LA Times Crossword 18 Jun 21, Friday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Boast about Boats, Maybe?

Themed answers are common phrases ending with an “oast”-sounding word, but it has been changed to an “oats”-sounding words:

  • 17A Winter wear made from tusks? : IVORY COATS (from “Ivory Coast”)
  • 30A Routines for barbecuing? : WIENIE ROTES (from “wienie roast”)
  • 37A Cuts back on one’s livestock business? : GIVES UP THE GOATS (from “gives up the ghost”)
  • 46A Carryalls made by Dior? : FRENCH TOTES (from “French toast”)
  • 60A Useless castle defenses? : INNER MOATS (from “innermost”)

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

Bill’s time: 7m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Jokers : WAGS

A very amusing person might be referred to as a card, stitch, wag or riot.

5 Small ball on a string : PEARL

Pearls form in oysters because of a reaction that is similar to an immune system response in higher animals. The pearl is formed as the oysters lay down successive layers of calcium carbonate around some microscopic foreign body that has penetrated the shell.

14 Classic Langston Hughes poem : I, TOO

Langston Hughes was a poet active in the Harlem Renaissance, and someone who helped develop the literary form known as “jazz poetry”. His poem “I, Too, Sing America” was published in 1925.

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed–

I, too, am America.

15 Portmanteau metal producer : ALCOA

The Aluminum Corporation of America (ALCOA) is the largest producer of aluminum in the United States. The company was founded in 1888 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where its headquarters are to this day.

17 Winter wear made from tusks? : IVORY COATS (from “Ivory Coast”)

The hard, white material called ivory has mainly been sourced from the tusks of elephants, although it can also be collected from the walrus, hippopotamus, killer whale, wart hog and others. The word “ivory” comes into English via Latin from the ancient Egyptian word for “elephant”.

The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire is located in West Africa on the Gulf of Guinea. The country is often referred to in English as “the Ivory Coast”, the direct translation from the French. The official language of the country is French, as for many years it was a French colony.

19 __-FREE: contact lens solution : OPTI

OPTI-FREE is a line of contact lens solutions made by Alcon.

20 Asian holiday : TET

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

23 Onetime Tide competitor : RINSO

Rinso was a laundry detergent that was first manufactured in England in 1908 by a company called Hudson’s Soap. It was introduced into the US in 1918. In America, Rinso took to radio advertising and sponsorship in the days of “soap operas”. Their most famous program association was with “The Amos ‘n’ Andy Show” in the 1940s. One of the brand’s slogans was “Solium, the sunlight ingredient”. I have no idea what Solium is, but it certainly did sell a lot of soap!

26 Less formal alternative to a toga : TUNIC

In ancient Rome, the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae” or “togas”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

28 Like many AARP mems. : RET

Retired (“ret.” or “retd.”)

“AARP” is now the official name for the interest group that used to be called the American Association of Retired Persons. The name change reflects the current focus of the group on all Americans aged 50 or over, as opposed to just people who have retired.

29 “A Chorus Line” number : ONE

“One” is “one” of the big numbers in the hit musical “A Chorus Line”.

One singular sensation
Every little step she takes
One thrilling combination
Every move that she makes
One smile and suddenly nobody else will do
You know you’ll never be lonely with you know who

“A Chorus Line” is a phenomenal hit musical first staged in 1975, with music by Marvin Hamlisch and lyrics by Edward Kleban. The original Broadway production ran for well over 6,000 performances, making it the longest running production in Broadway history up to that time, a record held for over 20 years (until “Cats” came along).

30 Routines for barbecuing? : WIENIE ROTES (from “wienie roast”)

“Wienie” and “weenie” are informal variants of “wiener”.

What we call a wiener in this country is known as a Vienna sausage in Germany. It was first produced by a butcher from Frankfurt who was living in Vienna, hence the name “Wiener”, which is German for “of Vienna”. Paradoxically, the same sausage is called a Frankfurter in Vienna, as it was created by someone from Frankfurt. It’s all very confusing …

35 Mythical monster : ORC

Orcs are mythical humanoid creatures that appear in the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. Since Tolkien’s use of orcs, they have also been featured in other fantasy fiction as well as in fantasy video games.

37 Cuts back on one’s livestock business? : GIVES UP THE GOATS (from “gives up the ghost”)

To give up the ghost is to expire or die. The phrase “give up the ghost” appears several times in some form in the Bible, For example, in the Gospel of Saint Mark are the words:

And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.

43 Classified ad abbr. : EEO

“Equal Employment Opportunity” (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was set up by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII of the Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion.

46 Carryalls made by Dior? : FRENCH TOTES (from “French toast”)

Christian Dior was a French fashion designer. As WWII approached, Dior was called up by the French military, drawing a temporary halt to his career in fashion. He left the army in 1942 and for the duration of the war designed clothes for wives of Nazi officers and French collaborators. After the war his designs became so popular that he helped to re-establish Paris as the fashion center of the world.

The dish made from bread soaked in milk with beaten eggs and then fried is usually called French toast in the US, but it also goes by the names German toast and Spanish toast. In France, the dish is known as “pain perdu”, which translates as “lost bread”. This name is a reference to the fact that “lost” or “stale” bread can be reclaimed by dipping it in a mixture of milk and eggs and then frying it.

51 PC linkup : LAN

Local area network (LAN)

53 Loudly laments : KEENS

To keen is to wail in lamentation. The word “keening” has its roots in Ireland, coming from the Irish word “caoinim” meaning “I weep, wail, lament”.

56 Manhattan theater district locale : MIDTOWN

While there are many neighborhoods in New York City’s borough of Manhattan, there are some broader terms that are used to navigate one’s way around the island:

  • Uptown: above 59th Street
  • Midtown: between 59th Street and 14th Street (but sometimes 23rd Street or 34th Street)
  • Downtown: below 14th Street
  • Upper Manhattan: above 96th Street
  • Lower Manhattan: below Chambers Street
  • East Side: east of Fifth Avenue
  • West Side: west of Fifth Avenue

59 Others, in Latin : ALII

“Et alii” (et al.) is the equivalent of “et cetera” (etc.), with “et cetera” being used in place of a list of objects, and “et alii” used for a list of names. In fact, “et al.” can stand for “et alii” (a group of males, or males and females), “et aliae” (a group of women) and “et alia” (a group of neuter nouns, or a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

60 Useless castle defenses? : INNER MOATS (from “innermost”)

A moat is a protective trench that surrounds a castle, say, or an exhibit in a zoo. A moat may or may not be filled with water.

68 Google results : URLS

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a uniform resource locator (URL).

70 Midas’ undoing : GREED

King Midas of Greek mythology might be termed an alchemist as he had the power to turn everything he touched into gold i.e. the Midas touch. That power became a curse, as everything he touched turned to gold, including his food and drink, and even his children.

71 What boors lack : TACT

Back in the early 1500s, a boor was a rustic person, a peasant farmer, someone associated with the countryside. The term “boor” ultimately comes from the Latin “bos” meaning “cow, ox”. By the mid-1500s, someone described as boorish was considered rude in manner, which is our usage today.

Down

2 Off-roader’s purchase, for short : ATV

All-terrain vehicle (ATV)

6 “Do Ya” rock gp. : ELO

“Do Ya” is a song written by Jeff Lynne. Lynne first recorded “Do Ya” in 1972 with his band the Move. The Move gradually “moved” in a new artistic direction and rebranded themselves as the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). ELO recorded a hit version of “Do Ya” in 1976.

7 2010 health law: Abbr. : ACA

The correct name for what has been dubbed “Obamacare” is the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (ACA).

8 Twisty pasta : ROTINI

Rotini is a corkscrew-shaped pasta that is often used in pasta salads. Even though “rotini” sounds like it comes from a word meaning “twist, rotate”, the word “rotini” doesn’t exist in Italian other than as the name for the pasta.

9 Classic movie girl played by a boy : LASSIE

The canine character Lassie is the creation of Eric Knight, an author who wrote a short story that he expanded into a novel called “Lassie Come Home” published in 1940. “Lassie Come Home” was turned into a movie three years later, the first of a very successful franchise. The original Lassie (a female) was played by a long-haired collie called Pal (a male). In fact, all of the dogs that played Lassie over the years were males, because they looked better on camera, retaining a thick coat even during the summer months.

10 1966 N.L. batting champ Matty : ALOU

Matty Alou played major league baseball, as did his brothers Jesus and Felipe, and as did Felipe’s son Moises.

12 Main course preceder, in France : ENTREE

“Entrée” means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found the ordering of meals to be very confusing when I first came to America!

13 Jefferson et al., religiously : DEISTS

Deism (from the Latin “deus” meaning god) is the belief that a supreme being created the universe, a belief based on observation and reason and without the need for faith. Further, a deist does not accept divine intervention and rather believes that the supreme being, having created the universe, leaves the world to its own devices.

President Thomas Jefferson’s views on religion evolved over time, but he was inclined towards deism for much of his adult life while following moral principles espoused in Christianity. He attended the Episcopal Church and raised his daughters in that tradition. Famously, Jefferson espoused the concept of “Separation of Church and State”.

23 “The Witches” (1990) director Nicolas : ROEG

Nicolas Roeg is a film director from England with quite the pedigree when it comes to association with great movies. He contributed to 1962’s “Lawrence of Arabia”, and he himself directed noted films like “Walkabout” (1972), “Don’t Look Now” (1973) and “The Man Who Fell to Earth” (1976).

“The Witches” is a comedy film released in 1990 starring Anjelica Huston and Rowan Atkinson. The film is based on a book of the same name by Roald Dahl. Jim Henson of “The Muppets” fame was one of the producers, and it was the last film he worked on before he passed away in 1990.

24 Calvary inscription : INRI

The letters written on the cross on which Jesus died were INRI. “INRI” is an initialism standing for the Latin “Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum”, which translates into English as “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews”.

According to the Gospels of the Christian New Testament, Jesus was crucified just outside the walls of Jerusalem at the location called Golgotha. The Bible translates “Golgotha” as the “place of the skull”. This phrase translates into Latin as “Calvariæ Locus”, from which we get the English name “Calvary”.

26 Md. athlete : TERP

The sports teams of the University of Maryland are called the Maryland Terrapins, or “the Terps” for short. The name dates back to 1932 when it was coined by the university’s president at the time, Curley Byrd. He took the name from the diamondback terrapins that are native to the Chesapeake Bay.

27 Religious fervor : UNCTION

“Unction” is another term for “anointing”. The literal sense has been extended to the figurative usage of “smarm, superficial and earnest language”

31 Chit : IOU

A chit is a note or a short letter. The term tends to be used these days in the sense of an amount owed (as in a poker game). The word used to be “chitty”, which is now obsolete but was closer to the original Hindi term. I feel a tad obsolete myself, because when we are at school we would be excused from class if we had a “chitty”.

32 Top medals, in Barcelona : OROS

In Spanish, a “medalla de victor” (victory medal) is often made of “oro” (gold).

Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, after the capital Madrid. Barcelona is the largest European city that sits on the Mediterranean coast. It is also the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia.

42 IRS IDs : SSNS

The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an identity number to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income, so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So starting in 1986, the IRS made it a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, seven million dependents “disappeared” in 1987.

46 Doe, for one : FEMALE

A male deer is usually called a buck, and a female is a doe. However, the male red deer is usually referred to as a stag. The males of even larger species of deer are often called bulls, and females cows. In older English, male deer of over 5 years were called harts, and females of over 3 years were called hinds. The young of small species are known as fawns, and of larger species are called calves. All very confusing …

49 One percent of a G : TENNER

One G, one grand, one thousand dollars.

57 Like some sums : TIDY

A tidy sum, a pretty penny, a considerable amount of money.

58 Egg on : PROD

The verb “to edge” has been used to mean to incite, to urge on, from the 16th century. Somewhere along the way “edge” was mistakenly replaced with “egg”, giving us our term “to egg on” meaning “to goad”.

61 Dumfries denial : NAE

Dumfries is a town in the southeast of Scotland that is nicknamed “Queen of the South”. Dumfries has a professional soccer club that goes by the name Queen of the South.

62 Automne preceder : ETE

In French, “automne” (autumn/fall) follows “été” (summer).

63 Altar in the sky : ARA

The constellation of Ara takes its name from the Latin word for “altar”.

64 Help for a sad BFF : TLC

Tender loving care (TLC)

Best friend forever (BFF)

65 Retired flier : SST

Supersonic transport (SST)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Jokers : WAGS
5 Small ball on a string : PEARL
10 Emulated : APED
14 Classic Langston Hughes poem : I, TOO
15 Portmanteau metal producer : ALCOA
16 Alley unit : LANE
17 Winter wear made from tusks? : IVORY COATS (from “Ivory Coast”)
19 __-FREE: contact lens solution : OPTI
20 Asian holiday : TET
21 Publishers : ISSUERS
23 Onetime Tide competitor : RINSO
26 Less formal alternative to a toga : TUNIC
28 Like many AARP mems. : RET
29 “A Chorus Line” number : ONE
30 Routines for barbecuing? : WIENIE ROTES (from “wienie roast”)
33 Blows it : ERRS
35 Mythical monster : ORC
36 Airport abbr. : ARR
37 Cuts back on one’s livestock business? : GIVES UP THE GOATS (from “gives up the ghost”)
43 Classified ad abbr. : EEO
44 Charged item : ION
45 Respectful group address : SIRS
46 Carryalls made by Dior? : FRENCH TOTES (from “French toast”)
51 PC linkup : LAN
52 Long, long time : EON
53 Loudly laments : KEENS
54 First signs of smoke : WISPS
56 Manhattan theater district locale : MIDTOWN
58 Blame : PIN
59 Others, in Latin : ALII
60 Useless castle defenses? : INNER MOATS (from “innermost”)
66 Advance : LEND
67 “Cool!” : NEATO!
68 Google results : URLS
69 Not at all cool : EDGY
70 Midas’ undoing : GREED
71 What boors lack : TACT

Down

1 Popular console since 2006 : WII
2 Off-roader’s purchase, for short : ATV
3 Muck : GOO
4 Varieties : SORTS
5 Dispute resolution : PACT
6 “Do Ya” rock gp. : ELO
7 2010 health law: Abbr. : ACA
8 Twisty pasta : ROTINI
9 Classic movie girl played by a boy : LASSIE
10 1966 N.L. batting champ Matty : ALOU
11 Hard-copy evidence : PAPER TRAILS
12 Main course preceder, in France : ENTREE
13 Jefferson et al., religiously : DEISTS
18 “Ouch!” : YEOW!
22 Scrawny one : SCRAG
23 “The Witches” (1990) director Nicolas : ROEG
24 Calvary inscription : INRI
25 Source of feelings : NERVE ENDING
26 Md. athlete : TERP
27 Religious fervor : UNCTION
31 Chit : IOU
32 Top medals, in Barcelona : OROS
34 Caught in the act : SEEN
38 Smashing : SOCKO
39 Have the __ for : HOTS
40 Chicago-to-Lansing dir. : ENE
41 Trick, in a way : TRAP
42 IRS IDs : SSNS
46 Doe, for one : FEMALE
47 Stirred up : ROILED
48 Wielding an axe : HEWING
49 One percent of a G : TENNER
50 Dip : SWIM
55 Two-way, as a door : IN/OUT
57 Like some sums : TIDY
58 Egg on : PROD
61 Dumfries denial : NAE
62 Automne preceder : ETE
63 Altar in the sky : ARA
64 Help for a sad BFF : TLC
65 Retired flier : SST

12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 18 Jun 21, Friday”

  1. Never heard of keens or Nicolas Roeg. Otherwise, it was … not easy. Didn’t catch on to what was happening until I got to inner moats.

  2. I got misdirected on 57D TIDY and 59A ALII. I had TOTY??? was thinking of TOTO, TOTA or some archaic variation of TOTAL.. missed the TIDY SUM.

    I thought I got the theme early but was initially convinced it was an anagram of some sort since 17A could be IVORY COAST. spent too much time over thinking and went with the whole “sounds like” theme and it seemed to work out.

  3. No errors, no lookups, but wasn’t sure of a lot of it until I checked
    Bill’s answers. Didn’t know Roeg, but it was the only thing that
    fit the space. (and I’m old enough to remember Rinso)

  4. 21:23 – BUT so many lookups/errors it qualifies as a DNF.

    Got the themes own my own but had trouble with everything else. There were a number of words I never heard, but it didn’t matter.

    Don’t know if I’ll ever be good enough to complete a Friday unassisted …

  5. 17 mins, 41 seconds, and 3 errors, which actually kind of hid in plain sight. I was spending so much time managing the **BS** “theme” clues that a couple of early mis-fills escaped notice and proofreading. This was just …. a *bad* puzzle.

  6. 16:38

    Even though IVORYCOATS clued me in early on to the swapped letters, I didn’t find the theme all that congenial.

    I feel like there are extra O’s outside the theme words. Words like SOCKO, NEATO, RINSO, ORC, EON, and EEO.

    It’s a puzzle that turns the MOST into mere MOTES.

  7. Did pretty well on a Friday puzzle, too – 27:36 with no errors or lookups. Had to rework some of the clues after my initial take didn’t work.

    I don’t think the theme was any more than swapping “oats” and ” otes” (they alternate down the puzzle) with the “ost” sound. 37A was tricky with 4 words instead of the 2 words on all the others, and the last one to get solved.

  8. Slightly trick Friday for me; took 29:39 with 4 errors. I insisted on spelling it WEINer… and for got all confused on my pasta bOTINe (was bowtie) and had no idea on the actor. Good thing I remembered RINSO, INRI and ORC (helped with the somewhat confusing UNCTION. I took a long look at the difference between ROTINI and FUSSILI and hopefully it finally sticks.

    It looks like the Scottish team said NAE to an English victory today (yesterday) and forced a draw. A victory for the Tartan Army!!

    Hopefully Germany will have better luck with Portugal after losing 1-0 to France – the reigning World Champions.

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