LA Times Crossword 9 Jan 23, Monday

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Constructed by: Lynn K. Watson & Will Nediger
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: The Bee Gees

Themed answers are two-word terms starting with BG:

  • 60A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame trio, and an apt name for a trio of answers in this puzzle : THE BEE GEES
  • 16A Open-air alehouse : BEER GARDEN
  • 26A Kathleen Turner comedy featuring super intelligent infants : BABY GENIUSES
  • 46A Eggplant appetizer : BABA GANOUSH

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

Bill’s time: 5m 03s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Rainbow flag letters : LGBT

The best-known rainbow flag is the one representing gay pride. Such usage of the rainbow flag was popularized in 1978 by artist Gilbert Baker. The varying colors of the flag represent the diversity of the gay community.

9 “The Vampire Diaries” actress Dobrev : NINA

Nina Dobrev is a Canadian actress who was born in Sofia, Bulgaria. She is perhaps best known for playing a lead role in the TV version of L. J. Smith’s series of books “The Vampire Diaries”.

13 Vicinity : AREA

A vicinity is an area surrounding a place. The term “vicinity” ultimately comes from the Latin “vicus” meaning “group of houses, village”.

19 Cul-de-__ : SAC

Even though “cul-de-sac” can indeed mean “bottom-of-the-bag” in French, the term “cul-de-sac” is of English origin (the use of “cul” in French is actually quite rude). The term was introduced in aristocratic circles at a time when it was considered very fashionable to speak French. Dead-end streets in France are usually signposted with just a symbol and no accompanying words, but if words are included they are “voie sans issue”, meaning “way without exit”.

20 Goddess who wears a headdress with cow horns : ISIS

Isis was the ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility, as well as the protector of the dead and the goddess of children. She was the personification of the pharaoh’s power. The name “Isis” translates as “throne”, and she is usually depicted with a headdress shaped like a throne.

21 Underdog victories : UPSETS

The most dominant person in a situation is the “top dog”. The person likely to be beaten is the “underdog”.

25 Like fast-spreading TikTok videos : VIRAL

TikTok is a video-sharing service that is based in China, and is very popular with the younger set I am told). The TikTok mobile app provides tools facilitating production of sophisticated selfie videos that use special effects.

26 Kathleen Turner comedy featuring super intelligent infants : BABY GENIUSES

“Baby Geniuses” is a 1999 comedy movie starring Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd and Kim Cattrall. There is a lot of “baby talk” in the film, and CGI (computer-generated imagery) was used to match the movement of the lips of babies with the dubbed speech. In fact, “Baby Geniuses” was the first movie to use CGI to synthesize human visual speech.

Actress Kathleen Turner was favorably compared to Lana Turner because of her deep voice, especially after her sultry performance in the 1981 movie “Body Heat”. Turner commanded leading roles through the eighties but her career hit a roadblock in the early nineties when she found herself in constant pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Thankfully, the disease is now in remission, and Turner has been seen more and more on the stage and screen in the last two decades.

31 Fruit-flavored drink brand : SOBE

The brand name “SoBe” can be found on teas, juices and bottled waters. “SoBe” is an abbreviation for “South Beach”, the neighborhood in Miami Beach, Florida.

35 CPR pro : EMT

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

36 Largest Greek island : CRETE

Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands, and figures heavily in Greek mythology. Zeus was born in a cave at Mount Ida, the highest peak on the island. Crete was also home to the Labyrinth where the Minotaur was slain by Theseus. Icarus and Daedalus, after having crafted the Labyrinth, escaped from the island using wings that they crafted.

39 Nemesis : ENEMY

Nemesis was a Greek goddess, the goddess of retribution. Her role was to make pay those individuals who were either haughty or arrogant. In modern parlance, one’s nemesis (plural “nemeses”) is one’s sworn enemy, often someone who is the exact opposite in character but someone who still shares some important characteristics. A nemesis is often someone one cannot seem to beat in competition.

41 Untouched serve : ACE

That might be tennis.

42 Eritrea’s capital : ASMARA

Asmara is the capital and largest city in Eritrea. The same city is known locally as “Asmera”.

Eritrea is a country located in the Horn of Africa, and surrounded by Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti and the Red Sea. Some scientists believe that the area now known as Eritrea was the departure point for anatomically modern humans who first left Africa to populate the rest of the world.

45 Black gemstone : ONYX

Onyx is a form of quartz that comes in many different shades, but most often it’s the black version that’s used for jewelry. The name “onyx” comes from the Greek word for “fingernail”, as onyx in the flesh color is said to resemble a fingernail.

46 Eggplant appetizer : BABA GANOUSH

Baba ganoush (also “baba ghanouj”) is an Arab dish with the main ingredient of mashed eggplant. It is sometimes served as a (delicious) dip.

49 Actress Barkin : ELLEN

Ellen Barkin is an actress from the Bronx in New York City. I mostly know Barkin from her roles in the 1989 movie “Sea of Love” and 2007’s “Ocean’s Thirteen”.

53 Shrub with colorful flowers : AZALEA

Azaleas are very toxic to most animals. If you go to Korea, you might come across “Tug Yonju”, which is azalea wine made from the plant’s blossoms. Azaleas are usually grown as shrubs, but are also seen as small trees, and often indoors.

55 Slugger Juan who won the 2022 Home Run Derby : SOTO

Juan Soto is a professional baseball player from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. He made his MLB debut with the Washington Nationals in 2018, and in so doing became the youngest player in the majors (at 19).

Major League Baseball holds the Home Run Derby annually, on the day prior to the league’s All-Star Game. The Derby is a home run hitting competition held between four players from the National League, and four players from the American League.

60 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame trio, and an apt name for a trio of answers in this puzzle : THE BEE GEES

The Brothers Gibb (hence, the name “Bee Gees”) were born in England but grew up and started their musical careers in Australia. They moved back to Manchester in the north of England as youths, and there hit the big time.

63 __ 500 : INDY

The Indianapolis 500 race is held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. The race is run around a 2.5 mile oval, hence requiring 200 laps for completion. The first Indy 500 race was held on Memorial Day in 1911. The winner that day was one Ray Harroun. Harroun had seen someone using a rear view mirror on a horse-drawn vehicle, and decided to fit one on his Marmon “Wasp” motor car. Supposedly, that was the first ever use of a rear-view mirror on a motor vehicle.

65 Ginger cookie : SNAP

Ginger snap cookies are known as ginger nut biscuits back in Ireland where I come from …

66 Model Holliday : TESS

Tess Holliday is a plus-size model and “body-positive activist”. She was born Ryann Hoven and changed her name to Tess Munster when she started modeling. That choice was purely because she was a fan of “The Munsters” TV show. In 2015, she adopted the family name of Nick Holliday, the father of her two children.

Down

2 Australia’s __ Barrier Reef : GREAT

The Great Barrier Reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia. It is a system of almost three thousand individual reefs, and is the largest such system on the planet. The Great Barrier Reef is also the only living thing on Earth that can be seen from outer space.

3 Tree with smooth gray bark : BEECH

Beech bark is very thin and delicate, and is often scarred by people carving their initials or other forms of graffiti. These markings are permanent because the tree cannot heal itself. There is also a fungal infection that damages the American beech that is called beech bark disease, which can be fatal to the tree.

5 South Asian wraparound dress : SARI

The item of clothing called a “sari” (also “saree”) is a strip of cloth, as one might imagine, unusual perhaps in that it is unstitched along the whole of its length. The strip of cloth can range from four to nine meters long (that’s a lot of material!). The sari is usually wrapped around the waist, then draped over the shoulder leaving the midriff bare. I must say, it can be a beautiful item of clothing.

8 Bona fide : GENUINE

“Bona fide(s)” translates from the Latin as “in good faith”, and is used to indicate honest intentions. It can also mean that something is authentic, like a piece of art that is represented in good faith as being genuine.

9 Largest city in the Bahamas : NASSAU

Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas, and used to be called Charles Town. Located on the island of New Providence, the original settlement was burnt to the ground by the Spanish in 1684. It was rebuilt and named Nassau in honor of King William III of England (“William of Orange”), a Dutchman from the House of Orange-Nassau. Nassau is a favored location for the James Bond series of movies. The city and surroundings feature in “Thunderball”, “Never Say Never Again”, “Casino Royale” and “For Your Eyes Only”. Bond portrayer Sean Connery lived for many years at Lyford Cay, which is just a 30-min drive from the center of Nassau.

17 Actress Lollobrigida : GINA

Gina Lollobrigida is an Italian actress, and also a photojournalist and sculptor. After her career in movies started to slow down in the seventies, she turned to photojournalism. She has photographed many of the greats, including Paul Newman, Salvador Dali, Audrey Hepburn and even the German national soccer team. In fact, she was also able to arrange an exclusive interview with Fidel Castro, much to the chagrin of the world’s professional journalists.

22 Start of a title by 44-Down : PRIDE …
[44D “Emma” novelist Jane : AUSTEN]

Perhaps Jane Austen’s most famous ironic statement comes at the start of her 1813 masterpiece “Pride and Prejudice”:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

25 Shoelaces alternative : VELCRO

The hook-and-loop fastener that we now call “Velcro” was invented in 1941 by Georges de Mestral, a Swiss engineer. Mestral noticed that the seeds of the burdock plant (burrs or burs) stuck to his clothes. Under the microscope he found hooks on the burrs that grabbed hold of loops in his clothing. After years of development, he came up with a way of simulating the natural hook using man-made materials, and Velcro was born.

30 Mythical river of the underworld : STYX

The River Styx of Greek mythology was the river that formed the boundary between the Earth and the Underworld (or “Hades”). The souls of the newly dead had to cross the River Styx in a ferry boat piloted by Charon. Traditionally, a coin would be placed in the mouths of the dead “to pay the ferryman”.

32 Black-and-white sea creature : ORCA

The taxonomic name for the killer whale is “Orcinus orca”. The use of the name “orca”, rather than “killer whale”, is becoming more and more common. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

33 Buzzing facial adornments : BEE BEARDS

Some apiarists (beekeepers) can be seen wearing thousands of bees on the face, forming a bee beard as a form of entertainment for an audience.

37 Sharp-eyed bird : EAGLE

The eyesight of an eagle is extremely powerful, and is estimated to be 4-8 times stronger than that of an average human. A large eagle, weighing about 22 lb, has the same size eyes as a human weighing about 200 lb.

40 L.A. arts district : NOHO

The NoHo Arts District in Los Angeles takes its name from “North Hollywood”, although the abbreviation is a play on the name of the famous SoHo Arts District in New York City.

44 “Emma” novelist Jane : AUSTEN

Jane Austen’s novel “Emma” is the tale of Emma Woodhouse and the wonderful George Knightley. At the end of the story, Emma marries Knightley and her young friend Harriet marries Robert Martin, who had been trying to get Harriet’s attention practically from page one of the novel. Emma interfered in that troubled courtship.

47 Places for bowling : ALLEYS

Bowling has been around for an awfully long time. The oldest known reference to the game is in Egypt, where pins and balls were found in an ancient tomb that is over 5,000 years old. The first form of the game to come to America was nine-pin bowling, which had been very popular in Europe for centuries. In 1841 in Connecticut, nine-pin bowling was banned due to its association with gambling. Supposedly, an additional pin was added to get around the ban, and ten-pin bowling was born.

48 Espadrille, e.g. : SHOE

An espadrille is sandal, with its origins in the Pyrenees. The shoe is traditionally made from rope and canvas, and often laces extend from the shoe and wrap around the ankle to secure the shoe to the foot.

52 T-bone, for one : STEAK

The T-bone and porterhouse are related cuts of meat, with the latter being a larger version of the former, and both being cut from the short loin.

55 Big rig : SEMI

A “semi” is a “semi-trailer truck”. The vehicle is so called because it consists of a tractor and a half-trailer. The half-trailer is so called because it only has wheels on the back end, with the front supported by the tractor.

56 Solemn bio : OBIT

Our word “obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”. The Latin term was used for “record of the death of a person”, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

58 Egyptian serpents : ASPS

The venomous snake called an asp was a symbol of royalty in ancient Egypt.

61 Magic spell : HEX

“Hexen” is a German word meaning “to practice witchcraft”. The use of the word “hex” in English started with the Pennsylvania Dutch in the early 1800s.

62 Fed. property agency : GSA

The US Government’s General Services Administration (GSA), as the name suggests, provides general services to other federal agencies. So for example, the GSA manages office space for the other agencies, and transportation.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Rainbow flag letters : LGBT
5 Too sure of oneself : SMUG
9 “The Vampire Diaries” actress Dobrev : NINA
13 Vicinity : AREA
14 Play button’s alternate function, often : PAUSE
15 More than one : A FEW
16 Open-air alehouse : BEER GARDEN
18 __ of approval : SEAL
19 Cul-de-__ : SAC
20 Goddess who wears a headdress with cow horns : ISIS
21 Underdog victories : UPSETS
23 Waters down : THINS
25 Like fast-spreading TikTok videos : VIRAL
26 Kathleen Turner comedy featuring super intelligent infants : BABY GENIUSES
31 Fruit-flavored drink brand : SOBE
34 Hollered : YELLED
35 CPR pro : EMT
36 Largest Greek island : CRETE
38 “Hold on a __!” : SEC
39 Nemesis : ENEMY
41 Untouched serve : ACE
42 Eritrea’s capital : ASMARA
45 Black gemstone : ONYX
46 Eggplant appetizer : BABA GANOUSH
49 Actress Barkin : ELLEN
50 Attempts : SHOTS
53 Shrub with colorful flowers : AZALEA
55 Slugger Juan who won the 2022 Home Run Derby : SOTO
57 “When will u b here?” : ETA?
59 Snoozefest : BORE
60 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame trio, and an apt name for a trio of answers in this puzzle : THE BEE GEES
63 __ 500 : INDY
64 Surround : HEM IN
65 Ginger cookie : SNAP
66 Model Holliday : TESS
67 Sign above a door : EXIT
68 Questions : ASKS

Down

1 Science workshops : LABS
2 Australia’s __ Barrier Reef : GREAT
3 Tree with smooth gray bark : BEECH
4 Roofing material : TAR
5 South Asian wraparound dress : SARI
6 Some spa applications : MUDS
7 “__ only as directed” : USE
8 Bona fide : GENUINE
9 Largest city in the Bahamas : NASSAU
10 “You really understand me” : I FEEL SEEN
11 Well-organized : NEAT
12 Hole-making tools : AWLS
14 Elapse, as time : PASS BY
17 Actress Lollobrigida : GINA
22 Start of a title by 44-Down : PRIDE …
24 “As if!” : I BET!!
25 Shoelaces alternative : VELCRO
27 Guy who always agrees with the boss : YES MAN
28 Gather a bit at a time : GLEAN
29 Award for TV excellence : EMMY
30 Mythical river of the underworld : STYX
31 Wound covering : SCAB
32 Black-and-white sea creature : ORCA
33 Buzzing facial adornments : BEE BEARDS
37 Sharp-eyed bird : EAGLE
40 L.A. arts district : NOHO
43 Put away, as a sword : SHEATHE
44 “Emma” novelist Jane : AUSTEN
47 Places for bowling : ALLEYS
48 Espadrille, e.g. : SHOE
51 Frigid temps : TEENS
52 T-bone, for one : STEAK
53 “This won’t hurt __!” : A BIT
54 Tune (out) : ZONE
55 Big rig : SEMI
56 Solemn bio : OBIT
58 Egyptian serpents : ASPS
61 Magic spell : HEX
62 Fed. property agency : GSA