LA Times Crossword Answers 27 Nov 2017, Monday

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Constructed by: Mark McClain
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Secret Friends

Each of today’s themed answers includes a hidden (SECRET) word that is a synonym of “FRIEND”:

  • 59A. Kid’s imaginary companions, and what’s literally found in this puzzle’s circles : SECRET FRIENDS
  • 20A. Seaside shade provider : BEACH UMBRELLA (hiding “CHUM”)
  • 37A. Philatelist’s volumes : STAMP ALBUMS (hiding “PAL”)
  • 44A. Practice that develops a variety of employee skills : JOB ROTATION (hiding “BRO”)

Bill’s time: 4m 49s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. The “m” in E = mc² : MASS

In Albert Einstein’s famous equation E=mc^2, “E” stands for energy, “m” stands for mass, and “c” stands for the speed of light.

10. Wood-shaping tool : ADZE

An adze (also “adz”) is similar to an axe, but is different in that the blade of an adze is set at right angles to the tool’s shaft. An axe’s blade is set in line with the shaft.

14. Severely damaged sea : ARAL

The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

15. Morning show featuring Al Roker : TODAY

Al Roker is best known as the weather anchor on the “Today” show on NBC. He has successfully branched out from that platform though, and even co-wrote a novel called “The Morning Show Murders”, about a celebrity chef and TV host who get entangled in mystery. Topical stuff …

18. Lady’s canine love : TRAMP

“Lady and the Tramp” is a classic animated feature from Walt Disney, released in 1955. The title characters are a female American Cocker Spaniel and a male stray mutt. Who can forget the scene where the Tramp and Lady are “on a date” and together eat that one strand of spaghetti? So cute!

19. Omar of “The Mod Squad” : EPPS

The 1999 movie “The Mod Squad” was an adaptation of the seventies television show of the same name. The part of Lincoln “Linc” Hayes was played by Omar Epps, Claire Danes played Julie Barnes and Giovanni Ribisi played Peter Cochran.

20. Seaside shade provider : BEACH UMBRELLA (hiding “CHUM”)

A chum is a friend. The term originated in the late 1600s as an alternative spelling for “cham”. In turn “cham” was a shortened form of “chambermate”, a roommate at university.

23. Bone: Pref. : OSTEO-

The prefix “osteo-” is a combining form meaning “bone”. The term comes from “steon”, the Greek for “bone”.

24. Second person : YOU

In linguistics, the concept of grammatical person defines sets of personal pronouns. In English, first-person pronouns include the speaker. The second person is the person(s) to whom the first person is speaking. The third person is used for everyone else.

25. Grammy category : RAP

The first Grammy Awards Ceremony was held in 1959 and focused on recognizing outstanding achievement in the recording industry. The idea of a Grammy Award came up when recording executives were working on the Hollywood Walk of Fame project in the fifties. These executives concluded that there were many people in the recording industry deserving of accolades but who would probably never make it to the Walk of Fame. As a result, they founded the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. The Academy considered naming the award the “Eddies” after Thomas Edison, but then opted for “Grammy” after Edison’s invention: the gramophone.

37. Philatelist’s volumes : STAMP ALBUMS (hiding “PAL”)

“Philately” is the more formal name given to the practice of collecting postage stamps. The term “philately” was coined (in French, as “philatélie) in 1864 by French collector Georges Herpin. He came up with it from the Greek “phil-” meaning “loving” and “ateleia” meaning “exemption from tax”. Apparently “exemption from tax” was the closest thing Herpin could find to “postage stamp”.

43. Sitter’s nemesis : BRAT

Nemesis was a Greek goddess, the goddess of retribution. Her role was to make pay those individuals who were either haughty or arrogant. In modern parlance, one’s nemesis (plural “nemeses”) is one’s sworn enemy, often someone who is the exact opposite in character but someone who still shares some important characteristics. A nemesis is often someone one cannot seem to beat in competition.

49. Macho guy : HE-MAN

A man described as macho shows pride in his masculinity. “Macho” is a Spanish word for “male animal”.

55. Curriculum __: résumé : VITAE

A curriculum vitae (CV) is a listing of someone’s work experience and qualifications, and is used mainly in making a job application. The term “curriculum vitae” can be translated from Latin as “course of life”.

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”.

69. Country south of Egypt : SUDAN

Sudan was the largest country in Africa until 2011, when the Southern Sudan region opted by referendum to become independent. “North Sudan” retained the name of Sudan, and the new state is called South Sudan. Sudan is now the third largest country in the continent, after Algeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

70. French I verb : ETRE

The verb “to be” translates into German as “sein”, and into French as “être”.

72. Poet’s muse : ERATO

In Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of lyric poetry, and is often depicted playing a lyre.

Down

1. Cuban dance : MAMBO

The form of music and dance known as “mambo” developed in Cuba. “Mambo” means “conversation with the gods” in Kikongo, a language spoken by slaves taken to Cuba from Central Africa.

2. Spring zodiac sign : ARIES

Aries the Ram is the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, and is named after the constellation. Your birth sign is Aries if you were born between March 21 and April 20, but if you are an Aries you would know that! “Aries” is the Latin word for “ram”.

3. ’70s-’80s Egyptian president Anwar : SADAT

Anwar Sadat was the third President of Egypt right up to the time of his assassination in 1981. Sadat won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 along with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin for the role played in crafting the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1978 at Camp David. It was this agreement that largely led to Sadat’s assassination three years later.

5. Caesar’s ides-of-March words : ET TU

In Act I of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” a soothsayer warns the doomed emperor to “beware the ides of March”. Caesar ignores the prophecy and is subsequently killed on the steps of the Capitol by a group of conspirators on that fateful day.

8. Top-selling Toyota : CAMRY

The Toyota Camry takes its name from the Japanese word for “crown”. Toyota management likes the idea of naming their cars after the word “crown”, as they did with the Toyota Crown, followed by the Toyota Corona (Latin for crown) and the Toyota Corolla (Latin for small crown).

9. Blood bank spec : TYPE O

The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a universal donor.

10. Second son : ABEL

According to the Bible, Adam and Eve had several children, although only the first three are mentioned by name: Cain, Abel and Seth.

13. Sci-fi beings : ETS

Extraterrestrial (ET)

26. Capital of Jordan : AMMAN

Amman is the capital city of Jordan, and is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world. Amman has been occupied by a number of different civilizations over the centuries, including the Greeks who called it “Philadelphia”, a name retained by the Romans when they occupied the city just after 100 AD.

29. “Now!” in the OR : STAT!

The exact etymology of “stat”, a term meaning “immediately” in the medical profession, seems to have been lost in the mists of time. It probably comes from the Latin “statim” meaning “to a standstill, immediately”. A blog reader has helpfully suggested that the term may also come from the world of laboratory analysis, where the acronym STAT stands for “short turn-around time”.

30. Brit’s sign-off : TA-TA

An Englishman might say “ta-ta” or “cheerio” instead of “goodbye”. Well, supposedly so …

31. Northampton women’s college : SMITH

Smith College is a private women’s school in Northampton, Massachusetts. Smith was founded in 1870 using funds bequeathed by Sophia Smith, who inherited her fortune from her wealthy farmer father.

34. City south of Baghdad : NAJAF

Najaf is an Iraqi city that lies about 100 miles south of Baghdad. It is home to the Imam Ali Mosque, which is an important holy site for Shia Muslims. According to the Shia tradition, the mosque is the burial site of Ali, the first Imam and cousin of Muhammad. Also according to Shia tradition, the remains of Adam and Noah are buried alongside Ali.

36. Lose it big-time : GO BERSERK

Our word “berserk”, meaning “deranged”, comes from the “Berserkers”, Norse warriors described in Old Norse literature. Berserkers were renowned for going into battle in a fury, and some believe that they consumed drugged food to get themselves worked up for the fighting ahead.

38. Ballet dip : PLIE

The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent. A “demi-plié” is a similar move, but with less bending of the knees.

45. Oil gp. that includes Iraq : OPEC

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in 1960 at a conference held in Baghdad, Iraq that was attended by Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Nine more countries joined the alliance soon after, and OPEC set up headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and then Vienna, Austria in 1965. The basic aim of OPEC was to wrench control of oil prices from the oil companies and to put it in the hands of the sovereign states that own the natural resource.

46. “Avatar” race : NA’VI

In James Cameron’s epic “Avatar”, the “blue people” are the Na’vi, the indigenous species that lives on the lush moon called Pandora. The main Na’vi character featuring in the film is the female Neytiri. According to Cameron, Neytiri was inspired by the Raquel Welch character in the movie “Fantastic Voyage” and the comic book character Vampirella.

56. Govt. security : T-NOTE

A Treasury note (T-Note) is a government debt that matures in 1-10 years. A T-Note has a coupon (interest) payment made every six months. The T-note is purchased at a discount to face value, and at the date of maturity can be redeemed at that face value. A T-Bill is a similar financial vehicle, but it matures in one year or less, and a T-Bond matures in 20-30 years.

58. German steel city : ESSEN

Essen is a large industrial city located on the River Ruhr in western Germany. The city experienced major population growth in the mid-1800s that was driven by the iron works established by the Krupp family.

63. Nevada gambling city : RENO

The city of Reno’s economy took off when open gambling was legalized in Nevada in 1931. Within a short time, a syndicate had built the Bank Club in Reno, which was the largest casino in the world at the time.

64. Church bench : PEW

A pew is a bench in a church, one usually with a high back. The original pews were raised and sometimes enclosed seats in the church used by women and important men or families. “Pew” comes from the Old French “puie” meaning “balcony, elevation”.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. The “m” in E = mc² : MASS
5. Put into force : ENACT
10. Wood-shaping tool : ADZE
14. Severely damaged sea : ARAL
15. Morning show featuring Al Roker : TODAY
16. Drubbed or whipped : BEAT
17. Calf-length skirt : MIDI
18. Lady’s canine love : TRAMP
19. Omar of “The Mod Squad” : EPPS
20. Seaside shade provider : BEACH UMBRELLA (hiding “CHUM”)
23. Bone: Pref. : OSTEO-
24. Second person : YOU
25. Grammy category : RAP
28. “Don’t play” music symbols : RESTS
32. “I’ll do that!” : LET ME!
34. Opposite of pos. : NEG
37. Philatelist’s volumes : STAMP ALBUMS (hiding “PAL”)
40. Soothing succulent : ALOE
42. Inclined : ATILT
43. Sitter’s nemesis : BRAT
44. Practice that develops a variety of employee skills : JOB ROTATION (hiding “BRO”)
47. Letters after ems : ENS
48. “Not __!”: “Quiet!” : A PEEP
49. Macho guy : HE-MAN
51. Not agin : FER
52. Musician’s gift : EAR
55. Curriculum __: résumé : VITAE
59. Kid’s imaginary companions, and what’s literally found in this puzzle’s circles : SECRET FRIENDS
64. Remove a rind from : PEEL
66. “Ask me if __” : I CARE
67. Pigeon banter : COOS
68. Drops the ball : ERRS
69. Country south of Egypt : SUDAN
70. French I verb : ETRE
71. Path behind a ship : WAKE
72. Poet’s muse : ERATO
73. Taken in, as a movie : SEEN

Down

1. Cuban dance : MAMBO
2. Spring zodiac sign : ARIES
3. ’70s-’80s Egyptian president Anwar : SADAT
4. Deli machine : SLICER
5. Caesar’s ides-of-March words : ET TU
6. Good name for an average guy : NORM
7. Not much (of) : A DAB
8. Top-selling Toyota : CAMRY
9. Blood bank spec : TYPE O
10. Second son : ABEL
11. Act of leaving : DEPARTURE
12. Microwave : ZAP
13. Sci-fi beings : ETS
21. Long-handled garden tools : HOES
22. Break in the action : LULL
26. Capital of Jordan : AMMAN
27. Annoying types : PESTS
29. “Now!” in the OR : STAT!
30. Brit’s sign-off : TA-TA
31. Northampton women’s college : SMITH
33. Flow back : EBB
34. City south of Baghdad : NAJAF
35. Wed on the wing : ELOPE
36. Lose it big-time : GO BERSERK
38. Ballet dip : PLIE
39. Tiny physics bit : ATOM
41. Poetic palindrome : ERE
45. Oil gp. that includes Iraq : OPEC
46. “Avatar” race : NA’VI
50. Nephews’ sisters : NIECES
53. Come to light : ARISE
54. Happen multiple times : RECUR
56. Govt. security : T-NOTE
57. Love dearly : ADORE
58. German steel city : ESSEN
60. Beyond that : ELSE
61. “Look what I did!” : TADA!
62. Group with pledges : FRAT
63. Nevada gambling city : RENO
64. Church bench : PEW
65. Notable time : ERA

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15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 27 Nov 2017, Monday”

  1. While Al Roker is a fine broadcaster, he is not a meteorologist. He is a weather anchor on Today.
    Thank you for your puzzles!

    1. @Gloria,
      Thanks for pointing out that important distinction when it comes to Al Roker’s profession. I must admit, that I didn’t realize that Roker is not a meteorologist. I’ve fixed my blurb, and I appreciate the help, Gloria.

  2. Chugged along until I got stuck on one letter in both of the names of the cities in the puzzle. The crosses didn’t help either. Oh well. Just happy to have something that didn’t take forever to finish.

    Coffee and crosswords are finished (at least until WSJ is available), on to the day! Have a good one everyone!

    -Megan

  3. LAT: 7:31, no errors. WSJ: 8:54, no errors. That meta turned out to be quite a joke. As for puzzles today, I seem to have that Monday hangover because these really aren’t what I would call “Monday” grids. Or a little “hard” for doing the NYT Sunday grid in 45 minutes (has to be some kind of record for me). BEQ to come, which I *know* will be hard.

  4. LAT: 7:09, no errors. Newsday: 6:22, no errors. WSJ: 7:52, no errors. BEQ: 34:59, one square filled incorrectly (an error I might have been able to fix, given a little more patience, but … them’s the breaks … 😜).

    My performance on Friday’s WSJ meta was embarrassing. Within two minutes after finishing the puzzle, I had written the following in the left margin: “STU F CDEF R U ST”. And I looked at it and I said, “There’s absolutely nothing Italian about that!” (I think I was expecting “AL FREDO” or “AL DENTE” … or “AL PACINO”.) So then I noticed LSD hidden in one of the theme entries and BSH hidden in another one and ACT hidden in a third and I thought, “Aha! It has something to do with a chemical substance they’re careful not to put in Italian food!” (Like “NO MSG” in Chinese food, right?) Confusion ensued and, in due course, I set the puzzle aside and only picked it up again two days later, when it occurred to me that “CDEF” ought to be “FEDC”, giving me “STU F FEDC R UST”, at which point the light came on and I sent in my answer. (In my own defense, let me stipulate that I have never eaten a stuffed-crust pizza … but I’m certainly aware of them.) I always marvel at my own ability, sometimes, to maintain a laser-like focus in the worst possible direction, consistently failing to step back from a problem and consider possible alternatives. Dumb, dumb, dumb! 😜

    Tim Croce’s #224 (2017/01/17) is now 92% complete, but the missing corner may get the better of me … 😳

    1. So I finished Croce #224, with one square filled incorrectly (not in that final corner, but elsewhere). And, full disclosure: I used Google half a dozen times, but only to verify that certain entries – logical guesses, already written in and committed to – were at least minimally defensible before continuing. This may be the hardest crossword puzzle I have ever attempted, with half a dozen clues/answers that I find so sketchy that I’m tempted to email Croce and ask him to explain them. (I’ve not had this reaction to his more recent puzzles.)

  5. Nemesis was the goddess of retribution? Who knew I dated a goddess!!?? Wow.

    Today I’m finishing up the god awful chore of listing everything I lost in the flood after Hurricane Harvey back in August. Imagine listing everything you own from your most expensive furniture down to your last box of paper clips, their age and their replacement cost. Sheesh.

    I knew I had a couple of months before my claim would be processed (my adjuster inspected the damage on Sept 15), but I procrastinated up until just the last few days. Last week my adjuster told me to have everything ready this week which scared me enough to actually start the process last Tuesday.

    I think “procrastinate” literally means to put off until tomorrow (cras in Latin) so more accurately I pronovembertinated……prothanksgivingtinated?

    Anyway – I should get going…

    Best –

  6. I had a good time with the puzzle – especially after the long holidays. My wife was home most of the time, so that was somewhat unnerving, …. and not so much fun. 😉

    I was not familiar with Najaf, though I’ve faintly, heard it before, and as for Amman, I was not sure whether ‘capital’ referred to the city in Jordan, or the currency therein …. which is the Dinar.

    Btw, according to Islamic history, the religious leader, Ali ibn Ali Talib … ( son-in-law, and the first convert, of the Prophet Mohmd, .)…. was assassinated ~ 661 AD and is supposedly buried in Najaf, also Nejd. He was the third successive Caliph, after Umar and Uthman – all three of whom, were, in turn, assassinated.

    Ali’s eldest son, Hassan ibn Ali, became Caliph, and was poisoned in ~ 670 AD, after which his younger brother Husayn ( or Hussain or Hussein – ) Ibn Ali tried to become the caliph – but was defeated, and killed, at the Battle of Karbala, ~ 680 AD. Husayn ibn Ali, and all 72 of his relatives including important half-brothers, and his infant son Ali al-Asgar were killed in the battle … or of thirst for want of water – which is commemorated in the most important festival of Ashura, or Moharrum ( for Shi’ites, even today – ). The head of Husayn was severed, under orders from Yazid the Ist, and was taken to the farthest corner of the kingdom – and buried, at, what is now today, in Ashkelon, in Israel, bordering on the Gaza strip. It is an important place of pilgrimage for shia groups, predominantly from India, and is in the backyard of the Barzilai Medical Center, in Ashkelon, a coastal town in Israel.
    Probably TMI.

    Have a nice day, folks

  7. Hi every buddy!! 😊
    Easy, enjoyable Monday. I’m glad — for future puzzles — that Bill has given us both spellings of ADZE. And this time I actually remembered how to spell ERATO, another term I learned just from puzzles. From time to time I make lists of words that are common in crosswords but hard to remember — then I ALWAYS lose the lists. 😮
    As for ATILT — OMG!! Another hated A-non-word!! I saw it coming but avoided filling it in til the last moment. SO THERE!!
    Vidwan! Interesting to hear about that place of pilgrimage! Wow.
    Be well~~™🍀

  8. Is is deja vu all over again ?

    Poor Bill. I hope he is OK.
    I can wait for the Tuesday answers till next week or next month …
    But I worry for our teacher and Guru.
    Prayers and best wishes from me.

    1. @Vidwan827
      I’m not sure what went wrong this morning, causing the Tuesday post to “disappear”. I did a “reboot” behind the scenes and it appears to have fixed things. I’ll try to pay close attention to things today to make sure that all is well. Thanks for drawing the problem to my attention.

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