LA Times Crossword 4 Jan 23, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Hoang-Kim Vu & Jessica Zetzman
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer(s): Wrap It Up

Themed answers are all things we might WRAP UP:

  • 60D With 61-Down, “Get a move on!” and an instruction for the answers to the starred clues : WRAP …
  • 61D See 60-Down : … IT UP
  • 18A *Overnight delivery, maybe : NEWBORN BABY
  • 29A *Injury treated with ice and elevation : SPRAINED ANKLE
  • 50A *Secret Santa item : CHRISTMAS GIFT
  • 62A *Meatless meal in a tortilla : BEAN BURRITO

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

Bill’s time: 7m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Election night graphic : MAP

On political maps, red states are usually Republican and blue states usually Democrat. The designation of red and blue states is a very recent concept, only introduced in the 2000 presidential election by TV journalist, the late Tim Russert. In retrospect, the choice of colors is surprising, as in other democracies around the world red is usually used to describe left-leaning socialist parties (the reds under the bed!), and blue is used for conservative right-wing parties. In election cycles, swing/battleground states are often depicted in purple.

4 __ vu : DEJA

“Déjà vu” is French for “already seen”.

8 Noon : MIDDAY

Our word “noon”, meaning “midday”, comes from the Latin “nona hora” that translates as “ninth hour”. Back in ancient Rome, the “ninth hour” was three in the afternoon. Over the centuries, traditions such as church prayers and “midday” meals shifted from 3 p.m. to 12 p.m., and so “noon” became understood as 12 noon.

15 Stunt legend Knievel : EVEL

Daredevil Evel Knievel contracted hepatitis C from the many blood transfusions that he needed after injuries incurred during stunts. He had to have a liver transplant as a result, but his health declined after that. Knievel eventually passed away in 2007.

16 Padre de tu padre : ABUELO

In Spanish, the “padre de tu padre” (father of your father) is your “abuelo” (grandfather).

18 *Overnight delivery, maybe : NEWBORN BABY

In German and Dutch society, storks resting on the roof of a house were considered a sign of good luck. This tradition led to nursery stories that babies were brought to families by storks.

23 __ Speedwagon : REO

REO Speedwagon is an American rock band that formed in 1967, and is still going strong. The band’s biggest hits are “Keep On Loving You” (1980) and “Can’t Fight This Feeling” (1985). The founding members chose the name for the REO Speed Wagon flatbed truck. Note that the band’s name is one word “Speedwagon”, whereas the vehicle’s name uses two words “Speed Wagon”.

24 National Poetry Month : APRIL

April was chosen as National Poetry Month by the Academy of American Poets in 1996.

26 First-years : ROOKIES

The term “rookie”, used for a raw recruit, first appeared in Rudyard Kipling’s collection of songs and poems called the “Barrack-Room Ballads”, which was originally published in 1892.

33 “Ella Enchanted” beast : OGRE

“Ella Enchanted” is a fantasy novel written by Gail Carson Levine, and published in 1997. It is a retelling of the story of Cinderella, with lots of mythical creatures added. A film adaptation was released in 2004 that features Anne Hathaway in the title role.

35 “Frozen” sister : ELSA

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle. Spoiler alert: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles seems to be a good guy for most of the film, but turns out to be a baddie in the end. And, a snowman named Olaf provides some comic relief.

37 __ bunt : SAC

To bunt in baseball is to barely hit the ball, just enough to have it roll slowly in front of the infielders.

49 Reddit Q&A session : AMA

Reddit.com is a networking and news website that started up in 2005. It is essentially a bulletin board system with posts that are voted up and down by users, which determines the ranking of posts. The name “Reddit” is a play on “read it”, as in “I read it on Reddit”. One popular feature of the Reddit site is an online forum that is similar to a press conference. Known as an AMA (for “ask me anything”), participants have included the likes of President Barack Obama, Madonna, Bill Gates, Stephen Colbert and Gordon Ramsay. President Obama’s AMA was so popular that the high level of traffic brought down many parts of the Reddit site.

50 *Secret Santa item : CHRISTMAS GIFT

The Christmas tradition known as “Secret Santa” is often used for gift-giving by a group of friends or colleagues. Each person is randomly assigned another member of the group to whom they give a gift. The identity of the gift-giver is kept secret, hence the name of the tradition.

53 French cake : GALETTE

A galette is a flat, round bakery item in French cuisine. The term “galette” includes items such as pancakes and crepes, and even large cookies.

55 The Carpenters’ “We’ve Only Just __” : BEGUN

The Carpenters’ hit “We’ve Only Just Begun” started out as music for a wedding-themed TV commercial for a bank. Richard Carpenter saw the commercial in 1970, and made arrangements for the Carpenters to record a complete version of “We’ve Only Just Begun” later that year.

57 Chicago team : BEARS

The Chicago Bears were founded in Decatur, Illinois in 1919 and moved to Chicago in 1921. The Bears are one of only two franchises in the NFL that were around at the time of the NFL’s founding (the other being the Arizona Cardinals, also based in Chicago in 1921).

59 Fuzzy fruit or fuzzy bird : KIWI

What we call kiwifruit today (and sometimes just “kiwi”) used to be called a Chinese gooseberry. Marketing folks in the fifties decided to call it a “melonette”, and then New Zealand producers adopted the name “kiwifruit”.

The kiwi is an unusual bird in that it has a highly developed sense of smell and is the only one of our feathered friends with nostrils located at the tip of its long beak.

62 *Meatless meal in a tortilla : BEAN BURRITO

A burrito is a common dish served in Mexican cuisine. It is a flour tortilla filled with all sorts of good stuff. The term “burrito” is Spanish for “little donkey”, the diminutive of “burro” meaning “donkey”. It’s thought that the name was applied as a burrito looks like a bedroll or pack that might be carried by a donkey.

66 Gere title role : DR T

The 2000 movie “Dr. T & the Women” is a pretty good film, and stars Richard Gere in the title role. It’s a romantic comedy about a gynecologist, and the women in his private and public life. The list of actresses playing those women is impressive, and includes Helen Hunt, Farrah Fawcett, Laura Dern, Shelley Long, Kate Hudson and Liv Tyler.

Richard Gere has played such great roles on the screen, and I find him to be a very interesting character off the screen. Gere has been studying Buddhism since 1978 and is a very visible supporter of the Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet. Gere has been married twice; to supermodel Cindy Crawford from 1991 to 1995, and to model/actress Carey Lowell from 2002 until 2016. Gere’s breakthrough role was as the male lead in the 1980 film “American Gigolo”.

67 Nation with a Star of David on its flag : ISRAEL

Magen (also “Mogen”) David is Hebrew for “Shield of David”, and is another name for the Star of David. The use of the distinctive hexagram as a symbol for the Jewish community started in 17th-century Europe, and today the symbol is found at the center of the flag of Israel.

71 Hoity-toity type : SNOB

Back in the 1780s, a snob was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word “snob” was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.

Believe it or not, the term “hoity-toity” has been in the English language since the 1660s, but back then it meant “riotous behavior”. It began to mean “haughty” in the late 1800s, simply because the “haughty” sounds similar to “hoity”.

Down

1 Spice cookie ingredient : MACE

The fruit of the nutmeg tree yields two very different spices. What we call “nutmeg” comes from the seed of the tree. “Mace” is the dried covering of the seed.

3 Toaster pastry brand : POP-TARTS

Pop-Tart is the most successful single brand for the Kellogg company, as millions of the sugary treats are sold every year. The US Military bought quite a few in 2001, and dropped 2.4 million Pop-Tarts into Afghanistan during the invasion after 9/11.

6 Experts with rings, hoops, and loupes : JEWELERS

A loupe is a small magnifying lens that is held in the hand. “Loupe” is the French name for such a device.

7 Jessica of “L.A.’s Finest” : ALBA

Actress Jessica Alba got her big break when she was cast in the Fox science fiction show “Dark Angel”. Alba had a tough life growing up as she spent a lot of time in hospital and so found it difficult to develop friendships. As a youngster she twice had a collapsed lung, frequently caught pneumonia, suffered from asthma, had a ruptured appendix and a tonsillar cyst. On top of all that, Alba acknowledges that she suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder as a child.

10 Confer knighthood on : DUB

Kneel, and a monarch might “dub thee a knight” if you’re lucky. “Dub” is a specific term derived from Old English that was used to mean “make a knight”. As the knight was also given a knightly name at the same time, “dub” came to mean “give someone a name”.

12 “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” playwright : ALBEE

“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” is an Edward Albee play that premiered on Broadway in 1962. The play won a Tony in 1963, and was adapted into a successful film in 1966 starring Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, George Segal and Sandy Dennis. The stage version is a lengthy production lasting over three hours.

25 __ de Janeiro : RIO

Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil (after São Paulo). “Rio de Janeiro” translates as “January River”. The name reflects the discovery of the bay on which Rio sits, on New Year’s Day in 1502.

28 Bauhaus artist Paul : KLEE

Artist Paul Klee was born in Switzerland, but studied art in Munich in Germany. We can see many of Klee’s works in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. If you get to Bern in Switzerland, even more of them can be seen at the Zentrum Paul Klee that was opened in 2005. Klee’s most celebrated work is his pointillist painting from 1932 called “Ad Parnassum”, which is owned by the Kunstmuseum, also located in Bern.

The literal translation of the term “Bauhaus” is “House of Building”. It was a school (i.e. education establishment) that operated from 1919 to 1933. It became famous for its approach to design across many disciplines, everything from art to typography.

30 Chum : PAL

A chum is a friend. The term “chum” originated in the late 1600s as an alternative spelling for “cham”. In turn, “cham” was a shortened form of “chambermate”, a roommate at university.

36 Blue-Emu target : ACHE

Blu-Emu is a line of topical pain relievers that was introduced in 2002. As suggested by the name, Blue-Emu products include emu oil as an ingredient. Emu oil is extracted from the fat of emu carcases that are processed for meat.

38 Geological period with a noted “explosion” : CAMBRIAN

The Cambrian explosion was a time interval in the Cambrian Period that took place about 540 million years ago. The ‘explosion” is sometimes referred to as the Biological Big Bang as it marks the period when nearly all multicellular animal phyla started to appear, as shown by fossil records.

41 Global finance org. : IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was established at the end of 1945 with 29 major economies supporting and funding an effort to stabilize economies across the globe after WWII. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., today the IMF has 187 member countries.

45 Champion on “Parks and Rec,” for one : PIT BULL

Sadly, the pit bull breed of dogs have earned themselves a poor reputation. Apparently, pit bulls make up about 2% of the dogs in the US but about 40% of the dog attacks in the country have been attributed to the breed.

“Parks and Recreation” (sometimes just “Parks and Rec”) is a sitcom that started airing on NBC in 2009, and is a show that has grown on me. It stars the “Saturday Night Live” alum Amy Poehler. The creators of “Parks and Recreation” are part of the team responsible for the American version of “The Office”, so you’ll notice some similarities in the style of the two shows, and some actors that have appeared in both.

47 Baton holder : MAESTRO

“Maestro” is often used to address a musical conductor. “Maestro” (plural “maestri”) is the Italian word for “master, teacher”. The plural in English is usually “maestros”.

48 Messi’s team, familiarly : PSG

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) soccer club was founded in Paris in 1970, and plays its home games in Parc des Princes. The team formed with the merger of Paris FC and Stade Saint-Germain. PSG was purchased by the Emir of Qatar in 2011.

50 Resets, as one’s browser history : CLEARS

A web browser is a piece of software used to access the World Wide Web. The first web browser was called “WorldWideWeb” and was invented in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the World Wide Web. The browser known as Mosaic came out in 1993, and it was this browser that drove so much interest in the World Wide Web, and indeed in the Internet in general. Marc Andreessen led the team that created Mosaic, and he then set up his own company called Netscape. Netscape created the Netscape Navigator browser that further popularized the use of the Web starting in 1994. Microsoft responded by introducing Internet Explorer in 1995, which sparked the so-called “browser war”, a war that Microsoft clearly won. As Netscape floundered, the company launched the open-source Mozilla project which eventually led to the Firefox browser. Apple then came out with its own Safari browser in 2003. Google’s Chrome browser, introduced in 2008, is by far the most popular way to view the Web today.

52 Soup, in Koreatown : GUK

“Guk” is the name given to a group of dishes in Korean cuisine. Guk is similar to “tang”, with guk more resembling soup, and tang more like a watery stew.

64 Buzzworthy creature? : BEE

There are over 16,000 species of bees, with the best-known probably being the western honey bee, the most common of the honey bees worldwide. Bees feed on nectar and pollen, and in so doing play a crucial role in the pollination of many plants. That’s one of the main reasons there is great concern about diminishing populations of wild bees.

65 Wagering site, initially : OTB

Off-track betting (OTB) is the legal gambling that takes place on horse races outside of a race track. A betting parlor can be referred to as an OTB.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Election night graphic : MAP
4 __ vu : DEJA
8 Noon : MIDDAY
14 Past : AGO
15 Stunt legend Knievel : EVEL
16 Padre de tu padre : ABUELO
17 Baker’s unit : CUP
18 *Overnight delivery, maybe : NEWBORN BABY
20 Has wings, say : EATS
22 “How groovy” : NEATO
23 __ Speedwagon : REO
24 National Poetry Month : APRIL
26 First-years : ROOKIES
29 *Injury treated with ice and elevation : SPRAINED ANKLE
32 Part of some uniforms : HAT
33 “Ella Enchanted” beast : OGRE
34 Compass pt. : SSE
35 “Frozen” sister : ELSA
37 __ bunt : SAC
39 Send out : EMIT
43 Part of some uniforms : CAP
46 Desktop light : LAMP
49 Reddit Q&A session : AMA
50 *Secret Santa item : CHRISTMAS GIFT
53 French cake : GALETTE
55 The Carpenters’ “We’ve Only Just __” : BEGUN
56 Mined material : ORE
57 Chicago team : BEARS
59 Fuzzy fruit or fuzzy bird : KIWI
62 *Meatless meal in a tortilla : BEAN BURRITO
66 Gere title role : DR T
67 Nation with a Star of David on its flag : ISRAEL
68 E-commerce icon : CART
69 2-Down, in French : EAU
70 Grammy category : GOSPEL
71 Hoity-toity type : SNOB
72 Tablet download : APP

Down

1 Spice cookie ingredient : MACE
2 69-Across, in Spanish : AGUA
3 Toaster pastry brand : POP-TARTS
4 Family room : DEN
5 Remains of the day? : EVENING
6 Experts with rings, hoops, and loupes : JEWELERS
7 Jessica of “L.A.’s Finest” : ALBA
8 Leaves high and dry : MAROONS
9 Arabic for “son of” : IBN
10 Confer knighthood on : DUB
11 Honey : DEARIE
12 “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” playwright : ALBEE
13 Goes back and forth : YO-YOS
19 __ vez: another time, in Spanish : OTRA
21 Self-care getaway option : SPA
25 __ de Janeiro : RIO
27 Blesses : OKS
28 Bauhaus artist Paul : KLEE
29 __/her pronouns : SHE
30 Chum : PAL
31 Gave a hand? : DEALT
36 Blue-Emu target : ACHE
38 Geological period with a noted “explosion” : CAMBRIAN
40 Gist : MAIN IDEA
41 Global finance org. : IMF
42 Skin pic : TAT
44 Works in a gallery : ART
45 Champion on “Parks and Rec,” for one : PIT BULL
47 Baton holder : MAESTRO
48 Messi’s team, familiarly : PSG
50 Resets, as one’s browser history : CLEARS
51 Crystal ball gazer : SEER
52 Soup, in Koreatown : GUK
53 Shoot for the stars : GO BIG
54 “You __ right!” : ARE SO
58 Circle segments : ARCS
60 With 61-Down, “Get a move on!” and an instruction for the answers to the starred clues : WRAP …
61 See 60-Down : … IT UP
63 Snooze : NAP
64 Buzzworthy creature? : BEE
65 Wagering site, initially : OTB

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 4 Jan 23, Wednesday”

  1. Not as difficult as I first thought, but needed two lookups
    i.e. 45Down (pitbull) and 49Across (AMA). Did not know
    either of these. No errors after those “cheats”.

  2. Ridiculous puzzle!! NOT fun when there are not just Spanish but also French words that lead back to each other, as well as clues that are so far out that they make no sense whatsoever. PLEASE STOP WITH FOREIGN WORDS IN PUZZLES!!! If you cannot construct a puzzle without so many of those then DON’T publish it!! I’d rather not have a puzzle at all than have to look up the majority of words, and I am a college graduate. Hated this one!!

  3. Good test of foreign language proficiency this morning. Had “duk” for Korean soup for awhile as I think that is another word I’ve seen on Korean restaurant menus. My French is also pretty limited to whatever I’ve picked up on crossword puzzles over the years. Good thing I took a couple of years of High School Spanish!

  4. I, too, did not care for 69A/2D with references to each other with no clue as to what we’re trying to solve! I don’t mind foreign words, but a little hint would have helped.
    Enjoy the day! 😊

  5. Surprisingly, had no Googles or errors, since I didn’t get the theme and didn’t know many clues: ABUELO, SAC, AMA, DR T, CART, ACHE, PITBULL.
    Must be the good perpendiculars, or a miracle.

    I would also like fewer foreign words – unless they’re German or Italian!
    And few if no sports words, and more art words (love that Paul Klee).
    Everyone wants crosswords reflecting their interests.

  6. 9:25 – no errors or lookups. False starts: OTRO>OTRA, STARS>BEARS.

    New: GALETTE, PSG, Parks and Rec PITBULL, GUK.

    Initially was concerned with the 2D & 69A self-references, but it wasn’t hard to figure out once a couple of letters were filled in.

    Duplicate clue use with “Part of some uniforms” (32A & 43A).

  7. Sheesh! How many languages are we supposed to know? Let’s see–recently we’ve had Spanish, German, French, Korean and Arabic. I probably shouldn’t ask, for fear that the constructors will take it as a challenge, but what’s next? Makes the puzzles exceedingly difficult and too unfair. Despite all the curve balls, managed to finish with no cheats. Good theme, though.

  8. No look ups, no errors. Good theme and it
    helped. I had Arg (Argentina) instead of
    PSG for awhile. That was a good false
    positive. I too puzzled about “has wings”
    until it dawned on me. All part of the mental calisthenics that puzzles provide.
    Guk?……Yuck. 😂

  9. Mildly trick Wednesday for me; took 14:21 with no peeks or errors. Had a few false starts in the NE, but finally changed strands to MAROONS and remembered IBN instead of abu. Didn’t know ABUELO, but learned something new today, along with GUK. Gotta love a puzzle with BEE in it 🙂

    For my part, I have no problem seeing foreign words, since I usually learn something useful or fun. I guess we all have our nits. For me, it’s Movies, TV shows, actors and channels, since I probably haven’t seen them. And, even though I checked out the Parks and Rec DVDs from our library, I completely forgot about the dog – although I’m not really a dog fan tbh.

  10. Well, I also hereby protest. It’s irritating enough that we’re supposed to know simple foreign words. Now we’re supposed to know the Spanish word for grandfather? On a Wednesday, yet?

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