LA Times Crossword 28 May 22, Saturday

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Constructed by: Karen Steinberg
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 19m 49s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Waiter at a stand : CAB

A hansom cab is a very specific design of horse and buggy that was patented by Joseph Hansom in 1834 in England. The “cab” in the name is short for “cabriolet”, an earlier design of carriage on which the hansom was based. It’s from “hansom cab” that we get our modern term “cab”.

15 Thurman of “Hysterical Blindness” : UMA

Uma Thurman started her working career as a fashion model, at the age of 15. She appeared in her first movies at 17, with her most acclaimed early role being Cécile de Volanges in 1988’s “Dangerous Liaisons”. Thurman’s career really took off when she played the gangster’s moll Mia in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” in 1994. My favorite of all Thurman’s movies is “The Truth About Cats & Dogs”, a less acclaimed romcom released in 1996. She took a few years off from acting from 1998 until 2002 following the birth of her first child. It was Tarantino who relaunched her career, giving her the lead in the “Kill Bill” films.

“Hysterical Blindness” is a 2002 film made for television starring Uma Thurman as a woman searching for romance in the 1980s. Debby Miller, the Thurman character, suffers from hysterical blindness, causing her sight to fade in and out randomly.

16 Forte : CLAIM TO FAME

A person’s forte is his or her strength. The term “forte” came into English via French from the Latin “fortis” meaning strong. “Forte” (F) is also a musical direction meaning “loud”.

18 Pin in the back : TEN

In ten-pin bowling, the pins are arranged in a triangular arrangement. The pin at the front is the 1-pin. The pins at the back are number 7 through 10, from left to right.

19 Wii forerunner : NES

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to 1995. It was the biggest selling gaming console of the era. Nintendo replaced the NES with Wii, which is also the biggest-selling game console in the world.

20 Attacking surfers, maybe : TROLLING

In Internet terms, a troll is someone who attempts to disrupt online group activities. The fishing term “troll” is used to describe such a person as he or she throws out off-topic remarks in an attempt to “lure” others into some emotional response. I must admit to feeling sorry for people who have such sad lives …

25 Drew on? : TATTOOED

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

26 One of the “Black-ish” parents : DRE

“Black-ish” is a sitcom starring Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross that premiered in 2014. The show is noted for tackling tough issues such as racism, police brutality, attitudes toward the LGBT community, and the 2016 US presidential election.

29 Domingo, e.g. : DIA

In Spanish, we can look at a particular “día” (day) on the “calendario” (calendar).

In Spanish (Span.), the days of the week are masculine (masc.) nouns. Unlike in English, the days of the week in Spanish are not capitalized when used in the middle of a sentence:

  • lunes – Monday
  • martes – Tuesday
  • miércoles – Wednesday
  • jueves – Thursday
  • viernes – Friday
  • sábado – Saturday
  • domingo – Sunday

30 Performs like Saweetie : RAPS

“Saweetie” is the stage name of rap singer Diamonté Harper. She is from Santa Clara, California. Her grandfather is Willie Harper, who played professional football for the San Francisco 49ers.

37 “Black Panther” setting : WAKANDA

“Black Panther” is a 2018 superhero film starring Chadwick Boseman in the title role. Black Panther is a Marvel Comics character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. When not a superhero, Black Panther is the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, and goes by the name “T’Challa”.

40 Queen of Arendelle : ELSA

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle. Spoiler alert: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles seems to be a good guy for most of the film, but turns out to be a baddie in the end. And, a snowman named Olaf provides some comic relief.

41 Louboutin item : SHOE

Christian Louboutin is a fashion designer from Paris who is known for creating stiletto shoes with trademark, red-lacquered soles. His biggest individual client is American author Danielle Steel, who is said to own more that 6,000 pairs of Louboutin shoes!

42 Cacophony : DIN

“Cacophony” is such a lovely word, a word used to describe a harsh or jarring sound. The term arises from the Greek “kakos” (bad) and “phone” (voice).

43 Dessert that can be microwaved in a mug : LAVA CAKE

Molten chocolate cake is chocolate cake with a warm and liquid chocolate center. A dessert often called “lava cake”, it was invented by French chef Michel Bras, and dates back to 1981. It was popularized in the US by French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, initially in his New York restaurant Jean-Georges.

50 Natl. Merit Scholarship hurdles : PSATS

Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)

The National Merit Scholarship Program is a privately-funded, not-for-profit organization that was founded in 1955. The program governs two annual competitions for scholarships, one open to all students and one open to only African Americans.

53 LG rival : RCA

RCA was founded in 1919 as the Radio Corporation of America, and as a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Electric (GE). GE divested RCA in 1932, and then reacquired the company in 1986. Today, RCA is just a brand name owned by Sony Music.

LG is a very large South Korean manufacturer of electronics, chemicals and telecom products. The company used to be known as Lucky-Goldstar, whence the initialism “LG”.

54 Poke bowl option : AHI

Yellowfin and bigeye tuna are usually marketed as “ahi”, the Hawaiian name. They are both big fish, with yellowfish tuna often weighing over 300 pounds, and bigeye tuna getting up to 400 pounds.

Poke is a Native-Hawaiian dish featuring diced raw fish. “Poke” is a Hawaiian word meaning “to slice”.

55 Making a booty call? : BUTT-DIALING

“Butt-dialing” is an alternative name for “pocket-dialing”, the accidental placing of a call while a phone is in one’s pocket or purse.

Down

1 Short sucker? : VAC

The first practical portable vacuum cleaner was invented by James Spangler in 1907. Spangler sold the patent for the design to his cousin’s husband, William Henry Hoover. Hoover then made his fortune from manufacturing and selling vacuum cleaners. Hoover was so successful in my part of the world that back in Ireland we don’t use the verb “to vacuum” and instead say “to hoover”. Also, “hoover” is what we call a vacuum cleaner, regardless of who makes it.

2 Not over Zoom, say: Abbr. : IRL

In real life (IRL)

3 Arthur who appeared on “All in the Family” : BEA

Actress Bea Arthur’s most famous roles were on television, as the lead in the “All in the Family” spin-off “Maude” and as Dorothy Zbornak in “The Golden Girls”. Arthur also won a Tony for playing Vera Charles on stage in the original cast of “Mame” in 1966, two years after she played Yente the matchmaker in the original cast of “Fiddler on the Roof”.

“All in the Family” is an American sitcom, and a remake of the incredibly successful BBC show called “Till Death Us Do Part”. Both the UK and US versions of the sitcom were groundbreaking in that the storyline brought into focus topics previously considered unsuitable for a television comedy, including racism, homosexuality, women’s liberation, menopause and impotence. “All in the Family” is one of only three TV shows that has topped the Nielsen ratings for five consecutive seasons (the other two are “The Cosby Show” and “American Idol”). Stars of the show are:

  • Carroll O’Connor as Archie Bunker
  • Jean Stapleton as Edith Bunker
  • Sally Struthers as Gloria Stivic née Bunker
  • Rob Reiner as Michael Stivic

7 Nwodim of “SNL” : EGO

Actress and comedian Ego Nwodim joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live” in 2018. She was a biology major at the University of Southern California, a classic foundation for a successful comedian …

8 Loose garments : CAFTANS

A kaftan (also “caftan”) is a long robe that has been associated for centuries with Islamic cultures.

9 Disappearing discount stores : KMARTS

Kmart is the third-largest discount store chain in the world, behind Wal-Mart and Target. The company was founded by S. S. Kresge in 1899, with the first outlets known as S. S. Kresge stores. The first “Kmart” stores opened in 1962, with the “K” standing for “Kresge”. Kmart is famous for its promotions known as “blue light specials”, a program first introduced in 1965 and discontinued in 1991. I remember being in a Kmart store soon after coming to live in the US. That evening an employee installed a light stand an aisle away from me, switched on a flashing blue light and there was some unintelligible announcement over the loudspeaker system. I had no idea what was going on …

17 University with a law school at Greensboro : ELON

Elon University School of Law is located in Greensboro, North Carolina. It was established in 2006, and fully accredited by the American Bar Association in 2011.

The North Carolina city of Greensboro was founded in 1808 as Greensborough, with the spelling changing in 1895. The city was named for Major General Nathanael Greene who commanded the defeated American forces at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse during the Revolutionary War. Although technically a defeat, Greene’s forces inflicted such heavy casualties on the British Army, led by Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis, that the outcome was a strategic victory for the Americans.

23 Basic font : ARIAL

We tend to use the terms typeface and font interchangeably. Technically, a typeface and font are not the same thing. A complete set of characters with a common design is referred to as a typeface (common examples being Helvetica and Arial). That typeface consists of a whole collection of fonts, all varying in weight and size. One set of Helvetica fonts, for example, might be Helvetica 14 point or Helvetica 16 point, i.e. a specific size. Another set might be Helvetica bold, or Helvetica italic. The difference between fonts and typefaces mattered a great deal when printers had collections of individual letters to make up blocks of text. Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about that these days.

25 Tanks, e.g. : TOPS

“Tank top” is another one of those terms that always catches me out, as it has a different meaning on each side of the Atlantic. In the US, a tank top is a sleeveless shirt, something we would call a “vest” back in Ireland (and the US “vest” is what we call a “waistcoat”). A tank top in Ireland is a sleeveless sweater, which further adds to the confusion. The name “tank top” is derived from “tank suit”, an old name for a woman’s one-piece bathing suit. The use of “tank” for the bathing suit came from “swimming tank”, an obsolete term used in the 1920s for a swimming pool.

28 Berkeley, to sports fans : CAL

The University of California, Berkeley (Cal) is the most difficult public university to get into in the world. It opened in 1869, and is named for Anglo-Irish philosopher George Berkeley.

32 Birthplace of novelist Rohinton Mistry : INDIA

Rohinton Mistry is a Canadian author who emigrated from India when he was in his twenties. He is known for his novels that are set in his native land.

36 “Antiques Roadshow” determination : VALUE

“Antiques Roadshow” is a very popular PBS TV show in which professional auctioneers appraise antiques brought to them by the general public. The American show is based on a long-running BBC production of the same name. In one episode of the American version of the show, four pieces of carved jade were presented for appraisal, and were given an estimated value of one million dollars!

41 Regal rod : SCEPTER

A scepter (“sceptre” in Britain and Ireland) is a ceremonial staff, one often held by a monarch.

44 Part of UAE : ARAB

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates (states) in the Middle East. Included in the seven are Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with the city of Abu Dhabi being the UAE capital and cultural center.

45 “__ of the Louvre”: Emma Lazarus poem : VENUS

Emma Lazarus was a poet from New York City who is best known as the author of an 1883 sonnet “The New Colossus”. “The New Colossus” sits on a bronze plaque inside the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, a fitting location given that the title refers to Lady Liberty.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp! cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

51 Leaves for lunch : SALAD

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 …

53 Anti-piracy org. : RIAA

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) represents music distributors. It is the RIAA that certifies records that have gone gold and platinum i.e. reached fixed sales thresholds. It’s also the RIAA that goes after individuals who share music illegally online.

57 “Make __ double” : IT A

For me too …

58 Barclays Center player : NET

The Barclays Center is an arena in Brooklyn, New York that is home to the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA, and to the New York Islanders of the NHL. Barclays ended up paying over $200 million for the naming rights, even though the London-based banking group has no retail banks or ATMs in the US.

59 Coll. test : GRE

Passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is usually a requirement for entry into graduate school here in the US.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “How we all doing?,” e.g. : VIBE CHECK
10 Waiter at a stand : CAB
13 “Wanna?” : ARE YOU GAME?
15 Thurman of “Hysterical Blindness” : UMA
16 Forte : CLAIM TO FAME
18 Pin in the back : TEN
19 Wii forerunner : NES
20 Attacking surfers, maybe : TROLLING
22 Exasperated cry : AARGH!
25 Drew on? : TATTOOED
26 One of the “Black-ish” parents : DRE
27 Digital permission : E-CONSENT
29 Domingo, e.g. : DIA
30 Performs like Saweetie : RAPS
31 Management level : TIER
35 Curiosities : MARVELS
37 “Black Panther” setting : WAKANDA
40 Queen of Arendelle : ELSA
41 Louboutin item : SHOE
42 Cacophony : DIN
43 Dessert that can be microwaved in a mug : LAVA CAKE
47 __ factor : ICK
48 Something that can’t miss : A SURE BET
50 Natl. Merit Scholarship hurdles : PSATS
52 Go out briefly : TAKE A NAP
53 LG rival : RCA
54 Poke bowl option : AHI
55 Making a booty call? : BUTT-DIALING
60 Sofa bed site : DEN
61 “Peace” : SEE YA LATER
62 Spots : ADS
63 Romantic ideal : DREAM DATE

Down

1 Short sucker? : VAC
2 Not over Zoom, say: Abbr. : IRL
3 Arthur who appeared on “All in the Family” : BEA
4 Considering : EYING
5 Attractive words? : COME HERE
6 Humble abodes : HUTS
7 Nwodim of “SNL” : EGO
8 Loose garments : CAFTANS
9 Disappearing discount stores : KMARTS
10 Pie type? : CUTIE
11 Modify : AMEND
12 [Just like that!] : [BANG!]
14 Fake feelings : EMOTE
17 University with a law school at Greensboro : ELON
21 Host of, casually : LOTTA
22 Online request : ADD ME?
23 Basic font : ARIAL
24 Parents : REARS
25 Tanks, e.g. : TOPS
28 Berkeley, to sports fans : CAL
32 Birthplace of novelist Rohinton Mistry : INDIA
33 Order : EDICT
34 Orders : RANKS
36 “Antiques Roadshow” determination : VALUE
37 Unfriendly way to answer the phone : WHAT!
38 “No problemo!” : A-OK!
39 “Just relax” : KEEP CALM
41 Regal rod : SCEPTER
44 Part of UAE : ARAB
45 “__ of the Louvre”: Emma Lazarus poem : VENUS
46 Let up : ABATED
48 Followed a doctor’s order? : AAHED
49 Frontier trader’s goods : SKINS
51 Leaves for lunch : SALAD
52 “Did it!” : TA-DA!
53 Anti-piracy org. : RIAA
56 Go dark? : DYE
57 “Make __ double” : IT A
58 Barclays Center player : NET
59 Coll. test : GRE

25 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 28 May 22, Saturday”

  1. No errors but took almost an hour.
    Words took a long time to emerge. A word here and a word there then patterns started to emerge, then TADA!

    That cross of WAKANDA and LOTTA took a long time to cook.

    I got a butt dial at 2:30 a.m. one morning. One of my friends were partying late into the night and him and his wife and 2 other couples were driving around looking for a place to eat. Lasted about 2 or 3 minutes on my recording.

  2. You shouldn’t call puzzles like this crossword puzzles. They have nothing to do with words or vocabulary. They are stupid expressions and are not enjoyable to do. Is it really that hard to find crossword puzzles that are filled with actual words and require a modicum of intelligence? Puzzles like yesterday’s and today’s are a waste of time.

  3. LAT: Finished with one letter error (the d in “dia” and “add me”) but spent an awfully long time on the puzzle. Really didn’t know many of the answers I had done correctly until I read Bill’s explanations. Almost gave up.

  4. 21:24 2 lookups, for ELON and EGO Nwodim (since EVO wasn’t quite right).

    Another tough crossword. I think I liked yesterday’s better.

    I’m sorry but having a CLAIMTOFAME doesn’t mean you have a STRONGPOINT, which is what I first entered for a forte.

    I think high-heeled SHOEs are a less damaging version of food-binding, so I didn’t know about Louboutin.

    VIBECHECK is an interesting phrase.

  5. Boy, you said it, Anon. Oh well, there’s always the Daily Jumble. At least with that, we have half a chance.

  6. 46:10, typical for me.

    Had to lookup 26A One of the “Black-ish” parents, and 30A SAWEETIE to even have a prayer

    Still dont follow why 29A Domingo,e.g.is DIA or how AAHED “Followed a Doctor’s order?`

    1. Say “aah”.
      Domingo is Sunday in Spanish…dia is day. (I suppose some heads just exploded again at the thought of them furriners gettin’ more of their words into our American puzzles.)

    2. In Spanish, “domingo” is one of the days (“dias”) of the week (Sunday, I think).

      And … when and where are you asked to say “aah”?

    1. A host of something is a large quantity…it would have been a better clue if it had included “a”.

  7. 18 mins 41 sec, and 3 errors: [D]RE, [D]IA, and A[D][D] ME.

    This puzzle was very hard to get in tune with, as it’s full of slang and recent cultural references. First time through, I despaired of even getting it half way finished. But I stuck with it, only stymied at the end, with those three naticks that cross each other in the center left.

  8. 22:51, no errors. Mainly by guessing at what the constructor *thought* they meant instead of what the words do mean by randomly trying things. Ironically, the moment I praise one of these (rightfully) the next one is about as absolutely atrocious as possible.

    1. You solved the puzzle by randomly trying things?? I swear, these comments get weirder every day. 🙂 Not sure why y’all continue to do something you derive so little joy from.

  9. Two errors today. Proper nouns of course.
    Not the usual fun Saturday puzzle for me.
    Almost threw in the towel half way through
    but somehow almost solved it!
    Aargh indeed ☹️

  10. 57:47 – two lookups and two errors. Couldn’t recall that Saweetie is a rapper, and don’t know EGO Nwodim. Errors at _IB_CHECK which I should have figured out the vAC and that probably would have led to eYING.

    Revisions were: LEADS>HEADS>REARS, TAN>DYE, SAT>GRE, SCEPTRE>SCEPTER.

    New items: “Louboutin,” “Nwodim,” “Rohinton Mistry,” VENUS of the Louvre.

    The top half was a real struggle trying to figure out the clue meanings. In total, I counted nine clues with a question mark ending, which are oftentimes tricky to deduce.

  11. Definitely a challenging puzzle with quite a few lookups for answers. A puzzle like this can be annoying, but what’s the harm in looking info up?
    I enjoy reading about new concepts/people/places.

    It keeps me moving with the times or at least more culturally aware for the times they are a-changin’. And, by the way, which have always been a-changin’…

  12. DNF…all the obscure clues were in one spot (as they usually are) this time it was the NW corner.
    Is the setter related to David? Looking at this puzzle I would say so👎👎
    Looks like there’s a new Jack in town.
    Stay safe😀

  13. Pretty difficult Saturday for me; took 54:13 with a bunch of errors and “check-grids” to get to the finish. I managed to get all of the bottom half, below DIA, RAPS and WAKANDA, and just AMEND, UMA, NES, TEN, BEA, HUTS, CAFTANS, EMOTE above that line.

    I had duke instead of ELON and struggled mightily with the B in CAB and the D in DRE, which required alphabet rolls…not my favorite puzzle.

    Checked out Saweetie, since she’s from just south of here…pretty cute.

  14. This was about the hardest LAT puzzle I have done, well over two hours.
    I gradually looked up synonyms, people and places, then tried to fill in more blanks. I had an unusual number of guesses that were totally off.
    AAHED was a big stretch.
    DYE is just plain wrong. It’s a transitive verb, the clue should have been “make dark”.

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