LA Times Crossword 29 Jun 22, Wednesday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Tracy Gray
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Spa

Themed answers each start with a treatment one might enjoy while being pampered at a SPA:

  • 63D Place to enjoy the kinds of pampering found at the starts of the answers to the starred clues : SPA
  • 18A *Operating room assistants : SCRUB NURSES
  • 28A *Employ flowery language : WAX POETIC
  • 36A *Indulgent request made by Mae West in “I’m No Angel” : PEEL ME A GRAPE
  • 52A *Cast celebration : WRAP PARTY
  • 61A *Retail event with deep discounts : BLOWOUT SALE

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

Bill’s time: 7m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Sugar substitute : STEVIA

Stevia is a natural sweetener and sugar substitute. It is extracted from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana, a plant in the sunflower family that is native to Brazil and Paraguay. The active compounds in Stevia are many times more sweet than sugar, but are not metabolized by the body. As such, stevia has zero calories.

11 Liberal group? : ARTS

The term “liberal arts” dates back to classical antiquity. The liberal arts were those subjects deemed essential to master for a citizen to take an active part in civil life. “Citizens” were “free people”, hence the use of the term “liberal arts”. The list of subjects studied in olden times were generally sevenfold: grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy/astrology.

15 Strait-laced : PRIM

Our term “strait-laced” is used to describe someone who is “excessively inflexible in matters of conduct”. Note the spelling “strait” (and not “straight”), which in this case means “tight”, and is a reference to the laces of a woman’s corset. A woman with a strait-laced (tightly-laced) corset would have a rigid posture. This usage was extended to the figurative meaning of “rigid in conduct”.

17 Vichyssoise need : LEEK

Vichyssoise is a thick puréed potato soup that can be served hot, but is usually served cold. As well as potatoes, a classic vichyssoise contains leeks, onions, cream and chicken stock. Although the origin is disputed, it seems that the vichyssoise was invented in America, albeit by a French chef. That chef named his soup after the town of Vichy in France.

20 Hathaway of “Ocean’s 8” : ANNE

Actress Anne Hathaway is a favorite of mine, I must say. She starred in “The Devil Wears Prada” in 2006 and in 2007’s “Becoming Jane”, a film that I particularly enjoyed. And yes, baby Anne was named after Anne Hathaway, the wife of William Shakespeare.

2018’s “Ocean’s 8” is the fourth in the “Ocean’s” series of films made by Steven Soderbergh. The lead character in the original trilogy is Danny Ocean, played by George Clooney. The lead character in “Ocean’s 8” is Danny’s sister Debbie Ocean, played by Sandra Bullock. The gang of “8” thieves is an all-female troupe played by the likes of Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna and Helena Bonham Carter.

23 __ Pueblo, New Mexico : TAOS

The town of Taos, New Mexico is named for the Native American village nearby called Taos Pueblo. Taos is famous for its art colony. Artists began settling in Taos in 1899, and the Taos Society of Artists was founded in 1915.

25 Aardvark snack : ANT

The aardvark is the oddest looking of creatures, and a nocturnal burrowing animal that is native to Africa. Even though it is sometimes called the African ant bear, the name “aardvark” is Afrikaans for “earth pig”. Aardvarks are noted, among other things, for their unique teeth. Their teeth have no enamel and wear away quite readily, but continuously regrow. The aardvark feeds mainly on ants and termites.

26 Dog in RCA Victor ads : NIPPER

The RCA logo features a dog named Nipper. Nipper was a real dog from England whose owner, Francis Barraud, made a painting of Nipper listening to a gramophone. Barraud then approached several gramophone manufacturers in the hope they would be interested in using the image for advertising. Nipper’s likeness was indeed picked up, and around that time it was Barraud himself who came up with the slogan “His Master’s Voice”.

28 *Employ flowery language : WAX POETIC

The verb “to wax”, in phrases like “wax lyrical” and “wax poetic”, means “to grow”. “To wax” is the opposite of “to wane”, which means “to decrease”. We are probably most familiar with the “waxing and waning” of the moon.

30 Native peoples of the Arctic : INUIT

The Inuit people live in the Arctic, in parts of the US, Russia, Greenland and Canada.

31 React to yeast : RISE

Yeasts are unicellular microorganisms in the kingdom Fungi. The species of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used for centuries in the making of wine and beer, and in breadmaking. Saccharomyces cerevisiae converts carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohol in the process of fermentation. When making beer and wine, the carbon dioxide and alcohol may be captured by the liquid. When making bread, the carbon dioxide and alcohol is driven off by heat.

32 Lightning burst : FLASH

The word “thunder” precedes the word “lightning” in the phrase “thunder and lightning”. However, thunder comes after lighting in reality, at least to the observer. The observer sees the flash of lightning and then seconds later hears the crash of thunder. That’s because light travels faster than sound.

34 Connecticut WNBA team : SUN

The WNBA’s Connecticut Sun joined the league as an expansion team in 1999 as the Orlando Miracle. The Miracle moved to Uncasville, Connecticut in 2003, changing their name to the Sun. For several years, the Sun were the only WNBA franchise that didn’t share the local market with an NBA team. That distinction ended when the NBA’s Supersonics relocated, leaving the WNBA’s Storm as the only professional team based in Seattle.

35 “Argo” org. : CIA

“Argo” is a 2012 movie that is based on the true story of the rescue of six diplomats hiding out during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The film was directed by and stars Ben Affleck and is produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, the same pair who produced the excellent “Good Night, and Good Luck”. I highly recommend “Argo”, although I found the scenes of religious fervor to be very frightening …

36 *Indulgent request made by Mae West in “I’m No Angel” : PEEL ME A GRAPE

“I’m No Angel” is a 1933 film starring Mae West and a very young Cary Grant who was just making a name for himself in Hollywood. “I’m No Angel” gives us some iconic Mae West quotations:

  • Come up and see me sometime.
  • Beulah, peel me a grape.
  • It’s not the men in your life that counts, it’s the life in your men.
  • When I’m good I’m very good. But when I’m bad I’m better.

52 *Cast celebration : WRAP PARTY

When shooting of a film is concluded the movie is said to wrap, and everyone heads to the wrap party. There is one story that “wrap” is actually an acronym for “wind, reel and print”, a reference to the transition of the filming process into post-production. But, this explanation is disputed.

54 Early ’90s pres., familiarly : BUSH, SR

President George H. W. Bush served in the US Navy during WWII. Future President Bush postponed his entry into college after the attack on Pearl Harbor and enlisted in the navy instead. When he earned his wings, he was the youngest aviator in the US Navy at that time.

55 Hasty escape : LAM

To be on the lam is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. “On the lam” is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word “lam” also means “beat” or “thrash”, as in “lambaste”. So “on the lam” might derive from the phrase “to beat it, scram”.

56 Education 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. The acronym STEAM adds (liberal) arts to the STEM curriculum.

59 Black-__ Susan : EYED

Black-eyed Susan is the name given to a number of herbs and garden flowers that are native to North America. All are members of the sunflower family and have flowers with yellow petals and a brown center.

64 “To Venus and Back” singer Amos : TORI

“To Venus and Back” is a two-disc album released by Tori Amos in 1999. The first disc is titled “Venus: Orbiting”, and the second titled “Venus Live, Still Orbiting”.

68 Jackson Hole backdrop : TETONS

The Teton Range is located just to the south of Yellowstone National Park, and is part of the Rocky Mountains. The origins of the name “Teton” is not very clear, although one story is that it was named by French trappers, as the word “tetons” in French is a slang term meaning “breasts”.

Jackson Hole is the name of a beautiful valley in Wyoming formed between the Teton and Gros Ventre Ranges. The name “Jackson Hole” is also used locally for the town of Jackson that is located in the valley.

69 Sax type : ALTO

The saxophone was invented by Belgian musician Adolphe Sax, hence the name. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

Down

1 Garmin device : GPS UNIT

Garmin is a manufacturer of navigational equipment, particularly GPS devices. The company is headquartered in Lenexa, Kansas and was founded in 1989. The two founders are Gary Burrell and Min H. Kao. The name “Garmin” comes from the names “Gary” and “Min”.

2 Inverse trig function : ARCSINE

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio: a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are cosecant, secant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

4 Ostrich kin : EMU

Even though emu meat is classified as a red meat because of its color, it has a fat content that is comparable to other poultry.

The ostrich is a flightless bird that is native to Africa. It is extensively farmed, mainly for its feathers but also for its skin/leather and meat. Famously, the ostrich is the fastest moving of any flightless bird, capable of achieving speeds of over 40 mph. It is also the largest living species of bird, and lays the largest eggs.

5 Underwater detector : SONAR

The British developed the first underwater detection system that used sound waves. Research was driven by defense demands during WWI, leading to production of working units in 1922. This new sound detection system was described as using “supersonics”, but for the purpose of secrecy the term was dropped in favor of an acronym. The work was done under the auspices of the Royal Navy’s Anti-Submarine Division, so ASD was combined with the “IC” from “superson-ic-s” to create the name ASDIC. The navy even went as far as renaming the quartz material at the heart of the technology “ASDivite”. By the time WWII came along, the Americans were producing their own systems and coined the term SONAR, playing off the related application, RADAR. And so, the name ASDIC was deep-sixed …

6 Bolt holder : T-NUT

A T-nut is so called because it has a T-shape when viewed from the side.

7 Throw wide of the cutoff man, say : ERR

That would be baseball.

10 Greek fabulist : AESOP

Aesop is remembered today as a fabulist, a writer of fables. Aesop lived in ancient Greece, probably around the sixth century BC. Supposedly he was born a slave, somehow became a free man, but then met with a sorry end. Aesop was sent to the city of Delphi on a diplomatic mission but instead insulted the Delphians. He was tried on a trumped-up charge of stealing from a temple, sentenced to death and was thrown off a cliff.

12 First name of Italian sopranos Tebaldi and Scotto : RENATA

Renata Tebaldi was an Italian soprano who was at the height of her popularity just after the end of WWII. Tebaldi had a much talked about rivalry with Maria Callas, one that was perhaps blown out of proportion in the press. Tebaldi and Callas ended up singing together in a touring company in 1951 and when asked by a reporter about the differences between the two singing voices, Callas said it was like comparing “Champagne and Cognac”, to which a bystander remarked, “no, with Coca-Cola”. The “Champagne and Coca-Cola” comparison was quoted in the paper, and attributed to Callas. That didn’t help …

Renata Scotto is an Italian soprano who retired from the stage and is now working behind the scenes as a successful opera director. Amongst all the accolades for her performances onstage, Scotto did once have to deal with a hostile audience. In 1974 she was singing Eleni in Verdi’s “I Vespri Siciliani” when a clique of Maria Callas fans continuously called out “Maria, Maria” and “Brava, Callas”. Maria Callas was actually in a box watching Scotto perform, and refused to acknowledge the interruption. At the end of the opera, Callas rose graciously and led a standing ovation for Ms. Scotto’s performance.

13 Wimbledon sport : TENNIS

The Wimbledon Championships of tennis are held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club located in Wimbledon, a district of London. The Wimbledon Championships started in 1877, and have been played on grass since day one.

24 Bulgaria’s capital : SOFIA

Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria. Natives pronounce the name “Sofia” with the emphasis on the “o”, while the rest of us tend to stress the “i”. Bulgarians do agree with us though when it comes to the girl’s name “Sofia”, then they stress the “i” like we do!

28 Viognier or Vouvray : WINE

The viognier is a variety of white wine grape. It isn’t very common, as it is low-yielding and usually not viable economically.

Vouvray is a wine region in the Loire Valley of France. Most of the wine produced in the region iswhite, and made from the chenin blanc grape. In fact, most of the chenin blanc made in the country comes from Vouvray.

31 Mojito liquor : RUM

A mojito is a Cuban cocktail, although the exact origins appear to be unclear, as does the derivation of the name. Want one? Put 4 mint leaves in a glass, and add the juice of half a lime and a teaspoon of powdered sugar. Muddle the ingredients, smashing them together with a muddler or a spoon. Add some crushed ice, two ounces of white rum and stir. Top with a couple of ounces of club soda, and garnish with a sprig of mint and/or a slice of lime. Cheers!

37 O.K. Corral brothers : EARPS

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.

39 Neon or freon : GAS

Neon (Ne) was discovered in 1898 by two British chemists, Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers. They chilled a sample of air, turning it into a liquid. They then warmed that liquid and separated out the gases that boiled off. Along with nitrogen, oxygen and argon (already known), the pair of scientists discovered two new gases. The first they called “krypton” and the second “neon”. “Krypton” is Greek for “the hidden one” and “neon” is Greek for “new”.

Freon is a DuPont trade name for a group of compounds used as a refrigerant and as a propellant in aerosols. Freon is used in the compressors of air conditioners as a vital component in the air-cooling mechanism. Freon used to contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which had a devastating effect on the Earth’s ozone layer. Use of CFCs is now banned, or at least severely restricted.

40 Captivate : ENTHRALL

To enthrall is to enchant. An obsolete meaning of the term is “to enslave, to hold as a thrall”. “Thrall” is an old word meaning “serf, slave”. So, to enthrall someone is to make them a slave to one’s charm. Quaint …

45 Ruin, as plans : TORPEDO

The naval weapon called a torpedo is named for the group of electric rays of the genus “Torpedo”. The name of the fish comes from the verb “torpere”, Latin for “to be stiffened, paralyzed”, which is what happens to someone who steps on an electric ray. We’ve been using “to torpedo” figuratively since the late 1800s to mean “to destroy, wreck” a plan, for example.

46 Nocturnal nestlings : OWLETS

A baby owl is an owlet. The term “owlet” can also be used for the adults of the smaller species of owls.

47 Medium for most refrigerator art : CRAYON

We use the word “crayon” for a stick of colored wax used for drawing. The term was imported in the 16th century from French, in which language it means “pencil”.

48 Shape outlined in Instagram’s logo : CAMERA

Instagram (often abbreviated to “Insta”) is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular. Instagram started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram company had just 13 employees at the time of the sale …

51 Haggis ingredient : SUET

Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called suet. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be rendered, purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call lard. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as tallow.

Haggis is the national dish of Scotland. It is a savory pudding made from the heart, liver and lungs of a sheep, mixed with onion, oatmeal, suet and spices. The pudding was originally cooked in the sheep’s stomach but these days is usually prepared in a sausage casing.

57 Rhinoceros feature : HORN

There are five types of rhinoceros that survive today, with the smaller Javan Rhino being the most rare. The rhinoceros is probably the rarest large mammal on the planet, thanks to poaching. Hunters mainly prize the horn of the rhino as it is used in powdered form in traditional Chinese medicine.

63 Place to enjoy the kinds of pampering found at the starts of the answers to the starred clues : SPA

The word “spa” migrated into English from Belgium, as “Spa” is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name “Spa” comes from the Walloon word “espa” meaning “spring, fountain”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Boarding area : GATE
5 Sugar substitute : STEVIA
11 Liberal group? : ARTS
15 Strait-laced : PRIM
16 How stir-fry is often served : ON RICE
17 Vichyssoise need : LEEK
18 *Operating room assistants : SCRUB NURSES
20 Hathaway of “Ocean’s 8” : ANNE
21 “__ as directed” : USE
22 “Dig in!” : EAT!
23 __ Pueblo, New Mexico : TAOS
25 Aardvark snack : ANT
26 Dog in RCA Victor ads : NIPPER
28 *Employ flowery language : WAX POETIC
30 Native peoples of the Arctic : INUIT
31 React to yeast : RISE
32 Lightning burst : FLASH
33 Number in a 10-day forecast, for short : TEMP
34 Connecticut WNBA team : SUN
35 “Argo” org. : CIA
36 *Indulgent request made by Mae West in “I’m No Angel” : PEEL ME A GRAPE
41 Utter : SAY
42 Route : WAY
43 Hissy fit : SNIT
46 Come to pass : OCCUR
49 For you and me : OURS
51 Brief tussle : SET-TO
52 *Cast celebration : WRAP PARTY
54 Early ’90s pres., familiarly : BUSH, SR
55 Hasty escape : LAM
56 Education acronym : STEM
57 Plot device? : HOE
58 Grammy category since 1989 : RAP
59 Black-__ Susan : EYED
61 *Retail event with deep discounts : BLOWOUT SALE
64 “To Venus and Back” singer Amos : TORI
65 Categorize : ASSORT
66 Walk heavily : PLOD
67 Hidden obstacle : SNAG
68 Jackson Hole backdrop : TETONS
69 Sax type : ALTO

Down

1 Garmin device : GPS UNIT
2 Inverse trig function : ARCSINE
3 Cyclist’s accessory : TIRE PUMP
4 Ostrich kin : EMU
5 Underwater detector : SONAR
6 Bolt holder : T-NUT
7 Throw wide of the cutoff man, say : ERR
8 Panoramic views : VISTAS
9 Mountaineering tool : ICE AXE
10 Greek fabulist : AESOP
11 Taking after : A LA
12 First name of Italian sopranos Tebaldi and Scotto : RENATA
13 Wimbledon sport : TENNIS
14 Quick drawing : SKETCH
19 Vegetable that may stain a cutting board : BEET
24 Bulgaria’s capital : SOFIA
27 Joins the conversation : PIPES UP
28 Viognier or Vouvray : WINE
29 Ticks by : ELAPSES
31 Mojito liquor : RUM
34 Shifty : SLY
35 Shed tears : CRY
37 O.K. Corral brothers : EARPS
38 Askew : AWRY
39 Neon or freon : GAS
40 Captivate : ENTHRALL
44 “This is all more than I can handle” : IT’S A LOT
45 Ruin, as plans : TORPEDO
46 Nocturnal nestlings : OWLETS
47 Medium for most refrigerator art : CRAYON
48 Shape outlined in Instagram’s logo : CAMERA
49 Vague threat : OR ELSE!
50 Absolute : UTMOST
51 Haggis ingredient : SUET
53 Baseball stat : AT BAT
54 Matches : BOUTS
57 Rhinoceros feature : HORN
60 Use a spade : DIG
62 Court : WOO
63 Place to enjoy the kinds of pampering found at the starts of the answers to the starred clues : SPA

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 29 Jun 22, Wednesday”

  1. no errors or lookups; much easier than I first thought. But on-line
    solving is still pretty slow-going for me.

  2. Messed up on 11A. Put ACTS. ARTS sounds better. Didn’t know my Italian sopranos. So that error left me with CENATA. Rats.

    Wasn’t sure a BLOWOUT was a spa thing. I guess it is.

  3. When I first saw the puzzle, I thought I’d never finish; but, after along start, I did indeed, without errors or Googles! So satisfying.

  4. Bill,
    I believe Black-eyed Susan is an ornamental, flowering vine rather than the edible Black-eyed Pea/Black-eyed Bean.

    1. Correct. Black-eye peas are a delicious legume. Black-eyed Susan, or Rudbeckia, are flowering perennials and biennals that bees find delicious. They grow upright, and during the height of summer open bright yellow flowers with black or brown centers.

  5. No errors but I lost track of time playing with the telemarketers again 🤪
    It can be fun and breaks the monotony sometimes…what does that say about my life?
    Stay safe😀

  6. 12:28 with no revisions, errors, or lookups.

    New items/names: WNBA SUN, “To Venus and Back,” RENATA, “Viognier,” “Vouvray.”

    Easy theme, but not needed to help solve the puzzle.

  7. I knew there wouldn’t any complainers today: no silly theme, no obscure clues, no proper names crossing proper names.
    I’d say ‘meh’.

  8. 12:08 and two errors: No idea what brand name artificial sugars use. I’ll be the ONE complainer: that was one proper name too many for me.

  9. Fun puzzle today. Just missed a couple; setto and stem.

    Bill, I think your explanation of Black Eyed Susans is incorrect. By the way, Black Eyed Susans are the state flower of Maryland 🙂

  10. Slightly tricky Wednesday for me; took 10:57 with no peeks or errors. Only vaguely remembered STEVIA from crossword memory, but crosses helped.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.