LA Times Crossword 30 Jun 21, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Jeff Stillman
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Favorite Kid’s Games?

Themed answers are kids’ games clued with reference to an occupation or pastime:

  • 18A Tanner’s favorite kids’ game? : HIDE-AND-SEEK
  • 28A Ornithologist’s favorite kids’ game? : DUCK, DUCK, GOOSE
  • 45A Window retailer’s favorite kids’ game? : BLIND MAN’S BUFF
  • 60A Vermeer and Rembrandt’s favorite kids’ game? : DOUBLE DUTCH

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

Bill’s time: 6m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9 Cloister leader : ABBOT

Cloisters are usually such beautifully peaceful areas. They are found as part of religious buildings in particular. Cloisters are rectangular open spaces surrounded by covered walkways that are attached to other structures. The use of the term “cloister” has evolved to also describe a monastery or convent, and “cloistered” is used figuratively to mean “sheltered from the outside world”.

14 Mars, for one : GOD

Mars was the god of war in ancient Rome. Mars was also viewed as the father of the Roman people and the father of Romulus and Remus, the twin brothers who founded Rome according to Roman mythology.

15 Hwy. through six Eastern state capitals : US-ONE

US Route 1 passes through six state capitals:

  1. Columbia, South Carolina
  2. Raleigh, North Carolina
  3. Richmond, Virginia
  4. Trenton, New Jersey
  5. Providence, Rhode Island
  6. Boston, Massachusetts

16 Dora the Explorer’s animal-rescuing cousin : DIEGO

“Dora the Explorer” is a cartoon series shown on Nickelodeon. Part of Dora’s remit is to introduce the show’s young viewers to some Spanish words and phrases. Dora’s constant companion is an anthropomorphic monkey named “Boots”, because he always wears red boots. She also has a cousin named Diego Márquez.

18 Tanner’s favorite kids’ game? : HIDE-AND-SEEK

Both the verb “to hide” (to conceal) and the noun “hide” (skin), derive from the Old English “hyd” meaning “hide, skin”. The idea is that to “hide” something is similar to covering it with a “skin”.

Leather is made from animal skins. When the flesh, fat and hair is removed from the skin and it is dried, the resulting product is rawhide. Further treatment of the skin with chemicals that permanently alter the protein structure of the skin is known as tanning, and the resulting product is leather.

24 NBA’s Steph Curry, notably : WARRIOR

Stephen Curry is a professional basketball player who was selected by the Golden State Warriors in the 2009 draft. Steph’s father is former NBA player Dell Curry, and his younger brother is current player Seth Curry. Steph Curry is noted for accuracy in shooting. Curry set the record for three-pointers made in a regular season in 2013, broke that record in 2015, and broke it yet again in 2016.

26 Indy entrant : CAR

The Indianapolis 500 race is held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. The race is run around a 2.5 mile oval, hence requiring 200 laps for completion. The first Indy 500 race was held on Memorial Day in 1911. The winner that day was one Ray Harroun. Harroun had seen someone using a rear view mirror on a horse-drawn vehicle, and decided to fit one on his Marmon “Wasp” motor car. Supposedly, that was the first ever use of a rear-view mirror on a motor vehicle.

28 Ornithologist’s favorite kids’ game? : DUCK, DUCK, GOOSE

“Duck, Duck, Goose” is a kid’s game, and not one that I’ve heard of outside of crosswords to be honest …

34 “__ en Rose”: Edith Piaf song : LA VIE

The literal translation of the title to the French song “La Vie en rose” is “Life In Pink”, but a better translation would be “Life Through Rose-Colored Glasses”.

38 Footnoter’s “ditto,” briefly : IBID

Ibid. is short for the Latin word “ibidem” and is typically found in footnotes and bibliographies. Ibid. is used to refer the reader to the prior citation, instead of giving the same information all over again (title, author etc.).

39 Like ballet movements : FLUID

The term “ballet” came into English via French from the Latin “ballare” meaning “to dance”.

41 Lenovo competitor : DELL

Computer manufacturer Dell is named for the company’s founder Michael Dell. Michael Dell started his company in his dorm room at college, shipping personal computers that were customized to the specific needs of his customers. He dropped out of school in order to focus on his growing business, a decision that I doubt he regrets. Michael Dell is now one of the richest people in the world.

Lenovo is a Chinese manufacturer of computers. Lenovo was founded as “Legend” in 1984. The name was changed to “Lenovo” in 2002. “Lenovo” is a portmanteau of “Le” (from “Legend”) and “novo” (Latin for “new”). IBM sold off its personal computer division to Lenovo in 2005.

42 “__ want a hula hoop”: “The Chipmunk Song” : ME, I

Alvin and the Chipmunks is a cartoon musical group that was created for the recording of a novelty song in 1958 called “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)”. The three Chipmunks (Alvin, Simon and Theodore) were all voiced by singer Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. but with a speedy playback to create high-pitched voices.

43 Lots of bucks : DEER

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 …

45 Window retailer’s favorite kids’ game? : BLIND MAN’S BUFF

The children’s game blind man’s buff is sometimes known as blind man’s “bluff”, although the latter name is derivative of the former. The word “buff” in this context is related to the term “buffet”, and describes a small push. I guess the idea is that the blindfolded player is groping around, trying to find the other players and giving them a buff, a small push.

50 Part of HEW : WELFARE

The Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) was split in 1979, into the Department of Education (ED) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

53 Bite like a beaver : GNAW

Beavers build dams so that they can live in and around the slower and deeper water that builds up above the dam. This deeper water provides more protection for the beavers from predators such as bears. Beavers are nocturnal animals and do all their construction work at night.

60 Vermeer and Rembrandt’s favorite kids’ game? : DOUBLE DUTCH

Double Dutch is a skipping game that uses two jump ropes that are turned in opposite directions.

Johannes (also “Jan”) Vermeer was born in the city of Delft in 1632, and died there some 43 years later. The name “Vermeer” is a contraction of “van der meer”, which translates as “from the sea/lake”. I just love Vermeer’s paintings, and his wonderful use of light. A great example of such a work is his “Girl with a Pearl Earring”. If you haven’t seen it, I thoroughly recommend the 2003 movie “Girl with a Pearl Earring” starring Scarlett Johansson as the girl in the painting, and Colin Firth as Vermeer. The movie is based on a novel of the same name by Tracy Chevalier, so it’s all just a great story as opposed to a documentary. The way the movie is shot really reflects the qualities of a Vermeer work of art.

The celebrated Dutch painter’s full name was Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (sometimes “Ryn”). Rembrandt is perhaps most appreciated for his portraits, and left the world a remarkable collection of self-portraits.

63 Wall St. debut : IPO

An initial public offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

64 Stumping sites : PODIA

“Podium” (plural “podia”) is the Latin word for “raised platform”.

65 Russian villa : DACHA

Dachas are usually second homes in Russia and the former Soviet Union that are located outside the city limits in rural areas. Residents/tenants of dachas are often called “dachniks”.

68 Jewish community orgs. : YMHAS

The Young Men’s Hebrew Association (YMHA) and Young Women’s Hebrew Association (YWHA) provide assistance for Jewish immigrants.

69 Dr. of rap : DRE

“Dr. Dre” is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such as Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

Down

1 Veep who resigned : AGNEW

Spiro Agnew served as Vice-President under Richard Nixon, before becoming the only VP in American history to resign because of criminal charges (there was a bribery scandal). Agnew was also the first Greek-American to serve as US Vice President as he was the son of a Greek immigrant who had shortened the family name from Anagnostopoulos.

2 South Pacific kingdom : TONGA

The Kingdom of Tonga is made up of 176 islands in the South Pacific, 52 of which are inhabited and scattered over an area of 270,000 square miles. Tonga was given the name Friendly Islands in 1773 when Captain James Cook first landed there, a reference to the warm reception given to the visitors. The nation’s capital is the city of Nukuʻalofa on the island of Tongatapu.

3 British monarch who reigned less than a year in 1936 : EDWARD VIII

Edward VIII was on the British throne for less than a year. Famously, Edward abdicated in 1936 in order to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.

6 French-Swiss film director Jean-Luc : GODARD

Jean-Luc Godard is a so-called “Nouvelle Vague” (New Wave) cinematographer, making movies that challenge the conventions of both traditional Hollywood and French cinema.

8 Swamp buildup : PEAT

When dead plant matter accumulates in marshy areas, it may not fully decay due to a lack of oxygen or acidic conditions. We are familiar with this in Ireland, because this decaying matter can form peat, and we have lots and lots of peat bogs around the country.

10 Casual eatery : BISTRO

“Bistro” was originally a Parisian slang term for a “little wine shop or restaurant”.

11 Tavern quaff : BEER

“Quaff” is both a verb and a noun. One “quaffs” (takes a hearty drink) of a “quaff” (a hearty drink).

12 Fancy molding : OGEE

An ogee is a type of S-curve. Specifically, it is a figure consisting of two arcs that curve in opposite directions (like an S) but both ends of the curve end up parallel to each other (which is not necessarily true for an S).

13 Drag on a joint : TOKE

“Toke” is a slang term describing a puff on a marijuana cigarette, or on a pipe containing the drug.

The term “joint” has a long history in the drug world. The word originally came from French in which it is the past participle of the word for “to join”. It became an Anglo-Irish term for a side-room “joined” onto a main room in the early 1800s. Towards the end of the 19th century it was US slang for a small, shady establishment, such as an opium den. By the 1930s a joint was a hypodermic needle used to inject heroin, and soon after became the term for a marijuana cigarette.

19 Canoodled : NECKED

The term “necking” applies to kissing and caressing. I like what Groucho Marx had to say on the subject:

Whoever named it necking was a poor judge of anatomy.

21 Ancient Celtic priest : DRUID

Druids were priests of Celtic Europe during the Iron Age.

25 Diamonds, to hoods : ICE

“Hood” is a slang term for “gangster”, a shortening of “hoodlum”.

30 X as in Xerxes : CHI

The Greek letter chi is the one that looks like our Roman letter X.

Xerxes was the eldest son of Darius I of Persia. He succeeded to the throne in 486 BC as Xerxes I, and was later to be known as Xerxes the Great. It was Xerxes who fought against the Spartans in the famous Battle of Thermopylae.

32 Plant pot spot : SILL

“Sill plate”, or simply “sill”, is an architectural term describing a bottom horizontal member to which vertical members are attached. Window sills and door sills are specific sill plates found at the bottoms of windows and door openings.

35 Genesis victim : ABEL

In the story of Cain and Abel in the Book of Genesis, Cain murders his brother Abel. Subsequently, God asks Cain, “Where is Abel thy brother?” Cain replies, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

41 Tips politely : DOFFS

One doffs one’s hat, usually as a mark of respect. To doff is to take off, with “doff” being a contraction of “do off”. The opposite of “doff” is “don”, meaning “to put on”.

43 EPA-banned insecticide : DDT

DDT is dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (don’t forget now!). DDT was used with great success to control disease-carrying insects during WWII, and when made available for use after the war it became by far the most popular pesticide. And then Rachel Carson published her famous book “Silent Spring”, suggesting there was a link between DDT and diminishing populations of certain wildlife. It was the public outcry sparked by the book, and reports of links between DDT and cancer, that led to the ban on the use of the chemical in 1972. That ban is touted as the main reason that the bald eagle was rescued from near extinction.

44 __-de-sac : CUL

Even though “cul-de-sac” can indeed mean “bottom-of-the-bag” in French, the term “cul-de-sac” is of English origin (the use of “cul” in French is actually quite rude). The term was introduced in aristocratic circles at a time when it was considered very fashionable to speak French. Dead-end streets in France are usually signposted with just a symbol and no accompanying words, but if words are included they are “voie sans issue”, meaning “way without exit”.

53 Natl. economic stats : GDPS

A country’s Gross National Product (GNP) is the value of all services and products produced by its residents in a particular year. GNP includes all production wherever it is in the world, as long as the business is owned by residents of the country concerned. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is different, although related, and is the value of all services and goods produced within the borders of the country for that year.

55 Auto with a four-ring logo : AUDI

The predecessor to today’s Audi company was called Auto Union. Auto Union was formed with the merger of four individual entities: Audi, Horch, DKW and Wanderer. The Audi logo comprises four intersecting rings, each representing one of the four companies that merged.

58 Island east of Manila : GUAM

Guam is a US territory in the western Pacific Ocean, and is the largest of the Mariana Islands. Guam is also the first territory in the United States to see the sun rise on any particular day. As such, the territory has adopted the motto, “Where America’s day begins”. During WWII, the US territory of Guam was occupied by the Japanese for 31 months until it was liberated in the Battle of Guam in July 1944. Of the 18,000 Japanese men holding the island, only 485 surrendered, so almost all perished in the invasion. One Japanese sergeant hid out on the island for an incredible 28 years, finally surrendering in 1972!

Many moons ago, I spent a couple of very happy years living in Manila in the Philippines. I had an apartment there, and residing in the apartment building next door was Imelda Marcos, along with all of her shoes I assume …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Put away : ATE
4 Discover with effort : DIG UP
9 Cloister leader : ABBOT
14 Mars, for one : GOD
15 Hwy. through six Eastern state capitals : US-ONE
16 Dora the Explorer’s animal-rescuing cousin : DIEGO
17 Phoenix-to-Boise dir. : NNW
18 Tanner’s favorite kids’ game? : HIDE-AND-SEEK
20 “My word!” : EGAD!
22 Discriminating sense : TASTE
23 Nursery item : TREE
24 NBA’s Steph Curry, notably : WARRIOR
26 Indy entrant : CAR
28 Ornithologist’s favorite kids’ game? : DUCK, DUCK, GOOSE
34 “__ en Rose”: Edith Piaf song : LA VIE
36 Fare-well link : … THEE …
37 Naught : NIL
38 Footnoter’s “ditto,” briefly : IBID
39 Like ballet movements : FLUID
41 Lenovo competitor : DELL
42 “__ want a hula hoop”: “The Chipmunk Song” : ME, I
43 Lots of bucks : DEER
44 Sits after microwaving : COOLS
45 Window retailer’s favorite kids’ game? : BLIND MAN’S BUFF
49 Flight board abbr. : ETA
50 Part of HEW : WELFARE
53 Bite like a beaver : GNAW
56 Within the law : LEGIT
59 Onion exterior : SKIN
60 Vermeer and Rembrandt’s favorite kids’ game? : DOUBLE DUTCH
63 Wall St. debut : IPO
64 Stumping sites : PODIA
65 Russian villa : DACHA
66 After-tax amount : NET
67 Popped up : SKIED
68 Jewish community orgs. : YMHAS
69 Dr. of rap : DRE

Down

1 Veep who resigned : AGNEW
2 South Pacific kingdom : TONGA
3 British monarch who reigned less than a year in 1936 : EDWARD VIII
4 “That’s so obvious!” : DUH!
5 “Would you mind?” : IS IT OK?
6 French-Swiss film director Jean-Luc : GODARD
7 Some, in France : UNES
8 Swamp buildup : PEAT
9 Put in : ADD
10 Casual eatery : BISTRO
11 Tavern quaff : BEER
12 Fancy molding : OGEE
13 Drag on a joint : TOKE
19 Canoodled : NECKED
21 Ancient Celtic priest : DRUID
25 Diamonds, to hoods : ICE
27 Sensitive subject, to some : AGE
29 One-eighty : U-TURN
30 X as in Xerxes : CHI
31 Unique thing : ONE OF A KIND
32 Plant pot spot : SILL
33 Wings you can’t eat : ELLS
34 Bird’s perch : LIMB
35 Genesis victim : ABEL
39 Doe or sow : FEMALE
40 Grazing locale : LEA
41 Tips politely : DOFFS
43 EPA-banned insecticide : DDT
44 __-de-sac : CUL
46 Beginner : NEWBIE
47 Turn (on), as a light : SWITCH
48 “You __!”: “Yep!” : BETCHA
51 Not as green : RIPER
52 Online reminder : E-NOTE
53 Natl. economic stats : GDPS
54 Cozy corner : NOOK
55 Auto with a four-ring logo : AUDI
57 Whirling current : EDDY
58 Island east of Manila : GUAM
61 Bloke : LAD
62 Partakes of : HAS

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 30 Jun 21, Wednesday”

  1. 6:38, 1 typo. Usually I just stop these online things right when I’m done for the obvious “almost there” cuing that gives a leg-up over those doing it on paper. One of those differences between doing it online vs. paper…

    1. … that gives a leg-up over those doing it on paper.

      Once again, I feel that this is a misrepresentation of reality. What the “almost there” message really says is this: “You have now filled in all the squares of the grid. At least one of those squares has been filled incorrectly. You can search for the error(s) if you wish, but the timer will keep on running as you do it.”

      So, two choices: 1) You can declare yourself done, report a possibly spectacular time, together with the error(s) that the app has found for you, or 2) you can continue to search until you locate the errors yourself, fix them (thereby finally stopping the timer), and report a less spectacular (possibly awful) time together with the error(s) that you fixed.

      You do the former. I do the latter. I do it that way because I view it as a learning experience. Over all the years I spent doing puzzles on paper, I got pretty good at checking crossing entries as I went along. The one online solver I routinely use (to do the NYT puzzles, on an iPad Mini) makes it much easier for me to fat-finger errors into the grid and much harder for me to check crossing entries as I go along. I’ve had some success in finding possible strategies that work, but I need to keep at it.

      So, does that explain why I get a little irritated when I’m told that the “almost there” message gives one a “leg up”?

  2. 11:31, no errors. Did not know that the game could/should be called Blind Man’s Buff, I’d only heard of Blind Man’s Bluff. Am surprised that Bill has only heard of Duck Duck Goose from crossword puzzles; I think that it’s #2 on the list of games in this puzzle (Hide & Seek being the most popular).

  3. Straightforward except for 67-Across, where I entered “SKIED” with some reluctance. It turns out that one of the meanings of the verb “sky” is “to raise, throw, or hit aloft or into the air”. Presumably, the past tense is pronounced with a long “i”. New to me … 😜.

    1. Although I’m familiar with many baseball terms in spite of being not much of a spectator, that was a new one to me, too!

  4. 1 “doh” error.. left 34A as LADIE thinking I was good on 3D as EDWARD DIII..

    Had to look up the variation on BLIND MANS BUFF.. Bill had a good explanation.

  5. Just over 20 min. no errors…the misread word of the day is STUMBLING for STUMPING …don’t get old!
    @Nonny…it’s a baseball term for a high fly as in “ the batter skied out to left etc.
    Stay safe😀

    1. Thanks, Jack … I actually guessed it was probably a baseball term … one of my usual blind spots … 😳

  6. 43 Across “Lots of bucks” is one of those rare clues that could have two perfectly valid answers. Aside from “deer” it could also be “dear” as in “very expensive.” And thanks to Bill for his explanation of “cul-de-sac,” ironically a French phrase never used in France. British author J.R.R. Tolkien drew heavily on Scandinavian myths for his novels and had a particular dislike for the use of “cul-de-sac” in England, supposedly one reason for Bilbo Baggins’ home being named “Bag End.”

  7. 6:01

    It’s all fun and games.

    I also grew up calling it Blind Mans Bluff, but children’s games have a lot of variations. And I also just learned a new meaning for SKIED.

    If this gets posted twice, it’s because I got the “Slow down, pardner” message.

  8. No errors, no Googles. Turned out to be the easiest of the week, so far.
    At first, I thought this was to be a variation on the names of the games. Not even that hard.

    Thanx A Nony Muss for the explanation of SKIED.

  9. Slightly tricky Wednesday for me; took 17:45 with no errors or peeks on-line. Most went pretty easy but I did have to wait for a few crosses, since I wasn’t familiar with any of the games except Hide and Seek. So if the need should ever arise, I’m now familiar with the rules to two of the other games…it seems the “rules” for Double Dutch are probably based on artistic points or possibly on duration(??)

    Even though I’m a big baseball fan, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard “he really skied that one”…although maybe…hmm…at least not lately.

    re “Almost Done” – When you do the LA puzzle on the LA Times website, you only get the “All done” banner. I do see the “Almost Done” on the WSJ puzzle, along with any hi-lighted errors/missing squares. Doing the puzzle on the LA Times website is much better than in the past, at least I don’t see any ads, although I do use uBlock Origin – the successor of Ad Block Plus.

  10. A good Wednesday puzzle for me – 11:27 with no errors or lookups. Like others, I had not heard of “skied” as popped up (initial thought was “arose” but of course that didn’t any of the intersecting answers). Read another way, skied means to glide downhill on snow, so it was confusing until I read Bill’s explanation.
    Duck, Duck, Goose has been popular in U.S. grade schools for many years.

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