LA Times Crossword 11 Nov 20, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Bryant White
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Candy

Themed answers each have the letters “C” AND “Y” at either end:

  • 37A Sweets … and, in three parts, a hint to the four longest Across answers : CANDY … and C AND Y
  • 17A Balancing point : CENTER OF GRAVITY
  • 28A Be convenient : COME IN HANDY
  • 49A Transports to a new location : CARRIES AWAY
  • 62A Anti-aging procedure : COSMETIC SURGERY

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

Bill’s time: 5m 21s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7 What crooks may beat : RAPS

A rap sheet is a criminal record. “Rap” is a slang term dating back to the 1700s that means “blame, responsibility” as in “to take the rap”, “bad rap” and “to beat the rap”. This usage morphed into “rap sheet” in the early 1900s.

11 QB targets : TES

In American football, a quarterback (QB) might throw to a tight end (TE).

14 Washing aid for pupils : EYECUP

An “eyecup” is a container that is used to apply eyewash to the eye. It might also be called an eye bath. I’m a big fan, and find mine very efficacious during allergy season …

16 Mil. branch disbanded in 1978 : WAC

The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was formed in 1942, and the unit was converted to full status the following year to become the Women’s Army Corps (WAC). I like a quotation from the front of the WAC physical training manual from 1943: “Your Job: To Replace Men. Be Ready To Take Over.” Famously, General Douglas MacArthur referred to the WACs as his “best soldiers”, saying they worked harder, complained less and were better disciplined than men. The WACs were disbanded in 1978 and the serving members were integrated into the rest of the army.

22 “Four score and seven years __ … ” : AGO

I visited Gettysburg for the first time in 2010, and goodness me what a moving place that is. As I discovered on my visit, there are five known copies of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address and all of them differ in some way or another, so I suppose the exact words spoken will never be known. Martin Luther King Jr. evoked Abraham Lincoln’s words in another of America’s iconic addresses, his “I Have a Dream” speech. Lincoln’s speech began with “Four score and seven years ago …”, and King’s speech began with “Five score years ago …” as a nod to the Gettysburg Address.

25 “A Walk Among the Tombstones” star Neeson : LIAM

Irish actor Liam Neeson got his big break when he played Oskar Schindler in the Spielberg epic, “Schindler’s List”. Neeson was in the news some years later when he lost his wife, actress Natasha Richardson, in a tragic skiing accident in 2009. Earlier in his life, in the 1980s, Neeson lived for several years with Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren.

“A Walk Among the Tombstones” is a 2014 action film adaptation of the 1992 novel of the same name by Lawrence Block. Star of the movie is Liam Neeson, portraying retired detective Matt Scudder who is working as an unlicensed private detective.

27 Islamic deity : ALLAH

The name “Allah” comes from the Arabic “al-” and “ilah”, meaning “the” and “deity”. So, “Allah” can be translated as “God”.

32 Fr. holy woman : STE

“Sainte” (ste.) is French for “saint”, when referring to a “femme” (woman).

33 Tailless cat : MANX

I’ve seen Manx cats by the dozen on their native island. They’re found all over the Isle of Man (hence the name “Manx”) that is located in the middle of the Irish Sea. Manx cats have just a stub of a tail, and hence are called “stubbins” by the locals.

34 Like Erik the Red : NORSE

According to Icelandic tradition, Erik the Red was the man responsible for founding the first Norse settlement in Greenland. Erik had a famous son: the explorer Leif Ericson.

36 Director Kazan : ELIA

Elia Kazan won Oscars for best director in 1948 for “Gentleman’s Agreement” and in 1955 for “On The Waterfront”. In 1999 Kazan was given an Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. He also directed “East of Eden”, which introduced James Dean to movie audiences, and “Splendor in the Grass” that included Warren Beatty in his debut role.

43 Phil or Steve with Olympic slalom medals in the same race : MAHRE

Phil Mahre is one of the great alpine ski racers, and is a native of Yakima, Washington. Phil’s twin brother Steve was also a skier on the World Cup circuit.

45 Knight neighbor : ROOK

The corner piece in the game of chess is called a “rook”, a word coming from the Persian “rokh” meaning a “chariot”. The rook has also been called, perhaps incorrectly, the castle, tower, marquess and rector.

46 Cut for an agt. : PCT

Agent (agt.)

53 2000s first lady Bush : LAURA

Laura Bush, wife of President George W. Bush, had her memoir “Spoken from the Heart” published in 2010. Born Laura Lane Welch, the former First Lady has a Master’s degree in Library Science (as does my wife, my own First Lady!). Given that background, it’s not surprising that two causes that Laura Bush focused on while in the White House were education and literacy. She established the annual National Book Festival, first held in Washington, D.C. in 2001, after having co-founded the Texas Book Festival in her home state.

55 Low on the Mohs scale : SOFT

The Mohs scale of mineral hardness was developed in 1812 by Friedrich Mohs. Basically Mohs took minerals and scratched them with other minerals. In this way he was able to determine which minerals were hardest (most scratch resistant) and which softest. On the scale, diamond is the hardest (and rated 10), while talc is the softest (and rated 1).

56 Ending for Gator : -ADE

Gatorade was developed at the University of Florida by a team of researchers at the request of the school’s football team. And so, Gatorade is named after the Gators football team.

57 Pinball players’ haunts : ARCADES

Our modern game of pinball evolved from an earlier table game called bagatelle which used balls, pins and holes (and I remember playing bagatelle as a boy in a pub in Ireland). The first pinball machine was made by a British inventor who settled in Cincinnati, Ohio. He modified the game of bagatelle, adding a coiled spring and a plunger to introduce balls at the end of the table, a device that is still in use today. From there, manufacturers developed coin-operated versions of pinball, which became popular during the depression as they provided a little entertainment for a few pennies. One distributor of the coin-operated pinball machines started manufacturing them himself as he couldn’t source new games fast enough. He called his pinball game Ballyhoo, and eventually named his company Bally, a brand name well known in the gambling industry to this day.

60 Usually fuzzy tabloid pics : UFOS

“Tabloid” is the trademarked name (owned by Burroughs Wellcome) for a “small tablet of medicine”, a name that goes back to 1884. The word “tabloid” had entered into general use to mean a compressed form of anything, and by the early 1900s was used in “tabloid journalism”, which described newspapers that had short, condensed articles and stories printed on smaller sheets of paper.

62 Anti-aging procedure : COSMETIC SURGERY

The medical specialty of plastic surgery is divided into two disciplines. Reconstructive surgery aims to reconstruct or improve the functioning of part of the body. Cosmetic surgery aims at improving the appearance of a body part.

67 Jimmy Eat World genre : EMO

Jimmy Eat World is an alternative rock band from Mesa, Arizona.

69 Parlor piece : SETTEE

“Settee” is another word for “couch”. The term comes from the Old English “setl”, which was a long bench with a high back and arms.

Back in the early 13th century, a “parlur” was a window through which someone could confess to a priest, and also a room in a monastery that was used by the monks for conversations with visitors. The term “parlur” arose from the French “parler” meaning “to speak”. Today, we sit in the “parlor” to enjoy our conversations.

70 Identity thief’s target: Abbr. : SSN

Social Security number (SSN)

71 Sommer of movies : ELKE

Elke Sommer is a German-born actress who was at the height of her success on the silver screen in the sixties. Sommer won a Golden Globe as Most Promising Newcomer Actress for her role opposite Paul Newman in 1964’s “The Prize”. She also sings and has released several albums. Now Sommer focuses on painting, producing artwork that is strongly influenced by the work of Marc Chagall.

Down

1 Solstice mo. : DEC

A solstice occurs twice in every year. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year (has the most daylight), and the winter solstice is the shortest.

2 Corned beef bread : RYE

Corned beef is beef that has been cured with salt. “Corn” is an alternative term describing a grain of salt, giving the dish its name. Corned beef is also known as “salt beef”, and “bully beef” if stored in cans (from the French “bouilli” meaning “boiled”).

3 Poetic twilight : E’EN

Twilight is the light experienced when the sun is below the horizon, both in the morning and the evening. The prefix “twi-” seems to come from the sense of “half”, and in “half light”. There appears to be no connection to the word “twice”, despite twilight occurring twice each day.

4 Official records : ACTA

Actum (plural “acta”) is the Latin word for “deed”. “Acta” is used in English to describe many official records, including minutes, proceedings etc.

5 Oaty breakfast mix : MUESLI

“Muesli” is a Swiss-German term describing a breakfast serving of oats, nuts, fruit and milk. “Muesli” is a diminutive of the German word “Mues” meaning “puree”. Delicious …

7 Battle of Britain gp. : RAF

The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the oldest independent air force in the world (i.e. the first air force to become independent of army or navy forces). The RAF was formed during WWI on 1 April 1918, a composite of two earlier forces, the Royal Flying Corps (part of the Army) and the Royal Naval Air Service. The RAF’s “finest hour” was the Battle of Britain, when the vastly outnumbered British fighters fought off the might of the Luftwaffe causing Hitler to delay his plan to cross the English Channel. This outcome prompted Winston Churchill to utter the memorable words

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

8 Fish food plant : ALGA

Algae are similar to terrestrial plants in that they use photosynthesis to create sugars from light and carbon dioxide, but they differ in that they have simpler anatomies, and for example lack roots.

9 Left on a cruise : PORT

The left side of a ship used to be called the “larboard” side, but this was dropped in favor of “port” as the pronunciation of “larboard” was easily confused with “starboard”, the right side of the vessel. The term “port” was chosen as it was customary to dock a ship, for loading in port, with the left side of the vessel against the dock.

13 Grim Reaper tool : SCYTHE

The Grim Reaper is one of the personifications of death, along with the Hooded One and the Angel of Death. Death has been depicted since the 1400s as a skeleton in a hooded, black cloak and carrying a scythe. The name “Grim Reaper” only dates back to the mid-1800s.

18 Fish with vermilion fins : OPAH

“Opah” is the more correct name for the fish also known as the sunfish, moonfish or Jerusalem haddock. I’ve seen one in the Monterey Aquarium. It is one huge fish …

Vermilion is a bright shade of red. Ultimately, the name “vermilion” comes from the Latin “vermis” meaning “worm”. Back in the day, some crimson and scarlet dyes were made from the crushed scales of a worm-like bug.

19 Spine abbr., maybe : VOL

Volume (vol.)

In the US, the convention is to write the title on the spine of a book from top-to-bottom. In most of Europe, the convention is to write the title from bottom-to-top. We have a lot of books in the “library” in our house from both sides of the Atlantic, and so there is much moving of the head from left to right as we glance along our bookshelves.

22 Cartoon maker of Dehydrated Boulders : ACME

The Acme Corporation is a fictional company used mainly by Looney Tunes, and within the Looney Tunes empire it appears mostly in “Road Runner” cartoons. Wile E. Coyote is always receiving a new piece of gear from Acme designed to finally capture the Road Runner, but the equipment always leads to his downfall.

26 Miss in an advice column : MANNERS

“Miss Manners” is the pen name of Judith Martin, a journalist and authority in the field of etiquette.

35 Vampire Weekend lead vocalist Koenig : EZRA

Ezra Koenig is best known as one of the founders of the indie rock band Vampire Weekend. He is also the creator of the Netflix animate show “Neo Yokio” that features an impressive voice cast including Jaden Smith, Jude Law and Susan Sarandon. Koenig has been in a relationship with actress Rashida Jones since 2015.

38 Flight board abbr. : ARR

Arrival (arr.)

40 Davenport’s home : IOWA

Davenport, Iowa sits on the Mississippi River. The city was founded in 1836 by landowner and businessman Antoine LeClaire, with the assistance of a group of investors. The investors resisted the use of LeClaire’s name for the new settlement as LeClaire was of mixed race, had a French name and was a Catholic. Instead, it was named for George Davenport, one of the other investors.

42 Scottish isle : SKYE

The Isle of Skye is off the northwest coast of Scotland in the Inner Hebrides. It is the second largest island in the country, and has been linked to the mainland by a road bridge since 1995. I’ve never been there, but I hear the views are spectacular.

44 Scholar’s world : ACADEME

“Academe” is a term used for the academic world. The expression “the groves of academe” is a reference to the location of Plato’s original “Academy” in a walled-off grove of olive trees just outside Athens.

46 Finishes second : PLACES

When betting on a horse race, the first-place finisher is said to “win”. A horse finishing first or second is said to “place”. A horse finishing first, second or third is said to “show”.

47 Billiards shots : CAROMS

A carom is a ricochet, the bouncing of some projectile off a surface. “Carom” has come to describe the banking of a billiard ball, the bouncing of the ball off the side of the table.

48 Jojo’s Arizona home, in the Beatles’ “Get Back” : TUCSON

Tucson is the second largest city in Arizona (after Phoenix). The founding father of the city was Hugh O’Conor, yet another Irishman, but one who was raised in Spain. O’Conor was a mercenary working for Spain when he authorized the construction of a military fort called Presidio San Augustín del Tucsón in 1775, which eventually grew into the city that we know today. The Spanish name “Tucsón” comes from the local name “Cuk Ṣon”, which translates as “(at the) base of the black (hill)”.

The Beatles song “Get Back” was first released in 1969. It is the only Beatles song that gives credit to another artist on the label, naming the keyboard player Billy Preston. Yes, the label actually says “Get Back” by The Beatles and Billy Preston.

52 Mall directory listings : STORES

Surprisingly (to me!), our word “mall”, meaning “shady walk” or “enclosed shopping space”, comes from the Italian for “mallet”. All of our shopping-style malls are named for “The Mall” in St. James’s Park in London. This tree-lined promenade was so called as it used to be a famous spot to play the croquet-like game called “pall-mall”. The game derived its name from the Italian for ball (palla) and mallet “maglio”. The London thoroughfare called the Mall still exists, at one end of which is Buckingham Palace. Indeed, parallel to the Mall is a street called Pall Mall.

59 Hose material : SILK

The textile known as silk is made from a natural protein fiber produced from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm. Ethical vegans tend to avoid silk as many, many silkworms die in order to produce a relatively small amount of fabric. Raw silk is obtained by boiling the silkworms alive inside the cocoons that yield the fibers.

61 Some PX patrons : SGTS

A PX is a Post Exchange, a retail store operating on a US Army Base. The equivalent store on an Air Force Base is called a Base Exchange (BX).

63 Biscuit middle? : CEE

There is a letter C in the middle of the word “biscuit”.

64 One of four rhyming Greek letters : ETA

Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character “H”. Originally denoting a consonant, eta was used as a long vowel in Ancient Greek.

65 Daisy Ridley’s role in three “Star Wars” films : REY

Rey is a central character in the “Star Wars” universe, who first appeared in 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. Rey is played by British actress Daisy Ridley.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Instances of night vision? : DREAMS
7 What crooks may beat : RAPS
11 QB targets : TES
14 Washing aid for pupils : EYECUP
15 Balm ingredient : ALOE
16 Mil. branch disbanded in 1978 : WAC
17 Balancing point : CENTER OF GRAVITY
20 “Pronto!” : ASAP!
21 If all goes wrong : AT WORST
22 “Four score and seven years __ … ” : AGO
25 “A Walk Among the Tombstones” star Neeson : LIAM
27 Islamic deity : ALLAH
28 Be convenient : COME IN HANDY
32 Fr. holy woman : STE
33 Tailless cat : MANX
34 Like Erik the Red : NORSE
36 Director Kazan : ELIA
37 Sweets … and, in three parts, a hint to the four longest Across answers : CANDY … and C AND Y
39 Veers off sharply : ZIGS
43 Phil or Steve with Olympic slalom medals in the same race : MAHRE
45 Knight neighbor : ROOK
46 Cut for an agt. : PCT
49 Transports to a new location : CARRIES AWAY
53 2000s first lady Bush : LAURA
55 Low on the Mohs scale : SOFT
56 Ending for Gator : -ADE
57 Pinball players’ haunts : ARCADES
60 Usually fuzzy tabloid pics : UFOS
62 Anti-aging procedure : COSMETIC SURGERY
67 Jimmy Eat World genre : EMO
68 Bull or boar : MALE
69 Parlor piece : SETTEE
70 Identity thief’s target: Abbr. : SSN
71 Sommer of movies : ELKE
72 English teacher’s stack to grade : ESSAYS

Down

1 Solstice mo. : DEC
2 Corned beef bread : RYE
3 Poetic twilight : E’EN
4 Official records : ACTA
5 Oaty breakfast mix : MUESLI
6 Injury often iced : SPRAIN
7 Battle of Britain gp. : RAF
8 Fish food plant : ALGA
9 Left on a cruise : PORT
10 Shipping routes : SEAWAYS
11 Wields, as a baton : TWIRLS
12 Torments : EATS AT
13 Grim Reaper tool : SCYTHE
18 Fish with vermilion fins : OPAH
19 Spine abbr., maybe : VOL
22 Cartoon maker of Dehydrated Boulders : ACME
23 Rink success : GOAL
24 All: Pref. : OMNI-
26 Miss in an advice column : MANNERS
29 Midterm, e.g. : EXAM
30 Drop off : NOD
31 Hang out on a line : DRY
35 Vampire Weekend lead vocalist Koenig : EZRA
37 “__-ching!” : CHA
38 Flight board abbr. : ARR
40 Davenport’s home : IOWA
41 Provoke : GOAD
42 Scottish isle : SKYE
44 Scholar’s world : ACADEME
46 Finishes second : PLACES
47 Billiards shots : CAROMS
48 Jojo’s Arizona home, in the Beatles’ “Get Back” : TUCSON
50 Markers in a pot : IOUS
51 Flow out : EFFUSE
52 Mall directory listings : STORES
54 Farm butter : RAM
58 Lat. shortener : ET AL
59 Hose material : SILK
61 Some PX patrons : SGTS
63 Biscuit middle? : CEE
64 One of four rhyming Greek letters : ETA
65 Daisy Ridley’s role in three “Star Wars” films : REY
66 “I agree” : YES

24 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 11 Nov 20, Wednesday”

    1. No errors.. Once again , some solvers don’t realize Bill does this for free., it’s not his job.
      So I see Bills wife has a master’s degree in library science.. Is she one of your fact checkers?? Thanks for your daily grind. I enjoy it.

  1. Although usually explanations are given for the answers, there are instances where no definition is given. Some may not need explaining because they are/should be known to the solver (SUCH AS THOSE IN DOWN: 1, 3, 52, 61 — BUT SOME (which may NOT be a mystery to many, but should have an explanation, “just in case”: such as
    ACROSS: 46, 60, 67.
    I suspect many solvers are delighted to grasp a bit more knowledge from doing puzzles — and I do not want to have to research for the “why”. THANK YOU. Your daily puzzle is my wake-up pleasure!

    1. Ah, but to expand upon an explanation (or to provide one where Bill has not) is part of the reason why there’s a community of sorts here. About once a month I will be baffled by an answer, pose my question here & have it answered quickly. Followed, of course, by me slapping my forehead and muttering “of course!”
      46A: the PCT is percent, the AGT (agent) is a talent/sports agent who finds employment for his/her clients and charges a percentage of the income, this is known as a “cut”
      60A: UFOs – unidentified flying objects, fuzzy photos often found in publications such as Weekly World News

  2. Good Wednesday puzzle. Pretty quick, but with some interesting points. Don’t know EZRA Koenig; ELKE Sommer and the MAHRE brothers go back a way, dating those of us who remember; Jimmy Eat World and Daisy Ridley balance that out.

    Wrote IOWA in for 41D instead of 40D accidentally, causing a moment of confusion.
    I remember my grandpa teaching me how to set up a chess board when I was 7 or 8 — why do they call it a rook, Grandpa?

  3. 22:08 no errors..is it just me or are the LATs surpassing the NYTs in degree of difficulty?
    Stay safe😀
    Go Ravens
    @Nonny…what are you doing up at 3:48AM?

    1. @Jack …

      Since you asked (😜) … On Monday, I went for an ill-advised four-hour walk in 30-degree temperatures, with a nasty damp wind. I got back from it chilled to the bone and I’ve spent most of the two days since then recuperating, including a lot of sleep. I guess, this morning, I maxed out, so I was up for a while before going back to bed (and I think I’m finally okay now). Bottom line: At 77, I’m having a heck of a time accepting a new set of limits that my aging body is trying to force on me … 😳.

  4. Tough (for me) , I completed in a little over an hour. Once I got center of gravity the top right side fell in place.

    Happy Veterans Day to all the Military Services

    Eddie
    A Co. 41st TNK BTN 8th INF DIV

  5. Googled one: MAHRE. Also, did not actually know Jimmy Eat World, ELIA, REY. All peeps. I expect that weakness will increase as I age.

    I thought the theme was a little uneven since 3 of the theme answers were C (and) Y, and one was C ANDY (COME IN HANDY).

    CHA CHING reminded me I never see I CHNG anymore.
    Point of interest – in Italy, people amswer their phones with “PRONTO.”

  6. I was patting myself on the back for completing a Wednesday puzzle without errors but, alas, I found I made one drastic mistake… For 20A “pronto”, I put the medical term “stat” while the correct answer is ASAP. Since I didn’t know the spelling of 15D or 18D, my “stat” fit. Now, to appease my ego, I’m going to argue that my answer is more in line with the clue because “Pronto” and “stat” can both be considered a command while ASAP is more of a request. I rest my case.

  7. 13 minutes, 24 second, needed some help from “Check” in the electronic to finish up. EYECUP??? Never heard of such. There were a few clues/fills in here that didn’t seem to make sense. ACADEME??? Shouldn’t that be ACADEMIA?

  8. 6:16, no errors. This one (at least) was definitely harder than today’s NYT.

    @Rich
    Most of these might as well be themeless anyway. I just simply don’t notice themes in about 90% of them.

  9. Bill–in this month of giving thanks, I’d like to THANK YOU for this blog. When I retired 7 yrs ago, I looked forward to actually having time to read the LA Times daily with a cup of tea and try the crossword. I’ve gotten better at them over time thanks to your diligent work. Before finding your blog, I would have to wait til the next day’s paper for the answers and would still scratch my head about most of the ones I missed. And I appreciate this community of “commenters” and reading what’s going on in their neck of the woods. So again–THANK YOU.

    1. Thanks, Blurble, for the kind words. I must admit that I am being somewhat selfish in producing this blog, using it as a retirement hobby. That said, I am very thankful to all of the blog’s readers. and especially those who take the time to leave comments and engage with others. They provide the motivation that I need to write up that post every single day. Thank you, all.

  10. Moderately difficult for a Wednesday for me; took 16:15 on-line with no peeking, no errors.

    Spent a lot of time looking at emo (Jimmy Eat World and Weezer) videos. Very good bands. Vampire Weekend didn’t do anything for me. And, I’m going to have to check out “The Prize”, which looks like a good movie.

  11. Hello gang!!🦆

    No errors on a fun and occasionally tricky Wednesday. Last to fall was that SOFT/EFFUSE area.

    Speaking of ROOK – is anyone else watching The Queen’s Gambit? Great miniseries on Netflix. Hard to find quality TV (altho I watch the mediocre stuff too…🙃)

    Be well~~🥂

  12. I second the comment of another reader – you are my daily wake-up pleasure. You are almost single-handedly keeping me subscribed to the print edition of my local paper. Thank you for your commitment and ongoing quality. So glad to have discovered your puzzles – they’ve made 2020 a bit more bearable.

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