LA Times Crossword 24 May 23, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Enrique Henestroza Anguiano & Brooke Husic
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Hidden Figures

Themed answers each have a FIGURE as a HIDDEN word. Those FIGURES COUNT DOWN as we descend the grid:

  • 55A Oscar-nominated film about NASA mathematicians, and a description of the countdown found in this puzzle? : HIDDEN FIGURES
  • 20A “The Mum Hunt” children’s author : GWYNETH REES (hiding “THREE”)
  • 28A “I’ll believe it when I see it!” : FAMOUS LAST WORDS (hiding “TWO”)
  • 48A Proceed with care : WALK ON EGGSHELLS (hiding “ONE”)

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

Bill’s time: 6m 43s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 Monsieur, across the Rhine : HERR

The river running through Europe that we know in English as the Rhine, is called “Rhein” in German, “Rhin” in French and “Rijn” in Dutch.

15 Verboten : TABOO

“Verboten” is German for “forbidden”, and is a word that we have imported into English.

16 Nigerian language : IGBO

The Igbo (also “Ibo”) people are an ethnic group living in southeastern Nigeria.

18 “Rhythm of Love” singer Baker : ANITA

“Rhythm of Love” is the title track of a 1994 album released by R&B singer Anita Baker.

20 “The Mum Hunt” children’s author : GWYNETH REES (hiding “THREE”)

Gwyneth Reesis an English author of children’s books. She studied medicine at university, and worked as a child psychiatrist before turning to writing full time.

23 ID on a map : IDAHO

Idaho was admitted as the 43rd state of the union in 1890. The passage to statehood was not without difficulty. There had been plans in Washington to split what is now Idaho between the new states of Washington and Nevada.

34 Enjoy Aspen : SKI

Aspen, Colorado used to be known as Ute City, with the name change taking place in 1880. Like many communities in the area, Aspen was a mining town, and in 1891 and 1892 it was at the center of the highest production of silver in the US. Nowadays, it’s all about skiing and movie stars.

35 Food and dining website since 2005 : EATER

“Eater” is a food website founded in 2005. Back then, “Eater” focused on New York City, and the city’s dining and nightlife. The site expanded its coverage to more cities in the US, and then Canada and England.

41 “227” actress Reed Hall : ALAINA

Alaina Reed Hall was an American actress and singer who was perhaps best known for portraying Olivia Robinson, Gordon’s younger sister, on the PBS children’s television series “Sesame Street”. She later co-starred in the sitcom “227”, playing landlady Rose Holloway.

52 Left turn from sur : ESTE

The cardinal directions in Spanish are “norte” (north), “este” (east), “sur” (south) and “oeste” (west).

53 Jazz pianist Mary __ Williams : LOU

“Mary Lou Williams” was a jazz pianist as well as a composer and arranger. She wrote and arranged for many of the big names, including Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman.

54 Her, across the Rio Grande : ELLA

The Rio Grande (Spanish for “big river”) is a waterway that forms part of the border between Mexico and the United States. Although we call the river the Rio Grande on this side of the border, in Mexico it is called the Río Bravo or Río Bravo del Norte (Spanish for “furious river of the north”).

55 Oscar-nominated film about NASA mathematicians, and a description of the countdown found in this puzzle? : HIDDEN FIGURES

“Hidden Figures” is an excellent 2016 film based on a book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly. Both book and film tell the story of female African-American mathematicians who worked for NASA during the Mercury and Apollo programs in the 1960s.

60 __ Pérignon : DOM

Dom Pérignon is a prestige label of champagne from Moët et Chandon, the French winery. The label’s name honors the Benedictine monk, Dom Pérignon, who helped to improve the quality and production of champagne in the early 18th century. Although Dom Pérignon made major contributions to champagne production, many of the stories in which he figures are just myths. He did not “invent” champagne, nor sparkling wine in general. Nor did he say the famous words, “Come quickly, I am drinking the stars!”. That lovely line first appeared in a print advertisement in the late 1800s!

62 PIN point : ATM

One enters a Personal Identification Number (PIN) when using an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Given that the N in PIN stands for “number”, then “PIN number” is a redundant phrase. And, given that the M in ATM stands for “machine”, then “ATM machine” is a redundant phrase as well. Grr …!

64 Sine __ non : QUA

“Sine qua non” is a Latin phrase that we use to mean “the essential element or condition”. The literal translation is “without which not”. One might say, for example, “a challenging crossword is the sine qua non of a good newspaper”. Well, crossword fans might say that …

65 Type of roof with dormer windows : MANSARD

A mansard roof is a type of hip roof with two slopes on each side. The lower part of the roof has the steepest slope and is penetrated by several dormer windows. The style takes its name from the French Baroque architect François Mansart.

A dormer window is a window in a dormer! A dormer is a roofed structure that protrudes from the slope of the main roof.

68 __-Dame de Paris : NOTRE

Notre-Dame de Paris is the spectacular Gothic cathedral that sits on the Île de la Cité, one of the islands in the middle of the River Seine in Paris. Notre-Dame is home to many beautiful and significant artifacts, the most famous of which is the Crown of Thorns supposedly worn by Jesus Christ at his execution, placed in the cathedral in 1239. It’s also home to some magnificent gargoyles on the roof, and you can climb up to the roof and take a very close look at them. Well, you used to be able to, until the tragic fire of 2019.

Down

1 Big tuna : AHI

Ahi tuna is also known as yellowfin tuna and is a popular fish for sushi and sashimi. However, due to overfishing, ahi tuna populations are at risk.

2 Vietnamese New Year : TET

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

3 Art form used to create a crane or a masu box : ORIGAMI

Origami is the traditional Japanese art form of paper folding. The best-known example of the craft is the paper crane (“orizuru“). The word “origami” is derived from “ori“ (folding) and “kami” (paper).

A “masu” is a square wooden box that is often used as a cup for drinking sake. The original masu was used to measure out rice.

4 “A Wrinkle in Time” woman : MRS WHO

“A Wrinkle in Time” is a book by Madeleine L’Engle. Published in 1962, it is described as a science fantasy. Included in the book’s cast of characters are Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, all of whom turn out to be supernatural beings who transport the antagonists through the universe. “A Wrinkle in Time” was adapted into a 2018 movie of the same name starring Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling as the three “Mrs” characters.

5 __ Smiths: Adidas tennis shoes : STAN

Stan Smith is a former professional tennis player who was particularly successful as a doubles player with partner Bob Lutz. The Adidas Stan Smith tennis shoe has been selling well since 1971.

6 Sugar stalk : CANE

When sugar cane is processed to extract sugar, it is crushed and mashed to produce a juice. The juice is boiled to make a sugary concentrate called cane syrup, from which sugar crystals are extracted. A second boiling of the leftover syrup produces second molasses, from which more sugar crystals can be extracted. A third boiling results in what is called blackstrap molasses.

8 Light-headed creature? : MOTH

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.

10 Pesos, e.g. : DINERO

“Dinero” is a Spanish word meaning “money”, as well as a slang term for money here in the US.

11 Try to find oneself? : EGOSURF

We’ve all done it, googling our own names to see what comes up. It’s called “egosurfing”.

12 Cobra pose muscles : ABS

Yoga’s “Cobra Pose” is also called “Bhujangasana”. The Sanskrit word for snake or serpent is “bhujanga”.

13 Poke bowl topping : ROE

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

21 The “y” in ily : YOU

I love you (ily)

24 Prescott of the Cowboys : DAK

Dak Prescott was picked up by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2016 draft as a backup quarterback for starting QB Tony Romo. The Cowboys needed Prescott as backup immediately, when Romo got injured before the first game of the season.

26 Doc meant to protect trade secrets : NDA

Non-disclosure agreement (NDA)

27 “Family Feud” reruns channel : GSN

Game Show Network (GSN)

“Family Feud” is an American game show that has been remade in countries all over the world. We even have a version in Ireland that we call “Family Fortunes”.

29 Midsize car : SEDAN

The American sedan car is the equivalent of the British and Irish saloon car. By definition, a sedan car has two rows of seating and a separate trunk (boot in Britain and Ireland), although in some models the engine can be at the rear of the car.

30 Frito-__ snacks : LAY

The manufacturers of Frito and Lay potato chips merged to form Frito-Lay in 1961. Frito-Lay then merged with Pepsi-Cola in 1965 to form PepsiCo.

31 Symbols in email addresses : ATS

The “at symbol” (@) originated in the commercial world, as shorthand for “each at, per” and similar phrases. I suppose we see the symbol most commonly these days as part of email addresses.

32 Brazilian singer __ Jorge : SEU

Seu Jorge is a Brazilian singer and actor. In 2004, Jorge appeared in the film “The Life Aquatic” directed by Wes Anderson. Jorge performed the Portuguese-language versions of David Bowie’s songs on the film’s soundtrack. The soundtrack was a success, and it helped to introduce Jorge’s music to a new audience.

37 Did the second leg of a triathlon : BIKED

An Ironman Triathlon is a race involving a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a marathon run of just over 26 miles. The idea for the race came out of a debate between some runners in the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay. They were questioning whether runners, swimmers or bikers were the most fit athletes. The debaters decided to combine three local events to determine the answer, inviting athletes from all three disciplines. The events that were mimicked in the first triathlon were the Waikiki Roughwater swim (2.4 miles), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 miles) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles). The idea was that whoever finishes first would be called “the Iron Man”. The first triathlon was run in 1978, with fifteen starters and only twelve finishers. The race format is used all over the world now, but the Hawaiian Ironman is the event that everyone wants to win.

38 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.

39 Texter’s “If I’m being real” : TBH

To be honest (TBH)

40 Take the helm : STEER

In its broadest sense, the term “helm” describes the whole of a ship’s steering mechanism, including the rudder and tiller. In a more specific sense, the helm is the handle, tiller or wheel that is used to control the steering gear.

43 Nissan 29-Downs : ALTIMAS
[29D Midsize car : SEDAN]

Nissan has been making the Altima since 1993. In 2007, the company started to produce a hybrid version, Nissan’s first foray into the hybrid market and a successful one by all accounts. Altima hybrids are even used as police cruisers by the New York Police Department.

47 Govt. org. with cryptanalysts : NSA

The National Security Agency (NSA) runs an annual Codebreaker Challenge that is aimed mainly at the student population. As best I can tell, the focus of the challenge is reverse software engineering. Checking out the Codebreaker Challenge website suggests that the NSA runs this program in order to identify and attract potential new employees.

49 Current event in the Pacific? : EL NINO

When the surface temperature of much of the Pacific Ocean rises more than half a degree celsius, then there is said to be an El Niño episode. That small temperature change in the Pacific has been associated with climatic changes that can stretch right across the globe. El Niño is Spanish for “the boy” and is a reference to the Christ child. The phenomenon was given this particular Spanish name because the warming is usually noticed near South America and around Christmas-time.

51 Fender instrument : GUITAR

The company that made Fender electric guitars was founded in Fullerton, California in 1946, by Leo Fender.

56 Hoover, for one : DAM

When the magnificent Hoover Dam was completed in 1936 it was the largest hydroelectric plant in the world, as well as being the world’s largest concrete structure. The edifice was originally known as Boulder Dam, due to its location near Boulder City, Nevada. The dam was eventually named after Herbert Hoover for his role in having the dam built when he was Secretary of Commerce, and his later support as US President. There was a formal dedication ceremony held in September 1935 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt was in the area, when only work on the powerhouse was incomplete. President Roosevelt managed to make his dedication speech without once referring to the name of his former opponent President Hoover. When the dam was finally put into service in 1936, the project was two years ahead of schedule. Those were the days …

57 Fashion’s __-Picone : EVAN

Evan-Picone is a women’s fashion house co-founded by Charles Evans and Joseph Picone in 1949. One of Evan-Picone’s claims to fame is that it was the first company to use darts in the pockets of women’s clothes to inhibit tears and rips.

58 “Runaway Bride” co-star : GERE

“Runaway Bride” is a 1999 film starring Julia Roberts in the title role, and Richard Gere as the male romantic lead. I regard this one as a very watchable romantic comedy …

59 Amer. capital : USD

The dollar sign ($) was first used for the Spanish-American peso, in the late 18th century. The peso was also called the “Spanish dollar” (and “piece of eight”). The Spanish dollar was to become a model for the US dollar that was adopted in 1785, along with the dollar sign.

60 Blizzard sellers, familiarly : DQS

A Blizzard is an offering on a menu at Dairy Queen outlets. Introduced in 1985, it comprises soft-serve ice cream mixed with a choice of ingredients that include common sundae toppings, brownies and candy. Apparently, the DQ employee serving a Blizzard must hold it upside down to demonstrate to the customer that it won’t spill. If that demonstration doesn’t take place, there’s a coupon available for a free Blizzard at the next visit. Well, that’s what I just read …

63 C-suite degree : MBA

The C-suite is the suite of offices assigned to senior management. The “C” reference is to the abbreviation for “Chief”, the word that starts the titles of many senior officers in a company, e.g. chief executive officer, chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Molecule part : ATOM
5 Confidence games, e.g. : SCAMS
10 Cherished : DEAR
14 Monsieur, across the Rhine : HERR
15 Verboten : TABOO
16 Nigerian language : IGBO
17 “Yes, correct” : IT IS
18 “Rhythm of Love” singer Baker : ANITA
19 Sniffer : NOSE
20 “The Mum Hunt” children’s author : GWYNETH REES (hiding “THREE”)
23 ID on a map : IDAHO
25 Squeezed (out) : WRUNG
28 “I’ll believe it when I see it!” : FAMOUS LAST WORDS (hiding “TWO”)
34 Enjoy Aspen : SKI
35 Food and dining website since 2005 : EATER
36 Enthusiast : FAN
37 One-piece shapewear options : BODYSUITS
41 “227” actress Reed Hall : ALAINA
44 Get hold of : OBTAIN
48 Proceed with care : WALK ON EGGSHELLS (hiding “ONE”)
52 Left turn from sur : ESTE
53 Jazz pianist Mary __ Williams : LOU
54 Her, across the Rio Grande : ELLA
55 Oscar-nominated film about NASA mathematicians, and a description of the countdown found in this puzzle? : HIDDEN FIGURES
60 __ Pérignon : DOM
61 Flies : AVIATES
62 PIN point : ATM
64 Sine __ non : QUA
65 Type of roof with dormer windows : MANSARD
66 Unjustly deprive (of) : ROB
67 Ave. crossers : STS
68 __-Dame de Paris : NOTRE
69 Place for a scrub : SPA

Down

1 Big tuna : AHI
2 Vietnamese New Year : TET
3 Art form used to create a crane or a masu box : ORIGAMI
4 “A Wrinkle in Time” woman : MRS WHO
5 __ Smiths: Adidas tennis shoes : STAN
6 Sugar stalk : CANE
7 Somewhat : A BIT
8 Light-headed creature? : MOTH
9 Really take off : SOAR
10 Pesos, e.g. : DINERO
11 Try to find oneself? : EGOSURF
12 Cobra pose muscles : ABS
13 Poke bowl topping : ROE
21 The “y” in ily : YOU
22 “Grossss!!” : EWW!
23 “No __, ands, or buts” : IFS
24 Prescott of the Cowboys : DAK
26 Doc meant to protect trade secrets : NDA
27 “Family Feud” reruns channel : GSN
29 Midsize car : SEDAN
30 Frito-__ snacks : LAY
31 Symbols in email addresses : ATS
32 Brazilian singer __ Jorge : SEU
33 Small combos : TRIOS
37 Did the second leg of a triathlon : BIKED
38 Artist Yoko : ONO
39 Texter’s “If I’m being real” : TBH
40 Take the helm : STEER
41 Floor : AWE
42 React angrily : LASH OUT
43 Nissan 29-Downs : ALTIMAS
45 Very attentive : ALL EARS
46 “You’ve had enough of my jokes” : I’LL STOP
47 Govt. org. with cryptanalysts : NSA
49 Current event in the Pacific? : EL NINO
50 Zip along : GO FAST
51 Fender instrument : GUITAR
56 Hoover, for one : DAM
57 Fashion’s __-Picone : EVAN
58 “Runaway Bride” co-star : GERE
59 Amer. capital : USD
60 Blizzard sellers, familiarly : DQS
63 C-suite degree : MBA

25 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 24 May 23, Wednesday”

    1. It is still wrong. “Her” is the object form. “Ella” is the subject form.
      The object form of “her” is “se”.
      The subject form of “she” is “ella”.

    1. I can’t find a place to post my question except to reply here, so please forgive me:52 ACROSS? LEFT TURN FROM SUR (SOUTH) is WEST ( OESTE) in my book. NOT EAST (ESTE). Can someone please explain the reasoning of the answer shown for puzzle?? I would appreciate it…

  1. Harder than expected because I had no clue on the children’s author and had to work thru it on the crosses. Had the theme clue answer early but a brain freeze kept me from applying it there.
    Overall, interesting puzzle

  2. No errors at the end, but it sure took an effort today. I had to do some
    “lookups”…mostly proper names like Seu and Alaina…but finally had it
    done after I corrected 62A to ATM. But at least now I know what a
    mansard roof is!

  3. Yuck. 9:09 with one lookup (MRS WHO, indeed) and several guesses thanks to several answers I’d not heard of – GWYNETH REES, MRS WHO, STAN Smith (“surely not like the American Dad character” I said, typing in “STAR”), EVAN, and MANSARD – crossing with each other. GERE was a guess too, a stab at a name I had heard of after GENE didn’t work. At least the unfamiliar SEU and ALAINA were cross-able. I had EGO TRIP before EGO SURF, which I have Googled and am convinced is not a real term outside the imagination of a single Buzzfeed writer. Bonus points off for ILL STOP (will you though?), the “sometimes people say these two words together” filler of the day.

  4. Absolutely horrible for me. I didn’t I know most of the proper names. Many clues meant nothing to me. What is 227? Never heard of ego surf. I’ll stop.

  5. Enjoyed the puzzle. 7:22, one error. (USA instead of USD; so had MANSARA instead of MANSARD)

    Speaking of MANSARD roofs, I hadn’t the term until Vampire Weekend released a song of the same name in 2008. Good song. Hard to believe it was 15 years ago.

    1. There are lots of old houses with Mansard roofs in Providence, RI. And even city hall!
      No errors or lookups, a handful of re-inks.

  6. 18:52, no errors. Tough puzzle made tougher by me taking awhile to understand the “ID on a map” & “‘y’ in ily” clues.

  7. You don’t post negativity you don’t want to hear obviou. Fire this creator. This is made up language.

  8. 9 minutes 30 seconds and four errors; wouldn’t ya know it, at crosses of obscure names no one has even heard of! EAT[E]R/S[E]U and MANS[A]RD/EV[A]N Disappointing grid.

    1. I can assure you that millions of people have heard of Mansard roofs. (Of course, they’re not the only ones that can have dormer windows.)

  9. Whew! Tough, tough, tough. Too many names (what’s new) and other problems. Got 99% filled and right but finally gave up with SEU. Not sure if the creators and/or editors should be fired but they certainly deserve criticism. Aaaaaargh!

    u

  10. For Ava: If you are traveling (heading) south, a left turn would result in heading east. Don’t think of it as if you are looking at a map.

  11. Pretty tough Wednesday for me; took 19:12 with no peeks or errors and was surprised to get the banner. Considering all the things I didn’t know, I somehow made enough correct guesses to get the finish. Serendipitously, I’d watched the trailer for “Hidden Figures” just yesterday, but it took awhile to remember the name. Finished with the “Y” in GWYN…

    Is it just my misunderstanding, but if you’re in the south(sur) and you make a left turn, you’d be going west, wouldn’t you?

    1. It doesn’t matter if you’re IN the north or south. It only matters which direction you’re facing. The clue should have made that clear.

  12. 18:54 – one letter error at MANSARa/USa. Didn’t know the roof type, and thought of capital letters instead of financial capital.

    False starts: DENARI>DINERO, SRTA>ELLA.

    New: IGBO, “The Mum Hunt,” GWYNETH REES, “227,” ALAINA Reed Hall, Mary LOU Williams, MANSARD roof.

    Got the theme, and of some help with 10D, 20A, and 28A.

    The top middle section was the last to fill in. There were several clues and answers that were unfamiliar or forgotten, and took a while to suss out.

  13. TBH, this didn’t seem like a normal Saturday and certainly didn’t feel like an “English” crossword. Too many foreign words for my liking.

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