LA Times Crossword 5 Jun 24, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Joe Deeney
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Wisecrack

Themed answers each include a CRACKED “WI-SE”, each starts with WI- and ends with -SE:

  • 62A Snappy remark, and a feature of four long answers in this puzzle : WISECRACK
  • 18A No matter the outcome : WIN OR LOSE
  • 25A Pairing at a cocktail party : WINE AND CHEESE
  • 38A Presidential warm-weather getaway : WINTER WHITE HOUSE
  • 49A Peripheral with a dongle : WIRELESS MOUSE

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

Bill’s time: 7m 20s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Yoda trainee : JEDI

The Jedi are the good guys in the “Star Wars” series of movies. The most famous Jedi knights from the films are Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness, and later Ewan McGregor) and Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz). Well, they’re my favorites anyway …

20 San Francisco-to-Salt Lake City interstate : EIGHTY

Interstate 80 is the second-longest highway in the US (after I-90). It runs east-west from San Francisco, California to Teaneck, New Jersey. I-80 largely follows the route of the first road across America, the historic Lincoln Highway.

24 Actor Cariou : LEN

Len Cariou is a Canadian actor who is famous for his Broadway portrayal of “Sweeney Todd”. I most recognize Cariou from supporting roles in “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Thirteen Days”, two great movies.

28 Nevada whose mystery novels are set in national parks : BARR

Nevada Barr is an author noted for her series of mystery novels set in National Parks that feature park ranger and detective Anna Pigeon.

31 Udon alternative : SOBA

Soba is a thin Japanese noodle made from buckwheat flour. In Japan, the word “soba” tends to describe any thin noodle, in contrast with the thicker noodle called “udon”.

38 Presidential warm-weather getaway : WINTER WHITE HOUSE

The phrase “Winter White House” is used to describe a secondary residence used by a US president, other than Camp David. The first use of the term was in the late 1960s, describing the compound in Key Biscayne, Florida owned by President Richard Nixon.

44 Chestnut horse : SORREL

The sorrel color of horse is a copper-red, although the term is often used these days to describe any horse with chestnut coloring.

46 Photoreceptor cell : CONE
[63D Photoreceptor cell : ROD]

The retina is the tissue that lines the inside of the eye, and is the tissue that is light-sensitive. There are (mainly) two types of cells in the retina that are sensitive to light, namely rods and cones. Rods are cells that best function in very dim light and only provide black-and-white vision. Cones on the other hand function in brighter light and can perceive color.

48 Jeans line : SEAM

The French phrase “bleu de Gênes” (blue of Genoa) gives us our word “jeans”.

49 Peripheral with a dongle : WIRELESS MOUSE

The computer mouse was invented at the Stanford Research Institute in 1963, by one Douglas Engelbart. Sadly for him, his patent ran out before mice became standard equipment on computers, so he never made any money from his amazing invention.

55 Minecraft material : ORE

Minecraft is a video game that was released in 2011. It is the most popular video game of all time, with well over 200 million units sold.

56 “¿Qué __?” : PASA

In Spanish, ¿Qué pasa? translates literally as “what’s happening?” It is used to mean “how are things going for you?”.

60 Shape on a bingo card : SQUARE

Our game Bingo is a derivative of an Italian lottery game called “Il Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia” that became popular in the 16th-century.

64 Toyota full-size pickup : TUNDRA

The Toyota Tundra was the first full-size pickup truck to be manufactured in North America by a Japanese automobile company.

65 Diva’s time to shine : ARIA

The term “diva” comes to us from Latin via Italian. It is the feminine form of “divus” meaning “divine one”. The word is used in Italy to mean “goddess” or “fine lady”, and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

67 Unsuccessful Ford : EDSEL

The Edsel brand of automobile was named for Edsel, son of Henry Ford. Sadly, the name “Edsel” has become synonymous with “failure”, which was no fault of Edsel himself who had died several years before the Edsel line was introduced. When the Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel on 4 September 1957, Ford proclaimed the day to be “E Day”.

68 Costner’s “The Untouchables” role : NESS

“The Untouchables” is a 1957 memoir by famed Prohibition agent Eliot Ness. The book was adapted into a TV show of the same name in the late fifties and early sixties, starring Robert Stack as Ness. The same memoir was the basis of the 1987 film, again of the same name, with Kevin Costner in the lead role.

Down

1 Spielberg thriller set on Amity Island : JAWS

“Jaws” is a thrilling 1975 movie directed by Steven Spielberg that is based on a novel of the same name by Peter Benchley. The film has a powerful cast, led by Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw. “Jaws” was perhaps the first summer blockbuster and had the highest box office take in history up to that time, which was a record that stood until “Star Wars” was released two years later.

8 Bardly before : ERE

The original bards were storytellers, poets and composers of music in medieval Britain and Ireland, with the term coming from the Old Celtic word “bardos” that described a poet or singer. I guess the most famous bard was William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon.

10 Sect that adheres to Ordnung : AMISH

The Amish are members of a group of Christian churches, and a subgroup of the Mennonite churches. The Amish church originated in Switzerland and Alsace in 1693 when it was founded by Jakob Ammann. It was Ammann who gave the name to the Amish people. Many Amish people came to Pennsylvania in the 18th century.

The rules of the Amish Church are known as the “Ordnung”. It is the Ordnung that defines the rules related to everyday aspects of Amish life, such as limitations in clothing that can be worn, and in the use of technology. “Ordnung” is a German word meaning “order, rule”.

12 Style that includes designer yoga pants : ATHLEISURE

The wearing of clothing designed for athletic activity in casual, non-athletic environments is termed “athleisure”, which is a portmanteau of “athletic” and “leisure”.

17 “Auld Lang __” : SYNE

The song “Auld Lang Syne” is a staple at New Year’s Eve (well, actually in the opening minutes of New Year’s Day). The words were written by Scottish poet Robbie Burns. The literal translation of “Auld Lang Syne” is “old long since”, but is better translated as “old times”. The sentiment of the song is “for old time’s sake”.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For days of auld lang syne

26 Sushi wrapper : NORI

Nori is an edible seaweed that we used to know as “laver” when we were living in Wales. Nori is usually dried into thin sheets. Here in the US, we are most familiar with nori as the seaweed used as a wrap for sushi.

28 “Speaking of which,” briefly : BTW

By the way (BTW)

29 MSNBC host Melber : ARI

Ari Melber is a television journalist and the chief legal correspondent for MSNBC. He started hosting his own daily show called “The Beat with Ari Melber” in 2017.

35 Onetime breakfast option marketed by a 1980s TV icon : MR T CEREAL

“Mr. T Cereal” was a breakfast cereal produced by Quaker Oats in the 1908s and 1990s. There was a picture of Mr. T on the box, and the pieces of cereal were in the shape of the letter T. Apparently, it tasted like Quaker Oats’ other cereal Cap’n Crunch.

41 Neptune’s domain : SEA

Neptune was a Roman god, of both the sea and of freshwater. He was sometimes known as “Neptunus Equester” as he was also the god of horses and patron of horse-racing.

42 Tree with serrated leaves : ELM

Elms are a genus of tree comprising 30-40 different species. Sadly, most elm trees in the world have died in recent decades due to the spread of Dutch elm disease.

45 Langoustine soup : BISQUE

A traditional bisque is a creamy soup made from crustaceans such as lobster, crab or shrimp. The term “bisque” probably comes from the Bay of “Biscay” off the west coast of France, a nod to the French origin of the soup and its seafood content. So, if you see a vegetable “bisque” in a restaurant, you’ll know that the term is being misused …

The langoustine is a relatively small species of lobster found in the northeast of the Atlantic and in parts of the Mediterranean. I remember langoustines turning up regularly on menus back in Ireland, where they are known as Dublin Bay prawns.

47 Red Delicious kin : EMPIRE

The Empire apple cultivar was developed at Cornell University in Geneva, New York and introduced to the public in 1966. The name “empire” was chosen in recognition of the cultivar’s birthplace, the Empire State.

49 Dominic of “The Crown” : WEST

Dominic West is an actor from England who first came to national attention in this country playing Irish-American detective Jim McNulty in “The Wire”. West is the first cousin once removed of Thomas Eagleton, an American politician who was briefly the Democratic vice presidential nominee under George McGovern.

“The Crown” is a historical drama produced for Netflix that covers the life of British Queen Elizabeth II from her marriage to Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. For the first two seasons, Elizabeth is played by Claire Foy and Philip by Matt Smith. For the next two seasons, Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies take over as Elizabeth and Philip. The show finishes up with Imelda Staunton and Jonathan Pryce in the roles.

50 “Casablanca” actor Peter : LORRE

Peter Lorre was the first actor to play a James Bond villain, doing so in a 1954 TV adaptation of the Ian Fleming novel “Casino Royale”. Bond was played by American actor Barry Nelson, Lorre played Le Chiffre.

The movie “Casablanca” was released in January of 1943, timed to coincide with the Casablanca Conference, the high-level meeting between Roosevelt and Churchill. The film wasn’t a box-office hit, but gained critical acclaim, winning three Oscars including Best Picture. The signature song “As Time Goes By” was written many years earlier for a 1931 Broadway musical called “Everybody’s Welcome”, and was a hit in 1931 for Rudy Vallee. But today we all remember the Casablanca version, sung by Dooley Wilson (who played “Sam” in the film). Poor Dooley didn’t get to record it as a single, due to a musician’s strike in 1943. The 1931 Rudy Vallee version was re-released that year and became an even bigger hit second time round.

51 Spot for a much-needed drink, perhaps : OASIS

The most famous oasis in the US is … Las Vegas, which is located in the middle of the Mojave Desert.

53 Cul-de-__ : SAC

Even though “cul-de-sac” can indeed mean “bottom-of-the-bag” in French, the term “cul-de-sac” is of English origin. The term was introduced in aristocratic circles at a time when it was considered very fashionable to speak French. Dead-end streets in France are usually signposted with just a symbol and no accompanying words, but if words are included they are “voie sans issue”, meaning “way without exit”.

57 Amusingly unconventional : ZANY

Something described as zany is clownish and bizarre. “Zany” can also be a noun, a term used for a clown or buffoon. The original noun was “Zanni”, a Venetian dialect variant of Gianni, short for Giovanni (John). Zanni was a character who appeared in comedy plays of the day, and was someone who aped the principal actors.

58 “Behold!” of old : ECCE!

“Ecce!” is Latin for “look!” or “behold!”

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Yoda trainee : JEDI
5 Superhero accessory : CAPE
9 Bar food? : SALAD
14 Got rid of : AXED
15 Smell : ODOR
16 Overacts : EMOTES
18 No matter the outcome : WIN OR LOSE
20 San Francisco-to-Salt Lake City interstate : EIGHTY
21 Pig’s digs : STY
22 Make yawn : BORE
23 Fingers : IDS
24 Actor Cariou : LEN
25 Pairing at a cocktail party : WINE AND CHEESE
28 Nevada whose mystery novels are set in national parks : BARR
31 Udon alternative : SOBA
32 Trivial objection : NIT
33 Irrefutable statement : TRUISM
36 Greens over : RESODS
38 Presidential warm-weather getaway : WINTER WHITE HOUSE
43 Stew : SEETHE
44 Chestnut horse : SORREL
45 “And there you go!” : BAM!
46 Photoreceptor cell : CONE
48 Jeans line : SEAM
49 Peripheral with a dongle : WIRELESS MOUSE
54 Spanish “that” : ESO
55 Minecraft material : ORE
56 “¿Qué __?” : PASA
57 One in a zillion? : ZEE
60 Shape on a bingo card : SQUARE
62 Snappy remark, and a feature of four long answers in this puzzle : WISECRACK
64 Toyota full-size pickup : TUNDRA
65 Diva’s time to shine : ARIA
66 At some point in the past : ONCE
67 Unsuccessful Ford : EDSEL
68 Costner’s “The Untouchables” role : NESS
69 Went green? : DYED

Down

1 Spielberg thriller set on Amity Island : JAWS
2 Stage direction : EXIT
3 Publicist’s recommendation, perhaps : DENY
4 Unmarried person’s last words : I DO
5 Subtitle intro : COLON
6 Dig a lot : ADORE
7 Pretend to be : POSE AS
8 Bardly before : ERE
9 Some pods : SEEDCASES
10 Sect that adheres to Ordnung : AMISH
11 Piece of firewood : LOG
12 Style that includes designer yoga pants : ATHLEISURE
13 More than loathe : DETEST
17 “Auld Lang __” : SYNE
19 Stat for a slugger : RBI
23 “Seems highly likely” : I’D BET
25 “Keep in touch!” : WRITE ME!
26 Sushi wrapper : NORI
27 Back : ENDORSE
28 “Speaking of which,” briefly : BTW
29 MSNBC host Melber : ARI
30 Chases a toddler, say : RUNS AROUND
34 “Catch my drift?” : SEE?
35 Onetime breakfast option marketed by a 1980s TV icon : MR T CEREAL
37 “There it is!” : OHO!
39 “__ side are you on?” : WHOSE
40 Farm layers : HENS
41 Neptune’s domain : SEA
42 Tree with serrated leaves : ELM
45 Langoustine soup : BISQUE
47 Red Delicious kin : EMPIRE
49 Dominic of “The Crown” : WEST
50 “Casablanca” actor Peter : LORRE
51 Spot for a much-needed drink, perhaps : OASIS
52 “__ directed” : USE AS
53 Cul-de-__ : SAC
57 Amusingly unconventional : ZANY
58 “Behold!” of old : ECCE!
59 __ out a living : EKED
61 App annoyances : ADS
62 Pallid : WAN
63 Photoreceptor cell : ROD

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 5 Jun 24, Wednesday”

  1. 17 min, 2 errors
    (B)ESODS / NO(B)I

    When I saw NORI , I went DOH!

    I realized the W was in front but didn’t take the time to see the “crack” in the word.

  2. I also started 1A with Luke until nothing fit around it. And I got the WI pattern in the answers but missed the SE at the end. I even caught most of the little plays on words. My downfall was the SOBA/NORI cross….guess I just don’t know my Asian style foods.
    Still, fun challenging puzzle.

  3. 12 mins, 27 sec, and surprisingly no errors. Not really happy with “non-words” like ATHLEISURE (says no one, ever). And having WINTERWHITEHOUSE described as a “WARM weather getaway” is nettlesome in the extreme. Makes one feel like they’re being tricked.

    C- is the best I can do for this unenjoyable grid

  4. 9:42 – no errors or lookups. False starts: SOBE (oops, that’s the drink)>SOBA, WIN__LESS>WIRELESS (the first 3 theme answers started with WIN).

    New or forgotten: Nevada BARR, “Ordnung,” MRTCEREAL, EMPIRE apple, Dominic WEST.

    A nice little theme.

    First thought that “photoreceptor cell” referred to solar energy. It’s also a duplicated clue.

  5. I got the theme ok, I just wanted to throw the puzzle across the room. Too many clues that could be anything: “And There You Go”, “Seems Highly Likely”, “There It Is”. Does anyone else hate these clues? Plus, the crosses of Soba and Nori just put a bad taste in my mouth for the entire puzzle.

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