LA Times Crossword 12 May 22, Thursday

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Constructed by: Lynn Lempel
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Runaround

Themed answers each include a synonym of “RUN” AROUND the answer, divided between the start and finish:

  • 59A Evasive maneuvering, and what can literally be found in the answers to the starred clues : RUNAROUND
  • 17A *Native American ritual : RAIN DANCE (“RA-CE” around)
  • 25A *Cut from the short loin : STRIP STEAK (“STR-EAK” around)
  • 36A *Finish loads of work? : DO THE WASH (“D-ASH” around)
  • 50A *Rust-Oleum product : SPRAY PAINT (“SPR-INT around”)

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

Bill’s time: 5m 57s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4 Infatuate : BESOT

Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s. The derivative term “besotted” means “muddled with drunkenness”, or more figuratively “infatuated”.

14 “To say they __ I dare not be so bold”: Shakespeare : ERR

William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 131” is one of a series of sonnets addressed to the “Dark Lady”. No one seems to know for sure the identity of the mysterious woman. However, there seems to be agreement that she was of Mediterranean or African descent, based on the descriptions provided in Shakespeare’s poems.

15 Notable time period : EPOCH

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

19 Bit part : 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.

A “walk-on role” in a performance is one in which the actor makes an appearance on stage or on set, but has no dialog. One line of dialog elevates the role to a “bit part”.

21 Most populous NATO country : USA

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded not long after WWII in 1949 and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The first NATO Secretary General was Lord Ismay, Winston Churchill’s chief military assistant during WWII. Famously, Lord Ismay said the goal of NATO was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”

29 Light baked dish : SOUFFLE

A soufflé is a French dish that is usually served as a dessert. The verb “souffler” means “to blow, blow up”.

32 Econ. measure : GNP

A country’s Gross National Product (GNP) is the value of all services and products produced by its residents in a particular year. GNP includes all production wherever it is in the world, as long as the business is owned by residents of the country concerned. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is different, although related, and is the value of all services and goods produced within the borders of the country for that year.

33 Peignoir trim : LACE

A peignoir is a loose-fitting dressing gown worn by a woman. The term “peignoir” comes from “peigner”, the French for “to comb the hair”. The idea was that a peignoir was worn by a lady while she was combing her hair before retiring.

39 W/o delay : ASAP

Without (w/o)

50 *Rust-Oleum product : SPRAY PAINT (“SPR-INT” around)

Rust-Oleum is a manufacturer of protective coatings and paints. The company was founded by a sea captain named Robert Ferguson in 1921. He noticed that the surface of metal decks were protected from rusting in places where fish oil had been spilled. As a result, some of his first products incorporated whale oil. Today’s Rust-Oleum products use synthetic resins to provide similar protection.

53 Cleveland NBAer : CAV

The Cavaliers are a professional basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavs joined the NBA as an expansion team in 1970.

54 Org. that accepts returns : IRS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was set up during the Civil War to raise money to cover war expenses. Prior to the introduction of income tax in 1862, the government was funded by levies on trade and property.

55 Opera set in Egypt that debuted in Cairo : AIDA

“Aida” is a celebrated opera by Giuseppe Verdi that is based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette. Mariette also designed the costumes and stages for the opening performance. The opera was first staged in 1871 in an opera house in Cairo. In the storyline, Aida is an Ethiopian princess brought into Egypt as a slave. Radamès is an Egyptian commander who falls in love with her, and then complications arise!

64 Laura Linney Netflix series : OZARK

“Ozark” is an excellent TV crime show starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney as a married couple who relocate from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks. The couple fall foul of a Mexican drug lord after a money laundering scheme goes awry. The show is set at a lake resort in the Ozarks, although filming actually takes place at lakes in the Atlanta area in order to take advantage of tax breaks offered by the State of Georgia.

The wonderfully talented actress Laura Linney is a native New Yorker from Manhattan. The performances of hers that I most admire are in “The Truman Show” and “Love Actually” on the big screen, and in “John Adams” and “Ozark” on the small screen.

67 Old TV parts : TUBES

Scottish inventor John Logie Baird is credited as the inventor of the television. Baird’s invention is classified as a “mechanical” television because it used a mechanical device to scan the scene and generate the video signal. Modern televisions use “electronic” scanning technology. A mechanical scanning device might be a rotating disc or mirror, whereas an electronic scanning device might be a cathode ray tube.

Down

5 AQI monitor : EPA

The air quality index (AQI) is monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

6 Sir Carter, to Beyoncé : SON

Jay-Z, as well as being a successful and very rich rap artist, is married to singer Beyoncé. Jay-Z was born Shawn Corey Carter in Brooklyn, New York. As Carter was growing up, he was nicknamed “Jazzy”, a reference to his interest in music. “Jazzy” evolved into the stage name “Jay-Z”. Jay-Z and Beyoncé have a daughter named Blue Ivy Carter, and twins named Rumi and Sir Carter.

9 Net-neutrality regulatory org. : FCC

The principle of Net neutrality holds that those entities managing the Internet should treat all data passing through equally. The term “Net neutrality” was coined in 2003 by Tim Wu, a media law professor at Columbia University.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been around since 1934, when it replaced the Federal Radio Commission.

12 “Promising Young Woman” writer/director Fennell : EMERALD

“Promising Young Woman” is a 2020 thriller movie starring Carey Mulligan as a traumatized woman who is bent on inflicting revenge on predatory men. The film was written, co-produced and directed by English actress, producer and writer Emerald Fennell, who won that season’s Best Original Screenplay Oscar. Carey Mulligan was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar, but lost out to Jessica Chastain and her performance in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”.

18 Innocent : NAIF

A naïf is someone who is naive, as “naïf” is the French word for “naive”.

24 Sprinkle that adds umami, for short : MSG

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of a naturally-occurring,non-essential amino acid called glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. I say that something produced in a test tube shouldn’t be in our food …

Umami is one of the five basic tastes, along with sweet, sour, bitter and salty. “Umami” is a Japanese word used to describe “a pleasant savory taste”. Umami was proposed as a basic taste in 1908, but it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that the scientific community finally accepted it as such.

25 Louver part : SLAT

A louver (also “louvre”) is a window cover with horizontal slats that can be angled to admit air and light, and at the same time provide shade from direct light and protection from rain.

27 Makes soaking wet : SOUSES

The verb “to souse” dates back to the 14th century and means “to pickle, steep in vinegar”. In the early 1600s, the usage was applied to someone pickled in booze, a drunkard.

28 Derriere : TUSH

“Tush”, a word meaning “backside”, is an abbreviation of “tochus” that comes from the Yiddish “tokhes”.

“Derrière” is a French term meaning “back part, rear”.

30 Potter character : FLOPSY

Beatrix Potter was an English author famous for the children’s books she wrote and illustrated. The most famous character in her stories was Peter Rabbit, whose sisters were Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail. Potter put her talent as an artist to good use in the scientific world as well. She recorded many images of lichens and fungi as seen through her microscope. As a result of her work, she was respected as an expert mycologist.

36 Gillian’s role on “The X-Files” : DANA

“The X-Files” is a very successful science fiction show that originally aired on the Fox network from 1993 to 2002. The stars of the show are David Duchovny (playing Fox Mulder) and the very talented Gillian Anderson (playing Dana Scully). By the time the series ended, “The X-Files” was the longest running sci-fi show in US broadcast history. An “X-Files” reboot started airing in 2016 with Duchovny and Anderson reprising their starring roles.

The marvelous actress Gillian Anderson came to prominence playing FBI agent Dana Scully on TV’s “The X-Files” alongside David Duchovny. Anderson was born in Chicago, but grew up in London in the UK. After spending most of her adult life in the US, Anderson now lives in London.

38 Provide job support? : ABET

The word “abet” comes into English from the Old French “abeter” meaning “to bait” or “to harass with dogs” (literally “to make bite”). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of “abet” meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

43 Donald Glover series set in the South : ATLANTA

Actor and singer Donald Glover also uses the stage name “Childish Gambino”. He perhaps came to the public’s attention when created and took on the starring role in the comedy-drama TV series “Atlanta” in 2016.

“Atlanta” is a comedy-drama television show that was created by and stars Donald Glover. Glover plays a Princeton dropout named “Earn” who returns penniless to his native Atlanta. Brian Tyree Henry plays an up-and-coming rap artist named “Paper Boi”, and Earn’s cousin. Earn makes efforts to reconnect with Paper Boi, and hilarity ensues …

44 L.A. winter hrs. : PST

Pacific Standard Time (PST)

45 Awards for Hunt and Hunter : OSCARS

Helen Hunt is a very talented actress who first came to national attention playing opposite Paul Reiser in TV’s hit sitcom “Mad About You”. Hunt then starred in some major films including “As Good as It Gets” (for which she won the Best Actress Oscar), “Twister”, “Cast Away”, “What Women Want” and more recently “The Sessions”. Offscreen, Hunt was married for a while to Hank Azaria, a favorite actor of mine.

Holly Hunter won her Best Actress Oscar for her performance in the 1993 film “The Piano”. Hunter is quite the pianist, and played all her piano pieces in the film herself.

46 Global news agcy. : UPI

Founded in 1958, United Press International (UPI) used to be one of the biggest news agencies in the world, sending out news by wire to the major newspapers. UPI ran into trouble with the change in media formats at the end of the twentieth century and lost many of its clients as the afternoon newspapers shut down due to the advent of television news. UPI, which once employed thousands, still exists today but with just a fraction of that workforce.

47 Polly-syllabic pet? : PARROT

Scientists tell us that parrots are some of the most intelligent species of birds. Many of those species are able to imitate the human voice. Such characteristics have led to parrots becoming popular house pets, and a resulting drop in populations of parrots living in the wild.

49 One of Pittsburgh’s three rivers : OHIO

The Ohio River forms in Pittsburgh where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers meet. It empties into the Mississippi near the city of Cairo, Illinois.

51 Automaker named for a Japanese river : ISUZU

Isuzu is a Japanese manufacturer of commercial vehicles and diesel engines. The company was named for the Isuzu River, with “isuzu” translating into English as “fifty bells”.

55 Sacred chests : ARKS

According to the Book of Exodus, the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments are inscribed were placed in a chest called the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark was built according to instructions given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai.

58 Office contact no. : EXT

Extension (ext.)

61 “__ you quite through?” : ARE

Yep …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Pea sheller’s discard : POD
4 Infatuate : BESOT
9 Stands up to : FACES
14 “To say they __ I dare not be so bold”: Shakespeare : ERR
15 Notable time period : EPOCH
16 Chew noisily : CHOMP
17 *Native American ritual : RAIN DANCE (“RA-CE” around)
19 Bit part : CAMEO
20 Drinks with steep prices? : TEAS
21 Most populous NATO country : USA
23 Major-leaguer : PRO
24 Longish skirt : MIDI
25 *Cut from the short loin : STRIP STEAK (“STR-EAK” around)
29 Light baked dish : SOUFFLE
31 With resolve : STOUTLY
32 Econ. measure : GNP
33 Peignoir trim : LACE
35 Secondhand : USED
36 *Finish loads of work? : DO THE WASH (“D-ASH” around)
39 W/o delay : ASAP
41 Brain section : LOBE
42 Lack of continuity : GAP
45 Starts to come out of one’s shell : OPENS UP
48 Vacation spots : RESORTS
50 *Rust-Oleum product : SPRAY PAINT (“SPR-INT” around)
52 Restraining order : HALT
53 Cleveland NBAer : CAV
54 Org. that accepts returns : IRS
55 Opera set in Egypt that debuted in Cairo : AIDA
56 Come to light : ARISE
59 Evasive maneuvering, and what can literally be found in the answers to the starred clues : RUNAROUND
63 Take it easy : RELAX
64 Laura Linney Netflix series : OZARK
65 Feasted on : ATE
66 Caught some z’s : SLEPT
67 Old TV parts : TUBES
68 __ of averages : LAW

Down

1 “As __ my last email … ” : PER
2 Formal discourse : ORATION
3 Shriveled : DRIED UP
4 Some twins : BEDS
5 AQI monitor : EPA
6 Sir Carter, to Beyoncé : SON
7 Happen : OCCUR
8 Project that must be defended : THESIS
9 Net-neutrality regulatory org. : FCC
10 Cry with a finger snap : AHA!
11 Vie : COMPETE
12 “Promising Young Woman” writer/director Fennell : EMERALD
13 Eerie : SPOOKY
18 Innocent : NAIF
22 Well-chosen : APT
24 Sprinkle that adds umami, for short : MSG
25 Louver part : SLAT
26 __ support : TECH
27 Makes soaking wet : SOUSES
28 Derriere : TUSH
30 Potter character : FLOPSY
34 Slithery fish : EEL
36 Gillian’s role on “The X-Files” : DANA
37 Shabby : WORN
38 Provide job support? : ABET
39 Clothes : APPAREL
40 Overly submissive : SERVILE
42 Not done all at once : GRADUAL
43 Donald Glover series set in the South : ATLANTA
44 L.A. winter hrs. : PST
45 Awards for Hunt and Hunter : OSCARS
46 Global news agcy. : UPI
47 Polly-syllabic pet? : PARROT
49 One of Pittsburgh’s three rivers : OHIO
51 Automaker named for a Japanese river : ISUZU
55 Sacred chests : ARKS
57 Drain : SAP
58 Office contact no. : EXT
60 Arrest : NAB
61 “__ you quite through?” : ARE
62 Drops on the grass : DEW

12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 12 May 22, Thursday”

  1. I guess it’s too early in my morning . Although I had no errors
    (after Googling the X-FILE name) I never figured out the theme.

  2. Finished in 22:56 with no errors and thought I did ok until I saw Bill and others times😥
    Took ten minutes to figure out the theme after finishing the grid.
    Stay safe😀

  3. 9:43

    DANCE also seemed like an evasive maneuver, and that STRIPped away my ability to see past the white-WASHing, and find the theme words SPRAYed around the outside.

  4. I agree with Anon and Mary except that I thought the solution didn’t have any effect on solving.
    D. Chatswood

  5. 10:17 – no errors or lookups. Revisions: MAXI>MIDI, GDP>GNP.

    New items: EMERALD Fennel, did mot know ISUZU was a river.

    Why saddle your child with the name Sir? Rumi is only a little better, and I can’t imagine what Blue Ivy is about.

    Didn’t fathom the theme until validating my answers.

  6. No look ups,no errors. 2 changes on the fly,
    GDP/GNP and torn/worn. Seemed easier
    than yesterday’s puzzle. Didn’t bother
    wrapping my brain around the theme but
    then, I didn’t need to 😂

  7. Mostly easy Thursday for me; took 10:18 with no peeks or errors. Didn’t know EMERALD, FLOPSY and paused when I had _ANA for the X-Files star, which I kind of knew in the back of my head. Put in the D and got the banner. Didn’t notice the theme.

    Easy WSJ today as well for a change…

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