LA Times Crossword 31 May 21, Monday

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Constructed by: Winston Emmons
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: HRs

Themed answers are famous people with the initials HR:

  • 58D Personnel depts., and what the personnel in 20-, 31-, 40- and 50-Across have in common : HRS
  • 20A “The Carpetbaggers” author : HAROLD ROBBINS
  • 31A Auto industry partner of Charles Rolls : HENRY ROYCE
  • 40A “I Am Woman” singer : HELEN REDDY
  • 50A She married Bill in 1975 but didn’t start using his last name until his 1982 Arkansas gubernatorial campaign : HILLARY RODHAM

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

Bill’s time: 5m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16 Printer powder : TONER

The key features of a laser printer (or copier) are that it uses plain paper and produces quality text at high speed. Laser printers work by projecting a laser image of the printed page onto a rotating drum that is coated with photoconductors (material that becomes conductive when exposed to light). The areas of the drum exposed to the laser carry a different charge than the unexposed areas. Dry ink (toner) sticks to the exposed areas due to electrostatic charge. The toner is then transferred to paper by contact and is fused into the paper by the application of heat. So, that explains why paper coming out of a laser printer is warm, and sometimes powdery.

18 Drink in a stein : BEER

A stein is a type of beer glass. The term is German in origin, and is short for “Steinkrug” meaning “stone jug”. “Stein” is German for “stone”.

19 Side-by-side fridge pioneer : AMANA

The Amana Corporation takes its name from the location of its original headquarters, in Middle Amana, Iowa. Today, the Amana name is very much associated with household appliances. The company was founded in 1934 to manufacture commercial walk-in coolers.

20 “The Carpetbaggers” author : HAROLD ROBBINS

Harold Robbins was a highly successful and prolific author of popular novels. Several of his titles were adapted for the big and small screens, e.g. “The Carpetbaggers” and “The Betsy”. Robbins was a high-school dropout who eventually found a clerical job in 1940 with Universal Pictures. He retired from Universal 17 years later as a company executive.

“The Carpetbaggers” is a 1961 novel by best-selling author Harold Robbins. “Carpetbagger” is an American term that originally described opportunistic Northerners who waded into the postbellum South to exploit the Union’s occupation for their own benefit. “Carpetbaggers” were said to use cheap “carpet bags” as luggage, hence the use of the term. Robbins uses “carpetbagger” in its more general sense, to describe any outsider relocating to exploit the locals. In the novel, the newcomer is a wealthy heir, a Howard Hughes-like figure, who exploited the aviation and movie industries.

25 60 minuti : ORA

In Italian, there are “sessanta minuti” (sixty minutes) in an “ora” (hour).

29 Insertion mark : CARET

The character known as a caret (^) was originally a proofreading mark, one used to indicate where a punctuation mark was to be inserted. “Caret” is Latin for “it lacks”.

31 Auto industry partner of Charles Rolls : HENRY ROYCE

Henry Royce founded the Rolls-Royce company in 1904 with his partner, Charles Rolls. Royce died at 70 years of age in 1933. His last words were, reportedly, “I wish I had spent more time in the office …”

Charles Rolls founded the Rolls-Royce auto manufacturing company along with his partner Henry Royce in 1906. Sadly, Rolls died just a few years later in a plane crash. Rolls was a pioneering aviator. He became the first Briton to die in a powered aircraft crash when the tail of his plane broke off during a flying display.

37 TiVo ancestor : VCR

Video Cassette Recorder (VCR)

TiVo was introduced in 1999 and was the world’s first commercially successful digital video recorder (DVR).

40 “I Am Woman” singer : HELEN REDDY

The successful singer Helen Reddy was born in Melbourne, Australia. In 1966, Reddy won a talent contest and earned herself a trip to New York City for an audition. The 25-year-old single mother decided to stay in the US, and a few years later was able to launch a successful singing career. Her hit song “I Am Woman”, released in 1972, was the first recording by an Australian artist to reach #1 in the US charts.

43 Fern-to-be : SPORE

Ferns are unlike mosses in that they have xylem and phloem, making them vascular plants. They also have stems, leaves and roots, but they do not have seeds and flowers, and reproduce using spores. Spores differ from seeds in that they have very little stored food.

Spores are produced by many bacteria, fungi and non-flowering plants. A spore is a reproductive body encased in a protective shell that is highly resistant to damage, and resistant to heat in particular.

46 Chicago Eight defendant Bobby : SEALE

Bobby Seale is a civil rights activist who co-founded the Black Panther Party with Huey Newton. Seale was one of the Chicago Eight, eight people charged as a result of anti-Vietnam war protests that took place during the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. The judge ordered Seale severed from the case, reducing the group of defendants to the Chicago Seven. However, Seale’s vehement protests during the trial led to the judge ordering him bound, gagged and chained to his chair, and eventually sentenced him to four years in jail for contempt of court. That conviction was quickly overturned on appeal.

48 “__ making a list … ” : HE’S

The Christmas song “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” was introduced to us in November of 1934 on Eddie Cantor’s radio show. The song was written by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie.

50 She married Bill in 1975 but didn’t start using his last name until his 1982 Arkansas gubernatorial campaign : HILLARY RODHAM

Apparently, Hillary Rodham decided as young as nine years old that she was going to use her name “Rodham” if she were to marry. When Bill Clinton campaigned to become the Democratic candidate for Governor of Arkansas in 1978, his opponent made Rodham’s use of her “maiden” name an issue. The assertion was that Clinton was “married to an ardent feminist, Hillary Rodham, who will certainly be the first First Lady of Arkansas to keep her maiden name.” Clinton won the primary, and the gubernatorial election. When Clinton sought the same office in 1982, Hillary’s use of the Rodham name was still perceived as an issue. That’s when she decided to make a pragmatic choice and change her name to Hillary Rodham Clinton. By the time she decided to run for US president, she was using the name “Hillary Clinton”, and that’s how her name appeared on the primary ballot.

54 In the end, in the Louvre : ENFIN

The French “enfin” translates as “in the end, finally”.

The Musée du Louvre has the distinction of being the most visited art museum in the whole world. The collection is housed in the magnificent Louvre Palace that was the seat of power in France until 1682, when Louis XIV moved to Versailles.

59 “Down East” state : MAINE

The coast of Maine is often referred to as “Down East” by the people of New England. There is even a monthly magazine aimed at the people of Maine called “Down East”, that is published in Camden, Maine.

64 Garage sale caveat : AS IS

A caveat is a warning or a qualification. “Caveat” is the Latin for “let him beware”.

Down

1 Hot tub with a whirlpool : SPA

“Jacuzzi” is one of those brand names that has become so much associated with the product that it is often assumed to be a generic term. The Jacuzzi company was founded in 1915 by the seven(!) Jacuzzi brothers in Berkeley California. The brothers, who were Italian immigrants, pronounced their name “ja-coot-si”, as one might suspect when one realizes the name is of Italian origin. The company started off by making aircraft propellers and then small aircraft, but suspended aircraft production in 1925 when one the brothers was killed in one of their planes. The family then started making hydraulic pumps, and in 1948 developed a submersible bathtub pump so that a son of one of the brothers could enjoy hydrotherapy for his rheumatoid arthritis. The “hydrotherapy product” took off in the fifties with some astute marketing towards “worn-out housewives” and the use of celebrity spokesman Jack Benny.

4 Hubble-operating org. : NASA

The famous Hubble Space Telescope was installed in orbit by the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1990. The telescope was named for the astronomer Edwin Hubble, the man who changed our view of the universe by postulating that the universe is expanding.

6 Amtrak express : 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”.

8 Frau’s partner : HERR

In German, a “Herr” (Mr.) is married to a “Frau” (Mrs.), and they live together in a “Haus” (house).

10 Burrowing marsupial : WOMBAT

Wombats are marsupials that are native to Australia. Apparently, wombats are often mocked in their native land, as they are viewed as fat, slow, lazy animals. The “unofficial” mascot of the 2000 Sydney Olympics was “Fatso the Fat-A***ed Wombat”.

Marsupials are mammals that carry their young in a pouch. Better-known marsupials are kangaroos, koalas, wombats and Tasmanian devils. As you can probably tell from this list, most marsupials are native to the Southern Hemisphere.

11 “… bombs bursting __” : IN AIR

The words “bombs bursting in air” come from “The Star-Spangled Banner” written by Francis Scott Key.

12 Pasta tubes : PENNE

The pasta known as penne comes in two main types, i.e. penne lisce (which is smooth) and penne rigate (which is furrowed).

13 Hurlers’ stats : ERAS

That would be baseball.

23 Congresswoman __ Omar : ILHAN

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.

28 Form 1099 agcy. : IRS

There is a series of IRS 1099 forms used to report various types of income, other than wages, salaries and tips that are reported on Form W-2. Examples are Form 1099-INT used to report interest income, 1099-DIV used to report dividend income, and 1099-MISC used to report miscellaneous income.

30 Land measure : ACRE

At one time, an acre was defined as the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. Then, an acre was more precisely defined as a strip of land “one furrow long” (i.e. one furlong) and one chain wide. The length of one furlong was equal to 10 chains, or 40 rods. An area of one furlong times 10 rods was one rood.

33 Coupon users, e.g. : REDEEMERS

The original “coupon”, back in the early 1800s, was a certificate of interest due on a bond. The bond included coupons that could be cut from the paper periodically and redeemed for that interest payment. The term “coupon” comes from the French “couper” meaning “to cut”.

35 “Bye Bye Bye” band : NSYNC

“Bye Bye Bye” is a 2000 hit song recorded by the boy band NSYNC. It was originally written for another boy band, the English group 5ive, but they passed on it.

38 __ Moines : DES

The city of Des Moines is the capital of Iowa, and takes its name from the Des Moines River. The river in turn takes its name from the French “Riviere des Moines” meaning “River of the Monks”. It looks like there isn’t any “monkish” connection to the city’s name per se. “Des Moines” was just the name given by French traders who corrupted “Moingona”, the name of a group of Illinois Native Americans who lived by the river. However, others contend that French Trappist monks, who lived a full 200 miles from the river, somehow influenced the name.

41 Pine droppings : NEEDLES

There are many species of pine tree (well over 100). The smallest is probably the Siberain dwarf pine, which usually grows to less than 10-feet tall. The tallest is the ponderosa pine, which regularly grows to over 200-feet tall.

46 Mount in Exodus : SINAI

According to the Bible, Mount Sinai is the mountain on which Moses was given the Ten Commandments. The Biblical Mount Sinai is probably not the mountain in Egypt that today has the same name, although this is the subject of much debate. The Egyptian Mount Sinai has two developed routes that one can take to reach the summit. The longer gentler climb takes about 2 1/2 hours, but there is also the steeper climb up the 3,750 “steps of penitence”.

48 Cache : HOARD

A cache is a secret supply. We imported the term into English from French Canadian trappers in the 17th century. Back then, “cache” was a slang term for a “hiding place for stores”, derived from the French verb “cacher” meaning “to hide”.

50 Rope fiber : HEMP

Hemp, also known as “cannabis”, is a hardy, fast-growing plant that has many uses mainly due to the strength of the fibers in the plant’s stalks. Hemp is used to make rope, paper and textiles. The term “hemp” is sometimes reserved for varieties of the plant grown for non-drug use.

51 Village People megahit : YMCA

“YMCA” was released in 1978 by Village People and has been adopted as an anthem by the gay community. The song was written by Victor Willis, a straight member of the mostly gay band, and he clarifies that the lyrics are extolling the virtues of the “YMCA” as a source of recreation for black urban youth. I think he might have been winking when he said that …

52 Enjoy one’s Kindle : READ

Amazon’s Kindle line of e-book readers was introduced in 2007. The name “kindle” was chosen to evoke images of “lighting a fire” through reading and intellectual stimulation. I bought myself a Kindle Fire HD several years ago. I started reading e-books for the first time in my life, as well as enjoying other computing options available with the tablet device …

53 “Waterloo” group : ABBA

“Waterloo” is the song that effectively launched the astounding career of Swedish band ABBA. They performed “Waterloo” in 1974 as the Swedish entry in the annual Eurovision Song Contest, and walked away with the competition (I remember it well!). The contest has been running since 1956, and “Waterloo” was chosen (in 2005) as the best song in the competition’s history.

58 Personnel depts., and what the personnel in 20-, 31-, 40- and 50-Across have in common : HRS

Human resources (HR)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Shock : STUN
5 Eyelid hair : LASH
9 Run through a reader, as a debit card : SWIPE
14 Mama’s mate : PAPA
15 Tooth trouble : ACHE
16 Printer powder : TONER
17 Tiny picnic invaders : ANTS
18 Drink in a stein : BEER
19 Side-by-side fridge pioneer : AMANA
20 “The Carpetbaggers” author : HAROLD ROBBINS
23 Ending for hero or serpent : -INE
25 60 minuti : ORA
26 “If looks could kill” look : GLARE
27 Form a close bond (with) : LIAISE
29 Insertion mark : CARET
31 Auto industry partner of Charles Rolls : HENRY ROYCE
33 Operated : RAN
36 Drama divisions : ACTS
37 TiVo ancestor : VCR
38 Latin god : DEUS
39 Originally named : NEE
40 “I Am Woman” singer : HELEN REDDY
43 Fern-to-be : SPORE
45 Smoothly take one’s place : EASE IN
46 Chicago Eight defendant Bobby : SEALE
48 “__ making a list … ” : HE’S
49 Series-ending abbr. : ETC
50 She married Bill in 1975 but didn’t start using his last name until his 1982 Arkansas gubernatorial campaign : HILLARY RODHAM
54 In the end, in the Louvre : ENFIN
55 Lunch or dinner : MEAL
56 Second Hebrew letter : BETH
59 “Down East” state : MAINE
60 Give a darn : CARE
61 “It’s really cold!” : BRRR!
62 Longed (for) : PINED
63 Tacks on : ADDS
64 Garage sale caveat : AS IS

Down

1 Hot tub with a whirlpool : SPA
2 Beige relative : TAN
3 Put more at stake : UP THE ANTE
4 Hubble-operating org. : NASA
5 Unskilled worker : LABORER
6 Amtrak express : ACELA
7 Place for a mower : SHED
8 Frau’s partner : HERR
9 Horse home : STABLE
10 Burrowing marsupial : WOMBAT
11 “… bombs bursting __” : IN AIR
12 Pasta tubes : PENNE
13 Hurlers’ stats : ERAS
21 Upbeat type of outlook : ROSY
22 Folklore fiend : OGRE
23 Congresswoman __ Omar : ILHAN
24 Nephew’s sister : NIECE
28 Form 1099 agcy. : IRS
29 Use the bike lane : CYCLE
30 Land measure : ACRE
32 Done : OVER
33 Coupon users, e.g. : REDEEMERS
34 Books review : AUDIT
35 “Bye Bye Bye” band : NSYNC
38 __ Moines : DES
40 Garden worker : HOER
41 Pine droppings : NEEDLES
42 Impulsive : RASH
43 Hospital solution : SALINE
44 Smoothed wood : PLANED
46 Mount in Exodus : SINAI
47 Like Santa’s helpers : ELFIN
48 Cache : HOARD
50 Rope fiber : HEMP
51 Village People megahit : YMCA
52 Enjoy one’s Kindle : READ
53 “Waterloo” group : ABBA
57 29-Down prefix : TRI-
58 Personnel depts., and what the personnel in 20-, 31-, 40- and 50-Across have in common : HRS

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 31 May 21, Monday”

  1. Easy Monday! Hurray!

    Had BiER before BEER on the theory of German in, German out.
    Didn’t know ILHAN. Been to the AMANA Colony near Fairfield, IA where my sister lives.

  2. Add to companies owned by Whirlpool: Jenair and Hotpoint. There are several others I have never heard of.

  3. Seemed pleasantly easy, although I did have one lookup. Didn’t know Ilan Omar. Enjoyable for this beginner. Have a wonderful Memorial day and thanks to any of you who served.

  4. No errors.. also been to Amana Colonies. Quite the history. Had breakfast at a nostalgic Amana colony restraint. No menus. A big bowl of eggs, hashbrowns, sausage and plates of toast. Group style.
    Quite the feast.

  5. 5:41

    I do the Downs first, so when I got to the theme hint in 58D, there was still plenty of room in the long answers for the theme to be a big help.

    @Fred, “feh” can be an exclamation of disgust. As in, “Too many naticks in this puzzle. Feh!”

  6. Ray C:
    Thanks for your response to my complaint yesterday about “May” golf tournaments. With your explanation of the clue, it was so obvious that I’m a little embarrassed. In other words… Duh!

  7. 9 minutes, 50 seconds, no errors. But a constant stream of typos and re-entries. Some created by the clues, some just hamfistedness. Exhibit A for why I just HATE doing puzzles on the computer. Give me a pen and paper any day.

  8. 8:81 no errors/lookups – almost a personal best.

    I couldn’t even type the answers in under 4 mins even if I knew them ahead of time.

    I guess I’ll never post a 3:54 ..

    Special thanks to all who served!

  9. Easy-peasy Monday – 8:05 with no errors. I work these on the local newspaper, so I guess that makes it a little slower.

  10. Greetings folks!!🤗

    To the service men and women and veterans who are in our group: Thank you for your service to our country. 🇺🇸

    Easy Monday and a good way to come back to puzzles after a brief hiatus — I’m glad my tablet knows how to spell “hiatus”!!!

    WOMBAT!!! Never really knew what one was, and to augment Bill’s explanation I googled them. Cute!!! They look like a little like panda bears.

    Be well~~⚾️

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