LA Times Crossword 26 May 21, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Winston Emmons
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Drama

Themed answers can cause DRAMA, and each ends with an element in a DRAMA:

  • 63A The four longest Across answers can cause it, and their last words suggest it : DRAMA
  • 20A Reveal more than is acceptable, say : CROSS THE LINE
  • 36A Bicker in public, say : CAUSE A SCENE
  • 42A Avoid involvement : REFUSE TO ACT
  • 54A Miss a bunt sign, say : BOTCH THE PLAY

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

Bill’s time: 7m 48s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • IS IT OK? (Is it on?!!!)
  • SKEETS (Sneets)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Son of Homer : BART

Bart Simpson is the main character in television’s “The Simpsons”. Bart’s name was chosen by the writers as it is an anagram of “brat”. Bart is voiced by actress and comedian Nancy Cartwright.

9 New Zealand bird : KIWI

The kiwi is an unusual bird in that it has a highly developed sense of smell and is the only one of our feathered friends with nostrils located at the tip of its long beak.

The first European to sight the nation that we know today as New Zealand was the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman. He labeled the land “Staten Landt”, believing it to be part of South America. Dutch cartographers changed the name to “Nova Zelandia”, after the Dutch province of Zeeland. That Latin name evolved into the Dutch “Nieuw Zeeland”, which Captain James Cook anglicized to “New Zealand”.

15 Son of Isaac : ESAU

Esau was the grandson of Abraham and the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When Esau was born to Isaac and Rebekah, the event was described with “Now the first came forth, red all over like a hairy garment”. Esau is portrayed later in life as being very different from his brother Jacob, as a hunter and someone who loves the outdoor life.

16 Turkmenistan neighbor : IRAN

The countries of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan lie along Iran’s northern and eastern borders.

17 Homeland of Heraclitus : IONIA

The geographic region called Ionia is located in present day Turkey. Ionia was prominent in the days of ancient Greece, although it wasn’t a unified state and rather a collection of tribes. The tribal confederacy was more based on religious and cultural similarities than a political or military alliance. Nowadays we often refer to this arrangement as the Ionian League.

Heraclitus of Ephesus was an ancient Greek philosopher from Ionia. He was sometimes referred to as “Heraclitus the Obscure”. That ancient epithet is borne out today by the fact that only one of his works survives, and even them only in fragmented form. That work is “On Nature”, and comprises three discourses about the universe, politics and ethics, and theology. Why politics and ethics were grouped into one discourse is beyond me …

18 The Heritage Foundation, for one : THINK TANK

A think tank is a research institute. The use of the term “think tank” dates back to 1959, and apparently was first used to describe the Center for Behavioral Sciences in Palo Alto, California.

The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think tank that was formed in 1973. One of the foundation’s more recent hires is former Vice President Mike Pence.

22 Philosopher __-tzu : LAO

Lao Tse (also “Lao-Tzu”) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.

23 Miami-to-Kingston dir. : SSE

The city of Miami in Florida takes its name from the nearby Miami River, which is itself named for the Mayaimi Native American people who lived around nearby Lake Okeechobee.

Kingston is the capital of Jamaica. Prior to an earthquake in 1692, Port Royal was the main settlement on the island. Survivors of the earthquake set up camp in the agricultural village of Kingston. Despite the hardship of thousands dying in the camp from mosquito-borne diseases, the camp developed into a permanent settlement, especially after a 1703 fire that further destroyed Port Royal.

24 Texting format, for short : SMS

Short Message Service (SMS) is the name for the text messaging service that many of us still use on our cell phones to contact friends and family.

30 H.S. record : GPA

Grade point average (GPA)

38 Island greeting : ALOHA!

The Hawaiian word “aloha” has many meanings in English: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. More recently, “aloha” has come to mean “hello” and “goodbye”, but only since the mid-1800s.

40 Chiefs’ org. : NFL

The Kansas City Chiefs were founded as the Dallas Texans in 1960 as a charter member team of the AFL. The Texans moved to Kansas City in 1963 and took the name “Chiefs”. The team owners (perhaps naively) expected to keep the Texans name in Kansas City but a fan contest opted instead for the Chiefs, named after the Kansas City mayor at the time, “Chief” Bartle.

47 Messenger __ : RNA

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

49 Sun. speech : SER

Our word “sermon” comes from the Latin “sermonem” meaning “discourse, talk”. The literal translation of “sermonem” is “a stringing together of words”, from the Latin “serere” meaning “to join”, as in the related word “series”.

50 Never, to Nietzsche : NIE

Friedrich Nietzsche was a German philosopher. He’s not my cup of tea …

54 Miss a bunt sign, say : BOTCH THE PLAY

To bunt in baseball is to barely hit the ball, just enough to have it roll slowly in front of the infielders.

60 Sleeveless undergarments : CAMISOLES

A camisole (also “cami”) is a sleeveless undergarment worn by women that extends down to the waist. “Camisole” is a French word that we imported into English that ultimately derives from the Latin “camisia” meaning “shirt, nightgown”.

65 Hindu deity : RAMA

In the Hindu tradition, the god known as Vishnu has several different avatars i.e. incarnations or manifestations. Rama is the seventh of these avatars.

66 Peter, vis-à-vis pumpkins : EATER

“Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater” is a nursery rhyme that has been around in the US at least since the early 1800s. It is possibly derived from an older English rhyme, but pumpkins certainly weren’t in the English version.

67 Like some basements : DANK

“Dank” is such a lovely word that has largely been superseded by “damp”, another nice word. It is thought that “dank” came into English from Scandinavia some time before the 14th century. The modern Swedish word “dank” means “moist place”.

68 Recipe verb : STIR

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.

Down

1 Not clerical : LAIC

Anything described as laic (or “laical, lay”) is related to the laity, those members of the church who are not clergy. The term “laic” ultimately comes from the Greek “laikos” meaning “of the people”.

2 Skunk tipoff : ODOR

Skunks have anal scent glands that can be used as defensive weapons. The glands produce sulfur-containing chemicals that have a really awful smell and that can irritate the eyes and skin.

3 Taboo : NO-NO

The word “taboo” was introduced into English by Captain Cook in his book “A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean”. Cook described “tabu” (likely imitative of a Tongan word that he had heard) as something that was both consecrated and forbidden.

5 One of the March sisters : BETH

“Little Women” is a novel written by American author Louisa May Alcott. The quartet of “little women” comprises Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March. Jo is a tomboy, the main character in the story, and is based on Alcott herself.

6 Arthur of tennis : ASHE

The great American tennis player Arthur Ashe spent the last years of his life writing his memoir called “Days of Grace”. He finished the manuscript just a few days before he passed away, dying from AIDS caused by a tainted blood transfusion.

8 North African country : TUNISIA

The North African nation of Tunisia takes its name from its capital city Tunis. Present-day Tunisia is roughly equivalent to the Roman province known as “Africa Proconsularis”, which gave its name to the whole continent.

10 George’s lyricist : IRA

Ira Gershwin was the lyricist who worked with his brother George to create such American classics as the songs “I Got Rhythm” and “Someone to Watch Over Me”, as well as the opera “Porgy and Bess”. After George Gershwin died, Ira continued to create great music, and worked with the likes of Jerome Kern and Kurt Weill.

George Gershwin was a remarkable composer in so many ways, not least in that he was respected for both his popular and classical compositions. Gershwin’s best known works for orchestra are the magnificent “Rhapsody in Blue” from 1924 and “An American in Paris” from 1928. Another noted work is the opera “Porgy and Bess” that was first performed in 1935. Surprisingly, Porgy and Bess was a commercial failure, and so Gershwin moved to Hollywood and started composing very successful film scores. He was only 38 years old when he died in 1937 from a brain tumor.

14 “Apollo 11” org. : NASA

The Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite towards the end of 1957 in a development that shocked the establishment in the US. Within months, President Eisenhower created the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA, now DARPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Space Race had begun …

“Apollo 11” is a 2019 documentary film about the famed 1969 moon landing. This remarkable movie consists entirely of archival footage, without any contemporary narration added. Recommended …

19 Israeli parliament : KNESSET

The Knesset is the legislative branch of the Israeli government, and does its business in the Givat Ram neighborhood of central Jerusalem.

21 Frat party garb : TOGA

In ancient Rome, the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae” or “togas”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

24 Fondue fuel : STERNO

Sterno is a jellied alcohol that usually comes in a can. The can is opened and the contents burn very easily and persistently. The brand name “Sterno” comes from the original manufacturer, S. Sternau & Co. of Brooklyn, New York.

Fondue is a traditional Swiss dish comprising melted cheese served in a pot over a tabletop stove, into which diners dip bread. The term “fondue”, which is French for “melted”, is now applied more widely to similar dishes served in a communal pot into which a food is dipped. Traditional fondue is delicious, so very delicious …

26 Robot companion of superhero Booster Gold : SKEETS

Booster Gold is a superhero in the DC Comics universe. He first appeared in 1986, and soon became a member of the Justice League. Booster Gold is the alter ego of Michael Jon Carter, a regular guy born in Gotham City in the 25th century. The superhero’s sidekick is a robot named Skeets.

27 Wax-winged flier of myth : ICARUS

Daedalus was a master craftsman of Greek mythology who was tasked with creating the Labyrinth on the island of Crete that was to house the Minotaur. After the Labyrinth was completed, King Minos imprisoned Daedalus and his son Icarus in a tower, so that he could not spread word of his work. Daedalus fabricated wings so that he and Icarus could escape by flying off the island. Despite being warned by his father, Icarus flew too close to the sun so that the wax holding the wings’ feathers in place melted. Icarus drowned in the sea, and Daedalus escaped.

28 “Unto the Sons” memoirist : TALESE

“Unto the Sons” is a 1992 memoir by journalist and author Gay Talese. The book tells the stories of several of Talese’s ancestors who immigrated to the US from Europe.

29 BOGO offering : TWOFER

Buy one, get one (BOGO) or buy one, get one free (BOGOF).

36 Foxwoods and Caesars : CASINOS

Foxwoods is a large casino resort in Ledyard, Connecticut owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. As a gambling house, Foxwoods is particularly known for its poker room, which is the third largest in the world (after the Commerce Casino and Bicycle Casino, both in the Los Angeles area).

Caesars Palace is one of my favorite hotels on the Las Vegas strip, even though it is beginning to show its age. Caesars opened in 1966.

37 Vigorous spirit : ELAN

Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e “style, flair”.

39 Ben-__ : HUR

Lew Wallace was a general for the Union Army during the Civil War, and was also an author. He wrote a very successful and celebrated book called “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ”, first published in 1880, that was made into a 1959 movie starring Charlton Heston.

43 Masthead names : EDITORS

The masthead is a list often found on the editorial page of a newspaper that gives the members of a newspaper’s editorial board.

48 Breakwater material : RIPRAP

Riprap is rock or rubble that is laid along a shoreline to protect against erosion.

51 Dazzling display : ECLAT

“Éclat” can describe a brilliant show of success, as well as the applause or accolade that one receives for that success. The word “éclat” derives from the French “éclater” meaning “to splinter, burst out”.

54 Defraud : BILK

The verb “to bilk”, meaning “to defraud”, comes from the card game of cribbage. “To bilk” in cribbage is to spoil someone’s score.

55 Prefix with sphere : HEMI-

Ever wonder what the difference is between the prefixes “hemi-”, “demi-” and “semi-”, all of which mean “half”? Well, the general observation is that words using the “demi-” prefix date back to the days of Norman influence over the English language. As a result, “demi-” turns up in the world of period costume and coats of arms. Words using “hemi-” tend to have Greek roots, and are prevalent in the world of the sciences and the medical field. Words with “semi-” tend to have Latin roots, and are most often found in music and the arts, and mathematics.

56 Winter Palace resident : TSAR

The Winter Palace is a magnificent building in St. Petersburg in Russia that was home to the Russian tsars (and tsarinas). Today, the Winter Palace houses the famous Hermitage Museum. I was lucky enough to visit the Palace and museum some years ago, and I have to say that I have rarely been more impressed by a historical building.

58 Congregation cry : AMEN!

The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

59 Very tall beer glass : YARD

A yard of ale is a very tall glass, one that is just under a yard (three feet) long. It holds about 60 fluid ounces of beer. I’ve tried drinking out of one, and it is extremely difficult. There is a bulb at the bottom of the glass. When you get towards the end of the drink, that bulb causes a kind of airlock and the remainder of the beer rushes to the top of the glass splashing you in the face.

60 “Sacred” fish carving in the Massachusetts State House : COD

There is a “Sacred Cod” hanging in the House of Representatives chamber of the Massachusetts State House in Boston. It is a large wood carving that is almost 5-foot long. There is also brass casting of a fish above the central chandelier in the State House Senate chamber. It is sometimes referred to as the “Holy Mackerel”. Very funny …

61 “Selma” director DuVernay : AVA

Ava DuVernay is a filmmaker who became the first African-American woman to win the Best Director Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, a feat she achieved in 2012 for her feature film “Middle of Nowhere”. “Middle of Nowhere” tells the story of a woman who drops out of medical school to focus on her husband when he is sentenced to 8 years in prison. DuVernay also directed the 2014 film “Selma” about the 1965 voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

“Selma” is a 2014 film about the Selma-to-Montgomery marches of 1965. Directed by Ava DuVernay, the movie stars David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson.

62 Hombre : MAN

In Spanish, a “niño” (boy) turns into a “hombre” (man).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Yearn : LONG
5 Son of Homer : BART
9 New Zealand bird : KIWI
13 Decorate : ADORN
15 Son of Isaac : ESAU
16 Turkmenistan neighbor : IRAN
17 Homeland of Heraclitus : IONIA
18 The Heritage Foundation, for one : THINK TANK
20 Reveal more than is acceptable, say : CROSS THE LINE
22 Philosopher __-tzu : LAO
23 Miami-to-Kingston dir. : SSE
24 Texting format, for short : SMS
27 __-bitty : ITTY
30 H.S. record : GPA
33 “Can we do this?” : IS IT OK?
35 Crow call : CAW
36 Bicker in public, say : CAUSE A SCENE
38 Island greeting : ALOHA!
40 Chiefs’ org. : NFL
41 Chillingly strange : EERIE
42 Avoid involvement : REFUSE TO ACT
45 Bottom line : NET
46 Password preceder : USER ID
47 Messenger __ : RNA
48 Reel holders : RODS
49 Sun. speech : SER
50 Never, to Nietzsche : NIE
52 Biol. or ecol. : SCI
54 Miss a bunt sign, say : BOTCH THE PLAY
60 Sleeveless undergarments : CAMISOLES
63 The four longest Across answers can cause it, and their last words suggest it : DRAMA
64 Track shape : OVAL
65 Hindu deity : RAMA
66 Peter, vis-à-vis pumpkins : EATER
67 Like some basements : DANK
68 Recipe verb : STIR
69 Await judgment : PEND

Down

1 Not clerical : LAIC
2 Skunk tipoff : ODOR
3 Taboo : NO-NO
4 Like details that make you go “Eww!” : GRISLY
5 One of the March sisters : BETH
6 Arthur of tennis : ASHE
7 Train tracks : RAILS
8 North African country : TUNISIA
9 Toy on a string : KITE
10 George’s lyricist : IRA
11 Pale : WAN
12 Printer fluid : INK
14 “Apollo 11” org. : NASA
19 Israeli parliament : KNESSET
21 Frat party garb : TOGA
24 Fondue fuel : STERNO
25 Affluent : MONIED
26 Robot companion of superhero Booster Gold : SKEETS
27 Wax-winged flier of myth : ICARUS
28 “Unto the Sons” memoirist : TALESE
29 BOGO offering : TWOFER
31 Fourth-down play : PUNT
32 Concerning : AS FOR
34 Drink cooler : ICE
36 Foxwoods and Caesars : CASINOS
37 Vigorous spirit : ELAN
39 Ben-__ : HUR
43 Masthead names : EDITORS
44 Credit alternative : CASH
48 Breakwater material : RIPRAP
51 Dazzling display : ECLAT
53 Surrender, as land : CEDE
54 Defraud : BILK
55 Prefix with sphere : HEMI-
56 Winter Palace resident : TSAR
57 Of __: recently : LATE
58 Congregation cry : AMEN!
59 Very tall beer glass : YARD
60 “Sacred” fish carving in the Massachusetts State House : COD
61 “Selma” director DuVernay : AVA
62 Hombre : MAN

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 26 May 21, Wednesday”

  1. No errors. Guessed on 43D. Was thinking of a pub. Newspaper completely went past me. Had MILK on 54D for a long time.. I stared at it figuring it would magically reveal. After I changed MILK to BILK, then I got the reveal.

  2. No errors, no lookups. Did not know Skeets but it fit, so
    hey, go with it. I don’t know if my first post went through.
    Seemed to be having a problem connecting with the site.

  3. Same error as Bill…who out there really knew SKEETS?
    When is a clue considered too vague?
    How about the setters grandmothers maiden name…probably OK👎👎👎👎…I just left the NYT 0421 where WOOT was the answer to YIPPEE
    Give me a break.
    Stay safe😀

  4. 5:42

    Today I learned about Booster Gold. I suppose I must have seen him and Skeets before in a Robot Chicken DC Comics special.

  5. No errors, no Googles.
    Had sivA before RAMA and AbouT before AS YET.

    Did not know RIPRAP, YARD, SKEET or SMS. The last two were a Nattick for me. SKEET is a word for the youngest. This was easier than Tuesday.

    In Upstate NY, we’re having a strong rainstorm.

  6. Have never heard of “riprap” ever used anywhere I’ve lived. And that’s always been around water.

  7. Mostly easy Wednesday for me; took 12:11 with no errors or peeks. I didn’t get the banner when I finished and decided to change the “N” to a “K” after a moment of thought…so actually the same error as Bill, but since it was on-line…I dunno.

    Never heard of Booster and Skeets but pretty amusing dialog seen while checking out Google images:
    BG: “Your mean”
    Skeets: “You programmed me”
    BG: “Dude I just downloaded your programming from that site everyone uses”
    Skeets:”What?”
    BG:”It didn’t say anything about being mean. I should’ve read the pop-up warning thing”
    Skeets:”What?!”

    and

    BG:”Did you call Batman Sir? You never call me Sir”
    Skeets:”You aren’t Batman”

  8. I’ve been finding the Wednesday puzzle difficulty on par with Monday & Tuesday instead of a little harder – 10:52 with no errors or lookups.

    Like others, new words for me were SKEETS & RIPRAP.

    Maybe a better clue for 33A would have been “MAY we do this?” in order to get OK instead of ON.
    Was glad that 5A “Son of Homer” was the animated character and not the Greek author!

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