LA Times Crossword 13 May 20, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Roland Huget
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Wood Filler

Themed answers are types of WOOD (in circled letters), FILLED with intervening letters:

  • 55A Carpenter’s compound, or what’s found between each of four pairs of circled letters : WOOD FILLER
  • 17A *Specialized baking surface : PIZZA STONE (“PINE” filled)
  • 23A *Unwelcome sci-fi visitor : ALIEN INVADER (“ALDER” filled)
  • 34A *Pair with a license, often : MARRIED COUPLE (“MAPLE” filled)
  • 47A *Location method requiring a sorted list : BINARY SEARCH (“BIRCH” filled)

Bill’s time: 7m 49s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Pipe smoker’s gadget : TAMP

To tamp is to pack down tightly by tapping. “Tamp” was originally used specifically to describe the action of packing down sand or dirt around an explosive prior to detonation.

14 Vinyl hit, usually : OLDIE

The first vinyl records designed to play at 33⅓ rpm were introduced by RCA Victor in 1931, but were discontinued due to quality problems. The first long play (LP) 33⅓ rpm disc was introduced by Columbia Records many years later in 1948, with RCA Victor following up with a 45 rpm “single” the following year, in 1949.

19 Reason for a cake, briefly : B’DAY

Birthday (b’day)

28 Spelunking spot : CAVERN

“Spelunking” is an American term describing 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.

30 Rescue copter : MEDEVAC

Medical evacuation (“medevac” or “medivac”)

31 Classical theaters : ODEA

In ancient Greece an odeon (also “odeum”) was like a small theater, with “odeon” literally meaning a “building for musical competition”. Odea were used in both Greece and Rome for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.

39 Diamond throw : PEG

To peg something is to throw it. The informal verb “to peg” especially applies to a hard throw in baseball in an attempt to catch out a base runner.

41 Sweet companion? : SOUR

Sweet and sour.

42 Cheese on a cracker : CHEDDAR

Cheddar cheese takes its name from the English village of Cheddar in Somerset. Over 50% of the cheese sold in the UK is cheddar. Here in the US, cheddar is the second-most popular cheese sold, behind mozzarella.

47 *Location method requiring a sorted list : BINARY SEARCH (“BIRCH” filled)

A binary search can be used to test options in a linear array or a list. For example, if you have a list of apps that might be causing an error in your phone, you first switch off half the apps to see if the problem persists. If the error goes away, you know that it is caused by one of the apps that has been switched off. If not, then the error is caused by one of the apps still switched on. You have now reduced the list of possible problem apps to half the original size. You repeat the process, switching off half the remaining apps, reducing the list of possible apps to a quarter of the original size. And so on …

49 Frozen dessert chain : TCBY

TCBY is a chain of stores selling frozen yogurt that was founded in 1981 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The acronym TCBY originally stood for “This Can’t Be Yogurt”, but this had to be changed due to a lawsuit being pressed by a competitor called “I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt”. These days TCBY stands for “The Country’s Best Yogurt”.

50 Common email attachment : PDF

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format introduced by Adobe Systems in 1993. PDF documents can be shared between users and read using many different applications, making them more universally accessible than documents saved by one particular program.

51 Wall St. specialist : ARB

An arbitrageur (arb.) is someone one who profits from the purchase of securities in one market and the subsequent sale in another, by taking advantage of price discrepancies across markets.

New York’s famous Wall Street was originally named by the Dutch “de Waalstraat”.

60 Quattro maker : AUDI

Audi introduced the Quattro model in 1980. It was the first car to use Audi’s “quattro permanent” four-wheel drive system, hence the name “Quattro”.

61 “Au contraire” : NOT SO

“Au contraire” is French for “on the contrary”.

62 Formerly, quaintly : ERST

“Erst” is an archaic way of saying “formerly, before the present time”. The term is mostly seen as part of the word “erstwhile”, an adjective meaning “of times past”.

Down

1 Junior-to-be : SOPH

The term “sophomore” has been used for a student in the second year of university since the 1680’s. The original meaning of the word was “arguer”. The term has Greek roots, from two Greek words that have been artificially combined in English. The Greek “sophos” means “wise”, and “moros” means “foolish”.

2 Award coveted on “Mad Men” : CLIO

The Clio Awards are the Oscars of the advertising world and are named after Clio, the Greek Muse of History. Clio was also the recorder of great deeds, the proclaimer and celebrator of great accomplishments and a source of inspiration and genius. The Clio Awards were first presented in 1959.

“Mad Men” was the flagship show on the AMC television channel for several seasons. Set in the sixties, it’s all about an advertising agency located on Madison Avenue in New York (hence the title). “Mad Men” became the first show created by a basic cable channel to win an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series.

3 Shaping 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.

4 Industry, informally : BIZ

Business (biz)

5 Poseidon’s realm : SEA

Poseidon was the god of the sea in Greek mythology as well as the “Earthshaker”, the god responsible for earthquakes.

6 Programming decision construct : IF-THEN

In the world of computer programming, an “if-then-else” construct is a type of conditional statement. The idea is that IF a particular condition is met THEN a particular action is executed. The additional ELSE statement can be used to define an alternative action.

7 Sing like Bing : CROON

Bing Crosby has been described as the first multimedia star, having achieved incredible success in terms of record sales, radio ratings and ticket sales for his movies. There are also many interesting things about Crosby’s life out of the limelight. For example, his daughter Mary Crosby played Kristin Shepard on the TV’s “Dallas”, and so was the person “who shot J. R. After his first wife Dixie Lee died, Bing Crosby dated and eventually proposed to actress and model Pat Sheehan. The proposal went nowhere, but Sheehan ended up marrying Bing Crosby’s son Dennis a few years later.

9 “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” duettist Kiki : DEE

Kiki Dee is an English singer best known for her hit duet with Elton John from 1976 called “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”. Kiki Dee had the honor of being the first Caucasian singer to be signed by Motown.

“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” is a 1976 hit recorded by Elton John and Kiki Dee. The song was composed by Ann Orson and Carte Blanche, at least that’s what it says on the label. “Ann Orson” and “Carte Blanche” are pseudonyms used by Elton John and Bernie Taupin respectively. Why those names? Well, “Ann Orson and Carte (Blanche)” sounds like “an ‘orse and cart”.

10 Shinbones : TIBIAE

The tibia (plural “tibiae”) is the shin bone, and is the larger of the two bones right below the knee. It is the strongest weight-bearing bone in the human body. “Tibia” is the Roman name for a Greek flute and it is thought that the shin bone was given the same name because flutes were often fashioned out of the shin bones of animals.

18 Hoosegow : STIR

The slang word “stir”, meaning “prison”, probably has its roots in Start Newgate prison in London, where it was a nickname for the establishment.

“Hoosegow” is a slang term for “jail”. “Hoosegow” is a mispronunciation of the Mexican-Spanish word “juzgao” meaning “court, tribunal”.

22 Movie format : DVD

The abbreviation “DVD” doesn’t actually stand for anything these days, although it was originally short for “digital video disk”. The use of the word “video” was dropped as DVDs started to be used for storing a lot more than video. As a result, some folks assign the phrase “digital versatile disk” to “DVD”.

24 Kind of jet : LEAR

Learjet is a company making business jets that was founded in 1960 by William Powell Lear. The original Learjet was a modified Swiss ground-attack fighter aircraft.

25 It’s Intel-based since 2006 : IMAC

The iMac is a desktop computer platform that Apple introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is an “all-in-one” design, with the computer console and monitor integrated. The iMac also came in a range of colors that Apple marketed as “flavors”, such as strawberry, blueberry and lime.

26 Lyre-playing emperor : NERO

The Great Fire of Rome raged for five and a half days in 64 AD. Of the fourteen districts of Rome, three were completely destroyed and seven more suffered serious damage. The emperor at the time was Nero, although reports that he fiddled, played his lyre or sang while the city burned; those accounts are probably not true. In fact, Nero was staying outside of Rome when the fire started and rushed home upon hearing the news. He organized a massive relief effort, throwing open his own home to give shelter to many of the citizens who were left living on the street.

27 Early TV brand : RCA

RCA was founded in 1919 as the Radio Corporation of America, and as a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Electric (GE). GE divested RCA in 1932, and then reacquired the company in 1986. Today, RCA is just a brand name.

35 Words to an old chap : I SAY

“Chap” is an informal term meaning “lad, fellow” that is used especially in England. The term derives from “chapman”, an obsolete word meaning “purchaser” or “trader”.

37 Biennial games org. : USOC

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has a federal charter but it doesn’t receive any funds from the US government. As such, it has to engage in fundraising just like any other charitable organization. The USOC was founded in 1894, and is headquartered in Colorado Springs.

38 Luxurious : POSH

No one really knows the etymology of the word “posh”. The popular myth that “posh” is actually an acronym standing for “port out, starboard home” is completely untrue, and is a story that can actually be traced back to the 1968 movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”. The myth is that wealthy British passengers travelling to and from India would book cabins on the port side for the outward journey and the starboard side for the home journey. This trick was supposedly designed to keep their cabins out of the direct sunlight.

39 Banned chem. contaminant : PCB

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were banned with good reason. Apart from their link to cancer and other disorders in humans and animals, they are extremely persistent in the environment once contamination has occurred. Among other things, PCBs were used as coolants and insulating fluids in electrical gear such as transformers and large capacitors, as well as a transfer agent in carbonless copy paper.

44 Martini order : DRY

The term “martini” probably takes its name from the “Martini & Rossi” brand of dry vermouth, although no one seems to be completely sure. What is clear is that despite the Martini name originating in Italy, the martini drink originated in the US. The original martini was made with gin and sweet vermouth, but someone specifying a “dry” martini was given gin and dry vermouth. Nowadays we use dry vermouth for all martinis, and the term “dry” has become a reference to how little vermouth is included in the drink. Famously, Noël Coward liked his drink very dry and said that a perfect martini is made by “filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy”. The German-American journalist and satirist H. L. Mencken referred to the martini as “the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet”.

46 “Carmina Burana” composer : ORFF

“Carmina Burana” is a cantata by Carl Orff based on a collection of medieval poems that go by the same name. The name translates as “Songs from Beuern”. The best known movement of the cantata by far is the dramatic “O Fortuna” used at the opening and closing of the piece. One study placed “O Fortuna” as the most often played piece of classical music in the UK over the past 75 years, largely due to its use in television commercials. Famously, the piece appeared in the US in ads for Gatorade and Old Spice aftershave.

48 Lyrical work : EPODE

An epode is a lyric poem made up of couplets in which the first line is long, and the second line much shorter. The form was invented by the Greek poet Archilochus, and was most famously used by the Roman poet Horace.

51 Kind of sax : ALTO

The saxophone was invented by Belgian musician Adolphe Sax. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

54 Half a fly : TSE

Tsetse flies live on the blood of vertebrate mammals. The name “tsetse” comes from Tswana, a language of southern Africa, and translates simply as “fly”. Tsetse flies are famous for being carriers of the disease known as “sleeping sickness”. Sleeping sickness is caused by a parasite which is passed onto humans when the tsetse fly bites into human skin tissue. If one considers all the diseases transmitted by the insect, then the tsetse fly is responsible for a staggering quarter of a million deaths each year.

55 Angkor __: Cambodian temple : WAT

Angkor Wat is a temple in Cambodia that was built in the 12th century. The beautiful building is iconic in Cambodia and is even featured in the center of the country’s national flag.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Signs of healing : SCABS
6 Like many summer drinks : ICED
10 Pipe smoker’s gadget : TAMP
14 Vinyl hit, usually : OLDIE
15 Complimentary : FREE
16 “I have an __” : IDEA
17 *Specialized baking surface : PIZZA STONE (“PINE” filled)
19 Reason for a cake, briefly : B’DAY
20 Flower bed tool : HOE
21 Yet, poetically : THO’
22 What a person eats : DIET
23 *Unwelcome sci-fi visitor : ALIEN INVADER (“ALDER” filled)
28 Spelunking spot : CAVERN
30 Rescue copter : MEDEVAC
31 Classical theaters : ODEA
32 Paddle cousin : OAR
33 One-time connector : … AT A …
34 *Pair with a license, often : MARRIED COUPLE (“MAPLE” filled)
39 Diamond throw : PEG
40 Kind of tale or fate : SAD
41 Sweet companion? : SOUR
42 Cheese on a cracker : CHEDDAR
45 Lets go : LOOSES
47 *Location method requiring a sorted list : BINARY SEARCH (“BIRCH” filled)
49 Frozen dessert chain : TCBY
50 Common email attachment : PDF
51 Wall St. specialist : ARB
54 “Now hear __!” : THIS
55 Carpenter’s compound, or what’s found between each of four pairs of circled letters : WOOD FILLER
59 Words with movie or show : SEE A …
60 Quattro maker : AUDI
61 “Au contraire” : NOT SO
62 Formerly, quaintly : ERST
63 Genealogy chart : TREE
64 Laundry challenges : SPOTS

Down

1 Junior-to-be : SOPH
2 Award coveted on “Mad Men” : CLIO
3 Shaping tool : ADZE
4 Industry, informally : BIZ
5 Poseidon’s realm : SEA
6 Programming decision construct : IF-THEN
7 Sing like Bing : CROON
8 Yet, poetically : E’EN
9 “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” duettist Kiki : DEE
10 Shinbones : TIBIAE
11 What extra cost hopefully brings : ADDED VALUE
12 Ones enjoying a rare meal? : MEAT EATERS
13 Fork over : PAY
18 Hoosegow : STIR
22 Movie format : DVD
23 Say confidently : AVER
24 Kind of jet : LEAR
25 It’s Intel-based since 2006 : IMAC
26 Lyre-playing emperor : NERO
27 Early TV brand : RCA
28 Inviting, as a look : COME-HITHER
29 Commercial writers : AD AGENCIES
32 Unmatched : ODD
35 Words to an old chap : I SAY
36 All __: listening closely : EARS
37 Biennial games org. : USOC
38 Luxurious : POSH
39 Banned chem. contaminant : PCB
43 Pats gently : DABS AT
44 Martini order : DRY
45 Scottish boy : LADDIE
46 “Carmina Burana” composer : ORFF
48 Lyrical work : EPODE
51 Kind of sax : ALTO
52 Take five : REST
53 Good buds : BROS
54 Half a fly : TSE
55 Angkor __: Cambodian temple : WAT
56 Plural possessive : OUR
57 Connections : INS
58 Cut (off) : LOP

27 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 13 May 20, Wednesday”

  1. One error box….spelled medevac wrong; had medivac and didn’t
    pay attention to the cross-word tibiae. Clever theme and enjoyed
    the puzzle. Glad my paper published the correct one today.

  2. Agree, “looses”? Two errors, spelled medevac, medivac. And lear, leer.
    I could see loses for “lets go”, maybe.

  3. Started the puzzle today, next thing l’m asleep. Woke up kept going till done.
    Weird! Been doing that alot lately. Wish l could jump in the pool, or ocean. Restrictions! Have a nice safe week.

    1. @Michael D – I have the same problem after teeing off. I invariably loose my ball in the rough more often than not. ;-D>

  4. 19:03 with one error…like others I spelled medevac with an I …even my spell corrector questions it with an E …How many would have known 55D without crosses?
    Stay safe.

  5. Much to my surprise, I find that both “medevac” and “medivac” are in use; I’d have thought that, as a portmanteau, “medical evacuation” would naturally collapse into “medevac”, thus capturing the first letters of both words. So much for logic … 😜.

    I have no problem with using “loose” as a verb.

    And the Cambodian temple “Angkor Wat” is quite well known.

  6. Same here with MEDEVAC and LOOSES. I had to verify LOOSES was an accepted verb (it is), and assumed TIBIAI was some obscure latin plurality for TIBIA, for I have always believed it was MEDIVAC, short for MEDIcal eVACuation, but, then on second thought, MEDical EVACuation made more sense, so I’m going with MEDEVAC from now on as the correct version.

  7. I always enjoy the definitions. My hardest word was 47 across. I kept coming back to alphabetical or numerical, even though I knew they weren’t right. When I finally got “binary search” it didnt really connect, but the computer example was excellent. “Peg” was another. It fit, but I sure didn’t know why. On the whole an enjoyable puzzle. I’ve heard
    “loose ” in a spiritual context, in terms of forgiveness, such as, “I loose (or release) you”.
    Stay safe (and sane, which is part of what these puzzles help with) and most of all, stay well. Some stores are opening up in Ohio, and I sure hope some of my mom and pop favorites survived.😊

    1. @Nikki

      There is a meme out that shows the virus is allergic to corporations so they will survive but the mom and pops may not!

  8. 17:55 and DNF. 3 errors caused by not having any idea of the concept of a “pizza stone”. The WOOD FILLER punny idea was okay, I have to admit.

  9. Also thought PEG and LOOSES were iffy. Of course, the are sports.
    And DVD should be indicated as an abbrev: Digital Video Disc.

  10. I knew 10A from a time in the 60’s when pipe smoking was a part of
    college academia…the tamp was an actual device. Haven’t see one in
    decades. Error with ‘jail’ for 18D; did not know 47A.
    Ann L.

  11. You can lose a horse if you loose it from the lead around its neck.

    It’s like those annoying affect/effect definitions that screw up your heuristic. (“Okay, affect is a verb and effect is a noun… except when reading a medical paper referring to a person’s flat affect that was effected by their loss of facial nerve function…”)

    And hey, ‘erst’ has shown up again!

  12. Well, I didn’t have a problem with MEDEVAC or LOOSES, but I had a horrible time with Monday’s puzzle, so it must be my left-handed brain again.
    I also agree that again the Junior/Sophmore clue wasn’t done right.

  13. 3 wrong letters; one for THO and 2 for LOOSES. we had to work real long
    and hard and were happy to do that well.

    Very fun and I did not want to put it down.

    Enjoyed the comments and you guys are good.

    Everybody be well.

  14. Fun enjoyable Wednesday for me; took 16 minutes with no errors. I did make a last minute fix, so I guess 16:15 or so. Fixed DbEl to DIET. I also had MEDiVAC, but knew however TIB… was going to be spelled, it would end in E. MEAlEATERS didn’t look right but I left it until the end. Also had to change ades to ICED and One to ODD. No real trouble with the rest.

    Sigh, my farmers market looks like it’s going to stay closed for the rest of the year. I guess I’m down to deliveries via Nextdoor. I got a call from my website today, but the message is so quiet, even when I turn up the volume all the way, that I can barely understand any words.

    With “IF…THEN” and “BINARY SEARCH”, I’m guessing Roland Huget is possibly a former Software Engineer.

  15. One of my favorite poems has the line:
    “Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…”
    -WB Yeats, The Second Coming

    No errors and no complaints. Didn’t love this puzzle but can’t quite say why….🤔

    Be safe~~🍷

    1. Ah, yes! Yeats! Thank you! I was sure there was a (relatively) well-known poem using the word “loosed”, but would never have recalled it on my own. (All I could think of was Pandora loosing evils upon the world.)

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