LA Times Crossword 28 Nov 20, Saturday

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Constructed by: Chuck Deodene
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 8m 29s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Filtered messages : SPAM

The term “spam”, used for unwanted email, is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch (which I’ve seen) the dialog is taken over by the word Spam, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So “spam” is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon …

14 Get sucked into, in a way : HATE-WATCH

“To hate-watch” a particular TV show is to watch it even though you actually nate its content.

16 Choice word : EENIE

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch the tiger/monkey/baby by the toe.
If it hollers/screams let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, you are it!

17 Certain charger : AC ADAPTER

Anyone with a laptop with an external power supply has an AC/DC converter, that big “block” in the power cord. It converts the AC current from a wall socket into the DC current that is used by the laptop.

18 Opposite of après : AVANT

In French, “avant” (before) comes ahead of “après” (after).

19 Director’s cut, perhaps : RERELEASE

In the movie business, final cut privilege usually goes to the producers of a film. Producers are very cognizant of the need for a movie to do well at the box office, and so may disagree with the cut desired by the film’s director. When we view the director’s cut of a particular film, we are often seeing extra scenes and maybe even extra characters. As a result, a director’s cut is usually longer than the final cut.

22 Curiosity shop stock : EXOTICA

The word “exotic” means “belonging to another country”, and is derived from the Greek “exo-” meaning “outside”. Exotica are things that are excitingly strange, often from foreign parts.

27 “Fake” salon service : SPRAY TAN

The most effective fake tans available today are not dyes or stains. Instead, they are sprays with the active ingredient dihydroxyacetone (DHA). DHA reacts chemically with amino acids in the dead layer of skin on the surface of the body. Sounds a little risky to me …

31 Trenton Thunder, for one : AA TEAM

The Trenton Thunder baseball team was founded as the Glens Falls White Sox in Upstate New York in 1980 as a Chicago White Sox affiliate. After a stint in London, Ontario as the London Tigers, the team moved to Trenton in 1994.

First settled in 1679 by Quakers, the city of Trenton is the state capital of New Jersey.. The original settlement was named Trent-towne in 1719 in honor of William Trent, who was one of the biggest landowners in the area. The name “Trent-towne” was later shortened to Trenton. The city was the site of George Washington’s first military victory in the Revolutionary War, in 1776. Because of the Battle of Trenton, New Jersey’s capital is sometimes referred to as the “Turning Point of the Revolution”.

34 Adulterate (with), perhaps : LACE

To lace a drink, is to spike it, by adding perhaps some alcohol or other strong substance.

37 Japanese salad veggie : UDO

Udo is a perennial plant native to Japan known taxonomically as Aralia cordata. The stems of udo are sometimes boiled up and served in miso soup.

39 “__ sow … ” : AS YE

The commonly quoted line “As ye sow, so shall ye reap” is not actually a direct quote from the Bible, although the sentiment is expressed there at least twice. In the Book of Job is the line “They that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same”. In the Epistle of Paul to the Galatians is the line “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”.

42 Noble title : DON

The Spanish and Italian term “don”, and Portuguese “dom”, are honorifics derived from the Latin “dominus” meaning “master of the household”. The contemporary female equivalents are “doña” (Spanish), “donna” (Italian) and “dona” (Portuguese).

45 Religion involving ritual magic : WICCA

Wicca is a relatively new phenomenon. It is a Neopagan religion that developed in the twentieth century. Typically, followers of Wicca worship one goddess and one god, namely the Moon Goddess and the Horned God. A follower of Wicca is called a Wiccan or a Witch.

54 Stuns, in a way : TASES

Victor Appleton wrote a novel for young adults called “Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle”. The company that developed the TASER electroshock weapon partly named its product as a homage to the novel. The acronym “TASER” stands for “Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle”.

56 Pop superstar from Tottenham : ADELE

“Adele” is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. Her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US.

Tottenham is an area in north London in England. It is home to a famous football (soccer) club called Tottenham Hotspur, the team that I used to follow as a kid many moons ago …

60 Batik artist : DYER

Genuine batik cloth is produced by applying wax to the parts of the cloth that are not to be dyed. After the cloth has been dyed, it is dried and then dipped in a solvent that dissolves the wax. Although wax-resist dyeing of fabric has existed in various parts of the world for centuries, it is most closely associated historically with the island of Java in Indonesia.

Down

2 Hoosier State NBAer : PACER

The Indiana Pacers are the professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, who play in the NBA. The name was chosen when the team was formed in 1967. “Pacers” is a homage to harness racing pacers (famed in Indiana) and the pace car used in the Indianapolis 500.

The exact origin of the word “hoosier” is unknown, but has been around since at least 1830. The term had no direct linkage with Indiana until John Finley of Richmond, Indiana wrote a poem called “The Hoosier’s Nest” in 1833. A few years later, by 1840, “hoosier” was generally accepted as a term for Indiana residents.

3 Gaming pioneer : ATARI

Founded in 1972, electronics and video game manufacturer Atari was once the fastest-growing company in US history. However, Atari never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983.

4 The ’70s, in a Tom Wolfe essay : “ME” DECADE

The term “‘Me’ Decade” was applied to the 1970s by novelist Tom Wolfe. His point was that the seventies was an era for the individual which compared starkly with the communal focus of the sixties, the hippie age.

8 Term trademarked by Lakers’ coach Pat Riley, even though the team never achieved one under his leadership : THREE-PEAT

A three-peat is the winning of a sports championship three seasons in a row. The term “three-peat” was coined in 1988 by LA Lakers’ player Byron Scott, and then trademarked by Lakers’ head coach Pat Riley. The Lakers were attempting in 1988 to clinch their third championship title in a row at that time, and eventually lost to the Detroit Pistons. The Lakers had to wait until the 2002 season to claim that three-peat.

Pat Riley is a former professional basketball player and NBA head coach. Off the court, Riley is quite the celebrity and is noted as a snappy dresser. He is a friend of Giorgio Armani and wears Armani suits at all his games. Riley even modeled suits at an Armani fashion show.

9 Spume at the shore : SEA FOAM

Our word “spume” that we use for “froth” comes from the Latin “spuma” meaning “foam”.

15 Dylan Thomas’s home : WALES

Dylan Thomas is perhaps the most famous Welsh poet and writer. His most famous poems are “Do not go gentle into that good night” and “And death shall have no dominion”. He also wrote a famous radio drama called “Under Milk Wood” that was first broadcast in 1954, and that was eventually adapted for the stage and the big screen. My favorite Dylan Thomas work is “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” that was also written originally for the radio, before being published as a work of prose.

23 Like the 1972 film “Fritz the Cat,” originally : X-RATED

When the Motion Picture Association film rating system was introduced in 1968, the most restrictive class was an X-rating. Persons under 16 were not admitted to such films. A few years later, the guidelines were changed for all ratings, and no one under the age of 17 was admitted to films rated X. Over time, the term “X-rating” became associated with pornographic films, and so the under-17 restriction was relabeled in 1990 to “NC-17”.

“Fritz the Cat” is a comic strip created by Robert Crumb. Fritz is a risqué character, and when he made it to the big screen in 1972 his movie actually earned an X-rating, the first animated feature to be so honored.

24 Miss Hannigan’s charge : ANNIE

Miss Hannigan is a character in the Broadway musical “Annie”. The musical was based on the Harold Gray comic strip “Little Orphan Annie”. There were two subsequent film adaptations, both really quite successful, including one released in 1982 directed by John Huston of all people. It was his only ever musical.

26 Pocket square, e.g. : HANKIE

A kerchief is a triangular or square piece of cloth used as a covering for the head. So, a “handkerchief” is a square piece of cloth held in the “hand” and used for personal hygiene.

27 March VIP : ST PAT

There is a fair amount known about Saint Patrick, some of which comes from two letters written in his own hand. St. Patrick lived in the fifth century, but was not born in Ireland. He was first brought to Ireland at about 16 years of age from his native Britain, by Irish raiders who made him a slave for six years. Patrick managed to escape and returned to his homeland where he studied and entered the Church. He went back to Ireland as a bishop and a missionary and there lived out the rest of his life. There seems to be good evidence that he died on March 17th (now celebrated annually as Saint Patrick’s Day), although the year is less clear. The stories about shamrock and snakes, I am afraid they are the stuff of legend.

28 Sounds tipsy, maybe : SLURS

The term “tipsy” comes from the verb “to tip” meaning “to overturn, knock over”, and has been meaning “drunk” since the late 1500s.

38 Hardly a quick jaunt : ODYSSEY

“Odyssey” is one of two epic poems from ancient Greece that is attributed to Homer. “Odyssey” is largely a sequel to Homer’s other epic “Iliad”. “Odyssey” centers on the heroic figure Odysseus, and his adventures on his journey home to Greece following the fall of Troy. We now use the term “odyssey” to describe any long series of adventures.

A “jaunt” is a short pleasure trip, although back in the 1500s the word described a tiresome journey. Back then, one would “jaunt” a horse, meaning that one tired it out by riding it back and forth.

41 Whiteboard props : EASELS

The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey”, would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.

43 1936 Olympics standout : OWENS

Jesse Owens is famous for winning four gold medals at the Berlin Olympic Games in 1936, much to the chagrin of Adolf Hitler. Jesse’s real name was James Cleveland Owens, and he went by “JC” as a child. However, his Alabama accent was misconstrued at school when his family moved to Cleveland, so teachers and classmates called him “Jesse” instead of “JC”, and the name stuck.

46 Clever : CANNY

The adjective “canny” is of Scottish origin, and was formed from the verb “to can” meaning “to know how to”. The idea is that someone who is “knowing” is careful, canny.

51 Chiwere-speaking native : OTOE

Chiwere is a Siouan language spoken by the Otoe people, as well as by the Missouria and Iowa.

54 Flat-topped cap : TAM

A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”) but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of the Robert Burns poem “Tam O’Shanter”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Filtered messages : SPAM
5 Walk, e.g. : GAIT
9 Disreputable : SLIMY
14 Get sucked into, in a way : HATE-WATCH
16 Choice word : EENIE
17 Certain charger : AC ADAPTER
18 Opposite of après : AVANT
19 Director’s cut, perhaps : RERELEASE
20 Discovery : FIND
21 It may be slashed : PRICE
22 Curiosity shop stock : EXOTICA
25 Tray opening : ASH-
27 “Fake” salon service : SPRAY TAN
28 Tool box? : SHED
31 Trenton Thunder, for one : AA TEAM
33 Stop on the road : INN
34 Adulterate (with), perhaps : LACE
35 Bite harmlessly : NIP AT
36 Feet treat : PEDI
37 Japanese salad veggie : UDO
38 Aussie agreement : OK, MATE
39 “__ sow … ” : AS YE
40 Low-fat, low-sodium regimen : RICE DIET
42 Noble title : DON
44 Got off the point : STRAYED
45 Religion involving ritual magic : WICCA
49 Possible swing result : MISS
50 Rare medical service : HOUSE CALL
54 Stuns, in a way : TASES
55 “Terrible idea” : I THINK NOT
56 Pop superstar from Tottenham : ADELE
57 Smarts : GOOD SENSE
58 Like contested divorces : MESSY
59 Villainous giggle : HE-HE
60 Batik artist : DYER

Down

1 Quick-witted : SHARP
2 Hoosier State NBAer : PACER
3 Gaming pioneer : ATARI
4 The ’70s, in a Tom Wolfe essay : “ME” DECADE
5 “Um, what?” expression : GAPE
6 “__ way!” : ATTA
7 Street fair treats : ICES
8 Term trademarked by Lakers’ coach Pat Riley, even though the team never achieved one under his leadership : THREE-PEAT
9 Spume at the shore : SEA FOAM
10 Joshing : LEVITY
11 Silly comments : INANITIES
12 Pleasurable diversions, informally : MIND CANDY
13 Still : YET
15 Dylan Thomas’s home : WALES
23 Like the 1972 film “Fritz the Cat,” originally : X-RATED
24 Miss Hannigan’s charge : ANNIE
26 Pocket square, e.g. : HANKIE
27 March VIP : ST PAT
28 Sounds tipsy, maybe : SLURS
29 Was on Easy Street : HAD IT MADE
30 Oil spills, e.g. : ECOCRISES
32 Aspired : AIMED HIGH
36 Lost one’s cool : PANICKED
38 Hardly a quick jaunt : ODYSSEY
41 Whiteboard props : EASELS
43 1936 Olympics standout : OWENS
46 Clever : CANNY
47 Conclusion : CLOSE
48 Get to fit : ALTER
51 Chiwere-speaking native : OTOE
52 “I’m toast” : UH-OH
53 Toast, sometimes : SIDE
54 Flat-topped cap : TAM

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 28 Nov 20, Saturday”

  1. LAT: 40 minutes, no errors. However, I never heard of hate-watch or mind-candy and only got them with crossing words. An OK Saturday challenge in my opinion.

  2. I am amazed that I had no errors. I put in “hatewatch” because that’s
    all I could figure out, but had no idea what it meant until I read Bill’s
    explanation. The rest was a slow struggle to fit everything in.

  3. 12:42, no errors, no complaints, a couple of silly write-overs. Lots easier than today’s “Saturday Stumper”, from Newsday, which I finished with no errors, but a total elapsed time of 9:18:17. (It has been observed that, sometimes, I can be a tad stubborn … 😜.)

  4. PS my hometown newspaper on Thanksgiving Day printed a crossword
    puzzle and clues the whole width of an inside paper. The grid is 10 1/4
    inches square and there are 770 clues. I’m working at it…maybe by
    Christmas I’ll have it done.

  5. Two of us working together, but across the room, each got about half of it done and could go no further. So we worked together and still struggled, but managed to get it done in just under an hour. Does a villain really giggle? I actually saw Fritz the Cat in a movie theater while going to college in Winona, MN in about 1971 or so.

  6. couple of errors. ICES?? i think thats a snowcone here in the midwest?? HANKIE got me and so did 25A ASH.. i thought 4D might be MEDECIDE and then 25A was ICE , like ICE TRAY?.. and then i thought Pocket Square was some nerd thing.. otherwise, the rest was okay.. OK MATE!!

  7. Typical Saturday grind. Nothing to complain about. It is what it is.

    A note to Bill. As a cost cutting measure, the Yankees recently dropped the Trenton Thunder as one of their minor league affiliates.

  8. 20:05 no errors, much to my surprise. I made so many changes, I was sure I must have missed something.

    Never thought I’d see UDO in a crossword. Has it become that common in some areas?

  9. 45:20 no errors…as usual I spent a long time in one area…today it was the NE corner…frustrating but I hung in there.
    @anonymous…I think it means “atta way” as in “atta way to go”

  10. 17 minutes, 5 seconds, no errors. A rare, guileless Saturday grid. Something to be thankful for, even post-Thanksgiving!!

  11. Got about 2/3 done before calling it a day. What I had was at least right. Mostly here to check the answers.

    Have a great day.

  12. 4 Get sucked into, in a way : HATE-WATCH
    “To hate-watch” a particular TV show is to watch it even though you actually nate its content.

    I think “Nate” would “Hate” this definition

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