LA Times Crossword Answers 21 Nov 13, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: MaryEllen Uthlaut
THEME: Crazy, Mixed-Up Kids … each of today’s themed answers contains an anagram of the word KID:

18A. *Filet mignon dish named for a goddess STEAK DIANE
24A. *Emergency supplies FIRST AID KIT
52A. *Pipe-smoking royal OLD KING COLE
63A. *Fictional rank above Padawan JEDI KNIGHT

40A. Troubled youth literally hiding in each answer to a starred clue CRAZY, MIXED-UP KID

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 10m 19s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

5. Handicapper’s concern ODDS
The noun “handicap”, an advantage or disadvantage in a competition, comes from the phrase “hand-in-cap”, the name of an Old English trading game. In the game, two players agree to trade two possessions. The players and a referee all put some forfeit money into a cap, forming a kitty that can be won. The referee determines the value of the items and declares any difference in worth, an amount that has to added by the owner of the lower-valued item so that the trade is “equal”. The players then put their hands into their pockets and draw out a token coin(s) at the same time, signalling that they agree with the valuation given. If agreement is reached, the referee collects the forfeit as a “fee” and the items are exchanged. If neither player agrees with the valuation they withdraw empty hands from their pockets, then the referee collects the fee and no exchange is made. If only one player agrees to the exchange, then that player collects the forfeit, and again no exchange is made.

15. Los Angeles, for one PORT
The Port of Los Angeles takes up 43 miles of waterfront on the Pacific Coast in southern California. It is the busiest container port in the country. The Port of Los Angeles sits right beside the Port of Long Beach, and together the two ports make up the busiest port facility in the Western Hemisphere.

18. *Filet mignon dish named for a goddess STEAK DIANE
Steak Diane is pan-fried filet mignon served in a flambéed sauce made from the juices in the pan along with butter, shallots, cream and brandy. The dish is named after Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt.

22. Proactiv target ACNE
Proactiv is an over-the-counter medication that is applied to acne. Proactiv’s active ingredient is benzoyl peroxide.

23. Was in the vanguard LED
The term “vanguard” comes to us from French, and describes the foremost position in an advancing army or navy. The term derives from “avant-garde” meaning “advance guard”.

27. Dog in Baum stories TOTO
Toto is Dorothy’s dog in the film “The Wizard of Oz”. Toto was played by a dog called Terry, but Terry’s name was soon changed to Toto in real life, due to the success of the film.

L. Frank Baum (the “L” is for Lyman) is of course famous for writing “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. Writing early in the 20th century, Baum actually described in his books things that had yet to be invented, like television, laptop computers and wireless telephones.

28. Dangerous fly TSETSE
Tsetse flies live on the blood of vertebrate mammals. The name “tsetse” comes from Tswana, a language of southern Africa, and translates simply as “fly”. Tsetse flies are famous for being carriers of the disease known as “sleeping sickness”. Sleeping sickness is caused by a parasite which is passed onto humans when the tsetse fly bites into human skin tissue. If one considers all the diseases transmitted by the insect, then the tsetse fly is responsible for a staggering quarter of a million deaths each year.

33. Puffin kin AUK
Auks are penguin-like sea birds that live in colder northern waters including the Arctic. Like penguins, auks are great swimmers, but unlike penguins, auks can fly.

36. Sizable music combo NONET
A nonet is group composed of nine instruments or voices.

46. I trouble? EGO
Sigmund Freud created a structural model of the human psyche, breaking it into three parts: the id, the ego, and the super-ego. The id is that part of the psyche containing the basic instinctual drives. The ego seeks to please the id by causing realistic behavior that benefits the individual. The super-ego almost has a parental role, contradicting the id by introducing critical thinking and morals to behavioral choices.

50. Spheres studied by Mendel PEAS
Gregor Mendel was an Austrian monk, and a scientist who achieved fame after his passing when his work in the field of genetics was rediscovered. The conclusions he drew from his studies of garden peas led to him earning the moniker “father of modern genetics”.

52. *Pipe-smoking royal OLD KING COLE

Old King Cole was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe, and he called for his bowl
And he called for his fiddlers three.
Every fiddler he had a fiddle,
And a very fine fiddle had he;
Oh there’s none so rare, as can compare
With King Cole and his fiddlers three.

61. Explorer on Nick Jr. DORA
“Dora the Explorer” is a cartoon series shown on Nickelodeon. Part of Dora’s remit is to introduce the show’s young viewers to some Spanish words and phrases.

62. Art support EASEL
The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey” would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would carry its load.

63. *Fictional rank above Padawan JEDI KNIGHT
In the “Star Wars” universe, the members of the Jedi Order progress through six ranks:

– Jedi Youngling
– Jedi Padawan
– Jedi Knight
– Jedi Master
– Jedi Master of the High Council
– Jedi Grand Master of the Order

67. Pro __ RATA
“Pro rata” is a Latin phrase meaning “in proportion”.

69. Former Neet rival NAIR
Nair is a hair removal product that has some pretty harsh ingredients. The most important active constituents are calcium hydroxide (“slake lime”) and sodium hydroxide (“caustic soda”). Other Nair components seem to be there to soothe the skin after the harsher chemicals have done their job. The name “Nair” probably comes from combining “no” and “hair”.

The hair removal product “Neet” was launched in Canada in 1901, and was also sold as “Immac”. Today it is sold under the name “Veet”.

71. Face-off locales RINKS
A “face-off” is a technique used to start or restart play in a number of sports. The idea is that one player from each team faces the other and the ball or puck is dropped between them so that they can contest for possession.

73. Wings, for instance BAND
Wings is a rock band that Paul and LInda McCartney formed after the Beatles disbanded. Wings had some tremendous hits including “Live and Let Die”, “Jet”, “Band on the Run” and “Mull of Kintyre”.

Down
2. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum city HANOI
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a huge memorial to the former Vietnamese leader that is located at the center of Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi. The mausoleum’s design was inspired by Lenin’s Tomb in Red Square Moscow. Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed body is on display in a central hall in a glass case and visitors file past it every day to pay their respects.

3. Rose essence ATTAR
Attar is a fragrant essential oil obtained from flowers, and the term may particularly refer to attar of roses.

6. Hi and Lois’s daughter DOT
“Hi and Lois” is a comic strop that first appeared in 1954 and is still running today. The strip was created by Mort Walker (also known for “Beetle Bailey”) and was originally illustrated by Dik Browne (also known for “Hägar the Horrible”). The title characters Hi and Lois Flagstone first appeared in “Beetle Bailey”. Lois is Beetle’s sister, and the characters occasionally show up in each other’s strip.

12. Riesling product WINE
The Riesling grape variety originated in the Rhine region of Germany, and is used to make wines that are often described as fruity and aromatic. The wine generally has a high level of acidity which makes it ideal for aging, with some examples being proclaimed as excellent at over a hundred-years-old.

25. It can be viewed with a scanning tunneling microscope ATOM
The scanning tunneling microscope (STM) was developed by two physicists at IBM Zurich in 1981, earning them the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physics. An STM takes advantage of the phenomenon known as quantum tunneling in order to produce an image of a surface in which even atoms can be seen.

26. Column style IONIC
An Ionic column is relatively ornate. It usually has grooves running up and down its length and at the top there is a “scroll” design called a “volute”. The scroll motif makes Ionic columns popular for the design of academic buildings. The term “Ionic” means “pertaining to Ionia”, with Ionia being an ancient territory that is located in modern-day Turkey.

29. Paranormal ability ESP
Extrasensory Perception (ESP)

30. Tip for a croupier TOKE
“Toke” is an informal term for a tip given to a dealer or other employee at a casino.

A croupier is someone who conducts a game at a gambling table. In the world of gaming, the original croupier was someone who stood behind a gambler, holding reserves of cash for the person in a game. Before that, “croupier” was someone who rode behind the main rider on a horse. “Croup” was a Germanic word for “rump”. So, a croupier used to be a “second”, as it were.

32. Prefix with skeleton ENDO-
(37. Prefix with skeleton EXO-)
An animal with an endoskeleton has a supporting skeleton inside its body. So, we humans have an endoskeleton. A turtle has both an endoskeleton and an exoskeleton, its outer shell.

33. Book after John ACTS
The Acts of the Apostles is the fifth book of the New Testament. It is believed that the author of the Gospel of Luke was the same person who wrote “Acts”.

34. River through Orsk URAL
The Ural River rises in the Ural Mountains in Russia and flows for half its length through Russian territory until it crosses the border into Kazakhstan, finally emptying into the Caspian Sea.

The city of Orsk is located about 60 miles southeast of the southern tip of the Ural Mountains in Russia. The city lies on the Ural River, which forms the boundary between Europe and Asia. As a result, Orsk can be considered as lying in two continents. Orsk also lies where the Or River joins the Ural, and so the Or gives the city its name.

38. Metronome settings TEMPI
A metronome is any device that produces a regular beat. The metronome was invented in 1815 by Johann Maelzel, who intended it to be an instrument for the use of musicians.

41. Prize component? ZEE
One component of the word “prize” is the letter Z (zee).

42. “The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook” author Paula DEEN
Paula Deen is a celebrity chef from Savannah, Georgia who is noted for her Southern cooking. Deen has been criticized for the amount of salt, fat and sugar in her recipes. The criticism became even more intense when Deen disclosed that she herself has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

43. Stylebook subject USAGE
A “style manual” is a favorite reference book of mine, one that sets the standards for writing and design of documents. That said, it’s sad how often I have to refer to “The Chicago Manual of Style”.

48. Stoli and SKYY VODKAS
Stolichnaya is a brand of Russian vodka made from wheat and rye grain. Well, “Stoli” originated in Russia but now it’s made in Latvia, which is of course a completely different country, so you won’t see the word “Russian” on the label.

Skyy Vodka is produced in the US, although the operation is owned by the Campari Group headquartered in Italy. Skyy first hit the shelves in 1992 when it was created by an entrepreneur from San Francisco, California.

49. Tar Heel State campus ELON
Elon is a city in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, close to the city of Burlington. Elon University is a private liberal arts school founded in 1889.

Tar Heel is a nickname for anyone living in, or from, the state of North Carolina. As such, it is the nickname also of the athletic teams of the University of North Carolina. No one seems to know for sure where the term “Tar Heel” originated, but it is thought to be related to the historical importance of the tar, pitch and turpentine industries that thrived in the state due to the presence of vast forests of pine trees.

51. Egyptian amulet SCARAB
Scarabs were amulets in ancient Egypt. Scarabs were modelled on the dung beetle, as it was viewed as a symbol of the cycle of life.

54. 2010 Supreme Court appointee KAGAN
Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States who replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the fourth female US Supreme Court justice (there have been 108 men!). I hear she is a fan of Jane Austen, and used to reread “Pride and Prejudice” once a year. Not a bad thing to do, I’d say …

55. Honshu port OSAKA
The Japanese city of Osaka used to be called Naniwa, with the name changing to Osaka some time before 1500. “Osaka” can be translated either as “large hill” or “large slope”.

Honshu is the largest island in Japan, with the name “Honshu” translating as “Main Island”. Honshu is the seventh largest island in the world. As it is home to the principal cities in Japan, Honshu is also the second most populous island on the planet (after Java, in Indonesia).

57. Twisty-horned antelope ELAND
An eland is a large African antelope, in fact the largest on the continent.

58. Admitting a breeze, perhaps AJAR
Our word “ajar” is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which “a char” means “slightly open”.

59. “Frasier” actress Gilpin PERI
Roz Doyle is a character in the wonderful sitcom “Frasier”. Roz is played, very ably, by the actress Peri Gilpin.

60. Shangri-la EDEN
Shangri-La is the earthly paradise in the mountains of Tibet described by James Hilton in his novel “Lost Horizon”. It is “Edenic” (perfect, like the Garden of Eden from the Book of Genesis). Frank Capra directed a wonderful screen adaptation of “lost Horizon” in 1937 starring Ronald Colman.

66. Uno e due TRE
In Italian, one and two (uno e due) is three (tre).

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “Are you serious?” WHAT?
5. Handicapper’s concern ODDS
9. Class __ CLOWN
14. Doth possess HATH
15. Los Angeles, for one PORT
16. High nest AERIE
17. Opposed party ANTI
18. *Filet mignon dish named for a goddess STEAK DIANE
20. Jet sounds ROARS
22. Proactiv target ACNE
23. Was in the vanguard LED
24. *Emergency supplies FIRST AID KIT
27. Dog in Baum stories TOTO
28. Dangerous fly TSETSE
33. Puffin kin AUK
36. Sizable music combo NONET
39. Planted SOWN
40. Troubled youth literally hiding in each answer to a starred clue CRAZY, MIXED-UP KID
44. Fable TALE
45. Makes the scene COMES
46. I trouble? EGO
47. Slob’s napkin SLEEVE
50. Spheres studied by Mendel PEAS
52. *Pipe-smoking royal OLD KING COLE
58. Tailless primate APE
61. Explorer on Nick Jr. DORA
62. Art support EASEL
63. *Fictional rank above Padawan JEDI KNIGHT
67. Pro __ RATA
68. Where the action is ARENA
69. Former Neet rival NAIR
70. Similar AKIN
71. Face-off locales RINKS
72. Low joint KNEE
73. Wings, for instance BAND

Down
1. Marina structure WHARF
2. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum city HANOI
3. Rose essence ATTAR
4. Need of a 53-Down THIRST
5. Brief missions? OPS
6. Hi and Lois’s daughter DOT
7. Foreboding DREAD
8. Cupboard arrangement STACK
9. Officers-to-be CADETS
10. Floral wreath LEI
11. Word-of-mouth ORAL
12. Riesling product WINE
13. Aid factor NEED
19. Grow together KNIT
21. Rock-filled STONY
25. It can be viewed with a scanning tunneling microscope ATOM
26. Column style IONIC
29. Paranormal ability ESP
30. Tip for a croupier TOKE
31. Large gulp SWIG
32. Prefix with skeleton ENDO-
33. Book after John ACTS
34. River through Orsk URAL
35. Broccoli relative KALE
37. Prefix with skeleton EXO-
38. Metronome settings TEMPI
41. Prize component? ZEE
42. “The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook” author Paula DEEN
43. Stylebook subject USAGE
48. Stoli and SKYY VODKAS
49. Tar Heel State campus ELON
51. Egyptian amulet SCARAB
53. Solution for 4-Down DRINK
54. 2010 Supreme Court appointee KAGAN
55. Honshu port OSAKA
56. Admit to the club LET IN
57. Twisty-horned antelope ELAND
58. Admitting a breeze, perhaps AJAR
59. “Frasier” actress Gilpin PERI
60. Shangri-la EDEN
64. Press coverage INK
65. Make haste HIE
66. Uno e due TRE

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6 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 21 Nov 13, Thursday”

  1. Hello Bill.

    I had a tough time with the main theme answer. Crazy mixed up kid. But I did finish.
    I was too busy yesterday. Lots of work due today as well.

    On the concept of handicap, rather the "hand in cap", I am still a little confused about the so called neutral umpire who would stand to get the forfeit money, if both the bettors withdrew. Would that not prejudice the so called impartial umpire to declare odds which would be prejudicial to "both" bettors, because then, he could claim the forfeit money, all for himself, without having any of his own money at risk, in the first place ?

    For some reason, I thought an amulet was something worn on the arm, for luck. I now stand corrected.

    Learnt a lot. Have a nice day all.

  2. Hi there, Vidwan.

    I was confused by the description of the "hand in cap" game too. So, I did some further research and came up with a better description (see above).

    It still seems like a silly game to me, Vidwan!

  3. Boy this one was tough for me, but I was at least proud of myself for getting tsetse fly.

    Wonderful explanation for the word Toke, Bill. I will have to look up how that meaning relates to the other modern slang/street meaning (taking a drag off of a marijuana cig.)

  4. Geez, I forgot to comment today!
    Got everything except AUK/URAL.
    Thought Tues. and Wed. were more difficult.
    Cold and rainy here, but that's a good thing. REALLY tired of 80's and 90's in SoCal and having to water.
    Nice change!
    Hi Vidwan,Bill and Brooke!

  5. @Brooke
    You'll have to share that "trendier" etymology of the verb "toke". I'd be interested in that one 🙂

    @Pookie
    It's cold, rainy and windy here in NoCal too. I was finally able to turn off the sprinker system a couple of days ago. But, no complaints here. We used to live in the snow belt.

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