LA Times Crossword 7 Feb 24, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Alan Massengill & Doug Peterson
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: USB

Themed answers each include the letter string “USB” hidden within:

  • 67A Connection port, and the connections found in 17-, 24-, 40-, 52-, and 66-Across : USB
  • 17A Place that takes care of bad Apples : GENIUS BAR
  • 24A Agency that conducts a decennial count : CENSUS BUREAU
  • 40A No joke : SERIOUS BUSINESS
  • 52A Congressional economic boost : STIMULUS BILL
  • 66A Top-quality meat : ANGUS BEEF

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

Bill’s time: 5m 35s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Crowd-sourced review site : YELP

yelp.com is a website that provides a local business directory and reviews of services. The site is sort of like Yellow Pages on steroids, and the term “yelp” is derived from “yel-low p-ages”.

Crowdsourcing is mainly an online phenomenon, and is the solicitation of perhaps services, ideas or content from a large group of people. “Crowdsourcing” is a portmanteau of “crowd” and “outsourcing”. An example of crowdsourcing is crowdfunding, where an individual solicits many small contributions from a large number of people to fund a project.

9 Tennis star Naomi : OSAKA

Naomi Osaka is a Japanese-born tennis professional who became the first Asian player to be ranked number-one in singles. She was also the first ever tennis player to light the Olympic cauldron during an opening ceremony, doing so for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

15 Capital of Qatar : DOHA

Doha is the capital city of the Persian Gulf state of Qatar. The name “Doha” translates from Arabic as “the big tree”.

16 Henry VIII’s house : TUDOR

The Wars of the Roses was a series of civil wars fought for the throne of England between the rival Houses of Lancaster (with a symbol of a red rose) and York (with a symbol of a white rose). Ultimately the Lancastrians emerged victorious after Henry Tudor defeated King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field. Henry was crowned King Henry VII, and so began the Tudor dynasty. Henry Tudor united the rival houses by marrying his cousin Elizabeth of York. Henry VII had a relatively long reign of 23 years that lasted until his death, after which his son succeeded to the throne as Henry VIII, continuing the relatively short-lived Tudor dynasty. Henry VIII ruled from 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry VIII was the last male to lead the House of Tudor, as his daughter Queen Elizabeth I died without issue. When Elizabeth died, the Scottish King James VI succeeded to the throne as James I of England and Ireland. James I was the first English monarch of the House of Stuart.

Famously, King Henry VIII had six queens consort. There is a rhyme that is commonly used to help remember the fates of each of his wives, which goes:

King Henry the Eighth, to six wives he was wedded. One died, one survived, two divorced, two beheaded.

The use of the term “divorce” isn’t quite accurate though, as in fact Henry had two of his marriages annulled. His wives (and their fates) were:

  1. Catherine of Aragon (Annulled),
  2. Anne Boleyn (Beheaded),
  3. Jane Seymour (Died)
  4. Anne of Cleves (Annulled),
  5. Catherine Howard (Beheaded),
  6. Catherine Parr (Survived).

17 Place that takes care of bad Apples : GENIUS BAR

The technical support desk found in Apple Retail Stores is rather inventively called the Genius Bar. The certified support technicians are known as “Geniuses”. The trainees are called GYOs: Grow-Your-Own-Geniuses.

19 Asparagus piece : SPEAR

Asparagus is a perennial flowering plant that is grown mainly for its edible shoots (or “spears”). The shoots must be harvested when they are very young, as they become woody very quickly.

24 Agency that conducts a decennial count : CENSUS BUREAU

The original census was taken during the days of the Roman Republic, and was a reckoning of all adult males who were fit for military service. The first US Census was taken in 1790, and was conducted by federal marshals.

27 Contemporary of Julius Caesar : CICERO

Cicero was a very influential senator in ancient Rome,in part due to his renowned ability to deliver a persuasive speech. His full name was Marcus Tullius Cicero.

30 “Singin’ in the Rain” studio : MGM

In the movie “Singin’ in the Rain”, the wonderful, wonderful dance sequence to the title song was filmed over 2-3 days. Gene Kelly was splashing through puddles and getting rained on while all the time he was sick, with a fever of 103F.

36 Hawaii’s sixth-largest island : LANAI

Lanai is the sixth largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Lanai was first spotted by Europeans just a few days after Captain Cook was killed on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1779. In 1922, the Hawaiian Pineapple Company bought the whole island of Lanai and turned most of it into the world’s largest pineapple plantation. Since then, Lanai has been known as “The Pineapple Island”. Today, 98% of the island is owned by Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, and 2% is owned by the State of Hawaii.

44 NORAD tracking target : SANTA

The North American Defense Command (NORAD) isn’t just a US operation but is a cooperative arrangement between Canada and the United States. The two countries entered into an agreement to establish NORAD in 1958, mainly due to the concern that there would be little or no warning of a missile attack from the Soviet Union that came over the North Pole. NORAD also tracks Santa Claus coming from the North Pole every Christmas, and these days publishes Santa’s location on Christmas Eve on its website. The tracking of Santa started into 1955 when a local Sears store placed an advertisement in a Colorado Springs newspaper with a phone number that could be used to call Santa Claus. The newspaper accidentally printed the number for the Continental Air Defense Command (a precursor to NORAD). The officer on duty instructed his staff to give all children who called a “current location” for Santa. Today, NORAD gets about 120,000 phone queries about Santa’s location every year, and the website gets about 20 million visitors.

45 Cab : TAXI

A hansom cab is a very specific design of horse and buggy that was patented by Joseph Hansom in 1834 in England. The “cab” in the name is short for “cabriolet”, an earlier design of carriage on which the hansom was based. It’s from “hansom cab” that we get our modern term “cab”.

46 Chowed down : ATE

“Chow” is a slang term for “food” that originated in California in the mid-1800s. “Chow” comes from the Chinese pidgin English “chow-chow” meaning “food”.

49 Raucous bird : MAGPIE

The bird known as a “jay” is sometimes called a “magpie”, although the terms are not completely interchangeable.

58 NPR’s 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.

60 Word with dots or bands : POLKA …

A polka-dot pattern is one featuring an array of filled circles, usually of the same size and color. There doesn’t seem to be any connection between the name of the pattern and the polka dance, other than both the dance and the pattern gaining popularity around the same time, in the late nineteenth century.

The polka is a dance from central Europe, one that originated in Bohemia in the mid-1800s. It’s thought that “polka” comes from a Czech word meaning “little half”, reflecting the little half-steps included in the basic dance.

64 Radiology study : IMAGE

A radiologist is a medical doctor who specializes in using imaging as a means to diagnose disease and monitor treatment. A radiographer, also “radiologic technician”, is a trained professional who uses the imaging hardware to produce the images for a radiologist to interpret.

66 Top-quality meat : ANGUS BEEF

The full name of the cattle breed is Aberdeen Angus, which is also the name used around the world outside of North America. The breed was developed by crossbreeding cattle from the counties of Aberdeenshire and Angus in Scotland. The breed stands out in the US as Angus cattle don’t have horns.

68 Jeans fabric : DENIM

Denim fabric originated in Nîmes in France. The French phrase “de Nîmes” (meaning “from Nîmes”) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (meaning “blue of Genoa”) gives us our word “jeans”.

69 Award-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust : MAUS

“Maus” is a graphic novel published in 1991, although it appeared in serial form from 1980 to 1991. Written and drawn by cartoonist Art Spiegelman, “Maus” became the first graphic novel to win a Pulitzer, doing so in 1992.

71 C-suite types : EXECS

The C-suite is the suite of offices assigned to senior management. The “C” reference is to the abbreviation for “Chief”, the word that starts the titles of many senior officers in a company, e.g. chief executive officer, chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

72 Metrical foot : IAMB

An iamb is a metrical foot containing an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. The lines in Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” use four sequential iambs, e.g. “Whose woods / these are / I think / I know”. With that sequence of four iambs, the poem’s structure is described as iambic tetrameter.

73 Stitch’s buddy : LILO

“Lilo & Stitch” was released by Disney in 2002. Compared to other Disney feature-length cartoons, “Lilo & Stitch” was relatively cheaply produced, using the voices of lesser-known actors. One interesting change had to take place in the storyline during production, when Lilo was meant to fly a Jumbo Jet through downtown Honolulu in one sequence. This was replaced with a sequence using a spaceship instead, as the producers were sensitive to public sentiment after the September 11 attacks.

Down

1 Jellystone Park bear : YOGI

Yogi Bear made his debut for Hanna-Barbera in 1958, on “The Huckleberry Hound Show” before he was given his own series. Do you remember that collar that Yogi wore around his neck? That was a little trick from the animators. By using the collar, for many frames all they had to do was redraw everything from the collar up, saving them lots and lots of time. Yogi and Boo-Boo lived in Jellystone Park, and made Ranger Smith’s life a misery.

3 Fallon predecessor : LENO

“The Tonight Show” has had six permanent hosts so far:

  • Steve Allen (1954-57)
  • Jack Paar (1957-62)
  • Johnny Carson (1962–92)
  • Jay Leno (1992–2009, 2010–14)
  • Conan O’Brien (2009–10)
  • Jimmy Fallon (2014–present)

4 Paisley Park Records founder : PRINCE

Singer Prince was born in Minneapolis, and he lived there most of his life. Born Prince Rogers Nelson, his given name honored his father, a jazz musician who used the stage name Prince Rogers. Starting in 1993, he changed his stage name (adopting an unpronounceable symbol) and was often referred to as “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince” (TAFKAP). He died in 2016 due to an accidental fentanyl overdose at his home and recording studio located just southwest of Minneapolis. The home and studio, known as Paisley Park, is now a museum that is open to the public.

5 Mag honchos : EDS

“Honcho” is a slang term meaning “leader”. The word comes to us from the Japanese military, in which language a “hancho” is a “squad” (han) “leader” (cho).

6 University of New Mexico athletes : LOBOS

The University of New Mexico (UNM) is a school in Albuquerque that was founded in 1889. The UNM sports teams are called the Lobos, and there are two mascots who work the crowds named Lobo Louie and Lobo Lucy.

7 Former SeaWorld headliner : SHAMU

“Shamu” was the name of the third orca (aka “killer whale”) ever to be featured in a public exhibition. Shamu starred in a popular SeaWorld show in San Diego in the sixties. After she died in 1971, her name lived on as the “stage name” of orca shows in different SeaWorld parks. That original Shamu was retired after she grabbed and refused to let go of the leg of one of her trainers.

10 Character who debuted in Action Comics #1 : SUPERMAN

Superman’s origins can be traced back to an illustrated short story titled “The Reign of the Superman” created by high school classmates Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in 1933. That first “Superman” wasn’t a very glamorous character. He was a vagrant who gained psychic powers and used them for nefarious purposes. By the time that Siegel and Shuster put together a comic strip called “The Superman”, the title character had evolved into a superhero. The pair sold all rights to “The Superman” character to Detective Comics in 1938 for the princely sum of $130.

11 Singer known for numerically titled albums : ADELE

“Adele” is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. Her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US. “30” followed in 2021.

12 __ bear : KOALA

Koalas are not bears, but are marsupials, which means they carry their young in a pouch.They are known for their diet of eucalyptus leaves, which are toxic to most other animals. To cope with this, koalas have a special digestive system that allows them to break down the toxins and extract the nutrients from the leaves. Koalas are one of the sleepiest animals in the world, sleeping up to 20 hours a day. This is because eucalyptus leaves provide very little energy.

13 Chilean pianist Claudio : ARRAU

Claudio Arrau was a greatly respected Chilean pianist who performed for much of the twentieth century until his death in 1991. Arrau left Chile to study in Germany where he lived for many years, having married a German opera singer. During WWII, Arrau and his family left Germany and settled in New York City.

22 “Big Blue” : IBM

The origin of the IBM nickname “Big Blue” seems to have been lost in the mists of time. That said, maybe it has something to do with the fact that the IBM logo is blue, and almost every mainframe they produced was painted blue. I remember visiting IBM on business a few times in my career, and back then we were encouraged to wear white shirts and blue suits “to fit in” with our client’s culture.

25 Asian fusion chain : NOBU

Nobu Matsuhisa is a celebrity chef from Japan. Nobu was invited to open a Japanese restaurant in Lima, Peru in 1973, and while in South America developed his own Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine. He moved to the US a few years later, and now there are “Nobu” and “Matsuhisa” restaurants all over the world.

26 Jamaican tangelo : UGLI

The ugli fruit is a hybrid of an orange and a tangerine that was first discovered growing wild in Jamaica where most ugli fruit comes from today. “UGLI” is a trademark name that is a variant of “ugly”, a nod to the fruit’s unsightly wrinkled rind.

The fruit called a tangelo is a hybrid between a tangerine and either a grapefruit or a pomelo (which gives it the name). A pomelo is a very large, pear-shaped citrus fruit native to Southeast Asia. The Jamaican form of tangelo is known as the ugli fruit.

27 Mama of pop : CASS

Cass Elliot (born “Ellen Cohen”) was one of the four singers in the Mamas and the Papas, a sensational group from the sixties. “Mama Cass” was performing sold-out concerts in London in 1974 when she was found dead one morning, having had a heart attack. She was only 32 years old. Eerily, Elliot died in the same flat (on loan from Harry Nilsson) in which the Who’s drummer Keith Moon would die just four years later.

29 Biofuel source : CORN

“Maize” is another name for “corn”. Even though there is more maize grown in the world than wheat or rice, a relatively small proportion of the total maize crop is consumed directly by humans. That’s because a lot of maize goes to make corn ethanol, animal feed and derivative products like cornstarch and corn syrup. Here in the US, over 40% of the maize produced is used to feed livestock, and about 30% is used to make ethanol.

34 Thunder’s org. : NBA

The Oklahoma City Thunder NBA team arrived in 2008 after relocating from Seattle, where they were named the SuperSonics. The “Thunder” name was chosen as a reference to Oklahoma City’s exposure to the storms of Tornado Alley, and to the 45th Infantry Division “Thunderbirds” who were headquartered there until 1968.

35 Gala garb : TUX

Apparently, the style of men’s evening dress called a “tuxedo” was first worn to a country club event in 1886 in New York. The use of a dark dinner jacket without tails became fashionable at the club with the members, and the tradition spread from there. The country club was located in Tuxedo Park, New York, giving the style of dress its name.

38 Province bordering Turin : ASTI

Asti is in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy. It is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine. Moscato d’Asti is produced from the same grape (Moscato Bianco). Moscato is a much sweeter wine with a lower alcohol content, and is usually served as a dessert wine.

Turin (“Torino” in Italian) is a major city in the north of Italy that sits on the Po River. Back in 1861, when the Kingdom of Italy was formed, Turin was chosen as the first capital of the country.

42 Hawaii’s third-largest island : OAHU

Oahu has been called “The Gathering Place”, although the word “O’ahu” has no translation in Hawaiian. It seems that “O’ahu” is simply the name of the island. One story is that it is named after the son of the Polynesian navigator who first found the islands. The island is made up of two volcanoes, Wai’anae and Ko’olau, joined together by a broad valley, the O’ahu Plain.

43 California’s __ Valley : SIMI

Simi Valley, California is perhaps best known as home to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, the final resting place of the former US president. The library is a great place to visit, and there you can tour one of the retired Air Force One planes.

50 Range in Europe : ALPS

There are eight Alpine countries:

  • Austria
  • Slovenia
  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Germany
  • Monaco
  • Italy

51 Part of GPS : GLOBAL

The modern Global Positioning System (GPS) system that we use today was built by the US military who received the massive funding needed because of fears during the Cold War of the use of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. We civilians, all round the world, owe a lot to President Ronald Reagan because he directed the military to make GPS technology available to the public for the common good. President Reagan was moved to do so after the Soviet Union shot down KAL flight 007 carrying 269 people, just because the plane strayed accidentally into Soviet airspace.

53 Ironman Triathlon watchmaker : TIMEX

The Timex Group, a manufacturer of watches, evolved from the Waterbury Clock Company that was founded in 1854 in Waterbury, Connecticut. The company achieved tremendous success in the early sixties largely due to an innovative marketing campaign. Advertisements featured the memorable tagline “Timex – Takes a licking and keeps on ticking”. In 1962, one out of every three watches sold in the US was a Timex.

55 Fifth flavor : UMAMI

There are 2,000 to 8,000 taste buds on the human tongue, and together they detect five different tastes: salty, sour, bitter, sweet and umami. Taste buds have a short lifetime, and are replaced about every ten days.

56 Largest city in Yemen : SANA’A

Sana (also “Sana’a”) is the capital city of Yemen. Sitting at an elevation of 7,380 feet, Sana is one of the highest capital cities in the world. Within the bounds of today’s metropolis is the old fortified city of Sana, where people have lived for over 2,500 years. The Old City is now a World Heritage Site. According to legend, Sana was founded by Shem, the son of Noah.

61 Big name in 68-Across : LEVI
[68A Jeans fabric : DENIM]

Levi Strauss was the founder of the first company in the world to manufacture blue jeans. Levi Strauss & Co. opened in 1853 in San Francisco. Strauss and his business partner were awarded a patent in 1873 for the use of copper rivets to strengthen points of strain on working pants.

62 With 14-Across, collapse : KEEL …
[14A See 62-Down : … OVER]

To keel over is to capsize, to turn a boat over so that her keel lies up from the surface. We also use the phrase “keel over” figuratively to mean “collapse, faint”.

63 Curly coif : AFRO

A coif is a hairdo. The term “coif” comes from an old French term “coife” describing a skull-cap that was worn under a helmet back in the late 13th century.

65 Ambulance letters : EMS

Emergency medical services (EMS)

67 Connection port, and the connections found in 17-, 24-, 40-, 52-, and 66-Across : USB

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard dealing with how computers and electronic devices connect and communicate, and dealing with electrical power through those connections.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Crowd-sourced review site : YELP
5 “Or __ what?” : ELSE
9 Tennis star Naomi : OSAKA
14 See 62-Down : … OVER
15 Capital of Qatar : DOHA
16 Henry VIII’s house : TUDOR
17 Place that takes care of bad Apples : GENIUS BAR
19 Asparagus piece : SPEAR
20 Treats wrinkles : IRONS
21 Upscale hotel chain : OMNI
23 47-Across, in Spanish : ELLA
24 Agency that conducts a decennial count : CENSUS BUREAU
27 Contemporary of Julius Caesar : CICERO
30 “Singin’ in the Rain” studio : MGM
31 Hubbub : ADO
32 Like paper clips : BENT
36 Hawaii’s sixth-largest island : LANAI
40 No joke : SERIOUS BUSINESS
44 NORAD tracking target : SANTA
45 Cab : TAXI
46 Chowed down : ATE
47 Personal pronoun : SHE
49 Raucous bird : MAGPIE
52 Congressional economic boost : STIMULUS BILL
58 NPR’s Totenberg : NINA
59 “Thinking about it” : I MAY
60 Word with dots or bands : POLKA …
64 Radiology study : IMAGE
66 Top-quality meat : ANGUS BEEF
68 Jeans fabric : DENIM
69 Award-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust : MAUS
70 Firmly declare : AVER
71 C-suite types : EXECS
72 Metrical foot : IAMB
73 Stitch’s buddy : LILO

Down

1 Jellystone Park bear : YOGI
2 Of all time : EVER
3 Fallon predecessor : LENO
4 Paisley Park Records founder : PRINCE
5 Mag honchos : EDS
6 University of New Mexico athletes : LOBOS
7 Former SeaWorld headliner : SHAMU
8 Comes by honestly : EARNS
9 Tense sports periods, for short : OTS
10 Character who debuted in Action Comics #1 : SUPERMAN
11 Singer known for numerically titled albums : ADELE
12 __ bear : KOALA
13 Chilean pianist Claudio : ARRAU
18 __-friendly : USER
22 “Big Blue” : IBM
25 Asian fusion chain : NOBU
26 Jamaican tangelo : UGLI
27 Mama of pop : CASS
28 Notion : IDEA
29 Biofuel source : CORN
33 Guessed-at fig. : EST
34 Thunder’s org. : NBA
35 Gala garb : TUX
37 Tide type : NEAP
38 Province bordering Turin : ASTI
39 “Makes sense” : I SEE
41 Cheeky comeback to “How did you do that?” : IT’S MAGIC!
42 Hawaii’s third-largest island : OAHU
43 California’s __ Valley : SIMI
48 Yalie : ELI
50 Range in Europe : ALPS
51 Part of GPS : GLOBAL
52 Dripping with sarcasm : SNIDE
53 Ironman Triathlon watchmaker : TIMEX
54 Silly : INANE
55 Fifth flavor : UMAMI
56 Largest city in Yemen : SANA’A
57 “For dang sure!” : BY GUM!
61 Big name in 68-Across : LEVI
62 With 14-Across, collapse : KEEL …
63 Curly coif : AFRO
65 Ambulance letters : EMS
67 Connection port, and the connections found in 17-, 24-, 40-, 52-, and 66-Across : USB

7 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 7 Feb 24, Wednesday”

  1. I had the same error as Anon Mike ELLE/ARREU. Didnt know either one so a guess was in order with a 25% chance of being right since a Y seemed unlikely.
    The theme was helpful this time, especially when crossing the hodgepodge of the unfamiliar.
    Interesting challenge

  2. 8:19 – no errors, lookups, or false starts. Three days of sub-10 minute times this week.

    New or forgotten: Claudio ARRAU, NOBU.

    Easily seen theme; although, after filling 17A (BAR) and 24A (BUREAU), and prior to reading the 67D clue, it seemed the theme might be related to furniture.

    Two Hawaiian islands today.

  3. Started fast, but got bogged down in the bottom third. 11 minutes, 9 seconds and needed Check Grid help to ferret out 2 typos in names (!!) in the NE that affected 4 fills.

    ARRAU??? Get the f*** OUTTA HERE with that!!!

  4. No errors…Arrau and Ella was a lucky guess where the crossed..I kinda feel that is done on purpose😠
    Stay safe😀

  5. 14:46 – ate me alive for a Wednesday.

    It’s been a while since I had to cheat as many times (at least on a Wednesday) for NINA, UMAMI, SANAA, BYGUM etc and all ganged up together. you “know” when you’re just not going to get it …

    Bless those who got it done clean. Too many naticks (for me).

    Be Well.

    @Allen Dickerson – hope you’re OK, we haven’t heard from you in a while.

  6. Mostly easy Wednesday for me; took 9:24 with no peeks or errors. Didn’t know a few things: ARRAU, NOBU, TIMEX, but crosses helped put those to rest. I figured it had to be ELLA, since it was Spanish. Had to fix UMAgI for some silly reason.

    Thankfully I’ve been able to avoid an earworm after seeing POLKA, but…Oh NO!

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