LA Times Crossword 15 Jun 21, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Darryl Gonzalez
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Last to Lust

Themed answers are common phrases starting with 4-letter words in the format LxST, with x being a vowel. We progress through the five vowels as we descend the grid:

  • 16A One who locks up : LAST TO LEAVE
  • 23A Phrase used at a remembrance service : LEST WE FORGET
  • 36A Resort website section that includes a pool and fitness center : LIST OF AMENITIES
  • 48A Area to reclaim misplaced stuff : LOST AND FOUND
  • 58A Existential passion : LUST FOR LIFE

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

Bill’s time: 6m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Golf contemporary of Jack and Gary : ARNOLD

Arnold Palmer was one of the greats of the world of golf. He was very popular with many fans of the game, and his followers were usually referred to as “Arnie’s Army”. Off the course, Palmer was an avid pilot until his latter years. He resided in Latrobe, Pennsylvania for much of the year and the local airport is named in his honor: Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.

Jack Nicklaus is a professional golfer from Columbus, Ohio. Nicknamed “the Golden Bear”, Nicklaus holds the record for winning the most major championships (18). Tiger Woods is in second place, having won 14 to date.

Gary Player is a professional golfer from South Africa. To me, Player has always come across as a real gentleman with a great personality. Living in South Africa and playing mainly in the US, he has logged over 15 million air miles. That’s believed to be a record for any athlete.

7 Diner order, briefly : BLT

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

10 Hullabaloo : ADO

Our word “hullabaloo”, meaning “commotion”, is a derivative of an older term “hollo-ballo”. “Hollo-ballo” was a word used for an uproar in the north of England and Scotland.

18 Drive-__: outdoor movies : INS

The world’s first drive-in theater opened near Camden, New Jersey in 1933. The drive-in theater really does epitomise what’s fun about America to me, and I still remember my first taste drive-in experience soon after I moved to the US. Great stuff …

23 Phrase used at a remembrance service : LEST WE FORGET

“Lest we forget” is an oft-quoted phrase, one that comes from a poem by Rudyard Kipling called “Recessional”. Kipling wrote the piece on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897 and used it to express sadness at the waning of the British Empire. The phrase “lest we forget” is used in this context, a warning that the empire will decline. Ever since WWI we’ve been using the words on memorials as a plea not to forget the sacrifices made by others in the past.

27 Lampoons : SATIRES

A lampoon is a parody, a spoof or send-up.

30 Legal degs. : LLBS

Bachelor of Laws (LLB) is an undergraduate degree in law. The abbreviation “LLB” stands for Legum (“LL”, for the plural “laws”) Baccalaureus (B, for Bachelor).

31 Chimp kin : ORANG

Orangutans (also “orangs”) are arboreal creatures, the largest arboreal animals known to man. They are native to Indonesia and Malaysia, and live in rainforests. Like most species in rainforests these days, orangutans are endangered, with only two species surviving. The word “orangutan” is Malay, meaning “man of the forest”.

The common chimpanzee is a species of great ape, i.e. a member of the Hominidae family (along with gorillas, humans and orangutans). The human and chimpanzee branches of the Hominidae family tree diverged 4-6 million years ago, making the chimp our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom.

32 Can. neighbor : USA

The US-Canada border is the longest international border in the world. The total length is 5,525 miles. Canada’s border with the lower 48 states is 3,987 miles long, and the border with Alaska extends 1,538 miles.

33 Org. that issues drug recalls : FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has its roots in the Division of Chemistry (later “Bureau of Chemistry”) that was part of the US Department of Agriculture. President Theodore Roosevelt gave responsibility for examination of food and drugs to the Bureau of Chemistry with the signing of the Pure Food and Drug Act. The Bureau’s name was changed to the Food, Drug and Insecticide Organization in 1927, and to the Food and Drug Administration in 1930.

41 N. or S. state : DAK

The Dakota Territory was formed in 1861 and ceased to exist with the admission to the Union of the states of North Dakota and South Dakota. The territory was split into two states in 1889 largely due to lobbying by the Republican Party, which enjoyed a lot of support in the Dakota Territory. The admission of two states added to the political power of the party in the US Senate, by adding four safe Republican seats.

42 Gershwin brother : IRA

Ira Gershwin was the lyricist who worked with his brother George to create such American classics as the songs “I Got Rhythm” and “Someone to Watch Over Me”, as well as the opera “Porgy and Bess”. After George Gershwin died, Ira continued to create great music, and worked with the likes of Jerome Kern and Kurt Weill.

43 Vermouth name : ROSSI

The company that is today known as Martini & Rossi was started in the mid-1800s in Italy, by Alessandro Martini and Luigi Rossi (and a third partner who sold out years later). From day one it was focused on bottling the fortified wine known as vermouth. Nowadays, the company is also famous for its sparkling wines, and its sponsorship of Grand Prix racing teams. And yes, the famous cocktail is probably named for Mr. Martini.

Vermouth is a fortified wine that is infused with various aromatic flavors. The vermouth that we use today originated in Turin, Italy in the mid-1700s. The various vermouths produced all use a neutral grape wine as a base, with alcohol added to fortify it. Dry ingredients like herbs or roots are added to give a distinctive flavor, and then sugar can be added to make the drink sweeter. Today, most vermouth comes from Italy and France.

44 Inventor Rubik : ERNO

What was originally called the “Magic Cube” became better known as “Rubik’s Cube”, and was named for its inventor Ernő Rubik. Rubik’s Cube is the world’s biggest selling puzzle game, with over 350 million sold in just over 30 years.

46 Adriatic country : CROATIA

The Republic of Croatia is a Balkan country. The Croats declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Croatia became a member of NATO in 2009, and a member of the European Union in 2013.

The Adriatic is the sea separating Italy from the Balkans.

52 Indian, for one : OCEAN

The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world’s oceans, and accounts for almost 20% of the Earth’s surface. It was named for the country of India, which forms much of the ocean’s northern boundary.

63 “The Simpsons” neighbor Flanders : NED

Ned Flanders lives next door to Homer Simpson on TV’s “The Simpsons”. Ned is voiced by actor Harry Shearer, and has been around since the very first episode aired in 1989.

64 Elevator name : OTIS

Elevators (simple hoists) have been around for a long time. What Elisha Otis did was come up with the “safety elevator”, a design that he showcased at the 1853 World’s Fair in New York. At the Fair, Otis would stand on an elevated platform in front of onlookers and order his assistant to cut the single rope holding up the platform. His safety system kicked in when the platform had only fallen a few inches, amazing the crowd. After this demonstration, the orders came rolling in.

67 Spider’s trap : WEB

The silk that makes up a web is a protein fiber that is “spun” by a spider. Spider silk is about one sixth of the density of steel, yet has a comparable tensile strength.

Down

3 Mars rover org. : NASA

There have been several rovers sent to Mars from Earth. The Soviet Union’s Mars 2 landed in 1971, and failed. Mars 3 landed the same year, and ceased operation just 20 seconds after landing. NASA’s Sojourner landed in 1997 (what a great day that was!) and operated from July through September. The British rover Beagle 2 was lost six days before its scheduled entry into the Martian atmosphere. NASA’s Spirit landed in 2004, and operated successfully for over six years before getting trapped in sand and eventually ceasing to communicate. NASA’s Opportunity also landed in 2004, and operated for over fourteen years. And then NASA’s Curiosity made a spectacular, hi-tech landing in 2012 and is continuing to explore the planet today. Based on the Curiosity design, NASA’s Perseverance rover landed in 2021, along with the Mars helicopter named Ingenuity.

4 ’20s-’40s slugger Mel : OTT

At 5′ 9″, baseball legend Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don’t think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old. And, according to Wikipedia, “Ott’s name frequently appears in crossword puzzles, on account of its letter combination and brevity.” True that …

5 “__ It Be”: Beatles : LET

“Let It Be” was the last album that the Beatles released as an active group playing together. The title song was written by Paul McCartney, and it is clearly one of his own favorites. McCartney says that he was inspired to write the song after having had a dream about his mother (who had died some years earlier from cancer). In fact, he refers to her (Mary McCartney) in the line “Mother Mary comes to me”. Paul’s first wife, Linda, is singing backing vocals on the song, the only time she is known to have done so in a Beatles recording. 18 years after that 1970 recording was made, Paul, George and Ringo sang “Let It Be” at a memorial service for Linda, who was also lost to cancer. Sad stuff, but a lovely song …

7 Actress Arthur : BEA

Actress Bea Arthur’s most famous roles were on television, as the lead in the “All in the Family” spin-off “Maude” and as Dorothy Zbornak in “The Golden Girls”. Arthur also won a Tony for playing Vera Charles on stage in the original cast of “Mame” in 1966, two years after she played Yente the matchmaker in the original cast of “Fiddler on the Roof”.

8 Loo : LAV

Our word “lavatory” (sometimes “lav”) originally referred to a washbasin, and comes from the Latin “lavatorium”, a place for washing. In the 1600s, “lavatory” came to mean a washroom, and in the 1920s a toilet.

22 Treasury Dept. org. : IRS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was set up during the Civil War to raise money to cover war expenses. Prior to the introduction of income tax in 1862, the government was funded by levies on trade and property.

23 Dryer trap fuzz : LINT

“Lint”, meaning “fluff”, is one of those terms that I had to learn when I moved to the US. We call the same thing “fuzz” on the other side of the Atlantic.

24 Cogito-sum link : ERGO

The great French philosopher Rene Descartes made the famous statement in Latin, “Cogito ergo sum”. This translates into French as “Je pense, donc je suis” and into English as “I think, therefore I am”. Anything pertaining to the philosophy of Descartes can be described by the adjective “Cartesian”.

26 Eggy Spanish dessert : FLAN

Flan (also “crème caramel”) is a delicious dessert comprising a molded custard topped with a clear caramel sauce. The related crème brûlée is a dessert made from molded custard with a hard, burnt caramel layer on top.

28 “Carmen” solo : ARIA

When Georges Bizet wrote his famous opera “Carmen”, he used the melody of what he thought was an old folk song as a theme in the lovely aria “Habanera”. Not long after he finished “Carmen”, he discovered that the folk song was in fact a piece that had been written by another composer, who had died just ten years before “Carmen” was published. Fittingly, Bizet added a note to the score, declaring the original source.

32 Thurman in films : UMA

Uma Thurman started her working career as a fashion model, at the age of 15. She appeared in her first movies at 17, with her most acclaimed early role being Cécile de Volanges in 1988’s “Dangerous Liaisons”. Thurman’s career really took off when she played the gangster’s moll Mia in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” in 1994. My favorite of all Thurman’s movies is “The Truth About Cats & Dogs”, a less acclaimed romcom released in 1996. She took a few years off from acting from 1998 until 2002 following the birth of her first child. It was Tarantino who relaunched her career, giving her the lead in the “Kill Bill” films.

33 One of two bumped in friendship : FIST

The fist bump is that tapping of fists together as a form of greeting. It is a more “hip” version of a handshake, and might be called a “pounding of flesh”.

34 __ Arnaz, Jr., coverchild on the first TV Guide : DESI

Desi Arnaz, Jr. is the youngest child of Hollywood celebrity couple Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. Lucille’s pregnancy was very public, and became part of the storyline of her show “I Love Lucy”. When Desi junior was born, he appeared on the cover of the very first issue of “TV Guide”.

37 Fictional rafter Huck : FINN

“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain was first published in 1884, not here in the US but rather in England. The original launch planned for the US had to be delayed until the following year because some rascal had defaced the plate for one of the illustrations, making an obscene joke. Once the problem was spotted a new plate had to be made, and 30,000 copies already printed had to be reworked to cover up the obscenity.

38 J.Lo’s ex-partner : A-ROD

Apparently, singer and actress Jennifer Lopez started dating retired baseball player Alex Rodriguez in February 2017. The couple became engaged in March 2019, but that relationship ended in 2021.

40 Garden critter : TOAD

The “warts” on the skin of a toad have no relation to the viral infection that can occur on human skin. A toad’s warts are colored bumps that are believed to help the animal blend more effectively into its environment.

44 Info at SFO : ETA

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) served as the main base of operations for Virgin America (sold to Alaska Airlines), and is also the maintenance hub for United Airlines. Even though SFO is owned and operated by the City and County of San Francisco, the airport is located to the south in San Mateo County.

46 Bob or beehive : COIF

A coif is a hairdo. The term “coif” comes from an old French term “coife” describing a skull-cap that was worn under a helmet back in the late 13th century.

A bob cut is a short hairstyle in which the hair is cut straight around the head, at about the line of the jaw. Back in the 1570s, “bob” was the name given to a horse’s tail that was cut short, and about a century later it was being used to describe short hair on humans. The style became very popular with women in the early 1900s (as worn by actress Clara Bow, for example), with the fashion dying out in the thirties. The style reemerged in the sixties around the time the Beatles introduced their “mop tops”, with Vidal Sassoon leading the way in styling women’s hair in a bob cut again. Personally, I like it …

That distinctive beehive hairstyle is also called a B-52, because the round, beehive-shape also resembles the bulbous nose of a B-52 bomber! The style originated in 1958, and is credited to Margaret Vinci Heldt, the owner of a hair salon in downtown Chicago. I’m not a fan of the beehive, but I do have to say that Audrey Hepburn carried it off in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, as did Dusty Springfield in her heyday.

47 Grapevine transmissions : RUMORS

There are competing stories about the etymology of the phrase “heard it through the grapevine”, meaning “heard it by means of gossip or rumor”. One is that it is a reference to the Grapevine Tavern in Greenwich Village in New York City. The Grapevine was a popular meeting place for Union officers and Confederate spies during the Civil War, and so was a great spot for picking up and spreading vital gossip.

50 Somewhat disreputable : SEEDY

We use the word “seedy” to mean “shabby”. The usage probably arose from the appearance of a flowering plant that has gone to seed.

51 Dieter’s concern : FATS

An unsaturated fat is one in which the molecules are not completely “saturated” with hydrogen atoms, i.e. there is at least one double bond, and hence at least two less hydrogen atoms. A polyunsaturated fat has more than one double bond. Double bonds create “kinks” in hydrocarbon chains, and so the fat molecules cannot pack together densely as they cool. This means that saturated fats solidify at lower temperatures than unsaturated. This is one of the main reasons that unsaturated are deemed healthier than saturated fats.

55 Mennen lotion : AFTA

Afta is an aftershave in the Mennen range of products, which is owned by Colgate-Palmolive.

59 Colorado native : UTE

The Ute are a group of Native-American tribes who now reside in Utah and Colorado. The Ute were not a unified people as such, but rather a loose association of nomadic groups. The word “Ute” means “Land of the Sun”, and “Ute” also gave us the state name “Utah”.

61 Milne hopper : ROO

Like most of the characters in A. A. Milne’s “Winnie-the-Pooh”, the kangaroo named “Roo” was inspired by a stuffed toy belonging to Milne’s son Christopher Robin.

62 __-impact aerobics : LOW

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.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Golf contemporary of Jack and Gary : ARNOLD
7 Diner order, briefly : BLT
10 Hullabaloo : ADO
13 Omelet maker’s tool : BEATER
14 Slangy “Agreed” : YEAH
15 Soda container : CAN
16 One who locks up : LAST TO LEAVE
18 Drive-__: outdoor movies : INS
19 Important time : ERA
20 Try to attract : WOO
21 Chop finely : MINCE
23 Phrase used at a remembrance service : LEST WE FORGET
27 Lampoons : SATIRES
30 Legal degs. : LLBS
31 Chimp kin : ORANG
32 Can. neighbor : USA
33 Org. that issues drug recalls : FDA
36 Resort website section that includes a pool and fitness center : LIST OF AMENITIES
41 N. or S. state : DAK
42 Gershwin brother : IRA
43 Vermouth name : ROSSI
44 Inventor Rubik : ERNO
46 Adriatic country : CROATIA
48 Area to reclaim misplaced stuff : LOST AND FOUND
52 Indian, for one : OCEAN
53 Archery skill : AIM
54 Lacking color : WAN
57 Had some lunch, say : ATE
58 Existential passion : LUST FOR LIFE
63 “The Simpsons” neighbor Flanders : NED
64 Elevator name : OTIS
65 Places to perch : ROOSTS
66 Pig’s digs : STY
67 Spider’s trap : WEB
68 “Who cares?” : SO WHAT?

Down

1 Proficient : ABLE
2 Stern, at sea : REAR
3 Mars rover org. : NASA
4 ’20s-’40s slugger Mel : OTT
5 “__ It Be”: Beatles : LET
6 Nod off : DROWSE
7 Actress Arthur : BEA
8 Loo : LAV
9 Generic crime syndicate : THE MOB
10 Killing it on the test : ACING
11 Word after break or belly : -DANCE
12 First occurrence : ONSET
14 “That’s painful!” : YEOW!
17 Homesites : LOTS
22 Treasury Dept. org. : IRS
23 Dryer trap fuzz : LINT
24 Cogito-sum link : ERGO
25 In addition : ELSE
26 Eggy Spanish dessert : FLAN
27 Word after “Going twice” : … SOLD
28 “Carmen” solo : ARIA
29 Chore : TASK
32 Thurman in films : UMA
33 One of two bumped in friendship : FIST
34 __ Arnaz, Jr., coverchild on the first TV Guide : DESI
35 Europe neighbor : ASIA
37 Fictional rafter Huck : FINN
38 J.Lo’s ex-partner : A-ROD
39 Pressing need? : IRON
40 Garden critter : TOAD
44 Info at SFO : ETA
45 Needed to reorder : RAN LOW
46 Bob or beehive : COIF
47 Grapevine transmissions : RUMORS
48 Sources of student interest? : LOANS
49 Eightsome : OCTET
50 Somewhat disreputable : SEEDY
51 Dieter’s concern : FATS
54 Coin-in-a-fountain thought : WISH
55 Mennen lotion : AFTA
56 Bird’s home : NEST
59 Colorado native : UTE
60 Bro or sis : SIB
61 Milne hopper : ROO
62 __-impact aerobics : LOW

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

  1. 4:13, no errors.

    @Jack (yesterday)
    Given the nature and rule set behind crossword grids, there are always going to be certain words that appear with more frequency. I did a study of that that was on my blog when I had it. Basically any 3 or 4 letter word with at least 50% vowels is going to be a premium to make a grid fill work, so there’s always a high probability of those appearing. For example, ERA is the most common crossword word. Then of course, the ever famous OREO. As a tip for those looking to improve their solving, there are vocab lists of these words. If you’re going to study words for crosswords, those lists are always best, effort wise for getting results. Couple that with numbers, and they’ll tend to repeat between two grids. Just is what it is.

    1. What always piques my curiosity, as I said in a recent post (last week?) is not the simultaneous appearance of a common fill word like OREO in a couple of different puzzles, but when the coincidence involves a less common word (like CITADEL) and the clues are similar (like, they both refer to the Acropolis). Jack’s example of “OTTO” is not quite so strange. I still think that the “birthday paradox” I mentioned yesterday is a part of the explanation for many such coincidences.

      1. For something less common, there’s always the possibility that a constructor will see something in the current NYT they like and use it for an LAT submission. Of course, Norris can always sync them up with the syndicated NYT (really the LAT’s competition). Something I’ve found is that nothing is ever really a coincidence.

      2. I appreciated the link on “B-day paradox” yesterday. Interesting. Not something I was familiar with. I did, however, forbear getting lost in the weeds of all the formulae.

  2. Hi John Daigle 🤗 — I posted this yesterday as well — it takes a few hours now for posts to appear (maybe less; someone can correct me there.) I also miss the old format!!! Generally I check the previous day to see comments I’ve missed.

  3. About 15 min. No errors…I actually got the AEIOU theme. Yah me😀
    @Glenn…thanx for the info👍
    Stay safe😀

  4. Probably one of the easiest LAX puzzles I’ve had the pleasure to
    solve.

    Also enjoyed Glenn’s comments on much-used crossword puzzle
    words. Thinking of proper names, Ott is used often, as is Uma
    and Otis, all of which appeared today.

  5. 8 minutes, 11 seconds, no errors and no issues.

    I am convinced that the constructor that get regularly printed in the LAT/NYT orbit are drawing help from shared resources. I see “rashes” of certain fills within days of each other (and also on the same day), which just feed my suspicions. And, like many of us, I have the mental list of “lazy” grid fillers that appear all TOO often for my tastes: ELLA (Fitzgerald), ETSY, OLLO spring readily to mind.

    1. @Allen Dickerson
      As I’ve mentioned in response to you before, they do have shared lists of resources. There’s crossword construction programs that have dictionary matching capability and to do that they need word lists. There are a handful of word lists that get curated and offered, so in that sense most every constructor is drawing upon the same resources.

  6. 15:07 no lookups/ two errors. Just couldn’t see THEMOB, kept looking at LLDS and never heard of LLBS.

    @Glen – thanks for your input and observations.

  7. Nice quick Tuesday for me; took 8:06 with no errors.

    @Pam 🙂

    @Bill – Obviously the constructor doesn’t closely follow the entertainment section but Jlo and ARod (Jrod) are sadly no more with Ben Affleck back in the picture (BenLo or Jleck??) after trust issues developed – from what I’ve heard anyway.

    @Carrie – Nice to hear from you again…and no, I wouldn’t call in slumming, since I can’t seem to get through the week without errors, I might as well start with a few early week wins 🙂

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