LA Times Crossword 9 Jun 20, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Kurt Mengel & Jan-Michele Gianette
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Hungry for an Idiom?

Themed answers are each common phrases in the format “consume something”:

  • 18A Chat leisurely : CHEW THE FAT
  • 28A Refrain from saying something unpleasant : BITE YOUR TONGUE
  • 46A Fall into a trap : SWALLOW THE BAIT
  • 61A Have some humble pie : EAT YOUR HAT

Bill’s time: 7m 04s!

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Sea of Cortez peninsula, informally : BAJA

The Baja California Peninsula lies in the northwest of Mexico. It is bounded on the southwest by the Pacific Ocean, and on the northeast by the Gulf of California. The border city of Mexicali sits at the north of the peninsula, and the resort city of Cabo San Lucas sits at the southern tip.

The Gulf of California is also known as the Sea of Cortez. It is the body of water that separates the peninsula of Baja, California from the Mexican mainland.

9 Some Apples : IMACS

The iMac is a desktop computer platform that Apple introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is an “all-in-one” design, with the computer console and monitor integrated. The iMac also came in a range of colors that Apple marketed as “flavors”, such as strawberry, blueberry and lime.

16 Carne para un taco : POLLO

In Spanish, “pollo” (chicken) is one choice of “carne para un taco” (meat for a taco).

18 Chat leisurely : CHEW THE FAT

Back in the day, a wealthy person would “bring home the bacon”, and sit around with guests “chewing the fat”.

22 Greek known for paradoxes : ZENO

Zeno of Elea was a Greek philosopher who lived in Elea, a Greek colony in Southern Italy. Zeno is famous for his paradoxes, a set of problems that really make you think! In the problem known as “Achilles and the Tortoise”, Zeno tells us that Achilles races a tortoise, giving the tortoise a head start (of say 100 meters). By the time Achilles reaches the starting point of the tortoise, the tortoise will have moved on, albeit only a small distance. Achilles then sets his sights on the tortoise’s new position and runs to it. Again the tortoise has moved ahead a little. Achilles keeps on moving to the tortoise’s new position but can never actually catch his slower rival. Or can he …?

26 Hagen of Broadway : UTA

Uta Hagen was a German-born American actress. Hagen married Jose Ferrer in 1938, but they were divorced ten years later after it was revealed that she was having a long-running affair with Paul Robeson. Her association with Robeson, a prominent civil rights activist, earned her a spot on the Hollywood Blacklist during the McCarthy Era. This forced her away from film, but towards a successful stage career in New York City.

36 Hotelier Helmsley and singer Lewis : LEONAS

Leona Helmsley was a high-rolling real estate investor and hotel operator in New York City. She was convicted of income tax evasion in 1989 and sentenced to 16 years in jail. At her trial a witness quoted her as saying “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.” No wonder she was known as the Queen of Mean …

Leona Lewis rocketed to fame after winning the British TV show called “The X Factor” (the show that spawned the UK’s “Pop Idol” and America’s “American Idol”).

37 Start of Hamlet’s question : TO BE …

There has been centuries of debate about how one interprets Hamlet’s soliloquy that begins “To be or not to be …”. My favorite opinion is that Hamlet is weighing up the pros and cons of suicide (“to not be”).

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous fortune;
Or to take Armes against a Sea of troubles …

38 Works at, as a trade : PLIES

The verb “to ply”, as in “to ply one’s trade”, is related to the verb “to apply”, and is in effect a shortened form of the latter.

41 Fur tycoon : ASTOR

John Jacob Astor was the patriarch of the famous American Astor dynasty. He was the country’s first multi-millionaire, making his fortune in the trade of fur, real estate and opium. In today’s terms, it has been calculated that by the time of his death he has accumulated a fortune big enough to make him the fourth wealthiest man in American history (in the company of the likes of Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Bill Gates, Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller).

43 Patrol vehicle : COP CAR

“To cop” was northern-English dialect for “to seize, catch”, and is still a slang term meaning “to get hold of, steal”. This verb evolved in the noun “copper”, describing a policeman, someone who catches criminals. “Copper” is often shortened to “cop”.

45 Lao Tzu’s “way” : TAO

Lao Tse (also “Lao-Tzu”) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.

50 African antelope : ORYX

The oryx is a large antelope species, mainly found in Africa but also in the Arabian Peninsula. One species was introduced by man into the White Sands Missile Range. As a result, the oryx is now considered an invasive species in the neighboring White Sands National Monument.

54 U.S. Army E-3s : PFCS

Private First Class (PFC)

61 Have some humble pie : EAT YOUR HAT

The phrase “humble pie” derives from a medieval meat dish called “umble pie”. The filling in umble pie usually contained the offal (heart, liver, lungs and kidneys) of deer. The name “umble” came from the French “nomble” meaning “deer’s innards”.

65 “Goldengirl” star Susan : ANTON

Actress Susan Anton is an actress and singer who is perhaps best known for playing the title role in the 1979 film “Goldengirl”, which marked her big screen debut. Anton had a relationship in the early eighties with English actor, comedian and musician Dudley Moore. That relationship garnered a lot of superficial attention because Anton was 8½ inches taller than her beau.

“Goldengirl” is a 1979 sci-fi sports movie based on a novel by Peter Lear. The title character, played by Susan Anton, is the daughter of a neo-Nazi doctor who develops her into a superhuman by injecting her from childhood with vitamins and hormones. The “Goldengirl” competed in the 1980 Summer Olympic Games, with surprising results. In reality of course, the US team boycotted the 1980 Moscow games to protest the Soviet-Afghan War.

68 Broadway composer Jule : STYNE

Jule Styne was an English songwriter who made a name for himself in America with a series of popular musicals. Styne wrote a number of famous songs including “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from “Funny Girl”, “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, and “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from “Gypsy”.

70 ER “Hurry up!” : STAT!

The exact etymology of “stat”, a term meaning “immediately” in the medical profession, seems to have been lost in the mists of time. It probably comes from the Latin “statim” meaning “to a standstill, immediately”. A blog reader has helpfully suggested that the term may also come from the world of laboratory analysis, where the acronym STAT stands for “short turn-around time”.

Down

1 Reagan secretary of state Alexander __ : HAIG

Alexander Haig was secretary of state under President Reagan, and White House chief of staff under Presidents Nixon and Ford. Famously, Haig took over temporary control of the country immediately after President Reagan was shot in 1981. To do so was a pragmatic move, while waiting on Vice President Bush to arrive in Washington. There was much debate at the time about the legality of the steps taken, as the presidential line of succession called out in the US Constitution is vice president, speaker of the House, president pro tempore of the US Senate, and then secretary of state.

2 Designer Gucci : ALDO

Gucci was founded in Rome, in 1921, by Guccio Gucci. Guccio’s son Aldo took over the company after his father’s death in 1953. It was Aldo who established the international presence for the brand and opened the company’s first overseas store, in New York City.

3 Car engine cover : HOOD

The hinged cover over the engine of a car is referred to in the US as a “hood”, and in Britain and Ireland as a “bonnet”. On the other side of the Atlantic, a hood is a fabric cover that goes over a car’s passenger compartment. That same cover is called a “top” here in the US.

5 Ohio State athlete : BUCKEYE

Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus was founded back in 1870 as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College. The athletic teams of OSU are called the Buckeyes, named after the state tree of Ohio. In turn the buckeye tree gets its name from the appearance of its fruit, a dark nut with a light patch thought to resemble a “buck’s eye”.

6 Bat wood : ASH

The wood of the ash tree is a hardwood, although it is relatively elastic. Famously, ash is the wood of choice for baseball bats. It is also the wood of choice for hurleys, the wooden sticks used in the Irish sport of hurling.

9 Old Apple app for pics : IPHOTO

iPhoto is a digital photo manipulation application that Apple no longer supports, having replaced it with the Photos app.

10 Homer’s bartender : MOE

Moe Szyslak is the surly bartender and owner of Moe’s Tavern in “The Simpsons” animated TV show. I don’t really care for “The Simpsons”, but Hank Azaria who supplies the voice for the Moe character … him I like …

11 NATO alphabet “A” : ALFA

The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

29 Memoir featuring Ike Turner : I, TINA

“I, Tina” is a 1986 autobiography by Tina Turner. The book was so successful it was adapted into a movie called “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” The film version was released in 1993 and stars Angela Bassett as Tina Turner.

31 __ Cucamonga, California : RANCHO

Jack Benny had a running gag going on his radio show, “The Jack Benny Program”, in which he made fun of the city name “Rancho Cucamonga”. He had Mel Blanc (also famous as the voice of Bugs Bunny and other cartoon characters) make a fake train station announcement, faltering over the name “Cuc …. amonga”. The city loved the publicity, and named a street there Jack Benny Way. Outside the city’s minor league baseball stadium, on Jack Benny Way, they also erected a bronze statue of Jack Benny. The statue has since been moved, so if you are in town, you can see it in the Victoria Gardens Cultural Center,

32 Gangster dubbed “The Teflon Don” : GOTTI

John Gotti was the boss of the Gambino crime family from 1985. Gotti was known as the “Teflon Don” and took over leadership of the family from Paul Castellano when he was gunned down, allegedly on Gotti’s orders. Gotti remained head of the New York family until he was sentenced to life in prison in 1992. Gotti died of throat cancer after ten years behind bars.

33 German WWII sub : U-BOAT

“U-boat” stands for the German “Unterseeboot” (undersea boat). Notably, a U-boat sank the RMS Lusitania in 1915, an event that helped propel the US into WWI.

34 Gateway Arch designer Saarinen : EERO

Eero Saarinen was a Finnish-American architect who was renowned in this country for his unique designs for public buildings such as the 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.

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is located on the banks of the Mississippi River, and is the tallest monument in the United States. It was designed by Eero Saarinen, with the help of structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel. They did their design work back in 1947, but construction wasn’t started until 1963. In 1980, a daredevil took it upon himself to parachute onto the top of the arch, intending to further jump from the apex of the arch and parachute to the ground. He hit the arch all right, and slid all the way down one of the arches to his death. No comment …

35 ICU caregivers : LPNS

Licensed practical nurse (LPN)

41 Chain known for roast beef : ARBY’S

The Arby’s chain of fast food restaurants was founded in 1964 by two brothers, Forrest and Leroy Raffel. The name “Arby’s” is a homonym of “RB’s”, standing for “Raffel Brothers”. There is a rumor out there that the initials “RB” were chosen for “roast beef”, but that’s not true.

43 Greek isle : CORFU

Corfu is an island in the very northwest of Greece, and is located in the Ionian Sea. Corfu is a very, very popular vacation destination for European tourists, particularly those from the UK, Scandinavia and Germany.

47 Patti who won a Tony as Evita : LUPONE

Singer Patti LuPone won Tonys for playing Eva Peron in “Evita ” and Rose in “Gypsy”.

59 “Fantastic Beasts” actor Miller : EZRA

Ezra Miller is an actor and classical-trained singer who is best known for playing the Flash in a series of superhero movies, and Credence Barebone in the “Fantastic Beasts” films. As a singer, Miller has sung with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is a 2016 spin-off and prequel to the incredibly successful “Harry Potter” series of films. The film is an adaptation of a book of the same name written by J. K. Rowling that purports to be a guide book about the magical creatures in the “Harry Potter” universe. Harry Potter carries a copy of the guide book as one of his school books in the original novel “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”.

60 Chair or sofa : SEAT

“Sofa” is a Turkish word meaning “bench”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Funny!” : HA HA!
5 Sea of Cortez peninsula, informally : BAJA
9 Some Apples : IMACS
14 Very much : A LOT
15 Employs : USES
16 Carne para un taco : POLLO
17 Worshipped object : IDOL
18 Chat leisurely : CHEW THE FAT
20 Suffer a power outage : GO DARK
22 Greek known for paradoxes : ZENO
23 They often pop up in windows : ADS
24 Appear to be : SEEM
26 Hagen of Broadway : UTA
28 Refrain from saying something unpleasant : BITE YOUR TONGUE
35 Tennis replay : LET
36 Hotelier Helmsley and singer Lewis : LEONAS
37 Start of Hamlet’s question : TO BE …
38 Works at, as a trade : PLIES
40 Is able to : CAN
41 Fur tycoon : ASTOR
42 Second to __: unbeatable : NONE
43 Patrol vehicle : COP CAR
45 Lao Tzu’s “way” : TAO
46 Fall into a trap : SWALLOW THE BAIT
49 Prefix with plus or pass : SUR-
50 African antelope : ORYX
51 One more than bi- : TRI-
54 U.S. Army E-3s : PFCS
57 Words spoken laterally? : ASIDES
61 Have some humble pie : EAT YOUR HAT
64 Seep : OOZE
65 “Goldengirl” star Susan : ANTON
66 First-rate : A-ONE
67 “Look, amigo!” : MIRA!
68 Broadway composer Jule : STYNE
69 Lads : BOYS
70 ER “Hurry up!” : STAT!

Down

1 Reagan secretary of state Alexander __ : HAIG
2 Designer Gucci : ALDO
3 Car engine cover : HOOD
4 Finally : AT LAST
5 Ohio State athlete : BUCKEYE
6 Bat wood : ASH
7 “Oh, man!” : JEEZ!
8 “Even __ speak … ” : AS WE
9 Old Apple app for pics : IPHOTO
10 Homer’s bartender : MOE
11 NATO alphabet “A” : ALFA
12 Dressed : CLAD
13 Boozers : SOTS
19 Letter-shaped fasteners : T-NUTS
21 Film units : REELS
25 Milk giver, in totspeak : MOO-COW
27 Busy crawlers : ANTS
28 “Look out __!”: “Heads up!” : BELOW
29 Memoir featuring Ike Turner : I, TINA
30 Not appropriate : UNAPT
31 __ Cucamonga, California : RANCHO
32 Gangster dubbed “The Teflon Don” : GOTTI
33 German WWII sub : U-BOAT
34 Gateway Arch designer Saarinen : EERO
35 ICU caregivers : LPNS
39 Slender fish : EELS
41 Chain known for roast beef : ARBY’S
43 Greek isle : CORFU
44 Fizzes up : AERATES
47 Patti who won a Tony as Evita : LUPONE
48 Math postulates : AXIOMS
51 Afternoon socials : TEAS
52 Go ballistic : RANT
53 __-bitty : ITTY
55 Complain like a shellfish? : CRAB
56 “Begone!” : SHOO!
58 “Stop wasting time!” : DO IT!
59 “Fantastic Beasts” actor Miller : EZRA
60 Chair or sofa : SEAT
62 Partner of hither : YON
63 “__ questions?” : ANY

27 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 9 Jun 20, Tuesday”

  1. 6/9/2020
    35 down.
    Other than visiting a patient LPNs Should not have any professional function in an ICU

  2. 3 errors. Messed up the SW corner. Couldn’t get past RASH for 52D. That made SHYNE for 68A and ASTON for 65A. I really blew that..

    Not sure I would SWALLOW THE BAIT., I would TAKE THE BAIT?? If I SWALLOW the BAIT did I get trapped?? Guess it’s the team of Kurt and Jan that also put LPNs in the ICU.. Fills the grid but….

    Be safe

  3. No errors; did not know “mira” but I got it because of the down words.
    Enjoyed the theme and it helped fill in a lot of the squares.

  4. Regarding moo-cow….. my 3 year old grandson tells this joke: Knock knock. Who’s there? Cow says…. Cow says who? No! Cow says mooooo!

      1. Moooo-ve on, mooove on.

        I have grandkids arriving in a few minutes. Will give them the knock-knock joke. They already know about the movies.

  5. Fun easy puzzle today and theme. Yesterday I had some problems for a Monday, that was weird. I also thought Lpns with icu was strange, surely they would be rns, but now it wouldn’t surprise me to find aides doing the work.

  6. No hospital with an ICU will likely ever hire an LPN to work on any unit, much less in the ICU. Hospitals even prefer nurses with BS degrees. Or Masters. Hey, guys, times have changed.
    LPNs mostly work in nursing homes or doctors offices.

  7. 16:57 no errors…I got 5,16, and 67A via crosses…If you don’t speak Spanish you seem to be at a disadvantage working crosswords. I don’t .
    Stay safe.

  8. An easy puzzle today, but BAJA reminded me of a trip I took on an “underground” (private) bus called The Green Tortoise, which was essentially a giant rolling bed. The owner had removed all the seats, built a platform below the windows and covered it with padding. Best two weeks ever, stopping in small towns and staying at beaches all the way down Baja and back. I love it when a crossword puzzle teaches me or reminds me of good times.

  9. 10 minutes, 27 seconds, no errors. But I have some gripes:
    1) REALLY dirty pool stacking two proper nouns (names) in the bottom left.
    2) It’s customary in crossword puzzles to use “one” instead of “your” when creating fills such as EAT YOUR HAT. Granted, the setter was consistent within this one grid, but … that’s not the way it’s done.

  10. @John Daigle …

    I am about to put a letter in the mail to you (about that weird golf ball). Many thanks if you can shed some light on its possible origins … 😜.

    1. I will present the answer in the puzzle after I get the letter, A Nonny Muss.

      95% today, off of 3 errors and 7 empty squares.

      Words affected by the errors were IMACS (used IPADS) and ZENO (used JEES going down)
      The omissions affected POLLO and UTA.

      I wish someone would explain to me today’s theme and how it helped them. I never figure
      out the themes.

      Stay safe, everybody.

      ALL lives Matter.

  11. Easy puzzle.

    @Jack – you’re also at a disadvantage if you never took French. German was my main foreign language, but when my mother had Alzheimer’s she sang in English and German, and that’s about all she did, and I knew all the songs.

    @Lawrence – many years ago, my brother-in-law also took that bus, and had the funniest, ribald stories. One of the owners called himself Hiawatha Lasagna.

  12. Re: 34D, Gateway Arch – I bet that parachutist was one of those “Jackass” wannabes whose last words were, “Hey guys, watch this!”

    Re: “ALL lives matter” – Yes they do. But some lives have been devalued and degraded for centuries. It’s long since past time they received special attention, so they start to matter just as much as the privileged lives do.

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