LA Times Crossword Answers 24 Nov 15, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Gail Grabowski & Bruce Venzke
THEME: Ed’s Inside … each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase with the suffix “-ed” appended to the first word:

20A. Tired bowling groups? BUSHED LEAGUES (from “bush leagues”)
38A. Tired janitors? DRAINED CLEANERS (from “drain cleaners”)
56A. Tired groupies? EXHAUSTED FANS (from “exhaust fans”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 54s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Alter, as a pet SPAY
Our verb “to spay”, meaning “to surgically remove the ovaries of” (an animal) comes from an old Anglo-French word “espeier” meaning “to cut with a sword”.

5. Coif adjusted with a pick AFRO
A “coif” is a hairdo. The term comes from an old French term “coife”, a skull-cap that was worn under a helmet back in the late 13th century.

15. Bar sign light NEON
The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

16. Goodnight girl of song IRENE
“Goodnight, Irene”, also known as “Irene, Goodnight”, is a lovely American folk song that was first recorded commercially back in 1932 by blues singer Lead Belly. The song made it to number one in the charts for the Weavers in 1950 and for Frank Sinatra in the same year.

17. Poolside hue AQUA
The color known as “aqua” is a light greenish blue.

18. Big reference vols. OEDS
The “Oxford English Dictionary” (OED) contains over 300,000 “main” entries and 59 million words in total. It is said it would take a single person 120 years to type it out in full. The longest entry for one word in the second edition of the OED is the verb “set”. When the third edition was published in 2007, the longest entry for a single word became the verb “put”. Perhaps not surprisingly, the most-quoted author in the OED is William Shakespeare, with his most quoted work being “Hamlet”. The most-quoted female author is George Eliot (aka Mary Ann Evans).

19. Utah city near the Golden Spike OGDEN
The city of Ogden was the first permanent settlement by people of European descent in what is now the state of Utah.

The First Transcontinental Railroad was a cooperative project between the Western Pacific, the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific Railroad Companies. The Western Pacific Railroad constructed line between Oakland and Sacramento in California. The Central Pacific Railroad laid line from Sacramento to Promontory Summit, Utah. The Union Pacific Railroad put down tracks in a westerly direction, from the existing network terminus near Omaha, Nebraska, all the way to Promontory Summit. It was the connecting of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads at Promontory Summit that completed the First Transcontinental Line in 1869. The driving of the Golden Spike (also “Last Spike”) symbolically completed the project. That spike was pounded into the ground by Leland Stanford, president of both the Southern Pacific and the Central Pacific railroads. The spike can now be viewed in Stanford University, the school founded by and named for Leland.

20. Tired bowling groups? BUSHED LEAGUES (from “bush leagues”)
“Bush league” is baseball slang for “minor league” or “unprofessional”. The idea is that a minor league team might be based in “the sticks” or “the bushes”, in a small town.

To be “bushed” is to be tired. The term is American in origin and dates back to the 1870s. The exact etymology is unclear, but it may somehow refer to being lost in the woods, lost in the bush.

24. Ballot markings XES
Today a “ballot” is a piece of paper used to cast a vote. Back in the 1500s, a “ballot” was a small “ball” used in the process of voting.

26. __ Mahal TAJ
The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built after the death of the third wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth delivering the couple’s 14th child.

34. Antianxiety drug XANAX
Xanax is a brand name of the antianxiety drug alprazolam. Xanax is one of the most commonly misused prescription drugs in the US, with wide acceptance in the illegal recreational drug market.

38. Tired janitors? DRAINED CLEANERS (from “drain cleaners”)
A janitor is someone who takes care of the maintenance or cleaning of a building. An older definition of the term is “doorman”. Our word comes from the Latin “ianitor” meaning “doorkeeper”.

51. Beer, to a Brit BEV
In Britain, a “bevy” (sometimes “bev”) is a beverage, especially a beer.

55. Lucy of “Elementary” LIU
Lucy Liu is an actress from Queens, New York. Liu’s big break came when she was chosen to play the Ling Woo character in “Ally McBeal”. I liked her in the 2000 film “Charlie’s Angels” but as I am no fan of Quentin Tarantino, I did not enjoy the movie “Kill Bill”. I am having fun watching one of Liu’s more recent projects, in which she plays Jane Watson, one of the two lead characters in the TV crime drama “Elementary”.

If you’ve seen the American television show “Elementary”, you will know that it is an adaptation of the classic tales by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that are set in the present day. “Elementary” is similar in look and feel to the excellent BBC series “Sherlock”, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a modern-day Holmes. We can pick up “Sherlock” in some parts of the country as part of “Masterpiece Mystery” on PBS.

62. Give kudos to LAUD
Our word “kudos” means acclaim given for an exceptional achievement. “Kudos” is not a plural, despite a common misapprehension. It is a singular noun derived from the Greek “kyddos” meaning “glory, fame”.

65. Shoreline-altering phenomenon TIDE
Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

66. Item on an actor’s résumé ROLE
A résumé is a summary of a person’s job experience and education and is used as a tool by a job seeker. In many countries, a résumé is equivalent to a curriculum vitae. “Résumé” is the French word for “summary”.

A curriculum vitae is a listing of someone’s work experience and qualifications, and is used mainly in making a job application. The term “curriculum vitae” can be translated from Latin as “course of life”.

68. Vehicle in many a Jack London story SLED
The author Jack London is a bit of a local hero in the Bay Area where I live. London was born in San Francisco, and there is a famous Jack London Square in Oakland, California that was named in his honor. London’s most famous works are “The Call of the Wild” and “White Fang”, both of which are set in the Klondike Gold Rush.

69. Black gem ONYX
Onyx is a form of banded quartz that comes in many different shades, but most often it’s the black version that’s used for jewelry. The name “onyx” comes from the Greek word for “fingernail”, as onyx in the flesh color is said to resemble a fingernail.

Down
2. Anna of “True Blood” PAQUIN
Anna Paquin is an actress from New Zealand who won an Oscar as an 11-year-old for her role in “The Piano”. In the HBO series “True Blood” she plays Sookie Stackhouse, a role for which she won a Golden Globe.

“True Blood” is a television drama made by HBO. The series is based on novels written by Charlaine Harris that describe human and vampires who co-exist in a small town in Louisiana. I don’t do vampires …

5. Battery pole ANODE
A battery is a device that converts chemical energy into electric energy. A simple battery is made up of three parts: a cathode, an anode and a liquid electrolyte. Ions from the electrolyte react chemically with the material in the anode producing a compound and releasing electrons. At the same time, the electrolyte reacts with the material in the cathode, absorbing electrons and producing a different chemical compound. In this way, there is a buildup of electrons at the anode and a deficit of electrons at the cathode. When a connection (wire, say) is made between the cathode and anode, electrons flow through the resulting circuit from the anode to cathode in an attempt to rectify the electron imbalance.

9. Sitting Bull’s tribe SIOUX
Sitting Bull was a Hunkpapa Lakota Native American who led his people in resisting settlement of tribal lands. Sitting Bull is most notably associated with the victory over the US Cavalry, led by Lt. Col. Custer, at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. US forces pursued Sitting Bull for five years after Little Bighorn until he surrendered in 1881. He was held as a prisoner of war for almost two years before being released onto a reservation. In 1884, he was allowed to leave the reservation and joined Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show, where he earned a tidy sum for a few months. Several years later an order was issued for his arrest due to concern that he was about to flee his reservation. Sitting Bull was shot during an altercation as he was being taken into custody.

11. Republican-voting area, on an election map RED STATE
On political maps, red states are Republican and blue states Democrat. The designation of red and blue states is a very recent concept, only introduced in the 2000 presidential election by TV journalist, the late Tim Russert. In retrospect, the choice of colors is surprising, as in other democracies around the world red is usually used to describe left-leaning socialist parties (the reds under the bed!), and blue is used for conservative right-wing parties. In election cycles, swing/battleground states are often depicted in purple.

12. Peoria-to-Detroit dir. ENE
Peoria is the oldest European settlement in the state of Illinois, having been settled by the French in 1680. The city is famous for being cited as “the average American city”. The phrase, “Will it play in Peoria?” is used to mean, “Will it appeal to the mainstream?” It is believed the expression originated as a corruption of, “We shall play in Peoria”, a line used by some actors in the 1890 novel “Five Hundred Dollars” by Horatio Alger, Jr.

The city of Detroit’s economic strength declined at the beginning of the 21st century, resulting in a 25% drop in population between 2000 and 2010. Detroit filed for the country’s largest municipal bankruptcy in history in 2013, facing a debt of $18.8 billion. The city exited bankruptcy at the end of 2014.

13. Neurotic toon dog REN
“The Ren and Stimpy Show” is an animated television show that ran on Nickelodeon from 1991 to 1996. The title characters are Marland “Ren” Höek, a scrawny Chihuahua, and Stimpson J. Cat, a rotund Manx cat. Not my cup of tea …

21. Not destroyed or lost, as an old document EXTANT
Extant … it’s not lost, it’s still in existence. “Extant” comes from the Latin “exstare”, to stand out.

27. France’s Cote d’__ AZUR
The Côte d’Azur is on the Mediterranean coast of France and stretches from Saint Tropez in the west and to the Italian border in the east. In English we often refer to the area as the French Riviera. It’s a little crowded for me (okay, “expensive”), especially in the summer

28. Zooey’s “New Girl” role JESS
Zooey Deschanel is an actress and singer-songwriter from Los Angeles. Zooey is the younger sister of Emily Deschanel who plays the title role on the TV show “Bones”. Now Zooey is playing Jess Day, the lead character on the sitcom “New Girl”.

33. Pastor’s abode MANSE
A manse is a minister’s home in various Christian traditions. “Manse” derives from “mansus”, the Latin for “dwelling”. The term can also be used for any stately residence.

35. Lipton rival NESTEA
Nestea is a brand of iced tea made by Nestlé. “Nestea” is a portmanteau of “Nestlé” and “tea”.

Sir Thomas Lipton was a grocer in Glasgow, Scotland. He founded a tea packing company in North America in 1893, in Hoboken, New Jersey. He was very successful as his blends of tea became popular in the US. Despite the Lipton roots in the UK, Lipton black tea isn’t available there, so I’ve always thought of it as an American brand.

41. North-south coordinate LATITUDE
Lines of latitude are the imaginary horizontal lines surrounding the planet. The most “important” lines of latitude are, from north to south:

– Arctic Circle
– Tropic of Cancer
– Equator
– Tropic of Capricorn
– Antarctic Circle

48. Post-rehab support group AL-ANON
Al-Anon and Alateen are fellowships of relatives and friends of alcoholics. Alateen specifically supports teens who are affected by another’s drinking, whereas Al-Anon focuses on people of all ages.

50. English Channel county SUSSEX
Sussex is a county in the very southeast of England, lying right on the English Channel. The county of Sussex has about the same boundaries as the ancient Kingdom of Sussex, a Saxon colony that existed for about five hundred years until the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Hastings, a town on the Sussex coast, was the site of the first battle of the Norman Conquest of England.

The English Channel is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, the narrow part that separates the south of England from northern France. The French call the same body of water “La Manche”, which translates literally as “the sleeve”. At its narrowest point the Channel is just over 20 miles wide, and it indeed possible to see France from England and vice versa. Nowadays of course there is a tunnel under the channel making travel extremely convenient. When I was living and working in Europe, with the help of the Channel Tunnel, one day I had a breakfast meeting in Brussels, a lunch meeting in London, and a dinner meeting in Paris. It’s more fun sitting here doing the crossword though …

52. “The Taming of the __” SHREW
William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” is about a courting couple. The male is Petruchio, a gentleman of Verona, and the female is Katharina, the so-called “shrew”. As the play progresses, the “shrew” is “tamed” and becomes an “obedient” bride … a controversial storyline in the contemporary world, to say the least. Regardless, modern adaptations have been made, including 1948’s Broadway musical “Kiss Me Kate” and the 1999 romantic comedy “10 Things I Hate About You”.

57. Powerful TV princess XENA
The Xena character, played by New Zealander Lucy Lawless, was introduced in a made-for-TV movie called “Hercules and the Amazon Women”. Lawless reprised the role in a series called “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”. Xena became so popular that a series was built around her character, with Lawless retained for the title role. The fictional Xena supposedly came from the “non-fictional” Greek city of Amphipolis.

59. Casino game FARO
Faro is a card game somewhat akin to Baccarat that was popular in England and France in the 18th century. Faro made it to the Old West, where it became a favorite of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp. The origin of the name “Faro” is unclear. One popular theory is that Faro is a contraction of ‘pharaoh’ given that Egyptian motifs used to be common on playing cards of the period. There’s another theory involving the usual suspects: Irish immigrants and famines …

60. HP products PCS
The giant multinational called HP (originally Hewlett-Packard) was founded in 1939 with an investment of $538, in a one-car garage in Palo Alto, California by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. The company name would have been Packard-Hewlett (PH?) if Dave Packard had won a coin toss!

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Alter, as a pet SPAY
5. Coif adjusted with a pick AFRO
9. Less uncertain SURER
14. Bring under control TAME
15. Bar sign light NEON
16. Goodnight girl of song IRENE
17. Poolside hue AQUA
18. Big reference vols. OEDS
19. Utah city near the Golden Spike OGDEN
20. Tired bowling groups? BUSHED LEAGUES (from “bush leagues”)
23. Unconvincing excuse, probably LIE
24. Ballot markings XES
25. Not strict at all LAX
26. __ Mahal TAJ
29. Go on until END AT
31. Buzzers around blossoms BEES
33. Cornfield construction MAZE
34. Antianxiety drug XANAX
36. Relationship __: Facebook feature STATUS
38. Tired janitors? DRAINED CLEANERS (from “drain cleaners”)
42. Automatons ROBOTS
43. Refuge in a desert OASIS
44. Physics particle ATOM
45. It’s pitched at camp TENT
47. Security concerns LEAKS
51. Beer, to a Brit BEV
52. Driver’s license datum SEX
53. Cooler in a cooler ICE
55. Lucy of “Elementary” LIU
56. Tired groupies? EXHAUSTED FANS (from “exhaust fans”)
60. Plastic alternative PAPER
62. Give kudos to LAUD
63. Common conjunctions ANDS
64. Construction site sight CRANE
65. Shoreline-altering phenomenon TIDE
66. Item on an actor’s résumé ROLE
67. Scarecrow stuffing STRAW
68. Vehicle in many a Jack London story SLED
69. Black gem ONYX

Down
1. Place for ponies STABLE
2. Anna of “True Blood” PAQUIN
3. Brought a smile to AMUSED
4. Slangy assent YEAH
5. Battery pole ANODE
6. Experiences regret FEELS BAD
7. Biked RODE
8. Marked down ON SALE
9. Sitting Bull’s tribe SIOUX
10. Hard-to-resist impulse URGE
11. Republican-voting area, on an election map RED STATE
12. Peoria-to-Detroit dir. ENE
13. Neurotic toon dog REN
21. Not destroyed or lost, as an old document EXTANT
22. Fuels (up) GASSES
27. France’s Cote d’__ AZUR
28. Zooey’s “New Girl” role JESS
30. Geometric truth AXIOM
32. Prior prisoner, for short EX-CON
33. Pastor’s abode MANSE
35. Lipton rival NESTEA
37. Kept tabs on from behind TAILED
38. Hardly eye-catching DRAB
39. Repetitive learning technique ROTE
40. Better than expected ABOVE PAR
41. North-south coordinate LATITUDE
46. Rejoices EXULTS
48. Post-rehab support group AL-ANON
49. “Thank you __, ma’am” KINDLY
50. English Channel county SUSSEX
52. “The Taming of the __” SHREW
54. Formally gave up CEDED
57. Powerful TV princess XENA
58. Breeze (along) SAIL
59. Casino game FARO
60. HP products PCS
61. Word after clip or pop ART

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11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 24 Nov 15, Tuesday”

  1. They could title this grid "X-rated" for all the letters used. We're off on the road in an hour or so…target for the day: Merced, CA, then Bolinas.

    Enjoy your holiday, one and all! This blog is so much more fun with you all contributing.

  2. Zero errors. Pretty weird words in general, so it made this a little bit stiffer than the usual Tuesday.

    An interesting "secondary" theme out of this, which I guess why I thought this "weird", is how many times the letters X occurs in the grid (seven).

  3. I guess Dave Packard called EVENS on that coin toss….

    The tides resulting from the moon's gravity is part of what led to Einstein's theory of general relativity interestingly enough. He theorized that if the moon just disappeared, we obviously wouldn't see that for a couple of seconds as it would take that long for the light (lack of light) to get to us. However, the lack of gravity would affect the tides instantaneously. Since nothing goes faster than the speed of light, how could the lack of gravity "move" faster than light? Ultimately that question led to the theory that gravity is the affect of being in the same space as another mass – similar to being in the same depression of a heavy ball sitting on a mattress.

    @Anon
    Doesn't a pangram have to be a sentence that contains every letter? Or can a puzzle qualify? I'm too lazy to look it up myself.

    @Willie
    Have a safe trip. You're a brave soul to venture out and travel during Thanksgiving week – braver than I am. I stay put this week every year.

    Best –

  4. The answer to 40 Down "Better than expected" wouldn't work if you were playing golf.

    I hope everyone has a good day.

  5. The long answers didn't make any sense to me until I stopped reading the clues as "tired OF". DUH!!
    Wasn't sure if EXTANT was correct.
    Finished correctly, but nowhere near Bill's time.

  6. I had a pleasant and fun time with the puzzle. I think puzzles are like food dishes – hiaggis may be your favorite ;-X) )- but not mine. On the other hand, I may relish some recipes that others may bot care for.

    I just went thru a endoscopy – successfully. But yesterday, I suffered without any solid food – just green tea and lime jello – to keep my insides clear. Plus had to guzzle 4 liters /litres of ethylene glycol ( anti-freeze !)= which I didn't even know, was edible. Its the ultimate laxative. The procedure was performed 4 hours late – the nurse told me that the Dr. was 'behind'. I kept turning my back to look for him. Until I realised that she was using a euphemism for 'behind schedule'.

    Enough about me. I must read up on Sitting Bull.
    Have a great Thanksgiving all – we always have so much to be thankful about.

  7. Jeff, any xword pozzle with all the letters of the alphabet is commonly termed as a pangram.

    Pookie, I have come across the word, 'extant', very often, in relation to rare birds, animals and even certain languages. I always thought extant was an antonym of extinct… very much still alive.

    Tony Michaels – your point of 'above par' having a completely different, opposite meaning, even a correct interpretation, to a golf player, is well noted. Some technical terms often have to be understood only by experts.

    I remember a case of a CPA firm, that went through a 'AICPA required, peer review' of their Accounting practice, and came out 'without qualifications'. Which meant that they were doing their job right, and the peer reviewers had no qualms or problems with their accounting work. So the aforesaid firm, decided to write a newsletter and inform all their clients about this 'no qualifications' honor conferred on them, by the AICPA peer review committee.

    One of their clients, wrote back, telling them that the client was firing the CPA firm, as their auditors ….. because the client said …. We do not want to work with "no qualification" CPA accountants …..

    Sorry, for the long story.

  8. >The long answers didn't make any sense to me until I stopped reading the clues as "tired OF". DUH!!

    Yeah I get that way sometimes. My eyes get cross-eyed for all the text (especially if I've looked at the grid a while trying to figure it out) and I read clues into the wrong spaces or read parts of clues onto other clues. It's funny like that.

  9. @Sfingi – ED in the middle, because ED appears in the middle of the theme answers, and when you take it out, you have the common phrase that's being punned (or PUN-ished…LOL!)
    I also noticed all the Xes and thought it was kinda cool! Not sure why I thought that! Will have to look again to see the pangram.
    I screwed up by misreading the stupid little numbers – I put SHREW in place of CEDED and didn't realize my mistake for awhile.
    So happy to see EXTANT. It's one of my fave words to drop into a conversation so that I sound sofistimicated.
    @Vidwan – got a chuckle from your CPA firm story!
    @Willie–DRIVE CAREFULLY, for cryin' out loud!
    Be well~~™

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