LA Times Crossword 11 May 22, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Robin Stears
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): A quip about mail, etc.

Themed answers give us a quip about CLIMATE CHANGE:

  • 17A First part of a quip about climate change : A MIND-CONTROLLED …
  • 27A Second part of the quip : … AIR DEODORIZER …
  • 45A Third part of the quip : … MAKES SCENTS IF …
  • 60A Last part of the quip : … YOU THINK ABOUT IT

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

Bill’s time: 8m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 City of ancient Greece : CORINTH

Ancient Corinth was a city-state in Greece located on the Isthmus of Corinth, which is the narrow strip of land joining the Peloponnesus to the Greek mainland. Corinth is mentioned several times in the Christian New Testament as it was visited several times by Saint Paul. Paul wrote two epistles to the Christian community of Corinth that are included in the Christian New Testament as the First and Second Epistles to the Corinthians.

16 Steelmaking raw material : IRON ORE

Iron ore comes in a number of different forms, like magnetite (the most magnetic of all minerals) and hematite (the most commonly exploited iron ore).

Steel is an alloy that is composed mainly of iron, with a small percentage of carbon.

21 Streaming delay : LAG

In Internet terms, lag is a delay in response caused by network latency. We might notice lag when streaming a video, for example.

24 Cornish game __ : HEN

The Cornish game hen is a broiler chicken, and not a game bird. And, despite the designation “hen”, a Cornish game hen can be either male or female.

32 “This Is Just My Face: __ Not to Stare”: memoir by Gabourey Sidibe : TRY

Actress Gabourey Sidibe first came to public attention when she made her acting debut in the 2009 drama movie “Precious”. That first performance earned her that season’s Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead. Sidibe published a memoir “This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare” in 2017.

35 2020 N.L. MVP Freddie : FREEMAN

First baseman Freddie Freeman made his MLB debut in 2010, playing for the Atlanta Braves. He played 12 seasons with the Braves before signing on with the LA Dodgers in 2022.

38 Beverage similar to hard seltzer : ALCOPOP

Alcopops are flavored alcoholic drinks, with the term being a portmanteau of “alcohol” and “pop”. Examples are Smirnoff Ice, Bacardi Breezer, and Jack Daniel’s Hard Cola.

42 Short lunch? : BLT

The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

43 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.

49 Time for action : D-DAY

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.

51 With 58-Down, 2018 Best New Artist Grammy winner : DUA …
58D See 51-Across : … LIPA

Dua Lipa is a singer-songwriter and fashion model from England. She was born in London to Albanian parents, and considers her native language to be Albanian. She also speaks English with a British accent.

52 Land north of Den. : NOR

Norway has been ranked as the country in the world with the highest standard of living almost every year since 2001. It is rich in natural resources and has a relatively low population. The people benefit from a comprehensive social security system, subsidized higher education for all citizens and universal health care. And Norway is famous for her success at the Winter Olympic Games, having won more gold medals than any other nation in the world.

54 __ and cheese : MAC

Thomas Jefferson’s name is associated with the dish we know today as “mac ‘n’ cheese”. The future president discovered baked macaroni with Parmesan cheese while in Paris and in northern Italy. He started serving the dish to guests in the US, and even had a machine imported to make the macaroni locally. Whether or not Jefferson was the first to bring mac ‘n’ cheese to America isn’t entirely clear, but it has been popular ever since.

65 Neither here nor there : EN ROUTE

“En route” is a French term that means “on the way”.

66 Flute played by Zamfir : PANPIPE

Pan flutes (also “panpipes”) are folk instruments that have been around a long time, and are believed to be the first mouth organs. The pan flute is named for the Greek god Pan, who was often depicted playing the instrument.

Gheorghe Zamfir is a pan flute musician from Romania. Known as “The Master of the Pan Flute”, his playing can be heard on several famous film soundtracks, including “Picnic at Hanging Rock” (1975), “Once Upon a Time in America” (1984) and “The Karate Kid” (9184).

Down

1 PC virus check : SCAN

A computer virus has characteristics very similar to a virus found in nature. It is a small computer program that can copy itself and can infect another host (computer).

2 Hefty book : TOME

“Tome” first came into English from the Latin “tomus” which means “section of a book”. The original usage in English was for a single volume in a multi-volume work. By the late 16th century, “tome” had come to mean “large book”.

6 “The rest is obvious” abbr. : ETC

The Latin phrase “et cetera” translates as “and other things”. The term is usually abbreviated to “etc.”

9 “To __ is human … ” : ERR

According to the Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger, “Errare humanum est, perseverare autem diabolicum”. This translates literally as “To err is human, to persist (in committing such errors) is of the devil”.

10 British lav : LOO

Our word “lavatory” (sometimes “lav”) originally referred to a washbasin, and comes from the Latin “lavatorium”, a place for washing. In the 1600s, “lavatory” came to mean a washroom, and in the 1920s a toilet.

11 Picture that shows more detail: Abbr. : ENL

Enlargement (enl.)

14 Swamp plant : SEDGE

Sedges are a family of plants that resemble grasses and rushes. Sedges are more properly called Cyperaceae.

23 Was philanthropic : DONATED

Philanthropy is a concern for human welfare, and the act of donating to persons or groups who support such concerns. The term “philanthropy” derives from the Greek “phil-” meaning “loving”, and “anthropos” meaning “mankind”.

25 Leslie of “The Naked Gun” films : NIELSEN

Leslie Nielsen was a Canadian actor, one famous for playing the zany Sergeant Frank Drebin in “The Naked Gun”. Nielsen’s big break in films came in the innovative comedy “Airplane!”

“The Naked Gun” is a series of films from the late eighties and early nineties that is based on the TV crime comedy series “Police Squad!” that aired in 1982. The movies turned out to be more popular than the TV show, which only ran for six episodes. Leslie Nielson plays the lead character, Detective Frank Drebin, in both the TV show and the movies. The three movies are:

  1. “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!” (1988)
  2. “The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear” (1991)
  3. “Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult” (1994)

26 Long lunch? : HERO

A hero is a submarine sandwich. The hero originated in New York City in the 1800s among Italian immigrants who wanted an Italian sandwich that reminded them of home. The name “hero” was coined in the 1930s, supposedly by a food critic in the “New York Herald Tribune” when he wrote that “one had to be a hero” to finish the gigantic sandwich. Hero is a prevalent term to this day in New York City, reserved for a submarine sandwich with an Italian flavor.

27 DOJ branch : ATF

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today is part of the Department of Justice (DOJ). The ATF has its roots in the Department of Treasury dating back to 1886 when it was known as the Bureau of Prohibition. “Explosives” was added to the ATF’s name when the bureau was moved under the Department of Justice (DOJ) as part of the reorganization called for in the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

28 Sale rack abbr. : IRR

Irregular (“irr.” or “irreg.”)

29 Pumpernickel grain : RYE

The lovely bread known as pumpernickel is made with a recipe that originates in the Westphalia region of Germany. The version of the bread that we eat in North America has been adapted over the years from the original recipe, largely to produce a cheaper product. If you taste the European version beside the American version, it’s hard to believe they have the same origins.

31 Actor Efron who voices Fred in “Scoob!” : ZAC

Zac Efron is an actor from San Luis Obispo, California. Apparently, Efron is a heartthrob to “tweenyboppers”. His big break came with the hit Disney movie “High School Musical”.

“Scoob!” is a 2020 animated comedy movie that is part of the “Scooby-Doo” franchise. The title character is voiced by voice actor Frank Welker, who is best known for voicing Scooby-Doo’s companion Fred Jones in the original animated TV series. In “Scoob!”, Fred Jones is voiced by actor Zac Efron.

36 Site to do one’s bidding : EBAY

eBay is an auction site with a twist. If you don’t want to enter into an auction to purchase an item, there’s a “Buy It Now” price. Agree to pay it, and the item is yours!

37 “Letter From Birmingham Jail” initials : MLK

The “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is a 1963 open letter penned by Martin Luther King, Jr. defending nonviolent resistance to racism. King wrote the letter in several pieces, using the margins of newspapers as this was the only paper available to him while in jail.

38 __ de Triomphe : ARC

L’Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile in Paris was built to honor those who fought for France, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. It is the second largest triumphal arch in the world, after the Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang, North Korea. If you are visiting Paris, don’t just take a picture of the arch, be sure to go inside and see the marvelous chambers and carvings, and wander around on top of the arch so that you can enjoy the magnificent view.

39 TV network with pledge drives : PBS

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) was founded in 1970, and is my favorite of the broadcast networks. I love PBS’s drama and science shows in particular, and always watch election results coming in with the NewsHour team.

40 “Certainement!” : OUI!

In French, “oui” (yes) might be stated more emphatically as “certainement!” (certainly!).

41 Adobe file format : PDF

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format introduced by Adobe Systems in 1993. PDF documents can be shared between users and read using many different applications and platforms, making them more universally accessible than documents saved by one particular program.

43 “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing” singer Chris : ISAAK

Chris Isaak is not only a rock musician, but also has had a lot of acting parts. Isaak had small roles in movies like “Married to the Mob” and “The Silence of the Lambs”, but I remember him as astronaut Ed White in the fabulous HBO miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon”.

“Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing” is a 1995 song by Chris Isaak. The song’s lyrics can definitely be described as erotic and sensual, as is the accompanying music video featuring Isaak and model Laetitia Casta. “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing” was used in the soundtrack for the 1999 erotic mystery film “Eyes Wide Shut” starring Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise.

46 Sting’s real last name : SUMNER

“Sting” is the stage name used by Gordon Sumner, who came to fame initially as the lead singer for the Police. Off stage, Sting is an avid chess player, and he once participated in an exhibition game with chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov.

48 Group of traveling performers : TROUPE

“Troupe” is a French word meaning “company, band”.

50 Lorna of literature : DOONE

The novel “Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor” was written by Richard Doddridge Blackmore. R. D. Blackmore was an English novelist, very celebrated and in demand in his day (the late 1800s). His romantic story “Lorna Doone” was by no means a personal favorite of his, and yet it is the only one of his works still in print.

59 Pedometer unit : STEP

A pedometer is an instrument worn by a runner or walker that measures the number of steps taken. The name of the device comes from “pes”, the Latin for “foot”.

61 Heavy weight : TON

Here in the US, a ton is equivalent to 2,000 pounds. In the UK, a ton is 2,240 pounds. The UK unit is sometimes referred to as an Imperial ton, long ton or gross ton. Folks over there refer to the US ton then as a short ton. To further complicate matters, there is also a metric ton or tonne, which is equivalent to 2,204 pounds. Personally, I wish we’d just stick to kilograms …

63 Mineral suffix : -ITE

Physically speaking, a mineral differs from a rock in that the former has one chemical composition and the later is an aggregate of several minerals. The study of minerals is known as mineralogy.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Works in a park, perhaps : STATUES
8 Chooses : SELECTS
15 City of ancient Greece : CORINTH
16 Steelmaking raw material : IRON ORE
17 First part of a quip about climate change : A MIND-CONTROLLED …
19 “Cool beans!” : NEATO!
20 Cookware purchase : POT
21 Streaming delay : LAG
22 Finale : END
24 Cornish game __ : HEN
26 Abhor : HATE
27 Second part of the quip : … AIR DEODORIZER …
32 “This Is Just My Face: __ Not to Stare”: memoir by Gabourey Sidibe : TRY
33 Green, in a way : NEW
34 Hearing organ : EAR
35 2020 N.L. MVP Freddie : FREEMAN
38 Beverage similar to hard seltzer : ALCOPOP
42 Short lunch? : BLT
43 Form 1099 agcy. : IRS
44 Future flower : BUD
45 Third part of the quip : … MAKES SCENTS IF …
49 Time for action : D-DAY
51 With 58-Down, 2018 Best New Artist Grammy winner : DUA …
52 Land north of Den. : NOR
53 Decompose : ROT
54 __ and cheese : MAC
56 Works very hard : TOILS
60 Last part of the quip : … YOU THINK ABOUT IT
65 Neither here nor there : EN ROUTE
66 Flute played by Zamfir : PANPIPE
67 Confirm, as a password : REENTER
68 Syrup source : TREE SAP

Down

1 PC virus check : SCAN
2 Hefty book : TOME
3 Opera solo : ARIA
4 Like some windows : TINTED
5 Brought to ruin : UNDONE
6 “The rest is obvious” abbr. : ETC
7 Factory : SHOP
8 Minor minder : SITTER
9 “To __ is human … ” : ERR
10 British lav : LOO
11 Picture that shows more detail: Abbr. : ENL
12 Tall decorative addition around some cakes : COLLAR
13 Spring for lunch : TREAT
14 Swamp plant : SEDGE
18 “Ain’t gonna happen” : NOHOW
23 Was philanthropic : DONATED
25 Leslie of “The Naked Gun” films : NIELSEN
26 Long lunch? : HERO
27 DOJ branch : ATF
28 Sale rack abbr. : IRR
29 Pumpernickel grain : RYE
30 Animal house : DEN
31 Actor Efron who voices Fred in “Scoob!” : ZAC
36 Site to do one’s bidding : EBAY
37 “Letter From Birmingham Jail” initials : MLK
38 __ de Triomphe : ARC
39 TV network with pledge drives : PBS
40 “Certainement!” : OUI!
41 Adobe file format : PDF
43 “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing” singer Chris : ISAAK
45 Grown-up : MATURE
46 Sting’s real last name : SUMNER
47 Zip, nada, zilch : NOT ONE
48 Group of traveling performers : TROUPE
49 Appliance that seems to eat socks : DRYER
50 Lorna of literature : DOONE
55 Ship leader: Abbr. : CAPT
57 “For sure!” : IT IS!
58 See 51-Across : … LIPA
59 Pedometer unit : STEP
61 Heavy weight : TON
62 Shack : HUT
63 Mineral suffix : -ITE
64 Watering hole : BAR

23 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 11 May 22, Wednesday”

  1. 4:41, no errors.

    @Allen (yesterday)
    Most of these constructors should be very familiar, if not from the old regime, from Shortz’s merry band of tricksters.

    1. I don’t remember them from the time when I would do the Times puzzle daily. I got sick of the shenannigans and migrated to this grid.

      Hopefully, these “tricksters” will not return to form. So far, so good.

      1. I’m sure some of what you notice is Varol’s background versus Norris as I described a couple of months ago coming out in the editing. But most of these constructors have indeed shown up here like Julian Lim (last time before yesterday: 04/06/2022).

        But mainly just pointing out that very few of these constructors are unknown qualities including Iverson, who IMO turned out the worst puzzle in the last year over in NYT land, and Varol herself.

  2. Messed up on ZAC EFRON. thought it was ZAK. Never heard of ALCOPOP and I had ALKOPOP like a derivative of ALKASELTZER (plop plop fizz fizz oh what a relief it is). Didn’t realize It was an alcoholic beverage.

  3. Never EVER have I heard “Alcopop” used by anyone! A made-up word to fit the puzzle in my opinion.
    Going to watch my Yankees play the Blue Jays today! ⚾️
    Enjoy your day! 😊

  4. 11:59 – no errors or lookups. Revisions: SERGE>SEDGE, PEN>DEN, PUB>BAR.

    New items: Freddie FREEMAN, “Gabourey Sidibe, ALCOPOP, “Zamfir,” Sting as SUMNER. Didn’t know that cakes could have collars.

    Kind of a silly quip, but quite a lot to work into a puzzle.

  5. No errors but a lot of “never heard of” clues👎
    The Orioles have won 5 of their last 6…WOW⚾️
    Stay safe😀

  6. It is my contention this puzzle was designed around the challenge of using “LIPA DUA” (or is it “DUA LIPA”) as one or two answers, and everything grew from there 😉

  7. 7:21

    I’m thinking about that “quip” but I don’t smell anything but the tea I just brewed.

  8. Can someone explain the “climate change quips” which dominate this puzzle? I completed the puzzle, but was mystified and frustrated by this sequence.

    1. Agreed. What does an “air deodorizer” have to do with climate change? Also didn’t appreciate the Naticks at 51A/43D and 51A/46D. And when will ecologically illiterate constructors learn the difference between swamps and marshes?

  9. Mildly difficult Wednesday for me; took 17:36 with no peeks or errors. Had to dance around a bit, waiting for crosses and making a guess here and there. Got DUA LIPA right away but didn’t actually know SUMNER and mentally blocked FREEMAN (since he plays for the arch enemy.) Theme was no help at all and doesn’t really make any sense to me.

    At least the Giants swept Nonny’s team three games straight. On to Saint Loueee…

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