LA Times Crossword 7 Jul 21, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Kurt Krauss
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Really Amazed

Themed are all the same, i.e. “Amazed”:

  • 17A Amazed : TAKEN ABACK
  • 39A Amazed : STUNNED
  • 62A Amazed : GOBSMACKED
  • 11D Amazed : BOWLED OVER
  • 29D Amazed : DUMBSTRUCK

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

Bill’s time: 5m 21s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Tomato used for paste : ROMA

The Roma tomato isn’t considered an heirloom variety but it is very popular with home gardeners, especially those gardeners that don’t have a lot of space. It is a bush type (as opposed to vine type) and needs very little room to provide a lot of tomatoes.

10 Cookbook abbr. : TBSP

Tablespoon (tbsp.)

14 Issue with a URL : E-MAG

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a uniform resource locator (URL).

15 Colleague of Amy and Sonia : 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.

Amy Coney Barrett was nominated to the US Supreme Court by President Donald Trump in 2020. She replaced Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who had passed away just five weeks before Barrett took her seat on the bench. Barrett clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia in the late 1990s.

Sonia Sotomayor was the first Hispanic justice appointed to the US Supreme Court, and the third female justice. Sotomayor was nominated by President Barack Obama to replace the retiring Justice David Souter.

16 Roast, on le menu : ROTI

In a restaurant in France, one might order “rôti de boeuf” (roast beef).

19 Wilson of “Zoolander” : OWEN

Actor Owen Wilson was nominated for an Oscar, but not for his acting. He was nominated for co-writing the screenplay for “The Royal Tenenbaums” along with Wes Anderson.

“Zoolander” is a 2001 movie starring Ben Stiller, with Ben’s father, Jerry Stiller in a supporting role. Derek Zoolander is a male model, with the name coming from a melding of two real-life make models, Mark Vanderloo and Johnny Zander.

21 Agatha contemporary : ERLE

I must have read all of the “Perry Mason” books when I was in college. I think they kept me sane when I was facing the pressure of exams. Author Erle Stanley Gardner was himself a lawyer, although he didn’t get into the profession the easy way. Gardner went to law school, but got himself suspended after a month. So, he became a self-taught attorney and opened his own law office in Merced, California. Understandably perhaps, Gardner gave up the law once his novels became successful.

Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time, having sold about 4 billion copies worldwide in total. The only books to have sold in higher volume are the works of William Shakespeare and the Bible.

22 Blue Bonnet, e.g. : OLEO

The Blue Bonnet brand of margarine uses the slogan “Everything’s better with Blue Bonnet on it”. The slogan inspired the familiar phrase “I’m on it like Blue Bonnet”. The phrase can be used in general speech, indicating that the speaker is in control of a situation.

23 Small change : DIMES

The term “dime”, used for a 10-cent coin, comes from the Old French word “disme” meaning “tenth part”.

27 Shout from Speedy Gonzales : ANDALE!

When I was a kid, Speedy Gonzales was one of my favorite cartoon characters. He was billed as “The Fastest Mouse in all Mexico” and tore around the place yelling “¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! ¡Epa¡ ¡Epa! ¡Epa! Yeehaw!”

31 Herr’s home : HAUS

In German, a “Herr” (Mr.) is married to a “Frau” (Mrs.), and they live together in a “Haus” (house).

32 A or Ray, say : ALER

The Oakland Athletics (OAK) baseball franchise was founded back in 1901 as the Philadelphia Athletics. The team became the Kansas City Athletics in 1955 and moved to Oakland in 1968. Today, the Athletics are usually referred to as “the A’s”.

The Tampa Bay Rays are a relatively young franchise, having been formed in 1998. The initial name of the franchise was the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. While known as the Devil Rays, the team finished last in the league almost every year. The name was changed to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008, and I am told the Rays started into a streak of winning seasons soon after.

41 “101 Dalmatians” villain Cruella de __ : VIL

Cruella de Vil is the villain in the 1956 novel “The Hundred and One Dalmatians” written by Dodie Smith. Most famously perhaps, Cruella was played so ably by Glenn Close in the Disney movie adaption “101 Dalmatians”, released in 1996.

“101 Dalmatians” is a 1996 Disney movie, a remake of the 1961 animated Disney feature “One Hundred and One Dalmatians”. The 1996 movie spawned a sequel titled “102 Dalmatians”, released in 2000, and a 2021 prequel called “Cruella”.

42 __ Ludington, 1777 militia-alerting rider : SYBIL

Sybil Ludington was just 16 years of age when she made an overnight horseback ride during the American Revolution to warn local militia of advancing British forces. She took on the mission as her father was in charge of the 400 militiamen.

55 GPS options : RTES

A global positioning system (GPS) might point out a route (rte.).

57 Bob Marley, e.g. : RASTA

I must admit that I don’t really know much about Rastafarianism. I do know that a “Rasta”, such as Bob Marley, is a follower of the movement. Some say that Rastafarianism is a religion, some not. I also know that it involves the worship of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia.

Bob Marley was the most widely-known reggae performer, with big hits such as “I Shot the Sheriff”, “No Woman, No Cry” and “One Love”. A little sadly perhaps, Marley’s best-selling album was released three years after he died. That album would be the “legendary” album called “Legend”.

61 Lago contents : AGUA

In Italian, a “lago” (lake) is full of “acqua” (water).

62 Amazed : GOBSMACKED

“Gobsmack” is slang from Britain and Ireland. “Gob” is also slang, for “mouth”. So someone who is gobsmacked has received a smack in the “mouth”, is stunned.

64 Foul weather gear for Brits : MACS

When I was growing up in Ireland, we had to take our macs to school in case it rained (and it usually did!). “Mac” is short for “macintosh”, a waterproof raincoat made of rubberized fabric. The coat was named after its inventor, Scotsman Charles Macintosh.

65 Permeate : IMBUE

To imbue is to pervade, to soak in. “Imbue” has the same etymological roots as our word “imbibe”.

67 Jet black : INKY

The color jet black takes its name from the minor gemstone jet. The gemstone and the material it is made of takes its English name from the French name “jaiet”.

69 British submachine gun : STEN

The STEN gun is an iconic armament that was used by the British military. The name STEN is an acronym. The letters S and T come from the name of the gun’s designers, Shepherd and Turpin. The letters EN comes from the Enfield brand name, which in turn comes from the Enfield location where the guns were manufactured for the Royal Small Arms Factory, an enterprise owned by the British government.

Down

1 Collecting Soc. Sec., maybe : RETD

The Social Security Administration (SSA) was set up as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. The first person to receive a monthly retirement benefit was Ida May Fuller of Vermont who received her first check for the sum of $22.54 after having contributed for three years through payroll taxes. The New Deal turned out to be a good deal for Ms. Fuller, as she lived to be 100 years of age and received a total benefit of almost $23,000, whereas her three years of contributions added up to just $24.75.

2 Sharif of “Che!” : OMAR

Omar Sharif was a great Hollywood actor from Egypt, someone who played major roles in memorable movies such as “Doctor Zhivago” and “Lawrence of Arabia”. But to me, he was my bridge hero (the card game). In his heyday, Sharif was one of the best bridge players in the world.

“Che!” is a 1969 biopic about the life of Che Guevara. It stars Omar Sharif in the title role, and Jack Palance as Fidel Castro. I haven’t seen the film, and apparently it wasn’t well received. Well, an Egyptian (Sharif) playing an Argentine Marxist, and a Ukrainian American (Palance) playing a Cuban revolutionary? That sounds like a disaster waiting to happen …

3 Great white shark relative : MAKO

The shortfin mako shark can appear on restaurant menus, and as a result the species is dying out in some parts of the world. The mako gets its own back sometimes though, as attacks on humans are not unknown. It is the fastest-swimming shark, and has been clocked at speeds of over 40 miles/hour. And the shark in Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea”, that’s a mako. “Mako” is the Maori word for “shark” or “shark tooth”.

The great white shark is one big fish, and can grow to over 21 feet long and weigh over 7,000 pounds. Great whites also live long lives, over 70 years. They have no natural predator, and are responsible for far more attacks on humans than any other shark species.

4 Ulterior motives, perhaps : AGENDAS

“Agenda” is a Latin word that translates as “things to be done”, coming from the verb “agere” meaning “to do”.

6 “Three Tall Women” Pulitzer playwright : ALBEE

Playwright Edward Albee’s most famous play is “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Albee won three Pulitzer Prizes for Drama:

  • 1967: “A Delicate Balance”
  • 1975: “Seascape”
  • 1994: “Three Tall Women”

Albee also won three Tony Awards:

  • 1963: “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (Best Play)
  • 2002: “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?”
  • 2005: Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement

8 Something in addition to the letter: Abbr. : ENCL

An envelope (env.) might contain an enclosure (encl.).

9 Celtic rivals : LAKERS

The Los Angeles Lakers basketball team started out in 1947 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The team chose the Lakers name in honor of the nickname of Minnesota, “Land of 10,000 Lakes”. The Lakers moved to Los Angeles in 1960.

The Boston Celtics NBA basketball team was founded just after WWII in 1946. The Celtics won eight league championships in a row from 1958 to 1966. That’s the longest consecutive championship winning streak of any professional sports team in North America.

12 Dutch painter Jan : STEEN

Jan Steen was a painter from the Netherlands who was active in the Dutch Golden Age, the 17th century. Steen’s most famous work is probably “The Feast of Saint Nicholas”, which we can see at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

13 Burgundy grape : PINOT

The pinot noir wine grape variety takes its name from the French for “pine” and “black”. The grapes grow in tight clusters shaped like pine cones, and are very dark in color. The pinot noir grape is most closely associated with Burgundy wines in France, although in recent years the popularity (and price) of California pinot noir wine has soared after it featured so prominently in the wonderful 2004 movie “Sideways”. Grab a bottle of pinot, and go rent the movie …

18 Astronaut Armstrong : NEIL

Neil Armstrong was the most private of individuals. You didn’t often see him giving interviews, unlike so many of the more approachable astronauts of the Apollo space program. His famous, “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind” statement; that was something that he came up with himself, while Apollo 11 was making its way to the moon.

24 Protein provider : MEAT

Proteins are synthesised in the body from amino acids, which are linked together in specific sequences that are determined by the genetic code. The language of the code is a sequence of nucleotides. The nucleotides are arranged in groups of three called “codons”, with each codon determining a specific amino acid.

28 __ a one : NARY

The adjective “nary” means “not one”, as in “nary a soul” or even “nary a one”.

30 River near Arezzo : ARNO

The Arno is the principal river in the Tuscany region of Italy, and passes through the cities of Florence and Pisa. Famously the Arno flooded in 1966, the worst flood in the region for centuries. There were numerous deaths and extensive destruction of priceless art treasures, particularly in Florence.

Arezzo is a city located about 50 miles to the southeast of Florence in Tuscany, Italy.

34 “Another Green World” musician : ENO

“Another Green World” is an album by ambient music pioneer Brian Eno. Eno persuaded a few guest musicians to perform with him on “Another Green World”, including John Cale of Velvet Underground and Phil Collins of Genesis.

36 “Buenos __” : DIAS

“Buenos dias” translates from Spanish as “good day”, but can also be used to say “good morning”.

37 Red Muppet : ELMO

The “Sesame Street” character named Elmo has a birthday every February 3rd, and on that birthday he always turns 3½ years old. The man behind/under Elmo on “Sesame Street” for many years was Kevin Clash. If you want to learn more about Elmo and Clash, you can watch the 2011 documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”.

40 Biblical plot : EDEN

According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers, including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

45 Censors for security reasons : REDACTS

Our word “redact”, meaning to revise or edit, comes from the past participle of the Latin “redigere” meaning “to reduce”.

The original “censor” was an officer in ancient Rome who had responsibility for taking the “census”, as well as supervising public morality.

47 Noble Italian house that produced two popes : BORGIA

The Borgias were a papal family that was very prominent during the Renaissance in Europe. Two of the Borgias became popes, namely Pope Calixtus III and Pope Alexander VI. Pope Alexander VI had several children, including Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia. Cesare became a cardinal, and was the first cardinal to resign from the post. Lucrezia earned a reputation as a femme fatale, and as such turns up in many artworks, novels and movies.

49 Aloe __ : VERA

Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. ancient Egyptians knew it as the plant of immortality, and Native Americans called it the wand of heaven.

50 Hindu ascetic : SWAMI

A swami is a religious teacher in the Hindu tradition. The word “swami” can also mean “husband” in the Bengali and Malay languages.

51 Eddie __, Olympic gold-medalist in boxing and bobsledding : EAGAN

Eddie Eagan was an American athlete; a boxer and a bobsledder. He won the gold medal in the light-heavyweight boxing event in the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp. Twelve years later, he won a gold medal as a member of the bobsleigh crew that won gold in the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. That makes Eagan the only person to have won a gold in both Summer and Winter Games in different disciplines.

52 Disney Channel star __ Ryan : DEBBY

Actress and singer Debby Ryan played the title character in the Disney Channel TV show “Jessie”. She transitioned to mainstream television when she starred in the Netflix show “Insatiable”.

56 Whiskered males : TOMS

A group of cats can be referred to as a “clowder” or a “glaring”. A male cat is a “tom” or “tomcat”, and a neutered male is a “gib”. An unaltered female cat is a “queen”, and a spayed female might be referred to informally as a “molly”. A young cat is a “kitten”.

58 32-card game : SKAT

When I was a teenager in Ireland, I had a friend with a German father. The father taught us the game of Skat, and what a great game it is. Skat originated in Germany in the 1800s and is to this day the most popular card game in the country. I haven’t played it in decades, but would love to play it again …

60 Yemeni port : ADEN

Aden is a seaport in Yemen that is located on the Gulf of Aden by the eastern approach to the Red Sea. Aden has a long history of British rule, from 1838 until a very messy withdrawal in 1967. A native of Aden is known as an Adeni. Some believe that Cain and Abel are buried in the city.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Tomato used for paste : ROMA
5 Comic strip frame : PANEL
10 Cookbook abbr. : TBSP
14 Issue with a URL : E-MAG
15 Colleague of Amy and Sonia : ELENA
16 Roast, on le menu : ROTI
17 Amazed : TAKEN ABACK
19 Wilson of “Zoolander” : OWEN
20 Boring lecture feature : DRONE
21 Agatha contemporary : ERLE
22 Blue Bonnet, e.g. : OLEO
23 Small change : DIMES
25 Swear off sinning : REPENT
27 Shout from Speedy Gonzales : ANDALE!
30 Set, as a price : ASKED
31 Herr’s home : HAUS
32 A or Ray, say : ALER
35 Chip away at : ERODE
38 Branch : ARM
39 Amazed : STUNNED
41 “101 Dalmatians” villain Cruella de __ : VIL
42 Ancient Greek prophet : SYBIL
44 “Well done!” : GOOD!
45 Widen, as a hole opening : REAM
46 Attempts : STABS
48 Very : EVER SO
50 __ music: orchestrates : SETS TO
52 Ate : DINED
54 End for soft or silver : -WARE
55 GPS options : RTES
57 Bob Marley, e.g. : RASTA
61 Lago contents : AGUA
62 Amazed : GOBSMACKED
64 Foul weather gear for Brits : MACS
65 Permeate : IMBUE
66 A fisherman may spin one : TALE
67 Jet black : INKY
68 Until now : AS YET
69 British submachine gun : STEN

Down

1 Collecting Soc. Sec., maybe : RETD
2 Sharif of “Che!” : OMAR
3 Great white shark relative : MAKO
4 Ulterior motives, perhaps : AGENDAS
5 Patch veggie : PEA
6 “Three Tall Women” Pulitzer playwright : ALBEE
7 Approaches : NEARS
8 Something in addition to the letter: Abbr. : ENCL
9 Celtic rivals : LAKERS
10 State cop : TROOPER
11 Amazed : BOWLED OVER
12 Dutch painter Jan : STEEN
13 Burgundy grape : PINOT
18 Astronaut Armstrong : NEIL
24 Protein provider : MEAT
26 Barely managed, with “out” : EKED …
27 Cries of discovery : AHAS
28 __ a one : NARY
29 Amazed : DUMBSTRUCK
30 River near Arezzo : ARNO
33 Carries with effort : LUGS
34 “Another Green World” musician : ENO
36 “Buenos __” : DIAS
37 Red Muppet : ELMO
39 Bed board : SLAT
40 Biblical plot : EDEN
43 “Piece of cake” : IT’S EASY
45 Censors for security reasons : REDACTS
47 Noble Italian house that produced two popes : BORGIA
49 Aloe __ : VERA
50 Hindu ascetic : SWAMI
51 Eddie __, Olympic gold-medalist in boxing and bobsledding : EAGAN
52 Disney Channel star __ Ryan : DEBBY
53 It’s debatable : ISSUE
56 Whiskered males : TOMS
58 32-card game : SKAT
59 Marketing leader? : TELE-
60 Yemeni port : ADEN
63 Bumped into : MET

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 7 Jul 21, Wednesday”

  1. 1 dumb error. .. got caught in the OLEO or OLIO quandry..

    Sybil Ludington… hmm. Didn’t hear about her in the history books. According to WIKI it’s “widely celebrated”.. apparently their was a stamp even made in 1975..

    1. @Anon Mike …

      It appears that your version of this puzzle had the same clue for 42A that mine did: “___ Ludington, 1777 militia-alerting rider”. What’s listed above is different: “Ancient Greek prophet”. Curious. (And I think we get/deserve extra points for getting it right … 😜.)

  2. No errors; for a change the apparent theme was a great
    help. Filled up a lot of boxes for me. The one clue that I
    was having trouble with was “A or Ray”. But I figured
    that Arno as a river was as good a choice as any so ended up
    with the correct answer.

  3. ,,,,another clue that had me going for awhile: I wanted to
    use arriba! for 27across but had to give up on that one.

    1. @Mike
      the answer was E-MAG (14A). Which is an e-magazine. A magazine published on the Internet electronically, which is accessed via a URL.

    2. Mike:the correct answer is “emag” for online magazine; I assume
      “issue” is referring to the magazine too.

  4. 11:10, and no errors. Not exactly EASY, but doable and (thankfully) guile-free. Amazed at a few of the finishing times that suggest Monday-like simplicity!!! We truly have a few crossword mavens in our ranks!

  5. 7:23

    GOBSMACKED is such a great expression.

    @Mike, I think 14A is EMAG, or e-magazine. Not that anyone uses that term for an e-zine.

  6. Of course Sybil Ludington wouldn’t have been included in much of history. She’s a woman! I’ve never heard of her and my dictionary hadn’t either.

  7. Pretty straightforward with themed answers that came easily to me – 9:23 with no errors or lookups.

    Mary S and Lou lu,
    An ALER is an American LeaguER of Major League Baseball, and is the league/conference that includes the Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays.

  8. Mostly easy Wednesday for me; took 11:32 with no errors or peeks. I didn’t know OWEN, SYBIL, EAGAN and had to look twice at ALER, but managed most with crosses, logic and guesses.

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