LA Times Crossword 15 Jul 22, Friday

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Constructed by: Ben Tolkin
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Missing Links

Themed clues are single words MISSING the suffix “-LINK”. Clever …

  • 48A Evolutionary mysteries, and a feature of three clues in this puzzle : MISSING LINKS
  • 20A S : MOVE SNEAKILY (Slink)
  • 28A C : SOUND OF A TOAST (Clink)
  • 42A B : CLOSE ONE’S EYES (Blink)

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

Bill’s time: 7m 32s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 “A Land More Kind Than Home” novelist Wiley : CASH

Wiley Cash is an author who set his first three novels in his home state of North Carolina. Those novels are:

  • A Land More Kind Than Home (2012)
  • This Dark Road to Mercy (2014)
  • The Last Ballad (2017)

9 Mary-in-mourning sculpture : PIETA

The Pietà is a representation of the Virgin Mary holding in her arms the dead body of her son Jesus. The most famous Pietà is undoubtedly the sculpted rendition by Michelangelo that is located in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. That particular sculpture is thought to be the only work that Michelangelo signed. In some depictions of the Pietà, Mary and her son are surrounded by other figures from the New Testament. Such depictions are known as Lamentations.

14 1968 self-titled live folk album : ARLO

Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for singing protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.

15 Baseball family name : ALOU

Jesus Alou played Major League Baseball, as did his brothers Matty and Felipe, and as did Felipe’s son Moises.

23 “Gloria in Excelsis __” : DEO

“Gloria in excelsis Deo” is a Latin hymn, the title of which translates as “Glory to God in the Highest”.

28 C : SOUND OF A TOAST (Clink)

The tradition of toasting someone probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word “toast” was an indicator that the lady’s beauty would enhance the wine. Very charming, I must say …

32 Cornfield cries : CAWS

A caw is the harsh cry of a crow, and crows might be found in fields of corn …

34 Joe : MUD

It seems that no one really knows why we refer to coffee as “joe”, but we’ve been doing so since early in WWII.

36 “The Street” novelist Petry : ANN

Ann Petry was an author best known perhaps for her 1946 debut novel “The Street” and her 1953 novel “The Narrows”. “The Street” was the first novel by an African-American woman to sell over a million copies.

48 Evolutionary mysteries, and a feature of three clues in this puzzle : MISSING LINKS

The term “missing link” is usually applied to the concept that there existed some form of animal that is a hybrid between apes and humans. The idea that there was some “apeman” is discounted these days by the scientific community, who now favor the theory of evolution.

60 Tourney format : PRO-AM

“Tourney” is another word for “tournament”. The term comes from the Old French word “tornei” meaning “contest of armed men”, from “tornoier” meaning “to joust, jilt”.

63 Hatha yoga posture : ASANA

“Asana” is a Sanskrit word that translates literally as “sitting down”. The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called “padmasana”.

Hatha yoga is a yoga system developed in 15th century India. Traditional Hatha yoga is a more “complete” practice than often encountered in the west, involving not just exercise but also meditation and relaxation. “Hatha” is a Sanskrit word meaning “force”.

64 Patches potholes, say : TARS

The terms “tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call “tarmac”.

Down

1 “Good Omens” actor Jon : HAMM

Jon Hamm lived the life of a struggling actor for quite some time before he hit gold with a starring role in the AMC drama “Mad Men”. He plays the main character, advertising executive and man about town Don Draper.

“Good Omens” is a fantasy comedy TV series based on a 1990 novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pretchett. The show stars Michael Sheen as an angel, and David Tenant as a demon, both of whom have lived on Earth since the dawn of creation. The supporting cast includes Frances McDormand, who plays the voice of God and the show’s narrator.

2 Cookie with a Cakesters variety : OREO

Oreo Cakesters are a soft version of the celebrated cookie, a version introduced by Nabisco in 2007.

3 Balkan native : SLAV

The Slavic peoples are in the majority in communities covering over half of Europe. This large ethnic group is traditionally broken down into three smaller groups:

  • the West Slavic (including Czechs and Poles)
  • the East Slavic (including Russians and Ukrainians)
  • the South Slavic (including Bulgarians, Croats and Serbs)

The Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe is usually referred to as “the Balkans”. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains located in present-day Bulgaria and Serbia. “Balkan” is Bulgarian for “mountain”.

4 Soft-pedal : TONE DOWN

When a note is played on a piano, the sound is produced by a hammer striking three strings, all tuned to the same frequency. When the soft pedal is depressed, to give a softer quieter sound, the hammer only strikes two of those strings. The use of the soft pedal can be indicated in a musical score by using the Italian words “due corde” (meaning “two strings”). The indication to release the soft pedal is the words “tre corde” (meaning “three strings”). We also use the term “soft-pedal” figuratively as a verb, meaning “tone down, de-emphasize”.

5 “1812 Overture” instrument : CANNON

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s famous “1812 Overture” is more correctly called “The Year 1812 (festival overture in E-flat major)”. Tchaikovsky wrote the piece in 1880 as a commemoration of Russia’s successful defense in face of an 1812 invasion by Napoleon’s French Army and allies. The “1812” is renowned for its use of cannon fire, ringing bells and a robust brass fanfare at its climax.

8 Tamale wrapper : HUSK

The husk (sometimes “hull”) of a seed is its outer coating or shell. With reference to corn, the husk is the leafy outer covering of a whole ear. In the case of a legume, the husk is the pod.

A tamale is a traditional dish from Central America composed of a starchy dough that is steamed or boiled in a wrapper made from a corn husk or banana leaf. The dough is called masa, and can include many different ingredients including meat, cheese, fruit and vegetables. A hot tamale is a kind of tamale that originated in the Mississippi Delta. It is particularly spicy, and the masa is replaced with corn meal.

9 Milne friend who notes, “It is hard to be brave when you’re a Very Small Animal” : PIGLET

In A. A. Milne’s “Winnie-the-Pooh” collection of stories, Pooh has many friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. Besides Christopher Robin, who doesn’t actually live in the woods, the list includes Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit, Tigger and Owl.

11 Blight-stricken tree : ELM

Dutch elm disease is a fungus devastating to all species of elm trees that is transmitted by the elm bark beetle. The disease is thought to have originated in Asia and is now rampant in Europe and North America. Even though there is a hybrid of elm known as the Dutch elm, the disease isn’t named after the tree. Rather, the disease is called “Dutch” as it was identified in 1921 by a phytopathologist (plant pathologist) in the Netherlands.

12 Bit of concert merch : TEE

Merchandise (merch)

13 Donkey : ASS

A hinny is the offspring of a male horse (the “h-” from h-orse) and a female donkey/ass (the “-nny” from je-nny). A mule is more common, and is the offspring of a female horse and male donkey/ass.

21 Sneetches creator : SEUSS

“Dr. Seuss” was the pen name of Theodor Seuss Geisel. Geisel first used the pen name while studying at Dartmouth College and at the University of Oxford. Back then, he pronounced “Seuss” as it would be in German, i.e. rhyming with “voice”. After his books found success in the US, he went with the pronunciation being used widely by the public, quite happy to have a name that rhymes with “Mother Goose”.

25 Caravan mounts : CAMELS

A camel train carrying passengers or goods across a desert can be referred to as a caravan. “Caravan” derives from the Persian “karwan”, which has the same meaning. Over in Britain, “caravan” is the name given to travel trailers.

27 Gate postings, briefly : ETDS

Estimated time of departure (ETD)

28 “__ Moon”: manga series : SAILOR

“Sailor Moon” is a manga series from Japan. The title character is a soldier who is destined to save the Earth from evil. She is also the alter ego of a schoolgirl named Usagi Tsukino. Sailor Moon’s companion is a talking black cat named Luna who has magical powers.

30 Light weight : OUNCE

Our term “ounce” (abbreviated to “oz.”) comes from the Latin “uncia”. An “uncia” was 1/12 of a Roman “libra” (pound).

31 Squeals (on) : FINKS

A fink is an informer, someone who rats out his or her cohorts.

32 Bowlful served with a cinnamon roll in the Midwest : CHILI

The full name of the dish that is often called simply “chili” is “chili con carne”, Spanish for “peppers with meat”. The dish was created by immigrants from the Spanish Canary Islands in the city of San Antonio, Texas (a city which the islanders founded). The San Antonio Chili Stand was a popular attraction at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and that stand introduced the dish to the rest of America and to the world.

35 RPM gauge : TACH

The tachometer takes its name from the Greek word “tachos” meaning “speed”. A tachometer in a car measures engine revolutions per minute (rpm).

37 Poem of rustic life : IDYLL

An idyll (also “idyl”) is a short poem with a pastoral theme, usually depicting the scene in romantic and idealized terms. The word “idyl” comes from the Greek “eidyllion”, which literally translates to “little picture” but was a word describing a short poem with a rustic theme.

40 Record holders : LOGS

The word “logbook” dates back to the days when the captain of a ship kept a daily record of the vessel’s speed, progress etc. using a “log”. A log was a wooden float on a knotted line that was dropped overboard to measure speed through the water.

43 Apelike : SIMIAN

“Simian” means “pertaining to monkeys or apes”, from the Latin word “simia” meaning “ape”.

44 Challenging puzzle : ENIGMA

Our term “enigma” meaning “puzzle, riddle” comes from the Greek “ainigma”, which means the same thing.

45 Aerie nesters : EAGLES

An aerie (sometimes “eyrie”) is an eagle’s nest. The term “aerie” can also more generally describe any bird’s nest that is located on a cliff or a mountaintop.

50 Skunk River state : IOWA

The Skunk River in Iowa is a tributary of the Mississippi. The etymology of the river’s name is a little unclear, and is probably a mistranslation of the Sauk and Meskwaki name “Shecaqua”, which means “strong and obnoxious smell”. The headwaters of the Skunk River was known for its wild onions along the banks, hence the “odoriferous” reference. A better translation might have been “Onion River”.

51 Gritty film genre : NOIR

The expression “film noir” has French origins, but only in that it was coined by a French critic in describing a style of Hollywood film. The term, meaning “black film” in French, was first used by Nino Frank in 1946. Film noir often applies to a movie with a melodramatic plot and a private eye or detective at its center. Good examples would be “The Big Sleep” and “D.O.A”.

52 “Ja” opposite : NEIN

In German, one might answer “ja” (yes) or “nein” (no).

53 Hindu goddess of destruction : KALI

Kali is a Hindu goddess and the consort of Lord Shiva. The name “Kali” translates as “the black one”.

55 Transcript fig. : GPA

Grade point average (GPA)

56 Hosp. areas : ORS

An operating room (OR) is usually found in a hospital (hosp.).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Have over : HOST
5 “A Land More Kind Than Home” novelist Wiley : CASH
9 Mary-in-mourning sculpture : PIETA
14 1968 self-titled live folk album : ARLO
15 Baseball family name : ALOU
16 Cruise stopovers : ISLES
17 More than a little unkind : MEAN
18 Dozes off : NODS
19 Magazine featuring Pencil Pointers : GAMES
20 S : MOVE SNEAKILY (Slink)
23 “Gloria in Excelsis __” : DEO
24 Shelter adoptee : RESCUE
28 C : SOUND OF A TOAST (Clink)
32 Cornfield cries : CAWS
33 Total : RUIN
34 Joe : MUD
35 Dilutes : THINS
36 “The Street” novelist Petry : ANN
37 Thoughts : IDEAS
39 Feel unwell : AIL
40 Canine kiss : LICK
41 Not too keen : DULL
42 B : CLOSE ONE’S EYES (Blink)
46 Looking to add staff : HIRING
47 100% : ALL
48 Evolutionary mysteries, and a feature of three clues in this puzzle : MISSING LINKS
55 Swing for the fences : GO BIG
58 Summer hangout : POOL
59 Stock exchange membership : SEAT
60 Tourney format : PRO-AM
61 Boo-boo : OWIE
62 Flooring preference : TILE
63 Hatha yoga posture : ASANA
64 Patches potholes, say : TARS
65 Quick cut : SNIP

Down

1 “Good Omens” actor Jon : HAMM
2 Cookie with a Cakesters variety : OREO
3 Balkan native : SLAV
4 Soft-pedal : TONE DOWN
5 “1812 Overture” instrument : CANNON
6 Facial tissue additive : ALOE
7 Pop : SODA
8 Tamale wrapper : HUSK
9 Milne friend who notes, “It is hard to be brave when you’re a Very Small Animal” : PIGLET
10 “It’s my call” : I SAY SO
11 Blight-stricken tree : ELM
12 Bit of concert merch : TEE
13 Donkey : ASS
21 Sneetches creator : SEUSS
22 Nation that follows the Solar Hijri calendar : IRAN
25 Caravan mounts : CAMELS
26 Customary : USUAL
27 Gate postings, briefly : ETDS
28 “__ Moon”: manga series : SAILOR
29 Pull the plug on : DRAIN
30 Light weight : OUNCE
31 Squeals (on) : FINKS
32 Bowlful served with a cinnamon roll in the Midwest : CHILI
35 RPM gauge : TACH
37 Poem of rustic life : IDYLL
38 Opposite sides of a rather pointed fight? : DUELISTS
40 Record holders : LOGS
43 Apelike : SIMIAN
44 Challenging puzzle : ENIGMA
45 Aerie nesters : EAGLES
49 Espy : SPOT
50 Skunk River state : IOWA
51 Gritty film genre : NOIR
52 “Ja” opposite : NEIN
53 Hindu goddess of destruction : KALI
54 Manual component : STEP
55 Transcript fig. : GPA
56 Hosp. areas : ORS
57 Fluffy wrap : BOA

28 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 15 Jul 22, Friday”

  1. This one was quite possibly the WORST EVER. Required the solver to read the mind of the author and know he meant some letters were missing, stupid and NOT FUN. I despise puzzles that use one letter senseless clues. One reason I pay for papers daily is for the puzzles, but if you continue to use these idiotic ones I will be forced to reconsider.

    1. Anonymous says P and the clue is “To shoot at today’s puzzle constructor or glass bottles and tin cans out in the desert” ;-D>

  2. No errors, no lookups, but never tumbled to the theme. Obvious
    now that Bill explained it. Oh, well…..

  3. 19 minutes, 2 errors due to me being in a rush – I left the gate postings answer as ET_S and never looked at the cross. I suppose that my “rush” is a leisurely stroll for most of the others posting here.

    Anyway, enjoyable puzzle, I didn’t quite get the theme until Bill’s explanation. I was also distracted by the SNAKE that was mixed up in MOVESNEAKILY but that was apparently an unintended bonus.

  4. I thought this was one of the most straight-forward themes yet. Once I was told there was a “missing link” in each starred clue I just added link to the clue…not missing anymore! No mind reading required, just good old-fashioned puzzle solving… not even actually… just following instructions.

  5. TIL how the soft pedal on a piano works. That is handy (footie?) information! Also, that the three strings for each note are tuned to the same pitch. Who knew? Bill did, and I thank him for the enlightenment…

  6. Took about 15 minutes but I nailed it. Didn’t get the theme until I had a bunch of the crosses in. Then focused on 48A. Got the AHA moment and it was fairly smooth sailing after that.

    Got 28D right away. My daughter was into that when she was younger. We still have a ton of her Sailor Moon books. She is really big into all things Anime.

    Enjoyed the puzzle today.

  7. 32 Down: Bowlful served with a cinnamon roll in the Midwest. Uh, no. Never heard of that. Sounds barfy anyway.

  8. 12:01. Like Bill J., one error/typo on 27D. I never caught on to the theme; I guess I’m just a little slow on the uptake today.

  9. Interesting theme.

    There must be something in the air … today’s Newsday puzzle, at

    https://www.brainsonly.com/global/newsday/crossword/

    has one of the strangest (and, ultimately, most amusing) themes I’ve ever encountered. Luckily, there is a revealer that explains all the weird answers and, for me, conjures up an image of the constructor sitting at the breakfast table, half awake, saying to himself, “Puzzle due tomorrow. Fresh out of ideas. Oh, wait … what if … maybe … why not?”

    Perhaps I’m easily amused … 😜.

  10. This is what I thought of the theme s it stinks c it’s clueless b just plain bad….so I guess I got all the letters….hate these inane type puzzles

  11. 22:40 no errors…didn’t get the theme until I finished the puzzle (I do that a lot)🤪
    Stay safe😀

  12. Born and raised in Ohio, where we have a bowlful of chili served with spaghetti, and kidney beans, and onions, and shredded cheese, and perhaps an Alka-Seltzer, but never a cinnamon roll.

  13. 6:29, no errors.

    Yesterday: When people use the phrase “PPP”, they mean “proper nouns” (the term used in English class). You really either know them or not, and if you don’t it puts a lot of pressure on the crosses and if they use more proper nouns there, it turns into a guess fest (e.g. Naticks) or a Google fest. Either one really doesn’t favor the puzzle for most when it comes to enjoyment.

  14. 8:35

    I have had Cincinnati chili, which is seasoned with cinnamon, and served as @Ptownbaba describes: in spaghetti with extra kidney beans, chopped onions, and grated cheese. Oyster crackers on the side. Pretty good!

    But cinnamon buns? Apparently, that was a thing in lumber camps and school lunches in a region ranging from Montana and Washington to Colorado.
    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/whats-up-with-the-pairing-of-chili-and-cinnamon-rolls-180979407/

  15. Anonymous objected that the puzzle “required the solver to read the mind of the author.” Actually, I think today’s editors look for this type of puzzle. Rheal has come to “hate these inane type puzzles.” Sadly, both are subjected to the “modern” crossword puzzle. At 91 years of age, I remember when crosswords were just fun. As a philosophy major, I remember when crosswords were formed around some great quotation. The style of “thinking” throughout history is constantly changing, but I much prefer the sapience of old-time puzzle constructors to the hebetude of the modern bunch.

  16. Found this online:

    https://www.wusa9.com/article/news/apparently-the-midwests-chili-and-cinnamon-rolls-mixture-can-be-traced-back-to-elementary-school-lunch/507-48f6ffb9-3cff-49bc-810e-d3b70511ba71

    (If the link doesn’t work, just Google “chili and cinnamon roll”; you’ll get lots of hits.)

    FWIW: I grew up in the area where this was supposed to be common and I’d never heard of it until now.

    And, because I’m posting yet another link, I’m disguising my name to prevent the spam filter from trapping this post.

  17. 10:32 and no errors. Relatively quick solve for a puzzle that I was far from skating through. Never did get the theme, which didn’t help.

  18. 21:30 with one lookup for Jon of “Good Omens.” The NE corner was my difficulty.

    Had to revise SERB>SLAV, PLAYDOWN>TONEDOWN, GOBYSNEAKING>MOVESNEAKILY. After getting HAMM, the above corrections were made.

    New items/names: “Wiley CASH,” “Pencil Pointers,” ANN Petry, “Good Omens,” “Solar Hijri calendar,” “Sailor Moon,” KALI.

    Theme was easy to see. Chili with a cinnamon roll does not sound appetizing to me.

  19. 16:11 – with a few check grids/letter reveals.

    Just not clever enough to get the theme

    Fair, hard (for me) puzzle “gettable” without getting the theme.

    Be Well.

  20. Got the puzzle finished (I never time myself) and then went to work on the theme and finally got that too. I liked the puzzle today.

    J. Toal

  21. Fun and surprisingly quick Friday for me; took 15:48 with no peeks or errors. I didn’t know a bunch of stuff: HAMM, IRAN, SEUSS, ANN, CASH and only sensed a lot of others, but I did have quite a bit of fill on the first pass. Crosses and good guesses helped get me to the finish.

    Very interesting to wiki all the piano pedals. Chili with cinnamon buns…hmm, I would try it. Still need to try chili with spaghetti.

  22. Was able to solve but could not figure out the theme even though I solved 48A pretty early. Glad it was solvable without getting the theme.

  23. Like many others solved the puzzle without figuring out the theme. Don’t like crosswords like this. I feel they’re pretentious.

  24. I’m one day behind — just finished this one — and I’m glad to see that so many of you didn’t get the theme either even with the whole thing completed. I actually had 48A figured out early but it did not help me one iota!

    I grew up doing the Sunday NYT puzzle. Like the poster above I miss the ones built around quotations. They were always my favorite. My biggest issue with these now is that they often have too many pop culture references that I don’t know, especially involving TV shows and movies I don’t watch or have never seen. Consequences of getting old, I suppose.

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