LA Times Crossword 18 Nov 20, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Kurt Krauss
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Heavy Metal

Themed answers each start with a HEAVY METAL:

  • 57A Rock genre … and a hint to the starts of the answers to starred clues : HEAVY METAL
  • 17A *Mind reader’s obstacle, some believe : TIN-FOIL HAT
  • 24A *20th-century political symbol : IRON CURTAIN
  • 33A *Metaphor for a failure : LEAD BALLOON
  • 48A *Symbol of inherited wealth : SILVER SPOON

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

Bill’s time: 4m 40s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 1978 Peace co-Nobelist : SADAT

Anwar Sadat was the third President of Egypt right up to the time of his assassination in 1981. Sadat won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 along with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin for the role played in crafting the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1978 at Camp David. It was this agreement that largely led to Sadat’s assassination three years later.

6 Officiates : REFS

Back in the early 17th century, a referee was someone who examined patent applications. We started using the same term for a person presiding over a sporting event in the 1820s. “Referee” is a derivative of the verb “to refer”, and literally describes someone who has the authority to make a decision by “referring to” a book, archive etc.

10 Painter of limp watches : DALI

“The Persistence of Memory” is probably Salvador Dalí’s most famous work. It features the celebrated “melting clocks”, and you can see them in the painting in the MoMA in New York City.

14 Spanish Olympian’s goal : EL ORO

In Spanish, an athlete in the Olympics goes for “el oro” (the gold).

15 Other, in Oaxaca : OTRO

Oaxaca is a state in the southern part of Mexico on the Pacific coast. The state takes the name of Oaxaca, its largest city.

16 Turkey neighbor : IRAN

Before 1935, the country we know today as Iran was referred to as Persia by the Western world. The official name of the country since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is the “Islamic Republic of Iran”.

17 *Mind reader’s obstacle, some believe : TIN-FOIL HAT

Before thin sheets of aluminum metal were available as aluminum foil, thin sheets of tin were used in various applications. Tin foil isn’t a great choice for wrapping food though, as it imparts a tinny taste. On the other side of the pond, aluminum foil has a different name. No, it’s not just the different spelling of aluminum (“aluminium”). We still call it “tin foil”. You see, we live in the past …

20 Caddie’s bagful : TEES

“Caddie” is a Scottish word, as one might expect given the history of the game of golf. “Caddie” is a local word derived from the French “cadet”, meaning a younger son or brother, and also a student officer in the military. The variant spelling “caddy” is quite common.

22 Trigger, for one : HORSE

Cowboy Roy Rogers rode the palomino horse named Trigger. Cowgirl Dale Evans rode a buckskin quarter horse called Buttermilk.

23 St. whose name is part of its capital’s name : IND

Indianapolis is the largest city in Indiana, and is the state capital. The state of Indiana was formed in 1816, with Corydon chosen as the state capitol. The capital was changed to Indianapolis in 1825. Indianapolis is the closest of all capitals to the center of its state.

24 *20th-century political symbol : IRON CURTAIN

The term “Iron Curtain” was first used in the context of Soviet influence over Eastern Europe in a speech made by Winston Churchill in 1946. He made that address in the US, at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.

26 Tattoo tool : NEEDLE

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

30 Vicinity : AREA

A vicinity is an area surrounding a place. The term “vicinity” ultimately comes from the Latin “vicus” meaning “group of houses, village”.

39 Italian fashion house : PRADA

Prada started out in 1913 as a leather-goods shop in Milan, one established by the two Prada brothers. One of the brothers, Mario Prada, prevented the female members of his family participating in the company as he didn’t believe women should be involved in business (!). When the sexist brother died, his son had no interest in the business so it was his daughter who took over and ran the company for about twenty years, handing it over to her own daughter. I’d say the devil loved that …

42 Port ENE of Cleveland, OH : ERIE, PA

Erie is a port city in the very north of Pennsylvania, sitting on the southern shore of Lake Erie. The city takes its name from the Erie Native American tribe that resided in the area. Erie is nicknamed the Gem City, a reference to the “sparkling” water of Lake Erie.

52 Coke alternatives : RCS

Claude A. Hatcher ran a grocery store in Columbus, Georgia. He decided to develop his own soft drink formula when he balked at the price his store was being charged for Coca-Cola syrup. Hatcher launched the Union Bottling Works in his own grocery store, and introduced Royal Crown Ginger Ale in 1905. The Union Bottling Works was renamed to Chero-Cola in 1910, the Nehi Corporation in 1925, and Royal Crown Company in the mid-fifties. The first RC Cola hit the market in 1934.

53 Jazz drummer Cozy and a king : COLES

Cozy Cole was a jazz drummer who is perhaps best remembered for two hit singles “Topsy I” and ”Topsy II”, both of which were released in 1958. “Topsy II” is one of the few recordings with a long drum solo to go gold, to sell over a million copies.

Old King Cole was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe, and he called for his bowl
And he called for his fiddlers three.
Every fiddler he had a fiddle,
And a very fine fiddle had he;
Oh there’s none so rare, as can compare
With King Cole and his fiddlers three.

55 FDR’s dog : FALA

Fala was the famous Scottish Terrier that was ever present at the side of President Franklin D. Roosevelt for many years. The terrier was a Christmas gift to the president from his cousin, who had named the dog Big Boy while she trained him as a puppy. President Roosevelt renamed him after an ancestor of his from Falahill in Scotland, so the dog’s full name was Murray the Outlaw of Falahill. Fala lived on for several years after the president’s passing. I’ve had the privilege of visiting the gravesites of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt in Hyde Park, New York, and Fala is buried just a few feet away from his master.

56 Business envelope abbr. : ATTN

Attention (attn.)

59 Full of pizzazz : PERT

Pizazz (also “pizzazz”) is energy, vitality. There’s a kind of cool thing about the “pizzazz” spelling, namely that it is the only 7-letter word in English that cannot be played in Scrabble. You can get close by using the Z-tile with the two blank tiles to get to three of the required four Zs, but there’s no way to get to the fourth Z.

61 Dino’s love : 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 …”

“Dean Martin” was the stage name of singer and actor Dino Crocetti. Martin was famous for his numerous hit songs such as “That’s Amore”, “Volare” and Everybody Loves Somebody”, as well as his film career with Jerry Lewis. Off screen, Martin was a member of the famous “Rat Pack” as he was a great friend of Frank Sinatra. Martin was always associated with Las Vegas and when he passed away in 1995 the lights on the strip were dimmed in his honor.

62 Slow Churned ice cream brand : EDY’S

Dreyer’s ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyer’s in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.

Down

1 Backdrop : SETTING

We use the term “backdrop” figuratively to mean “background”. The original backdrop is a painted cloth that is hung across the rear of a stage as part of the scenery.

2 Property recipient, in law : ALIENEE

An alienee is one to whom ownership of property is transferred, is “alienated”.

3 Fait accompli : DONE DEAL

“Fait accompli” is a French term that translates literally as “accomplished fact”. It is used in English to mean “a done deal”.

4 Kennel sounds : ARFS

Our word “kennel” meaning “doghouse” comes from the Vulgar Latin word “canile” meaning the same thing. A sheep (“ovus”) was kept in an “ovile”, a horse (“equus”) in an “equile”, and a dog (“canis”) in a “canile”.

6 Loggers’ contest : ROLEO

The log-rolling competition traditionally engaged in by lumberjacks is referred to as “roleo”.

7 Actor Hawke : ETHAN

Ethan Hawke is a Hollywood actor who made his breakthrough in a supporting role in “Dead Poet’s Society”, playing opposite Robin Williams. Hawke used to be married to Uma Thurman, with whom he has two children.

8 Swiss capital : FRANC

Not only is the Swiss Franc legal tender in Switzerland, it is also the money used in Liechtenstein and the Italian exclave of Campione d’Italia.

9 Lush : SOT

Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s. The derivative term “besotted” means “muddled with drunkenness”, or more figuratively “infatuated”.

“Lush” is a slang term for a heavy drinker. Back in the 1700s, “lush” was slang for “liquor”.

10 “Replace all __”: golf course reminder : DIVOTS

A divot is a chunk of grass and earth that is removed by a golf club immediately after striking the ball. “Divot” is derived from a Scottish word for a piece of turf or sod used as a roofing material.

11 Mount in Genesis : ARARAT

Mount Ararat is in Turkey. It is a snow-capped, dormant volcano with two peaks. The higher of the two, Greater Ararat, is the tallest peak in the country. Ararat takes its name from a legendary Armenian hero called Ara the Beautiful (or “Ara the Handsome”). According to the Book of Genesis, Noah’s ark landed on Mount Ararat as the Great Flood subsided.

12 Heroic TV dog : LASSIE

The canine character Lassie is the creation of Eric Knight, an author who wrote a short story that he expanded into a novel called “Lassie Come Home” published in 1940. “Lassie Come Home” was turned into a movie three years later, the first of a very successful franchise. The original Lassie (a female) was played by a dog called Pal (a male). In fact, all of the dogs that played Lassie over the years were males, because they looked better on camera, retaining a thick coat even during the summer months.

18 ’50s Hungarian premier Nagy : IMRE

Imre Nagy was Prime Minister of Hungary twice. His second term as Prime Minister came during the Hungarian Uprising against the Soviet Union in October 1956. The Soviets invaded in order to quell the rebellion, and arrested Nagy. He was tried in secret, sentenced to death and hanged.

22 Longtime Eur. realm : HRE

The Holy Roman Empire (HRE) existed from 962 to 1806 AD and was a territory of varying size over the centuries that centered on the Kingdom of Germany. The HRE was a successor to the western half of the Ancient Roman Empire.

24 To whom Rick said, “We’ll always have Paris” : ILSA

Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund were played by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in the 1942 movie “Casablanca”. I love the words of one critic describing the chemistry between Bogart and Bergman in this film: “She paints his face with her eyes”. Wow …

25 Caspian Sea feeder : URAL

The Ural River rises in the Ural Mountains in Russia and flows for half its length through Russian territory until it crosses the border into Kazakhstan, finally emptying into the Caspian Sea. It is the third-longest river in Europe, after the Volga and Danube. The Ural is often cited as defining a long stretch of the border between Europe and Asia, although the exact position of that border is open to debate.

The Caspian Sea is a landlocked body of water lying between Asia and Europe. By some definitions, the Caspian is the largest lake on the planet. The name “Caspian” comes from the Caspi people who lived to the southwest of the sea in the South Caucasus.

27 Hip-hop Dr. : DRE

“Dr. Dre” is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such as Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

30 Blood-typing letters : ABO

The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a universal donor.

32 Over-the-street transports : ELS

Elevated railroad (El)

36 U.K. singer Rita : ORA

Rita Ora is a British singer who was born Rita Sahatçiu in Pristina, Yugoslavia to Albanian parents. The family name “Sahatçiu” comes from a Turkish word meaning “watchmaker”. Rita’s parents changed their name to make it easier to pronounce. So, the family name morphed from “watchmaker” to “time”, which is “ora” in Albanian.

37 Ishmael, in “Moby Dick” : NARRATOR

Ishmael is the narrator and protagonist in the Herman Melville novel “Moby-Dick”.

41 Much of Google’s income : AD SALES

Google is a remarkably successful and profitable technology company. Google makes most of its money from its AdWords product. Advertisers pay Google a lot of money to place their ads at the most advantageous spots on the Internet.

43 Ran amok : RIOTED

The phrase “to run amok” (sometimes “to run amuck”) has been around since the 1670s and is derived from the Malay word for “attacking furiously”, “amuk”. The word “amok” was also used as a noun to describe Malay natives who were “frenzied”. Given Malaya’s troubled history, the natives probably had a good reason for that frenzy …

45 Decathlon’s 10 : EVENTS

The decathlon event is a track and field competition, with the name “decathlon” coming from the Greek “deka” (ten) and “athlos” (contest). The ten events in the men’s decathlon are:

  • 100 meters
  • Long jump
  • Shot put
  • High jump
  • 400 meters
  • 110 meters hurdles
  • Discus throw
  • Pole vault
  • Javelin throw
  • 1500 meters

47 Like an eavesdropper, say : NOSY

To eavesdrop is to listen in on someone else’s conversation without being invited to do so. The term comes from the practice of spies loitering in the area just outside the walls of a house, particularly in the “eavesdrip”, the ground close to a house that catches the drips of rainwater falling from the eaves of the roof.

50 New moon, e.g. : PHASE

The phases of the moon have been given the following names, in order:

  • New moon
  • Waxing crescent moon
  • First quarter moon
  • Waxing gibbous moon
  • Full moon
  • Waning gibbous moon
  • Third quarter moon
  • Waning crescent moon
  • Dark moon

51 Yiddish “Yikes!” : OY VEY!

“Oy vey” is a Yiddish expression of dismay that translates literally as “oh, pain”. The more usual translation is “woe is me”.

55 Disaster relief org. : FEMA

Federal emergency management has been structured for over 200 years, but what we know today as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created in 1979 in an Executive Order issued by President Jimmy Carter.

58 Bonkers : MAD

The word “bonkers” meaning “crazy” originated in the fifties. The term might come from navy slang meaning “slightly drunk”, behaving as though one received a “bonk” on the head.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 1978 Peace co-Nobelist : SADAT
6 Officiates : REFS
10 Painter of limp watches : DALI
14 Spanish Olympian’s goal : EL ORO
15 Other, in Oaxaca : OTRO
16 Turkey neighbor : IRAN
17 *Mind reader’s obstacle, some believe : TIN-FOIL HAT
19 Expansive : VAST
20 Caddie’s bagful : TEES
21 Cruel : MEAN
22 Trigger, for one : HORSE
23 St. whose name is part of its capital’s name : IND
24 *20th-century political symbol : IRON CURTAIN
26 Tattoo tool : NEEDLE
28 Took a time out : RESTED
29 They’re shifted often in cities : GEARS
30 Vicinity : AREA
33 *Metaphor for a failure : LEAD BALLOON
38 Ages and ages : EONS
39 Italian fashion house : PRADA
42 Port ENE of Cleveland, OH : ERIE, PA
47 Closed in on : NEARED
48 *Symbol of inherited wealth : SILVER SPOON
52 Coke alternatives : RCS
53 Jazz drummer Cozy and a king : COLES
54 Reasons : WHYS
55 FDR’s dog : FALA
56 Business envelope abbr. : ATTN
57 Rock genre … and a hint to the starts of the answers to starred clues : HEAVY METAL
59 Full of pizzazz : PERT
60 Alleviate : EASE
61 Dino’s love : AMORE
62 Slow Churned ice cream brand : EDY’S
63 Seals, to sharks : PREY
64 Elements in playground banter : DARES

Down

1 Backdrop : SETTING
2 Property recipient, in law : ALIENEE
3 Fait accompli : DONE DEAL
4 Kennel sounds : ARFS
5 Also : TOO
6 Loggers’ contest : ROLEO
7 Actor Hawke : ETHAN
8 Swiss capital : FRANC
9 Lush : SOT
10 “Replace all __”: golf course reminder : DIVOTS
11 Mount in Genesis : ARARAT
12 Heroic TV dog : LASSIE
13 Have in mind : INTEND
18 ’50s Hungarian premier Nagy : IMRE
22 Longtime Eur. realm : HRE
24 To whom Rick said, “We’ll always have Paris” : ILSA
25 Caspian Sea feeder : URAL
27 Hip-hop Dr. : DRE
30 Blood-typing letters : ABO
31 Hightailed it : RAN
32 Over-the-street transports : ELS
34 Cherished : DEAR
35 Inviting store window sign : OPEN
36 U.K. singer Rita : ORA
37 Ishmael, in “Moby Dick” : NARRATOR
40 Announce : DECLARE
41 Much of Google’s income : AD SALES
42 Break out : ESCAPE
43 Ran amok : RIOTED
44 “Do your best” response : I’LL TRY
45 Decathlon’s 10 : EVENTS
46 Latin foot : PES
47 Like an eavesdropper, say : NOSY
49 Talk a blue streak? : SWEAR
50 New moon, e.g. : PHASE
51 Yiddish “Yikes!” : OY VEY!
55 Disaster relief org. : FEMA
57 Cool, once : HEP
58 Bonkers : MAD

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 18 Nov 20, Wednesday”

  1. No errors, no lookups today. It helped that I remembered such proper
    names as “Sadat”…always a good sign when I know the first word in a
    crossword…and Imre Nagy. Did not know Rita Ora but got it through
    cross letters. And of course, tumbling to the theme didn’t hurt either!

  2. 22:42 no errors…I kept thinking that St. in 23A was saint and ind didn’t make sense until I read the explanation…piece of cake after the horrible NYT #1014.
    Stay safe😀

  3. No errors.. When I saw Tin foil I thought of that movie with Mel Gibson and
    Joaquin Phoenix.. The family sitting on the couch with tin foil hats…

  4. Had to Google EL ORO, since I don’t know Spanish. The other Spanish word I got through crosses today: OTRO.

    At first I had OY wEh for OY VEY. In Gerrman, WEH means pain. But Yiddish is written in Hebrew, so it doesn’t matter. Also, waxing, as in the waxing moon PHASE, is from the german “wachsen,” which means to grow.

    The Roosevelts are distant cousins, so a referrence to yet another ancestor, John Murray of FALAhill, might point to an addition to my tree. By the way, a better way to name inbreeding is “pedigree collapse.” Sometimes it works out well, as with the Darwins and Wedgewoods.
    Did not actually know: ALIENEE, ORA, IMRE, ROLEO. The last is a neat word.
    Finally, I remember, many decades ago, applicants showing up at social services with aluminum foil sailor hats.

  5. 8:02 no errors

    I think, if you get even one of the long answers before you reach the theme clue, it’s an easy guess. Then I got stuck in the NW for a couple minutes before that too fell into place.

    By the way, I’ve taken to going through the down clues first, in the hopes that this gives me more crosses for the long answers in early passes. Does anyone else do that?

    1. I usually *prefer* downs, but will section things out and frame them with across answers just to check myself because I’ve had so many “first impressions” go wrong. Kind of flip it if I see long down answers. Occasionally, I can correctly knock down a long answer, but I’ll swing hard for a strike on them sometimes too and lose a lot of time tearing out what I did from that. Of course, I can piece out long answers sometimes if they’re phrases, too. Used to have recordings up of me doing things, but couldn’t afford to keep the blog around (may not be able to afford to keep ME around soon 🙁 ), soooo…

  6. Mostly easy Wednesday for me; took 12:31 on-line, but used “check grid” to find one error at OTRa/SaT. I’ve had that problem with otro before, so hopefully this is the last time…

    I’ve thought about going to down clues first, since they seem to be easier to fill most of the time. What I end up doing is across, until I hit a snag, and then revert to down for a while, and then switch back to across 🙂 So, mostly no organization at all.

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