LA Times Crossword 11 May 19, Saturday

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Constructed by: Matthew Sewell
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 13m 00s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

13 Theatrical potpourri : REVUE

“Revue” is the French word for “review”.

The French term “pot pourri” literally translates to “rotten pot”, but in France it used to mean “stew”. Over time, the term “potpourri” evolved in English usage to mean a “medley”, and eventually a mixture of dried flowers and spices.

16 Multicolored solidarity emblem : PRIDE FLAG

The best-known rainbow flag is the one representing gay pride. Such usage of the rainbow flag was popularized in 1978 by artist Gilbert Baker. The varying colors of the flag represent the diversity of the gay community.

17 Modern gamer’s headset, briefly : VR GOGGLES

Virtual reality (VR)

19 Org. concerned with gaps, at times : ADA

American Dental Association (ADA)

20 Cavalry member : LANCEMAN

Lancers (also “lancemen”) were a special type of cavalry soldier, ones who fought with lances!

21 “Between the World and Me” author Ta-Nehisi __ : COATES

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a journalist and author from Baltimore, Maryland. His 2015 book “Between the World and Me” won that year’s National Book Award for Nonfiction. Coates also made a name for himself in the world of comic books, and is the writer of a “Black Panther” series for Marvel Comics.

24 Latin primer word : AMO

“Amo, amas, amat” translates from Latin as “I love, you love, he/she/it loves”.

25 Singer who made Georgia famous : RAY CHARLES

Ray Charles came up with his stage name by dropping the family name from his real moniker “Ray Charles Robinson”. His life was a wild ride, and was well-represented in the excellent 2004 biopic called “Ray” starring Jamie Foxx in the title role. Ray Charles was married twice and fathered 12 children with nine different women. As I said, a wild ride …

“Georgia on My Mind” is a song composed in 1930 by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell. Gorrell’s lyrics refer to the state of Georgia, although there is a common assertion that the reference is instead to Hoagy’s sister Georgia Carmichael. Hoagy himself assures us that the former is the case, in his second autobiography “Sometimes I Wonder”. Hoagy Carmichael himself made the first recording, in 1930, but most famous is the 1960 cover version by Ray Charles. “Georgia on My Mind” was made the official state song of Georgia in 1979.

27 TV warrior princess : XENA

The Xena character, played by New Zealander Lucy Lawless, was introduced in a made-for-TV movie called “Hercules and the Amazon Women”. Lawless reprised the role in a series called “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”. Xena became so popular that a series was built around her character, with Lawless retained for the title role. The fictional Xena supposedly came from the “non-fictional” Greek city of Amphipolis.

34 San Joaquin Valley wine region : MADERA

Madera AVA is a wine region at the heart of the San Joaquin Valley in the Central Valley of California. 10% of all of California’s wine grapes are grown in Madera.

39 Fast-paced highlight video : SIZZLE REEL

A showreel (also “demo reel” or “sizzle reel”) is a short piece of edited footage used to show off a person’s work. Showreels are usually 2-3 minutes in length, and will often accompany a résumé.

43 Adjective for Scotty on “Star Trek” : WEE

In the “Star Trek” series on television and in the movies, the colorful character named Scotty was played by the Canadian actor James Doohan. Doohan joined the Royal Canadian Artillery at the start of WWII, and participated in the D-Day Invasion of Normandy. After surviving the landing, that same day Doohan was shot by one of his own men in a tragic mishap. Doohan was hit six times, with a bullet to his chest stopped by a silver cigarette case he was carrying. One of Doohan’s fingers was shot off in the incident. He managed to conceal that injury during his acting career.

44 Baker, for one : STREET

In the “Sherlock Holmes” stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the famous detective has lodgings at 221b Baker Street in London. Holmes shares rooms with his friend and chronicler Dr. Watson. The landlady in the residence is the amiable Mrs. Hudson.

47 Cy Young Award stat : ERA

Earned run average (ERA)

Cy Young was a pitcher in the major leagues from 1890-1911. Young is remembered for pitching the first perfect game of baseball’s modern era. Soon after he died in 1955, the Cy Young Award was created and is presented to the best pitcher in each baseball season.

53 Hitchcock antagonist : BATES

The top 5 movie villains in the American Film Institute’s list “100 Years … 100 Heroes & Villains” are:

  1. Dr. Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs”
  2. Norman Bates in “Psycho”
  3. Darth Vader in “The Empire Strikes Back”
  4. The Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz”
  5. Nurse Ratched in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

The classic Alfred Hitchcock suspense film “Psycho” released in 1960 is based on a 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch. The Bloch novel in turn is loosely based on actual crimes committed by murderer and grave robber Ed Gein. The female protagonist is named Mary Crane in the novel, but that name was changed to Marion Crane in the movie. Marion Crane, portrayed by Janet Leigh, died in a celebrated and terrifying shower scene

55 Bizarre : OUTRE

The word “outré” meaning “unconventional, bizarre” comes to us from French, as one might imagine. It is derived from the verb “outrer” meaning “to overdo, exaggerate”. “Outrer” is also the ultimate root of our word “outrage”.

“Bizarre” is a French word, with the same meaning in French as English. However, back in the 16th century, “bizarre” used to mean “handsome, brave” in French. So that’s what my wife means when she refers to me as “bizarre” …

56 Go caving : SPELUNK

“Spelunking” is an American term for recreational caving, although the word has Latin roots (“spelunca” is the Latin for “cave”). The term originated in the 1940s in New England when it was adopted by a group of men who explored caves in the area.

Down

1 Nordic cured salmon appetizer : GRAVLAX

“Gravlax” is the Swedish name for a dish consisting of raw salmon cured in salt, sugar and dill. Gravlax dates back to the Middle Ages when fishermen fermented salted salmon by burying it in the sand above the high-tide line. The name gravlax comes from the Scandinavian “grav” meaning “grave, hole in the ground” and “lax” meaning “salmon”.

3 French city on the Rhone : AVIGNON

Avignon is a city in the southeast of France on the Rhône river. Avignon is sometimes called the “City of Popes” as it was home to seven popes during the Catholic schism from 1309 to 1423.

4 Hardy red hog : DUROC

Duroc is a breed of domestic pig, red in color and with a large frame, and a tendency to be quite aggressive. The breed originated in New England and supposedly takes its name from a thoroughbred stallion that was famous around 1800.

5 Honoree of Springsteen’s 2006 “We Shall Overcome” album : SEEGER

“We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions” is 2006 studio album released by Bruce Springsteen. Despite the Seeger name being in the title, Seeger did not write any of the songs on the album. Rather, the tracks are Springsteen’s interpretation of folk and protest songs that were made popular by Seeger. Examples of those songs are “We Shall Overcome”, “Shenandoah” and “Froggie Went A-Courtin’”.

6 __ de Boulogne: Paris park : BOIS

Bois de Boulogne is a large park located on the western outskirts of Paris, France. It covers over 2,000 acres, making it about 2.5 times the size of Central Park in New York City. Life in the Bois de Boulogne is very wholesome during the day, with the park full of joggers, people on picnics and boaters, but at night the park is a prominent red-light district.

7 “Submitted for your approval … ” first name : ROD

“Submitted for your approval … ” is an oft-quoted phrase used by Rod Serling in his introduction to some episodes of “The Twilight Zone”. Even though Serling impressionists use the phrase a lot, Serling himself used the phrase in only three episodes.

Rodman “Rod” Serling was the man behind, and in front of, the iconic science-fiction TV series “The Twilight Zone”. Serling used a lot of the shows he created to advance his strongly held views against war (he was a soldier in WWII), against racism and against censorship.

12 “Place de la Concorde” artist : DEGAS

Edgar Degas was a French artist who was famous for both his paintings and his sculptures. Some of Degas’ most beautiful works feature female ballet dancers, and others depict women bathing.

“Place de la Concorde” is an 1876 oil painting by French artist Edgar Degas. Featured in the work are Degas’ friend Ludovic-Napoléon Lepic, as well as Lepic’s two daughters and his dog. There is also an 1871 Degas called “Count Lepic and His Daughters” that features the same subjects. You can see “Place de la Concorde” in the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

18 1975 ABC debut, initially : GMA

“Good Morning America” (GMA) is ABC’s morning show, and has been since 1975. There was even a spin-off show called “Good Afternoon America”, although that only lasted for a few months in 2012.

21 Dear, to Donizetti : CARO

Gaetano Donizetti was a composer from the Lombardy region of Italy. He is best known for his operas, of which he wrote almost seventy. The most famous of these is probably “Lucia di Lammermoor” (1835).

31 Trimming tool : ADZE

An adze (also “adz”) is similar to an axe, but is different in that the blade of an adze is set at right angles to the tool’s shaft. An axe blade is set in line with the shaft.

32 Lat neighbor : DELT

The deltoid “muscle” is actually a group of muscles, the ones that cover the shoulder and create the roundness under the skin. The deltoids (delts) are triangular in shape resembling the Greek letter delta, hence the name.

33 “And fly, __ evil intercept thy flight”: Milton : ERE

Here are some lines from John Milton’s “Paradise Lost”:

… This report,
These tidings carry to the anointed King;
And fly, ere evil intercept thy flight.’

“Paradise Lost” is an epic poem written by Englishman John Milton. It is indeed an epic work, published originally in ten volumes with over ten thousand lines of verse. The “paradise” that is “lost” is the Garden of Eden, from which Adam and Eve were expelled by God in the “Fall of Man”.

37 Best __ : WESTERN

Best Western is a very large hotel chain in the world, with over 4,000 locations. The chain is a little unusual in that all of its properties are independently-owned franchises, with none being company-owned. Best Western was founded in 1946 and grew out of a small network of independent hotel operators who informally agreed to make referrals to each other’s properties.

39 “The Post” co-star : STREEP

Meryl Streep has had more nominations for an Academy Award than any other actor, which is both a tribute to her talent and the respect she has earned in the industry. I am not a huge fan of her earlier works but some of her recent movies are now on my list of all-time favorites. I recommend “Mamma Mia!” (you’ll either love it or hate it!), “Julie & Julia”, “It’s Complicated” and ”Hope Springs”.

“The Post” is a 2017 historical drama directed by Steven Spielberg that recounts the true story of attempts by “The Washington Post” to publish the Pentagon Papers. Tom Hanks plays the paper’s executive editor Ben Bradlee, and Meryl Streep play the paper’s owner Katharine Graham. I loved this film …

Daniel Ellsberg is a former military analyst, who famously became very disillusioned with the Vietnam War. While still working as an analyst, he made copies of classified documents related to the Johnson administration’s conduct of the war. The documents, known as the Pentagon Papers, demonstrated that the administration knew early on that the Vietnam War was essentially “unwinnable” and that continued fighting would lead to higher numbers of casualties than were being projected in the public arena. Ellsberg ended up in court charged with espionage, but all charges were dropped when it was revealed that the Nixon administration had used illegal methods to bolster its case against the defendant.

40 Taloned predators : ERNS

The ern (sometimes “erne”) is also known as the white-tailed eagle or the sea eagle.

42 Portugal’s capital, locally : LISBOA

In Portuguese, “Lisboa” (Lisbon) and “Porto” (Oporto) are the two largest cities in Portugal.

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. Lisbon is the westernmost capital city in Europe, and indeed is the westernmost large city on the continent. It is also the oldest city in Western Europe, and was founded hundreds of years before London, Paris and Rome.

44 Lowly laborers : SERFS

A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. “Serf” comes from the Latin “servus”, meaning “slave”.

46 Hawaiian parties : LUAUS

Nowadays the word “luau” denotes almost any kind of party on the Hawaiian Islands, but to the purist a luau is a feast that always includes a serving of poi, the bulbous underground stems of taro.

50 Delta hub code : ATL

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world’s busiest airport, as measured by passenger traffic. Atlanta has had that distinction since 1998, and was the world’s busiest in terms of take-offs and landings from 2005 until 2013. Over 50% of Atlanta’s traffic comes from Delta Air Lines.

Delta was the world’s largest airline for a while (after merging with Northwest Airlines in 2008) and is also the oldest airline still operating in the US. Delta’s roots go back to 1924 before it started carrying passengers and was called Huff Daland Dusters, a crop dusting company based in Macon, Georgia. The name Delta Air Service was introduced in 1928.

51 Sch. with a Schuylkill campus : PSU

Pennsylvania State University (PSU) was founded in 1855 as the Farmer’s High School of Pennsylvania. Penn State is listed as one of the “Public Ivies”, a public university that offers a quality of education comparable to that of the Ivy League.

52 Many a Ben & Jerry’s flavor : PUN

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield did a correspondence course on ice-cream making in 1977 given by Pennsylvania State University’s Creamery. The following year they opened an ice cream parlor in an old gas station in Burlington, Vermont. Today Ben & Jerry’s has locations in over 20 countries around the world, and theirs was the first brand ice-cream to go into space.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Annual gown renters : GRADS
6 Dwelled (on) : BROODED
13 Theatrical potpourri : REVUE
14 Got some air, say : TOOK FIVE
15 Lit : AFIRE
16 Multicolored solidarity emblem : PRIDE FLAG
17 Modern gamer’s headset, briefly : VR GOGGLES
19 Org. concerned with gaps, at times : ADA
20 Cavalry member : LANCEMAN
21 “Between the World and Me” author Ta-Nehisi __ : COATES
24 Latin primer word : AMO
25 Singer who made Georgia famous : RAY CHARLES
27 TV warrior princess : XENA
29 Classic paper name : HERALD
30 Restored : MADE WHOLE
34 San Joaquin Valley wine region : MADERA
35 Anguished protest : YOWL
39 Fast-paced highlight video : SIZZLE REEL
43 Adjective for Scotty on “Star Trek” : WEE
44 Baker, for one : STREET
45 Most delicate : FRAILEST
47 Cy Young Award stat : ERA
48 Two-piece ensembles : PANTSUITS
49 Sports show hosts, often : RECAPPERS
53 Hitchcock antagonist : BATES
54 Had no doubt : FELT SURE
55 Bizarre : OUTRE
56 Go caving : SPELUNK
57 Perfectly harmonious : AS ONE

Down

1 Nordic cured salmon appetizer : GRAVLAX
2 Provide another context for : REFRAME
3 French city on the Rhone : AVIGNON
4 Hardy red hog : DUROC
5 Honoree of Springsteen’s 2006 “We Shall Overcome” album : SEEGER
6 __ de Boulogne: Paris park : BOIS
7 “Submitted for your approval … ” first name : ROD
8 Fine, in old slang : OKE
9 Not right : OFF
10 Widened : DILATED
11 Gets by : EVADES
12 “Place de la Concorde” artist : DEGAS
14 Fighting involving excavated shelters : TRENCH WARFARE
16 Word with safe or out : PLAY
18 1975 ABC debut, initially : GMA
21 Dear, to Donizetti : CARO
22 Dictated : ORAL
23 Urban shortcut : ALLEY
26 Devious laugh : HEH
28 Bowl over : AMAZE
31 Trimming tool : ADZE
32 Lat neighbor : DELT
33 “And fly, __ evil intercept thy flight”: Milton : ERE
34 Wonder : MIRACLE
36 Credit as an inspiration : OWE IT TO
37 Best __ : WESTERN
38 Chin stroker’s words : LET’S SEE
39 “The Post” co-star : STREEP
40 Taloned predators : ERNS
41 Take off the table? : EAT
42 Portugal’s capital, locally : LISBOA
44 Lowly laborers : SERFS
46 Hawaiian parties : LUAUS
48 Exec’s private jet, say : PERK
50 Delta hub code : ATL
51 Sch. with a Schuylkill campus : PSU
52 Many a Ben & Jerry’s flavor : PUN

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 11 May 19, Saturday”

  1. LAT: 45 minutes. Very hard puzzle and amazed I was able to do it without error–with several good guesses of course. “Rod” for 7 Down was beyond me as well as was the Paris park “Bois de Boulogne.” Never heard of the author “Coates” either. All in all, though, I thought yesterday’s LAT was harder.

  2. LAT: 15:17, no errors; being half Norwegian helped with 1D. WSJ’s 21×21: 20:06, no errors; a bit easier than usual, I thought. Newsday’s “Saturday Stumper”: 1:18:13, no errors; extraordinarily difficult, I thought, but I did it after doing a bunch of other puzzles and that may have affected my judgement.

    I always breathe a sigh of relief after putting the Friday and Saturday puzzles behind me, and this week is more of a relief than usual … 😜.

  3. An error at the second letter of 36 Down where it crossed 43 Across when I came up with a “D” instead of the correct “W”. D’oh!

    On to the WSJ 21X21 next.

  4. Yesterdays puzzle wasn’t kind to me and this one…….really did me in! At least I knew early that this would be a bust. Good luck to the rest of you. I’m going to take a “time out” now.

  5. My string of 34 straight puzzles without a DNF is cut with this supreme 15 x 15 Natick. Top left and bottom left were just unfathomable. And, 48D’s fill is just WRONG: PERQ is short for perquisite. But, I’m sure the setter could find a convenient source that follows “common usage” instead of what is historically correct when it suits.

    Other problems with this grid: Who refers to Good Morning America as “GMA”. Nobody I know. SNL “Saturday Night Live” is the TV show that does have an abbreviation that is in general use, and this was cynically traded on, since they apparently both debuted in 1975. DUROC??? Where the hell does THAT come from???

    Looking at the solution, it looks like I fell into every single trap set for us: HORSEMAN for LANCEMAN, PEONS for SERFS, OLDTIMERS for RECAPPERS…. this guy got me but good. He goes on my “don’t bother” list.

    1. Allen –

      Perquisite is just “another term for PERK” as per the first line in the dictionary definition. Not wrong, just up to date. I don’t know when the term PERK started gaining favor, but it’s been a word I’ve known virtually my entire life as such…and I’m 56 so I don’t know if the term “modern usage” even applies after that much time.

    2. And the “Good Morning America” website has the initialism “GMA” right up top, so apparently they’ve heard of it. Good enough? … 😜.

      And, as for “Duroc”: I guess you weren’t a farm boy … 😜.

      Flame on ……… 😳

      Do you ever look anything up before posting your narrowly-focused personal opinions? You’d look less foolish if you did.

      Flame off ……… 😳

  6. 27:53. But I had to cheat at GRAVLAX/VRGOGGLES. I’m neither a gamer nor Norwegian….so I peeked rather than go through an alphabet run. GRAVLAX sounds a lot like a salmon version of carpaccio – raw salmon cured in salt and dill…yikes. I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to try it…

    Many missteps. I had “ex-player” before RECAPPER, “Dane” before DELT (Lat…like Latvia…doh) and also had “horseman before LANCEMAN. A miracle I finished…sort of.

    Dirk – I assume you’ll be watching Game 1 of the Blues-Sharks series. I’ve been a Blues fan my whole life, and never seen them win a Cup.

    Best –

    1. As a practicing half-Norwegian, I’m actually more familiar with “lutefisk” (a similar thing, that I love … and others can’t stand).

      And I made a lot of the same missteps in this puzzle. What can one say but, “It’s Saturday”? … (shrug) … 😜

  7. A very hard one today and it took me most of the day with comings and
    goings. No errors at the end but had to correct many false starts. Hung in there with VRgoggles, though I had no idea what they were. And
    just went with the cross letters to come by sizzlereel. Started out with
    “cara” for 21 down thus had “madewhale” for awhile until good sense
    stepped in.

    1. @Mary – I had “cara” for the longest time as well, but what really tripped me up was trying to find a word that preceded and went with “hale”, thinking about being restored to health as in feeling “hale” (and not using the w as part of “whale”).

  8. Had most of the SE and parts of the SW and a little bit of the NW before I saw this wasn’t going anywhere. Peeked, here, at my fills – which were mostly right – and a all the outer rims. With those as a given I was able to finish pretty quickly.

    I did have novaLOX, remembering that from sometime in the past. Also had peons instead of SERFS and CARA instead of CARO. Didn’t know about Madera but I’ve probably had wine from there, along with Lodi.

    @Jeff – I haven’t been a Sharks fan as long as you have of the Blues. I’ve only seen them twice, once when they played at the Cow Palace, ages ago, and once at their new venue in San Jose, about 18 years ago. They’ve never won the Cup either and only played in the final once. I usually just follow it on my phone and watch recaps, rather than go to a bar. They’re the only Bay Area team not to win a championship yet and they’ve sure gone through a grueling playoffs so far…still I’m optimistic. I still can’t believe Tampa Bay is out of it…the Sharks got creamed by them (and Boston) during the regular season…but Erickson is making a big difference, who wasn’t playing then. Good luck to you and may the best team win.

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