LA Times Crossword 5 May 20, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Barbara Lin
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Family Game Night

Themed answers each end with a GAME:

  • 54A Evening with the kids, or when the ends of the answers to starred clues might be played : FAMILY GAME NIGHT
  • 17A *The opportunity to be successful again : A NEW LEASE ON LIFE (giving “Life”)
  • 24A *”I’d do the same thing again” : NOT SORRY (giving “Sorry!”)
  • 33A *”Stupid superstition,” for one : TONGUE TWISTER (giving “Twister”)
  • 47A *”Don’t be so oblivious” : GET A CLUE (giving “Clue”)

Bill’s time: 5m 30s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Bay Area force: Abbr. : SFPD

The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is the 11th largest police department in the country. The SFPD dates back to the days of the Gold Rush, being founded in 1849 as a force of 35 officers. SFPD has featured a lot in movies and on television. The most famous films are probably “Bullitt”, the “Dirty Harry” series and “48 Hrs.” On television there was “Ironside”, “The Streets of San Francisco” and “Monk”.

The San Francisco Bay Area comprises the nine counties that impinge on the San Francisco Bay itself: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma. The region also includes the major cities of San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland.

5 Leaves at the altar : JILTS

To jilt someone with whom you have a relationship is to drop them suddenly or callously. “Jilt” is an obsolete noun that used to mean “harlot, loose woman”.

10 News story opening : LEDE

The opening paragraph in any work of literature is often just called “the lead”. In the world of journalism, this is usually referred to as “the lede”.

15 Eye-boggling work : OP ART

Op art is also known as optical art, and puts optical illusions to great effect.

17 *The opportunity to be successful again : A NEW LEASE ON LIFE (giving “Life”)

The board game we call “The Game of Life” (also just “Life”) was created quite a few years ago, in 1869 by Milton Bradley. Back then it was called “The Checkered Game of Life” and was the first parlor game to become a popular hit. The modern version of the game was first released in 1960.

20 Defunct luxury New York department store : BARNEYS

Barneys New York is a luxury department store chain. It was founded by Barney Pressman in 1923, with the first store opening in Manhattan. Pressman raised the funds necessary to lease that first retail space by pawning his wife’s engagement ring!

21 Chinese leader who said, “Women hold up half the sky” : 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.

22 Ruby, for one : GEM

Ruby is a precious stone made from the mineral corundum, also called aluminium oxide. The corundum includes some of the element chromium, which results in the red or pink color.

24 *”I’d do the same thing again” : NOT SORRY (giving “Sorry!”)

The board game Trouble was introduced in the US in 1965, and is very similar to the competing game Sorry! that was already on the market. Both games are in turn based on the ancient game of Pachisi. The big selling feature of Trouble was the Pop-O-Matic dice container in the center of the board. I remember it well …

26 Swedish soprano Jenny : LIND

Jenny Lind was a Swedish opera singer who was as popular off the stage as she was on. She had many suitors, including the great composers Mendelssohn and Chopin, as well as the author Hans Christian Andersen. Andersen wrote three fairy tales that were inspired by Lind, including one called “The Nightingale”, which ultimately led to Lind becoming known as “The Swedish Nightingale”.

30 Natl. population, e.g. : EST

Estimate (est.)

31 Swiss high point : ALP

There are eight Alpine countries:

  • Austria
  • Slovenia
  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Germany
  • Monaco
  • Italy

32 Director Craven : WES

Wes Craven was a very successful film director and writer specializing in movies of the horror genre, which means that I don’t watch them! He was responsible for “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and the “Scream” films. Craven passed away in August 2015.

43 Jones of the Monkees : DAVY

Davy Jones was the apparent lead vocalist for the Monkees, but it was drummer Micky Dolenz who took the lead in most of their hit songs. Peter Tork was the band member who was portrayed as the “dumb one” on “The Monkees” television show, but he was far from a dummy. In the early days of the band, session musicians played all the instruments for the records, except Tork. Tork got to play his guitar. The things that are kept from us …

45 “Ultimate Driving Machine” vehicles : BMWS

The initialism “BMW” stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke, which translates into Bavarian Motor Works. BMW was making aircraft engines during WWI, but had to cease that activity according to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The company then started making motorcycles, and moved into automobile production starting in 1928. BMW moved back into aircraft engine manufacturing during the build-up of the Luftwaffe prior to WWII.

46 Soccer immortal : PELE

“Pelé” is the nickname of Edson de Nascimento, a soccer player who has used the name “Pelé” for most of his life. Pelé is now retired, and for my money was the world’s greatest ever player of the game. He is the only person to have been a member of three World Cup winning squads (1958, 1962 and 1970), and is a national treasure in his native Brazil. One of Pele’s nicknames is “O Rei do Futebol” (the King of Football).

47 *”Don’t be so oblivious” : GET A CLUE (giving “Clue”)

Clue is a board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

49 Propose, as a theory : POSIT

To “posit” is to assume as fact, to lay down as a “position”.

50 Musician Yoko : ONO

Yoko Ono was born in 1933 in Tokyo into a prosperous Japanese family, and is actually a descendant of one of the emperors of Japan. Yoko’s father moved around the world for work, and she lived the first few years of her life in San Francisco. The family returned to Japan, before moving on to New York, Hanoi and back to Japan just before WWII, in time to live through the great firebombing of Tokyo in 1945. Immediately after the war the family was far from prosperous. While Yoko’s father was being held in a prison camp in Vietnam, her mother had to resort to begging and bartering to feed her children. When her father was repatriated, life started to return to normal and Yoko was able to attend university. She was the first woman to be accepted into the philosophy program of Gakushuin University.

52 Capital of Georgia (the country) : TBILISI

Tbilisi is the largest city and capital of Georgia, the former Soviet Socialist Republic.

57 New Haven collegians : ELIS

The city of New Haven, Connecticut was founded in 1638 by Puritan immigrants from England. New Haven is home to Yale University. The city also initiated the first public tree planting program in the country. The large elms included in the program led to New Haven being called “the Elm City”.

58 Raze : LEVEL

To raze (“rase”, in UK English) is to level to the ground. I’ve always thought it a little quirky that “raise”, a homophone of “raze”, means “build up”.

62 Nos. on an airport board : ETDS

Estimated time of departure (ETD)

Down

1 Unmoving Calder work : STABILE

Alexander Calder was an American sculptor and artist. Calder is famous for having invented the mobile sculpture, a work made up of several pieces hanging on a string in equilibrium. In effect they are what we might know as “mobiles”, operating on the same principle as mobiles that sit over cribs in a nursery. Calder refers to his large, stationary sculptures as “stabiles”.

5 Baby marsupial : JOEY

In Australia, male kangaroos are known by several names including bucks, boomers, jacks or old men. Females are called does, flyers, or jills. There seems to be just the one name for young kangaroos, i.e. joeys. A group of kangaroos might be called a mob, troop or court.

Marsupials are mammals that carry their young in a pouch. Better-known marsupials are kangaroos, koalas, wombats and Tasmanian devils. As you can probably tell from this list, most marsupials are native to the Southern Hemisphere.

6 Some beers: Abbr. : IPAS

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

7 __ Vegas : LAS

Back in the 1800s, the Las Vegas Valley was given its name from the extensive meadows (“las vegas” is Spanish for “the meadows”) present in the area courtesy of the artesian wells drilled by local farmers. Las Vegas was incorporated as a city in 1905, in the days when it was a stopping-off point for pioneers travelling west. It eventually became a railroad town, although with the coming of the railroad growth halted as travelers began to bypass Las Vegas. The city’s tourism industry took off in 1935 with the completion of the nearby Hoover Dam, which is still a popular attraction. Then gambling was legalized, and things really started to move. Vegas was picked, largely by celebrated figures in “the mob”, as a convenient location across the California/Nevada state line that could service the vast population of Los Angeles. As a result, Las Vegas is the most populous US city founded in the 20th century (Chicago is the most populous city founded in the 19th century, just in case you were wondering).

9 Brown ermine : STOAT

The stoat has dark brown fur in the summer, and white fur in the winter. Sometimes the term “ermine” is used for the animal during the winter when the fur is white. Ermine skins have long been prized by royalty and are often used for white trim on ceremonial robes.

10 “OMG, funny!” : LOL!

Laugh out loud (LOL)

“OMG” is text-speak for “Oh My Gosh!” “Oh My Goodness!” or any other G-words you might care to use …

11 Asylum seeker : EMIGRE

An émigré (fem. “émigrée”) is an emigrant. The term is French in origin, and particularly applies to someone who is a political refugee from his or her native land.

19 Grabs a snack : NOSHES

Our word “nosh” has been around since the late fifties, when it was imported from the Yiddish word “nashn” meaning “to nibble”. We use “nosh” as a noun that means “snack”, or as a verb meaning “to eat between meals”.

27 Data transmission unit : BAUD

In telecommunications, the “baud” unit represents pulses per second. The higher the baud rate of a modem, the faster information can be transferred. The baud unit is named after Émile Baudot, a pioneer in the world of telecommunications.

34 Bright star : NOVA

A nova (plural “novae”) is basically a star that suddenly gets much brighter, gradually returning to its original state weeks or even years later. The increased brightness of a nova is due to increased nuclear activity causing the star to pick up extra hydrogen from a neighboring celestial body. A supernova is very different from a nova. A supernova is a very bright burst of light and energy created when most of the material in a star explodes. The bright burst of a supernova is very short-lived compared to the sustained brightness of a nova.

35 Ethylene __: antifreeze : GLYCOL

The antifreeze that we put into our cars has ethylene glycol as the active ingredient. Ethylene glycol is dangerous stuff, and is very poisonous. Ingestion causes calcium oxalate crystals to form in the kidneys. It sounds like a horrible way to go …

42 Small sizes : PETITES

“Petite” is the French word for “small”, when applied to a feminine noun.

43 North America’s highest peak : DENALI

“Denali” means “the high one” in the native Athabaskan language, and is now the name used for Mount McKinley. Denali’s summit stands at 20,237 feet, making it the highest mountain peak in North America. I was surprised to learn that there is a Denali State Park, as well as the Denali National Park. The two are located adjacent to each other (which makes sense!). The State Park is undeveloped for all practical purposes, with just a few campgrounds and trailheads.

44 Type of energy or reactor : ATOMIC

A nuclear reactor is a device designed to maintain a self-contained nuclear chain reaction. Nuclear fission generates heat in the reactor core. That heat is transferred out of the core by a nuclear reactor coolant, and is used to turn steam turbines. Those steam turbines usually drive electrical generators, or perhaps a ship’s propellers.

48 Clapton classic : LAYLA

“Layla” is one of the great rock anthems of the seventies, released by Derek and the Dominos as a single in 1971. It is a masterpiece of composition, with the first half of the song a great vehicle for the guitar-playing talents of Eric Clapton. The second half is a beautifully melodic piano coda (a coda … taking up half the length of the track!). To top things off we have the “unplugged” version recorded by Clapton in 1992, a fabulous and inventive variation on the original.

Layla, you’ve got me on my knees.
Layla, I’m begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind.

Can you believe that the great Eric Clapton only had one chart-topper in the US? In 1974, Clapton released a cover version of the Bob Marley classic “I Shot the Sheriff” and ended up selling more copies of that song than Bob Marley did himself. Clapton is the only person to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times: once as a member of the Yardbirds, once as a member of the supergroup Cream, and once as a solo artist.

52 Feds under Ness : T-MEN

A T-man is a law-enforcement agent of the US Treasury (T stands for “Treasury”).

Eliot Ness was the Treasury agent charged with the task of bringing down the notorious Chicago gangster Al Capone. When Ness took on the job in 1930, Chicago law-enforcement agents were renowned for being corrupt, for being on the take. Ness handpicked 50 prohibition agents who he thought he could rely on, later reducing the group to a cadre of 15 and ultimately just 11 trusted men. That group of 11 earned the nickname “The Untouchables”, the agents who couldn’t be bought.

56 Latin greeting : AVE

“Ave” is a Latin word meaning “hail” as in “Ave Maria”, which translates as “Hail Mary”. “Ave” can also be used to mean “goodbye”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Bay Area force: Abbr. : SFPD
5 Leaves at the altar : JILTS
10 News story opening : LEDE
14 Words with bow or knot : TIE A …
15 Eye-boggling work : OP ART
16 Foreboding sign : OMEN
17 *The opportunity to be successful again : A NEW LEASE ON LIFE (giving “Life”)
20 Defunct luxury New York department store : BARNEYS
21 Chinese leader who said, “Women hold up half the sky” : MAO
22 Ruby, for one : GEM
23 Admission of deceit : I LIED
24 *”I’d do the same thing again” : NOT SORRY (giving “Sorry!”)
26 Swedish soprano Jenny : LIND
27 Beast with tusks : BOAR
29 Color tones : HUES
30 Natl. population, e.g. : EST
31 Swiss high point : ALP
32 Director Craven : WES
33 *”Stupid superstition,” for one : TONGUE TWISTER (giving “Twister”)
39 Like some jokes : OLD
40 + or – particle : ION
41 “You betcha” : YEP
43 Jones of the Monkees : DAVY
45 “Ultimate Driving Machine” vehicles : BMWS
46 Soccer immortal : PELE
47 *”Don’t be so oblivious” : GET A CLUE (giving “Clue”)
49 Propose, as a theory : POSIT
50 Musician Yoko : ONO
51 Stick in a boat : OAR
52 Capital of Georgia (the country) : TBILISI
54 Evening with the kids, or when the ends of the answers to starred clues might be played : FAMILY GAME NIGHT
57 New Haven collegians : ELIS
58 Raze : LEVEL
59 Friend’s pronoun : THEE
60 Like creamy desserts : RICH
61 “__ you sweet!” : AREN’T
62 Nos. on an airport board : ETDS

Down

1 Unmoving Calder work : STABILE
2 Last round contestant : FINALIST
3 Scrutinize using, as a microscope : PEER INTO
4 Became clear to, with “on” : DAWNED …
5 Baby marsupial : JOEY
6 Some beers: Abbr. : IPAS
7 __ Vegas : LAS
8 Quake aftershock : TREMOR
9 Brown ermine : STOAT
10 “OMG, funny!” : LOL!
11 Asylum seeker : EMIGRE
12 Postpones : DEFERS
13 Foe : ENEMY
18 Headed up : LED
19 Grabs a snack : NOSHES
24 When toddlers snooze : NAP TIME
25 Cast out : OUST
27 Data transmission unit : BAUD
28 Cry after un gol : OLE!
32 Carries the day : WINS
34 Bright star : NOVA
35 Ethylene __: antifreeze : GLYCOL
36 “That’s big news!” : WOW!
37 Optometrist’s concern : EYESIGHT
38 Completely enjoyed : RELISHED
42 Small sizes : PETITES
43 North America’s highest peak : DENALI
44 Type of energy or reactor : ATOMIC
45 Backyard barbecue staple : BURGER
46 Considerate : POLITE
47 One picking up the staff lunch order, perhaps : GOFER
48 Clapton classic : LAYLA
49 Wrestler’s goal : PIN
52 Feds under Ness : T-MEN
53 Sing (out) loudly : BELT
55 Kinda : -ISH
56 Latin greeting : AVE

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 5 May 20, Tuesday”

  1. 4 errors. Didn’t know 1D. Went with STABILD. It sounded “unmoving”. I was off on 30A and went with DCT (domestic count?) Who knew Natl. Population was code for EST… Go figure. Then there was FINALACT for 2D. Which left me with LAND for 26A. Yipes, I really messed up that corner.
    Be safe.

  2. No errors or Googles. Great theme. Had “ran” before LED. Didn’t know LEDE.

    Happy Cinco de May, victory over Napoleon III.

  3. 8:32, no errors.

    I went for a long walk yesterday afternoon and, when I got back, I had no internet or phone connection. Given everything else that’s going on, I already feel cut off from the world, so losing those final links affected me a lot more than I would have predicted. The problem was fixed about 10 o’clock, but the memory will linger … 😳.

  4. Really blew the NW corner…never thought of “dawned” so
    couldn’t figure the rest of the corner. Oh well…and it’s only Tuesday

  5. Two errors today. Did not know “stoat” even having the soat! Also had “g men” instead of “t men”. Should have gotten that one.

  6. 19:21 no errors…what does does THEE have to do with FRIENDS?
    Stay safe..I just finished my weekly grocery shopping…it wears me out mentally.

  7. Two days in a row completed puzzle without looking at “long” clues. Always more fun for me that way (since I don’t care about how long it takes). I had STACILE instead of STABILE.. thinking that maybe CARNEY’S was a store — but I now think CARNEY’S might be a hot-dog restaurant? Oh well, more difficult puzzles coming the rest of the week…

  8. Surprisingly no errors. I didn’t know 10 across, the News Story Opening, but the downs filled it in. Also, I didn’t know 52 across, the Capital of Georgia, but the downs filled it in as well. A nice relaxing Tuesday puzzle.

  9. Per the solving times of Bill and Glenn, a nice, easy puzzle. Got it plus the
    Jumble and Wonderword. Good start to the week, looking for difficulty
    tomorrow.

    We have a Parish in LA that has reported only 3 cases and 0 deaths since this
    pandemic started. I see no way that can be true. Their council was going to
    meet to discuss how to keep number of cases and deaths at 3 and 0 and I got
    the thought that it would be very easy; just don’t test!

    Missed Jack’s comment today.

    Stay safe and well, everybody.

  10. 8 minutes, 32 seconds, 2 errors. Really miffed to see that stubborn purposeful misspelling of LEDE used by the press, and appearing in this puzzle for a second consecutive week. It’s just **wrong** and they know it is.

    1. There’s a reason it is spelled LEDE, so yes, I guess it’s purposeful, but not a misspelling. Here they probably shoulda clued it as “Editor’s mark for a news story opening.”

  11. SALUTATIONS Y’ALL!!!🦆

    No errors. Decent puzzle; just wish I had someone to play those board games with… so far I can’t find anyone to play online Scrabble with except my sister in law, and I’m much better than she. Maybe we should play for money….🤔

    Always I take pride in knowing the capital of Georgia, but today I also actually spelled it correctly THANKS TO CROSSES!!!😆

    Nonny– my power went out BRIEFLY today — literally not 2 minutes– and I went bananas!! I was SO afraid it would go out again. 😟

    Be safe~~🍸

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