LA Times Crossword 17 Nov 18, Saturday

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Constructed by: Derek Bowman
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 13m 00s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7. They’re inseparable, briefly : BFFS

Best friend forever (BFF)

11. Test subjects : IQS

The first usable intelligence test was invented by a French psychologist named Alfred Binet. Binet collaborated with Théodore Simon and together they produced the Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale that is still in use today for IQ tests.

14. Head scratcher? : NOOGIE

A “noogie” is that childish move in which someone rubs his (and it’s always a guy!) knuckles into a person’s head to create a little soreness.

15. One may be on the house : LIEN

A lien is the right that one has to retain or secure someone’s property until a debt is paid. When an individual takes out a car loan, for example, the lending bank is usually a lien holder. The bank releases the lien on the car when the loan is paid in full.

16. McDonald’s supply item : BUN

The original McDonald’s restaurant was opened in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald as a barbecue restaurant. The brothers then moved into fast food hamburgers, eventually selling out to one of their franchise agents, Ray Kroc. It was Ray Kroc who really led the company to its worldwide success. He was played by Michael Keaton in the movie about Ray Kroc’s business life called “The Founder”.

19. One-named “Chandelier” singer : SIA

“Sia” is the stage name of Australian singer Sia Furler from Adelaide. Sia is a cousin of Australian Christian Rock musician Peter Furler.

20. John/Rice musical : AIDA

The rock musical “Aida” is based on Giuseppe Verdi’s original opera. It premiered in 1998 and is still performed today. Music is by Elton John and lyrics are by Tim Rice.

21. Support for PBS’ “The Joy of Painting”? : 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 be made to carry a load.

“The Joy of Painting” is a long-running instructional TV show that was hosted by painter Bob Ross from 1983 until 1994 (Ross passed away in 1995). The show was a follow-on to the equally successful show “The Magic of Oil Painting” that was hosted by artist Bill Alexander, and which ran from 1974 until 1982. In both series, the hosts demonstrated various artistic techniques while completing a painting in each episode.

22. Cherokee, for one : JEEP

The Jeep Cherokee is an SUV with some legs. The original SJ series Jeep Cherokee was produced from 1974 until 1983, and derivative models are very much alive today.

23. Hosp. staffers : RNS

One might find a registered nurse (RN) or a medical doctor (MD) in an emergency room (ER).

29. Disreputable sort : CAD

Our word “cad”, meaning “person lacking in finer feelings”, is a shortening of the word “cadet”. “Cad” was first used for a servant, and then students at British universities used “cad” as a term for a boy from the local town. “Cad” took on its current meaning in the 1830s.

30. Head lines? : EEGS

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a record of electrical activity caused by the firing of neurons within the brain. The EEG might be used to diagnose epilepsy, or perhaps to determine if a patient is “brain dead”.

31. Sex appeal : ANIMAL MAGNETISM

Franz Mesmer was a German physician, and the person who coined the phrase “animal magnetism”. Back then the term described a purported magnetic field that resided in the bodies of animate beings. Mesmer also lent his name to our term “mesmerize”.

39. Sound : HALE

“Hale” is an adjective meaning “healthy”. Both the words “hale” and “healthy” derive from the the Old English “hal” meaning healthy.

41. Early Beatle Sutcliffe : STU

Stu Sutcliffe was one of the original four members of The Silver Beatles (as The Beatles were known in their early days), along with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. Sutcliffe apparently came up with name “Beatles” along with John Lennon, as a homage to their hero Buddy Holly who was backed by the “Crickets”. By all reports, Sutcliffe wasn’t a very talented musician and was more interested in painting. He went with the group to Hamburg, more than once, but he eventually left the Beatles and went back to art school, actually studying for a while at the Hamburg College of Art. In 1962 in Hamburg, Sutcliffe collapsed with blinding headaches. He died in the ambulance on the way to hospital, his death attributed to cerebral paralysis.

42. Garlicky dish : SCAMPI

The Italian dish known as “scampi” is a serving of shrimp in garlic butter and dry white wine.

53. MSNBC host Melber : ARI

Ari Melber is a television journalist and chief legal correspondent for MSNBC. He has hosted his own daily show called “The Beat with Ari Melber” since 2017.

54. Sylvia Plath title woman : LADY LAZARUS

“Lady Lazarus” is a poem by writer Sylvia Plath that was first published in 1965, two years after her suicide. That said, Plath did recite a version of the poem in 1962 for a recording made by the BBC.

Sylvia Plath was a poet from Boston, Massachusetts who lived much of her life in the UK where she married fellow poet Ted Hughes. The couple had a tumultuous relationship, and Plath had a long battle with depression. She lost that battle in 1963, when she committed suicide at the age of 30.

56. Low : MOO

The cattle are lowing, mooing.

58. Dolores Haze, to Humbert : LOLITA

Vladimir Nabokov’s novel “Lolita” has a famously controversial storyline, dealing with a middle-aged man’s obsession and sexual relationship with a 12-year-old girl named Dolores Haze. 38-year-old professor Humbert Humbert privately refers to Dolores as “Lolita”. Although “Lolita” is considered a classic today, after Nabokov finished it in 1953 the edgy subject matter made it impossible for him to find a publisher in the US (where Nabokov lived). In 1955, he resorted to publishing it in English at a printing house in Paris. Publication was followed by bans and seizures all over Europe. A US printing house finally took on the project in 1958, by which time the title had such a reputation that it sold exceptionally quickly. “Lolita” became the first book since “Gone with the Wind” to sell over 100,000 copies in its first three weeks in stores.

59. PC pioneer : IBM

Tech giant IBM was founded as the Tabulating Machine Company in 1896. The company changed its name to the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation (CTR) in 1911 and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1916. The name “International Business Machines” (IBM) was given first to the company’s Canadian subsidiary, and then to its South American subsidiary. In 1924, it was decided to adopt the International Business Machines name for the whole company. Good choice …

Down

1. “Young Frankenstein” lab assistant : INGA

I am not really a big fan of movies by Mel Brooks, but “Young Frankenstein” is the exception. I think the cast has a lot to do with me liking the film, as it includes Gene Wilder (Dr. Frankenstein), Teri Garr (Inga), Marty Feldman (Igor) and Gene Hackman (Harold, the blind man).

5. Vietnam Veterans Memorial designer : LIN

Maya Lin is a Chinese American born in Athens, Ohio, and is an artist and architect. Her most famous work is the moving Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Lin was only 21-years-old when she won a public design competition in 1981 to create the memorial. Although her design is very fitting, sadly Lin was not a popular choice for the work given her Asian heritage. As she said herself, she probably would not have been picked had the competition been judged with the knowledge of who was behind each submission.

6. America has ten of them : FEDERAL HOLIDAYS

The US Congress created the first federal holidays in 1870, but only designated four such holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Independence Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

8. Fin : FIVE

The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Abraham Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

10. Show with Kate McKinnon, to fans : SNL

Comedian and impressionist Kate McKinnon’s career took off when when she became a cast member of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in 2013. Famously, McKinnon portrayed in Hillary Clinton in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. She also co-starred in the 2016 reboot of the movie “Ghostbusters”, playing Dr. Jillian Holtzmann.

11. Gabler’s creator : IBSEN

Henrik Ibsen was a Norwegian playwright who is considered by many to be the greatest playwright since William Shakespeare. Ibsen was famous for shocking his audiences by exploring subjects that offended the sensibilities of the day (the late 1800s).

“Hedda Gabler” is a play by the great Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen that was first published in 1890. Considered one of the greatest theater roles, the title character of Hedda Gabler is sometimes referred to as the female Hamlet.

13. Ginger treats : SNAPS

Ginger snap cookies are known as ginger nut biscuits back in Ireland where I come from …

18. Explosive situation, metaphorically : LAND MINE

A land mine is an explosive device that is usually buried just under the surface of the surface of the ground. The term “land mine” has its roots in the old practice of military “mining”, in which tunnels were dug under an enemy, and deliberately collapsed. Those military mines developed over the years until it was more common to fill the mine with explosives in order to create even greater destruction.

22. Mots __: perfect words : JUSTES

“Mot juste” is a French phrase that we use in English to mean “the right word at the right time”. The literal translation is “just word”, and the French tend to use the phrase in the expression “chercher le mot juste” meaning “to search for the right word”.

26. Old El __: Tex-Mex brand : PASO

Old El Paso is a Tex-Mex food brand that is owned today by General Mills. The original Old El Paso company started operating in El Paso, Texas in 1938. The original products produced were canned tomatoes and pinto beans.

27. Right away, in verse : ANON

“Anon” originally meant “at once”, but the term’s meaning evolved into “soon” apparently just because the word was misused over time.

28. Small change : DIME

The term “dime”, used for a 10-cent coin, comes from the Old French word “disme” meaning “tenth part”.

33. Chemical suffix : -ANE

In organic chemistry, the three basic classes of hydrocarbons are alkanes, alkenes and alkynes. Three of the simplest members of these classes are ethane, ethene (commonly called “ethylene”), and ethyne (commonly called “acetylene”).

34. Flower from the Greek for “rainbow” : IRIS

Iris is a genus of flowering plants that come in a wide variety of flower colors. The term “iris” is a Greek word meaning “rainbow”. Many species of irises are called “flags”. One suggestion is that the alternate name comes from the Middle English “flagge” meaning “reed”. This term was used because iris leaves look like reeds.

35. Annie Lennox, by birth : SCOT

Annie Lennox is a Scottish singer who rose to fame as half of the duo Eurythmics with David A. Stewart in the 1980s. Lennox went solo in 1992, and has been riding high ever since.

42. Pundit : SWAMI

A swami is a religious teacher in the Hindu tradition. The word “swami” can also mean “husband” in the Bengali and Malay languages.

A pundit is a learned person who one might turn to for an opinion. “Pundit” is derived from the Hindi word “payndit” meaning “learned man”.

43. Chocolate substitute : CAROB

The carob is a tree or shrub in the pea family that is mainly grown for its seed pods. The carob seeds are dried or roasted, and when powdered or chipped make a good substitute for chocolate.

45. “That time of year thou __ in me behold”: Shak. : MAYST

Here is Sonnet 73 by William Shakespeare:

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

49. After-shower application : TALC

Talc is a mineral, actually hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days “baby powder” is also made from cornstarch.

50. Two-time NHL Norris Trophy winner Karlsson : ERIK

Erik Karlsson is a professional hockey player from Sweden who debuted with the NHL in 2009 playing for the Ottawa Senators. He was made captain of the Senators in 2014, and was traded to the San Jose Sharks in 2018.

51. Minstrel’s strings : LUTE

The lute is a stringed instrument with a long neck and usually a pear-shaped body. It is held and played like a guitar, and was popular from the Middle Ages right through to the late Baroque era. A person who plays the lute can be referred to as a “lutenist”.

52. Hurdle for aspiring attys. : LSAT

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

54. Festive party accessory : LEI

“Lei” is the Hawaiian word for “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a lei is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Divided equally : IN HALF
7. They’re inseparable, briefly : BFFS
11. Test subjects : IQS
14. Head scratcher? : NOOGIE
15. One may be on the house : LIEN
16. McDonald’s supply item : BUN
17. Main floor, often : GROUND LEVEL
19. One-named “Chandelier” singer : SIA
20. John/Rice musical : AIDA
21. Support for PBS’ “The Joy of Painting”? : EASEL
22. Cherokee, for one : JEEP
23. Hosp. staffers : RNS
24. Needles : TAUNTS
26. Frog foot feature : PAD
29. Disreputable sort : CAD
30. Head lines? : EEGS
31. Sex appeal : ANIMAL MAGNETISM
37. A lot : SOMETHING FIERCE
38. Therapy appointment, say : ONE-ON-ONE SESSION
39. Sound : HALE
40. Border : HEM
41. Early Beatle Sutcliffe : STU
42. Garlicky dish : SCAMPI
45. Convened : MET
46. Like candles : WAXY
47. Handed out : DEALT
49. Gambler’s giveaway : TELL
53. MSNBC host Melber : ARI
54. Sylvia Plath title woman : LADY LAZARUS
56. Low : MOO
57. What glasses are often for : EYES
58. Dolores Haze, to Humbert : LOLITA
59. PC pioneer : IBM
60. Ain’t better? : ISN’T
61. Gift that’s heartfelt and often heart-shaped : LOCKET

Down

1. “Young Frankenstein” lab assistant : INGA
2. “Me neither” : NOR I
3. Sweatshirt feature, perhaps : HOOD
4. Taqueria drink : AGUA
5. Vietnam Veterans Memorial designer : LIN
6. America has ten of them : FEDERAL HOLIDAYS
7. Approve : BLESS
8. Fin : FIVE
9. Walk on air : FEEL TEN FEET TALL
10. Show with Kate McKinnon, to fans : SNL
11. Gabler’s creator : IBSEN
12. Relaxed : QUIET
13. Ginger treats : SNAPS
18. Explosive situation, metaphorically : LAND MINE
22. Mots __: perfect words : JUSTES
25. Concern in hiring practices : AGEISM
26. Old El __: Tex-Mex brand : PASO
27. Right away, in verse : ANON
28. Small change : DIME
29. Snooze : CATNAP
30. Off-white : EGGSHELL
32. “Geez Louise” : ME OH MY
33. Chemical suffix : -ANE
34. Flower from the Greek for “rainbow” : IRIS
35. Annie Lennox, by birth : SCOT
36. List with starters : MENU
42. Pundit : SWAMI
43. Chocolate substitute : CAROB
44. Truism : AXIOM
45. “That time of year thou __ in me behold”: Shak. : MAYST
48. Blissful land : EDEN
49. After-shower application : TALC
50. Two-time NHL Norris Trophy winner Karlsson : ERIK
51. Minstrel’s strings : LUTE
52. Hurdle for aspiring attys. : LSAT
54. Festive party accessory : LEI
55. Wild place : ZOO

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15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 17 Nov 18, Saturday”

  1. LAT: 16:00, no errors.

    WSJ: 22:31, no errors; a bit easier than the usual squint-fest.

    Newsday’s “Saturday Stumper”: 1:09:06, no errors. Either I was having a bad day or this one was pretty rough, and I’m not sure which. I was tempted to give up and use Google, but I had done that earlier to finish the NYT puzzle and I wasn’t about to suffer two defeats in one day … 😜.

    And … I just woke up with a key observation about yesterday’s WSJ meta running through my head, so I got up, worked out the answer, and sent it in (which should make for a more peaceful weekend).

  2. LAT: Under an hour. Seemed very difficult at first, but after getting a few of the cross pagers much fell into place. I found the upper left, NW, corner quite challenging as I had started off with “Igor” instead of “Inga” as Frankenstein’s assistant.

  3. What’s with 37 A “a lot”?
    Ans: “Something Fierce”would be “a lot” of things like a loud, proud fashion statement, a wild animal with incredible strength & stamina, or a horrible fever/illness/headache or “strong medicine”, or one’s “fate”(my lot in life) or a plot of land/a car lot before it would be “many” of something, which is how i read the clue. Did I miss a definition?

    Fun puzzle tho. Nailed it.

    1. When I hit my thumb with a hammer, it hurts “something fierce”: it hurts “a lot”. Pretty slangy, but I get it.

      And I also had “Igor” instead of “Inga” at first.

    2. A truly defective clue. Perhaps the LA Times should use Will Shorz’ procedure, which to to send out a draft to a handful of readers to check that such an error as this isn’t made.

      But, nobody died because of this. So compared to the rest of what’s in the paper these days, this should be our worse problem

      Al Rodbell

      1. For me, the clue wasn’t defective at all; in fact, however slangy it might have been, it was pretty close to a gimme. I’m not sure how widespread the usage is and, in the part of the country where I grew up (Iowa), we’d probably have been more likely to say “something awful”, but I think the clue was completely appropriate for a Saturday puzzle.

  4. 37 min. and no errors.
    What a relief after NYT 1013, it’s nice to know I am not as dumb as I felt after wasting an hour and a half on a puzzle meant for you pros.

  5. Don’t think IBM was a Personal Computer pioneer. They had a big investment in main frames and were dragged into PCs when they became too popular to ignore.
    I started off the puzzle with Igor and never recovered. Thought some of the clues were too misleading for me.

  6. I’m joining the Igor/Inga club, too! But I never figured it out to fix it. Also had ‘hounds’ rather than ‘taunts.’ So I got about 95% done, and that’s not bad for a Sat.

  7. I usually skip the Saturday, figuring I don’t have the time. But, I tried it today. I did Google, for ERIK, SNL, SIA, AIDA, LOLITA and AGUA. These were mostly young stars, which I don’t keep up with. Filled in AGUA, but didn’t know Taqueria was a restaurant. Did get INGA.

  8. Greetings from the Night Watch!!!🙃

    No errors! I think that’s 4 Saturdays in a row. Must check my box score. 😊 I’m also in the INGA/Igor club!! And I’d like to coin a new term for the phenomenon, where two answers could work for the same space and most solvers start with the WRONG one….maybe I can come up with something…. how about DOUBLE DEKE??

    Okay that’s kinda dumb….😣

    Agree with Dave– the “a lot” clue works and is appropriate for a Saturday.

    Be well ~~🍺🍺

  9. WAS AWAY FOR A WEEK AND HAD 6 PUZZLES BEFORE ME. FUN, FUN, FUN! I GOT INGA ONLY BECAUSE I SAW YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN RECENTLY WITH TERI GARR.

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