LA Times Crossword 5 Nov 22, Saturday

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Constructed by: Evan Mulvihill & Adam Simpson
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 7m 25s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Tree whose leaves are ground and dried to make filé powder : SASSAFRAS

Sassafras is a genus of deciduous tree. Sassafras leaves are dried and ground to make filé powder, a spicy herb used in making some types of gumbo. An aromatic oil from the sassafras root and bark is the primary flavoring in root beer.

Filé is a spicy powder made from the dried leaves of the sassafras tree. It is a mainstay of Creole cuisine, and an ingredient in several versions of gumbo.

10 Set cymbals : HI-HAT

In a drum kit, a hi-hat is a pairing of cymbals that sits on a stand and is played by using a foot pedal. The top cymbal is raised and lowered by the foot, hence creating a crashing sound.

15 Wind pitched in G : ALTO FLUTE

A flute is a woodwind instrument that doesn’t have a reed. Instead, sound is produced by blowing air across an opening. A flute player is often referred to as a flautist (sometimes “flutist”). Flutes have been around a long, long time. Primitive flutes found in modern-day Germany date back 43,000 to 35,000 years, which makes the flute the oldest known musical instrument.

16 Meditative posture : ASANA

“Asana” is a Sanskrit word that translates literally as “sitting down”. The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called “padmasana”.

19 Puff pen : E-CIG

An electronic cigarette (also called an “e-cigarette”) is a battery-powered device that resembles a real cigarette. The e-cigarette vaporizes a solution that contains nicotine, forming a vapor that resembles smoke. The vapor is inhaled in a process called “vaping”, delivering nicotine into the body. The assumption is that an e-cigarette is healthier than a regular cigarette as the inhaled vapor is less harmful than inhaled smoke. But, that may not be so …

20 Many a Dickens child : WAIF

A waif is a street urchin, or perhaps a stray animal.

Charles Dickens was an English novelist who achieved great success in his own time, and is still regarded as perhaps the greatest novelist of the Victorian period. Many of his novels explored the plight of the poor in Victorian society, perhaps driven by his own experiences as a child. Dickens had to leave school to work in a factory after his father was thrown into a debtor’s prison. As a result, Dickens had to educate himself. He is said to have pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction, with his first success coming with the 1835 serial publication of “Pickwick Papers”. And, everyone’s favorite has to be his 1843 novella, “A Christmas Carol”.

22 Triple __ : SEC

Triple sec is liqueur made from the dried peels of bitter and sweet oranges. I tend to use it in cocktails calling for Grand Marnier or Cointreau, as it is a cheaper alternative and tastes very similar …

23 “Seasons of Love” musical : RENT

“Seasons of Love” is a song from the musical “Rent” that starts out with the line “Five hundred twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes”. That’s the number of minutes in a year.

25 Big name in country music : JUDD

The Judds were a country music singing duo made up of Naomi Judd and her daughter Wynonna. Naomi Judd was also the mother of actress Ashley Judd, with Ashley and Wynonna being half-sisters.

26 Japanese title of respect : SAN

The Japanese honorific “-san” is added to the end of names as a title of respect, and can be translated as “Mr.” or “Ms.” The usage is wider than it is in English, though. Sometimes “-san” is added to the name of a company, for example.

27 Web portal co. : AOL

America Online (AOL)

28 PC nexus : LAN

You may have a Local Area Network (LAN) in your house. If you’ve got a PC and a router or switch, likely attached to some modem, then you have a LAN.

29 Insurrection : COUP

A coup d’état (often just “coup”) is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French for “stroke of state”. The Swiss-German word “putsch” is sometimes used instead of “coup”, with “Putsch” translating literally as “sudden blow”. We also use the abbreviated “coup” to mean “sudden, brilliant and successful act”.

31 Nice range : ALPS

There are eight Alpine countries:

  • Austria
  • Slovenia
  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Germany
  • Monaco
  • Italy

The French city of Nice is on the Mediterranean coast in the southeast of the country. Although Nice is only the fifth most populous city in France, it is home to the busiest airport outside of Paris. That’s because of all the tourists flocking to the French Riviera. Something described as “à la niçoise” is “of Nice”.

32 Game room fixture : PING-PONG TABLE

Ping-Pong is called table tennis in the UK, where the sport originated in the 1880s. Table tennis started as an after-dinner activity among the elite, and was called “wiff-waff”. To play the game, books were stacked in the center of a table as a “net”, two more books served as “”rackets” and the ball used was actually a golf ball. The game evolved over time with the rackets being upgraded to the lids of cigar boxes and the ball becoming a champagne cork (how snooty is that?). Eventually the game was produced commercially, and the sound of the ball hitting the racket was deemed to be a “ping” and a “pong”, giving the sport its alternative name. The name “Ping-Pong” was trademarked in Britain in 1901, and eventually sold to Parker Brothers in the US.

35 Victoria, for one : LAKE

Lake Victoria is the largest lake by surface area on the continent of Africa. It was named by English explorer John Hanning Speke in honor of Queen Victoria of the UK. Speke was the first European to set eyes on the lake.

36 Maker of MYDAL bunk beds : IKEA

The IKEA furniture stores use the colors blue and yellow for brand recognition. Blue and yellow are the national colors of Sweden, where IKEA was founded and is headquartered.

37 Judy Woodruff’s longtime network : PBS

Judy Woodruff is a broadcast journalist who has been the anchor of the “PBS NewsHour” (formerly “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour) since 2013. Woodruff’s husband is fellow broadcast journalist Al Hunt, whom she married in 1980.

38 Verb attachment : -OSE

Someone described as “verbose” is said to use too many words. The term comes from the Latin “verbum” meaning “word”.

39 Springfield bartender Szyslak : MOE

Moe Szyslak is the surly bartender and owner of Moe’s Tavern in “The Simpsons” animated TV show. I don’t really care for “The Simpsons”, but Hank Azaria who supplies the voice for the Moe character … him I like …

40 Perlman of “The Mindy Project” : RHEA

Rhea Perlman’s most famous role has to be Carla Tortelli, the irascible waitress in the long-running sitcom “Cheers”. Perlman is also a successful children’s author, and has published a series of six books called “Otto Undercover”. She married Hollywood actor Danny DeVito in 1982.

“The Mindy Project” is a Fox sitcom that stars and was created by Mindy Kaling. Mindy plays an obstetrician/gynecologist, a role that was inspired by her own mother who is an OB/GYN.

42 Recipe words : STIR IN

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.

44 Kerfuffles : ADOS

“Kerfuffle” comes from the Scottish “curfuffle”, with both words meaning “disruption”.

45 Part of a fleet : 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”.

49 “This Is What America Looks Like: My Journey From Refugee to Congresswoman” writer : OMAR

Ilhan Omar has been representing Minnesota’s 5th congressional district in the US House since 2019. At that time, she became one of the first two Muslim women, as well as the first Somali American, to serve in the US Congress.

57 Bear markets? : TOY STORES

The stuffed toy known as a teddy bear was introduced in the early 1900s and was named for President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. The toy was inspired by a political cartoon that was drawn in 1902 showing President Roosevelt on a bear hunt and refusing to kill a black bear cub.

Down

2 Chef and farm-to-table pioneer Waters : ALICE

Alice Waters is a chef and author who opened the Bekeley, California restaurant Chez Panisse in 1971. Arguably, Waters and Chez Panisse popularized the farm-to-table movement, which advocates the serving of local foods in restaurants and schools, local foods sourced from the producer (a farm or winery, for example).

3 Not easily moved : STOIC

Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher famous for teaching at the Stoa Poikile, the “Painted Porch”, located on the north side of the Ancient Agora of Athens. Because of the location of his classes, his philosophy became known as stoicism (from “stoa”, the word for “porch”). We get our adjective “stoic”, meaning “indifferent to pleasure or pain”, from the same root.

7 Cuba libre : RUM AND COKE

The cocktail known as a Cuba libre is basically a rum and Coke, although the traditional recipe also calls for a splash of lime juice.

9 Feudal laborer : SERF

A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. “Serf” comes from the Latin “servus”, meaning “slave”.

11 Belief of more than 2 billion people : ISLAM

Over 50% of the world’s population consider themselves to be adherents of the “big three” Abrahamic religions: Christianity (2-2.2 billion), Islam (1.6-1.7 billion) and Judaism (14-18 million).

13 Dik-dik or gerenuk : ANTELOPE

Dik-diks are a species of small antelopes that are native to eastern and southern Africa. They are usually less than 15 inches tall at the shoulder. The name “dik-dik” is onomatopoeic, and mimics the sound made by the female of the species when they feel threatened.

The gerenuk is an antelope with a long neck, earning it the informal name “giraffe gazelle”. Indigenous to Africa, the gerenuk uses its unique anatomy to feed on foliage that other species of antelope cannot reach. By standing on its hind legs and elongating its neck, the giraffe gazelle can reach over 7 feet above the ground.

14 Cornstalk toppers : TASSELS

The thread-like fibers that make up the tuft on an ear of corn is known as “corn silk”. The fibers are the female parts of the plant. Pollen from the tassel at the top of the plant lands on the fibers, which are actually fine tubes. The pollen travels down the tube, where fertilization occurs. Each fertilization results in the development of a kernel of corn.

25 Homicide detective Rizzoli of “Rizzoli & Isles” : JANE

“Rizzoli & Isles” is a detective drama that is inspired by the “Maura Isles/Jane Rizzoli” series of novels by Tess Gerritsen. In the show, Angie Harmon plays detective Jane Rizzoli and Sasha Alexander plays medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles.

26 Caramel lollipop in a yellow-and-red wrapper : SUGAR DADDY

A Sugar Daddy is a block of hard caramel on a stick, forming a kind of lollipop.

30 Number of World Series wins for the Nationals : ONE

The 2019 World Series was played between the American League’s Houston Astros and the National League’s Washington Nationals. The Nationals emerged victorious, and were crowned champions for the first time. The last time a D.C. team won the world series was back in 1924, when the Washington Senators beat the New York Giants.

31 Quartet with the 2021 album “Voyage” : ABBA

“Voyage” is a 2021 album released by ABBA, the first collection of new songs recorded by the group since “The Visitors” in 1981. The album’s release was much anticipated all around the world, and sold one million units in the first week.

32 Where elbows might be on the table? : PASTA BAR

In many cases, the name given to a type of pasta comes from its shape. However, the name macaroni comes from the type of dough used to make the noodles. Here in the US, macaroni is usually elbow-shaped, but it doesn’t have to be.

33 Subatomic particle : PION

“Pion” is short for “pi meson”, and is the name given to a subatomic particle.

A meson is an unstable subatomic particle, one made up of a quark and an antiquark.

43 Blush wines : ROSES

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.

44 __ acid : AMINO

Amino acids are essential to life in many ways, not least of which is their use as the building blocks of proteins. Nine amino acids are considered “essential” for humans. These nine must be included in the diet as they cannot be synthesized in the body.

45 Animal expert Millan : CESAR

“Cesar Millan” is the real name of television’s “Dog Whisperer”. Millan has been working with overly aggressive dogs on his show “Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan” since 2004. Millan was an illegal immigrant from Mexico in the US back in 1990, became legal in 2000 and then became a US citizen in 2009.

47 Portfolio option : BONDS

Our word “portfolio” comes from the Italian “portafoglio” meaning “case for carrying loose papers”. The Italian term comes from “porta” meaning “carry” and “foglio” meaning “sheet, leaf”.

50 Baylor University site : WACO

Baylor is a private Baptist university in Waco, Texas that was founded in 1845, making it the oldest continuously-operating university in the state. Baylor is named for US Congressman and Baptist minister Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor, who co-founded the school. The list of Baylor’s past presidents includes Ken Starr, the independent counsel whose investigation led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

53 No. after a no. : EXT

Extension (ext.)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Tree whose leaves are ground and dried to make filé powder : SASSAFRAS
10 Set cymbals : HI-HAT
15 Wind pitched in G : ALTO FLUTE
16 Meditative posture : ASANA
17 Part of a mane event? : LION TAMER
18 Fine cuts : SLITS
19 Puff pen : E-CIG
20 Many a Dickens child : WAIF
21 Going rates : FARES
22 Triple __ : SEC
23 “Seasons of Love” musical : RENT
24 Low noise : RUMBLE
25 Big name in country music : JUDD
26 Japanese title of respect : SAN
27 Web portal co. : AOL
28 PC nexus : LAN
29 Insurrection : COUP
31 Nice range : ALPS
32 Game room fixture : PING-PONG TABLE
35 Victoria, for one : LAKE
36 Maker of MYDAL bunk beds : IKEA
37 Judy Woodruff’s longtime network : PBS
38 Verb attachment : -OSE
39 Springfield bartender Szyslak : MOE
40 Perlman of “The Mindy Project” : RHEA
42 Recipe words : STIR IN
44 Kerfuffles : ADOS
45 Part of a fleet : CAB
48 Stuffed shells : TACOS
49 “This Is What America Looks Like: My Journey From Refugee to Congresswoman” writer : OMAR
50 Multiparty merger statement? : WE DO
51 Cut down to size : ABASE
52 Like some series finales : MIDSEASON
54 Harder to come by : RARER
55 Handy bookmark for a note-taker : INDEX CARD
56 Head lock : TRESS
57 Bear markets? : TOY STORES

Down

1 Corporate department : SALES
2 Chef and farm-to-table pioneer Waters : ALICE
3 Not easily moved : STOIC
4 Dance partner? : SONG
5 Forward’s opposite : AFT
6 Far from perfect : FLAWED
7 Cuba libre : RUM AND COKE
8 Had an epic fail : ATE IT
9 Feudal laborer : SERF
10 Lives it up : HAS FUN
11 Belief of more than 2 billion people : ISLAM
12 Downside of some self-cleaning : HAIRBALLS
13 Dik-dik or gerenuk : ANTELOPE
14 Cornstalk toppers : TASSELS
23 Step up : RUNG
24 Moonstruck : RAPT
25 Homicide detective Rizzoli of “Rizzoli & Isles” : JANE
26 Caramel lollipop in a yellow-and-red wrapper : SUGAR DADDY
28 “Whatevs” : LIKE I CARE
30 Number of World Series wins for the Nationals : ONE
31 Quartet with the 2021 album “Voyage” : ABBA
32 Where elbows might be on the table? : PASTA BAR
33 Subatomic particle : PION
34 Parrots : APES
35 Skill rarely practiced now : LOST ART
39 Tightwads : MISERS
41 Mounts : HORSES
43 Blush wines : ROSES
44 __ acid : AMINO
45 Animal expert Millan : CESAR
46 Truly cherish : ADORE
47 Portfolio option : BONDS
49 Forget about : OMIT
50 Baylor University site : WACO
53 No. after a no. : EXT

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 5 Nov 22, Saturday”

  1. About 20 minutes. I started at the top left.
    How long did I dwell on 1A SASSAFRAS?

    What a word! Never heard of it. So I did some more investigation.

    “The safrole in Sassafras root bark and oil can cause cancer and liver damage. Consuming just 5 mL of sassafras oil can kill an adult. Sassafras can cause sweating and hot flashes . High amounts can cause vomiting, high blood pressure, hallucinations, and other severe side effects.”

    Wow! Sounds like a disclaimer on a pharmaceutical drug advertisement.

    Happy saturday.

  2. No errors, one lookup– “Alice”. Much easier than the usual Saturday
    puzzle. When I was a kid, the SugarDaddy was my favorite treat
    and it still took me awhile to remember its name. Oh well, I was a
    kid a looooong time ago.

  3. LAT: Less than 30 minutes. Much easier than the usual Saturday fare as I think my time and the entries in this blog will attest to.

  4. As others have noted above, distinctly easier than the last 2 or 3 Saturdays. I had a bit of staring and mulling time for “Moonstruck” 24 Down, mostly because I filled in “gaga” to start and that made me chase my proverbial tail for awhile. Also for the NE corner because “hi hat” didn’t come to mind for longer than was necessary, so hairball was slow to come to me (after all, cats have fur – not hair). All things considered it could have gone much worse. On to the WSJ 21X21.

      1. Hi Miles. In the old days I would have ranked the LAT’s the easiest of the 3, then the WSJ and finally the NYT’s. These days it can vary with anyone of the 3 in first place for most difficult. Even the Sunday LAT’s grid, which used to be a dead cinch to complete can be right there as number one brain twister.

  5. Maybe it was a little easier than the usual Saturday; after all, I almost got it perfect, missing only RUNG/LAN. Took a while, though.

  6. 14:01 1 lookup that was a tossup between not knowing enough of country music, and never having heard of Rizzoli & Isles.

    Also change MACARONI -> PASTABAR. Nothing wrong with those elbows on the table!

  7. No look ups, no errors. One change on the
    fly shy/aft. Fairly easy but got stuck in the
    NE corner til I filled in the blanks on
    Antelope then it opened up. Cringed when
    I saw 2 constructors but it wuz ok….

  8. 33:28 and I had CAR for CAB …I knew RONDS didn’t make any sense but I was just so sure of car😥😥😥
    Stay safe😀

  9. Can someone help me with 52 across? Even though I got it with crosses, I just don’t get how “like some series finales” relates to “mid season”.

    1. @Bob R, I suppose it has to do with some TV series that are a smaller number of episodes than is typical, and so their finales come “mid-season” compared to the others.

  10. Mostly easy Saturday for me; took 19:02 with no peeks or errors. Puzzled over the area around JANE and LAKE for at least 5 minutes. Finally remembered JUDD but that didn’t help with LAKE for another couple of minutes…Oh LOST ART! No idea on JANE, except that it’s shown up here before, so I guess I should try and remember it.

  11. 16:52 – no errors or lookups. False starts: RIGID>STOIC, PEON>SERF, MUON>PION.

    New: “file’ powder,” “MYDAL bunk beds,” ALICE Waters, “gerenuk,” CESAR Millan.

    Wasninitially stumped on “cuba libre” (didn’t know what it was), the tree for file’ powder, “Dik-dik or gerenuk,” “puff pen,” and a couple of names.

    I always have a little trepidation on Saturdays when there are so many long answers to deal with. But, I started across the SW corner and down the SE corner, worked my way into the middle, then up to the top, and it all worked out.

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