LA Times Crossword 24 Oct 20, Saturday

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Constructed by: Madeline Kaplan & Erik Agard
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 11m 01s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

11 Sixth Greek letter : ZETA

Zeta is the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a precursor of our Roman letter Z. The word “zeta” is also the ancestor of the letter name “zed”, which became “zee”, the term that we use here in the US.

15 To a ridiculous extent : AD ABSURDUM

The Latin term “ad absurdum” is used in English to mean “to the point of absurdity, to a ridiculous extent”.

16 Decamp, e.g. : EXIT

To decamp is to leave camp. We also use “decamp” in a figurative sense to mean “depart suddenly or promptly”.

17 Emmy nominee who plays Van on “Atlanta” : ZAZIE BEETZ

Zazie Beetz is a German-born actress who immigrated to New York City with her family as a young girl. Beest is known for playing Vanessa “Van” Keefer on the comedy-drama show “Atlanta”, as well as the superhero Domino in the 2018 movie “Deadpool 2”.

18 Give a “G,” say : RATE

The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) film-rating system (PG-13, R, etc.) is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.

19 “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie” emotion : AMORE

“That’s Amore” is a pop standard written by Harry Warren and Jack Brooks in 1952. “That’s Amore” became the signature song for Dean Martin after he sang it (with some help from Jerry Lewis) in the 1953 comedy film “The Caddy”. “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore …”

20 Apple co-founder’s nickname : WOZ

Steve “Woz” Wozniak was one of the founders of Apple Computer, along with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne. Wozniak was the driving force behind the creation of the Apple I and Apple II computers that revolutionized the computer market in the seventies.

21 Olympic city whose opening ceremony included a “Swan Lake” performance : SOCHI

Sochi is a city in the west of Russian on the Black Sea coast. It is the largest resort city in the whole country. Sochi is going through a busy phase in its life. It hosted the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, the Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix in 2014, and served as host for some games of the 2018 World Cup in soccer.

The opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi included a very memorable performance of the finale from Tchaikovsky’s ballet “Swan Lake”. It was a relatively high-tech affair featuring technology and lighting that enhanced (I thought) the performance as a whole. Well worth a viewing on YouTube, if you missed it …

“Swan Lake” is such a delightfully light and enjoyable ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. “Swan Lake” tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by a sorcerer. The ballet also features Odile, Odette’s “evil twin”. Odile is disguised to look like Odette with the goal of tricking the prince to fall in love with her. In the ballet, the roles of Odette and Odile are played by the same ballerina. Odette’s love interest is Prince Siegfried, the only character in the ballet to appear in all four acts.

24 Sometimes controversial message : TWEET

That’s an understatement …

25 “The Alienist” network : TNT

“The Alienist” is a 1994 crime novel by Caleb Carr that is set in New York City at the end of the 19th century. The protagonist is Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist who works with Police Commissioner and future US president Theodore Roosevelt. The novel was adapted into a 10-part TV series that first aired on TNT in early 2018.

29 Pickle serving : SPEAR

Often, a dill pickle is actually a pickled gherkin, as the gherkin and cucumber are different cultivars within the same species. Here in the US, dill is commonly added to the pickling vinegar or brine, but this wasn’t the case when I used to eat them back in Ireland (I can’t stand dill!). You might see jars labeled as “cornichons”, but they’re gherkins. “Cornichon” is the French word for “gherkin”.

35 Sappho’s island : LESBOS

Lesbos is a Greek island in the northeast of the Aegean Sea. The Greek poet Sappho came from Lesbos, and she was a woman noted for her powerful emotional poems directed towards other females. It is because of the writings of Sappho from Lesbos that we have our word “lesbian”.

41 Organic food label term : NON-GMO

A genetically modified organism (GMO) is one with genetic material that has been altered by genetic engineering. One might argue that the oldest form of genetic engineering is selective breeding, the use of animals or plants with desired traits for the creation of the next generation.

42 Hoover, for one : DAM

When the magnificent Hoover Dam was completed in 1936 it was the largest hydroelectric plant in the world, as well as being the world’s largest concrete structure. The edifice was originally known as Boulder Dam, due to its location near Boulder City, Nevada. The dam was eventually named after Herbert Hoover for his role in having the dam built when he was Secretary of Commerce, and his later support as US President. There was a formal dedication ceremony held in September 1935 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt was in the area, when only work on the powerhouse was incomplete. President Roosevelt managed to make his dedication speech without once referring to the name of his former opponent President Hoover. When the dam was finally put into service in 1936, the project was two years ahead of schedule. Those were the days …

43 Stage accusation : ET TU?

It was Shakespeare who popularized the words “Et tu, Brute?” (meaning “And you, Brutus?”). They appear in his play “Julius Caesar”, although the phrase had been around long before he penned his drama. It’s not known what Julius Caesar actually said in real life (if anything at all) as he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate in Rome.

46 Pro __ : TEM

“Pro tempore” can be abbreviated to “pro tem” or “p.t.” “Pro tempore” is a Latin phrase that best translates as “for the time being”. It is used to describe a person who is acting for another, usually a superior. The President pro tempore of the US Senate is the person who presides over the Senate in the absence of the Vice President of the US. It has been tradition since 1890 that the president pro tem is the most senior senator in the majority party. The president pro tem ranks highly in the line of succession to the presidency, falling third in line after the Vice President and the Speaker of the House.

48 Hyperbolic wait time : EON

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

Hyperbole is the use of exaggerated speech. The term “hyperbole” is Greek, coming from “hyper-” meaning “beyond” and “bole” meaning “a throwing”. When using hyperbole, our choice of words is “thrown beyond” what is normally necessary to get our point across.

49 Tyrrhenian Sea resort : CAPRI

The island of Capri off the coast of Southern Italy has been a tourist resort since the days of ancient Rome. Capri is home to the famous Blue Grotto, a sea cave that is illuminated with sunlight that’s colored blue as it passes through the seawater into the cave.

The Tyrrhenian Sea is that part of the Mediterranean that lies off the west coast of Italy. It is bounded on the north and east by the Italian mainland, on the west by the large islands of Corsica and Sardinia, and on the south by Sicily.

55 Masked drama : NOH

Noh is a form of musical drama in Japan that has been around since the 14th century. Many of the Noh performers are masked, allowing all the roles to be played by men, including the female parts.

56 __ Macedonia : NORTH

North Macedonia is one of the nations that emerged following the breakup of Yugoslavia from 1989 to 1982. It occupies the northern third of the geographic and historical region known as Macedonia, sharing the area with Greece, Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia and Kosovo. North Macedonia used the disputed name “Macedonia” after gaining independence in 1991, but agreed to change the name to “North Macedonia” starting in 2019.

61 June 11 Hawaiian honoree : KAMEHAMEHA

King Kamehameha I Day is celebrated annually on June 11, and is a public holiday in Hawaii. The holiday was established in 1871 by Kamehameha V to honor his grandfather Kamehameha I (aka “Kamehameha the Great”), the founder of the Kingdom of Hawaii.

63 Rugby team : SIDE

Rugby is a town in County Warwickshire, England. It is a market town, and is also home to the famous Rugby School, one of the oldest private schools in the country. The school gave its name to the sport of rugby, as the laws of the game were first published by three boys at Rugby School in 1845.

64 Adichie novel that won the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award : AMERICANAH

“Americanah” is a 2013 novel by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The protagonist is a young Nigerian woman who moves to the US to attend university, leaving behind her boyfriend whom she has loved since high school. The novel follows the very different experiences the two have, leading up to an eventual reunion back in Nigeria.

66 Most-visited British art museum : TATE MODERN

The museum known as “the Tate” is actually made up of four separate galleries in England. The original Tate gallery was founded by Sir Henry Tate as the National Gallery of British Art. It is located on Millbank in London, on the site of the old Millbank Prison, and is now called Tate Britain. There is also the Tate Liverpool in the north of England that is located in an old warehouse, and the Tate St. Ives in the west country located in an old gas works. My favorite of the Tate galleries is the Tate Modern which lies on the banks of the Thames in London. It’s a beautiful building, a converted power station that you have to see to believe. As of 2018, the Tate Modern was the most visited art museum in the UK.

Down

1 Disputed Mideast strip : GAZA

After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the boundaries of the strip of land on the Mediterranean around Gaza were fixed in the Israel-Egypt Armistice Agreement. The boundaries were specifically defined but were not to be recognized as an international border. From 1948, the Gaza Strip was occupied and administered by Egypt, until 1967 when Israel took over occupation following the Six-Day War. In 1993, Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo Accords which handed over administration to the Palestinian Authority, but with Israel retaining control of the Gaza Strip’s airspace, some land borders and its territorial waters. The intent was to further this agreement, but discussions between the parties broke down. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

2 Cheese named for a Netherlands town : EDAM

Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

3 Former Starbucks tea : TAZO

The Tazo Tea Company was founded in 1994 in Portland, Oregon. Tazo was purchased in 1999 by Starbucks, and then by Unilever in 2017.

4 Classic Ford : T-BIRD

Ford manufactured the Thunderbird (T-Bird) from 1955 to 2005. Originally a two-seater sporty convertible, the T-Bird was introduced as a competitor to Chevrolet’s new sports car, the Corvette. The “Thunderbird” name is a reference to a legendary creature from the culture of several Native-American peoples. There’s also a story that the name is a direct reference to the Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California of which the then chairman of Ford’s board was a member.

6 Pencil, barely : NUB

A much-used pencil or crayon might be worn down to a “nub”.

8 Ancient theater : ODEON

In ancient Greece an odeon (also “odeum”) was like a small theater, with “odeon” literally meaning a “building for musical competition”. Odea were used in both Greece and Rome for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.

9 Skating jumps : LUTZES

In figure skating, a Lutz is a toe-pick-assisted jump that one starts skating backwards and ends skating backwards (there’s more to it that I don’t really understand!). The maneuver is named after Alois Lutz, an Austrian skater who first performed it in competition way back in 1913. Lutz wowed the crowd with a single jump, and today both men and women are landing triple Lutz jumps. No one has landed a clean quadruple Lutz in competition.

10 Boundary at the 38th parallel, for short : DMZ

A demilitarized zone (DMZ) is usually a border between two countries where military activity is banned according to some treaty between interested parties. The most famous DMZ today has to be the buffer zone between North and South Korea. The Korean DMZ snakes right across the Korean peninsula near the 38th parallel. The centerline of the DMZ is where the front was when the ceasefire came into effect in 1953 after the Korean War. According to the armistice signed, all troops had to move back 2,000 meters from the front line on both sides, creating the DMZ that is in place today. Paradoxically perhaps, the areas on either side of the DMZ form the most heavily militarized border in the world.

13 Charitable gift : TITHE

Traditionally, a tithe is a payment of one tenth of a person’s annual income and is usually given to a church. Tithing is a practice taught in many traditions, and according to a 2002 survey, about 3% of American adults donate 10% or more of their income to a church.

21 Big name in romance fiction : STEEL

Danielle Steel is a remarkably popular author, and one who is very prolific. She has sold over 800 million copies of her 179 books. Steel lives part-time in San Francisco, in a 55-room mansion built for sugar tycoon Adolph B. Spreckels.

23 Nickelodeon parent : VIACOM

Media giant Viacom takes its name from the phrase VI-deo & A-udio COM-unications.

When Nickelodeon launched in 1979, it became the first cable channel dedicated to programming for children.

26 Captain or a fish : NEMO

In the 1954 movie “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, Captain Nemo goes down with his ship. In the novel by Jules Verne, the fate of Nemo and his crew isn’t quite so cut and dry, although the inference is perhaps that they did indeed head for Davy Jones’ Locker.

“Finding Nemo” is a 2003 animated blockbuster from Pixar. The film was the winner of the Oscar that year for Best Animated Feature. Believe it or not, “Finding Nemo” is the best-selling DVD of all time and, until 2010’s “Toy Story 3”, it was the highest-grossing, G-rated movie at the box office.

27 It’s celebrated with a blue-, pink- and white-striped flag : TRANS PRIDE

The transgender community has widely adopted a blue, pink and white flag to represent transgender pride. The flag was designed by transgender activist and US Navy veteran Monica Helms in 1999. It comprises five horizontal stripes: light blue, pink, white, pink and light blue. The light blue stripes at the top and bottom are the traditional color associated with baby boys. The abutting pink stripes are the traditional color associated with baby girls. The white stripe in the center represents those who are transitioning, or those who consider themselves gender-neutral.

39 Inbox pileup : EMAIL

You can say that again …

45 Site of a historic 1914 waterway opening : PANAMA

The Panama Canal was predated by the Panama Railway. The railway route actually determined the eventual route of the canal. The impetus to build a canal was spurred on by the success of the Suez Canal which opened in 1869. Work on the Panama Canal started in 1881, but things did not go smoothly at all. Companies involved in the project went bankrupt, one after the other. Eventually the US government bought its way into the project with President Roosevelt handing over millions of dollars to the country of Panama. The canal was finally completed in 1914. All in all, about 27,500 workers died during construction. A kind blog reader highly recommends the book “The Path Between the Seas” by David McCullough, should anyone want to read more about the fascinating tale of Panama Canal’s construction.

47 Country with a 26-year Grace period? : MONACO

American actress Grace Kelly led the US delegation to the Cannes Film Festival in 1955 and there she met Prince Rainier III, at a photo-op in the Palace of Monaco. Twelve months later the pair were married and Kelly retired from acting at the age of 26. She suffered a stroke while driving her car in 1982, not long before her 53rd birthday. Kelly died in the resulting car crash but her daughter, Princess Stéphanie, survived the accident.

52 Threat in 1998’s “Deep Impact” : COMET

“Deep Impact” is a 1998 disaster movie about a huge comet on a collision course with the Earth. “Deep Impact” is often compared with the film “Armageddon” that came out around the same time and had a similar plot.

57 Actress Russo : RENE

The talented actress Rene Russo is a native of Burbank, California. Russo went to high school (with actor/director Ron Howard), but dropped out in tenth grade. At seventeen, she was given the opportunity to train as a model and within a very short time appeared on the cover of “Vogue”. As her modelling jobs slowed down in her early thirties, Russo made a career change and studied theater and acting.

58 Whaler’s direction : THAR

“Thar she blows!” is a phrase that originated on whaling ships. A lookout spotting a whale surfacing to breathe might see the spray from the blowhole caused by the expulsion of carbon dioxide. Thar (there) she blows!

59 “Transparent” actress Kathryn : HAHN

Kathryn Hahn is an actress and comedian who is perhaps best known for playing grief counselor Lily Lebowski on the crime drama show “Crossing Jordan”. In 2002, Hahn married fellow actor Ethan Sandler who is known for playing Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Brandau on the same show.

“Transparent” is a comedy-drama TV show about a transgender woman named Maura Pfefferman. Actor Jeffrey Tambor played the lead on the show until he left the cast following two allegations of sexual harassment.

61 Kit __ : KAT

I grew up eating Kit Kat bars as a kid. The Kit Kat hit the shelves on the other side of the pond in the 1930s, but didn’t make it into US stores until the 1970s. I’ve seen new varieties of Kit Kat over in Britain and Ireland, such as an orange-flavored version, but haven’t seen anything like that over here.

62 Word for a guy : HIM

Even when I was a kid living in England in the 1960s, we would make up an effigy of Guy Fawkes to parade around the streets in the runup to Guy Fawkes Day, November 5th. Guy Fawkes was the man who led the Gunpowder Plot to blow up the British king and Parliament on November 5, 1605. We kids would use the effigy to raise money from strangers by approaching them with the phrase “penny for the guy”. The money collected was used to buy fireworks that we’d shoot off on Bonfire Night, the name given to the evening of Guy Fawkes Day. The effigy known as “the guy” gave rise in the UK to the use of “guy” to describe a poorly-dressed man. By the mid-1800s, the term “guy” was adopted into American-English to mean simply “fellow”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Not fresh anymore : GETTING OLD
11 Sixth Greek letter : ZETA
15 To a ridiculous extent : AD ABSURDUM
16 Decamp, e.g. : EXIT
17 Emmy nominee who plays Van on “Atlanta” : ZAZIE BEETZ
18 Give a “G,” say : RATE
19 “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie” emotion : AMORE
20 Apple co-founder’s nickname : WOZ
21 Olympic city whose opening ceremony included a “Swan Lake” performance : SOCHI
22 Heaven-sent : DIVINE
24 Sometimes controversial message : TWEET
25 “The Alienist” network : TNT
28 Small container : TIN
29 Pickle serving : SPEAR
31 “Where __ you?” : WERE
33 __ loss : AT A
35 Sappho’s island : LESBOS
38 One concerned with appearances : IMAGE CONSULTANT
41 Organic food label term : NON-GMO
42 Hoover, for one : DAM
43 Stage accusation : ET TU?
44 Trickster : SCAMP
46 Pro __ : TEM
48 Hyperbolic wait time : EON
49 Tyrrhenian Sea resort : CAPRI
51 Responds to, as intelligence : ACTS ON
54 Agrarian : RURAL
55 Masked drama : NOH
56 __ Macedonia : NORTH
60 Polish, in a way : EDIT
61 June 11 Hawaiian honoree : KAMEHAMEHA
63 Rugby team : SIDE
64 Adichie novel that won the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award : AMERICANAH
65 Ring sites : TOES
66 Most-visited British art museum : TATE MODERN

Down

1 Disputed Mideast strip : GAZA
2 Cheese named for a Netherlands town : EDAM
3 Former Starbucks tea : TAZO
4 Classic Ford : T-BIRD
5 “They DO look alike” : I SEE IT
6 Pencil, barely : NUB
7 Caught up with, sizewise : GREW INTO
8 Ancient theater : ODEON
9 Skating jumps : LUTZES
10 Boundary at the 38th parallel, for short : DMZ
11 Garbage disposal goal : ZERO WASTE
12 Compound : EXACERBATE
13 Charitable gift : TITHE
14 Took the loss : ATE IT
21 Big name in romance fiction : STEEL
23 Nickelodeon parent : VIACOM
25 Matching : TWIN
26 Captain or a fish : NEMO
27 It’s celebrated with a blue-, pink- and white-striped flag : TRANS PRIDE
30 Feathers : PLUMES
32 Containers for some fragile goods : EGG CRATES
34 “Yes?” : AND?
36 Cognizant of : ONTO
37 Floor : STUN
39 Inbox pileup : EMAIL
40 Did nothing : SAT THERE
45 Site of a historic 1914 waterway opening : PANAMA
47 Country with a 26-year Grace period? : MONACO
49 Pinnacle : CREST
50 Sound : AUDIO
52 Threat in 1998’s “Deep Impact” : COMET
53 Wayfarer : NOMAD
57 Actress Russo : RENE
58 Whaler’s direction : THAR
59 “Transparent” actress Kathryn : HAHN
61 Kit __ : KAT
62 Word for a guy : HIM

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 24 Oct 20, Saturday”

  1. LAT: About 45 minutes with more than a few incorrect letters in proper names and nouns which I never heard of. Did a lot of guessing in this puzzle.

  2. Another tough one. Messed up on TAZO.. Went with TALO and that gave me ZALIE BEETZ.. Kind of a Z theme today along with foreign words, or words that end in HA AH??

  3. Had a hard time dredging up the correct spelling of King Kamehameha, and Zazie Beetz strikes me as pretty obscure. Not too bad otherwise.
    Looking forward to Evan Birnholz’s puzzle tomorrow. Always interesting.
    Have a lovely Saturday, all.

  4. Agreeing with Clay 3454; I knew the king but had to look up spelling for
    Kamehameha. Never heard of Zazie Beetz so googled that. The rest
    came slowly but sure. No errors on finished grid, but a lot was good
    guessing.

  5. 45:52 no errors…my paper doesn’t identify the setter or setters for the LAT puzzle…I was wondering why there were so many REALLY off the wall clues until I saw the name Agard…question answered👎👎
    I still don’t get side being a Rugby team.
    Stay safe 😀
    Go Ravens

  6. 23 mins 49 sec and DNF… pretty much the entire SE quadrant and due south were empty.

    This puzzle was just full of books no one’s read, people no one has heard of, and references no one uses.

    If I’d seen the name Agard before I started this boondoggle, I would have skipped it and spared myself the stomach acid.

  7. 21:21 with the aid of at least five lookups and still had a square wrong.

    I blame the first flu shot I got yesterday. It really did a number on me!

  8. Somewhat difficult Saturday; took me 1hr with 7 errors on paper. Most of the puzzle went fairly smoothly, which was kind of surprising given the Agard co-byline. I just got stuck in several areas and made the wrong guesses, even though I should have gotten 4 less errors.

    Guessed wrong on TAbO, ODiOM, HArN, CREnT, TRANSPRIng and NONoMO. I had CREST, but insisted on fitting in a number for a rugby team, even though it turns out there are either 13 or 15 depending on what version you’re playing. I also should have gotten NON GMO but it just eluded me. Didn’t think I knew K. Hahn, but she was the hired gun political consultant in “Parks & Rec” which I did see. Never heard of Zazie… Now I know what the TransPride flag looks like.

  9. Greetings!!🦆

    Dang, all went smoothly till I hit the SE corner. Could NOT remember HAHN, even tho I know the actress. And I knew TATE right away but …. somehow I couldn’t get MODERN, even tho I had the letters MODE in place. 😯 Really drew a blank!! Yikes!! AND I had TAIL instead of THAR.

    Came out to about 6 errors, all in that area. 🙁

    I too noticed all the Zs!!

    Dodgers lost a crazy game that they should have won tonight. NEVER saw anything like that wild ending. It’s true what they say – you can watch baseball for DECADES and still often see something you’ve never seen before….this one hurt….😟

    Be well ~~⚾️

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