LA Times Crossword 22 May 19, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Roland Huget
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Work-Around

The starting and ending letters in themed answers are types of WORK:

  • 58A Temporary fix, or what’s found in this puzzle’s circles : WORK-AROUND
  • 17A Car engine part : CRANKSHAFT (“craft” around”)
  • 24A “Tell me about it” : JOIN THE CLUB (“job” around)
  • 34A Custodian : CARETAKER (“career” around)
  • 50A Lonely Planet publication, e.g. : TRAVEL GUIDE (“trade” around)

Bill’s time: 5m 42s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 Food safety concern : E COLI

Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.

15 Miracle Mets outfielder Tommie : AGEE

Tommie Agee was a Major League Baseball player who played mainly with the Indians, White Sox and Mets. He was one of the “Amazin’ Mets”, and was famous for making two phenomenal catches in game three of the 1969 world series, potentially saving five runs. Agee was also the first Mets outfielder to win a Gold Glove, doing so in 1970.

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 along came the “Miracle Mets” (aka “Amazin’ Mets”) who beat the Baltimore Orioles in 1969 to claim the World Series in a huge upset.

16 Bell town in a Longfellow poem : ATRI

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote “The Sicilian’s Tale; The Bell of Atri”, a narrative poem set in the small town of Atri in the Abruzzo region of Italy.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was famous for his own work, like “Paul Revere’s Ride” and “The Song of Hiawatha”, but he was also the first American to translate Dante’s epic poem called the “Divine Comedy”.

17 Car engine part : CRANKSHAFT (“craft” around”)

In most internal combustion engines the pistons that move up and down are arranged in a line, and connected to a crankshaft that runs along the bottom of the engine. The up and down motion of the pistons turns the crankshaft, which turning motion is “transmitted” (via the transmission) to the wheels. The case surrounding the crankshaft is called the crankcase. The crankcase contains a lot of oil that is squirted onto the crankshaft to lubricate it. Excess oil falls to the bottom of the crankcase and into a reservoir called the oil pan.

20 __ Bora: Afghan region : TORA

The famous cave that almost certainly housed Osama Bin Laden for a while was in Tora Bora in eastern Pakistan. Tora Bora is not far (~ 30 mi) from what used to be an even more famous spot, the Khyber Pass. “Tora Bora” is a Pashto name which translates to “black dust”.

21 Roman 151 : CLI

“CLI” is the number “151” in Roman numerals.

22 Prolonged assault : SIEGE

Our word “siege” comes from a 13th century word for a “seat”. The military usage derives from the concept of a besieging force “sitting down” outside a fortress until it falls.

23 U.K. honor : OBE

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry in the UK that was established in 1917 by King George V. There are five classes within the order, which are in descending seniority:

  • Knight Grand Cross (GBE)
  • Knight Commander (KBE)
  • Commander (CBE)
  • Officer (OBE)
  • Member (MBE)

30 Poe’s “Annabel __” : LEE

“Annabel Lee” was the last complete poem written by Edgar Allan Poe. The opening lines are:

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;

The closing lines are:

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

33 Alpha-Bits cereal maker : POST

Alpha-Bits is a Post breakfast cereal that was introduced in 1958, and taken off the shelves in 2006. The cereal was relaunched in 2008 with “0% Sugar!” tagline, but I guess that didn’t sell too well. The original Alpha-Bits formulation was reintroduced in 2008. Sugar, sugar, sugar …

38 Talk show host Cavett : DICK

Dick Cavett is best known as a talk show host, one with a wonderful sense of humor. He had a long career on TV, appearing regularly from the 1960s through the 2000s. Cavett is also famous for making up anagrams from the celebrity names. Examples are “genuine class” for Alec Guinness and “grow a spine” (that’s the polite version!) for Spiro Agnew.

41 Zamboni surface : ICE

The first ice resurfacing machine was developed in 1949 by one Frank Zamboni. The eponymous Zamboni machine works by simultaneously executing a number of tasks. First, the surface of the ice is scraped off by a sharp blade. Next the ice is “washed” with water sprayed from the front of the Zamboni, and that wash water is vacuumed back up and filtered to remove impurities. Water is then reapplied to the scraped ice by a wet towel dragging behind the machine, forming a new skating surface.

46 Bat wood : ASH

The wood of the ash tree is a hardwood, although it is relatively elastic. Famously, ash is the wood of choice for baseball bats. It is also the wood of choice for hurleys, the wooden sticks used in the Irish sport of hurling.

47 Aromatic garland : LEI

“Lei” is the Hawaiian word for “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a lei is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

48 Bob Cratchit’s son : TINY TIM

“Tiny Tim” is the nickname of Timothy Cratchit, a character in the Charles Dickens novella “A Christmas Carol”. Tiny Tim is the son of Ebenezer Scrooge’s underpaid clerk Bob Cratchit, and is a sickly child. Famously, the child utters the words “God bless us, every one!” at Christmas dinner, which words are repeated by the author at the end of the story.

50 Lonely Planet publication, e.g. : TRAVEL GUIDE (“trade” around)

“Lonely Planet” is a publisher of a very successful series of travel guide books. The company was founded by British couple Tony and Maureen Wheeler in 1972. Their first publication was “Across Asia on the Cheap”, which was issued as a stapled booklet.

53 Zodiac feline : LEO

Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 23 to August 22 are Leos.

55 Salem-to-Portland dir. : NNE

Salem is the state capital of Oregon. It is thought that the city takes its name from the older city of Salem, Massachusetts.

Portland is the largest city in Oregon. The city was founded by two claimholders from back East, one from Boston, Massachusetts and one from Portland, Maine. Both of the founders wanted to name the new city after their hometowns, and settled the dilemma with a coin toss. Portland won …

62 First name in stunts : EVEL

Daredevil Evel Knievel contracted hepatitis C from the many blood transfusions that he needed after injuries incurred during stunts. He had to have a liver transplant as a result, but his health declined after that. Knievel eventually passed away in 2007.

Down

1 Strong-arms : HECTORS

The verb “to hector” means “to bully, to dominate in a blustering way”. The term comes from the Trojan hero Hector, who encouraged his fellow Trojans to keep up the fight against the Greeks. I guess he must have bullied them …

2 Cirque du Soleil performer : ACROBAT

An acrobat is someone who performs gymnastic feats. The term comes into English via French from the Greek “akrobatos” meaning “going on tip-toe, climbing up high”.

Cirque du Soleil is an entertainment company based in Montreal. The company was founded in 1984 by two former street performers, and stages spectacular shows that are a dramatic mix of circus and street entertainment. I’ve seen several Cirque du Soleil shows over the years, and have thoroughly every single one.

4 Radius neighbor : ULNA

The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinkie-side”.

5 Dental suffix with Water : -PIK

Waterpik is a brand of oral irrigator, a device that uses a stream of water to remove food debris and dental plaque from the teeth. There are claims made that water irrigators are more effective than dental floss.

6 Mexico’s national flower : DAHLIA

The dahlia is a flowering plant native to Mexico and Central America. It was named the national flower of Mexico relatively recently, in 1963. The plant was given the name dahlia in 1791, in honor of Swedish botanist Anders Dahl.

8 Sports replay reviewer : REF

Back in the early 17th century, a referee was someone who examined patent applications. We started using the same term for a person presiding over a sporting event in the 1820s. “Referee” is derivative of the verb “to refer”, and literally describes someone who has the authority to make a decision by “referring to” a book, archive etc.

11 The lord in “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy!” : OTHELLO

Iago says the following words about jealousy and envy to Othello in William Shakespeare’s play:

O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on; that cuckold lives in bliss
Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;
But, O, what damned minutes tells he o’er
Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves!

12 Irish accents : BROGUES

It’s possible that the use of the term “brogue”, meaning “Celtic or Irish accent”, is related to the use of “brogue” to mean “stout, heavy show”. According to one source, the footwear was “characteristic of the wilder Irish”. I suppose that the accent of the “wilder Irish” came to be known as a “brogue” as a result.

18 Highlander : SCOT

The Scottish Highlands are that part of the country not classified as the Lowlands(!). The Highlands make up the north and west of Scotland.

24 “Gotham” actress __ Pinkett Smith : JADA

Jada Pinkett Smith is an actress from Baltimore, Maryland. Pinkett Smith’s most famous role is the human rebel Niobe in “The Matrix” series of movies. Back in 1990, she auditioned for the TV show “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, to play the girlfriend of the character played by Will Smith. She didn’t get the role but did get Will Smith, as the couple were married in 1997.

“Gotham” is a television series that features characters from the DC Comics Batman universe. The series serves as a kind of prequel to the Batman stories. It relates the early career of future Commission Gordon, as well as outlining the origins of villains like the Penguin, the Riddler, Catwoman, Mr. Freeze and the Joker.

25 Supermodel Banks : TYRA

Tyra Banks is a tremendously successful model and businesswoman. Banks created and hosted the hit show “America’s Next Top Model “, and also had her own talk show. She was also the first African American woman to make the cover of the “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issue. Banks took over as host of “America’s Got Talent” in 2017.

26 Access illegally, as a computer : HACK

A computer hacker is a computer expert, and in particular one who uses that expertise to solve problems with hardware and software. So, the original use of the term “hacking” was very positive. Since the 1980s, the term “hacker” is more commonly used for an expert in subverting computer security.

28 Swabbing site : DECK

“Swabbie” (also “swabby, swab, swabber”) is a slang term for a sailor that we’ve been using since the late 1700s. A “swab” was originally a member of the crew assigned to the swabbing (mopping) of the ship’s decks.

35 Cambodian currency : RIEL

Rial is the name of the currency of Cambodia (as well as Yemen, Iran, Oman and Tunisia). Generally, there are 1,000 baisa in a rial.

36 Vaping product, briefly : E-CIG

An electronic cigarette (also called an “e-cigarette”) is a battery-powered device that resembles a real cigarette. The e-cigarette vaporizes a solution that contains nicotine, forming a vapor that resembles smoke. The vapor is inhaled in a process called “vaping”, delivering the nicotine into the body. The assumption is that an e-cigarette is healthier than a regular cigarette as the inhaled vapor is less harmful than inhaled smoke. But, that may not be so …

37 Sea eagle : ERNE

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

38 Baked snack with dried fruit : DATE BAR

Date palms can be either male or female. Only the female tree bears fruit (dates).

39 Lod native : ISRAELI

The Israeli city of Lod lies just a few miles southeast of Tel Aviv. Lod is the home of Ben Gurion International, Israel’s main airport.

40 Car’s supporting frame : CHASSIS

Before we used the word “chassis” for the base frame of a car, in 1903, the term applied to the carriage base of a large gun, and indeed a window frame (later “sash”), “Châssis” is French for “frame”.

43 Midwest city named for a French king : ST LOUIS

The city of St. Louis, Missouri was settled by French explorers in 1763. Sitting on the Mississippi River, it grew into a very busy port. By the 1850s, it was the second busiest port in the country, with only New York moving more freight. St. Louis was named for Louis IX of France. Louis was canonized in 1297 by Pope Boniface VIII, and was the only French king to be declared a saint.

51 Sporty Chevy : ‘VETTE

The Chevrolet Corvette was introduced to the world in 1953, and was named after the small maneuverable warship called a corvette. The “vette” has legs. It is the only American sports car that has been around for over 50 years.

52 Gen. Assembly member : UN REP

The Charter of the United Nations was signed by the member states in San Francisco in June 1945 and came into force on 24 October 1945. October 24 was chosen as United Nations Day in 1947. In 1971 the United Nations further resolved to make UN Day a public holiday in all UN member states.

56 Études, e.g. : SOLI

“Tutti” (singular “tutto”) are pieces of music performed by all the artists in a group, as opposed to “soli” (singular “solo”). “Tutto” is the Italian for “all”.

An étude is a short instrumental composition that is usually quite hard to play and is intended to help the performer master a particular technique. “Étude” is the French word for “study”. Études are commonly performed on the piano.

59 In vitro supply : OVA

In vitro fertilization is the process in which egg cells are fertilized by sperm cells outside of the body in vitro. The phrase “in vitro” translates from Latin as “in glass”. The process is usually carried out in a glass culture dish.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Receives at one’s roof garden : HAS UP
6 “Shoot!” : DARN!
10 Bounces on the waves : BOBS
14 Food safety concern : E COLI
15 Miracle Mets outfielder Tommie : AGEE
16 Bell town in a Longfellow poem : ATRI
17 Car engine part : CRANKSHAFT (“craft” around”)
19 Like racehorses : SHOD
20 __ Bora: Afghan region : TORA
21 Roman 151 : CLI
22 Prolonged assault : SIEGE
23 U.K. honor : OBE
24 “Tell me about it” : JOIN THE CLUB (“job” around)
27 Numbers to crunch : RAW DATA
29 Veer off course : YAW
30 Poe’s “Annabel __” : LEE
31 Stately horse : STEED
32 Orbit segment : ARC
33 Alpha-Bits cereal maker : POST
34 Custodian : CARETAKER (“career” around)
38 Talk show host Cavett : DICK
41 Zamboni surface : ICE
42 Stretches out for a bit : RESTS
46 Bat wood : ASH
47 Aromatic garland : LEI
48 Bob Cratchit’s son : TINY TIM
50 Lonely Planet publication, e.g. : TRAVEL GUIDE (“trade” around)
53 Zodiac feline : LEO
54 Relaxed : EASED
55 Salem-to-Portland dir. : NNE
56 Gardener’s bagful : SOIL
57 Outdo : BEST
58 Temporary fix, or what’s found in this puzzle’s circles : WORK-AROUND
61 Came to rest : ALIT
62 First name in stunts : EVEL
63 Superachievers : ELITE
64 Get out of bed : RISE
65 Obsolete demo medium : TAPE
66 Cap bill : VISOR

Down

1 Strong-arms : HECTORS
2 Cirque du Soleil performer : ACROBAT
3 “Us, too” : SO ARE WE
4 Radius neighbor : ULNA
5 Dental suffix with Water : -PIK
6 Mexico’s national flower : DAHLIA
7 From the top : AGAIN
8 Sports replay reviewer : REF
9 After-tax : NET
10 Not advanced : BASIC
11 The lord in “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy!” : OTHELLO
12 Irish accents : BROGUES
13 Extra gambling action : SIDE BET
18 Highlander : SCOT
22 Clinch, with “up” : SEW …
24 “Gotham” actress __ Pinkett Smith : JADA
25 Supermodel Banks : TYRA
26 Access illegally, as a computer : HACK
28 Swabbing site : DECK
32 Tucked away : ATE
33 One being hunted : PREY
35 Cambodian currency : RIEL
36 Vaping product, briefly : E-CIG
37 Sea eagle : ERNE
38 Baked snack with dried fruit : DATE BAR
39 Lod native : ISRAELI
40 Car’s supporting frame : CHASSIS
43 Midwest city named for a French king : ST LOUIS
44 Connect with : TIE INTO
45 Do a slow burn : SMOLDER
47 Took charge of : LED
48 Wind chime sound : TINKLE
49 Creative spark : IDEA
51 Sporty Chevy : ‘VETTE
52 Gen. Assembly member : UN REP
56 Études, e.g. : SOLI
58 Not just damp : WET
59 In vitro supply : OVA
60 Race in the driveway : REV

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 22 May 19, Wednesday”

  1. LAT: 8:15, no errors. Newsday: 5:32, no errors. WSJ: 12:14, no errors.

    @Glenn … I’ve now done 21 (7/7/7) of those green/brown/black belt puzzles edited by Rich Norris and I’ve concluded that the clues have, in fact, been re-edited. (They are more or less consistent with the Wednesday/Friday/Saturday LAT levels mentioned in the intros to the books, but somehow … cleaner … more polished.) I don’t know if there’s a way to check my conclusion against what was originally published: he provides the names of the constructors, but no dates. Suggestions?

    1. If they’re recent enough, you should be able to search constructor name and a handful of the answers and see if any particular grids come up on blogs such as this one. Other than that, I can’t think of anything else, especially as there’s no equivalent XWordInfo resource (NYT) for the LAT.

      1. Thanks, Glenn. I’ve been trying various searches, but haven’t tried clues yet. (Of course, if lots if clues have changed, that may not work … but it’s worth a try.) Maybe constructor name plus unusual entry? I’ll keep trying …

        The other Rich Norris book hasn’t arrived yet, but I did pick up one edited by Peter Gordon: “Diabolically Hard Fireball Crosswords”. Haven’t tried one of those, either: too tired from chopping up tree branches … (or, at least, that’s a handy excuse) … 😳 … 😜

        1. >one edited by Peter Gordon: “Diabolically Hard Fireball Crosswords”

          That’s one of the books that Gordon spun off of his Fireball Crosswords subscription plan that I mention every once in a while on here (I have the current one sitting here waiting for me to do I’ll probably put in my post tomorrow). I can’t figure out quite what year that book is from. I started subscribing in 2017, and I can say I quite enjoy having them. That said, given what I know those are (think Saturday NYT+ level themed puzzles), you ought to definitely have some fun with them.

      2. So … the Peter Gordon book was sitting there after I finished a modest 5000-calorie repast of crackers, goat brie, Fresno chili peppers, and apple pie, so … I picked it up and I’m proud to announce that I finished the first puzzle in it in approximately 17 seconds. (It helped that the gimmick in it was virtually identical to one recently used by one Brendan Emmet Quigley … 😜.)

  2. Had to Google HAS UP and HECTOR, as I was lost in the NW. I think HAS UP is a garbage answer.

    Did not know: AGEE (as a sports guy), TORA and RIEL.

  3. Fairly easy Wednesday for me; took 14 minutes with no errors with just a bit of noodling around waiting for crosses.

    Had to change driveSHAFT and HAdUP but that was it. Didn’t really notice the theme, since my writing was a bit sloppy and by the time I got to the reveal, I was already just about done.

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