LA Times Crossword 21 Aug 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 10m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Stamford-based humanitarian relief group : AMERICARES

American businessman Bob Macauley had been helping the plight of South Vietnamese orphans since the early 1970s. In 1975, a USAF transport plane carrying a large group of orphans crashed, and left many of the surviving children stranded in Vietnam, just before the fall of Saigon. Macaulay chartered a Pan-Am 747 to evacuate about 300 orphans, paying for the trip by mortgaging his house. A few years later, Macaulay ended his career as a private business executive, and in 1982 founded Americares, a non-profit that provides humanitarian aid around the world.

The Connecticut city of Stamford is located about 40 miles from Manhattan, and is part of the New York City metropolitan area. One of Stamford’s claims to fame is that it often serves as the home of the annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament that was founded by Will Shortz in 1978.

15 Spot for a wistful stroll : MEMORY LANE

“Wistful” is a lovely word, I think, one that can mean “pensively sad, melancholy”.

16 Green target : HOLE

That would be golf.

18 Tunnel diggers : ANTS

Anthills are actually underground nests. The ants in the colony excavate below ground, resulting in a pile of sand or soil above ground.

20 Tamboura kin : SITAR

The sitar has been around since the Middle Ages. It is a stringed instrument that is played by plucking, and is used most often in Hindustani classical music. In the West we have been exposed to the instrument largely through the performances of Ravi Shankar and some music by George Harrison of the Beatles, a onetime student of Shankar.

The tanpura (also “tambura”) is a stringed instrument with a long neck that is used mainly in Indian music. It is usually used to play a continuous “drone” sound beneath a melody played on another instrument or provided by a singer. That background harmony comes from continuous and repeated plucking of all four of the tanpura’s strings at the same time.

21 “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” spin-off : ANGEL

“Angel” is a TV series that ran for five seasons starting in 1999. It is a spin-off from the very successful “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, with Angel originally introduced in “Buffy” as a love interest for the title character. Angel was an Irishman who lived in the 1700s who became a sadistic vampire. He was cursed with a human soul, so becomes a “good guy”.

22 Team apparel, informally : UNIS

Uniform (uni)

24 Covert ops outfit : CAMO

Our word “camouflage” (often abbreviated to “camo”) evolved directly from a Parisian slang term “camoufler” meaning “to disguise”. The term was first used in WWI, although the British navy at that time preferred the expression “dazzle-painting” as it applied to the pattern painted on the hulls of ships.

33 Single-serving coffee units : K-CUP PODS

A K-Cup is a single-portion cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate in which the beverage is prepared in situ. K-Cup packs are used with brewing machines made by Keurig, a manufacturer of coffee brewers based in Reading, Massachusetts. Personally, I use a Nespresso machine …

38 Decisive defeat : WATERLOO

Waterloo is a small municipality in Belgium. The name “Waterloo” originated with the Dutch and is probably an anglicization of a Dutch word meaning “wet clearing in a forest”. The town is famous for the Battle of Waterloo that took place nearby in 1815. Said battle was fought between the Imperial French army led by Emperor Napoleon, and an Anglo-Allied army led by Irish-born British Field Marshal, the Duke of Wellington. Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo led to his abdication and the restoration of King Louis XVIII to the throne of France. Bonaparte was exiled to the British-owned island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, where he died in 1821. Such is the fame of the battle that the term “Waterloo” is used figuratively today for any decisive or crushing defeat.

45 Cooking student of Martha : INA

Ina Garten is an author as well as the host of a cooking show on the Food Network called “Barefoot Contessa”. She is a mentee of Martha Stewart, and indeed was touted as a potential “successor” to the TV celebrity when Stewart was incarcerated in 2004 after an insider trading scandal. Garten has no formal training as a chef, and indeed used to work as a nuclear policy analyst at the White House!

46 Preserves, as beef : CORNS

Corned beef is beef that has been cured with salt. “Corn” is an alternative term describing a grain of salt, giving the dish its name. Corned beef is also known as “salt beef”, and “bully beef” if stored in cans (from the French “bouilli” meaning “boiled”).

48 1966 Literature Nobelist Nelly : SACHS

Nelly Sachs was a German poet who voiced the grief felt by the Jewish people after WWII. Sachs escaped on the last flight from Nazi Germany to Sweden in 1940. Sachs had been scheduled to report to a concentration camp one week later.

50 Tenzing-Hillary Airport site : NEPAL

Nepal lies to the northeast of India. Today, the state is known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. In 2008, the Communist Party of Nepal won the country’s general election. Soon after, the Assembly voted to change the form of government, moving away from a monarchy and creating a secular republic.

Tenzing–Hillary Airport is a domestic airport in Nepal that was rated as the most dangerous in the world for twenty years. Despite its reputation, the facility is popular due to its proximity to Mount Everest Base Camp. The airport was built in 1964 by Sir Edmund Hillary, and was renamed in 2008 in honor of Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, the first people to summit Mount Everest.

52 Singer Lorde’s given name : ELLA

“Lorde” is a stage name of the singer-songwriter Ella Yelich-O’Connor from New Zealand. Lorde’s cover version of the great Tears for Fears song “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” was used in the soundtrack for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (2013). Her song “Yellow Flicker Beat” is included in the soundtrack for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”.

54 Rooney __, co-star of the 2015 film “Carol” : MARA

Actress Rooney Mara is noted for her role in the 2010 film “The Social Network” and for playing the title character in the 2011 hit movie “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. Mara has American football in her blood. Her mother’s family founded the Pittsburgh Steelers, and her father’s family founded the New York Giants.

The 2015 film “Carol” is about a forbidden affair between a female photographer and an older woman in the middle of a tough divorce in 1950s America. Rooney Mara plays the photographer Therese Belivet, and Cate Blanchett plays the title character Carol Aird. I haven’t seen this one yet, but I hear good things …

58 Tandyr __: Central Asian flatbread : NAN

Naan (also “nan”) bread is very popular in Indian restaurants, as well as in other West, Central and South Asian cuisines. Indian Naan is traditionally baked in a clay oven known as a tandoor.

62 Subject of Huáscar : INCA

Huáscar Inca was head of the Inca Empire from 1527 to 1532. His rule ended in a civil war with his half-brother Atahualpa, who also laid claim to the title of emperor. Atahualpa emerged victorious, but was left with an army that had been decimated by the bloody war. Historians cite this weakened military strength as a major factor leading to the subsequent downfall of the Inca Empire, and the capture and execution of Atahualpa by Francisco Pizarro.

65 Short-term bus purchase : ONE-DAY PASS

We use the term “bus” for a mode of transportation as it is an abbreviated form of the original “omnibus”. We imported “omnibus” via French from Latin, in which language it means “for all”. The idea is that an omnibus is a “carriage for all”.

Down

2 Sheep originating in Spain : MERINOS

The Merino breed of sheep is prized for the soft quality of its wool.

5 Ring around a pupil : IRIS

The iris is the colored part of the eye. It has an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.

The pupil of the eye is the hole located in the center of the iris through which light enters the retina. The term “pupil” came into English via French from the latin “pupilla”, which is the diminutive form of “pupa” meaning “girl, doll”. The term came about due to the tiny doll-like image that one can see of oneself when looking into the center of another’s eyes.

6 One “whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be”: Bierce : CYNIC

“The Devil’s Dictionary” is a satirical work by Ambrose Bierce, consisting of a list of common words with some very amusing definitions. First published in 1911, “The Devil’s Dictionary” is a more complete version of Bierce’s 1906 publication “The Cynic’s Word Book”. Here are some of my favorite definitions found therein:

  • Cabbage, n. A familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man’s head.
  • Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.
  • Dentist, n. A prestidigitator who, putting metal into your mouth, pulls coins out of your pocket.
  • Love, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
  • Hers, pron. His.
  • Money, n. A blessing that is of no advantage to us excepting when we part with it.
  • Quotation, n: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.
  • Selfish, adj. Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others.
  • Sweater, n. Garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.
  • Year, n. A period of three hundred and sixty-five disappointments.

8 Went wild : RAN AMOK

The phrase “to run amok” (sometimes “to run amuck”) has been around since the 1670s and is derived from the Malay word for “attacking furiously”, “amuk”. The word “amok” was also used as a noun to describe Malay natives who were “frenzied”. Given Malaya’s troubled history, the natives probably had a good reason for that frenzy …

9 Cross a line one shouldn’t cross : ENCROACH

Our verb “to encroach” came into English meaning “to acquire, get”, from the Old French “encrochier” meaning the same thing. The Old French term literally translated as “to catch with a hook”.

11 Lamasery music : CHANT

A lamasery is a monastery of lamas.

“Lama” is a Tibetan word meaning “chief, high priest”.

21 Barbecue receptacles : ASHPITS

It is believed that our word “barbecue” (BBQ) comes from the Taíno people of the Caribbean in whose language “barbacoa” means “sacred fire pit”.

23 What a coach’s hands-down gesture may mean : SLIDE

That would be baseball.

27 Trivia quiz site : SPORCLE

Sporcle.com is a trivia quiz website. The name is derived from the word “oracle” apparently. I like the web site’s mission statement: “We actively and methodically search out new and innovative ways to prevent our users from getting any work done whatsoever.”

38 Hits the jackpot : WINS BIG

The term “jackpot” dates back to the 1800s and comes from the game of poker. In some variants there are progressive antes. This means that players have to ante up, add to the “pot”, when no player has a pair of “jacks” or better. They build a “jackpot”.

39 Buttercup cousin : ANEMONE

The name “anemone” means “daughter of the wind” in Greek, and at one time it was believed that the wind was what actually caused the flower to bloom.

The Ranunculus genus of flowering plants can also be referred to as “buttercups”. The name “buttercup” may be the result of a traditional belief that cows eat buttercups, resulting in the yellow color of butter. However, buttercups are poisonous to cows, and so they avoid them.

40 Bubble tea ingredient : TAPIOCA

The cassava plant is a woody shrub native to South America grown largely for its carbohydrate-rich tubers. In fact, cassava is the third largest food source of carbohydrates (for humans) in the world. Ordinarily, that carbohydrate is extracted from the plant and dried as flour, and is known as tapioca.

Bubble tea, sometimes called “boba tea”, is a tea-based drink from Taiwan. The “bubbles” are chewy tapioca balls that are usually added to the drink.

43 It precedes some puck drops : O CANADA

Canada’s national anthem “O Canada” was commissioned in 1880 by the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, so the original words are in French. The first English translation was made in 1906. The current English lyrics have been revised a few times, but the French version remains the same as it did back in 1880.

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all of us command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Before wooden and rubber pucks were introduced in the late 1800s, ice hockey was played with balls. The first rubber pucks were made by cutting down rubber balls into the shape of discs.

47 Designated : SLATED

An item that has been slated has been put on the agenda, scheduled. The verb “to slate” comes from the notion of writing something down on a slate board.

53 Corpse Pose, e.g. : ASANA

In yoga, shavasana is a pose (asana) that is often used at the end of the session for relaxation. The pose is known as corpse pose in English.

57 Many a TikTok teen : E-BOY

E-girls and e-boys (maybe “e-kids”) may spend a lot of time on social media, especially TikTok, hence the use of the prefix “e-”.

60 Warm-hearted Seuss character : WHO

The Whos live in Whoville in Dr. Seuss’ children’s book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Stamford-based humanitarian relief group : AMERICARES
11 Model’s makeup, maybe : CLAY
15 Spot for a wistful stroll : MEMORY LANE
16 Green target : HOLE
17 Brilliance : PROMINENCE
18 Tunnel diggers : ANTS
19 Collect dust : SIT
20 Tamboura kin : SITAR
21 “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” spin-off : ANGEL
22 Team apparel, informally : UNIS
24 Covert ops outfit : CAMO
25 One may be blank : STARE
26 Mixes together : POOLS
28 Not take well? : POACH
30 Understand : GET
31 Quick cuts : SNIPS
33 Single-serving coffee units : K-CUP PODS
35 Curtains : DOOM
37 Next in line : HEIR
38 Decisive defeat : WATERLOO
42 Condescend : STOOP
45 Cooking student of Martha : INA
46 Preserves, as beef : CORNS
48 1966 Literature Nobelist Nelly : SACHS
50 Tenzing-Hillary Airport site : NEPAL
52 Singer Lorde’s given name : ELLA
54 Rooney __, co-star of the 2015 film “Carol” : MARA
55 Welcoming expression : SMILE
56 Needle : TEASE
58 Tandyr __: Central Asian flatbread : NAN
59 Kick : BOOT
60 “It was fun!” : WHAT A BLAST!
62 Subject of Huáscar : INCA
63 Be totally stumped : HAVE NO IDEA
64 Part with teeth : GEAR
65 Short-term bus purchase : ONE-DAY PASS

Down

1 Energizes : AMPS UP
2 Sheep originating in Spain : MERINOS
3 Joy, for one : EMOTION
4 __-com : ROM
5 Ring around a pupil : IRIS
6 One “whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be”: Bierce : CYNIC
7 Pub device : ALE TAP
8 Went wild : RAN AMOK
9 Cross a line one shouldn’t cross : ENCROACH
10 Take notice : SEE
11 Lamasery music : CHANT
12 Way back : LONG AGO
13 Took in, say : ALTERED
14 “Sure, why not?” : YES, LET’S
21 Barbecue receptacles : ASHPITS
23 What a coach’s hands-down gesture may mean : SLIDE
27 Trivia quiz site : SPORCLE
29 Signals : CUES
32 Flight school hurdle : SOLO
34 Many a charity tournament : PRO-AM
36 Over : MORE THAN
38 Hits the jackpot : WINS BIG
39 Buttercup cousin : ANEMONE
40 Bubble tea ingredient : TAPIOCA
41 Legally off base : ON LEAVE
43 It precedes some puck drops : O CANADA
44 Expresses appropriately : PHRASES
47 Designated : SLATED
49 Some mall hirees : SANTAS
51 Site for a rite : ALTAR
53 Corpse Pose, e.g. : ASANA
57 Many a TikTok teen : E-BOY
60 Warm-hearted Seuss character : WHO
61 __ out: hit the edge of the hole without going in, in golf : LIP

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 21 Aug 21, Saturday”

  1. Not as tough as NYTIMES Saturday but Mr Burnikel got me in a few places. Had SLATE for 25A a long time before STARE finally emerged. Turned out SLATED showed up at 47D… SPORCLE had me going for a while. Had RIM for 61D for a long time. Not sure I’ve heard LIP but maybe that’s golf.

    I cheated on 52A. ELLA.. in retrospect, probably could have Sussed it out but it was such a time saving piece for me. I caved.

  2. No errors when I finished, but had too many proper name
    lookups. Never heard of sporcle so that was a surprise word
    obtained through cross-words. Some of my friends use K-cups
    so I had at least heard of them.

    This one took me a looooong time!

  3. About 32 minutes or so and then I had to do a grid check. Never heard of Sporcle, but it sounds like fun. Did not know Sachs or Mara or Ella or eboy. Fun enough.

  4. A difficult one for me – 42:37 with one look up and one letter error. Had to hunt around a long time to find answers that I could fill in that would help with other answers, and made some good guesses on others. Had to change SEE>GET, RIM>LIP, DAYSAGO>LONGAGO.

    I had SP_R_LE and so looked up SPARKLE. That wasn’t it, but the search result showed me SPORCLE (never heard of it, but seems to be a lot there). Had STATED for 47D which left ELTA for Lorde’s given name. Didn’t know any better, so left it. Oh well, a couple things learned for next time!

  5. 34:12 1 error, and many, many write-overs.

    That was tough! I managed to figure the many names I didn’t know, but still couldn’t see that it’s not MERENOS/SET but MERINOS/SIT.

    SPORCLE probably wouldn’t be happy that they are their own trivia question.

  6. I can understand that corned beef has been preserved. However, as the clue suggested, I’ve never heard “corn” being used as the verb for the method.

  7. So I had a t where the other l should have been in Ella for 52 Across giving me two errors. Certainly a lot better than yesterdays debacle. I’m still smarting from that spanking! I did have Americorps for awhile until I saw that Corps was not going to work with the downs and figured out Cares.

  8. Mostly here to read up on all the stuff I missed. This was so far out of my realm of knowledge that 63 A is a good way to sum it up. Only got about 20% on my own.

  9. “The Whos live in Whoville in Dr. Seuss’ children’s book ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas!'”
    Yes, that’s true, but their first appearance was in “Horton Hears a Who!”, where they lived on a speck of dust that was protected by Horton the Elephant.

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