LA Times Crossword 16 Jun 21, Wednesday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Dana Wilson
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Boxed Wine

The grid included four BOXES of circled letters. Those letters spell out a kind of WINE:

  • 52A Party drink option, no corkscrew required … and what’s in each set of circles? : BOXED WINE

Those wines are:

  • SHIRAZ
  • MUSCAT
  • MERLOT
  • MALBEC

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

Bill’s time: 6m 09s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 One working with dishes : CHEF

“Chef” is a French word meaning “chief, head”. Our use of the term “chef” is a shortened version of “chef de cuisine” meaning “head of the kitchen”.

9 Vegan, e.g. : DIET

A vegan is someone who stays away from animal products. A dietary vegan eats no animal foods, not even eggs and dairy that are usually eaten by vegetarians. Ethical vegans take things one step further by following a vegan diet and also avoiding animal products in other areas of their lives e.g. items made from leather or silk.

14 Absolut rival, familiarly : STOLI

Stolichnaya is a brand of “Russian” vodka made from wheat and rye grain. “Stoli” originated in Russia, but now it’s made in Latvia. Latvia is of course a completely different country, so you won’t see the word “Russian” on the label anymore.

I must admit, if I ever do order a vodka drink by name, I will order the Absolut brand. I must also admit that I do so from the perspective of an enthusiastic amateur photographer. I’ve been swayed by the Absolut marketing campaign that features such outstanding photographic images.

15 First name in jazz singing : ELLA

Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

17 What golfers hit, with “the” : … LINKS

The oldest type of golf course is a links course. The name “links” comes from the Old English word “hlinc” meaning “rising ground”. “Hlinc” was used to describe areas with coastal sand dunes or open parkland. As a result, we use the term “links course” to mean a golf course that is located at or on the coast, often amid sand dunes. The British Open is always played on a links course.

19 Traditional flowers used in Indian weddings : MARIGOLDS

Marigolds are a very popular choice of flower at weddings in the Hindu tradition. They are said to represent the Sun, and symbolize positive energy and brightness.

23 Justice Kagan et al. : ELENAS

Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States who replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the first female US Solicitor General and the fourth female US Supreme Court justice. I hear she is a fan of Jane Austen, and used to reread “Pride and Prejudice” once a year. Not a bad thing to do, I’d say …

27 Flood stopper : LEVEE

A levee is an artificial bank, usually made of earth, that runs along the length of a river. It is designed to hold back river water at a time of potential flooding. “Levée” is the French word for “raised” and is an American term that originated in French-speaking New Orleans around 1720.

29 Dishevels, as hair : MUSSES

“Muss” means “state of disorder”, and is a term that probably evolved from “mess”. The phrase “no muss, no fuss” means “no bother, no mess made, no excessive hustle and bustle”.

31 Tel __ : AVIV

The full name of Israel’s second largest city is Tel Aviv-Yafo. “Tel Aviv” translates into “Spring Mound”, and is a name that was chosen in 1910.

35 Marsh plant : CATTAIL

Cattails are flowering plants found in wetlands. We call them bullrushes back in Ireland …

37 Strauss opera based on a Sophocles tragedy : ELEKTRA

“Elektra” is an opera by Richard Strauss that premiered in 1909. The work is based on Greek mythology, and is centered on Elektra, the daughter of the Greek king Agamemnon.

“Electra” is a tragedy penned by Greek playwright Sophocles. The title character is the daughter of King Agamemnon, commander of the Greek forces in the Trojan War. In the play, Electra takes revenge on her mother Clytemnestra, who killed Agamemnon.

42 “Ghostbusters” ghost : SLIMER

1984’s “Ghostbusters” really is an entertaining movie. It stars Bill Murray and Harold Ramis, and was directed by Ivan Reitman (a trio that also worked together on 1981’s “Stripes”). The first draft of the screenplay was written by another star of the movie, Dan Aykroyd. Aykroyd originally envisioned “Ghostbusters” as a vehicle for himself and John Belushi, but sadly Belushi passed away before the project could be realized.

43 “Casablanca” star, informally : BOGIE

Humphrey “Bogie” Bogart’s breakthrough movie was “The Petrified Forest” from 1936, but for me nothing beats “Casablanca”. That said, check out the original “Sabrina” from 1954. It’s a real delight. Bogie was nominated three times for a Best Actor Oscar, but only won once: for “The African Queen”.

Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund were played by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in the 1942 movie “Casablanca”. I love the words of one critic describing the chemistry between Bogart and Bergman in this film: “She paints his face with her eyes”. Wow …

51 Asia’s __ Peninsula : MALAY

The Malay Peninsula is a long, thin land mass that forms the southernmost part of the Asian mainland. On the peninsula are the countries of Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar and Singapore (an island nation off the southern tip of the peninsula). People of the Malay ethnic group are mainly found on the Malay peninsula.

52 Party drink option, no corkscrew required … and what’s in each set of circles? : BOXED WINE

The process of packaging wine in boxes was patented in Australia in 1935. Distribution of premium wines in boxes has been accepted by the Australian market for some time now. Here in the US, box wines tend to be associated more with cheap jug wines, although I am delighted to see that attitude changing. I’m a big fan of boxed malbecs and zinfandels …

56 “Odelay” musician : BECK

“Beck” is the stage name of Bek David Campbell, an American alternative rock musician.

57 “Queen of Salsa” Cruz : CELIA

Celia Cruz was born and bred in Cuba, but spent most of her working life in the United States, playing out her salsa singing career in New Jersey. Around the world, Cruz was known as the “Queen of Salsa”.

59 Wilcox daughter in “Howards End” : EVIE

“Howards End” is a 1920 novel written by E. M. Forster. Emma Thompson won an Oscar for playing Margaret Schlegel in the excellent 1992 film adaptation.

62 Cabs, say : REDS

The cabernet sauvignon (often just “cab”) grape has been around since the 17th century, and is the result of a chance crossing in southwestern France of the cabernet franc and sauvignon blanc grapes.

Down

6 Aspen transport : GONDOLA

The word “gondola” was originally limited to the famous boats that travel along the canals of Venice. When man started to fly through the air in hot air balloons, “gondola” was used for the basket in which the passenger(s) traveled. By extension, the structure carrying passengers and crew under an airship is also called a gondola, as are the cars suspended from a cable at a ski resort.

Aspen, Colorado used to be known as Ute City, with the name change taking place in 1880. Like many communities in the area, Aspen was a mining town, and in 1891 and 1892 it was at the center of the highest production of silver in the US. Nowadays, it’s all about skiing and movie stars.

7 Group with lodges : ELKS

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) was founded in 1868, and is a social club that has about a million members today. It started out as a group of men getting together in a “club” in order to get around the legal opening hours of taverns in New York City. The club took on a new role as it started to look out for poor families of members who passed away. The club now accepts African Americans as members (since the seventies) and women (since the nineties), but atheists still aren’t welcome. The list of US presidents that have been members of the BPOE includes Presidents Eisenhower, Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Ford.

9 “You Gotta Be” singer : DES’REE

Des’ree is an R&B singer from London, England. One of her biggest hits is the song “Kissing You”, which was used in the 1996 film adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes.

10 Minnesota’s __ Omar : ILHAN

Ilhan Omar has been representing Minnesota’s 5th congressional district in the US House since 2019. At that time, she became one of the first two Muslim women, as well as the first Somali American, to serve in the US Congress.

11 “Tru Calling” actress Dushku : ELIZA

Eliza Dushku is an actress noted for playing Faith on TV’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and the spinoff “Angel”. Dushku also starred in two sci-fi series, “Tru Calling” and “Dollhouse”.

“Tru Calling” is a TV drama that originally aired on Fox from 2003 to 2005. The show centers on a woman named Tru Davies who works in a city morgue, and then the dead bodies start talking to her. Not for me …

14 Like lento music : SLOW

A lento passage is a piece of music that has a slow tempo. “Lento” is “slow” in Italian.

21 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame city : CLEVELAND

Cleveland, Ohio was named after the man who led the team that surveyed the area prior to the founding of the city. General Moses Cleaveland did his work in 1796 and then left Ohio, never to return again.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame can be visited on the shores of Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ohio. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was created in 1983 and started inducting artists in 1986. The Foundation didn’t get a home until the museum was dedicated in Cleveland in 1995. I had the great privilege of visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame some years ago and really enjoyed myself. The magnificent building was designed by famed architect I. M. Pei.

24 Gremlin and Pacer : AMCS

The Gremlin is a subcompact car that was made by AMC in the 1970s. The Gremlin was positioned to compete with the Chevy Vega and Ford Pinto from the US, and with imports like the VW Beetle and Toyota Corona. On the list of ex-Gremlin drivers are Presidents Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush.

The AMC Pacer is an iconic car from the seventies. The Pacer has big glass windows leading to it being nicknamed “the Flying Fish Bowl” by “Car and Driver” magazine.

25 Avocado dip, for short : GUAC

Guacamole is one of my favorite dishes. It is prepared by mashing avocados and perhaps adding the likes of tomato, onion and lime juice. The guacamole recipe dates back as early as the 16th century, to the time of the Aztecs. “Guacamole” translates as “avocado sauce”.

26 Vino venue : ASTI

Asti is a city in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.

28 First lady : EVE

According to the Bible, Eve was created as Adam’s companion by God, creating her from Adam’s rib.

30 Long battle : SIEGE

Our word “siege” comes from a 13th-century word for a “seat”. The military usage derives from the concept of a besieging force “sitting down” outside a fortress until it falls.

32 Browser standard : HTML

The initialism “HTML” stands for HyperText Markup Language. HTML is the language used to write most Internet web pages (including this one).

33 Black-and-white treat : OREO

How the Oreo cookie came to get its name seems to have been lost in the mists of time. One theory is that it comes from the French “or” meaning “gold”, a reference to the gold color of the original packing. Another suggestion is that the name is the Greek word “oreo” meaning “beautiful, nice, well-done”.

36 Luau accessory : LEI

The Hawaiian party or feast known as a “luau” really dates back to 1819, when King Kamehameha II removed religious laws that governed the eating of meals. These laws called for women and men to eat separately. At the same time as he changed the laws, the king initiated the luau tradition by symbolically eating with the women who moved in his circle.

38 Electric bill unit : KILOWATT

The kilowatt hour (kWh) is a unit of energy, made up of the product of power (kilowatts – kW) and time (hour – h). We see “kWh” all the time, on our electricity bills.

46 Author Binchy : MAEVE

Maeve Binchy was a fabulous Irish novelist, and in my day a famous newspaper columnist whose column I would read daily. A few of her novels have made it to the big screen, including two I would recommend: “Circle of Friends” starring Chris O’Donnell and Minnie Driver, and “Tara Road” starring Andie MacDowell.

47 Spanish folk hero : EL CID

Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar was known as El Cid Campeador, which translates as “The Champion” or perhaps “The Lord, Master of Military Arts”. El Cid was a soldier who fought under the rule of King Alfonso VI of Spain (among others). However, he was sent into exile by the King in 1080, after acting beyond his authorization in battle. El Cid then offered his services to his former foes, the Moorish kings, After a number of years building a reputation with the Moors, he was recalled from exile by Alfonso. By this time El Cid was very much his own man. Nominally under the orders of Alfonso, he led a combined army of Spanish and Moorish troops and took the city of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast in 1094, making it his headquarters and home. He died in Valencia, quite peacefully, in 1099.

50 Once around the sun : YEAR

The Earth takes about 365¼ days to orbit the Sun. And so, by one definition, a year (a tropical year) lasts 365¼ days. As we progress through 365-day years, we get out of sync with the “true” year, and so the sun appears in a slightly different place in the sky at the same time and date, year after year. Pope Gregory XIII decided to deal with this issue when he introduced the Gregorian calendar in 1582. As each 365-day year was falling behind by a quarter of a day, he decided to make a correction on a regular basis. Our modern Gregorian calendar ignores the error until it amounts to a full day. That happens once every four years (4 x ¼), and so we have an extra day every fourth February (the 29th).

53 Portfolio options, for short : IRAS

Individual retirement account (IRA)

57 CBS series with multiple spin-offs : CSI

The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been tremendously successful, but has finally wound down. “CSI: Miami” (the “worst” of the franchise, I think) was cancelled in 2012 after ten seasons. “CSI: NY” (the “best” of the franchise) was cancelled in 2013 after nine seasons. The original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” was set in Las Vegas, and hung in there until 2015 when it ended with a two-hour TV movie. The youngest show in the series was “CSI: Cyber”. It lasted for two seasons, before being canceled in 2016.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 One working with dishes : CHEF
5 They change on birthdays : AGES
9 Vegan, e.g. : DIET
13 Reviewer’s “10” : RAVE
14 Absolut rival, familiarly : STOLI
15 First name in jazz singing : ELLA
16 “Excuse me … ” : AHEM …
17 What golfers hit, with “the” : … LINKS
18 Send for delivery : SHIP
19 Traditional flowers used in Indian weddings : MARIGOLDS
21 Fad : CRAZE
22 Just learning about : NEW TO
23 Justice Kagan et al. : ELENAS
24 Another time : AGAIN
27 Flood stopper : LEVEE
29 Dishevels, as hair : MUSSES
31 Tel __ : AVIV
32 Baseball bounce : HOP
35 Marsh plant : CATTAIL
37 Strauss opera based on a Sophocles tragedy : ELEKTRA
39 __-fi : SCI
40 Creepy look : LEER
42 “Ghostbusters” ghost : SLIMER
43 “Casablanca” star, informally : BOGIE
44 Divvy up : ALLOT
45 Come into view : EMERGE
48 Turn it down : SAY NO
51 Asia’s __ Peninsula : MALAY
52 Party drink option, no corkscrew required … and what’s in each set of circles? : BOXED WINE
56 “Odelay” musician : BECK
57 “Queen of Salsa” Cruz : CELIA
58 __ rug : AREA
59 Wilcox daughter in “Howards End” : EVIE
60 Relish the taste of : SAVOR
61 Social sensitivity : TACT
62 Cabs, say : REDS
63 Shopping cart unit : ITEM
64 Disapproving sounds : TSKS

Down

1 Pull an all-nighter : CRAM
2 “LOL!” : HA HA!
3 At any time : EVER
4 Certain equality advocate : FEMINIST
5 Lopsided : ATILT
6 Aspen transport : GONDOLA
7 Group with lodges : ELKS
8 Member of the fam : SIS
9 “You Gotta Be” singer : DES’REE
10 Minnesota’s __ Omar : ILHAN
11 “Tru Calling” actress Dushku : ELIZA
12 Masking and others : TAPES
14 Like lento music : SLOW
20 Family tree subject : GENEALOGY
21 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame city : CLEVELAND
23 Bad things : EVILS
24 Gremlin and Pacer : AMCS
25 Avocado dip, for short : GUAC
26 Vino venue : ASTI
28 First lady : EVE
30 Long battle : SIEGE
32 Browser standard : HTML
33 Black-and-white treat : OREO
34 Hair line : PART
36 Luau accessory : LEI
38 Electric bill unit : KILOWATT
41 Settle : RESOLVE
43 They’re depressed by drivers : BRAKES
45 Old flame? : EMBER
46 Author Binchy : MAEVE
47 Spanish folk hero : EL CID
49 Truism : AXIOM
50 Once around the sun : YEAR
52 Rhythm : BEAT
53 Portfolio options, for short : IRAS
54 Place for a figurative pain : NECK
55 Dines : EATS
57 CBS series with multiple spin-offs : CSI

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 16 Jun 21, Wednesday”

  1. 4:17, 5 errors. Don’t even know how it happened. Really just a bad mess day for all the stuff I did last night for some reason. Except the Croce, which I did half-asleep (you know that point where you’re aware enough but can’t think too sharply and struggle to figure out what’s going on?) to the tune of 29 min no errors. I can’t say I’ve really figured out a lot of why I do the way I do on these things sometimes.

    1. Good work on the Croce! That one took me 1:10:31, with no errors. I wasn’t familiar with (and didn’t much like) the initialism at 1-Across and I’d never heard the phrase at 38-Across.

      And I agree that one’s performance can be affected (either way) by one’s mental state. I did the Croce yesterday afternoon while still recovering from an ill-advised four-mile hike in 96-degree temperatures. (It was supposed to be a one-mile stroll, but I got involved in looking for a couple of kids who had gotten separated from their parents.) Can’t take the heat anymore … 😳 … but I was certainly well-relaxed as I did the puzzle … 😜.

      I’d be curious to hear what you think of today’s New Yorker crossword, by Erik Agard, and why. (He has a bit of an agenda, and I happen to think that it’s praiseworthy, but I suspect that others might disagree.)

  2. @glenn , sounds like your in auto mode.

    More than two errors. Didn’t know my wines. SHIRAZ and MALBEC and I couldn’t fill it in with crosses. Messed up on MAELE and MALAY. Then in NE corner, didn’t know ILHAN.

  3. No errors. Finally a theme I recognized early enough to be helpful with all the unfamiliar entertainer names!

  4. No errors today, although I did have to adjust my spelling in two
    words, i.e. genealogy which I wanted to spell with an “o” where
    there’s an “a”…and Elektra…changing the c to a “k”. Otherwise
    no problems.

  5. 11:41 – OK time (for me) for a wed, but two lookups (MAEVE and DESREE) and 2 stupid typos that I couldn’t see.

    Got the theme early enough but it didn’t help that much.

    Oh well, there’s always tomorrow (aarrgghh – a thu puzzle).

    Been averaging about 2X Bills time, maybe I’m getting somewhere.

  6. Thought I aced it in 11:21, but had 2 error letters on 3 answers in the SW corner. I didn’t know the wine, the “Odelay” musician, or “Author Binchy,” and so had guessed MAudE Binchy which made for reasonable words for the crosses (BuCK and EdIE), and MALBuC wine also seemed okay. Oh well, live and learn!

  7. Under 25 min. No errors…I don’t understand the clue for 18A…it must just be me.
    Can anyone really recall all of the off the wall proper names in these puzzles?
    Stay safe😀

  8. 8 mins, 33 sec and FOUR errors, all caused by NAME misspellings; and worse than that, they’re all two-name CROSSES!!!! How can we be expected to correctly spell names that are ambiguously spelled (or created as variations to begin with)??? I am NOT happy!!!

    That should be an “unwritten rule” of crossword creation: if you have a proper name as a fill, words that cross it have to be WORDS, not other proper names. That way one at least has a chance to fill correctly based on a “word” for which there *is* a “correct” spelling. Names (including product brand names) can be spelled any which way.

  9. Bill, you need to do a little more research on the calendars. The solar year is in fact 365.24219 days. The Julian calendar adjusted for 365.25 by adding a day every four years. After 1600 years things still got wonky and Pope Gregory made minor adjustments to leap year to get things corrected. He also skipped about ten days for the correction. Interesting stuff.

  10. Seemed rather unfair to cross “Wilcox daughter in Howards End” with “Author Binchy”. Both were names I didn’t know and had to keep trying possible names in E_IE until I got the right one.

  11. I’m done with these crosswords. I didn’t know any of the names.9,10,11 down are all off the wall names.18 across-send for delivery-ship?Makes no sense.The only wine I heard of was merlot.Too many dumb names !

  12. Should have payed better attention to the theme. Two errors in 11:15, in the SW corner. I had MAudE and EdIE, even though I have two bottles of Malbec on my countertop 😉

    Spent some time listening to Beck’s music….pretty interesting, since I’ve never payed much attention to him before. I originally thought I missed a Jeff Beck album, but it was a completely different musician.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.