LA Times Crossword 18 Jan 20, Saturday

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Constructed by: Ed Sessa
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 8m 12s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Indian anna, e.g. : COIN

The anna (also “ana”) was a unit of currency used by both India and Pakistan, until India discontinued its use in 1957, and Pakistan in 1961. Introduced in 1938, the anna coin was valued at 1/16 of a rupee.

5 Baked potato topping : CHIVES

Chives are the smallest species of edible onion, and a favorite of mine.

11 Billy the Kid preceder? : AKA

Also known as (aka)

I’m guessing that the notorious Wild West outlaw Billy the Kid was of Irish stock as his family name was McCarty. Although he usually used the alias William H. Bonney, another indication of an Irish connection is that he also went by William Antrim, Henry Antrim and Kid Antrim, as Antrim is one of the six counties in the north of Ireland.

15 Play with Freudian implications : OEDIPUS REX

“Oedipus Rex” (also “Oedipus the King”) is a tragedy penned by the Ancient Greek playwright Sophocles. The play tells the story of Oedipus, a man who becomes king of Thebes. Famously, Oedipus was destined from birth to murder his father and marry his mother.

An oedipal relationship is one in which a child exhibits sexual desire for the parent of the opposite sex. A child exhibiting such behavior is said to have an Oedipus complex, named for the play “Oedipus Rex” by Sophocles.

18 Freudian component of 15-Across : PRIMAL URGE
(15 Play with Freudian implications : OEDIPUS REX)

According to Freudian psychology, we have an instinctive sexual appetite that develops in five phases, named for the erogenous zones that are the source of the drive in each phase. They are:

  1. the oral stage (~ 0-2 years)
  2. the anal stage (~ 1-3 years)
  3. the phallic stage (~ 3-6 years)
  4. the latency stage (~ 6 years – puberty)
  5. the genital stage ( ~ puberty – adult life)

I’m not so sure …

21 Whale fare : KRILL

Krill are small, shrimp-like crustaceans that live in the oceans. Krill feed on plankton, and in turn, krill are the main part of the diet of larger animals such as whales, seals and penguins. There’s an awful lot of krill in the world, an estimated 500,000,000 tonnes of it. That’s about twice the biomass of humans on the planet!

23 1989-’90 Broadway one-man show : TRU

“Tru” was written by Jay Presson Allen and is a one-man play about Truman Capote that premiered in 1989. There is a classic anachronism in the piece. It is set in Capote’s New York City apartment at Christmas 1975. At one point the Capote character talks about suicide, saying that he has enough pills to stage his own Jonestown Massacre. The Jonestown Massacre didn’t happen until three years later, in 1978.

28 Serial standout : SOAP STAR

The original soap operas were radio dramas back in the fifties. Given the structure of society back then, the daytime broadcasts were aimed at women working in the home as housewives. For some reason the sponsors of those radio shows, and the television shows that followed, were soap manufacturers like Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers. And that’s how the “soap” opera got its name …

30 Short rules? : REGS

Regulation (reg.)

31 Enjoyed a parlor game : SHOT POOL

That would be a billiard parlor.

The more correct name for the game of pool is “pocket billiards”. The designation “pool” arose after pocket billiards became a common feature in “pool halls”, places where gamblers “pooled” their money to bet on horse races.

33 Market research pioneer : NIELSEN

Arthur Nielsen founded his Nielsen Media Research company to track brand advertising. He quickly moved into market analysis of radio audiences in the thirties, and today the company is famous for tracking television audiences. I remember watching the last episode of the TV series “Becker”, in which Ted Danson played a doctor. Given that the show had been ordered off the air due to declining viewership, there’s a great line in the last episode when Becker asks for the chart of a patient called “Nielsen”. He looks at the lab results and announces “I don’t know what everyone is talking about … these numbers aren’t so bad!” Great stuff …

37 Actress who voiced Duchess in “The Aristocats” : EVA GABOR

Eva Gabor was the youngest of the Gabor sisters, all three of whom were celebrated Hollywood actresses and socialites (her siblings were Zsa-Zsa and Magda). One of Eva’s claims to fame is the unwitting promotion of the game called “Twister”, the sales of which were languishing in 1966. In an appearance on “The Tonight Show” she got on all fours and played the game with Johnny Carson. Sales took off immediately, and Twister became a huge hit.

“The Aristocats” is a 1970 Disney animated feature film. Although it was a box office success, my impression is that “The Aristocats” isn’t viewed much anymore …

40 Contemporary of le Carré : DEIGHTON

I used to walk my dog right past author Len Deighton’s house years ago, as we lived in the same seaside village in Ireland (probably my only claim to “fame”). Deighton wrote the excellent espionage thriller “The IPCRESS File”, which was made into a 1965 movie starring Michael Caine.

“John le Carré” is the pen name of David Cornwell, an English author who is famous for his spy novels. Cornwell worked for British Intelligence during the fifties and sixties, even as he was writing his spy thrillers. He left MI6 soon after his most famous 1963 novel “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold”, became such a great success.

41 Movie character who might say 3-Down : ZORBA
(3D “No clue” : IT’S ALL GREEK TO ME)

The film “Zorba the Greek” and the musical “Zorba” are adaptations of the 1952 novel “Zorba the Greek” by Nikos Kazantzakis. The 1964 film version stars Anthony Quinn in the title role, and Alan Bates. The movie is set and was filmed on location on the island of Crete, the home of author Kazantzakis.

43 Texting nicety : THX

Thanks (thx)

47 Propaganda tactics : BIG LIES

In 1622, Pope Gregory XV established a committee of cardinals charged with “propagating the faith”, with responsibility for missions aimed at growing the Roman Catholic Church. The committee was called “Congregation de Propaganda Fide”, using the Latin word “propaganda”, the feminine gerund of the verb “propagare” meaning “to propagate”. In the 18th century, the word “propaganda” from the committee’s name came to describe dissemination of a doctrine in general. During WWII, the term developed a negative connotation, which exists to this day.

55 “I kissed thee __ I killed thee”: Othello : ERE

“I kissed thee ere I killed thee, no way but this, Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.” is a line from Shakespeare’s “Othello”. The words are spoken by Othello as he kisses his wife Desdemona, whom he has just strangled, and then takes his own life in repentance.

56 Govt. savings vehicles discontinued in 1980 : E BONDS

Series E Savings Bonds were introduced in 1941, just before the start of WWII, as “defense bonds”. After the attack on Pearl Harbor they became known as “war bonds”.

57 “Red Balloon” painter : KLEE

Artist Paul Klee was born in Switzerland, but studied art in Munich in Germany. You can see many of Klee’s works in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. If you get to Bern in Switzerland, even more of them can be seen at the Zentrum Paul Klee that was opened in 2005. Klee’s most celebrated work is his pointillist painting from 1932 called “Ad Parnassum”, which is owned by the Kunstmuseum, also located in Bern.

Down

3 “No clue” : IT’S ALL GREEK TO ME

The phrase “it’s all Greek to me” is used to describe something that is difficult to understand. It’s possible that idiom’s use in English comes from an old Latin phrase “Graecum est; non legitur” (It is Greek; it cannot be read). The first use recorded in English dates back to 1599 when it appears in William Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar” in lines spoken by Casca:

Nay, an I tell you that, I’ll ne’er look you i’ the face again: but those that understood him smiled at one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me.

6 German title : HERR

In German, a “Herr” (Mr.) is married to a “Frau” (Mrs.), and they live together in a “Haus” (house).

7 Forest’s Oscar role : IDI

“The Last King of Scotland” is a 2006 film adaptation of a 1998 novel of the same name by Giles Foden. The story tells of a Scottish doctor (played by James McAvoy) who was employed by Idi Amin (played by Forest Whitaker). The title of the piece comes from the fact that Idi Amin offered his services as King of Scotland, should he ever be needed.

Actor Forest Whitaker’s most celebrated role was playing Idi Amin in the 2006 movie “The Last King of Scotland”. Whitaker has appeared in an awful lot of successful films, including “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (1982), “Platoon” (1986), “Good Morning, Vietnam” (1987), “Panic Room” (2002), and “The Butler” (2013). My personal favorite is “The Crying Game” (1992) …

8 Drive : VIM

“Vim” and “pep” are words that both mean “energy, power”.

9 Acid Rain Program org. : EPA

Acid rain is any precipitation that is unusually acidic. The acidity in rain mainly comes from sulfur dioxide that is discharged into the atmosphere from industrial plants and volcanic eruptions.

11 Carousel location : ARRIVAL TERMINAL

Apparently, the baggage carousel was developed by a French company. The first installation was in Paris Orly Airport in the 1950s.

12 Seeker of turkeys in alleys? : KEGLER

A kegler is a person who plays ten-pin bowling. “Kegel” is a German word meaning “bowling pin”.

There is a suggestion that the use of the term “turkey” to describe three strikes in a row in bowling arose in the late 1700s. Playing conditions back them made it very difficult to bowl one strike, never mind three. Also, prizes awarded were often items of food. A values prize, particularly around Thanksgiving, was a turkey, and it was awarded for bowling three strikes in a row.

13 Eponymous jumps : AXELS

An axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. The maneuver was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

20 Hanoi holiday : TET

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

Hanoi (“Hà Nội” in Vietnamese) was the capital of North Vietnam, and Saigon the capital of South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, Hanoi was made capital of the reunified state. Saigon, the larger metropolis, was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi is located in the delta of the Red River, and is just over 50 miles from the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea.

35 “Punch buggy” in a car trip game : VW BEETLE

“VW” stands for “Volkswagen”, which translates from German into “people’s car”. The original Volkswagen design was the Beetle and was built under a directive from Adolf Hitler, who wanted a cheap car built that ordinary people could afford to purchase. Hitler awarded the contract to engineer Ferdinand Porsche, whose name (paradoxically) would forever be associated with high performance, expensive cars. The Beetle was the official name of the VW model released in North America, but it was usually referred to as a “Bug” here in the US, and a “Beetle” elsewhere in the world.

“Punch buggy” is a game played by kids riding in a car. The idea is that players punch each in the arm when they spot a Volkswagen Beetle on the road.

38 “25 Words or Less” host Meredith : VIEIRA

Meredith Vieira is journalist and television personality. Vieira had a regular gig on “The View” and NBC’s “Today” show. She also took over from Regis Philbin as host of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”.

“25 Words or Less” is a game show that is based on the board game of the same name. Hosted by Meredith Vieira, the show first aired in 2018.

39 Wells predator : MORLOCK

In the 1895 novella by H. G. Wells called “The Time Machine”, there are two races that the hero encounter in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet’s surface. The Morlocks are a domineering race living underground who use the Eloi as food.

40 Who on TV, with “the” : … DOCTOR

The iconic science-fiction television show “Doctor Who” first aired in 1963 on the BBC, and relaunched in 2005. The relaunched series is produced in-house by the BBC in Cardiff in Wales, the location that is the setting of the successful “Doctor Who” spin-off called “Torchwood”. The new show is about the Cardiff branch of the Torchwood Institute which investigates incidents involving extraterrestrials. Why “Torchwood”? Well, “Torchwood” is an anagram of “Doctor Who”.

46 Archibald of the NBA : NATE

Nate Archibald is a retired basketball player who played mainly for the Kansas City Kings and the Boston Celtics. Archibald could get the ball in the basket, but was also willing to pass to a teammate when advantageous. He is the only player to lead the league in assists and scoring in the same season.

47 Cowboys’ city, familiarly : BIG D

“Big D” is a nickname for the city of Dallas, Texas.

The Dallas Cowboys play in the National Football Conference (NFC) of the NFL. The Cowboys are famous for a lengthy streak of 20 consecutive winning seasons, from 1966 to 1985. They are the highest-valued sports franchise in the country. The only team in the world that’s worth more money is the UK’s Manchester United soccer team.

51 Taboo : BAN

The word “taboo” was introduced into English by Captain Cook in his book “A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean”. Cook described “tabu” (likely imitative of a Tongan word that he had heard) as something that was both consecrated and forbidden.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Indian anna, e.g. : COIN
5 Baked potato topping : CHIVES
11 Billy the Kid preceder? : AKA
14 It’s tossed into a pot : ANTE
15 Play with Freudian implications : OEDIPUS REX
17 Result of spilling the beans : MESS
18 Freudian component of 15-Across : PRIMAL URGE
19 Catering preparation : PLATTER
21 Whale fare : KRILL
22 Jam-packed : FILLED
23 1989-’90 Broadway one-man show : TRU
26 Gift-wrapping occasions : EVES
27 Arm of the sea : INLET
28 Serial standout : SOAP STAR
30 Short rules? : REGS
31 Enjoyed a parlor game : SHOT POOL
32 Stumble : ERR
33 Market research pioneer : NIELSEN
34 Suitable for family viewing : TV-G
37 Actress who voiced Duchess in “The Aristocats” : EVA GABOR
39 Cry over spilt milk? : MEWL
40 Contemporary of le Carré : DEIGHTON
41 Movie character who might say 3-Down : ZORBA
42 Facebook nudge : POKE
43 Texting nicety : THX
44 Finalized, with “up” : FIRMED …
45 Join the cast of : ACT IN
47 Propaganda tactics : BIG LIES
48 It’s usually stuffed on planes : STORAGE BIN
52 Suspicious of : ONTO
53 Garden support : TOMATO CAGE
54 Storm preceder, at times : CALM
55 “I kissed thee __ I killed thee”: Othello : ERE
56 Govt. savings vehicles discontinued in 1980 : E BONDS
57 “Red Balloon” painter : KLEE

Down

1 Hand warmer only used outdoors : CAMPFIRE
2 Little crack : ONE-LINER
3 “No clue” : IT’S ALL GREEK TO ME
4 Settles softly : NESTLES
5 Managed to get by : COPED
6 German title : HERR
7 Forest’s Oscar role : IDI
8 Drive : VIM
9 Acid Rain Program org. : EPA
10 Have a pouty face : SULK
11 Carousel location : ARRIVAL TERMINAL
12 Seeker of turkeys in alleys? : KEGLER
13 Eponymous jumps : AXELS
16 Gonna : SURE TO
20 Hanoi holiday : TET
23 Hobbyist’s organizer : TOOLBOX
24 Fingers : RATS ON
25 __ deck : UPPER
28 Scabbard : SHEATH
29 Dad bud, often : SON
31 Tourist attraction : SIGHT
33 Badger or hound : NAG
35 “Punch buggy” in a car trip game : VW BEETLE
36 Full of joy : GLADSOME
38 “25 Words or Less” host Meredith : VIEIRA
39 Wells predator : MORLOCK
40 Who on TV, with “the” : … DOCTOR
41 Turn sharply : ZIG
42 It holds things together : PASTE
44 Ticket prices? : FINES
46 Archibald of the NBA : NATE
47 Cowboys’ city, familiarly : BIG D
49 Lump : GOB
50 Green opening : ECO-
51 Taboo : BAN

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 18 Jan 20, Saturday”

  1. After straightening out “bowler” and “play pool” for the correct answers of “kegler” and “shot pool” this grid finally came to a successful conclusion. Once again I’ll freely admit to being cowed by Bill’s solve time of 8 minutes and change. Not too shabby, Mr. Bill!

    And now on to the WSJ 21 X 21.

  2. I’m also amazed at Bills finish time of 8 min.and change “WOW”
    At any rate, todays puzzle was challenging but enjoyable.

    Eddie

  3. 35:33 no errors….My dad was a bowling alley manager in Baltimore for many years and I also worked part time there when I was still in school..I have never heard the term Kegler before to the best of my recollection….We were however in a duckpin city and that could account for it.

  4. 17:09. My first crossword in a week or more, but it turned out ok. I’ve been accepting too much work lately, and I’ll be swamped for the next few months. Never again will I do this to myself…..I hope.

    Once I got ITS ALL GREEK… the rest of the puzzle finished quickly. Anyone else try to spell NIELSoN with an O at first?

    I went to a few KEGLER parties in college, but I don’t remember anything to do with bowling 🙂

    The game I remember was called “Zip”. Seeing a VW BEETLE was 1 point, a Super Beetle was 2 points, a Karmann-Ghia was 6 points and VW van was 10 points. Good game for kids on road trips.

    Incidentally I saw a Karmann-Ghia on the road a few days ago for the first time in years (decades?) I looked it up and the first ones were made in 1957 and they stopped in 1974. Still a pretty cool looking car even in 2020.

    Best –

  5. Hard to imagine a more USELESS set of clues to manufacture the Saturday difficulty for this one. DNF, less than 30%.

  6. Tough Saturday for me; finished in a bit more than an hour with two errors. I guessed pEGLEg as a pirate looking for turkeys to shanghai in alleys, even if SOAPSTAg didn’t make sense.

    I didn’t think I had a chance on this, but all the clues were fair and there wasn’t undue reliance on proper nouns. Guessed on it’s a mystery to me, until I got Zorba. GLADSOME is a new one for me. Should have had KEGLER, since my grandmother used to go keggling every week when I visited her in Germany.

    The middle was inordinately difficult for me, until I just put in SHEATH and SHOTPOOL. That lead to EVAGABOR…etc

  7. Hello folks!!🦆

    YAY! No errors. Had my doubts about finishing this one but it came together. Didn’t know KEGLER, NATE, or MORLOCK. I remember ELOI from past puzzles but of course that didn’t work… wrong term! Thanks to Bill’s write-up I now know who’s who in the Time Machine, so no need to read it…😊

    Jeff re O instead of E– yep!!

    Excellent grid.

    Be well ~~🍹

    1. I was seriously slowed down by “bowler” instead of “kegler,” “play pool” instead of “shot pool,” “primal fear” instead of “”primal urge,” and most problematical, “piddiddle” instead of “VW Beetle” for “punch buggy.”

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