LA Times Crossword 2 Nov 20, Monday

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Constructed by: George Jasper
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: You See?

Themed answers each start with the letters UC, which sounds like “YOU SEE?”:

  • 50A “It’s like this,” and a phonetic hint to the five longest Across answers : YOU SEE?
  • 18A 1980 Travolta/Winger film set in Texas : URBAN COWBOY
  • 23A Aristocracy : UPPER CLASS
  • 39A Previously owned auto : USED CAR
  • 53A Pandemonium : UTTER CHAOS
  • 59A Where a quarterback may line up : UNDER CENTER

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

Bill’s time: 5m 29s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Brutus’ 300 : CCC

The most famous man with the name “Brutus” in ancient Rome was Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger. It was this Brutus that Julius Caesar turned to when he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate. William Shakespeare immortalized Brutus by featuring him in his play, “Julius Caesar”, and giving his victim the line “Et tu, Brute?”

4 Florida city on its own bay : TAMPA

The Florida city of Tampa has been known as “the Big Guava” since the seventies. The term is imitative of New York’s “Big Apple”, and refers to the unsuccessful search for the reported wild guava trees that were once hoped to be the basis of a new industry for the area. Tampa has also been called “Cigar City”, a reference to the cigar industry that fueled the area’s growth starting in the 1880s.

9 Actor Charlie or his dad Martin : SHEEN

Charlie Sheen’s real name is Carlos Irwin Estévez, and he is of course the youngest son of actor Martin Sheen. Charlie was the highest paid actor on television in 2010, earning $1.8 million per episode on the sitcom “Two and a Half Men”. Then of course he blew it and got fired from the show amid stories of alcohol and drug abuse and domestic violence. I bet his co-stars were pretty tweaked about the show being canceled, and pretty happy that it was given a second lease of life …

“Martin Sheen” is the stage name of actor Ramón Estévez. Despite all of his great performances, Sheen has never even been nominated for an Academy Award. Isn’t that something? I thought he was outstanding in his starring role in television’s “The West Wing”.

16 Overly theatrical : HAMMY

The word “ham”, describing a performer who overacts, is a shortened form of “hamfatter” and dates back to the late 1800s. “Hamfatter” comes from a song in old minstrel shows called “The Ham-Fat Man”. It seems that a poorly performing actor was deemed to have the “acting” qualities of a minstrel made up in blackface.

17 “Frozen” collectible : CEL

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle. Spoiler alert: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles seems to be a good guy for most of the film, but turns out to be a baddie in the end. And, a snowman named Olaf provides some comic relief.

18 1980 Travolta/Winger film set in Texas : URBAN COWBOY

“Urban Cowboy” is a 1980 Western film starring John Travolta and Debra Winger. It’s a love-hate story that was adapted from an article by Aaron Latham in “Esquire” about a romance between two regular patrons of Gilley’s Club, a honky tonk in Pasadena, Texas.

Actor, dancer and singer John Travolta got his first break playing student Vinnie Barbarino in the sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter” in the seventies. While still on the TV show, Travolta showed off his dancing skills on two fabulous musical films: “Saturday Night Fever” (1977) and “Grease” (1978). His career then took a bit of a dip, before resurging again with his role in the 1994 Quentin Tarantino blockbuster “Pulp Fiction”.

When actress Debra Winger was a young woman she was involved in a terrible car accident that resulted in a cerebral hemorrhage. She was left partially paralyzed and blind, and was told that she would never see again. Given so much time to think after the accident, she decided that if she did indeed recover she would leave her home in Ohio and move to California to take up acting. After ten months of blindness Winger recovered, and off she headed.

20 Asian island capital : TAIPEI

Taipei (officially “Taipei City”) is the capital of Taiwan (officially “the Republic of China”). “Taipei” translates from Chinese as “Northern Taiwan City” and indeed, the capital is situated at the northern tip of Taiwan. The city is nicknamed “City of Azaleas” as flowers are said to bloom better in Taipei than in any other city on the island.

26 Fateful March day : IDES

In Act I of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”, a soothsayer warns the doomed leader to “beware the ides of March”. Caesar ignores the prophecy and is subsequently killed on the steps of the Capitol by a group of conspirators on that fateful day.

29 London district : SOHO

The area of London called Soho had a very poor reputation for most of the 20th century as it was home to the city’s red-light district. Soho went through a transformation in recent decades, and has been a very fashionable neighborhood since the 1980s.

30 NBA tiebreakers : OTS

Overtime (OT)

31 Agassi of tennis : ANDRE

Retired tennis professional Andre Agassi has been married to fellow player Steffi Graf since 2001. Agassi wrote an autobiography called “Open”, published in 2009. An amazing revelation in the book is that Agassi’s famous head of hair was actually a wig for much of his playing career. Can you imagine how hard it must have been to play tennis at his level with a rug stuck on?

35 Con artist’s target : PIGEON

In the confidence trick known as a “pigeon drop”, the victim (the pigeon) is fooled into putting his or her money into say an envelope along with a sum provided by the trickster. The envelope is switched for an envelope stuffed with perhaps newspaper. The victim usually takes the opportunity to sneak off with the supposed money, but is actually sneaking off with nothing and leaving the trickster a handsome profit.

36 Fond du __, Wisconsin : LAC

“Fond du lac” is French and translates as “bottom of the lake”, and is an apt name for the city of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin located at the foot of Lake Winnebago. If you like to play the lottery, you might want to stop off in Fond du Lac as there is a stretch of South Main Street called “Miracle Mile”. Back in 1993, someone bought a ticket there and won $100 million. Then in 2006, another store sold a ticket that won $209 million. These things always come in threes, so buy your tickets now …

41 Fla. summer hrs. : DST

Daylight saving time (DST)

47 Tulsa sch. named for an evangelist : ORU

Oral Roberts was a pioneer televangelist who started preaching on radio in 1947, and on television in 1954. He founded Oral Roberts University in 1963 in Tulsa. Oklahoma, which today has an enrollment of over 3,000 students.

48 “Avalon” author Seton : ANYA

“Anya Seton” was the pen name of Ann Seton, an author of historical romances from New York City. Seton’s 1944 novel “Dragonwyck” was released into theaters in 1946 and starred Gene Tierney and Walter Huston.

“Avalon” is an Anya Seton novel that was first published in 1965. It is set in Anglo-Saxon England as well as Iceland and Greenland as the Vikings expand their sphere of influence. One of the main characters is Merewyn, a teenage girl who claims descendancy from King Arthur.

52 Freelancer’s encl. : SASE

An SAE is a “stamped, addressed envelope”. An SASE is a “self-addressed, stamped envelope”.

The term “free lance” was coined by Sir Walter Scott in his 1820 novel “Ivanhoe”, when he used it to describe a medieval mercenary warrior. Forty years later, a “freelancer” was a journalist who did work for more than one publication without a long-term commitment.

53 Pandemonium : UTTER CHAOS

The word “pandemonium” was coined in 1667 by John Milton in his epic poem “Paradise Lost”. It is the name he invented for the capital of Hell, “the High Capital, of Satan and his Peers”.

58 Chickpea dip : HUMMUS

The lovely dip/spread called hummus usually contains mashed chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. The name “hummus” is an Arabic word for “chickpeas”.

59 Where a quarterback may line up : UNDER CENTER

In football, when a quarterback lines up right behind the center to take the snap, he is said to be “under center”.

65 Waze suggestion : ROUTE

Waze is a navigation app that is similar to Google Maps and Apple Maps. Waze was developed in Israel, and was acquired by Google in 2013.

66 Novelist Deighton : LEN

I used to walk my dog right past author Len Deighton’s house years ago, as we lived in the same seaside village in Ireland (probably my only claim to “fame”). Deighton wrote the excellent espionage thriller “The IPCRESS File”, which was made into a 1965 movie starring Michael Caine.

67 Trait carriers : GENES

The set of all genes in a particular population is known as the “gene pool”, a term coined in Russian by geneticist Aleksandr Sergeevich Serebrovskii in the 1920s. In general, the larger the gene pool, the more diverse and robust the population.

68 Editorial second thoughts : STETS

“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

Down

1 Plant seen in Road Runner cartoons : CACTUS

The cactus (plural “cacti”) is a member of a family of plants that are particularly well-adapted to extremely dry environments. Almost all cacti are native to the Americas, although some succulent plants from the old world are similar in appearance and are often mislabeled as “cacti”.

Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are two much-loved cartoon characters from Warner Bros. Wile E. Coyote was created first, and Road Runner was invented as someone for Wile E. to play off. I love this cartoon; it’s definitely one of the best …

3 Islamic leader : CALIPH

“Caliph” is an Arabic word meaning “successor”. In the Islamic tradition, a caliph is a leader who is deemed to be a successor of Muhammad.

5 Bond foe Goldfinger : AURIC

“Goldfinger” is Ian Fleming’s seventh James Bond novel, and was first published in 1959. Fleming was in the habit of naming his characters after people in the real world. The novel’s colorful antagonist Auric Goldfinger was named after Hungarian-born British architect Ernő Goldfinger.

6 Org. with A’s and O’s : MLB

The Oakland Athletics (OAK) baseball franchise was founded back in 1901 as the Philadelphia Athletics. The team became the Kansas City Athletics in 1955 and moved to Oakland in 1968. Today, the Athletics are usually referred to as “the A’s”.

The Baltimore Orioles (also the O’s, the Birds) are one of the eight charter teams of MLB’s American League, so the franchise dates back to 1901. Prior to 1901, the team had roots in the Minor League Milwaukee Brewers, and indeed entered the American League as the Brewers. In 1902 the Brewers moved to St. Louis and became the Browns. The team didn’t fare well in St. Louis, so when it finally relocated to Baltimore in the early fifties the team changed its name completely, to the Baltimore Orioles. The owners so badly wanted a fresh start that they traded 17 old Browns players with the New York Yankees. The trade didn’t help the team’s performance on the field in those early days, but it did help distance the new team from its past.

8 James of “Gunsmoke” : ARNESS

James Arness played the role of Matt Dillon, Marshal of Dodge City, on “Gunsmoke” for twenty years. If you count the occasions when he reprised the role for specials, he actually performed as Matt Dillon over five decades. Did you know that the real name of Peter Graves, the actor who played Jim Phelps on “Mission: Impossible”, was Peter Arness, as he and James were brothers.

“Gunsmoke” is a Western drama series that originally aired on television from 1955 to 1975, with James Arness starring as Marshall Matt Dillon. The TV show was adapted from a radio show of the same name that ran from 1952 to 1961, with William Conrad (who later played TV’s “Cannon”) playing Marshall Dillon.

10 “A Brief History of Time” author Stephen : HAWKING

Stephen Hawking was a theoretical physicist from Oxford, England. Hawking owed much of his fame in the world of popular science to his incredibly successful book called “A Brief History of Time”. “A Brief History of Time” has sold over 10 million copies and was on London’s “Sunday Times” bestseller list for over four years. Hawking does a wonderful job of explaining many aspects of cosmology without losing the average reader. There is only one equation in the whole book, and that equation is “E = mc²”. Hawking’s life story is recounted in the excellent 2014 film “The Theory of Everything”.

11 Attached to a military unit, as a journalist : EMBEDDED

Although journalists have been directly reporting from the front lines in military conflicts for some time, the term “embedded journalism” only came into fashion during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. A formal arrangement was made between the US Military and hundreds of reporters allowing journalists to travel with military units and, under pre-ordained conditions, report directly from those units. Some say that the arrangement was mutually beneficial. On the one hand the journalists had relatively little to worry about in terms of transportation and travel through combat zones. On the other hand, the military had better control over what did and did not get reported.

12 Angsty music genre : EMO

The emo musical genre originated in Washington, D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. “Emo” is also the name given to the associated subculture. Not my cup of tea …

13 Bronx team, initially : NYY

The New York Yankees (NYY) baseball team has the nickname “the Bronx Bombers”. The nickname reflects where the team plays (the Bronx) and the team’s reputation for hitting (bombers). The Yankees were the first team to retire a uniform number, doing so on July 4, 1939. That day they retired the number 4 in honor of Lou Gehrig.

19 Walgreens rival : CVS

The name of the drugstore chain CVS once stood for “Consumer Value Stores”, although these days the company uses the initialism to denote “Convenience, Value and Service”.

Walgreens is the largest chain of drugstores in the United States, with over 7,500 retail outlets. The company is named for the owner of the first store and founder of the chain, Charles R. Walgreen. Also, Walgreens claims to have introduced the malted milkshake, in 1922.

21 Low-level laborer : PEON

A peon is a lowly worker who has no real control over his/her working conditions. The word “peon” comes into English from Spanish, in which language it has the same meaning.

27 Bow-wielding god : EROS

The name of Eros, the Greek god of love, gives rise to our word “erotic” meaning “arousing sexual desire”. Eros was referred to in Latin as both “Amor” (meaning “love”) and “Cupid” (meaning “desire”).

34 Personal ad “looking for” : ISO

In search of (ISO)

36 East Asian country : LAOS

The present-day nation of Laos can trace its roots back to the historic Lao kingdom of Lan Xang that existed from 1354 to 1707. The full name of the kingdom was “Lan Xang Hom Khao”, which translates as “The Land of a Million Elephants and the White Parasol”.

37 Alan of “M*A*S*H” : ALDA

Alan Alda has had a great television career, most notably as a lead actor in “M*A*S*H”. He was born Alphonso D’Abruzzo in the Bronx, New York City. Alda won his first Emmy in 1972, for playing surgeon Hawkeye Pierce on “M*A*S*H”. He also won an Emmy in 2006 for his portrayal of Presidential candidate Senator Arnold Vinick in “The West Wing”. When it comes to the big screen, my favorite of Alda’s movies is the 1978 romantic comedy “Same Time, Next Year” in which he starred opposite Ellen Burstyn.

“M*A*S*H” has only three stars (three asterisks, that is). These asterisks first appeared on the poster for the 1970 movie, but they were omitted in the opening titles. The TV series went on to use the asterisks from the poster.

40 Board game with a candlestick : CLUE

Clue is a board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

45 Former Chicago mayor Emanuel : RAHM

Rahm Emanuel was an Illinois representative in the US House before resigning in 2009 to take up President Obama’s offer to become the White House Chief of Staff. Emanuel moved on from the White House the following year in order to run as a candidate in Chicago’s mayoral election in 2011. He won the 2011 race, and was re-elected in 2015.

53 Sch. near Hollywood : USC

The University of Southern California (USC) is a private school in Los Angeles. Apart from its excellent academic record, USC is known for the success of its athletic program. USC Trojans have won more Olympic medals than the students of any other university in the world. The USC marching band is very famous as well, and is known as the “Spirit of Troy”. The band has performed with many celebrities, and is the only college band to have two platinum records.

54 Scarlett’s Butler : RHETT

An oft-quoted exchange takes place between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler in the movie “Gone with the Wind”. Scarlett says to Rhett, “Sir, you are no gentleman”, to which Rhett replies, “And you, Miss, are no lady.”

57 Greek war god : ARES

The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and the Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

59 Post-Civil War pres. : USG

Ulysses S. Grant (USG) had risen to commander of all Union armies by the end of the Civil War. He was elected as the 18th president of the US in 1869. Grant served two terms as president, and also made a failed bid for a third term. Grant’s reputation was tarnished by his apparent tolerance of corruption in his administration. On the other hand, Grant worked hard to protect African Americans during Reconstruction after the Civil War, and pursued peaceful relations with Native Americans.

62 U.S. Election Day: Abbr. : TUE

Election day was chosen by Congress back in 1845. The month of November was selected as it suited an agricultural society, following the fall harvest and yet not too far into winter, which could make travel difficult. Tuesday was chosen so that people had time to travel to polling stations. Monday elections might have meant that some would have to start out on Sunday, and that could interfere with Christian services.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Brutus’ 300 : CCC
4 Florida city on its own bay : TAMPA
9 Actor Charlie or his dad Martin : SHEEN
14 “Oh, I get it now!” : AHA!
15 Schoolbag measuring stick : RULER
16 Overly theatrical : HAMMY
17 “Frozen” collectible : CEL
18 1980 Travolta/Winger film set in Texas : URBAN COWBOY
20 Asian island capital : TAIPEI
22 Bring to mind : EVOKE
23 Aristocracy : UPPER CLASS
26 Fateful March day : IDES
29 London district : SOHO
30 NBA tiebreakers : OTS
31 Agassi of tennis : ANDRE
32 Cat burglar’s undoing : NOISE
35 Con artist’s target : PIGEON
36 Fond du __, Wisconsin : LAC
39 Previously owned auto : USED CAR
41 Fla. summer hrs. : DST
42 Top NFL player : ALL-PRO
44 More out of sorts : ILLER
46 Smelly emanations : ODORS
47 Tulsa sch. named for an evangelist : ORU
48 “Avalon” author Seton : ANYA
52 Freelancer’s encl. : SASE
53 Pandemonium : UTTER CHAOS
56 Cybermoney : E-CASH
58 Chickpea dip : HUMMUS
59 Where a quarterback may line up : UNDER CENTER
63 Language suffix : -ESE
64 Like a nasty remark : SNIDE
65 Waze suggestion : ROUTE
66 Novelist Deighton : LEN
67 Trait carriers : GENES
68 Editorial second thoughts : STETS
69 Up until now : YET

Down

1 Plant seen in Road Runner cartoons : CACTUS
2 Bargain-basement : CHEAPO
3 Islamic leader : CALIPH
4 More factual : TRUER
5 Bond foe Goldfinger : AURIC
6 Org. with A’s and O’s : MLB
7 Veggie in a pod : PEA
8 James of “Gunsmoke” : ARNESS
9 “Beat it!” : SHOO!
10 “A Brief History of Time” author Stephen : HAWKING
11 Attached to a military unit, as a journalist : EMBEDDED
12 Angsty music genre : EMO
13 Bronx team, initially : NYY
19 Walmart rival : CVS
21 Low-level laborer : PEON
24 Drop, as weight : LOSE
25 Was humbled : ATE DIRT
27 Bow-wielding god : EROS
28 Mailed : SENT
31 Billion suffix : -AIRE
33 Yours and mine : OURS
34 Personal ad “looking for” : ISO
35 Good buddy : PAL
36 East Asian country : LAOS
37 Alan of “M*A*S*H” : ALDA
38 Approached for a raid : CLOSED IN
40 Board game with a candlestick : CLUE
43 Lead up to : PRECEDE
45 Former Chicago mayor Emanuel : RAHM
47 “Plays well with __” : OTHERS
49 For instance : NAMELY
50 “It’s like this,” and a phonetic hint to the five longest Across answers : YOU SEE?
51 Agree : ASSENT
53 Sch. near Hollywood : USC
54 Scarlett’s Butler : RHETT
55 Heals : CURES
57 Greek war god : ARES
59 Post-Civil War pres. : USG
60 SSW’s opposite : NNE
61 “__ on my watch!” : NOT
62 U.S. Election Day: Abbr. : TUE

24 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 2 Nov 20, Monday”

  1. Also a quick solve. At first I wanted ANNA for 48A but quickly resolved that.

    @Bill – your explanation for 6D for Baltimore O’s is listed under 7D for PEA.

    1. @Anonymous …

      I’m guessing that you were as confused by the “revealer” as I was (at least for a minute or two). Instead of trying to somehow put an “AND” in each of the final words of the theme answers, put the “AND” in the middle of the whole group of final words and you get … tada! … PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH!

      Interestingly enough, one can piece together the word “AMPERSAND” from parts of theme answers 1, 2, and 5. I don’t know if that was intentional or not … 🤨.

  2. @Bill …

    The link on Sunday’s blog appeared to take me to a discussion of Tuesday’s puzzle!? I didn’t stay there overly long, for fear of seeing even further into the future 😜, but you might want to check the links on yesterday’s blog.

    1. Oops … that’s embarrassing. Thanks for pointing it out.

      Can’t imagine why I would want Tuesday of this week to come earlier than usual.

  3. @Bill …

    The link on Sunday’s blog appeared to take me to a discussion of Tuesday’s puzzle!? I didn’t stay there overly long, for fear of seeing even further into the future 😜, but you might want to check the links on yesterday’s blog.

    The backward link on this page also takes me to a discussion of Tuesday’s puzzle. (And this post will probably be a partial duplicate of a first attempt. Very confusing.)

  4. Except for spelling Taipei wrong (ee) todays puzzle was a short but pleasent
    diversion from todays troubles.
    Stay Safe
    Eddie

  5. 20:26 no errors…41A seems to be nationwide and EDT would seem to apply to Fla. I could be wrong.
    Stay safe,
    The Ravens dropped the ball yesterday (literally)

  6. 5:00 1 error, my fingers are consistently stubborn at typing NYT whenever it should be NYY.

    I’d like to add to the entry on Alan Alda that in addition to his acting achievements, in recent years he has taken up science education. He often turns up on Science Friday.

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