LA Times Crossword 12 Jun 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: Kurt Krauss
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 9m 53s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • LILLI (Lilly)
  • DALASI (dalasy)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Made a seat-of-the-pants mistake? : BUTT-DIALED

“Butt-dialing” is an alternative name for “pocket-dialing”, the accidental placing of a call while a phone is in one’s pocket or purse.

11 Spunkmeyer of cookie fame : OTIS

Otis Spunkmeyer is a company noted for producing muffins and cookies. Kenneth Rawlings founded the company in 1977 in Oakland, California. “Otis Spunkmeyer” isn’t a real person, and instead is a name that was made up by Rawlings’ 12-year-old daughter.

17 It’s undeliverable : DEAD LETTER

Dead letter mail is undeliverable, cannot be delivered to the addressee nor returned to the sender. Here in the US, once a letter has been deemed undeliverable, postal workers are permitted to violate the principle of secrecy of correspondence in an attempt to track down the letter’s origin or destination.

18 Tibiae supporters : TALI

The collection of seven bones in the foot just below the ankle are known collectively as the tarsus. One of those bones is the talus (plural “tali”), more commonly called “ankle bone”. The talus is the lower part of the ankle joint and articulates with the lower ends of the tibia and fibula in the lower leg.

The tibia is the shin bone, and is the larger of the two bones right below the knee. It is the strongest weight-bearing bone in the human body. “Tibia” is the Roman name for a Greek flute and it is thought that the shin bone was given the same name because flutes were often fashioned out of the shin bones of animals.

20 Symbol on a Heineken label : RED STAR

Heineken Lager Beer is named for Gerard Adriaan Heineken, the brewer who founded the brewery in the Netherlands in 1873. The label on a bottle of Heineken beer includes a red star logo. The red star was a symbol used by European brewers in the Middle Ages. During the Cold War, the red star came to have a negative connotation, an association with communism. So for several years, Heineken used a white star with a red outline as a logo.

26 Palmer of “The Boys From Brazil” : LILLI

Lilli Palmer was an actress who was born Lilli Peiser in Prussia. Palmer fled from Germany after the Nazis took power, ending up in England. She appeared in numerous British films, and married actor Rex Harrison in 1943. She moved to the US with Harrison in 1945, and there established a career in Hollywood. Although Harrison and Palmer divorced in 1957, some of Harrison’s ashes were scattered over Palmer’s grave soon after his passing.

“The Boys from Brazil” is an excellent 1978 thriller film that was adapted from an equally excellent novel of the same name by Ira Levin. The strong cast is led by Gregory Peck, Laurence Olivier and James Mason. The compelling plot involves a Nazi hunter chasing the infamous Josef Mengele, and the cloning of Adolf Hitler.

27 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.

29 Crazily : AMOK

The phrase “to run amok” (sometimes “to run amuck”) has been around since the 1670s and is derived from the Malay word for “attacking furiously”, “amuk”. The word “amok” was also used as a noun to describe Malay natives who were “frenzied”. Given Malaya’s troubled history, the natives probably had a good reason for that frenzy …

30 Filling material : AMALGAM

Amalgam is an alloy of mercury with some other metal. Many dental fillings are made of an amalgam of silver and mercury. We started using “amalgam” to mean “blend of different things” around 1790.

32 Appetite : YEN

The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium.

33 Keyboard in a Bach title : CLAVIER

J. S. Bach composed a set of 24 preludes and fugues published as a book in 1722, intended to be used as exercises for students of music. He composed another set of 24 in 1742, and the whole collection is today known as the “Well-Tempered Clavier”, the title of the original book. A “clavier” is a keyboard of a musical instrument.

38 Soul singer Franklin : ERMA

Erma Franklin was an R&B and gospel singer. She was the elder sister of Aretha Franklin. Erma toured with Aretha for a while, and even recorded backup vocals on her sister’s big hit “Respect”.

39 Hog’s little cousin : MOPED

The word “moped” was coined in 1952 by a Swedish journalist named Harald Nielsen. The term is a portmanteau of “motor” and “pedal”.

The Harley-Davidson motorcycle company was founded in the very early 1900s by two childhood friends, William Harley and Arthur Davidson, . Their first design was in effect an engine hooked up to a pedal bicycle, but the 116 cc cylinder capacity simply couldn’t generate enough power to get up the hills of their native city of Milwaukee. The pair came up with a redesigned model that had a cylinder capacity of 405 cc, which the partners built in a shed at the back of Davidson’s house. In 1906, the partners built their first factory, located where the company’s headquarters is to this day, on Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Famously, Harley motorcycles are nicknamed “hogs”.

46 Queen of fiction : ELLERY

The Ellery Queen series of detective novels was somewhat unique in that Ellery Queen was the hero of the tales, and was also the pen name of the author. Actually, the “author” was a pair of writers; two cousins from Brooklyn, New York.

47 The Acropolis, in its time : CITADEL

The term “acropolis” translates from Greek as “high city” or “city on the extremity”. In English we use the term “citadel” to mean the same thing. The most famous citadel bearing the name is the Acropolis of Athens. This Acropolis is a large, flat-topped rock in the city of Athens that rises almost 500 feet above sea level. The most recognizable building that stands on the Acropolis is the Parthenon, also known as the Temple of Athena.

48 California city name meaning “tar” : BREA

The city of Brea, California takes its name from “brea”, the Spanish word for “tar”. Back in the 1800s, entrepreneurs were attracted to the area by the “black gold” (crude oil) that in some locations was just bubbling up from the ground.

49 Female gamete : OVUM

A gamete is a reproductive cell that has half the full complement of genes needed to make a normal cell. In sexual reproduction, it takes two gametes, one from each parent, to fuse into one cell which then develops into a new organism. The female gamete is the ovum, and the male the sperm.

50 Tentacled marine creature : SEA ANEMONE

The name “anemone” means “daughter of the wind” in Greek, and at one time it was believed that the wind was what actually caused the flower to bloom. The sea anemone is named for the terrestrial plant even though the sea anemone isn’t a plant at all. The sea anemone is a predatory animal found on the ocean floor.

55 TripAdvisor rival : YELP

yelp.com is a website that provides a local business directory and reviews of services. The site is sort of like Yellow Pages on steroids, and the term “yelp” is derived from “yel-low p-ages”.

Tripadvisor.com is a travel website dedicated to helping users in most aspects of their travels. Much of Tripadvisor’s content is generated by users, in the form of reviews by travelers.

57 Span. titles : SRAS

The equivalent of “Mrs.” in French is “Mme.” (Madame), in Spanish is “Sra.” (Señora) and in Portuguese is also “Sra.” (Senhora).

Down

2 Nice article : UNE

The French city of Nice is on the Mediterranean coast in the southeast of the country. Although Nice is only the fifth most populous city in France, it is home to the busiest airport outside of Paris. That’s because of all the tourists flocking to the French Riviera. Something described as “à la niçoise” is “of Nice”.

4 Address limited to 18 minutes : TED TALK

The acronym “TED” stands for “Technology, Entertainment and Design”. TED is a set of conferences held around the world by a non-profit group called the Sapling Foundation. The conference subjects are varied, and the meetings are often led by big names such as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Gates and Jane Goodall. The Sapling Foundation then makes recordings of the conferences available for free online with the intent of disseminating the ideas globally. These conferences are known as “TED Talks”. There are also TEDx events, which are locally-run talks presented under license from TED.

5 Monetary unit of The Gambia : DALASI

The dalasi is the currency of the Republic of the Gambia in West Africa. The Gambian dalasi used to be exchanged for 100 buluts, but the bulut coin has become obsolete due to inflation.

The Republic of the Gambia is a country in West Africa. It is the smallest country on the African mainland, and is almost completely surrounded by Senegal. The Gambia lies on the Gambia River, for which the nation is named.

6 __-France: Paris region : ILE-DE

Île-de-France (literally “Island of France”) isn’t an island at all. Instead, it is the most populous of France’s 26 administrative regions. Île-de-France is roughly equivalent to the Paris metropolitan area.

9 Old cooking show that often had a Creole theme : EMERIL LIVE

Emeril Lagasse is an American chef who was born in Massachusetts. Lagasse first achieved celebrity as executive chef in Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. Now famous for his television shows, his cuisine still showcases New Orleans ingredients and influences. Lagasse started using his famous “Bam!” catchphrase in order to keep his crew awake during repeated tapings of his show.

10 Literature Nobelist Walcott : DEREK

Derek Walcott is a poet, playwright and writer from Saint Lucia in the Caribbean. Remarkably, the tiny island nation of Santa Lucia has produced two Nobel Laureates: Walcott and economist Arthur Lewis.

14 Evening do : SOIREE

“Soir” is the French word for “evening” and a soirée is an evening party. The French word “soirée” has an acute accent over the first “e”, but we tend to drop this when using the word in English.

21 Big name in Scotch : DEWAR

Dewar’s is a blended Scotch whisky introduced to the market in 1846 by John Dewar. Dewar’s White Label is the company’s most popular Scotch. It was first sold in 1899, and with a taste that is described as “heather and honey”. Dewar’s also makes some single malts, under the labels Aberfeldy 12 and Aberfeldy 21. Today, Dewar’s is owned by Bacardi.

23 Key __ : LIME

The species of citrus fruit called a key lime is so named due to its association with the Florida Keys.

24 Tar Heel State university : ELON

Elon is a city in the Piedmont region of North Carolina located close to the city of Burlington. Elon University is a private liberal arts school founded in 1889.

“Tar Heel” is a nickname for anyone living in, or from, the state of North Carolina. As such, it is the nickname for an athlete of the University of North Carolina (UNC). No one seems to know for sure where the term “Tar Heel” originated, but it is thought to be related to the historical importance of the tar, pitch and turpentine industries that thrived in the state due to the presence of vast forests of pine trees.

34 Ring bearer : TREE

Growth rings can be seen in a horizontal cross section of a tree trunk. These rings are caused by a change in the rate of growth of a tree that comes with the seasons, so the rings are more easily discerned in trees that grow in regions with marked seasonal changes.

35 “The Wire” antihero __ Little : OMAR

The character Omar Little is played by Michael K. Williams on the HBO series “The Wire”.

I didn’t watch the HBO series called “The Wire” when it first aired. We ended up buying all five series on DVD and we watched the whole thing several years ago. It is a great drama series, and I thoroughly recommend it. Personally, I think that HBO produces some of the best dramas on American television.

36 Oenophile’s adjective : OAKY

In Greek mythology, Oeno was the goddess of wine, giving us “oeno-” as a prefix meaning “wine”. For example, oenology is the study of wine and an oenophile is a wine-lover.

37 Modifies : REVAMPS

The vamp is that part of a shoe upper that extends from behind the toe to the back of the heel. Prior to the 1650s, the verb “new-vamp” was used to describe the replacement of the vamp, in order to extend the life of a show. After 1650, the verb evolved into “revamp”. We now use “revamp” figuratively, to mean “remake, renovate”.

38 Author/activist Johnson who attended President Obama’s inauguration at age 105 : ELLA MAE

Ella Mae Johnson was a social worker and activist. She garnered national attention when she attended the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009, at the age of 105. Johnson had been invited to the ceremony by US Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

39 Real things? : MCCOYS

This idiomatic phrase “the real McCoy” means “the real deal”. It originated in Scotland, where the expression was “the real McKay” and had the same meaning. When the expression migrated to Ireland, it mutated into “the real McCoy”, and from Ireland it crossed intact across the Atlantic to America.

40 “Food, Glorious Food” musical : OLIVER!

“Oliver!” is a stage musical by Lionel Bart that is based on the Charles Dickens novel “Oliver Twist”. “Oliver!” was adapted successfully for the big screen in 1968. The film version won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Carol Reed. Leading the movie’s cast are Mark Lester in the title role, Ron Moody as Fagin and Oliver Reed as Bill Sikes.

41 “Downtown” singer Clark : PETULA

Petula Clark is an English singer of popular songs who had most of her success in the sixties, with hits such as “Downtown” and “I Know a Place”. Clark is a little unusual in the world of entertainment as she started to make recordings in French as well as English, and eventually in German, Italian and Spanish as well. For decades now, Clark has been splitting her time between her properties in England, France and Switzerland.

46 White-tailed seabirds : ERNES

The ern (sometimes “erne”) is also known as the white-tailed eagle or the sea eagle.

51 Berne’s river : AAR

The Aar (also called the “Aare” in German) is the longest river entirely in Switzerland. The Aar is a major tributary of the Rhine and flows through Bern, the nation’s capital.

Bern (sometimes “Berne”, especially in French) is the capital city of Switzerland. The official language of the city is German, but the language most spoken in Bern is a dialect known as Bernese German.

52 Günter’s gramps : OPA

The German for “grandpa” is “Opa”, and for “grandma” is “Oma”.

53 Celtic foe : NET

The NBA’s Brooklyn Nets were the New Jersey Nets until 2012, and were based in Newark. Prior to 1977, the team was known as the New York Nets and played in various locations on Long Island. Ten years earlier, the Nets were called the New Jersey Americans and were headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Made a seat-of-the-pants mistake? : BUTT-DIALED
11 Spunkmeyer of cookie fame : OTIS
15 As it happens : IN REAL TIME
16 “Hmm … don’t think so” : UH … NO
17 It’s undeliverable : DEAD LETTER
18 Tibiae supporters : TALI
19 “Done!” : TA-DA!
20 Symbol on a Heineken label : RED STAR
22 Request sweetener : PLEASE
25 Word of agreement : LIKEWISE
26 Palmer of “The Boys From Brazil” : LILLI
27 Electric __ : EEL
28 Refuse : WASTE
29 Crazily : AMOK
30 Filling material : AMALGAM
32 Appetite : YEN
33 Keyboard in a Bach title : CLAVIER
34 Besides : TOO
37 Spell : RELIEVE
38 Soul singer Franklin : ERMA
39 Hog’s little cousin : MOPED
42 More than a stretch : LIE
43 Depressing : BLEAK
44 Showing ingenuity in : CLEVER AT
46 Queen of fiction : ELLERY
47 The Acropolis, in its time : CITADEL
48 California city name meaning “tar” : BREA
49 Female gamete : OVUM
50 Tentacled marine creature : SEA ANEMONE
55 TripAdvisor rival : YELP
56 Industry-specific publication : TRADE PAPER
57 Span. titles : SRAS
58 Responds to anxiety, in a way : STRESS-EATS

Down

1 Nod, maybe : BID
2 Nice article : UNE
3 Song syllable : TRA
4 Address limited to 18 minutes : TED TALK
5 Monetary unit of The Gambia : DALASI
6 __-France: Paris region : ILE-DE
7 Encouraging start? : ATTA …
8 Started burning : LIT
9 Old cooking show that often had a Creole theme : EMERIL LIVE
10 Literature Nobelist Walcott : DEREK
11 Lapped, perhaps : OUTSWAM
12 In other words : THAT IS
13 Having the worst record : IN LAST
14 Evening do : SOIREE
21 Big name in Scotch : DEWAR
22 Latitude : PLAY
23 Key __ : LIME
24 Tar Heel State university : ELON
25 “Don’t bother” : LEAVE IT
27 What an online beep may signify : EMAIL ALERT
30 Bar none : ALL
31 “Fancy that!” : GEE!
33 Relinquished : CEDED
34 Ring bearer : TREE
35 “The Wire” antihero __ Little : OMAR
36 Oenophile’s adjective : OAKY
37 Modifies : REVAMPS
38 Author/activist Johnson who attended President Obama’s inauguration at age 105 : ELLA MAE
39 Real things? : MCCOYS
40 “Food, Glorious Food” musical : OLIVER!
41 “Downtown” singer Clark : PETULA
43 They may replace oaths : BLEEPS
45 Breaks : RESTS
46 White-tailed seabirds : ERNES
48 Ordered : BADE
51 Berne’s river : AAR
52 Günter’s gramps : OPA
53 Celtic foe : NET
54 Hosp. areas : ERS

24 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 12 Jun 21, Saturday”

  1. 2 errors. 26A I had LILLY. that made 5D DALASY. Didn’t know either one but should have guessed better on 5D. Not too many monetary units end in “Y”.. good saturday for me.
    I liked the clue for 22A… Request sweetener.. got it right away as all my crosses worked out. SWEET!!!

  2. Screwed up the bottom line…couldn’t see “stress eats” and didn’t
    know Gunter’s gramps but had “ops”….the rest was all ok. Not my
    best effort that’s for sure.

    Also had “Lilly” instead of “Lilli” which I should have known!

  3. LAT: Almost two hours with 2 letters and a resulting 4 wrong (but close) answers. Opa, dalasi, and especially stresseats were words I never heard of. And I guessed at a whole lot more. The puzzle stretched me to my limits and then some.

  4. 15:19, same error as Bill and others. (Oh, “Y”, “Y” did I do that??? … 😜)

    FWIW … Today’s Newsday: 56:55, no errors (and quite surprised that I did that well). Another “Stumper-in-spite-of-the-name”, in my book. It may be relevant that I did it after a nine-mile hike and was perhaps not in the best shape for the task. (OTOH, that sort of tiredness can affect my performance in unpredictable ways, so … who knows … 🤨.)

    1. Yesterday’s Croce: 1:20:45, no errors. Many references (both in the clues and in the grid entries) to things unfamiliar to me. After I finished (this morning, because I was otherwise occupied yesterday), I spent as much time reading about all those unfamiliar things as I had spent in working the puzzle. A classic learning experience, for sure (and, I think, an eye-opener for all those who complain here about the LATs).

      Also, the paranoid among us (and I’m not completely excluding myself from that group 😜), may wish to ponder the significance of the fact that both the NYT and the LAT puzzles today contain the word “CITADEL” and the clue for each refers to the “Acropolis”, in Athens.

  5. Good, challenging puzzle — no errors, but it took me twice as long as usual. At first I was stumped on “buttdialed.”

  6. 37 across confused me, and still confuses me. In what sense of either word does “relieve” mean “spell”?

    1. Someone may have already answered this because replies take hours to appear but to spell someone mean to give them a break or relief from their task.

    2. When you “spell” a player on the field, court, whatever, you are letting that person rest a “spell”. That’s the sense of relieve, to my mind.

    3. Eric,
      “spell” has several different meanings used as both nouns and verbs. One of them is:
      spell verb (3)
      Definition of spell (Entry 5 of 5)
      transitive verb
      1 : to take the place of for a time : RELIEVE
      we spell each other every two hours

  7. 24:07 and 5 errors, all based in proper names. This puzzle was diabolical. Some of the clues, like “Ring bearer” were so “distractive” as to be criminal.

    Not a big fan of a puzzle that has to rely on exotic, alternate name spellings to provide difficulty.

  8. 16:19, same error as everyone else (that’s a Natick by any stretch of the imagination).

    Not done with the Newsday yet, but knocked down most of it before I had to sleep. Probably will finish it soon. But will say it’s typical Stan Newman.

    1. FWIW, Croce and Newsday were both DNFs (per usual), the Newsday being one of those “have to read the mind of the constructor to solve it” ones (25 errors!) that just ends up trying my patience more than anything else. Really only been persisting at them because a lot of the other stuff gets not-so-challenging anymore. The more I do this, the more I’m amazed that anyone is remotely capable of doing crosswords at all. And I get more amazed by the constructors that can actually manage fair clean challenging crosswords on a consistent basis. All I can really say is I really don’t know any more about any of this than I started and really just get amazed I can even solve a Monday…

  9. 26:02 1 lookup

    I looked up ELLAMAE Johnson. I also had to change the Y to I where LILLI and DELASI cross.

    @Eric, You can spell someone by taking over their shift, and thus relieve them.

  10. I’m with Allen Dickerson on this. What a horrible puzzle! Not even close to being anything doable. And not even creative or with any humor and …….anything else. Kurt Krause goes into my “do not do this puzzle!”

  11. Had “STRESSNAPS” — I still like that better than “STRESSEATS,” but missed the two down clues (where I had NO clue).

    1. Fred, I had STRESSNAPS as well. I didn’t know ELLEMAE Johnson, either; and I read Celtic with a hard “c” and so didn’t know if NEP was a real Irish-related thing or not. So, Celtic is the basketball reference that Bill explained.

  12. Tough Saturday for me; took 47:18 with quite a few errors, mostly in the middle and W sections. I had macadam and let it go, instead of the correct answers in the middle and the same errors as everyone else in the lill(i)/dalas(i) junction. Also misspelled (i)lla mae.

    Pretty pleased with myself for getting butt dialed and moped. All in all, a pretty fun puzzle with some clever cluing. I’m going to watch “Boys in Brazil” since it’s free on Amazon Prime. Well, time to stress eat…

  13. Not a bad Saturday puzzle in my mind due to some difficulty. 33:33 with 3 letter errors on 5 answers. Had “LILLy” and “DALASy” same as Bill, plus “STRESSnApS” same as Fred (which I also like!).

  14. A crazily written puzzle, that was seemingly put together by the seat of his pants. This crossword lands short from delivering anything but refuse. It shows a depressing lack of ingenuity, so don’t bother.

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