LA Times Crossword 2 May 22, Monday

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Constructed by: Robert E. L. Morris
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: I See

Themed answers each comprise two words starting with the letters IC:

  • 57D Words of comprehension, and a phonetic hint for the answers to the starred clues : I SEE (sounds like “IC”)
  • 17A *Chilled caffeinated drink : ICED COFFEE
  • 28A *Cold War barrier : IRON CURTAIN
  • 44A *Close-knit, influential group : INNER CIRCLE
  • 60A *English name of a West African republic : IVORY COAST

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

Bill’s time: 5m 11s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Former Yankee slugger, familiarly : A-ROD

Professional baseball player Alex Rodriguez earned more nicknames than just “A-Rod”. He has been called “the Cooler” by some players as there was a perception that teams went cold when he joined them and hot when he left. He has also been called “A-Fraud” by teammates because of another perception, that he is over-demanding. Rodriguez was in a world of hurt not so long ago, for using illegal performance-enhancing drugs. He retired from baseball in 2016.

9 “Joy of Cooking” writer Rombauer : IRMA

Irma Rombauer was the author of the famous cookbook “The Joy of Cooking”. Rombauer self-published the book back in 1931 in St. Louis, Missouri. She and her family continued to publish privately as demand was high, and then a commercial printing house picked it up in 1936. “The Joy of Cooking” has been in print continuously ever since.

15 Skeleton prefix : ENDO-

An animal with an endoskeleton has a supporting skeleton inside its body. So, we humans have an endoskeleton. A turtle, on the other hand, has both an endoskeleton and an exoskeleton, its outer shell.

17 *Chilled caffeinated drink : ICED COFFEE

Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant that is found in several plants. The chemical serves as a natural pesticide by paralyzing and killing certain insects that would otherwise feed on the plant. Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug that is consumed by humans across the world.

19 __-lock brakes : ANTI

The first anti-lock braking system (ABS) was developed for use on aircraft, in 1929. The system reduced braking distances for aircraft by 30% because pilots were able to apply a full braking force immediately on landing instead of applying gradual pressure to avoid skidding.

20 Pt. of HDTV : DEF

High-definition television (HDTV)

21 __ facto : IPSO

“Ipso facto” is Latin, meaning “by the fact itself”. Ipso facto describes something that is a direct consequence of a particular act, as opposed to something that is the result of some subsequent event. For example, my father was born in Dublin and was an Irish citizen, ipso facto. My son was born in California and is an Irish citizen by virtue of being the son of an Irish citizen (i.e. “not” ipso facto).

22 “Moby-Dick” ship : PEQUOD

The most famous whale-hunting ship in fiction has to be Herman Melville’s Pequod, which is featured in his novel “Moby Dick”. The Pequod is skippered by the maniacal Captain Ahab, and the young chief mate is the thoughtful and intellectual Starbuck. Starbuck’s name was lifted and used by the Seattle-based coffee company.

24 Slim woodwind : OBOE

The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”.

27 “Star Wars” pilot Dameron : POE

Oscar Isaac is an actor from Guatemala who was raised in Miami. Before acting, Isaac played lead guitar in his own band called the Blinking Underdogs. Isaac played X-wing pilot Poe Dameron in several of the “Star Wars” movies.

28 *Cold War barrier : IRON CURTAIN

The term “Iron Curtain” was first used in the context of Soviet influence over Eastern Europe in a speech made by Winston Churchill in 1946. He made that address in the US, at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.

32 Blueprints : PLANS

Blueprints are reproductions of technical or architectural drawings that are contact prints made on light-sensitive sheets. Blueprints were introduced in the 1800s and the technology available dictated that the drawings were reproduced with white lines on a blue background, hence the name “blue-print”.

39 Holy book : BIBLE

The Bible is the best-selling book of all time, with annual sales running at about 100 million copies.

41 Ward on “FBI” : SELA

Actress Sela Ward turns up in crosswords a lot. Ward played Teddy Reed in the TV show “Sisters” in the nineties, and was in “Once and Again” from 1999-2002. I don’t know either show, but I do know Ward from the medical drama “House” in which she played the hospital’s lawyer and Greg House’s ex-partner. That was a fun role, I thought. More recently, Ward played a lead role on “CSI: NY” and was a very welcome and much-needed addition to the cast. And, Ward played Dr. Richard Kimble’s murdered wife in the 1993 film version of “The Fugitive”.

The TV crime drama “FBI” premiered in 2018, and centers on the FBI office in New York City. Star of the show is Canadian actress Missy Peregrym, who plays FBI special agent Maggie Bell.

42 Brazilian berry : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

47 Legal org. : ABA

The American Bar Association (ABA) was founded back in 1878 and is a voluntary association for lawyers and law students. The ABA focuses on setting academic standards for law schools and setting ethical codes for the profession.

50 Lummox : OAF

The word “lummox” comes from East Anglian slang , and describes an ungainly and often clueless person. The term is probably a contraction of “lumbering ox”.

51 Peters out : DIES

The verb phrase “to peter out”, meaning “to fizzle out”, originated in the 1840s in the American mining industry. While the exact etymology isn’t clear, it probably derives from the term “saltpetre”, a constituent of gunpowder.

52 Tearjerker featuring Anna Chlumsky in her feature-film debut : MY GIRL

“My Girl” is a 1991 coming-of-age film starring Anna Chlumsky in the title role. Chlumsky plays an 11-year-old girl who is a hypochondriac obsessed with death. She hangs out with a boy of the same age, played by Macauley Culkin, who is allergic to “everything”. The movie’s title comes from the 1964 song “My Girl” by the Temptations, which makes an appearance in the closing credits.

Anna Chlumsky launched her career as a child actress playing the title role in the films “My Girl” (1991) and “My Girl 2” (1994). After taking time out to attend college, Chlumsky resumed her run of success with a regular role in the political satire show “Veep”.

54 Ceramics oven : KILN

A ceramic is a hard, heat- and corrosion-resistant material that is strong in compression but has a low tensile strength. Most ceramics are inorganic, non-metallic chemicals. As an aside, I have a degree in ceramics, believe it or not, after writing a thesis on the material used to make refrigerator magnets. Sad, really …

56 “__ the season … ” : ‘TIS

The music for the Christmas song “Deck the Halls” is a traditional Welsh tune that dates back to the 16th century. The same tune was used by Mozart for a violin and piano duet. The lyrics with which we are familiar (other than the “f-la-la”) are American in origin, and were recorded in the 19th century.

“’Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la la la la!”

59 Radar screen spot : BLIP

Scientists have been using radio waves to detect the presence of objects since the late 1800s, but it was the demands of WWII that accelerated the practical application of the technology. The British called their system RDF standing for Range and Direction Finding. The system used by the US Navy was called “Radio Detection And Ranging”, which was shortened to the acronym “RADAR”.

60 *English name of a West African republic : IVORY COAST

The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire is located in West Africa on the Gulf of Guinea. The country is often referred to in English as “the Ivory Coast”, the direct translation from the French. The official language of the country is French, as for many years it was a French colony.

64 Majorino of “Veronica Mars” : TINA

Tina Majorino is a former child actress who walked away from the industry when she was in her early teens, but who took up acting full time as she approached her twenties. One of Majorino’s more famous roles is Cindy “Mac” Mackenzie, a computer expert and friend of the title character in the TV show “Veronica Mars”.

65 Cosmetician Lauder : 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 …

Down

2 Risotto grain : RICE

Risotto is an Italian rice dish that is usually served as a first course in Italy, but as a main course here in North America.

3 Part of the Three Musketeers’ credo : … ONE FOR ALL

“All for one, and one for all” is a motto associated with the title characters in the Alexandre Dumas novel “Three Musketeers”. Actually, it is the motto of the Three Musketeers along with their comrade d’Artagnan …

4 Lemon : DUD

Long before we associated the term “lemon” with a defective car, it was used to describe defective items in general.

6 The 411 : INFO

Several large US cities started using the telephone number “411” in the 1930s for local directory assistance. “411” was used in markets where the Bell System of telephone companies was prevalent. The number “113” served the same purpose on markets dominated by GTE and other telephone companies, with the last such usage of “113” disappearing in the 1980s. The term “4-1-1” is now used in North America as slang for “information”.

7 “__ of Girls’ Things”: poem by Sharon Olds : ODE

Poet Sharon Olds won a Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 2013. She was also the first American woman to win the T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry.

9 Baghdad’s country : IRAQ

According to the University of Baghdad, the name “Baghdad” dates way back, to the 18th-century BCE (yes, BCE!). The name can be translated into English from the language of ancient Babylon as “old garden” (bagh-) and “beloved” (-dad).

14 Descendants : SCIONS

“Scion” comes from the old French word “sion” or “cion”, meaning “a shoot or a twig”. In botanical terms today, a scion is used in grafting two compatible plants together. In grafting, one plant is selected for its root system (the “rootstock”), and the other plant is selected for its stems, leaves and fruit (the “scion”). The term scion migrated naturally into the world of family history. A scion is simply a descendant, a son or a daughter and therefore a branching point in the family tree.

18 Oil cartel acronym : OPEC

The OPEC cartel was formally established in 1960 and has been headquartered in Vienna since 1965. The US is actually the third largest oil producer in the world (after Russia and Saudi Arabia). One reason America isn’t in OPEC, even though we are a big producer, is that we import a lot more than we export. But we all probably knew that already …

23 “Riverdale” actor Goree : ELI

Actor Eli Goree is from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He started his acting career at only six years of age, when he appeared in “Sesame Park”, the Canadian version of the children’s show “Sesame Street”.

“Riverdale” is a teen drama TV show based on the “Archie” comic book series. While the “Archie” comics are light in tone, “Riverdale” is a darker production that explores the complex world of the “Archie” characters.

25 Tiny potted tree : BONSAI

The term “bonsai” is used more correctly to describe the Japanese art of growing carefully shaped trees in containers, although it has come to be used as the name for all miniature trees in pots. “Bonsai” translates literally as “tray planting”.

26 Slanted, as a typeface : ITALIC

Italic type leans to the right, and is often used to provide emphasis in text. The style is known as “italic” because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

28 1970s tennis star Nastase : ILIE

I think that Ilie Nastase was the most entertaining tennis player of the 1970s, the days of Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. No matter how much pressure there was in a match, Nastase always had time to share a joke with the crowd. After retiring from the sport, he had a few novels published (in French) during the eighties. Then Nastase went into politics, making an unsuccessful run for the mayorship of Bucharest in 1996. He made a successful run for the Romanian Senate though, and was elected senator in 2014.

29 Worldwide humanitarian gp. : UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund is known by the acronym UNICEF because the organization’s original name when it was founded in 1946 was the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. The original focus of the fund was to provide relief to children in countries that had been devastated by WWII. UNICEF is supported by contributions from governments, but also by individual donors. One of the more successful programs for collecting private donations is the Trick-or-Treat UNICEF box that has been a tradition here in North America since 1950.

30 Concrete-reinforcing rod : REBAR

A steel bar or mesh used to reinforce concrete is called “rebar”, which is short for “reinforcing bar”.

The terms “cement”, “mortar” and ”concrete” are related, and tend to get confused at times. Cement is a binder that hardens over time and binds other materials together. Cement mixed with a fine aggregate forms mortar, a workable paste used to bind building blocks together. Cement mixed with sand and gravel forms concrete, a pourable slurry that hardens into an extremely robust building material.

31 “Sorry, can’t help ya” : NO DICE

One suggestion for the origin of the phrase “no dice”, meaning “nothing doing, no way”, refers back to illegal gambling in the early 1900s. When approached by police, illegal gamblers would hide their dice (some even swallowed them). It was well known that city attorneys wouldn’t prosecute unless the police could produce the dice. Apparently there was an idiom at the time, “no dice, no conviction”.

32 Spots to buy stamps: Abbr. : POS

Post office (PO)

35 Mid-American Conference university in Indiana : BALL STATE

Ball State University is located in Muncie, Indiana. The school took on the name “Ball” in recognition of the generosity of the Ball Brothers, local industrialists who saved the institution from collapse in 1917 by intervening financially.

36 Actress Fanning : ELLE

Actress Elle Fanning’s most notable performance to date (probably) was playing Aurora in the 2014 movie “Maleficent”. Elle’s older sister is actress Dakota Fanning.

45 Fin. neighbor : NOR

The border between Norway and Finland extends almost 460 miles. It was defined in a 1751 treaty between Sweden and Denmark, because Sweden ruled Finland and Denmark ruled Norway. The westernmost end of the Finland-Norway border is at a point where both countries border Sweden. The easternmost end of the border is at a point where both border Russia.

53 Hoppy brews, briefly : IPAS

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

54 Beer company based in Hawaii : KONA

Kona Brewing Company is located in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. It started operations in 1994, and its biggest-selling beer is Big Wave Golden Ale.

55 Some nest eggs, for short : IRAS

A nest egg is an amount of money laid down as a reserve. This is the figurative use of “nest egg” that originally described an artificial egg left in a nest to encourage a hen to lay real eggs in that spot. So our financial nest egg is set aside in anticipation of continued growth, more eggs being laid.

61 “C’est la __!” : VIE

“C’est la vie” is French for “that’s life”.

62 CIA predecessor : OSS

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. A few years after the end of the war the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Former Yankee slugger, familiarly : A-ROD
5 Barrel of laughs : RIOT
9 “Joy of Cooking” writer Rombauer : IRMA
13 Take away : MINUS
15 Skeleton prefix : ENDO-
16 Is sorry about : RUES
17 *Chilled caffeinated drink : ICED COFFEE
19 __-lock brakes : ANTI
20 Pt. of HDTV : DEF
21 __ facto : IPSO
22 “Moby-Dick” ship : PEQUOD
24 Slim woodwind : OBOE
26 Not well : ILL
27 “Star Wars” pilot Dameron : POE
28 *Cold War barrier : IRON CURTAIN
32 Blueprints : PLANS
33 Orderly : NEAT
34 Comply with : OBEY
38 Frying liquids : OILS
39 Holy book : BIBLE
40 Small valley : DALE
41 Ward on “FBI” : SELA
42 Brazilian berry : ACAI
43 Medicinal units : PILLS
44 *Close-knit, influential group : INNER CIRCLE
47 Legal org. : ABA
50 Lummox : OAF
51 Peters out : DIES
52 Tearjerker featuring Anna Chlumsky in her feature-film debut : MY GIRL
54 Ceramics oven : KILN
56 “__ the season … ” : ‘TIS
59 Radar screen spot : BLIP
60 *English name of a West African republic : IVORY COAST
63 Refrain syllables : LA-LA
64 Majorino of “Veronica Mars” : TINA
65 Cosmetician Lauder : ESTEE
66 Meadow moms : EWES
67 Affirmative votes : YEAS
68 Pass (through) slowly : SEEP

Down

1 In the thick of : AMID
2 Risotto grain : RICE
3 Part of the Three Musketeers’ credo : … ONE FOR ALL
4 Lemon : DUD
5 NFL officials : REFS
6 The 411 : INFO
7 “__ of Girls’ Things”: poem by Sharon Olds : ODE
8 Metal tab that protects a shoe : TOE PLATE
9 Baghdad’s country : IRAQ
10 Accumulate, as charges : RUN UP
11 “Same here!” : ME TOO!
12 “All kidding __ … ” : ASIDE
14 Descendants : SCIONS
18 Oil cartel acronym : OPEC
23 “Riverdale” actor Goree : ELI
25 Tiny potted tree : BONSAI
26 Slanted, as a typeface : ITALIC
28 1970s tennis star Nastase : ILIE
29 Worldwide humanitarian gp. : UNICEF
30 Concrete-reinforcing rod : REBAR
31 “Sorry, can’t help ya” : NO DICE
32 Spots to buy stamps: Abbr. : POS
35 Mid-American Conference university in Indiana : BALL STATE
36 Actress Fanning : ELLE
37 “Of course!” : YES!
39 Triteness : BANALITY
43 Royal son : PRINCE
45 Fin. neighbor : NOR
46 In a lazy way : IDLY
47 Saunter : AMBLE
48 Internal regulation for a club : BYLAW
49 Nimble : AGILE
53 Hoppy brews, briefly : IPAS
54 Beer company based in Hawaii : KONA
55 Some nest eggs, for short : IRAS
57 Words of comprehension, and a phonetic hint for the answers to the starred clues : I SEE (sounds like “IC”)
58 Dance move : STEP
61 “C’est la __!” : VIE
62 CIA predecessor : OSS

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 2 May 22, Monday”

  1. 7:50 – no errors or lookups. One revision: DOSES>PILLS.

    New items: TINA Majorino, IRMA Rombauer (although I’ve heard of The Joy of Cooking), ODE of Girls’ Things, ELI Goree, and didn’t realize there is a KONA beer as well as coffee.

    I wonder why my newspaper sometimes lists Rich Norris as an editor of the puzzle even though Patti Varol has been listed before? Is that a problem at my local paper, or with what the LAT provides to my local paper?

    1. What newspaper are you reading, Ray? It’s bad that they can’t keep the editors straight.

  2. 6 mins 18 sec, no errors. Glad to see another “new name” in the byline. Hoping I’ll get on better with Patti’s stable of go-to constructors than the previous “regime”

  3. No look up,no errors. Happy Monday 🙂
    “said no one ever” from yesterday’s puzzle,
    me thinks Patti did some blog homework…
    I like it!

  4. 3:42

    Usually when I do a Monday puzzle, it’s so quick I don’t even notice the theme. But this time ISEE it!

  5. Slightly slow Monday for me; took 8:26 with no peeks or errors. Got slowed down by some of the actresses, film names and BALL State, but not too much. Also had DeLl before DALE. Actually used the theme on one of the clues, despite barely noticing it.

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