LA Times Crossword 6 Jan 23, Friday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Geoff Brown
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Amiss

Themed answers are common phrases, each MISSING a letter A at the end of the first word:

  • 67A Not quite right, and an apt title for this puzzle? : AMISS
  • 18A Deep dive into the statistics of a NY slugger? : MET ANALYSIS (from “meta analysis”)
  • 23A Scotch drinker who complains about a small pour? : DRAM CRITIC (from “drama critic”)
  • 37A So over meaty spaghetti sauce? : PAST BOLOGNESE (from “pasta Bolognese”)
  • 50A One who stands in the way of a wager? : BET BLOCKER (from “beta blocker”)
  • 58A Flushed condition? : FLORID STATE (from “Florida State”)

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

Bill’s time: 8m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Peak in the Tour de France : ALP

Back in the late 1800s, long-distance cycle races were used as promotional events, traditionally to help boost sales of newspapers. These races usually took place around tracks, but in 1902 the backers of the struggling sports publication “L’Auto” decided to stage a race that would take the competitors all around France. That first Tour de France took place in 1903, starting in Paris and passing through Lyon, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Nantes and then back to Paris.

4 Nickname for a Carolina team : CANES

The Carolina Hurricanes are a professional hockey team based in Raleigh, North Carolina. The team was founded as the New England Whalers, when they were located in Boston, and then Hartford, Connecticut. The Whalers moved to Raleigh in 1997, and became the Hurricane.

9 Air fryer brand : OSTER

The Oster brand of small appliances was introduced in 1924 by John Oster. He started out by making manually-powered hair clippers designed for cutting women’s hair, and followed up with a motorized version in 1928. The clippers kept the company in business until 1946 when Oster diversified, buying a manufacturer of liquefying blenders in 1946. The blender was renamed to “Osterizer” and was a big hit. Oster was bought by Sunbeam, which has owned the brand since 1960.

16 Fracking target : SHALE

“Fracking” is a familiar term describing “hydraulic fracturing”. Fracking involves the injection of chemicals and sand in water at high pressure into a wellbore. This creates cracks in layers of rock deep in the earth allowing perhaps oil or natural gas to flow more freely to the surface.

17 African viper : ASP

The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

18 Deep dive into the statistics of a NY slugger? : MET ANALYSIS (from “meta-analysis”)

The New York Mets (NYM) baseball team was founded in 1962 as a replacement for two teams that the city had lost, namely the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. For several years the Mets played very poorly, finishing no better than second-to-last in their division. Then along came the “Miracle Mets” (aka “Amazin’ Mets”) who beat the Baltimore Orioles in 1969 to claim the World Series in a huge upset.

Meta-analysis is the analysis of data from multiple scientific studies (rather than just one). The idea is that combining results from several studies results in a lower overall degree of error.

23 Scotch drinker who complains about a small pour? : DRAM CRITIC (from “drama critic”)

I think that the dram is a confusing unit of measurement. It has one value as an ancient unit of mass, and two different values as a modern unit of mass, another value as a unit of fluid volume, and yet another varying value as a measure of Scotch whisky!

26 Briny cheese : FETA

Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk. The cheese is salted and cured in a brine solution for several months before it is eaten.

30 Final bio : OBIT

Our word “obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”. The Latin term was used for “record of the death of a person”, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

33 Civil War POTUS : ABE

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the US, elected in 1860 as the first president from the Republican Party. Lincoln’s electoral support came almost exclusively from the north and west of the country, winning only 2 out of 996 counties in the Southern slave states. Lincoln led the country through the Civil War, and then was assassinated in 1865 just a few days after Robert E. Lee surrendered his army of Northern Virginia. President Lincoln was succeeded in office by Vice President Andrew Johnson.

President of the United States (POTUS)

37 So over meaty spaghetti sauce? : PAST BOLOGNESE (from “pasta Bolognese”)

Bolognese sauce is a meat-based sauce originating from Bologna in Italy, hence the name. The recipe is usually referred to as “ragù alla bolognese” in Italian, or simply “ragù”. Note that the Ragú brand of sauces introduced in North America in 1937 takes its name from the same source (pun … sauce!). However, the brand name uses the wrong accent (“Ragú” instead of “Ragù”), which drives a pedant like me crazy ..

41 British term for a vaccination : JAB

An injection using a hypodermic needle might be termed a “shot” in North America, and a “jab” in Britain and Ireland.

43 GPS display : RTE

A global positioning system (GPS) might point out a route (rte.).

46 __-K : PRE

Pre-kindergarten (pre-K)

48 “The Book of Boba __” : FETT

“The Book of Boba Fett” is a TV series within the “Star Wars” franchise. It is a spin-off from the TV show “The Mandalorian”. Both series were created by actor and filmmaker Jon Favreau. “The Book of Boba Fett” centers on bounty hunter Boba Fett as he takes of the former territory of crime lord Jabba the Hutt.

50 One who stands in the way of a wager? : BET BLOCKER (from “beta blocker”)

Beta blockers are drugs used primarily to manage cardiac arrhythmia and hypertension. Basically, beta blockers interfere with the fight-or-flight response.

57 Jelly Roll Morton genre : RAGTIME

Ragtime music was at the height of its popularity in the early 1900s. It takes its name from its characteristic “ragged” rhythms. The most famous ragtime composer was Scott Joplin, who had a big hit with his “Maple Leaf Rag” when it was published in 1899. He followed that up with a string of hits, including the “Pine Apple Rag” (sic). Ragtime fell out of favor about 1917 when the public turned to jazz. It had a resurgence in the forties when jazz musicians started to include ragtime tunes in their repertoires. But it was the 1973 movie “The Sting” that brought the true revival, as the hit soundtrack included numerous ragtime tunes by Scott Joplin, including the celebrated “The Entertainer” originally published in 1902.

“Jelly Roll Morton” was the stage name of Ferdinand LaMothe, a ragtime and early jazz musician. Morton apparently had quite the ego and claimed to have “invented” the jazz genre in 1902. That said, he did indeed record the first ever published jazz composition, his own “Jelly Roll Blues” in 1915. Early in his career, Morton worked as piano player in a brothel, and there took the nickname “Jelly Roll”, a suggestive slang term related to female anatomy.

58 Flushed condition? : FLORID STATE (from “Florida State”)

Florida State University (FSU) is located in Tallahassee, the state capital of Florida. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Seminoles (sometimes the “‘Noles”). The team name was chosen in 1947 by the students in a vote, and alludes to the Seminole people of Florida.

62 Karate level : DAN

The dan ranking system is used in several Japanese and Korean martial arts. The dan ranking indicates a level of proficiency, and often only applies to practitioners who have already earned a black belt.

68 Copa Mundial cheer : OLE!

In Spanish, supporters might be heard yelling “ole!” (bravo!) at the “Copa Mundial” (World Cup) of soccer.

Down

1 Oscar or Tony : AWARD

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards, also known as the “Oscars”. The root of the name “Oscar” is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named “Oscar” in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days …

The Tony Awards are more completely referred to as the Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Broadway Theatre. The awards are named for Mary Antoinette “Tony” Perry, who was a co-founder of the American Theatre Wing.

3 Cartoon piglet with a British accent : PEPPA

“Peppa Pig” is a children’s animated show that is produced in the UK and airs all over the world. There’s even a Peppa Pig World theme park located in Hampshire, England.

5 Egyptian deity : AMEN-RA

Amun-Ra (also “Amon, Amen”) was a god in Egyptian mythology. Amun lends his name to our word “ammonia”. This is because the Romans called the ammonium chloride that they collected near the Temple of Jupiter Amun, “sal ammoniacus” (salt of Amun).

6 Tucci’s “Road to Perdition” role : NITTI

Frank Nitti was one of the top henchmen working for Al Capone. Unlike American-born Capone, Nitti was actually from Italy and was born near the city of Salerno. When Capone was eventually put away for 11 years for tax evasion, Nitti was convicted of the same crime. Nitti was only imprisoned for 18 months, and when released he was labeled as the new head of Capone’s Chicago Outfit. However the truth seems to be that he was just a frontman, with others making the decisions.

Stanley Tucci is a UK-based American actor. Of his many fine performances, my favorite is in 2009’s “Julie & Julia” in which he plays the husband of celebrity chef Julia Child. Tucci is quite the cook himself in real life and released “The Tucci Cookbook” in 2012. He is also a co-owner of the Finch Tavern restaurant in Croton Falls, New York.

7 GPS display : ETA

A global positioning system (GPS) might provide one with an estimated time of arrival (ETA).

8 Fig. in identity theft : SSN

The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an identity number to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income, so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So starting in 1986, the IRS made it a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, seven million dependents “disappeared” in 1987. Today, a SSN is required for a child of any age in order to receive a tax exemption.

9 European capital with more than 340 lakes : OSLO

The Norwegian capital of Oslo is located at the northern end of a fjord known as Oslofjord. The fjord is home to 40 islands that lie within the city’s limits. Oslo also has 343 lakes.

10 Not quite meeting : SHY OF

To be shy is to be short, lacking. This use of “shy” originated as gambling slang meaning “owe money to the pot”.

12 Pharmaceutical giant __ Lilly : ELI

Eli Lilly is the largest corporation in the state of Indiana. Founder Eli Lilly was a veteran of the Union Army in the Civil War, and a failed Mississippi plantation owner. Later in life he returned to his first profession and opened a pharmaceutical operation to manufacture drugs and sell them wholesale. Under Lilly’s early guidance, the company was the first to create gelatin capsules to hold medicines and the first to use fruit flavoring in liquid medicines.

21 French friends : AMIES

A male friend in France is “un ami”, and a female friend is “une amie”.

25 Old Mac laptop : IBOOK

From 1996 to 2006, Apple sold a relatively cost-effective line of laptops called iBooks. Basically, an iBook was a stripped-down version of the high-end PowerBook, in a different form factor and targeted at the consumer and education markets. The iBook was replaced by the MacBook in 2006.

27 Preakness horse’s age : THREE

The Preakness Stakes is a thoroughbred horse race that’s run at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore in May of each year. The Preakness is the second most popular horse race in the US in terms of attendance, after the Kentucky Derby. The race was given its name by former Maryland Governor Oden Bowie in honor of the racehorse named Preakness. Preakness won the inaugural Dixie Stakes that was run at Pimlico in 1870.

31 “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the __ Rings” : TEN

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is a movie released in 2021. The title character is a superhero from the Marvel Comics universe. Shang-Chi is played by Canadian actor Simu Liu.

35 Bête __ : NOIRE

“Bête noire” translates from French as “black beast”, and is used in English to describe something or someone that is disliked.

38 “Frankly,” in texts : TBH

To be honest (TBH)

41 Peanut butter brand : JIF

Jif is the leading brand of peanut butter in the US, and has been since 1981. Introduced in 1958, Jif is now produced by Smuckers.

47 “The Gambler” singer : ROGERS

Singer Kenny Rogers was from Houston, and retired to his estate in Colbert, Georgia. The list of hit songs recorded by Rogers includes “Lucille”, “Coward of the County”, “We’ve Got Tonight” (with Sheena Easton), and “Islands in the Stream” (with Dolly Parton).

“The Gambler” is a song written by Don Schlitz in 1976, and most famously recorded by Kenny Rogers in 1978. Backing vocals on the recording were provided by the Jordanaires, a vocal quartet who most famously accompanied Elvis Presley in most of his recordings from the 1950s to the 1970s.

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done

49 Patisserie product : TORTE

A torte is a type of cake made primarily with eggs, sugar and ground nuts (but no flour).

A patisserie is a French bakery that sells pastries, or “tartes”.

51 Luca of “The Godfather” : BRASI

Luca Brasi is one of Don Corleone’s most loyal “enforcers” in Mario Puzo’s novel “The Godfather”. Brasi comes to a violent end, garroted while his hand is pinned to a wooden bar with a knife. Famously, the Corleone family learn of his demise when they receive Brasi’s bulletproof vest wrapped around dead fish. The message is that he “sleeps with the fishes”. In the big screen adaptation of “The Godfather”, Luca Brasi is played by ex-wrestler and professional bodyguard Lenny Montana. The role launched a very successful television character-acting career for Montana.

54 Soprano Fleming : RENEE

Renée Fleming is a marvelous soprano from Indiana, Pennsylvania. Famous for her appearances in opera houses and concert halls all over the world, Fleming is also noted for her willingness to bring her craft to the masses. She was a guest on “Sesame Street” singing “counting lyrics” to an aria from “Rigoletto”, and she has appeared a few times on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion”.

56 Williamson who was the 2019 #1 NBA draft pick : ZION

Professional basketball player Zion Williamson was the number-one pick in the 2019 NBA draft, when he was selected by the New Orleans Pelicans.

58 Tower authority: Abbr. : FAA

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was set up in 1958 (as the Federal Aviation Agency). The agency was established at that particular time largely in response to an increasing number of midair collisions. The worst of these disasters had taken place two years earlier over the Grand Canyon, a crash between two commercial passenger airplanes that resulted in 128 fatalities.

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport has the IATA airport code STL. Commonly referred to as Lambert Field, the airport is named for Albert Bond Lambert, an olympic golfer and aviator from St. Louis. Back in the 1920s, Lambert Field was the first airport to have an air traffic control system, albeit a pretty rudimentary one in which pilots received flag signals.

60 Après-ski option : SPA

“Après-ski” is a French term meaning “after skiing”. It refers to the good times to be had after coming off the slopes.

61 Loki player Hiddleston : TOM

Tom Hiddleston is an English actor who garnered international attention when he was given the role of Loki in the superhero film “Thor” (2011). More recently, I enjoyed Hiddleston’s performance in the excellent thriller miniseries “The Night Manager” that’s based on a John le Carré novel.

“Loki” is a TV series based on the Marvel Comics superhero of the same name. The show’s action takes place after the storyline in the 2019 movie “Avengers: Endgame”. In that movie, English actor Tom Hiddleston plays Loki, and he reprises the role in the TV series.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Peak in the Tour de France : ALP
4 Nickname for a Carolina team : CANES
9 Air fryer brand : OSTER
14 Grief : WOE
15 Leaves out : OMITS
16 Fracking target : SHALE
17 African viper : ASP
18 Deep dive into the statistics of a NY slugger? : MET ANALYSIS (from “meta-analysis”)
20 Put on another coat : REPAINT
22 Word with square and cube : … ROOT
23 Scotch drinker who complains about a small pour? : DRAM CRITIC (from “drama critic”)
26 Briny cheese : FETA
29 “Patience __ virtue” : IS A
30 Final bio : OBIT
32 Texting nicety : THX
33 Civil War POTUS : ABE
35 Dismal turnout : NO ONE
36 Afore : ERE
37 So over meaty spaghetti sauce? : PAST BOLOGNESE (from “pasta Bolognese”)
41 British term for a vaccination : JAB
42 Quick and energetic : BRISK
43 GPS display : RTE
44 Frosty : ICY
45 Take on : HIRE
46 __-K : PRE
48 “The Book of Boba __” : FETT
50 One who stands in the way of a wager? : BET BLOCKER (from “beta blocker”)
55 Flow slowly : OOZE
57 Jelly Roll Morton genre : RAGTIME
58 Flushed condition? : FLORID STATE (from “Florida State”)
62 Karate level : DAN
63 Probably will, after “is” : … APT TO
64 Puzzle : POSER
65 Fizzle out : DIE
66 Washed-out : ASHEN
67 Not quite right, and an apt title for this puzzle? : AMISS
68 Copa Mundial cheer : OLE!

Down

1 Oscar or Tony : AWARD
2 Sore __ : LOSER
3 Cartoon piglet with a British accent : PEPPA
4 Many open mic performers : COMICS
5 Egyptian deity : AMEN-RA
6 Tucci’s “Road to Perdition” role : NITTI
7 GPS display : ETA
8 Fig. in identity theft : SSN
9 European capital with more than 340 lakes : OSLO
10 Not quite meeting : SHY OF
11 Market research comparison : TASTE TEST
12 Pharmaceutical giant __ Lilly : ELI
13 Hi-__ graphics : RES
19 Following a curve : ARCING
21 French friends : AMIES
24 Hammer home? : TOOL SET
25 Old Mac laptop : IBOOK
27 Preakness horse’s age : THREE
28 Log chopper : AXE
31 “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the __ Rings” : TEN
33 Rapidly : APACE
34 Item left for a certain fairy : BABY TOOTH
35 Bête __ : NOIRE
38 “Frankly,” in texts : TBH
39 Paid off : BRIBED
40 Not in a slump? : ERECT
41 Peanut butter brand : JIF
46 Dishes : PLATES
47 “The Gambler” singer : ROGERS
49 Patisserie product : TORTE
51 Luca of “The Godfather” : BRASI
52 Affectionate nickname : KIDDO
53 Send with a click : EMAIL
54 Soprano Fleming : RENEE
56 Williamson who was the 2019 #1 NBA draft pick : ZION
58 Tower authority: Abbr. : FAA
59 CD precursors : LPS
60 Après-ski option : SPA
61 Loki player Hiddleston : TOM

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 6 Jan 23, Friday”

  1. Started slow.. like @lucy, once I got the theme, things clicked.

    Never heard of PEPPA. watched a utube video. Definitely never saw it before.

  2. Didn’t get the theme until way down to “floridstate” but once I had it
    it went better. No errors at the end but still had to look up a lot, mostly
    PPPs. I should have known Renee Fleming because I attended one of
    her concerts many, many years ago in California….at the Hollywood Bowl,
    maybe??

  3. On the trickier side, clue wise. I can only feel that, had I got the theme at some point before I finished the grid, that this would have gone more easily. Ha!

  4. 16:34 – no errors or lookups. False start: RTE>ETA.

    New: “Copa Mundial,” AMENRA, NITTI (possibly), “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” Luca BRASI, ZION Williamson.

    I partially got some of the themed answers, and then filled in all of them after getting 67A – AMISS and the light came on.

    The last to fill in was the top central section with AMENRA, NITTI, and CANES. Only the A and N in CANES was needed. I slowly decided on the A and N, but didn’t know they are a hockey team.

    Another use a duplicated clue: GPS display.

  5. 9 minutes, 21 seconds and needed Check Grid help to ferret out typos in 6 fills. Guess I was a bit distracted doing this puzzle. Theme was “a” bit better than some….

  6. Friday tough. Was about 95% sure of getting it all right but, because I didn’t know so many PPP’s, didn’t. Took awhile to get the theme and that helped, but not enough. Good one.

  7. Slightly tricky Friday for me; took 18:11 with no peeks or errors. Worked with the theme and had to fix a few things. Didn’t get the banner at the end and found the same error as Saul to finish. Pretty fun!

  8. 6 down
    Tucci no longer owns Finch Tavern . It’s an upscale northern Italian restaurant called Primavera. He sold it three years ago.
    I really enjoy all your explanations to the answers which are my go to final solutions
    Happy New Year
    suzanne

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *