LA Times Crossword 6 Jul 21, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Meat Heat

Themed answers start with a temperature specified when ordering a steak, from “RAW” to “WELL”:

  • 17A Natural’s ability : RAW TALENT
  • 24A Cerium or yttrium : RARE-EARTH METAL
  • 40A Like prisons for not-the-worst criminals : MEDIUM SECURITY
  • 54A Famous : WELL KNOWN

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

Bill’s time: 4m 42s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 NYC theater award : OBIE

The Obies are the Off-Broadway Theater Awards. The Obies have been presented annually since 1956. The recipients used to be chosen by “The Village Voice” newspaper, but now are jointly administered with the American Theatre Wing.

5 Jackson 5 hairdo : AFRO

The Jackson 5 singing group were originally made up of brothers Tito, Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael. The four eldest brothers continued to perform, using the name “The Jacksons”, after Michael went solo.

9 Blue Ribbon brewer : PABST

Frederick Pabst was a brewer from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area who had immigrated to the US from Prussia with his parents. Pabst bought himself into his father-in-law’s small brewery and over the years grew the enterprise into a public company. The most famous beer from Pabst is Pabst Blue Ribbon.

14 Caleb’s twin in “East of Eden” : ARON

John Steinbeck considered “East of Eden” his magnum opus. Most of the storyline takes place near Salinas, just south of the San Francisco Bay Area. Two of the characters in the story are brothers Cal and Aron Trask, representative of the biblical Cain and Abel.

15 Bank claim : LIEN

A lien is a right that one has to retain or secure someone’s property until a debt is paid. When an individual takes out a car loan, for example, the lending bank is usually a lien holder. The bank releases the lien on the car when the loan is paid in full.

20 Willie Nelson album of pop standards : STARDUST

Country singer, actor and activist Willie Nelson was born during the Great Depression in Abbott, Texas. He wrote his first song at the age of seven and joined his first band at the age of ten, and he is still going strong. Nelson has a ranch in Texas but now spends most of his time in Maui, where he lives in a largely self-sustaining community alongside neighbors such as Kris Kristofferson, Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson.

22 Banned bug spray : DDT

DDT is dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (don’t forget now!). DDT was used with great success to control disease-carrying insects during WWII, and when made available for use after the war it became by far the most popular pesticide. And then Rachel Carson published her famous book “Silent Spring”, suggesting there was a link between DDT and diminishing populations of certain wildlife. It was the public outcry sparked by the book, and reports of links between DDT and cancer, that led to the ban on the use of the chemical in 1972. That ban is touted as the main reason that the bald eagle was rescued from near extinction.

23 Wrap for sandwiches : SARAN

What’s known as plastic wrap in America, we call cling-film in Ireland. The brand name “Saran” is often used generically in the US, while “Glad” wrap is common down under. Plastic wrap was one of those unintended inventions, a byproduct of a development program to create a hard plastic cover for cars.

24 Cerium or yttrium : RARE EARTH METAL

Rare earth elements are so called because they are rarely found in mineral form in a sufficient concentration for exploitation.

Yttrium is one of the rare earth elements, and has the symbol Y. It takes its name from the mineral ytterbite, which in turn was named from the Swedish village of Ytterby, where ytterbite was discovered.

Cerium is one of the rare earths, an element with the symbol Ce. It is the most abundant of the rare earth elements found in nature. It was discovered in 1803 and was named after Ceres, the dwarf planet that was discovered just two years earlier.

31 Designer Saarinen : EERO

Eero Saarinen was a Finnish-American architect who was renowned in this country for his unique designs for public buildings such as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Dulles International Airport Terminal, and the TWA building at JFK. The list of his lesser-known, but still impressive, works includes several buildings erected on academic campuses. For example, the Chapel and Kresge Auditorium on the MIT campus, the Emma Hartman Noyes House at Vassar College, the Law School building at the University of Chicago, and Yale’s David S. Ingalls Rink.

32 Pretoria’s home: Abbr. : RSA

Pretoria is the executive capital of South Africa (RSA), and one of three capital cities in the country. Cape Town is the legislative capital, and Bloemfontein is the judicial capital.

37 Suffix with meth- : -ANE

Methane (CH4) is the main component of natural gas, with ethane (C2H6) being the second largest component.

38 Ex-Yankee with 696 career HRs : A-ROD

Baseball player Alex Rodriguez, nicknamed “A-Rod”, hit his 600th home run on August 4th, 2010. He had hit his 500th home run exactly three years earlier, on August 4th, 2007, when he became the youngest player in Major League history to join the 500-home run club.

39 French equivalent of the Oscar : CESAR

The César Award is the national film award of France. The first César was awarded in 1975, named after the French sculptor César Baldaccini. The awards themselves are reproductions of an actual Baldaccini sculpture.

44 Scandal-plagued energy giant : ENRON

After all the trials following the exposure of fraud at Enron, several of the key players ended up in jail. Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Officer. He plea-bargained and received ten years without parole, and became the key witness in the trials of others. Even Fastow’s wife was involved and she was sentenced to one year for helping her husband hide money. Jeffrey Skilling (ex-CEO) was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months. Kenneth Lay (CEO) died in 2006 after he had been found guilty but before he could be sentenced. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice for shredding thousands of pertinent documents and deleting emails and files (a decision that the Supreme Court later overturned on a technicality). But still, Arthur Andersen collapsed under the weight of the scandal and 85,000 people lost their jobs (despite only a handful being directly involved with Enron).

45 Musician Brian : ENO

Brian Eno started his musical career with Roxy Music. However, Eno’s most oft-played composition (by far!) is Microsoft’s “startup jingle”, the 6-second sound you hear when the Windows operating system is booting up. Eno might have annoyed the Microsoft folks when he stated on a BBC radio show:

I wrote it on a Mac. I’ve never used a PC in my life; I don’t like them.

46 Composer Berlioz : HECTOR

Hector Berlioz was a French composer active in the Romantic period. Berlioz’s most famous work is probably his “Symphonie fantastique”.

53 Carrier that added “ways” to its name in 1997 : USAIR

From 1953, what we recently referred to as US Airways was called Allegheny Airlines. In the seventies, customers became very dissatisfied with the company’s service levels as it struggled to manage a rapid expansion in its number of flights. These problems earned the airline the nickname “Agony Air”. Allegheny tried to leave the “agony” behind in 1979 and changed its name to USAir, but commuters then just used the nickname “Unfortunately Still Allegheny”. The name was changed again, in 1997, to US Airways. US Airways merged with American Airlines in 2013, and the “US Airways” brand name was gradually replaced with “American Airlines”.

55 ABBA’s “__ Mia!” : MAMMA

The hit musical “Mamma Mia!” was written to showcase the songs of ABBA. I’m a big fan of ABBA’s music, so I’ve seen this show a couple of times and just love it. “Mamma Mia!” is such a big hit on the stage that on any given day there are at least seven performances going on somewhere in the world. There is a really interesting film version of the show that was released in 2008. I think the female lead Meryl Streep is wonderful in the movie, but the male leads … not so much! By the way, one can tell the difference between “Mamma Mia” the ABBA song and “Mamma Mia!” the musical, by noting the difference in the punctuation in the titles.

56 Vowel-heavy baseball family name : ALOU

Jesus Alou played Major League Baseball, as did his brothers Matty and Felipe, and as did Felipe’s son Moises.

57 Vowel-heavy end of a court game : ALAI

Jai alai is a game that derives from Basque pelota, and is known as “cesta-punta” in the Basque language. The name “jai alai” translates from the original Basque as “merry festival”.

58 Holmes smoked them : PIPES

Sherlock Holmes made his first appearance in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1887 novel, “A Study in Scarlet“. Amazingly, Conan Doyle wrote the novel in under three weeks, while working as a 27-year-old doctor. Mind you, he only got paid 25 pounds for all the rights to the story. I suppose it’s a good job that he only devoted a few weeks to it.

Down

1 Dinghy movers : OARS

Our term “dinghy” comes from the Hindi “dingi”, a word meaning “small boat”.

2 Tough tyke to handle : BRAT

“Tyke” has been used playfully to describe a young child since at least 1902 For centuries before that, a tyke was a cur or mongrel, or perhaps a lazy or lower-class man.

3 “Field of Dreams” setting : IOWA

“Field of Dreams” is a fantasy drama about baseball, released in 1989 and starring Kevin Costner. The movie is an adaptation of a 1982 novel titled “Shoeless Joe” by Canadian author W. P. Kinsella. Shoeless Joe Jackson was a real baseball player, and someone associated with the Black Sox Scandal that allegedly affected the outcome of the 1919 World Series. Jackson was portrayed by Ray Liotta in the movie. “Field of Dreams” was also the last film in which Burt Lancaster made an appearance. The baseball stadium that was built for the movie can be visited in Dubuque County, Iowa.

4 __’acte: intermission : ENTR

The term “entr’acte” comes to us from French, and is the interval “entre deux actes” (between two acts) of a theatrical performance. The term often describes some entertainment provided during that interval.

6 Party with a piñata : FIESTA

Piñatas originated in Mexico, probably among the Aztecs or Mayans. Today’s piñatas are usually made from cardboard that is brightly decorated with papier-mâché. Traditionally a piñata was made out of a clay pot, adorned with feathers and ribbons and filled with small treasures. During religious ceremonies the clay pots would be suspended and broken open so that the contents would spill out onto the ground at the feet of a god as an offering.

8 Toronto’s prov. : ONT

Beautiful Toronto, Ontario is the largest city in Canada, and the fourth most populous city in North America (after Mexico City, New York and Los Angeles).

9 Sicilian seaport : PALERMO

Palermo is the capital of the Italian autonomous region of Sicily. Palermo was founded by the Phoenicians over 2,700 years ago.

10 Ancient Greek meeting places : AGORAE

In early Greece, an agora was a place of assembly. The assemblies held there were often quite formal, perhaps for the reading of a proclamation. Later in Greek history, things became less formal as the agora evolved into a marketplace. Our contemporary word “agoraphobia” comes from these agorae, in the sense that an agoraphobe has a fear of open spaces, a fear of “public meeting places”.

11 FDR advisory group : BRAIN TRUST

The term “Brains Trust” was coined to describe a panel of academic exports that advised future-president Franklin Roosevelt starting in 1932. The plural was later dropped, giving us our contemporary term “brain trust”.

13 Melanie’s “Working Girl” role : TESS

“Working Girl” is an entertaining romantic comedy film from 1988 that stars Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford in the lead roles, with Sigourney Weaver supporting. Apparently, “Working Girl” was remade into a TV series in the nineties with Sandra Bullock starring, but it only aired for 12 episodes.

Melanie Griffith is the daughter of Tippi Hedren, the actress who starred in the Hitchcock films “The Birds” and “Marnie”. Griffith was married to fellow actor Don Johnson. Their daughter is Dakota Johnson, the female lead in the film “Fifty Shades of Grey”. Griffith was also married to Spanish actor Antonio Banderas.

21 1984 Olympic slalom champion : MAHRE

Phil Mahre is one of the great alpine ski racers, and is a native of Yakima, Washington. Phil’s twin brother Steve was also a skier on the World Cup circuit.

“Slalom” is an anglicized version of the Norwegian word “slalam” that translates as “skiing race”. There is a longer version of the traditional slalom that is called giant slalom

23 Editor’s “Let it stand” : STET

“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

24 French wine region : RHONE

Côtes du Rhône is a wine region centered on the Rhône river in France. The name of the region translates as “Slopes (or Hills) of Rhône”. The most prevalent grapes used in Côtes du Rhône wine are Grenache (in reds and rosés) and Grenache blanc (in whites).

25 Military assistant : AIDE-DE-CAMP

“Aide-de-camp” (ADC) is a French term that we have imported into English. The phrase translates to “field assistant” and usually applies to the most senior personal aide to a high-ranking military officer or head of state.

27 Aptly named English novelist : READE

Charles Reade was an English author who came to public attention with a two-act comedy play called “Masks and Faces”. Reade turned the play into a prose story in 1852 that he called “Peg Woffington”. Reade also wrote a historical novel called “The Cloister and the Hearth” about a married man who becomes a Dominican friar on hearing that his wife has died. Years later he discovers that his wife is in fact still living and a struggle develops between the man’s obligation to family and his obligation to the Roman Catholic Church.

29 Cowardly Lion portrayer Bert : LAHR

Bert Lahr’s most famous role was the cowardly lion in “The Wizard of Oz”. Lahr had a long career in burlesque, vaudeville and on Broadway. Remember the catchphrase made famous by the cartoon character Snagglepuss, “Heavens to Murgatroyd!”? Snagglepuss stole that line from a 1944 movie called “Meet the People” in which it was first uttered by none other than Bert Lahr.

30 Inbox annoyance : SPAM

The term “spam”, used for unwanted email, is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch (which I’ve seen) the dialog is taken over by the word Spam, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So “spam” is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon …

35 Cap’n’s mate : BO’S’N

A boatswain works on the deck of a boat. He or she is unlicensed, and so is not involved in the navigation or handling of the vessel, and instead is in charge of the other unlicensed workers on the deck. “Boatswain” is pronounced “bosun” and this phonetic spelling is often used interchangeably with “boatswain”. The contraction “bo’s’n” is also very popular.

36 Floral necklace : LEI

“Lei” is a Hawaiian word meaning “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a lei is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

38 Natural light shows : AURORAS

The spectacular aurora phenomenon is seen lighting up the night sky at both poles of the earth (the Aurora Borealis in the north, and the Aurora Australis in the south). The eerie effect is caused by charged particles colliding with atoms at high latitudes.

42 Sri Lanka, once : CEYLON

The island nation of Sri Lanka lies off the southeast coast of India. The name “Sri Lanka” translates from Sanskrit into English as “venerable island”. Before 1970, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, a name given to the country during British rule.

46 Camel feature : HUMP

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.

47 Actor Morales : ESAI

Actor Esai Morales is best known in the world of film for the 1987 movie “La Bamba”, which depicted the life of Ritchie Valens and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Esai). On the small screen, Morales plays Lt. Tony Rodriguez on “NYPD Blue” and Joseph Adama on “Caprica”.

48 Composer Bartók : BELA

Bela Bartók was a composer and a pianist. After Liszt, Bartók is considered by many to be Hungary’s greatest composer.

51 Obi-Wan portrayer McGregor : EWAN

Ewan McGregor is a very talented Scottish actor, one who got his break in the 1996 film “Trainspotting”. McGregor’s first big Hollywood role was playing the young Obi-Wan-Kenobi in the “Star Wars” prequels. Less known is his televised marathon motorcycle journey from London to New York via central Europe, Ukraine, Siberia, Mongolia and Canada. The 2004 trip was shown as “Long Way Round” on TV. McGregor did a similar trip in 2007 called “Long Way Down”, which took him and the same travelling companion from the north of Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa.

54 High-card-wins game : WAR

War is a card game, one played mainly by children.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 NYC theater award : OBIE
5 Jackson 5 hairdo : AFRO
9 Blue Ribbon brewer : PABST
14 Caleb’s twin in “East of Eden” : ARON
15 Bank claim : LIEN
16 Acquiesce : AGREE
17 Natural’s ability : RAW TALENT
19 Bank offerings : LOANS
20 Willie Nelson album of pop standards : STARDUST
21 Has coming : MERITS
22 Banned bug spray : DDT
23 Wrap for sandwiches : SARAN
24 Cerium or yttrium : RARE EARTH METAL
30 Acted alarmed, as a horse : SHIED
31 Designer Saarinen : EERO
32 Pretoria’s home: Abbr. : RSA
33 Under-the-wing fuel containers : PODS
34 Decrease : ABATE
36 Like thick, green lawns : LUSH
37 Suffix with meth- : -ANE
38 Ex-Yankee with 696 career HRs : A-ROD
39 French equivalent of the Oscar : CESAR
40 Like prisons for not-the-worst criminals : MEDIUM SECURITY
44 Scandal-plagued energy giant : ENRON
45 Musician Brian : ENO
46 Composer Berlioz : HECTOR
48 Roads that avoid downtown : BYPASSES
53 Carrier that added “ways” to its name in 1997 : USAIR
54 Famous : WELL KNOWN
55 ABBA’s “__ Mia!” : MAMMA
56 Vowel-heavy baseball family name : ALOU
57 Vowel-heavy end of a court game : ALAI
58 Holmes smoked them : PIPES
59 Chimed : RANG
60 Confined, with “up” : PENT …

Down

1 Dinghy movers : OARS
2 Tough tyke to handle : BRAT
3 “Field of Dreams” setting : IOWA
4 __’acte: intermission : ENTR
5 Hint at, with “to” : ALLUDE …
6 Party with a piñata : FIESTA
7 Cost of living? : RENT
8 Toronto’s prov. : ONT
9 Sicilian seaport : PALERMO
10 Ancient Greek meeting places : AGORAE
11 FDR advisory group : BRAIN TRUST
12 Dispatched : SENT
13 Melanie’s “Working Girl” role : TESS
18 Said further : ADDED
21 1984 Olympic slalom champion : MAHRE
23 Editor’s “Let it stand” : STET
24 French wine region : RHONE
25 Military assistant : AIDE-DE-CAMP
26 Dorm, briefly : RES
27 Aptly named English novelist : READE
28 Test, as ore : ASSAY
29 Cowardly Lion portrayer Bert : LAHR
30 Inbox annoyance : SPAM
34 Knight’s “suit” : ARMOR
35 Cap’n’s mate : BO’S’N
36 Floral necklace : LEI
38 Natural light shows : AURORAS
39 Frog sound : CROAK
41 Punctually : IN TIME
42 Sri Lanka, once : CEYLON
43 Disconnect from the socket : UNPLUG
46 Camel feature : HUMP
47 Actor Morales : ESAI
48 Composer Bartók : BELA
49 “Oh, __!”: “Whoa!” : SNAP
50 Exclusive : SOLE
51 Obi-Wan portrayer McGregor : EWAN
52 Agitated state : SNIT
54 High-card-wins game : WAR

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 6 Jul 21, Tuesday”

  1. No errors!! A bit sneaky in places. SHIED, RSA HECTOR RES

    I wrote in PERSIA for 42D without even thinking. Boy, did I have a mess there for awhile. It’s not even a city Mike!!!

    Putting ALOU and ALAI together like that was cue.. If you put all 3 words together, it sounds like a quaint cuss word.
    MAMMA-ALOU-ALAI!!!!!!!

  2. Had to look up PODS to see if it was correct.
    Also, didn’t know CESAR or MAHRE.
    Didn’t notice theme.

  3. Did not time, but finished quickly. One of the easier
    puzzles in a while. No errors. For once, I knew most
    of the proper names.

  4. A decent Tuesday puzzle – 10:11 with no errors or lookups, but with some questionable tacks taken: 10D agoraE and 38D auroraS – inconsistent plural endings; for 41D, I’d expect ONtime instead of INtime; and TONY comes to mind first for 1A instead of OBIE. But, the crossing answers resolved those pretty quickly. SHIED is a new one for me – REARED first came to mind, but it’s too long.

  5. No errors…also didn’t realize their was a theme.
    Yesterday I needed a plumber to clear a drain…today I got my annual property tax bill and my application to renew my drivers license in the mail…Thursday I go in for a route canal…not my best week ever.
    Stay safe😀

  6. 7:16

    Also didn’t notice the theme. Thanks for spotting it, Bill!

    I wish I knew where “Oh, snap!” comes from. By the time I started hearing it, everyone who uses it seems to assume that you know all about its meaning and origin.

  7. 19:27 – 3 errors, lotsa lookups. Technically a DNF for me.

    Don’t know why I found it so tough.

    Just when you think you’re getting better …

  8. Pretty easy for me; took 9:25 with no errors or peeks. Just had to dance around a bit to get SHIED and RES.

    re “Oh, snap” – I always go to the Urban Dictionary for expressions like these. Seems to have possibly originated with Tracy Morgan on SNL and is a PG retort that can be used in amusing “dis” situations, even by 3rd parties – kind of like a verbal rim shot.

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