LA Times Crossword 26 Oct 20, Monday

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Constructed by: Jeff Stillman
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Trail Mix

Themed answers each include the letter string T-R-A-I-L, but with the order MIXED:

  • 61A Backpacker’s snack, and a hint to the circled letters : TRAIL MIX
  • 17A Astral-shaped wildflower of the American West : STAR LILY
  • 30A Business sector involving merchandise : RETAIL TRADE
  • 44A Lionel products : MODEL TRAINS

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

Bill’s time: 5m 40s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 June honorees : PAS

Father’s Day was added as an official holiday in 1972, although bills to create the holiday had been with Congress since 1913. By rights, the holiday should be called “Fathers’ Day” (note the punctuation), but the bill that was introduced in 1913 used the “Father’s Day” spelling, and that’s the one that has stuck.

8 Tool for curved cutting : JIGSAW

Jigsaws are saws designed for the cutting of irregular curves by hand. The original jigsaw puzzles were created by painting a picture on a sheet of wood and then cutting the picture into small pieces using a jigsaw, hence the name. Today, almost all jigsaw puzzles are pictures glued onto cardboard. The puzzle pieces are now die-cut, and so there’s no jigsaw involved at all.

15 State bordering Lake Erie : OHIO

The state of Ohio takes its name from the Ohio River. In turn, the river takes its name from the Iroquois “ohi-yo”, which translates as “large creek”.

Lake Erie is the fourth-largest of the five Great Lakes by area (Lake Ontario is the smallest). The lake takes its name from the Erie tribe of Native Americans that used to live along its southern shore. Erie is the smallest of the Great Lakes by volume and the shallowest, something for which nearby residents must be quite grateful. Being relatively shallow, much of Erie freezes over part way through most winters putting an end to most of the lake-effect snow that falls in the snow belt extending from the lake’s edge.

17 Astral-shaped wildflower of the American West : STAR LILY

Leucocrinum is a perennial plant that is native to the American West. It is a stemless plant, and grows to a height of maybe 4 inches. Because it has star-shaped flowers and long, narrow leaves, the leucocrinum is also known as the star lily.

41 Heated dispute : RHUBARB

“Rhubarb” is a slang term meaning “squabble, spat”.

43 Clark’s coworker : LOIS

Lois Lane has been the love interest of Superman/Clark Kent since the comic series was first published in 1938. Lois and Clark both work for the big newspaper in the city of Metropolis called “The Daily Planet”. The couple finally got hitched in the comics (and on television’s “Lois and Clark”) in 1996. One has to wonder how challenging the crossword is in “The Daily Planet” …

44 Lionel products : MODEL TRAINS

Lionel is the brand name most associated with toy trains in the US. The first Lionel trains rolled off the production line in 1901 and they are still produced today, although the original Lionel Corporation is long gone. In 1995, the brand was bought by an investment company that included train enthusiast Neil Young (the singer), and operated as Lionel, LLC. Neil Young’s financial involvement ended after a 2008 reorganization of the company following a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, but the company is still producing and selling.

46 Koothrappali on “The Big Bang Theory” : RAJ

Raj Koothrappali is a character on the sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” who is played by British-Indian actor Kunal Nayyar. Nayyar is married to Neha Kapur, a former Miss India.

50 Key next to the space bar : ALT

The Alt (alternate) key is found on either side of the space bar on US PC keyboards. The Alt key evolved from what was called a Meta key on old MIT keyboards, although the function has changed somewhat over the years. Alt is equivalent in many ways to the Option key on a Mac keyboard, and indeed the letters “Alt” have been printed on most Mac keyboards starting in the nineties.

51 New Zealand native : MAORI

The Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. They are eastern Polynesian in origin and began arriving in New Zealand relatively recently, starting some time in the late 13th century. The word “māori” simply means “normal”, distinguishing mortal humans from spiritual entities. The Māori refer to New Zealand as “Aotearoa”.

64 Biology lab gel : AGAR

Agar (also “agar-agar”) is a jelly extracted from seaweed that has many uses. Agar is found in Japanese desserts, and can also be used as a food thickener or even as a laxative. In the world of science, it is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in Petri dishes.

65 Genesis fruit eater : EVE

In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This went against the bidding of God, and was at the urging of the serpent. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them from becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

66 House speaker Nancy : PELOSI

Nancy Pelosi first became Speaker of the House in 2007, and was the 60th person to hold that position. Ms. Pelosi represents a district not far from here, which covers most of San Francisco. She was the first Californian, the first Italian-American and the first woman to be Speaker of the House. As Speaker of the House is second-in-line to the presidency, after the Vice President, Nancy Pelosi is the highest-ranking female politician in US history.

68 Checkers color : RED

“Checkers” is yet another word that I had to learn moving across the Atlantic. In Ireland, the game is called “draughts”.

Down

2 Number one Hun : ATTILA

In his day, Attila the Hun was the most feared enemy of the Roman Empire, until he died in 453 AD. Attila was the leader of the Hunnic Empire of central Europe and was famous for invading much of the continent. However, he never directly attacked Rome.

3 Underwater herbivore : SEA COW

Manatees, also known as “sea cows”, are very large marine mammals that can grow to 12 feet in length. The manatee is believed to have evolved from four-legged land mammals and probably shares a common ancestor with the elephant.

4 D.C. insider : POL

Politician (pol)

6 End of Jane or June? : SILENT E

The words “Jane” and “June” both end with a silent letter E.

7 RAV4 automaker : TOYOTA

The Toyota RAV4 is Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV, or “ute” for short). The RAV4 name stands for “Recreational Active Vehicle with 4-wheel drive”. Inventive, huh?

8 “Star Wars” warrior : JEDI

The Jedi are the good guys in the “Star Wars” series of movies. The most famous Jedi knights from the films are Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness, and later Ewan McGregor) and Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz). Well, they’re my favorites anyway …

10 Pirate’s rum drink : GROG

Edward Vernon was a naval officer with the nickname “Old Grog”. In 1740, Vernon ordered that the daily ration of rum for his sailors should be watered down, in order to reduce discipline problems caused by drunkenness. The diluted rum was sweetened with sugar, and lemon or lime added to help preserve it on long voyages. This recipe, found to reduce scurvy among sailors (because of the citrus) spread throughout the Royal Navy, and “grog” was born. As an aside, George Washington’s older half-brother named the famous Washington Mount Vernon Plantation in honor of Edward Vernon. We use the derivative term “groggy” to mean “unsteady on the feet”, as if under the influence of “grog”.

12 Lawyer’s org. : ABA

The American Bar Association (ABA) was founded back in 1878 and is a voluntary association for lawyers and law students. The ABA focuses on setting academic standards for law schools and setting ethical codes for the profession.

18 Old MGM rival : RKO

The RKO Pictures studio was formed when RCA (RADIO Corporation of America) bought the KEITH-Albee-ORPHEUM theaters (and Joe Kennedy’s Film Booking Offices of America). The RKO initialism then comes from the words “Radio”, “Keith” and “Orpheum”.

The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) film studio was founded in 1924 by Marcus Loew. Loew was already a successful movie theater owner when he purchased Metro Pictures Corporation in 1919, and then Goldwyn Pictures in 1924. Later in 1924, Loew also purchased Louis B. Mayer Pictures, mainly so that Louis B. Mayer could merge all three studios and run them himself as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

22 Sudden fancy : WHIM

“Whim”, meaning “sudden fancy”, is such a lovely word, and one that we’ve been using in English since the 1640s. “Whim” is actually a shortened form of “whimwham”, which has a similar meaning and has been around since the early 1500s.

24 Kind of scream : PRIMAL

A primal scream is a release of intense anger and frustration as part of primal therapy. Primal therapy is a treatment for mental illness developed by American psychologist Arthur Janov. Our use of the term “primal scream” stems from his 1970 book ”The Primal Scream”.

31 Three-time Wimbledon winner Chris : EVERT

Chris Evert is a former professional tennis player from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She has the best winning percentage in professional tennis, man or woman worldwide, losing less than 10% of all her matches. Evert was also the first female athlete to host “Saturday Night Live”, doing so in 1994 just after she had retired from professional tennis.

32 Spanish citrus fruit : LIMON

In Spanish, “limón” (lemon) is a “fruta” (fruit).

38 A tree helps it keep its shape : SHOE

A shoe tree (or boot tree) is an adjustable, foot-shaped device that is placed inside a shoe to preserve its shape. Shoe trees are often constructed from solid wood that absorb odor and wick away moisture from the shoe’s leather.

42 Obnoxious tyke : BRAT

“Tyke” has been used playfully to describe a young child since at least 1902, but for centuries before that a tyke was a cur or mongrel, or perhaps a lazy or lower-class man.

48 Brought bad luck to : JINXED

A jinx is a charm or a spell, and the word “jinx” comes from an older word “jyng” from the 17th-century. A “jyng” was another word for the wryneck, a type of bird much used in witchcraft.

53 Skid row denizen : WINO

The term “skid row” is used to describe a run-down urban neighborhood. “Skid row” appears to have originated in the Pacific Northwest where a “skid road” was a wooden pathway used for “skidding” logs through forests and over bogs. The terms “skid road” and “skid row” came to be used for logging camps and mills, and then somehow was applied to run-down areas in cities up and down the west coast of North America. The related term “hit the skids”, meaning “fall into ruin”, has the same etymology, and embraces the concept of logs moving rapidly downhill on skids in a skid road.

Nowadays we use “denizen” to mean simply “resident”, but historically a denizen was an immigrant to whom certain rights had been granted, somewhat like today’s resident alien.

54 Some reddish deer : ROES

Roe deer are found mainly in Europe. They would be the deer shown on television and in movies when Robin Hood was out hunting in Sherwood Forest.

55 Crucifix letters : INRI

The letters written on the cross on which Jesus died were INRI. “INRI” is an initialism standing for the Latin “Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum”, which translates into English as “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews”.

In many of the Christian traditions, a crucifix is a representation of Jesus on the cross. The term “crucifix” comes from the Latin “cruci fixus” meaning “fixed to a cross”.

56 Jack who preceded Carson on late-night TV : PAAR

“The Tonight Show” has had six permanent hosts so far:

  • Steve Allen (1954-57)
  • Jack Paar (1957-62)
  • Johnny Carson (1962–92)
  • Jay Leno (1992–2009, 2010–14)
  • Conan O’Brien (2009–10)
  • Jimmy Fallon (2014–present)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 June honorees : PAS
4 Hissed “Hey!” : PSST!
8 Tool for curved cutting : JIGSAW
14 Devoured, say : ATE
15 State bordering Lake Erie : OHIO
16 Dress like a justice : ENROBE
17 Astral-shaped wildflower of the American West : STAR LILY
19 Whatsit : DOODAD
20 Really impressive, in slang : SICK
21 Asking for a saucer of milk, maybe : MEOWING
23 Soft fly ball : BLOOP
25 Utmost degree : NTH
26 Helpful hint : TIP
29 Veer off course : YAW
30 Business sector involving merchandise : RETAIL TRADE
35 Performing in person : LIVE
36 Walking on water, as Jesus did : MIRACLE
37 Take for granted : ASSUME
40 Speak under one’s breath : MUTTER
41 Heated dispute : RHUBARB
43 Clark’s coworker : LOIS
44 Lionel products : MODEL TRAINS
46 Koothrappali on “The Big Bang Theory” : RAJ
49 “Undoubtedly” : YES
50 Key next to the space bar : ALT
51 New Zealand native : MAORI
53 Cite for speeding : WRITE UP
57 Advise of danger : WARN
58 “Love” concoction : POTION
61 Backpacker’s snack, and a hint to the circled letters : TRAIL MIX
63 First in a playoff series : OPENER
64 Biology lab gel : AGAR
65 Genesis fruit eater : EVE
66 House speaker Nancy : PELOSI
67 Ritual flammable pile : PYRE
68 Checkers color : RED

Down

1 Elapse, as time : PASS BY
2 Number one Hun : ATTILA
3 Underwater herbivore : SEA COW
4 D.C. insider : POL
5 Wedge-shaped leveling piece : SHIM
6 End of Jane or June? : SILENT E
7 RAV4 automaker : TOYOTA
8 “Star Wars” warrior : JEDI
9 A party to : IN ON
10 Pirate’s rum drink : GROG
11 Nursery buy : SOD
12 Lawyer’s org. : ABA
13 Exchange marriage vows : WED
18 Old MGM rival : RKO
22 Sudden fancy : WHIM
24 Kind of scream : PRIMAL
26 Diplomacy : TACT
27 Not scheduled to play, as a pro team : IDLE
28 Look intently (at) : PEER
31 Three-time Wimbledon winner Chris : EVERT
32 Spanish citrus fruit : LIMON
33 Obvious observation : TRUISM
34 Stinkers : RATS
35 Garage job : LUBE
37 Football rival of Navy : ARMY
38 A tree helps it keep its shape : SHOE
39 Soap bubbles : SUDS
42 Obnoxious tyke : BRAT
43 Arrangement of church services : LITURGY
45 Brewpub fixture : ALE TAP
46 Aimless sort : ROAMER
47 Hit the big time : ARRIVE
48 Brought bad luck to : JINXED
52 Hole-making tool : AWL
53 Skid row denizen : WINO
54 Some reddish deer : ROES
55 Crucifix letters : INRI
56 Jack who preceded Carson on late-night TV : PAAR
58 Burst : POP
59 Reveal, in verse : OPE
60 Business card abbr. : TEL
62 Embitterment : IRE

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 26 Oct 20, Monday”

  1. No errors. Interesting read on GROG and George Washington’s half brother.. Had to look that one up.. Didn’t realize he came from such a large family.. Most of whom were lucky to make it past 50.. Times have changed.

  2. …. It was interesting enough about how Mount Vernon got its name from Edward Vernon let alone George Washington’s geneology!! Thanks Bill for the info. Forced me to look it up,

  3. No errors. For years I have had somewhat of a mental block when it comes
    to spelling “Attila”, whether it has two “t’s” or two “l’s”. Maybe after today I will remember…..but probably not.

  4. @Bill – I also thank you for the GROG write up. (Also, the OHiO, since my son has moved there.)
    And GW had no children, so no one can join the DAR on his line!
    @Mary – And I, also, had to wait to fill in T or L in ATTILA.
    @Ant’ny – go back to bed with yer head at the foot so you can wake up on the other side.

  5. Pretty easy Monday. Especially liked the reminder of the Tonight Show hosts.
    Remembering Steve Allen’s “smock-smock” always makes me laugh.
    Time for my nap now…

  6. 9 minutes, 32 seconds, no errors. But, this was REALLY hard for a Monday grid!!! I even had the inkling I might not finish it, which is unheard of for the first puzzle in the week…

  7. We are back after going on a month of evacuation from
    the two hurricanes. No house damage, but a lot of debris.
    Our street along had two blocks, 8 foot high on each side!

    2 omissions for letter-based 99%.

    Where is Annony Muss?

  8. Hello gang!!🦆

    Mary and Jane – I have the same issue with ATTILA! Happened today and had to wait for crosses to see the double T. No glitches otherwise. 🤗

    John, I was going to say the same thing! A NONNY MUSS, WHERE ARE YOU??

    Be well~~⚾️

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