LA Times Crossword 28 Apr 21, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Jerry Edelstein
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Putting on Airs

Themed answers each comprise three parts that can follow the word “AIR”:

  • 58A Acting affectedly … and, based on what can go with the three parts of 20-, 32- and 43-Across, this puzzle’s title : PUTTING ON AIRS
  • 20A Public transit commuter’s nightmare : BUS LINE STRIKE (Airbus & airline & air strike)
  • 32A Access point indicator on many streets : MANHOLE COVER (airman & air hole & air cover)
  • 43A Have fun on a diamond : PLAY BASEBALL (air play & air base & air ball)

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

Bill’s time: 5m 51s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Abacus unit : BEAD

The abacus (plural “abaci”) was used as a counting frame long before man had invented a numbering system. It is a remarkable invention, particularly when one notes that abaci are still widely used today across Africa and Asia.

13 Fever with chills : AGUE

An ague is a fever, one usually associated with malaria.

16 “A Death in the Family” Pulitzer winner : AGEE

James Agee was a noted American film critic and screenwriter. Agee wrote an autobiographical novel “A Death in the Family” that won him his Pulitzer in 1958, albeit posthumously. He was also one of the screenwriters for the 1951 classic movie “The African Queen”.

17 Word with head or meal : BONE-

Bone meal is a fertilizer comprising ground up animal bone and other waste products from slaughter houses. Not very vegan …

20 Public transit commuter’s nightmare : BUS LINE STRIKE (Airbus & airline & air strike)

Our verb “to commute”, meaning “to go back and forth to work”, ultimately derives from the Latin “commutare”, meaning “to often change”. Back in the late 1800s, a “commutation ticket” was a season pass, so named because it allowed one to “change” one kind of payment into another. Quite interesting …

24 “¿Cómo __?” : ESTA

“Cómo está?” is Spanish for “how are you, how’s it going?”

25 Some systems pros: Abbr. : EES

Electrical engineer (EE)

26 Mal de __ : MER

Here are some French terms for some unpleasant conditions:

  • Mal de tête (headache)
  • Mal de mer (seasickness)
  • Mal de pays (homesickness)

27 Beaujolais, e.g. : RED

Beaujolais is a red wine made from the gamay grape that is produced in the Beaujolais historical province that is part of the Burgundy wine-making region.

30 Bird on a court : LARRY

Larry Bird played basketball for the Boston Celtics from 1978 to 1992. Bird has a lot of very loyal fans, and some might even be described as fanatical. In 2005 an Oklahoma City man was convicted of a crime involving a shooting. On being sentenced to 30 years imprisonment, the guilty man requested that the sentence be changed to 33 years so that it matched the number on Larry Bird’s jersey. The judge obliged …

37 Pretentious with a paintbrush, say : ARTY

Someone who is pretentious behaves with exaggerated importance, puts on a “pretense”, “pretends” to be something he or she is not.

38 Hindu teacher : SWAMI

A swami is a religious teacher in the Hindu tradition. The word “swami” can also mean “husband” in the Bengali and Malay languages.

39 “Mamma Mia!” group : ABBA

The hit musical “Mamma Mia!” was written to showcase the songs of ABBA. I’m a big fan of ABBA’s music, so I’ve seen this show a couple of times and just love it. “Mamma Mia!” is such a big hit on the stage that on any given day there are at least seven performances going on somewhere in the world. There is a really interesting film version of the show that was released in 2008. I think the female lead Meryl Streep is wonderful in the movie, but the male leads … not so much! By the way, one can tell the difference between “Mamma Mia” the ABBA song and “Mamma Mia!” the musical, by noting the difference in the punctuation in the titles.

51 Arg. neighbor : URU

The official name of Uruguay is the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, which reflects the nation’s location on the eastern coast of South America. It is a relatively small country, the second-smallest on the continent, after Suriname. In 2009, Uruguay became the first country in the world to provide a free laptop and Internet access to every child. Now there’s a thought …

68 “La maja desnuda” artist : GOYA

María Cayetana de Silva was the 13th Duchess of Alba. She was a favorite subject of the Spanish painter Francisco Goya. The duchess is the subject in the famous portraits known as “La maja desnuda” (The Nude Maja) and “La maja vestida” (The Clothed Maja). “Maja” translates from Spanish as “beautiful lady”.

69 Old Norse poetic work : EDDA

“Poetic Edda” and “Prose Edda” are two ancient works that are the source for much of Norse mythology. Both Eddas were written in the 13th century in Iceland.

70 Canadian gas : ESSO

The Esso brand has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

Down

6 K-12, for short : ELHI

“Elhi” is an informal word used to describe anything related to schooling from kindergarten through grade 12, i.e. elementary through high school.

9 Late-night TV pioneer : PAAR

Jack Paar was most famous as the host of “The Tonight Show”, from 1957 to 1962. When he died in 2004, “Time” magazine wrote that Paar was “the fellow who split talk show history into two eras: “Before Paar and Below Paar”. Very complimentary …

11 Catcher of the Golden Snitch, in Quidditch : SEEKER

Quidditch is a game that is famously played in the “Harry Potter” series of books and films. The game is contested by two teams of seven wizards or witches flying on broomsticks. There are four animated balls and six ring-shaped goals floating in mid-air. One of the balls is the Golden Snitch, and one of the players is the Seeker. It is the Seeker’s sole purpose to capture the Golden Snitch and thereby win the game.

12 Rejection of religious dogma : HERESY

A dogma is a set of beliefs. The plural of “dogma” is “dogmata” (or “dogmas”, if you’re not a pedant like me!)

21 Houston MLBer : ‘STRO

The Houston baseball team changed its name to the Astros (sometimes “’Stros”) from the Colt .45s in 1965 when they started playing in the Astrodome. The Astrodome was so called in recognition of the city’s long association with the US space program. The Astros moved from the National League to the American League starting in the 2013 season.

22 Stone or Watson : EMMA

Actress Emma Stone is from Scottsdale, Arizona. Stone really came to prominence with her performance in the 2010 high school movie called “Easy A”. She won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in the 2016 movie “La La Land”. Now one of the most sought-after actresses in Hollywood, Stone values her privacy and works hard to maintain a low profile. Good for her, I say …

Emma Watson is an English actress famous for playing Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” series of movies. Watson continued her education while pursuing her acting career and studied at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

28 “Frozen” snow queen : ELSA

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle. Spoiler alert: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles seems to be a good guy for most of the film, but turns out to be a baddie in the end. And, a snowman named Olaf provides some comic relief.

31 Many an Omani : ARAB

Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman is a monarchy, and the official name of the state is the Sultanate of Oman. All of the country’s legislative, executive and judiciary power resides with the hereditary sultan.

34 Dry 27-Across, briefly : CAB
(27A Beaujolais, e.g. : RED)

The cabernet sauvignon (often just “cab”) grape has been around since the 17th century, and is the result of a chance crossing in southwestern France of the cabernet franc and sauvignon blanc grapes.

35 Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan __ : OMAR

Ilhan Omar has been representing Minnesota’s 5th congressional district in the US House since 2019. At that time, she became one of the first two Muslim women, as well as the first Somali American, to serve in the US Congress.

41 Veal cordon __ : BLEU

A “cordon bleu” dish is a meat dish, one prepared by wrapping the meat around cheese, covering it with breading and then pan-frying. Specifically, veal cordon bleu is made using veal that is pounded thin and wrapped around slices of ham and cheese. The term “cordon bleu” translated from French as “blue ribbon”.

44 Lamb Chop creator Shari : LEWIS

Shari Lewis was the original puppeteer behind the PBS children’s show “Lamb Chop”. After Shari Lewis died in 1998, her daughter Mallory took over the role of puppeteer on the show.

45 Actor Morales : ESAI

Actor Esai Morales is best known in the world of film for the 1987 movie “La Bamba”, which depicted the life of Ritchie Valens and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Esai). On the small screen, Morales plays Lt. Tony Rodriguez on “NYPD Blue” and Joseph Adama on “Caprica”.

46 Lying face-up : SUPINE

When lying on one’s back, one is said to be in a supine position. When lying on one’s stomach, one is said to be prone.

47 Spruced up, as a spruce : PRUNED

Our verb “to spruce up” means “to make trim or neat”. The term comes from the adjective “spruce”, meaning “smart, neat”. In turn, the adjective comes from “spruce leather”, which was a Prussian leather that was used in England in the 15th and 16th centuries to make a popular style of jerkin that was widely considered to look quite smart.

53 Middle-earth tree creatures : ENTS

Ents are tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth in his series of books “The Lord of the Rings”. “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.

59 Trillion: Pref. : TERA-

The prefix “tera-” signifies a trillion, and comes from the Greek word “teras” meaning “monster”.

65 Beaver’s project : DAM

Beavers build dams so that they can live in and around the slower and deeper water that builds up above the dam. This deeper water provides more protection for the beavers from predators such as bears. Beavers are nocturnal animals and do all their construction work at night.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Kid around : JEST
5 Abacus unit : BEAD
9 Promote heavily : PUSH
13 Fever with chills : AGUE
14 “I do” site : ALTAR
16 “A Death in the Family” Pulitzer winner : AGEE
17 Word with head or meal : BONE-
18 Supply chain intermediary : WHOLESALER
20 Public transit commuter’s nightmare : BUS LINE STRIKE (Airbus & airline & air strike)
22 Blow up : ERUPT
24 “¿Cómo __?” : ESTA
25 Some systems pros: Abbr. : EES
26 Mal de __ : MER
27 Beaujolais, e.g. : RED
30 Bird on a court : LARRY
32 Access point indicator on many streets : MANHOLE COVER (airman & air hole & air cover)
37 Pretentious with a paintbrush, say : ARTY
38 Hindu teacher : SWAMI
39 “Mamma Mia!” group : ABBA
43 Have fun on a diamond : PLAY BASEBALL (air play & air base & air ball)
46 Shopping __ : SPREE
49 High-__ monitor : RES
50 Meadowland : LEA
51 Arg. neighbor : URU
52 Withdraw by degrees : WEAN
56 Make sense : ADD UP
58 Acting affectedly … and, based on what can go with the three parts of 20-, 32- and 43-Across, this puzzle’s title : PUTTING ON AIRS
62 Kind of fortitude : INTESTINAL
63 Copied : APED
66 __-do-well : NE’ER
67 Arduous jobs : SLOGS
68 “La maja desnuda” artist : GOYA
69 Old Norse poetic work : EDDA
70 Canadian gas : ESSO
71 Plant support : STEM

Down

1 Poke : JAB
2 Alter __ : EGO
3 Like one who got careless at the beach : SUNBURNT
4 Get set to drive : TEE UP
5 Scold, with “out” : BAWL …
6 K-12, for short : ELHI
7 Make amends : ATONE
8 Lowlands : DALES
9 Late-night TV pioneer : PAAR
10 Harder to watch : UGLIER
11 Catcher of the Golden Snitch, in Quidditch : SEEKER
12 Rejection of religious dogma : HERESY
15 Remainder : REST
19 Like an old joke : STALE
21 Houston MLBer : ‘STRO
22 Stone or Watson : EMMA
23 Raise : REAR
28 “Frozen” snow queen : ELSA
29 Like morning grass : DEWY
31 Many an Omani : ARAB
33 Pre-release buzz : HYPE
34 Dry 27-Across, briefly : CAB
35 Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan __ : OMAR
36 Gripping device : VISE
40 Hairless area : BALD SPOT
41 Veal cordon __ : BLEU
42 Swim __: do one full pool circuit : A LAP
44 Lamb Chop creator Shari : LEWIS
45 Actor Morales : ESAI
46 Lying face-up : SUPINE
47 Spruced up, as a spruce : PRUNED
48 Groovy? : RUTTED
53 Middle-earth tree creatures : ENTS
54 Deft : AGILE
55 They’re forbidden : NO-NOS
57 They’re boring : DRAGS
59 Trillion: Pref. : TERA-
60 Scolds to death : NAGS
61 Too : ALSO
64 Set one’s sights on : EYE
65 Beaver’s project : DAM

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 28 Apr 21, Wednesday”

  1. Quick run but I got hung up on WHOLESALER.. I was trying to force WHOLESELLER… guess what, .. its not a word… also got hung up on SUPINE. started out with SEPINE because ERU is the code for Peru.. wait , is Peru a neighbor of Argentina??? Nope.. Uruguay.!

    1. I would leave a general reply, but would never see it.

      I guess it was easy; many fast times posted. The wife and I got it; no great shakes
      on time, but very gratifying anyway.

      Stay safe and well.

  2. 8 minutes, 23 seconds, no errors, although there were a few “writeovers” as I went through this grid. Often, my first blush pans out, but sometimes, there’s a synonym with the same number of letters….

  3. No Googles, no errors, it all made sense. Didn’t actually know OMAR or SEEKER.
    Am I going to have to read that blasted Harry Potter?

  4. Wasn’t a big fan of the putting on airs clue. Love your crossword and do them daily with my mother in law.

  5. Old Norse poetic work got me — I had eddi and therefore teri where I should have had edda and tera. Oh well. Live and learn (I hope! otherwise, what is the point at my age!)…Nicely challenging. Didn’t get the theme until Bill explained it!

  6. Yes, what Glenn said, and I’ll add that I always thought it was a more polite way of saying have the “guts” to do something.

  7. Nice quick Wednesday, mostly; took 16:05 with one error, and one of these days I’ll learn how to properly abbreviate Uruguay… Ura…Urg…Uru…bingo!

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