LA Times Crossword 21 Jan 23, Saturday

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Constructed by: Rich Norris
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 16m 16s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 Flier to Sharjah : AIR ARABIA

Air Arabia is a budget airline founded in 2003 that is based in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.

18 Area bordering the Colorado Desert, for short : SOCAL

Southern California (SoCal)

The Colorado Desert is in California (not Colorado), and is a subdivision of the larger Sonoran Desert. It is located in Colorado River Valley, and is named for the waterway.

19 Sign in many a tree-lined nabe : ELM ST

The most common street name in the US is “Second Street”. “First Street” comes in only at number three, and this is because many cities and towns forgo the use of “First” and instead go with “Main” or something more historical in nature. The spooky “Elm Street” appears on the list at number fifteen.

“Nabe” is a familiar term used to describe a neighborhood, or a local movie theater.

20 Ruby of “A Raisin in the Sun” : DEE

Ruby Dee was an actress and civil rights activist. Her big break early in her career was a role in “The Jackie Robinson Story” from 1950, playing Robinson’s sweetheart and wife. She is perhaps best remembered for co-starring in “A Raisin in the Sun” alongside Sidney Poitier, in “Do the Right Thing” alongside her husband Ossie Davis, and in “American Gangster” in which she played Denzel Washington’s mother.

“A Raisin in the Sun” is a 1961 film starring Sidney Poitier that is based on a 1959 play of the same name by Lorraine Hansberry. Both film and play follow the lives of an African-American family from Chicago as they struggle with the decision about what to do with an insurance payout following the death of the family’s patriarch.

21 Fishing boat net : TRAWL

The method of fishing known as trawling involves the pulling of a net through the water behind a boat (or boats). The trawling net is known as a trawl.

26 Winter wardrobe component : FLANNELS

Flannel is a fabric originally woven using worsted wool, and nowadays mainly using regular wool, cotton or a synthetic fiber. The softness of flannel makes it ideal for blankets, bed sheets and sleepwear.

33 White Cloud Temple worshipper : TAOIST

The name of the Chinese character “tao” translates as “path”, but the concept of Taoism signifies the true nature of the world.

The White Cloud Temple is an abbey in Beijing that was founded in the 14th century. It is used today as the seat of the Chinese Taoist Association, and is referred to as the First Temple under Heaven.

37 Best Picture winner based on the memoir “The Master of Disguise” : ARGO

“Argo” is a 2012 movie that is based on the true story of the rescue of six diplomats hiding out during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The film was directed by and stars Ben Affleck and is produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, the same pair who produced the excellent “Good Night, and Good Luck”. I highly recommend “Argo”, although I found the scenes of religious fervor to be very frightening …

39 High-def screen : LCD TV

Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) are the screens that are found in most laptops today, and in flat panel computer screens and some televisions. LCD monitors basically replaced Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) screens, the old television technology.

41 Chinese border river : YALU

A large section of the border between China and North Korea runs down the center of the Yalu River. Yalu is the Chinese name for the river, whereas it is known as the Amnok in Korean. The valley through which the western part of the river flows was the site of many, many dogfights during the Korean War, and was famously known as “MiG Alley”.

45 __ voce : SOTTO

“Sotto voce” literally means “under the voice” in Italian, and describes the deliberate lowering of one’s voice for emphasis.

47 Prep for future coll. students : AP COURSE

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school (HS). After being tested at the end of an AP course, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

49 Bit of forecast shorthand : T-STORM

Thunderstorm (t-storm)

52 Bygone rulers : SHAHS

The last Shah of Iran was Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, who was overthrown in the revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. The post-revolution government sought the extradition of the Shah back to Iran while he was in the United States seeking medical care (he had cancer). His prolonged stay in the United States, recovering from surgery, caused some unrest back in Iran and resentment towards the United States. Some say that this resentment precipitated the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran and the resulting hostage crisis.

53 Orange tuber : YAM

Although in the US we sometimes refer to sweet potatoes as “yams”, the yam is actually a completely different family of plants. True yams are more common in other parts of the world than they are in this country, and are especially common in Africa.

60 Spells : HEXES

“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.

63 Subject of una serenata : AMORE

A serenade is a musical performance in the open air, specifically at night. We tend to think of the term applying to a young man serenading his lover from below her window. We imported the word via French from the Italian “serenata” meaning “evening song”, influenced by the Italian “sera” meaning “evening”.

64 Memorable drive? : HOLE IN ONE

One well-documented hole in one (ace) was during a round of the British Open in 1973. American golfer Gene Sarazen achieved the feat that day, at the age of 71. A less well-documented series of holes in one was reported by the North Korean press in a story about the Korean leader Kim Jong-il. The report was that Kim Jong-il scored 11 holes in one in his one and only round of golf.

65 Parental units? : GENES

A gene is a section of a chromosome that is responsible for a particular characteristic in an organism. For example, one gene may determine eye color and another balding pattern. We have two copies of each gene, one from each of our parents, with each copy known as an allele.

Down

1 Call at home, maybe : SAFE!

That would be baseball.

3 Saroyan’s “My Name Is __” : ARAM

“My Name is Aram” is a collection of tales by William Saroyan. All of the short stories are about a boy of Armenian descent growing up in Fresno, California.

5 Carlsberg’s “Probably not the best beer in the world” campaign, for one : PR STUNT

Carlsberg beer is Danish and has a Royal Warrant from the Danish royal court, meaning that Carlsberg is an official beer of the court. As such, Carlsberg is often referred to in Denmark as “Hof” meaning “court”.

6 Half an even exchange : TAT

Tit for tat.

7 Former auction website : UBID

uBid.com is an online auction site that was launched in 1997. uBid is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

8 Hall of Famer who holds the record for most career touchdown receptions : RICE

Retired footballer Jerry Rice scored a record 208 touchdowns in his career. Rice also won three Super Bowl rings with the San Francisco 49ers; in Super Bowl XXIII vs the Bengals, Super Bowl XXIV vs the Broncos and Super Bowl XXIX vs the Chargers.

11 Like helium : ODORLESS

Helium is the chemical element with atomic number 2 and the element symbol “He”. Helium is a gas, and lighter than air. It is the second-most abundant element in the universe (after hydrogen). Helium was first detected in 1868 as an unknown yellow spectral line during a solar eclipse. As such, the gas was named for “Helios”, the Greek god of the Sun.

23 Person with lots to offer : REALTOR

“Real estate agent” is a general, generic term. “Realtor” is the name given to a member of the trade association known as the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The NAR has gone so far as to trademark the term “Realtor” in the US.

25 Solutions for spills : WET VACS

The first practical portable vacuum cleaner was invented by James Spangler in 1907. Spangler sold the patent for the design to his cousin’s husband, William Henry Hoover. Hoover then made his fortune from manufacturing and selling vacuum cleaners. Hoover was so successful in my part of the world that back in Ireland we don’t use the verb “to vacuum” and instead say “to hoover”. Also, “hoover” is what we call a vacuum cleaner, regardless of who makes it.

27 Movie music that inspired the Connie Francis hit “Somewhere, My Love” : LARA’S THEME

The very lovely “Lara’s Theme” is a leitmotif written by Maurice Jarre for the 1965 movie “Doctor Zhivago”. Lara is the name of the character played by the wonderful Julie Christie. The theme was later incorporated into a hit song with the title “Somewhere My Love”.

Singer Connie Francis was at the height of her success in the 1950s and 1960s, and was the first female artist to get the number-one spot on the Billboard Hot 100. She suffered through at least two tragic incidents in her life. She was raped in 1974, in a motel she was using while performing at a New York music fair. She was very close to her brother George, and he was murdered by Mafia hitmen in 1981. Despite it all, Connie Francis earned recognition as the “First Lady of Rock & Roll” in some circles, and was described by fellow singer Gloria Estefan as “the first female pop star worldwide”.

28 Old English : ANGLO-SAXON

Germanic tribes invaded Great Britain from the early 5th century and created the nation that we now call England. The Anglo-Saxons (sometimes simply “Saxons”), as these tribes came to be called, held sway in the country until the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Anglo-Saxons were descendants of three Germanic tribes:

  • The Angles, from Angeln in Northern Germany (and the tribe that gave the name “England”).
  • The Saxons, from Lower Saxony and Holland.
  • The Jutes, from the Jutland peninsula in Denmark.

29 Highlands water : LOCH

“Loch” is the Scottish-Gaelic word for “lake”. The Irish-Gaelic word is “lough”, and the Welsh word is “llyn”.

The Scottish Highlands are that part of the country not classified as the Lowlands(!). The Highlands make up the north and west of Scotland.

30 “Seinfeld” woman who said, “They’re real, and they’re spectacular!” : SIDRA

The sitcom “Seinfeld” had a rocky start. A pilot episode titled “The Seinfeld Chronicles”, filmed in 1989, was received very poorly by test audiences. NBC aired the pilot later that year, garnering some more positive feedback from TV critics, but not enough for the network to pick up the show. It took a year of internal wrangling to convince NBC to place an order for a first season. Even then, the order for the new series was for only four episodes, the smallest sitcom order in the history of television. The show was renamed to “Seinfeld”, the pilot and four episodes were aired in 1990, and audiences lapped it up.

36 Foil cousin : EPEE

There are three fencing events in the modern Olympics, with each distinguished by the weapon used:

  • Foil
  • Épée
  • Sabre

43 __ Roll : TOOTSIE

Tootsie Rolls were developed by an Austrian candy maker called Leo Hirschfeld in New York City in 1896. Hirschfeld named the candy after his daughter, who had the nickname “Tootsie”. A couple of derivative products have become quite popular, namely Tootsie Pops and Tootsie Roll Midgees.

52 Messy do : SHAG

A shag cut is a layered hairstyle. Actress Meg Ryan famously sported a shag cut for many years, as did fellow actress Farrah Fawcett.

55 Senegal neighbor : MALI

The Republic of Mali is a landlocked country in western Africa located south of Algeria. Formerly known as French Sudan, the nation’s most famous city is Timbuktu. Mali is the third-largest producer of gold on the continent, after South Africa and Ghana.

The Republic of Senegal is a country on the far western coast of Africa. For many years Senegal was a French colony, gaining independence in 1960. The capital of Senegal is Dakar. Dakar is located on the Cap-Vert Peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, thus making it the westernmost capital on the African mainland.

57 Mireille of “The Killing” : ENOS

Mireille Enos is an actress from Kansas City. She is perhaps best known for her TV work, playing Sarah Linden on “The Killing” and for playing twins Kathy and JoDean Marquart on “Big Love”. Enos is married to actor Alan Ruck, who I mainly remember playing Cameron Frye in the great movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”.

“The Killing” is an excellent crime series that aired for four seasons starting in 2011. It stars Mireille Linden as a Seattle homicide detective. The US-produced show is based on a Danish TV series titled “The Crime” in English.

59 Hammer part : PEEN

The peen of a hammer is on the head, and is the side of the head that is opposite the striking surface. Often the peen is in the shape of a hemisphere (as in a ball-peen hammer), but usually it is shaped like a claw (mainly for removing nails).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Hairpin : SHARP TURN
10 Antiquated : MOLDY
15 Flier to Sharjah : AIR ARABIA
16 Can’t get enough of : ADORE
17 Putter, in golf lingo : FLATSTICK
18 Area bordering the Colorado Desert, for short : SOCAL
19 Sign in many a tree-lined nabe : ELM ST
20 Ruby of “A Raisin in the Sun” : DEE
21 Fishing boat net : TRAWL
22 Team’s pronoun : OUR
24 Fixates (on) : DWELLS
26 Winter wardrobe component : FLANNELS
31 Straight up : ERECT
32 Bled : RAN
33 White Cloud Temple worshipper : TAOIST
35 Hardly pleased : SORE
37 Best Picture winner based on the memoir “The Master of Disguise” : ARGO
39 High-def screen : LCD TV
40 Old-style challenge : SLAP
41 Chinese border river : YALU
42 Blackmail tactic : THREAT
44 Need to satisfy : OWE
45 __ voce : SOTTO
47 Prep for future coll. students : AP COURSE
49 Bit of forecast shorthand : T-STORM
51 Patronizing term of address, perhaps : SON
52 Bygone rulers : SHAHS
53 Orange tuber : YAM
56 Dock : TIE UP
60 Spells : HEXES
61 “Don’t blame yourself” : THAT’S ON ME!
63 Subject of una serenata : AMORE
64 Memorable drive? : HOLE IN ONE
65 Parental units? : GENES
66 Training in the mountains, say : SKI LESSON

Down

1 Call at home, maybe : SAFE!
2 Rise : HILL
3 Saroyan’s “My Name Is __” : ARAM
4 Sells out : RATS ON
5 Carlsberg’s “Probably not the best beer in the world” campaign, for one : PR STUNT
6 Half an even exchange : TAT
7 Former auction website : UBID
8 Hall of Famer who holds the record for most career touchdown receptions : RICE
9 Undisguised : NAKED
10 Perfect : MASTER
11 Like helium : ODORLESS
12 Regional attribute : LOCAL COLOR
13 Determine an unlucky winner? : DRAW STRAWS
14 Cry : YELL
23 Person with lots to offer : REALTOR
25 Solutions for spills : WET VACS
26 Fight : FRAY
27 Movie music that inspired the Connie Francis hit “Somewhere, My Love” : LARA’S THEME
28 Old English : ANGLO-SAXON
29 Highlands water : LOCH
30 “Seinfeld” woman who said, “They’re real, and they’re spectacular!” : SIDRA
34 Instructions part : STEP
36 Foil cousin : EPEE
38 Nonconformist : OUT THERE
43 __ Roll : TOOTSIE
46 Discards : TOSSES
48 Strike callers : UNIONS
50 Folklore : MYTHS
52 Messy do : SHAG
54 “Sure, I get it” : AH, OK
55 Senegal neighbor : MALI
57 Mireille of “The Killing” : ENOS
58 “Sorry, you’re wrong” : UM, NO
59 Hammer part : PEEN
62 Contacts list no. : TEL

23 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 21 Jan 23, Saturday”

  1. Usual Saturday difficult puzzle. Ended with no errors, but had too many
    lookups. Didn’t know some of the longer snswers
    like Taoist and Anglosaxon. But a lot of good guesses added in got me through.
    Would you believe it took me almost an hour!? Pretty bad, even for
    me.

  2. I’ve done quite a bit of golfing, but I’ve never heard the term “flat stick.”
    Otherwise, this was Saturday difficult.

  3. LAT: Seemed undoable to me at first, but I managed to get a foothold in the SE corner. From there I just seemed to flow in about 45 minutes. Many of the clues yielded to “common sense” guesses along with some general knowledge. Never would have gotten Sidra without the surrounding words, however.

    1. Me neither; it strikes me as a pricy waste of time with little exercise benefit compared to other sports like tennis, hiking, etc…🏋️🚴🏊🧗🏃⛹️🤺⛷️🏄

  4. Fun puzzle did it before I used my Flat stick or Texas Wedge also know as the magic wand…hole puncher…bad boy or little guy…the old golfers out there will get it!!!

  5. 58:24 no errors…it took me forever to change 52A from Tsars to Shahs but I knew something in the SW corner was wrong.
    Stay safe 😀

  6. This puzzle and its cagey clues were hard enough, but 38 D? And 65A? COME ON, MAN!!! Work with us here!

    21 mins 12 sec before I threw in the towel, with most of the SW corner unfilled.

    1. Perhaps because in the grand scheme of things crossword puzzle designers aren’t high on the list of those warranting accolades.

  7. Putter = “flatstick?” First, no lectures “just because I never heard . . .” The phrase “golf lingo” implies at least some degree of usage within the fold, and clearly flatstick does not meet such criteria. Even if the word has ever been used by an individual or two, which in itself is extremely doubtful, it does not thereby become”golf lingo.” It’s bad enough that Norris used the clue at all, and the editors rubber-stamped it, but to pass it as golf “lingo” is plain foolishness. Why not simply a clue such as “a paint-stirrer” for “flatstick?”

  8. Whew! 34:17 – no errors or lookups (okay, a couple to confirm what I had already put in – YALU, AIRARABIA). The whole thing was a hunt-and-peck affair, looking for sure answers to get things going, but the SW corner was a bit of a mess due to false starts. AIRARABIA was the last to fill in since I didn’t know where Sharjah is and had ADAM sitting there for a long time.

    False starts: ADAM>ARAM, YEN>OWE, SIR>SON, TSARS>SHAHS, LARASTSONG>LARASTHEME (wasn’t paying attention to what I had done there), UHUH>UHNO>UMNO.

    New: “Sharjah,” AIRARABIA, “White Cloud Temple,” YALU, “Saroyan,” ARAM, “Carlsberg,” UBID, SIDRA, Mireille ENOS.

    Flat stick? Five clues with “?,” “perhaps,” or “say.” Maybe that’s not too bad. Seen nabe before, but it seems like a silly term. Several clues that could have multiple meanings.

  9. No look ups, no errors.
    No Mulligans (Golf lingo). 2 changes on the
    fly, bawl/yell and tsars/shahs. Tough one
    today and the misdirects didn’t help. It was
    a good challenge but at least a couple of
    clues were a stretch. 38D for sure. And
    shouldn’t 5D have indicated an abbreviation?
    P.S. and why is abbreviation such a long
    word…. 😂

  10. Tough but very fun Saturday; took 41:59 with no peeks or errors. Determined to finish this somehow, someway, after failing yesterday. Just got very sparse fill on first pass and had to make quite a few guesses to come up with something plausible. Had to change numerous first guesses but, slowly but surely got to the finish. Final fill was FRAY/RAN which got me the banner.

    After my 1. FC Köln beat Werder Bremen 7-1 today, hopefully the SF 49ers can make Jerry RICE proud tomorrow.

  11. First time commenting. Slogged through this puzzle but finished it. As a long time golfer I’ve heard a lot on lingo. Flatstick along with Texas wedge are commonly used in my region. I occasionally hear it the term on golf tv broadcasts. I enjoy reading Bill’s explanations and the comments, learn something everyday

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