LA Times Crossword 16 Jul 21, Friday

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Constructed by: Craig Stowe
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Elbow Bump

The grid includes five ELBOW BUMPS, incidents of the word ELBOW arranged above and around a black square:

  • 64A Hands-free greeting aptly depicted five times in this puzzle : ELBOW BUMP

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

Bill’s time: 8m 07s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Off : AMISS

Something that is amiss is “off the mark”, or more literally “on the miss”.

6 Toronto’s __ Khan Museum : AGA

The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto is dedicated to Islamic art and history. The Aga Khan is the spiritual leader of the Ismaili branch of Shia Islam, and he provided funding and many of the exhibits enabling it to open in 2014.

9 Bygone ruler : TSAR

The last ruler of Imperial Russia was Tsar Nicholas II (of the House of Romanov). Famously, the Tsar and his family were murdered in 1918 in the basement of a house in Yekaterinburg, Russia by members of the Bolshevik secret police. The Tsar’s youngest daughter was 16-year-old Anastasia and rumors of her escape have persisted for years. The rumors grew with the help of numerous women who claimed to be Anastasia. In 2009, DNA testing finally proved that the remains of all of the Tsar’s immediate family, including Anastasia, have been found and identified.

14 Short site? : LOC

Location (loc.)

15 “Unity of humanity” faith : BAHA’I

The Baha’i Faith is relatively new in the scheme of things, and was founded in Persia in the 1800s. One of the tenets of the religion is that messengers have come from God over time, including Abraham, the Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and most recently Bahá’u’lláh who founded the Baha’i Faith. Baha’i scripture specifies some particular architectural requirements for houses of worship, including that the building have a nine-sided, circular shape. It is also specified that there be no pictures, statues or images displayed within a temple.

16 Obsolescent collection site : TOLLBOOTH

Something described as obsolescent is going out of use, becoming obsolete.

18 Unexpected profession, in modern lingo : L BOMB

In modern parlance, the “L bomb” would be the word “love”.

22 Loos, briefly : WCS

When I was growing up in Ireland, a bathroom was a room that had a bath and no toilet. The separate room with the commode was called the toilet or sometimes the W.C. (the water closet). Apparently the term “closet” was used because in the 1800s when homeowners started installing toilets indoors they often displaced clothes and linens in a closet, as a closet was the right size to take the commode.

23 “Anaconda” rapper Nicki : MINAJ

Nicki Minaj is a rapper from the New York borough of Queens who was born in Trinidad.

32 Luck, to Shakespeare : HAP

One’s “hap” is one’s luck. So, to be “hapless” is to be out of luck, unfortunate.

33 Clothing chain founder Rudolf or Nancy : TALBOT

Talbots is a retailer of women’s clothing that was founded in 1947 by married couple Nancy and Rudolf Talbot.

39 Paint type : OIL-BASE

Alkyd paints are also known as “oil-based” paints. They are an alternative to “latex-based” paints.

41 Spendthrift : WASTREL

A “wastrel” is a spendthrift, someone who “wastes” resources.

43 Movement in “The Nutcracker” : PLIE

The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent. A “demi-plié” is a similar move, but with less bending of the knees.

Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” is one of the most popular ballets in the repertoire. It premiered in St. Petersburg in 1892, but its public appeal really only emerged in the late 1960s. It’s a “must-see ballet” during the Christmas holidays.

44 Least feral : TAMEST

“Feral”, meaning “existing in a wild or untamed state”, comes from the Latin word “fera” meaning “wild animal”.

47 Electronic genre : TECHNO

Techno is a type of electronic dance music that originated in Detroit in the eighties. Techno involves a heavy beat in common time, and what seems to be a lot of repetition. Not for me …

49 Some singers : ALTOS

In choral music, an alto (plural “alti”) is the second-highest voice in a four-part chorus made up of soprano, contr(alto), tenor and bass. The word “alto” describes the vocal range, that of the deepest female singing-voice, whereas the term “contralto” describes more than just the alto range, but also its quality and timbre. An adult male’s voice (not a boy’s) with the same range as an alto is called a “countertenor”.

51 “Tuesdays With Morrie” author Mitch : ALBOM

“Tuesdays with Morrie” is a novel by Mitch Albom, first published in 1997. The story is a work of nonfiction, telling the tale of sociologist Morrie Schwartz and his students, one of whom is the author Mitch Albom. Albom has frequent visits with his old professor when he discovers that Morrie is dying from ALS.

52 Frodo inherited his ring : BILBO

In J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel “The Hobbit”, the title character is Bilbo Baggins. He is a hobbit who stumbles across a magical ring and then embarks on a series of adventures.

Frodo Baggins is a principal character in J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. Frodo is a Hobbit, and is charged with the quest of destroying Sauron’s Ring in the fires of Mount Doom. Frodo is portrayed by American actor Elijah Wood in Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of the novels.

55 Bobbie Gentry wrote one to Billie Joe : ODE

“Ode to Billie Joe” is a hit song written and recorded by Bobbie Gentry in 1967. It tells the tale of a family talking about the day that “Billie Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge.”

Bobbie Gentry is a retired singer who hit the big time with the release of the 1967 song “Ode to Billie Joe”. A few years later, she changed her focus from recording to performing in variety shows on the Las Vegas Strip. Gentry was briefly married to casino magnate Bill Harrah (who was more than twice her age) from 1969 to 1970. She retired from the music business in the early nineties.

56 Many a surfer : WAHINE

“Wahine” is a word meaning “woman”, in both Hawaiian and Maori.

58 Villagers below the Grinch’s cave : WHOS

The Whos live in Whoville in Dr. Seuss’ children’s book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”

62 Frenemy, at times : RIVAL

A frenemy is someone who feigns friendship but who is actually an enemy or competitor.

64 Hands-free greeting aptly depicted five times in this puzzle : ELBOW BUMP

The elbow bump is a popular greeting during outbreaks of diseases passed on by contact. It is used as a replacement for the ubiquitous handshake.

67 Sheltered : LEE

Alee is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing aweather. The sheltered side of an island, for example, might be referred to as the “lee” side.

69 __ log : YULE

A Yule log is a large log made from a very hard wood that is burned as part of the Christmas celebration. There is also a cake called a Yule log that is served at Christmas, especially in French-speaking parts of the world. The cake is made from sponge that is rolled up to resemble a wooden Yule log.

70 Drug originally synthesized from ergot : 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 …

Ergots are fungi that cause disease in rye and related plants. If humans eat ergot-contaminated grain, a condition called ergotism can result. Ergotism is the result of consumption of alkaloids produced by the fungi, alkaloids that can cause seizures and manic behavior. It has even been suggested that the hysteria exhibited by the Salem “witches” was perhaps caused by the ingestion of ergot-contaminated rye.

Down

1 Wine region east of Turin : ASTI

Asti is in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy. It is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine. Moscato d’Asti is produced from the same grape (Moscato Bianco). Moscato is a much sweeter wine with a lower alcohol content, and is usually served as a dessert wine.

6 56-Across hi : ALOHA
(56A Many a surfer : WAHINE)

The Hawaiian word “aloha” has many meanings in English: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. More recently, “aloha” has come to mean “hello” and “goodbye”, but only since the mid-1800s.

8 Vier und vier : ACHT

In German “vier und vier” (four and four) adds up to “acht” (eight).

9 Bill : TAB

When we run a “tab” at a bar, we are running a “tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.

11 Transmission repair franchise : AAMCO

AAMCO is named after one of the two founders, Anthony A. Martino (AAM). The company was founded in 1963 in Philadelphia, and opened its first franchise in Newark that same year. There are now about 800 franchises, and AAMCO is the largest chain in the world specializing in automotive transmissions.

24 Shred : IOTA

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

26 Slough off : MOLT

To slough off is to cast off, especially when one is talking about the skin of a snake or other animal.

27 Denny’s competitor : IHOP

The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) was founded back in 1958. IHOP was originally intended to be called IHOE, the International House of Eggs, but that name didn’t do too well in marketing tests.

Denny’s was the first restaurant I ate at on my initial visit to the US many moons ago. I thought I was in heaven. I’ve changed my opinion a little since then! Denny’s is famous for being “always open” (almost), something that blew my mind as a visitor from Ireland back in 1980. Denny’s was founded in 1953 in Lakewood, California, and originally went by the name “Denny’s Donuts”. The enduring Grand Slam breakfast has been on the menu since 1977.

28 Bone head? : TAIL-

The human coccyx is what is left of a tail that our evolutionary ancestors possessed. We usually refer to the coccyx as the tailbone.

31 NHL legend Gordie : HOWE

Gordie Howe is a retired Canadian hockey player. Regarded as one of the game’s greatest players, Howe is sometimes referred to as “Mr Hockey”. He is the only hockey player to have competed in the NHL for five decades (from the forties through the eighties), and holds the NHL record for most games and most seasons played.

37 Gambling game : KENO

The name of the game keno has French or Latin roots, with the French “quine” being a term for five winning numbers, and the Latin “quini” meaning “five each”. The game originated in China and was introduced into the West by Chinese immigrants who were working on the first Transcontinental Railroad in the 1800s.

38 Part of BPOE : ELKS

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) was founded in 1868, and is a social club that has about a million members today. It started out as a group of men getting together in a “club” in order to get around the legal opening hours of taverns in New York City. The club took on a new role as it started to look out for poor families of members who passed away. The club now accepts African Americans as members (since the seventies) and women (since the nineties), but atheists still aren’t welcome. The list of US presidents that have been members of the BPOE includes Presidents Eisenhower, Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Ford.

40 Telly network, with “the” : … BEEB

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is also known as “the Beeb”, a name given to the network by the great Peter Sellers on the classic British radio comedy called “The Goon Show”. The BBC was founded in 1922, and was the world’s first national broadcasting organization.

“Telly” is a term commonly used in Britain and Ireland that is short for “television”.

45 Cells, to Brits : MOBILES

What we mostly know as a “cell phone” here in North America is more usually referred to as a “mobile phone” in Britain and Ireland. My favorite term for the device is used in Germany, where it is called a “Handy”.

48 Monastery wear : COWLS

A cowl is a long garment with a hood that is primarily worn by monks in the Christian tradition. The term “cowl” can also describe the hood itself.

51 It may be bid : ADIEU

“Adieu” is French for “goodbye, farewell”, from “à Dieu” meaning “to God”. The plural of “adieu” is “adieux”.

54 Two before Libra : LEO

Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 23 to August 22 are Leos.

55 Paris airport : ORLY

Orly is a town on the outskirts of Paris, to the south of the city. It is home to the Paris-Orly Airport, the second busiest international airport for the city after the more recently built Charles de Gaulle Airport. That said, Orly is home to more domestic flights than Charles de Gaulle.

57 “Other people,” to Sartre : HELL

“Huis Clos” means “behind closed doors” in French. It is the title of Jean-Paul Sartre’s one-act play that we in the English-speaking world would better recognize as “No Exit”. The play features four characters who are trapped in a room that they discover is actually located in Hell. One of the characters is Estelle Rigault, a society woman who married her husband for her money, and then has an affair that results in a child whom she murders. Heavy stuff! “No Exit” is the source for one of Sartre’s most famous quotations, “Hell is other people”, meaning that Hell isn’t found in torture or physical punishment, but in the torment inflicted by others.

59 Sci-fi award : HUGO

The Hugo Awards are presented annually for excellence in science fiction and fantasy writing. The awards are named for Hugo Gernsback, founder of the sci-fi magazine “Amazing Stories”.

63 “Blessed __ the meek … ” : ARE

The Sermon on the Mount is a collection of teachings of Jesus recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. One famous section of the discourse is known as the Beatitudes. The eight Beatitudes are:

  • … Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
  • … Blessed are those who mourn: for they will be comforted
  • … Blessed are the meek: for they will inherit the earth
  • … Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled
  • … Blessed are the merciful: for they will be shown mercy
  • … Blessed are the pure in heart: for they will see God
  • … Blessed are the peacemakers: for they will be called children of God
  • … Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

65 JFK was born during it : WWI

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) was the son of Joe Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald, hence the president’s double-barreled name.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Off : AMISS
6 Toronto’s __ Khan Museum : AGA
9 Bygone ruler : TSAR
13 Echoing remark : SO DO I
14 Short site? : LOC
15 “Unity of humanity” faith : BAHA’I
16 Obsolescent collection site : TOLLBOOTH
18 Unexpected profession, in modern lingo : L BOMB
19 “No argument here” : I SEE
20 “__ you been up to?” : WHAT’VE
22 Loos, briefly : WCS
23 “Anaconda” rapper Nicki : MINAJ
25 Playground retort : I AM SO!
27 “__ use!” : IT’S NO
30 “You’re too much!” : OH STOP!
32 Luck, to Shakespeare : HAP
33 Clothing chain founder Rudolf or Nancy : TALBOT
36 Facebook button : LIKE
39 Paint type : OIL-BASE
41 Spendthrift : WASTREL
43 Movement in “The Nutcracker” : PLIE
44 Least feral : TAMEST
46 Artistic medium : INK
47 Electronic genre : TECHNO
49 Some singers : ALTOS
51 “Tuesdays With Morrie” author Mitch : ALBOM
52 Frodo inherited his ring : BILBO
55 Bobbie Gentry wrote one to Billie Joe : ODE
56 Many a surfer : WAHINE
58 Villagers below the Grinch’s cave : WHOS
62 Frenemy, at times : RIVAL
64 Hands-free greeting aptly depicted five times in this puzzle : ELBOW BUMP
66 Looks badly : LEERS
67 Sheltered : LEE
68 Put on the line : WAGER
69 __ log : YULE
70 Drug originally synthesized from ergot : LSD
71 Dramatic literary device : IRONY

Down

1 Wine region east of Turin : ASTI
2 Herd voices : MOOS
3 Hardly working : IDLE
4 Heavy : SOLEMN
5 One of the fam : SIB
6 56-Across hi : ALOHA
7 Found work : GOT A JOB
8 Vier und vier : ACHT
9 Bill : TAB
10 Support the team, say : SHOW SPIRIT
11 Transmission repair franchise : AAMCO
12 Rack that’s rubbed : RIBS
15 Pasture cry : BLEAT
17 Personal : OWN
21 Panoramic views : VISTAS
24 Shred : IOTA
26 Slough off : MOLT
27 Denny’s competitor : IHOP
28 Bone head? : TAIL-
29 It has staggered stories : SPLIT LEVEL
31 NHL legend Gordie : HOWE
34 Often-allergic condition : ASTHMA
35 Slim : LEAN
37 Gambling game : KENO
38 Part of BPOE : ELKS
40 Telly network, with “the” : … BEEB
42 Try : STAB
45 Cells, to Brits : MOBILES
48 Monastery wear : COWLS
50 Type of exercising squat : LOW-BAR
51 It may be bid : ADIEU
53 Not up : IN BED
54 Two before Libra : LEO
55 Paris airport : ORLY
57 “Other people,” to Sartre : HELL
59 Sci-fi award : HUGO
60 Sign : OMEN
61 Light-footed : SPRY
63 “Blessed __ the meek … ” : ARE
65 JFK was born during it : WWI

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 16 Jul 21, Friday”

  1. No errors. Theme only helped to validate I had right entries. Not the black squares.

    What day is it?

  2. No errors, no lookups, but quite a bit of head scratching. Didn’t
    understand “Lbomb” but that’s what it turned out to be. Also
    did not pay attention to the “theme reveal” clue, but it
    probably wouldn’t have helped anyway.

  3. A surprisingly quick solve for a Friday – 19:11 with no errors or lookups. Took a little longer to fill in LOc/AcHT because I wasn’t sure of the 6A museum name, and saw 8D as “Vier AND vier,” and wondered what two competitors would be. Once I realized it was UND, then I knew.

    A clever construction to get five “elbow bumps” in the puzzle!

  4. 12:10 and no errors. Having seen the explanation for the stupid theme, I don’t see ONE instance of the word “ELBOW” extending around a right angle. Not ONE. I know our constructors are fond of creating cute little things that are difficult to “see”, but this is ridiculous.

    The L-BOMB fill was completely inapt; I substitute an F-bomb in it’s place.

  5. 18:53 – 3 lookups/no error. Didn’t know WAHINE, ALBOM and HAP and wasn’t good enough to get the crosses.

    Thought it a bit easy for a Friday, since I usually DNF (or lookup too many clues).

    “ELBOWBUMP” was clever, but you could’ve held a gun to my head and I wouldn’t have ever seen it … kudos to those that did.

  6. 12:51 1 error, since I don’t know German numbers — yet.

    Finding the five bent elbows was a penultimate check. It would have been a neat trick to make them bump each other.

    I still don’t understand how LBOMB fits the clue. Is love an unexpected profession? Is it unexpected to love your profession? Inquiring minds want to know.

    1. I think it’s more along the line of someone “professing” their love for another – a profession of Love. Kind of a stretch I’d say

  7. Bill… Your comment regarding Denny’s begged my anecdote. I once owned a sporting business specializing in adult airguns which were a very popular sport within the UK. In the 1980’s, I hosted a group of them here in So. Cal. for a US/UK competition. In appreciation, they invited me and my wife to dinner at a fabulous restaurant they discovered near their hotel. They didn’t disclose the name but they couldn’t stop touting the special service, the variety of the menu, and the amount of food they received. Literally, they couldn’t say enough about this great restaurant they found. When we arrived, we were pleasantly amused (silently) that the restaurant they fell for was Norm’s, a competitor of Denny’s here in So. California. It was then that I learned of our cultural dining differences that I took with me when I was invited to compete the following year across the pond. Great times!!

    P.S. When I visit Ireland next year, I have my heart set on filling up on your highly popular “full Irish breakfast”.

  8. Re: The theme
    Perhaps Bill needed to specify where those are? Anyhow, check 16A, 18A, 33A, 51A, and 52A, above the singleton black squares.

    Re: L-Bomb
    Millennials have a pretty huge aversion to romantic relationships and marriage, so the ultimate expression of that has come out in that phrase. Akin to the F-Bomb, it’s something referred to if that particular phrase to denote those kinds of things (hint the L stands for Love) comes out to a mate.

  9. Mostly easy Friday for me; took 17:05 with no errors or peeks. Theme eluded me as well as LBOMB and ALBOM, but I was sure of all the crosses and they turned out to be correct.

    I think most people, me included, were stuck on the first definition of profession (ie a job) when the second definition is the one referred to (ie a confession.)
    As far as ALBOM goes, I always get stuck on Maury Povich instead of the called for Morrie Schwartz, even though I’ve done this at least three times now…

    My lucky and safe relatives in Koeln are just within 15 miles of some of the worst scenes of flooding in NRW, Germany. These happened so fast that a lot of people could just barely escape and sadly some didn’t. The weatherman on the NPR equivalent, ARD, had a good explanation: With all the high temperatures, the atmosphere is able to absorb more and more water and when it rains…well you get a lot of water.

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