LA Times Crossword 14 Jun 22, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Barbara Lin
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Eyes Right

Themed answers each end with a part of the eye:

  • 17A Spring flower painted by van Gogh : PURPLE IRIS
  • 25A A-plus student : STAR PUPIL
  • 34A Hard-to-open cap : CHILDPROOF LID
  • 48A Coffee order similar to a latte : FLAT WHITE
  • 56A Scold harshly : TONGUE-LASH

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

Bill’s time: 5m 51s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Peruvian people who cultivated potato varietals : INCA

The potato is native to the Americas, and was first domesticated in southern Peru and northwestern Bolivia, around Lake Titicaca. The Spanish introduced the potato to Europe in the 1500s.

5 Channel that covers Capitol Hill : C-SPAN

C-SPAN is a privately-funded, nonprofit cable channel that broadcasts continuous coverage of government proceedings.

The designer of Washington D.C., Pierre L’Enfant, chose the crest of a hill as the site for the future Congress House. He called the location “Jenkins Hill” and “Jenkins Heights”. Earlier records show the name as “New Troy”. Today we call it “Capitol Hill”.

15 Words to live by : CREDO

17 Spring flower painted by van Gogh : PURPLE IRIS

Van Gogh painted his “Irises” while he was in an asylum in the south of France the year before he committed suicide. The original owner was a French art critic and supporter of van Gogh who paid 300 francs to purchase the painting. “Irises” was bought for $53.9 million in 1987, making it the most expensive painting sold up to that point. But, the buyer didn’t actually have the necessary funds, so it had to be resold in 1990. It was picked up by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, where you can see it today.

20 Like one’s back during cat pose : ARCHED

The yoga pose called bidalasana is also referred to as the cat pose. The practitioner usually kneels on all fours, and arches the back. The counterpose, with the back lowered, is the cow pose.

21 Throw shade at : DIS

To throw shade is to show disrespect to someone publicly using insults or criticisms.

23 Finger food at luaus : POI

Nowadays, the word “luau” denotes almost any kind of party on the Hawaiian Islands, but to the purist a luau is a feast that always includes a serving of poi, the bulbous underground stems of taro.

24 “Mossy, bossy” Seuss character : LORAX

“The Lorax” is a 1971 children’s book written by Dr. Seuss. It is an allegorical work questioning the problems created by industrialization, and in particular its impact on the environment. At one point in the story, the Lorax “speaks for the trees, for the trees have no tongues”. “The Lorax” was adapted into an animated film that was released in 2012, with Danny DeVito voicing the title character.

He was shortish, and oldish, and brownish and mossy. And he spoke with a voice that was sharpish and bossy.

28 Amtrak sta. times : ETAS

“Amtrak” is the name used commercially by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. It comes from a melding of the words “America” and “track”.

29 Slot in a cash drawer : ONES

The nation’s first president, George Washington, is on the US one-dollar bills produced today. When the original one-dollar bill was issued in 1863, it featured a portrait of Salmon P. Chase, President Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of the Treasury.

32 “East of Eden” director Kazan : ELIA

Elia Kazan won Oscars for best director in 1948 for “Gentleman’s Agreement” and in 1955 for “On The Waterfront”. He was recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences when he was given the 1998 Academy Honorary Award citing his lifetime achievement in the industry. Kazan also directed “East of Eden”, which introduced James Dean to movie audiences, and “Splendor in the Grass” that included Warren Beatty in his debut role.

33 Docent’s deg. : MFA

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

“Docent” is a term used for a university lecturer. There are also museum docents, people who serve as guides for visitors to their institutions and who usually provide their services for free. The term comes from the Latin “docere” meaning “to teach”.

39 Air gun shot : BBS

A BB gun is an air pistol or rifle that shoots birdshot known as BBs. Birdshot comes in a number of different sizes, from size 9 (0.070″ in diameter) to size FF (.230″). Birdshot that is size BB (0.180″ in diameter) gives the airgun its name.

40 Jazz singer Anita : O’DAY

“Anita O’Day” was the stage name of jazz singer Anita Colton. She chose the name as “O’Day” is Pig Latin for “dough”, a slang term for “money”. O’Day had problems with heroin and alcohol addiction leading to erratic behavior, earning her the nickname “The Jezebel of Jazz”.

41 Op. __: footnote abbr. : CIT

“Op. cit.” is short for “opus citatum”, Latin for “the work cited”. Op. cit. is used in footnotes to refer the reader to an earlier citation. It is similar to ibid, except that ibid refers the reader to the last citation, the one immediately above.

43 Diet based on the eating habits of early humans : PALEO

The paleolithic (or “paleo, caveman”) diet is a fad diet that became popular in the 2000s. The idea is to eat wild plants and animals that would have been available to humans during the Paleolithic era (roughly the Stone Age). This period precedes the introduction of agriculture and the domestication of animals. As a result, someone on the diet avoids consuming grains, legumes, dairy and processed foods. The diet consists mainly of lean meat (about 45-65% of the total calorie intake), non-starchy vegetables, fruits, berries and nuts.

47 Mexican coin : PESO

The peso is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

51 Post-op area : ICU

The intensive care unit (ICU) is where many patients head after leaving the operating room (OR).

52 __ card: smartphone need : SIM

Most cell phones have SIM cards these days. SIM cards hold the personal information of the subscriber, with the acronym being short for “Subscriber Identity Module”.

53 Lively dances : POLKAS

The polka is a dance from central Europe, one that originated in Bohemia in the mid-1800s. It’s thought that “polka” comes from a Czech word meaning “little half”, reflecting the little half-steps included in the basic dance.

54 Novelist __ Neale Hurston : ZORA

Zora Neale Hurston was an American author who was most famous for her 1937 novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God”.

60 Gabrielle of “Being Mary Jane” : UNION

“Being Mary Jane” is a drama TV show that aired from 2013 to 2019. It stars Gabrielle Union in the title role, a successful television news anchor living in Seattle.

61 Filmmaker Preminger : OTTO

Otto Preminger was noted for directing films that pushed the envelope in terms of subject matter, at least in the fifties and sixties. Great examples would be 1955’s “The Man with the Golden Arm” that dealt with drug addiction, 1959’s “Anatomy of a Murder” that dealt with rape, and 1962’s “Advise and Consent” that dealt with homosexuality. If you’ve seen these films, you’ll have noticed that the references are somewhat indirect and disguised, in order to get past the censors.

63 Trivial, as a complaint : PETTY

Trivia are things of little consequence. “Trivia” is the plural of the Latin word “trivium” which means “a place where three roads meet”. Now that’s what I call a trivial fact …

Down

1 Sticks a stake in, as a vampire : IMPALES

Legends about vampires were particularly common in Eastern Europe and in the Balkans in particular. The superstition was that vampires could be killed using a wooden stake, with the preferred type of wood varying from place to place. Superstition also defines where the body should be pierced. Most often, the stake was driven through the heart, but Russians and northern Germans went for the mouth, and northeastern Serbs for the stomach.

5 Kept in the email loop : CC’ED

I wonder if the kids of today know that “cc” stands for carbon copy, and do they have any idea what a carbon copy was? Do you remember how messy carbon paper was to handle? A kind blog reader pointed out to me a while back that the abbreviation has evolved and taken on the meaning “courtesy copy” in our modern world.

6 __ Lanka : SRI

The island nation of Sri Lanka lies off the southeast coast of India. The name “Sri Lanka” translates from Sanskrit into English as “venerable island”. Before 1970, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, a name given to the country during British rule.

8 Athletic brand with a three-stripe logo : ADIDAS

The Adidas brand dates back to when Adolf “Adi” Dassler started making his own sports shoes in his mother’s laundry room in Bavaria after returning from WWI. With his brother, Adi founded Dassler shoes. The company’s big break came in 1936 at the Berlin Olympics, when Adi persuaded American sprinter Jesse Owens to use his shoes, and with the success of Jesse Owens came success for the fledgling shoe company. After WWII the brothers split, acrimoniously. Adi’s brother, Ru-dolf Da-ssler, formed “Ruda” shoes (later to become Puma), and Adi Das-sler formed “Adidas”.

10 Dashboard abbr. : MPH

Back in the 1800s, “dashboard” was the name given to a board placed at the front of a carriage to stop mud from “dashing” against the passengers in the carriage, mud that was kicked up by the hooves of the horses. Quite interesting …

11 Pepper named for a Syrian city : ALEPPO

The Aleppo pepper is a spice that also goes by the name “Halaby pepper”. It is commonly used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. The pepper takes its name from the Syrian city of Aleppo that lies on the Silk Road.

Aleppo is the largest city in Syria and is located not far from Damascus, the nation’s capital. Aleppo owes its size and history of prosperity to its location at the end of the Silk Road, the trade route that linked Asia to Europe (and other locations). The Suez Canal was opened up in 1869 bringing a new route for transport of goods, and so Aleppo’s prosperity declined over the past one hundred years or so. The city’s population has suffered terribly since the start of the Syrian Civil War, with the Battle of Aleppo raging from 2012 to 2016.

18 Luthor of the comics : LEX

Lex Luthor is the nemesis of Superman in comics. Luthor has been portrayed in a number of guises in the comic world as well in movies and on the small screen. For example, he appeared as Atom Man in the 1950 film series “Atom Man vs. Superman”, and was played by actor Lyle Talbot, opposite Kirk Alyn’s Superman.

27 Eurasia’s __ Mountains : URAL

The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia and Kazakhstan is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

29 Alero automaker, informally : OLDS

The Alero was the last car made by General Motors under the Oldsmobile brand. It was produced from 1999 to 2004.

32 Macaroni often used in cold salads : ELBOWS

In many cases, the name given to a type of pasta comes from its shape. However, the name macaroni comes from the type of dough used to make the noodles. Here in the US, macaroni is usually elbow-shaped, but it doesn’t have to be.

33 Zoo trench : MOAT

A moat is a protective trench that surrounds a castle, say, or an exhibit in a zoo. A moat may or may not be filled with water.

36 Dog that licks Garfield : ODIE

Jon Arbuckle is a fictional character, and the owner of Odie from Jim Davis’s comic strip “Garfield”. Garfield is Arbuckle’s orange tabby cat. Odie is his less-than-smart beagle.

43 Vaccine manufacturer : PFIZER

Pfizer is a pharmaceutical company based in New York City that was founded in 1849 by cousins Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart. Pfizer has an impressive list of successful products that includes Lipitor (to lower cholesterol), Viagra (to help with erectile dysfunction) and Celebrex (an anti-inflammatory). Oh, and a very effective COVID-19 vaccine.

45 Bay leaf source : LAUREL

The seasoning known as bay leaf is the aromatic leaf of the bay laurel tree or shrub. Fresh bay leaves aren’t very flavorful and need to be dried and aged a few weeks before use in the kitchen.

46 Gymnast Biles who won four gold medals in Rio : SIMONE

Simone Biles holds the record for the most gold medals (4) won by an American gymnast in a single Olympic Games. She achieved the feat at the 2016 games held in Rio.

50 “Calvin and Hobbes” bully : MOE

In the “Calvin and Hobbes” comic strip, Moe is a bad guy, with no redeeming features. He is a bully in Calvin’s school, and often can only manage monosyllabic speech. Bill Watterson, who authored the strip, described Moe as “every jerk I’ve ever known”.

53 Measly : PUNY

Back in the 17th century, someone measly was affected with measles. The use of “measly” to describe something insultingly small was initially recorded as slang in the mid-1800s.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Peruvian people who cultivated potato varietals : INCA
5 Channel that covers Capitol Hill : C-SPAN
10 Puzzle that may have dead ends : MAZE
14 More than a snack : MEAL
15 Words to live by : CREDO
16 Emotional request : PLEA
17 Spring flower painted by van Gogh : PURPLE IRIS
19 Feminine pronoun : HERS
20 Like one’s back during cat pose : ARCHED
21 Throw shade at : DIS
23 Finger food at luaus : POI
24 “Mossy, bossy” Seuss character : LORAX
25 A-plus student : STAR PUPIL
28 Amtrak sta. times : ETAS
29 Slot in a cash drawer : ONES
30 Twisted humor : IRONY
31 Female sib : SIS
32 “East of Eden” director Kazan : ELIA
33 Docent’s deg. : MFA
34 Hard-to-open cap : CHILDPROOF LID
39 Air gun shot : BBS
40 Jazz singer Anita : O’DAY
41 Op. __: footnote abbr. : CIT
43 Diet based on the eating habits of early humans : PALEO
46 Business attire : SUIT
47 Mexican coin : PESO
48 Coffee order similar to a latte : FLAT WHITE
50 Not quite foggy : MISTY
51 Post-op area : ICU
52 __ card: smartphone need : SIM
53 Lively dances : POLKAS
54 Novelist __ Neale Hurston : ZORA
56 Scold harshly : TONGUE-LASH
59 Like 8 or 88 : EVEN
60 Gabrielle of “Being Mary Jane” : UNION
61 Filmmaker Preminger : OTTO
62 Depend (on) : RELY
63 Trivial, as a complaint : PETTY
64 Cry : WEEP

Down

1 Sticks a stake in, as a vampire : IMPALES
2 Overly anxious : NEUROTIC
3 Dramatic end of a cinematic chase scene : CAR CRASH
4 Socially dominant figures : ALPHAS
5 Kept in the email loop : CC’ED
6 __ Lanka : SRI
7 A pop : PER
8 Athletic brand with a three-stripe logo : ADIDAS
9 Deferential denial : NO, SIR
10 Dashboard abbr. : MPH
11 Pepper named for a Syrian city : ALEPPO
12 Focus (on) : ZERO IN
13 With very little effort : EASILY
18 Luthor of the comics : LEX
22 Looking swell : SPIFFY
25 Short cut? : SNIP
26 Save, as a newspaper article : TEAR OUT
27 Eurasia’s __ Mountains : URAL
29 Alero automaker, informally : OLDS
32 Macaroni often used in cold salads : ELBOWS
33 Zoo trench : MOAT
35 “Yeah, sure” : I BET
36 Dog that licks Garfield : ODIE
37 Enjoy the lake in winter, perhaps : ICE-SKATE
38 Aversion : DISTASTE
42 Place to buy gifts for kids : TOY SHOP
43 Vaccine manufacturer : PFIZER
44 Tucked-away recess : ALCOVE
45 Bay leaf source : LAUREL
46 Gymnast Biles who won four gold medals in Rio : SIMONE
47 Cushion : PILLOW
49 Ask for a donation : HIT UP
50 “Calvin and Hobbes” bully : MOE
53 Measly : PUNY
55 “__ takers?” : ANY
57 Trivial complaint : NIT
58 Received : GOT

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 14 Jun 22, Tuesday”

  1. 31 across, female sib, dis? What is dis? You left no explanation for this clue and I can’t figure it out, even knowing the answer. Can you explain it, thanks.

    1. @Teresa…DIS is to talk down to or defame (21a) and female sib (sibling) is Sis (sister)31A…modern junk talk👎

  2. No errors; one lookup – couldn’t think of “maze”. I was pretty
    slow, though; I’m still navigating on-line solving.

  3. 20:20 no errors…I don’t drink coffee so 48A was a fill in via crosses.
    21A is a horrible clue IMO👎👎
    Stay safe😀

  4. 4:37

    I sensed that something held the long answers together, but I didn’t get it until Bill opened my eyes to it.

    Am I spoiled to want an in-puzzle revealer for a theme?

  5. 10:00 with revisions of: BFA>MFA (can’t imagine that it takes a master’s degree to be a knowledgeable docent), TEAROFF>TEAROUT, REC>ICU (I’m thinking that ICU as a place to recover from surgery is used only in extreme cases).

    New items/names: ALEPPO pepper, FLATWHITE, ZORA Neale Hurston.

    Did not care for poi at all the one time I had it in Hawaii – probably got the sour version. And it’s messy!

    Thanks to Bill for opening my eyes to the theme. I didn’t see it on my own.

  6. I’ve been drinking coffee for more than 60 years and have never heard of flat white. Oh, and it’s always nice to hear how long it took the braggart.

  7. Mostly easy Tuesday for me; took 8:58 with no peeks or errors. Didn’t know ZORA, UNION, FLAT WHITE and got O’DAY from crossword memory. Didn’t really notice the theme.

    I guess I’ve unknowingly been drinking flat whites all along, as I pour about a 1/2 to 2/3 cup of strong coffee and top it with boiled milk…just the best!

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