LA Times Crossword 5 Mar 21, Friday

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Constructed by: Lewis Rothlein
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Split End

Themed answers each SPLIT at the END to give two different answers by using letters circled in the grid:

  • 63A Hair problem, and what three short puzzle answers each has : SPLIT END
  • 19A One may reveal a secret : HOT MIC & HOT TIP
  • 53A One often chosen for lightness : LAP DOG & LAPTOP
  • 10D “Sure!” : WHY YES! & WHY NOT!

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 12m 41s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “Born From Jets” automaker : SAAB

“SAAB” stands for Svenska Aeroplan AB, which translates into English as Swedish Aeroplane Limited. Although we usually think of SAAB as an auto manufacturer, it is mainly an aircraft manufacturer. If you take small hops in Europe you might find yourself on a SAAB passenger plane. The SAAB automotive division was acquired by General Motors in the year 2000, who then sold it to a Dutch concern in 2010. However, SAAB (automotive) finally went bankrupt in 2011. A Chinese consortium purchased the assets of SAAB Automotive in 2012, and so SAAB vehicles are in production again. The new vehicles are using the SAAB name, but cannot use the SAAB griffin logo, the rights to which have been retained by the mother company.

5 Fiscal exec : CFO

Chief financial officer (CFO)

17 Connecticut home of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament : STAMFORD

The Connecticut city of Stamford is located about 40 miles from Manhattan, and is part of the New York City metropolitan area. One of Stamford’s claims to fame is that it often serves as the home of the annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament that was founded by Will Shortz in 1978.

“Wordplay” is a 2006 documentary film that is a must-see for crossword fans. Star of the film is New York Times puzzle editor Will Shortz, with appearances by celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, Jon Stewart and Ken Burns. Much of the movie is set at the 2005 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT).

19 One may reveal a secret : HOT MIC & HOT TIP

One of my favorite hot-mic moments took place in 2005, when Paris and London were vying to host the 2012 Olympics. French President Jacques Chirac compared Paris and London in that context while chatting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. Chirac said, over a hot mic:

The only thing that they have ever done for European agriculture is mad cow disease … You cannot trust people who have such bad cuisine.

22 Pro Bowl side: Abbr. : NFC

National Football Conference (NFC)

23 Past regulation, briefly : IN OT

In overtime (in OT)

26 Cal Poly setting, initially : SLO

The city of San Luis Obispo (SLO) is one of the oldest communities in California. The name “San Luis Obispo” translates as “Saint Louis, the Bishop of Toulouse”. In 1990, San Luis Obispo was the first municipality in the world to ban smoking in all indoor public areas.

“Cal Poly” is the more familiar name for California Polytechnic State University. There are actually two Cal Poly institutions, one in San Luis Obispo (the most famous) and one in Pomona. The Pomona institution was founded in 1938 as the southern campus for Cal Poly in 1938, but became independent from the northern school in 1966.

27 Morlock prey : ELOI

In the 1895 novella by H. G. Wells called “The Time Machine”, there are two races that the hero encounters in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet’s surface. The Morlocks are a domineering race living underground who use the Eloi as food.

29 Area 51 figures, supposedly : ETS

The famed Area 51 is a remote base in the USAF Nevada Test and Training Range. There’s no question that Area 51 is an unusual base in that frontline operational units are not deployed there. It seems that it is used for developing and testing new and classified weapons facilities for the US Military and other US agencies like the CIA. The government did not even acknowledge that Area 51 existed until 1995, and this official position fueled a theory that the base is home to UFOs that landed on Earth.

32 Recipe amts. : TSPS

Teaspoon (tsp.)

34 “1984” superstate : OCEANIA

The action in George Orwell’s 1949 novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” takes place in the intercontinental superstate of Oceania. Orwell also created two other superstates, one called Eurasia and the other Eastasia.

39 Lab tubes : PIPETS

A pipette (also “pipet”) is a tool used in a lab to transport an accurately measured volume of liquid. Back in my day, we would suck up the liquid into the pipette by applying our mouths to the top of the instrument. This could be quite dangerous, as one ended up with a mouthful of something unsavory if one lifted the top of pipette out of the liquid too soon. Nowadays, things are much safer.

42 “Black Narcissus” figures : NUNS

“Black Narcissus” is a 1947 psychological drama movie based on a 1939 novel of the same name by Rumer Godden. The film stars Deborah Kerr as the leader of a group of Anglican nuns setting up a school and hospital in a princely state in the Himalayas. David Farrar co-stars, playing a middle-aged Englishman who causes some sexual tension to develop with some of the nuns. The film title is a reference to the French perfume “Narcisse Noir”.

43 Word on mail from Toledo, maybe : AEREO

The words “Correo Aereo” can be found on some stamps. The phrase translates from Spanish as “Air Mail”.

Toledo is a city in central Spain that is located just over 40 miles south of the capital Madrid. Toledo is sometimes called the “City of Three Cultures”, due to the historical co-existence of Christian, Muslim and Jewish traditions.

49 __ thai : PAD

The delicious dish called pad Thai is a meld of stir-fried rice noodles with tamarind juice, red chili pepper plus a mix of vegetables and possibly tofu, meat or fish. It is usually topped with crushed peanuts, coriander and lime. The name “pad Thai” translates as “fried Thai-style”.

50 Mystery novelist Paretsky : SARA

Sara Paretsky is an American author of detective fiction. Paretsky’s most famous character is a female private investigator called V.I. Warshawski. Warshawski was played by Kathleen Turner in a big screen adaptation of one of her stories in 1991.

51 Sine qua non : NEED

“Sine qua non” is a Latin phrase that we use to mean “the essential element or condition”. The literal translation is “without which not”. One might say, for example, “a challenging crossword is the sine qua non of a good newspaper”. Well, crossword fans might say that …

57 Mex. title : SRA

The equivalent of “Mrs.” in French is “Mme.” (Madame), in Spanish is “Sra.” (Señora) and in Portuguese is also “Sra.” (Senhora).

58 Hercule’s creator : AGATHA

Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time, having sold about 4 billion copies worldwide in total. The only books to have sold in higher volume are the works of William Shakespeare and the Bible.

Hercule Poirot is one of Agatha Christie’s most beloved characters. He is a wonderful Belgian private detective who plies his trade from his base in London. Poirot’s most famous case is the “Murder on the Orient Express”. First appearing in 1920’s “The Mysterious Affair at Styles”, Poirot finally succumbs to a heart condition in the 1975 book “Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case”. Famously, Poirot is fond of using his “little grey cells”.

65 Many a quote, for short : EST

Estimate (est.)

66 “South Park” co-creator Parker : TREY

Trey Parker is one of the co-creators of the animated television show “South Park”, along with Matt Stone.

Down

1 Temaki or futomaki : SUSHI

Sushi is a Japanese dish that has as its primary ingredient cooked, vinegared rice. The rice is usually topped with something, most often fish, and can be served in seaweed rolls. If we want raw fish by itself, then we have to order sashimi.

Temaki is a sushi dish comprising a cone made from nori (edible seaweed) filled with rice and sushi. The term “temaki” translates as “hand roll”.

Futomaki is a sushi dish comprising a thick cylinder of sushi ingredients wrapped in nori (edible seaweed). The term “futomaki” translates as “thick roll”.

2 San __: Texas city nickname : ANTONE

The city of San Antonio, Texas was named by Spanish explorers. They came upon a Native American settlement in the area on 13 June 1631, the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua.

3 Explosive mixture : AMATOL

Amatol is a mixture of TNT and ammonium nitrate. Amatol is no longer used today, but featured extensively in the two world wars. TNT, which was relatively costly, was able to “go further” with the addition of cheaper ammonium nitrate (fertilizer) with very little degradation in destructive power.

6 Martha’s Vineyard arrivals : FERRIES

Martha’s Vineyard is a relatively large island located south of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. “Martha’s Vineyard” was originally the name of a smaller island to the south, named by English explorer Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602. The name was eventually transferred to the main island, and is now the eighth-oldest English place-name still used in the US. It is likely that the Gosnold named the island for his daughter Martha.

9 Counting word : EENY

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch the tiger/monkey/baby by the toe.
If it hollers/screams let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, you are it!

11 Internet recovery program : AA ONLINE

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in Akron, Ohio. As the organization grew, the guiding principles established by the founders were formatted into a 12-step program that was in place by the forties.

28 Puerile retort : IS TOO!

Something described as puerile is foolishly childish or immature. The term “puerile” comes from the Latin “puer” meaning “boy”.

31 Prof.’s aides : TAS

Teaching assistant (TA)

35 PC brain : CPU

The central processing unit (CPU) is the main component on the motherboard of a computer. The CPU is the part of the computer that carries out most of the functions required by a program. Nowadays you can get CPUs in everything from cars to telephones.

36 SoCal ball club, on scoreboards : LAA

The Anaheim Angels baseball team is today more correctly called the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (LAA). The “Angels” name dates back to 1961 when the team was founded in the “City of Angels”, Los Angeles. When the franchise moved to Anaheim in 1965 they were known as the California Angels, then the Anaheim Angels, and most recently the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels are also known as “the Halos”.

38 Turtle shell, e.g. : CARAPACE

“Carapace” is the name given to the upper section of the exoskeleton of several types of animals, such as crustaceans, arachnids, turtles and tortoises.

42 Curry and Antetokounmpo, recently : NBA MVPS

Stephen Curry is a professional basketball player who was selected by the Golden State Warriors in the 2009 draft. Steph’s father is former NBA player Dell Curry, and his younger brother is current player Seth Curry. Steph Curry is noted for accuracy in shooting. Curry set the record for three-pointers made in a regular season in 2013, broke that record in 2015, and broke it yet again in 2016.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is an NBA professional from Greece who was drafted in 2013 by the Milwaukee Bucks. Giannis has two brothers who were also drafted by the NBA, namely Thanasis and Kostas. Giannis has earned himself the nickname the “Greek Freak”.

50 Resell to desperate fans, maybe : SCALP

Scalping of tickets, selling them above retail price for an excessive profit, originated in the mid-1800s with scalpers making money off theater tickets. There was also quite a bit of money made by people scalping railway tickets. Railroads gave discounts on tickets for longer journeys, so someone trying to get from San Francisco to Chicago might buy a ticket to New York. Once in Chicago the passenger would scalp the remainder of his/her ticket to someone wanting to get to New York, and make his or her invested money back with a bonus. The exact etymology of the term “scalper” seems unclear.

53 Shortening, maybe : LARD

Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called suet. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be rendered, purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call lard. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as tallow.

Shortening is a fat used in baking. It is the term “shortening” that gives us the words “shortbread” and “shortcake”.

54 French cabbage : CHOU

“Mon petit chou” is a term of endearment in French meaning “sweetheart, darling”, but translating literally as “my little cabbage”.

55 Hide : PELT

A pelt is the skin of a furry animal.

Both the verb “to hide” (to conceal) and the noun “hide” (skin), derive from the Old English “hyd” meaning “hide, skin”. The idea is that to “hide” something is similar to covering it with a “skin”.

56 Roman numeral? : SEI

In Italian, “due” (two) times “tre” (three) is “sei” (six).

61 ABA member : ATT

Attorney (att.)

The American Bar Association (ABA) was founded back in 1878 and is a voluntary association for lawyers and law students. The ABA focuses on setting academic standards for law schools and setting ethical codes for the profession.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Born From Jets” automaker : SAAB
5 Fiscal exec : CFO
8 Sign of danger : BEWARE
14 Like letters in an outbox : UNMAILED
16 Transport again : REHAUL
17 Connecticut home of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament : STAMFORD
18 Nobody special : ANYONE
19 One may reveal a secret : HOT MIC & HOT TIP
20 Inconsistent : STREAKY
22 Pro Bowl side: Abbr. : NFC
23 Past regulation, briefly : IN OT
25 Land in the ocean : ISLE
26 Cal Poly setting, initially : SLO
27 Morlock prey : ELOI
29 Area 51 figures, supposedly : ETS
30 Way to earn interest? : FLIRT
32 Recipe amts. : TSPS
34 “1984” superstate : OCEANIA
36 Find : LOCATE
39 Lab tubes : PIPETS
40 Comparable things : ANALOGS
42 “Black Narcissus” figures : NUNS
43 Word on mail from Toledo, maybe : AEREO
44 Abate : EBB
46 Just the best : TOPS
49 __ thai : PAD
50 Mystery novelist Paretsky : SARA
51 Sine qua non : NEED
53 One often chosen for lightness : LAP DOG & LAPTOP
54 Arced woodshop tools : C-CLAMPS
57 Mex. title : SRA
58 Hercule’s creator : AGATHA
60 “Join us for lunch?” regrets : I’VE EATEN
62 Put back in the fridge : RECOOL
63 Hair problem, and what three short puzzle answers each has : SPLIT END
64 Drafted : DREW UP
65 Many a quote, for short : EST
66 “South Park” co-creator Parker : TREY

Down

1 Temaki or futomaki : SUSHI
2 San __: Texas city nickname : ANTONE
3 Explosive mixture : AMATOL
4 “Kapow!” : BAM!
5 Thicken, as cream : CLOT
6 Martha’s Vineyard arrivals : FERRIES
7 Most unexpected : ODDEST
8 Slow up : BRAKE
9 Counting word : EENY
10 “Sure!” : WHY YES! & WHY NOT!
11 Internet recovery program : AA ONLINE
12 Flee in fear : RUN FOR IT
13 Utility abbr. : ELEC
15 Possibles : IFS
21 As a bonus : ALSO
24 Came to : TOTALED
26 Applies carelessly : SLAPS ON
28 Puerile retort : IS TOO!
30 Artful dodge : FEINT
31 Prof.’s aides : TAS
33 Fielder’s strong throw : PEG
35 PC brain : CPU
36 SoCal ball club, on scoreboards : LAA
37 Short report : ONE-PAGER
38 Turtle shell, e.g. : CARAPACE
41 Letter closer : SEAL
42 Curry and Antetokounmpo, recently : NBA MVPS
45 Sear and simmer : BRAISE
47 Vex : PESTER
48 Cool : SERENE
50 Resell to desperate fans, maybe : SCALP
52 Fine partner : DANDY
53 Shortening, maybe : LARD
54 French cabbage : CHOU
55 Hide : PELT
56 Roman numeral? : SEI
59 Garage service : TOW
61 ABA member : ATT

25 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 5 Mar 21, Friday”

    1. Don’t think it’s you, Dolores. This was awful for me, as was Tuesday’s. Can’t imagine what Saturday will bring!

  1. Congrats- completely confounded me with a Tuesday puzzle. Clearly I’m not clever enough to do crosswords (after 10 years of trying 🙂

  2. About the most obscure “theme” I ever encountered. Needless to say
    I didn’t “get it”….

  3. I’m sorry but the split end clues’ answers are so contrived… Even after solving the puzzle they were a stretch. Wrong number/But no. Answer: Sorry. Perhaps we can hope for better hair days ahead?

  4. Haven’t seen this before. Found it annoying. Maybe it would’ve worked for me if 63 Across had told which 3 short answers. Live and learn, I suppose.

  5. Missed 23A. Had A instead of O. Overtime did not come to mind.

    Did not understand the circles. Got split ends theme, but there are many “short puzzle answers.”

    Clues were clever for the most part.

    My feelings mixed.

  6. Can anyone explain 56D?

    56 Roman numeral? : SEI
    In Italian, “due” (two) times “tre” (three) is “sei” (six).

    I understand the math but don’t see how to get there from the clue. Luckily had all three across answers.

  7. 1:07:46 no errors…is it my imagination or are the LAT puzzles overtaking the NYT in degree of difficulty?…they seem to be exercises in ego and not as enjoyable as they used to be. END OF RANT.👎
    Stay safe.😀

    1. Exercises in ego is SPOT ON. And both NYT and LAT puzzle editors indulge these pretentious setters.

  8. No errors.. this was tricky. I wasn’t thinking horizontal given the arrangement of the circles. When the first theme fell HOT MIC and HOT TIP then the jig was up!! I was on my way. Even with the attempts to throw us off with clues like PUERIL and others, I was still able to guess.

    I was completely dumbfounded with 11D when I finished. Then I read Bill’s explanation. I had no idea AA had an online version. I was too focused on the internet and was wondering what kind of software AAONLINE was??

    @glen – reference to your explanation yesterday. I’m still learning and these ‘coaching’ insights you (and others) provide are very insightful and helpful. I do appreciate them.

    At the end of my day, I am so thankful for Bill’s crossword blog. I’ve learned immensely from this blog. I can’t say enough thanks. I’ve been tracking his blog for about 10 years. I started as a beginner and feel much more competent because of his blog. This goes for the NYT’s as well. Which I find as a much bigger challenge.

    Have a good weekend all!

  9. 32:41 1 lookup for AMATOL, which I suppose I learned about today

    Thank you for the explanation of IN OT, and the baffling theme.

    I too did not care for this one.

  10. 20:59, no errors. Just peeved a lot with a few days of puzzles (Todays NYT and the last two here). I don’t mind genuine difficulty, but when it’s manufactured via trickery or poorly used language, then I start minding.

  11. 20:01, no errors. A bit more mystifying than it would have been if I’d had all my wits about me. (I’ve been distracted by real life … and I hate it when that happens … 😜.)

  12. Completely opaque puzzle, if you don’t “get” the tortured gadget that makes it work. Predictably, I couldn’t read the setter’s mind, and so most of the clues were utter garbage.

    New name for my list of setters whose puzzles I will ignore in the future.

  13. 19 across definitely misleading. Clue asked for a noun answer which turned out to be an adjective. Author getting too cute.

  14. I just love it when the usual gang of experts bitches and whines when they can’t figure out the themed clues.

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