LA Times Crossword 20 Nov 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: David Distenfeld
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 21m 38s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Some Hispanic pals : AMIGAS

In Spanish, an “amigo” is a male friend, and an “amiga” is a female friend.

Back in the late 16th century, the term “Hispanic” meant “pertaining to Spain”, coming from the Latin “Hispanus” meaning “Spaniard”. Apparently, we’ve only been using “Hispanic” to describe a Spanish-speaking person of Latin-American descent since the early 1970s.

7 Winnie-the-Pooh salutation : HALLO!

Alan Alexander (A.A.) Milne was an English author who is best known for his delightful “Winnie-the-Pooh” series of books. He had only one son, Christopher Robin Milne, born in 1920. The young Milne was the inspiration for the Christopher Robin character in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Winnie-the-Pooh was named after Christopher Robin’s real teddy bear, one he called Winnie, who in turn was named after a Canadian black bear called Winnie that the Milnes would visit in London Zoo. The original Winnie teddy bear is on display at the main branch of the New York Public Library in New York.

12 Barbara Eden and Barbara Walters : NONAGENARIANS

A nonagenarian is a person in his or her nineties.

Actress Barbara Eden is best known for playing the title role in the sitcom “I Dream of Jeannie”. For many years, Eden was married to fellow actor Michael Ansara, who was perhaps best known for playing Apache Chief Cochise in the western series “Broken Arrow” in the 1950s.

Broadcast journalist and TV personality Barbara Walters saw her career take off when she wrote and produced stories for NBC’s “The Today Show” in 1962. She was quite dedicated to the job, and once even modeled a swimsuit on the show after the model who was booked failed to show. In 1976, Walters became the first female to co-anchor an evening news program, working alongside Harry Reasoner on the “ABC Evening News”.

15 Celiac sufferer’s bar order : GLUTEN-FREE BEER

Gluten is a protein mixture found in foods processed mainly from wheat. The sticky properties of gluten are used in making bread, giving dough its elasticity and making the final product chewy. “Gluten” is the Latin word for “glue”.

Our word “celiac” is used for things related to the abdomen. The term is derived from the Greek “koiliakous” meaning “pertaining to the bowels”.

17 Singer Brickell : EDIE

Edie Brickell is a singer-songwriter from Dallas, Texas. Brickell has been married to fellow singer Paul Simon since 1991.

23 Blonde with a large head, perhaps : ALE

Blonde ales are a loosely-related group of beers that share a very pale color. I’d guess that the most famous of the genre in North America are Belgian blondes.

24 One often hailed : CAB

A hansom cab is a very specific design of horse and buggy that was patented by Joseph Hansom in 1834 in England. The “cab” in the name is short for “cabriolet”, an earlier design of carriage on which the hansom was based. It’s from “hansom cab” that we get our modern term “cab”.

26 “The King and I” setting : SIAM

“The King and I” is a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on a book by Margaret Landon called “Anna and the King of Siam” first published in 1944. Landon’s book is based on a true story, told in the memoirs of Anna Leonowens. Leonowens was the governess of the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the 1860s, and she also taught the king’s wives.

29 Lyre-toting Muse : ERATO

In Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of lyric poetry. She is often depicted with a wreath of myrtle and roses, and playing a lyre.

31 “Tuck me in” garb : JAMMIES

Our word “pajamas” (sometimes “PJs” or “jammies”) comes to us from the Indian subcontinent, where “pai jamahs” were loose fitting pants tied at the waist and worn at night by locals and ultimately by the Europeans living there. And “pajamas” is another of those words that I had to learn to spell differently when I came to America. On the other side of the Atlantic, the spelling is “pyjamas”.

35 Love-spoofing ’30s-’40s film genre : SCREWBALL COMEDY

The original screwball was a delivery in the sport of cricket. That term “screwball” was imported into baseball in the 1920s, and applied to an erratic baseball pitch. By the 1930s, a screwball was an eccentric and erratic person.

40 Slipshod : ILL-MADE

Someone of something described as slipshod is slovenly in appearance or sloppy. The term “slipshod” probably comes from the idea of someone appearing in one’s slippers, someone who hasn’t made an effort in their dress.

41 Place to rest : OASIS

An isolated area of vegetation in a desert is called an oasis (plural “oases”). As water is needed for plant growth, an oasis might also include a spring, pond or small lake. We often use the term “oasis” more generally to describe a haven, a place of rest.

44 Sundance TV owner : AMC

AMC, formerly known as “American Movie Classics”, is one of my favorite television channels. Although the channel’s focus has shifted from airing classic movies to including other programming, there’s still a lot of quality output. AMC’s flagship shows are “Mad Men”, “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul”.

Sundance TV was launched in 1996 as the Sundance Channel. Actor Robert REdford founded the channel, using the name of his character in the movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”.

47 Columbus sch. : OSU

Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus was founded back in 1870 as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College. The athletic teams of OSU are called the Buckeyes, named after the state tree of Ohio. In turn the buckeye tree gets its name from the appearance of its fruit, a dark nut with a light patch thought to resemble a “buck’s eye”.

The city of Columbus, Ohio is a “purpose-built” state capital. The state legislature selected the location for Ohio’s new capital in 1812, choosing dense forest land with no significant settlement, largely due to its strategic location in the center of the state. The name was chosen in honor of the explorer Christopher Columbus.

48 Tubes : TVS

Television (TV, teevee, the tube, the boob tube)

51 Reacted to a depression? : SAID “AH”

One might say “ah” when a doctor uses a tongue depressor on your tongue.

57 Award-winning Cooper : MINI

The original Mini was a fabulous car, one that I drove all over Ireland in my youth. It had a unique front-wheel-drive layout that took up very little space, allowing for a lot of room (relatively speaking) for passengers and baggage. One space-saving trick was to mount the engine transversely, so it sits rotated 90 degrees from the norm. That engine had a capacity of only 848cc. In 1961, a Mini Cooper model was introduced, which was a sporty version. The Mini Cooper was a phenomenal hit, especially after repeated wins in the Monte Carlo Rally. The Mini marque has been owned by BMW since 1994.

Down

1 __ Moss, Portia Doubleday’s “Mr. Robot” role : ANGELA

“Mr. Robot” is an engaging drama series about an anxious and clinically depressed computer hacker. Said hacker joins an anarchic group of hackers known as “Mr. Robot” who are intent on taking down the largest conglomerate in the world. I binge-watched the first two series, and really enjoyed the experience …

3 Native Alaskans : INUITS

The Inuit people live in the Arctic, in parts of the US, Russia, Greenland and Canada.

6 Harris, pre-VP : SEN

Kamala Harris was a US Senator for California starting in 2017, after serving for six years as the Attorney General of California. In early 2019, Harris announced her run for the Democratic nomination for US president in the 2020 election. Although she dropped out of the race, she was chosen by eventual nominee Joe Biden as his vice-presidential running mate. When the Biden-Harris ticket won the election, Harris became the highest-ranking female politician in the history of the US.

7 Storied also-ran : 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.

8 Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium, e.g. : ARENA

Duke University was founded in 1838 as Brown’s Schoolhouse. The school was renamed to Trinity College in 1859, and to this day the town where the college was located back then is known as Trinity, in honor of the school. The school was moved in 1892 to Durham, North Carolina in part due to generous donations from the wealthy tobacco industrialist Washington Duke. Duke’s donation required that the school open its doors to women, placing them on an equal footing with men. Trinity’s name was changed to Duke in 1924 in recognition of the generosity of the Duke family. Duke’s athletic teams are known as the Blue Devils.

9 “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” girl, in a show tune : LIESL

The von Trapps portrayed in the musical “The Sound of Music” were a real family, as is well known. In the musical and film, the eldest daughter is Liesl, although in real life her name was Agathe. Agathe came with her family to the US in 1938, and operated a private kindergarten in Baltimore, Maryland for 35 years. Agathe passed away in 2010. Agathe/Liesl was the daughter who was “Sixteen Going on Seventeen”.

11 Like Nash’s lama : ONE-L

Poet Ogden Nash is well known for his light and humorous verse. Try this one for size:

The one-L lama,
He’s a priest.
The two-L llama,
He’s a beast.
And I would bet
A silk pajama
There isn’t any
Three-L lllama.

13 Art Rooney Award org. : NFL

Art Rooney was the son of Irish immigrants who left the country during the Potato Famine. Rooney founded the Pittsburgh Pirates football team in 1933, a team that was to become the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1940.

22 Latin for “clouds” : NIMBI

Nimbus clouds are rain clouds, with “nimbus” being the Latin word for “cloud”. Some other types of cloud can take on the prefix nimbo- or suffix -nimbus, indicating that they are similar to that other cloud type but carry precipitation. So, a stratus cloud that has rain is called nimbostratus, and a cumulus cloud with rain is called cumulonimbus.

27 Humanitarian Clooney : AMAL

Amal Alamuddin married celebrated Hollywood actor George Clooney in 2014. Alamuddin was born in Beirut, Lebanon and moved with her family to London when she was a toddler. She is a lawyer specializing in international law, with one of her more renowned clients being the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange.

30 “The Eternal City” : ROME

The Italian capital of Rome is known as the Eternal City, a name given by ancient Roman poets and writers.

31 Yoda trainee : JEDI

The Jedi are the good guys in the “Star Wars” series of movies. The most famous Jedi knights from the films are Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness, and later Ewan McGregor) and Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz). Well, they’re my favorites anyway …

32 Mariners’ saint : ELMO

Saint Elmo is the patron saint of sailors. More formally referred to as Erasmus of Formia, St. Elmo is perhaps venerated by sailors as tradition tells us that he continued preaching despite the ground beside him being struck by a thunderbolt. Sailors started to pray to him when in danger of storms and lightning. He lends his name to the electrostatic weather phenomenon (often seen at sea) known as St. Elmo’s fire. The “fire” is actually a plasma discharge caused by air ionizing at the end of a pointed object (like the mast of a ship), something often observed during electrical storms.

37 Documents with a Key Skills section, maybe : RESUMES

A résumé is a summary of a person’s job experience and education and is used as a tool by a job seeker. In many countries, a résumé is equivalent to a curriculum vitae. “Résumé” is the French word for “summary”.

38 Classic concert halls : ODEA

In ancient Greece an odeon (also “odeum”) was like a small theater, with “odeon” literally meaning “building for musical competition”. Odea were used in both Greece and Rome for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.

42 Assembly with speakers? : STEREO

Monophonic sound (“mono”) is sound reproduced using just one audio channel, which is usually played out of just one speaker. Stereophonic sound is reproduced using two audio channels, with the sound from each channel played out of two different speakers. The pair of stereo speakers are usually positioned apart from each other so that sound appears to come from between the two. Quadraphonic sound (4.0 surround sound) uses four audio channels with the sound played back through four speakers that are often positioned at the corners of the room in which one is listening.

44 Shoe brand with a three-stripe logo : ADIDAS

The Adidas brand dates back to when Adolf “Adi” Dassler started making his own sports shoes in his mother’s laundry room in Bavaria after returning from WWI. With his brother, Adi founded Dassler shoes. The company’s big break came in 1936 at the Berlin Olympics, when Adi persuaded American sprinter Jesse Owens to use his shoes, and with the success of Jesse Owens came success for the fledgling shoe company. After WWII the brothers split, acrimoniously. Adi’s brother, Ru-dolf Da-ssler, formed “Ruda” shoes (later to become Puma), and Adi Das-sler formed “Adidas”.

45 Bahrain’s capital : MANAMA

Manama is the capital and largest city in the Kingdom of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf. The city’s name comes from the Arabic “al-Manãma” meaning “the place of rest, dreams”.

46 Bubbles and Bonzo : CHIMPS

Bubbles is a chimpanzee that Michael Jackson kept as a pet starting in the 1980s. Bubbles was always close at hand to the singer. He slept in a crib in Jackson’s bedroom, and Jackson and Bubbles also shared a toilet. Jackson had to part company with his pet in 2003, as Bubbles had matured into a more aggressive adult. Bubbles has lived in a sanctuary for chimpanzees in Florida since 2005.

50 R.E.M. lead singer Michael : STIPE

Michael Stipe was lead vocalist for the band R.E.M. from 1980 through 2011. Stipe is also active in the film industry. He served as an executive producer on the films “Being John Malkovich” and “Man on the Moon”.

52 Apples for teachers, maybe : IMACS

Apple makes versions of its iMac line of computers that are aimed at schools. These are usually low-end machines that sell at a reduced price. Apple used to name such an offering an “eMac”, short for “education Mac”.

54 Place for a Santa sighting : MALL

Surprisingly (to me!), our word “mall”, meaning “shady walk” or “enclosed shopping space”, comes from the Italian for “mallet”. All of our shopping-style malls are named for “The Mall” in St. James’s Park in London. This tree-lined promenade was so called as it used to be a famous spot to play the croquet-like game called “pall-mall”. The game derived its name from the Italian for ball (palla) and mallet “maglio”. The London thoroughfare called the Mall still exists, at one end of which is Buckingham Palace. Indeed, parallel to the Mall is a street called Pall Mall.

55 Aces have low ones, briefly : ERAS

That would be baseball.

59 Genre for Eve : RAP

“Eve” is the stage name of female rapper Eve Jeffers-Cooper from Philadelphia. Eve had her own television sitcom on the UPN network called “Eve” that aired from 2003 to 2006.

60 One of four singers on 2001’s “Lady Marmalade” : MYA

Mya is an R&B singer-songwriter. I don’t know her music, but I did see her get to the runner-up spot on the ninth series of “Dancing with the Stars”. On the show, Mya was beaten out of first place by Donny Osmond (don’t ask!).

“Lady Marmalade” is a song that was most famously recorded by Labelle in 1975. A 2001 cover version by Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya and Pink was also very successful, released from the soundtrack of the film “Moulin Rouge!”. The song is noted for its suggestive chorus “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?”, which translates from French as “Do you want to sleep with me tonight?”

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Some Hispanic pals : AMIGAS
7 Winnie-the-Pooh salutation : HALLO!
12 Barbara Eden and Barbara Walters : NONAGENARIANS
15 Celiac sufferer’s bar order : GLUTEN-FREE BEER
17 Singer Brickell : EDIE
18 Result of shooting at the sun : LENS FLARE
20 Admits : LETS IN
23 Blonde with a large head, perhaps : ALE
24 One often hailed : CAB
25 Some plugs : ADS
26 “The King and I” setting : SIAM
29 Lyre-toting Muse : ERATO
31 “Tuck me in” garb : JAMMIES
34 Roast holder : OVEN
35 Love-spoofing ’30s-’40s film genre : SCREWBALL COMEDY
39 Drove, with “off” : TEED …
40 Slipshod : ILL-MADE
41 Place to rest : OASIS
43 … and then __ : SOME
44 Sundance TV owner : AMC
47 Columbus sch. : OSU
48 Tubes : TVS
51 Reacted to a depression? : SAID “AH”
53 Aggressive demand : LEMME AT ‘EM
57 Award-winning Cooper : MINI
58 Old-fashioned opening : DEAR SIR OR MADAM …
61 Summer destination for many youngsters : SLEEPAWAY CAMP
62 Gets licked : LOSES
63 Impersonate convincingly : PASS AS

Down

1 __ Moss, Portia Doubleday’s “Mr. Robot” role : ANGELA
2 Like many sandcastles : MOLDED
3 Native Alaskans : INUITS
4 Airport array : GATES
5 Number that never goes down : AGE
6 Harris, pre-VP : SEN
7 Storied also-ran : HARE
8 Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium, e.g. : ARENA
9 “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” girl, in a show tune : LIESL
10 Chem class charge : LAB FEE
11 Like Nash’s lama : ONE-L
13 Art Rooney Award org. : NFL
14 Phenomenon carved by waves : SEA CAVE
16 Not for kids : R-RATED
19 Black shade : EBONY
21 Witness’ words : I SAW
22 Latin for “clouds” : NIMBI
27 Humanitarian Clooney : AMAL
28 Paper makers : MILLS
30 “The Eternal City” : ROME
31 Yoda trainee : JEDI
32 Mariners’ saint : ELMO
33 Hustles : SCAMS
35 Option if the bar is raised : STOOL
36 Quit : CEASED
37 Documents with a Key Skills section, maybe : RESUMES
38 Classic concert halls : ODEA
42 Assembly with speakers? : STEREO
44 Shoe brand with a three-stripe logo : ADIDAS
45 Bahrain’s capital : MANAMA
46 Bubbles and Bonzo : CHIMPS
49 They may be put on pedestals : VASES
50 R.E.M. lead singer Michael : STIPE
52 Apples for teachers, maybe : IMACS
54 Place for a Santa sighting : MALL
55 Aces have low ones, briefly : ERAS
56 Shorten a plot : MOW
59 Genre for Eve : RAP
60 One of four singers on 2001’s “Lady Marmalade” : MYA

24 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 20 Nov 21, Saturday”

  1. Took way too long.. got stuck wit that whole NONAGENARIAN thing. Could not get spelling. Had GORE for 7D for a long time. Had AFI for 13D for a long time.
    Then with all that, could not figure out what Winnie says when he sees his friends…. GALLO? Somewhere between figuring out NFL and HARE it came together.

    Then to top it off I had PASSES for 63A. That left me with MANAME for 4D. So 2 errors down there.

      1. @Barb Harris …

        I’m not sure you really meant to ask about 58-Across, but … once upon a time, people wrote business letters, the “opening” line of which might be “Dear Sir” or “Dear Madam” or (if you were unsure of the recipient’s gender) “Dear Sir or Madam”. Nowadays, of course, we have dispensed with such turn-of-the-century niceties … 😜.

  2. Not as difficult as most Saturday puzzles, but still had one error
    box, i.e. “sleep a day camp” instead of “away camp.”

  3. 17:01, no errors. Had “OATH” before “I SAW” and “IDOLS” before “VASES”. No other missteps, but I paused for some time over the intersection of “AMC” and “MANAMA”, thinking the required letter might be a “B” instead of an “M”. (And, for once, I’m not out hiking around what has become my favorite lake, so I actually have time to post! … 🙂)

  4. Also about 45 minutes. I figured “Aces have low ones” was about tennis, so I put in “arcs.” And why is it “briefly”? Is arc an abbreviation?

  5. 26:09 2 errors, 1 lookup when I threw in the towel and looked up the capital of Bahrain: MANAMA.

    Lots of changes along the way. I will echo the comments that it’s easier to guess right when you have letters in the squares, even if they’re wrong.

  6. 11:00, 1 super-kinda-weird Natick (57A-45D) I tried to figure out for a good minute before I made a guess (wrong as always). Kinda iffy, but I was okay with it eventually.

    @Nonny
    It works if you put the quotes. Let’s just say it may or may not be something you want to see, given that Playboy is involved.

    @Lou lu
    I wasn’t very specific about what I was saying yesterday. What evoked the thought is how Wechsler’s grid is lined out. Lot of 3’s, but then a lot of 6’s and 7’s + . The question when you see a long entry and got an idea in your head is if you go ahead and take the swing or wait and see how the constructor phrased it by getting crosses. Of course, you can always partial fill something if you get an idea of the first word. Anyway, probability comes into play since if you happen to not know something, 3’s have many fewer permutations/possibilities than 7’s. This bears out in that there are far many more 7 letter words than 3 letter words. Of course, I’ve hit a bunch of singles and found out I knew the long words. But I also tried big swings at the long words and struck out, basically having to tear a bunch of the grid out when I figured out it was wrong.

    Let’s just say I get fascinated by some of the dynamics and accompanying mental gymnastics behind solving these puzzles. Probably would in constructing them too, once I get the real time and patience to sit down and figure it out.

    1. @Glenn …

      It took me a while to figure out what “it” referred to, given that all traces of the thread in question have disappeared. I still wasn’t able to get to the magazine article referred to in the original post, but at least now I know what it was all about (and that I really don’t care … 😜).

      As for your comments to Lou Lu, I find it enormously distracting to have an erroneous letter in the grid, so I do my best not to enter any letter until I’m sure it’s correct (and, of course, I sometimes fail, which results in long pauses while I come to grips with the realization that I have to erase – or overwrite – something).

    2. The wife, son-in-law and I managed a 94%, super good for us on a Saturday.
      2 incorrect letters and 10 letters omitted.

      We will take it any time on a Sat. or any other day. The caboose just keeps following along.

  7. Challenging puzzle today. Couldn’t figure out “away” camp — and thought it was some kind of “day” camp. Not too bad as this was my only error.

  8. Surprised there were only about 25 PPPs (Products, Places, People and other proper nouns — seemed closer to 40). No shortage of painfully clever misdirects, either😉 .
    @Barb — People used to begin letters to important strangers (see 37D) with the greeting spelled out in 58A.
    @ Corky — Baseball, not tennis. The ace is a pitcher, and the lower his ERA (Earned Run Average … too intricate to explain here), the better.

  9. Multiple errors and DNFs are today’s results👎👎
    @Barb…dear sir or madam is an old fashioned way to start a letter (that’s something one writes to another with a pen and not emailed or texted or any other modern crap)
    Stay safe😀

  10. It’s embarrassing to me that it took me way too long to recall the capital of Bahrain as I flew into and out of it multiple times over the course of my time working in Saudi. Arabia. D’oh! But finally I remembered and what was the final piece of the puzzle (and a stiff challenge it was) today.

  11. @Barb Harris 58d refers to a business letter Dear sir or madam
    @Corky you were in the right area for 55d but wrong sport. Good pitchers have low ERAs

  12. 21:07 with two letter errors in three answers: AbC/bANAMe/PASSeS. No idea as to the capital of Bahrain, but thought it might be start with a B. I didn’t know the owner of Sundance TV, the singer Eve, or the Lady Marmalade singer.

    Had to adjust HULLO>HALLO, SPED>TEED, LUKE>JEDI, ALMA>AMAL, ROOF>MALL. I thought about putting IDOLS on pedestals, but waited to get a few crosses first and so got VASES. My recollection of Winnie the Pooh’s greeting is “Hullooo” (from the 30-min videos).

  13. Mostly easy Saturday for me; took 30:15 with no peeks or errors. Struggled a bit with the top middle(AGE, NFL, LIESL) and bottom middle(ERAS, MOW, …AWAY…) but got them without too much trouble.

    I used to do this online geography quiz and could name most capitals and countries in no time, but that was a while ago. Still, I had a Bahraini honey customer two years ago and, even though it took me a second, I amazed him when I asked if he was from Manama. Qatar is the peninsula and Bahrain is the island.

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