LA Times Crossword 31 Jul 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: Craig Stowe
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 10m 05s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Entertainment genre with a French name of uncertain origin : VAUDEVILLE

The Vire is a river that flows through Normandy in France. The poets of the Vire valley were known as the “Vau de Vire”, a term that some say gave rise to our word “Vaudeville”.

11 Wicked biblical king : AHAB

Ahab was King of Israel, but the power behind his throne was his wife Jezebel, a Phoenician princess. Jezebel’s god was Ba’al, and she used her influence to get temples of Ba’al built in Israel. Jezebel’s name is still associated with the worship of false prophets.

16 Kiwi plant : VINE

What we call kiwifruit today (and sometimes just “kiwi”) used to be called a Chinese gooseberry. Marketing folks in the fifties decided to call it a “melonette”, and then New Zealand producers adopted the name “kiwifruit”.

17 Biloxi or Gulfport : COUNTY SEAT

Harrison County in Mississippi was named for President William Henry Harrison. It is a little unusual in that it is one of the few counties in the US with more than one county seat. Those seats are the cities of Biloxi and Gulfport.

20 Johnny Cash’s “At Folsom Prison” was recorded in one : STATE PEN

Johnny Cash recorded “Folsom Prison Blues” in 1955. Over ten years later, in 1968, he actually visited Folsom Prison and performed two shows there for the inmates. The shows were recorded, and 15 of the songs he performed were compiled into the 1968 album “At Folsom Prison”. It was with the release of the album that “Folsom Prison Blues” became a hit.

25 Voiced, in phonetics : SONANT

In phonetics, a letter or syllable that is “sonant” is voiced, whereas an “assonant” (also “asonant”) letter is not voiced.

26 Heartland of America Park city : OMAHA

Heartland of America Park is a 31-acre developed public park in Omaha, Nebraska. The park opened in 1990 and is located on the site of Jobbers Canyon Historic District. The 24 buildings of the historic area were demolished in 1989, somewhat controversially.

28 Emmy-winning journalist O’Donnell : NORAH

Norah O’Donnell is a native of Washington, D.C. She served as Chief White House correspondent for MSNBC from 2005 until 2011, for CBS News from 2011 until 2012 and became co-anchor for “CBS This Morning” in 2017. Along with her husband, restaurateur Geoff Tracy, O’Donnell published what sounds like an interesting cookbook in 2010, namely “Baby Love: Healthy, Easy, Delicious Meals for Your Baby and Toddler”.

37 Longtime Italian coffee brand : LAVAZZA

Lavazza is a supplier of coffee products that was founded in Turin, Italy by Luigi Lavazza in 1895. The Lavazza family has owned and operated the company ever since, and controls about one third of the Italian retail coffee market
.

38 __ es Salaam : DAR

Dar es Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania, and sits right on the east coast of Africa. The city’s name is usually translated from Arabic as “Haven of Peace”.

39 Flooey lead-in : KER-

“Kerflooey” is a word that we’ve been using since the early 1900s to mean “awry, kaput”.

40 Unmoved : IN SITU

“In situ” is a Latin phrase meaning “in the place”, and we use the term to mean “in the original position”.

41 Remove : DELE

“Dele” is the editorial instruction to delete something from a document, and is often written in red.

42 Gay leader? : ENOLA …

The Enola Gay was the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb, the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in August 1945. Enola Gay was the name of the mother of pilot Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr.

44 From Trondheim, e.g. : NORSE

Trondheim is a city in the western Norway. It is home to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, a school that I very nearly attended many moons ago. I think that would have been great fun …

51 Viral oral malady : COLD SORE

Cold sores (herpes labialis) are usually caused by the herpes simplex type 1 virus. The colloquial term “cold sore” arose because a breakout of the “sores” can be caused by a fever, such as one that might develop with a common cold.

54 Comedian Kemper : ELLIE

Actress Ellie Kemper’s big break came with the role of Erin Hannon, a receptionist on the sitcom “The Office”. More recently, Kemper played the title role in the Netflix comedy series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”.

56 Fastidious to a fault : ANAL

The use of the word “anal” to mean “stiffly conventional” is an abbreviated form of “anal-retentive”, a term derived from Freudian psychology. Regardless, I’m not a big fan of the term …

60 Russo of “Velvet Buzzsaw” : RENE

The talented actress Rene Russo is a native of Burbank, California. Russo went to high school (with actor/director Ron Howard), but dropped out in tenth grade. At seventeen, she was given the opportunity to train as a model and within a very short time appeared on the cover of “Vogue”. As her modelling jobs slowed down in her early thirties, Russo made a career change and studied theater and acting.

“Velvet Buzzsaw” is a 2019 horror film. I don’t do horror …

Down

1 Caesarean section? : VICI

The oft-quoted statement “Veni, vidi, vici” (“I came, I saw, I conquered”) is believed by many to have been written by Julius Caesar. The words date back to 47 BCE and refer to the short war between Rome and Pharnaces II of Pontus.

4 “The Pit and the Pendulum” setting : DUNGEON

“The Pit and the Pendulum” is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe that was first published in 1842. It is a macabre tale about a prisoner who is being tortured at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition. For part of the tale, the prisoner is bound to a wooden board while a scythe-like pendulum wings above him, getting nearer and nearer with each oscillation.

6 “Oy __!” : VEY

“Oy vey” is a Yiddish expression of dismay that translates literally as “oh, pain”. The more usual translation is “woe is me”.

7 They, to Thierry : ILS

referring to feminine nouns

8 Wranglers’ cousin : LEES

The Lee company that is famous for making jeans was formed in 1889 by one Henry David Lee in Salina, Kansas.

Wrangler is a manufacturer of jeans headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina. Wrangler jeans were first made in the mid-1940s and were designed specifically for use by cowboys in rodeos.

9 180 is its max. score : LSAT

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

11 Brand with a Positively Radiant line : AVEENO

Aveeno is a manufacturer of skincare and haircare products that was founded in 1945. The name Aveeno comes from the Latin name for the common oat, i.e. Avena sativa.

21 Pacific archipelago : TONGA

The Kingdom of Tonga is made up of 176 islands in the South Pacific, 52 of which are inhabited and scattered over an area of 270,000 square miles. Tonga was given the name Friendly Islands in 1773 when Captain James Cook first landed there, a reference to the warm reception given to the visitors. The nation’s capital is the city of Nukuʻalofa on the island of Tongatapu.

“Archipelago” is our spelling of the Italian “arcipelago”, a word that has Greek roots. The Aegean Sea was once known as the Archipelago. The usage of “Archipelago” migrated over time, eventually applying only to the Aegean Islands. As a result, we use the term “archipelago” today not for a sea, but for a group or chain of islands.

23 “Death of a Salesman” Tony winner : KAZAN

“Death of a Salesman” is a famous play by Arthur Miller that was first produced in 1949. “Death of a Salesman” won a Pulitzer and several Tony Awards over the years. The “Salesman” is the famous character Willy Loman. The play originally opened up on Broadway and ran for 724 performances. It was directed by Elia Kazan, and the lead role was played by veteran actor Lee J. Cobb.

24 Makeshift blades : SHIVS

“Shiv” is a slang term describing a weapon crudely fashioned to resemble a knife. Mostly we hear of shivs that have been fashioned by prison inmates to do harm to others.

31 Heathrow lander : AEROPLANE

Yep, on the other side of the pond they’re called “aeroplanes”, and not “airplanes”. That said, I think America is winning the battle, and the “aeroplane” spelling is fading away …

London’s Heathrow handles handles more international passengers than any other airport in the world, and is the third busiest airport around the globe in terms of passenger traffic (after Atlanta and Beijing).

33 Trio with notable beards : ZZ TOP

In the blues rock band ZZ Top, the hairy guitar players are Billy F. Gibbons and Dusty Hill. The relatively clean-shaven drummer is, wait for it … Frank Beard.

34 Fair color? : AZURE

I guess the idea is that fair weather might come with an azure sky.

The term “azure” came into English from Persian via Old French. The French word “l’azur” was taken from the Persian name for a place in northeastern Afghanistan called “Lazhward” which was the main source of the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli. The stone has a vivid blue color, and “azure” has been describing this color since the 14th century.

47 Meryl’s “Mary Poppins Returns” role : TOPSY

In the movie “Mary Toppins Return”, Topsy is the title character’s cousin, and is played by Meryl Streep. Topsy’s full name is Tatiana Antanasia Cositori Topotrepolovsky.

“Mary Poppins Returns” is a 2018 musical movie that is a sequel to the 1964 Disney film “Mary Poppins”. Emily Blunt takes on the title role. Notably, Dick Van Dyke appears in the sequel, having co-starred in the original 56 years earlier.

50 Enjoyed a bistro : DINED

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

52 Architect Mies van der __ : ROHE

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a German architect who was routinely referred to simply as “Mies”. I am a philistine, I know, but Mies’ buildings look very plain to me. However, he did come up with two far-from-plain sayings, namely “less is more” and “God is in the details”.

58 It may be left of center : EPI-

The epicenter is the point on the surface of the Earth that is directly above the focus of an earthquake.

59 “Kung Fu” actor Philip : AHN

Actor Philip Ahn is perhaps best known for playing Master Kahn, one of Caine’s teachers on the television show “Kung Fu”. Ahn was the first Asian-American actor to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“Kung Fu” is a Western TV series that originally aired in the mid-seventies. David Carradine plays a Buddhist monk and martial arts expert traveling through the Old West. Caradine’s character is named Kwai Chang Caine, and he is on a quest to find his half-brother Danny Caine.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Entertainment genre with a French name of uncertain origin : VAUDEVILLE
11 Wicked biblical king : AHAB
15 “There’s no point” : IT’S USELESS
16 Kiwi plant : VINE
17 Biloxi or Gulfport : COUNTY SEAT
18 Suffix akin to -ule : -ETTE
19 Persona : IMAGE
20 Johnny Cash’s “At Folsom Prison” was recorded in one : STATE PEN
22 Makes smooth and shiny, as hair : SLEEKS
25 Voiced, in phonetics : SONANT
26 Heartland of America Park city : OMAHA
28 Emmy-winning journalist O’Donnell : NORAH
29 Not at all fatty : LEAN
32 Weave : ZIGZAG
35 Downed : ATE
36 “So __ heard” : I’VE
37 Longtime Italian coffee brand : LAVAZZA
38 __ es Salaam : DAR
39 Flooey lead-in : KER-
40 Unmoved : IN SITU
41 Remove : DELE
42 Gay leader? : ENOLA …
44 From Trondheim, e.g. : NORSE
46 Disclose : IMPART
48 Was barely heard : PEEPED
51 Viral oral malady : COLD SORE
54 Comedian Kemper : ELLIE
56 Fastidious to a fault : ANAL
57 Check things out : POKE AROUND
60 Russo of “Velvet Buzzsaw” : RENE
61 Guided : SHEPHERDED
62 Saw : EYED
63 “You betcha!” : YES INDEEDY!

Down

1 Caesarean section? : VICI
2 They make up everything : ATOMS
3 Prevailing : USUAL
4 “The Pit and the Pendulum” setting : DUNGEON
5 Appreciation : ESTEEM
6 “Oy __!” : VEY
7 They, to Thierry : ILS
8 Wranglers’ cousin : LEES
9 180 is its max. score : LSAT
10 Spanish pronoun : ESTAS
11 Brand with a Positively Radiant line : AVEENO
12 Ranked musical listing : HIT PARADE
13 Like care during pregnancy : ANTENATAL
14 “I can relate” : BEEN THERE
21 Pacific archipelago : TONGA
23 “Death of a Salesman” Tony winner : KAZAN
24 Makeshift blades : SHIVS
27 On-__, off-__ : AGAIN
29 “Whatevs” : LIKE I CARE
30 Toss-up : EVEN MONEY
31 Heathrow lander : AEROPLANE
33 Trio with notable beards : ZZ TOP
34 Fair color? : AZURE
37 Inventors of a sort : LIARS
41 Lament : DEPLORE
43 Dished up : LADLED
45 Blow a fuse : SEE RED
47 Meryl’s “Mary Poppins Returns” role : TOPSY
49 Duck : ELUDE
50 Enjoyed a bistro : DINED
52 Architect Mies van der __ : ROHE
53 Just makes, with “out” : EKES …
55 Go around in circles? : EDDY
58 It may be left of center : EPI-
59 “Kung Fu” actor Philip : AHN

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 31 Jul 21, Saturday”

  1. Moving along just fine and like a good old traffic jam I hit the NE corner… I got AHAB in 11A but I wasn’t sure of the biblical reference.. it was the only thing that worked. 24A SONANT was TONANT for a long time and when 18A ETTE finally fell, I felt better.

  2. Ended up with no errors and faster than most Saturday puzzles,
    but did not know the Italian coffee brand and had to Google it.
    Then that pesky center section was finished (never heard of
    Zz tops either, but that’s what I got from cross letters.) All those
    Z’s in the middle!!!

  3. LAT: Got all but the Italian coffee and the bearded trio. The letter z made no sense as I never heard of ZZ Top. Gave up after an hour.

  4. 14:20, no errors on this one. Disappointed in myself again. Newsday: 39 minutes, no errors. About like the NYT one but a little stiffer. Have to say I’m usually impressed with Wilber and both of those were no exception.

  5. For those of you who don’t know ZZ Top you may know one of their songs. It’s Legs and was used in a commercial for L’eggs pantyhose many years ago. It starts ‘she got legs she knows how to use them…..’

    1. Got to know ZZ Top. The “Little ‘ol band from Texas”. Sorry Dusty Hill, the bass player just died. RIP

  6. About 45 min. no errors…for a Saturday puzzle I’ll take it😀
    Stay safe😀
    I was waiting for my new drivers license in the mail and it finally arrived today…the postal service in my area is still horrendous but it beat an in person trip to the MVA.

  7. Bill, I’m sure you know this and the error is just a distraction. “Ils” 7 down is a masculine pronoun. 😉

  8. Well, I found this one very tough in the upper half and slogged my way through to a successful finish in about 45 minutes. I was a lawyer in past life, but had no clue about 9 down until the crosses. Talk about arcane. Bill, I think 7 down’s “ils “ refers to masculine nouns, not feminine ( those would be “elles?”).

  9. 21:29 and DNF, with 8 fills left in the NE corner.

    This one was full of “either you know it or you don’t”. If you start combining women’s clothing brand names, biblical references and seldom-used language references, that all adds up to one big natick for me.

  10. Tough Saturday for me; took 59:04 with a “check-grid” at the end to reveal 3 errors and 2 blank squares. TO__Y and RiiE, which I corrected to ROHE and guessed at TOPSY. Also, stupidly had IN SITe…tsk..tsk but “Fair color” just didn’t make any sense to me.

    Never heard of too many of these, which made it a real slog. But I persevered and it paid off. I finally got that AVEENO from crossword memory and vaguely remembered ELLIE Kemperer from somewhere(!?) That park in Omaha is just a Conagra theme park; it even has a Chef Boyardee statue. Also got NORAH from doing puzzles and watching a few videos in the past. Learned a new term for me – ANTE NATAL.

    Nice tribute to Dusty Hill, the bass player from ZZ Top, to fit that in today. (RIP)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sxE-jS9LP4

  11. A tough one for me – 46:04 with one look up for Mies van der ROHE. I needed something to get me going! After 30 min. with less than half filled in, I put it aside for the night, then succumbed to the look up today, had a few new ideas for answers (e.g. VAUDEVILLE and ITSUSELESS finally came to me), had changed ATEIN>DINED, LEVI>LEES, 2D LIARS>ATOMS after discovering 37D is LIARS, ____ANDSEE>POKEAROUND, and then the rest kind of fell into place. I didn’t know that any counties had more than one county seat.

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