LA Times Crossword 7 May 22, Saturday

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Constructed by: Ella Dershowitz
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 11m 01s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Van Halen icon : HAGAR

Rock vocalist and guitarist Sammy Hagar achieved fame in the seventies as a member of the group Montrose. He then carved out a successful solo career, and in 1985 took over from David Lee Roth as the lead vocalist of Van Halen.

Van Halen is a heavy metal band formed in Pasadena, California back in 1972. Brothers Eddie and Alex Van Halen originally called the band Mammoth, changing the name to Van Halen in 1974 when they found out there was another Mammoth playing the circuit. Early on, the brothers were renting a sound system from David Lee Roth, and they decided to save some money by bringing him into the band and saving on the rental fee!

10 Shortening in some cookie recipes : TBSP

Tablespoon (tbsp.)

20 “Euphoria” actor Eric : DANE

Actor Eric Dane is perhaps best known for playing Dr. Mark “McSteamy” Sloan on TV’s “Grey’s Anatomy”. More recently, he played the captain of the USS Nathan James on the action-drama TV show “The Last Ship”.

“Euphoria” is an HBO teen drama show that is loosely based on a miniseries of the same name from Israel. Lead actress in the show is Zendaya, who plays a recovering teenage drug addict.

21 Nej : Swedish :: __ : Russian : NYET

“Nyet” is Russian for “no”, and “da” is Russian for “yes”.

“Nej” is Swedish for “no”, and “ja” is Swedish for “yes”.

24 Sabermetrics input : DATA

“Sabermetrics” is the name given to the statistical analysis of the sport of baseball. The term comes from the acronym SABR, standing for the Society for American Baseball Research.

26 Hosp. scan : MRI

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses powerful magnetic fields to generate its images so there is no exposure to ionizing radiation (such as X-rays). We used MRI equipment in our chemistry labs at school, way back in the days when the technology was still called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). Apparently the marketing folks didn’t like the term “nuclear” because of its association with atomic bombs, so now it’s just called MRI.

27 “The Boys of My Youth” writer Jo __ Beard : ANN

Jo Ann Beard is an essayist who worked at the University of Iowa. During her time there, several of her colleagues were killed in a mass shooting in 1991. Beard wrote a well-received essay that was partly based on the killings titled “The Fourth State of Matter”.

28 Jolly good : A-OK

Our term “A-OK” is supposedly an abbreviation for “A(ll systems are) OK”, and arose at NASA in the sixties during the space program.

30 Lock : SHOO-IN

A shoo-in is a surefire winner, especially in politics. Back in the 1920s, a shoo-in was a horse that was prearranged to win a race, a race that was fixed.

36 Focus of a diary in some sleep therapy sessions : LUCID DREAMING

A lucid dream is a dream in which the person dreaming actually becomes aware that they are in fact dreaming.

39 Campus group : SOPHS

The term “sophomore” has been used for a student in the second year of university since the 1680’s. The original meaning of the word was “arguer”. The term has Greek roots, from two Greek words that have been artificially combined in English. The Greek “sophos” means “wise”, and “moros” means “foolish”.

41 “And all that” : ETC ETC

The Latin phrase “et cetera” translates as “and other things”. The term is usually abbreviated to “etc.”

43 Forrest player : TOM

Tom Hanks is such a great actor. He has played so many iconic roles in a relatively short career. Hanks is from California, and studied theater for a couple of years in Hayward, California not far from here. Tom’s son Colin Hanks is one of the stars of the TV comedy “Life in Pieces”. Hanks is married to the talented actress Rita Wilson.

The epic 1994 movie “Forrest Gump” is based on a 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. Groom said that he had envisioned John Goodman playing the title role, and not Tom Hanks.

48 Buckwheat noodle : SOBA

Soba is a thin Japanese noodle made from buckwheat flour. In Japan, the word “soba” tends to describe any thin noodle, in contrast with the thicker noodle called “udon”.

51 Chemical synthesized in the liver : KETONE

A ketogenic (also “keto”) diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. When a body consumes insufficient carbohydrates to meet the need for energy, then the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies in order to make up the energy deficit. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the bloodstream is known as “ketosis”, a term that gives rise to the name “ketogenic diet”. Medical professionals sometimes prescribe a ketogenic diet in order to control epilepsy in children. A condition of ketosis can reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures.

53 Sail a zigzag course : TACK

“To tack” is a sailing term, one meaning “to veer into and through the wind in order to change course”. After the maneuver is completed, the wind is coming over the opposite side of the vessel.

55 Résumé concerns : GAPS

A résumé is a summary of a person’s job experience and education and is used as a tool by a job seeker. In many countries, a résumé is equivalent to a curriculum vitae. “Résumé” is the French word for “summary”.

58 Gardner of mystery : ERLE

I must have read all of the “Perry Mason” books when I was in college. I think they kept me sane when I was facing the pressure of exams. Author Erle Stanley Gardner was himself a lawyer, although he didn’t get into the profession the easy way. Gardner went to law school, but got himself suspended after a month. So, he became a self-taught attorney and opened his own law office in Merced, California. Understandably perhaps, Gardner gave up the law once his novels became successful.

59 Chow from a halal cart, e.g. : STREET MEAT

“Halal” is a term describing an action or object that is permissible under Islamic Law. In particular “halal” is used to describe food that can be consumed. Anything that is not allowed is described as “haram”.

62 Yoga class respite : CHILD’S POSE

In yoga, balasana is a pose (asana) that is often used during a session for relaxation. The pose is known as child’s pose in English.

64 Five Pillars faith : ISLAM

Followers of the Muslim tradition believe in the Five Pillars of Islam, five obligatory acts that underpin Muslim life. The Five Pillars are:

  1. The Islamic creed
  2. Daily prayer
  3. Almsgiving
  4. Fasting during the month of Ramadan
  5. The pilgrimage to Mecca (haj, hajj, hadj) once during a lifetime

65 Taylor-Joy of “The Queen’s Gambit” : ANYA

Actress Anya Taylor-Joy had quite the international upbringing. She was born in Miami, and raised in Buenos Aires and then London. She is perhaps best known for playing the title character in the 2020 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Emma”, and the lead role in the Netflix miniseries “The Queen’s Gambit”.

“The Queen’s Gambit” is a wonderful 2020 miniseries based on a 1983 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis. Anya Taylor-Joy plays a young chess prodigy who has a tough upbringing in an orphanage, and who then struggles with alcohol and drug dependency. The series was so popular with viewers that it sparked a renewed interest in the game of chess, with sales of chess sets and chess books increasing dramatically.

Down

1 Aegean peninsula : ATTICA

The historic region of Attica is home to the city of Athens. It comprises a peninsula in the southwest of the country that juts out into the Aegean Sea. As a result, the region is sometimes referred to as the Attic peninsula.

The Aegean Sea is that part of the Mediterranean that lies between Greece and Turkey. Within the Aegean Sea are found the Aegean Islands, a group that includes Crete and Rhodes.

2 Boston street where Cheers is located : BEACON

The wonderful sitcom “Cheers” ran for eleven seasons on NBC, from 1982 to 1993. “Cheers” spawned an equally successful spin-off show called “Frasier”, which also ran for eleven seasons and often featured guest appearances of characters from the original “Cheers”. The Cheers bar was styled on the Bull & Finch Pub in Boston (in which I’ve had a pint of Guinness or two!). The owner of the Bull & Finch cleverly agreed to the initial interior and exterior shots, charging only one dollar. Since then he has made millions from selling “Cheers” memorabilia, and also from increased trade.

3 Retailer with Outdoor Discovery programs : L.L.BEAN

L.L.Bean (note the lack of spaces in the company name) was founded back in 1912 in Freeport, Maine as a company selling its own line of waterproof boots. The founder, Leon Leonwood Bean, gave his name to the enterprise. Right from the start, L.L.Bean focused on mail-order and sold from a circular he distributed and then from a catalog. Defects in the initial design led to 90% of the first boots sold being returned, and the company made good on its guarantee to replace them or give back the money paid.

4 Golden Globe winner Tracee __ Ross : ELLIS

Actress Tracee Ellis Ross is perhaps best known for playing lead roles in the TV shows “Girlfriends” and “black-ish”. She was born Tracee Joy Silberstein, and is the daughter of singer Diana Ross and music executive Robert Ellis Silberstein.

7 Reproductive gland : GONAD

Reproductive glands, of either sex, are known as gonads. Female reproductive cells are eggs, which are produced in the female gonad, the ovary. Male reproductive cells are sperm, which are produced in the male gonad, the testicle.

8 __ rock : ARENA

Arena rock (also “stadium rock” and “dad rock”) is rock music played in large arenas. It is a phenomenon that dates back to the British Invasion when successful bands like the Beatles played to large audiences in places such as Shea Stadium in New York.

10 Either “Twelfth Night” sibling : TWIN

At the start of William Shakespeare’s play “Twelfth Night”, Viola is shipwrecked and separated from her twin brother Sebastian, whom she believes has drowned. Viola disguises herself as a young man named Cesario. Later in the play, Sebastian turns up alive, and the identical looking “Cesario” and Sebastian appear together in the same scene. Viola reveals her true identity, and several plot lines resolve themselves very happily.

William Shakespeare wrote his comedy “Twelfth Night” as a Christmas entertainment (Twelfth Night being the end of the Christmas season). The play’s protagonist is a young woman named Viola. The plot calls for Viola to dress as a eunuch named Cesario who goes into the service of Duke Orsino. Orsino has Cesario go to Duchess Olivia to express his love for her. But Olivia falls for Cesario, Cesario (Viola) falls for Orsino, and hilarity ensues …

11 Vacay for parents-to-be : BABYMOON

A honeymoon is a celebratory vacation shared by two spouses after getting married. A babymoon is a celebratory vacation shared by two parents-to-be just before the birth of a new baby. I wish my wife and I had known about that concept 35 years ago …

15 Experts who prefer open-minded people? : MENTALISTS

Mentalism is a performing art in which the mentalist creates the illusion that he or she has amazing mental or intuitive abilities.

29 Ribs : KIDS

“To rib”, meaning “to tease”, is a term dating back to 1930 and is probably an extension from “poking someone in the ribs”.

31 “Chocolat” actress : OLIN

Lena Olin is a Swedish actress, and clearly someone who had acting in her blood. Her mother was the actress Britta Holmberg and her father the actor and director Stig Olin. Olin had a very successful career in Sweden, often working with the great Ingmar Bergman. Olin’s breakthrough international and English-speaking role was playing opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” released in 1988. Way back in 1974, Miss Olin was crowned Miss Scandinavia in a beauty pageant for Nordic women held in Helsinki, Finland. Olin’s most famous performance was in “Chocolat” released in 2000, and then she won an Emmy in 2003 for Best Supporting Actress in the TV show “Alias”.

The movie “Chocolat” released in 2000 is a big-screen adaption of the novel of the same name by Joanne Harris. “Chocolat” tells the story of a young mother with a six-year-old daughter who opens up a chocolate shop in a French village. The mother is played by the talented Juliette Binoche.

32 Aleve target : ACHE

“Aleve” is a brand name used for the anti-inflammatory drug Naproxen sodium.

33 Cy Young stat : ERA

Cy Young was a pitcher in the major leagues from 1890-1911. Young is remembered for pitching the first perfect game of baseball’s modern era. Soon after he died in 1955, the Cy Young Award was created and is presented to the best pitcher in each baseball season.

34 Muscle worked by a reverse fly, for short : DELT

The deltoid “muscle” is actually a group of muscles, the ones that cover the shoulder and create the roundness under the skin. The deltoids (delts) are triangular in shape resembling the Greek letter delta, hence the name.

36 Rake : LOTHARIO

There is a character named Lothario in “Don Quixote”, and in the “Fair Penitent”, a 1703 play by Nicholas Rowe. In both cases the Lothario in question exhibits less than wholesome behavior towards a woman, giving rise to the term “lothario” meaning “roue”.

A “rake” (short for “rakehell”) is a man who is habituated to immoral conduct (isn’t it always the man??!!). The rake is a character who turns up frequently in novels and films, only interested in wine, women and song and not accepting the responsibilities of life. Good examples would be Wickham in Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” and Daniel Cleaver (the Hugh Grant part) in the movie “Bridget Jones’s Diary”. “Rake” comes from the Old Norse “reikall”, meaning “vagrant or a wanderer”.

37 Repurposed creatively, as trash : UPCYCLED

To upcycle is to recycle in such a way that the new usage of a material is actually better than the original usage.

38 Wildly : AMOK

The phrase “to run amok” (sometimes “to run amuck”) has been around since the 1670s and is derived from the Malay word for “attacking furiously”, “amuk”. The word “amok” was also used as a noun to describe Malay natives who were “frenzied”. Given Malaya’s troubled history, the natives probably had a good reason for that frenzy …

39 Elements of Petrarchan sonnets : SESTETS

A sestet is a group of six lines of poetry. It is similar to a quatrain, a group of four lines.

A sonnet is a short poem with varying rhyming schemes but always with 14 lines. The sonnet form has been around at least since the 13th century. The Shakespearean sonnet is composed of three quatrains (4 lines) and a final couplet (2 lines). The Petrarchan sonnet comprises two quatrains (4 lines) followed by a sestet (6 lines), or two tercets (3 lines).

Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca) was an Italian scholar and poet who lived during the Renaissance. Petrarch gave up his vocation as a priest, and soon after spotted a woman named Laura in his church in Avignon, France. He was so taken by Laura that he wrote many poems dedicated to her. He later clarified that he could not approach Laura with his feelings, as she was a married woman.

42 Mind field, for short : COG SCI

Cognitive science (cog sci)

46 Herbal brew : RED TEA

Red tea is made from the leaves of the South African rooibos plant. The name “rooibos” translates as “red bush”.

49 Mikvehs, e.g. : BATHS

A mikveh (also “mikvah”) is a bath used for full body immersion in the Jewish rite of ritual washing known as Tevilah.

50 National Scrabble Day month : APRIL

The game of Scrabble has been around since 1938, and is the invention of an architect named Alfred Mosher Butts. Butts was born on April 13th, and we now celebrate National Scrabble Day on April 13th each year in his honor.

52 City across from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge : TAMPA

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge spans Tampa Bay in Florida, and is just over four miles long. The current bridge opened in 1987, replacing a prior structure that opened in 1954. Part of the old bridge collapsed in 1980 when the freighter MV Summit Venture collided with a pier. The collision caused 35 deaths as six cars, a truck and a Greyhound bus fell 150 feet into the water.

The Florida city of Tampa has been known as “the Big Guava” since the seventies. The term is imitative of New York’s “Big Apple”, and refers to the unsuccessful search for the reported wild guava trees that were once hoped to be the basis of a new industry for the area. Tampa has also been called “Cigar City”, a reference to the cigar industry that fueled the area’s growth starting in the 1880s.

54 Shoe brand with a Kate Spade New York collection : KEDS

Keds is a brand of athletic shoe first introduced in 1916 by US Rubber. The shoe was originally marketed as a rubber-soled, canvas-topped sneaker. The company first opted for the brand name “Peds”, from the Latin “ped” meaning “foot”. That name was already taken by another product, and so a quick rebranding took place resulting in “Keds”. The brand celebrated its centennial with a “Ladies First Since 1916” campaign that focuses on female empowerment.

Kate Spade fashion design house was founded as a supplier of handbags in 1993. The brand is named for founder Kate Brosnahan Spade. The equivalent male brand is called Jack Spade.

56 Actress Ward : 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”.

60 Genre that includes techno : EDM

Electronic dance music (EDM)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Fit : ABLE
5 Van Halen icon : HAGAR
10 Shortening in some cookie recipes : TBSP
14 “Keep talking … ” : TELL ME MORE …
16 Fade : WANE
17 House blends, e.g. : TABLE WINES
18 “Likely story” : I BET
19 Trap during January, maybe : ICE IN
20 “Euphoria” actor Eric : DANE
21 Nej : Swedish :: __ : Russian : NYET
22 Doesn’t work hard : COASTS
24 Sabermetrics input : DATA
26 Hosp. scan : MRI
27 “The Boys of My Youth” writer Jo __ Beard : ANN
28 Jolly good : A-OK
30 Lock : SHOO-IN
32 United in a cause : ALLIED
35 Word with string or sing : … ALONG
36 Focus of a diary in some sleep therapy sessions : LUCID DREAMING
39 Campus group : SOPHS
40 Yellowish pink : SALMON
41 “And all that” : ETC ETC
43 Forrest player : TOM
44 Bitey dog : CUR
47 Unlikely to pipe up : SHY
48 Buckwheat noodle : SOBA
51 Chemical synthesized in the liver : KETONE
53 Sail a zigzag course : TACK
55 Résumé concerns : GAPS
57 Put a handle on : NAMED
58 Gardner of mystery : ERLE
59 Chow from a halal cart, e.g. : STREET MEAT
61 Caught up to, in a way : TIED
62 Yoga class respite : CHILD’S POSE
63 Covers up a plot? : SODS
64 Five Pillars faith : ISLAM
65 Taylor-Joy of “The Queen’s Gambit” : ANYA

Down

1 Aegean peninsula : ATTICA
2 Boston street where Cheers is located : BEACON
3 Retailer with Outdoor Discovery programs : L.L.BEAN
4 Golden Globe winner Tracee __ Ross : ELLIS
5 Fell : HEW
6 During : AMID
7 Reproductive gland : GONAD
8 __ rock : ARENA
9 Starts over : RESETS
10 Either “Twelfth Night” sibling : TWIN
11 Vacay for parents-to-be : BABYMOON
12 Disdainful : SNEERING
13 __ zoo : PETTING
15 Experts who prefer open-minded people? : MENTALISTS
23 “No need to convince me” : SOLD
25 Flashes of insight : AHA MOMENTS
29 Ribs : KIDS
31 “Chocolat” actress : OLIN
32 Aleve target : ACHE
33 Cy Young stat : ERA
34 Muscle worked by a reverse fly, for short : DELT
36 Rake : LOTHARIO
37 Repurposed creatively, as trash : UPCYCLED
38 Wildly : AMOK
39 Elements of Petrarchan sonnets : SESTETS
42 Mind field, for short : COG SCI
44 “That can’t possibly be true” : COME ON
45 Weirded out : UNEASY
46 Herbal brew : RED TEA
49 Mikvehs, e.g. : BATHS
50 National Scrabble Day month : APRIL
52 City across from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge : TAMPA
54 Shoe brand with a Kate Spade New York collection : KEDS
56 Actress Ward : SELA
60 Genre that includes techno : EDM

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 7 May 22, Saturday”

  1. The 5A clue… At first I thought it was referring to the logo, then I thought that it might’ve been “David” or “Eddie”… even when I had __GAR filled in, I thought “Is his first name Edgar?” for the longest time.

  2. Several errors. SW corner pretty much did me in. Didn’t know LOTHARIO was the RAKE being referred to even after I had 39A, 41A, 47A and 39D correct. So my 53A became TUCK (didn’t know sailing. My 58A became ELLE.

    Didn’t know COGSCI was something. Guessed right.

    Never heard of BABYMOON. but then I never heard of VACAY (or STAYCA?) until I saw it in these puzzles.

    I had fun

  3. 13:06, no errors. Weirdest solve as I had probably 90% of it go in the last 3 minutes. Which makes me wonder what was wrong for the first 9 or 10 minutes before.

  4. I let lothario fill in Casanova Don Juan masher wolf …but Webster says rake was a real “reach”.fun puzzle.Why is Bill talking so long???Bad week

  5. 26 mins + and I couldn’t wrestle this one to the ground: 9 fills in the SE thwarted me. But I was glad to even get that far. This puzzle was full of arcana and words seldom referred to. TOUGH!!!

  6. 32:06 – four lookups! For me, several clues that were esoteric or unfamiliar to me. Had to look up “Van Halen icon,” “Boston street …” (embarrassed about that since I’ve been there), “Mikvehs,” and “Sunshine Skyway Bridge.”

    Revisions of: HALE>ABLE, LARD>TBSP, SHEELS>LLBEAN (forgot that Scheels has a ‘c’ in it), RECYCLE>UPCYCLE, ENZYME>KETONE.

    In 59A, having “halal” in the clue complicated it for me. “Bitey dog” was murky. “Mikveh,” “Petrachan,” “Euphoria actor,” “Jo ___ Beard” were new to me, as was CHILDSPOSE.

    Maybe I learned a few things in this one!

  7. 14:21

    Really surprised to see LUCIDDREAMING. I thought that was something only weirdos like me were interested in. I’ve managed to become lucid while dreaming a few times, but then I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it.

  8. LAT: Spent way too much time on it and still unable to finish with all correct. My problem was in the SE corner: A matter of two incorrect letters made for three wrong answers. Never heard of electronic dance music, streetmeat, or childspose. Puzzle was almost too hard for me to persevere at.

  9. Got some things right, got some things wrong. Studied the answers. Mostly got the NE, S and SW and little bits of the rest. A lot of names…guessed right on NYET.

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