LA Times Crossword 10 May 22, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Julian Lim
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Can I Get a Witness?

Themed answers each end with a kind of WITNESS:

  • 39A Marvin Gaye classic, and a hint to the last words of the answers to the starred clues : CAN I GET A WITNESS
  • 17A *”In my uninformed opinion … ” : I’M NO EXPERT … (giving “expert witness”)
  • 23A *Challenge to someone suspected of lying : LOOK ME IN THE EYE (giving “eyewitness”)
  • 50A *Become a better person, say : BUILD CHARACTER (giving “character witness”)
  • 62A *Thoroughly refute : PROVE FALSE (giving “false witness”)

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

Bill’s time: 5m 22s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “High Voltage” band : AC/DC

The hard rock band AC/DC recorded two albums titled “High Voltage”. The first was released in 1975, only in their native Australia. The second was released in 1976, but this version of “High Voltage” was marketed internationally. The second album bears little resemblance to the first.

15 Lauder of makeup : ESTEE

Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, and someone with a great reputation as a salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

16 Inkling : IDEA

Our word “inkling” apparently comes from the Middle English word “inclen” meaning “to hint”.

19 Russian dynast : TSAR

The term “czar” (also “tsar”) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time. We tend to use the “czar” spelling, as opposed to “tsar”, when we describe a person today with great power or authority, e.g. “Drug Czar”.

21 Biennial games gp. : IOC

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was founded in 1894, and has its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The first Winter Olympic Games were held in 1924, in Chamonix, France. The Winter and Summer Games were held in the same year until 1992 after which they were staggered, so that we have an Olympic Games every two years.

27 Western defense gp. : OAS

The Organization of American States (OAS) was founded in 1948, and has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. Not all of the independent states in the Americas are members. Cuba was barred from participation in the organization after a vote in 1962. Honduras had her membership suspended after the country’s 2009 coup.

28 “__ queen!”: “Work it!” : YAS

“Yas” is a slang term used in place of the interjection “yes!”, when it expresses pleasure and excitement. The exclamation often takes the form “Yas, queen!”

29 Nowhere to be found : AWOL

MPs (military police officers) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).

33 Member of the fam : SIB

A sibling (sib) is a member of a family (fam).

39 Marvin Gaye classic, and a hint to the last words of the answers to the starred clues : CAN I GET A WITNESS

“Can I Get a Witness” is a 1963 song released by Marvin Gaye. It was written by the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting and record producing team that played such a pivotal role in developing the Motown sound. Gaye heard the song, performed by Eddie Holland, for the first time at the recording studio. Gaye then recorded the song himself, in one take!

43 Long-stemmed mushroom : ENOKI

Enokitake (also known as “enoki”) are long and thin white mushrooms often added to soups or salads.

44 Director Lee : ANG

Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre but not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as “Sense & Sensibility” (my personal favorite), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Hulk”, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi”.

46 Monarch’s reign, e.g. : ERA

A monarchy is a political entity in which an individual ruler functions as head of state. The term “monarchy” comes into English via French from the Greek “monos” meaning “alone” and “arkhein” meaning “to rule”.

48 Cellist’s need : BOW

The word “cello” (plural “celli” or “cellos”) is an abbreviation for “violoncello”, an Italian word for “little violone”, referring to a group of stringed instruments that were popular up to the end of the 17th century. The name violoncello persisted for the instrument that we know today, although the abbreviation “‘cello” was often used. Nowadays, we just drop the apostrophe.

58 __ jockey : DISC

The world’s first radio disc jockey (DJ) was one Ray Newby of Stockton, California who made his debut broadcast in 1909, would you believe? When he was 16 years old and a student, Newby started to play his records on a primitive radio located in the Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless in San Jose. The records played back then were mostly recordings of Enrico Caruso.

67 Black-eyed __ : PEAS

Black-eyed peas (also called “black-eyed beans”) are a type of cowpea. Black-eyed peas are especially popular in soul food and other southern cuisine.

68 Celebrity chef Burrell : ANNE

Anne Burrell is co-host of the show “Worst Cooks in America” that airs on the Food Network. Here’s a Burrell quote:

I always use my “Holy Trinity” which is salt, olive oil and bacon. My motto is, ‘”bacon always makes it better”. I try to use bacon and pork products whenever it can.

69 Twilled fabric : SERGE

Serge is a type of twill fabric with diagonal ridges on both sides. The name “serge” comes from the Greek word for “silken”.

70 Eyelid bump : STYE

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

Down

2 Typical Stan Lee role : CAMEO

Even in my day, a cameo role was more than just a short appearance in a movie (or other artistic piece). For the appearance to be a cameo, the actor had to play himself or herself, and was instantly recognizable. With this meaning it’s easy to see the etymology of the term, as a cameo brooch is one with the recognizable carving of the silhouette of a person. Nowadays, a cameo is any minor role played by a celebrity or famous actor, regardless of the character played.

Stan Lee did just about everything at Marvel Comics over the years, from writing to being president and chairman of the board. If you like superhero movies based on the characters from Marvel Comics, then you could spend a few hours trying to spot Stan Lee in those films as he had a penchant for making cameo appearances. Lee can be spotted in “X-Men” (2000), “Spider-Man” (2002), “Hulk” (2003), “Fantastic Four” (2005), “Iron Man” (2008) and many other films.

3 Wild dog of Australia : DINGO

The dingo is a wild dog of Australia. It is thought to have originated from domesticated dogs that were brought to Australia with humans that settled the land centuries ago.

4 Dagger’s partner : CLOAK

A situation described as cloak-and-dagger involves secrecy, mystery and intrigue. The phrase “cloak-and-dagger” came into English in the early 1800s, and is a translation of the French “de cape et d’épée” (of cloak and sword) in which language it has the same metaphorical meaning.

5 Supervillain Luthor : LEX

Lex Luthor is the nemesis of Superman in comics. Luthor has been portrayed in a number of guises in the comic world as well in movies and on the small screen. For example, he appeared as Atom Man in the 1950 film series “Atom Man vs. Superman”, and was played by actor Lyle Talbot, opposite Kirk Alyn’s Superman.

6 Second sight, for short : ESP

The so-called sixth sense is extrasensory perception (ESP). It is also referred to as second sight.

8 1990s presidential candidate : PEROT

Ross Perot graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1953, as president of his class. Perot served his 4-year commitment but then resigned his commission, apparently having become somewhat disillusioned with the navy. He was ranked number 101 on the Forbes 400 List of Richest Americans in 2012, and at that time was worth about $3.5 billion. Back in 1992, Perot ran as an independent candidate for US president. He founded the Reform Party in 1995, and ran as the Reform Party candidate for president in 1996.

9 Easy to set off : TETCHY

Someone described as “tetchy” is easily irritated. I seem to hear that word a lot …

10 “Grease,” for one : TITLE SONG

Most people know that the title song for the 1978 musical film was performed by Frankie Valli. Fewer know that “Grease” was written by Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees. Gibb wrote “Grease” for the film, and it does not feature in the original stage musical.

12 “Reading in the Dark” Booker Prize nominee Seamus : DEANE

Seamus Deane was a poet and novelist from Ireland who is best known for “Reading in the Dark”, his debut novel.

18 Baby-voiced red Muppet : ELMO

The “Sesame Street” character named Elmo has a birthday every February 3rd, and on that birthday he always turns 3½ years old. The man behind/under Elmo on “Sesame Street” for many years was Kevin Clash. If you want to learn more about Elmo and Clash, you can watch the 2011 documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”.

29 Elastic bandage brand : ACE

ACE is a brand of elastic bandage that is often used as a compression wrap.

31 Artist Yoko : ONO

Yoko Ono is an avant-garde artist. She actually met her future husband John Lennon for the first time while she was preparing her conceptual art exhibit called “Hammer a Nail”. Visitors were encouraged to hammer in a nail into a wooden board, creating the artwork. Lennon wanted to hammer in the first nail, but Ono stopped him as the exhibition had not yet opened. Apparently Ono relented when Lennon paid her an imaginary five shillings to hammer an imaginary nail into the wood.

36 Part of wpm : PER

Words per minute (WPM)

37 Can. neighbor : USA

The US-Canada border is the longest international border in the world. The total length is 5,525 miles. Canada’s border with the lower 48 states is 3,987 miles long, and the border with Alaska extends 1,538 miles.

41 Elena Delle Donne’s org. : WNBA

Elena Delle Donne is a professional basketball player who was the second pick in the 2013 WNBA draft, and was drafted by the Chicago Sky. She was the first WNBA player to join the 50-40-90 club, an informal statistic used to rate shooters. The requirement is to achieve a 50% field goal percentage, a 40% three-point field goal percentage, and a 90% free throw percentage.

42 Aviation pioneer Sikorsky : IGOR

Igor Sikorsky was a Russian pioneer in the world of aviation. He designed, and indeed piloted, the world’s first multi-engine, fixed-wing aircraft in 1913. He moved to the US in 1919 and set up his own aircraft manufacturing business. In the thirties he made the magnificent flying boats that were used by Pan Am in their Clipper era. Sikorsky also developed the world’s first mass-produced helicopter, in 1942.

49 Forsaken child : WAIF

A waif is a street urchin, or perhaps a stray animal.

50 American buffalo : BISON

There are two species of bison left (four species are extinct). We are most familiar with the American bison (commonly called the American buffalo), but there is also a European bison, which is sometimes called a “wisent”.

52 Spy-fi great John le __ : CARRE

“John le Carré” is the pen name of David Cornwell, an English author who is famous for his spy novels. Cornwell worked for British Intelligence during the fifties and sixties, even as he was writing his spy thrillers. He left MI6 soon after his most famous 1963 novel “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold”, became such a great success.

53 Go time, in military slang : H-HOUR

The most famous D-Day in history was June 6, 1944, the date of the Normandy landings in WWII. The term “D-Day” is used by the military to designate the day on which a combat operation is to be launched, especially when the actual date has yet to be determined. What D stands for seems to have been lost in the mists of time although the tradition is that D just stands for “Day”. In fact, the French have a similar term, “Jour J” (Day J), with a similar meaning. We also use H-Hour to denote the hour the attack is to commence.

56 Op-ed piece, e.g. : ESSAY

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

57 Witherspoon of “Wild” : REESE

“Reese” is not actually actress Witherspoon’s given name. She started out life as Laura Jeanne Witherspoon. “Reese” is her mother’s maiden name.

Author Cheryl Strayed has written several successful books, most notably her 2012 memoir “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail”. “Wild” was adapted into a 2014 film starring Reese Witherspoon as Strayed. I haven’t seen the film yet, but my wife has and really enjoyed it …

63 Act like a couch potato, with “out” : VEG …

Apparently, the phrase “couch potato” was coined in 1976 by one Tom Iacino of Pasadena. Iacino had a friend named Bob Armstrong who eschewed an active life and preferred to lie back on the couch watching TV, the “boob tube”. This lazy guy did have the energy to send out a newsletter called “The Tuber’s Voice”, with Armstrong being the “tuber”, the one watching the “tube”. Iacino then referred to Armstrong as the “couch potato”, the tuber lying on the couch.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “High Voltage” band : AC/DC
5 Sprang : LEAPT
10 Neaten (up) : TIDY
14 Cry out loud : WAIL
15 Lauder of makeup : ESTEE
16 Inkling : IDEA
17 *”In my uninformed opinion … ” : I’M NO EXPERT … (giving “expert witness”)
19 Russian dynast : TSAR
20 Not prohibited : LEGAL
21 Biennial games gp. : IOC
22 Word with fall or fill : LAND-
23 *Challenge to someone suspected of lying : LOOK ME IN THE EYE (giving “eyewitness”)
27 Western defense gp. : OAS
28 “__ queen!”: “Work it!” : YAS
29 Nowhere to be found : AWOL
33 Member of the fam : SIB
35 Absorb with bread, as gravy : SOP UP
39 Marvin Gaye classic, and a hint to the last words of the answers to the starred clues : CAN I GET A WITNESS
43 Long-stemmed mushroom : ENOKI
44 Director Lee : ANG
45 Like gloomy skies : GRAY
46 Monarch’s reign, e.g. : ERA
48 Cellist’s need : BOW
50 *Become a better person, say : BUILD CHARACTER (giving “character witness”)
58 __ jockey : DISC
59 Satisfied sigh : AAH!
60 “You win” : I LOSE
61 On the ocean : ASEA
62 *Thoroughly refute : PROVE FALSE (giving “false witness”)
65 Entry point : DOOR
66 More loyal : TRUER
67 Black-eyed __ : PEAS
68 Celebrity chef Burrell : ANNE
69 Twilled fabric : SERGE
70 Eyelid bump : STYE

Down

1 “Where there’s __ … ” : A WILL
2 Typical Stan Lee role : CAMEO
3 Wild dog of Australia : DINGO
4 Dagger’s partner : CLOAK
5 Supervillain Luthor : LEX
6 Second sight, for short : ESP
7 Dined at home : ATE IN
8 1990s presidential candidate : PEROT
9 Easy to set off : TETCHY
10 “Grease,” for one : TITLE SONG
11 “My take is … ” : I’D SAY …
12 “Reading in the Dark” Booker Prize nominee Seamus : DEANE
13 Three feet : YARD
18 Baby-voiced red Muppet : ELMO
24 Lack of difficulty : EASE
25 “__ just me … ?” : IS IT
26 Sunup direction : EAST
29 Elastic bandage brand : ACE
30 Looking sickly : WAN
31 Artist Yoko : ONO
32 “Whatever!” : LIKE I CARE!
34 Barnyard bleat : BAA!
36 Part of wpm : PER
37 Can. neighbor : USA
38 Future analyst’s maj. : PSY
40 Lass : GIRL
41 Elena Delle Donne’s org. : WNBA
42 Aviation pioneer Sikorsky : IGOR
47 Moves with the times : ADAPTS
49 Forsaken child : WAIF
50 American buffalo : BISON
51 Apply to : USE ON
52 Spy-fi great John le __ : CARRE
53 Go time, in military slang : H-HOUR
54 Applauds : CLAPS
55 Apartment window sign : TO LET
56 Op-ed piece, e.g. : ESSAY
57 Witherspoon of “Wild” : REESE
58 Tot’s first word, maybe : DADA
63 Act like a couch potato, with “out” : VEG …
64 Poetic “before” : ERE

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 10 May 22, Tuesday”

  1. No errors, no lookups. I never heard the expresssion “yas queen” but
    I’ll take their word for it.

  2. Agree with Anon Mike. Never heard of YAS or TETCHY. Seem very very very rare words!!
    Enjoy your day! 😊

  3. I would agree that you will hear the word “testy “ lot but tetchy is really old school.Fun puzzle can close to beating Bill again I’m coming for you Bill!!!!

  4. No errors or Googles, but like many – the Natick YAS crosses TETCHY? I guess TETCHY means touchy.
    Did not actually know ANNE or DEANE.

  5. 6 mins 20 sec, no errors. Nice Tuesday grid, and another unfamiliar by-line. I hope we’re building a nice foundation for the future, with good, guile-free, unpretentious grids.

  6. 3:51

    The theme went right by me, leaving Marvin Gaye playing on the brain radio.

    Lots of good things in this one. I just bought a packet of ENOKI mushrooms today. Black eye PEAS are delicious. ANNE Burrell cooking is fun to watch, perhaps because there’s something a little wacky about her.

    AAH!

  7. 8:37 – no errors, lookups, or revisions. Easy theme which was not needed to help solve the puzzle.

    Agree with others regarding TETCHY and YAS. I’ve used “jest a tetch” before, but not heard of “tetchy.” Touchy or testy are okay. I have no idea where “yas queen” comes from.

  8. Mostly easy Tuesday for me; took 9:28 with no peeks or errors, beating my time from yesterday. Didn’t know DEANE or YAS and had to change AWay to AWOL. Definitely heard TETCHY before, and according to Google, after falling in disuse around 1900, it is making a strong comeback.

    Highly recommend “Wild” with Reese.

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