LA Times Crossword 6 Oct 22, Thursday

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Constructed by: Catherine Cetta
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Shoeboxes

The grid includes sets of 4-letter BOXES that spell out kinds of SHOE:

  • 63A Stack at Famous Footwear, and a hint to the sets of circled letters : SHOEBOXES

Those shoes are:

  • FLAT
  • BOOT
  • PUMP
  • MULE
  • HEEL

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

Bill’s time: 5m 57s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Isabel Allende’s “In the __ of Winter” : MIDST

Isabel Allende is a Chilean writer, and the world’s most widely-read, Spanish-language author. Isabel is related to Salvador Allende, the ex-President of Chile.

6 Albumen container : EGG

“Albumen” is the technical name for egg white.

16 Biathlete’s equipment : RIFLE

A biathlon is an event requiring expertise in two sporting disciplines. The most common biathlon is a winter sport that combines cross-country skiing with rifle shooting. This traditional biathlon was born out of an exercise for Norwegian soldiers.

17 Tosses a monkey wrench into : SABOTAGES

There is a story that disgruntled textile workers would kick their wooden shoes, called “sabots”, into the looms in order to disable them so that they didn’t have to work. This act of vandalism was named for the shoe, an act of … “sabotage”.

To throw a monkey wrench into something is to sabotage it. Back in Ireland, we use the similar expression “to throw a spanner in the works” with the equivalent meaning. We don’t use the term “monkey wrench”, and call the same tool an “adjustable spanner”.

20 R&B’s Boyz II __ : MEN

Boyz II Men are an R&B vocal trio from Philadelphia who started out in 1988. The original BOYZ II Men lineup included a fourth member, Michael McCary. McCary left the group in 2003 due to chronic back pain. The Boyz II Men 1992 hit “End of the Road” stayed at number-one in the Billboard charts for an amazing thirteen weeks, shattering the 11-week record that had been held by Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog” since 1956.

21 Like some auctions : SILENT

In a silent auction, bids are written in list form on a piece of paper. At the end of the auction, the highest bidder wins the item. The auction is described as silent because there is no auctioneer leading the bidding.

22 Grandpa Walton, to Grandma Walton : ZEB

Actor Will Geer died in 1978 just after filming the sixth season of “The Waltons”, in which he played Grandpa Zeb Walton. Geer was a noted social activist and was blacklisted in the fifties for refusing to appear before the all-powerful House Committee on Un-American Activities.

24 Tag sale reminder : AS IS

A tag sale is a sale of household belongings, so called because the prices are usually marked on tags attached to the items for sale.

26 Teachers’ org. : NEA

The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor union in the country, and mainly represents public school teachers.

31 Accordion fold : PLEAT

The accordion (“squeezebox”, colloquially) is a musical instrument related to the concertina. It is box-shaped and driven by a bellows that is compressed and expanded manually. The bellows forces air across metal strips (called “reed”) that vibrate to produce sounds. Notes are selected by using a piano-style keyboard (in a piano accordion) or by pressing down buttons (in a button accordion).

36 Puerto __ : RICO

Puerto Rico (PR) is located in the northeastern Caribbean (in the Atlantic Ocean), east of the Dominican Republic. The name “Puerto Rico” is Spanish for “rich port”. The locals often call their island Borinquen, the Spanish form of “Boriken”, the original name used by the natives.

40 San Antonio team : SPURS

The Spurs are a professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. The team was founded as the Dallas Chaparrals of the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1967.

41 CGI birds in Liberty Mutual Insurance commercials : EMUS

Liberty Mutual is an insurance company based in Boston. The business was founded in 1912 as the Massachusetts Employees Insurance Association (MEIA). Liberty Mutual has a famous advertising icon named LiMu Emu.

43 Tach stats : RPMS

The tachometer takes its name from the Greek word “tachos” meaning “speed”. A tachometer in a car measures engine revolutions per minute (rpm).

47 Argentine novelist Sabato : ERNESTO

Ernesto Sabato was a novelist and physicist from Argentina. He started his working life as a scientist, earning a Ph.D. from the National University of La Plata and worked at the Curie Institute in Paris after continuing his studies at the Sorbonne. While still in his thirties, Sabasto lost interest in science and turned his attention to writing.

49 Wanted poster letters : AKA

Also known as (aka)

51 Fill with freight : LADE

The verb “to lade” meaning “to load” comes from an Old English word “hladan”. “Lade” also used to mean “draw water” and indeed gave us our word “ladle”. So “lade” and “ladle” are close cousins.

53 __ française : A LA

When a meal is served “à la russe” (in the Russian style), courses are brought to the table sequentially. This contrasts with a meal served “à la française” (in the French style), in which all the courses are brought to the table at the same time.

54 Luxury furs : SABLES

Sables are small mammals, about two feet long, that are found right across northern Europe and northern Asia. The sable’s black pelt is highly prized in the fur trade. Sable is unique among furs in that it feels smooth no matter which direction it is stroked.

56 “90 Day Fiancé” cable channel : TLC

“90 Day Fiancé” is a reality TV show featuring couples who have 90 days to marry each other. One member of the couple is an American citizen, while the other is a foreign national. The 90-day period is defined by the terms of a K-1 visa, which is issued by the US government to a fiancé from a foreign country to allow for travel to the US to prepare for and participate in a marriage ceremony.

58 News article intro : LEDE

The opening paragraph in any work of literature is often just called “the lead”. In the world of journalism, this is usually referred to as “the lede”. The derivative phrase “bury the lede” means to fail to stress the most important aspect of a story.

63 Stack at Famous Footwear, and a hint to the sets of circled letters : SHOEBOXES

Famous Footwear is a chain of shoe stores that sells branded footwear at discount prices. The original store opened in 1960 in Madison, Wisconsin as Nell’s Shoes, and later Nell’s factory Shoe Outlet. The name “Famous Footwear” was introduced with the opening of the second store, in Cedar Rapids, in 1964.

66 Topic of a note home, perhaps : TARDINESS

That would be a note brought home from school by a student.

67 Big name in rain gear : TOTES

Totes Isotoner is based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company is the world’s largest supplier of umbrellas and other rainwear items. Isotoner is also famous for its lines of gloves and slippers.

68 Terminus : END

We absorbed our word “terminus” (plural “termini”) from Latin, and in both languages it means “end, final goal”. The Roman god Terminus presided over landmarks and boundaries, and was the focus of the festival of Terminalia at the end of the Roman year.

69 Reptile with sticky toe pads : GECKO

The word “gecko” comes from an Indonesian/Javanese word “tokek”, which is imitative of the reptile’s chirping sound. In making such a sound, geckos are unique in the world of lizards. More interesting to me than a gecko’s chirping is its ability to cling to walls and other vertical surfaces. Their feet are specially adapted with “toes” that make extremely intimate, close contact to a surface. The toes have millions of hairs called setae that enable the clinging. It isn’t suction that supports them, but rather van der Waals forces (weak “gravitational” attractions). Fascinating stuff …

Down

1 Soybean paste : MISO

Miso is the name of the seasoning that makes miso soup. Basic miso seasoning is made by fermenting rice, barley and soybeans with salt and a fungus to produce a paste. The paste can be added to stock to make miso soup, or perhaps to flavor tofu.

2 Catcher Rodríguez inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017 : IVAN

Iván Rodríguez is a retired MLB catcher who played most of his career for the Texas Rangers. He also played in the World Series with the Detroit Tigers in 2006, and won the World Series with the Florida Marlins in 2003. Iván’s son Dereck was drafted in 2011 by the Minnesota Twins.

7__ Davis Institute on Gender in Media : GEENA

Hollywood actress Geena Davis established the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media in 2004 after noticing the lack of female characters on television shows while watching with her young daughter. According to Davis:

The fact is women are seriously underrepresented in nearly all sectors of society across the globe, not just on screen, but, for the most part, we are simply not aware to this reality, and media images exert a powerful influence in perpetuating our unconscious bias.

9 Extol : PRAISE

To extol something is to praise it loudly. The term “to extol” comes from the Latin “extollere” meaning “to raise up, elevate”.

10 Tiny stream : RILL

The word “rill”, meaning a small brook or rivulet, has German roots. It has the same roots as “Rhine”, the name of the major European river.

13 Mattress choice : SERTA

Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the Serta company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement. Serta advertisements feature the Serta Counting Sheep. Each numbered sheep has a different personality, such as:

  • #1 The Leader of the Flock
  • #½ The Tweener
  • #13 Mr. Bad Luck
  • #53 The Pessimist
  • #86 Benedict Arnold

15 Sonnet line quintet : IAMBS

An iamb is a metrical foot containing an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. The lines in William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 18” use five sequential iambs, e.g. “Shall I / compare / thee to / a sum- / -mer’s day?” With that sequence of five iambs, the poem’s structure is described as iambic pentameter.

21 Opera virtuoso Beverly : SILLS

Beverly Sills was an operatic soprano from Brooklyn, New York. Sills retired from singing in 1980 to become the general manager of the New York City Opera. She later became Chairman of the Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Opera.

27 43,560 square feet : ACRE

At one time, an acre was defined as the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. Then, an acre was more precisely defined as a strip of land “one furrow long” (i.e. one furlong) and one chain wide. The length of one furlong was equal to 10 chains, or 40 rods. An area of one furlong times 10 rods was one rood.

32 Question for an astrobiologist : ARE WE ALONE?

Astrobiology is the study of extraterrestrial life, as well as life on earth. The term “exobiology” applies to the study and search for life beyond earth.

38 Norwegian home of the Fram Museum : OSLO

The Fram Museum in Oslo is devoted to the history of Norwegian exploration of the polar regions. Opened in 1936, the museum is particularly focused on the three Norwegian explorers Fridtjof Nansen, Otto Sverdrup and Roald Amundsen. The central exhibit is the ship named “Fram” that was used by all three celebrated explorers. The Fram is believed to have sailed further north and further south than any other wooden vessel.

40 Misses overseas: Abbr. : SRTAS

“Señorita” (Srta.) is Spanish, and “Mademoiselle” (Mlle.) is French, for “Miss”.

44 NBC show that inspired “30 Rock,” for short : SNL

“30 Rock” is a sitcom on NBC that was created by the show’s star Tina Fey. Fey plays an ex-performer and writer from “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) and uses her experiences on that show as a basis for the “30 Rock” storyline. Fey plays Liz Lemon, the head writer for the fictional sketch comedy series “TGS with Tracy Jordan”.

50 “Four Inhabitants of Mexico” painter : KAHLO

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter famous for her self-portraits. She was married to the equally famous artist Diego Rivera. Kahlo was portrayed by actress Salma Hayek in a film about her colorful life called “Frida” released in 2002.

52 Actor Hawke : ETHAN

Ethan Hawke is a Hollywood actor who made his breakthrough in a supporting role in “Dead Poet’s Society”, playing opposite Robin Williams. Hawke used to be married to Uma Thurman, with whom he has two children.

55 Valentine trim : LACE

Saint Valentine’s Day was introduced by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD to honor various martyrs with the name Valentine. However, the saint’s day was dropped by the Roman Catholic church in 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Try telling that to Hallmark though …

57 “Downton Abbey” title : LORD

In the incredibly successful period drama “Downton Abbey”, the patriarch of the family living at Downton is Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham or Lord Grantham. The character is played by Hugh Bonneville. Lord Grantham married American Cora Levinson (played by Elizabeth McGovern). Lord and Lady Grantham had three daughters, and no sons. The lack of a male heir implied that the Grantham estate would pass to a male cousin, and out of the immediate family. The Grantham daughters are Lady Mary (played by Michelle Dockery), Lady Edith (played by Laura Carmichael) and Lady Sybil (played by Jessica Brown Findlay). Lady Sybil had the audacity to marry the family chauffeur, who was an Irish nationalist. The shame of it all …

59 COO, e.g. : EXEC

Chief operating officer (COO)

61 Standard Oil brand : ESSO

The Esso brand has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

Standard Oil of Ohio was formed in 1911, and was one of the companies that resulted from the breakup of John D. Rockefeller’s behemoth Standard Oil. The company used the brand name “Sohio” at service stations within Ohio, and “Boron” in other states. Sohio merged with BP in 1968.

63 Abbr. in some vineyard names : STE

“Sainte” (ste.) is French for “saint”, when referring to a “femme” (woman).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Isabel Allende’s “In the __ of Winter” : MIDST
6 Albumen container : EGG
9 Blades on a small 12-Down, for short : PROPS
14 Words said with a shrug : I’VE NO IDEA
16 Biathlete’s equipment : RIFLE
17 Tosses a monkey wrench into : SABOTAGES
18 Site for a rite : ALTAR
19 Catch or latch follower : … ONTO
20 R&B’s Boyz II __ : MEN
21 Like some auctions : SILENT
22 Grandpa Walton, to Grandma Walton : ZEB
24 Tag sale reminder : AS IS
26 Teachers’ org. : NEA
27 Apprised (of) : ABREAST
31 Accordion fold : PLEAT
33 Like some chins : CLEFT
34 Word with history or hygiene : ORAL …
36 Puerto __ : RICO
39 Crass : RUDE
40 San Antonio team : SPURS
41 CGI birds in Liberty Mutual Insurance commercials : EMUS
42 Important stretches : ERAS
43 Tach stats : RPMS
44 Puff up : SWELL
45 Announce : STATE
47 Argentine novelist Sabato : ERNESTO
49 Wanted poster letters : AKA
51 Fill with freight : LADE
53 __ française : A LA
54 Luxury furs : SABLES
56 “90 Day Fiancé” cable channel : TLC
58 News article intro : LEDE
62 Gather wool from : SHEAR
63 Stack at Famous Footwear, and a hint to the sets of circled letters : SHOEBOXES
65 Put in office : ELECT
66 Topic of a note home, perhaps : TARDINESS
67 Big name in rain gear : TOTES
68 Terminus : END
69 Reptile with sticky toe pads : GECKO

Down

1 Soybean paste : MISO
2 Catcher Rodríguez inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017 : IVAN
3 Credit report item : DEBT
4 Total yawner : SNOOZEFEST
5 Little one : TOT
6 Perimeter : EDGE
7__ Davis Institute on Gender in Media : GEENA
8 Fuel for some grills : GAS
9 Extol : PRAISE
10 Tiny stream : RILL
11 Frequently : OFTEN TIMES
12 See 9-Across : PLANE
13 Mattress choice : SERTA
15 Sonnet line quintet : IAMBS
21 Opera virtuoso Beverly : SILLS
23 Put away : EAT
25 Few and far between : SPARSE
27 43,560 square feet : ACRE
28 Make fuzzy : BLUR
29 Visibly embarrassed : RED AS A BEET
30 Bested : TOPPED
32 Question for an astrobiologist : ARE WE ALONE?
35 Ingredient in many tropical cocktails : RUM
37 __ classic : CULT
38 Norwegian home of the Fram Museum : OSLO
40 Misses overseas: Abbr. : SRTAS
44 NBC show that inspired “30 Rock,” for short : SNL
46 Warns : ALERTS
48 Sped : RACED
49 Plus : ASSET
50 “Four Inhabitants of Mexico” painter : KAHLO
52 Actor Hawke : ETHAN
55 Valentine trim : LACE
57 “Downton Abbey” title : LORD
59 COO, e.g. : EXEC
60 Work place : DESK
61 Standard Oil brand : ESSO
63 Abbr. in some vineyard names : STE
64 Important : BIG

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 6 Oct 22, Thursday”

  1. Strait-forward Thursday puzzle. I came in at 9:13, but then it is 3:50 in the morning and I’d rather be sleeping. Insomnia is the worst.

  2. 4 and 9 minutes is still fast. I’m somewhere around 15 minutes which is normal for me on paper.

    I’ve got this big fat “A” sitting at the end of 63A. Which is the beginning of 68A. So I have AND .. instead of END. I don’t know why..

  3. No errors at the end, but I had to look up the very first
    word…”midst”…as I wasn’t familiar with that work. I knew
    that the circled words were kinds of footwear, but didn’t
    completely get the theme until “shoeboxes.” “Snoozefest”
    tickled me a lot!

  4. Tough but good. Got the theme relatively early but still had trouble with NW corner. Sorry to see so many are buying into the mis-spelling of LEAD into LEDE. Oh well, 100% is good,

  5. 8:45

    Cute, helpful theme. I saw the BOOT early on and guessed at the other shoes. Does that include the sabot in SABOTAGE?

    Still had QUEEN->SERTA, PTA->NEA in the NE corner.

    Is there any other Norwegian home that’s not in OSLO?

  6. 15:11, no errors. Wasted a bit of time in the NE because I had PTA instead of NEA. Also had SCARCE instead of SPARSE for a while until RPMS got me on the right track.

  7. Somehow this was the easiest of the week. Even Monday had given me problems. Yesterday’s puzzle was so inked up by the end, I couldn’t tell what I had.

  8. 8 minutes 33 seconds, and no errors or issues. Thought I’d be closer to Bill’s finishing time, but this won’t be the first time I am sadly disappointed on that score… 🙂

  9. 10:32 – no errors or lookups, and a couple of changes made before completing the incorrect answer.

    New: Isabelle Allende and her book, ERNESTO Sabato, “90 Day Fiance,” IVAN Rodriguez, GEENA Davis’ institute, “Fram Museum,” “Four Inhabitants of Mexico” painting. But, some were solved by the intersections, and others were most likely, such as KAHLO and GEENA once a letter or two was filled in.

    I agree that a “city in Norway” clue is practically always Oslo.

    Clever to construct five “boxes” of shoe types in a non-Sunday puzzle.

  10. I have been gone from this site for a long time. Glad to be back with a new computer! Also, Carrie & I go back a long way. Glad she is back also. A fellow So. Cal. gal. Hello Carrie!

  11. A tiny bit tricky for a Thursday; took 12:10 with no peeks or errors. No idea on ZEB, TLC and a little guessing went into ERNESTO, GEENA and IVAN. Didn’t actually pay attention to the theme.

    I agree about Oslo but there are so many other interesting Norwegian cities, jst for example TROMSØ – Northernmost city to host a UEFA Champions League match, VARDO – Northernmost major city near Russia hosting a witch memorial.

    Hi Carrie – Good to hear from you again! Stick around a little, why don’t ya.

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