LA Times Crossword 19 Jun 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: Pawel Fludzinski
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 10m 53s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Epidemiologist’s “ground zero” : INDEX CASE

In an epidemic, the first documented patient in a population is referred to as patient zero or the index case.

10 Swiss city that hosts the World Economic Forum annual meeting : DAVOS

Davos is a resort town in the Swiss Alps. Known as a health resort in the 19th century, today it is best known as the host of the World Economic Forum, which is an annual meeting of political and corporate leaders from around the world.

15 Tourist income source for some farmers : CORN MAZES

A corn maze is simply a maze cut into a cornfield. On the other side of the pond, the same attraction is known as a maize maze … cute!

16 Isfahan inhabitant : IRANI

Isfahan is the name of both a province and a city in Iran, and is located in the center of the country.

17 Emphasized : IN ITALICS

Italic type leans to the right, and is often used to provide emphasis in text. The style is known as “italic” because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

18 Big name in skin care : ARPEL

The Adrien Arpel cosmetic company was founded in 1962 and initially sold its products across Europe. The company started selling in the US in 1968.

20 Field fare, briefly : MRE

The Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) comes in a lightweight package that’s easy to tote around. The MRE replaced the more cumbersome Meal, Combat, Individual (MCI) in 1981, a meal-in-a-can. In turn, the MCI had replaced the C-ration in 1958, a less sophisticated meal-in-a-can with a more limited choice.

21 Mother __ : GOOSE

“Mother Goose” is an imaginary author of nursery rhymes and fairy tales. Even though collections of “Mother Goose” tales have been published over the years, there is no specific writer who has been identified as her creator. “Mother Goose” is a very common pantomime that is staged in Britain and Ireland in the Christmas season.

22 River through Flanders : YSER

The Yser is a river that originates in northern France and flows through Belgium into the North Sea. The Yser is often associated with WWI as it figured in a major battle early in the conflict. In the first three months of the war, the German Army pushed almost completely through Belgium, inflicting heavy losses on the Belgian Army as the defenders were forced to fight a fast-moving rearguard action. The Germans were intent on pushing right through Belgium and across France in a “race to the sea”. But the Belgians, with the help of their Allies, decided to make a final stand at the Yser Canal in an effort to prevent the Germans reaching the French ports of Calais and Dunkirk. The 22-mile long defensive line was chosen at the Yser because the river and canal system could be flooded to create a barrier that might be defended. The plan was successful and the front was “stabilized”. As we now know, millions of lives were lost over the coming years with very little movement of that battle line.

Flanders is a region in northern Belgium that includes the Belgian capital of Brussels. The Flemish population are Dutch-speaking, although the residents of Brussels tend to speak French, or are bilingual.

25 Wee warbler : WREN

The wren is a small songbird belonging to the family troglodytidae and the genus troglodytes. Wrens are known for making dome-shaped nests.

28 Mil. group integrated with male units in 1978 : WAC

The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was formed in 1942, and the unit was converted to full status the following year to become the Women’s Army Corps (WAC). I like a quotation from the front of the WAC physical training manual from 1943: “Your Job: To Replace Men. Be Ready To Take Over.” Famously, General Douglas MacArthur referred to the WACs as his “best soldiers”, saying they worked harder, complained less and were better disciplined than men. The WACs were disbanded in 1978 and the serving members were integrated into the rest of the army.

29 Eli of “The Magnificent Seven” : WALLACH

Eli Wallach appeared consistently and made great performances on the big and small screens since the 1950s. Wallach’s most famous role was probably as “the Ugly” in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. More recently he gave a very strong performance in 2006’s “The Holiday”. Sadly, Wallach passed away in June 2014, at the age of 98.

“The Magnificent Seven” really is a very entertaining western movie (and I am no fan of westerns, quite frankly). Famously, it is a 1960 remake of the Akira Kurosawa 1954 Japanese film, “Seven Samurai”. “The Magnificent Seven” is the second most shown film on television in the US. Only “The Wizard of Oz” gets more air time.

33 Fill : SATIATE

“Sate” is a variant of the older word “satiate”. Both terms can mean either to satisfy an appetite fully, or to eat to excess.

35 El __ Pacífico : OCEANO

In Spanish, “el océano” (the ocean) contains lots of “agua” (water).

The Pacific Ocean was given its name by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. When Magellan sailed into the ocean on his 1521 circumnavigation of the globe, he encountered favorable winds and so called it “Mar Pacifico” meaning “peaceful sea”.

39 Projecting architectural features : DORMERS

A dormer window is a window in a dormer! A dormer is a roofed structure that protrudes from the slope of the main roof.

40 Ed.’s inbox fillers : MSS

An editor (ed.) might read or edit a manuscript (MS)

45 Father-and-son actors : CAANS

James Caan is an actor from the Bronx, New York City. He is noted for his appearances in some very big movies such as “The Godfather”, “Misery”, “A Bridge Too Far”, “Rollerball” and more recently “Elf”. Caan is quite the sportsman. He plays golf with an 8 handicap, and is a 6-Dan Black Belt Master of Gosoku Karate.

Scott Caan is the actor who plays “Danno” in the remake of the cop show “Hawaii Five-0”. On the big screen, he is perhaps best known for playing Turk, one of the Malloy Brothers. Scott is the son of Hollywood actor James Caan.

50 Chiwere speakers : OTOES

Chiwere is a Siouan language spoken by the Otoe people, as well as by the Missouria and Iowa.

52 Many a GI : PVT

The lowest military rank of soldier is often a private (pvt.). The term “private” comes from the Middle Ages when “private soldiers” were hired or conscripted by noblemen to form a “private army”. The more generic usage of “private” started in the 1700s.

53 Solitaire measure : CARAT

The carat is a unit of mass equal to 200 mg (0.2 grams). It is used in sizing gemstones.

In the world of jewelry, a solitaire is a single gem set alone.

54 “Glassheart” singer Lewis : LEONA

Leona Lewis rocketed to fame after winning the British TV show called “The X Factor” (the show that spawned the UK’s “Pop Idol” and America’s “American Idol”).

57 Twain’s “Taming the Bicycle,” e.g. : ESSAY

Mark Twain was living in Hartford, Connecticut with his family when the Columbia Bicycle Factory opened near his home. Twain was very excited with the opportunity to buy a bicycle, and hired a factory employee to teach him how to ride it. He didn’t do well, and documented his experiences in an essay “Taming the Bicycle”, which was found among the author’s papers and published posthumously in 1917.

59 Flute features : STEMS

The narrow bowl of a champagne flute is usually preferred over the wide bowl of a champagne coupe as the smaller surface area of the wine helps retain its carbonation.

Down

2 Faux pas : NO-NOS

The term “faux pas” is French in origin, and translates literally as “false step” (or “false steps”, as the plural has the same spelling in French).

5 ‘Tis the season : XMAS

The music for the Christmas song “Deck the Halls” is a traditional Welsh tune that dates back to the 16th century. The same tune was used by Mozart for a violin and piano duet. The lyrics with which we are familiar (other than the “f-la-la”) are American in origin, and were recorded in the 19th century.

“’Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la la la la!”

6 __ Poly Pomona

“Cal Poly” is the more familiar name for California Polytechnic State University. There are actually two Cal Poly institutions, one in San Luis Obispo (the most famous) and one in Pomona. The Pomona institution was founded in 1938 as the southern campus for Cal Poly in 1938, but became independent from the northern school in 1966.

7 Surveyor’s measurement : AZIMUTH

When pinpointing an object in the sky, its position can be documented using the altitude and azimuth. The altitude is the angle of the object above the horizon. The azimuth is the angle on the horizon between north and the object.

8 Like Superman’s alter ego : SECRET

Superman’s comic book creators gave their title character’s alter-ego the name “Clark Kent” by melding the names of Clark Gable and Kent Taylor, two leading men of the cinema at the time Superman was created. However, they modeled Clark’s character more on the silent film actor Harold Lloyd.

9 Early Judaic sect : ESSENES

The Essenes were a Jewish religious group who are most noted these days perhaps as the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Essenes led simple lives devoted to poverty.

10 Laptop screen meas. : DIAG

Diagonal (diag.)

12 Highly touted computer product we’re still waiting for : VAPORWARE

Vaporware is hardware or software that is announced but never produced, and never canceled. The term was coined by a Microsoft engineer in 1982 with reference to the company’s Xenix operating system. Xenix was a Unix-based operating system that Microsoft seemed ready to offer to the public in the eighties. Xenix was indeed licenced to the likes of Intel and Tandy, but Microsoft never actually made it available to the general public. Xenix seemed to just fade away, like a vapor.

13 Kayak, typically : ONE-SEATER

There is a type of boat used by Inuit people called a “kayak”. The term “kayak” means “man’s boat”, whereas “umiak” means “woman’s boat”.

14 Brits’ mufflers : SILENCERS

A muffler is a device, attached to an internal combustion engine, that is designed to reduce noise from the exhaust. We don’t use the term “muffler” on the other side of the Atlantic, opting instead for “silencer”.

23 Pastoral : BUCOLIC

The word “bucolic”, meaning “rustic, rural”, comes to us from the Greek word “boukolos” meaning “cowherd”.

26 Salon treatments : MANIS

Manicure (mani)

27 Firewood measure : STERE

The stere is a metric measure, although it is not part of the modern metric system. Nowadays the stere is used as a measure for firewood, and is equal to one cubic meter.

29 Sci-fi passages : WORMHOLES

A wormhole is a theoretical shortcut that connects two points in the space-time continuum. Got that …?

32 Trout’s team, on scoreboards : LAA

Mike Trout debuted as a professional baseball player for the Los Angeles Angels in 2011. Trout’s nickname is “the Millville Meteor”, as he grew up in Millville, New Jersey.

34 2007 Will Smith film “__ Legend” : I AM

“I Am Legend” is a 1955 science fiction novel by Richard Matheson that tells of an apparent sole survivor of a pandemic. The survivor has to fight off zombie-like vampires who come out at night. “I Am Legend” was famously adapted into a 1971 movie called “The Omega Man” starring Charlton Heston, and then into a 2007 film using the same title as the novel that stars Will Smith.

38 Veggie with an edible pod : SNAP PEA

Sugar peas are also known as snap peas. These peas are eaten before the seeds mature, and the whole pod is consumed.

42 Blini topper : CAVIAR

Caviar is the roe of a large fish that has been salted and seasoned, and especially the roe of a sturgeon. Beluga caviar comes from the beluga sturgeon, which is found primarily in the Caspian Sea. It is the most expensive type of caviar in the world. 8 ounces of US-farmed beluga caviar can be purchased through Amazon.com for just over $850, in case you’re feeling peckish …

A blintz (also “blintze” and “blin”, plural “blini”) is a thin pancake similar to a crêpe, although unlike a crêpe, a blintz may contain yeast.

44 Common brunch hr. : TEN AM

Our word “brunch” is a portmanteau of “breakfast” and “lunch”. The term was coined as student slang in Oxford, England in the late 1890s. However, “brunch” described a combined meal closer to the breakfast hour, and the term “blunch” was used for a meal closer to lunchtime.

47 University town near Bangor : ORONO

The town of Orono is home to the University of Maine that was founded in 1862. The college is actually located on an island (Marsh island) lying between the Penobscot and Stillwater rivers. The town of Orono is named after Joseph Orono, a chief of the Penobscot Nation. The school’s athletic teams are named the Maine Black Bears.

Bangor is the third-most populous city in the state of Maine (after Portland and Lewiston). The city was given its name in 1791, after the hymn “Antiphonary of Bangor” that was written at Bangor Abbey in Northern Ireland.

48 Heroic 1920s sled dog : BALTO

The 1925 serum run to Nome took place in order to save the inhabitants of Nome and environs from a developing diphtheria epidemic. The run comprised a dog sled relay across Alaska, and required 20 mushers and 150 sled dogs to travel the 674 miles in just 5½ days. The lead sled dog on the final leg into Nome was named Balto. The dog became quite the celebrity as a result of the run, and there is a statue of Balto in Central Park in New York City.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Epidemiologist’s “ground zero” : INDEX CASE
10 Swiss city that hosts the World Economic Forum annual meeting : DAVOS
15 Tourist income source for some farmers : CORN MAZES
16 Isfahan inhabitant : IRANI
17 Emphasized : IN ITALICS
18 Big name in skin care : ARPEL
19 Is sweet on : LOVES
20 Field fare, briefly : MRE
21 Mother __ : GOOSE
22 River through Flanders : YSER
23 Good, to Guillermo : BUENO
25 Wee warbler : WREN
26 Grumps : MUTTERS
28 Mil. group integrated with male units in 1978 : WAC
29 Eli of “The Magnificent Seven” : WALLACH
33 Fill : SATIATE
35 El __ Pacífico : OCEANO
36 Shredder : TEARER
37 Sells to consumers : RETAILS
39 Projecting architectural features : DORMERS
40 Ed.’s inbox fillers : MSS
41 Genuine : SINCERE
43 Cease : HALT
45 Father-and-son actors : CAANS
46 Vertical actions : BOBS
50 Chiwere speakers : OTOES
52 Many a GI : PVT
53 Solitaire measure : CARAT
54 “Glassheart” singer Lewis : LEONA
55 Many a recital piece : PIANO SOLO
57 Twain’s “Taming the Bicycle,” e.g. : ESSAY
58 Depleted : EATEN INTO
59 Flute features : STEMS
60 “All good?” : ARE WE COOL?

Down

1 How an archrival might be greeted : ICILY
2 Faux pas : NO-NOS
3 Initiative : DRIVE
4 Log : ENTER
5 ‘Tis the season : XMAS
6 __ Poly Pomona : CAL
7 Surveyor’s measurement : AZIMUTH
8 Like Superman’s alter ego : SECRET
9 Early Judaic sect : ESSENES
10 Laptop screen meas. : DIAG
11 Feathered flier : ARROW
12 Highly touted computer product we’re still waiting for : VAPORWARE
13 Kayak, typically : ONE-SEATER
14 Brits’ mufflers : SILENCERS
23 Pastoral : BUCOLIC
24 Figures of speech? : ORATORS
26 Salon treatments : MANIS
27 Firewood measure : STERE
29 Sci-fi passages : WORMHOLES
30 Nails the exam : ACES A TEST
31 Unties, maybe : LETS LOOSE
32 Trout’s team, on scoreboards : LAA
34 2007 Will Smith film “__ Legend” : I AM
38 Veggie with an edible pod : SNAP PEA
39 Like many hibiscus leaves : DENTATE
42 Blini topper : CAVIAR
44 Common brunch hr. : TEN AM
46 Simple : BASIC
47 University town near Bangor : ORONO
48 Heroic 1920s sled dog : BALTO
49 Potter’s perch : STOOL
51 Word before or after “who” : SAYS
53 Geometric solid : CONE
56 Untested : NEW

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 19 Jun 21, Saturday”

  1. 26A MUTTERS, 35A OCEANO (had an A on the end) and I misspelled 29A WALLACH with an E on the end. All 3 of these were in 3 consecutive rows and it had me stumped for a LONG time… MUTTERS was not on my radar for GRUMPS. Had to work through it from the top.

    Never heard if 18A ARPEL unless they have some other common brand name…

    1. AJ,

      A “bob” of the head is a vertical action (up & down movement).
      A stere is a metric measurement of volume, and was apparently used in 18th-century France for firewood (ugh).

    2. The clue is “Vertical actions” and one definition of “bob” is “a short quick down-and-up motion”. You may be more familiar with the verb (as in “bob up and down”).

      And a “stere” is a metric unit, defined as “a unit of volume equal to one cubic meter”; the “cord” is a different (non-metric) unit.

  2. Pretty easy for a Saturday puzzle. No errors; looked up the Swiss city
    Davos…then guessed at vaporware and got by with it. I had not heard
    of vaporware, but checking the definition made it a feasible answer.

  3. 11:28, no errors. I’ve made the observation before and noticed it again in a lot of puzzles for today: I tend to do most of it very quickly (about 75% of this one in about 4 1/2 minutes) and then struggle with the other 20% or so. Funny how that works.

  4. 22:43 2 errors

    Had 31D as SETSLOOSE, which kept me from remembering Eli WALLACH.

    Lots of places I had to correct, but on the whole, not too bad.

  5. Just over an hour with 7 errors and a boatload of “never heard ofs”
    Not my puzzle by an stretch
    Stay safe😀

  6. After almost an hour, mostly struggling through the NW corner, I’m embarrassed to say that I couldn’t get off of CROPMAZES instead of CORNMAZES, the 2D, 3D, and 4D answers just wouldn’t come, and so I had to look up the 15A answer.

    Also had to Google CAL POLY POMONA (don’t live in California), Epidemiologist’s ground zero, and Superman’s alter ego (wanted it to be a character trait).

    Had ERROR for “Faux pas” for a long time, because couldn’t accept the answer as plural. Also wanted 17A to end in ED to match the clue’s tense. Much GRUMPing over this one!

  7. I got parts of this but lost interest after a while. I did have WALLACH right away since I love those movies. I think I remember this constructor from earlier puzzles and at least this time I got his LEONA from crosses. Didn’t get his VAPORWARE, ARPEL and BALTO though, which I think he also used before. DORMERS and INDEXCASE are interesting and hopefully I remember those.

    At least Germany won 4-2, and France inexplicably drew 1-1, so there’s renewed hope for Wednesday.

    1. There are European wars in progress?! Why doesn’t somebody tell me about these things?! … 😜

      1. They’re mostly confined to football pitches. But, a little of it is taking place in the hosting city in the form of bad behavior. Due to seating capacity limitations, it’s mostly theater though.

        And…due to the Covid-19 crisis there are South American wars as well, well actually they are, as scheduled, and the European ones are delayed from last year….it’s so confusing 🙂

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