LA Times Crossword 29 May 20, Friday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Alan Massengill & Jeff Chen
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: See Also

Themed answers each include a word in the corresponding clue that has been distributed through that answer:

  • 17A Feeling upon being stretched thin : UTTER EXHAUSTION (contains “stretched THIN”)
  • 26A Earth-shattering realization : THE AWFUL TRUTH (contains “EARTH shattering”)
  • 44A Cutting-edge fashion icon : COUTURE DESIGNER (contains “cutting EDGE”)
  • 59A Exhibit widespread political appeal : WIN BY A LANDSLIDE (contains “WIDE spread”)

Bill’s time: 8m 25s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 OTC drug overseer : FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has its roots in the Division of Chemistry (later “Bureau of Chemistry”) that was part of the US Department of Agriculture. President Theodore Roosevelt gave responsibility for examination of food and drugs to the Bureau of Chemistry with the signing of the Pure Food and Drug Act. The Bureau’s name was changed to the Food, Drug and Insecticide Organization in 1927, and to the Food and Drug Administration in 1930.

Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs don’t need a prescription (Rx).

4 Like a honeymoon couple’s bed, perhaps : PETALED

The concept of a honeymoon vacation only started in the early 1800s. In Britain, wealthy couples would take a “bridal tour” together after the wedding, visiting those friends and relatives who could not attend the ceremony. The etymology of “honeymoon” isn’t very clear, and may even have a negative derivation as it might suggest that the sweetness (honey) of love is doomed to wane like a passing phase of the moon. The equivalent terms in other languages are “moon of honey” (French), “honey month” (Welsh) and “tinsel week” (German).

16 Proponent’s preposition : FOR

In the phrasal verbs “to vote for” and “to vote against”, the verb “to vote” is modified by the adverbs “for” and “against”.

21 Two-time Seth MacFarlane title character : TED

“Ted” is a 2012 movie written, directed, produced and starring Seth MacFarlane. In the story, MacFarlane voices a somewhat irreverent teddy bear who is the best friend of a character played by Mark Wahlberg. The audiences liked the film, and “Ted 2” followed in 2015.

23 Duplicity : DECEIT

To be duplicitous is to be deceitful. “Duplicitous” comes from the Greek “duplex” meaning “twofold”. The idea is that someone who is deceitful is twofold in his or her conduct.

31 Closest buds, for short : BFFS

Best friend forever (BFF)

36 Spiced tea : CHAI

Chai is a drink made from spiced black tea, honey and milk, with “chai” being the Hindi word for “tea”. We often called tea “a cup of char” growing up in Ireland, with “char” being our slang word for tea, derived from “chai”.

42 Cary Grant’s chin dimple et al. : TRAITS

The wonderful, wonderful actor Cary Grant was born in Bristol in England, and was given the name Archibald Leach. In the 1949 Howard Hawks film “His Girl Friday”, there’s a line where Grant describes the fate suffered by someone who crossed him. He names that person “Archie Leach”, an ad-lib using his real name.

44 Cutting-edge fashion icon : COUTURE DESIGNER (contains “cutting EDGE”)

“Haute couture”, literally “high dressmaking” in French, is a name given to the creation of exclusive fashions. A couturier is someone who creates or sells such fashions.

48 Zeppelin leader? : LED …

Led Zeppelin was an English rock band founded in 1968. The band’s most famous release has to be the classic “Stairway to Heaven”. Led Zeppelin broke up right after drummer John Bonham was found dead in 1988.

50 Hoops hanger : NET

Basketball is truly a North American sport. It was created in 1891 by Canadian James Naismith at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. His goal was to create something active and interesting for his students in the gym. The first “hoops” were actually peach baskets, with the bottoms of the baskets intact. When a player got the ball into the “net”, someone had to clamber up and get the ball back out again in order to continue the game!

51 Jan. honoree : MLK

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a US Federal holiday taking place on the third Monday of each year. It celebrates the birthday of Dr. King, and was signed into law by President Reagan in 1983, and first observed in 1986. However, some states resisted naming the holiday MLK Day, and gave it alternative names (like “Civil Rights Day”). It was officially celebrated as MLK Day in all 50 states from the year 2000 onwards.

53 Sank perfectly, as a jump shot : SWISHED

That would be basketball.

62 Taiwanese tech giant : ACER

Acer is a Taiwanese company that I visited a couple of times when I was in the electronics business. I was very impressed back then with the company’s dedication to quality, although I have heard that things haven’t gone so well in recent years …

63 Surprises in bottles : GENII

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

65 Tijuana Brass leader Alpert : HERB

Herb Alpert still plays the trumpet today, but he is also a talented painter and sculptor. His works are seen regularly in exhibitions all around the world.

66 Fiat : EDICT

A fiat is an arbitrary rule that is imposed, and is the Latin for “let it be done”.

67 ASAP in the ER : 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

1 Word with gender or lighter : … FLUID

A gender-fluid person is someone without a fixed gender identity.

2 ISP suffix : DOT NET

The .net domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

  • .com (commercial enterprise)
  • .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
  • .mil (US military)
  • .org (not-for-profit organization)
  • .gov (US federal government entity)
  • .edu (college-level educational institution)

7 ESPY Courage Award namesake : ASHE

The Arthur Ashe Courage Award has been presented annually since 1993 as part of the ESPY Awards. Named for tennis great Arthur Ashe, the Courage Award is presented to individuals whose contributions “transcend sports”. The list of recipients includes Howard Cosell (1995), Muhammad Ali (1997), Billie Jean King (1999), Nelson Mandela (2009), Caitlyn Jenner (2015) and Eunice Kennedy Shriver (2017).

9 Layer of dark green eggs : EMU

Emu eggs are very large, with a thick shell that is dark-green in color. One emu egg weighs about the same as a dozen chicken eggs. It is the male emu that incubates the eggs. The incubation period lasts about 8 weeks, during which time the male neither eats nor drinks, just lapping up any morning dew that is nearby. While incubating a clutch of eggs, male emus lose about a third of their weight.

10 Napoleon, for one : DESSERT

A Napoleon is a French layered pastry that is often called a “mille-feuille” on the other side of the Atlantic. “Mille-feuille” is French for “thousand-leaf”. The origin of the “Napoleon” name is unclear, but is thought to derive from the French “napolitain” meaning “from Naples”. The shift to “Napoleon” perhaps took place during the reign of Napoleon I, although there is no direct connection to the emperor.

12 Exfoliating sponge : LOOFAH

The loofah (also “loofa”, “lufah” and “luffa”, all Arabic words) is a vine, with fruit that’s very popular in Asia and Africa. If the fruit is allowed to mature, it can be processed to remove everything but the more rigid xylem structure (remember your high school botany class?) leaving a soft, sponge-like mass that is used as a skin polisher.

13 Bond villain Blofeld : ERNST

Ernst Stavro Blofeld is a villain in the James Bond universe. Blofeld has been played on the big screen several times by different actors. My favorite is Donald Pleasance in 1967’s “You Only Live Twice”. In the original Ian Fleming novels, Blofeld was born on 28 May 1908, which happens to be Fleming’s own birthday.

18 Dueling sword : EPEE

The French word for sword is “épée”. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

19 Fantasia hippo’s outfit : TUTU

The word “tutu”, used for a ballet dancer’s skirt, is actually a somewhat “naughty” term. It came into English from French in the early 20th century. The French “tutu” is an alteration of the word “cucu”, a childish word meaning “bottom, backside”.

“Fantasia” was Disney’s third feature length movie, and was released in 1940. The film had a disappointing critical reception and pushed the Disney company into financial difficulties. RKO took over the film’s distribution in 1946. The folks at RKO cut a full hour off the running time and relaunched the movie into a successful run. If you haven’t seen “Fantasia”, I urge you to do so. It’s a real delight …

24 BOGO offering : TWOFER

Buy one, get one (BOGO) or buy one, get one free (BOGOF).

25 Evel doings? : STUNTS

Daredevil Evel Knievel contracted hepatitis C from the many blood transfusions that he needed after injuries incurred during stunts. He had to have a liver transplant as a result, but his health declined after that. Knievel eventually passed away in 2007.

28 Card game whose name is spoken during play : UNO

In my youth I remember being taught a great card game by a German acquaintance of mine, a game called Mau Mau. Years later I discovered that UNO is basically the same game, but played with a purpose-printed deck instead of the regular deck of playing cards that’s used for Mau Mau. I hear that Mau Mau is derived from the game called Crazy Eights.

31 English channel : BBC

The marvelous British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is mainly funded by the UK government through a television licence fee that is levied annually on all households watching TV transmissions.

33 Only Mississippi-born Literature Nobelist : FAULKNER

William Faulkner was a writer from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner had been publishing works for thirty years and was largely unknown before he received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949. He came to despise the fame that came with the award. Even his 17-year-old daughter wasn’t told about his winning the Nobel Prize, and she had to learn about it at school.

34 Browsing target : SITE

A web browser is a piece of software used to access the World Wide Web. The first web browser was called “WorldWideWeb” and was invented in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the World Wide Web. The browser known as Mosaic came out in 1993, and it was this browser that drove so much interest in the World Wide Web, and indeed in the Internet in general. Marc Andreessen led the team that created Mosaic, and he then set up his own company called Netscape. Netscape created the Netscape Navigator browser that further popularized the use of the Web starting in 1994. Microsoft responded by introducing Internet Explorer in 1995, which sparked the so-called “browser war”, a war that Microsoft clearly won. As Netscape floundered, the company launched the open-source Mozilla project which eventually led to the Firefox browser. Apple then came out with it’s own Safari browser in 2003. Google’s Chrome browser, introduced in 2008, is by far the most popular way to view the Web today.

39 Med. country : ISR

The land that is now Israel was ruled by the British after WWI as the British Mandate of Palestine. The British evacuated the area after WWII, largely responding to pressure from both Jewish and Arab nationalist movements. The British Mandate expired on 14 May 1948 and the State of Israel was established at the same time. This declaration of a new state was followed by the immediate invasion of the area by four Arab countries and the start of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. A ceasefire was declared after a year of fighting, and tension has persisted in the region ever since.

43 Cantaloupe coverings : RINDS

The cantaloupe is the most popular type of melon consumed in the US. Apparently the cantaloupe was first cultivated in Cantalupo in Sabina, a town near Rome in Italy.

46 Water brand : DASANI

Dasani is a Coca-Cola brand of bottled water. Dasani is simply filtered tap water with some trace minerals added.

52 Causes of some head scratching : LICE

Lice (singular “louse”) are small wingless insects, of which there are thousands of species. There are three species of lice affecting humans, i.e. head lice, body lice and pubic lice. Most lice feed on dead skin found on the body of the host animal, although some feed on blood. Ick …

60 “Hang on a sec,” in texts : BRB

Be right back (brb)

61 __ Alamos, NM : LOS

The town of Los Alamos, New Mexico takes its name from the Spanish for “the poplars” or “the cottonwoods”. Famously, it is home to Los Alamos National Laboratory which was founded during WWII to work on the Manhattan Project, the development of the first atomic bomb. The town of Los Alamos didn’t exist as such, until it was planned and constructed to support the employees working on development of the bomb.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 OTC drug overseer : FDA
4 Like a honeymoon couple’s bed, perhaps : PETALED
11 It may be brown or blonde : ALE
14 Realty unit : LOT
15 “Killer, dude!” : AWESOME!
16 Proponent’s adverb : FOR
17 Feeling upon being stretched thin : UTTER EXHAUSTION (contains “stretched THIN”)
20 Ill-suited : INAPT
21 Two-time Seth MacFarlane title character : TED
22 Browses : SURFS
23 Duplicity : DECEIT
25 Charges : SETS AT
26 Earth-shattering realization : THE AWFUL TRUTH (contains “EARTH shattering”)
30 Actor-for-actor movie studio exchange : LOAN-OUT
31 Closest buds, for short : BFFS
35 Open parenthesis, in some emoticons : FROWN
36 Spiced tea : CHAI
40 Cook in fat in a closed pot : BRAISE
42 Cary Grant’s chin dimple et al. : TRAITS
44 Cutting-edge fashion icon : COUTURE DESIGNER (contains “cutting EDGE”)
48 Zeppelin leader? : LED …
49 Spare tire makeup : FAT
50 Hoops hanger : NET
51 Jan. honoree : MLK
53 Sank perfectly, as a jump shot : SWISHED
56 Top 40 song, e.g. : HIT
59 Exhibit widespread political appeal : WIN BY A LANDSLIDE (contains “WIDE spread”)
62 Taiwanese tech giant : ACER
63 Surprises in bottles : GENII
64 Tip jar deposits : ONES
65 Tijuana Brass leader Alpert : HERB
66 Fiat : EDICT
67 ASAP in the ER : STAT

Down

1 Word with gender or lighter : … FLUID
2 ISP suffix : DOT NET
3 Stick on : ATTACH
4 Not all there : PARTIAL
5 Farm female : EWE
6 Row of emoji, perhaps : TEXT
7 ESPY Courage Award namesake : ASHE
8 Unit to be washed : LOAD
9 Layer of dark green eggs : EMU
10 Napoleon, for one : DESSERT
11 Something never done before : A FIRST
12 Exfoliating sponge : LOOFAH
13 Bond villain Blofeld : ERNST
18 Dueling sword : EPEE
19 Fantasia hippo’s outfit : TUTU
24 BOGO offering : TWOFER
25 Evel doings? : STUNTS
27 Not even close : FAR
28 Card game whose name is spoken during play : UNO
29 Dirty : LOW
31 English channel : BBC
32 To and __ : FRO
33 Only Mississippi-born Literature Nobelist : FAULKNER
34 Browsing target : SITE
36 Animal house : CAGE
37 Comment with a wink and an elbow : HINT HINT
38 Consumed : ATE
39 Med. country : ISR
41 Like bubble baths : SUDSY
43 Cantaloupe coverings : RINDS
45 Submitted returns online : E-FILED
46 Water brand : DASANI
47 Cultural, as cuisine : ETHNIC
51 [Blown kiss] : [MWAH!]
52 Causes of some head scratching : LICE
54 Minimum __ : WAGE
55 Revise : EDIT
57 A light bulb may symbolize one : IDEA
58 Sample : TEST
60 “Hang on a sec,” in texts : BRB
61 __ Alamos, NM : LOS

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 29 May 20, Friday”

  1. Wow, this was fast. Even got the circled theme. Almost felt like a Monday or Tuesday. .. Even for a Jeff Chen.

    Be safe

  2. 12:29, no errors. Straightforward.

    @Khitty Hawk (from yesterday) … Again, thanks for mentioning “sci-fi bumpers” and the “Potsdam Potato”, both of which led enjoyable forays into the worlds of Dr. Google and his pal YouTube … 😜.

    1. Aw, thanks! <3 I always like sharing little factlets, and am glad other folks like them too.

      This collection of bumpers contains quite a few I remember: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76KkGXES7rg
      I definitely remember the weirdness of 0:21, the fetch twist with 3:21, and yup, 5:01 was probably responsible for some nightmares.

      1. Those “bumpers” are wonderful: quirky, inventive, flawless creations that make me wish I had watched the sci-fi channel. (I read a lot of science fiction as a kid, but never got into TV much after the first “Star Trek” was over.)

  3. Jeff Chen had a hand in this (including the too-cute-by-half clueing and that silly-assed theme)?? Now, THAT’S puzzling.

  4. 35:40 no errors…I didn’t pay any attention to the theme…I’m still waiting for Jeff Chen to construct a puzzle without a partner.
    Stay safe.

  5. NW corner had me stumped at first, felt like this was going to be a DNF. I saved my day by noticing THIN in the first long answer, which allowed me to try letters in the other long answers, and the rest of the rest of the puzzle went surprisingly fast, which got my brain in gear to finish without any errors. I’ve never had a themed puzzle do this for me before, AFIK. BRAISED had me fondly remember broasted chicken from a local restaurant here in the SF Bay Area; it was the juiciest chicken I have ever had, and I still wonder why I seldom see it (last time was in a restaurant in a small town NW Oregon… Good Golly Miss Mollie, it was good!).

  6. 50A – from what I remember, it took 15 years before someone realized, hey, what if we cut holes in the bottom of the baskets?
    67A – Heh, from what I’ve learned of linguistics, any etymology-via-acronym is likely spurious, especially if the derivation is supposed to exist before the invention of the telegraph
    61D – Relatedly, “Las Vegas” is Spanish for “the meadows” (On a trip there several years ago, younger me suggested they rename it to “Las Luces”)

    Tricksy puzzle today! The bottom went pretty quick, but hit some snags with the top half. Also tricksy because the top and the bottom are only connected in two places and there was no overt clue to the theme. I actually only got the top half because I noticed WIDE and EDGE in the other two long answers and was able to fill in the circled answers above. Almost four themes in one! I dig it.

    I’m embarrassed how long it took me to get genderFLUID. And for the longest time, I was sure either 11A was DYE or 12D was PUMICE. Never heard of ‘spare tire’ for belly fat, so I was stuck on “…rubber?” and left that clue to be filled in by the crossers.

  7. Pretty zippy for a Friday; took me 39 minutes with no errors. I too got the bottom first in quick order, and then got stuck all over the top.

    Had to change leaFS to SURFS and TEll (???) to TEXT and FDc (???) to FDA. I thought PETALED almost right away but it took quite a while before I finally put it in…should sometimes just go with my instincts. Never really saw the theme until I got here and that would have helped a bit.

    @Khitty – Yeah, thanks for the Potsdam potato. I saw that it’s relatively new (2009 – 2015) and the half hour diversion was really interesting.

  8. Please explain “Petaled.” I can’t find a definition anywhere that fits. The explanation about wealthy British honeymoons doesn’t help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.