LA Times Crossword 3 Jun 22, Friday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Kay’s Gone!

Themed answers are each common phrases, but with a letter K dropped from the end of one word:

  • 20A Medic with an office at Fisherman’s Wharf? : THE DOC OF THE BAY (from “The Dock of the Bay”)
  • 25A Leaders inclined to work as a group? : BLOC HEADS (from “blockheads”)
  • 45A Captain Hook’s incredulous assessment of his nemesis? : WHAT A CROC! (from “What a crock!”)
  • 50A Puts comfy shoes through rigorous testing? : HOLDS A MOC TRIAL (from “holds a mock trial”)

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

Bill’s time: 6m 54s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Sarah Spain’s network : ESPN

Sarah Spain is a sports reporter who joined ESPN in 2010. In 2016, Spain joined sports radio host Julie DiCaro to appear in a video called “More Than Mean”. The intent of the four-minute video is to highlight the outrageous sexual harrassment and threats that female sportscasters endure online. The video featured ordinary men reading the real, degrading tweets to Spain and DiCaro while sitting in front of them. The two sportscasters knew the content of the tweets, but the men didn’t. The unsuspecting men’s reactions make for a very powerful video, one that won a Peabody Award.

5 Percussion set : HI-HAT

In a drum kit, a hi-hat is a pairing of cymbals that sits on a stand and is played by using a foot pedal. The top cymbal is raised and lowered by the foot, hence creating a crashing sound.

10 Cards : WITS

A very amusing person might be referred to as a card, stitch, wag or riot.

17 Textile machine : LOOM

There are many types of loom used to weave cloth, but they all hold parallel threads in tension in one direction, while allowing the interweaving of threads in the perpendicular direction. The threads held under tension are the warp threads, and the “woven” threads are the “weft” threads.

18 Nigerian seaport : LAGOS

Lagos is a port and the biggest city in Nigeria. It used to be the country’s capital, until it was replaced in that role in 1991 by Abuja, a city built just for this purpose. Lagos is also the most populous city in the whole of Africa (followed by Cairo in Egypt).

20 Medic with an office at Fisherman’s Wharf? : THE DOC OF THE BAY (from “The Dock of the Bay”)

Fisherman’s Wharf is the name given to what is now a tourist mecca at the northern limits of San Francisco, sitting right on San Francisco Bay. Historically, it is where the city’s fishing fleet was moored and so the neighborhood became associated with the fishing community that mainly comprised Italian immigrants.

“(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” is a song that Otis Redding started composing in 1967 while sitting on a houseboat in Sausalito, on San Francisco Bay. Redding finished the song soon after, with the help of co-writer Steve Cooper. “The Dock of the Bay” was released in January of 1968, just one month after Redding was killed in a plane crash. The song became the first posthumous single to reach number in the US charts. As an aside, Janis Joplin’s recording of “Me and Bobby McGee” achieved the same feat in 1971.

31 Extremely cold : GELID

“Gelid” is such a lovely word, one with the meaning “icy cold”. “Gelid” derives from the Latin “gelum” meaning “frost, intense cold”.

32 Channel marker : BUOY

A buoy is a floating device with many, many uses. The term “buoy” still provides the most difficult pronunciation challenge to me, as a native Irishman living in the US. I still find myself saying “boy” and “boyed” instead of “boo-ee” and “boo-eed” …

33 Picked up the tab : TREATED

When we run a “tab” at a bar, we are running a “tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.

35 BYU or NYU : SCH

Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah has about 34.000 students on campus making it the largest religious university in the country. The school was founded in 1875 by Brigham Young, then President of the Church of Latter-day Saints.

The main campus of the private New York University (NYU) is located right in Manhattan, in Washington Square in the heart of Greenwich Village. NYU has over 12,000 resident students, the largest number of residents in a private school in the whole country. NYU’s sports teams are known as the Violets, a reference to the violet and white colors that are worn in competition. Since the 1980s, the school’s mascot has been a bobcat. “Bobcat” had been the familiar name given to NYU’s Bobst Library computerized catalog.

36 Sun screen : PARASOL

A parasol is a light umbrella that is used as a sunshade. The term “parasol” ultimately comes from Latin “para-” meaning “defense against”, and “sol” meaning “sun”.

40 African country in the Maloti Mountains : LESOTHO

Lesotho is an enclaved country that is completely surrounded by the Republic of South Africa(RSA). The nation was ruled as a British colony from 1868 until 1966 under the name “Basutoland”. Basutoland regained its independence in 1966, and became the Kingdom of Lesotho.

The Maloti Mountains are located in Lesotho and South Africa. The highest peak in the range is Thabana Ntlenyana, which is also the highest mountain in southern Africa.

45 Captain Hook’s incredulous assessment of his nemesis? : WHAT A CROC! (from “What a crock!”)

In J. M. Barrie’s play “Peter Pan”, it is not specifically stated how Captain Hook lost his hand, although previous writings by Barrie reveal that Peter Pan cut it off during a swordfight. What is revealed is that Peter fed the severed hand to a crocodile, and that crocodile pursues Captain Hook for the rest of his days, seeking to finish off his meal. The crocodile also swallowed a clock, and the ticking of the clock warns Captain Hook of his pursuer’s approach.

We’ve been using the term “crock” to mean “worthless rubbish” since the 1800s. The usage very possibly arose from the use of crockery as chamber pots.

47 Statue base : PLINTH

A plinth is a block on which something is placed, especially a column. The Greek word “plinthos” means “squared stone”.

49 Melber of MSNBC : ARI

Ari Melber is a television journalist and the chief legal correspondent for MSNBC. He started hosting his own daily show called “The Beat with Ari Melber” in 2017.

50 Puts comfy shoes through rigorous testing? : HOLDS A MOC TRIAL (from “holds a mock trial”)

A mock trial is a simulated court proceeding engaged in by law students. A mock trial is similar to a moot court with the latter simulating an appellate court or arbitral case, and the former simulating a jury trial or bench trial.

57 Safari equine : ZEBRA

The term “zebra” comes from an old Portuguese word “zevra” meaning “wild ass”. Studies of zebra embryos show that zebras are basically black in color, with white stripes that develop with growth. Before this finding, it was believed they were white, with black stripes.

There are seven living species of mammals in the genus Equus, each of which is referred to as “equine”. The seven species include all horses, asses and zebras. All equine species can crossbreed. For example, a mule is a cross between a male donkey and a female horse, a zorse is a cross between a zebra and a horse, and a zedonk is a cross between a zebra and a donkey.

58 Most CFOs : MBAS

A chief financial officer (CFO) might have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

61 “Middlemarch” novelist : ELIOT

George Eliot’s novel “Middlemarch” was first published in installments in 1871-72. The storyline is set some fifty years earlier, in the fictional English Midlands town of Middlemarch.

62 Bend at a barre : PLIE

The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent. A “demi-plié” is a similar move, but with less bending of the knees. A fondu is similar to a plié, except that only one leg remains on the ground.

A barre is a handrail used by ballet dancers for warm-up exercises and to provide support when practicing certain moves.

63 Retired boomers : SSTS

The most famous supersonic transport (SST) is the retired Concorde. The Concorde routinely broke the sound barrier, and cruised at about twice the speed of sound. Above Mach 2, frictional heat would cause the plane’s aluminum airframe to soften, so airspeed was limited.

65 Blood bank fluids : SERA

Blood serum (plural “sera”) is the clear, yellowish part of blood i.e. that part which is neither a blood cell nor a clotting factor. Included in blood serum are antibodies, the proteins that are central to our immune system. Blood serum from animals that have immunity to a particular disease can be transferred to another individual, hence providing that second individual with some level of immunity. Blood serum used to pass on immunity can be called “antiserum”.

Down

1 Subj. for those wishing to be bilingual : ESL

English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

5 Meteorological effect caused by refraction : HALO

A beam of light can change direction when passing from one medium into another. This change of direction is known as refraction.

6 Desktop with an AppleCare option : IMAC

AppleCare is the hardware warranty and support service provided by Apple for its products.

7 Literary award with a spaceship logo : HUGO

The Hugo Awards are presented annually for excellence in science fiction and fantasy writing. The awards are named for Hugo Gernsback, founder of the sci-fi magazine “Amazing Stories”.

9 Lab work : TESTS

Our term “laboratory”, often shortened to “lab”, comes from the Medieval Latin word “laboratorium” meaning “place for labor, work”. This in turn comes from the Latin verb “laborare” meaning “to work”.

11 Pulitzer-winning journalist Wilkerson : ISABEL

Journalist and author Isabel Wilkerson was the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in journalism, doing so in 1994. Wilkerson’s father was one of the renowned Tuskegee Airmen who fought during World War II. Her 2020 book “Castes: The Origins of Our Discontents” discusses racism in the US and posits that racial stratification in America is best understood as a caste system, similar to that existing in India and Nazi Germany.

12 Early ICBM : TITAN I

Titan was a family of rockets first introduced in 1959. Titan rockets were used to launch man into space in the Gemini Program in the mid-sixties, and were also part of the American ICBM missile deterrent until the eighties.

An Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with the range necessary to cross between continents. Being ballistic (unlike a cruise missile), an ICBM is guided during the initial launch phase, but later in flight just relies on thrust and gravity to arrive at its target. It is defined as intercontinental as it has a range greater than 3,500 miles. ICBMs are really only used for delivering nuclear warheads. Scary stuff …

21 Play-__ : DOH

Back in the 1930s, a manufacturer in Cincinnati produced a doughy compound that was used to clean wallpaper. Twenty years later, school-kids started using the cleaning material as a modeling compound, so the manufacturer reworked the formula, and sold it to local schools. It was given the name “Play-Doh”.

22 “Science of Logic” philosopher Georg : HEGEL

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German philosopher, and one of the founders of the German idealism movement. “Idealism”, in the context of the movement, was the principle that objects did not have properties in themselves, but rather that an object’s properties depended on the person perceiving the object.

25 Small ammo : BBS

A BB gun is an air pistol or rifle that shoots birdshot known as BBs. Birdshot comes in a number of different sizes, from size 9 (0.070″ in diameter) to size FF (.230″). Birdshot that is size BB (0.180″ in diameter) gives the airgun its name.

26 Director Jean-__ Godard : LUC

Jean-Luc Godard is a so-called “Nouvelle Vague” (New Wave) cinematographer, making movies that challenge the conventions of both traditional Hollywood and French cinema.

27 LAX postings : ETAS

Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA”, but when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently, the “X” has no significant meaning.

28 Superhero once played by Stephen Amell on The CW : ARROW

“Arrow” is a TV show based on the DC Comics superhero Green Arrow. The title character is played by Canadian actor Stephen Amell. Its original run was for weight seasons, from 2012 to 2020.

29 “__ Comes to Pemberley”: P.D. James novel : DEATH

“Death Comes to Pemberley” is an inventive murder mystery penned by P.D. James that is a continuation of Jane Austen’s masterpiece “Pride and Prejudice”. The P.D. James novel was adapted into an entertaining BBC miniseries that first aired in 2013. I’ve read a few “Pride and Prejudice” spin-offs, and this one is among the best of the genre.

P. D. James was an incredibly successful English author of crime fiction, with her most famous books being a series that features a policeman and sometime poet named Adam Dalgliesh. James’ 1992 novel called “The Children of Men” was adapted into a 2006 movie (“Children of Men”) starring Clive Owen and Julianne Moore. It tells of a world that develops after two generations of human infertility.

30 Obama daughter : SASHA

Sasha is the younger of the two Obama children, having been born in 2001. She was the youngest child to reside in the White House since John F. Kennedy, Jr. moved in with his parents as a small infant. Sasha’s Secret Service codename is “Rosebud”, and her older sister Malia has the codename “Radiance”.

37 Element in an algebraic equation : VARIABLE

Algebra (alg.) is a branch of mathematics in which arithmetical operations are performed on variables rather than specific numbers (x,y etc). The term “algebra” comes from the Arabic “al jebr” meaning “reunion of broken parts”.

38 Wall St. event : IPO

An initial public offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

40 Brand of packaged bagels : LENDER’S

Lender’s is a brand of bagels that was established in 1927 by Harry Lender, a baker in New Haven, Connecticut. Lender’s developed a process for freezing bagels in the 1950s, and introduced frozen bagels into supermarkets. At one point, Lender’s was the world’s biggest producer of bagels.

42 Ladybug prey : APHIDS

Aphids are called “greenfly” back in Britain and Ireland where I come from. The most effective way to control aphids, in my experience, is to make sure there are plenty of ladybugs in the garden (called “ladybirds” in Ireland!).

44 “The Gleaners” painter Jean-François : MILLET

Jean-François Millet was a French painter of the Barbizon school who is famous for his depictions of peasant farming. I’ve had the privilege of viewing some of his paintings in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris a few times. Millet spent much of his time painting in the countryside surrounding Barbizon, where he lived in France. Millet’s most celebrated work is called “The Gleaners”, which depicts poor women taking advantage of their centuries-old right to remove the bits of grain left in the fields following the harvest.

46 River that rises in the Bernese Alps : AAR

The Aar (also called the “Aare” in German) is the longest river entirely in Switzerland. The Aar is a major tributary of the Rhine and flows through Bern, the nation’s capital.

The Bernese Alps are located in Switzerland in the canton of Bern. The list of famous peaks found in the Bernese Alps includes the Jungfrau and the Eiger.

52 Drama honor : OBIE

The Obies are the Off-Broadway Theater Awards. They have been presented annually since 1956. The recipients used to be chosen by “The Village Voice” newspaper, but now are jointly administered with the American Theatre Wing.

54 Ink : TATS

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”.

55 Place to hibernate : LAIR

When animals hibernate, they are minimally active, have low body temperatures, relatively slow breathing and a low metabolic rate overall. HIbernation can last days and even months, and is most closely associated with the winter season. The term “hibernation” comes from the Latin “hibernare” meaning “to pass the winter, occupy winter quarters”.

59 “Wide Sargasso __”: Jean Rhys novel : SEA

“Wide Sargasso Sea” was written by Jean Rhys and first published in 1966. It’s a clever work that was written as a sort of prequel to Charlotte Bronte’s famous “Jane Eyre”, which dates back to 1847.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Sarah Spain’s network : ESPN
5 Percussion set : HI-HAT
10 Cards : WITS
14 “Go on, git!” : SHOO!
15 Tickle : AMUSE
16 __ were : AS IT
17 Textile machine : LOOM
18 Nigerian seaport : LAGOS
19 “Ciao” : TA-TA
20 Medic with an office at Fisherman’s Wharf? : THE DOC OF THE BAY (from “The Dock of the Bay”)
23 Expert : PRO
24 Extremely chill : SERENE
25 Leaders inclined to work as a group? : BLOC HEADS (from “blockheads”)
31 Extremely cold : GELID
32 Channel marker : BUOY
33 Picked up the tab : TREATED
35 BYU or NYU : SCH
36 Sun screen : PARASOL
37 Strive (for) : VIE
40 African country in the Maloti Mountains : LESOTHO
41 Drains : SAPS
42 Summits : ACMES
45 Captain Hook’s incredulous assessment of his nemesis? : WHAT A CROC! (from “What a crock!”)
47 Statue base : PLINTH
49 Melber of MSNBC : ARI
50 Puts comfy shoes through rigorous testing? : HOLDS A MOC TRIAL (from “holds a mock trial”)
56 Tropical spot : ISLE
57 Safari equine : ZEBRA
58 Most CFOs : MBAS
60 Some game : DEER
61 “Middlemarch” novelist : ELIOT
62 Bend at a barre : PLIE
63 Retired boomers : SSTS
64 Action : STEPS
65 Blood bank fluids : SERA

Down

1 Subj. for those wishing to be bilingual : ESL
2 Utterly beyond repair : SHOT
3 Play down : POOH-POOH
4 Motto for the ruthless : NO MERCY
5 Meteorological effect caused by refraction : HALO
6 Desktop with an AppleCare option : IMAC
7 Literary award with a spaceship logo : HUGO
8 Starting on : AS OF
9 Lab work : TESTS
10 Thinned (down) : WATERED
11 Pulitzer-winning journalist Wilkerson : ISABEL
12 Early ICBM : TITAN I
13 Hung around : STAYED
21 Play-__ : DOH
22 “Science of Logic” philosopher Georg : HEGEL
25 Small ammo : BBS
26 Director Jean-__ Godard : LUC
27 LAX postings : ETAS
28 Superhero once played by Stephen Amell on The CW : ARROW
29 “__ Comes to Pemberley”: P.D. James novel : DEATH
30 Obama daughter : SASHA
34 Friendly honk : TOOT
36 Rats, gnats, and brats : PESTS
37 Element in an algebraic equation : VARIABLE
38 Wall St. event : IPO
39 Key that exits full-screen mode : ESC
40 Brand of packaged bagels : LENDER’S
41 Is extremely frugal : SCRIMPS
42 Ladybug prey : APHIDS
43 Shuts : CLOSES
44 “The Gleaners” painter Jean-François : MILLET
46 River that rises in the Bernese Alps : AAR
48 Fuzzy states : HAZES
51 Move to a warmer state? : MELT
52 Drama honor : OBIE
53 Cut short : CROP
54 Ink : TATS
55 Place to hibernate : LAIR
59 “Wide Sargasso __”: Jean Rhys novel : SEA

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 3 Jun 22, Friday”

  1. Quick solve. For me anyway. About 15 minutes.
    Messed up on LESOTHO and LENDERS. Didn’t know either one. Guessed GESOTHO and GENDERS. Meh.

    I’ll CHOC(K) that up to experience. Wait , it’s CHALK! …

  2. Yay! No errors, no lookups for a change. Got the theme early with
    “the doc of the bay”….and that’s what I needed. Have a great weekend
    everybody!

  3. I thought I did well today (under 19 minutes) until I saw Bill’s time. At least I enjoyed the puzzle.

  4. 7:02

    Good thing today’s puzzle is a quick fill. If you leave out the Special K too long, it gets soggy.

    Does Captain Hook hide from his nemesis on the AAR?

  5. 16:42 – few cheats, including LESOTHO and HEGEL.

    Thought is was a fun and honest puzzle, maybe a bit easy for a Friday, if I could score a 16:42 …

    Be Well.

  6. 46:04

    Easy for a friday (there are fridays I have taken a whole weekend to plod through)

    Knowing the theme didnt necessarily help solve the puzzle for me.

    Cool new word in my vocab: GELID

    1. @Anonymous – thanks for posting! It lets “The Other Half” who aren’t as good (yet) as Bill, Glenn, Nonny, Pam etal know there are others who are still building their skills.

      1. I know people are building their skills, definitely. It always encourages me to see people trying at these things, no matter where they’re at. And I’m happy to see them succeed, no matter where they’re at.

        Thank you everyone for posting here and sharing with us!

  7. Compared to Mr. Wechsler’s usual overly long stretches between clue and answer, this puzzle of his was interesting and fun to solve. That being said, what is the rational between 64A and its answer? Y’all have a nice weekend.

  8. 19:15 – one error at MILLEr/SSrS (wrong kind of boomer). One good guess it the ‘G’ in HEgEL/gELID. Revisions: RELO>MELT, TRIM>CROP.

    New items: “Sarah Spain,” ISABEL Wilkerson, HEGEL, GELID, “Maloti Mountains,” MILLET, “Stephen Amell,” ARROW superhero, DEATH Comes to Pemberley.

    The theme helped with some solving.

  9. When I saw the Wechsler byline, I nearly skipped this one. But I soldiered on and finished in 12 minutes, 38 sec, with no errors. Remarkably easy for one of his tortured creations.

    Still, I hope our new editor will use these grids less and less and time goes on.

  10. Fun enjoyable Friday Wechsler puzzle; took me 13:36 with no peeks or errors. Didn’t know a few things (ESPN, ARROW, DEATH, MILLET) but most of those were easy enough to get with crosses. I had most of LESOTHO so I just put that in. Remember GELID from reading HP Lovecraft stories – a word he seemed to love to use, along with squamous.

    Amusing theme which helped get at few of the theme answers. I kinda like the “Retired boomers” clue.

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