LA Times Crossword 13 Nov 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: Andy Wang & C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 11m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Chinese New Year tradition : LION DANCE

The lion dance is a traditional dance in Chinese cultures in which performers move around in an elaborate lion costume. Apparently we Westerners often mistake the lion for a dragon. The Chinese dragon dance does exist, and is similar, but the dancers perform outside of the costume and hold up the dragon on poles.

15 Over and over and over … : AD NAUSEAM

To do something “ad nauseam” is to do so to a ridiculous degree, to the point of nausea. “Ad nauseam” is the Latin for “to sickness”.

18 Degas contemporary : MONET

French artist Claude Monet was one of the founders of the Impressionist movement, and indeed the term “Impressionism” comes from the title of his 1872 painting “Impression, Sunrise”. That work depicts the port of Le Havre, which was Monet’s hometown. Later in his life, Monet purchased a house in Giverny, and famously installed lily ponds and a Japanese bridge in the property’s extensive gardens. He spent two decades painting the water lily ponds, producing his most famous works. I was fortunate enough to visit Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny a few years ago. A beautiful place …

Edgar Degas was a French artist who was famous for both his paintings and his sculptures. Some of Degas’ most beautiful works feature female ballet dancers, and others depict women bathing.

19 Mel who gave Archie a batting tip in “Field of Dreams” : OTT

At 5′ 9″, baseball legend Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don’t think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old. And, according to Wikipedia, “Ott’s name frequently appears in crossword puzzles, on account of its letter combination and brevity.” True that …

“Field of Dreams” is a fantasy drama about baseball, released in 1989 and starring Kevin Costner. The movie is an adaptation of a 1982 novel titled “Shoeless Joe” by Canadian author W. P. Kinsella. Shoeless Joe Jackson was a real baseball player, and someone associated with the Black Sox Scandal that allegedly affected the outcome of the 1919 World Series. Jackson was portrayed by Ray Liotta in the movie. “Field of Dreams” was also the last film in which Burt Lancaster made an appearance. The baseball stadium that was built for the movie can be visited in Dubuque County, Iowa.

24 Hold in a match : NELSON

The full nelson and half nelson are wrestling holds in which one wrestler secures an opponent by encircling the opponent’s arm(s) under the armpit(s) and around the neck. Some say the holds are named after Admiral Nelson, who was renowned for using encircling tactics in battle.

29 Cartoon shopkeeper : APU

“The Problem with Apu” is a 2017 documentary that explores the use of racial stereotypes by focusing on the character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon from the animated sitcom “The Simpsons”. The film was written by and stars American stand-up comedian Hari Kondabolu.

30 Help on the job : ABET

The word “abet” comes into English from the Old French “abeter” meaning “to bait” or “to harass with dogs” (literally “to make bite”). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of “abet” meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

35 __ Slam: tennis coup : SERENA

The term “Serena Slam” is a reference to tennis star Serena Williams. It describes the winning of four major tournaments in a row. This compares with a “Grand Slam”, the winning of the four major tournaments within the same season.

38 Product whose proteins are aligned in manufacturing : STRING CHEESE

String cheese is made in such a way that proteins in the cheese line up, giving it a “stringy” texture. In the US, we are most familiar with string mozzarella that comes in individually-wrapped “cheese sticks”.

40 Bust maker : NARC

“Narc” and “narco” are slang terms describing a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. Both words are short for “narcotics officer”. Narcs might work for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

46 1974 and 1975 Stanley Cup champions : FLYERS

The Philadelphia Flyers hockey team was founded in 1967. The team’s name was chosen using a “name-the-team” fan contest.

The Stanley Cup is named for Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor General of Canada from 1888 to 1893. Lord Stanley’s sons became avid fans of ice hockey while in Canada, and so he donated the trophy in 1909, originally as a challenge cup for the country’s best amateur club.

49 Korean jjigae, e.g. : STEW

Jjigae is a stew in Korean cuisine. A famous version of the stew is budae jjigae, which originated in the aftermath of the Korean War. Food was scarce at that time, and so stews were made with whatever ingredients could be found. Budae jjigae often includes American cheese, franks and beans, and even Spam. The name “budae jjigae” can be translated as “army base stew”.

51 Where Alexander the Great overthrew Darius III : PERSIA

Alexander the Great was a king of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon. Alexander spent much of his life on military campaigns. His early victories led to the overthrow of the Persian King Darius III. Alexander eventually conquered the whole of the First Persian Empire, giving him rule of lands stretching from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River.

53 Thailand neighbor : LAOS

The official name for the country of Laos is the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. In the Lao language, the country’s name is “Meuang Lao”. The French ruled Laos as part of French Indochina, having united three separate Lao kingdoms. As there was a plural of “Lao” entities united into one, the French added the “S” and so today we tend to use “Laos” instead of “Lao”.

56 Plant from the Greek for “flame” : PHLOX

Phlox is a genus of flowering plants found mainly in North America. A common name for the plant is Jacob’s Ladder.

60 Cloud content : DATA FILES

In the world of computing, when one operates “in the cloud”, one’s files and key applications are not stored on one’s own computer, but rather are residing “in the cloud”, on a computer somewhere out on the Internet. I do 90% of my computing in the cloud. That way I don’t have to worry about backing up files, and I can operate from any computer if I have to …

61 Convenient breakfast choice : EGGOS

Eggo is a line of frozen waffles and related products made by Kellogg’s. When they were introduced in the 1930s, the name “Eggo” was chosen to promote the “egginess” of the batter. “Eggo” replaced “Froffles”, the original name chosen by melding “frozen” and “waffles”.

Down

1 Nigerian National Museum site : LAGOS

Lagos is a port and the biggest city in Nigeria. It used to be the country’s capital, until it was replaced in that role in 1991 by Abuja, a city built just for this purpose. Lagos is also the most populous city in the whole of Africa (followed by Cairo in Egypt).

3 Pickup capacity : ONE TON

Pickup trucks are probably so called because they can be used to “pick up” bulky items from say a store, and then deliver them elsewhere.

4 Rapper who co-founded Mass Appeal Records : NAS

Rapper Nas used to go by an earlier stage name “Nasty Nas”, and before that by his real name “Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones”. Nas released his first album “Illmatic” in 1994, and inventively titled his fifth studio album “Stillmatic”, released in 2001.

5 Rear end : DUFF

“Duff” is a slang term meaning “buttocks, rump”. The exact etymology isn’t known, but the term dates back to the 1830s.

6 Georgian, e.g. : ASIAN

The former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) of Georgia is now an independent country. Supposedly, the Georgian people were given their name because they especially revered St. George. The flag of Georgia does indeed feature five St. George’s crosses.

9 CPR pro : EMT

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

10 Budget noodle dish : RAMEN

Ramen is a noodle dish composed of Chinese-style wheat noodles in a meat or fish broth flavored with soy or miso sauce. Ramen is usually topped with sliced pork and dried seaweed. The term “ramen” is also used for precooked, instant noodles that come in single-serving, solid blocks.

11 Nowhere to be seen : AWOL

MPs (military police officers) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).

13 Like steppes, mostly : TREELESS

A steppe is a grassland that is devoid of trees, apart from those growing near rivers and lakes. The term “steppe” is Russian in origin, and is used to describe the geographical feature that extends across Eurasia. In South Africa, the same feature is called a “veld”, and in North America it is called a “prairie”.

23 Kind of acid : NITRIC

Nitric acid has the formula HNO3. It is highly corrosive, and is also known by the Latin name “aqua fortis” meaning “strong water”.

25 Alley pickup : SPARE

In bowling, the downing of all ten pins in two balls in the same frame is called a spare, and scores ten points. The player gets a bonus, equal to the number of pins downed with the next ball, which could be up to ten. Hence, a spare can be worth up to 20 points

30 Scary 1986 sequel : ALIENS

“Aliens” is a 1986 sequel to the very successful science-fiction movie “Alien” released in 1979. “Aliens” was filmed at Pinewood Studios in England, and at the decommissioned Acton Lane Power Station in London. The film was directed by James Cameron, and starred Sigourney Weaver reprising her role as Ellen Ripley from “Alien”.

32 “Women, Race & Class” author Davis : ANGELA

Angela Davis is a political activist and former leader of the Communist Party USA. Davis also ran twice in the eighties as candidate for Vice President on the Communist Party USA ticket, alongside Presidential candidate Gus Hall.

33 In poor taste : TACKY

Something tacky is in bad taste. The term “tacky” derives from the noun “tackey” that was used in the early 1800s to describe a neglected horse.

38 “Made from the Best Stuff on Earth” drink brand : SNAPPLE

Originally, “Snapple” was the name of just one type of juice made by a company called Unadulterated Food Products. The drink’s name was a contraction of “snappy apple”. The company’s name was changed to the Snapple Beverage Corporation in the early 1980s. Snapple was sold in 1994, and is now a brand name owned by Dr Pepper Snapple Group.

39 Shoe lift : HEELTAP

A heeltap is a lift in the heel of a shoe. It is usually made from leather or metal.

43 “Becket” star : O’TOOLE

Irish actor Peter O’Toole got his big break in the movies when he played the title role in the 1962 epic film “Lawrence of Arabia”. My favorite of O’Toole’s movies is much lighter fare, namely “How to Steal a Million” in which he stars opposite Audrey Hepburn. O’Toole never won an Oscar, but holds the record for the greatest number of Best Actor nominations without a win (8).

“Becket” is a 1964 movie, an adaptation of the play “Becket or the Honour of God” written by Jean Anouilh. The film has a very impressive cast, including Richard Burton as Thomas Becket and Peter O’Toole as King Henry II. This wasn’t the last time Peter O’Toole was to play Henry II on the big screen, as four years later he portrayed the same character in “The Lion in Winter” opposite Katharine Hepburn.

46 Tight spots : FIXES

A fix is a tight spot, a “fixed” position from which it is difficult to move.

47 Follower of Jah : RASTA

“Jah” is a shortened form of “Jehovah”, and is a name often associated with the Rastafari movement.

48 Sub system : SONAR

The British developed the first underwater detection system that used sound waves. Research was driven by defence demands during WWI, leading to production of working units in 1922. This new sound detection system was described as using “supersonics”, but for the purpose of secrecy the term was dropped in favor of an acronym. The work was done under the auspices of the Royal Navy’s Anti-Submarine Division, so ASD was combined with the “IC” from “superson-ic-s” to create the name ASDIC. The navy even went as far as renaming the quartz material at the heart of the technology “ASDivite”. By the time WWII came along, the Americans were producing their own systems and coined the term SONAR, playing off the related application, RADAR. And so, the name ASDIC was deep-sixed …

50 Yank : WREST

The verb “to wrest” can mean to obtain by violent twisting and pulling. The term comes from the Middle English “wresten” meaning “to twist”. Our word “wrestling” has the same etymology.

54 Like silken tofu : SOFT

“Tofu” is a name for bean curd, and is a Japanese word meaning just that … bean that has curdled. Tofu is produced by coagulating soy milk, using either salt or something acidic. Once the protein has coagulated, the curds are pressed into the familiar blocks. Personally I love tofu, but my wife, she absolutely hates it …

57 Civil rights pioneer __ B. Wells : IDA

Ida B. Wells was an African-American journalist and leader of the civil rights movement. She published a pamphlet in 1892 called “Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases”, which publicized the horrors of lynching of African Americans by white mobs in the South.

58 “Mad Money” host Cramer : JIM

The television show “Mad Money” started airing in 2005, and is hosted by the ebullient Jim Cramer. Cramer recommends that essential funds, such as those reserved for retirement, be safely locked away in conservative investment vehicles. Any money left over (still looking for that here!) is classed as “Mad Money” and can be invested in more risky stocks.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Chinese New Year tradition : LION DANCE
10 They may be inflatable : RAFTS
15 Over and over and over … : AD NAUSEAM
16 Plugged in : AWARE
17 Leads : GOES FIRST
18 Degas contemporary : MONET
19 Mel who gave Archie a batting tip in “Field of Dreams” : OTT
20 Top choice : FAVE
21 Called out : YELLED
22 Momentarily : SOON
24 Hold in a match : NELSON
26 Like : A LA
27 “I got this” : ON IT
29 Cartoon shopkeeper : APU
30 Help on the job : ABET
31 “What a relief!” : THAT WAS CLOSE!
35 __ Slam: tennis coup : SERENA
37 Puts on again : REAIRS
38 Product whose proteins are aligned in manufacturing : STRING CHEESE
40 Bust maker : NARC
41 Scrape (out) : EKE
42 Recognize : KNOW
45 Before now : AGO
46 1974 and 1975 Stanley Cup champions : FLYERS
49 Korean jjigae, e.g. : STEW
51 Where Alexander the Great overthrew Darius III : PERSIA
53 Thailand neighbor : LAOS
55 Stick in the water : OAR
56 Plant from the Greek for “flame” : PHLOX
57 “I’m serious” : IT’S NO JOKE
59 Free : LOOSE
60 Cloud content : DATA FILES
61 Convenient breakfast choice : EGGOS
62 Complex unit : APARTMENT

Down

1 Nigerian National Museum site : LAGOS
2 “Same here!” : I DO TOO
3 Pickup capacity : ONE TON
4 Rapper who co-founded Mass Appeal Records : NAS
5 Rear end : DUFF
6 Georgian, e.g. : ASIAN
7 __ ending : NERVE
8 Basis for legal precedent : CASE LAW
9 CPR pro : EMT
10 Budget noodle dish : RAMEN
11 Nowhere to be seen : AWOL
12 Creative works by devoted followers : FAN LABOR
13 Like steppes, mostly : TREELESS
14 It’s fixed : SET DATE
21 “Here’s the thing … ” : YOU SEE …
23 Kind of acid : NITRIC
25 Alley pickup : SPARE
28 In that case : THEN
30 Scary 1986 sequel : ALIENS
32 “Women, Race & Class” author Davis : ANGELA
33 In poor taste : TACKY
34 Brewery sight : CASK
35 Improv spotlight usurper : STAGE HOG
36 Techie’s diagnostic list : ERROR LOG
38 “Made from the Best Stuff on Earth” drink brand : SNAPPLE
39 Shoe lift : HEELTAP
43 “Becket” star : O’TOOLE
44 Sap : WEAKEN
46 Tight spots : FIXES
47 Follower of Jah : RASTA
48 Sub system : SONAR
50 Yank : WREST
52 Fair : SO-SO
54 Like silken tofu : SOFT
57 Civil rights pioneer __ B. Wells : IDA
58 “Mad Money” host Cramer : JIM

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 13 Nov 21, Saturday”

  1. LAT: Less than an hour, no errors. Average Saturday difficulty for me. Never heard of the Serena slam before, not a big tennis follower.

  2. No errors. Top left gave me fits. Didn’t help that I didn’t know LAGOS but spun through the letters trying to Come up with a LEAD… SMELL TEST? and then the guessing game began… so I started over again with a NAUSEUS feeling.. How about I GO FIRST and fall on my DUFF in ASIA?
    Okay then!!!

    So FAN LABOR is a thing? Huh.

  3. Not too too difficult for a Saturday. I did stare at the Serena Slam for awhile trying to come up with some spelling for Grand that would work. D’oh! Also bobbled by putting in Flames for Stanley Cup champions before inking it over with Flyers, (knows as The Broad Street Bullies if my memory serves?).

  4. 26:15

    Resisted the urge to look up things and just kept fiddling and changing until the banner came up.

    Today I learned about the SERENA Slam. Interesting.

    I’ve never heard of a common name for PHLOX. Garden Phlox and Creeping Phlox are common garden plants in the Phlox genus. I’m used to “Jacob’s Ladder” referring to plants in the Polemonium genus. Turns out they are related, both genii being grouped into the Polemoniacae family. This is alternately called the Phlox family or the Jacob’s Ladder family. Very confusing.

  5. No look ups,no errors. Good Saturday puzzle. Never heard of phlox but then, I
    don’t have a green thumb…

    Dave, Georgia is a country next to Turkey.

  6. 26:13 – but not really indicative of my effort. Too many cheats, should really be a DNF.

    But I got it done and didn’t quit. Actually thought it was a pretty good puzzle.

    Be Well.

  7. 14 minutes, 5 seconds and DNF: the entire SW quadrant was one big NATICK for me. I couldn’t recall the Snapple tagline, I’m shaky on Ancients warfare history, and so I just couldn’t get any traction there.

  8. 44:00 no errors…for some reason I always thought that Georgia was in Europe (not that I thought about it that much)
    Stay safe😀

  9. Didn’t get the long answers in the NW, even though I had LAGOS and OTT, amazingly enough.
    I got PHLOX on the crosses, but it really baffled me. I grow PHLOX; it doesn’t look in the least like a flame. I was thinking along the lines of Pyracantha, which is too long, or funeral pyre, or some other Py plant.

  10. Too tough for me today; had the NE, SE and a little bit of the NW (LAGOS/OTT) and nothing in the SW. Just here to look at the answers. We’ve had SERENA slam before, lots of times, but it’s such a ridiculous thing, that I just never bothered to even try to remember it….grumble. Same with Snapple…just from this constructor…sigh!

  11. 27:58 with no errors or lookups. Had a few changes along the way, though: AWAY>AWOL, REDONS>REAIRS, HEELCAP>HEELTAP, STEERS___>GOESFIRST, DRE>NAS, DITTOO>IDOTOO.

    Generally filled in from the bottom to the top. The NW corner was last to fill in after realizing DITTOO wasn’t DITTO, and going with LAGOS in 1D. Bill’s note on Lion Dance was interesting. They always looked like dragons to me.

    For a long time, I wanted 29A to be AONE or ONEA (FAVE). Having settled on AWAY, it also took a while to get past what YEY_ED could possibly be. Finally figured out YELLED which yielded FANLABOR, which was a new one on me, too.

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