LA Times Crossword 23 Jun 21, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Kevin Christian
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Dracula

Themed answers each end with something to which DRACULA has an aversion:

  • 46D Classic Lugosi character with an aversion to the ends of 17-, 29-, 48- and 61-Across : DRACULA
  • 17A Netflix series about unintended consequences of new technology : BLACK MIRROR
  • 29A Campground support : TENT STAKE
  • 48A Part of a southpaw’s ring repertoire : LEFT CROSS
  • 61A On earth : UNDER THE SUN

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

Bill’s time: 8m 13s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

11 “Happy little trees” painter Ross : BOB

Bob Ross was an artist and art instructor. Ross created and appeared in the long-running PBS show “The Joy of Painting”, a show which provided instructions for budding artists. He was known for some colorful phrases that he tended to repeat on screen, one of the most famous being “let’s add some happy little trees”.

14 Elder Obama daughter : MALIA

Malia Obama is the eldest of Barack and Michelle Obama’s two daughters. Malia graduated from the private Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., the same school that Chelsea Clinton attended. Malia took a gap year after leaving high school, and spent the 2016 summer as an intern in the US Embassy in Madrid, before heading off to Harvard in 2017.

17 Netflix series about unintended consequences of new technology : BLACK MIRROR

“Black Mirror” is an anthology science-fiction TV series created by British media personality Charlie Brooker. It has been described as a contemporary version of the classic American show “The Twilight Zone”. Each episode deals with our human interaction with technology, and especially the unintended consequences of society’s adoption of that new technology. Great TV …

19 Cal. airport not in its namesake city : SFO

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) served as the main base of operations for Virgin America (sold to Alaska Airlines), and is also the maintenance hub for United Airlines. Even though SFO is owned and operated by the City and County of San Francisco, the airport is located to the south in San Mateo County.

22 Some “Rocky” settings : GYMS

Our word “gymnasium” comes from the Greek “gymnasion” meaning “public place where exercise is taken”. The Greek term comes from “gymnos” meaning “naked”, as that physical training was usually done unclothed in ancient Greece.

If ever there was a movie that defines a career breakthrough for an actor, it would have to be “Rocky” for Sylvester Stallone. Stallone was a struggling actor in 1975 when a Muhammad Ali fight inspired Stallone to write a screenplay for a boxing movie, which he did in just three days. His efforts to sell the script went well but for the fact that the interested studios wanted a big name for the lead role, and Stallone was determined to be the star himself. Stallone persevered and “Rocky” was eventually made with him playing the title role of Rocky Balboa. The movie won three Oscars, and “Sly” Stallone had arrived …

25 “__ la France!” : VIVE

“Vive la France” is usually translated from French for “Long live France” or “Hurrah for France”.

26 Embezzler’s dread : AUDIT

An audit is a formal examination of the accounts or financial situation of an individual or organization. Such a process was originally an oral affair, and indeed, the term “audit” comes from the Latin “audire” meaning “to hear”.

27 Actors sans lines : MIMES

In French, “avec” (with) and “sans” (without) are opposites.

31 Google : SEARCH

The Google search engine was originally called “BackRub” would you believe? The name was eventually changed to “Google”, an intentional misspelling of the word “googol”. A googol is a pretty big number, 10 to the power of 100. That would be the digit 1 followed by 100 zeros.

35 Dutch colonist : BOER

“Boer” is the Dutch and Afrikaans word for “farmer”, a word that was used to describe the Dutch-speaking people who settled parts of South Africa during the 1700s.

37 Per __ : DIEM

“Per diem” is the Latin for “by the day”. We tend to use the term for a daily allowance for expenses when traveling for work.

39 “Get a room!” elicitor, for short : PDA

Public display of affection (PDA)

42 Pants, briefly : TROU

“Trou” is short for “trousers”.

48 Part of a southpaw’s ring repertoire : LEFT CROSS

A southpaw is left-handed. The term “southpaw” arose as baseball slang in the mid-1880s to describe a left-handed pitcher. Back then, baseball diamonds were often laid out with home plate to the west. So, a pitcher’s left hand would be on his “south” side as he faced the batter.

52 TV host with her “OWN” network : OPRAH

Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)

53 Fruity antacid : TUMS

The main ingredient in Tums antacid, made by GlaxoSmithKline, is calcium carbonate. Tums have been on the market since 1930. If you want to save a few pennies, Target brand antacid is identical to Tums, or so I hear …

55 ROFL relative : LMAO

Laughing my a** off (LMAO)

Rolling on floor laughing (ROFL)

56 Colorful cereal brand : TRIX

Trix is a corn-based breakfast cereal that has been around since 1954, produced by General Mills. Ads for the cereal featured Trix Rabbit, who would try hard to get hold of bowls of the cereal. He would always get caught though, and be admonished with, “Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!” With 46% sugar content, the rabbit probably wouldn’t have liked it anyway …

57 Homes high up : AERIES

An aerie (sometimes “eyrie”) is an eagle’s nest. The term “aerie” can also more generally describe any bird’s nest that is located on a cliff or a mountaintop.

60 Efron of “High School Musical” : ZAC

Zac Efron is an actor from San Luis Obispo, California. Apparently Efron is a heartthrob to “tweenyboppers”. His big break came with the hit Disney movie “High School Musical”.

“High School Musical” is a 2006 Disney film made for television that spawned two sequels released to movie theaters worldwide. The soundtrack to “High School Musical” ended up being the best-selling album for 2006. Apparently, the storyline is based on Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”.

63 Spacewalk initials : EVA

Extravehicular activity (EVA) is the name given to any work done by an astronaut outside of his or her spacecraft. The term would encompass walking on the moon, as well as making a space walk i.e. floating around in space tethered to spacecraft.

64 Image on some birth announcements : STORK

In German and Dutch society, storks resting on the roof of a house were considered a sign of good luck. This tradition led to nursery stories that babies were brought to families by storks.

65 Hirsch of “Into the Wild” : EMILE

Emile Hirsch is an actor from Topanga, California. Hirsch’s most famous role was the lead in the 2007 drama “Into the Wild”.

“Into the Wild” is an interesting film directed by Sean Penn that is based on a nonfiction book of the same name by Jon Krakauer. The book and movie tell the true story of Christopher McCandless, a young man who hiked into the Alaskan wilderness with very little food and equipment, seeking an extended period of solitude. After four months alone he was found dead from starvation. At time of death, he weighed only 67 pounds.

Down

2 Some diet soda has one : CALORIE

I wish we’d stop using the term “calorie”, because it is so confusing. In terms of physics, a calorie is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree celsius (at one atmosphere of pressure). The so-called “food calorie” is one thousand times as large, as it is defined in terms of kilograms instead of grams. In attempts to differentiate between these two definitions, the former is sometimes referred to as the “small calorie” and is given the symbol “cal”. The latter is referred to as the “large calorie” and given the symbol “Cal”, with a capital C. If only we’d use the SI system of units, we’d be thinking in just joules, instead of large and small and food calories.

3 College football powerhouse : ALABAMA

The athletic teams of the University of Alabama (“Bama”) are nicknamed the Crimson Tide, which is a reference to the team colors of crimson and white.

4 [not my mistake] : [SIC]

[Sic] indicates that a quotation is written as originally found, perhaps including a typo. “Sic” is Latin for “thus, like this”. The term is more completely written as “sic erat scriptum”, which translates as “thus was it written”.

5 Maori dance with rhythmic chanting : HAKA

The haka is a war dance used by the Maori people of New Zealand. Famously, the New Zealand rugby team performs a haka before each of their matches.

6 Exorcist’s target : SPIRIT

An exorcist is a religious figure who is believed to be able to cast out demons that have possessed a person or perhaps a building.

10 Postal motto word : NOR

There is no official creed or motto for the US Postal Service (USPS). However, there is the oft-quoted inscription that is posted (pun!) over the entrance to the James Farley Post Office in New York City:

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

18 “Jersey Shore” airer : MTV

“Jersey Shore” is yet another reality TV series, one that ran on MTV from 2009 until 2012. The first season featured a group of eight friends sharing a house on the Jersey shore, and the second season had the same cadre warming themselves in a house down in Miami.

24 Belgrade resident : SERB

Belgrade is the capital city of Serbia. The name “Belgrade” translates into “White City”.

26 Aver : ASSERT

The verb “to aver”, meaning “to profess”, comes from the Latin “adverare” meaning “to make true, to prove to be true” from “ad” (to) and “verus” (true).

28 Rusty nail liquor : SCOTCH

The cocktail called a rusty nail is a mixture of Drambuie and scotch, and is usually served over ice. Without the ice, the drink is sometimes called a straight-up nail. There is also a Canadian version of a rusty nail that uses rye whiskey instead of Scotch that’s called a Donald Sutherland, after the celebrated Canadian actor.

32 Munich address : HERR

In German, a “Herr” (Mr.) is married to a “Frau” (Mrs.), and they live together in a “Haus” (house).

Munich is the capital of the German state of Bavaria, and is the third-largest city in the country (after Berlin and Hamburg). The city is called “München” in German, a term that derives from the Old German word for “by the monks’ place”, which is a reference to the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city in 1158.

38 Whimper : MEWL

To mewl is to cry weakly like a baby, with “mewl” being somewhat imitative.

39 Was overcome with emotion, informally : PLOTZED

The verb “to plotz” is slang for “faint, collapse from surprise or exhaustion”.

40 Corrupt : DEPRAVE

To deprave is to corrupt, make bad. “Deprave” comes from the Latin “de-” (completely) and “pravus” (crooked).

41 Like some violets : AFRICAN

African violets are popular houseplants that are native to Tanzania and Kenya. Despite the name, they aren’t actually violets. They earned their moniker because of superficial resemblance to true violets.

43 Loan sharks : USURERS

Usury used to be the practice of simply lending money at interest, but the term now refers to lending at rates of interest that are excessive.

45 Draco Malfoy, to Harry Potter : NEMESIS

Nemesis was a Greek goddess, the goddess of retribution. Her role was to make pay those individuals who were either haughty or arrogant. In modern parlance, one’s nemesis (plural “nemeses”) is one’s sworn enemy, often someone who is the exact opposite in character but someone who still shares some important characteristics. A nemesis is often someone one cannot seem to beat in competition.

Draco Malfoy is one of the regular “bad guys” in the “Harry Potter” stories. Malfoy is one of Potter’s fellow students, the one who sneers a lot. Draco’s father is Lucius Malfoy, a character who becomes more and more relevant as the storyline in the series of books progresses.

46 Classic Lugosi character with an aversion to the ends of 17-, 29-, 48- and 61-Across : DRACULA

“Dracula” is a novel written by the Irish author Bram Stoker and first published in 1897. Dracula wasn’t the first vampire of literature, but he certainly was the one who spawned the popularity of vampires in theater, film and television, and indeed more novels. Personally, I can’t stand vampire fiction …

Bela Lugosi was a Hungarian stage and screen actor who was perhaps best known for playing the title role in the 1931 film “Dracula” and for playing the same role on Broadway. Lugosi found himself typecast for the rest of his career and almost always played the role of the villain, often in horror movies. When he passed away in 1956, his wife had him buried in the costume he wore playing Count Dracula on Broadway.

50 Condescending : SMIRKY

The Old English word “smearcian” means “to smile”, and gave us our verb “to smirk”, meaning “to smile in a self-satisfied manner”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Digital money : E-CASH
6 Welcomed at the door : SAW IN
11 “Happy little trees” painter Ross : BOB
14 Elder Obama daughter : MALIA
15 Ad : PROMO
16 Sci-fi vehicle : UFO
17 Netflix series about unintended consequences of new technology : BLACK MIRROR
19 Cal. airport not in its namesake city : SFO
20 Arcing shot : LOB
21 Like money in a poker game : AT RISK
22 Some “Rocky” settings : GYMS
23 Historic chapters : ERAS
25 “__ la France!” : VIVE
26 Embezzler’s dread : AUDIT
27 Actors sans lines : MIMES
29 Campground support : TENT STAKE
31 Google : SEARCH
33 Uses a needle : SEWS
34 “__ out!” : YER
35 Dutch colonist : BOER
37 Per __ : DIEM
39 “Get a room!” elicitor, for short : PDA
42 Pants, briefly : TROU
44 Fashions : TRENDS
48 Part of a southpaw’s ring repertoire : LEFT CROSS
51 Insignificant person : TWERP
52 TV host with her “OWN” network : OPRAH
53 Fruity antacid : TUMS
55 ROFL relative : LMAO
56 Colorful cereal brand : TRIX
57 Homes high up : AERIES
59 Green prefix : ECO-
60 Efron of “High School Musical” : ZAC
61 On earth : UNDER THE SUN
63 Spacewalk initials : EVA
64 Image on some birth announcements : STORK
65 Hirsch of “Into the Wild” : EMILE
66 Hibernation location : DEN
67 Itty-bitty : EENSY
68 “Alas!” : SO SAD!

Down

1 Insignias : EMBLEMS
2 Some diet soda has one : CALORIE
3 College football powerhouse : ALABAMA
4 [not my mistake] : [SIC]
5 Maori dance with rhythmic chanting : HAKA
6 Exorcist’s target : SPIRIT
7 Gets in : ARRIVES
8 Took a downturn : WORSENED
9 “Everything’s fine!” : I’M OK!
10 Postal motto word : NOR
11 Reason to skip lunch, maybe : BUSY DAY
12 How some candid comments are made : OFF-MIKE
13 Enthusiastic supporter : BOOSTER
18 “Jersey Shore” airer : MTV
22 __ check: test of character : GUT
24 Belgrade resident : SERB
26 Aver : ASSERT
28 Rusty nail liquor : SCOTCH
30 Silly person : TWIT
32 Munich address : HERR
36 Cheered for : ROOTED ON
38 Whimper : MEWL
39 Was overcome with emotion, informally : PLOTZED
40 Corrupt : DEPRAVE
41 Like some violets : AFRICAN
43 Loan sharks : USURERS
45 Draco Malfoy, to Harry Potter : NEMESIS
46 Classic Lugosi character with an aversion to the ends of 17-, 29-, 48- and 61-Across : DRACULA
47 Cuddled, in a way : SPOONED
49 Line on many bills : TAX
50 Condescending : SMIRKY
54 “Quiet on the __!”: director’s cry : SET
57 Pay to play : ANTE
58 Sows, e.g. : SHES
61 Operate : USE
62 Punk rock offshoot : EMO

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 23 Jun 21, Wednesday”

    1. Another very good time for you on what I considered to be a pretty hard puzzle. Congrats.

      Only way I know to post now and thanks for letting me use your space.

      We could only score 93% today, despite using two Googles. Usually use only the puzzle dictionary,
      where you normally have to choose your answer. Dumbest misread was 58 Down; I got hung up
      on Sows like you would sow seeds or sods of St. Augustine grass and not on female pigs, so I used
      SOD. The rest of the errors (14 in all, 0.5% per square) were omissions from not knowing the answers.
      Are still holding a weekly average of 98% for the first three days, very good for two Super Senior geezers.
      I feel sure that we would be close to leading our division, if there was one.

      Anyway, fun and games.

      Hello to A. N. Muss and hope all you guys and gals are vaccinated (if you chose to be) and well.

  1. PLOTZED was pretty thin, IMO. Overcome by exhaustion would have been better. ZAC made it more doable, though.
    Be well

  2. 19:19 – Two lookups/no errors – didn’t know PDA and ZAC.

    Never heard of BLACKMIRROR but the crosses filled it in.

    LMAO – hmmmm.

  3. Under 25 min. no errors…plotzed was new to me and my auto correct.
    I don’t often check the theme if I already finished the puzzle as was the case today.
    Guess who needs a route canal?…ya me👎
    Stay safe😀

    1. I have had one root canal, was needlessly very worried about it. There was no pain at all,
      I just had to hold my mouth open for a while. You will be fine. I avoided a second such canal
      when pain around a tooth turned out to be caused by an infection of the gum. Good old
      pills came through again.

      I wish you the best and know that you will be fine. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t hate to
      have to go to the dentist.

  4. No errors or Googles. Had pigS before SHES, gEt before YER.
    Did not know LMAO, EVA, EMILE, HAKA.

    Liked the theme.

    Yesterday, on bees – I have many plants to attract them, but have failed to attract Monarch butterflies. I have no grass in my yard, just areas of various plants and ground covers.
    When I was a kid, I made little beds for dead bugs, including bees, out of the boxes that used to contain loose matches.

  5. 7:59

    Finally a theme I could really sink my teeth into!

    If you enjoy audiobooks, there’s a terrific full cast reading of the original Bram Stoker novel.

  6. 10 mins 7 sec, no errors.

    12 D is a misspelling: MIC is short for microphone, not MIKE.

    “plotz”? What is that, Yiddish? Never in any slang I’ve heard… but obviously I haven’t heard it all.

      1. Incorrect spellings allowed to become popularized through constant misuse are still misspellings, far as I’m concerned.

  7. Fun tricky Wednesday for me; took 13:11 with no errors or peeks. Still, plenty of noodling around and waiting for crosses. I knew what platz – burst, meant in German, so went with what I got on crosses there. And, I somehow confused “embezzler” with “counterfeiter”, which when audit started to appear, cleared that up.

    Germany saved themselves at the last minute today and if you ask me look a little shaky…anyway next stop Tuesday in London against England.

    SF Giants still in 1st place of all MLB and finally facing slightly tough teams…

  8. A good one for me – 13:46 with no errors or lookups. The theme worked well for me. Made several adjustments while solving: SASHA>MALIA, GET>YER,
    OFFLINE>OFFMIKE, ISS>EVA, RUN>USE, SNARKY>SMIRKY. Worked best going from the bottom of the puzzle back up to the top.

    In spite of what dictionary.com says, I agree with Allen Dickerson on the abbreviation for microphone – “mike” makes little sense. Of course, translating the entire word as a “little (micro) phone” doesn’t make sense to me, either.

    Plotz is a neat sounding word to me. Appears to have Yiddish origins.

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