LA Times Crossword 25 Nov 20, Wednesday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Ardeshir Dalal
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Supernanny

The sets of circled letters in the grid can be arranged into the nonsense word “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, which is the title of a song sung by SUPERNANNY Mary Poppins in the Disney movie “Mary Poppins”:

  • 1A See 62-Across : SUPER-
  • 62A After 1-Across, skilled childcare worker … and a hint to putting together this puzzle’s circles : -NANNY

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

Bill’s time: 5m 46s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Spanish for “tar” : BREA

A tar pit is an unusual geological feature created by leakage of bitumen from below ground to the earth’s surface creating a pool of natural asphalt. One of the most famous of these occurrences is the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.

10 Colombian city : CALI

In terms of population, Cali is the third largest city in Colombia (after Bogotá and Medellin). Santiago de Cali (the full name for the city) lies in western Colombia. Apparently, Cali is a destination for “medical tourists”. The city’s surgeons have a reputation for being expert in cosmetic surgery and so folks head there looking for a “cheap” nose job. Cali has also been historically associated with the illegal drug trade and money laundering.

14 “Pokémon: The Series” genre : ANIME

Anime is cartoon animation in the style of Japanese manga comic books.

“Pokémon” is the second-biggest video game franchise in the world, second only to the “Mario” franchise. “Pokémon” is a contraction of “Pocket Monsters”.

15 “The __ Not Taken”: Frost : ROAD

Robert Frost had a poem published in 1916 in which he describes the road he took in the last lines:

I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Because of these last lines, the poem is often assumed to be titled “The Road Less Traveled”. In fact, the poem’s correct name is “The Road Not Taken”. Quite interesting …

20 Hillary and Norgay’s conquest : EVEREST

Mount Everest was named by the Royal Geographical Society in 1865. The peak is named for Welsh surveyor George Everest, who had served as Surveyor General of India from 1830 through 1843. Everest actually objected initially to the use of his name, given that he had nothing to do with the peak’s discovery, and given that he believed “Everest” was difficult to write and to pronounce in Hindi.

Mount Everest was first summited in 1953 by New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepalese-Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Hillary and Norgay were part of an expedition from which two pairs of climbers were selected to make a summit attempt. The first pair were Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans, and they came within 330 feet of their goal but had to turn back. The expedition sent up the second pair two days later, and history was made on 29 May 1953.

29 Like Ben Franklin’s religious beliefs : DEISTIC

Deism (from the Latin “deus” meaning god) is the belief that a supreme being created the universe, a belief based on observation and reason and without the need for faith. Further, a deist does not accept divine intervention and rather believes that the supreme being, having created the universe, leaves the world to its own devices.

Benjamin Franklin came from a large family. He was his father’s fifteenth child (Josiah Franklin had seventeen children in all, with two wives). Benjamin was born in Boston in 1706. He had very little schooling, heading out to work for his father when he was ten years old. He became an apprentice printer to his older brother at the age of twelve. Benjamin did quite well with that limited education …

33 Pequod sinker : WHALE

The Pequod is the whaling ship that figures in Herman Melville’s classic novel “Moby Dick”. The ship is owned by a consortium of the citizens of Nantucket Island, including Captains Ahab, Bildad and Peleg.

34 Huge mythical bird : ROC

The mythical roc is a huge bird of prey, one reputedly able to carry off and eat elephants. The roc was said to come from the Indian subcontinent. The supposed existence of the roc was promulgated by Marco Polo in the accounts that he published about his travels through Asia.

37 Mollusk’s home : SHELL

Molluscs (also “mollusks”) are invertebrate (no-backbone) animals that comprise about a quarter of all known marine organisms. Examples are squid, cuttlefish and octopodes.

44 Bit of wit : BON MOT

“Bon mot” translates from French as “good word”. We use “bon mot” (and sometimes just “mot”) to mean “quip, witticism”.

45 Cast a ballot : VOTED

Today, a ballot is a piece of paper or equivalent used to cast a vote. Back in the 1500s, a “ballot” was a small “ball” used in the process of voting.

46 Hipbones : ILIA

The ilium (plural “ilia”) is the upper portion of the hipbone.

47 “The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple __”: Noyes : MOOR

“The Highwayman” is a 1906 romantic ballad poem penned by English poet Alfred Noyes. The first verse is:

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees.
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding—
Riding—riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

52 Atonement : EXPIATION

To expiate is to make amends for something. The term “expiate” comes from the Latin verb “expiare”, which has the same meaning.

56 Web surfing tool : MODEM

A modem is a device that is used to facilitate the transmission of a digital signal over an analog line. At one end of the line, a modem is used to “modulate” an analog carrier signal to encode digital information. At the other end of the line, a modem is used to “demodulate” the analog carrier signal and so reproduce the original digital information. This modulation-demodulation gives the device its name: a MOdulator-DEModulator, or “modem”.

58 Dunkable cookie : OREO

There’s a smartphone app featuring the Oreo cookie. It’s a game in which one twists Oreo cookies apart, “licks” the cream from the center and then dunks the remainder of the cookie in a glass of milk.

59 Perpendicular to the keel : ABEAM

The beam is the widest part of a nautical vessel. Something pointed out as lying “abeam” is something that is 90 degrees from a line through the bow and the stern, in other words directly off to the right or the left.

61 Fork-tailed seabird : TERN

Terns are seabirds that are found all over the world. The Arctic Tern makes a very long-distance migration. One Arctic Tern that was tagged as a chick in Great Britain in the summer of 1982, was spotted in Melbourne, Australia just three months later. The bird had traveled over 14,000 miles in over those three months, an average of about 150 miles a day. Remarkable …

Down

3 Construction machine : PILE DRIVER

Piles are driven into the earth below a building in order to transfer the load from perhaps poor soil near the surface to more substantial material at great depths. Piles are driven into the ground using a pile driver.

4 Retired female professors : EMERITAE

“Emeritus” (female form “emerita”, and plural “emeriti”) is a term in the title of some retired professionals, particularly those from academia. Originally an emeritus was a veteran soldier who had served his time. The term comes from the Latin verb “emerere” meaning to complete one’s service.

6 Cookout choice : BRAT

A bratwurst (sometimes “brat” in the US) is a German sausage. The name comes from “brät-” meaning “finely chopped meat”, and “Wurst” meaning “sausage”.

11 Near-eternity : AEON

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

13 Passports, e.g. : IDS

As a result of a League of Nations conference in 1920, passports are usually written in French and one other language. French was specified back then as it was deemed the language of diplomacy. US passports use French and English, given that English is the nation’s de facto national language. Spanish was added as a language for US passports in the late nineties, in recognition of Spanish-speaking Puerto Rico.

19 Not quite worthy of a cigar? : CLOSE

The idiomatic phrase “close, but no cigar” means “nice try, but not good enough”. There is a suggestion that this expression originated in the mid-20th century with fairground stalls, at which cigars were routinely given out as prizes.

26 Herb used in potato salad : DILL

Dill is a herb in the celery family. Dill seeds can be used for flavoring food, as can dill leaves. In this sense, dill “leaves” are sometimes referred to as dill “weed”.

28 Detached : ALOOF

I suppose one might guess from the “feel” of the word “aloof” that it has nautical roots. Originally “aloof” meant “to windward” and was the opposite of “alee”. A helmsman might be instructed to stay aloof, to steer the boat into the weather to keep a distance from a lee-shore. It is from this sense of maintaining a distance that aloof came to mean “distant” in terms of personality. Interesting, huh …?

30 “Somewhere in Time” band : IRON MAIDEN

“Somewhere in Time” is a 1986 studio album released by heavy metal band Iron Maiden. The band followed up the album with a tour that was inventively named “Somewhere on Tour”.

31 Deeded apartment : CONDO

The terms “condominium” and “apartment” tend to describe the same type of residential property, namely a private living space with facilities shared with others residing in the same building or complex. The difference is that a condominium is usually owned, and an apartment is rented. At least that’s how it is in the US. The word “condominium” comes from the Latin “com-” (together) and “dominum” (right of ownership).

38 One of Canada’s Prairie Provinces : MANITOBA

Manitoba is the Canadian province that borders the US states of North Dakota and Minnesota. Even though Manitoba has an area of over 250,000 square miles, 60% of its population resides in the province’s capital city of Winnipeg.

Canada’s three Prairie Provinces are Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

40 Athenian marketplace : AGORA

In early Greece, an agora was a place of assembly. The assemblies held there were often quite formal, perhaps for the reading of a proclamation. Later in Greek history, things became less formal as the agora evolved into a marketplace. Our contemporary word “agoraphobia” comes from these agorae, in the sense that an agoraphobe has a fear of open spaces, a fear of “public meeting places”.

44 Recycling receptacle : BIN

The so-called “waste hierarchy” can be restated as the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The preferences are in order:

  1. Reduce consumption
  2. Reuse manufactured products
  3. Recycle raw materials

47 XLV years before the Battle of Hastings : MXXI

In Roman numerals, MLVI (1066) – XLV (45) = MXXI (1021)

The Battle of Hastings took place in the South East of England in 1066. The battle took place between the native Anglo-Saxons led by King Harold Godwinson, and the Norman-French led by Duke William II of Normandy. William emerged victorious, earning him the moniker William the Conqueror, and the crown of England as William I. That victory launched the Norman conquest of England.

48 Columnist’s page : OP-ED

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

49 Archaic “soon” : ANON

“Anon” originally meant “at once”, but the term’s meaning evolved into “soon” apparently just because the word was misused over time.

51 Primetime award for which Betty White has received 21 nominations : EMMY

Comic actress Betty White has been at the top of her game for decades. White started her television career with an appearance with high school classmates on a local Los Angeles show back in 1939. Her most famous TV run was co-hosting the Tournament of Roses Parade, a gig she had for nineteen years in the sixties and seventies. Given her long career, White holds a number of records in the world of entertainment. For example, she is the oldest person to host “Saturday Night Live” (at 88) and she is the oldest woman to win a Grammy (at 90).

52 Electric swimmer : EEL

“Electrophorus electricus” is the biological name for the electric eel. Despite its name, the electric “eel” isn’t an eel at all, but rather what is called a knifefish, a fish with an elongated body that is related to the catfish. The electric eel has three pairs of organs along its abdomen, each capable of generating an electric discharge. The shock can go as high as 500 volts with 1 ampere of current (500 watts), and that could perhaps kill a human.

53 Tyke : TOT

“Tyke” has been used playfully to describe a young child since at least 1902, but for centuries before that a tyke was a cur or mongrel, or perhaps a lazy or lower-class man.

54 Guinness’ land: Abbr. : IRE

Guinness trademarked its famous harp logo way back in 1862. The harp is also a symbol of Ireland. When Ireland became a Free State from the United Kingdom in 1922, the new Irish government had to come up with a different symbol so as not to infringe trademark laws. That’s why Ireland’s harp points in the opposite direction of Guinness’ harp. ‘Tis true, ‘tis true …

Guinness is the most popular beer sold in Ireland. The beer is a stout and has that famous creamy white head, a result of mixing the beer with nitrogen as it is poured. You can also buy Guinness that has no nitrogen, which is sold in bottles bearing the name Guinness Export. This carbonated version of the beer has a very different taste, and is my personal favorite …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 See 62-Across : SUPER-
6 Spanish for “tar” : BREA
10 Colombian city : CALI
14 “Pokémon: The Series” genre : ANIME
15 “The __ Not Taken”: Frost : ROAD
16 Household paint no longer contains it : LEAD
17 Mani-pedi tools : FILES
18 Horrible : ATROCIOUS
20 Hillary and Norgay’s conquest : EVEREST
22 Allow to use : LEND
23 Word after sun or speed : -DIAL
24 Supplement : ADD ON
27 To some extent : PARTLY
29 Like Ben Franklin’s religious beliefs : DEISTIC
32 Pseudonym : ALIAS
33 Pequod sinker : WHALE
34 Huge mythical bird : ROC
36 Protected inlet : COVE
37 Mollusk’s home : SHELL
38 Prefix for tone or chrome : MONO-
39 One of 20 digits : TOE
40 Then, to Pierre : ALORS
41 “Hired” workers : HANDS
42 Delicate : FRAGILE
44 Bit of wit : BON MOT
45 Cast a ballot : VOTED
46 Hipbones : ILIA
47 “The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple __”: Noyes : MOOR
49 Whenever : ANYTIME
52 Atonement : EXPIATION
56 Web surfing tool : MODEM
57 Deleted, with “out” : EXED …
58 Dunkable cookie : OREO
59 Perpendicular to the keel : ABEAM
60 Hats : LIDS
61 Fork-tailed seabird : TERN
62 After 1-Across, skilled childcare worker … and a hint to putting together this puzzle’s circles : -NANNY

Down

1 Combination target : SAFE
2 Degree offerer: Abbr. : UNIV
3 Construction machine : PILE DRIVER
4 Retired female professors : EMERITAE
5 Tightly closes again : RESEALS
6 Cookout choice : BRAT
7 Rubbish : ROT
8 Singer’s asset : EAR
9 Hubbub : ADO
10 Customer : CLIENT
11 Near-eternity : AEON
12 Commend : LAUD
13 Passports, e.g. : IDS
19 Not quite worthy of a cigar? : CLOSE
21 Like a fox : SLY
24 Stuck (to) : ADHERED
25 Bargains : DEALS
26 Herb used in potato salad : DILL
27 Formal agreement : PACT
28 Detached : ALOOF
30 “Somewhere in Time” band : IRON MAIDEN
31 Deeded apartment : CONDO
33 Entire : WHOLE
35 Amount paid : COST
37 Narrow cut : SLIT
38 One of Canada’s Prairie Provinces : MANITOBA
40 Athenian marketplace : AGORA
41 Male ascetic : HOLY MAN
43 Steers clear of : AVOIDS
44 Recycling receptacle : BIN
47 XLV years before the Battle of Hastings : MXXI
48 Columnist’s page : OP-ED
49 Archaic “soon” : ANON
50 Signify : MEAN
51 Primetime award for which Betty White has received 21 nominations : EMMY
52 Electric swimmer : EEL
53 Tyke : TOT
54 Guinness’ land: Abbr. : IRE
55 Above, to a bard : O’ER

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 25 Nov 20, Wednesday”

  1. No errors.. Not sure of the value of the theme in resolving the crossword. More of a word revealer?.. Cutesy crossword?

  2. No errors, no lookups. The circles were a bit distracting until I
    realized what they contained. I am terrible at deciphering Roman
    numerals so didn’t care for the Battle of Hastings clue…but I
    got the answer right with the help of across clues.

  3. 20:46 no errors…got the theme after finishing the grid.
    Anyone else notice that a lot of abbreviated clues are no longer noted as such?
    Stay safe😀
    If the Ravens win this one against the Steelers it might be the biggest upset in sports history.🙏🙏

    1. Hi Jack, I am a Ravens fan too. We live near Annapolis. I hope they win, but it really would be a miracle, especially with several players having Covid!

  4. Very easy Wednesday. I started with NANNY, and once I saw SUPER and CALI, the other theme clues were a snap. Maybe it’s because I have several grandchildren living nearby.

    Let’s count our blessings, folks, with an attitude of gratitude. At a minimum, I would guess we’re all warm and fed regularly. I’m more grateful than I can say for all those grandchildren of mine.

    Happy Thanksgiving, however you do it this year.

  5. Clever theme although I have to admit I only got it after I finished the puzzle. Liked the clue for 19D.

    Hey Tony, chill out. It’s just a crossword puzzle

  6. 10:08 no errors

    I learned CALI from previous puzzles, and today it came in handy. I remembered it just after filling in most of the circles, so it helped me add the OCIOUS —

    Even though the answer is out of order! I guess sometimes constructors throw in the towel on aesthetics.

  7. No googles, no errors, no words I didn’t know.
    All together now – SUPER CALI FRAGIL ISTIC EXPIA LID OCIOUS.

    @Jack – If you’re here Mon. – Thurs., you’ll know I’m obsessed with the puzzlers’ failures to indicate abbrevs. My license plate says OCDOCD; and that, as a genetic condition, was certified by Johns Hopkins.

  8. I thought it was pretty easy. Caught the theme at FRAGIL while I was jumping around and that helped figure it all out. No complaints.

  9. Mostly easy Wednesday for me; took 11:13 on-line with a few minutes to track down VOTE(s/D)/ADHERE(s/D) before I got the banner. Didn’t really pay attention to the theme.

    apropos ABEAM – There is a really awesome solo-around-the-world yacht race taking place at the moment. It takes about 3 months to finish and they are mostly in the S. Atlantic right now, about to speed up dramatically. These are awesome boats with equally brave/awesome skippers – barely sleeping – reaching speeds up to 40-50 kts on the track to Cape Horn. Check it out: https://www.vendeeglobe.org/en

    1. So … I checked it out. Wow! As a complete landlubber, I’m impressed by the courage of these people (and equally impressed by the coverage provided by the web site).

      Thanks, Dirk!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.