LA Times Crossword 25 May 19, Saturday

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Constructed by: Daniel Nierenberg
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 8m 53s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Golden __ : RICE

Golden rice is a genetically modified rice that has been engineered to biosynthesize beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A, and so the rice is intended for consumption in parts of the world where dietary vitamin A is in short supply. The extra beta-carotene gives the rice a distinctive yellow color. As one might imagine, the production of golden rice is controversial …

16 Marketeer in the 2016 film “War Dogs” : ARMS DEALER

“War Dogs” is a 2016 dark-comedy film about two arms dealers with a US Army contract to supply ammunition to the Afghan National Army. The dealers are played by Jonah Hill and Miles Teller. The movie is based very loosely on a true story.

20 Solo on-screen : HAN

Han Solo is the space smuggler in “Star Wars” played by Harrison Ford. Ford was originally hired by George Lucas just to read lines for actors during auditions for “Star Wars”, but over time Lucas became convinced that Ford was right for the pivotal role of Han Solo.

21 Epithet for Tim : TINY

“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.

22 Attended to barking dogs? : SAT

Apparently, the phrase “my dogs are barking” meaning “my feet are hurting” originated in America in the 1920s. From there evolved the use of the term “dogs” for “feet”.

27 “One Time 4 Your Mind” rapper : NAS

Rapper Nas used to go by an earlier stage name “Nasty Nas”, and before that by his real name “Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones”. Nas released his first album “Illmatic” in 1994, and inventively titled his fifth studio album “Stillmatic”, released in 2001. Not my cup of tea, I would say …

28 One may have its own tartan design : CLAN

Tartan is sometimes called “plaid” over here in the US, and is a word not used in the same sense outside of this country. In Scotland, a “plaid” is a blanket or a tartan cloth slung over the shoulder.

30 Adobe creation : ACROBAT

Adobe Acrobat is the software used to create .pdf files. Most of us are more familiar with the associated application called Adobe Reader, because that’s what we use to read those .pdf files.

32 Sitcom shoe salesman : AL BUNDY

Al Bundy is a lead character in the television sitcom “Married with Children”. Bundy is played by Ed O’Neill, the actor who later took the role of Jay Pritchett on the very entertaining television show “Modern Family”.

34 Fauvism pioneer : MATISSE

Henri Matisse was a French artist renowned for his contribution to modern art. In his early career, Matisse was classed as a “fauve”, one of the group of artists known as the “wild beasts” who emphasized strong color over realism in their works. He was a lifelong friend of Pablo Picasso, and the two were considered to be good-natured rivals so their works are often compared. One major difference between their individual portfolios is that Picasso tended to paint from his imagination, whereas Matisse tended to use nature as his inspiration.

38 Lively dances in duple time : POLKAS

The polka is a dance from central Europe, one that originated in Bohemia in the mid-1800s. It’s thought that “polka” comes from a Czech word meaning “little half”, reflecting the little half-steps included in the basic dance.

40 Test involving reading letters : EYE EXAM

The commonly used eye chart (that starts with the letters “E FP TOZ LPED”) is called a Snellen chart. The test is named after its developer Herman Snellen, who introduced it way back in 1862.

43 The Cranberries vocalist O’Riordan : DOLORES

Dolores O’Riordan was a musician and singer who was best known as lead singer for Irish rock band the Cranberries. By all accounts, O’Riordan was a troubled soul. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and in 2014 was arrested for an air rage incident on an Aer Lingus flight from New York to Shannon. In 2018, she was found dead in London hotel room, having drowned in the bathtub while intoxicated with alcohol.

46 Super __ : PAC

A political action committee (PAC) is a private group that works to influence the outcome of a particular election or group of elections. Any group becomes a PAC by law when it receives or spends more than $1,000 for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that PACS that did not make direct contributions to candidates or parties could accept unlimited contributions. These “independent, expenditure-only committees” are commonly referred to as “super PACs”.

49 Meal involving charoseth, a symbolic fruit paste : SEDER

Charoset is a sweet paste made from fruit and nuts that is served at a Passover Seder.

53 Boxer’s statement? : ARF!

The boxer breed of dog (one of my favorites!) originated in Germany. My first dog was a boxer/Labrador mix, a beautiful combination. Our current family dog is a boxer/pug mix, and is another gorgeous animal.

56 Place with flexible classes : YOGA STUDIO

In the West we tend to think of yoga as a physical discipline, a means of exercise that uses specific poses to stretch and strengthen muscles. While it is true that the ancient Indian practice of yoga does involve such physical discipline, the corporeal aspect of the practice plays a relatively small part in the whole philosophy. Other major components are meditation, ethical behavior, breathing and contemplation.

62 “Radames’ Letter” musical : AIDA

The rock musical “Aida” is based on Giuseppe Verdi’s original opera. It premiered in 1998 and is still performed today. Music is by Elton John and lyrics are by Tim Rice.

63 Film genre named for a supporting performer : HORSE OPERA

“Horse opera” is a slang term for a Western movie or show.

Down

1 Online role-playing game involving magical stones : RUNESCAPE

RuneScape is a free, multiplayer, online role-playing game (MMORPG) that was introduced in 2001. With over 200 million accounts opened, RuneScape is the largest free MMORPG in the world.

2 Steel, for one : IRON ALLOY

Steel is an alloy that is composed mainly of iron, with a small percentage of carbon.

4 Saint in a Brat Pack title : ELMO

“St. Elmo’s Fire” is a 1985 Brat Pack film. The cast includes Brat Pack members Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy. Unlike so many of the Brat Pack films, the critics hated this one. Indeed, Rob Lowe earned himself a Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor for his performance.

8 Chicken general : TSO

General Tso’s chicken is an American creation, and a dish often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zongtang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

9 Lab coat attachments : IDS

Identity document (ID)

10 “The Matrix” hero : NEO

Neo is the character played by Keanu Reeves in “The Matrix” series of films.

The 1999 movie sensation “The Matrix” was meant to be set in a nondescript urban environment. It was actually shot in Australia, as one of the co-producers of the film was the Australian company, Village Roadshow Pictures. You can pick up all sorts of clues about the location when watching the film, including a view of Sydney Harbour Bridge in a background shot. Also, traffic drives along on the left and there are signs for the “lift” instead of an “elevator”.

11 Thomas Wolfe alter ego Eugene : GANT

“Look Homeward, Angel” is novel by Thomas Wolfe that was first published in 1929. The protagonist of the work is Eugene Gant, whose story is told from birth to age 19. “Look Homeward, Angel” is considered a largely autobiographical account.

13 Insurance giant : AETNA

When the healthcare management and insurance company known as Aetna was founded, the name was chosen to evoke images of Mount Etna, the Italian volcano.

14 Horse-drawn wagons : DRAYS

A dray is a sideless 4-wheeled cart that is used for hauling goods.

24 Abbey title : DOM

The honorific “Dom” is used in English for monks of certain orders, such as Benedictines and Carthusians. The term is a shortened form of the Latin “dominus” meaning “master, owner”.

29 Heated quickly : NUKED

One might rewarm a meal by nuking it, zapping it in the microwave.

33 Greek island known for emery : NAXOS

Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea. According to Greek mythology, Zeus was raised in a cave on the island. Today, Naxos is famous as a source of the rock emery, which is used to make the abrasive powder that has the same name.

35 Cooking agent in some Indian cuisine : SESAME OIL

Sesame oil is extracted from sesame seeds. Sesame oil is one of the nutritionally “good” oils, in that it is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Unlike most “good” oils, sesame oil keeps at room temperature, due to the presence of naturally occurring preservatives.

41 Change, briefly, as game software : MOD

Modification (mod)

42 Water in a green bottle : PERRIER

Perrier is bottled from spring water that is naturally carbonated. The natural carbonation is lost during the purification process, and so has to be restored artificially before bottling. The spring used by Perrier is in the South of France, and has been used since Roman times as a spa.

44 Text file with instructions : README

A readme (or “read me”) file is usually a simple text file that is issued with software when it is distributed. It often contains the latest information about the application, including bugs that were found at the last minute just before release.

47 Ohno on skates : APOLO

Speed-skater Apolo Ohno has won more Winter Olympics medals than any other American. Ohno also did a great job winning the 2007 season of television’s “Dancing with the Stars”.

52 Shooting marbles : TAWS

In the game of marbles, the “taw” is the shooting marble, and is shot at the “ducks”.

54 __ song : FOR A

Something that goes “for a song” is sold very cheaply. The first known use of the phrase in print is in William Shakespeare’s “All’s Well That Ends Well”.

Why, he will look upon his boot and sing; mend the
ruff and sing; ask questions and sing; pick his
teeth and sing. I know a man that had this trick of
melancholy sold a goodly manor for a song.

57 Goose, e.g. : SHE

A male goose is called a gander, with the female simply being referred to as a “goose”. Young geese are called goslings.

58 Asian path : TAO

The name of the Chinese character “tao” translates as “path”, but the concept of Taoism signifies the true nature of the world.

59 One making calls at home : UMP

Back in the 15th century, “an umpire” was referred to as “a noumpere”, which was misheard and hence causing the dropping of the initial letter N. The term “noumpere” came from Old French “nonper” meaning “not even, odd number”. The idea was that the original umpire was a third person called on to arbitrate between two, providing that “odd number” needed to decide the dispute.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Golden __ : RICE
5 Soreness treatment : HEATING PAD
15 Russian region rich in minerals : URAL
16 Marketeer in the 2016 film “War Dogs” : ARMS DEALER
17 It’s to be expected : NORM
18 Baroque chamber work : TRIO SONATA
19 Prefix meaning “within” : ENDO-
20 Solo on-screen : HAN
21 Epithet for Tim : TINY
22 Attended to barking dogs? : SAT
23 Bump-related : NODAL
27 “One Time 4 Your Mind” rapper : NAS
28 One may have its own tartan design : CLAN
30 Adobe creation : ACROBAT
32 Sitcom shoe salesman : AL BUNDY
34 Fauvism pioneer : MATISSE
38 Lively dances in duple time : POLKAS
39 Lusters : SHEENS
40 Test involving reading letters : EYE EXAM
42 Considers closely : PEERS AT
43 The Cranberries vocalist O’Riordan : DOLORES
45 Trilogy, often : SAGA
46 Super __ : PAC
49 Meal involving charoseth, a symbolic fruit paste : SEDER
50 Silent welcomer? : MAT
51 Narrow shore point : SPIT
53 Boxer’s statement? : ARF!
55 Drought-stricken : SERE
56 Place with flexible classes : YOGA STUDIO
60 Get around? : COIL
61 Prying aid : CLAW HAMMER
62 “Radames’ Letter” musical : AIDA
63 Film genre named for a supporting performer : HORSE OPERA
64 Went like the wind? : BLEW

Down

1 Online role-playing game involving magical stones : RUNESCAPE
2 Steel, for one : IRON ALLOY
3 Bridge site : CARD TABLE
4 Saint in a Brat Pack title : ELMO
5 Old ownership word : HATH
6 Misjudgment : ERRANCY
7 Key with all white notes : A MINOR
8 Chicken general : TSO
9 Lab coat attachments : IDS
10 “The Matrix” hero : NEO
11 Thomas Wolfe alter ego Eugene : GANT
12 Bagel choice : PLAIN
13 Insurance giant : AETNA
14 Horse-drawn wagons : DRAYS
24 Abbey title : DOM
25 Humiliates : ABASES
26 Metal-working tool : LATHE
29 Heated quickly : NUKED
30 Certain agency goal : AD SALE
31 Levels : TIERS
33 Greek island known for emery : NAXOS
35 Cooking agent in some Indian cuisine : SESAME OIL
36 Hitchhike successfully : SNAG A RIDE
37 Attorney’s specialty : ESTATE LAW
41 Change, briefly, as game software : MOD
42 Water in a green bottle : PERRIER
44 Text file with instructions : README
46 “Fooled you!” : PSYCH!
47 Ohno on skates : APOLO
48 Relaxing smoke for some : CIGAR
52 Shooting marbles : TAWS
54 __ song : FOR A
55 Sign of healing : SCAB
57 Goose, e.g. : SHE
58 Asian path : TAO
59 One making calls at home : UMP

22 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 25 May 19, Saturday”

  1. LAT: Finished in under 15 minutes but with two incorrect answers caused by my entering the letter d instead of r in square 1. Never heard of Golden rice or Runescape. Golden dice and Dunescape sounded reasonable to me. Oh well.

  2. Golden RICE and SNAG a ride kinda says it all … oh, and the lovely FORA song. What a joyless, NODAL slog.

  3. Not that bad after I got some momentum. On to the 21X21 WSJ later at work. Hope everyone has a relaxing Memorial Day weekend.

    PS Has Carrie been around? Hope she is okay.

  4. LAT: 13:35, no errors; straightforward (but I paused a bit before putting in the “R” at the intersection of “RICE” and “RUNESCAPE”). WSJ: 23:59, no errors; still no idea about Friday’s meta (but I’ve had no time to think about it, either).

    Newsday’s “Saturday Stumper”: 1:23:46 at the point where I gave up looking at the two areas I was stuck on and quit, with half a dozen squares in question. (I think, if I had just set the puzzle aside until this morning, I’d have quickly seen where I had gone wrong, but it was very late after an exhausting day and I just wanted it to be over … 😜.)

  5. Terribly hard one for me, even with it being the usual difficult Saturday
    puzzle. I finished with no errors, but admit some googling for
    names. It helped when I finally changed “onion” bagel to “plain” bagel.
    And “ad sale”….??

  6. 16 mins 28 sec, and 2 errors at the junction of DOLORES/NAXOS. Always galling to have 2 proper names crossing to trip you up, especially when, in this case, the letter in question doesn’t change the enunciation of either name that much. Even more vexing is that I was a big fan of The Cranberries, but unfortunately couldn’t spell D*o*lores O’Riordan’s name when it counted. She was a unique talent…. what a voice!

  7. 26:16. I found this tougher than most Saturdays – probably due to the number of names, games etc I simply didn’t know. HORSE OPERA? Sounds like a euphemism for something that needs to be cleaned up in a stable….

    Interesting note about the origin of POLKA. It’s the same root in Russian – “pol” means “half” as well e.g. “chass” means “hour” and “polchassa” is a half hour. Never made the connection.

    Just an FYI – Pellegrino water is the best medicine for an upset stomach I’ve ever used – better than alka-seltzer or whatever. I’ve tried PERRIER in its place, but it doesn’t work the same…at all. I found out about Pellegrino’s “powers” from a Nelson DeMille novel called “The Gold Coast”, and it really does work. No idea why.

    Mary –
    An ad agency would have a goal to make an AD SALE although they actually would sell services to create an ad. Maybe that’s the same thing…

    Dirk –
    After Vegas making the finals last year and now the Blues doing it this year, I haven’t been able to relax and enjoy an NHL playoff round in 2 years. The post-season is exhausting when one of your teams is in it.

    Best –

    1. Anon –
      46D kind of defies an “explanation” other than it’s just a slang term. I’ve heard it mostly used by little kids. An example of its usage would be if you extended your hand to shake someone else’s and then as they extended theirs you pull your hand back and say “psych!” Just a way of saying “I gotcha or fooled you”

  8. 41:31 no errors……..Al Bundy is one of my favorite characters of all time right behind Archie Bunker, Andy Taylor, and Barney Fife

  9. Just completed the WSJ 21X21 without final error. I thought this was fairly difficult with some tricky clues and misdirection that had me pivoting in a very dizzy display of ineptitude for too long. That I kept getting bothered by pesky customers, taking me out of my rhythm, also didn’t help. (Yeah…that was it…bothersome customers kept me from finishing with more alacrity…ha!).

  10. Had ARAL for URAL, and left the number 1 square blank because DICE/DANES made as much sense as RICE/RANES. Getting URAL wouldn’t have helped.
    Did not understand SAT, but couldn’t be anything else. Is that where “dog-tired” comes from?

    1. It took me a while, too, but I remembered “my dogs are barking” is an old expression for when your feet are tired and sore.

  11. @Glenn …

    I’ve been kind of under the weather, so I haven’t gotten around to responding to your post on the other blog.

    In other news: If you try to download a PDF of tomorrow’s Newsday puzzle, you will find that it has that huge annoying ad in the middle of it … but there’s a way to get a copy: Use the interactive interface to put one character anywhere in the grid, hit “PRINT”, and select the middle option (grid with filled-in characters). I meant to tell you about this the last time it happened, but forgot.

  12. Tricky Saturday for me; took about 45 minutes with 4 errors. I’d given up on parts of the NW when booting my computer and finally saw “C”ard table, which allowed me to surmise RICE instead of tImE. Unfortunately I’d put iNDO and pAT along with fOLKiS since I didn’t know the on-line game.

    Still, this puzzle started off slow and then went really quick, except for the NW.

    @Jeff – Good luck with Boston, and I remembered last year with Vegas. I always use Gerolsteiner water, and last time I was there, I actually visited the town. Very bubbly.

    @Carrie – Hope you’re just taking a break and still reading.

  13. Dang!! 😫 3 errors– I did the same thing as some of you….I couldn’t decide among DICE, MICE, or RICE and ultimately went with DICE! I too didn’t know RUN ESCAPE. I also forgot to change DELORES to DOLORES so I had NAXES as the Greek isle!! It’s funny; just before starting the puzzle I happened to hear that Cranberries song “Linger.” Her passing was sad news.

    Hey Tony and Dirk, thanks for the shout-outs!! Been reading the blog and comments but havent had time for the puzzle lately! I’m dealing with a bunch of clothing which I bought in bulk in order to sell on Ebay. A massive undertaking! Slowly streamlining my procedures and learning a lot.

    Be well~~🚋⚾️

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