March 2, 2021

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LA Times Crossword 23 Feb 21, Tuesday

LA Times Crossword 23 Feb 21, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Wing Chairs

The circled letters at the start and finish (the “WINGS”) of themed answers spell out kinds of CHAIR:

  • 58A Parlor pieces, and a hint to each set of circles : WING CHAIRS
  • 17A Holiday bloom : EASTER LILY (giving “easy chair”)
  • 26A Taft’s University of Cincinnati position : LAW SCHOOL DEAN (giving “lawn chair”)
  • 43A UPS vehicle : DELIVERY TRUCK (giving “deck chair”)

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

Bill’s time: 4m 50s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 About, on a memo : IN RE

The term “in re” is Latin, and is derived from “in” (in) and “res” (thing, matter). “In re” literally means “in the matter”, and is used to mean “in regard to” or “in the matter of”.

15 Bizet’s “Habanera,” for one : ARIA

When Georges Bizet wrote his famous opera “Carmen”, he used the melody of what he thought was an old folk song as a theme in the lovely aria “Habanera”. Not long after he finished “Carmen”, he discovered that the folk song was in fact a piece that had been written by another composer, who had died just ten years before “Carmen” was published. Fittingly, Bizet added a note to the score, declaring the original source.

17 Holiday bloom : EASTER LILY

The Easter lily has distinctive trumpet-shaped, white flowers. The plant gets its name from its use as a symbol in Christian traditions of the resurrection of Christ at Easter.

20 USO show audience : GIS

The initialism “GI” stands for “Government Issue”, and not “General Infantry” as is widely believed. “GI” was first used in the military to denote equipment made from Galvanized Iron and during WWI, incoming German shells were nicknamed “GI cans”. Soon after, the term GI came to be associated with “Government Issue” and eventually became an adjective to describe anything associated with the Army.

The United Service Organization (USO) was founded in 1941 at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt “to handle the on-leave recreation of the men in the armed forces”. A USO tour is undertaken by a troupe of entertainers, many of whom are big-name celebrities. A USO tour usually includes troop locations in combat zones.

22 Magical lamp dweller : GENIE

The “genie” in the bottle takes his or her name from “djinn”. “Djinns” were various spirits considered lesser than angels, with people exhibiting unsavory characteristics said to be possessed by djinn. When the book “The Thousand and One Nights” was translated into French, the word “djinn” was transformed into the existing word “génie”, because of the similarity in sound and the related spiritual meaning. This “génie” from the Arabian tale became confused with the Latin-derived “genius”, a guardian spirit thought to be assigned to each person at birth. Purely as a result of that mistranslation the word genie has come to mean the “djinn” that pops out of the bottle. A little hard to follow, I know, but still quite interesting …

23 Jong and Durance : ERICAS

Author Erica Jong’s most famous work is her first: “Fear of Flying”, a novel published in 1973. Over twenty years later, Jong wrote “Fear of Fifty: a midlife memoir”, published in 1994.

Erica Durance is an actress from Calgary, Alberta. Durance played Lois Lane in the TV show “Smallville” and moved on to play the lead in the medical drama “Saving Hope”.

25 Oscar winner Kingsley : BEN

English actor Ben Kingsley won his Best Actor Oscar for playing the title role in the 1982 epic biographical film “Gandhi”. Kingsley was knighted in 2002, so if you meet him you should address him as “Sir Ben” …

26 Taft’s University of Cincinnati position : LAW SCHOOL DEAN

William Howard Taft may have been the 27th President of the United States, but his lifelong ambition was to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The future president had served as dean and professor at the Cincinnati Law School. President Taft was able to realize that dream in 1921, eight years after losing his bid for re-election as president. As Chief Justice, this former US President swore in two new presidents: Calvin Coolidge (in 1925) and Herbert Hoover (in 1929). William Howard Taft is also remembered as the most obese president. In the last year of his presidency, he weighed about 340 pounds (he was 5 feet 11 inches tall). Twelve months after leaving the White House, President Taft had dropped 80 pounds and substantially lowered his blood pressure.

33 Things sometimes found under a tree : GIFTS

The custom of decorating trees at Christmas seems to have originated in Renaissance Germany. Those first trees were placed in guildhalls and were decorated with sweets and candy for the apprentices and children. After the Protestant Reformation, the Christmas tree became an alternative in Protestant homes for the Roman Catholic Christmas cribs. The Christmas tree tradition was imported into Britain by the royal family because of its German heritage. That tradition spread from Britain into North America.

36 1959 folk hit with the line “Charlie couldn’t get off of that train” : MTA

“M.T.A.” was a 1959 hit for the Kingston Trio. The song tells of a man called Charlie who is stuck on board an MTA subway car in Boston. His problem is that “exit fares” had been introduced on the system to supplement “entrance fares” (true story!), and the man didn’t have the extra nickel needed to get off the train. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MTBA) started issuing smart cards for use as tickets in 2006, calling them “Charlie Cards” in honor of “Charlie on the MTA”.

41 Prolonged battle : SIEGE

Our word “siege” comes from a 13th century word for a “seat”. The military usage derives from the concept of a besieging force “sitting down” outside a fortress until it falls.

42 Number that’s part of a nap : FORTY

Back in the early 1800s, folks took “nine winks” when getting a few minutes of sleep during the day. Dr. William Kitchiner extended this concept in his 1821 self-help book “The Art of Invigorating and Prolonging Life”. He suggested “A Forty Winks Nap”, which we seem to have been taking ever since. Mind you, I’m up to about eighty winks most days …

43 UPS vehicle : DELIVERY TRUCK

United Parcel Service (UPS) is based in Sandy Springs, Georgia and has its own airline that operates out of Louisville, Kentucky. UPS often goes by the nickname “Brown”, because of its brown delivery trucks and brown uniforms.

46 __ Plaines : DES

Des Plaines is a suburb of Chicago that is located next to O’Hare International Airport. The city is named for the Des Plaines river that runs through the area.

53 “Dilbert” creator Adams : SCOTT

“Dilbert” is a comic strip drawn by Scott Adams, who used to be a “neighbor” of mine when I lived in the Bay Area. Adams used to be co-owner of a restaurant at the end of my street that had a menu replete with “Dilbertesque” comments.

56 Day for voting: Abbr. : TUE

Election day was chosen by Congress back in 1845. The month of November was selected as it suited an agricultural society, following the fall harvest and yet not too far into winter, which could make travel difficult. Tuesday was chosen so that people had time to travel to polling stations. Monday elections might have meant that some would have to start out on Sunday, and that could interfere with Christian services.

58 Parlor pieces, and a hint to each set of circles : WING CHAIRS

Wing (also “wing-back”) chairs are easy chairs with “wings at either side. The original intent of the design was to protect the person sitting in the chair from drafts, in particular while sitting around a fireplace.

Back in the early 13th century, a “parlur” was a window through which someone could confess to a priest, and also a room in a monastery that was used by the monks for conversations with visitors. The term “parlur” arose from the French “parler” meaning “to speak”. Today, we sit in the “parlor” to enjoy our conversations.

60 Dryer trap target : LINT

“Lint”, meaning “fluff”, is one of those terms that I had to learn when I moved to the US. We call the same thing “fuzz” on the other side of the Atlantic.

61 MLB Tiger, for one : ALER

American League (AL)

The origins of the Detroit Tigers baseball team’s name seems a little unclear. One story is that it was taken from the Detroit Light Guard military unit who were known as “The Tigers”. The Light Guard fought with distinction during the Civil War and in the Spanish-American War. Sure enough, when the Detroit baseball team went into the Majors they were formally given permission to use “The Tigers” name by the Detroit Light Guard.

62 Artist Max : ERNST

Max Ernst was a painter and sculptor, and a pioneer in the Dada movement and Surrealism. Ernst was born near Cologne in Germany in 1891 and he was called up to fight in WWI, as were most young German men at that time. In his autobiography he writes “Max Ernst died the 1st of August, 1914”, which was a statement about his experiences in the war. In reality, Ernst died in 1976 having lived to the ripe old age of 85.

63 Grandson of Adam : ENOS

Enos was the son of Seth, and therefore the grandson of Adam and Eve, and nephew of Cain and Abel. According to the ancient Jewish work called the Book of Jubilees, Enos married his own sister Noam.

Down

1 Feudal lord : LIEGE

A liege was a feudal lord, one to whom service or allegiance was owed under feudal law. “Liege” was also the term used for one who owed allegiance or service to a lord. Apparently the term is influenced by the Latin verb “ligare” meaning “to tie, bind”. So, I guess both lord and servant were “bound” to each other.

4 Atlanta-based station : TNT

“TNT” stands for Turner Network Television. The TNT cable channel made a big splash in the eighties when it started to broadcast old MGM movies that had been “colorized”, not something that was a big hit with the public. In recent years, the TNT programming lineup is touted with the tagline “We Know Drama”.

6 Pamplona parlor : SALA

Pamplona, Spain is famous for its San Fermin festival held in July every year, the highlight of which is the Running of the Bulls. Every year, 200-300 people are injured in the bull run, and 15 people have been killed since 1910. If you get to Pamplona two days before the Running of the Bulls, you can see the animal-rights protest event known as the Running of the Nudes. The protesters are as naked as the bulls …

8 Like a slippery garage floor : OILY

We imported the word “garage” into English from French, in which language the term historically described a place for storing or sheltering something. Later the term specifically applied to a “shelter” for a car. The verb “garer” is French for “to shelter”.

11 Palindromic bread : NAAN

Naan (also “nan”) bread is very popular in Indian restaurants, as well as in other West, Central and South Asian cuisines. Indian Naan is traditionally baked in a clay oven known as a tandoor.

12 Designer Gernreich : RUDI

Rudi Gernreich was a fashion designer from Austria. Gernreich fled Austria due to Nazi influence, and ended up in Los Angeles. He is noted for the design of the monokini, the first topless swimsuit.

18 Singer Diana : ROSS

Diana Ross is one of the most prolific recording artists in history. She sang with the Supremes from 1959 to 1970 and then launched an incredibly successful solo career. Ross was listed in the 1993 edition of “The Guinness Book of World Records” as the most successful music artist ever, with eighteen #1 records.

24 Lions and tigers : CATS

The four “big cats” are the tiger, lion, jaguar and leopard. The largest of the big cats is the tiger, and the smallest is the leopard.

25 Lightning flash : BOLT

The word “thunder” precedes the word “lightning” in the phrase “thunder and lightning”. However, thunder comes after lighting in reality, at least to the observer. The observer sees the flash of lightning and then seconds later hears the crash of thunder. That’s because light travels faster than sound.

28 Composer Carmichael : HOAGY

Singer-songwriter Hoagy Carmichael was born Hoagland Howard Carmichael. Carmichael’s remarkable first name was given to him in honor of a circus troupe called “The Hoaglands” who stayed at the Carmichael house during his mother’s pregnancy. Now that, that’s a story …

29 Young hooter : OWLET

A baby owl is an owlet. The term “owlet” can also be used for the adults of the smaller species of owls.

32 __ a one: none : NARY

The adjective “nary” means “not one”, as in “nary a soul” or even “nary a one”.

33 Prod : GOAD

A goad is a pointed rod that is used to urge on an animal. It is from the noun that we get the verb “to goad” meaning “to incite, rouse”.

34 “Bus Stop” playwright : INGE

“Bus Stop” is a marvelous play written by William Inge in 1955. The famous 1956 movie of the same name, starring Marilyn Monroe, is only very loosely based on the play.

39 Centers of activity : LOCI

“Locus” (plural “loci”) is Latin for “place”, and is used in English with the same meaning. The term can also be used to describe a center of power or activity.

41 Norse name similar to Stephen : SVEN

“Sven” is a Scandinavian name. “Sven” is derived from the Old Norse word for “young man” or “young warrior”.

44 Numbskulls : IDIOTS

The unsavory word “idiot” was formerly used by the medical community to describe someone with moderate to severe mental retardation. The term comes from the Greek “idiotes” meaning “person lacking professional skill, layman”. Back in the early 1900s, IQ tests were used to classify those suffering from mental retardation into categories:

  • “idiot” … IQ of 0-20
  • “imbecile” … IQ of 21-50
  • “moron” …IQ of 51-70

45 Campus cadets’ org. : 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.

50 __-force winds : GALE

A gale is a very strong wind, one defined by the Beaufort scale as having wind speeds from 50 to just over 100 kilometers per hour.

51 Equestrian’s strap : REIN

Something described as equestrian is related to horses or horsemanship. The term “equestrian” comes from the Latin “equus” meaning “horse”.

52 River of Pisa : ARNO

The Arno is the principal river in the Tuscany region of Italy, and passes through the cities of Florence and Pisa. Famously the Arno flooded in 1966, the worst flood in the region for centuries. There were numerous deaths and extensive destruction of priceless art treasures, particularly in Florence.

53 Farm storage unit : 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.

54 Tech news site : C|NET

c|net is an excellent technology website. c|net started out in 1994 as a television network specializing in technology news. The host of “American Idol”, Ryan Seacrest, started off his career as host of a c|net show.

55 Shrek, e.g. : OGRE

Before “Shrek” was a successful movie franchise and Broadway musical, it was a children’s picture book called “Shrek!” that was authored and illustrated by William Steig. The title “Shrek!” came from the German/Yiddish word Schreck, meaning “fear” or “terror”.

59 Altar in the sky : ARA

The constellation of Ara takes its name from the Latin word for “altar”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Some artists’ quarters : LOFTS
6 Come to a halt : STOP
10 About, on a memo : IN RE
14 All-__: versatile machine : IN-ONE
15 Bizet’s “Habanera,” for one : ARIA
16 Handle roughly : MAUL
17 Holiday bloom : EASTER LILY
19 Sketchbooks : PADS
20 USO show audience : GIS
21 All lathered up : SOAPY
22 Magical lamp dweller : GENIE
23 Jong and Durance : ERICAS
25 Oscar winner Kingsley : BEN
26 Taft’s University of Cincinnati position : LAW SCHOOL DEAN
33 Things sometimes found under a tree : GIFTS
35 Wolf cries : HOWLS
36 1959 folk hit with the line “Charlie couldn’t get off of that train” : MTA
37 Burden : ONUS
38 Gave out cards : DEALT
39 Animal house : LAIR
40 Time of your life : AGE
41 Prolonged battle : SIEGE
42 Number that’s part of a nap : FORTY
43 UPS vehicle : DELIVERY TRUCK
46 __ Plaines : DES
47 Familiarize : ORIENT
50 Rice or wheat : GRAIN
53 “Dilbert” creator Adams : SCOTT
56 Day for voting: Abbr. : TUE
57 Sleek, in car talk : AERO
58 Parlor pieces, and a hint to each set of circles : WING CHAIRS
60 Dryer trap target : LINT
61 MLB Tiger, for one : ALER
62 Artist Max : ERNST
63 Grandson of Adam : ENOS
64 Heap affection (on) : DOTE
65 Continues intensely, as a storm : RAGES

Down

1 Feudal lord : LIEGE
2 Broadcasting : ON AIR
3 Natural gas, coal, etc. : FOSSIL FUEL
4 Atlanta-based station : TNT
5 Goes up and down : SEESAWS
6 Pamplona parlor : SALA
7 Vacation choice : TRIP
8 Like a slippery garage floor : OILY
9 Remit : PAY
10 Be about to happen : IMPEND
11 Palindromic bread : NAAN
12 Designer Gernreich : RUDI
13 “What __ can I do?” : ELSE
18 Singer Diana : ROSS
22 Hair products : GELS
24 Lions and tigers : CATS
25 Lightning flash : BOLT
27 Support the team : CHEER
28 Composer Carmichael : HOAGY
29 Young hooter : OWLET
30 Online advertising : E-MARKETING
31 Arguing : AT IT
32 __ a one: none : NARY
33 Prod : GOAD
34 “Bus Stop” playwright : INGE
38 Fizzles out : DIES
39 Centers of activity : LOCI
41 Norse name similar to Stephen : SVEN
42 To a greater degree : FURTHER
44 Numbskulls : IDIOTS
45 Campus cadets’ org. : ROTC
48 Care for : NURSE
49 Exams : TESTS
50 __-force winds : GALE
51 Equestrian’s strap : REIN
52 River of Pisa : ARNO
53 Farm storage unit : SILO
54 Tech news site : C|NET
55 Shrek, e.g. : OGRE
58 Bundle of cash : WAD
59 Altar in the sky : ARA

The post LA Times Crossword 23 Feb 21, Tuesday appeared first on LAXCrossword.com.