LA Times Crossword 5 Jul 21, Monday

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Constructed by: Andy Wang & C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Tiebreaker

Themed answers come in pairs, side by side. Each pair contains a type of TIE as a hidden word, BROKEN into two by the intervening black square:

  • 63A Overtime round, e.g. … and what a black square acts as for the circled words? : TIEBREAKER
  • 17A Gibberish : MUMBO JUMBO
  • 19A Passed-down stories : LORE (hiding a broken BO/LO tie)
  • 28A ”Just as I thought!” : AHA!
  • 29A Tax evader’s comeuppance : IRS AUDIT (hiding a broken HA/IR tie)
  • 47A One who scoffs at Bud, perhaps : BEER SNOB
  • 50A Dominate in competition : OWN (hiding a broken B/OW tie)

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

Bill’s time: 6m 08s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Light in a socket : BULB

Here’s a lightbulb riddle:

Question: How many mystery authors does it take to change a light bulb?Answer: Two! One to screw it almost all the way in, and the other to give it a surprising twist at the end.

9 Tick off : MIFF

To miff is to put out, to tee off. “To miff” is a verb that has been around since the early 1600s. Interestingly, in 1824 Sir Walter Scott described the word “miffed” as “a women’s phrase”. That should get him a slap, I’d say …

16 Love, in Lima : AMOR

Lima is the capital city of Peru. Lima was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, who named it “la Ciudad de los Reyes” (the City of Kings). He chose this name because the decision to found the city was made on January 6th, the feast of the Epiphany that commemorates the visit of the three kings to Jesus in Bethlehem. Lima is home to the oldest university in all of the Americas, as San Marco University was founded in 1551 during the days of Spanish colonial rule.

17 Gibberish : MUMBO JUMBO

“Mumbo jumbo” means big and empty talk, and is a term that we’ve been using since the late 1800s. Supposedly the term comes from a Mandingo word for an idol that was worshipped by some tribes in Africa.

21 Country singer McGraw : TIM

Country singer Tim McGraw is the son of the late Tug McGraw, the baseball pitcher. McGraw’s wife is fellow country singer Faith Hill.

24 David Muir and Lester Holt : NEWSMEN

Journalist and TV anchor David Muir started hosting the show “ABC World News Tonight with David Muir” in 2014. Apparently, Muir’s reporting received more airtime than any other American journalist in 2012 and 2013. Muir also made it onto “People” magazine’s list of Sexiest Men Alive in 2014.

Lester Holt is a television journalist. When Holt became the permanent anchor of “NBC Nightly News” in 2015, he became the first African-American solo anchor for a daily network news program.

27 “Thor” actor Idris : ELBA

English actor Idris Elba plays the drug lord Stringer Bell in the marvelous HBO drama series “The Wire”, and played the title character in the 2013 film “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”. Off the screen, Elba occasionally appears as a disk jockey using the name “DJ Big Driis”.

The 2011 movie “Thor” is yet another film based on a comic book hero. Even though I won’t be seeing it (I don’t do comics), I must admit it does have an impressive cast. Chris Hemsworth plays Thor, supported by Natalie Portman, Rene Russo, Idris Elba and Anthony Hopkins. And to crown it all, Kenneth Branagh is the director.

36 Like strung guitar strings : TAUT

A kithara (also “cithara”) was a lyre-like instrument in ancient Greece. Our word “guitar” is ultimately derived from “kithara”. Indeed, “kithara” is the modern Greek word for “guitar”.

37 “If u ask me … ” : IMO …

In my opinion (IMO)

40 Springsteen’s __ Band : E STREET

The E Street Band is the backing group for Bruce Springsteen. The band came together in 1972 but didn’t take a formal name until two years later. The keyboard player in the original line up was David Sancious, and his mother allowed the group to rehearse at her home. That home was on E Street in Belmar, New Jersey, and that’s where the band got their name.

44 “I claim that!” : DIBS!

The phrase “to have dibs on” expresses a claim on something. Apparently, the term “dibs” is a contraction of “dibstone”, which was a knucklebone or jack used in a children’s game.

47 One who scoffs at Bud, perhaps : BEER SNOB

Back in the 1780s, a snob was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word “snob” was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.

The American beer Budweiser (often shortened to “Bud”) is named for the Czech town of Budweis (“České Budějovice” in Czech). The name is the subject of a dispute as here is an original Czech beer with a similar name, Budweiser Budvar. American Budweiser is sold in most European countries as “Bud”.

51 Dough for spanakopita : FILO

Filo (also “phyllo”) is an extremely thin unleavened dough used in Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. The most famous dish made from filo is baklava, a rich and sweet pastry made from layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and held together with syrup.

Spanakopita is a savory pastry from Greece. The term “spanakopita” translates from Greek as “spinach pie”. The pie’s filling includes feta cheese, onions and egg, along with the spinach.

56 Kind of salad named for a NYC hotel : WALDORF

As one might expect, the Waldorf salad was created at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City (now the Waldorf=Astoria), back in the 1890s. The classic version of the Waldorf salad is made from apples, celery and walnuts dressed in mayonnaise and served on a bed of lettuce. Anyone who is a fan of the BBC sitcom “Fawlty Towers” will remember how much trouble Basil Fawlty had coming up with a Waldorf salad for an American guest, as the kitchen was “out of Waldorfs” …

The Waldorf=Astoria hotel (note the double hyphen) is named for the famous Astor family of New York that was so successful in business. The first Astors to arrive in the US immigrated from Walldorf in Germany. Two members of the family eventually built hotels in the city, one called the Waldorf (opened in 1893) and the other the Astoria (opened in 1897), with the pair operating next door to each other in competition. The hotels were eventually joined into one, creating the world’s largest hotel of the day. The original Waldorf=Astoria was demolished (the Empire State Building occupies that space now). The current hotel is an Art Deco landmark in the city that opened in 1931.

60 Mister, in Mumbai : SRI

“Sri” is a title of respect for a male in India.

Mumbai is the most populous city in India, and the second most populous city in the world (after Shanghai). The name of the city was changed from Bombay to Mumbai in 1995.

62 Grammy winner India.__ : ARIE

India.Arie is an American soul and R&B singer who was born India Arie Simpson in Denver, Colorado.

70 Nada : NONE

“Nada” is the Spanish word for “nothing”. “De nada” translates literally from the Spanish as “of nothing”, and is used to mean “you’re welcome” or “don’t mention it”. The French have the same expression “de rien”, also translating to “of nothing” and used the same way.

Down

1 Ole Miss rival : BAMA

The athletic teams of the University of Alabama (“Bama”) are nicknamed the Crimson Tide, which is a reference to the team colors of crimson and white.

“Ole Miss” is the nickname for the University of Mississippi. The name “Ole Miss” dates back to 1897, the first year a student yearbook was published. The graduating class held a competition to name the yearbook and “Ole Miss” emerged as the winner. The name stuck to the yearbook, and also as a nickname for the school itself. The University of Mississippi sports teams have been known as the Rebels since 1936. Prior to 1936, they were known as the Mississippi Flood.

5 Ocean froth : SPUME

Our word “spume”, which we use for “froth”, comes from the Latin “spuma” meaning “foam”.

9 Ritzy California beach city : MALIBU

Malibu is a beach city in Southern California that is known as home to many Hollywood movie stars. It is also home to several beaches including Malibu Surfrider Beach, which was dedicated in 2010 as the first World Surfing Reserve.

10 “No dessert for me today” : I’M ON A DIET

Our word “dessert” comes from the French verb “desservir” meaning “to clear the table”. The idea is that dessert is usually the last course to be cleared from the table.

11 Warning after a slice : FORE!

No one seems to know for sure where the golfing term “fore!” comes from. It has been used at least as far back as 1881, and since then has been called out to warn other golfers that a wayward ball might be heading their way. My favorite possibility for its origin is that it is a contraction of the Gaelic warning cry “Faugh a Ballagh!” (clear the way!) which is still called out in the sport of road bowling. Road bowling is an Irish game where players bowl balls along roads between villages, trying to reach the end of the course in as few bowls as possible, just like in golf!

12 Mister Rogers : FRED

The “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” TV show starred Fred Rogers. It was the second-longest running series on PBS television after that other iconic children’s show “Sesame Street”.

14 Random criticism : POTSHOT

When firing a gun, a “potshot” is a “shot” taken purely to get the prey into the “pot” for cooking. The term “potshot” was coined in the 1830s, hence distinguishing between a shot taken for sport or marksmanship and a shot taken while hunting for game.

18 Iwo __ : JIMA

Iwo Jima is a volcanic island located south of Tokyo that today is uninhabited. The name is Japanese for “Sulfur Island”, referring to the sulfur mining on which Iwo Jima’s economy once depended. There were about a thousand Japanese civilians living on the island prior to WWII. In 1944, there was a massive influx of Japanese military personnel in anticipation of the inevitable US invasion. As the Japanese military moved in, the civilians were forced out and no one has lived there since. Control of the island was wrested from the Japanese in the five-week Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. Said battle was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific theater in WWII.

23 Fashioned after : A LA

The phrase “in the style of” can be translated as “alla” in Italian and “à la” in French.

26 Actress Vardalos : NIA

Nia Vardalos is an actress and screenwriter whose biggest break came with the 2002 film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, which she wrote and in which she starred. The film tells the story of a Greek-American woman marrying a non-Greek Caucasian American who converts to the Greek Orthodox Church to facilitate the marriage. The storyline reflects the actual experiences of Vardalos and her husband, actor Ian Gomez. Vardalos and Gomez appeared together as hosts for two seasons of the reality competition “The Great American Baking Show”.

31 Used WhatsApp, say : IMED

Instant message (IM)

WhatsApp is a popular messaging service used on smartphones that sends messages and other files from one mobile phone number to another. Launched in 2011, WhatsApp is incredibly popular, and indeed the most popular messaging service used today. Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014, paying over $19 billion.

32 Dog in Oz : TOTO

Toto is Dorothy’s dog in the film “The Wizard of Oz”, and in the original book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum. Toto was played in the movie by a dog called Terry, but Terry’s name was soon changed to Toto in real life due to the success of the film.

34 Fashion designer Saab : ELIE

Elie Saab is a Lebanese fashion designer based in Beirut. Saab also goes by the name “ES”.

36 The Chicks or ZZ Top : TRIO

The Dixie Chicks (now “the Chicks”) are a country music trio comprising sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison, along with lead singer Natalie Maines. The band hit the headlines in 2003 during a London concert that took place around the time of the invasion of Iraq. Maines expressed her opposition to the war to the general acclaim of the British audience, and the general disapproval of conservatives back in the US.

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.

39 Ralph Kramden’s pal : ED NORTON

Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton are two characters in “The Honeymooners”, played by Jackie Gleason and Art Carney. Kramden is a bus driver, and Norton works with the New York City sewer department.

45 “Killing Eve” channel : BBC

“Killing Eve” is a spy thriller series about an MI5 agent on the trail of a female assassin. The agent is played by Canadian actress Sandra Oh, and the assassin by English actress Jodie Comer. The storyline comes from a series of novellas titled “Codename Villanelle” by British author Luke Jennings.

48 Lyft patrons : RIDERS

Lyft is a ridesharing service that is based in San Francisco, as is Uber, Lyft’s biggest competitor.

50 Actor Epps : OMAR

Omar Epps is the actor who played Eric Foreman on the excellent television series “House”. Prior to playing Dr. Foreman, Epps had a recurring role playing Dr. Dennis Gant on “ER”. And, in another link to the world of medicine, Epps was born in Savannah, Georgia to single mom, Dr. Bonnie Epps.

53 Blending of one hue to the next, from the French for “shaded” : OMBRE

The adjective “ombré” describes a color or tone that is a blend of one into another. “Ombré” is French for “shaded”. A softer and more gradual shading of one color into the other is referred to as “sombré”.

56 Stinging insect : WASP

While wasps are considered a nuisance by many, they are very important to the agricultural industry. Wasps prey on many pest insects, while having very little impact on crops.

58 Classic dog name : FIDO

“Fido”, the name for many a dog, is Latin for “I trust”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Light in a socket : BULB
5 Hunt for bargains : SHOP
9 Tick off : MIFF
13 Enjoyed immensely : ATE UP
15 Smooth engine sound : PURR
16 Love, in Lima : AMOR
17 Gibberish : MUMBO JUMBO
19 Passed-down stories : LORE
20 Support for a side plank exercise : ARM
21 Country singer McGraw : TIM
22 Finished, as a deck : STAINED
24 David Muir and Lester Holt : NEWSMEN
27 “Thor” actor Idris : ELBA
28 “Just as I thought!” : AHA!
29 Tax evader’s comeuppance : IRS AUDIT
33 Very beginning : GET-GO
36 Like strung guitar strings : TAUT
37 “If u ask me … ” : IMO …
38 Sought-after celeb : A-LISTER
40 Springsteen’s __ Band : E STREET
43 Edge of a glass : RIM
44 “I claim that!” : DIBS!
46 Perform better than : OUTDO
47 One who scoffs at Bud, perhaps : BEER SNOB
50 Dominate in competition : OWN
51 Dough for spanakopita : FILO
52 Attacks : COMES AT
56 Kind of salad named for a NYC hotel : WALDORF
59 Make a dent in : MAR
60 Mister, in Mumbai : SRI
62 Grammy winner India.__ : ARIE
63 Overtime round, e.g. … and what a black square acts as for the circled words? : TIEBREAKER
66 Crystal ball gazer : SEER
67 Landfill emanation : ODOR
68 Coffee or tea : DRINK
69 “No thanks” : PASS
70 Nada : NONE
71 Draws to a close : ENDS

Down

1 Ole Miss rival : BAMA
2 180-degree reversal : U-TURN
3 ‘I wanna try!” : LEMME!
4 Fella : BUB
5 Ocean froth : SPUME
6 Smooth engine sound : HUM
7 Planets, in poems : ORBS
8 Formal objections : PROTESTS
9 Ritzy California beach city : MALIBU
10 “No dessert for me today” : I’M ON A DIET
11 Warning after a slice : FORE!
12 Mister Rogers : FRED
14 Random criticism : POTSHOT
18 Iwo __ : JIMA
23 Fashioned after : A LA
25 Friendly dog greetings : WAGS
26 Actress Vardalos : NIA
30 Regrets : RUES
31 Used WhatsApp, say : IMED
32 Dog in Oz : TOTO
33 Clothing : GARB
34 Fashion designer Saab : ELIE
35 “The years just zip by!” : TIME FLIES!
36 The Chicks or ZZ Top : TRIO
39 Ralph Kramden’s pal : ED NORTON
41 Dwarfed, with “over” : TOWERED …
42 Ski resort trails : RUNS
45 “Killing Eve” channel : BBC
48 Lyft patrons : RIDERS
49 __-mo videos : SLO
50 Actor Epps : OMAR
53 Blending of one hue to the next, from the French for “shaded” : OMBRE
54 Invite to enter : ASK IN
55 Get big on Twitter : TREND
56 Stinging insect : WASP
57 Farmland measure : AREA
58 Classic dog name : FIDO
61 Ticks off : IRKS
64 Very long stretch : EON
65 “What __ you looking at?” : ARE

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 5 Jul 21, Monday”

  1. No errors.. I saw Burnikel and thought “Burnikel on a monday? – uhoh”..

    But, not so bad.. learned about FILO.. had ALLSTAR for a while on 38A.. then when the crosses didn’t work and it showed ALI-STER , I wondered who that was.. then changed my perspective and saw A-LISTER, duh!

  2. Like Anon Mike, I cringed when I saw Burnikel listed. It was harder, but I guessed good. Did not know IMED, ARIE, ELIE, and believe IRS AUDIT should be clued as abbrev.

  3. Always spelled it PHYLLO, never seen it before as FILO! Good Monday puzzle!
    Happy (observed) Independence Day!
    Stay safe! 😊

  4. Under 20 min. with no errors…since when is a farm measurement AREA rather than ACRE ?
    Happy and safe 4th to all😀

  5. Good puzzle, and a nice challenge for a Monday.

    I always thought of BBC as a network, and the channels are BBC One, BBC Two, etc.

  6. 13:33 no lookups/errors.

    Thought it was a good puzzle. Didn’t know quite a few but got the crosses. Not good enough to be wary of constructors.

    Liked BEERSNOB.

    Didn’t get the theme til Bill – thought it was a “stretch” …

    Happy “4th” and stay well.

  7. 7:16

    I saw the tie words before I got to 63A, so the theme helped with the theme.

    Regarding 11D, isn’t it more useful to shout FORE before you slice?

  8. 6 mins 55 sec, no errors and no issues, either. Imagine: a puzzle that’s fun, AND enjoyable!

  9. Mostly easy Monday for me; took 12:18 with no errors or peeks.

    Very interesting info on John Jacob Astor. According to Wiki his father had the same name, so he should’ve been jr. or II, and his wife Sarah Cox Todd had the same name as her mother…hmm. I did not know he was from Walldorf, Germany, a quaint little town just south of Heidelberg. There’s even a Astor Haus in the town. I looked, and a Waldorf salad costs $19 on the Waldorf=Astoria restaurant menu.

  10. Straightforward Monday puzzle – 9:51 with no errors or lookups. Cute theme.

    Had SPRAY before SPUME, LETME before LEMME, and BUD before BUB, but MUMBOJUMBO fixed those.

  11. Wish I knew ahead of time if an answer is going to be 2 words. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out what “ateup” was. Thought that I must have had the down clues wrong. Looked at the answers and it finally dawned on me,
    “ate up”. However, I don’t think ate up means enjoyed immensely.

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