LA Times Crossword 13 Nov 19, Wednesday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Gary Larson
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Where with AL

Themed answers are locations (WHERE), WITH the letter sequence AL inside:

  • 36A Money … and, in three parts, a hint to the answers to starred clues : WHEREWITHAL and WHERE WITH AL
  • 17A *Place for an eruption in Hawaii : MAUNA LOA
  • 19A *Place for memorabilia about the 44th President : OBAMA LIBRARY
  • 54A *Place on “Desperate Housewives” : WISTERIA LANE
  • 59A *Place for a space cadet : LA-LA LAND

Bill’s time: 6m 37s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Big name in wax museums : TUSSAUD

Marie Tussaud was a wax sculptor from France. Some of her early work was very gruesome as she lived through the French Revolution. She would take the decapitated heads of executed citizens and use them to make death masks which were then paraded through the streets. She eventually moved to London, taking with her a vast collection of wax models made by her and her father. She opened a museum to display the works, and Madame Tussauds wax museum is a major attraction in the city to this day.

14 Worldwide law enforcement group : INTERPOL

The International Criminal Police Organization is better known as Interpol. The group was formed in 1923 to facilitate international police cooperation. Today the police forces of 190 countries around the world are members of Interpol. The first headquarters of Interpol were in Vienna, and were moved to Berlin during WWII by the Nazi regime. After the war the headquarters were moved again, to just outside Paris, and finally to Lyon in 1989.

17 *Place for an eruption in Hawaii : MAUNA LOA

Mauna Loa on the “Big Island” of Hawaii is the largest volcano on the planet (in terms of volume). The name “Mauna Loa” is Hawaiian for “Long Mountain”.

18 Supreme Egyptian god : AMEN-RA

Amun-Ra (also “Amon, Amen”) was a god in Egyptian mythology. Amun lends his name to our word “ammonia”. This is because the Romans called the ammonium chloride that they collected near the Temple of Jupiter Amun, “sal ammoniacus” (salt of Amun).

21 Eight British kings : HENRYS

Henry I of England was a son of William the Conqueror. According to legend, Henry died from eating “a surfeit of lampreys”, or more likely food poisoning. Lampreys look like a cross between a fish and an eel.

Famously, King Henry VIII had six queens consort. There is a rhyme that is commonly used to help remember the fates of each of his wives, which goes:

King Henry the Eighth, to six wives he was wedded. One died, one survived, two divorced, two beheaded.

The use of the term “divorce” isn’t quite accurate though, as in fact Henry had two of his marriages annulled. His wives (and their fates) were:

  1. Catherine of Aragon (Annulled),
  2. Anne Boleyn (Beheaded),
  3. Jane Seymour (Died)
  4. Anne of Cleves (Annulled),
  5. Catherine Howard (Beheaded),
  6. Catherine Parr (Survived).

24 Disney doe : ENA

Ena is Bambi’s aunt in the 1942 Disney film “Bambi”. The movie is based on the novel “Bambi, A Life in the Woods” written by Austrian author Felix Salten and first published in 1923. There is a documented phenomenon known as the Bambi Effect, whereby people become more interested in animal rights after having watched the scene where Bambi’s mother is shot by hunters.

30 Sondheim’s “Sweeney __” : TODD

“Sweeney Todd” was originally a 1936 film, and later in 1973 a play, then a 1979 musical and a movie adaptation of the musical in 2007. After Sweeney Todd has killed his victims, his partner in crime Mrs. Lovett helped him dispose of the bodies by taking the flesh and baking it into meat pies that she sold in her pie shop. Ugh!

Stephen Sondheim has won more Tony Awards than any other composer, a total of eight. He has a long list of stage (and big screen) successes including “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”, “A Little Night Music”, “Sweeney Todd” and “Into the Woods”. Sondheim is a big fan of crosswords and had a whole series of cryptic crosswords published in “New York” magazine in the sixties.

31 “Robinson Crusoe” novelist : DEFOE

When Daniel Defoe wrote his marvelous 1719 novel called “Robinson Crusoe”, he was likely thinking of real-life Scottish castaway, Alexander Selkirk. Selkirk was marooned and lived alone on the Pacific Island called “Mas a Tierra” off the coast of Chile, for four years. The island was officially renamed in 1966, and is now called Robinson Crusoe Island.

34 Shooting star : METEOR

A meteoroid is a small rocky or metallic body travelling through space. Once in the atmosphere, the meteoroid is referred to as a “meteor” or “shooting star”. Almost all meteoroids burn up, but if one is large enough to survive and reach the ground then we call it a meteorite. The word “meteor” comes from the Greek “meteōros” meaning “high in the air”.

40 Digital video files : MPEGS

The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) was established in 1988 to set standards for audio and video compression. The standards they’ve come up with use the acronym “MPEG”.

43 Part of P.R. : RICO

Puerto Rico (PR) is located in the northeastern Caribbean (in the Atlantic Ocean), east of the Dominican Republic. The name “Puerto Rico” is Spanish for “rich port”. The locals often call their island Borinquen, the Spanish form of “Boriken”, the original name used by the natives.

46 Dix plus dix : VINGT

In French, “dix” (ten) plus “dix” (ten) is “vingt” (twenty).

48 Agua, across the Pyrenees : EAU

The Pyrénées is a mountain range that runs along the border between Spain and France. Nestled between the two countries, high in the mountains, is the lovely country of Andorra, an old haunt of my family during skiing season …

50 Saigon 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.

Hanoi (“Hà Nội” in Vietnamese) was the capital of North Vietnam, and Saigon the capital of South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, Hanoi was made capital of the reunified state. Saigon, the larger metropolis, was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi is located in the delta of the Red River, and is just over 50 miles from the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea.

51 Badger at the comedy club : HECKLE

Originally, the verb “to heckle” meant to question severely, and for many years was associated with the public questioning of parliamentary candidates in Scotland. In more recent times, the meaning has evolved into questioning that is less polite and that is directed at stand-up comics.

To badger is to harass. The verb “to badger” comes from the cruel practice of badger-baiting, which dates back to medieval times. Badger-baiting is a blood sport in which a dog is used as bait for a badger in its den, to draw it out into the open. The den is an artificial structure built to resemble a natural badgers’ den, complete with a tunnel entrance. The dog is sent down the tunnel causing the badger and dog to lock their jaws on each other. The badger and dog are then removed from the den by pulling on the dog’s tale. Horrible …

54 *Place on “Desperate Housewives” : WISTERIA LANE

The TV drama “Desperate Housewives” ran for eight seasons. During pre-production, the show was called “Wisteria Lane” and then “The Secret Lives of Housewives”. The “desperate housewives” lived on the fictional Wisteria Lane in the fictional town of Fairview in the fictional Eagle State. That’s a lot of fiction …

59 *Place for a space cadet : LA-LA LAND

“La-la land” is a euphemism for a state of unconsciousness or a dreamworld.

The expression “space cadet” is used to describe someone who is eccentric and disconnected from reality. It may even imply that the person is a user of hallucinogens. The phrase has been around since the sixties, and may be derived from the science fiction TV show “Tom Corbett, Space Cadet” which aired in the fifties.

63 Treeless tract : STEPPE

A steppe is a grassland that is devoid of trees, apart from those growing near rivers and lakes. The term “steppe” is Russian in origin, and is used to describe the geographical feature that extends across Eurasia. In South Africa, the same feature is called a “veld”, and in North America it is called a “prairie”.

64 Monty Python member : ERIC IDLE

Eric Idle is one of the founding members of the Monty Python team. Idle was very much the musician of the bunch, and is an accomplished guitarist. If you’ve seen the Monty Python film “The Life of Brian”, you might remember the closing number “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”. It was sung by Idle, and was indeed written by him. That song made it to number 3 in the UK charts in 1991.

66 Record collection? : DATA SET

Our word “data” (singular “datum”) comes from the Latin “datum” meaning “given”. The idea is that data are “things given”.

Down

1 Allen of TV’s “Last Man Standing” : TIM

Tim Allen is a comedian and comic actor from Denver, Colorado. Allen is probably still best known for playing the lead in the sitcom “Home Improvement”, and on the big screen as Santa Claus in “The Santa Clause” series of movies. Famously, Allen served over 2 years in prison for drug-related offenses his twenties. He cleaned up his act though, and seems to have made a great life for himself.

4 Tijuana title : SENOR

Tijuana is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California, and lies just across the US-Mexico border from San Diego. Tijuana is also the most westerly of all Mexican cities. A lot of Tijuana’s growth took place in the twenties as tourists flocked south of the border during the days of prohibition in the US. One of the many casinos and hotels that flourished at that time was Hotel Caesar’s in the Avenida Revolución area. Hotel Caesar’s claims to be the birthplace of the now ubiquitous Caesar Salad.

5 Sheikdom of song : ARABY

“The Sheik of Araby” is a song that dates back to 1921, when it was a Tin Pan Alley hit. It was soon absorbed into the jazz standard repertoire. The inspiration of the song was Rudolph Valentino’s performance in the 1921 movie “The Sheik”.

6 Batting ninth : UP LAST

That would be baseball.

9 Latin dance : RUMBA

The rumba (sometimes “rhumba”) is a Cuban dance, with influences brought by African slaves and Spanish colonists. The name “rumba” comes from “rumbo”, the Spanish word for “party, spree”.

10 Car service app : UBER

The rideshare service Uber takes its name from the English colloquial word “uber” meaning “super, topmost”, which in turn comes from the German “über” meaning “above”.

11 Mediterranean gambling mecca : MONACO

The Principality of Monaco is on the Mediterranean coast, and is otherwise surrounded by France, even though it is just under 10 miles from the Italian border. Monaco is the world’s most densely populated country, and the world’s second smallest country (the smallest being Vatican City). The principality has been very prosperous since the late 1800s, with the economy given a tremendous boost with the opening of several gambling casinos.

15 A.L. West team, on scoreboards : LAA

The Anaheim Angels baseball team are today more correctly called the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (LAA). The “Angels” name dates back to 1961 when the team was founded in the “City of Angels”, Los Angeles. When the franchise moved to Anaheim in 1965 they were known as the California Angels, then the Anaheim Angels, and most recently the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels are also known as “the Halos”.

21 Mortar carrier : HOD

A hod is a 3-sided box on the end of a long handle used for carrying bricks (and sometimes mortar) at a construction site, usually up and down ladders.

23 Brief warning accompanying a link : NSFW

The abbreviation “NSFW” stands for “not safe/suitable for work”. It’s Internet slang used to describe online content that is best not viewed at work.

28 Academic retirees : EMERITI

“Emeritus” (female form “emerita”, and plural “emeriti”) is a term in the title of some retired professionals, particularly those from academia. Originally an emeritus was a veteran soldier who had served his time. The term comes from the Latin verb “emerere” meaning to complete one’s service.

33 Fair-hiring abbr. : EEO

“Equal Employment Opportunity” (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was set up by the Civil Rights Act. Title VII of the Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion.

35 Omega, to an electrician : OHM

The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every school kid knows as Ohm’s Law.

38 Vichyssoise veggie : LEEK

Vichyssoise is a thick puréed potato soup that can be served hot, but is usually served cold. As well as potatoes, a classic vichyssoise contains leeks, onions, cream and chicken stock. Although the origin is disputed, it seems that the vichyssoise was invented in America, albeit by a French chef. That chef named his soup after the town of Vichy in France.

41 “Wonder Woman” actress Gadot : GAL

Gal Gadot is an Israeli actress and former Miss Israel. She plays Gisele Yashar in the “Fast & Furious” film franchise, and then began portraying Wonder Woman in superhero movies.

“Wonder Woman” is a 2017 film starring Gal Gadot as the superhero title character. It is listed by many as one of the best superhero movies of all time. Gadot had played Wonder Woman before, in the 2016 film “Batman v Superman”.

45 Social strata : CASTES

Although caste systems exist in several societies around the world, we tend to associate the concept with the social stratification that is still found in many parts of India. The term “caste” comes from the Portuguese word “casta” meaning “race, breed”. The Portuguese used the term to describe the hereditary social groups that they found in India when they arrived in the subcontinent in 1498.

47 Name shared by a Grace and a Muse : THALIA

In Greek and Roman mythology there were goddesses of the better things in life, charm, beauty, nature, creativity and fertility. In Greece they were known as the “Charites” and in Rome they were the “Gratiae”. In English we refer to them as the Graces, of which there are usually three:

  • Aglaea (aka Splendor)
  • Euphrosyne (aka Mirth)
  • Thalia (aka Good Cheer)

In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:

  • Calliope (epic poetry)
  • Clio (history)
  • Erato (lyric poetry)
  • Euterpe (music)
  • Melpomene (tragedy)
  • Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
  • Terpsichore (dance)
  • Thalia (comedy)
  • Urania (astronomy)

Before the adoption of the nine muses of Greek mythology, there were originally three muses, the three Boeotian Muses. These were:

  • Mneme (memory)
  • Melete (meditation)
  • Aoede (song)

50 Phoenix neighbor : TEMPE

Tempe is a city in the metropolitan area of Phoenix. The city is named for the Vale of Tempe in Greece.

The city of Phoenix is the capital of the state of Arizona. Home to almost 1.5 million people, Phoenix is the most-populous state capital in the country.

53 Salsa singer Cruz : CELIA

Celia Cruz was born and bred in Cuba, but spent most of her working life in the United States, playing out her salsa singing career in New Jersey. Around the world, Cruz was known as the “Queen of Salsa”.

56 Smithwick’s brew : ALE

My guess is that the most famous Irish red ale that actually comes from Ireland is Smithwick’s, which is produced in Kilkenny. Many visitors to Ireland flock to the world-famous Guinness Storehouse. The equivalent Smithwick’s Experience in Kilkenny is a much more intimate affair, and one that I highly recommend …

57 Fat used in baking : LARD

Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called suet. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be rendered, purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call lard. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as tallow.

61 Div. won by the Braves in 2019 : NLE

National League East (NLE)

62 City of Lions and Tigers: Abbr. : DET

The Detroit Lions are the NFL team that play home games at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. The team was founded way back in 1929 as the Portsmouth Spartans from Portsmouth, Ohio. The Spartans joined the NFL during the Great Depression as other franchises collapsed. However, the Spartans couldn’t command a large enough gate in Portsmouth so the team was sold and relocated to Detroit in 1934.

The origins of the Detroit Tigers baseball team’s name seems a little unclear. One story is that it was taken from the Detroit Light Guard military unit who were known as “The Tigers”. The Light Guard fought with distinction during the Civil War and in the Spanish-American War. Sure enough, when the Detroit baseball team went into the Majors they were formally given permission to use “The Tigers” name by the Detroit Light Guard.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Big name in wax museums : TUSSAUD
8 Surpasses : TRUMPS
14 Worldwide law enforcement group : INTERPOL
16 Eradicate : RUB OUT
17 *Place for an eruption in Hawaii : MAUNA LOA
18 Supreme Egyptian god : AMEN-RA
19 *Place for memorabilia about the 44th President : OBAMA LIBRARY
21 Eight British kings : HENRYS
24 Disney doe : ENA
25 Middling mark : CEE
26 Cries of pain : OWS
27 Lab work : TESTS
30 Sondheim’s “Sweeney __” : TODD
31 “Robinson Crusoe” novelist : DEFOE
34 Shooting star : METEOR
36 Money … and, in three parts, a hint to the answers to starred clues : WHEREWITHAL and WHERE WITH AL
39 Like some dress shirts : NO-IRON
40 Digital video files : MPEGS
43 Part of P.R. : RICO
46 Dix plus dix : VINGT
48 Agua, across the Pyrenees : EAU
49 Smart-whip link : … AS A …
50 Saigon New Year : TET
51 Badger at the comedy club : HECKLE
54 *Place on “Desperate Housewives” : WISTERIA LANE
58 Put in a pyramid : ENTOMB
59 *Place for a space cadet : LA-LA LAND
63 Treeless tract : STEPPE
64 Monty Python member : ERIC IDLE
65 Like many a salad : TOSSED
66 Record collection? : DATA SET

Down

1 Allen of TV’s “Last Man Standing” : TIM
2 Spanish “a” : UNA
3 Name spelled with an alphabet sequence : STU
4 Tijuana title : SENOR
5 Sheikdom of song : ARABY
6 Batting ninth : UP LAST
7 Ruination : DOOM
8 Compact cars? : TRAIN SET
9 Latin dance : RUMBA
10 Car service app : UBER
11 Mediterranean gambling mecca : MONACO
12 Sounded content : PURRED
13 Hung around : STAYED
15 A.L. West team, on scoreboards : LAA
20 Allowing : LETTING
21 Mortar carrier : HOD
22 Wool coat wearer : EWE
23 Brief warning accompanying a link : NSFW
28 Academic retirees : EMERITI
29 Stitch into place : SEW ON
30 Mouth, in slang : TRAP
32 Cry of woe : OH NO!
33 Fair-hiring abbr. : EEO
35 Omega, to an electrician : OHM
37 Area between banks : RIVER BED
38 Vichyssoise veggie : LEEK
41 “Wonder Woman” actress Gadot : GAL
42 Seek damages : SUE
43 Least refined : RAWEST
44 Has a passion for : IS INTO
45 Social strata : CASTES
47 Name shared by a Grace and a Muse : THALIA
50 Phoenix neighbor : TEMPE
52 Put on the books : ENACT
53 Salsa singer Cruz : CELIA
55 Surpasses : TOPS
56 Smithwick’s brew : ALE
57 Fat used in baking : LARD
60 Free-app interrupters : ADS
61 Div. won by the Braves in 2019 : NLE
62 City of Lions and Tigers: Abbr. : DET

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 13 Nov 19, Wednesday”

  1. No errors, no Googles, but many guesses about things I didn’t kmow: GAL, NLE, NSFW, EEO, WISTERIA LANE.

    I have some Wisteria growing up the back fence. It was brought here many years ago by a missionary to China who once lived across the street.

    1. Jane, are you “Anonymous”?

      We bombed this one, but got about 3/4 of the thing. I had the “want to”, just not enough
      of the “how to”. Enjoyed trying.

      You guys are just good and never fail to disappoint. Kudos to you all.

  2. 15:59. Seemed difficult for a Wednesday. A lot I had to get entirely via crosses – HOD, WISTERIA LANE, and VINGT to name three.

    I’m not very well versed in Henry VIII history. What is it that Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard (beheadings) did (or didn’t do) that Catherine of Aragon and Anne of Cleaves (annullments) didn’t (..or did)? I assume time simply ran out on Henry VIII before he made a similar decision on Catherine Parr?

    And as we all know, Jane Seymour didn’t actually die. She went on to star in the James Bond movie “Live and Let Die” when she was 450 years old…..

    Best –

  3. 14:11 and two errors (TRAIN SET/ENA). WISTERIA LANE was totally out of ken for me, and having to use the affected EMERITI as a cross, I nearly dropped the ball there. Not an easy grid by any means.

  4. WHEREWITHAL = WHERE (each fill-in was a place) WITH “AL”

    Having the WHEREWITHAL = having the ability or the money to do something

  5. Hi Bill. I just read your explanation for the answer to 59 Across “Place for a space cadet” and wonder if the more simple explanation is the fact that is the slang term for Los Angeles and our over representation of space cadets, (meaning “air heads”)? And then there was the musical movie by the same name starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling filmed here in LA. So I am guessing that was the reason for the clue and not for your much more erudite and nuanced explanation?

  6. Kinda tricky Wednesday; took about 20 minutes with no errors, but a bit of sweating with VINGT. Did this on 7 hrs sleep and after an hour in rush hour traffic, but didn’t have that much trouble.

    Had to redo SEWed and CELIn, with the rest right the first time or awaiting crosses. Good thing I spent a few minutes looking at the muses a few months ago, so that the T came to me after a while.

    re Anonymous – The first Anonymous is clearly SFINGE or Jane. I’m not sure who the 2nd Anonymous is, but I’m pretty sure the 3rd Anonymous is our Dave Kinneson incognito.

    1. I would say that the fourth Anonymous, rather than the third, sounds like the person you name, but I have an excellent reason to conclude that said person was not responsible for either of those posts. I think he is taking a well-deserved time-out and will eventually return (perhaps with a different name).

  7. Hello every buddy!!🦆

    No errors. Kind of a weird puzzle, with its torturous theme and its many initials. At least I knew the latter, but sure didn’t figure out the former. Didn’t really try, I guess. 🤔

    I’d also be interested to learn more about Henry VIII and his many wives. 😁

    Be well ~~🥂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.