LA Times Crossword Answers 22 May 17, Monday










Constructed by: Jake Braun

Edited by: Rich Norris

Quicklink to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Leading MLBers

Each of today’s themed answers starts with the name of a Major League Baseball team player:

  • 69A. Sports org. for the players that begin the answers to starred clues : MLB
  • 17A. *Found middle ground : MET HALFWAY (giving “New York Met”)
  • 39A. *Hockey rink divider : RED LINE (giving “Cincinnati Red”)
  • 58A. *Shaft from the sun : RAY OF LIGHT (giving “Tampa Bay Ray”)
  • 10D. *”Unforgettable” crooner : NAT KING COLE (giving “Washington Nat”)
  • 25D. *Jimmy Olsen, notably : CUB REPORTER (giving “Chicago Cub”)
  • 26D. *”The Tonight Show” host after Johnny Carson : JAY LENO (giving “Toronto Blue Jay”)

Bill’s time: 6m 13s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

16. Scarlett’s plantation : TARA

Scarlett O’Hara’s home is the Tara plantation, in Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind”. Tara was founded not far from the Georgia city of Jonesboro by Scarlett’s father, Irish immigrant Gerald O’Hara. Gerald won the square mile of land on which Tara was built in an all-night poker game. He named his new abode after the Hill of Tara back in his home country, the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland.

17. *Found middle ground : MET HALFWAY (giving “New York Met”)

The New York Mets baseball team was founded in 1962 as a replacement for two teams that the city had lost, namely the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. For several years the Mets played very poorly, finishing no better than second-to-last in their division. Then of course along came the “Miracle Mets” (aka “Amazin’ Mets”) who beat the Baltimore Orioles in 1969 to claim the World Series in a huge upset.

19. Caesar’s stunned words : ET TU

It was Shakespeare who popularized the words “Et tu, Brute?” (And you, Brutus?), in his play “Julius Caesar”, although the phrase had been around long before he penned his drama. It’s not known what Julius Caesar actually said in real life just before he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate in Rome.

23. __ Wall Street: 2011 protest : OCCUPY

The Occupy movement is a protest directed against economic and social inequality worldwide. The first such protest to garner major attention took place in Wall Street in 2011, and from there similar protests spread around the world.

28. Resort island near Venezuela : ARUBA

Aruba is one of the so-called ABC Islands located off the northern coast of Venezuela. “ABC Islands” is a name given to the three westernmost islands of the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean. The nickname comes from the first letters of the island names: Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. All three of the ABC Islands are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

30. Rainier or Rushmore: Abbr. : MTN

Mount Rainier is an active volcano in the state of Washington in the Cascade Mountain Range. Native Americans first called the peak “Tacoma” meaning “mother of waters”. When Captain George Vancouver discovered Puget Sound in 1792, he named the peak in honor of his friend Rear Admiral Peter Rainier. There have been movements to change the name back to Tacoma, but these seem to have petered out (pun!).

The four presidents whose faces are carved in the granite face of Mount Rushmore are (from left to right) George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Each of the presidents is about 60 feet in height, although they might have been larger. The original intent was for the presidents to be depicted from head to waist, but the project lost funding.

39. *Hockey rink divider : RED LINE (giving “Cincinnati Red”)

The Red Scare (i.e. anti-communist sentiment) following WWII had such an effect on the populace that it even caused the Cincinnati baseball team to change its name from the Reds. The team was called the Cincinnati Redlegs from 1953-1958, as the management was fearful of losing money due to public distrust of any association with “Reds”.

42. 69-Across list of games, briefly : SKED

Schedule (sked)

45. Texter’s “Holy cow!” : OMG

OMG is text-speak for “Oh My Gosh!” “Oh My Goodness!” or any other G words you might think of …

48. Suffix with chlor- : -INE

Chlorine is a yellow-green gas that is very poisonous at high concentrations. As such, chlorine gas was used in WWI, earning the shameful title of the world’s first gaseous chemical weapon. Chlorine was mistakenly believed to be an oxide for many years, until English chemist Sir Humphry Davy correctly concluded that the gas was an element. Davy coined the name “chlorine”, from the Greek “chloros” meaning “”green-yellow”.

49. __ Waldo Emerson : RALPH

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an essayist and poet who was active in the mid-1800s. Most of the essays that Emerson wrote were composed originally as lectures and then revised for print. He is often referred to as “The Sage of Concord”, as Emerson spent much of his life in Concord, Massachusetts.

57. FBI employees : AGTS

What we know today as the FBI was set up in 1908 as the BOI, the Bureau of Investigation. The name was changed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935. The Bureau was set up at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt. President Roosevelt was largely moved to do so after the 1901 assassination of President McKinley, as there was a perception that anarchists were threatening law and order. The FBI’s motto uses the organization’s initialism, and is “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity”.

58. *Shaft from the sun : RAY OF LIGHT (giving “Tampa Bay Ray”)

The Tampa Bay Rays are a relatively “young” franchise, having been formed in 1998. The initial name of the franchise was the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. While known as the Devil Rays, the team finished last in the league in almost every year. The name was changed to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008, and I am told the Rays started into a streak of winning seasons soon after.

64. Fictional pirate often addressed as “Mr.” : SMEE

In J. M. Barrie’s play and novel about Peter Pan, Smee is one of Captain Hook’s pirates and is Hook’s right-hand man. Smee is described by Barrie as being “Irish” and “a man who stabbed without offence”. Nice guy! Captain Hook and Smee sail on the pirate ship called the Jolly Roger.

65. Like basic wall switches : ON/OFF

Not only did I have to learn new spellings of words when I moved here from Ireland (here I go, whining again!) but I had to learn that down is the “off” position for a switch most times, and up is the “on” position. It’s exactly the opposite on the other side of the pond. Have I ever ranted about the steering wheel position in the car? Aaargh!

66. Boyfriend : BEAU

A “beau” is the boyfriend of a “belle”, a young lady. “Beau” and “belle” are the masculine and feminine forms of the French word for “handsome, beautiful”.

67. “B.C.” cartoonist Johnny : HART

“B.C.” is a comic strip that was drawn by Johnny Hart, and now since Hart’s passing, is produced by his grandson. Hart introduced “B.C.” in 1958. One of the non-human characters in the strip is the Anteater, who sucks up ants with his sticky tongue making a “ZOT” sound. Hart’s Anteater is the inspiration for Peter the Anteater, the team mascot for UC Irvine. Johnny Hart’s other famous comic strip is the brilliant “The Wizard of Id”.

69. Sports org. for the players that begin the answers to starred clues : MLB

Major League Baseball (MLB)

Down

4. Like many pretzels : SALTY

Pretzels originated in Europe and are especially popular in Southern Germany where a pretzel is known as “Brezel”. Pretzels were introduced into the US in the 1800s by immigrants from Germany and Switzerland who came to be known over here as the Pennsylvania Dutch.

7. Actress Thurman : UMA

Uma Thurman started her working career as a fashion model, at the age of 15. She appeared in her first movies at 17, with her most acclaimed early role being Cécile de Volanges in 1988’s “Dangerous Liaisons”. Thurman’s career really took off when she played the gangster’s “moll” in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” in 1994. My favorite of all Thurman’s movies is “The Truth About Cats & Dog’s”, a less acclaimed romcom released in 1996. She took a few years off from 1998 until 2002, doing very little work in favor of motherhood. It was Tarantino who relaunched her career, giving her the lead in the “Kill Bill” films.

10. *”Unforgettable” crooner : NAT KING COLE (giving “Washington Nat”)

Nat King Cole’s real name was Nathaniel Adams Coles. Cole made television history in 1956 when his own show debuted on NBC, a first for an African-American. Cole couldn’t pick up a national sponsor, so in order to save money and possibly save the show, many guest artists worked for no fee at all – the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte and Peggy Lee. The show survived for a year, but eventually Nat King Cole had to pull the plug on it himself.

Natalie Cole is the daughter of Nat King Cole. Natalie’s mother was Maria Cole, a singer with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. The most famous version of the hit song “Unforgettable” was released in 1951 by Nat King Cole. In 1991, Natalie Cole recorded a version that was mixed with an earlier 1961 version sung by her father, creating an “unforgettable” father-daughter duet that was made 26 years after Nat King Cole had passed away.

The Washington Nationals (“The Nats”) baseball team started out life as the Montreal Expos in 1969, and were the first Major League Baseball team in Canada. The Expos moved to Washington in 2005 becoming the Nats. There are only two Major Leagues teams that have never played in a World Series, one being the Mariners and the other the Nats.

11. Soviet cooperative : ARTEL

The Russian cooperative associations known as artels were often pretty informal affairs. Basically any group could get together and form an artel for any specific commercial purpose … anything from gold-mining and fishing, to stealing and begging.

18. Live-in household helper : AU PAIR

An au pair is a domestic assistant from a foreign country working and living as part of a host family. The term “au pair” is French, and means “on a par”, indicating that an au pair is treated as an equal in the host family.

22. Sleep stage : REM

“REM” is an acronym, short for Rapid Eye Movement sleep. REM sleep takes up 20-25% of the sleeping hours and is the period associated with one’s most vivid dreams.

23. Desert respites : OASES

An isolated area of vegetation in a desert is called an oasis (plural “oases”). As water is needed for plant growth, an oasis might also include a spring, pond or small lake.

24. Sound from a lily pad : CROAK

Water lilies have leaves and flowers that float on the surface of a body of water. However, the roots of the plant are embedded in soil, soil at the bottom of the pond or lake.

25. *Jimmy Olsen, notably : CUB REPORTER (giving “Chicago Cub”)

In the “Superman” stories, Jimmy Olsen is a cub photographer who works on the “Daily Planet” newspaper with Clark Kent and Lois Lane.

26. *”The Tonight Show” host after Johnny Carson : JAY LENO (giving “Toronto Blue Jays”)

“The Tonight Show” has had six permanent hosts so far:

  • Steve Allen (1954-57)
  • Jack Paar (1957-62)
  • Johnny Carson (1962–92)
  • Jay Leno (1992–2009, 2010–14)
  • Conan O’Brien (2009–10)
  • Jimmy Fallon (2014–present)

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.

40. Jazzman Garner : ERROLL

Erroll Garner was a jazz pianist and composer. Garner’s most famous composition by far is 1954’s “Misty”, which has become a jazz standard.

47. Toronto’s prov. : ONT

The Canadian province of Ontario takes its name from the Great Lake. In turn, Lake Ontario’s name is thought to be derived from “Ontari:io”, a Huron word meaning “great lake”. Ontario is home to the nation’s capital of Ottawa as well as Toronto, Canada’s most populous city (and the capital of the province).

50. Actor’s unwritten line : AD LIB

“Ad libitum” is a Latin phrase meaning “at one’s pleasure”. In common usage the phrase is usually shortened to “ad lib”. On the stage the concept of an “ad lib” is very familiar.

52. Igneous rock, once : MAGMA

Magma is the molten material below the Earth’s surface. When magma cools, it forms igneous rock. “Magma” is a Greek term used for a thick ointment.

59. Santa __ winds : ANA

The Santa Ana winds are the very dry air currents that sweep offshore late in the year in Southern California. Because these air currents are so dry, they are noted for their influence over forest fires in the area, especially in the heat of the fall. The winds arise from a buildup of air pressure in the Great Basin that lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Under the right conditions, that air spills over the peaks of the Sierra Nevada and basically “falls” down the side of the Sierra range, heading for the ocean. As the air falls it becomes drier and heats up so that relative humidity can fall to below 10% by the time it hits the coast.

60. Partner of hither : YON

“Hither and yon” is a phrase meaning “from here to over there”.

62. Uncooperative “2001” computer : HAL

In Arthur C. Clarke’s “Space Odyssey” (famously adapted for the big screen as “2001: A Space Odyssey”) the computer system that went rogue was called HAL 9000, or simply “HAL”. HAL stands for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer. Even though, Clarke denied it, there’s a good argument that can be made that the acronym HAL is a veiled reference to IBM, the big player in the world of computing at the time of the novel’s publication (1968). The acronym HAL is just a one-letter shift from the initials “IBM”.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Task : JOB

4. Suddenly paid attention : SAT UP

9. Take __: snooze : A NAP

13. Wows : AWES

15. One may drift in from the kitchen : AROMA

16. Scarlett’s plantation : TARA

17. *Found middle ground : MET HALFWAY (giving “New York Met”)

19. Caesar’s stunned words : ET TU

20. Dirt road depressions : RUTS

21. Tots’ three-wheelers : TRIKES

23. __ Wall Street: 2011 protest : OCCUPY

26. Kind of delinquent : JUVENILE

28. Resort island near Venezuela : ARUBA

29. Chart with roads : MAP

30. Rainier or Rushmore: Abbr. : MTN

31. Sad sound : SOB

32. “It’s my call” : I SAY SO

35. Eye provocatively : OGLE

38. Corn serving : EAR

39. *Hockey rink divider : RED LINE (giving “Cincinnati Red”)

41. 102, to Caesar : CII

42. 69-Across list of games, briefly : SKED

44. Garden-tidying gadget : WEEDER

45. Texter’s “Holy cow!” : OMG

46. In favor of : PRO

48. Suffix with chlor- : -INE

49. __ Waldo Emerson : RALPH

51. Reach a total of : AMOUNT TO

54. Self-effacing : MODEST

55. Friendliness : WARMTH

56. Temporary calm : LULL

57. FBI employees : AGTS

58. *Shaft from the sun : RAY OF LIGHT (giving “Tampa Bay Ray”)

64. Fictional pirate often addressed as “Mr.” : SMEE

65. Like basic wall switches : ON/OFF

66. Boyfriend : BEAU

67. “B.C.” cartoonist Johnny : HART

68. Would like : WANTS

69. Sports org. for the players that begin the answers to starred clues : MLB

Down

1. Rush hour tie-up : JAM

2. Have to pay : OWE

3. Racetrack risk : BET

4. Like many pretzels : SALTY

5. Cousins of woofs : ARFS

6. Stranded motorist’s need : TOW

7. Actress Thurman : UMA

8. Fee-based home entertainment : PAY TV

9. Eroded, as savings : ATE INTO

10. *”Unforgettable” crooner : NAT KING COLE (giving “Washington Nat”)

11. Soviet cooperative : ARTEL

12. Temporary stop : PAUSE

14. Foundation plant : SHRUB

18. Live-in household helper : AU PAIR

22. Sleep stage : REM

23. Desert respites : OASES

24. Sound from a lily pad : CROAK

25. *Jimmy Olsen, notably : CUB REPORTER (giving “Chicago Cub”)

26. *”The Tonight Show” host after Johnny Carson : JAY LENO (giving “Toronto Blue Jays”)

27. Opportunity for growth : UPSIDE

29. Finally arrived : MADE IT

33. Stitch : SEW

34. Winner’s number : ONE

36. Uneven gaits : LIMPS

37. Quarterfinal contestants count : EIGHT

40. Jazzman Garner : ERROLL

43. Percussionist’s kit : DRUM SET

47. Toronto’s prov. : ONT

50. Actor’s unwritten line : AD LIB

51. Flooded : AWASH

52. Igneous rock, once : MAGMA

53. Fielder’s assist, e.g. : THROW

54. Bobbles : MUFFS

56. Hit high into the air : LOFT

59. Santa __ winds : ANA

60. Partner of hither : YON

61. Precious stone : GEM

62. Uncooperative “2001” computer : HAL

63. Spot for a bath : TUB

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18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 22 May 17, Monday”

  1. Bobbles=MUFFS, anyone?

    Didn’t use the theme. Wouldn’t have helped the likes of me. (This is Sfingi, who has lost my identity after last computer scrub)

  2. A typical Monday, but it had a few areas where I had to think (ugh). Liked the baseball theme.

    As far as I’m concerned, the Tonight Show ended when Johnny Carson retired. The rest don’t count.

    ARTEL was not something I didn’t know. I wikied it and the term pretty much disappeared in the 1950’s when the Soviet state took over almost everything. It’s history in Russian and early Soviet culture is pretty interesting. It worked largely because slackers could be kicked out of the ARTEL, but it was essentially pooling resources to make money – legal or otherwise.

    @Anon
    MUFFS is something that’s used in football a lot. For example, if someone bobbles a punt while trying to catch he is said to have MUFFed it. I’m sure there are other examples, but that one came to mind.

    Best –

    1. …”not something I didn’t know”?? I guess my coffee hadn’t kicked in yet this morning. It was indeed something I did not know….Or better yet – It wasn’t something I knew…

      Best –

  3. Curiously challenging, for a Monday. It took me more time and a lot more thinking than I normally expect – but I really enjoyed the puzzle, got the theme, and so on. I have a lot of tasks on my desk, and a lot of work to be done.

    Spent part of my weekend playing,’Go’ …. the game is much tougher than I thought and my successes were very few and far between. This game is as complicated, as chess !!! I don’t think I’ll be playing it too much anymore.

    Thanks to Bill’s blog, I took the opportunity to read up about Aruba, once more. I keep thinking Aruba is an independent nation, based on the fact that they have their own flag, and national anthem ….. but as I read, the ‘independence’ movement has, fortunately, stalled and is currently ‘dead in the water’. This very good, for, thanks to their alliance with the Netherlands, they enjoy a great and stable government, a peaceful and prosperous economy, and the highest standards of living and per-capita income and per-capita GDP in South America. Although, they are not a part of the E.U. and do not use Euros, ( they have the Aruban florin – ) their economy is very dynamic and tourism is at full swing. Good for them !

    Have a nice day, all you folks,

  4. So, it’s sports. That’s why I didn’t know it.

    I liked Leno. I think it’s an age thing. Jimmy Fallon’s a nice kid, but wiggles too much. OMG you must be older than I! (This is Sfingi, still missing my handle. Gotta march back to Best Buy)

  5. ARTEL is new to me.
    ATE away before INTO.
    Impressive long answers for a Monday.
    Glad the perps gave me RED LINE. I know zip about hockey.
    Nice to see ERROLL GARNER, NAT KING COLE and DRUM SET in a puzzle. 🙂

  6. I love to do Monday (Tuesday? / Wednesday?) LAT theme puzzles. I never look at the “theme” clues until I absolutely have to (got them all today without peeking). I obviously don’t care about my time, just getting all the right answers before lunch. Three letter MLB team theme is right up my alley.

  7. After 30+ years, sadly, we are going digital with our newspaper. I will miss the newsprint on my hand, the smell and doing the crossword in ink! I remember someone on here writing about where they do the digital versions of the crossword. I looked at the paper’s website, but it is full of ads and is annoying. Is there a website or app? Thank you ?

    1. @Laura
      The LA Times website is indeed so ad-laden that it’s unusable (I run ad filters because sites do this, the count I took one time was in the 50’s, but they make it tricky to get to the site otherwise). I’ve noted a few times myself that I couldn’t do them online either very quickly or at all. If you got the ability to print them out, you can always do that. I’ve especially found out (for late week stuff) that it’s handy for my ability to keep at it, physically. Didn’t think I’d end up using my printer that much, but I have. Of course, the handy part of online stuff is the number of puzzles you can obtain from different sources. I still do NYT with news print, because that’s the easiest/cheapest way I can get it, but probably would subscribe to that before a paper at this point.

      Anyhow, the site that Jeff mentions is here.

  8. @Laura –

    Pookie recommended a site a while back that I’ve really gotten to like. No ads or pop ups. It’s the mensa site. You can just Google “Mensa LA Times Crossword”, or their site is http://www.us.mensa.org and you can find the LA Times crossword there.

    I’m still clinging on for dear life to my print newspaper until the Houston Chronicle angers me again – at which point I’ll probably join the digital crowd. I still do a lot of the NYT crosswords online as well as the LA Times Sunday where I use this Mensa site.

    Hope it works for you.

    Best –

    1. The cost was getting out of hand, and they weren’t willing to bring the price down enough to make it worthwhile. Thank for the help!

  9. Pretty straight forward puzzle today. Didn’t know ARTEL or ERROLL, but got them with crosses.

    I prefer the print version too. I like reading the paper with it splayed out on my kitchen table while I have my morning coffee. Then I leisurely do the puzzles throughout the day.

    @Laura – you could try printing the crosswords then you could still do them in ink. That’s what I do when we have been away from home for a while. Print out the puzzles I’ve missed that is … not doing them in ink! It’s pencil only for me.
    Cheers. ?

  10. I sound like a broken record……BUT……….
    The Mensa site, and GET A…… FRIXION…… PEN ! ! !
    It’s ink that ERASES.
    Also used by quilters to mark fabric and disappears when ironed.
    Stopped by the quilt shop today after an eye exam and was called into action to remove a baby lizard from scaring everyone silly.
    Got a small cardboard box and “herded it into its safe place” and took it outside to the bushes. (slither, slither)
    I shall now be named “The Lizard Herder” or (The Lizard Whisperer”)
    Thank you very much.

    1. Pookie, you’re my hero. How are you w/ snakes? I find garter snakes in my garden and they nearly give me heart failure. I’m sure my heart isn’t meant to beat that fast. It doesn’t matter how many times I remind myself that garter snakes are harmless to me and good for the garden, they still scare me to death! A biologist told my husband that garter snakes are like homing pigeons, they come back (in the spring), so there’s no point in catching them and taking them for a ride into the hills.

  11. LOL– Great comments y’all! And wonderful write-up today! ??
    Pretty easy puzzle, but I made the Monday Breeze mistake: I rushed thru and ended up with a lot of Wite Out moments.
    Love the baseball theme, tho I didn’t use it to solve. ⚾
    Love Nat King Cole…???
    Pookie and Bella, I have many lizards in my yard at spring time! Wonder if they’re like garter snakes, returning every year? Or probably they just scurry below ground during winter. They’re the only slithery creatures​ that don’t scare me.
    Weather in LA finally cooled down, and so have I.
    Sweet dreams~~™?

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