LA Times Crossword 16 Jan 23, Monday

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Constructed by: Jack Murtagh
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Father Figures

Themed answers each start with a synonym of “FATHER”:

  • 56A Some male role models, and what can be found at the starts of the answers to the starred clues : FATHER FIGURES
  • 20A *Spiderlike arachnid : DADDY LONGLEGS
  • 33A *Does some rear-tire balancing on one’s bike : POPS A WHEELIE
  • 41A *Personification of a snowy season : OLD MAN WINTER

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

Bill’s time: 5m 11s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Units of electrical resistance : OHMS

The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every school kid knows as Ohm’s Law.

14 Norway’s capital : OSLO

Oslo, the capital of Norway, is an ancient city that was founded around 1048. The medieval city was destroyed by fire in 1624 and was rebuilt by the Danish-Norwegian king Christian IV and renamed to Christiana. In 1877 there was an official change of the spelling of the city’s name to “Kristiana”, and then more recently in 1925 the name was restored to the original Oslo. Things have almost gone full circle and now the center of Oslo, the area that would have been contained by the original medieval walls, has apparently been renamed to Christiana.

16 TV alien played by Robin Williams : MORK

“Mork & Mindy” is a sitcom that originally aired from 1978 to 1982. The title characters were played by Robin Williams and Pam Dawber. Mork is an alien from the planet Ork who reports back to his superior called Orson. Orson is played by voice actor Ralph James. Ralph James was also known for providing the voice of Mr. Turtle in famous Tootsie Pop commercials in the seventies. Nanu nanu!

17 Bank claim : LIEN

A lien is a right that one has to retain or secure someone’s property until a debt is paid. When an individual takes out a car loan, for example, the lending bank is usually a lien holder. The bank releases the lien on the car when the loan is paid in full.

18 Sierra __, Africa : LEONE

The Republic of Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa that lies on the Atlantic Coast. The capital city of Freetown was originally set up as a colony to house the “Black Poor” of London, England. These people were mainly freed British slaves of Caribbean descent who were living a miserable life in the run-down parts of London. Perhaps to help the impoverished souls, perhaps to rid the streets of “a problem”, three ships were chartered in 1787 to transport a group of blacks, with some whites, to a piece of land purchased in Sierra Leone. Those who made the voyage were granted British citizenship and protection. The descendants of these immigrants, and others who made the journey over the next 60 years, make up the ethnic group that’s today called the Sierra Leone Creole.

19 Marketplace for unique gifts : ETSY

Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

20 *Spiderlike arachnid : DADDY LONGLEGS

“Daddy longlegs” is a common term used to describe several species of insect, including harvestmen, cellar spiders and crane flies.

Arachnids are creatures with eight jointed legs. The name of the class Arachnida comes from the Greek “aráchnē” meaning “spider”.

23 French toast need : EGG

The dish made from bread soaked in milk with beaten eggs and then fried is usually called French toast in the US, but it also goes by the names German toast and Spanish toast. In France, the dish is known as “pain perdu”, which translates as “lost bread”. This name is a reference to the fact that “lost” or “stale” bread can be reclaimed by dipping it in a mixture of milk and eggs and then frying it.

24 Mantra syllables : OMS

“Om” is a sacred mystic word from the Hindu tradition. “Om” is sometimes used as a mantra, a focus for the mind in meditation.

25 Slushy drink : FRAPPE

A “frappé” is a frozen, fruit-flavored dessert similar to sherbet. “Frappé” is a French word that can mean “chilled”.

28 Sitcom title role for Brandy : MOESHA

“Moesha” is a sitcom that originally aired in the late nineties starring singer Brandy Norwood in the title role, a high school student in LA. “Moesha” may be a sitcom, but it had a reputation for dealing with very real social issues such as teen pregnancy, race relations, and infidelity.

30 Alien-hunting org. : SETI

“SETI” is the name given to a number of projects searching for extraterrestrial life. The acronym stands for “search for extraterrestrial intelligence”. One of the main SETI activities is the monitoring of electromagnetic radiation (such as radio waves) reaching the Earth in the hope of finding a transmission from a civilization in another world.

32 Large deer : ELK

The elk (also “wapiti”) is one of the largest species of deer in the world, with only the moose being bigger. Early European settlers were familiar with the smaller red deer back in their homelands, so when they saw the “huge” wapiti they assumed it was a moose, and incorrectly gave it the European name for a moose, namely “elk”. The more correct name for the beast is “wapiti”, which means “white rump” in Shawnee. It’s all very confusing …

36 Mother Earth, in Greek myth : GAIA

The Greek goddess personifying the earth was Gaea (also “Gaia”, and meaning “land” or “earth” in Greek). The Roman equivalent goddess was Terra Mater, “Mother Earth”.

40 Pub orders : ALES

The many, many different styles of beer can generally be sorted into two groups: ales and lagers. Ales are fermented at relatively warm temperatures for relatively short periods of time, and use top-fermenting yeasts, i.e. yeasts that float on top of the beer as it ferments. Lagers ferment at relatively low temperatures and for relatively long periods of time. Lagers use bottom-fermenting yeasts, i.e. yeasts that fall to the bottom of the beer as it ferments.

46 Female deer : DOE

A male deer is usually called a buck, and a female is a doe. However, the male red deer is usually referred to as a stag. The males of even larger species of deer are often called bulls, and the females called cows. In older English, male deer of over 5 years were called harts, and females of over 3 years were called hinds. The young of small species are known as fawns, and of larger species are called calves. All very confusing …

52 Rudder locales : STERNS

A rudder is usually a flat sheet of wood or metal located at the stern of a boat, and under the waterline. The rudder is attached to a rudder post, which rotates to change the orientation of the rudder hence steering the boat. That rotation of the rudder post can be achieved by pulling or pushing a lever called a tiller, which is located at the top of the post.

54 Computing pioneer Lovelace : ADA

Ada Lovelace’s real name and title was Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace. She was the only legitimate child of Lord Byron, the poet. Lovelace was fascinated by mathematics and wrote about the work done by Charles Babbage in building his groundbreaking mechanical computer. In some of her notes, she proposed an algorithm for Babbage’s machine to compute Bernoulli numbers. This algorithm is recognized by many as the world’s first computer program and so Lovelace is sometimes called the first “computer programmer”. There is a computer language called “Ada” that was named in her honor. The Ada language was developed from 1977 to 1983 for the US Department of Defense.

60 Protruding part of a fedora : BRIM

A fedora is a lovely hat, I think. It is made of felt, and is similar to a trilby, but has a broader brim. “Fedora” was a play written for Sarah Bernhardt and first performed in 1889. Bernhardt had the title role of Princess Fedora, and on stage she wore a hat similar to a modern-day fedora. The play led to the women’s fashion accessory, the fedora hat, commonly worn by women into the beginning of the twentieth century. Men then started wearing fedoras, but only when women gave up the fashion …

63 Post-it __ : NOTE

The Post-it note was invented at 3M following the accidental discovery of a low-tack, reusable adhesive. The actual intent of the development program was to produce a super-strong adhesive.

66 Actress Arlene : DAHL

Arlene Dahl is an American movie actress who was quite famous during the 1950s. Among her screen credits was playing the female lead in 1959’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, alongside James Mason and Pat Boone.

Down

1 Texas __: poker variety : HOLD ‘EM

In the card game called Texas hold ‘em, two hole cards are dealt to each player, and five community cards are dealt face up on the table. The community cards are dealt in the three stages. The first three cards are dealt in one stage (the flop), then the fourth card is shown (the turn), and finally the fifth card (the river).

2 Nutty Italian cheese : ASIAGO

Asiago is a cheese that is named for the region in northeastern Italy from where it originates. It comes in varying textures depending on its age. Fresh Asiago is very smooth, while aged Asiago can be very crumbly.

3 R&B singer Percy : SLEDGE

Percy Sledge is an R&B singer who is most famous for recording the great song “When a Man Loves a Woman” in 1966.

6 Cookies that came in limited-edition Neapolitan and Snickerdoodle flavors in 2022 : OREOS

Nabisco offers customized packets of Oreo cookies through its OREOiD website. Users of the stie can choose filling colors and decorations, and can add a photo or a message to the cookie itself.

7 Waffle __ : IRON

Waffle irons have been around since the 1300s, in the Low Countries. The original version comprised two iron plates connected by a hinge, and two wooden handles. The plates were often cast with a pattern that left an image on the waffle. The waffles were baked in the iron over a fire in a hearth.

9 Last of a dozen : TWELFTH

Our word “dozen” is used for a group of twelve. We imported it into English from Old French. The modern French word for “twelve” is “douze”, and for “dozen” is “douzaine”.

10 Greek letter that represents 10-Across, in physics : OMEGA
[10A Units of electrical resistance : OHMS]

11 Tough stretch of summer : HOT SPELL

Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet and is the one that looks like a horseshoe (Ω) when in uppercase. The lowercase omega looks like a Latin W. The word “omega” literally means “great O” (O-mega). Compare this with the Greek letter Omicron, meaning “little O” (O-micron).

12 __ Claus: North Pole resident : MRS

If you want to send a note to Santa from Canada, he has his own special postal code: “North Pole, HOH OHO”. The US Postal Service suggests that we send mail for Santa to zip code 99705, which directs it to the city of North Pole, Alaska.

21 Start of a pirate chant : YO-HO- …

The fictional sea shanty called “Dead Man’s Chest” was introduced in Robert Louis Stevenson’s great novel, “Treasure Island”. In the book, Stevenson only describes the chorus, which goes:

Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest–
…Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil had done for the rest–
…Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!

22 New York canal : ERIE

The Erie Canal runs from Albany to Buffalo in the state of New York. What the canal does is allow shipping to proceed from New York Harbor right up the Hudson River, through the canal and into the Great Lakes. When it was opened in 1825, the Erie Canal had an immediate impact on the economy of New York City and locations along its route. It was the first means of “cheap” transportation from a port on the Atlantic seaboard into the interior of the United States. Arguably it was the most important factor contributing to the growth of New York City over competing ports such as Baltimore and Philadelphia. It was largely because of the Erie Canal that New York became such an economic powerhouse, earning it the nickname of “the Empire State”. Paradoxically, one of the project’s main proponents was severely criticized. New York Governor DeWitt Clinton received so much ridicule that the canal was nicknamed “Clinton’s Folly” and “Clinton’s Ditch”.

26 Ballet class bend : PLIE

The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent. A “demi-plié” is a similar move, but with less bending of the knees. A fondu is similar to a plié, except that only one leg remains on the ground.

30 South Asian dresses : SARIS

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.

31 Actor McGregor : EWAN

Ewan McGregor is a very talented Scottish actor, one who got his break in the 1996 film “Trainspotting”. McGregor’s first big Hollywood role was playing the young Obi-Wan-Kenobi in the “Star Wars” prequels. Less known is his televised marathon motorcycle journey from London to New York via central Europe, Ukraine, Siberia, Mongolia and Canada. The 2004 trip was shown as “Long Way Round” on TV. McGregor did a similar trip in 2007 called “Long Way Down”, which took him and the same traveling companion from the north of Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa.

35 Wyatt of Tombstone : EARP

Wyatt Earp is famous as one of the participants in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Earp was a city policeman in Wichita, Kansas and also in Dodge City, Kansas. Earp was also deputy sheriff in Tombstone, Arizona where the O.K. Corral gunfight took place. Years later, Earp joined the Alaska Gold Rush and with a partner built and operated the Dexter Saloon in Nome.

The Arizona town of Tombstone built up around a mine that was owned by one Ed Schieffelin. Schieffelin had been told by US soldiers stationed in the area that the only stone (ore sample) he would find in the area was his tombstone. Regardless, he did file a claim, and it was centered on the grave site of one of his men who had been killed by Apaches. Schieffelin filed papers under the name “the Tombstone claim”.

36 Neil Gaiman’s “American __” : GODS

“American Gods” is a 2001 fantasy novel by English author Neil Gaiman. The book has been adapted into a TV series, with the first season airing on Starz in 2017. It’s all about gods and mythological creatures in contemporary America. Not my cup of tea, although there is a leprechaun named Mad Sweeney in the mix …

Neil Gaiman is an English author whose works include novels, comic books and graphic novels. He has a very noteworthy friendship with musician Tori Amos. Amos has included “Neil” in the lyrics of several of her songs. In turn, Gaiman included her as a character in his comic book “The Sandman”, and Amos penned the introduction to the comic “Death: The HIgh Cost of Living”, and features on the cover.

38 French phrase meaning “obsession” : IDEE FIXE

An “idée fixe” (a French term) is basically a fixed idea, an obsession

50 Sprout incisors : TEETHE

The incisors are the front teeth, of which humans have eight. The term “incisor” comes from the Latin “incidere” meaning “to cut”.

51 Art studio stands : EASELS

The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey”, would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.

53 Budget noodle dish : RAMEN

Ramen is a noodle dish composed of Chinese-style wheat noodles in a meat or fish broth flavored with soy or miso sauce. Ramen is usually topped with sliced pork and dried seaweed. The term “ramen” is also used for precooked, instant noodles that come in single-serving, solid blocks.

57 Miami Heat coach Spoelstra : ERIK

When Erik Spoelstra was appointed head coach for the Miami Heat in 2008, he became the first Asian-American to serve as head coach in any of the four major North American sports leagues.

58 Sitarist Shankar : RAVI

Ravi Shankar was perhaps the most famous virtuoso (to us Westerners) from the world of Indian classical music, and was noted for his sitar playing. Shankar was the father of the pop singer Norah Jones.

60 Sandwich letters : BLT

The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Fastener that’s an apt rhyme of “clasp” : HASP
5 Damp : MOIST
10 Units of electrical resistance : OHMS
14 Norway’s capital : OSLO
15 Elevator button symbol : ARROW
16 TV alien played by Robin Williams : MORK
17 Bank claim : LIEN
18 Sierra __, Africa : LEONE
19 Marketplace for unique gifts : ETSY
20 *Spiderlike arachnid : DADDY LONGLEGS
23 French toast need : EGG
24 Mantra syllables : OMS
25 Slushy drink : FRAPPE
28 Sitcom title role for Brandy : MOESHA
30 Alien-hunting org. : SETI
32 Large deer : ELK
33 *Does some rear-tire balancing on one’s bike : POPS A WHEELIE
36 Mother Earth, in Greek myth : GAIA
39 “It’s the end of an __” : ERA
40 Pub orders : ALES
41 *Personification of a snowy season : OLD MAN WINTER
46 Female deer : DOE
47 Charged particles : IONS
48 Attribute (to) : IMPUTE
52 Rudder locales : STERNS
54 Computing pioneer Lovelace : ADA
55 Green vegetable : PEA
56 Some male role models, and what can be found at the starts of the answers to the starred clues : FATHER FIGURES
60 Protruding part of a fedora : BRIM
62 Speechify : ORATE
63 Post-it __ : NOTE
64 Like a five-star hotel : LUXE
65 Some spouses : WIVES
66 Actress Arlene : DAHL
67 Adolescent : TEEN
68 Part of some school uniforms : SKIRT
69 Mined materials : ORES

Down

1 Texas __: poker variety : HOLD ‘EM
2 Nutty Italian cheese : ASIAGO
3 R&B singer Percy : SLEDGE
4 Frog habitat : POND
5 Store locator in a large retail space : MALL MAP
6 Cookies that came in limited-edition Neapolitan and Snickerdoodle flavors in 2022 : OREOS
7 Waffle __ : IRON
8 Tune : SONG
9 Last of a dozen : TWELFTH
10 Greek letter that represents 10-Across, in physics : OMEGA
11 Tough stretch of summer : HOT SPELL
12 __ Claus: North Pole resident : MRS
13 Cloud’s place : SKY
21 Start of a pirate chant : YO-HO- …
22 New York canal : ERIE
26 Ballet class bend : PLIE
27 Squeaks (by) : EKES
29 Email filter target : SPAM
30 South Asian dresses : SARIS
31 Actor McGregor : EWAN
34 Stitched up : SEWN
35 Wyatt of Tombstone : EARP
36 Neil Gaiman’s “American __” : GODS
37 Very often : A LOT
38 French phrase meaning “obsession” : IDEE FIXE
42 “__ that the truth!” : AIN’T
43 Absentees : NO-SHOWS
44 Most clutter-free : TIDIEST
45 Online periodical : E-MAG
49 Commotion : UPROAR
50 Sprout incisors : TEETHE
51 Art studio stands : EASELS
53 Budget noodle dish : RAMEN
54 __-dinner mint : AFTER
57 Miami Heat coach Spoelstra : ERIK
58 Sitarist Shankar : RAVI
59 “Go back!” computer command : UNDO!
60 Sandwich letters : BLT
61 “You will __ the day!” : RUE

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 16 Jan 23, Monday”

  1. No errors; pretty easy Monday. One lookup: I already had Sledge, but
    looked it up to make sure I was right, because I never heard of him.

  2. Like Mary, thought it was pretty easy. But that’s to be expected for Monday. Unlike Mary, one error. Missed ASIAGO because I didn’t know MOESHA. Fun theme.

  3. 8:06 – no errors or lookups. False starts: IMPUGN>IMPUTE, SHIRT>SKIRT.

    New: ERIK Spoelstra. Did not realize that asiago cheese is nutty. L

    A pretty straightforward theme.

    Nice intersection of OHMS and OMEGA. Interesting addresses for Santa Claus in Bill’s note for 12D.

  4. 8 minutes, 39 seconds, and needed check grid to root out errors in 4 fills. Tough as Mondays go. Nice grid.

  5. No errors or Googles. Had isNT before AINT.
    Didn’t actually know: MOESHA, GODS, EWAN.
    Such a gift after (already) a hard day.

  6. Mostly easy Monday; took 7:00 even, with no peeks or errors. Didn’t know MOESHA, ERIK or GODS but worked with the crosses. Loved “Journey to the Center of the Earth” book, but never saw the movie with Arlene DAHL (and Pat Boone!), might have to check that out.

    It’s probably sacrilegious on a crossword site, but I don’t really like OREOS; just chocolate chip cookies for me 🙂

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