LA Times Crossword 1 Jul 21, Thursday

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Constructed by: David Poole
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Loose Leaf

Themed answers each include the letter sequence L-E-A-F, although the order of those letters is LOOSE, changes:

  • 57A Kind of paper … and a hint to a sequence, each starting with a different letter, found in four other puzzle answers : LOOSE LEAF
  • 17A Pub purchase : YARD OF ALE
  • 26A Standard for a high seas villain : PIRATE FLAG
  • 35A Property insurance phrase : PERSONAL EFFECTS
  • 48A 1996 Gere thriller : PRIMAL FEAR

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

Bill’s time: 7m 09s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” quintet : IAMBS

An iamb is a metrical foot containing an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. The lines in William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 18” use five sequential iambs, e.g. “Shall I / compare / thee to / a sum- / -mer’s day?” With that sequence of five iambs, the poem’s structure is described as iambic pentameter.

6 Vietnamese soup : PHO

Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a noodle soup from Vietnam that is a popular street food.

9 Country album? : ATLAS

The famous Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator published his first collection of maps in 1578. Mercator’s collection contained a frontispiece with an image of Atlas the Titan from Greek mythology holding up the world on his shoulders. That image gave us our term “atlas” that is used for a book of maps.

14 Sidewalk artist’s supply : CHALK

Back in Ireland, the “pavement” is what we call the “sidewalk, footpath” (because the footpath is “paved”, often with “paving” stones!). It’s very confusing when you arrive in this country from Ireland, and a little dangerous when one has been taught from a young age to “walk on the pavement” …

17 Pub purchase : YARD OF ALE

A yard of ale is a very tall glass, one that is just under a yard (three feet) long. It holds about 60 fluid ounces of beer. I’ve tried drinking out of one, and it is extremely difficult. There is a bulb at the bottom of the glass. When you get towards the end of the drink, that bulb causes a kind of airlock and the remainder of the beer rushes to the top of the glass, splashing you in the face.

23 Me-time resorts : SPAS

The word “spa” migrated into English from Belgium, as “Spa” is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name “Spa” comes from the Walloon word “espa” meaning “spring, fountain”.

29 Part of UCLA : LOS

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) gets more applications from potential students than any other university in the country. UCLA also has more students enrolled than any other university in the state.

30 Trip letters : LSD

LSD (known colloquially as “acid”) is lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist named Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

31 Onion rolls : BIALYS

“Bialy” is a Yiddish name for a small onion roll that takes its name from Bialystok, a city in Poland.

32 Asia’s __ Mountains : ALTAI

The Altai Mountains are a range in Asia, located where the countries of Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan meet. “Altai” is Turkic for “Golden Mountain”.

34 Four-time Emmy winner Woodard : ALFRE

Alfre Woodard is an actress from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Woodard was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in the 1983 film “Cross Creek”. Off the stage and screen, she is very active in the Democratic Party.

48 1996 Gere thriller : PRIMAL FEAR

“Primal Fear” is a very enjoyable crime-thriller film released in 1996 starring Richard Gere. The most acclaimed performance in the movie came from Edward Norton, in his film debut.

52 Computer building game : SIMCITY

SimCity is a very clever computer game. Players build and grow cities and societies by creating the conditions necessary for people (the Sims) to move in and thrive. SimCity was launched in 1989, and to this day it is consistently ranked as one of the greatest computer games of all time.

61 Justice Kagan : ELENA

Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States from 2009 until 2010, when she replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the first female US Solicitor General and the fourth female US Supreme Court justice. Kagan also served as the first female dean of Harvard Law School from 2003 to 2009.

62 “Lou Grant” production co. : MTM

MTM Enterprises was a television production company founded in 1969 by Mary Tyler Moore, originally to produce the “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. The company subsequently produced the likes of “The Bob Newhart Show”, “Rhoda”, “WKRP in Cincinnati”, “Hill Street Blues” and “St. Elsewhere”. That’s a lot of great television …

“Lou Grant” is a spin-off from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. The title character, played so ably by Ed Asner, had headed up a television newsroom in Minneapolis in the original series. In the spin-off, Grant was the city editor of the fictional “Los Angeles Tribune”. The original show was a sitcom, the spin-off was a drama series.

63 2011 title cowboy chameleon : RANGO

“Rango” is a 2011 animated feature film starring the voice of Johnny Depp. The anti-smoking organization known as Breathe California labelled “Rango” as a public health hazard because of 60 instances of smoking in the movie.

64 “SOS” and “Help!” : SONGS

The ABBA song “SOS” was originally titled “Turn Me On”. In the movie “Mamma Mia!”, “SOS” is performed by Meryl Streep (brilliantly) and by Pierce Brosnan (terribly).

Although credited to Lennon-McCartney, the title song to the 1965 Beatles movie “Help!” was composed by John Lennon, with some assistance from Paul McCartney. Lennon later described the song as one of his most honest and genuine songs. He said, “I was fat and depressed and I was crying out for ‘Help’”.

65 Red __ : SEA

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.

Down

1 Needing salt, maybe : ICY

Halite is the mineral form of sodium chloride, and is also known as “rock salt”. Halite is used to melt ice, as salt water has a lower freezing point than pure water. Adding salt to icy sidewalks can therefore cause any ice to melt (as long as the ambient temperature isn’t too low). A mixture of halite and ice can also be used to cool things below the freezing point of water, perhaps to make ice cream.

4 Campus units: Abbr. : BLDGS

Building (bldg.)

5 Hershey toffee bar : SKOR

The candy bar named Skor is produced by Hershey’s. “Skor” is Swedish for “shoes”, and the candy bar’s wrapping features a crown that is identical to that found in the Swedish national emblem. What shoes have to do with candy, I don’t know …

9 Modern art? : ARE

“Thou art” has evolved into “you are”.

10 Highest Scrabble tile point value : TEN

The game of Scrabble has been produced in many international versions, and each of these editions has its own tile distribution to suit the local language. For example, in English we have two tiles worth ten points: one “Q” and one “Z”. If you play the game in French then there are five tiles worth ten points: one “K”, one “W”, one “X”, one “Y” and one “Z”.

12 Luxury cars since 1986 : ACURAS

Acura is the luxury brand of the Honda Motor Company. As an aside, Infiniti is the equivalent luxury brand for the Nissan Motor Company, and Lexus is the more luxurious version of Toyota’s models.

13 “Sylvester and the Magic Pebble” author William : STEIG

“Sylvester and the Magic Pebble” is a 1969 children’s book that was written and illustrated by William Steig. Steig is perhaps better known as the author of the 1990 picture book “Shrek!”

18 Dandy dressers : FOPS

A dandy is a man who is overly fastidious with regard to his personal appearance. There’s a suggestion that the term originated in Scotland, where “Dandy” is a diminutive of the name “Andrew”. Back in the early 1800s, when the use of “dandy” was at its height, the female equivalent was a dandizette.

21 Leave zip for a tip : STIFF

The etymology of our verb “to stiff”, meaning “to fail to tip”, seems unclear. The usage originated in the late 1930s, and is possibly an extension of the noun “stiff” meaning “corpse”. The idea is that dead men don’t leave tips.

23 High-five, e.g. : SLAP

The celebratory gesture that we call a “high five” is said to have been invented by former baseball players Dusty Baker and Glenn Burke when they were both playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the late 1970s.

24 Gondolier’s implement : POLE

The city of Venice (“Venezia” in Italian) in northeast Italy is built in a saltwater lagoon on the Adriatic Coast, on 117 small islands. The classic transportation along the waterways is the gondola, but this is really only used for tourists these days, as well as on ceremonial occasions. The locals rely on motorized water-buses.

25 Subj. for Neil deGrasse Tyson : ASTR

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist who is noted for his ability to communicate science to the masses. Tyson is well known for his appearances on the great PBS show “Nova”.

30 Ray who played “Shoeless Joe” Jackson in “Field of Dreams” : LIOTTA

Actor Ray Liotta is best known for playing Shoeless Joe Jackson in the movie “Field of Dreams” and Henry Hill in “Goodfellas”.

“Field of Dreams” is a fantasy drama about baseball, released in 1989 and starring Kevin Costner. The movie is an adaptation of a 1982 novel titled “Shoeless Joe” by Canadian author W. P. Kinsella. Shoeless Joe Jackson was a real baseball player, and someone associated with the Black Sox Scandal that allegedly affected the outcome of the 1919 World Series. Jackson was portrayed by Ray Liotta in the movie. “Field of Dreams” was also the last film in which Burt Lancaster made an appearance. The baseball stadium that was built for the movie can be visited in Dubuque County, Iowa.

33 Indian tea region : ASSAM

Assam is a state in the far northeast of India, and just south of the Himalayas. Assam is noted for its tea, as well as its silk.

34 Genre modifier : ALT-

“Alt-” is a prefix used to denote “alternative”, and is used to define a number of music genres e.g. alt-rock, alt-country.

43 Scrubber brand : BRILLO

Brillo is a soapy, steel wool pad, patented in 1913. The company claims that the name “Brillo” is derived from the Latin word for “bright”.

44 Astronaut Collins, first female Space Shuttle commander : EILEEN

Eileen Collins was the first female pilot of a Space Shuttle, and the first female commander of a Space Shuttle mission. She was also the first astronaut to fly the shuttle through the 360-degree, rendezvous pitch maneuver. This maneuver became routine for Shuttles in docking with the International Space Station. The idea is for the spacecraft to perform a backflip so that the crew of the Space Station can photograph the Shuttle’s heat-shield to verify integrity prior to reentry.

45 Airport sharer with Seattle : TACOMA

Tacoma is a city on Puget Sound in the state of Washington. The city took its name from Mount Rainier that is nearby, as the peak is also known as Tacoma (or “Tahoma”).

Sea-Tac Airport (SEA) is more fully known as Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Sea-Tac is the main hub for Alaska Airlines.

46 Crocus cousin : IRIS

Iris is a genus of flowering plants that come in a wide variety of flower colors. The term “iris” is a Greek word meaning “rainbow”. Many species of irises are called “flags”. One suggestion is that the alternate name comes from the Middle English “flagge” meaning “reed”. This term was used because iris leaves look like reeds.

The crocus (plural “croci”) is a plant genus in the iris family. The term “crocus” ultimately derives from the Sanskrit word for “saffron”. Saffron spice comes from Crocus sativus, the “saffron crocus”.

49 Chew the scenery : EMOTE

To chew the scenery is to overact, to ham it up.

50 Musician who was the 2016 Literature Nobelist : DYLAN

The birth name of singer Bob Dylan was Robert Zimmerman. Zimmerman changed his name to “Dylan” partly because he was influenced by the poetry of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. Famously, in 2016 Dylan became the first musician to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. In presenting the award, the Nobel Prize committee said that Dylan “created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.

53 Actress Hatcher : TERI

Teri Hatcher’s most famous role is the Susan Mayer character on the TV comedy-drama “Desperate Housewives”. I’ve never seen more than a few minutes of “Housewives” but I do know Teri Hatcher as a Bond girl, as she appeared in “Tomorrow Never Dies”. More recently, she portrayed Lois Lane on the show “Lois & Clark”.

55 U.K. part : ENG

The terms “United Kingdom”, “Great Britain” and “England” can sometimes be confused. The official use of “United Kingdom” originated in 1707 with the Acts of Union that declared the countries of England and Scotland as “United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain”. The name changed again with the Acts of Union 1800 that created the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland” (much to the chagrin of most of the Irish population). This was partially reversed in 1927 when the current name was introduced, the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”, in recognition of an independent Irish Free State in the south of the island of Ireland.

56 Faux __ : PAS

The term “faux pas” is French in origin, and translates literally as “false step” (or “false steps”, as the plural has the same spelling in French).

60 Kit’s parent : FOX

Kits are the young of several mammalian species, including the ferret and fox. “Kit” is probably a shortened form of “kitten”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” quintet : IAMBS
6 Vietnamese soup : PHO
9 Country album? : ATLAS
14 Sidewalk artist’s supply : CHALK
15 Runner’s circuit : LAP
16 Wince or flinch, say : REACT
17 Pub purchase : YARD OF ALE
19 Follow : ENSUE
20 Produce providers : GROCERS
22 Prefix with angle : TRI-
23 Me-time resorts : SPAS
26 Standard for a high seas villain : PIRATE FLAG
29 Part of UCLA : LOS
30 Trip letters : LSD
31 Onion rolls : BIALYS
32 Asia’s __ Mountains : ALTAI
34 Four-time Emmy winner Woodard : ALFRE
35 Property insurance phrase : PERSONAL EFFECTS
41 Kick off : START
42 You might hang one if you’re lost : U-TURN
43 “Get lost!” : BEAT IT!
45 Up to, in ads : TIL
47 Hot __ : TEA
48 1996 Gere thriller : PRIMAL FEAR
50 Not superficial : DEEP
51 It may be checked at a station : OIL
52 Computer building game : SIMCITY
54 Go out at night? : SLEEP
57 Kind of paper … and a hint to a sequence, each starting with a different letter, found in four other puzzle answers : LOOSE LEAF
61 Justice Kagan : ELENA
62 “Lou Grant” production co. : MTM
63 2011 title cowboy chameleon : RANGO
64 “SOS” and “Help!” : SONGS
65 Red __ : SEA
66 Last part of many a book : INDEX

Down

1 Needing salt, maybe : ICY
2 “Now I get it!” : AHA!
3 Blemish : MAR
4 Campus units: Abbr. : BLDGS
5 Hershey toffee bar : SKOR
6 Composed : PLACID
7 More healthy : HALER
8 In working order : OPERABLE
9 Modern art? : ARE
10 Highest Scrabble tile point value : TEN
11 In conclusion : LASTLY
12 Luxury cars since 1986 : ACURAS
13 “Sylvester and the Magic Pebble” author William : STEIG
18 Dandy dressers : FOPS
21 Leave zip for a tip : STIFF
23 High-five, e.g. : SLAP
24 Gondolier’s implement : POLE
25 Subj. for Neil deGrasse Tyson : ASTR
27 Severe scolding : EARFUL
28 Admiral’s command : FLEET
30 Ray who played “Shoeless Joe” Jackson in “Field of Dreams” : LIOTTA
33 Indian tea region : ASSAM
34 Genre modifier : ALT-
36 Manicurist’s targets : NAILS
37 Small-theater movies : ART FILMS
38 Like cat videos : CUTE
39 Genealogist’s chart : TREE
40 Pic : SNAP
43 Scrubber brand : BRILLO
44 Astronaut Collins, first female Space Shuttle commander : EILEEN
45 Airport sharer with Seattle : TACOMA
46 Crocus cousin : IRIS
48 Runway array : POSES
49 Chew the scenery : EMOTE
50 Musician who was the 2016 Literature Nobelist : DYLAN
53 Actress Hatcher : TERI
55 U.K. part : ENG
56 Faux __ : PAS
58 Conclude : END
59 What candles may measure : AGE
60 Kit’s parent : FOX

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 1 Jul 21, Thursday”

  1. No errors.. loved the RANGO movie!

    Got hung up in NW corner for awhile.. ICY threw me off .. PLACID was another.

    Then I went to theme. Got that and convinced myself YARD OF ALE was good.

    Got a chuckle out of 51A. Had AIR for a awhile then OIL made more sense in the crosses..

  2. The “theme” was of no help to me, but did manage to finish with
    no errors. 20across had me in a bind for awhile, because I had
    entered “growers”….but when I changed it to grocers, things fell
    into place. I did have one lookup…Vietnamese soup. Maybe I’ll
    remember that, but probably not.

  3. I had a lot of “never heard of”s in this puzzle. Here are some:

    bialys, alfre, altai, rango, steig, eileen.

    I also don’t think composed and placid are synonyms. Please don’t copy and paste any dictionary definitions.

    And I don’t care how long it takes me or anybody else to do the puzzle. It’s just for fun.

  4. Just under 35 min. with one error…RINGO for RANGO…had no clue as to the theme and didn’t get 9D until I read Bills exp.
    Stay safe😀

  5. 7:14

    The theme was not the least bit helpful.

    A yard of ale is a super tall glass in a stand, more like a stunt serving of beer than an ordinary purchase.

    It must be two years since I’ve had a proper bowl of pho. It’s a fragrant, light noodle soup. I like it with beef best, though chicken or seafood are also good options. The best part is the fistful of herbs, such as basil and bean sprouts, that you add to the soup at the table.

    1. Think of a birthday cake, Cindy. (Candles have been banned on mine, due to the fire hazard they pose … 😜.)

  6. Mostly easy Thursday for me; took 16:49 with one dumb error at the end. I didn’t get the banner at the end and rather than poke around I did a check-grid, which showed PIRATEFLAn/STEIn. Didn’t know Steig, but I definitely should have gotten “Standard for…”

    re “Rango” being labeled a health hazard due to excessive smoking. I once watched a Billy Bob Thornton movie a long time ago, don’t remember the name, but I started to notice that he was constantly lighting up and puffing away, to the point where it became distracting. At that time I still smoked, I think, but I just couldn’t deal with it after a while…yuck!

  7. A decent Thursday puzzle for me – 16:55 with no errors or lookups.
    Had a little “fun” with SKOR/SKOL, GROWERS/GROCERS, and, like Corky, wasn’t sure that PLACID was suitable for Composed. Never heard of the Altai Mountains or Bialys onion rolls. Not sure that there’s any connection, but Bill’s Polish city reference for the onion rolls made me think of Max Bialystock (a slight spelling difference) in the Mel Brooks film called The Producers.

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