LA Times Crossword 18 Nov 22, Friday

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Constructed by: David Alfred Bywaters
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Missing You

Themed answers are two-word phrases in which the second word is the same as the first, but with a letter U missing:

  • 17A Grammarian? : USAGE SAGE
  • 29A Aspen, in the Rockies? : POPULAR POPLAR
  • 43A Nodding, e.g.? : AUCTION ACTION
  • 59A One inept at data storage? : CLOUD CLOD

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

Bill’s time: 5m 54s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Short notice? : MEMO

“Memorandum” means “thing to be remembered” in Latin, from the verb “memorare” meaning “to call to mind”.

9 Béla Fleck’s instrument : BANJO

Béla Fleck is a banjo player who performed with the bands New Grass Revival and Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. He was born in New York City and was given the name Béla Anton Leoš Fleck. He was named after Hungarian composer Béla Bartók, Austrian composer Anton Webern, and Czech composer Leoš Janáček. That’s quite a name to live up to, but by all accounts Fleck is one of the most technically proficient banjo players the world has ever known.

14 One in a four-part harmony : ALTO

Four-part harmony is music written for four voices, or perhaps four instruments. A four-part harmony can also be written for a single keyboard instrument, in which case four different musical parts can be assigned to four different notes in a collection of chords.

16 “Night Sky With Exit Wounds” poet Vuong : OCEAN

Ocean Vuong is a Vietnamese-American poet and novelist. He was born in Ho Chi Minh City in 1988, under the name Vương Quốc Vinh. His mother gave him the English given name “Beach”, but changed it to “Ocean” after someone pointed out that “Beach” sounded like “Bitch” when pronounced with a Vietnamese accent. Vuong’s 2016 collection of poetry “Night Sky with Exit Wounds” won the T. S. Eliot Prize in 2017. His debut novel “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” was published in 2019.

23 Paean in verse : ODE

A paean is a poem or song that expresses triumph or thanksgiving. “Paean” comes from the ancient Greek “paian” meaning “song of triumph”.

26 Global clock std. : GMT

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is the time at the Prime Meridian, the meridian that runs through Greenwich in London.

29 Aspen, in the Rockies? : POPULAR POPLAR

The “quaking” aspen tree is so called because the structure of the leaves causes them to move easily in the wind, to “tremble, quake”.

35 Apartment ad abbr. : RMS

An apartment (apt.) contains several rooms (rms.)

37 Rich soil : LOESS

Loess is a wind-blown accumulation of silt. The word “loess” is German in origin and was first used to describe silt along the Rhine Valley.

40 Fantasy heavy : OGRE

An ogre is a monster of mythology and folktales that has the appearance of a man, and which eats human beings. The term “ogre” comes to us via French from the name of the Etruscan god Orcus, who feasted on the flesh of humans.

42 Make more capacious : EXTEND

Something described as “capacious” is spacious, capable of holding much.

48 Granola morsel : OAT

The names “Granola” and “Granula” were trademarked back in the late 1800s for whole-grain foods that were crumbled and baked until crisp. Granola was created in Dansville, New York in 1894.

51 Apollo 11 lander : EAGLE

We always seem to remember the phrase “The Eagle has landed”, historic words spoken by Neil Armstrong when he put down Apollo 11’s Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) on the surface of the moon. Looking back I have to say that the words preceding “The Eagle has landed” seem to have even more impact. During the descent to the moon’s surface Armstrong used the call sign “Eagle”, indicating that he was communicating from the LEM. After he killed the engines on touching down, Armstrong’s first words home to Earth were “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” That switch of call sign from “Eagle” to “Tranquility Base” always sends shivers down my spine …

56 Geographer’s volume : ATLAS

The famous Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator published his first collection of maps in 1578. Mercator’s collection contained a frontispiece with an image of Atlas the Titan from Greek mythology holding up the world on his shoulders. That image gave us our term “atlas” that is used for a book of maps.

59 One inept at data storage? : CLOUD CLOD

In the world of computing, when one operates “in the cloud”, one’s files and key applications are not stored on one’s own computer, but rather are residing “in the cloud”, on a computer somewhere out on the Internet. I do 90% of my computing in the cloud. That way I don’t have to worry about backing up files, and I can operate from any computer if I have to …

61 __ Corps : PEACE

The Peace Corps is an organization of American volunteers that is run by the US government. The Peace Corps was established by President Kennedy in 1961, and has a three-part mission:

  1. Providing technical assistance
  2. Helping people outside the US to understand American culture
  3. Helping Americans to understand the culture of other countries

64 Mortgage payment component, often : TAXES

Our word “mortgage” comes from the Old French “mort gaige” which translated as “dead pledge”. Such an arrangement was so called because the “pledge” to repay “dies” when the debt is cleared.

Down

1 Ant-Man player Rudd : PAUL

I think Paul Rudd is a very talented actor. He has played a variety of roles in movies but is probably best known on television for playing Phoebe Buffay’s boyfriend, and then husband, on the sitcom “Friends”.

In the Marvel universe, Ant-Man has been the superhero persona of three different fictional characters: Hank Pym, Scott Lang and Eric O’Grady. In the 2015 film “Ant-Man”, Michael Douglas plays Hank Pym, and Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang.

4 Word chanted in “Animal House” : TOGA!

In ancient Rome, the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae” or “togas”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

The very funny 1978 movie “Animal House” has the prefix “National Lampoon’s …” because the storyline came out of tales that had already appeared in “National Lampoon” magazine. “Animal House” was to become the first in a long line of successful “National Lampoon” films. The main pledges in the movie are Tom Hulce (Pinto), who later played a magnificent “Amadeus”, and Stephen Furst (Flounder), who later played a regular role on television’s “Babylon 5”.

5 Pile on an ed.’s desk : MSS

An editor (ed.) might read or edit a manuscript (ms).

6 Cloisonné medium : ENAMEL

An editor (ed.) might read or edit a manuscript (ms).

7 Nativity scene trio : MAGI

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, “magi” is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar (also “Gaspar”): a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

In the Christian tradition, a nativity scene (also “crèche”) is a display representing the scene of the birth of Jesus. Nativity scenes might be subjects for paintings, for example, although the term is usually used for seasonal displays associated with the Christmas season.

9 Short jacket : BOLERO

A bolero jacket is a very short tailored jacket that probably takes its name from the Spanish dance. Male bolero dancers often wear such a jacket. A less formal version of a bolero jacket is called a “shrug”. A shrug is usually knitted and resembles a cardigan.

11 Safety feature at a trapeze school : NET

The circus act known as the “trapeze” is so called because the shape defined by the crossbar, ropes and ceiling of the tent is a “trapezium”.

26 Wheat protein : GLUTEN

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”.

27 Bay Area county : MARIN

When you leave the city of San Francisco via the famous Golden Gate Bridge (i.e. heading north), you cross into Marin County.

28 Fashionista’s concern : TREND

The Spanish suffix “-ista” indicates a supporter or follower. Examples would be “fashionista” (a follower of fashion) and “Sandinista” (member of a Nicaraguan political party named for revolutionary Augusto César Sandino).

32 Student of Socrates : PLATO

Plato was a Greek philosopher and mathematician. He was a student of the equally famous and respected Socrates, and Plato in turn was the teacher and mentor of the celebrated Aristotle.

34 With 13-Down, 2016 film subtitled “A Star Wars Story” : ROGUE …
[13D See 34-Down : … ONE]

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is a 2016 movie that serves as a prequel to the original 1977 film “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope”. “Rogue One” is the improvised military call sign used by rebel soldiers who go on a mission to steal plans for the Death Star.

38 Zenith : PINNACLE

The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith. We use the terms “nadir” and “zenith” figuratively to mean the low and high points in a person’s fortunes.

44 Droopy perennials : IRISES

Iris is a genus of flowering plants that come in a wide variety of flower colors. The term “iris” is a Greek word meaning “rainbow”. Many species of irises are called “flags”. One suggestion is that the alternate name comes from the Middle English “flagge” meaning “reed”. This term was used because iris leaves look like reeds.

45 Native American trickster : COYOTE

The coyote is a canine found in most of Central and North America. The name “coyote” is Mexican Spanish, in which language it means “trickster”. In Native-American folklore, the coyote is an important character, one often playing tricks and defying conventional behavior. Coyotes can sometimes mate with domestic dogs, creating hybrid animals known as “coydogs”. Coyotes can also mate with wolves, creating a “coywolf”. South Dakota named the coyote its state animal in 1949.

49 Tempo : PACE

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.

50 Be overly sweet : CLOY

To cloy is to cause distaste by oversupplying something that would otherwise be pleasant, especially something with a sweet taste.

53 Hefty rival : GLAD

Glad is a company making plastic products, especially food containers and trash bags. Glad was launched in 1963 to make Glad Wrap, a polyethylene wrap used to preserve food.

57 Dim sum beverage : TEA

Dim sum is a Chinese cuisine made up of small portions of various dishes. The tradition of serving dim sum is associated with the serving of tea, when small delicacies were offered to travelers and guests along with tea as a refreshment. The name “dim sum” translates as “touch the heart” implying that dim sum is not a main meal, just a snack “that touches the heart”.

60 Naval letters : USS

The abbreviation “USS” stands for “United States Ship”. The practice of naming US Navy vessels in a standard format didn’t start until 1907, when President Theodore Roosevelt issued an executive order that addressed the issue.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Time-travel destination : PAST
5 Short notice? : MEMO
9 Béla Fleck’s instrument : BANJO
14 One in a four-part harmony : ALTO
15 Button alternative : SNAP
16 “Night Sky With Exit Wounds” poet Vuong : OCEAN
17 Grammarian? : USAGE SAGE
19 “I’ll do it!” : LET ME!
20 Steadfast : LOYAL
21 Coined : MINTED
23 Paean in verse : ODE
25 Broadcast : AIR
26 Global clock std. : GMT
29 Aspen, in the Rockies? : POPULAR POPLAR
33 Steeped in a salt solution : BRINED
35 Apartment ad abbr. : RMS
36 Fishing gadget : LURE
37 Rich soil : LOESS
38 Not neg. : POS
39 Warm up some leftovers, say : EAT IN
40 Fantasy heavy : OGRE
41 Lip : RIM
42 Make more capacious : EXTEND
43 Nodding, e.g.? : AUCTION ACTION
46 Workout top : TEE
47 Managed : RAN
48 Granola morsel : OAT
49 Maritime crime : PIRACY
51 Apollo 11 lander : EAGLE
56 Geographer’s volume : ATLAS
59 One inept at data storage? : CLOUD CLOD
61 __ Corps : PEACE
62 Quite a few : LOTS
63 Word with deck or dock : -HAND
64 Mortgage payment component, often : TAXES
65 Focus group? : EYES
66 Tense : EDGY

Down

1 Ant-Man player Rudd : PAUL
2 Too : ALSO
3 Parting word to a dog : STAY!
4 Word chanted in “Animal House” : TOGA!
5 Pile on an ed.’s desk : MSS
6 Cloisonné medium : ENAMEL
7 Nativity scene trio : MAGI
8 Warm welcome : OPEN ARMS
9 Short jacket : BOLERO
10 Got a great grade on : ACED
11 Safety feature at a trapeze school : NET
12 Toast topping : JAM
13 See 34-Down : … ONE
18 Weds without ceremony : ELOPES
22 Warns, with “off” : TIPS …
24 Disappointment : DUD
26 Wheat protein : GLUTEN
27 Bay Area county : MARIN
28 Fashionista’s concern : TREND
29 Give a ring? : PIERCE
30 Start : ONSET
31 Diffuser emanation : AROMA
32 Student of Socrates : PLATO
33 Balloon : BLOAT
34 With 13-Down, 2016 film subtitled “A Star Wars Story” : ROGUE …
38 Zenith : PINNACLE
39 Went out : EXITED
41 Imitate a lion : ROAR
42 “Getting here soon?” : ETA?
44 Droopy perennials : IRISES
45 Native American trickster : COYOTE
49 Tempo : PACE
50 Be overly sweet : CLOY
52 Need a massage, perhaps : ACHE
53 Hefty rival : GLAD
54 Yearn : LONG
55 Current event? : EDDY
56 Fitting : APT
57 Dim sum beverage : TEA
58 Insufficiently firm : LAX
60 Naval letters : USS

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 18 Nov 22, Friday”

  1. No errors; one lookup….”. Someone will probably be able to
    explain why the answer to “give a ring” is “pierce”…that was
    my lookup. I got the theme fairly early in the game and it was
    a big help.

    1. 5:39

      Helpful theme. I call it “Where did U go?”

      All I could think for “PIERCE” is that it relates to ear rings.

  2. Did poorly, but I want to make a comment on 6 down, which should be ENAMEL. Years ago I did create enamels in college in order to be allowed to take weaving. There were 2 kinds: cloisonne’ and champleve’. With cloisonne’, closed metal strips are soldered onto the metal dish or other object, and powdered colored glass fills these. In champleve, trenches are etched into the metal and filled with the powder. In either case, when the objects are put in the kiln, the enamel becomes liquid, then cools to a solid.

  3. No errors. Yeah, I thought PIERCE was odd. Don’t have an answer either.

    Thought OCEAN was wrong. Like Billy Ocean. But when i read Bill’s note on why he changed his name from BEACH to OCEAN I uderstood.

  4. 10:32 – no errors or lookups. My time has gotten about a minute faster each of the past 2 days – a little odd. False starts: BRINEY>BRINED, USN>USS.

    New: OCEAN Vuong.

    Saw the theme with USAGE/SAGE and POPULAR/POPLAR (drop the ‘U’). Pretty good.

  5. Re: Give a ring?: PIERCE. When the answer is so opaque (to so many?), one expects an explanation from either you, Bill, or the constructor or editor. Please elucidate.

  6. Like most everybody, PIERCE threw me. Didn’t get it and no explanation–drats! One lookup–BLO__. Couldn’t get past BLO_B (for bra) but, otherwise, pretty good for a Saturday.

  7. Im patting myself on the back! For the first time that I can recall, I finished a puzzle without any help or look-ups of any kind, and for a Friday mind you. Whee!

  8. 11 mins 46 sec, no errors. I found the clues AND the fills to be a bit … precious. This one was no fun, and felt like the constructor was trying to trot out all his “highfalutin’ words” …

  9. 13:08 No lookups/errors.
    Felt great to get the theme from USAGE SAGE.
    Question: what does this mean?
    This is what I see in the list of clues/answers.
    6 Cloisonné medium : ENAMEL
    An editor (ed.) might read or edit a manuscript (ms).

  10. Nice mostly easy Friday; took 19:24 with 1 dumb error that I didn’t feel like looking for: HANg/EDgY. Cute theme that helped get things moving. “Cloisonne …” is new to me. Thanks for the info Jane.

  11. This was hard for me, and I’ve done a few recently without errors or lookups. However, the LA Times puzzle just started a couple of months ago in our local paper, and is much more challenging than the one we used to have. I’m not used to themes or circled letters having special meanings, but I’m starting to identify clues that repeat.
    I enjoy this much more than our former crossword, because it’s a higher level of difficulty. Rock on, LA Times!

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