LA Times Crossword 4 Aug 21, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Sean McGowan
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: About Face

Themed answers each include something found ABOUT the FACE, but written backwards (ABOUT FACE):

  • 50A8 Military command, and a hint to each set of circles : ABOUT FACE
  • 17A Trite : HACKNEYED (hiding “EYE”)
  • 24A Exodus participant : ISRAELITE (hiding “EAR”)
  • 35A Desirable vocal quality : RESONANCE (giving “NOSE”)
  • 50A Environmental catastrophes : OIL SPILLS (giving “LIPS”)

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

Bill’s time: 6m 30s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Cuba, por ejemplo : ISLA

In Spanish, Cuba “por ejemplo” (for example), is an “isla” (island).

Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean. The exact etymology of the name “Cuba” seems a little unclear. Most believe “Cuba” to be derived from the Taíno terms for “where fertile land is abundant” (cubao) or “great place” (coabana).

5 Laundry brand : TIDE

Tide is a laundry detergent that has been made by Procter & Gamble since 1946. Back then, Tide was marketed as “America’s Washday Favorite”.

14 XXX : CHIS

The Greek letter chi is the one that looks like our Roman letter X.

16 App with personalized celebrity videos : CAMEO

Cameo is a video-sharing website that allows celebrities to send messages to fans. It is a premium service, and fans must pay to receive a personalized message. It’s big business, and there are tens of thousands of celebrities participating.

17 Trite : HACKNEYED (hiding “EYE”)

Hackney is a location in London, and it probably gave its name to a “hackney”, an ordinary type of horse around 1300. By 1700 a “hackney” was a person hired to do routine work, and “hackneyed” meant “kept for hire”, and then “stale, uninteresting”. This morphed into a hackney carriage, a carriage or car for hire, and into “hack”, a slang term for a taxi driver or cab.

19 Two-tone treats : OREOS

The Oreo was the best-selling cookie in the 20th century, and almost 500 billion of them have been sold since they were introduced in 1912 by Nabisco. In those early days the creme filling was made with pork fat, but today vegetable oils are used instead. If you take a bite out of an Oreo sold outside of America you might notice a difference from the homegrown cookie, as coconut oil is added in the overseas version to give a different taste.

20 Thompson of “SNL” : KENAN

Kenan Thompson is an actor and comedian who is perhaps best known as a “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) cast member, joining the show in 2003. Thompson holds the record for the most celebrity impressions on SNL, at over one hundred.

23 Vine variety : 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 …

24 Exodus participant : ISRAELITE (hiding “EAR”)

The Book of Exodus is the second book in the Bible, and deals with Moses leading the Hebrews out of Egypt. The name “Exodus” comes from the Greek “exodos” meaning “departure”.

27 Corp. attention grab : PR STUNT

Public relations (PR)

30 West in old movies : MAE

Mae West was always pushing the envelope when it came to the “sexy” side of show business, even in her early days in Vaudeville. One of the first plays in which West starred on Broadway was called “Sex”, a work that she penned herself. The show was a sell-out, but city officials had it raided and West found herself spending ten days in jail after being convicted of “corrupting the morals of youth”. She started in movies in 1932, already 38 years old. West used her experience writing plays to rewrite much of the material she was given, and so really she was totally responsible for her own success and on-screen appeal.

41 Divided Asian peninsula : KOREA

Korea was occupied by the Japanese military from 1910 until Japan surrendered at the end of WWII in 1945. While the UN was working towards a trusteeship administration for Korea, the Soviet Union managed the Korean Peninsula north of the 38th parallel and the US managed the south. The UN’s plans came to naught as the Cold War dictated the establishment of the two separate states of North Korea and South Korea. North Korea invaded the South in 1950, leading to the Korean War. After three years of fighting, the border between the two states became the demarcation line between the two military forces on the day the Armistice Agreement was signed. That line runs diagonally across the 38th parallel, and is better known as the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

42 Hosp. crisis area : ICU

Many a hospital (hosp.) includes an intensive care unit (ICU).

48 Ron of “Hellboy” (2004) : PERLMAN

Ron Perlman is a Hollywood actor noted for playing roles that require heavy make-up, as well as for voice-over work. Notably, he played the title character in the superhero film “Hellboy”, and it’s sequel “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”.

54 Arnold Palmer ingredient : ICE TEA

The drink named for golfer Arnold Palmer is made from lemonade and ice tea. The drink named for fellow golfer John Daly is also made from lemonade and ice tea, but with vodka added …

55 Wasteland : HEATH

The term “heath” can describe an area of wasteland, particularly one that is largely infertile with acidic soil. The main plants thriving in heathlands are low, woody shrubs.

63 LAX postings : ETAS

Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA”, but when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently, the “X” has no significant meaning.

Down

1 Start of an iconic JFK quote : ICH …

“Ich” is the German for “I”, as in “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner), the famous words of support uttered by President John F. Kennedy (JFK) in 1963 in a speech in West Berlin. The supposed translation of “Ich bin ein Berliner” as “I am a jelly doughnut” … that’s just an urban myth. President Kennedy’s use of German was perfectly correct.

2 Super Bowl LIV performer : SHAKIRA

Shakira is a hugely successful singer from Colombia. She used to appear regularly on TV as one of the coaches on the reality show “The Voice”.

Super Bowl LIV was played at the end of the 2019 season between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. The Chiefs emerged victorious, winning their first Super Bowl since 1970. The halftime show featured singer Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.

4 Start of an iconic JFK quote : ASK NOT …

“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country” is a passage from the famous inaugural address delivered by President John F. Kennedy (JFK) in January 1961. Although it is generally regarded as one of the best inaugural addresses, it is the fourth shortest, taking just 13m 59s to deliver from start to finish.

5 Prom attendee : TEEN

A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them “formals” over in Ireland). The term “prom” is short for “promenade”, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

10 JFK daughter who inspired a Neil Diamond hit : CAROLINE

Caroline Kennedy is the only surviving child of President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. Caroline’s elder sister, Arabella, was stillborn; younger brother John Jr. died in a small-plane crash off Martha’s Vineyard in 1999; youngest brother Patrick died at only two days old. Caroline served as US Ambassador to Japan from 2013 until 2017.

“Sweet Caroline” is a classic soft-rock song written and performed by Neil Diamond. The inspiration for the song was Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F Kennedy. Sweet Caroline Kennedy was 11 years old at the time the song was released.

11 Miss __ : AMERICA

The oldest beauty pageant still operating in the US is the Miss America contest. The Miss America beauty pageant started out as a marketing ploy in the early twenties to attract tourists to the Atlantic City boardwalk after Labor Day. Today, contestants must be between 17 and 24 years of age. Before those limits were introduced, Marian Bergeron won the 1933 title at only 15 years of age.

13 Distress call : SOS

The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots). That said, in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so “SOS” is really only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are back-formations that were introduced after the SOS signal was adopted.

23 Meas. of concentration : PPM

Parts per million (ppm)

25 Big __ Conference : TEN

The Big Ten is the nation’s oldest Division I college athletic conference. The conference was founded in 1896 and earned the name “Big Nine” in 1899 when Iowa and Indiana joined to bring the number of teams in the conference to nine. The conference name was changed to the Big Ten after Michigan rejoined in 1917. Right after WWII, the University of Chicago dropped out so the conference became known as the Big Nine again until 1949. The official designation of “Big Ten” was adopted in 1987 when the conference (once again with a complement of ten teams) registered as a not-for-profit corporation. It was decided to keep the official name of Big Ten when Penn State joined in 1990 bringing the number of schools to the level of eleven. The number of schools in the conference continues to evolve, but that “Big Ten” moniker persists.

26 One of a sisters trio : ESS

There is a trio of letters S (ess) in the word “sisters”.

28 Vintage video game console : NES

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to 1995. The NES was the biggest selling gaming console of the era. Nintendo replaced the NES with Wii, which is also the biggest-selling game console in the world.

32 Ambient musician Brian : ENO

Brian Eno was one of the pioneers of the genre of ambient music. Eno composed an album in 1978 called “Ambient 1: Music for Airports”, which was the first in a series of four albums with an ambient theme. Eno named the tracks, somewhat inventively, 1/1, 1/2, 2/1 and 2/2.

33 Rain delay sights : TARPS

Originally, tarpaulins were made from canvas covered in tar that rendered the material waterproof. The word “tarpaulin” comes from “tar” and “palling”, with “pall” meaning “heavy cloth covering”.

35 Post-world-war paranoia : RED SCARE

After WWII, the United States went through a “Red Scare”, the fear of communist infiltration in American society and government. Senator Joseph McCarthy became a lightning rod for this movement when he chaired Senate hearings in the fifties designed to root out communist infiltrators. The period (1947-1956) is referred to as the Second Red Scare. The First Red Scare was at its height in 1919-1920, and was a fear of Bolshevism that arose after the Russian Revolution.

36 Formerly named : NEE

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”. The term “née” is mainly used in English when referring to a married woman’s birth name, assuming that she has adopted her husband’s name, e.g. Michelle Obama née Robinson, Melania Trump née Knavs, and Jill Biden née Jacobs.

37 “Magic” flier : CARPET

The magical flying carpet is a mode of transportation in one of the stories in “One Thousand and One Nights”.

38 Long-ago Tokyo : EDO

“Edo” is the former name of the Japanese city of Tokyo. Edo was the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate, a feudal regime that ruled from 1603 until 1868. The shogun lived in the magnificent Edo Castle. Some parts of the original castle remain and today’s Tokyo Imperial Palace, the residence of the Emperor of Japan, was built on its grounds.

39 Garden garland : 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.

43 On-the-go game show : CASH CAB

“Cash Cab” is a fun TV game show that originated in the UK and is now shown all over the world, including here in North America. In the US version, contestants are picked up in a cab in New York City and asked questions during their ride.

44 Avignon article : UNE

Avignon is a city in the southeast of France on the Rhône river. Avignon is sometimes called the “City of Popes” as it was home to seven popes during the Catholic schism from 1309 to 1423.

47 Coll. hoops tourney : NIT

The NCAA holds two National Invitation Tournaments (NIT) each season, both being men’s college basketball events.

56 Sci-fi film FX : CGI

Computer-generated imagery (CGI)

“FX” (sometimes “f/x”) is an abbreviation for “effects”, as in “special effects”.

57 Dance judge Goodman : LEN

Len Goodman is a professional ballroom dancer. Goodman was head judge on the US’s “Dancing with the Stars” until 2019, and was head judge on the original UK version of the show called “Strictly Come Dancing” until 2017.

59 Hydrogen’s atomic number : ONE

There are three naturally occurring isotopes of hydrogen. The most common isotope is what we ordinarily refer to as hydrogen, and it has no neutrons. This particular isotope is sometimes called “protium”. The isotope with one neutron is called “deuterium”. When paired with two atoms of oxygen, deuterium forms “heavy water”. The hydrogen isotope with two neutrons is called “tritium”. Tritium is radioactive, with a half-life of 12.3 years.

60 N.J. winter hrs. : EST

Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Cuba, por ejemplo : ISLA
5 Laundry brand : TIDE
9 Surveys, as a crowd : SCANS
14 XXX : CHIS
15 Bad doings : EVIL
16 App with personalized celebrity videos : CAMEO
17 Trite : HACKNEYED (hiding “EYE”)
19 Two-tone treats : OREOS
20 Thompson of “SNL” : KENAN
21 Overwhelming fear : TERROR
23 Vine variety : PINOT
24 Exodus participant : ISRAELITE (hiding “EAR”)
27 Corp. attention grab : PR STUNT
29 They’re sometimes slashed : PRICES
30 West in old movies : MAE
31 Start over : RESET
34 Nicknames for grandmas : NANS
35 Desirable vocal quality : RESONANCE (giving “NOSE”)
38 “Anybody __?” : ELSE
41 Divided Asian peninsula : KOREA
42 Hosp. crisis area : ICU
45 Exactly right : DEAD-ON
48 Ron of “Hellboy” (2004) : PERLMAN
50 Environmental catastrophes : OIL SPILLS (giving “LIPS”)
53 Composure : POISE
54 Arnold Palmer ingredient : ICE TEA
55 Wasteland : HEATH
56 Do some housework : CLEAN
58 Military command, and a hint to each set of circles : ABOUT FACE
61 Jazz but not Bulls : GENRE
62 Dance partner? : SONG
63 LAX postings : ETAS
64 Start to twine? : INTER-
65 Family ___ : TREE
66 Burden for many students : DEBT

Down

1 Start of an iconic JFK quote : ICH …
2 Super Bowl LIV performer : SHAKIRA
3 Driving need? : LICENSE
4 Start of an iconic JFK quote : ASK NOT …
5 Prom attendee : TEEN
6 Wall climber : IVY
7 Tries to lose : DIETS
8 Senior : ELDER
9 Ball game official : SCORER
10 JFK daughter who inspired a Neil Diamond hit : CAROLINE
11 Miss __ : AMERICA
12 Liberal start : NEO-
13 Distress call : SOS
18 Disposition : NATURE
22 Knock sharply : RAP
23 Meas. of concentration : PPM
24 “There, there” : IT’S OK
25 Big __ Conference : TEN
26 One of a sisters trio : ESS
28 Vintage video game console : NES
32 Ambient musician Brian : ENO
33 Rain delay sights : TARPS
35 Post-world-war paranoia : RED SCARE
36 Formerly named : NEE
37 “Magic” flier : CARPET
38 Long-ago Tokyo : EDO
39 Garden garland : LEI
40 Notable : SALIENT
42 Copy : IMITATE
43 On-the-go game show : CASH CAB
44 Avignon article : UNE
46 Season’s first game : OPENER
47 Coll. hoops tourney : NIT
49 Lounged : LOAFED
51 Bare minimum : LEAST
52 Work : LABOR
55 Enormous : HUGE
56 Sci-fi film FX : CGI
57 Dance judge Goodman : LEN
59 Hydrogen’s atomic number : ONE
60 N.J. winter hrs. : EST

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 4 Aug 21, Wednesday”

    1. Good work at any time of the day.

      We were able to drag out 94% and were glad to get it.
      Only 1 posting error (genre), but had 10 omissions. Just
      did not know them, but happy with our Wed. effort.

      The comment about heath not being a wasteland disagrees with my
      crossword puzzle dictionary.

  1. Fun puzzle – “ Ich” was clever. But a heath is most definitely not a wasteland. The flora is particular but abundant there.

  2. 35 min. no errors…the way this week is going I can’t wait for Thursday and Friday (not).
    Stay safe and don’t be like our quarterback…get the shot 😀

  3. 12:39 with no errors or lookups.
    Didn’t know the celebrity app or the Super Bowl performer (initially wanted a team name for that one). Had to change RENEW>RESET, LAISED>LOAFED, SPOTON>DEADON.

    Did not think of a heath as a wasteland before, so I guess I have a different perspective on that now. Wonder what brought on the focus on JFK for this puzzle.

  4. 12+ minutes, 1 error – didn’t notice that 34A (Nicknames for grandmas) was plural & wrote down NANA

  5. Chis? Bad clue.
    Would have preferred something indicating a Greek letter. I was thinking XXX had to be something like KISS, TENS, or even SWAT, as ways to include kisses at the end of a letter. Even with _HIS I was a bit stumped.

  6. 11:20

    Got the theme, but it didn’t help much.

    “Sweet Caroline” is also a fixture at Red Sox games.

  7. Have to disagree with Bill a little on 1 Down ICH. A German from Berlin would normally say “Ich bin Berliner.” The “ein” would sound a little strange. A “Berliner” (“ein Berliner”) is indeed a pastry like a jelly donut so that’s where that idea came from. And like Bill said it’s grammatically correct, but just not the way people talk.

  8. It’s been a while since I did the LA times cross word puzzle or commented here. I found this puzzle nicely hard.

  9. Slightly tricky Wednesday for me; danced around for 17:30 before doing a “check grid” to reveal NANa/ESa. Didn’t understand at first until I noticed the three Ss in sisters and the plural of NAN. Sigh!!

    That said, it was a pretty fun puzzle, even though I hadn’t heard of a bunch of things like CAMEO, that Shakira had performed at an event that I didn’t watch, that Ron Perlman from Sons of Anarchy was also in Hellboy, CASH CAB or LEN Goodman.

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