LA Times Crossword Answers 21 Nov 15, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Bruce Venzke
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 8m 00s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Amuse to the hilt LEAVE IN STITCHES
The term “in stitches” has been used since the thirties to mean laughing hysterically. The idea is that one can laugh so hard one can get a stitch of pain, a pain in the side.

16. Goth is a subgenre of it ALTERNATIVE ROCK
The musical genre of alternative rock has a relatively self-evident origin, as it is an alternative to traditional rock music. I’m no expert, not even close …

17. Tax inequity MARRIAGE PENALTY
The US tax systems “marriage penalty” describes a situation where a married couple filing jointly pay more tax than an otherwise identical pair of single people.

18. Blotter name ALIAS
A police blotter is (or used to be) a daily record of arrests made.

19. These, overseas ESTOS
Not these (estos) or these (esos), but the others (otros), in Spanish.

20. Film lioness NALA
In “The Lion King”, Nala is a lioness and the childhood friend of Simba.

23. Financial shellacking BATH
“To shellac” is a slang term meaning “to defeat decisively, to strike severely”.

25. T-__ BIRD
Ford manufactured the Thunderbird (T-Bird) from 1955 to 2005, originally as a two-seater sporty convertible. The T-Bird was introduced as a competitor to Chevrolet’s new sports car, the Corvette.

30. With 34-Across, China’s locale EAST
34. See 35-Across ASIA
As some observant blog readers noticed (and not me!), the clue for 34-across should read “See 30-across”, and not “See 35-across”.

35. Logician friend of Einstein GODEL
Kurt Gödel was an American mathematician and philosopher who was born in Austro-Hungary. Gödel fled Austria just before World War II and relocated to Princeton, which was also home to Albert Einstein by this time. Gödel and Einstein were fond of taking long walks together.

37. Chinese dish eponym TSO
General Tso’s chicken is an American creation, often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zongtang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

An eponym is a name for something derived from the name of a person, as in the “sandwich” named for the Earl of Sandwich.

38. Swansea-born WELSH
The city of Swansea is located on the coast in South Wales. It is the second largest city in Wales, after the capital of Cardiff. I love Swansea, and lived there for a couple of years …

40. Scary St. Bernard of fiction CUJO
“Cujo” is a Stephen King horror novel, which means that I have never read it (I don’t do horror). The character Cujo is a rabid St. Bernard dog which besieges a young couple for three days in their stalled car. King tells us that he lifted the dog’s name from real life, as Cujo was the nickname of Willie Wolfe, one of the men responsible for the 1974 kidnapping of Patty Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

46. Amphora, e.g. VASE
An amphora is a ceramic vase with two handles on either side of a long neck. The name “amphora” is Latin, coming from the Greek meaning “on both sides of the carrier”, referring to the two carrying handles.

49. Dino, __ & Billy: ’60s band that included sons of two musical celebs DESI
Dino, Desi and Billy were a singing group in the late sixties. Two of the trio were sons of famous parents. “Dino” was Dean Paul Martin, son of singer, actor and comedian Dean Martin. “Desi” was Desi Arnaz, Jr., the son of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. Rounding out the group was a friend called Billy Hinsche.

65. Some emcees TOASTMISTRESSES
The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism standing for Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

Down
1. Monastery figure LAMA
“Lama” is a Tibetan word, meaning “chief” or “high priest”.

2. It has blue-striped jets EL AL
El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”.

3. Abruzzi bell town ATRI
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote “The Sicilian’s Tale; The Bell of Atri”, a narrative poem set in the small town of Atri in the Abruzzo region of Italy.

4. Tara feature VERANDA
Rhett Butler hung out with Scarlett O’Hara at the Tara plantation in Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind”. Tara was founded not far from the Georgia city of Jonesboro by Scarlett’s father, Irish immigrant Gerald O’Hara. Gerald named his new abode after the Hill of Tara back in his home country, the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland.

5. 1974 pension plan legislation ERISA
ERISA is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, enacted in 1974. ERISA regulates the operation of a pension plan once it has been established. However, ERISA does not require that a pension plan be offered by an employer.

8. __-Chapelle: historic Paris church STE
Sainte-Chapelle is a beautiful Gothic chapel located on the Île de la Cité, the same island in the Seine that is home to Notre-Dame Cathedral. The name “Sainte-Chapelle” is usually translated as “Holy Chapel”. The chapel was built in the mid-1200s by Louis IX to house a relic that he believed to be the crown of thorns placed on the head of Jesus just prior to the Crucifixion.

10. “__ Got a Secret” I’VE
“I’ve Got a Secret” was a panel show that originally aired in the fifties and sixties. “I’ve Got a Secret”was a spinoff of the very successful panel show “What’s My Line?”

11. Belief TENET
A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.

13. “Dateline NBC” anchor Lester HOLT
Lester Holt is a television journalist. Holt is anchor for the weekend editions of the shows “Today” and “Nightly News” on NBC, as well as the show “Dateline NBC”.

14. Prefix with -plasm ECTO-
In the real world, ectoplasm is part of the cytoplasm of a cell. In the paranormal world, ectoplasm is that spiritual energy that some people claim to be able to see, that emanates from ghostly characters. It’s that ethereal shape that is sometimes seen in photographic images, which can be interpreted as the energy of some spirit from “the other side”. Spooky stuff …

22. Low life AMOEBAS
An ameba (or “amoeba” as we spell it back in Ireland) is a single-celled microorganism. The name comes from the Greek “amoibe”, meaning change. The name is quite apt, as the cell changes shape readily as the ameba moves, eats and reproduces.

27. Spanish wine region RIOJA
Rioja wines come from the province of La Rioja in Northern Spain. In my days living back in Europe, Rioja wines were noted for their heavy oaky flavors and it wasn’t uncommon to order a “rough Rioja” when out for dinner of an evening.

29. Freud contemporary ADLER
Alfred Adler was one of the group of medical professionals that founded the psychoanalytic movement. Today Adler is less famous than his colleague, Sigmund Freud.

31. Inner tube? AORTA
The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

41. Forecasters ORACLES
In Ancient Greece and Rome, an oracle was someone believed inspired by the gods to give wise counsel. The word “oracle” derives from the Latin “orare” meaning “to speak”, which is the same root for our word “orator”. One of the most important oracles of Ancient Greece was the priestess to Apollo at Delphi.

50. “On the Beach” novelist SHUTE
“On the Beach” is a wonderful novel by Nevil Shute, first published in 1957. The famous story is about the ending of the human race as nuclear fallout spreads south from the northern hemisphere after WWIII. The novel was adapted into a great 1959 movie starring Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner and even Fred Astaire.

52. Cornerstone word ANNO
Anno (plural “anni”) is the Latin for “year”.

56. “Dies __” IRAE
“Dies Irae” is Latin for “Day of Wrath”. It is the name of a famous melody in Gregorian Chant, one that is often used as part of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass.

60. Show with many spin-offs CSI
The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been tremendously successful, but seems to be winding down. “CSI: Miami” (the “worst” of the franchise, I think) was cancelled in 2012 after ten seasons. “CSI: NY” (the “best” of the franchise) was cancelled in 2013 after nine seasons. The original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, set in Las Vegas, hung in there until 2015 when it ended with a two-hour TV movie.

61. USAF commissioning prog. OTS
Officer Training School (OTS)

62. He played Clubber Lang in “Rocky III” MR T
“Rocky III” is the movie in which Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) goes up against Clubber Lang (Mr. T). “Rocky III” is a forgettable film, but Mr. T was grateful for his role no doubt as it launched his career and landed him a spot on television’s “The A-Team”. Also making an appearance was professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, an appearance that raised his profile as well and kick-started his career outside of the ring. But for me the most memorable thing is the song “Eye of the Tiger”, which was commissioned for “Rocky III”. A great tune …

63. Links figure PAR
The oldest type of golf course is a links course. The name “links” comes from the Old English word “hlinc” meaning “rising ground”. “Hlinc” was used to describe areas with coastal sand dunes or open parkland. As a result, we use the term “links course” to mean a golf course that is located at or on the coast, often amid sand dunes. The British Open is always played on a links course.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Amuse to the hilt LEAVE IN STITCHES
16. Goth is a subgenre of it ALTERNATIVE ROCK
17. Tax inequity MARRIAGE PENALTY
18. Blotter name ALIAS
19. These, overseas ESTOS
20. Film lioness NALA
23. Financial shellacking BATH
25. T-__ BIRD
28. Where surfers look for bargains E-MALL
30. With 34-Across, China’s locale EAST
34. See 35-Across ASIA
35. Logician friend of Einstein GODEL
36. Give (out) DOLE
37. Chinese dish eponym TSO
38. Swansea-born WELSH
39. Got used up, with “out” RAN
40. Scary St. Bernard of fiction CUJO
42. Beyond chunky OBESE
43. Dough dispensers ATMS
44. Try HEAR
45. Not seen as frequently RARER
46. Amphora, e.g. VASE
47. Requires ASKS
49. Dino, __ & Billy: ’60s band that included sons of two musical celebs DESI
51. Sentry’s stint WATCH
54. Is charismatic HAS IT
58. Slide rules, for example ANALOG COMPUTERS
64. Borrower’s protection INTEREST RATE CAP
65. Some emcees TOASTMISTRESSES

Down
1. Monastery figure LAMA
2. It has blue-striped jets EL AL
3. Abruzzi bell town ATRI
4. Tara feature VERANDA
5. 1974 pension plan legislation ERISA
6. Words with stew and pickle IN A …
7. Bug NAG
8. __-Chapelle: historic Paris church STE
9. Track advantage TIP
10. “__ Got a Secret” I’VE
11. Belief TENET
12. Surprised at the party CRASHED
13. “Dateline NBC” anchor Lester HOLT
14. Prefix with -plasm ECTO-
15. “The __ the limit!” SKY’S
21. Investigator’s data gathering LEGWORK
22. Low life AMOEBAS
23. Consecrated BLESSED
24. Attendant to a man ALL HERE
25. Baker’s quantity BATCH
26. Send forth ISSUE
27. Spanish wine region RIOJA
29. Freud contemporary ADLER
31. Inner tube? AORTA
32. Verbal attacks SLAMS
33. It may be perfect TENSE
41. Forecasters ORACLES
43. Flies AVIATES
48. Insufficient SHORT
50. “On the Beach” novelist SHUTE
51. What early arrivals often have to do WAIT
52. Cornerstone word ANNO
53. “So long!” TATA!
55. Moments SECS
56. “Dies __” IRAE
57. Recipe abbr. TSPS
59. Special someone GEM
60. Show with many spin-offs CSI
61. USAF commissioning prog. OTS
62. He played Clubber Lang in “Rocky III” MR T
63. Links figure PAR

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15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 21 Nov 15, Saturday”

  1. Agreed! Typically odd cluing for a Friday/Saturday puzzle. There were a few other here as well. Not clever, just irritating.

  2. @Paul

    "Attendant" here is not a noun but an adjective, as in "they were all attendant." And "man" isn't a separate noun but instead part of a phrase meaning "everyone," as in "they died to a man." At least that's how I read it.

  3. Another day another editing error. 34-across should point to 30-across not 35-across as listed. I spent awhile trying to make Kurt fit. Doesn't anyone edit these? That is 2 days in a row of blatant errors.

  4. I was happy I actually finished a Saturday puzzle, but when I saw Bill's time I realized it wasn't a typical Saturday degreee of difficulty. I enjoyed it anyway.

    I'm fine with "Attendent to a man" as a clue. If all clues were straightforward and obvious, I doubt I would do crosswords at all. The feeling when the light bulb comes on after staring at something vague and not obvious is why I do these things.

    I always thought "in stitches" meant they busted a gut laughing and therefore needed stitches. A "stitch of pain" had never occured to me.

    I always saw the spelling as "AMOEBA" as well. It was only in crosswords that I ever saw "ameba" as a spelling.

    Happy that there was no reference to an "ATM machine" for 43A. That would have been rant-worthy….

    Best –

  5. While this is not relevant to the solving of the puzzle, and is a legitimate phrase, in itself, …. the 'marriage penalty' in the US Income Tax code has been largely neutralized, atleast from since 8 years ago.

    The amount of itemized deductions for a married couple, filing jointly is exactly twice that of a single taxpayer …. and the tax rate and tables for a single person is exactly twice the rate as for a married couple, filing jointly. The tax rate for a married person, filing separately is exactly the same as that for a single person.

    There are certain other provisions that favor married, filing jointly as opposed to filing separately – especially where child care and earned income credits are involved. But those are mostly, what I would call, in government 'give aways'.

    Tax laws are political decisions, and are NEVER based on equity. Equity is never a defense against tax laws. That is the first axiom to remember while studying taxation.

    End of rant. Consult your own tax advisor or legal professional.

    As a funny aside, if you think you should be getting married, go ahead and do so. Never mind the tax laws, federal or state or local. If it is the right thing to do, its never too early to do so – even if its so late in this year. Happiness, in doing the right thing is never an expensive proposition. 😉

  6. I'm surprised you didn't comment on slide rules. With the advent of high end scientific calculators, I don't think they are even manufactured or sold anymore, except perhaps at garage and yard sales!

  7. DNF both the Friday puzzle and this one. Seconded (thirded) on the irritating cluing.

    As a side note, I went ahead and did the entire week of WSJ (or will). Monday, 1 stupid error, Tuesday, finished, Wednesday DNF. Not sure they publish a grid on Sunday or not, but noticed the Saturday grid was another big one by Elizabeth Gorski so I guess she's going to be the "Merl Reagle equivalent" over there.

    Most interesting part compared to everyone else is that they run a contest on the Friday grid. Winner gets a little trinket (a branded mug IIRC) on drawing for correctly guessing the "unwritten" theme of the grid via e-mail to a contest address (clue to it given of course so you're not absolutely blind to it – last week's was Henry VIII's wives, which all appeared in the grid somewhere).

  8. I found this doable, but not easily or quickly. Bill's time borders on that of a savant, so Bill the crossword Savant does it for me! What tripped me up for the longest time was putting in Elsa for 20 Across "Film lioness" and from that point on I was in the weeds for a long time. Finally got it straightened out which made getting 21 Down "Investigator's data gathering" clue yield an answer at last.

    Hope everyone has a good weekend and I completely agree with Jeff…if crossword puzzles were so simple that they never presented any challenge or "mulling over" time, then I would lose interest in doing them, I'm sure. So things like "attendant to a man" makes me think "outside" the grid and give me pleasure when I finally (hopefully) figure them out.

  9. Well, my Saturday success was short-lived.
    Got all the long answers, but as Tony Michaels did,I put in ELSA also. Crossing GODEL/ADLER was out of my ken.
    My paper had the EAST ASIA clues messed up also.
    ALL HERE was the worst.

  10. @Tony Michaels
    if crossword puzzles were so simple that they never presented any challenge or "mulling over" time, then I would lose interest in doing them, I'm sure.

    Definite agreement (to a certain level of fairness if grids exhibit them), but as I keep bringing them, it's good to be reminded (as I am in thinking about this) that there are many more so-called "easy" puzzles out there than puzzles like these (LA Times, New York Times, WSJ, Reagle, Mongo, etc). People are paying to have them done much more simply because there has to be much more of a demand for them. I can't understand why, personally, as the last time I looked at this "easy" puzzle book I have here, I did ten of them in the time it took for the floor I was mopping to dry. But I'm sure the reasons why people gravitate to those are out there somewhere – probably similar reasons to why people like word finds?

    I sure don't know.

  11. @Glenn
    I literally laughed outloud at your "word find" comment.

    They say that if you yell at the top of your lungs for 8 years, 7 months, and 6 days you'd produce just enough heat energy to heat up a cup of coffee………I prefer puzzles that force me to heat up a cup of coffee…. 🙂

    @Carrie
    From yesterday: LEDJE???!!!! That's not even a lejitimate word!!

  12. Hi every buddy, and a happy Sunday!
    @Bill, re. Tara: I hate to mention it, but I don't think Rhett hung out at Tara. If memory serves he's never at the O'Hara plantation, not in the movie or the book. Am I missing something? Even when they were married, Scarlett would go back and visit Tara without bringing Rhett.
    (@everyone else–am I terrible for nitpicking about a possible misstatement on the part of our fearless leader?? I really feel compelled to mention it!!)
    Back tomorrow!
    Be well~~™

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