LA Times Crossword 12 Nov 20, Thursday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Gap-Toothed

Three rows in the grid include a type of TOOTH as a hidden word. There’s a GAP in each tooth, created by a black square:

  • 57A Like some smiles in an orthodontist’s office … and like three puzzle rows : GAP-TOOTHED
  • 17A Very loudly, in music : FORTISSIMO
  • 19A Logan of “60 Minutes” : LARA (hiding “MO-LAR”)
  • 27A Iconic 1962 role for Gregory : ATTICUS
  • 29A Frittered (away) : PIDDLED (hiding “CUS-PID”)
  • 42A “Salvator Mundi” artist : DA VINCI
  • 46A Between-course refreshers : SORBETS (hiding “INCI-SOR”)

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

Bill’s time: 5m 43s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Business issue since 1979 : INC

“Inc.” is a business magazine that specializes in articles about growing companies. “Inc.” publishes a list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the country each year, calling it the “Inc. 500”. The “Inc. 5000” is an expanded list also published by the magazine.

10 Cyberspace gatekeepers, for short : ISPS

Internet service provider (ISP)

14 Org. supporting museums : NEA

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is an agency funded by the federal government that offers support and financing for artistic projects. The NEA was created by an Act of Congress in 1965. Between 1965 and 2008, the NEA awarded over $4 billion to the arts, with Congress authorizing around $170 million annually through the eighties and much of the nineties. That funding was cut to less than $100 million in the late nineties due to pressure from conservatives concerned about the use of funds, but it is now back over the $150 million mark. I wonder how long that will last though …

15 Skink or skunk : ANIMAL

Skinks are lizards with relatively small legs and without a pronounced neck. Most skink species have long tails that they can shed if it is grabbed by a predator. The tail can then be regenerated.

Skunks have anal scent glands that can be used as defensive weapons. The glands produce sulfur-containing chemicals that have a really awful smell and that can irritate the eyes and skin.

16 German refusal : NEIN

The English word “no” translates into Russian as “nyet”, and into German as “nein”.

17 Very loudly, in music : FORTISSIMO

In musical notation, the Italian word “piano” (p) instructs musicians to play softly, and “forte” (f) to play loudly. The additional notation “pianissimo” (pp) means “very soft”, and fortissimo (ff) means “very loud”.

19 Logan of “60 Minutes” : LARA

Lara Logan is a South African newswoman who started a 16-year stint with CBS News as a foreign correspondent in 2002. CBS placed Logan on a forced leave of absence at the end of 2013 for comments that she made about the US Government’s culpability in the Benghazi attack and for inaccuracies in her reporting of the story. She moved on from CBS in 2018, joining conservative media company Sinclair.

20 Savvy about : ONTO

The term “savvy”, meaning “understanding”, comes from the French “savez-vous?”. The French phrase translates as “do you know?”

21 Archipelago unit : ISLET

“Archipelago” is our spelling of the Italian “arcipelago”, a word that has Greek roots. The Aegean Sea was once known as the Archipelago. The usage of “Archipelago” migrated over time, eventually applying only to the Aegean Islands. As a result, we use the term “archipelago” today not for a sea, but for a group or chain of islands.

22 Culture medium : 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.

23 __ Jordan: sports brand : AIR

Air Jordan is a Nike brand of shoe (and other apparel) endorsed by NBA great Michael Jordan. The silhouette of a basketball player that features on Air Jordans is known as the “jumpman” logo.

25 Hill group : SENATE

The designer of Washington D.C., Pierre L’Enfant, chose the crest of a hill as the site for the future Congress House. He called the location “Jenkins Hill” and “Jenkins Heights”. Earlier records show the name as “New Troy”. Today we call it “Capitol Hill”.

27 Iconic 1962 role for Gregory : ATTICUS

Gregory Peck was an iconic Hollywood actor, who hailed from La Jolla, California. Peck was recognized as a great actor as soon as he started acting in films in 1944. He was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar for “The Keys of the Kingdom” (1944), “The Yearling” (1946), ‘Gentleman’s Agreement” (1947) and “Twelve O’Clock High” (1949). Peck finally won his Academy Award with the fifth nomination, for playing Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1962).

30 Prefix with -lithic : PALEO-

The Paleolithic Age is a period of human history lasting from about 2.6 million to about 10,000 years ago. The Paleolithic Age is noted as the time when humans started using stone tools. The word “Paleolithic” comes from the Greek “palaios” meaning “old” and “lithos” meaning “stone”, so the term really translates as “Old Stone Age”.

31 New Mexico tribe : ZUNI

The Zuni are a Pueblo people. They live on the Zuni River in western New Mexico, a tributary of the Little Colorado River.

39 13-digit ID since 2007 : ISBN

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) was invented by one Gordon Foster who was a professor at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. The code was originally developed for booksellers, so that they had a unique number (and now a barcode) for each publication. ISBNs are ten digits long if assigned before 2007. Since the start of 2007, ISBNs are thirteen digits long.

41 Caravan stops : OASES

An isolated area of vegetation in a desert is called an oasis (plural “oases”). As water is needed for plant growth, an oasis might also include a spring, pond or small lake. We often use the term “oasis” more generally to describe a haven, a place of rest.

42 “Salvator Mundi” artist : DA VINCI

“Salvator Mundi” (“Savior of the World” in Latin) is a painting by Leonardo da Vinci that dates back to circa 1500. It is speculated that the work was commissioned by Louis XII of France, and came into the possession of Charles I of England in 1625. It passed through several hands before being auctioned off in 1763 along with several pieces of art from Buckingham Palace in London (then “Buckingham House”). The painting reemerged in 1900 when it was bought by a British collector, by which time it had been damaged in attempts at restoration. Also, the work was now attributed to Bernardino Luini, a follower of da Vinci. In 1959, it was sold as a painting by Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, one of Leonardo’s students, for the princely sum of 45 pounds. By 2011, the heavily overpainted work had been restored and attributed to Leonardo da Vinci himself, and was on display in the National Gallery in London. “Salvator Mundi” was purchased by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism in November, 2017 for just over $450 million, making it the most expensive painting ever sold.

46 Between-course refreshers : SORBETS

“Sorbet” can mean different things around the world. Here in the US, sorbet is a non-fat frozen dessert that is made without any dairy content.

49 Skedaddled : RAN

“Skedaddle” is a slang term meaning “run away” that dates back to the Civil War.

51 Discover alternative : VISA

VISA doesn’t actually issue any credit or debit cards. VISA just sells the electronic systems and infrastructure to banks who then put the VISA logo on their own cards. Seeing the logo, both customer and merchant know to use the VISA system when making a transaction.

Sears introduced the Discover Card in 1985. The Discover Card brought with it some innovative features for the period, such as no annual fee and a higher-than-normal credit limit. As other credit card companies adopted those ideas, Discover Card later introduced cash-back bonuses on purchases.

54 Spillane’s “__ Jury” : I, THE

“I, The Jury” is the first novel in the “Mike Hammer” series written by Mickey Spillane. The story was filmed twice, once in 1953 with Biff Elliot playing Hammer, and again in 1982 with Armand Assante taking the lead.

59 Quelques-__: a few, in French : UNES

Quelques-unes is the feminine form of “some” in French. The masculine version would be “quelques-uns”.

60 Novelist Graham : GREENE

Graham Greene was a writer and playwright from England. Greene wrote some of my favorite novels, including “Brighton Rock”, “The End of the Affair”, “The Confidential Agent”, “The Quiet American” and “Our Man in Havana”. Greene’s books often feature espionage in exotic locales. Greene himself worked for MI6, the UK’s foreign intelligence agency. In fact, Greene’s MI6 supervisor was Kim Philby, the famed Soviet spy who penetrated high into British intelligence.

62 Hawaiian staple : TARO

The corm of some taro plants is used to make poi, a traditional Hawaiian dish (which I think tastes horrible). When a taro plant is grown as an ornamental, it is often called Elephant Ears due to the shape of its large leaves.

64 Score half : TEN

Our verb “to score” meaning “to tally”, comes from the Old Norse “skor”, which is a “mark, notch”. It is likely that items such as livestock were counted by placing a notch in a stick for each set of twenty, hence our use of the noun “score” to mean “twenty”.

Down

1 Data, e.g. : INFO

Our word “data” (singular “datum”) comes from the Latin “datum” meaning “given”. The idea is that data are “things given”.

3 Jaguar documentation : CAR TITLE

Auto manufacturer Jaguar started out as a manufacturer of sidecars for motorcycles back in 1922, when the company was known as the Swallow Sidecar Company (SS for short). The company changed its name to Jaguar after WWII, because of the unfortunate connotations of the letters “SS” in that era (i.e. the Nazi paramilitary organization).

4 China’s Chou En-__ : LAI

Zhou Enlai (also “Chou En-lai”) was the first government leader of the People’s Republic of China and held the office of Premier from 1949 until he died in 1976. Zhou Enlai ran the government for Communist Party Leader Mao Zedong, often striking a more conciliatory tone with the West than that of his boss. He was instrumental, for example, in setting up President Nixon’s famous visit to China in 1972. Zhou Enlai died just a few months before Mao Zedong, with both deaths leading to unrest and a dramatic change in political direction for the country.

5 Where it originally was : IN SITU

“In situ” is a Latin phrase meaning “in the place”, and we use the term to mean “in the original position”.

7 “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” actor Hirsch : EMILE

Emile Hirsch is an actor from Topanga, California. Hirsch’s most famous role was the lead in the 2007 drama “Into the Wild”.

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is a 2009 Quentin Tarantino movie. It has an impressive cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie. I’m no fan of Tarantino films, but I was dragged to this one. It confirmed why I don’t like Tarantino movies …

11 Action star Steven : SEAGAL

I’m not a huge fan of Steven Seagal movies but I did quite enjoy his 1992 action film “Under Siege”. Seagal plays a former Navy SEAL on a US battleship that is taken over by mercenaries led by Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Busey. Mind you, it was the latter two actors who made the film for me …

12 Hook, for one : PIRATE

Captain Hook is the bad guy in “Peter Pan”, the famous play by J. M. Barrie. Hook is Peter Pan’s sworn enemy, as Pan had cut off Hook’s hand causing it to be replaced by a “hook”. It is implied in the play that Hook attended Eton College, just outside London. Hook’s last words are “Floreat Etona”, which is Eton College’s motto. Barrie openly acknowledged that the Hook character is based on Herman Melville’s Captain Ahab from the novel “Moby Dick”.

18 Parliament figures : TORIES

“Tory” comes from the Irish word “tóraí” meaning “outlaw, robber”. The term “tory” was originally used for an Irish outlaw and later became a term of abuse for Irish rebels. At the end of the reign of King Charles II in Britain, there was a political divide with one side being called “Whigs” and the other “Tories”. Historically, the term “Tory” evolved to basically mean a supporter of the British monarchy, and indeed was used to describe those who remained loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution. Today, “Tory” is used for a member of the British Conservative Party.

27 Msg. to the squad : APB

An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

28 Scientific calculator function : COSINE

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio: a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are cosecant, secant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

29 Many a dad joke : PUN

I tell dad jokes all the time, just to annoy the kids …

  • I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. It’s impossible to put down!
  • If you see a robbery at an Apple Store does that make you an iWitness?
  • A termite walks into a bar and asks, “Is the bar tender here?”
  • Two guys walk into a bar, the third one ducks.
  • What’s the best part about living in Switzerland? I don’t know, but the flag is a big plus.

31 __ master : ZEN

Zen is a Buddhist school that developed its own tradition in China back in the 7th century AD. Zen is a Japanese spelling of the Chinese word “chan”, which in turn derives from the Sanskrit word “dhyana” meaning “meditation”.

33 “The X-Files” org. : FBI

“The X-Files” is a very successful science fiction show that originally aired on the Fox network from 1993 to 2002. The stars of the show are David Duchovny (playing Fox Mulder) and the very talented Gillian Anderson (playing Dana Scully). By the time the series ended, “The X-Files” was the longest running sci-fi show in US broadcast history. An “X-Files” reboot started airing in 2016 with Duchovny and Anderson reprising their starring roles.

35 Bugs, to a toon hunter : WABBIT

“What’s Opera, Doc?” is one of my favorite cartoons of all time. It’s all about Elmer Fudd chasing Bugs Bunny to musical extracts from Wagnerian operas. The most famous line from the cartoon is “Kill the Wabbit”, which Elmer sings to the main theme from “Ride of the Valkyries”. “What’s Opera, Doc?” cost Warner Bros. about six times as much as any other cartoon the studio had produced up to that time.

40 Country legend Earl : SCRUGGS

Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt are the musicians who founded the bluegrass band called the Foggy Mountain Boys in 1948.

43 “7 Rings” singer Grande : ARIANA

Ariana Grande is a singer and actress from Boca Raton, Florida. Grande plays the role of Cat Valentine on the sitcom “Victorious” that aired for four season on Nickelodeon. Grande’s singing career took off with the release of the 2011 album “Victorious: Music from the Hit TV Show”.

46 Like most peanuts : SALTED

I have to say it, but it drives me crazy. Peanuts aren’t nuts. They’re legumes, a plant in the bean and pea family. The flowers of the peanut plant last only one day and then wither. The fertilized ovary develops an elongated “peg” that grows downwards, pushing the ovary down into the soil. The ovary develops underground into a mature peanut pod containing between one and four seeds, which we call “nuts”. But they aren’t nuts. Did I say that already …?

53 “Sharknado” actress Reid : TARA

Tara Reid is an actress known for roles she played on television and the big screen. My guess is her most-remembered performances were in the “American Pie” series of movies in which she played Vicky. Sadly, Reid succumbed to the pressure to alter her looks with plastic surgery. In interviews, she has shared that her first experience under the knife “went wrong” leading to more surgeries in attempts to rectify the resulting deformity.

“Sharknado” is a 2013 tongue-in-cheek disaster movie that was made for the Syfy television channel. The basis of the plot is a freak hurricane that hits Los Angeles, resulting in a flood that leaves man-eating sharks roaming the city. I don’t think so …

55 Fall setting : EDEN

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.

58 “Save me, and hover __ me with your wings”: Hamlet : O’ER

In William Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet”, the title character is the Prince of Denmark. The prince’s father is also a character in the play, who makes three appearances as a ghost. The ghost has the same name as the prince, but is referred to as King Hamlet in order to distinguish him from the son.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Business issue since 1979 : INC
4 Compares : LIKENS
10 Cyberspace gatekeepers, for short : ISPS
14 Org. supporting museums : NEA
15 Skink or skunk : ANIMAL
16 German refusal : NEIN
17 Very loudly, in music : FORTISSIMO
19 Logan of “60 Minutes” : LARA
20 Savvy about : ONTO
21 Archipelago unit : ISLET
22 Culture medium : AGAR
23 __ Jordan: sports brand : AIR
24 Simple top : TEE
25 Hill group : SENATE
27 Iconic 1962 role for Gregory : ATTICUS
29 Frittered (away) : PIDDLED
30 Prefix with -lithic : PALEO-
31 New Mexico tribe : ZUNI
32 Sanctify : BLESS
33 Boggy area : FEN
34 Forest floor litter : TWIGS
39 13-digit ID since 2007 : ISBN
41 Caravan stops : OASES
42 “Salvator Mundi” artist : DA VINCI
46 Between-course refreshers : SORBETS
48 Whiteboard accessory : ERASER
49 Skedaddled : RAN
50 Wager : BET
51 Discover alternative : VISA
52 Functional : UTILE
54 Spillane’s “__ Jury” : I, THE
56 Like many breakfast bars : OATY
57 Like some smiles in an orthodontist’s office … and like three puzzle rows : GAP-TOOTHED
59 Quelques-__: a few, in French : UNES
60 Novelist Graham : GREENE
61 “__ you quite finished?” : ARE
62 Hawaiian staple : TARO
63 Smoothing tool : SANDER
64 Score half : TEN

Down

1 Data, e.g. : INFO
2 Like a hospital ward with a tiny population? : NEONATAL
3 Jaguar documentation : CAR TITLE
4 China’s Chou En-__ : LAI
5 Where it originally was : IN SITU
6 Some canoodling : KISSES
7 “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” actor Hirsch : EMILE
8 Put a handle on : NAME
9 Adds, as an appointment to a busy schedule : SLOTS IN
10 Away from shore : INLAND
11 Action star Steven : SEAGAL
12 Hook, for one : PIRATE
13 Caught : SNARED
18 Parliament figures : TORIES
26 Prose pro : EDITOR
27 Msg. to the squad : APB
28 Scientific calculator function : COSINE
29 Many a dad joke : PUN
31 __ master : ZEN
33 “The X-Files” org. : FBI
35 Bugs, to a toon hunter : WABBIT
36 “It’s quite clear now” : I SEE THAT
37 Arrive : GET THERE
38 Air fryer sound : SSS
40 Country legend Earl : SCRUGGS
42 Pious : DEVOUT
43 “7 Rings” singer Grande : ARIANA
44 Even more expansive : VASTER
45 Laying-down-the-law words : I SAY SO!
46 Like most peanuts : SALTED
47 Low-scoring tie : ONE-ONE
49 Mature on the vine : RIPEN
53 “Sharknado” actress Reid : TARA
55 Fall setting : EDEN
58 “Save me, and hover __ me with your wings”: Hamlet : O’ER

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 12 Nov 20, Thursday”

  1. @ A Nonny Muss

    In reference to your comment to Jack yesterday, you are like my husband. He can’t give it up. He still thinks he is 25. You need to take better care of yourself. Truly.

  2. 9:00 Didn’t really search for the theme until I came here. Interesting info about Jaguar motors.

    @Bill – according to Wikipedia, Lara Logan left CBS in 2018 and now works for a Fox News streaming service

  3. very slow start. I worked the whole top half of the puzzle and only knew for sure one answer; the “Air” Jordan. Snagged a few more in the bottom half and then the style of the constructor began to exhibit itself. Many of the answers were simple and trite and I was over thinking them. Canoodle and Skink were the last two clues I couldn’t resolve. Pleased to say I finished the puzzle without one look up or google, which brings me more satisfaction than speed.

  4. No errors, but I kept thinking “this one
    is too easy….there must be something I’m missing.” Of course, it was
    the theme, which once again I completely missed.

  5. No Googles on a Thursday, which qualifies me for a dessert tonite.

    Couldn’t figure the theme. Didn’t know LARA, TARA, EMILE, UNEN. Getting used to seeing ARIANA, who has lots of vowels. Don’t care for her voice.

    I feed skunks who are omnivores with the exception of candy corn. Thus, I don’t have to put leftovers in my garbage.

  6. No errors. Was expecting a much harder puzzle from Mr Weschler. Got the theme about halfway through and that actually helped complete the last two rows. I got a chuckle out of 64A.. Score half?? For some reason Abe Lincoln’s speech came to mind and I had an AHA moment.

  7. Pretty good puzzle. I was originally annoyed at the constructor and editor in that I finished without figuring out the theme but when I saw it here it was actually quite clever. So kudos to both.

  8. Blazed, for me, through this Thursday Wechsler in 13:41 and didn’t get the “all done” banner. A “check grid” revealed LiRA/SEiGAL, which I should have spotted but didn’t…sigh!

    I have to say, I’ve never been to a meal where SORBET was served as a between course refresher. Maybe as a dessert. Is this really done anywhere?

    1. It’s an urban legend at least – I heard about the practice in the eighties. A tale of how the other half lives – some other half, somewhere. “Palate cleanser” dontcha know.

  9. Greetings!!🦆

    Very good puzzle, but I had one error and also peeked for SORBETS. Dirk– I have heard of sorbet as a between-course refresher (didn’t remember in time) but I’m not elegant enough to have seen that in person. 🤗

    Be well ~~🥃

  10. As I dine in splendid isolation in my elegant domicile, I frequently pause between courses of caviar on toast and roasted hummingbird wings to partake of a tiny spoonful of a delicately flavored sorbet.

    “Sorbet” is pronounced to rhyme with “Korbut”, isn’t it? … 😜.

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