LA Times Crossword 17 Jul 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: Mollie Cowger
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 10m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Word from the Aramaic for “father” : ABBOT

Our word “abbot” ultimately derives from the Aramaic word “abba”, an honorific title extended to one’s father.

10 Onetime capital of the Mughal Empire : AGRA

Agra is a medieval city on the banks of the river Yamuna in India. Agra was also the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1658. The city is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  • The Taj Mahal: the famous mausoleum built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal.
  • Agra Fort: the site where the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond was seized.
  • Fatehpur Sikri: a historic city that’s home to well-preserved Mughal architecture.

The Mughal Empire extended over much of the Indian subcontinent from 1526 to 1707.

16 Leftover bit : DREG

The dregs in wine, the sediment that settles during fermentation (and sometimes in the bottle), are also called “lees”.

17 “The Chi” creator Waithe : LENA

“The Chi” is a TV drama set on the South Side of Chicago. It was created by screenwriter Lena Waithe, who grew up in the area depicted in the show.

19 Fermented seasoning : MISO

Miso is the name of the seasoning that makes miso soup. Basic miso seasoning is made by fermenting rice, barley and soybeans with salt and a fungus to produce a paste. The paste can be added to stock to make miso soup, or perhaps to flavor tofu.

20 It may require some heavy lifting : EXERCISE REGIMEN

Quite often, the terms “regime” and “regimen” seem to be used interchangeably. In contemporary usage, “regime” is applied more generally, and “regimen” more specifically. A “regimen” is a systematic approach that one might apply to something, to exercise or diet for example. The term “regime” can also be used in such contexts, but can have additional definitions, such as “government in power”. A form of government cannot be described as a “regimen”.

23 Leaves spots? : TEAPOTS

I guess the reference here is to the oft-quoted British phrase “a spot of tea”. Mind you, I’ve only ever heard that said in jest …

24 Coastal hazard : TSUNAMI

“Tsunami” is a Japanese word meaning “harbor wave”.

25 Checks at the bar? : ESTOPS

The term “estop” means to block or stop by using some legal device. “Estop” comes from Old French, in which “estopper” means “to stop up” or “to impede”.

26 Phony : SHAM

A sham is something that is imitation, fake. In the world of bed linens, a sham is also an imitation or fake, in the sense that it is a decorative cover designed to cover up a regular pillow used for sleeping.

Something or someone described as phony (sometimes “phoney”) is not genuine or real. There is a suggestion that the term “phony” comes from “fawney”, which was a gold-plated brass ring used by swindlers in place of a one made of pure gold.

27 “Mom” network : CBS

“Mom” is a sitcom starring Anna Faris and the great Allison Janney that premiered in 2013. Famously, the show deals with the problems of alcoholism and drug abuse head on.

28 “Sunflower Seeds” artist Ai with an echoic name : WEIWEI

Ai Weiwei is a Chinese artist who has been vocal in his criticism of his country’s position on human rights and democracy. Weiwei was an artistic consultant largely responsible for the look and feel of the Beijing National Stadium, commonly referred to as the “Bird’s Nest”, that was showcased during the 2008 Summer Olympics.

“Sunflower Seeds” is a work of art by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. It consists of 100 million sunflower seeds made by hand in porcelain. The seeds were made by over 1,600 workers over the course of 2½ years. When the work was first exhibited, at the Tate Modern gallery in London in 2010, the seeds were laid on the floor of a hall to a depth of 10 centimeters. Visitors were encouraged to interact with the exhibit by walking over the seeds, and even sitting within them.

30 Go for the gold? : SMELT

Metals are found in ore in the form of oxides. In order to get pure metal from the ore, the ore is heated and the metal oxides within are reduced (i.e. the oxygen is removed) in the chemical process known as smelting. The oxygen is extracted by adding a source of carbon or carbon monoxide which uses up the excess oxygen atoms to make carbon dioxide, a waste product of smelting (and, a greenhouse gas).

32 London’s __ Modern : TATE

The museum known as “the Tate” is actually made up of four separate galleries in England. The original Tate gallery was founded by Sir Henry Tate as the National Gallery of British Art. It is located on Millbank in London, on the site of the old Millbank Prison, and is now called Tate Britain. There is also the Tate Liverpool in the north of England that is located in an old warehouse, and the Tate St. Ives in the west country located in an old gas works. My favorite of the Tate galleries is the Tate Modern which lies on the banks of the Thames in London. It’s a beautiful building, a converted power station that you have to see to believe. As of 2018, the Tate Modern was the most visited art museum in the UK.

38 “Your Movie Sucks” author : EBERT

“Your Movie Sucks” is a collection of movie reviews by film critic Roger Ebert, reviews that are all under two-out-of-five stars.

40 Old-style writing need : INKPOT

“Inkpot” is another name for “inkwell”, a container for holding ink into which a pen is dipped.

45 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty subjects : A-BOMBS

There are two classes of nuclear weapons, both of which get the energy for the explosion from nuclear reactions. The first nuclear bombs developed, called atomic bombs (A-bombs), use fission reactions. Uranium nuclei are split into smaller nuclei with the release of an awful lot of energy in the process. The second class of nuclear weapons are fusion bombs. These devices are called thermonuclear weapons or hydrogen bombs (H-bombs). In a fusion reaction, the nuclei of hydrogen isotopes are fused together to form bigger nuclei, with the release of even greater amounts of energy.

49 Lincoln biographer : TARBELL

Ida Tarbell was a teacher and what we would call today an “investigative journalist”, although back in her day she was known as a “muckraker”. Her most famous work is her 1904 book “The History of the Standard Oil Company”. It is an exposé that is credited with hastening the breakup of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil in 1911. She also wrote several books about President Abraham Lincoln.

52 “Caste” author who was the first Black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in journalism : ISABEL WILKERSON

Journalist and author Isabel Wilkerson was the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in journalism, doing so in 1994. Wilkerson’s father was one of the renowned Tuskegee Airmen who fought during World War II. Her 2020 book “Castes: The Origins of Our Discontents” discusses racism in the US and posits that racial stratification in America is best understood as a caste system, similar to that existing in India and Nazi Germany.

54 Actress Sorvino : MIRA

Mira Sorvino is an American actress, and a winner of an Oscar for her supporting role in the 1995 Woody Allen movie “Mighty Aphrodite”. Sorvino also played a title role opposite Lisa Kudrow in the very forgettable “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion”.

55 Having ups and downs, in a way : TIDAL

Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

56 Quatro x dos : OCHO

In Spanish, “quatro” (four) times “dos” (two) is “ocho” (eight).

58 Where a 1980 “miracle” occurred : ON ICE

Team USA won the gold medal in men’s hockey at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. The victory was a surprising one given the decades-long dominance of the USSR team. The “big result” for the American team was the epic victory against the Soviets, a victory often referred to as the “Miracle on Ice”. The US went on to defeat Finland in the final and secured the gold medal. The moniker “miracle” comes from words uttered by sportscaster Al Michaels, who was calling the game for ABC. He declared, in the final seconds, “Do you believe in miracles?! Yes!”

62 Beneficiary of a Sonic boom? : SEGA

Sonic the Hedgehog is a title character in a videogame and the mascot of Sega, the computer game developer. Sonic was set up as a rival to Nintendo’s mascot Mario.

Down

2 Charging choices : AMEXES

“Amex” is short for “American Express”, the name of the financial services company that is best known for its credit card, charge card and traveler’s check businesses. The company name is indicative of its original business. American Express was founded in 1850 in Buffalo, New York as an express mail service.

3 Patronize, as a bistro : DINE AT

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

9 Saint of Ávila : TERESA

St. Teresa of Ávila (also known as St. Teresa of Jesus) was a Carmelite nun living in Spain in the 1500s. She is particularly noted for her writings on Christian meditation and mental prayer.

22 Periodontist’s concern : GUMS

Periodontics (also “periodontology”) is the dental discipline concerned with the structures supporting the teeth, including the gums. The term “periodontal” means “surrounding a tooth” from the Greek “peri-” (surrounding) and “odontos” (of the tooth).

26 River in some Renoir paintings : SEINE

French artists Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet were close friends, and spent the summers of 1873 and 1874 together. Some of the works they produced at that time on the banks of the Seine were clearly painted as they stood side by side.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir was a French painter who was very much at the forefront of the Impressionist Movement. Renoir was a prolific artist, with several thousand works attributed to him. The largest collection of Renoirs is actually in the United States. You can see 181 of his paintings at the Barnes Foundation just outside Philadelphia.

31 Contest with hogs : MOTOCROSS

Motocross is motorcycle racing, but off-road.

The Harley-Davidson motorcycle company was founded in the very early 1900s by two childhood friends, William Harley and Arthur Davidson, . Their first design was in effect an engine hooked up to a pedal bicycle, but the 116 cc cylinder capacity simply couldn’t generate enough power to get up the hills of their native city of Milwaukee. The pair came up with a redesigned model that had a cylinder capacity of 405 cc, which the partners built in a shed at the back of Davidson’s house. In 1906, the partners built their first factory, located where the company’s headquarters is to this day, on Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Famously, Harley motorcycles are nicknamed “hogs”.

32 Elements of a course schedule? : TEE TIMES

That would be golf.

34 Bottle garden relatives : TERRARIA

A terrarium (plural “terraria”) is a contained environment used to house land animals. The term “terrarium“ comes from the equivalent “aquarium”, a tank for holding mainly fish. In general, a contained environment for keeping live animals or plants is known as a “vivarium”

A bottle garden is a sealed environment that provides the essentials for plants to grow, namely soil, water and light. Water is trapped inside the bottle, and is unable to evaporate. The plant respires at night and emits carbon dioxide. That same carbon dioxide is used during the day, along with light passing through the glass, in photosynthesis. Oxygen is produced during photosynthesis, and is used in respiration. And the cycle continues …

36 Fourth of July purchase : SPARKLER

On 11 June 1776, the Continental Congress appointed a committee of five people to draft a declaration of independence. Included in the five were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Adams persuaded the other committee members to give Jefferson the task of writing the first draft. A resolution of independence was passed by the Congress on 2 July 1776. The final draft of the declaration was approved by the Congress two days later, on July 4th. John Adams wrote a letter to his wife that included an assertion that July 2nd (the date of the resolution of independence) would become a great American holiday. Of course Adams was wrong, and it was actually the date the Declaration of Independence was finalized that came to be celebrated annually.

39 The oldest known living one is named Methuselah : TREE

The oldest-known organisms in the world are bristlecone pine trees in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in eastern California. There are examples in the forest proven to be about 5,000 years old based on core samples. I’ve hiked in that forest a few times and, quite sensibly, the forest service has decided not to identify which are the oldest trees. That’s because some folks do like to interfere with nature.

41 Orchestral tuner : OBOE

When you hear an orchestra tuning before a performance, you’ll note (pun!) that the oboe starts off the process by playing an “A”. The rest of the musicians in turn tune to that oboe’s “A”.

48 Hispanic title : SENORA

The equivalent of “Mrs.” in French is “Mme.” (Madame), in Spanish is “Sra.” (Señora) and in Portuguese is also “Sra.” (Senhora).

50 Mavs’ sport : B-BALL

The Mavericks (also “Mavs”) are the NBA franchise in Dallas, Texas. The team was founded in 1980, and the Mavericks name was chosen by fan votes. The choice of “Mavericks” was prompted by the fact that the actor James Garner was a part-owner of the team, and Garner of course played the title role in the “Maverick” television series.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Parenting pair, perhaps : DADS
5 Word from the Aramaic for “father” : ABBOT
10 Onetime capital of the Mughal Empire : AGRA
14 Throw off : EMIT
15 Ambition : DRIVE
16 Leftover bit : DREG
17 “The Chi” creator Waithe : LENA
18 Word with ice or rain : -MAKER
19 Fermented seasoning : MISO
20 It may require some heavy lifting : EXERCISE REGIMEN
23 Leaves spots? : TEAPOTS
24 Coastal hazard : TSUNAMI
25 Checks at the bar? : ESTOPS
26 Phony : SHAM
27 “Mom” network : CBS
28 “Sunflower Seeds” artist Ai with an echoic name : WEIWEI
30 Go for the gold? : SMELT
32 London’s __ Modern : TATE
35 Dilutes : THINS
37 Laudatory poems : ODES
38 “Your Movie Sucks” author : EBERT
40 Old-style writing need : INKPOT
42 Get lost, say : ERR
43 Well’s opposite : RARE
45 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty subjects : A-BOMBS
49 Lincoln biographer : TARBELL
51 Get : PROCURE
52 “Caste” author who was the first Black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in journalism : ISABEL WILKERSON
54 Actress Sorvino : MIRA
55 Having ups and downs, in a way : TIDAL
56 Quatro x dos : OCHO
57 Subject for pastors and philosophers : EVIL
58 Where a 1980 “miracle” occurred : ON ICE
59 String some words together? : SLUR
60 Lick, maybe : SEAL
61 More out there : ODDER
62 Beneficiary of a Sonic boom? : SEGA

Down

1 Strike : DELETE
2 Charging choices : AMEXES
3 Patronize, as a bistro : DINE AT
4 Draw for some pictures : STAR POWER
5 Confesses : ADMITS IT
6 Top __ : BRASS
7 Icon on some “Share the road” signs : BIKE
8 Analyze to a fault : OVERTHINK
9 Saint of Ávila : TERESA
10 Forum overseer, briefly : ADMIN
11 Reacted to pain : GRIMACED
12 Share a look with? : RESEMBLE
13 Ones in a struggle : AGONISTS
21 Manage : COPE
22 Periodontist’s concern : GUMS
26 River in some Renoir paintings : SEINE
29 Dizzying, as a romance : WHIRLWIND
31 Contest with hogs : MOTOCROSS
32 Elements of a course schedule? : TEE TIMES
33 Irritating : ABRASIVE
34 Bottle garden relatives : TERRARIA
36 Fourth of July purchase : SPARKLER
39 The oldest known living one is named Methuselah : TREE
41 Orchestral tuner : OBOE
44 So very : ALL TOO
46 Brawn : MUSCLE
47 Fraternal greeting : BRO HUG
48 Hispanic title : SENORA
50 Mavs’ sport : B-BALL
51 __ setting : PLACE
53 “It was me” : I DID

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 17 Jul 21, Saturday”

  1. No errors. Typical time to solve for a saturday. Even a typical puzzle??

    Didn’t know ISABEL WILKERSON but found it interesting that her father was an original Tuskeegee Airman!! Stuff movies are made of.

  2. LAT: A bit over an hour with no errors. I think I knew about three clues outright at the start but just kept at it. Many of the clues were to me abbreviated or “skeletal,” requiring a lot of guessing. I struggled but enjoyed it.

  3. 25:44 of resisting the urge to look names up

    Mostly I went round and round, waiting for my brain to come up with different ways to understand the clues.

    Ai WEIWEI was probably the first I remembered. It’s apt that TATE is right by his name. It’s sad that he will probably live out the rest of his life in exile, but I don’t see the state of human rights getting any better in China in anyone’s lifetime.

    It took me a long time to remember the full name ISABELWILKERSON, even though I’ve been meaning to read another well-known book of hers, The Warmth of Distant Suns.

    I was disappointed that 49A turned out to be TARBELL. I kept wanting it to be the Lincoln historian that Stephen Colbert has a running gag of apologizing to. And since I didn’t remember her name, my apologies to Doris Kearns Goodwin.

  4. LAT: 13:12, no errors. Not too much complaint. For those that care: WSJ: 14:42, no errors. Pretty much the usual and always amazes me how my writing time is double or triple that. Newsday: 54:48, no errors. Spent about 35 minutes of that wearing out my eraser just randomly fitting things in the upper left until the grid worked. Croce: 51:38, 1 error off the usual RAG/Natick that tends to populate these kinds of things.

  5. 19:40 and no errors, or issues. Nice to have a Saturday puzzle that you don’t have to “decode” to work. Lack of “theme” is a good thing.

  6. I ended up spelling 17 Across as “Lina” instead of the correct “Lena” which also meant I missed the Down answer which should have been Amexes and not Amixes. D’oh! For those that found this grid on the easier side all I can do is marvel at your crosswordese ability. I thought this was a pretty tough Saturday all things considered.

  7. A challenging puzzle, esp. in the NW corner – 41:12 with no errors or lookups. Took a while to figure out: what bar for 25A; which spots for leaves in 23A; a different kind of strike for 1D; and what kind of charging for 2D; didn’t know “The Chi” author. I agree with Jack2 about “hogs” never in a motocross event.

  8. A real lulu of a Saturday for me; took 58:01 with no errors or peeks. I was determined to get through this even though it seemed impossible at first. Still, I just started with the gimmes: AGRA, BIKES, TATE, ODES, MIRA, OCHO, ON ICE, OBOE, TERESA and WHIRLWIND. Then, onto educated guesses, etc, etc. Finished in the DELETE/LENA when I suddenly got the “all done” banner.

    I agree about hogs and motocross, but it turns out they did a few very small scale builds. I knew about a 750cc flat track bike but they even build 64 250cc bikes which I just found out about. I still miss my Dyna Glide…

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