LA Times Crossword 2 May 20, Saturday

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Constructed by: Trent H. Evans
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 11m 04s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Groom like a groom, maybe : MANSCAPE

The practice of men removing and trimming their body hair is known as “manscaping”, a portmanteau of “man” and “landscaping”.

17 Beneficiaries of preferential admission : LEGACIES

A legacy might be a person who is granted admission to an organization based on say a familial relationship with an existing member.

19 Texas congressman who ran for president as a Libertarian in 1988 : RON PAUL

Ron Paul is a former Republican Congressman from Texas. Paul is a libertarian, and ran for president in 1988 as a Libertarian Party candidate. He ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2008 and 2012 as a member of the Liberty Caucus of the party. Paul retired from Congress in 2013, and did not enter the 2016 presidential race. Even though he didn’t run in 2016, Paul actually picked an electoral college vote from a Texas faithless elector. That made Ron Paul the oldest person ever (at 81) to receive an electoral college vote.

21 Nice refusal? : NON

The French city of Nice is on the Mediterranean coast in the southeast of the country. Although Nice is only the fifth most populous city in France, it is home to the busiest airport outside of Paris. That’s because of all the tourists flocking to the French Riviera.

25 Aide-__: mnemonic device : MEMOIRE

An aide-mémoire is an aid to memory, a reminder.

28 White wine cocktails : KIRS

Kir is a French cocktail made by adding a teaspoon or so of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) to a glass, and then topping it off with white wine. The drink is named after Felix Kir, the Mayor of Dijon in Burgundy, who used to offer the drink to his guests. My wife is particularly fond of a variant called a Kir Royale, in which the white wine is replaced with champagne.

42 Colorado tributary : GILA

The Gila River is a tributary of the Colorado that flows through New Mexico and Arizona. From 1848 to 1853, the Gila marked part of the border between the US and Mexico.

44 “Star Wars” film subtitle : A NEW HOPE

The epic sci-fi film “Star Wars” was released in 1977. When the movie was re-released in 1981, the subtitle “Episode IV: A New Hope” was added.

47 Classist type : SNOB

Back in the 1780s, a snob was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word “snob” was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.

50 Board game conduits : CHUTES

The game of “Snakes and Ladders” is usually sold as “Chutes and Ladders” in the US. Milton Bradley introduced “chutes” instead of “snakes” in 1943 as children weren’t too fond of snakes back then. Snakes/Chutes and Ladders is based on an ancient Indian game.

52 Storied shelf occupant : ELF

“The Elf on the Shelf” is an illustrated children’s book penned in 2005 by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell. The title character is dispatched by Santa every Thanksgiving to keep an eye on children during the holiday season, and to determine who is naughty and who is nice.

64 Pavarotti classic : O SOLE MIO

“O sole mio” is a famous Italian song from Naples, written in 1898. The song’s lyrics are usually sung in the original Neapolitan, as opposed to Italian. The title translates from Neapolitan into “My Sun” (and not into “O, My Sun” as one might expect). It’s a love song, sung by a young man declaring that there is a sun brighter than that in the sky, the sun that is his lover’s face. Awww …

Luciano Pavarotti was one of the most celebrated tenors of all time. He was able to appeal to audiences beyond the traditional fans of opera, helped by his performances with the Three Tenors: Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras. Pavarotti made his final performance on stage at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, where he sang his famous rendition of the moving aria “Nessun dorma” and brought the house down. Pavarotti passed away from pancreatic cancer the following year, at the age of 71.

65 Father figure? : DAD BOD

A “dad bod” is a man’s body that is softly rounded. Well, that’s the description I like to use …

Down

1 Harris of “thirtysomething” : MEL

Mel Harris is an actress from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Harris is perhaps best known as Hope Murdoch Steadman from the eighties TV show “thirtysomething”. Before she made it as an actress, Harris twice appeared as a contestant on the “Pyramid” game show on television. In 1991 she made a third appearance on the show, only this time as a celebrity player.

2 Flying phenom : ACE

A flying ace is an aviator who has shot down a number of enemy planes during combat. The qualifying number of kills seems to vary, but five is common. The first use of “ace” was during WWI, when the French newspapers dubbed pilot Adolphe Pegoud “l’as” (French for “the ace”) when he shot down his fifth German plane.

3 Eggy drink : NOG

It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “eggnog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

5 __ butter : COCOA

Cocoa butter is extracted from the cacao bean and is used to make chocolate, among other things.

7 Single animal-shaped candy? : PEEP

Peeps are marshmallow candies usually in the shapes of chicks and bunnies, primarily sold around the Easter holiday. Peeps were introduced in 1952 by a Russian immigrant called Sam Born whose company “Just Born” makes the candies to this day. The original candies were yellow and hand-shaped to look like little chicks, hence the name “Peeps”.

8 “Let It Go” singer in “Frozen” : ELSA

“Let It Go” is an incredibly successful song from the Disney animated film “Frozen” released in 2013. It was performed in the movie by Idina Menzel, who also was the voice actor for the character Elsa. “Let It Go” is one of the very few Disney songs to make it into the Billboard Top Ten.

13 Divided island north of Australia : TIMOR

Timor is an island in Maritime Southeast Asia. The island is politically divided into West Timor, belonging to Indonesia, and the independent state of East Timor. The name “Timor” comes from a Malay word for “east”, and is used as Timor lies at the eastern end of the Lesser Sunda Islands.

14 “Don’t Rain on My Parade” composer : STYNE

Jule Styne was an English songwriter who made a name for himself in America with a series of popular musicals. Styne wrote a number of famous songs including “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from “Funny Girl”, “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, and “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from “Gypsy”.

“Don’t Rain on My Parade” is a song from the 1964 Broadway musical “Funny Girl”. It was recorded by Barbra Streisand, who played the title role in both the Broadway show and in the 1968 movie adaptation.

22 Beast known as the zebra giraffe : OKAPI

The okapi is closely related to the giraffe, although it does have markings on its legs and haunches that resemble those of a zebra. The okapi’s tongue is long enough to reach back and wash its eyeballs, and can go back even further to clean its ears inside and out.

24 Junk dealer in a ’70s sitcom : FRED SANFORD

“Sanford and Son” is an American version of a celebrated hit BBC sitcom that I grew up with in Ireland, called “Steptoe and Son”.

30 Peru panning target : ORO

In Spanish, one might find “oro” (gold) in “una mina” (a mine”).

When prospectors pan for gold, they do so by mixing soil and water in a pan. Because gold is very dense, gravel and soil can be washed over the side of the pan leaving the heavy precious metal at the bottom. The gold has been “panned out”, and so we often use “pan out” figuratively to mean “turn out, succeed”.

35 Nevada tourist mecca : TAHOE

Lake Tahoe (often referred to simply as “Tahoe”) is up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and is located right on the border between California and Nevada. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the country, and the largest lake in general, behind the five Great Lakes. It’s also the second deepest lake, with only the beautiful Crater Lake in Oregon being deeper. Given its location, there are tall casinos that sit right on the shore on the Nevada side of the state line where gambling is legal.

38 Bee or Em : AUNT

Aunt Bee is a character in “The Andy Griffith Show”. The character’s full name is Beatrice Taylor but everyone in Mayberry calls her “Aunt Bee”. In the storyline, she is the aunt of protagonist Sheriff Andy Taylor, and great-aunt to Andy’s son Opie. Aunt Bee was played by actress Frances Bavier.

In the children’s novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum, Dorothy Gale lives with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry.

46 Solo pilot? : 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.

48 Spoke Burmese? : MEWED

Most Burmese cats today can be traced back to a single ancestor, a female cat given the name Wong Mau that was brought from Burma to America in 1930. Amazing …

49 Actress Massey : ILONA

Ilona Massey was a Hollywood actress, and a native of Budapest in Hungary. Given her cultural background and the period at which she hit the big screen, Massey was marketed by the studios as “the new Dietrich”.

51 Casual greeting : HOLLA

Very casual, I’d say, and new to me …

57 __ Four : FAB

The Beatles were described on the sleeve notes of their 1963 album “With the Beatles” as the “fabulous foursome”. The press picked up on the phrase and morphed it into “the Fab Four”.

61 Familia member : TIA

In Spanish, a “tia” (aunt) is a member of “la familia” (the family).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Groom like a groom, maybe : MANSCAPE
9 Is in store : AWAITS
15 Green getaway : ECO HOTEL
16 “Crud!” : DARN IT!
17 Beneficiaries of preferential admission : LEGACIES
18 Delightful : DREAMY
19 Texas congressman who ran for president as a Libertarian in 1988 : RON PAUL
21 Nice refusal? : NON
22 When things just don’t click : OFF DAY
25 Aide-__: mnemonic device : MEMOIRE
28 White wine cocktails : KIRS
29 Gets stuck : BOGS DOWN
32 Let go : AXE
33 Let go : FIRE
34 Air freshener deliveries : MISTS
37 High-speed metaphor : PEDAL TO THE METAL
41 Give out : ISSUE
42 Colorado tributary : GILA
43 “So you admit it!” : AHA!
44 “Star Wars” film subtitle : A NEW HOPE
47 Classist type : SNOB
48 Breath-freshening brew : MINT TEA
50 Board game conduits : CHUTES
52 Storied shelf occupant : ELF
53 Lawmaker : ENACTOR
56 Barked : WOOFED
59 Pregame party site : TAILGATE
63 Tee off : ENRAGE
64 Pavarotti classic : O SOLE MIO
65 Father figure? : DAD BOD
66 Broad Eastern cuisine category : PANASIAN

Down

1 Harris of “thirtysomething” : MEL
2 Flying phenom : ACE
3 Eggy drink : NOG
4 Fragments : SHARDS
5 __ butter : COCOA
6 Not very much : A TINY BIT
7 Single animal-shaped candy? : PEEP
8 “Let It Go” singer in “Frozen” : ELSA
9 Mystified : ADDLED
10 Serious declaration : WAR
11 Is for many : ARE
12 Before you know it : IN AN INSTANT
13 Divided island north of Australia : TIMOR
14 “Don’t Rain on My Parade” composer : STYNE
20 Speaker’s pauses : UMS
22 Beast known as the zebra giraffe : OKAPI
23 Rigs : FIXES
24 Junk dealer in a ’70s sitcom : FRED SANFORD
26 Family nickname : MOMMA
27 Tot’s scrape : OWIE
30 Peru panning target : ORO
31 Outset : GET-GO
33 Speedy : FLEET
35 Nevada tourist mecca : TAHOE
36 Foundation pieces : SLABS
38 Bee or Em : AUNT
39 With it : HIP
40 Choice event : ELECTION
45 Prepared a bed, maybe : WEEDED
46 Solo pilot? : HAN
47 Swells : SURGES
48 Spoke Burmese? : MEWED
49 Actress Massey : ILONA
51 Casual greeting : HOLLA
54 Perched on : ATOP
55 61-Down’s dwelling : CASA
57 __ Four : FAB
58 One may be bruised : EGO
60 Challenging retort : AM I?!
61 Familia member : TIA
62 Word that’s sometimes an exaggeration : EON

30 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 2 May 20, Saturday”

  1. 3 errors. HEMOINE for MEMOIRE. that made TIMON instead of TIMOR. I don’t know what I was thinking. Maybe TIMON was the animated character in Lion King? Then I had UHS for UMS.

    I used to watch Sanford and Son.. Classic stuff.

    Be safe!

  2. Actually finished this puzzle with only a few errors (e.g., seeded instead of weeded). Upper left corner caused me the most trouble, and some words were new to me (e.g., dadbod, ecohotel, and manscape). Difficult puzzle.

  3. This puzzle is not my cup of tea. You have some crust messing my almost perfect week of solving puzzles. Not a happy camper today. Wasn’t fun for me, had a hard time with it. Maybe cause I have ants in my pants. Gotta get out.

    1. Nice use of “you have some crust” in your comment today. I was ready to quit after my first time through, but did rather well in the end. Took some real patience. The bottom right corner was my downfall.

  4. Yeah, upper left was a doozy, got it right, but goofed on “hello” instead
    of “holla” and so missed 3 answers in all.
    Stupid errors…but are there any other kind?

    1. @Mary
      How I classify it:
      1. Stupid/dumb errors. The kind you make from typos doing them online, or stuff that in hindsight you see is obvious that you should have known or saw that was wrong while you did the puzzle.
      2. Forced errors. Basically stuff where the setter screws around and misleads or tricks you with grid answers that are non-words, illogical or unclearly communicated cluing (basically think stuff that wouldn’t pass muster from an editor if it appeared in an essay), or an off-the-wall gimmick. See yesterday for many good examples.
      3. Good errors. Basically stuff you didn’t know and made complete sense upon reflection. These are unforced fair errors. One could include the idea of a Natick here too, though quality puzzles generally are supposed to be made so that doesn’t happen.

      1. @Glenn … As I have observed in the past, such classifications are highly subjective: what you see as “forced errors” I almost always see as “good errors”. Curiously, in this puzzle, what tripped me up (as well as Mary, I guess) was something I probably would not have allowed in the puzzle, had I been its editor, but you seem not to have viewed it that way.

        1. I think I’m a different generation than most here, so I’ve been exposed to HOLLA. Then I get exposed to the younger constructors and editors (HOLLA is Steinberg/Agard’s bread and butter) in a lot of what I do, so I pick up other things too. So really didn’t see much issue with it – even though it bothers me that a lot of proper English doesn’t show up in these puzzles. Lack of proper English is the main problem I have with Croce and the Stumper. Alas, we live in a Shortzian world, so plain objectivity and grammatical correctness really isn’t a concern for what is allowed in puzzles.

  5. 11:49, with a one-square error: I had ENACTER (an acceptable alternate spelling of ENACTOR) crossing HELLA (since I’d never heard of HOLLA – is it a shortening of HOLLER?). (Actually, to be fair, I finished at 11:49 with no errors, but then impulsively changed the O to an E before going off to check my answers. Bad move … 😜.)

    Yesterday’s Croce: 50:46, no errors. Today’s “Stumper”: 40:05, no errors.

    1. FWIW: 1:30:00, no errors on the Croce. 2:20:00, 1 error (Natick 36A-30D) on the Stumper. Lots of random idiotic WAGs on both for all the attempts at error type #2 on these.

      1. Well, again … your opinion and mine differ radically. I didn’t have to indulge in a single WAG: every answer was solid (after considerable thought, of course). As I said: subjective viewpoints … 🤨.

    2. So much for my memory! I found two places on Bill’s NYT blog where I commented on HOLLA. Okay, so I try to learn new things, but I’m old, damn it! (And, as usual, I’m reminded of a Tom Lehrer line: “At my age, Mozart had been dead for ten years!” … so … I’m grateful … 😜.)

  6. Clumsy clues, awkward answers. Elegant it ain’t. This plus nice weather and eased restrictions calls for a bike ride. Fresh air, here we come.

  7. Evans was absolutely diabolical in the placement of his relatively few (under 20) of those damnable, joyless PPPs (People, Products, Places, and other proper nouns). Right out of the chute, in that thorny NW corner he hits you with a TV actor, Easter candy, a movie singer, and a Texas politician. When you hack through that hot mess and move on to the NE, you encounter an island near Australia and a composer … as back-to-back Down answers (that themselves run into two French references, btw). Down in the SE, Evans throws a board-game fragment, Pavarotti work, and Eastern cuisine at you. Move west and say hello to Fred Sanford and Han (Solo … crossing a Star Wars subtitle)! A 15×15 grid with such a dense fill usually gets junked up with upward of 30 PPPs. Imagine what Evans would have done if he’d had another old TV Guide and People magazine or World Almanac lying around when he put *this* dreary thing together.

  8. 14 minutes, 28 seconds, no errors. It just came together, and I got the “Finished” screen quite unexpectedly, without having to “proofread” at the end. A few really tough fills in here, like KIRS. A tough challenge, but I didn’t feel like I was being tricked or set up. For that reason, I have to chalk it up one of the more positive experiences than I’ve seen on a Saturday grid this year.

  9. Not my cup of tea, mint or otherwise. Too many clues requiring arcane trivia. I eventually gave up, getting stuck after I entered “MANICURE” in the top left (grooms trim horses hooves), and finding only a tiny bit of satisfaction elsewhere. I took a look at Bill’s solution for grooming, and that gave me a new hope for this puzzle, which I eventually finished with a few of errors derived from “HELLO” instead of “HOLLA” (who says HOLLA? I can’t even figure out how that should be pronounced). But, really, MANSCAPE? What a ridiculous word. Who came up with that? How long has that been in our vocabulary? The imagery alone makes me shudder. I was happy to leave this puzzle behind me.

  10. 52:00 no errors…maybe HOLLA is rap for hello…not a bad puzzle compared to the atrocious Eric Agard NYT #0328 that I gave up on.
    Stay safe

  11. As confirmed by the times reported by Bill and Glenn, a difficult puzzle, indeed
    We got just a few words and I had to settle for getting the Jumble and the Wonderword.
    Probably kindergarten to you guys and gals. But, one can only do what one can do.

    Stay well, everybody. Being outside, especially with a breeze to dissipate the virus, is now
    being considered a good thing. We are going to try going to Church in their parking lot on
    Sunday, wearing our masks and staying in the car.

    Have a good and safe weekend, everybody. Talk to you all on Monday.

  12. I see the word Natick in some of your comments and I would like
    to know what that means. Can’t find that word in any of my dictionaries,
    crossword puzzle or not. Please enlighten me.

    1. @Mary
      “Natick” is a crossword cultural term. You can find explanations of why *that* word in numerous places (it’s a town in MA. How many would know that or that it’s the eighth mile of the Boston Marathon – a real crossword clue that once appeared? Exactly.). Basically people use the word Natick where there’s a crossing of two words you don’t know/never heard of and suspect that most people won’t know. My use of the term above entailed the word “SCHERZO” crossing “JERBOA”. Never heard of either, and know most people around me would not know these words. Ideally, the expectation with most crosswords is that one should reasonably infer any missing letters of unknown words from more sensible crosses.

    2. Well, sigh, I have to add my two cents’ worth: I feel that Glenn, like many others here, tends to overuse the “Natick” description.

      The word “scherzo” should be familiar to anyone who has a nodding acquaintance with classical music; it was a “gimme” for me and I have vanishingly little knowledge of music. The word “jerboa” is a bit more problematical, but I think many will have come across it at one time or another; I initially had the “ERB”, so “GERBIL” got in the way until I finally got the “A”, at which point I remembered the correct word and filled in the “J” and the “O”.

      I think a less egotistical term for crossings you can’t get because of holes in your own knowledge base is “personal Natick” (but I despair of getting anyone to agree with me … 😜).

  13. To all the whiners with their narrow, dogmatic rules about what should and should not be included in a crossword: I invite you to construct your own freakin’ puzzles – with no PPPs, foreign phrases, 21st-century terms, tricky clues, etc. Nothing but elementary, rudimentary stuff (“Dick and Jane’s dog: SPOT”). Or, as always, just go away and do the Daily Commuter puzzle. Please quit griping here – you just keep embarrassing yourselves.

  14. Mostly easy for a Saturday for me; took me 44 minutes, but with one error. I made the same one that RJB did with sEEDED, which I really should have figured out. On the cross, I started thinking on the intro text crawl: “Once upon a time in a galaxy far far away…” Just didn’t parse it right.

    I got lucky on the HOLLA entry. I too was thinking ENACTeR, but decided on O. Looking up the word, it’s an archaic word enjoying a slight resurgence, but used “to call attention to something” or perhaps as a “goodbye, call me later”, and not as a greeting.

  15. Hey gang!!🦆

    No errors. Easy for a Saturday. In answer to “Who says HOLLA?” — – *I DO!* I have no complaints about the clues or entries in this one.🤗 Decent grid, nice challenge.

    In other news– on Sunday I’m going to strip my red hair color and re-dye it a strawberry blonde. That way these pesky gray roots won’t show up as much. Stay-at-home project!! 😯 I just knew y’all would want to know….😆

    Be safe ~~🍷

    1. Wow! Way to hurt a guy! As in … I wish I had enough hair left to dye!

      (Not that I actually would, mind you … 😜.)

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