LA Times Crossword Answers 21 Jun 17, Wednesday










Constructed by: C.C. Burnikel

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

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Theme: I Smell a Rat

Each of today’s themed answers includes the hidden word RAT:

  • 58A. Suspicious comment … and a hint to what’s hidden in 18-, 24-, 36- and 51-Across : I SMELL A RAT
  • 18A. Swimmer who medaled at five Olympic Games : DARA TORRES
  • 24A. Subjected to harsh criticism : UNDER ATTACK
  • 36A. Soccer deadlock breaker : EXTRA TIME
  • 51A. Many a Sports Illustrated cover figure : STAR ATHLETE

Bill’s time: 6m 06s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. “MasterChef” tools : PANS

“MasterChef” is a cooking competition TV show franchise that originated on the BBC in the UK in 1990. There are now versions of MasterChef made all over the world, from Albania to Vietnam. I quite enjoy the US version of the “MasterChef Junior” manifestation of the show …

13. Maker of Anew skin care products : AVON

In 1886, a young man called David McConnell was selling books door-to-door. To enhance his sales numbers he was giving out free perfume to the ladies of the houses that he visited. Seeing as his perfume was more popular than his books, he founded the California Perfume Company in New York City and started manufacturing and selling across the country. The company name was changed to Avon in 1939, and the famous “Avon Calling” marketing campaign was launched in 1954.

16. Cuban dance : RUMBA

The rumba (sometimes “rhumba”) is a Cuban dance, with influences brought by African slaves and Spanish colonists. The name “rumba” comes from “rumbo”, the Spanish word for “party, spree”.

18. Swimmer who medaled at five Olympic Games : DARA TORRES

Dara Torres is a US swimmer who has won twelve Olympic medals. Torres is also the only American swimmer to have competed in five Olympic Games. She is the oldest swimmer to have competed on the US Olympic team, having done so at 41 years of age.

22. Exodus peak : SINAI

According to the Book of Exodus, God inscribed the Ten Commandments on two stone tablets and gave them to Moses on Mount Sinai.

23. Actor’s rep. : AGT

Agent (agt.)

27. Belgian detective played by Ustinov, Welles, Finney and others : POIROT

Hercule Poirot is one of Agatha Christie’s most beloved characters. He is a wonderful Belgian private detective who plies his trade from his base in London. Poirot’s most famous case is the “Murder on the Orient Express”. First appearing in 1920’s “The Mysterious Affair at Styles”, Poirot finally succumbs to a heart condition in the 1975 book “Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case”. Famously, Poirot is fond of using his “little grey cells”.

Peter Ustinov was a fabulous actor from England. It has to be said though, he was multi-talented and I remember him as a great guest on the talk show circuit.

Orson Welles is perhaps best-remembered in the world of film for his role in 1941’s “Citizen Kane”. In the world of radio, Welles is known for 1938’s famous broadcast of “The War of the Worlds”, a broadcast that convinced many listeners that the Earth was indeed being invaded by aliens.

Albert Finney is a marvelous English actor whose long career has included starring roles in movies such as “Annie” (1982) and “Erin Brockovich” (2000). My favorite of Finney’s performance is perhaps less well known, namely “Two for the Road” (1967) in which he stars opposite the lovely Audrey Hepburn.

30. Fast Company magazine competitor : INC

“Inc.” is a business magazine that specializes in articles about growing companies. “Inc.” publishes a list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the country each year, calling it the “Inc. 500”. The “Inc 5000” is an expanded list also published by the magazine.

“Fast Company” is a business and technology magazine that was launched in 1995.

31. Nobelist Bohr : NIELS

Niels Bohr was a Danish physicist, who won his 1922 Nobel Prize for his work on quantum mechanics and atomic structure. Later in his life, Bohr was part of the team working on the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic bomb. Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein had a series of public debates and disputes in the twenties and thirties. Although the two respected each other very highly, they held very different views on quantum theory, different views on the laws of physics at the atomic level. The passage of time has shown that Bohr won out in those debates.

36. Soccer deadlock breaker : EXTRA TIME

Soccer (also known as “association football”) is the most popular sport in the world. The term “association football” was introduced in 1863 in England, with the name chosen to distinguish the sport from rugby football. The term “soccer” started to appear about 20 years later in Oxford, as an abbreviation for “association”.

39. “Bad” cholesterol, initially : LDL

LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is one of the compounds responsible for transporting fats around the body. When LDL is combined with cholesterol it can be referred to as “bad cholesterol”. This is because LDL actually transports cholesterol into the inner walls of blood vessels leading to atherosclerosis.

41. Battery-free calculators : ABACI

The abacus (plural “abaci”) was used as a counting frame long before man had invented a numbering system. It is a remarkable invention, particularly when one notes that abaci are still widely used today across Africa and Asia.

42. Mama bear, in Chihuahua : OSA

In Spanish, “osa” is a female bear, and “oso” is a male. An “oso” might be found in “un zoológico” (a zoo).

The city of Chihuahua is the capital of the Mexican state of the same name. The city was founded in 1709 by Spanish explorers as a village called El Real de Minas de San Francisco de Cuéllar. However, the current name “Chihuahua” predates the Spanish conquest of Mexico, although the name wasn’t adopted until 1823.

45. Home to about 740 million : EUROPE

Here’s a list of the world’s continents by population, based on 2016 data:

  1. Asia: 4,440 million (60%)
  2. Africa: 1,230 million (16%)
  3. Europe: 740 million (10%)
  4. North America: 580 million (8%)
  5. South America: 420 million (6%)
  6. Australia: 40 million (1%)
  7. Antarctica: < 5,000

48. Christmas cupful : EGGNOG

It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “eggnog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

51. Many a Sports Illustrated cover figure : STAR ATHLETE

“Sports Illustrated” is read by 23 million people every week, including a whopping 19% of adult males in the US. And that’s every week, not just the swimsuit issue …

57. Bottom : TUSH

“Tush”, a word for the backside, is an abbreviation of “tochus” that comes from the Yiddish “tokhes”.

64. “Game of Thrones,” for one : SAGA

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is a fantasy television drama that is adapted from a series of novels by George R. R. Martin called “A Song of Ice and Fire”. “Game of Thrones” is actually filmed in and around Belfast, Northern Ireland.

65. Architect Saarinen : EERO

Eero Saarinen was a Finnish American architect, renowned in this country for his unique designs for public buildings such as Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Dulles International Airport Terminal, and the TWA building at JFK. The list of his lesser-known, but still impressive, works includes several buildings erected on academic campuses. For example, the Chapel and Kresge Auditorium on the MIT campus, the Emma Hartman Noyes House at Vassar College, the Law School building at the University of Chicago, and Yale’s David S. Ingalls Rink.

Down

2. French city on the Rhone : AVIGNON

Avignon is a city in the southeast of France on the Rhône river. Avignon is sometimes called the “City of Popes” as it was home to seven popes during the Catholic schism from 1309 to 1423.

8. Three-horse vehicle : TROIKA

“Troika” is a Russian word meaning “set of three”. “Troika” can apply to a sled or carriage drawn by three horses, or to a folk dance between one man and two women. The term might also apply to a triumvirate of political leaders.

9. “__ Song”: Taylor Swift hit : OUR

“Our Song” is a song recorded by Taylor Swift in 2006 that Swift wrote during her freshman year for a high school talent show.

10. Satellite service for road trips : XM RADIO

XM Satellite Radio used to be in competition with Sirius Satellite Radio but the FCC allowed the two companies to merge in 2008 forming Sirius XM Radio.

15. Fox’s “X-Files” partner : DANA

“The X-Files” is a very successful science fiction show that aired on the Fox network from 1993 to 2002. The stars of the show are David Duchovny (playing Fox Mulder) and the very talented Gillian Anderson (playing Dana Scully). By the time the series ended, “The X-Files” was the longest running sci-fi show in US broadcast history. An “X-Files” reboot started airing in 2016 with Duchovny and Anderson reprising their starring roles.

19. Tic __: mints : TACS

Tic Tacs aren’t American candy (as I always mistakenly believed). Tic Tacs are made by the Italian company Ferrero, and were introduced in 1969.

21. Borough bordering Yonkers : BRONX

The New York City borough known as the Bronx takes its name from the Bronx River that runs through it. The river was named after Jonas Bronck, an early immigrant to the Dutch colony of New Netherland. Bronck’s farm gave rise to the name “Broncksland” and “Bronck’s River”.

The city of Yonkers is built on land that was granted to Adriaen van de Donck in 1645. Van der Donck was known by locals as the “young gentleman” or “Johnkeer” in Dutch. It is the word “Jonkheer” that gives us the name “Yonkers”.

24. Wire service co. : UPI

Founded in 1958, United Press International (UPI) used to be one of the biggest news agencies in the world, sending out news by wire to the major newspapers. UPI ran into trouble with the change in media formats at the end of the twentieth century and lost many of its clients as the afternoon newspapers shut down due to the advent of television news. UPI, which once employed thousands, still exists today but with just a handful of employees.

34. Metro stop: Abbr. : STA

Station (sta.)

36. Symphonic rock gp. : ELO

The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) is a symphonic rock group from the north of England.

37. “Law & Order: SVU” actor : ICE T

Rapper Ice-T must be sick of having his name come up as an answer in crossword puzzles (I know I am!). Ice-T has been interested in acting for decades and made his film debut in the 1984 movie about breakdancing called “Breakin’”. He has also played Detective Fin Tutuola in the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” since the year 2000.

“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is a spin-off from the TV crime drama “Law & Order”. “SVU” has been on the air since 1999, and is set in New York City. Interestingly (to me), there is a very successful Russian adaptation of the show that is set in Moscow.

39. Ambien alternative : LUNESTA

Lunesta is a Sunovion-owned brand name for the hypnotic drug eszopiclone that can be prescribed for insomnia.

Ambien is a brand name for the prescription drug zolpidem. I have a friend who used to swear by Ambien for helping cope with jet lag. I once had to deal with jet lag almost monthly and swear by the diet supplement melatonin, which you can buy over the counter here in the US. But, I am no doctor so don’t listen to anything I say …

46. Bible book with 150 poems : PSALMS

The Greek word “psalmoi” originally meant “songs sung to a harp”, and gave us the word “psalms”. In the Jewish and Western Christian traditions, the Book of Psalms contains 150 individual psalms, divided into five sections.

49. Muscles strengthened by lunges : GLUTEI

There are three gluteal muscles in the human body, the largest of which is the gluteus maximus. It’s the gluteus maximus which really dictates the shape and size of the human buttocks. In evolutionary terms, the human “glutes” (also “glutei”) are larger than those in related species because they play a big role maintaining our erect posture.

60. Parlor art, for short : TAT

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are also sometimes referred to as “ink”.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. “MasterChef” tools : PANS

5. Street shader : ELM

8. Very dangerous : TOXIC

13. Maker of Anew skin care products : AVON

14. Have to have : NEED

16. Cuban dance : RUMBA

17. Fancy wheels : LIMO

18. Swimmer who medaled at five Olympic Games : DARA TORRES

20. Apparel : GARB

22. Exodus peak : SINAI

23. Actor’s rep. : AGT

24. Subjected to harsh criticism : UNDER ATTACK

26. Turn a different color : DYE

27. Belgian detective played by Ustinov, Welles, Finney and others : POIROT

28. Knight in shining armor : SAVIOR

30. Fast Company magazine competitor : INC

31. Nobelist Bohr : NIELS

35. Pot promise : IOU

36. Soccer deadlock breaker : EXTRA TIME

39. “Bad” cholesterol, initially : LDL

41. Battery-free calculators : ABACI

42. Mama bear, in Chihuahua : OSA

45. Home to about 740 million : EUROPE

48. Christmas cupful : EGGNOG

50. Fort Myers-to-Orlando dir. : NNE

51. Many a Sports Illustrated cover figure : STAR ATHLETE

55. Grazing spot : LEA

56. Oohed and __ : AAHED

57. Bottom : TUSH

58. Suspicious comment … and a hint to what’s hidden in 18-, 24-, 36- and 51-Across : I SMELL A RAT

61. Connected (to) : TIED

63. Cook, as dumplings : STEAM

64. “Game of Thrones,” for one : SAGA

65. Architect Saarinen : EERO

66. Fruity desserts : TARTS

67. Butterfly catcher : NET

68. “Got it” : I SEE

Down

1. Best bud : PAL

2. French city on the Rhone : AVIGNON

3. Inclined to wander : NOMADIC

4. Noisy sleeper : SNORER

5. Go “pfft” : END

6. Bare minimum : LEAST

7. __ badge : MERIT

8. Three-horse vehicle : TROIKA

9. “__ Song”: Taylor Swift hit : OUR

10. Satellite service for road trips : XM RADIO

11. “Pretty please?” : I BEG YOU

12. Furniture wheel : CASTER

15. Fox’s “X-Files” partner : DANA

19. Tic __: mints : TACS

21. Borough bordering Yonkers : BRONX

24. Wire service co. : UPI

25. Butting heads : AT IT

29. Go toe-to-toe : VIE

32. Stretch in history books : ERA

33. Research site : LAB

34. Metro stop: Abbr. : STA

36. Symphonic rock gp. : ELO

37. “Law & Order: SVU” actor : ICE T

38. Power : MIGHT

39. Ambien alternative : LUNESTA

40. Starry-eyed sort : DREAMER

42. Baby’s bodysuits : ONESIES

43. “As I predicted!” : SO THERE!

44. What candles may signify : AGE

45. Volunteer, in a way : ENLIST

46. Bible book with 150 poems : PSALMS

47. Footnote shorthand : ET AL

49. Muscles strengthened by lunges : GLUTEI

52. Cries of discovery : AHAS

53. Showed once more : RERAN

54. Maxim : ADAGE

59. Fast no more : EAT

60. Parlor art, for short : TAT

62. Girl in a forest : DOE

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10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 21 Jun 17, Wednesday”

  1. 9:35, no errors.

    Nice to see “Dara” in print. In 1972, I picked that as my daughter’s middle name. (My wife got dibs on picking the first name.) I found it in a book of Hebrew names, but it turns up as a name in a number of different languages:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dara

    Yesterday, I spent several hours, in 90-degree heat, planting a couple of trees in my ex’s yard, so today is going to be spent in not moving any more than I absolutely have to … ?

    @Vidwan … I also watched and enjoyed your dance video. I haven’t seen many (any?) Bollywood films. I did see (and very much enjoyed) “Slumdog Millionaire” and was slightly mystified at the end, when the entire cast participated in a Bollywood-style dance number. Interesting …

  2. This was one of those grids that tricky spelling on more than a few word, at least for me. I will never be the winner of any spelling bees and spelling is my Achilles Heel many times doing the CWP over the years.

    I just want to note, for those that have never been to Death Valley, that the maximum temp this week is projected to possibly hit 126. Now Death Valley is a fantastic place to visit, but late November is more my speed rather than in the summer. There is certain subset of Europeans who come in the summer specifically so they can experience that 120+ weather. One time during my overseas work in Saudi Arabia we had a “heat advisory” when the temp reached 131. Glad I wasn’t working outdoors on that particular day!

  3. A little tricky for me in spots. Finished in 19 minutes. I needed some time to find an error – I had ToRT rather than TART. I guess I eat civil suits for dessert?

    ICE T just got me on a NYT puzzle as well. Fool me once…..(you know the rest).

    I never knew where we got the word “soccer” in this country for what the rest of the world calls “football”. Interesting. I always assumed it was to distinguish it from American football, but it sounds like soccer predates football here.

    We’re (I hope) dodging a tropical storm here in Houston tonight while the rest of the west boils over in heat. I’m not sure which is worse. Fortunately, it looks like the tropical storm is heading east of here. It is cloudy and windy here right now, however.

  4. Third day in a row that I completed the grid without looking at the long answers. Found the “rat” in each, and had the theme before the clue for “I SMELL A RAT.” I’m sure I won’t be able to do that the rest of the week… Thursday, Friday and Saturday puzzles are always more of a challenge.

  5. Happy summer solistice, all – and the Google doodle proves it. Wow 1 17 hrs of sunshine today.

    Thank you Carrie, (from yesterday ) and David K., for watching that ‘item number’. I never saw that movie (Mohra – ), for reasons that may appear obvious. David, Slumdog Millionaire, was a big flop, in India, and many indians ( me included -) were totally confounded by the movie, and how it managed to win so many Academy awards …. East is east, and west is west, and never the twain shall meet… I watch 0.1 % of all hindi movies.

    If I were to recommend any hindi movies for you, it would be English, Vinglish (2012) ……

    and maybe, a recent movie, Dangal (2016) .

    My criteria is realism, some humor, inspiring and entertaining.

  6. I found the puzzle demanding, and found the clues to be very challenging. But I enjoyed it never the less, and the long answers were a great help and the theme very amusing. The answers on top were cute and delightful.

    Thank you, Bill, for Dara Torres !!?!!@@! I never knew there were female athletes, of this caliber, in this world. I was flabbergasted by her achievements. !!

    have a nice day all

  7. I had a Natick at DANA crosses DARA. Don’t know either. Also, couldn’t figure out the meaning of the theme. Was convinced it was some sort of story about this DARA being UNDER ATTACK and needing ESTRA TIME.
    Also, had to Google for OUR (song).

    My husband has a cousin who dances in Bollywood. She’s actually a lawyer, but prefers dancing.
    I suppose the reason the kid in Slumdog had such a hard time getting paid was because it was a flop there.

  8. After two easier early week puzzles, I did this in about 20 minutes with 1 error. Had ENs instead of END. Should of had that; I think I saw a story about her at the time and she’s practically Carrie’s neighbor.

    Tomorrow it’s supposed to be 94 here, so I’ll be in the shade during most of it. On to Thursday…

  9. Hi y’all!
    Some tough places on this grid! Initially screwed up on BOTH those Latin-plural words, ABACI and GLUTEI. Jeez!!! ?
    @Fred! Forgot this week to try your don’t-do-the-long-ones trick! Couldn’t have managed it today, but it’s a nice way to liven up the Mon and Tues puzzles. ???
    Hey Dirk, had to Google Dara Torres to see — wiki says Beverly Hills, so she’s not far from me… Of course, I can’t even afford to DRIVE THROUGH the 90210….
    I also noticed ICE-T in both puzzles, but I never miss him as an answer. Now I just need to learn more important things, such as those pesky European rivers….

    Be well~~™????

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