LA Times Crossword 15 May 19, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Chuck Deodene
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer(s): Guest Appearance

The hidden word “GUEST” APPEARS in each of the themed answers:

  • 57A Talk show drop-by … and a literal feature of 17-, 25-, 37- and 49-Across : GUEST APPEARANCE
  • 17A Sports page table : LEAGUE STANDINGS
  • 25A Dissociative condition : FUGUE STATE
  • 37A Makes a case for, with “of” : ARGUES THE MERITS
  • 49A Intraoral piercing : TONGUE STUD

Bill’s time: 8m 11s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Passport stamps : VISAS

A visa is a usually a stamp in one’s passport, an indication that one is authorized to enter (and less often, to exit) a particular country. The word “visa” comes into English, via French, from the Latin expression “charta visa” meaning “paper that has been seen”, or “verified paper”.

6 Improvised knife : SHIV

“Shiv” is a slang term describing a weapon crudely fashioned to resemble a knife. Mostly we hear of shivs that have been fashioned by prison inmates to do harm to others.

10 MRI output : SCAN

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses powerful magnetic fields to generate its images so there is no exposure to ionizing radiation (such as X-rays). We used MRI equipment in our chemistry labs at school, way back in the days when the technology was still called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). Apparently the marketing folks didn’t like the term “nuclear” because of its association with atomic bombs, so now it’s just called MRI.

14 Capital of Ghana : ACCRA

Accra sits on Ghana’s coast and is a major seaport as well as the country’s capital city. The name “Accra” comes from a local word “Nkran” meaning “ants”, a name chosen because of the large number of anthills found in the area when the city was founded.

The country name “Ghana” translates as “warrior king” in the local language. The British established a colony they called Gold Coast in 1874, later to become Ghana, as part of the scramble by Europeans to settle as much of Africa as they could. One of Ghana’s most famous sons is Kofi Annan, the diplomat who served as General Secretary of the UN for ten years until the beginning of 2007.

15 “Say Anything…” actress Skye : IONE

Ione Skye is an American actress born in Hertfordshire in England. She is best known for portraying the character Diane Court in the 1989 high school romance movie “Say Anything…”, starring opposite John Cusack. Skye is the daughter of the Scottish folk singer Donovan.

16 “__ and Abel”: Jeffrey Archer novel : KANE

“Kane and Abel” is an extremely popular 1979 novel by English author Jeffrey Archer. It is so popular that it has sold about as many copies as classics like “Gone with the Wind” and “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

Jeffrey Archer is a former politician, novelist and much-ridiculed celebrity in his native Britain. HIs is an exemplar of an up-and-down career. He was elected Member of Parliament in 1969, went almost bankrupt due to a financial scandal, became a best-selling novelist, became deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, resigned after being accused of paying a prostitute, won a libel case, was made a Member of the House of Lords, resigned when it came out that he’d lied in the libel case, served two years in prison for perverting the course of justice. Despite all that, he is still officially “Lord” Archer.

22 Winter hrs. in St. Louis : CST

Central Standard Time (CST)

23 Blog entry : POST

Many folks who visit this website regard it as just that, a website. That is true, but more specifically it is referred to as a blog, as I make regular posts (actually daily posts) that then occupy the “front page” of the site. The blog entries are in reverse chronological order, and one can just look back day-by-day, reading older and older posts. “Blog” is a contraction of the term “web log”.

25 Dissociative condition : FUGUE STATE

A fugue state is a rare dissociative disorder in which a person wanders away from his or her usual environment, possibly with the establishment of a new identity. The state can last for hours, days or months, and on return, the person retains past memories, but does not recall events while in the fugue state.

30 Woman college basketball coach Summitt with an NCAA record 1,098 career wins : PAT

Pat Summitt was a college basketball head coach. She coached the Tennessee Lady Vols team for 38 years starting in 1974. Sadly, Summitt stepped down in 2012 following a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and passed away in 2016.

31 Nairobi’s country : KENYA

Nairobi is the capital and largest city in the African nation of Kenya. The city is named for the Nairobi River, which in turn takes its name from the Maasai “Enkare Nairobi” meaning “Cool Water”. Nairobi was founded in 1899 as a stop on the Kenya-Uganda railroad, at a time when the country was a British colony.

32 Insulin-producing gland : PANCREAS

The hormone insulin is secreted by structures in the pancreas called the islets of Langerhans, which are named for their island-like appearance under a microscope and for their discoverer Paul Langerhans. The hormone is named for the “islets”, as the Latin for island is “insula”.

36 Left or right ending : -IST

The concept of left-right politics started in France during the French Revolution. When members of France’s National Assembly convened in 1789, supporters of the King sat to the President’s right, and supporters of the revolution to the President’s left. The political terms “left” and “right” were then coined in the local media and have been used ever since.

44 __ pad : STENO

Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

47 Old Mideast org. : UAR

The United Arab Republic (UAR) was a union between Egypt and Syria established in 1958. The UAR dissolved in 1961 when Syria pulled out of the arrangement.

48 Reggae precursor : SKA

Reggae is a genre of music that developed in the late sixties, evolving out of the genres of ska and rocksteady.

53 Brightness nos. : IQS

Although it is correct these days to say that the abbreviation IQ stands for “intelligence quotient”, the term was actually coined by German psychologist William Stern, and so is actually an abbreviation for the German “Intelligenz-Quotient”.

63 Repast : MEAL

Our word “repast”, meaning “meal”. came to us via French (in which language “repas” is “meal”). Ultimately the term comes from the Latin “repascere” meaning “to repeatedly graze”.

65 Popular Google service : GMAIL

Gmail is a free webmail service provided by Google, and my favorite of the free email services. Gmail made a big splash when it was introduced in 2007 because it offered a whopping 1GB of storage whereas other services offered a measly 2-4MB on average.

67 Singer from County Donegal : ENYA

The Irish singer Enya co-wrote and performed two songs for the 2001 film “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”. Her song “May It Be” was nominated to that season’s Best Original Song Academy Award. The second number, called “Aniron”, was sung in Tolkien’s Elvish language called Sindarin.

Donegal is the name of the most northerly county in Ireland, and is also the name of the town that gave the county its name. “Donegal” is the anglicized form of the Irish “Dún na nGall” meaning “fort of the foreigners”. County Donegal is a really beautiful part of the country …

68 Leaf under a petal : SEPAL

In a flower, the sepals are the green, leaf-like structures that are “interleaved” with the petals, providing support. Prior to acting as support for the petals, the sepals protect the flower in bud.

Down

1 Actor Kilmer : VAL

Val Kilmer’s first big leading role in a movie was playing Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s 1991 biopic “The Doors”. A few years later, Kilmer was chosen for the lead in another big production, “Batman Forever”. Things haven’t really gone as well for Kilmer since then, I’d say. Off the screen, he flirted with the idea of running for Governor of New Mexico in 2010. A Hollywood actor as a governor? Would never happen …

2 Floe makeup : ICE

An ice floe is a sheet of ice that has separated from an ice field and is floating freely on the ocean.

3 Perform like Ella : SCAT-SING

Scat singing is a vocal improvisation found in the world of jazz. There aren’t any words as such in scat singing, just random nonsense syllables made up on the spot.

Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

4 Insider lingo : ARGOT

“Argot” is a French term. It is the name given in the 17th century to “the jargon of the Paris underworld”. Nowadays argot is a set of idioms used by any particular group, the “lingo” of that group.

Lingo is specialized vocabulary. “Journalese” and “legalese” would be good examples.

5 TV lawyer Goodman : SAUL

“Better Call Saul” is a spin-off drama series from the hit show “Breaking Bad”. The main character is small-time lawyer Saul Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk, who featured in the original series. “Better Call Saul” is set six years before Goodman makes an appearance in the “Breaking Bad” storyline. The lawyer’s real name is James Morgan McGill, and his pseudonym is a play on the words “S’all good, man!”

7 Trending : HOT

In the world of Twitter for example, a phrase that is getting “tagged” by users more than other phrases is said to be “trending”.

11 High-kicking dance : CAN-CAN

The Moulin Rouge cabaret is located right in the middle of one of the red light districts of Paris, the district of Pigalle. You can’t miss the Moulin Rouge as it has a huge red windmill on its roof (“moulin rouge” is French for “red windmill”). The nightclub opened its doors in 1889 and soon after, the working girls of the cabaret adopted a “respectable” party dance and used it to entice their clients. That was the birth of the can-can. Nowadays, the Moulin Rouge is home to a lavish, Las Vegas-style show that costs millions of euros to stage. It features showgirls, dancers and acrobats, a whole host of entertainers in fact. And I am sure the can-can features as well …

13 Snapple rival : NESTEA

Nestea is a brand of iced tea made by Nestlé. The name is a portmanteau of “Nestlé” and “tea”.

Originally “Snapple” was the name of just one type of juice made by a company called Unadulterated Food Products. The drink’s name was a contraction of “snappy apple”. The company’s name was changed to the Snapple Beverage Corporation in the early 1980s. Snapple was sold in 1994, and is now a brand name owned by Dr Pepper Snapple Group.

24 Shortstop Vizquel with 11 Gold Glove Awards : OMAR

Omar Vizquel is a former MLB shortstop who has the nickname “Little O”. Among his many achievements on the field, Vizquel became the oldest person to play shortstop in an MLB game. He retired from the game in 2007 at 40 years old.

28 Aquarium beauty : TETRA

The neon tetra is a freshwater fish that is native to parts of South America. The tetra is a very popular aquarium fish and millions are imported into the US every year. Almost all of the imported tetras are farm-raised in Asia and very few come from their native continent.

34 Stronghold : REDOUBT

A redoubt is a system of fortifications that surround a larger fort. The redoubt is used to protect soldiers stationed outside the main fort, and to provide additional defenses. The term “redoubt” (originally “redout”) means “place of retreat”.

35 That, in Toledo : ESO

Toledo is a city in central Spain that is located just over 40 miles south of the capital Madrid. Toledo is sometimes called the “City of Three Cultures”, due to the historical co-existence of Christian, Muslim and Jewish traditions.

36 Online chats, briefly : IMS

Even though instant messaging (sending and receiving IMs) has been around since the 1960s, it was AOL who popularized the term “instant message” in the eighties and nineties. The “AOL Instant Message” service was known as AIM.

38 Subdued hue : ECRU

The color ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

40 __ torch: luau light : TIKI

A tiki torch is a bamboo torch that’s commonly used in Tiki culture. Tiki culture is a relatively modern invention dating from the 20th century, and is the experience created in Polynesian-style restaurants. The word “Tiki” is borrowed from Polynesia.

44 Mark of shame : STIGMA

A stigma (plural “stigmata), in a social sense, is a distinguishing mark of disgrace. For example, one might have to suffer the stigma of being in prison. The term derives from the Greek “stigma” meaning “mark, brand”.

45 Kitchen toppers : TOQUES

A toque was a brimless style of hat that was very fashionable in Europe in the 13th to 16th centuries. Nowadays we associate toques with chefs, as it is the name given to a chef’s hat (called a “toque blanche” in French, a “white hat”). A chef’s toque is quite interesting. Many toques have exactly 100 pleats, often said to signify the number of ways that an egg can be cooked.

47 2019 Pebble Beach event : US OPEN

Pebble Beach Golf Links, located just south of Monterey, California, is a public course. It was the first public golf course to be chosen as the top course in the country by “Golf Digest”.

51 “Weeds” law org. : DEA

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

“Weeds” is a Showtime television series that originally aired from 2005 to 2012. “Weeds” is a comedy-drama about a mother of two who has to turn to growing and selling marijuana to support her family after her husband dies. Mary-Louise Parker plays the lead, and does an excellent job …

52 Moth attractor : FLAME

It isn’t really understood why moths are attracted to artificial lights. There is one theory that sounds plausible to me though. It is suggested that moths navigate at night by maintaining the moon (the brightest celestial object) at a fixed angle. When a moth finds a brighter light source, like an artificial light, it gets confused.

56 Units of energy : ERGS

An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, with one joule comprising 10 million ergs. it has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off. The term comes from “ergon”, the Greek word for work.

58 __ Poke: retro candy : SLO

Slo Poke ia a brand of candy, one described as caramel on a stick. It is produced by the Gilliam Candy Company.

61 “Homeland” org. : CIA

“Homeland” is a psychological drama on Showtime about a CIA officer who is convinced that a certain US Marine is a threat to the security of the United States. The show is based on a series from Israeli television called “Hatufim” (Prisoners of War”). I saw the first season of this show and highly recommend it …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Passport stamps : VISAS
6 Improvised knife : SHIV
10 MRI output : SCAN
14 Capital of Ghana : ACCRA
15 “Say Anything…” actress Skye : IONE
16 “__ and Abel”: Jeffrey Archer novel : KANE
17 Sports page table : LEAGUE STANDINGS
20 Plaza payment : TOLL
21 Feel remorse over : RUE
22 Winter hrs. in St. Louis : CST
23 Blog entry : POST
25 Dissociative condition : FUGUE STATE
29 “Who __ to complain?” : AM I
30 Woman college basketball coach Summitt with an NCAA record 1,098 career wins : PAT
31 Nairobi’s country : KENYA
32 Insulin-producing gland : PANCREAS
36 Left or right ending : -IST
37 Makes a case for, with “of” : ARGUES THE MERITS
42 Knot-tying vow : I DO
43 Like big lottery winners, presumably : ECSTATIC
44 __ pad : STENO
47 Old Mideast org. : UAR
48 Reggae precursor : SKA
49 Intraoral piercing : TONGUE STUD
52 Carnival : FAIR
53 Brightness nos. : IQS
54 6-Down’s sib : BRO
55 River swimmers : EELS
57 Talk show drop-by … and a literal feature of 17-, 25-, 37- and 49-Across : GUEST APPEARANCE
63 Repast : MEAL
64 Char on a grill : SEAR
65 Popular Google service : GMAIL
66 About : AS TO
67 Singer from County Donegal : ENYA
68 Leaf under a petal : SEPAL

Down

1 Actor Kilmer : VAL
2 Floe makeup : ICE
3 Perform like Ella : SCAT-SING
4 Insider lingo : ARGOT
5 TV lawyer Goodman : SAUL
6 54-Across’ sib : SIS
7 Trending : HOT
8 Going nowhere, career-wise : IN A RUT
9 Playhouse, say : VENUE
10 Navigate slopes : SKI
11 High-kicking dance : CAN-CAN
12 Showing insecurity : ANGSTY
13 Snapple rival : NESTEA
18 Wee toymaker : ELF
19 Matching office accessories : DESK SET
23 Dad : PAPA
24 Shortstop Vizquel with 11 Gold Glove Awards : OMAR
26 __ the crack of dawn : UP AT
27 House-warming option : GAS HEAT
28 Aquarium beauty : TETRA
33 Stage prompting : CUING
34 Stronghold : REDOUBT
35 That, in Toledo : ESO
36 Online chats, briefly : IMS
38 Subdued hue : ECRU
39 “Simple as can be” : IT’S A SNAP
40 __ torch: luau light : TIKI
41 What a tattoo may cover : SCAR
44 Mark of shame : STIGMA
45 Kitchen toppers : TOQUES
46 Put into power : ENSEAT
47 2019 Pebble Beach event : US OPEN
50 Wipe : ERASE
51 “Weeds” law org. : DEA
52 Moth attractor : FLAME
56 Units of energy : ERGS
58 __ Poke: retro candy : SLO
59 Settle : PAY
60 Time to remember : ERA
61 “Homeland” org. : CIA
62 Turn in the plumbing : ELL

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 15 May 19, Wednesday”

  1. Not as hard as it first appeared. After I got “guest appearance” I was
    able to finish the other long answers. Fun. But “tonguestud” Ugh!

  2. 22:03 no errors…..how someone can work a word like “guest” in 4 places in a puzzle and still make everything fit across and down seems like an impossible task. I guess if you knew the secret, if there is one, you would be less impressed. But for now I will just work them and not try to understand how they do it.

  3. Easy for Wednesday. Didn’t notice theme. Didn’t actually know PAT, or OMAR (sports), or SLO and ACCRA, but crosses yielded them.

  4. I just cannot agree with the thought that it was easy. It was one of the
    trickiest puzzles I have ever tried. But, we scratched 100% out of that
    sucker and feel very good about it. If Bill takes over 8 minutes, I don’t
    see how it can be considered to be easy.

  5. Really easy Wednesday for me; took 12 minutes with no errors and just one crossover: IONa to IONE.

    I should be in bed early for my market tomorrow(…later today), but due to a possible T-Storm they decided to call it off. It was supposed to be pouring right now and the forecasts haven’t been particularly accurate lately. Time will tell I suppose, although high winds I can do without.

    @John – On its surface, this puzzle could be called hard, but a lot of the answers are typical crosswordese you will see in a lot of puzzles (TETRA, TOQUE, SCAT…, ELL, ERGS, ANGST…, TIKI, ERASE, UAR, ELF.) Remember these and their various definitions and things will go fairly smooth. ENSEAT is a bit dodgy.

  6. Hiya folks!!⚾️

    No errors, but I agree with you, John– not a breeze. 🤔 I too noticed Bill’s time– high for a Wednesday. Also agree with Paulette– ENSEAT is pretty ridiculous, despite the fact that it probably exists….Overall a fun challenge tho.

    For whatever reason, today more than usual I feel like incorporating some phrases here into everyday conversation!!😯 FUGUE STATE — I could get away with a lot if I say I’m in that condition. And ARGUE THE MERITS– it never occurs to me to use it outside of legalese.

    Be well~~🌹🌻🌺

  7. I found “ENSEAT” in Webster’s Third. (It’s also in the OED, but with a cryptic reference to the prefix “EX-” that I really don’t understand.) Maybe “ENSEAT” is in the “official” Scrabble dictionary and therefore deemed fair game for use in a crossword puzzle? In any case, the desired entry could be inferred relatively easily from the clue; the editor may have allowed it for that reason. (I’m not sure I would have.)

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