LA Times Crossword 23 Jun 20, Tuesday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Warren Houck
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Aye Aye

Themed answers each include the letter sequence “II”:

  • 68A “Yes, captain” … and a phonetic hint to the answers to starred clues : AYE AYE
  • 13A *Many an Iraqi Muslim : SHIITE
  • 18A *From the 50th state : HAWAIIAN
  • 23A *City buried by Vesuvius’ eruption : POMPEII
  • 40A *Rolling to the terminal : TAXIING
  • 55A *Berra’s “No one goes there anymore. It’s too crowded,” e.g. : YOGIISM
  • 60A *Asian mushroom : SHIITAKE

Bill’s time: 6m 11s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 “Doctor Who” channel : BBC

The marvelous British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is mainly funded by the UK government through a television licence fee that is levied annually on all households watching TV transmissions.

The iconic science-fiction television show “Doctor Who” first aired in 1963 on the BBC, and relaunched in 2005. The relaunched series is produced in-house by the BBC in Cardiff in Wales, the location that is the setting of the successful “Doctor Who” spin-off called “Torchwood”. The new show is about the Cardiff branch of the Torchwood Institute which investigates incidents involving extraterrestrials. Why “Torchwood”? Well, “Torchwood” is an anagram of “Doctor Who”.

13 *Many an Iraqi Muslim : SHIITE

The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family, and favored the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali.

Iraq is often called the “Cradle of Civilization” as it was home to Sumer, which was the earliest known civilization on the planet. By 5000 BC the Sumerian people were practicing year-round agriculture and had a specialized labor force. For the first time, a whole race were able to settle in one place by storing food, instead of having to migrate in a pattern dictated by crops and grazing land.

15 Congeal : CLOT

A blood clot is a very necessary response to an injury and is intended to prevent bleeding. Also called a thrombus, the clot comprises aggregated blood platelets trapped in a mesh made from fibrin, a fibrous protein. If a thrombus forms in a healthy blood vessel, restricting blood flow, that condition is known as thrombosis.

16 __ de Janeiro : RIO

Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil (after São Paulo). “Rio de Janeiro” translates as “January River”. The name reflects the discovery of the bay on which Rio sits, on New Year’s Day in 1502.

18 *From the 50th state : HAWAIIAN

Alaska became the 49th state to join the United States on January 3rd, 1959. Hawaii became the 50th state just a few months later, on August 21st.

22 Like at least six periodic table gases : NOBLE

The rare gases are better known as the noble gases, but neither term is really very accurate. “Noble” gas might be a better choice though, as they are all relatively unreactive. But “rare” they are not. Argon, for example, is a major constituent (1%) of the air that we breathe.

Dmitri Mendeleev was a Russian chemist. When Mendeleev classified elements according to their chemical properties, he noticed patterns and was able to group elements into his famous 1869 Periodic Table. So powerful was his table that he actually predicted the properties of some elements that had not even been discovered in 1869. Element number 101 is mendelevium and was named after Mendeleev.

23 *City buried by Vesuvius’ eruption : POMPEII

The ancient city of Pompeii is situated close to Naples in Italy. Pompeii was destroyed in AD 79 by the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius. The city was completely lost from that time, and was only rediscovered in 1748. Excavations have uncovered the remarkably well-preserved buildings and roads, and Pompeii now attracts over 2 million visitors annually.

26 Vital organ pair : KIDNEYS

The kidneys have several functions in the body, including the removal of toxins from the blood. This function is carried out by nephrons, the main structural units in the kidneys. Each human kidney comprises about a million nephrons.

28 Smoothie superfruit : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

29 Partners’ legal entity: Abbr. : LLC

A limited liability company (LLC) has a structure that limits the liability of the owner or owners. It is a hybrid structure in the sense that it can be taxed as would an individual or partnership, while also maintaining the liability protection afforded to a corporation.

31 “Deck the Halls” contraction : ‘TIS

The music for the Christmas song “Deck the Halls” is a traditional Welsh tune that dates back to the 16th century. The same tune was used by Mozart for a violin and piano duet. The lyrics with which we are familiar (other than the “f-la-la”) are American in origin, and were recorded in the 19th century.

“’Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la la la la!”

34 Like Cheerios : OATEN

Cheerios breakfast cereal has the distinction of being the first oat-based cereal introduced into the market, hitting the grocery store shelves in 1941. Back then, Cheerios were known as CheeriOats.

43 Prof.’s aides : TAS

Teaching assistant (TA)

44 Dress named for a letter : A-LINE

An A-line skirt is one that fits snugly at the hips and flares towards the hem. The term “A-line” was first used in fashion by French designer Christian Dior in his 1955 spring collection.

45 Red giant in the night sky : S STAR

Red giants are very large stars with a relatively low mass. The atmosphere of a red giant is also very inflated and extends a long way into space so the surface of that atmosphere that we see is relatively cool, which gives it a red color. Stars are classified by their spectral characteristics, basically the color of the light they emit. As such, red giants are classified as M stars. Cool red giants are of a color beyond the usual range, and are classified as S stars.

48 Oilers, on NHL scoreboards : EDM

The National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers are so called because they are located in Alberta, Canada … oil country.

50 Drake or drone, e.g. : MALE

A male duck is a drake, and a female duck is a hen. That said, a female is sometimes just referred to as a duck!

Drone bees and ants are fertile males of the species whose sole role in life seems to be to mate with a queen. Given that they make no honey, we use the term “drone” figuratively, to describe a lazy worker, or someone who lives on the labors of others.

55 *Berra’s “No one goes there anymore. It’s too crowded,” e.g. : YOGIISM

Yogi Berra is regarded by many as the greatest catcher ever to play in Major League Baseball, and has to be America’s most celebrated “author” of malapropisms. Here are some greats:

  • It ain’t over till it’s over.
  • 90% of the game is half mental.
  • Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.
  • When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
  • It’s déjà vu all over again.
  • Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t go to yours.
  • A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.

60 *Asian mushroom : SHIITAKE

Shiitake mushrooms are native to Japan, China and Korea. They are very popular as a food, and shiitake now make up about 25% of the total world’s production of mushrooms. The name is Japanese in origin, and basically means “mushroom that grows on the shii (Castanopsis) tree”.

66 Truck weight unit : TON

Here in the US, a ton is equivalent to 2,000 pounds. Over in the UK, a ton is 2,240 pounds. The UK unit is sometimes referred to as an Imperial ton, long ton or gross ton. Folks over there refer to the US ton then as a short ton. To further complicate matters, there is also a metric ton or tonne, which is equivalent to 2,204 pounds. Personally, I wish we’d just stick to kilograms …

69 Unit of work : ERG

An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, with one joule comprising 10 million ergs. It has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off. The term comes from “ergon”, the Greek word for work.

71 Snide commentary : SNARK

“Snark” is a term that was coined by Lewis Carroll in his fabulous 1876 nonsense poem “The Hunting of the Snark”. Somehow, the term “snarky” came to mean “irritable, short-tempered” in the early 1900s, and from there “snark” became “sarcastic rhetoric” at the beginning of the 21st century.

Down

1 1/6 fl. oz. : TSP

There are six teaspoons (tsps.) in an ounce (oz.), and eight ounces (oz.) in a cup.

2 Spa user’s reaction : AHH

The word “spa” migrated into English from Belgium, as “Spa” is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name “Spa” comes from the Walloon word “espa” meaning “spring, fountain”.

4 Bigwig : KINGPIN

The word “kingpin” is mainly used figuratively these days, to describe the most prominent member of a group. Back at the start of the 19th century, a kingpin was the largest pin in a bowling game called “kayles”. As a result, the term “kingpin” is also used sometimes in ten-pin bowling to describe the 5-pin, the pin in the center of the triangular array.

A bigwig is someone important. The use of the term “bigwig” harks back to the days when men of authority and rank wore … big wigs.

11 Onion bagel alternative : BIALY

“Bialy” is a Yiddish name for a small onion roll that takes its name from Bialystok, a city in Poland.

21 Mississippi port : BILOXI

Biloxi is a port city on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Prior to 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, it was the third-largest city in the state. Post-Katrina, it became the fifth-largest city, due to the number of people leaving the area permanently in response to the flooding and destruction.

23 Blue Ribbon beer : PABST

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) is the most recognizable brand of beer from the Pabst Brewing Company. There appears to be some dispute over whether or not Pabst beer ever won a “blue ribbon” prize, but the company claims that it did so at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The beer was originally called Pabst Best Select, and then just Pabst Select. With the renaming to Blue Ribbon, the beer was sold with an actual blue ribbon tied around the neck of the bottle until it was dropped in 1916 and incorporated into the label.

24 City about 65 miles west of Daytona Beach : OCALA

The city of Ocala, Florida was founded near a historic village with the same name. In the local Timucua language “Ocala” means “Big Hammock”. Back in the 1890s, Ocala was famous for its oranges, with over one third of that fruit shipped from Florida coming from the city. Also, thoroughbred horse farming in Florida started in Ocala, back in 1943. Some folks today call Ocala the “Horse Capital of the World”, but I bet that’s disputed by others …

The coastal city of Daytona Beach in Florida is known for hard-packed sand on the beach. This makes a good surface for driving motorized vehicles, and resulted in Daytona Beach becoming a center for motorsports. The Daytona 500 is the event with the largest purse on the NASCAR calendar.

25 Two of them precede “quite contrary” : MARYS

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, How does your garden grow? With silver bells, and cockle shells, And pretty maids all in a row.

27 Fla.-to-Cal. highway : I-TEN

I-10 is the most southerly of the interstate routes that cross from the Atlantic to the Pacific. I-10 stretches from Santa Monica, California to Jacksonville, Florida. Various stretches of the route have been given different names, for example, the Rosa Parks Freeway, the Santa Monica Freeway, the San Bernardino Freeway and the Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway.

30 Fictional mutiny ship : CAINE

“The Caine Mutiny” is a Pulitzer-winning, 1951 novel by Herman Wouk. The story involves mutiny and court-martial aboard a US Navy vessel and reflected, at least partly, the personal experiences of Wouk as he served in the Pacific in WWII aboard a destroyer-minesweeper. The novel was adapted into a marvelous film released in 1954 starring Humphrey Bogart as Philip Queeg, the harsh captain of the USS Caine.

33 Sports page datum : STATISTIC

Our word “data” (singular “datum”) comes from the Latin “datum” meaning “given”. The idea is that data are “things given”.

35 Many a Woodstock T-shirt : TIE-DYE

1969’s Woodstock Music & Art Fair was held on a dairy farm located 43 miles southwest of the town of Woodstock, New York. 400,000 young people attended, and saw 32 bands and singers perform over three days.

36 Asia’s __ Mountains : ALTAI

The Altai Mountains are a range in Asia, located where the countries of Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan meet. “Altai” is Turkic for “Golden Mountain”.

37 Flippered mammals : SEALS

38 Group of 37-Down : HAREM

Male seals are called bulls, females are cows, and babies are pups. A group of seals comprising one or two males, with several females and their offspring, is known as a harem.

46 Wee bit : SMIDGEN

Our word “smidgen” (sometimes shortened to “smidge”) is used to describe a small amount. The term might come from the Scots word “smitch” that means the same thing or “a small insignificant person”.

49 Polynesian Disney princess : MOANA

“Moana” is a 2016 animated feature film and the 56th animated Disney movie. The title character is the daughter of a Polynesian chief who heads off in search of the demigod Maui, hoping that he can save her people.

54 Cod cousins : HAKES

Hake is a commonly eaten fish in Europe, with half of all the hake consumed in Spain.

56 Overcast colors, in London : GREYS

The spelling of the word “gray” tends to differ in English-speaking countries. “Gray” is common in North America, while “grey” is more usual elsewhere. That’s why here in the US, we have to watch the spelling of proper nouns like “Earl Grey”. The non-US spelling is used on this side of the Atlantic because the tea is named for a former British prime minister.

London is the largest metropolitan area in the whole of the European Union (and one of my favorite cities in the world). London has been a major settlement for over 2,000 years and was founded as a town by the Romans who named it Londinium. The name “Londinium” may have existed prior to the arrival of the Romans, and no one seems too sure of its origins. Famously, the City of London is a one-square-mile area at the center of the metropolis, the area that marked old medieval London. “The City”, as it is commonly called, has its own Mayor of the City of London (the Mayor of London is someone else), and it’s own City of London Police Force (the London Metropolitan Police are the police usually seen on the streets, a different force).

59 Tour de force : FEAT

A tour de force (plural “tours de force”) is a great display of strength or skill. “Tour de force” is French, in which language it has the same meaning.

61 Brouhaha : ADO

“Brouhaha”, meaning “ado, stir”, was a French word that back in the 1550s meant “the cry of the devil disguised as clergy” . Wow!

64 Norse god of war : TYR

Týr was the Norse god of single combat, victory and heroic glory. According to legend, Týr showed great courage when he and his fellow gods were attempting to shackle the wolf monster called Fenrir. The wolf was tricked into accepting bindings that were actually magical ribbons of great strength. Fenrir submitted to the bonds because Týr agreed to place his hand in the wolf’s mouth, as a gesture of assurance that the ribbon was harmless. When Fenrir recognized the deceit, he bit off Týr’s hand. As a result, the god Týr is almost always depicted with only one hand.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Conversations : TALKS
6 Flows back : EBBS
10 “Doctor Who” channel : BBC
13 *Many an Iraqi Muslim : SHIITE
15 Congeal : CLOT
16 __ de Janeiro : RIO
17 Great new talent : PHENOM
18 *From the 50th state : HAWAIIAN
20 “Hold tight!” : GRAB ON!
22 Like at least six periodic table gases : NOBLE
23 *City buried by Vesuvius’ eruption : POMPEII
26 Vital organ pair : KIDNEYS
28 Smoothie superfruit : ACAI
29 Partners’ legal entity: Abbr. : LLC
31 “Deck the Halls” contraction : ‘TIS
32 Horses’ houses : BARNS
34 Like Cheerios : OATEN
36 Cigar remnants : ASH
39 Cunning : SLY
40 *Rolling to the terminal : TAXIING
42 Meadow : LEA
43 Prof.’s aides : TAS
44 Dress named for a letter : A-LINE
45 Red giant in the night sky : S STAR
47 Gobbled down : ATE
48 Oilers, on NHL scoreboards : EDM
50 Drake or drone, e.g. : MALE
51 Sully, as a reputation : TARNISH
55 *Berra’s “No one goes there anymore. It’s too crowded,” e.g. : YOGIISM
57 Borders on : ABUTS
58 Frightened, in Shakespeare : AFEARD
60 *Asian mushroom : SHIITAKE
62 Prove false : NEGATE
66 Truck weight unit : TON
67 “Bright” thought : IDEA
68 “Yes, captain” … and a phonetic hint to the answers to starred clues : AYE AYE
69 Unit of work : ERG
70 Sell for : COST
71 Snide commentary : SNARK

Down

1 1/6 fl. oz. : TSP
2 Spa user’s reaction : AHH
3 Golf ball position : LIE
4 Bigwig : KINGPIN
5 Department __ : STORE
6 “HELLO … (hello) …,” e.g. : ECHO
7 Shut out, in a game : BLANK
8 Arrow shooter : BOW
9 Table showing teams’ won-lost records : STANDINGS
10 Under-the-table money : BRIBE
11 Onion bagel alternative : BIALY
12 Ice cream holders : CONES
14 Texting alternative : EMAIL
19 Charged particles : IONS
21 Mississippi port : BILOXI
23 Blue Ribbon beer : PABST
24 City about 65 miles west of Daytona Beach : OCALA
25 Two of them precede “quite contrary” : MARYS
27 Fla.-to-Cal. highway : I-TEN
30 Fictional mutiny ship : CAINE
33 Sports page datum : STATISTIC
35 Many a Woodstock T-shirt : TIE-DYE
36 Asia’s __ Mountains : ALTAI
37 Flippered mammals : SEALS
38 Group of 37-Down : HAREM
41 Bar pints : ALES
46 Wee bit : SMIDGEN
47 Against : ANTI
49 Polynesian Disney princess : MOANA
51 Ability to discern quality : TASTE
52 Find repugnant : ABHOR
53 Regretting : RUING
54 Cod cousins : HAKES
56 Overcast colors, in London : GREYS
59 Tour de force : FEAT
61 Brouhaha : ADO
63 Strong bond rating : AAA
64 Norse god of war : TYR
65 “A mouse!” : EEK!

31 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 23 Jun 20, Tuesday”

  1. 4 errors. Went fast but I goofed in 2 places. Forgot MOANA and had MOARA instead. That gave me REGATE for 62A. Then there was HALES for 54D instead of HAKES. Which have me SHIITALI for 60A instead of SHIITAKI. Really had a moment.
    But Bill taught me about BIALY bagel and the ALTAI mountain range. Never heard of either one. Quite the abnormal Tuesday for me!
    Be safe!

    1. Pretty easy today. Fun puzzle & clever theme. Afew spots l had to work around to get, but got an A on this one.

  2. No errors, but I can’t believe it. To me, there was really some obscure stuff in this puzzle. “Oaten”????? I could see oatey, maybe. Or even oatlike, but “oaten”.

    1. @Bob in Erie, oaten does sound strange, but l have seen it in many puzzles. They write words, no matter how stupid they sound, to fill in all the time, cause they can. They like to mess with your head.

      1. @Anonymous (and others) … I just found “oaten” in four different dictionaries. It’s in the dictionaries because it is, or has been, used in speech or in print. Setters use it because it’s in the dictionary. So it’s incorrect to say that no one has ever used it. Admittedly, it’s getting a bit “long in the tooth” (but so am I … 😜).

    2. TBH, “oaten” isn’t a very bad crossword foul. It does exist in a number of other LA Times puzzles, has a root word (“oat”) that most should know unlike a lot of the crosswordese that gets used, and should be easily figured out from the clue by anyone that has a remote awareness of what Cheerios are.

      “Bialy” could be construed as a more obscure/worse phrase, especially to be used in a early-week grid. It occurs only once in a Sunday puzzle in 2014. It’s an odd word that most wouldn’t know, too (I didn’t). Thankfully it was crossed with a sequence of reasonably known words, so I can’t say I can complain too heavily about it. Or any other part of this grid from a construction stand point.

  3. No errors in this pretty easy one, but learned a new word–“bialy”–
    had not heard of it before and had to look it up in my dictionary to
    make sure I was correct.

  4. 7:57, no errors. Gotta love a puzzle that makes i’s at you … 😜.

    @John Daigle …

    I had indeed read a great deal about GolfCross and found it fascinating (particularly the comments about the aerodynamic characteristics of the football-shaped ball used in the game). But the GolfCross ball is quite different from the egg-shaped Wilson ball that I found, so what I asked myself was, “Why did Wilson make an egg-shaped ball? What was it for? Was it meant as a novelty? Were they aware of its aerodynamic properties? Were they copying the Ram ball from the 50’s or 60’s that I found for sale on eBay? Why was the Ram ball made?”

    The Wilson people sent me an email apologizing for not getting around to my question yesterday; hopefully, I will hear from them today. (I may try to contact Ram as well.)

    (And I am in awe of your reported “double eagles” and holes-in-one!)

    1. @John Daigle …

      I found a contact number for CafePress and verified my suspicions: it’s what is printed on the ball that is egg-shaped.

      I also found what looked like another promising lead, but it turns out that “Golf Clash” is a video game in which egg-shaped balls are a thing!

      This may be turning into an unhealthy obsession. “May be?,” I hear you cry … 😜

  5. Forgive a bit of snark, but I think you’re missing one last “la” in your 31 Across explanation.

  6. 5:55 no errors – fun!

    I considered entering that Cheerios were “oaten”, but “round” seemed like a more straightforward word. Should have stuck with the first impulse.

    If you haven’t tried a bialy before, you owe yourself the effort of hunting one down. A bialy is like a lovely little bagel with the hole filled in by a bite-sized onion focaccio.

    1. @Pam …

      Are you a professional chef? You seem to be extraordinarily knowledgeable about food.

      I need your services! My recent move, followed by the advent of the coronavirus, has pushed me into walking many miles a week and forced me to cook for myself, causing me to lose 20 pounds. (And I was pretty thin to begin with. 😳)

      1. Consider yourself lucky! Before I picked up this crosswording habit and had to deal with my mother’s things, I walked quite a bit and then biked a bit. I really didn’t lose any weight despite it all, at least 15 miles a day on the bike up to around 57 for a record, and at least 4-5 when I walked. But my old (for my chronological age, which goes up 1 in the next two days) body decided to break down and I stopped in favor of the 12+ hour days I worked to clean her house up and struggling mightily on Monday LAT crosswords.

        That said, I just now got done fixing my bike up (spent more time being a bike mechanic than actually riding them, sadly), so hopefully going to find out how well things go in the next few days.

        But not gonna hold my breath on losing any weight. Especially if my joints can’t be made to work right, still.

        1. Hmmm. I just got curious enough to calculate my BMI and it turns out to be 21.4, which is, reassuringly, near the middle of the normal range. So maybe I shouldn’t be worried about the issue …

          Annddd … Happy Birthday! May future ones be celebrated in more auspicious and settled times!

          1. @ Mr. Muss: My BMI calculates the same as yours when I estimate my height as 11′ 2″ tall…

  7. A good Tuesday puzzle. Though there are some far-out words, they are solved by crosses. Later in the week we get the Naticks.

    But – where is SKIING? TAXIING?
    OATEN is old fashioned (The Oaten Flute in pastoral poetry), but notice it has 3 vowels out of 5 letters. Bill explains BIALY.
    Of course, I didn’t know BLANK or LIE (sports). Also didn’t know ALTAI; but, as I said, crosses saved me on this fine Tuesday.

    @A Nonny Muss – just eat what I used to, and you’ll be fat in no time: bacon, fruit juice, ice cream, cakes, pies, bars. Enjoy!

  8. 11 minutes, 7 seconds, no errors. Now, this one was actually CLEVER, without being forced. It’s not easy to find a collection of words with consecutive Is, and then put them in a grid. Credit where credit is due.

  9. Afeared still used for afraid in Ulster as a hold over from 1600s– brought over from England during the Plantation.

  10. Fun puzzle today and was glad to get it.

    @A Nonny Muss – thanks for the info. I am going to search some more.

    Stay safe, all. Keep your distance, wear your mask and wash your hands.

  11. Hey y’all!🦆

    Wow! I’m a geek — I accidentally did the Wednesday puzzle! So I guess I’ve got nothing to say about this one — except that yes, I know BIALY…..🤗

    Be safe~~🍺

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.