LA Times Crossword 21 Nov 20, Saturday

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Constructed by: Ed Sessa
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 13m 46s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 2015-’20 TV hip-hop musical drama : EMPIRE

“Empire” is a musical drama TV series about the hip hop music business. Star of the show is Terrence Howard, who plays drug-dealer turned hip hop mogul Lucious Lyon. Lyon is CEO of Empire Entertainment.

7 Toyota sedans : AVALONS

The Avalon is a large sedan that has been produced by Toyota in Georgetown, Kentucky since 1994. “Avalon” was the name of an island featured in Arthurian legend, the place where the sword Excalibur was forged.

14 Outer organ layer : CORTEX

The outermost layer of an organ is known as the cortex. The cortical layer that is most familiar to the man on the street (like me!) is that of the brain, the cerebral cortex.

15 Email staple : EMOTICON

An emoticon is a glyph created using text characters to represent facial features, and usually oriented sideways. The emoticon is designed to indicate emotion or attitude. The classic example is the smiley face 🙂. “Emoticon” is short for “emotion icon”.

17 Michelangelo’s “David,” for one : MALE NUDE

When Michelangelo’s famous statue of David was unveiled in 1504, it was at a time when the city-state of the Florentine Republic was threatened by rival states (including Rome). The statue depicts David after he has decided to fight Goliath, and the subject is sporting what is described as a “warning glare”. David was originally placed outside the Palazzo della Signoria, the seat of government in Florence, and that warning glare was directed very deliberately in the direction of its enemy, Rome. The original statue of David can be seen in the Accademia Gallery in Florence, where it has resided since 1873. There is a replica of the statue in its original location in the public square outside of the Palazzo della Signoria.

18 Do something to hide? : TAN

Leather is made from animal skins. When the flesh, fat and hair is removed from the skin and it is dried, the resulting product is rawhide. Further treatment of the skin with chemicals that permanently alter the protein structure of the skin is known as tanning, and the resulting product is leather.

21 Name on the 1949 “Death of a Salesman” playbill : 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.

“Death of a Salesman” is a famous play by Arthur Miller that was first produced in 1949. “Death of a Salesman” won a Pulitzer and several Tony Awards over the years. The “Salesman” is the famous character Willy Loman. The play originally opened up on Broadway and ran for 724 performances. It was directed by Elia Kazan, and the lead role was played by veteran actor Lee J. Cobb.

24 Thrice, in prescriptions : TER

Abbreviations on a medical prescription (Rx) are shortened forms of Latin phrases. “Ter in die” is Latin for “three times a day”, abbreviated to “TID”. “Bis in die” (BID) would be twice a day, and “quater in die” (QID) would be four times a day.

25 Nosh : SNACK

Our word “nosh” has been around since the late fifties, when it was imported from the Yiddish word “nashn” meaning “to nibble”. We use “nosh” as a noun that means “snack”, or as a verb meaning “to eat between meals”.

26 Proportional gift : TITHE

Traditionally, a tithe is a payment of one tenth of a person’s annual income and is usually given to a church. Tithing is a practice taught in many traditions, and according to a 2002 survey, about 3% of American adults donate 10% or more of their income to a church.

31 “Curious George” co-author Margret : REY

Curious George is a character in a series of children’s books written by husband and wife Hans Augusto and Margret Rey. The couple wrote the original stories in Paris, taking the manuscripts with them as they fled from the city ahead of the Nazi invasion in 1940.

35 Comics characters in “Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat” : CALVIN AND HOBBES

The comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” is still widely syndicated, but hasn’t been written since 1995. The cartoonist Bill Watterson named the character Calvin after John Calvin, the 16th century theologian. Hobbes was named for Thomas Hobbes, a 17th century English political philosopher.

40 Duck soup : A CINCH

The term “cinch” was absorbed into American English from Spanish in the mid-1800s, when it was used to mean a “saddle-girth”. “Cincha” is the Spanish for “girdle”. In the late 1800s, “cinch” came to mean a ‘sure thing”, in the sense that a saddle-girth can provide a “sure hold”.

The origins of the phrase “duck soup”, meaning anything easily done, aren’t very clear. However, it does at least date back to 1908.

41 Exmoor heroine : DOONE

The novel “Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor” was written by Richard Doddridge Blackmore. R. D. Blackmore was an English novelist, very celebrated and in demand in his day (the late 1800s). His romantic story “Lorna Doone” was by no means a personal favorite of his, and yet it is the only one of his works still in print.

45 Tucker of country : TANYA

Country singer Tanya Tucker’s first hit was “Delta Dawn”, which she recorded in 1972 at only 13 years of age.

46 Warblers’ warbles : SONGS

“Warbler” is a common name given to some fairly small perching birds that are noted for their song.

47 Law school beginners : ONE LS

“One L” is a name used in general for first-year law students, especially those attending Harvard.

51 __ Sea: Arctic Ocean arm : KARA

The Kara Sea is an arm of the Arctic Ocean located north of Siberia. The sea takes its name from the Kara River, and the river in turn takes its name from a Nenets word meaning “hummocked ice”. According to the Russian government, the Kara Sea is home to a substantial cache of nuclear dumped by the former Soviet Union authorities. The waste comprises at least six nuclear submarine reactors and ten nuclear power plant reactors, most of which had suffered some kind of accident.

52 Cut with light : LASE

The term “laser” is an acronym standing for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “light oscillation by stimulated emission of radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn’t quite so appealing, namely “loser”.

53 It was delayed three months in 2020 : TAX DAY

April 15th wasn’t always Tax Day in the US. The deadline for returns was March 1st from 1913-18, when it was moved to March 15th. Tax Day has been April 15th since 1955.

57 Apple Pencil go-with : IPAD MINI

The iPad mini is a line of smaller iPads that was introduced by Apple in 2012. The iPad mini has a screen size of 7.9 inches, whereas the regular iPad’s screen is 9.7 inches.

The Apple Pencil is a stylus released in 2015 that was designed for the iPad Pro tablet computer. The Apple Pencil is quite “smart”, and has a pressure sensitive tip. It also includes a bluetooth device for additional connectivity to the computer system itself,and not just the screen. Another nice feature is a Lightning connector, so that the computer can charge the stylus for half an hour’s use in only 15 seconds.

59 “Honest!” : NO JIVE!

“Jive” is a slang term meaning “nonsensical talk”.

62 Ace of Base, e.g. : SWEDES

Ace of Base is a pop group from Sweden. The band had several names before settling on “Ace of Base”, which was inspired by the Motörhead song “Ace of Spades”.

63 “The Mets have shown me more ways to lose than I even knew existed” speaker : STENGEL

Casey Stengel was a professional baseball player, playing from 1912-1925 and managing from 1934-1965. Stengel was born in Kansas City. He had German heritage, and so was called “Dutch” for much of his early life. As he acquired fame on the baseball field, Stengel was given the nickname “Casey”, largely because he came from Kansas City (“KC”) and also because of the popularity of the poem “Casey at the Bat”. He was a smart and erudite guy when it came to baseball, so sportswriters tended to call him “The Old Professor”.

Down

2 16th-century masterpiece : MONA LISA

Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece that we know in English as the “Mona Lisa” is called “La Gioconda” in Italian, the language of the artist. It’s also known as “La Joconde” by the Government of France which owns the painting and displays it in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The title comes from the name of the subject, almost certainly Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo. Giocondo was a wealthy silk merchant in Florence who commissioned the painting for the couple’s new home to celebrate the birth of their second son.

3 Like most OB visits : PRENATAL

In Latin, the word for midwife is “obstetrix”. “Obstetrix” translates more literally as “one who stands opposite” i.e. the one opposite the woman giving birth. The Latin term gives rise to our modern word “obstetrics” used for the branch of medical science concerned with childbirth.

4 Mineral ending : -ITE

Physically speaking, a mineral differs from a rock in that the former has one chemical composition and the later is an aggregate of several minerals. The study of minerals is known as mineralogy.

5 Exiled Shah Mohammad __ Pahlavi : REZA

The last Shah of Iran was Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, who was overthrown in the revolution led by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. The post-revolution government sought the extradition of the Shah back to Iran while he was in the United States seeking medical care (he had cancer). His prolonged stay in the United States, recovering from surgery, caused some unrest back in Iran and resentment towards the United States. Some say that this resentment precipitated the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran and the resulting hostage crisis.

7 Start of many bar jokes : A MAN …

A man walks into a bar and there is a bunch of meat hanging from the ceiling. The man asks the bartender what’s the deal with the meat and the bartender explains that if you jump and slap a piece of meat, you get to drink free for the night, but if you miss, you must buy drinks for everyone in the bar. The man responds, “Nah, the steaks are too high.”

8 Electric Chevy : VOLT

The Chevrolet Volt went on sale at the end of 2010, and is a plug-in hybrid car that runs on batteries. The Volt has a gasoline engine that can be used to run an electric generator when needed. The Volt also uses a regenerative braking system.

12 “Fat chance” : NO DICE

“Fat chance” means “there’s only a slim chance”, somewhat paradoxically …

13 Disingenuous : SNEAKY

Here are some words, the spelling of which I find easy to confound. Someone who is “ingenious” is clever and inventive, exhibits “ingenuity”. Someone who is “ingenuous” is innocent and unsuspecting, like an “ingenue”. Someone who is “disingenuous” is the opposite, lacks candor and is insincere.

20 Start of a request for advice : DEAR ANN …

“Ask Ann Landers” was an advice column written by Eppie Lederer from 1955 to 2002. Eppie was the twin sister to Pauline Phillips, the person behind “Dear Abby”. Eppie took over the “Ask Ann Landers” column from Ruth Crowley who started it in 1943.

23 Hindu deity : SHIVA

Shiva (also “Siva”) is one of the major deities of the Hindu tradition, and is known as the destroyer of evil and the transformer. Shiva is also part of the Hindu trinity known as the Trimurti, along with Brahma and Vishnu.

25 Clerical assemblies : SYNODS

The word “synod” comes from the Greek word for assembly, or meeting. A synod is a church council, usually one in the Christian faith.

30 Org. studying epidemics : NIH

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) organization is made up of 27 different institutes that coordinate their research and services. Examples of member institutes are the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Aging.

36 Vardalos of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” : NIA

Nia Vardalos is an actress and screenwriter whose biggest break came with the 2002 film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, which she wrote and in which she starred. The film tells the story of a Greek-American woman marrying a non-Greek Caucasian American who converts to the Greek Orthodox Church to facilitate the marriage. The storyline reflects the actual experiences of Vardalos and her husband, actor Ian Gomez. Vardalos and Gomez appeared together as hosts for two seasons of the reality competition “The Great American Baking Show”.

37 Real : BONA FIDE

“Bona fide(s)” translates from the Latin as “in good faith”, and is used to indicate honest intentions. It can also mean that something is authentic, like a piece of art that is represented in good faith as being genuine.

39 Fictional NYC thoroughfare : SESAME ST

Back in 1966, the Carnegie Institute allocated money to study the use of television to help young children prepare for school. The institute gave an $8million grant to set up the Children’s Television Workshop with the task of creating an educational TV program for young people. The program began to come together, especially after Jim Henson (of Muppet fame) got involved. The name “Sesame Street” was chosen simply because it was the “least disliked” of all names proposed just before the program went on the air.

44 “__ Mucho”: 1944 #1 song : BESAME

“Bésame Mucho” was written in 1940, by Mexican songwriter Consuelo Velázquez. “Besame mucho” translates into “kiss me a lot”, and the remarkable thing is that according to Velázquez, at the time she wrote the song she had never herself been kissed! “Besame Mucho” was just one of Jimmy Dorsey’s eleven number-one hits, all from the thirties and forties.

50 “__ avec les stars” : DANSE

“Danse avec les stars” is the French version of the British television show “Strictly Come Dancing”. The American version of the show is “Dancing with the Stars”.

When I was growing up in Ireland, there was a surprisingly popular BBC television show featuring professional ballroom dancing called “Come Dancing”. It ran almost every year from 1949 to 1998, and in 2004 the BBC resurrected it with a new twist, adding celebrities to dance with the professionals. The new show, called “Strictly Come Dancing”, is a huge success and has become a worldwide franchise. Over here we watch the American version called “Dancing with the Stars”. It really can be fun television …

54 Indigo dye : ANIL

“Anil” is another name for the indigo plant, as well as the name of the blue indigo dye that is obtained from it. The color of anil is relatively close to navy blue. The main coloring agent in indigo dye is a crystalline powder called indigotin.

The name of the color “indigo” ultimately comes from the Greek “indikon” meaning “blue dye from India”.

60 Clampett patriarch : JED

Jed Clampett was played by Buddy Ebsen in “The Beverly Hillbillies”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 2015-’20 TV hip-hop musical drama : EMPIRE
7 Toyota sedans : AVALONS
14 Outer organ layer : CORTEX
15 Email staple : EMOTICON
16 Pooh-pooh, with “at” : SNEEZE …
17 Michelangelo’s “David,” for one : MALE NUDE
18 Do something to hide? : TAN
19 Devoted : ARDENT
21 Name on the 1949 “Death of a Salesman” playbill : ELIA
22 Bad news word : ALAS
24 Thrice, in prescriptions : TER
25 Nosh : SNACK
26 Proportional gift : TITHE
28 Extreme distress : AGONY
31 “Curious George” co-author Margret : REY
32 Start of a “Huh?” response : I SAID …
33 Fix up, as an old pool : RELINE
35 Comics characters in “Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat” : CALVIN AND HOBBES
40 Duck soup : A CINCH
41 Exmoor heroine : DOONE
42 Part of the 56-Across : SIB
45 Tucker of country : TANYA
46 Warblers’ warbles : SONGS
47 Law school beginners : ONE LS
49 High-__: upscale : END
51 __ Sea: Arctic Ocean arm : KARA
52 Cut with light : LASE
53 It was delayed three months in 2020 : TAX DAY
56 See 42-Across : FAM
57 Apple Pencil go-with : IPAD MINI
59 “Honest!” : NO JIVE!
61 Try-before-you-buy item : DEMO UNIT
62 Ace of Base, e.g. : SWEDES
63 “The Mets have shown me more ways to lose than I even knew existed” speaker : STENGEL
64 First arrival : ELDEST

Down

1 Stoked : ECSTATIC
2 16th-century masterpiece : MONA LISA
3 Like most OB visits : PRENATAL
4 Mineral ending : -ITE
5 Exiled Shah Mohammad __ Pahlavi : REZA
6 Bring into play : EXERT
7 Start of many bar jokes : A MAN …
8 Electric Chevy : VOLT
9 Put away : ATE
10 Bedding : LINEN
11 Concerned with pupils? : OCULAR
12 “Fat chance” : NO DICE
13 Disingenuous : SNEAKY
15 Way away from danger : EMERGENCY EXIT
20 Start of a request for advice : DEAR ANN …
23 Hindu deity : SHIVA
25 Clerical assemblies : SYNODS
27 Royal commands : EDICTS
29 Warhorse : OLD HAND
30 Org. studying epidemics : NIH
34 Digital read : E-BOOK
36 Vardalos of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” : NIA
37 Real : BONA FIDE
38 Cuts in lines : ENGRAVES
39 Fictional NYC thoroughfare : SESAME ST
42 Big favors, in slang : SOLIDS
43 Ticked : IN A PET
44 “__ Mucho”: 1944 #1 song : BESAME
48 Conned : LED ON
50 “__ avec les stars” : DANSE
53 Pointed part : TINE
54 Indigo dye : ANIL
55 Wail : YOWL
58 Travel __ : MUG
60 Clampett patriarch : JED

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 21 Nov 20, Saturday”

  1. No errors, but had to look up “law school newbies” . I had “howl” at first
    for “wail”, but when I thought to change it to “yowl” then I had it all.
    Delighted to see “Calvin and Hobbes”….that was my favorite comic strip
    of all time and am sad that it no longer is available.

    1. @Jodie
      If it’s a big item, such as a vacuum or stereo or computer or something like that, they have assembled versions of the product in the store that the buyers can see. That’s what’s referred to as a DEMO UNIT.

    2. Should be read as two words: demo & unit. That would be what
      one could try before buying. And I’ll bet someone else has already
      replied to you.

    3. That one stumped me into I read full the list of answers above. I was trying to read it as one word but it’s Demo Unit. Duh!

  2. LAT: About 40 minutes, no errors. Tricky in parts as I latched on to some obvious answers (e.g., “no joke”) only to finally realize the correct response was “no jive.” I found Friday’s puzzle much tougher.

  3. 24:19 1 lookup 3 errors

    Feel stuck several times. Changing NOJOKE to NOJIVE really threw me off.

    @Mary, Calvin and Hobbes is still available in reruns. I read them at gocomics.com.

    @Jodie, A “Demo unit” might be a phone in a store that you can try handling before you buy one.

    @Corky, “Do me a solid” can mean “Can you do me a big favor?”

  4. 1:06:20 no errors…I spent a long time in the SW corner partly due to 42 & 56A which I think are totally unfair and never heard of 44D.
    Stay safe😀
    Go Ravens🙏

  5. Pretty tough Saturday for me; finished with 9 errors on paper after 1 hr. All in the SW middle…insisted on nano instead of MINI, even though I had ANIL. Misspelled STENGaL.

    Had to change cdc to NIH and lones to ONELS. Still, when I first started it looked hopeless, so pretty enjoyable in the end.

    @Carrie – Thanks, I’ll take you up on that. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

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