LA Times Crossword 20 May 22, Friday

Advertisement

Constructed by: MaryEllen Uthlaut
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Ageless

Themed answers are common phrases LESS the suffix -AGE:

  • 39A Like someone who appears untouched by time, and like the answers to the starred clues? : AGELESS
  • 17A *Appendage capable of kicking a 60-yard field goal? : RARE FOOT (from “rare footage”)
  • 23A *Result of a computer virus? : INTERNET MESS (from “Internet message”)
  • 54A *Purpose of a phone booth, to Clark Kent? : GARB DISPOSAL (from “garbage disposal”)
  • 65A *LEGO minifigure of Emmet Brickowski, e.g.? : MICRO MAN (from “micromanage”)

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

Bill’s time: 9m 19s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

8 Snob __ : APPEAL

Back in the 1780s, a snob was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word “snob” was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.

14 Guessing game : CHARADES

In the parlor game known as charades, players take turns acting out words or phrases. “Charade” is a French word describing a literary puzzle that was popular in 18th-century France. In said game, the word or phrase was broken into its constituent syllables, with each syllable being described somewhat enigmatically. This puzzle evolved into “acted charades”, which we now refer to simply as “charades”.

19 List-ending abbr. : ET AL

“Et alii” (et al.) is the equivalent of “et cetera” (etc.), with “et cetera” being used in place of a list of objects, and “et alii” used for a list of names.

20 “Act Like You Don’t” country singer Brooke : EDEN

Brooke Eden is a county music singer who broke into show business as a contestant on the reality TV show “American Idol”.

22 Like a March hare : MAD

In Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, the Mad Hatter makes his first appearance in a chapter called “A Mad Tea-Party”. This event is usually described as “The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party”, even though the Mad Hatter was just a guest. The host was the March Hare. In fact, the phrase “Mad Hatter” doesn’t appear anywhere in Lewis Carroll’s novel, although the character, the Hatter (and sometimes “Hatta”), is described as “mad”.

23 *Result of a computer virus? : INTERNET MESS (from “Internet message”)

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).

28 Communications platform that began as a chat service for gamers : DISCORD

Discord is a communication platform that was originally developed as a user-friendly chat service for online gamers. By 2021, the service’s features had grown substantially, and attracted over 150 million users each month.

32 Calligraphy supply : INK

Calligraphy is the art of fine handwriting. The term “calligraphy” comes from the Greek “kallos” meaning “beauty” and “graphein” meaning “to write”.

33 Latvian seaport : RIGA

Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city’s magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

43 Blonde __ : ALE

Blonde ales are a loosely-related group of beers that share a very pale color. I’d guess that the most famous of the genre in North America are Belgian blondes.

44 Browser button : HOME

A web browser is a piece of software used to access the World Wide Web. The first web browser was called “WorldWideWeb” and was invented in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the World Wide Web. The browser known as Mosaic came out in 1993, and it was this browser that drove so much interest in the World Wide Web, and indeed in the Internet in general. Marc Andreessen led the team that created Mosaic, and he then set up his own company called Netscape. Netscape created the Netscape Navigator browser that further popularized the use of the Web starting in 1994. Microsoft responded by introducing Internet Explorer in 1995, which sparked the so-called “browser war”, a war that Microsoft clearly won. As Netscape floundered, the company launched the open-source Mozilla project which eventually led to the Firefox browser. Apple then came out with its own Safari browser in 2003. Google’s Chrome browser, introduced in 2008, is by far the most popular way to view the Web today.

46 China setting : ASIA

The world’s most populous country is the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The Republic of China (ROC) is the official name of the sovereign state that we usually call Taiwan.

47 Maki topping : ROE

When I’m thinking of sushi, I’m really picturing “makizushi” (also “maki”), which is fish, vegetables and sushi rice combined in layers and rolled up in seaweed. “Makizushi” translates from Japanese as “rolled sushi”.

54 *Purpose of a phone booth, to Clark Kent? : GARB DISPOSAL (from “garbage disposal”)

Superman’s comic book creators gave their title character’s alter-ego the name “Clark Kent” by melding the names of Clark Gable and Kent Taylor, two leading men of the cinema at the time Superman was created. However, they modeled Clark’s character more on the silent film actor Harold Lloyd.

Garbage disposal units are found in about 50% of homes in North America. Frankly, I’ve never seen one anywhere else in the world. Apparently, about 5% of homes in the UK have garbage disposal units installed.

58 Quash : VETO

The verb “veto” comes directly from Latin and means “I forbid”. The term was used by tribunes of ancient Rome to indicate that they opposed measures passed by the Senate.

63 Sweater wool : MOHAIR

The Angora goat produces the wool known as mohair. On the other hand, Angora wool comes from the Angora rabbit. Both rabbit and goat are named for Turkey’s capital Ankara, which was known as “Angora” in many European languages.

65 *LEGO minifigure of Emmet Brickowski, e.g.? : MICRO MAN (from “micromanage”)

“The Lego Movie” is a 2014 computer animated film in which all the characters are Lego figures. The hero of the piece is Emmet Brickowski (great name!), who goes up against tyrannical Lord Business. Chris Pratt voices Emmet, and Will Ferrell Lord Business. Apparently, “The Lego Movie” was well received, and resulted in the spin-off film “The Lego Batman Movie”.

Down

1 Animal Crossing unit : ACRE

Animal Crossing is a videogame that was released in 2001. Each player is a human character living and interacting with rural villagers who are anthropomorphic animals. The game is described as open-ended, in that there are no objectives. Players just live in the village, carrying out activities in real time.

2 Zoom option : CHAT

Zoom is a videoconferencing app that became remarkably popular in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The market deemed Zoom to be the easiest to use of the free videoconferencing apps. I’ve been using it, but really prefer Google’s Meet offering …

3 Strong who voices Miss Minutes on “Loki” : TARA

Actress Tara Strong is perhaps best known for her voice work. The list of her voice roles includes Dil Pickles on the TV series “Rugrats”.

“Loki” is a TV series based on the Marvel Comics superhero of the same name. The show’s action takes place after the storyline in the 2019 movie “Avengers: Endgame”. In that movie, English actor Tom Hiddleston plays Loki, and he reprises the role in the TV series.

4 U.K. fliers : RAF

The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the oldest independent air force in the world (i.e. the first air force to become independent of army or navy forces). The RAF was formed during WWI on 1 April 1918, a composite of two earlier forces, the Royal Flying Corps (part of the Army) and the Royal Naval Air Service. The RAF’s “finest hour” was the Battle of Britain, when the vastly outnumbered British fighters fought off the might of the Luftwaffe causing Hitler to delay his plan to cross the English Channel. This outcome prompted Winston Churchill to utter the memorable words

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

6 Zodiac sign : LEO

Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 23 to August 22 are Leos.

7 Aromatic compound : ESTER

Esters are very common chemicals. The smaller, low-molecular weight esters are usually pleasant smelling and are often found in perfumes. At the other end of the scale, the higher-molecular weight nitroglycerin is a nitrate ester and is very explosive, and polyester is a huge molecule and is a type of plastic. Fats and oils found in nature are fatty acid esters of glycerol known as glycerides.

9 Right away : PRONTO

The Spanish and Italian (and now English) word “pronto” is derived from the Latin “promptus” meaning “ready, quick”.

11 Miller/Liu TV drama : ELEMENTARY

If you’ve seen the American television show “Elementary”, you will know that it is an adaptation of the classic tales by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that are set in the present day. “Elementary” is similar in look and feel to the excellent BBC series “Sherlock”, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a modern-day Holmes. We can pick up “Sherlock” in some parts of the country as part of “Masterpiece Mystery” on PBS.

Jonny Lee Miller is a British actor whose big break came with the role of Sick Boy Williamson in the 1996 hit film “Trainspotting”. More recently, he played Sherlock Holmes in the crime drama series “Elementary”. Miller married fellow actor Angelina Jolie in 1996, but divorced in 2000.

Lucy Liu is an actress from Queens, New York. Liu’s big break came when she was chosen to play the Ling Woo character in “Ally McBeal”. I liked her in the 2000 film “Charlie’s Angels” but as I am no fan of Quentin Tarantino, I did not enjoy the movie “Kill Bill”. I do enjoy one of Liu’s more recent projects in which she plays Joan Watson, one of the two lead characters in the TV crime drama “Elementary”.

15 Museum item : RELIC

The term “museum” comes from the ancient Greek word “mouseion” that denoted a temple dedicated to the “Muses”. The Muses were the patrons of the arts in Greek mythology.

21 Genetic letters : DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)

24 Bollywood dancer/actress Fatehi : NORA

Nora Fatehi is a Canadian actress who is best known for her appearances in Bollywood films.

“Bollywood” is the informal name given to the huge film industry based in Mumbai in India. The term “Bollywood” is a melding of “Bombay” (the former name of Mumbai), and “Hollywood”.

25 Pre-calc course : TRIG

Trigonometry (trig) is a branch of mathematics dealing with triangles, and calculations based on the relationship between a triangle’s angles and the lengths of its sides.

Remember doing calculus at school, and all those derivatives and integrals? Well, you probably also remember that an integral calculates the area under a curve (for example), and a derivative calculates the slope of a tangent at a particular point on a curve.

27 Dash of flavor? : MRS

Mrs. Dash is a brand name of seasoning mixes. Just before the product first went to market in 1981, brand owner B&G Foods also considered the name “Mrs. Pinch”.

30 In-flight officer : SKY MARSHAL

The US air marshal program was created by President Kennedy in 1963, with the initial force of only six marshals assigned to flights that were considered at high risk for a hijacking. Just before 9/11, the number of marshals had increased to 33. The exact number of marshals employed today is classified information, but it is thought to be thousands.

34 __ provençale : A LA

A dish that is prepared “à la provençale” features ingredients commonly used in Provençe in the South of France. Such dishes typically incorporate tomatoes, onions, garlic and olives.

36 The Body Shop balm : ALOE

The Body Shop is a L’Oréal company that started in England. The founder got the idea from a shop she visited in Berkeley, California that happened to be called the Body Shop. Years later, the founder bought the rights to the original Body Shop name. L’Oréal bought out the chain in 2006 for over 650 million pounds.

37 Ingredient in some batter : BEER

In cookery, a batter is a mixture of flour, eggs and milk that has been beaten together. The term “batter” comes from the Old French noun “batteure” meaning “beating”.

40 Canadian gas brand : ESSO

The Esso brand has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

42 Indie pop duo Tegan and __ : SARA

Tegan and Sara is an indie pop duo comprising Tegan Rain Quin and Sara Keirstan Quin, identical twin sisters from Canada.

54 Claymation character with a horse : GUMBY

“Gumby” is a stop motion clay animation television series that originally ran from the fifties to the late eighties. There were 233 episodes made in total, an impressive number. Gumby was a little green man and his sidekick was Pokey, a little red horse.

Clay animation, also known as “claymation”, is a stop motion animation technique that has been around since the early 1900s. The list of famous claymation productions includes the “Gumby” series of TV show segments, the California Raisins musical group ad campaign, and “Wallace and Gromit” British comedy series.

55 Love, in arias : AMORE

In Italian, it’s “amore” (love) that makes “il mondo” (the world) go ‘round.

56 Apples, pears, etc. : POMES

The Latin word for “fruit” is “pomum”, which gives us the botanical term “pome” that is used for a group of fleshy fruits, including apples and pears.

67 Shuffleboard stick : CUE

The game of shuffleboard has been around for a long time. King Henry VIII was fond of playing, and in fact he prohibited commoners from playing the game. Shuffleboard is also known as shovelboard, a reference perhaps to the shovel-like paddles used to propel the pucks.

68 Record no. : RPM

The first standard for the rotational speed of gramophone records was 78 rpm. Like so many things it seems, the US version of “78” was slightly different from that for the rest of the world. The US record was designed to play at 78.26 rpm, whereas the standard in the rest of the world was 77.92 rpm. So, imported records playing on American equipment didn’t sound quite as they were intended.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Routine : ACT
4 Agitate : RILE
8 Snob __ : APPEAL
14 Guessing game : CHARADES
16 Metal framework : GRILLE
17 *Appendage capable of kicking a 60-yard field goal? : RARE FOOT (from “rare footage”)
18 Successfully lure : ROPE IN
19 List-ending abbr. : ET AL
20 “Act Like You Don’t” country singer Brooke : EDEN
22 Like a March hare : MAD
23 *Result of a computer virus? : INTERNET MESS (from “Internet message”)
28 Communications platform that began as a chat service for gamers : DISCORD
31 Deck out : ADORN
32 Calligraphy supply : INK
33 Latvian seaport : RIGA
35 Uneducated guess : STAB
38 Farm house : STY
39 Like someone who appears untouched by time, and like the answers to the starred clues? : AGELESS
43 Blonde __ : ALE
44 Browser button : HOME
46 China setting : ASIA
47 Maki topping : ROE
48 Subside : ABATE
52 Hose attachment : SPRAYER
54 *Purpose of a phone booth, to Clark Kent? : GARB DISPOSAL (from “garbage disposal”)
57 Uncertain sounds : UMS
58 Quash : VETO
59 Be without : LACK
63 Sweater wool : MOHAIR
65 *LEGO minifigure of Emmet Brickowski, e.g.? : MICRO MAN (from “micromanage”)
69 Slow-cook, in a way : BRAISE
70 Volatile : ERUPTIVE
71 Cried out : YELLED
72 “I __ to recall … ” : SEEM
73 Wet blanket : DEW

Down

1 Animal Crossing unit : ACRE
2 Zoom option : CHAT
3 Strong who voices Miss Minutes on “Loki” : TARA
4 U.K. fliers : RAF
5 Binding words : I DO
6 Zodiac sign : LEO
7 Aromatic compound : ESTER
8 “It’s settled, then!” : AGREED!
9 Right away : PRONTO
10 Apple seed : PIP
11 Miller/Liu TV drama : ELEMENTARY
12 Assumed name : ALIAS
13 Takes interest, maybe : LENDS
15 Museum item : RELIC
21 Genetic letters : DNA
24 Bollywood dancer/actress Fatehi : NORA
25 Pre-calc course : TRIG
26 Periphery : EDGE
27 Dash of flavor? : MRS
28 Chef’s creation : DISH
29 Passionate about : INTO
30 In-flight officer : SKY MARSHAL
34 __ provençale : A LA
36 The Body Shop balm : ALOE
37 Ingredient in some batter : BEER
40 Canadian gas brand : ESSO
41 Nurses : SIPS
42 Indie pop duo Tegan and __ : SARA
45 Flow back : EBB
49 Counsel : ADVISE
50 In layers : TIERED
51 Superlative suffix : -EST
53 Dole out : ALLOT
54 Claymation character with a horse : GUMBY
55 Love, in arias : AMORE
56 Apples, pears, etc. : POMES
60 Surrounded by : AMID
61 Finally give : CAVE
62 Had down cold : KNEW
64 Feel sick : AIL
66 Fury : IRE
67 Shuffleboard stick : CUE
68 Record no. : RPM

21 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 20 May 22, Friday”

  1. 13:15, 1 Natick (and lucky it’s just the one). I’ve been keeping quiet about what I think on these grids and this one is definitely a challenge on that regard. But I want to see what others say…

  2. No errors. Had to let crosses fill in most of those names of singers or actors.

    Looked up some clips on Tara Strong. Didn’t know her. She voices a bunch of cartoon characters my kids used to watch.

    1D had me going right off the bat. I was trying to imagine the road crossing sign. That threw me off for a while. Wasn’t aware there was a video game.

  3. No errors, but a few do-overs. I got the theme fairly early on but it
    took changing 61D from “cede” to “cave” to pull it all together.

  4. 17+ minutes, which is great for me. I didn’t figure out the theme right away. Other things I just didn’t know: Tara, Sara, Nora and Discord.

  5. 27:50 no errors…the theme actually helped me👍
    I stopped to answer the phone only to learn that I had just purchased another $3,000 worth of merchandise from Amazon.
    So far this week that’s about $8,000 worth…I pressed 1 to speak to a “representative “ and the usual broken English response came on …when I asked where my email conformation was he hung up (as usual).
    Stay safe😀

  6. 14:01. Like Mike, the crosses helped with the names; it would have been a “did not finish” otherwise. And, like Mary, changing “cede” to “cave” helped me pull it all together.

  7. FINALLY! A puzzle that’s manble. Surprisingly fun and not too hard, especially for a Friday. Thank you Patti, Joyce and MaryEllen.
    D. Chatswood

  8. 11:13, no errors. The only crossing I see in the grid that someone might try to describe as a Natick is at the intersection of “EDEN” and “DNA”. I’d never heard of “Brooke Eden”, “RNA” was a definite possibility for the crossing entry, and I could imagine the existence of someone named “Eren Brooke”, so I paused for a bit over the choice. In the end, though, I went with the correct answer (which seemed, to me, more probable).

    In any case, I think there are undoubtedly other solvers who have heard of Ms. Eden, making this a “NaN” (“Not a Natick” … 😜). Things I’ve never heard of are common in crosswords; true Naticks aren’t. Guessing is part of the solving process.

  9. I was stuck on 34D but got it from the 3 across clues. In the end I had to read Bill’s blog to understand it. I was doing the puzzle with pen and paper and the clue read: “___ proven ale.” I didn’t realize the paper was missing the character that would make it “provencale”.
    The Sara, Tara, Nora, and Eden clues were all new to me.

  10. 14:12 – no errors or lookups. Revisions: PIT>PIP (wasn’t really sure that pit was correct, but tried it), SWAG>STAB, SKYCAPTAIN>SKYMARSHAL, CEDE>CAVE.

    New items/names, many the same as others related: TARA, NORA, SARA, Brooke EDEN, “Emmet Brickowski.” Did not know what a shuffleboard stick was called, but it was easy to discern.

    Did not recall hearing [much] of the Discord platform until the shooting in Buffalo, NY. Its initial, and primary, usage sounds fine, but its name would seem to attract antisocial elements. According to Wikipedia, the platform moderators are continuously working to shut down undesirable servers; but, they seem to be having a difficult time with it.

    I tried to put “age” at the end of both parts of each of the starred answers. Allowing for it to be two words, it pretty much worked, except for DISPOSAL. RARE AGE, FOOTAGE, INTERNET AGE, MESSAGE, GARBAGE, MICRO AGE, MANAGE. It makes more sense as Bill described it.

  11. 14:04 – no cheats/errors. A few lucky first guesses helped.

    I think the LAX puzzles have definitely gotten a bit easier since Patti Varol has take over. There would have been no way I could’ve posted a clean 14:04 in the “old days” on a Friday. The reason I say this is that the NYT Friday kicks me in the teeth and draws blood … yeah, I know it’s harder, but it shouldn’t be that much more difficult than the LAX.

    I don’t think I could have progressed that much that quickly …

    Be Well.

    1. Actually, the old saw with Norris was that the LAT puzzles was supposed to be two days easier than the NYT ones. So basically LAT Friday = NYT Wednesday. All bets are kind of sort of off past that, but the LAT Saturday is typically supposed to be a difficulty equivalent of a NYT Thurs or Fri. So if you’re getting the NYT Wednesday’s okay, the thought is you should be able to handle late week LAT fine too. Typically, NYT Thu-Sun is going to be a fair difficulty jump from the average LAT grid.

      Of course, as I’ve pointed out, Varol is more of an early-week constructor than a late-week one, so Thurs on is pretty much going to be strange ground for her in producing anything challenge commensurate. And it shows in her efforts where they seem a lot easier in some respects and very inept in others like this grid is a good example of.

  12. Had to Google for TARA and SARA. Had EdEN rather than EREN. Definitely a Natick, and didn’t know that was a woman.
    The rest was great as a doable Friday. But, I feel the names are aging me out of the L.A. puzzle.

  13. No look ups,no errors. Found this one a
    little tough even for a Friday. 3 changes on
    the fly air/sky marshal, pit/pip and cede/cave. And I also considered hoe for
    cue 😂 Good theme and it helped. Bring on
    Saturday!!

  14. 17 minutes 25 seconds, and needed Check Help on 8 fills. Didn’t “get” the theme, and some of those fills just made >NO SENSE<. RARE FOOT??? You gotta be kidding me.

  15. 8:58

    Theme actually helped me.

    I’ve tried DISCORD when my writing group was looking for a replacement for our Yahoo group. It seemed okay, but the gamer origin seemed fishy to me. We settled on groups.io.

  16. 21:50, no errors. Theme helped & made more sense than yesterday’s whataboutism….
    EBB was also an answer in yesterday’s puzzle.

  17. Mostly easy in the end for a Friday; took 14:40 with 2 errors CedE instead of CAVE. I should’ve paid attention to the theme, which would’ve helped me get no errors. As it was, I just saw all the names I didn’t know and just poked my way through, accepting that I’d have quite a few errors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.