LA Times Crossword Answers 19 Jun 17, Monday










Constructed by: Mark Feldman

Edited by: Rich Norris

Quicklink to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

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Theme: … To a Food Critic

Each of today’s themed answers are familiar expressions that refer to a food item, and are clued with the words “… to a food critic”.

  • 17A. Shrewd person, to a food critic? : SHARP COOKIE
  • 29A. Important person, to a food critic? : BIG CHEESE
  • 47A. Despicable person, to a food critic? : ROTTEN EGG
  • 66A. Lazy person, to a food critic? : COUCH POTATO

Bill’s time: 5m 51s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Brawl : MELEE

Our word “melee” comes from the French “mêlée”, and in both languages the word means “confused fight”.

11. L.A. Galaxy’s org. : MLS

The LA Galaxy is one of the ten charter clubs of Major League Soccer (MLS). The team is known for signing some high-profile players from more established leagues. England star and celebrity David Beckham played for the Galaxy from 2007 to 2012.

15. Asinine : INANE

Our word “inane” meaning silly or lacking substance comes from the Latin “inanitis” meaning “empty space”.

The adjective “asinine” means “stupid, obstinate”, and comes from the Latin for “like an ass”.

19. African antelope : GNU

A gnu is also known as a wildebeest, and is an antelope native to Africa. Wildebeest is actually the Dutch word for “wild beast”.

21. Like skunks and zebras : STRIPED

Skunks have anal scent glands that can be used as defensive weapons. The glands produce sulfur-containing chemicals that have a really awful smell and that can irritate the eyes and skin.

The name “zebra” comes from an old Portuguese word “zevra” meaning “wild ass”. Studies of zebra embryos show that zebras are basically black in color, with white stripes that develop with growth. Before this finding, it was believed they were white, with black stripes.

26. James Bond’s school : ETON

The world-famous Eton College is just a brisk walk from Windsor Castle, which itself is just outside London. Eton is noted for producing many British leaders including David Cameron who took power in the last UK general election. The list of Old Etonians also includes Princes William and Harry, the Duke of Wellington, George Orwell, and the creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming (as well as 007 himself as described in the Fleming novels).

29. Important person, to a food critic? : BIG CHEESE

The phrase “the big cheese” doesn’t have its roots in the word “cheese” at all. The original phrase was “the real cheese” meaning “the real thing”, used way back in late 1800s (long before Coke picked it up). “Chiz” is a Persian and Hindi word meaning “thing”, and it’s not hard to see how the expression “the real chiz” would morph into “the real cheese”. Then in early-20th century America, instead of a “real cheese”, the most influential person in a group was labeled as “the big cheese”. And I think that is about the only use of the word “cheese” that is in anyway complimentary!

39. Avian symbol of pride : PEACOCK

The male peafowl is known as a peacock, and the female a peahen. The peafowl’s young are sometimes called peachicks.

52. Math average : MEAN

In a set of numbers, the mean is the average value of those numbers. The median is the numeric value at which half the numbers have a lower value, and half the numbers a higher value. The mode is the value that appears most often in the whole set of numbers.

53. Fencing sword : EPEE

The French word for sword is “épée”. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

54. Witch trial town : SALEM

The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings held in 1692 and 1693 in colonial Massachusetts, most famously in Salem. As a result of mass hysteria, twenty people were convicted of practicing witchcraft and were executed. The events were deemed to be a terrible injustice almost immediately. As early as 1696, there was a legal ruling by the Massachusetts General Court that referred to the outcome of the trials as a tragedy. In 2001, the massachusetts legislature officially exonerated all of those convicted.

57. Impressive banquet displays : SPREADS

A banquet is an elaborate feast. “Banquet” is a term that seems to have reversed in meaning over time. Coming into English via French from Old Italian, “banquet” is derived from “banco” meaning “bench”. The original “banco” meal was simply a snack eaten on a bench, rather than at a table. I guess we eat more these days …

68. CIA forerunner : OSS

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. A few years after the end of the war the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

69. Vaudeville show : REVUE

“Revue” is the French word for “review”.

The Vire is a river that flows through Normandy in France. The poets of the Vire valley were known as the “Vau de Vire”, a term that some say gave rise to our word “Vaudeville”.

70. “He loves me” piece : PETAL

“He loves me, he loves me not” …

71. Tetley product : TEA

Tetley was founded by Joseph Tetley in Yorkshire in 1837. Joseph and his brother used to sell salt door-to-door from a pack horse and started to distribute tea the same way. They became so successful selling tea that they relocated to London. Notably, Tetley’s was the first company to introduce tea bags in the UK, back in 1953.

72. Class-ending pair? : ESSES

There are two letters S (ess) ending the word “class”.

Down

1. Uncategorized stuff: Abbr. : MISC

Out terms “miscellany” and “miscellaneous” ultimately come from the Latin verb “miscere” meaning “to mix”.

12. White sale goods : LINENS

The first white sale took place in January of 1878 in a Philadelphia department store. It was called a white sale because it was only bed linens (which were all white) that were discounted. Over time, white sales have evolved to include almost any household items.

22. President married to Mamie : IKE

When the future president was growing up, the Eisenhower family used the nickname “Ike” for all seven boys in the family, as “Ike” was seen as an abbreviation for the family name. “Big Ike” was Edgar, the second oldest boy. “Little/Young Ike” was Dwight, who was the third son born. Dwight had no sisters.

Mamie Eisenhower has to have been one of the most charming of all the First Ladies of the United States. Ms. Eisenhower suffered from an inner ear complaint called Ménière’s disease which caused her to lose her balance quite often. Because she was unsteady on her feet there were unfounded rumors floating around Washington that Ms. Eisenhower had a drinking problem. People can be very unkind …

26. Out-of-this-world beings, in brief : ETS

Extraterrestrial (ET)

31. Rep on the street : CRED

“Street cred” is slang for “street credibility”, of which I have none …

32. When repeated, “Great speech!” : HEAR

The phrase “hear! hear!” is an expression of support that is perhaps more commonly used in the UK than on this side of the Atlantic. The phrase evolved from “Hear him! Hear him!”, which was the original utterance used in the UK parliament in the 17th century.

34. Weapon in Clue : ROPE

Clue is board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as Cluedo. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), a lead pipe (lead piping in the US) and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

40. Traveler to work : COMMUTER

Our verb “to commute”, meaning “to go back and forth to work”, ultimately derives from the Latin “commutare”, meaning “to often change”. Back in the late 1800s, a “commutation ticket” was a season pass, so named because it allowed one to “change” one kind of payment into another. Quite interesting …

42. Civil War org. : CSA

The Confederate States of America (CSA) set up government in 1861 just before Abraham Lincoln took office. Jefferson Davis was selected as President of the CSA at its formation, and retained the post for the life of the government.

43. Boy doll : KEN

Barbie’s male counterpart doll is Ken, and Ken’s family name is Carson. Barbie’s full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts. When Ken was introduced in 1959, it was as Barbie’s boyfriend. In 2004 it was announced that Ken and Barbie were splitting up, and needed to spend quality time apart. Soon after the split, Barbie “met” Blaine, a boogie boarder from Australia.

45. Classic British sports cars : MGS

My neighbor used to keep his MG Midget roadster in my garage (away from his kids!) back in Ireland many moons ago. The Midget was produced by the MG division of the British Motor Corporation from 1961 to 1979, with the MG abbreviation standing for “Morris Garages”.

49. Revered Mother : TERESA

Mother Teresa was born in 1910 in the city that is now called Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. At birth she was given the names Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (“Gonxha” means “little flower” in Albanian). She left home at the age of 18 and joined the Sisters of Loreto, and headed to Loreto Abbey in Rathfarnham in Dublin, Ireland in order to learn English. Her goal was to teach in India, and English was the language used there for instruction by the nuns. After Mother Teresa passed away in 1997 she was beatified by Pope John Paul II, a step on the road to canonization. In order for her to be beatified there had to be documented evidence of a miracle that was performed due to her intercession. The miracle in question was the healing of a tumor in the abdomen of a woman due to the application of a locket containing a picture of Mother Teresa. Documentation of a second miracle is required for her to be declared a saint. The canonization process seems to well underway, with Pope Francis recognizing a second miracle in December 2015.

58. Land parcel : ACRE

At one time, an acre was defined as the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. This was more precisely defined as a strip of land “one furrow long” (i.e. one furlong) and one furlong wide. The length of one furlong was equal to 10 chains, or 40 rods. A area of one furlong times 10 rods was one rood.

60. Santa Fe and Tucson, in the auto world : SUVS

“SUV” is an initialism standing for sports utility vehicle, and is a term that was introduced by our marketing friends. Using the phrase “sports utility vehicle” was a very clever way to get us to pay a lot of money for what was essentially a station wagon on a truck chassis, or at least it was back then.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Brawl : MELEE

6. See 27-Down : … BOOKS

11. L.A. Galaxy’s org. : MLS

14. Alpine climber’s need : ICE AX

15. Asinine : INANE

16. Goal : AIM

17. Shrewd person, to a food critic? : SHARP COOKIE

19. African antelope : GNU

20. Hide : CONCEAL

21. Like skunks and zebras : STRIPED

23. Hitching post? : ALTAR

25. 44-Across VIP : KING

26. James Bond’s school : ETON

29. Important person, to a food critic? : BIG CHEESE

33. Prevent, as a robbery : THWART

36. Female neigh sayer : MARE

37. Betray : SELL OUT

39. Avian symbol of pride : PEACOCK

44. High school dance : PROM

46. Doze off : DROWSE

47. Despicable person, to a food critic? : ROTTEN EGG

52. Math average : MEAN

53. Fencing sword : EPEE

54. Witch trial town : SALEM

57. Impressive banquet displays : SPREADS

61. Acknowledged a military superior : SALUTED

65. Weeding tool : HOE

66. Lazy person, to a food critic? : COUCH POTATO

68. CIA forerunner : OSS

69. Vaudeville show : REVUE

70. “He loves me” piece : PETAL

71. Tetley product : TEA

72. Class-ending pair? : ESSES

73. Rub off the page : ERASE

Down

1. Uncategorized stuff: Abbr. : MISC

2. Repeat : ECHO

3. With the fat trimmed off : LEAN

4. Auditory passage : EAR CANAL

5. Kick out : EXPEL

6. Where DNA tests are performed : BIO LAB

7. Singer Yoko : ONO

8. Acorn sources : OAKS

9. Make using yarn : KNIT

10. Reader of tea leaves : SEER

11. Member of the crow family : MAGPIE

12. White sale goods : LINENS

13. Blotch : SMUDGE

18. “Cool” hipster : CAT

22. President married to Mamie : IKE

24. Outer edge : RIM

26. Out-of-this-world beings, in brief : ETS

27. With 6-Across, records that might be “cooked” : THE …

28. Wise bird : OWL

30. Space : GAP

31. Rep on the street : CRED

32. When repeated, “Great speech!” : HEAR

34. Weapon in Clue : ROPE

35. Spoil : TURN

38. Water-testing digit : TOE

40. Traveler to work : COMMUTER

41. Must pay : OWE

42. Civil War org. : CSA

43. Boy doll : KEN

45. Classic British sports cars : MGS

47. Did over, as a movie scene : RESHOT

48. Be against : OPPOSE

49. Revered Mother : TERESA

50. Casual top : TEE

51. Deep cuts : GASHES

55. Once around, in a race : LAP

56. Secretly tie the knot : ELOPE

58. Land parcel : ACRE

59. “Easy __ it!” : DOES

60. Santa Fe and Tucson, in the auto world : SUVS

62. “Cheerio!” : TA-TA!

63. Greek vowels : ETAS

64. Give (out) sparingly : DOLE

67. Prompt on stage : CUE

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9 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 19 Jun 17, Monday”

  1. I never know times unless I remember to look at the clock when I finish. The site I use doesn’t seem to be working correctly so I have to check for errors manually.

    Easy one nonetheless. I almost fell for ESSES again, but I got it this time. I didn’t realize Ken and Barbie had broken up. Did the new set include include the attorney to divvy up their common law assets?? A restraining order on Ken? Am I being too cynical? 🙂

    Best –

  2. As I’ve said before I love these Monday (early week) puzzles. Never looked at the four long clues, finished the grid (pen on paper), and figured out the theme… then read the clues. Makes doing the “easier” puzzles a lot more fun. I surely can’t do that with puzzles later in the week….

  3. Jeff, belated Happy Father’s Day, and also to our maestro Bill. Happy Father’s Day.

    The puzzle was fairly easy. I got the clues and the central theme in short order. I thought the LA Galaxy as of the AAS – Amer. Astronomical Society.

    Regarding, the etymology of ‘the big cheese’, from the Persian/Urdu/Hindi word Chiz, I am reminded of a Bollywood song and dance, “Tu cheez badi hai mast, mast”, which was popular, 15 years ago.

    BEFORE YOU CLICK ON THE ABOVE, PLEASE NOTE:::!!! The song translates, as, ‘You are a thing/object that is very, very pleasurable. ‘ I would have to describe it as a slutty, sensual dance called an ‘item number’ ( which is the indian word for it – ) , which, generally has no relevance to the rest of the story. It is merely to titillate the viewer. Open at your own risk.

    The song was severely criticized, by the government and the censor board, for ‘objectifying women’ and to be sexually degrading and insulting …. which in turn, made it an immediate blockbuster, hit …

    Have a nice day, all. ( Vidwan)

  4. Hi gang!
    Hey Fred, that’s a good idea. Definitely would make Mondays more interesting. ?
    For a minute there I thought “avian symbol of pride” was gonna be PENGUIN!!! ? Wouldn’t that be charming?!
    Sweet dreams~~™?

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