LA Times Crossword 9 Feb 24, Friday

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Constructed by: Caroline Hand & Katie Hale
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Mixed Doubles

Themed answers are common phrases that come in pairs. A key, similar-sounding, 4-letter word has moved from one element to the other in each pair:

  • 66A Tennis match with teams of men and women, or what 18- and 25-Across and 42- and 55-Across literally have : MIXED DOUBLES
  • 18A Plays a trick on Miami’s basketball team? : FOOLS THE HEAT (from “feels the heat”)
  • 25A Spring occasion when people get really emotional? : APRIL FEELS DAY (from “April Fools’ Day”)
  • 42A Orange rinds of epic proportions? : OLYMPIC-SIZE PEELS (from “Olympic-size pools
  • 55A Wagers about how many ingredients are in a bottle of shampoo? : CHEMICAL POOLS (from “chemical peels”)

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

Bill’s time: 8m 24s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Baldelli who was AL Manager of the Year in 2019 : ROCCO

Rocco Baldelli is a former MLB outfielder who retired in 2011, largely due to medical challenges that he was facing. While no longer a player, he stayed in the game, taking coaching positions with the Tampa Bay Rays. In 2018, Baldellia took over as manager of the Minnesota Twins. At 37 years old, he was the youngest manager in Major League Baseball.

13 Nook purchases : E-BOOKS

The Barnes & Noble electronic-book reader is called the Nook. The reader’s name is intended to evoke the usage of “nook” as a familiar place to sit and read quietly.

17 Spa brand : OPI

Opi (originally “Odontorium Products Inc.”) is a manufacturer of nail polish based in North Hollywood, California. One of Opi’s marketing coups was the introduction of a line of Legally Blonde 2 polishes, which featured in the film.

18 Plays a trick on Miami’s basketball team? : FOOLS THE HEAT (from “feels the heat”)

The Miami Heat basketball team debuted in the NBA in the 1988-89 season. The franchise name was chosen in a competitive survey, with “Miami Heat” beating out “Miami Vice”.

20 Molecular messenger : RNA

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA. An added complication is that small changes in the sequence of amino acids specified by DNA sometimes takes place in a process known as RNA editing. This RNA editing occurs after the nucleotide sequence has been transcribed from DNA, but before it is translated into protein.

22 Breakdown helpers : AAA

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit organization focused on lobbying, provision of automobile servicing, and selling of automobile insurance. The AAA was founded in 1902 in Chicago and published the first of its celebrated hotel guides back in 1917.

25 Spring occasion when people get really emotional? : APRIL FEELS DAY (from “April Fools’ Day”)

April Fools’ Day is celebrated on April 1st in the Western world. In the US (and Ireland) one can make practical jokes all day long if one wants, but in the UK there is a noon deadline. Anyone pranking after midday is called an “April Fool”.

30 Cuban dance : MAMBO

The form of music and dance known as “mambo” developed in Cuba. “Mambo” means “conversation with the gods” in Kikongo, a language spoken by slaves taken to Cuba from Central Africa.

34 Rita on Avicii’s “Lonely Together” : ORA

“Avicii” was the stage name of Swedish DJ and music producer Tim Bergling. Sadly, Avicii died in 2019 while on vacation in Muscat, Oman. He had been suffering from poor mental health for several years, and eventually committed suicide.

35 UFC fighting style : MMA

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport in which competitors use a variety of techniques from a variety of traditional combat sports and martial arts.

38 Prefix with gender : CIS-

The term “cisgender” is used as the opposite of “transgender”. Cisgender people have a gender identity that matches the sex they were assigned at birth.

39 Some UPenn degs. : MBAS

The University of Pennsylvania (also “Penn” and “UPenn”) was founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia. Penn was the first school in the country to offer both graduate and undergraduate courses. Penn’s sports teams are known as the Quakers, and sometimes the Red & Blue.

42 Orange rinds of epic proportions? : OLYMPIC-SIZE PEELS (from “Olympic-size pools”

An Olympic-size swimming pool is 50 meters in length, and 25 meters in width.

49 Writer Joe Hill, to Stephen King : SON

Author Joe Hill has won several awards for his works. “Joe Hill” is a pen name. He is a son of author Stephen King, and was named Joseph Hillström King.

53 The Chi-__: R&B quartet : LITES

The Chi-Lites are a vocal quartet known for singing smooth soul songs. The foursome got together in the early seventies in Chicago (hence the name “Chi-Lites”). The group’s only number-one single was 1972’s “Oh Girl”.

55 Wagers about how many ingredients are in a bottle of shampoo? : CHEMICAL POOLS (from “chemical peels”)

Back in the 1760s, the verb “to shampoo” was an Anglo-Indian word meaning “to massage”. A century later we started “to shampoo” our hair.

A chemical peel is a technique used to improve the look and feel of the skin. It involves using a chemical to deliberately injure the outermost layer of the skin. The damaged skin dies and peels off, revealing regenerated skin below.

59 Titan, once : OILER

The Houston Oilers were an AFL charter team founded in 1960. The team moved to Tennessee in 1997, and became the Tennessee Titans in 1999.

61 __ Rios, Jamaica : OCHO

If you ever take a cruise ship to Jamaica, you will likely disembark in Ocho Rios, a major port of call for the cruise lines. “Ocho rios” is Spanish for “eight rivers”.

71 Wall St. regulator : SEC

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was established by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and has primary responsibility for enforcing federal securities law. The first chairman of the SEC was Joe Kennedy, father of future president John F. Kennedy.

75 African antelopes : GNUS

The gnu is also known as the wildebeest, and is an antelope native to Africa. “Wildebeest” is a Dutch word meaning “wild beast”.

Down

2 Cor anglais kin : OBOE

The English horn is also known by its French name “cor anglais”. It is a double-reed, woodwind instrument.

4 Work together briefly? : COLLAB

Collaboration is cooperation and working jointly with others. The verb “to collaborate” comes from the Latin “collaborare”, which has the same meaning, that comes from the Latin “com” (with) and “laborare” (to work).

6 Gets home, in a way : STEALS

That could be baseball.

9 Telluride maker : KIA

The Kia Telluride is a mid-size SUV that was launched in 2019. It is named for the Colorado town of Telluride, and is the largest vehicle that Kia ever made for the US market.

11 CPAP target : APNEA

Many people suffering from sleep apnea use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine while sleeping. The patient wears a mask that supplies air to the upper respiratory tract at a pressure greater than atmospheric pressure. This positive pressure can prevent the collapse of the upper airway, which is the cause of obstructive sleep apnea.

28 “Hamilton” role for Phillipa Soo : ELIZA

Phillipa Soo is an actress and singer who is perhaps best known for portraying Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, the title character’s wife in the original Broadway production of “Hamilton”.

Elizabeth “Eliza” Schuyler Hamilton was the wife of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Eliza was with her husband when he passed away the day after his famous duel with Vice President Aaron Burr.

30 Eclipse participant : MOON

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes into the shadow cast by the Earth from the light of the Sun, in other words when the Earth is positioned directly between the Sun and the Moon. The more spectacular solar eclipse takes place when the Moon passes in front of the Sun, so that the Earth falls into the shadow cast by the Moon.

31 “Hope” singer Parks : ARLO

“Arlo Parks” is the stage name of British singer and poet Anaïs Marinho. Parks seems to have hit the big time early in her career, with her first studio album “Collapsed in Sunbeams” (2021) garnering a lot of positive attention.

37 Amtrak choice : ACELA

The Acela Express is the fastest train routinely running in the US, as it gets up to 150 mph at times. The service runs between Boston and Washington D.C. via Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. Introduced in 2000, the brand name “Acela” was created to evoke “acceleration” and “excellence”.

43 Greek muse of memory : MNEME

In Greek mythology, Mneme was one of the nine Olympian Muses, the muse of memory.

44 “Where the Sidewalk Ends” poet Silverstein : SHEL

“Where the Sidewalk Ends” is a collection of children’s poetry written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein. The book is named for the 1974 poem of the same name that is included in the collection.

45 Straw __ : POLL

A straw poll is an unofficial vote used to gauge popular opinion. The term “straw poll” may allude to holding up a thin stalk of a plant to determine wind direction, to see where the wind blows.

52 Some kings and queens : SPADES

Spades is one of the four suits in a standard deck of cards. The spade symbol represents the pike, a medieval weapon.

54 Weather map line : ISOBAR

An isobar is a line on a weather map connecting points of equal barometric pressure.

55 Grove : COPSE

A copse is a small stand of trees. The term “copse” originally applied to a small thicket that was specifically grown for cutting.

58 Chiwere speakers : OTOE

Chiwere is a Siouan language spoken by the Otoe people, as well as by the Missouria and Iowa.

62 Advertiser’s honor : CLIO

The Clio Awards are the Oscars of the advertising world and are named after Clio, the Greek Muse of History. Clio was also the recorder of great deeds, the proclaimer and celebrator of great accomplishments and a source of inspiration and genius. The Clio Awards were first presented in 1959.

63 Big wheel at sea : HELM

In its broadest sense, the term “helm” describes the whole of a ship’s steering mechanism, including the rudder and tiller. In a more specific sense, the helm is the handle, tiller or wheel that is used to control the steering gear.

64 __ buco : OSSO

Osso buco is a traditional Italian dish that is typically made with veal shanks that are braised with vegetables and herbs. The name “osso buco” means “bone with a hole” in Italian, which refers to the marrow-filled bone in the center of the veal shank. The marrow is considered a delicacy and is often scooped out and served with the dish.

67 Dutch bank : ING

ING is a huge Dutch banking institution created via a merger in 1991. The company headquarters is in a spectacular building in Amsterdam called simply ING House. ING stands for Internationale Nederlanden Groep.

70 Plate official : UMP

That would be baseball.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Baldelli who was AL Manager of the Year in 2019 : ROCCO
6 Leave the dishes for tomorrow, say : SOAK
10 Fistful of dollars : WAD
13 Nook purchases : E-BOOKS
15 Subject : TOPIC
17 Spa brand : OPI
18 Plays a trick on Miami’s basketball team? : FOOLS THE HEAT (from “feels the heat”)
20 Molecular messenger : RNA
21 Dump, as stock : SELL
22 Breakdown helpers : AAA
23 Monarch : RULER
25 Spring occasion when people get really emotional? : APRIL FEELS DAY (from “April Fools’ Day”)
30 Cuban dance : MAMBO
33 Comforts : SOLACES
34 Rita on Avicii’s “Lonely Together” : ORA
35 UFC fighting style : MMA
38 Prefix with gender : CIS-
39 Some UPenn degs. : MBAS
42 Orange rinds of epic proportions? : OLYMPIC-SIZE PEELS (from “Olympic-size pools”
46 Hands together time : NOON
47 Not awesome : MEH
48 Big fuss : ADO
49 Writer Joe Hill, to Stephen King : SON
50 Amends last year’s tax return, say : REFILES
53 The Chi-__: R&B quartet : LITES
55 Wagers about how many ingredients are in a bottle of shampoo? : CHEMICAL POOLS (from “chemical peels”)
59 Titan, once : OILER
60 Prefix in some genre names : ALT-
61 __ Rios, Jamaica : OCHO
65 School opening? : PRE-
66 Tennis match with teams of men and women, or what 18- and 25-Across and 42- and 55-Across literally have : MIXED DOUBLES
71 Wall St. regulator : SEC
72 Cutting : SNIDE
73 Writes to : EMAILS
74 D.C. hrs. : EST
75 African antelopes : GNUS
76 Teaser : PROMO

Down

1 Bowl game officials : REFS
2 Cor anglais kin : OBOE
3 Awesome : COOL
4 Work together briefly? : COLLAB
5 Allows : OKS
6 Gets home, in a way : STEALS
7 __ and aah : OOH
8 Imitate : APE
9 Telluride maker : KIA
10 Advertising exaggeration, perhaps : WORLD’S BEST
11 CPAP target : APNEA
12 Log with a lock : DIARY
14 Guest __ : STAR
16 Copy shortcut : CTRL-C
19 Japanese “yes” : HAI
24 “I can help!” : USE ME!
26 Pageantry : POMP
27 Areas of interest : FOCI
28 “Hamilton” role for Phillipa Soo : ELIZA
29 Made less harsh : EASED
30 Eclipse participant : MOON
31 “Hope” singer Parks : ARLO
32 City executive-to-be : MAYOR-ELECT
36 Imitate : MIMIC
37 Amtrak choice : ACELA
40 Healing plant : ALOE
41 Bank acct. application digits : SSNS
43 Greek muse of memory : MNEME
44 “Where the Sidewalk Ends” poet Silverstein : SHEL
45 Straw __ : POLL
51 Gels : FIRMS
52 Some kings and queens : SPADES
54 Weather map line : ISOBAR
55 Grove : COPSE
56 Brings on : HIRES
57 Far from current : OLD
58 Chiwere speakers : OTOE
62 Advertiser’s honor : CLIO
63 Big wheel at sea : HELM
64 __ buco : OSSO
67 Dutch bank : ING
68 Mark, as a box : X IN
69 Part of a prof’s address : EDU
70 Plate official : UMP

12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 9 Feb 24, Friday”

  1. 27:36 – with more than a few check grids/letter gets.

    All and all, happy with my effort – thought this was a bit tough, even for a Friday. But I really enjoyed the numerous mis-directs.

    Could’ve done without the ARLO/ORA natick (to me) …

    Didn’t get the theme (except for the double vowels), as usual.

    Be Well.

  2. 14 minutes, 4 seconds and needed considerable Check Grid help to “correct” the myriad of name fills in this. Seemed cynical and “tricksy” on top of that…

  3. 13:38 – no errors or lookups. False starts: AAS>AAA, ___BA>MAMBO.

    New or forgotten: ROCCO Baldelli, “Avicii’s ‘Lonely Together,” “Joe Hill,” ARLO Parks, MNEME.

    Got the top pair of the theme, first, and that helped to be sure of the bottom pair.

    Seemed to be a worthy Friday effort without being particularly “difficult.”

  4. Hard Friday with too many obscurities for my simple mind. Had a good idea on the theme but there were so many things I had no clue on. Cheating vs frustration??? I chose the former!

    1. @lou lu
      Very hard overall. A lot of that is weird esoteric words in the grid and some weird cluing. It definitely wouldn’t show up anywhere in a newspaper. That said, got maybe 95% of it, the rest constituting complete Naticks on all the words. I’ve seen puzzles like this in numerous places, but at the same time you can figure out the low effort that was put into constructing the puzzle pretty quickly.

      That said, for those that complain about puzzles like the LA Times here, like I keep saying when this comes up, be careful what you wish for. You could get one like that instead.

    2. Your post made me curious, so I did the puzzle last night just before turning out the lights and going to sleep. I’d say it turned out to be easier than it looked. At the end, I had filled in everything correctly except the “I” and the “M” of “RIMA” (in 3-Down), at which point I looked up “SOMO” (at 17-Across) to get the “M”, and then kicked myself for not getting the “I” from the clue for “AEIO” (at 14-Across). D’oh! (I also kind of kicked myself for not guessing “RIMA” from “R__A”, but I wasn’t all that sure of the “R”, which I guessed by concluding that “BARB” – from “Barbary Coast”? – was the only word that made sense in 1-Across.)

      The theme entries were helpful: after I got the second one (starting with “CATS …”) and the third one (starting with “SPIDER”), I got the first one (starting with “SNAKE …”) and that allowed me to finish most of the top third, which had, up to that point, been mostly empty.

      I agree with Glenn that some of the cluing was a bit odd and I had to do a fair amount of creative guessing to make progress, but I enjoyed the puzzle and I would not be all that surprised to see it in a newspaper.

  5. Mostly okay, except for center, W and SW, which I totally goofed; took 31:49 with 6 errors and 3, I think, check-grids. After I found 2 errors:APRIL FooLS DAY with my first check-grid, with several empty spots in the W and SW, I still struggled with the W and then SW. Finally got OLYMPIC, MOON and ARLO, having already had ORA. CHEMICAL took a while, since I managed to misunderstand the theme until I reread the clue and looked at the emerging theme again… Finally it clicked and I got the rest in a flourish.

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