LA Times Crossword 5 Jun 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: Jeff Chen
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 14m 20s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7 Area above an eave : FASCIA

A vertical band (or “frieze”) under the edge of a roof can be called “fascia”. The term “fascia” is Latin for “band, ribbon”.

13 Orange-colored snack puff : CHEETO

Cheetos snacks were developed by the same guy who created Fritos, hence the similarity in name. On the market since 1948, up until the turn of the century the name was written as “Chee-tos”. Oh, and Cheetos contain pork enzymes, so vegetarians beware!

14 Game with blanks to fill : MAD LIBS

Mad Libs is a word game, one mostly played by children in America. The idea is that one player provides a list of words which are then inserted into blank spots in a story, usually with hilarious results (they say!).

17 A baseball era was named for them, briefly : ‘ROIDS

Steroids are found commonly in nature, with familiar examples being cholesterol and testosterone. The controversial class of drugs called anabolic steroids (known informally as “‘roids” or simply “steroids”) are artificially produced chemicals designed to mimic the effect of the male sex hormone, testosterone. They are termed “anabolic” as they build up cellular tissue (particularly muscle) in a process called anabolism. Taking anabolic steroids can be termed “juicing”, and the aggressive behavior that can be a side-effect is known as “‘roid rage”.

18 Trig. calculation : COS

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio: a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are cosecant, secant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

21 Punch list items : TASKS

A punch list is a document showing work needed to finish a project, especially a construction job. It has been suggested that the term “punch list” comes from the days when there would be two copies of the list, and items were ticked off by “punching” a hole in the margin beside the item on completion. The punching process effectively marked off the job on both copies of the list.

24 Strands inside a cell? : DNA

Both DNA and RNA are complex molecules comprising nucleotide bases arranged in chains. Famously, DNA molecules form a double-helix structure, with two chains coiled around each other. RNA chains are single-stranded structures that usually fold onto themselves.

27 Lincoln’s need : GAS

Lincoln is a high-end brand belonging to the Ford Motor Company. The Lincoln Motor Company was founded in 1917 by Henry M. Leland, who chose the “Lincoln” name in honor of the celebrated American president. Lincoln was acquired by Ford just five years later, in 1922.

31 Creating a disturbance : RAISING CAIN

As Cain was the first murderer according to the Bible, he is associated with evil or trouble. The idiom “raise Cain” is the equivalent of “raise Hell” and “raise the Devil”. In all cases, the meaning is to bring back evil or to cause trouble.

35 Card game for two, usually : WAR

War is a card game, one played mainly by children.

44 Done some freestyle, say : SWUM

The front crawl swimming stroke is also known as the Australian crawl or American crawl. It is the fastest of the front strokes, and is invariably used for freestyle competition, in which competitors can choose any stroke.As such, the front crawl is often referred to as “freestyle”.

47 Mariner’s hdg. : SBE

South by east (SbE) is a point of the compass.

48 Academy Award-winning director who became an army major during World War II : CAPRA

I can’t tell you how many of Frank Capra’s movies are on my list of all-time favorites. He directed such classics as “It Happened One Night”, “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town”, “Lost Horizon”, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”, “Meet John Doe”, “Arsenic and Old Lace” and the holiday favorite “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Capra was the first person to win three directorial Oscars: for “It Happened One Night”, “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” and “You Can’t Take It With You”. Capra also did his bit during WWII, enlisting just a few days after Pearl Harbor was attacked. Given his great talent, and the fact that he enlisted at the relatively advanced age of 44, the US Army put him to work directing 11 documentary war films in the “Why We Fight” series, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.

49 Fruit brandy that translates to “water of life” : EAU DE VIE

Eau de vie is a clear, colorless fruit brandy. The name “eau de vie” is French for “water of life”.

52 Place to put one’s dogs? : OTTOMAN

The piece of furniture known as an ottoman can be a couch, usually one with a head but no back or sides. Here in the US, the term more commonly applies to a padded and upholstered seat or bench that can also be used as a footrest. The original ottoman couch came from the Ottoman Empire, hence the name.

Apparently, the phrase “my dogs are barking” meaning “my feet are hurting” originated in America in the 1920s. From there evolved the use of the term “dogs” for “feet”.

53 Software provider sharing a name with a Greek prophet : ORACLE

Oracle is a huge software company with headquarters in Redwood City, California. Oracle’s main product is enterprise software, software that meets the needs of an organization rather than an individual user. Oracle was co-founded in 1977 by Larry Ellison, who is now one of the richest business people in the world.

In ancient Greece and Rome, an oracle was someone believed to be inspired by the gods to give wise counsel. The word “oracle” derives from the Latin “orare” meaning “to speak”, which is the same root for our word “orator”. One of the most important oracles of ancient Greece was Pythia, the high priestess to Apollo at Delphi.

54 Liam of “Batman Begins” : NEESON

Irish actor Liam Neeson got his big break when he played Oskar Schindler in the Spielberg epic, “Schindler’s List”. Neeson was in the news some years later when he lost his wife, actress Natasha Richardson, in a tragic skiing accident in 2009. Earlier in his life, in the 1980s, Neeson lived for several years with Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren.

“Batman Begins” is a 2005 movie in the “Batman” franchise, in which Christian Bale plays the title character. This film tells the story of how Batman came to be, and deals with Bruce Wayne’s original fear of bats, the death of his parents, and the events leading to his adoption of the Batman persona.

Down

3 She played Phoebe’s mom on “Friends” : TERI GARR

Actress Teri Garr had a whole host of minor roles in her youth, including appearances in nine Elvis movies. Garr’s big break came with the role of Inga in “Young Frankenstein”, and her supporting role in “Tootsie” earned Garr an Academy Award nomination. Sadly, Teri Garr suffers from multiple sclerosis. She is a National Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

The character Phoebe Buffay (and her identical twin sister Ursula) is played on the sitcom “Friends” by the actress Lisa Kudrow. Kudrow plays the ditzy member of the troupe of friends, but I’ve always viewed her as the “smartest” of the group of actors in real life, as best I could tell. Kudrow is behind the US version of the British genealogy show “Who Do You Think You Are?” a very entertaining bit of television.

5 Western natives : UTES

The Ute are a group of Native American tribes who now reside in Utah and Colorado. The Ute were not a unified people as such, but rather a loose association of nomadic groups. The word “Ute” means “Land of the Sun”, and “Ute” also gave us the state name “Utah”.

6 Camera named for a Greek goddess : EOS

I’ve been using Canon EOS cameras for decades now, and have nothing but good things to say about both the cameras and the lenses. The EOS name stands for Electro-Optical System, and was chosen because it evokes the name of Eos, the Titan goddess of dawn from Greek mythology.

In Greek mythology, Eos was the goddess of the dawn who lived at the edge of the ocean. Eos would wake each morning to welcome her brother Helios the sun. The Roman equivalent of Eos was Aurora. Rather delightfully, Homer referred to Eos as “rosy-fingered dawn” in both “Iliad” and “Odyssey”.

11 Porto’s peninsula : IBERIA

The Iberian Peninsula in Europe is largely made up of Spain and Portugal. However, also included is the Principality of Andorra in the Pyrénées, a small part of the south of France, and the British Territory of Gibraltar. Iberia takes its name from the Ebro, the longest river in Spain, which the Romans named the “Iber”.

Portugal’s city of Oporto (“Porto” in Portuguese) gave its name to port wine in the late 1600s. Oporto was the seaport through which most of the region’s fortified red wine was exported.

16 Northeast paper with 26 Pulitzers : BOSTON GLOBE

“The Boston Globe” is a daily newspaper that was founded in 1872 as a morning daily. “The Boston Evening Globe” followed a few years later, although it ceased publication in 1979. Today you can read the online version of “The Globe” at Boston.com.

Pulitzer Prizes are awarded annually for achievements in journalism, literature and musical composition. The prize was established back in 1917 by the Hungarian-American newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer. Pulitzer left money in his will for the prize, and for its administration by Columbia University.

18 Serious lapse : CARDINAL SIN

The cardinal sins of Christian ethics are also known as the seven deadly sins. The seven sins are:

  • Wrath
  • Greed
  • Sloth
  • Pride
  • Lust
  • Envy
  • Gluttony

21 Flowers known as golden buttons : TANSIES

The tansy is a flowering plant of the aster family, native to Europe and Asia. It is found in other parts of the world, but there it is often considered to be invasive.

22 Shaved-ice treat : SNO-CONE

A sno-cone (also “snow cone”) is just a paper cone filled with crushed ice and topped with flavored water. Italian ice is similar, but different. Whereas the flavoring is added on top of the ice to make a sno-cone, Italian ice is made with water that is flavored before it is frozen.

25 Hold ’em holdings : PAIRS

The official birthplace of the incredibly popular poker game of Texas hold ’em is Robstown, Texas where the game dates back to the early 1900s. The game was introduced into Las Vegas in 1967 by a group of Texan enthusiasts including Doyle Brunson, a champion often seen playing on TV today. Doyle Brunson published a poker strategy guide in 1978, and this really helped increase the popularity of the game. But it was the inclusion of Texas hold ‘em in the television lineup that really gave the game its explosive surge in popularity, with the size of the prize money just skyrocketing.

26 Fruit associated with a fabled 39-Across : GRAPE
(39A See 26-Down : FOX)

Our expression “sour grapes” is used to describe a negative attitude adopted by somebody towards something just because that person can’t have the thing himself or herself. The phrase alludes to one of Aesop’s fables, the story of “The Fox and the Grapes”. In the fable, a squirrel could climb up to grapes high in a tree that a fox was unsuccessful in getting to. On seeing this, the fox said, “It’s okay, the grapes were sour anyway”.

30 “Cheap Thrills” singer with Sean Paul : SIA

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

“Sean Paul” is the stage name of Sean Paul Ryan Francis Henriques, a Jamaican reggae artist.

32 Warning on some forwarded emails, briefly : NSFW PICS

The abbreviation “NSFW” stands for “not safe/suitable for work”. It’s Internet slang used to describe online content that is best not viewed at work.

40 Present times, briefly : XMASES

The abbreviation “Xmas” that is used for “Christmas” comes from the Greek letter chi (X), which is the first letter of the Greek word for “Christ” (“Χριστός”).

44 Capital near the Red Sea : SANA’A

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.

The Red Sea (sometimes “Arabian Gulf”) is a stretch of water lying between Africa and Asia. The Gulf of Suez (and the Suez Canal) lies to the north, and the Gulf of Aden to the south. According to the Book of Exodus in the Bible, God parted the Red Sea to allow Moses lead the Israelites from Egypt.

46 Verne captain : NEMO

In the 1954 movie “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, Captain Nemo goes down with his ship. In the novel by Jules Verne, the fate of Nemo and his crew isn’t quite so cut and dry, although the inference is perhaps that they did indeed head for Davy Jones’ Locker.

Jules Verne really was a groundbreaking author. Verne pioneered the science-fiction genre, writing about space, air and underwater travel, long before they were practical and proved feasible. Verne is the second-most translated author of all time, with only Agatha Christie beating him out.

48 Au pair’s concern : CARE

An au pair is a domestic assistant from a foreign country working and living as part of a host family. The term “au pair” is French, and means “on a par”, indicating that an au pair is treated as an equal in the host family.

50 Wheels for a move : VAN

The vehicle we call a “van” takes its name from “caravan”, and is a shortened version of the older term. Back in the 1600s, a caravan was a covered cart. We still use the word “caravan” in Ireland to describe what we call a “mobile home” or “recreational vehicle” here in the US.

51 Zinger : MOT

“Bon mot” translates from French as “good word”. We use “bon mot” (and sometimes just “mot”) to mean “quip, witticism”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Heck, yeah” : SO TRUE
7 Area above an eave : FASCIA
13 Orange-colored snack puff : CHEETO
14 Game with blanks to fill : MAD LIBS
15 Says “I’ll say,” say : AGREES
16 What might make some people single-minded? : BAD DATES
17 A baseball era was named for them, briefly : ‘ROIDS
18 Trig. calculation : COS
19 Top seen by churchgoers : SPIRE
20 Provocative : EDGY
21 Punch list items : TASKS
23 Sulk : SNIT
24 Strands inside a cell? : DNA
25 Kind of shot or gift : PARTING
27 Lincoln’s need : GAS
28 Lifesavers, often : ORGAN DONORS
31 Creating a disturbance : RAISING CAIN
33 Be responsible for : BRING TO PASS
35 Card game for two, usually : WAR
38 Route for shipping vessels : SEA LANE
39 See 26-Down : FOX
41 Incessantly : EVER
43 Incline : SLOPE
44 Done some freestyle, say : SWUM
45 Become less green, maybe : RIPEN
47 Mariner’s hdg. : SBE
48 Academy Award-winning director who became an army major during World War II : CAPRA
49 Fruit brandy that translates to “water of life” : EAU DE VIE
51 Rages : MANIAS
52 Place to put one’s dogs? : OTTOMAN
53 Software provider sharing a name with a Greek prophet : ORACLE
54 Liam of “Batman Begins” : NEESON
55 Kids : TEASES

Down

1 More than a little nervous : SCARED
2 “Why would you even consider that?!” : OH GOD, NO!
3 She played Phoebe’s mom on “Friends” : TERI GARR
4 Like oboe music : REEDY
5 Western natives : UTES
6 Camera named for a Greek goddess : EOS
7 It doesn’t last : FAD
8 Sums : ADDS
9 Puts (on) hastily : SLAPS
10 Using as an example : CITING
11 Porto’s peninsula : IBERIA
12 They may be fixed : ASSETS
14 Protection against bleeding : MASKING TAPE
16 Northeast paper with 26 Pulitzers : BOSTON GLOBE
18 Serious lapse : CARDINAL SIN
21 Flowers known as golden buttons : TANSIES
22 Shaved-ice treat : SNO-CONE
25 Hold ’em holdings : PAIRS
26 Fruit associated with a fabled 39-Across : GRAPE
29 Natter : GAB
30 “Cheap Thrills” singer with Sean Paul : SIA
32 Warning on some forwarded emails, briefly : NSFW PICS
34 Mouth-puckering brew : SOUR ALE
35 “It’s go time!” : WE’RE ON!
36 Move up in the world? : AVIATE
37 Public stature : REPUTE
40 Present times, briefly : XMASES
42 Second tries : REDOS
44 Capital near the Red Sea : SANA’A
46 Verne captain : NEMO
48 Au pair’s concern : CARE
50 Wheels for a move : VAN
51 Zinger : MOT

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 5 Jun 21, Saturday”

  1. LAT: About 35 minutes, no errors, with much of that time spent in the SE corner. Heard of “bon mot,” but never “mot” used alone. In general, the puzzle was rather routine for Saturday.

  2. One error box; had “slips” instead of “slaps” for 9down so that messed
    up16across. Really goofed up there, but the rest of the puzzle was
    fairly easy.

  3. Hey, if it’s Jeff Chen, you know it’s gonna be good … but TANSIES? And a “punch list”? And SANAA (with a spare A)? Sorry, I didn’t set out to deliver one of my childish MANIAS about all this, but I lost my way (easier to do when you have an obsolete compass that doesn’t have a setting for true SBE). Next time, I’ll just be grateful if Jeff will again 33A (BRING TOP ASS … and enough of it to go around).

  4. Under an hour…no errors…47A was a horrible clue…Jeff Chen did a puzzle without a partner…will wonders never cease?
    Stay safe😀

  5. Par for the course with Chen a few fills he just pulled out of his arse. I have NEVER seen an email that said “NSFW PICS” in its heading. “NSFW”, yes, but not that full phrase.

    20:57, DNF, most of the center and the bottom right largely unfilled or with errors. A real cluster****. (Oh, that’s NSFW, by the way)

    Glad this week’s over.

  6. It has occurred to me to wonder why there aren’t names for directions in between the sixteen familiar to me (N, NNE, NE, ENE, E, ESE, etc.) … and now I know! As soon as I got SBE (actually, SbE, as it turns out) from crosses, I said to myself, “But there are, Blanche, there are names for the in-betweeners!” How delightful to have this confirmed by a crossword puzzle! … 😜.

    Look here for a great image of the 32 named points of the compass:

    https://images.app.goo.gl/XygAwyLaXnasYpV56

  7. 21:48

    The symmetry of this spoils my down-first strategy. Most of the clues made no sense pass after pass. Then one by one the pennies dropped, until it was done.

    Sour ale is a beer style that I never warmed to. For a while it seemed like every craft brewer in town wanted to show off their latest sour. Then the West Coast discovered the cloudy, fruity IPAs being brewed at Hill Farmstead, and the New England IPA became the next fad that I didn’t care for. Now I want a nice British cask-conditioned session beer!

  8. I had so much fun with this because it was nicely hard but I got it all! Which is unusual for me for a Saturday. I usually lose patience!

  9. This one was a bit tough – 35:56 with a look up for “Mouth-puckering brew” which I hadn’t heard of before. Lots of long answers without a theme are difficult for me.

    Also had some answers that started as one thing but had to change to something else: 20A sexy>edgy, 21A todos>tasks, 43A slant>slope, 44A swam>swum, 25D cards>pairs, 36D ascend>aviate. Answers difficult to derive from their clues: maskingtape, swum, bringtopass, sbe, nsfwpics, never thought of sulk as a noun.

  10. Had everything but the NE and SE; mostly gave up at 47:13 with a “check-grid” or 4 to get to the finish line. Learned a lot today, including RAISING CAne, which I managed to fix myself.

    Interesting to read about N by E…so the Movie “North by North West” is kind of a misnomer since it’s really North North West, or maybe you can just throw a “by” in by implication.

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