LA Times Crossword 4 Nov 21, Thursday

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Constructed by: Nancy Stark & Will Nediger
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Bad Hair Day

Themed answers might be interpreted as BAD HAIR:

  • 58A Reason to wear a hat … or what 17-, 27- or 43-Across may describe : BAD HAIR DAY
  • 17A Garnish at the bar : LEMON TWIST
  • 27A Tough gymnastics maneuver : BACKWARD FLIP
  • 43A Heavy surf feature : CRASHING WAVE

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

Bill’s time: 9m 28s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “And was Jerusalem builded here / Among these dark Satanic __?”: Blake : MILLS

“And did those feet in ancient time” is a poem by William Blake that is best known as the lyrics of the hymn “Jerusalem”.

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On England’s pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold:
Bring me my arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England’s green & pleasant Land.

14 Something to bid : ADIEU

“Adieu” is French for “goodbye, farewell”, from “à Dieu” meaning “to God”. The plural of “adieu” is “adieux”.

15 Plant not actually in the lily genus : ARUM

Arum is a genus of flowering plant that is native to eastern North America. Arums can be nasty plants though, as some contain oxalic acid. Oxalic acid is a compound that can be very painful if ingested and can even cause death if taken in sufficient quantities.

20 Key under a tilde : TAB

Like most features on our computer keyboards, the tab key is a hangover from the days of typewriters. When using a typewriter, making entries into a table was very tedious, involving lots of tapping on the spacebar and backspace key. So, a lever was added to typewriters that allowed the operator to “jump” across the page to positions that could be set by hand. Later this was simplified to a tab key which could be depressed, causing the carriage to jump to the next tab stop in much the same way that the modern tab key works on a computer.

The tilde diacritical mark (~) is very much associated with the Spanish language. We use the name “tilde” in English, taking that name from Spanish. Confusingly, the word “tilde” in Spanish is used more generally to mean “accent mark, diacritic”, of which a “~” is just one. What we call a “tilde” in English is usually referred to as a “virgulilla” or “tilde de la eñe” in Spanish.

21 Actress __ Gurira who plays Okoye in recent Marvel films : DANAI

Danai Gurira is an actress known to TV audiences for playing Michonne on the horror series “The Walking Dead”, and to movie audiences for playing Okoye in the “Black Panther” superhero universe. She is a smart cookie, and speaks four languages: French, Shona, Xhosa, and English.

35 Van Gogh setting : ARLES

Quite a few years ago now, I had the privilege of living just a short car-ride from the beautiful city of Arles in the South of France. Although Arles has a long and colorful history, the Romans had a prevailing influence over the city’s design. Arles has a spectacular Roman amphitheater, arch, circus as well as old walls that surround the center of the city. In more modern times, it was a place Vincent van Gogh often visited, and was where he painted many of his most famous works, including “Cafe Terrace at Night” and “Bedroom in Arles”.

36 Texter’s intro to a take : IMO

In my opinion (IMO)

42 Refine : AMEND

The verb “to amend” means “to change for the better, put right, alter by adding”. The related verb “to emend” is used more rarely, and mainly in reference to the editing of professional writing. Both terms are derived from the Latin “emendare” meaning “to remove fault”.The verb “to amend” means “to change for the better, put right, alter by adding”. The related verb “to emend” is used more rarely, and mainly in reference to the editing of professional writing. Both terms are derived from the Latin “emendare” meaning “to remove fault”.

46 Nickname used by Shaggy : SCOOB

“Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” is a series of cartoons produced for Hanna-Barbera Productions, first broadcast in 1969. The title character is a great Dane dog owned by a young male called Shaggy Rogers. The character’s name was inspired by the famous “doo-be-doo-be-doo” refrain in the Frank Sinatra hit “Strangers in the Night”. Shaggy was voiced by famed disk jockey Casey Kasem. Shaggy and Scooby’s friends are Velma, Fred and Daphne.

53 A thousand ccs : LITER

Cubic centimeter (cc)

61 Most applied-to U.S. sch. in the fall of 2021 : UCLA

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) gets more applications from potential students than any other university in the country. UCLA also has more students enrolled than any other university in the state.

62 Singer featured on Missy Elliott’s “Lose Control” : CIARA

Ciara is a singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas. She used to date rapper Bow Wow, but married Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in 2016.

Melissa “Missy” Elliott is a rap artist who was childhood friends with fellow rapper Timbaland.

63 Jacob’s dozen : SONS

In the Torah, the Israelites are traced back to Jacob, the grandson of Abraham. Jacob’s twelve sons became the ancestors of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Jacob’s sons were:

  • Reuben
  • Simeon
  • Levi
  • Judah
  • Dan
  • Naphtali
  • Gad
  • Asher
  • Issachar
  • Zebulun
  • Joseph
  • Benjamin

65 ’50s bomb : EDSEL

The Edsel brand of automobile was named for Edsel Ford, son of Henry. Sadly, the name “Edsel” has become synonymous with “failure”, which was no fault of Edsel himself who had died several years before the Edsel line was introduced. When the Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel on 4 September 1957, Ford proclaimed the day to be “E Day”.

Down

1 Valletta’s island : MALTA

The island state of Malta is relatively small (122 square miles), but its large number of inhabitants makes it one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. Malta’s strategic location has made it a prized possession for the conquering empires of the world. Most recently it was part of the British Empire and was an important fleet headquarters. Malta played a crucial role for the Allies during WWII as it was located very close to the Axis shipping lanes in the Mediterranean. The Siege of Malta lasted from 1940 to 1942, a prolonged attack by the Italians and Germans on the RAF and Royal Navy, and the people of Malta. When the siege was lifted, King George VI awarded the George Cross to the people of Malta collectively in recognition of their heroism and devotion to the Allied cause. The George Cross can still be seen on the Maltese flag, even though Britain granted Malta independence in 1964.

Valletta is the capital city of the island state of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. The city is named in honor of Jean Parisot de Valette, a French nobleman who commanded the resistance against the Ottomans at the Great Siege of Malta in 1565. With a population of about 9,000 (excluding the metro area), Valletta is the smallest national capital in the European Union.

3 Swing supports : LIMBS

Those would be the limbs of trees.

4 Sign before Virgo : LEO

The constellation named Leo can be said to resemble a lion. Others say that it resembles a bent coat hanger. “Leo” is the Latin for “lion”, but I’m not sure how to translate “coat hanger” into Latin …

6 Be obsequious : FAWN

The verb “to fawn” has a different etymology to that of the noun “fawn”. The Old English “faegnian” meant “to rejoice, be glad”. In particular, the Old English verb applied to a dog wagging its tail. From there, “to fawn” came to mean “to court favor, to grovel”.

7 Showcase for pipes? : ARIA

“Pipes” is a slang term describing a singing voice.

8 Cutting-edge instrument? : MUSICAL SAW

A handsaw can be used as a musical instrument by holding the handle between the knees, bending the blade and then using a bow along the blade’s non-serrated edge. The pitch of the sound produced is varied by changing the curve of the blade.

9 Ambulance pro : EMT

Emergency medical technician (EMT)

Our word “ambulance” originated from the French term “hôpital ambulant” meaning “field hospital” (literally “walking hospital”). In the 1850s, the term started to be used for a vehicle transporting the wounded from the battlefield, leading to our “ambulance”.

10 Car once marketed as the Rabbit : VW GOLF

The Volkswagen Golf used to be sold as the Volkswagen Rabbit here in North America. The Golf was introduced in 1974 as a front-wheel drive replacement for the hugely successful Volkswagen Beetle.

18 Soft rock : TALC

Talc is a mineral, hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days “baby powder” is also made from cornstarch.

22 BFFs : BUDS

Best friend forever (BFF)

28 “Trilogy of Terror” star : KAREN BLACK

Actress Karen Black played quite a few memorable roles, including the waitress girlfriend of Jack Nicholson in “Five Easy Pieces” for which performance she received an Oscar nomination. If you have ever seen “Airport 1975”, Black is the one playing the stewardess who flew the plane after a mid-air collision.

29 Squeezed (out) : WRUNG

Oh how I remember my mother passing the clothes through the wringer out in our backyard. When did I get so old …?

31 (The) Atlantic, to Brits : POND

The Atlantic Ocean has been referred to as “the pond” for quite a long time. The expression dates back to the 1640s.

32 “Zeeba” eater in the comic “Pearls Before Swine” : CROC

The comic strip “Pearls Before Swine” is written and illustrated by Stephan Pastis. Pastis used to be a lawyer in San Francisco. Quite a career change, huh? The title of the strip comes from the Bible. According to the Book of Matthew, Jesus states in the Sermon on the Mount:

Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

39 Congregation cry : AMEN!

The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

41 Greeting at sea : AHOY!

“Ahoy!” is a nautical term used to signal a vessel. When the telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell, he suggested that “ahoy” be used as a standard greeting when answering a call. However, Thomas Edison came up with “hello”, and we’ve been using that ever since.

42 Grasping nature : AVARICE

Our word “avarice”, meaning a desire for wealth, ultimately derives from the Latin word for crave, “avere”.

45 __ 51 : AREA

The famed Area 51 is a remote base in the USAF Nevada Test and Training Range. There’s no question that Area 51 is an unusual base in that frontline operational units are not deployed there. It seems that it is used for developing and testing new and classified weapons facilities for the US Military and other US agencies like the CIA. The government did not even acknowledge that Area 51 existed until 1995, and this official position fueled a theory that the base is home to UFOs that landed on Earth.

48 Score conclusions : CODAS

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

49 Place to see some Chicago touchdowns? : O’HARE

O’Hare International was the world’s busiest airport from 1963 to 1998. The original airport was constructed on the site between 1942 and 1943, and was used by the Douglas Aircraft Company for the manufacture of planes during WWII. Before the factory and airport were built, there was a community in the area called Orchard Place, so the airport was called Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field. This name is the derivation of the airport’s current location identifier: ORD (OR-chard D-ouglas). Orchard Place Airport was renamed to O’Hare International in 1949 in honor of Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare who grew up in Chicago. O’Hare was the US Navy’s first flying ace and a Medal of Honor recipient in WWII.

50 Word with family or flush : ROYAL …

The poker hand called a royal flush is the highest-ranking hand possible. It consists of a run of 10, jack, queen, king and ace, with all in the same suit.

52 Religious art image : HALO

The Greek word “halos” is the name given to the ring of light around the sun or moon, which gives us our word “halo” that is used for a radiant light depicted above the head of a saintly person.

55 Spring harbinger : THAW

A harbinger is a person or a thing that indicates what is to come. The word comes from the Middle English “herbenger” describing a person sent ahead to arrange lodgings.

58 It picks people up : BUS

We use the term “bus” for a mode of transportation as it is an abbreviated form of the original “omnibus”. We imported “omnibus” via French from Latin, in which language it means “for all”. The idea is that an omnibus is a “carriage for all”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “And was Jerusalem builded here / Among these dark Satanic __?”: Blake : MILLS
6 Fortune’s partner : FAME
10 Old home theater setups : VCRS
14 Something to bid : ADIEU
15 Plant not actually in the lily genus : ARUM
16 Sound from a roller coaster : WHEE!
17 Garnish at the bar : LEMON TWIST
19 Essence : GIST
20 Key under a tilde : TAB
21 Actress __ Gurira who plays Okoye in recent Marvel films : DANAI
22 Locks with a bar : BOLTS
23 Attack with vigor : ASSAIL
25 Is able to : COULD
27 Tough gymnastics maneuver : BACKWARD FLIP
32 Laid-back : CHILL
35 Van Gogh setting : ARLES
36 Texter’s intro to a take : IMO
37 Name meaning “born again” : RENE
38 Tie for cooking : TRUSS
39 Related : AKIN
40 Graceless sort : OAF
41 Where to see lots of fans : ARENA
42 Refine : AMEND
43 Heavy surf feature : CRASHING WAVE
46 Nickname used by Shaggy : SCOOB
47 Animosity : RANCOR
51 “Whoa, didn’t expect to see you here” : OH, HEY
53 A thousand ccs : LITER
56 “Well, well, well!” : OHO!
57 Reason to wear a hat : RAIN
58 Reason to wear a hat … or what 17-, 27- or 43-Across may describe : BAD HAIR DAY
60 Record blemish : BLOT
61 Most applied-to U.S. sch. in the fall of 2021 : UCLA
62 Singer featured on Missy Elliott’s “Lose Control” : CIARA
63 Jacob’s dozen : SONS
64 Distort : SKEW
65 ’50s bomb : EDSEL

Down

1 Valletta’s island : MALTA
2 Creative output : IDEAS
3 Swing supports : LIMBS
4 Sign before Virgo : LEO
5 Old timer : SUNDIAL
6 Be obsequious : FAWN
7 Showcase for pipes? : ARIA
8 Cutting-edge instrument? : MUSICAL SAW
9 Ambulance pro : EMT
10 Car once marketed as the Rabbit : VW GOLF
11 Young at heart : CHILDLIKE
12 Take a breather : REST
13 Spreads, as sails : SETS
18 Soft rock : TALC
22 BFFs : BUDS
24 Skilled : ABLE
26 Metal sources : ORES
28 “Trilogy of Terror” star : KAREN BLACK
29 Squeezed (out) : WRUNG
30 “Let’s do it!” : I’M IN!
31 (The) Atlantic, to Brits : POND
32 “Zeeba” eater in the comic “Pearls Before Swine” : CROC
33 Pick up, in a way : HEAR
34 Trendy : IN FASHION
38 Folk group, often : TRIO
39 Congregation cry : AMEN!
41 Greeting at sea : AHOY!
42 Grasping nature : AVARICE
44 Tracks of a sort : SCENTS
45 __ 51 : AREA
48 Score conclusions : CODAS
49 Place to see some Chicago touchdowns? : O’HARE
50 Word with family or flush : ROYAL …
51 “Windows to the soul” : ORBS
52 Religious art image : HALO
54 Like frivolous chatter : IDLE
55 Spring harbinger : THAW
58 It picks people up : BUS
59 Done with, with “of” : RID …

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 4 Nov 21, Thursday”

  1. No errors.. no easy run though. The use of TRUSS and WRUNG in the middle of the grid was strategic.

    My bad hair day is everyday. I sleep on my left side so I have “cliff” hair. It looks like the side of a cliff. Takes me a while to get it back to shape.

  2. 19:03

    I enjoyed this puzzle right from the start with Satanic MILLS.

    That southwest corner was tough. I figured out ICON had to be HALO, but it took me forever to get from EYES- to ORBS.

    I learned about the city of Valetta.

    And I still haven’t brushed my hair.

  3. I really had that SW corner goofed up for awhile. Confidently inking in eyes for 51 Down and then compounding my problems by putting in icon for 52 Down really had me chasing my tail for far too long. Eventually got that corner straightened out and the grid was done. Whew!

  4. 41:15 no errors.
    @Bill…you aren’t the only one who remembers the wringer.
    @AnonMike…at least you still have hair👍
    Mayim Bialik is the new host of Jeopardy…that answers the question can Mayim be Alec…I know I Know it’s Alex but that didn’t fit🤪

    1. I considered responding to @AnonMike in the same way … 😜.

      (Actually, I do still have some hair, but I think I might be happier if it all finally went away, as it’s no more manageable than it ever was … 😳.)

      And I too remember the wringer. In 1969, after my parents had moved back into town from the farm, I was in between jobs for a few months, so I bought my mother a modern washer and drier and installed them for her. (My dad, who grew up in a log cabin in Canada, didn’t see the point of this, but he didn’t stop me, either … 😳.)

      On this puzzle: 12:53, no errors (and I also had EYES before ORBS).

  5. 11 minutes, 11 seconds; no errors. No, this was not easy, the bottom left was quite the puzzler. Using “orbs” instead of eyes as the “gateway to the soul” was kind of a mean, cynical trick.

  6. 22:38 – 2 lookups/no errors – For a Thursday I’ll take it.

    Didn’t know CROC (Zeeba eater) and couldn’t get by ORBS for EYES. Aarrgghh ..

    Didn’t know MALTA/MILLS but guessed at the “M”. Never heard of DANAI Gurira, but got the crosses.

    Thought CHILL for laid-back wasn’t quite right.

    @Bill – yeah, I also remember the wringer.

  7. 15:05 with no errors or lookups. I also started with EYES and ICON in the SW corner, but YC for 57A (or most anything) didn’t seem reasonable.

    Previously unknown names: DANAI, CIARA. I know of Karen Black, but not “Trilogy of Terror.” Have heard of Arles, but not in relation to Van Gogh (of whom I know only a little). Speaking of which, on a Final Jeopardy this week, the answer referred to a painting that “could have only been done by a madman.” My wife and I guessed it to be something by Van Gogh due to the ear episode; but, it turned out to be Edvard Munch commenting on his “Scream” painting.

    I would not normally think of a sundial as a “timer,” except only in the broadest sense.

  8. I remember my mother walking bath and forth, wiping the plastic-coated clothes lines before hanging clothes. Our ringer washer was in the basement and I remember wringing clothes into the first rinse, then the second rinse, then into the laundry basket to be carried upstairs and to the yard. Not that *I* actually did that…
    Oh, and it took me 24 minutes. Too hard for a Thursday. Codas and Mills did me in.

  9. I think the most common thing that beginners (and even some not-so-beginners) misunderstand about crosswords is that clues are not definitions. The clue “Windows to the soul”, interpreted as a definition, suggests (almost demands) the answer EYES, but … when that doesn’t fit, you have to ask yourself, “What word, suggested by this clue, would fit in this position in the grid?” You may not like it, but it is the nature of crossword puzzles to be puzzling.

    1. Puzzling is one thing, wrong is another. Your explanation might fly if the clue hadn’t been in quotes. Putting it in quotes does, indeed, demand the answer ‘eyes’ since that is the word that completes the quote. If it weren’t in quotes, then any synonym for ‘eyes’ would work–although it would still be a pretty underhanded clue.

  10. Dirk from Tuesday — HI!!! Agree about the DH — to me it cuts at the democratic heart of baseball– but I would be amenable to a pitch clock. ⚾️🤗

  11. Tough Thursday for me; took 25:23 with 4 errors, all in the SW corner. Curiously, I had OH HEY right away, but then changed it to put in EYES and I just didn’t know SONS…took forever to get SCENTS. Blah!! I did have ORBS in the back of my mind but rejected it as too strange….Oops.

    Also had a trouble with MILLS, DANAI and ARUM, but managed those with crosses and good guesses.

  12. Giving the clue for 51 down in quotes was incorrect for any answer other than ‘eyes’. Without quotes one could put any synonym for eyes and it would be correct–misleading but at least correct. Putting the answer in quotes indicates that one should complete the quote and the quote is most certainly NOT: “Orbs are the windows to the soul.”

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