LA Times Crossword 24 May 19, Friday

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Constructed by: Evan Kalish
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Work-Around

Themed clues are each common “statements”, and themed answers are common phrases defined cryptically by those statements:

  • 18A Mission statement? : REMEMBER THE ALAMO!
  • 31A Position statement? : YOU ARE HERE
  • 43A Impact statement? : OW, THAT HURT!
  • 56A Closing statement? : COME BACK TOMORROW

Bill’s time: 9m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Muscle at one end of the Achilles tendon : CALF

The Achilles tendon is located at the back of the leg, above the heel. The name is a reference to Achilles, the hero of Greek myth who was invulnerable in all of his body except for his heel.

14 __ 2600, Class of 2007 National Toy Hall of Fame inductee : ATARI

The kids today probably don’t realize that we had a video game console back in the seventies, and it wasn’t a Nintendo nor was it a PlayStation. The Atari 2600 game system introduced the idea of separating out computing hardware (the console) from the game code (a cartridge). The same concept persists to this day, although cartridges have been displaced by discs and downloads.

17 Alaska governor after Murkowski : PALIN

Famously, Sarah Palin was the Governor of Alaska from 2006 until 2009, and had been the Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska from 1996 until 2002. However, Palin is not a native Alaskan. She was born Sarah Heath in 1964 in Sandpoint, Idaho. Her father was a science teacher and took a position in Skagway, Alaska when Palin was just a few months old.

Lisa Murkowski is the first Alaska senator who was actually born in the state. In 2002 she was appointed to the US Senate by her father, then Governor Frank Murkowski, but then won the seat in her own right in the 2004 election. In 2010, she narrowly lost the Republican primary election to Joe Miller, a candidate famously supported by former Governor Sarah Palin. Senator Murkowski has put herself forward as a “write-in” candidate in the November 2010 election, meaning that anyone who wants to vote for her may do so by simply writing in her name on the ballot.

18 Mission statement? : REMEMBER THE ALAMO!

The famous Alamo in San Antonio, Texas was originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero. The mission was founded in 1718 and was the first mission established in the city. The Battle of the Alamo took place in 1836, a thirteen-day siege by the Mexican Army led by President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Only two people defending the Alamo Mission survived the onslaught. One month later, the Texian army got its revenge by attacking and defeating the Mexican Army in the Battle of San Jacinto. During the surprise attack on Santa Anna’s camp, many of the Texian soldiers were heard to cry “Remember the Alamo!”.

22 Baseball mascot originally titled “Lady” : MRS MET

Mr. Met is the mascot of the New York Mets. He is a guy with a large baseball as a head. There’s also a Mrs. Met, a mascot who was previously known as Lady Met.

25 Ballet move : PLIE

The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent. A “demi-plié” is a similar move, but with less bending of the knees.

28 For nothing : GRATIS

Something provided “gratis” is supplied free of charge. “Gratis” is a Latin term, a contraction of “gratiis” meaning “for thanks”.

33 Black fur : SABLE

Sables are small mammals, about two feet long, that are found right across northern Europe and northern Asia. The sable’s black pelt is highly prized in the fur trade. Sable is unique among furs in that it feels smooth no matter which direction it is stroked.

37 Big name in big trucks : MACK

Mack Trucks was founded by John Mack in the early 1900s, after he had spent some years working in companies that made carriages and electric motor cars. Along with his two brothers, Mack started their company to focus on building heavy-duty trucks and engines.

38 Restoratives : TONICS

A tonic is medication that is said to restore health. The original use of the term “tonic” was as an adjective meaning “increasing body tone”.

41 Lid maladies : STYES

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

48 Tricky person : WAG

A card, wag or riot is a very amusing person.

53 Author Allende : ISABEL

Isabel Allende is a Chilean writer, apparently the world’s most widely-read, Spanish-language author. Isabel is related to Salvador Allende, the ex-President of Chile.

62 First name in Fighting Irish history : KNUTE

Knute Rockne, America’s most famous football coach many say, was born in the city of Voss in Norway. He came to the United States with his family when he was 5-years-old. Years later he graduated Notre Dame with a degree in Chemistry, but abandoned that career path when he was offered his first real coaching job.

The athletic teams of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana are known as the Fighting Irish. There are several debated etymologies for the moniker “Fighting Irish”, with the most generally accepted being that it was applied by the press in the 1920s, reflecting the team’s’ fighting spirit and grit, determination and tenacity. I guess “grit, determination and tenacity” are characteristics often associated with the Irish.

64 Arabian Peninsula resident : OMANI

The Arabian Peninsula (also “Arabia”) is part of Western Asia that is located just north-east of Africa. The peninsula is bordered to the west by the Red Sea, to the northeast by the Persian Gulf, and to the southeast by the Indian Ocean. Most of the Arabian Peninsula is taken up by Saudi Arabia, but also included are Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen. And, it’s the largest peninsula in the world, covering about 1¼ million square miles.

67 Sun blocker : SMOG

“Smog” is a portmanteau formed by melding “smoke” and “fog”. The term was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s. Several cities around the world have a reputation of being particularly smoggy. For example, the most smog-plagued city in Latin America is Mexico City, which is located in a highland “bowl” that traps industrial and vehicle pollution.

Down

3 Escape : LAM

To be on the lam is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. “On the lam” is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word “lam” also means to “beat” or “thrash”, as in “lambaste”. So “on the lam” might derive from the phrase “to beat it, to scram”.

11 High-altitude pack animal : LLAMA

The wool from a llama is much softer than that from a sheep, and it is also free from lanolin.

13 Low-risk investment : T-NOTE

A Treasury note (T-note) is a government debt that matures in 1-10 years. A T-note has a coupon (interest) payment made every six months. The T-note is purchased at a discount to face value, and at the date of maturity can be redeemed at that face value. A Treasury bill (T-bill) is a similar financial vehicle, but it matures in one year or less, and a T-bond matures in 20-30 years.

19 Mixologist’s tools : BAR SET

A mixologist is someone who is well versed in the mixing of cocktails, said he reaching for the shaker …

20 Expressionist painter Nolde : EMIL

Emil Nolde was a German expressionist painter. He was actually born Emil Hansen, near the village of Nolde in the Prussian Duchy of Schleswig in 1867. Hansen officially changed his name to Nolde on the occasion of his marriage in 1902.

23 Slovene neighbor : CROAT

The Republic of Croatia is a Balkan country. The Croats declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Croatia became a member of NATO in 2009, and a member of the European Union in 2013.

The Republic of Slovenia is a country in Central Europe that is bordered by Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary. Given its geographic location, the country has been part of various realms over the centuries, most recently being part of Yugoslavia. Slovenia declared independence from former Yugoslavia in 1991, and is now a member of the European Union.

26 Parasite : LEECH

We are most familiar with medicinal leeches, which feed on the blood of mainly vertebrate animals. However, most leeches are predatory and swallow other invertebrates for food.

29 Ted Williams’ field : FENWAY

The Boston Red Sox is one of the most successful Major League Baseball teams and so commands a large attendance, but only when on the road. The relatively small capacity of Boston’s Fenway Park, the team’s home since 1912, has dictated that every game the Red Sox has played there has been a sell-out since May of 2003. I recently had the pleasure of touring Fenway Park. It’s quite a place …

As well as playing in left field for the Boston Red Sox, Ted Williams served as a pilot in the Marine Corps in World War II and the Korean War. Williams earned a few colorful nicknames during his baseball career, including “The Splendid Splinter”, “Teddy Ballgame”, “The Thumper” and “The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived”.

30 Large animals whose taxonomic order is obsolete : PACHYDERMS

A pachyderm is a large mammal noted for having very thick skin and hooves, or nails resembling hooves. In terms of taxonomy, animals such as elephants, rhinoceroses and hippopotamuses used to be classified in the order Pachydermata (from the Greek for “thick” and “skin”). That order is now obsolete, as it has been shown that the aforementioned “pachyderms” do not in fact share a common ancestor. Despite the reclassification, “pachyderm” persists in common, non-scientific usage.

32 Brit’s bonnets, in the States : HOODS

The hinged cover over the engine of a car is referred to in the US as a hood, and in Britain and Ireland as a bonnet. On the other side of the Atlantic, a hood is a fabric cover that goes over a car’s passenger compartment. That same cover is called a “top” here in the US.

35 David who voiced George Steinbrenner on “Seinfeld” : LARRY

Larry David was one of the creators of the sitcom “Seinfeld”, and was a co-writer of many of the episodes. David also stars in the HBO comedy “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, which has a very “Seinfeld” feel to it.

36 Mobile lifesavers : EMTS

Emergency medical technician (EMT)

39 Peace in the Middle East? : SALAAM

The word “salaam” is an Anglicized spelling of the Arabic word for “peace”. The term can describe an act of deference, and in particular a very low bow.

44 Bit of needlework : TATTOO

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

46 Tulane’s home, informally : NOLA

The city of New Orleans, Louisiana has the nickname “The Big Easy”. This name might come from the early 1900s when musicians found it relatively “easy” to find work there. The city is also known by the acronym NOLA, standing for New Orleans (NO), Louisiana (LA).

Tulane University is a private research university in New Orleans, Louisiana. Tulane was founded in 1834 as the Medical College of Louisiana. The university was privatized with the aid of an endowment from philanthropist Paul Tulane in 1884, and as a result the school’s name was changed to Tulane University. The school’s sports teams use the name Tulane Green Wave, and the team mascot is Riptide the Pelican.

50 Full range : GAMUT

In medieval times, the musical scale was denoted by the notes “ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la”. The term “gamma ut”, shortened to “gamut”, was used to describe the whole scale. By the 1620s, “gamut” was being used to mean the entire range of anything, the whole gamut.

54 Pre-release stage : BETA

In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the alpha version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a beta and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, hopefully bug-free.

57 Rite Aid rival : CVS

The name of the drugstore chain CVS once stood for “Consumer Value Stores”, although these days the company uses the initialism to denote “Convenience, Value and Service”.

What we know today as Rite Aid started out as one store in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1962. Rite Aid is now the biggest chain of drugstores on the East Coast of the United States and has operations all over the country.

58 Optima, for one : KIA

The Kia Optima was sold for a while in Canada and Europe as the Kia Magentis.

59 Big name in pickups : RAM

Chrysler put ram hood ornaments on all of its Dodge-branded vehicles starting in 1933. When the first line of Dodge trucks and vans were introduced in 1981, they were named “Rams” in honor of that hood ornament.

60 Palindromic peace activist : ONO

John Lennon and Yoko Ono married at the height of the Vietnam War in 1969. The couple decided to use the inevitable publicity surrounding their wedding and honeymoon to promote peace in the world. They honeymooned in the Presidential Suite of the Amsterdam Hilton, inviting the world’s press to join them and to witness their “bed-in”. They spent the week talking about peace, and an end to war. The marriage and bed-in is chronicled by the Beatles in their song “The Ballad of John and Yoko”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Muscle at one end of the Achilles tendon : CALF
5 Dream __ : TEAM
9 Ground-hitting sound : SPLAT!
14 __ 2600, Class of 2007 National Toy Hall of Fame inductee : ATARI
16 Ebb : WANE
17 Alaska governor after Murkowski : PALIN
18 Mission statement? : REMEMBER THE ALAMO!
21 Bandies words : SPARS
22 Baseball mascot originally titled “Lady” : MRS MET
23 La, in the key of E : C-SHARP
25 Ballet move : PLIE
27 Drink suffix : -ADE
28 For nothing : GRATIS
29 Get gas : FUEL UP
31 Position statement? : YOU ARE HERE
33 Black fur : SABLE
37 Big name in big trucks : MACK
38 Restoratives : TONICS
40 Lead-in to bake or shell : CLAM-
41 Lid maladies : STYES
43 Impact statement? : OW, THAT HURT!
45 __ best : SUNDAY
47 What many dress in during winter : LAYERS
48 Tricky person : WAG
51 Looking up : ROSY
52 Gently towel off : PAT DRY
53 Author Allende : ISABEL
55 Clean __ : SLATE
56 Closing statement? : COME BACK TOMORROW
62 First name in Fighting Irish history : KNUTE
63 Vacation home asset : VIEW
64 Arabian Peninsula resident : OMANI
65 Go after : SET AT
66 Board-making aids : SAWS
67 Sun blocker : SMOG

Down

1 A dealer might flip one : CAR
2 Adored, with “up” : ATE
3 Escape : LAM
4 New perspectives : FRESH TAKES
5 Squirt : TWERP
6 Wheat spikes : EARS
7 Critter with three left legs : ANT
8 “Doesn’t do it for me” : MEH
9 “We have enough details, thanks” : SPARE US
10 Buds : PALS
11 High-altitude pack animal : LLAMA
12 Prepared with a cue : AIMED
13 Low-risk investment : T-NOTE
15 Affect adversely : IMPAIR
19 Mixologist’s tools : BAR SET
20 Expressionist painter Nolde : EMIL
23 Slovene neighbor : CROAT
24 Pert : SAUCY
25 Ingot valuation factor : PURITY
26 Parasite : LEECH
28 Places for some rats : GYMS
29 Ted Williams’ field : FENWAY
30 Large animals whose taxonomic order is obsolete : PACHYDERMS
32 Brit’s bonnets, in the States : HOODS
34 Downer? : BLUER
35 David who voiced George Steinbrenner on “Seinfeld” : LARRY
36 Mobile lifesavers : EMTS
39 Peace in the Middle East? : SALAAM
42 Can’t-miss wager : SURE BET
44 Bit of needlework : TATTOO
46 Tulane’s home, informally : NOLA
48 Burning needs? : WICKS
49 In unison : AS ONE
50 Full range : GAMUT
52 Pickup attachments : PLOWS
54 Pre-release stage : BETA
55 All-in-one dinner : STEW
57 Rite Aid rival : CVS
58 Optima, for one : KIA
59 Big name in pickups : RAM
60 Palindromic peace activist : ONO
61 Locks lacking keys : WIG

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 24 May 19, Friday”

  1. Harder one today. It didn’t come together for me until I realized that
    “pert” was saucy, not sassy. Had to google a couple of names, too.

  2. LAT: 15:04, no errors. Newsday: 12:27, no errors. WSJ: 16:11, no errors; no insights on the meta. New Yorker: 8:42, no errors. Croce later.

    1. Croce: ~1:20:00, no errors. An “anagram” crossword: each entry is an anagram of what is suggested by its clue. A pretty thoughtful solve.

  3. Nice Friday puzzle…took a bit to figure the theme and the relatively simple, straight forward answers to those clues.

    After an almost 80 degree Sunday last week Mohawk Valley back in the High 5Os. Not much hope for the long weekend. Weirdest spring, if that’s what it is, I can remember.

    Black flies out in full force in the Adirondacks. What a way to donate blood!

  4. Ths week had some easy and fun puzzles. But today I had to look up some names also and I didn’t think wag was right. Never heard someone use that description for that clue.

  5. Wag as a definition for a tricky person, while it can be found as usage in the UK is a true stretch to the point of breaking. Finished without final errors but some “wag” cluing in this one. ;-D>

  6. LAT: 27:38, no errors. Usual nonsensical nastiness. WSJ: 12:53, 2 errors. No idea for usual on the meta. Newsday: 20:57, 1 error. Bottom was near unintelligible. New Yorker: 7:37, 1 error.

  7. 36:52 no errors…….I had labs for 28D then I finally erased it and let the crosses fill it in. I I guess a gym rat spends a lot of time in the gym. Being old and fat I wouldn’t know a lot about that

  8. About 12 minutes, but several errors due to my failure to get the gym rat clue. Didn’t have time to struggle with the puzzle today.

  9. 20:28. Good Friday challenge. Had the most trouble in the midwest.

    Got home about 2 AM last night (this morning?) Nice to be back home after being gone for 9 days. It feels like I was gone 9 weeks. I crammed a lot into those 9 days. My flight last night from Houston was delayed due to the plane’s AC unit burning out before we left the gate. These planes have two of them, but they decided not to fly. We waited about 2 hours for them to find another plane for us. Exhausting trip. Now I can stay home and hide while everyone else travels for Memorial Day weekend.

    Best –

  10. My trouble area was the SW. Had ”rat” & should have been “wag.” Never heard that term used that way. Also took a stab at Allende’s name and came up with “Israel” and not “Isabel” so that section was a bust. This was very hard and glad I’m not the only one that feels this way.

    Have a safe “Memorial” weekend folks.

  11. 15 mins, 58 seconds, and no errors. But I felt the clueing was especially … let’s call it evasive. On the border of “manufactured difficulty”. Not especially enjoyable.

    1. @Allen
      We’ve been having a conversation on the other blog regarding this question. But I thought it probably best to ask you: What do you mean by “manufactured difficulty” and “cynical cluing” when you use those phrases?

      1. Cynical clueing refers to overly crafted (or edited) clues that could easily be re-worded to elicit a correct response…. but is purposely (read: cynically) left vague or misleading in order to …. wait for it… “manufacture difficulty” (or make a puzzle more difficult than it really ought to be).

  12. Some brain function was missing today. When I looked at the solution, I knew most of the words. Just could not follow the clues when I was trying to solve the
    puzzle. Hope for a better time next week. We did good through Wednesday,
    then bombed and almost completely bombed the next two days. And so it goes, first your money and then your clothes!

    Glad Jeff got back OK; sorry about the mishap with the plane’s AC. It seems like
    something unplanned and usually negative always happens when one tries to fly somewhere.

    Kudos and a safe holiday to all.

  13. Fairly straight-forward Friday; took 32 minutes, mostly due to having suffered through a brutal Friday Sudoku that took almost 45 minutes. Just had to change SAssY and SPAREme.

    I thought (23) “LA, in the key of E” was a bit tricky, and although I got it with crosses, I did look it up later. It really should have been “..E Major” to get the Do – E, Re – F #, Mi – G#, Fa – A, Sol – B, La – C#, Ti – D#, since E Minor gets you Do – E, Re – F#, Mi – G, Fa – A, Sol – B, La – C, Ti – D

    @Jeff – Welcome back and good luck to the Blues with Boston.

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