LA Times Crossword 23 Nov 19, Saturday

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Constructed by: Kevin Christian & Brad Wilber
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 12m 37s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9 Ford muscle cars, familiarly : STANGS

The Ford Mustang car was introduced in 1964. Back then the Mustang wasn’t a brand new design, but was based on the Ford Falcon. The Mustang was the first of the “pony cars”, American models that are compact and affordable, as well as sporty in image and performance.

16 Walk-off hit situation, perhaps : TWO OUT

That would be baseball.

18 Country by the River Shribble : NARNIA

Apparently it’s not certain how C. S. Lewis came to choose Narnia as the name of the fantasy world featured in his series of children’s books, including “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. There was an ancient city in Umbria that the Romans called Narnia, but there is no evidence of a link.

19 “Hands off!” in an ad slogan : LEGGO!

“Leggo my Eggo”, perhaps.

20 “Hamburger Hill” setting, briefly : NAM

“Hamburger Hill” is a 1987 film set during the Vietnam War. The movie was inspired by the real-life Battle of Hamburger Hill, an engagement that many believe started a shift in support for the war by the US public.

22 Clue room : STUDY

Clue is a board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

23 For __: not gratis : A FEE

Something provided “gratis” is supplied free of charge. “Gratis” is a Latin term, a contraction of “gratiis” meaning “for thanks”.

27 Rare color : RED

That would be rare meat.

28 Bismarck’s realm : PRUSSIA

Prussia was a German kingdom that had the city of Berlin as its capital. The German monarchies were abolished after WWI, and Prussia ceased to exist as an entity right after WWII.

Germany first became a country of her own in 1871 when the Princes of the various independent German states met at Versailles outside Paris to proclaim Wilhelm of Prussia as the Emperor of the German Empire. The man behind this historic development was Wilhelm’s Ministerpräsident, Otto von Bismarck. Von Bismarck was a powerful figure in Prussia and indeed on the world stage, and earning him the nickname “Iron Chancellor”.

34 “Funky Monkeys” musical : THE WIZ

“The Wiz”, the 1975 musical, was written by Charlie Smalls and is an African-American adaptation of Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. The film version of the stage show was released in 1978, starring Diana Ross as Dorothy and Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow. I haven’t seen it, though. “The Wizard of Oz” scares me, as the flying monkeys creep me out. There, I’ve admitted it in public …

38 Was unmanageable : RAN AMOK

The phrase “to run amok” (sometimes “to run amuck”) has been around since the 1670s and is derived from the Malay word for “attacking furiously”, “amuk”. The word “amok” was also used as a noun to describe Malay natives who were “frenzied”. Given Malaya’s troubled history, the natives probably had a good reason for that frenzy …

40 Schnitzel meat : VEAL

Veal is the meat from calves, whereas beef is the meat from mature cattle. Most veal comes from male calves, as the females can be more valuable as producers of cow’s milk. Historically, veal production has been one of the most controversial practices in animal farming. Some farmers restricted the movement of veal calves by confining them in crates for the whole of their short lives in order to produce paler and more tender meat.

Schnitzel is an Austrian dish made from slices of meat that have been tenderized and thinned with a wooden mallet, and then coated in breadcrumbs and fried. The variant known as Wiener Schnitzel (i.e. Viennese schnitzel) is usually made from veal, although now that veal had fallen into disfavor due to concerns about animal rights, it is often made from pork.

50 Traje de __: Seville swimsuit : BANO

The city of Seville (“Sevilla” in Spanish) is the capital of Andalusia in southern Spain. Seville is a favored setting for many operas including “The Barber of Seville” by Rossini, “Fidelio” by Beethoven and Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and “The Marriage of Figaro”.

51 Indian improvisations : RAGAS

Raga isn’t really a genre of music, but has been described as the “tonal framework” in which Indian classical music is composed. Ravi Shankar was perhaps the most famous raga virtuoso (to us Westerners). Western rock music with a heavy Indian influence might be called raga rock.

54 Boston and Chicago, but not San Francisco : BANDS

Boston is a rock band from … Boston. Boston’s biggest hit was “Amanda”, released in 1986.

The rock band called Chicago was formed in … Chicago. The band’s biggest hits are “If You Leave Me Now” (1976) and “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” (1982). The band’s lineup has changed a lot over the years. The most tragic reason for a change was in 1978 when Terry Kath, one of the band’s founding members, died from an accidentally self-inflicted gun wound. Kath enjoyed playing with guns and as a joke held a pistol with an empty magazine to his temple and pulled the trigger. A round in the chamber killed him instantly.

57 Triumphant GIF phrase : KILLIN’ IT

There are oodles of “killin’ it” GIFs. It’s a thing …

A bitmap is an image file format used to store digital images. Basically, each pixel in a bitmap file is stored as a “bit” of information, hence the name “bitmap”. In 1987, CompuServe introduced a new type of image file called the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF). A GIF image takes the same information as a bitmap and then compresses it, resulting in a smaller file size. However, during compression the image may lose some resolution. The GIF format also handles short video clips, usually animations.

59 More intricate : MAZIER

Mazy … like a maze.

61 Small suit maker : SPEEDO

Speedo brand swimwear was first produced in Australia in 1928, by a hosiery company that wanted to diversify. The brand name was chosen after a slogan competition among employees was won by “Speed on in your Speedos”. It was a long time ago, I guess …

Down

2 Michael of “Caddyshack” : O’KEEFE

Michael O’Keefe played young Danny Noonan in the film “Caddyshack” (I’m not a big fan of that movie). He also appeared in the George Clooney film “Michael Clayton”. O’Keefe was married for several years to singer Bonnie Raitt.

4 How a sommelier might sort wine : BY AGE

“Sommelier” is the French word for “wine steward”. If that steward is a female, then the term used in French is “sommelière”.

5 Peace Prize city : OSLO

The Norwegian Nobel Institute was established in Oslo in 1904. The main task of the Institute is to assist the Norwegian Nobel Committee in selecting the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and to organize the annual Nobel event.

7 Heaviest naturally occurring element : URANIUM

The isotope of uranium that is mostly found in nature in uranium-238. Natural uranium also contains a small amount (less than 1%) of uranium-235. When uranium is “enriched”, the percentage of uranium-235 is increased. Uranium containing 80% or more uranium-235 is considered “weapons grade”.

9 Stop on a line: Abbr. : STN

A station (“stn.” or “sta.”) is a railroad (RR) or bus stop.

10 “__ wondrous pitiful”: “Othello” : ‘TWAS

Here are some lines spoken by the title character in William Shakespeare’s “Othello”:

My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs;
She swore, in faith ’twas strange, ’twas passing strange;
‘Twas pitiful. ’twas wondrous pitiful,
She wish’d she had not heard it, yet she wish’d
That heaven had made her such a man

11 Vital supply line : AORTA

The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

21 Middle: Pref. : MESO-

The prefix “meso-” means “middle, intermediate” and comes from the Greel “mesos” meaning “middle”. Example of the use of the prefix are in the terms “Mesoamerica” and “Mesozoic”.

24 Brand that sells Arnold Palmers : ARIZONA

The Arizona Beverage Company has been making flavored iced tea drinks since 1992. Paradoxically, the company is based in New York State.

The drink named for golfer Arnold Palmer is made from lemonade and ice tea. The drink named for fellow golfer John Daly is also made from lemonade and ice tea, but with vodka added …

29 Key of Chopin’s first Opus 25 étude : A-FLAT

Frédéric Chopin wrote three sets of études. His 1833 Études Op. 10 were dedicated to fellow-composer and friend Franz Liszt. His 1837 Études Op. 25 were dedicated to Marie d’Agoult, Franz Liszt’s mistress.

31 Flier for 71 years : TWA

Trans World Airlines (TWA) was a big carrier in the US, but was perhaps even more recognized for its extensive presence in Europe and the Middle East. For many years, especially after the collapse of Pan Am and TWA’s purchase by Howard Hughes, TWA was considered the unofficial flag carrier for the US. The company started in 1930, the product of a forced merger of Transcontinental Air Transport and Western Air Express. The Transcontinental and Western Air that resulted (the original meaning of the initialism “TWA”) was what the Postmaster General wanted, a bigger airline to which the Postal Service could award airmail contracts.

33 Acct. amount : BAL

Balance (bal.)

34 Most phone button groupings : TRIGRAMS

A trigram is a group of three letters or symbols.

39 Hindu god of desire : KAMA

Kama is the Hindu god of love. He is portrayed as a youth bearing a bow and arrows, much like Eros and Cupid. Kama lends his name to the “Kama Sutra”.

40 Trace : VESTIGE

We use the word “vestige” for a trace, mark or sign. The term comes from the Latin “vestigium” that also means “trace” as well as “footprint”.

43 Notorious B.I.G. discovered her in 1994 : LIL’ KIM

“Lil’ Kim” is the stage name of rap artist Kimberly Denise Jones from Brooklyn, New York. Lil’ Kim spent a year in jail in 2005 for lying to a jury in a case about a shooting.

“The Notorious B.I.G.” was the stage name of rap star Christopher Wallace, who also went by the names “Biggie Smalls” and “Biggie”. While at the height of his fame Wallace was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles, a murder case that has never been solved. The 2009 movie “Notorious” is about Wallace’s life and stars fellow rap artist Jamal Woolard (aka Gravy) in the title role.

44 Storm on ESPN : HANNAH

Hannah Storm is a sports journalist who co-hosts the Sunday version of “SportsCenter” on ESPN. Storm is the daughter of sports executive Mike Storen, who was president of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.

45 Purplish blue : INDIGO

The name of the color “indigo” ultimately comes from the Greek “indikon” meaning “blue dye from India”.

48 Bess, __, Jackie … : MAMIE

Harry and Bess Truman met when they were very young children, at Sunday school. They were friends right through high school and became engaged in 1918 just before Harry went off to France during WWI, marrying the next year. Bess Truman never really took to the Washington scene when she became First Lady and stayed out of the limelight as much as she could. Perhaps that contributed to her longevity. Mrs. Truman lived to the age of 97, making her the longest living First Lady in US history.

Mamie Eisenhower was surely one of the most charming of all the First Ladies of the United States. Ms. Eisenhower suffered from an inner ear complaint called Ménière’s disease which caused her to lose her balance quite often. Because she was unsteady on her feet there were unfounded rumors floating around Washington that Ms. Eisenhower had a drinking problem. People can be very unkind …

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was born into a privileged family, the daughter of Wall Street stockbroker John Vernou Bouvier III. Ms. Bouvier moved in the same social circles as the Kennedy clan, and first met the then-US Representative John Kennedy at a dinner party hosted by mutual friends. Years later, after she saw her husband assassinated and then her brother-in-law (Bobby Kennedy) suffer the same fate, Jackie declared that she feared for the life of her children as they bore the Kennedy name. She left the country, eventually meeting and marrying Aristotle Onassis. Reportedly she was very satisfied that the Greek shipping magnate was able to provide privacy and security for her children.

54 Layered lunches : BLTS

The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

56 Sign of being packed? : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

58 Actor Chaney : LON

Lon Chaney, Sr. played a lot of crazed-looking characters in the days of silent movies. He did much of his own make-up work, developing the grotesque appearances that became his trademark, and earning himself the nickname “the man of a thousand faces”. Most famous were his portrayals of the title characters in the films “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1923) and “The Phantom of the Opera” (1925).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Dust yourself off and hang tough!” : COWBOY UP!
9 Ford muscle cars, familiarly : STANGS
15 Reluctant acquiescence : OKAY, SURE
16 Walk-off hit situation, perhaps : TWO OUT
17 Note-taking aid : LEGAL PAD
18 Country by the River Shribble : NARNIA
19 “Hands off!” in an ad slogan : LEGGO!
20 “Hamburger Hill” setting, briefly : NAM
22 Clue room : STUDY
23 For __: not gratis : A FEE
24 Had to miss school, perhaps : AILED
26 All over : ANEW
27 Rare color : RED
28 Bismarck’s realm : PRUSSIA
30 Sworn statement : I DO
31 Fit : TRIM
32 Having memorized the script, in theater lingo : OFF BOOK
34 “Funky Monkeys” musical : THE WIZ
37 Pipe edge : FLANGE
38 Was unmanageable : RAN AMOK
40 Schnitzel meat : VEAL
41 “__ seen better” : I’VE
42 Ready : ON ALERT
44 __ pocket : HIP
47 Start of something : GERM
49 More than fishy : AMISS
50 Traje de __: Seville swimsuit : BANO
51 Indian improvisations : RAGAS
53 __-country: music genre : ALT
54 Boston and Chicago, but not San Francisco : BANDS
55 Negative feeling : ANIMUS
57 Triumphant GIF phrase : KILLIN’ IT
59 More intricate : MAZIER
60 “Hate to run, but … ” : I GOTTA GO …
61 Small suit maker : SPEEDO
62 Suit seller : MEN’S SHOP

Down

1 Priesthood symbol : COLLAR
2 Michael of “Caddyshack” : O’KEEFE
3 Went back and forth : WAGGED
4 How a sommelier might sort wine : BY AGE
5 Peace Prize city : OSLO
6 “You betcha!” : YUP!
7 Heaviest naturally occurring element : URANIUM
8 They often get depressed : PEDALS
9 Stop on a line: Abbr. : STN
10 “__ wondrous pitiful”: “Othello” : ‘TWAS
11 Vital supply line : AORTA
12 Unorganized, in a way : NON-UNION
13 Unticketed plane passenger : GUIDE DOG
14 Be sensitive to social injustice, in slang : STAY WOKE
21 Middle: Pref. : MESO-
24 Brand that sells Arnold Palmers : ARIZONA
25 Holds another view : DIFFERS
28 Top-drawer : PRIMO
29 Key of Chopin’s first Opus 25 étude : A-FLAT
31 Flier for 71 years : TWA
33 Acct. amount : BAL
34 Most phone button groupings : TRIGRAMS
35 Drop off midday, say : HAVE A NAP
36 Fill with life : ENERGIZE
39 Hindu god of desire : KAMA
40 Trace : VESTIGE
43 Notorious B.I.G. discovered her in 1994 : LIL’ KIM
44 Storm on ESPN : HANNAH
45 Purplish blue : INDIGO
46 After surg. : POST-OP
48 Bess, __, Jackie … : MAMIE
50 Pushes the buttons of : BAITS
52 Started an action : SUED
54 Layered lunches : BLTS
56 Sign of being packed? : SRO
58 Actor Chaney : LON

23 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 23 Nov 19, Saturday”

  1. Had Argued for WAGGED, and never heard of COWBOY UP, so botched the NW.
    Didn’t care much for the SW corner. “Had something” for GERM? Ya gotta be kid’n.

  2. Put in “yep” for 6 Down and never caught it so two errors for one wrong letter. D’oh! Pretty difficult grid. As to those above who grouched about Brits making us Yanks a puzzle it is still one of my proudest achievements in getting the Sunday London Times crossword completed without error on a flight back to NY when I was on holiday from work in Saudi and jumped on an Air India flight on the spur of the moment and came home for a few days of State side R & R.

  3. 17:37. Seemed to take longer than that, but that’s what the clock said.

    Bill, you need to give “Caddyshack” another look. Great movie! I’ve copied the phrase “you’ll get nothing and like it” at least a hundred times since I first saw the movie.

    Z – assiduously obtuse? Uhh…yeah. That’s precisely what Saturday puzzle makers strive for.

    Best –

  4. 49:40 with one error …..I had zagged for wagged and 1A made no sense that way but cowboy up just wouldn’t come to me…..enough negative comments already about this one….GO RAVENS

        1. True. My point was that it’s extremely difficult to come up with a truly objective rating of any puzzle.

          FWIW, though I didn’t really have much difficulty with today’s LAT puzzle, it took me a bit longer than usual and I scratched my head over a few things in it (like COWBOY UP, ‘STANGS, KILLIN’ IT, STAY AWOKE, and MAZIER – all inferable in one way or another, but a little edgy – so I paused to consider whether I’d gone off the rails on any of them). It was a little harder to come up with some of the entries in the Stumper (particularly in one corner), but there was nothing in it that I paused over too long, once I got it, so the whole puzzle didn’t take me too much longer.

  5. This was one wacko puzzle for me. Got about 80% but cheated all the way. Not a good experience at all. So I agree with most of the comments from above.

  6. Finally gave up after an hour with 18 errors . It was coming together, but just too slow for me, and I got bored and started browsing on my phone.

    Didn’t get waGgED, YeP, naRnia, ido, OFFBook, gERM, maZIER. I’ve actually heard of Cowboy Up and I should have got trigrams and maybe non-union, but Narnia, off book, guide dog, and stay woke are kinda out there for me.

    Oh well…

  7. Konban Wa!!🦆
    Actually, that’s Konnichi wa for y’all…as usual I am up LATE…

    DNF, but didn’t dislike this puzzle. I thought the clues and the fill were fine, except for MAZIER (!?!), but I got impatient and cheated rather than work at it….🤔…I guess I cheated for about 25%. Here’s something funny: I had NORWAY before NARNIA— I figured there COULD be a river on a Norwegian border. What do I know??

    Be well ~~🍷

  8. When 8 out of ten puzzlers call crap on a puzzle. Then it is crap …..

    Kudos to anyone that can actually finish this sort of garbage.

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