LA Times Crossword Answers 21 Feb 2018, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Amy Johnson
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Like a Cowboy

Themed answers are common idiomatic phrases that have been clued with reference to cowboys:

  • 17A. Like a cowboy in denial? : WEARING BLINDERS
  • 26A. Like an eager cowboy? : CHAFING AT THE BIT
  • 44A. Like a cowboy out of retirement? : BACK IN THE SADDLE
  • 59A. Like a cowboy in charge? : HOLDING THE REINS

Bill’s time: 6m 12s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Your business is her business : YENTA

Yenta (also “Yente”) is actually a female Yiddish name. In Yiddish theater “yenta” came to mean a busybody, a gossip.

10. Jeans line : SEAM

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

14. Spreadsheet program : EXCEL

Microsoft Excel is the spreadsheet program included in the Microsoft Office suite of applications. Microsoft’s first spreadsheet program was introduced back in 1982 and called Multiplan. Multiplan’s popularity waned due to the success of the competing product Lotus 1-2-3. Microsoft then introduced Excel, initially just for the Macintosh. When Excel was extended to Windows, Lotus was slow to respond and Microsoft took over the market.

16. “The Time Machine” race : ELOI

In the 1895 novel by H. G. Wells called “The Time Machine”, there are two races that the hero encounter in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet’s surface. The Morlocks are a race of cannibals living underground who use the Eloi as food.

17. Like a cowboy in denial? : WEARING BLINDERS

The piece of horse tack known as “blinkers” are also called “blinders”. Blinkers prevent a horse viewing what’s to the rear and to the side.

22. Quartet in “Whose woods these are I think I know” : IAMBS

When I was a school-kid back in Ireland, Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” was our first introduction to American poetry, and what a lovely introduction it was:

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

23. Fodder for Forbes, initially : IPO

An initial public offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).
“Forbes” is a business magazine that has been published since 1917, when it was founded by B. C. Forbes and Walter Drey. The full name of the original publication was “Forbes: Devoted to Doers and Doings”. “Forbes” is noted for publishing lists of the biggest and richest in the world of business. In 2014, “Forbes” listed the 2000 largest public companies in the world and showed for the first time that the three biggest companies are based in China.

26. Like an eager cowboy? : CHAFING AT THE BIT

The type of horse tack known as a bit is placed in a horse’s mouth and is used to aid communication of instruction from rider to mount. The bit is held in place by means of a bridle around the head, and is controlled by the rider using the attached reins.

35. Riveting icon : ROSIE

Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon that represented women working in factories across the country during WWII as part of the war effort. The term “Rosie the Riveter” first appeared as the title of a 1942 song that was a national hit. The image that we bring to mind today that supposedly depicts “Rosie” is a wartime poster with the words “We Can Do It!”, which shows a woman in blue overalls and a red and white polka-dot headscarf. However, this image was used by Westinghouse as an internal motivation tool only for a two-week period in 1943, and was never associated with the Rosie the Riveter persona. The “Rosie” association to that image came decades later, in the 1980s. The best-known WWII representation of Rosie the Riveter was a “Saturday Evening Post” cover drawn by Norman Rockwell in 1943. This image shows a female worker with a rivet gun, and a lunch box bearing the name “Rosie”.

38. Potentially offensive, for short : UN-PC

To be un-PC is to be politically incorrect, not be politically correct (PC).

41. Early 16th-century date : MDI

The year 1501 is written as MDI in Roman numerals.

43. “Impression, Sunrise” painter : MONET

French artist Claude Monet was one of the founders of the Impressionist movement, and indeed the term “Impressionism” comes from the title of his 1872 painting “Impression, Sunrise”. That work depicts the port of Le Havre, which was Monet’s hometown. Later in his life, Monet purchased a house in Giverny, and famously installed lily ponds and a Japanese bridge in the property’s extensive gardens. He spent two decades painting the water lily ponds, producing his most famous works.

49. Limoges product : CHINA

Limoges is a city in west-central France that is the capital of the Limousin region. Limoges is famous for its production of vitreous enamel, hard-paste porcelain and oak barrels used in making Cognac and Bordeaux wines.

55. Builder’s map : PLAT

A plat is a map showing actual and planned features, so a town might have a plat showing existing and intended buildings.

62. Area behind an altar : APSE

The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

63. Wonder Woman’s friend __ Candy : ETTA

Etta Candy was introduced into Wonder Woman’s universe by DC Comics in 1942. She started out as a undernourished young woman who Wonder Woman encountered in a local hospital. The next time Etta appeared in the comics, she was a rather rotund woman who claims to have been rejuvenated by eating candy. That was 1942 …

64. Temporary tattoo dye : HENNA

Henna has been used for centuries as a dye, not just for leather and wool, but also for the hair and skin. In modern days, henna is also used for temporary tattoos.

Down

1. Trees that sound like sheep : YEWS

“Yews” sounds like “ewes”.
The family of trees known as yews propagate by producing a seed surrounded by soft, sweet and brightly colored aril. Birds eat the fruit and then disperse the seed in their droppings. The birds leave the seed undamaged, and so are unharmed by the potent poisons taxine and taxol that are found within the seed. The seeds are highly toxic to humans.

3. Final Four letters : NCAA

In the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship, the teams remaining at various stages of the tournament are known as:

  • The “Sweet Sixteen” (the regional semi-finalists)
  • The “Elite Eight” (the regional finalists)
  • The “Final Four” (the national semi-finalists)

5. “Hidden Figures” actor Mahershala __ : ALI

Mahershala Ali is an actor and sometime rapper. Among the more memorable roles Ali has had are lobbyist Remy Danton in TV’s “House of Cards”, and Colonel Boggs in “The Hunger Games” series of movies.

7. They may be fine points : NIBS

“Nib” is a Scottish variant of the Old English word “neb”, with both meaning the beak of a bird. This usage of “nib” as a beak dates back to the 14th century, with “nib” meaning the tip of a pen or quill coming a little later, in the early 1600s.

9. Tire gauge no. : PSI

Pounds per square inch (PSI) is a measure of pressure.

11. Periodic table listing: Abbr. : ELEM

Dmitri Mendeleev was a Russian chemist. When Mendeleev classified elements according to their chemical properties, he noticed patterns and was able to group elements into his famous 1869 Periodic Table. So powerful was his table that he actually predicted the properties of some elements that had not even been discovered in 1869. Element number 101 is mendelevium and was named after Mendeleev.

18. Vegas illuminator : NEON

The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

25. Many “Suits” characters: Abbr. : ATTS

“Suits” is an entertaining, albeit formulaic, legal drama that is set in New York City. One of the main characters in the show Mike Ross, a brilliant law school dropout who poses as a law associate. Mike Ross’ love interest is paralegal Rachel Zane. Zane is played by actress Meghan Markle, who became engaged to the UK’s Prince Harry at the end of 2017.

26. Busser’s target : CRUMB

A busboy is a person who assists a waiter, mainly by clearing tables. The verb “to bus” arose in the early 1900s and is probably a reference to the wheeled cart that was used to carry dishes.

27. Maker of Clarity alternative fuel cars : HONDA

The Clarity was introduced by Honda in 2008 as hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle. The “Clarity” nameplate was expanded to include battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2017.

28. Jelly made from meat stock : ASPIC

Aspic is a dish in which the main ingredients are served in a gelatin made from meat stock. “Aspic” is a French word meaning “jelly”.

29. “Capisce?” : GET IT?

“Capeesh?” is a slang term meaning “do you understand?” It comes from the Italian “capisce” meaning “understand”.

30. Anabaptist descendants : AMISH

The Amish are a group of Christian churches, a subgroup of the Mennonite churches. The Amish church originated in Switzerland and Alsace in 1693 when it was founded by Jakob Ammann. It was Ammann who gave the name to the Amish people. Many Amish people came to Pennsylvania in the 18th century.
The Anabaptist movement is an offshoot of Christian Protestantism that dates back to the 16th century. The name “Anabaptist” can be translated as “one who baptizes again”, and it reflects the core belief that followers are baptized after they have declared their faith, even if they have been baptized as infants.

31. Velvet-voiced Mel : TORME

Mel Tormé was a jazz singer, with a quality of voice that earned him the nickname “The Velvet Fog”. Tormé also wrote a few books, and did a lot of acting. He was the co-author of the Christmas classic known as “The Christmas Song”, which starts out with the line “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire …”

33. Recon goal : INTEL

A “recon” (reconnaissance) might provide “intel” (intelligence).

39. FedEx, say : SEND

FedEx began operations in 1973 as Federal Express, but now operates very successfully under it’s more catchy, abbreviated name. Headquartered in Memphis with its “SuperHub” at Memphis International Airport, FedEx is the world’s largest airline in terms of tons of freight flown. And due to the presence of FedEx, Memphis Airport has the largest-volume cargo operation of any airport worldwide.

42. Egyptian peninsula : SINAI

The Sinai Peninsula is in the eastern part of Egypt, and is a triangular peninsula bounded by the Mediterranean to the north and the Red Sea to the south. It is the only part of Egypt that lies in Asia as opposed to Africa. The eastern land border of the peninsula is shared with Israel, and Israel occupied the Sinai during the 1956 Suez Crisis and the Six Day War of 1967.

43. Satiric magazine since 1952 : MAD

“Mad” magazine has been around since 1952, although back then it was more of a comic book than a magazine. The original founder and editor was Harvey Kurtzman and in order to convince him to stay, the publisher changed the format to a magazine in 1955. That’s when the publication really took off in terms of popularity.

46. Fill and then some : SATE

“Sate” is a variant of the older word “satiate”. Both terms can mean either to satisfy an appetite fully, or to eat to excess.

51. Ingrid’s “Casablanca” role : ILSA

The wonderful actress Ingrid Bergman was born in Stockholm and named for Princess Ingrid of Sweden. The three Bergman performances that stand out for me are in 1942’s “Casablanca” opposite Humphrey Bogart, in 1944’s “Gaslight” opposite Charles Boyer and in 1946’s “Notorious” opposite Cary Grant. What a stunningly beautiful woman she was …

52. “Tiny House Hunters” cable channel : HGTV

“House Hunters” is an HGTV show that follows individuals who are searching for a new home with the help of a real estate agent. Supposedly, three houses are presented to the potential buyer, and the buyer chooses one of the three. However, reality is that the buyer is already in escrow with the favored house before filming starts. The other two houses presented are those that were considered and already rejected. There are several spinoffs to the show, including “Tiny House Hunters” in which participants are looking to downsize to a house smaller than 600 square feet.

53. Bart and Lisa’s bus driver : OTTO

Otto Mann drives the school bus on the TV show “The Simpsons”. Otto is a Germanic character voiced by Harry Shearer, and his name is a play on “Ottoman Empire”. Whenever Bart sees him, he greets Otto with the words “Otto, man!”

54. Professor Higgins’ creator : SHAW

George Bernard Shaw’s play “Pygmalion” was adapted by Lerner and Loewe to become the Broadway musical “My Fair Lady”. The musical spun off the wonderful 1964 film of the same name starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. To cockney Eliza Doolittle, Professor Henry Higgins was “‘Enry ‘Iggins”.

56. Swedish soprano Jenny : LIND

Jenny Lind was a Swedish opera singer who was as popular off the stage as she was on. She had many suitors, including the great composers Mendelssohn and Chopin, as well as the author Hans Christian Andersen. Andersen wrote three fairy tales that were inspired by Lind, including one called “The Nightingale”, which ultimately led to Lind becoming known as “The Swedish Nightingale”.

57. Hathaway of “The Intern” (2015) : ANNE

Actress Anne Hathaway is a favorite of mine, I must say. She starred in “The Devil Wears Prada” in 2006 and in 2007’s “Becoming Jane”, a film I particularly enjoyed.
“The Intern” is an entertaining comedy released in 2015 starring Robert De Niro in the title role, a 70-year-old retired executive who joins a senior citizen intern program. De Niro’s young boss is played by Anne Hathaway. The initial plan had been to cast Michael Caine and Tina Fey as leads, but things worked out just fine with the “replacements”, I’d say …

58. Winter Palace resident : TSAR

The Winter Palace is a magnificent building in St. Petersburg in Russia, home to the Russian tsars (and tsarinas). The Winter Palace houses the famous Hermitage Museum. I was lucky enough to visit the Palace and museum some years ago, and I have to say that I have rarely been more impressed by a historical building.

60. Org. for teachers : NEA

The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor union in the country, and mainly represents public school teachers.

61. 17th Greek letter : RHO

Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter “p”, although it is equivalent to the Roman letter R.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Your business is her business : YENTA
6. Tiny cut : SNIP
10. Jeans line : SEAM
14. Spreadsheet program : EXCEL
15. Comes to the rescue of : AIDS
16. “The Time Machine” race : ELOI
17. Like a cowboy in denial? : WEARING BLINDERS
20. Emotional wound : SCAR
21. “At __, soldier!” : EASE
22. Quartet in “Whose woods these are I think I know” : IAMBS
23. Fodder for Forbes, initially : IPO
25. Play a part : ACT
26. Like an eager cowboy? : CHAFING AT THE BIT
35. Riveting icon : ROSIE
36. Overplay a part : EMOTE
37. Mission lead-in : ON A …
38. Potentially offensive, for short : UN-PC
39. Tends to the sauce : STIRS
40. Nerve : GUTS
41. Early 16th-century date : MDI
42. Earthquake : SEISM
43. “Impression, Sunrise” painter : MONET
44. Like a cowboy out of retirement? : BACK IN THE SADDLE
47. Ky. neighbor : IND
48. Show stoppers : ADS
49. Limoges product : CHINA
52. Entertainment show VIP : HOST
55. Builder’s map : PLAT
59. Like a cowboy in charge? : HOLDING THE REINS
62. Area behind an altar : APSE
63. Wonder Woman’s friend __ Candy : ETTA
64. Temporary tattoo dye : HENNA
65. Get weepy, with “up” : TEAR
66. State openly : AVOW
67. More curious : ODDER

Down

1. Trees that sound like sheep : YEWS
2. Corporate VIP : EXEC
3. Final Four letters : NCAA
4. Marvelous : TERRIFIC
5. “Hidden Figures” actor Mahershala __ : ALI
6. Epic tale : SAGA
7. They may be fine points : NIBS
8. Sit in traffic : IDLE
9. Tire gauge no. : PSI
10. Tranquil : SEDATE
11. Periodic table listing: Abbr. : ELEM
12. Limited choice : A OR B
13. Fail to see : MISS
18. Vegas illuminator : NEON
19. Nook or cranny : NICHE
24. Peach dessert : PIE
25. Many “Suits” characters: Abbr. : ATTS
26. Busser’s target : CRUMB
27. Maker of Clarity alternative fuel cars : HONDA
28. Jelly made from meat stock : ASPIC
29. “Capisce?” : GET IT?
30. Anabaptist descendants : AMISH
31. Velvet-voiced Mel : TORME
32. Like most books : BOUND
33. Recon goal : INTEL
34. Palate : TASTE
39. FedEx, say : SEND
40. “Safe travels!” : GODSPEED!
42. Egyptian peninsula : SINAI
43. Satiric magazine since 1952 : MAD
45. Less harsh : KINDER
46. Fill and then some : SATE
49. Converse : CHAT
50. Partner of pray : HOPE
51. Ingrid’s “Casablanca” role : ILSA
52. “Tiny House Hunters” cable channel : HGTV
53. Bart and Lisa’s bus driver : OTTO
54. Professor Higgins’ creator : SHAW
56. Swedish soprano Jenny : LIND
57. Hathaway of “The Intern” (2015) : ANNE
58. Winter Palace resident : TSAR
60. Org. for teachers : NEA
61. 17th Greek letter : RHO

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