LA Times Crossword 15 May 22, Sunday

Advertisement

Constructed by: C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme: Major League Divisions

Themed answers include MAJOR LEAGUE baseball teams as hidden words, DIVIDED between the beginning and end of each answer:

  • 23A Groups for aspiring grandmasters : CHESS CLUBS (hiding “C-UBS”)
  • 25A Vocalists who combine musical styles : RAP SINGERS (hiding “RA-NGERS”)
  • 37A Weekend trips for two, e.g. : ROMANTIC GETAWAYS (hiding “R-AYS”)
  • 66A Frequent changes of direction : TWISTS AND TURNS (hiding “TWI-INS”)
  • 73A Films that may follow a band on tour : ROCKUMENTARIES (hiding “ROCK-IES”)
  • 101A Well-balanced people? : TIGHTROPE WALKERS (hiding “TIG-ERS”)
  • 119A Unusual sorts : RARE BREEDS (hiding “R-EDS”)
  • 122A Music festival setups : MERCH TENTS (hiding “ME-TS”)

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

Bill’s time: 12m 22s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Pre-eruption lava : MAGMA

Magma is the molten material below the Earth’s surface. When magma cools, it forms igneous rock. “Magma” is a Greek term that describes a thick ointment.

6 Country where Inca Kola originated : PERU

Inca Kola is a soft drink from Peru that was introduced in 1935. The soda’s main flavoring ingredient is lemon verbena, and it is said to taste like bubblegum.

10 Remy’s brother in “Ratatouille” : EMILE

“Ratatouille” is a 2007 animated film produced by Pixar. The hero of the piece is Remy, a rat whose ambition is to become a chef. Remy was voiced by stand-up comedian Patton Oswalt. The veteran actor Peter O’Toole voiced the character Anton Ego, a restaurant critic.

15 Brahma and Vishnu : GODS

In the Hindu tradition, the god Vishnu has several different avatars i.e. incarnations or manifestations. Rama is the seventh of these avatars.

20 John of “Coming 2 America” : AMOS

John Amos is an actor best known for playing James Evans Sr. on the television show “Good Times”. He also played Admiral Fitzwallace on “The West Wing”, and Special Forces Major Grant in “Die Hard 2”. Also, Evans is a former professional football player.

2021’s “Coming 2 America” is a sequel to the 1988 film “Coming to America”. Both movies star Eddie Murphy as Prince (and later “King”) Akeem Joffer of Zamunda. Stand-up comedian and actor Louie Anderson also appeared in both films. Anderson’s appearance in “Coming 2 America” was to be his last on the big screen prior to his death.

22 Samoa’s biggest city : APIA

Apia is the capital city, and in fact the only city, of the Pacific island-nation of Samoa. The harbor of Apia is famous for a very foolish incident in 1889 involving seven naval vessels from Germany, the US and Britain. A typhoon was approaching so the safest thing to do was to head for open water away from land, but no nation would move its ships for fear of losing face in front of others. Six of the ships were lost in the typhoon as a result and 200 American and German sailors perished. The British cruiser HMS Calliope barely managed to escape from the harbor and rode out the storm safely. Apia is also known as the home of writer Robert Louis Stevenson, for the last four years of his life.

23 Groups for aspiring grandmasters : CHESS CLUBS (hiding “C-UBS”)

“Grandmaster” (GM) is a title held for life that is awarded by the World Chess Association (FIDE). The only FIDE title higher than Grandmaster is World Champion. Despite the masculine appearance of the title, it is awarded to both men and women.

The Chicago Cubs baseball team was supposedly subject to the “Curse of the Billy Goat” from 1945 until 2016. Billy Sianis, the owner of a Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago, took his pet goat with him to a World Series game against the Detroit Tigers at Wrigley Field. Fans sitting nearby didn’t like the smell of the goat, and so the owner was asked to leave. As he left, Sianis yelled out, “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more.” And that is how a curse is born …

25 Vocalists who combine musical styles : RAP SINGERS (hiding “RA-NGERS”)

The Texas Rangers Major League Baseball team is based in Arlington, Texas just outside Dallas. The team was founded as the Washington Senators in 1961, and ended up in Texas ten years later. The team is named after the famous Texas Rangers law enforcement agency.

27 Pump part : HEEL

A pump is a woman’s shoe that doesn’t have a strap. Such shoes are probably called “pumps” because of the sound they make while walking in them.

30 Govt. prosecutors : DAS

District attorney (DA)

31 Elsie Fisher’s “Despicable Me” voice role : AGNES

“Despicable Me” is a 2010 animated comedy film. The main voice actor in the movie is the very funny Steve Carell. “Despicable Me” is a Universal Pictures production, although all of the animation was done in France. The 2010 film was followed by a sequel “Despicable Me 2” released in 2013, with a prequel/spin-off film called “Minions” released in 2015.

Elsie Fisher is an actress whose best-known roles are possibly her voice acting. For example, she voiced Agnes in “Despicable Me” (2010) and “Despicable Me 2” (2013), and Parker Needle in “The Addams Family” (2019).

32 Sign gas : NEON

The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

34 CBS News correspondent Barnett : ERROL

Errol Barnett was a CNN anchor based in Johannesburg, South Africa and then Atlanta, Georgia before moving to Washington, D.C to work for CBS News in 2016. Barnett was born in England, but was educated in Phoenix, Arizona.

37 Weekend trips for two, e.g. : ROMANTIC GETAWAYS (hiding “R-AYS”)

The Tampa Bay Rays MLB team is a relatively young franchise, having been formed in 1998. The initial name of the franchise was the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. While known as the Devil Rays, the team finished last in the league almost every year. The name was changed to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008, and I am told the Rays started into a streak of winning seasons soon after.

43 National Organ Donor Day mo. : FEB

National Donor Day is February 14th each year. It was first observed in 1998, an initiative of the Saturn Corporation and the United Auto Workers. The focus of the day is donation of five points of life:

  1. Organs
  2. Tissues
  3. Marrow
  4. Platelets
  5. Blood

46 Test prep giant : KAPLAN

Kaplan Inc. was founded in 1938 by Stanley Kaplan, who started his career tutoring students for the New York State Regents Exam in the basement of his parents’ home in Brooklyn. He opened up locations for tuition around the country, and in 1984 sold the company to the Washington Post. Revenue for Kaplan was over 2½ billion dollars in 2009.

51 Knightley of “Colette” : KEIRA

English actress Keira Knightley had her big break in the movies when she co-starred in 2002’s “Bend It Like Beckham”. Knightley played one of my favorite movie roles, Elizabeth Bennett in 2005’s “Pride and Prejudice”. Knightley won a Golden Globe for that performance, although that 2005 film isn’t the best adaptation of Austen’s novel in my humble opinion …

The 2018 biographical film “Colette” stars Keira Knightley as the title character, the French author Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (known simply as “Colette”). Dominic West has a supporting role playing Henry Gauthier-Villars, Colette’s first husband and fellow author “Willy”.

55 __ Fridays : TGI

T.G.I. Fridays is an American restaurant chain that was founded in 1965 in New York City. Today there are over a thousand T.G.I. Fridays restaurants in over 50 countries. I think that Fridays has always been particularly successful overseas. I used to visit one a lot with my family when we lived in the Philippines, and I believe the most successful Fridays restaurant anywhere in the world is the one in Haymarket Leicester Square in London in the UK.

56 Clerical vestments : ALBS

An alb is a white, neck-to-toe vestment worn by priests, usually with a rope cord around the waist. The term alb comes from “albus”, the Latin word for “white”.

58 Kissing in a crowd, say : PDA

Public display of affection (PDA)

59 Poland Spring competitor : DASANI

Dasani is a Coca-Cola brand of bottled water. Dasani is simply filtered tap water with some trace minerals added.

Poland Spring is a Nestle brand of bottled water that has been around since the late 1800s. The water comes from various sources around the state of Maine.

64 Swedish autos : SAABS

“SAAB” stands for Svenska Aeroplan AB, which translates into English as Swedish Aeroplane Limited. Although we usually think of SAAB as an auto manufacturer, it is mainly an aircraft manufacturer. If you take small hops in Europe you might find yourself on a SAAB passenger plane. The SAAB automotive division was acquired by General Motors in the year 2000, who then sold it to a Dutch concern in 2010. However, SAAB (automotive) finally went bankrupt in 2011. The assets were acquired in 2012 by NEVS (National Electric Vehicle Sweden), a new company that used the SAAB name on its vehicles for several years.

66 Frequent changes of direction : TWISTS AND TURNS (hiding “TWI-INS”)

The Minnesota Twins baseball team was founded as the Kansas City Blues in 1894, before becoming the Washington Senators in 1901. The team arrived in Minneapolis in 1961.

72 Purrfect Delicacies brand : IAMS

Iams dog food was introduced by animal nutritionist Paul Iams. He felt that household pets were suffering somewhat by being fed a diet of table scraps, so he developed a dry dog food that he felt was more nutritious and suitable for pet dogs. He founded the Iams company, now part of Procter & Gamble, in 1946.

73 Films that may follow a band on tour : ROCKUMENTARIES (hiding “ROCK-IES”)

A documentary about rock music and/or a rock music band might be called a rockumentary. The term “rockumentary” was popularized in 1976 when it was used to describe “Beatlemania”, the film documenting the career of the Beatles. However, the term was coined several years earlier by radio programmer Bill Drake in 1969 for the radio documentary “The History of Rock and Roll”.

78 Chrome or silver : METAL

Chromium is a metallic element with the symbol Cr. It is sometimes referred to as “chrome”, although this name is usually limited to chromium when it is electroplated over another metal. Many chromium compounds have intense colors, which fact gives the metal its name, from the Greek “chroma” meaning “color”.

82 One millionth of a meter : MICRON

The measurement of length called a micron (plural “micra”) is more correctly referred to as a micrometer (or “micrometre”). One micron is equivalent to one millionth of a meter.

83 Garlic paste amt. : TSP

Teaspoon (tsp.)

Our word “garlic” evolved via Old English from “gar” (spear) and “leac” (leek). The use of “spear” is apparently a reference to the shape of a clove.

85 __ musubi: meat-and-rice snack : SPAM

Spam musubi is a snack food comprising a slice of grilled Spam and a block of rice, both wrapped in nori (dried edible seaweed from traditional Japanese cuisine). Spam musubi are particularly popular in Hawaii and Guam.

87 ESPN broadcaster Shriver : PAM

Pam Shriver is a former professional tennis player who was especially respected for her abilities as a doubles player. Most of her success came with playing partner Martina Navratilova. Shriver was married for several years to James Bond actor George Lazenby, with whom she has three children.

88 Forge worker : SMITH

A blacksmith is someone who forges and shapes iron, perhaps to make horseshoes. A farrier is someone who fits horseshoes onto the hooves of horses. The term “blacksmith” is sometimes used for one who shoes horses, especially as many blacksmiths make horseshoes and fit them as well.

90 Taquería bowlful : SALSA

“Salsa” is simply Spanish for “sauce”.

In Spanish, one might order “pollo” (chicken) at “una taquería” (a restaurant specializing in tacos).

92 Gp. with a tour : PGA

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) was founded in 1916 and today has its headquarters (unsurprisingly) in Florida, where so many golfers live. Back in 1916, the PGA was based in New York City.

95 __ waist : EMPIRE

A dress with an empire waist is one with a bodice that ends just below the bust, from which often flows a long skirt. Even though the style dates back to the late 1700s, the term “empire waist” was not coined until the early 1900s. The use of “empire” is a reference to the First French Empire because Napoleon’s Empress Josephine helped popularize the style.

100 Garment with hooks : BRA

The word “brassière” is French in origin, but it isn’t the word that the French use for a “bra”. In France, what we call a bra is known as a “soutien-gorge”, translating to “held under the breast”. The word “brassière” is indeed used in France but there it describes a baby’s undershirt, a lifebelt or a harness. “Brassière” comes from the Old French word for an “arm protector” in a military uniform (“bras” is the French for “arm”). Later “brassière” came to mean “breastplate” and from there the word was used for a type of woman’s corset. The word jumped into English around 1900.

101 Well-balanced people? : TIGHTROPE WALKERS (hiding “TIG-ERS”)

Tightrope walking is also known as funambulism, from the Latin “funis” (rope, line) and “ambulare” (to walk). While tightrope walkers use a tensioned wire or rope, slack rope walkers use a rope that is simply anchored at either end.

The origins of the Detroit Tigers baseball team’s name seems a little unclear. One story is that it was taken from the Detroit Light Guard military unit who were known as “The Tigers”. The Light Guard fought with distinction during the Civil War and in the Spanish-American War. Sure enough, when the Detroit baseball team went into the Majors they were formally given permission to use “The Tigers” name by the Detroit Light Guard.

105 Land division : 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.

107 “Wonderwall” Britpop band : OASIS

“Wonderwall” is a 1995 song released by the English band Oasis. Originally titled “Wishing Stone”, composers Noel Gallagher and Owen Morris changed the name to “Wonderwall” as a nod to George Harrison’s 1968 debut solo album “Wonderwall Music”.

109 Sticky-footed lizard : GECKO

The word “gecko” comes from an Indonesian/Javanese word “tokek”, which is imitative of the reptile’s chirping sound. In making such a sound, geckos are unique in the world of lizards. More interesting to me than a gecko’s chirping is its ability to cling to walls and other vertical surfaces. Their feet are specially adapted with “toes” that make extremely intimate, close contact to a surface. The toes have millions of hairs called setae that enable the clinging. It isn’t suction that supports them, but rather van der Waals forces (weak “gravitational” attractions). Fascinating stuff …

111 Topological abbr. : MTN

Topology is a field of mathematics concerned with the study of surfaces, and properties that are preserved when surfaces are deformed. While topology is beyond me, topography is easier for me to wrap my head around. Topography is the study of land forms and features.

112 Audio interference : STATIC

The background sound produced by an untuned radio can be referred to as white noise. It is also called “static”, because it is caused by the discharge of “static electricity”, with those discharges mainly taking place in the upper atmosphere.

116 In __ of : LIEU

As one might imagine perhaps, “in lieu” came into English from the Old French word “lieu” meaning “place”, which in turn is derived from the Latin “locum” that also means “place”. So, “in lieu” translates as “in place of”.

119 Unusual sorts : RARE BREEDS (hiding “R-EDS”)

When the Cincinnati Reds were a dominating force in the National League in the seventies, the team was given the nickname “the Big Red Machine”.

122 Music festival setups : MERCH TENTS (hiding “ME-TS”)

Merchandise (merch)

The New York Mets (NYM) baseball team was founded in 1962 as a replacement for two teams that the city had lost, namely the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. For several years the Mets played very poorly, finishing no better than second-to-last in their division. Then along came the “Miracle Mets” (aka “Amazin’ Mets”) who beat the Baltimore Orioles in 1969 to claim the World Series in a huge upset.

124 “I hate to break up __” : A SET

So do I …

126 “Pearls” Grammy winner India.__ : ARIE

India.Arie is an American soul and R&B singer who was born India Arie Simpson in Denver, Colorado.

127 Flared dress style : A-LINE

An A-line skirt is one that fits snugly at the hips and flares towards the hem. The term “A-line” was first used in fashion by French designer Christian Dior in his 1955 spring collection.

128 Topiary evergreens : YEWS

Topiary is the practice of training and clipping perennial plants into clearly defined shapes.

129 Many a Twitch streamer : GAMER

Twitch is a live streaming platform used primarily by gamers. Folks playing games can broadcast their game play live to an audience.

131 Navajo Nation tablelands : MESAS

The Navajo Nation of the Southwestern US is the largest Native-American tribe in the country. The Navajo reservation is located in the Four Corners region and is the largest reservation in the US, covering over 27,000 square miles.

Down

1 Supersonic unit : MACH

The Mach number of a moving object (like say an airplane) is its speed relative to the speed of sound. A plane traveling at Mach 2, for example, is moving at twice the speed of sound. The term “Mach” takes its name from the Austrian physicist Ernst Mach who published a groundbreaking paper in 1877 that even predicted the “sonic boom”.

2 Tiger Balm target : ACHE

Heat rubs are products designed to produce a feeling of warmth in sore or tired muscles. The active ingredients are usually menthol (mint oil) and methyl salicylate (oil of wintergreen, an analgesic). A common brand name in this country is IcyHot, and we have Deep Heat in Ireland, and there’s Tiger Balm in Asia and Canada.

3 Bright African snake : GREEN MAMBA

Mambas, and most famously black mambas, are highly venomous snakes that used to be responsible for a great number of fatalities before anti-venoms became available. Mamba venom is a deadly mix of neurotoxins that attack the nervous system and cardiotoxins that attack the heart. A bite, if left untreated, causes the lungs and the heart to shut down.

6 Chums : PALS

A chum is a friend. The term “chum” originated in the late 1600s as an alternative spelling for “cham”. In turn, “cham” was a shortened form of “chambermate”, a roommate at university.

7 Fast-running birds : EMUS

The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

9 One of the largest tenants of Pittsburgh’s tallest building : US STEEL

US Steel was founded in 1901 with a merger of Carnegie Steel, Federal Steel and National Steel. The resulting company immediately became the world’s first billion-dollar corporation. US Steel reorganized in 1986 and changed its name to USX Corporation, but reverted to the US Steel name in 2001. I think I’m right in saying that the USX name was chosen because US Steel is traded under the symbol “X” on the New York Stock Exchange …

US Steel Tower is the tallest building in Pittsburgh, and it opened for business in 1971. US Steel used the building to showcase weathering steel, which the company trademarked as COR-TEN steel. US Steel Tower features massive COR-TEN columns deliberately exposed on the outside of the building. The surface of the columns oxidized over time to provide a corrosion-resistant layer that protects the underlying metal from rain and snow. However, the initial weathering process led to discoloration of the sidewalks surrounding the building, which had to be cleaned up by US Steel.

11 Place for a lark : MEADOW

Larks are small songbirds that are found all over the world, although only the horned lark species is found here in North America. Despite their size, larks are sometimes considered game birds, and can be served up as food. It’s not uncommon to find a dish containing lark meat in southern Europe.

12 Antelope whose name means “gazelle” in Zulu : IMPALA

“Impala” is the Zulu word for “gazelle”. When running at a sustained speed, gazelles can move along at 30 miles per hour. If needed, they can accelerate for bursts up to 60 miles per hour.

13 Highlands girl : LASS

The Scottish Highlands are that part of the country not classified as the Lowlands(!). The Highlands make up the north and west of Scotland.

14 Prefix with center : EPI-

The epicenter is the point on the surface of the Earth that is directly above the focus of an earthquake.

16 Martin Luther King Jr.’s message from Birmingham Jail, for one : OPEN LETTER

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.

26 Pt. of USNA : NAV

The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is located in Annapolis, Maryland. It was founded in 1845 and educates officers for both the US Navy and the US Marine Corps. The motto of the USNA is “Ex Scientia Tridens”, which translates as “From Knowledge, Sea Power”.

29 Mlle., in Managua : SRTA

Managua is the capital city of Nicaragua. It is located on the shores of Lake Managua in the west of the country.

36 “Hanna” actress Creed-Miles : ESME

Esmé Creed-Miles is an actress from England who is perhaps best known for portraying the title character in the excellent action drama TV show “Hanna”. She is the daughter of fellow English actress Samantha Morton.

The action drama TV show “Hanna” is based on the 2011 movie of the same name. Irish actress Saoirse Ronan plays the title role in the movie, while English actress Esmé Creed-Miles portrays Hanna on TV. Hanna is a young woman who was inducted as an infant into a training program producing super-soldiers. She was rescued by her birth mother’s lover, who raised and trained her on his own. Great stuff …

37 Country star McEntire : REBA

Reba McEntire is a country music singer and television actress. McEntire starred in her own sitcom “Reba” that aired on the WB and the CW cable channels from 2001 to 2007. She is sometimes referred to as “The Queen of Country”.

38 Cameo shapes : OVALS

Cameo is a method of carving, often the carving of a gemstone or a piece of jewelry. The resulting image is in relief (sits proud of the background), whereas an engraved image would be produced by the similar carving method known as intaglio. Nowadays, the term “cameo” is used for any piece of oval-shaped jewelry that contains the image of a head, usually in profile (maybe even a photograph).

40 Unit in gemology : CARAT

The carat is a unit of mass equal to 200 mg (0.2 grams). It is used in sizing gemstones.

42 Tantra specialist : YOGINI

A yogi is a master practitioner of yoga. A master practitioner who is female might be referred to as a yogini.

Tantrism (sometimes “Tantra”) is a relatively recent class of religious ritual and meditation that has its roots in 5th century India. The tantras are sometimes considered as advanced teachings that extend the basic tenets of several Indian religions including Buddhism and Hinduism.

52 Dr Teal’s Pure __ Salt : EPSOM

The Surrey town of Epsom in England is most famous for its racecourse (Epsom Downs), at which the Epsom Derby is run every year, one of the three races that make up the English Triple Crown. We also come across “Epsom salts” from time to time. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, originally prepared by boiling down mineral waters. Epsom was indeed a spa town at one time. The town is also home to Epsom College, an English “public school” (which actually means “private, and expensive”). One of Epsom’s “old boys” was the Hollywood actor Stewart Granger.

53 So yesterday : PASSE

“Passé” is a French word, meaning “past, faded”. We’ve imported the term into English, and use it in the same sense.

54 Actress de la Reguera : ANA

Ana de la Reguera is a Mexican actress who is best known in the US for her TV work, playing Elisa in “Narcos” and Marisol Silva in “Goliath”.

59 Tunisian currency : DINAR

The dinar is the official currency in many countries, such as Iraq, Tunisia, Bahrain and Serbia. The gold dinar dates back to the early days of Islam, with the name deriving from the Roman currency called “denarius” meaning “ten times” (as it was originally a coin worth ten asses).

Present-day Tunisia is roughly equivalent to the Roman province known as “Africa Proconsularis”, which gave its name to the whole continent.

60 Four-footed Jetson : ASTRO

“The Jetsons” is an animated show from Hanna-Barbera that had its first run in 1962-1963, and then was recreated in 1985-1987. When it debuted in 1963 on ABC, “The Jetsons” was the network’s first ever color broadcast. “The Jetsons” is like a space-age version of “The Flintstones”. The four Jetson family members are George and Jane, the parents, and children Judy and Elroy. Residing with the family in Orbit City are their household robot Rosie and pet dog Astro.

61 Beer garden mug : STEIN

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

65 Toni Morrison’s “The __ Eye” : BLUEST

“The Bluest Eye” is a 1970 novel by Toni Morrison, her first to be published. The book addresses directly some difficult subjects including incest, child molestation and racism. As a result, “The Bluest Eye” is often a target of book-banning movements.

70 Sign of spring : GEMINI

Gemini is the third sign of the Zodiac. “Gemini” is the Latin word for “twins”.

74 Maker of Glide floss : ORAL-B

The Oral-B toothbrush was introduced to the world in 1950, designed by a California periodontist. The first “model” was the Oral-B 60, a name given to reflect the 60 tufts in the brush. In 1969, the Oral-B was the first toothbrush to get to the moon as it was the toothbrush of choice for the crew of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

79 Fruit-flavored cocktails : APPLETINIS

An appletini is an apple martini, a cocktail containing vodka and an apple-flavored beverage such as apple brandy. One recipe is:

  • 1 part sweet vermouth
  • 1 part dry vermouth
  • 4 parts vodka
  • 3 parts apple juice

80 Golden brew : LAGER

Lager is so called because of the tradition of cold-storing the beer during fermentation. “Lager” is the German word for “storage”.

84 Whole lot : SLEW

Our usage of “slew” to mean “large number” has nothing to do with the verb “to slew” meaning “to turn, skid”. The noun “slew” came into English in the early 1800s from the Irish word “sluagh” meaning “host, crowd, multitude”.

86 Land of Opportunity? : MARS

There have been several rovers sent to Mars from Earth. The Soviet Union’s Mars 2 landed in 1971, and failed. Mars 3 landed the same year, and ceased operation just 20 seconds after landing. NASA’s Sojourner landed in 1997 (what a great day that was!) and operated from July through September. The British rover Beagle 2 was lost six days before its scheduled entry into the Martian atmosphere. NASA’s Spirit landed in 2004, and operated successfully for over six years before getting trapped in sand and eventually ceasing to communicate. NASA’s Opportunity also landed in 2004, and operated for over fourteen years. And then NASA’s Curiosity made a spectacular, hi-tech landing in 2012 and is continuing to explore the planet today. Based on the Curiosity design, NASA’s Perseverance rover landed in 2021, along with the Mars helicopter named Ingenuity. The China National Space Administration landed it’s first rover, named Zhurong (“Rover” in English), five months after Perseverance started its mission on the planet.

89 Tiny arachnid : MITE

Mites are tiny arthropods in the arachnid (spider) class. Mites are (annoyingly!) very successful creatures that have adapted to all sorts of habitats. And being so small, they generally pass unnoticed. Ick …

Arachnids are creatures with eight jointed legs. The name of the class Arachnida comes from the Greek “aráchnē” meaning “spider”.

91 “The Good Dinosaur” dinosaur : ARLO

“The Good Dinosaur” is a Pixar movie that premiered in Paris on November 14th, 2015 under the title “Le Voyage d’Arlo”.

95 UFO beings : ETS

One might speculate that an unidentified flying object (UFO) is flown by an extraterrestrial (ET).

96 Diagnostic pics : MRIS

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses powerful magnetic fields to generate images that can be used by medical professionals to diagnose injury and disease.

97 “Please Mr. __” : POSTMAN

“Please Mr. Postman” is a 1961 song released by the Marvelettes. It holds an important position in the history of pop music in that it was the first Motown song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “Please Mr. Postman” was destined for success over a decade later when the Carpenters’ cover version reached the number-one spot in 1975.

99 Tiki bar instrument : UKULELE

The ukulele (uke) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

The world’s first tiki bar was called “Don the Beachcomber”, and was opened in L.A. in 1933 by Ernest Gantt (also known as “Donn Beach”). The bar became famous for its exotic rum cocktails. Gantt was called to serve in WWII, and the business expanded dramatically under his ex-wife’s management so that there was a 160-restaurant chain waiting for Gantt when he returned stateside.

106 “Catastrophe” writer/star Delaney : ROB

The TV sitcom “Catastrophe” is co-written by and co-stars Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan. The pair play two single people who end up as a couple after the woman becomes pregnant following a fling while the man is on a business trip. Horgan plays an Irish school teacher living and working in London, and Delaney plays an American advertising executive who visits London. The show takes its title from the 1964 movie “Zorba the Greek”, in which the title character utters the line “I’m a man, so I married. Wife, children, house, everything. The full catastrophe.”

111 Parent company of Facebook : META

Facebook, Inc. changed its name to Meta Platforms, Inc. in 2021 as part of a rebranding exercise.

115 Slushy treat : ICEE

A slushie is a flavored frozen drink. The brand names Slurpee and ICEE are examples of the genre.

117 Europe’s tallest volcano : ETNA

Mount Etna on the island of Sicily is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy, and indeed the largest of all active volcanoes in Europe. Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Mt. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-gauge railway, and two ski resorts. It is sometimes referred to as “Mongibello” in Italian, and as “Mungibeddu” (sometimes “Muncibeddu”) in Sicilian. The English name “Etna” comes from the Greek “aitho” meaning “I eat”.

121 Canon choice, briefly : SLR

The Japanese company Canon is largely known in the US for producing quality cameras. The company started out as Precision Optical Industry Laboratory in 1937 making camera bodies. The name was changed in 1947 to Canon.

123 Cap with a toorie : TAM

A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap worn traditionally by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”) but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of the Robert Burns poem “Tam o’ Shanter”. A pom-pom adorning a tam is known as a toorie.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Pre-eruption lava : MAGMA
6 Country where Inca Kola originated : PERU
10 Remy’s brother in “Ratatouille” : EMILE
15 Brahma and Vishnu : GODS
19 Pungent : ACRID
20 John of “Coming 2 America” : AMOS
21 Chart a new course for : REMAP
22 Samoa’s biggest city : APIA
23 Groups for aspiring grandmasters : CHESS CLUBS (hiding “C-UBS”)
25 Vocalists who combine musical styles : RAP SINGERS (hiding “RA-NGERS”)
27 Pump part : HEEL
28 Selling points : ASSETS
30 Govt. prosecutors : DAS
31 Elsie Fisher’s “Despicable Me” voice role : AGNES
32 Sign gas : NEON
34 CBS News correspondent Barnett : ERROL
36 Hardly holy : EVIL
37 Weekend trips for two, e.g. : ROMANTIC GETAWAYS (hiding “R-AYS”)
43 National Organ Donor Day mo. : FEB
45 Steer clear of : EVADE
46 Test prep giant : KAPLAN
47 Neglected to mention : OMITTED
50 “Kapow!” : BAM!
51 Knightley of “Colette” : KEIRA
53 Website subunits : PAGES
55 __ Fridays : TGI
56 Clerical vestments : ALBS
58 Kissing in a crowd, say : PDA
59 Poland Spring competitor : DASANI
62 “Let me put it this way … ” : I MEAN …
64 Swedish autos : SAABS
66 Frequent changes of direction : TWISTS AND TURNS (hiding “TWI-INS”)
69 Drain nuisance : CLOG
71 Starts a pot : ANTES
72 Purrfect Delicacies brand : IAMS
73 Films that may follow a band on tour : ROCKUMENTARIES (hiding “ROCK-IES”)
78 Chrome or silver : METAL
81 Clear the board : ERASE
82 One millionth of a meter : MICRON
83 Garlic paste amt. : TSP
85 __ musubi: meat-and-rice snack : SPAM
87 ESPN broadcaster Shriver : PAM
88 Forge worker : SMITH
90 Taquería bowlful : SALSA
92 Gp. with a tour : PGA
93 Woke up late : SLEPT IN
95 __ waist : EMPIRE
98 Item that’s made to measure : RULER
100 Garment with hooks : BRA
101 Well-balanced people? : TIGHTROPE WALKERS (hiding “TIG-ERS”)
105 Land division : ACRE
107 “Wonderwall” Britpop band : OASIS
108 Lopsided victory : ROUT
109 Sticky-footed lizard : GECKO
111 Topological abbr. : MTN
112 Audio interference : STATIC
116 In __ of : LIEU
119 Unusual sorts : RARE BREEDS (hiding “R-EDS”)
122 Music festival setups : MERCH TENTS (hiding “ME-TS”)
124 “I hate to break up __” : A SET
125 To any extent : AT ALL
126 “Pearls” Grammy winner India.__ : ARIE
127 Flared dress style : A-LINE
128 Topiary evergreens : YEWS
129 Many a Twitch streamer : GAMER
130 “Ain’t happening” : NOPE
131 Navajo Nation tablelands : MESAS

Down

1 Supersonic unit : MACH
2 Tiger Balm target : ACHE
3 Bright African snake : GREEN MAMBA
4 Send down the wrong path : MISLEAD
5 Show stoppers? : ADS
6 Chums : PALS
7 Fast-running birds : EMUS
8 Spa wrap : ROBE
9 One of the largest tenants of Pittsburgh’s tallest building : US STEEL
10 Make a blunder : ERR
11 Place for a lark : MEADOW
12 Antelope whose name means “gazelle” in Zulu : IMPALA
13 Highlands girl : LASS
14 Prefix with center : EPI-
15 Present presented for fun : GAG GIFT
16 Martin Luther King Jr.’s message from Birmingham Jail, for one : OPEN LETTER
17 Desperate : DIRE
18 Smart talk : SASS
24 “__ win ’em all” : CAN’T
26 Pt. of USNA : NAV
29 Mlle., in Managua : SRTA
33 Short race, for short : ONE-K
35 Did a 33-Down, say : RAN
36 “Hanna” actress Creed-Miles : ESME
37 Country star McEntire : REBA
38 Cameo shapes : OVALS
39 “Just joking!” : I KID!
40 Unit in gemology : CARAT
41 College application fig. : GPA
42 Tantra specialist : YOGINI
44 Kicked off : BEGAN
48 “Am I the only one?” : IS IT ME?
49 Loud noises : DINS
52 Dr Teal’s Pure __ Salt : EPSOM
53 So yesterday : PASSE
54 Actress de la Reguera : ANA
57 Stats for NFL defensive linemen : SACKS
59 Tunisian currency : DINAR
60 Four-footed Jetson : ASTRO
61 Beer garden mug : STEIN
63 Necessities : MUSTS
65 Toni Morrison’s “The __ Eye” : BLUEST
67 Timepiece : WATCH
68 Softens, as sound : DAMPS
70 Sign of spring : GEMINI
73 Powerlifter’s units : REPS
74 Maker of Glide floss : ORAL-B
75 People who take the shots : CAMERA CREW
76 Minor quibble : NIT
77 Unblinking look : STARE
79 Fruit-flavored cocktails : APPLETINIS
80 Golden brew : LAGER
84 Whole lot : SLEW
86 Land of Opportunity? : MARS
89 Tiny arachnid : MITE
90 Tentative taste : SIP
91 “The Good Dinosaur” dinosaur : ARLO
94 Sugar holders : PACKETS
95 UFO beings : ETS
96 Diagnostic pics : MRIS
97 “Please Mr. __” : POSTMAN
99 Tiki bar instrument : UKULELE
102 Pep rally shout : GO TEAM!
103 Pump part : HANDLE
104 Curved structure : ARCH
106 “Catastrophe” writer/star Delaney : ROB
109 Slate-colored : GRAY
110 Smooth sailing : EASE
111 Parent company of Facebook : META
113 Sleek, in car lingo : AERO
114 Take a tumble : TRIP
115 Slushy treat : ICEE
117 Europe’s tallest volcano : ETNA
118 Puts into play : USES
120 Cleaning cloth : RAG
121 Canon choice, briefly : SLR
123 Cap with a toorie : TAM

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 15 May 22, Sunday”

  1. Very fast solve for me today. Less than a half hour.
    Word of the day for me, “YOGINI”.,

    And a Burnikel grid to boot!!!

  2. The NY TIMES Sunday crossword “ORDERING SECONDS” is giving me fits.
    Started it last night and now back to it.!

  3. When I finish a Sunday puzzle in under an hour (48:52 with no errors) it must be “feel sorry for the peons “ day but I’ll take it👍👍
    Stay safe😀

  4. 27 something with 2 errors. I blanked out on the Land of Opportunity & guessed LARS in the hope that a show called Opportunity exists and an actor called Lars Land is in it…

  5. 21 minutes 8 seconds, no errors.

    A few odd fills here, like YOGINI and SPAM … but mostly enjoyable.

  6. No errors; one look-up–The Pam of Pam Shriver. “Yogini” was
    a new word for me but I had it right because of cross letters.

  7. 22:20

    A satisfying puzzle. I liked the two “pump parts” and “Land of Opportunity.” My biggest correction was EPISTOLARY -> OPENLETTER.

    The only baseball team I didn’t recognize was the Colorado ROCKIES. I was looking forward to reading a little about them here. In LIEU thereof, here’s a snippet from their wiki:

    The Rockies began play as an expansion team for the 1993 season, and played their home games for their first two seasons at Mile High Stadium. Since 1995, they have played at Coors Field, which has earned a reputation as a hitter’s park.

  8. 21:43 – no errors, lookups, or revisions. All pretty straightforward. Easy theme to detect, but didn’t help with solving.

    New items: YOGINI, “musubi,” ERROL Barnett, ESME Creed-Miles, ARLO The Good Dinosaur (and I thought I knew all the Pixar movies).

  9. Yeah, topology *is* the mathematical study of the properties of surfaces (and other shapes) when they undergo various kinds of continuous distortion. But unfortunately, it is also an old word that means (as far as I can tell) topography. I’m all for avoiding ambiguity, especially since I have spent a lot of time thinking about topology (the mathematical kind). But unfortunately, the other usage exists and is found in dictionaries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.