LA Times Crossword 2 Nov 21, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Daniel Bodily
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Under the Weather

Themed answers are in the down-direction, and each starts with a weather phenomenon:

  • 62A Out of sorts … or where four answer-ending words (see starred clues) can be found? : UNDER THE WEATHER
  • 3D *1956 Burt Lancaster film, with “The” : … RAINMAKER
  • 6D *Desperation gridiron pass : HAIL MARY
  • 8D *Big name in film festivals : SUNDANCE
  • 11D *Seven Dwarfs’ housekeeper : SNOW WHITE

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

Bill’s time: 5m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Fabled runner-up : HARE

“The Tortoise and the Hare” is perhaps the most famous fable attributed to Aesop. The cocky hare takes a nap during a race against the tortoise, and the tortoise sneaks past the finish line for the win while his speedier friend is sleeping.

5 Deep cleft : CHASM

A cleft is a fissure, an opening. The noun evolved from “cleft”, a past participle form of the verb “to cleave”.

10 “Tell me if you’re coming” letters : RSVP

“RSVP” stands for “répondez s’il vous plaît”, which is French for “answer, please”.

14 Pacific island ceded by Spain to the U.S. in 1899 : GUAM

Guam is a US territory in the western Pacific Ocean, and is the largest of the Mariana Islands. Guam is also the first territory in the United States to see the sun rise on any particular day. As such, the territory has adopted the motto, “Where America’s day begins”. During WWII, the US territory of Guam was occupied by the Japanese for 31 months until it was liberated in the Battle of Guam in July 1944. Of the 18,000 Japanese men holding the island, only 485 surrendered, so almost all perished in the invasion. One Japanese sergeant hid out on the island for an incredible 28 years, finally surrendering in 1972!

15 The __: Europol headquarters : HAGUE

“Den Haag” is the Dutch name for the city in the Netherlands that we know in English as “The Hague”. Even though the Hague is the seat of the Dutch parliament and is where Queen Beatrix resides, it is not the country’s capital city. That honor goes to Amsterdam.

The European Union’s law enforcement agency is the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, which is usually referred to as “Europol”. It was formed in 1998 and is headquartered in the Hague. Europol has no executive power itself, and relies on the police agencies in the EU member states to carry out investigations and to make arrests.

16 Meticulous to a fault : 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 …

18 Detroit NFL team : LIONS

The Detroit Lions are the NFL team that play home games at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. The team was founded way back in 1929 as the Portsmouth Spartans from Portsmouth, Ohio. The Spartans joined the NFL during the Great Depression as other franchises collapsed. However, the Spartans couldn’t command a large enough gate in Portsmouth so the team was sold and relocated to Detroit in 1934.

22 Limited-access internet area : DARK WEB

“Dark web” is the name given to content on the World Wide Web that requires specific software and/or authorization for access. The dark web is a subset of the “deep web”, the collection of content on the Web that isn’t indexed by search engines. Dark web users refer to the regular Web that you and I access as “Clearnet”.

24 Surfing connection : MODEM

A modem is a device that is used to facilitate the transmission of a digital signal over an analog line. At one end of the line, a modem is used to “modulate” an analog carrier signal to encode digital information. At the other end of the line, a modem is used to “demodulate” the analog carrier signal and so reproduce the original digital information. This modulation-demodulation gives the device its name: a MOdulator-DEModulator, or “modem”.

26 Hogwarts potions master : SNAPE

Severus Snape is a character in the “Harry Potter” novels by J. K. Rowling. He is the Potions Professor at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Snape was played by the wonderful Alan Rickman on the big screen.

28 Raggedy doll : ANN

Raggedy Ann is a rag doll that was created by Johnny Gruelle in 1915 for his daughter, Marcella. He decided to name the doll by combining the titles of two poems by James Whitcomb Riley, “The Raggedy Man” and “Little Orphan Annie”. Gruelle introduced Raggedy Ann in a series of books three years later. Sadly, Marcella died at 13 years of age with her father blaming a smallpox vaccination she was given at school. Gruelle became very active in the movement against mass vaccination, for which Raggedy Ann became a symbol.

33 Acorn dropper : OAK

These days, we don’t usually consider acorns as a foodstuff. But in days past, many cultures around the world have used acorns as food. Usually, bitter tannins that occur in acorns need to be leached out in water. Acorn meal can be a substitute for grain flour, which can then be used to make bread. Acorns have also been used as a substitute for coffee, especially when coffee was rationed. Notably, acorn coffee was brewed up by Confederates during the American Civil War, and by Germans during World War II.

36 Prez before JFK : IKE

When the future president was growing up, the Eisenhowers used the nickname “Ike” for all seven boys in the family, as “Ike” was seen as an abbreviation for the family name. “Big Ike” was Edgar, the second oldest boy. “Little/Young Ike” was Dwight, who was the third son born. Dwight had no sisters.

37 Monopoly’s Atlantic or Pacific: Abbr. : AVE

The street names in the original US version of the board game Monopoly are locations in or around Atlantic City, New Jersey.

40 October’s number : TEN

October is the tenth month in our calendar but was the eighth month in the old Roman calendar, hence the prefix “octo-”. Back then there were only ten months in the year. “Ianuarius” (January) and “Februarius” were then added as the eleventh and twelfth months of the year. Soon after, the year was reset and January and February became the first and second months.

41 Fozzie Bear’s frog pal : KERMIT

Kermit has to be the most readily recognized puppet character created by the late great Jim Henson. Henson came up with Kermit way back in 1955 when he appeared on a puppet show called “Sam and Friends” that aired in Washington, D.C. Kermit is loved so much that he even has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Fozzie Bear is the stand-up comic character on “The Muppet Show”. He is often the target of heckles from Statler and Waldorf who sit in the balcony.

48 Backbone : SPUNK

We’ve been using the word “spunk” to mean “pluck, courage” since the late 1700s. Prior to that, it was a Scottish word meaning “spark” that we had absorbed into English.

51 “You’ve got mail” ISP : AOL

The iconic phrase “You’ve got mail” was first used by AOL in 1989. The greeting was recorded by voice actor Elwood Edwards. Edwards has parlayed his gig with AOL into some other work. He appears in an episode of “The Simpsons” as a doctor who says the line “You’ve got leprosy”. Edwards also worked as a weatherman for a while and got to use the line “You’ve got hail” …

53 Claymation green guy : GUMBY

“Gumby” is a stop motion clay animation television series that originally ran from the fifties to the late eighties. There were 233 episodes made in total, an impressive number. Gumby was a little green man and his sidekick was Pokey, a little red horse.

57 “Proven,” in proofs : QED

The initialism “QED” is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. QED stands for the Latin “quod erat demonstrandum” meaning “that which was to be demonstrated”.

58 Tune that stays in your head too long : EARWORM

“Earworm” is a colloquial term used for a catchy tune that is also somewhat irritating, one that you can’t get out of your head.

61 Huntsville’s st. : ALA

Huntsville is a city in northern Alabama that was founded in 1805 as a settlement with the name “Twickenham”. One of the early landowners was LeRoy Pope, and he opted for “Twickenham” as that was the name of the town in England where Alexander Pope lived, as Alexander was a distant relative. The settlement was renamed within a few years in honor of John Hunt, another early settler and veteran of the Revolutionary War.

66 November tally : VOTES

Election day was chosen by Congress back in 1845. The month of November was selected as it suited an agricultural society, following the fall harvest and yet not too far into winter, which could make travel difficult. Tuesday was chosen so that people had time to travel to polling stations. Monday elections might have meant that some would have to start out on Sunday, and that could interfere with Christian services.

Back in the mid-1600s, a tally was a stick marked with notches that tracked how much one owed or paid. The term “tally” came from the Latin “talea” meaning “stick, rod”. The act of “scoring” the stick with notches gave rise to our word “score” for the number in a tally.

68 Lahr of “The Wizard of Oz” : BERT

Bert Lahr’s most famous role was the cowardly lion in “The Wizard of Oz”. Lahr had a long career in burlesque, vaudeville and on Broadway. Remember the catchphrase made famous by the cartoon character Snagglepuss, “Heavens to Murgatroyd!”? Snagglepuss stole that line from a 1944 movie called “Meet the People” in which it was first uttered by none other than Bert Lahr.

70 Ransom of auto fame : OLDS

Ransom Eli Olds was a pioneer in the automotive industry, and the founder of the Oldsmobile and REO brands. Olds introduced the first modern “stationary” assembly line (Henry Ford’s famous innovation was the “moving” assembly line). As a result, it can be argued that the Oldsmobile Curved Dash was the first mass-produced, low-priced automobile, rather than Ford’s Model T.

Down

1 Channel for home flippers : HGTV

HGTV first went on air in 1994 as the “Home, Lawn and Garden Channel”. The name was shortened soon after (the lawn was “cut”!). Nowadays, it’s referred to as HGTV.

2 General feel : AURA

An aura (plural “aurae”) is an intangible quality that surrounds a person or thing, a “je ne sais quoi”. “Je ne sais quoi” is French for “I don’t know what”.

3 *1956 Burt Lancaster film, with “The” : … RAINMAKER

“The Rainmaker” is a 1956 film starring Katherine Hepburn, and Burt Lancaster in the title role. Set in Kansas during the Depression, Lancaster plays a con man who hawks his supposed ability to end droughts. Rain or no rain, Lancaster’s character falls for a local woman played by Hepburn.

5 Techie on “24” : CHLOE

One of the few characters in the television show “24” that wasn’t killed off was Chloe O’Brian, the abrasive computer scientist played by Mary Lynn Rajskub. In the real world, the Department of Homeland Security has a development program aimed at protecting airliners from missile attacks. It is called Project CHLOE, after the character on “24”. Apparently the show was a favorite of former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

6 *Desperation gridiron pass : HAIL MARY

A Hail Mary pass (also called “the long bomb”) is a desperation move in American football in which a long pass is thrown with very little chance of success, right at the end of a game or at the end of a half. The term dates back to the thirties, and was probably first used at Notre Dame. The “Hail Mary” is a prayer in the Christian tradition that is of particular significance in Roman Catholicism.

8 *Big name in film festivals : SUNDANCE

The Sundance Film Festival is the largest independent film event in the country, and takes place every year around the Sundance Resort near Provo, Utah. The festival has its roots in the Utah/US Film Festival which started in Salt Lake City in 1978. Management of the festival was taken over by Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute in 1985. The festival has become a bit of a media feeding frenzy in recent years, as a lot of A-list celebrities attend. The Festival organizers introduced a “Focus on Film” campaign in 2007 in an attempt to offset some of the madness.

9 Western plateaus : MESAS

“What’s the difference between a butte and a mesa?” Both are hills with flat tops, but a mesa has a top that is wider than it is tall. A butte is a much narrower formation, and taller than it is wide.

11 *Seven Dwarfs’ housekeeper : SNOW WHITE

“Snow White” is a traditional German fairy tale that was published in 1812 in the collection of the Brothers Grimm. There is also a second, very different Grimms’ Fairy Tale called “Snow-White and Rose-Red”, not to be confused with its more famous cousin. In the latter tale, Snow-White and Rose-Red are sisters who get into trouble with a dwarf, but are rescued by a bear who turns into a prince.

13 Roman commoner : PLEB

A plebe is a freshman in the US military and naval academies. The term “plebe” is probably short for “plebeian”, the name given to someone of the common class in ancient Rome (as opposed to a Patrician). “Pleb” is a shortened version of “plebeian”, and is a term used outside of the military schools.

23 “It’s a Wonderful Life” studio : RKO

The Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” was released in 1946, and is a Frank Capra movie starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. The film’s screenplay was adapted from a short story called “The Greatest Gift” by Philip Van Doren Stern. Remember the famous swimming pool scene? That was shot in Beverly High School gym, and the pool is still in use today.

26 Enjoy a Jacuzzi : SOAK

“Jacuzzi” is one of those brand names that has become so much associated with the product that it is often assumed to be a generic term. The Jacuzzi company was founded in 1915 by the seven(!) Jacuzzi brothers in Berkeley California. The brothers, who were Italian immigrants, pronounced their name “ja-coot-si”, as one might suspect when one realizes the name is of Italian origin. The company started off by making aircraft propellers and then small aircraft, but suspended aircraft production in 1925, when one of the brothers was killed in one of their planes. The family then started making hydraulic pumps, and in 1948 developed a submersible bathtub pump so that a son of one of the brothers could enjoy hydrotherapy for his rheumatoid arthritis. The “hydrotherapy product” took off in the fifties with some astute marketing towards “worn-out housewives” and the use of celebrity spokesman Jack Benny.

27 Central church part : NAVE

In large Christian churches, the nave is the main approach to the altar, and is where most of the congregation are seated.

34 Fur-protesting org. : PETA

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is a large animal rights organization, with about 300 employees and two million members and supporters worldwide. Although the group campaigns for animal rights across a broad spectrum of issues, it has a stated focus in opposition of four practices:

  • Factory farming
  • Fur farming
  • Animal testing
  • Use of animals in entertainment

35 Jacob’s twin : ESAU

Esau was the grandson of Abraham and the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When Esau was born to Isaac and Rebekah, the event was described with “Now the first came forth, red all over like a hairy garment”. Esau is portrayed later in life as being very different from his brother Jacob, as a hunter and someone who loves the outdoor life.

39 Mark of shame : STIGMA

A stigma (plural “stigmata”), in a social sense, is a distinguishing mark of disgrace. For example, one might have to suffer the stigma of being in prison. The term derives from the Greek “stigma” meaning “mark, brand”.

42 51-Across alternative : MSN
(51A “You’ve got mail” ISP : AOL)

The Microsoft Network (MSN) used to be an Internet service provider (ISP). These days, MSN is mainly a Web portal.

44 A/C measure : BTU

In the world of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), the power of a heating or cooling unit can be measured using the British Thermal Unit (BTU). This dated unit is the amount of energy required to heat a pound of water so that the water’s temperature increases by one degree Fahrenheit.

48 News filler : SQUIB

A “squib” is a short and humorous piece in a newspaper or magazine. The term might possible be imitative of the small firework called a squib, as a newspaper’s squib might be intended to ignite thinking and discourse.

49 Trump’s VP : PENCE

Mike Pence served as the 50th Governor of Indiana from 2013 until 2017, when he became the 48th Vice President of the US, in the Trump administration. Famously, Vice President Pence has described himself as “a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order”, although he grew up in an Irish-Catholic Democrat family.

54 Taj __ : MAHAL

The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built after the death of the fourth wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth delivering the couple’s 14th child. When Shah Jahan himself passed away 35 years later, he was buried beside his wife Mumtaz, in the Taj Mahal.

59 Off-rd. transports : ATVS

All-terrain vehicle (ATV)

63 Ballpark fig. : EST

The phrase “in the ballpark” means “within an acceptable range of approximation”. The term was coined in the mid-fifties as jargon used by scientists developing atomic weapons. The first “ballpark” in this sense was the broad area within which a missile was forecast to return to earth.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Fabled runner-up : HARE
5 Deep cleft : CHASM
10 “Tell me if you’re coming” letters : RSVP
14 Pacific island ceded by Spain to the U.S. in 1899 : GUAM
15 The __: Europol headquarters : HAGUE
16 Meticulous to a fault : ANAL
17 Jazz club group : TRIO
18 Detroit NFL team : LIONS
19 Party hat shape : CONE
20 Large-scale ride-sharing option : VANPOOL
22 Limited-access internet area : DARK WEB
24 Surfing connection : MODEM
25 A bit off : ASKEW
26 Hogwarts potions master : SNAPE
28 Raggedy doll : ANN
30 Significant __: partner : OTHER
33 Acorn dropper : OAK
34 How much it costs : PRICE
36 Prez before JFK : IKE
37 Monopoly’s Atlantic or Pacific: Abbr. : AVE
38 __ ignition system: hi-tech car starter : KEYLESS
40 October’s number : TEN
41 Fozzie Bear’s frog pal : KERMIT
43 If all goes right : AT BEST
45 Sign of healing : SCAB
47 Diamonds or clubs : SUIT
48 Backbone : SPUNK
51 “You’ve got mail” ISP : AOL
53 Claymation green guy : GUMBY
57 “Proven,” in proofs : QED
58 Tune that stays in your head too long : EARWORM
61 Huntsville’s st. : ALA
62 Out of sorts … or where four answer-ending words (see starred clues) can be found? : UNDER THE WEATHER
65 Tops, as a cake : ICES
66 November tally : VOTES
67 “Magic” prop : WAND
68 Lahr of “The Wizard of Oz” : BERT
69 Golf or tennis : SPORT
70 Ransom of auto fame : OLDS

Down

1 Channel for home flippers : HGTV
2 General feel : AURA
3 *1956 Burt Lancaster film, with “The” : … RAINMAKER
4 Expressive music genre : EMO POP
5 Techie on “24” : CHLOE
6 *Desperation gridiron pass : HAIL MARY
7 In the past : AGO
8 *Big name in film festivals : SUNDANCE
9 Western plateaus : MESAS
10 Tennis need : RACKET
11 *Seven Dwarfs’ housekeeper : SNOW WHITE
12 Wind indicator : VANE
13 Roman commoner : PLEB
21 Poet’s tribute : ODE
23 “It’s a Wonderful Life” studio : RKO
26 Enjoy a Jacuzzi : SOAK
27 Central church part : NAVE
29 Zero, in soccer : NIL
31 Barely gets (by) : EKES
32 Tenant’s expense : RENT
34 Fur-protesting org. : PETA
35 Jacob’s twin : ESAU
38 Field goal expert, e.g. : KICKER
39 Mark of shame : STIGMA
42 51-Across alternative : MSN
44 A/C measure : BTU
46 Hit a bunch of pubs in one night : BARHOP
47 Like the 1-Across vis-à-vis the tortoise, ironically : SLOWER
48 News filler : SQUIB
49 Trump’s VP : PENCE
50 Milker’s handful : UDDER
52 Be a debtor of : OWE TO
54 Taj __ : MAHAL
55 Button on a mixer : BLEND
56 Football measures : YARDS
59 Off-rd. transports : ATVS
60 Catnap, e.g. : REST
63 Ballpark fig. : EST
64 “Squared” power : TWO

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 2 Nov 21, Tuesday”

  1. 3:46, no errors.

    @Tony Michaels (yesterday)
    But it was higher than what I’ve generally been averaging for Monday. So there’s that.

  2. Moving right along into the week – 9:12 with no errors, lookups, or changes.

    One could argue that the clue for 36A implies a set of initials for the answer, hence DDE; however, a quick look at the 31D clue shows that the answer is the nickname, IKE.

    FWIW, a 4-letter answer to 57A “Proven,” in proofs would be ERGO, which is what I remember using in high school geometry class; as well as using three dots in the shape of a triangle.

    1. @Ray … I also paused over “JFK” and “Ike”. I think they’re similar in that each is the most common casual way of referring to its “owner”.

  3. No shortage of PPPs (Products, People, Places, other Proper nouns) today: More than 30(!) in a 15×15 grid. There seems to a little something for solvers of every age (with RAINMAKER crossing MODEM, SNAPE, and KERMIT right out of the chute). The revealer’s a little screwy, though: What’s “out of sorts” about MAKER, MARY, DANCE, and WHITE, all of which are literally found “under” the weather (RAIN, HAIL, SUN, and SNOW)?

    1. To be “out of sorts” is to be “under the weather”. Both are common phrases that suggest being a little “off one’s feed”, “a bit unwell”, “not 100 percent”, etc. Only the answer to the revealer suggests the nature of the theme, though …

  4. 6:16

    Cute theme, even if it didn’t make sense until after I was done. It did take me a minute to wrap my mind around the answer-ending words being under forms of weather.

    Several cool words: DARKWEB, GUMBY, EARWORM, SQUIB

  5. Had a Natick at EMOPOP crosses SNAPE. Had SPiNe before SPUNK.
    Didn’t actually know CHLOE. PLEB should be clued as abbrev.
    Just put the flag on the porch. Gotta go vote.

  6. Greetings!!!🤗

    No errors– interesting puzzle with a nice mix of stuff. I never know any Harry Potter-related answers, but I got SNAPE easily enough via crosses.

    Jane — FWIW, PLEB is a complete word and can be used instead of plebeian.

    Sorry those Braves won!! I can’t deal with the chant-and-chop….I’m no big Astros fan but I certainly wanted the win for their manager Dusty Baker…..⚾️ and now baseball is over 🙁

    Be well~~🐧

  7. Nice mostly quick Tuesday for me; took 7:17 with no errors or peeks. Went as fast as I could and surprisingly managed to avoid all the PPP landmines. Theme only vaguely played a roll since I had most of them when I got the reveal.

    I got the obscure SNAPE from that same word just last week, I think. CHLOE, I got from researching the lovely Elisha Cuthbert from a recent puzzle and reading up a little on “24”, which I’ve never seen. Didn’t really know who Fozzie Bear was but had enough of KERMIT from the crosses. Hesitated on IKE, as Ray C and Nonny above, but crosses demanded it. Bill’s explanation kind of covers it in that IKE is a kind of short version of Eisenhower that all three of the kids used.

    Hi Carrie! – Yeah, I’ve moved on into the Bundesliga season which runs till mid May. Didn’t really care on the WS either way…except to favor the NL. I hear that the sleazy Commissioner may institute universal DH from next season on…I don’t really know how I’m going to take that, if at all.

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