LA Times Crossword 19 Nov 21, Friday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: F-first Puzzle Today

Themed answers are common phrases with a letter F added to the front:

  • 19A Like one hiding contraband on his person? : FRISK AVERSE
  • 24A First-time hot-dog griller? : FRANK AMATEUR
  • 44A Like designers of Halloween costumes? : FRIGHT-MINDED
  • 55A Campus anti-hazing policy, basically? : FRAT CONTROL

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

Bill’s time: 8m 50s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 Mendeleev’s homeland : RUSSIA

Dmitri Mendeleev was a Russian chemist. When Mendeleev classified elements according to their chemical properties, he noticed patterns and was able to group elements into his famous 1869 Periodic Table. So powerful was his table that he actually predicted the properties of some elements that had not even been discovered in 1869. Element number 101 is mendelevium and was named after Mendeleev.

16 Nobel Prize presentation, say : CEREMONY

The Peace Prize is the most famous of the five prizes bequeathed by Alfred Nobel. The others are for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature. There is also a Nobel Prize in Economics that is awarded along with the original five, but it is funded separately and is awarded “in memory of Alfred Nobel”. Four of the prizes are awarded by Swedish organizations (Alfred Nobel was a Swede) and so the award ceremonies take place in Stockholm. The Peace Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, and is presented in Oslo.

18 Vader’s choice : DARK SIDE

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 …

21 “Dropped” drug : LSD

Someone taking the drug LSD is often said to be “dropping acid”. The use of the verb “to drop” was popular slang long before LSD came on the scene, and back then applied to the taking of any illegal drug.

22 Texas __: oil : TEA

“Texas tea” is a familiar term for oil drilled from the earth.

24 First-time hot-dog griller? : FRANK AMATEUR

The frankfurter sausage that is typically used in a North American hot dog gets its name from Frankfurter Würstchen. The latter is a German sausage that is prepared by boiling in water, just like a hot dog frank.

32 Aqua relative : TEAL

The beautiful color teal takes its name from the duck called a teal, which has dark greenish-blue (teal) markings on its head and wings.

35 Flutes, for example : STEMWARE

The narrow bowl of a champagne flute is usually preferred over the wide bowl of a champagne coupe as the smaller surface area of the wine helps retain its carbonation.

40 Gridiron maneuver : LATERAL

We never used the word “gridiron” when I was growing up in Ireland (meaning a grill used for cooking food over an open fire). So, maybe I am excused for taking two decades living in the US to work out that a football field gridiron is so called because the layout of yard lines over the field looks like a gridiron used in cooking.

43 __ Stone, co-star of the “Jacques Brel” musicals : ELLY

Elly Stone was an actress and singer noted for performing works by Belgian songwriter Jacques Brel. One of her more direct connections to Brel is the revue “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris” that Stone co-wrote with her husband. She also co-starred in the revue for two years in the late sixties, and in a revival of the show in 2006.

Jacques Brel was a songwriter from Belgium whose songs were most popular in France, although English translations of his works became hits for artists all around the world. One of the more famous English translations was for the song “Seasons in the Sun”, a big hit in 1974 for Canadian singer Terry Jacks.

44 Like designers of Halloween costumes? : FRIGHT-MINDED

All Saints’ Day is November 1st each year. The day before All Saints’ Day is All Hallows’ Eve, better known by the Scottish term “Halloween”.

48 Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” e.g. : GIRL

Atticus Finch is the protagonist in Harper Lee’s great novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Atticus is the father of Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, the narrator of the piece, and of Scout’s older brother Jeremy Atticus “Jem” Finch.

49 Peninsular U.S. st. : FLA

Juan Ponce de León was a famous Spanish explorer and conquistador. Ponce de León led the Europeans to Florida, and it was he who gave the state its name (Spanish for “Flowery Land”). He was injured on his last voyage to Florida, supposedly by a poisoned arrow, and died from his wound in Havana, Cuba.

52 Org. with briefs : ABA

The American Bar Association (ABA) was founded back in 1878 and is a voluntary association for lawyers and law students. The ABA focuses on setting academic standards for law schools and setting ethical codes for the profession.

59 Lab neatener : DOG BRUSH

The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814. The breed comes in three registered colors: black, yellow and chocolate.

61 Face : VISAGE

“Visage” is the French word for “face”, and is a term we’ve imported into English to mean “face” or “facial expression”.

62 Ninth-century pope : ADRIAN II

Pope Adrian II’s papacy lasted for five years, until his death in 872 CE. Before his ordination, the future Pope Adrian II had married a woman named Stephania with whom he had a daughter. Apparently, it wasn’t unusual back then for married men to be ordained.

Down

2 Quite odd : OUTRE

The word “outré”, meaning “unconventional, bizarre”, comes to us from French, as one might imagine. It is derived from the verb “outrer” meaning “to overdo, exaggerate”. “Outrer” is also the ultimate root of our word “outrage”.

3 Harbor city of ancient Rome : OSTIA

Ostia Antica was the harbor city for Ancient Rome. “Ostia” is the Latin for “mouth”, and Ostia lies at the mouth of the River Tiber.

4 Useful TV spots: Abbr. : PSAS

Public service announcement (PSA)

5 Wall Street crawl : TICKER

Stock price information used to be transmitted over telegraph lines by “stock tickers” that produced the famous “ticker tape”, a paper tape with stock symbols and prices printed on it. The “ticker” got its name from the noise it created when it was printing. Even though ticker tape is no longer used, the concept lives on in the scrolling electronic tickers that stream across the bottom of a television screen when there’s a financial program airing.

6 Much of Algeria : SAHARA

The name “Sahara” means “greatest desert” in Arabic. The Sahara is just that, a great desert covering almost 4 million square miles of Northern Africa. That’s almost the size of the United States.

Algeria is a huge country, the largest in Africa, and the largest country on the Mediterranean. The capital of Algeria is Algiers, and the country takes its name from the city.

10 Toy since ancient times : PEKE

The pekingese (“peke”) breed originated in China, as one might suspect from the name. Breeding practices have resulted in the dog having many health problems, including breathing issues related to the “desirable” flat face. Standards have been changed in recent years, demanding an “evident muzzle” in an attempt to breed healthier “pekes”.

11 KLM hub letters : AMS

Schiphol (AMS) is the main airport in the Netherlands, and is located in Amsterdam. The facility is built on land reclaimed from a large lake which was notorious as a location where many ships foundered in violent storms. For this reason the area was given the nickname “Ship Hole”, or “Schiphol” in Dutch.

The initialism “KLM” stands for “Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij”, which translates from Dutch as “Royal Aviation Company”. KLM is the flag carrier for the Netherlands, and is the oldest airline in the world still operating with its original name. It was founded in 1919. KLM merged with Air France in 2004.

20 Ute relative : VAN

The vehicle we call a “van” takes its name from “caravan”, and so “van” is a shortened version of the older term. Back in the 1600s, a caravan was a covered cart. We still use the word “caravan” in Ireland to describe what we call a “mobile home” or “recreational vehicle” here in the US.

A utility vehicle is often called a “ute” for short. Nowadays one mainly hears about sport-utes and crossover-utes.

24 It often includes trysts : FLING

In the most general sense, a tryst is a meeting at an agreed time and place. More usually we consider a tryst to be a pre-arranged meeting between lovers. The term comes from the Old French “triste”, a waiting place designated when hunting. Further, a tryst taking place at lunchtime is sometimes referred to as a nooner.

25 Falcons’ home: Abbr. : ATL

The Atlanta Falcons joined the NFL in 1965. The team name was suggested by a schoolteacher called Miss Julia Elliott. Elliot suggested that “the Falcon is proud and dignified, with great courage and fight. It never drops its prey. It is deadly and has a great sporting tradition.”

28 Wool fabric : TWEED

Tweed is a rough woolen fabric that is very much associated with Scotland in the UK, and with County Donegal in Ireland. The cloth was originally called “tweel”, the Scots word for “twill”. Apparently a London merchant misinterpreted some handwriting in the early 1800s and assumed the fabric was called “tweed”, a reference to the Scottish River Tweed, and the name stuck …

29 “Downton Abbey” title : EARL

In the incredibly successful period drama “Downton Abbey”, the patriarch of the family living at Downton is Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham or Lord Grantham. The character is played by Hugh Bonneville. Lord Grantham married American Cora Levinson (played by Elizabeth McGovern). Lord and Lady Grantham had three daughters, and no sons. The lack of a male heir implied that the Grantham estate would pass to a male cousin, and out of the immediate family. The Grantham daughters are Lady Mary (played by Michelle Dockery), Lady Edith (played by Laura Carmichael) and Lady Sybil (played by Jessica Brown Findlay). Lady Sybil had the audacity to marry the family chauffeur, who was an Irish nationalist. The shame of it all …

30 Long border range : URAL

The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia and Kazakhstan is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

33 Dept. formed under Carter : ENER

The US Department of Energy (DOE) came into being largely as a result of the 1973 oil crisis. The DOE was founded in 1977 by the Carter administration. The DOE is responsible for regulating the production of nuclear power, and it is also responsible for the nation’s nuclear weapons. The official DOE seal features a lightning bolt and symbols denoting five sources of energy: the sun, an atom, an oil derrick, a windmill and a dynamo.

34 German family-owned discount market : ALDI

Aldi is an extremely large discount supermarket chain based in Germany with outlets in many countries, including the main European nations and Australia. Here in the US, Aldi owns the Trader Joe’s chain of stores. The chain was founded in 1946 by brothers Karl and Theo Albrecht. The name “Aldi” is an abbreviation of “Albrecht Diskont”, “Albrecht Discount” in English.

37 Kabuki relative : NOH

Noh is a form of musical drama in Japan that has been around since the 14th century. Many of the Noh performers are masked, allowing all the roles to be played by men, including the female parts.

Kabuki is a Japanese form of theater involving dance and drama. In the original Kabuki theater, both male and female parts were played by women. In contrast, the Noh dramas have the male and female parts played by men.

38 Nov. NJ setting : EST

Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands, a British Crown dependency located off the coast of Normandy in France. The US state of New Jersey is named for the island. I’ve never been to Jersey, although my grandmother used to vacation there every year …

45 Actor Cage, casually : NIC

Actor Nicolas “Nic” Cage was born Nicolas Coppola. Cage is the nephew of director Francis Ford Coppola and actress Talia Shire, both of whom are Nic Cage’s father’s siblings.

47 Climate-disrupting phenomenon : EL NINO

When the surface temperature of much of the Pacific Ocean rises more than half a degree celsius, then there is said to be an El Niño episode. That small temperature change in the Pacific has been associated with climatic changes that can stretch right across the globe. El Niño is Spanish for “the boy” and is a reference to the Christ child. The phenomenon was given this particular Spanish name because the warming is usually noticed near South America and around Christmas-time.

50 Colonel Sanders’ head, and its ilk : LOGOS

“Colonel” Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) fame has been portrayed in ads on television by several celebrities. The list includes Norm Macdonald, Jim Gaffigan, George Hamilton, Billy Zane, Rob Lowe, Ray Liotta and even Reba McEntire.

52 Driver with lines : ADAM

Adam Driver is an actor best known to TV audiences for playing Adam Sackler on the show “Girls” that airs on HBO. Driver’s movie career got a huge boost in 2015 when he played villain Kylo Ren in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.

53 “This was my dream. What it doth __, God knows”: “Henry VI, Part 2”: “King Henry VI” : BODE

“Henry VI” is a set of three plays by William Shakespeare that deal with the life of King Henry VI of England. Many scholars agree that “Henry VI” was co-authored by Shakespeare with Chrisotpher Marloe, and possibly also with Thomas Nashe.

54 India tourist city : AGRA

Agra is a medieval city on the banks of the river Yamuna in India. Agra was also the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1658. The city is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  • The Taj Mahal: the famous mausoleum built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal.
  • Agra Fort: the site where the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond was seized.
  • Fatehpur Sikri: a historic city that’s home to well-preserved Mughal architecture.

55 Writer Lebowitz : FRAN

Fran Lebowitz is an author and social commentator very much associated with New York City, where she lives. Lebowitz is also a heavy smoker, and an avid activist for smokers’ rights.

56 Early writing symbol : RUNE

A rune is a character in an alphabet that is believed to have mysterious powers. In Norse mythology, the runic alphabet was said to have a divine origin.

58 Past 15-Across leader : TSAR
(15A Mendeleev’s homeland : RUSSIA)

The term “czar” (also “tsar”) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time. We tend to use the “czar” spelling, as opposed to “tsar”, when we describe a person today with great power or authority, e.g. “Drug Czar”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Takes over : CO-OPTS
7 Set : PREPARED
15 Mendeleev’s homeland : RUSSIA
16 Nobel Prize presentation, say : CEREMONY
17 Fix : ATTACH
18 Vader’s choice : DARK SIDE
19 Like one hiding contraband on his person? : FRISK AVERSE
21 “Dropped” drug : LSD
22 Texas __: oil : TEA
23 Notable times : ERAS
24 First-time hot-dog griller? : FRANK AMATEUR
32 Aqua relative : TEAL
35 Flutes, for example : STEMWARE
36 Notepad option : UNLINED
40 Gridiron maneuver : LATERAL
41 Like some allergy sufferers : RED-NOSED
43 __ Stone, co-star of the “Jacques Brel” musicals : ELLY
44 Like designers of Halloween costumes? : FRIGHT-MINDED
48 Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” e.g. : GIRL
49 Peninsular U.S. st. : FLA
52 Org. with briefs : ABA
55 Campus anti-hazing policy, basically? : FRAT CONTROL
59 Lab neatener : DOG BRUSH
61 Face : VISAGE
62 Ninth-century pope : ADRIAN II
63 Fill with love : ENAMOR
64 Bully’s trait : MEANNESS
65 Supremely irked : SOREST

Down

1 Boats : CRAFT
2 Quite odd : OUTRE
3 Harbor city of ancient Rome : OSTIA
4 Useful TV spots: Abbr. : PSAS
5 Wall Street crawl : TICKER
6 Much of Algeria : SAHARA
7 Modern office furniture : PC DESKS
8 With 13-Down, has a fender bender with : REAR-
9 Isn’t correct : ERRS
10 Toy since ancient times : PEKE
11 KLM hub letters : AMS
12 Agitate : ROIL
13 See 8-Down : -ENDS
14 Like gumdrops : DYED
20 Ute relative : VAN
24 It often includes trysts : FLING
25 Falcons’ home: Abbr. : ATL
26 “Give __ break!” : ME A
27 Qty. : AMT
28 Wool fabric : TWEED
29 “Downton Abbey” title : EARL
30 Long border range : URAL
31 Bank (on) : RELY
32 Gang land : TURF
33 Dept. formed under Carter : ENER
34 German family-owned discount market : ALDI
37 Kabuki relative : NOH
38 Nov. NJ setting : EST
39 Rep. foe : DEM
42 “Oh, man, check it out!” : DIG THIS!
45 Actor Cage, casually : NIC
46 Large numbers : DROVES
47 Climate-disrupting phenomenon : EL NINO
49 Home-building stage : FRAME
50 Colonel Sanders’ head, and its ilk : LOGOS
51 Watchful : ALERT
52 Driver with lines : ADAM
53 “This was my dream. What it doth __, God knows”: “Henry VI, Part 2” : BODE
54 India tourist city : AGRA
55 Writer Lebowitz : FRAN
56 Early writing symbol : RUNE
57 Sale condition : AS IS
58 Past 15-Across leader : TSAR
60 Receptacle : BIN

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 19 Nov 21, Friday”

  1. First of all. Fine puzzle Jeffrey..

    I did Fine. Except for 42D. Had DIGTHAT. So 62A became ARRIANIA and 64A became MEANNEST… and 53D was BORE.
    So a bit of a tongue twister for me down there.

    Have a Frisky Fday!!!!!

  2. 7:02, no errors.

    One thing I’ve definitely noticed in solving the last few days is there’s definitely a factor of confidence in what you put into a specific space. I guess the analogy I’m thinking is baseball: “Putting the ball into play” versus “swinging for the fences”. It’s definitely been fun to observe how I’ve been playing those things the last week or so.

    1. @Glenn – I’m a newbie, so maybe I shouldn’t comment, but I started doing the same thing lately.

      I found if letters occupied a space there was a better chance of me getting the crosses. If they were wrong, eventually (usually) it’ll become apparent.
      I
      It helped me today (even though I did poorly) b/c it would’ve definitely been a total DNF if I didn’t.

      Thanks

  3. 31:20 – Almost a DNF b/c of cheats …

    I have trouble with “crossword” words that I don’t know (COOPTS, RUSSIA, ADRIANII, ENER.

    I always get the longs and don’t seem to have trouble with the mis-directs.

    Maybe I’ll get it some day …

    Be Well

  4. 17:48 with one letter error: BOrE/ArRIANII – that’s my lack of knowledge on popes and Shakespearean quotations. Had edits of PERSIA>RUSSIA, DESERT>SAHARA, SAS>AMS, RILE>ROIL, AFA>ATL, GETTHIS>DIGTHIS. AFA = Air Force Academy where the falcon is their mascot. Never heard of the ALDI market before; don’t shop at Trader Joe’s, either.

  5. 17 mins 54 sec, no errors. A **fiendish** grid. Mine is chock-a-block with overwrites!!! I saw the “f-ing theme” early, but it didn’t really help that much, for all the other disingenuous clues.

  6. The theme helped once I glommed onto it. So did Aldi because
    I shop there every week. It was a difficult puzzle for me but
    I ended up with no errors…after googling a number of proper
    name I didnt know. Cheating…but it was that or give up.

  7. All the corners gave me fits but I persevered. Figuring out the “F” thing helped get the long ones.
    One of my better Fridays.

  8. Boy! Whew! That was a tough one for me. Lots of look ups and I was shocked when I got something right. Sometimes I’m just out of sync with the puzzle creator, but I had a pretty good feeling it was Wecshler! Thanks for the tips! Be careful out there.

  9. Fun Friday for me; took 22:37 with no peeks or errors. Had to patiently wait for crosses in order to make educated guesses on the clues I didn’t know, but knowing Mr Wechsler’s cluing helped a great deal. Theme helped fill finish 3 of the theme clues.

    I usually just watch the YouTube videos of Colbert’s monologue and maybe his meanwhile skits, but I also watched Adam Driver’s interview the other day, along with the Ugly Betty star interview. He’s pretty thoughtful and I knew him from the last Star Wars movie.

    I only knew Texas “TEA” from watching the Beverly Hillbillies from when I was a kid and that great theme song.

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