LA Times Crossword 8 Nov 19, Friday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: You, Be First!

Themed answers are common phrases including a word starting with U, but a B has been inserted before that U:

  • 17A Total confusion at the creamery? : BUTTER CHAOS (from “utter chaos”)
  • 30A Foot condition seen in oaters? : WESTERN BUNION (from ”Western Union”)
  • 35A Comparison of a motor coach to all other travel options? : BUS VERSUS THEM (from “us versus them”)
  • 52A Barista’s occupational hazards? : COFFEE BURNS (from “coffee urns”)

Bill’s time: 8m 50s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Long-nosed fish : GAR

“Gar” was originally the name given to a species of needlefish found in the North Atlantic. The term “gar” is now used to describe several species of fish with elongated bodies that inhabit North and Central America and the Caribbean. The gar is unusual in that it is often found in very brackish water. What I find interesting is that the gar’s swim bladders are vascularized so that they can actually function as lungs. Many species of gar can actually be seen coming to the surface and taking a gulp of air. This adaptation makes it possible for them to live in conditions highly unsuitable for other fish that rely on their gills to get oxygen out of the water. Indeed, quite interesting …

14 Burns wrote one on a louse : ODE

“To A Louse, On Seeing One on a Lady’s Bonnet at Church” is a 1786 poem by Scottish poet Robert Burns. With an unlikely subject, the narrator addresses a louse that he notices roaming around the bonnet of an upper-class lady in church.

O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion:
What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
An’ ev’n devotion!

A translation from Scots dialect is:

Oh, would some Power give us the gift
To see ourselves as others see us!
It would from many a blunder free us,
And foolish notion:
What airs in dress and gait would leave us,
And even devotion!

16 Tahiti, to Gauguin : ILE

In French, one might go to an “île” (island) in the middle of “l’océan” (the ocean).

Paul Gauguin was a French artist in the Post-Impressionist period. Gauguin was a great friend of Vincent van Gogh, and indeed was staying with him in Arles when van Gogh famously cut off his own ear. Equally famously, Gauguin “fled” to Tahiti in 1891 to escape the conventions of European life. He painted some of his most famous works on the island. After ten years living on Tahiti, Gauguin relocated to the Marquesas Islands, where he passed away in 1903.

19 Actor Cage, casually : NIC

Actor Nicolas “Nic” Cage was born Nicolas Coppola. Cage is the nephew of director Francis Ford Coppola and actress Talia Shire, both of whom are Nic Cage’s father’s siblings.

21 Fabled beast : ASS

Aesop used an ass in at least four of his fables:

  • The Ass and his Masters
  • The Ass and the Pig
  • The Ass Carrying an Image
  • The Ass in the Lion’s Skin

22 Golden __ : AGER

A golden ager is a senior citizen.

25 “The L Word” co-creator Chaiken : ILENE

Ilene Chaiken was the executive producer for the Showtime drama series “The L Word”. The show deals with lesbian, bisexual and transgender people living in West Hollywood. The title refers to “the L word”: lesbian.

26 Giant among Giants : OTT

At 5′ 9″, baseball legend Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don’t think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old. And, according to Wikipedia, “Ott’s name frequently appears in crossword puzzles, on account of its letter combination and brevity.” True that …

27 Alicia Keys record label : RCA

“Alicia Keys” is the stage name of Alicia Cook, an R&B and soul singer from Hell’s Kitchen in New York City.

30 Foot condition seen in oaters? : WESTERN BUNION (from ”Western Union”)

A bunion is a deformity that can develop in the joint connecting the big toe to the foot. A similar condition that affects the little toe is referred to as a bunionette, or Tailor’s bunion. The latter name arose when the affliction was attributed to sitting cross-legged, a posture adopted by many tailors of old.

Western Union dominated the telegram business from the 1850s until the service was discontinued in 2006.

34 Checked the latest blog entry, say : READ A POST

Many folks who visit this website regard it as just that, a website. That is true, but more specifically it is referred to as a blog, as I make regular posts (actually daily posts) that then occupy the “front page” of the site. The blog entries are in reverse chronological order, and one can just look back day-by-day, reading older and older posts. “Blog” is a contraction of the term “web log”.

35 Comparison of a motor coach to all other travel options? : BUS VERSUS THEM (from “us versus them”)

We use the term “bus” for a mode of transportation, as it is an abbreviated form of the original “omnibus”. We imported “omnibus” via French from Latin, in which language it means “for all”. The idea is that an omnibus is a “carriage for all”.

39 Gershwin classic : SWANEE

“Swanee” was written in 1919 by George Gershwin. Gershwin was very young at the time and came up with the music in just ten minutes while riding on a Manhattan bus. Al Jolson was already a star, and he heard Gershwin playing the song at a party. Jolson made a deal to include the song in his show “Sinbad”, and then “Swanee” just took off.

41 Ike’s WWII command : ETO

General Dwight D. Eisenhower (“Ike”) was in command of the European Theater of Operations (ETO) during WWII. If you’re a WWII buff like me, then I recommend you take a look at a great, made-for-TV movie starring Tom Selleck as Eisenhower called “Ike: Countdown to D-Day” that came out in 2004.

42 Prefix with laryngology : OTO-

The branch of medicine known as “ear, nose and throat” (ENT) is more correctly called “otolaryngology”.

43 Throws the game : TANKS

Apparently, the first use of the verb “to tank” to mean “to lose or fail” can be pinpointed quite precisely. Tennis great Billie Jean King used the verb in that sense in an interview with “Life” magazine in 1967, with reference to male players. A more specific use of “tanking” in recent years is “deliberately losing” a contest.

47 Synagogue storage cabinets : ARKS

The Torah ark is found in a synagogue, and is the ornamental container in which are stored the Torah scrolls. The word “Torah” best translates as “teaching” or “law”, I am told.

48 T’ai __ : CHI

More correctly called “t‘ai chi ch‘uan”, tai chi is a martial art that is mostly practiced to improve overall health and increase longevity.

51 TX library honoree : LBJ

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library is located beside the LBJ School of Public Affairs building of the University of Texas at Austin. The library opened in 1971 with a ceremony attended by President Johnson and President Nixon. To me, the library looks a bit like a bunker from the outside, but soon after after entering, visiting are presented with a very, very impressive grand staircase.

52 Barista’s occupational hazards? : COFFEE BURNS (from “coffee urns”)

A barista is a person who serves coffee in a coffee shop. “Barista” is Italian for “bartender”.

54 “Don’t Bring Me Down” gp. : ELO

“Don’t Bring Me Down” was the biggest hit that the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) had in the US. The song was dedicated to NASA’s Skylab, which reentered the earth’s orbit in 1979, the same year the song was released.

55 Fur-loving de Vil : CRUELLA

Cruella de Vil is the villain in the 1956 novel “The Hundred and One Dalmatians” written by Dodie Smith. Most famously perhaps, Cruella was played so ably by Glenn Close in the Disney movie adaption “101 Dalmatians”, released in 1996.

56 “Who __?”: New Orleans Saints chant : DAT

The entire community of fans of the New Orleans Saints are sometimes referred to as the “Who Dat Nation”. The name comes from a popular chant heard at a Saints game:

Who dat?
Who dat?
Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?

57 Lee follower : REB

Robert E. Lee was perhaps the most famous southern officer in the Civil War. Lee was a somewhat reluctant participant in the war in that he opposed the secession of his home state of Virginia from the Union. At the beginning of the war, President Lincoln invited Lee to take command of the whole Union Army but he declined, choosing instead to stay loyal to his home state. During the Civil War, Lee’s men referred to him affectionately as “Marse Robert”, with “marse” being slang for “master”.

Down

5 Frying medium : LARD

Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called suet. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be rendered or purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call lard. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as tallow.

6 It’s NW of QWERTY : ESC

There is an alternative to the annoying QWERTY keyboard layout. Dr. August Dvorak came up with a much simpler and more efficient layout in 1936. The Dvorak layout is supposed to allow faster typing rates and to reduce repetitive strain injuries.

7 Allen of Vermont : ETHAN

Ethan Allen was one of the founders of the state of Vermont. Allen was also a hero in the American Revolutionary War, famous for leading (along with Benedict Arnold) the small band of men known as the Green Mountain Boys that captured Fort Ticonderoga. And yes, the Ethan Allen store and furniture line is named for Ethan Allen the patriot, even though he had nothing to do with the furniture business.

8 “See the ___ clear’d, and then we will depart”: “King Henry VI” : COAST

“Henry VI” is a set of three plays by William Shakespeare that deal with the life of King Henry VI of England. Many scholars agree that “Henry VI” was co-authored by Shakespeare with Chrisotpher Marloe, and possibly also with Thomas Nashe.

9 Grandson of Adam : ENOS

Enos was the son of Seth, and therefore the grandson of Adam and Eve. According to the ancient Jewish work called the Book of Jubilees, Enos married his own sister Noam.

10 __ Arc, Arkansas : DES

The city of Des Arc, Arkansas takes its name from the Bayou des Arc located two miles to the north. The term “arc” is French for “curve, bow”.

18 State hwy., often : TPK

Back in the 15th century, a turnpike (tpk.) was a defensive barrier across a road. By the 17th century the term was used for a barrier that stopped travelers until a toll was paid. By the 18th century a turnpike was the name given to a road with a toll.

22 “Jo’s Boys” author : ALCOTT

Louisa May Alcott’s “Jo’s Boys” is a sequel to her novel “Little Men”, which in turn is a sequel to “Little Women”. “Jo’s Boys” is the final book in the trilogy.

24 “Storage Wars” network : A AND E

“Storage Wars” is a reality TV show about buyers looking for great deals when storage lockers are opened and the contents auctioned off due to non-payment of rent.

27 Brand munched by E.T. : REESE’S

In the 1982 movie “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”, young Elliott lures E.T. into his house by leaving a trail of Reese’s Pieces candy. Such was the success of the film, that Hershey saw a significant and enduring increase in sales of Reese’s Pieces. Apparently, producers first sought permission to use M&M’s in the scene, but Mars, Incorporated refused.

36 E.M. Forster’s “__ End” : HOWARD’S

“Howards End” is a 1920 novel written by E. M. Forster. Emma Thompson won an Oscar for playing Margaret Schlegel in the excellent 1992 film adaptation.

40 Emulate a nightingale : WARBLE

The nightingale is a small bird noted for having a powerful and beautiful song. The name “nightingale” comes from “night” and the Old English word “galan” meaning “to sing”. The nightingale song is often heard at night, as well as during the day, hence the name.

45 Played a piccolo-like instrument : FIFED

The piccolo is a woodwind instrument that looks like a small flute. Piccolos play one octave higher than flutes, and so the instrument is known by Italian musicians as an “ottavino”, Italian for “little octave”. “Piccolo” is Italian for “small”.

46 Needle front? : ACU-

Acupressure and acupuncture are related alternative medical techniques. Both aim to clear blockages in the flow of life energy through the body’s meridians. The treatment is given by stimulating “acupoints” in the body, by applying pressure in the case of acupressure, and by applying needles in the case of acupuncture.

48 “Downton Abbey” countess : CORA

In the incredibly successful period drama “Downton Abbey”, the patriarch of the family living at Downton is Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham or Lord Grantham. The character is played by Hugh Bonneville. Lord Grantham married American Cora Levinson (played by Elizabeth McGovern). Lord and Lady Grantham had three daughters, and no sons. The lack of a male heir implied that the Grantham estate would pass to a male cousin, and out of the immediate family. The Grantham daughters are Lady Mary (played by Michelle Dockery), Lady Edith (played by Laura Carmichael) and Lady Sybil (played by Jessica Brown Findlay). Lady Sybil had the audacity to marry the family chauffeur, who was an Irish nationalist. The shame of it all …

50 StubHub parent : EBAY

StubHub is an online ticket exchange business that is owned by eBay. StubHub acts as the middleman between buyers and sellers of event tickets, whether those buyers and sellers are individuals or large organizations.

52 IV units : CCS

Cubic centimeter (cc)

53 2003 holiday film : ELF

“Elf” is a comedy movie that was released for the 2003 Christmas season. “Elf” was directed by Jon Favreau and stars Will Ferrell in the title role, with James Caan supporting and Ed Asner playing Santa Claus. It’s all about one of Santa’s elves who finds out he is human and goes to meet his father in New York City.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Long-nosed fish : GAR
4 Took to the cleaners : FLEECED
11 With 29-Down, anticipates potential trouble : HAS …
14 Burns wrote one on a louse : ODE
15 “After this, no more questions” : LAST ONE
16 Tahiti, to Gauguin : ILE
17 Total confusion at the creamery? : BUTTER CHAOS (from “utter chaos”)
19 Actor Cage, casually : NIC
20 Avoided a family affair, perhaps : ELOPED
21 Fabled beast : ASS
22 Golden __ : AGER
23 Carefree adventure : LARK
24 Little tunneler : ANT
25 “The L Word” co-creator Chaiken : ILENE
26 Giant among Giants : OTT
27 Alicia Keys record label : RCA
29 Without markup : AT COST
30 Foot condition seen in oaters? : WESTERN BUNION (from ”Western Union”)
34 Checked the latest blog entry, say : READ A POST
35 Comparison of a motor coach to all other travel options? : BUS VERSUS THEM (from “us versus them”)
39 Gershwin classic : SWANEE
41 Ike’s WWII command : ETO
42 Prefix with laryngology : OTO-
43 Throws the game : TANKS
44 O’er and o’er : OFT
46 Thunderstruck : AWED
47 Synagogue storage cabinets : ARKS
48 T’ai __ : CHI
49 Compassionate words : WE CARE
51 TX library honoree : LBJ
52 Barista’s occupational hazards? : COFFEE BURNS (from “coffee urns”)
54 “Don’t Bring Me Down” gp. : ELO
55 Fur-loving de Vil : CRUELLA
56 “Who __?”: New Orleans Saints chant : DAT
57 Lee follower : REB
58 Beach pest : SANDFLY
59 “You __ devil!” : SLY

Down

1 Visit the engine room, perhaps : GO BELOW
2 Put on a pedestal : ADULATE
3 Sharp answers : RETORTS
4 Head for the hills : FLEE
5 Frying medium : LARD
6 It’s NW of QWERTY : ESC
7 Allen of Vermont : ETHAN
8 “See the ___ clear’d, and then we will depart”: “King Henry VI” : COAST
9 Grandson of Adam : ENOS
10 __ Arc, Arkansas : DES
11 Require for success : HINGE ON
12 Ones from afar : ALIENS
13 It may be hard to keep : SECRET
18 State hwy., often : TPK
22 “Jo’s Boys” author : ALCOTT
24 “Storage Wars” network : A AND E
25 “I speak the truth” : IT IS SO
27 Brand munched by E.T. : REESE’S
28 Want badly : CRAVE
29 See 11-Across : … AN OUT
31 Boxer’s boxers : TRUNKS
32 Gold __ : BAR
33 Agitated : UPSET
35 Many a heist : BANK JOB
36 E.M. Forster’s “__ End” : HOWARD’S
37 Opposite of momentary : ETERNAL
38 Reason for a cover-up? : MODESTY
39 Less fresh : STALER
40 Emulate a nightingale : WARBLE
44 “Whoop-de-doo” : OH FUN
45 Played a piccolo-like instrument : FIFED
46 Needle front? : ACU-
48 “Downton Abbey” countess : CORA
49 Deftly : WELL
50 StubHub parent : EBAY
52 IV units : CCS
53 2003 holiday film : ELF

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 8 Nov 19, Friday”

  1. I didn’t do badly — just under 17 minutes.
    But Bill says “Today’s Reveal Answer — You, Be First”.
    I see that they’re putting a B before a U to get the answers, but what is a reveal answer and where does Bill get “You, Be First”?

    1. Hi Wayne. My theory is that Bill was just having some fun, (and maybe paying homage to it) with the Bee language, as in U C D B? I C D B! But, then again, maybe not?

      I thought this was a fair challenge for a Friday. I struggled for awhile with the NE corner as I tried to come up with “hinge on”, but it finally clicked and I was done.

  2. @Wayne – U, B first.

    I managed to have no Googles, no errors on a Friday. But I guessed at many: IRENE, RCA, ELO, DAT, COAST, DES, ACU, CORA, EBAY.

    Loved the theme.

  3. 18:06. These things always seem tougher after a couple of days off. Clever theme – especially making all the extra letters B’s.

    Seems like a pretty foolish decision by Mars to keep their product, M&M’s, out of E.T.

    Arrived home last night exactly 47 hours after leaving for a red eye to Houston. Only slept one night. I was in one of those awful situations on the plane ride home where I was too tired to read or do anything to pass the time, but I wasn’t tired enough to sleep. I tried doing last Sunday’s LAT crossword and I couldn’t make sense of or fill in anything so I just put it down. I just kind of sat there in a daze for 4 hours. No more travel this calendar year except for a vacation next month.

    Best –

  4. The NE was the last section I finished. Had a lot of trouble with it. Had “saw” an out, before changing to “had” an out. But did get it fixed finally. Wechsler’s puzzles are always challenging but fun too!

  5. 24 mins, 3 sec before I finally wrestled this one to the ground. 2 errors that it took the online “Check” feature to solve. For the life of me, I couldn’t see the cross of SANDFLY and ELF. Some of these clues were *brutal*. Just horrible.

  6. This was a toughie for me. As I don’t do eBay I wasn’t familiar with
    Stubhub and did Google it for help. Ended up with no errors but wish
    I hadn’t had to do the Google thing.

  7. Fun clever Friday for me; took about 35 minutes with no errors. “H” from HAS/HINGEON took about 5 minutes…sheesh. I kept on filling in the theme answers and couldn’t figure out the theme until I got to BUS VERSUS THEM.

    Just had to change FIFEr as the rest were careful guesses and crosses.

  8. HIYA folks!!🦆

    Had to peek to get BUTTER CHAOS and escape that NW corner. Other than that the puzzle went smoothly….Mary, I also wound up wishing I hadn’t looked up the one word, as I managed the rest of the grid without errors.

    Good puzzle. I like Weschler– a lot of abbreviations and initials in this one, which is unusual for him, but at least I knew them all.😁

    I love E. M. Forster’s novels, especially “A Passage to India” and the beautiful novella “Maurice.” Those two stuck with me more than “Howard’s End.”

    Jeff!! You poor guy– get some rest this weekend!!👍

    Be well ~~🍹🍷🍸🍺

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.