antiserum”.

38 Melville sequel to “Typee” : OMOO

Herman Melville mined his own experiences when writing his novels. Melville sailed from New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1841 on a whaler heading into the Pacific Ocean (a source for “Moby-Dick”). Melville ended up deserting his ship 18 months later and lived with natives on a South Pacific Island for three weeks (a source for “Typee”). He picked up another whaler and headed for Hawaii, where he joined the crew of a US navy frigate that was bound for Boston (a source for “Omoo”).

42 Camera variety, initially : SLR

The initialism “SLR” stands for “single lens reflex”. Usually, cameras with changeable lenses are the SLR type. The main feature of an SLR is that a mirror reflects the image seen through the lens out through the viewfinder, so that the photographer sees exactly what the lens sees. The mirror moves out of the way as the picture is taken, and the image that comes through the lens falls onto unexposed film, or nowadays onto a digital sensor.

45 Garment aptly named for where it’s worn : BUSTIER

A bustier is an item of lingerie designed to push up the breasts (bust) and to shape the waist.

50 What the filled-in circles do, in a tots’ song : GO ROUND AND ROUND

“The Wheels on the Bus” is a popular children’s song that originated in the US, but is popular all around the English-speaking world. Reportedly, it was written by Verna Hills in Boston, and first published in 1939.

The wheels on the bus go round and round
Round and round
Round and round
The wheels on the bus go round and round
All ‘round the town

57 Inside information? : X-RAY

X-rays were first studied comprehensively by the German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen (also “Roentgen”), and it was he who gave the name “X-rays” to this particular type of radiation. Paradoxically, in Röntgen’s native language of German, X-rays are routinely referred to as “Röntgen rays”. In 1901, Röntgen’s work on X-rays won him the first Nobel Prize in Physics that was ever awarded.

58 Queen of puzzles : ELLERY

The Ellery Queen series of detective novels was somewhat unique in that Ellery Queen was the hero of the tales, and was also the pen name of the author. Actually, the “author” was a pair of writers; two cousins from Brooklyn, New York.

59 Big name on Wall Street : DOW

Charles Dow was a journalist who moved to New York City (from Providence, Rhode Island) in 1880 as he was developing an interest in reporting financial and business news. He teamed up with statistician Edward David Jones, and in 1882, the pair formed the Dow, Jones & Company news agency. The following year, the fledgling company started to publish the “Customers’ Afternoon Letter”, a two-page summary of the day’s financial news. Included in the newsletter was the now celebrated Dow Jones stock average. The two-page “Customers’ Afternoon Letter” evolved into the newspaper that we now call “The Wall Street Journal”, which first appeared in 1889.

60 To be, to Livy : ESSE

Titus Livius (aka “Livy”) was a Roman historian who lived from 59 BC to AD 17. Livy wrote the definitive history of Rome at that time.

63 Some coll. requirements : SATS

Today, the standardized test for admission to colleges is known as the SAT Reasoning Test, but it used to be called the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test, which led to the abbreviation “SAT”.

Down

1 Mother on Krypton : LARA

Jor-El was a scientist on the planet Krypton who was married to Lara. Jor-El and Lara had an infant son named Kal-El who they were able to launch into space towards Earth just before Krypton was destroyed. Kal-El became Superman. In the 1978 movie “Superman”, Jor-El was played by Marlon Brando, Lara was played by Susannah York, and Kal-El/Superman was played by Christopher Reeve.

2 Big name in romance fiction : AVON

Avon was a noted publisher of comic books and paperbacks. The company was founded in 1941 and focused on lowbrow literature designed for popular appeal, especially romance novels.

3 Civil War soldiers : REBS

During the Civil War, the personification of the Southern states was “Johnny Reb”. The northern equivalent was “Billy Yank”.

6 Auld land : EIRE

“Auld Sod” (meaning simply “old sod”) is a familiar term for “Ireland”, especially when referring to the country as one’s homeland from abroad. ‘Tis true …

7 Essential fatty __ : ACIDS

Essential fatty acids (unlike “essential” oils) are fatty acids that we humans must ingest for good health, because our bodies cannot synthesize them. In that sense, essential fatty acids are like vitamins, being essential to the body but in very low quantities. In fact, the only two known essential fatty acids (alpha-linoleic acid and linoleic acid) were classified as “vitamin F” soon after they were discovered in the 1920s.

8 Florae counterparts : FAUNAE

The fauna is the animal life of a particular region, and the flora is that region’s plant life. The term “fauna” comes from the Roman goddess of earth and fertility who was called Fauna. Flora was the Roman goddess of plants, flowers and fertility.

10 High-tech worker : ROBOT

Karel Čapek was a Czech writer noted for his works of science fiction. Čapek’s 1921 play “R.U.R.” is remembered in part for introducing the world to the word “robot”. The words “automaton” and “android” were already in use, but Capek gave us “robot” from the original Czech “robota” meaning “forced labor”. The acronym “R.U.R.”, in the context of the play, stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots”.

11 Elementary particles : MUONS

A muon is a subatomic particle that is similar to an electron but very unstable. A muon has a mean lifetime of only 2.2 microseconds.

12 Lid bump : STYE

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

15 Dark wood : EBONY

Ebony is a dark black wood that is very dense, one of the few types of wood that sinks in water. Ebony has been in high demand so the species of trees yielding the wood are now considered threatened. It is in such short supply that unscrupulous vendors have been known to darken lighter woods with shoe polish to look like ebony, so be warned …

20 Still-life subject : EWER

A pitcher is a container for liquid that has a handle, mouth and spout. The term “jug” is used for the same container in other English-speaking countries. “Ewer” is an older term describing a pitcher/jug. Today, a ewer is a highly decorative pitcher, often with a base and flared spout.

21 Newlywed, at times : TOASTEE

The tradition of toasting someone probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word “toast” was an indicator that the lady’s beauty would enhance the wine. Very charming, I must say …

24 Pear variety : BOSC

Bosc is a cultivar of the European pear that is grown mainly in the northwest of the United States. It is named for French horticulturist Louis Bosc. The cultivar originated in Belgium or France in the early 19th century. The Bosc is that pear with a skin the color of a potato, with a long neck.

25 Lyft competitor : UBER

In some locations, the transportation network company Uber offers water-taxi services under the brand name UberBOAT. Most notably available in the city of Istanbul in Turkey, the service is also offered in other locations, often during special events.

26 Really ticked : SORE

The term “to tick off” came into use in the early 1900s when it meant “to reprimand, scold”. We still use it in this sense in Ireland. The usage “to peeve, annoy” only came into being in the mid-seventies.

30 Indian lentil dish : DAL

I love dal dishes, which are prepared from various peas or beans (often lentils) that have been stripped of their outer skins and split. Dal is an important part of Indian cuisines. I suppose in Indian terms, split pea soup (another of my favorites) would be called a dal.

31 Early hip-hop hardware : BOOMBOXES

A boombox is a portable music player with speakers that includes an AM/FM radio as well as a recording device (originally cassette tapes, and later compact discs). The first boombox was introduced by Philips in 1966 as a “Radiorecorder”, a portable device that could record radio broadcasts without the need to use external cables and microphones. Boomboxes became very popular with young people in urban areas. The practice of playing loud music using boomboxes in neighborhoods led to the devices being labeled as “ghetto blasters”.

33 Evening in Avignon : SOIR

Avignon is a city in the southeast of France on the Rhône river. Avignon is sometimes called the “City of Popes” as it was home to seven popes during the Catholic schism from 1309 to 1423.

34 Tipplers : SOTS

Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s. The derivative term “besotted” means “muddled with drunkenness”, or more figuratively “infatuated”.

37 Demote to the minors : SEND DOWN

That would be baseball.

41 Host before Carson : PAAR

“The Tonight Show” has had six permanent hosts so far:

  • Steve Allen (1954-57)
  • Jack Paar (1957-62)
  • Johnny Carson (1962–92)
  • Jay Leno (1992–2009, 2010–14)
  • Conan O’Brien (2009–10)
  • Jimmy Fallon (2014–present)

Jack Paar was most famous as the host of “The Tonight Show”, from 1957 to 1962. When he died in 2004, “Time” magazine wrote that Paar was “the fellow who split talk show history into two eras: “Before Paar and Below Paar”. Very complimentary …

Johnny Carson hosted “The Tonight Show” for thirty years, from 1962 to 1992. Although Carson was the first choice to take over the show from Jack Paar, he initially declined. Carson eventually took the job, after it had also been refused by Bob Newhart, Jackie Gleason, Groucho Marx and Joey Bishop.

42 Comic store owner on “The Big Bang Theory” : STUART

On “The Big Bang Theory” sitcom, Stuart Bloom owns the comic store that the main group of characters frequent. Bloom is played by actor and comedian Kevin Sussman.

43 Full of fuzz : LINTY

“Lint”, meaning “fluff”, is one of those terms that I had to learn when I moved to the US. We call the same thing “fuzz” on the other side of the Atlantic.

45 Half a Yale cheer : BOOLA!

“Boola Boola” is a fight song of Yale University that was composed in 1900, although it is based on a song called “La Hoola Boola” that had been around in the 1800s. The melody of “Boola Boola” is used by the University of Oklahoma for its fight song, “Boomer Sooner”.

46 Range with one end in Kazakhstan : URALS

The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia and Kazakhstan is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

The Republic of Kazakhstan in Central Asia is the world’s largest landlocked country. Kazakhstan was also the last of the former Soviet Republics (SSRs) to declare itself independent from Russia.

47 Philosopher Kierkegaard : SOREN

Soren Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher and theologian, and I’ve never really understood anything that he wrote!

48 Zuckerberg Media founder Zuckerberg : RANDI

Randi Zuckerberg is the sister of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Randi was the marketing director of Facebook, and then ran her own social media firm called Zuckerberg Media (formerly “RtoZ Studios”).

51 Bright light : NEON

The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

52 __ Major : URSA

The constellation Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called “the Big Dipper” because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, “the Plough”.

53 Democratic donkey designer : NAST

Thomas Nast was an American caricaturist and cartoonist. He was the creator of the Republican Party elephant, the Democratic Party donkey, Uncle Sam and the image of the plump and jocular Santa Claus that we use today.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Animal fat : LARD
5 Mer, here : SEA
8 Business entities : FIRMS
13 State as fact : AVER
14 Photo : PIC
15 Patronize a bistro, say : EAT OUT
16 Cover for a king : ROBE
17 Onassis, familiarly : ARI
18 Catskills restaurant job for young Jerry Lewis : BUSBOY
19 Acted with total independence : ANSWERED TO NO ONE
22 Parrot’s screech : AWK!
23 Voiced sounds : SONANTS
24 Farm units : BUSHELS
28 Yeoman’s “yo” : AYE
29 Some wind components : OBOE REEDS
31 Smooch : BUSS
35 Fluids used for blood typing : SERA
36 Theater reservations : SEATS
38 Melville sequel to “Typee” : OMOO
39 Rep on the street : CRED
40 Delay one’s decision : SLEEP ON IT
42 Camera variety, initially : SLR
44 Fills with passion : ENAMORS
45 Garment aptly named for where it’s worn : BUSTIER
49 Smack-__ : DAB
50 What the filled-in circles do, in a tots’ song : GO ROUND AND ROUND
55 React to with a belly laugh : ROAR AT
56 New start? : NEO-
57 Inside information? : X-RAY
58 Queen of puzzles : ELLERY
59 Big name on Wall Street : DOW
60 To be, to Livy : ESSE
61 “__ what I had in mind” : WASN’T
62 Stop on the road : INN
63 Some coll. requirements : SATS

Down

1 Mother on Krypton : LARA
2 Big name in romance fiction : AVON
3 Civil War soldiers : REBS
4 Overtook, with “of” : DREW AHEAD …
5 Kills it on stage : SPARKLES
6 Auld land : EIRE
7 Essential fatty __ : ACIDS
8 Florae counterparts : FAUNAE
9 “The program’s starting!” : IT’S ON!
10 High-tech worker : ROBOT
11 Elementary particles : MUONS
12 Lid bump : STYE
15 Dark wood : EBONY
20 Still-life subject : EWER
21 Newlywed, at times : TOASTEE
24 Pear variety : BOSC
25 Lyft competitor : UBER
26 Really ticked : SORE
27 Blows a fuse : SEES RED
30 Indian lentil dish : DAL
31 Early hip-hop hardware : BOOMBOXES
32 Curt refusal : UM, NO
33 Evening in Avignon : SOIR
34 Tipplers : SOTS
37 Demote to the minors : SEND DOWN
41 Host before Carson : PAAR
42 Comic store owner on “The Big Bang Theory” : STUART
43 Full of fuzz : LINTY
45 Half a Yale cheer : BOOLA!
46 Range with one end in Kazakhstan : URALS
47 Philosopher Kierkegaard : SOREN
48 Zuckerberg Media founder Zuckerberg : RANDI
50 Raised on a farm : GREW
51 Bright light : NEON
52 __ Major : URSA
53 Democratic donkey designer : NAST
54 Beauty salon supplies : DYES

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 2 Mar 22, Wednesday”

  1. Quick run but one major foopah.
    Could not come to grips with 45A and I didn’t know 48D. I wasn’t sure about 47D.
    So for 45 I had BUN TIES , BUM TIES, .. So I left 48D as SANDI. and I went with BUM TIES ( you know that thing you wear on your BUM- nod to the Brits)

    When I saw SOREN for 47D, I thought ” what the heck is a BUS TIE? Then when I saw 48D was RANDI, I had DOH! moment.
    BUSTIER.
    Mr Sessa got me hook line and sinker.

  2. No errors, one Zuckerberg lookup; had to change KISS to BUSS to
    finish the grid. Didn’t tumble to the theme until reading Bill’s explanation.

  3. 16:55 with no errors or lookups. Revisions were: ATOMS>MUONS, POED>SORE, KISS>BUSS. Originally had UHNO, but did not recognize OHOO, and then OMOO came to me and UMNO made sense.

    Good thing I could tell what 45A was; otherwise, would not have gotten sOREN or rANDI.

    I like the “theme song.” We used it a lot with our young children, and are looking forward to the same with our grandson.

  4. I ADORED superman growing up — how my heart would pound when he’d leap into the air! But do you think I could think of his mother’s name? Oh, no. Muon was a new one on me. I never heard of that children’s song. And worst of all, I never noticed the wheels under the buses until Bill pointed it out. Sigh.

  5. “Um . . .No” is curt in print, but rarely curt when spoken. Thought that “auld” was Scottish rather than Irish. Maybe it’s true in both languages. Will have to parse that sometime soon.

  6. No look ups,1 error. Didn’t know Omoo and
    “um no” sounds like one is thinking about it.
    Hardly curt ☹️
    Cute theme but didn’t help…

  7. 6:13

    Also changed KISS->BUSS.

    Didn’t understand why certain O’s were circled until I came here. Very cute!

  8. At first I thought I’d never finish, but then I realized Sessa wants the same old crossword answers with tricky clues – Voila! No errors, no Googles.
    At the end, didn’t know LARA, SONANTS, RANDI, but crosses were sufficient.

  9. Had to look up busboy then everything came together. I knew the song & saw the pairs of “wheels” ( which was a big help) but failed to see they were each under a “bus”. By the way, I enjoy (and learn) from your comments even when the grid was easy for you. Simply reporting a time is of no use/interest to me.

  10. A little trick, but doable; took me 15:56 with no peeks or errors. Had to fix MUONS and BUSS from my original guesses. Didn’t know RANDI or BOOLA, but I knew SOREN and finally remembered STUART to get the SW…LINTY? Cute theme, that I finally understood when I got here.

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