LA Times Crossword 24 Jun 21, Thursday

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Constructed by: Alex Bajcz
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Apple Cores

Themed answers each include a type of APPLE as a hidden word at the CORE:

  • 54A Pie-making scraps … and what this puzzle’s circles represent? : APPLE CORES
  • 17A Cornell’s main campus overlooks it : CAYUGA LAKE (giving “gala apple”)
  • 23A Home to more than 425 US wineries : SONOMA COUNTY (giving “Macoun apple”)
  • 33A “V.” novelist (1963) : THOMAS PYNCHON (giving “spy apple”)
  • 46A Ham, pepper and green onion dish : DENVER OMELET (giving “Rome apple”)

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

Bill’s time: 6m 49s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 They’re often removed for the National Anthem : HATS

The word “anthem” used to describe a sacred song, especially one with words taken from the Scriptures. The British national anthem (“God Save the Queen/King”) technically is a hymn, and so it came to be described as “the national hymn” and later “the national anthem”. The use of the word “anthem” extended from there to describe any patriotic song.

10 Those in charge: Abbr. : MGMT

Management (mgmt.)

17 Cornell’s main campus overlooks it : CAYUGA LAKE (giving “gala apple”)

Cayuga Lake central New York is the longest (at 40 miles) of the region’s famous Finger Lakes. It is named for the Cayuga Native-American people who lived in the area.

Ezra Cornell was an associate of Samuel Morse and made his money in the telegraph business. After he retired he co-founded Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He provided a generous endowment and donated his farm as a site for the school, and was then rewarded by having the institute named after him.

19 TV heroine whose name is derived from the Greek for “stranger” : XENA

The Xena character, played by New Zealander Lucy Lawless, was introduced in a made-for-TV movie called “Hercules and the Amazon Women”. Lawless reprised the role in a series called “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”. Xena became so popular that a series was built around her character, with Lawless retained for the title role. The fictional Xena supposedly came from the “non-fictional” Greek city of Amphipolis.

20 Adorns playfully, for short : TPS

TP’ing (toilet papering) is a prank involving the covering of some object or location with rolls and rolls of toilet paper. If you live in Texas or Minnesota, that little “prank” is legal, but if you live here in California it is classed as mischief or vandalism.

21 “The Maltese Falcon” genre : NOIR

The classic detective novel “The Maltese Falcon” was written by Dashiell Hammett and first published in 1930. The main character is Sam Spade, a character played by Humphrey Bogart in the third movie adaptation of the book, a film of the same name and released in 1941.

22 Marvel’s Stark : TONY

Iron Man is another comic book superhero, this one created by Stan Lee for Marvel Comics. The character is the alter ego of Tony Stark, and has become very famous in recent years since the appearance of the 2008 action movie “Iron Man” starring Robert Downey, Jr. in the title role. Iron Man’s love interest, Pepper Potts, is routinely played by Gwyneth Paltrow in the same series of films.

23 Home to more than 425 US wineries : SONOMA COUNTY (giving “Macoun apple”)

Did you know that there are far more wine grapes produced in Sonoma than Napa? Within Sonoma County some of the more well-known appellations are Chalk Hill, Anderson Valley and Russian River Valley. Personally, when I want to visit the wine country, I head for the Russian River Valley as it’s far less crowded and much more fun than Napa Valley.

Macoun apples are named for Canadian horticulturist WT Macoun, although the variety was developed by Richar dWellington at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station.

29 Modern test of humanity : CAPTCHA

A CAPTCHA is a challenge-and-response test that is used to determine if a user is a human or some automated program. The acronym “CAPTCHA” stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”.

30 Sushi fare : EEL

Anyone going to a sushi restaurant can order all types of raw fish (known collectively as “sashimi”). However, eel is always served cooked, and that’s because the blood of eels contains a protein that cramps muscles if eaten. If the heart muscle “cramps”, the result can be death. The protein is easily rendered harmless by applying heat, i.e. by cooking.

31 Spicy cupful : CHAI

Chai is a drink made from spiced black tea, honey and milk, with “chai” being the Hindi word for “tea”. We often called tea “a cup of char” growing up in Ireland, with “char” being our slang word for tea, derived from “chai”.

32 Big name in chips : LAY

Lay’s potato chips were introduced in 1938 by Herman W. Lay. Lay started selling his chips out the trunk of his car, travelling all over the US. In those days the chips were pretty much handmade, but Lay put an end to that in 1942. He invented the first continuous potato processor in 1948, and chips started to take over the world!

33 “V.” novelist (1963) : THOMAS PYNCHON (giving “spy apple”)

Thomas Pynchon is an American novelist who won the 1973 National Book Award for Fiction for “Gravity’s Rainbow”. He is a well-known recluse, and is famously shy of dealing with the media. There are remarkably few photographs of Pynchon in the public domain.

The spy apple (also “northern spy” or “king”) is a cultivar that originated in 1800 in East Bloomfield, New York. The USPS honored the spy apple by including it in a set of four stamps commemorating historic strains of apple (along with the Baldwin, golden delicious and Granny Smith).

38 Std. paper size : LTR

Our paper sizes here in North America don’t conform with the standards in the rest of the world. ISO standard sizes used elsewhere were chosen so that the ratio of width to length is usually one to the square root of two. This mathematical relationship means that when you cut a piece of paper in two each half preserves the aspect ratio of the original, which can be useful in making reduced or enlarged copies of documents. Our standard size of “letter” (ltr., 8.5 x 11 inches) was determined in 1980 by the Reagan administration to be the official paper size for the US government. Prior to this, the “legal” size (8.5 x 14 inches) had been the standard, since 1921.

39 “Typee” sequel : OMOO

Herman Melville mined his own experiences when writing his novels. Melville sailed from New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1841 on a whaler heading into the Pacific Ocean (a source for “Moby-Dick”). Melville ended up deserting his ship 18 months later and lived with natives on a South Pacific Island for three weeks (a source for “Typee”). He picked up another whaler and headed for Hawaii, where he joined the crew of a US navy frigate that was bound for Boston (a source for “Omoo”).

43 They’re tapped in spring : MAPLES

About 75% of the world’s maple syrup comes from the province of Quebec. The US’s biggest producer is the state of Vermont, which produces 5-6% of the world’s supply.

46 Ham, pepper and green onion dish : DENVER OMELET (giving “Rome apple”)

A Western omelet (sometimes “omelette”) is also known as a Southwest omelet or a Denver omelet. The usual ingredients include diced ham, onions and green bell peppers.

A Rome apple is a cooking apple. Supposedly, the first Rome apple was planted by Alanson Gillett in 1817 on the banks of the Ohio River near the Rome Township. Originally called “Gillett’s Seedling”, it was eventually given the name “Rome Beauty”.

48 Conks out : DIES

The phrase “conk out” was coined by airmen during WWI, and was used to describe the stalling of an engine.

49 Binge to excess, as a TV show : OD ON

Overdose (OD)

57 V-day note sign-off : SWAK

“SWAK” is an initialism standing for “sealed with a kiss”. SWAK, and the related SWALK (sealed with a loving kiss), are postal acronyms that originated during WWII.

Saint Valentine’s Day was introduced by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD to honor various martyrs with the name Valentine. However, the saint’s day was dropped by the Roman Catholic church in 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Try telling that to Hallmark though …

60 Tolstoy’s Karenina : ANNA

I have to admit to not having read Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina”, but I did see the excellent 1977 British television adaptation starring Nicola Pagett. I also saw the 2012 film adaptation with a screenplay by Tom Stoppard and found that to be far from excellent, awful in fact. I am no Stoppard fan …

62 Part of LCD : LEAST

The lowest/least common denominator (LCD) of a set of fractions is the least common multiple of the denominators of those fractions. For example, the LCD of ⅓ and ¼ is 12 as both ⅓ and ¼ can be expressed in multiples of 1/12 (⅓ is 4/12 and ¼ is 3/12).

Down

2 PDQ : ASAP

Pretty darn quick (PDQ)

3 Uses Venmo, say : PAYS

Venmo is a smartphone payment app that is now owned by PayPal. The first version of the product was introduced in 2009 by two entrepreneurs who had met as freshman students at the University of Pennsylvania. They sold the company in 2012 for over $26 million, and then PayPal acquired it the following year for a whopping $800 million. I wonder if PayPal ever buys blogs …

4 Aussie runner : EMU

The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

6 Chariot-riding god : HELIOS

Helios was the god of the Sun in Greek mythology, and is the reason that we use the prefix “helio-” to mean “sun”. He was the brother of Selene, the goddess of the moon, and Eos, the goddess of the dawn. Helios drove his chariot of the sun across the sky during the day, returning to the East at night by travelling through the ocean. The Roman equivalent to Helios was Sol.

11 Actress with the most Oscar nominations without a win : GLENN CLOSE

Glenn Close is a wonderful actress who has played many varied roles, but is well known for her portrayals of less than wholesome characters. She played the crazy Alex Forrest in “Fatal Attraction”, and Cruella de Vil in “101 Dalmatians”. More recently, Close had a regular role on a TV show called “Damages”. Glenn Close is an avid fan of the New York Mets and regularly sings the national anthem before games. As of 2021, Close is tied with Peter O’Toole for the record for the most Oscar acting nominations without a win (that would be eight).

13 Org. using wands : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks who check passengers and baggage at airports.

25 “Thief” star James : CAAN

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.

John Seybold was a jewel thief, turned novelist. Under the pen name, Frank Hohimer, he wrote “The Home Invaders: Confessions of a Cat Burglar”. This novel was the basis for the 1981 movie “Thief” starring James Caan. Seybold actually worked on the set of”Thief” as a technical advisor, even though he had FBI warrants outstanding. His past eventually caught up with him, and Seybold served time in a New Jersey prison from 1995 to 2001.

28 Capital north of Doha, Qatar : TEHRAN, IRAN

Tehran is the capital of Iran and is the largest city in the Middle East, with a population of about 8.5 million. Iran has been around a really long time and Tehran is actually the country’s 31st national capital.

Doha is the capital city of the Persian Gulf state of Qatar. The name “Doha” translates from Arabic as “the big tree”.

31 USCG rank : CPO

A Chief Petty Officer (CPO) is a non-commissioned officer (NCO) in the Navy (USN) and Coast Guard (USCG). The “Petty” is derived from the French word “petit” meaning “small”.

34 Noted receiver of tablets : MOSES

According to the Book of Exodus, the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments are inscribed were placed in a chest called the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark was built according to instructions given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai.

38 Calculator feature, for short : LCD

Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) are the screens that are found in most laptops today, and in flat panel computer screens and some televisions. LCD monitors basically replaced Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) screens, the old television technology.

42 Smirnoff competitor : SVEDKA

Svedka is a vodka from Sweden. The name “Svedka” is a portmanteau of “Sverige” (“Sweden” in Swedish) and “vodka”.

43 Olympic swimming event : MEDLEY

Competitive medley swimming can be either individual medley (one swimmer) or medley relay (four swimmers). The four different swimming styles used are:

  1. Butterfly
  2. Backstroke
  3. Breaststroke
  4. Freestyle

44 Burn soother : ALOE

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in relatively dry climates. The plant’s leaves are full of biologically-active compounds that have been studied extensively. Aloe vera has been used for centuries in herbal medicine, mainly for topical treatment of wounds.

47 Scooter kin : MOPED

The word “moped” was coined in 1952 by a Swedish journalist named Harald Nielsen. The term is a portmanteau of “motor” and “pedal”.

53 Its last official capital was Richmond, Va. : CSA

The Confederate States of America (CSA) had two capital cities in its short lifetime. Montgomery, Alabama served as capital for most of 1861. Richmond, Virginia was then chosen as interim capital before the permanent capital was established. That permanent capital was never realized, although Atlanta, Georgia and Opelika, Alabama had both put in bids.

55 Prof.’s holding : PHD

“Ph.D.” is an abbreviation for “philosophiae doctor”, Latin for “teacher of philosophy”. Often, candidates for a PhD already hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, so a PhD might be considered a “third degree”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Measuring tools : TAPES
6 They’re often removed for the National Anthem : HATS
10 Those in charge: Abbr. : MGMT
14 “Same for me” : AS AM I
15 “Or __ what?!” : ELSE
16 “Unfortunately … ” : ALAS …
17 Cornell’s main campus overlooks it : CAYUGA LAKE (giving “gala apple”)
19 TV heroine whose name is derived from the Greek for “stranger” : XENA
20 Adorns playfully, for short : TPS
21 “The Maltese Falcon” genre : NOIR
22 Marvel’s Stark : TONY
23 Home to more than 425 US wineries : SONOMA COUNTY (giving “Macoun apple”)
27 It’s fun to skip them : STONES
29 Modern test of humanity : CAPTCHA
30 Sushi fare : EEL
31 Spicy cupful : CHAI
32 Big name in chips : LAY
33 “V.” novelist (1963) : THOMAS PYNCHON (giving “spy apple”)
38 Std. paper size : LTR
39 “Typee” sequel : OMOO
40 Set a price of : ASK
41 College schedule entries : CLASSES
43 They’re tapped in spring : MAPLES
46 Ham, pepper and green onion dish : DENVER OMELET (giving “Rome apple”)
48 Conks out : DIES
49 Binge to excess, as a TV show : OD ON
50 Mobile __ : APP
53 Appliance appendage : CORD
54 Pie-making scraps … and what this puzzle’s circles represent? : APPLE CORES
57 V-day note sign-off : SWAK
58 Slide cry : WHEE!
59 Creative nuggets : IDEAS
60 Tolstoy’s Karenina : ANNA
61 Swirl : EDDY
62 Part of LCD : LEAST

Down

1 Statesman’s asset : TACT
2 PDQ : ASAP
3 Uses Venmo, say : PAYS
4 Aussie runner : EMU
5 You need a password to do it : SIGN ON
6 Chariot-riding god : HELIOS
7 Wake-up call? : ALARM
8 Judgy sound : TSK!
9 Notice : SEE
10 Crank to 11, say : MAX OUT
11 Actress with the most Oscar nominations without a win : GLENN CLOSE
12 “I really appreciate it!” : MANY THANKS!
13 Org. using wands : TSA
18 Top-notch : A-ONE
22 Focus of discussion : TOPIC
23 On one’s own : SOLO
24 Hurting : ACHY
25 “Thief” star James : CAAN
26 Cry on a slide : YAY!
27 “Chill!” : SETTLE DOWN!
28 Capital north of Doha, Qatar : TEHRAN, IRAN
31 USCG rank : CPO
34 Noted receiver of tablets : MOSES
35 USA part: Abbr. : AMER
36 Just passable : SO-SO
37 Screeching __ : HALT
38 Calculator feature, for short : LCD
42 Smirnoff competitor : SVEDKA
43 Olympic swimming event : MEDLEY
44 Burn soother : ALOE
45 Write (in) tentatively : PENCIL
47 Scooter kin : MOPED
50 Region : AREA
51 Podded veggies : PEAS
52 Hissed “Yo!” : PSST!
53 Its last official capital was Richmond, Va. : CSA
54 Wonder : AWE
55 Prof.’s holding : PHD
56 Laudatory work : ODE

22 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 24 Jun 21, Thursday”

  1. No errors, no lookups…BUT I sure didn’t know captcha, but that’s
    what the cross letters gave me, so who am I to argue?

  2. No errors but the theme didn’t help. I’m not an apple connoisseur. Even when I wasn’t sure who or what some these places were CAYUGA LAKE? THOMAS PYNCHON? or even what appliances have CORDS? (Like a chain saw?) I still got it right. I’ve taken the time to look them up so I’ve gained a bit of knowledge.

    1. Hey, Mike. If you think of indoor appliances (refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer, coffee maker, mixer, etc) then they pretty much all have electrical cords.

  3. 34:17 no errors, but about 6 lookups. Pretty happy for a Thursday.

    VENMO, TYPEE SEQUEL, V-DAY NOTE SIGN OFF, SMIRNOFF COMPETITOR.

    Got APPLECORES early on but didn’t get the theme till I looked at Bill’s explanation. Even after that, I thought it was lame. Guess I don’t know my apples … Also thought SWAK was a reach.

    Really liked CAPTCHA!

    Please forgive any typos … tough crowd.

    1. LCD is a clue and an answer. For the answer 62a it’s least as in least common denominator. For the clue calculator feature 38d its lcd as in liquid crystal display. You’re mixing the 2 up.

  4. Just under 35 min. no errors…the theme didn’t help because some of the many “never heard ofs” were spy and macoun for apples.
    This is the first time I can recall seeing part of a clue and an answer the same (LCD)
    Stay safe😀

  5. I got the theme right away but, because the only apple I recognized was Rome, it didn’t help me with the puzzle. I didn’t know there are so many varieties.
    As a native Californian, I’m embarrassed to say I misspelled Sonoma while entering “signIn” for 5D.

  6. Another good one for me – 14:32 with no errors or lookups. The theme worked only “so so” for me as two of the apple types (macoun, spy) were unknown to me.

    Was able to work the puzzle pretty much top-to-bottom.

    1. I first met a Macoun (pronounced muh COWn) in Rhode Island. When fresh picked, wonderfully light and tasty, but doen’t keep well. That’s probably why it stays in New England!

  7. 8:12

    Once the apple season starts it is great fun to go to your farmers markets and try the heirloom apples. In the Boston area, there are plenty of markets and pick-your-own farms are a pleasant day trips.

    Of the apples in the puzzle, I’d say that Macoun and Rome are both very fine cooking apples. Northern Spy is nice and juicy eaten out of hand. Galas are too sweet for me, but very popular now.

    My absolute favorite apples are Ashmead’s Kernel and Roxbury Russet. Hudson’s Golden Gem and Ribston Pippin are also very nice. I once baked an amazing tarte with Calville Blanc d’Hiver. Oddly enough, after trying all these fancy apples, I have settled on good old Macintosh for canning up my annual batches of applesauce.

  8. 13 mins 54 sec, and 4 (forced) errors. There were a few real head-scratchers in this one. CAPTCHA???? Expressing Valentines Day as V-day (pretty presumptuous). Glad to see the back of this one.

  9. Even though I was a bit sleepy, this Thursday puzzle went pretty quick and with no errors or peeks. Took 17:15 despite not knowing of Spy or Macoun apples, although to be fair, it seems they are mostly grown back East. I love Fuji, Gala, Pink Lady and Honey Crisp, Pippin and sometimes Granny Smith apples.

    Finished with a small alphabet roll on the “K” of SWAK/SVEDKA which I was not familiar with. Now I know!

    I haven’t read “V” but I did try to read Pynchon’s “Gravity’s Rainbow”, which I just got bored to tears with about 1/2 way through…never happened to me before.

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