LA Times Crossword 13 Jun 20, Saturday

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Constructed by: Michael Weisenberg
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 11m 21s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • PIKACHU (Picachu)
  • IKON (Icon)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

13 Pokémon species with lightning bolt-shaped tails : PIKACHU

The Pikachu Illustrator is the rarest and most valuable Pokémon card. ONly 20-40 of the cards were ever printed. One Pikachu Illustrator card was sold at auction in 2016 for just under $55,000.

15 Jane Eyre, for one : HEROINE

“Jane Eyre” is a celebrated novel written by Charlotte Brontë, under the pen name Currer Bell. The love story is perhaps represented by the oft-quoted opening lines of the last chapter, “Reader, I married him”. There is a wonderful 4-hour television adaptation made by the BBC that I highly recommend to fans of the novel …

19 Muscat money : RIAL

The rial is the currency of Oman (as well as Yemen, Iran, Cambodia and Tunisia). Generally, there are 1,000 baisa in a rial.

Muscat is the capital of Oman. The city lies on the northeast coast of the state on the Gulf of Oman, a branch of the Persian Gulf.

20 Badly damaged Asian sea : ARAL

The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

21 Like BOS and ATL : INTL

BOS (Boston) and ATL (Atlanta) are international (intl.) airports.

Boston’s Logan Airport (BOS) is named after General Edward Lawrence Logan, a military officer from South Boston who fought in the Spanish-American War.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is the world’s busiest airport, as measured by passenger traffic. Atlanta has had that distinction since 1998, and was the world’s busiest in terms of take-offs and landings from 2005 until 2013. Over 50% of Atlanta’s traffic comes from Delta Air Lines.

24 Big name in Argentine politics : PERON

Nowadays, President Juan Perón of Argentina is perhaps less well-known than his second wife, Eva Perón of “Evita” fame. Juan and Eva Perón were overthrown in a military coup in 1955, although Juan Perón was returned to power in 1973 after which he served for only nine months before he passed away. Juan was succeeded in office by his third wife, Isabel Perón.

30 Filmmaker’s __ light : KLIEG

A klieg light is an intensely bright spotlight used to illuminate film sets and theater stages. Such lights use tungsten-halogen filaments, and were invented by brothers John and Anton Kliegl.

32 Bit of physics : ION

Excitation of an atom occurs when the atom absorbs energy and at least one of its electrons moves out of its resting orbit into a higher orbit. When the electron returns to its lowest orbit it may do so by emitting the excess energy in the form of a photon, that is by emitting a characteristic color of light. If sufficient energy is used to excite the atom, the electron may break out of orbit completely, in which case the atom becomes a positively-charged ion.

38 Yang partner : YIN

The yin and yang can be illustrated using many different metaphors. In one, as the sun shines on a mountain, the side in the shade is the yin and the side in the light is the yang. The yin is also regarded as the feminine side, and the yang the masculine. The yin can also be associated with the moon, while the yang is associated with the sun.

39 “A Gallery of Children” author : MILNE

“A Gallery of Children” is a 1925 collection of children’s stories by A. A. Milne. One year later, Milne came out with his first volume of incredibly successful “Winnie-the-Pooh” stories.

40 Yellowish color : OCHRE

Ocher is a light, yellowish-brown color, although variations of the pigment are possible such as red ocher and purple ocher. “Ocher” is usually spelled “ochre” on the other side of the pond.

42 Fifth __ : WHEEL

Idiomatically, a fifth wheel is a person or thing who is unnecessary, like the fifth wheel on a car. Given the automotive reference, it is perhaps a little surprising that the phrase “fifth wheel” dates back to the 1630s. I suppose a fifth wheel might be useful, like a spare, for an automobile. Back in the 17th century, I’m guessing that 4-wheel wagons and carriages didn’t carry spares ….

49 What “T” may mean : TRUE

An answer (ans.) might be true (T) or false (F).

54 Insomniacs have them : SLEEPLESS NIGHTS

Our word “insomnia” ultimately comes from the Latin prefix “-in” meaning “not” and “somnus” meaning “sleep”.

58 Bundt, e.g. : CAKE TIN

Here in the US, what we know as bundt cake takes its name from the ring-shaped pan in which it is usually baked. This pan was introduced in 1950 by the company Nordic Ware, at which time the “Bundt” name was trademarked.

61 Legendary Manhattan eatery : SARDI’S

Sardi’s is a famous restaurant in the Theater District of Manhattan that was opened in 1927 by Italian immigrant Vincent Sardi, Sr. Sardi’s is famous for attracting celebrities who sometimes pose for caricatures that are then displayed on the restaurant’s walls. After the death of actress and director Antoinette Perry in 1946, her friend and partner Brock Pemberton was having lunch at Sardi’s and came up with the idea of a theater award that could be presented in Perry’s honor. The award was to be called the Tony Award. In fact, Vincent Sardi, Sr. was presented with a special Tony at the first award ceremony, held in 1947.

Down

1 Tanning nos. : SPFS

In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

2 Te Kanawa of opera : KIRI

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa is an outstanding soprano from New Zealand who was in great demand for operatic performances in the seventies and eighties.

3 Ford subcompact : IKON

The Ford Ikon was produced from 1999 to 2015. It was introduced as a sedan version of the very successful Ford Fiesta.

4 Challenges for directors : HAMS

The word “ham”, describing a performer who overacts, is a shortened form of “hamfatter” and dates back to the late 1800s. “Hamfatter” comes from a song in old minstrel shows called “The Ham-Fat Man”. It seems that a poorly performing actor was deemed to have the “acting” qualities of a minstrel made up in blackface.

5 Notre Dame is in it, oddly: Abbr. : ACC

Even though the University of Notre Dame is located in the midwest, in Indiana, the school competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).

The athletic teams of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana are known as the Fighting Irish. There are several debated etymologies for the moniker “Fighting Irish”, with the most generally accepted being that it was applied by the press in the 1920s, reflecting the team’s fighting spirit and grit, determination and tenacity. I guess “grit, determination and tenacity” are characteristics often associated with the Irish.

6 Side issue? : THORN

A thorn in the side (sometimes “thorn in the flesh”) is an idiom describing an irritant. The phrase comes from the Second Epistle to the Corinthians in the Christian Bible:

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

8 Food scrap : ORT

Orts are small scraps of food left after a meal. “Ort” comes from Middle English, and originally described scraps left by animals.

9 Title words after “ours is a love,” in a Jimmy Dorsey classic : SO RARE

“So Rare” is a song that first became popular with a recording by Guy Lombardo in 1937. “So Rare” was to be a major hit for Jimmy Dorsey twenty years later, in 1957.

15 Daughter of Loki : HEL

Hel is the daughter of Loki in Norse Mythology, and the being who presides over a realm that is also called Hel. The underworld of Hel receives many of the dead, and the term “go to Hel” is used in Norse accounts to mean “to die”.

21 1959-’60 heavyweight champ Johansson : INGEMAR

Ingemar Johansson was a Swedish boxer, and former world heavyweight champion. Johansson won the title in 1959 from Floyd Patterson in an upset. The following year, Patterson won back the title from Johansson. The pair became close friends after they retired, until they both became incapacitated with Alzheimer’s disease.

23 “L.A. Law” and “Law & Order” : TV SHOWS

“L.A. Law” ran on NBC from 1986 to 1994, and was one of the network’s most successful drama series. It took over from the equally successful “Hill Street Blues” in the Thursday night 10 p.m. slot until, after a six-year run, it was itself replaced by yet another respected drama, “E.R.” The opening credits showed that famous California licence plate. The plate was on a Jaguar XJ for most of the series, but moved onto a Bentley towards the end of the run. For each series the registration sticker was updated, so no laws were being broken.

“Law & Order” ran for many, many years on NBC, from 1990 to 2010. It is a police drama that spawned a huge franchise of shows both here in the US and overseas. I am probably a bit biased, but my favorite is the version shown in BBC America called “Law & Order: UK”.

24 Garden State, e.g.: Abbr. : PKWY

The Garden State Parkway is a tollway that runs the length of New Jersey from Montvale at the stateline with New York in the north to Cape May in the south.

Apparently New Jersey was nicknamed “The Garden State” by former Attorney General of the state Abraham Browning. While speaking at the Philadelphia Centennial exhibition in 1876, he described his “garden state” as an immense barrel, filled with good things to eat and open at both ends, with Pennsylvanians grabbing from one end and New Yorkers from the other.

25 Pre-coll. catchall : ELHI

“Elhi” is an informal word used to describe anything related to schooling from kindergarten through grade 12, i.e. elementary through high school.

26 French nada : RIEN

The word “nothing” translates to “nada” in Spanish, and to “rien” in French.

27 “… __ a perfum’d sea”: Poe’s “To Helen” : O’ER

Edgar Allan Poe wrote two versions of his poem “To Helen”. The “Helen” in the poems might be the Greek goddess of light or perhaps Helen of Troy. Poe wrote the poem in honor of Jane Stanard, the mother of one of his childhood friends. Some speculate that the young Poe had a crush on Stanard, who was twice his age.

33 Fiona, for one : OGRE

Princess Fiona is the title character’s love interest in the “Shrek” series of films.

34 Caroling unit : NOEL

“Noël” is the French word for the Christmas season, and ultimately comes from the Latin word for “birth” (natalis). “Noel” has come to be used as an alternative for “Christmas carol”.

37 German pronoun : ICH

“Ich” is the German for “I”, as in “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner), the famous words of support uttered by President John F. Kennedy in 1963 in a speech in West Berlin. The supposed translation of “Ich bin ein Berliner” as “I am a jelly doughnut” … that’s just an urban myth. President Kennedy’s use of German was perfectly correct.

44 __ de rire: burst of laughter : ECLAT

“Éclat de rire” is French for “burst of laughter”.

52 Sewing shop buy : ETUI

An etui is an ornamental case used to hold small items, in particular sewing needles. We imported both the case design and the word “etui” from France. The French also have a modern usage of “etui”, using the term to depict a case for carrying CDs.

53 Bygone boomers : SSTS

Supersonic transports (SSTs) like the Concorde broke Mach 1, the speed of sound. As a plane flies through the air, it creates pressure waves in front (and behind) rather like the bow and stern waves of a boat. These pressure waves travel at the speed of sound, so as an aircraft itself accelerates towards the speed of sound it catches up with the pressure waves until they cannot “get out of the way”. When the aircraft reaches the speed of sound, the compressed waves merge into one single shock wave, creating a sonic boom.

55 School support gp. : PTA

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

57 Whole Foods Market competitor : IGA

The initialism “IGA” stands for “Independent Grocers Alliance”, and is a chain of supermarkets that extends right around the world. IGA’s headquarters is in Chicago. The company uses the slogan “Hometown Proud Supermarkets”.

The first Whole Foods Market was opened in 1980 by John Mackey and partners in Austin, Texas. For the two years prior to the Whole Foods launch, Mackay was operating his natural foods store that he called “Saferway”, as opposed to “Safeway”. Clever name …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Top of the slopes : SKI HAT
7 Recuperation area : POST-OP
13 Pokémon species with lightning bolt-shaped tails : PIKACHU
15 Jane Eyre, for one : HEROINE
16 Like many store-bought juices : FROM CONCENTRATE
18 They might result from omission : SINS
19 Muscat money : RIAL
20 Badly damaged Asian sea : ARAL
21 Like BOS and ATL : INTL
22 Golf bag features : STRAPS
24 Big name in Argentine politics : PERON
28 Extensive, themed tattoo : SLEEVE
30 Filmmaker’s __ light : KLIEG
31 Digitizes, in a way : SCANS
32 Bit of physics : ION
35 Placement question : WHERE DOES THIS GO?
38 Yang partner : YIN
39 “A Gallery of Children” author : MILNE
40 Yellowish color : OCHRE
41 Personally give : HAND TO
42 Fifth __ : WHEEL
43 Really fancy : DESIRE
46 Reasons for repeating courses : EFFS
48 Bakery finisher : ICER
49 What “T” may mean : TRUE
50 Bedazzles : AWES
54 Insomniacs have them : SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
58 Bundt, e.g. : CAKE TIN
59 Squeak by : EDGE OUT
60 “That’s a shame” : IT’S SAD
61 Legendary Manhattan eatery : SARDI’S

Down

1 Tanning nos. : SPFS
2 Te Kanawa of opera : KIRI
3 Ford subcompact : IKON
4 Challenges for directors : HAMS
5 Notre Dame is in it, oddly: Abbr. : ACC
6 Side issue? : THORN
7 Fenced-in area : PEN
8 Food scrap : ORT
9 Title words after “ours is a love,” in a Jimmy Dorsey classic : SO RARE
10 Queen topper : TIARA
11 At hand : ON TAP
12 Skins : PEELS
14 Restocking criterion : UNITS SOLD
15 Daughter of Loki : HEL
17 Where many orders are taken : CALL CENTERS
21 1959-’60 heavyweight champ Johansson : INGEMAR
22 Emitted, with “out” : SENT
23 “L.A. Law” and “Law & Order” : TV SHOWS
24 Garden State, e.g.: Abbr. : PKWY
25 Pre-coll. catchall : ELHI
26 French nada : RIEN
27 “… __ a perfum’d sea”: Poe’s “To Helen” : O’ER
29 App tester’s concern : EASE OF USE
32 “__ kidding?” : IS HE
33 Fiona, for one : OGRE
34 Caroling unit : NOEL
36 Patronize, with “at” : DINE …
37 German pronoun : ICH
41 Holiday season additions : HIREES
43 First of a box set : DISC I
44 __ de rire: burst of laughter : ECLAT
45 Personals verb : SEEKS
47 Provides (for oneself) : FENDS
49 Common face card value : TEN
50 Too much sun, they say : AGER
51 “__ you think it was?” : WHO’D
52 Sewing shop buy : ETUI
53 Bygone boomers : SSTS
55 School support gp. : PTA
56 Metaphor for a cover-up : LID
57 Whole Foods Market competitor : IGA

26 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 13 Jun 20, Saturday”

    1. FWIW, from a construction standpoint this one is bad. Biggest problem with it is the amount of crosswordese (ETUI, ECLAT, ORT, HEL, PKWY, ELHI, etc), but a lot of arcane uninteresting stuff in it too. If I had to speculate given what is included in the grid and the history I know of the author, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was possibly presented to the NYT first and then reshopped to the LAT.

      Also, since Bill didn’t cover it in his write-up, Sardi’s is a restaurant in New York City that’s famous (infamous) for the collection of portrait caricatures of different movie/tv/Broadway stars that have come through the place over the years it’s existed. It has been featured on media in several places (I remember a couple of times The Simpsons has parodied Sardi’s), though probably not recently. To a lesser extent, it’s also known as “the birthplace of the Tony Award”, as the idea of the award was concocted there.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMmXJaotl54

  1. LAT: About 50 minutes with trouble in the upper left (NW) corner. Had a c instead of k in Ford Ikon, resulting in two errors.

  2. 5 errors.. I was stuck in the NW corner for too long. FROM CONCENTRATE?? FROM? really? SKI HAT?? Really??? I actually guessed it right.. But I missed KLIEG and INGEMAR and RIEN.. Then there was 61A SARDIS.. I had SADDIS which gave me AGED for 50D…. AGER???
    Be safe

  3. A puzzle with no theme! Meh! A bunch of words slammed together to fill a grid. I mean…… Where does this go?

  4. Right from the start, 1a, ski hat??? Give me a break. This puzzle was a stinko, & boring. Don’t even want to get into it.

  5. 12:25, no errors. A pleasant romp after doing today’s “Stumper” from the WSJ (2:04:49 total elapsed time, no errors, but much angst 😳).

    1. I think you meant Newsday there…the WSJ wasn’t all that bad, save the confusing theme. As for the Newsday, I had a decent time with it but lost patience with doing crosswords at about the 1:30:00 mark, having attempted that one after Agard’s newest debacle. I would have finished the Newsday (top left was remaining) if I had more patience.

      1. Ah, yes. Newsday “Stumper”. (With age, my attention span has largely gone south.) The WSJ was straightforward, though I was puzzled throughout by the theme: after finishing, it took me another couple of minutes to finally see the intersecting words explaining it (at which point those words were “seen” as well as “sawn”, I guess 😜). Agard’s puzzle took me 12:29, with no errors, but some educated guessing.

  6. Etui??? In my house it’s called “an old shoe box!”
    Recuperation area? What if you are NOT recovering from surgery?
    In my neighborhood bedazzles is a verb.
    Some of these puzzles just stink.
    Plus I have never been to NYC. I DONT KNOW ANY EATING PLACES. NONE!

    1. Most are gone but I remember Sardi’s on West 44th St., as well as Toots Shor, on 51st St. and the Horn and Hardart Automat on 42nd and Third. Sardi’s interior was adorned with hundreds of caricatures of celebrities.

  7. Let me add~ A HISS BOO to todays puzzle !
    Ford Ikon production, (2000–present,South Africa, India, China and Mexico)

    Eddie

  8. No errors. I’ll count this as redemption from yesterday’s debacle. Hope everyone has a satisfying weekend and stays safe. I’m looking forward to my long bike ride tomorrow morning. I love the feeling of being out and about while almost everyone else is asleep. It’s always a thrill to see the nocturnal night life of the wild animals that coexist with us here in L.A. but generally aren’t observed.

  9. Had ‘Hubs’ for BOS & ATL… and ‘Cake pan’ for Bundt…both easily fixable, but
    “Intl” did not fit the clue; and cake tin [like a cookie tin] is a container with a
    lid–not something you bake in.
    Ann L.

  10. DNF. This puzzle is way beyond my expertise, and showed that I have a long ways to go to catch up with some of you, as the amount of arcane clues and answers exceeded anything I have seen in a while.

  11. The jury has returned its verdict on this pathetic puzzle: It sucks. From that ludicrous NW corner through every quadrant to the WHOD and ETUI of the ugly SE, it just … sucks. Nearly all constructors rightly aim to CHALLENGE solvers; a few, like Michael Wiesenberg, seem bent on THWARTING us instead. 32D neatly sums it up: Is he kidding?!

    1. Couldn’t have stated it better myself (and didn’t, in my first blush). This had the proper amount of outrage in it.

  12. I do the LA Times puzzle every day (or attempt it). This is by far the worst one yet!
    None of the clues or answers are remotely close to what the average intellectual stores in their memory.
    If I have to cheat to get answers constantly to progress in the puzzle, I’m not interested.
    Please keep it real and fun.

  13. 18 minutes, DNF, 6 fills in NW, where seemingly everyone fell down on the precious and arcane proper noun (name). Plus, this one was chock full of poor clues, or clumsily phrased, out-of-tense fills. Can’t we get a fair challenge any more? In the end, this falls on our editor, whose judgment is rapidly getting just as bad as NYT’s Will Shortz.

  14. 55:54 with 4 errors in the you guessed it NW corner where all the never heard ofs were crammed as they usually are in some area or another. This was one of my worst puzzle days in a long time but with no place to go I stuck with them all and also stunk with them all…glad it’s over.

  15. OMG, the whiners are at it again. “Waaah, it’s too hard for me!” I thought this puzzle was fun. Could one of you please post a list of all the no-nos a constructor must observe to satisfy your requirements for a puzzle worthy of your approval?

  16. Just came by to read up on all the stuff I didn’t get. I did have FROM CONCENTRATE and CALL CENTER, and a few other things, but fizzled for the most part. Outside of egoS for HAMS and toobAD for ITSSAD and stORy for THORN, at least what I had was right.

    I’d have to object to PIKACHU, SARDIS and SORARE, where the rest is difficult but within reason.

  17. I had the “FRO_” and could parse out the “Concentrate,” so I figured this was a rebus and wrote in “Zen.” Started looking around for others and that made the whole thing worse. Eventually got it figured out but this would have been a whole lot more fun had that been the start.

    Did not like “Cake Tin”. It’s “Cake Pan” or “Cookie Tin”.

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