LA Times Crossword 22 May 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: Tracy Gray & Jeff Chen
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 15m 37s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 Lozenge flavor : HONEY LEMON

Back in the 14th century, a “lozenge” was a “diamond shape”. The original lozenges were tablets held in the mouth to dissolve. They had this diamond shape, hence the name.

16 Together, on scores : A DUE

“A due” is a musical term meaning “together” that translates literally from Italian as “by two”.

18 Eighty-six : TOSS

To eighty-six something is to eject it, to throw it out. The origin of the term is unclear. One story is that it originated in the days of prohibition in the West Village of Lower Manhattan, New York City. Whenever there was a scheduled raid on the establishment called Chumley’s, an informant would call ahead and tell the bartender to “86” his customers i.e. to send them out the door on 86 Bedford Street. The cops would then turn up at the entrance on Pamela Court.

19 Bailing aid : EXIT

The phrase “to bail out” (sometimes just “to bail”) means to leave suddenly. We’ve been using the term since the early thirties, when it originated with airline pilots. To bail out is to make a parachute jump.

20 Shiny sheet material : SATEEN

Sateen is a cotton fabric. It has a weave that is “four over, one under”, meaning that most of the threads come to the surface to give it a softer feel.

22 NBA Sixers, on scoreboards : PHI

The Philadelphia 76ers basketball team is one of the oldest franchises in the NBA. The “Sixers” were formed in 1946 as the Syracuse Nationals. The team moved to Philadelphia in 1963, and the name 76er was chosen in a fan contest, a name that honors the men who fought for the country’s independence in 1776.

23 Brooklyn-based handicrafts etailer : ETSY

Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

31 Quinque follower : SEX

“Quinque, sex, septum” is Latin for “five, six, seven”.

34 Beetle Bailey nemesis : SARGE

Sgt. Snorkel (“Sarge”) is Beetle Bailey’s nemesis in the cartoon strip that bears the latter’s name. Snorkel has a dog called Otto that he dresses up to look just like himself. Otto started off as a regular dog, but artist Mort Walker decided to draw him more like his owner, and soon Otto became a big hit.

35 Letters on Drago’s track suit in “Rocky IV” : CCCP

The abbreviation CCCP stands for “Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик”, which translates from Russian as “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics”, the USSR.

Dolph Lundgren is an actor and martial artist from Sweden. Lundgren’s debut role was a small one, acting as a KGB henchman in the James Bond movie “A View to a Kill”. His big break was starring opposite Sylvester Stallone in “Rocky IV”, playing a scary Russian boxer named Ivan Drago.

39 Board at Belmont : TOTE

Parimutuel betting is a system in which the bookmaker is guaranteed a predetermined profit. All bets are pooled, taxes and house profit are removed, and the payoff is made with the resulting pool. In some parts of the world, the parimutuel system is referred to as “the Tote” (as indeed it is in Ireland).

Belmont Park is a horse racing track located just outside New York City in Elmont. The facility is home to the celebrated Belmont Stakes, the third race in the season that makes up the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. The track is named for one of the original investors, financier and horse breeder August Belmont Jr.

40 “Precision Crafted Performance” sloganeer : ACURA

Acura is the luxury brand of the Honda Motor Company. As an aside, Infiniti is the equivalent luxury brand for the Nissan Motor Company, and Lexus is the more luxurious version of Toyota’s models.

42 Brawl : MELEE

Our term “melee” comes from the French “mêlée”, and in both languages the word means “confused fight”.

44 Recipe word : ADD

The Latin “recipere” means “to take”, and the imperative form “recipe” was written at the top of medical prescriptions as an instruction, i.e. “take (the following)”. This use of “recipe” evolved into the instruction for preparing a dish of food in the mid-1700s.

45 Light cutters : LASERS

The term “laser” is an acronym standing for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “light oscillation by stimulated emission of radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn’t quite so appealing, namely “loser”.

47 Some are made in garages : DEMO CDS

The compact disc (CD) was developed jointly by Philips and Sony as a medium for storing and playing sound recordings. When the first commercial CD was introduced back in 1982, a CD’s storage capacity was far greater than the amount of data that could be stored on the hard drive of personal computers available at that time.

51 “Narcos: Mexico” actor Michael : PENA

Michael Peña is an actor from Chicago. He has had many supporting roles in hit movies, but is also known for playing the title character in “Cesar Chavez” (2014) and for heading the cast of “Narcos: Mexico” on Netflix.

53 Like some mules : SLIP-ON

A mule is a shoe without a back and usually with a closed toe. The original mule was a shoe worn by the highest magistrates in ancient Rome.

59 “Hitchcock” role : ALMA

Alma Reville was a film director and screenwriter, and the wife of famed director Alfred Hitchcock. Reville appeared as a major character in the 2012 movie “Hitchcock”, in which she was played by the very capable Helen Mirren.

“Hitchcock” is a 2012 biographical film that gives a comedic slant to the story of famed director Alfred Hitchcock. Anthony Hopkins is in the title role, with an outstanding supporting cast that includes Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Toni Collette and Jessica Biel. The film’s storyline revolves around the making of the 1960 hit “Psycho”.

61 Movie in which Ricardo Montalban says, “Kirk, my old friend, do you know the Klingon proverb … ‘Revenge is a dish best served cold’?” : STAR TREK II

In the 1982 movie “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” William Shatner played James T. Kirk, and the evil Khan was played by Ricardo Montalbán. Leonard Nimoy didn’t want to appear in the sequel, and only agreed to do so when the producers agreed to “kill off” Spock at the end of the story (but he comes back … and back … and back …).

Actor Ricardo Montalbán had such a long career and so many roles on the big and small screens. I suppose that I remember him most playing the title villain in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”, as well as playing the same character on the original TV series. And of course, Montalbán portrayed Mr. Roarke on the TV show “Fantasy Island” in the seventies and eighties. His wife of many, many years was actress Georgiana Young, who was the younger half-sister of Hollywood star Loreta Young.

Down

1 Apt “squee” rhyme : WHEE!

Both “squee!” and “whee!” are informal exclamations used to express delight and excitement.

5 Writer Rand : AYN

Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist born “Alisa Rosenbaum”. Her two best known works are her novels “The Fountainhead” published in 1943 and “Atlas Shrugged” from 1957. Back in 1951, Rand moved from Los Angeles to New York City. Soon after, she gathered a group of admirers around her with whom she discussed philosophy and shared drafts of her magnum opus, “Atlas Shrugged”. This group called itself “The Collective”, and one of the founding members was none other than future Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan. Rand described herself as “right-wing” politically, and both she and her novel “Atlas Shrugged” have become inspirations for the American conservatives, and the Tea Party in particular.

6 Some Beethoven works : CLASSICS

Famously, and tragically, composer Ludwig van Beethoven started to lose his hearing in his late 20s, and was basically deaf for the last ten years of his life. As a result of his deafness, Beethoven was forced to use conversation books in which others communicated to the composer, while he generally responded verbally. 136 of those books survive, and provide some detailed insight into Beethoven’s life.

13 Some NFL scores : RUSHING TDS

In football, the ball can be advanced by kicking, passing or rushing. Rushing is the act of running with the ball.

24 “I’ll never be able to unsee that!” : TMI!

Too much information (TMI)

26 Keister : PRAT

“Prat” is a relatively new word for me, and is a slang term for the buttocks. A “prat-fall” is when someone falls and lands on the buttocks.

Back in the early 1900s, a keister was a safe or a strongbox. It has been suggested that “keister” was then used as slang by pickpockets for the rear trouser pocket in which one might keep a wallet. From this usage, “keister” appeared as a slang term for the buttocks in the early 1930s.

27 Petty offense : PECCADILLO

A peccadillo is a minor offense. The term “peccadillo” comes from the Spanish “pecadillo”, which has the same meaning. The latter is a diminutive of “pecado” meaning “sin”. In English, we tend these days to reserve the use of “peccadillo” for minor faults of a sexual nature.

28 Nice statement of indignation? : EXCUSEZ-MOI!

“Excusez-moi” is French for “excuse me”.

31 Reprobates : SCALAWAGS

The American word “scalawag” meaning “rogue” was originally used as a nickname for southern white people who supported reconstruction after the Civil War.

36 Sous-chef’s work : PREP

The “sous-chef de cuisine” (a French term) is the “under-chef of the kitchen”, the second-in-command.

38 Foul creature that guarded Azkaban in the Potterverse : DEMENTOR

In the “Harry Potter” universe, Azkaban is a prison housing wizards who violate the laws of wizardry. The prison is guarded by the Dementors, soulless creatures serving under the Ministry of Magic.

41 The “A” that makes STEM into STEAM : ARTS

The acronym “STEM” stands for the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. An alternative acronym with a similar meaning is MINT, standing for mathematics, information sciences, natural sciences and technology. The acronym STEAM adds (liberal) arts to the STEM curriculum.

46 Some dips : SALSAS

“Salsa” is simply Spanish for “sauce”.

50 Viscount, e.g. : TITLE

In the British peerage system, a viscount ranks below an earl and above a baron. The term “viscount” basically means “deputy of a count”, i.e. “vice-count”.

56 Instruments played by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole : UKES

Israel Kamakawiwo’ole was a musician from Honolulu who had a hit in 1993 with a medley of “Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World”. Kamakawiwo’ole passed away in 1997 at only 38 years of age, due to complications from morbid obesity. At one point, Kamakawiwo’ole weighed 757 pounds.

57 European aloha cousin : CIAO

“Ciao” is Italian for “‘bye”. “Arrivederci” is more formal, and translates as “goodbye”.

62 Topper for a chirashi bowl : ROE

Chirashizushi is a type of sushi, with the name “chirashizushi” translating as “scattered sushi”. Each serving consists of vinegared rice in a bowl, with the raw fish and vegetable garnish “scattered” on top of the rice.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Yeah, like I believe that!” : WHAT A CROCK!
11 Yo-yo, say : VARY
15 Lozenge flavor : HONEY LEMON
16 Together, on scores : A DUE
17 Competitively whipped : EATEN ALIVE
18 Eighty-six : TOSS
19 Bailing aid : EXIT
20 Shiny sheet material : SATEEN
22 NBA Sixers, on scoreboards : PHI
23 Brooklyn-based handicrafts etailer : ETSY
25 Blew off an early appointment, maybe : SLEPT IN
27 Contractors’ needs : PERMITS
30 Maroon : STRAND
31 Quinque follower : SEX
32 Put away a game : ICE IT
34 Beetle Bailey nemesis : SARGE
35 Letters on Drago’s track suit in “Rocky IV” : CCCP
37 Stuffed : SATED
39 Board at Belmont : TOTE
40 “Precision Crafted Performance” sloganeer : ACURA
42 Brawl : MELEE
44 Recipe word : ADD
45 Light cutters : LASERS
47 Some are made in garages : DEMO CDS
49 Proficient in : ADEPT AT
51 “Narcos: Mexico” actor Michael : PENA
52 Brainiac : WIZ
53 Like some mules : SLIP-ON
55 Fold, as a poker hand : MUCK
59 “Hitchcock” role : ALMA
61 Movie in which Ricardo Montalban says, “Kirk, my old friend, do you know the Klingon proverb … ‘Revenge is a dish best served cold’?” : STAR TREK II
63 Healthy look : GLOW
64 Hitting close to home : ALL TOO REAL
65 Place for roots : SOIL
66 Comes to one’s senses : SEES REASON

Down

1 Apt “squee” rhyme : WHEE!
2 Deceptive act : HOAX
3 Not behind : ANTI
4 Waver : TEETER
5 Writer Rand : AYN
6 Some Beethoven works : CLASSICS
7 Its anchor shouldn’t weigh it down : RELAY TEAM
8 Fail to mention : OMIT
9 Pirate hideouts : COVES
10 Does floor work, maybe : KNEELS
11 Tub for chocolate : VAT
12 Street cleaner’s program : ADOPT-A-ROAD
13 Some NFL scores : RUSHING TDS
14 “Well, of course!” : YES, INDEED!
21 Makes : NETS
24 “I’ll never be able to unsee that!” : TMI!
26 Keister : PRAT
27 Petty offense : PECCADILLO
28 Nice statement of indignation? : EXCUSEZ-MOI!
29 Put in a spot : SITED
31 Reprobates : SCALAWAGS
33 Relocates, sci-fi-style : TELEPORTS
36 Sous-chef’s work : PREP
38 Foul creature that guarded Azkaban in the Potterverse : DEMENTOR
41 The “A” that makes STEM into STEAM : ARTS
43 Loads of lifetimes : EON
46 Some dips : SALSAS
48 Cell component : CAMERA
50 Viscount, e.g. : TITLE
54 Wan : PALE
56 Instruments played by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole : UKES
57 European aloha cousin : CIAO
58 Firing place : KILN
60 Boring thing : AWL
62 Topper for a chirashi bowl : ROE

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 22 May 21, Saturday”

  1. LAT: Took an hour with one letter error. Had trouble in the SE corner, primarily because I never heard of “muck” meaning to fold in poker. Enjoyed the puzzle.

  2. I thought Friday was a bit more difficult than today. Not saying I raced through this with nary a bobble. I stared and started at 47 Across, trying to make sense of “democds” until I suddenly saw, like one of those op-art paintings, the demo cd’s answer. D’oh!

  3. 14:24, no errors. Got MUCK from crosses, as I’ve never heard the term in connection with poker. (Gotta look that up … 🤨.) Also tried to put in RUSE before HOAX , LAIRS before COVES, and ASHY before PALE.

    Today’s Newsday would seem to be another “Stumper-in-disguise”. I finished in 42:46 with five (count ‘em, five!) one-square errors in the lower right. (I’d have set it aside and reviewed it for errors later, but ran out of patience.)

    Last night, I also tangled with a couple of Eugene Maleska puzzles (NYT, 04/16/1950 and 03/18/1977) that recently came to my attention due to my discovery of his apparent (years-long!) belief that Bambi was a doe. I’m still working on the one from 1950: a 21×21 that illustrates just how much crossword puzzles have changed in the last 70 years. I’ll only be able to finish it (if at all) by stretching Google to its limits.

  4. 18:28 3 errors

    Didn’t know quinque, didn’t spell the crosses right.

    I don’t know much about poker, either, so I never heard the term MUCK in this sense before. Google says it has to do with the discard pile called a muck.

  5. 14:58, 4 errors (6 words) off the typical swill that tend to inhabit these puzzles. Constructor definitely lived up (or down as the case may be) to my expectations.

  6. First puzzle in a long time I was unable to complete. WSW area killed me. Not unfair (once I saw the answers), I just couldn’t get on track.

  7. Should have just passed on this when I saw Jeff Chen’s name. But I didn’t: 23 mins 14 sec later, I had gotten to an impasse, with 4 fills I had no way to fill. Overall, the clues were just too often disingenuous, or the subject matter too arcane.

  8. Didn’t fare well. DNF. then did some lookups..
    MUCK? I don’t see Bill’s explanation?? Am I not seeing it??

    Several others I never heard of..

    I am not on a roll lately… I’m getting “EATEN ALIVE”

  9. Too tough for me today; I got about 40% before I started doing “check-grids.” Stuff I was going to fill in but was still waiting for crosses turned out to be mostly correct. Still, not by best today…

  10. I know I’m behind everyone else, but expect to get current sometime this week. I work the puzzles on the local paper and save them until there’s time to work them.

    Time: 35:34 with 2 lookups; otherwise no errors.

    A tough one! At least as bad as yesterday’s, but worse with all of the double meanings and arcane word usage: started with PAIL for bailing aid, SHEARS for light cutters, ODDS for Belmont board; cell component started out as a biology reference (lookup #2); also, don’t know the Potterverse (lookup #1) or MUCK in poker.

    Came around to many answers by guessing partials and getting intersecting letters that brought an answer to mind.

    1. I don’t find poker mentioned in the many senses of ‘muck’ ln the OED. Can someone give them a quotation?

    2. I couldn’t find any reference to poker in the many entries for ‘muck’ in the OED. Can someone send them a quotation?

  11. Joe Bleaux STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Math. Add an A for Arts and you get STEAM–Sci, Tech, Engineering, Arts and Math

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