LA Times Crossword 1 Jun 21, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Alina Abidi & Gary Larson
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Break the Ice

Themed answers each include ICE as a hidden word, BROKEN between the words in each answer:

  • 56A Get a delicate dialogue started … and a hint to 17-, 25-, 34- and 49-Across : BREAK THE ICE
  • 17A Machine Gun Kelly or Pretty Boy Floyd : PUBLIC ENEMY
  • 25A Former name of Denver’s Ball Arena : PEPSI CENTER
  • 34A Breathtaking regimen? : AEROBIC EXERCISE
  • 49A Underwater shocker : ELECTRIC EEL

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

Bill’s time: 6m 41s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Object from a much earlier time : RELIC

A relic is something that has survived from the past, reminding us of that past.

11 “__ Blinded Me With Science”: 1983 hit : SHE

“She Blinded Me With Science” is a 1982 song, and really the only hit for English singer Thomas Dolby. I read that the song is quite popular, but I’d never heard of it …

14 Barn-raising sect : AMISH

The Amish are members of a group of Christian churches, and a subgroup of the Mennonite churches. The Amish church originated in Switzerland and Alsace in 1693 when it was founded by Jakob Ammann. It was Ammann who gave the name to the Amish people. Many Amish people came to Pennsylvania in the 18th century.

15 14-inch paper size : LEGAL

Our paper sizes here in North America don’t conform with the standards in the rest of the world. ISO standard sizes used elsewhere were chosen so that the ratio of width to length is usually one to the square root of two. This mathematical relationship means that when you cut a piece of paper in two each half preserves the aspect ratio of the original, which can be useful in making reduced or enlarged copies of documents. Our standard size of “letter” (ltr., 8.5 x 11 inches) was determined in 1980 by the Reagan administration to be the official paper size for the US government. Prior to this, the “legal” size (8.5 x 14 inches) had been the standard, since 1921.

17 Machine Gun Kelly or Pretty Boy Floyd : PUBLIC ENEMY

“Machine Gun Kelly” was the nickname of Prohibition era gangster George Barnes. Despite his image as a tough guy, Machine Gun Kelly proved to be a model prisoner when he was finally captured by the authorities. He spent the last 21 years of his life in jail, much of that time at Alcatraz. His less than brutal demeanor in prison earned him the new nickname of “Pop Gun Kelly”.

Charles Arthur Floyd was a bank robber who got a lot of press coverage for his crimes in the 1930s. In one robbery, Floyd was described by one of his victims as “a mere boy – a pretty boy with apple cheeks”, words that supposedly earned him the moniker “Pretty Boy”. Just like his contemporary, Baby Face Nelson, “Pretty Boy” Floyd hated his nickname.

19 JFK posting : ETD

The Idlewild Golf Course was taken over by the city of New York in 1943 and construction started on a new airport to serve the metropolis and relieve congestion at LaGuardia. The Idlewild name still persists, even though the airport was named after Major General Alexander E. Anderson from the first days of the project. When the facility started operating in 1948 it was known as New York International Airport, Anderson Field. It was renamed to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in 1963, one month after the President was assassinated.

25 Former name of Denver’s Ball Arena : PEPSI CENTER

Ball Arena (“Pepsi Center” until 2020) in Denver is home to the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche. The facility opened in 1999.

29 Pests whose name means “fly” in a Bantu language : TSETSES

Tsetse flies live on the blood of vertebrate mammals. The name “tsetse” comes from Tswana, a language of southern Africa, and translates simply as “fly”. Tsetse flies are famous for being carriers of the disease known as “sleeping sickness”. Sleeping sickness is caused by a parasite which is passed onto humans when the tsetse fly bites into human skin tissue. If one considers all the diseases transmitted by the insect, then the tsetse fly is responsible for a staggering quarter of a million deaths each year.

There are hundreds of Bantu languages, which are mainly spoken in central, east and southern Africa. The most commonly spoken Bantu language is Swahili, with Zulu coming in second.

31 “Bottomless” brunch drinks : MIMOSAS

Where I come from, the cocktail known in North America as a mimosa is called a buck’s fizz, with the latter named for Buck’s Club in London where it was introduced in 1921. The mimosa came along a few years later, apparently first being served in the Paris Ritz. If you want to make a mimosa, it’s a 50-50 mix of champagne and orange juice, and it is very tasty …

Our word “brunch” is a portmanteau of “breakfast” and “lunch”. The term was coined as student slang in Oxford, England in the late 1890s. However, “brunch” described a combined meal closer to the breakfast hour, and the term “blunch” was used for a meal closer to lunchtime.

34 Breathtaking regimen? : AEROBIC EXERCISE

Aerobic exercise is moderate activity designed to be at a low enough intensity that very little anaerobic activity takes place. In other words, the exercise is at a level where oxygen is taken in to burn fat and carbohydrate and to create energy. Anaerobic exercise is more intense and uses carbohydrate (glycogen) in the muscle to provide energy, without the need for oxygen. Aerobics are also called “cardio” as the exercises strengthen the cardiovascular system.

49 Underwater shocker : ELECTRIC EEL

“Electrophorus electricus” is the biological name for the electric eel. Despite its name, the electric “eel” isn’t an eel at all, but rather what is called a knifefish, a fish with an elongated body that is related to the catfish. The electric eel has three pairs of organs along its abdomen, each capable of generating an electric discharge. The shock can go as high as 500 volts with 1 ampere of current (500 watts), and that could perhaps kill a human.

52 Bordeaux, say : WINE

Bordeaux is perhaps the wine-production capital of the world. Wine has been produced in the area since the eighth century. Bordeaux has an administrative history too. During WWII, the French government relocated from Paris to the port city of Bordeaux when it became clear that Paris was soon to fall to the Germans. After the Germans took France, the capital was famously moved to Vichy.

55 Longoria of “Desperate Housewives” : EVA

Eva Longoria is a fashion model and actress who had a regular role on TV’s “Desperate Housewives”, playing Gabrielle Solis.

63 Flat contract : LEASE

“Flat”, in the sense of an apartment or condominium, is a word more commonly used in Britain and Ireland than on this side of the pond. The term “flat” is Scottish in origin, in which language it used to mean “floor in a house”.

65 Bit of ink : TAT

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

66 Spud : TATER

The word “spud”, used as a slang term for “potato”, was first recorded in the mid-1800s, in New Zealand would you believe?

Down

1 Missy Elliott genre : RAP

Melissa “Missy” Elliott is a rap artist who was childhood friends with fellow rapper Timbaland.

2 Big Aussie bird : EMU

Emu eggs are very large, with a thick shell that is dark-green in color. One emu egg weighs about the same as a dozen chicken eggs. It is the male emu that incubates the eggs. The incubation period lasts about 8 weeks, during which time the male neither eats nor drinks, just lapping up any morning dew that is nearby. While incubating a clutch of eggs, male emus lose about a third of their weight.

4 Key in the water : ISLE

A key (also “cay”) is a low offshore island, as in the Florida “Keys”. Our term in English comes from the Spanish “cayo” meaning “shoal, reef”.

18 Manitoba tribe : CREE

The Cree are one of the largest groups of Native Americans on the continent. In the US, Montana is home to most of the Cree nation. They live on a reservation shared with the Ojibwe people. In Canada, most of the Cree live in Manitoba.

Manitoba is the Canadian province that borders the US states of North Dakota and Minnesota. Even though Manitoba has an area of over 250,000 square miles, 60% of its population resides in the province’s capital city of Winnipeg.

21 Italian dumplings : GNOCCHI

Gnocchi are small dumplings in Italian cuisine that can be made from various ingredients including potato, my personal favorite. The name “gnocchi” might be derived from the Italian “nocchio” meaning “knot in wood”.

22 R&B great James : ETTA

“Etta James” was the stage name of celebrated blues and soul singer Jamesetta Hawkins. James’ most famous recording was her 1960 hit “At Last”, which made it into the pop charts. James performed “At Last” at the age of 71 in 2009 on the reality show “Dancing with the Stars”, which was to be her final television appearance. She passed away in 2012.

23 Activist and tennis legend Arthur : ASHE

Arthur Ashe was a professional tennis player from Richmond, Virginia. In his youth, Ashe found himself having to travel great distances to play against Caucasian opponents due to the segregation that still existed in his home state. He was rewarded for his dedication by being selected for the 1963 US Davis Cup team, the first African-American player to be so honored. Ashe continued to run into trouble because of his ethnicity though, and in 1968 was denied entry into South Africa to play in the South African Open. In 1979, Ashe suffered a heart attack and had bypass surgery, with follow-up surgery four years later during which he contracted HIV from blood transfusions. Ashe passed away in 1993 due to complications from AIDS. Shortly afterwards, Ashe was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.

26 Big-screen format : IMAX

The IMAX Corporation, which is behind the IMAX film format, is a Canadian company. The impetus for developing the system came after Expo ’67 in Montreal. Back then large format screenings were accomplished using multiple projectors with multiple screens, with images basically stitched together. The team behind the IMAX technology set out to simplify things, and developed a single-camera, single-projector system.

27 Cannes subject : CINE

“Cine” is the French word for “cinema”.

Cannes is a city on the French Riviera that is noted as host of the Cannes Film Festival. The decision to host an annual film festival was adopted by the city just before WWII. However, the festival had to wait for the end of the war for its launch in 1946.

28 Qatari leader : EMIR

Qatar is a sovereign state in the Middle East occupying the Qatar Peninsula, itself located in the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar lies on the Persian Gulf and shares one land border, with Saudi Arabia to the south. Qatar has more oil and gas reserves per capita of population than any other country in the world. In 2010, Qatar had the fastest growing economy in the world, driven by the petrochemical industry. Qatar is scheduled to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, although the nation’s eligibility to do so is under question after a far-reaching bribery scandal was uncovered at the sport’s governing body.

30 Batman villain who carries a double-headed coin : TWO-FACE

In the Batman storyline, Harvey Dent was the squeaky-clean District Attorney of Gotham City. Dent worked alongside Batman to fight the city’s crime. However, during a trial of a mob boss, the defendant throws acid at him and scars the left side of Dent’s face. Dent loses his mind and becomes a criminal, calling himself “Two-Face” because of his unfortunate facial features. Two-Face decides whether to do good or evil deeds by flipping a coin.

33 R&B’s Boyz II __ : MEN

Boyz II Men are an R&B vocal trio from Philadelphia who started out in 1988. The original BOYZ II Men lineup included a fourth member, Michael McCary. McCary left the group in 2003 due to chronic back pain. The Boyz II Men 1992 hit “End of the Road” stayed at number-one in the Billboard charts for an amazing thirteen weeks, shattering the 11-week record that had been held by Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog” since 1956.

36 Horror movie helper : IGOR

In the world of movies, Igor has been the assistant to Dracula, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein among others. Igor is almost invariably portrayed as a hunchback.

37 Big name in banking : CITI

During the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, the US government rescued Citibank by providing loan guarantees and two payments of $25 billion each. It turns out that the government made a tidy profit on that deal, as Citibank has since repaid the loans in full, along with interest.

44 “Booksmart” director Wilde : OLIVIA

Actress Olivia Wilde’s break came with the role of “Thirteen” on the medical drama “House”. Olivia’s birth name is Cockburn, and she chose her stage name in honor of Irish author Oscar Wilde.

“Booksmart” is a 2019 comedy film about two high school students breaking out of there relatively bookish ways just prior to graduation. The movie was actress Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut, and apparently, the critics loved this film.

54 “Sisters” star Ward : SELA

Actress Sela Ward turns up in crosswords a lot. Ward played Teddy Reed in the TV show “Sisters” in the nineties, and was in “Once and Again” from 1999-2002. I don’t know either show, but I do know Ward from the medical drama “House” in which she played the hospital’s lawyer and Greg House’s ex-partner. That was a fun role, I thought. More recently, Ward played a lead role on “CSI: NY” and was a very welcome and much-needed addition to the cast. And, Ward played Dr. Richard Kimble’s murdered wife in the 1993 film version of “The Fugitive”.

56 Sandwich letters : BLT

The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

Meats placed between slices of bread was first called a sandwich in the 18th century, named after the Fourth Earl of Sandwich. The Earl was fond of eating “sandwiches” while playing cards at his club.

57 Stephen of “V for Vendetta” : REA

Stephen Rea is an Irish actor from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Rea’s most successful role was Fergus in 1992’s “The Crying Game”, for which performance he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. In “The Crying Game”, Fergus was a member of the IRA. In real life, Rea was married to IRA bomber and hunger striker Dolours Price at the time he made the movie.

“V for Vendetta” is a 2006 movie based on the political thriller graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. The film stars Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman and Stephen Rea. Two other Moore novels made it to the big screen: “From Hell” and “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”.

60 LeBron until 2010, for short : CAV

The Cavaliers are the professional basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavs joined the NBA as an expansion team in 1970.

Basketball player LeBron James (nicknamed “King James”) seems to be in demand for the covers of magazines. James became the first African American man to adorn the front cover of “Vogue” in March 2008. That made him only the third male to make the “Vogue” cover, following Richard Gere and George Clooney.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Object from a much earlier time : RELIC
6 Wild guesses : STABS
11 “__ Blinded Me With Science”: 1983 hit : SHE
14 Barn-raising sect : AMISH
15 14-inch paper size : LEGAL
16 Triumphed : WON
17 Machine Gun Kelly or Pretty Boy Floyd : PUBLIC ENEMY
19 JFK posting : ETD
20 Slipped up : ERRED
21 Bit of staircase babyproofing : GATE
22 Musician’s asset : EAR
25 Former name of Denver’s Ball Arena : PEPSI CENTER
29 Pests whose name means “fly” in a Bantu language : TSETSES
31 “Bottomless” brunch drinks : MIMOSAS
32 Melt : THAW
33 Wildly excited : MANIC
34 Breathtaking regimen? : AEROBIC EXERCISE
41 Strand at the airport, say : FOG IN
42 Worked the soil : HOED
43 Very few : NOT A LOT
46 Like some decorative glass : STAINED
49 Underwater shocker : ELECTRIC EEL
51 One with a code name : SPY
52 Bordeaux, say : WINE
53 Loads : HEAPS
55 Longoria of “Desperate Housewives” : EVA
56 Get a delicate dialogue started … and a hint to 17-, 25-, 34- and 49-Across : BREAK THE ICE
62 Transgression : SIN
63 Flat contract : LEASE
64 Quell : ALLAY
65 Bit of ink : TAT
66 Spud : TATER
67 Soothing balm : SALVE

Down

1 Missy Elliott genre : RAP
2 Big Aussie bird : EMU
3 Women’s __ : LIB
4 Key in the water : ISLE
5 Tweets : CHIRPS
6 Goes into low-power mode : SLEEPS
7 Cares for, as a garden : TENDS
8 Mature : AGE
9 Loud comics sound : BAM!
10 Foxy : SLY
11 Jogging wear : SWEATS
12 Soothing cuppa : HOT TEA
13 See 24-Down : -ENDERS
18 Manitoba tribe : CREE
21 Italian dumplings : GNOCCHI
22 R&B great James : ETTA
23 Activist and tennis legend Arthur : ASHE
24 With 13-Down, collisions from behind : REAR-
26 Big-screen format : IMAX
27 Cannes subject : CINE
28 Qatari leader : EMIR
30 Batman villain who carries a double-headed coin : TWO-FACE
33 R&B’s Boyz II __ : MEN
35 Hightail it : BOLT
36 Horror movie helper : IGOR
37 Big name in banking : CITI
38 + or – particles : IONS
39 Slip slowly through the cracks : SEEP
40 Whirlpool : EDDY
43 State-of-the-art : NEWEST
44 “Booksmart” director Wilde : OLIVIA
45 Renter : TENANT
46 Explorer : SEEKER
47 Suckling spot : TEAT
48 Top dogs : ALPHAS
50 Run after : CHASE
54 “Sisters” star Ward : SELA
56 Sandwich letters : BLT
57 Stephen of “V for Vendetta” : REA
58 Put away : EAT
59 Under the weather : ILL
60 LeBron until 2010, for short : CAV
61 Private __ : EYE

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 1 Jun 21, Tuesday”

  1. Pretty easy today. No errors, but I had to change “Oliver” to “Olivia” when
    I got too hasty filling in squares. No lookups today.

  2. 13:35 no errors…since my time is only twice that of Bills it seemed worth posting👍
    Stay safe😀

  3. 3:56, no errors.

    I hope people here aren’t discouraged by any of the things we post about how we do here. Personally, I wrote (or at least thought of) some of the same things on this blog when I was starting out. It seems like it’s stretching out a bit now, but I started on crosswords in 2015 and got confident enough to post times in 2017. All things are possible, and we are at different points in doing these things. I don’t see this as a contest. I’m sure most here don’t see it as a contest. If you’re doing this and you’re posting here, I’m happy to see you around and happy to see you accomplished the puzzle. And hopefully you enjoyed yourself doing it.

    1. I surely don’t see it as a contest, but it is nice (for me) to have a reference point that shows you how “mediocre” you are at this!!! Your times are a source of head-shaking amazement on my part. Do you, or do you ever plan to, go to the yearly NYT Puzzle Tournament in NYC? Based on your times posted here, you should do quite well.

      1. I think the only reason I look in here at times is as a reference point, myself. You get to know people. It’s not so much a show-up as to see how hard the puzzle was. If others struggled, then it probably was hard. If you’re off, it’s something else entirely.

        Believe it or not, on that scale my times are pretty mediocre. I’ve done “play at homes” for a lot of the contests. I usually finish in the bottom 25%. I know where I’m at and not really going to entertain doing any of that until I can at least be respectable at doing this. Right now, I’m just not.

  4. 33A – I had maniA, which I feel is also a correct answer but, not knowing 22D, I felt confident and let it stand. Oops!

  5. I always really enjoyed Olivia Wilde in House. The fact that she didn’t have them “eliminate” that little scar on her cheek always raised her up in my opinion in not being so very vain. Not that having that scar takes away from her beauty (but proves her brains) by my way of thinking.

    Just did the Sunday LA Time’s puzzle too. Didn’t finish with any final errors. My way of counting errors or DNF’s are, if I have to look it up for any reason, including spelling, then I get either an error for that square or a DNF if I can’t figure out what letter to put in. YMMV.

  6. 4:31

    Hi Glenn,

    I have always found your comments encouraging.

    It looks like I started doing these crosswords daily late in 2018. I like posting my times to see if I am doing better than before. I enjoy reading everyone’s comments on the themes and clues and all. I hope you all aren’t too bored by my occasional attempts to convey what it felt like to fill the puzzles.

    1. I hope I’m a positive presence here. Mainly what prompted posting that was seeing some of the late comments yesterday. As for me, I think that’s some of the same reason. When I do these, I want to know in my own mind how I did. I just went with finishing and then no errors and then time completed over time, just because finishing unaided became pretty much routine, along with no errors (most of the time).

      And honestly, I’m never bored reading the posts here.

  7. Thanks for the encouragement, Glenn! My only wish — and this is not a criticism — is that people would be a bit more chatty and personal here….for example, I loved the movie Booksmart ! Wished it had done better at the box office to send a message that female directors and female leads can be “wilde-ly” popular.

  8. PS I started out thinking it was a Monday and that this should have been easier for me; forgot that we had a holiday and I skipped the x-word puzzle yesterday!

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