LA Times Crossword 2 Jan 23, Monday

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Constructed by: Laura Effinger-Dean & Christina Iverson
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Burn

Themed answers each end with something one might BURN:

  • 54A “Hamilton” song about destroying love letters, or what one can do to the ends of the answers to the starred clues : BURN
  • 20A *Frozen structures that help with some winter migration : ICE BRIDGES
  • 27A *Food that lacks nutritional value : EMPTY CALORIES
  • 44A *For all to see, after “in” : BROAD DAYLIGHT
  • 50A *Yoga mat material : FOAM RUBBER

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

Bill’s time: 5m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 TV’s __ at Nite : NICK

“Nick at Nite” is the name given to the late-night programming aired on the Nickelodeon channel space. Nick at Nite started broadcasting in 1985 and was conceived as television’s first “oldies” television network.

15 Vegetable pod that thickens gumbo : OKRA

Gumbo is a type of stew or soup that originated in Louisiana. The primary ingredient can be meat or fish, but to be true gumbo it must include the “holy trinity” of vegetables, namely celery, bell peppers and onion. Okra used to be a requirement but this is no longer the case. Okra gave the dish its name as the vernacular word for the African vegetable is “okingumbo”, from the Bantu language spoken by many of the slaves brought to America.

16 Photoshop maker : ADOBE

Photoshop is a wonderful piece of software used for editing graphics. When I first bought a copy of Photoshop, it was really expensive (about $300 in 1995), but now there are cost-effective, stripped-down versions available. Also, the full version of Photoshop is now only available as a monthly subscription service.

17 NPR journalist Totenberg : NINA

Nina Totenberg is a very able legal affairs correspondent who works for National Public Radio. Totenberg’s main focus is on the activities of the US Supreme Court. Famously, she was the journalist who uncovered the allegations of sexual harassment by Clarence Thomas made by Anita Hill.

18 Rotary phone part : DIAL

The first patent for a rotary dial mechanism for a phone was granted in 1898, and the familiar rotary dial phones (with holes for the finger) were introduced by the Bell System in 1919. This form of dialing was called “pulse dialing”. When you dialed the number 5, say, the dial would rotate back to the start position, opening and closing electrical contacts five times and sending five pulses over the telephone line. I used to love rotary dial phones when I was a kid. My grandfather was a telephone engineer and he showed me how to “tap out” the pulses on the “hook” at the top of a pay phone. I was able to make free calls that way. He definitely contributed to the delinquency of a minor …

19 Add to an email, as a gif : EMBED

A bitmap is an image file format used to store digital images. Basically, each pixel in a bitmap file is stored as a “bit” of information, hence the name “bitmap”. In 1987, CompuServe introduced a new type of image file called the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF). A GIF image takes the same information as a bitmap and then compresses it, resulting in a smaller file size. However, during compression the image may lose some resolution. The GIF format also handles short video clips, usually animations.

23 __ facto : IPSO

“Ipso facto” is Latin, meaning “by the fact itself”. “Ipso facto” describes something that is a direct consequence of a particular act, as opposed to something that is the result of some subsequent event. For example, my father was born in Dublin and was an Irish citizen, ipso facto. My son was born in California and is an Irish citizen by virtue of being the son of an Irish citizen (i.e. “not” ipso facto).

34 Valentine’s Day icon : CUPID

Saint Valentine’s Day was introduced by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD to honor various martyrs with the name Valentine. However, the saint’s day was dropped by the Roman Catholic church in 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Try telling that to Hallmark though …

38 Yucky buildup : CRUD

The word “crud”, meaning “something disgusting”, is American slang dating back to the 1920s. Originating in the US Army, the term was used in place of “venereal disease”.

39 __ throat : STREP

Streptococcus bacteria multiply and divide along a single axis so that they form linked chains. That behavior gives the genus of bacteria its name, as “streptos” is Greek for “easily twisted, like a chain”. I had to battle with streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat) twice in the past few years and it was not at all pleasant, I must say. Another species of streptococcus is responsible for that terrible “flesh-eating” infection that makes the news from time to time.

48 20-vol. lexicon : OED

Work started on what was to become the first “Oxford English Dictionary” (OED) in 1857. Several interim versions of the dictionary were published in the coming years with the first full version appearing, in ten bound volumes, in 1928. The second edition of the OED appeared in 1989 and is made up of twenty volumes. The OED was first published in electronic form in 1988 and went online in 2000. Given the modern use of computers, the publishing house responsible feels that there will never be a third print version of the famous dictionary.

A lexicon was originally just a dictionary, but we tend nowadays to use the term more to mean a vocabulary that relates to some specific area of activity.

49 Many an Eastern European : SLAV

The Slavic peoples are in the majority in communities covering over half of Europe. This large ethnic group is traditionally broken down into three smaller groups:

  • the West Slavic (including Czechs and Poles)
  • the East Slavic (including Russians and Ukrainians)
  • the South Slavic (including Bulgarians, Croats and Serbs)

57 Group of pundits on a TV news show, e.g. : PANEL

A pundit is a learned person to whom one might turn for an opinion. “Pundit” is derived from the Hindi word “payndit” meaning “learned man”.

61 Braugher of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” : ANDRE

Andre Braugher is the actor who plays Captain Ray Holt on the sitcom “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”. Braugher played a more serious cop on the TV show “Homicide: Life on the Street”, namely Detective Frank Pembleton.

62 Oscar winner Malek : RAMI

Actor Rami Malek’s big break came with the leading role in the television series “Mr. Robot”. In 2018, Malik gave an Oscar-winning performance playing Freddie Mercury in the hit biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody”. That marked the first time that an actor of Egyptian descent won an Academy Award for Best Actor.

65 __ vera gel : ALOE

Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. ancient Egyptians knew it as the plant of immortality, and Native Americans called it the wand of heaven.

66 ACL location : KNEE

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four major ligaments that support the knee.

Down

5 DVD player error message : NO DISC

The abbreviation “DVD” doesn’t actually stand for anything these days, although it was originally short for “digital video disk”. The use of the word “video” was dropped as DVDs started to be used for storing a lot more than video. As a result, some folks assign the phrase “digital versatile disk” to “DVD”.

9 “Parenthood” actress Whitman : MAE

Actress Mae Whitman played “the daughter” in some successful movies early in her career. She was Meg Ryan’s daughter in “When a Man Loves a Woman”, George Clooney’s daughter in “One Fine Day” and Bill Pullman’s daughter in “Independence Day”. More recently, she played the lead in the 2015 teen comedy film “The Duff”.

“Parenthood” is a TV series that originally aired from 2010 until 2015, and is loosely based on the 1989 film of the same name starring Steve Martin. Ron Howard directed the film, and served as executive producer for the TV show.

11 Entry on Indeed.com, e.g. : JOB POSTING

Indeed (Indeed.com) is a search engine used as a tool to sort through online job listings. Indeed was co-founded in Austin, Texas and Stamford, Connecticut and became a subsidiary in 20121 of Recruit, a company based in Tokyo, Japan.

12 Like many sumo wrestlers : OBESE

Sumo is a sport that is practiced professionally only in Japan, the country of its origin. There is an international federation of sumo wrestling now, and one of the organization’s aims is to have the sport accepted as an Olympic event.

21 Tampa Bay team : RAYS

The Tampa Bay Rays MLB team is a relatively young franchise, having been formed in 1998. The initial name of the franchise was the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. While known as the Devil Rays, the team finished last in the league almost every year. The name was changed to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008, and I am told the Rays started into a streak of winning seasons soon after.

27 __ A Sketch : ETCH

Etch A Sketch was introduced in 1960. The toy was developed in France by inventor André Cassagnes, who initially named it “L’Écran Magique” (The Magic Screen).

28 Female horse : MARE

There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:

  • Foal: horse of either sex that is less than one year old
  • Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
  • Filly: female horse under the age of four
  • Colt: male horse under the age of four
  • Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
  • Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
  • Mare: female horse four years or older

32 “The Phantom of the __” : OPERA

I’m a bit jaded with big stage musicals I must admit, but I will always have time for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s masterpiece “The Phantom of the Opera”. “Phantom …” is the longest running musical in the history of Broadway, and deservedly so. There is a sequel, titled “Love Never Dies”, that opened in London’s West End in March 2010. But, it hasn’t been well received.

36 Salt Lake state : UTAH

The Great Salt Lake in Utah is extremely shallow, and so the area of the lake fluctuates greatly with the changing volume of water. Back in 1963, the lake shrunk to 950 square miles, whereas in 1988 the area was measured at a whopping 3,300 square miles.

39 Wolf (down) : SNARF

To snarf down is to gobble up, to eat voraciously. “Snarf” is a slang term that is probably related to “scarf”, which has the same meaning.

42 Tony nominee Phillipa : SOO

Phillipa Soo is an actress and singer who is perhaps best known for portraying Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, the title character’s wife in the original Broadway production of “Hamilton”.

43 Chicken cordon __ : BLEU

A “cordon bleu” dish is a meat dish, one prepared by wrapping the meat around cheese, covering it with breading and then pan-frying. Specifically, veal cordon bleu is made using veal that is pounded thin and wrapped around slices of ham and cheese. The term “cordon bleu” translated from French as “blue ribbon”.

45 Missouri and Ohio : RIVERS

At 2,341 miles, the Missouri is the longest river in North America. Rising in Montana in the Rocky Mountains, it flows into the Mississippi at St. Louis. The Mississippi-Missouri river system is the fourth largest on the planet.

The Ohio River forms in Pittsburgh where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers meet. It empties into the Mississippi near the city of Cairo, Illinois.

46 Small terrier : YORKIE

The Yorkshire terrier is a breed of dog from the county of Yorkshire in the north of England. That part of the country became very industrialized in the 19th-century, and was home to hundreds of clothing mills. The “Yorkie” was developed to catch rats in those mills.

52 Depleted Asian sea : ARAL

The Aral Sea is a great example of how humankind can have a devastating effect on the environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

53 Personnel note : MEMO

“Memorandum” means “thing to be remembered” in Latin, from the verb “memorare” meaning “to call to mind”.

54 “Hamilton” song about destroying love letters, or what one can do to the ends of the answers to the starred clues : BURN

“Hamilton” is a 2015 musical based on the life of US Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, as described in the 2004 biography by Ron Chernow. The show opened off-Broadway in February 2015, and transferred to Broadway in August of the same year. Advance ticket sales for the Broadway production were unprecedented, and reportedly amounted to $30 million. The representations of the main characters are decidedly ground-breaking. The show is rooted in hip-hop and the main roles such as Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are all played by African-American and Hispanic actors.

55 Cleveland’s lake : ERIE

Cleveland, Ohio was named after the man who led the team that surveyed the area prior to the founding of the city. General Moses Cleaveland did his work in 1796 and then left Ohio, never to return again.

56 Broccoli __ : RABE

Broccoli rabe is perhaps better known as “rapini”, and is a vegetable often used in Mediterranean cuisines. It is quite delicious sauteed with garlic …

58 Novelist Tolstoy : LEO

Russian author Leo Tolstoy is best known for his novels “War and Peace” and “Anna Karenina”. He also wrote the much-respected novellas “Hadji Murad” and “The Death of Ivan Ilyich”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 List on the side of a taco truck : MENU
5 TV’s __ at Nite : NICK
9 College student’s declaration : MAJOR
14 8-Down mineral : IRON
15 Vegetable pod that thickens gumbo : OKRA
16 Photoshop maker : ADOBE
17 NPR journalist Totenberg : NINA
18 Rotary phone part : DIAL
19 Add to an email, as a gif : EMBED
20 *Frozen structures that help with some winter migration : ICE BRIDGES
23 __ facto : IPSO
24 Small batteries : AAS
25 Pang : THROE
27 *Food that lacks nutritional value : EMPTY CALORIES
33 Stories : TALES
34 Valentine’s Day icon : CUPID
35 Bubble bath spot : TUB
38 Yucky buildup : CRUD
39 __ throat : STREP
40 Word on some diet products : LITE
41 Stitched border : HEM
42 Scornful smile : SNEER
43 Trite : BANAL
44 *For all to see, after “in” : … BROAD DAYLIGHT
47 Before, with “to” : PRIOR …
48 20-vol. lexicon : OED
49 Many an Eastern European : SLAV
50 *Yoga mat material : FOAM RUBBER
57 Group of pundits on a TV news show, e.g. : PANEL
59 Difficult trip : TREK
60 Mystical glow : AURA
61 Braugher of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” : ANDRE
62 Oscar winner Malek : RAMI
63 Baby bed : CRIB
64 Authority to decide : SAY-SO
65 __ vera gel : ALOE
66 ACL location : KNEE

Down

1 Short skirt : MINI
2 “What Truth Sounds Like” writer Michael __ Dyson : ERIC
3 Zero : NONE
4 Without any reduction in intensity : UNABATED
5 DVD player error message : NO DISC
6 “Just messin’ with ya!” : I KID!
7 Jagged rock : CRAG
8 Leafy vegetable rich in 14-Across : KALE
9 “Parenthood” actress Whitman : MAE
10 Respect : ADMIRE
11 Entry on Indeed.com, e.g. : JOB POSTING
12 Like many sumo wrestlers : OBESE
13 Start over : REDO
21 Tampa Bay team : RAYS
22 Narrow piece : STRIP
26 Kept secret : HID
27 __ A Sketch : ETCH
28 Female horse : MARE
29 Distilled alcohol made with fruit : PLUM BRANDY
30 Played a part : ACTED
31 Drew (in) : LURED
32 “The Phantom of the __” : OPERA
36 Salt Lake state : UTAH
37 Accessory with a buckle : BELT
39 Wolf (down) : SNARF
40 Easygoing : LAID BACK
42 Tony nominee Phillipa : SOO
43 Chicken cordon __ : BLEU
45 Missouri and Ohio : RIVERS
46 Small terrier : YORKIE
47 Opening strategy : PLAN A
49 Health resorts : SPAS
51 Spanish “other” : OTRA
52 Depleted Asian sea : ARAL
53 Personnel note : MEMO
54 “Hamilton” song about destroying love letters, or what one can do to the ends of the answers to the starred clues : BURN
55 Cleveland’s lake : ERIE
56 Broccoli __ : RABE
58 Novelist Tolstoy : LEO

8 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 2 Jan 23, Monday”

  1. No errors, plenty of guesses and looked up the Parenthood actress
    name,”Mae”….never gave a thought to a theme…until Bill’s explanation.

  2. Like Allan, BURN LIGHT got me. Also couldn’t make SNARF work–thought it had to be SCARF but that messed up SNEER. Oh well, here’s to a better year.

  3. Mostly easy Monday for me; took 8:55 with no peeks or errors. It seems like someone is trying to persuade people into saying SNARF instead of the more natural SCARF, since we’ve had it 3-4 times now. Burn daylight is kind of an interesting phrase…apparently John Wayne said it once…and Jack London.

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