LA Times Crossword 13 Jan 23, Friday

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Constructed by: Tom Locke
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): A Singular Puzzle

Themed answers are reinterpretations of common phrases ending in “ONE”:

  • 17A Wet one? : CRYING BABY
  • 23A Day one? : MORNING PERSON
  • 35A Air Force one? : HELICOPTER PILOT
  • 45A Number one? : TAX ACCOUNTANT
  • 56A Cellular one? : BIO LAB TECH

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

Bill’s time: 7m 11s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 Sign of autumn : LIBRA

Libra is the seventh sign of the zodiac, and is named for the scales held by the goddess of justice. It is the only sign of the zodiac that isn’t named for a living creature.

15 Arizona’s __ Fria river : AGUA

The Agua Fria River runs from a spot near the city of Prescott, Arizona south through the Agua Fria National Monument and into Lake Pleasant located near Peoria, Arizona. “Agua Fria” translates from Spanish as “Cold Water”.

16 Fish-eating duck : SMEW

The smew is a beautiful-looking species of duck found right across northern Europe and Asia. The smew requires trees to complete its breeding cycle as it nests in tree holes, such as old woodpecker nests.

19 “Veep” Emmy winner Tony : HALE

Actor and comedian Tony Hale is probably best known for playing Buster Bluth on the sitcom “Arrested Development”. He also played body man Gary Walsh in the satirical comedy show “Veep”.

“Veep” is a political satire sitcom on HBO that is a remake of the British show “The Thick of It” (Warning: strong language!). “Veep” is set in the office of fictional US Vice President Selina Meyer, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

20 Parisian possessive : SES

“Ses” is the French word for “his”, “her” or “its” when referring to a group of items or individuals.

21 Streaming service acquired by Fox in 2020 : TUBI

Tubi is an ad-supported streaming service that was launched in 2014. Programs available from Tubi include both films and TV series. Program availability increased in 2020 when Tubi was purchased by Fox Corporation, for $440 million.

27 Big name in game shows : SAJAK

Pat Sajak took over as host of “Wheel of Fortune” from Chuck Woolery back in 1983 and has been doing the job ever since. Sajak had a short run as a talk show host in 1989/1990 and used to sub quite often for Larry King and Regis Philbin.

29 Fashion’s Oscar __ Renta : DE LA

Oscar de la Renta is a fashion designer who really came to prominence in the sixties when his designs were worn by Jacqueline Kennedy.

30 Last of the Oldsmobiles : ALERO

The Alero was the last car made by General Motors under the Oldsmobile brand. It was produced from 1999 to 2004.

32 CDs with three or four songs : EPS

An extended-play (EP) record, CD or download contains more music than a single, but less than an LP.

35 Air Force one? : HELICOPTER PILOT

Our term “helicopter” was absorbed from the French word “hélicoptère” that was coined by Gustave Ponton d’Amécourt in 1861. d’Amécourt envisioned aircraft that could fly vertically using rotating wings that “screwed” into the air. He combined the Greek terms “helix” meaning “spiral, whirl” and “pteron” meaning “wing” to give us “helicopter”.

51 Senator Booker : CORY

Cory Booker has been a US Senator for New Jersey since 2013, having previously served as the Mayor of Newark. Booker is one of the few vegetarians in the US Congress.

52 Like steak tartare : RAW

Steak tartare was first served in French restaurants in the early 1900s. Back then, the dish went by the name “steak à l’Americaine”, would you believe? It was basically raw, seasoned beef mixed with egg yolk. A later version of l’Americaine, without the egg yolk and with tartar sauce served on the side, was dubbed “steak tartare”. Over time the two versions became one, and the steak tartare moniker won out. By the way, if you order steak tartare in Switzerland, I believe you are served horse meat. There are now similar “tartare” dishes made with raw salmon, or raw tuna.

55 Astronaut Christina who spent 328 days in space : KOCH

Astronaut Christina Koch served on the International Space Station in 2019/2020, and broke the record for the longest continuous stay in space (328 days).

59 Art Deco master : ERTE

“Erté” was the pseudonym of French (Russian-born) artist and designer Romain de Tirtoff. “Erté” is the French pronunciation of his initials “R.T.” Erté’s diverse portfolio of work included costumes and sets for the “Ziegfeld Follies” of 1923, productions of the Parisian cabaret show “Folies Bergère”, as well as the 1925 epic movie “Ben-Hur”. Erté’s most famous work by far is an image titled “Symphony in Black”. It depicts a tall and slender woman dressed in black, holding a black dog on a leash.

60 Hebrides isle : IONA

Although the small island of Iona lies just off the west coast of Scotland, it was the site of a monastery built in the Middle Ages by a monk from Ireland named Colm Cille (also known as Columba). Colm Cille and his followers were sent into exile from the Irish mainland and settled in Iona, as at that time the island was part of an Irish kingdom. This monastery in Iona expanded its influence over the decades and founded other institutions all over Ireland and Great Britain. It is believed that the famous Book of Kells may have been written, or at least started, at the monastery on Iona. Iona is also the burial site for Macbeth, King of Scotland who was immortalized in Shakespeare’s fictional account of the king’s life.

The Hebrides are a group of islands just off the west coast of Scotland. They are divided into two main groups: the Inner and Outer Hebrides.

62 Sgts. and cpls. : NCOS

A non-commissioned officer (NCO) might be a sergeant (sgt.) or a corporal (cpl.).

63 “Guardians of the Galaxy” filmmaker James : GUNN

James Gunn has directed a lot of superhero films, including the “Guardians of the Galaxy” series produced by Marvel Studios. In 2022, DC Studios hired Gunn as co-chairperson and co-CEO alongside Peter Safran. For several years, Gunn was married to actress Jenna Fischer (from “The Office”).

Down

1 Some bus. entities : LLCS

A limited liability company (LLC) has a structure that limits the liability of the owner or owners. It is a hybrid structure in the sense that it can be taxed as would an individual or partnership, while also maintaining the liability protection afforded to a corporation.

2 Word with a harp on some euro coins : EIRE

Euro coins are issued by all the participating European states. The reverse side is a common design used by all countries, whereas the obverse is a design specific to each nation. For example, the one euro coin issued by Malta features the Maltese Cross. That Maltese euro is legal tender right across the eurozone. The Irish euro features a harp.

Guinness trademarked its famous harp logo way back in 1862. The harp is also a symbol of Ireland. When Ireland became a Free State from the United Kingdom in 1922, the new Irish government had to come up with a different symbol so as not to infringe trademark laws. That’s why Ireland’s harp points in the opposite direction of Guinness’ harp. ‘Tis true, ‘tis true …

4 “__ Lanka Matha”: South Asian national anthem : SRI

“Sri Lanka Matha” (“Mother Sri Lanka” in English) was first performed in 1949, and fully adopted as the national anthem of Sri Lanka in 1978. The song’s original title was “Namo Namo Matha”, meaning “Salute! Salute! Motherland”.

5 Mystical Hindu text : TANTRA

Tantrism (sometimes “Tantra”) is a relatively recent class of religious ritual and meditation that has its roots in 5th century India. The tantras are sometimes considered as advanced teachings that extend the basic tenets of several Indian religions including Buddhism and Hinduism.

6 Shabbat services leader : RABBI

Shabbat is the day of rest in the Jewish tradition, and is observed weekly from Friday evening through Saturday evening. Shabbat is welcomed a few minutes before Friday’s sunset, according to Jewish law, and bid farewell on Saturday night after the appearance of three stars in the sky.

8 Crawl space? : PUB

A pub crawl (also “bar-hopping”) is a tour of a selection of local public houses. One usually takes one drink at each stop, which might perhaps explain the use of the word “crawl” …

10 CafePress purchase : T-SHIRT

CafePress is an online retailer that specializes in supplying user-customized items, items such as t-shirts, bags, clocks, mugs and calendars.

12 Instrument with an end pin : CELLO

The “spike” at the bottom of a cello or double bass is known as an endpin. It contacts the floor and supports the instrument’s weight. Prior the introduction of the endpin in the mid-1800s, a cello would be held tightly between the legs by the musician. This was practically impossible for woemn, due to the volumous dresses worn at the time. So, the endpin is credited with the iincrease in popularity of the cello with female musicians.

22 Storyteller credited with the fable “The Wolf and the Crane” : AESOP

In Aesop’s fable “The Wolf and the Crane”, a wolf gets a small stuck in his throat while feeding. He begs for help from several animals, but only the crane will help. The crane uses its long bill to remove the bone, and asks for his reward. The wolf tells the crane that his reward is the fact that he was able to put his head in the mouth of a wolf and survive. Very ungrateful …

24 California town with an annual music festival : OJAI

The city of Ojai, California is located just northwest of Los Angeles. One of the city’s claims to fame is that according to the TV shows “The Bionic Woman” and “The Six Million Dollar Man”, Jaime Sommers and Steve Austin grew up in Ojai and were childhood sweethearts!

25 Avarice : GREED

Our word “avarice”, meaning “desire for wealth”, ultimately derives from the Latin word “avere” meaning “to crave”.

29 MLB sluggers who don’t play the field : DHS

Baseball’s American League (AL) allows a designated hitter (DH) in each team’s lineup, whereas the National League (NL) does not.

31 Wireless standard initials : LTE

In the world of telecommunications, the initialism LTE stands for Long-Term Evolution, and is wireless broadband communication standard. In general terms, LTE improves broadband speeds. As I understand it, LTE technology allows a 3G network to perform almost as well as a true 4G network, and so LTE is sometimes marketed as 4G LTE, even though it’s really “3G plus”.

32 Nightmarish movie location : ELM STREET

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” is a Wes Craven slasher-horror film that was released in 1984. As I don’t do “slasher” or “horror”, I was surprised to learn that Johnny Depp was in the movie, making his feature film debut.

33 Ada Limón, for one : POET

Ada Limón was named US Poet Laureate in 2022. Here is her poem “Field Bling”, which comes from her 2015 collection “Bright Dead Things”:

Nights when it’s warm
and no one is watching,
I walk to the edge
of the road and stare
at all the fireflies.
I squint and pretend
they’re hallucinations,
bright made-up waves
of the brain.
I call them,
field bling.
I call them,
fancy creepies.
It’s been a long time
since I’ve wanted to die,
it makes me feel
like taking off
my skin suit
and seeing how
my light flies all
on its own, neon
and bouncy like a
wannabe star.

34 RR stop : STN

A station (“stn.” or “sta.”) is a railroad (RR) or bus stop.

37 Cartel HQ’d in Vienna : OPEC

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in 1960 at a conference held in Baghdad, Iraq that was attended by Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Nine more countries joined the alliance soon after, and OPEC set up headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and then Vienna, Austria in 1965. The basic aim of OPEC was to wrest control of oil prices from the oil companies and put it in the hands of the sovereign states that own the natural resource.

38 Armitage of “Big Little Lies” : IAIN

Iain Armitage is a child actor perhaps best known for playing the title character in the sitcom “Young Sheldon”.

“Big Little Lies” is a 2017 TV miniseries that is based on a 2014 novel of the same name. It stars Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley as three women who, while dealing with their own emotional problems, find themselves involved in a murder investigation. I haven’t seen this one, but hear very good things …

47 Blade for a hobbyist : X-ACTO

The X-Acto knife was invented in the thirties by a Polish immigrant, although his intention was to come up with a scalpel for surgeons. The knife couldn’t cut it as a scalpel though (pun!), because it was difficult to clean. The inventor’s brother-in-law suggested it be used as a craft knife, and it is still around today.

48 NCAA school with the most first-round WNBA draft picks : UCONN

The UConn Huskies are the sports teams of the University of Connecticut. I wasn’t able to uncover the derivation of the “Huskies” moniker. Although it is true that “UConn” sounds like “Yukon”, that isn’t the derivation of the “Huskies” nickname. The school didn’t become the University of Connecticut (UConn) until 1939, and the Huskies name has been used since 1933.

49 “Dunkirk” director Christopher : NOLAN

British director Christopher Nolan is best known for “rescuing” the floundering Batman movie franchise. In that series, Nolan directed “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight”. He was also at the helm of a couple of sci-fi movies that I really enjoyed, namely “Inception” (2010) and “Interstellar” (2014).

“Dunkirk” is a 2017 film about the evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk during WWII. Directed and written by Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk” has been praised for how realistic it is in depicting the conditions and events that took place on that day.

58 New Deal energy prog. : TVA

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has to be one of America’s great success stories when it comes to economic development. Created in 1933, the TVA spearheaded economic development in the Tennessee Valley at the height of the Great Depression. Central to the success was the federally-funded construction of flood-control and electricity-generation facilities.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Slightest : LEAST
6 Knocks : RAPS
10 Delicacy : TACT
14 Sign of autumn : LIBRA
15 Arizona’s __ Fria river : AGUA
16 Fish-eating duck : SMEW
17 Wet one? : CRYING BABY
19 “Veep” Emmy winner Tony : HALE
20 Parisian possessive : SES
21 Streaming service acquired by Fox in 2020 : TUBI
22 Seating request : AISLE
23 Day one? : MORNING PERSON
27 Big name in game shows : SAJAK
28 Lack of practice, metaphorically : RUST
29 Fashion’s Oscar __ Renta : DE LA
30 Last of the Oldsmobiles : ALERO
32 CDs with three or four songs : EPS
35 Air Force one? : HELICOPTER PILOT
39 Sun spot : SKY
40 Made a choice : OPTED
41 “You’re so right!” : AMEN
42 Two piece? : DUET
43 Tribute creator : ODIST
45 Number one? : TAX ACCOUNTANT
50 Leave red-faced : ABASH
51 Senator Booker : CORY
52 Like steak tartare : RAW
55 Astronaut Christina who spent 328 days in space : KOCH
56 Cellular one? : BIO LAB TECH
59 Art Deco master : ERTE
60 Hebrides isle : IONA
61 More than most : EVERY
62 Sgts. and cpls. : NCOS
63 “Guardians of the Galaxy” filmmaker James : GUNN
64 Sees : DATES

Down

1 Some bus. entities : LLCS
2 Word with a harp on some euro coins : EIRE
3 In a really bad way : ABYSMALLY
4 “__ Lanka Matha”: South Asian national anthem : SRI
5 Mystical Hindu text : TANTRA
6 Shabbat services leader : RABBI
7 Over : AGAIN
8 Crawl space? : PUB
9 For example : SAY
10 CafePress purchase : T-SHIRT
11 Pile up : AMASS
12 Instrument with an end pin : CELLO
13 Many a middle-schooler : TWEEN
18 Goopy buildup : GUNK
22 Storyteller credited with the fable “The Wolf and the Crane” : AESOP
24 California town with an annual music festival : OJAI
25 Avarice : GREED
26 Contented rumble : PURR
27 Go for : SEEK
29 MLB sluggers who don’t play the field : DHS
30 Is __: likely will : APT TO
31 Wireless standard initials : LTE
32 Nightmarish movie location : ELM STREET
33 Ada Limón, for one : POET
34 RR stop : STN
36 Sectional, e.g. : COUCH
37 Cartel HQ’d in Vienna : OPEC
38 Armitage of “Big Little Lies” : IAIN
42 Quick races : DASHES
43 Una y __ vez: Spanish for “time after time” : OTRA
44 Guest room piece : DAY BED
45 Spoken for : TAKEN
46 Multiple-choice choices : A, B OR C
47 Blade for a hobbyist : X-ACTO
48 NCAA school with the most first-round WNBA draft picks : UCONN
49 “Dunkirk” director Christopher : NOLAN
53 Land parcel : ACRE
54 __ and wherefores : WHYS
56 Generous : BIG
57 Marker : IOU
58 New Deal energy prog. : TVA

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 13 Jan 23, Friday”

  1. No errors, but a few lookups: all PPP answers…Hale, Tubi, Cory and
    Koch. Otherwise okay…kind of quirky today.

  2. No errors.

    Odd choice for picking the Air Force for a Helicopter pilot. I didn’t even think they had the program but I guess they do.

  3. Hi,

    This is the 1st and probably ok only time commenting. Today’s puzzle was cleverly wrought. I appreciated the punnery. Hope to see more like this from you and others.

    Al

  4. Nearly just quit after 20 minutes, but just kept plugging along and suddenly I was done. Lots of things I never heard of or just didn’t know: smew, Hale, tubi, Koch, iona, Gunn, Ojai.

  5. Too quirky for my taste but I finished with no errors or lookups. Even after Bill’s expo didn’t fully get the theme. Better luck tomorrow.

  6. 15:08 – no errors or lockups. False starts: TEAL(a guess)>SMEW, MORNINGPERIOD>MORNINGPERSON.

    New: Tony HALE, SES, Christina KOCH, “Matha,” “CafePress,” “Ada Limon.

    Took a minute to get what the theme was about, but only a couple of the clues. I also would not think of the USAF for helicopter pilots – US Army, yes, but not so much for USAF. I’m sure they have a purpose there, too, though.

  7. As of 2022, the National League has adopted the DH rule for all games. One would have to be an avid MLB fan to know that change. I just happen to be one.

  8. Very rough, about 35 minutes with 4 errors (missed the ALERO/LTE and CORY/OTRA crosses). Felt like a Saturday.
    And sorry, but I thought 48D was one of the easier clues. School & Womens Basketball (WNBA) means either UConn or Tennessee.

  9. This wasn’t so hard. If you watch television 24/7 (including all the advertisements) while multitasking by reading People magazine and Sports Illustrated, then this puzzle should be a breeze. There were only 10 proper names, 6 product brand names, and a few foreign language translations. Incidentally, 35A was fair. The U.S. Air Force has helicopters–213 of ’em in a total force of 5,209 aircraft. Not so 16A. It was a cheap shot to ask an American audience the obscure name of a fish eating duck that exists only in Eurasia. Can you spell merganser with 4 letters?

  10. Surprisingly easy Friday for me; took 13:37 with no peeks or errors. Same false starts as Ray C, along with ALERa, which I also fixed. I knew about the stupid DH being imposed on the NL and I’m still a little noncommittal in my support for my SF Giants, because of it. Same with UCONN, who always seem to be in the mix in both mens and womens play; also because they sound like Yukon, where I lived as a 5 yr old.

    The presidential helicopter is referred to as Marine One and is piloted by them as well. Air Force One is the 747, piloted by the USAF.

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