LA Times Crossword 26 Nov 19, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Kurt Krauss
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Go Outside

Themed answers start with G and end with O, have “GO” OUTSIDE:

  • 59A Leave the house … and a literal feature of 17-, 25-, 36- and 50-Across : GO OUTSIDE
  • 17A Transmission specification : GEAR RATIO
  • 25A Stockholm-born three-time Best Actress nominee : GRETA GARBO
  • 36A Longtime New Year’s Eve bandleader : GUY LOMBARDO
  • 50A Video game series with a Warriors of Rock edition : GUITAR HERO

Bill’s time: 4m 35s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4 “West Side Story” sides : GANGS

Leonard Bernstein’s musical “West Side Story” is based on William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. The musical is set in New York City and features two rival gangs: the Sharks from Puerto Rico and the Jets with working-class, Caucasian roots. Tony from the Jets (played by Richard Beymer) falls in love with Maria (played by Natalie Wood) from the Sharks. All this parallels Romeo from the House of Montague falling for Juliet from the House of Capulet in the Italian city of Verona.

9 Cul-__: dead-end street : DE-SAC

Even though “cul-de-sac” can indeed mean “bottom of the bag” in French, the term cul-de-sac is of English origin (the use of “cul” in French is actually quite rude). The term was introduced in aristocratic circles at a time when it was considered very fashionable to speak French. Dead-end streets in France are usually signposted with just a symbol and no accompanying words, but if words are included they are “voie sans issue”, meaning “way without exit”.

14 Versatile truck, for short : UTE

A utility vehicle is often called a “ute” for short. Nowadays one mainly hears about sport-utes and crossover-utes.

17 Transmission specification : GEAR RATIO

Here’s yet another term that confused me when I moved across the Atlantic. Back in in Britain and Ireland, a car’s transmission is the whole drivetrain. Here in America, the term “transmission” tends to be synonymous with “gearbox”.

19 Divided island of Southeast Asia : TIMOR

Timor is an island in Maritime Southeast Asia. The island is politically divided into West Timor, belonging to Indonesia, and the independent state of East Timor. The name “Timor” comes from a Malay word for “east”, and is used as Timor lies at the eastern end of the Lesser Sunda Islands.

21 Irish watering hole : PUB

Oh, how I miss the Irish pub …

23 Trucker on a radio : CB’ER

A CB’er is someone who operates a Citizens Band (CB) radio. In 1945, the FCC set aside certain radio frequencies for the personal use of citizens. The use of the Citizens Band increased throughout the seventies as advances in electronics brought down the size of transceivers and their cost. There aren’t many CB radios sold these days though, as they have largely been replaced by cell phones.

25 Stockholm-born three-time Best Actress nominee : GRETA GARBO

Famously, Greta Garbo lived a life of seclusion in New York City after she retired from the entertainment business. Commentators often associated her need for privacy with a line she uttered in the great 1932 movie “Grand Hotel”. Her character Grusinskaya the Russian ballerina said, “I want to be alone (…) I just want to be alone”.

28 Barfly : SOT

Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

30 Weekend show with Aidy Bryant, to fans : SNL

“Saturday Night Live” (SNL)

Actor and comedian Aidy Bryant made her debut on “Saturday Night Live” in 2012. Bryant married fellow comedian Conner O’Malley in 2018.

32 Actress Berry : HALLE

Actress Halle Berry was the first African-American woman to win a Best Actress Oscar, which she received for her performance in the 2001 movie “Monster’s Ball”. Berry also won a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress in 2005 for playing the title role in “Catwoman”, and she very graciously accepted that award in person. Good for her!

34 Real estate units : ACRES

The terms “realty” and “real estate” actually date back to the late 1600s. Back then, the terms meant “real possessions, things owned that are tangible and real”.

36 Longtime New Year’s Eve bandleader : GUY LOMBARDO

Violinist and bandleader Guy Lombardo started his career in his native Canada before moving to the US. Lombardo and his band were in demand for years to play live music on New Year’s Eve broadcasts, which earned him the nickname “Mr. New Year’s Eve”. For many years, Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians could be heard live on CBS Radio before midnight, and on NBC Radio after midnight. To this day, the first song of the new years played in Times Square in New York City is the Royal Canadians’ recording of “Auld Lang Syne”.

39 Dalmatian marks : SPOTS

The Dalmatian breed of dog originated in Dalmatia, in the Republic of Croatia. Here in the US, Dalmatians are known as “firehouse dogs”. This association dates back to the use of Dalmatians in firehouses to guard the valuable horses that pulled the fire engines.

42 PC key near Z : ALT

The Alt (alternate) key is found on either side of the space bar on US PC keyboards. The Alt key evolved from what was called a Meta key on old MIT keyboards, although the function has changed somewhat over the years. Alt is equivalent in many ways to the Option key on a Mac keyboard, and indeed the letters “Alt” have been printed on most Mac keyboards starting in the nineties.

47 Suffix with Brooklyn : -ESE

The New York dialect of English is sometimes referred to as “Brooklynese”. In Brooklynese, we might take “dis”, “dat”, “dese” or “dose” (this, that, these or those).

50 Video game series with a Warriors of Rock edition : GUITAR HERO

Guitar Hero is an amazingly successful series of video games, first published in 2005. It is the third best selling franchise of video games, after Mario and Madden NFL. Sales have dropped in recent years though, and there are no plans for further releases.

53 Dashing style : ELAN

Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e “style, flair”.

55 Comfy footwear : MOC

“Moc” is short for “moccasin”, a type of shoe. The moccasin is a traditional form of footwear worn by members of many Native American tribes.

57 Secret Service role : AGENT

The Secret Service was created by President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, with the mission of fighting currency counterfeiters. The additional task of protecting the US President was added by Congress in 1902 following the assassination of President William McKinley in the prior year. Only one Secret Service agent has given his life in the course of an assassination attempt. That was Private Leslie Coffelt, who was killed when two Puerto Rican nationalists tried to assassinate President Harry S. Truman in 1950 while he was residing in Blair House.

62 Rodeo rope : REATA

A riata is a lariat or a lasso. “Riata” comes from “reata”, the Spanish word for lasso.

64 Gp. that isn’t gun-shy : NRA

National Rifle Association (NRA)

65 Welles on-screen : ORSON

Orson Welles is perhaps best-remembered in the world of film for his role in 1941’s “Citizen Kane”. In the world of radio, Welles is known for directing and narrating 1938’s famous broadcast of “The War of the Worlds”, a broadcast that convinced many listeners that the Earth was indeed being invaded by aliens.

66 Hall of Fame pitcher Ryan : NOLAN

Nolan Ryan is famous for having more career strikeouts that any other baseball pitcher. However, he also holds the record for the most career walks and wild pitches. Another record that Ryan holds is the most no-hitters, a total of seven over his career.

Down

1 Hole-making tools : AUGERS

An auger is a drill, a boring tool [Yawn] 🙂

2 Den music system : STEREO

Monophonic sound (“mono”) is sound reproduced using just one audio channel, which is usually played out of just one speaker. Stereophonic sound is reproduced using two audio channels, with the sound from each channel played out of two different speakers. The pair of stereo speakers are usually positioned apart from each other so that sound appears to come from between the two. Quadraphonic sound (4.0 surround sound) uses four audio channels with the sound played back through four speakers that are often positioned at the corners of the room in which one is listening.

3 San Simeon castle builder : HEARST

William Randolph Hearst got into publishing when he took over “The San Francisco Examiner” from his father George Hearst. Beyond his work in the newspaper business, William Randolph Hearst was also a politician and represented a district of New York in the US House. His life was the inspiration for the lead role in the 1941 movie “Citizen Kane” with Orson Welles playing the Hearst-like character. If you’re ever driving along the coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco, I’d recommend a stop at Hearst Castle, William Randolph’s magnificent estate located near San Simeon.

4 Teri of “Young Frankenstein” : GARR

Actress Teri Garr had a whole host of minor roles in her youth, including appearances in nine Elvis movies. Garr’s big break came with the role of Inga in “Young Frankenstein”, and her supporting role in “Tootsie” earned Garr an Academy Award nomination. Sadly, Teri Garr suffers from multiple sclerosis. She is a National Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

I am not really a big fan of movies by Mel Brooks, but “Young Frankenstein” is the exception. I think the cast has a lot to do with me liking the film, as it includes Gene Wilder (Dr. Frankenstein), Teri Garr (Inga), Marty Feldman (Igor) and Gene Hackman (Harold, the blind man).

5 Gardner of the silver screen : AVA

Ava Gardner is noted for her association with some big movies, but also for her association with some big names when it came to the men in her life. In the world of film, she appeared in the likes of “Mogambo” (1953), “On the Beach” (1959), “The Night of the Iguana” (1964) and “Earthquake” (1974). The men in her life included husbands Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra.

6 Badminton divider : NET

The game of badminton was developed in the mid-1700s by British military officers in India. There was already an old game called battledore and shuttlecock, so the creation of badminton was essentially the addition of a net and boundary lines for play. The game was launched officially as a sport in 1873 at Badminton House in Gloucestershire in England, hence the name that we now use.

7 Beef : GRIPE

A beef is a complaint or a grievance. It’s not quite clear how “beef” came to have this meaning, but one suggestion is that derives from the habit of soldiers at the end of the 1800s complaining about the quality or availability of beef in their rations.

8 Strong ales : STOUTS

The term “stout” was first used for a type of beer in the 1600s when was used to describe a “strong, stout” brew, and not necessarily a dark beer as it is today.

10 CNN journalist Hill : ERICA

Erica Hill was the co-anchor of “CBS This Morning”, and before that she was co-anchor of CBS’s “The Early Show”. Hill moved in 2008 to NBC News and co-hosted the weekend edition of “Today”. She moved to CNN in 2016.

11 Mariachi’s hat : SOMBRERO

In English we think of a sombrero as a wide-brimmed hat, but in Spanish “sombrero” is the word for any hat. “Sombrero” is derived from “sombra” meaning “shade”.

The name “mariachi”, used for a typically Mexican popular band, is said to be a corruption of the French word for “marriage” (i.e. “mariage”). This perhaps dates back to the times of Napoleon II when France had political and cultural influence over Spain.

12 One-celled swimmers : AMOEBAE

An ameba (also “amoeba”) is a single-celled microorganism. The name comes from the Greek “amoibe”, meaning change. The name is quite apt, as the cell changes shape readily as the ameba moves, eats and reproduces.

13 Orange veggies : CARROTS

The notion that carrots are good for eyesight is a myth, a myth with a well-documented origin. The Royal Air Force improved its ability to pinpoint the approach of German bombers during WWII due to the development of Airborne Interception Radar (AI). In an attempt to maintain secrecy about AI, the British leaked very specific stories to the press about RAF pilots who had developed extraordinary night vision by eating copious amounts of carrots. The stories were largely accepted by the British public as well, who started consuming carrots in heavy doses in efforts to improve vision during blackouts.

18 Hogwash : ROT

“Hogwash” means “rubbish, of little value”. “Hogwash” was originally the name of swill fed to pigs.

25 Fish organ : GILL

A fish’s gills are the organs equivalent to the lungs of many land animals. The gills can extract oxygen dissolved in water and excrete carbon dioxide.

33 Ambulance letters : EMS

Emergency medical services (EMS)

35 S&L offerings : CDS

A certificate of deposit (CD) is like a less-flexible and higher-paying savings account. Instead of depositing money into a savings account and earning interest periodically, one can open a CD. With a CD one deposits a minimum amount of money but must leave it there for a specified length of time. In return for committing the funds for a fixed period, one is given a higher interest rate than a savings account and can redeem that interest and the initial deposit when the term has expired. CDs are relatively low-risk investments as they are FDIC insured, just like savings accounts.

Savings and Loan (S&L)

37 Transvaal settler : BOER

“Boer” is the Dutch and Afrikaans word for “farmer”, a word that was used to describe the Dutch-speaking people who settled parts of South Africa during the 1700s.

In geographic terms, the Transvaal is an area in modern-day South Africa that lies north of the Vaal River. “Transvaal” translates as “across the Vaal”.

38 Florence’s river : ARNO

The Arno is the principal river in the Tuscany region of Italy, and passes through the cities of Florence and Pisa. Famously the Arno flooded in 1966, the worst flood in the region for centuries. There were numerous deaths and extensive destruction of priceless art treasures, particularly in Florence.

39 Arizona cactus : SAGUARO

The saguaro is a beautiful cactus, one that is native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. Arizona is proud of its saguaros, featuring them prominently on its licence plates. If you ever get a chance to visit the Saguaro National Park in southern Arizona, I thoroughly recommend it.

45 Feudal Japanese military ruler : SHOGUN

The shoguns of Japan were military dictators who generally inherited their position and power. The term “shogun” can be translated as ‘general”. The position of shogun was effectively eliminated in 1867 with the demise of the Tokugawa shogunate. The modern equivalent of a shogun in Japan is a prime minister.

47 “Seinfeld” regular : ELAINE

The character Elaine Benes, unlike the other lead characters (Jerry, Kramer and George), did not appear in the pilot episode of “Seinfeld”. NBC executives specified the addition of a female lead when they picked up the show citing that the situation was too “male-centric”.

48 Former Justice __ Day O’Connor : SANDRA

Sandra Day O’Connor is a former associate justice on the US Supreme Court. O’Connor was the first woman appointed to the court, and was in office from 1981 after being appointed by President Reagan. As the court became more conservative she was viewed as the swing vote in many decisions. As a result, O’Connor was known as one of the most powerful women in the world. She retired in 2006 (replaced by Samuel Alito), and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2009.

51 Lone Ranger’s pal : TONTO

Tonto was played by the actor Jay Silverheels In the television version of “The Lone Ranger”. In the terrible 1981 movie “The Legend of the Lone Ranger”, Tonto was portrayed by Michael Horse. Tonto was then played by Johnny Depp In the 2013 movie “The Lone Ranger”. Famously, the Lone Ranger’s horse was called Silver and Tonto’s mount was named Scout. But, in the early TV shows, Tonto rode a horse called White Feller.

53 Sci-fi beings : ETS

Extraterrestrial (ET)

56 British firearm acronym : STEN

The STEN gun is an iconic armament that was used by the British military. The name STEN is an acronym. The letters S and T come from the name of the gun’s designers, Shepherd and Turpin. The letters EN comes from the Enfield brand name, which in turn comes from the Enfield location where the guns were manufactured for the Royal Small Arms Factory, an enterprise owned by the British government.

58 Color like khaki : TAN

“Khaki” is an Urdu word that translates literally as “dusty”. The word was adopted for its current use as the name of a fabric by the British cavalry in India in the mid-1800s.

61 Hagen of Broadway : UTA

Uta Hagen was a German-born, American actress. Hagen married Jose Ferrer in 1938, but they were divorced ten years later after it was revealed that she was having a long-running affair with Paul Robeson. Her association with Robeson, a prominent civil rights activist, earned her a spot on the Hollywood Blacklist during the McCarthy Era. This forced her away from film, but towards a successful stage career in New York City.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Cigar residue : ASH
4 “West Side Story” sides : GANGS
9 Cul-__: dead-end street : DE-SAC
14 Versatile truck, for short : UTE
15 Head off : AVERT
16 Oven emanation : AROMA
17 Transmission specification : GEAR RATIO
19 Divided island of Southeast Asia : TIMOR
20 Fielder’s mishap : ERROR
21 Irish watering hole : PUB
23 Trucker on a radio : CB’ER
24 Catch one’s breath : REST
25 Stockholm-born three-time Best Actress nominee : GRETA GARBO
28 Barfly : SOT
29 Run out of juice : DIE
30 Weekend show with Aidy Bryant, to fans : SNL
31 “Dig in!” : EAT!
32 Actress Berry : HALLE
34 Real estate units : ACRES
36 Longtime New Year’s Eve bandleader : GUY LOMBARDO
39 Dalmatian marks : SPOTS
41 Skin irritations : SORES
42 PC key near Z : ALT
43 Partners for mas : PAS
46 Terminate : END
47 Suffix with Brooklyn : -ESE
50 Video game series with a Warriors of Rock edition : GUITAR HERO
53 Dashing style : ELAN
54 Escape key function : UNDO
55 Comfy footwear : MOC
56 Leave the chair : STAND
57 Secret Service role : AGENT
59 Leave the house … and a literal feature of 17-, 25-, 36- and 50-Across : GO OUTSIDE
62 Rodeo rope : REATA
63 Bring together : UNITE
64 Gp. that isn’t gun-shy : NRA
65 Welles on-screen : ORSON
66 Hall of Fame pitcher Ryan : NOLAN
67 Corn serving : EAR

Down

1 Hole-making tools : AUGERS
2 Den music system : STEREO
3 San Simeon castle builder : HEARST
4 Teri of “Young Frankenstein” : GARR
5 Gardner of the silver screen : AVA
6 Badminton divider : NET
7 Beef : GRIPE
8 Strong ales : STOUTS
9 Not dis? : DAT
10 CNN journalist Hill : ERICA
11 Mariachi’s hat : SOMBRERO
12 One-celled swimmers : AMOEBAE
13 Orange veggies : CARROTS
18 Hogwash : ROT
22 Keep out : BAN
25 Fish organ : GILL
26 Move, in realty ads : RELO
27 Shone with a nearly blinding light : GLARED
29 Pampering place : DAY SPA
32 Simple shelter : HUT
33 Ambulance letters : EMS
35 S&L offerings : CDS
36 Looked through a home remodeling magazine, perhaps : GOT IDEAS
37 Transvaal settler : BOER
38 Florence’s river : ARNO
39 Arizona cactus : SAGUARO
40 Tool that unclogs using suction : PLUNGER
44 Chair part for elbow resting : ARM
45 Feudal Japanese military ruler : SHOGUN
47 “Seinfeld” regular : ELAINE
48 Former Justice __ Day O’Connor : SANDRA
49 Make beloved : ENDEAR
51 Lone Ranger’s pal : TONTO
52 Affordable, in brand names : ECONO
53 Sci-fi beings : ETS
56 British firearm acronym : STEN
58 Color like khaki : TAN
60 Black gold : OIL
61 Hagen of Broadway : UTA

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 26 Nov 19, Tuesday”

  1. 4:43, no errors. “UTE” is one of the inane things that show up only in crosswords like “CUKE” for “cucumber”. Never run into anyone that genuinely calls these things either weird term.

    1. But, but, but … I have! And both are in the dictionary. (And both may, admittedly, be regional usages that some will seldom see outside of a crossword puzzle.)

  2. 7:03. Didn’t bother to notice the theme.

    As much as I visit Mexico (where I’m headed a week from today!!) , I can’t stand mariachi music (or SOMBREROS). It drives me up a wall. The bands come around to dinner tables asking for tips if they play a song. I’d be more inclined to tip them if they went away. I know I know – killjoy. I much prefer the upbeat Latin music I hear in the Caribbean – specifically in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Those people know how to put on a party.

    I hear “cuke” in supermarkets. I suspect that’s where it started – people who work with them all the time using it as shorthand (shortspeak). I think I even heard “cuke” in a movie once. I don’t ever remember hearing UTE, but it’s in the dictionary first before crossword setters use it so someone must have uttered it at some point. Sounds like a marketing word.

    Best –

    1. Both spellings (“reata” and “riata”) are in the dictionary. One could argue, since the word was borrowed from Spanish, that “riata” is the misspelled version (and, in fact, the spell checker here seems to think that is, in fact, the case).

  3. Another smooth one. No errors or Googles, minimal and easy sports. But, I do take issue with abbrevs that are not clued as such, such as CBER. A pet peeve.

  4. HIYA folks!!🦆

    No errors. I rather liked Monday’s puzzle better, but I thought it was funny on this one when all I had for 36A was UYLO. Didn’t know WHAT that would turn out to be!! Puzzles are funny that way. Took only two more letters to see GUY LOMBARDO. 😁

    Jeff!! Totally agree re: mariachi music. My fave Latin music genres are cumbias and merengue, tho I do like a lot of norteño stuff. I HATE salsa!! 😫 …and I can live without mariachis too.

    Be well~~🍷

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