LA Times Crossword 28 May 20, Thursday

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Constructed by: Bruce Haight
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: See Also

Themed answers each comprise two words, the first ending in -AL, and the second starting with -SO. So, “ALSO” is a hidden word in each:

  • 66A Cross-reference indicator … and directions to the link among the five longest puzzle answers : SEE ALSO
  • 18A Wayward one in Luke : PRODIGAL SON
  • 24A Origin of new business, perhaps : REFERRAL SOURCE
  • 39A Oscar category : BEST ORIGINAL SONG
  • 48A Hypothetical evolutionary starting point : PRIMORDIAL SOUP
  • 57A Click or cluck : ANIMAL SOUND

Bill’s time: 6m 50s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • EMME (Emma!)
  • GERI (Gari)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7 Defib expert : EMT

A defibrillator (defib) might be operated by an emergency medical technician (EMT).

16 __ cross : TAU

Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, and the letter which gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

17 Playing a fifth qtr., say : IN OT

In overtime (in OT)

18 Wayward one in Luke : PRODIGAL SON

The Parable of the Prodigal Son is related in the Gospel of Luke. Someone who is prodigal is wasteful or extravagant. The parable tells of a man with two sons. The youngest asks for and receives his share of the family estate, and then spends it all unwisely. The prodigal son returns, to an unwelcoming older brother. The father, however, declares happily that his son “was lost and now is found”.

20 Partnership for Peace org. : NATO

The Partnership for Peace (PfP) program is a NATO initiative that dates back to 1994. The intent of the PfP is to foster trust between NATO and the former Soviet Union.

21 “On the Waterfront” director Kazan : ELIA

The 1954 drama “On the Waterfront”, starring Marlon Brando, told a story of violence and corruption among longshoremen. The movie was based on a series of 24 articles written by investigative journalist Malcolm Johnston and published in “The New York Sun”. The original news stories uncovered mob infiltration on the New York City Waterfront, but the location for the film was chosen as Hoboken, New Jersey.

22 Radio tuner : AM DIAL

In telecommunications, a radio signal is transmitted using a sinusoidal carrier wave. Information is transmitted using this carrier wave in two main ways, by varying (modulating) the instantaneous amplitude (signal strength) of the carrier wave, and by modulating the instantaneous frequency of the carrier wave. The former is referred to as an AM signal (“amplitude modulation”), and the latter as an FM signal (“frequency modulation”).

28 Open a crack : AJAR

Our word “ajar” is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which “a char” means “slightly open”.

30 California agricultural farm name : KNOTT’S

In the twenties, Walter Knott sold berries, preserves and pies from the side of the road. In 1932, Knott picked up a new berry from Rudolph Boysen’s farm in Anaheim, California, a hybrid of blackberry, raspberry and loganberry. Knott sold the new berries at his stand, giving them the name “Boysenberries”. Boysenberry Pie became a signature dish at a small tea room that Walter Knott’s wife opened up near the location where the family sold fruit. The tea room became so popular, with lines waiting to be served that Knott expanded, adding shops and displays to entertain diners. Over time he built a volcano, a little gold mine, and a ghost town and lots of themed stores. The location just grew and grew, evolving into the huge theme park that it is today called Knott’s Berry Farm.

31 City near Berlin : POTSDAM

Potsdam is a city in Germany that lies just on the outskirts of the nation’s capital of Berlin. Famously, Potsdam was the site of a conference between Stalin, Churchill and Truman after the end of WWII in Europe.

35 Exercise regimen complement : DIET

Quite often, the terms “regime” and “regimen” seem to be used interchangeably. In contemporary usage, “regime” is applied more generally, and “regimen” more specifically. A “regimen” is a systematic approach that one might apply to something, to exercise or diet for example. The term “regime” can also be used in such contexts, but can have additional definitions, such as “government in power”. A form of government cannot be described as a “regimen”.

43 One-named supermodel : EMME

Emme is the highest-paid plus-size model in the world. Emme was born Melissa Miller in New York City, and was raised in Saudi Arabia.

44 Flying biter, informally : SKEETER

“Mosquito” is the Spanish for “little fly”. The female mosquito actually has to have a “blood meal” before she is able to lay her eggs. Mosquitoes are sometimes referred to as “skeeters”.

47 General vibe : AURA

An aura (plural “aurae”) is an intangible quality that surrounds a person or thing, a “je ne sais quoi”. “Je ne sais quoi” is French for “I don’t know what”.

48 Hypothetical evolutionary starting point : PRIMORDIAL SOUP

“Primordial soup” is an expression that was coined in 1924 to describe a liquid that is rich in the compounds necessary, and in the conditions that are necessary, for the emergence and growth of the first life forms.

55 “Beautiful Girls” singer Kingston : SEAN

“Sean Kingston” is the stage name of Jamaican-American singer Kisean Anderson. He was born in Miami, Florida, but spent his first years in Kingston, Jamaica (hence the stage name).

56 Pianist Gilels : EMIL

Emil Gilels was a pianist from the Soviet Union who was born in Odessa (now part of Ukraine). Gilels was one of the first musicians allowed to perform concerts outside of the Eastern Bloc. His debut appearance in Philadelphia with Eugene Ormandy was a resounding success.

65 Semi-important part? : CAB

A “semi” is a “semi-trailer truck”. The vehicle is so called because it consists of a tractor and a half-trailer. The half-trailer is so called because it only has wheels on the back end, with the front supported by the tractor.

67 “Now!” : STAT!

The exact etymology of “stat”, a term meaning “immediately” in the medical profession, seems to have been lost in the mists of time. It probably comes from the Latin “statim” meaning “to a standstill, immediately”. A blog reader has helpfully suggested that the term may also come from the world of laboratory analysis, where the acronym STAT stands for “short turn-around time”.

Down

2 La Brea goo : TAR

The La Brea Tar Pits are located right in the heart of the city of Los Angeles. At the site there is a constant flow of tar that seeps up to the surface from underground, a phenomenon that has been around for tens of thousands of years. What is significant is that much of the seeping tar is covered by water. Over many, many centuries animals came to the water to drink and became trapped in the tar as they entered the water to quench their thirst. The tar then preserved the bones of the dead animals. Today a museum is located right by the Tar Pits, recovering bones and displaying specimens of the animals found there. It’s well worth a visit if you are in town …

3 Skater Midori : ITO

Midori Ito is a Japanese figure skater. Ito was the first woman to land a triple/triple jump and a triple axel in competition. In fact, she landed her first triple jump in training when she was only 8 years old. Ito won Olympic silver in 1992, and was chosen as the person to light the Olympic cauldron at the commencement of the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.

4 Composer Rorem : NED

American composer Ned Rorem is famous for his musical compositions, but also for his book “Paris Diary of Ned Rorem” that was published in 1966. Rorem talks openly about his sexuality in the book, and also about the sexual orientation of others including Noël Coward, Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber, much to some people’s chagrin.

6 Birdie topper : EAGLE

The following terms are routinely used in golf for scores relative to par:

  • Bogey: one over par
  • Par
  • Birdie: one under par
  • Eagle: two under par
  • Albatross (also “double eagle”): three under par
  • Condor: four under par

No one has ever recorded a condor during a professional tournament.

7 Extras on many Syfy shows : ETS

Syfy is a cable television that used to be known as “Sci-Fi Channel”, which of course specializes in broadcasting science fiction shows. The brand name “Syfy” was chosen because “Syfy” could be trademarked whereas the generic term “sci-fi” could not.

8 Chinese chairman : MAO

Mao Zedong (also “Mao Tse-tung”) was born on December 16, 1893 in the Hunan Province of China. As Mao was the son of a peasant farmer, his prospects for education were limited. Indeed he left school at age 13 to work on the family farm but did eventually get to secondary school in Changsha, the provincial capital. In the years following, Mao continued his education in Beijing and actually turned down an opportunity to study in France.

9 Ahi serving : TUNA STEAK

Yellowfin and bigeye tuna are usually marketed as “ahi”, the Hawaiian name. They are both big fish, with yellowfish tuna often weighing over 300 pounds, and bigeye tuna getting up to 400 pounds.

10 Bhagavad Gita believers : HINDUS

The Bhagavad Gita (sometimes just “the Gita”) is a Hindu scripture written in Sanskrit, the title of which translates as “The Song of the Bhagavan”.

24 “Midnight Cowboy” hustler : RATSO

Enrico Salvatore “Ratso” Rizzo is one of the characters in the groundbreaking 1969 movie “Midnight Cowboy”. Rizzo is a down-and-out con man played by Dustin Hoffman.

The 1969 movie “Midnight Cowboy” is a Hollywood adaptation of a novel of the same name by James Leo Herlihy. It’s a pretty depressing story about a young Texan named Joe Buck (played by Jon Voight) who heads to New York City to make money as a hustler, hiring himself out to women for sex. Pretty soon the young man ends up selling his body for sex with males as well. Prior to release the MPAA gave the movie an R-rating, but the United Artists studio took advice and decided to release it with an X-rating. When “Midnight Cowboy” won the Best Picture Academy Award in 1969, it became the only X-rated film to be so honored.

28 Emer. alerts : APBS

An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

29 One of the Minor Prophets : JOEL

Joel was one of the minor prophets, and the author of the Book of Joel in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles.

34 Played charades : MIMED

In the parlor game known as charades, players take turns acting out words or phrases. “Charade” is a French word describing a literary puzzle that was popular in 18th-century France. In said game, the word or phrase was broken into its constituent syllables, with each syllable being described somewhat enigmatically. This puzzle evolved into “acted charades”, which we now refer to simply as “charades”.

37 Part of DOE: Abbr. : ENER

The US Department of Energy (DOE) came into being largely as a result of the 1973 oil crisis. The DOE was founded in 1977 by the Carter administration. The DOE is responsible for regulating the production of nuclear power, and it is also responsible for the nation’s nuclear weapons. The official DOE seal features a lightning bolt and symbols denoting five sources of energy: the sun, an atom, an oil derrick, a windmill and a dynamo.

38 Tourist city about 110 miles from New Delhi : AGRA

Agra is a medieval city on the banks of the river Yamuna in India. Agra was also the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1658. The city is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  • The Taj Mahal: the famous mausoleum built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal.
  • Agra Fort: the site where the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond was seized.
  • Fatehpur Sikri: a historic city that’s home to well-preserved Mughal architecture.

40 “Deadwood” actress Jewell : GERI

Geri Jewell’s appearances on the TV show “The Facts of Life” were remarkable in that she was the first actor with a disability to have a regular role on a prime-time show. Jewell was born with cerebral palsy. More recently, Jewell had a recurring role in the western drama “Deadwood”.

“Deadwood” is a very enjoyable western series that aired on HBO from 2004 to 2006. The show is set in Deadwood, South Dakota in the 1870s. At that time, Deadwood was transitioning from an illegal settlement on Native American land thriving on the discovery of gold, into a fully-fledged frontier town. Some famous and colorful characters appear in the storyline, including Seth Bullock, Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. Recommended viewing …

41 12-time NFL Pro Bowler Junior : SEAU

Junior Seau was an NFL linebacker, first playing for the San Diego Chargers and then the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots. Sadly, Seau was found dead in his home in 2011, having committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest.

The AFC-NFC Pro Bowl is the NFL’s all-star game, and is played towards the end of the season around the time of the Super Bowl. The rules for the Pro Bowl differ from normal NFL games, in order to make the game safer. Apparently, NFL owners don’t want their players getting injured when they’re not playing for their own team.

45 Talisman : AMULET

Amulets are items worn to ward off disease or to protect against harmful magic spells.

46 Australian isl. state : TASM

Tasmania is a large island lying off the southeast coast of Australia. In 1642, the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sail past the island. Tasman named his discovery Van Diemen’s Land after the Governor of the Dutch East Indies, Anthony van Diemen. The name was officially changed to Tasmania, after the discoverer himself, in 1856. In Australia, a more familiar name used is “Tassie”.

50 Spanish resort island : IBIZA

Ibiza is a Mediterranean island located almost 100 miles off the Spanish coast. It is a very popular tourist destination, largely for its legendary nightlife.

58 Setting for some war movies, familiarly : NAM

By some definitions, the official involvement of Americans in the Vietnam War started in 1955. At that time, President Eisenhower deployed a Military Assistance Advisory Group to assist in the training of the South Vietnamese Army. American involvement in the conflict officially ended in 1973, with the signing of an agreement that came out of the Paris Peace Accords.

59 “THINK” sloganeer : IBM

“THINK” is a slogan that longtime IBM head Thomas J. Watson first used in 1911 while he was employed by the National Cash Register Company. Watcon brought the slogan with him to the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (later known as “IBM”) in 1914. “THINK” is now an IBM trademark, and it was used for IBM’s ThinkPad line of laptops. Many say that the Apple’s 1997 slogan “Think different” was a response to IBM’s “THINK”.

62 Intel-gathering gp. : NSA

National Security Agency (NSA)

63 __ Pérignon : DOM

Dom Pérignon is a prestige label of champagne from Moët et Chandon, the French winery. The label’s name honors the Benedictine monk, Dom Pérignon, who helped to improve the quality and production of champagne in the early 18th century. Although Dom Pérignon made major contributions to champagne production, many of the stories in which he figures are just myths. He did not “invent” champagne, nor sparkling wine in general. Nor did he say the famous words, “Come quickly, I am drinking the stars!”. That lovely line first appeared in a print advertisement in the late 1800s!

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Barely enough to notice : A TINGE
7 Defib expert : EMT
10 Monopolizes : HOGS
14 Like a side view : LATERAL
16 __ cross : TAU
17 Playing a fifth qtr., say : IN OT
18 Wayward one in Luke : PRODIGAL SON
20 Partnership for Peace org. : NATO
21 “On the Waterfront” director Kazan : ELIA
22 Radio tuner : AM DIAL
24 Origin of new business, perhaps : REFERRAL SOURCE
28 Open a crack : AJAR
30 California agricultural farm name : KNOTT’S
31 City near Berlin : POTSDAM
35 Exercise regimen complement : DIET
36 Bagged leaves? : TEA
39 Oscar category : BEST ORIGINAL SONG
42 __-mo : SLO
43 One-named supermodel : EMME
44 Flying biter, informally : SKEETER
45 Put forward with confidence : ASSERT
47 General vibe : AURA
48 Hypothetical evolutionary starting point : PRIMORDIAL SOUP
54 Chew out : REBUKE
55 “Beautiful Girls” singer Kingston : SEAN
56 Pianist Gilels : EMIL
57 Click or cluck : ANIMAL SOUND
64 Fit figure : SIZE
65 Semi-important part? : CAB
66 Cross-reference indicator … and directions to the link among the five longest puzzle answers : SEE ALSO
67 “Now!” : STAT!
68 “That’s odd … ” : HMM …
69 Binge-watch, perhaps : STREAM

Down

1 Skiing spot : ALP
2 La Brea goo : TAR
3 Skater Midori : ITO
4 Composer Rorem : NED
5 Playful criticism : GRIEF
6 Birdie topper : EAGLE
7 Extras on many Syfy shows : ETS
8 Chinese chairman : MAO
9 Ahi serving : TUNA STEAK
10 Bhagavad Gita believers : HINDUS
11 Studio sign : ON AIR
12 Did so-so in class : GOT A C
13 Took badly? : STOLE
15 Place for a long winter’s nap : LAIR
19 Fun time : LARK
23 Spotted pattern : MOTTLE
24 “Midnight Cowboy” hustler : RATSO
25 Once, once : ERST
26 “… __ quote:” : AND I
27 Pork cuts : LOINS
28 Emer. alerts : APBS
29 One of the Minor Prophets : JOEL
32 Makes a decent living : DOES OK
33 Close proximity : ARM’S REACH
34 Played charades : MIMED
36 Add : TOT UP
37 Part of DOE: Abbr. : ENER
38 Tourist city about 110 miles from New Delhi : AGRA
40 “Deadwood” actress Jewell : GERI
41 12-time NFL Pro Bowler Junior : SEAU
45 Talisman : AMULET
46 Australian isl. state : TASM
48 Media attention : PRESS
49 Pay : REMIT
50 Spanish resort island : IBIZA
51 Green spaces : LEAS
52 Retail statistic : SALES
53 Get-go : ONSET
58 Setting for some war movies, familiarly : NAM
59 “THINK” sloganeer : IBM
60 Crew aid : OAR
61 Mod or nod ending : -ULE
62 Intel-gathering gp. : NSA
63 __ Pérignon : DOM

30 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 28 May 20, Thursday”

  1. Please never let this constructor do a puzzle again.

    Totup, skeeter, andI, how about primordial ooze not soup. Proper Names included everywhere.

    This constructor always has too much “over the pond” in his puzzles.

    Thanks

  2. I would be ashamed to submit or publish this puzzle. He managed to cross obscure names in three locations. Playful criticism is certainly not GRIEF! And the clue for TOTUP should indicate an abbreviated answer. And the theme, while somewhat clever, is absolutely no help in solving the puzzle.

    1. I have heard of “giving some grief” in the context as explained. I do not believe it to be obscure.

  3. No errors. Did the month old NYTIMES today. Erik Agard. .. And who do we have here? Mr Haight. What a Thursday. The LATIMES was much kinder. I was stationed in Berlin long ago (when the wall was still there) so I got 31A quick. That helped.

    Be safe.

  4. Had “a trace” for 1 across at first. That troubled me for a while. Once I got “a tinge” that corner opened up nicely. After that, 2 errors. Had “Ibira” for “Ibiza”, and did not get “Potsdam”, even though I’ve heard of the city.

  5. Quite tricky, but no errors. Did not realize the theme until 66A; by
    then most of it was done. Guessing “skeeter” helped a lot. And by the
    way, skeeters are sure making their appearance around here!

    The puzzle gave me some good memories of visiting Knott’s Berry Farm those many years ago when I lived in California.

  6. No errors, but took an hour and three. Agree with the previous comments about TOTUP. I find it amusing when I don’t find an explanation for a iffy clue/answer. Is that just Bill being discreet?

  7. I put acted instead of mimed for 34D, which caused me all sorts of trouble till I sorted it out. I did not enjoy this puzzle.

  8. 26:00 no errors…I kinda enjoyed this puzzle and most of you seemed to feel otherwise…The Eric Agard and partner puzzle in my paper today I hated and most of your comments were positive…I guess I’m the resident wierdo.
    Stay safe y’all

  9. I did not expect to finish this puzzle, until PRIMORDIAL SOUP jumped out at me (I studied a lot of bio), which led me to quickly figure out a couple other long clues, and then it all came together. I always thought it was TOTE UP, as an abbreviation, cuz TOTs are little kids. I didn’t get CAB or IBM, missed the B. I’m so glad that Bill explained CAB, as that would have bugged me forever. All in all, not a particularly enjoyable puzzle, but I did get satisfaction in almost completing it.
    I miss Glenn’s comments; hope he’s coming back.

  10. In order for 66-across to be of any help in solving the puzzle, the space for “also” in each word should have been circled. Also, “grief” needed some further explanation, such as “give”.

  11. Am I really the only one who’s heard of TOT UP? Granted, I hear it in my head as a British person. (Checking the dictionary, Merriam-Webster does say British, informal, so maybe I just watch more Britcoms than the average joe *shrug*.) I also knew about Knott’s Berry Farm thanks to youtube recommending me a ton of roller coaster reviews for some reason.

    7D – I remember watching the SF channel when I was younger and their bumpers were these surreal clips that ended with the word IF splitting into SCIFI. I haven’t watched the channel since the name change, so I don’t know if they’ve matched the cleverness of those bumpers since.

    I knew of Potsdam thanks to the Potsdam (Gravity) Potato, which is a model of the earth’s variations in gravity that makes the globe look lumpy, but I didn’t know enough about Potsdam to get the answer until I had half the letters.

    Was a bit thrown by the theme, as I had PRODIGAL SON and PRIMORDIAL SOUP and was expecting all the answers to be P-S-, but yeah, this makes more sense.

    1. I was unfamiliar with the word “bumpers” in the sense that you used it and with the “SF channel“, which I had never watched, but I did a little sleuthing and found this wonderful collection:

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rGnI5h9NbgM

      Quite hilarious!

      I was also unfamiliar with the term “Potsdam Potato” (though I was aware of the concept), so I spent a few minutes investigating that …

      All in all, your post was a welcome relief from the barrage of negativity that I so often see here near the end of the week. So … THANK YOU!

  12. Finished with no errors but a few false starts which is why I use a pencil with a good eraser. Sorry, but I’m not buying totup !

  13. My dictionary lists the word “tot” as “to add together, usually used
    with up”. Maybe that will be of use to those who didn’t agree with
    the constructor.

    1. Thank you, Mary … my dictionary agrees with yours … 😜.

      Also, I have a feeling that “TOT UP” made an appearance in a previous LAT puzzle, not long ago … if I can locate it, I’ll post a link to it …

      1. I did find numerous occurrences of “TOT UP” in past puzzles, but my memory of having seen it recently was apparently incorrect: what I actually saw was a clue something like “A small quantity, as of rum” and the answer was just “TOT” (another usage some would find unusual, I suspect).

    1. @Diane Evans
      Yes indeed, I missed ANIMAL SOUND when I was writing up the post. Thanks for pointing out the slip. All fixed now. I appreciate you taking the time to help.

  14. I line up with Lawrence. Liked PRIMORDIAL SOUP. Had 2 Naticks, one at IBM crosses CAB, and another where EMME crosses GERI. These 2 Naticks plus SEAN Kingston, I had to Google. All 3 were names.
    Had IWO before NAM.
    Did not notice the theme.
    I had no problem with POTSDAM or SKEETER, but was annoyed with TOT UP. First of all, it should be TOTe up. And either is an abbrev. for TOTal.
    The clue for GRIEF should have indicated “with good.” However, I did get them, so not so bad.
    Oh – and there’s another POTSDAM in NYS near the Canadian border ans it contains a SUNY.

  15. A little more fun today than yesterday, although it took the same time: 30 minutes with only one error today…same as Bill’s, but I just forgot to reprise it.

    No trouble with POTSDAM, as I remember staring across to it from West Berlin as a kid. Potsdam was across the Glienicker Bridge that was used for spy trades, back in the day. I’m going to have to look into the Potato thing.

    I checked my dictionary and tot up is short for total up. The idiom tote up would be to carry some thing up.

    re Primordial soup – I wanted slime, but that didn’t fit so I went with soup as soon as I saw that that fit.

    @Carrie – I noticed that the day after, was when comments were off until late in the evening. Maybe Jeff figured that Bill was trying to turn down the temperature on the blog…I dunno.

    1. Dirk– really! Interesting. I hadn’t noticed they were off. We meant no harm…..I’m glad our pal is still on the NYT blog

  16. Greetings!!🦆

    No errors. I liked the puzzle!! Bruce Haight is a favorite of mine. 🤗 Wasn’t sure of SEAU/SOUP but I figured U worked best. I’ve heard TOT UP, and not just in puzzles.

    Got the theme toward the end, and it helped with the last two theme answers. IMO, nothing unfair or unusual here.

    Be safe ~~🍸

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