LA Times Crossword 12 Jan 19, Saturday

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Constructed by: Craig Stowe
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 10m 21s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15. Ritz offering : HOTEL ROOM

César Ritz was a Swiss hotelier, who had a reputation for developing the most luxurious of accommodations and attracting the wealthiest clientèle. He opened the Hotel Ritz in Paris in 1898 and the second of his most famous hotels, the Ritz Hotel in London, in 1906. Ritz was lucky in his career, as before starting his own hotel chain he had been dismissed from the Savoy Hotel in London, implicated in the disappearance of a substantial amount of wine and spirits. Today’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company was founded in 1983, although the chain has its roots in the properties developed by César Ritz.

19. Word reportedly coined in Seuss’ “If I Ran the Zoo” : NERD

“If I Ran the Zoo” is a book written by Dr. Seuss and published in 1950. Apparently this book is famous for using the word “nerd”, which was the first time it had been seen in print.

26. Qtr. components : MOS

There are three months (mos.) in a quarter (qtr.).

27. 1991 political thriller with eight Oscar nominations : JFK

“JFK” is a 1991 Oliver Stone movie, and a controversial one I’d say. I suppose any work that deals with the tragic death of President Kennedy is bound to create a stir these days.

29. Latin 101 word : AMAT

“Amo, amas, amat” translates from Latin as “I love, you love, he/she/it loves”.

36. One may include three kings : FULL HOUSE

That would be poker.

37. Official records : ACTA

Actum (plural “acta”) is the Latin word for “deed”. “Acta” is used in English to describe many official records, including minutes, proceedings etc.

38. Chinese zodiac critter : RAT

The Chinese Zodiac is a scheme that relates each year to the attributes of a particular animal, in a 12-year cycle. So, the Chinese Zodiac has one sign for each of twelve years, whereas the Western Zodiac has one sign for each of the twelve months.

40. Cartoonist Browne : DIK

New York cartoonist Dik Browne was best known for the comic strips “Hagar the Horrible” and “Hi and Lois”.

41. Flies : AVIATES

Our word “aviation” is a relatively new term. It was coined in 1863 by French aviation pioneer Guillaume Joseph Gabriel de La Landelle in a book titled “Aviation ou Navigation Aérienne” (Aviation or Air Navigation). He used the Latin “avis”, meaning “bird”, as the stem for his new word “aviation”.

44. Party store stock : PINATAS

Piñatas originated in Mexico, probably among the Aztecs or Mayans. Today piñatas are usually made from cardboard that is brightly decorated with papier-mâché. Traditionally a piñata was made out of a clay pot, adorned with feathers and ribbons and filled with small treasures. During religious ceremonies the clay pots would be suspended and broken open so that the contents would spill out onto the ground at the feet of a god as an offering.

48. British bishop’s topper : MITRE

A miter is a traditional headdress worn by bishops in some Christian traditions. The name “miter” comes from a Greek word for “headband, turban”.

52. Conservatory exercise : ETUDE

An étude is a short instrumental composition that is usually quite hard to play and is intended to help the performer master a particular technique. “Étude” is the French word for “study”. Études are commonly performed on the piano.

53. Strength, in a “1984” slogan : IGNORANCE

In George Orwell’s 1949 novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four, the Party famously touts three slogans:

  • “War is peace”
  • “Freedom is slavery”
  • “Ignorance is strength”

55. Gas that glows when condensed : RADON

The element radon (Rn) is a radioactive gas, and a byproduct produced when uranium decays naturally in the earth. Radon gas can collect and accumulate in buildings and rooms that are particularly well insulated with very little air exchange. The danger is very real, as radon is listed as the second most frequent cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoke.

56. Connected on LinkedIn, say : NETWORKED

LinkedIn is a website used by professionals wishing to network with other professionals. From what I’ve heard, LinkedIn is mainly used by folks looking for a job, and other folks looking for suitable candidates to hire.

57. Clairvoyants : SEERS

We’ve been using the term “clairvoyant” to describe a psychic since the nineteenth century. Prior to that, a clairvoyant was a clear-sighted person. The term comes from French, with “clair” meaning “clear” and “voyant” meaning “seeing”.

Down

1. Player of singles : PHONO

Famously, Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, which was a device that recorded sound onto wax phonograph cylinders. The flat disc phonograph record was developed by Emile Berliner, a German-born American inventor. Berliner called his flat disc record player a “gramophone”, and started selling Berliner Gramophone records in 1894.

2. Rodeo competitor : ROPER

“Rodeo” is a Spanish word that is usually translated into English as “round up”.

3. “Scary Movie” actress Cheri : OTERI

Cheri Oteri was the SNL (“Saturday Night Live”) cast member who regularly appeared with Will Ferrell in the skit featuring a pair of Spartan cheerleaders.

“Scary Movie” is one of those parody movies, and is a film released in 2000 that pokes fun at famous horror films. It was advertised with the tagline “No mercy. No shame. No sequel”. The “no sequel” reference was a parody in itself, making fun of the fact that slasher movies in particular were made into strings of sequels. But there was in fact to be a sequel to “Scary Movie”, in fact three of them with one more on the way. “Scary Movie 2” came out in 2001, with the tagline “We lied”.

5. TY may follow it : PLS

A texter might type Pls (please) and TY (thank you).

11. 1953 John Wayne film : HONDO

The 1953 western movie “Hondo” stars John Wayne and is based on the novel “The Gift of Cochise”, written by Louis L’Amour.

John Wayne was named Marion Mitchell Morrison at birth, after his grandfather who was a Civil War veteran. When young Marion was a little boy, a local fireman used to call him “Little Duke” because he was always seen walking with his large dog called “Duke”. Marion liked the name “Duke” and so he called himself Duke Morrison for the rest of his life. That said, Duke Morrison also used John Wayne as a stage name.

13. The Italians call it Mongibello : MOUNT ETNA

Mount Etna on the island of Sicily is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy, and indeed the largest of all active volcano in Europe. Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Mt. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-gauge railway, and two ski resorts. It is sometimes referred to as “Mongibello” in Italian, and as “Mungibeddu” in Sicilian.

25. Classic sports cars : XK-ES

XK and XK-E are models of Jaguar motor car.

27. Tilter’s milieu : JOUST

“Jousting” and “tilting” are synonyms describing the medieval competition in which two horsemen yielding blunted lances attempt to unseat each other. Such an event has been referred to as “jousting” since the 1300s. At some point, the path of the two charging horsemen was separated by a cloth barrier known as a tilt (“tilt” meant “cloth covering”). The term “tilting” was applied to the sport in the 1500s, although by then the cloth barrier had been upgraded to a wooden fence.

We use the French term “milieu” (plural “milieux”) to mean “environment, surroundings”. In French, “milieu” is the word for “middle”.

29. Eau de vie counterpart : AQUA VITAE

“Aqua vitae” is Latin for “water of life”. The original use of the term was for a concentrated solution of ethanol. Over time “aqua vitae” became the term used for distilled spirits and also wine. “Water of life” translates into Scots Gaelic as “uisge-beatha” and into Irish as “uisce beatha”. These terms give rise to our modern word “whiskey”.

Eau de vie is a clear, colorless fruit brandy. “Eau de vie” is French for “water of life”.

30. Legion : MULTITUDE

The word “legion” can be used to mean “a large number”.

35. Asian beef source : KOBE

Kobe is a city on the island of Honshu in Japan. Here is North America, the city of Kobe is perhaps most famous for its beef. And yes, basketball star Kobe Bryant is named after that very same beef.

36. Constitution bigwigs : FRAMERS

By one definition, the Founding Fathers were the leaders of the American Revolution against the British Crown. By another, they were the individuals who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The term “Framers” is sometimes confused with “Founding Fathers”. According to the National Archives, the Framers were the 55 delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, those who played a key role in drafting the Constitution of the United States. The phrase “Founding Fathers” is a relatively recent term, and one coined by future US president Warren D. Harding in 1916.

43. Some Gen Z-ers : TEENS

Definitions vary, but it seems that the term “Generation Z” is reserved for the children of “Generation X”, and for the generations that follows the “Millennials” (Generation Y).

The term “Generation X” originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By one definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

44. Prefix with gram : PENTA-

A pentagram is a star-shape with five points that has been drawn using five straight lines. The name “pentagram” comes from the Greek for “five line”. The shape is sometimes also called a “pentacle”, “pentalpha” or “pentangle”. The pentagram is used as a prominent symbol in several religions and movements, notably in modern occultism.

45. Maker of the Mighty Dump : TONKA

The toy manufacturer today known as Tonka started out as a manufacturer of garden implements in Mound, Minnesota in 1946. By 1955, toys had become the main product line for the company. At that time the owners decided to change the company name and opted for “Tonka”, a Dakota Sioux word meaning “great, big”.

47. Cluster of sunflowers : SEEDS

The common sunflower is so called because it has a flower head that looks like the Sun. Famously, young sunflowers exhibit heliotropism, tilting during the day to face the sun. As the sunflowers mature and bloom, they generally face east and no longer track the movement of the Sun across the sky.

50. Disney CEO since 2005 : IGER

Robert Iger took over from Michael Eisner as CEO in 2005. Iger worked for ABC when it was taken over by Disney in 1996, and in 1999 he was named president of Walt Disney International. Iger is doing okay for himself; he earned more than $29 million in 2009.

54. Angling need : ROD

We use the verb “to angle” to mean “to fish” because “angel” is an Old English word meaning “hook”.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Likelihood of success : PROSPECTS
10. __ change : CHUMP
15. Ritz offering : HOTEL ROOM
16. Award, say : HONOR
17. Confides in : OPENS UP TO
18. Invest, as with a quality : ENDUE
19. Word reportedly coined in Seuss’ “If I Ran the Zoo” : NERD
20. Glimpse : PEEK
21. Ideal places : EDENS
22. Puts on the right track : ORIENTS
24. Trade talk subjects : EXPORTS
26. Qtr. components : MOS
27. 1991 political thriller with eight Oscar nominations : JFK
28. It may be flat : FEE
29. Latin 101 word : AMAT
31. Sensitive subjects : SORE SPOTS
34. It doesn’t require a long answer : QUICK QUESTION
36. One may include three kings : FULL HOUSE
37. Official records : ACTA
38. Chinese zodiac critter : RAT
39. Hit in a box : BAT
40. Cartoonist Browne : DIK
41. Flies : AVIATES
44. Party store stock : PINATAS
48. British bishop’s topper : MITRE
49. Hustles : HIES
51. Essence : CORE
52. Conservatory exercise : ETUDE
53. Strength, in a “1984” slogan : IGNORANCE
55. Gas that glows when condensed : RADON
56. Connected on LinkedIn, say : NETWORKED
57. Clairvoyants : SEERS
58. Family guys : GRANDDADS

Down

1. Player of singles : PHONO
2. Rodeo competitor : ROPER
3. “Scary Movie” actress Cheri : OTERI
4. Correspond, in a way : SEND EMAIL
5. TY may follow it : PLS
6. Goes off : ERUPTS
7. Manages : COPES
8. Lug : TOTE
9. Like many American workplaces : SMOKE FREE
10. Pet store sound : CHEEP!
11. 1953 John Wayne film : HONDO
12. In the way : UNDERFOOT
13. The Italians call it Mongibello : MOUNT ETNA
14. Pushes (for) : PRESSES
23. Top-__ : NOTCH
25. Classic sports cars : XK-ES
27. Tilter’s milieu : JOUST
29. Eau de vie counterpart : AQUA VITAE
30. Legion : MULTITUDE
31. Suppressing : SQUASHING
32. Soil : STAIN
33. Magician’s directive : PICK A CARD
35. Asian beef source : KOBE
36. Constitution bigwigs : FRAMERS
40. Repudiate : DISOWN
42. Passion : ARDOR
43. Some Gen Z-ers : TEENS
44. Prefix with gram : PENTA-
45. Maker of the Mighty Dump : TONKA
46. Curving : ARCED
47. Cluster of sunflowers : SEEDS
50. Disney CEO since 2005 : IGER
54. Angling need : ROD

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20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 12 Jan 19, Saturday”

  1. LAT: 21:14, no errors. WSJ: 22:55, no errors. Newsday: 37:33, no errors; don’t understand the answer for 5D (but I haven’t gotten anound to researching it yet).

    Yesterday’s Tim Croce: 45:31, with a one-square error at the intersection of the last name of an actress (which I actually remembered, but not well enough to be sure of myself) and a linguistics term that I’d never heard of and just couldn’t wrap my head around).

      1. Aha! I thought it might be a TV or movie reference. So you’ve saved me a Google search. (Oddly, I watched that movie and I think I have a copy of it somewhere … but my mind has become a sieve, so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised to have forgotten who was in it 😜.)

        Thanks, Glenn ..

  2. Yesterday’s post from Jane Drees Blando said that Rex Parker “can be acerbic at times”. IMHO, that’s a bit like saying that Satan can be naughty at times 😜. Before I discovered Bill’s blogs, I visited Parker’s on occasion and finally had my fill of it.

    Last night, quite by coincidence, I finally got around to watching a bit more of a YouTube video of a talk given by Will Shortz (who edits the NYT crosswords) at the University of Minnesota on September 12, 2013. At about 56:20 in the video, Shortz, in response to a question about what blogs he reads, reveals that, after 12 years, he has stopped reading Parker’s blog because, he says, Parker is “overwhelmingly negative” and “a very critical person”, that he “starts his criticism from the standpoint that he’s not going to like the puzzle”, and that “he has revealed on his FaceBook page that he now hate-solves the NYT puzzle”. Shortz then asks the same question that I have asked about Rex Parker: “Why would you blog about something every day that you hate?”

    For whatever reason, it has become fashionable, in certain circles, to criticize Will Shortz (and, oddly enough, it seems that he is criticized both for being old and set in his ways and for being too avant-garde and innovative). I do Will’s puzzles and I enjoy them, and I don’t have to read Rex Parker’s hyper-critical, self-serving puffery.

    (I would include a link to Will’s talk, but yesterday’s experiments suggest that that would trigger the spam filter. If you’re interested, Google “Will Shortz: An Evening with the Puzzle Master”.)

  3. 38:27 with no errors.
    As for NYT 1208 from my paper it was a collaboration of David Steinberg And someone else. So as they say in The Godfather ”
    “Forgetaboutit. I got the answers from Rex Parker..
    I have no idea what the red underlining is. My iPad did that on its own

    1. @Jack …

      When I was 10, the nearest library worth the name was 30 miles away and I didn’t get there very often. Now, I have a vastly superior library at my fingertips. So … yes … I do love computers, even when they mystify me … (but I get your point … 😜).

      (And I wish I could sit with you for a while and explain the things I do understand. In return, you could share your knowledge of sports … 😜.)

  4. 18:52, 2 errors at the meeting of AMAT and AQUAVITAE. Irritating, to say the least, to be done in by the crossing of two NON-ENGLISH words. 🙁

  5. Got through this one too. (I’m on a roll, I think) Can remember when I couldn’t make it past a Wed./Thurs. grid.

    “1984”: I was thinking of the Apple computer commercial. That’s the year, also the title, of the great ad for the Super Bowl. Does anyone else remember that?

  6. @Dave – Thanx for the great reaction. I forgot to enter my real name, Jane Drees Blando, under name, not realizing they turn that into my nickname Sfingi, the Sicilian desert.
    Rex Parker’s real name is Michael Sharp as listed in the English Dept. at SUNY Binghamtom. My son and one of my sisters studied there, but not under him. They were both philosphy majors, aswas I and my husband.

    Had to Google 5 times: NERD – that was good to know. JFK – I never saw it but I always read up on the things I miss, and it seems like a movie I should watch. NETWORKED – too nerdy. PHONO – that’s an abbrev and should be described thus. TONKA – wow that looks like a great toy, and very expensive. But I’m a gramma of a 3-yr-old and have been known to go overspend.

  7. Relatively easy Saturday for me; took about an hour with no errors. Had to work from the bottom up, with the NE the last to fall. Serendipitously I happened to read the quote from “1984” just this week in an article about the guy in the WH, even though I read the book a teen.

    Had to change RidER to ROPER, ptS to MOS, reoS to XKES and the last to fall ENDow to ENDUE. Just couldn’t figure out what the heck a moon-tenta was 🙂

  8. Hello y’all!😎

    No errors. This was a good Saturday puzzle, I thought….particularly since I finished it.😃 I had RADIO for a long time instead of PHONO; also for SOME reason I inked in TRICK QUESTION and took a long time to give that up for QUICK….which of course addressed the clue better…!! Never heard ACTA before.🤔

    Dirk! Thanks for the Wednesday Addams link yesterday! So cute. I was compelled to Google Lisa Loring, and it turns out one of her several husbands has the same name as a friend of mine– so I googled the husband, and turns out he was a porn star!! (and was not the guy I know…) Wednesday grew up….

    Be well~~🥂

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