LA Times Crossword 5 Oct 21, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Craig Stowe
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Alternate Takes

Themed answers each end with an ALTERNATE arrangement of the letters T-A-K-E-S:

  • 59A Different points of view … and a hint to the ends of the answers to starred clues : ALTERNATE TAKES
  • 16A *Ground-beef-and-gravy dish : SALISBURY STEAK
  • 25A *Penny-pincher : CHEAPSKATE
  • 36A *”Ode to a Nightingale” poet : JOHN KEATS
  • 50A *Hung in the balance : WAS AT STAKE

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

Bill’s time: 4m 37s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Tie named for an annual race venue : ASCOT

An ascot is a wide tie that narrows at the neck, which these days is only really worn at weddings or part of a dress uniform. The tie takes its name from the Royal Ascot horse race at which punters still turn up in formal wear at Ascot Racecourse in England.

Ascot Racecourse is used for thoroughbred horse racing, and is located in the town of Ascot, Berkshire in England. The course is located just six miles from Windsor Castle, and is often visited by members of the royal family. Royal Ascot is the name given to the most famous race meeting in the year, at which members of the royal family attend each day, arriving in horse-drawn carriages amidst great ceremony.

10 Spanish hero El __ : CID

Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar was known as El Cid Campeador, which translates as “The Champion” or perhaps “The Lord, Master of Military Arts”. El Cid was a soldier who fought under the rule of King Alfonso VI of Spain (among others). However, he was sent into exile by the King in 1080, after acting beyond his authorization in battle. El Cid then offered his services to his former foes, the Moorish kings, After a number of years building a reputation with the Moors, he was recalled from exile by Alfonso. By this time El Cid was very much his own man. Nominally under the orders of Alfonso, he led a combined army of Spanish and Moorish troops and took the city of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast in 1094, making it his headquarters and home. He died in Valencia, quite peacefully, in 1099.

15 Genetic messenger : RNA

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

16 *Ground-beef-and-gravy dish : SALISBURY STEAK

Salisbury steak is a dish made from minced beef and other ingredients, which has been formed into the shape of a steak. The dish is named for its inventor, Dr. J. H. Salisbury, who advocated its consumption as part of a low-carbohydrate weight-loss diet.

20 Ginormous : HUGE

“Ginormous” is a melding of the words “gigantic” and “enormous” and, surprisingly to me, one that dates back to about 1948. I thought that the term was far more contemporary …

21 Actor Eckhart of “Sully” : AARON

Aaron Eckhart is an actor from Cupertino, California, although growing up he lived for many years in England and in Australia. My favorite of Eckhart’s performances is as the lead character in the 2005 comedy-drama movie “Thank You for Smoking”.

The phrase “Miracle on the Hudson” is used to describe the 2009 ditching of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River after the plane lost all engine power soon after take-off. The loss of power happened when the plane flew through a flock of Canada geese. Pilots Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and Jeffrey “Jeff” Skiles managed to put the plane down with no loss of life. The two pilots were portrayed by Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart in the feature film “Sully” that was released in 2016.

31 Long-jawed fish : GAR

“Gar” was originally the name given to a species of needlefish found in the North Atlantic. The term “gar” is now used to describe several species of fish with elongated bodies that inhabit North and Central America and the Caribbean. The gar is unusual in that it is often found in very brackish water. What I find interesting is that the gar’s swim bladders are vascularized so that they can actually function as lungs. Many species of gar can actually be seen coming to the surface and taking a gulp of air. This adaptation makes it possible for them to live in conditions highly unsuitable for other fish that rely on their gills to get oxygen out of the water. Indeed, quite interesting …

32 Shorthand crackerjack : STENO

Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

33 2019 comedy “__ It Romantic” : ISN’T

“Isn’t It Romantic” is a 2019 romcom starring Rebel Wilson as a woman living in an alternate world that is like a Hollywood-scripted romantic comedy. Although the film is set in New York City, the two leads are played by Australians, i.e. Rebel Wilson and Liam Hemsworth.

35 Cuban coin : PESO

Cuba is the only country in the world that has two official currencies. The Cuban peso (CUP) is referred to as the “national currency”. Government workers are paid in CUPs, and CUPs can be used to pay for government-provided services and price-controlled items such as fruit and vegetables. There is also the Cuban convertible peso (CUC) that was introduced in 1994, when its value was pegged to the US dollar. Most products available in stores are imported, and have to be purchased with CUCs. Cubans with access to CUCs, like hotel workers interfacing with tourists, tend to have better lifestyles than government workers in general.

36 *”Ode to a Nightingale” poet : JOHN KEATS

“Ode to a Nightingale” is a very famous 1819 poem penned by John Keats. Keat was inspired to write the 8-stanza poem in one sitting, while listening to the song of a nightingale in a nearby nest.

39 Numbers game : KENO

The name of the game keno has French or Latin roots, with the French “quine” being a term for five winning numbers, and the Latin “quini” meaning “five each”. The game originated in China and was introduced into the West by Chinese immigrants who were working on the first Transcontinental Railroad in the 1800s.

42 Where about one-third of Istanbul residents live : ASIA

Istanbul, Turkey (formerly “Byzantium” and “Constantinople”) is the only metropolis in the world that is situated on two continents. The city extends both on the European side and on the Asian side of the Bosphorus river.

43 Yellowjackets, e.g. : WASPS

“Yellowjacket” is a name commonly used in North America for what are often referred to simply as “wasps” in other English-speaking parts of the world. Both terms describe several different species.

47 George Harrison memoir “__ Mine” : I ME

“I Me Mine” is one of the relatively few Beatles songs to have been written by George Harrison (and indeed performed by him). Harrison chose a very similar title (different punctuation!) for his autobiography “I, Me, Mine”, which was published in 1980, just a few weeks before John Lennon was assassinated in New York City.

48 Only partner? : ONE

One and only.

49 “Border” breed : COLLIE

The collie isn’t actually a breed of dog, but rather the name given to a group of herding dogs that originated in Scotland and Northern England. An obvious (and wonderful) example would be the border collie. Many dogs classed as collies don’t have the word “collie” in the name of the breed, for example the old English sheepdog and the Shetland sheepdog.

54 Cat breed from an Irish Sea isle : MANX

The Isle of Man is a large island located in the middle of the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland. I used to spend a lot of time there in my youth, and find it a very interesting place indeed. The Isle of Man is classed as a British Crown Dependency and isn’t part of the United Kingdom at all. It is self-governing and has its own parliament called the Tynwald. The Tynwald was created in AD 979 and is arguably the oldest continuously-running parliament in the world. The inhabitants of the island speak English, although they do have their own language called Manx, which is very similar to Irish Gaeilge and Scottish Gaelic. And then there are those Manx cats, the ones without any tails. I’ve seen lots of them, and can attest that they are indeed found all over the island.

58 T’ai __ : 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.

63 NFL receivers : TES

In American football, a quarterback (QB) might throw to a tight end (TE).

64 “Crikey!” is a mild one : OATH

“Crikey!” is an exclamation, and is probably a euphemism for “Christ”.

65 Soccer shoe : CLEAT

Soccer (also known as “association football”) is the most popular sport in the world. The term “association football” was introduced in 1863 in England, with the name chosen to distinguish the sport from rugby football. The term “soccer” started to appear about 20 years later in Oxford, as an abbreviation for “association”.

66 Dreyer’s partner in ice cream : EDY

Dreyer’s ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyer’s in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.

67 Miss Muffet fare : WHEY

“Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet eating her curds and whey”, in the popular nursery rhyme. A tuffet is a low seat or a footstool, another word for a pouffe or a hassock. When milk curdles it separates into two parts, solid curds and liquid whey. Then “along came a spider and sat down beside her”.

Down

2 Bulb in a vinaigrette : SHALLOT

The shallot is a type of onion that is closely related to the garlic, leek and chive. I’m a big fan …

A vinaigrette is a mixture of oil with an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice. A traditional mixture of 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar forms a stable emulsion that is commonly used as a salad dressing. The term “vinaigrette” is a diminutive form of the French word “vinaigre” (meaning “vinegar”). Back in the 1800s, such a mixture was referred to as “French dressing”, a term that has evolved to describe a creamy dressing in contemporary American cuisine.

5 Radio host John : TESH

John Tesh is a pianist and composer, as well as a radio and television presenter. For many years Tesh presented the show “Entertainment Tonight”. For “ET” he once covered the filming of an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. As part of the piece, he volunteered to act as a Klingon warrior. If you see the “Star Trek: TNG” episode called “The Icarus Factor” in reruns, watch out for John Tesh engaging in ritual torture with Mr. Worf as his victim.

12 Montana neighbors, with “the” : DAKOTAS

The Dakota Territory was formed in 1861 and ceased to exist with the admission to the Union of the states of North Dakota and South Dakota. The territory was split into two states in 1889 largely due to lobbying by the Republican Party, which enjoyed a lot of support in the Dakota Territory. The admission of two states added to the political power of the party in the US Senate, by adding four safe Republican seats.

The state name “Montana” comes from the Spanish “montaña” meaning “mountain, mountain country”. The naming of the state was the subject of much debate in the past, with some objecting due to the fact that most of “Montana” isn’t mountainous.

17 Tampa NFL team : BUCS

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (the Bucs) joined the NFL in 1976, along with the Seattle Seahawks, as an expansion team. The Bucs had a tough start in the NFL, losing their first 26 games. Things went better in the early eighties, but then the team went through 14 consecutive losing seasons. Their luck changed again though, and they won the Super Bowl at the end of the 2002 season.

18 Shock, as a perp : TASE

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”.

22 Emperor after Claudius : NERO

Nero was Emperor of Rome from 54 to 68 CE, and he had quite the family life. When he was just 16-years-old Nero married his step-sister Claudia Octavia. He also had his mother and step-brother executed.

I find Claudius to be the most fascinating of all the Roman Emperors. Claudius had a lot going against him as he walked with a limp and was slightly deaf. He was put in office by the Praetorian Guard (the emperor’s bodyguards) after Caligula was assassinated. Claudius had very little political experience and yet proved to be very forward-thinking and capable.

24 Steve Martin’s instrument : BANJO

The instrument that we know today as the banjo is a derivative of instruments that were used in Africa.

Comedian, actor and writer Steve Martin is from Waco, Texas. Martin’s entertainment career started to take off with success as a writer for the “Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour”. He then turned to stand-up comedy and often appeared on “The Tonight Show”. He was, and still is, a popular guest host on “Saturday Night Live”. He is so popular on “SNL” that many mistakenly believe that he was a permanent member of the “Saturday NIght Live” cast.

26 Sleep clinic study : APNEA

Sleep apnea (“apnoea” in British English) can be caused by an obstruction in the airways, possibly due to obesity or enlarged tonsils.

27 Falafel holder : PITA

Falafel is a ball of ground chickpeas or fava beans that has been deep fried and served in pita bread. I love chickpeas, but falafel is often too dry for me …

29 John in the Albert Hall : LOO

It has been suggested that the British term “loo”, meaning “toilet”, comes from “Waterloo” (water closet … water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of “lanterloo”, in which the pot was called the loo!

The use of “john” as a slang term for a toilet is peculiar to North America. “John” probably comes from the older slang term of “jack” or “jakes” that had been around since the 16th century. In Ireland, in less polite moments, we still refer to a toilet as “the jacks”.

The beautiful Royal Albert Hall in London is most famous as the home to the BBC Prom concerts that have been performed each summer since 1941. The concert hall was opened in 1871 by Queen Victoria. The Queen ordered that the intended name for the new hall be dropped in favor of the “Royal Albert Hall” in honor of her husband Prince Albert, who had passed away ten years earlier.

33 Atlas enlargement : INSET

The famous Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator published his first collection of maps in 1578. Mercator’s collection contained a frontispiece with an image of Atlas the Titan from Greek mythology holding up the world on his shoulders. That image gave us our term “atlas” that is used for a book of maps.

35 Song of praise : PSALM

The Greek word “psalmoi” originally meant “songs sung to a harp”, and gave us the word “psalms”. In the Jewish and Western Christian traditions, the Book of Psalms contains 150 individual psalms, divided into five sections.

37 Oscar-winning composer Zimmer : HANS

Hans Zimmer is a film composer from Frankfurt in Germany. The long list of films that Zimmer has scored includes “Rain Man” (1998), “The Lion King” (1994), “Gladiator” (2000), “The Dark Knight” (2008), “Inception” (2010) and “12 Years a Slave” (2013).

38 Weeks in a fortnight : TWO

I had to drop my usage of the term “fortnight” when I came to the US. “Fortnight” describes a period of 14 days or 2 weeks, and is a word used in Britain and countries in which Britain has had influence over the centuries.

39 New Zealander : KIWI

Unlike many nicknames for people of a particular country, the name “Kiwi” for a New Zealander isn’t offensive at all. The term comes from the flightless bird called the kiwi, which is endemic to New Zealand and is the country’s national symbol. “Kiwi” is a Maori word, and the plural (when referring to the bird) is simply “kiwi”. However, when you have two or more New Zealanders with you, they are Kiwis (note the “s”, and indeed the capital “K”!).

45 “Angels dancing” site, in a theological question : PINHEAD

“How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” was a question debated by theological scholars in times past. Today, we might use the derivative phrase “angels dancing on the head of a pin” to describe intellectual research or speculation that has no value.

48 Oklahoma tribe : OTOE

The Otoe (also “Oto”) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestward, ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.

53 “My Life on the D-List” comic Griffin : KATHY

I watched “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” a few times, and enjoyed the very clever premise for the show. Griffin claims to be a D-list celebrity, and documents her drive to climb onto the C-, B- and A-lists.

62 Microbrewery brew : ALE

Originally, the term “microbrewery” applied to smaller breweries. In contemporary usage, a microbrewery really describes a brewery that competes in the market on the basis of quality and diversity, rather than on the basis of price and advertising. The really small brewing operations are now referred to as “nanobreweries”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Tie named for an annual race venue : ASCOT
6 Destroy, as one’s hopes : DASH
10 Spanish hero El __ : CID
13 Land at the water’s edge : SHORE
14 Look at rudely : OGLE
15 Genetic messenger : RNA
16 *Ground-beef-and-gravy dish : SALISBURY STEAK
19 Out of sorts : ILL
20 Ginormous : HUGE
21 Actor Eckhart of “Sully” : AARON
23 Hefty slice : SLAB
25 *Penny-pincher : CHEAPSKATE
28 Completely wrecks : TOTALS
30 Pastry with a crust : PIE
31 Long-jawed fish : GAR
32 Shorthand crackerjack : STENO
33 2019 comedy “__ It Romantic” : ISN’T
35 Cuban coin : PESO
36 *”Ode to a Nightingale” poet : JOHN KEATS
39 Numbers game : KENO
42 Where about one-third of Istanbul residents live : ASIA
43 Yellowjackets, e.g. : WASPS
47 George Harrison memoir “__ Mine” : I ME
48 Only partner? : ONE
49 “Border” breed : COLLIE
50 *Hung in the balance : WAS AT STAKE
54 Cat breed from an Irish Sea isle : MANX
55 101 course, typically : INTRO
56 Commanded : BADE
58 T’ai __ : CHI
59 Different points of view … and a hint to the ends of the answers to starred clues : ALTERNATE TAKES
63 NFL receivers : TES
64 “Crikey!” is a mild one : OATH
65 Soccer shoe : CLEAT
66 Dreyer’s partner in ice cream : EDY
67 Miss Muffet fare : WHEY
68 Flocks’ relatives : HERDS

Down

1 Basketball stats : ASSISTS
2 Bulb in a vinaigrette : SHALLOT
3 Collect and put in order, as document pages : COLLATE
4 “You do it, __ will!” : OR I
5 Radio host John : TESH
6 Bread-to-be : DOUGH
7 See eye to eye : AGREE
8 Wily : SLY
9 Fellows : HES
10 Sound from an old staircase : CREAK
11 Steamed up : IN A RAGE
12 Montana neighbors, with “the” : DAKOTAS
17 Tampa NFL team : BUCS
18 Shock, as a perp : TASE
22 Emperor after Claudius : NERO
24 Steve Martin’s instrument : BANJO
26 Sleep clinic study : APNEA
27 Falafel holder : PITA
29 John in the Albert Hall : LOO
33 Atlas enlargement : INSET
34 Enjoy the slopes : SKI
35 Song of praise : PSALM
37 Oscar-winning composer Zimmer : HANS
38 Weeks in a fortnight : TWO
39 New Zealander : KIWI
40 Flow (from) : EMANATE
41 Cuddled up : NESTLED
44 One shirking work : SLACKER
45 “Angels dancing” site, in a theological question : PINHEAD
46 Gender-biased sorts : SEXISTS
48 Oklahoma tribe : OTOE
49 Formally give up : CEDE
51 Pretentious : ARTSY
52 Let up, as a storm : ABATE
53 “My Life on the D-List” comic Griffin : KATHY
57 Carve in stone : ETCH
60 Use oars : ROW
61 “Don’t think so” : NAH
62 Microbrewery brew : ALE

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 5 Oct 21, Tuesday”

  1. 4:35

    Anagrams are a lot easier for me to deal with if I’ve already figured out the variations. So for me, the ends justified the theme.

  2. Slower than Methuselah? What does that mean? (Of course, I hear tell he died a while back; that might could have slowed him down a tad.)

  3. Rolling right along with 8:13 on Tuesday with no errors or lookups. No changes along the way, either. The theme seems to be a “similar take” on recent past themes in terms of anagraming words.

  4. Slightly tricky Tuesday for me; took right about 10 minutes with 1 error (natick) at HANa instead of HANS. Did this one on paper for a change, instead of my usual on-line solve, which means slower, since I have to read my own handwriting.

    Congrats to the Red Sox for the Wild Card win. I didn’t realize that Toronto was only one game back and could just as easily been in the WC as well. Tight division!!

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