LA Times Crossword 10 Nov 21, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Kurt Krauss
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Pack to Puck

Themed answers start with PxCK-, where x is a vowel progression:

  • 17A Was armed, in old-fashioned slang : PACKED HEAT
  • 24A Making slow but steady progress : PECKING AWAY
  • 35A Eat every bit of meat from, as a bone : PICK CLEAN
  • 51A Small change : POCKET MONEY
  • 61A Prepared to be bussed : PUCKERED UP

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

Bill’s time: 5m 12s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Italian province or its capital : PARMA

Parma is a city in northern Italy that is famous for its ham (prosciutto) and cheese (parmesan). The adjective “Parmesan” means “of or from Parma”.

14 Acid used in soap : OLEIC

Oleic acid is a fatty acid, one found in many animal and plant sources, but most notably in olives. As such, “oleic” means “derived from the olive”. Oleic acid dissolves in basic solutions to create soaps.

16 Like neatniks : ANAL

The use of the word “anal” to mean “stiffly conventional” is an abbreviated form of “anal-retentive”, a term derived from Freudian psychology. Regardless, I’m not a big fan of the term …

17 Was armed, in old-fashioned slang : PACKED HEAT

“Packing” and “packing heat” are underworld slang for “carrying a gun”.

20 “Peter Pan” pirate : SMEE

In J. M. Barrie’s play and novel about Peter Pan, Smee is one of Captain Hook’s pirates and is Hook’s bosun and right-hand man. Smee is described by Barrie as being “Irish” and “a man who stabbed without offence”. Nice guy! Captain Hook and Smee sail on a pirate ship called the Jolly Roger.

J.M. Barrie’s stage play “Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up” premiered in London in 1904. Barrie adapted the play into a 1911 novel titled “Peter and Wendy”. The character Peter Pan actually predated the play, having been introduced by Barrie as a baby in his 1902 adult novel called “The Little White Bird”.

21 Scuttlebutt : DIRT

Just as modern day office workers gather around the water cooler to gossip, on board a ship back in the early 1800s the sailors would gather around the water barrel on the deck to shoot the breeze. That water barrel was called a “scuttlebutt”, from “scuttle” (opening in a ship’s deck) and “butt” (barrel). Quite interesting …

23 The fox in Disney’s “The Fox and the Hound” : TOD

Disney’s 1981 animated feature “The Fox and the Hound” is based on a novel of the same name by Daniel P. Mannix. Both the novel and movie tell the tale of a young fox (Tod) and a young hound (Copper) who are good friends. The fox and hound struggle to maintain their friendship as they grow older, even as their animal instincts kick in and social pressures demand that they become adversaries. Heavy stuff!

27 “Skyfall” singer : ADELE

I have not been a fan of Daniel Craig as James Bond (preferring Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan in the role). However, I saw “Skyfall” when it first came out and have been won over. “Skyfall” is one of the best Bond films so far, in my humble opinion. And, Adele’s rendition of the title song is an added plus …

29 Italian cheese : ASIAGO

Asiago is a crumbly cheese that is named for the region in northeastern Italy from where it originates.

34 Stimpy’s sidekick : REN

“The Ren & Stimpy Show” is an animated television serial created by Canadian animator John Kricfalusi, and which ran on Nickelodeon from 1991 to 1996. The title characters are Marland “Ren” Höek, a scrawny Chihuahua, and Stimpson J. Cat, a rotund Manx cat. Not my cup of tea …

39 Pet rocks, once : FAD

The Pet Rock lives on in history even though the fad really only lasted about 6 months, in 1975. It was enough to make Gary Dahl a millionaire though. His next idea, a “sand farm”, didn’t fly at all.

42 Evil alter ego of fiction : HYDE

Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” was published in 1886. There are many tales surrounding the writing of the story, including that the author wrote the basic tale in just three to six days, and spent a few weeks simply refining it. Allegedly, Stevenson’s use of cocaine stimulated his creative juices during those few days of writing.

43 Jumps (out) : BAILS

The phrase “to bail out” (sometimes just “to bail”) means to leave suddenly. We’ve been using the term since the early thirties, when it originated with airline pilots. To bail out is to make a parachute jump.

47 Black Sea port : ODESSA

The city of Odessa (also “Odesa”) in Ukraine was founded relatively recently, in 1794 by Catherine the Great. The city was originally meant to be called Odessos after an ancient Greek city believed to have been located nearby. Catherine liked the way the locals pronounced the name as “Odessa” and so went with the less Greek-sounding name.

The Black Sea is in southeastern Europe just south of Ukraine. In the north of the Black Sea is the Crimean Peninsula.

57 __ fixe : PRIX

On a restaurant menu, items that are “à la carte” are priced and ordered separately. A menu marked “table d’hôte” (also called “prix fixe”) is a fixed-price menu with limited choice. “Table d’hôte” translates from French as “table of the host”.

58 Med school subj. : ANAT

Anatomy (anat.)

61 Prepared to be bussed : PUCKERED UP

To buss is to kiss.

64 Wait at a light, say : IDLE

The first traffic lights date back to 1868 when they were installed outside the Houses of Parliament in London. They resembled the signals already in use for trains, with semaphore arms and red and green gas lamps for nighttime use. That first system was operated manually, by a policeman at the base. Sadly, one police officer was killed just one year after the light’s installation, when the gas system exploded.

65 Oklahoma Air Force base : VANCE

Vance Air Force Base is located just a few miles south of Enid, Oklahoma. The main mission of the base is to train pilots for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. Vance AFB is named after a Medal of Honor recipient from WWII, Leon Robert Vance, Jr.

68 Smith, at times : SHOER

A blacksmith is someone who forges and shapes iron, perhaps to make horseshoes. A farrier is someone who fits horseshoes onto the hooves of horses. The term “blacksmith” is sometimes used for one who shoes horses, especially as many blacksmiths make horseshoes and fit them as well.

Down

1 Mozart, in his day, e.g. : POP STAR

Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s parents were Leopold Mozart and Anna Maria Perti. Leopold and Anna Maria had seven children in all, with Wolfgang and his older sister Maria Anna being the most famous, as they were both gifted musicians. Leopold toured with Wolfgang and Maria Anna, showing off his talented children. Often, Maria Anna would be given top billing over her brother.

2 Apple pie order : A LA MODE

In French, “à la mode” simply means “fashionable”. In America, the term has also come to describe a way of serving pie. Pie served à la mode includes a dollop of cream or ice cream, or as I recall from my time living in Upstate New York, with a wedge of cheddar cheese.

7 Shake it on the dance floor : TWERK

Twerking is a dancing move in which someone (usually a woman) shakes her hips up and down causing a lot of “wobbling”. It’s possible that “twerk” is a portmanteau of “twist” and “jerk”. The term may have been coined back in the early 2000s with the song “Whistle While You Twurk” released by the Ying Yang Twins. Twerking became a real phenomenon in 2013 when Miley Cyrus posted a video of herself twerking in a unicorn suit to the 2011 song “Wop” by J. Dash. That video went viral on YouTube, amassing over 4 million views in no time at all.

8 Raccoon kin : COATI

A coati is a member of the raccoon family and is also known as the Brazilian aardvark, or the snookum bear. The coati is native to Central and South America, but can also be found in the southwest of the United States.

The raccoon is native to North America. In captivity, raccoons can live to over 20 years of age, but in the wild they only live two or three years. The main causes for the shorter lifespan are hunting and road traffic.

9 18-Down predecessor : HST
(18D Two-time ETO commander : DDE)

The letter “S” in the middle of the name Harry S. Truman (HST) doesn’t stand for anything. The future-president was named “Harry” in honor of his mother’s brother Harrison “Harry” Young. The initial “S” was chosen in honor of young Harry’s two grandfathers: Anderson S-hipp Truman and S-olomon Young.

Future US president Eisenhower was born in Denison, Texas in 1890 and given the name David Dwight, but by the time he made it to the White House he was going by the name Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE). Growing up, his family called him Dwight, and when “Ike” enrolled in West Point he himself reversed the order of his given names.

10 Drink with an umbrella : MAI TAI

The mai tai cocktail is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but the drink was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curaçao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice and then a float added of 6 parts dark rum. “Maita’i” is the Tahitian word for “good”.

11 Like doves : ANTIWAR

The dove is a symbol of peace, and the hawk is a symbol of war.

12 Lightbulb measure : WATTAGE

“Wattage” is a colloquial term meaning “electric power in watts”. Electric power is the rate at which electrical energy is transferred by a circuit. In the SI system, electric power is measured in joules per second, i.e. watts.

James Watt was a Scottish inventor. He figured prominently in the Industrial Revolution in Britain, largely due to the improvements he made to the fledgling steam engine. The SI unit of power is called the watt, and was named in his honor.

13 Canny : SLY

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.

18 Two-time ETO commander : DDE

Dwight D. Eisenhower first took command of the European Theater of Operations (ETO) during WWII in June 1942, after serving with the General Staff in Washington. In November of 1942, Eisenhower was given command of the North African Theater of Operations (NATO). He resumed command of the ETO in January of 1944, and maintained that command until suspension of hostilities in May 1945.

22 Govt. prosecutors : AGS

Attorneys General (AGs) head up the Department of Justice (DOJ). When the office of the Attorney General was created in 1789 it was a part-time job, with no departmental support. The Department of Justice came into being in 1870.

26 “__ light is not daylight”: Juliet : YON

William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is all about the love between the two title characters, which is forbidden as the pair come from two families who are sworn enemies. Early in the play, Romeo (a Montague) sneaks into a masquerade ball being held by the Capulets in the hope of meeting a Capulet girl named Rosaline. Instead, he meets and falls for Juliet, also a Capulet. Tragedy ensues …

32 Neatnik’s possible condition, briefly : OCD

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

37 “Dear” adviser : ABBY

The advice column “Dear Abby” first appeared in 1956. Pauline Phillips was Abby back then, but now the column is written by Jeanne Phillips, her daughter. The full name of the “Abby” pen name is Abigail Van Buren, which Pauline Phillips came up with by combining “Abigail” from the biblical Book of Samuel, and “Van Buren” after the former US president. “Dear Abby” was also a radio show in the sixties and seventies.

38 Dundee denial : NAE

The city of Dundee lies on the north bank of the Firth of Tay in Scotland. The origins of the name “Dundee” are a little obscure, although the omnipresent “dùn” in place names all over Scotland and Ireland is the Celtic word for “fort”.

39 Metrosexual : FOP

I think it’s generally accepted that the term “metrosexual”, from “metropolitan heterosexual”, refers to a man who lives in an urban environment and puts a fair amount of money and energy into his appearance. That wouldn’t be me …

45 Part of a BLT : LETTUCE

The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

49 Census datum : SEX

The original census was taken during the days of the Roman Republic, and was a reckoning of all adult males who were fit for military service. The first US Census was taken in 1790, and was conducted by federal marshals.

52 “All in the Family” spinoff : MAUDE

The seventies sitcom “Maude” stars Bea Arthur as the title character Maude Findlay. “Maude” is a spin-off of “All in the Family”, as Findlay is a cousin of Edith Bunker.

“All in the Family” is an American sitcom, and a remake of the incredibly successful BBC show called “Till Death Us Do Part”. Both the UK and US versions of the sitcom were groundbreaking in that the storyline brought into focus topics previously considered unsuitable for a television comedy, including racism, homosexuality, women’s liberation, menopause and impotence. “All in the Family” is one of only three TV shows that has topped the Nielsen ratings for five consecutive seasons (the other two are “The Cosby Show” and “American Idol”). Stars of the show are:

  • Carroll O’Connor as Archie Bunker
  • Jean Stapleton as Edith Bunker
  • Sally Struthers as Gloria Stivic née Bunker
  • Rob Reiner as Michael Stivic

53 Le frère d’un père : ONCLE

In French, “Le frère d’un père” (the brother of a father) is an “oncle” (uncle).

55 High season on the Riviera : ETE

In French, “été” (summer) is a common time to go “en vacances” (on vacation), perhaps by the “mer” (sea).

“Riviera” is an Italian word meaning “coastline”. The term is often applied to a coastline that is sunny and popular with tourists. The term “the Riviera” is usually reserved for the French Riviera (the Mediterranean coastline in southeastern France), and the Italian Riviera (the Mediterranean coastline centered on Genoa).

59 Jacob’s first wife : LEAH

According to the Bible, Leah was one of the two wives of Jacob, the other being Leah’s sister Rachel. Jacob’s intention had been to marry Rachel, but Leah and Rachel’s father “switched” his daughters and provided Leah as the veiled bride. Jacob married Rachel a week later, and lived with the two wives concurrently.

60 Airport near OAK : SFO

The San Francisco Bay Area is served by three major airports: San Francisco (SFO), Oakland (OAK) and San Jose (SJC).

61 Brooch holder : PIN

A brooch is an ornamental accessory held by a pin or clasp, and worn near the neck. The term “brooch” comes from the Old French “broche” meaning “long needle”.

62 Campers, briefly : RVS

Recreational vehicle (RV)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Italian province or its capital : PARMA
6 Make an impression : ETCH
10 Big mouths : MAWS
14 Acid used in soap : OLEIC
15 Terrible time? : TWOS
16 Like neatniks : ANAL
17 Was armed, in old-fashioned slang : PACKED HEAT
19 __-bitty : ITTY
20 “Peter Pan” pirate : SMEE
21 Scuttlebutt : DIRT
22 Bickering : AT IT
23 The fox in Disney’s “The Fox and the Hound” : TOD
24 Making slow but steady progress : PECKING AWAY
27 “Skyfall” singer : ADELE
29 Italian cheese : ASIAGO
30 Overhaul the lawn, maybe : RESOD
31 Cake with a dish : SOAP
34 Stimpy’s sidekick : REN
35 Eat every bit of meat from, as a bone : PICK CLEAN
39 Pet rocks, once : FAD
42 Evil alter ego of fiction : HYDE
43 Jumps (out) : BAILS
47 Black Sea port : ODESSA
50 Under attack : BESET
51 Small change : POCKET MONEY
56 Absorbed, as a cost : ATE
57 __ fixe : PRIX
58 Med school subj. : ANAT
59 Lo-cal : LITE
60 Arouse : STIR
61 Prepared to be bussed : PUCKERED UP
63 Pedal pushers : FEET
64 Wait at a light, say : IDLE
65 Oklahoma Air Force base : VANCE
66 What gamblers weigh : ODDS
67 Financial aid criterion : NEED
68 Smith, at times : SHOER

Down

1 Mozart, in his day, e.g. : POP STAR
2 Apple pie order : A LA MODE
3 Ebbs : RECEDES
4 Stage prop with a different spelling nowadays : MIKE
5 Big club : ACE
6 Moral principle : ETHIC
7 Shake it on the dance floor : TWERK
8 Raccoon kin : COATI
9 18-Down predecessor : HST
10 Drink with an umbrella : MAI TAI
11 Like doves : ANTIWAR
12 Lightbulb measure : WATTAGE
13 Canny : SLY
18 Two-time ETO commander : DDE
22 Govt. prosecutors : AGS
24 Feet treat : PEDI
25 Scruff : NAPE
26 “__ light is not daylight”: Juliet : YON
28 Cut (off) : LOP
31 It’s up to you : SKY
32 Neatnik’s possible condition, briefly : OCD
33 Brewpub order : ALE
36 Talk in a virtual room : CHAT
37 “Dear” adviser : ABBY
38 Dundee denial : NAE
39 Metrosexual : FOP
40 Put into effect, as a resolution : ADOPTED
41 Strongly disapproved of : DECRIED
44 “To repeat … forget it!” : I SAID NO!
45 Part of a BLT : LETTUCE
46 Harder to climb : STEEPER
48 Gets around : SKIRTS
49 Census datum : SEX
52 “All in the Family” spinoff : MAUDE
53 Le frère d’un père : ONCLE
54 Like undisguised truth : NAKED
55 High season on the Riviera : ETE
59 Jacob’s first wife : LEAH
60 Airport near OAK : SFO
61 Brooch holder : PIN
62 Campers, briefly : RVS

21 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 10 Nov 21, Wednesday”

  1. No errors. There were a few tricky spots..

    18D and 9D “addled” me the most.. there was a two-time ETO commander? … there was a ETO commander before IKE? was that Montgomery or something? …
    I deduced that the constructor must have been referring to presidencies and not ETO commanders..

  2. how do i access the blank crossword puzzle … i keep getting the answers when I want the blank puzzle! I would like to create an icon for my desktop that displays a different daily puzzle for each date!
    l

  3. Unusual for me I remembered to check my work and realized before it was too late that I had put in “I said so” for 44 Down, which would have resulted in a strange name for the Oklahoma Air Force base of “Vasce”. But I escaped shooting myself in the foot and corrected the “s” to the correct “n”. Whew!

  4. 13:16 with a look up on OLEIX, not knowing that 14A answer and thinking an AXE could be a “big club” for 5D. Found out about OLEIC acid and 5D was talking about cards!

    Along the way, changed BIGSTAR>POPSTAR, DAS>AGS. Luckily, the intersections filled in 53D for me (ONCLE); otherwise, I could only wildly guess at what the clue meant.

    I agree with Bill’s assessment of the best Bond movies. Humor is a sought-after element for me.

  5. I can’t remember the last time the theme helped me solve the puzzle. I entered “Packed heat” in 17A and noticed I had the letter “P” as the 1st letter in the themed lines along with the letter “K” in a couple. Following the vowel sequence then allowed me to put most of the puzzle to bed.

    I must be older than I thought. I’ve never heard “buss” being used for “kiss”.

    I guess 1868 carriage traffic in London was horrendous! I’m smiling to myself imagining the lines of carriages waiting at an intersection and the drivers being patient and silent. In London?? Yeah, I bet.🤪

  6. Ironically “buss” is an “old” way of saying kiss Fitz. Did an 18.00 no look ups no errors.
    Pedestrian puzzle,decent theme. HST was president before DDE but when I think of
    ETO commander I think of the man who
    Green lighted D-Day. Clue could have been worded better. CIC is closer to the facts…

  7. One Google, one error. I Googled PARMA, since there are, it turned out, 17 Italian provinces with the same name for the capital. My error was AxE instead of ACE.
    Things would have gone faster had I known there was a theme.
    Had “idee” before PRIX, ikE before DDE, “da” before AG, “age” before SEX, Anne before ABBY. Did not know OLEIC, TOD or SFO.
    Sick and tired of AT IT, but I’m glad Mr. Krauss has pointed out mic used to be MIKE, which can be pronounced correctly.

  8. I struggled over the ETO clue because I did not know what the initials stood for — kept thinking it had to do (and yes I am embarred to admit this, but not so embarrassed that I am editing myself/stopping typing) with the Steve Spielberg movie. But eventually filled it in correctly given that I got the surrounding clues correct. And I have a big issue with using metrosexual and fop interchangeably. They do not mean the same thing. Metrosexual is one who cares about his appearance, while a fop, according to the online dictionary, is one who cares excessively! Very different. Metrosexual applied typically to men who were not previously thought to care much about skin being smooth and hydrated or clothes looking nice — which are good things, not to be derided! The word has fallen out of favor tho — thanks to people like Kurt Krauss who misunderstand its definition!

  9. Mostly easy Wednesday for me; took 9:28 with no errors or peeks. I just struggled a little with idee before PRIX and the ETO predecessor, like everyone else. I just went with what the crosses wanted and say that was HST.

    Later I looked up the actual ETO predecessor to DDE and it’s a bit tricky since the acronym kept changing from SPOBS (Special Observer Group) to USAFBI (US Army Forces British Isles) to ETOUSA (European Theater Operations US Army). Also SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Army Expeditionary Forces) begins to get involved here. Generally though, Mag. Gen. James E. Chaney (or JEC) was the first on this list and considered a notable commander of the ETO, along with DDE.

    @Bill – I’ve looked at images of Asiago cheese under Google and it doesn’t seem to be crumbly cheese. It just looks like normal, in a wheel, cheese. I dunno, never tried it but might seek some out.

  10. Geez this puzzle makers sure loves his French! And two French clues back to back. Oh well, I need to get over this. I thought it was a nice puzzle, and the theme helped, even though I didn’t see the vowel progression. The ETO commander clue was bad.
    Jack – The Raven’s aren’t looking very good tonight 🙁

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