LA Times Crossword 23 Mar 21, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Peter Koetters
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: That’s a Wrap, Folks!

Themed answers each start with a type of WRAP:

  • 55A Director’s “We’re done for today, people” … and hint to the start of 17-, 23-, 36- and 48-Across : THAT’S A WRAP, FOLKS
  • 17A Midas stock item : MUFFLER ASSEMBLY
  • 23A Left surreptitiously : STOLE AWAY
  • 36A Simple New England houses : CAPE COD COTTAGES
  • 48A Gobble up : SCARF DOWN

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

Bill’s time: 5m 49s!

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Golden fruit that, legend has it, started the Trojan War : APPLE

According to Greek mythology, the goddess Eris tossed the Golden Apple of Discord into the middle of the table during the feast of the gods at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. The Golden Apple bore the words “to the fairest”, and the goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite succumbed to their vanity and fought for the title of most fair. This dispute eventually led to the Trojan War.

10 Heat in “The Heat” : COPS

“The Heat” is a 2013 comedy film about an FBI agent and a Boston detective working together to take down a mobster. Sandra Bullock plays the agent, and Melissa McCarthy the detective.

15 Stands at lectures : PODIA

“Podium” (plural “podia”) is the Latin word for “raised platform”.

17 Midas stock item : MUFFLER ASSEMBLY

A muffler is a device attached to an internal combustion engine that is designed to reduce noise from the exhaust. We don’t use the term “muffler” on the other side of the Atlantic, opting instead for “silencer”.

The chain of auto service centers called Midas was established in 1956 as the Muffler Installation Dealers’ Associated Service (MIDAS).

28 Beatty and Kelly : NEDS

Actor Ned Beatty is possibly best remembered for the rather disturbing “squeal like a pig” scene in the movie “Deliverance”. Beatty also earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the 1976 movie “Network”.

Ned Kelly was an Irish-Australian outlaw who is regarded by many as a symbol of resistance against the British ruling class in Australia in the 19th century. There have been two famous films made of his life story. “The Story of the Kelly Gang” was released in 1906, and is recognized today as the first feature film ever made. We might be more familiar with the film called “Ned Kelly” released in 1970, as it starred Mick Jagger in the title role.

29 “Walking in Memphis” Grammy winner Marc : COHN

Marc Cohn is an American country singer, who is best known for his 1991 hit “Walking in Memphis”. A few years ago, someone tried to carjack Cohn in Denver, Colorado and left him shot in the head. Fortunately, the bullet did not penetrate the skull, and his injury was relatively minor.

“Walking in Memphis” is a lovely 1991 song composed and recorded by folk-rock artist Marc Cohn. Successful cover versions were released by Cher in 1995, and by Lonestar in 2003.

30 Bill for svc. rendered : INV

An invoice is an itemized bill. The term comes from the Middle French “envois” meaning “dispatch (of goods)”. The root verb is “envoyer”, which translates as “to send”.

31 Berry who played Storm in “X-Men” : HALLE

Actress Halle Berry was the first African-American woman to win a Best Actress Oscar, which she received for her performance in the 2001 movie “Monster’s Ball”. Berry also won a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress in 2005 for playing the title role in “Catwoman”, and she very graciously accepted that award in person. Good for her!

Storm is a superhero in the Marvel Comics universe whose superpower is the ability to control the weather. Storm was played by Halle Berry in the “X-Men” series of movies.

33 Israeli or Arab : SEMITE

The word “Semitic” comes from the Greek for “Shem”, one of the three sons of Noah. A Semite is one of a large list of peoples, from the Assyrians and Babylonians to the Hebrews. The term “anti-Semite” however, almost always refers to anti-Jewish sentiment.

41 ’90s candidate __ Perot : H ROSS

Ross Perot graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1953, as president of his class. Perot served his 4-year commitment but then resigned his commission, apparently having become somewhat disillusioned with the navy. He was ranked number 101 on the Forbes 400 List of Richest Americans in 2012, and at that time was worth about $3.5 billion. Back in 1992, Perot ran as an independent candidate for US president. He founded the Reform Party in 1995, and ran as the Reform Party candidate for president in 1996.

43 Half-moon tide : NEAP

Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

52 “Wherefore art thou” guy : ROMEO

In the balcony scene in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, Juliet utters the famous line:

O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?

Every school kid must have commented with a giggle “he’s down in the garden!” Of course, “wherefore” isn’t an archaic word for “where”, but rather an old way of saying “why”. So Juliet is asking, “Why art thou Romeo, a Montague, and hence a sworn enemy of the Capulets?”

53 Weighty Kuwaiti? : EMIR

The State of Kuwait sits at the northern tip of the Persian Gulf, famously sharing a border to the north with Iraq. After WWI, Kuwait was a Protectorate within the British Empire and then gained independence from the UK in 1961. Iraq annexed Kuwait in 1990, which led to the Gulf War of 1990-1991.

54 Girl-asks-guy dances, informally : SADIES

Sadie Hawkins is a character in Al Capp’s comic strip “Li’l Abner”. Sadie was in search of a husband and so declared a “Sadie Hawkins Day” in which she chased the local men in a foot race, with marriage as the prize when one was caught. Starting in 1938, Sadie Hawkins Dances were introduced in schools across the US, to which the woman invites the man of her choosing.

55 Director’s “We’re done for today, people” … and hint to the start of 17-, 23-, 36- and 48-Across : THAT’S A WRAP, FOLKS

When shooting of a film is concluded the movie is said to wrap, and everyone heads to the wrap party. There is one story that “wrap” is actually an acronym for “wind, reel and print”, a reference to the transition of the filming process into post-production. But, this explanation is disputed.

61 Linney of “Ozark” : LAURA

The wonderfully talented actress Laura Linney is a native New Yorker from Manhattan. The performances of hers that I most admire are in “The Truman Show” and “Love Actually” on the big screen, and in “John Adams” and “Ozark” on the small screen.

“Ozark” is an excellent TV crime show starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney as a married couple who relocate from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks. The couple fall foul of Mexican drug lord after a money laundering scheme goes awry. The show is set at a lake resort in the Ozarks, although filming actually takes place at lakes in the Atlanta area in order to take advantage of tax breaks offered by the State of Georgia.

62 “Blue” or “White” African river : NILE

Depending on definition, the Nile is regarded generally as the longest river on the planet. The Nile forms from two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which join together near Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. From Khartoum the Nile flows north, traveling almost entirely through desert making it central to life for those living along its length.

63 “This is __ a test” : ONLY

Right … it’s not a real crossword …

Down

1 Lover of Delilah : SAMSON

Delilah is the love, and eventual temptress, of Samson according to the Bible. Delilah was engaged by the Philistines to betray Samson by determining the secret of his great strength. Samson lied to her three times, but on the fourth asking he told Delilah the truth, that he did not cut his hair. Delilah then persuaded Samson to shear his locks and so allowed him to be captured by his enemies. Over the centuries, it has been usual to depict Delilah actually cutting off her husband’s hair, but the Bible actually says that she allowed a man to do the deed while Samson was sleeping.

7 “Get a room!” evoker, initially : PDA

Public display of affection (PDA)

8 Sonny who lost to Clay in 1964 : LISTON

Muhammad Ali fought Sonny Liston for the World Heavyweight Championship twice. The first bout was in 1964 in Miami, and the second in 1965 in Lewiston, Maine. In the first fight, Liston failed to come out of his corner for the seventh round. On seeing this, Ali (or “Cassius Clay” as he was then) ran to the ropes yelling “I’m the greatest!” and “I shook up the world”.

9 Portraitist’s prop : EASEL

The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey”, would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.

10 City-state separator : COMMA

As in New York, New York and Chicago, Illinois, for example.

Our word “comma” comes into English via Latin from the Greek “komma” meaning “clause in a sentence”.

12 Pay or pen follower : -PAL

PayPal is an e-commerce business that has been around since the year 2000, born out of a merger of two older companies: Confinity and X.com. PayPal performs payment processing for online vendors. The company was so successful that it was the first of the beleaguered dot.com companies to successfully complete an IPO after the attacks of 9/11. Then in 2002, PayPal was bought by eBay for a whopping $1.5 billion.

19 “She desires to speak with you … __ you go to bed”: “Hamlet” : ERE

The line “She desires to speak with you in her closet ere you go to bed.” is spoken by Rosencrantz to the title character in William Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet”. The “she” in the quote is Hamlet’s mother Gertrude, Queen of Denmark.

23 Realtor’s favorite sign : SOLD

“Real estate agent” is a general, generic term. “Realtor” is the name given to a member of the trade association known as the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The NAR has gone so far as to trademark the term “Realtor” in the US.

24 2010s cooking-themed talk show : THE CHEW

“The Chew” is a talk show focused on cooking that replaced the soap opera “All My Children” in ABC’s daytime lineup in 2011. “The Chew” ran for eight seasons.

25 Kristen of “Bridesmaids” : WIIG

Kristen Wiig is a comic actress who appears on “Saturday Night Live”. She also made an appearance on the first season of Spike TV’s quirky “The Joe Schmo Show”, playing “Dr. Pat”. More recently, she co-wrote and starred in the 2011 hit film “Bridesmaids”, and co-starred in the 2016 reboot of “Ghostbusters”.

“Bridesmaids” is a 2011 comedy movie co-written by and starring Kristen Wiig. I wasn’t crazy about this film until Chris O’Dowd turned up as a traffic cop. Wiig and O’Dowd were great together, I thought. Pity about the rest of the movie …

27 The “Y” of YSL : YVES

Yves Saint Laurent (YSL)

29 Be saccharine : CLOY

To cloy is to cause distaste by oversupplying something that would otherwise be pleasant, especially something with a sweet taste.

The adjective “saccharine”, meaning “relating to sugar”, comes from the Greek word for sugar “sakkharon”. We’ve been using “saccharine” metaphorically since the 1840s to mean “overly sweet”. The name of the sugar substitute has similar roots, with the trade name “Saccharin” coined in 1879 by Russian-born chemist Constantin Fahlberg.

32 Here, in Havana : ACA

Havana is the capital of Cuba. The city was founded by the Spanish in the early 1500s after which it became a strategic location for Spain’s exploration and conquest of the Americas. In particular, Havana was used as a stopping-off point for treasure-laden ships on the return journey to Spain.

34 Short aliens? : ETS

Extraterrestrial (ET)

35 Extinct elephants : MASTODONS

Mastodons were large mammals that were related to the modern elephant. Mastodons roamed the forest of North and Central America until they became extinct about 10,000 to 11,000 years ago. Their extinction is believed to have come about due to a rapid change in climate.

36 Uber competitors : CABS

The rideshare service Uber takes its name from the English colloquial word “uber” meaning “super, topmost”, which in turn comes from the German “über” meaning “above”.

37 “Match Game” host Baldwin : ALEC

Alec Baldwin is the oldest of the acting Baldwin brothers. I think Alec’s big break was playing Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan in “The Hunt for Red October”, but thank goodness that role was taken over by Harrison Ford for the subsequent Jack Ryan movies. Baldwin also made a name for himself playing Jack Donaghy on “30 Rock”, opposite Tina Fey. More recently, he is known for impersonating President Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live”.

“Match Game” is a television game show that had many incarnations. The original run was from 1962 until 1969, and it came back in varying formats several times after that. The best-known host of the show was Gene Rayburn. The most recent is Alec Baldwin, starting in 2016.

39 Algerian port : ORAN

Oran lies on the Algerian coast, and is famous for being the port where the French Navy was largely destroyed by the British during WWII in order to avoid the French vessels falling into the hands of Nazi Germany after France surrendered. This decisive and unexpected unilateral action by the British sent a very strong message around the world that Britain was willing to fight alone against the axis powers if necessary.

43 Land with fjords : NORWAY

Norway has been ranked as the country in the world with the highest standard of living almost every year since 2001. It is rich in natural resources and has a relatively low population. The people benefit from a comprehensive social security system, subsidized higher education for all citizens and universal health care. And Norway is famous for her success at the Winter Olympic Games, having won more gold medals than any other nation in the world.

45 Clarke who played Daenerys on “Game of Thrones” : EMILIA

Daenerys Targaryen is a major character in the HBO show “Game of Thrones”, and the underlying series of novels by George R. Martin. On the small screen, she is played by English actress Emilia Clarke.

47 Deputized bands : POSSES

Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.

50 Radio settings : FMS

In telecommunications, a radio signal is transmitted using a sinusoidal carrier wave. Information is transmitted using this carrier wave in two main ways, by varying (modulating) the instantaneous amplitude (signal strength) of the carrier wave, and by modulating the instantaneous frequency of the carrier wave. The former is referred to as an AM signal (“amplitude modulation”), and the latter as an FM signal (“frequency modulation”).

51 Circular dashboard devices : DIALS

Back in the 1800s, “dashboard” was the name given to a board placed at the front of a carriage to stop mud from “dashing” against the passengers in the carriage, mud that was kicked up by the hoofs of the horses. Quite interesting …

52 U.K. fliers : RAF

The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the oldest independent air force in the world (i.e. the first air force to become independent of army or navy forces). The RAF was formed during WWI on 1 April 1918, a composite of two earlier forces, the Royal Flying Corps (part of the Army) and the Royal Naval Air Service. The RAF’s “finest hour” was the Battle of Britain, when the vastly outnumbered British fighters fought off the might of the Luftwaffe causing Hitler to delay his plan to cross the English Channel. This outcome prompted Winston Churchill to utter the memorable words

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

55 Albeit, briefly : THO’

“Albeit” is a conjunction meaning “although, even if”. The term dates back to the 1300s, when it was a contraction of the phrase “al be it” meaning “although it be that”.

59 Pendulum path : ARC

A weight suspended from a pivot so that it can swing freely is called a pendulum. The term “pendulum” comes from the Latin “pendere” meaning “to hang”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Insult : SLUR
5 Golden fruit that, legend has it, started the Trojan War : APPLE
10 Heat in “The Heat” : COPS
14 First-rate : A-ONE
15 Stands at lectures : PODIA
16 Like some hygiene : ORAL
17 Midas stock item : MUFFLER ASSEMBLY
20 Slept noisily : SNORED
21 Period in office : TERM
22 Leered at : OGLED
23 Left surreptitiously : STOLE AWAY
28 Beatty and Kelly : NEDS
29 “Walking in Memphis” Grammy winner Marc : COHN
30 Bill for svc. rendered : INV
31 Berry who played Storm in “X-Men” : HALLE
33 Israeli or Arab : SEMITE
36 Simple New England houses : CAPE COD COTTAGES
40 From dawn to dusk : ALL DAY
41 ’90s candidate __ Perot : H ROSS
42 Buzzer in a swarm : BEE
43 Half-moon tide : NEAP
44 Office fill-in : TEMP
48 Gobble up : SCARF DOWN
52 “Wherefore art thou” guy : ROMEO
53 Weighty Kuwaiti? : EMIR
54 Girl-asks-guy dances, informally : SADIES
55 Director’s “We’re done for today, people” … and hint to the start of 17-, 23-, 36- and 48-Across : THAT’S A WRAP, FOLKS
60 Bequest beneficiary : HEIR
61 Linney of “Ozark” : LAURA
62 “Blue” or “White” African river : NILE
63 “This is __ a test” : ONLY
64 Matches audio to video, e.g. : SYNCS
65 Verbalizes : SAYS

Down

1 Lover of Delilah : SAMSON
2 Airport waiting area : LOUNGE
3 Prepare to use, as a lawn chair : UNFOLD
4 Updated, as a Web page : REFRESHED
5 Mimicked : APED
6 For, to Fernando : POR
7 “Get a room!” evoker, initially : PDA
8 Sonny who lost to Clay in 1964 : LISTON
9 Portraitist’s prop : EASEL
10 City-state separator : COMMA
11 Globe : ORB
12 Pay or pen follower : -PAL
13 Foxy : SLY
18 Captained : LED
19 “She desires to speak with you … __ you go to bed”: “Hamlet” : ERE
23 Realtor’s favorite sign : SOLD
24 2010s cooking-themed talk show : THE CHEW
25 Kristen of “Bridesmaids” : WIIG
26 Required wager : ANTE
27 The “Y” of YSL : YVES
29 Be saccharine : CLOY
32 Here, in Havana : ACA
33 Octagonal sign : STOP
34 Short aliens? : ETS
35 Extinct elephants : MASTODONS
36 Uber competitors : CABS
37 “Match Game” host Baldwin : ALEC
38 Earnest request : PLEA
39 Algerian port : ORAN
43 Land with fjords : NORWAY
45 Clarke who played Daenerys on “Game of Thrones” : EMILIA
46 Sheepishly : MEEKLY
47 Deputized bands : POSSES
49 Second attempt : RETRY
50 Radio settings : FMS
51 Circular dashboard devices : DIALS
52 U.K. fliers : RAF
54 Restorative resorts : SPAS
55 Albeit, briefly : THO’
56 Barnyard layer : HEN
57 Disturb : AIL
58 Operate : RUN
59 Pendulum path : ARC

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 23 Mar 21, Tuesday”

  1. No errors, though some of the answers were deduced from cross-words
    like “wiig” for 25D. Didn’t tumble to the theme until I came to the”reveal”
    clue. Clever!

  2. No errors or Googles, but I thank Bill for his write-ups on the answers I only guessed: APPLE, COHN, LAURA, PDA, WIIG, ACA, EMILIA, THE CHEW. Much is young people’s entertainment that I’m not likely to watch. At this point, life is too short, though I’ll cjeck out the music.
    Had “just” before ONLY. TEMP should be labelled an abbrev.
    Did not understand how AIL means disturb.

  3. Pretty easy. I’ve never heard of Kristen Wiig, but then I’ve never heard of Bridesmaids, either. Also didn’t know The Chew. I suppose I should stop doing woodworking projects and start watching The Vast Wasteland.

    1. Hard to tell if this is meant to be tongue in cheek or serious. For me, if Bill’s times didn’t have exclamation marks I’d be adding them mentally. I’m never less than 3x his remarkable solve times.

    2. Joe –

      Bill puts exclamation points after solving times which are substantially slower than his usual. You’d know this if you’d been paying attention at all.

      Check back when you actually know what you’re talking about.

  4. 16:26 no errors…no complaints…you don’t hear that one from me too often.
    Stay safe😀
    Play ball!!!

    1. Another great time, Glenn. A fun and interesting puzzle for us. We missed one square,
      the letter C, not knowing CLOY OR COHN. But averaged two misses per day so far this
      week. We will take that, although both were very solvable.

  5. this was a lot of fun…although I am disappointed that I thought the show was “the chow” not the “chew,” and did not know what a half-moon tide was called, so was happy with noep….ha ha ha. Love learning something new! Stay safe y’all! Love hearing about people’s professions or past-times, such as Corky’s wood-working!

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