LA Times Crossword 14 Nov 20, Saturday

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Constructed by: Kyle Dolan
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 10m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 Lakeside rental : CANOE

The boat known as a canoe takes its name from the Carib word “kenu” meaning “dugout”. It was Christopher Columbus who brought “kenu” into Spanish as “canoa”, which evolved into our English “canoe”.

16 Morning person’s mantra : UP AND AT ‘EM

A mantra is a word that is used as a focus for the mind while meditating. The term is Sanskrit in origin, and is now used figuratively in English to describe any oft-repeated word or phrase.

17 Bone near a temple : ANVIL

The middle ear is the portion of the ear immediately behind the eardrum. The middle ear contains three small bones called the ossicles, the three smallest bones in the human body. The ossicles’ job is to transmit sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. The shape of the bones gives rise to their names: the hammer (malleus), anvil (incus) and stirrup (stapes).

18 Sports-based nickname for Green Bay : TITLETOWN

Apparently, the Wisconsin city of Green Bay adopted the nickname “Titletown” in 1961, with moniker being a reference to the Green Bay Packers winning the title of NFL champions. Although the team had won the NFL title several times before, 1961 marked the first time that Green Bay secured the championship in their own stadium.

21 Brad’s Drink, nowadays : PEPSI

The Pepsi-Cola formulation was developed by one Caleb Bradham who made the drink at home and sold it as Brad’s Drink. Bradham’s aim was to provide a drink that was pleasant to taste, that would aid digestion and boost energy. Included in the formula were pepsin (a digestive enzyme) and kola nuts. These two ingredients inspired the brand name we use today: Pepsi-Cola.

22 PC panic key : ESC

The escape key (Esc) was originally used just to control computer peripherals. It was a key that allowed the computer operator to stop what the peripheral was doing (cancel a print job, for example). Nowadays the escape key is used for all sorts of things, especially in gaming programs.

23 Galena, e.g. : ORE

Galena is the most commonly used mineral to produce lead. It is a form of lead sulfide. Galena is the state mineral of Missouri and of Wisconsin.

24 CPA’s column entries : AMTS

Certified public accountant (CPA)

26 Nullify : ABROGATE

“To abrogate” is such a lovely sounding verb, I think. It means to annul or do away with, especially by using authority.

29 Michigan’s state wildflower is one : IRIS

The state wildflower of Michigan is dwarf lake iris. Michigan’s state flower is the magnolia.

35 Word with tie or fly : ROD

Tie rods are part of a rack and pinion steering mechanism in a car.

A fly rod is used for fly fishing.

36 Spiritual teacher : LAMA

“Lama” is a Tibetan word meaning “chief, high priest”.

37 School in Athens : OHIO

Ohio University was founded well over 200 years ago in 1804 in Athens, the city in which it is still located today.

38 Maguire’s “Spider-Man” director : RAIMI

Sam Raimi is a very successful director and producer. He was behind the “Spider-Man” series of films among others, and TV series’ such as “Xena: Warrior Princess”.

41 Fish-eating bird : LOON

The common loon (also “great northern diver”) is the provincial bird of Ontario, and the state bird of Minnesota. The loon once appeared on Canadian $20 bills and also appears on the Canadian one-dollar coin, giving the coin the nickname “the loonie”.

42 Sch. in Athens : UGA

The University of Georgia (UGA) is primarily located in Athens, Georgia. UGA was founded in 1785 and was the nation’s first state-chartered university. UGA’s sports teams are called the Georgia Bulldogs (sometimes just “Dawgs”).

45 Minnesota WNBA team : LYNX

Both Minnesota professional basketball teams are owned by billionaire businessman Glen Taylor. The Timberwolves play in the NBA, and the Lynx in the WNBA.

46 NBA team originally from Minnesota : LA LAKERS

The Los Angeles Lakers basketball team started out in 1947 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The team chose the Lakers name in honor of the nickname of Minnesota, “Land of 10,000 Lakes”. The Lakers moved to Los Angeles in 1960.

48 Handle user : CBER

A CB’er is someone who operates a Citizens Band (CB) radio. In 1945, the FCC set aside certain radio frequencies for the personal use of citizens. The use of the Citizens Band increased throughout the seventies as advances in electronics brought down the size of transceivers and their cost. There aren’t many CB radios sold these days though, as they have largely been replaced by cell phones.

50 Jazz trumpeter’s nickname : DIZ

Dizzy Gillespie was a musician from Cheraw, South Carolina who was best known as a jazz trumpeter. Gillespie was also known for playing a “bent” trumpet, one with the bell projecting upwards at a 45-degree angle. The unusual configuration of the instrument came about accidentally, when a pair of dancers fell on it during a birthday party. The damage to the instrument caused a change in the tone which Gillespie liked, so he left it as is.

54 Japanese soup stock : DASHI

Dashi is a style of cooking stock used in Japanese cuisine. Most famously, dashi” is the stock that is used as the base for miso soup. Traditional dashi is a fish stock to which is added edible kelp called kombu and shavings of preserved and fermented skipjack tuna called katsuobushi.

62 Long range : ANDES

The Andes range is the longest continuous chain of mountains in the world. It runs down the length of the west coast of South America for about 4,300 miles, from Venezuela in the north to Chile in the south. The highest peak in the Andes is Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina, at an elevation of 22,841 feet. Interestingly, the peak of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest point on the Earth’s surface from the center of the planet. That’s because of the equatorial “bulge” around the Earth’s “waist”.

63 Banksy genre : STREET ART

Banksy is an English graffiti artist who is noted for his contempt of the British government for condemning his work as vandalism. Banksy’s work can fetch a pretty penny at auction. No one seems to know for sure who Banksy actually is …

64 Lewis with the 2015 album “I Am” : LEONA

Leona Lewis rocketed to fame after winning the British TV show called “The X Factor” (the show that spawned the UK’s “Pop Idol” and America’s “American Idol”).

Down

2 Paths between gutters : LANES

Bowling has been around for an awfully long time. The oldest known reference to the game is in Egypt, where pins and balls were found in an ancient tomb that is over 5,000 years old. The first form of the game to come to America was nine-pin bowling, which had been very popular in Europe for centuries. In 1841 in Connecticut, nine-pin bowling was banned due to its association with gambling. Supposedly, an additional pin was added to get around the ban, and ten-pin bowling was born.

5 Pumpkin pie spice : NUTMEG

The fruit of the nutmeg tree yields two very different spices. What we call “nutmeg” comes from the seed of the tree. “Mace” is the dried covering of the seed.

6 TV kid in Miss Crump’s class : OPIE

On “The Andy Griffith Show”, Helen Crump makes her first appearance on the show as one of Opie Taylor’s school teachers. Over time, Miss Crump and Andy Griffith develop a liking for each other, and they become romantically involved. The couple get married in the first episode of “Mayberry R.F.D.”, the spinoff show. Helen Crump Taylor was played by actress Aneta Corsaut.

8 Phot. lab request : ENL

Enlargement (enl.)

10 FiveThirtyEight guru : NATE SILVER

Nate Silver is a statistician who gained celebrity by developing a forecasting system that predicted the future performance of baseball players. He then made a name for himself in the world of politics by predicting the outcome of the 2008 US presidential race on his website FiveThirtyEight.com. Silver successfully predicted the outcome of the election in 49 of the 50 states, missing out on Indiana, which Barack Obama won by less than 1% of the vote. FiveThirtyEight was less successful in predicting the specifics of the 2012 presidential election, but came closer than almost all other pollsters. In 2016, FiveThirtyEight predicted a victory for Hillary Clinton, but with a much lower probability than other poll aggregators. And, they all got it wrong. Oh, and why the name FiveThirtyEight.com? Because there are 538 electors in the US electoral college.

11 Organ part : STOP

A stop is a component of a pipe organ that admits a flow of air to a specific set of organ pipes. The organ player can allow air to flow, or can “stop” it (hence the name “stop”). Stops are classified according to the group of pipes that are controlled, with stops often being named for the sounds imitated by those pipes. So, for example, there are flute stops, string stops and reed stops.

13 Four Seasons rival : OMNI

Omni Hotels & Resorts is headquartered in Dallas, Texas and has properties in the US, Canada and Mexico.

The Four Seasons hotel chain is based in Toronto, and was founded in 1960 by Isadore Sharp. Today, Sharp only owns 5% of the company, having sold the balance in equal shares to Bill Gates and Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia in 2007.

15 Corrida foe : EL TORO

Spanish bullfighting is known locally as “corrida de toros”, literally “race of bulls”.

20 Despotic regime : IRON RULE

A despot is a ruler with absolute power, and often one who wields that power oppressively. “Despot” is an old French term from the 14th century that is ultimately derived from the Greek “despotes” meaning “master of a household, absolute ruler”.

24 Science word from the Greek for “indivisible” : ATOM

Atomism is a philosophical concept based on the idea that the physical world is composed of atoms, indivisible fundamental units pieces of matter. The term “atom” comes from the Greek “a-” (not) and “tomos” (cutting), giving the “atomos” meaning “uncut, indivisible”. The pioneers of ancient Greek atomism were Leucippus and his pupil Democritus in the 5th century BCE.

27 Raspberry since the 1920s : BRONX CHEER

Not so much here in America, but over in Britain and Ireland “blowing a raspberry” is a way of insulting someone (I think that it’s usually called “a Bronx cheer” in the US). The verb “to razz” comes from a shortened form of “raspberry”.

30 Leeward mountain dry area : RAIN SHADOW

When moist air blows as wind up the side of a mountain, that moisture tends to condense and precipitate as rain. As a result, the air falling down the other side of the mountain is relatively dry, and tends not to produce rain. That area on the leeward side of the peak is called the “rain shadow”.

31 Chatted with, briefly : IMED

Even though instant messaging (sending and receiving IMs) has been around since the 1960s, it was AOL who popularized the term “instant message” in the eighties and nineties. The “AOL Instant Message” service was known as AIM.

34 Stern call? : AHOY!

“Ahoy!” is a nautical term used to signal a vessel. When the telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell, he suggested that “ahoy” be used as a standard greeting when answering a call. However, Thomas Edison came up with “hello”, and we’ve been using that ever since.

39 Food thickener : 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.

44 Tequila relative : MEZCAL

Mezcal (also “mescal”) is a distilled spirit made from the agave plant. Technically, tequila is a type of mezcal that is distilled specifically from the blue agave.

49 Common overseas hotel amenity : BIDET

“Bidet” is a French word that we imported into English. In French, the word “bidet” originally described a small horse or a pony. The bidet bathroom fixture was so called because one straddles it like a horse in order to use it.

52 Colleague of Neil and Sonia : ELENA

Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States who replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the first female US Solicitor General and the fourth female US Supreme Court justice. I hear she is a fan of Jane Austen, and used to reread “Pride and Prejudice” once a year. Not a bad thing to do, I’d say …

Neil Gorsuch was nominated to the Supreme court by the Trump administration, and assumed office in 2017. Gorsuch took the seat on the court that was left vacant with the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016. Gorsuch is the first Supreme Court justice to serve alongside another justice for whom he once clerked, doing so for Anthony Kennedy from 1993 to 1994.

Sonia Sotomayor was the first Hispanic justice appointed to the US Supreme Court, and the third female justice. Sotomayor was nominated by President Barack Obama to replace the retiring Justice David Souter.

53 Didion work : ESSAY

Joan Didion is a journalist and author who was profiled in the Netflix documentary “The Center Will Not Hold”. She won a Pulitzer for her autobiographical work “The Year of Magical Thinking”, which book she used as the basis for a stage play of the same name. The book focuses on the year following the death of her husband, while the play also encompasses the subsequent death of her daughter.

54 Gossip : DISH

To dish the dirt is to talk about someone or something without regard to veracity. The phrase comes from “dish” (in the sense of dishing out food) and “dirt” (in the sense of negative information). To be dishy is to be given to gossip.

56 “Buona __”: Italian greeting : SERA

“Buona sera” is Italian for “good evening”.

57 Fabulous racer : HARE

“The Tortoise and the Hare” is perhaps the most famous fable attributed to Aesop. The cocky hare takes a nap during a race against the tortoise, and the tortoise sneaks past the finish line for the win while his speedier friend is sleeping.

Something “fabulous” pertains to a “fable”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Passage for change : SLOT
5 Steadfast refusal : NO MEANS NO
14 Lakeside rental : CANOE
16 Morning person’s mantra : UP AND AT ‘EM
17 Bone near a temple : ANVIL
18 Sports-based nickname for Green Bay : TITLETOWN
19 Like some online antivirus protection : REAL-TIME
21 Brad’s Drink, nowadays : PEPSI
22 PC panic key : ESC
23 Galena, e.g. : ORE
24 CPA’s column entries : AMTS
26 Nullify : ABROGATE
29 Michigan’s state wildflower is one : IRIS
33 Influential supporter : PATRON
35 Word with tie or fly : ROD
36 Spiritual teacher : LAMA
37 School in Athens : OHIO
38 Maguire’s “Spider-Man” director : RAIMI
40 Fights (for) : VIES
41 Fish-eating bird : LOON
42 Sch. in Athens : UGA
43 What might be made after an argument : AMENDS
45 Minnesota WNBA team : LYNX
46 NBA team originally from Minnesota : LA LAKERS
48 Handle user : CBER
50 Jazz trumpeter’s nickname : DIZ
51 Snicker part : HEE
54 Japanese soup stock : DASHI
57 Outdoor cookers : HOT COALS
59 Words after yawning : I NEED A NAP
62 Long range : ANDES
63 Banksy genre : STREET ART
64 Lewis with the 2015 album “I Am” : LEONA
65 Emoji related to Blowing Kiss : HEART EYES
66 Influence : SWAY

Down

1 Cause to jump, maybe : SCARE
2 Paths between gutters : LANES
3 Away, maybe : ON VACATION
4 Plug away : TOIL
5 Pumpkin pie spice : NUTMEG
6 TV kid in Miss Crump’s class : OPIE
7 Yoga studio item : MAT
8 Phot. lab request : ENL
9 Expert : ADEPT
10 FiveThirtyEight guru : NATE SILVER
11 Organ part : STOP
12 Breaking __ : NEWS
13 Four Seasons rival : OMNI
15 Corrida foe : EL TORO
20 Despotic regime : IRON RULE
24 Science word from the Greek for “indivisible” : ATOM
25 Pre-packaged promotional materials : MEDIA KIT
27 Raspberry since the 1920s : BRONX CHEER
28 Easy-to-read font : ARIAL
30 Leeward mountain dry area : RAIN SHADOW
31 Chatted with, briefly : IMED
32 Time-out cause : SASS
33 Election year staple : POLL
34 Stern call? : AHOY!
39 Food thickener : AGAR
44 Tequila relative : MEZCAL
47 Embraces : ADOPTS
49 Common overseas hotel amenity : BIDET
52 Colleague of Neil and Sonia : ELENA
53 Didion work : ESSAY
54 Gossip : DISH
55 Pot builder : ANTE
56 “Buona __”: Italian greeting : SERA
57 Fabulous racer : HARE
58 Singles : ONES
60 Absorbed, as extra expenses : ATE
61 Anti-passing cry : NAY!

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 14 Nov 20, Saturday”

  1. LAT: About 50 minutes, no errors. Started off fairly well but slowed down considerably, especially in the lower left corner. Good guessing and some logic got me through.

  2. No errors, but a few look-ups for proper names….Raimi for instance.
    Andes for “long range” was a groaner, but I liked it!

  3. 1 error., didn’t know RAIMI as Spider-Man directir, which left me with ATOS for 24D.. Instead of ATOM.. Looks pretty obvious ATOM would have been a better choice.

    Learned a couple of new words. ABROGATE and I’ve never heard of the phrase BRONX CHEER as a rasberry, that definitely would have been unique to that region…
    Did better than I did with NYT crossword. I got smoked on that one.. Oh well, time for breakfast!

  4. Ick! I almost gave up a couple of times, but trudged on. I guess I learned some things. Didn’t know Banksy or dashi or Raimi, among others. 45 minutes.

  5. 17:42. Also did not know BANKSY or DASHI. And also not LEONA Lewis.
    Had CABIN before CANOE and that slowed down the NW corner. Knew there is an Athens, GA, but not also one in OH.

  6. Ditto on CABIN before CANOE. Oddly, I came up with RAIMI without any sense of how or why I remember the name. The sports clues — LYNX, LALAKERS, and TITLETOWN — were helpful today. Got some help from my daughter on the emoji HEARTEYES 😍.

  7. I missed some comments earlier in the week, so let me add:
    @Carrie – speaking of Rook, I am looking forward to starting The Queen’s Gambit, perhaps this weekend; and
    @Jane Drees Blando – thanks for the 3! thought. What surprised and interested me most was how oddly the (my, at least) brain works: the 6 combinations part was clear AND I teach combinations and permutations to high school and college students for their exams semi-regularly, but I didn’t put the two ideas together. Not contextual, maybe? Have you ever seen Sheldon Cooper’s explanation of Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock? I’ll look for your calculation soon😜
    Have a good weekend, all.

  8. I wanted to put in TOIL but had CABIN for awhile instead of CANOE, which also slowed me down. EL TORO helped me figure out CA_OE was not CABIN. I tried DIRT for Gossip, but then got stuck with RT for a genre. Challenging but no lookups (husband and I solve together, so 2 minds).

  9. 19:28 no errors

    Came close to resorting to lookups at about the 15 minute mark, but kept plugging away. Didn’t feel like TOIL, though.

  10. 18 minutes, 13 seconds, no errors. Tough challenge today; I had lots of changes and reversals, especially in the left upper-to-mid quadrants.

  11. What is the long range forecast? It was a mean, nasty, and vicious clue. One of these days I’m going to come over there and punch you right in the mouth.

    1. @Terence …

      I hope you meant your comment to be funny. If not, I would observe that you must not do a lot of crossword puzzles and that you don’t have the sort of appreciation for playing with language that good crossword solvers usually have.

  12. Kinda tough for me today; took 59 minutes when I called it a day and ended up with 4 errors. I had ATen/RAInI instead of ATOM/RAIMI. I should have figured out ATOM and hopefully I’ll remember RAIMI. Also had HEARTEntS instead of …EYES, which I hadn’t heard of before. Should have gotten NAY, which would have lead to EYES….sigh!

    Still, and enjoyable, educating and fun puzzle.

  13. 57:18 no errors…I couldn’t get anywhere with 30, 31, and 32D so I walked away overnight and in the morning the answers came to me. I used to do that a lot more than I do now but it does seem to work for me.
    Stay safe.😀
    Go Ravens😀

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