LA Times Crossword 2 Jul 21, Friday

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Constructed by: Dallas Fletcher
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Disappearing Act

The letter sequence A-C-T has DISAPPEARED from each of the themed answers:

  • 40A Magic trick that affects the answers to starred clues : DISAPPEARING ACT
  • 17A *Runs drills : PRACTICES
  • 22A *Extremely demanding : EXACTING
  • 23A *Did a double-take, say : REACTED
  • 31A *Produce milk : LACTATE
  • 59A *Like two-humped camels : BACTRIAN
  • 73A *In a concise manner : COMPACTLY
  • 12D *Strategic maneuver : TACTIC
  • 41D *Has an effect on : IMPACTS
  • 65D *Thing that matters : FACTOR

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

Bill’s time: 10m 56s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7 “Beats me,” in texts : IDK

I don’t know (IDK)

10 Boozer : SOT

Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s. The derivative term “besotted” means “muddled with drunkenness”, or more figuratively “infatuated”.

13 Its recipe often includes egg whites : MOUSSE

Our word “mousse” is an Old French term meaning “froth”.

14 System used in home decor : FENG SHUI

Feng shui is the ancient Chinese tradition of arranging objects, buildings and other structures in a manner that is said to improve the lives of the individuals living in or using the space. “Feng shui” translates as “wind-water”, a reference to the belief that positive and negative life forces ride the wind and scatter, but are retained when they encounter water.

18 It can unfold over many episodes : STORY ARC

A story arc is a continuing storyline in say a television show that runs through a number of episodes. Story arcs are also found in comics, books, video games, and other forms of media.

19 P.O. box item : ENV

Envelope (env.)

20 Canadian grazer : ELK

The elk (also “wapiti”) is one of the largest species of deer in the world, with only the moose being bigger. Early European settlers were familiar with the smaller red deer back in their homelands, so when they saw the “huge” wapiti they assumed it was a moose, and incorrectly gave it the European name for a moose, namely “elk”. The more correct name for the beast is “wapiti”, which means “white rump” in Shawnee. It’s all very confusing …

27 Simon of “Shaun of the Dead” : PEGG

Simon Pegg is an English actor and comedian who has hit the big time in Hollywood in the past few years. He played “Scotty” in a couple of “Star Trek” movies and tech wizard Benji Dunn in some of the “Mission: Impossible” films.

“Shaun of the Dead” is 2004 horror comedy movie starring English comic actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Written by Pegg and director Edgar Wright, “Shaun of the Dead” is the first in what’s known as their “Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy” of films, along with “”Hot Fuzz” (2007) and “The World’s End” (2013).

29 Screen legend Flynn : ERROL

Actor Errol Flynn was born in 1909 in Tasmania, where he was raised. In his twenties, Flynn lived in the UK where he pursued his acting career. Around the same time he starred in an Australian film “In the Wake of the Bounty” and then appeared in a British film “Murder at Monte Carlo”. It was in the latter film that he was noticed by Warner Brothers who brought him to America. Flynn’s non-American heritage shone through even while he was living the American dream in California. He regularly played cricket, along with his friend David Niven, in the Hollywood Cricket Club.

31 *Produce milk : LACTATE

The prefix “lacto-” is used in words from the fields of chemistry and biochemistry like “lactose”, “lactic” and “lactase”. The term comes from the Latin “lac” meaning “milk”.

35 One-time Nigerian capital : LAGOS

Lagos is a port and the biggest city in Nigeria. Lagos used to be the country’s capital, until it was replaced in that role in 1991 by Abuja, a city built just for this purpose. Lagos is also the most populous city in the whole of Africa (followed by Cairo in Egypt).

44 Seales of HBO’s “Insecure” : AMANDA

Actress Amanda Seales’ break came when she was cast in the supporting role of Tiffany DuBois in the comedy-drama TV show “Insecure”.

46 Printer spec. : DPI

Dots per inch (DPI) is a term usually reserved for printing resolution, a measure of the density of individual ink dots that can be positioned on the printed surface. Screen resolution is measured in pixels per inch (PPI), a measure of how closely individual pixels can be placed in a digital display.

47 Singer Susan Boyle, e.g. : SCOT

Susan Boyle hit the big time when she first appeared on the television show “Britain’s Got Talent”. She came on the stage with a very unassuming manner, not looking at all glamorous and then belted out a song with her powerful and mature voice. She blew away the audience and judges. Within nine days of her debut performance, a clip of her audition had been watched 100 million times on the Internet!

59 *Like two-humped camels : BACTRIAN

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of a camel is the large deposit of fatty tissue on its back. The dromedary is the most common camel, and has one hump of fatty tissue on its back. The Bactrian camel has two humps, and makes up just 6% of the world’s camel population. Those fatty humps are useful if no food or water is available, as fat can be broken down into water and energy.

61 Non-Rx : OTC

Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs don’t need a prescription (Rx).

63 Form 1040 calc. : AGI

Adjusted gross income (AGI)

IRS Form 1040 was originally created just for tax returns from 1913, 1914 and 1915, but it’s a form that just keeps on giving, or should I say “taking” …?

64 Religious groups that allegedly communicate with ETs : UFO CULTS

One might speculate that an unidentified flying object (UFO) is flown by an extraterrestrial (ET).

67 Sweatshirt with a head cover : HOODIE

My wife gave me a hoodie for Christmas not so long ago, one with a Grumpy logo. Not sure why she chose that particular logo …

69 Classic couples carrier? : NOAH’S ARK

Genesis 6:19-20 states that Noah was instructed to take two animals of every kind into the ark. Later, in Genesis 7:2-3 Noah was instructed to take on board “every clean animal by sevens … male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth”. Apparently, “extras” (7 rather than 2) were needed for ritual sacrifice.

Down

1 Electrical unit : AMPERE

The unit of electric current is the ampere, which is abbreviated correctly to “A” rather than “amp”. It is named after French physicist André-Marie Ampère, one of the main scientists responsible for the discovery of electromagnetism.

3 Accessory for Katniss Everdeen : QUIVER

A quiver is a container used to carry arrows.

Katniss Everdeen is a protagonist in “The Hunger Games” trilogy by Suzanne Collins. The character’s name is taken from the edible plant called katniss. On the big screen, Everdeen is played by actress Jennifer Lawrence.

4 Trojans’ sch. : USC

The athletic teams of the University of Southern California are called the USC Trojans. The women’s teams are also called the Trojans, but are sometimes referred to as Women of Troy.

6 Electric wheels : TESLA

Tesla Motors shortened its name to just “Tesla” in early 2017.

9 Fort defended by Bond : KNOX

Fort Knox is actually a US Army base that lends its name to the adjacent facility that is more correctly called the United States Bullion Depository. Most of the US gold reserves are in “Fort Knox”, although it isn’t the biggest gold repository in the US. That honor goes to the vault under the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in Manhattan. Most of the gold stored in the New York vault belongs to foreign nations and banks.

“Goldfinger” is Ian Fleming’s seventh James Bond novel, and was first published in 1959. Fleming was in the habit of naming his characters after people in the real world. The novel’s colorful antagonist Auric Goldfinger was named after Hungarian-born British architect Ernő Goldfinger.

10 Disney film featuring a canine prosecutor, with “The” : SHAGGY DA

“The Shaggy D.A.” is a 1976 Disney movie, and a sequel to the 1959 film “The Shaggy Dog”.

11 Lord’s Prayer opener : OUR ..

Our Father … (“Pater noster” in Latin) are the opening words of the Lord’s Prayer, which is probably the best-known prayer in the Christian tradition.

12 *Strategic maneuver : TACTIC

The terms “strategy” and “tactic” are often confused. In the original frame of reference, namely war, strategy is decided prior to battle. Tactics are implemented during the battle, and are consistent with the strategy.

16 Last word in a holiday song : … SYNE

The song “Auld Lang Syne” is a staple at New Year’s Eve (well, actually in the opening minutes of New Year’s Day). The words were written by Scottish poet Robbie Burns. The literal translation of “Auld Lang Syne” is “old long since”, but is better translated as “old times”. The sentiment of the song is “for old time’s sake”.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For days of auld lang syne

21 Kin of Kourtney : KHLOE

Khloé Kardashian, sister of Kim, managed to parlay her exposure on the reality show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” into spin-offs called “Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami” and “Khloé & Lamar”.

24 __ Twins: online comedy duo : DOLAN

The Dolan Twins are a comedy duo comprising Ethan and Grayson Dolan. They are an Internet-focused act, and first made a name for themselves on the social networking platform Vine in 2013.

26 Freaks out : HAS A COW

The phrase “don’t have a cow” originated in the fifties, as a variation of the older “don’t have kittens”. The concept behind the phrase is that one shouldn’t get worked up, it’s not like one is giving birth to a cow.

28 Quick dip? : GUAC

Guacamole is one of my favorite dishes. It is prepared by mashing avocados and perhaps adding the likes of tomato, onion and lime juice. The guacamole recipe dates back as early as the 16th century, to the time of the Aztecs. “Guacamole” translates as “avocado sauce”.

30 “Bosch” squad: Abbr. : LAPD

“Bosch” is a well-written police drama series produced by Amazon Studios. The title character, detective Harry Bosch, is portrayed by Titus Welliver. Harry Bosch features in a series of novels by Michael Connelly, who is also the TV show’s creator.

34 Calif. summer hrs. : PDT

Pacific Daylight Time (PDT)

36 Admissions depts. review them : GPAS

Grade point average (GPA)

40 __ joke : DAD

I tell dad jokes all the time, just to annoy the kids …

  • I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. It’s impossible to put down!
  • If you see a robbery at an Apple Store, does that make you an iWitness?
  • A termite walks into a bar and asks, “Is the bar tender here?”
  • Two guys walk into a bar, the third one ducks.
  • What’s the best part about living in Switzerland? I don’t know, but the flag is a big plus.

51 Celebrity socialite : IT GIRL

Clara Bow was a fabulous silent film star, with her most famous movie being “It” from 1927. Clara Bow’s performance was so celebrated in the movie that she was forever to be known as the “It girl”. The term “it” was a euphemism for “sex appeal”, and that is what Clara Bow was known to “exude”. Bow applied her red lipstick in the shape of a heart, and women who copied this style were said to put on a “Clara Bow”. We now use the term “it girl” more generally to describe a celebrity or personality perceived to exhibit sex appeal.

54 Theater ticket abbr. : ORCH

Orchestra (orch.)

55 Name of 12 popes : PIUS

There have been twelve popes named Pius, the latest being Pope Pius XII. He led the Roman Catholic Church until his death in 1958.

62 Crooner Perry : COMO

Perry Como was my mother’s favorite singer. Como was born about 20 miles from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Famously, his first career was barbering. He learned the trade from a local hairdresser and soon had his own shop in a Greek coffee house, at the age of 14!

64 __ vez: once : UNA

“Una vez” means “one time” in Spanish. “Una vez más” translates as “over again”, literally “one more time”.

68 Electrical unit : OHM

The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every school kid knows as Ohm’s Law.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Let off : ACQUIT
7 “Beats me,” in texts : IDK
10 Boozer : SOT
13 Its recipe often includes egg whites : MOUSSE
14 System used in home decor : FENG SHUI
17 *Runs drills : PRACTICES
18 It can unfold over many episodes : STORY ARC
19 P.O. box item : ENV
20 Canadian grazer : ELK
22 *Extremely demanding : EXACTING
23 *Did a double-take, say : REACTED
25 Sounds of relief : AHHS
27 Simon of “Shaun of the Dead” : PEGG
29 Screen legend Flynn : ERROL
31 *Produce milk : LACTATE
33 “Indeedy” : YUP
35 One-time Nigerian capital : LAGOS
37 Thingamajig : DOODAD
40 Magic trick that affects the answers to starred clues : DISAPPEARING ACT
44 Seales of HBO’s “Insecure” : AMANDA
45 Feed a crowd, say : CATER
46 Printer spec. : DPI
47 Singer Susan Boyle, e.g. : SCOT
49 Outfit again : RERIG
53 Kind of sink : SLOP
56 Tot’s bruise : OWIE
58 __ trap : SET A
59 *Like two-humped camels : BACTRIAN
61 Non-Rx : OTC
63 Form 1040 calc. : AGI
64 Religious groups that allegedly communicate with ETs : UFO CULTS
67 Sweatshirt with a head cover : HOODIE
69 Classic couples carrier? : NOAH’S ARK
70 “Ouch!” : I’M HURT!
71 Word with film or form : ART …
72 Utter : SAY
73 *In a concise manner : COMPACTLY

Down

1 Electrical unit : AMPERE
2 Home plate edge : CORNER
3 Accessory for Katniss Everdeen : QUIVER
4 Trojans’ sch. : USC
5 “That makes sense” : I SEE
6 Electric wheels : TESLA
7 Hypotheticals : IFS
8 Not like at all : DETEST
9 Fort defended by Bond : KNOX
10 Disney film featuring a canine prosecutor, with “The” : SHAGGY DA
11 Lord’s Prayer opener : OUR ..
12 *Strategic maneuver : TACTIC
15 Handlebar part : GRIP
16 Last word in a holiday song : … SYNE
21 Kin of Kourtney : KHLOE
24 __ Twins: online comedy duo : DOLAN
26 Freaks out : HAS A COW
28 Quick dip? : GUAC
30 “Bosch” squad: Abbr. : LAPD
32 Prep for publication : EDIT
34 Calif. summer hrs. : PDT
36 Admissions depts. review them : GPAS
38 Unique thing, to a Brit : ONER
39 Meanies : OGRES
40 __ joke : DAD
41 *Has an effect on : IMPACTS
42 Tot’s tub toy : SAILBOAT
43 1:15, e.g. : RATIO
48 Against : CONTRA
50 Study, with “on” : READ UP …
51 Celebrity socialite : IT GIRL
52 Merriment : GAIETY
54 Theater ticket abbr. : ORCH
55 Name of 12 popes : PIUS
57 Value system : ETHIC
60 Old-style “Bummer!” : ALAS!
62 Crooner Perry : COMO
64 __ vez: once : UNA
65 *Thing that matters : FACTOR
66 __-high : SKY
68 Electrical unit : OHM

30 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 2 Jul 21, Friday”

  1. Pretty fun theme, though I got tripped up in the lower right corner after putting in REtoG and ETHos rather than RERIG and ETHIC.

  2. 10:10, 2 errors on the WAGs surrounding this absolutely horrible theme that should have never seen the light of day.

  3. Crashed on this one.. needed the theme to help but way too many “didn’t know that” words or shows. DOLAN? so I went with DOMAN. Don’t know the Kardacians so guessed with KALIE.

    I don’t go to the Theater much but why would my ticket have ORCH on it? I’m sure it’s short for Orchestra..

    Also didn’t know BOSCH squad.

    1. I really didn’t think it was all that difficult (but I’ll pass on your rather strange offer … 😜).

  4. @Cindy (from yesterday) …

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

    @Anon Mike …

    The dictionary definition of an “orchestra section” is “the area of seats in a theatre close to and on the same level as the stage”. (And I don’t go to the theatre all that much, either, so I had to look it up … 😜.)

    And … I apparently enjoy “absolutely horrible themes”, though I did have to slow down and think about where all those disappearing acts had disappeared to. IMHO, a very creative and intriguing puzzle … 😜.

  5. And (potty old man that I am) I forgot to mention what I most liked about this puzzle: the fact that each of the entries from which an “ACT” has disappeared is, nevertheless, a clue-able entry in its own right. An esthetically pleasing touch … 👍.

    1. Nonny,
      Could you possibly mean ” dotty” rather than “potty” ? Or, am I missing something?

  6. Just under 45 min. with no errors…a rare occasion where the theme actually helped.
    Aah is ahh again because it fits.
    A lot of “never heard ofs” in this one.
    Stay safe😀

  7. Similar to Anon Mike, and I didn’t finish. Usually, though, the ones I get on Friday are correct, but I had RPI for Trojan’s school (as in Troy, NY). I never know names of teams, athletes (unless the athlete is a horse).

  8. Absolutely stupid theme. I hope I never see this writer again.This puzzle made no sense.6 down-electric wheels-should be teslas not tesla.

    1. Back in the day (and I think it’s still true), one could say, “Where did you park your wheels?” And the answer now might be, “My Tesla is just around the next corner.”

      A dictionary definition of “wheels” (found online) is “an informal word for car”.

  9. 29A – Errol Flynn… If you want to read an amusing biography, look for his “My Wicked, Wicked Ways”. He was quite a character and led an interesting life.

  10. 18:08, and 6 errors, all “forced” by this awful, STUPID theme.
    *SO* tired of all these idiotic tricks!!!!

  11. Tough puzzle! I am amateur. I don’t quit! I’m slow but steady. Took me over 3 hours. I enjoy an intellectual challenge, but this effort was destructive tn my medujla oblongata & my pons. I’m watching fnr the pusilanimus person’s name so I won’t waste time on a puzzle created by a dreamer who forgot that we do puzzles to relax and be marginally challenged.

  12. 16:00 1 error because I refuse to learn how to properly spell the name of any Kardashian.

    I really enjoyed this theme. Once I realized why 22A had to be EX(act)ING, I thought of DISAPPEARINGACT, and I was off to the races.

  13. I enjoyed this puzzle. I thought the theme was clever/interesting. And, no, I didn’t ace it. But then I think that is on me, not on the constructor or editor.

  14. I found it quite difficult and was surprised to be able to finish it after a very slow start. Very clever and challenging.

  15. I thought it was a clever theme, and upoed the difficulty for a near-end-of-the-week puzzle. 27:51 with a translator look up for ___ vez: once. After that, I could complete UfO, ArT, and fOr in the SW corner. Knowing the theme helped with all the other starred clues. Had not heard of Amanda Seales or a slop sink, though

  16. Well, I accidentally did this yesterday, since it was already posted, and totally bombed. I did get the theme and most of the theme clues, even if I didn’t understand them at the time. I also hadn’t heard of most of the proper names.
    So, today I decided to redo it and *surprisingly* did much better. I understood the theme and how it worked, even “FOR”, which took a while. it still took 20:42, since I had trouble – twice now – with the NW section around REED/DOLAN, although I did finally manage to get the banner.

    I checked out the DOLAN twins, who’ve apparently given up on YouTube, and who I’ve never heard of before. Also had trouble with PEGG/GUAC, which after thinking about it a bit, makes sense, even if I’ve never heard of PEGG before.

    So, all in all, hard but fair, although I could have used with far less proper nouns.

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