LA Times Crossword 10 May 19, Friday

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Constructed by: Rich Proulx
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: T-Bird

We join the 21 letters T in the grid, and that draws the outline of a BIRD:

  • 58A Classic car … and a hint to the hidden image you can draw using 21 identical squares in this grid : T-BIRD

Bill’s time: 12m 57s

Bill’s errors: 3

  • DUBITABLE (debatable!!)
  • CULTIST (celtist!)
  • HAJI (haja!)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Confidentially informs : BCCS

A blind carbon copy (bcc) is a copy of a document or message that is sent to someone without other recipients of the message knowing about that extra copy.

13 Solar panel site : ROOF

Solar panels are arrays of solar cells that make use of what’s known as the photovoltaic effect. We are more likely to have learned about the photoelectric effect in school, in which electrons were ejected from the surface of some materials when it was exposed to light or other forms of radiation. The photovoltaic effect is related but different. Instead of being electrons ejected from the surface, in the photovoltaic effect electrons move around in the material creating a difference in voltage.

14 Chili partner : CARNE

The full name of the dish that is often called simply “chili” is “chili con carne”, Spanish for “peppers with meat”. The dish was created by immigrants from the Spanish Canary Islands in the city of San Antonio, Texas (a city which the islanders founded). The San Antonio Chili Stand was a popular attraction at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and that stand introduced the dish to the rest of America and to the world.

15 Words that can precede and follow “what” : IT IS

It is what it is.

16 BB, e.g. : AMMO

A BB gun is an air pistol or rifle that shoots birdshot known as BBs. Birdshot comes in a number of different sizes, from size 9 (0.070″ in diameter) to size FF (.230″). Birdshot that is size BB (0.180″ in diameter) gives the airgun its name.

17 “Waiting for Lefty” playwright : ODETS

Clifford Odets was a playwright, screenwriter and director from Philadelphia. “Waiting for Lefty” was the first play by Clifford Odets that made it to stage, in 1935. The storyline deals with cab drivers who are planning a strike. Famously, the play breaks through the “fourth wall” by placing actors within the audience who react to the action taking place on the stage.

18 Native of Riga : LETT

Latvia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs). People from Latvia are called Letts.

Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city’s magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

19 FCC chairman Ajit __ : PAI

Ajit Pai is a lawyer who was appointed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) by President Obama, and who was designated the FCC’s chairman by President Trump. Pai is seen by most as the person behind the repeal of the Net neutrality rules put in place by the Obama administration.

20 Bichon __: dogs with fluffy coats : FRISES

The breed of dog known as a Bichon Frisé is characteristically small and fluffy.

21 Early smartphone : TREO

The Treo is a smartphone that was originally developed by a company called Handspring. Handspring was bought by Palm Inc. Subsequently, the Treo was phased out and replaced by the Palm Pre.

22 Mole sauce chili : ANCHO

An ancho is a dried poblano pepper that is used in Mexican cuisine. The poblano is a mild chili.

Mole sauce comes in various guises, with “mole negro” including everyone’s favorite ingredient, namely chocolate.

24 Classic guitar, briefly : STRAT

The Stratocaster (often “Strat”) is an electric guitar made by Fender since 1954. The company that made Fender electric guitars was founded in Fullerton, California in 1946 by Leo Fender.

26 One verifying safe arrivals? : UMP

That would be baseball.

34 How some nursery-rhyme men traveled : IN A TUB

The nursery rhyme “Rub-a-Dub-Dub” dates back to at least 1798 when it was first published in London:

Rub-a-dub-dub,
Three men in a tub,
And how do you think they got there?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick-maker,
They all jumped out of a rotten potato,
‘Twas enough to make a man stare.

36 Outspoken chef Gordon : RAMSAY

Gordon Ramsay is a celebrity chef from Scotland who appears more on US television now than he does on British TV. Personally, I think the man is pretty obnoxious.

39 Wyatt of “People of Earth” : CENAC

Wyatt Cenac is a comedian and writer from New York City who was raised in Dallas. Cenac worked for three years as a writer for the TV show “KIng of the Hill” before joining “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” as writer and correspondent.

“People of Earth” is a sci-fi comedy show on TBS. It’s all about a support group for alien abductees, as well as some of the aliens that did the abducting.

43 Monopoly piece : HOTEL

In the game of Monopoly, one can purchase a hotel by “demolishing” four houses and by paying an extra amount equal to the price of one house.

46 Open to question : DUBITABLE

Something dubitable is open to question, open to “doubt”.

48 Actress Gardner : AVA

Ava Gardner is noted for her association with some big movies, but also for her association with some big names when it came to the men in her life. In the world of film, she appeared in the likes of “Mogambo” (1953), “On the Beach” (1959), “The Night of the Iguana” (1964) and “Earthquake” (1974). The men in her life included husbands Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra.

49 Ursa Minor shape : LADLE

Ursa Minor (Latin for “Smaller Bear”) sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for “Dragon”). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and so was once called “Dragon’s Wing”. The tail of the “Smaller Bear” might also be considered as the handle of a ladle, and so the constellation is often referred to as the Little Dipper.

51 Floss brand : ORAL-B

The Oral-B toothbrush was introduced to the world in 1950, designed by a California periodontist. The first “model” was the Oral-B 60, a name given to reflect the 60 tufts in the brush. In 1969, the Oral-B was the first toothbrush to get to the moon as it was the toothbrush of choice for the crew of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

52 “brb” or “ttyl” : TEXT

Be right back (brb)

Talk to you later (ttyl)

54 Injure again, as one’s ACL : RETEAR

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four major ligaments that support the knee.

57 Beethoven’s Opus 11, e.g. : TRIO

Beethoven’s “Piano Trio in B-flat major, Op. 11” was written and 1797, when the composer was still in his twenties. It is scored for piano, clarinet (sometimes violine) and cello (sometimes bassoon). The work also goes by the nickname “Gassenhauer Trio”.

58 Classic car … and a hint to the hidden image you can draw using 21 identical squares in this grid : T-BIRD

Ford manufactured the Thunderbird (T-Bird) from 1955 to 2005. Originally a two-seater sporty convertible, the T-Bird was introduced as a competitor to Chevrolet’s new sports car, the Corvette.

60 Mid-month day : IDES

There were three important days in each month of the old Roman calendar. These days originally depended on the cycles of the moon but were eventually “fixed” by law. “Kalendae” were the first days of each month, originally the days of the new moon. “Nonae” were originally the days of the half moon. And “idus” (the ides) was originally the day of the full moon, eventually fixed at the 15th day of a month. Well, actually the ides were the 15th day of March, May, July and October. For all other months, the ides fell on the 13th. Go figure …

64 Ferrara family name : ESTE

“Ferrara” is the name of a province and its capital city in northern Italy. The city is located just 30 miles northeast of Bologna. The city was also home to a branch of the princely House of Este during the 14th and 15th centuries.

65 Cabs are among them : REDS

The cabernet sauvignon grape has been around since the 17th century, and is the result of a chance crossing in southwestern France of the cabernet franc and sauvignon blanc grapes.

Down

2 First Olympic gymnast to receive a 10 : COMANECI

Nadia Comaneci won three golds in the 1976 Summer Olympics and was the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of a ten in the gymnastics competition. Comaneci published a book called “Letters to a Young Gymnast” in 2003, and now lives in the United States.

3 Where Vulcans congregate? : COMIC-CON

San Diego’s Comic-Con was founded in 1970 as the Golden State Comic Book Convention. Held over four days each summer, apparently Comic-Con is the largest show in North America.

Vulcans are an alien race in the “Star Trek” franchise. The most famous (half-) Vulcan is Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy. Spock’s father is a Vulcan, and his mother is human.

4 BART stop : SFO

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) served as the main base of operations for Virgin America (sold to Alaska Airlines), and is also the maintenance hub for United Airlines.

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is a commuter rail system serving the San Francisco Bay Area (and, indeed, my home town).

5 Exemplar of cruelty : SADIST

A sadist is someone who derives pleasure from inflicting pain, with that pleasure often being sexual in nature. The term “sadist” comes from the Marquis de Sade, who was known to exhibit such tendencies.

6 “The Good Wife” Emmy winner Carrie : PRESTON

Carrie Preston is an actress from Macon, Georgia who plays Elsbeth Tascioni, a wonderful character on the TV show “The Good Wife” and its sequel “The Good Fight”.

8 Championship ice dancer __ Virtue : TESSA

Tessa Virtue is a Canadian ice dancer who won the 2010 and 2018 Olympic gold along with her partner Scott Moir. Virtue and Moir have been skating together since 1997, when they were seven and nine years old respectively. That makes them the longest-standing Canadian ice dance team in history.

9 Arcade goof : TILT

In a game of pinball, some players get an irresistible urge to “nudge” the machine . Such a nudge, a movement of the machine designed to influence the path taken by the ball, is called a “tilt”. Most pinball machines have sensors designed to detect a tilt, and when activated a “tilt” warning light comes on and the player’s controls are temporarily disabled.

12 Bars in court : ESTOPS

The term “estop” means to block or stop by using some legal device. “Estop” comes from Old French, in which “estopper” means “to stop up” or “to impede”.

14 __ anglais: English horn : COR

The English horn is also known by its French name “cor anglais”. It is a double-reed woodwind instrument.

20 Augur : FORETELL

The verb “to augur” means “to bode”, to serve as an omen. The term comes from the name of religious officials in Ancient Rome called augurs whose job it was to interpret signs and omens.

23 Public school advocate Mann : HORACE

Horace Mann was Massachusetts politician, and the first Secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Education. Mann made sweeping educational reforms in the state, with other states around the country adopting many of the policies he developed. Such was his influence that he is known by historians as the “Father of the Common School Movement”. And as an aside, Mann was brother-in-law to author Nathaniel Hawthorne.

33 Muslim pilgrim : HAJI

“Haji” (also “Hajji” and “Hadji”) is the term used for someone who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca, and it is sometimes also used as a form of address for such a person. The journey itself goes by the name “haj”, “hajj” or “hadj”.

37 Much canned tuna : ALBACORE

Skipjack tuna would be called medium-sized, growing to about three feet long. Albacore tuna is a little larger.

42 Fillets : DEBONES

A fillet is a boneless cut of meat or fish. The term comes from the Old French “filet” meaning “small thread, filament”. Apparently we applied the term to food as the piece of fish or meat was tied up with string after it was boned. Here in the US, we tend to use the French spelling “filet”.

50 Bandleader Shaw : ARTIE

Artie Shaw was a composer, bandleader and jazz clarinetist. Shaw’s real name was Arthur Jacob Arshawsky, born in New York City in 1910. One of his many claims to fame is that he (a white bandleader) hired Billie Holiday (a black vocalist) and toured the segregated South in the late thirties. Holiday chose to leave the band though, due to hostility from Southern audiences back then. Artie Shaw was married eight times in all. The list of his wives includes the actresses Lana Turner and Ava Gardner, as well as Betty Kern, daughter of songwriter Jerome Kern.

53 Cornhole turn : TOSS

Cornhole is a game in which contestants throw bean bags towards a tilted-up platform with a hole in it. Bags that land in the hole score 3 points, and bags that land on the board score 1 point.

59 Plant owner: Abbr. : MFR

Manufacturer (mfr.)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Confidentially informs : BCCS
5 Skewer : SPIT
9 __ top : TUBE
13 Solar panel site : ROOF
14 Chili partner : CARNE
15 Words that can precede and follow “what” : IT IS
16 BB, e.g. : AMMO
17 “Waiting for Lefty” playwright : ODETS
18 Native of Riga : LETT
19 FCC chairman Ajit __ : PAI
20 Bichon __: dogs with fluffy coats : FRISES
21 Early smartphone : TREO
22 Mole sauce chili : ANCHO
24 Classic guitar, briefly : STRAT
26 One verifying safe arrivals? : UMP
27 New homeowner’s hire : DECORATOR
29 Heads up : RISES
31 Ball game official : SCORER
32 Like a rare baseball game : NO-HIT
34 How some nursery-rhyme men traveled : IN A TUB
36 Outspoken chef Gordon : RAMSAY
39 Wyatt of “People of Earth” : CENAC
41 Cheeky? : JOWLED
43 Monopoly piece : HOTEL
46 Open to question : DUBITABLE
48 Actress Gardner : AVA
49 Ursa Minor shape : LADLE
51 Floss brand : ORAL-B
52 “brb” or “ttyl” : TEXT
54 Injure again, as one’s ACL : RETEAR
56 Bit of baby talk : COO
57 Beethoven’s Opus 11, e.g. : TRIO
58 Classic car … and a hint to the hidden image you can draw using 21 identical squares in this grid : T-BIRD
59 Cut down : MOWN
60 Mid-month day : IDES
61 Identification assuming familiarity : IT’S ME
62 Loose : FREE
63 Whale groups : PODS
64 Ferrara family name : ESTE
65 Cabs are among them : REDS

Down

1 Some cup liners : BRA PADS
2 First Olympic gymnast to receive a 10 : COMANECI
3 Where Vulcans congregate? : COMIC-CON
4 BART stop : SFO
5 Exemplar of cruelty : SADIST
6 “The Good Wife” Emmy winner Carrie : PRESTON
7 Really scared : IN TERROR
8 Championship ice dancer __ Virtue : TESSA
9 Arcade goof : TILT
10 Embryo’s home : UTERUS
11 Sassy retort : BITE ME!
12 Bars in court : ESTOPS
14 __ anglais: English horn : COR
20 Augur : FORETELL
23 Public school advocate Mann : HORACE
25 Three-engine plane : TRIMOTOR
28 Gave __ for one’s money : A RUN
30 Fighting words : IT’S WAR!
33 Muslim pilgrim : HAJI
35 They may be written off : BAD DEBTS
37 Much canned tuna : ALBACORE
38 Like old manuscripts : YELLOWED
40 Certain worshipper : CULTIST
42 Fillets : DEBONES
43 Polite greeting gesture : HAT-TIP
44 Go too far : OVERDO
45 Approached the gate : TAXIED
47 “I’ll take a brewski” : BEER ME
50 Bandleader Shaw : ARTIE
53 Cornhole turn : TOSS
55 Lemon finish : -ADE
59 Plant owner: Abbr. : MFR

26 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 10 May 19, Friday”

    1. @Jerry – Hope you don’t mind me tagging along on your comment, but I did too. D’oh! At least I’m in good company. ;-D>

  1. LAT: 21:52, 3 errors. Not enough knowledge-base, per usual. Unfamiliar or didn’t know in the context of the clues: ODETT, LETT, PAI, FRISES, ANCHO, RAMSAY (didn’t know how to spell his name I guess), TRIO, ESTE, TETSA, COR, TRIMOTOR, TOSS. When I say I “guess” my way through a grid, this is what I mean. I can always produce a long list like this for any crossword I do. This is more typical than not for when I do crosswords.

    WSJ: 17:02, no errors. Got the meta. New Yorker: 8:38, no errors.

    @Dirk
    Not David, but I can answer. The CHE is available from a third-party provider (kinda stupid, really, given CHE’s decision making and what’s said on their site. Their online costs can’t be that much to host it, and allowing the third-party provider isn’t going to drive subscriptions if that’s what they were hoping. Look under Friday for it). CHE is bi-weekly during summer break, but goes weekly when the Fall Semester starts.

    As for the WSJ, David and myself do them via either Across Lite or printout (he’s mentioned it in the past). As you’ve found out, their online software is pretty brain-dead. The “/” key will change direction between across and down.

    1. @Glenn … I think you want ODETS and TESSA. My list would be PAI, TREO, CENAC, PRESTON, and TESSA. Shades of “Slumdog Millionaire”: I remembered “Bichon Frise” because my ex was/is a dog fancier; for humorous effect, she always pronounced it “Bitchin’ Frizzy” … 😜. (And, of course, I had to look it up and find out the correct spelling and pronunciation … 😜.)

  2. This has to be one of the most imaginative crossword puzzles I’ve ever seen! Compliments to the creator!

    1. Well not quite … “hajj” (a pilgrimage to Mecca) is a transliteration from Arabic, and different sources use different spellings. For the trip, I’ve seen “hadj”, “haj”, and “hajj”; the word for a person making the trip just has an “i” on the end. Very convenient for crossword constructors.

      One of the things that tipped me off that I had a problem was that I’ve never seen “haja”, and I have to think that the constructor may have been indulging in the knowledge that a lot of people would think it was yet another variant of “hajj”. How creatively deceptive of him! … 😜

      Transliterations from Chinese are even more variable: Consider “Peking” and “Beijing”. How does that even make sense? … 😜

  3. I also had the same errors as Bill, but along with Googling 7 other clues. I don’t always think outside the box. An Example is BRAPADS. The cup I couldn’t stop considering was the one like a mug. Of course the usual sports ones for me: COMANECI, TESSA.
    The good things I learned today were CENAC and ANCHO.

    Can’t wait for Monday!

  4. LAT: 16:36, no errors. At 15:09, I was about to quit, with the same errors as Bill, but I thought better of it, carried on, suddenly remembered the word “indubitably”, concluded that “dubitable” must be a word, even though I’ve never seen it in print or heard it in conversation, and fixed the errors before declaring myself done.

    Newsday: 13:24, no errors; had to do it online, because the site insisted on giving me a blank PDF. WSJ: 14:56, no errors; got the meta. New Yorker: 11:19 (including a 30-second interruption to tend a teakettle), no errors; further proof that Erik Agard has an “easy” setting 🤪. NYT (since Bill’s NYX site was not showing today’s puzzle): 13:40, no errors.

    I also did a couple of Paolo Pasco’s puzzles yesterday. The one from April 7 is a masterpiece of construction, but a little short on directions; I had to infer them for myself and didn’t fully succeed, but I loved the puzzle, anyway. And the one from April 22 is a solid, workmanlike product.

    I’m also working on a “rows garden” puzzle from Erik Agard’s site, which I can only do by leaning heavily on Dr. Google (and, even then, I’m making slow progress). Again, a masterpiece of construction!

    And, as always on Friday, a Croce puzzle looms in the offing … 😜.

    @Dirk … Glenn seems to have answered your questions. I was going to defer to him about the WSJ across/down toggle capability, anyway, as the only online solver I regularly use is the one in the NYT app. I find that the little variations in the way the online tools work drive me nuts (a short drive, some would say 😳), so, except when I’m traveling, I bite the bullet, print copies of the puzzles, and pay a lot of money for ink cartridges.

    1. Croce: 48:59, no errors; a bit easier than usual. Making progress on Agard’s “Rows Garden”, but still less than half done.

    2. And I finished Agard’s “Rows Garden” after discovering something that made it a lot easier to do: through ignorance, I had downloaded a “regular” version, rather than a “thorny” version, of the puzzle, so the clues for the “blooms” were given in their order of appearance in the puzzle, rather than being in random order. (A bit of luck, really, since otherwise I’d still be working on it … 😳.)

      The final result is simply astounding: I can’t imagine how one would go about constructing such a puzzle!

  5. Too many names to fill in and not well known either. Got “T-bird” immediately but the rest was a mess for me. This is the kind of puzzle that crosses don’t always fill in the missing letters. Not my fave, for sure.

  6. Had the same errors as Bill plus 26 across I had USP thinking it was the
    post office, so then I didn’t have “bite me”….I thought of that but didn’t
    have the conviction to enter it or I might have tumbled to “ump”.
    Bad puzzle day for me.

  7. 21:30. Lots of missteps here. The worst was reading “Augur” as “Auger” and I entered “boretool”…which it is…IF you spell it that way. I didn’t know FRISES so I didn’t know to correct it until the lower left at HOTEL etc… Wow. If I had been doing this on paper, it would be black with writeovers.

    Putting PRESTON, TESSA, ODETS and FRISAS together was cruel. I finally remembered ODETS from other puzzles, got the F once I corrected “boretool” and then an “R” was the only letter that really worked so I got FRISES. Sheesh.

    I knew the spelling of Gordon RAMSAY because I see his restaurants in Vegas all over the place. DUBITABLE came easy to me for whatever reason so I avoided those errors.

    Overall a tough one.

    NYT site note – Bill still has yesterday’s puzzle up. I did today’s NYT in 30:16. Tough but fair with some very fun and creative cluing. One of the best clued puzzles I’ve seen in a long time, but I don’t do the BEQ’s or Croce puzzles.

    Best –

  8. 20:26 and 9 errors. Ugh. But, even Bill got 3, so I don’t feel nearly so bad.

    This puzzle was too difficult by half, full of answers so out of common knowledge as to be unfair to even put in a grid. And of course the payoff of the theme was a total waste of time. Oh, look, I can make a bird!!! Big whoop…

    If the constructor’s goal was to impress everyone with how clever he is, he succeeded… but from my standpoint, in a negative fashion.

  9. Today’s “Cryptoquote”:

    “It’s so much better to promote what you love than to bash what you hate.” – Jessica Alba.

    Couldn’t have said it better myself … 😜.

  10. No way today, Jose’. But, I saw where one guy really liked it. I am glad that
    somebody did. We didn’t have any posting errors, but did really very little
    overall.

    Hope for an easier one Monday.

    Jeff mentioned that he does not do his on paper. How do you guys do them?
    On the computer somehow? Please elaborate. We use an ink pen and keep
    the whiteove close at hand. My smart nephew uses a pencil with an eraser.

    This one was way over our heads. Still fun to try and either feel good or
    agonize.

  11. >How do you guys do them? On the computer somehow?

    There’s numerous computer sources, depending on the puzzle. A lot of the places have online widgets you can use to solve in your browser. Then there’s programs like Across Lite, which will work on any file you download for it. A plus there is you can save them if you just want to do puzzles anywhere, period (I have a large quantity).

    Then there’s always PDFs you can print, or you can print from Across Lite and get a pretty nice looking printed puzzle.

  12. A Haji is a Male who makes the Hajj, while a Haja is a female which is why you can see both references. I was in the Peace Corps in Morocco and learned this nuance. And go Bucks and Brewers!!! (Sorry Cardinal and Celtic fans)!

    1. Interesting. I just consulted Dr. Google and found a reference to a post on “Quora” confirming that “haja” is used in Arabic. It doesn’t seem to have become common in English texts, though, so I wouldn’t expect to see it in a crossword puzzle here.

  13. Tough Friday for me. Had to do it on-line and started peeking after a while, and then again and again. 40 minutes and 90% without help. I probably would have shown much more restraint doing it on paper.

    Way to many proper nouns for me today, although I did know COMANECI, CENAC, (Idjit)PAI, FRISES…just wasn’t quite sure on the spelling. Vaguely remembered HORACE, ODETS and never heard of RAMSAY.

    @Glen and David – Thank you for that site and the toggle tip. Also, I hang on every word from Jessica Alba…and of course she’s right on this one.

    @John – You can also search for “LA daily crossword” and then just click on the middle icon in the top right corner to shrink the browser window to just the crossword size to eliminate the ads.

  14. Greetings!!🌻

    DNF…threw in the towel early and crankily! 🤨 Once I came here, tho, I was impressed with the bird formation– clever.

    In my comment yesterday, I wrote Angels but my tablet changed it and added an apostrophe! Jeez — nothing I hate more than an apostrophe used incorrectly. 😫 It will take me awhile to get over this one.

    Be well~~⚾️🚋

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