LA Times Crossword 14 Sep 21, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Mark McClain
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Bobolinks

Themed answers each include three circled letters that form a LINK between one “BO” and another “BO”:

  • 55A Birds with short finch-like bills … or, what the sets of circled letters literally are? : BOBOLINKS or BO-BO LINKS
  • 20A 2002 Hugh Grant film based on a Nick Hornby novel : ABOUT A BOY
  • 30A Gobbledygook : MUMBO JUMBO
  • 41A Three-time All-Star outfielder whose son was a seven-time N.L. MVP : BOBBY BONDS

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 Sarah __, fIrst woman governor of Alaska : PALIN

Famously, Sarah Palin was the Governor of Alaska from 2006 until 2009, and had been the Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska from 1996 until 2002. However, Palin is not a native Alaskan. She was born Sarah Heath in 1964 in Sandpoint, Idaho. Her father was a science teacher and took a position in Skagway, Alaska when Palin was just a few months old.

6 Academic acronym : STEM

The acronym “STEM” stands for the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. An alternative acronym with a similar meaning is MINT, standing for mathematics, information sciences, natural sciences and technology.

15 Cardamom-infused tea : CHAI

Chai is a drink made from spiced black tea, honey and milk, with “chai” being the Hindi word for “tea”. We often called tea “a cup of char” growing up in Ireland, with “char” being our slang word for tea, derived from “chai”.

The spice known as cardamom comes from the seeds of several plants that are native to India. Those plants were introduced to Guatemala in the early 20th century, and now Guatemala produces and exports more cardamom than any other country in the world, even India. Cardamom is the third-priciest spice on the market today by weight, after vanilla and saffron.

16 Tierra en el mar : ISLA

In Spanish, an “isla” (island) is “tierra en el mar” (land in the sea).

17 Blue Ribbon beer : PABST

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) is the most recognizable brand of beer from the Pabst Brewing Company. There appears to be some dispute over whether or not Pabst beer ever won a “blue ribbon” prize, but the company claims that it did so at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The beer was originally called Pabst Best Select, and then just Pabst Select. With the renaming to Blue Ribbon, the beer was sold with an actual blue ribbon tied around the neck of the bottle until it was dropped in 1916 and incorporated into the label.

18 Heavenly bear : URSA

The constellation Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called “the Big Dipper” because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, “the Plough”.

Ursa Minor (Latin for “Smaller Bear”) sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for “Dragon”). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and was once called “Dragon’s Wing”. The tail of the “Smaller Bear” might also be considered as the handle of a ladle, and so the constellation is often referred to as the Little Dipper.

20 2002 Hugh Grant film based on a Nick Hornby novel : ABOUT A BOY

“About a Boy” is a 2002 film adaptation of a 1988 novel of the same name by Nick Hornby (who also wrote “High Fidelity” and “Fever Pitch”, which were also turned into successful movies). “About a Boy” stars Hugh Grant and Toni Collette, with Nicholas Hoult playing the title character. Hornby’s novel has now been adapted for the small screen, and a TV series of the same name premiered on NBC in 2014.

30 Gobbledygook : 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.

Gobbledygook is pompous, officious talk. The term “Gobbledygook” is the 1944 invention of US Congressman Maury Maverick from Texas. He said he wanted to come up with a word that was imitative of a turkey.

40 Puccini specialty : OPERA

Giacomo Puccini was an Italian composer who was famous for his operas that are so often performed all over the world. Included in the list of his works are “La bohème”, “Tosca”, “Madama Butterfly” and “Turandot”. Puccini died in Brussels, Belgium in 1924 having suffered from throat cancer. An audience attending a performance of “La bohème” in Rome heard of the composer’s death in the middle of the performance. At the news, the opera was stopped, and the orchestra instead played Chopin’s “Funeral March”.

41 Three-time All-Star outfielder whose son was a seven-time N.L. MVP : BOBBY BONDS

Bobby Bonds played Major League Baseball from 1968 to 1981, mainly with the San Francisco Giants. He was picked for the All-Star Game three times in the 1970s. Bobby was the father of fellow player Barry Bonds.

44 Title for Richard Starkey : SIR

Sir Ringo Starr’s real name is Richard Starkey. Before he joined the Beatles, replacing drummer Pete Best, Starkey played with the Raving Texans. It was with the Raving Texans that he adopted the name “Ringo Starr”, because he wore a lot of rings and he thought it sounded “cowboyish”. Back then his drum solos were billed as “Starr Time”.

45 RPM indicator : TACH

The tachometer takes its name from the Greek word “tachos” meaning “speed”. A tachometer in a car measures engine revolutions per minute (rpm).

46 Drum kit cymbals : HI-HATS

In a drum kit, a hi-hat is a pairing of cymbals that sits on a stand and is played by using a foot pedal. The top cymbal is raised and lowered by the foot, hence creating a crashing sound.

52 Shrek’s love : FIONA

In the 2001 animated feature “Shrek”, the title character is voiced by Mike Myers. Eddie Murphy voices Shrek’s sidekick Donkey, and Princess Fiona is voiced by Cameron Diaz.

54 Blond hair, e.g. : TRAIT

In today’s world, the usage of masculine and feminine forms of English words is largely frowned upon. The one word that seems to have retained it’s gender specificity is “blond”, the feminine version of which is “blonde”.

55 Birds with short finch-like bills … or, what the sets of circled letters literally are? : BOBOLINKS or BO-BO LINKS

The bobolink is a small blackbird that likes to feed on grains that are cultivated for food, such as rice. As such, the bobolink used to be known as the “rice bird”, and is considered a pest by some farmers. The name “bobolink” is somewhat imitative of the bird’s call.

60 First name in desserts : SARA

In 1935, businessman Charles Lubin bought a chain of three bakeries in Chicago called Community Bake Shops, and soon expanded the operation into seven stores. Lubin introduced a cream cheesecake that he named after his daughter who was only 8-years-old at the time, Sara Lee Lubin. The cheesecake was a hit and he renamed the bakeries to Kitchen of Sara Lee. The business was bought out by Consolidated Foods in 1956, but the brand name Sara Lee persists to this day, as does Ms. Sara Lee herself who now goes by the name Sara Lee Schupf.

62 “__ sow … ” : AS YE

The commonly quoted line “As ye sow, so shall ye reap” is not actually a direct quote from the Bible, although the sentiment is expressed there at least twice. In the Book of Job is the line “They that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same”. In the Epistle of Paul to the Galatians is the line “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”.

63 A bit open : AJAR

Our word “ajar” is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which “a char” means “slightly open”.

65 Canasta combination : MELD

The card game canasta originated in Uruguay apparently, with “canasta” being the Spanish word for “basket”. In the rummy-like game, a meld of seven cards or more is called a canasta.

66 Foots the bill : PAYS

To foot the bill is to pay it, to pay the total at the “foot” of the bill.

Down

1 Fairy tale bear : PAPA

The story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” was first recorded in 1837 in England, although the narrative was around before it was actually written down. The original fairy tale was rather gruesome, but successive versions became more family-oriented. The character that eventually became Goldilocks was originally an elderly woman, and the three “nameless” bears became Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear.

2 Part of UAE : ARAB

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates (states) in the Middle East. Included in the seven are Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with the city of Abu Dhabi being the UAE capital and cultural center.

3 ESPN basketball analyst Rebecca : LOBO

Rebecca Lobo is a former WNBA basketball player who launched a second career as a sports reporter and analyst for ESPN. Lobo played with the New York Liberty, Houston Comets and Connecticut Sun.

6 Diving acronym : SCUBA

The self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) was co-invented by celebrated French marine explorer Jacques Cousteau.

9 Soccer great Hamm : MIA

Mia Hamm is a retired American soccer player. She played as a forward on the US national team that won the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991. Hamm scored 158 international goals, which was more than any other player in the world, male or female, until the record was broken in 2013. Amazingly, Hamm was born with a clubfoot, and so had to wear corrective shoes when she was growing up.

11 Lao or Thai : ASIAN

The official name for the country of Laos is the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. In the Lao language, the country’s name is “Meuang Lao”. The French ruled Laos as part of French Indochina, having united three separate Lao kingdoms. As there was a plural of “Lao” entities united into one, the French added the “S” and so today we tend to use “Laos” instead of “Lao”.

Formerly known as Siam, the Kingdom of Thailand has been operating as a military dictatorship since a 2014 coup.

13 Like pretzels : SALTY

Pretzels originated in Europe and are especially popular in Southern Germany where a pretzel is known as “Brezel”. Pretzels were introduced into the US in the 1800s by immigrants from Germany and Switzerland who came to be known over here as the Pennsylvania Dutch.

22 Bluegrass band staple : BANJO

The instrument that we know today as the banjo is a derivative of instruments that were used in Africa.

Bluegrass is a subgenre of country music, and has its roots in the traditional music brought over from Britain and Ireland. The style of music really evolved quite recently, just before WWII. Musician Bill Monroe is referred to as its “founding father”, and indeed bluegrass takes its name from Monroe’s band, the Blue Grass Boys.

24 Hall & Oates, e.g. : DUO

Daryl Hall & John Oates are a pop music duo who were most successful in the late seventies and early eighties. They had six number one hits, including the 1982 release “Maneater”.

26 Costa del Sol coin : EURO

Spain’s Costa del Sol (“Coast of the Sun”) is in Andalusia in the South of Spain. It lies sandwiched between two other “costas”, the Costa de la Luz and the Costa Tropical. The city of Malaga is on the Costa del Sol, as well as the famous European tourist destinations of Torremolinos and Marbella. The Costa del Sol was made up of sleepy little fishing villages until the 1980s when the European sunseekers descended on the region. I wouldn’t recommend it for a holiday quite frankly …

32 Part of “MNF,” an in-season wkly. sports broadcast : MON

“Monday Night Football” (sometimes “MNF”) aired on ABC from 1970 until 2005, before moving to ESPN in 2006.

34 One with a tyre in his boot, perhaps : BRIT

The British spelling of “tyre”, for what we call a “tire” here in North America, was indeed the original spelling. The English started to use “tire” spelling in the 17th century, and then shifted back to the current “tyre” in the 19th century.

In North America we use the word “trunk” for the storage space in the back of a vehicle as that space is reminiscent of the large travelling chest called a “trunk”. Such trunks used to be lashed onto the back of automobiles before storage was integrated. On the other side of the Atlantic, a trunk is known as a “boot”. The original boot was a built-in storage compartment on a horse-drawn carriage on which a coachman would sit.

35 Scull crew : OARS

A scull is a boat used for competitive rowing. The main hull of the boat is often referred to as a shell. Crew members who row the boat can be referred to as “oars”. And, a scull is also an oar mounted on the stern of a small boat. It’s all very confusing …

38 Tombstone first name : WYATT

The famous Earp brothers of the Wild West were Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan. All three brothers participated in what has to be the most famous gunfight in the history of the Old West, the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. Strangely enough, the fight didn’t happen at the O.K. Corral, but took place six doors down the street in a vacant lot next to a photography studio.

The Arizona town of Tombstone built up around a mine that was owned by one Ed Schieffelin. Schieffelin had been told by US soldiers stationed in the area that the only stone (ore sample) he would find in the area was his tombstone. Regardless, he did file a claim, and it was centered on the grave site of one of his men who had been killed by Apaches. Schieffelin filed papers under the name “the Tombstone claim”.

42 Letters in early dates : BCE

The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.

47 Like mosaic tiles : INLAID

In the Middle Ages, mosaics were often dedicated to the Muses. The term “mosaic” translates as “of the Muses”.

51 Hannah of “Splash” : DARYL

Daryl Hannah is an actress from Chicago who got her big break in movies playing a violent replicant called Pris in the 1982 sci-fi classic “Blade Runner”. A couple of years later she played the female lead opposite Tom Hanks in the hit film “Splash”.

“Splash” is a 1984 comedy movie directed by Ron Howard, and starring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah. Hanks plays a guy who falls for a mysterious woman (Hannah), who turns out to be a mermaid. One thing notable about “Splash” is that it was the first film to be released under Walt Disney’s “Touchstone Pictures” label.

55 Gulf of California peninsula : BAJA

The Baja California Peninsula lies in the northwest of Mexico. It is bounded on the southwest by the Pacific Ocean, and on the northeast by the Gulf of California. The border city of Mexicali sits at the north of the peninsula, and the resort city of Cabo San Lucas sits at the southern tip.

56 1994 Jodie Foster title role : NELL

“Nell” is a thoughtful drama film from 1994 starring Jodie Foster in the title role. Nell is a young woman who had been raised by her mother in isolation, away from all human contact. She is discovered as an untamed child and gradually introduced into society. The movie is a screen adaptation of a play by Mark Handley called “Idioglossia”.

The wonderful actress and director Jodie Foster got her big break in movies early in her life, playing a very young prostitute in Martin Scorsese’s 1976 film “Taxi Driver”. Sadly, her appearance in “Taxi Driver” led to her being stalked by an obsessed John Hinckley, Jr. Hinckley called Foster on the phone, sent her love letters, and followed her on campus while she was attending Yale. In 1981, Hinckley famously shot and wounded President Reagan, claiming that he believed an assassination of the President would impress Foster.

60 Botanical fluid : SAP

There are two types of sap in a plant. Xylem sap is a watery solution that moves from the roots to the leaves. Phloem sap is a sugary solution that moves from the leaves (where sugars are produced) to the parts of the plant where sugars are used.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Sarah __, fIrst woman governor of Alaska : PALIN
6 Academic acronym : STEM
10 Chem class rooms : LABS
14 Therapy prefix : AROMA
15 Cardamom-infused tea : CHAI
16 Tierra en el mar : ISLA
17 Blue Ribbon beer : PABST
18 Heavenly bear : URSA
19 Small bottle : VIAL
20 2002 Hugh Grant film based on a Nick Hornby novel : ABOUT A BOY
22 Ogre, for one : BEAST
23 Post-injury regimen : REHAB
24 Delicate : DAINTY
25 Strong, as a storm : SEVERE
28 Reunion attendee : AUNT
29 Signal from the wings : CUE
30 Gobbledygook : MUMBO JUMBO
36 Symbol on several PC keys : ARROW
39 Long-handled tool : HOE
40 Puccini specialty : OPERA
41 Three-time All-Star outfielder whose son was a seven-time N.L. MVP : BOBBY BONDS
44 Title for Richard Starkey : SIR
45 RPM indicator : TACH
46 Drum kit cymbals : HI-HATS
49 Put under : SEDATE
52 Shrek’s love : FIONA
54 Blond hair, e.g. : TRAIT
55 Birds with short finch-like bills … or, what the sets of circled letters literally are? : BOBOLINKS or BO-BO LINKS
59 Come by honestly : EARN
60 First name in desserts : SARA
61 Bull-riding venue : ARENA
62 “__ sow … ” : AS YE
63 A bit open : AJAR
64 Wastes time : IDLES
65 Canasta combination : MELD
66 Foots the bill : PAYS
67 Parcels (out) : DOLES

Down

1 Fairy tale bear : PAPA
2 Part of UAE : ARAB
3 ESPN basketball analyst Rebecca : LOBO
4 “There’s no doubt!” : I’M SURE!
5 Talk aimlessly : NATTER
6 Diving acronym : SCUBA
7 Pulsate : THROB
8 “Settle down!” : EASY!
9 Soccer great Hamm : MIA
10 Have a ball : LIVE IT UP
11 Lao or Thai : ASIAN
12 __ from the past: nostalgic event : BLAST
13 Like pretzels : SALTY
21 “May I speak?” : AHEM!
22 Bluegrass band staple : BANJO
24 Hall & Oates, e.g. : DUO
25 Nature’s bandage : SCAB
26 Costa del Sol coin : EURO
27 Trick or treat : VERB
28 Under the covers : ABED
31 “This isn’t good” : UH-OH
32 Part of “MNF,” an in-season wkly. sports broadcast : MON
33 Spanish for “table” : MESA
34 One with a tyre in his boot, perhaps : BRIT
35 Scull crew : OARS
37 Managed to get : OBTAINED
38 Tombstone first name : WYATT
42 Letters in early dates : BCE
43 Chase away : SHOO
47 Like mosaic tiles : INLAID
48 Salon creation : HAIRDO
49 Teakettle output : STEAM
50 Backspace over : ERASE
51 Hannah of “Splash” : DARYL
52 New venture : FORAY
53 Structural beams : I-BARS
55 Gulf of California peninsula : BAJA
56 1994 Jodie Foster title role : NELL
57 “Trick” joint : KNEE
58 Disrespectful talk : SASS
60 Botanical fluid : SAP

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 14 Sep 21, Tuesday”

  1. No errors.. never heard of BOBOLINK but once I got that , and understood the theme, it actually helped with the circled letters approach.. at first I tried to figure out the circled letters and once I realized they really didn’t mean anything, it was easy pickings!!

  2. Pretty fast solve today. No errors or lookups, but didn’t “get”
    the theme until it was all done and then I could see it.

  3. 12:08 – one lookup/no errors. Had to cheat on Rebecca LOBO – darn, shuda gotten the crosses …

    Good puzzle, I generally like Mark McClain puzzles.

    Took a bit longer than I thought it should.

    Be Well

  4. 8:16

    Theme helped a little.

    Mostly had trouble with names, like FIONA and BOBBYBONDS. And it took me forever to remember WYATT Earp

  5. 8:09 with no erors or lookups; no redos, either. Everything easily fell into place. Didn’t catch the theme until 55A was filled in and then I could evaluate the 3 answers with the circled letters.

  6. I am impressed with everyone’s times! It was slower for me today than I feel a Tuesday shoulda been but I guess that makes it a good Tuesday!

  7. 2nd “easy” day this week I had to Google sports’ clues. BOBBY BONDS, which got me MON (also sports) and UH OH ( a willy-nilly answer).

    I do know Barry Bonds, only because he was my husbands favorite.

    Maybe Wednesday will be a true “easy,” with no sports’ clues
    “double-crossing” me!

  8. Hello folks!!!🤗

    Dirk from Friday—MY DODGERS WILL BEAT OUT YOUR GIANTS!!! BET ON IT!!!! It’s so weird that the first to clinch a playoff spot are both in the same division… 🤔⚾️

    No errors– slightly tricky for a Tuesday, IMO. Kinda Wednesday-ish. I knew BOBBY BONDS right away. I used to love jeering at his son Barry when the Giants came to town…Good times.

    I wanted ALUM for Reunion attendee and got caught up in that section for awhile.

    When I finished I stared at the grid for several minutes trying to figure out the theme. Finally noticed the BO before each set of circles – then kept staring to find meaning in the circled letters.

    Be well~~⚾️

  9. Nice easy Tuesday for me; took 7:13 with no errors or peeks. I knew all the proper nouns except LOBO, which I got with crosses.

    Sadly I never saw the great Bobby Bonds in a Giant’s uniform, since he was playing for the Rangers in ’78 when I developed an interest in baseball. However I did enjoy seeing his son Barry pound many HRs into San Francisco Bay, especially against our pesky southern neighbors, who would slink off the field after losing the games. 🙂

    @Carrie – Well, on paper your Dodgers are, of course, the be-all-and-end-all, but reality has a way of throwing a wrench into the gears, so we’ll just have to see what happens. If your Dodgers get back from CIN or STL in one piece we’ll have another go at each other in the NLDS.

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