LA Times Crossword 20 Nov 19, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Gary Larson
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Key West

The WEST (left) component of each themed answer is a type of KEY:

  • 39 Hemingway’s 1930s Florida home, and a hint to the answers to starred clues : KEY WEST
  • 17 *Spot for a seaside stroll : BOARDWALK (giving “keyboard”)
  • 25 *Caller ID, maybe : RINGTONE (giving “key ring”)
  • 54 *Small computer : NOTEBOOK (giving “keynote”)
  • 66 *Center stage : LIMELIGHT (giving “key lime”)

Bill’s time: 7m 47s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Instant : JIFF

“Jiff” or “jiffy”, meaning “short time, instant” is thought originally to be thieves’ slang for “lightning”.

9 Harry’s Hogwarts nemesis : DRACO

Draco Malfoy is one of the regular “bad guys” in the “Harry Potter” stories. Malfoy is one of Potter’s fellow students, the one who sneers a lot. Draco’s father is Lucius Malfoy, a character who becomes more and more relevant as the storyline in the series of books progresses.

15 Puccini piece : ARIA

Giacomo Puccini was an Italian composer who was famous for his operas that are so often performed all over the world. Included in the list of his works are “La bohème”, “Tosca”, “Madama Butterfly” and “Turandot”. Puccini died in Brussels, Belgium in 1924 having suffered from throat cancer. An audience attending a performance of “La bohème” in Rome heard of the composer’s death in the middle of the performance. At the news, the opera was stopped, and the orchestra instead played Chopin’s “Funeral March”.

19 Tax audit docs. : RCPTS

Receipt (rcpt.)

20 Jag : SPREE

Our word “spree”, meaning “carefree outing”, might be an alteration of the French “esprit”, a term meaning “spirit, lively wit”.

The word “jag” is used to describe periods of unrestrained activity, particularly involving alcohol, and has been in use since the 1800s.

21 Wisconsin city on Lake Winnebago : NEENAH

The Wisconsin city of Neenah is located about 40 miles southwest of Green Bay. Kimberly-Clark was founded there in 1872 as an operator of paper mills, which earned Neenah the nickname “the Paper City”.

Lake Winnebago is the largest lake located entirely within the state of Wisconsin.

23 Actor Vigoda : ABE

Abe Vigoda played Detective Sergeant Phil Fish in television’s “Barney Miller” in the seventies, and even got his own spin-off show called “Fish”. On the big screen, Vigoda played Sal Tessio in “The Godfather” and Grandpa Ubriacco in “Look Who’s Talking”.

29 __ onion : BERMUDA

Bermuda has been a major producer of onions since the 1880s when seed was brought to the island from the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa. Apparently, Ernest Hemingway was a fan, and while buying some of the onions at a market, he met a man called Gregorio Fuentes. He ended up hiring Fuentes as first mate for Hemingway’s boat. Some say that Fuentes was the inspiration for Santiago, the protagonist in “The Old Man and the Sea”. Well, that’s how the story goes …

33 Brigham Young’s Utah settlement : DESERET

When Mormon pioneers were settling what is today the state of Utah, they referred to the area as Deseret, a word that means “beehive” according to the Book of Mormon. Today Utah is known as the Beehive State and there is a beehive symbol on the Utah state flag. In 1959, “Industry” was even chosen as the state motto, for the term’s association with the beehive.

34 Corrida cheer : OLE!

Spanish bullfighting is known locally as “corrida de toros”, literally “race of bulls”.

35 Prime-time time : NINE

In the world of television, prime time is that part of the day when networks and advertisers bring maximize revenues due to the high number of viewers. Prime time is often defined as 7-10 p.m. Mountain and Central Time, and 8-11 p.m. Pacific and Eastern Time.

38 Overseas business abbr. : LTD

In Britain and Ireland the most common type of business (my perception anyway) is one that has private shareholders whose liability is limited to the value of their investment. Such a company is known as a private limited company, and has the letters “Ltd” after the name. If the shares are publicly traded, then the company is a public limited company, and has the letters “plc” after the name.

39 Hemingway’s 1930s Florida home, and a hint to the answers to starred clues : KEY WEST

Key West in the Florida Keys is the southernmost city in the contiguous US, and is the southern terminus of US Route 1. The southernmost point in the continental US is Whitehead Spit, which is located within the bounds of Naval Air Station Key West.

Ernest Hemingway moved around a lot. He was born in Illinois, and after leaving school headed to the Italian front during WWI. There he served as an ambulance driver, an experience he used as inspiration for “A Farewell to Arms”. He returned to the US after being seriously wounded, but a few years later moved to Paris where he worked as a foreign correspondent. He covered the Spanish War as a journalist, from Spain, using this experience for “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. During the thirties and forties he had two permanent residences, one in Key West, Florida and one in Cuba. In the late fifties he moved to Ketchum, Idaho, where he committed suicide in 1961.

43 UPS Store item : CTN

Carton (ctn.)

The franchised UPS Stores make up the world’s largest network of retail shipping, printing and business service centers. The first such outlets were branded and owned by Mail Boxes Etc., starting in 1980. UPS acquired Mail Boxes Etc. in 2001, and introduced the UPS Store brand in 2003. I’m a big fan …

44 Broadway barber : 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!

47 Summer sign : LEO

Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 23 to August 22 are Leos.

52 Title role for Gary Cooper and Adam Sandler : MR DEEDS

“Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” is a 1936 Frank Capra romantic comedy starring Gary Cooper in the title role, and Jean Arthur in her first leading role. The wonderful 1936 original inspired a less-than-wonderful 2002 remake “Mr. Deeds” starring Adam Sandler and Winona Ryder.

54 *Small computer : NOTEBOOK (giving “keynote”)

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.

59 Opinion pieces : OP-EDS

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

66 *Center stage : LIMELIGHT (giving “key lime”)

Limelight was an early form of stage lighting that was also known as Drummond Light. The illumination came from the burning of quicklime (calcium hydroxide), hence the name. Although limelights are a thing of the past, the term “in the limelight” is still used when describing someone in the public eye.

The species of citrus fruit called a key lime is so named due to its association with the Florida Keys.

69 Document sent online : EFAX

An efax is similar to a fax. A fax is an image of a document that is sent over a telephone line between two fax machines, whereas an efax is sent over the Internet.

70 Hungarian wine region : EGER

Eger is a city in the northeast of Hungary that is noted for its thermal baths and for its wine production. Back in Ireland, I would quite often drink “Bull’s Blood”, which is Hungary’s most famous red wine, and which comes from the Eger wine region.

71 7UP and Sprite : SODAS

7UP was introduced to the world as “Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda”, and was a patent medicine that contained lithium citrate, a mood-stabilizing drug. The introduction of a mood-stabilizing medication was pretty timely, as 1929 Wall Street Crash happened just two weeks later. 7UP’s “Uncola” advertising campaign dates back to 1967.

Sprite is Coca-Cola’s answer to the very successful soft drink 7UP. Sprite was introduced in 1961, and Coca-Cola used its muscle to topple 7UP from its dominant position in the market. Sprite has been the number-one selling lemon soda since 1978.

73 Extinct bird : DODO

The dodo was a direct relative of the pigeon and dove, although the fully-grown dodo was usually three feet tall. One of the reasons the dodo comes to mind when we think of extinction of a species, is that it disappeared not too long ago (last recorded alive in 1681) and humans were the reason for its demise. The dodo lived exclusively on the island of Mauritius and when man arrived, we cut back the forests that were its home. We also introduced domestic animals, such as dogs and pigs, that ransacked the dodo’s nests. The dodo was deemed to be an awkward flightless bird and so the term “dodo” has come to mean a dull-witted person.

Down

1 Clerical vestments : ALBS

An alb is a white, neck-to-toe vestment worn by priests, usually with a rope cord around the waist. The term alb comes from “albus”, the Latin word for “white”.

5 Shoot the breeze : JAW

To shoot the breeze is to participate in casual inconsequential conversation. The idiom “shoot the breeze” arose in the US in the early- to mid-10th century. The phrase probably evolved from the use of “breeze” as a slang term meaning “rumor”.

6 OPEC member : IRAN

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

9 Hip-hop tops : DO-RAGS

Hip-hoppers might wear do-rags today, but they have been around for centuries. The etymology of “do-rag” is pretty evident, i.e. a piece of cloth (rag) to hold a hairstyle (do) in place.

10 Seismologist with a scale : RICHTER

The Richter scale was developed in 1935 by Charles Richter at the California Institute of Technology. The Richter Scale has largely been abandoned, replaced by the moment magnitude scale (MMS). Even though the US Geological Survey has been reporting earthquakes using the MMS since 2002, the media is prone to mix things up and use phrases such as “Richter magnitude”.

18 Prove false : DEBUNK

The word “bunk” is short for “bunkum”, the phonetic spelling of “Buncombe”, which is a county in North Carolina. Supposedly, a state representative made a dull and irrelevant speech that was directed to his home county of Buncombe, bringing the term “bunkum” into the language with the meaning of “nonsense”. The derivative word “debunk” first appeared in a novel by William Woodward in 1923, when he used it to describe “taking the bunk out of things”.

24 Singer Brickell : EDIE

Edie Brickell is a singer-songwriter from Dallas, Texas. Brickell has been married to fellow singer Paul Simon since 1991.

26 Software giant : ORACLE

Oracle is a huge software company with headquarters in Redwood City, California. Oracle’s main product is enterprise software, software that meets the needs of an organization rather than an individual user. Oracle was co-founded in 1977 by Larry Ellison, who is now one of the richest business people in the world.

28 Group with a common culture : ETHNOS

“Ethnos” is a Greek word meaning “people, nation”. We use “ethnos” in English to to describe an ethnic group, a group with a common culture.

29 Crooner Michael : BOLTON

“Michael Bolton” is the stage name used by singer/songwriter Michael Bolotin. In fact, Bolton’s first album was titled “Bolotin”.

31 Social website with “AMA” sessions : REDDIT

Reddit.com is a networking and news website that started up in 2005. It is essentially a bulletin board system with posts that are voted up and down by users, which determines the ranking of posts. The name “Reddit” is a play on “read it”, as in “I read it on Reddit”. One popular feature of the Reddit site is an online forum that is similar to a press conference. Known as an AMA (for “ask me anything”), participants have included the likes of President Barack Obama, Madonna, Bill Gates, Stephen Colbert and Gordon Ramsay. President Obama’s AMA was so popular that the high level of traffic brought down many parts of the Reddit site.

40 Blight-stricken tree : ELM

Dutch elm disease is a fungus devastating to all species of elm trees that is transmitted by the elm bark beetle. The disease is thought to have originated in Asia and is now rampant in Europe and North America. Even though there is a hybrid of elm known as the Dutch elm, the disease isn’t named after the tree. Rather, the disease is called “Dutch” as it was identified in 1921 by a phytopathologist (plant pathologist) in the Netherlands.

41 “Water for Elephants” novelist Gruen : SARA

“Water for Elephants” is a 2006 novel by Canadian author Sara Gruen. The book was adapted into a 2011 film with the same title starring Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson and Christoph Waltz.

42 Bathroom brand : TY-D-BOL

Ty-D-Bol is one of those disinfectant products that turns toilet water blue. Ty-D-Bol Man appeared in TV commercials from the sixties through the eighties, piloting a boat in a toilet tank.

49 Cavs and Mavs : NBA’ERS

The Cavaliers are the professional basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavs joined the NBA as an expansion team in 1970.

The Mavericks are the NBA franchise in Dallas, Texas. The team was founded in 1980, and the Mavericks name was chosen by fan votes. The choice of “Mavericks” was prompted by the fact that the actor James Garner was a part-owner of the team, and Garner of course played the title role in the “Maverick” television series.

50 Cracker Jack bonus : TOY

Cracker Jack snack food was introduced to the public at the 1893 Chicago World Fair. It didn’t get the name “Cracker Jack” until a few years later when someone declared to the producers that the candied snack was “crackerjack!”. Prizes were introduced into each box starting in 1912. The list of toy surprises included rings, plastic figurines, temporary tattoos and decoder rings.

58 Guy with the FBI : G-MAN

The nickname “G-men” is short for “government men” and refers to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

60 Waffle made without an iron : EGGO

Eggo is a line of frozen waffles and related products made by Kellogg’s. When they were introduced in the 1930s, the name “Eggo” was chosen to promote the “egginess” of the batter. “Eggo” replaced “Froffles”, the original name chosen by melding “frozen” and “waffles”.

61 Batted but didn’t field, in MLB lingo : DH’ED

Baseball’s American League (AL) allows a designated hitter (DH) in each team’s lineup, whereas the National League (NL) does not.

62 Texas MLBer : ‘STRO

The Houston baseball team changed its name to the Astros (sometimes “’Stros”) from the Colt .45s in 1965 when they started playing in the Astrodome. The Astrodome was so called in recognition of the city’s long association with the US space program. The Astros moved from the National League to the American League starting in the 2013 season.

63 Guitar great Paul : LES

Les Paul was a guitarist, songwriter and inventor. When he was 33 years old, Paul was involved in a near-fatal car crash that left his right arm and elbow shattered. Surgeons offered him the choice of amputation or a rebuilding of the limb that would leave him unable to bend his elbow. He told them to set his arm at just under 90 degrees so that he could at least hold his guitar and perhaps play it.

64 “Evil Woman” gp. : ELO

The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) recorded the song “Evil Woman” in 1975. “Evil Woman” was written by the band’s lead vocalist Jeff Lynne, in just thirty minutes!

67 Strait’s “All My __ Live in Texas” : EX’S

“All My Ex’s Live in Texas” is a song released in 1987 by country singer George Strait.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Oh dear!” : ALAS!
5 Instant : JIFF
9 Harry’s Hogwarts nemesis : DRACO
14 Hay storage site : LOFT
15 Puccini piece : ARIA
16 Prepare for a bodybuilding competition : OIL UP
17 *Spot for a seaside stroll : BOARDWALK (giving “keyboard”)
19 Tax audit docs. : RCPTS
20 Jag : SPREE
21 Wisconsin city on Lake Winnebago : NEENAH
23 Actor Vigoda : ABE
25 *Caller ID, maybe : RINGTONE (giving “key ring”)
29 __ onion : BERMUDA
33 Brigham Young’s Utah settlement : DESERET
34 Corrida cheer : OLE!
35 Prime-time time : NINE
37 Hardly prudent : RASH
38 Overseas business abbr. : LTD
39 Hemingway’s 1930s Florida home, and a hint to the answers to starred clues : KEY WEST
43 UPS Store item : CTN
44 Broadway barber : TODD
46 Leave rolling in the aisles : SLAY
47 Summer sign : LEO
48 Sets right : ORIENTS
52 Title role for Gary Cooper and Adam Sandler : MR DEEDS
54 *Small computer : NOTEBOOK (giving “keynote”)
56 Tummy muscles : ABS
57 Like most customers : PAYING
59 Opinion pieces : OP-EDS
63 Charter : LEASE
66 *Center stage : LIMELIGHT (giving “key lime”)
68 Respected figure : ELDER
69 Document sent online : EFAX
70 Hungarian wine region : EGER
71 7UP and Sprite : SODAS
72 Comfy hangouts : DENS
73 Extinct bird : DODO

Down

1 Clerical vestments : ALBS
2 Stunt flier’s stunt : LOOP
3 Not nigh : AFAR
4 Water under the bridge, maybe : STREAM
5 Shoot the breeze : JAW
6 OPEC member : IRAN
7 Manicurist or secretary, at times : FILER
8 Minor document? : FAKE ID
9 Hip-hop tops : DO-RAGS
10 Seismologist with a scale : RICHTER
11 European peak : ALP
12 Shorten, as hair : CUT
13 Covert doings : OPS
18 Prove false : DEBUNK
22 22.5 deg. : NNE
24 Singer Brickell : EDIE
26 Software giant : ORACLE
27 Settled in : NESTED
28 Group with a common culture : ETHNOS
29 Crooner Michael : BOLTON
30 Corrida snorter : EL TORO
31 Social website with “AMA” sessions : REDDIT
32 “__ takers?” : ANY
36 Grossed-out sounds : EWS
40 Blight-stricken tree : ELM
41 “Water for Elephants” novelist Gruen : SARA
42 Bathroom brand : TY-D-BOL
45 Like some diving : DEEP-SEA
49 Cavs and Mavs : NBA’ERS
50 Cracker Jack bonus : TOY
51 Dirty : SOILED
53 Saw : ESPIED
55 Roast carver : KNIFE
58 Guy with the FBI : G-MAN
60 Waffle made without an iron : EGGO
61 Batted but didn’t field, in MLB lingo : DH’ED
62 Texas MLBer : ‘STRO
63 Guitar great Paul : LES
64 “Evil Woman” gp. : ELO
65 Put in : ADD
67 Strait’s “All My __ Live in Texas” : EX’S

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 20 Nov 19, Wednesday”

  1. 33. Across: When I grew up in Florida, the Deseret ranch was the largest in the State and supposedly was owned by some Mormons.

  2. I don’t know a thing about Harry Hogwart. I know Neenah, Wisconsin, but I’m sure a lot of easterners don’t. Didn’t do well today.

  3. So far so good this week. Got “key west” right away, so the rest was easy. Had “deseret” but didn’t think it was correct. BUT it was!

    L.A. might get measurable rain today. It’s been over 180 days since there was anything to measure.

  4. 15:26. The NW gave me fits for some reason. More missteps than I can chronicle in one post.

    Kay – It’s been raining in Las Vegas since last night. Crazy amount of rain by desert standards. Barely a sprinkle by my old Houston standards.

    Best –

    1. Hi Middle! I love it!😊 I confess I’ve also never heard of your town, but it is fun when something so familiar shows up 🥂

  5. 13:30 and luckily, no errors. But DAMN, this one was tough. Lots of write-overs. Not into Harry Potter, so DRACO didn’t exactly fill in itself. NEENAH? DESERET? I don’t know what the hell you’re even TALKING ’bout.

  6. Moderately difficult Wednesday for me; took me 17:48 on-line with no errors or peeks – even though I was tempted in the NE.

    Off to bed early tonight- market tomorrow.

  7. Hi folks!🦆

    No errors. Didn’t know DRACO or DESERET…and the theme completely eluded me. A few too many forced initials in this one but fun nonetheless. 😎

    Yes we’ve got rain here in LA. I still hadn’t gotten my coats out from storage in the basement, and the only thing I had at hand is this tacky fake-fur jacket. So that’s what I wore to run errands. Pretty funny. 😁

    Be well ~~🍹

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