LA Times Crossword 21 Jul 21, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Daniel Raymon
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: I’ll Second That

Themed answers are common phrases that start with a word associated with “two”:

  • 38A “Amen!” … or a hint to the start of four other long answers : I’LL SECOND THAT!
  • 17A Mole, perhaps : DOUBLE AGENT
  • 21A Either Bush 43 daughter : TWIN SISTER
  • 58A Braille is one : BINARY CODE
  • 64A Olympic event featuring death spirals : PAIR SKATING

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

Bill’s time: 5m 48s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7 Sucker for a flame : MOTH

It isn’t really understood why moths are attracted to artificial lights. There is one theory that sounds plausible to me though. It is suggested that moths navigate at night by maintaining the moon (the brightest celestial object) at a fixed angle. When a moth finds a brighter light source, like an artificial light, it gets confused.

11 Camera letters : SLR

Single-lens reflex (SLR) camera

14 Hoi __ : POLLOI

“Hoi polloi” is a Greek term that translates literally as “the majority, the many”. In English, “hoi polloi” has come to mean “the masses” and is often used in a derogatory sense. Oddly, the term has also come to describe “the elite”.

15 Mine, in Montreal : A MOI

“À moi” (literally “to me”) is French for “mine”.

17 Mole, perhaps : DOUBLE AGENT

A mole is a spy who works from within the ranks of an enemy’s government of intelligence service. The use of “mole” took off after the publication of John Le Carré’s 1974 novel “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”. The author was himself a former intelligence officer and asserts that “mole” was a term used by the KGB, whereas Western agencies used the term “sleeper agent”.

19 Señora Perón : EVA

Eva Perón was the second wife of President Juan Perón who was in office from 1946 to 1955. The Argentine First Lady was known affectionately by the people as “Evita”, the Spanish language diminutive of “Eva”. “Evita” is also the title of a tremendously successful musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice that is based on the life of Eva Perón.

21 Either Bush 43 daughter : TWIN SISTER

Barbara Bush is one of the twin daughters of President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. She is co-founder and president of Global Health Corps., a non-profit that promotes health equity around the world. Barbara and her sister Jenna wrote the 2017 memoir “Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life”.

Jenna Bush is one of the twin daughters of President George W. Bush. During her father’s 2004 presidential campaign, Jenna met and started dating Henry Hager who was a White House aide for deputy chief of staff Karl Rove. The couple were married in 2008.

24 “The Black Cat” author : POE

“The Black Cat” is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe that was first published in 1843. It is a dark tale about a man who murders his wife and is taunted by the couple’s black cat.

25 Locker room powders : TALCS

Talc is a mineral, hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days “baby powder” is also made from cornstarch.

26 Belgian expressionist James : ENSOR

James Ensor was a Belgian painter who was active in the first half of the twentieth century. He lived in Ostend for almost all of his life. In fact, Ensor only made three brief trips abroad, to Paris, London and Holland.

32 Diamond Head locale : OAHU

Diamond Head on the Hawaiian island of Oahu was given its name by British sailors in the 1800s. These sailors found calcite crystals in the rock surrounding the volcanic tuff cone and mistook the crystals for diamonds.

33 1974 musical based on a 1900 novel, with “The” : … WIZ

“The Wiz”, the 1974 musical, was written by Charlie Smalls and is an African-American adaptation of Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. The film version of the stage show was released in 1978, starring Diana Ross as Dorothy and Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow. I haven’t seen it, though. “The Wizard of Oz” scares me, as the flying monkeys creep me out. There, I’ve admitted it in public …

35 eBay offers : BIDS

There have been some notable things sold on eBay over the years. For example:

  • Ad space on a guy’s forehead, in the form of a temporary tattoo – $37,375
  • William Shatner’s kidney stone – $25,000
  • A cornflake shaped like Illinois – $1,350
  • A single corn flake – $1.63
  • A box of 10 Twinkies – $59.99
  • The original Hollywood sign – $450,400
  • The meaning of life – $3.26

38 “Amen!” … or a hint to the start of four other long answers : I’LL SECOND THAT!

The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

42 Meter preceder : ODO-

An odometer measures distance traveled. “Odometer comes from the Greek “hodos” meaning “path” and “metron” meaning “measure”.

43 Lake formed by the Hoover Dam : MEAD

The reservoir on the Colorado River known as Lake Mead used to be the largest reservoir in the US. Located outside Las Vegas, drought and increasing demand for water has shrunk Lake Mead so that now Lake Sakakawea on the Missouri in North Dakota has a larger surface area and volume of water.

When the magnificent Hoover Dam was completed in 1936 it was the largest hydroelectric plant in the world, as well as being the world’s largest concrete structure. The edifice was originally known as Boulder Dam, due to its location near Boulder City, Nevada. The dam was eventually named after Herbert Hoover for his role in having the dam built when he was Secretary of Commerce, and his later support as US President. There was a formal dedication ceremony held in September 1935 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt was in the area, when only work on the powerhouse was incomplete. President Roosevelt managed to make his dedication speech without once referring to the name of his former opponent President Hoover. When the dam was finally put into service in 1936, the project was two years ahead of schedule. Those were the days …

45 Lox variety : NOVA

Nova lox is salmon that has been cured with a mild brine and then cold-smoked. The term “nova” originally applied to salmon from Nova Scotia.

Lox is a brine-cured salmon fillet that is finely sliced. The term “lox” comes into English via Yiddish, and derives from the German word for salmon, namely “Lachs”.

49 Language in which “w” and “y” are considered vowels : WELSH

The Welsh language is a Celtic tongue that is known as “Cymraeg” by its native speakers. The country of Wales is known as “Cymru” in Welsh.

53 2010 Barack appointee : 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.

President Obama’s first name Barack is Swahili with roots in an old Arabic word meaning “blessed”. Barack was the President’s father’s name. President Obama’s middle name is Hussein, an Arabic word meaning “good” or “handsome one”. Hussein was the name of the President’s grandfather on the paternal side. His surname, Obama, doesn’t really have a translation, but is common among the Luo tribe of Kenya.

55 Parrot : APE

Scientists tell us that parrots are some of the most intelligent species of birds. Many of those species are able to imitate the human voice. Such characteristics have led to parrots becoming popular house pets, and a resulting drop in populations of parrots living in the wild.

58 Braille is one : BINARY CODE

The Braille system of reading and writing was devised in 1825 by Louis Braille, who was himself afflicted with blindness. Braille characters are composed of six positions or dots, each arranged in two columns of three dots each. Every dot can be raised or not raised, given a total of 64 possible characters.

62 Sooner State city : ENID

Enid, Oklahoma takes its name from the old railroad station around which the city developed. Back in 1889, that train stop was called Skeleton Station. An official who didn’t like the name changed it to Enid Station, using a character from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King”. Maybe if he hadn’t changed the name, the city of Enid would now be called Skeleton, Oklahoma! Enid has the nickname “Queen Wheat City” because it has a huge capacity for storing grain, the third largest grain storage capacity in the world.

The 1889 Indian Appropriations Act officially opened up the so-called Unassigned Lands, land in Oklahoma on which no Native American tribes had settled. Once the Act was signed, those lands became available for settlement. Those people who settled the same lands illegally, prior to the date specified, were termed “Sooners” as their situation was defined in the “sooner clause” of the Act. “Sooner State” is now a nickname for Oklahoma.

63 Vivid dye : AZO

Azo compounds have very vivid colors and so are used to make dyes, especially dyes with the colors red, orange and yellow. The term “azo” comes from the French word “azote” meaning “nitrogen”. French chemist Lavoisier coined the term “azote” from the Greek word “azotos” meaning “lifeless”. He used this name as in pure nitrogen/azote animals die and flames are snuffed out (due to a lack of oxygen).

64 Olympic event featuring death spirals : PAIR SKATING

A death spiral is a move in pairs figure skating. It involves one partner lowering the other close to the ice, while the pair spin around the standing skater. The move was invented and first performed by German professional skater Charlotte Oelschlägel and her husband in 1920.

66 Volleyball scoring unit : SET

In volleyball, each team can only touch the ball a maximum of three times before it returns to the other side of the net. The three contacts are often a “bump” (a preliminary pass) and a “set” (setting up the attacking shot) followed by a “spike” (a shot into the opposing court).

68 With 56-Down, type of black tea with another color in its name : ORANGE …
56D See 68-Across : … PEKOE

A pekoe (or more commonly “orange pekoe”) is a medium-grade black tea. There is no orange flavor in an orange pekoe tea. The “orange” name most likely derived from the name of the trading company that brought the tea to Europe from Asia.

69 Journal’s end? : -ESE

Lingo is specialized vocabulary. Journalese and legalese would be good examples.

Down

2 Political pundit Peggy : NOONAN

Peggy Noonan is an author and columnist, and was once a speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan. Noonan was responsible for one of President Reagan’s most-remembered speeches, when he addressed the nation after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. She also came up with some famous phrases used by President George H. W. Bush, such as “a kinder, gentler nation”, “a thousand points of light” and “read my lips; no new taxes”.

4 Idris of “Luther” : ELBA

“Luther” is a British television series starring Idris Elba in the title role as Detective Chief Inspector John Luther. There has been talk about developing a US version of “Luther”, and a Russian version first broadcast in 2016 using the title “Klim”.

5 “Kidding!” letters : LOL!

Laugh out loud (LOL)

7 Ancient trio : MAGI

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, “magi” is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar: a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

11 __ Savitskaya, first woman to perform a spacewalk : SVETLANA

Russian cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya flew on the Soviet space mission Soyuz T-7 in 1982, making her the second woman in space (after cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova in 1963). Savitskaya also flew on the Soyuz T-7 mission in 1984, when she became the first woman to go to space twice, and the first woman to perform a spacewalk.

22 __ Tomé and Príncipe : SAO

The Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe is an island nation off the west coast of Africa comprising mainly two islands: São Tomé and Príncipe. São Tomé and Príncipe is located in the Gulf of Guinea, off the coast of Gabon. It was colonized by Portugal after POrtuguese explorers discovered the islands in the 15th century. After gaining independence in 1975, São Tomé and Príncipe became the smallest Portuguese-speaking country in the world.

24 Spectrum maker : PRISM

When light passes through a prism, it splits up (disperses) into differing wavelengths. It then becomes clear that white light is actually a mixture of different colors, which show up as a beautiful spectrum.

27 Potterverse courier : OWL

In the “Harry Potter” universe, messages are sent by owl post, which uses owls as mail carriers.

The “Harry Potter” universe is also known as the “Potterverse”.

30 Chard alternative : ZIN

Zinfandel is one of my favorite red wine varietals. It amazes me that the rich and heavy red Zinfandel comes from the same grape as does the sweet White Zinfandel.

The Chardonnay grape is believed to have originated in the Burgundy wine region of France. Now it’s grown “everywhere”. Drinkers of California “Chards” seem to be particularly fond of oak flavor, so most Chardonnay wines are aged in oak barrels.

34 Pizza pieces? : ZEES

There are two letters Z (zee) in the word “pizza”.

36 “Dred” novelist : STOWE

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s most famous and most successful work is “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. It was also her first novel. Her second was published in 1856, i.e. “Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp”.

46 Carrier to Tokyo : ANA

All Nippon Airways (ANA) is a Japanese airline, one that is now larger in size than the nation’s flag carrier Japan Airlines (JAL).

50 Pacific weather phenomenon : LA NINA

The ocean-atmosphere phenomenon known as “La Niña” (Spanish for “the girl”) is the opposite of the more familiar “El Niño”. During a period of La Niña, the surface temperature across the equatorial Eastern Central Pacific Ocean is lower than usual by 3-5 degrees celsius. During a period of El Niño, that same temperature is higher than normal.

52 Risk-offsetting investments : HEDGES

Originally, a hedge fund was a fund that paired long and short positions in a strategy designed to hedge market risk, to avoid major losses. That’s far from the case today, as hedge funds are now relatively high risk/reward investments that are not available to the general public as they avoid or partially avoid regulatory oversight.

54 Cosmetician Adrien : ARPEL

The Adrien Arpel cosmetic company was founded in 1962 and initially sold its products across Europe. The company started selling in the US in 1968.

62 JFK board data : ETAS

The Idlewild Golf Course was taken over by the city of New York in 1943 and construction started on a new airport to serve the metropolis and relieve congestion at LaGuardia. The Idlewild name still persists, even though the airport was named after Major General Alexander E. Anderson from the first days of the project. When the facility started operating in 1948 it was known as New York International Airport, Anderson Field. It was renamed to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in 1963, one month after the President was assassinated.

65 Cue followers : ARS

In the English alphabet, the letter Q (cue) is followed by the letter R (ar).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Prepare to get up from one’s plane seat : UNBELT
7 Sucker for a flame : MOTH
11 Camera letters : SLR
14 Hoi __ : POLLOI
15 Mine, in Montreal : A MOI
16 Rival : VIE
17 Mole, perhaps : DOUBLE AGENT
19 Señora Perón : EVA
20 Palindromic woman’s name : ANNA
21 Either Bush 43 daughter : TWIN SISTER
23 Bit of body ink : TAT
24 “The Black Cat” author : POE
25 Locker room powders : TALCS
26 Belgian expressionist James : ENSOR
28 Stun : DAZE
32 Diamond Head locale : OAHU
33 1974 musical based on a 1900 novel, with “The” : … WIZ
35 eBay offers : BIDS
37 Drop off for a bit : NAP
38 “Amen!” … or a hint to the start of four other long answers : I’LL SECOND THAT!
42 Meter preceder : ODO-
43 Lake formed by the Hoover Dam : MEAD
44 “Told __!” : YOU
45 Lox variety : NOVA
47 Burst forth : SPEW
49 Language in which “w” and “y” are considered vowels : WELSH
53 2010 Barack appointee : ELENA
55 Parrot : APE
57 Bothered a lot, with “at” : ATE …
58 Braille is one : BINARY CODE
62 Sooner State city : ENID
63 Vivid dye : AZO
64 Olympic event featuring death spirals : PAIR SKATING
66 Volleyball scoring unit : SET
67 Small advantage : EDGE
68 With 56-Down, type of black tea with another color in its name : ORANGE
69 Journal’s end? : -ESE
70 Gaelic gal : LASS
71 Persuasive pieces : ESSAYS

Down

1 Reason for a restart : UPDATE
2 Political pundit Peggy : NOONAN
3 Numbs : BLUNTS
4 Idris of “Luther” : ELBA
5 “Kidding!” letters : LOL!
6 Associate with : TIE TO
7 Ancient trio : MAGI
8 Black cat, to some : OMEN
9 Quite a lot : TONS
10 “Start the music!” : HIT IT!
11 __ Savitskaya, first woman to perform a spacewalk : SVETLANA
12 Modern customer support option : LIVE CHAT
13 Reacts in fear, as a horse : REARS UP
18 Wonderstruck : AWED
22 __ Tomé and Príncipe : SAO
24 Spectrum maker : PRISM
27 Potterverse courier : OWL
29 Cabin or castle : ABODE
30 Chard alternative : ZIN
31 Water whirled : EDDY
34 Pizza pieces? : ZEES
36 “Dred” novelist : STOWE
38 Reveres : IDOLIZES
39 Heart-y message? : LOVE NOTE
40 Upper limit : CAP
41 Color : HUE
42 __ hit: baseball single : ONE BASE
46 Carrier to Tokyo : ANA
48 Rolls of money : WADS
50 Pacific weather phenomenon : LA NINA
51 Cheap : STINGY
52 Risk-offsetting investments : HEDGES
54 Cosmetician Adrien : ARPEL
56 See 68-Across : PEKOE
59 When tripled, “et cetera” : YADA
60 Smokes, briefly : CIGS
61 Crude metals : ORES
62 JFK board data : ETAS
65 Cue followers : ARS

22 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 21 Jul 21, Wednesday”

  1. 16:45, no errors. Was a slog today, thanks to Bill for the new knowledge (for me) re 46D ANA & an explanation of 65D ARS.

  2. No errors, but did look up the “lox variety” as I wasn’t familiar
    with it. Didn’t get the theme until Bill’s explanation.

  3. Because my wife speaks Japanese and I have gleaned a few words over the last 37 years I call ANA “hole” airways as the word “ana” (in Romaji) means just that in Japanese, “hole” (among other words – all depending on the context of what you are saying).

  4. Didn’t know 45A or 54D so guessed with NOVO and ONA.. didn’t know 65D ARS either but my crosses were correct.

    Had EL NINA at first.. LA came with crosses.

  5. A little over 20 min. no errors.
    Stay safe😀
    If you know someone who doesn’t have their shot try gentle persuasion or anything that works before this gets out of hand again🙏

  6. Yes, I was mystified about 65D “cue followers” until I read Bill’s explanation – thanks! (Bit of a stretch imo.)

  7. 8:53

    There’s some real groaners in here in 30D and 65D. I hope the people who refer to a wine with the name of a vegetable are proud of their wit.

  8. 15:39 and 2 errors caused by failing to fill in one square.
    The SW corner was just awful. JOURNAL**ESE***???? What the hell is THAT?? AZO??? What???

    1. Courtesy of Google: “Journalese” is “a hackneyed style of writing supposedly characteristic of that in newspapers and magazines”. And an “azo dye” (often, in my experience, referred to as just an “azo”) is “any of a large class of synthetic dyes whose molecules contain two adjacent nitrogen atoms between carbon atoms”.

      I’d offer to buy you a dictionary, but you’re not using the one at your fingertips, so … 😳.

  9. Too many names…I’m done with these puzzles…way too difficult for Wednesday…Svetlana please give me a break

  10. I looked up blunt and nowhere it says to numb.This writer is awful.A lot of the answers seemed to be made up.Cue followers — ars stupid.

  11. I have been doing crosswords for over 20 years and this puzzle had 19 answers I never heard of.This should have been a Friday puzzle.

  12. A strain in the SW corner for a few minutes – 27:36 with no errors. Took a,while to come up with BINARY in 58A. Guessed the intersecting “A” in NOVA/ANA (originally had JAL for the Tokyo carrier). Had not understood journal”ese” in the same way as legalese, but now I do, thanks to Bill. Didn’t understand ARS in 65D until Bill’s explanation (too cute).

  13. Tough Wednesday for me; took 19:20 with the same error as Allen above: ES? I actually had tried all the vowels on AZ_ and finally stayed with O, so I got lucky there and then did a “check-grid” to find out my ES? guess of t or m, which didn’t make sense, were wrong. Finally put in E, after a while….

    Learned a lot today, although this is the second or third time for AZO, so hopefully I’ll remember that. Remembered NOVA from the past and got lucky on crosses with ARPEL and ARS.

  14. There should have been some sort of hint that ‘chard’ was an abbreviation. Otherwise we could clue the answer “typh” with ‘torn’.

    Kind of suprised that it needs to be said, but ‘cue’ is in no way the same as ‘q’. One might as well say that ‘know’ is the opposite of ‘yes’, ‘blind’ is the opposite of ‘c’ or that ‘v’ follows ‘you’ if that tack is considered legitimate. One of the most blatantly incorrect clues I’ve seen in quite some time.

    Are puzzlemakers really so desperate to appear clever that they feel forced to resort to such nonsense? I really don’t understand…

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