LA Times Crossword 14 Jan 19, Monday

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Constructed by: C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: “-ish”

Themed answers each nd with a word that becomes the adjectival form of a country name with the addition of the suffix -ISH:

  • 62D. “Give or take” suffix … that can be added to the end of 18-, 23-, 51- and 60-Across to form a sort of set : -ISH
  • 18A. Recall ability : MEMORY SPAN (giving “Spanish”)
  • 23A. Well-groomed guy : DAPPER DAN (giving “Danish”)
  • 51A. One making a living in government, briefly : CAREER POL (giving “Polish”)
  • 60A. Knockout drink, in old gangster movies : MICKEY FINN (giving “Finnish”)

Bill’s time: 5m 06s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Parks who wouldn’t give up her bus seat : ROSA

Rosa Parks was one of a few brave women in days gone by who refused to give up their seats on a bus to white women. It was the stand taken by Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955 that sparked the Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boycott. President Clinton presented Ms. Parks with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996. When she died in 2005, Rosa Parks became the first ever woman to have her body lie in honor in the US Capitol Rotunda.

5. Jewel box item : CD-ROM

A CD case is also known as a jewel box, and I am really not sure why. I’ve heard some explanations, but not one that I really buy …

10. Colored eye part : IRIS

The iris is the colored part of the eye. It has an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.

14. Cartel acronym : OPEC

The OPEC cartel 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 …

A cartel is a group of independent businesses who cooperate to regulate production, pricing and marketing of their common product(s).

17. Version to debug : BETA

Back in 1947, famed computer programmer Grace Hopper noticed some colleagues fixing a piece of equipment by removing a dead moth from a relay. She remarked that they were “debugging” the system, and so Hopper has been given credit for popularizing that term.

20. Blew like Etna : ERUPTED

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.

22. Black as night, e.g. : SIMILE

A simile is a figure of speech in which a comparison is made between two things that are unalike. For example, a person might be described as “cute as a kitten” or as “busy as a bee”.

23. Well-groomed guy : DAPPER DAN

A man described as a Dapper Dan is one who is dressed very nattily. There have been a few people who have used the Dapper Dan moniker over the years, including a gangster in the twenties nicknamed Dapper Dan Hogan and a baseball player who was active around the same time nicknamed Dapper Dan Howley.

26. __ XING: crosswalk sign : PED

Pedestrian crossing (Ped Xing)

36. Geek’s cousin : NERD

Originally, a geek was a sideshow performer, perhaps one at a circus. We use the term today for someone regarded as foolish or clumsy, and also for someone who is technically driven and expert, but often socially inept.

37. Fodder storage site : SILO

“Silo” is a Spanish word that we absorbed into English. The term ultimately derives from the Greek “siros”, which described a pit in which one kept corn.

38. Hauls with effort : SCHLEPS

Our word “schlep” means “carry, drag”. “Schlep” comes from Yiddish, with “shlepen” having the same meaning.

40. Japanese warrior : SAMURAI

Samurai were noble military officers in medieval and early-modern Japan who served particular clans and lords. Originally known as “bushi” in Japanese, the term “samurai” was introduced in the early part of the 18th century.

47. “__ With the Wind” : GONE

Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 novel “Gone with the Wind” earned the author a Pulitzer in 1937. Mitchell started writing the book in 1926 as a way to pass the time while she was recuperating from injuries sustained in a car crash. The title comes from a poem by English writer Ernest Dowson:

I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind,
Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng,
Dancing, to put thy pale, lost lilies out of mind…

48. Map app path: Abbr. : RTE

Route (rte.)

49. Cantina condiment : SAL

In Spanish, one might find “sal” (salt) on the table in a “cantina” (canteen, café).

51. One making a living in government, briefly : CAREER POL

Politician (pol)

56. Small piano : SPINET

“Spinet” is the name given to a smaller version of keyboard instruments, such as a small harpsichord, piano or organ. Spinets are still made today, as smaller and cheaper versions of full-size instruments.

60. Knockout drink, in old gangster movies : MICKEY FINN

A Mickey Finn (sometimes just “Mickey”) is a drink that has been doctored with an incapacitating drug. It’s said that the original “Mickey Finn” was was a bartender at the Lone Star Saloon in Chicago around 1900. According to reports in local newspapers, said Mickey Finn routinely added knockout drops to the drinks of customers in order to rob them.

63. Puma rival : AVIA

The “Avia” brand name for athletic shoes was chosen as “avia” is the Latin word for “to fly”, and suggests the concept of aviation. Avia was founded in Oregon in 1979.

64. Australian gem : OPAL

97% of the world’s opals come from Australia, so it’s no surprise perhaps that the opal is the national gemstone of the country. The state of South Australia provides the bulk of the world’s production, i.e. about 80%.

65. So last year : PASSE

“Passé” is a French word, meaning “past, faded”. We’ve imported the term into English, and use it in the same sense.

66. Cafeteria staffer : COOK

“Cafeteria” is a Mexican Spanish word meaning “coffee store” that we imported into American English around 1840. Somehow, that coffee store became a self-service dining establishment in the 1890s.

69. RR stops: Abbr. : STNS

A station (“stn.” or “sta.”) is a railroad (RR) or bus stop.

Down

2. Mozart work : OPERA

The Latin for “work” is “opus”, with the plural being “opera”. We sometimes also use the plural “opuses” in English.

The Austrian composer’s full name was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The name “Wolfgang” translates literally as “wolf journey”. Amadeus translates as “love god”!

4. Like singing sans instruments : A CAPPELLA

“A cappella” music is sung without instruments accompanying. The name translates from Italian as “in the manner of the chapel”.

5. GoPro product : CAMERA

GoPro is a company that makes high-definition video cameras that have a rugged design. Famously, GoPro cameras are used in extreme conditions. For example, they are often mounted on moving vehicles or used by people playing sports. Recently, two astronauts on the International Space Station inserted a GoPro camera inside a floating ball of water, and then showed the view from inside the ball of water. Amazing footage …

6. “Judge __”: Stallone film : DREDD

The 1995 movie “Judge Dredd”, starring Sylvester Stallone in the title role, was loosely based on the comic book character of the same name. Judge Dredd may be an American hero from the future in an American city, but the comic is written and published in the UK.

7. Sleep acronym : REM

“REM” is an acronym standing for rapid eye movement sleep. REM sleep takes up 20-25% of the sleeping hours and is the period associated with one’s most vivid dreams.

8. Lennon’s love : ONO

John Lennon and Yoko Ono had a very public honeymoon in a hotels in Amsterdam and then Montreal, when they staged their famous “bed-in” for peace. In answering questions from reporters Lennon found himself often repeating the words “give peace a chance”. While still in bed, he composed his famous song “Give Peace a Chance” and even made the original recording of the song in the Montreal hotel room, with reporters present, and with a whole bunch of friends. The song was released later in 1969 and became a smash hit. Writing credit was initially given to Lennon-McCartney, as was the agreement between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Later versions of the song were credited just to Lennon, even though Lennon stated that Yoko Ono actually wrote the song with him.

9. Red planet : MARS

The surface of the planet Mars has a very high iron oxide content, so Mars is red because it is rusty!

12. Emphatic type: Abbr. : ITAL

Italic type leans to the right, and is often used to provide emphasis in text. The style is known as “italic” because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

24. Orangutan, e.g. : APE

Orangutans (also “orangs”) are arboreal creatures, the largest arboreal animals known to man. They are native to Indonesia and Malaysia, and live in the rainforests. Like most species in rainforests these days, orangutans are endangered, with only two species surviving. The word “orangutan” is Malay, meaning “man of the forest”.

25. Swedes’ neighbors : NORSE

Norway has been ranked as the country in the world with the highest standard of living almost every year since 2001. Norway is rich in natural resources and has a relatively low population. The people benefit from a comprehensive social security system, subsidized higher education for all citizens and universal health care. And Norway is famous for her success at the Winter Olympic Games, having won more gold medals than any other nation in the world.

29. Kissing at the mall, for short : PDA

Public display of affection (PDA)

31. Actor Cumming : ALAN

Alan Cumming is a very versatile Scottish actor. Cumming has played some pretty “commercial” roles, like the bad guy Boris Grishenko in “GoldenEye” and Fegan Floop in the “Spy Kids” movies. He also played the unwanted suitor in the fabulous film “Circle of Friends” and won a Tony for playing the emcee in the 1998 Broadway revival of “Cabaret”.

32. __ rage: bodybuilder’s concern : ‘ROID

Steroids are found commonly in nature, with familiar examples being cholesterol and testosterone. The controversial class of drugs called anabolic steroids (known informally as “roids” or simply “steroids”) are artificially produced chemicals designed to mimic the effect of the male sex hormone, testosterone. They are termed “anabolic” as they build up cellular tissue (particularly muscle) in a process called anabolism. Taking anabolic steroids can be termed “juicing”, and the aggressive behavior that can be a side-effect is known as “roid rage”.

33. H.S. junior’s exam : PSAT

Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)

34. Numerical prefix with -pus : OCTO-

The name “octopus” comes from the Greek for “eight-footed”. The most common plural used is “octopuses”, although the Greek plural form “octopodes” is also quite correct. The plural “octopi” isn’t really correct as the inference is that “octopus” is like a second-declension Latin noun, which it isn’t. That said, dictionaries are now citing “octopi” as an acceptable plural. Language does evolve, even though it drives me crazy …

36. “Bye Bye Bye” band : NSYNC

“Bye Bye Bye” is a 2000 hit song recorded by the boy band NSYNC. It was originally written another boy band, the English group 5ive, but they passed on it.

37. Large political spending gps. : SUPER PACS

A political action committee (PAC) is a private group that works to influence the outcome of a particular election or group of elections. Any group becomes a PAC by law when it receives or spends more than $1,000 for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that PACS that did not make direct contributions to candidates or parties could accept unlimited contributions. These “independent, expenditure-only committees” are commonly referred to as “super PACs”.

39. Rice noodle soup : PHO

Pho is a noodle soup from Vietnam that is a popular street food.

48. Jeremy of “The Avengers” : RENNER

Jeremy Renner is an actor from Modesto, California whose big break came playing the lead role in the 2008 movie “The Hurt Locker”. Since then, Renner has broken into the world of superhero movies, playing Hawkeye in 2012’s “The Avengers”. I liked him best though in the 2012 action film “The Bourne Legacy”.

54. Hunter constellation : ORION

According to Greek mythology, Orion was a giant hunter who was placed in the night sky by Zeus, the king of the gods. Orion is very recognizable as a constellation, especially with the three bright stars known as “Orion’s Belt”. Additionally, the brightest star in the sky, Sirius, is said to be Orion’s hunting dog, and this star sits at Orion’s “foot”.

56. Air quality concern : SMOG

“Smog” is a portmanteau formed by melding “smoke” and “fog”. The term was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s. Several cities around the world have a reputation of being particularly smoggy. For example, the most smog-plagued city in Latin America is Mexico City, which is located in a highland “bowl” that traps industrial and vehicle pollution.

57. Frosty’s corncob accessory : PIPE

Corncob pipes are made from cobs that have been dried for two years and then hollowed out into the shape of a bowl. Famous smokers of corncob pipes were General Douglas MacArthur, Mark Twain, Norman Rockwell as well as Popeye and Frosty the Snowman.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Parks who wouldn’t give up her bus seat : ROSA
5. Jewel box item : CD-ROM
10. Colored eye part : IRIS
14. Cartel acronym : OPEC
15. Prizefight venue : ARENA
16. Brit’s “Later!” : TA-TA!
17. Version to debug : BETA
18. Recall ability : MEMORY SPAN
20. Blew like Etna : ERUPTED
22. Black as night, e.g. : SIMILE
23. Well-groomed guy : DAPPER DAN
26. __ XING: crosswalk sign : PED
27. Noteworthy period : ERA
28. Removes, as a cork : POPS
30. Nowhere close : FAR
33. Places to swim : POOLS
36. Geek’s cousin : NERD
37. Fodder storage site : SILO
38. Hauls with effort : SCHLEPS
40. Japanese warrior : SAMURAI
42. “Right back __!”: “Me, too!” : AT YA
43. Flashy promotion : HYPE
45. Turn topsy-turvy : UPEND
46. Water-testing digit : TOE
47. “__ With the Wind” : GONE
48. Map app path: Abbr. : RTE
49. Cantina condiment : SAL
51. One making a living in government, briefly : CAREER POL
56. Small piano : SPINET
59. Motivate : INSPIRE
60. Knockout drink, in old gangster movies : MICKEY FINN
63. Puma rival : AVIA
64. Australian gem : OPAL
65. So last year : PASSE
66. Cafeteria staffer : COOK
67. Heredity carrier : GENE
68. “Some __ time”: “Not now” : OTHER
69. RR stops: Abbr. : STNS

Down

1. Dressed like a judge : ROBED
2. Mozart work : OPERA
3. Arrange in advance : SET UP
4. Like singing sans instruments : A CAPPELLA
5. GoPro product : CAMERA
6. “Judge __”: Stallone film : DREDD
7. Sleep acronym : REM
8. Lennon’s love : ONO
9. Red planet : MARS
10. “Who’s there?” reply : IT’S ME
11. In quick succession : RAPID-FIRE
12. Emphatic type: Abbr. : ITAL
13. Fit to be tried : SANE
19. Puppy’s barks : YIPS
21. Succinct : TERSE
24. Orangutan, e.g. : APE
25. Swedes’ neighbors : NORSE
29. Kissing at the mall, for short : PDA
31. Actor Cumming : ALAN
32. __ rage: bodybuilder’s concern : ‘ROID
33. H.S. junior’s exam : PSAT
34. Numerical prefix with -pus : OCTO-
35. Self-affirming retort : OH YES I CAN!
36. “Bye Bye Bye” band : NSYNC
37. Large political spending gps. : SUPER PACS
39. Rice noodle soup : PHO
41. Trumpet mufflers : MUTES
44. Veggie in a pod : PEA
47. Sheer joy : GLEE
48. Jeremy of “The Avengers” : RENNER
50. Often-twisted joint : ANKLE
52. Washer cycle : RINSE
53. Whirl on one foot : PIVOT
54. Hunter constellation : ORION
55. Plumbers’ problems : LEAKS
56. Air quality concern : SMOG
57. Frosty’s corncob accessory : PIPE
58. Autocorrect target : TYPO
61. Budgetary excess : FAT
62. “Give or take” suffix … that can be added to the end of 18-, 23-, 51- and 60-Across to form a sort of set : -ISH

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26 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 14 Jan 19, Monday”

  1. FUN PUZZLE, BUT 5A HAD ME STUMPED FOR ABIT. WHO KEEPS CDROM’S IN A JEWELRY BOX? STRETCHING IT SOMEWHAT. GOOD ONE ANYWAY.

    1. I agree. Should have been just CD. Two-letter words do not work, so something completely unrelated should have been used. CD Rom is a CD system and would
      not be in a jewelry box or case.

      The wife and I found the puzzle fun and doable and were able to make our
      entries in about 45 minutes. 0 omissions and 0 errors.

  2. 15:10 no errors.
    Didn’t even realise that there was a theme.
    NYT # 1210 12:40 with no errors (Rex Parker).
    Still can’t get Bills NYT answers

  3. LAT: 4:43, no errors. WSJ: 7:06, 2 rather dumb errors. Newsday: 5:56, no errors. New Yorker: 20:09, no errors. BEQ: 18:40, no errors. Pretty smooth and easy for me for most part this weekend except for the almost usual DNF on the Sunday NYT.

    In other news, BEQ did a 50×50 Super Mega that appeared in a special print-only section of the New York Times paper late last year. He happened to post it today to his blog. I think I’m going to see if I can get it into printable condition, but haven’t decided yet if I want to take a crack at it. It’s too tempting that I probably will though. The grid spread across 2 news sheets in the paper. Think roughly 14 pages printed, 605 being the largest clue number. Crazy.

  4. LAT: 7:13, no errors. Newsday: 5:34, no errors. NYT: 7:06, no errors. WSJ: 9:14, no errors; got Friday’s meta right, but no word yet on my mug 😜. CHE : 12:09, no errors. New Yorker: 12:26, no errors.

    BEQ: 25:43, one intersection in error (a porn star’s first name in one direction, two possible choices in the other, picked the wrong one); also learned a new phrase that I might have picked up from drinking buddies (if I’d ever had any 😜): “break the seal” (who’d have guessed that was a thing?).

    I didn’t realize BEQ had posted that 50×50 (though I’d heard about it). My first reaction to the news of its existence was that my passion for crossword puzzles may, in fact, have bounds … but … we’ll see … 😜.

  5. 8:19. Fewer sports related answers than usual from C.C. I missed the entire weekend of crosswords both here and at the NYT. Maybe I’ll make them up someday.

    A 50×50 crossword?? I already know it’s beyond my pain threshold. That’s the equivalent of a little more than 5 and a half Sunday puzzles nailed together. Ouch. Even if you’re pretty good and can do a Sunday in 30 mins, that would take a minimum of 2.5 hours – probably more, factoring in mental fatigue and whatever other craziness he could pack into something like that. Add to that that it’s a BEQ, and I don’t know how many hours you’re talking about. I’ll be very curious to see your reactions to that leviathan.

    Best –

    1. @Jeff
      I usually have to tear my attention away from puzzles to do stuff and stop the timer when I do (otherwise I couldn’t do the ones I do uninterrupted all the time). But one would about have to take the 50×50 in shifts. If I do it, that’s probably what will happen.

    2. Well, I got sucked in (as I knew I would 😜) … my initial intention was to put that 50×50 into a printable form, but I had to download some software even to do that and, once I taped together a giant version of the grid, I realized that I was going to be spending all my time trying to find the next clue in a sheaf of paper, so I decided to do the puzzle on my iMac, using the software I downloaded. It took me just under 2.5 hours to finish (deducting the seven minutes or so that it took me to figure out how to display the clues in a scrollable sidebar). As far as I can tell, I finished with no errors; at the end, I looked up the few things I wasn’t sure of. The tool is supposed to have a “reveal” feature, but it doesn’t work. (I speculate that BEQ may not have put the answers in the file; I’m going to send him an email and ask about that.) The puzzle was pleasant enough and not too difficult; I would probably have finished a bit faster if I had been more familiar with the software (which, at first, I kept using to shoot myself in the foot). There may actually be something wrong with the tool; the only indication I got that I had filled in the final square was that the timer stopped (no congratulatory music, no warnings about errors, just sullen silence).

    3. Instead of bugging BEQ about it, I Googled “super mega crossword puzzle answers” and found an answer key for the puzzle. It turns out that I did have a one-square error at the intersection of a “word” that I questioned, but didn’t think much further about and an Italian word I’d never heard of. It also turns out that there was a metapuzzle embedded in the 50×50 puzzle – something BEQ didn’t mention on his website. (Frankly, I’m glad I didn’t know about it – else I’d still be looking for the answer to it … 🙂 .) Over all, an impressive creation (more so, the more I look at it)!

      I may spend a little more time looking at that software I downloaded. If it can be made to work properly, it could be useful (once I got familiar with it).

  6. No errors. Didn’t know RENNER. Guess I’m too old.

    For some reason, I tried to post this and was told it was a duplicate. I looked back and there was nothing there. If suddenly there are 3, well, beats me.

    Did the NYT, but I’ll wait til everything is straightened out with Bill.

  7. I thought road rage was just a figure of speech in comics … to do with the roid- some type of cartoon critter. Steroids make sense …( in this context -!) as “roid”.
    Today’s puzzle though by CC was relatively very easy … and I am grateful ! Also no sports clues to confound me…
    Also, I might have mentioned this before, the US is not on the OPEC cartel because, among other things …
    The oil that is extracted is not a nationally owned company or the state oil company but by a hundred private producers..
    And secondly, a cartel Is illegal under US Federal Law. The exceptions are some unions and the sports teams like the NFL etc., But even the latter have some strict legal Limits..

    Now to google what goes into Mickey Finn … 😉

    Have a great day tomorrow folks

  8. For those of us who are platonically and strictly theoretically interested … the knock out drops in a Mickey Finn is … first, choral hydrate, which is not sold or even available, now ….

    … pretty much superseded by barbiturates and / or benzodiazepines ( like Valium etc.) ..

    A hundred years ago they used Antimony potassium tartrate which causes headaches, vomiting, nausea and blocks the heart rhythm!!?!!!

  9. Love CC’s puzzles—and got the four “languages” that appeared—but just don’t get how -ISH is a suffix for TAKE or GIVE (takish? givish?)…. We do have takETH and givETH. What am I missing?

    1. The clue for 62D attempts to describe the suffix “-ish” as an addition to a word that gives an air of approximation in somewhat the same way that the phrase “give or take” does. For example, consider this: “Let’s get together around seven … yeah, sevenish should work for me … so, seven it is, give or take ten minutes.” It does not imply that the suffix “-ish” can be added to either of the verbs “give” or “take”. (I apologize if my attempt at explaining this is clumsy, but it’s the best I can do, and I hope it’s of some help.)

      And now I see that Glenn is taking a stab at it, as well, but I’ll leave my attempt here, anway … 😜

  10. Hey, Glenn (since you’re here 😜) … you’re gonna have to explain this week’s Matt Jones puzzle to me. I completed it with no errors, but I spent more than 30 minutes on it … mostly trying to understand the theme … and I still don’t get it. What’s the unifying logic behind the four movie entries?

  11. Hello folks!😎

    No errors. Not a bad theme.

    I’ve said it here before, but FWIW: a CD case is called a “jewel” case because of the little plastic prongs in the middle that hold the CD in place — they look like little gems. 💽 (LOL!! I was searching for a jewelry emoji and I accidentally clicked on a CD!! weird!! 💽)

    Be well ~~🤩🥂

  12. PS to Glenn & Dave:

    “Anonymous” was ME, Mary-Lou, thanking you. Didn’t realize I had to complete my name and email every time ….

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