LA Times Crossword 18 Nov 19, Monday

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Constructed by: Kurt Krauss
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Answerin’

Themed answers each end with an -in sound:

  • 17A Swashbuckling leading man of Hollywood’s Golden Age : ERROL FLYNN
  • 27A German shepherd of ’50s-’60s TV : RIN TIN TIN
  • 41A North Vietnamese leader with a trail named for him : HO CHI MINH
  • 55A Hotel chain since 1952 : HOLIDAY INN

Bill’s time: 5m 31s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Aquarium : TANK

“Aquarium” is a Latin word meaning “pertaining to water”, although in Latin the word only existed as a noun with the meaning “drinking place for cattle”. Before the use of the noun “aquarium” (plural “aquaria”) in the context of fish, a tank was sometimes referred to as a marine vivarium.

5 Yeshiva teacher : REBBE

“Rebbe” is the Yiddish word for “rabbi”.

In the Jewish tradition, a yeshiva is an educational institution focusing on the study of sacred texts.

10 Dance in a pit : MOSH

Moshing (also “slam dancing”) is the pushing and shoving that takes place in the audience at a concert (usually a punk or heavy metal concert). The area directly in front of the stage is known as the mosh pit. When a performer does a “stage dive”, it is into (or I suppose “onto”) the mosh pit. It doesn’t sound like fun to me. Injuries are commonplace in the mosh pit, and deaths are not unknown.

14 Iranian money : RIAL

The rial is the currency of Iran (as well as Yemen, Oman, Cambodia and Tunisia). Generally, there are 1,000 baisa in a rial.

16 Baja’s opposite : ALTA

In Spanish, “baja” is “low” and “alta” is “high”.

17 Swashbuckling leading man of Hollywood’s Golden Age : ERROL FLYNN

Actor Errol Flynn was born in 1909 in Tasmania, where he was raised. In his twenties, Flynn lived in the UK where he pursued his acting career. Around the same time he starred in an Australian film “In the Wake of the Bounty” and then appeared in a British film “Murder at Monte Carlo”. It was in the latter film that he was noticed by Warner Brothers who brought him to America. Flynn’s non-American heritage shone through even while he was living the American dream in California. He regularly played cricket, along with his friend David Niven, in the Hollywood Cricket Club.

A swashbuckler is a flashy swordsman. The term “swashbuckler” probably derives somehow from “swash” meaning “fall of a blow”, and “buckler” meaning “small round shield”.

“Hollywood’s Golden Age” is a term that usually describes American cinema from the 1910s to the 1960s.

20 Delivers, as a convention-opening speech : KEYNOTES

The “keynote” is the lowest note in a musical scale, as one might imagine. The term started to be used to mean a leading idea in the late 1700s, and the expression “keynote address” dates back to 1905.

21 Donny or Marie : OSMOND

Former teen idol Donny Osmond was a member of the Osmond Brothers singing group that appeared for years on the “The Andy Williams Show”. At the height of his solo career, Donny teamed up with his younger sister Marie Osmond in their own variety show called “Donny & Marie”. The pair have been working together ever since and have been appearing at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas since 2008.

24 Art Deco designer : ERTE

“Erté” was the pseudonym of French (Russian-born) artist and designer Romain de Tirtoff. Erté is the French pronunciation of his initials “R.T.” Erté’s diverse portfolio of work included costumes and sets for the “Ziegfeld Follies” of 1923, productions of the Parisian cabaret show “Folies Bergère”, as well as the 1925 epic movie “Ben-Hur”. Erté’s most famous work by far is an image titled “Symphony in Black”. It depicts a tall and slender woman dressed in black, holding a black dog on a leash.

25 Barbara of “Mission: Impossible” : BAIN

The actress Barbara Bain is perhaps best known for playing the sultry Cinnamon Carter on the TV show “MIssion: Impossible”. One of Cinnamon’s cohorts was Rollin Hand played by Martin Landau, who was Bain’s husband at that time. Bain and Landau also starred together in the sci-fi series “Space: 1999”, which ran in the mid-seventies for a couple of years.

The “Mission: Impossible” TV show featured the following line close to the start of each episode:

As always, should you or any of your I.M. Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.

And then the tape self-destructed. Great stuff …

27 German shepherd of ’50s-’60s TV : RIN TIN TIN

The original Rin Tin Tin was a real-life dog, a puppy discovered by a GI in a bombed-out kennel in France during WWI. The soldier named the pup Rin Tin Tin, the same name as a puppet given to American soldiers for luck. On returning to the US, “Rinty” was trained by his owner and was spotted doing tricks by a film producer. Rinty featured in some films, eventually getting his first starring role in 1923 in the silent movie “Where the North Begins”. Legend has it that this first Rin Tin Tin died in the arms of actress Jean Harlow. Not a bad way to go …

33 Forest moon that’s home to the Ewoks : ENDOR

The fictional forested moon of Endor features prominently in the “Star Wars” movie “Return of the Jedi”. The moon is home to the race of furry aliens known as Ewoks. Filming for the forest scenes actually took place in Humboldt Redwoods State Park in Northern California.

36 Tokyo’s country : JAPAN

The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area on the planet. 51 of the Fortune Global 500 companies are headquartered in Tokyo. And the residents of Tokyo eat very well. Michelin has awarded more Michelin stars to Tokyo than any other city in the world.

37 Pinot __: white wine grape : GRIS

The Pinot gris grape is used to make white wine called Pinot gris, which is also known as Pinot grigio. DNA analysis has shown that the Pinot gris grape mutated from the Pinot noir variety.

39 Nattily dressed fellows : DUDES

Our term “dude” arose as slang in New York City in the 1880s, when it was used to describe a fastidious man. In the early 1900s, the term was extended to mean “city slickers”, easterners who vacationed in the West. The first use of the term “dude ranch” was recorded in 1921.

A natty dresser is one who dresses smartly. The term “natty” may come from the Middle English “net” meaning “fine, elegant”, in which case it shares its etymology with the word “neat”.

40 Fortune-teller’s card : TAROT

Tarot cards have been around since the mid-1400s, and for centuries were simply used for entertainment as a game. It has only been since the late 1800s that the cards have been used by fortune tellers to predict the future. The list of tarot cards includes the Wheel of Fortune, the Hanged Man and the Lovers.

41 North Vietnamese leader with a trail named for him : HO CHI MINH

The Vietnam War’s Ho Chi Minh Trail wasn’t just one trail, but rather a whole maze of routes that ran through North Vietnam and South Vietnam, and through the neighboring countries of Laos and Cambodia. Practically the entire trail was hidden from the air using natural and man-made camouflage that was constantly maintained.

43 City near Provo : OREM

Orem, Utah was originally known as “Sharon” (a Biblical name), then “Provo Bench”, and in 1914 it was given the family name of a local railroad operator called “Orem”. Orem gave itself the nickname “Family City USA” and sure enough in 2010, “Forbes” rated Orem the 5th best place in the country to raise a family.

Provo, Utah is a city located just over 40 miles south of South Lake City. Provo is home to Brigham Young University. The city was originally called Fort Utah, and the name was changed to Provo in 1850 in honor of Étienne Provost. Provost was a French-Canadian fur trader who was perhaps the first man of European descent to see the Great Salt Lake.

44 “SportsCenter” channel : ESPN

“SportsCenter” is the flagship program of the ESPN television network, and has been on the air since 1979. Original versions of “SportsCenter” appear on multiple times during the day, so that there have been over 50,000 episodes broadcast to date, more than any other show on US television.

46 “Peanuts” newspaper section : COMICS

The characters in the cartoon series “Peanuts” were largely drawn from Charles Schultz’s own life, with shy and withdrawn Charlie Brown representing Schultz himself.

49 Jeep model named for a tribe : CHEROKEE

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.

55 Hotel chain since 1952 : HOLIDAY INN

The first Holiday Inn hotel was opened in 1952. The name for the hotel chain was inspired by the 1942 movie “Holiday Inn” starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. The Holiday Inn chain has been British-owned since 1988.

57 Trap fluff : LINT

“Lint”, meaning “fluff”, is one of those terms that I had to learn when I moved to the US. We call the same thing “fuzz” on the other side of the Atlantic.

58 __ Oyl : OLIVE

E. C. Segar’s cartoon character Olive Oyl had quite a large family. Her mother is Nana Oyl, and her father Cole Oyl. Olive’s brother is Castor Oyl, and she has uncles named Otto Oyl and Lubry Kent Oyl (my favorite!).

Down

1 Long haul : TREK

A trek is an arduous journey. The term “trek” comes into English via Afrikaans from the Dutch “trekken” meaning “to march, journey”.

3 __ a soul: no one : NARY

The adjective “nary” means “not one”, as in “nary a soul” or even “nary a one”.

4 Ice cream bar named for a Yukon river : KLONDIKE

The delicious treat made from an ice cream square covered with chocolate is actually called a “Klondike”, and not the oft-cited “Klondike Bar”. The Klondike “bar” was introduced in the early 1920s and takes its name from the Klondike River of Yukon, Canada.

The Klondike River in Canada is a tributary of the Yukon River. The name “Klondike” comes from the Hän word “Tr’ondëk”meaning “hammerstone. A hammerstone was a tool used to hammer down stakes used to secure nets when salmon fishing. When gold was discovered in the river’s tributaries in 1896, it started the Klondike Gold Rush that brought about 100,000 prospects to the area.

6 Fashion monthly : ELLE

“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

7 Pop music’s Backstreet __ : BOYS

The Backstreet Boys (BSB) are a male vocal group that formed in 1993 in Orlando, Florida. In fact, the group’s first performance was in SeaWorld Orlando in May of that year. They’ve come a long way since SeaWorld, and have sold more records than any other boy band in history.

9 Ralph Kramden’s pal : ED NORTON

Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton are two characters in “The Honeymooners”, played by Jackie Gleason and Art Carney. Kramden is a bus driver, and Norton works with the New York City sewer department.

10 Drama set at an advertising agency : MAD MEN

“Mad Men” was the flagship show on the AMC television channel for several seasons. Set in the sixties, it’s all about an advertising agency located on Madison Avenue in New York (hence the title). “Mad Men” became the first show created by a basic cable channel to win an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series.

11 Bread spread : OLEO

Emperor Louis Napoleon III of France announced a competition to develop a substitute for butter, a substitute that would be more accessible to the lower classes and more practical for the armed forces. A French chemist called Hippolyte Mege-Mouries came up with something he called oleomargarine in 1869, which was eventually manufactured under the trade name “margarine”. The name “oleomargarine” also gives us our generic term “oleo”.

12 Laurel seen with Hardy : STAN

Stan Laurel was an English comic actor (born Arthur Stanley Jefferson), who made a great career for himself in Hollywood. Laurel ended up at the Hal Roach studio directing films, intent on pursuing a career in writing and directing. However, he was a sometime actor and was asked to step in when another comic actor, Oliver Hardy, was injured and couldn’t perform. Laurel and Hardy started to share a stage together during that time and when it was clear they worked so well together, their partnership was born. Oh, and the oft-quoted story that Clint Eastwood is the son of Stan Laurel … that’s just an urban myth.

Oliver Hardy was born Norvell Hardy in 1892 in Harlem, Georgia. Hardy used the stage name “Oliver” as a tribute to his father Oliver Hardy. His early performances were credited as “Oliver Norvell Hardy”, and off camera his nickname was “Babe Hardy”. Hardy appeared in several films that also featured the young British actor Stan Laurel, but it wasn’t until 1927 that they teamed up to make perhaps the most famous double act in the history of movies. The Laurel and Hardy act came to an end in 1955. That year, Laurel suffered a stroke, and then later the same year Hardy had a heart attack and stroke from which he never really recovered.

18 Diving birds : LOONS

The common loon (also “great northern diver”) is the provincial bird of Ontario, and the state bird of Minnesota. The loon once appeared on Canadian $20 bills and also appears on the Canadian one-dollar coin, giving the coin the nickname “the loonie”.

22 Swizzle : STIR

“Swizzle” drinks date back to the early 1800s. The drink gave rise to the verb “to swizzle” to mean “to stir” from the mid-1800s. The drink also gave the name to the swizzle stick, which was introduced in cocktails in 1933. I drank a rum swizzle or two on the island of Bermuda many years ago, and very nice they are too. They are so popular on Bermuda that the swizzle is often called the island’s national drink.

24 Hyphen-like mark : EN DASH

In typography, there are em dashes and en dashes. The em dash is about the width of an “m” character, and an en dash about half that, the width of an “n’ character. An en dash is used, for example, to separate numbers designating a range, as in 5-10 years. The em dash seems to be going out of style, and indeed the application I am using to write this paragraph won’t let me show you one!

“Hyphen” is a Greek word that came into English via Latin while retaining the meaning “mark joining two syllables or words”. It is speculated that the mark was introduced to indicate how a word should be sung. The term comes from the Greek “hypo” and “hen” and translates literally as “under one”.

25 Con game : BUNCO

A bunco game is a confidence trick. It’s possible that the name “bunco” comes from the Italian “banco” meaning “bank”.

26 Bit of high jinks : ANTIC

Our expression “high jinks”, meaning “prank, frolic”, was once the name of an 18th-century Scottish drinking game, would you believe? A bad score on a dice and you had to take a drink, or do something undignified.

29 MLB exec Joe : TORRE

As a manager, Joe Torre was part of four World Series wins, all of them with the New York Yankees baseball team. Torre is an Italian American who was born in Brooklyn, New York. During the run up (pun intended!) to the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Torre carried the Olympic flame part of the way through Florence in Italy, handing it over to the next runner at the famous Ponte Vecchio. I’d guess that was quite a thrill for him …

32 Diner fare : HASH

Hash, beef and vegetables mashed together, is a very American dish and one that really surprised me when I first came across it. “Hash” just seems like such an unappetizing item, but I soon found out how delicious it was. The name “hash” in this context comes from the French “hacher” meaning “to chop”. Back in the early 1900s the dish called “hashed browned potatoes” was developed, which quickly morphed into “hash browns”. From there the likes of corned beef hash was introduced.

37 Grotesque architectural figure : GARGOYLE

Gargoyles are fabulous carvings placed on the side of a building. Gargoyles include an internal spout that is designed to convey water collected on the roof away from the walls of the building. The term “gargoyle” comes from the French “gargouille” which can mean “throat, gullet”.

39 Part of DVD : DISC

The abbreviation “DVD” doesn’t actually stand for anything these days, although it was originally short for “digital video disk”. The use of the word “video” was dropped as DVDs started to be used for storing a lot more than video. As a result, some folks assign the phrase “digital versatile disk” to “DVD”.

40 Irish lullaby start : TOO-RA- …

The song from Ireland called “Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral” was written in 1914 by one James Royce Shannon. The song became quite a hit after it was sung by Bing Crosby in the 1944 movie “Going My Way”.

Too ra loo ra loo ral
Too ra loo ra li
Too ra loo ra loo ral
That’s an Irish lullaby

47 State east of Indiana : OHIO

The state of Ohio takes its name from the Ohio River, and in turn river takes its name from the Iroquois “ohi-yo”, which translates as “large creek”.

51 Ukraine’s capital : KIEV

Kiev is located on the Dnieper River, and is the capital of Ukraine. We tend to use the spelling “Kiev”, but the Ukrainian government decided in 1995 to refer to the city as “Kyiv” when using Roman/Latin script.

56 Suffix with pay or Cray- : -OLA

Payola is the illegal practice of paying radio stations or disk jockeys to repeatedly play a particular piece of music. The impetus behind the crime is that the more often a song is played, the more likely it is to sell. The term “payola” comes from the words “pay” and “Victrola”, an RCA brand name for an early phonograph.

In the year 2000, the Crayola company held the “Crayola Color Census 2000”, in which people were polled and asked for their favorite Crayola colors. President George W. Bush chose “Blue Bell” and Tiger Woods chose “Wild Strawberry”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Aquarium : TANK
5 Yeshiva teacher : REBBE
10 Dance in a pit : MOSH
14 Iranian money : RIAL
15 For all to hear : ALOUD
16 Baja’s opposite : ALTA
17 Swashbuckling leading man of Hollywood’s Golden Age : ERROL FLYNN
19 Precious : DEAR
20 Delivers, as a convention-opening speech : KEYNOTES
21 Donny or Marie : OSMOND
23 Hairstyles : DOS
24 Art Deco designer : ERTE
25 Barbara of “Mission: Impossible” : BAIN
27 German shepherd of ’50s-’60s TV : RIN TIN TIN
32 Beach head-turners : HUNKS
33 Forest moon that’s home to the Ewoks : ENDOR
34 Dedicated poem : ODE
35 First chip in the pot : ANTE
36 Tokyo’s country : JAPAN
37 Pinot __: white wine grape : GRIS
38 Geol. or chem., e.g. : SCI
39 Nattily dressed fellows : DUDES
40 Fortune-teller’s card : TAROT
41 North Vietnamese leader with a trail named for him : HO CHI MINH
43 City near Provo : OREM
44 “SportsCenter” channel : ESPN
45 Gear tooth : COG
46 “Peanuts” newspaper section : COMICS
49 Jeep model named for a tribe : CHEROKEE
54 “I get it now!” cries : AHAS
55 Hotel chain since 1952 : HOLIDAY INN
57 Trap fluff : LINT
58 __ Oyl : OLIVE
59 Advance, as money : LEND
60 Enemies : FOES
61 Package sealers : TAPES
62 Pre-revelry nights : EVES

Down

1 Long haul : TREK
2 Suffix with billion : -AIRE
3 __ a soul: no one : NARY
4 Ice cream bar named for a Yukon river : KLONDIKE
5 Rapids transports : RAFTS
6 Fashion monthly : ELLE
7 Pop music’s Backstreet __ : BOYS
8 Pastry that might be sticky : BUN
9 Ralph Kramden’s pal : ED NORTON
10 Drama set at an advertising agency : MAD MEN
11 Bread spread : OLEO
12 Laurel seen with Hardy : STAN
13 Difficult : HARD
18 Diving birds : LOONS
22 Swizzle : STIR
24 Hyphen-like mark : EN DASH
25 Con game : BUNCO
26 Bit of high jinks : ANTIC
27 Transfer to memory, as data : READ IN
28 Best way to sign : IN PEN
29 MLB exec Joe : TORRE
30 “Take the cake” or “cream of the crop” : IDIOM
31 Home on a branch : NEST
32 Diner fare : HASH
36 Basketball scoring technique : JUMP SHOT
37 Grotesque architectural figure : GARGOYLE
39 Part of DVD : DISC
40 Irish lullaby start : TOO-RA- …
42 Thieves’ bank jobs : HEISTS
45 Hands over : CEDES
46 Cow kid : CALF
47 State east of Indiana : OHIO
48 Horse hair : MANE
49 Paper holder : CLIP
50 Bee home : HIVE
51 Ukraine’s capital : KIEV
52 Feminine suffix : -ENNE
53 Breaks off : ENDS
56 Suffix with pay or Cray- : -OLA

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 18 Nov 19, Monday”

  1. No errors; I wondered about naming “Kiev” since “Kyiv” has been
    plastered in the news in the last weeks. I suppose chicken Kiev will
    soon become chicken Kyiv.

    1. The president of Ukraine says to quit calling the country “the Ucraine” and to spell Kyiv their way instead of Kiev.
      Also where I come from ( south of the Mason-Dixin Line) “dudes” are just guys and not necessarily nattily dressed. They could even be stark nekked!!

  2. Normal time to complete it. Medium-hard, took some reasoning, guessing
    and searching the puzzle dictionary. May have to settle for missing one
    letter, the E in ENDASH. Was trying to decide between E and I; did not
    know the word. So, put us down for a 99.5%. Pretty good for Super Seniors.

    Kudos to all.

  3. Pretty easy, as expected for a Monday. Did not see the theme at all. Usually I at least see a partial. Then again themes are my challenge. What else is new!

  4. 6:52. Didn’t know REBBE as such. Forgot to pay attention to the theme, but I liked Bill’s “Answerin’ ” title.

    As far as Kiev Kyiv and “the” Ukraine….Here’s more info than you ever wanted to know:

    When Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, it was common to just use the Russian spelling of Kiev and its transliteration. In Cyrillic the equivalent letters (by sound) would be K-EE-YE-V – hence it was transliterated as Kiev as that is what it is in Russian. In Ukraine’s own language (their alphabet it a bit of a hybrid of Latin and Cyrillic and “other”) it is indeed pronounced more closely to Kyiv. Hence the uproar these days. I can understand why a Ukrainian president would not like hearing the Russian pronunciation….

    As far as why we call it “the Ukraine” – again it goes back to Soviet days. The word “krai” means “edge” or border. “U” is a preposition in this case sort of meaning “out of”. So “out of the borderlands” or simply “The Borderlands” is how we might describe/translate the Ukraine – hence the usage of The Ukraine. There are no articles like “the” in the Russian language so it was a completely English (and other languages) invention in the first place.

    Now that Ukraine is once again independent (since 1991), they are insisting dropping the “the” because that is a Russian/Soviet frame of reference.

    I’m done. Quiz tomorrow.

    Best –

  5. 5:51, no errors. Thought I might get close to Bill’s finishing time, but had a few backtracks that stopped me sweeping right through the puzzle. Only 20 seconds in arrears….

  6. The 1-Across entry in today’s puzzle from Brendan Emmett Quigley is “MACLUNKEY”, a word uttered by ”Greedo” in the latest version of the Star Wars scene in which he is shot by Han Solo. The word became an internet sensation six days ago, on November 12, with the debut of “Disney+” (a new streaming service). I am almost tempted to complain that BEQ’s use of this is a tad unfair. (On the other hand, even if I did let the puzzle sit for five hours before declaring myself done, I finished it with no errors, so who am I to complain? … 😜.)

  7. Well, I pretty much flew through this one (by my standards), but it didn’t blink. Finally found my mistake: for swizzle, I put stik. Since I didn’t know Endor, it kind of made sense. I guess I thought swizzle was an adjective, what little thinking I ever did about it.

  8. Greetings!!🦆

    No errors. Wayne, I also never thought of Swizzle as a verb (if indeed that’s what it’s supposed to be in this clue.)

    Jeff!! Thanks for the info re: Kyiv and Ukraine. Interesting! I thought the explanation might be something like that. Reminds me of Beijing– altho Mary, like Peking duck, I have a feeling the dish will always be called chicken Kiev.

    BTW– Does it bother anyone else that the clue for JUMP SHOT is “Basketball scoring TECHNIQUE “??? Since when is jumping to shoot a basketball a technique? This is a pet peeve of mine, using slightly more sophisticated-sounding words where a simpler word is clearer and more direct. Say “Basketball MOVE!!!” It’s like when I call Amazon to check on an order and the person says “Hold on a moment while I do some research.” When they come back in a moment with an answer I always want to tell them “You didn’t ‘do research!’ You just looked up a number!! Doing research involves hours of study and multiple sources!!”

    And don’t even get me STARTED on the overuse of “meme” or “existential!!!”

    Be well~~🙄

    1. One of my pet peeves is the clattering-key effect that is often used by automated phone systems:

      It: “Just a moment while I look up that address … clatter, clatter, clatter … found it!”

      Me: “Grrrr. You’re an electronic entity! You’re not typing on a keyboard to look anything up!”

      I mean, I know I’m old, but I’m not senile … yet … 😜

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