LA Times Crossword Answers 9 Feb 2018, Friday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Baker’s Dozen

We have a BAKER’S DOZEN of themed answers today, thirteen items sold in a BAKERY:

  • 38A. It’s a bit more than it sounds, and hints at this puzzle’s theme : BAKER’S DOZEN
  • 1A. #1 : MUFFIN
  • 7A. #2 : BRIOCHE
  • 24A. #3 : TORTE
  • 26A. #4 : PIE
  • 37A. #5 : CAKE
  • 41A. #6 : ROLL
  • 52A. #7 : BUN
  • 53A. #8 : DONUT
  • 69A. #9 : BISCUIT
  • 70A. #10 : DANISH
  • 14D. #11 : BAGEL
  • 20D. #12 : CROISSANT
  • 51D. #13 : SCONE

Bill’s time: 7m 50s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7. #2 : BRIOCHE

“Brioche” is a French bread that has been enriched with lots of egg and butter, to the extent that it is also considered a pastry.

14. Crone : BELDAME

A beldam (also “beldame”) is an old woman, especially an ugly one. The term was originally used for a grandmother. In Old English, the prefix “bel-” is used to express a relationship (as in “grandmother”), and “dam” is used in the sense of “mother”.

15. Sarajevo citizen : BOSNIAN

Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The city is famous for many historical events. In 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated there, the single event that sparked off WWI. More happily, Sarajevo was the host of the 1984 Winter Olympic Games. Just over a decade later the city was the center of the longest siege in the history of modern warfare, lasting almost four years from 1992 to 1996.

18. Merry, in Metz : GAI

The city of Metz is in the northeast of France, and close to the German border. Given the proximity to Germany, Metz has both a strong German tradition and a strong French tradition. Metz was handed over to the French following WWI, after nearly 50 years of German rule. It quickly fell back into German hands in 1940 during WWII, with many German officers delighted to have back the city of their birth. Perhaps because of this long association with Germany, the US Army under General Patton encountered stiff resistance when liberating Metz in 1944. The cathedral in Metz is home to the largest expanse of stained glass in the world, almost 70,000 square feet in all.

19. Prog. formally reinstated at Harvard in 2011 : ROTC

The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is a training program for officers based in colleges all around the US. The ROTC program was established in 1862 when as a condition of receiving a land-grant to create colleges, the federal government required that military tactics be part of a new school’s curriculum.

29. Future D.A.’s hurdles : LSATS

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

33. Belg. locale : EUR

Belgium is one of the six founding members of the European Economic Community (EEC) that evolved into today’s European Union (EU). Belgium also acts as host of several international organizations, including NATO. There are two large regions in the country. Flanders in the north is predominantly Dutch-speaking, and Wallonia in the south is predominantly French-speaking. The capital city of Brussels is officially bilingual, although from personal experience I can attest that it is mainly French-speaking even though it is located in the Flemish part of the country.

38. It’s a bit more than it sounds, and hints at this puzzle’s theme : BAKER’S DOZEN

A “baker’s dozen” is thirteen, with the phrase dating back to the sixteenth century. Apparently, the expression comes from the practice of bakers adding one loaf to every twelve, primarily for fear of being fined for supplying fewer loaves than had been purchased.

43. MS-__ : DOS

MS-DOS (short for Microsoft Disk Operating System) was the main operating system used by IBM-compatible PCs in the eighties and for much of the nineties.

45. Goddess usually depicted holding an ankh : ISIS

Isis was the ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility, as well as the protector of the dead and the goddess of children. She was the personification of the pharaoh’s power. The name “Isis” translates as “throne”, and she is usually depicted with a headdress shaped like a throne.

The ankh was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character for “eternal life”. The ankh wasn’t just used in inscriptions but was often fashioned into amulets and as surrounds for mirrors (perhaps symbolizing a view into another world). The ankh is also known as “the key of the Nile” and “crux ansata” (Latin for “cross with a handle”).

46. “M*A*S*H” rank: Abbr. : MAJ

“M*A*S*H” has only three stars (three asterisks, that is!). These asterisks first appeared on the poster for the 1970 movie, but they were omitted in the opening titles. The TV series went on to use the asterisks from the poster.

55. Pique-nique setting : PARC

Our term “picnic” comes from the French word that now has the same meaning, namely “pique-nique”. The original “pique-nique” was a fashionable pot-luck affair, and not necessarily held outdoors.

56. Karate training site : DOJO

The Japanese word “dojo” literally means “place of the way”. Originally the term applied to training halls that were found in or beside temples. The teaching in a dojo was not limited to the martial arts, but in the Western world we use the dojo as the name for a training facility for judo, karate and the like.

61. __ Speedwagon : REO

REO Speedwagon is an American rock band that formed in 1967, and is still going strong. The band’s biggest hits are “Keep On Loving You” (1980) and “Can’t Fight This Feeling” (1985). The founding members chose the name for the REO Speed Wagon flatbed truck. Note that the band’s name is one word “Speedwagon”, whereas the vehicle’s name uses two words “Speed Wagon”.

65. High-tech med. procedure : CAT SCAN

A CT (or “CAT”) scan produces (via computer manipulation) a three-dimensional image of the inside of an object, usually the human body. It does so by taking a series of two dimensional x-ray images while rotating the camera around the patient. The issue with CT scans is that they use x-rays, and high doses of radiation can be harmful, causing damage that is cumulative over time.

70. #10 : DANISH

The Danish pastry that we know so well over here in the US is indeed a Danish specialty, although the recipe was brought to Denmark by Austrian bakers. A “Danish” is called “Viennese bread” in Denmark.

Down

1. Most of the periodic table : METALS

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.

2. __ Thule: distant place in medieval geography : ULTIMA

Medieval maps often featured a landmass in the far north called Thule. Even though Thule was sometimes depicted as an island, today’s historians often equate Thule with Norway. The term “ultima Thule” was used in the Middle Ages to denote any landmass beyond the known world.

3. HHS agency : FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has its roots in the Division of Chemistry (later “Bureau of Chemistry”) that was part of the US Department of Agriculture. President Theodore Roosevelt gave responsibility for examination of food and drugs to the Bureau of Chemistry with the signing of the Pure Food and Drug Act. The Bureau’s name was changed to the Food, Drug and Insecticide Organization in 1927, and to the Food and Drug Administration in 1930.

The Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) was split in 1979, into the Department of Education (ED) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

6. Argonaut known for wise counsel : NESTOR

Nestor was one of the Argonauts, the adventurers who sailed on the Argo with Jason on his search for the Golden Fleece of Greek mythology. In Homer’s “Iliad”, wise old Nestor is noted for giving sage advice. We use the term “nestor” today for any wise old man.

10. Fit-for-service designation : ONE-A

The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System (SSS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).

12. “Some __ meat and canna eat”: start of the Selkirk Grace : HAE

The Selkirk Grace is a prayer of thanks that is noted for its use before a Burns supper, a meal that celebrates the life and poetry of Scotsman Robert Burns. The grace is often attributed to Burns himself, although the text predates the poet.

Some hae meat an canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.

14. #11 : BAGEL

The bagel was invented in the Polish city of Kraków in the 16th century. Bagels were brought to this country by Jewish immigrants from Poland who mainly established homes in and around New York City.

20. #12 : CROISSANT

Although similar pastries have been around since the 13th century, the croissant was introduced in a Viennese bakery in Paris in 1839. The pastry was named for its shape, as “croissant” is French for “crescent”.

30. Czech composer Josef, son-in-law of Dvorák : SUK

Josef Suk was a Czech composer and violinist who studied under Antonín Dvořák. Suk became very close with the Dvořák family, and in 1898 married Antonín’s daughter Otilie.

32. Frozen treat : ICE POP

The term “ice pop” has largely been supplanted in the US by “popsicle”, as the Popsicle brand of ice pop became so popular. We still use “ice pop” in Ireland, and in the UK the same thing is called an “ice lolly”, and in Australia it’s an “ice block”.

34. Like half of Poland’s flag : RED

The flag of Poland comprises just two stripes, the top being white, and the bottom red.

39. Ex-quarterback Tony : ROMO

Tony Romo is a former quarterback who spent his entire NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys. Romo is also an avid amateur golfer and has even tried (albeit unsuccessfully) to qualify for the US Open golf championship.

40. Clearasil target : ZIT

Clearasil acne medication was developed in 1940 by Ivan Combe and Kedzie Teller. Combe promoted the product by sponsoring the television show “American Bandstand” for many years.

42. Brutus Buckeye is its mascot: Abbr. : OSU

Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus was founded back in 1870 as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College. The athletic teams of OSU are called the Buckeyes, named after the state tree of Ohio. In turn the buckeye tree gets its name from the appearance of its fruit, a dark nut with a light patch thought to resemble a “buck’s eye”.

49. __ Aurelius, second-century Roman emperor : MARCUS

Marcus Aurelius was Roman emperor from 161 until his death in 180. His death in 180 is generally regarded as the end of the “Pax Romana”, the long period of relative peace in the Roman Empire that started in 27 BCE. So, the death of Marcus Aurelius also marked the beginning of what came to be known as the Fall of the Roman Empire.

57. Intl. energy group : OPEC

The OPEC cartel (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) was formally established in 1960 and has been headquartered in Vienna since 1965. The US is actually the third largest oil producer in the world (after Russia and Saudi Arabia). One reason America isn’t in OPEC, even though we are a big producer, is that we import a lot more than we export. But we all probably knew that already …

58. Bach’s “__, Joy of Man’s Desiring” : JESU

The Bach cantata “Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben” (Heart and Mouth and Deed and Life) has ten movements. The most famous of these movements is the last one, a chorale titled “Jesus bleibet meine Freude”, usually translated as “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”.

60. Hugh Laurie’s alma mater : ETON

English actor and comedian Hugh Laurie used to be half of a comedy double act with Stephen Fry called simply “Fry and Laurie”. Fry and Laurie met in Cambridge University through their mutual friend, the actress Emma Thompson. Over in North America, Laurie is best known for playing the title role in the medical drama “House”.

63. NW Penn. airport : ERI

Erie International Airport (ERI) is located five miles from the city of Erie, Pennsylvania.

64. Aircraft in the Smithsonian Inst. collection : SST

The National Air and Space Museum owns one of the retired Air France Concorde aircraft. It is on display at the Smithsonian’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles Airport, just outside Washington, D.C.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. #1 : MUFFIN
7. #2 : BRIOCHE
14. Crone : BELDAME
15. Sarajevo citizen : BOSNIAN
16. Gets to : ATTAINS
17. Settled down : QUIETED
18. Merry, in Metz : GAI
19. Prog. formally reinstated at Harvard in 2011 : ROTC
21. Hotel experience : STAY
22. Sturdy trees : ELMS
24. #3 : TORTE
26. #4 : PIE
29. Future D.A.’s hurdles : LSATS
31. Future salmon : ROE
32. Troubles : ILLS
33. Belg. locale : EUR
35. Travel guide listing : INN
37. #5 : CAKE
38. It’s a bit more than it sounds, and hints at this puzzle’s theme : BAKER’S DOZEN
41. #6 : ROLL
43. MS-__ : DOS
44. Party bowlful : DIP
45. Goddess usually depicted holding an ankh : ISIS
46. “M*A*S*H” rank: Abbr. : MAJ
48. Some archaeological sites : TOMBS
52. #7 : BUN
53. #8 : DONUT
55. Pique-nique setting : PARC
56. Karate training site : DOJO
59. Lose steam : TIRE
61. __ Speedwagon : REO
62. Becomes more complex : DEEPENS
65. High-tech med. procedure : CAT SCAN
67. Police actions : ARRESTS
68. Speak well in public : ELOCUTE
69. #9 : BISCUIT
70. #10 : DANISH

Down

1. Most of the periodic table : METALS
2. __ Thule: distant place in medieval geography : ULTIMA
3. HHS agency : FDA
4. Sunny : FAIR
5. “You are!” retort : I’M NOT!
6. Argonaut known for wise counsel : NESTOR
7. Cookout fare, briefly : BBQ
8. Awaken : ROUSE
9. “Ya think?” : IS IT?
10. Fit-for-service designation : ONE-A
11. Urban design : CITY PLAN
12. “Some __ meat and canna eat”: start of the Selkirk Grace : HAE
13. Conclusion : END
14. #11 : BAGEL
20. #12 : CROISSANT
23. Lifts : STEALS
25. Have an inclination : TEND
27. Variety : ILK
28. Language suffix : -ESE
30. Czech composer Josef, son-in-law of Dvorák : SUK
32. Frozen treat : ICE POP
34. Like half of Poland’s flag : RED
36. Silent assent : NOD
38. Horse racing accessories : BLINDERS
39. Ex-quarterback Tony : ROMO
40. Clearasil target : ZIT
41. Cookout morsel : RIB
42. Brutus Buckeye is its mascot: Abbr. : OSU
47. Really pumped : JUICED
49. __ Aurelius, second-century Roman emperor : MARCUS
50. What a sprinter might run out of : BREATH
51. #13 : SCONE
53. “__ know you?” : DON’T I
54. Musical nonsense syllables : TRA-LA
57. Intl. energy group : OPEC
58. Bach’s “__, Joy of Man’s Desiring” : JESU
60. Hugh Laurie’s alma mater : ETON
62. Unit of hot mustard, for most : DAB
63. NW Penn. airport : ERI
64. Aircraft in the Smithsonian Inst. collection : SST
66. Chem., for one : SCI

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30 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 9 Feb 2018, Friday”

  1. No where on the page is the theme “Baker’s Dozen” mentioned. Making it hard (for me) to know what the numbers as clues are for!

  2. LAT; 9:31, no errors, mercifully easy for a Friday. Newsday: 13:58, no errors; a little harder (or, at least, more time-consuming) than usual (and ties in with Jeff’s comment about anagrams from earlier in the week – must be something in the air). WSJ: 13:47, no errors (that I know of), meta solved, answer submitted.

    @Rick … For themed puzzles, Bill creates a title (in this case, “Baker’s Dozen”) and puts it in his blog, but that title isn’t printed in the paper; figuring it out is part of the puzzle. (Speaking as one who frequently misses the theme completely, I am in awe of Bill’s ability to ferret them out!)

    1. And … I just finished today’s Tim Croce puzzle, with no errors. It took me somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour (don’t know for sure, as I was interrupted by two phone calls in the middle of it), and, at the end, I spent at least ten minutes on one of the sneakiest, nastiest tricks any setter has ever played on me. We are told that 8D and 10D each contains the (four-letter) name of a school and that the names differ by only one letter. Problem is, only one of those schools commonly makes it into crossword puzzles and the name of that school fits perfectly in both places. I finally guessed another name that could possibly be the desired answer for one of the clues, put it in, held my breath, checked the answers, and … my guess was correct. So my hat is off to Mr. Croce! (But, if we ever meet in a dark alley … ?)

  3. I agree with everybody about the Bakers Dozen crossword today. Even if I had known it’s theme, it still made no sense. It’s nice to use your brain and think hard about clues. but this was ridiculous. There were no other clues about this bakery item than a #? Who even knows what that means. I usually love the crossword puzzle.

  4. @CS, Barb, Wendy … Same here! What a ridiculous, pointless slog of a puzzle. The NW corner is the only “clue” you need to predict what a tedious, joyless challenge awaits.

  5. While Bill sometimes gets creative, the theme is specified at 38-A and Bill is simply repeating it. As a tip, when you do a puzzle that has a theme revealer, you typically want to concentrate on that area first to find out what is going on. The theme, simply stated, is “Thirteen Baked Goods” and is readily known by 38-A. As this is intended (obviously not fulfilled, reading some above) as a hard/Friday level, the numbers are specified alone and the solver is meant to figure out the identity of these baked goods.

    Personally, I had no issue with the theme. My problems, as usual, lay with the cluing and guessing at a completely unfamiliar word to me (BELDAME). I’m reminded that the NYT grids are far worse in a lot of these respects, but personally I see no overall issue with this theme.

  6. 26:14. Agree you pretty much had to begin by getting 38A BAKERS DOZEN and then the rest of the puzzle fell into place pretty quickly. Of course, I didn’t do that. I wanted to try to get the theme with crosses, but eventually I gave in and worked on the reveal.

    I think the real issue with this puzzle is having no alcohol related answers in a Friday grid. No wonder it made everyone so grumpy.

    BELDAME was new to me too. BRIOCHE I now remember seeing on menus, but I wouldn’t know one if someone gave me one on a plate labeled “BRIOCHE” …had to do some trial and error there to finish the puzzle up in the NE.

    I didn’t understand STAY for “Hotel experience” I tried to put “no hot water”, “room key issue”, “billing error”, and “room not ready yet”, but none of them fit. After that, I was stumped……I guess STAY refers to “STAY here while we take our time fixing the problem..” The cynicism of a jaded traveler coming out of me? 🙂

    Best –

    1. @Jeff … As one checks out of a hotel or motel, one is often asked, “How was your stay?” I think that’s what the clue refers to.

      1. @Dave –
        Yes indeed that’s what the clue was referring to. My response was an attempt at humor pretending there are no other known “experiences” at a hotel. In fact, Starwood (Westin, Sheraton et al group) counts your “STAYs” as you work towards rewards.

        Some other possible “experience”entries: “slow internet”, “slow room service” , “cable out”, “dirty bedspread”, “skimpy towels” and (my personal pet peeve) “Preening schmo of a blowhard holding up the line at reception complaining ‘my 5-year old could give better service than….’ ”

        Boy this is cathartic. 25 years of hotel fatigue and frustration coming out at once. Fortunately I only travel about 1/4 of what I used to in a year.

        Kay and I deserve that drink now!! 🙂

        Best –

        1. @Jeff … Oops! Should have known where you were coming from. My pet peeve has to do with waitresses who come to my table and ask, “ Was everything just super?!” … always brings out the worst in me … ?

          1. @Dave –
            Forgot to add “trying to open the soap packet in the shower when your hands are already wet”. IMPOSSIBLE!!

  7. Oddly enough, had a good time with this puzzle. When I saw Jeffrey’s name, and then the #’s I almost stopped myself. Didn’t get “baker’s dozen” until about 1/2 way though, so that made it easier from there on. Like Dave, I rarely get the theme, I just start hacking away. But now I don’t want any baked goods, but I could use a good cocktail! Thanks Jeff for mentioning drinks on Fri.

  8. I was totally perplexed when I saw all the numbers – plus the periodic table (my favorite subject – ) was not composed of elements …. but metals ?? Anyway, somewhere, somehow, I got the idea that this was composed of cookie / biscuit snacks … then it was relatively easy. Some of the answers were relatively rare and hence difficult. But then, its a Friday… Btw, I was eating a croissant, which I buy once every couple of months, or so. Chicken salad, with pecans, sliced celery, other nuts and split grapes, in mayonnaise, on the croissant, is for dinner tonight.

    Anybody onto the Winter Olympics ? …. anybody ? Apparently, both halves (?) of Korea, plan to compete, as one nation. Could have fooled me.

    Bill’s time on this puzzle is phenomenal ! I figured out ‘dozen’ first, then the beginning was an easy guess. Brioche is the only ‘bread’ that I have never tasted …. I must go out more often ….
    On Dojo’s and such …. there is a Dojo ‘facility’ being built, … abutting my house ! It is in a different city, hence differing building codes, hence a school next to a residential neighborhood is considered acceptable … In fact, they are building a giant koi pond, just behind my house, as a part of the facility …. maybe, after they ‘stock’ it, I can fish surreptitiously, at night …. I wonder if Kois are edible creatures ….

    Have a nice day, and a great weekend, folks.

  9. I had 75% of the LAT’s grid done without any real difficulty but the NW corner vexed me for a long time. I was about to give up and come here when I had the sudden epiphany for 1 Across “muffin” and that gave me FDA going down for 3 and that finished the grid. Whew! On to the WSJ next.

  10. My approach to solving this puzzle was much like Kay’s. I saw the numbers and didn’t know what to make of them, so I embarked on what I think of as a “Swiss Cheese solve”: reading the clues for short entries, filling in things that seem probable, and waiting for enough cells to be filled to allow me to guess at the meaning of the numbers (and of the “theme reveal” clue for 38A). In the case of this particular puzzle, that happened relatively early and I was then able to treat each of the weird clues as “Bakery item”.

    My comment to Rick was made because, when I first began using Bill’s NYT blog, I was often a little miffed by seeing his title for it and wondering why my local paper had not seen fit to publish it, the way I (incorrectly) assumed it had been published in the Times. I finally posted a complaint and Bill set me straight: he posts a title, which he sometimes gets from a puzzle entry and sometimes makes up (like “Bang to Bung”, from earlier in the week).

    I think Sunday puzzles may appear in the paper with a title … can’t remember …

  11. I disagree with most of the comments. Mr. Wechsler is my favorite constructor. I was so happy to see his name. I thoroughly enjoyed his puzzle, as usual. The NW was the last fall. Very clever and engaging puzzle!

  12. I almost skipped today’s when I saw the number clues, but couldn’t resist filling in a few answers here and there. I nearly always skip around anyway (lefties are weird), so BAKERS DOZEN came to me early. That was my “Ah hah” moment. Muffin and NW corner were last to fall.

  13. The question about puzzle titles is addressed in the FAQ section of the blog (see below). I often rue the day I decided to add titles …

    My newspaper doesn’t publish the crossword’s title or theme. Why not?
    Only the Sunday puzzles are given a title. I add a title to the Monday-Saturday puzzles myself. I started this practice a few years ago, and then tried to stop the practice when I realized that it was causing some confusion. I started adding a title again at the request of several blog readers. They sometimes use the title as a hint, should they need one.

    1. @Bill … I like having the info there (particularly when I have spaced out the theme or I am puzzled by it). As I said above, I am in awe of your talent for seeing all the ins and outs of the themes.

      Maybe you could lead off with something like “Today’s Theme (As Bill Sees It):”? Or just add the following line:

      (Note: This “title” is my creation and does not appear in your paper.)

      Surely someone here can come up with a good approach … ?

  14. Fun Friday with some tricky entries; took about an hour with no errors.

    I did like most solvers, plugging away at short fill until I could get the theme, and then revert back to the # fills. A lot of words I haven’t used/seen in awhile – Beldame and Brioche. Also, didn’t know about Ultima Thule, Marcus Aurelius, Joseph Suk or Nestor, so had to get those on crosses. The NW was the last to fall for me as well.

    On to Saturday…

  15. Barkeep! Drinks for everyone, on me!!!???
    I didn’t mind the theme, except that it’s been such a rough week for me with my still-sick new DOG! (She is finally getting better, thankfully.) So, I did have a WHAT THE BLEEP moment when I saw the numbers and the setter’s name. Cheated some to get going… I’M ALLOWED!! ?
    VIDWAN! Yes, I’m following the winter games. I do always enjoy the Olympics, and folks, WE’VE GOT CURLING!!! ? Skiing and skating are fun too. As for the Opening ceremonies, I really only like the entrance of the athletes and their various countries. That’s always fun to watch. RE North Korea: I believe they’re only teaming up with South Korea for one event (ice hockey?) It was pretty weird seeing the two Koreas come into the opening ceremonies together. I don’t get it….?
    Be well~~™?

  16. This puzzle made no sense! The “theme” was not shown in our newspaper so I had no idea what the numbers meant! This puzzle was a FAIL!

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