LA Times Crossword 28 Jul 22, Thursday

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Constructed by: Amie Walker
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Cold Fronts

Themed answers each include “BR” ( a sound made when COLD) at the FRONT of common phrases:

  • 55A Harbingers of lower temperatures, and a hint to the answers to the starred clues : COLD FRONTS
  • 17A *Lord of the grill? : BROIL BARON (BR + OIL BARON)
  • 26A *Some spring newlyweds? : BRIDES OF MARCH (BR + IDES OF MARCH)
  • 43A *Warning words from one holding the reins? : BRIDLE THREATS (BR + IDLE THREATS)

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

Bill’s time: 6m 56s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Three-time Olympic gold medalist Devers : GAIL

Gail Devers is a US Olympic champion, winning the 100m gold at the 1992 Games in Barcelona, and winning the 100m individual and relay golds at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. Back in 1990, doctors considered amputating Devers’ feet as they were in such poor condition as a result of treatment for Graves’ disease.

14 Jeweler’s glass : LOUPE

A loupe is a small magnifying lens that is held in the hand. “Loupe” is the French name for such a device.

15 Dance that tells a story : HULA

The hula is a native dance of Hawaii that uses arm movements to relate a story. The hula can be performed while sitting (a noho dance) or while standing (a luna dance).

16 “Breaking Bad” Emmy winner Gunn : ANNA

Anna Gunn is an actress from Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is best known for playing Skyler White on the TV show “Breaking Bad”.

21 Subdivision divisions : LOTS

Our use of the word “lot” to describe a parcel of land dates back to the 1630s when ownership of the best property in new settlements was decided by castings “lots”.

26 *Some spring newlyweds? : BRIDES OF MARCH (BR + IDES OF MARCH)

In Act I of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”, a soothsayer warns the doomed leader to “beware the ides of March”. Caesar ignores the prophecy and is subsequently killed on the steps of the Capitol by a group of conspirators on that fateful day.

31 “The Chi” creator Waithe : LENA

“The Chi” is a TV drama set on the South Side of Chicago. It was created by screenwriter Lena Waithe, who grew up in the area depicted in the show.

36 Sports radio host Patrick : DAN

Dan Patrick is a sportscaster and radio personality. He is host of “The Dan Patrick Show” on the radio and is co-host of “Football Night in America” on NBC television.

37 H.S. exam : PSAT

Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)

49 “The Ranch” actress Cuthbert : ELISHA

Elisha Cuthbert is a Canadian actress who came to world attention playing Kim Bauer, Jack Bauer’s daughter on TV’s “24”. After “24”, Cuthbert played one of the lead characters on the sitcom “Happy Endings” that ran from 2011 to 2013.

“The Ranch” is a comedy-drama TV show starring Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson as two brothers helping run a cattle ranch owned by their father (played by Sam Elliott). The show first aired in 2016. Kutcher and Masterson appeared together on “That ‘70s Show”, and several other alumni from the same show also have recurring roles on “The Ranch”, including Wilmer Valderrama, Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp.

50 Apple variety : GALA

Gala is the second-most popular apple cultivar in the US, after red delicious. The gala apple tree originated in New Zealand in 1930, and is a cross between a golden delicious and a Kidd’s orange red.

51 Rio automaker : KIA

South Korean automaker Kia has been making the subcompact model called the Rio since 2000.

55 Harbingers of lower temperatures, and a hint to the answers to the starred clues : COLD FRONTS

A cold front is the leading edge of a relatively cold mass of air that is replacing a warmer mass of air at ground level. In the presence of sufficient moisture in the air, a cold front can bring rain and perhaps thunderstorms.

58 Peniston with the Top 10 hit “Finally” : CECE

CeCe Peniston is a recording artist noted for the prevalence of her music in dance clubs. Her most successful song is “Finally”, released in 1991. Supposedly Peniston wrote the lyrics for “Finally” while she was still at school, and during a chemistry class!

62 Tournament ranking : SEED

A seeded player or team in a tournament is one given a preliminary ranking that is used in the initial draw. The intention is that the better competitors are less likely to meet each other in the early rounds.

63 Triumphant April Fools’ Day cry : GOT YA!

April Fools’ Day is celebrated on April 1st in the Western world. In the US (and Ireland) one can make practical jokes all day long if one wants, but in the UK there is a noon deadline. Anyone pranking after midday is called an “April Fool”.

Down

1 Island in a classic palindrome : ELBA

I had a lovely two-week vacation in Tuscany once, including what was supposed to be a two-night stay on the island of Elba. I had envisioned Elba as a place full of history, and maybe it is, but it is also overrun with tourists who use it as a beach getaway. We left after one day and we won’t be going back again …

The three most famous palindromes in English have to be:

  • Able was I ere I saw Elba
  • A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
  • Madam, I’m Adam

One of my favorite terms is “Aibohphobia”, although it doesn’t appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. “Aibohphobia” is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix “-phobia”.

2 Comedy Central’s “Awkwafina Is __ From Queens” : NORA

“Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens” is a sitcom that first aired in 2020. It stars actress, rapper and comedian Awkwafina as a woman named Nora Lin who is spreading her wings in Queens, New York. “Awkwafina” is the stage name of Nora Lum.

4 Big name in nail polish : OPI

Opi (originally “Odontorium Products Inc.”) is a manufacturer of nail polish based in North Hollywood, California. One of Opi’s marketing coups was the introduction of a line of Legally Blonde 2 polishes, which featured in the film.

8 “__ Pitch”: Canadian web series about softball : SLO

“Slo Pitch” is a TV series from Canada about a losing softball team comprising non-binary players and LGBTQ women. The show uses the mockumentary format, and focuses on the Toronto-based team’s coach Joanne, played by Kirsten Rasmussen.

9 Bay city, briefly : SAN FRAN

Acceptable nicknames for the California city of San Francisco are “the City by the Bay” and “Fog City”. Locals usually just refer to it as “the City” and never, never “Frisco”.

10 Aioli base : GARLIC

Our word “garlic” evolved via Old English from “gar” (spear) and “leac” (leek). The use of “spear” is apparently a reference to the shape of a clove.

To the purist, especially in Provence in the South of France, aioli is prepared just by grinding garlic with olive oil. However, other ingredients are often added to the mix, particularly egg yolks.

11 Prime number? : ANESTHESIA

Anesthesia is a prime “number”, something that “numbs”.

“Aisthesis” is the Greek word for “feeling”, from which “anaisthesia” is Greek for “want of feeling, lack of sensation”. And that’s how we get our English term “anesthesia”.

13 Cut with light : LASED

The term “laser” is an acronym standing for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “light oscillation by stimulated emission of radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn’t quite so appealing, namely “loser”.

18 Capital known as “The City of Trees” : BOISE

Boise, Idaho is the capital and the largest metropolitan area in the state by far. There are a number of stories pertaining to the etymology of the name “Boise”. One is that French trappers called the tree-lined river that ran through the area “la rivière boisée”, meaning “the wooded river”. Boise is known today as “The City of Trees”.

23 Syllables in an incantation : ABRA-

The incantation “abracadabra” has a long history. It was used as far back as the 2nd century AD in ancient Rome when the word was prescribed by a physician to be worn on an amulet to help his emperor recover from disease. “Abracadabra” is Aramaic, and roughly translates as “I will create as I speak”.

25 Black cat, to some : OMEN

In most Western traditions, a black cat is considered an unlucky omen. However, in the Celtic traditions (such as Irish culture), a black cat is a sign of good luck.

27 “Queen of Country” McEntire : REBA

Reba McEntire is a country music singer and television actress. McEntire starred in her own sitcom “Reba” that aired on the WB and the CW cable channels from 2001 to 2007. She is sometimes referred to as “The Queen of Country”.

29 Moth attractor : FLAME

It isn’t really understood why moths are attracted to artificial lights. There is one theory that sounds plausible to me though. It is suggested that moths navigate at night by maintaining the moon (the brightest celestial object) at a fixed angle. When a moth finds a brighter light source, like an artificial light, it gets confused.

34 GPS lines : RTES

A global positioning system (GPS) might point out a route (rte.).

36 Tyne of “Judging Amy” : DALY

Actress Tyne Daly really came into the public eye playing Detective Lacey in “Cagney and Lacey”. From 1999 to 2005, Daly played the mother of the title character in the TV show “Judging Amy”.

“Judging Amy” is a legal drama that first aired in 1999, and which stars Amy Brenneman and Tyne Daly. Brenneman plays the title character, a judge who serves in a family court. Brenneman also created the show, and based it on the real-life experiences of her own mother who worked as a family court judge in Hartford, Connecticut.

39 Jedi enemy : SITH

The Sith are characters in the “Star Wars” universe who use the “dark side” of “the Force”, and as such are the antithesis of the Jedi Knights. Members of the Sith use the title “Darth” before their name, as in Darth Vader. The last made of the six “Star Wars” movies is called “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”.

40 Classic music libraries? : CD RACKS

The compact disc (CD) was developed jointly by Philips and Sony as a medium for storing and playing sound recordings. When the first commercial CD was introduced back in 1982, a CD’s storage capacity was far greater than the amount of data that could be stored on the hard drive of personal computers available at that time.

46 “__ beaucoup” : MERCI

“Merci beaucoup” is French for “thank you very much”.

57 Artist Yoko : ONO

Yoko Ono is an avant-garde artist. She met her future husband John Lennon for the first time while she was preparing her conceptual art exhibit called “Hammer a Nail”. Visitors were encouraged to hammer in a nail into a wooden board, creating the artwork. Lennon wanted to hammer in the first nail, but Ono stopped him as the exhibition had not yet opened. Apparently Ono relented when Lennon paid her an imaginary five shillings to hammer an imaginary nail into the wood.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Furnish funds for : ENDOW
6 Sleep restlessly : TOSS
10 Three-time Olympic gold medalist Devers : GAIL
14 Jeweler’s glass : LOUPE
15 Dance that tells a story : HULA
16 “Breaking Bad” Emmy winner Gunn : ANNA
17 *Lord of the grill? : BROIL BARON (BR + OIL BARON)
19 Wine list heading : REDS
20 Small batteries : AAS
21 Subdivision divisions : LOTS
22 Fake eyelash, informally : FALSIE
24 “No warranties” : AS IS
25 Went around : ORBITED
26 *Some spring newlyweds? : BRIDES OF MARCH (BR + IDES OF MARCH)
30 Borrower : LENDEE
31 “The Chi” creator Waithe : LENA
32 Text an embarrassing screenshot to the wrong person, say : ERR
35 Pre-K basics : ABCS
36 Sports radio host Patrick : DAN
37 H.S. exam : PSAT
38 “Caught you!” : HAH!
39 Rip-off : SCAM
41 __ solution : SALINE
43 *Warning words from one holding the reins? : BRIDLE THREATS (BR + IDLE THREATS)
46 “Please let me give it a go” : MAY I TRY?
48 Pond plant : REED
49 “The Ranch” actress Cuthbert : ELISHA
50 Apple variety : GALA
51 Rio automaker : KIA
54 Skating site : RINK
55 Harbingers of lower temperatures, and a hint to the answers to the starred clues : COLD FRONTS
58 Peniston with the Top 10 hit “Finally” : CECE
59 __-slapper : KNEE
60 Wed : UNITE
61 How most TV shows air : IN HD
62 Tournament ranking : SEED
63 Triumphant April Fools’ Day cry : GOT YA!

Down

1 Island in a classic palindrome : ELBA
2 Comedy Central’s “Awkwafina Is __ From Queens” : NORA
3 Pairs : DUOS
4 Big name in nail polish : OPI
5 “Maybe yes, maybe no” : WE’LL SEE
6 “Oh, really?” : THAT SO?
7 Sharing word : OURS
8 “__ Pitch”: Canadian web series about softball : SLO
9 Bay city, briefly : SAN FRAN
10 Aioli base : GARLIC
11 Prime number? : ANESTHESIA
12 Not mainstream : INDIE
13 Cut with light : LASED
18 Capital known as “The City of Trees” : BOISE
23 Syllables in an incantation : ABRA-
24 Throws in : ADDS
25 Black cat, to some : OMEN
26 Meh : BLAH
27 “Queen of Country” McEntire : REBA
28 Slowly but surely : INCH BY INCH
29 Moth attractor : FLAME
33 Harangue : RANT
34 GPS lines : RTES
36 Tyne of “Judging Amy” : DALY
37 Begged : PLED
39 Jedi enemy : SITH
40 Classic music libraries? : CD RACKS
41 __ life : SHELF
42 Accent piece : AREA RUG
44 Gambled : RISKED
45 Available on the stock exchange : TRADED
46 “__ beaucoup” : MERCI
47 Unrecognizable : ALIEN
50 Sheer delight : GLEE
51 Work on a muffler, say : KNIT
52 __-bitty : ITTY
53 Between ports : ASEA
56 Low digit : ONE
57 Artist Yoko : ONO

31 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 28 Jul 22, Thursday”

  1. @glen- looks like USA Today is requiring a login account and ultimately a subscription to get their crossword. Any suggestions where I can find their daily puzzle? I’ve grown weary of the editor (or maybe his boss) on that one so I’m not really motivated about paying for it.

    1. I share your aversion to logging in, subscribing, paying. Why not shake the USAT dust off of your feet and navigate over to Andrews McMeel Syndication for their Daily Universal Crossword Puzzles? I use their puzzles as warmups before tackling the LAT puzzles. I think you’ll find them diverting, and they are free…

    2. @AnonMike
      I’m much like @Engineer on this one. I really haven’t gotten into USA Today since the current editor, and especially how juvenile and poor quality a lot of the work there has become. As you state, you need a subscription now to get to their crosswords. I figure if I got to pay for crosswords given the number of free ones out there those crosswords better be of stellar quality. That said, I have paid for certain crosswords, and rather have a back log in doing them. Plus, I tend to do enough dailies as it is (WSJ, NYT, LAT, Newsday, New Yorker), along with periodics (BEQ, Croce, etc) that I probably need to cut back more and be more selective. (Though I’ve said that many times, but it’s hard to decide for certain reasons.)

      Universal or Newsday are both generally better than USA Today and more accessible.

  2. No errors, no lookups. I didn’t tumble to the clue for “anesthesia”….of
    course, it fit, so I went with it. Duh!! Numb to the end.

  3. Too many names for me. Got it finished, but my downfall was where loupe and Opi cross. Got it by guessing.

  4. Found this page by searching “what does anesthesia have to do with prime numbers”, now that I get it I still think that’s an awful clue. But that’s half the fun of the LA crossword, complaining about the one or two terrible clues or answers in each puzzle. Wish they would retire ‘ASEA’ for good. My time was 11:56

    1. I think some people here get a lot more satisfaction (if not fun) out of criticizing the puzzles than they do out of solving them.

      The use of “number” in the sense “that which numbs” has become very common in crossword puzzles (so much so that I automatically check any clue in which the word appears for a punny interpretation). The clue “Prime number” suggests “the principal means of numbing a patient (or a part of a patient)”. A bit corny, perhaps (but also a gimme, once you’ve seen it a few times).

      Remember, they’re not called “definitions”, they’re called “clues” … 😜.

  5. Finished with no errors! Cute theme and after I got it, the rest was fairly easy. Had a lot of trouble with Prime Number–even the explanation was a stretch.
    D. Chatswood

  6. Ten, count ‘em, ten proper names today. What is cruciverbalism coming to? I knew Dan, Reba, Daly and Ono. The other six, nada.

  7. 5:28, no errors.

    I definitely have to call out the WSJ today, which turned into a very stiff Saturday NYT type experience. (19:28, 2 errors) Haven’t determined exactly why it was that hard for me, but I recall a ton of odd language and proper nouns.

    1. Hi Glenn. I had the devil of a time with the WSJ today, mostly because I’m really a dunce when it comes to “gimmicks” and for the longest time I could not figure out what was going on with this puzzle. Finally (finally!!!) I suddenly saw what was going on and the grid came to a successful conclusion without final error. I’m sure my time was double yours, but since I never time myself (totally takes the pleasure out of doing the crossword for me) I don’t know for sure.

  8. 12 mins 43 sec, and needed Check Grid for help uncovering the one errantly filled square. Thought I had something wrong in the upper left (ELBA is not a palindrome, last I looked), but it was just fat-fingering ABRA which was the culprit.

    23 D is really troublesome. Is the plural of ABRA, “ABRA” and not ABRAS? Just a bad entry, and a bad clue, bad all around. Wish I could intone a spell and make the whole thing disappear.

    1. Respectfully, a quick Google search reveals the famous palindrome referenced in the ELBA clue:

      Able was I ere I saw Elba.

      It’s actually attributed to Napoleon! The more you know.

      With respect to ABRA, the clue did not say plural. The clue said SYLLABLES. We can all count together and see that ABRA in fact has multiple syllables.

  9. Wish I had done this earlier in the day so someone would actually see my comment. Amie when you constructed this puzzle did you have a clue what a prime number is? Did you even look it up? The prime number is a number that’s only divisible by itself. What the f*** does that have to do with anesthesia?? Accepted that your brain must be anesthetized

    1. I get the feeling the constructor was attempting to use the different pronunciations (Num-ber, Numb-er) as a misdirect, but was trying to be too cute about trying to fit it in, rendering it unintelligible. Honestly, a lot of times, modern puzzles end up being more an exercise in interpreting inanity than anything truly intelligent or clever.

    2. Bless your heart! The question mark in the clue indicates that wordplay is afoot! Next time you see a question mark, you’ll know to parse it differently to get the answer. Here, number is actually numb-er, like something that numbs! I think we’d all agree anesthesia is the prime numb-er we have.

  10. When there are 10 proper names asked for, along with a half-dozen or so place names asked for, then one can be sure the puzzle will be a poor (lazy) one and that the editor took the day off.
    Finally, ELBA is not a palindrome and ABRA is not a plural word. C’mon!!

    1. Hi Steve. When you say “ELBA” is not a palindrome, that’s true. But it’s part of a famous palindrome, which I think the clue makes clear? “Able was I ere I saw Elba” is the palindrome in question.

  11. 8:47

    Hi, Leah! I love how you phrased your search! Welcome to our merry crew!

    Just when I was getting used to “low digit” meaning TOE, it goes back to meaning ONE.

  12. 11:54 with revisions of: LIGHT>FLAME, LASER>LASED, TOE>ONE.

    New: ANNA Dunn, LENA Waithe, DAN Patrick (although I might have heard his commentary), CECE Peniston, NORA From Queens.

    Figured out the theme after solving the puzzle.

  13. No look ups, no errors. 1 change on the fly
    toe/one. They got me. Answer had been toe
    lately ☹️
    I worked with motion picture negatives and
    prints and we also used Loupes. That answer was in my wheelhouse 😎

  14. For those who commented about ELBA not being a palindrome, the clue does not say the answer will be a palindrome. Instead it implies that the answer is part of a classic palindrome, which, as Bill explained, is “Able was I ere I saw Elba.” For those who commented about ABRA not being plural, the part of the clue that is plural is “syllables,” and since ABRA has 2 syllables, that fits the definition. Hope that’s helpful.

  15. Mildly tough Thursday for me; took 17:09 with no peeks or errors. After struggling with the WSJ for nearly an hour, this was definitely doable and so I just kept on going.

    Never heard of LENA or DAN and although I knew Awkwafina was I didn’t know she was NORA from Queens. It’s been ages ago, but we’ve had CECE at least once or twice now, I guess, from this constructor.

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