LA Times Crossword 19 Oct 20, Monday

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Constructed by: Craig Stowe
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Twist-Tops

Themed answers each start with a TWISTED, an anagram of, “TOPS”:

  • 64A Easy-to-remove caps … or one way to get the starts of the answers to starred clues? : TWIST-TOPS
  • 17A *Chooses not to partake in : OPTS OUT OF
  • 25A *Random quality-control measure : SPOT-CHECK
  • 30A *Often herky-jerky animation technique : STOP MOTION
  • 45A *Rainbow-end rewards : POTS OF GOLD
  • 50A *Lickety-split : POSTHASTE

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 5m 18s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

13 Zero, in soccer : NIL

Soccer (also known as “association football”) is the most popular sport in the world. The term “association football” was introduced in 1863 in England, with the name chosen to distinguish the sport from rugby football. The term “soccer” started to appear about 20 years later in Oxford, as an abbreviation for “association”.

14 “Star Trek” communications officer : UHURA

Lt. Nyota Uhura is the communications officer in the original “Star Trek” television series, and is played by Nichelle Nichols. The role is significant in that Uhura was one of the first African American characters to figure front and center in US television. In a 1968 episode, Kirk (played by William Shatner) and Uhura kiss, the first interracial kiss to be broadcast in the US. Apparently the scene was meant to be shot twice, with and without the kiss, so that network executives could later decide which version to air. William Shatner claims that he deliberately ran long on the first take (with the kiss) and fluffed the hurried second take (without the kiss), so that the network would have no choice.

16 Crosswise, shipwise : ABEAM

The beam is the widest part of a nautical vessel. Something pointed out as lying “abeam” is something that is 90 degrees from a line through the bow and the stern, in other words directly off to the right or the left.

19 Cocoon occupant : LARVA

The larva is an intermediate stage in the development of an insect. All four stages are embryo, larva, pupa and imago. “Larva” is a Latin word that can translate as “mask”. The term is used in the context of insects as the larval stage can “mask” the appearance of the adult.

Strictly speaking, the term “cocoon” only applies to the tough outer casing created by moth caterpillars. Butterfly caterpillars protect themselves in a hard outer skin to form a pupa known as a chrysalis. But, butterfly caterpillars don’t go the extra step by spinning a silky cocoon. Famously, silk thread comes from silk cocoons created by silkworms, which mature into silk moths.

20 Six-sided state : UTAH

When viewed on a map of the US, the state of Utah has six sides. It’s almost shaped like a rectangle, but there is a “bite” out of that rectangle in the northeast corner of the state.

22 Part of PTA: Abbr. : ASSOC

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

23 North or South Asian country : KOREA

Korea was occupied by the Japanese military from 1910 until Japan surrendered at the end of WWII in 1945. While the UN was working towards a trusteeship administration for Korea, the Soviet Union managed the Korean Peninsula north of the 38th parallel and the US managed the south. The UN’s plans came to naught as the Cold War dictated the establishment of the two separate states of North Korea and South Korea. North Korea invaded the South in 1950, leading to the Korean War. After three years of fighting, the border between the two states became the demarcation line between the two military forces on the day the Armistice Agreement was signed. That line runs diagonally across the 38th parallel, and is better known as the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

27 Actress Behrs of “2 Broke Girls” : BETH

Actress Beth Behrs is best known for playing one of the leads in the sitcom “2 Broke Girls”. Behrs married fellow actor Michael Gladis in 2018. Gladis is best known for playing Paul Kinsey on the TV drama “Mad Men”.

“2 Broke Girls” is a sitcom about two young ladies sharing an apartment in Brooklyn, and their attempts to launch a cupcake business. The title characters are played by Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs.

39 Scarecrow material : HAY

Hay is dried grass that is stored for use as animal fodder. Straw consists of the dried stalks of cereal plants, the residue left after the grain and chaff have been removed. Straw can also be used as animal fodder, as well as fuel, bedding and thatch.

45 *Rainbow-end rewards : POTS OF GOLD

A leprechaun is a mischievous fairy of Irish folklore. Traditionally, leprechauns spend their days making shoes and hide all their money in a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Our word “leprechaun” comes from the Irish name for such a sprite, i.e. “leipreachán”.

50 *Lickety-split : POSTHASTE

We use the adverb “posthaste” to mean “speedily”. Back as far as the mid-1500s, the phrase “post haste” was written on letters (post) that were to be delivered without delay. The suggestion is that our modern term comes from this original usage.

“Lickety-split” is the latest in a line of terms that come from the word “lick”, which was used in the sense of a “fast sprint in a race” back in the early 1800s. From “lick” there evolved “licketie”, “lickety-click”, “lickety-cut” and finally “lickety-split”, all just colorful ways to say “fast”.

56 Front-end wheel alignment : TOE-IN

In the world of car maintenance, “toe” is also known as “tracking”, the angle a wheel makes relative to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle.

60 Kansas city : IOLA

Iola is a city in southeast Kansas. The city is named for Iola, wife of J. F. Colburn, one of the owners of the land that was chosen as a site for the town in the late 1850s.

62 Youngest Brontë sister : ANNE

Anne was the youngest of the three sisters in the literary Brontë family. Her older sisters wrote novels that are more recognized, but Anne’s two novels do have a following. “Agnes Grey” is based on her own experiences working as a governess. Her other novel, “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall” is written as a long letter from a young man describing the events leading up to his first meeting with his wife-to-be. Anne Brontë’s writing career was cut short in 1849, when she died of pulmonary tuberculosis, at only 29 years of age.

66 Panfry : SAUTE

“Sauté” is a French word. The literal translation from the French is “jumped” or “bounced”, a reference to the tossing of food while cooking it in a frying pan.

67 Cocktail garnishes : ZESTS

Our word “cocktail” first appeared in the early 1800s. The exact origin of the term is not clear, but it is thought to be a corruption of the French word “coquetier” meaning “egg cup”, a container that was used at that time for serving mixed drinks.

68 Boy king : TUT

“King Tut” is a name commonly used for the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun. Tutankhamun may not have been the most significant of the pharaohs historically, but he is the most famous today largely because of the discovery of his nearly intact tomb in 1922 by Howard Carter. Prior to this find, any Egyptian tombs uncovered by archaeologists had been ravaged by grave robbers. Tutankhamun’s magnificent burial mask is one of the most recognizable of all Egyptian artifacts.

71 UFO crew, they say : ETS

One might speculate that an unidentified flying object (UFO) is flown by an extraterrestrial (ET).

Down

1 Aimée of “8 1/2” : ANOUK

Anouk Aimée is a French film actress. Aimée’s most famous film outside of France is probably the internationally successful 1966 French hit “A Man and a Woman”, in which she played the female lead.

3 Young acolytes : ALTAR BOYS

The word “acolyte” comes from the Greek “akolouthos” meaning “companion, attendant, helper”. In the Christian tradition, an acolyte is an individual who assists some way in a ceremony, by lighting candles for example. In more general terms, an acolyte is a devoted follower or attendant.

4 Quid pro __ : QUO

“Quid pro quo” is Latin for “something for something”, i.e. a swap.

8 Royal residence : PALACE

Our word “palace” ultimately comes from the name of Rome’s Palatine Hill, “Mons Palatinus” in Latin. The original “palace” was the house of Augustus Caesar, which stood on the Palatine Hill.

11 Wreak __: cause mayhem : HAVOC

Havoc is great damage or destruction. The term “havoc” comes from the Anglo-French phrase “crier havok”, which was an order given in the late 1500s to soldiers, instructing them to seize plunder.

24 Casino cash dispensers : ATMS

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)

The term “casino” originated in the 1700s, then describing a public room for music or dancing. “Casino” is a diminutive of “casa” meaning “house”.

26 Stretching muscle : TENSOR

A tensor muscle is one that tightens or stretches a part of the body.

28 Flashy publicity : HOOPLA

The word “hoopla” means “boisterous excitement”. The term probably comes from “houp-là”, something the French say instead of “upsy-daisy”. Then again, “upsy-daisy” probably isn’t something said very often here in the US …

31 Mai __: cocktail : TAI

The mai tai cocktail is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but the drink was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curaçao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice and then a float added of 6 parts dark rum. “Maita’i” is the Tahitian word for “good”.

32 Confucian path : TAO

The name of the Chinese character “tao” translates as “path”, but the concept of Taoism signifies the true nature of the world.

The sayings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (anglicized from “K’ung Fu-Tse”) are collected in a work called “The Analects” or “Linyu”. It wasn’t Confucius who wrote down his thoughts though, but rather his pupils, some 40 or so years after his death in 479 BC.

33 Loan pmt. part : INT

Interest (int.)

34 Pigs out (on) : ODS

Overdose (OD)

36 Musical symbol with no stem : WHOLE NOTE

Where I grew up, a whole note is called a semibreve, and a half note is a minim.

38 Word with room or board : BED

A board is a piece of sawn lumber that is significantly longer than it is wide. Centuries ago, the term “board” was extended to mean “table”, and later “meals served on a table”. That’s where we get our phrase “bed and board” meaning “food and a place to sleep”.

44 Quench : SATIATE

“Sate” is a variant of the older word “satiate”. Both terms can mean either to satisfy an appetite fully, or to eat to excess.

50 Break down, as a sentence : PARSE

The verb “to parse” means “to state the parts of speech in a sentence”. “Parse” comes from the Latin word “pars” meaning “part”.

51 Arctic or Atlantic : OCEAN

The Arctic Ocean is in the north polar region, and is almost completely covered by sea ice in the winter. I think it’s common knowledge that the amount of sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean during the summer has been dropping in recent times, as a consequence of climate change.

The earliest known mention of the name “Atlantic”, for the world’s second-largest ocean, was in ancient Greece. The Greeks called said ocean “the Sea of Atlas” or “Atlantis thalassa”.

53 __ bath: therapy treatment : SITZ

A sitz bath is one in which the water comes up to the hips. It is usually a therapeutic bath used to treat discomfort in the lower part of the body. The term comes from the German “Sitzbad” meaning a bath (“bad”) in which one sits. “Sitzen” is German for “to sit”.

54 Sauna wrap, often : TOWEL

As my Finnish-American wife will tell you, “sauna” is a Finnish word, and is pronounced more correctly as “sow-nah” (with “sow” as in the female pig).

55 Beethoven’s “Für __” : ELISE

“Für Elise” is a beautiful piece of solo piano music by Beethoven that is also known as “Bagatelle in A Minor”. “Für Elise” simply means “For Elise”, but sadly no one knows for sure the identity of the mysterious dedicatee.

61 Whodunit pooch : ASTA

Asta is the wonderful little dog in the superb “The Thin Man” series of films starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). In the original story by Dashiell Hammett, Asta was a female Schnauzer, but on screen Asta was played by a wire-haired fox terrier called “Skippy”. Skippy was also the dog in “Bringing Up Baby” with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, the one who kept stealing the dinosaur bone. Skippy retired in 1939, so Asta was played by other dogs in the remainder of “The Thin Man” films.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “I get it!” : AHA!
4 Swamp, briefly : QUAG
8 Trails through the woods : PATHS
13 Zero, in soccer : NIL
14 “Star Trek” communications officer : UHURA
16 Crosswise, shipwise : ABEAM
17 *Chooses not to partake in : OPTS OUT OF
19 Cocoon occupant : LARVA
20 Six-sided state : UTAH
21 What the big hand indicates : HOUR
22 Part of PTA: Abbr. : ASSOC
23 North or South Asian country : KOREA
25 *Random quality-control measure : SPOT-CHECK
27 Actress Behrs of “2 Broke Girls” : BETH
29 Wide shoe size : EEE
30 *Often herky-jerky animation technique : STOP MOTION
35 DNA test kit item : SWAB
39 Scarecrow material : HAY
40 Stinker : SO-AND-SO
42 Hurry, to Shakespeare : HIE
43 Angry cat’s warning : HISS
45 *Rainbow-end rewards : POTS OF GOLD
47 Cobbler’s punch : AWL
49 Small stream : RILL
50 *Lickety-split : POSTHASTE
56 Front-end wheel alignment : TOE-IN
59 Second half of most musicals : ACT II
60 Kansas city : IOLA
62 Youngest Brontë sister : ANNE
63 Showed again : RERAN
64 Easy-to-remove caps … or one way to get the starts of the answers to starred clues? : TWIST-TOPS
66 Panfry : SAUTE
67 Cocktail garnishes : ZESTS
68 Boy king : TUT
69 Key above Shift : ENTER
70 Roof problem : LEAK
71 UFO crew, they say : ETS

Down

1 Aimée of “8 1/2” : ANOUK
2 Aware of : HIP TO
3 Young acolytes : ALTAR BOYS
4 Quid pro __ : QUO
5 “Not a chance” : UH-UH
6 Parking lot occupants : AUTOS
7 Word after study or social : … GROUP
8 Royal residence : PALACE
9 Embarrasses : ABASHES
10 To the point : TERSE
11 Wreak __: cause mayhem : HAVOC
12 Hit hard : SMACK
15 Curly hairdo : AFRO
18 Animal sheared for wool : SHEEP
24 Casino cash dispensers : ATMS
26 Stretching muscle : TENSOR
28 Flashy publicity : HOOPLA
30 “Button it!” : SHH!
31 Mai __: cocktail : TAI
32 Confucian path : TAO
33 Loan pmt. part : INT
34 Pigs out (on) : ODS
36 Musical symbol with no stem : WHOLE NOTE
37 Feel sick : AIL
38 Word with room or board : BED
41 “Think nothing __” : OF IT
44 Quench : SATIATE
46 Be a bad winner : GLOAT
48 Crybaby : WHINER
50 Break down, as a sentence : PARSE
51 Arctic or Atlantic : OCEAN
52 Walk proudly : STRUT
53 __ bath: therapy treatment : SITZ
54 Sauna wrap, often : TOWEL
55 Beethoven’s “Für __” : ELISE
57 Contribution to the discussion : INPUT
58 Egg holders : NESTS
61 Whodunit pooch : ASTA
65 Disapproving sound : TSK

34 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 19 Oct 20, Monday”

  1. There were 3 words in this puzzle I had to look up, as I’d never heard them before: quag, hie, and rill. I notice you sometimes skip over rare or archaic words like these (like “sawn” the other day) but explain hay or oceans in great detail. I’d rather know about these words that you only find in crosswords, kind of like you always explain classics like elan or hoar.

  2. Had IONA instead of IOLA but that was a cross for 55D ELISE and I left it ENISE!! Arrgghh…
    Quick finish., usually 10 minutes for a Monday.

    1. Anonymous – So observant!! How many of us just wrote HOUR and didn’t think twice about whether it was right!!
      Little Hand = Hour
      Big Hand = Minutes!!
      Good catch!
      Stay safe everyone! 🙂

  3. In today’s puzzle (10/19/20) , clue 21 across is wrong. The big hand on a clock does not indicate the hour, it indicates minutes!

  4. No errors, no Googles.
    One word I didn’t know but got through perpendiculars: IOLA.
    Had SATIsfy before SATIATE, TENdOn before TENSOR. Also, thinking of claymation, had STOPMaTION before STOPMOTION.

    Liked the theme.

  5. 8:10, no errors.

    The hour hand is shorter, but fatter. The minute hand is longer, but thinner. All a matter of perspective … 😜.

    (Actually, I just had a mental image of a burly ranch worker shouting, “It’s 4 AM! Everybody up! There’s work to be done!” … 😜)

  6. Don’t know which clocks you are using but since I learned how to tell the time (70 years ago) the big hand has always shown minutes NOT HOURS

  7. 15:12 no errors…I also would like to know if I have been telling time wrongly for the past 79 years.
    Stay safe😀
    The Ravens were very lucky to come away with a win yesterday…they played terribly.

  8. 5:37 no errors

    Enjoyed the theme.

    Didn’t notice the flub with the HOUR hand. But did note that the Taoism is very different from Confucianism.

  9. Nice solve, kind of normal for a Monday, but two errors. Folks have already commented on the big hand of a clock showing minutes, not hours. Also, Taoism is not Confucian. They aren’t related other than the fact that, along with Buddhism, they create the “three teachings” that have shaped Chinese culture. Confucianism deals with social matters, whereas Taoism concerns itself with life and meaning.

  10. Actually, what I posted earlier isn’t true of all analog clocks, but it was true of a lot of fancy old clocks, including one that my family had when I was learning to tell time. Confused the heck out of me … 😜.

    It is, of course, best to refer to the hour hand and the minute hand. And some clocks have a fast-moving third hand, which is, of course, more clearly (?) referred to as the second hand!

    I’m going to go lie down now … 😜.

    1. A lot of what people are going off of (including myself) is how the clocks were taught back in school when they actually taught something in the schools. It’d always be referred to in terms of size rather than function. Biggest hand (longest/fattest) is always the minute hand.

      Just chalk it up to a very poorly written clue that the editor missed as well as the constructor and whoever else they had “test” this one. And it’s easy to miss it, since you learn as a solver to “Wheel of Fortune” the grid a lot of times more than you use the clues themselves.

      1. Here’s an example of the kind of clock that confused me as a kid:

        https://www.amazon.com/Clock-Face-Fancy-Arabic-Numerals/dp/B001GTAIMY

        Note that the hour hand, while shorter than the minute hand, is also considerably fatter, so one has to ask oneself, “Which hand is bigger?”

        The difference was even more pronounced on the clock my family had; I wonder if such clocks were more common at the dawn of time, when I was young?

        Mind you, I had no trouble actually reading the time; I was just quarreling with the instructions I was given … 😜. And, in this case (as you point out, Glenn), the grid called for a four-letter word, rather than a six-letter word, so I didn’t pause to consider the accuracy of the clue.

        And I’m sorry to interfere with everyone’s “Joy of Nitpicking” … 😜.

        My mother always said I was wound up backwards … 😜

  11. So, “Why do you do crosswords?”, I hear you cry … 😜.

    One reason is the things that it acquaints me with that I would otherwise never encounter.

    Example: Today’s New Yorker crossword refers to the “Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection”, the answer to which turns out to be “WABI-SABI”. So I turned to Dr. Google and watched a couple of videos about it, one of which mentioned a book by one Leonard Koren, which I misheard as Leonard Cohen … but it turns out that there is a connection: he wrote a song called “Anthem” containing the lines “Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering; There is a crack, a crack, in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” I don’t listen to a lot of music, but I did listen to Cohen’s version and I then found a recently-released cover of the song by a “Father John Misty” that I think is absolutely stunning (and strangely relevant to our current world situation):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwoNSXYmNtY

    So, again, that’s one of the reasons I do crossword puzzles …. 😜

    And now … back to my regularly scheduled, dreary, mundane existence … 😜.

  12. 7 minutes, 50 seconds, no errors. Almost tripped on TENSOR (with TENDON being my first blush), but saw it before it became an issue.

  13. Nice puzzle except for you know what. I mean, isn’t that why we have an editor? Had tendon before tensor but the crosses set me straight.

  14. 21 across: If the answer is HOUR, the clue should be “what the little hand indicates”. The big hand indicates the minutes.

  15. As many answers I find odd at times while doing xwords, i could not let this one go.
    Mon, oct 19 – 4 letters for “what the big hand indicates”, hour? Obviously its minute. so many other ways to get hour for an answer

  16. The big hand indicates the hour- it is wider – it makes sense that the hour hand is more noticeable because the hour is the more important piece of information, notwithstanding the fact that we all read both the hour and the minutes basically at the same time.

  17. Ever since I learned to tell time, over 70 years ago, the big hand indicated minutes and the shorter hand on the clock shoued the hour. I think the writer of this puzzle never learned to read an analog clock.

  18. Marie Rose

    I’m a little late in mentioning the big and little hands on the clock. I enjoy these crossword puzzles and have never seen an answer that I thought was wrong.

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