LA Times Crossword 18 May 21, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Jesse Goldberg
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Stretched Thin

Themed answers each include the letter sequence T-H-I-N STRETCHED throughout:

  • 53A Overextended … and what’s literally in each set of circles : STRETCHED THIN
  • 20A Go ballistic : HIT THE CEILING
  • 35A 2002 biopic about con‌ ‌man Frank Abagnale : CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
  • 41A Cleaner of teeth : DENTAL HYGIENIST

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

Bill’s time: 5m 33s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Sousa specialty : MARCH

John Philip Sousa was a composer and conductor from Washington, D.C. Sousa was well known for his patriotic marches and earned himself the nickname “The American March King”. He served as a member of the US Marine Band from 1868 to 1875, and after leaving the Marines learned to conduct and compose. One of the Sousa compositions that is well-known around the world is called “The Liberty Bell”, a tune used as the musical theme for BBC Television’s “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”. Sousa also wrote “Semper Fidelis”, which is the official march of the US Marine Corps.

10 __ 67: Montreal World’s Fair : EXPO

The first “World’s Fair” was held in 1851, and was known back then as the “Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations”. The fair was the idea of Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria. It was held in a magnificent glass and cast-iron structure called the Crystal Palace that was purpose-built for the occasion. The “Great Exhibition” spawned a tradition of what became known as World’s Fairs, expositions that feature national pavilions created by participating countries. The term “Expo” was coined for Expo 67, a 1967 World’s Fair held in Montreal. Since then, we’ve been using “expo” to describe any large exposition or trade show.

14 Amtrak speedster : ACELA

The Acela Express is the fastest train routinely running in the US, as it gets up to 150 mph at times. The service runs between Boston and Washington D.C. via Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. Introduced in 2000, the brand name “Acela” was created to evoke “acceleration” and “excellence”.

Amtrak is the name used commercially by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. “Amtrak” comes from a melding of the words “America” and “track”.

18 McDonald’s slogan since 2003 : I’M LOVIN’ IT

The McDonald’s brand slogan “i’m lovin’ it” was developed by an ad agency in Munich, and was launched in Germany in 2003 as “ich liebe es”.

22 Bogey on a par 5 : SIX

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.

23 Homer’s TV neighbor : NED

Ned Flanders lives next door to Homer Simpson on TV’s “The Simpsons”. Ned is voiced by actor Harry Shearer, and has been around since the very first episode aired in 1989.

24 Tough H.S. exams : APS

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school (HS). After being tested at the end of an AP course, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

27 Take the sloop out : SAIL

Sloops and cutters are sailboats, and each has just one mast. One major difference between the two types of vessel is that the mast on a cutter is set much further aft than the mast on a sloop.

35 2002 biopic about con‌ ‌man Frank Abagnale : CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

“Catch Me If You Can” is a fascinating biographical film released in 2002 about the life of Frank Abagnale, Jr. Abagnale was a con man who made millions of dollars by posing as a Pan Am pilot, a doctor and a prosecutor. The film is directed by Steven Spielberg, and has a great cast led by Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. Recommended viewing …

39 Kimono sash : OBI

The sash worn as part of traditional Japanese dress is known as an obi. The obi can be tied at the back in what is called a butterfly knot. The term “obi” is also used for the thick cotton belts that are an essential part of the outfits worn by practitioners of many martial arts. The color of the martial arts obi signifies the wearer’s skill level.

The lovely Japanese kimono is a garment worn by men, women and children. The word “kimono” translates simply as “thing to wear”, with “ki” meaning “wear” and “mono” meaning “thing”.

40 First female attorney general : RENO

Janet Reno was Attorney General (AG) of the US from 1993 to 2001, and part of the Clinton administration. Reno was the second-longest holder of the office, and our first female Attorney General. In 2002, Reno ran for Governor of Florida but failed to win the Democratic nomination. Thereafter she retired from public life, and passed away at the end of 2016.

41 Cleaner of teeth : DENTAL HYGIENIST

Hygieia was both the Greek and Roman goddess of health and cleanliness. She was a daughter of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine. The name “Hygieia” gives us our contemporary term “hygiene”.

47 Hammett pooch : ASTA

Asta is the wonderful little dog in the superb “The Thin Man” series of films starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). In the original story by Dashiell Hammett, Asta was a female Schnauzer, but on screen Asta was played by a wire-haired fox terrier called “Skippy”. Skippy was also the dog in “Bringing Up Baby” with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, the one who kept stealing the dinosaur bone. Skippy retired in 1939, so Asta was played by other dogs in the remainder of “The Thin Man” films.

Dashiell Hammett was an American author known for his detective fiction. Hammett was the creator of such enduring characters as Sam Spade from “The Maltese Falcon” as well as Nick and Nora Charles from “The Thin Man”. Outside of writing, Hammett was also politically active and served as the president of a group the Civil Rights Congress (CRC) after WWII. The CRC was deemed to be a Communist front group and was listed as a subversive organization by the US government. At one point, he even served time in jail for contempt of court, after refusing to answer some questions in a trial in which the CRC was involved.

49 Balaam’s mount : ASS

The ass or donkey is mentioned several times in the Bible. One of the most-quoted biblical stories involving an ass is the story of Balaam. Balaam was a diviner who appears in the Book of Numbers in. In one account, Balaam is held to task by an angel for particularly cruel treatment of an ass.

51 Unit of heat: Abbr. : BTU

In the world of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), the power of a heating or cooling unit can be measured using the British Thermal Unit (BTU). This dated unit is the amount of energy required to heat a pound of water so that the water’s temperature increases by one degree Fahrenheit.

68 Romantic rendezvous : TRYST

In the most general sense, a tryst is a meeting at an agreed time and place. More usually we consider a tryst to be a pre-arranged meeting between lovers. The term comes from the Old French “triste”, a waiting place designated when hunting. Further, a tryst taking place at lunchtime is sometimes referred to as a nooner.

A rendezvous is a meeting. The noun used in English comes from the French phrase “rendez vous” meaning “present yourselves”.

Down

1 Course with operations : MATH

Here’s another term that catches me out all the time, having done my schooling on the other side of the Atlantic. The term “mathematics” is shortened to “math” in the US, but to “maths” in Britain and Ireland.

2 Trendy berry : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

4 Stops bleeding : CLOTS

A blood clot is a very necessary response to an injury and is intended to prevent bleeding. Also called a thrombus, the clot comprises aggregated blood platelets trapped in a mesh made from fibrin, a fibrous protein. If a thrombus forms in a healthy blood vessel, restricting blood flow, that condition is known as thrombosis.

5 Cannabis concentrate : HASHISH

Hashish is a drug that is derived from the Indian hemp or cannabis plant. The term “hashish” (also “hasheesh”) comes from the Arabic word for “grass”.

6 Stylish : CHIC

“Chic” is a French word meaning “stylish”.

9 Ancient Greek astronomer : PTOLEMY

Claudius Ptolemy was an Egyptian of Greek ethnicity who lived in the days when Egypt was ruled by ancient Rome. Ptolemy was, among other things, a mathematician and astronomer. He published a famous treatise on astronomy called “Almagest” which included a list of 48 constellations in a star catalogue. The Ptolemaic system described the cosmos geocentrically, with the Earth at the center and other celestial bodies orbiting. Ptolemy also wrote a work titled “Geography”, which compiled much of the geographical knowledge of the Roman Empire at that time. Centuries after Ptolemy died, Christopher Columbus used the maps in “Geography” to aid him on his voyages of discovery.

10 Activist Brockovich : ERIN

Erin Brockovich is an environmental activist who is famous for the role she played in building a case against Pacific Gas & Electric for contaminating drinking water. Her story was told in a 2000 film title “Erin Brockovich” starring Julia Roberts in the title role. Brockovich herself actually appeared in the film, as she was given a cameo as a waitress in a restaurant scene.

11 Ped __: street sign : XING

Pedestrian crossing (Ped Xing)

12 Hawaiian staple : POI

I am a big fan of starch (being an Irishman I love potatoes). That said, I think that poi tastes horrible! Poi is made from the bulbous tubers (corm) of the taro plant by cooking the corm in water and mashing it until the desired consistency is achieved.

13 MLB Hall of Famer Mel : OTT

At 5′ 9″, baseball legend Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don’t think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old. And, according to Wikipedia, “Ott’s name frequently appears in crossword puzzles, on account of its letter combination and brevity.” True that …

19 The “v” in vlog : VIDEO

A video blog is perhaps what one might expect, i.e. a blog that is essentially a series of video posts. The phrase “video logging” is often shortened to “vlogging”.

24 USMA and USNA: Abbr. : ACADS

West Point is a military reservation in New York State, located north of New York City. West Point was first occupied by the Continental Army way back in 1778, making it the longest, continually-occupied military post in the country. Cadet training has taken place at the garrison since 1794, although Congress funding for a US Military Academy (USMA) didn’t start until 1802. The first female cadets were admitted to West Point in 1976, and as of 2018, about 15% of all new cadets were women.

The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is located in Annapolis, Maryland. The USNA was founded in 1845 and educates officers for both the US Navy and the US Marine Corps. The motto of the USNA is “Ex Scientia Tridens”, which translates as “From Knowledge, Sea Power”.

25 “Gay” capital of song : PAREE

“Paree” is a nickname used sometimes in English for “Paris”. The word “Paree” represents the French pronunciation of the city name.

“Who Said Gay Paree?” is a song from the Cole Porter musical “Can-Can”.

26 “Mostly Ghostly” series writer R.L. __ : STINE

Author R. L. Stine is sometimes referred to as the Stephen King of children’s literature, as he writes horror stories for young people.

28 The “I” in I.M. Pei : IEOH

I. M. Pei (full name: Ieoh Ming Pei) was an exceptional American architect who was born in China. Of Pei’s many wonderful works, my favorite is the renovation of the Louvre in Paris, and especially the Glass Pyramid in the museum’s courtyard.

29 Niger neighbor : LIBYA

The Italo-Turkish War was fought between the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Italy from September 1911 and October 1912. At the end of the conflict the Ottoman Empire ceded to Italy the three provinces of Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. These provinces became Italian North Africa, and ultimately the country that we know today as Libya. The name “Libya” comes from the Ancient Greek “Libúē”, the historical name for Northwest Africa.

The Republic of Niger is a landlocked country in Western Africa that gets its name from the Niger River. 80% of the country lies within the bounds of the Sahara Desert.

33 Minister’s house : MANSE

A manse is a minister’s home in various Christian traditions. “Manse” derives from “mansus”, the Latin for “dwelling”. The term can also be used for any stately residence.

36 Musical with the song “Memory” : CATS

Grizabella is a character in T. S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”. In the musical ”Cats” that is adapted from the book, Grizabella is the character who sings the show-stopping song “Memory”.

37 Newton fruit : FIGS

The Fig Newton cookie is based on what is actually a very old recipe that dates back to ancient Egypt. Whereas we grew up with “Fig Rolls” in Ireland, here in America the brand name “Fig Newton” was used, as the cookies were originally produced in Newton, Massachusetts.

42 Gaming brand since 1972 : ATARI

Founded in 1972, electronics and video game manufacturer Atari was once the fastest-growing company in US history. However, Atari never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983.

44 The Beatles’ “Let __” : IT BE

“Let It Be” was the last album that the Beatles released as an active group playing together. The title song was written by Paul McCartney, and it is clearly one of his own favorites. McCartney says that he was inspired to write the song after having had a dream about his mother (who had died some years earlier from cancer). In fact, he refers to her (Mary McCartney) in the line “Mother Mary comes to me”. Paul’s first wife, Linda, is singing backing vocals on the song, the only time she is known to have done so in a Beatles recording. 18 years after that 1970 recording was made, Paul, George and Ringo sang “Let It Be” at a memorial service for Linda, who was also lost to cancer. Sad stuff, but a lovely song …

52 __ Pendragon, King Arthur’s father : UTHER

According to legend, King Arthur was the son of Uther Pendragon. Uther magically disguised himself as his enemy Gorlois and slept with Gorlois’ wife Igerna, and the result of the union was Arthur.

53 Medieval laborer : SERF

A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. “Serf” comes from the Latin “servus”, meaning “slave”.

54 Frozen dessert chain : TCBY

TCBY is a chain of stores selling frozen yogurt that was founded in 1981 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The acronym TCBY originally stood for “This Can’t Be Yogurt”, but this had to be changed due to a lawsuit being pressed by a competitor called “I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt”. These days TCBY stands for “The Country’s Best Yogurt”.

55 Dig for quahogs, say : CLAM

“Quahog” is another name for “hard clam”, the clam that is commonly harvested on the eastern shores of North America. The quahog may also be called the “chowder clam”. Hard clams are the largest of the clams commonly sold, with the cherrystone clams being a little smaller.

58 Hoppy brews, briefly : 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.

60 Letter before chi : PHI

Phi is the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet.

61 Ump’s NBA counterpart : REF

Back in the early 17th century, a referee was someone who examined patent applications. We started using the same term for a person presiding over a sporting event in the 1820s. “Referee” is a derivative of the verb “to refer”, and literally describes someone who has the authority to make a decision by “referring to” a book, archive etc.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Sousa specialty : MARCH
6 Show appreciation for the performance : CLAP
10 __ 67: Montreal World’s Fair : EXPO
14 Amtrak speedster : ACELA
15 Hand-up command : HALT!
16 Really funny sort : RIOT
17 Food truck fare : TACOS
18 McDonald’s slogan since 2003 : I’M LOVIN’ IT
20 Go ballistic : HIT THE CEILING
22 Bogey on a par 5 : SIX
23 Homer’s TV neighbor : NED
24 Tough H.S. exams : APS
27 Take the sloop out : SAIL
30 Self-indulgent period : ME TIME
35 2002 biopic about con‌ ‌man Frank Abagnale : CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
38 Opera highlight : ARIA
39 Kimono sash : OBI
40 First female attorney general : RENO
41 Cleaner of teeth : DENTAL HYGIENIST
46 Takes care of : SEES TO
47 Hammett pooch : ASTA
48 Kickoff aid : TEE
49 Balaam’s mount : ASS
51 Unit of heat: Abbr. : BTU
53 Overextended … and what’s literally in each set of circles : STRETCHED THIN
60 In exact terms : PRECISELY
62 Optimist’s phrase : I HOPE
63 Chef’s flavoring : HERB
64 Ensnare : TRAP
65 “Take a load off” : RELAX
66 Uncertain : IFFY
67 “This round’s __” : ON ME
68 Romantic rendezvous : TRYST

Down

1 Course with operations : MATH
2 Trendy berry : ACAI
3 Four-sided fig. : RECT
4 Stops bleeding : CLOTS
5 Cannabis concentrate : HASHISH
6 Stylish : CHIC
7 Poor, as an excuse : LAME
8 Make-or-break poker bet : ALL IN
9 Ancient Greek astronomer : PTOLEMY
10 Activist Brockovich : ERIN
11 Ped __: street sign : XING
12 Hawaiian staple : POI
13 MLB Hall of Famer Mel : OTT
19 The “v” in vlog : VIDEO
21 Midterm, e.g. : EXAM
24 USMA and USNA: Abbr. : ACADS
25 “Gay” capital of song : PAREE
26 “Mostly Ghostly” series writer R.L. __ : STINE
28 The “I” in I.M. Pei : IEOH
29 Niger neighbor : LIBYA
31 Chance to play : TURN
32 Ensure the win : ICE IT
33 Minister’s house : MANSE
34 Cybermessage : E-NOTE
36 Musical with the song “Memory” : CATS
37 Newton fruit : FIGS
42 Gaming brand since 1972 : ATARI
43 Is bested by : LOSES TO
44 The Beatles’ “Let __” : IT BE
45 Offer a humble retraction : EAT DIRT
50 Back of the boat : STERN
52 __ Pendragon, King Arthur’s father : UTHER
53 Medieval laborer : SERF
54 Frozen dessert chain : TCBY
55 Dig for quahogs, say : CLAM
56 Flashy promotion : HYPE
57 Sacred : HOLY
58 Hoppy brews, briefly : IPAS
59 “Whose turn is it?” shout : NEXT!
60 Letter before chi : PHI
61 Ump’s NBA counterpart : REF

12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 18 May 21, Tuesday”

  1. @Anon Mike yesterday – I graduated HS 1962, and when I heard Bachman Turner Overdrive, we didn’t use initials. My groups were the Chiffons, the Supremes, anything S. Philly or Motown.

    Today – no errors, no Googles. Didn’t know IEOH or vlog.

  2. I sure didn’t get it done as fast as Bill, but it did go fast. No errors.
    One lookup: the I in I.M. Pei.

  3. Regarding Bill’s definition of golf shots: A local man here in the S.F. Bay Area shot a condor on Lake Chabot’s par 6 18th hole in January this year. His first shot went over 500 yards bouncing downhill off of cart paths and was shown where it landed by another golfer ahead of him. The second shot was up and over a rise so he never saw it go in the cup but it was there and verified by the course marshal.
    A condor is so rare there are no odds for it.

  4. “Catch Me If You Can” is one of my favorite movies! And it’s a true story! Embellished a bit, but true!
    Stay safe! 😊

  5. 5:13

    Another fan of “Catch Me If You Can” here.

    Also liked seeing PTOLEMY and learning I.M. Pei’s full name.

    Cool puzzle!

  6. Finished in 7:49, no errors, no lookups. Completed some answers without reading the clue. Clever reveal answer.

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