LA Times Crossword 23 Nov 20, Monday

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Constructed by: Joseph A. Gangi
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: String Trio

Themed answers each include an instrument in a STRING QUARTET:

  • 61A Ensemble playing in this puzzle’s circles : STRING TRIO
  • 17A Sacred, as a promise : INVIOLABLE (hiding “VIOLA”)
  • 36A University leader : CHANCELLOR (hiding “CELLO”)
  • 42A High-ranking foreign diplomat : AMBASSADOR (hiding “BASS”)

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

Bill’s time: 5m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Archaeological sites : DIGS

“Archaeology” is a word that looks like it’s British English, and one might be forgiven for using the spelling “archeology” in American English. Even though the latter spelling has been around for a couple of hundred years, the former is the standard spelling on both sides of the Atlantic.

13 “Right now!” letters : ASAP!

As soon as possible (ASAP)

16 Lake with Canada’s southernmost point : ERIE

Point Pelee is a peninsula that juts out in Lake Erie, and is located in Point Pelee National Park in Ontario. Point Pelee is the southernmost point of mainland Canada. Middle Island, located just southwest of the point, is the southernmost point of land in Canada.

17 Sacred, as a promise : INVIOLABLE (hiding “VIOLA”)

Something “inviolable” is secure from “violation”, is sacred.

The viola looks like and is played like a violin, but is slightly larger. It is referred to as the middle voice in the violin family, lying between the violin and the cello.

19 Labyrinthine : MAZY

A labyrinth is a maze, and is named after the maze in which the Minotaur was confined in Greek mythology.

21 Steak orders : T-BONES

The T-bone and porterhouse are related cuts of meat, with the latter being a larger version of the former, and both being cut from the short loin.

23 Confer knighthood on : DUB

Kneel, and a monarch might “dub thee a knight” if you’re lucky. “Dub” is a specific term derived from Old English that was used to mean “make a knight”. As the knight was also given a knightly name at the same time, “dub” has come to mean “give someone a name”.

24 Homer’s story of 67-Across : ILIAD
(67A Helen’s city : TROY)

“Iliad” is an epic poem by the Greek poet Homer that tells the story of the ten-year siege of “Ilium” (i.e. “Troy”) during the Trojan war. “The Odyssey”, also attributed to Homer, is sometimes described as a sequel to “Iliad”.

26 __ XING: crosswalk sign : PED

Pedestrian crossing (Ped Xing)

36 University leader : CHANCELLOR (hiding “CELLO”)

Back in the days of the Roman Empire, a court of law was enclosed by a “cancellus”, a latticed railing. The usher standing guard as the “cancellus” became known as a “cancellarius”. Over the centuries, the term “cancellarius” was applied to more exalted positions, and evolved in English into “chancellor”.

The word “cello” (plural “celli” or “cellos”) is an abbreviation for “violoncello”, an Italian word for “little violone”, referring to a group of stringed instruments that were popular up to the end of the 17th century. The name violoncello persisted for the instrument that we know today, although the abbreviation “‘cello” was often used. Nowadays, we just drop the apostrophe.

42 High-ranking foreign diplomat : AMBASSADOR (hiding “BASS”)

In the world of diplomacy, an ambassador is the representative of one head of state to another. There can only be one ambassador in an embassy. A consul, of which there may be several in an embassy, is an official representative of the government of one state in the territory of another.

The double bass (often just “bass”) is usually referred to as the bass fiddle or bass violin in the world of folk and bluegrass music.

45 Part of GPS: Abbr. : SYST

Global positioning system (GPS)

46 Goes on a tirade : RANTS

The term “tirade” describes a long and vehement speech, and is a word that came into English from French. “Tirade” can have the same meaning in French, but is also the word for “volley”. So, a tirade is a “volley” of words.

56 Museum contents : FINE ART

The term “museum” comes from the ancient Greek word “mouseion” that denoted a temple dedicated to the “Muses”. The Muses were the patrons of the arts in Greek mythology.

61 Ensemble playing in this puzzle’s circles : STRING TRIO

Although not a hard-and-fast rule, a string trio usually comprises a violin, viola and cello.

64 Storm 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.

65 Woven fabric : TWILL

The verb “to twill” means to weave a cloth (called “twill”) that has a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs.

66 TV award : EMMY

The Emmy Awards are the television equivalent of the Oscars from the world of film, the Grammy Awards in music and the Tony Awards for the stage. Emmy Awards are presented throughout the year, depending on the sector of television being honored. The most famous of these ceremonies are the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Daytime Emmy Awards. The distinctive name “Emmy” is a softened version of the word “immy”, the nickname given to the video camera tubes found in old television cameras. The Emmy statuette was designed by television engineer Louis McManus in 1948, and depicts a woman holding up an atom. McManus used his wife as a model for the woman.

67 Helen’s city : TROY

According to Greek mythology, Helen (later “Helen of Troy”) was the daughter of Zeus and Leda. When Helen reached the age of marriage, she had many suitors as she was considered the most beautiful woman in the world. Menelaus was chosen as her husband, and he took her back to his home of Sparta. Paris, a Trojan prince, seduced Helen, as she eloped with him and travelled to Troy. This event sparked the Trojan War that waged between the city of Troy and Greece. Because of this war, Helen was said to have “the face that launched a thousand ships”. And because of this phrase, it has been suggested, probably by author Isaac Asimov, that the amount of beauty needed to launch a single ship is one “millihelen”.

Down

1 Orator’s platform : DAIS

A dais is a raised platform for a speaker. The term “dais” comes from the Latin “discus” meaning a “disk-shaped object”. I guess that the original daises had such a shape.

6 Online auction site : EBAY

eBay was founded in 1995 as AuctionWeb. One of the first items purchased was a broken laser pointer, for $14.83. The buyer was a collector of broken laser pointers …

8 Md. neighbor : DEL

The state of Delaware takes its name from Virginia’s first colonial governor, Englishman Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr. Delaware is known as “the First State” as it was the first to ratify the US Constitution, in 1787.

10 Tehran’s land : IRAN

Tehran is the capital of Iran and is the largest city in the Middle East, with a population of about 8.5 million. Iran has been around a really long time and Tehran is actually the country’s 31st national capital.

12 Piano’s 88 : KEYS

The traditional materials used for the manufacture of piano keys were ebony (black) and ivory (white). Ebony is still used, but now for both white and black keys. The white keys are made by covering ebony with white plastic.

“Eighty-eight” is a slang word for a piano, coming from the fact that a modern piano usually has 88 keys: 36 black and 52 white.

15 Aptly named brand of coolers : YETI

YETI is a manufacturer of coolers and related products that is based in Austin, Texas. There was a kerfuffle between YETI and the National Rifle Association in 2018, when YETI removed the NRA from its membership discount program. That kerfuffle got quite public when some NRA members published videos of themselves destroying their own YETI products in protest.

18 27, for Beethoven’s “Moonlight” : OPUS

Beethoven subtitled his “Piano Sonata No. 14, Op. 27, No. 2” as “Quasi una fantasia”, or “sonata in the manner of a fantasy” in English. Five years after Beethoven died, a music critic wrote that the (superb!) first movement of the piece had an effect like that of moonlight shining on Lake Lucerne. Since then, the work has been known as the “Moonlight Sonata”.

22 Bags on a diamond : BASES

In baseball the first, second and third bases are “bags”, and then there’s home plate.

The bases on a baseball field are placed at the corners of a square with sides of 90 feet. However, the distance between bases is only 88 feet, when the size of the base bags are taken into consideration.

25 President before Richard : LYNDON

Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) was born in Stonewall, Texas to Samuel Ealy Johnson, Jr. and Rebekah Baines.

President Richard Milhous Nixon (RMN) used “Milhous” in his name in honor of his mother Hannah Milhous. Richard was born in a house in Yorba Linda, California. You can visit that house today as it is on the grounds of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. It’s a really interesting way to spend a few hours if you ever get to Yorba Linda …

26 Nickname for Hemingway : PAPA

Apparently, author Ernest Hemingway picked up the moniker “Papa” on the birth of his first child (as one might expect!). Hemingway seemed to like the nickname and welcomed its use outside of the family, and his admirers obliged.

28 Annual Kentucky race : DERBY

The first Kentucky Derby took place in 1875, and is a race modeled on the Epsom Derby in England and the Grand Prix de Paris (now called the “Prix de l‘Arc de Triomphe”). As such, the Kentucky Derby was run over 1½ miles, although in 1896 this was shortened to 1¼ miles. The winning horse is presented with a very elaborate blanket made of red roses, and so the Derby is nicknamed “Run for the Roses”. The race is held on the first Saturday in May each year, and is limited to 3-year-old horses.

32 Youngest Jetson : ELROY

“The Jetsons” is an animated show from Hanna-Barbera that had its first run in 1962-1963, and then was recreated in 1985-1987. When it debuted in 1963 on ABC, “The Jetsons” was the network’s first ever color broadcast. “The Jetsons” is like a space-age version of “The Flintstones”. The four Jetson family members are George and Jane, the parents, and children Judy and Elroy. Residing with the family in Orbit City are their household robot Rosie and pet dog Astro.

38 “The Son of Man” painter Magritte : RENE

Belgian artist René Magritte was a surrealist. His most recognized work may be “The Son of Man”, a painting he created as a self-portrait. It is the work that shows a man in a bowler hat with his face covered by an apple. The image features prominently in a great movie, the 1999 remake of “The Thomas Crown Affair”.

40 Noted fur tycoon : ASTOR

John Jacob Astor was the patriarch of the famous American Astor dynasty. He was the country’s first multi-millionaire, making his fortune in the trade of fur, real estate and opium. In today’s terms, it has been calculated that by the time of his death he has accumulated a fortune big enough to make him the fourth wealthiest man in American history (in the company of the likes of Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Bill Gates, Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller).

43 “Lost” actor Daniel __ Kim : DAE

Daniel Dae Kim is an American actor who is famous for playing Jin-Soo Kwon on “Lost”. Kim moved on to play one of the leads on the CBS remake of “Hawaii Five-O”, portraying the character Chin Ho Kelly.

In the TV show “Lost”, the plane that crashed was operated by Oceanic Airlines. The fictional airline Oceanic Airlines or Oceanic Airways turns up a lot on the big and small screen. Try to spot Oceanic in the movies “Executive Decision” and “For Love of the Game”, and in episodes of the TV shows “Castle”, “Chuck”, “Flipper”, “The Goldbergs” and “The X-Files”.

52 Taxi calculator : METER

We call cabs “taxis”, a word derived from “taximeter cabs” that were introduced in London in 1907. A taximeter was an automated meter designed to record distance travelled and fare to be charged. The term “taximeter” evolved from “taxameter”, with “taxa” being Latin for “tax, charge”.

55 Crooner Perry : COMO

Perry Como was my mother’s favorite singer. Como was born about 20 miles from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Famously, his first career was barbering. He learned the trade from a local hairdresser and soon had his own shop in a Greek coffee house, at the age of 14!

58 Frosty coating : RIME

Rime is the beautiful coating of ice that forms on surfaces like roofs, trees and grass, when cold water freezes instantly under the right conditions.

59 Mattel specialty : TOYS

Mattel is the world’s largest toy manufacturer. Mattel was founded by Harold “Matt” Matson and Elliot Handler in 1945, and they chose the company name by combining “Matt” with “El-liot” giving “Matt-el”.

62 Tango need, so they say : TWO

The dramatic dance called the tango originated in the late 1800s in the area along the border between Argentina and Uruguay. Dancers and orchestras from Buenos Aires in particular traveled to Europe and beyond in the early twentieth century and brought the tango with them. The tango craze first struck Europe in Paris in the 1910s, and from there spread to London and Berlin, crossing the Atlantic to New York in 1913.

63 Spare bone? : RIB

Spare ribs are so called because “spare” can indicate the absence of fat.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Archaeological sites : DIGS
5 Farm trough contents : FEED
9 Gambler’s calculation : RISK
13 “Right now!” letters : ASAP!
14 Home for monks : ABBEY
16 Lake with Canada’s southernmost point : ERIE
17 Sacred, as a promise : INVIOLABLE (hiding “VIOLA”)
19 Labyrinthine : MAZY
20 How a sharp incline rises : STEEPLY
21 Steak orders : T-BONES
23 Confer knighthood on : DUB
24 Homer’s story of 67-Across : ILIAD
26 __ XING: crosswalk sign : PED
29 Full of attitude : SASSY
31 Appear : SEEM
34 Woodshed tools : AXES
36 University leader : CHANCELLOR (hiding “CELLO”)
39 Join (in) : PARTAKE
41 Be worthy of : DESERVE
42 High-ranking foreign diplomat : AMBASSADOR (hiding “BASS”)
44 Bump off : DO IN
45 Part of GPS: Abbr. : SYST
46 Goes on a tirade : RANTS
48 “__-haw!” : YEE
49 28-Down entrant : HORSE
51 “Ready, __, fire!” : AIM
53 “Our thoughts are with you” : WE CARE
56 Museum contents : FINE ART
60 Swear to be true : AVOW
61 Ensemble playing in this puzzle’s circles : STRING TRIO
64 Storm relief org. : FEMA
65 Woven fabric : TWILL
66 TV award : EMMY
67 Helen’s city : TROY
68 Carry out instructions : OBEY
69 Dark or marble breads : RYES

Down

1 Orator’s platform : DAIS
2 “__ that special?” : ISN’T
3 Contributed to the cause : GAVE
4 Did undercover work : SPIED
5 Alternative plans : FALLBACKS
6 Online auction site : EBAY
7 Retreat, as the tide : EBB
8 Md. neighbor : DEL
9 Updated, as a kitchen : REMODELED
10 Tehran’s land : IRAN
11 7 or 11, say, in shoes : SIZE
12 Piano’s 88 : KEYS
15 Aptly named brand of coolers : YETI
18 27, for Beethoven’s “Moonlight” : OPUS
22 Bags on a diamond : BASES
24 “This __ test” : IS A
25 President before Richard : LYNDON
26 Nickname for Hemingway : PAPA
27 Finals, say : EXAMS
28 Annual Kentucky race : DERBY
30 Wool clippers : SHEARS
32 Youngest Jetson : ELROY
33 Motion picture : MOVIE
35 Set aside for later use : STASH AWAY
37 “Of course!” : CERTAINLY!
38 “The Son of Man” painter Magritte : RENE
40 Noted fur tycoon : ASTOR
43″Lost” actor Daniel __ Kim : DAE
47 Perform in a choir : SING
50 Take a breather : REST
52 Taxi calculator : METER
53 Float, as an aroma : WAFT
54 Happily-after link : EVER
55 Crooner Perry : COMO
56 Put in a folder : FILE
57 Force to be reckoned with : ARMY
58 Frosty coating : RIME
59 Mattel specialty : TOYS
62 Tango need, so they say : TWO
63 Spare bone? : RIB

22 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 23 Nov 20, Monday”

  1. No errors.. In regards to 66A, referring to the name of the tube in the camera reminds me of when I was a kid. My dad was a TV repairman before diodes were invented. TV’s had all these tubes in them. That’s one reason those sets used to be so big. Had to make room for the rows of tubes in them. I was probably in the 5th or 6th grade. I carried his tube “took box”. I would pull tubes and test them to see which ones were bad.. Then replace them.

  2. No Googles on this rainy Monday.

    My paper had no circles. Figured out the instruments when I finished. However, that created a somewhat low string trio.

    Had “odds” before RISK, hEE before YEE. “His boy ELROY” straightened that out.

    Did not know DAE, and obsessively thought TBONE should be considered an abbrev.

  3. My eNewspaper (FLL SunSentinel) didn’t print the circles, making 61A clue a real head scratcher. Worked around it, then came here to see where the circles should have been and which instruments the trio were playing. Different…

  4. I guess I could say 7:52 with 2 mistakes (Elroh and hee). But I think my time is 12:52, when I finally figured out the above problem.

  5. 3:55 no errors..NOT…It just felt good to say that.
    17:43 no errors…no circles here either.
    17A was a new word for me.
    Stay safe😀

  6. Pretty easy solve but a couple of eye rollers nonetheless. Yes, the definition for mazy is “like a maze” but has anyone ever used it? And I have no idea why yeti is an apt name for a cooler. Anyone?

    1. @Rich …

      Me, me! I used it! Just the other day! I said to a friend, “Hi, … … …

      Oh, wait … her name is … Maisie … so … never mind … 😜

      If I have any useful point at all to make here, it’s that crossword puzzles aren’t meant to reflect usage statistics. If it’s in the dictionary, it’s fair game.

      Last night, I did a “Marching Bands” puzzle from Brendan Emmett Quigley that introduced me to the word “nocebo” (the opposite of a “placebo”) and “soily” (which has more or less the same meaning as “soiled”). I managed to guess both words, but … 😳😜🤪.

  7. 8 mins 35 sec, no errors. We can usually count on Monday to provide a return to guile-less, straightforward grids. That’s comforting.

  8. Greetings!!🦆

    No errors. Jane, I also thought these three would make for a low pitched trio but I know nothing about classical music – Bill says they usually include a violin (instead of the bass) so that makes sense.

    I play electric bass but would love to try an upright some time….🤔

    I also had ODDS before RISK; I started writing DEAN _____ instead of CHANCELLOR and almost forgot to go back and correct those wrong letters!

    Dirk from the other day – EXCELLENT!!🤗

    Be well~~🥂

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