LA Times Crossword 27 Sep 21, Monday

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Constructed by: Rebecca Goldstein
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer(s): Secret Ballot

Themed answers all have YEA or NAY as a SECRET word hidden within:

  • 33A With 35-Across, anonymous voting method, and a hint to each set of circled letters : SECRET …
  • 35A See 33-across : … BALLOT
  • 17A Hard-to-please dinner guest : PICKY EATER (hiding “YEA”)
  • 25A Did some storytelling : SPUN A YARN (hiding “NAY”)
  • 46A Photobomb of a sort involving a V sign : BUNNY EARS (hiding “YEA”)
  • 52A Early “SNL” star who was one of the Blue Brothers : DAN AYKROYD (hiding “NAY”)

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

Bill’s time: 6m 16s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • KATZ (Gatz!)
  • KATANA (gatana)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Kid-lit author Silverstein : SHEL

Author Shel Silverstein had a varied career and did a lot more than write books. Silverstein was a poet, composer, cartoonist and screenwriter among other things. One of his successful children’s books is “A Light in the Attic”, a collection of poems that was first published in 1981. Some parents have tried to get the book banned from libraries. The collection includes the poem “How Not to Have to Dry the Dishes”, which encourages disobedience and making a mess. Scandalous …

14 Clif Bar brand marketed to women : LUNA

The LUNA Bar is a nutrition bar introduced in 1999 that is aimed at women. Apparently, the bar was created by a group of female employees at the Clif Bar company to address nutritional needs specific to women.

A CLIF Bar is an energy bar, and is the flagship product of Clif Bar and Company based in Emeryville, California. The CLIF Bar was developed by baker and former mountain guide Gary Erickson in 1990. He named it for his father Clifford.

15 Catherine of “Best in Show” : O’HARA

Catherine O’Hara is an actress and comedienne from Toronto, Ontario. One of O’Hara’s more famous film roles is Kevin’s mother in the Christmas classic “Home Alone”. She also plays a lead character in the excellent sitcom “Schitt’s Creek” alongside Eugen Levy.

“Best in Show” is a comedy film released in 2000 that is in the mockumentary style. It follows five entrants to a big dog show. It is a Christopher Guest film, so I gave up after about 10 minutes of viewing …

16 Maître d’s question : NAME?

The full title of a maître d’ is “maître d’hôtel”, which means “master of the hotel”.

19 “Metamorphoses” poet : OVID

The Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso is known today simply as Ovid. Ovid is usually listed alongside the two other great Roman poets: Horace and Virgil. Although he was immensely popular during his own lifetime, Ovid spent the last ten years of his life in exile. He fell foul of Emperor Augustus and so was banished to Tomis, an island in the Black Sea. What led to this disfavor seems to have been lost in the mists of time.

“Metamorphoses” is a narrative poem by Roman poet Ovid that deals with a lofty subject. It describes the history of the world from creation until the “present day”, that is Ovid’s “present day”, the era of Julius Caesar. A lot of the storyline makes use of Greek mythology (rather than Roman).

25 Did some storytelling : SPUN A YARN (hiding “NAY”)

The phrase “to spin a yarn”, meaning “to tell a tall tale”, originated in the early 1800s with seamen. The idea was that sailors would tell stories to each other while engaged in mindless work such as twisting yarn.

27 Poet : BARD

The original bards were storytellers, poets and composers of music in medieval Britain and Ireland, with the term coming from the Old Celtic word “bardos” that described a poet or singer. I guess the most famous bard was William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon.

31 Bit of eye lubricant : DROP

Eye drops that are advertised to reduce the red in the eye contain a vasoconstrictor. The blood vessels creating the redness constrict when the eye drops are applied, and you “get the red out” as the blood is “squeezed” away from the surface of the eye.

32 Prattle : JAW

Prattle is idle talk. The term comes via the verb “to prate” from the Swedish “prata” meaning “to talk, chatter”.

33 With 35-Across, anonymous voting method, and a hint to each set of circled letters : SECRET …

35 See 33-across : … BALLOT

Today, a ballot is a piece of paper or equivalent used to cast a vote. Back in the 1500s, a “ballot” was a small “ball” used in the process of voting.

There is a traditional type of secret ballot in which a voter selects a white wall to indicate support and a black ball indicates opposition. This voting method led to the use of the term “blackball” to mean to shun or to vote against.

38 “Listen up, Luis!” : OYE!

“Oye!” translates from Spanish as “Hey!”.

39 Google Maps alternative : WAZE

Waze is a navigation app that is similar to Google Maps and Apple Maps. Waze was developed in Israel, and was acquired by Google in 2013.

40 Colorful carp : KOI

Koi are fish that are also known as Japanese carp. Koi have been bred for decorative purposes and there are now some very brightly colored examples found in Japanese water gardens.

44 Name on an iconic New York deli : KATZ

Katz’s of New York City is a famous delicatessen in Manhattan, New York City. Ever since WWII, Katz’s has had a promotion called “send a salami to your boy in the army”. Katz’s has shipped a lot of salamis in gift packages to Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years.

45 Zeus’ jealous wife : HERA

In Greek mythology, Hera was the wife of Zeus and the goddess of women, marriage, family and childbirth. She was noted for her jealous and vengeful nature, particularly against those who vied for the affections of her husband. The equivalent character to Hera in Roman mythology was Juno. Hera was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea.

46 Photobomb of a sort involving a V sign : BUNNY EARS (hiding “YEA”)

Photobombing is the act of intruding during the taking of a photograph as a practical joke. The term has gotten a lot of usage in recent years due to the proliferation of smartphone cameras. Collins English Dictionary named “photobomb” as Word of the Year for 2014.

49 Periodic table item : ELEMENT

Julius Lothar Meyer was a German chemist. Meyer is best known for his work classifying elements in a periodic table. Meyer’s first table predated the periodic table that we use today (developed by Dmitri Mendeleev), but that early table focused on differences in atomic weights, as opposed to atomic numbers. Regardless, but Meyer and Mendeleev were awarded the Davy Medal from the Royal Society in 1882 for their work on the Periodic Law.

51 Land in un lago : ISLA

In Spanish, an “isla” (island) is land in “un lago” (a lake).

52 Early “SNL” star who was one of the Blues Brothers : DAN AYKROYD (hiding “NAY”)

The Blues Brothers blues band was created in 1978 for a “Saturday Night Live” sketch. The original Blues Brothers were Dan Aykroyd (Elwood Blues) and John Belushi (“Joliet” Jake Blues). The band eventually made it to the big screen in a 1980 musical comedy called “The Blues Brothers”.

59 Swedish furniture chain : IKEA

The IKEA furniture stores use the colors blue and yellow for brand recognition. Blue and yellow are the national colors of Sweden, where IKEA was founded and is headquartered.

Down

1 Matterhorn, e.g. : ALP

“Matterhorn” is the German name for the famous Alpine peak that lies on the border between Switzerland and Italy. The Italian name for the same mountain is “Monte Cervino”, and the French call it “Mont Cervin”. “Matterhorn” comes from the German words Matte and Horn meaning “meadow” and “peak”. “Cervino” and “Cervin” come from the Latin name for the mountain, i.e. “Mons Silvius”, meaning “Forest Mountain”.

2 Fashion designer Anna : SUI

Anna Sui is a fashion designer from Detroit, Michigan.

5 Like Columbia University, since 1983 : COED

Columbia University is an Ivy League school in New York City. Columbia’s athletic teams are called the Lions, which is thought to be a reference to the lion on the English coat of arms. Prior to the American Revolution, Columbia was called King’s College as it was chartered by King George II in 1754.

7 Yoga studio item : MAT

In the West, we tend to think of yoga as just a physical discipline, a means of exercise that uses specific poses to stretch and strengthen muscles. While it is true that the ancient Indian practice of yoga does involve such physical discipline, the corporeal aspect of the practice plays a relatively small part in the whole philosophy. Other major components are meditation, ethical behavior, breathing and contemplation.

8 Like jigsaw puzzles : PRECUT

Jigsaws are saws designed for the cutting of irregular curves by hand. The original jigsaw puzzles were created by painting a picture on a sheet of wood and then cutting the picture into small pieces using a jigsaw, hence the name. Today, almost all jigsaw puzzles are pictures glued onto cardboard. The puzzle pieces are now die-cut, and so there’s no jigsaw involved at all.

9 Cling wrap brand : 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.

10 Flying polar predator : SNOWY OWL

The snowy owl (also “snow owl”) is such a beautiful-looking creature. Itl has plumage that is thick and white, making it well-adapted for life in its native habitat in the Arctic north.

12 Political fugitive : EMIGRE

An émigré (fem. “émigrée”) is an emigrant. The term is French in origin, and particularly applies to someone who is a political refugee from his or her native land.

18 Hankering : YEN

The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium.

22 Venetian Christmas : NATALE

In Italian, “Natale” (Christmas) is a “vacanza a dicembre” (December holiday).

The city of Venice (“Venezia” in Italian) in northeast Italy is built in a saltwater lagoon on the Adriatic Coast, on 117 small islands. The classic transportation along the waterways is the gondola, but this is really only used for tourists these days, as well as on ceremonial occasions. The locals rely on motorized water-buses.

23 Classic sandwich initials : PBJ

Peanut butter and jelly (PB&J or PBJ)

24 Vietnam neighbor : LAOS

The present-day nation of Laos can trace its roots back to the historic Lao kingdom of Lan Xang that existed from 1354 to 1707. The full name of the kingdom was “Lan Xang Hom Khao”, which translates as “The Land of a Million Elephants and the White Parasol”.

Vietnam is the country with the 13th-largest population in the word. It covers all of the eastern coast of the Indochinese Peninsula in Southeast Asia.

26 Pal of Snap and Crackle : POP

Snap, Crackle and Pop are three elves employed as the mascots for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. The trio first appeared in an ad campaign in 1933, although the phrase “snap, crackle and pop” had been used for the cereal for some time in radio ads. By the way, the elves are selling “Rice Bubbles” in Australia, and the elves have different names in other parts of the world (like “Cric!, Crac! and Croc! in Québec).

31 Visine target : DRY EYE

Visine is a brand of eye drops made by Johnson & Johnson that are advertised to “get the red out”. The red in the eye is reduced because Visine contains tetrahydrozoline hydrochloride, a vasoconstrictor. The blood vessels creating the redness constrict when Visine is applied, and you “get the red out” as the blood is “squeezed” away from the surface of the eye.

32 Ella Fitzgerald’s genre : JAZZ

Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

34 Ears you can get lost in : CORN MAZE

A corn maze is simply a maze cut into a cornfield. On the other side of the pond, the same attraction is known as a maize maze … cute!

37 Singer __ Amos : TORI

Tori Amos is an American pianist and singer. She started playing the piano at two years old, and was composing piano pieces by age five. Amos was playing in piano bars (chaperoned by her father) when she was 14. I’m going to have to find some of her music …

39 Card-vs.-card game : WAR

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

41 Actor McKellen : IAN

Sir Ian McKellen is a marvelous English actor, one who is comfortable playing anything from Macbeth on stage to Magneto in an “X-Men” movie. On the big screen, McKellen is very famous for playing Gandalf in “The Lord of Rings”. In the UK, Sir Ian is noted for being at the forefront of the campaign for equal rights for gay people, a role he has enthusiastically embraced since the eighties.

43 What a flamingo often stands on : ONE LEG

The name “flamingo” comes from the Greek word for “purple wing”. The flamingo’s pink or reddish color comes from the bird’s diet, and in particular the pigments ingested from animal and plant sources.

44 Single-edged samurai sword : KATANA

A katana is a curved sword worn by the samurai of Japan. A katana is sometimes referred to as a “samurai sword”.

45 Biden’s VP Kamala : HARRIS

Kamala Harris was a US Senator for California starting in 2017, after serving for six years as the Attorney General of California. In early 2019, Harris announced her run for the Democratic nomination for US president in the 2020 election. Although she dropped out of the race, she was chosen by eventual nominee Joe Biden as his vice-presidential running mate. When the Biden-Harris ticket won the election, Harris became the highest-ranking female politician in the history of the US.

48 Stir-fry pan : WOK

“Wok” is a Cantonese word, and is the name for the frying pan now used in many Asian cuisines.

50 Caustic cleaners : LYES

What we call “lye” is usually sodium hydroxide (NaOH), although historically the term “lye” was used for potassium hydroxide. Lye has many uses, including to cure several foodstuffs. Lye can make olives less bitter, for example. The chemical is also found in canned mandarin oranges, pretzels and Japanese ramen noodles. More concentrated grades of lye are used to clear drains and clean ovens. Scary …

53 Veto : NIX

The use of “to nix” as a verb, meaning “to shoot down”, dates back to the early 1900s. Before that, “nix” was just a noun meaning “nothing”. “Nix” comes from the German “nichts”, which also means “nothing”.

54 Versatile blackjack card : ACE

In the card game blackjack, an ace has the point value of one or eleven. When one of the two cards dealt to a player is an ace, the hand is called “soft”. This means that the player cannot go bust by taking another card, as the ace can be revalued at “one” if necessary in order to stay under 21.

55 Archery wood : YEW

Yew is the wood of choice for the longbow, a valued weapon in the history of England. The longbow is constructed with a core of yew heartwood (as the heartwood resists compression) that has a sheath of yew sapwood (as the sapwood resists stretching). The yew was in such demand for longbows that for centuries yew trees were in short supply in Britain and the wood had to be imported from all over Europe.

56 County prosecutors, briefly : DAS

District attorney (DA)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Like that’s gonna happen!” : AS IF!
5 Sleeps under the stars : CAMPS
10 Kid-lit author Silverstein : SHEL
14 Clif Bar brand marketed to women : LUNA
15 Catherine of “Best in Show” : O’HARA
16 Maître d’s question : NAME?
17 Hard-to-please dinner guest : PICKY EATER (hiding “YEA”)
19 “Metamorphoses” poet : OVID
20 Take, as advice : HEED
21 “Time for us to leave?” : CAN WE GO?
23 Unadorned : PLAIN
25 Did some storytelling : SPUN A YARN (hiding “NAY”)
27 Poet : BARD
28 Honk : TOOT
29 Handy bag : TOTE
30 Moderate running pace : JOG
31 Bit of eye lubricant : DROP
32 Prattle : JAW
33 With 35-Across, anonymous voting method, and a hint to each set of circled letters : SECRET …
35 See 33-across : … BALLOT
38 “Listen up, Luis!” : OYE!
39 Google Maps alternative : WAZE
40 Colorful carp : KOI
42 Study, with “over” : PORE …
44 Name on an iconic New York deli : KATZ
45 Zeus’ jealous wife : HERA
46 Photobomb of a sort involving a V sign : BUNNY EARS (hiding “YEA”)
48 Entrance : WAY IN
49 Periodic table item : ELEMENT
50 Noble title : LORD
51 Land in un lago : ISLA
52 Early “SNL” star who was one of the Blues Brothers : DAN AYKROYD (hiding “NAY”)
57 “Oh, brother!” : GEEZ!
58 Skating, often : ON ICE
59 Swedish furniture chain : IKEA
60 Advantage : EDGE
61 Polishes, as a floor : WAXES
62 Stitches : SEWS

Down

1 Matterhorn, e.g. : ALP
2 Fashion designer Anna : SUI
3 Calling the shots : IN CHARGE
4 Spy’s passport, say : FAKE ID
5 Like Columbia University, since 1983 : COED
6 Cry of realization : AHA!
7 Yoga studio item : MAT
8 Like jigsaw puzzles : PRECUT
9 Cling wrap brand : SARAN
10 Flying polar predator : SNOWY OWL
11 Attack : HAVE AT
12 Political fugitive : EMIGRE
13 Strung along : LED ON
18 Hankering : YEN
22 Venetian Christmas : NATALE
23 Classic sandwich initials : PBJ
24 Vietnam neighbor : LAOS
25 Chimney coating : SOOT
26 Pal of Snap and Crackle : POP
28 Forest grower : TREE
31 Visine target : DRY EYE
32 Ella Fitzgerald’s genre : JAZZ
34 Ears you can get lost in : CORN MAZE
35 Baseball clubs : BATS
36 “All righty then” : OKEY-DOKE
37 Singer __ Amos : TORI
39 Card-vs.-card game : WAR
41 Actor McKellen : IAN
42 Throbbed : PULSED
43 What a flamingo often stands on : ONE LEG
44 Single-edged samurai sword : KATANA
45 Biden’s VP Kamala : HARRIS
46 Light brown : BEIGE
47 Subsidize : ENDOW
48 Stir-fry pan : WOK
50 Caustic cleaners : LYES
53 Veto : NIX
54 Versatile blackjack card : ACE
55 Archery wood : YEW
56 County prosecutors, briefly : DAS

24 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 27 Sep 21, Monday”

  1. I can never remember whether it’s SeRAN or SARAN, and O’HARe/O’HARA is a similar problem for me. Luckily I had an A there while guessing at the cross of SUI/LUNA.

  2. Messed up on the “iconic” deli.. never heard of KATZ. guessed SATZ which gave me SATANA for the samurai sword.

    Guessed on 2D and 14A. Never heard of either one. SUI and LUNA.

  3. This was tougher for me than most Monday puzzles because there
    were places that crossing letters didn’t give me answers: i.e.
    sui-luna and katz-katana as I didn’t know any of the answers. So
    I gave in and Googled a bit. No errors after that. But I don’t feel
    so bad knowing that Bill had a couple of mis-steps too!

  4. 5:01

    First time I’ve seen a theme where the circled letters aren’t all different words.

    Sometimes a puzzle letter sandwich isn’t BLT, but PBJ.

    When doing a difficult puzzle, I usually start feeling the urge to look up clues at about the 15 minute mark. I’ve gotten better at resisting that. Sometimes just guessing at what a name might be will break a logjam.

  5. No errors and no googling, but not a normal easy Monday. The Spanish verb OIR means to hear or to listen. OYE is the familiar command and OIGA is the formal command. GEEZ the designer LED ON AS IF this were a WAY IN to an easy solve.

  6. 22:03 no errors…for a Monday puzzle there seems to be a bit of ego showing👎
    Stay safe😀
    What a finish at the Ravens, Lions game😀😀😀

  7. If you were a Jewish Spaniard that could give us Oy Oye! I can’t help myself. I’m just one of those sideways thinkers…or is it stinkers? No matter!

    How often do we see Bill have any errors on a Monday? I’d say slim and none and slim just left town. In any case a rare event.

  8. A little tougher Monday than usual – 13:54 with one letter error at LaNA/SaI. I wanted 14A to be LARABAR, but didn’t realize it’s not in the Clif Bar product line. Didn’t know the difference between SAI & SUI, so left in the A for LANA(bar). Maybe I’ve heard of or seen the Luna Bar, but can’t be sure.

    Had to redo BLT>PBJ, and initially wanted 25A to be a 2-word answer (SPUNTALES or SPUNYARNS) instead of 3 words. Lucked out with the K at square 44.

  9. I had a couple Natticks. One where SAI crossed LUNA, I guessed wrong, so that’s an error. Or two. Where KATZ crossed KATANA, I guessed right because KATZ was a real German word often used as a name.

    This author really likes two word expressions, and I’m getting used to that.

  10. 11:51 – No lookups but went “Blind” and couldn’t find cornmAze/ilsA. Aaarggh, wasted about 5 mins on that.

    Didn’t know a few but the crossed filled them in. Guessed on LUNA/SUI and got it right.

    For some reason I find the multi-word answers easier than an equivalent long word.

    Be well.

  11. Same Nattick problems as others. With KATZ crosses KATANA, I figured correctly that KATZ (cat) was more likely to be a name than SATZ (theorem, et al). With LUNA crosses SUI, I got it wrong – 1 or 2 errors.

    Nor did I know, but guessed OYE.

  12. Couldn’t finish a Monday!
    Like others, I never heard of Luna/Sui or Katz/Katana.
    Is somebody living in Minnesota supposed to know New York delis?

  13. Greetings!!!🤗

    Two errors on a Monday!!!! Should have caught them!!! I had NIP and WIPES instead of NIX and WAXES. Ended up with KATANI instead of KATANA. Dang!! 🤔

    I count errors by squares, so even tho my errors affected three words it still came down to just two letters….

    Not a bad puzzle otherwise, and I liked the YEA/NAY thing. 🤗

    Haven’t been here in awhile and gotta go back and read several days of past comments!!

    GO DODGERS!!!!⚾️

    Be well~~⚾️

  14. Mildly tricky Monday for me; took 8:13 with no errors or peeks. Just had to change menu to NAME after which I at least checked a cross before putting something in. Vaguely recalled KATZ from crossword memory or somewhere. Didn’t really notice the theme.

    Yesterday there were elections in Germany and in one district of Köln, the far right AFD got it tied its lowest vote total, along with Münster, at 2.9%…yeah!!

    Hi Carrie!!

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