LA Times Crossword 20 May 20, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Jesse Goldberg
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Use One’s Body

Themed answers are idiomatic phrases that involve using a part of one’s body:

  • 17A Give 110% effort : WORK ONE’S BUTT OFF
  • 27A Be excessively verbose : TALK ONE’S EAR OFF
  • 49A Mourn at length : CRY ONE’S EYES OUT
  • 63A Worry to an extreme degree : PULL ONE’S HAIR OUT

Bill’s time: 5m 33s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 __ Springs : PALM

The desert resort city of Palm Springs is located about 100 miles east of Los Angeles. The name “Palm Springs” dates back at least to 1853, and probably is a reference to the abundant California fan palms that are native to the area. However, earlier Spanish explorers used the place name “La Palma de la Mano de Dios” (The Palm of God’s Hand), giving an alternative derivation for the “Palm Springs” moniker.

9 National Poetry Month : APRIL

April was chosen as National Poetry Month by the Academy of American Poets in 1996.

14 Six-time MLB All-Star Moisés : ALOU

Moisés Alou played Major League Baseball, as did his father Felipe and his uncles Matty and Jesús.

15 Curved molding : OGEE

An ogee is a type of S-curve. Specifically it is a figure consisting of two arcs that curve in opposite directions (like an S) but both ends of the curve end up parallel to each other (which is not necessarily true for an S).

16 Water under the Pont de Normandie : SEINE

The “Pont de Normandie” (Normandy Bridge) spans the river Seine in northern France. It is the last bridge to cross the river before the Seine empties into the English Channel at Le Havre.

21 Swedish pop quartet : ABBA

Only three members of the quartet that made up the Swedish pop group ABBA were born in Sweden. Anni-Frid Lyngstad was born in Norway just after the end of WWII, the daughter of a Norwegian mother and a father who was German soldier and a member of the German occupying forces during the war. The father returned to Germany with the army, and in 1947, Anni-Frid was taken with her family to Sweden. They left fearing reprisals against those who dealt with the German army during the occupation.

23 Illegal freeway maneuvers, for short : UIES

Hang a “uey” or “uie”, make a u-turn, make a 180.

33 Santa __ winds : ANA

The Santa Ana winds are the very dry air currents that sweep offshore late in the year in Southern California. Because these air currents are so dry, they are noted for their influence over forest fires in the area, especially in the heat of the fall. The winds arise from a buildup of air pressure in the Great Basin that lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Under the right conditions, that air spills over the peaks of the Sierra Nevada and basically “falls” down the side of the Sierra range, heading for the ocean. As the air falls it becomes drier and heats up so that relative humidity can fall to below 10% by the time it hits the coast.

37 Syndrome after a life-threatening experience, briefly : PTSD

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

39 Title for tennis great Andy Murray : SIR

Andy Murray is a tennis player from Scotland who became British number-one in 2006, rising to world number-one in 2016. Much to the delight of the locals, Murray won the Wimbledon Championship in 2013, making him the first British male player to win in 77 years. Murray also won Olympic gold in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and again in the Rio Games in 2016. Sir Andy Murray was knighted in 2017.

42 __ Club: conservation group : SIERRA

John Muir was a famous American naturalist, although he was born in Scotland. Muir founded the Sierra Club in 1892. He published “My First Summer in the Sierra” in 1911, which described one of Muir’s favorite places in the country, the Sierra Nevada range in California.

45 Carpet type : SHAG

Shag carpet is one with a deep pile, one with a “shaggy” appearance.

48 QB stats : TDS

Touchdown (TD)

53 Carrie-__ Moss of “Jessica Jones” : ANNE

Carrie-Anne Moss is an actress from Canada who is perhaps best known for playing the character Trinity in “The Matrix” trilogy of films.

“Jessica Jones” is a TV series produced by Marvel Television. The title character is a former superhero, played by Krysten Ritter, who runs her own private detective agency.

57 “Livin’ la Vida __” : LOCA

“Livin’ La Vida Loca” is a 1999 single recorded by Ricky Martin, the title of which translates as “Living The Crazy Life”.

59 Herbal cough drop brand : RICOLA

Ricola is a Swiss brand of cough drops and breath mints.

66 Falcon’s claw : TALON

There are about 40 species of the birds of prey classed as falcons, with examples being several species of kestrel. Falcons differ from hawks and eagles in that they kill their prey with their beaks, as opposed to their talons. Famously, falcons swoop down on their prey at great speed. Peregrine falcons have been clocked at well over 200 miles per hour, making them the fastest-moving creatures on the planet.

67 Boris Johnson’s alma mater : ETON

Boris Johnson is a larger-than-life Conservative politician in the UK, and former Mayor of London. He was the very visible frontman in the campaign for the UK to exit the European Union, the so-called Brexit campaign. As a result of the UK voting to exit the EU, Prime Minister David Cameron resigned, to be replaced by Theresa May. Theresa May then appointed Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary. Almost inevitably, Boris Johnson then replaced May as Prime Minister. In more recent times, Johnson famously made light of the coronavirus pandemic and ignored calls for social distancing. He then fell ill with COVID-19, ended up in an intensive care unit, and ultimately revised his advice about social distancing.

68 “The Snowy Day” Caldecott winner __ Jack Keats : EZRA

Ezra Jack Keats was an American author and illustrator who is most famous for his 1962 award-winning children’s picture book “The Snowy Day”. Keats was known for setting his books in urban environments and for featuring protagonists with varying cultural backgrounds.

71 Ready to drive : TEED

That would be golf.

Down

3 Greiner of “Shark Tank” : LORI

On the TV show “Shark Tank”, Lori Greiner is one of the “sharks”, one of the investors who choose whether or not to back entrepreneurs making a pitch of their businesses. Greiner has been described as a “serial inventor” and made millions selling those inventions on QVC. Her success on the shopping channel earned her the nickname “the Queen of QVC”.

4 Arctic footwear : MUKLUK

Mukluks are soft boots worn by Arctic peoples such as the Inuit and Yupik. The boots are made from reindeer skin or sealskin. The term “mukluk” comes from the Yupik “maklak”, the word for “bearded seal”.

7 Elevated landform : MESA

“What’s the difference between a butte and a mesa?” Both are hills with flat tops, but a mesa has a top that is wider than it is tall. A butte is a much narrower formation, and taller than it is wide.

9 Rogers’ partner : ASTAIRE

Fred Astaire’s real name was Frederick Austerlitz. Fred was from Omaha, Nebraska and before he made it big in the movies, he was one half of a celebrated music hall act with his sister Adele. The pair were particularly successful in the UK, and Adele ended up marrying into nobility in England, taking the name Lady Charles Cavendish.

I am a huge Ginger Rogers fan. Rogers is famous as the on-screen and dancing partner of Fred Astaire. However, my favorite films are those romantic comedies she made later in her career, especially “The Major and the Minor” and “Monkey Business”. There is a musical stage show about Ginger Rogers’ life called “Backwards in High Heels: The Ginger Musical” that debuted in 2007. The title is taken from a 1982 “Frank & Ernest” cartoon about Fred & Ginger” with the words:

Sure he was great, but don’t forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did – backwards and in high heels.

12 The 411 : INFO

The first use of a national emergency phone number was in 1937 in the UK, where the number 999 was introduced to call emergency services. If you need emergency services in the UK or Ireland to this day, you have to dial 999. It’s not really clear why 911 became the emergency number in the US. The most credible suggestion (to me) is that when it was introduced by the FCC in 1967, it was a number that “fit” with the numbers already used by AT&T for free services (211-long distance; 411-information; 611-repair service).

18 Hodgepodges : OLIOS

“Olio” is a term meaning “hodgepodge, mixture” that comes from the mixed stew of the same name. The stew in turn takes its name from the Spanish “olla”, the clay pot used for cooking.

“Hochepot” is an Old French word for stew or soup, and this gave rise to an Anglo-French legal term for a collection of property that was gathered prior to being divided up. This became our “hodgepodge” in the early 1400s.

19 WWII sea threat : U-BOAT

The term “U-boat” comes from the German word “Unterseeboot” (undersea boat). U-boats were primarily used in WWII to enforce a blockade against enemy commercial shipping, with a main objective being to cut off the supplies being transported to Britain from the British colonies and the US. The epic fight for control of the supply routes became known as the Battle of the Atlantic.

30 Havarti alternative : SWISS

“Swiss cheese” is a relatively generic term for a type of cheese produced in various countries and not necessarily in Switzerland. What they all have in common though, is a resemblance to the original Swiss Emmental cheese.

Havarti cheese was invented in the mid-1800s by farmer Hanne Nielson. He chose “Havarti” from the name of his farm “Havarthigaard”, which was located in the neighborhood of Øverød, north of Copenhagen.

31 Corn chip : FRITO

The Frito Corporation was started in 1932 by Elmer Doolin, basically in his mother’s kitchen. Doolin paid $100 for a corn chip recipe from a local restaurant and started producing Fritos at the rate of 10 pounds per day.

32 Ballet bend that sounds like a cheese dish : FONDU

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. A fondu is similar to a plié, except that only one leg remains on the ground.

Fondue is a traditional Swiss dish comprising melted cheese served in a pot over a tabletop stove, into which diners dip bread. The term “fondue”, which is French for “melted”, is now applied more widely to similar dishes served in a communal pot into which a food is dipped. Traditional fondue is delicious, so very delicious …

38 Prohibitionists : DRYS

The 18th Amendment to the US Constitution was a great victory for the temperance movement (the “dry” movement), and in 1919 ushered in the Prohibition era. Highly unpopular (with the “wet” movement), Prohibition was repealed in 1933 by the 21st Amendment.

40 Ostrich relative : RHEA

The rhea is a flightless bird that is native to South America. The rhea takes its name from the Greek Titan Rhea. It’s an apt name for a flightless bird as “rhea” comes from the Greek word meaning “ground”.

The ostrich is a flightless bird that is native to Africa. It is extensively farmed, mainly for its feathers but also for its skin/leather and meat. Famously, the ostrich is the fastest moving of any flightless bird, capable of achieving speeds of over 40 mph. It is also the largest living species of bird, and lays the largest eggs.

44 Negative particle : ANION

As we all recall from science class, a positive ion is called a cation and a negative ion is an anion. The names “cation” and “anion” come from Greek, with “kation” meaning “going down” and “anion” meaning “going up”.

46 “Atlas Shrugged” novelist : AYN RAND

Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist born Alisa Rosenbaum. Her two best known works are her novels “The Fountainhead” published in 1943 and “Atlas Shrugged” from 1957. Back in 1951, Rand moved from Los Angeles to New York City. Soon after, she gathered a group of admirers around her with whom she discussed philosophy and shared drafts of her magnum opus, “Atlas Shrugged”. This group called itself “The Collective”, and one of the founding members was none other than future Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan. Rand described herself as “right-wing” politically, and both she and her novel “Atlas Shrugged” have become inspirations for the American conservatives, and the Tea Party in particular.

47 Bottled spirits : GENII

“Genii” is an accepted plural of two related words: “genius” and “genie”.

The “genie” in the bottle takes his or her name from “djinn”. “Djinns” were various spirits considered lesser than angels, with people exhibiting unsavory characteristics said to be possessed by djinn. When the book “The Thousand and One Nights” was translated into French, the word “djinn” was transformed into the existing word “génie”, because of the similarity in sound and the related spiritual meaning. This “génie” from the Arabian tale became confused with the Latin-derived “genius”, a guardian spirit thought to be assigned to each person at birth. Purely as a result of that mistranslation the word genie has come to mean the “djinn” that pops out of the bottle. A little hard to follow, I know, but still quite interesting …

50 Hosted : EMCEED

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

56 Fashion magazine since 1945 : ELLE

“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

58 Italian wine region : ASTI

Asti is a city in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 __ Springs : PALM
5 Word with base or boot : … CAMP
9 National Poetry Month : APRIL
14 Six-time MLB All-Star Moisés : ALOU
15 Curved molding : OGEE
16 Water under the Pont de Normandie : SEINE
17 Give 110% effort : WORK ONE’S BUTT OFF
20 Publicity photos from movies : STILLS
21 Swedish pop quartet : ABBA
22 Day care charge : TOT
23 Illegal freeway maneuvers, for short : UIES
25 Meat cut : LOIN
27 Be excessively verbose : TALK ONE’S EAR OFF
33 Santa __ winds : ANA
34 Brood : STEW
35 Wild child : TERROR
37 Syndrome after a life-threatening experience, briefly : PTSD
39 Title for tennis great Andy Murray : SIR
41 Selfish shout : MINE!
42 __ Club: conservation group : SIERRA
45 Carpet type : SHAG
48 QB stats : TDS
49 Mourn at length : CRY ONE’S EYES OUT
52 Unlikely, as a chance : SLIM
53 Carrie-__ Moss of “Jessica Jones” : ANNE
54 Dedicated poem : ODE
57 “Livin’ la Vida __” : LOCA
59 Herbal cough drop brand : RICOLA
63 Worry to an extreme degree : PULL ONE’S HAIR OUT
66 Falcon’s claw : TALON
67 Boris Johnson’s alma mater : ETON
68 “The Snowy Day” Caldecott winner __ Jack Keats : EZRA
69 Tons : SLEWS
70 Ran out of juice : DIED
71 Ready to drive : TEED

Down

1 Cats play with them : PAWS
2 Loads : A LOT
3 Greiner of “Shark Tank” : LORI
4 Arctic footwear : MUKLUK
5 Agree : CONSENT
6 It’s just a number, so they say : AGE
7 Elevated landform : MESA
8 Little rock : PEBBLE
9 Rogers’ partner : ASTAIRE
10 Favorite : PET
11 Hilarious one : RIOT
12 The 411 : INFO
13 Took off : LEFT
18 Hodgepodges : OLIOS
19 WWII sea threat : U-BOAT
24 Views : SEES
26 Typical behavior : NORM
27 Brewpub array : TAPS
28 Bit of foolishness : ANTIC
29 Surgical tool : LASER
30 Havarti alternative : SWISS
31 Corn chip : FRITO
32 Ballet bend that sounds like a cheese dish : FONDU
36 Enjoy an easy chair : REST
38 Prohibitionists : DRYS
40 Ostrich relative : RHEA
43 Deodorant choices : ROLL-ONS
44 Negative particle : ANION
46 “Atlas Shrugged” novelist : AYN RAND
47 Bottled spirits : GENII
50 Hosted : EMCEED
51 Like passwords, ideally : SECRET
54 Declines, with “out” : OPTS …
55 Twofold : DUAL
56 Fashion magazine since 1945 : ELLE
58 Italian wine region : ASTI
60 Move like a blob : OOZE
61 Bait : LURE
62 Somewhat : A TAD
64 Close to the ground : LOW
65 Manual weed whacker : HOE

26 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 20 May 20, Wednesday”

  1. No errors.. I’m with Bill on his Ginger Rogers comment. What a talented woman she was.. Quite the dancer and what an actress…
    Be safe

    1. Someone (can’t find who) supposedly looked at an early Fred Astaire screen test and noted: “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Balding. Can dance a little,”

  2. No errors. Didn’t know that “genii” was the plural of “genie”. But, I especially liked that answer for the clue “bottled spirits”.

  3. Lucked into “uies” this time, not “ueys” as sometimes it appears. Ready now I am for an advance Thursday challenge. Guess I’ll take my first nap. Dream on.

  4. No errors after I had to change genie to genii…so easy sometimes to
    miss that plural “s”. Clever and enjoyable theme.

  5. 7:37, no errors. Paused over “GENII”, but it was dictated by the crosses (and, afterwards, I looked it up). And “FONDU” was new to me; it was nice of the setter to provide that little additional hint.

  6. 14:15 no errors.
    @Joe…when the ball is teed you are ready to drive…when you have teed off the ball is driven and you are headed for the woods or someplace other than the fairway if you are anything like I was when I played.
    Stay safe

    1. Jack,
      lt can’t be both ways; it’s either ready to drive or driven which agrees with the past tense teed off.

      1. @Joe … What Jack is saying is that when the ball is “ready to drive” (the clue), it is “TEED” (the answer), meaning that it has been placed on a tee. Of course, after you have “teed off”, the ball has been driven. Does that help?

  7. 5 errors but no lookups. For illegal freeway maneuvers, I had uees instead of uies. And for ready to drive, I had teen instead of teed.

  8. Another enjoyable and doable puzzle, Just the right amount of difficulty for this old geezer!

    Eddie

  9. No errors or Googles. Also loved the theme, and it helped speed it along. Like to see the critter with all those missing parts. Maybe not.
    Had wArM before PALM.
    Thought INFO should be indicated as an abbrev.
    Several persons I did not know: SIR, ANNE, LORI, EZRA. ALso didn’t know FONDU, but no problem.

  10. An easy Wed. Like a lot of you, I had the “genii” problem, but Bill’s explanation helped me figure it out, I think. (I’ll file this in my brain for future use.) Sure!

  11. My feeling is that, for a Wednesday, Jesse (puzzle constructor today) did not need to have 42 Across “teed” up (ha) for us with the addition of “conservation group” after the “______ Club” clue. Griping about making the puzzle too easy…now there’s a unique point of view for our little group of crossword puzzle fans.

  12. Nice quick Wednesday for me; took 15 minutes with no errors, with just a bit of trouble in the SE. I had to change Abit to ATAD. Got the theme early and ran with it. I could picture the herbal cough drop but it took a second and some crosses to finally fill it in.

    @Tony – Well your right “conservation group” wasn’t really necessary, but at least that allowed you to “putt” it in quicker. 🙂

  13. Just listening to the BBC and they’re talking about how concerts are being revived by doing a kind of drive-in show, with people remaining in their cars for social distancing. I don’t know…I mean can you imagine a punk concert, with a mosh pit forming in the front!!

  14. Hello Every Buddy!!🦆

    One error on a Wednesday- dang! Had UEYS and left the E for OLEOS instead of OLIOS. I always get those two mixed up. 🙄

    Jane! I put WARM at first too, instead of PALM. Odd, cuz I live right here near Palm Springs in LA, but I also study US history and thought of FDR first.

    Be safe~~🍷

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