LA Times Crossword 8 Jun 22, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Hoang-Kim Vu & Wendy L. Brandes
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): More than Elementary

Themed answers comprise a word referenced in the clue, and a chemical element. Clever puzzle …

  • 17A There’s an element of doubt to it? : WAFFLE IRON
  • 23A There’s an element of romance to it? : CARBON DATING
  • 53A There’s an element of mystery to it? : SILVER SCREEN
  • 64A There’s an element of humor to it? : COMEDY GOLD

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

Bill’s time: 8m 07s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16 Corned beef __ : HASH

Hash, beef and vegetables mashed together, is a very American dish and one that really surprised me when I first came across it. “Hash” just seems like such an unappetizing item, but I soon found out how delicious it was. The name “hash” in this context comes from the French “hacher” meaning “to chop”. Back in the early 1900s the dish called “hashed browned potatoes” was developed, which quickly morphed into “hash browns”. From there the likes of corned beef hash was introduced.

17 There’s an element of doubt to it? : WAFFLE IRON

Waffle irons have been around since the 1300s, in the Low Countries. The original version comprised two iron plates connected by a hinge, and two wooden handles. The plates were often cast with a pattern that left an image on the waffle. The waffles were baked in the iron over a fire in a hearth.

20 Prosecco kin : ASTI

Prosecco still and sparkling wines are named for the village of Prosecco in the province of Trieste in northeastern Italy.

21 Start to matter? : ANTI-

In the world of particle physics, antimatter is made up of particles that have the same mass as particles of ordinary matter, but with the opposite charge and quantum spin. Mixing matter and antimatter causes the annihilation of both, with a release of energy equal to the mass of the particles according to Einstein’s equation E=mc².

23 There’s an element of romance to it? : CARBON DATING

Carbon-14 is a radioactive isotope of carbon that is found in nature in small amounts. Carbon-14 is used in the technique known as radiocarbon dating, a relatively accurate way of determining the age of something up to about 60,000 years old. When an organism is alive, the amount of radioactive carbon-14 it has compared to the amount of regular carbon-12, is a fixed ratio. After the organism dies, it is no longer exchanging carbon with the atmosphere through metabolism. So, the stable carbon-12 stays in the body as it rots but the radioactive carbon-14 gradually decays, causing the ratio of carbon-14 to carbon-12 to fall. Scientists can determine the age of remains by measuring this carbon-14/carbon-12 ratio.

29 Carving of a Polynesian god : TIKI

A tiki is a large carving of wood or stone resembling a human form that is found in Polynesian cultures. The carvings often mark out boundaries surrounding sites that are sacred to the locals.

30 “Hips Don’t __”: Shakira hit : LIE

Shakira’s 2006 song “Hips Don’t Lie” broke a record soon after it was released. It became the most-played pop song in a single week in the history of American radio.

33 Nana alternative : MEEMAW

“Nana” and “Meemaw” are familiar terms meaning “grandma”.

39 Keebler baker : ELF

The famous Keebler Elves have been appearing in ads for Keebler since 1968. The original head of the elves was J. J. Keebler, but he was toppled from power by Ernest J. Keebler in 1970. The Keebler Elves bake their cookies in the Hollow Tree Factory.

41 Gazpacho, por ejemplo : SOPA

Gazpacho is a cold soup made from vegetables in a tomato base. It originated in Andalusia in southern Spain.

42 Fla. coastal city : ST PETE

Saint Petersburg, Florida is often referred to as “St. Pete” by locals and visitors alike. Located on a peninsula lying between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, St. Pete was founded in 1888 and named for Saint Petersburg in Russia. The co-founders were Russian immigrant Peter Demens and Detroit native John C. Williams. The pair tossed a coin for the privilege of naming the new city, and Demens won. Williams lost, but did get to name the city’s first hostelry “The Detroit Hotel”.

45 “The Daily Show” correspondent Lydic : DESI

Comedian and actress Desi Lydic is perhaps best known as a correspondent on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”, a gig that she signed up for in 2015.

49 __ Bradley bags : VERA

Vera Bradley is a manufacturer of fashionable patterned bags. The company was founded in 1982 by Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia Miller. The pair noticed that there was a dearth of feminine-looking luggage, as they passed through Atlanta Airport. So, they started their company to fill that demand. The company was named for Vera Bradley, Baekgaard’s mother.

53 There’s an element of mystery to it? : SILVER SCREEN

The screen on which one projects a movie is often referred to as a silver screen. The term “silver screen” has evolved to describe the film industry in general. The original silver screen was invented in the early days of motion pictures by a projectionist named Harry Coulter Williams. It comprises a tightly woven fabric on which was applied a silver layer (hence the name). The silvery surface provided a brighter picture from all viewing angles.

63 Walkman descendant : IPOD

Walkman is a brand of portable audio and video products manufactured by Sony. The first Walkman was introduced in 1979 and popularized the practice of carrying music around and listening through lightweight headphones.

67 Father of Eros : ARES

The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and the Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

68 Shoyu flavor : UMAMI

Umami is one of the five basic tastes, along with sweet, sour, bitter and salty. “Umami” is a Japanese word used to describe “a pleasant savory taste”. Umami was proposed as a basic taste in 1908, but it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that the scientific community finally accepted it as such.

Soy sauce is made by fermenting soybeans with a mold in the presence of water and salt. It is referred to as “shoyu” in Japan.

71 Analyze grammatically : PARSE

The verb “to parse” means “to state the parts of speech in a sentence”. “Parse” comes from the Latin word “pars” meaning “part”.

Down

1 Dancer/YouTube star JoJo __ : SIWA

Joelle Joanie “JoJo” Siwa is a dancer and YouTube star. I move in the wrong circles, and so haven’t heard of her. I guess that’s my bad, because she made it into “Time” magazine’s 2020 list of the 100 most influential people in the world …

2 Reddit Q&A sessions : AMAS

Reddit.com is a networking and news website that started up in 2005. It is essentially a bulletin board system with posts that are voted up and down by users, which determines the ranking of posts. The name “Reddit” is a play on “read it”, as in “I read it on Reddit”. One popular feature of the Reddit site is an online forum that is similar to a press conference. Known as an AMA (for “ask me anything”), participants have included the likes of President Barack Obama, Madonna, Bill Gates, Stephen Colbert and Gordon Ramsay. President Obama’s AMA was so popular that the high level of traffic brought down many parts of the Reddit site.

3 Ann Taylor __ : LOFT

The owners of the Ann Taylor chain of clothing stores established the Ann Taylor Loft chain of stores as an extension to their brand. The original stores offered women’s clothing considered suitable for the workplace. Ann Taylor Loft offers clothing that is lower priced, and more relaxed in style.

There was no actual person named “Ann Taylor” associated with the Ann Taylor line of clothes. The name was chosen by the marketing professionals because “Ann” was considered to be “very New England” back in 1954 when the stores first opened, and “Taylor” suggested that clothes were carefully “tailored”.

4 One end of some commutes : OFFICE

Our verb “to commute”, meaning “to go back and forth to work”, ultimately derives from the Latin “commutare”, meaning “to often change”. Back in the late 1800s, a “commutation ticket” was a season pass, so named because it allowed one to “change” one kind of payment into another. Quite interesting …

5 Org. with Giants and Titans : NFL

The New York Giants (NYG) football team plays home games in MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, a stadium shared with the New York Jets (NYJ). The Giants are the only team remaining from a group of five that joined the league in 1925. For many years, the Giants shared team names with the New York Giants MLB team, before the baseball franchise moved to San Francisco after the 1957 season.

The Tennessee Titans are a football team based in Nashville. The team relocated to Nashville from Houston in 1997. They were called the Tennessee Oilers for two seasons, before adopting the “Titans” moniker.

6 Tibia : SHINBONE

The tibia is the shinbone, and is the larger of the two bones right below the knee. It is the strongest weight-bearing bone in the human body. “Tibia” is the Roman name for a Greek flute and it is thought that the shinbone was given the same name because flutes were often fashioned out of the shinbones of animals.

7 Coastal city on the Iberian Peninsula : PORTO

Portugal’s city of Oporto (“Porto” in Portuguese) gave its name to port wine in the late 1600s. Oporto was the seaport through which most of the region’s fortified red wine was exported.

The Iberian Peninsula in Europe is largely made up of Spain and Portugal. However, also included is the Principality of Andorra in the Pyrénées, a small part of the south of France, and the British Territory of Gibraltar. Iberia takes its name from the Ebro, the longest river in Spain, which the Romans named the “Iber”.

9 Uniform number for Sue Bird : TEN

WNBA player Sue Bird is one of only two basketball players, male or female, to have won five Olympic gold medals. The other is fellow WNBA star Diana Taurasi. Bird became engaged to US soccer phenom Megan Rapinoe in 2020.

11 Location of Hoan Kiem Lake : HANOI

Hoan Kiem Lake is located in the center of the Vietnamese capital city Hanoi. The lake’s name translates as “Lake of the Returned Sword”. Legend has it that Emperor Le Loi returned a magic sword to the Golden Turtle God after using it to defeat the army of the Chinese Ming dynasty.

12 __ Martin: British car : ASTON

Aston Martin is a British car manufacturer founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin. The Aston part of the company name comes from Aston Hill, a famous site for hill-climbing cars that is nearby the original factory. Aston Martin cars are much loved by the British entertainment industry. James Bond was given one in “Goldfinger”, and Michael Caine drove one in the 1969 version of “The Italian Job”. Also, Roger Moore’s character drove a yellow Aston Martin in the seventies television show “The Persuaders!”.

13 Flip-flop : THONG

Zori are thonged sandals commonly worn in Japan. Our modern “flip-flops” are based on the traditional zori design, although the original sandal is a pair of symmetrical shoes.

25 __ sum: bite-sized Chinese fare : DIM

Dim sum is a Chinese cuisine made up of small portions of various dishes. The tradition of serving dim sum is associated with the serving of tea, when small delicacies were offered to travelers and guests along with tea as a refreshment. The name “dim sum” translates as “touch the heart” implying that dim sum is not a main meal, just a snack “that touches the heart”.

34 NYC home of Frida Kahlo’s “Self-Portrait With Cropped Hair” : MOMA

The founding of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City was very much driven by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, wife of John D. Rockefeller. Working with two friends, Abby managed to get the museum opened in 1929, just nine days after the Wall Street Crash. The MoMA’s sculpture garden bears the name of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and has done so since 1949.

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo painted many self portraits. Her 1940 work “Self-Portrait With Cropped Hair” is somewhat unique, in that she usually portrayed herself in feminine clothing, and in this case is wearing a man’s suit. She is holding a scissors, and shows hair on the floor that she has just cut off, leaving her with a masculine hairstyle. Kahlo cropped her hair a month after her divorce from fellow artist Diego Rivera. The image has been variously interpreted as a mourning of her marriage that has ended, and as a declaration of independence and self-reliance after divorcing an unfaithful spouse.

35 Chimps and gorillas : APES

The common chimpanzee is a species of great ape, i.e. a member of the Hominidae family (along with gorillas, humans and orangutans). The human and chimpanzee branches of the Hominidae family tree diverged 4-6 million years ago, making the chimp our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom.

The gorilla is the largest primate still in existence, and is one of the nearest living species to humans. Molecular biology studies have shown that our nearest relatives are in fact the species in the genus Pan (the chimpanzee and the bonobo), which split from the human branch of the family 4-6 million years ago. Gorillas and humans diverged at a point about 7 million years ago. The term “gorilla” derives from the Greek “gorillai” meaning “tribe of hairy women”. Wow …!

40 Like skeleton racers, seemingly : FEARLESS

A luge is a small sled used by one or two people, on which one lies face up and feet first. The luge can be compared to the skeleton, a sled for only one person and on which the rider lies face down and goes down the hill head-first. Yikes!

43 Some concert merch : TEES

Merchandise (merch)

47 __ de la Cité: Paris landmark : ILE

There are two famous “îles” (islands) in the middle of the River Seine in Paris, one being the Île de la Cité, and the other Île Saint-Louis. Île de la Cité is the most renowned of the two, as it is home to the cathedral of Notre-Dame.

52 Puzzle : ENIGMA

Our term “enigma” meaning “puzzle, riddle” comes from the Greek “ainigma”, which means the same thing.

55 “Bleeding Love” singer Lewis : LEONA

“Bleeding Love” is a 2007 song released by British singer Leona Lewis. The song had remarkable success around the world, and became only the second record to reach number-one in the charts in 35 countries. The first song to achieve that record was “Candle in the Wind 1997” by Elton John.

56 Cleaner sold in green canisters : COMET

The Comet brand of household cleanser produced a famous series of ads in the sixties through the eighties that featured a character known as “Josephine the Plumber”. Played by actress Jane Withers, she was noted for uttering the line “Nothing can hold a can to Comet!”

62 Singer Brickell : EDIE

Edie Brickell is a singer-songwriter from Dallas, Texas. Brickell has been married to fellow singer Paul Simon since 1991.

64 Taxi : CAB

A hansom cab is a very specific design of horse and buggy that was patented by Joseph Hansom in 1834 in England. The “cab” in the name is short for “cabriolet”, an earlier design of carriage on which the hansom was based. It’s from “hansom cab” that we get our modern term “cab”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Where to hear cutting remarks? : SALON
6 Tiff : SPAT
10 “The one over there” : THAT
14 “Gotta run!” : I’M OFF!
15 Sharpen : HONE
16 Corned beef __ : HASH
17 There’s an element of doubt to it? : WAFFLE IRON
19 Crazy about : INTO
20 Prosecco kin : ASTI
21 Start to matter? : ANTI-
22 Sing smoothly : CROON
23 There’s an element of romance to it? : CARBON DATING
26 Increased : ADDED TO
29 Carving of a Polynesian god : TIKI
30 “Hips Don’t __”: Shakira hit : LIE
31 “Yikes!” : OH NO!
33 Nana alternative : MEEMAW
37 __ pressure : PEER
39 Keebler baker : ELF
41 Gazpacho, por ejemplo : SOPA
42 Fla. coastal city : ST PETE
45 “The Daily Show” correspondent Lydic : DESI
48 Fellows : MEN
49 __ Bradley bags : VERA
51 If nothing else : AT LEAST
53 There’s an element of mystery to it? : SILVER SCREEN
57 Leg joints : KNEES
58 Target on a putting green : HOLE
59 “Got it” : I SEE
63 Walkman descendant : IPOD
64 There’s an element of humor to it? : COMEDY GOLD
66 Course catalog? : MENU
67 Father of Eros : ARES
68 Shoyu flavor : UMAMI
69 Cold spell : SNAP
70 Action at the track : BETS
71 Analyze grammatically : PARSE

Down

1 Dancer/YouTube star JoJo __ : SIWA
2 Reddit Q&A sessions : AMAS
3 Ann Taylor __ : LOFT
4 One end of some commutes : OFFICE
5 Org. with Giants and Titans : NFL
6 Tibia : SHINBONE
7 Coastal city on the Iberian Peninsula : PORTO
8 Choose, as a successor : ANOINT
9 Uniform number for Sue Bird : TEN
10 Decade that is less than a decade away : THIRTIES
11 Location of Hoan Kiem Lake : HANOI
12 __ Martin: British car : ASTON
13 Flip-flop : THONG
18 Habitat for humanity : EARTH
22 Celebratory slice : CAKE
24 Big fuss : ADO
25 __ sum: bite-sized Chinese fare : DIM
26 Range for yodelers? : ALPS
27 Nutrition regimen : DIET
28 Profound : DEEP
32 Outdated : OLD
34 NYC home of Frida Kahlo’s “Self-Portrait With Cropped Hair” : MOMA
35 Chimps and gorillas : APES
36 Desire : WANT
38 Really got going : REVVED UP
40 Like skeleton racers, seemingly : FEARLESS
43 Some concert merch : TEES
44 Mistakenly hit reply all, e.g. : ERR
46 Trusty mount : STEED
47 __ de la Cité: Paris landmark : ILE
50 On dry land : ASHORE
52 Puzzle : ENIGMA
53 Leafs (through) : SKIMS
54 How contracts are usually signed : IN PEN
55 “Bleeding Love” singer Lewis : LEONA
56 Cleaner sold in green canisters : COMET
60 Rocket : SOAR
61 Shady bunch? : ELMS
62 Singer Brickell : EDIE
64 Taxi : CAB
65 “You betcha” : YUP

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 8 Jun 22, Wednesday”

  1. 6:36, no errors.

    To answer the question from a couple of days ago, it does help when you don’t have to guess at the proper nouns. Usually later in the week, clues either get more vague or more specific. The later is especially true with proper nouns. For example, a good early week clue for ATLANTA might be [Georgia capital] but late in the week it’ll be something like [Donald Glover series].

    The problem with these is they’re so loaded they’re really trivia games instead of crosswords. I definitely 31A at the last two days on that regard. The TV Guide crossword comparison is very apt to a lot of these puzzles, which is unfortunately rather sad. While they are loaded with proper nouns, for obvious reasons, at least they are so absurdly easy it almost doesn’t matter if you don’t know any of the trivia references.

    But then again, I don’t think a lot of the editors, Varol included, care if the puzzles turn into Google exercises for a vast majority of their audiences.

    1. Amen! The puzzles have become much less interesting, for the most part, after the change of editors.

    2. @Glen ….I agree…a good example in todays puzzle is 1 & 3D and 20A all together…IMO it stinks 👎👎👎
      Stay safe😀

  2. No errors. Most names solved by crosses.
    And most are “never heard of” for me.

    Still took me about 20 minutes

  3. No errors, but had to look up the Jojo name: Siwa. The theme was
    helpful but it took that “Siwa” to give me “waffle iron”…. Fun puzzle

  4. About 15 min. No errors.
    Thought it was relatively easy for a Wednesday! Although I kept wanting to put Alana instead of Leona (Lewis) and then it clicked!
    Enjoy your day! 😊

  5. 10:23 with revisions of MAMMAW>MEEMAW, COMIC_GOLD>COMEDYGOLD.

    New items/names: SIWA, “Prosecco,” “Shoyu,” Ann Taylor LOFT, “Sue Bird,” “Hoan Kiem Lake,” LEONA Lewis, ILE de la Cite.

    Did not realize that the Notre Dame Cathedral sat on an island in the middle of the Seine – even after all the news about the fire there 3 years ago.

    Got the theme early, which helped a little.

  6. Once again, I didn’t know the TV people & singers except “Edie” because I’ve seen her clue so many times. I was wondering who calls their grandmother “Meemaw”? I never heard of it. I liked the theme today.
    I still do this puzzle everyday but I’ve added the NYT because I enjoy it a lot more. However, I do find it to be extremely difficult on Friday.
    Glenn thank-you for your input.

  7. Fun theme!

    The third long answer felt a little less intuitive than the others. I guess one way something could remain mysterious is if it’s hidden behind a screen?

  8. 10:52 and stillborn, with 5 fills left blank in the top left. You’re using names of YouTube “stars” for fills, now? Social media acronyms? Ann Taylor **WHAT**?? Complete NATICKS, all of them. Terrible.

    1. Ann Taylor Loft is the name of a retail store that sells Ann Taylor clothes. Jo Jo Siwa is not just a you tube star. She was on Dancing With The Stars. I don’t even watch this show, but somewhere in my memory I heard her name and was able to fill in the blank. Usually the proper names give me fits!

  9. No look ups, no errors. Theme was too
    clever by half but it helped a little.
    Thanks for the insight Glen. But I draw
    the line at Googling. If I can’t finish,I can’t
    finish….

    “Meemaw” I believe entered the Lexicon
    thanks to the TV show Big Bang Theory.
    Another TV Guide reference I’m afraid…

  10. Nice and easy Wednesday for me; took 12:23 with no peeks or errors..maybe a little slower since I was eating a bowl of popcorn.

    I’m slightly embarrassed to say that I know of Jo Jo Siwa, but only because I have a yahoo account and she was featured a few times. And, I only know of MEEMAW, like Saul says, from watching “The Big Bang Theory” where Sheldon refers to his granny that way.

    Cute theme and @Pam, thanks for that video…so the early version: “There’s Earth and Air and Fire and Water”…Ha!

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