LA Times Crossword 12 Jul 21, Monday

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Constructed by: George Jasper
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: ESPYs

Themed answers each comprise two words starting with the letters SP (sounds like “ESPY”):

  • 69A Annual athletic achievement awards, and a phonetic hint to 17-, 27-, 47- and 61-Across : ESPYS
  • 17A The orange one is often called a yam : SWEET POTATO
  • 27A Hidden Hogwarts corridor : SECRET PASSAGE
  • 47A Behind-the-scenes investor : SILENT PARTNER
  • 61A Group looking for a missing person : SEARCH PARTY

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

Bill’s time: 4m 31s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Jigsaw puzzle unit : PIECE

Jigsaws are saws designed for the cutting of irregular curves by hand. The original jigsaw puzzles were created by painting a picture on a sheet of wood and then cutting the picture into small pieces using a jigsaw, hence the name. Today, almost all jigsaw puzzles are pictures glued onto cardboard. The puzzle pieces are now die-cut, and so there’s no jigsaw involved at all.

6 Rome’s Fontana di __ : TREVI

The Trevi Fountain (“Fontana di Trevi”) is a huge fountain in Rome, one that is the largest constructed in the Baroque style. The tradition is that if one throws a coin in the fountain then one is guaranteed a return visit to the city. Tourists throw in an amazing 3,000 euros (over $4,000) every day. The money is collected and is used to stock a supermarket for the needy of the city.

11 Baseball’s Ripken : CAL
10D Ripken nickname based on his durability : IRON MAN

Cal Ripken played his entire, 20-year professional baseball career for the Baltimore Orioles. Ripken was known as the “Iron Man” because he showed up for work every day, come rain or shine. He played 2,632 straight games, blowing past the previous 2,130-game record held by Lou Gehrig.

15 Whirlybird part : ROTOR

“Whirlybird” is an informal word meaning “helicopter”.

Our term “helicopter” was absorbed from the French word “hélicoptère” that was coined by Gustave Ponton d’Amécourt in 1861. d’Amécourt envisioned aircraft that could fly vertically using rotating wings that “screwed” into the air. He combined the Greek terms “helix” meaning “spiral, whirl” and “pteron” meaning “wing” to give us “helicopter”.

16 Ike’s WWII arena : ETO

Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE) was the 34th US president, but he wanted to be remembered as a soldier. He was a five-star general during WWII in charge of the Allied Forces in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). President Eisenhower died in 1969 at Walter Reed Army Hospital. He was buried in an $80 standard soldier’s casket in his army uniform in a chapel on the grounds of the beautiful Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas.

17 The orange one is often called a yam : SWEET POTATO

Although in the US we sometimes refer to sweet potatoes as “yams”, the yam is actually a completely different family of plants. True yams are more common in other parts of the world than they are in this country, and are especially common in Africa.

20 Beach souvenirs : TANS

A souvenir is a memento, a token of remembrance. We imported the word “souvenir” from French, in which language it has the same meaning. The term comes from the Latin “subvenire” meaning “to come to mind”, or literally “to come up”.

24 Words with mode or carte : A LA …

In French, “à la mode” simply means “fashionable”. In America, the term has also come to describe a way of serving pie. Pie served à la mode includes a dollop of cream or ice cream, or as I recall from my time living in Upstate New York, with a wedge of cheddar cheese.

On a restaurant menu, items that are “à la carte” are priced and ordered separately. A menu marked “table d’hôte” (also called “prix fixe”) is a fixed-price menu with limited choice. “Table d’hôte” translates from French as “table of the host”.

26 Stylish suits : ARMANIS

Giorgio Armani is an Italian fashion designer and founder of the company that has borne his name since 1975. Although Armani is famous for his menswear, the company makes everything from jewelry to perfume.

27 Hidden Hogwarts corridor : SECRET PASSAGE

In J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” universe, the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was founded by the four most brilliant witches and wizards of their time: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin. Each of the founders lent their name to a House in the school, i.e. Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin.

37 “T” on a test : TRUE

An answer (ans.) might be true (T) or false (F).

39 Blunted fencing blades : EPEES

The French word for sword is “épée”. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

42 “There you have it!” : VOILA!

The French word “voilà” means “there it is”, and “voici” means “here it is”. The terms come from “voi là” meaning “see there” and “voi ici” meaning “see here”.

44 “Fame” singer Cara : IRENE

Irene Cara co-wrote and sang the Oscar-winning song “Flashdance…What a Feeling” from the 1983 movie “Flashdance”. Cara also sang the title song for the 1980 movie “Fame”, and indeed played the lead role of student Coco Hernandez.

“Fame” is a 1980 musical film that follows students at New York’s High School of Performing Arts. Irene Cara sings the hugely successful theme song “Fame”, and stars as one of the students. Cara had in fact attended the High School of Performing Arts in real life. The movie “Fame” was so successful that it led to a spinoff TV series, stage shows and a 2009 remake.

46 World Cup cheer : OLE!

The FIFA World Cup is the most prestigious tournament in the sport of soccer. The competition has been held every four years (excluding the WWII years) since the inaugural event held in Uruguay in 1930. The men’s World Cup is the most widely viewed sporting event in the world, even outranking the Olympic Games. And, the women’s World Cup is fast catching up …

47 Behind-the-scenes investor : SILENT PARTNER

A silent partner in a business relationship is one who shares in profit and losses but is uninvolved in management of the business. Usually, a silent partner’s main role is to provide capital.

50 Business event using Zoom, perhaps : MEETING

Zoom is a videoconferencing app that became remarkably popular in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The market deemed Zoom to be the easiest to use of the free videoconferencing apps. I’ve been using it, but really prefer Google’s Meet offering …

52 La Brea goo : TAR

The La Brea Tar Pits are located right in the heart of the city of Los Angeles. At the site there is a constant flow of tar that seeps up to the surface from underground, a phenomenon that has been around for tens of thousands of years. What is significant is that much of the seeping tar is covered by water. Over many, many centuries animals came to the water to drink and became trapped in the tar as they entered the water to quench their thirst. The tar then preserved the bones of the dead animals. Today a museum is located right by the Tar Pits, recovering bones and displaying specimens of the animals found there. It’s well worth a visit if you are in town …

53 Trouser measure : INSEAM

Trousers are pants, the garment covering the lower body and each leg separately. Ultimately, the word “trousers” evolved from the Erse word “triubhas” that described close-fitting shorts. Back in the 1600s there was a colorful saying:

A jellous wife was like an Irish trouze, alwayes close to a mans tayle

54 D.C. fundraising group : PAC

A political action committee (PAC) is a private group that works to influence the outcome of a particular election or group of elections. Any group becomes a PAC by law when it receives or spends more than $1,000 for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that PACS that did not make direct contributions to candidates or parties could accept unlimited contributions. These “independent, expenditure-only committees” are commonly referred to as “super PACs”.

60 Cry from Homer : D’OH!

“The Simpsons” is one of the most successful programs produced by the Fox Broadcasting Company. Homer Simpson’s catchphrase is “D’oh!”, which became such a famous exclamation that it has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) since 2001. “D’oh!” can be translated as “I should have thought of that!”

64 MSNBC co-anchor __ Velshi : ALI

Ali Velshi is a television journalist from Canada who joined MSNBC in 2016, after having worked with CNN and Al Jazeera America.

65 German industrial city : ESSEN

Essen is a large industrial city located on the River Ruhr in western Germany. The city experienced major population growth in the mid-1800s that was driven by the iron works established by the Krupp family.

67 Syrup source : SAP

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.

69 Annual athletic achievement awards, and a phonetic hint to 17-, 27-, 47- and 61-Across : ESPYS

The ESPY Awards are a creation of the ESPN sports television network. One difference with similarly named awards in the entertainment industry is that ESPY winners are chosen solely based on viewer votes.

Down

2 Des Moines’ state : IOWA

The city of Des Moines is the capital of Iowa, and takes its name from the Des Moines River. The river in turn takes its name from the French “Riviere des Moines” meaning “River of the Monks”. It looks like there isn’t any “monkish” connection to the city’s name per se. “Des Moines” was just the name given by French traders who corrupted “Moingona”, the name of a group of Illinois Native Americans who lived by the river. However, others contend that French Trappist monks, who lived a full 200 miles from the river, somehow influenced the name.

3 Starter home for Adam and Eve? : EDEN

According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers, including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

4 Salad variety : CAESAR

The caesar salad was created by restaurateur Caesar Cardini at the Hotel Caesar’s in Tijuana, Mexico. The original recipe called for whole lettuce leaves that were to be lifted up by the stem and eaten with the fingers.

6 Picard’s counselor : TROI

Deanna Troi is a character on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” who is played by the lovely Marina Sirtis. Sirtis is a naturalized American citizen and has what I would call a soft American accent on the show. However, she was born in the East End of London and has a natural accent off-stage that is more like that of a true Cockney.

When Gene Roddenberry was creating the “Star Trek” spin-off series “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, I think he chose a quite magnificent name for the new starship captain. “Jean-Luc Picard” is imitative of one or both of the twin-brother Swiss scientists Auguste and Jean Felix Piccard. The role of Picard was played by the wonderful Shakespearean actor Patrick Stewart.

8 LAX posting : ETA

Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA”, but when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently, the “X” has no significant meaning.

9 People filling out ballots : VOTERS

Today, a ballot is a piece of paper or equivalent used to cast a vote. Back in the 1500s, a “ballot” was a small “ball” used in the process of voting.

11 Canadian-born singer with the 2019 album “Courage” : CELINE DION

French-Canadian singer Céline Dion first came to international attention when she won the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest, in which she represented Switzerland in the competition that was hosted in Dublin, Ireland. She is now the best-selling Canadian artist of all time.

12 Gaming pioneer : ATARI

Founded in 1972, electronics and video game manufacturer Atari was once the fastest-growing company in US history. However, Atari never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983.

13 The Home Depot competitor : LOWE’S

Lucius S. Lowe opened the first Lowe’s hardware store in 1921, in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Lucius only knew the one store, as it was his family who expanded the company after he passed away in 1940.

Home Depot is the largest home improvement retail chain in the US, ahead of Lowe’s. Home Depot opened their first two stores in 1979. The average store size is just over 100,000 square feet. The largest Home Depot outlet is in Union, New Jersey, and it is 225,000 square feet in size. That’s a lot of nuts and bolts …

18 Nebraska river : PLATTE

The Platte River used to be called the Nebrakier, which is an Oto word meaning “flat river”. Indeed, the state of Nebraska takes its name from “Nebrakier”. For a while it was also called the River Plate as “plate” is the French word “flat”. Later this became “Platte”, the phonetic spelling of the French “plate”.

23 Prepare to score from third, say : TAG UP

That would be baseball.

27 Old Canadian skit show : SCTV

“Second City Television” (SCTV) is a sketch show that was produced in Canada from 1976 to 1984. SCTV was very successful with audiences all over North America, and in effect launched the careers of several comedy greats. The list of SCTV alumni includes John Candy, Eugene Levy, Rick Moranis, Catherine O’Hara, Harold Ramis and Martin Short.

28 Italian money : EURO

The Euro is the official currency of most of the states in the European Union, but not all. The list of EU states not using the Euro includes Denmark and Sweden.

30 __ hot: steaming : PIPING

To pipe is to play on a pipe, with the verb “to pipe” coming from the Latin “pipare” meaning “to peep, chirp”. The phrase “piping hot” has been around a long time, Geoffrey Chaucer used it, with the idea being that food in a frying pan hisses, peeps and chirps.

35 Fashion monthly : ELLE

“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

45 Pitcher’s stat : ERA

Earned run average (ERA)

49 “All Rise” procedures : TRIALS

“All Rise” is a legal drama that explores the lives and careers of public defenders, prosecutors and judges in the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

50 Golden-touch king : MIDAS

King Midas of Greek mythology might be termed an alchemist as he had the power to turn everything he touched into gold i.e. the Midas touch. That power became a curse, as everything he touched turned to gold, including his food and drink, and even his children.

51 __ Gay: WWII bomber : ENOLA

The Enola Gay was the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb, the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in August 1945. Enola Gay was the name of the mother of pilot Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr.

54 Educ. for tots : PRE-K

Pre-kindergarten (pre-K)

58 Craftsy etailer : ETSY

Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

63 Dessert pastry : PIE

Our word “dessert” comes from the French verb “desservir” meaning “to clear the table”. The idea is that dessert is usually the last course to be cleared from the table.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Jigsaw puzzle unit : PIECE
6 Rome’s Fontana di __ : TREVI
11 Baseball’s Ripken : CAL
14 Fizzy mixers : SODAS
15 Whirlybird part : ROTOR
16 Ike’s WWII arena : ETO
17 The orange one is often called a yam : SWEET POTATO
19 Court of __ : LAW
20 Beach souvenirs : TANS
21 Golf ball position : LIE
22 Complete : ENTIRE
24 Words with mode or carte : A LA …
26 Stylish suits : ARMANIS
27 Hidden Hogwarts corridor : SECRET PASSAGE
32 Many a stray pooch : CUR
33 Nonetheless : STILL
34 Art class subjects : NUDES
37 “T” on a test : TRUE
39 Blunted fencing blades : EPEES
41 Carpet thickness : PILE
42 “There you have it!” : VOILA!
44 “Fame” singer Cara : IRENE
46 World Cup cheer : OLE!
47 Behind-the-scenes investor : SILENT PARTNER
50 Business event using Zoom, perhaps : MEETING
52 La Brea goo : TAR
53 Trouser measure : INSEAM
54 D.C. fundraising group : PAC
56 Like much tea in summer : ICED
60 Cry from Homer : D’OH!
61 Group looking for a missing person : SEARCH PARTY
64 MSNBC co-anchor __ Velshi : ALI
65 German industrial city : ESSEN
66 Words of defeat : I LOSE
67 Syrup source : SAP
68 Tremble : SHAKE
69 Annual athletic achievement awards, and a phonetic hint to 17-, 27-, 47- and 61-Across : ESPYS

Down

1 Attention-getting hiss : PSST!
2 Des Moines’ state : IOWA
3 Starter home for Adam and Eve? : EDEN
4 Salad variety : CAESAR
5 Superlative ending : -EST
6 Picard’s counselor : TROI
7 Mechanical learning method : ROTE
8 LAX posting : ETA
9 People filling out ballots : VOTERS
10 Ripken nickname based on his durability : IRON MAN
11 Canadian-born singer with the 2019 album “Courage” : CELINE DION
12 Gaming pioneer : ATARI
13 The Home Depot competitor : LOWE’S
18 Nebraska river : PLATTE
23 Prepare to score from third, say : TAG UP
25 French article : LES
26 Out for the night : ASLEEP
27 Old Canadian skit show : SCTV
28 Italian money : EURO
29 Vacation vessel : CRUISE SHIP
30 __ hot: steaming : PIPING
31 On the lookout : ALERT
35 Fashion monthly : ELLE
36 Visionary : SEER
38 Cream of the crop : ELITE
40 Grab quickly : SNATCH
43 Assumed names : ALIASES
45 Pitcher’s stat : ERA
48 Catch in a net : ENMESH
49 “All Rise” procedures : TRIALS
50 Golden-touch king : MIDAS
51 __ Gay: WWII bomber : ENOLA
54 Educ. for tots : PRE-K
55 Teen’s bane : ACNE
57 Field yield : CROP
58 Craftsy etailer : ETSY
59 Hair salon colors : DYES
62 Clean __ whistle : AS A
63 Dessert pastry : PIE

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 12 Jul 21, Monday”

  1. No errors…if I ever finish a puzzle in under 5 min. I will retire…never gonna happen.
    Stay safe😀

  2. 5:02

    Saw the theme coming a mile away. Learned the term TAGUP.

    Had to change 32A from PUP to CUR to get the banner. That seems unfair to lost dogs.

    Do any Canadians have a favorite Second City skit?

    1. Very good time, Pam in MA. My wife and I are champions of the imaginary
      Super Senior Division. We got today’s with our usual routine. She got about
      half on her first pass, then I got the rest except for square 54. She knew
      PAC, so that did it. The resulting 54 Down was PREK and we kinda agonized
      over what such a word meant. She then saw that it was two words that stood
      for pre kindergarten and that finished off square 54 going both ways.

  3. Pretty easy Monday for me; took 7:18 going as fast as I could, with no errors or peeks.

    My favorite SCTV skits are CCCP1, Mel’s Rock Pile and Mayor Shanks.

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