LA Times Crossword 11 Nov 21, Thursday

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Constructed by: Roland Huget
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Lemonade Mixes

Themed answers each include the letter sequence L-E-M-O-N-A-D-E, with the order MIXED:

  • 50A Tart drink concentrates, or what’s literally found in 20-, 34- and 40-Across : LEMONADE MIXES
  • 20A Wind tunnel test object : AIRPLANE MODEL
  • 34A Keats work with the line, “She dwells with Beauty–Beauty that must die” : ODE ON MELANCHOLY
  • 40A Note instruction : PAYABLE ON DEMAND

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

Bill’s time: 6m 28s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 Humorist Bombeck : ERMA

Erma Bombeck wrote for newspapers for about 35 years. She produced more than 4,000 witty and humorous columns under the title “At Wit’s End”, with all describing her home life in suburbia.

17 Test version : BETA

In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the alpha version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a beta and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, hopefully bug-free.

19 Common chord : TRIAD

A triad is a group of three and, specifically in music, a chord made up of three notes.

23 Article in Die Zeit : EIN

“Die Zeit” is the most widely read weekly newspaper in Germany. It was first published soon after the end of WWII, in February of 1946. “Zeit” is the German word for “time”.

24 “Saving Fish From Drowning” author Tan : AMY

Amy Tan lives not too far from here, in Sausalito just north of San Francisco. Tan is an American writer of Chinese descent whose most successful work is “The Joy Luck Club”. “The Joy Luck Club” was made into a movie produced by Oliver Stone in 1993. The novel and movie tell of four Chinese-American immigrant families in San Francisco who start the Joy Luck Club, a group playing Mahjong for money and eating delicious food.

“Saving Fish From Drowning” is a 2005 novel by Amy Tan about twelve American tourists traveling through China and Burma.

25 Snares with loops : LASSOS

Our English word “lasso” comes from the Spanish “lazo”, and ultimately from the Latin “laqueum” meaning “noose, snare”.

29 1998 Sarah McLachlan hit : ADIA

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!

34 Keats work with the line, “She dwells with Beauty–Beauty that must die” : ODE ON MELANCHOLY

“Ode on Melancholy” is one of the so-called “1819 Odes” written by the poet John Keats. The collection includes famous poems such as “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, “Ode to a Nightingale” and “Ode to Psyche”.

38 TiVo predecessor : VCR

Video Cassette Recorder (VCR)

TiVo was introduced in 1999 and was the world’s first commercially successful digital video recorder (DVR).

39 Arabic for “commander” : EMIR

An emir is a prince or chieftain, one most notably from the Middle East in Islamic countries. In English, “emir” can also be written variously as “emeer, amir, ameer” (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).

45 Mme., in Madrid : SRA

The equivalent of “Mrs.” in French is “Mme.” (Madame), in Spanish is “Sra.” (Señora) and in Portuguese is also “Sra.” (Senhora).

Madrid is the most populous city in Spain, and is the nation’s capital. It is located very close to the geographical center of the country. Madrid is the second-largest city in the European Union by population, after Berlin. People from Madrid called themselves Madrileños.

46 Vega’s constellation : LYRA

Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra. Vega (along with Altair and Deneb from other constellations) is also part of the group of three stars that is called the Summer Triangle. Vega is the star at the right-angle of said triangle.

47 Drops in speaking : ELIDES

To elide is to pass over, omit or slur a syllable when speaking.

48 Great Lakes’ __ Canals : SOO

In the summer of 2010, I spent a very interesting afternoon watching ships make their way through the Soo Locks and Soo Canals between Lake Superior and the lower Great lakes. The name “Soo” comes from the US and Canadian cities on either side of the locks, both called Sault Ste. Marie.

49 Summer sign : LEO

Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 23 to August 22 are Leos.

57 Showy bulb : TULIP

Tulip festivals are held in a few cities around the world. The largest of these is the Canadian Tulip Festival that is held every year in the capital city of Ottawa. The tradition of growing tulips in Ottawa really started at the end of WWII. The Dutch royal family presented the city with 100,000 tulip bulbs as an act of thanks for having sheltered Princess Juliana and her children while the Nazis occupied the Netherlands. The first Canadian Tulip Festival took place in 1953.

58 Jazz guitar lick, say : RIFF

A riff is a short rhythmic phrase in music, especially one improvised on a guitar.

61 Send over the moon : ELATE

To be over the moon is to be elated, extremely happy. The phrase “over the moon” comes from the nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle”.

The nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle” has been around at least since the mid-1700s.

Hey diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon,The little dog laughed to see such fun,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

63 One may be a lot : 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.

Down

1 Cygnet’s father : COB

An adult male swan is a cob, and an adult female is a pen. Young swans are swanlings or cygnets.

2 Pampas bird : RHEA

The rhea is a flightless bird that is native to South America. The rhea takes its name from the Greek Titan Rhea. It’s an apt name for a flightless bird as “rhea” comes from the Greek word meaning “ground”.

The pampas are fertile lowlands covering a large part of Argentina, Uruguay and some of Brazil. “Pampa” is a Quechua word meaning “plain”.

6 Instrument with pipes : ORGAN

The organ that we often see in churches, synagogues and concert halls is a pipe organ. Sound is produced by pressurized air driven through particular pipes selected by keys on a keyboard.

8 Stable parent : 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

9 River to Chesapeake Bay : POTOMAC

The Potomac River on the mid-Atlantic coast flows from the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia into the Chesapeake Bay. Given its location in such a historical area, the Potomac has the nickname “the Nation’s River”.

Chesapeake Bay is on the Atlantic coast and is surrounded by the states of Maryland and Virginia. Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the whole country, with over 150 rivers and streams draining into it, including the Potomac.

10 “The Revenant” Oscar nominee Tom : HARDY

Tom Hardy is an actor from London. His big break as an actor came when he won the part of US Army Private John Janovec in the outstanding miniseries “Band of Brothers”.

“The Revenant” is an epic Western film from 2015 that is based on a 2002 novel of the same name by Michael Punke. The novel was inspired by a 1915 epic poem by John G. Neihardt titled “The Song of Hugh Glass”. The movie’s cast is led by Leonardo Di Caprio and Tom Hardy. I found this to be an impressive film, but it went on a bit long for my taste …

11 Dust Bowl migrant : OKIE

“Okies” is a derogatory term used during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s for farming families who migrated from Oklahoma (hence the name), Arkansas, Kansas and Texas in search of agricultural jobs in California. The road used by many of these migrant families was Route 66, which is also called “Mother Road”.

The Dust Bowl was a period in which severe dust storms ravaged the American and Canadian Prairies in the thirties. A major factor in the storms was the loss of the deep-rooted grasses native to the land that had been displaced by intensive farming. Without the grasses, the topsoil was blown away in a period of drought.

12 Sci-fi author Stephenson : NEAL

Neal Stephenson is a novelist and video game designer whose work is often classified as science fiction or speculative fiction. I must admit, I haven’t indulged …

21 Lowly laborer : PEON

A peon is a lowly worker who has no real control over his/her working conditions. The word “peon” comes into English from Spanish, in which language it has the same meaning.

25 Froot __ : LOOPS

Froot Loops (ugh!) is a breakfast cereal from Kellogg’s that has been around since 1963. The little loops come in different colors, originally red, orange and yellow, but now there are green, purple and blue loops as well. Notice I said “different colors” not “different flavors”. Each loop tastes the same, so I wonder where the color comes from …?

28 Cream __ : SODA

Cream soda is a carbonated soft drink that is flavored with vanilla. There is a suggestion that the name “cream soda” was chosen as the taste is reminiscent of an ice cream soda. I’m not so sure …

29 AA, on the NYSE : ALCOA

The Aluminum Corporation of America (ALCOA) is the largest producer of aluminum in the United States. The company was founded in 1888 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where its headquarters are to this day.

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) can give some quite descriptive ticker symbols to companies, for example:

  • Anheuser-Busch (BUD, for “Budweiser”)
  • Molson Coors Brewing Company (TAP, as in “beer tap”)
  • Steinway Musical Instruments (LVB, for “Ludwig van Beethoven”)
  • Sotheby’s (BID, for the auction house)

32 1955 Dior innovation : A-LINE

An A-line skirt is one that fits snugly at the hips and flares towards the hem. The term “A-line” was first used in fashion by French designer Christian Dior in his 1955 spring collection.

33 “Turn! Turn! Turn!” band, with “The” : … BYRDS

The Byrds were a rock band that formed in Los Angeles in 1964. The band’s most successful songs were cover versions of earlier hits i.e. “Mr. Tambourine Man” (Bob Dylan) and “Turn! Turn! Turn!” (Pete Seeger).

There aren’t many pop hits that have lyrics taken almost entirely from the Bible. Pete Seeger took some words from the Book of Ecclesiastes, and set them to music in 1959, using the title “To Everything There Is a Season”. He recorded the song in 1962 for one of his albums. It wasn’t until it was recorded by the Byrds as “Turn! Turn! Turn!” that the song climbed the charts. It’s a nice contemplative song, I always think …

35 “Oh, when will they __ learn?”: Seeger lyric : EVER

“Oh, when will they ever learn?” is a line from the Peter Seeger song “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” Seeger got inspiration for the song from a traditional Cossack folk song that has the lyrics:

Where are the flowers, the girls have plucked them.
Where are the girls, they’ve all taken husbands.
Where are the men, they’re all in the army.

36 Sphere opener : HEMI-

Ever wonder what the difference is between the prefixes “hemi-”, “demi-” and “semi-”, all of which mean “half”? Well, the general observation is that words using the “demi-” prefix date back to the days of Norman influence over the English language. As a result, “demi-” turns up in the world of period costume and coats of arms. Words using “hemi-” tend to have Greek roots, and are prevalent in the world of the sciences and the medical field. Words with “semi-” tend to have Latin roots, and are most often found in music and the arts, and mathematics.

42 City on the Rhône : LYON

The city of Lyon in France is sometimes known as “Lyons” in English. Lyon is the second-largest metropolitan area in the country, after Paris. It is located just to the north of the confluence of the Rhône and Saône Rivers.

The Rhône river rises in Switzerland, passes through Lake Geneva, flows through the southeast of France, and empties into the Mediterranean Sea near Arles.

44 Wells’ fruit eaters : ELOI

In the 1895 novella by H. G. Wells called “The Time Machine”, there are two races that the hero encounters in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet’s surface. The Morlocks are a domineering race living underground who use the Eloi as food.

The full name of the English author known as H. G. Wells was Herbert George Wells. Wells is particularly well known for his works of science fiction, including “The War of the Worlds”, “The Time Machine”, “The Invisible Man” and “The Island of Doctor Moreau”. He was a prolific author, and a prolific lover as well. While married to one of his former students with whom he had two sons, he also had a child with writer Amber Reeves, and another child with author Rebecca West.

48 Hit hard : SMITE

To smite is to strike with a firm blow. The term “smite” can also mean “strike down and slay”.

50 Humdinger : LULU

We call a remarkable thing or a person a lulu. The term “lulu” was coined in honor of Lulu Hurst, the Georgia Wonder, who was a stage magician active in the 1880s.

A humdinger or pip is someone or something outstanding. “Humdinger” is American slang dating back to the early 1900s, and was originally used to describe a particularly attractive woman.

51 Dashing style : ELAN

Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e “style, flair”.

52 Many a Mideast native : ARAB

In geographical terms there are three “Easts”. “Near East” and “Middle East” are terms that are often considered synonymous, although “Near East” tends to be used when discussing ancient history and “Middle East” when referring to the present day. The Near/Middle East encompasses most of Western Asia and Egypt. The term “Far East” describes East Asia (including the Russian Far East), Southeast Asia and South Asia.

53 Board game pieces : DICE

The numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. There are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so-called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting …

54 Time to put up lights, briefly : XMAS

The abbreviation “Xmas” that is used for “Christmas” comes from the Greek letter chi (X), which is the first letter of the Greek word for “Christ” (“Χριστός”).

57 First day of spring, in Hanoi : TET

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 __ cake : CRAB
5 Floor plan unit : ROOM
9 App runner : PHONE
14 “It can’t be true!” : OH NO!
15 Humorist Bombeck : ERMA
16 Like some whiskey barrels : OAKEN
17 Test version : BETA
18 Too much sun, they say : AGER
19 Common chord : TRIAD
20 Wind tunnel test object : AIRPLANE MODEL
23 Article in Die Zeit : EIN
24 “Saving Fish From Drowning” author Tan : AMY
25 Snares with loops : LASSOS
29 1998 Sarah McLachlan hit : ADIA
31 Catch : NAB
34 Keats work with the line, “She dwells with Beauty–Beauty that must die” : ODE ON MELANCHOLY
37 Was short : OWED
38 TiVo predecessor : VCR
39 Arabic for “commander” : EMIR
40 Note instruction : PAYABLE ON DEMAND
45 Mme., in Madrid : SRA
46 Vega’s constellation : LYRA
47 Drops in speaking : ELIDES
48 Great Lakes’ __ Canals : SOO
49 Summer sign : LEO
50 Tart drink concentrates, or what’s literally found in 20-, 34- and 40-Across : LEMONADE MIXES
57 Showy bulb : TULIP
58 Jazz guitar lick, say : RIFF
59 Daily delivery : MAIL
61 Send over the moon : ELATE
62 Play starter : ACT I
63 One may be a lot : ACRE
64 Pitch adjuster : TUNER
65 Top-quality : BEST
66 Shake off : SHED

Down

1 Cygnet’s father : COB
2 Pampas bird : RHEA
3 Contrarian prefix : ANTI-
4 Beast with tusks : BOAR
5 Truthful representation, in art : REALISM
6 Instrument with pipes : ORGAN
7 Sign : OMEN
8 Stable parent : MARE
9 River to Chesapeake Bay : POTOMAC
10 “The Revenant” Oscar nominee Tom : HARDY
11 Dust Bowl migrant : OKIE
12 Sci-fi author Stephenson : NEAL
13 Tight __: football position : END
21 Lowly laborer : PEON
22 Primary : MAIN
25 Froot __ : LOOPS
26 Ugly marketing battle : AD WAR
27 “Gotta go!” : SEE YA!
28 Cream __ : SODA
29 AA, on the NYSE : ALCOA
30 Rats relative : DARN
31 Wanderer : NOMAD
32 1955 Dior innovation : A-LINE
33 “Turn! Turn! Turn!” band, with “The” : … BYRDS
35 “Oh, when will they __ learn?”: Seeger lyric : EVER
36 Sphere opener : HEMI-
41 Gag reel scene : BLOOPER
42 City on the Rhône : LYON
43 Judge appropriate : DEEM FIT
44 Wells’ fruit eaters : ELOI
48 Hit hard : SMITE
49 Some lanes allow only them : LEFTS
50 Humdinger : LULU
51 Dashing style : ELAN
52 Many a Mideast native : ARAB
53 Board game pieces : DICE
54 Time to put up lights, briefly : XMAS
55 A head : EACH
56 Equine parent : SIRE
57 First day of spring, in Hanoi : TET
60 Commanded : LED

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 11 Nov 21, Thursday”

    1. Thought I was going to have to look something up at first but then it opened up
      Nicely. Good theme but didn’t get it til all
      circles were filled in so no help from that!

  1. 9:47

    An anagram theme helped me! Maybe my mind is finally agreeing to mix it up with them.

    Nice to see Neal Stephenson. He coined the term “metaverse” in his 1992 novel SNOWCRASH. It’s quite a ride, and the metaverse doesn’t look like something we should enjoy looking forward to. But an awful lot of SF is a warning.

  2. No issues at all with the LAT’s crossword today. On the other hand if the WSJ crossword had been swapped for the LAT’s grid the howls of angst and disgust on this board would have risen to a crescendo of operatic proportion. I finished it, but it was a struggle of slow and unsure progress. I was never confident it was going to be successfully completed until the last letter was inked in.

  3. 17:41 – about 4 cheats/no errors

    There was a time not too long ago that a Thursday puzzle with dozens of cheats would be a DNF, so I’ll gladly take it.

    Be Well

  4. BTW = did anyone else see today’s NYT puzzle – I never saw anything like it (not that I’ve seen a lot to begin with).

  5. 9 minutes even, and no errors. Had to do a bit of proofreading at the end to fix a few early errors in the top left. Not that hard, but a little challenging. The “theme”, as usual, didn’t help at all.

  6. messed up in a few places, but yeah, pretty easy for Thursday — but I’ll take it! One does get better at these the more one does it!

  7. Slightly trick Thursday for me; took 17:34 with no errors or peeks. Struggled a bit with NE and SE corners but finally untangled everything to not get the banner. I’d forgot to get back to a spot in the NW….Oh, CRAB cake…banner!!

    Theme helped me get the NE corner, since I still needed one circled letter. And yeah, “App Runner” is still a bit of a mystery to me too…hold on, a phone runs the app, okay, I got it!

    Rheas, even more dangerous than Emus…yikes!

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