LA Times Crossword 21 Nov 19, Thursday

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Constructed by: Brian E. Paquin
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Resawn Answer

Themed answers each comprise two words, one of which is an anagram of the other:

  • 20A Upscale boutique : POSH SHOP
  • 33A Old money that looks new : CRISP SCRIP
  • 40A Small craft on the deep sea : OCEAN CANOE
  • 51A Quarrel of yore : PAST SPAT
  • 11D Fear of poisonous snakes : ADDER DREAD
  • 28D Outstanding prize money : SUPER PURSE

Bill’s time: 8m 52s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Many big reds : CABS

The cabernet sauvignon (often just “cab”) grape has been around since the 17th century, and is the result of a chance crossing in southwestern France of the cabernet franc and sauvignon blanc grapes.

5 Namely : TO WIT

The verb “to wit” means “to know”. The verb really isn’t used anymore except in the phrase “to wit” meaning “that is to say, namely”.

10 X-ray units : RADS

A rad is a unit used to measure radiation levels that is largely obsolete now. The “rad” has been superseded by the “rem”.

X-rays were first studied comprehensively by the German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen (also “Roentgen”), and it was he who gave the name “X-rays” to this particular type of radiation. Paradoxically, in Röntgen’s native language of German, X-rays are routinely referred to as “Röntgen rays”. In 1901, Röntgen’s work on X-rays won him the first Nobel Prize in Physics that was ever awarded.

14 Honolulu happening : LUAU

Nowadays the word “luau” denotes almost any kind of party on the Hawaiian Islands, but to the purist a luau is a feast that always includes a serving of poi, the bulbous underground stems of taro.

15 Lacking significance : INANE

Our word “inane” meaning silly or lacking substance comes from the Latin “inanitis” meaning “empty space”.

16 Music halls of old : ODEA

In ancient Greece an odeon (also “odeum”) was like a small theater, with “odeon” literally meaning a “building for musical competition”. Odea were used in both Greece and Rome for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.

18 Play lightly, as a guitar : STRUM

A kithara (also “cithara”) was a lyre-like instrument in ancient Greece. Our word “guitar” is ultimately derived from “kithara”. Indeed, “kithara” is the modern Greek word for “guitar”.

19 Apt. part : BDRM

Bedroom (bdrm)

20 Upscale boutique : POSH SHOP

“Boutique” is a French word describing a small shop.

22 Holden Caulfield’s little sister : PHOEBE

“The Catcher in the Rye” is the most famous novel from the pen of J. D. Salinger. The main character and narrator of the story is Holden Caulfield, a teenager who gets expelled from a university prep school. Caulfield also makes appearances in several short stories written by Salinger, as do other members of the Caulfield family. The title “The Catcher in the Rye” is a reference to the 1782 poem “Comin’ Thro” the Rye” by Scottish poet Robert Burns.

24 Constellation near Scorpius : ARA

The constellation of Ara takes its name from the Latin word for “altar”.

The constellation Scorpius is named for the scorpion. One of the brighter stars in Scorpius is Antares, which has a clearly perceptible red hue that is said to rival the redness of the planet Mars.

29 Tire spec : PSI

Pounds per square inch (PSI) is a measure of pressure.

32 Berkeley Breathed’s cartoon penguin : OPUS

“Opus” is a comic strip that originally ran from 2003 to 2008. It was drawn by Berkeley Breathed, the cartoonist who is best known for “Bloom County”. “Opus” is set in Bloom County, and centers on the adventures of Opus the Penguin. When Breathed ended the strip, he went so far as killing off the main character. That said, it was revealed in a “Bloom County” episode that Opus is still alive, and has just been unconscious.

33 Old money that looks new : CRISP SCRIP

Scrip isn’t legal tender, but operates just like currency in specific applications. It is in effect a form of credit. Originally the word “scrip” was used for a certificate giving one the right to receive something, often shares of a stock. “Scrip” is probably short for (sub)script(ion) receipt.

40 Small craft on the deep sea : OCEAN CANOE

The boat known as a canoe takes its name from the Carib word “kenu” meaning “dugout”. It was Christopher Columbus who brought “kenu” into Spanish as “canoa”, which evolved into our English “canoe”.

43 Big fishhook : GAFF

A gaff is a dangerous-looking metal hook on the end of a pole that fishermen use to drag large fish into their boats.

44 Way to go: Abbr. : RTE

Route (rte.)

45 He broke Lou’s record for consecutive games played : CAL

Cal Ripken played his entire, 20-year professional baseball career for the Baltimore Orioles. Ripken was known as the “Iron Man” because he showed up for work every day, come rain or shine. He played 2,632 straight games, blowing past the previous 2,130-game record held by Lou Gehrig.

46 Accolades : KUDOS

Our word “kudos” means acclaim given for an exceptional achievement. “Kudos” is both a singular and plural noun, and comes from the Greek “kyddos” meaning “glory, fame”.

47 Valedictorian’s time to shine : SPEECH

A valediction is an act of taking one’s leave, from the Latin “vale dicere”, to say farewell. An example of a valediction would be the words “yours truly” at the end of a letter. And, the valedictorian (here in the US anyway) is the student in a graduating class that is chosen to say the final words at the graduation ceremony, a farewell to the classmates.

57 In an aloof way : ICILY

I suppose one might guess from the “feel” of the word “aloof” that is has nautical roots. Originally “aloof” meant “to windward” and was the opposite of “alee”. A helmsman might be instructed to stay aloof, to steer the boat into the weather to keep a distance from a lee-shore. It is from this sense of maintaining a distance that aloof came to mean “distant” in terms of personality. Interesting, huh …?

62 Vienna-based oil gp. : OPEC

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in 1960 at a conference held in Baghdad, Iraq that was attended by Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Nine more countries joined the alliance soon after, and OPEC set up headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and then Vienna, Austria in 1965. The basic aim of OPEC was to wrest control of oil prices from the oil companies and to put it in the hands of the sovereign states that own the natural resource.

63 “Luke Cage” actor Rossi : THEO

Actor Theo Rossi is perhaps best known for playing Juice Ortiz on the TV show “Sons of Anarchy”.

“Luke Cage” is a Netflix TV show based on the Marvel Comics superhero of the same name. The title character is a reformed convict with superhuman strength, and is portrayed by Mike Colter. Nope …

64 It helps raise dough : YEAST

Yeasts are unicellular microorganisms in the kingdom Fungi. The species of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used for centuries in the making of wine and beer, and in breadmaking. Saccharomyces cerevisiae converts carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohol in the process of fermentation. When making beer and wine, the carbon dioxide and alcohol may be captured by the liquid. When making bread, the carbon dioxide and alcohol is driven off by heat.

65 Bridge position : EAST

The four people playing bridge (the card game) are positioned around a table at seats referred to as north, east, south and west. Each player belongs to a pair, with north playing with south, and east playing with west.

Down

2 Mercury or Saturn, but not Mars : AUTO

The Mercury brand of car was made by Ford from 1938 until 2011. Mercury was introduced by Henry Ford’s son Edsel Ford. Mercury vehicles were positioned as being more luxurious that the regular Ford models, and more economical than Ford’s high-end Lincoln models.

Saturn was a brand of automobile introduced by General Motors (GM) in 1985. The Saturn line was GM’s response to the increase in sales of Japanese imports, and was initially set up as a relatively independent division within the company. Saturn had its own assembly plant, and its own network of retailers.

The surface of the planet Mars has a very high iron oxide content, so Mars is red because it is rusty!

3 Cricket clubs : BATS

Cricket is the national game of England. The term “cricket” apparently comes from the Old French word “criquet” meaning “goalpost, stick”.

5 Campbell-Martin of TV’s “Dr. Ken” : TISHA

Tisha Campbell-Martin is an actress best-known for her supporting role on the HBO sitcom “Martin” that features Martin Lawrence. Tisha Campbell married fellow actor and comedian Duane Martin in 1996. That’s a lot of Martins …

“Dr. Ken” is a sitcom that first aired in 2015. The show was created by Ken Jeong, who also plays the title character. Jeong is a licensed physician in California, but opted to pursue a career in stand-up comedy.

8 Shiba __: Japanese dog : INU

The Shiba Inu is a Japanese breed of dog that was developed for hunting. Although the exact etymology of “Shibu” is unclear, the term translates as “brushwood”. “Inu” is Japanese for “dog”.

10 Stiffly awkward : ROBOTIC

Karel Čapek was a Czech writer noted for his works of science fiction. Čapek’s 1920 play “R.U.R.” is remembered in part for introducing the world to the word “robot”. The words “automaton” and “android” were already in use, but Capek gave us “robot” from the original Czech “robota” meaning “forced labor”. The acronym “R.U.R.”, in the context of the play, stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots”.

11 Fear of poisonous snakes : ADDER DREAD

The common name “black adder” can apply to two different snakes; one venomous and one not. The venomous black adder is also known as the common European adder, and is found throughout Western Europe and East Asia. The non-venomous black adder is endemic to North America, and is commonly known as the eastern hognose snake.

12 Churchill Downs event : DERBY

The first Kentucky Derby took place in 1875, and is a race modeled on the Epsom Derby in England and the Grand Prix de Paris (now called the “Prix de l‘Arc de Triomphe”). As such, the Kentucky Derby was run over 1½ miles, although in 1896 this was shortened to 1¼ miles. The winning horse is presented with a very elaborate blanket made of red roses, and so the Derby is nicknamed “Run for the Roses”. The race is held on the first Saturday in May each year, and is limited to 3-year-old horses.

Churchill Downs is a thoroughbred racetrack located in Louisville, Kentucky that is famous for hosting the Kentucky Derby each year. The track is named for John and Henry Churchill who once owned the land on which the course was built.

25 NBA great “__ Pete” Maravich : PISTOL

Pete Maravich was a professional basketball player who earned the nickname “Pistol Pete”. Maravich was forced to retire from the game in 1980 due to injury problems. He died eight years later from heart failure. An autopsy revealed that Maravich was missing a left coronary artery, which supplies blood to the heart muscle. His right coronary artery was grossly enlarged as a result, compensating for the defect.

26 Limerick lad : BOYO

Limerick is the fourth-most populous city in Ireland, after Dublin, Belfast and Cork. It is located on the Shannon Estuary, in the west of the country.

27 Herculean : EPIC

“The Twelve Labors of Hercules” is actually a Greek myth, although Hercules is the Roman name for the hero that the Greeks called Heracles.

30 School near Albany : SIENA

Siena College is a Roman Catholic school, a Franciscan liberal arts college founded in 1937 in Loudonville, New York near Albany. The college is named for Saint Bernardino of Siena, a Franciscan friar who lives in the 15th century.

33 Trig function: Abbr. : CSC

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio: a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are cosecant, secant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

34 “The Raven” writer : POE

The first verse of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” is:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore-
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

36 Some emailed files : PDFS

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format introduced by Adobe Systems in 1993. PDF documents can be shared between users and read using many different applications, making them more universally accessible than documents saved by one particular program.

43 Private eye : GUMSHOE

“Gumshoe” is a slang term for a private detective or private investigator (P.I.). Apparently the term dates back to the early 1900s, and refers to the rubber-soled shoes popular with private detectives at that time.

46 DIY purchase : KIT

Back in Ireland, we don’t have “hardware stores” as such, but rather “DIY centres” (and that’s the spelling of “centres”). “DIY” is an initialism standing for “do-it-yourself”.

48 Forensic drama set in the Big Apple : CSI: NY

The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been tremendously successful, but has finally wound down. “CSI: Miami” (the “worst” of the franchise, I think) was cancelled in 2012 after ten seasons. “CSI: NY” (the “best” of the franchise) was cancelled in 2013 after nine seasons. The original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, set in Las Vegas, hung in there until 2015 when it ended with a two-hour TV movie. The youngest show in the series was “CSI: Cyber”. It lasted for two seasons, before being canceled in 2016.

53 Rap’s Salt-N-__ : PEPA

Salt-N-Pepa are an all-female hip hop trio from New York made up of “Salt” (Cheryl James), “Pepa” (Sandra Denton) and “DJ Spinderella” (Deidra Roper). The group’s 1991 song “Let’s Talk Sex” created quite a fuss as the lyrics explored the subject of sex, and safe sex in particular. A later version addressed the dangers of AIDS.

58 Olympic runner Sebastian : COE

Sebastian Coe is a retired middle distance runner from the UK who won four Olympic medals including golds in the 1500m in 1980 and 1984. After retiring from athletics, Coe went into politics and served as a Member of Parliament from 1992 to 1997. In the year 2000, he was made a Life Peer, and so Coe now sits in the House of Lords. Lord Coe headed up London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Many big reds : CABS
5 Namely : TO WIT
10 X-ray units : RADS
14 Honolulu happening : LUAU
15 Lacking significance : INANE
16 Music halls of old : ODEA
17 Directive on an env. : ATTN
18 Play lightly, as a guitar : STRUM
19 Apt. part : BDRM
20 Upscale boutique : POSH SHOP
22 Holden Caulfield’s little sister : PHOEBE
24 Constellation near Scorpius : ARA
25 Bookstore category : POETRY
26 Personal records : BESTS
29 Tire spec : PSI
31 Divest (of) : RID
32 Berkeley Breathed’s cartoon penguin : OPUS
33 Old money that looks new : CRISP SCRIP
37 Bark : YIP
38 Handle : SEE TO
39 Purpose : END
40 Small craft on the deep sea : OCEAN CANOE
43 Big fishhook : GAFF
44 Way to go: Abbr. : RTE
45 He broke Lou’s record for consecutive games played : CAL
46 Accolades : KUDOS
47 Valedictorian’s time to shine : SPEECH
49 Purpose : AIM
50 Liquids : FLUIDS
51 Quarrel of yore : PAST SPAT
56 Work to get : EARN
57 In an aloof way : ICILY
59 Twice tri- : HEXA-
60 Exec’s helper : ASST
61 “Try someone else” : NOT ME
62 Vienna-based oil gp. : OPEC
63 “Luke Cage” actor Rossi : THEO
64 It helps raise dough : YEAST
65 Bridge position : EAST

Down

1 Applaud : CLAP
2 Mercury or Saturn, but not Mars : AUTO
3 Cricket clubs : BATS
4 Summery headwear : SUN HATS
5 Campbell-Martin of TV’s “Dr. Ken” : TISHA
6 Aboard : ONTO
7 Lumber defect : WARP
8 Shiba __: Japanese dog : INU
9 Pace : TEMPO
10 Stiffly awkward : ROBOTIC
11 Fear of poisonous snakes : ADDER DREAD
12 Churchill Downs event : DERBY
13 Unchanged : SAME
21 Some discount recipients: Abbr. : SRS
23 For madam : HERS
25 NBA great “__ Pete” Maravich : PISTOL
26 Limerick lad : BOYO
27 Herculean : EPIC
28 Outstanding prize money : SUPER PURSE
29 Say the Word : PREACH
30 School near Albany : SIENA
33 Trig function: Abbr. : CSC
34 “The Raven” writer : POE
35 Facts and figures : INFO
36 Some emailed files : PDFS
41 Diminished slowly : ATE INTO
42 Shortage : NEED
43 Private eye : GUMSHOE
46 DIY purchase : KIT
47 Seriously reduce : SLASH
48 Forensic drama set in the Big Apple : CSI: NY
49 To date : AS YET
50 Significant achievement : FEAT
51 Pocket bread : PITA
52 Donation to the poor : ALMS
53 Rap’s Salt-N-__ : PEPA
54 Hacking tools : AXES
55 Peacemaker’s asset : TACT
58 Olympic runner Sebastian : COE

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 21 Nov 19, Thursday”

  1. No errors. Thanks to Bill for answering my question about the
    difference between “rad” and “rem” before I even asked it. I had
    “rem” at first and when the theme became evident, I changed it to
    “rad.”

  2. At times, I would like to impeach the constructors!

    We did better today then we did yesterday, but neither shot out the lights
    on the solving. We got like 60 and 70% on the two puzzles.

    Still fun to try.

    I would like to know what gives you guys the way to determine the themes. I think
    I may have seen one in all the ones I have tried to solve. Also, how you guys post
    your scores. I took a completed puzzle and a blank grid and it took me 20 minutes
    to post the words onto the blank grid. I am missing something.

  3. For a change I saw the anagram theme pretty quickly, which for me is highly unusual as I typically solve the grid and then come here to have Bill show me the theme. For some reason I kept looking at 11 Down after I filled it in, thinking that it wasn’t an anagram. Obviously a “processing error” in my brain!!

  4. I was doing great this week until today. Anagrams are the hardest for me. But having said that, I still couldn’t get any footing. Got about 1/2 done. Guess I’m just not in sync with Paquin. Or is it Sat. already?!!!

  5. 12:36, and no errors. Lots of small “brain farts” as the SW corner gave me fits for a hot minute there.

    Here’s a grid where grokking the theme actually helped fill in a bunch of the theme clues.

  6. Moderately difficult Thursday for me, done at a leisurely pace while selling my honey. One error in the end after struggling with BOYO/BESTS and TISHA/INAnE for several minutes. Leaned on the theme heavily today after finally getting PASTSPAT, ADDERDREAD and then completing POSHSHOP.

    Never heard of TISHA or Shiba Inu. Actually did know THEO but not “Luke Cage.”
    Just had to redo rooM to BDRM.

    @John Daigle – I agree, at least partially, with what you say. I do another 14X14 puzzle, as a warm-up before doing this one. It’s a lot easier and the best I could ever do is about 7 minutes, writing as fast as a can, and in the end barely legible. On the LA Monday and Tuesday, the best I could ever do is 9:30 or 10 minutes. I think I’ve gone a bit faster on-line – probably because, there, my entries are legible 🙂

    The LA puzzle, in my paper, comes in two sizes depending on how much space they have. Today’s, and most, is 3.5″ X 3.5″ along with smaller print clues tends to slow me down by a bit compared to the larger version we sometimes get.

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