LA Times Crossword 6 Feb 24, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Madeline Kaplan
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: It’s a Whole Thing

Themed answers end with a word that often follows “WHOLE”:

  • 50A “Too complicated to explain,” and a way to describe the end of the answer to each starred clue? : IT’S A WHOLE THING
  • 20A *Customer support line, typically : TOLL-FREE NUMBER (giving “whole number”)
  • 25A *Male minister : MAN OF THE CLOTH (giving “whole cloth”)
  • 45A *Rolled meaty entree that may be served “wet” : BEEF ENCHILADA (giving “whole enchilada”)

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

Bill’s time: 6m 05s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9 Tabloid couple : ITEM

“Tabloid” is the trademarked name (owned by Burroughs Wellcome) for a “small tablet of medicine”, a name that goes back to 1884. The word “tabloid” had entered into general use to mean a compressed form of anything, and by the early 1900s was used in “tabloid journalism”, which described newspapers that had short, condensed articles and stories printed on smaller sheets of paper.

13 Margarine : OLEO

Emperor Louis Napoleon III of France announced a competition to develop a substitute for butter, a substitute that would be more accessible to the lower classes and more practical for the armed forces. A French chemist called Hippolyte Mege-Mouries came up with something he called oleomargarine in 1869, which was eventually manufactured under the trade name “margarine”. The name “oleomargarine” also gives us our generic term “oleo”.

14 Emotionally distant : ALOOF

I suppose one might guess from the “feel” of the word “aloof” that it has nautical roots. Originally “aloof” meant “to windward” and was the opposite of “alee”. A helmsman might be instructed to stay aloof, to steer the boat into the weather to keep a distance from a lee-shore. It is from this sense of maintaining a distance that aloof came to mean “distant” in terms of personality. Interesting, huh …?

16 Weigh station rig : SEMI

A “semi” is a “semi-trailer truck”. The vehicle is so called because it consists of a tractor and a half-trailer. The half-trailer is so called because it only has wheels on the back end, with the front supported by the tractor.

17 Four Corners state : UTAH

The Four Corners region of the US surrounds the meeting point of the four states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. The Four Corners is the only point in the US that is shared by four states.

18 Ancient Greek region : IONIA

The geographic region called Ionia is located in present-day Turkey. It was prominent in the days of ancient Greece, although it wasn’t a unified state and rather a collection of tribes. The tribal confederacy was more based on religious and cultural similarities than a political or military alliance. Nowadays we often refer to this arrangement as the Ionian League.

19 Settled on a perch : ALIT

To alight is to descend from perhaps a vehicle. “To alight” comes from “to light”, which can also mean “to dismount, settle”. The idea is that by descending from say a horse, one “lightens” its load.

20 *Customer support line, typically : TOLL-FREE NUMBER (giving “whole number”)

The first automated toll-free, 1-800 numbers were introduced in the US in 1966.

In mathematics, the “whole numbers” are the natural, counting numbers (1, 2, 3, etc), with the important inclusion of the number zero. Zero is usually excluded from the list of “natural numbers”.

24 “Barton Fink” director Joel : COEN

1991’s “Barton Fink” is a black comedy thriller movie from the Coen Brothers. John Turturro plays the title character, a Broadway playwright who moves to Hollywood to write film scripts. Much of the action in the film takes place in Fink’s hotel room, located in the seedy Hotel Earle. Apparently, the Coen Brothers wrote a film about a scriptwriter while they were struggling to write the script for their movie “Miller’s Crossing”. They took a 3-week break from the “Miller’s Crossing” project, and came up with the script for “Barton Fink”. The latter movie bombed at the box office, while garnering three Oscar nominations and winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes.

25 *Male minister : MAN OF THE CLOTH (giving “whole cloth”)

A whole cloth is a piece of material as originally manufactured, not cut for use in say a garment or a quilt. We use the phrase “made up out of whole cloth” to describe a manufactured story, one with no basis in fact.

31 Step before a “big kid bed” : CRIB

In Old English, the word “cribbe” applied to a manger, an open box holding fodder for livestock. Probably because of the association of a manger used as a bed for the infant Jesus, the word “crib” came to describe an enclosed bed for a child.

35 “Morning Edition” medium : RADIO

NPR’s flagship news program is “Morning Edition”, a 2-hour show broadcast from Monday through Friday. The sister show “Weekend Edition” is broadcast on Saturday and Sunday.

37 Raggedy __ and Andy dolls : ANN

Raggedy Ann is a rag doll that was created by Johnny Gruelle in 1915 for his daughter, Marcella. He decided to name the doll by combining the titles of two poems by James Whitcomb Riley, “The Raggedy Man” and “Little Orphan Annie”. Gruelle introduced Raggedy Ann in a series of books three years later. Sadly, Marcella died at 13 years of age with her father blaming a smallpox vaccination she was given at school. Gruelle became very active in the movement against mass vaccination, for which Raggedy Ann became a symbol.

Raggedy Andy was introduced as the brother to Raggedy Ann in the 1920 book “Raggedy Andy Stories”.

40 __ de Triomphe : ARC

L’Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile in Paris was built to honor those who fought for France, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. It is the second largest triumphal arch in the world, after the Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang, North Korea. If you are visiting Paris, don’t just take a picture of the arch, be sure to go inside and see the marvelous chambers and carvings, and wander around on top of the arch so that you can enjoy the magnificent view.

41 Mottled horses : PINTOS

A pinto is a horse with patchy markings of white mixed with another color. “Pinto” means “painted” in American Spanish.

44 Airline that doesn’t fly on Shabbat : EL AL

El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”. The company started operations in 1948, with a flight from Geneva to Tel Aviv. Famously, El Al only operates six days a week, not flying on the Sabbath.

Shabbat is the day of rest in the Jewish tradition, and is observed weekly from Friday evening through Saturday evening. Shabbat is welcomed a few minutes before Friday’s sunset, according to Jewish law, and bid farewell on Saturday night after the appearance of three stars in the sky.

45 *Rolled meaty entree that may be served “wet” : BEEF ENCHILADA (giving “whole enchilada”)

“Enchilada” is the past participle of the Spanish word “enchilar” meaning “to add chili pepper to”. An enchilada is basically a corn tortilla rolled around some filling and then covered in chili pepper sauce. The term “big enchilada” is used in the same way as we would use “big cheese” i.e. to refer to the top dog. The phrase was popularized in the sixties when John Ehrlichman refers to Attorney General John Mitchell as “the big enchilada” on one of the Watergate Tapes. Similarly, the term “whole enchilada” emerged in the early sixties, used alongside such phrases as “whole nine yards”, “whole shebang” and “whole ball of wax”.

48 “You’ve Got Mail” director Ephron : NORA

Nora Ephron had many talents, including writing film scripts and novels. Many of the movies that she wrote, she also directed. These would include some of my favorite movies of all time like “Sleepless in Seattle”, “You’ve Got Mail” and most recently, the wonderful “Julie & Julia”. And, did you know that Nora Ephron’s second marriage was to journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame? She wrote an autobiographical novel based on her life with Bernstein, which deals in particular with Bernstein’s affair with the daughter of British Prime Minister James Callaghan.

“You’ve Got Mail” is a 1998 romantic comedy film starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, and directed by Nora Ephron. The film is an adaptation of the Miklos Laszlo play “Parfumerie”. The storyline of “Parfumerie” was also used for the movies “The Shop Around the Corner” (from 1940 starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullivan) and “In the Good Old Summertime” (from 1949 starring Van Johnson and Judy Garland).

49 Short albums, for short : EPS

An extended-play (EP) record, CD or download contains more music than a single, but less than a long-play (LP) record.

57 Big birds of Australia : EMUS

Even though emu meat is classified as a red meat because of its color, it has a fat content that is comparable to other poultry.

58 Greek fable writer : AESOP

Aesop is remembered today as a fabulist, a writer of fables. Aesop lived in ancient Greece, probably around the sixth century BC. Supposedly he was born a slave, somehow became a free man, but then met with a sorry end. Aesop was sent to the city of Delphi on a diplomatic mission but instead insulted the Delphians. He was tried on a trumped-up charge of stealing from a temple, sentenced to death and was thrown off a cliff.

60 Apple Watch assistant : SIRI

Siri was originally developed as a standalone app by a startup company of the same name. Apple acquired the company in 2010 and integrated the technology into their operating system.

When Apple introduced the “Apple Watch” in 2015, it was perhaps a little surprising that the device wasn’t named “iWatch”. The brand name “iWatch” was already trademarked in the US and EU, by two different companies.

61 Email option since 1997 : YAHOO!

Jerry Yang and David Filo called their company “Yahoo!” for two reasons. Firstly, a Yahoo is a rude unsophisticated brute from Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels”. Secondly, Yahoo stands for “Yet another Hierarchical Officious Oracle”.

63 Brief “Chat soon” : TTYL

Talk to you later (TTYL)

64 “__ Yankees” : DAMN

In the musical show “Damn Yankees”, the title refers to the New York Yankees baseball team that dominated the sport in the fifties. That said, the show tells the story of a man who sells his soul to help his beloved Washington Senators team beat the Yankees and win the pennant. So, “Damn Yankees” is yet another version of the classic German legend of “Faust”. The show was written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, a production that turned out to be a very successful follow-up to their prior hit, “The Pajama Game”. The future was looking really rosy for Adler and Ross but, sadly, Jerry Ross died of obstructive lung disease only a few weeks after “Damn Yankees” opened on Broadway in 1955. He was just 29 years old.

Down

3 Tangible : REAL

Something tangible can be perceived by using the sense of touch. “Tangible” derives from the Latin verb “tangere” meaning “to touch”. We also use the adjective figuratively to describe something that we can perceive as real in our minds.

4 Vegetable also called a German turnip : KOHLRABI

The kohlrabi vegetable is a cultivar of wild cabbage. It is also known as the German turnip, despite being a different species. The vegetable’s name comes from the German “Kohl” meaning “cabbage” and the Swiss German “Rabi” meaning “turnip”. The term “turnip” is associated with kohlrabi and the plant’s swollen stems resemble turnips.

5 Blue accessory for Maggie Simpson : HAIR BOW

Maggie Simpson is the youngest child of Marge and Homer Simpson on the animated tv show “The Simpsons”. Maggie is voiced by Nancy Cartwright, who also voices Bart Simpson.

9 “The House of the Spirits” novelist Allende : ISABEL

Isabel Allende is a Chilean writer, and the world’s most widely-read, Spanish-language author. Isabel is related to Salvador Allende, the ex-President of Chile.

“The House of the Spirits” (“La casa de los espíritus” in Spanish) is a 1982 novel penned by Isabel Allende. It was her first book to be published, and it became a best-seller that launched her career as an author. “The House of Spirits” is one of the books targeted by book-banners, who object to some explicit content and violent images.

10 Latin American soap : TELENOVELA

A telenovela is a “television novel”, a form of programming that is very popular in Latin America. It is somewhat like a soap opera that has an end in sight, and that runs for less than a year. I like this quote from an executive at Telemundo:

A telenovela is all about a couple who wants to kiss and a scriptwriter who stands in their way for 150 episodes.

11 Gulf States ruler : EMIR

The term “Gulf States” might mean “US states on the Gulf of Mexico”, or “Arab states in the Persian Gulf”.

12 Research univ. near Harvard : MIT

The Massachusetts city of Cambridge lies just across the Charles River from Boston. The area was settled in 1630, and named “Cambridge” in 1638 in honor of the English university. Cambridge is home to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as well as Lesley University and Hult International Business School.

15 Tap : FAUCET

The common “faucet” in an American house is almost always referred to as a “tap” on the other side of the pond.

22 Chocolaty coffee drink : MOCHA

A caffè mocha is a caffè latte that has been flavored with chocolate. One might also regard a caffè mocha as hot chocolate with the addition of a shot of espresso.

25 Era associated with modern furniture : MID-CENTURY

Mid-century modern (MCM) was a popular movement in design and architecture in the period following WWII through to the late 1960s. MCM furniture designs feature clean and simple lines. MCM architecture features plenty of large windows and open floor plans.

26 Senegal currency : FRANC

Former French colonies in Africa use the CFA franc as currency. Eight West African countries use the West African CFA franc, and six Central African countries use the Central African CFA franc. The two related currencies are at parity, and are pegged at the same exchange rate to the euro.

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.

28 Home of the Vietnam National Museum of History : HANOI

The Vietnam National Museum of History in Hanoi is housed in a building that was constructed in 1910 under French colonial rule as part of the French School of the Far East.

29 “Proud Mary” singer Turner : TINA

“Proud Mary” is a song written by John Fogerty and recorded in 1968 by Creedence Clearwater Revival with Fogarty singing lead vocals. The song was famously covered by Ike and Tina Turner in 1970. The “Proud Mary” in the title is a riverboat, with a “big wheel” that keeps on turnin’.

“Tina Turner” was the stage name used by Anna Mae Bullock, the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll”. Turner always loved Europe and moved there in the eighties, splitting her time between her homes in England, France and Switzerland.

31 Grump : CRAB

We’ve been describing grouchy people as crabby since the 1700s, mainly in North America. The term “crabby” possibly arose from the perceived combative nature of “crabs”.

32 Deeply un-well? : RARE

Like the cook on a steak.

36 Covent Garden performance : OPERA

The Royal Opera House is located in Covent Garden in the West End of London. The Opera House is home to both the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet, as well as the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. The institution was founded in 1728 as the Theatre Royal, although the original building was destroyed by fire in 1808. The second Theater Royal opened on the site the following year, but it was also lost in a fire, in 1856. The current building opened in 1858, and was renamed to the Royal Opera House in 1892.

39 Keep out of college sports for a season : REDSHIRT

To redshirt a college athlete is to hold him or her aside for a year in order to extend the player’s period of eligibility. The term dates back to the mid-fifties, when red shirts were worn by the scrimmage squad during practice.

46 Paleontologist’s discovery : FOSSIL

Originally, the term “fossil” described anything that was unearthed, dug up. We tend to define the term more narrowly today, reserving it for the geological remains of a plant or animal. “Fossil” comes from the Latin “fossilis” meaning “dug up”.

Paleontology is the study of prehistoric life. My favorite “paleontologist” is Dr. David Huxley played by Cary Grant opposite Katharine Hepburn in the wonderful 1938 comedy “Bringing Up Baby”.

52 Workplace-focused workplace: Abbr. : OSHA

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

53 Weaving machine : LOOM

There are many types of loom used to weave cloth, but they all hold parallel threads in tension in one direction, while allowing the interweaving of threads in the perpendicular direction. The threads held under tension are the warp threads, and the “woven” threads are the “weft” threads.

54 __ of March : IDES

There were three important days in each month of the old Roman calendar. These days originally depended on the cycles of the moon but were eventually “fixed” by law. “Kalendae” were the first days of each month, originally the days of the new moon. “Nonae” were originally the days of the half moon. And “idus” (the ides) was originally the day of the full moon, eventually fixed at the 15th day of a month. Actually, the ides were the 15th day of March, May, July and October. For all other months, the ides fell on the 13th. Go figure …

55 Spring’s opposite, in tides : NEAP

Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Tree covering : BARK
5 Put up, as wallpaper : HANG
9 Tabloid couple : ITEM
13 Margarine : OLEO
14 Emotionally distant : ALOOF
16 Weigh station rig : SEMI
17 Four Corners state : UTAH
18 Ancient Greek region : IONIA
19 Settled on a perch : ALIT
20 *Customer support line, typically : TOLL-FREE NUMBER (giving “whole number”)
23 Barbecue chef’s spice concoction : RUB
24 “Barton Fink” director Joel : COEN
25 *Male minister : MAN OF THE CLOTH (giving “whole cloth”)
31 Step before a “big kid bed” : CRIB
33 December decor : WREATH
34 Compete : VIE
35 “Morning Edition” medium : RADIO
37 Raggedy __ and Andy dolls : ANN
38 Venue for a major 1-Down : ARENA
40 __ de Triomphe : ARC
41 Mottled horses : PINTOS
44 Airline that doesn’t fly on Shabbat : EL AL
45 *Rolled meaty entree that may be served “wet” : BEEF ENCHILADA (giving “whole enchilada”)
48 “You’ve Got Mail” director Ephron : NORA
49 Short albums, for short : EPS
50 “Too complicated to explain,” and a way to describe the end of the answer to each starred clue? : IT’S A WHOLE THING
57 Big birds of Australia : EMUS
58 Greek fable writer : AESOP
59 Mental flash : IDEA
60 Apple Watch assistant : SIRI
61 Email option since 1997 : YAHOO!
62 Harvest : REAP
63 Brief “Chat soon” : TTYL
64 “__ Yankees” : DAMN
65 Sugar amts. : TSPS

Down

1 Boxing match : BOUT
2 Voice range higher than tenor : ALTO
3 Tangible : REAL
4 Vegetable also called a German turnip : KOHLRABI
5 Blue accessory for Maggie Simpson : HAIR BOW
6 __ vera gel : ALOE
7 Sold-out amount : NONE
8 Enter : GO IN
9 “The House of the Spirits” novelist Allende : ISABEL
10 Latin American soap : TELENOVELA
11 Gulf States ruler : EMIR
12 Research univ. near Harvard : MIT
15 Tap : FAUCET
21 Enjoyable : FUN
22 Chocolaty coffee drink : MOCHA
25 Era associated with modern furniture : MID-CENTURY
26 Senegal currency : FRANC
27 First extra inning : TENTH
28 Home of the Vietnam National Museum of History : HANOI
29 “Proud Mary” singer Turner : TINA
30 Mend : HEAL
31 Grump : CRAB
32 Deeply un-well? : RARE
36 Covent Garden performance : OPERA
39 Keep out of college sports for a season : REDSHIRT
42 ” … Kind of?” : … IN A WAY?
43 Consider overnight : SLEEP ON
46 Paleontologist’s discovery : FOSSIL
47 Fitting : APT
50 “You found the right person” : I’M IT
51 Leader : HEAD
52 Workplace-focused workplace: Abbr. : OSHA
53 Weaving machine : LOOM
54 __ of March : IDES
55 Spring’s opposite, in tides : NEAP
56 Intervening spaces : GAPS
57 Approximate fig. : EST

12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 6 Feb 24, Tuesday”

  1. No errors.. still about 16 minutes for me.

    Tina Turner has appeared in several crosswords last few days??? Is someone sharing notes?

    Is a “wet” burrito when they put sauce over it?

  2. @Anon Mike I see quite a bit of crossing over within a few days of the same clue answer on different puzzles.. That’s why I think there is some online guide they share!!!
    Knew most but the brain wasn’t in high gear so it took longer than it should. Wasn’t familiar with the “whole cloth” phrase. Thanks Bill!
    So Chancellor Kohl of Germany was Chancellor Cabbage? LOL would fit some of our politicians!

    1. And no references to Frozen, Hamilton, LGBT.

      And no OREO, TOTO, ASTA, EERIE.

      OMG – Patti, you’re messing up! No more Madeline Kaplan puzzles, you hear?

  3. 21:58. I thought I was slower today than yesterday but a quick check showed I was several minutes quicker. A grid check was necessary to get the 9D/24A cross.

  4. 10 mins, 21 seconds, and somehow, no errors. I got ALL TURNED AROUND doing this one, with several corrected entries. A real challenge, and in a good way.

  5. 6:45 – no errors, lookups, or false starts.

    New or forgotten: “Barton Fink,” “The House of Spirits,” ISABEL Allende, Senegal’s currency.

    Got the whole theme with ease.

    Had not realized that Covent Garden was such a site for arts.

    Seemed easier than yesterday.

  6. Mostly easy for me, two days late; took 7:29 with no peeks or errors. Just got slightly slowed down in one or two places. Didn’t get the theme as I was done before I had time to think about it. Was pretty sure FRANC was Senegal’s currency and just guessed COEN with Joel as the clue. Had TTfn and didn’t quite know MID CENTURY, but straightened it out in no time.

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