LA Times Crossword 18 Nov 21, Thursday

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Constructed by: August Miller
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Sea Change

Themed answers each include the CHANGED (anagramed) name of a SEA as a hidden word:

  • 33D Dramatic shift … or what’s literally found in each set of circles? : SEA CHANGE
  • 17A Particles from far, far away : COSMIC RADIATION (hiding “ADRIATIC” changed)
  • 4D It tops out at ten in a doctor’s office : PAIN SCALE (hiding “CASPIAN” changed)
  • 10D When the Cold War ended : REAGAN ERA (hiding “AEGEAN” changed)
  • 27D Ease up : DIAL IT BACK (hiding “BALTIC” changed)
  • 28D Spiced brew : GINGER BEER (hiding “BERING” changed)
  • 31D 1926 Pulitzer-winning poet : AMY LOWELL (hiding “YELLOW” changed)

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

Bill’s time: 10m 45s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4 Indy 500 leader : PACE CAR

In automobile racing, a pace car is used for safety when there is an obstruction on the track. The pace car enters the track in front of the leader and slows the racing cars to what is deemed to be a safe speed. While the pace car is on the track, the competitors cannot pass the pace car and nor can they pass each other. When the pace car exits the track, the race resumes.

14 GPS calculation : ETA

A global positioning system (GPS) might provide one with an estimated time of arrival (ETA).

15 Mollusk with a nacreous shell : ABALONE

The large edible sea snails that we call abalone are called ormer in Britain and Ireland, and are served as “awabi” at a sushi bar. The abalone shell resembles a human ear, giving rise to the alternative names “ear shell” and “sea ear”.

Molluscs (also “mollusks”) are invertebrate (no-backbone) animals that comprise about a quarter of all known marine organisms. Examples are squid, cuttlefish, oysters and octopodes.

Nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl, is the strong iridescent material laid down by some mollusks on the inside of their shells, and it’s also what makes up pearls. The creature lays down nacre as a defensive mechanism, protecting the soft tissue of its body from the rough surface of the outer shell. Similarly, it uses nacre to encapsulate harmful debris or a parasite that penetrates the shell, and that’s how a pearl is formed. Cultured pearls are made by inserting a tissue graft from a donor oyster, around which the nacre is laid down.

16 Gp. for moms and dads : PTA

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

17 Particles from far, far away : COSMIC RADIATION (hiding “ADRIATIC” changed)

Cosmic rays aren’t actually rays at all. They are high energy particles that originate in outer space outside of our solar system. Cosmic rays interact with atoms in our atmosphere creating secondary particles that can reach the Earth’s surface.

The Adriatic is the sea separating Italy from the Balkans.

21 23andMe subject : DNA

23andMe was the first company to offer direct-to-consumer genetic testing, doing so in 2007. Initially, 23andMe offered a test that determined a subject’s predisposition to a list of specific genetic traits, including baldness and blindness. The company now offers a cost-effective ancestry DNA test as well. The name “23andMe” is a reference to the 23 pairs of chromosomes in the cells of a human.

22 Lena Dunham TV show : GIRLS

Lena Dunham is a co-star in the HBO series “Girls”, and is also the show’s creator. Dunham garnered a lot of attention for herself during the 2012 US Presidential election cycle as she starred in an ad focused on getting out the youth vote. In the spot, she compared voting for the first time with having sex for the first time.

23 Dog topping : RELISH

A hot dog is a sausage served in a split roll. The term “hot dog” dates back to the 19th-century and is thought to reflect a commonly-held opinion that the sausages contained dog meat.

25 To wit : NAMELY

The verb “to wit” means “to know”. The verb really isn’t used anymore except in the phrase “to wit” meaning “that is to say, namely”.

26 Wind-driven clouds : SCUD

Scud (also “pannus”) clouds are ragged, wispy, low-level clouds that form beneath nimbostratus or cumulonimbus clouds. They form as warmer, moist surface air is pulled upwards into a thunderstorm. As the moist air ascends, it condenses to create the scud clouds.

28 Hereditary unit : GENE

A gene is a section of a chromosome that is responsible for a particular characteristic in an organism. For example, one gene may determine eye color and another balding pattern. We have two copies of each gene, one from each of our parents, with each copy known as an allele.

29 Riddle end, maybe : WHAT AM I?

Here are a few riddles:

  1. Imagine you are in a dark room. How do you get out?
  2. What can travel around the world while staying in a corner?
  3. There is a word and six letters it contains. Take one away and twelve is what remains. What word is it?
  4. Two girls were born to the same mother, on the same day, at the same time, in the same month and year and yet they’re not twins. How can this be?
  5. What is so delicate that even saying its name will break it?
  6. What word in the English Language is always spelled incorrectly?

And the answers:

  1. Stop imagining.
  2. A stamp
  3. Dozens
  4. They’re in a set of triplets
  5. Silence
  6. Incorrectly

32 2001 NBA MVP Allen : IVERSON

Allen Iverson is a professional basketball player who played in the NBA for several years. Iverson signed up to play for a Turkish basketball team in 2010. He played in Turkey for two seasons and retired from the game in 2013. Iverson is known by the nickname “the Answer”.

39 Runner Down Under : EMU

The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

40 Zoom alternative : SKYPE

The main feature of the Skype application when introduced was that it allows voice communication to take place over the Internet (aka VoIP). Skype has other features such as video conferencing and instant messaging, but the application made its name from voice communication. Skype was founded by two Scandinavian entrepreneurs and the software necessary was developed by a team of engineers in Estonia. The development project was originally called “Sky peer-to-peer” so the first commercial name for the application was “Skyper”. This had to be shortened to “Skype” because the skyper.com domain name was already in use.

Zoom is a videoconferencing app that became remarkably popular in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The market deemed Zoom to be the easiest to use of the free videoconferencing apps. I’ve been using it, but really prefer Google’s Meet offering …

45 Brazilian soccer great : PELE

“Pelé” is the nickname of Edson de Nascimento, a soccer player who has used the name “Pelé” for most of his life. Pelé is now retired, and for my money was the world’s greatest ever player of the game. He is the only person to have been a member of three World Cup winning squads (1958, 1962 and 1970), and is a national treasure in his native Brazil. One of Pele’s nicknames is “O Rei do Futebol” (the King of Football).

49 Eye-bending genre : OP ART

Op art is also known as optical art, and puts optical illusions to great effect.

51 Fiennes of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” : RALPH

English actor Ralph Fiennes comes from a very aristocratic family, as one might guess from his full name, Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes. He is in fact an eighth cousin of Charles, Prince of Wales, heir to the British throne. Fiennes has played some nasty characters in his time, including the commandant of the concentration camp in “Schindler’s List” and the dreaded Lord Voldemort in the “Harry Potter” movies.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” is a 2014 Wes Anderson film. The main character in the movie is the concierge of the Grand Budapest Hotel, played by Ralph Fiennes. Haven’t seen this one …

57 Words With Friends, for one : APP

“Words With Friends” (WWF) is a word game application that can be played on smartphones and other electronic devices. “Words With Friends” is basically Scrabble under a different name, or so I hear.

60 Post-teaching title for some : EMERITA

“Emeritus” (female form “emerita”, and plural “emeriti”) is a term in the title of some retired professionals, particularly those from academia. Originally an emeritus was a veteran soldier who had served his time. The term comes from the Latin verb “emerere” meaning to complete one’s service.

62 Latvia neighbor : ESTONIA

Estonia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs) and is located in Northern Europe on the Baltic Sea due south of Finland. Estonia has been overrun and ruled by various empires over the centuries. The country did enjoy a few years of freedom at the beginning of the 20th century after a war of independence against the Russian Empire. However, Estonia was occupied again during WWII, first by the Russians and then by the Germans, and then reoccupied by the Soviets in 1944. Estonia has flourished as an independent country again since the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

Latvia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs). People from Latvia are called Letts.

64 Fluorescent element? : SILENT C

The word “fluorescent” includes a silent letter C (cee).

Down

3 Margherita pizza herb : BASIL

Pizza was invented in Naples, where it has a long tradition that goes back to ancient Rome. During an 1889 visit to Naples, Queen Margherita of Savoy was served a special pizza that was created with toppings designed to mimic the colors of the Italian flag. The ingredients of tomato (red), mozzarella (white) and basil (green) can still be found together on menus today, on a pie usually named Pizza Margherita after the queen. I do love basil on my pizza …

4 It tops out at ten in a doctor’s office : PAIN SCALE (hiding “CASPIAN” changed)

The Caspian Sea is a landlocked body of water lying between Asia and Europe. By some definitions, the Caspian is the largest lake on the planet. The name “Caspian” comes from the Caspi people who lived to the southwest of the sea in the South Caucasus.

5 “Mixed-ish” airer : ABC

“Mixed-ish” is a sitcom that premiered in 2019, and is a prequel to the hit show “Black-ish”. “Mix-ish” is actually the second “Black-ish” spinoff, as “Grown-ish” started airing in 2018.

7 Stylish vigor : ELAN

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

8 Musical symbol resembling a set of crosshairs : CODA

In music, a coda is primarily a passage that brings a movement to a conclusion. “Coda” is Italian for “tail”.

9 Young Darth : ANI

Darth Vader is (to me) the most colorful antagonist in the “Star Wars” universe. Born as Anakin “Ani” Skywalker, he was corrupted by the Emperor Palpatine and turned to “the Dark Side”. In the original films, Darth Vader was portrayed by English bodybuilder David Prowse, and voiced by actor James Earl Jones. Jones asked that he go uncredited for the first two “Star Wars” films, feeling that his contributions were insufficient to warrant recognition. I disagree …

10 When the Cold War ended : REAGAN ERA (hiding “AEGEAN” changed)

President Ronald Reagan famously used the phrase “evil empire” to describe the Soviet Union, first doing so during the Cold War in 1983. Just over five years later, Reagan was developing a working relationship with Soviet Union General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. As a result, he declared that he no longer felt that the use of “evil empire” applied, saying that it had been “another time, another era”.

The Aegean Sea is that part of the Mediterranean that lies between Greece and Turkey. Within the Aegean Sea are found the Aegean Islands, a group that includes Crete and Rhodes.

12 Coral island : ATOLL

An atoll is a coral island that is shaped in a ring that encloses a lagoon. There is still some debate as to how an atoll forms, but a theory proposed by Charles Darwin while on his famous voyage aboard HMS Beagle still holds sway. Basically, an atoll was once a volcanic island that had subsided and fallen into the sea. The coastline of the island is home to coral growth which persists even as the island continues to subside inside the circling coral reef.

13 Violet hybrid : PANSY

The pansy is a garden flower that takes its name from the French word “pensée” meaning “thought”. This name was chosen as the flower was often used as a symbol of remembrance. The petals of pansies have dark blotches that often appear to form the outline of a face.

24 “A Treatise of Human Nature” author : HUME

David Hume was a philosopher and historian from Scotland. One of his greatest works is the massive “The History of England”, which was published in six volumes from 1754 to 1762. The massive tome covers the nation’s history from the Roman conquest of Britain led by Julius Caesar in 55 BCE, up to the Glorious Revolution of 1688 that removed King James II from the throne and replaced him with William III and Mary II.

25 Campbell of “Scream” films : NEVE

Neve Campbell is a Canadian actress whose big break in the movies came with the “Scream” horror film series, in which she had a leading role. I don’t do horror films, so I haven’t seen any of the “Scream” movies. Nor have I seen the TV series “Party of Five” that launched the acting careers of both Campbell and Jennifer Love Hewitt in the nineties.

27 Ease up : DIAL IT BACK (hiding “BALTIC” changed)

The Baltic is a sea in northern Europe that is much less saline than the oceans. The lower amount of salt in the Baltic partially explains why almost half of the sea freezes over during the winter. In fact, the Baltic has been known to completely freeze over several times over the past few centuries.

28 Spiced brew : GINGER BEER (hiding “BERING” changed)

Ginger beer was my favorite soda as a child. Brewed ginger beer is made by fermenting ginger spice and sugar with yeast. Most of the ginger “beer” in the stores today is just carbonated water with added flavors. Ginger beer is NOT ginger ale …

The Bering Sea, in the very north of the Pacific Ocean, is named for the Danish navigator Vitus Bering, who was the first European to systematically explore the area in 1728. Many believe that the first humans arrived in the Americas from Asia when the waters of the Bering Sea were lower during the last ice age, over what is known as the Bering land bridge.

29 Paper-nest builder : WASP

Paper wasps usually build their nests from “paper”, hence the name. The female wasps collect wood fibers and dead plant tissue in their mouths. These materials make a paper pulp when mixed with saliva. The nest itself is a collection of hexagonal cells with paper walls.

31 1926 Pulitzer-winning poet : AMY LOWELL (hiding “YELLOW” changed)

Amy Lowell was an American poet, the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1926 for the collection of her poems called “What’s O’Clock”.

33 Dramatic shift … or what’s literally found in each set of circles? : SEA CHANGE

The Yellow Sea is the northern part of the East China Sea, and is located between the Korean peninsula and China. The water surface does indeed take on a golden yellow hue at times when it picks up sand particles from sand storms in the Gobi Desert, which lies to the west of the Yellow Sea.

35 Sisters in the 2017 film “The Little Hours” : NUNS

“The Little Hours” is a 2017 black comedy movie that is loosely based on “The Decameron” novellas by 14th-century author Giovanni Boccaccio. It’s a sex comedy and was released in Italy “Decameron Pie”, a title playing on the “American Pie” film franchise.

46 Underground recess : GROTTO

A grotto is a cave or cavern. “Grotto” is a word that we have imported from Italian, in which language it has the same meaning, or can describe a vault.

50 Flared dress style : 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.

53 Arnaz of early TV : DESI

Desi Arnaz has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. One was placed to mark his contribution to motion pictures, and the other for his work in television.

54 Painter Nolde : EMIL

Emil Nolde was a German expressionist painter. He was actually born Emil Hansen, near the village of Nolde in the Prussian Duchy of Schleswig in 1867. Hansen officially changed his name to Nolde on the occasion of his marriage in 1902.

61 1860s gray : REB

During the Civil War, the personification of the Southern states was “Johnny Reb”. The northern equivalent was “Billy Yank”.

63 Klutz : OAF

A klutz is an awkward individual, with the term “klutz” coming from Yiddish. The Yiddish word for a clumsy person is “klots”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Apply softly : DAB
4 Indy 500 leader : PACE CAR
11 About 40 gallons of it makes a gallon of syrup usually : SAP
14 GPS calculation : ETA
15 Mollusk with a nacreous shell : ABALONE
16 Gp. for moms and dads : PTA
17 Particles from far, far away : COSMIC RADIATION (hiding “ADRIATIC” changed)
20 Burger topping : ONION
21 23andMe subject : DNA
22 Lena Dunham TV show : GIRLS
23 Dog topping : RELISH
25 To wit : NAMELY
26 Wind-driven clouds : SCUD
28 Hereditary unit : GENE
29 Riddle end, maybe : WHAT AM I?
32 2001 NBA MVP Allen : IVERSON
36 Goal : AIM
37 Student, ideally : LEARNER
39 Runner Down Under : EMU
40 Zoom alternative : SKYPE
42 Race part : LEG
43 Over : AGAIN
45 Brazilian soccer great : PELE
46 Responds to a phone solicitation, perhaps : GIVES
48 Improvs, e.g. : ACTS
49 Eye-bending genre : OP ART
51 Fiennes of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” : RALPH
53 Drops off before midday? : DEW
55 Easy throw : LOB
56 “Later” : BYE
57 Words With Friends, for one : APP
60 Post-teaching title for some : EMERITA
62 Latvia neighbor : ESTONIA
64 Fluorescent element? : SILENT C
65 Like many a wedding planner : ENGAGED
66 “It’s just a flesh wound” : I’LL BE OK
67 Repair crew with tiles : ROOFERS

Down

1 Interior designer’s specialty : DECOR
2 Make reparations : ATONE
3 Margherita pizza herb : BASIL
4 It tops out at ten in a doctor’s office : PAIN SCALE (hiding “CASPIAN” changed)
5 “Mixed-ish” airer : ABC
6 Calling or playing follower : … CARD
7 Stylish vigor : ELAN
8 Musical symbol resembling a set of crosshairs : CODA
9 Young Darth : ANI
10 When the Cold War ended : REAGAN ERA (hiding “AEGEAN” changed)
11 Pinnacle of religion? : SPIRE
12 Coral island : ATOLL
13 Violet hybrid : PANSY
18 Like eyes starting to tear up : MOIST
19 Dingy kitchen item? : TIMER
24 “A Treatise of Human Nature” author : HUME
25 Campbell of “Scream” films : NEVE
27 Ease up : DIAL IT BACK (hiding “BALTIC” changed)
28 Spiced brew : GINGER BEER (hiding “BERING” changed)
29 Paper-nest builder : WASP
30 Backpack, e.g. : HIKE
31 1926 Pulitzer-winning poet : AMY LOWELL (hiding “YELLOW” changed)
33 Dramatic shift … or what’s literally found in each set of circles? : SEA CHANGE
34 Neglect to mention : OMIT
35 Sisters in the 2017 film “The Little Hours” : NUNS
38 Excite, with “up” : REV …
41 Exuberance : PEP
44 Gender __ : GAP
46 Underground recess : GROTTO
47 Declines : SAYS NO
50 Flared dress style : A-LINE
52 Released : LET GO
53 Arnaz of early TV : DESI
54 Painter Nolde : EMIL
58 Place to drop a line : PIER
59 Paw parts : PADS
61 1860s gray : REB
63 Klutz : OAF

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 18 Nov 21, Thursday”

  1. OMG , I spent way too much time on 22A. I thought it was 2 Broke Girls and there was some sort of “drastic” shift there somewhere. 43A clue stumped me and I couldn’t 51A to fall right away…and started with SETS on 48A…

    I calmed down, AGAIN came to me, then ARTS…. then GIRLS… then the SEAs parted!!!! Behold, SEA CHANGE…

    what a rascally way to go.

  2. 11:23

    I didn’t get the theme until near the end. Unscrambling the seas was a good exercise. Not to pile into the BERING Sea, but I couldn’t find a BERGIN. It would have been cool to have two seas in the same set of letters.

    Nice to see DNA and GENE and COSMICRADIATION. I sometimes like to attribute inexplicable computer errors to cosmic rays. And yes, I know, memory checks fixed that a long, long time ago.

  3. No errors, no lookups; but it took a long time. Had “lap” for race
    part for awhile but that didn’t work until I corrected it to “leg”.
    Never caught on to the theme, but it didn’t seem to make any
    difference.

  4. 10 mins 31 sec, no errors. A rare time I bettered Bill’s time, but no other pleasure to be gained from it, sadly.

  5. Allen Ezail Iverson played 14 seasons in the NBA.

    Rookie of the year, MVP(1) All Star(11), NBA HOF.

    Was never a big fan of him.

  6. 15:50 with no errors, lookups, or changes.
    The middle-left section was last to solve due to figuring out SCUD, HUME, and __ALITBACK. Took a little bit to anagram the sea names, but figured them out once all was filled in.

  7. Tricky Thursday for me; took 17:09 with one error that I didn’t feel like looking for. I didn’t get the banner when I finished and rather than checking everything I just did a “check-grid”, where I had rACECAR/rAINSCALE…made sense at the time, at least in one direction 🙂 The rest was plenty of dancing around waiting for crosses and guessing and then second guessing.

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