LA Times Crossword 17 Jun 21, Thursday

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Constructed by: August Miller
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Lionhearted

Themed answers each include LEO as a hidden word:

  • 63A Courageous … like 17-, 24-, 40- and 50-Across? : LIONHEARTED
  • 17A Best Actress Oscar nominee for “The Dark Angel” (1935) : MERLE OBERON
  • 24A Unpretentious ancestry : HUMBLE ORIGINS
  • 40A Felony, e.g. : JAILABLE OFFENSE
  • 50A Former First Lady behind the “Let’s Move!” initiative : MICHELLE OBAMA

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

Bill’s time: 6m 38s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Cashed, as a bad check : KITED

Check kiting is illegal. The idea behind kiting is to write a check, even though there are insufficient funds to cover the amount. The con artist then writes another check, also with insufficient funds, from another bank’s account to cover the original check. I am not sure it would work nowadays, but then I am as honest as the day is long! Oh, and I think the term “kiting” comes from the older phrase “go fly a kite”, the idea being that the bad check is floated on air (on non-existent funds).

11 “The __”: Uris novel : HAJ

“The Haj” is a novel by the very successful American author Leon Uris. Set in Palestine in the first half of the 20th century, the novel follows the life of a Palestinian named Ishmael against the backdrop of the political events taking place in the area in that period of time.

16 Orangutan, e.g. : APE

The tailless primates known as apes (also “hominoids”) are divided into two main branches: gibbons (lesser apes) and hominids (great apes). The hominids are the great apes, and belong to the family of primates called Hominidae. Extant genera that make up the family Hominidae are:

  • chimpanzees
  • gorillas
  • humans
  • orangutans

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”.

17 Best Actress Oscar nominee for “The Dark Angel” (1935) : MERLE OBERON

Merle Oberon was a wonderful British actress. At the height of her Hollywood career, she was involved in a traffic accident that left her with permanent facial scars. The marks were so disfiguring that it was believed Oberon would never appear on screen again. But she persevered and, with the help of some creative lighting on set, two years after the accident she filmed her most memorable role, playing Cathy in 1939’s “Wuthering Heights”.

“The Dark Angel” is a 1935 film set during WWI. It stars Merle Oberon, Fredric March and Herbert Marshall as three friends who have known each from childhood. The woman marries one of the two men, leaving the other man extremely jealous. The two men go off to war, and drama ensues …

20 Wasatch Mountains ski resort : ALTA

Alta ski resort actually lies within the Salt Lake City Metropolitan Area. The first ski lift in the resort was opened way back in 1939. Today, Alta is one of only three ski resorts in the country that prohibits snowboarding (along with Deer Valley, Utah and Mad River Glen, Vermont. The ski resort of Snowbird, located next to Alta, has been in operation since 1971.

The Wasatch Range is at the western edge of the Rocky Mountains and runs through Utah. “Wasatch” is a Ute word meaning “mountain pass”.

22 Swamp thing : GATOR

Crocodiles and alligators do indeed bear a resemblance to each other, although they belong to distinct biological families. One of the main ways used to distinguish them is by their teeth and jaws. Both the upper and lower sets of teeth of a crocodile are visible when its mouth is closed, whereas only the upper teeth of an alligator are visible with the mouth shut.

30 8 Series automaker : BMW

The initialism “BMW” stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke, which translates into Bavarian Motor Works. BMW was making aircraft engines during WWI, but had to cease that activity according to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The company then started making motorcycles, and moved into automobile production starting in 1928. BMW moved back into aircraft engine manufacturing during the build-up of the Luftwaffe prior to WWII.

31 Drawing contest? : RAFFLE

A raffle is a game of chance in which the prize can be won by numerous people who buy into the draw. Back in the 14th century, in Old French, a “rafle” was a dice game.

40 Felony, e.g. : JAILABLE OFFENSE

The US Federal government defines a felony as any crime punishable by more than a year in prison, or death. Any crime punishable by a prison term of a year or less is classified as a misdemeanor.

43 “Auld Lang __” : SYNE

The song “Auld Lang Syne” is a staple at New Year’s Eve (well, actually in the opening minutes of New Year’s Day). The words were written by Scottish poet Robbie Burns. The literal translation of “Auld Lang Syne” is “old long since”, but is better translated as “old times”. The sentiment of the song is “for old time’s sake”.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For days of auld lang syne

45 Big gp. of towers? : AAA

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit organization focused on lobbying, provision of automobile servicing, and selling of automobile insurance. The AAA was founded in 1902 in Chicago and published the first of its celebrated hotel guides back in 1917.

46 Fort Collins sch. : CSU

Colorado State University (CSU) was founded in Fort Collins in 1870 as the Colorado Agricultural College. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Colorado State Rams, although back in the days of the Colorado Agricultural College, the teams were referred to as the Aggies.

The origins of the Colorado city of Fort Collins go back to Camp Collins, which was erected in the mid-1860s to protect the overland mail route passing through the area. The US Army then founded Fort Collins as a military outpost in 1864. The Collins name comes from army officer Lieutenant William O. Collins, who was in charge of Fort Laramie located 150 miles to the north. It was Collins who authorized the establishment of both Camp Collins and Fort Collins.

48 Tycoon : MOGUL

A mogul is a person with power. The term comes from the Mughal emperors of India and South Asia.

Our term “tycoon” meaning powerful business person was originally used by foreigners to describe the shogun of Japan. “Tycoon” is an anglicization of the Japanese “taikun” meaning “great lord or prince”.

50 Former First Lady behind the “Let’s Move!” initiative : MICHELLE OBAMA

Michelle Obama née Robinson grew up on the South Side of Chicago. Her brother is Craig Robinson, former coach of men’s basketball at Oregon State University. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Michelle Robinson worked as an associate at the Chicago office of the Sidley Austin law firm. Barack Obama joined the firm as a summer associate and Michelle Robinson was assigned to mentor him, and as they say, one thing led to another …

The former First Lady played the lead role in the Obama administration’s initiative to reverse the trend of childhood obesity. Ms. Obama named the movement “Let’s Move!” As part of the initiative, the White House now has a famous Kitchen Garden, something last seen when Eleanor Roosevelt was First Lady.

57 “Modern Family” actress Winter : ARIEL

Alex Dunphy is the youngest daughter of Claire and Phil on the sitcom “Modern Family”. Alex is played by the very talented young actress Ariel Winter.

62 Cab alternative : ZIN

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.

Zinfandel is one of my favorite red wine varietals. It amazes me that the rich and heavy red Zinfandel comes from the same grape as does the sweet White Zinfandel.

66 Key that will get you out of a window : ESC

The escape key (Esc) was originally used just to control computer peripherals. It was a key that allowed the computer operator to stop what the peripheral was doing (cancel a print job, for example). Nowadays the escape key is used for all sorts of things, especially in gaming programs.

67 One Time? : ISSUE

“Time” magazine was first published in 1923 in New York City, making it the nation’s first weekly news magazine.

68 Shadowfax, to Gandalf : STEED

Gandalf is an important character in the J. R. R. Tolkien novels “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. He is a wizard known as Gandalf the Grey during his lifetime, and as Gandalf the White after he returns from the dead.

70 “A League of __ Own” : THEIR

“A League of Their Own” is a comedy drama film released in 1992 that tells a tale about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League active during WWII. The lead actors were Tom Hanks and Geena Davis. The film spawned one of the most famous quotes in movie history: “There’s no crying in baseball!”

71 Tom who voices Woody in “Toy Story” films : HANKS

Tom Hanks is such a great actor. He has played so many iconic roles in a relatively short career. Hanks is from California, and studied theater for a couple of years in Hayward, California not far from here. Tom’s son Colin Hanks is one of the stars of the TV comedy “Life in Pieces”. Hanks is married to the talented actress Rita Wilson.

1995’s “Toy Story” was the world’s first feature-length computer-animated movie. “Toy Story” was also Pixar’s first production. The main roles in the film are Buzz Lightyear and Woody, who are voiced by Tim Allen and Tom Hanks respectively. Hanks was the first choice to voice Woody, but Allen was asked to voice Buzz after Billy Crystal turned down the role.

Down

1 Destructive 2017 hurricane : IRMA

Hurricane Irma was a devastating category-5 hurricane that led to over 100 deaths in the contiguous US in 2017, and half as many in the Caribbean islands. Irma was the most intense hurricane to make landfall in the continental US since Katrina in 2005.

2 Yuletide tune : NOEL

Yule celebrations coincide with Christmas, and the words “Christmas” and “Yule” (often “Yuletide”) have become synonymous in much of the world. However, Yule was originally a pagan festival celebrated by Germanic peoples. The name “Yule” comes from the Old Norse word “jol” that was used to describe the festival.

4 Mötley Crüe piece : UMLAUT

An umlaut (also “diaeresis”) is a diacritical mark consisting of two horizontal dots placed over a letter, usually a vowel. Here in the West, we are perhaps most familiar with umlauts in German, as in “Schön”.

Mötley Crüe is an American rock band from Los Angeles. They’ve been around since 1981, co-founded by the famous drummer Tommy Lee. Tommy Lee is also known for his two celebrated marriages, the first with Heather Locklear and the second with Pamela Anderson. The name “Mötley Crüe” was chosen as someone once described the band members as a “motley looking crew”. The spelling was made to look a little more exotic, with the umlauts added over the “o” and “u” one day, as the band were drinking bottles of “Löwenbräu” beer!

5 Lab-coated TV educator : NYE

That would be “Bill Nye the Science Guy”. Bill’s show ran on PBS for four years, from 1993-97.

6 Afghanistan’s capital : KABUL

Kabul is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. The city has been the site of major conflict for much of the 3,500 years that it has been in existence. In the past, this conflict was mainly driven by the city’s strategic location on the major trade routes of south and central Asia.

7 Adler of Sherlock Holmes fame : IRENE

The character Irene Adler only appears in one of the many Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In the story “A Scandal in Bohemia”, Holmes expresses remarkable admiration for Adler as a woman and as a foe. As a result, derivative works in the Holmes genre often feature Adler as something of a romantic interest for Sherlock.

8 Artist’s trunk? : TORSO

“Torso” (plural “torsi”) is an Italian word meaning the “trunk of a statue”, and is a term that we imported into English.

9 Paramore genre : EMO

Paramore is a rock band that formed in 2004 in Franklin, Tennessee.

11 Hispaniola nation : HAITI

The Republic of Haiti occupies the smaller, western portion of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. The rest of the island is taken up by the Dominican Republic. Haiti is one of only two nations in the Americas to have French as an official language, the other being Canada.

The island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean, shared between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, is known in Spanish as “La Española”.

12 Kitchen wear : APRON

In Old French, a “naperon” was “small table-cloth”. The term was absorbed into English as “napron”, describing a cloth used to cover the front of a person at work. Over time, “a napron” was heard as “an apron”, giving us our contemporary noun “apron”.

13 Catcalls : JEERS

Back in the 1700s, a catcall was a noise-making device, one that emitted a squeak resembling that of an angry cat, hence the name. The device was used by unhappy audiences in play-houses to express dissatisfaction at the performers.

18 Pluto, but not Goofy : ORB

Pluto was discovered in 1930, and was welcomed as the ninth planet in our solar system. Pluto is relatively small in size, just one fifth of the mass of our own moon. In the seventies, astronomers began to discover more large objects in the solar system, including Eris, a “scattered disc object” at the outer reaches. Given that Eris is actually bigger than Pluto, and other objects really aren’t that much smaller, Pluto’s status as a planet was drawn into question. In 2006 there was a scientific definition for a “planet” agreed for the first time, resulting in Pluto being relegated to the status of “dwarf planet”, along with Eris.

Pluto is Mickey Mouse’s pet dog, as well as a star in his own right. Pluto is an unusual Disney character in that he is portrayed basically as a dog as opposed to a “humanized” version of a dog, as are the other Disney characters.

Disney’s Goofy first appeared as Dippy Dawg in 1932. Goofy became famous for his “How to …” series of cartoons in the 1940s which dealt with everything from snow skiing to sleeping, and from football to riding a horse. Goofy’s last theatrical appearance was in a 2007 work called “How to Hook Up Your Home Theater”.

23 Tequila plant : AGAVE

Tequila is a spirit made from the blue agave. The drink takes its name from the city of Tequila, located about 40 miles northwest of Guadalajara.

25 British pianist Hess : MYRA

Myra Hess was a British pianist who earned the title of Dame due to her efforts to uphold morale in WWII. During the war all concerts were suspended due to blackout restrictions, so Myra Hess organized 1700 concerts that took place at lunchtimes throughout the conflict.

26 Coral phenomena : REEFS

Polyps are tiny sea creatures that are found attached to underwater structures or to other polyps. Polyps have a mouth at one end of a cylindrical “body” that is surrounded by tentacles. Some polyps cluster into groups called stony corals, with stony corals being the building blocks of coral reefs. The structure of the reef comprises calcium carbonate exoskeletons secreted by the coral polyps.

27 Lunches with Jif : PBJS

Peanut butter and jelly (PB&J or PBJ)

Jif is the leading brand of peanut butter in the US, and has been since 1981. Introduced in 1958, Jif is now produced by Smuckers.

32 “Rush Rush” singer : ABDUL

Paula Abdul is primarily a singer and dancer, and someone who endeared herself even more to the American public in recent years as a judge on “American Idol”. Abdul had a famous husband for a couple of years, as she was married to actor Emilio Estevez from 1992-94.

33 Hardly an orange-free st. : FLA

What we know as the US state of Florida, was named by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who led the first Europeans to the area in 1513. The actual name he used was “La Florida”, Spanish for “the Flowery (Land)”.

34 “30 Rock” creator : FEY

Comedian and actress Tina Fey was born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. Fey is perhaps best known to television viewers as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” (1997-2006), and as the creator and star of the sitcom “30 Rock” (2006-2013).

35 Singer Reed : LOU

Lou Reed was best known as a rock musician and songwriter, and was especially associated with the fabulous 1973 hit “Walk on the Wildside”. Reed is less well known as a photographer, but he published two collections of his work. The first was released in 2003 under the title “Emotions in Action”, and the second in 2006 called “Lou Reed’s New York”. Reed passed away in 2013.

37 TV’s “Barefoot Contessa” : INA GARTEN

Ina Garten is an author as well as the host of a cooking show on the Food Network called “Barefoot Contessa”. Garten has no formal training as a chef, and indeed used to work as a nuclear policy analyst at the White House!

38 Genesis twin : ESAU

Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother Rebekah gave birth to the twins “the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)”. As Esau was the first born, he was entitled to inherit his father’s wealth (it was his “birthright”). Instead, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the price of a “mess of pottage” (a meal of lentils).

41 Monterrey milk : LECHE

Monterrey is a Mexican city, and the capital of the state of Nuevo Leon in the northeast of the country. Monterrey is the second-largest city in Mexico in terms of area, but third-largest in terms of population (the largest-area city in the country is Mexico City, and the most populous are Mexico City and Guadalajara).

42 1-Down relief org. : FEMA
(1D Destructive 2017 hurricane : IRMA)

Federal emergency management has been structured for over 200 years, but what we know today as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created in 1979 in an Executive Order issued by President Jimmy Carter.

49 Code of silence : OMERTA

“Omertà” is a code of honor in southern Italian society. The term has been adopted by the Mafia to mean a code of silence designed to prevent a Mafioso from becoming an informer. For example, the famous Joe Valachi was someone who broke the code of silence in 1963, informing on the New York Mafia. Valachi’s story was told in the movie “The Valachi Papers”, with Charles Bronson playing the lead.

51 Like some coffee and ales : IRISH

Despite rumors to the contrary, I choose to believe that the Irish coffee cocktail was invented in my homeland, and specifically in Foynes flying-boat station in the west of Ireland. The terminal at Foynes was one of the busiest in Europe back in the late 1930s and early 1940s, in the days when airlines such as Pan Am were using flying-boats for transatlantic crossings. Joe Sheridan, chef at the terminal’s restaurant, started to serve coffee laced with whiskey to warm the incoming passengers, especially those who landed on a wet and blustery west of Ireland day. Sheridan, it is said, coined the term “Irish coffee” for the drink.

54 World-weariness : ENNUI

“Ennui” is the French word for “boredom”, and a term that we now use in English. It’s one of the few French words we’ve imported and haven’t anglicized, and actually pronounce “correctly”.

55 Yellowish brown : OCHER

Ocher is a light, yellowish-brown color, although variations of the pigment are possible such as red ocher and purple ocher. “Ocher” is usually spelled “ochre” on the other side of the pond.

56 6th of December? : BEE

The 6th letter of the word “December” is a letter B (bee).

60 Participant in a Mac-vs-PC argument, maybe : GEEK

Originally, a geek was a sideshow performer, perhaps one at a circus. Sometimes the term “geek” is used today for someone regarded as foolish or clumsy, and also for someone who is technically driven and expert, but often socially inept.

65 BBQ residue : ASH

It is believed that our word “barbecue” (BBQ) comes from the Taíno people of the Caribbean in whose language “barbacoa” means “sacred fire pit”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Jokingly : IN FUN
6 Cashed, as a bad check : KITED
11 “The __”: Uris novel : HAJ
14 Far from cramped : ROOMY
15 Bakery offering that’s always free? : AROMA
16 Orangutan, e.g. : APE
17 Best Actress Oscar nominee for “The Dark Angel” (1935) : MERLE OBERON
19 Rage : IRE
20 Wasatch Mountains ski resort : ALTA
21 Recreation with skis or sneakers : RUNS
22 Swamp thing : GATOR
24 Unpretentious ancestry : HUMBLE ORIGINS
27 Religious devotion : PIETY
29 GPS approx. : ETA
30 8 Series automaker : BMW
31 Drawing contest? : RAFFLE
36 Contended : VIED
40 Felony, e.g. : JAILABLE OFFENSE
43 “Auld Lang __” : SYNE
44 Reduced-rate hotel offering : DAY USE
45 Big gp. of towers? : AAA
46 Fort Collins sch. : CSU
48 Tycoon : MOGUL
50 Former First Lady behind the “Let’s Move!” initiative : MICHELLE OBAMA
57 “Modern Family” actress Winter : ARIEL
58 In the old days : ONCE
59 “And so … ” : ERGO …
62 Cab alternative : ZIN
63 Courageous … like 17-, 24-, 40- and 50-Across? : LIONHEARTED
66 Key that will get you out of a window : ESC
67 One Time? : ISSUE
68 Shadowfax, to Gandalf : STEED
69 Library reminder : SHH!
70 “A League of __ Own” : THEIR
71 Tom who voices Woody in “Toy Story” films : HANKS

Down

1 Destructive 2017 hurricane : IRMA
2 Yuletide tune : NOEL
3 Golf announcer’s call before a potential victory putt : FOR THE WIN
4 Mötley Crüe piece : UMLAUT
5 Lab-coated TV educator : NYE
6 Afghanistan’s capital : KABUL
7 Adler of Sherlock Holmes fame : IRENE
8 Artist’s trunk? : TORSO
9 Paramore genre : EMO
10 “Rats!” : DANG IT!
11 Hispaniola nation : HAITI
12 Kitchen wear : APRON
13 Catcalls : JEERS
18 Pluto, but not Goofy : ORB
23 Tequila plant : AGAVE
25 British pianist Hess : MYRA
26 Coral phenomena : REEFS
27 Lunches with Jif : PBJS
28 “Perhaps” : I MAY
32 “Rush Rush” singer : ABDUL
33 Hardly an orange-free st. : FLA
34 “30 Rock” creator : FEY
35 Singer Reed : LOU
37 TV’s “Barefoot Contessa” : INA GARTEN
38 Genesis twin : ESAU
39 “So here’s the __” : DEAL
41 Monterrey milk : LECHE
42 1-Down relief org. : FEMA
47 Be convincing : SELL IT
49 Code of silence : OMERTA
50 Confounding layouts : MAZES
51 Like some coffee and ales : IRISH
52 Snap : CINCH
53 Baggy : LOOSE
54 World-weariness : ENNUI
55 Yellowish brown : OCHER
56 6th of December? : BEE
60 Participant in a Mac-vs-PC argument, maybe : GEEK
61 Payout determinant : ODDS
64 Kinda-sorta : ISH
65 BBQ residue : ASH

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 17 Jun 21, Thursday”

  1. 5:56, no errors.

    @John Daigle
    There’s a number of “indie” sites where constructors post grids every once in a while. One of the notable harder ones is by one Tim Croce, who posts every Tuesday and Friday night. We were talking about the last Tuesday night crossword as authored by him.

    1. Thanks, Glenn.

      I enjoyed today’s LAT puzzle, even though we didn’t get it all.
      It is a daily thing with us; the wife gets the ones she can and
      I then try to get the rest. We aced it on Monday and Tuesday,
      got 93% on Wednesday, but only 75% today. But, we are not
      stopping and our goal is to average 90% for each week.

  2. No errors.. 56D BEE,.. cute.
    Interesting read from Bill on origin of BBQ in 65D.. always wondered about that..

  3. Did pretty well on a Thursday puzzle – 15:04 with no errors or lookups. Had to think a while on 45A “Big gp. of towers” because I initially read “towers” as tall structures instead of as trucks, and didn’t know Ina Garten.

    Enjoyed Bill’s history on Irish coffee. Didn’t get the theme until reading Bill’s explanation.

  4. 20:52 – 3 lookups, didn’t know ZIN, ARIEL, KITED (or crossing KABUL, thought is was CABUL). Misspelled the “A” in UMLAUT/ALTA.

    3x+ Bills time, but happy for a Thursday, which sometimes is a DNF.

      1. She may be thinking of Jim Croce, the Cajun singer that was killed in a plane
        crash many years ago. That is who I thought it was as well. We are slowly
        getting better and try to average 90% for the week. It is helping me learn
        new words and is a daily ritual at our house.

        Stay safe and well, ANM.

  5. I think 69A is an outdated clue. In the county library system that I belong to all the libraries are very noisy places. Librarians talking loudly on phones or to people who need help, people sitting at study tables playing phone games that make annoying noises, and tutors working with students. I still borrow library books but no longer stay there and read.

  6. No errors…didn’t get the theme until I read it here.
    @Glenn…the word of the day from the 0513NYT and today’s LAT is DANG IT…a little different from your recent explanation.
    Stay safe😀

  7. 7:59

    Theme helped me fill in a fourth LEO. Cute.

    OMERTA is a cool word, and I like the clue for MAZES.

  8. Fairly quick Thursday for me; took 15:44 with no errors or peeks. Noodled around here and there a bit – BEE and ISSUE, but mostly just kept filling things in until it was done.

    Checked out Paramour…meh, but some of their newer stuff is pretty good and better than other 2000 emo bands listed.

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