LA Times Crossword 29 Apr 21, Thursday

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Constructed by: George Jasper
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Tumbleweeds

Themed answers each include the letter sequence WEEDS, but with the order changed (TUMBLED):

  • 58A Drifters in some Western scenes … and a hint to what’s hidden in the three other longest puzzle answers : TUMBLEWEEDS
  • 17A Wrongly-named winner in a 1948 headline : THOMAS DEWEY
  • 28A To the point : SHORT AND SWEET
  • 44A Teamwork-inspiring motto : UNITED WE STAND

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

Bill’s time: 8m 11s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Yanks’ NL counterparts, on scoreboards : NYM

The New York Mets baseball team was founded in 1962 as a replacement for two teams that the city had lost, namely the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. For several years the Mets played very poorly, finishing no better than second-to-last in their division. Then along came the “Miracle Mets” (aka “Amazin’ Mets”) who beat the Baltimore Orioles in 1969 to claim the World Series in a huge upset.

17 Wrongly-named winner in a 1948 headline : THOMAS DEWEY

“The Chicago Tribune” was first published in 1847. The most famous edition of “The Trib” was probably in 1948 when the headline was “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN”, on the occasion of that year’s presidential election. When it turned out that Truman had actually won, the victor picked up the paper with the erroneous headline and posed for photographs with it … a famous, famous photo, that must have stuck in the craw of the editor at the time.

19 MD treating canals : ENT

The branch of medicine known as “ear, nose and throat” (ENT) is more correctly called “otolaryngology”.

20 Rival of ancient Athens : CORINTH

Ancient Corinth was a city-state in Greece located on the Isthmus of Corinth, which is the narrow strip of land joining the Peloponnesus to the Greek mainland. Corinth is mentioned several times in the Christian New Testament as it was visited several times by Saint Paul. Paul wrote two epistles to the Christian community of Corinth that are included in the Christian New Testament as the First and Second Epistles to the Corinthians.

24 Egg head? : OVI-

“Ovum” (plural “ova”) is Latin for “egg”.

27 Bridge positions : EASTS

The four people playing bridge (the card game) are positioned around a table at seats referred to as north, east, south and west. Each player belongs to a pair, with north playing with south, and east playing with west.

32 “Exodus” novelist : URIS

“Exodus” is a wonderful novel written by American writer Leon Uris that was first published in 1947. The hero of the piece is Ari Ben Canaan, a character played by Paul Newman in the 1960 film adaptation directed by Otto Preminger.

33 Common game piece : DIE

The numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. There are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so-called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting …

39 Spy in “Spectre” (2015) : BOND

The 2015 “James Bond” movie “Spectre” is the fourth to feature Daniel Craig as the famed MI6 agent. One of the Bond girls in the film is Lucia Sciarra, played by Italian actress and model Monica Bellucci. At the age of 50, Bellucci became the oldest Bond girl in the history of the franchise.

40 “Skylanding” artist : ONO

Yoko Ono created a permanent art installation in Jackson Park, Chicago in 2016. Titled “Skylanding”, the work is designed to promote peace, and is Ono’s first permanent installation to be installed in the US.

42 Pique condition? : IRE

Our term “pique” meaning “fit of ill feeling” is a French word meaning “prick, sting, irritation”.

49 Fleet VIP : ADM

Admiral (adm.)

50 Cutlass model : CIERA

Oldsmobile made the Cutlass Ciera from 1982 to 1996. The Ciera was the most successful model that bore the Oldsmobile badge.

53 Stella __: Belgian brew : ARTOIS

The Belgian beer Stella Artois is named for the brewer Sebastianus Artois. Artois was the master brewer at the Den Hoorn Brewery in Leuven, Belgium in the early 1700s. The Den Hoorn Brewery has been around at least since 1366 … yes, 1366!

55 College member : ELECTOR

According to Article II, Section 1, Clause 3 of the US Constitution, each elector in the electoral college cast two votes for US president, and none for vice president. The candidate receiving the most votes became president, and the candidate receiving the second-most votes became vice president. Since the Twelfth Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified in 1804, each elector has cast one vote for president and one vote for vice president.

58 Drifters in some Western scenes … and a hint to what’s hidden in the three other longest puzzle answers : TUMBLEWEEDS

A tumbleweed is the upper part of a plant that has dried out, broken away from the roots, and is blown along by the wind. The tumbleweed spreads seeds or spores as it tumbles.

61 PC linkup : LAN

Local area network (LAN)

62 Zagreb’s country : CROATIA

Zagreb is the capital city of the Republic of Croatia. Zagreb has been around a long, long time, and dates back to the diocese of Zagreb that was founded at the end of the 11th century.

63 Musk of Tesla, e.g. : CEO

Elon Musk is a successful businessman who has founded or led some very high-profile companies, namely PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX. Musk received a lot of publicity in early 2018 during a test launch by SpaceX of the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle. A Tesla Roadster belonging to Musk was carried into space as a dummy payload.

65 It’s usually inadmissible : HEARSAY

Hearsay is information that one person has about some event, without that person actually seeing the event firsthand. For example, I am typing up this blog on my laptop, so now you can tell others that I typed this blog on my laptop. However, if you do tell that to others, it is hearsay, because you didn’t actually see me do the typing. Maybe I lied … maybe I used my desktop!

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 …

Down

1 “You betcha!” : NATCH!

“Natch” is a slang term meaning “naturally, of course”. “Natch” is simply a shortening of the word “‘naturally”, and was first recorded at the end of WWII.

2 Google rival : YAHOO!

Jerry Yang and David Filo called their company “Yahoo!” for two reasons. Firstly, a Yahoo is a rude unsophisticated brute from Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels”. Secondly, Yahoo stands for “Yet another Hierarchical Officious Oracle”.

3 New Zealand natives : MAORIS

The Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. They are eastern Polynesian in origin and began arriving in New Zealand relatively recently, starting some time in the late 13th century. The word “māori” simply means “normal”, distinguishing mortal humans from spiritual entities. The Māori refer to New Zealand as “Aotearoa”.

4 Two-time NL home run leader Giancarlo : STANTON

MLB player Giancarlo Stanton is a big guy, and a big hitter. He stands 6 feet 6 inches tall, and hit 57 home runs in the 2017 season.

7 Capital __ : ONE

Capital One is a financial services company based in McLean, Virginia. The company is known for its mass marketing of credit cards. In fact, it is one of the US Post Office’s largest customers due to the volume of direct mail solicitations sent out.

8 Saul’s field in “Better Call Saul” : LAW

“Better Call Saul” is a spin-off drama series from the hit show “Breaking Bad”. The main character is small-time lawyer Saul Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk, who featured in the original series. “Better Call Saul” is set six years before Goodman makes an appearance in the “Breaking Bad” storyline. The lawyer’s real name is James Morgan McGill, and his pseudonym is a play on the words “S’all good, man!”

9 Stead : LIEU

As one might imagine perhaps, “in lieu” came into English from the Old French word “lieu” meaning “place”, which in turn is derived from the Latin “locum” that also means “place”. So, “in lieu” translates as “in place of”.

12 Relatively famous physicist? : EINSTEIN

After Albert Einstein moved to the US in 1933, he became quite a celebrity and his face was readily recognizable. Einstein was frequently stopped in the street by people who would naively ask him if he could explain what “that theory” (i.e. the theory of relativity) was all about. Growing tired of this, he finally learned to tell people that he was sorry, but folks were constantly mistaking him for Albert Einstein!

22 Cornfield cry : CAW!

A caw is the harsh cry of a crow, and crows might be found in fields of corn …

26 Legal memo opener : IN RE

The term “in re” is Latin, and is derived from “in” (in) and “res” (thing, matter). “In re” literally means “in the matter”, and is used to mean “in regard to” or “in the matter of”.

29 “Fantastic Mr. Fox” author Dahl : ROALD

“Fantastic Mr. Fox” is a children’s novel by Roald Dahl. It was adapted into a 2006 animated film directed by Wes Anderson.

34 “Love Is a Hurtin’ Thing” crooner : LOU RAWLS

Lou Rawls was an American soul and blues singer known for his smooth vocal style. With his singing career well on the way, Rawls was asked to sing “The Star Spangled Banner” in 1977 at a Muhammad Ali fight in Madison Square Garden. This performance led to him being asked to sing the anthem many, many times in the coming years with his last rendition being at a World Series game in 2005. Rawls passed away in January of the following year.

35 Where peripheral vertigo originates : INNER EAR

The inner ear is primarily responsible for detecting sound and maintaining balance. It comprises two main parts. The cochlea is the sensory organ of hearing, and the vestibular system coordinates movement with balance.

“Vertigo” is a Latin word meaning “dizziness”, and has the same meaning in English. The Latin term comes from the Latin verb “vertere”, which means “to turn”.

38 Original site of golf’s John Deere Classic : IOWA

John Deere Classic is a PGA Tour event held annually in the week before the British Open. Originally known as the Quad Cities Open, John Deere took over sponsorship of the event in 1999.

43 IndyCar venue : RACEWAY

IndyCar sanctions Indy car racing (i.e. American open-wheel car racing). The organization governs five racing series, most notably the IndyCar series that includes the Indianapolis 500.

46 Silvery food fish : SMELTS

Smelt is the name given to several types of small silvery fish, with examples being Great Lake smelts and whitebait smelts.

51 “Not my first __!” : RODEO

“Not my first rodeo” means “not the first time I’ve done this”. The phrase started to be used after country singer Vern Gosdin released the song “This Ain’t My First Rodeo” in 1990. Gosdin said that he’d first heard the idiom from a workman who added an extra room over his garage.

56 “Star Wars” princess : LEIA

Princess Leia is Luke Skywalker’s twin sister in the original “Star Wars” trilogy and was played by Carrie Fisher. Carrie Fisher has stated that she hated the famous “cinnamon bun hairstyle” that she had to wear in the films, as she felt it made her face look too round. She also had to sit for two hours every day just to get her hair styled. Two hours to get your hair done? It takes me just two seconds …

59 Extinct emu-like bird : MOA

Moas were flightless birds native to New Zealand that are now extinct. The fate of the Moa is a great example of the detrimental effect that humans can have on animal populations. The Maoris arrived in New Zealand about 1300 AD, upsetting the balance of the ecosystem. The Moa were hunted to extinction within 200 years, which had the knock-on effect of killing off the Haast’s Eagle, the Moa’s only predator prior to the arrival of man. Moa were huge creatures, measuring up to 12 feet tall with their necks stretched upwards.

60 Stout server : BAR

The term “stout” was first used for a type of beer in the 1600s when it was used to describe a “strong, stout” brew, and not necessarily a dark beer as it is today.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Yanks’ NL counterparts, on scoreboards : NYM
4 Looks at phone pics, say : SCROLLS
11 Stew ingredient : PEA
14 Remote battery size : AAA
15 Pedicure focus : TOENAIL
16 Burning : LIT
17 Wrongly-named winner in a 1948 headline : THOMAS DEWEY
19 MD treating canals : ENT
20 Rival of ancient Athens : CORINTH
21 Remove from its box : UNCASE
23 Use a block and tackle on : HOIST
24 Egg head? : OVI-
27 Bridge positions : EASTS
28 To the point : SHORT AND SWEET
31 “That’s __-brainer!” : A NO
32 “Exodus” novelist : URIS
33 Common game piece : DIE
34 Floppy : LIMP
37 Felt under the weather : AILED
39 Spy in “Spectre” (2015) : BOND
40 “Skylanding” artist : ONO
41 Record concern : BLOT
42 Pique condition? : IRE
44 Teamwork-inspiring motto : UNITED WE STAND
48 Plant anew : RESOW
49 Fleet VIP : ADM
50 Cutlass model : CIERA
53 Stella __: Belgian brew : ARTOIS
55 College member : ELECTOR
57 Minute : WEE
58 Drifters in some Western scenes … and a hint to what’s hidden in the three other longest puzzle answers : TUMBLEWEEDS
61 PC linkup : LAN
62 Zagreb’s country : CROATIA
63 Musk of Tesla, e.g. : CEO
64 Yearbook sect. : SRS
65 It’s usually inadmissible : HEARSAY
66 Truck weight unit : TON

Down

1 “You betcha!” : NATCH!
2 Google rival : YAHOO!
3 New Zealand natives : MAORIS
4 Two-time NL home run leader Giancarlo : STANTON
5 Damage, so to speak : COST
6 On a big streak : RED HOT
7 Capital __ : ONE
8 Saul’s field in “Better Call Saul” : LAW
9 Stead : LIEU
10 Cunning : SLYNESS
11 “Be my guest!” : PLEASE DO!
12 Relatively famous physicist? : EINSTEIN
13 Bore witness : ATTESTED
18 Minor accident : MISHAP
22 Cornfield cry : CAW!
25 Leapt : VAULTED
26 Legal memo opener : IN RE
29 “Fantastic Mr. Fox” author Dahl : ROALD
30 “Ta-da!” : DID IT!
34 “Love Is a Hurtin’ Thing” crooner : LOU RAWLS
35 Where peripheral vertigo originates : INNER EAR
36 Bastes, as turkey : MOISTENS
38 Original site of golf’s John Deere Classic : IOWA
39 “No arguing!” : BE NICE!
41 Cast a spell on : BEWITCH
43 IndyCar venue : RACEWAY
45 In addition : TOO
46 Silvery food fish : SMELTS
47 Learn about : DETECT
51 “Not my first __!” : RODEO
52 Burning desire? : ARSON
54 “Fine with me” : SURE
56 “Star Wars” princess : LEIA
59 Extinct emu-like bird : MOA
60 Stout server : BAR

7 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 29 Apr 21, Thursday”

  1. No errors when I finally got done; I struggled with the word
    “raise” instead of “hoist” for 23A for too long before the light
    dawned to help me finish. Hoist helped me get the rest of
    that corner, i.e. natch and yahoo. .

  2. 11:40

    Several of my first guesses were wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong. Definitely not surfing the same brain waves as the constructor.

  3. 28:28 no errors…nice Thursday puzzle
    Stay safe😀
    Now I am off to watch The Price Is Right…I keep hoping that Drew Carey will look like Drew Carey again

  4. 10 minutes, 25 seconds, and no errors. Proof positive that one CAN make a good, challenging puzzle without resorting to horrid puns or editing trickery. I’d like to see lots more like this one.

  5. Mostly easy Thursday for me; took 17:39 with one dumb error: REDHaT/aVI. Only had to change REpOt amongst my first guesses, although I waited for a lot of confirming crosses.

    I didn’t know that you could sail through the Isthmus of Corinth. There are a lot of cool photos of large boats making the passage on google maps.

    Really enjoyable puzzle today as was the WSJ puzzle.

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