LA Times Crossword 8 Jun 24, Saturday

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Constructed by: Emily Biegas & Sala Wanetick
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 11m 29s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Emmy-winning sitcom created by Susan Harris : SOAP

Former TV writer and producer Susan Harris created quite a few hit TV shows, including “Soap”, “Benson”, “The Golden Girls” and “Empty Nest”.

5 Held in suspense : BATED

To bate is to restrain, as in “with bated breath” meaning “with restrained breath”. “Bate” can also mean “lessen”, and is a shortening of “abate”.

14 Mercury Prize-winning singer-songwriter Parks : ARLO

“Arlo Parks” is the stage name of British singer and poet Anaïs Marinho. Parks seems to have hit the big time early in her career, with her first studio album “Collapsed in Sunbeams” (2021) garnering a lot of positive attention.

15 “She-Hulk” actress Renée __ Goldsberry : ELISE

Renée Elise Goldsberry is an actress and singer who is best known to me for playing the attorney Geneva Pine on the TV show “The Good Wife”. Goldsberry also originated the role of Angelica Schuyler Church in the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton”.

“She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” is a TV miniseries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that originally aired in 2022. The title character is a superhero related to the Hulk. She-Hulk’s alter ego is a lawyer named Jennifer Walters, a cousin to Bruce Banner, alter ego of the Hulk. Walters accidentally gets cross-contaminated with Banner’s blood, resulting in her gaining the superpowers of She-Hulk.

16 Decor do-over, informally : RENO

“Reno” is short for “renovation”.

17 Prosaic : UNORIGINAL

Back in the mid-17th century, something prosaic was prose-related (as opposed to poetry). A century later, the “prosaic” was used to describe writing that had the feeling of prose, as opposed to the feeling of poetry. This meaning gradually extended to “ordinary, lacking imagination or beauty”.

22 Stresses, in a way : ITERATES

The verb “to iterate” means to repeat over again. The verb “reiterate” means the same thing. One might suspect that “reiterate” is one of those words that has crept into the language due to repeated (reiterated?!) misuse. Well, that’s not quite the case, but close. Back in the 1400s, “iterate” meant “repeat”, and “reiterate” meant “repeat again and again”. We lost the distinction between those two definitions over time.

23 “The quicksand of reason,” per George Sand : VANITY

“George Sand” was the pseudonym of the very colorful French novelist Baroness Dudevant. Along with the renown that she garnered for her novels, Sand was also known for celebrated affairs with the likes of Frédéric Chopin.

27 Real mensch : GEM

“Mensch” is a word that comes to us via Yiddish, and is ultimately derived from the German “mensch” meaning “human being”. We use the term to describe someone of integrity and honor.

29 Piedmont product : ASTI

Asti is a sparkling white wine from the Piedmont region of Italy that is named for the town of Asti around which the wine is produced. The wine used to be called Asti Spumante, and it had a very bad reputation as a “poor man’s champagne”. The “Spumante” was dropped in a marketing attempt at rebranding associated with a reduction in the amount of residual sugar in the wine.

32 City in French Flanders : LILLE

Lille is a large city in the very north of France that sits right on the border with Belgium. The name “Lille” is a derivation of the term “l’isle” meaning “the island”. The former name “L’Isle” dates back to 1066, and is a reference to a castle that once stood on an island in the Deûle river that runs through the city. The city grew around the island and the castle.

39 Peachy : A-OK

Our term “A-OK” is supposedly an abbreviation for “A(ll systems are) OK”, and arose at NASA in the sixties during the space program.

44 Compass rose dir. : SSW

A compass rose is an illustration, on say a map or a monument, that is used to display the cardinal directions appropriately oriented. The term “compass rose” also describes the circular display with graduated markings that one sees on the face of a magnetic compass.

57 March Madness stage : ELITE EIGHT

In the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship, the teams remaining at various stages of the tournament are known as:

  • The “Sweet Sixteen” (the regional semi-finalists)
  • The “Elite Eight” (the regional finalists)
  • The “Final Four” (the national semi-finalists)

58 Garden veggie : CUKE

Apparently, scientists have shown that the inside of a cucumber (“cuke” for short) growing in a field can be up to twenty degrees cooler than the surrounding air. That’s something that was believed by farmers as early as the 1730s, at which time the phrase “cool as a cucumber” was coined.

59 Gulf of Aden republic : YEMEN

The Gulf of Aden is the body of water that lies south of the Red Sea, and just north of the Horn of Africa.

60 Idea shared by many : MEME

A meme (from “mineme”) is a cultural practice or idea that is passed on verbally or by repetition from one person to another. The term lends itself very well to the online world where links, emails, files etc. are so easily propagated.

62 Swelling : EDEMA

Both animals and plants can suffer from edema, which is a swelling caused by excessive accumulation of fluid.

63 Winged figure in Piccadilly Circus : EROS

London’s Piccadilly Circus is a major road junction in the West End of London. The junction is at one end of the thoroughfare called Piccadilly, hence the first part of the name. The junction’s shape is roughly circular, hence the use of “circus”, a Latin word meaning “circle”. Famously, there is a statue of Anteros at the center of the junction (a subject often mistaken for Eros, the brother of Anteros).

Down

1 Riyadh resident : SAUDI

Riyadh is the capital of Saudi Arabia, and is located near the center of the country. The name “Riyadh” translates from Arabic as “the gardens”.

8 Actor Morales : ESAI

Esai Morales is not only a successful actor, he is also a trained martial artist, having studied the Korean martial art of taekwondo since he was a teenager.

9 Cole Porter biopic starring Kevin Kline : DE-LOVELY

“De-Lovely“ is a 2004 biographical film about the life of Cole Porter. Kevin Kline plays the composer and songwriter, and Ashley Judd plays his wife Linda Lee Thomas. The movie’s title is a reference to Porter’s hit song “It’s De-Lovely”.

Cole Porter was a little unusual amongst his peers in that he was one of the few successful songwriters who wrote both lyrics and music for his compositions. Porter was seriously injured in a riding accident in his forties and was left disabled and in pain. Despite this, he continued to work and produced his most successful work after the accident.

Actor Kevin Kline stars in many of my favorite films, like “French Kiss” (in which he had a very impressive French accent) and “A Fish Called Wanda.” Kline also appeared in the romantic comedy “In & Out”, and the modern-day classic “The Big Chill”. It was while shooting “The Big Chill” that Kline met his future wife, actress Phoebe Cates.

12 “Ceci n’est pas __ pipe” : UNE

“The Treachery of Images” is a painting by René Magritte. It is a very simple image of a pipe that one might smoke, with the words “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (This is not a pipe). Magritte’s point was that the painting wasn’t a pipe, but rather an image of a pipe.

13 Compact figure? : BOD

“Body” written compactly is “bod”.

24 Decadent cake : TORTE

A torte is a type of cake made primarily with eggs, sugar and ground nuts (but no flour).

25 Joins the team? : YOKES

A yoke is a wooden beam used between a pair of animals so that they are forced to work together.

27 Hefty alternative : GLAD

Glad is a company making plastic products, especially food containers and trash bags. Glad was launched in 1963 to make Glad Wrap, a polyethylene wrap used to preserve food.

Hefty is a brand name of trash bags and related products.

30 Haruki Murakami’s “Kafka on the __” : SHORE

“Kafka on the Shore” (“Umibe no Kafuka”) is a 2002 novel by Japanese author Haruki Murakami. The book alternates, chapter by chapter, between two related storylines. One follows 15-year-old Kafka Tamura on his quest to find his mother and sister. The second follows old and infirmed Satoru Nakata, who has an uncanny ability to talk to cats.

37 Chakra that signifies the unconscious mind : THIRD EYE

The “third eye” is also known as the “inner eye”. The term refers to the concept of an invisible eye that allows one to perceive beyond ordinary sight, to gain insight.

Chakras are energy centers in the body that are believed to correspond to different aspects of the physical, emotional, and spiritual self. There are seven main chakras, located along the spine from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Each chakra is associated with a different color, element, and emotion.

44 Singer dubbed the “Tejano Madonna” : SELENA

Singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez, known professionally simply as “Selena”, was murdered in 1995 by the president of her own fan club at the height of her career. In a 1997 biopic about Selena’s life, Jennifer Lopez played the title role. Selena had often been referred to as the “Queen of Tejano” during her career.

45 Prime Day event : SALE

Prime is a paid subscription service offered by Amazon since 2005. Prime members have access to premium services such as expedited delivery, streaming music and streaming video. Amazon also holds an annual Prime Day, during which Prime members are offered deals on goods that are only available to subscribers.

51 Poor sap : SCHMO

“Schmo” (also “shmo”) is American slang for a dull or boring person that comes from the Yiddish word “shmok”.

55 Part of LGBTQIA+ or 10-J-Q-K-A : ACE

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual and others (LGBTQIA+)

An “ace” is someone who identifies as “asexual”.

56 Tucson or Santa Fe : SUV

Hyundai introduced the Santa Fe crossover SUV in 2000. Hyundai’s marketing folks position the Santa Fe above the Tucson compact crossover, and below the Veracruz mid-size crossover. That’s quite a tour of the American Southwest.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Emmy-winning sitcom created by Susan Harris : SOAP
5 Held in suspense : BATED
10 Eats : GRUB
14 Mercury Prize-winning singer-songwriter Parks : ARLO
15 “She-Hulk” actress Renée __ Goldsberry : ELISE
16 Decor do-over, informally : RENO
17 Prosaic : UNORIGINAL
19 Parroted : APED
20 “My pleasure” : DON’T MENTION IT
22 Stresses, in a way : ITERATES
23 “The quicksand of reason,” per George Sand : VANITY
26 Coolers, for short : ACS
27 Real mensch : GEM
28 Lav : LOO
29 Piedmont product : ASTI
32 City in French Flanders : LILLE
34 Bother : IRK
35 Question of when : WHAT’S TODAY’S DATE?
39 Peachy : A-OK
40 “Tell me you didn’t” : OH GOD
41 Singles : ONES
42 Wrath : IRE
43 Prefix with diversity : BIO-
44 Compass rose dir. : SSW
46 “Next week on … ” segment : TEASER
48 Most tidy : CLEANEST
53 Crunchy snack : HARD SHELL TACO
55 “Uh, no” : AS IF
57 March Madness stage : ELITE EIGHT
58 Garden veggie : CUKE
59 Gulf of Aden republic : YEMEN
60 Idea shared by many : MEME
61 Prefix on many Chinese brand names : EVER-
62 Swelling : EDEMA
63 Winged figure in Piccadilly Circus : EROS

Down

1 Riyadh resident : SAUDI
2 ” … unless you think otherwise” : … OR NOT
3 Solo : ALONE
4 Hanging in a drawing room : PORTRAIT
5 Brings about : BEGETS
6 Dress shape : A-LINE
7 Colors : TINTS
8 Actor Morales : ESAI
9 Cole Porter biopic starring Kevin Kline : DE-LOVELY
10 Wood flooring feature : GRAIN
11 Coldly calculating : REPTILIAN
12 “Ceci n’est pas __ pipe” : UNE
13 Compact figure? : BOD
18 Big Apple output : IMAC
21 William and Mary : NAMES
24 Decadent cake : TORTE
25 Joins the team? : YOKES
27 Hefty alternative : GLAD
29 Keep an eye out for : AWAIT
30 Haruki Murakami’s “Kafka on the __” : SHORE
31 “Beat it” : TAKE A HIKE
32 Letterhead image, maybe : LOGO
33 Terse oath : I DO
36 Composed : SOBER
37 Chakra that signifies the unconscious mind : THIRD EYE
38 Quiet stretch : DOWNTIME
44 Singer dubbed the “Tejano Madonna” : SELENA
45 Prime Day event : SALE
47 More cautious : SAFER
48 Ring : CHIME
49 “Who cares what they do” : LET ‘EM
50 More than ready : EAGER
51 Poor sap : SCHMO
52 “Uh, yeah” : TOTES
54 __ dog : SLED
55 Part of LGBTQIA+ or 10-J-Q-K-A : ACE
56 Tucson or Santa Fe : SUV

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 8 Jun 24, Saturday”

  1. 52 min, 2 errors

    U(D)E / RE(D)O

    tough one. Stuck it out.

    Didn’t know EVER was some kind of Chinese prefix.

    Not up on my Chakra or Haruki???

    Didn’t know ACE except as a card.

  2. As a 75 year old woman, I found this puzzle way out there. I would have to be on the TV all day long to know a lot of this stuff and I would not be watching any of the topics in this puzzle. Saturdays are for the much younger set.

  3. So opaquely clued as to be unsolveable. A shining example of “manufactured difficulty”.

    Two more constructors for my “Don’t bother” list.

    Just waiting for the grid where the clues aren’t even for the fill they describe. You know, just for fun….

  4. Only reason I try the Saturday puzzle is to kill time while riding the exercise bike. Otherwise I would just walk away feeling ignorant.

  5. 28:31 – two lookups for “Chakra” and “Kafka” clues. False starts: SANITY>VANITY, LOIRE>LILLE, LYINGEYE>THIRDEYE, KIA>SUV, LOWNOISE>DOWNTIME.

    New or forgotten: ARLO Parks, “Haruki Murakami,” “Kafka on the SHORE,” “chakra.”

    Another Saturday toughie. I often have to look up one or two things in order to complete a Saturday puzzle.

  6. No look ups, one error. Had GOM instead of
    GEM. I was thinking it was some sort of
    Yiddish term. I always thought of tidy as
    neat, not necessarily clean. Lot of strange
    clues IMHO…..

  7. A tad too difficult for me today, a day late; took 48:14 with about 8 errors and 5-6 check-grids. Got all of the bottom 2/3rds except THIRD EYE, ACE and SUV. I’ve always thought of ITERATES as going through something one step at a time, although I agree with reiterate as in “let me reiterate’ as stressing something…live and learn.

    No idea on DELOVELY, ARLO, ELISE and I whiffed on IMAC, SOBER and I stuck with sANITY before finally getting VANITY from check-grids and crosses.

    We’ve had ARLO several times now, hopefully I’ll remember it now… Looking at reviews and the trailer for She-HULK, it looks like one movie I’ll take a pass on.

  8. Stuck for quite a while, until I got the bottom third going with “hardshelltaco”. After that, crosses gave clues that sped me to the top and I finished with 2 errors, Sanity instead of vanity, redo instead of reno. 2 lookups to finish those, as I didn’t know much about Cole Porter and once again, I do not speak French so une (which corrected reno) was ude as I had redo across. I’ve said it here before, foreign words are not fair in a cw because it’s supposed to be for English speaking solvers, right? When did Los Angeles get moved to France? Oh, that’s right – it didn’t. Can’t understand the constructors fascination with French terms. Maybe they should move there and let American oriented people do the job? Anyway, that’s my rant today. Peace.

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