LA Times Crossword 3 Nov 20, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Debbie Ellerin
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer(s): Secret Ballot

Themed answers each include the letters V-O-T-E within, and in that order:

  • 35A With 37-Across, Election Day practice … and a hint to this puzzle’s theme : SECRET …
  • 37A See 35-Across : … BALLOT
  • 16A Roughly : GIVE OR TAKE
  • 21A Like medicine not requiring a prescription : OVER-THE-COUNTER
  • 48A Debater for the opposition, at times : DEVIL’S ADVOCATE
  • 54A Place sheltered from reality : IVORY TOWER

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 Pacific island host of two “Survivor” seasons : PALAU

Palau is a tiny island nation lying 500 miles east of the Philippines, and 2,000 miles south of Japan. Palau was once a Spanish possession and was sold by Spain to Germany in the late 19th century. During WWI, Japan invaded the islands (Japan had declared war on Germany) and was awarded the islands as a territory by the League of Nations at the end of hostilities. In WWII the US took Palau from the Japanese in a bloody battle in 1944. Palau emerged from American administration in 1994 and is now a sovereign state.

The reality show “Survivor” is based on a Swedish television series created in 1997 called “Expedition Robinson”.

6 Caustic solution : LYE

What we call “lye” is usually sodium hydroxide, although historically the term “lye” was used for potassium hydroxide. Lye has many uses, including to cure several foodstuffs. Lye can make olives less bitter, for example. The chemical is also found in canned mandarin oranges, pretzels and Japanese ramen noodles. More concentrated grades of lye are used to clear drains and clean ovens. Scary …

9 Indeed.com listings : JOBS

Indeed is a search engine used as a tool to sort through online job listings. Indeed was co-founded in Austin, Texas and Stamford, Connecticut and became a subsidiary in 20121 of Recruit, a company based in Tokyo, Japan.

13 Maker of Glide floss : ORAL-B

The Oral-B toothbrush was introduced to the world in 1950, designed by a California periodontist. The first “model” was the Oral-B 60, a name given to reflect the 60 tufts in the brush. In 1969, the Oral-B was the first toothbrush to get to the moon as it was the toothbrush of choice for the crew of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

19 SoCal cop squad : LAPD

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is the third-largest local law enforcement agency in the country, after New York PD and Chicago PD. Among other things, LAPD is famous for creating the first Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team in the US, in 1965.

20 Machu Picchu builders : INCAS

Machu Picchu is known as “The Lost City of the Incas”, and it can be visited on a mountain ridge in Peru, 50 miles northwest of the city of Cuzco in the southeast of the country. The name Machu Picchu means “old peak”. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu originates about 50 miles from Cusco on the Urubamba River in Peru. It can take travelers about 5 days to trek the full length of the trail, passing through many Incan ruins before reaching the Sun Gate on Machu Picchu mountain. The trail was becoming greatly overused, forcing the Peruvian government to limit the number of people on the trail each day to 500. Book early …

29 Homeric epic : ILIAD

“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”.

32 Stat for Clayton Kershaw : ERA

Earned run average (ERA)

Clayton Kershaw is a pitcher who started playing for the LA Dodgers in 2008. Outside of baseball, Kershaw is noted for his charitable work, especially his efforts to raise money for an orphanage in Zambia.

35 With 37-Across, Election Day practice … and a hint to this puzzle’s theme : SECRET …
37 See 35-Across : … BALLOT

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.

There is a traditional type of secret ballot in which a voter selects a white wall to indicate support and a black ball indicates opposition. This voting method led to the use of the term “blackball” to mean to shun or to vote against.

39 Screeners at ORD : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks who check passengers and baggage at airports.

The IATA airport code for O’Hare International in Chicago is ORD, which comes from Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field (OR-D).

44 Fitness system incorporating martial arts : TAE BO

Tae Bo isn’t an ancient martial art, even though it perhaps sounds like one. The discipline was developed as a form of aerobic exercise in the 1990s by taekwondo expert Billy Blanks who gave it the name Tae Bo, a melding of “taekwondo” and “boxing”.

45 Mozart rival : SALIERI

If you’ve seen the brilliant 1984 movie “Amadeus”, you’ll have seen the composer Salieri portrayed as being very envious and resentful of the gifted Mozart. It is no doubt true that two composers fought against each other, at least on occasion, but the extent of the acrimony between the two has perhaps been exaggerated in the interest of theater. Mozart and his wife had six children, but only two survived infancy. The youngest boy was called Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart, born just five months before his father died. Franz was to become a gifted composer, teacher, pianist and conductor, helped along the way by lessons from his father’s supposed rival, Antonio Salieri. In addition to the Mozarts, Salieri also taught such luminaries as Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Liszt and Franz Schubert

48 Debater for the opposition, at times : DEVIL’S ADVOCATE

In the Roman Catholic tradition, an “Advocatus Diaboli” (Latin for “Devil’s Advocate”) was a person tasked with arguing against the canonization of a candidate. We now use the phrase “devil’s advocate” in common speech to refer to someone who is arguing a position opposite to the norm or perhaps opposite to his or her own real belief.

51 Smear with ink? : LIBEL

The word “libel” describes a published or written statement likely to harm a person’s reputation. It comes into English from the Latin “libellus”, the word for a small book. Back in the 1500s, libel was just a formal written statement, with the more damaging association arising in the 1600s. The related concept of slander is defamation in a transient form, such as speech, sign language or gestures.

52 “__ the Parents”: 2000 film : MEET

“Meet the Parents” is a funny comedy released in 2000, starring Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller. “Meet the Parents” is actually a remake of a 1992 independent comedy film of the same name that enjoyed much less success.

54 Place sheltered from reality : IVORY TOWER

In modern usage, an ivory tower is an environment focused on education and intellectual pursuits while isolated from the practicalities of everyday life. The term is often used to describe academia. “Ivory tower” originated in the Song of Solomon in the Bible with the line “Your neck is like an ivory tower”.

60 Chunky Monkey buy : PINT

Chunky Monkey is a Ben and Jerry’s flavor of ice cream that consists of banana ice cream with fudge chunks and walnuts mixed in.

61 Name of 12 popes : PIUS

There have been twelve popes named Pius, the latest being Pope Pius XII. He led the Roman Catholic Church until his death in 1958.

63 Eyelid ailment : STYE

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

65 __ over the coals : RAKED

To drag, haul or rake someone over the coals is to criticize him or her severely. The phrase “over the coals” is rooted in the treatment meted out to heretics in Medieval times.

Down

1 Faddish ’90s disc : POG

The game of pogs was originally played with bottle caps from POG fruit juice. The juice was named for its constituents, passion fruit, orange and guava.

2 “All Things Considered” host Shapiro : ARI

Ari Shapiro served very ably as White House correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR) for several years. He then became a co-host of network’s drive-time program “All Things Considered” in 2015. When he’s not working, Shapiro likes to sing. He regularly appears as a guest singer with the group Pink Martini, and has appeared on several of the band’s albums.

3 Loo : LAV

Our word “lavatory” (sometimes “lav”) originally referred to a washbasin, and comes from the Latin “lavatorium”, a place for washing. In the 1600s, “lavatory” came to mean a washroom, and in the 1920s a toilet.

7 Tibetan beast : YAK

The English word “yak” is an Anglicized version of the Tibetan name for the male of the species. Yak milk is much prized in the Tibetan culture. It is made into cheese and butter, and the butter is used to make a tea that is consumed in great volume by Tibetans. The butter is also used as a fuel in lamps, and during festivals the butter is even sculpted into religious icons.

8 Middle of the “Able-Elba” palindrome : ERE

The three most famous palindromes in English have to be:

  • Able was I ere I saw Elba
  • A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
  • Madam, I’m Adam

One of my favorite terms is “Aibohphobia”, although it doesn’t appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. “Aibohphobia” is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix “-phobia”.

9 Lively : JAUNTY

Our words “jaunty” and “genteel” are related in that they both derive from the French “gentil” meaning “nice, pleasing”. In modern usage, someone described as jaunty has a buoyant air. Someone described as genteel is refined in manner.

10 Part of a pound : OUNCE

Our term “ounce” comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a “libra”, the Roman “pound”. “Uncia” is also the derivation of our word “inch”, 1/12 of a foot.

11 Prickly shrub : BRIAR

“Briar” is a generic name describing several plants that have thorns or prickles, including the rose. Famously, Br’er Rabbit lives in a briar patch.

12 Coll. entrance exams : SATS

Today, the standardized test for admission to colleges is known as the SAT Reasoning Test, but it used to be called the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test, which led to the abbreviation “SAT”.

14 Fla. coastal city : ST PETE

Saint Petersburg, Florida is often referred to as “St. Pete” by locals and visitors alike. Located on a peninsula lying between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, St. Pete was founded in 1888 and named for Saint Petersburg in Russia. The co-founders were Russian immigrant Peter Demens and Detroit native John C. Williams. The pair tossed a coin for the privilege of naming the new city, and Demens won. Williams lost, but did get to name the city’s first hostelry “The Detroit Hotel”.

20 Ready to mate : IN HEAT

The estrous cycle of mammals can be divided into four phases:

  1. Proestrus is the phase when the body prepares for a potential fertilized egg. In particular, the lining to the uterus starts to develop.
  2. Estrus is the phase when the female is said to be “in heat”, when she is sexullay receptive.
  3. Metestrus is the phase when levels of progesterone increase. The levels continue to increase if pregnancy has occured, but fall of if there has been no fertilization.
  4. Anestrus is the phase when the sexual cycle rests, before starting all over again.

23 CNN journalist Hill : ERICA

Erica Hill was the co-anchor of “CBS This Morning”, and before that she was co-anchor of CBS’s “The Early Show”. Hill moved in 2008 to NBC News and co-hosted the weekend edition of “Today”. She moved to CNN in 2016.

25 60 minuti : ORA

In Italian, there are “sessanta minuti” (sixty minutes) in an “ora” (hour).

26 State school near L.A. : UCSB

The University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) is one of the 10 campuses in the UC system. UCSB joined the UC system in 1944, although the school was founded as a teachers’ college in 1891.

32 Justice Kagan : ELENA

Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States from 2009 until 2010, when she replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the first female US Solicitor General and the fourth female US Supreme Court justice. Kagan also served as the first female dean of Harvard Law School from 2003 to 2009.

33 R2-D2, for one : ROBOT

Karel Čapek was a Czech writer noted for his works of science fiction. Čapek’s 1921 play “R.U.R.” is remembered in part for introducing the world to the word “robot”. The words “automaton” and “android” were already in use, but Capek gave us “robot” from the original Czech “robota” meaning “forced labor”. The acronym “R.U.R.”, in the context of the play, stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots”.

Artoo’s proper name is R2-D2 (also “Artoo-Detoo”). R2-D2 is the smaller of the two famous droids from the “Star Wars” movies. British actor Kenny Baker, who stood just 3 ft 8 ins tall, was the man inside the R2-D2 droid for the first six of the “Star Wars” movies.

38 Of the flock : LAIC

Anything described as laic (or “laical, lay”) is related to the laity, those members of the church who are not clergy. The term “laic” ultimately comes from the Greek “laikos” meaning “of the people”.

42 Read the riot act : REAM OUT

To ream someone is to swindle him or her.

The Riot Act was a British law that was in force from 1715 to 1967. According to the Riot Act, government entities could declare any gathering of twelve or more people “unlawful”. Our expression “read the Riot Act to” is derived from the requirement for the authorities to read out the Riot Act proclamation to an unlawful assembly before the Act could be enforced.

45 Gracefully slender : SVELTE

“Svelte” comes into English from Latin, via the Italian “svelto” meaning “stretched out”. Something or someone described as svelte would be slender and graceful.

46 Tony winner Judith : IVEY

Judith Ivey is an actress from El Paso, Texas. Ivey is perhaps best known for playing B. J. Poteet in the last season of the TV show “Designing Women”.

49 Magazine that has had Lena Horne and Michelle Obama on its cover : EBONY

“Ebony” is a lifestyle magazine founded in 1945 that is marketed towards the African-American community. Way back in 1957/58, “Ebony” was home to a monthly advice column penned by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Titled “Advice for Living”, he used the column to answer many of the letters that the magazine received that were addressed to Dr. King personally. Having recently read a few of those columns, I must say that they provide some fascinating insight into race relations in the 1950s …

Lena Horne was an American jazz singer, actress, dancer and civil rights activist. Horne started her career as a nightclub singer and then began to get some meaty acting roles in Hollywood. However, she ended up on the blacklist during the McCarthy Era for expressing left wing political views. One of Horne’s starring roles was in the 1943 movie “Stormy Weather” for which she also performed the title song.

Michelle Obama née Robinson grew up on the South Side of Chicago. Her brother is Craig Robinson, former coach of men’s basketball at Oregon State University. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Michelle Robinson worked as an associate at the Chicago office of the Sidley Austin law firm. Barack Obama joined the firm as a summer associate and Michelle Robinson was assigned to mentor him, and as they say, one thing led to another …

50 River mammal : OTTER

Male and female otters are known as dogs and bitches, with the offspring called pups. Males and females are sometimes referred to as boars and sows. A collection of otters is a bevy, family, lodge or perhaps a romp. When in water, a collection of otters can be called a raft.

54 Pub drink, briefly : IPA

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

57 Stir-fry pan : WOK

“Wok” is a Cantonese word, and is the name for the frying pan now used in many Asian cuisines.

59 Like Rupert Grint’s hair : RED

Former child actor Rupert Grint is famous for playing Ron Weasley, one of the three lead characters in the “Harry Potter” series of films. Grint is the oldest of the trio of “Harry Potter” leads, and was 11 years old when he was cast in the role. I really enjoyed the 2017 black-comedy series “Sick Note” in which Grint starred with Nick Frost.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Pacific island host of two “Survivor” seasons : PALAU
6 Caustic solution : LYE
9 Indeed.com listings : JOBS
13 Maker of Glide floss : ORAL-B
14 Blacken a bit : SEAR
15 Luminous glow : AURA
16 Roughly : GIVE OR TAKE
18 Military group : UNIT
19 SoCal cop squad : LAPD
20 Machu Picchu builders : INCAS
21 Like medicine not requiring a prescription : OVER-THE-COUNTER
27 Truth alternative, in a game : DARE
28 Like rice and potatoes : STARCHY
29 Homeric epic : ILIAD
31 Wipe the slate clean : ERASE
32 Stat for Clayton Kershaw : ERA
35 With 37-Across, Election Day practice … and a hint to this puzzle’s theme : SECRET …
37 See 35-Across : … BALLOT
39 Screeners at ORD : TSA
40 Like nostalgic art forms : RETRO
44 Fitness system incorporating martial arts : TAE BO
45 Mozart rival : SALIERI
47 Part of, as a plot : IN ON
48 Debater for the opposition, at times : DEVIL’S ADVOCATE
51 Smear with ink? : LIBEL
52 “__ the Parents”: 2000 film : MEET
53 Revered pop star, say : IDOL
54 Place sheltered from reality : IVORY TOWER
60 Chunky Monkey buy : PINT
61 Name of 12 popes : PIUS
62 Conjure up : EVOKE
63 Eyelid ailment : STYE
64 Fitting : APT
65 __ over the coals : RAKED

Down

1 Faddish ’90s disc : POG
2 “All Things Considered” host Shapiro : ARI
3 Loo : LAV
4 Pub drink : ALE
5 A bike lock may be shaped like one : U-BOLT
6 Indy pacesetter : LEAD CAR
7 Tibetan beast : YAK
8 Middle of the “Able-Elba” palindrome : ERE
9 Lively : JAUNTY
10 Part of a pound : OUNCE
11 Prickly shrub : BRIAR
12 Coll. entrance exams : SATS
14 Fla. coastal city : ST PETE
17 Cheers at a bowl : RAHS
20 Ready to mate : IN HEAT
21 Writer of poetic praise : ODIST
22 Lowlands : VALES
23 CNN journalist Hill : ERICA
24 Backside : REAR
25 60 minuti : ORA
26 State school near L.A. : UCSB
30 Get off the track : DERAIL
32 Justice Kagan : ELENA
33 R2-D2, for one : ROBOT
34 Make up (for) : ATONE
36 Poker player’s giveaway : TELL
38 Of the flock : LAIC
41 Apt “it’s” anagram : ‘TIS
42 Read the riot act : REAM OUT
43 Cooks fill them : ORDERS
45 Gracefully slender : SVELTE
46 Tony winner Judith : IVEY
48 Finished the work : DID IT
49 Magazine that has had Lena Horne and Michelle Obama on its cover : EBONY
50 River mammal : OTTER
51 Kissers : LIPS
54 Pub drink, briefly : IPA
55 Skybox guest : VIP
56 Eggs in a lab : OVA
57 Stir-fry pan : WOK
58 Squeeze (out) : EKE
59 Like Rupert Grint’s hair : RED

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 3 Nov 20, Tuesday”

  1. Another error on a letter. Didn’t know 45A or 46D. Had an I at the end..
    Liked the history on the “BALLOT”. The use of black and white balls is appealing.

    Have a good day!!

  2. Another timely puzzle which is good. As for the theme why circle the letters? Why not just say…. Election Day practice HIDDEN in the puzzle’s four longest answers. After all, the answer was secret ballot.

  3. Nice, timely puzzle — telling me to cast my “secret ballot” four times… I guess I’d better get to the poll and V-O-T-E!

  4. No errors, for first time in a while.
    Re 46D: Saw Ms. Ivey on Broadway several years ago, in a revival of Glass Menagerie. She was quite good.
    Oh, for the day theater resumes.
    Liked her in her sitcom, too, some years before.

  5. 12 minutes, 34 seconds, no errors. Hampered by the electronic grid… convinced some of my entries were changing as I edited neighboring squares.

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