LA Times Crossword 17 Mar 21, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Enrique Henestroza Anguiano
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Doubled Back

I recommend solving this puzzle while watching “The Quiet Man”, and crying into a pint of Guinness. A Happy (and safe) Saint Paddy’s Day, everyone!

Themed answers each end with two homophones:

  • 59A Retreated on the same trail … and what each answer to a starred clue has? : DOUBLED BACK
  • 17A *Generous reward : HANDSOME SUM
  • 27A *”I sussed that out a while ago” : THE NOSE KNOWS
  • 44A *Family dinner reservation request, perhaps : TABLE FOR FOUR

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 7m 22s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 Many a character on HBO’s “Euphoria” : TEEN

“Euphoria” is an HBO teen drama show that is loosely based on a miniseries of the same name from Israel. Lead actress in the show is Zendaya, who plays a recovering teenage drug addict.

15 Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans,” e.g. : POP ART

Andy Warhol went through a period of painting iconic American products, including Coca-Cola bottles and Campbell’s tomato soup cans. In 1964 he participated in a gallery show called “The American Supermarket”. Along with other pop artists he contributed works including a painting of a can of Campbell’s tomato soup. He priced the painting at $1,500, and sold autographed cans of soup for $6 a piece.

16 Vientiane people : LAO

Vientiane is the capital city of Laos, and is situated on the famous Mekong River. The city was originally called the “city of sandalwood” by Buddhist monks, naming it after the valued trees that grew in the area. The French took the Pali words for “city of sandalwood” and rewrote it as the French-sounding “Vientiane”.

19 __ al-Fitr: end-of-Ramadan feast : EID

Eid al-Fitr is a religious holiday in the Muslim tradition that is known in English as the “Festival of Breaking the Fast”. It marks the end of Ramadan, a period of dawn-to-sunset fasting.

20 Skater Midori : ITO

Midori Ito is a Japanese figure skater. Ito was the first woman to land a triple/triple jump and a triple axel in competition. In fact, she landed her first triple jump in training when she was only 8 years old. Ito won Olympic silver in 1992, and was chosen as the person to light the Olympic cauldron at the commencement of the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.

22 Northeast Corridor express train : ACELA

The Acela Express is the fastest train routinely running in the US, as it gets up to 150 mph at times. The service runs between Boston and Washington D.C. via Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. Introduced in 2000, the brand name “Acela” was created to evoke “acceleration” and “excellence”.

24 Gliding ballet step : CHASSE

A chassé is a step used in ballroom and other styles of dance. It has a gliding character and is a triple-step movement. The term “chassé” comes to popular dance from ballet.

33 One-named “Body Party” singer : CIARA

Ciara is a singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas (never heard of her). Ciara used to date rapper Bow Wow (never heard of him), but married Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in 2016.

36 Sicilian peak : ETNA

Mount Etna on the island of Sicily is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy, and indeed the largest of all active volcanoes in Europe. Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Mt. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-gauge railway, and two ski resorts. It is sometimes referred to as “Mongibello” in Italian, and as “Mungibeddu” in Sicilian. The English name “Etna” comes from the Greek “aitho” meaning “I eat”.

38 Chewy Hershey candy : ROLO

Rolo was a hugely popular chocolate candy in Ireland when I was growing up. Rolo was introduced in the thirties in the UK, and is produced under license in the US by Hershey. I was a little disappointed when I had my first taste of the American version as the center is very hard and chewy. The recipe used on the other side of the Atlantic calls for a soft gooey center.

42 Old Roman road : ITER

An iter is an anatomical passageway. The term “iter” is Latin for “path, journey”.

47 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.

48 Like Camembert : CREAMY

Camembert cheese is named after the place it was first produced, the commune of Camembert in Normandy in the north of France.

58 Dept. phone number : EXT

Extension (ext.)

63 Aerie newborn : EAGLET

An aerie (sometimes “eyrie”) is an eagle’s nest. The term “aerie” can also more generally describe any bird’s nest that is located on a cliff or a mountaintop.

64 Tennis icon Arthur : ASHE

The great American tennis player Arthur Ashe spent the last years of his life writing his memoir called “Days of Grace”. He finished the manuscript just a few days before he passed away, dying from AIDS caused by a tainted blood transfusion.

65 Former space station : MIR

Russia’s Mir space station was a remarkably successful project. It held the record for the longest continuous human presence in space at just under 10 years, until the International Space Station eclipsed that record in 2010. Towards the end of the space station’s life however, the years began to take their toll. There was a dangerous fire, multiple system failures, and a collision with a resupply ship. The Russian commitment to the International Space Station drained funds for repairs, so Mir was allowed to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up in 2001. “Mir” is a Russian word meaning “peace” or “world”.

66 Renaissance fair rides : STEEDS

A Renaissance faire (Ren faire) is an outdoor public event in which many participants recreate historical settings by dressing in costume. Usually held in North America, many such fairs are set during the English Renaissance, and more particularly during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The definition of “Renaissance” is often stretched quite a bit, with fairs also set during the reign of Henry VIII, and maybe even during medieval times.

Down

2 “Murder by __”: 1976 Neil Simon spoof film : DEATH

“Murder by Death” is a very entertaining 1976 comedy film written by the great Neil Simon. The movie parodies the classic country-house murder mystery, and brings together a group of sleuths that remind us of fictional detectives like Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Charlie Chan, Nick and Nora Charles and Sam Spade. There’s quite the cast, including Peter Falk, Alec Guinness, David Niven, Peter Sellers and Maggie Smith.

Neil Simon was one of my favorite playwrights. Simon wrote over thirty plays and about thirty screenplays. He received more nominations for Oscars and Tony Awards than any other writer. My favorite play penned by Simon has to be “Brighton Beach Memoirs”, but the list of his great stage works seems endless and includes “Barefoot in the Park”, “The Odd Couple”, “Sweet Charity”, “Plaza Suite”, “California Suite”, “Biloxi Blues” and “The Goodbye Girl”.

3 Salami choice : GENOA

Genoa salami is made using preservation techniques that originated in ancient Rome.

“Salame” (note the letter E at the end) is an Italian sausage that is traditionally associated with the peasant classes. The meat in the sausage is preserved with salt, and it can be hung and stored for as long as ten years. The name “salame” comes from “sale”, the Italian word for salt, and “-ame”, a suffix indicating a collective noun. Our English word “salami” is actually the Italian plural for “salame”.

5 Highest point in an orbit : APOGEE

In the celestial world, an apsis is a point in an orbit when the orbiting body is at its greatest, or least, distance from it’s center of orbit. The farthest and closest points of orbit are known as the apogee and perigee, when talking about bodies orbiting the Earth. The farthest and closest points for bodies orbiting the sun are known as the aphelion and perihelion.

6 Taj Mahal feature : DOME

The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built after the death of the fourth wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth delivering the couple’s 14th child. When Shah Jahan himself passed away 35 years later, he was buried beside his wife Mumtaz, in the Taj Mahal.

8 “What’s __ is prologue”: “The Tempest” : PAST

“What’s past is prologue” is a quotation from William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”. In the play, the words suggest that what’s past is past, and the future is something different, something that we can control. Our contemporary usage of the phrase is almost exactly the opposite: understanding the past is of great importance in setting the stage for the future.

9 __TV: reality channel : TRU

truTV is a Turner Broadcasting cable network that launched in 1991 as Court TV. The name, and programming, was changed to truTV in 2008.

10 Namesake of a Venice basilica : ST MARK

St. Mark’s Basilica is the Roman Catholic cathedral in the city of Venice, Italy. In front of the basilica is the Piazza San Marco, the city’s main public square. St. Mark’s Square is a remarkable urban space in Europe as the sound of the human voice dominates, rather than the sound of traffic. That is indeed remarkable …

In its modern usage, the term “basilica” applies to a Roman Catholic church that has been given special ceremonial rights by the Pope.

13 Jedi Grand Master : YODA

The Jedi are the good guys in the “Star Wars” series of movies. The most famous Jedi knights from the films are Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness, and later Ewan McGregor) and Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz). Well, they’re my favorites anyway …

18 Obama daughter : SASHA

Sasha is the younger of the two Obama children, having been born in 2001. She was the youngest child to reside in the White House since John F. Kennedy, Jr. moved in with his parents as a small infant. Sasha’s Secret Service codename is “Rosebud”, and her older sister Malia has the codename “Radiance”.

25 Park carriage, or one pushing it : STROLLER

The baby carriages that we know as “strollers” over here in North America are more usually referred to “pushchairs” or “buggies” in Britain and Ireland.

29 Mammal at an aquarium : OTTER

Male and female otters are known as dogs and bitches, with the offspring called pups. Males and females are sometimes referred to as boars and sows. A collection of otters is a bevy, family, lodge or perhaps a romp. When in water, a collection of otters can be called a raft.

30 Eat (up) : SNARF

To snarf down is to gobble up, to eat voraciously. “Snarf” is a slang term that is probably related to “scarf”, which has the same meaning.

31 Bistro pour : WINE

“Bistro” was originally a Parisian slang term for a “little wine shop or restaurant”.

32 Didn’t dillydally : SPED

To dillydally is to loiter, delay. The verb “to dally” also means “to linger, dawdle”, and so “dillydally” is simply a duplication of “dally”, one that dates back to the mid-1700s.

33 Lit __ : CRIT

Literary studies, also called literary criticism (lit crit), is the evaluation and interpretation of literature.

34 Scintilla : IOTA

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

A scintilla is a small amount. The term “scintilla” can also be used to describe a spark or a flash (as in “to scintillate”). The term came into English from Latin, in which language it means “spark, particle of fire, atom”.

35 Assurance after putting a Band-Aid on a boo-boo : ALL BETTER

“Band-Aid” is a brand name owned by Johnson & Johnson, although like many popular brands “band-aid” has become the generic term for an adhesive bandage, at least here in North America. The generic term we use in Britain and Ireland for the same product is “plaster” …

39 Inventory tracking method for a CPA : FIFO

In the world of accounting, inventory might be managed on a FIFO or LIFO basis. FIFO stands for first-in, first-out. LIFO stands for last-in, first-out.

Certified public accountant (CPA)

43 Like corned beef : CURED

Corned beef is beef that has been cured with salt. “Corn” is an alternative term describing a grain of salt, giving the dish its name. Corned beef is also known as “salt beef”, and “bully beef” if stored in cans (from the French “bouilli” meaning “boiled”).

50 Sweet Japanese rice cake : MOCHI

Mochi is a sweet rice cake in Japanese cuisine. Special versions of mochi are produced for certain times of the year or holidays, e.g. New Year, spring time, Children’s Day and Girls’ Day.

51 Farm fittings : YOKES

A yoke is a wooden beam used between a pair of animals so that they are forced to work together.

52 Paper package : REAM

A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a “short ream”. We also use the term “reams” to mean a great amount, evolving from the idea of a lot of printed material.

53 VFW member : EX-GI

The initialism “GI” stands for “Government Issue”, and not “General Infantry” as is widely believed. “GI” was first used in the military to denote equipment made from Galvanized Iron and during WWI, incoming German shells were nicknamed “GI cans”. Soon after, the term GI came to be associated with “Government Issue” and eventually became an adjective to describe anything associated with the Army.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars organization (VFW) is the largest association of US combat veterans in the US.

61 Club that may be flipped with joy : BAT

That might be baseball.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Slim advantage : EDGE
5 Embraces : ADOPTS
11 Intel seeker : SPY
14 Many a character on HBO’s “Euphoria” : TEEN
15 Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans,” e.g. : POP ART
16 Vientiane people : LAO
17 *Generous reward : HANDSOME SUM
19 __ al-Fitr: end-of-Ramadan feast : EID
20 Skater Midori : ITO
21 Author’s representative : AGENT
22 Northeast Corridor express train : ACELA
24 Gliding ballet step : CHASSE
26 Cut loose : DROP
27 *”I sussed that out a while ago” : THE NOSE KNOWS
33 One-named “Body Party” singer : CIARA
36 Sicilian peak : ETNA
37 Cut off : SNIP
38 Chewy Hershey candy : ROLO
39 Like some serious flaws : FATAL
40 Christmas candle scent : PINE
41 “__ cost you!” : IT’LL
42 Old Roman road : ITER
43 Put in a bibliography : CITED
44 *Family dinner reservation request, perhaps : TABLE FOR FOUR
47 Designer Saarinen : EERO
48 Like Camembert : CREAMY
52 Back in style : RETRO
54 Quickness : HASTE
57 Romance : WOO
58 Dept. phone number : EXT
59 Retreated on the same trail … and what each answer to a starred clue has? : DOUBLED BACK
62 Grow older : AGE
63 Aerie newborn : EAGLET
64 Tennis icon Arthur : ASHE
65 Former space station : MIR
66 Renaissance fair rides : STEEDS
67 “Watch __ space” : THIS

Down

1 Work __: moral belief : ETHIC
2 “Murder by __”: 1976 Neil Simon spoof film : DEATH
3 Salami choice : GENOA
4 Pierre’s “fin,” to Peter : END
5 Highest point in an orbit : APOGEE
6 Taj Mahal feature : DOME
7 Receptive : OPEN
8 “What’s __ is prologue”: “The Tempest” : PAST
9 __TV: reality channel : TRU
10 Namesake of a Venice basilica : ST MARK
11 “You can give me an answer tomorrow” : SLEEP ON IT
12 Sand transporter : PAIL
13 Jedi Grand Master : YODA
18 Obama daughter : SASHA
23 Plot : CONSPIRE
25 Park carriage, or one pushing it : STROLLER
26 Agreement : DEAL
28 “I like it” : NEATO
29 Mammal at an aquarium : OTTER
30 Eat (up) : SNARF
31 Bistro pour : WINE
32 Didn’t dillydally : SPED
33 Lit __ : CRIT
34 Scintilla : IOTA
35 Assurance after putting a Band-Aid on a boo-boo : ALL BETTER
39 Inventory tracking method for a CPA : FIFO
43 Like corned beef : CURED
45 Wears down : ERODES
46 Large jazz combos : OCTETS
49 Knee-deep (in) : AWASH
50 Sweet Japanese rice cake : MOCHI
51 Farm fittings : YOKES
52 Paper package : REAM
53 VFW member : EX-GI
54 Bigger than big : HUGE
55 Qualified : ABLE
56 Winter coaster : SLED
60 Breakfast grain : OAT
61 Club that may be flipped with joy : BAT

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 17 Mar 21, Wednesday”

  1. Thought I had no errors, but I forgot to put the “c” in Ciara/crit.
    Otherwise an enjoyable puzzle.

  2. 21:57 no errors…next to foreign words abbreviations are my next biggest pet peeve like FIFO and LITCRIT…I guess if I have car trouble I go to my AUMEC?
    Stay safe😀
    Play ball👍

  3. FIFO is a standard inventory acronym for “first in, first out.” Obscure if that isn’t something you’ve worked with before. It’s like sports and rap music references that throw me. Fun puzzle, but had difficulty with some clues. I guess I’m still learning “Wednesday stuff.”

  4. 9 minutes, 5 seconds, no errors, few issues. Theme was a bit strained, but we’ve certainly seen worse examples than this.

  5. Had a couple strange Googles: PAIL (duh), and ACELA (nowhere near Upstate NY).
    Had mINt before PINE. Didn’t know EID, ITO, CHASSE, CIARA, MOCHI. Some of these are foreign.
    @Jack – agree. Also think drug names are ridiculous. But, I’ll die before the creators of these words do, and they can do what they want.
    On that happy note,
    “May you find your Pot O Gold while you have time to spend it!”

  6. Got it all eventually with no errors but I was truly stumped by FIFO – never heard of that. Glad to learn something new! Thanks again Bill and all the commenters!

  7. Kind of tough Wednesday; took 17:54 with 3 errors in the SE corner. Didn’t know most of the names or the cake. At least I now know what Ciara looks like and how to perform a chassé 🙂 I really should’ve gotten BAT, given how close baseball season is. I also use FIFO in my beekeeping; the first honey super is harvested first and subsequent honey supers are put beneath existing honey supers.

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