LA Times Crossword 23 May 20, Saturday

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Constructed by: Sheryl Bartol
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 9m 58s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16 Champs-Élysées lunch choice : CREPE

“Crêpe” is the French word for “pancake”.

The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets in the world. It is the main thoroughfare in Paris, home to the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde. The name “Champs-Élysées” is French for Elysian Fields, a place where the righteous went after death, according to Greek mythology.

17 Spring roll wrapping : RICE PAPER

Spring rolls are so called as they were historically a seasonal food consumed in the spring. Those early pancakes were filled with freshly harvested spring vegetables.

18 “The Tetons and the Snake River” photographer Adams : ANSEL

As an avid amateur photographer, I have been a big fan of the work of Ansel Adams for many years and must have read all of his books. Adams was famous for clarity and depth in his black and white images. Central to his technique was the use of the zone system, his own invention. The zone system is a way of controlling exposure in an image, particularly when there is a high contrast in the subject. Although the technique was developed primarily for black & white film, it can even apply to digital color images. In the digital world, the main technique is to expose an image for the highlights, and one or more images for the shadows. These images can then be combined digitally giving a final photograph with a full and satisfying range of exposures.

20 “The Office” actress Ellie : KEMPER

Actress Ellie Kemper’s big break came with the role of Erin Hannon, a receptionist on the sitcom “The Office”. More recently, Kemper has been playing the title role in the Netflix comedy series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”.

23 “__ Majesty”: “Abbey Road” track : HER

The song “Her Majesty” by the Beatles runs for only 23 seconds, making it the shortest song in the band’s whole repertoire. It appears as the last song on the 1969 album “Abbey Road”, although it is not listed on the original album sleeve. “Her Majesty” is one of the first examples of what we now call a “hidden track”.

Abbey Road in London was named for Kilburn Priory and the Abbey Farm in the priory’s grounds. The road is famous for the Abbey Road recording studios used most famously by the Beatles. The band’s last studio album is called “Abbey Road”, and the famous cover photo depicts John, Paul, George and Ringo walking across the zebra crossing located just outside the studio.

27 Rewards : DESERTS

The phrase “just deserts” describes something which is deserved, and in today’s usage that can be something good or bad. The expression has been around a long time, and back in the 14th century it only applied to something bad. I guess the idea is that someone doing something unacceptable got his “just deserts”, the dry and barren expanses fitting to the deed. Over time, the pronunciation of “deserts” changed, with the emphasis on the second syllable, like our word “desserts”. The correct phrase is still spelled “just deserts”, but it is pronounced “just desserts”. As a result, many believe that the phrase is in fact spelled “just desserts”, meaning one is getting what one deserves, sweet endings to one’s meals, as it were. But no, one is getting a dry and arid expanse that sounds like something sweet to eat!

29 Pan flying : PETER

J.M. Barrie’s stage play “Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up” premiered in London in 1904. Barrie adapted the play into a 1911 novel titled “Peter and Wendy”. The character Peter Pan actually predated the play, having been introduced by Barrie as a baby in his 1902 adult novel called “The Little White Bird”.

32 Aquatic diver : LOON

The bird known as a loon here in North America is called a diver in Britain and Ireland. The name “diver” comes from the bird’s habit of swimming calmly and then suddenly diving below the surface to catch a fish. The name “loon” comes from an Old English word meaning “clumsy” and reflects the awkward gait of the bird when walking on land.

34 Hawaiian staple : TARO

The corm of some taro plants is used to make poi, a traditional Hawaiian dish (that I think tastes horrible). When a taro plant is grown as an ornamental, it is often called Elephant Ears due to the shape of its large leaves.

35 Iowa college town : AMES

Iowa State University of Science and Technology (ISU) is located in Ames, Iowa. Among many other notable milestones, ISU created the country’s first school of veterinary medicine, in 1879. The sports teams of ISU are known as the Cyclones.

37 Cylindrical cheese : EDAM

Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

39 “A Holly Jolly Christmas” singer : IVES

As well as being an actor, Burl Ives was a folk singer, which was his original calling. Stemming from his life in Hollywood, Ives had a distressing experience with the House Un-American Activities Committee. He avoided being blacklisted by cooperating to some level with McCarthy and his team. This cooperation created a rift between him and Pete Seeger in particular, as Seeger was a fellow singer whom he “discussed” with the committee.

“A Holly Jolly Christmas” is a 1962 song composed by Johnny Marks, who also wrote other Christmas classics like “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”. Most famously, “A Holly Jolly Christmas” was recorded by Burl Ives in 1965.

41 Home of the Curve, the Pirates’ Double-A team : ALTOONA

Altoona is in central Pennsylvania, and is home to the Ivyside Park Campus of Pennsylvania State University. Altoona is also home to Lakemont Park and Leap-The-Dips, the world’s oldest operating wooden roller coaster. Altoona was founded in 1849 by the Pennsylvania Railroad as the site of a large maintenance facility. Railroad enthusiasts flock to Altoona to stand at the center of Horseshoe Curve, a tightly curved section of track that allows trains to achieve the elevation necessary to cross the Allegheny Ridge. That section of track lends its name to the city’s minor league baseball team, the Altoona Curve.

43 Milk purch. : GAL

The name of our fluid measure called a “gallon” ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin term “galleta” meaning “bucket, pail”.

47 Clean Water Act org. : EPA

The main legislation governing water pollution in the US is the Clean Water Act (CWA), which became law in 1972.

55 In direct competition : MANO A MANO

“Mano a mano” is Spanish for “hand-to-hand”, and is used in English to mean “face-to-face”.

58 Senior’s elaborate ask : PROMPOSAL

Over the years, the act of asking someone to be a prom date has become very elaborate. Such acts are sometimes referred to as “promposals”, a portmanteau of “prom” and “proposal”.

59 Notable Titanic casualty : ASTOR

John Jacob Astor IV was a member of the famous and wealthy Astor family of New York. Astor and his second wife Madeleine were passengers on the RMS Titanic when it made its fateful journey in 1912. John did not survive the tragedy, and was the wealthiest person to go down with the ship. Madeleine was picked up in a lifeboat, along with her nurse and maid.

The RMS Titanic set off on her tragic maiden voyage in 1912, sailing from Southampton, England bound for New York City. Regulations only required that the ship have lifeboat capacity for 1,178 people, even though a full complement of passengers and crew was 3,547. When the order was given to abandon ship, the captain adhered to the traditional protocol of “women and children first”. As a result, only 20% of male passengers survived the disaster, compared to 75% of the female passengers. Perhaps more telling is that 61% of those in first class survived, and only 25% of those in third class. The crew fared even worse though, with only 24% making it.

60 Crumbly toppings : STREUSELS

Streusel is a crumbly topping made from flour, butter and sugar that is baked on top of pies, breads and muffins.

Down

1 Tenth word of the Gettysburg Address : FORTH

I admit to having profound respect and admiration for great speeches delivered by great men and women. Forgive me as I reproduce here the full text of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address:

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal.”

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow, this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.

It is rather for us the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

4 Tech review site : C|NET

c|net is an excellent technology website. c|net started out in 1994 as a television network specializing in technology news. The host of “American Idol”, Ryan Seacrest, started off his career as host of a c|net show.

5 Medium claim : ESP

Extrasensory perception (ESP)

7 Michigan’s __ Peninsula : UPPER

Michigan is the only US state that comprises two peninsulas. The Lower Peninsula is mitten-shaped, and it is separated from the Upper Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac. My wife is from the “U.P”, and is proud to call herself a Yooper (from the “UP”).

12 Eagles title antihero : DESPERADO

“Desperado” is a 1973 soft-rock song recorded by the Eagles, and written by band members Glenn Frey and Don Henley. Linda Ronstadt recorded a popular cover version of “Desperado” that same year.

13 Cop’s surprise : SPEED TRAP

Radar speed guns were first used to monitor traffic by Connecticut State Police in the town of Glastonbury, way back in 1947!

14 Site with many pans : YELP

yelp.com is a website that provides a local business directory and reviews of services. The site is sort of like Yellow Pages on steroids, and the term “yelp” is derived from “yel-low p-ages”.

To pan something is to criticize it harshly.

24 Putt-putt standard : PAR

The game of miniature golf emerged in the early 1900s. The name “putt-putt” is quite commonly used for the game today in the US. This name comes from the Putt-Putt Fun Center chain of courses that was founded in Fayetteville, North Carolina and 1954. Putt-Putt courses are actually quite spartan compared to true miniature golf courses that are so often themed. Regardless, the names “putt-putt” and “miniature golf” have conflated over time.

26 Work on hooves : RESHOE

Here’s an example of how tough it can be to “relearn” English when moving from Britain and Ireland to the United States. I learned at school that the plural of “roof” is “rooves”, and the plural of “hoof” is “hooves”. When I arrived in the US, I had to replace “rooves” with “roofs”, and yet “hooves” is just fine! Apparently, the use of “hoofs” as the accepted plural in American English held sway until the 1970s, but we’ve moved on to “hooves” since then.

29 Tevye, to Tzeitel : PAPA

In the stage musical “Fiddler on the Roof”, the village matchmaker Yente tries to bring together 19-year-old Tzeite, eldest daughter of Tevye the milkman, with the local butcher named Lazar Wolf.

The enduring musical “Fiddler on the Roof” is based on a collection of stories by Sholem Aleichem about Tevye, a milkman living in Tsarist Russia. The musical version of the tales first opened on Broadway in 1964. “Fiddler on the Roof” had such a long run that it became the first musical to reach 3,000 performances.

30 Mayonnaise and salad dressing : EMULSIONS

An emulsion is a mixture of two liquids, two liquids that don’t easily mix. Examples are milk (water and fat), mayonnaise (oil and water) and vinaigrette (oil and vinegar). Mixture of such liquids requires the presence of an emulsifier, a substance that stabilizes the emulsion so that separation does not occur. Examples of emulsifiers are egg yolk and mustard.

Mayonnaise originated in the town of Mahon in Menorca, a Mediterranean island belonging to Spain. The Spanish called the sauce “salsa mahonesa” after the town, and this morphed into the French word “mayonnaise” that we use in English today.

32 Illumination with a blob : LAVA LAMPS

The lava lamp was invented in 1960 by a British man, Edward Craven-Walker. The “lava” is a mixture of wax and carbon tetrachloride, floating in a water/glycerol mix. The wax reduces in density as it picks up heat from the incandescent bulb in the lamp’s base. The wax rises, cools, and then sinks to the bottom of the liquid only to be heated again.

36 “Empty Nest” actress Manoff : DINAH

Actress Dinah Manoff is perhaps best known to movie-goers for playing Pink Lady Marty Maraschino in 1978’s “Grease”. Manoff’s mother is actress Lee Grant and her father was blacklisted screenwriter Arnold Mortell.

“Empty Nest” is a sitcom that aired in the eighties and nineties, and was a spin-off of the hit show “The Golden Girls”. “Empty Nest” is about a pediatrician who is a neighbor of “the golden girls”, a Dr. Harry Weston. Weston is recently widowed and living with two adult daughter who have moved back into his home.

42 World metaphor, in Shakespeare : OYSTER

The oft-used idiom “the world is your oyster” suggests that you are in a position to take advantage of all that life has to offer. This is yet another phrase that was coined by playwright William Shakespeare, in “The Merry Wives of Windsor”.

Falstaff: I will not lend thee a penny.
Pistol: Why then the world’s mine oyster/Which I with sword will open.

43 Mapping subject : GENOME

The genome is all the hereditary information needed to reproduce an organism, in other words, all of its chromosomes. When scientists unravel the human genome it takes up an awful lot of computer storage space, and yet all of this information is in almost every cell in our bodies. Each and every cell “knows” how to make a whole human being.

46 Domingo, e.g. : TENOR

Plácido Domingo is a Spanish tenor who was born in Madrid. Famously, Domingo was one of the Three Tenors, the performing trio that brought classical arias to the masses. The other two “Tenors” were fellow-Spaniard José Carreras and Italian Luciano Pavarotti.

49 Some mil. absentees : AWOLS

MPs (military police officers) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).

50 Bizet’s “Habanera,” for one : ARIA

When Georges Bizet wrote his famous opera “Carmen”, he used the melody of what he thought was an old folk song as a theme in the lovely aria “Habanera”. Not long after he finished “Carmen”, he discovered that the folk song was in fact a piece that had been written by another composer, who had died just ten years before “Carmen” was published. Fittingly, Bizet added a note to the score, declaring the original source.

52 Scientifically engineered crops, for short : GMOS

A genetically modified organism (GMO) is one with genetic material that has been altered by genetic engineering. One might argue that the oldest form of genetic engineering is selective breeding, the use of animals or plants with desired traits for the creation of the next generation.

54 “Sold out” sign : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

56 Toon shopkeeper who once worked a 96-hour shift : APU

The fictional Kwik-E-Mart store is operated by Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on “The Simpsons” TV show. Apu is married to Manjula, and the couple have eight children. The convenience store owner doesn’t seem to be making much use of his Ph.D in computer science that he earned in the US. Apu’s undergraduate degree is from Caltech (the Calcutta Technical Institute), where he graduated top of his class of seven million students …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Program shutdown of last resort : FORCE QUIT
10 Like hair needing more rinsing : SUDSY
15 Shares secrets with : OPEN UP TO
16 Champs-Élysées lunch choice : CREPE
17 Spring roll wrapping : RICE PAPER
18 “The Tetons and the Snake River” photographer Adams : ANSEL
19 Hardware item : T-NUT
20 “The Office” actress Ellie : KEMPER
22 Zip in your step : PEP
23 “__ Majesty”: “Abbey Road” track : HER
24 Hung in there : PERSEVERED
26 Cool : RAD
27 Rewards : DESERTS
29 Pan flying : PETER
32 Aquatic diver : LOON
34 Hawaiian staple : TARO
35 Iowa college town : AMES
36 Hills complement : DALES
37 Cylindrical cheese : EDAM
38 Word on a door : PUSH
39 “A Holly Jolly Christmas” singer : IVES
40 Wed on the sly : ELOPE
41 Home of the Curve, the Pirates’ Double-A team : ALTOONA
43 Milk purch. : GAL
44 “Bye!” : SEE YA LATER!
47 Clean Water Act org. : EPA
50 Support : AID
51 Ill-__: like a poor clay model : SHAPEN
52 Cultivated : GREW
53 Ruler’s domain? : ROOST
55 In direct competition : MANO A MANO
57 Get used (to) : INURE
58 Senior’s elaborate ask : PROMPOSAL
59 Notable Titanic casualty : ASTOR
60 Crumbly toppings : STREUSELS

Down

1 Tenth word of the Gettysburg Address : FORTH
2 Speak up : OPINE
3 Come again : RECUR
4 Tech review site : C|NET
5 Medium claim : ESP
6 Shook : QUAKED
7 Michigan’s __ Peninsula : UPPER
8 They may follow bullets : ITEMS
9 Undermines : TORPEDOES
10 Close ones : SCARES
11 Item near a sugar bowl, perhaps : URN
12 Eagles title antihero : DESPERADO
13 Cop’s surprise : SPEED TRAP
14 Site with many pans : YELP
21 Ties up : EVENS
24 Putt-putt standard : PAR
25 Share around the campfire, say : RETELL
26 Work on hooves : RESHOE
28 “Have __” : SOME
29 Tevye, to Tzeitel : PAPA
30 Mayonnaise and salad dressing : EMULSIONS
31 Tried : TESTED OUT
32 Illumination with a blob : LAVA LAMPS
33 Bullfight holler : OLE!
36 “Empty Nest” actress Manoff : DINAH
40 Cup handle : EAR
42 World metaphor, in Shakespeare : OYSTER
43 Mapping subject : GENOME
45 Disassembled : APART
46 Domingo, e.g. : TENOR
47 Remove entirely : ERASE
48 Correctional : PENAL
49 Some mil. absentees : AWOLS
50 Bizet’s “Habanera,” for one : ARIA
52 Scientifically engineered crops, for short : GMOS
54 “Sold out” sign : SRO
56 Toon shopkeeper who once worked a 96-hour shift : APU

24 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 23 May 20, Saturday”

  1. No errors. Fairly quick work.. Looks like a typical Thursday or Friday time for Bill. Nice reprieve after getting my butt handed to me on NY TIMES Saturday puzzle .. Whew..

    Got stuck on DESERTS for awhile… Should be DESSERTS!! Nope,.. There is another noun version. ., and WIKIPEDIA will give you a lengthy dissertation on it.

    Be safe.

  2. No errors. Took some time though. They threw me a lifesaver with “Altoona”. Once I had that, that corner opened up for me.

  3. In whose universe is 27 A spelled like that? Should I meet you outside the bodega, we’ll go mano a mano. Gracias pot nada. El Diaro this ain’t.

    1. Re 27A: As Anonymous Mike pointed out above, DESERTS is the correct spelling.

      From the dictionary:

      “ to get (or receive) one’s just deserts” = “to receive the appropriate reward or (more usually) punishment for one’s actions” (as in “those who caused great torment to others rarely got their just deserts”).

    2. Desert in Spanish is “desierto”. Dessert in Spanish is “postre”. So your argument about “desert” having anything to do with Spanish…..doesn’t hold water.

  4. 11:32, no errors. A decent outing. I recently learned “PROMPOSAL” from another crossword puzzle; otherwise, it could have been a bit problematical.

  5. Very easy Saturday for me. Does anyone else guess what Bill’s time to solve will be after their own solve (attempt)? I always hazard a guess after my own effort to solve. Just a little game within the game.

  6. When I first started this one, I thought it was impossible, but I kept
    on, ending with one error box. Had gedome instead of genome which
    I used because I thought “ill shaped” instead of “ill shapen.” Oh, well,
    I’m happy it wasn’t worse. “Promposal” tickled me.

  7. Not to nit, but why isn’t 32D plural (i.e. “illuminations with blobs”) if the answer is plural? And if “fourscore” is one word, then “forth” is the ninth word, not the tenth word of the address, no?

  8. I had the same thoughts as Nit picky and I kept ignoring 27A because I thought it should be “desserts”. At the end sitting there staring at it and decided to try “deserts” and last few clues fell into place. Overall pretty easy for a Saturday.

  9. I was sure that “deserts” was errant, so thanks for the clarification. I did sometimes think a sweet reward was an odd thing to give someone when the usage often implied a bitter fruit. Now if only people would pronounce it correctly ;-).
    Promposal had me completely baffled, but it had to be, given the other answers, until I finally accepted it was a portmanteau that I had never heard or seen before. Finished with no errors in tens of minutes, and learned some things. All in all, a fine puzzle for a Saturday morn.

  10. Enjoyable for a Saturday puzzle. Didn’t start until mid afternoon. Took
    more than an hour to complete. No need to hurry, I ain’t going anywhere.

    Stay Safe!
    Eddie

  11. Took less than four minutes of wasting my time with these horrendously worded clues for me to just avoid the aggravation. Life’s too short for this kind of trickery and foolishness…. and the obscure name references too.

    Can anybody say, MANUFACTURED DIFFICULTY?? I knew you could…

  12. No competition for you guys and gals, but a pretty good 75% DNF for us.
    We are still clinging to the hope of winning the Golden Puzzle Grid for
    the Super Senior Division. We will just have to keep trying. Even though
    we got 4 consecutive DNF’s, we found them very hard, though today’s
    was pretty easy for a Saturday. Hard to remember what day it is.

    Wash your hands and keep your distance.

  13. I knew it was just deserts from reading some long berating list about malapropisms in English ages ago. Merriam-Webster has a fun article on its history: https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/just-deserts-or-just-desserts. Turns out, ‘just deserts’ has existed since the 1500s (before ‘desserts’, even), and is etymologically unrelated to ‘desert’ (as in Sahara or Mojave).
    I dig the vague cluing on the weekend, as frustrating as it can be to solve it. Then again, I like cryptics, so *shrug*. 29A, “Pan flying”, had me baffled for the longest time, as all I could think of was a malapropism of ‘frying pan’. (In contrast, I got 14D, “site with many pans”, easy-peasy.) The one clue I object to is 32A: “aquatic diver”
    As opposed to what, a mayonnaise diver? A dumpster diver? It’s like saying ‘large, grey elephant’! It’s the standard medium for diving!

  14. Pan flying…cute.
    Finished in about 45 minutes, however I don’t typically keep track. Maybe I should start.

  15. Fun mostly easy Saturday for me; took me 41 minutes with one error by inattention. Never heard of Ellie Kemper or Dinah Manoff, but managed with crosses. I was confused by DESPERADO too, as I’m just familiar with the Linda Ronstadt version. DESERTS/SCARES last to fall, as I was confused like most everyone else. I goofed up GMOd…doh!

    A lot of great funny clues which had me laughing along the way. Take care everyone.

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