LA Times Crossword 20 Jul 22, Wednesday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Dan Caprera
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Queens

Themed answers are famous names associated with the moniker “Queen”:

  • 17A Religious figure known as the “Queen of Heaven” : VIRGIN MARY
  • 24A Novelist known as the “Queen of Crime” : AGATHA CHRISTIE
  • 31A Military division known as the “Queen of Battle” : INFANTRY
  • 46A Field of study known as the “Queen of the Sciences” : THEOLOGY
  • 52A Singer known as the “Queen of Jazz” : ELLA FITZGERALD
  • 64A City known as the “Queen of the West” : CINCINNATI

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

Bill’s time: 6m 21s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Paul of guitar fame : LES

Les Paul was a guitarist, songwriter and inventor. When he was 33 years old, Paul was involved in a near-fatal car crash that left his right arm and elbow shattered. Surgeons offered him the choice of amputation or a rebuilding of the limb that would leave him unable to bend his elbow. He told them to set his arm at just under 90 degrees so that he could at least hold his guitar and perhaps play it.

14 Shuttlecock’s path : ARC

A shuttlecock (also “bird, birdie”) is the conical, feathered projectile used in the game of badminton. Previously referred to as a “shuttlecork”, the object is probably so named because it is “shuttled” back and forth over the net, and because the feathers resemble those on a cockerel.

15 BabyGap buy : ONESIE

A onesie is a baby’s one-piece bodysuit, and is a common gift at a baby shower.

17 Religious figure known as the “Queen of Heaven” : VIRGIN MARY

Mary, Mother of Jesus, is described as a virgin both in the Christian Bible and the Islamic Quran.

19 Fashion journalist García : NINA

Nina García is a Colombian-born fashion journalist who has served as a judge on the reality show “Project Runway” since its first broadcast in 2004. She was also appointed editor-in-chief of the fashion magazine “Elle” in 2017.

23 Gorp morsel : NUT

“Gorp” is a name sometimes used for trail mix, particularly by hikers. It’s not really known for sure how this name came about, but some say it stands for “good old raisins and peanuts” or perhaps “gobs of raw protein”.

24 Novelist known as the “Queen of Crime” : AGATHA CHRISTIE

Agatha Christie (née Miller) was the best-selling novelist of all time, having sold about 4 billion copies worldwide in total. The only books to have sold in higher volume are the works of William Shakespeare and the Bible.

30 River to the English Channel : SEINE

The Seine is the river that flows through Paris. It empties into the English Channel to the north, at the port city of Le Havre.

The English Channel is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, the narrow part that separates the south of England from northern France. The French call the same body of water “La Manche”, which translates literally as “the sleeve”. At its narrowest point the Channel is just over 20 miles wide, and it is indeed possible to see France from England and vice versa. Nowadays of course there is a tunnel under the channel making travel extremely convenient. When I was living and working in Europe, with the help of the Channel Tunnel, one day I had a breakfast meeting in Brussels, a lunch meeting in London, and a dinner meeting in Paris. That said, it’s a lot more fun sitting here blogging about the crossword …

31 Military division known as the “Queen of Battle” : INFANTRY

The term “infantry” was first used in English in the 16th century to describe soldiers who marched and fought on foot. Today, the term still applies to military personnel who specialize in ground combat on foot, although there are many sub-specialties such as motorized infantry, marine infantry and even airborne infantry.

36 Frontera condiment : SALSA

“Salsa” is simply Spanish for “sauce”.

39 New Mexico art community : TAOS

The town of Taos, New Mexico is named for the Native American village nearby called Taos Pueblo. Taos is famous for its art colony. Artists began settling in Taos in 1899, and the Taos Society of Artists was founded in 1915.

43 Mosque prayer leader : IMAM

An imam is a Muslim leader, and often the person in charge of a mosque and/or perhaps a Muslim community.

44 Quick messages : TEXTS

Short Message Service (SMS) is the name for the text messaging service that many of us still use on our cell phones to contact friends and family.

46 Field of study known as the “Queen of the Sciences” : THEOLOGY

Theology is the study of religious faith. The term comes from the Greek “theos” meaning “god” and “-logos” meaning “treating of”.

51 Tax-deferred nest egg, briefly : IRA

A nest egg is an amount of money laid down as a reserve. This is the figurative use of “nest egg” that originally described an artificial egg left in a nest to encourage a hen to lay real eggs in that spot. So our financial nest egg is set aside in anticipation of continued growth, more eggs being laid.

52 Singer known as the “Queen of Jazz” : ELLA FITZGERALD

Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

59 Pacific Islands staple : TARO

Taro is a root vegetable that is grown for its edible underground plant stems (corms). The English name “taro” is borrowed from the Maori language of New Zealand. The same plant is known as “gabi” in the Philippines, “arbi” in much of India, and “jimbi” in parts of Africa where Swahili is spoken.

60 Spiffy : NEAT

A spiff is a well-dressed man.

62 The “L” of YOLO : LIVE

You only live once (YOLO)

64 City known as the “Queen of the West” : CINCINNATI

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 its 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.

73 Fabric store meas. : YDS

Yard (yd.)

Down

1 WCs : LAVS

Our word “lavatory” (sometimes “lav”) originally referred to a washbasin, and comes from the Latin “lavatorium”, a place for washing. In the 1600s, “lavatory” came to mean a washroom, and in the 1920s a toilet.

2 Gospel singer Campbell : ERICA

Erica Campbell is a gospel singer who won a Grammy for Best Gospel Album in 2015.

5 “Fareed Zakaria GPS” network : CNN

Journalist and author Fareed Zakaria hosts the weekly CNN public affairs show “Fareed Zakaria GPS”, with GPS standing for “Global Public Square”.

6 Sleep acronym : REM

“REM” is an acronym standing for “rapid eye movement”. REM sleep takes up 20-25% of the sleeping hours and is the period associated with one’s most vivid dreams.

7 Oscar of 2021’s “Dune” : ISAAC

Oscar Isaac is an actor from Guatemala who was raised in Miami. Before acting, Isaac played lead guitar in his own band called the Blinking Underdogs. Isaac portrayed X-wing pilot Poe Dameron in several of the “Star Wars” movies.

2021’s epic film “Dune” is the first of a two-part adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel of the same name. The version of “Dune” did a lot better than the 1984 big-screen adaptation of the same novel, which really flopped at the box office.

9 Fictional donkey : EEYORE

Eeyore is the donkey character in A. A. Milne’s “Winnie-the-Pooh”. Eeyore is very lovable, but has a gloomy and pessimistic outlook on life.

10 Samovar : URN

The samovar originated in Russia. It is a water boiler, one usually used for making tea. As such, there is often an attachment on top of a samovar to keep a teapot warm.

11 Patron of sailors : SAINT ELMO

Saint Elmo is the patron saint of sailors. More formally referred to as Erasmus of Formia, St. Elmo is perhaps venerated by sailors as tradition tells us that he continued preaching despite the ground beside him being struck by a thunderbolt. Sailors started to pray to him when in danger of storms and lightning. He lends his name to the electrostatic weather phenomenon (often seen at sea) known as St. Elmo’s fire. The “fire” is actually a plasma discharge caused by air ionizing at the end of a pointed object (like the mast of a ship), something often observed during electrical storms.

12 Blasé feeling : ENNUI

“Ennui” is the French word for “boredom”, and a term that we now use in English. It’s one of the few French words we’ve imported and haven’t anglicized, and actually pronounce “correctly”.

“Blasé”, meaning “nonchalant, bored from overindulgence” comes from French, in which language it can mean “satiated”.

13 Stingray kin : SKATE

Skates (formally “Rajidae”) are a family of fish in the superorder of rays (formally “batoidea”). Skates look very similar to stingrays, but they lack stinging spines.

18 Early show since 1975, briefly : GMA

“Good Morning America” (GMA) is ABC’s morning show, and has been since 1975. There was even a spin-off show called “Good Afternoon America”, although that only lasted for a few months in 2012.

22 Nintendo Switch avatars : MIIS

Nintendo introduced customizable avatars for the company’s video game consoles starting in 1997. The first customizable avatars for the Wii system were introduced in 2006, and were given the inventive name “Miis”.

25 Do something to hide? : TAN

Leather is made from animal skins. When the flesh, fat and hair is removed from the skin and it is dried, the resulting product is rawhide. Further treatment of the skin with chemicals that permanently alter the protein structure of the skin is known as tanning, and the resulting product is leather.

26 Metaphor for roles : HATS

Some people wear many hats, do many jobs.

27 Org. with driver safety courses : AARP

“AARP” is now the official name for the interest group that used to be called the American Association of Retired Persons. The name change reflects the current focus of the group on all Americans aged 50 or over, as opposed to just people who have retired.

28 SpongeBob’s pet Gary, for one : SNAIL

Gary the Snail is a pet sea snail who lives with SpongeBob in his “pineapple under the sea”. Gary may be a sea snail, but he meows like a cat.

31 Hairy Addams cousin : ITT

In the television sitcom “The Addams Family”, the family had a frequent visitor called Cousin Itt. Itt is a short man with long hair that runs from his head to the floor. Cousin Itt was played by Italian actor Felix Silla.

They’re creepy and they’re kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They’re altogether ooky,
The Addams Family.

32 “Sorry, lassie” : NAE

“Nae” is Scottish vernacular for “no”.

33 Plants with purple bell-shaped flowers : FOXGLOVES

Foxgloves are a genus of plants with the biological name digitalis. The group of medicines known as digitalins are extracts from foxgloves and are used in the treatment of heart conditions.

34 Latin stars : ASTRA

“Astrum” (plural “astra”) is a Latin word meaning “star”.

38 “Jeopardy!” champion Schneider : AMY

Amy Schneider was a contestant on the game show “Jeopardy” who had the second-longest winning streak in the history of the show (40 games). Host of the show during her streak was Ken Jennings. Jennings holds the record for the longest winning streak (74 games).

41 Early Democrat’s adversary : WHIG

The Whig Party (in the US) was active from 1833 to 1856, and was the opposition party to the Democrats at that time. One of the tenets of the Whig Party was the supremacy of Congress over the Executive branch. Prominent members of the party included Presidents Zachary Taylor and John Tyler. Abraham Lincoln was also a Whig while he served a two-year term as a US Representative for the state of Illinois. By the time he became President, Lincoln was a member of the Republican Party.

49 B complex vitamin : NIACIN

Niacin is also known as vitamin B3. A deficiency of niacin causes the disease pellagra. Pellagra is often described by “the four Ds”, the symptoms being diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia and death.

The B vitamins were originally thought to be just one vitamin, which was labeled vitamin B. It was then discovered vitamin B was in fact made up of eight distinct vitamins, which today are given distinct numbers (B1, B6, B12 etc). Supplements often contain a mixture of all eight, a combination known as vitamin B complex.

52 Big fanfare : ECLAT

“Éclat” can describe a brilliant show of success, as well as the applause or accolade that one receives for that success. The word “éclat” derives from the French “éclater” meaning “to splinter, burst out”.

53 France’s longest river : LOIRE

The Loire is the longest river in France. It is so long that it drains one-fifth of the nation’s land mass. The Loire rises in the southeast, in the Cevennes mountain range, then heads north then due west, emptying into the Bay of Biscay at the city of Nantes. The Loire Valley is home to some of France’s most famous wine production, and includes the wine regions of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and Muscadet. It is also home to some of the nation’s most spectacular châteaux. There are over 300 castles along the river, built by French kings and their courtiers.

55 Journalist Curry : ANN

Television journalist Ann Curry is perhaps best known for the time she spent as co-host on NBC’s “Today” show. NBC executives asked Curry to resign from the “Today” show because ratings were low. I just read online that Curry was also pushed out because of the way she insisted on dressing and because she refused to dye her gray hair. I hope that isn’t true …

65 Roomba rider, in some viral videos : CAT

The Roomba vacuum cleaner is a cool-looking device that navigates its way around a room by itself, picking up dirt as it goes. Like I said, it’s cool-looking but I am not sure how effective it is …

66 Brooklyn suffix : -ITE

The New York City borough of Brooklyn has the same boundaries as Kings County, which is the most populous county in the state of New York.

67 Nancy Drew’s beau Nickerson : NED

I loved the “Nancy Drew” mysteries as a kid (I know, as a boy I “shouldn’t” have been reading girls’ books!). The “Nancy Drew stories” were written by a number of ghost writers, all of whom went by the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. The character was introduced by publisher Edward Stratemeyer in 1930. Nancy Drew’s boyfriend is Ned Nickerson, a college student from Emerson.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Paul of guitar fame : LES
4 Old manuscript artisan : SCRIBE
10 Doesn’t sit on : USES
14 Shuttlecock’s path : ARC
15 BabyGap buy : ONESIE
16 Order : RANK
17 Religious figure known as the “Queen of Heaven” : VIRGIN MARY
19 Fashion journalist García : NINA
20 Trick : SCAM
21 Small matter : ATOM
23 Gorp morsel : NUT
24 Novelist known as the “Queen of Crime” : AGATHA CHRISTIE
29 Battery size : AAA
30 River to the English Channel : SEINE
31 Military division known as the “Queen of Battle” : INFANTRY
36 Frontera condiment : SALSA
39 New Mexico art community : TAOS
40 Gushes : SPEWS
43 Mosque prayer leader : IMAM
44 Quick messages : TEXTS
46 Field of study known as the “Queen of the Sciences” : THEOLOGY
48 Smiles : GRINS
51 Tax-deferred nest egg, briefly : IRA
52 Singer known as the “Queen of Jazz” : ELLA FITZGERALD
58 Murmur : COO
59 Pacific Islands staple : TARO
60 Spiffy : NEAT
62 The “L” of YOLO : LIVE
64 City known as the “Queen of the West” : CINCINNATI
68 Neighborhood : AREA
69 Dream up : IDEATE
70 Charge : FEE
71 Skills evaluation : TEST
72 Built a tree house? : NESTED
73 Fabric store meas. : YDS

Down

1 WCs : LAVS
2 Gospel singer Campbell : ERICA
3 Skinny sort : SCRAG
4 “__ hear” : SO I
5 “Fareed Zakaria GPS” network : CNN
6 Sleep acronym : REM
7 Oscar of 2021’s “Dune” : ISAAC
8 Some overnight deliveries? : BIRTHS
9 Fictional donkey : EEYORE
10 Samovar : URN
11 Patron of sailors : SAINT ELMO
12 Blasé feeling : ENNUI
13 Stingray kin : SKATE
18 Early show since 1975, briefly : GMA
22 Nintendo Switch avatars : MIIS
25 Do something to hide? : TAN
26 Metaphor for roles : HATS
27 Org. with driver safety courses : AARP
28 SpongeBob’s pet Gary, for one : SNAIL
31 Hairy Addams cousin : ITT
32 “Sorry, lassie” : NAE
33 Plants with purple bell-shaped flowers : FOXGLOVES
34 Latin stars : ASTRA
35 Though : YET
37 Droop : SAG
38 “Jeopardy!” champion Schneider : AMY
41 Early Democrat’s adversary : WHIG
42 Bone-dry : SERE
45 Sort (through) : SIFT
47 Stick in the water? : OAR
49 B complex vitamin : NIACIN
50 Long step : STRIDE
52 Big fanfare : ECLAT
53 France’s longest river : LOIRE
54 Districts : ZONES
55 Journalist Curry : ANN
56 Like salad greens : LEAFY
57 So last year : DATED
61 Gets even? : TIES
63 Sup : EAT
65 Roomba rider, in some viral videos : CAT
66 Brooklyn suffix : -ITE
67 Nancy Drew’s beau Nickerson : NED

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 20 Jul 22, Wednesday”

  1. 9:58; no errors. Learned that theology is known as the queen of sciences. “Theology” and “science” really don’t seem to go together.

    1. Indeed. If you associate theology with religion, a quote from Jawaharlal Nehru might be food for thought:

      “(Religion) almost always seemed to stand for blind belief and reaction, dogma and bigotry, superstition, exploitation and the preservation of vested interests.”

      If you like, you may call theology the study of man’s attempts to explain things that cannot ever be verifiably explained. In that respect you might deem theology a science, and since the need to know from whence we came and to whence we go is so primal and universal you might indeed deem theology the queen of sciences.

  2. One lookup: the queen of battles. No errors after that. Not too
    quick this morning, but my coffee was still hot when I finished..well, warm anyway.

    1. “Artillery lends dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl.” Generally attributed to Frederick the Great.

    2. Don’t forget the slightly NSFW saying about this:
      Artillery is the King of Battle but Infantry is the Queen of Battle and the Queen tells the King where to put his balls!

  3. Nice puzzle. Just right. Caprera used more than a few PPPs, but he used them tastefully. Class act.

  4. 9:31, one revision of ARID>SERE.

    New items/names: NINA Garcia, ERICA Campbell, SCRAG, SpongeBob’s pet SNAIL, NED Nickerson.

    Interesting “queen” monikers, but the crime and jazz ones were the only ones familiar to me. Is Cincinnati still considered Queen of the West? Seems a bit outdated now that it’s really not west anymore. And, it’s in the Eastern Time Zone!

    Really enjoyed Ann Curry’s TV series titled “We’ll Meet Again.”

  5. 7:29

    I think some of the “queen” expressions should have “once known” in the clues, but I suppose that would spoil any parallelism.

    Based on some quick searching, it’s not clear that Cincinnati still calls itself “Queen of the West” or just “The Queen City”. The expression dates from the early 19th century, when it was the westernmost American city.

    Theology was the “Queen of Science” back in the days when no one questioned the existence of its subject, god. Naturally, the study of the ultimate source of existence was the ultimate science. Now that we have an explanation for the existence of the universe that doesn’t require the intervention of a supernatural person, theology has been dethroned.

    To quote Stephen Hawking: I do not believe in a personal god.

  6. A bit of a test for me today; took 21:48 with no peeks or errors but plenty of musing, waiting for crosses and revising answers. Only knew ELLA… for certain, of the queens, and got the rest mostly by guessing. I tend to think anything east of Reno is on the east coast, so CINCINNATI was definitely a stretch – same with NW University (??) for that matter.

    Hmm, I wonder what the USA Signal Corp would be…Prince? I mean how do the KING and QUEEN communicate?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.