LA Times Crossword 27 Apr 22, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Susan Gelfand
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Change of Venue

Themed answers each include an anagram (CHANGE) of a sports VENUE as a hidden word:

  • 52A Request from a trial attorney, and a hint to this puzzle’s circles : CHANGE OF VENUE
  • 20A Extremely expensive fungi : BLACK TRUFFLES (hiding a change of “TRACK”)
  • 35A Injury-prone area for pitchers : ROTATOR CUFF (hiding a change of “COURT”)
  • 43A Novelist known for legal thrillers : JOHN GRISHAM (hiding a change of “RING”)

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

Bill’s time: 7m 08s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Leave flabbergasted : DAZE

Apparently, there was a 1772 magazine article that described “flabbergasted” as a word that was in vogue at the time. That article also stated that the origin of the term was uncertain. Someone who is flabbergasted is utterly astonished. Like me, most of the time …

14 “The Hurt Locker” setting : IRAQ

The 2008 movie “The Hurt Locker” is a disturbing drama about a US Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team on the front lines during the Iraq War. The film appears to be very realistic, and was filmed in Jordan just a few miles from the Iraqi border. The screenplay was written by Mark Boal, a journalist who was embedded with an EOD team in 2004. “The Hurt Locker” won six Academy Awards, including Best Director for Kathryn Bigelow, the first woman to be so honored.

15 Natty neckwear : ASCOT

An ascot is a wide tie that narrows at the neck, which these days is only really worn at weddings or part of a dress uniform. The tie takes its name from the Royal Ascot horse race at which punters still turn up in formal wear at Ascot Racecourse in England.

A natty dresser is one who dresses smartly. The term “natty” may come from the Middle English “net” meaning “fine, elegant”, in which case it shares its etymology with the word “neat”.

16 “Night Sky With __ Wounds”: poetry collection by Ocean Vuong : EXIT

Ocean Vuong is a Vietnamese-American poet and novelist. He was born in Ho Chi Minh City in 1988, under the name Vương Quốc Vinh. His mother gave him the English given name “Beach”, but changed it to “Ocean” after someone pointed out that “Beach” sounded like “Bitch” when pronounced with a Vietnamese accent. Vuong’s 2016 collection of poetry “Night Sky with Exit Wounds” won the T. S. Eliot Prize in 2017. His debut novel “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” was published in 2019.

17 Triple Crown of Surfing locale : OAHU

The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is a series of surfing competitions held in Hawaii. All of the events are held off the coast of the island of Oahu, except one of the women’s competitions that is held in Honolua Bay in Maui.

18 Major mess : SNAFU

“SNAFU” is an acronym standing for “situation normal: all fouled up” (well, that’s the polite version!). As one might perhaps imagine, the term developed in the US Army, during WWII.

19 Pond plant : ALGA

Algae are similar to terrestrial plants in that they use photosynthesis to create sugars from light and carbon dioxide, but they differ in that they have simpler anatomies, and for example lack roots.

20 Extremely expensive fungi : BLACK TRUFFLES (hiding a change of “TRACK”)

Truffles are rooted out by pigs, or by specially trained dogs. The reason why pigs, especially sows, are so attracted to truffles is that there is a chemical compound found within the truffle that is very similar to androstenol, a sex pheromone found in the saliva of boars.

23 __ Cruces, New Mexico : LAS

Las Cruces (Spanish for “the crosses”) is the second largest city in the state of New Mexico, and is the home of New Mexico State University.

25 Dice game : CRAPS

If one considers earlier versions of craps, then the game has been around for a very long time and probably dates back to the Crusades. It may have been derived from an old English game called “hazard” also played with two dice, which was mentioned in Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” from the 1300s. The American version of the game came here courtesy of the French and first set root in New Orleans where it was given the name “crapaud”, a French word meaning “toad”.

28 PX patrons : GIS

A PX is a Post Exchange, a retail store operating on a US Army Base. The equivalent store on an Air Force Base is called a Base Exchange (BX).

31 Iowa senator Joni : ERNST

Joni Ernst was elected as a US Senator for Iowa in 2014. Ernst is a Republican who had previously served as a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard. She is the first female veteran in the US Senate, and the first woman to represent Iowa in the US Congress.

35 Injury-prone area for pitchers : ROTATOR CUFF (hiding a change of “COURT”)

What we know as the rotator cuff, is more correctly termed the rotor cuff. It is the group of four muscles that stabilizes the shoulder.

38 Raw bar need : ICE

Almost all of the shellfish consumed at a raw bar is not only uncooked, it is also still alive.

41 Vineyard 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.

43 Novelist known for legal thrillers : JOHN GRISHAM (hiding a change of “RING”)

John Grisham is a lawyer and an incredibly successful author best known for his legal thrillers. After graduating from law school, Grisham practiced law for about ten years and then went into politics. He served in the Mississippi House of Representatives for six years, during which time he wrote his first novel, “A Time to Kill”.

45 Old West crew : POSSE

Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.

47 Mobile network std. : LTE

In the world of telecommunications, the initialism LTE stands for Long-Term Evolution, and is wireless broadband communication standard. In general terms, LTE improves broadband speeds. As I understand it, LTE technology allows a 3G network to perform almost as well as a true 4G network, and so LTE is sometimes marketed as 4G LTE, even though it’s really “3G plus”.

48 Fitbit units : STEPS

Fitbits are wearable activity trackers that are mainly used to track the number of steps walked, although more and more features have been added over time. A Fitbit was even used as evidence in at least one murder case. A Connecticut man claimed that a home intruder had shot and killed his wife. Police used data from the wife’s Fitbit to disprove the husband’s story, and ended up charging him with the murder.

49 Fannie __: mortgage company nickname : MAE

The Federal National Mortgage Association is commonly called “Fannie Mae”, a play on the initialism “FNMA”. Fannie Mae was founded during the Great Depression as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal.

51 “Mr. Blue Sky” gp. : ELO

“Mr. Blue Sky” is a 1977 song by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) from Britain. It’s a song that has been described as “Beatlesque”, and I must say that I agree with that assertion …

61 Calligrapher’s supplies : INKS

Calligraphy is the art of fine handwriting. The term “calligraphy” comes from the Greek “kallos” meaning “beauty” and “graphein” meaning “to write”.

64 Slow-cooker brand : OSTER

The Oster brand of small appliances was introduced in 1924 by John Oster. He started out by making manually-powered hair clippers designed for cutting women’s hair, and followed up with a motorized version in 1928. The clippers kept the company in business until 1946 when Oster diversified, buying a manufacturer of liquefying blenders in 1946. The blender was renamed to “Osterizer” and was a big hit. Oster was bought by Sunbeam, which has owned the brand since 1960.

65 Slow-cooker dish : STEW

We often use the term “crockpot” as an alternative for “slow cooker”. The generic term comes from the trademark “Crock-Pot”, which is now owned by Sunbeam products.

66 The MTV Generation : XERS

The term “Generation X” originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By one definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

The first video played at the launch of MTV the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star” (I love that song), followed by Pat Benatar singing “You Better Run”.

68 Vacuum attachment : HOSE

The first practical portable vacuum cleaner was invented by James Spangler in 1907. Spangler sold the patent for the design to his cousin’s husband, William Henry Hoover. Hoover then made his fortune from manufacturing and selling vacuum cleaners. Hoover was so successful in my part of the world that back in Ireland we don’t use the verb “to vacuum” and instead say “to hoover”. Also, “hoover” is what we call a vacuum cleaner, regardless of who makes it.

Down

1 Playbill paragraph : BIO

I get quite a kick out of reading the bios in “Playbill” as some of them can be really goofy and entertaining. “Playbill” started off in 1884 in New York as an in-house publication for just one theater on 21st St. You can’t see any decent-sized production these days anywhere in the United States without being handed a copy of “Playbill”.

2 Many a Qatar native : ARAB

Qatar is a sovereign state in the Middle East occupying the Qatar Peninsula, itself located in the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar lies on the Persian Gulf and shares one land border, with Saudi Arabia to the south. Qatar has more oil and gas reserves per capita of population than any other country in the world. In 2010, Qatar had the fastest growing economy in the world, driven by the petrochemical industry. Qatar is scheduled to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, although the nation’s eligibility to do so is under question after a far-reaching bribery scandal was uncovered at the sport’s governing body.

3 Arlene of the silver screen : DAHL

Arlene Dahl is an American movie actress, quite famous during the 1950s. Among her screen credits was playing the female lead in 1959’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, alongside James Mason and Pat Boone.

The screen on which one projects a movie is often referred to as a silver screen. The term “silver screen” has evolved to describe the film industry in general. The original silver screen was invented in the early days of motion pictures by a projectionist named Harry Coulter Williams. It comprises a tightly woven fabric on which was applied a silver layer (hence the name). The silvery surface provided a brighter picture from all viewing angles.

5 Snorkeling needs : MASKS

Our word “snorkel” comes from German navy slang “Schnorchel” meaning “nose, snout”. The German slang was applied to an air-shaft used for submarines, due to its resemblance to a nose, in that air passed through it and it made a “snoring” sound. “Schnorchel” comes from “Schnarchen”, the German for “snore”.

8 Vegan protein : TOFU

“Tofu” is a name for bean curd, and is a Japanese word meaning just that … bean that has curdled. Tofu is produced by coagulating soy milk, using either salt or something acidic. Once the protein has coagulated, the curds are pressed into the familiar blocks. Personally I love tofu, but my wife absolutely hates it …

A vegan is someone who stays away from animal products. A dietary vegan eats no animal foods, not even eggs and dairy that are usually eaten by vegetarians. Ethical vegans take things one step further by following a vegan diet and also avoiding animal products in other areas of their lives e.g. items made from leather or silk.

10 Casino employee : DEALER

The term “casino” originated in the 1700s, then describing a public room for music or dancing. “Casino” is a diminutive of “casa” meaning “house”.

11 Bar in a limo : AXLE

The word “limousine” derives from the name of the French city of Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving rise to that type of transportation being called a “limousine”. Well, that’s how the story goes …

13 Itinerary info : ETA

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

22 Feudal domain : FIEF

In the days of feudalism, a “fief” was basically a “fee” (the words “fee” and “fief” have the same origins) paid by a Lord in exchange for some benefit to him, perhaps loyalty, or military service. The fief itself was often land granted by the Lord. We use the term “fiefdom” (and sometimes “fief) figuratively, to describe a sphere of operation controlled by one dominant person or entity.

Feudalism was a legal and military system that flourished in medieval Europe. Central to the system were the concepts of lords, vassals and fiefs. Lords would grant fiefs (land or rights) to vassals in exchange for allegiance and service.

26 “This ain’t my first __” : RODEO

“Not my first rodeo” means “not the first time I’ve done this”. The phrase started to be used after country singer Vern Gosdin released the song “This Ain’t My First Rodeo” in 1990. Gosdin said that he’d first heard the idiom from a workman who added an extra room over his garage.

27 Country album? : ATLAS

The famous Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator published his first collection of maps in 1578. Mercator’s collection contained a frontispiece with an image of Atlas the Titan from Greek mythology holding up the world on his shoulders. That image gave us our term “atlas” that is used for a book of maps.

28 Dave of the Foo Fighters : GROHL

Foo Fighters are described as an alternative rock band, one formed in 1994 by the drummer from Nirvana, Dave Grohl. The term “foo fighters” originally applied to unidentified flying objects reported by allied airmen during WWII. Spooky …

33 Remnant : SCRAP

A remnant is a small part that’s left over from something larger. The term comes from the Latin “remanour” meaning “to remain”. So, a “remnant” is something “remaining”.

36 “Price negotiable,” in ads : OBO

Or best offer (OBO)

37 New Deal pres. : FDR

The New Deal was the series of economic programs championed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression. The New Deal was focused on three objectives, the “3 Rs”:

  1. Relief for the unemployed and poor
  2. Recovery of the economy to normal levels
  3. Reform of the financial system to prevent a repeat depression

43 “Bridgerton” actor Regé-__ Page : JEAN

Regé-Jean Page is a Zimbabwe-born, English actor who had his career breakthrough playing the male lead in the period drama “Bridgerton”.

“Bridgerton” is a fascinating period drama TV series based on a series of historical romance novels by Julia Quinn. Most of the action takes place in London’s high society during the Regency Era. An intriguing element is the show’s approach to race. There is a common, albeit unfounded, assertion that King George III’s wife Queen Charlotte was of African descent. “Bridgerton” runs with this assertion, portraying the era’s society as quite diverse.

50 Goad : EGG ON

The verb “to edge” has been used to mean to incite, to urge on, from the 16th century. Somewhere along the way “edge” was mistakenly replaced with “egg”, giving us our term “to egg on” meaning “to goad”.

51 Civil rights leader Medgar : EVERS

Medgar Evers was an African-American civil rights activist from Mississippi who was assassinated by the Klu Klux Klan in 1963. A year after the murder, one Byron De La Beckwith was arrested and charged with the crime. Two trials failed to return a decision on Beckwith’s guilt as the juries, composed completely of white males, deadlocked both times. New evidence was unearthed some thirty years later so Beckwith could be retried and he was finally convicted of the murder in 1994. Back in 1963, Evers was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. Evers had served in the US Army in France during WWII and left the military with the rank of sergeant.

55 Granola grains : OATS

The names “Granola” and “Granula” were trademarked back in the late 1800s for whole-grain foods that were crumbled and baked until crisp. Granola was created in Dansville, New York in 1894.

56 Fingerboard ridge : FRET

A fret is a metal strip embedded in the neck of a stringed instrument, a guitar perhaps. The fingers press on the frets, shortening a string and hence changing the note played. The note increases by one semitone as a finger shortens a string by one fret.

57 Golden Rule word : UNTO

The Golden Rule is also known as the ethic of reciprocity, and is a basis for the concept of human rights. A version of the rule used in the Christian tradition is attributed to Jesus:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

62 Nor. neighbor : SWE

The country of Sweden emerged during the Middle Ages, and became one of the great powers of Europe in the days of the Swedish Empire in the 17th and early 18th century. Since then Sweden’s influence has waned. What was the eastern part of Sweden was lost to Russia in the early 1800s, and is now modern-day Finland. In the 20th century Sweden has adopted a very non-aggressive stance and was neutral in both World Wars. Sweden is not a member of NATO, but is a member of the European Union, although the country does not use the euro as its currency.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Wished, as a farewell : BADE
5 Gently waters using a spray bottle : MISTS
10 Leave flabbergasted : DAZE
14 “The Hurt Locker” setting : IRAQ
15 Natty neckwear : ASCOT
16 “Night Sky With __ Wounds”: poetry collection by Ocean Vuong : EXIT
17 Triple Crown of Surfing locale : OAHU
18 Major mess : SNAFU
19 Pond plant : ALGA
20 Extremely expensive fungi : BLACK TRUFFLES (hiding a change of “TRACK”)
23 __ Cruces, New Mexico : LAS
24 Quaint “Tsk!” : FIE!
25 Dice game : CRAPS
28 PX patrons : GIS
31 Iowa senator Joni : ERNST
35 Injury-prone area for pitchers : ROTATOR CUFF (hiding a change of “COURT”)
38 Raw bar need : ICE
39 Without purpose : IDLY
40 Advisory group : BOARD
41 Vineyard measure : ACRE
42 “Give __ break!” : ME A
43 Novelist known for legal thrillers : JOHN GRISHAM (hiding a change of “RING”)
45 Old West crew : POSSE
47 Mobile network std. : LTE
48 Fitbit units : STEPS
49 Fannie __: mortgage company nickname : MAE
51 “Mr. Blue Sky” gp. : ELO
52 Request from a trial attorney, and a hint to this puzzle’s circles : CHANGE OF VENUE
59 Swerve : VEER
60 Bright light : GLARE
61 Calligrapher’s supplies : INKS
63 Polish prose : EDIT
64 Slow-cooker brand : OSTER
65 Slow-cooker dish : STEW
66 The MTV Generation : XERS
67 Fits (inside) : NESTS
68 Vacuum attachment : HOSE

Down

1 Playbill paragraph : BIO
2 Many a Qatar native : ARAB
3 Arlene of the silver screen : DAHL
4 Workplace compensation concern : EQUAL PAY
5 Snorkeling needs : MASKS
6 “__ it ironic?” : ISN’T
7 Emotional trauma consequence : SCAR
8 Vegan protein : TOFU
9 Fill up, as a pillow : STUFF
10 Casino employee : DEALER
11 Bar in a limo : AXLE
12 Sharp turns : ZIGS
13 Itinerary info : ETA
21 Theatrical ensemble : CAST
22 Feudal domain : FIEF
25 Pinch together : CRIMP
26 “This ain’t my first __” : RODEO
27 Country album? : ATLAS
28 Dave of the Foo Fighters : GROHL
29 “Sorry, no” : I CAN’T
30 Sudden power increase : SURGE
32 Like specialty markets : NICHE
33 Remnant : SCRAP
34 Abounds (with) : TEEMS
36 “Price negotiable,” in ads : OBO
37 New Deal pres. : FDR
41 Really wow : ASTONISH
43 “Bridgerton” actor Regé-__ Page : JEAN
44 17-Across, e.g. : ISLE
46 Hurts a lot : SMARTS
50 Goad : EGG ON
51 Civil rights leader Medgar : EVERS
52 Give up : CEDE
53 Next in line : HEIR
54 Otherwise : ELSE
55 Granola grains : OATS
56 Fingerboard ridge : FRET
57 Golden Rule word : UNTO
58 Squeezes (out) : EKES
59 Annoy : VEX
62 Nor. neighbor : SWE

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 27 Apr 22, Wednesday”

  1. No errors. Sort of got the theme

    Not sure I understand if change of venue is related to a trial lawyer or just a general reference to different venues ?

  2. Did not get the theme, but finished it anyway! Kind of like a Monday!
    I used to do some beautiful calligraphy (61A) back in the day. May have to dig out my pens and brush up! 🥰
    Stay safe! 😊

  3. 7:05

    I’m not good at anagrams, so the theme didn’t help me at all. Then the NE corner threw me for a loop. Once I managed to wrestle that into submission, there was only one empty cell mocking me. I’ve heard of Dave GROHL. I have a phone with LTE. But I still had a brain cramp and had to brute force through the alphabet to find that L.

    Even though rounding the TRACK left me so shaken that I COURTed defeat, I left the RING victorious.

  4. 4:12, no errors.

    A “change of venue” is a request a lawyer makes at a trial where they would request the trial be held at another location. The lawyer might ask for this in cases where they feel the publicity or other factors would make it arguable that a fair trial or hearing might not happen due to the possibility of not getting jurors that are unduly influenced by those factors.

    Yesterday:
    The New York Times and Los Angeles Times are the only two puzzles that typically do not provide titles (or “print the theme at the top”) during weekdays. You can sometimes catch themes through revealers like 52A (“Change of Venue”). Bill has been requested over the years to come up with some kind of witty statement himself and that’s what he does on any puzzles that do not have titles.

    Also, I would hope that no one here feels this is a competition or race or anything like that. Truthfully, I would hope most of us (myself included) are happy to see people trying, and if are anything like myself just comparing with ones self on times.

    1. @Glenn – good to see you back and thanks, as always, for the input.

      I sure as heck don’t post my times to “compete” (as I surely can’t).

      I post them so that others who are approximately at my level and don’t post their times have some means of judging their progress. I’ve been at this for a little less than a year and can (generally) complete Mon – Wed without help and post “reasonable” times (for me) of 6 – 15 minutes, depending on the day. I can get Thu – Fri with maybe 3-4 peeks. Forget Saturday …

      Be Well.

  5. 7:33, no errors. Although I saw the circled squares, the theme didn’t enter into it one bit. As with most, a complete waste of the constructor’s time and effort.

  6. I had to Google twice: GROHL and EXIT. I also had an error – ROTATeR CUFF, thus EBO, not OBO.
    However, the puzzle was very interesting.

    @Glenn – the only thing I would add, would be that a change of venue is hard to get since the D.A. doesn’t want to pay for it. I was once on a jury and told them I knew many of the lawyers and had heard the tapes when my husband played them (and would they please let me go). They finally granted the defense a change of venue, but the D.A. let the defendant go free since a new trail elsewhere would involve much driving, hotels, etc.

  7. No look ups,no errors. One fix on the fly,
    equality/equal pay. Didn’t get the theme
    so it didn’t help. It was too clever for me…

  8. 25 min.
    Xcruciating blank in NE with aXle / eXit, and general confusion in SW with buG / Genx instead of veX / Xers.

  9. Nice, moderately easy Wednesday for me; took 12:56 with no peeks or errors and just a bit of waiting for crosses. Had to change a few entries across the top 3 sections and didn’t really register the theme.

    Big fan of the Foo Fighters and Dave Grohl
    – Live at Wembly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnIwCsQYoEc
    – Interview on NPR https://www.npr.org/2021/12/30/1069113399/dave-grohl

    Sadly they just lost their drummer Taylor Hawkins on tour in Colombia…RIP

  10. Well, I thought I had posted on this puzzle, but apparently not! So, FWIW:

    10:33 – no errors or lookups; a good time for a Wednesday. Revisions of: ASTOUNDS>ASTONISH, XGEN>XERS.

    New items were: JEAN, “Mr Blue Sky,” “Night Sky With EXIT Wounds,” Ocean Vuong,

    I thought “Bar in a limo” was a bit of misdirection; “Car bar” would have worked. It was an okay theme.

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