LA Times Crossword 27 May 20, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Kurt Mengel & Jan-Michele Gianette
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Start with a Fling

Themed answers each start with a synonym of “FLING”:

  • 17A Give up : CHUCK IT IN
  • 24A Block the sun : CAST SHADOWS
  • 40A Frighten : THROW A SCARE INTO
  • 52A Attack verbally, with “at” : HURL INSULTS
  • 66A Lose control : PITCH A FIT

Bill’s time: 7m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Bugs on the road : VWS

“VW” stands for “Volkswagen”, which translates from German into “people’s car”. The original Volkswagen design was the Beetle and was built under a directive from Adolf Hitler, who wanted a cheap car built that ordinary people could afford to purchase. Hitler awarded the contract to engineer Ferdinand Porsche, whose name (paradoxically) would forever be associated with high performance, expensive cars. The Beetle was the official name of the VW model released in North America, but it was usually referred to as a “Bug” here in the US, and a “Beetle” elsewhere in the world.

15 Relative of Downy and Tide : ERA

Era was the first liquid laundry detergent produced by Procter & Gamble.

16 Like San Francisco summer weather, often : FOGGY

Acceptable nicknames for the California city of San Francisco are “the City by the Bay” and “Fog City”. Locals usually just refer to it as “the City” but never, never “Frisco”.

19 Delicate bridal netting : TULLE

Tulle is a lightweight net fabric that is often used in veils, wedding gowns and ballet tutus.

21 Irish __ : SEA

The Irish Sea is the stretch of water separating the island of Ireland from the island of Great Britain. More than 12 million ferry passengers cross the Irish Sea annually between Ireland and Great Britain. I’ve been one such passenger on more occasions than I can remember …

23 Jordanian queen who is also a humanitarian activist : NOOR

Queen Noor is the widow of King Hussein of Jordan. Queen Noor was born Lisa Halaby in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Najeeb Halaby. Her father was appointed by President Kennedy as the head of the Federal Aviation Administration, and later became the CEO of Pan Am. Lisa Halaby met King Hussein in 1977, while working on the design of Jordan’s Queen Alia Airport. The airport was named after King Hussein’s third wife who had been killed that year in a helicopter crash. Halaby and the King were married the next year, in 1978.

32 “Thus do I ever make my fool my purse” speaker : IAGO

Iago is the schemer in Shakespeare’s “Othello”. He is a soldier who fought alongside Othello and feels hard done by, missing out on promotion. Iago hatches a plot designed to discredit his rival Cassio by insinuating that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona, Othello’s wife.

33 WWII battle site, for short : IWO

Iwo Jima is a volcanic island located south of Tokyo that today is uninhabited. The name is Japanese for “Sulfur Island”, referring to the sulfur mining on which Iwo Jima’s economy once depended. There were about a thousand Japanese civilians living on the island prior to WWII. In 1944, there was a massive influx of Japanese military personnel in anticipation of the inevitable US invasion. As the Japanese military moved in, the civilians were forced out and no one has lived there since. Control of the island was wrested from the Japanese in the five-week Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. Said battle was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific theater in WWII.

44 Japanese mushroom : ENOKI

Enokitake (also known as “enoki”) are long and thin white mushrooms often added to soups or salads.

45 __TV: reality channel : TRU

truTV is a Turner Broadcasting cable network that launched in 1991 as Court TV. The name, and programming, was changed to truTV in 2008.

46 Bat mitzvah, e.g. : RITE

A Jewish girl becomes a bat mitzvah at 12 years of age, the age at which she becomes responsible for her actions. Boys become bar mitzvahs at 13. The terms translate into English as daughter and son of the commandments.

47 Tallahassee sch. : FSU

Florida State University (FSU) is located in Tallahassee, the state capital of Florida. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Seminoles (sometimes the “‘Noles”). The team name was chosen in 1947 by the students in a vote, and alludes to the Seminole people of Florida.

57 __ Day VitaCraves : ONE A

One A Day is a line of multivitamins made by Bayer. One A Day was introduced way back in 1940.

59 Cornell University city : ITHACA

Ezra Cornell was an associate of Samuel Morse and made his money in the telegraph business. After he retired he co-founded Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He provided a generous endowment and donated his farm as a site for the school, and was then rewarded by having the institute named after him.

68 Delaware capital : DOVER

The city of Dover is the capital of Delaware, and is the state’s second biggest city (after Wilmington). Dover is named after the town of Dover on the south coast of England, and was given that name by William Penn. The English Dover lies in the county of Kent, and the American Dover resides in Kent County.

70 Disney princess from Avalor : ELENA

“Elena of Avalor” is a Disney Channel TV show about a Latina princess and her family. The title character is a 16-year-old crowned princess of the magical king of Avalor.

71 McCarthy’s dummy friend : SNERD

Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen’s most famous character was Charlie McCarthy, but Bergen also worked with Mortimer Snerd.

73 Worked on a galley, perhaps : ROWED

Galleys were large medieval ships found mainly in the Mediterranean. They were propelled by a combination of sails and oars.

Down

2 NYC neighborhood : NOHO

“NoHo” is short for North of Houston (street), and is the equivalent area to SoHo, South of Houston, both of which are in New York City.

3 Trounce : DRUB

A drubbing is a beating, one given either literally or figuratively. The term “drub” dates back in English to the 17th century when it was imported from the Arabic word for a beating, i.e. “darb”.

6 Pet doc : VET

“Vet” is an abbreviation for “veterinarian”, a professional who treat animals for disease and injury. The word “veterinary” comes from the Latin “veterinae” meaning “working animals, beasts of burden”.

7 Apple Watch spot : WRIST

The Apple Watch was announced in 2014 and started shipping in 2015. The device works as an extension to a user’s smartphone, although it also has capabilities of its own. I’m not a big fan of smartwatches; I really don’t see the point …

9 Toward the tiller : AFT

A rudder is usually a flat sheet of wood or metal located at the stern of a boat, and under the waterline. The rudder is attached to a rudder post, which rotates to change the orientation of the rudder hence steering the boat. That rotation of the rudder post can be achieved by pulling or pushing a lever called a tiller, which is located at the top of the post.

11 Digs in the snow : IGLOO

The Inuit word for “house” is “iglu”, which we usually write as “igloo”. The Greenlandic (yes, that’s a language) word for “house” is very similar, namely “igdlo”. The walls of igloos are tremendous insulators, due to the air pockets in the blocks of snow.

“Digs” is short for “diggings” meaning “lodgings”. Where “diggings” came from, no one seems to know.

13 “Wayne’s World” co-star : MYERS

Mike Myers does a great British accent, witness his performance in the madcap “Austin Powers” movies. He has an advantage though, as both his parents are British, and live in Ontario, Canada.

“Wayne’s World” was originally a “Saturday Night Live” sketch starring Mike Myers (as Wayne Campbell) and Dana Carvey as Garth Algar. The sketch was so successful that it was parlayed into two hit movies, released in 1992 and 1993. Not my cup of tea though …

18 Home of Roma : ITALIA

In Italian, “Roma” (Rome) is a “città” (city) in “Italia” (Italy).

26 Abbey area : APSE

The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

34 Scorpio mo. : OCT

Scorpio is the eighth astrological sign of the Zodiac. Individuals born between October 23 and November 21 are Scorpios. I’m one of those Scorpios …

38 With 28-Down, German nuclear fission pioneer : OTTO ….
(28D See 38-Down : … HAHN)

Otto Hahn was a German chemist, someone who vigorously opposed the anti-Jewish policies of Nazi Germany. Hahn was one of a small group of scientists who discovered nuclear fission, pointing out that uranium atoms could be split into barium atoms when bombarded with neutrons. Hahn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1944 for this discovery, although he probably got the credit for work that was actually shared with others.

39 MGM mogul Marcus : LOEW

Marcus Loew was a New Yorker born into a poor Jewish family. He started out in a penny arcade business and used its profits to buy into a nickelodeon. He built a whole chain of movie theaters, and then moved into the production of films so that he could guarantee supply of features that he could show in his theaters. Eventually he pulled together the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) film production company, and sadly passed away just three years after he inked the deal.

41 In-flight amenity : WI-FI

“Wi-Fi” is nothing more than a trademark, a trademark registered by an association of manufacturers of equipment that use wireless LAN (Local Area Network) technology. A device labeled with “Wi-Fi” has to meet certain defined technical standards, basically meaning that the devices can talk to each other. The name “Wi-Fi” suggests “Wireless Fidelity”, although apparently the term was never intended to mean anything at all.

42 Seed pod : ARIL

The casing surrounding many seeds is called the aril, and it may be quite fleshy. This fruit-like characteristic makes it desirable as a food and hence aids in the dispersion of the seeds.

48 “… from New York!” show, briefly : SNL

NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) was named “NBC’s Saturday Night” during its first season. This was to differentiate it from the ABC show airing at that time, called “Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell”. Chevy Chase uttered the famous line “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night” in the very first SNL episode on October 11, 1975. That careful wording has persisted, even though the NBC show’s name was changed to “Saturday Night Live” after Cosell’s show went off the air in 1976.

49 Annual Queens sports event : US OPEN

The US Open is one of the oldest tennis championships in the world, having started out as the US National Championship in 1881. Today, the US Open is the last major tournament in the Grand Slam annual series, following the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon.

Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York opened in 1997 and for years was the largest outdoor, tennis-only venue in the world. The stadium was often criticized for not having a retractable dome to protect the playing surface from inclement weather. Well, that changed in 2016 when the stadium debuted its new retractable roof, a $150 million investment in the facility.

51 Bible book named for a woman : ESTHER

Esther was a Jewish queen, wife of the Persian king Ahasuerus and the heroine of the Book of Esther in the Bible. By the way, Esther is the only book in the Bible that doesn’t mention the word “God”.

53 Labor group : UNION

What we usually refer to as “labor unions” in the US are known as “trade unions” in Britain and Ireland.

54 Kent player in film : REEVE

Actor Christopher Reeve was most associated with his portrayal of Superman in the late seventies and early eighties. Reeve became paralyzed from the neck down when he fell from a horse in a jumping event in 1995. He passed away in 2004.

Superman’s comic book creators gave their title character’s alter-ego the name “Clark Kent” by melding the names of Clark Gable and Kent Taylor, two leading men of the cinema at the time Superman was created. However, they modeled Clark’s character more on the silent film actor Harold Lloyd.

56 Seat of New York’s Oneida County : UTICA

Utica in New York is known as “Second Chance City” these days, due to the recent influx of refugees from war-torn parts of the world and from Bosnia in particular. These immigrants have helped revitalize the area and reverse a trend of population loss.

60 Angelic ring : HALO

The Greek word “halos” is the name given to the ring of light around the sun or moon, which gives us our word “halo” that is used for a radiant light depicted above the head of a saintly person.

65 O’Hare, on tix : ORD

The IATA airport code for O’Hare International in Chicago is ORD, which comes from Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field (OR-D).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Choice words? : AND/OR
6 Bugs on the road : VWS
9 “Take me __” : AS I AM
14 Supported : BORNE
15 Relative of Downy and Tide : ERA
16 Like San Francisco summer weather, often : FOGGY
17 Give up : CHUCK IT IN
19 Delicate bridal netting : TULLE
20 “Very well” : SO BE IT
21 Irish __ : SEA
23 Jordanian queen who is also a humanitarian activist : NOOR
24 Block the sun : CAST SHADOWS
27 Restraining device : SHACKLE
31 Brewpub unit : TAP
32 “Thus do I ever make my fool my purse” speaker : IAGO
33 WWII battle site, for short : IWO
35 Pub perch : STOOL
40 Frighten : THROW A SCARE INTO
44 Japanese mushroom : ENOKI
45 __TV: reality channel : TRU
46 Bat mitzvah, e.g. : RITE
47 Tallahassee sch. : FSU
50 See 22-Down : I SEE NOW
52 Attack verbally, with “at” : HURL INSULTS
57 __ Day VitaCraves : ONE A
58 Filming site : LOT
59 Cornell University city : ITHACA
64 Not be straight with : LIE TO
66 Lose control : PITCH A FIT
68 Delaware capital : DOVER
69 Green prefix : ECO-
70 Disney princess from Avalor : ELENA
71 McCarthy’s dummy friend : SNERD
72 Anti vote : NAY
73 Worked on a galley, perhaps : ROWED

Down

1 Basics : ABCS
2 NYC neighborhood : NOHO
3 Trounce : DRUB
4 Some time ago : ONCE
5 Football do-over : REKICK
6 Pet doc : VET
7 Apple Watch spot : WRIST
8 Most rational : SANEST
9 Toward the tiller : AFT
10 Squeak or creak : SOUND
11 Digs in the snow : IGLOO
12 Lit : AGLOW
13 “Wayne’s World” co-star : MYERS
18 Home of Roma : ITALIA
22 “I get it!” : AHA!
25 Works with thread : SEWS
26 Abbey area : APSE
27 Construction area : SITE
28 See 38-Down : … HAHN
29 Business opening : AGRO-
30 Work in a galley, perhaps : COOK
34 Scorpio mo. : OCT
36 Fade : TIRE
37 “Come __!” : ON IN
38 With 28-Down, German nuclear fission pioneer : OTTO ….
39 MGM mogul Marcus : LOEW
41 In-flight amenity : WI-FI
42 Seed pod : ARIL
43 Like much beach cottage decor : RUSTIC
48 “… from New York!” show, briefly : SNL
49 Annual Queens sports event : US OPEN
51 Bible book named for a woman : ESTHER
52 Wrestling moves : HOLDS
53 Labor group : UNION
54 Kent player in film : REEVE
55 “Gotta run!” : LATER!
56 Seat of New York’s Oneida County : UTICA
60 Angelic ring : HALO
61 Not very many : A FEW
62 French movie : CINE
63 Not very much : A TAD
65 O’Hare, on tix : ORD
67 First car, for many : TOY

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

  1. No errors.. Lots of misdirects.. Had to find the MENGEL/GIANETTE groove.. Not sure I would CHUCK IT IN.. CHUCK IT OUT maybe. I would just CHUCK IT. That whole NW corner was a bit of a tap dance.. Definitely took me longer than normal for a Wednesday.

    Be safe.. We are thinking of you Glen.

  2. I would PACK IT IN.
    Went with AGRI rather than AGRO which left me with ENIKI.
    So after looking at the solve all I had to say was “Oh Shii…take”

  3. Top left had me thinking for too long. Didn’t know the German guy either but I worked it out. A good puzzle and theme. Y’all be safe, especially now things are opening up.

  4. No errors; started out the top left wrong with “soho” instead of “noho”
    but soon found that didn’t work. Nice Wednesday puzzle. Wasn’t
    with all you people yesterday because my paper printed last week’s
    puzzle instead of the current one. Tried on-line, but not familiar
    with that so gave up.

  5. 12:49, no errors (but lots of pauses). Agree with Chris that I would PACK IT IN rather than CHUCK IT IN. (And that was one of the pauses: I knew there was a word that sounded better to me, but I just couldn’t put my mental finger on it).

  6. Had soho instead of noho…. Agri instead of Agro. Thought clue for wrist was a trick…. where else do you wear a watch except your wrist? Otto Hahn… come on!! After finishing I just tossed it.

  7. 19:28 no errors…I spent 8 hours yesterday cooking and freezing soup so today this old man is taking it easy.
    Stay safe y’all .

  8. Like many of you on here, I had not heard of ‘chuck it in’ previously. However this is one of the reasons I do crosswords, for vocabulary expansion. I don’t mind when an answer is a word or term I had not previously heard.

    1. Agreed. Slang terms can be interesting. The verb “to chuck” is a case in point. For me, the basic meaning seems to be “to throw” or “to toss”, as in “Chuck that cigarette lighter over here, will ya?” And, if the lighter doesn’t work, you “chuck it out” (“throw it out” or “throw it away”). The phrase “chuck it in” conjures up an image of a bunch of hoboes standing around a steaming pot: “We’re making a slumgullion here. If that’s a chicken you stole, dress it out and chuck it in!” As for “pack it in”: “Get a move on, because we’ve all had a long day, so we want to eat and pack it in (go to sleep).” “Careful what you give to Big Harry, though; the way he can pack it in (eat), there won’t be any left for the rest of us!”

      It’s amazing that we’re able to communicate at all … 😜.

      1. And, once again, I’ve written “slumgullion” where I meant to write “Mulligan stew”. (It’s my mother’s fault: she wasn’t a hobo; she just had to deal with them riding the trains passing through … 😜.)

        1. What’s wrong with ‘slumgullion’? I mean, apart from the fact that my spellcheck doesn’t know it?

  9. And here I thought SLUMGULLION was a new word for my vocabulary! I picked up a hobo once, hitchhiking in Oregon. “Whiskers” had left home, wife and kids decades earlier to ride the rails. Interesting chap. I also ended up with ENIKI and AGRI, not knowing Japanese mushrooms and feeling AGRIBUSINESS is the more commonly used term. “Start with a Fling” is a much better summation of the theme than my “They all start with words meaning to toss something”. I hope Glenn is ok.

    1. Well, “slumgullion” is a word (for a particular kind of stew); it’s just not the word I wanted. And “Slumgullion Pass”, here in Colorado, is worth reading about. See this site:

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slumgullion_Pass

      (The most interesting thing about the pass is the “Slumgullion Slide” – also described in the above article – which causes large trees to repose at very odd angles on the slope above you. A curious site/sight.)

  10. 14 mins 34 sec, and 3 errors, centered around HAHN. Once again, a proper noun (name) makes all the difference…

  11. Thought this was harder than most Wednesday puzzles. The long answers were not rolling off my tongue. Guess I don’t use those phrases, but some variation of them, like the rest of you mentioned. Must be a regional thing.

    Had TMZ way before TRU which didn’t help me either.

  12. Had to Google thrice on a Wednesday! FSU, REKICK, and ENOKI. The first 2 are sports, but we’ve had that ‘shroom before, so I looked it up. It’s long with tiny caps. Looks good.
    Had “jig” before SEA. I’ve never heard of PITCH A FIT or OTTO HAHN.
    From yesterday, I have a TEA BALL, but didn’t know what it was called. I had a Magic 8 ball which I gave to a counselor in the prison, so he could answer inmates when they asked goofy questions.

  13. Forgot to mention: Oneida County, my home, actually has 2 county seats, Utica and Rome. They are 17 miles apart and each has a county court.

  14. Our first pass did not yield very much, but we finally got 99% with 2 posting
    errors. Used ARDOR instead of ANDOR and IAEO instead of IAGO. That second
    one was a dumb mistake.

    What has become of Glenn? Does Bill know? Maybe it is a personal secret.

    Stay safe, everybody.

  15. Kinda tough Wednesday for me; took 37 minutes with two errors. I screwed up the mushroom again: ENaKI/AGRa and AnIL/TnU.

    I got stuck all over the place, but finally slogged through everything but the NW corner, which I managed to get right after a bit of dancing around.

    I also hope Glenn and Jeff come back. I notice Jeff is only over at the NYXCrossword site. I hope I didn’t cause him to leave by just responding to his post. I thought I was being totally reasonable. I hope Glenn comes back as well and miss both of their contributions.

  16. Hi all! 🦆

    One error– I also put AGRI and think it’s better than AGRO….and I’m kinda glad I wasn’t the only one who had problems with this puzzle!! 😶 I was thinking my crossword skills were declining cuz I haven’t been doing them daily lately. NW was tough.

    Hey Dirk! I thought the same re. Jeff. I also commented that day — And I hope he comes back.

    Be safe ~~🍷

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