LA Times Crossword 27 May 22, Friday

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Constructed by: Gary Larson & Amy Ensz
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Noel

Themed answers are common phrases with NO “EL”, with the letter sequence “EL” removed:

  • 67A Holiday song, and, phonetically, an apt description of the answers to the starred clues : NOEL and NO “EL”
  • 17A *Genetically engineered retriever? : DESIGNER LAB (from “designer label”)
  • 24A *Colleague of an Idaho farmer? : POTATO PEER (from “potato peeler”)
  • 36A *Advice to someone who doesn’t want more kittens? : FIX THE CAT (from “Felix the Cat”)
  • 52A *Teaches tricks to circus animals? : LION TRAINS (from “Lionel trains”)
  • 57A *Food and water supplied during a marathon? : RACE RATIONS (from “race relations”)

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

Bill’s time: 17m 57s!

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 __-relief : BAS

In bas-relief, an image projects just a little above the background, as in perhaps a head depicted on a coin.

13 Tonsillectomy doc : ENT

The branch of medicine known as “ear, nose and throat” (ENT) is more correctly called “otolaryngology”.

The palatine tonsils are located at the back of the human throat. The exact role that tonsils play isn’t completely understood, but it is known that they are in the first line of defense in the body’s immune system. They provide some level of protection against pathogens that are ingested and inhaled.

17 *Genetically engineered retriever? : DESIGNER LAB (from “designer label”)

The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814, and the chocolate Labrador appeared over a century later in the 1930s. The name “Labrador Retriever” is simply a reference to the breed’s origin and behavior. Labs originally “retrieved” from the “Labrador Sea”.

20 Many a Riyadh resident : ARAB

Riyadh is the capital of Saudi Arabia, and is located near the center of the country. The name “Riyadh” translates from Arabic as “the gardens”.

23 NYC airport near Citi Field : LGA

Fiorello La Guardia was the Mayor of New York from 1934 to 1945, racking up three full terms in office. The famous airport that bears La Guardia’s name was built at his urging, stemming from an incident that took place while he was in office. He was taking a TWA flight to “New York” and was outraged when the plane landed at Newark Airport, in the state of New Jersey. The Mayor demanded that the flight take off again and land at a small airport in Brooklyn. A gaggle of press reporters joined him on the short hop and he gave them a story, urging New Yorkers to support the construction of a new commercial airport within the city’s limits. The new airport, in Queens, opened in 1939 as New York Municipal, often called “LaGuardia” as a nickname. The airport was officially relabeled as “LaGuardia” (LGA) in 1947.

Citi Field is a relatively new baseball stadium used by the New York Mets that sits right next door to the site of Shea stadium, where the Mets had played for decades. The new facility’s name comes from corporate sponsor Citigroup.

24 *Colleague of an Idaho farmer? : POTATO PEER (from “potato peeler”)

Idaho has the nickname “Gem State”, mainly because almost every known type of gemstone has been found there. Idaho is also sometimes called the Potato State, as potatoes are such a popular crop in the state. I’d go for the potatoes over the gems, but that’s probably just me. Oh, and Idaho license plates have borne the slogan “Famous Potatoes” for decades …

28 Care follower : … BEAR

The Care Bears franchise includes a line of toys as well as TV shows and movies. The original Care Bears were characters created for greeting cards marketed by American Greetings starting in 1981.

29 Relatively small upright : PIANINO

A pianino is a small upright piano, and is also known as a “birdcage piano”.

30 Tammy of country : WYNETTE

Tammy Wynette was a country music singer and songwriter who is perhaps best known for her 1968 hit record “Stand by Your Man”. The following year, Wynette married fellow country artist George Jones, although the couple divorced in 1975.

32 NFL stats : YDS

In a National Football League (NFL) game, the progress of play might be measured in yards (yds.).

36 *Advice to someone who doesn’t want more kittens? : FIX THE CAT (from “Felix the Cat”)

Felix the Cat is a cartoon character who dates back to the era of silent movies. A papier-mâché model of Felix was used in one of the first ever broadcasts of a television image, in 1928. At that time, RCA was using a Felix doll in experimental transmissions in New York.

39 Star in astronomy : SAGAN

Carl Sagan was a brilliant astrophysicist, and a great communicator. He was famous for presenting obscure concepts about the cosmos in such a way that we mere mortals could appreciate. Sagan also wrote the novel “Contact” that was adapted into a fascinating 1997 film of the same name starring Jodie Foster.

43 Hr. to go : ETD

Estimated time of departure (ETD)

46 __ knot : WINDSOR

A necktie can be tied using a Windsor knot, which results in a wide but symmetrical triangular knot. The knot was popularized by British King Edward VIII, who was known as the Duke of Windsor after he abdicated. On the very rare occasion that I wear a tie these days, I usually employ a half-Windsor knot.

51 God with good aim : EROS

The name of Eros, the Greek god of love, gives rise to our word “erotic” meaning “arousing sexual desire”. Eros was referred to in Latin as both “Amor” (meaning “love”) and “Cupid” (meaning “desire”).

52 *Teaches tricks to circus animals? : LION TRAINS (from “Lionel trains”)

Lionel is the brand name most associated with toy trains in the US. The first Lionel trains rolled off the production line in 1901 and they are still produced today, although the original Lionel Corporation is long gone. In 1995, the brand was bought by an investment company that included train enthusiast Neil Young (the singer), and operated as Lionel, LLC. Neil Young’s financial involvement ended after a 2008 reorganization of the company following a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, but the company is still producing and selling.

54 “Better Call Saul” network : AMC

“Better Call Saul” is a spin-off drama series from the hit show “Breaking Bad”. The main character is small-time lawyer Saul Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk, who featured in the original series. “Better Call Saul” is set six years before Goodman makes an appearance in the “Breaking Bad” storyline. The lawyer’s real name is James Morgan McGill, and his pseudonym is a play on the words “S’all good, man!”

55 Interminable time : AEON

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

56 Nevada city : RENO

The city of Reno’s economy took off when open gambling was legalized in Nevada in 1931. Within a short time, a syndicate had built the Bank Club in Reno, which was the largest casino in the world at the time.

62 Future louse : NIT

A nit is an egg of a louse.

64 Draft category : ONE-A

The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System (SSS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).

67 Holiday song, and, phonetically, an apt description of the answers to the starred clues : NOEL and NO “EL”

“Noël” is the French word for the Christmas season, and ultimately comes from the Latin word for “birth” (natalis). “Noel” has come to be used as an alternative for “Christmas carol”.

68 Start to sneeze? : ESS

The word starts with a letter S (ess).

Down

2 Barometer type : ANEROID

A barometer is an instrument used to measure atmospheric pressure. There are several types of barometer, each using a different technology for the measurement. For example, some use water or mercury in a tube. An aneroid barometer uses the amount of “bulge” in a thin metal disk covering a partially-evacuated chamber. This compact technology is often used in barometers that resemble clocks.

3 Soprano Teresa known for her recording of Berg’s “Lulu” : STRATAS

Teresa Stratas is a Canadian operatic soprano who is now retired. One of her most famous performances was the title role in the premiere of Alban Berg’s opera “Lulu” in 1979. That performance was at the Opéra Garnier in Paris, and the recording won that year’s Operatic Gramophone Classical Music Award.

5 Body spray brand : AXE

Axe is a brand of male grooming products. Axe is sold under the name Lynx in some parts of the world.

6 Beetle juice? : GAS

“VW” stands for “Volkswagen”, which translates from German into “people’s car”. The original Volkswagen design was the Beetle and was built under a directive from Adolf Hitler, who wanted a cheap car built that ordinary people could afford to purchase. Hitler awarded the contract to engineer Ferdinand Porsche, whose name (paradoxically) would forever be associated with high performance, expensive cars. The Beetle was the official name of the VW model released in North America, but it was usually referred to as a “Bug” here in the US, and a “Beetle” elsewhere in the world.

7 Clobber, biblically : SMITE

To smite is to strike with a firm blow. The term “smite” can also mean “strike down and slay”.

The verb “to clobber” means “to batter severely”. The term originated in 1941 in the RAF, and at that time was probably echoic of the sound of bombs exploding.

8 Port producer : WINERY

Portugal’s city of Oporto (“Porto” in Portuguese) gave its name to port wine in the late 1600s. Oporto was the seaport through which most of the region’s fortified red wine was exported.

9 “Amazing Grace” ending : … I SEE

“Amazing Grace” is a very, very famous hymn, with words written by John Newton in 1779. The words have been set to a number of different melodies, and what we are used to hearing today is music from a tune called “New Britain”.

Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
T’was blind but now I see

10 Abbreviation on old maps : SSR

The former Soviet Union (officially “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics” or “USSR”) was created in 1922, not long after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that overthrew the tsar. Geographically, the new Soviet Union was roughly equivalent to the old Russian Empire, and comprised fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs).

11 Young hens : PULLETS

The French word for “hen” is “poule”, and the Old French word for “young hen” was the diminutive “poulette”. It is from “poulette” that we get our contemporary term “pullet”, which also means “young hen”.

12 Data storage company : SEAGATE

Seagate Technology is a data storage company operating out of Fremont, California. Over the years, Seagate has effectively “eaten up” much of the competition, acquiring several hard disk drive (HDD) manufacturing entities over the years, including Control Data Imprimis (1989), Conner Peripherals (1996), Maxtor (2006) and Samsung HDD (2011).

26 Chalcedony with black and white bands : ONYX

Onyx is a form of quartz that comes in many different shades, but most often it’s the black version that’s used for jewelry. The name “onyx” comes from the Greek word for “fingernail”, as onyx in the flesh color is said to resemble a fingernail.

Chalcedony is a mineral. It is a form of silica. The name “chalcedony” might come from the ancient town of Chalcedon, which is now a suburb of Istanbul known as Kadıköy. Although the connection seems obvious, there are doubts …

38 Hibernian, e.g. : CELT

The Celts are a very broad group of people across Europe who are linked by common languages. The original Celts were largely absorbed by other cultures, although a relatively modern revival of the “Celtic identity” is alive and well in Britain and Ireland. Such Celtic peoples today are mainly found in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brittany in France.

“Hibernia” is the Latin name for the island of Ireland. The ancient Romans’ choice of name for Ireland was influenced by the Latin “hibernus” meaning “wintry”. I can understand that choice …

40 Meteorological concern : AIR MASS

Meteorology is the science dealing with weather and weather conditions. The term “meteorology” comes into English via French from the Greek “meteoron” meaning “thing high up” and “-logia” meaning “treatment of”.

41 Ristorante dumplings : GNOCCHI

Gnocchi are small dumplings in Italian cuisine that can be made from various ingredients including potato, my personal favorite. The name “gnocchi” might be derived from the Italian “nocchio” meaning “knot in wood”.

43 __ Aigner: fashion house known for accessories : ETIENNE

Étienne Aigner was a fashion designer from Hungary who launched his career in Paris after the end of WWII. He moved to New York in the early 1950s, where he spent the rest of his life.

44 Sneaks on the court? : TENNIES

Sneaks are sneakers, and tennies are tennis shoes.

45 Classic autos advertised with the Cole Porter song “It’s De-Lovely” : DESOTOS

The DeSoto brand of car was built by Chrysler from 1928 to 1961. The line was named after the Spanish explorer and conquistador, Hernando de Soto, widely reported as the first European to have crossed the Mississippi River (although Cabeza de Vaca had at least discovered one of the mouths of the Mississippi twenty years earlier).

Cole Porter was a little unusual amongst his peers in that he was one of the few successful songwriters who wrote both lyrics and music for his compositions. Porter was seriously injured in a riding accident in his forties and was left disabled and in pain. Despite this, he continued to work and produced his most successful work after the accident.

“It’s De-Lovely” is a song from the 1936 Cole Porter musical “Red Hot and Blue”, although the song was “recycled” for the later musical “Anything Goes”. It’s a great song, “de-lightful”, “de-licious”, “de-lovely” in fact …

47 Cow owner in a Rockwell painting : O’LEARY

The Great Chicago Fire blazed for almost three full days in October of 1871. By the time it was extinguished, hundreds of people had died and four square miles of the city had been destroyed. It is known that the fire started in or near a small barn owned by an Irish immigrant, Mrs. Catherine “Cate” O’Leary. A reporter called Michael Ahern wrote in the “Chicago Tribune” that the fire was ignited when a cow in the barn kicked over a lantern. Years later, Ahern admitted that he made up the story about the cow and the lantern, as he felt it made for colorful copy. Supposedly, Mrs. O’Leary died a heartbroken woman, as she spent the rest of her life with the public blaming her for the tragic loss of life and property.

“Mrs. Catherine O’Leary Milking Daisy” is a Norman Rockwell painting that he completed in the 1930s. It draws on the legend that the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 started when a cow being milked by Mrs O’Leary kicked over a lantern. The painting shows Mrs. O’Leary milking the cow, with the infamous lantern sitting on the floor. Rockwell created the piece as a gift for the Office of the Mayor of Chicago.

Norman Rockwell is one of America’s most famous painters and illustrators. A native of New York City, Rockwell is perhaps best known for the cover art that he provided for “The Saturday Evening Post” for more than fifty years.

50 Caboose, e.g. : CAR

The word “caboose” originally came from Middle Dutch and was the word for a ship’s galley. When the last car in a train in North America was given a stove for the comfort of the crew, it took on the name “caboose”. The term has also become slang for a person’s backside.

53 Salad topper : ONION

Our word “salad” comes from the Latin “salare” meaning “to salt”. The Latin “herba salata” translates as “salted vegetables”, which I guess could be a salad …

55 Shrinking Asian sea : ARAL

The Aral Sea is a great example of how humankind can have a devastating effect on the environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

58 Caterpillar roll fish : EEL

You might be able to order a caterpillar roll in your local sushi restaurant. A caterpillar is an inside-out sushi roll topped with thinly sliced avocado.

59 Peace activist Yoko : ONO

John Lennon and Yoko Ono married at the height of the Vietnam War in 1969. The couple decided to use the inevitable publicity surrounding their wedding and honeymoon to promote peace in the world. They honeymooned in the Presidential Suite of the Amsterdam Hilton, inviting the world’s press to join them and to witness their “bed-in”. They spent the week talking about peace, and an end to war. The marriage and bed-in is chronicled by the Beatles in their song “The Ballad of John and Yoko”. A few weeks after the marriage, Lennon adopted the middle name “Ono” by deed poll.

60 Word that indicates a name change : NEE

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”. The term “née” is mainly used in English when referring to a married woman’s birth name, assuming that she has adopted her husband’s name, e.g. Michelle Obama née Robinson, Melania Trump née Knavs, and Jill Biden née Jacobs.

61 ESPN reporter Paolantonio : SAL

Sal Paolantonio is a reporter for ESPN who is based in Philadelphia. He is mostly associated with coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants and the New York Jets.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 __-relief : BAS
4 Sacks : BAGS
8 Loose strands of hair : WISPS
13 Tonsillectomy doc : ENT
14 Class struggle? : EXAM
15 Point of contention : ISSUE
16 Binary pronoun : HER
17 *Genetically engineered retriever? : DESIGNER LAB (from “designer label”)
20 Many a Riyadh resident : ARAB
22 Family chart : TREE
23 NYC airport near Citi Field : LGA
24 *Colleague of an Idaho farmer? : POTATO PEER (from “potato peeler”)
28 Care follower : … BEAR
29 Relatively small upright : PIANINO
30 Tammy of country : WYNETTE
32 NFL stats : YDS
33 Socket set : EYES
35 Let up : EASED
36 *Advice to someone who doesn’t want more kittens? : FIX THE CAT (from “Felix the Cat”)
39 Star in astronomy : SAGAN
42 Of all time : EVER
43 Hr. to go : ETD
46 __ knot : WINDSOR
49 Successful candidate : ELECTEE
51 God with good aim : EROS
52 *Teaches tricks to circus animals? : LION TRAINS (from “Lionel trains”)
54 “Better Call Saul” network : AMC
55 Interminable time : AEON
56 Nevada city : RENO
57 *Food and water supplied during a marathon? : RACE RATIONS (from “race relations”)
62 Future louse : NIT
63 Clip : SHEAR
64 Draft category : ONE-A
65 New prefix : NEO-
66 Nonsensical : SILLY
67 Holiday song, and, phonetically, an apt description of the answers to the starred clues : NOEL and NO “EL”
68 Start to sneeze? : ESS

Down

1 “You should smile more” : BE HAPPY
2 Barometer type : ANEROID
3 Soprano Teresa known for her recording of Berg’s “Lulu” : STRATAS
4 Sack : BED
5 Body spray brand : AXE
6 Beetle juice? : GAS
7 Clobber, biblically : SMITE
8 Port producer : WINERY
9 “Amazing Grace” ending : … I SEE
10 Abbreviation on old maps : SSR
11 Young hens : PULLETS
12 Data storage company : SEAGATE
18 Got bigger : GREW
19 Exposed : BARED
21 Shut out : BAN
25 Promotional links : TIE-INS
26 Chalcedony with black and white bands : ONYX
27 One who’s well-versed : POET
28 Exhausted : BEAT
31 Not as far : NEARER
34 Binary pronoun : SHE
36 In things : FADS
37 Square : EVEN
38 Hibernian, e.g. : CELT
39 __ jar : SWEAR
40 Meteorological concern : AIR MASS
41 Ristorante dumplings : GNOCCHI
43 __ Aigner: fashion house known for accessories : ETIENNE
44 Sneaks on the court? : TENNIES
45 Classic autos advertised with the Cole Porter song “It’s De-Lovely” : DESOTOS
47 Cow owner in a Rockwell painting : O’LEARY
48 Real hoot : RIOT
50 Caboose, e.g. : CAR
53 Salad topper : ONION
55 Shrinking Asian sea : ARAL
58 Caterpillar roll fish : EEL
59 Peace activist Yoko : ONO
60 Word that indicates a name change : NEE
61 ESPN reporter Paolantonio : SAL

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 27 May 22, Friday”

    1. I initially had the same reaction, but Bill has the right of it: think of “no EL” as opposed to “no L”.

  1. No errors. I’ve noticed the crossworders (constructor and editor) tend to put relatively unknown words at critical juncture’s in the grid.
    PIANINO GNOCCHI

    1. @Anon Mike…they sure do👎
      49:30 with 2 errors and several look ups.
      3D is pretty obscure IMO.
      One day it’s opera and foreign words the next day it’s rap and foreign words

  2. One oversight error–forgot to put the “g” in 23A…mostl because I
    didn’t know “Seagate”. Otherwise completed with not a lot of
    problems once I tumbled to the theme. I would argue with “I see”
    being the end of Amazing Grace….the end of one verse, but not
    “the end.”

  3. 17:53 with lots of lookups to
    check that ANEROID was correct
    find Teresa STRATAS
    confirm PIANINO is a thing
    find Better Call Saul on AMC

    For a while I thought it was NO “L”. Once I realized it’s no “EL”, the theme answers made sense. While that three-way crossing of a scientific instrument, a name, and a musical instrument feels really unfair, the balance of this crossword was tough but satisfying.

  4. Steady solve, no junk, relatively few PPPs, neat theme executed well … a satisfying Friday puz that didn’t leave a crotchety old man anything to carp about. Fine job, Mr Lawson and Ms Ensz.

  5. 9:00, no errors. Good clean outing (to be honest, the WSJ and Newsday were good outings the last couple of days too).

  6. 15:07 – no errors or lookups. Can’t believe mine is one of the shorter times, and shorter than Bill’s (first time ever!). An easier solve than yesterday. Revisions were: BAR>BAN, INANE>SILLY.

    New items: Teresa STRATAS, guessed at what a “chalcedony” is, “Hibernian,” ETIENNE Aigner, SAL Paolantino, PIANINO.

    Haven’t had to tie a windsor knot in a long time. If you want a hearty carb with your meal, gnocchi is a good one to try.

    Figured out the 67A theme with 24A and 36A. That helped solve the other three.

  7. No look ups, no errors. 3 changes on the fly
    Scot/Celt, JFK/LGA and naked/bared. I
    almost threw the towel in but I kept at it
    and slowly but surely got the banner! Good
    theme and it helped. Bring on Saturday.

  8. 25:50 with some sloppy errors. Enjoyable Friday puzzle with the possibility of being mislead as to the theme. I spent a bit of time trying to figure out how 52A would work without an L. Once I got RACERATIONS it all became clear.

  9. Very fun Friday for me; took 30:44 with 1 silly error which I should’ve gotten: nIX instead of FIX. Just bopped around til the crosses made sense and then didn’t get the banner. Filled in a last empty square and still didn’t get the banner. Zeroed in on nIX/nADS and couldn’t blink on the OBVIOUS answer. Did a “check-grid” and there was the error, right where I zeroed in….oh “F” doh! Solved without figuring out the theme until I got here…which would’ve got me the “F.”

    Interestingly, when I took a strong interest in meteorology as a kid, my parents bought me one said “clock-like” aneroid barometer. But, it never really worked. No change when the weather changed. Sad really, should’ve gotten another type.

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