LA Times Crossword 23 Jul 21, Friday

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Constructed by: Ed Sessa
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): EA to EE

Themed answers are common phrases in which the letter sequence “EA” has been changed to “EE”:

  • 17A Double vision? : TWIN PEEKS (from “Twin Peaks”)
  • 23A What EEE signifies? : NO SMALL FEET (from “no small feat”)
  • 39A Cesar Millan’s gift? : THE HEELING TOUCH (from “the healing touch”)
  • 49A Blind date? : MYSTERY MEET (from “mystery meat”)
  • 61A His-and-hers concert souvenir? : TEE FOR TWO (from “Tea for Two”)

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

Bill’s time: 11m 08s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Japanese car whose name means “reward” in early German : MIATA

The Mazda MX-5 is sold as the Miata in North America, and as the Roadster in Japan. I’ve always liked the looks of the Mazda Miata, probably because it reminds me so much of old British sports cars. The Miata is built in Hiroshima, Japan. The name “Miata” comes from an Old High German word meaning “reward”.

6 Infielder in a comedy routine : WHO

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello made up the comedy duo Abbott and Costello who were immensely popular in the forties and fifties. Even when I was growing up in Ireland and knew nothing about baseball, I was rolling around the floor listening to Abbott and Costello’s famous “Who’s on First?” comedy routine. Can you name all the players?

First Base: Who
Second Base: What
Third Base: I Don’t Know
Left field: Why
Center field: Because
Pitcher: Tomorrow
Catcher: Today
Shortstop: I Don’t Care/I Don’t Give a Darn

14 Joins, as a team : YOKES

A yoke is a wooden beam used between a pair of animals so that they are forced to work together.

16 Big name in foil : ALCOA

The Aluminum Corporation of America (ALCOA) is the largest producer of aluminum in the United States. The company was founded in 1888 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where its headquarters are to this day.

17 Double vision? : TWIN PEEKS (from “Twin Peaks”)

“Twin Peaks” is an ABC TV drama about an FBI murder investigation in the fictional town of Twin Peaks, Washington. The show originally ran for just two seasons, from 1990 to 1991. There followed a 1992 feature film called “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me”, and Showtime came up with “Twin Peaks: The Return” that started airing in 2017. I haven’t seen any incarnations of the show, but I hear good things …

20 Flying Solo : HAN

Han Solo is the space smuggler in “Star Wars” played by Harrison Ford. Ford was originally hired by George Lucas just to read lines for actors during auditions for “Star Wars”, but over time Lucas became convinced that Ford was right for the pivotal role of Han Solo.

21 Brute’s rebuke : ET TU?

The most famous man with the name “Brutus” in ancient Rome was Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger. It was this Brutus that Julius Caesar turned to when he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate. William Shakespeare immortalized Brutus by featuring him in his play, “Julius Caesar”, and giving his victim the line “Et tu, Brute?”

22 “Will it play in __?”: vaudeville phrase : PEORIA

Peoria is the oldest European settlement in the state of Illinois, having been settled by the French in 1680. The city is famous for being cited as “the average American city”. The phrase, “Will it play in Peoria?” is used to mean, “Will it appeal to the mainstream?” It is believed the expression originated as a corruption of, “We shall play in Peoria”, a line used by some actors in the 1890 novel “Five Hundred Dollars” by Horatio Alger, Jr.

25 Birthplace of St. Francis : ASSISI

The Italian town of Assisi is in Umbria. Assisi is famous as the birthplace of St. Francis and as the home to the Franciscan religious order. It was also the home to Saint Clare and her order of the Poor Sisters (later known as the Poor Clares).

St. Francis founded the Franciscan religious order in Assisi in 1208. He died in 1226, and was declared a saint just two years later in 1228. Construction of the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi started immediately after the canonization, and finished 25 years later. The Basilica is now a United Nations World Heritage Site.

29 “Who, me?” : MOI?

“Moi” is the French word for “me”. One might say “Moi?” when feigning innocence.

30 Pound product : POEM

Ezra Pound was an American poet who spent much of his life wandering the world, and spending years in London, Paris, and Italy. In Italy, Pound’s work and sympathies for Mussolini’s regime led to his arrest at the end of the war. His major work was the epic, albeit incomplete, “The Cantos”. This epic poem is divided into 120 sections, each known as a canto.

31 Fabric with metallic threads : LAME

Lamé is a fabric that has metallic yarns included in the weave. Lamé is a popular fabric for stylish evening wear, and also in the sport of fencing. The metallic threads are conductive and so help register a touch by an épée.

39 Cesar Millan’s gift? : THE HEELING TOUCH (from “the healing touch”)

“Cesar Millan” is the real name of television’s “Dog Whisperer”. Millan has been working with overly aggressive dogs on his show “Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan” since 2004. Millan was an illegal immigrant from Mexico in the US back in 1990, became legal in 2000 and then became a US citizen in 2009.

42 Doomed biblical city : SODOM

The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as Admah and Zeboim, were destroyed by God for the sins of their inhabitants, according to the Bible. The name Sodom has become a metaphor for vice and homosexuality, and gives us our word “sodomy”.

55 Films partly made in stages : OATERS

The term “oater” that is used for a Western movie comes from the number of horses seen, as horses love oats!

Although the stagecoach is very much associated with the Wild West, the vehicle originated in England in the 16th century. Stagecoaches provided transportation for travellers and goods over long distances. The rest points for the travellers were known as “stages”, and later “stations”, hence the name “stagecoach”.

60 Texas HQ of Frito-Lay : PLANO

Plano, Texas is located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. Settlers chose the name “Plano” in the 1840s. “Plano” is Spanish for “flat”, a reference to the terrain in the area.

The manufacturers of Frito and Lay potato chips merged to form Frito-Lay in 1961. Frito-Lay then merged with Pepsi-Cola in 1965 to form PepsiCo.

61 His-and-hers concert souvenir? : TEE FOR TWO (from “Tea for Two”)

The 1925 musical “No, No, Nanette” spawned two famous songs: “Tea for Two” and “I Want to Be Happy”.

64 Company abbr. : INC

A company that has incorporated uses the abbreviation “Inc.” after its name. By incorporating, a company forms a corporation, which is a legal entity that has legal rights similar to those of an individual. For example, a corporation can sue another corporation or individual. However, a corporation does not have all the rights of citizens. A corporation does not have the Fifth Amendment right of protections against self-incrimination, for example. It is perhaps understandable that the concept of “corporations as persons” is a frequent subject for debate.

65 Texans’ neighbors : OKIES

“Okies” is a derogatory term used during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s for farming families who migrated from Oklahoma (hence the name), Arkansas, Kansas and Texas in search of agricultural jobs in California. The road used by many of these migrant families was Route 66, which is also called “Mother Road”.

67 WWII carrier : LST

The initialism “LST” stands for Landing Ship, Tank. LSTs are the large vessels used mainly in WWII that have doors at either ends through which tanks and other vehicles can roll off and onto beaches. The design concept persists to this day in the huge fleet of commercial roll-on/roll-off car ferries, all inspired by the LST.

Down

2 “The Music Man” setting : IOWA

“The Music Man” is a musical by Meredith Willson. The show was a big hit on Broadway in 1957. “The Music Man” won the first ever Grammy Award for the “Best Original Cast Album”. The show is set in the fictional River City, Iowa.

4 First and __ : TEN

That would be football.

5 Quakers in Colorado? : ASPENS

The “quaking” aspen tree is so called because the structure of the leaves causes them to move easily in the wind, to “tremble, quake”.

6 Puts an edge on : WHETS

The words “whet” and “pique” can both be used in the sense of sharpening, or awakening one’s interest or desire.

7 Poppycock : HOKUM

“To hoke” is a slang term meaning “to create a false impression”. The term derives from the noun “hokum”. “Hokum” was originally theater slang, meaning “melodramatic, exaggerated acting”. Now the term just means “empty talk”. It is also the root for our word “hokey” meaning “silly, old-fashioned”.

It is thought that the relatively gentle term “poppycock”, meaning “nonsense”, comes from a Dutch word for “dung” combined with a Latin word for “excrete”. Not so gentle after all …

9 Cosmetic surgery procedure : FACELIFT

A facelift is a type of cosmetic surgery that is referred to as a rhytidectomy in medical circles. The term “rhytidectomy” comes from the Greek “rhytis” (wrinkle) and “ektome” (excision), and so is a reference to the surgical removal of wrinkles.

10 Distant : ALOOF

I suppose one might guess from the “feel” of the word “aloof” that it has nautical roots. Originally “aloof” meant “to windward” and was the opposite of “alee”. A helmsman might be instructed to stay aloof, to steer the boat into the weather to keep a distance from a lee-shore. It is from this sense of maintaining a distance that aloof came to mean “distant” in terms of personality. Interesting, huh …?

12 Funny Fields : TOTIE

“Totie Fields” was the stage name of comedian Sophie Feldman. “Totie” is a corruption of “Sophie”, and was the nickname she was given as a child.

18 Star over Paris : ETOILE

In French, one can see “étoiles” (stars) in the “ciel” (sky).

22 Abbas’ gp. : PLO

Mahmoud Abbas took over as Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 2004 after the death of Yasser Arafat. Abbas is also the President of the Palestinian National Authority, a position equivalent to “head of state”.

24 Improve : AMEND

The verb “to amend” means “to change for the better, put right, alter by adding”. The related verb “to emend” is used more rarely, and mainly in reference to the editing of professional writing. Both terms are derived from the Latin “emendare” meaning “to remove fault”.

26 NYC art district : SOHO

The Manhattan neighborhood known today as SoHo was very fashionable in the early 1900s, but as the well-heeled started to move uptown the area became very run down and poorly maintained. Noted for the number of fires that erupted in derelict buildings, SoHo earned the nickname “Hell’s Hundred Acres”. The area was then zoned for manufacturing and became home to many sweatshops. In the mid-1900s artists started to move into open loft spaces and renovating old buildings as the lofts were ideal locations in which an artist could both live and work. In 1968, artists and others organized themselves so that they could legalize their residential use of an area zoned for manufacturing. The group they formed took its name from the name given to the area by the city’s Planning Commission i.e “South of Houston”. This was shortened from So-uth of Ho-uston to SoHo as in “SoHo Artists Association”, and the name stuck.

28 Letters before a view : IMHO

In my humble opinion (IMHO)

32 Revlon cosmetics brand : ALMAY

The Almay brand of cosmetics was established back in 1931. Almay was founded by Alfred and Fanny May Woititz, who melded their given names to come up with the brand name (Al-may). The couple were driven to invent the products as Fanny May needed cosmetics that did not irritate her skin.

Revlon was founded in the depths of the Great Depression in 1932 by Charles and Joseph Revson. The “S” in the “Revson” name was replaced by the “L” from Charles “Lachman”, a chemist who partnered with the two brothers.

33 Customizable Nintendo persona : MII

Nintendo introduced customizable avatars for the company’s video game consoles starting in 1997. The first customizable avatars for the Wii system were introduced in 2006, and were given the inventive name “Miis”.

36 Feast on 44-Across : LUAU
(44A See 36-Down : OAHU )

The Hawaiian party or feast known as a “luau” really dates back to 1819, when King Kamehameha II removed religious laws that governed the eating of meals. These laws called for women and men to eat separately. At the same time as he changed the laws, the king initiated the luau tradition by symbolically eating with the women who moved in his circle.

46 Triage areas, briefly : ERS

Triage is the process of prioritizing patients for treatment, especially on the battlefield. The term “triage” is French and means “sorting”.

48 When a classic film gunfight started : AT NOON

I am not a huge fan of western movies, but “High Noon” works for me. The film has a great cast, with Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly in the lead roles. I suppose I like the film because it doesn’t fit the mold as a typical western with lots of predictable action sequences. That said, when “High Noon” first hit theaters it was not popular with audiences, largely because moviegoers were expecting the formulaic western film. One interesting feature of the storyline is that the sequence of events takes place in approximate real time.

50 1945 “Big Three” meeting site : YALTA

Yalta is a resort city on the Black Sea on the Crimean Peninsula. Crimea is very much in the news in recent years as ownership of the territory is in dispute between Russia and the Ukraine. Yalta was also in the news at the end of WWII, as it was the site of the 1945 Yalta Conference between the leaders of the three main Allies.

The Yalta Conference was a wartime meeting between WWII leaders Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin. Held in February of 1945, the conference is most remembered for decisions made on the post-war organization of Europe. To a large extent, the three leaders made decisions carving up political influence around the world, decisions that have profound implications to this day.

52 Group’s belief : TENET

A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.

53 Appearances : MIENS

One’s mien is one’s bearing or manner. “Mien” shares the same etymological root as our word “demeanor”.

59 Big name in audio systems : BOSE

Bose Corporation was founded in 1964 by Amar G. Bose, and is a company that specializes in manufacture of audio equipment.

62 Original “King Kong” film studio : RKO

The RKO Pictures studio was formed when RCA (RADIO Corporation of America) bought the KEITH-Albee-ORPHEUM theaters (and Joe Kennedy’s Film Booking Offices of America). The RKO initialism then comes from the words “Radio”, “Keith” and “Orpheum”.

“King Kong” really is a classic movie. It stars Fay Wray as the young woman (Ann Darrow) with whom Kong falls in love. Wray was very interested in the role as she was told that she would be playing opposite the “tallest, darkest leading man in Hollywood”. She thought it might be Clark Gable. At least that’s how the story goes …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Japanese car whose name means “reward” in early German : MIATA
6 Infielder in a comedy routine : WHO
9 Conviction : FAITH
14 Joins, as a team : YOKES
15 On fire : HOT
16 Big name in foil : ALCOA
17 Double vision? : TWIN PEEKS (from “Twin Peaks”)
19 Items often checked : COATS
20 Flying Solo : HAN
21 Brute’s rebuke : ET TU?
22 “Will it play in __?”: vaudeville phrase : PEORIA
23 What EEE signifies? : NO SMALL FEET (from “no small feat”)
25 Birthplace of St. Francis : ASSISI
29 “Who, me?” : MOI?
30 Pound product : POEM
31 Fabric with metallic threads : LAME
34 Musical E equivalent : F-FLAT
39 Cesar Millan’s gift? : THE HEELING TOUCH (from “the healing touch”)
42 Doomed biblical city : SODOM
43 Calf-length skirt : MIDI
44 See 36-Down : OAHU
45 Pot pie veggie : PEA
47 Holds dear : VALUES
49 Blind date? : MYSTERY MEET (from “mystery meat”)
55 Films partly made in stages : OATERS
56 Deal with creases : IRON
57 Audibly grieve : SOB
60 Texas HQ of Frito-Lay : PLANO
61 His-and-hers concert souvenir? : TEE FOR TWO (from “Tea for Two”)
63 Articulate : UTTER
64 Company abbr. : INC
65 Texans’ neighbors : OKIES
66 Old times : PASTS
67 WWII carrier : LST
68 “Old” language that gave us “blunder” : NORSE

Down

1 Bit of fiction : MYTH
2 “The Music Man” setting : IOWA
3 Related : AKIN
4 First and __ : TEN
5 Quakers in Colorado? : ASPENS
6 Puts an edge on : WHETS
7 Poppycock : HOKUM
8 Extra NFL periods : OTS
9 Cosmetic surgery procedure : FACELIFT
10 Distant : ALOOF
11 Comforting affirmation : I CARE
12 Funny Fields : TOTIE
13 Starts to fight : HAS AT
18 Star over Paris : ETOILE
22 Abbas’ gp. : PLO
24 Improve : AMEND
25 Much urban housing: Abbr. : APTS
26 NYC art district : SOHO
27 Apple core? : SEED
28 Letters before a view : IMHO
32 Revlon cosmetics brand : ALMAY
33 Customizable Nintendo persona : MII
35 Have on, to a Brit : FOOL
36 Feast on 44-Across : LUAU
37 Bleed (for) : ACHE
38 Consequently : THUS
40 Supreme monarchs : EMPERORS
41 Provide generously, as one’s time : GIVE OF
46 Triage areas, briefly : ERS
48 When a classic film gunfight started : AT NOON
49 Attend to a spill : MOP UP
50 1945 “Big Three” meeting site : YALTA
51 E and FG, in sports : STATS
52 Group’s belief : TENET
53 Appearances : MIENS
54 Build : ERECT
57 Recipe directive : STIR
58 Is beholden to : OWES
59 Big name in audio systems : BOSE
61 “Open 9 __ 5” : ‘TIL
62 Original “King Kong” film studio : RKO

21 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 23 Jul 21, Friday”

  1. Took far too long to figure out what was going on. I didn’t know Almay and never heard of Cesar Millan.

  2. Decent theme. Don’t know Cesar Millan, so I had HEALING TOUCH before seeing ETOILE and the theme. About half an hour with pencil in the newspaper. Have a lovely weekend, all.

  3. No errors.. got the theme ok and it helped.. some of the cross clues had me stumped for a while. TOTIE Fields? (I had SALLY for awhile) why was there an ETOILE over Paris? Who is rebuking , Julius or Brutus? FOOL to a Brit? Is it different here in the US?

    still was a good time for me for a friday..
    Someday I’ll stop questioning the cluing and just go with the flow.

    1. @ Anon Mike: As far as the rebuking clue I thought it was Caesar rebuking Brutus for being part of the group that murdered him. Although what I know about Shakespeare wouldn’t fill a small thimble…so take my thought with a shaker full of NaCl. As to an etoile over Paris, it’s a star by any other name (or in this case language).

  4. Just over 25 min. with no errors…a very doable Friday puzzle IMO or should I say IMHO?
    Stay safe😀

  5. A pretty good week continues – 16:39 with no errors or lookups. The theme helped some. Changed HOOEY>HOKUM and PINE>ACHE after working their crosses. Cesar Millan and Almay new to me as well.

  6. 5:59

    MYSTERYMEET revealed the theme to me almost immediately. But I’m still mystified how TEEFORTWO is a concert souvenir.

  7. 19:24 and 8 errors. This puzzle was chock full of bad puns, disingenuous clues and poor editing.

  8. Slightly tricky but fun Friday for me; took 24:49 with no errors or peeks. Groped around a bit at first, but once I got TEEFORTWO the theme became obvious and things fell together quickly. Didn’t know IOWA, TOTIE, PLANO, ETOILE, ALMAY, MII or who Cesar Millan was but crosses and guesses helped.

    Loved “Twin Peaks” when it first came out, but never saw any of the movies or sequels.

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