LA Times Crossword 12 Jul 22, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Catherine Cetta
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Cut the Carbs

Themed answers each contain a CARB as a hidden word, but that CARB is CUT into two pieces at the start and end of the answer:

  • 56A Dieting advice, and what the answers to the starred clues literally do : CUT THE CARBS
  • 17A *Performer who may wear harem pants : BELLY DANCER (cut the “BE-ER”)
  • 25A *People in a love-hate relationship : FRENEMIES (cut the “FR-IES”)
  • 36A *Body-lifting exercises : CHIN-UPS (cut the “CHI-PS”)
  • 47A *Veers from the straight and narrow : BREAKS BAD (cut the “BRE-AD”)

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

Bill’s time: 6m 21s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 California wine region near Sonoma : NAPA

The first commercial winery in Napa Valley, California was established way back in 1858. However, premium wine production only dates back to the 1960s, with the region really hitting the big time after its success at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The story of that famous blind wine tasting is told in the entertaining 2008 film “Bottle Shock”.

Did you know that there are far more wine grapes produced in Sonoma than Napa? Within Sonoma County some of the more well-known appellations are Chalk Hill, Anderson Valley and Russian River Valley. Personally, when I want to visit the wine country, I head for the Russian River Valley as it’s far less crowded and much more fun than Napa Valley.

11 Zamboni surface : ICE

The first ice resurfacing machine was developed in 1949 by one Frank Zamboni. The eponymous Zamboni machine works by simultaneously executing a number of tasks. First, the surface of the ice is scraped off by a sharp blade. Next the ice is “washed” with water sprayed from the front of the Zamboni, and that wash water is vacuumed back up and filtered to remove impurities. Water is then reapplied to the scraped ice by a wet towel dragging behind the machine, forming a new skating surface.

14 Nowhere to be seen, for short : AWOL

MPs (military police officers) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).

15 Simple shelter : LEAN-TO

By definition, a lean-to is a building in which the rafters lean against the wall of another building. A lean-to shelter has a similar appearance, although it is free-standing. The shelter has a single-pitched roof and only three walls.

16 Prom rental : TUX

Apparently, the style of men’s evening dress called a “tuxedo” was first worn to a country club event in 1886 in New York. The use of a dark dinner jacket without tails became fashionable at the club with the members, and the tradition spread from there. The country club was located in Tuxedo Park, New York, giving the style of dress its name.

17 *Performer who may wear harem pants : BELLY DANCER (cut the “BE-ER”)

Harem pants are an item of female clothing that originated on the Arabian Peninsula. They are loose-fitting pants that gather at the ankle. For example, the pants worn by belly dancers would be called harem pants.

20 “Star Wars” heroine : LEIA

The full name of the character played by Carrie Fisher in the “Star Wars” series of films is Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan, and later Leia Organa Solo. Leia is the twin sister of Luke Skywalker, and the daughter of Anakin Skywalker (aka “Darth Vader”) and Padmé Amidala. Leia is raised by her adoptive parents Bail and Breha Organa. She eventually marries Han Solo.

21 Taylor Swift’s “__ Song” : OUR

“Our Song” is a number recorded by Taylor Swift in 2006. Swift wrote the song during her freshman year for a high school talent show.

23 Tree frog sound : CHIRP

The name “tree frog” applies to a number of frog species. As the name implies, these are frogs that spend very little time on the ground, and rather live in trees and high-growing vegetation. Tree frogs are usually very small in size, so that their weight can be borne by twigs and branches.

25 *People in a love-hate relationship : FRENEMIES (cut the “FR-IES”)

A frenemy is someone who feigns friendship but who is actually an enemy or competitor.

27 Transmission choice for driving uphill : LOW GEAR

Here’s yet another term that confused me when I moved across the Atlantic. Back in Britain and Ireland, a car’s transmission is the whole drivetrain. Here in America, the term “transmission” tends to be synonymous with “gearbox”.

30 Chips __!: cookie brand : AHOY

Chips Ahoy! is a Nabisco brand of chocolate chip cookies.

31 Creme Egg candymaker : CADBURY

Cadbury is a large confectionary brand that is second only in sales to Mars. The original Cadbury Brothers company was founded in Birmingham in the English Midlands in 1847 by John Cadbury and his brother Benjamin. They opened a large production plant just south of Birmingham, in 1879. The land surrounding the plant was developed as a model village for employees, and given the name “Bournville”. “Bournville” persists today as a brand of dark chocolate produced by Cadbury.

The Cadbury Creme Egg is the biggest-selling confectionery in the UK from New Year’s Day up to Easter every year, which is no surprise to me. Creme Eggs are wickedly delicious …

35 Hearty holiday drink : NOG

It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “eggnog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

37 Spigot : TAP

Back in the 15th century, a spigot was specifically a plug to stop a hole in a cask. Somewhere along the way, a spigot had a valve added for variable control of flow.

41 Corn Belt tower : SILO

The Corn Belt (sometimes “Grain Belt”) is a region in the Midwest where, since the mid-1800s, corn has been the major crop. Geographically, the Corn Belt covers Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and parts of Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota and Missouri. About 40% of the world’s corn production comes from the region, and most of that production is used for the feeding of livestock.

42 Storybook brutes : OGRES

An ogre is a monster of mythology and folktales that has the appearance of a man, and which eats human beings. The term “ogre” comes to us via French from the name of the Etruscan god Orcus, who feasted on the flesh of humans.

54 Carpenter’s clamp : VISE

A carpenter is a woodworker. “Carpenter” came into English via French from the Latin “carpentarius” meaning “wagon maker”. The earlier “carpentum” is Latin for “wagon”.

55 Source of milk for pecorino cheese : EWE

Pecorino is a family of hard cheeses from Italy, with the name coming from the Italian “pecora” meaning “sheep”. The most famous variety here in North America is Pecorino Romano, which we often refer to simply as “Romano”.

60 Time zone word: Abbr. : STD

Local solar time was replaced with standard time zones due to the increasing use of rail travel and telecommunications as the variations in local solar times became somewhat inconvenient. Time zones in the US vary in hourly increments, but in some parts of the world a 30-minute or even 15-minute difference can apply.

61 Dined at a bistro, say : ATE OUT

“Bistro” was originally a Parisian slang term describing a little wine shop or restaurant.

62 Nerd : GEEK

Originally, a geek was a sideshow performer, perhaps one at a circus. Sometimes the term “geek” is used today for someone regarded as foolish or clumsy, and also for someone who is technically driven and expert, but often socially inept.

64 Tinkers (with) : MESSES

To tinker with something is to adjust or experiment with it. Back in the late 1500’s, “to tinker” was “to work as a tinker”. Back then, a tinker was someone who mended pots and pans.

65 Avant-garde : EDGY

Someone or something described as avant-garde is especially innovative. “Avant-garde” is French for “advance guard”.

Down

3 Tadpole : POLLIWOG

“Polliwog” is another word for “tadpole”, which describes the larval stage of an amphibian such as a frog or a toad. The term “polliwog” has been around since the mid-15th century and probably comes from the Old English words “pol” (head) and “wiglen” (wiggle).

4 Hay fever, e.g. : ALLERGY

The common term “hay fever” describes a type of seasonal allergic rhinitis, inflammation of the nose due to an immune reaction to airborne allergens.

5 “Marriage Story” actor Alan : ALDA

Alan Alda has had a great television career, most notably as a lead actor in “M*A*S*H”. He was born Alphonso D’Abruzzo in the Bronx, New York City. Alda won his first Emmy in 1972, for playing surgeon Hawkeye Pierce on “M*A*S*H”. He also won an Emmy in 2006 for his portrayal of Presidential candidate Senator Arnold Vinick in “The West Wing”. When it comes to the big screen, my favorite of Alda’s movies is the 1978 romantic comedy “Same Time, Next Year” in which he starred opposite Ellen Burstyn.

“Marriage Story” is a 2019 movie starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver as a couple going through a messy divorce. The critics loved this one. Me, not so much …

6 Actress Thompson : LEA

Lea Thompson is well known as the star of “Caroline in the City“, the TV show from the nineties. That said, the Thompson performance that I most remember is her playing Marty McFly’s mother in the “Back to the Future” trilogy.

9 Rudder’s locale : STERN

A rudder is usually a flat sheet of wood or metal located at the stern of a boat, and under the waterline. The rudder is attached to a rudder post, which rotates to change the orientation of the rudder hence steering the boat. That rotation of the rudder post can be achieved by pulling or pushing a lever called a tiller, which is located at the top of the post.

10 Only Canadian MLB city : TOR

The Toronto Blue Jays baseball franchise was founded in 1977. The Blue Jays are the only team based outside the US to have won a World Series, doing so in 1992 and 1993. And since the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington, the Blue Jays are the only Major League Baseball team now headquartered outside of the US.

11 Firenze locale : ITALIA

Florence is the capital city of the Tuscany region in Italy. Something from or related to Florence is described as “Florentine”. The city is known as “Firenze” in Italian.

22 Television award : EMMY

The Emmy Awards are the television equivalent of the Oscars from the world of film, the Grammy Awards in music and the Tony Awards for the stage. Emmy Awards are presented throughout the year, depending on the sector of television being honored. The most famous of these ceremonies are the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Daytime Emmy Awards. The distinctive name “Emmy” is a softened version of the word “immy”, the nickname given to the video camera tubes found in old television cameras. The Emmy statuette was designed by television engineer Louis McManus in 1948, and depicts a woman holding up an atom. McManus used his wife as a model for the woman.

23 Tartan-sharing kin : CLAN

“Tartan” is sometimes called “plaid” over here in the US, and is a word not used in the same sense outside of this country. In Scotland, a plaid is a blanket or a tartan cloth slung over the shoulder.

24 Santa’s jolly syllables : HO! HO!

The name “Santa Claus” is American English, and came into the language as a phonetic variant of “Sinterklaas”, the Dutch for “Saint Nicholas”.

26 Disneyland hat pair : EARS

The Mickey Mouse Ears hat was introduced in the 1950s on the Mickey Mouse Club. The Mouseketeers would wear them in each episode. Years later, the hats were offered to sale to the public, and today are the most popular item purchased at Disney resorts.

32 Genetic material : DNA

The two most common nucleic acids are deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA), both of which play crucial roles in genetics. The DNA contains the genetic instructions used to keep living organisms functioning, and RNA is used to transcribe that information from the DNA to protein “generators” called ribosomes.

38 Smart __: know-it-all : ALEC

Apparently, the original “smart Alec” (sometimes “Aleck”) was one Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.

39 Swanky : POSH

No one really knows the etymology of the word “posh”. The popular myth that “posh” is actually an acronym standing for “port out, starboard home” is completely untrue, and is a story that can actually be traced back to the 1968 movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”. The myth is that wealthy British passengers traveling to and from India would book cabins on the port side for the outward journey and the starboard side for the home journey. This trick was supposedly designed to keep their cabins out of the direct sunlight.

41 McMuffin meat option : SAUSAGE

The McMuffin breakfast sandwich was introduced, without the knowledge of the corporate office, by the operator of a Santa Barbara, California franchise in 1972. Back then, McDonald’s only offered food for lunch and dinner. The initial reaction of the corporate office on hearing about the McMuffin was to reprimand the Santa Barbara franchise operator, before embracing the concept.

43 Old-__ forest : GROWTH

An old-growth forest is one that has developed over the ages without significant disturbance by humankind. The planet has just over one billion hectares of old-growth forest remaining, with over 60% of that area residing in Brazil, Canada and Russia.

48 Cook in some olive oil, say : SAUTE

“Sauté” is a French word. The literal translation from the French is “jumped” or “bounced”, a reference to the tossing of food while cooking it in a frying pan.

50 Choir section : ALTOS

In choral music, an alto (plural “alti”) is the second-highest voice in a four-part chorus made up of soprano, contr(alto), tenor and bass. The word “alto” describes the vocal range, that of the deepest female singing-voice, whereas the term “contralto” describes more than just the alto range, but also its quality and timbre. An adult male’s voice (not a boy’s) with the same range as an alto is called a “countertenor”.

54 November honorees : VETS

Veterans Day used to be known as Armistice Day, and is observed on November 11th each year. This particular date was chosen as the Armistice that ended WWI was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

57 Shade on a color wheel : HUE

A color wheel is a visual device that illustrates the relationship between various colors and hues.

59 Big __ Country : SKY

Montana goes by the nicknames “Big Sky Country” and “The Treasure State”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 California wine region near Sonoma : NAPA
5 Not quite : ALMOST
11 Zamboni surface : ICE
14 Nowhere to be seen, for short : AWOL
15 Simple shelter : LEAN-TO
16 Prom rental : TUX
17 *Performer who may wear harem pants : BELLY DANCER (cut the “BE-ER”)
19 Lob’s path : ARC
20 “Star Wars” heroine : LEIA
21 Taylor Swift’s “__ Song” : OUR
22 If not : ELSE
23 Tree frog sound : CHIRP
25 *People in a love-hate relationship : FRENEMIES (cut the “FR-IES”)
27 Transmission choice for driving uphill : LOW GEAR
29 Stockpile : AMASS
30 Chips __!: cookie brand : AHOY
31 Creme Egg candymaker : CADBURY
35 Hearty holiday drink : NOG
36 *Body-lifting exercises : CHIN-UPS (cut the “CHI-PS”)
37 Spigot : TAP
40 Ambushed : WAYLAID
41 Corn Belt tower : SILO
42 Storybook brutes : OGRES
45 Tracks down : LOCATES
47 *Veers from the straight and narrow : BREAKS BAD (cut the “BRE-AD”)
51 Pet rabbit’s home : HUTCH
52 Wallop : SOCK
53 Feel crummy : AIL
54 Carpenter’s clamp : VISE
55 Source of milk for pecorino cheese : EWE
56 Dieting advice, and what the answers to the starred clues literally do : CUT THE CARBS
60 Time zone word: Abbr. : STD
61 Dined at a bistro, say : ATE OUT
62 Nerd : GEEK
63 That lady : SHE
64 Tinkers (with) : MESSES
65 Avant-garde : EDGY

Down

1 Capture : NAB
2 Knock the socks off : AWE
3 Tadpole : POLLIWOG
4 Hay fever, e.g. : ALLERGY
5 “Marriage Story” actor Alan : ALDA
6 Actress Thompson : LEA
7 Regal home : MANOR
8 Promptly : ON CUE
9 Rudder’s locale : STERN
10 Only Canadian MLB city : TOR
11 Firenze locale : ITALIA
12 Swear words : CURSES
13 More than necessary : EXCESS
18 Cry of pain : YIPE!
22 Television award : EMMY
23 Tartan-sharing kin : CLAN
24 Santa’s jolly syllables : HO! HO!
25 Physically delicate : FRAIL
26 Disneyland hat pair : EARS
28 Sore : ACHY
32 Genetic material : DNA
33 Construct : BUILD
34 Bun, e.g. : UPDO
36 Wine barrel : CASK
37 Giggled self-consciously : TITTERED
38 Smart __: know-it-all : ALEC
39 Swanky : POSH
40 Like disappointing coffee : WEAK
41 McMuffin meat option : SAUSAGE
42 Think too much (about) : OBSESS
43 Old-__ forest : GROWTH
44 Ebb : RECEDE
46 Rather smart : CHIC
48 Cook in some olive oil, say : SAUTE
49 Tugs at a fishing line : BITES
50 Choir section : ALTOS
54 November honorees : VETS
56 Pic taker : CAM
57 Shade on a color wheel : HUE
58 Plead : BEG
59 Big __ Country : SKY

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 12 Jul 22, Tuesday”

  1. No errors. Another straight forward crossword! Enjoyed it.
    Think I’ll celebrate with some chips and a coke!

  2. No errors, no lookups…my time was 15:17…not super compared to
    Bill and Glenn, but probably my personal on-line best

  3. Relatively easy, and I appreciate the word origins provided by Bill (particularly the differences between the US English and the English English.
    One minor quibble with this puzzle: love seeing Zamboni as a clue (being an ex-hockey player in college) but a Zamboni’s surface is metal, not ice. It works ON ice (and very efficiently, I might add).

    1. In the world of crossword puzzles, “Zamboni surface” is just a hint. It *could* mean the surface of a Zamboni, but it also can mean, “the surface a Zamboni produces”.

  4. 16:02 no errors.
    A puzzle not loaded with foreign words and obscure names…nice👍👍
    Stay safe😀

  5. @PeaKay …

    Thanks for mentioning “The Soul of an Octopus” yesterday. When I first heard of that book, I meant to order a copy and somehow forgot to do it (an omission now corrected … 😜).

    1. Dave,
      Hope you find it as intriguing as I did when I read it a few years ago. I would be interested to know what you think of it after you’ve read it.

  6. No errors, no Googles. Didn’t notice the theme. Didn’t know OUR or LEA, both young. And, is that what BREAKS BAD means.

  7. 5:00

    POLLIWOG! There’s a word I haven’t heard in a long time. But I thought it was POLLYWOG, so it’s a good thing I let the crosses fill it in.

    Whenever I ATEOUT at a bistro, I wouldn’t pass up the BRE/AD. I didn’t understand why Belgian BE/ER is so malty and fizzy, until I had some with FR/IES. THE CARBS I’ve learned I must CUT are CHI/PS: I’ll eat a whole bag no matter how big it is.

    P.S. “The Soul of an Octopus” by Sy Montgomery is wonderful.

  8. 10:30 with revisions of: AWAY>AWOL, EXCEED>EXCESS, ACHE>ACHY.

    Didn’t know that frogs of any kind chirped.

    If only cutting carbs were that easy!

  9. Mostly easy Tuesday for me; took 10:04 with no peeks or errors. I kind of got into a weird solving pattern, a bit across, a bit down and all over the place…should’ve stuck to one for longer.

    I like carbs…so I have to exercise a lot 🙂 And, octopuses are cool and smart.

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