LA Times Crossword 2 Jun 21, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Nation Creation

Themed answers each consist of a nation followed by a noun rhyming with the name of that nation:

  • 16A Quito apron-like dress? : ECUADOR PINAFORE
  • 25A Sana’a citrus fruit? : YEMEN LEMON
  • 37A Suva car wash implement? : FIJI SQUEEGEE
  • 52A Bamako dog? : MALI COLLIE
  • 61A Yerevan flower? : ARMENIA GARDENIA

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

Bill’s time: 6m 56s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Many veggie dishes : SALADS

Our word “salad” comes from the Latin “salare” meaning “to salt”. The Latin “herba salata” translates as “salted vegetables”, which I guess could be a salad …

16 Quito apron-like dress? : ECUADOR PINAFORE

“Ecuador” is the Spanish word for “equator”, which gives the country its name.

The sleeveless garment known as a pinafore is often worn as a protective apron. In days gone by, pinafores were “pinned” to the front (“fore”) of a dress, hence the name.

19 Alt. spelling : VAR

Variant (var.)

20 ORD postings : ETAS

O’Hare International was the world’s busiest airport from 1963 to 1998. The original airport was constructed on the site between 1942 and 1943, and was used by the Douglas Aircraft Company for the manufacture of planes during WWII. Before the factory and airport were built, there was a community in the area called Orchard Place, so the airport was called Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field. This name is the derivation of the airport’s current location identifier: ORD (OR-chard D-ouglas). Orchard Place Airport was renamed to O’Hare International in 1949 in honor of Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare who grew up in Chicago. O’Hare was the US Navy’s first flying ace and a Medal of Honor recipient in WWII.

21 “Off with her head!” head owner : ALICE

In Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, towards the end of the story Alice finds herself a witness in a trial in front of the King and Queen of Hearts. Alice becomes somewhat obstreperous during the proceedings and earns the celebrated rebuke from the Queen, “Off with her head!” Alice stands her ground and simply retorts, “You’re nothing but a pack of cards!”

23 Fed. power dept. : ENER

The US Department of Energy (DOE) came into being largely as a result of the 1973 oil crisis. The DOE was founded in 1977 by the Carter administration. The DOE is responsible for regulating the production of nuclear power, and it is also responsible for the nation’s nuclear weapons. The official DOE seal features a lightning bolt and symbols denoting five sources of energy: the sun, an atom, an oil derrick, a windmill and a dynamo.

25 Sana’a citrus fruit? : YEMEN LEMON

Sana (also “Sana’a”) is the capital city of Yemen. Sitting at an elevation of 7,380 feet, Sana is one of the highest capital cities in the world. Within the bounds of today’s metropolis is the old fortified city of Sana, where people have lived for over 2,500 years. The Old City is now a World Heritage Site. According to legend, Sana was founded by Shem, the son of Noah.

29 Tubular hangers in delis : SALAMIS

“Salame” (note the letter E at the end) is an Italian sausage that is traditionally associated with the peasant classes. The meat in the sausage is preserved with salt, and it can be hung and stored for as long as ten years. The name “salame” comes from “sale”, the Italian word for salt, and “-ame”, a suffix indicating a collective noun. Our English word “salami” is actually the Italian plural for “salame”.

32 “Either thou, __ … must go with him”: Romeo : OR I

William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is all about the love between the two title characters, which is forbidden as the pair come from two families who are sworn enemies. Early in the play, Romeo (a Montague) sneaks into a masquerade ball being held by the Capulets in the hope of meeting a Capulet girl named Rosaline. Instead, he meets and falls for Juliet, also a Capulet. Tragedy ensues …

33 Spanish Surrealist : DALI

The famous surrealist painter Salvador Dalí was born in Figueres, Spain. I had the privilege of visiting the Dalí Museum in Figueres some years ago, just north of Barcelona. If you ever get the chance, it’s a “must see” as it really is a quite magnificent building with a fascinating collection.

34 Yoga surface : MAT

In the West, we tend to think of yoga as just a physical discipline, a means of exercise that uses specific poses to stretch and strengthen muscles. While it is true that the ancient Indian practice of yoga does involve such physical discipline, the corporeal aspect of the practice plays a relatively small part in the whole philosophy. Other major components are meditation, ethical behavior, breathing and contemplation.

36 Legendary Spanish knight 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.

37 Suva car wash implement? : FIJI SQUEEGEE

Suva is the capital city of Fiji, and is located on the island of Viti Levu. Suva is the largest city in the southern Pacific Ocean.

The first squeegee was known as a “squilgee”, and was used to wash fish blood and scales off the decks of fishing vessels.

41 When doubled, amply covered New Orleans classic : IKO

“Iko Iko” is a song written in 1953 by Sugar Boy Crawford, using the title “Jock-A-Mo”. The Dixie Cups recorded a cover version in 1965, calling it “Iko Iko”. Crawford ended up suing the Dixie Cups as the 1965 song was recorded without reference to the 1953 original.

43 Chowder, e.g. : SOUP

The type of soup known as “chowder” is possibly named for the pot in which it used to be cooked called a “chaudière”, a French term.

45 Bjorn with five Wimbledon wins : BORG

Björn Borg is a retired tennis player from Sweden, and a former World No. 1. Borg won 41% of the 27 Grand Slam singles tournaments that he entered, which is a record that stands to the day. He was known for reacting very calmly under pressure on the tennis court and hence earned the nicknames “Ice Man” and “Ice Borg”, the latter being my personal favorite.

47 “Bird Set Free” singer : SIA

“Sia” is the stage name of Australian singer Sia Furler from Adelaide. Sia is a cousin of Australian Christian Rock musician Peter Furler.

52 Bamako dog? : MALI COLLIE

Bamako is the capital of the African country of Mali. It is the fastest growing city on the whole continent. Located on the Niger River, the name “Bamako” translates from the local language as “crocodile river”.

The collie isn’t actually a breed of dog, but rather the name given to a group of herding dogs that originated in Scotland and Northern England. An obvious (and wonderful) example would be the Border collie. Many dogs classed as collies don’t have the word “collie” in the name of the breed, for example the Old English sheepdog and the Shetland sheepdog.

55 Rob of “9-1-1: Lone Star” : LOWE

Actor Rob Lowe is one of the “founding members” of the so-called Brat Pack, having appeared in the movie “St. Elmo’s Fire”. More recently, he played a regular character on the TV show “Parks and Recreation”. My favorite of his roles though, was playing Sam Seaborn on Aaron Sorkin’s great drama series “The West Wing”. When “The West Wing” first aired, Seaborn was billed as the show’s main character, but outstanding performances from the rest of the cast and some great writing meant that Lowe’s role became “one of many”. This led to some dissatisfaction on Lowe’s part, and eventually he quit the show.

“9-1-1: Lone Star” is a procedural drama show that is a spin-off of “9-1-1 “. The Texas (Lone Star State) version features Rob Lowe as a firefighter from New York City who relocates from Manhattan to Austin.

57 Campus sports org. : NCAA

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

61 Yerevan flower? : ARMENIA GARDENIA

Yerevan is the capital of Armenia, and the nation’s largest city. Yerevan was founded in 782 BC with the building of the fortress of Erebuni. That makes it one of oldest, continuously inhabited cities in the world. Yerevan’s skyline is dominated by the twin peaks of Mount Ararat.

The genus of flowering plant called gardenia is actually in the coffee family.

66 Big name in electric shavers : NORELCO

Norelco is a brand of shavers and personal care products made by Philips. The brand name was introduced as the company was barred from using “Philips” in the US in the early 1940s. The name Norelco was chosen as an acronym for “NOR-th American Philips EL-ectrical CO-mpany.

69 Slight amount : SMIDGE

Our word “smidgen” (sometimes shortened to “smidge”) is used to describe a small amount. The term might come from the Scots word “smitch” that means the same thing or “a small insignificant person”.

Down

1 Rick who tours Europe on PBS : STEVES

Rick Steves hosts the TV show “Rick Steves Europe” that airs on public television stations.

2 Little-known information : ARCANA

Arcana are deep secrets or mysteries. “Arcana” is from the Latin adjective “arcanum” meaning “secret, hidden”.

3 Winner’s wreath : LAUREL

In the Ancient Olympic Games, the winner of an event was awarded an olive wreath. When the games were revived in 1896, the winners were originally given a silver medal and an olive branch, with runners-up receiving a bronze medal and a laurel branch. The tradition of giving gold, silver and bronze medals began at the 1904 Summer Olympic Games held in St. Louis, Missouri.

4 Actress Gardner : AVA

Ava Gardner is noted for her association with some big movies, but also for her association with some big names when it came to the men in her life. In the world of film, she appeared in the likes of “Mogambo” (1953), “On the Beach” (1959), “The Night of the Iguana” (1964) and “Earthquake” (1974). The men in her life included husbands Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra.

5 __ Gardner, co-producer of “Moonlight” and “Selma,” among others : DEDE

Dede Gardner is a film producer with a string of successes to her name, including “12 Years a Slave”, “Moonlight”, “Selma”, “The Big Short” and “Vice”.

8 What the names of three contiguous U.S. states begin with : AN I

There are three “I-states” that are contiguous, namely Iowa, Illinois and Indiana.

9 USPS delivery : CTN

Carton (ctn.)

The US Postal Service (USPS) is a remarkable agency in many ways. For starters, the government’s right and responsibility to establish the Post Office is specifically called out in Article One of the US constitution. Also, the first postmaster general was none other than Benjamin Franklin. And, the USPS operates over 200,000 vehicles, which is the largest vehicle fleet in the world.

10 Source of Souls : KIA

The Kia Soul is a compact car produced in South Korea, although it was designed by Kia here in the US, in Irvine, California. Yep, the Kia Soul is made in Seoul …

11 Butcher’s waste : OFFAL

The internal organs and entrails of a butchered animal are referred to collectively as “offal”. Examples of dishes that make use of offal would be sausages, foie gras, sweetbreads and haggis. The term is a melding of the words “off” and “fall”, and dates back to the 14th century. The idea is that offal is what “falls off” a butcher’s block.

17 2020 World Series team : RAYS

The Tampa Bay Rays are a relatively young franchise, having been formed in 1998. The initial name of the franchise was the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. While known as the Devil Rays, the team finished last in the league in almost every year. The name was changed to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008, and I am told the Rays started into a streak of winning seasons soon after.

18 Food safety concern : E COLI

Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.

22 City west of Tulsa : ENID

Enid, Oklahoma takes its name from the old railroad station around which the city developed. Back in 1889, that train stop was called Skeleton Station. An official who didn’t like the name changed it to Enid Station, using a character from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King”. Maybe if he hadn’t changed the name, the city of Enid would now be called Skeleton, Oklahoma! Enid has the nickname “Queen Wheat City” because it has a huge capacity for storing grain, the third largest grain storage capacity in the world.

Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma (after Oklahoma City). Tulsa started out as a settlement established by the Loachapoka and Creek Native American tribes in 1836. These early settlers called their new home “Tallasi” meaning “old town”, and this name morphed into “Tulsa” that we use today.

24 Malek of “Mr. Robot” : RAMI

Actor Rami Malek’s big break came with the leading role in the television series “Mr. Robot”. In 2018, Malik gave an Oscar-winning performance playing Freddie Mercury in the hit biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody”. That marked the first time that an actor of Egyptian descent won an Academy Award for Best Actor.

“Mr. Robot” is an engaging drama series about an anxious and clinically depressed computer hacker. Said hacker joins an anarchic group of hackers known as “Mr. Robot” who are intent on taking down the largest conglomerate in the world. I binge-watched the first two series, and really enjoyed the experience …

27 One of a “Great” five : ERIE

A well-known mnemonic for remembering the names of the Great Lakes is HOMES, an acronym standing for Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior.

35 Part of ERA : EQUAL

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was written by the American suffragist leader, Alice Paul. Although Paul was successful in her campaign to get passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution (guaranteeing voting rights regardless of sex), her 1923 Equal Rights Amendment didn’t make it to the Senate floor until 1972. The amendment was passed by the Senate, and then headed to the state legislatures for the required ratification. 38 states had to approve the legislation for the amendment to be adopted, but only 35 states voted in favor before the deadline. The amendment is still pending, although about half of the fifty states have adopted the ERA into their state constitutions.

37 Down in the dumps : FORLORN

Someone described as forlorn appears sad and lonely because he or she has been deserted or abandoned.

39 Singapore Sling liquor : GIN

A sling is a cocktail made of brandy, whiskey or gin that is sweetened and flavored with lemon. The most famous version of the sling is the Singapore sling, which was invented by a bartender at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. I am proud to report that I once had a Singapore sling in Raffles Hotel, many moons ago …

41 PCs, originally : IBMS

The original IBM Personal Computer is model number 5150, which was introduced to the world on August 12, 1981. The term “personal computer” was already in use, but the success of the IBM 5150 led to the term “PC” being used for all computer products compatible with the IBM platform.

42 Critter in old Qantas ads : KOALA

The koala bear really does look like a little bear, but it’s not even closely related. The koala is an arboreal marsupial and a herbivore, native to the east and south coasts of Australia. Koalas aren’t primates, and are one of the few mammals other than primates who have fingerprints. In fact, it can be very difficult to tell human fingerprints from koala fingerprints, even under an electron microscope. Male koalas are called “bucks”, females are “does”, and young koalas are “joeys”. I’m a little jealous of the koala, as it sleeps up to 20 hours a day …

Qantas is the national airline of Australia. The company name was originally an acronym standing for “Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services”. QANTAS has featured a koala in advertising campaigns for many years, although the company’s logo is a kangaroo and the company’s nickname is “Flying Kangaroo”.

46 Gadgets : GISMOS

The word “gizmo” (also “gismo”), meaning something the name of which is unknown or forgotten, was originally slang used by both the US Navy and the Marine Corps. The exact origin seems unknown.

53 “SNL” alum Oteri : CHERI

Cheri Oteri was the SNL (“Saturday Night Live”) cast member who regularly appeared with Will Ferrell in the skit featuring a pair of Spartan cheerleaders.

58 Muses may represent them : ARTS

In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:

  • Calliope (epic poetry)
  • Clio (history)
  • Erato (lyric poetry)
  • Euterpe (music)
  • Melpomene (tragedy)
  • Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
  • Terpsichore (dance)
  • Thalia (comedy)
  • Urania (astronomy)

Before the adoption of the nine muses of Greek mythology, there were originally three muses, the three Boeotian Muses. These were:

  • Mneme (memory)
  • Melete (meditation)
  • Aoede (song)

59 Genesis guy : ADAM

The Book of Genesis is the first book in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles. Some of the main figures in the book are Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses and Abraham. “Genesis” is a Greek word meaning “origin, creation”.

64 Obamacare, for short : ACA

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

65 Quarterback Manning : ELI

Eli Manning is a retired footballer who played quarterback for the New York Giants. Eli’s brother Peyton Manning retired from football as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos in 2015. Eli and Peyton’s father is Archie Manning, who was also a successful NFL quarterback. Eli, Peyton and Archie co-authored a book for children titled “Family Huddle” in 2009. It describes the Mannings playing football together as young boys.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Many veggie dishes : SALADS
7 No : LACK OF
13 Go places : TRAVEL
14 Type of eyeglass spray : ANTI-FOG
16 Quito apron-like dress? : ECUADOR PINAFORE
19 Alt. spelling : VAR
20 ORD postings : ETAS
21 “Off with her head!” head owner : ALICE
23 Fed. power dept. : ENER
25 Sana’a citrus fruit? : YEMEN LEMON
29 Tubular hangers in delis : SALAMIS
32 “Either thou, __ … must go with him”: Romeo : OR I
33 Spanish Surrealist : DALI
34 Yoga surface : MAT
35 Grand in scale : EPIC
36 Legendary Spanish knight El __ : CID
37 Suva car wash implement? : FIJI SQUEEGEE
41 When doubled, amply covered New Orleans classic : IKO
43 Chowder, e.g. : SOUP
44 Set on fire : LIT
45 Bjorn with five Wimbledon wins : BORG
47 “Bird Set Free” singer : SIA
48 Live wires : DYNAMOS
52 Bamako dog? : MALI COLLIE
55 Rob of “9-1-1: Lone Star” : LOWE
56 Move about, as water in a pan : SLOSH
57 Campus sports org. : NCAA
60 “What’s more … ” : AND …
61 Yerevan flower? : ARMENIA GARDENIA
66 Big name in electric shavers : NORELCO
67 Gift of the gifted : TALENT
68 Pulls a chair up to, as a table : SITS AT
69 Slight amount : SMIDGE

Down

1 Rick who tours Europe on PBS : STEVES
2 Little-known information : ARCANA
3 Winner’s wreath : LAUREL
4 Actress Gardner : AVA
5 __ Gardner, co-producer of “Moonlight” and “Selma,” among others : DEDE
6 Vending machine feature : SLOT
7 Go unrenewed : LAPSE
8 What the names of three contiguous U.S. states begin with : AN I
9 USPS delivery : CTN
10 Source of Souls : KIA
11 Butcher’s waste : OFFAL
12 Pulled a switcheroo on, say : FOOLED
15 Pained expression : GRIMACE
17 2020 World Series team : RAYS
18 Food safety concern : E COLI
22 City west of Tulsa : ENID
24 Malek of “Mr. Robot” : RAMI
26 Attend to a spill : MOP UP
27 One of a “Great” five : ERIE
28 “__ done!” : NICELY
30 Rank above capt. : MAJ
31 “I’m telling the truth!” : IT IS SO!
35 Part of ERA : EQUAL
37 Down in the dumps : FORLORN
38 Garden base : SOIL
39 Singapore Sling liquor : GIN
40 End-of-list abbr. : ET AL
41 PCs, originally : IBMS
42 Critter in old Qantas ads : KOALA
46 Gadgets : GISMOS
48 Ten: Pref. : DECA-
49 Complained : MOANED
50 Renting alternative : OWNING
51 Tranquil : SEDATE
53 “SNL” alum Oteri : CHERI
54 Pricey bar : INGOT
58 Muses may represent them : ARTS
59 Genesis guy : ADAM
62 Word with profit or weight : NET …
63 They, in French : ILS
64 Obamacare, for short : ACA
65 Quarterback Manning : ELI

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 2 Jun 21, Wednesday”

  1. No errors. Bit of a geography lesson. Did not know SUVA was a part of FIJI and YEREVAN is the capital of ARMENIA.. good questions for the History Bee contest and until Alex Trebek recent passing, was the host from the beginning!! Awesome

  2. No errors. At first, this one looked unsolvable, so I started at the bottom
    and worked up to the top. Once I got “Armenia gardenia” I realized what
    the theme was and from there on it was pretty easy. Enjoyed the
    theme, especially “Fiji Squeegee.”

  3. Got tougher for me a little early in the week! 18:59 with no errors. Much cogitation in the NE corner.

    A few new items such as “IKO IKO”, “OFFAL” (seems awful), “DEDE” Gardner. Initially got fooled by some – 8D I was looking for a common set of 3 letters instead of just an “I”; 9D went thru PKG, LTR, then CTN; 25A mistakenly read “Santa’s” citrus fruit instead of Sana’a. Got the geography theme after that plus Quito, but PINAFORE took a while to come up with.

  4. Wednesday’s are “solvable” for me most of the time, but I do need help.
    25:18 with about 6 lookups and 2 errors. Was not good enough to get the crosses and had to look up”Yerevan”, “Quito”. Didn’t know “Dede” and “Offal.” Missed “Arcana” (aaargghh). “FijiSqueegee” was also my favorite – good stuff!

    1/3 of Bill’s time for a Wednesday is a triumph for me!

    I’ll try to keep posting my times to encourage other newbies like myself to keep at it.

    Apologies to anyone I might have dissed, didn’t mean to. Feedback from the old timers is essential for this site.

  5. Enough. If I see Wechlser on the by-line from this day forward, I’ll just skip the puzzle for the day.

  6. 14:29, no errors. Was helped by knowing pinafore right at the start (thanks to knowing the practice vests/jerseys used by soccer players are called pinnies because of pinafores).

  7. Hard but clever. I had one goofy error: deMoN LEMON. RADS didn’t help me cuz I know no sports info. Don’t ask me how I didn’t notice ERIE, so very familiar in these parts.
    But still not bad for me on a Wechsler creation.

  8. A dynamo is never called a live wire. It more akin to a generator. My high school called us “The Dynamos of Dixie.” In Chattanooga in the 50’s.

  9. I hate Jeffery Wechsler puzzles… I immediately throw them out…they make no sense at all.

  10. I thoroughly enjoyed this! Having a hard time understanding the negativity! Have a great rest of your week, y’all!

  11. Fun Wednesday for me; took 18:28 with 3 dumb errors *that I’m going to keep to myself* 🙂

    Theme made most of the puzzle pretty easy. Had a lot of issues in the NE, but finally sorted it and got all that correct.

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