LA Times Crossword 27 Nov 19, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Bruce Venzke and Gail Grabowski
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Sweet Dreams

Themed answers describe a pleasant dream sequence that has an “alarming” finish:

  • 20A First, Lucky plays the lottery and buys the __ : WINNING TICKET
  • 25A Then, Lucky goes to court and is awarded a __ : HUGE SETTLEMENT
  • 47A Finally, Lucky joins March Madness and fills out a __ : PERFECT BRACKET
  • 52A What Lucky got, literally and figuratively, when his alarm clock put an end to a very pleasant dream : RUDE AWAKENING

Bill’s time: 6m 48s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Roster entry : NAME

Our word “roster”, meaning “list, register”, actually comes from the same root as our word “roast”, would you believe. “Roster” came into English from the Dutch “rooster”, meaning “table, list”. An alternative use of the Dutch “rooster” was “gridiron”, from the “roosten” meaning “to roast”. The connection is that a roster of names is often listed on a sheet of paper that has grid lines resembling the marks left by a gridiron on roasted meat. Quite interesting …

5 Opens, as a car hood : POPS

The hinged cover over the engine of a car is referred to in the US as a “hood”, and in Britain and Ireland as a “bonnet”. On the other side of the Atlantic, a hood is a fabric cover that goes over a car’s passenger compartment. That same cover is called a “top” here in the US.

14 Foundry by-product : SLAG

The better lead ores are processed in a blast furnace, to extract the metal. The waste from this process is called “slag”. Slag does contain some lead and it can be processed further in a slag furnace to extract the residual metal. Slag furnaces also accept poorer lead ores as a raw material.

18 Will of “The Waltons” : GEER

Actor Will Geer died in 1978 just after filming the sixth season of “The Waltons”, in which he played Grandpa Zeb Walton. Geer was a noted social activist and was blacklisted in the fifties for refusing to appear before the all-powerful House Committee on Un-American Activities.

19 Vinaigrette holder : CRUET

A cruet is a small glass bottle that holds a condiment or perhaps a dressing. The word “cruet” comes from an Old French word meaning “earthen pot”.

23 “Price negotiable,” in ads : OBO

Or best offer (OBO)

24 Soft drink choice : COLA

The first cola drink to become a commercial success was Coca-Cola, soon after it was invented by a druggist in 1886. That original Coca-Cola was flavored mainly with kola nuts and vanilla. The formulation was based on an alcoholic drink called Coca Wine that had been on sale for over twenty years.

33 “Winter Song” musician John : TESH

John Tesh is a pianist and composer, as well as a radio and television presenter. For many years Tesh presented the show “Entertainment Tonight”. For “ET” he once covered the filming of an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. As part of the piece, he volunteered to act as a Klingon warrior. If you see the “Star Trek: TNG” episode called “The Icarus Factor” in reruns, watch out for John Tesh engaging in ritual torture with Mr. Worf as his victim.

35 Bear up? : URSA

The constellation Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called “the Big Dipper” because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, “the Plough”.

Ursa Minor (Latin for “Smaller Bear”) sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for “Dragon”). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and so was once called “Dragon’s Wing”. The tail of the “Smaller Bear” might also be considered as the handle of a ladle, and so the constellation is often referred to as the Little Dipper.

37 Pride youngster : CUB

Here are some colorful collective nouns:

  • A pride of lions
  • A shrewdness of apes
  • A cloud of bats
  • A bench of bishops
  • A clowder of cats
  • A waddling of ducks
  • An army of frogs
  • A knot of toads

40 Tennis great Graf : STEFFI

Steffi Graf is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player from Germany. Graf won 22 Grand Slam singles titles, which is more than any other man or woman other than Margaret Court. She is married to another former World No. 1, namely Andre Agassi.

43 Goya subject : MAJA

María Cayetana de Silva was the 13th Duchess of Alba. She was a favorite subject of the Spanish painter Francisco Goya. The duchess is the subject in the famous portraits known as “La maja desnuda” (The Nude Maja) and “La maja vestida” (The Clothed Maja). “Maja” translates from Spanish as “beautiful lady”.

47 Finally, Lucky joins March Madness and fills out a __ : PERFECT BRACKET

“Bracketology” is a term used to describe the process of predicting which college basketball teams will advance in a bracket in the annual NCAA Basketball Tournament. President Barack Obama famously participates in an ESPN segment called “Baracketology” in which he predicts the outcome of the tournament, game by game.

“March Madness” is the name given to the NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Championship (among others), that is held in the spring each year.

50 Lascivious look : LEER

“Lascivious” is such an appropriate-sounding word, I always think. It means “lecherous, salacious”.

51 Letter after phi : CHI

The Greek letter chi is the one that looks like our letter X.

58 Geeky type : DWEEB

“Dweeb” is relatively recent American slang that came out of college life in the late sixties. Dweeb, squarepants, nerd; they’re all not-nice terms that mean the same thing, i.e. someone excessively studious and socially inept.

60 Unresponsive state : COMA

Our term “coma” comes from the Greek “koma” meaning “deep sleep”.

61 Like a cloudy London day : GREY

The spellings “gray” and “grey” are used on both sides of the Atlantic, but “gray” appears about twenty times more often than “grey” in the US. That same ratio is reversed over in Britain and Ireland.

London is the largest metropolitan area in the whole of the European Union (and one of my favorite cities in the world). London has been a major settlement for over 2,000 years and was founded as a town by the Romans who named it Londinium. The name “Londinium” may have existed prior to the arrival of the Romans, and no one seems too sure of its origins. Famously, the City of London is a one-square-mile area at the center of the metropolis, the area that marked old medieval London. “The City”, as it is commonly called, has its own Mayor of the City of London (the Mayor of London is someone else), and it’s own City of London Police Force (the London Metropolitan Police are the police usually seen on the streets, a different force).

62 “Laughing” critter : HYENA

The spotted hyena of Sub-Saharan Africa is also known as the laughing hyena because of the sound it oftens makes, which resembles maniacal laughter.

64 Old-time teacher : MARM

“Marm” is short for “schoolmarm”, a quaint term for a female teacher.

65 Giant opening? : SOFT G

The opening letter of the word “giant” is a soft letter G.

Down

1 “Careful where you open this link” shorthand : NSFW

The abbreviation “NSFW” stands for “not safe/suitable for work”. It’s Internet slang used to describe online content that is best not viewed at work.

2 Jai __ : ALAI

Jai alai is a game that derives from Basque pelota, and is known as “cesta-punta” in the Basque language. The name “jai alai” translates from the original Basque as “merry festival”.

3 Grammy winner Aimee : MANN

Aimee Mann is a rock singer and guitarist from Virginia. Mann is married to Michael Penn, the brother of actor Sean Penn.

4 Yuletide mugful : EGGNOG

It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “eggnog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

Yule celebrations coincide with Christmas, and the words “Christmas” and “Yule” (often “Yuletide”) have become synonymous in much of the world. However, Yule was originally a pagan festival celebrated by Germanic peoples. The name “Yule” comes from the Old Norse word “jol” that was used to describe the festival.

5 Doglike facial feature : PUG NOSE

The pug is a breed of dog of Chinese origin. Our current family pet is a boxer/pug cross, and is a good-looking mutt!

6 Universal donor’s type, briefly : O-NEG

In general, a person with type O-negative blood is a universal donor, meaning that his or her blood can be used for transfusion into persons with any other blood type: A, B, AB or O, negative or positive (although there are other considerations). Also in general, a person with type AB-positive blood is a universal recipient, meaning that he or she can receive a transfusion of blood of any type: A, B, AB or O, negative or positive.

7 Artist Mondrian : PIET

Piet Mondrian was a painter from the Netherlands who also lived and worked in Paris, London and New York. Mondrian’s works ranged in style from Impressionism to Abstract.

9 Touchdown preventer, often : TACKLER

That would be football.

13 Source of blowups : TNT

“TNT” is an abbreviation for “trinitrotoluene”. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

22 Future stallion : COLT

There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:

  • Foal: horse of either sex that is less than one year old
  • Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
  • Filly: female horse under the age of four
  • Colt: male horse under the age of four
  • Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
  • Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
  • Mare: female horse four years or older

25 “Tennessee’s Partner” story writer : HARTE

Bret Harte was a storyteller noted for his tales of the American West, even though he himself was from back East, born in Albany, New York. One work attributed to him is “Ah Sin”, a disastrously unsuccessful play written by Bret Harte and Mark Twain. The two writers didn’t get on at all well during the writing process, and when the play was produced for the stage it was very poorly received. Nevertheless, Twain suggested a further collaboration with Harte, and Harte downright refused!

“Tennessee’s Partner” is an 1869 short story penned by author Bret Harte. The story was adapted into four moves, starting in 1916 with “Tennessee’s Pardner”, and more recently under the original title in 1955. The cast of 1955’s “Tennessee’s Partner” includes future Us president Ronald Reagan, with an uncredited appearance by actress Angie Dickinson, her second on the silver screen.

26 Racing family name : UNSER

The Unser family seems to have auto racing in their blood. Al Unser, Sr. won the Indy 500 on four occasions. Al’s brother Jerry was the first of the Unsers to compete at Indianapolis. Al’s other brother Bobby, won the Indy three times. Al’s son, Al Junior, won the Indy twice. Al Junior’s son is also a racing driver who competes at the Indy Speedway.

28 Rule of __ : THUMB

The exact origin of the phrase “rule of thumb” appears to be unclear. However, the expression does exist in languages other than English, although the wording can vary. In Finnish and German the equivalent is “rule of fist”, and in Hebrew the phrase is “rule of finger”.

30 Large chamber group : NONET

Chamber music is a style of classical musical that is written for a small group of instruments, as opposed to a full orchestra. That number of players should be able to stage a performance in a “chamber”, traditionally a large room in a palace or other grand residence.

31 Monopoly token since Mar., 2017 : T REX

The Tyrannosaurus rex (usually written “T. rex”) was a spectacular looking dinosaur. “Tyrannosaurus” comes from the Greek words “tyrannos” (tyrant) and “sauros” (lizard) and “rex” the Latin for “king”. They were big beasts, measuring 42 feet long and 13 feet tall at the hips, and weighing 7.5 tons.

The tokens included with a game of Monopoly have changed over the years. Two of the more interesting tokens are the battleship and cannon. These were created by Hasbro for a board game called Conflict. When Conflict failed in the market, the excess tokens were recycled and included with Monopoly.

32 Transition point : CUSP

The word “cusp” comes from the Latin “cuspis” meaning “spear, point”. In the world of astrology, a cusp is an imaginary line separating two signs of the zodiac. For example, some whose birthday is between April 16 and April 26 is said to have been born “on the cusp” between the signs Aries and Taurus.

38 MacLaren’s on “How I Met Your Mother,” e.g. : BAR

“How I Met Your Mother” is a sitcom that CBS has been airing since 2005. The main character is Ted Mosby, played by Josh Radnor. Mosby is also the narrator for the show looking back from the year 2030 (the live action is set in the present). As narrator, the older Mosby character is voiced by Bob Saget.

42 Drink with a polar bear mascot : ICEE

Slush Puppie and ICEE are brands of frozen, slushy drinks. Ostensibly competing brands, ICEE company now owns the Slush Puppie brand.

44 Jenny’s mate : JACKASS

A female donkey/ass is known as a jenny, and a male is known as a jack, or sometimes “jackass”. We started using the term “jackass” to mean “fool” in the 1820s.

45 Post-CrossFit woe : ACHE

CrossFit is a trademarked fitness, strength and conditioning program that was introduced in 2000.

49 Checkers cry : KING ME!

In the game of checkers, when a “man” reaches the other side of the board, it is promoted to “king”. The king is designated by placing a second piece on top of the first.

52 Atoll barrier : REEF

An atoll is a coral island that is shaped in a ring that encloses a lagoon. There is still some debate as to how an atoll forms, but a theory proposed by Charles Darwin while on his famous voyage aboard HMS Beagle still holds sway. Basically an atoll was once a volcanic island that had subsided and fallen into the sea. The coastline of the island is home to coral growth which persists even as the island continues to subside internal to the circling coral reef.

54 “When you’re right, you’re right!” : AMEN!

The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

55 Caspian Sea land : IRAN

The Caspian Sea is a landlocked body of water lying between Asia and Europe. By some definitions, the Caspian is the largest lake on the planet. The name “Caspian” comes from the Caspi people who lived to the southwest of the sea in South Caucasus.

57 Places with elliptical trainers : GYMS

Our word “gymnasium” comes from the Greek “gymnasion” meaning “public place where exercise is taken”. The Greek term comes from “gymnos” meaning “naked”, as that physical training was usually done unclothed in ancient Greece.

58 Dept. that includes the TSA : DHS

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created in 2002 after the September 11th attacks. Today, the DHS has over 200,000 employees making it the third largest department in the cabinet (the biggest employers are the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs). The formation of the DHS was the biggest government reorganization in US history, with 22 government agencies drawn into a single organization.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks who check passengers and baggage at airports.

59 Old Faithful’s st. : WYO

Old Faithful is a geyser in Yellowstone National Park. It erupts almost every 63 minutes on the nose, making it one of the most predictable geographic features on the planet. It was this predictability that led to the name “Old Faithful”. In the early days of Yellowstone’s existence as a park, the geyser was used as a laundry. Dirty linen clothing was placed in the geyser’s crater during the quiet period. The clothing was ejected during the eruption, thoroughly washed.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Roster entry : NAME
5 Opens, as a car hood : POPS
9 Letter-shaped opening : T-SLOT
14 Foundry by-product : SLAG
15 Army outfit : UNIT
16 __ squash : ACORN
17 Long tooth : FANG
18 Will of “The Waltons” : GEER
19 Vinaigrette holder : CRUET
20 First, Lucky plays the lottery and buys the __ : WINNING TICKET
23 “Price negotiable,” in ads : OBO
24 Soft drink choice : COLA
25 Then, Lucky goes to court and is awarded a __ : HUGE SETTLEMENT
32 Put up, as preserves : CAN
33 “Winter Song” musician John : TESH
34 Post-quake rumbling : TREMOR
35 Bear up? : URSA
37 Pride youngster : CUB
39 “That’s that!” : DONE!
40 Tennis great Graf : STEFFI
43 Goya subject : MAJA
46 Second-largest U.S. state : TEX
47 Finally, Lucky joins March Madness and fills out a __ : PERFECT BRACKET
50 Lascivious look : LEER
51 Letter after phi : CHI
52 What Lucky got, literally and figuratively, when his alarm clock put an end to a very pleasant dream : RUDE AWAKENING
58 Geeky type : DWEEB
60 Unresponsive state : COMA
61 Like a cloudy London day : GREY
62 “Laughing” critter : HYENA
63 Pre-event periods : EVES
64 Old-time teacher : MARM
65 Giant opening? : SOFT G
66 Rooms with TVs : DENS
67 Fades to black : ENDS

Down

1 “Careful where you open this link” shorthand : NSFW
2 Jai __ : ALAI
3 Grammy winner Aimee : MANN
4 Yuletide mugful : EGGNOG
5 Doglike facial feature : PUG NOSE
6 Universal donor’s type, briefly : O-NEG
7 Artist Mondrian : PIET
8 Not at all lenient : STRICT
9 Touchdown preventer, often : TACKLER
10 Reacted to a scare : SCREAMED
11 Ill-mannered type : LOUT
12 Tramcar filler : ORE
13 Source of blowups : TNT
21 “Fat chance” : I BET
22 Future stallion : COLT
25 “Tennessee’s Partner” story writer : HARTE
26 Racing family name : UNSER
27 PC abort key : ESC
28 Rule of __ : THUMB
29 Put on quite an act : EMOTE
30 Large chamber group : NONET
31 Monopoly token since Mar., 2017 : T REX
32 Transition point : CUSP
36 Rolling in dough : AFFLUENT
38 MacLaren’s on “How I Met Your Mother,” e.g. : BAR
41 Holder of oats : FEEDBAG
42 Drink with a polar bear mascot : ICEE
44 Jenny’s mate : JACKASS
45 Post-CrossFit woe : ACHE
48 Tracked down : TRACED
49 Checkers cry : KING ME!
52 Atoll barrier : REEF
53 Zigzagged : WOVE
54 “When you’re right, you’re right!” : AMEN!
55 Caspian Sea land : IRAN
56 Geeky type : NERD
57 Places with elliptical trainers : GYMS
58 Dept. that includes the TSA : DHS
59 Old Faithful’s st. : WYO

22 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 27 Nov 19, Wednesday”

    1. Not to be picky (he said, preparing to be picky 😜), but a “real” Natick requires that the intersecting entries be unknown to most people. I think Will GEER and PIET Mondrian would be known to many. (Ditto BAR and MAJA.) The question is, of course, “Who shall be empowered to declare a Natick?” Perhaps there should be a duly-elected Natick Commission … 😜.

  1. I knew BAR, PIET, BAR, MAJA. The area that prevented me from finishing was the NW, namely NSFW and MANN. Was the roster entry dAtE or NAME?

    Didn’t know GEER, but easy from crosses.
    Also, didn’t know TREX, but got from crosses. I knew they got rid of the iron. Haven’t used one in decades.

    Btw, Naticks were invented by Rex Parker. The question that threw him was about which towns the Boston Marathon passed through. The name is a pseudonym for a professor at SUNY Binghamton, Michael Sharp.

  2. 7:55, no errors. Didn’t know PIET, but remember Mr. Geer and the Waltons fondly from my youth. Fun theme, with no puns, trickery or “forcing” necessary. Nice Thanksgiving “appetizer”….

  3. Will Geer is (or was, if deceased) the grandfather on “The Waltons”, the
    long-running family TV show. Remember John Boy and Ralph Waite,
    who played the father and also Mark Harmon’s on CSI?

    In any case, we got both Tueaday and Wednesday’s and in pretty fast
    time for us. Today’s was a real fun one.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  4. 8:28. Late as well. Wow a T REX is now roaming the streets of a Monopoly board? What will the people in Atlantic City think of that??

    A bar is a place where you can go purchase and consume an adult beverage. I know this as I have been known to visit them on occasion. And I’ll steal Bill’s favorite bar joke:

    Two men walk into a bar. The third man ducks…

    Carrie – Agree on merengue. It is the music of the Dominican Republic…their fun stuff anyway. But how can you dislike salsa? It’s from Puerto Rico – the next island over. Merengue is a little faster, but otherwise I can barely tell them apart.

    Best –

    1. Kay –

      Two men walked into a bar. The third man ducked so as to not walk into the (perhaps steel) bar himself……

      Don’t kill the messenger

      Best –

  5. Fairly easy Wednesday for me; clocked in at 18 minutes with no errors, including a late hasty inclusion and only one re-write. Noticed I’d left out the H from Harte and added it at the last minute, while the computer was booting. Only had to fix MAyA.

    re Monopoly tokens – I was kind of surprised there was a T-Rex token, and apparently, according to Wiki, there are now Penguin and Rubber Duck tokens as well.

    @Jeff and Carrie – Well I’ll take Ska and Reggae (although not Reggae-tone, which is only pretty good) if we’re talking East Indies music. When Celia Cruz is doing Salsa, I sure like it. Just checked out some Merengue and it sounds good.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

  6. Greetings y’all!!🦆

    No errors. I almost missed SOFT G, cuz I had FEED BIN instead of BAG…. I remember that they did away with the iron on Monopoly. I figured today’s new token would be something modern, like a cell phone, and it turns out the opposite, something ancient!🤔

    I know PIET Mondrian from my twenties. I think you sometimes grow out of art that you loved as a kid. I used to be into the abstract expressionists; still admire the stuff but prefer just expressionism, without the abstract.

    Jeff!! I really do hate salsa, and it’s partly because it’s so popular among gringos!! If I tell an American I like Latin music they’ll say “Oh, salsa?” NO!! Really I find the rhythm of salsa too frenetic. Even merengue, which is so fast, has a smoother texture. Merengue and cumbias are of course related, and I love both. I’m going to try to link my fave cumbia….

    Dirk, I love ska but only sorta like reggae. Weird!!

    Be well~~🍸

  7. I think they are all naticks. I never heard of NFSW. I figured a roster entry was GAME.

    Not everyone watches/d How I met your mother or the Waltons and not everyone knows every artist that painted something special.

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