LA Times Crossword 30 Aug 22, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Ella Dershowitz
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Not My Cup of Tea

Themed answers each end with a container that would not be used as an alternative to a CUP for serving TEA. Perish the thought …

  • 60A Dismissive response when offered chai in the ends of the answers to the starred clues? : NOT MY CUP OF TEA
  • 15A *”The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas” writer : GERTRUDE STEIN (from “beer stein”)
  • 23A *Folk instrument named for the Greek god of nature : PAN FLUTE (from “champagne flute”)
  • 37A *Buffing tool for some jewelry-makers : ROCK TUMBLER (from “glass tumbler”)
  • 51A *”This American Life” host : IRA GLASS (from “drinking glass”)

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

Bill’s time: 5m 00s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Stories often used for storage : ATTICS

An attic or loft is a room or space located below the roof of a building. The term “attic” is a shortened form of “attic story”, the uppermost story or level of a house. This term “attic story” originally applied to a low, decorative level built on top of the uppermost story behind a building’s decorative facade. This use of decoration at the top of buildings was common in ancient Greece, and was particularly important in the Attica style. That Attica style was so called because it originated in the historical region of Attica that encompassed the city of Athens. And that’s how our attics are linked to ancient Greece.

13 Impulse-conducting cell : NEURON

A nerve cell is more correctly called a neuron. The long nerve fiber that conducts signals away from the neuron is known as the axon. The axon is surrounded by a myelin sheath, which acts as an electrical insulator and which increases the rate the impulses pass along the axon.

14 Elton John’s “__ in the Wind” : CANDLE

“Candle in the Wind” is a 1973 song written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin in honor of Marilyn Monroe, hence the lyric “Goodbye, Norma Jean”. Elton John rewrote some of the words in honor of Diana, Princess of Wales and performed it at the princess’s memorial service. The line most descriptive of Diana in the 1997 version is “Goodbye, English rose”.

15 *”The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas” writer : GERTRUDE STEIN (from “beer stein”)

Gertrude Stein was a great American writer who spent most of her life in France. Gertrude Stein met Alice B. Toklas in Paris in 1907, and the two were life partners until Stein died in 1946. Cleverly, Stein published her own memoir in 1933 but called the book “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas”. It was to become Stein’s best selling title.

A stein is a type of beer glass. The term “stein” is German in origin, and is short for “Steinkrug” meaning “stone jug”. “Stein” is German for “stone”.

17 “Fool Us” judges __ & Teller : PENN

“Penn & Teller: Fool Us” is a TV show in which magicians compete to “fool” celebrated illusionists Penn & Teller. The idea is to perform an illusion in front of Penn & Teller, without the pair working out how the trick is done. Despite the setting in Las Vegas, the show was commissioned by British network ITV. ITV canceled the show after one season, and so it was taken up by the American network The CW. The show was originally hosted by English TV personality Jonathan Ross, with American actress Alyson Hannigan taking over at the start of season three.

Penn Jillette is one half of the duo of magicians known as Penn & Teller (Penn is the one who talks). Penn teamed up with Teller on stage in 1981, having met him through a friend back in 1974. As well as being talkative onstage, Penn is very vocal offstage when it comes to his causes and beliefs. He is a devout atheist, a libertarian and a supporter of free-market capitalism.

The illusionist Teller, of Penn & Teller, was born Raymond Teller in Philadelphia, although he legally changed his name to simply “Teller”. Teller decided not to speak during his performances way back in his youth. He was doing magic at college fraternity parties and discovered that by remaining silent, the potentially rowdy audience focused on his act and refrained from throwing beer at him!

18 Gp. for good drivers? : PGA

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) was founded in 1916 and today has its headquarters (unsurprisingly) in Florida, where so many golfers live. Back in 1916, the PGA was based in New York City.

19 Fossey subjects : APES

Dian Fossey carried out her famous study of gorilla populations in the mountain forests of Rwanda. She wrote a 1983 autobiographical account of her work titled “Gorillas in the Mist”, which served as a basis for a 1988 film of the same name starring Sigourney Weaver as Fossey. Sadly, Fossey was found dead in her cabin in Rwanda in 1986, murdered in her bedroom, her skull split open by a machete. The crime was never solved.

The tailless primates known as apes (also “hominoids”) are divided into two main branches: gibbons (lesser apes) and hominids (great apes). The hominids are the great apes, and belong to the family of primates called Hominidae. Extant genera that make up the family Hominidae are:

  • chimpanzees
  • gorillas
  • humans
  • orangutans

23 *Folk instrument named for the Greek god of nature : PAN FLUTE (from “champagne flute”)

Pan flutes (also “panpipes”) are folk instruments that have been around a long time, and are believed to be the first mouth organs. The pan flute is named for the Greek god Pan, who was often depicted playing the instrument.

The narrow bowl of a champagne flute is usually preferred over the wide bowl of a champagne coupe as the smaller surface area of the wine helps retain its carbonation.

31 Pro bono TV ad : PSA

Public service announcement (PSA)

The Latin term “pro bono publico” means “for the public good”, and is usually shortened to “pro bono”. The term applies to professional work that is done for free or at a reduced fee as a service to the public.

32 Soft leather : SUEDE

Suede is leather made from the underside of an animal’s skin, usually the skin from a lamb. As such it is very soft, although not as durable as leather made from the exterior skin. The soft leather was, and is still used for making gloves. Back in 1859 these gloves were called “gants de Suede” in France, or “gloves of Sweden”. So, the name “suede” comes from the French word for Sweden.

37 *Buffing tool for some jewelry-makers : ROCK TUMBLER (from “glass tumbler”)

A tumbler is a glass. Back in the 1660s a tumbler was a glass with a rounded or pointed base so that it could not be put down without spilling its contents, as it would “tumble” over. The idea was that one had to drink up before putting the glass down.

40 Prius maker : TOYOTA

The Toyota Prius is still one of the most fuel-efficient, gasoline-powered cars sold in the US, according to the EPA. The name “Prius” is a Latin word meaning “ahead, leading”. In the US we pronounce the name “pree-us”, but across the Atlantic it’s pronounced “pry-us”. According to Toyota, the plural of “Prius” is “Prii”.

44 Campaign funding org. : PAC

A political action committee (PAC) is a private group that works to influence the outcome of a particular election or group of elections. Any group becomes a PAC by law when it receives or spends more than $1,000 for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that PACS that did not make direct contributions to candidates or parties could accept unlimited contributions. These “independent, expenditure-only committees” are commonly referred to as “super PACs”.

47 Cal. neighbor : ORE

The Oregon Treaty of 1846 settled a dispute between the US and the UK over sovereignty of the Oregon Country. “The Oregon Country” was the name given by the Americans to a large swathe of land west of the Rocky Mountains. That same disputed land was known as the Columbia Department by the British. Oregon became a US state in 1859.

48 DOD intel arm : NSA

The National Security Agency (NSA) was set up in 1952 by President Truman, a replacement for the Armed Forces Security Agency that had existed in the Department of Defense (DoD) since 1949. The NSA has always been clouded in secrecy and even the 1952 letter from President Truman that established the agency was kept under wraps from the public for over a generation. I really like the organization’s nickname … “No Such Agency”.

The largest government department in the cabinet is the Department of Defense (DOD), with a permanent staff of over 600,000. The smallest department, by far, is the Department of Education, with a mere four or five thousand employees.

50 “All __ Well”: Taylor Swift song : TOO

“All Too Well” is a 2012 song co-written and recorded by Taylor Swift. Swift’s fans love this song, and many regard it as her finest song. It deals with a relationship that’s over. There’s a scarf mentioned in the song a couple of times. At the beginning of the lyrics:

and I left my scarf there at your sister’s house

Towards the end of the song:

But you keep my old scarf from that very first week

Well, the scarf has become a “thing”. The assumption is the relationship is between Swift and her one-time boyfriend Jake Gyllenhall. Multiple hours of airtime have been devoted to answering the question, “Where is the scarf now?”

51 *”This American Life” host : IRA GLASS (from “drinking glass”)

Ira Glass is a well-respected presenter on American Public Radio who is perhaps best known for his show “This American Life”. I was interested to learn that one of my favorite composers, Philip Glass, is Ira’s first cousin.

54 Punctuation in an email address : AT-SIGN

The “at symbol” (@) originated in the commercial word, as shorthand for “each at, per” and similar phrases. I suppose we see the symbol most commonly these days as part of email addresses.

56 Actress Campbell : NEVE

Neve Campbell is a Canadian actress whose big break in the movies came with the “Scream” horror film series, in which she had a leading role. I don’t do horror films, so I haven’t seen any of the “Scream” movies. Nor have I seen the TV series “Party of Five” that launched the acting careers of both Campbell and Jennifer Love Hewitt in the nineties.

Down

1 “And Still I Rise” poet Maya : ANGELOU

“And Still I Rise” is a 1978 volume of poetry by Maya Angelou. The collection’s title poem is “Still I Rise”, which ends with:

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

4 NYC subway line : IRT

The Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) was the original private operator of the New York Subway when it opened in 1904. The city took over ownership of the system in 1940, but the lines originally operated by the IRT are still known by the IRT moniker.

5 __ flower: foul-smelling rare plant : CORPSE

Corpse flowers are also known as carrion flowers and stinking flowers. They all emit an odor that resembles rotting flesh, hence the name of the group. The odor serves to attract scavengers like flies and beetles that serve as pollinators.

8 Peer leaders in a dorm, for short : RAS

A resident assistant/adviser (RA) is a peer leader found in a residence hall, particularly on a college campus.

9 Explosive letters : TNT

“TNT” is an abbreviation for “trinitrotoluene”. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

12 Core convictions : TENETS

A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “holds”.

16 Big name in caulk and sealant : DAP

DAP is an American manufacturer of caulks, sealants and adhesives. The acronym “DAP” stands for “Dicks-Armstrong-Pontius”.

17 Kid-friendly sandwiches, for short : PBJS

Peanut butter and jelly (PB&J or PBJ)

20 __ urchin : SEA

Sea urchins are globular, spiny creatures found just about everywhere in the ocean. The “roe” of a sea urchin is eaten as a delicacy in several cuisines around the world. In a sushi restaurant, the sea urchin roe is called “uni”. The term “roe” normally means “fish eggs”, but in the case of the sea urchin it refers to the gonads of both the male and female.

22 Green Day drummer : TRE COOL

“Tré Cool” is the stage name of Frank Wright, the drummer for the punk rock band Green Day.

25 Gaming rookie : NOOB

“Noob” (sometimes “newb”) is a not-so-nice slang term for a “newbie”, and often refers to someone who is new to an online community.

The term “rookie”, used for a raw recruit, first appeared in Rudyard Kipling’s collection of songs and poems called the “Barrack-Room Ballads”, which was originally published in 1892.

26 Whole, milkwise : FULL-FAT

The fatty component of milk is known as butterfat (sometimes “milkfat”). To be labeled whole milk, the butterfat content must be at least 3.25%. Low-fat milk is defined as milk containing 0.5-2% fat, with levels of 1% and 2% commonly found on grocery store shelves. Skim milk must contain less than 0.5% fat, and typically contains 0.1%.

29 Presidential rejections : VETOES

The verb “veto” comes directly from Latin and means “I forbid”. The term was used by tribunes of ancient Rome to indicate that they opposed measures passed by the Senate.

35 Pecan pie morsel : NUT

The pecan is the state nut of Alabama, Arkansas and California. Also, the pecan is the state tree of Texas.

36 Jeans name : LEE

The Lee company that is famous for making jeans was formed in 1889 by one Henry David Lee in Salina, Kansas.

38 Actress Sedgwick : KYRA

Actress Kyra Sedgwick is perhaps best known for playing Deputy Chief Johnson, the lead character on the crime drama show “The Closer”. Sedgwick married fellow actor Kevin Bacon in 1988. Sedgwick appeared on a family history show, and discovered that she and her husband are cousins, albeit tenth cousins once removed. I bet that was a surprise …

39 Far from forthcoming : RETICENT

To be garrulous is to be tiresomely talkative. To be reticent is to be inclined to keep one’s thoughts to oneself.

42 Soldiers’ IDs : DOG TAGS

The identification tags worn by soldiers are often called “dog tags”, simply because they do resemble tags worn by dogs. US military personnel are required to wear dog tags when in the field. Each soldier wears either two tags or a special tag that breaks easily into two identical pieces. The idea is that if a soldier is killed, then one half can be removed for notification and the remaining half stays with the body. Each tag contains basics such as name and ID number, medical information like blood type, and possibly a religious preference.

44 Brooch holder : PIN

A brooch is an ornamental accessory held by a pin or clasp, and worn near the neck. The term “brooch” comes from the Old French “broche” meaning “long needle”.

53 “Law & Order” spinoff, familiarly : SVU

“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is a spin-off from the TV crime drama “Law & Order”. “SVU” has been on the air since 1999, and is set in New York City. Interestingly (to me), there is a very successful Russian adaptation of the show that is set in Moscow.

55 Chemise fabric : SATIN

The material known as “satin” takes its name from “Zayton”, the medieval Arabic name for the Chinese port city of Quanzhou. Quanzhou was used for the export of large amounts of silk to Europe.

A modern chemise is a female undergarment or perhaps a loose-fitting dress. “Chemise” is a French term, one that today is used for a shirt.

58 Emer. alerts : APBS

An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

61 Ornamental flower : MUM

Chrysanthemums are perennial flowering plants that are often called “mums”.

63 LP successors : CDS

The compact disc (CD) was developed jointly by Philips and Sony as a medium for storing and playing sound recordings. When the first commercial CD was introduced back in 1982, a CD’s storage capacity was far greater than the amount of data that could be stored on the hard drive of personal computers available at that time.

64 “Here’s an update,” briefly : FYI

For your information (FYI)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Stories often used for storage : ATTICS
7 Painter or sculptor : ARTIST
13 Impulse-conducting cell : NEURON
14 Elton John’s “__ in the Wind” : CANDLE
15 *”The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas” writer : GERTRUDE STEIN (from “beer stein”)
17 “Fool Us” judges __ & Teller : PENN
18 Gp. for good drivers? : PGA
19 Fossey subjects : APES
21 Superfun times : BLASTS
23 *Folk instrument named for the Greek god of nature : PAN FLUTE (from “champagne flute”)
27 Easy pace : JOG
28 Gun, as an engine : REV
30 Debtor’s note : IOU
31 Pro bono TV ad : PSA
32 Soft leather : SUEDE
34 Join the club : ENROLL
37 *Buffing tool for some jewelry-makers : ROCK TUMBLER (from “glass tumbler”)
40 Prius maker : TOYOTA
41 Nourishes : FEEDS
44 Campaign funding org. : PAC
47 Cal. neighbor : ORE
48 DOD intel arm : NSA
50 “All __ Well”: Taylor Swift song : TOO
51 *”This American Life” host : IRA GLASS (from “drinking glass”)
54 Punctuation in an email address : AT-SIGN
56 Actress Campbell : NEVE
57 Industrial-sized tub : VAT
59 Random __ of kindness : ACTS
60 Dismissive response when offered chai in the ends of the answers to the starred clues? : NOT MY CUP OF TEA
65 Debated : ARGUED
66 “I’m not __ it”: “You’ve yet to convince me” : BUYING
67 Does some traditional winemaking : STOMPS
68 Job durations : STINTS

Down

1 “And Still I Rise” poet Maya : ANGELOU
2 Fake ID user, maybe : TEENAGER
3 Changes direction : TURNS
4 NYC subway line : IRT
5 __ flower: foul-smelling rare plant : CORPSE
6 Like a bug in a rug : SNUG
7 Best pitcher in a team’s rotation : ACE
8 Peer leaders in a dorm, for short : RAS
9 Explosive letters : TNT
10 Perfect : IDEAL
11 Mention the surprise party to the birthday girl, say : SLIP UP
12 Core convictions : TENETS
16 Big name in caulk and sealant : DAP
17 Kid-friendly sandwiches, for short : PBJS
20 __ urchin : SEA
22 Green Day drummer : TRE COOL
24 Guy in the sky : AIRMAN
25 Gaming rookie : NOOB
26 Whole, milkwise : FULL-FAT
29 Presidential rejections : VETOES
33 Eye on a stick figure : DOT
35 Pecan pie morsel : NUT
36 Jeans name : LEE
38 Actress Sedgwick : KYRA
39 Far from forthcoming : RETICENT
42 Soldiers’ IDs : DOG TAGS
43 Male deliveries : SONS
44 Brooch holder : PIN
45 Play grounds? : ARENAS
46 Frolic : CAVORT
49 Watched from the sidelines : SAT OUT
52 Very beginning : GET-GO
53 “Law & Order” spinoff, familiarly : SVU
55 Chemise fabric : SATIN
58 Emer. alerts : APBS
61 Ornamental flower : MUM
62 “You betcha” : YEP
63 LP successors : CDS
64 “Here’s an update,” briefly : FYI

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 30 Aug 22, Tuesday”

  1. No errors.
    Bill, take a look at your description for CORPSE. “.. rotting flash”. Perhaps you meant “.. rotting flesh”?

    Thanks for all you do!

  2. This one went fast for me. No errors, but had one lookup: Trecool.
    Never heard of him. I didn’t really get the theme until I was finished
    and looking it over. Then I realized that the theme answers
    all contained a type of drinking vessel.

  3. Except for too many PPP’s, very good puzzle. Even with all the (mostly) unknown names, got ’em all. Nice theme.

  4. 6:39

    I liked the cluing. The theme answers would be more fitting for iced chai, but a STEIN would be way too much.

    RETICENT is a cool word.

  5. Unlike lovely yesterday, I did not finish but had a Natick and a double Natick. These were: PGA crosses DAP and ROCK TUMBLER crosses TRE COOL and KYRA.
    Also did not know AIRMAN, CORPSE, though I figured them out.
    I did get the theme.

  6. 6:14 with no false starts, errors, or lookups.

    New: FULLFAT (always been whole fat to me), “Alice B. Toklas,” “All TOO Well,” TRECOOL, IRT subway line.

    Filling the theme answer (60A) came early, but was not needed to help solve anything.

  7. Fun mostly quick Tuesday; took 14:28 with no peeks or errors. Had to dance around a little bit but managed okay. Took a bit to get past TREE COOL, “Eye on a stick figure”, All TOO Well and IRT. Agree with Ray C, although its always been Whole Milk for me.

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