LA Times Crossword 24 Nov 21, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Dave Taber & Laura Moll
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Eye

Each of today’s clues contains exactly one letter I, and each answer also contains one I (except for EYE and CYCLOPS, paradoxically):

  • 64D Watcher … and homophone of a letter that appears exactly once in every clue and all but two answers : EYE
  • 40A It has just one 64-Down : CYCLOPS

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

Bill’s time: 6m 19s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Little __ Muffet : MISS

“Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet eating her curds and whey”, in the popular nursery rhyme. A tuffet is a low seat or a footstool, another word for a pouffe or a hassock. When milk curdles it separates into two parts, solid curds and liquid whey. Then “along came a spider and sat down beside her”.

5 Roger Bannister, famously : MILER

The 4-minute barrier for the mile run was first broken in 1954 by Roger Bannister, when he finished in just over 3m 59s. If you plan on running a 4-minute mile, you should probably be warned that this means you have to run the whole race at an average speed of over 15 mph (do the math!).

10 Speaker in Cooperstown : TRIS

Tris Speaker was a Major League Baseball player, and the holder of the record for the most doubles hit in a career. He led the Boston Red Sox to two World Series championships, in 1912 and 1915.

Cooperstown is a village in New York that is famous as the home to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The village was named for Judge William Cooper, the founder of Cooperstown and the father of the noted writer James Fenimore Cooper.

14 Elvis or Coca-Cola : ICON

Elvis Aron Presley (aka “the King”) was the younger of two identical twins. His brother was stillborn, and delivered 35 minutes before Elvis. The brother was named Jesse Garon Presley. So, although born a twin, Elvis was raised as an only child.

The exact formula for Coca-Cola is a trade secret. The secret recipe is locked in a vault. That vault is on public display in the World of Coca-Cola museum in Atlanta, Georgia.

15 “The L Word” co-creator Chaiken : ILENE

Ilene Chaiken was the executive producer for the Showtime drama series “The L Word”. The show deals with lesbian, bisexual and transgender people living in West Hollywood. The title refers to “the L word”: lesbian.

18 Ad prizes : CLIOS

The Clio Awards are the Oscars of the advertising world and are named after Clio, the Greek Muse of History. Clio was also the recorder of great deeds, the proclaimer and celebrator of great accomplishments and a source of inspiration and genius. The Clio Awards were first presented in 1959.

20 Adagio and allegro : TEMPI

The tempo (plural “tempi”) of a piece of music is usually designated with an Italian word on the score. For example, “grave” is slow and solemn, “andante” is at a walking pace, “scherzo” is fast and light-hearted, and “allegro” is fast, quickly and bright.

24 Like some tanks : SEPTIC

A septic tank is a sewage system that resides locally beside a house, on the property i.e. “on-lot”. The term “septic” is used generally to describe anything related to the anaerobic decomposition of organic matter, often with the emission of foul-smelling gases. Septic tanks usually rely on anaerobic bacteria to break down the solid waste that settles.

27 Where the old woman lived : IN A SHOE

“There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe” is an English nursery rhyme.

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do;
She gave them some broth without any bread;
Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.

30 Title of respect : SRI

“Sri” is a title of respect for a male in India.

40 It has just one 64-Down : CYCLOPS
(64D Watcher : EYE)

Cyclops was a one-eyed giant in Greek and Roman mythology. Cyclops lived inside Mount Etna, the Sicilian volcano.

42 Shapiro of NPR : ARI

Ari Shapiro served very ably as White House correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR) for several years. He then became a co-host of the network’s drive-time program “All Things Considered” in 2015. When he’s not working, Shapiro likes to sing. He regularly appears as a guest singer with the group Pink Martini, and has appeared on several of the band’s albums.

45 Inter __ : ALIA

“Inter alia” is Latin for “among other things”.

46 Recipe word : STIR

The Latin “recipere” means “to take”, and the imperative form “recipe” was written at the top of medical prescriptions as an instruction, i.e. “take (the following)”. This use of “recipe” evolved into the instruction for preparing a dish of food in the mid-1700s.

51 Secret fraternity member : SHRINER

The Shriners are an offshoot of the Freemasons. One of the Shriners’ founders was Walter Fleming, who picked up the idea of creating a group with a Middle Eastern theme after witnessing an Arabian musical comedy in Southern France and again in North Africa. He gave the group its name, the Ancient Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, or Shriners for short.

59 Vinyl-covered, as a floor : TILED

Strictly speaking, the term “vinyl” describes the ethenyl functional group (-CH=CH2) found in some organic chemicals. Perhaps the most often encountered example of such a chemical is vinyl chloride, a chemical used to produce the polymer polyvinyl chloride. The name “vinyl” was coined in 1851 by German chemist Hermann Kolbe. He chose the term because the vinyl group is closely related to ethyl alcohol, and “vinum” is Latin for “wine”. Cheers …

61 Worldwide: Abbr. : INTL

International (intl.)

62 Absinthe flavor : ANISE

Absinthe is an alcoholic spirit that is distilled from various plants and herbs, including wormwood, anise and fennel. Absinthe was banned in the US in 1915 as it was deemed to be an addictive psychoactive drug. However, the accepted opinion today seems to be that absinthe is no more addictive or dangerous than any other spirit.

65 Half a round on the links : NINE

The oldest type of golf course is a links course. The name “links” comes from the Old English word “hlinc” meaning “rising ground”. “Hlinc” was used to describe areas with coastal sand dunes or open parkland. As a result, we use the term “links course” to mean a golf course that is located at or on the coast, often amid sand dunes. The British Open is always played on a links course.

66 Ohio’s lake : ERIE

Lake Erie is the fourth-largest of the five Great Lakes by area (Lake Ontario is the smallest). The lake takes its name from the Erie tribe of Native Americans that used to live along its southern shore. Erie is the smallest of the Great Lakes by volume and the shallowest, something for which nearby residents must be quite grateful. Being relatively shallow, much of Erie freezes over part way through most winters putting an end to most of the lake-effect snow that falls in the snow belt extending from the lake’s edge.

67 R&B family name : ISLEY

The Isley Brothers are an R&B group from Cincinnati, Ohio. The original lineup was a vocal trio consisting of three brothers: O’Kelly, Jr., Rudolph and Ronald Isley. The three brothers wrote the fabulous 1959 hit “Shout”, the song which brought the group its first success.

68 Budget sister company : AVIS

Avis has been around since 1946, and is the second largest car rental agency after Hertz. Avis has the distinction of being the first car rental company to locate a branch at an airport.

71 Guido of Baroque art fame : RENI

Guido Reni was an Italian painter from Bologna who was active in the first half of the 17th century. Reni’s most famous work is probably “Crucifixion of St. Peter”, an altarpiece commissioned in the early 1600s that is now on display in the Vatican.

Down

2 Relatives of Slurpees : ICEES

Icee and Slurpee are brand names of slushy drinks. Ugh …

3 Server with a blush? : SOMMELIER

“Sommelier” is the French word for “wine steward”. If that steward is a female, then the term used in French is “sommelière”.

The term “blush” has only been used in the world of wine since the late seventies, and is really only used here in the US. Today we think of a blush as a relatively sweet pink wine, and a rosé as something more dry.

5 A hot one can be problematic : MIC

One of my favorite hot-mic moments took place in 2005, when Paris and London were vying to host the 2012 Olympics. French President Jacques Chirac compared Paris and London in that context while chatting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. Chirac said, over a hot mic:

The only thing that they have ever done for European agriculture is mad cow disease … You cannot trust people who have such bad cuisine.

7 Island necklaces : LEIS

“Lei” is a Hawaiian word meaning “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a lei is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

8 Long, thin soup mushroom : ENOKI

Enokitake (also known as “enoki”) are long and thin white mushrooms often added to soups or salads.

9 Viscous plant substances : RESINS

Resinous trees have evolved the ability to secrete resins in response to an injury. The resin serves as a barrier, protecting the tree from insects and pathogens that might otherwise exploit the site of the injury.

10 “Bingo!” : THAT’S IT!

Our game Bingo is a derivative of an Italian lottery game called “Il Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia” that became popular in the 16th-century.

11 Japanese electronics company : RICOH

Ricoh is a Japanese company that started out in 1936 and by the year 2000 was the biggest manufacturer of copiers in the world. The company is also well known as a supplier of cameras. The most successful of Ricoh’s lines of cameras is the compact model called a Caplio.

13 “Goosebumps” series author : STINE

Author R. L. Stine is sometimes referred to as the Stephen King of children’s literature, as he writes horror stories for young people.

“Goosebumps” is a series of children’s horror novels written by author R.L. Stine. The novels have been adapted into a television series shown on Canadian TV.

21 Gomez’s furry cousin : ITT

In the television sitcom “The Addams Family”, the family had a frequent visitor called Cousin Itt. Itt is a short man with long hair that runs from his head to the floor. Cousin Itt was played by Italian actor Felix Silla.

They’re creepy and they’re kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They’re altogether ooky,
The Addams Family.

Gomez and Morticia (“Tish”) Addams were the parents in “The Addams Family”, a creation of cartoonist Charles Addams. In the sixties television show, Gomez was played by John Astin and Morticia was played by Carolyn Jones.

23 French capital : PARIS

The French capital of Paris is named for the Parisii, a Celtic Iron-Age people that lived in the area on the banks of the River Seine.

26 Approximately : CIRCA

“Circa” is a Latin word meaning “around, near, about the time of”. We use “circa” directly in English to mean “about the time of”, as well as in derivative words such as “circle” and “circus”.

29 Nabisco brand name : NILLA

As one might expect, “Nilla” is a shortened form of “vanilla”. However, you won’t find any vanilla in Nilla brand cookies or wafers. They have always been flavored with vanillin, which is synthetic vanilla. Is nothing sacred …?

The National Biscuit Company was formed in 1898 with the merger of three existing bakery businesses. The company name today is “Nabisco”, an abbreviated form of “National Biscuit Company”.

31 Jem, to Scout Finch : SIB

In Harper Lee’s classic novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”, Boo Radley is the reclusive neighbor living next door to the children Jem and Scout. The kids are both afraid of, and at the same time fascinated, by Boo.

32 Psychic Geller : URI

Uri Geller’s most famous performance was perhaps his uncomfortable failure on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson in 1973. Carson “hijacked” Geller on live television by providing him with spoons to bend and watches to start, none of which had been available to Geller before the show aired. Clever!

34 Ballerina Shearer : MOIRA

Moira Shearer was a ballet dancer and actress born in Scotland. Shearer’s most famous film role was in 1948’s “The Red Shoes”, in which she played the lead character, a ballet dancer called Vicky Page. She was married to the respected English journalist and broadcaster Ludovic Kennedy.

37 Med. injury detector : MRI

MRI scans can be daunting for many people as they usually involve the patient lying inside a tube with the imaging magnet surrounding the body. Additionally, the scan can take up to 40 minutes in some cases. There are some open MRI scanners available that help prevent a feeling of claustrophobia. However, the images produced by open scanners are of lower quality as they operate at lower magnetic fields.

38 Title for two Beatles : SIR

The ex-Beatles bass player’s full name is Sir James Paul McCartney. “Paul” was knighted for his services to music in 1997. His fellow Beatle Ringo Starr was knighted for his services to music in 2018.

40 The good dishes : CHINA

The ceramic known as “porcelain” can be referred to as “china” or “fine china”, as porcelain was developed in China.

46 Advanced course offering : SEMINAR

A seminar is a meeting called for the exchange of information, especially in a university. The term comes from the Latin “seminarium” meaning “breeding ground, plant nursery”, which is also the root of our word “seminary”.

52 Matisse of the art world : HENRI

Henri Matisse was a French artist renowned for his contribution to modern art. In his early career, Matisse was classed as a “fauve”, one of the group of artists known as the “wild beasts” who emphasized strong color over realism in their works. He was a lifelong friend of Pablo Picasso, and the two were considered to be good-natured rivals so their works are often compared. One major difference between their individual portfolios is that Picasso tended to paint from his imagination, whereas Matisse tended to use nature as his inspiration.

54 Old-time laundry soap brand : RINSO

Rinso was a laundry detergent that was first manufactured in England in 1908 by a company called Hudson’s Soap. It was introduced into the US in 1918. In America, Rinso took to radio advertising and sponsorship in the days of “soap operas”. Their most famous program association was with “The Amos ‘n’ Andy Show” in the 1940s. One of the brand’s slogans was “Solium, the sunlight ingredient”. I have no idea what Solium is, but it certainly did sell a lot of soap!

56 Red Square figure : LENIN

Moscow’s Red Square is surrounded by several significant buildings, for example:

  • Lenin’s Mausoleum that is the final resting place for the embalmed body of Vladimir Lenin
  • The Moscow Kremlin that serves as the official residence of the President of Russia
  • GUM (for “Main Universal Store”), which is the main department store in the capital
  • Saint Basil’s Cathedral, which now operates as a museum.

58 Place for singles : TILL

The till or cash register is where to put the ones, fives, tens and twenties.

60 He loved Lucille : DESI

Desi Arnaz was famous for his turbulent marriage to Lucille Ball. Arnaz was a native of Cuba, and was from a privileged family. His father was Mayor of Santiago and served in the Cuban House of Representatives. However, the family had to flee to Miami after the 1933 revolt led by Batista.

63 Cinque e uno : SEI

In Italian, “cinque e uno” (five and one) adds up to “sei” (six).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Little __ Muffet : MISS
5 Roger Bannister, famously : MILER
10 Speaker in Cooperstown : TRIS
14 Elvis or Coca-Cola : ICON
15 “The L Word” co-creator Chaiken : ILENE
16 Whisper : HINT
17 Interstate hauler : SEMI
18 Ad prizes : CLIOS
19 Dramatic opener : ACT I
20 Adagio and allegro : TEMPI
22 Leave the city to evade arrest : SKIP TOWN
24 Like some tanks : SEPTIC
27 Where the old woman lived : IN A SHOE
28 Permits to enter : LETS IN
30 Title of respect : SRI
31 Exec, slangily : SUIT
33 Schoolmarmish : PRIM
35 List to-dos : ITEMS
39 Intense anger : IRE
40 It has just one 64-Down : CYCLOPS
42 Shapiro of NPR : ARI
43 Delivery, as of a baby : BIRTH
45 Inter __ : ALIA
46 Recipe word : STIR
47 Relieved (of) : RID
49 Comes to light : ARISES
51 Secret fraternity member : SHRINER
55 Party or wild follower : … ANIMAL
57 Bit of encouragement : KEEP AT IT
59 Vinyl-covered, as a floor : TILED
61 Worldwide: Abbr. : INTL
62 Absinthe flavor : ANISE
65 Half a round on the links : NINE
66 Ohio’s lake : ERIE
67 R&B family name : ISLEY
68 Budget sister company : AVIS
69 Runs out of juice : DIES
70 “It’s true!” : NO LIE!
71 Guido of Baroque art fame : RENI

Down

1 Light fog : MIST
2 Relatives of Slurpees : ICEES
3 Server with a blush? : SOMMELIER
4 Piece of prose : SNIPPET
5 A hot one can be problematic : MIC
6 Laid up : ILL
7 Island necklaces : LEIS
8 Long, thin soup mushroom : ENOKI
9 Viscous plant substances : RESINS
10 “Bingo!” : THAT’S IT!
11 Japanese electronics company : RICOH
12 Cut down the middle : IN TWO
13 “Goosebumps” series author : STINE
21 Gomez’s furry cousin : ITT
23 French capital : PARIS
25 Road trip game : I SPY
26 Approximately : CIRCA
29 Nabisco brand name : NILLA
31 Jem, to Scout Finch : SIB
32 Psychic Geller : URI
34 Ballerina Shearer : MOIRA
36 Completely dominates : EATS ALIVE
37 Med. injury detector : MRI
38 Title for two Beatles : SIR
40 The good dishes : CHINA
41 Discomfort cause : PAIN
44 Makes four into twelve, say : TRIPLES
46 Advanced course offering : SEMINAR
48 Hold for questions : DETAIN
50 Take care of a kitty : SIT
51 Went down a slippery slope : SKIED
52 Matisse of the art world : HENRI
53 Knot again : RETIE
54 Old-time laundry soap brand : RINSO
56 Red Square figure : LENIN
58 Place for singles : TILL
60 He loved Lucille : DESI
63 Cinque e uno : SEI
64 Watcher … and homophone of a letter that appears exactly once in every clue and all but two answers : EYE

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 24 Nov 21, Wednesday”

  1. No errors.. had to look up Moira Shearer. Watched the trailer of The Red Shoes. It was 1948 and in color! .. and it looks like she was a red head. Stunning stuff especially for 1948!!

  2. Quick and easy today. And how fitting that the two answers
    without the magic letter were cyclops and eye….the one-eyed
    monster.

  3. 5:39 I’m on a roll this week. Are they keeping them easy for us because of the holiday?

    What a neat puzzle! It’s so pleasing that the two words without the letter, “I” have the meaning “eye”. I call it “I, Crossword”.

  4. 18:52 with no lookups or errors; although, I did use the online version to confirm that I had the correct answers. I could have completed it sooner if I had kept the theme in mind. That’s because 5D, 15A, and 18A were slow in coming to me. Didn’t know ILENE Chaiken at all, and had oLIOS before realizing my mistake. Also had to change ARI>URI, SIR>SRI, and PET>SIT. A not too bad finish for me.

    I think it was quite a feat to use the letter “I” in the puzzle that way.

  5. Mostly easy Wednesday for me; took 15:34 with no peeks or errors. Danced around a little bit to get ILENE, NILLA (necco), TReS and TILL/NOLIE. Cute theme that helped a
    little.

    1. @Tessa Brooks …

      I shall assume that you have questions about these entries.

      Slurpees and Icees are similar, commercially-available, products.

      A sommelier is a wine steward who might be persuaded to bring one a type of wine called a “blush wine”.

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