LA Times Crossword 6 Nov 20, Friday

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Constructed by: Kevin Christian
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Odd Animal Groups

Themed answers look like common phrases, but are clued with reference to specific groups of animals:

  • 17A Lions in the city? : CIVIC PRIDE
  • 25A Fish with experience? : OLD SCHOOL
  • 36A Bees behind bars? : PENAL COLONY
  • 47A Whales on the run? : ESCAPE POD
  • 58A Wolves with a clean lair? : VACUUM PACK

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

Bill’s time: 8m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Persepolis ruins locale : IRAN

Persepolis is located in modern Iran, just northeast of the city of Shiraz. The earliest remains of the city date back to around 500 BC. Much of the city’s construction took place during the reign of King Xerxes the Great.

5 Prickly plants : CACTI

The cactus (plural “cacti”) is a member of a family of plants that are particularly well-adapted to extremely dry environments. Almost all cacti are native to the Americas, although some succulent plants from the old world are similar in appearance and are often mislabeled as “cacti”.

10 Former Supreme Court first name : RUTH

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg served on the US Supreme Court. Justice Ginsburg was the second woman to join the Court, and was nominated by President Bill Clinton. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999 and underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. During that time she did not miss one day on the bench. In 2009 Justice Ginsburg had surgery for pancreatic cancer, and was back to work 12 days later. She had left-lung lobectomy to remove cancerous nodules in 2018, which forced Justice Ginsburg to miss oral argument in January 2019, for the first time since joining the court 25 years earlier. She finally succumbed to pancreatic cancer in 2020. Much of Ginsburg’s life is recounted in the excellent 2018 movie “On the Basis of Sex”.

14 iPod model : NANO

The iPod Nano was the successor to the iPod Mini and was introduced to the market at the end of 2005. There were seven versions of the Nano, until it was discontinued in 2017.

15 Garden nuisance : APHID

Aphids are called “greenfly” back in Britain and Ireland where I come from. The most effective way to control aphids, in my experience, is to make sure there are plenty of ladybugs in the garden (called “ladybirds” in Ireland!).

16 Protection org. since 1970 : OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1970 during the Nixon administration. OSHA regulates workplaces in the private sector and regulates just one government agency, namely the US Postal Service.

17 Lions in the city? : CIVIC PRIDE

Here are some colorful collective nouns:

  • A pride of lions
  • A shrewdness of apes
  • A cloud of bats
  • A bench of bishops
  • A clowder of cats
  • A waddling of ducks
  • An army of frogs
  • A knot of toads

19 Slangy sweeties : BAES

“Bae” is a contemporary term of endearment. It is a pet name that is an abbreviation of “babe, baby”, although I’ve also read that it is an acronym standing for “before anyone else”.

20 Pulitzer-winning author Lurie : ALISON

Alison Lurie is an American novelist. Lurie won a Pulitzer Prize in 1985 for her novel “Foreign Affairs”. Three of her works have been adapted for television: “The War Between the Tates”, “Imaginary Friends” and “Foreign Affairs”.

23 Conan’s network : TBS

The tbs cable television station started out in 1967 as a local broadcast TV station in Atlanta. The station’s first call letters were WJRJ-TV, and this was changed to WTCG in 1970 when it was acquired by Ted Turner (the TCG stood for Turner Communications Group). In 1976, Turner started distributing WTCG via satellite making its programming available in other parts of the country. WTCG was only the second channel to transmit via satellite, following HBO. The difference was that WTCG was broadcast without requiring a premium subscription. The station’s call sign was changed again in 1979 to WTBS, with “TBS” standing for Turner Broadcasting System. In 1981, the channel adopted the moniker “Superstation WTBS”.

Before Conan O’Brien came to fame as a late night talk show host, he was a writer. He wrote for both “Saturday Night Live” and “The Simpsons”. While attending Harvard, O’Brien was president of “The Harvard Lampoon”.

24 Willamette River capital : SALEM

Salem is the state capital of Oregon. It is thought that the city takes its name from the older city of Salem, Massachusetts.

The Willamette River in northwestern Oregon is a major tributary of the Columbia River. The Willamette flows through the state capital of Salem, as well as through Portland, Oregon’s largest city. Today, the Willamette Valley is home to over 500 wineries and is often called “Oregon Wine Country”.

27 UFO fliers, presumably : ETS

One might speculate that an unidentified flying object (UFO) is flown by an extraterrestrial (ET).

30 Luke and Leia’s mother : PADME

In the “Star Wars” universe, Padmé Amidala is the Queen of the planet Naboo. Played very ably by Natalie Portman, Padmé becomes the secret wife of Anakin Skywalker, later revealed to be Darth Vader. As such, Padmé is also the mother of Luke Skywalker and his sister, Princess Leia Organa.

31 Show-offs : HOTDOGS

Although “hotdogging” is a term now used across all sports, it was primarily associated with skiing and described the performance of showy and risky stunts on the slopes.

38 Inland Asian sea : ARAL

The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

41 Starr man : RINGO

Sir Ringo Starr’s real name is Richard Starkey. Before he joined the Beatles, replacing drummer Pete Best, Starkey played with the Raving Texans. It was with the Raving Texans that he adopted the name “Ringo Starr”, because he wore a lot of rings and he thought it sounded “cowboyish”. Back then his drum solos were billed as “Starr Time”.

44 Hole goal : PAR

That would be golf.

47 Whales on the run? : ESCAPE POD

A group of whales can be called a gam, as well as a pod.

51 GE rival : AMANA

The Amana Corporation takes its name from the location of its original headquarters, in Middle Amana, Iowa. Today, the Amana name is very much associated with household appliances. The company was founded in 1934 to manufacture commercial walk-in coolers.

54 Seafarers : TARS

A jack tar, or just “tar”, was a seaman in the service of the British Empire. The term probably arose due to a sailor’s various uses of tar back then, including waterproofing his clothes and using tar in his hair to slick down his ponytail.

55 USC athlete : TROJAN

The University of Southern California (USC) is a private school in Los Angeles. Apart from its excellent academic record, USC is known for the success of its athletic program. USC Trojans have won more Olympic medals than the students of any other university in the world. The USC marching band is very famous as well, and is known as the “Spirit of Troy”. The band has performed with many celebrities, and is the only college band to have two platinum records.

60 Miranda __ of “Homeland” : OTTO

Miranda Otto is an actress from Brisbane, Australia. Otto played Éowyn in “The Lord of the Rings” series of films.

“Homeland” is a psychological drama on Showtime about a CIA officer who is convinced that a certain US Marine is a threat to the security of the United States. The show is based on a series from Israeli television called “Hatufim” (Prisoners of War”). I saw the first few seasons of this show and highly recommend it …

61 Dutch cheeses : EDAMS

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.

62 Czech track legend Zátopek : EMIL

Emil Zátopek was a long-distance runner from Czechoslovakia who is best-remembered for winning three gold medals at the 1952 Summer Olympics. He had trained for the 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter events, and won both of them. He then decided to run the first marathon of his life, and won that too!

63 Zen riddle : KOAN

The concept of koan appears in the Zen Buddhist tradition. A koan is a story, question or perhaps a statement that is used as an aid to meditation. It often takes the form of a problem or riddle that has no logical solution and is intended to help the meditator break free of reason and develop intuition.

64 “Building a Mystery” singer McLachlan : SARAH

Sarah McLachlan is a singer/songwriter from Halifax, Nova Scotia who lives in Vancouver. In 1997, McLachlan married Ashwin Sood, the drummer in her band. The 1998 hit song “Adia”, which she co-wrote and recorded, was intended as an apology to her best friend … for stealing her ex-boyfriend and then marrying him!

65 Cook of comedy : DANE

Dane Cook is a stand-up comedian who has had a number of roles in movies as well. He had a setback handling the income he was earning from his work though back in 2008. His half-brother had been his business manager up to that point and it was discovered that he had embezzled millions of dollars from Dane. The half-brother and his wife are now in prison for the crime.

Down

3 Wile E. Coyote weapons : ANVILS

Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are two much-loved cartoon characters from Warner Bros. Wile E. Coyote was created first, and Road Runner was invented as someone for Wile E. to play off. I love this cartoon; it’s definitely one of the best …

5 Bo’s’n boss : CAP’N

A boatswain works on the deck of a boat. He or she is unlicensed, and so is not involved in the navigation or handling of the vessel, and instead is in charge of the other unlicensed workers on the deck. “Boatswain” is pronounced “bosun” and this phonetic spelling is often used interchangeably with “boatswain”. The contraction “bo’s’n” is also very popular.

6 Loan fig. : APR

Annual percentage rate (APR)

8 Helped through a tough time, with “over” : TIDED …

Something is said to tide one over if it (often money) will see one through a rough patch. The idea behind the verbal phrase “tide over” is that a swelling tide can carry one over an obstacle without effort, as perhaps a reserve fund might keep the lenders from one’s door. The use of “tide” in this sense might come from some famous lines spoken by Brutus in the play “Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare

There is a Tide in the affairs of men,
Which taken at the Flood, leads on to Fortune

10 Director Reiner : ROB

The great director and actor Rob Reiner first came to prominence playing “Meathead”, Archie and Edith Bunker’s son-in-law in “All in the Family”. Since then, Reiner has directed a long string of hit movies including, “The Princess Bride”, “Stand by Me”, “This Is Spinal Tap”, “When Harry Met Sally”, “Misery” and “A Few Good Men”.

11 Paper with Money and Life sections : USA TODAY

The title of the widest circulation of any American newspaper is an honor competed for by “The Wall Street Journal”, “The New York Times” and “USA Today”, with each paper selling about 2 million copies each day (including online subscribers). “USA Today” was launched in 1982.

22 Narc’s find : PCP

Phencyclidine is a recreational drug usually referred to on the street as “PCP” or “angel dust”.

29 Home to the Ogden Raptors of MiLB : UTAH

The Ogden Raptors are a minor league baseball team based in Ogden, Utah. They are a farm team of the LA Dodgers. Prior to the franchise arriving in Ogden in 1994, the team played as the Pocatello Posse in Idaho (1993), the Salt Lake Trappers in Utah (1985-1992), the Calgary Expos in Alberta (1979-1984) and the Calgary Cardinals (1977-1978).

Minor League Baseball (MiLB)

31 Hägar the Horrible’s wife : HELGA

“Hägar the Horrible” is a comic strip that was created by the late Dik Browne and is now drawn by his son, Chris Browne. “Hägar the Terrible” (not “Horrible”) was the nickname given to Dik by his sons. The strip’s title character is a red-bearded Viking living on the Norwegian coast during the Middle Ages. Hägar lives with his overbearing wife Helga, his sensitive son Hamlet, his pretty daughter Honi, and his clever dog Snert.

32 Med. condition with repetitive behavior : OCD

Apparently, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is the fourth most commonly diagnosed mental disorder, making it about as prevalent as asthma.

33 Hurt in a ring : GORED

That would be a bullring.

34 Take out, as a vampire : SLAY

Legends about vampires were particularly common in Eastern Europe and in the Balkans in particular. The superstition was that vampires could be killed using a wooden stake, with the preferred type of wood varying from place to place. Superstition also defines where the body should be pierced. Most often, the stake was driven through the heart, but Russians and northern Germans went for the mouth, and northeastern Serbs for the stomach.

36 Italian bacon : PANCETTA

Pancetta is a salt-cured meat made from pork belly.

39 Dish with arborio rice : RISOTTO

Risotto is an Italian rice dish that is usually served as a first course in Italy, but as a main course here in North America.

Arborio is a short-grain rice that originated in the Italian town of Arborio in the Po Valley.

44 __ party : PAJAMA

Our word “pajamas” (sometimes “PJs” or “jammies”) comes to us from the Indian subcontinent, where “pai jamahs” were loose fitting pants tied at the waist and worn at night by locals and ultimately by the Europeans living there. And “pajamas” is another of those words that I had to learn to spell differently when I came to America. On the other side of the Atlantic, the spelling is “pyjamas”.

45 Aleve rival : ANACIN

Anacin is a brand of pain reliever that comprises aspirin and caffeine as active ingredients.

48 Wasp nest sites : EAVES

While the wasp is considered to be a nuisance by many, the insect is very important to the agricultural industry. Wasps prey on many pest insects, while having very little impact on crops.

49 Red-carpet brand : PRADA

Prada started out in 1913 as a leather-goods shop in Milan, one established by the two Prada brothers. One of the brothers, Mario Prada, prevented the female members of his family participating in the company as he didn’t believe women should be involved in business (!). When the sexist brother died, his son had no interest in the business so it was his daughter who took over and ran the company for about twenty years, handing it over to her own daughter. I’d say the devil loved that …

50 NBA great Robertson nicknamed “The Big O” : OSCAR

Oscar Robertson is a former professional basketball player who had the nickname “The Big O”. Robertson was named Player of the Century by the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 2000.

52 Minibike kin : MOPED

The word “moped” was coined in 1952 by a Swedish journalist named Harald Nielsen. The term is a portmanteau of “motor” and “pedal”.

55 Derriere : TUSH

“Tush”, a word meaning “backside”, is an abbreviation of “tochus” that comes from the Yiddish “tokhes”.

“Derrière” is a French term meaning “back part, rear”.

59 Thurman in films : UMA

Robert Thurman was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Robert raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and called his daughter “Uma” as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name “Dbuma”. Uma’s big break in the movies came with her starring role in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 hit “Pulp Fiction”. My favorite Uma Thurman film is the wonderful 1996 romantic comedy “The Truth About Cats and Dogs”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Persepolis ruins locale : IRAN
5 Prickly plants : CACTI
10 Former Supreme Court first name : RUTH
14 iPod model : NANO
15 Garden nuisance : APHID
16 Protection org. since 1970 : OSHA
17 Lions in the city? : CIVIC PRIDE
19 Slangy sweeties : BAES
20 Pulitzer-winning author Lurie : ALISON
21 Spring : LEAP
23 Conan’s network : TBS
24 Willamette River capital : SALEM
25 Fish with experience? : OLD SCHOOL
27 UFO fliers, presumably : ETS
28 __ bath : MUD
30 Luke and Leia’s mother : PADME
31 Show-offs : HOTDOGS
35 Pats gently : DABS
36 Bees behind bars? : PENAL COLONY
38 Inland Asian sea : ARAL
40 Fixture in some no-parking zones : HYDRANT
41 Starr man : RINGO
43 One kept on a child at the pool : EYE
44 Hole goal : PAR
47 Whales on the run? : ESCAPE POD
51 GE rival : AMANA
53 “Alas!” prompter : WOE
54 Seafarers : TARS
55 USC athlete : TROJAN
56 Novel ending? : -ETTE
58 Wolves with a clean lair? : VACUUM PACK
60 Miranda __ of “Homeland” : OTTO
61 Dutch cheeses : EDAMS
62 Czech track legend Zátopek : EMIL
63 Zen riddle : KOAN
64 “Building a Mystery” singer McLachlan : SARAH
65 Cook of comedy : DANE

Down

1 If : IN CASE
2 Scold harshly : RAIL AT
3 Wile E. Coyote weapons : ANVILS
4 White __ : NOISE
5 Bo’s’n boss : CAP’N
6 Loan fig. : APR
7 Put on ice : CHILL
8 Helped through a tough time, with “over” : TIDED …
9 Brainstorming session output : IDEAS
10 Director Reiner : ROB
11 Paper with Money and Life sections : USA TODAY
12 Awesome, slangily : THE BOMB
13 Bothers : HASSLES
18 Public town park : COMMON
22 Narc’s find : PCP
25 “Funny thing is … ” : ODDLY …
26 “I __ thought of that” : HADN’T
29 Home to the Ogden Raptors of MiLB : UTAH
31 Hägar the Horrible’s wife : HELGA
32 Med. condition with repetitive behavior : OCD
33 Hurt in a ring : GORED
34 Take out, as a vampire : SLAY
36 Italian bacon : PANCETTA
37 Like difficult push-ups : ONE-ARM
38 “Do you and I need to clear the air?” : ARE WE OK?
39 Dish with arborio rice : RISOTTO
42 Withdraw, with “out” : OPT …
44 __ party : PAJAMA
45 Aleve rival : ANACIN
46 Really get to : RANKLE
48 Wasp nest sites : EAVES
49 Red-carpet brand : PRADA
50 NBA great Robertson nicknamed “The Big O” : OSCAR
52 Minibike kin : MOPED
55 Derriere : TUSH
57 Long time to wait, facetiously : EON
59 Thurman in films : UMA

12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 6 Nov 20, Friday”

  1. No errors. Tough time in the NW corner. In retrospect, looks like I had a mental block. Once COMMON fell, everything went fast. Didn’t realize what the setter was referring to with PUBLIC TOWN PARK.. A COMMON area?..
    Anyway, I’ve actually been to the AMANA Colonies. (in Iowa). Its actually several small towns interconnected. The sign entering one of the towns reads “We are not Amish”.. I got a chuckle out of that. We stayed near the AMANA factory where they make all their products.. Quite a nostalgic area.

  2. No errors, my nostalgic memory came with the “moped” answer. At one
    time many long years ago I had a bright green moped and rode it to work and around town when weather permitted. My son had an orange
    moped and we rode together back in the day. Ah, yesterday…..

    1. I always wanted a Whizzer Motor Bike. Dad was against it. Got home from
      the Army and bought several British bikes, BSA & Triumphs~Ah Yes, yesterday.

      Eddie

  3. 15:32 no errors

    For me, the SE quadrant was a huge blank, until MOPED finally came to mind. The theme helped a bit.

    By the way, “Escape Pod” is a very good science fiction podcast.

  4. A toughy for me! Except for spaghetti ,I’m not familiar with much Italian food. Got the rest of the puzzle but made several mistakes in the left bottom corner.

    Stay Safe !
    Eddie

  5. Theme was great, but the NE corner was a washout for me. I don’t follow young people stuff, so never heard of PADME or THE BOMB. (In my estimation, the overused “awesome” has become a slang of its own, And watch out, the latest overused word is “perfect.”).
    I never keep track of what tv stations are by letter, just number, so didn’t know TBS. And I never watch Conan.
    Had “never” before HADNT , “one” before PAR, niACIN before ANACIN.

  6. Really easy Friday for me; took 17 minutes on paper with no errors. I didn’t know Miranda, Cook or Lurie but managed with crosses.

    Had to change tabLe to CHILL and vADer to PADME – when I misread the clue – but that was it.

    Probably due for a real toughie tomorrow…

  7. Aloha!!🦆

    DNF…. looked up a few, such as PANCETTA and some others that just didn’t come to me. Too tired today. 🙁

    Hey Dirk, I think it was a fluke when my comment posted right away too! Only happened once. Strange….🤔

    Be well~~🥂

    1. @Carrie … Since posting lags on Bill’s blogs began, I’ve had exactly one post appear immediately. Maybe we all get one such event? … 😜

      Actually, it appears that posts go into a queue from which they are allowed to emerge in a slow and measured fashion. Perhaps, if you happen to post when the queue is empty, you get a shot at having it emerge immediately? Even that mental picture of the process is necessarily incomplete, though, since a late-night poster such as yourself might then be expected to have a higher success rate than others. Perhaps each incoming post is tagged with a randomly-chosen delay time, so you just have to be lucky to see it emerge immediately. (I also assume that Bill can override the automated behavior of the queue, pushing some posts through and deleting others.)

      I have to believe that the object of the queue is to make it unattractive for hackers and spammers to try to post here. My fear is that it’s having that effect on everyone … 😳.

  8. 17 minutes, 22 seconds, 2 errors: KOAN/PANCETTA. This crossing definitely didn’t leave me in anything like a zen mood.

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