LA Times Crossword 30 Nov 20, Monday

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Constructed by: Kurt Krauss
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Repetitive, Literally

Themed answers are cryptic, literal answers to clues involving the repetition of a word:

  • 17A Big burger chain, literally? : GUY GUY GUY GUY GUY (Five Guys)
  • 27A “I Can’t Help Myself” R&B group, literally? : TOP TOP TOP TOP (Four Tops)
  • 44A Many a sports car, literally? : SEATER SEATER (two-seater)
  • 58A Exec’s dressy suit, literally? : PIECE PIECE PIECE (three-piece)

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

Bill’s time: 5m 05s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 Oscar winner Paquin : ANNA

Anna Paquin is an actress from New Zealand who won an Oscar as an 11-year-old for her role in “The Piano”. In the HBO series “True Blood” she plays Sookie Stackhouse, a role for which she won a Golden Globe.

16 Soft drink nut : KOLA

The nut of the kola tree has a bitter taste, and is loaded with caffeine. Despite the taste, the nut is habitually chewed in some cultures, especially in West Africa where the tree is commonly found in the rainforest. Here in the US we best know the kola nut as a flavoring used in cola drinks.

17 Big burger chain, literally? : GUY GUY GUY GUY GUY (Five Guys)

Five Guys is a chain of hamburger joints that started out in Arlington, Virginia and now operates worldwide. Even though the chain was founded by Janie and Jerry Murrell, the “five guys” were Jerry and the couple’s four sons.

20 Yale student : ELI

“Eli” is the nickname for a graduate of Yale University, and a term used in honor of the Yale benefactor Elihu Yale.

25 On the briny : ASEA

The briny is the sea, with “brine” meaning “salty water”. The term “briny” was originally used for “tears”.

27 “I Can’t Help Myself” R&B group, literally? : TOP TOP TOP TOP (Four Tops)

The original lineup of the Four Tops agreed to form a vocal quartet when they were high school students together in Detroit. The group started out using the name “The Four Aims”, but changed it to Four Tops to avoid confusion with the Ames Brothers.

35 “Wild Blue Yonder” mil. group : USAF

The official song of the US Air Force (USAF) is entitled “The US Air Force”, and was written in 1938 by Robert MacArthur Crawford. The original title was “Army Air Corps”, and this was changed to “Army Air Force” during WWII when the service changed its name. The current title was adopted in 1947, when the USAF became a separate service. Regardless of the official name, the song is commonly referred to as “Wild Blue Yonder”.

Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
Climbing high into the sun
Here they come zooming to meet our thunder
At ’em boys, Give ‘er the gun!
Down we dive, spouting our flame from under
Off with one helluva roar!
We live in fame or go down in flame. Hey!
Nothing can stop the U.S. Air Force!

36 __ de Janeiro : RIO

Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil (after São Paulo). “Rio de Janeiro” translates as “January River”. The name reflects the discovery of the bay on which Rio sits, on New Year’s Day in 1502.

37 Dutch cheese : EDAM

Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

41 Round Table title : SIR

King Arthur (and his Round Table) probably never really existed, but his legend is very persistent. Arthur was supposedly a leader of the Romano-British as they tried to resist the invasion of the Anglo-Saxons in the late 5th and early 6th centuries.

42 Locker room powder : TALC

Talc is a mineral, hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days “baby powder” is also made from cornstarch.

43 Walrus features : TUSKS

Walruses are large marine mammals with very prominent tusks. Their natural habitat is in and around the northern hemisphere’s Arctic Ocean.

53 Big rigs : SEMIS

A “semi” is a “semi-trailer truck”. The vehicle is so called because it consists of a tractor and a half-trailer. The half-trailer is so called because it only has wheels on the back end, with the front supported by the tractor.

56 Bowling targets : PINS

Bowling has been around for an awfully long time. The oldest known reference to the game is in Egypt, where pins and balls were found in an ancient tomb that is over 5,000 years old. The first form of the game to come to America was nine-pin bowling, which had been very popular in Europe for centuries. In 1841 in Connecticut, nine-pin bowling was banned due to its association with gambling. Supposedly, an additional pin was added to get around the ban, and ten-pin bowling was born.

57 Animal doc : VET

A veterinarian (vet) is a professional who treats animals for disease and injury. The word “veterinary” comes from the Latin “veterinae” meaning “working animals, beasts of burden”.

58 Exec’s dressy suit, literally? : PIECE PIECE PIECE (three-piece)

Here’s another word that often catches me out. What we call a vest here in the US is a waistcoat back in Ireland. And, the Irish use the word “vest” for an undershirt.

62 One of 12 in a foot : INCH

An inch is 1/12 of a foot. The term “inch” comes from the Latin “uncia” meaning “twelfth”.

63 Farm size unit : ACRE

At one time, an acre was defined as the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. Then, an acre was more precisely defined as a strip of land “one furrow long” (i.e. one furlong) and one chain wide. The length of one furlong was equal to 10 chains, or 40 rods. An area of one furlong times 10 rods was one rood.

65 Classic grape soda : NEHI

The Nehi cola brand has a name that sounds like “knee-high”, a measure of a small stature. Back in the mid-1900’s the Chero-Cola company, which owned the brand, went for a slightly different twist on “knee-high” in advertising. The logo for Nehi was an image of a seated woman’s stockinged legs, with her skirt pulled up to her knees to hint at “knee-high”.

Down

1 Procreate : BEGET

Despite the fact that the term “beget” appears in the English translation of the Bible, the use of “beget” in the sense of procreation only dates back to about 1200 AD. Prior to that, “beget” meant “to acquire, seize”.

4 Cardio readout : ECG

An EKG measures the electrical activity in the heart. Back in my homeland of Ireland, an EKG is known as an ECG (for electrocardiogram). We use the German name in the US, Elektrokardiogramm, giving us EKG. Apparently the abbreviation EKG is preferred, as ECG might be confused (if poorly handwritten, I guess) with EEG, the abbreviation for an electroencephalogram.

5 Small apartments : STUDIOS

“Studio” comes into English via Italian from the Latin “studium” meaning “room for study”. The meaning was extended into “studio apartment” in the early 1900s.

6 Wall calendar : nail :: shopping list : __ : MAGNET

Refrigerator magnets … I can’t stand them! But, there is something interesting about them. If we place two fridge magnets back to back, and slide them slowly against each other, then we can feel an alternating attraction and repulsion. This is because they are manufactured with alternating north and south poles on the back side, and do not have two distinct poles. Who knew …?!

10 Airport porter : SKYCAP

A skycap is an airport porter, with the name coming from the term “redcap” that is used for a railroad porter.

11 Forum wear : TOGA

The Latin “forum” (plural “fora”) translates as “marketplace, town square”. “The Roman Forum” is the most famous example of such a space. The Forum at the heart of the city of Rome is surrounded by the ruins of several ancient government buildings, and has been referred to as the most celebrated meeting place in the world.

12 High school reunion attendee, briefly : ALUM

An alumnus (plural “alumni”) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural “alumnae”). The term comes into English from Latin, in which an alumnus is a foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or alumnus.

25 Semicircular cathedral area : APSE

The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

28 Postal scale unit : OUNCE

Our term “ounce” (abbreviated to “oz.”) comes from the Latin “uncia”. An “uncia” was 1/12 of a Roman “libra” (pound).

29 “__ bien!” : TRES

“Very good” is written as “sehr gut” in German, and as “très bien” in French.

31 Snow pea holders : PODS

The snow pea lives up to its name. It continues to grow when it is snowing.

32 Come clean, with “up” : FESS …

The term “fess” is most often seen as part of the phrasal verb “to fess up” meaning “to admit to something”. “Fess” is simply a shortened form of “confess”.

33 Falco of “The Sopranos” : EDIE

Actress Edie Falco won three Emmy Awards for playing Carmela Soprano on HBO’s outstanding drama series called “The Sopranos”. Falco also won an Emmy in 2010 for playing the title role in “Nurse Jackie”, an excellent black comedy.

34 Butler’s quarters? : TARA

In Margaret Mitchell’s novel “Gone with the Wind”, Scarlett O’Hara’s home is the Tara plantation. Tara was founded not far from the Georgia city of Jonesboro by Scarlett’s father, Irish immigrant Gerald O’Hara. Gerald won the square mile of land on which Tara was built in an all-night poker game. He named his new abode after the Hill of Tara back in his home country, the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland. Rhett’s rival for the affections of Scarlet is Ashley Wilkes who lives at the nearby Twelve Oaks plantation.

38 Female horse : MARE

There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:

  • Foal: horse of either sex that is less than one year old
  • Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
  • Filly: female horse under the age of four
  • Colt: male horse under the age of four
  • Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
  • Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
  • Mare: female horse four years or older

39 “Casablanca” heroine : ILSA

The movie “Casablanca” was released in January of 1943, timed to coincide with the Casablanca Conference, the high-level meeting between Roosevelt and Churchill. The film wasn’t a box-office hit, but gained critical acclaim, winning three Oscars including Best Picture. The signature song “As Time Goes By” was written many years earlier for a 1931 Broadway musical called “Everybody’s Welcome”, and was a hit in 1931 for Rudy Vallee. But today we all remember the Casablanca version, sung by Dooley Wilson (who played “Sam” in the film). Poor Dooley didn’t get to record it as a single, due to a musician’s strike in 1943. The 1931 Rudy Vallee version was re-released that year and became an even bigger hit second time round.

40 Town : BURG

“Burg” is an informal term used in the US for a smaller town that comes from the German word “burg” meaning “fortified city”.

43 Sawbuck : TEN-SPOT

“Sawbuck” is slang for “10-dollar bill”. The term was applied to the bill as the Roman numeral X (which used to appear on the reverse) resembles the end of sawhorse.

45 Meditative martial art : TAI CHI

More correctly called “t‘ai chi ch‘uan”, tai chi is a martial art that is mostly practiced to improve overall health and increase longevity.

46 Restaurant in an Arlo Guthrie hit : ALICE’S

Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for singing protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.

53 “Wheel of Fortune” choice : SPIN

Contestants have been spinning the “Wheel of Fortune” since the game show first aired in 1975.

56 Dijon dad : PERE

Dijon is a city in eastern France in the Burgundy region. Dijon is famous for its mustard, a particularly strong variation of the condiment. The European Union doesn’t protect the name “Dijon” so anyone can use it on a label. That seems fair enough to me, given that 90% of the mustard made in and around Dijon is produced using mustard seed imported from Canada!

60 Aloof : ICY

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 …?

61 __ Jima : IWO

Iwo Jima is a volcanic island located south of Tokyo that today is uninhabited. The name is Japanese for “Sulfur Island”, referring to the sulfur mining on which Iwo Jima’s economy once depended. There were about a thousand Japanese civilians living on the island prior to WWII. In 1944, there was a massive influx of Japanese military personnel in anticipation of the inevitable US invasion. As the Japanese military moved in, the civilians were forced out and no one has lived there since. Control of the island was wrested from the Japanese in the five-week Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. Said battle was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific theater in WWII.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Two-wheelers : BIKES
6 Haunted house sound : MOAN
10 Stick a fork in : STAB
14 Standing at attention, say : ERECT
15 Oscar winner Paquin : ANNA
16 Soft drink nut : KOLA
17 Big burger chain, literally? : GUY GUY GUY GUY GUY (Five Guys)
20 Yale student : ELI
21 Homes for bears : DENS
22 Con jobs : SCAMS
23 __ strength: ability to withstand stretching : TENSILE
25 On the briny : ASEA
27 “I Can’t Help Myself” R&B group, literally? : TOP TOP TOP TOP (Four Tops)
32 Honors with a fancy party : FETES
35 “Wild Blue Yonder” mil. group : USAF
36 __ de Janeiro : RIO
37 Dutch cheese : EDAM
38 Worker in a shaft : MINER
40 Curve in a road : BEND
41 Round Table title : SIR
42 Locker room powder : TALC
43 Walrus features : TUSKS
44 Many a sports car, literally? : SEATER SEATER (two-seater)
48 Floor space calculation : AREA
49 Sticks around : LINGERS
53 Big rigs : SEMIS
56 Bowling targets : PINS
57 Animal doc : VET
58 Exec’s dressy suit, literally? : PIECE PIECE PIECE (three-piece)
62 One of 12 in a foot : INCH
63 Farm size unit : ACRE
64 Confess : OWN UP
65 Classic grape soda : NEHI
66 Hair colorings : DYES
67 Handy carryalls : TOTES

Down

1 Procreate : BEGET
2 “Go, me!” : I RULE!
3 Enter, as data : KEY IN
4 Cardio readout : ECG
5 Small apartments : STUDIOS
6 Wall calendar : nail :: shopping list : __ : MAGNET
7 Burden : ONUS
8 “__ further discussion?” : ANY
9 Old horse : NAG
10 Airport porter : SKYCAP
11 Forum wear : TOGA
12 High school reunion attendee, briefly : ALUM
13 Howls at the moon : BAYS
18 Puppy’s cry : YELP
19 Make __: employ : USE OF
24 Flower holder : STEM
25 Semicircular cathedral area : APSE
26 Lead actor or actress : STAR
28 Postal scale unit : OUNCE
29 “__ bien!” : TRES
30 Sty cry : OINK!
31 Snow pea holders : PODS
32 Come clean, with “up” : FESS …
33 Falco of “The Sopranos” : EDIE
34 Butler’s quarters? : TARA
38 Female horse : MARE
39 “Casablanca” heroine : ILSA
40 Town : BURG
42 Wasting few words : TERSE
43 Sawbuck : TEN-SPOT
45 Meditative martial art : TAI CHI
46 Restaurant in an Arlo Guthrie hit : ALICE’S
47 Fork prong : TINE
50 Discus or pole vault : EVENT
51 Prompt, as a forgetful actor : RECUE
52 Staircase divisions : STEPS
53 “Wheel of Fortune” choice : SPIN
54 German article : EINE
55 Kind of drawing: Abbr. : MECH
56 Dijon dad : PERE
59 Note-taking aid : PAD
60 Aloof : ICY
61 __ Jima : IWO

21 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 30 Nov 20, Monday”

  1. never heard of 5 Guys burger joint.. must be on the coasts…
    nope,.. i looked it up.. there are a couple in nebraska.. fairly new.

    guess i’ll have to go look them up sometime.

  2. 7:01, no errors.

    Nice to see a theme that actually helps you solve the puzzle faster. And on a Monday, no less. Well done

  3. You failed to explain why a ten spot is slang for a $10 dollar bill, which has no such spots (think playing card). Do you have any idea?

  4. Typical Monday, “No Peek” at any of the long answers, and guessed all the clues for them. By not looking at the clues it makes the “solve” that much more enjoyable (for me). After “GUY” and “TOP” I wrote in “SEA” four times… didn’t fit with the down clues – got the ol’ eraser out and finished the puzzle.

  5. Don’t understand all the digital ink spent on “tusks” or “vet” or “pod” when there is nothing about the very seldom-used definitions of “nag” and “bay” which I had to look up.

  6. Greetings!!🤗

    I shoulda had as smooth a time with this one as y’all did but I misread 1A “Two-wheelers” and filled in SEMIS 😆 – then for 1D I put SPAWN instead of BEGET — then too I’d never heard of Five Guys Burgers…..so I had a lot of backtracking to do before finally straightening things out for no errors.

    FWIW – Rhett never lived or even hung out at TARA, not in the book or the movie. Don’t know why setters keep placing him there!!!! 🙄

    Be well~~🥂

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